I ended up really enjoying this book. Even though the main character, Paige, is in her mid-twenties, I thought it seemed a lot like YA books because s...moreI ended up really enjoying this book. Even though the main character, Paige, is in her mid-twenties, I thought it seemed a lot like YA books because she is learning about herself, maturing and growing up during the course of the novel. Paige wants to be a rock and roll star, and she manages to get essentially a year long fellowship with a singer song-writer who pushees her to write "multigenerational music." John becomes a mentor to her, but he has a lot of secrets that Paige works to uncover. Throughout the novel, Paige works on writing various songs for her debut album called the Big Wide Calm. She befriends other musicians who help her and meets a love interest named Ian who is also a marketing manager for singers. But he isn't entirely who she thinks either. There are some weird elements in the book - like John's insistence on "saving the world" through Paige's music and then a bit over 3/4 of the way through the book, there is a shocking scene of violence and terror that is very anachronistic of the book. It does help Paige grow up by living through it but it seemed odd. I really liked the Paige character. She is brash and confident and very frank (especially about sexual things). I was actually amazed that a man wrote her character because she is very believable and well developed.
I won this copy in one of the Goodreads giveaways. (less)
This is a YA book which stars Keven who is very into playing video games. Then one day, a dead teenage girl sends him a Facebook friend request and st...moreThis is a YA book which stars Keven who is very into playing video games. Then one day, a dead teenage girl sends him a Facebook friend request and starts appearing in some of his gaming sessions begging for his help. He ends up getting sucked into a strange afterlife world which is called Nexus where souls can reside. Sierra, the dead girl, enlists his help to defeat another soul in Nexus that is destroying other souls there and is plotting terror in the real world too. Keven learns a lot about himself, Sierra, the concept of reality, and life in general while in Nexus. He discovers that there are a lot of versions of reality that can be visited by going through what Sierra calls doors. Okay, so I have to admit this whole concept of the doors I did not entirely understand. There are two doors typically that are twins of each other, but it seems sometimes you have to be dead to go through them and sometimes not. Plus I don't really get why Sierra couldn't go through some of them on her own. But nevertheless, it's an interesting concept. Since Sierra's soul is essentially energy, she (and the evil guy) can get into electronic equipment. The bad guy attacks people in their games and manages to cause real-life injuries (this I also didn't really understand how that could happen). It is a fast paced novel, and I like the Keven character. He also finds himself in a romantic triangle between his best friend, Lexy, and another popular girl at school, Hannah. And then he finds himself in another romantic triangle between Lexy and Sierra. Ah the troubles of a teenage boy! It was cute to see him struggle with these things.
I won this copy in one of the Goodreads giveaways.(less)
This is a novel that was originally published in 1970, and it is considered a modern day classic along the lines of the Lord of the Flies. This novel,...moreThis is a novel that was originally published in 1970, and it is considered a modern day classic along the lines of the Lord of the Flies. This novel, however, is much more uplifting than the Lord of the Flies. It features a group of misfit boys - ages of 12 to 15 - that are sent (or dumped) at a boys summer camp in Arizona where they are supposed to be turned into men. Instead they are picked on until they band together as a group. One day they are returning from an outing, and they see the annual buffalo "hunt" in which buffalo are horribly killed. The boys are traumatized by this viewing, and they decide to break out of the camp that night to free the other buffaloes that are supposed to be slaughtered the next day. During the adventures of the night, they become stronger as a group and individually - pushing each other to keep going when they hit obstacles. It is a relatively short story (about 150 pages) that is well written and despite the different time period, keeps your interest and engages you. The only thing I thought was weird about this addition were the footnotes that were used to explain words, phrases, etc that I felt are pretty common (for example, the word skivs which is short for skivvies or underwear or the phrase "champed at the bit.") But it seems like this book is meant for teenaged readers and is often taught in schools so perhaps that is why these words and phrases are footnoted (but really did they need to footnote Green Bay Packers?) But that is a minor issue. The book, when it was published, helped to bring attention to the killing of buffaloes and helped to inspire conservation movements so it is also often compared to Silent Spring too.
I won this copy in one of the Goodreads giveaways.(less)
I received an ARC of this book, and it was very much a rough first edition (there was on real cover, many of the illustrations did not have captions,...moreI received an ARC of this book, and it was very much a rough first edition (there was on real cover, many of the illustrations did not have captions, etc etc). I am hoping that the author has worked all that out. My book was also not set up as a 10 step programme. There were a lot of helpful information about supplements, etc to help maintain and improve health especially if you had certain health problems. However, the author goes into a lot of overally detailed information about how the body works which just really bogs down the book. It made it difficult to sift through the book to read about what I was interested - tips on how I can improve my health now and in the future to prevent disease and aging. Additionally, the doctor listed lots and lots of tests that he recommends having done to see what your health levels are for a variety of things. All that is a good idea, but I think it is a bit unrealistic to expect (especially with the cost of healthcare) for a person to go and have multiple tests done. I think he should pare down that list a lot to make it more manageable. But like I said above, I did get some good ideas and tips about some supplements I probably should be taking and about the type of foods I should be eating to get certain nutrients. I also learned that some of the medicines I take actually remove nutrients from my body (which no one had every told me about) so that is good to know. I am giving this a 2 star rating because of the really rough version I read that did not have 10 steps in it. I am hoping that the final book will be better.
I won this copy in one of the Goodreads giveaways. (less)
This is a YA novel in which the main character, Riley, a fifteen soon to be sixteen year old girl, is left at home for the weekend by her parents when...moreThis is a YA novel in which the main character, Riley, a fifteen soon to be sixteen year old girl, is left at home for the weekend by her parents when they go on a trip. That evening the power goes out and stays out for weeks. Society breaks down really, really quickly, and Riley is left pretty much alone as she tries to survive. She makes some friends who help her, but she also loses some friends. She goes through a lot - death, attacks, crocodiles, break ins, hunger, etc. Her will to survive and the hope that she will see her parents again helps to keep her going. The book is written as a journal that Riley keeps, and the font of the book is one that makes it look like handwriting which is a neat idea and makes the book seem more realistic. The plot made me think about what would happen if power goes out (and so there is no water, etc) to society, and I have to say what the author describes is probably very accurate. So that is scary. I feel that this book is written more for young adults than for older readers, but it was entertaining.
I won this copy in one of the Goodreads giveaways. (less)
This is a novella set in the 12th century in Britain and France. Soulene is a young 16 year old girl who is studying herbs and medicine in hopes to be...moreThis is a novella set in the 12th century in Britain and France. Soulene is a young 16 year old girl who is studying herbs and medicine in hopes to become a "healer" when she is older like her mother. Soulene is pursuing an apprenticeship in Britain when out collecting herbs in the forest, she comes across a gravely injured knight. She bandages him and gives him medicine, and in exchange, he gives her a warning that her town is about to be attacked. He begs her to run away and save herself since she helped save him and he gives her his horse to do this. She leaves with her two dogs and her horse (which she names Horse since she does not know its name). She proceeds to a nearby monastery where is hopes to continue her apprenticeship. There, though, she is put into danger when secrets about her identity are revealed, and she must flee from more danger. She meets various people that help her and that she befriends along the way. And though the book is short, a lot happens in it. It is a fast read. I liked the 12th century world that the author has created, and Soulene is a strong character. She is smart and resourceful and keeps her head under pressure. This first book introduces her and some other characters - like the knight - that will show up in further books, and I think that the books only will get better. It is a fun read.
I won this copy in one of the goodreads giveaways. (less)
This is a paranormal murder mystery set in Victorian London. There is a very unusual cast of characters including an illusionist/detective named Edwar...moreThis is a paranormal murder mystery set in Victorian London. There is a very unusual cast of characters including an illusionist/detective named Edward Moon and his giant companion, known as the Somnambulist (who is seemingly indestructible). Moon and the Somnambulist are asked to investigate an unusual murder involving a man known as the Human Fly. During the course of the investigation, Moon and his partner meet some very strange individuals - including a man who claims to be living backwards and hence has seen the future, an albino secret agent, a bearded prostitute, and many more. Along the way Moon discovers the the murder he is investigating is just the tip of the iceberg and that there is a conspiracy underway to destroy London. The book is told by an unknown narrator (whose identity is revealed at the end in a neat twist). I enjoyed the way the book is written and the style of it with the narrator interjecting his thoughts at various moments. It is highly entertaining with twists and turns. I liked all the characters a lot even the ones that have a bit of the anti-hero about them. It's a good read. (less)
This was a good book that I enjoyed though not as much as Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy. I thought that the plot and the Shattered Sea land was pret...moreThis was a good book that I enjoyed though not as much as Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy. I thought that the plot and the Shattered Sea land was pretty basic, standard fantasy ideas. But it was well written. I did guess the identity of Nothing pretty early on and I also suspected the identity of one of Yarvi's betrayers. But I believe this is the first book in a trilogy so I imagine the books will just get better and better. The characters are well developed and the book definitely is fast paced. It tells of Prince Yarvi, who has a crippled hand (hence half a king), who is betrayed by his uncle. His uncle tries to kill him, but Yarvi manages to escape. His uncle then takes the throne that is rightfully Yarvi's. Yarvi is captured and turned into a slave on a ship, and he swears his revenge. He befriends other slaves on the merchant ship, and when an opportunity presents itself, he and the slaves make their escape. Adventures ensue in Yarvi's efforts to get back home. Yarvi grows as a character throughout this ordeal, and you definitely feel for him and what he suffers through. It is an entertaining fantasy novel and I hope the start of a good trilogy. However, if you really want to see what Abercrombie can do, then you should read The Blade Itself, the first book of the First Law trilogy.(less)
I enjoyed this first book in a new series, and I am looking forward to the next book. This is a Hunger Games style novel set in the far future on Mars...moreI enjoyed this first book in a new series, and I am looking forward to the next book. This is a Hunger Games style novel set in the far future on Mars. Mars has become populated and livable, but the society is very divided by caste - in this case each caste is based on a color. The Reds are the lowest caste, and they are virtually slaves to the higher classes. The top class is the Golds. A young Red, Darrow, survives an ordeal that should have killed him and he is recruited by a rebel group. They want him to infiltrate the Golds society and eventually help bring down the class system from the inside. In order to do this, Darrow must go to the Institute, and elite training school which involves fights to the death, war, etc against other classmates. Darrow must figure out how to survive, but also, how to win the game in order to successfully infiltrate the Golds. It is a very action-packed storyline. The school and a lot of the plot and characters have references to the Roman gods which is an interesting element though I do have some doubts that the Romans would still be held (and remembered even) in such an esteem hundreds or maybe thousands of years in the future. (less)
This is a YA mystery novel starring Bea Washington - a smart, sassy about to turn 18 year old. This is the 2nd book in a series but it is fine to read...moreThis is a YA mystery novel starring Bea Washington - a smart, sassy about to turn 18 year old. This is the 2nd book in a series but it is fine to read as a stand alone book. The author recaps Bea's story in this book. Bea has the ability to draw pictures and words that are on someone's mind when she focuses on the person. She befriends a cop, Sergeant Dan Daniels, who uses her ability to help solve some crimes. In this book, a teenager is murdered and drugs are found in the bag of another boy, Junior who then confesses to the murder of the teenager. Sergeant Daniels does not believe the boy's confession, and he thinks there is more to the story so he brings in Bea to see if she can draw any clues. Bea does, and in the process, she starts her own investigation. Bea likes to get into characters and dress accordingly when she is investigating so she dresses and tries to pass herself off as a boy. In the process, she finds herself in the middle of trouble. Bea is also a recovering addict, and so in addition to having the standard boy troubles of a teen, she also has to deal with overcoming her addiction. I think it helps to make her seem more like a real person and less like a standard YA character. The book is a fun and fast paced book.
I won this copy in one of the Goodread giveaways. (less)
This is the 3rd and final book of a YA series that I won in one of the Goodreads giveaways. I haven't read the first two books so I am sure that this...moreThis is the 3rd and final book of a YA series that I won in one of the Goodreads giveaways. I haven't read the first two books so I am sure that this book would make more sense if I had read the first two books. However, I was able to figure most of the characters and plot out with this book. It recaps what must have occurred in the first two books as you read this book. The basic plot is that there are so-called Guardians (supernatural beings in charge of things like Miser, Death, Forgiveness, etc) that can appear as humans if they want. One of these, Lily, is eventually able to become completely human, but she dies in an accident shortly afterwards. Her boyfriend, Sam, who was human, but through a nefarious plot, has been turned into a Guardian-like being is devastated by her death, and he disappears off to the end of the galaxy to try to deal with her death and to figure out what he is becoming and his role in the universe. Sam's human friend, Kathy (who was also good friends with Lily), is left to try to deal with the aftermath of Lily's death and Sam's disappearance. This leads her to discovering the truth about Lily and Sam. Most of the book is told from her perspective and Sam's perspective, but there are also sections that are told from some of the Guardian's perspective. The setup of these Guardians and the set up of how the world/universe works is a neat one, and I liked this. The ending, which I won't spoil, is a fitting one, and it seems to make a lot of sense with what we learn about a character named Max. The book is interesting, and the characters are well developed. I definitely felt for Kathy who has lost her friends.
I won this book in one of the Goodreads giveaways. (less)