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Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
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message 1: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Apr 11, 2013 09:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1) by Amanda Hocking
5 stars

Wendy is a 17-year-old girl who has had a very hard life. Her father died when she was 5, her mother tried to kill her when she was 6, and she has since been raised by her aunt and her brother. She's gone through life without making any close friends, partly due to her always feeling out of place no matter where she is and partly because of her temper.

Introduce Finn, the perfect cliche of the new boy in school: Good looking, paying a little too much attention to Wendy, and just a little on the creepy side. Wendy is confused by Finn's mixed signals, but she decides to give him a chance.

Wendy runs away with Finn and finds herself in a world she never dreamed existed. She went with Finn with hopes of a new life where she will fit in and belong, but it turns out not to be everything she's always dreamed of.

I really enjoyed that this book had different fairy tale creatures than what we usually see. The lives of the trolls was so complicated, at least to Wendy who did not know all of the rules and had to learn as she went, as no one really seemed to want to explain them to her. Throughout the book we watch her struggle to fit into this world where she is told she now belongs, but she really does not seem to fit in here any more than she had fit into her previous life. Basically this book reminded me of a fairy tale version of The Princess Diaries, and I really enjoyed it.

The ending was definitely a cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to read the next two books in the trilogy to find out what happens!

message 2: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Apr 11, 2013 09:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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Symphony of Blood A Hank Mondale Supernatural Case by Adam Pepper
3 stars

Hank Mondale is your typical wanted to be a cop, down on luck, drinks too much, in need of quick cash private investigator. Hank is desperate for work when he is contacted by Thomas Blake who wants to hire him to find the "monster" trying to kill his daughter.

Although I liked this book, I found it hard to connect with the characters. Hank is a typical cliche. We walked with him through a few days of his life, but we never really got to know anything about him. He wanted to be a cop, but could not because of something in his past, but we are never told what that was. Information like that would have given him more depth and helped us get to know him better. The rest of the characters are very superficial. None of them have any depth or background.

The monster is different in a good way, but we never really find out what it is. It was interesting to be able to get inside the monster's mind and see things through its point of view. That was a refreshing break from Hank's view, but I think this section was just too long. I did not like having to go back and review things we already knew. I think it would have done more for the story to have the monster's point of view dispersed throughout the whole story rather than one long section.

message 3: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Apr 11, 2013 09:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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The Finding (Law of the Lycans, #3) by Nicky Charles
5 stars

The Finding is the third book in the Law of the Lycans series by Nicky Charles. This book was definitely my favorite in the series.

This book picks up three years after The Keeping. You would think we would have missed a lot in that timeframe, but the author does a great job of going back and filling in details without it being tedious. This story is about Cassie who has run away from the only home she has ever known and is now basically in hiding, in fear for her life, from the werewolves. She has been helped by Kellan and is now living with him, trying to live a normal life while also struggling to keep her werewolf under control. Cassie is terrified of letting the wolf out, because she has seen first hand how dangerous wolves can be. Bryan, who has never given up his search for her, finds out where she has been living and goes to claim her under the law of The Finding, determined to make her part of the pack.

There was so much I loved about this book. First, I really liked that we got all the different points of view. I can see the progression of the author's writing from the first book in this series to this one. The author did a great job switching back and forth between multiple people without ever getting confusing or muddled. These books are a new take on werewolves from anything I've previously read. The pack dynamics are complex and very interesting.

I loved the complex relationship between Cassie and Bryan; her not wanting to love him, or even like him, but she cannot help herself, as her inner wolf is and has been in love with him for some time. I really liked the sweetness of their relationship; instant attraction but not automatically jumping into bed.

I really liked Cassie. Though she appeared weak and helpless on the outside, when it came down to it she stood up for herself and was able to take care of herself. She really was a strong lead character, struggling for so long to stay in control of herself, her wolf, and her surroundings without having anyone to really help her or know her inner struggles. ~ "She sighed in frustration. God, she hated standing around like some pathetic character in a romance novel." ~ I enjoyed watching Cassie struggle to control her wolf and ultimately live with it and even embrace it.

This book even had the surprise element of being a little tear jerky. Cassie's relationship with Kellan brought a new twist to the love triangle. She was not in love with him, and she knew it, but she did love him and felt a sense of duty to him because he had helped her for so long, and he was the only friend or family that she had. It was heart wrenching to watch her struggle to decide what was best for her and ultimately play out her decision.

One more thing I liked is that we got to see the previous characters again, too. It was fun seeing how their lives were now, a few years down the road from when we initially were introduced to them. I thought all of the characters were very well developed and written. They had such depth and background to them that we really got a sense of their personalities.

This book wrapped loose ends up quite nicely, but still left some open ends for a possible future book. I really hope there will be another book in this series. I would love to read more about Sam and Damien.

The only question I have is why is Nicky Charles giving away these books for free? I would have considered it money well spent to have paid for this series.

message 4: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Bridger (Bridger, #1) by Megan Curd

TITLE: Bridger by Megan Curd
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Bridger is a story Ashlyn, a 16-year-old girl who is just beginning to find out she is a little bit more than she ever thought.

The first few chapters of this book seemed to jump around a bit to me, and I was having trouble following. The book picked up after Ashlyn and her friend Jamie got to Ireland, and things started falling into place for Ashlyn. This is when the book really started getting interesting for me.

I liked the characters and thought they were written well. I would have loved to see a little bit more background on each of them to round them out a bit. It's the details like that that make a book, and I did not feel we got many of those details in Bridger.

There were a few things about the book that bothered me. First, while first chapter was done well where it portrayed her father's death, everyone just sort of seemed to forget about him very quickly. There did not seem to be much grieving; again we could have used more detail here. Another thing was Jamie. No one really seemed to be too concerned that this 16-year-old girl just disappeared. The book mentioned that she was on her own a lot, but do not you think her parents would have been looking for her after a while? The last thing was Reese. While I really loved his character and his relationship with Ashlyn, (and no, I am not one of those people who compares every book they read to Twilight), he seemed a little too "Jacob" to me. Many of his lines and actions were all too familiar.

Overall, I really liked this book, and it held my attention enough that I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

message 5: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Airel (The Airel Saga, #1) by Aaron Patterson

TITLE: Airel by Aaron Patterson and Chris White
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: This book is first and foremost about Airel, your typical teenage girl. She has a pretty good life, a good family, friends, and is a little shy. Overall, her life is pretty good. In walks the cliche: Michael. New boy in school, dreamy, and you cannot deny the attraction felt between the him and Airel. Even though I've seen this played out time and time again, the author keeps enough mystery surrounding Michael that we are not quite sure where he stands or what is coming. With their first meeting, Airel's life begins to change. Airel is forced to come to terms with these changes and admit that things exist in this world that she had never thought possible and also to discover a past that she didn't know existed.

I normally like having different point of views in a story, but in this case I really liked being in Airel's head. We get the story from the Airel's viewpoint, and she was quite funny and witty. I'm impressed that this book was written by a couple of guys, as they did an excellent job of portraying this teenage girl. I'm sure that was not easy to pull off, but somehow they did it!

There is also a second story line to this book, which takes place in 1250 B.C. and follows Kreios, a fallen angel. When we first are introduced to Kreios, his wife had just given birth and then shortly after died, and we follow him as he struggles to keep his daughter safe from those who are after them. I think the authors did a great job of integrating both plots. The transitions between the two stories were smooth, making it easy to follow each without getting lost or confused, again not an easy thing to do. At first I could not connect the two stories, each one seeming to be separate from the other, but in the end they are beautifully woven together.

I really enjoyed the descriptiveness of this book. The scenery, people, and emotions were described with such great detail, it was easy to visualize the settings and become absorbed in the characters. I cannot wait for the next book in the series!

P.S. I know it's been mentioned, but the cover is absolutely beautiful!

message 6: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... The Guardian's Kiss (Samantha Brand, #1) by Jamie Dougherty

TITLE: The Guardian's Kiss by Jamie Dougherty
RATING: 3 stars
REVIEW: The Guardian's Kiss is the story of Samantha, an ER intern, who loses her sister to deadly disease. Sam has secrets and certain abilities that most people do not know about. Sam is ultimately saved by Trent. She feels an instant attraction towards Trent, but also senses that he has secrets of his own.

What I liked about the story: I really liked the story line and think there is a lot of potential in this book. I liked occasionally getting Trent's point of view and actually would not have minded hearing from him a little more often. The story really picked up when H.B. was introduced. I liked his character and the tension created between him and Trent.

What I did not like about the story: The characters were not very well developed, and their personalities/characteristics were inconsistent. Example: Sam showed absolutely no remorse for either of her sisters when they died, and she left Barbara to run off with Trent with barely a second thought. Sam is supposed to work in an ER, which would be a very challenging, stressful job, yet any time she is faced with any kind of confrontation or conflict in the book she completely falls apart. Also, some back-story on the characters so we could have gotten to know them better would have been great.

The book that I read was an unedited version, so I really tried to ignore the many, many errors in the book. My suggestion to the author would be that, even though a book has not been professionally edited, to at least proofread it yourself or give it to a friend to look over before sending it out to be reviewed. It was really hard to read as is, and it really detracted from the story as a whole.

All of that being said, I think this book definitely has potential. After some editing and bringing the story into more focus, I would love to read it again.

message 7: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Hotblood (House of Slide, #1) by Juliann Whicker

TITLE: Hotblood by Juliann Whicker
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Hotblood is the story of seventeen-year-old Dariana. Dariana's brother, Devlin, had stolen her soul from her 10 years earlier. She had no idea of what had happened, of course, and thought he was the greatest brother for being so caring towards her, although the truth was he was barely keeping her alive. Dariana had gone through much of her life an empty shell. The story opens up on Devlin's funeral, and with him now gone, Dariana's existence was also going to be coming to an end.

Lewis, a Hotblood, watches Devlin's funeral from afar, for reasons unknown to him, and is inexplicably drawn to Dariana. He continues to watch her after the funeral, and they have an unexpected run-in in the woods. Neither of them knew this moment would change their lives forever.

The beginning of the story was filled with so much information and not enough explanation, although things eventually become clearer later on in the story. At first I was not sure what to think about this, but the more I thought about it, I realized we were seeing the world the way Dariana would see it. She had been living as a soulless shell of a person, almost unaware of her surroundings, and all of the sudden things were clear. She was confused, scared, and trying to make sense of things.

The characters in this book were fabulous! They were all very well developed. Dariana's life before was void of any emotion, and now it was fun to watch and get to know her as she was experiencing everything new. I really liked Lewis. He was such a complex character, and there was more to him than we initially thought. I loved Grim and Satan! Maybe we will get to see them more in a later book?

The author did a great job building the complex world in Hotblood. It was unique from anything I have ever read, which is very refreshing, and it was very entertaining.

message 8: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Blood Warrior (The Alexa Montgomery Saga #1) by H.D. Gordon

TITLE: Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Blood Warrior is the story of Alexa, a 17-year-old girl struggling to fit into her life. She has a seemingly crazy mother, a sister she would kill for, and a best friend who she knows will always be there for her.

Alexa’s life takes a crazy turn the night her home is attacked and she’s forced to run with her sister and friend Jackson, leaving her mother behind. Along the many twists and turns, Alexa comes to the realization that nothing is as it seems, even herself. Through this book we watch her inner struggle with herself as she comes to term with who she really is, as well as the outer struggles among the people who are supposed to be allies.

Blood Warrior is a captivating book. The characters are so well drawn, you cannot help but want to be happy for them, cry for them, and be upset when they are wronged. Alexa is a teenage girl who has always been a loner, never seeming to fit in, and she ends up with more attention then she ever wanted. Watching her character struggle throughout this book is heart wrenching. You cannot help but lover her and cheer her on. Nelly is such a sweet sister, and the strong bond between Alexa and Nelly is evident. Jackson…well, I love Jackson! He wears his heart on his sleeve and is so good to Alexa you cannot help but love him, too. As for Kayden…there is definitely a strong bond between Alexa and Kayden, but at this point she’s not sure she can trust him.

This book is the best .99 I have ever spent! I would have gladly paid more for it and felt it worth the money. I love the author’s writing easy writing style, the plot, and the characters. Blood Warrior was a page turner that left me wanting more. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to see where it takes Alexa and her friends.

message 9: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Before (Heven and Hell, #0.5) by Cambria Hebert

TITLE: Before by Cambria Hebert
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Before is a short story, the prequel to Masquerade. In Before we are introduced to Heven and Sam. Heven has the perfect life, looks, friends, guys…everything a girl could want.

Sam is in some kind of trouble, but we do not get to know enough about him to understand what kind of trouble it is. What we do know is that he is in love with Heven…but he should have stayed away.

This book is the perfect teaser to make you want to read Masquerade to find out what happens:

Instead of being a separate book, this would have worked great added on to Masquerade as a prologue.

message 10: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Masquerade (Heven and Hell, #1) by Cambria Hebert

TITLE: Masquerade by Cambria Hebert
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Before you read Masquerade, you need to read the short story prequel "Before" to see what Heven's life was like "Before." It is free for download from Smashwords and Amazon.

Masquerade is the story of Heven. Heven had the perfect life; she was pretty and popular, and everything was going her way. Then something happens, and her world is shattered. The Heven who once was is gone and what is left is a scared girl who is hiding from the world. She sees herself as a freak and lives an empty life.

Then Sam appears.

Sam comes into Heven’s life and changes everything for her. He makes her see that everything she thought was important is not. What Heven does not know is that Sam has been there all along, even Before. He has deep, dark secrets, the least of which is that he has been in love with Heven for a very long time.

I loved the characters in this story. They were very well written; you could not help but falling in love with them. It’s so easy to feel that you know them, and you hate to watch them go through their struggles, only being able to hope it will work out for them in the end.

I loved having the different points of view throughout the book. Seeing the story through both Heven’s and Sam’s eyes brought completely different perspectives to the story.

This story was well developed and easy to read. There were twists and turns to keep you want to keep reading and guessing. In fact, once I picked it up I did not want to stop reading! The world the author created in this book was fascinating, and I was left wanting more. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

message 11: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... The Crush by Elizabeth Lister

TITLE: The Crush by Elizabeth Lister
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: The Crush is the story of Jack and Michael. Jack is just looking to have some fun, not a serious relationship. Michael is a college professor and Jack's sister's crush. Jack and Michael are introduced by Amy, Jack's sister, and are instantly attracted to one another. But Amy has plans for seducing Michael herself. Ultimately, Jack and Michael decide to conceal their relationship from Amy, but when she finds out that they have been seeing each other behind her back, Jack must find away to repair his relationship with his sister.

I really liked the relationship between Jack and Michael. It started as just a fling but evolved into something so much more than they had ever expected. Their relationship was intense both physically and emotionally.

I was impressed that the author was able to pull out so many emotions in such a short story. The dynamics in Jack and Michael's relationship and Jack and Amy's relationship were amazing, and the characters were so much fun.

message 12: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... A Demon Made Me Do It by Penelope King

TITLE: A Demon Made Me Do It by Penelope King
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: A demon Made Me Do It was an engaging read that I found hard to put down. The story starts with Liora. During the day Liora is a high school senior, a loner with only one real friend. During the night, while Liora is sleeping, Lucky comes out to play. Lucky is a rough and tumble demon who lives for hunting and killing other demons, especially the ones who killed her best friends. Liora and Lucky share a body but are two completely separate individuals. Then Kieron shows up and falls for Liora…or is it Lucky?

The author did a wonderful job with the characters. They are very well written and have such unique personalities, especially Liora and Lucky. Liora is a human, and the author did a great job showing her humanity, innocence, and her desire to be "normal." Lucky is red hot and shows a tough exterior, but inside she is hurting just as much as Liora. Bones, Lucky's best friend, is funny and loyal to her. Lucky and Bones' relationship is heartbreaking, as they both want to be so much more than friends, but it seems like that is something that just cannot be. Kieron comes into the picture and falls for both Liora and Lucky. His character is a little more mysterious at first, and you have to wonder what he is hiding, but at the same time, you cannot help but like him, too.

The way you are drawn into these two separate worlds is amazing. Liora's world is a lonely place where she's just trying to get through high school. Lucky's world is full of demons, hell-hounds and vampires. The author created two very in-depth worlds in this book and did a great job of connecting them.

I loved that we got to see through both Liora's and Lucky's eyes, and the author did an amazing job of this without making things complicated or hard to follow. Throughout the book they were almost two separate people with two separate lives, even though they shared one body.

The only thing I really did not like about the book was the ending…it came way too soon! I was not ready to stop reading yet, so of course I have already picked up the next book. I cannot wait to find out what happens with Liora, Lucky, Bones and Kieron.

message 13: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 21, 2012 11:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Straight to Hell (Lilith Straight #1) by Michelle Scott

TITLE: Straight to Hell by Michelle Scott
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Straight to Hell is a witty, engrossing read that grabs your attention from the beginning. The book is about Lilith Straight, a down on her luck divorcee, who is struggling to balance the strains of being a single parent plus the additional stress of an immature adult sister and a troubled niece living with her. Right after we are introduced to Lilith and have been given a chance to get to know her, she dies. Lilith knows she was not perfect during her short life, but she was not prepared for where she ended up.

I loved Lilith's witty, sarcastic personality. It was so much fun to be inside her head. Throughout the book we watch her struggle with what she knows is right and what she feels she must do. The tough decisions she makes are always for what she feels is the greater good…her daughter. This is not a story of good versus evil, but more like bad versus worse, and Lilith does the best she can with what she has to work with.

message 14: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jan 30, 2012 08:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Fire with Fire by Penelope King

TITLE: Fire with Fire by Penelope King
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Fire with Fire is the second book in the Demonblood series by Penelope King. All I can say is wow. I received the first book in this series, A Demon Made Me Do It, for review, and as soon as I read the last sentence I immediately got on Amazon and purchased this book. I just was not ready for the drama to be finished. Unfortunately, now I have to wait until this summer to get my next fix.

Fire with Fire continues the story of Liora and Lucky. It picks up the story a couple of months down the road from where the first book had ended. Liora/Lucky is impatiently awaiting Kieron's return. In the meantime, Liora finds something akin to love in the new boy, Tristan, and Lucky is finding comfort in the arms of an old friend, Bones. But, things are not always what they seem, and soon Liora and Lucky have to figure out who it is they can really trust. When a series of attacks lead them and their friends into hostile territory, misplaced trust will take them on a journey that can only end in tragedy.

So, where to start? I love this story, but I'm not sure what to say without giving too much away! In this book Liora is still struggling with trying to be "normal" and getting through the last few months of high school. She finds comfort in Tristan, and even when concerns are raised about their relationship, Liora defends him, possibly alienating her one and only friend. At the same time, Lucky, having no idea what kind of trouble Liora has gotten herself into, is struggling to understand and control her feelings for her best friend, which is much more complicated with Kieron away. She is also really struggling with her own low self-esteem, putting the blame on herself for everything that goes wrong. Kieron…I'm not sure what to do with him. First you love him, then you hate him, then you love him, then you hate him…right now I love him, but we'll have to see where that goes in the next book. And then there is Bones. Hmmm…I'm not going to say too much about him, because I can't without giving away way too much information, but I love Bones so much! He's so sexy and sweet and caring and loving and cuddly…and did I mention sexy?! I love the whole idea of the past lives, that him, Liora/Lucky, and Kieron have crossed paths before. I'm really looking forward to the next book to see where that leads. It seems in this book that the whole love triangle problem is taken care of, but I suspect (or at least really, really hope) that someway, somehow we will see more of Bones in the next book (pretty please?).

This book, like the first in the series, was fast moving and unpredictable. There were moments when I thought I knew what was going to happen, and then…surprise! I was wrong, and of course what was written was way better than what I had came up with in my head. And the ending…another cliffhanger. The characters are so very well written that you just feel like you know them, whether it is to love them or hate them. They stick with you and make you want more.

The worlds the author has created are complex and unique. It's really amazing how you can have two separate worlds in this book that are overlapping and coexisting but yet not really interacting. I think the story idea in this series is so unique. Normally the demons are portrayed as the bad guys, but here that's not the case. When Lucky goes tormenting it is people who are breaking the law, usually against innocent people.

So, long story short, I love this series and cannot wait for this summer so I can read the next in the series. Maybe Ms. King will read this and take pity on my impatience and hurry up and get it written (please?)!

Love this!
(view spoiler)

message 15: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Feb 10, 2012 09:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Survival, YA Paranormal Romance (Book 1 of The Guardians of Vesturon) by A.M. Hargrove

TITLE: Survival, YA Paranormal Romance by A.M. Hargrove
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: This book was so full of emotion. I laughed, I cried (yep, really did), and then laughed some more!

The characters were well thought out, each with their own personality and each easily identified, which was important in the last chapters where we get different points of view all thrown in together. Surprisingly, the author did a terrific job with that, and it was not confusing at all. You always knew who was speaking all the time; that's sometimes hard to do.

The main character, Maddie, was fun and seemingly carefree, but she had some hurts to get past, namely losing her mom and dad, and really kept her emotions and feelings bottled up. She was so easy to like and so easy to relate to. I felt there were inconsistencies with Maddie's character, though, in that at times she seemed so strong and fiery, able to stand up for herself, and other times it was like she was the one from another planet and too immature for the character that had being built.

Rayn was sweet and caring, definitely a guy you could fall in love with. I loved reading from his point of view the best. He loves Maddie so much but is so conflicted over his feelings for her. In the end, you know that he would do anything for her.

I love having different points of view in a story, and Survival did not disappoint. The author did a great job of transitioning from one point of view to the next without being confusing. The only thing I really did not like was when we switched from Maddie's to Rayn's point of view for the first time we went back and had to re-read everything that had already happened all over again, this time from a different perspective. While that is not always a bad thing, I think that in this book it did not really change anything about the story or give us any new information, other than maybe show us Rayn's feelings for Maddie, which could have been done without going back so far.

One thing that was absolutely amazing in this book was the imagery. The descriptions of the scenery, the mountains, etc., was so beautiful, I wished I was there. The author did a great job creating this world, and even though I'm not a hiker, I could picture the mountains and trails in my head as I was reading.

I really enjoyed the author's writing style. It was simple and easy, which went well with the flow of the story. My only real complaint about this book would be…the end! I cannot believe we were left hanging! Good thing the next book in the series is now out!!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

TITLE: 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: I love how Koontz gives you so many details, sometimes too many details, even backgrounds on people who are not a big part of the story. In one paragraph you're learning their life story, in the next paragraph they're dead. But, it's details like this that make the story interesting, makes it real. Koontz has a knack for making his characters come alive, for better or for worse.

77 Shadow Street is a very complex book. It is not your typical Dean Koontz story (and I have been a fan for many years). The so many different points of views in this book just added to the complexity of the story. Also, a huge thanks for the building map in the beginning of the book. I repeatedly consulted it while reading to see where we were in the building during the story, trying to keep myself oriented.

The only thing I really did not like about this book was the little blurbs of "The One." They could have been left out of this story and we would not have missed them, and in fact, the story would have been better without them. They really did not add anything and you did not learn anything from them. They simply took up space.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher

TITLE: Storm Front by Jim Butcher
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: I did not actually "read" Storm Front, I listened to the audiobook. This was my first audiobook, and I am officially hooked. A lot of that might have had to do with the narrator…James Marsters did such an excellent job! I thought he sounded like the perfect voice for Harry.

Harry Dresden is a wizard, practicing openly out in public. He is having a hard time making ends meet, as most people think he's probably a nut or crazy, but a few know the truth. In Storm Front he is called upon to help solve both a gruesome double murder and a disappearance, which at first do not seem to be connected. However, as Harry soon learns, things are not always what they seem, and he must find the killer before the killer finds him.

There are so many things going on in this book, as the author has to introduce us to Harry's world, not the world as we see it, but the world of magic. It seems like it’s a very complex place with a whole different set of rules than our world. The author does a great job of introducing things a little at a time so as not to overwhelm us, but I am looking forward to learning more about Harry's world and the complexity of his magic in the next books in the series.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... The Very Thought of Him by Jessa Callaver

TITLE: The Very Thought of Him by Jessa Callaver
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: This short, steamy story is incredibly well written. Short stories, I think, are often so hard to write because it's hard to develop personalities and back stories that are necessary to hold a reader's interest in so few words.

The author did an excellent job in this story building the scene that we read and using descriptive language that helps you to imagine clearly what's happening. Dara's character is very well developed and fun.

There was also a nice little twist at the end that I was not expecting. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... A Bite's Tale (A Furry Fable) by Veronica Blade

TITLE: A Bite's Tale by Veronica Blade
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW:This book is absolutely the best twist on a fairy tale I have read! The story was fun, quick read. It was the Cinderella story being retold with enough twists and originality that it kept me entertained. The characters in this short story were so very well developed, each with their own unique personality.

Cydney is a young werewolf struggling to keep herself under control. Her biggest fear is hurting someone she loves. She knows how much this hurts, as it has happened before.

Remy is a prince who happens to be a vampire. He is longing for his one true love, who seemingly is lost forever. When his father tries to force him to marry, Remy is determined once and for all to find his lost love.

I love the author's take on the different supernatural creatures. Even in this short story each of the creatures are given distinct characteristics. I love that the author gave us details like these rather than just skimming over them. I also enjoyed reading the story from the points of view of both Cydney and Remy. Both are likeable characters, and it is fun knowing what both of them are thinking and feeling throughout the story.

This was a novella, and the ending was almost wrapped up and resolved too quickly. I would have loved to see this as a longer book and have more play to the reunion and the fight scene. Overall, I immensely enjoyed this story and would recommend it to everyone!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Undermountain by Eric Edstrom

TITLE: Undermountain by Eric Edstrom
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Undermountain had me hooked from the first page. The story begins with the journey of six kids and one adult who were on a hike in the Canadian Rockies. Their group is being chased by an unknown creature, and they are rescued by…bigfoot. Undermountain tells the adventures of Danny, Breyona, Em, Wa, and Shiv as they discover that sometimes myths and legends are true, and sometimes they are scarier than they ever imagined.

I really enjoyed the author's writing style. The book was well written, descriptive, and imaginative, and it kept me captivated from page to page. The story itself was quite original.

The characters in this story are very well written and seem so realistic. Each one is a unique individual with his or her own personality. I love that each of them was given a background story. It made me as a reader feel like I knew each one personally, which made them easy to relate to and added to the emotion of the story. Even Bronson, who is the guy you love to hate, had his own story. I kind of felt sorry for him at the end…sort of. I really enjoyed having the different points of views. Sometimes it can be difficult to transition from one person to the next with so many changes, but the author did an excellent job with this.

I fell in love with the bigfeet. Their society was so complex with many different levels. The author did such a great job of individualizing each bigfoot so each had his own individual personality. I liked that the author made their societal problems part of the story as well. In the end, even though they felt they were above the humans, it turned out that their society was just as corrupt as the human's was.

The book was long, but it never got dull or tedious. Each page brought something new, making you want to keep reading. The world building in this story was amazing, and I love the complexity of the plot with both the bigfoot and the tangoga. From one page to the next, you never quite knew whom you should be trusting, and the minute you think you know what is going on, another curve is thrown in to keep you on your toes. I am definitely looking forward to more novels from Eric Edstrom!

message 21: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Apr 03, 2013 09:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Winter Moon by Dean Koontz

TITLE: Winter Moon by Dean Koontz
RATING: 2 stars
REVIEW: I listened to the audio book of Winter Moon. I have been a Dean Koontz fan for many, many years. Winter moon is easily my least favorite Koontz book.

I love the premise of the story and the climax, once we got there, was fantastic. But getting there took way too long. The book moved very slowly. I felt way too much attention was spent on everyday menial tasks, which is quite boring to read about, or listen to in this case.

The book started out strong. Jack is a police officer in Los Angeles. The very first chapter starts with him and his partner getting into a shootout. From there, we go to Quartermass Ranch in Montana where we meet Eduardo. Eventually, Jack moves with his wife and son to Montana and live at Quartermass Ranch, which is when things start to get strange and the story starts to pick up. However, this is about three-quarters of the way into the book already.

I had considered more than once to stop listening and put the book aside, but because I am such a huge fan of Koontz I kept expecting it to get better. I guess they can't all be winners. I won't hold this against him. Still a huge fan, and looking forward to reading more!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... The Goat and the Heathen (2nd ed.) by Jessa Callaver

TITLE: The Goat and the Heathen by Jessa Callaver
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: This is the second book I've read by Jessa Callaver, and I loved it as much as the first! She has such a way with words; her descriptions are absolutely amazing.

The Goat and the Heathen is a short story about two roommates who agree to have a threesome, so the more bold of the two finds a guy and sets it up. Needless to say, things get hot and steamy and deliciously romantic.

As I said, the author uses amazing descriptions. It's so easy to picture what you're reading in your head. The writing is clean and very well developed. In writing short stories it's often hard to bring out personalities and get a complete story, but this author does an amazing job. I love the characters she creates. Aja is a little unsure of herself but willing to try new things, Olivia is obviously outgoing and fun loving, and Hayden is sweet and sexy.

I had always wondered about the title of this book…it seems rather odd. But, at the end of the book we get to find out the meaning!

I really hope Jessa will someday write a longer novel, or at least keep writing short stories! I will read everything she writes!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... I am Legend by Richard Matheson

TITLE: I am Legend by Richard Matheson
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: I listened to the audio book of I am Legend.

The main character, Robert Neville, for some reason not completely known to him, is the last living man. Everyone else has either turned into a vampire or has been killed by the vampires. Robert is struggling day by day to survive while at the same time trying to figure out why he alone was not infected like everyone else.

I loved how the author made this a post-apocalyptic vampire novel (and one quite original for its time…written in 1954), but the vampires are not the main focus of the story. In fact, Robert hears them at night and hunts them during the day, but they really are in the background, at least until towards the end. The story is really about Robert and his struggles with loss, despair, loneliness, and trying to keep his humanity in a world that is no longer human.

The other short stories in this book were good also, but I Am Legend was by far my favorite.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Meeting Destiny (Destiny, #1) by Nancy Straight

TITLE: Meeting Destiny by Nancy Straight
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Meeting Destiny is full of action, romance and suspense. I guarantee it will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more!

The book starts out with Lauren, the main character, getting shot during an attempted robbery at her job. One of the paramedics who respond to the call is Max. Lauren and Max feel an instant connection, but there are some complications that come in between them.

I loved, loved, loved the characters in this story. The author did such a great job etching them out and making them seem real. None of them are one dimensional, even the seemingly background characters. The author gives them expression that makes them easy to connect to. And, wow!, she has a way with dialogue. The conversations in the story never felt forced or fake.

Lauren is tough, smart, sarcastic, caring and loyal. She doesn't take crap from anyone while at the same time always standing up for what she knows is right, even when others may not agree with her. She has a deep concern for her friends and will stand behind them or stand up for them in any situation.

Seth is your typical boy next door and Lauren's long-time "boyfriend." He is so sweet to Lauren, and she loves him, but not like she knows she should. The author does a great job framing out their relationship and their feelings towards one another.

I'm completely in love with Max….I don't know what else to say about him. I love that the author didn't make him so perfect that he was not realistic. Max has his faults, but those things just make him all the more loveable. I really like the fact that even though Lauren and Max felt an instant connection they did not hook up right away. Their relationship was given time to develop, and they were given time to get to know each other.

So, that brings me to the end of the story…and seriously, you'll be running over to Amazon or wherever you buy your books for the next in the series! I'm already looking forward to find out what happens!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... The Perfect Game (The Perfect Game, #1) by John Hansen

TITLE: The Perfect Game by John Hansen
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: The Perfect Game is a new reality show (and who doesn't love reality TV), but in this particular show, the game is murder. Viewers can live vicariously through George, the show's star, and watch him live as he stalks his next victim.

This short story was very interesting and unique. The author did a great job in just these few pages of setting up creepy, suspenseful imagery of the TV show and of the people watching it, and there is a twist at the end that you might not expect.

The author has indicated that there will be more in the future based on this short story, and I am looking forward to reading that to see where The Perfect Game is going to be taken.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Sweet Blood of Mine by John Corwin

TITLE: Sweet Blood of Mine by John Corwin
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Justin Case is your typical nerd. After rescuing Katie, his long-time crush, from a bully, things are beginning to look up for Justin. But, after an unfortunate string of events, Justin "loses" Katie, what little social standing he had, and even his two best friends.

This is a book where no one is who they seem to be at first. Justin never quite knows throughout the story who his friends are, and he has to make the tough decision of who he can trust.

I love Justin. In the beginning of the book he was really just your average guy. Throughout the book, even though his whole world is going topsy-turvy, he still stayed true to himself and stands up for what he believes. I enjoyed watching him evolve over time, both physically and emotionally, throughout the story. He's an overall nice guy…definitely the kind of guy you want on your side in a fight.

I also love Elyssa. She seems so tough and unapproachable to Justin at first, but as he gets to know her he realizes she's just a person too…well, sort of. Elyssa has her own secrets and problems, but she, too, in the end decides that she has to stand up for what she knows is right.

Sweet Blood of Mine is a must read. John Corwin's writing style is seriously addicting and laugh-out-loud funny! I loved the humor in this book, and being inside Justin's head was so much fun. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed, #2) by Lara Adrian

TITLE: Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: I listened to the audio book of Kiss of Crimson.

Kiss of Crimson is the second book in Lara Adrian's Midnight Breeds series. The story is of Dante and Tess, and the chemistry between them is amazingly intense.

I loved the characters in Kiss of Crimson. Tess is a vet in private practice who cares very much her patients and their owners. Her character is very easy to like; she is stable and very self controlled with walls built up around her to keep others out. Yet, Dante, the strange, mysterious, and oh so sexy vampire, has a way of getting inside those barriers and eventually knocking down Tess's carefully built walls. I love Dante's "who cares" attitude towards everything, but when it comes to Tess, he immediately feels protective towards her and very unsure of himself around her.

I actually liked this book more than the first in the series. We were also introduced to some new characters, so I am looking forward to the third book to see where their stories are taken.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Angel Evolution (The Evolution Trilogy, #1) by David Estes

TITLE: Angel Evolution by David Estes
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Taylor is off to her first year of college where she meets Gabriel. Gabriel is a mystery to Taylor from the very first time she sets eyes on him, and she's immediately drawn to him and his mysteriousness. Gabriel is not what he seems though, and Taylor ultimately has to decide if she can trust him or not.

I love the characters. Taylor and Samantha had such contrasting characters but despite that, or maybe because of that, they were best friends. Gabriel and Christopher thought they were completely different, as different as angels and demons, but in fact they were actually trying to achieve the same goal. Throughout the book I never quite knew how to feel about Gabriel. His and Taylor's entire relationship was based on lies, and he told her so many lies that toward the end of the book he was not even sure what was a lie and what was the truth anymore. He seemed to be at war with himself about what he wanted and what he thought he should want.

I guarantee this book will keep you guessing to the end. Throughout the story you never know who you are supposed to be trusting. I love the different play on the angels/demons and am definitely going to be reading the next two books in the trilogy!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

TITLE: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: I listened to the audio book of Firefly Lane.

Firefly Lane is a novel about two girls, Tully and Kate, who become best friends despite their many differences. They meet when they are just 14 years old. Tully, the popular one, and Kate, the geeky one, both are secretly jealous of the other, wishing they had what the other one did. The novel takes us through their adolescence to adulthood, sharing with us memories, both good and bad, and how their friendship develops over the span of years, through thick and thin.

I honestly did not expect to like this book as much as I did. The author does a great job in getting into the character's heads. We do not get overloaded with unnecessary information, but she is still able to bring them to life and share their hopes, dreams, and insecurities in such a way that makes you fall in love with them. I loved that this book spanned so many years, and during each phase of the girls' lives there were references to pop culture, clothing descriptions, etc., that really brought the story to life.

This is a coming of age story of friendship, hardship, choices, and ultimately following your heart. This was my first Kristin Hannah novel, and I will definitely be reading more of her books.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Family Care (2nd ed.) by Jessa Callaver

TITLE: Family Care by Jessa Callaver
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Josie is spending her spring break babysitting for the Sharps, a new family in town. While by all outward appearances the Sharps seem to be the perfect family, up close Josie finds herself in the midst of a cold and distant home. Eventually, Josie finds herself in a difficult situation when she comes between husband and wife.

Family Care lived up to my expectations from this author. The story was steamy, hot, and definitely sexy. The author has such a talent for words. Her writing is vivid and descriptive. She is able to get inside the heads of her characters and she does such a great job of bringing life to her characters.

Family Care is the longest story the author has out to date, and as a result, it is more in depth and more developed than the others. I really enjoyed Family Care and am looking forward to more from Jessa Callaver.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James

TITLE: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: When Anastasia Steele is asked by her roommate and best friend, Kate, to do an interview with businessman Mr. Grey for a school magazine article for her after Kate comes down with the flu, Ana reluctantly agrees. What she did not expect was to be attracted to the young, hot, sexy Christian Grey. What Ana finds in Christian is so much more than she could have ever imagined in her wildest dreams…or nightmares.

I loved the witty banter back and forth between Ana and Christian. Between their conversations and their emails, I fell in love with them as a couple. I love Christian. He is so hot and sexy…but he definitely has his issues. I was really hoping that by the end of the book we would have been able to find out a bit more about him, but he keeps himself so closed off. Hopefully we will see more insight into his personality and his "needs" in the next two books.

The only real issue I had with this book was Ana herself. First, she seemed too innocent to me. A 21-year-old virgin is not hard to imaging, but a 21-year-old who knows next to nothing about sex, even though she has a loud and mouthy roommate who does not seem too concerned about spilling the beans about her escapades. While most of the time I enjoyed being inside her head…Her inner goddess was my favorite…she was really ambivalent about things, especially her feelings. She just did not seem to know what she wants. On one hand I can see her warring with her desire for Christian and her fear of his "needs," but on the other, she knew from the beginning what she was getting herself into (I mean, he actually wanted her to sign a contract…how much clearer does that get?), but she just kept hoping and dreaming and in the end was surprised and heartbroken when she did not get what she wanted.

Anyway, overall I loved this book. I thought it was quite well written, the dialogue is very well put together and fun to read, and the sex scenes are…oh my…hot, hot, hot. I can't wait to get started on the next one!!

message 32: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Apr 02, 2012 08:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2) by E.L. James

TITLE: Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: The second book in the Fifty Shades trilogy drew me in and kept me captivated just as well as the first. James is such a great storyteller; she weaves a tale that sucks you in and leaves you wanting more.

The story picks up right where the first book left off. Christian and Ana have been apart for a few days, and both are miserable. I hated (and loved) watching them struggle so much to be together and stay together. There are so many layers to their relationship, it was heart wrenching to watch them try to pick through them all. Where the first book focused on the more playful side of their relationship, Fifty Shades Darker focused more on them getting to know each other and struggling to work out their differences, mainly Christian's overwhelming need to control and Ana's struggle to keep her independence.

I love Christian and Ana so much. They are my new favorite couple. Their relationship is undoubtably flawed, but maybe that's why it's so irresistible. In Fifty Shades Darker, Ana struggles to handle her overwhelming feelings for Christian while trying to learn more about his past and why he is the way he is, helping him as he struggles to come to term with emotions and feelings he's always been able to control by simply burying before.

There is so much going on between Ana and Christian. There is so much more than just their steamy, hot sex. The romance weaved through the story is amazing. You can see how much Christian loves Ana even through his completely messed up mind. I loved in this book we got to see so much more of Christian than just his controlling, overbearing self. We got to see more of his romantic, boyish side, and I absolutely fell in love with him (all over again). Just like the first book, I loved the witty back and forth batter between Ana and Christian. Their conversations and emails flow so easily and are fun to read.

My only real complaint (as with the first book) was that I did get tired of hearing how not good enough Ana thought she was. Christian had problems and was understandably messed up, but Ana was just annoying with her repetitive thoughts of self-worthlessness and doubt.

These books are very well written. The whole story flows easily and is easy to read. There is so much emotion to the story, you feel like you're on a rollercoaster, and the author does a great job bringing that to the pages through the description of the character's facial expressions and body language.

message 33: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Apr 09, 2012 08:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Resurrection (The Guardians of Vesturon, #2) by A.M. Hargrove

TITLE: Resurrection by A.M. Hargrove
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Resurrection is the second book of The Guardians of Vesturon series. I actually enjoyed the second book in this series even more than the first. The development of the story and the characters came together well, and I loved the progression of the story.

Resurrection picked up right where the first book, Survival, left off. Maddie was seriously injured and needed immediate help. The only way to help her and keep her alive was to break all the rules (again) and bring her to Vesturon to be healed.

I love the world building in this story, as we got to see more about Rayn's home, Vesturon. The author did a great job creating this world for us and describing it in such a way that it could really be a real place. I also love the descriptiveness of the book overall.

I love the character development from the first book to the second. The characters we were introduced to and loved in Survival are back again. I love that we got to watch them grow and mature as they go through their struggles and learn more about themselves. I really liked reading about the romance between Rayn and Maddie. It was not too rushed, and you could feel the connection between them.

Resurrection has plenty of action to keep you entertained and enough mystery to keep you reading to find out what happens next!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Dreams of Darkness by Barry James

TITLE: Dreams of Darkness by Barry James
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: To say that Jordan is having a bad day is a bit of an understatement, I think. Jordan is having an epically bad day to top all others. Without going into detail and giving anything exciting away, he loses his girlfriend, his cat, his house, oh yeah, and his life, all in one evening. Jordan is about to discover that his life (or death as the case may be) has much more purpose than he ever imagined.

I have been a fan of the horror genre for many years, and this book did not disappoint. The writing style was amazing with such attention to detail that it was easy to picture in your head what was going on. The descriptive language used by the author was equally amazing, describing in detail the creatures, surroundings, etc, and the dialogue was wonderfully written and not forced as can so often be the case.

The characters in the story were very well developed, from Jordan, who is the underdog but stronger than he ever realized, and an overall likeable guy, to Lord Ackerman who is the kind of guy you love to hate. Of course throughout the whole story you're rooting for Jordan not only because of the unimaginable that would happen if he lost, but also because he's exactly the kind of hero everyone wants in a story.

There was so much going on in this book with the plot, which, by the way, was different from anything I've read lately, and the author did a great job leaving you wondering what was going to happen next. I kept imaging I knew what was going to happen as I read, but it turned out I was always wrong, and the author's version was way better than anything I had come up with!

I would recommend this book for anyone who loves horror, and would even go so far as to recommend this book to any fans of Stephen King. I will be eagerly watching for more from this author.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Believe Like a Child by Paige Dearth

TITLE: Believe Like a Child by Paige Dearth
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Believe Like a Child is the story of Alessa, a young girl who has been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her whole life. The story starts out right in the first paragraph when Alessa was 7 years old and is being raped by her uncle. We get to watch her over the next few years as she grows up so we understand her background and where she's coming from so that later in the story we can maybe empathize and understand some of the decisions she makes throughout her life.

I'm not quite sure where to even start with this book. I knew just from the book description that this would not be a light, easy read, and boy was I right. It was an emotional rollercoaster, going through each and every emotion you could possibly think of with such rapid succession at times it made my mind spin. At times this book had me laughing out loud, and the next chapter over I would be in tears. It was an engrossing read that I found hard to put down. I just had to know what was going to happen next.

The characters were amazingly written. Alessa was so easy to love as a person. There were times I just wanted to be able to reach into the book and hug her or help her or just tell her it was going to be okay. Watching her go through her struggles and making the decisions she did sometimes based her low self-worth was heart wrenching, and the ending…wow! Definitely not what I thought was going to happen. I won't say anything else about it here because there's nothing I can say that won't give too much away…I'll just leave it at wow!

The third person narrative really worked in that we got to see so many different perspectives, some just for a short time, but those were times where there were things that we really needed to see from a different perspective. As I was reading the book, I was pretty sure I was going to give it a four-star rating rather than five-star, simply because the dialogue did not flow as nicely as I would have liked it to. It seemed just choppy and not realistic, but the more I read the easier it got to read and I did not notice it as much. It also seemed to fit it well with the overall feeling of the story.

The only thing that I was questioning is the time setting of the story. I would love to know what year this is supposed to be set in. Most of the time I thought it was pretty current, as the characters had cell phones and there were other things to make me think that it was a contemporary setting, but at the same time minimum wage was only $3.35, which confused me.

The topics in this book are not things that are usually written about openly and candidly. I think that is one of the things I enjoyed so much about Believe Like a Child, the frank and genuine openness of it. Overall, I enjoyed this story very, very much and am glad I had the opportunity to read it.

message 36: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited May 31, 2012 06:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3) by E.L. James

TITLE: Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Fifty Shades Freed is the third and final book in the Fifty Shades trilogy. I can say that with four stars, it was easily my least favorite of the three.

What I loved about this book:
Ana was undoubtably a strong female character. I loved the growth that we saw out of her from the beginning of the series where she was, in my opinion, sort of wishy-washy. In the third book she was able to undoubtably stand up to Christian and fought to keep him and help him through his struggles. I loved that she fought back for what she wanted rather than simply giving in to him or running away.

I also loved that this book had so much more action than the first two. Where the first two were more focused on Ana and Christian and their relationship, even though this one was as well, we still got a little bit of outside action, which made things a little more exciting.

What I did not love about this book:
I didn't like the flashbacks in the beginning. I understand the reasoning for them, as without them the story would have had to drag on forever trying to cram all of that information in, but I felt they took something away from the story and I was left wanting a little more.

Overall, I love, love, love this series and really would not have minded having another book, or two, of Christian.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Love hurts The killing of Rose (Love hurts, #1) by Holly Hood

TITLE: Love hurts: The killing of Rose by Holly Hood
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Love Hurts is the story of Sam and Frankie, brothers who happen to be incubus. In the traditional role of the incubus, their purpose in life is to find women to have sex with and feed off of their essence…and then kill them. When Sam falls in love, he tries to fight his true nature so he can be with the woman he loves.

I'm really not sure if we are supposed to like Sam and Frankie, since they're the bad guys in this book, but I loved everything about them. I felt both characters were written well. Sam feels like he is a monster for what he does, and it is easy to feel sorry for him. He hates Frankie's carefree attitude, but Frankie just wants to have fun. I loved the dynamics of their relationship, and although Frankie seemed completely carefree, I think he was caught off guard by Dylan and maybe even had feelings for her, although he doesn't want to admit it. I really liked Dylan's character and hope we get to see more of her and Frankie's relationship in the next book.

As for Rose and Delaney, I found them harder to connect with, and as such, I didn't really like their characters much. Since Rose is the title character, I expected her to play a larger role in the story. I would have loved to know more about her, maybe have some background information written in for her. I was left with so many questions about her that I was a bit disappointed by the end of the book. I wanted to know why she did what she did, i.e., not telling about Sam, why she didn't like change, settling for a mundane life she was not happy in. I started out liking Delaney, but by the end of the book I had changed my mind about her. Again more information would have been helpful, such as why she forgave Sam went back to him. I assume it's because he is an incubus and females are just automatically attracted to him, but we're never told. It could be that she's just a stupid female character, and that's what I left with at the end of the book.

As for the plot and the book in general, I really loved the story. I thought it was well thought out and well written. The version of the book that I read was in bad need of editing, mostly grammatical errors, but I'm assuming that will be fixed in the next edition, and if you are able to overlook that, this is definitely a story you want to read. It's not really your typical happily ever after love story, which was a nice change. I will most definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series, especially after the way we were left hanging at the end!

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Ink (Ink, #1) by Holly Hood

TITLE: Ink by Holly Hood
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Hope moves out to California with her father and brothers after her parents' divorce. Having a hard time making friends and fitting into the rich and snooty town, Hope meets Slade and Tucker, two guys from completely different worlds. After she starts spending time with both Slade and Tucker, Hope's life takes a dangerous turn, and she has to decide which one of them she can trust…possibly with her life.

I loved the characters in this story. They were very well written, and you felt like you got to know each one personally. Hope is an overall likeable person. I thought the author did an excellent job getting inside her head and describing her hopes, feelings, desires, and reasonings for doing the things she did. Slade was dark, mysterious, and sexy…an excellent combination. I would have loved to have his tats described in detail so I could imagine better what he looks like. Tucker is…well confusing. Throughout the whole book you are not sure if you are supposed to love him or hate him. Obviously, Hope felt the same way. I like how the author was able to make him so open and friendly and yet so mysterious at the same time.

I really loved the storyline. It was very different from the usual boy meets girl sort of thing. I really hope in the second book we get to see more of Oz, Kidd, and the rest of Slade's family. They seemed really interesting. The only thing that really disappointed me about this book was the ending. While I enjoyed how the story played out, I thought it was wrapped up maybe a little too nicely. I know the next book in the series is coming out in a few months (and I can't wait!), but really the way this book ended it could be a stand-alone. It would have been nice to have a bit more of a cliffhanger to keep the reader on the edge.

Ink is the second book I've read written by Holly Hood, and she has quickly made it to my favorite authors list. I love her writing style and the stories she brings to life.

message 39: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Apr 21, 2012 06:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Brave Fish Identity, Love, Faith by Vincent H. Chough

TITLE: Brave Fish: Identity, Love, Faith by Vincent H. Chough
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: "For anyone who seeks courage despite their frailty... there is Brave Fish."

Brave Fish is the personal story of the author, Vincent Chough. As the title suggests, it is a story of finding one's identity, love and faith. The story goes through Vincent's teenage years and the struggles that are associated with that, then his early career as a physician, and eventually as he leaves his career to try to find his real purpose in life.

I enjoyed Vincent's story. His writing style was open and honest. The book was engrossing, and the use of descriptive language was wonderfully done.

Brave Fish is a story of encouragement and overcoming life's difficulties. I'm glad that the author felt the need to share his story and that I had the chance to read it. I really enjoyed reading about Vincent's struggles and the outcome as he overcame his past and discovered where he wanted to be in life.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Shades of Grey by Michael Cargill

TITLE: Shades of Grey by Michael Cargill
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Shades of Grey is a collection of three short stories, each dark and unique.

The first story in the collection, Shades of Grey, is told from the perspective of John, a UK government agent. The story takes place in John's mind as he is tied to a chair, and we get to see where his thoughts take him as he waits to be questioned by an unknown captor. The author did an excellent job getting into his character's mind, and I found myself really liking John. The humor sprinkle throughout the story was great and had me laughing out loud a in a few places.

There and Back Again is the story of James, a young man in the British Army during WWII. The story was well written and very detailed. I loved the emotion the author was able to evoke through this short story.

Down the Rabbit Hole, the third story, was by far my favorite. Tom is a young boy with a loving mother, an abusive father, and a dark secret. This story was much darker than the first two, and I loved the way it was played out.

message 41: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Apr 30, 2012 07:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Children of Steel by John Van Stry

TITLE: Children of Steel by John Van Stry
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Raj is a genetically engineered leopard-man created to work for large corporations and do their dirty work, the kind of stuff that humans typically don't want to do. He works on a ship in space, trying to pay of his 'debts' of creation. Yep, you heard me. At the time of their graduation from an extensive training program (typically at 15 years), the engineered "animen" are charged with the cost of their creation, upbringing, education, training, and pretty much anything else that the humans can think of.

This story is told through Raj, who I absolutely loved. The author did such a great job creating his characters. He was able to put so much depth and feeling into each of them that you felt like you really knew them. Raj is the kind of guy you definitely want on your side and definitely do not want to piss off. He was a really good guy, friendly, playful, loyal, and caring, but also had a very bad temper that he was trying to fight throughout the whole book, on top of the fact that he was in the large cat family, who are typically not known for their peaceful nature. I thought the author did an excellent job of bringing these two sides of Raj together and balancing them effectively so that we got to distinctly see each side of his personality.

I loved that this story was told through a male point of view (Raj's), as you don't really see this too often, and the story was told really well. The writing was smooth and easy to read, and the conversations flowed well.

The descriptiveness and world building of the book was amazing. The author did such a great job of describing each of the planets that Raj visited in amazing detail, from their people, to the climate, to the rules governing each planet; it was as if each of these places were real. The technical descriptions of the ship and day to day operations were done equally well.

About halfway through the story, I was really curious as to what Raj looked like, so I got on Google and found a picture that could be similar to him, although I believe Raj is supposed to be black and I couldn't find any pictures of black leopard men. (By the way, I don't suggest you Google 'leopard man;' some of the pictures that come up are a bit…disturbing!)

Long story short, I loved this book and the author's writing style, so thank you to John Van Stry for offering me your book!

On a final note, and I debated on whether or not to bring this up in my review but decided that it was warranted, the book does need some editing for grammatical issues (apostrophes, commas, etc.). While it wasn't enough to really detract from the story, it did recur enough that I felt it should be mentioned.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... ReVamped (Angel Creek, #1) by Ada Adams

TITLE: ReVamped by Ada Adams
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Sent to the small town of Angel Creek to train four new vampires to become guardians of the town, Dawn thinks she has been given a pretty easy assignment. Her assignment, however, turns out to be not so simple when she meets her trainees, and the longer Dawn is in Angel Creek, the more she realizes she is in for more than she bargained for.

Revamped gives us a different take on vampires from the usual. I enjoyed the way they were portrayed in this book and loved the humor throughout the story. The descriptiveness of the story was wonderful and imaginative, and the characters were well written. The author did an excellent job of creating her characters and getting inside their heads.

Dawn was a great character and easy to connect with. The only thing I really did not like about her is that I found her character to be inconsistent at times. She was trained to be this great warrior, the greatest in fact, but at any sign of trouble she just seemed too indecisive and weak. I loved the 'misfit' vampires. The humor they brought to the book was great. I also loved Ethan and Sebastian. There was some romance sprinkled into the story, but it is not really a big part of the story.

There were some great twists to this story that you would never have imagined coming. Overall it was an enjoyable read.

message 43: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited May 06, 2012 07:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Black Oil, Red Blood by Diane Castle

TITLE: Black Oil, Red Blood by Diane Castle
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Chloe Taylor is a small-town lawyer who is in the middle of a lawsuit with Big Oil. When her expert witness turns up dead a day before the trial, Chloe begins to realize there may be more to the case than she originally thought. Enlisting the help of detective Nash and her paralegal, Miles, to help her with the case, Chloe quickly realizes that is in over her head.

The first thing that drew me into this book right away was the author's writing style. It is neat and clean, and the story flows smoothly. The second thing that drew me in was the characters. I loved Chloe's sarcastically funny personality, which made it really fun to be in her head. I also enjoyed Nash (the strong and silent type, *swoon*) and Chloe's reactions to him and Miles…Oh, how I love Miles!

Though this book was about a serious topic, the author did such a great job at making it fun to read. There was, of course, a lot of legal information in the story, but the author did an excellent job of making it understandable to the average person. I also liked that we got some inside information on the case in the form of other key player's points of view once in a while. It made the plot that much more interesting.

This book was an edge-of-your-seat type of read, and it had everything you could want from a great mystery/thriller, including greed, corruption, murder, conspiracy, coverups, and of course the sexy good-guy detective and a heroine who fights for justice, all sprinkled with wit and humor.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Deadly Addiction (Deadly Vices, Book 2) by Kristine Cayne

TITLE: Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Deadly Addiction has everything you could want in a great book – suspense, romance, an oh so sexy alpha male, a kick-ass female lead…and so much more! I'm not even quite sure where to start with this because I just loved everything about this book.

The characters were written exceptionally well. The author has a way of getting inside of the heads of her characters that is nothing short of amazing. I loved the relationship between Alyssa and Remi from their very first meeting. The flirting was fun, the chemistry was hot, and the sexual tension was done in a way that left you always on the edge waiting for what was going to happen next!

Alyssa is a cop trying to salvage her career after questionable tactics while working undercover. She is sent to the Iroquois reserve on an "easy" assignment to help set up a group of native officers to police the reservation. Alyssa is trying to put her past behind her but is finding out that it is not such an easy task. Remi is half white/half Indian. He has struggled his whole life to try to fit in and has had to overcome many hardships from his childhood. He fights for what he knows is right while at the same time fighting for freedom for his family and his race. The crazy thing about this story is that everyone was doing what they thought was the right thing for the greater good. Even Chaz was doing what he thought was best to help his people.

There was so much conflict and complexity to the story. The humor laced through was great, and the sex scenes were hot!! Deadly Addictions is one of those books where after you've read a few chapters you're hitting your forehead and asking yourself why the hell you hadn't picked it up sooner!

message 45: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Midnight Awakening (Midnight Breed, #3) by Lara Adrian

TITLE: Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: I listened to the audio book of Midnight Awakening. I really enjoyed the narrator, Hillary Huber. I think she does a great job reading and getting emotions through in the story.

The third book in the Midnight Breed series was my favorite so far. I loved the story of Elise and Tegan. Elise has so much loss to bear and is out on the streets trying to get vengeance for her husband and son, even though it is costing her dearly. Tegan is dealing with his own pain and is possibly the only one who can understand and help Elise with her loss and help her to harness the gift that is destroying her. Tegan has kept his perfect self control and distance in his heart for hundreds of years, mainly so he does not have to deal with his own emotions. But while helping Elise, his struggle to maintain a grasp on his self control becomes harder and harder.

Tegan is my favorite sexy bad boy so far in this series. He is strong, mysterious, and distant, yet as him and Elise come together we start to see a whole other side of Tegan…while no one would ever call him soft or romantic, he is exactly what Elise needs. Even though she has always been taught that the breed warriors were dangerous, she brings out the best in Tegan.

I loved that Elise was seen as so weak to others but had such inner strength that it showed through and even Tegan could not help but to admire her and her actions. She is definitely a kick-ass heroine, doing what needs to be done even though it's not easy.

Definitely looking forward to the next in this series!

message 46: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Pandora's Key (The Key Trilogy, #1) by Nancy Richardson Fischer

TITLE: Pandora's Key by Nancy Richardson Fischer
RATING: 4 stars
Pandora's Key starts out as two different stories. Evangeline's story and Malledy's story. Both are equally captivating and fun to read. Evangeline's life completely changes on her 16th birthday. After going from somewhat awkward teen to someone she hardly recognizes in a mirror, what was supposed to be a special day turns into a nightmare. Nothing makes sense anymore to Evangeline and she has no on to turn to for help…no one she can trust anyway. Malledy is a superintelligent man with a disease that is slowly killing him. He is looking for something that will cure him, and he is willing to go to any lengths to get his hands on that something.

When the two stories finally merge, it was like nothing I would have expected. People weren't who they seemed to be, both for Evangeline and for Malledy. Evangeline gets to the point where she just does not know who she can trust anymore, so she ends up trusting no one, while Malledy did not really seem to trust anyone from the beginning, with good reason.

The characters were great. Evangeline is your normal awkward teen and easy to like as a main character. Her character was well balanced in that she was not so beautiful and popular that you wanted to hate her, yet she was not so down on herself that you got tired of her wining. I think that's a hard balance to create when writing about teen girls, but the author managed it here. Malledy I think we did not get to know quite as well, but we did get to see his motivations and his way of thinking.

I loved the mythology background to this story. I loved that the author was able to take such a well known piece of mystery and create a unique story to go with it. It was fresh and entertaining, and I guarantee you'll be left guessing about what's coming next until the very end.

message 47: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Straight to Heaven by Michelle Scott

TITLE: Straight to Heaven by Michelle Scott
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: The second installment in the Lilith Straight series did not disappoint. Just as Lilith thinks she has things under control as a succubus, her world once again is pulled out from under her. After a run in with an angel bent on keeping her from succeeding on her current task and a contest against oh so yummy William about who will complete the task first, Lilith has to get creative in order to achieve her goal.

I love the take on Angels and Demons in this series. It's a different twist than the usual. Even though Lilith is technically a demon, or at least has one living in her, everything she does is for a greater good. She does what she has to do to survive and keep her daughter safe even if she does not necessarily like it.

I really liked that we got to see more of Ariel and her situation in this story. I really caught myself feeling sorry for her as the story progressed and I was glad that Lilith was there for her.

I also loved the humor in this book and actually caught myself laughing out loud a few times while getting strange looks from my family. I cannot wait to see where this story goes with Lilith and her new tricks, William and his newfound feelings, Tommy and Jasmine.

message 48: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1) by Julie Kagawa

TITLE: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: Allie is a human living in post apocalyptic America after a plague wipes out over half of the population and vampires take control. She and her gang of friends struggle every day just to not starve to death on the streets. Allie hates the vampires with everything that she is, until she is attacked and forced to make the choice between life and death. Choosing life, she then has to learn to come to terms with what she has become and try to figure out how to keep her humanity.

I loved this book for many reasons…First, I really liked Allie. She was a tough street girl who knew what it took to survive, yet she had a soft side to her, always helping out those around her. In a world where even humans had lost their humanity, Allie was struggling to try to keep hers.

I loved the descriptiveness of the book. The author really does a great job weaving Allie's tale and painting a picture of the world she lives in. I really liked the way Allie described everyday things that she hadn't seen before because they don't exist in her world…motorized bicycles (motorcycles) and winged mice (bats). Through the whole story the author described each setting, whether it be a run down, long forgotten farmhouse or a deserted paved road, with such feeling and intent.

I also loved the romance aspect of the story. There wasn't much romance to the story, which is a good thing (see below), but what was there was done well. I really liked that the story was from the POV of the vampire falling for a human. Most books are written the other way around, and it was a nice change. I liked that Allie and her love interest didn't fall in love instantly and were very cautious with their feelings.

Here's the 'see below.' The author did such a great job framing out Allie's character. In the beginning of the book I was rooting for her to survive, then after she turned and was alone I felt sorry for her, then after she met up with Zee's group I was glad that she had friends, and then later I was sad for her again. It makes for a great story when you can connect with the characters so much that you feel for them. I think a romance really would have ruined the story, as Allie wouldn't have felt like such a loner if she would have been able to make it work out. As it was, she was a very new vampire and trying to learn her limits, and she knew that falling for a human was out of the question.

In the end, Allie did what she had to in order to survive and keep her humanity intact. I liked the way things ended but am waiting very anxiously for the next book….which I will be buying the day it's released!

message 49: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited May 29, 2012 07:11AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Eden by Keary Taylor

TITLE: Eden by Keary Taylor
RATING: 4 stars
REVIEW: Eve doesn't remember the time before the Fall. She showed up in Eden with the clothes on her back and has lived there since. The people of Eden were her family, yet she somehow always knew she was different from them. Eve was tougher than most and unemotional but couldn't quite figure out what it was that made her different…and then West showed up.

I liked the author's writing style and the development of the characters. Eve was pretty easy to like.
She did some stupid things when it came to West and Avian, but she was also trying to figure out her place in the world and why she felt different from everyone else. Throughout the story she had to deal with her newly developing emotions and feelings and she really didn't know how. She was a strong female lead and caring and loyal to her friends.

Avian and West were great characters as well. Avian was the strong, steady one who had always been there for Eve. West was the new guy who made her feel things she had never felt before and didn't understand. This story really should be labeled as romance. The whole book was about the love triangle between Eve, West, and Avian, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. There was no instant falling in love; it was a slow developing process that was weaved through the book. I really liked how the author was able to explain Eve's feelings for both West and Avian in such detail so that we got to understand her decisions throughout the story and had dialogue between them as well so they understood where they stood most of the time. A lot of times in stories the characters don't really communicate, and I hate that; people talk in real life, people should talk in books.

The apocalyptic world the author created was pretty unique. The world had basically been taken over by cybernetics gone crazy, turning people into killing machines. This book wasn't super fast paced but it was enough to keep you interested and wanting to keep reading.

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I JUST FINISHED READING... Fix by Force by Jason Warne

TITLE: Fix by Force by Jason Warne
RATING: 5 stars
REVIEW: If I was could sum up this book in one word, it would be WOW (capitalized for effect). This is an incredibly powerful story chock full of emotion and drama.

Spencer is a high school senior who feels insignificant and powerless. He comes from a dysfunctional family, including a verbally and occasionally physically abusive mother, and he is being bullied at school with no one to turn to for help. Spencer feels he is alone in the world with his pain, and his greatest fear is of turning into his much-hated father. Spencer realizes he needs to take action to turn his life around, but he is looking for a quick fix with immediate results, no matter the consequences.

Spencer's character was nothing short of amazing. The way the author was able to portray Spencer's feelings of self-loathing, fear, and loneliness on the pages of this book made the story absolutely heart wrenching to read. We were able to get inside his head and were able to see his rationalizations for his actions, and even though he knew the consequences of the steroids and could see them being played out with a negative impact on his health and his friendships, he still thought what he was doing was okay because it would help him get noticed, be liked by other people, and ultimately be somebody.

I loved that we were able to get to know Spencer pre-steroids and then were able to journey with him over the timeframe of the story, watching the consequences of his decisions play out and how those consequences, plus other external forces (family and friends), change his outlook on life as he eventually realizes that he may not be as alone in the world as he thought.

The best kind of book is one that leaves you thinking about it long after you've read the last word. Fix by Force is that kind of book. Ultimately, I am going to recommend this book to everyone I know, as it is the kind of story that every parent and teen should read.

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