I was unexpectedly captivated by Notes to Self. Since it is an indie, I was expecting it to be a little rough around the edges, but in honestly it had...moreI was unexpectedly captivated by Notes to Self. Since it is an indie, I was expecting it to be a little rough around the edges, but in honestly it had the feel and flow of many published contemporary young adult novels. In fact, I’m surprised that a publisher hasn’t picked this book up yet.
On a windy evening, Robin and her best friend Emily decide to climb a ladder of a theme park ride in order to get a better view and to carry out their duty as teenagers to do something reckless every once and a while. The ladder is unstable and dangerous but Emily continues her climb and Robin reluctantly follows. All it takes a is a loose bar to send the girls into a free-fall. Robin wakes up in the hospital with a slight case of amnesia and is unable to remember the events of that night. Emily does not wake up. Robin is left alone to put the pieces together.
Notes to Self is a touching story of a teenage girl putting her life back together. As the reader, I was moved by Robin’s experience and her efforts to remember and stay strong. Her situation isn’t easy but she doesn’t completely cave under the circumstances. Instead she pushes herself to get better so that she can hopefully help her Emily To help her remember, she writes sticky notes to herself and this is a cute touch. I actually wish the author had Robin write more notes to her self.
From the book’s description, you may think this is a sad story but it isn’t. Rather than sad and depressing, I found it inspiring and intriguing. You are pulled in from the beginning and remain connected to the character throughout the entire story. I appreciated that I was not hit over the head with her physical and mental challenges. Instead, Robin perseveres through her difficulties and grows into a better a person than she was before the fall. I’m always a fan of character growth and not dwelling in the problem throughout the entire book.
Overall, Notes to Self is a wonderful book. It’s heart warming, engaging, and has a tiny touch of a love interest – the makings of a great story. I still can’t believe it’s an indie novel. I highly recommend this to young adult novel fans of all ages.
If you would like to learn more about Notes to Self, I also hosted and interview with Laura Schaefer/Avery Sawyer. Thank you to Avery Sawyer for providing a copy of her book to review in exchange for an honest review. (less)
The sky is blue, the sea air is crisp, and the public executions bring to justice the wrong doers and keep peace amongst the peo...moreGuest Review by Jack:
The sky is blue, the sea air is crisp, and the public executions bring to justice the wrong doers and keep peace amongst the people. Or so it would seem in the city of Caldaria. But that is only the surface. Underneath boils the deceit of corrupt leaders who use vicious means to reach a bitterly self-serving end. Only one thing stands in their way. A humble yet courageous monk name Mendell.
When I first started reading Mike Kalmbach’s The Caldarian Conflict, I was a little off put by the prelude and it’s description of a boat that can magically come apart and have it’s helm float above itself. However, upon the introduction of Mendell, the book’s central character, I was hooked. Through his eyes, I was able to stay entranced in the story and never again did I question its validity.
Bearing a slight resemblance to the main character in the PBS series Cadfael, Mendell allows us to see this story from a unique perspective. As an inquisitive monk, Mendell honestly guides the reader through his adventures. At times, he even poses philosophical questions that took me by surprise. I admit that I did not expect to find such deep thinking in this book. To go along with that, were Mendell’s explanations of religion and faith, which I took as profound.
Mike Kalmbach weaves a fascinating tale that is intelligent and well thought through. His descriptive words painted a vivid picture that I didn’t soon forget. I’ll admit that at times I was hoping Mendell was going to turn out to be some sort of secret ninja monk who carried a small armory under all his robes and could deftly dispense with any hindrance he encountered. However, if that had been the case he would have lost his charm and his humanity, and ultimately the book would have been about nothing more than another clichéd badass who can do things no other living person is able to.
The Caldarian Conflict is a wonderful book. The main character Mendell is elegantly written and the story is unique and unexpected. I found myself taking extra long breaks at work just to eek out a few more pages. I greatly look forward to reading a much anticipated and demanded sequel.
Nauseating, gross, disgusting, sick, violent, pointless, these were among some many words I used while listening to this horrible audiobook. I rarely...moreNauseating, gross, disgusting, sick, violent, pointless, these were among some many words I used while listening to this horrible audiobook. I rarely say this about a book but this book was awful. I kept thinking it would get better if I just gave it a chance. Nope, worse actually. As I continued on, I became even more grossed out, in fact, I even made vomiting motions as certain screens were described. I wanted to take a shower when I was finished with it just to try to wash away all the terrible things this book bombarded me with.
Where did I go wrong when picking out this book to listen to? The description sounds pretty cool, right. Girl pulled from poverty to become a powerful female force to be reckoned with. Sounds like my type of book. Unfortunately not. Although, Green may truly be a force to be reckoned with, she is a terrible character. She has no soul, only revenge in her heart. It never felt like she grew, only became a more skilled fighter and slightly less irritable.
Accompanying her revenge, she also has frequent meaningless sex with multiple women, including a women who resembles more of a panther than a human – those sex scenes were often the ones that induced the vomit motion I mentioned earlier. I don’t particularly have a problem reading about sex but these scenes involved a 15 year old girl having sex with older women, as in the narrator used granny voices for these women type of old. Gross – so no my thing.
This book is not just about sex, there is plenty of violence and killing in it as well. Green is trained to be a fighter at an early age and as she grew older her training is further developed to the point where at 15 she can fight with some of the best female fighters/killers. The author goes to great lengths to develop her character and allow of years to pass as she improves on her skills. As a result, it was easy to believe that Green was capable of doing all the things.
The author does create a very elaborate world and the details are often intricately written. My interest was piqued at the beginning of the book and I could very much envision myself in the character’s shoes. However, that was only in the beginning. The only compliant I can give this book is that the author created very detailed characters, countries, and experiences.
After awhile, Green became physically exhausting for me. There was no good, no joy, no substance, no anything that would have redeemed this story. There were many times where I was wanted to stop listening and if it hadn’t been for my 2012 book challenge goal, I would have stopped. No way was I going to let this book take up so much of my time and not finish it. Overall, I deeply regret making this purchase and cannot recommend this book.(less)
I have to admit that when I first saw advertisements for Cinder, it didn’t inspire me to add it to my ‘To Read’ list. In fact, it wasn’t until the rel...moreI have to admit that when I first saw advertisements for Cinder, it didn’t inspire me to add it to my ‘To Read’ list. In fact, it wasn’t until the release day that I even looked at it on Goodreads. When I read the description, I still wasn’t sold, a cyborg Cinderella story set in Beijing sounded strange to me. That and I’m not really into Cinderella retellings. However, as I browsed reviews I started to change to my mind. People were raving about it and then I suddenly started to think, “Hmm, a cyborg Cinderella story set in Beijing could actually be interesting and out of the box. Why am I being so narrow minded?”
Then I saw that it was available on audiobook and my finger started moving closer to the Purchase button. Ever since I’ve signed up for the YA Audiobook Challenge, I’ve been eager to start marking off books. That settled it. Cinder went from no where near my To Read listen to my Currently Reading list in 2.5 seconds. And let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised and so happy that I pushed aside my hesitation to read/listen to a cyborg Cinderella story.
A family member shared Lost & Found with me and upon first glance, I didn’t have very high e...moreRead more of my reviews on my blog: www.readinista.com
A family member shared Lost & Found with me and upon first glance, I didn’t have very high expectations. I thought it was going to be a fluffy beach read about a cute dog. In reality, this book is far from fluffy (well, except for maybe the black Labrador Retriever).
Instead of fluff, Lost & Found featured characters working through real life issues ranging from grieving with the death of a loved one to anorexia to marital separation. All the while, a lovable lost dog weaves the characters’ lives together in an unexpected way and helps each one find themselves again.
Rocky is a psychologist and happily married to her husband Bob, until he passes away suddenly at the age of 42. Shocked by his abrupt death, Rocky is engulfed by grief and finds herself lost in her life without him. After a few months living as a shadow of her real self, Rocky leaves her job for a year and moves to an island off the coast of Maine. There, she feels safe from those who know her and far away from all the things that can remind her of her husband. On this island, she finds a new job, new friends, and a dog that helps her put her life back together again.
Lost and Found slowly worked it’s way into my heart. Although it took a few chapters to really hook me in, it soon took off and it was hard to put it down. The dog was my favorite character and I liked how he occasionally got to tell the story from his perspective.
My only compliant about the book is that Rocky would sometimes act very odd and make strange decisions. She was often irrationally emotional, which seemed odd to me since she was a psychologist. In some cases, I wasn’t sure how her actions helped the story develop and in my opinion would have made the book better if they were left out. I also longed for the tiny romance in the story to be a little more developed, sigh. However, I understand that the romance wasn’t the focal point of the story.
Overall, Lost and Found was a sweet story that showed how our relationships to dogs help us find love and friendship and discover ourselves all over again. Despite this familiar theme, it was a distinctly unique story with characters unlike any I’ve encountered before. I highly recommend Lost and Found if you are looking for a beach or travel read.(less)
Holy cow. Grab your blankey, turn on all the lights in your house, and hide under the covers, ’ca...moreGuest review. See more reviews on www.readinista.com
Holy cow. Grab your blankey, turn on all the lights in your house, and hide under the covers, ’cause this book is creepy! Maybe it’s just because I can’t handle anything scary. Seriously, I am forever stuck in a Disney mindset. Someone who has laughed in the face of all the Saw movies would probably find this book as soothing as a bedtime story. It’s not that the story is terrifying it’s just eerie. It’s that kind of creepy that rubs you a wrong way and leaves you feeling uncomfortable, but in a fun way (if that even makes sense).
Coraline is the story of a young girl who isn’t satisfied with her life at home. She feels her parents have no time for her, and the only people to talk to are her weird neighbors and a stray cat. One day, Coraline finds that inside the drawing room of her new flat is a door that is seemingly forever locked. When she finally opens it, she only finds a brick wall. Later on, she tries again and is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like hers. Trippy huh? Just wait, it gets weirder.
In this flat, she finds her “other” parents. To her, these parents are much better than her real ones-despite their black button eyes. They pay attention to her, play with her, and are exactly what she wants her real parents to be like. But when she discovers that they would rather make Coraline theirs forever, the nightmare to find and rescue her real parents-as well as the three children in the mirror-begins. The only help Coraline has, is a snobbish talking cat and her bravery. Can her bravery hold out long enough to escape these monstrous creatures?
This book is a pretty quick read. Around 162 pages I believe. I’m sure you’re old enough to deduce that there are no slow parts. It is literally chalked full of insanity. Or, for all you Saw lovers out there, soothing tales of adventure. And just when you think the story is over… BAM! Neil Gaiman throws a curve ball at you!
Now, I understand if some of you cool kids out there see this book as too juvenile. I get it, I really do. It’s a story about a little girl trying to save her parents. But don’t judge a book by its cover (lame pun intended). Just give it a go. I mean, it’s only a little over 100 pages; so it’s a quick read. If you hate it, you can go and tweet to your 5 followers all about how you wasted your time. But who knows, you might just find yourself with a new book on that exclusive bookshelf of yours. The Recipe:
Coraline is a hair raising read with a delectably spooky recipe (insert witch cackle here).
- Start off with a creative story line - throw in 2 cups of just-plain-creepy - 3 cups of holy-crap-that’s-some-insane-bravery - A splash of adventure
Stir into a book until smooth and you’ve got yourself a surprising read. Coraline is a perfect read for Spooktacular October, and will leave you with that creepy crawly feeling even afterwards.(less)
Although originally published in 1970, Enchantress from the Stars has a surprisingly modern feel to it. Aside f...moreRead more reviews on www.readinista.com
Although originally published in 1970, Enchantress from the Stars has a surprisingly modern feel to it. Aside for the book cover, it would fit right in with today’s books. Enchantress from the Stars is a unique mix of science fiction meets fantasy. Engdahl seamlessly combines a technologically advanced alien race with a world set in a medieval era while creating a story that is timeless and appealing to all ages.
A destructive alien race called the Imperials have settled on the planet of Andrecia to exploit it’s resources and displace it’s less advanced people. This isn’t the first time this race has invaded other planets and their actions have attracted the attention of another alien race even more advanced than they are. To stop the Imperials, a team of agents from this advanced race is sent to Andrecia to reverse the Imperials’ invasion without harm to all sides. Only the team cannot stop the Imperials themselves, they have to work with the natives to stop save Andrecia. The book alternates perspectives giving you an understanding of all sides; Andrecian, Imperial, and the team of Agents.
The main character and primary narrator is Elana, a current student at the Academy learning about Youngling planets. She naively stows away on a spaceship to be apart of her father’s mission to save the planet of Andrecia. Her lack of training is a problem and against the rules but the team has to make the mission work with Elana. Along with her father and her boyfriend, Evrick, the team works together to find a native or natives suited for the job of stopping the Imperials.
Georwyn, Terwyn, and their brothers are young native men walking through the enchanted forest on a mission to slay the dragon (which is actually an Imperial machine that mines the planet’s resources). They seek the reward that the King offers in return for slaying the dragon. While hunting the dragon, they encounter an old man with magical abilities and an enchantress who offers advice in slaying the dragon. Of all the brothers, Georwyn proves himself to be wise beyond his years and well suited for the challenge of slaying the dragon.
Jeral is a medic for the Imperials and after his coworkers kill and imprison natives, he starts to second guess his mission. He’s been told that the natives of Andrecia are not really human and therefore their actions to take over the planet are justified. As the mission goes on, he sees more in more that the people of this planet are human and he no longer wants anything to do with the mission.
Enchantress from the Stars is a well written, original, and heartwarming story. In addition, the audiobook narrator told this story beautifully. It’s even a won a few awards. With that said, I have to say that I didn’t love it but also I didn’t hate it. It isn’t a book that pulls you in and never lets you go but more so an enjoyable read that you can easily put down and pick up again later. Overall, I really to do recommend others give Enchantress from the Stars a try.
Engdahl went on to write a second book featuring Elana called The Far Side of Evil, which takes places on a completely different planet and has a completely different feel.
Just like its predecessor, Hounded, Hexed delivers tons of action and lots of laughs. After ridding the wo...moreFor more reviews, go to www.readinista.com.
Just like its predecessor, Hounded, Hexed delivers tons of action and lots of laughs. After ridding the world of an obnoxious god and most of the demons he released into the world, you would think Atticus O’Sullivan could get more than a three week break. Nope. Instead, this ancient druid is bombarded by misbehaving demons, irritated gods, and evil witches. Hexed has a lot of the same spirit and energy that Hounded had but I think I liked Hexed a little bit more. Mainly because, at this point in the series, a lot of the character development is out of the way and the actions ensues. And there is lots of it.
The main conflict in Hexed is centered around a coven of nasty, evil witches. Like supported the Nazis, evil. Atticus teams up with another coven a witches, the good or at least better kind of witches, and some werewolves to take out the mean coven. However, they prove to be a formidable foe.
In my Hounded review, I forget to mention one of the best characters in the series. Oberon is Atticus’ trusty Irish Wolfhound, with a heart of gold. He fights along side his master, saves the day, provides witty commentary on all of Atticus’ enemies, and is just plan awesome. Oberon makes this book. I can’t believe I forgot to mention him in my Hounded review because he is my favorite characters.
Once again, the narrator is fantastic. There is such a wide range of characters in these books and performs every character well and with a believable voice. Another great road trip audiobook. It’s fun, engaging, and impossible to stop listening to.
Overall, I highly recommend this series. Kevin Hearne doesn’t disappoint. I’m eagerly looking forward to my next road trip when I get to listen to the next book in the series.(less)
Mercy is a teenage succubus. She learned the hard way that kissing boys leads can be deadly. Despite her eff...moreFor more reviews go to www.readinista.com.
Mercy is a teenage succubus. She learned the hard way that kissing boys leads can be deadly. Despite her efforts to be refrain from this popular teenage past time, she gets swept into a relationship that she just can’t say no to. However, every moment with him she worries that she could be the one to end his life. And he’s not the only one she’s worried about.
Right off the bat, I was entranced by Beg for Mercy, which made it extremely difficult to put it down. It’s a steamy hot young adult paranormal romance with tons of kissing. So much, that I began to worry about whether the main characters were getting enough oxygen. Beg for Mercy has a little mystery, a little suspense, and a whole lot of steamy romance.
The only thing that bothered me about the book is the number of love interests in the book. Not two, not three, not four, but five guys (and even a couple stragglers in there as well). As a succubus you would image that she gets attention wherever she goes, so that fits right in with the story without a complaint from me. What gets under my skin after awhile, is how Mercy flirts with all of them throughout the book even when she is in a relationship.
Even though I did throw my hands up in the air a couple of times at Mercy’s behavior, the story still completely consumed me and I got over my frustration with her quickly. The multiple love interests are really intriguing and their characters are really likeable to the point where it’s extremely difficult to choose which one you want Mercy to end up with.
As a reader of many paranormal romance novels, I often find that after awhile they all start to blur together and feel like the same book. However, Beg for Mercy surprised me by it’s originality as the world Shannon Dermott created is delightfully unique. It was tons of fun to read and I highly recommend it to fans of young adult paranormal romance. I can’t wait to see what sort of mischief Mercy gets herself into in the next book in the series.
For more Beg for Mercy fun, check out the interview with Shannon Dermott and giveaway.
I'm hosting interview with Shannon Dermott and Giveaway of Beg for Mercy on my blog. Today through Halloween.
Cowboys and Aliens by Joan D. Vinge is a novelization from the movie that came out in theaters in July...moreSee more reviews on my blog: www.readinista.com
Cowboys and Aliens by Joan D. Vinge is a novelization from the movie that came out in theaters in July 2011. If it hadn’t space month on the blog, I don’t know if I would have normally picked out this book as I don’t normally like seeing a movie before I read the book. However, I gave Cowboys and Aliens a try because I really enjoyed the movie and thought for sure I would enjoy the book. So for this review, I’m going to do a book vs. movie comparison.
Cowboys and Aliens the movie stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, and many other great actors. I love all three of these actors and felt they all played their part exceptionally. I was particularly impressed with the transformation of Daniel Craig’s British accent to a Western accent. He also fits in seamlessly to the Western setting and the cowboy look. Harrison Ford is awesome as usual. He pulls off the grumpy old cowboy persona very well. His character’s voice is grizzled, well weathered, and fantastic and in many scenes he steals the show.
Olivia Wilde’s character is also great but I wish the movie had gone more in depth with her. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford’s characters were clearly defined and unfortunately her character was not, which is at no fault to Olivia Wilde. Her character, as it was written, is the one that I felt made the movie a little hokey. If they had given her a little more background, I might have accepted or understood her character better.
The movie combines the Western and Science Fiction genres well to create a completely original storyline. Overall, the movie is a fun ride that is unlike anything else in Hollywood at this time.
As indicated above, I listened to the audiobook and I highly recommend it . The narrator, Fred Berman, is phenomenal and does amazing voices for every character, and I really do mean every character. The author, Joan D. Vinge, is also talented and she does a wonderful job painting the settings, describing the action scenes, and putting the reader in the characters’ shoes.
With that said, the book is pretty much exactly the same as the movie. The book does provide more details than the movie and the reader gets a little more information on the characters’ backgrounds. Since I felt the movie lacked a little on the character backgrounds, I was glad to learn more about them and to see things from their perspective. However, there is not a lot of extra detail that the movie doesn’t generally cover. I particularly wanted to learn more about Ella’s character as she has a lot of mystery surrounding her. Unfortunately, the book did not deliver what I wanted. I understood her character better from the book but not a whole lot more.
If you are trying to decide between reading the book or watching the movie, I recommend watching the movie over reading the book. Gasp! This is probably the first time that I thought a movie was better than the book. My reason for the recommending the movie is mainly because they are one in the same. Only the movie tells the story with great actors and tons of special effects and explosions. The story is also written for the big screen and I think that’s where it should stay.(less)
Before I start, I should preface this review with… if you haven’t read the first book in the Skyship Academy s...moreFor more reviews, go www.readinista.com.
Before I start, I should preface this review with… if you haven’t read the first book in the Skyship Academy series, The Pearl Wars, then you shouldn’t read this review until you do. It’s for your own good. Feel free check out my review of The Pearl Wars if you are wondering what the first book is like. To those who did read The Pearl Wars and it’s been awhile, I recommend re-reading parts of the book to help bring you up to speed. The author does reminisce for too long on the first book, which I personally like, but isn’t helpful if you are a little foggy on the details. A quick reread of certain parts should remedy this.
Author Nick James delivers a fantastic sequel to The Pearl Wars. Crimson Rising is action packed, intriguing, and impossible to put down. In Crimson Rising, everything goes wrong for Cassius Stevenson and Jesse Fisher. After a discovery in Seattle that changes everything about who they are and what they know, they are now on a mission to save the other drifters. However, their mission is put on hold when they become prisoners in their own homes. Jesse doesn’t let the strict rules and watchful eye stop him from his mission, he finds a way to defy orders and get past the guards. It’s not long before he makes another incredible discovery that will change everything again.
I would venture to say that Crimson Rising is better than The Pearl Wars, and I don’t normally say that about sequels. Crimson Rising felt a little more mature and more like it was for an older audience. The main characters have grown up as well and they end up in a lot tough situations. Jesse and Cassius are separated for most of the book too so they are each going through their own issues. They have to be strong and keep their determination in order to survive.
Just like with the first book, Nick James keeps you guessing and wondering what’s going to happen next. James has a knack for creating unique stories that are so new and different that it’s impossible to know what to expect. Right when you think it’s going to go one direction it all changes. Crimson Rising is a well crafted story that’s also refreshingly different. I can’t wait for the next(less)
I never thought you could cram so much paranormal into one book and still have it worth reading. Hounded is a smorgasbord of paranormal. There are wit...moreI never thought you could cram so much paranormal into one book and still have it worth reading. Hounded is a smorgasbord of paranormal. There are witches, werewolves, vampires, faeries, demons, shape shifters, gods, goddesses, and I have a feeling there will be even more thrown in the upcoming books in the series. On top of that, the main character is an ancient Celtic druid and, despite his grand old age, looks like he’s a wee 21 year old. He also lives in Arizona. Rather than being overly paranormal and ridiculous, Hounded is perfectly balanced with humor, action, lore, and romance.
Basically, Atticus, the main character, is a bad ass who tries to live out his humble druid existent blending in with modern society. You see, ever since the battle several centuries ago, he’s had this magical sword, Fragarach, that supposedly belonged to a god. Well, that god has been hunting Atticus ever since, and not in a very nice way either. Atticus ends up fighting off faeries, furbolgs, and daemons. On top of that, some other gods have decided to pay him a visit as well. Some morbidly terrifying, some violent, and some a little more playful. Atticus calls on his vampire and werewolf friends, who are also his lawyers, for help. Some witches join the fight too. He’s a pretty popular guy if you can’t tell. All of these visits lead Atticus to believe that something troubling is going on in the world of the gods.
Combine all that with witty references to Star Wars and countless other science fiction movies and books, and Hounded is every urban fantasy fan’s dream. Author Kevin Hearne delivers such a fun, fast read that it is sure to have readers of all types loving this book. I could tell this was the first book in the series because there was so much character development but it was still good.
If you are looking for a great road trip book, look no further. My husband and I really enjoyed listening to Hounded on a 10 hour road trip. The audiobook’s length was just right. The narration was also well done. Luke Daniels performed great voices for all of the main characters and the book’s many other bizarre creatures.
Overall, Hounded is a fun read, or listen. I highly recommend it!(less)
The concept of Finding Fiona really intrigued me, but as the story developed it didn’t quite meet my expecta...moreFor more reviews, go to www.readinista.com
The concept of Finding Fiona really intrigued me, but as the story developed it didn’t quite meet my expectations. First of all it’s a novella, so I knew going into that it would short and there was the possibility of the story not being as developed as I may prefer. I’ve read other novellas before and was satisfied by the length and compact story. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Finding Fiona.
Fiona has amnesia, the result an attack that left her burned, bleeding, and left for dead. Three months of the attack she begins to try to put the pieces of her life back together. When she encounters a friend from her past, her memories start coming back to her. Soon she realizes she was involved in something much more dangerous than she ever imagined.
Like I said earlier, I think the story was a very original as it is centered around a revolutionary science experiment. Before her amnesia, Fiona was involved with a human replication project created by her parents. When word of there project became more public a group of scientists wanted in. But when Fiona’s parents wouldn’t let them in on the experiment, they responded violently and tried to take the research by force. However, when you finally learn more about the human replication project, it is brief and little disappointing. Although it is a realistic outcome for a project like this, it was not as cool as I hoped.
The story moved a little too quickly, not allowing for things to fully develop. I don’t really know why a group of nerdy scientists want to hurt Fiona and her family. Their motive isn’t convincing enough for me for them to go through the lengths they did. They killed too easily and when it doesn’t seem necessary. So when the action scenes came into play, I had a hard time taking them seriously.
Additionally, I never made a connection with the characters. I was never pulled into their situation and didn’t care what happened to them. They made decisions that didn’t make sense and more often than not I was just plain frustrated with them.
Overall, I feel Finding Fiona may be a good book for teen looking for quick read. However, I feel many adults would find themselves frustrated with the lack of character development and details that would pull an adult reader into a story. Personally, I cannot recommend this novella but I do encourage teen readers to give it try.
Thank you to Emily Ann Ward for providing a copy of her book to review in exchange for honest review.(less)
Untraceable is refreshingly different. It grabs you from the beginning and takes you on unpredictab...moreFor more reviews, visit my blog: www.readinista.com
Untraceable is refreshingly different. It grabs you from the beginning and takes you on unpredictable adventure all the way to the end. It’s action packed with tons of ups and downs and just when I thought I figured things out, something completely unexpected happens.
Growing up in the Smoky Mountains with a Forest Ranger for a father, a girl can’t help but love the wilderness. Grace’s father trained her in everything he knows about wilderness survival, tracking, fly fishing, martial arts, and Smoky Mountain wildlife. When Grace’s father goes missing for 3 months and the local authorities give up the search, Grace takes matters into her own hands. Using her skills, Grace goes on a hunt to find her father and soon finds herself caught in the middle of something much, much bigger and more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.
Grace is going on my list of favorite heroines. She is feisty, tough as nails, fearless, independent, and smart. It’s fun to read about a heroine who can kick butt and knows her way around a mountain or two. While she has many wonderful qualities she is also stubborn, temperamental, persistent, and she never takes ‘no’ for an answer. These qualities often lead her to make multiple irrational decisions that put her life in harms way, but that’s part of the fun of the book.
S.R. Johannes created a story that was truly unlike anything I’ve read before. As a reader of a lot of young adult novels, I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the uniqueness of Untraceable. I used the word ‘refreshing’ already but I found myself using that word frequently when describing his book because that’s exactly what it is. I think one of the things that made this book so different for me was the wilderness aspect of it. Most of the book is set in the woods and I loved it. When you are used books set in the stark hallways of High Schools, the forest and mountains are a much needed change in scenery.
To make things even better, there’s even a little bit of romance. The romance is a fun part of the book but not Grace’s primary objective. This was also refreshing to me as many heroines in young adult novels seem to revolve around boys. Grace, however, is set on finding her father and nothing, not even some cute boys, can keep her from her mission. Yet, another reason I like Grace.
On top of it of all, there is a mystery that just doesn’t want to be solved and keeps your finger permanently in the ready position for page turning. When the pieces all start coming together, you start to fear for the characters lives. And from the climax to the end you have no idea what’s going to happen.
If you are in the mood for something completely different from the YA norm and appreciate nature as much as Grace, then this book is the perfect book for you. The twists and turns made this book a page turner that I never wanted to put down. Untraceable is creative and cute but if you don’t watch out it will kick you in teeth, much like it’s main character Grace. This is by far my favorite debut novel of 2011 and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
Thank you to S.R. Johannes for providing me with a copy of her book! My review reflected my honest opinion of the book and was not influenced by the author in any way.(less)
First, I would like to thank Shaunda Kennedy Wenger for the opportunity to read and review her book.
Myri is terrified of public speaking. Science fair...moreFirst, I would like to thank Shaunda Kennedy Wenger for the opportunity to read and review her book.
Myri is terrified of public speaking. Science fair presentations, theater productions, and speaking in front of the class gives her the heebie jeebies. When Myri is forced to join the drama club for required extra curricular course credit, her worst nightmare has become a reality. To make things even worse, she is required to audition for the school play. Enter Myri’s friend Wren, who also happens to be ghost. To avoid the thing she fears most, Wren steps in and poses as Myri. This seems like an ideal solution to all of Myri’s stage freight problems, until things start to go wrong.
Myri goes through a lot of things that many young girls can relate to, including self esteem issues, liking boys that other girls like, and embarrassing moments. How she handles all these issues may not be exactly how she should but it’s fun to watch her work through things. There’s a lot more to Myri than she realizes and her friends, Roz, Wren, and Duey, help her to see there is no need for her hide.
The Ghost in Me is a fun story with a little bit of moral and I highly recommend this story to middle school age readers. It may not be a middle grade novel that adults will want to read but it’s certainly one that they would want their children to read. Wenger does a great job weaving the story as well balancing humor with more serious moments. The chapters are short and the pace move quickly. Throughout the book, the story holds your interest and frequently makes you smile. Overall, The Ghost in Me is a very cute read.(less)
In the beginning, I was drawn into the story and found The Search for Artemis intriguing and different. Then somewhere a little bit before the middle,...moreIn the beginning, I was drawn into the story and found The Search for Artemis intriguing and different. Then somewhere a little bit before the middle, I lost interest. I often had to take a break after reading one chapter because I grew tired of reading it. Then I would force myself to continue reading. The story wasn’t necessarily bad, but more so it just didn’t compel me to keep reading. Perhaps it would hold a child’s interest more than mine. However, I do have to give Griffith credit for originality and creativity.
The Search for Artemis is a story about Landon Wicker who one day demonstrates psychokinetic abilities but the event ends in tragedy. Landon runs from the scene afraid of what he’s done and what will happen to him only to find that men in black suits are chasing him. Fear of what they will do to him propels him to continue to run and hide from these mysterious men. His fleeing comes to end when a woman saves him and takes him to the Gymnasium, a training facility for psychokinetic individuals. There Landon learns what’s happened to him and how to control his unique abilities.
I was surprisingly charmed by Wings. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but in the end it delighted me....moreFor more reviews go to www.readinista.com.
I was surprisingly charmed by Wings. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it but in the end it delighted me. The story is your standard young adult paranormal novel formula with a love triangle, some paranormal, and something out to get the heroine. Despite the stereotypical feel of the book, I still liked it. It was cute. Speaking of cute, the cover is adorable, but that has nothing to do with my review.
Laurel was adopted, well more so, left her on a doorstep in a basket, and that’s not the only unusual thing about her. She can’t eat anything that’s not fruits or vegetables or she will be sick. Her family lived in a remote area by the woods far away from cities. In addition, she’s been home schooled for all of her life. When her parents move away from her childhood home, Laurel has to attend public school for the first time in her life. When she goes to school and interacts with other students, her unique qualities really begin to stand out.
As mentioned earlier, the faeries in this book are a little different than your average faery, so as Laurel was learning about faeries the reader is also learning new things about faeries. Laurel makes a few friends that help her adjust to her new home and public school. Then there’s the strange boy named Tamani she meets in the woods near her old home, who makes her life even more interesting.
Even though this book is about faeries, you only get a glimpse into the faery world. Most of the novel is about Laurel learning what she is. Laurel’s interactions with Tamani are as close as we get to the faery world, until the end. The mystery of faery world is intriguing but at times I wish the author had offered more about the faeries. However, the next two books in the series dive deeper into the faery world so it’s clear the author did this intentionally.
On Goodreads, Wings has a lot of mixed reviews. To all those who are skeptical about reading it, I recommend it and I think if you give it a chance you will enjoy it. I’m looking forward to reading Spells, the next book in the series, however, I’m not running out to the bookstore to get it anytime soon.(less)
This book is a riot. I absolutely love it when a book makes me frequently laugh out loud. Pape...moreRead more reviews from me on my blog: www.readinista.com
This book is a riot. I absolutely love it when a book makes me frequently laugh out loud. Paper Towns is a uniquely witty and refreshingly realistic teenage adventure story and I highly recommend it for teenagers and adults.
Band geek and good boy Quentin Jacobson is weeks away from graduating when one night his rebellious neighbor and old childhood friend, Margo Roth Spiegelman shows up at his window. Quentin, also know as Q, has had a serious crush on Margot ever since they were kids but hasn’t spoken to her since then, until this night. His crush presents him with the opportunity to drive her around town and seek revenge on all who’ve scorned her. Little did Q know that this night would change him forever.
When Margo goes missing, Q and his band of geektaskic friends, Radar and Ben, search for clues to find her. Their search for her leads them on an outrageous journey that is results in unexpected new friendships, insights into Margo’s life, and quirky encounters with all sorts of new places. Their twisted and perverted teenage boy sense of humor is nothing less than awesome and I couldn’t help bursting out laughing.
Even though Paper Towns is fun and humorous read, there is a note of seriousness that keeps the book grounded. John Green highlights the issue of teenage runaways, its causes and it’s affects. Although this is a tough subject, John Green keeps the reader enthralled.
I’ve been wanting to read a John Green book for a while now and I’m so glad I finally did. He is a smart and talented author who clearly knows how to write good young adult fiction. I’m already trying to get my hands on some of his other books because I cannot wait to go on another one of his teenage adventures. (less)
Talk about creativity! Lore’s idea is unique and stands out from the teena...moreThis is a Guest Review from Kristin. See more reviews on www.readinista.com.
Talk about creativity! Lore’s idea is unique and stands out from the teenage love/angst stories of today. I really enjoyed I Am Number Four, but I would probably only recommend it to certain people. I’m not sure hard core sci-fi readers would find this book enjoyable. But, I think fans of young adult sci-fi stories would really like it.
A fifteen year old named John (or at least, that’s his name for now) has just moved to the lazy and small town of Paradise, Ohio. He and his “father,” Henri, have been on the move, changing names and locations ever since their planet Lorian was destroyed by a destructive alien race. The Mogadorians, who have sent their own planet to the chopper, destroyed Lorian and are looking to annihilate any survivors.
Along with John and Henri, eight other Lorien children escaped to earth. Once they have mastered their legacies-special powers given to certain Lorics – all nine children are to find each other, and band together against the Mogadorians who have followed them to planet earth. As a result of this inconvenience, the children are constantly on the move, hiding in the shadows. However, fighting against them may prove to be a bigger challenge now that three of the nine children are already dead. John must quickly master his legacies since he is next on the hit list. But when trouble strikes, John refuses to leave. He is tired of running, and hates the thought of leaving the love of his life, Sarah, behind. Is John prepared for what’s coming his way? Or more importantly, is he enough?
Even though this story is very creative, that’s not to say it doesn’t have its faults. The first chapter is lacking in the editing department. The sentences are short and the overall flow just feels choppy. At first, I thought my knowledge of the editing language was lacking. But after the fifteenth sentence with only five words I was like, “Okay, I’m not the one failing here.” I guess the first ten pages just felt awkward, and it was hard for me to really get into it. The writing smooths out however and it becomes a much softer ride.
The story leaves you constantly worrying for John and Henri’s safety, and the last fifty pages or so are a roller coaster ride of insaneness. I actually read those last fifty pages on a plane, and I don’t think the other passengers enjoyed my squeals of fear and excitement. And to all you romance novelists out there; this book does have a love story, stay chill. What I like about the love interest is it’s not that awkward angsty love we see in some other books. Cough, Twilight, cough. Huh? Who said that?
I Am Number Four is an entertaining and fun read. Start out with a young adult fiction book, add in a heavy dose of adventure, and a sprinkle of sci-fi awesomeness and you’ve got yourself a delicious read. If you’re into all that, then you just might find yourself with a new book on your bookshelf. I’m looking forward to reading the second book already out, The Power of Six. I’ll be buying it as soon as I can trick my parents into giving me twenty bucks.(less)
I don’t quite know how to review Partials. On one hand, I enjoyed it and it held my interest (ie. I finished it in two days). On the other hand I foun...moreI don’t quite know how to review Partials. On one hand, I enjoyed it and it held my interest (ie. I finished it in two days). On the other hand I found it very similar to other young adult dystopian novels I’ve read. The story felt very familiar and I ended up figuring out almost all of the mysteries way before the end of the book. Despite all that, I’m still looking forward to the next book in the series but not quite as much as some of my favorites.
In Partials, like in many other dystopian novels, the human population has been demolished by a devastating plague. There are only a few hundred human survivors in the whole world, or at least they think there are no other survivors. There is no way to know if there other survivors since most of the technology was destroyed. On top of that, new born babies are not surviving more than a few hours after their birth and they can’t figure out why. The human race will be gone for good if they don’t solve the baby problem soon. Oh and before the human population dwindled, they created these super humans, called Partials, that are dangerous and threaten to the survival of the human race. Kind of a major part of the story.
What makes Partials similar to other young adult dystopian novels? The plot, the characters, and their situation. The concept of the Partials felt familiar to me. Like every scifi novel/movie has done something similar. For some reason the Partials aspect of the story kept reminding me of the movie iRobot combined with I am Legend (Woah, a reference to two Will Smith movies, this can’t be going well). There are no robots or zombie like vampires in this book, yet I felt reminded of the story often. Maybe I’m crazy. Perhaps that characters
As far as the characters go, they also felt familiar. Kira sets out on a mission to save the human population and is successful, for the most part. She has surprising amount of skills, she’s smart, fast, and a scientist that is somehow solving the problem of the baby epidemic all on her own. Kira is a strong female character and is an excellent heroine but sometimes she too perfect to me. I like my characters with flaws. There are also two boys in her life, one’s safe and protective and the other dangerous and mysterious with a heart of gold. She is, of course, divided between the two. Although to be fair, the romantic interests are a very small part of the book.
What’s makes it different? The love interest(s) and the details. As I said in the above paragraph, there is a romantic interest but it doesn’t dominate the entire plot. Kira isn’t focused on boys but on the problem at hand and no one will get in her way, not even cute boys. I can’t tell you how refreshing that is. Hurray for realistic women in fiction! There is a romance enough to keep romance fans happy and there is a hint of more to come in the next novel. Kira also had great friends who got battle in their own way. I like how each of them contributed to their part in saving humanity.
Overall, Partials is an engaging read. A little predictable but for the most part good. I think my view of may be a little influenced by the amount of dystopian novels I’ve read. I really did enjoy it and I want to read the next one in the series for sure. I’m not usually a fan of dystopian novels with a disease focus but it didn’t bother me in this instance. It is the main underlying threat in the book but the story kept it light enough for me. I recommend Partials to fans of young adult science fiction and dystopian novels.(less)
Upon first discovering I Am (Not) the Walrus, I was expecting something original. The Beatles cover band, a mystery behind a really cool guitar, a lit...moreUpon first discovering I Am (Not) the Walrus, I was expecting something original. The Beatles cover band, a mystery behind a really cool guitar, a little bit romance, how could that not be interesting. Well, it wasn't. Instead, I was board. Everything I mentioned earlier was in the book but it lacked life and a soul. I kept hoping it would pick up but it never did and then it ended on a 'blah' note.
Toby is the bassist in a Beatles cover band with his best friend Zach. Toby's bass is a little finicky and when attempting to fix his bass, he discovers a note. This note has the name and phone number of the original owner and message that says the guitar was stolen. This note leaves Toby wondering what to do. On top of that, a strange guy wants his guitar and won't take no for an answer. Should he attempt to return the bass or ignore the note and the guy who wants the guitar and keep it for himself?
That is essentially the gist of the story. Besides the whole guitar debacle, he meets a girl and those scenes were the most interesting in the entire book. Those scenes held my attention and were fun to read. However, the romance is just a side plot and as a result, there isn't very much of it. Instead he spends most of the book fretting about the guitar. There are some suspenseful moments where Toby is being threatened by the guy who wants his bass but they were more weird than suspenseful. I give the author some points for an original concept for this story. Not many young adult novels are about a guitar or a Beatles cover band.
In the end, I was left feeling, well, nothing. I Am (Not) the Walrus needed a little more life injected into it to make it a good read. At times it felt like it didn't have a plot and I was left wondering, 'What was the point of that scene?' or 'Why did that happen?' It's unfortunate because I was looking forward to reading this book. It's a little bit different than what I usually read and I was proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone. So much for that. I was able to finish it but I had to push myself. Overall, it was a boring and unmemorable read.(less)
From the description, Preservation started off how exactly as I expected it would, but then the story took me by surprise. It went in another directio...moreFrom the description, Preservation started off how exactly as I expected it would, but then the story took me by surprise. It went in another direction completely, and then some twists and turns were added. Preservation held my attention steadily and, when I reached the end, it left me wanting more. And then the author actually gave me more by including two bonus chapters. *Hallelujah choir*
Twenty-five year old college student, Kate Parker, has a busy life of studying writing and working to pay for college and for care for her sick mother. This lifestyle makes her keep men at a distance in an effort to simplify things. That is, until she starts falling hard for her 2o something year old teacher and he starts falling for her too. To complicate things even more, he has a reputation of dating his students and breaking their hearts. Kate must figure out if she is different or just another one of his flings.
As mentioned earlier, the book summary only describes the first part of book. Her relationship with her teacher, also known as Ryan, gets hot and heavy fast. Their attraction is undeniable and soon things get serious. Then about half way through, things start to change. The student teacher relationship is no longer an issue and the focus changes to Kate’s writing career. As her career takes off, her relationship with Ryan gets rocky.
I liked this shift in the story. It was unexpected but welcomed. If the entire book had been about a taboo student teacher relationship, I would have been bored. Kate goes through many ups and downs and her journey kept me glued to the book. For most of the book, I could never guess what was going to happen. That’s huge a plus in my book. Predictable stories are no fun to read.
I also like Kate’s two amazing friends, Carter and Dean. They are supportive, unselfish, funny, and protective. At times, I thought her relationship with them was a tad unrealistic. Both Carter and Dean have crushes on Kate, and it was a tad bit unbelievable to me that they would change from not likely Kate’s relationship to Ryan to encouraging her relationship with him so easily. Regardless, I still liked their characters and they often provided comic relief.
The reason I gave Preservation four stars is because of my mixed feelings about the ending. It would spoil things if I explained too much in detail why, so I will be pretty vague. Something happens to Kate that’s pretty bad. Something that if it happened to me, would be very, very hard to forgive and forget. Kate forgave just a little too easily for me. I was okay with the forgiving part, but not happy with how quickly she forgave.
Overall, I had a ton of fun reading Preservation. Wade delivers an addicting romance and that left me wishing for more. Seriously, I’m kind of going through withdrawals right now. I will warn younger readers that this book is meant for adults as there are frequent sexual encounters. It is a romance. Otherwise, I highly recommend this book to romance and contemporary readers and fans of Rachael Wade.
Thank you to Rachael Wade for providing me with a copy of Preservation in exchange for an honest review.(less)
Thank you to J D Thompson for the opportunity read and review Silver and Stone!
It’s been awhile since a book made me think about it whenever I was not...moreThank you to J D Thompson for the opportunity read and review Silver and Stone!
It’s been awhile since a book made me think about it whenever I was not reading it. The pull to read it came frequently when I was working, trying to go to bed, or out and about. Then a part of me ached knowing that, at that moment, reading was not an option and I would have to wait. As I reached the second half of the book, I began toting it around with me everywhere eager to read it when ever I had a free second.
Silver and Stone keeps you guessing right up until the end. Up front, you know it’s a paranormal romance, but you don’t know what type of paranormal. With young adult paranormal romance being a dime a dozen these days, I had my doubts about whether or not Silver and Stone would be any different from other books I’ve read. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not only unique but far from the others. There are similar romantic themes found in a couple popular titles, but otherwise it is very different from anything else I’ve read.
Despite going through a tough time at the beginning of the book, Alexis is easy to relate to and overall a strong heroine. Her friends, Amber and Logan, are a hoot and add a lot of humor to the story. Together they are a fun trio who are always there for each other. Their friendship made me I wish more books featured such strong bonds among the main female characters. And then there is Lucas, the mysterious new boy. He is handsome, likeable, and all that good stuff but he also hard to figure out. His character is one that will keep you guessing and I’m not going to give anymore away. Alexis has another friend named Theo, who adds a little bit of interest to the story as his role is not very clear and is still vague at the end of the story. Personally, I wanted to see more of his character, but maybe there will be more of him in the next book.
I have a great things to say about Silver and Stone but I did have a few issues with the book that resulted in my three star rating. For one, it didn’t feel completely finished and not in the way a first book in a series leaves things open. There were scenes that moved too quickly and I would have preferred for them to be longer. The ending also felt rushed and I would have preferred the final chapters to be fleshed out more. In addition, there are typos sprinkled through out the book and overall it could use some basic editing. However, the typos are easy to get past and don’t interfere with the flow too much. All those aside,what influenced my three star rating the most were the plot holes. The plot distracted me from the ending that I might have otherwise might have wrapped up nicely.
As side from the issues above, I really enjoyed Silver and Stone and highly recommend it to young adult paranormal romance fans. It pulled me in and never let go and book like this are always the most fun to read. I’m looking forward to Blood and Champagne, the next book in the series, coming out in 2012. (less)
Don Carina was a delightful break from the norm for me. Set in Southern Italy primarily during WWII, the book t...moreSee more reviews on www.readinista.com.
Don Carina was a delightful break from the norm for me. Set in Southern Italy primarily during WWII, the book takes the reader through the life of Carina. From the death of her father to her arranged marriage to a Mafia boss, Carina is dealt many tough cards throughout her life but she remains resilient through each challenge. She is a remarkable heroine who defies the gender barriers of her time to protect her family and I am thrilled to now know her story.
When her father died, Carina had to become the ‘man’ or head of the household. This meant she had to learn how to read, write, and manage her family’s finances, something that was unheard of for women in the 1930′s. Her role as head of the household doesn’t last for long as she is soon sold into marriage with a Mafia boss Russo, also known as the Prince of Naples. Her marriage is difficult for her at first, but she learns to love Russo and soon they start a family.
Her education from earlier comes in handy as she steps in to help Russo with the financial affairs of his many businesses. After years of working with her husband, she learns the inner workings of Russo’s operations and becomes a trusted business confidant to her husband. However, war shows up their doorstep and when a bomb leaves Russo mentally incapacitated Carina has to cease control of the business. To do so, she must become Russo.
Carina’s character is my favorite thing about Don Carina. She is strong, smart, determined, endearing, and easy to relate to and sympathize with. She is forever thinking of her family and how to best protect them. When others around her want to take blind action, she is calm and strategical plans the best way to handle the challenge. However, not everyone agrees with a woman as a Mafia boss. Carina is constantly watching her back and having to out smart those who would do her and her family harm.
Carina’s story is an incredible adventure and one that will continue to surprise you. Full of action, romance, history, and more Don Carina moves a good pace and rarely has a dull moment. I was fascinated to learn more about the history of WWII in Italy, a bonus considering this book’s many highlights. Truly a phenomenal story.
Thank you to Ron Russell for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for a honest review.(less)
For me, Beckoning Light fell in the middle of liking it and not liking it. I will admit I was drawn in from the first chapter and I remained glued to...moreFor me, Beckoning Light fell in the middle of liking it and not liking it. I will admit I was drawn in from the first chapter and I remained glued to the story as it moved along at a brisk pace. Ivy wrote a unique fantasy that keeps the reading wanting to learn more the world she created. However, there were parts to the story that rubbed me the wrong way and I didn’t feel the story was developed enough.
As stated in the summary, Charlotte and her brother Kevin have moved back to South Carolina to live with their uncle Monty. Charlotte is not the social type like her brother is but despite her lack of social skills, she managed the catch the attention of boy at her school. Subtly he leads her to open the locked gate in her backyard and upon opening Charlotte finds herself in a new realm. Beyond the gate, Charlotte discovers love, adventure, and that she belongs in this realm more than she belongs in our realm. The world Charlotte discovers is beautiful but dying and only she has the ability to save it.
From the description Beckoning Light is intriguing and you honestly want to keep reading to find out what’s going on in this new realm. I commend the author’s creativity. The story moves quickly and while I appreciated the pace, I think the story lacked of details and development. Throughout the book I kept thinking, “if only this part was expanded on this scene could be really cool.” I think of Ivy’s biggest mistakes was having Charlotte and Calvin fall instantly in love. I get how their relationship was supposed to demonstrate the power that Charlotte had in that realm but it didn’t do anything to help the story in my mind. I never like insta-love/obsessive relationships. All relationships should be developed.
There is one character that I liked a lot and wished the author wrote more about. In the other realm there is a team of warriors that Monty, Kevin, and Liam join up with when searching for Charlotte. One of these warriors is Samantha and she is a super tough chick but her character developments ends there. I would hope we would learn more about her in the next book but I wished we could have seen her action more in this book.
In addition the Calvin, there are two other guys that the author distinctly comments on their romantic interest in Charlotte. So on top of insta-love we have two more boys who like Charlotte, which I know is a common thing in YA these days but it was a little much for me. With one of the guys, Kevin’s friend Liam, we are told how he finds Charlotte beautiful and he looks out for a lot and then the romantic interest in her dropped. Maybe something is coming in the next book but I was left wondering why the author even put that part in there in the first place.
I feel like I’m being a little harsh in this review but I feel like if the book and characters were developed more and some of the insta-love was taken out Beckoning Light would be a really cool story. I would see fantasy fans eating up the story. Beckoning Light has potential but it just needs a little more polish.
Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.(less)
“That’s a strange title,” were my first thoughts when I came across Keturah and Lord Death. Despite the title, I felt myself being drawn to read this...more“That’s a strange title,” were my first thoughts when I came across Keturah and Lord Death. Despite the title, I felt myself being drawn to read this unique book by some unseen force. The beautiful cover was different and the description was unlike any other book I’ve ever read. So of course, I had to read it.
Keturah is the town’s story teller. One day, she follows the prized hart into the woods hoping to collect more details for her stories. The hart eludes her as she follows him deeper and deeper into the forest, until she eventually realizes she is lost. After being lost in the forest for three days, Lord Death comes to her in the form of a man. He asked her to be his bride and Keturah refuses. To escape death temporarily, Keturah tells Lord Death a story but does not tell him the ending. She promises to tell him the ending if he gives her another day to live. In this day, she must find her true love in order to be free.
Upon reading the description of a red cloak wearing, werewolf slaying, and weapons wielding sister duo, I absolutely had to read this book. In additio...moreUpon reading the description of a red cloak wearing, werewolf slaying, and weapons wielding sister duo, I absolutely had to read this book. In addition, one of the sisters wields a hatchet and wears an eye patch, and she’s totally hard core. On top of that, the book cover is one of my all time favorite book covers. In fact, I may have even bought the book because I liked the cover so much. Jackson Pearce delivers a clever retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, only this version has a lot more action and lot more red.
For Scarlett and Rosie March, monsters have been a reality since they were little girls. Ever since one murdered their grandma, they’ve been taking matters into their own hands to stop werewolves from killing more innocent people. On hunts, the sisters are occasionally accompanied by their childhood friend, Silas. Together the three are skilled fighters and are often the victors over their heart eating opponents. However, a life of slaying certainly takes it toll on the girls. Scarlett is missing an eye and is consumed by her desire to end the existence of werewolves. Rosie, on the other hand, tires of fighting and longs for a normal life. Despite their efforts, the werewolf numbers are rising and the March sisters must search for answers.
If your a fan of werewolves and horrified by the thought of someone slaying Jacob, don’t worry. Pearce’s werewolves are evil, evil monsters and are more ‘big bad wolf’ than shape shifting teenage heartthrobs. The werewolves are well crafted villains that you truly want to hate.
One of my favorite things about Sisters Red are Pearce’s Little Red Riding Hood references scattered through out the book. From the red cloak Scarlett wears, to living at their grandma’s house, to walking in the woods, the call backs to the original tale cleverly enhance the story. As side from the Red Riding Hood nods, it’s worth noting that Sisters Red is on it’s own is a very original concept and actually nothing like the fairy tale.
I thoroughly enjoyed Sisters Red and highly recommend it to all those who like dark fairy tales. My only complaint about the book is that I didn’t get enough and I wanted more. Pearce is a skilled story teller and I look forward to more books from her.(less)
I had mixed feelings for the first book in the series, Glow, and this the same could be said for Spark. As I say in my review, the main characters are...moreI had mixed feelings for the first book in the series, Glow, and this the same could be said for Spark. As I say in my review, the main characters are frustrating. Just when you start to like them, they do something to drive you crazy. However, the action and the story intrigues you enough to push the character’s terrible decisions and keep reading. In the end, I think I liked Spark more than Glow, but there scores are pretty close.
Picking up where Glow left off, the girls are back on the Empyrean after being kidnapped by the other space ship, the New Horizon. However, the girls paid a price for their return. They left their parents behind as prisoners on the New Horizon. Now the Empyrean is left without a full crew to the run the ship and the oldest person on board is 16. The kids on the Empyrean try keep the ship functioning while they plan a way to get their parents and the rest of the crew back, but they are worn out and constantly at odds with each other. Waverly and Kieran, former boyfriend and girlfriend, are particularly against each other. Matters only get worse when a stow away from the New Horizon is discovered hiding on board and wreaks havoc on the ship.
This book is so cute! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like reading from a 14 year-old’s perspective but Kelsey Finkelstein ended up being a great narr...moreThis book is so cute! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like reading from a 14 year-old’s perspective but Kelsey Finkelstein ended up being a great narrator. Her frequent, well, disasters, were hilarious to witness and I found myself laughing out loud throughout the entire book.
Kesley Finkelstein has got her Freshman year of high school all planned out. This year she’s finally going stand out. She’s going to get the position on the soccer team that’s she been wanting for years and her crush is going to recognize her. Unfortunately for Kelsey, the universe has different plans for her freshman year.
The characters really made this book great. Kelsey and her friends are all quirky, witty, and very realistic characters. Although at times their loyalty to each other is put to the test, they are supportive and awesome friends. It’s fun to read about them hanging out, texting, partying, and even fighting (even the best of friends have their disputes). Kelsey has her typical teenager moments that can be irritating at times but more often I found her drama funny.
Meredith Zeitlin did a fantastic job of getting into the mind of a high school freshman. Her book brought me back to what it was like to be a freshman. Even my experience was different than Kelsey’s, Zeitlin captured the emotions and mentality of a freshman and I don’t consider that an easy feat. Additionally, the story is unique, steadily paced, and genuinely feels like a real high school experience. There are good messages for teens and bad messages for teens but that’s what makes the book real and engaging.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. Zeitlin created interesting and realistic characters as well as a story that will bring a smile to your face. It’s a cute, fun, laugh out loud read that made you want to keep reading.(less)
I love the Poison Study series. I could read them over and over again and never get tired of them. I love...moreFor more reviews, go to www.readinista.com.
I love the Poison Study series. I could read them over and over again and never get tired of them. I love the characters, the world, the writing, everything. If you haven’t read my Poison Study review, you should. I gave it rave reviews and consider it among my favorites. Comparing the two books, I have to say that I liked Poison Study more than Magic Study but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.
In Magic Study, Yelena leaves Ixia and returns to her homeland, Sitia, to study magic from Master Magician Irys. Yelena must control her magical abilities or risk her life and everything she knows. Prior to her magic studies at the Citadel, she meets her family for the first time since she was a littler girl. All might sound like things are going well for Yelena but despite her returning to her home country she is still technically a foreigner. She doesn’t receive as warm of welcome as you would expect from her brother. On top of that, upon arrival at the citadel, she is met with distrust from the other Master Magicians for her connections to Ixia. Even her classmates, who are a few years younger than her, give her hard time.
Despite the not so good start to her life in Sitia, Yelena earns respect from the others through her actions. She is a talented magician, skilled fighter, and among the few who can stop a magician that’s been killing young girls for power.
Magic Study is a fun fantasy read. Yelena is a strong heroine and one of my favorite heroines of all time. Only in this book her actions are a little more frustrating for the reader. She frequently does things that she shouldn’t which often results in her being kidnapped. And that’s another thing, kidnappings seem to be a common theme through the Poison Study series and it does get a little old after awhile. With Poison Study being as awesome as it was, book two fell a little short of what I was hoping for. Regardless, I still had a ton of fun reading it and had a hard time putting the book down.(less)