This prequel is a nice introduction to the Weird Girls series. In this short novella, the girls are packing up and ready to move out of Jersey until CThis prequel is a nice introduction to the Weird Girls series. In this short novella, the girls are packing up and ready to move out of Jersey until Celia's ex-boyfriend Danny calls and asks for help. His father is the target of a rogue bunch of vampires. Celia and her sister have some interesting powers - she shifts into a tiger - but their powers are muted. Danny suggests that their magic is bound and that they need to find a way to remove the bindings. It seems that the family carries a nasty curse and breaking the curse is kind of nasty. Meanwhile, the bad vampires are busy doing their thing - biting and drinking blood, etc. I had to chuckle as Celia's character makes some funny references to sparkly vampires and things Buffy would do.
I enjoyed this little novella and I am curious enough to continue on with the series.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for a review copy of this book....more
Initial Thoughts: The girls at The St. Etheldreda's School for Girls find themselves in the unlikely position of being on their own after the poisoninInitial Thoughts: The girls at The St. Etheldreda's School for Girls find themselves in the unlikely position of being on their own after the poisoning of their headmistress and her brother. The story is both charming and amusing and written in the style of the historical period. The girls work together to solve the murders and while I kept thinking of Scooby Doo in my head, they did work out the details rather nicely. I found myself chuckling at some of the situations.
The Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is both a charming and humorous book about seven young girls who reside at St. Etheldreda's School for Young Ladies.
If you love historical novels with a touch of humor and silly situations, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is definitely a worthwhile read. Written in the style of books from the turn of the 19th century, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place follows these seven girls as they work to keep the school open following their headmistress' unfortunate death.
During a Sunday dinner (at which the girls were to serve the meat, but not eat any of it), the headmistress Mrs. Plackett and her brother suddenly die at the dinner table. The girls are shocked at first, however they quickly figure out that if they call the authorities, they will be disbanded and sent either home or to another school. The girls hatch a plan where one of the girls Alice would masquerade as Mrs. Plackett and each girl takes on a responsibility to keep the school running. The girls take care of the bodies, burying them outside the school. Meanwhile, life continues (as well as social engagements booked by Mrs. Plackett prior to her demise). Some hilarious situations arise.
The girls quickly realize that the killer is still out there and that Alice may be in danger, especially if the killer thinks Mrs. Plackett is still alive. The girl work together to figure out who is the murderer. At this point, I was reminded a little of Scooby Doo, but I like Scooby Doo, so all's good.
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place was an entertaining book to read. Those girls were brilliant! Highly recommended.
Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a review copy of this book....more
Initial Thoughts:5 Golden Stars for this wonderful and most captivating story. Thanks to all my GR friends who recommended this book. One of my favoriInitial Thoughts:5 Golden Stars for this wonderful and most captivating story. Thanks to all my GR friends who recommended this book. One of my favorite reads of 2014!
The Review: It is really difficult to review this book without giving away spoilers, so below you will find my general thoughts about this book.
OK, all kidding aside, this is what I thought:
This has got to be one of my top 10 reads of 2014. I know that I’ve said this before, but 2014 has been a great year for books.
Half A King was such a wonderful read for me. I loved being immersed in the world created by Joe Abercrombie. The writing was well done and I found myself marking so many passages. Take this quote for example:
“He had always been weak, but he never felt truly powerless until they made him king.”
Half A King is the story of Yarvi, a character groomed to be anything but king. Yarvi was born missing parts of one hand and his disability made him less than desirable to be king. I liked that his character was flawed and that he had to use his brains.
What I liked about this story was how Yarvi’s circumstances changed throughout the book. At the beginning, he is a student of the ministry because he was not suitable to become king. Then due to some unexpected deaths, Yarvi was crowned king. After a betrayal, Yarvi finds himself a slave forced to take on work as an oarsman on a ship. The story then takes on another aspect and becomes a survival story with an amazing revelation at the end. Throughout the entire story, Yarvi grows and matures.
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Half A King. Like the Iron Throne on the show, there’s a lot of jockeying for the Black Chair in the book.
Initial Thoughts:This book is being re-released by Sourcebooks Casablanca this May. If you've never read a historical romance or were afraid to do so,Initial Thoughts:This book is being re-released by Sourcebooks Casablanca this May. If you've never read a historical romance or were afraid to do so, this zany comedy might be a good place to start. Noble Intentions has an eccentric cast of characters including two farting dogs, the Tremayne triplets, a butler who looks and sounds like a pirate, four mistresses, and the list goes on. Gillian brings all the characters together and manages to control the temper (sometimes) of her newlywed husband Noble as forces work to destroy his reputation. A hilarious read with some really madcap situations.
The Review: If you’ve always been leery of reading historical romances (I know I was), Noble Intentions is a good introduction to the genre with the added bonus of some incredibly zany, slapstick comedy to lighten the read.
Noble Intentions is the story of Gillian Leigh, a 25 year old spinster who is living with her aunt and uncle in London. Gillian is tall, beautiful, and a social pariah due to her rather “Unfortunate Habit” of speaking her thoughts. “Unfortunate Accidents” also plague Gillian. Every social situation Gillian finds herself in seems to end up in flames. Literally. Think Lucille Ball in the I Love Lucy show and you have an idea of what you are in for.
Gillian’s love interest is Noble Britton, the Black Earl, Lord Wessex. To Gillian, he is simply her “Lord of Lusciousness”, “Lord of Magnificence”, or her “Lord of Miracles” to name a few. Noble is attracted to Gillian immediately and after a short and hilarious courtship (funniest proposal ever), they marry.
Gillian manages to endear herself to all around her – her new husband, his eccentric employees, his ex-mistresses, even his rivals. All rally around Gillian to protect her and to protect Noble from himself. Gillian also takes Noble’s mute son under her wing and takes on the role of mother immediately.
This book had me laughing out loud throughout. Only Gillian could get into such funny situations or make such astute observations (I am still chuckling about a “broken” body part. Even Gillian’s dogs provide comic relief with their ongoing digestive problems. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a light, humorous read.
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for a review copy of this book.
Thanks to Heather K. for bringing this book to my attention.
Parenting is a tough job. No matter what advice you get, what manuals you refer to, nothiThanks to Heather K. for bringing this book to my attention.
Parenting is a tough job. No matter what advice you get, what manuals you refer to, nothing prepares you for taking on the responsibility of that new life. How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane: And Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source is a fresh, hilarious take on things that only parents can laugh at. Parts of this book made me laugh so hard I nearly peed my pants. Other parts brought back some blurry memories of sleepless nights. In fact, my husband and I barely remember our thirties because we were that tired.
You see, I had that kid - you know, the kid on the plane that wouldn't shut up. In fact, he cried for an entire 5 hour flight. Complete strangers walked up to us offering all sorts of things. On the return flight, passengers asked NOT to be seated near us.
This book is full of things that parents can certainly relate to: Operation For-the Love-of-God-Go-to-Sleep, Fight the Pink (yah, right - what are the chances?), your toddler walking in at the wrong time, etc.
How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane would make a fantastic gift to expectant parents everywhere, especially if you're smug enough to have "been there, done that, got the spit up on the t-shirt type of parent. It's a quick read, takes a humorous look at parenting, and hey - you need a sense of humor to be a parent.
Thank you to NetGalley and Perseus Book Group De Capo Press for a review copy of this book....more
Initial Thoughts: This was an OK read for me - I was kind of annoyed at the way the main character's relationship kept going. Stella has free flightsInitial Thoughts: This was an OK read for me - I was kind of annoyed at the way the main character's relationship kept going. Stella has free flights because her ex is an airline CEO so she chooses a destination, flies to it, has a fling under an assumed name, and returns home. Until she meets Matthew in Chicago who seems to be a nice guy. Matthew is a bit of a prick and his ex-wife is manipulative, keeping him at her beck and call. This drove me crazy.
The Review: I'm not really sure what to think of Flying by Megan Hart. Perhaps it's because I had difficulty relating to the main character Stella. Stella flies standby every weekend from her home in Harrisburg to whatever destination she can get to. Once she reaches her destination she finds a male companion for a one night stand. She never tells them her real name. Easy-peasy, no commitments.
Until...she meets Matthew and in a rare moment, she tells him her real name. Stella and Matthew have a good thing going. Like Stella, Matthew is divorced. His ex-wife is dependent upon Matthew and behaves as if they were still married, barging into Matthews apartment unannounced. When Stella is with Matthew, he behaves like a prick, dropping everything to help out his manipulative ex-wife. I couldn't stand this - it's just a personal preference of mine - finish one relationship before you start a new one. Because of this, I tended to hate Matthew throughout the book, despite the sexy times he had with Stella.
Then we find out what makes Stella and Matthew tick. Stella is damaged both emotionally and physically because of a life changing accident. We also find out Matthew's story and why he can not fly. Both issues keep these two from moving forward.
Flying was an OK read for me. I wasn't wowed by it, I wasn't ecstatic.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin MIRA for a review copy of this book....more
This book had a promising start, then it rapidly descended into a slog of a read.
A few days shy of her 17th birthday, Eveny Cheval is whisked away frThis book had a promising start, then it rapidly descended into a slog of a read.
A few days shy of her 17th birthday, Eveny Cheval is whisked away from her life in Brooklyn, NY and taken to the walled and gated town of Carrefour, Louisiana. The town is odd - those in the periphery live an impoverished life while those in the center of town live a life of luxury. Eveny is surprised to find out that she is the owner of a large mansion in the town.
Enter The Dolls. The Dolls are a vapid, materialistic, shallow twosome named Peregrine and Chloe and together they use Zandara to conjure up their wealth and the good things in life. They are the most popular girls at school and have their minions providing them with blinis, caviar, champagne and other drinks for their school lunches daily. Turns out that Eveny is supposed to be one of them.
Here's my problem with this book: It had a good start and an intriguing gothic atmosphere. Then, it just got ridiculous. First of all, Aunt Bea moves Eveny in the middle of the year to a new town, new school, new everything - then becomes an absentee parent figure. Next, we have a love interest, but he avoids Eveny because as her protector, he is not allowed to have a relationship with her. Then we have some mysterious group called the Main de Lumiere who send an operative to kill Eveny - and that was way too easy to figure out who it was. So much time was spent on clothes, hair, cars, and other materialistic things and these were the girls who were to keep the town protected? Also when Eveny's estranged father shows up, she just accepts that he was there for her even though she had not ever met him.
Not sure if I can recommend this. It is a quick read so that's a plus.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Balzer and Bray for a review copy of this book....more
Initial Thoughts: A bit of a slow start to this amusing story about a young boy who plays with magic and finds out that he got more than he bargainedInitial Thoughts: A bit of a slow start to this amusing story about a young boy who plays with magic and finds out that he got more than he bargained for. Sean Wyndham finds an old book and inside the book an old newspaper clipping advertising for a magician's apprentice - only the ad has an email address. Curiosity gets the better of Sean and he applies for the position. This is a fun story and the magic is quite intriguing. I especially liked Geldman's pharmacy - so cool. This is a perfect story for kids in middle school and up, though younger readers may find parts a little scary.
The Review: Summoned by Anne M. Pillsworth is the first book in her new series Redemption's Heir. In Summoned, Sean Wyndham answers an ad to become an apprentice in magic. He's given a fairly easy task - he is to summon an Aether Newt as a familiar. Sean loves the idea and decides to do the summoning as his summer project for school. Only - you guessed it - things don't go according to plan.
Summoned was an enjoyable read for me. The magic was interesting, especially Geldman's pharmacy which was a pharmacy like no other, and so unique that only Sean could see it. There were some amazing dream sequences as well.
Summoned should appeal to young adult readers looking for books about magic and witchcraft. I'm very excited to hear that there are other books planned for this series.
Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Tor/Forge for a review copy of this book. ...more