Wow! What a novel, I don't even know where to begin. First of all, Alex reminds me so much of my fifteen year old step-son! All through this book I couldn't help but compare him to Alex and imagine what he would be like in that scenario. Alex (like my Riley) is a smart and resourceful kid and I have no doubt Riley would use his wits to survive. I also found myself longing (again) for Iowa. If I had to live in a Post-Apocalyptic world, I sure would want to do it in Iowa. The small town, neighbor helping neighbor feeling really came through when Alex and Darla went to Worthington. But, also, living only 300 miles from Yellowstone leads me to believe that it is doubtful we would survive a super volcano.
Bottom line, while Ashfall is a Young Adult novel, I would caution that the younger kids of that classification may find parts of the book disturbing. There is a fair amount of violence and the references to cannibalism may be disturbing. Having said that, don't let the Young Adult classification keep YOU from reading this book. It is so well written and so fast paced, it is easy to forget that Alex is just a young teenager. In an admirable way he steps up to the plate in order keep himself and Darla safe. If you are a fan of Post Apocalyptic fiction, then you must read Ashfall!(less)
Once again Mike Mullin had me on the edge of my seat. I could not believe how quickly 594 pages seemed to go by again. I found myself caught up in the...moreOnce again Mike Mullin had me on the edge of my seat. I could not believe how quickly 594 pages seemed to go by again. I found myself caught up in the world that is both familiar, yet unrecognizable. I loved how Alex, again, proved that he is no longer just a teenager. He has become a man since the volcano erupted and he will let nothing stop him from tending to what he sees as his responsibilities. The growth of Alex from the early pages of book one to the end of book two is certainly night and day, it is wonderful to watch that growth.
Bottom line, Mike Mullin seamlessly continues the story of Alex and his family in Ashen Winter. Some months have passed and it is interesting to me to see how society has adapted to the aftermath of the volcano. Again there are some really adult themes mentioned in this book, human slavery is just one and the cannibalism is much more prevalent, so let your younger kids read with caution. Overall though, the themes of survival and perseverance in the face of adversity are ones that most of us can learn something from.
Set against the beautiful Fall backdrop of Santa Fe we get to know these families in an intimate way. I really enjoyed Joe, Glory, and Junniper. The whole family dynamic at Thanksgiving was interesting with Glory's sister and mom there. OH!! I forgot a very important character, Dolores, the ghost who shares their home! She certainly adds character to the story, but at times it felt really forced. My heart really went out to Laurel. Her anxiety about being away from Seth probably came across more strongly than any other emotion in the book and it really endeared her to me.
Bottom line, Finding Casey was a good story. I felt the plot drag at times, but I stuck with it because I wanted to see what was going to happen and find out how the stories would merge. I think it is worth the read, but be prepared for the fact that it isn't exactly a fast paced novel.(less)
Emma Tupper is a sweet character at a crossroads in her life, by no fault of her own and she is not sure which way to go. Right back to the life that she was living or improve her life by switching jobs, boyfriends, and apartments. I enjoyed everything about Emma. Her feelings about her situation really translated well to the reader, my heart ached for her. I also really enjoyed the relationship between her and her best friend, especially the way her entire family enveloped Emma at Christmas, it was really heartwarming.
Bottom line, Forgotten is an enjoyable book on so many levels. The characters, the scenery, the level of conflict that Emma faced. It all joined together to make Forgotten an unforgettable novel. (less)
Hanging By A Thread has everything a good suspense novel should have. A strong female character, not one but two handsome boys, a mystery, and some supernatural powers. The story moves along nicely and keeps you guessing as to who is the killer. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Clare and her mother and grandmother. It didn't seem like the way most Young Adult novelists portray the mother/child relationship.
Bottom line, if you are looking for a mild mannered "spooky" book to read during the Halloween season, I urge you to give Sophie Littlefield a shot. This was the first book of hers that I have read, but I am looking forward to looking up more of her works, I am especially to see what she does with novels for adults.(less)
Sandra Brown has been on my "must read" list ever since high school. Her books always seemed so scandalous to me. The sex scenes that once seemed so salacious, now seem a bit repetitive to me. The story was a little fresh in terms of the tornado, but for the most part it seemed like a story that I had read before. Beautiful woman is trying to solve some sort of crime and a handsome, yet roguish man gets in her way, then becomes indisposable to her. Crime solved and they live happily ever after.
Bottom line, Low Pressure is an okay book if you are just looking for a mindless love/suspense story. I think that I am tired of the old Sandra Brown formula and it might be time for me to move on. Are you a fan of Sandra Brown's? Let me know what you think of Low Pressure.(less)
The Language of Sisters is a re-release of a book written in 2002, so keep that in mind when reading this book. There are a few small nuances that you might notice that indicate that the book was written a few years ago, but nothing that changes the flow of the book. Nicole's devotion to Jenny is quite admirable. At first I thought she was doing it purely out of guilt (and maybe she was at first) but then I realized that she was taking care of Jenny and Jenny's baby just because she loved her so much. Not only did I love the bond between Nicole and her sister, but I enjoyed seeing Nicole come to the realization that her mother was just human and had done the best that she knew how to do when it came to raising children.
Bottom line, The Language of Sisters is a sweet story about the bond between two sisters. A bond that remains strong no matter how much time has passed and the tragic events that lead to Nicole's return home eventually lead to blessings in all of their lives. If you are looking for a good dramatic read, pick up The Language of Sisters and let me know what you think. (less)
Gone Missing really does pick up where Breaking Silence left off, especially the relationship between Kate and Tomasetti. There relationship is moving forward at a pace that leaves Kate a bit uncomfortable, but leaves the reader saying "DO IT! DO IT!". I also liked how the author moves the story at a nice pace and when the big discovery is about to be made, the tempo of the story picks up rather quickly. You can't help but just whip through the pages as fast as possible. And the end! Oh my gosh, the end really did surprise me! You know an author has surprised you when you literally gasp at a revelation.
Bottom line, if you have not started reading Linda Castillo's books, then now is definitely the time. You can pick up any of her books and get enough of a back story to not feel lost, but I think starting with Sworn to Silence is important just so you can see the growth of Burkholder, Tomasetti, and their relationship. If you are a fan of a good mystery novel, then you just can't miss Gone Missing.(less)
Does This Church Make Me Look Fat follows Rhoda as she battles cancer while trying to foster a new relationship and attending a new church that is so different than anything she ever experienced growing up in the Mennonite faith. Having grown up Catholic, I have not had really any exposure to the Pentecostal faith, so I found that a bit interesting. I also enjoyed watching her relationship develop with Mitch and even Mitch's son, Leroy.
Bottom line, if you enjoyed Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, you will enjoy Does This Church Make Me Look Fat. The author's sense of humor remains intact despite the fact that she is battling a life threatening disease. The book is about Church, so really it is to be expected that there will be quotes from the Bible and sharing experiences at a new church. (less)
Hester Browne is a great Chick Lit author who has become one of my "must read" authors. In Amy Wilde, she created a sweet, funny, and independent young woman who just wants happiness, but is not ready to sacrifice her family to attain that happiness. If you are looking for a good "fluffy" kind of book, than look no further. The Runaway Princess is just for you!(less)
From Notting Hill with Love...Actually is a super cute book. Quotes from all of your favorite Chick Flick movies are rampant in this book. The characters are colorful and fun. In my mind as I was reading, I was envisioning how it would be staged on the big screen. Admittedly there were parts of the book that were a bit predictable, but then again, aren't most Chick Flicks?
Bottom line, I don't think there are many, if any women out there who has not sat through one kind of heartwarming Chick Flick or another. If you like Chick Flicks, you will love this book. All of the references to the movies really make the story feel really close to home. You can relate to Scarlett's love of movies and desire to find her "happily ever after" as before the credits role.(less)
You may remember Lisa Genova from her blockbuster debut novel, Still Alice. Still one of my favorite books to this day. Her new book, Love Anthony, has almost a mystical feel to it. In that way that gives you goosebumps as you are reading. I enjoyed both Beth and Olivia, and their stories. There were things that I found myself relating to with both women and that is something I always enjoy. (less)
Heads in Beds is one of those "behind the scenes" books written by a guy who ultimately just wants to do his job and make money. There is a lot of poking fun at guests and a lot of swearing. And like in any service industry there is a lot of drinking and even a few references at drug use. His stories were similar to stories I have heard from my sister and brother-in-law. The similarities also continue with the "family like" atmosphere among the staff. Working in the Hotel/Motel industry can be very, very grueling and not for the faint of heart. That is definitely translated well in this book. And maybe it will cause you to be just a little more understanding and friendly the next time you check into a hotel.
Bottom line, if you like to read "behind the scenes" industry books, then you will enjoy Heads in Beds. But I will give the disclaimer that if you are offended easily or are a frequent traveler you may find yourself offended at the language and may even be offended to "see" yourself in some of the descriptions. I think that if you have anyone in your family who has worked in the Hotel/Motel industry, then Heads in Beds will make the perfect Christmas gift! (less)
Those We Love Most is every parent's worst nightmare come to life. Lee Woodruff has written such a realistic novel that it will make your heart skip a beat in several instances. As we follow Maura and her family you see that neither her marriage nor her parents are as strong as they lead everyone to believe. I really like how the author made her characters flawed, it just added to the authenticity of the story. I also really enjoyed how she included the boy behind the wheel throughout the whole story, it added that extra something that really touched my heart.
Bottom line, Those We Love The Most, is a dramatic read. The subject matter alone makes it a tough read, but it is most definitely worth the read. The characters are so intricately drawn and the story so well written that you can not help but be pulled into the world of this family. I really enjoyed Those We Loved Most and I look forward to reading more fiction by Lee Woodruff.
Beautiful Disaster is one of those novels where you want to shake both of the main characters senseless, while at the same time desperately want a happy ending. I liked both Travis and Abby in their own right, but I like them even more together. I really enjoyed the way Travis was so sweet and for the most part, good, with Abby. A lot of girls would love to have a guy like that in their life. Having said that, there were several times throughout the book that I just wanted to smack them silly because they were acting like dumb teenagers, especially when they were fighting.
Bottom line, if you enjoyed Twilight, I think you will enjoy Beautiful Disaster. Travis shares some characteristics with Edward Cullen, but not enough for you to think it was a knock-off. Beautiful Disaster is the quintessential "good girl" meets "bad boy" novel , but with a little twist. The "good girl" is not as "good" as she lets everyone believe. A definite must read for anyone looking for a good romance!(less)
I am not a huge fan of paranormal romances where the "paranormal" is a dead man. Specifically a dead man who slaughtered seven women when he was alive. I admittedly didn't realize that The Last Victim was a paranormal romance when I agreed to read/review the book. I have been a Karen Robards fan for many, many years and am willing to give any book of hers a shot, I just wish that her "bad boy" in The Last Victim was a little less bad. Make him a bank robber or something, just not a guy who killed seven women.
Bottom Line - I enjoyed The Last Victim, despite my issues with the "Bad Boy". It was a good mystery with some steamy scenes between Charlie and living and the dead. The author did set it up for a sequel, which I will probably read - just because now I want to see how it turns out. Logically, I know Charlie won't likely end up with the ghost, but you never know...(less)
I really had a hard time getting lost in Mockingjay. The other two books I finished in a matter of hours, but this last book took me three days. I did...moreI really had a hard time getting lost in Mockingjay. The other two books I finished in a matter of hours, but this last book took me three days. I did enjoy getting to see more of Katniss's mom and sister. You could almost say that we got to watch Prim grow up over the course of the series. And like any big sister who had a hand in raising her younger siblings, it was a bit of a shock for Katniss to realize that her little sister was growing up. I also must say that I was satisfied with the ending and who ended up winning Katniss's heart. I won't give it away for anyone, but truly, I was happy with the ending.
Bottom line, while it seemed to take a while to get going, it was a satisfactory conclusion to one of the most popular trilogies in literature history. In a way I am a bit sad to know that we will never again get to "see" our old friends such as Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and Haymitch, but I am glad to have read the book and get some closure on The Hunger Games. Have you read Mockingjay? What did you think of the final book? Were you satisfied with the way it ended?(less)
I have been a fan of The Walking Dead ever since the very first episode. I have the first three novels to read and with the upcoming season, I thought I would give it a read. It was a very fast read at just 144 pages, but it was well worth the read. There was one major "happening" that just happened at the end of Season 2 of the show, but it happened at the end of Volume One in the graphic novel. The other thing that really struck me was the DETAIL that the artist, Tony Moore, took with the artwork. There are a few full page frames that made a huge impact with me. He certainly conveyed the emotion in a way that impacts the reader.
Bottom line, while graphic novels really aren't my normal genre, I am really glad that I read The Walking Dead. I will most certainly read more of the graphic novels and of course, I am counting down the days until the third season starts. October 14, just in case you were wondering...(less)
For not really being a girly girl or having even heard of Blair and Elle before this book, I really enjoyed Beneath the Glitter. For the most part. I liked Ava and Sophie, they seemed really down to earth and were just trying to make it big in a city notorious eating up people and spitting them out. I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow through the tribulation that comes with success. I even enjoyed watching them each interact with the different men in their lives, admittedly I liked a couple more than others. (Team Dalton all the way!!) My issue comes from the end of the book. It was a serious WTF moment for me that I hope gets resolved before publication. The Epilogue left me completely confused because it was really vague and that could be because it was setting up for a sequel, but the vagueness of the identity of the "bad guys" coupled with the randomness of the "bad thing that happened," really left me feeling disappointed. (Sorry I was intentionally vague to avoid spoilers) I thought my copy was damaged or something because I literally thought "there has to be more." Clear up that ending & I could easily be convinced to hand sell this book to anyone & everyone, but as is, my recommendation comes with a warning. (less)
Mitch Albom has made his living writing fantastic little novels that pack a rather large punch. The Time Keeper just continues the tradition. The lesson that Father Time was trying to teach Victor and Sarah is that God gave us an infinite amount of time on this planet so that we are sure to treasure each and every moment. If we were to become immortal, what is there to make us treasure each new day that comes? Father Time tries to get his message across in an "Scrooge" kind of way, but it just adds to the "feel" of the novel.
Bottom line, The Time Keeper is a quick little novel that feels as if it were right out of a Fairy Tale. I learned a lesson that was much needed at this time in my life. Memories are nice to have and revisit, but it is important to cherish each and every day as if it were your last.(less)
A lot of people out there have been comparing Sylvia Day to E.L. James. And I guess that I can understand why the comparisons are being made, they are both female authors who wrote steamy trilogies. Both of the leading male characters are forceful, successful businessmen. The difference between the two books, in my opinion, is with the heroine. Ana is a young, naive student. And Eva is a strong, determined survivor. I will say that Eva's incessant need to run away when things don't go as she thinks they should go is beyond irritating, but she is called on that behavior and concedes to her flaw. Rare to find in any character, to be honest.
Bottom line, Bared to You, is another book that could be called "mommy porn" because it seems like every other page is laced with a very steamy sex scene. The story is different than others out on the market right now, in my opinion, because I actually started to care about Gideon and Eva. I want to find out more about Gideon's past and I want to see where their story goes, unfortunately I have to wait until October to find out, but it is a sequel that I am anxious to read. Have you read Bared to You yet? What did you think?(less)
Little Night was a good read, but reading about Anne's behavior towards not only Clare, but Grit as well, just had my blood boiling. I understand being loyal to your husband, but at the cost of your children is just NOT acceptable to me. I really enjoyed watching the relationship between Grit and Clare blossom. The unconditional love that Clare gives Grit made my eyes leak, especially knowing how badly Grit needed that kind of love.
Bottom line, Little Night , is a touching novel about family bonds and the sacrifices some people are willing to make for their families. No matter what the cost. If you are looking for a good "drama" type novel, then you won't be disappointed in Little Night.(less)
Stranger in the Room has more than just one mystery within it's pages. For that brief moment in time when Keye was unaware of the seriousness of Miki's situation, she agreed to take on a case in rural Georgia. A shocking case that will turn your stomach and question humanity. And as things explode in both cases and while under crushing pressure to solve both cases, Keye's overwhelming need for a drink nearly destroys the sobriety that she has worked so hard to obtain. Will she be able to keep Miki safe and help Rauser solve the murders?
I absolutely loved Stranger In The Room. Keye Street is the kind of character that readers love, this reader included. She is so deeply flawed, yet so very very likable. Her reaction to what she discovers in rural Georgia is so real that it made me like her (and the author) even more. So many authors write their characters to be "above" normal, human reactions to situations that would bring a normal person to their knees. Not Amanda Kyle Williams. She knows how to keep it real. (less)
Told in a series of flashbacks mixed in with what is going on in present day, we get a better understanding for Will's heritage and how Evelyn Mitchell and Amanda Wagner got to be such good friends. We also get a better understanding of the relationship between Will and Amanda. So much was explained in Criminal, that I found myself saying "ahhhh, now it makes sense". It was also really fascinating to see what Evelyn and Amanda had to go through as women in the early days of equal rights. Their generation paved the way for me and me. I am eternally grateful for what they had to put up with in order for me to work in a male dominated world.
Bottom line, loyal readers of Karin Slaughter will be interested in Criminal. The back story of will Trent alone makes it a fascinating read. It may be a little hard for non Will Trent fans to pick this one up and not be lost. If you have read her other books, you will not be lost and you will be appreciate the history given. And of course, as always, there is a great mystery in between all of the history.(less)
I think that it has been a long time since I read a novel with a bitch as big as Beth. She is a "Mean Girl" in every sense of the world and the way she treats the girls that he considers friends is so despicable that more than once I wanted to reach through the pages and slap her silly. But, for as big a bitch as Beth, I think the worst character of the story goes to Coach. This woman doesn't just cross boundaries, she shatters them in unspeakable ways. She is in a position of authority, a role model for these girls to look up to, and she abused her power in such grotesque ways. Sigh. Kinda gets me fired up thinking about it, weird, huh?
Bottom line, Dare Me, at the core is a mystery novel. Beyond that it is a dark novel that almost reminds me of the old movie Heathers starring Winona Ryder & Christian Slater. The teen angst is out of control, yet it sucks you in such a way that you will not be able to put this book down. If you have a teen daughter on the Cheer squad you may (or may not) want to read about how far the influence of the Coach could possibly go. Yeah. Good luck with that. (less)
Bottom line, Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time is not only an educational read, but it is a fun read. The examples given f...moreBottom line, Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time is not only an educational read, but it is a fun read. The examples given from some of my favorite books, movies and television shows really accentuated the lessons that she was trying to teach. If you are in need of a refresher course in some of the tough words, give this one a shot. You will be all caught up in no time! (less)
Just look at the cover of Lake Country - that cover had me hooked from the very beginning. It just looks spooky. Like you should look over your shoulder this very moment. The story is very fast paced and Mike Barlowe is a very likable character. I really enjoyed watching his interactions with Juliet. He showed a tenderness and kindness that almost surprised me, given what I knew about him up to that point. The story is very fast paced, and when everybody is heading to the Lake Country, it was almost comical. It was something that I could see easily translate to the big screen.
Bottom line -- Lake Country by Sean Doolittle is a wonderful crime novel that could easily hold it's own with books by big name authors like Dennis Lehane or Craig Johnson. The characters are realistic and the story is engaging.(less)
As a dog person I found myself really enjoying Behaving Badly. Before I get too far into my review, let me just say that the dog on the cover is NOT the same breed as the dog that is Miranda's faithful companion. Her Doxie, Herman, the complete opposite of the dog shown on the cover! Silly Art Directors need to READ the books they are creating covers for, at the very least read the synopsis! Having said that, I will say that Miranda Sweet is such a compassionate character. Even though she took part in a violent act, she was just another young girl who had been led astray by a bad boyfriend and that made it so much easier to "forgive" her for her transgressions. She has an eclectic group of people in her "circle" and they just added to the unique story and you find yourself rooting for her and her happiness.
Bottom line, animal lovers are going to love Behaving Badly! The animals are just as much a part of the story as Miranda and her family/friends. And even better, the animals have "problems" that any pet owner can relate to rather easily. But animals aside, the relationship between Miranda and David is fun to watch develop and you desperately want Miranda to get her "Happily Ever After", but does she get what she wants? You will have to read Behaving Badly to find out! (less)