Synopsis: A stunning new approach to how individuals can not only change their lives for the better in the workplace, but also their lives away from th...moreSynopsis: A stunning new approach to how individuals can not only change their lives for the better in the workplace, but also their lives away from the office, including (but not limited to) finding ways to improve one’s working relationship with others, one’s overall health, outlook on life, and so on.
For example, why is it that 95% of all diet attempts fail? Why do New Year’s Resolutions last no more than a few days? Why can’t people with good intentions seem to make consistent and positive strides in the way they want to improve their careers, financial fitness, physical fitness, and so on?
Based upon the latest research in a number of psychological and medical fields, the authors of CHANGE ANYTHING will show that traditional will-power is not necessarily the answer to these strivings, that people are affected in their behaviors by far more subtle influences. CHANGE ANYTHING shows how individuals can come to understand these powerful and influential forces, and how to put these forces to work in a positive manner that brings real and meaningful results.
The authors present an array of everyday examples that will change and truly empower you to reexamine the way you go about your business and life.
My Thoughts: Whew! Well, I was going to say some things about the idea behind Change Anything, but I think that synopsis pretty much covered everything. My job here is done! **dusts of hands and walks away**
**runs back** JUST KIDDING!! While I don’t have a lot to add, I will say that this book is chock-full of tons of useful information, statistics, and studies that back up these ideas. I was honestly not aware of all the sources of influences affecting my daily decisions down to the very last detail. I’m now motivated to develop my change plans, and get to altering the things in my life that have needed change for a while.
If there are areas in your life you want to change (and I’m pretty sure there are) then you NEED the information in this book. Great things take hard work. Why not have a little help?(less)
Synopsis: Four thousand years ago the world’s first super human walked the earth. Possessing the strength of one hundred men, skin impervious to attac...moreSynopsis: Four thousand years ago the world’s first super human walked the earth. Possessing the strength of one hundred men, skin impervious to attack, and the ability to read minds, this immortal being used his power to conquer and enslave nations. Now plans are in motion that will transport this super human to the present, where he’ll usher in a new age of tyranny unlike anything the world has ever seen.
Determined to stand against them, using powers they’ve only just begun to master, is a ragtag group of young heroes. For them this first test may be their greatest. . . and last.
My Thoughts: Oh how I love me a superhero book! Super Human didn’t let me down either. Now my opinion of the book might be swayed just by the fact that I love supers in almost every form: X-Men, Watchmen, Comic Books, Marvel, DC, you name it and I will most likely love it… unless it’s the Wolverine movie. I didn’t like that. But, Michael Carroll did a great job introducing us to, and keeping track of several characters and told a really fun story. I loved the characters and their unique powers they had to control. I found myself getting caught up in their stories only to find myself agitated that things weren’t going the way I wanted them to.
It was action-packed and fast paced, but still left you without your head spinning. The plot might have been a bit transparent, but in reality, it’s hard to write a superhero story without some big bad guy wanting to take over the world. I will say though, that the idea of pulling the first super human, a tyrannical warlord, from ancient times into today’s world was definitely an original thought and made for a fun plot thickener. Super Human is definitely an easier read, but I think it was a fun book to plow through to give my brain a bit of a break. I’d recommend it to anyone really.Next stop is The Ascension by Michael Carroll.(less)
Okay, let's just get this out of the way now... Inhale is fan-fuck-tastically A-MAH-ZING!!! (Were there enough exclamation marks there? I...moreMy Thoughts:
Okay, let's just get this out of the way now... Inhale is fan-fuck-tastically A-MAH-ZING!!! (Were there enough exclamation marks there? I don't feel like there were enough exclamation marks there. Here's a few more: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Seriously. Amazeballs. Zoe Morgan, the (or I guess ONE of the) protagonist, a passionate whale biologist who is plagued by past events, is a tough-as-nails, balls-to-the-wall kind of girl. The amount of depth to Zoe lends to her feeling like a very realistic character with enough depth that you become instantly attached to her. The hero of the story, Gavin Cassidy, a rock star haunted by the death of the woman he was sworn to protect, is trapped by his rock star lifestyle from feeling anything and therefore unable to tap into his true potential. That is, until he meets Zoe. Once they encounter each other, he is stirred to life and we watch him turn into a fierce and protective warrior as the story unfolds. Even through all his badassery, I found myself rooting for him and urging him along (probably doesn't hurt that he seems like a smexy BAMF).
Kendall's writing is evocative and intriguing to the point where you actually feel what the characters feel, and your breath catches when theirs does. The imagery in her story telling is so thorough and clean, I felt as if I was right there with Zoe and Gavin. The plot line was well developed, and while it leaves enough open at the end to flow smoothly into the sequel, there is enough resolution to feel like my thirst was sated. The landscapes, both in Realis (reality) and the Dreaming (dream world), were crafted so beautifully, I was literally aching to be able to visit both. This story was so rich, I almost needed a glass of milk to wash it down after. If I had a rating scale of one to five stars (or whatever), I would have to give Inhale... SIX!! Well done, Kendall Grey, my straight girlfriend-wait, that doesn't sound as unique as you calling me your gay boyfriend does... **shrugs** oh well. Keep up the awesomesauce work, and I will be making note to preorder the sequel, Exhale, as well.(less)
Sloane is surprisingly hilarious and this book of essays makes for a fun and entertaining read filled with lots of snark and wit. If you're looking fo...moreSloane is surprisingly hilarious and this book of essays makes for a fun and entertaining read filled with lots of snark and wit. If you're looking for a pick-me-up, this is your book!(less)
Olivya Wright-Ono's once loving home has been converted to a hospice for the dying. Her ability to see auras forces...moreSynopsis:
Global pandemic is raging.
Olivya Wright-Ono's once loving home has been converted to a hospice for the dying. Her ability to see auras forces her to witness, with agonizing detail, the vibrant colors of life consumed by malignancy.
The beautiful and troubled, Mikah, is an elite Empath in the ancient Kindred clan, led by the brooding, ever-morphing, monster named Prime. Mikah has learned a terrible truth . . . the plague is linked to Kindred origins. When Olivya sees evidence of disease creeping into her mother's aura, she has no one to turn to but Mikah. Can he unearth the Kindred secrets and find a cure?
Can she trust this boy whose power allows him to manipulate her very emotions? With her mother's life, and that of the world, in the balance, Olivya and Mikah embark on a quest to stop the Pandemic, only to discover it is far, far more than a mere disease . . .
While I felt there were some holes in the plot, I actually loved the concept for the story. There was a great mythology built to fit with the world in The Apocalypse Gene explaining the origin of angels, mythical monsters and also one of mankind's most devastating diseases. I found myself fascinated with the story for how the plague came to be and what the angels and mythological monsters actually are. There was definitely plenty of adventure in this book, but I felt like the slang the authors attempted to integrate into the story was more distracting, than helpful.
I would have loved to seen more history about not only the world, but the actual characters themselves. At times I felt like the characters weren't ones I could relate to, but I still wound up developing a connection to them and cheering them along. I feel like if the authors had more time to spend on the characters, the overall story and missing plot pieces would have all been filled in and this would have been punch-me-in-the-face good!(less)
Synopsis: Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown.
A Discovery of Witches introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch,...moreSynopsis: Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown.
A Discovery of Witches introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, two otherworldly beings who found themselves at the center of a battle over a lost enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782. Drawn to each other despite long-standing taboos, and in pursuit of Diana’s spellbound powers, the two now embark upon a timewalking journey.
Book two of the All Souls trilogy plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies and subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night. The mission is to locate a witch to tutor Diana and to find traces of Ashmole 782, but as the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them they embark on a very different journey, one that takes them into the heart of the fifteen-hundred-year-old vampire’s shadowed history and secrets. For Matthew Clairmont, time travel is no simple matter; nor is Diana’s search for the key to understanding her legacy.
In Shadow of Night, Harkness again weaves a rich and splendid tapestry of alchemy, magic, and history. The love story deepens as she takes us through the loop of time in a tale of blood, passion, and the knotted strands of the past to deliver one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the year.
Firstly, if you haven’t yet read the first book in the trilogy, A Discovery of Witches, then you may want to be aware that this review will contain spoilers for that book. Now, with that out of the way… I read A Discovery of Witches last year, and I instantly fell in love with Diana, Matthew, and the very realistic world Deborah Harkness created that was filled with creatures and magic. The characters are fantastically easy to relate to, and beautifully flawed in a way that draws you into the story like a lover enticing you into bed. The plot was rich and I was able to picture the setting amazingly well in spite of the fact that I’m not very well-traveled.
At the end of A Discovery of Witches, Diana and Matthew use magic to step back in time to Elizabethan England in an attempt to find an experienced witch to teach Diana how to use her magic and to locate the ever mysterious manuscript, Ashmole 782. The first 25% of Shadow of Night was catching up on what happened in book one, and learning what life in England in the 16th century was like. I had a hard time getting into this book – mostly because of my aversion to all things historical (please don’t hate me Deborah), but once I was able to push past the beginning, the story took off, and the mysteries piled on top of each other almost faster than they could be solved.
The battles Diana and Matthew face as newlyweds test their relationship in ways most of us will never even have to think about. Diana must learn who Matthew was in his past lives and learn to accept him for who he was then, and who he is now. Matthew is forced to learn to trust Diana completely, and realize that she can take care of herself. The two are tested time and time again by suspicious friends, eccentric royalties, and nearby witch hunts.
Among other challenges, they face the reality that their actions in the past can vastly affect the future and the events still to come in the present time. Making new friends, taking on new staff, and resisting the advances of a lewd emperor, all leave evidence of their presence in the past and cause inconsistencies to appear in today’s time. Their loved ones still face their own set of challenges in the present while searching for clues to Diana and Matthew’s return.
Wow, it is HARD to write a review for Shadow of Night without giving much away. There were so many amazing things taking place in the book and Deborah Harkness breathed so much life into the characters and their surroundings that the plot is rich with twists and turns. I cannot wait for the conclusion to the All Souls Trilogy and hope Deborah isn’t taking her sweet time.(less)
Synopsis: Bodyguard Celia Graves has definitely accepted her share of weird assignments, both human and supernatural. But her newest job takes the cake...moreSynopsis: Bodyguard Celia Graves has definitely accepted her share of weird assignments, both human and supernatural. But her newest job takes the cake. Guarding a Prince from terrorists and religious fundamentalists is hard enough, but it seems like the entire supernatural world is after this guy too. When she is betrayed by those she is employed to help, and everything goes horribly wrong, Celia wakes to find herself transformed.
Neither human nor vampire, Celia has become an Abomination—something that should not exist—and now both human and supernatural alike want her dead. With the help of a few loyal friends—a sexy mage, a powerful werewolf, and a psychic cop—Celia does her best to stay alive. On the run from her enemies, Celia must try to discover who is behind her transformation…before it’s too late.
My Thoughts: When I bought the book, I was excited and pumped to read it thinking this was going to be a pumped up action story with lots of twists and turns and in my excitement, I bought the next two books in the series as well. The beginning of Blood Song starts out with action and excitement, and then that drops when you start meeting the other characters. While a lot of detail is given to describing scenes and events (which slows down the reading quite a bit), not much is given in the way of learning the characters (which makes them slightly difficult to connect with). I began regretting my impulse purchase of the sequels. With that in mind though, you do start to eventually warm up to the other characters about midway through and it’s at about the same point that I was able to differentiate between the past love interest and what might possibly be the current love interest.
I LOVED the world built by Cat Adams-where monsters are known about, and society has been made to deal with it and work beside them. Vampires are avoided at all costs since they lost all humanity when they are turned. Partially turned humans are called Abominations. Werewolves, demons, spawn, and Sirens all have their part in this story and by the end of the book, I wasn’t regretting my impulse purchase anymore and I’m now itching to read the next in the series, Siren Song.(less)
Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. But she never...moreSynopsis:
Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. But she never felt ready to face them—until now. Defying the Auran Council and everything she’s been taught, Llona must learn to use her power over light as a weapon if she wants to survive.
I was not expecting such a fantastic read! Almost instantly, you fall in love with Llona and are thirsty to find out more about her and her abilities. Of course there is a boy involved (and I think he may be a new addition to my list of book boyfriends!) and I found myself wishing they would just get married and make babies already itching for them to be together. The characters (all-including the secondary and even background characters) are well-developed and I feel that they are very easy to relate to. I wound up loving Llona’s friends as much as her.
The bad guys in this story, the Vykens, were a bit of a surprise. Going by their name alone, I would’ve guessed they were some sort of paranormal Viking, but the reality was a bit more interesting I think. These guys make me not want to be alone in the dark. Ever. Rachel did a great job of creeping me the f*@k out building suspense and making me feel like I should look around the corner at all times! Never trust anyone. Ever. Even your friends.
In a story like this, I think it’s fairly easy for an author to get lazy and allow the characters to scatter all over the place and the story would lose some of its focus, but I think Rachel did a great job in making sure that the plot and subplots all worked well together. The plot within the book may have been slightly predictable, but I still felt like it was believable. There really wasn’t a time where I can say, “That went a little too fast,” but there are parts that I was DYING to read more. (I won’t say what, because that might give a spoiler) Finally I had a book that I was craving more time to read it so that I could find out what happened next, and had to force my BF to give me some of that time! This is definitely a book that I recommend should be added to all YA readers’ TBR piles. I will be counting down the days until I can read book two, Fractured Soul. **hint, hint Rachel… I need the sequel ASAP. NEED it, I say!!!**(less)
It sounds weird to say that I have never related to a story as much as one about a recovering alcoholic since I'm not one, but such is the case with A...moreIt sounds weird to say that I have never related to a story as much as one about a recovering alcoholic since I'm not one, but such is the case with Augusten Burroughs' Dry. I found myself dealing with many of the same issues he had to deal with along with many I never would find an issue in my life. All the while I kept cheering him along hoping the best for his own health, relationships and career. There were several times I found tears running down my face before I realized I was even crying. He touches on the pain of loving someone you know you're going to lose, loving someone you know you shouldn't have, and the difficulty of loving yourself.
I have an overwhelming sense of respect for Mister Burroughs and can say that while I don't envy his life, I am grateful for the lessons he's learned and shared with me. I will be a better man because of his story.(less)
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her...moreSynopsis:
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...
What a treat to find hiding behind the covers of Touch of Power! This was an excellent tale filled with lovable characters, chilling plot twists, and a cunning heroine that will make you fall in love with her (whether you want to, or not). I was amazed at how simply each character was introduced into the story, and yet, you wound up getting to know them through Avry's point of view. Some tear your heart wide open, while others make you want to run around screeching like a howler monkey in heat wish you had a boyfriend like that, and still others get you so angry you could spit. In a world where there are eleven types of magic manipulators (some might call them magicians or mages, but who're we kidding? That's just weird), giant man-eating Death Lilies that can be mistaken for their more docile counterparts (Peace Lilies), and plague-fearing sheeple (sheep-people (stolen from Dan Moren @dmoren on the Twitta)), the characters are given a great sense of realism that I feel helps the reader relate to them more.
This book had every opportunity to turn into a completely horrific mess of literary babble, but I feel it successfully took me on an adventure and had me screaming for the characters to JUST KISS ALREADY!! I was right there during battles, out-of-body experiences, and moments of betrayal. Touch of Power is definitely a book I will recommend to many and share with many as well (they can get their own copy though- I'm keeping mine).
Can't wait for the second installment, Scent of Magic, set for release in 2013.(less)