Let me be completely honest, I was sure this book would be hokey and far fetched and maybe even a bit stupid. How harsh, right? I guess I have felt a bit tired of the same old fantasy books that just keep replaying or rereading themselves over and over again.
Well, this wasn't one of those. It hooked me in less than 60 pages. I was flipping pages so fast I had to slow myself down or I might miss something.
Oh good books are so wonderful!
This is book is based off Persephone, Queen of the Underworld (Greek Goddess) who spent half her year above the world and the other half below after being stolen from Hades.
Kate Winter (seriously, could she have a more fabulous name?) has had a tough life. Her mother is dying and she has moved to her mother's place of growing up. A town where everyone already pities her for her loss, even though it hasn't happened. Kate, of course, catches the fancy of the football star whose girlfriend is psycho. Sound like real life??? Well, then the crazy girlfriend pulls a stunt that puts Kate in a position of what to do - let someone die or save them by promising anything. And of course, anything means ANYTHING.
Would you save someone who intended to harm you even if it meant consequences for you?
What would you promise to save your mother's life?
And maybe knowing I had saved her would help me hurt a little less, too. He drummed his fingers against the armrest of the sofa, his eyes on me once again. "Kate, I do not invite just anyone into my home. Do you understand why I offered this to you?" Because he was crazy? I shook my head. "Because even though she had abandoned you, instead of feeling spiteful or allowing her to die, you did everything in your power - including face one of your greatest fears - save her."
I find books that make me ask and think about choices in life, what would I do, are simply fantastic as I am definitely one of those people who love to analyze life and this book was no exception to that. The closeness of good and evil gave me chills and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop because when dealing with the devil, he never has to keep his promises, does he? And he can change his meaning and underlying tones in the blink of an eye.
"These tests will most likely come when you least expect them. I am not in charge of administering them, nor am I the final judge." "I am not really good at pop quizzes," I said. He chuckled and it washed over me, helping to dissolve some of my anxiety, "These are not the sort of tests a teacher would grade you on. They test who you are, not what you have stored in your brain. It is possible you will recognize them as they are happening, and it is possible you will not. But just be yourself. That is all anyone can ask of you."
I refuse to ruin any of this book with spoilers. I really loved it. Once I figured out what was happening and where this book could take me, I sighed with pleasure and laid back to enjoy the ride.
Definitely a MUST READ for younger teen girls in need of coaching, positive energy or just a different frame of mind - I plan to get one of these for my 14 year old niece. It had so much real life to it and yet, it was a serious play on fantasy. I mean how many times a day do we wonder who other people are and what their intentions may be; not to mention who we are and what we desire from life? It made relating to the book that much easier. I simply love that this book kept coming back to the same thoughts - Just be who you are and As long as you try your hardest, the outcome doesn't matter.(less)
Right away I am completely pulled in by the distinct character stories. The PDF file of this book I am reading is a little messed up because every other sentence is cut off and then uses a hyphen to pull it together. Not easy reading. But each chapter is so wonderfully extraordinary and so detailed that though I am confused, I am so much more intrigued.
I have read a few of Diane Chamberlain books before and I love her writing. It is a bit similar to Jodi Picoult in that she has wonderful portrayals of people's in-depth lives. Makes me feel like I am there. Each emotion is so gut wrenching that I can't let go. I refused to put down this book. I know this will be a very late and very long night. The oil will be burning.
My favorite pull in though is Noelle's story and the way her mother tells her unique Lumbee Indian histories and how they intertwine her own ancestry. For example this one tells about the Spanish-moss hung from the cypress trees lining the roads -
A Lumbee Indian Chief's wife had disobeyed him, so he chopped off her hair and tossed it over the branch of a tree, where it grew and multiplied and soon began covering the branches of all the neighboring trees.
Noelle trying to find her place in the world came about on a night when her mother, a midwife of secrecy needed her help.
It takes about four chapters to figure out where this book is going and the connection to each of the characters. Tara is a close friend of Noelle, the woman who commits suicide (as written in the books jacket/summary) and feels that -
It was the jolt to my solar plexus, the realization that the friendship between Emerson, Noelle and myself had been more lopsided than I'd imagined.
Learning each others secrets may be more than they can handle, even together.
I was absolutely and undeniably riveted by this entire book. I could not put it down. In fact, about three quarters of the way through the book they reveal a huge secret twist AND I DID NOT GUESS IT!!! Shocker. So wonderfully delightful . . . though my boss may be concerned when he looks at my time punches only to see my lunches ended up longer than allowed over the past couple of days. Whoops. It was that good.
ABSOLUTELY A FANTASTIC BOOK
Completely looking forward to catching up on other Diane Chamberlain books I have missed.(less)
FINALLY!! I waited forever to get this book from the digital library. It is kind of ironic actually that I received this book to read on the same week...moreFINALLY!! I waited forever to get this book from the digital library. It is kind of ironic actually that I received this book to read on the same week the next book came out - 10th Anniversary.
It was everything I expected it to be and more. It was fun and exciting. It was sweet and had good romantic moments in it too. It was sad and really gruesome with the parts of the dead bodies. (serious ew!) I thought it was so great that it highlighted four fabulously smart women who get together to figure things out, together, while supporting each other.
Lindsay is a really stunning character. She is so many facets that it made me feel I knew her. She was tough and yet had a vulnerable side that I cherish. She kept so many cards close to her heart that when she does open up, it is painful to listen to. Lindsay is an inspector with the San Francisco Police Department. She is a workaholic, has no relationships and friends are even harder to come by. Her one ally is Claire, the head medical examiner that she works with on cases. Out of nowhere this nosy reporter falls into their circle and immediately shows her worth. Cindy is good at her job, when given the chance and even helps out in the tough of times coming back with information FBI couldn't find. Finally, there is Jill, the assistant district attorney who is a bit more stringent about their relationship outside of work. But together they all make a fierce team and I enjoy the girl talk too.
This book was great because it felt like a book I would read as a child, like the Babysitter Club, only it is for grown-up women. I felt a bond to this book and the women characters in it like I haven't felt in ages. Probably since Iris Johansen and her series with Eve Duncan Series. Big Fist pump for this series and I have only just finished the first book. WOHOO!! I was lucky enough to pick up Books 2, 3 and 4 at the used bookstore for only $1 each!! Nice find. If you haven't picked up this series, I highly recommend it.(less)
I have been waiting to read Hex Hall for quite some time now. Sadly, I was number 3 on the wait list for this book from the digital library. One of the drawbacks to not just buying it. BUT I loved it!! So worth the wait.
This was such a fun book to read. It was entertaining and a different twist to the teen paranormal books I have read.
The main character Sophie has made some bad choices in life and has been sentenced to attend the school for witches, warlocks and other such paranormal people who could use some help blending in with humans. While at the school she encounters some not so nice girls who want her to join their coven and a really good looking warlock who may not be what he seems. Each of these characters was well scripted and I felt they just flowed into the story nicely. I wanted to know more and more about them. My favorite, and one I wished I had read more of, was her roommate the vampire, Jenna. She had a great sense of humor and I loved the bond they formed.
I wanted to be a girl who attended this school. Books that make me think about the choice between good and evil are a great play on real life. I believe that both reside within each of us and enjoy walking in others shoes and following what they would do. This book does a good job of playing up the choices we face. Even with all the evil lurking around Hex Hall, Rachel Hawkins just made these characters sensationally interesting. I really enjoyed the twist at the end too - though I refuse to ruin it by revealing it.
I just simply did not want to put this book down. I wanted to continue devouring it. If you are going on vacation or just looking for a fun, easy book to read - THIS IS IT!
Now am so excited to read the next installment of Hex Hall Series, DemonGlass.
Don't you just love the covers? They are so inviting and make me want to read these books. (less)
I'll be honest, if I were walking by this book in a bookstore I might have kept walking because it isn't my usual type of read, but that is exactly why I love GoodReads. I come across so many wonderful reading opportunities that normal wandering (in my usual sections) might not bring to light. I read the premise for this book and instantly knew I would love the journey that was bound to take place. A bunch of young peeps playing in a rock band experiencing the highs and lows; sex, drugs and rock and roll. I instantly wanted it. I was so excited and surprised when Bill See emailed me direct and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing an eBook copy. HELLS YES!!
GoodReads Summary of this book - For 33 days in the summer of 1987, Divine Weeks toured in a beat up old Ford Econoline van, sleeping on strangers’ floors, never sure they’d make enough gas money to get them to the next town. This deeply personal, coming of age, on the road memoir follows critically acclaimed 80s indie alt rock band Divine Weeks’ first tour. Liberated from alcoholic upbringings and rigi...more
For 33 days in the summer of 1987, Divine Weeks toured in a beat up old Ford Econoline van, sleeping on strangers’ floors, never sure they’d make enough gas money to get them to the next town. This deeply personal, coming of age, on the road memoir follows critically acclaimed 80s indie alt rock band Divine Weeks’ first tour. Liberated from alcoholic upbringings and rigid cultural constraints, all they have is their music and each other’s friendship. The road is filled with yuppies, brothels, riots, sleeping on floors, spiked drinks, DJs with no pants, and battles with racism. They set out on the road to discovery to drink in all they could and maybe sell a few records. They grew up instead.
Being the little girl growing up who sung at the top of her lungs every moment I could, I completely understood this book. To this day, I have a guitar that I was given years ago that I would love to learn how to play, but still it sits there gathering dust. My mother has taught me a few songs, but it just doesn't come to me without a teacher. Deep down inside, I still think I can be Sheryl Crow. Who doesn't at some point in their lives think they want (and can be) a rock n roll star? Music helps me escape and purge any pent up feelings. Hell it's the best part of working out; what better way to forget I am running on a treadmill. It is how I wake up in the morning and most days in the background as well. As Bill See says, " . . .until music permeated my bloodstream, I was just walking around dodging bullets."
Music, I feel, is the way to someone's soul. It touches me in ways other things, people included, cannot. It allows me to feel feelings that I never knew I could, or would. I can sing about heart ache, my truck being broken down, smoking a doobie, whatever. As long as it hits the heart and I can feel the beat, it doesn't matter. And I can't really feel music unless it is pounding from the inside. It just feels me up and pours out of me. I am and always will be that little girl who got sent outside because my singing was so loud it was annoying my parents (and probably after awhile, the neighbors). This quote from the book, "We know music can't change the world, but music changed our world, and it could change theirs. It's not even like we're trying to convince anyone our music can change their world. We're just trying to show people we feel reborn doing what we're meant to do." is the epitome of what I feel.
Each of the people Bill See talks about in this book are fascinating in their own way and I really enjoy how he incorporates his growth and development from being around them without losing the reality of life. My favorite part of the whole book though, is the realization he needs to play -
"Raj," I say quietly to him. "Soon it'll be too late. You'll be married . . . and I'll be bitter . . . Let's make everyone of those motherfuckers down there know our name."
I relate to so much of what he says regarding being eaten alive by the audience, taken advantage of by the club managers and then being racially assaulted while simply out being human. This is alive in my world of retail (as I hate to call it customer service because then I feel like a servant to customers) . . . Bill relates this quote a few times throughout the book, a saying from Tom Joad, "A fella ain't got a soul of his own, just a little piece of a big soul. The one big soul that belongs to everyone."
Other moments that truly grabbed me -
Aside from maybe Springsteen, there's no rock stars for role models. They've all let me down. It's like they all lusted after stardom and once there, looked us in the eye and then fled. I've stood there outside after shows and watch them treat fans like an annoyance, get whisked away in their limos and isolate themselves in their extravagance and wealth only to moan about it later. I'm done with it.
I used to think all heaven was an ear, but it's like I've been screaming in to the void - eulogizing stalled dreams - but I never stopped that one continuous plea. So it went: someone's got to save me.
Tom Hasse is going to be here in just a few to pick me up so we can go rent the van. No one will rent to us because none of us have a credit card, and we're all under 25. Then my friend Dave Silva told me his friend Tom would lay down his credit card for us to rent the van. Now, I don't know if ol' Tom's just too stoned to know better than to rent a van for a rock band going on tour for over a month. A band that's not even traveling with the guy who rented the van. A band that's not only taking the van outside California, but clear out of the freaking country.
One suggestion with this book would have been to add a CD compilation to this book that has the music with it. I loved each and every song listed in this book and found myself going to YouTube to find and listen to the songs while I read. Songs like Let It Be by the Replacements and Inner City Blues by Marvin Gaye and Bad by U2 and everything from The Who to R.E.M. He references Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers which makes my insides squeal like the little girl I will always be. Oh how I love "Free Bird."
The connection of the bands is so cool; hearing about Kurt Cobain and the differences between indie post-punk rock, heavy influenced bands and hard rock/glam like GunsNRoses (I SO heart you guys!!) and then even explaining Jane's Addiction. I found myself even looking up the songs I had never heard of and playing them. I also spent some time googling his band trying to find videos of them playing just to formulate a better picture with sound, in my head.
33 Days: Touring in a Van. Sleeping on Floors. Chasing a Dream. is a fantastic book that kept me riveted, laughing and yes, occasionally, even, cringing. I loved the camaraderie, the stories of these guys before they went on this trip and how they survived during. The difficulty in breaking out and doing for yourself what your family and parent's may not understand you need to do, is something all kids face. I know I still feel the need to seek approval and know they are happy for me. The need to get out and place my stamp on the world. Be big and be bold or go home. Bill See shows great humility and humbleness in this experience.
Once again, I am enamored with my eReader because I kept being able to look-up books with a touch of my finger and also highlight and take notes which are easily pulled up with the Content button (also a simple touch of the screen). Woop! There it is!
I have already told Saint that he must read this. He is an even bigger music fan than I am. As is my Aunt Sara, which please know when you read this post, I will be sending you a copy when it's published in April. YOU will love this book!
A BIG thanks to Bill See for sending me an email inviting me to review his book!! I really enjoyed the ride.(less)
I am a great fan of biographies, especially those by women and added that they are women from another religion, country or time pulls me in even more....moreI am a great fan of biographies, especially those by women and added that they are women from another religion, country or time pulls me in even more.
The feminist in me wants women to learn all their life possibilities. Not to be told No or held back. So when this book came in, I knew I would love it.
It goes through the life of a Yemen girl who has some seriously bad things happening to her family, focused mostly on her young sisters. In order to fix things, or maybe to save her, her father marries her off to a man three times her age who swears to protect her and wait til she is older to consummate the wedding. As predicted, none of this goes as planned. She pleads to those around her for help, but they all tell her to go back and she will be fine. She refuses to live with that verdict and seeks the help of a judge.
My first disappointment in this book was how fast the story is laid out. It is good because it gives the book that much more honesty because it sounds like it was written by a 10 year old. My second disappointment is all the information is surface and not in depth. I would have liked more depth to this book. Since, once again, I do not read the summary of the book before hand I thought the book would be entirely about her struggle to become divorced. Sadly it was resolved within the first quarter of the book. The rest goes on to detail her life after.
I did however enjoy this book simply because of the differences in culture and the fact that she does survive her ordeal to find that life has more to offer than marriage so early in life.
I am Nujood, aged 10 and Divorced is a good, quick read. Though I didn't love it, I would still recommend the book.
I started this book knowing it would be tough for me to read. By tough, I mean heart-breaking. I read Columbine by...moreWow just wow. Review coming up soon.
I started this book knowing it would be tough for me to read. By tough, I mean heart-breaking. I read Columbine by Dave Cullen, or should I say I tried to read it, but it was too much pain for me to finish. My heart just went out to those students, parents and all those involved. Just terrifying and so much pain. So I knew by reading this I may not finish it. I would also be jostling feelings for both sides. I'd say that is probably my favorite part of this entire book. It portrays the side of Valerie, the girlfriend of the shooter and how she lives her life after her boyfriend decides to shoot up the school without any indication to her.
It was simply amazing how Jennifer Brown went in to how Valerie actually started the Hate List: a list of people that annoy or make fun of her and her boyfriend and how it turns into the basis of the reason her boyfriend makes the choices he does. I felt so much for Valerie and her guilt over thinking she had a part in it all. How she should have known it was going to happen and did she feel like she had pulled the trigger, even though she never touched the gun.
This story was a bit more tame than Columbine and yet, Brown didn't cut back on any of the emotional pilings up.
I truly enjoyed the way the author took the time to show sides from the popular side to the so called "outcasts" and how they were before and changed afterward, if at all.
It is a read I would love for my 14 year old niece to read. I would love to hear how she feels about all the characters in the story. I find this would be a great way to open up the conversation about being bullied and being the bullier. A sad, but experienced thing growing up as a child.(less)
Title: The Pledge The Pledge #1 Author: Kimberly Derting Publish Date: Nov 15, 2011 Hardcover, 320 pages
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I am so bummed I wa...moreTitle: The Pledge The Pledge #1 Author: Kimberly Derting Publish Date: Nov 15, 2011 Hardcover, 320 pages
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I am so bummed I waited so long to read this book. I truly got stuck in the book. I couldn't put it down and now I have to wait til the next one. What a bigger bummer.
I loved Charlie. She was fantastic. Her character was heart warming. She was kind, honest, protective of her family, hard working, sweet and someone I would have been friends with. Her friend Brooklyn was a nightmare. She is selfish and always looking to gain everyone's attention. Charlie's youngest sister, Angelina (I think?) was pure joy. I loved that she was silent. The fact that she didn't speak was well portrayed in this book and I quite admired her independence and spirit. Ugh, to fall in love with a man like Max is a great work of literature, but I won't even tell you if Charlie does. Max is just a hunky, nice seemingly fellow. His friend are not so much.
Derting did a wonderful job keeping the reader in the dark and hinting at just the right amount to keep my peeked through the entire book. I wanted so badly for a specific type of ending and even though it wasn't exactly how I imagined, I wasn't disappointed and cannot wait for more.
This reminded me of Phillipa Gregory, but a bit lighter and cautionary for teens. It didn't have all the violence and cussing. I liked that it was clean and I could easily see any teenager reading this.
I read the ebook version of this book and was lucky to catch sight of the hardcover at work and OH MY is this cover spectacular. I love the lace and the darkness of it, but it's still very romantic and historical. A great cover!!
Summary - In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.
Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
Though I loved the history and the times, I didn't feel the characters ever pulled me in enough to really enjoy the book to its fullest. I also felt w...moreThough I loved the history and the times, I didn't feel the characters ever pulled me in enough to really enjoy the book to its fullest. I also felt when the excitement would build up, it never really reached full capacity for a climax. (less)