This is a book that I won recently at Goodreads (thank you Goodreads!). It's the second book in the Water Lilies series by Deborah Smith. I prefer to...moreThis is a book that I won recently at Goodreads (thank you Goodreads!). It's the second book in the Water Lilies series by Deborah Smith. I prefer to start a series from the beginning but after reading reviews of the first book, Alice at Heart, I knew the books were connected but told different stories with different main characters. As with the first book this is about the Bonavendier clan and their extended family, a society of mer-people living off the coast of Georgia on Sainte's Point Island. Although the mer-people don't have the tails often associated with mermaids they do have beautiful webbed feet, extremely fast growing hair, can hold their breath for unusually long periods of time, have physic abilities that include some mind control over "Landers" (those of us who are not mer-people) among other abilities.
Juna Lee Poinfax is the Radical Mermaid aptly named as she is very impulsive and tends to put her webbed foot in her mouth. After another social blunder Juna is sent to the coast to serve some mer-person community service. While there she decides to tell her story in diary format. An online mermaid blog. Her great-aunt Lilith decides to use her services to gently convince a distant relative that she too is a mermaid. Being the radical she is, she kidnaps her relative Molly Revere and takes her to Sainte Point's.
What started as a simple task is soon complicated. Mer-man Rhymer McEvers is also on the island where he has brought his nieces who he is convinced are in danger from their father. Upon meeting Molly an instant attraction is formed. As this magical story develops there is adventure, romance, mystery and murder all served up with a dose of humor.
I enjoyed this mermaid version of chick lit and it was exactly what I needed at a very busy time. In the back of the book is a whole section of facts and fable, history and science by, Juna Lee Poinfax, webmistress. I appreciated the help and I'm looking forward to reading more from this series.
Tess Harper has worked for Bardwell International for 10 years and has made multimillion dollar deals. She is very good at what she does, in work and...moreTess Harper has worked for Bardwell International for 10 years and has made multimillion dollar deals. She is very good at what she does, in work and in bed. And she has been in some beds she shouldn't have been in. It's a fast pace with high stakes and Tess has made some enemies. Some of them are trying to move her out of the industry and when the senior partner of the agency dies a mysterious and dramatic death someone decides that Tess should take the fall. Cosima Tate is now the partner in charge and she would love to see it happen. Tess has been planning to start her own agency. She thought this could be the time to go for it but will she get the chance? Will she have any clients left to take with her?
There's plenty of twists and turns in this back biting, yet humorous story of one woman's ambitions. In her world betrayal can sometimes get you farther than loyalty. Tess has done both.(less)
Waverly Bryson is newly single again. Her fiance left her at the altar, almost. Two weeks before their wedding he decided to call it off. "I don't thi...moreWaverly Bryson is newly single again. Her fiance left her at the altar, almost. Two weeks before their wedding he decided to call it off. "I don't think I love you anymore." Ouch. And he did it while she was trying on her wedding gown. Her "perfect" life came crashing down. After a year of social hibernation Waverly is trying to regain her footing in the dating world. Her supportive friends are trying to help but it never seems to work out right. It's one bad date after another. Her job in sports PR in San Francisco is not the career of her dreams. She has a new idea for her own line of greeting cards but could it work? Her family life is strained as well. The only time she hears from her father is when he needs money. Since he gave up his dream of being a baseball player to raise his only child after her mother died she can't escape the guilt. Or his open hand. To top it off, Aaron her ex, is getting married to a partner at his firm. And it's only been a year!
Chick lit fans will especially adore this book as I did. The characters were so interesting, I wanted to hang out with her friends and slap her dates. While Waverly is attempting to reorganize her life and accomplish her dreams she has to overcome her obstacles and fortunately all of this happens in a humorous way. When I laughed out loud I was hooked. And I am ready for the sequel! (less)
Patterson books always seem to be quick reads with plenty of action and this one was no exception. Detective Mike Bennett and his family of ten childr...morePatterson books always seem to be quick reads with plenty of action and this one was no exception. Detective Mike Bennett and his family of ten children are back from the previous book Step On a Crack. This time he is battling a house full of sick children and a maniac lose in N.Y. City. The Teacher has set his plan into motion and is on a killing spree, hunting down rude, obnoxious people who need to be taught a lesson. He is intelligent and fearless with no plans to stop. Mike has recently lost his wife and is struggling to care for his family and maintain a career. Now he is under even more pressure to catch a killer and time is running out.
The pages flew by and it was an easy read. I liked Mike as the main character and enjoyed the chapters that included his family and personal life. His children kept him busy yet grounded and helped him through the loss of his wife. I didn't care for The Teacher but he did provide action. His story wasn't believable and the ending was far-fetched but it was suspenseful. I don't seem to enjoy Patterson books as much as I use to but I still find them entertaining and probably will continue to follow this series.
I also got the audio version from the library so I could listen to it while I was driving. It was well done and the characters came to life. I liked switching back and forth between reading and listening and it was very convenient.
Thank you to Hatchette Books for a copy of this book.(less)
I have really struggled with this review. I've started it over and over again and I'm not exactly sure why. The book was interesting but it was also c...more I have really struggled with this review. I've started it over and over again and I'm not exactly sure why. The book was interesting but it was also confusing. The early chapters jumped into the action as Mari's grandfather died in her arms and she is forced to go on the run. She had been sheltered her whole life and never lived outside the swamps but now she must find Jaazaniah the Prophet. He is the hero of the bedtime stories that she listened to as a child. Jazz is a musician who plays his music wherever he can earn a paycheck. He has no idea that he in the mysterious prophet.
As more characters are introduced the chapters are told from their points of view. Again, there is plenty of action and suspense but it felt like the story splintered with each narrator and they weren't fully developed. It was an interesting plot but not very cohesive. I still had questions at the end but perhaps that was to allow for a sequel.
I also didn't realize this was Christian fiction which may have led to some of my confusion as well. I wasn't familiar with all of the references and bible passages although I thought they were incorporated into the story well and faith was one of the most important elements. Overall this was an intriguing story, it just wasn't for me.
Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers who provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Meet Lucy Valentine; sassy, fabulously original…and psychic. Lucy hails from a long line of matchmakers known as Valentine INC. According to family le...moreMeet Lucy Valentine; sassy, fabulously original…and psychic. Lucy hails from a long line of matchmakers known as Valentine INC. According to family legend, the Valentines have been blessed by Cupid with the ability to help couples find true love. Trouble is Lucy’s powers were zapped away by an electrical surge and now all she can find are lost objects. But what good is that in the matchmaking world? Lucy is about to find out when she tries to solve a murder and winds up falling into a romance of her own.
I thought I had posted this months ago but apparently I never did. What a bad way to treat a good book! This was an easy read that I really enjoyed. It has a nice mix of romance, mystery and humor with a twist of paranormal added to the mix.
This is the first book in a new series about matchmaker and psychic Lucy Valentine. The story is interesting but unpredictable and unfolds at a steady pace. A murder adds suspense and also brings a new man and adventure into Lucy's life. The characters are quirky, fun and have great chemistry. I truly enjoyed reading their story and look forward to more. This may have a Valentine's Day theme but it's great for any time of the year. It's the perfect book to take to the beach!
Thank you to Goodreads First Reads and LibraryThing Early Reviewers for an ARC of this book.(less)
This book got my attention because my nephews are five and ten years-old and love to read. Although this is just the book for them, I enjoyed it too!...moreThis book got my attention because my nephews are five and ten years-old and love to read. Although this is just the book for them, I enjoyed it too! Danny is a typical boy with a vivid imagination, a love of kung fu movies and he happens to be a dragon. When his best friend Wendall falls for the new girl Suki, Danny is more than a little annoyed. But she's not like the other girls and when an attempt is made by ninja frogs to kidnap her Danny and Wendall jump into action.
Whimsical cartoons fill this adventurous chapter book and are on almost every page. I liked the combination of text and comic book style illustrations and found it very entertaining. It certainly holds your attention as it's an important part of the story. The humorous situations at home, school and on their adventure appeal to adults as well as children, especially boys. It's been (more than) a few years since I've had to deal with cooties, protractors and writing on bathroom walls but it still made me grin. I also got quite a ninja education! This was a clever story with adorable characters and I look forward to the next book coming soon in this series Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-Weiner.
Thank you to Dial Books for providing an ARC for review.(less)
Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wonder if he’s...moreBenjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wonder if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town—with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how his dad has moved out and started living in the marina on what used to be the "family” sailboat. Maybe it would be nice if the school just stayed as it is. He likes the school. Loves it, actually. It’s over 200 years old and sits right on the harbor. The playground has ocean breezes and the classrooms have million dollar views…MILLION DOLLAR views. And after a chance—and final—run-in with the school janitor, Ben starts to discover that these MILLION DOLLAR views have a lot to do with the deal to sell the school property. But, as much as the town wants to believe it, the school does not belong to the local government. It belongs to the CHILDREN and these children have the right to defend it! Don’t think Ben, his friend Jill (and the tag-along Robert) can ruin a multimillion dollar real estate deal? Then you don’t know the history and the power of the Keepers of the School. A suspenseful six book series, book one, We the Children, starts the battle on land and on sea. It’s a race to keep the school from turning into a ticket booth and these kids are about to discover just how threatening a little knowledge can be.
I was thrilled to discover a new series by the author of Frindle (a favorite at our house) and was lucky enough to receive an ARC. Chapter One does dive into the drama and immediately grabs your attention. Benjamin is a very likable, smart young man who is already struggling with his own personal problems and now he must fight to save his school from demolition. Although this was a task thrust upon him he realizes the importance and the urgency and uses old fashioned detective work to begin deciphering clues left by a secret group sworn to protect it.
An interesting mystery starts in this first book but isn't resolved by the end and will carry over to the rest of the series. I enjoyed following the clues along with the characters although many of the sailing references were lost on me. Fortunately that doesn't matter! This is a story that adults will enjoy too. I look forward to following the adventure.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing an ARC of this book.(less)
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it...moreWhat if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.
I read the author's introduction for the First Look Club at Barnes & Noble where she mentioned that she intended for her audience to dislike the characters in the early chapters. She did her job well because I didn't care for Sam and her friends in the beginning. In fact there were members of the club who considered not continuing the book because of the girls' very bad behavior. But I could not put it down. Lauren Oliver did exactly what she had intended in that first chapter. She introduced us to Sam and her friends Elody, Ally and their "leader" Lindsay, senior girls at Thomas Jefferson High School. They are popular, pretty and selfish snobs who get away with anything and everything.
Sam tells her story from the moment she wakes up on Friday, February 12th. She shares all of the details of her day in school, the afternoon at Ally's house and the evening at a party. Since it's Cupid's Day, an early Valentine celebration, emotions are running high and Sam mentions a variety of interactions that occur that day. She and her friends are quite entertained when other students have hurt feelings and are more concerned with what they will be wearing to the party. Not all goes as planned and their irresponsible behavior leads to a tragedy. As Sam herself reveals in the first sentence of the prologue she is killed in that accident. And she wakes up the next morning to repeat February 12 all over again.
Sam is aware that it's the same day but it doesn't appear that anyone else is. Through her shock and confusion she muddles through the day and attempts to prevent her death. Some things can be changed but as the days go by she starts to realize that she may be focusing on the wrong things and the wrong people. Sam begins to see how her actions have affected and often hurt others. She tries to make changes throughout the day but it doesn't go as planned.
Lauren Oliver takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. I was fascinated with her insight and attention to detail. With each chapter Sam's changes had a ripple affect on others and the results would show up all throughout the book. A mention of something that appeared insignificant would often come to have great meaning later on. I would leaf back through the pages to find out how something had happened on a previous day so I could compare. It was like solving a puzzle, searching for clues. The characters were interesting and well developed. I was curious to know more about them and what led them to this day. In the first chapter it was easy to categorize everyone as the typical cliches - popular, jock, nerd, wallflower, but the first impressions were very deceiving. As the pages went by more layers were revealed.
It's likely you will think about the way you treat people after you finish the story. What mistakes would you correct if given the chance? This is a book that I will definitely be reading again. Congratulations to Lauren Oliver for what is sure to be a very successful debut novel.
Thank you to Barnes & Noble First Look Club for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
On impulse, Jenna Rosen leaves the party she and her real estate developer husband, Robert, are attending in Seattle, takes his BMW and drives north t...moreOn impulse, Jenna Rosen leaves the party she and her real estate developer husband, Robert, are attending in Seattle, takes his BMW and drives north to Bellingham. Again on impulse, she hops on the ferry to the Alaskan town where her Tlingit Indian grandmother lived and died. But there's more than impulse at work here: Jenna and Robert's 5-year-old son, Bobby, drowned in Alaska just two years ago, and something is drawing Jenna back to the scene. On the ferry, she's given a carved silver charm of a Tlingit spirit called a kushtaka, a stealer of souls. "Tlingits don't have good and evil," a local shaman explains, telling the story of how the spirit known as Raven gave the world the sun, moon, and stars by stealing them from someone else. As Jenna learns more about the kushtakas, helped by this very sophisticated shaman and an understanding fisherman, she begins to believe that her son's soul is being held captive by these spirits, as revenge for her husband's greed. Garth Stein's persuasive prose draws us into a book that mixes fantasy with tragedy and the natural human desire for closure.
I adored Garth Stein's book The Art of Racing in the Rain so I was eager to review this book as well. I have to admit that I wasn't sure if I would like it as much after I read the synopsis but when I began to leaf through it I was hooked. As a horror story this is a very different type of book but Stein is an excellent writer and storyteller. He brings all of his characters to life and creates a beautiful setting in the Alaskan wilderness.
Jenna is haunted be the loss of her son and is pain is palpable. She is in self destruct mode and risks losing everything when she returns to Alaska but she is searching for closure. With the help of a Shaman she is immersed in the culture and beliefs of the Tlingits. The fantasy was a bit confusing for me but the folklore was truly fascinating. The suspense kept me reading and longing for Jenna to be successful in her quest to rescue her son's soul. It was an emotional roller coaster but an amazing ride. I look forward to even more books by this author.(less)
After reading this author's middle grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles I was curious to see what this book would be about. She came up with another...moreAfter reading this author's middle grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles I was curious to see what this book would be about. She came up with another unique and interesting twist on a different reality. There are current cultural and pop references that let you know this is set in the present day but there's a magical, fairy tale twist. Wearing gloves is the norm to protect you from the dangerous touch of oily con men. They are classic bad guys, bullies who take advantage of the weak. Cassel is a teenage boy living a lonely, nonmagical life among a family of these bullies. His older brothers have many secrets and he suspects they've involved him and taken his memories.
The brothers and mobsters and characters you love to hate and I do admit that I didn't like them at all. Their behavior is selfish and dangerous and Cassel has been forced to do their bidding. Much of his past is a blur and we learn pieces of it as he does. He lives with enormous guilt from the murder and an overwhelming sense that there is much more to the story. His unusual roommate and crazy grandfather seem to be the only people he can turn to and they provide some entertaining moments.
The story is an interesting crime drama as well as a mystery. It felt slow as the beginning but the suspense increases and wraps up in a satisfying ending although the story is left open for more to be told. Cassel has only begun to learn about his past and the family's secrets. Book 2: Red Glove is due next spring and will carry on this dark tale. I will be looking for the next installment in the series.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for an ARC to review.(less)