Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum

Title: The Golden Spiral (Hourglass Door Trilogy #2)
Author: Lisa Mangum
Published by: Shadow Mountain (May 10, 2010)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description: 
His eyes. His touch. His kiss. Dante was unlike anyone Abby had ever met. Now he’s gone, and Abby will do anything to get him back . . .

The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Abby knows that Dante, as a Master of Time, is the only one who can stop them from destroying time itself. She also knows that he will need her help. But almost immediately, things start to change, and Abby’s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically.As Abby’s world fractures around her, she must face a terrible truth: either Dante didn’t make it through the door, or he is lost forever. So with Dante’s blueprints in hand, she begins construction on a new door, a new time machine that will either save Dante—or doom him.
With each new change that ripples into her present, Abby s life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family are threatened to the breaking point—and beyond. Zo’s power is greater than Abby ever imagined, but as she struggles to free Dante, she receives help from an unexpected—and unlikely—ally.

My Review:
This is the second book in Lisa Magnum's amazing Hourglass Door trilogy and I have to say I absolutely loved it. Even better than the first one.
While it wasn't as concentrated on Abby and Dante's romance and more stopping Zo and the his interference with the River of Time, it still had moments of sweet tender romance between Abby and Dante.
Magnum has an amazing way with words and description that just draw you in and capture from the first sentence. You feel everything the characters feel, see everything they see, smell everything they smell. It truly is amazing. I found myself completely wrapped up in their world, their struggles and trials, their love for one another, their sadness and anguish and their hate.
I can't wait to read the next and final installment in this trilogy. I will admit, I am going to be sad to see the end of such a great unique story,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Interview with Indie Author of the week Shawn P. Keenan!!

This week I am featuring Shawn P. Keenan's new book The Buried Covenant
I asked him if he would be willing to do a small interview for me and he graciously said he would. Below are the questions that I asked him and his answers.

 How long have you been writing for?

Shawn:" I've written privately since high school, submitting short stories to online competitions and experimenting with poetry. The Buried Covenant is my first novel and it was an amazing experience writing it. I know I have a lot to learn still, but I'll always remember how much the process of writing this book taught me. I started it a year and a half ago, finishing a rough (in retrospect, extremely rough) draft in about seven months. The rest of the time was spent on editing and rewriting. During the process I learned you can't be afraid to put something down to paper (or computer screen) even when you know it isn't perfect. That's what the rewriting is for. You can slow down and polish and tweak once something's on the page, and you can always delete. In my case, there were about thirty thousand words that got deleted off the first draft."

I love the concept for this book, it is so unique compared to what is out there right now, where did you first get the idea to make this book?
Shawn:" Well, I was thinking about writing a YA novel and knew what made that genre of story interesting to me - figuring out who you are and even more importantly who you're going to be. Along the way, I decided it would be even better if you had to find out who you were as well. But I needed an underlying plot line and I wanted the journey to be a slow build and an unveiling of sorts. I was sitting in church when I came across the verse (actually in a couple of places) that is the basis for Jayke's covenant. My first thought was, 'wait a minute, that's a glaring problem, isn't it?' Then I thought, 'actually, if that's read literally, that could be an interesting back story for why vampires are immortal.' My next thought was, 'As much as I loved Twilight, I really don't think I can improve on that.' So I started building the story around themes I loved in the currently popular vampire stories - immortality, invincibility, putting others around you in danger, having obstacles to being with the one you love. "

Who was your favorite character while writing this book and are they anything like you at all?

Shawn: "Jayke starts to find out who he is at age 17, like so many of us did and do. I can relate to Jayke in that he has to make concrete decisions that will shape his character. And of course, when I had a personal experience that suited the story line well, I dropped in a few details here and there. I will say I loved writing Tina and Ben. Tina, because she's so sure of who she is and doesn't suffer fools. I was rooting for Tina throughout the story. And of course, Ben was fun to write, being the irrepressible soul that he is. Whenever I needed an irrational decision to be made, Ben was my go-to guy."

And lastly,  I am dying to know, will there be a sequel to The Buried Covenant?

Shawn: "The story is imagined as a three part series. The first book is an origin story and an introduction to the characters and keeps close to Jayke's history and journey to the decision he makes at the end of the book. The next book will expand Jayke's world and flesh out the bigger conflicts Jayke has only just discovered in the first book - basically the consequence of his choice in the first book. And, of course, in a third book, everything will come to a head, one way or another."

Thank you so much Shawn for agreeing to this interview and answering my questions. It was so much fun getting to know you a little better.
I am so excited that there will not only be a sequel to The Buried Covenant but that you plan on making it a trilogy!!
I know I will be first in line to grab a copy when it comes out!
Keep up the great writing!! 

For those of you who haven't read this book yet, please do. It is a wonderful story and right now on Goodreads you can read it for free. Yes, you read that right, free! So run, go now, don't wait any longer.

Indie Author of the Week-Shawn P. Keenan

I wanted to try and feature an Indie author every month but then I realized that there are just too many Indie authors (and their great works out there) to only feature them once a month. So instead, I will be featuring a new Indie book each Friday, or at least, I will be trying to. 
Whether it be a new read for me or one I have read in the past I will be having a different book up each week that I have enjoyed reading.
So, in making this my new Friday tradition, I start off this week with the book The Buried Covenant by Shawn P. Keenan.

Title: The Buried Covenant
Author: Shawn P. Keenan
Published by: Indie Author (Jan. 30, 2011)
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Being hardheaded is a common character flaw, but most teenagers can’t crack a concrete curb with their skull. And while a skilled skateboarder appears to defy gravity, he can’t keep water from pouring out of an upturned cup. Unintentionally tapping into latent powers has brought Jayke Wolff to the attention of the Aduro, an ancient society plotting an apocalyptic new world order. He’s now their number one draft pick, and they’ve dispatched their most seductive member to close the deal. It shouldn’t take much convincing a hormonal teenage boy to turn his back on a cryptic covenant for a future of self-indulgence and unchecked power. But if Jayke can’t be tempted by pleasures of the flesh, the flesh can be influenced in less pleasant ways as well. Armageddon can’t wait forever. Killing Jayke will also work.
Not remembering your past and not believing in your future can make it hard to choose who you’re going to be. Jayke has to decide how much of his teenage life he’s willing to sacrifice for a greater good. After all, you’re only young once.

My Review:
I am so glad I gave this book a chance. It was such an unexpectedly fun read. Very different from what I normally read, while it had some paranormal elements to it, I wouldn't exactly classify it as paranormal.
The book starts off a little slow, but that is to be expected since the author needed to build the world and characters around us to help us understand them later on. Even though it was a little slow going at first, the characters and mystery behind Jayke drew you in and made it really hard to put the book down. As the story built and we got to discover more about Jayke, his past, his future and his purpose it was almost impossible to put the book down. I wanted to learn more and was on the edge of me seat waiting to see how it all turned out.
I can only hope that this is only the beginning of Jayke and his world and that we will see more of him and his adventures to come. I know I will be waiting to read more about them.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Title: Forgive My Fins
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Published by: Katherine Tegan Books (May 19, 2010)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating; 4.5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

My Review:
I use to love mermaids when I was a little girl, everything about them appealed to me but for some reason as I grew older they sort of fizzled from my mind. With all of the hype lately about mermaids and my love of the paranormal, I decided I would give reading about mermaids a try and I am so glad that I did. The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover, it has a great cover and the story inside is even better, this is such a fun story. I love all of the fish lingo, "Son of a swordfish!" and "the little carp!", seriously funny.
I really enjoyed reading this, in fact more than I thought I would. I love the characters, the humor, the setting undersea, everything. It was truly a fun summer read. I can't wait to read the prequel when it comes out. The ending definitely left you curious and wanting to know more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Turned (The Vampire Journals) by Morgan Rice

Title: Turned (A Vampire Journals)
Author: Morgan Rice
Published by: Self Published, Jan. 24th, 2011
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Eighteen year old Caitlin Paine finds herself uprooted from her nice suburb and forced to attend a dangerous New York City high school when her Mom moves again. The one ray of light in her new surroundings is Jonah, a new classmate who takes an instant liking to her.

But before their romance can blossom, Caitlin suddenly finds herself changing. She is overcome by a superhuman strength, a sensitivity to light, a desire to feed--by feelings she does not understand. She seeks answers to what’s happening to her, and her cravings lead her to the wrong place at the wrong time. Her eyes are opened to a hidden world, right beneath her feet, thriving underground in New York City. She finds herself caught between two dangerous covens, right in the middle of a vampire war.

It is at this moment that Caitlin meets Caleb, a mysterious and powerful vampire who rescues her from the dark forces. He needs her to help lead him to the legendary lost artifact. And she needs him for answers, and for protection. Together, they will need to answer one crucial question: who was her real father?

But Caitlin finds herself caught between two men as something else arises between them: a forbidden love. A love between the races that will risk both of their lives, and will force them to decide whether to risk it all for each other…

My Review:
While this did start off a little slow it did pick up towards the end and leave you wanting to find out more about Caitlin and who she is. This was a very fast easy read, there were a few editing errors along the way but nothing that distracted too much from the story. Overall I think the series has a lot of potential and I have a feeling the next book will be even better.
I think this book gets a 3.5 stars for having a good start to a promising series.

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

Title: Red Riding Hood
Author: Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Published by: Poppy (Jan. 6, 2011)
Genre: Fairy Tale/Fantasy
My Rating; 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat. Her flesh mutilated by telltale claw marks. The Wolf has broken the peace.

When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations. It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect. Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town? Is it her betrothed, Henry? Or someone even closer to her?

As the men in the village hunt for the beast, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long. Will Valerie discover the werewolf's identity before the town is ripped apart?

This is a dangerous new vision of a classic fairy tale, the happy ending could be hard to find.

My Review:
I really wanted to read this book before I watched the movie because the movie trailer just looked so good and I knew the book had to be really interesting too or at least I was hoping that is was. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed.
I love that this wasn't a typical retelling of little red riding hood going off to visit her grandmother while the big bad wolf follows her and tries to out smart her along the way.  In fact, if you are expecting that, then be forewarned, this is so not that story. 
Instead, this story takes everything you know about the bid bad Wolf and Red Riding Hood, sticks it into a blender, shakes it up and spits it back out so what you are left with is a twisted, beautiful tale that will knock your socks off. 
Not only that, but the story at the end leaves you hanging with a teaser to check out a website for more, (which I did of course, how could I be left hanging like that?!) and thankfully you get 10 more well crafted pages of twisted fairy tale that faintly hint that maybe, just maybe Red Riding Hoods tale isn't quite over yet.
This truly is a well crafted retelling of a classic fairy tale that will leave you spinning and wanting more of Red Riding Hood and her Wolf like never before.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Darlings in Love by Melissa Kantor

Title: The Darlings in Love
Author: Melissa Kantor
Published by: Disney-Hyperion (Jan. 10, 2012)
Source: ARC Copy
Genre: YA
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:

The Darlings have just begun their second semester of ninth grade, and love is in the air. Victoria can hardly believe how perfect life is now that Jack is her boyfriend. Every moment they spend together seems to be better than the last. Meanwhile, Natalya is thrilled and a little nervous when her old crush, Colin, challenges her to a rematch of an unfinished chess game. Could he still like her too?

Jane can't help but feel a tad jealous of her two best friends’ exciting romantic prospects—even if she has sworn off love. Performing in a production of famous love scenes is just about the last thing she wants to do. But when Jane meets her acting partner—sweet, gorgeous Simon—she may just have to give love another chance.

Still, nothing about love is as simple as it seems. Victoria’s plan to surprise Jack with a romantic night out on Valentine’s Day goes disastrously wrong, and just when things start heating up between Natalya and Colin, Natalya discovers that Colin has been hiding something important from her. Even as Jane falls hard for Simon, she has to wonder: what if he’s too good to be true?

In the face of both joy and heartbreak, the Darlings know that they'll always have each other. Boys come and go, but the Darlings are still forever.

My Review:
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book and was pleasantly surprised to find that this story was really cute. While it is definitely YA, the three friends all being in high school still and all the teenage angst that goes with it, it was a fun read. I loved the bond between The Darlings. Their friendship was so real and down to Earth. I could completely relate to them and honestly, wanted to be a part of their inner circle, they were just that great.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Title: Shade
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Published by: Simon Pulse (May 4, 2010)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

My Review:
I have had this book sitting on my to read shelf for awhile now and I am not sure why it took me so long to read it. I am sorry I waited so long because this was a really good book. I loved the story line about a world were ghosts roamed freely and were seen by everyone born after a certain time, called the Shift. I loved the mystery about why the Shift occurred and what it means that Aura was the first one born into the Shift. Her mom's mysterious past, her father's whereabouts and who he is. Zachary significance in her life and in the Shift as well. I loved Logan and his whole family. This book actually had me tearing up in parts and then in others laughing. I love stories that can bring about a plethora of emotions in you.
I can't wait to read more about Aura and her friends and to see what happens next. I am super impressed with this series and with the world that Ms. Smith-Ready has created.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom

Title: Ditched: A Love Story
Author: Robin Mellom
Published by: Disney-Hyperion (Jan. 10, 2012)
Source: ARC Copy
Genre: YA
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
High school senior Justina Griffith was never the girl who dreamed of going to prom. Designer dresses and strappy heels? Not her thing. So she never expected her best friend, Ian Clark, to ask her.

Ian, who always passed her the baseball bat handle first.
Ian, who knew exactly when she needed red licorice.
Ian, who promised her the most amazing night at prom.
And then ditched her.

Now, as the sun rises over her small town, and with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven, Justina must piece together – stain by stain on her thrift-store dress – exactly how she ended up dateless. A three-legged Chihuahua was involved. Along with a demolition derby-ready Cadillac. And there was that incident at the tattoo parlor. Plus the flying leap from Brian Sontag’s moving car…

But to get the whole story, Justina will have to face the boy who ditched her. And discover if losing out at prom can ultimately lead to true love.

My Review: 
I saw others describe this book as worthy of being a John Hughes' movie and honestly, that is so true. It is like the Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles all rolled into one.
It is hilarious, heartwarming, full of antics (anything that can go wrong does), romance, jealousy, pranks, teenage angst (but in a good way!), a horrible prom dress, a hot leading guy, four outrageous friends that bond in an unlikely way and a night from nightmares and an ending that will blow you away.
This book was amazing, truly. It was so funny, the characters were completely loveable and real and the things that went wrong, well they were classic.
This book is brilliant.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Only Yours by Susan Mallery

Title: Only Yours
Author: Susan Mallery
Published by: Harlequin (Aug. 30, 2011) 
Source: ARC Copy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Man’s best…matchmaker?

Montana Hendrix has found her calling—working with therapy dogs. With a career she loves in a hometown she adores, she’s finally ready to look for her own happily ever after. Could one of her dogs help her find Mr. Right…or maybe Dr. Right?

Surgeon Simon Bradley prefers the sterility of the hospital to the messiness of real life, especially when real life includes an accident-prone mutt and a woman whose kisses make him want what he knows he can’t have.

Scarred since childhood, he avoids emotional entanglement by moving from place to place to heal children who need his skillful touch. Can his growing feelings for Montana lead him to find a home in Fool’s Gold, or will he walk away, taking her broken heart with him?

My Review:
I already knew picking this book up that I was going to love it, I mean, I have loved all of Mallery's books so far, what I didn't know and expect was how much this book would touch my heart. I fell in love with Simon. I usually relate to the female characters of Mallery's book, but not this time.
His gruff character, his kind heart, his pains, his hurts, they all reached out to me and broke my heart. I found myself rooting for him to see the good in others, for him to feel love and for him to see Montana and know what he had to do.
This is another excellent book in the Fool's Gold series. If you are a fan of Susan Mallery her latest book will not disappoint you. If you haven't tried Mallery yet, you should, because you are missing out!

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Title: Forgotten
Author: Cat Patrick
Published by: Little Brown Books (June 7, 2011)
Genre: YA
My rating: 5 Stars 

Goodreads Description:
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

My Review:
This book was amazing! It surpassed all my expectations and then some. If I could rate is higher than 5 stars I would.
I loved the mystery aspect of this story as well as the slight paranormal and Luke! Oh goodness Luke. What a yummy character! I loved everything about him, in fact I want more Luke!! I really hope Cat Patrick writes another book because I will be the first in line to get it.
This book has such a great and unique storyline about a girl that can't remember her past but can remember her future. I love how the scenes played out. I love that London is a strong female character that takes charge of her future and just does the best she can with what life deals her and doesn't let the bad stuff get in the way and did I mention Luke? I think I would re-read this story just to get more Luke time.
I rate this book with a solid 5 stars.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Indie Author Spotlight!!

My Indie Author Spotlight for this month is.....Jason Letts' the Powerless series.

Title: The Synthesis (Powerless #1)
Author: Jason Letts
Published by: Self Publishing (May 30, 2010)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:  
The Synthesis (Powerless, #1)

Mira Ipswich couldn't have ever known the startling difference that separates her from the rest of humanity. But when she discovers a strange anomaly in the midst of her seclusion, her parents are forced to reveal she exists in a world where everyone is imbued with a wondrous natural gift. Everyone except herself that is. Accompany Mira as her attempts to fit in among peers and understand her inconceivable condition embroil her with the dangerous forces threatening her homeland. Protected by nothing more than her imagination and ingenuity, you'll never find a superhero more like you.

The first book in the Powerless series is the tale of Mira’s turbulent and perilous entry into the world around her. And once she’s a part of it, nothing will ever be the same again.

The story is already raking in the awards. It's won the Webb Weaver 2010 Writer's Competition, the judges proclaiming they were "entranced by the writer's ability to bring together this unlikely group of kids," and that the book could "be a hit in the YA book world." The story is a roller coaster ride, filled with diverse characters, lots to discover in an ever-expanding world, and a story full of hopes and aspirations. If you like stories with plenty of dramatic twists and spirited intensity, it'll have you falling in love with a brand new series and begging for more! 

My Review:  
This book is such a breath of fresh air. It is fun, adventurous, and unique. I had a blast reading it. Fantasy for me is always hit or miss, I either love it or I hate it and this one I really really loved.  
This just isn't your typical fantasy novel, take everything normally found in a fantasy novel and give it a good shake and maybe even a twirl or two and this is what you come up with. 
This book will appeal to old and young alike. It is very much appropriate for middle school kids (heck even younger!) and also appealing enough for adults. It keeps your attention and had just enough action to keep you on your toes.
If you haven't tried this series and like the genre, try it. You won't be disappointed. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon

Title: Cinder and Ella
Author: Melissa Lemon
Published by: Cedar Fort (Nov. 8, 2011)
Source: ARC Copy
Genre: YA Fairytale/Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description: 

After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you'll never forget.

My Review:

This is a very different look on the classic story of Cinderella and Prince Charming. 
This isn't a happy fairy tale with fairy godmothers and evil step sisters but rather about a family struggling to survive with a missing father and a mother that has given up all hope.
It is about two strong sisters, Cinder and Ella, that learn to go on and make a new life for one another and to fight the evils in their world, one of which, is the Prince himself.
This is a fun read that I think anyone who loves remakes of old classic fairytales will enjoy.

Misfit by Jon Skovron

Title: Misfit
Author: Jon Skovron
Published by: Amulet (Aug. 1, 2011)
Source: ARC Copy
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Jael Thompson has never really fit in. She’s changed schools too many times to count. The only family she’s ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother—well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn’t exactly help.

But on her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.

Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school.

My Review:

I have to admit, I found this book really hard to get into at first. There is a lot of religion talk that sets the background to the story and it flips back and forth between the present and the past (which is sometimes a little disorienting). However, once I got about 100 pages into it it picked up and got pretty interesting. In fact it was a pleasant unique look into the whole theme of angels and demons, heaven and hell. I was surprised that I ended up wanting to not out it down so I could find out what happened next and how Jael dealt with her powers and her new abilities and how it would effect her relationships with her father and her friends. 
The ending was satisfying and left it wide open to a sequel or to a very nice beginning for a series. I will definitely be watching the author and seeing what he comes out with next. 
Overall I would rate this book about a 3 since it was a little slow getting into it but did pick up and get better as it went.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published by: Dutton (Dec. 2, 2010)
Genre: YA
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars

 Goodreads Description:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

My Review:
We all have those books that we read that we can hardly put down, the ones that consume our thoughts when we aren't reading them and stay with us long after we have finished them. The ones that ruin all other books for us because, they will never be as good as the one we just put down. This book? This book was that book for me.
I had read other reviews about this book, saw lots of 5 star ratings and thought to myself, "oh no, not another one of those books that will never live up to all the hype. Do I even want to read this?"
I have been so burned by books that people are raving about, the ones that they promise are all that and then some *cough*thegirlwiththedragontattoo*cough*.
Thankfully this wasn't one of them. I truly liked this book, heck I LOVE this book. In fact I am having a really hard time keeping myself from not start it all over again I liked it that much. In fact, I know I will re-read this one...soon, very very soon. And the real kicker about this book? I got it for FREE months ago for my Kindle.  
I love that the characters in this book are so real, someone we would be friends with, someone we would fall for. I love that they have problems we could have and parents and friends that aren't perfect, the fact that they aren't perfect and know it. 
This truly was a great book and now, now, I have the hard decision of finding the next book to read and hoping, that I can put all my attention into it because this one is still stuck with me.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Title: This Lullaby
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published by: Puffin (May 27, 2002)
Genre: YA
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

My Review:
I love Sarah Dessen's books, I love how real her writing and characters are. I love how I know when I pick up one of her books I am going to be swept into a real life situation with problems and ordeals that could happen to anyone and be anyone's life.
I picked up this book because after reading the synopsis I realized that this time those real life situations were something that I could relate to in certain ways.
This is a very heartfelt read about finding your way in life, growing up, believeing in the impossible and jumping in, sometimes head first.

Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

Author: Jennifer Laurens
Published by: Grove Creek Publishing (April, 29, 2011)
Genre: YA
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Ashlyn: A lonely society princess living in New York City.

Daddy hired you to be my bodyguard.

Colin: Childhood enemy, now her protector.

Daddy thought I’d be safe. He thought I’d never fall in love. He thought he could keep me forever.

Charles: obsessed with keeping her safe, keeping her his, he hires the one person he knows she could never fall in love with: Colin.

Daddy was wrong.

My Review:
This was my first time reading anything by Jennifer Laurens and was recommended to me by a friend who loves her writing (thank you by the way!) to read and I am so glad that they did because, I think I just found a new favorite author to add to my list!

I loved this story. It is sweet, heartbreaking, a little scary, a little maddening, and well, a roll coaster of a ride. So much happens in this book.
The main character Ashlyn grows so much in this story and learns so much about her family and life that she was blind to before. She learns how to see past the blinders put over her eyes, she learns to trust, she learns to love, she learns how to be a strong woman and daughter and not to be pushed around anymore but to be assertive and stand up for what she knows to be true and right.
I couldn't help falling in love with Colin as he helps Ashlyn on her journey and protects her not only from the dangers of the outside world but from the dangers lurking in her very own home.
This is a great read that will let you just get away from it all and be immersed in Ashlyn and Colin's world and forget about it all.
This most definitely won't be the last book I read by Laurens.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Confessions of a Call Center Gal by Lisa Lim

Title: Confessions of a Call Center Gal
Author: Lisa Lim
Published by: Giffin Press (Feb. 25, 2011)
Genre: Chick Lit/Humor
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
A fun chick lit romance that will appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes. Bridget Jones meets The Office. Madison Lee is a fresh college grad, ready to take on the world of print media. But she has zero luck landing a job. Unemployment is at ten percent and on the rise. Desperate and left with no other options, she accepts a position as a service rep at a call center in Pocatello, Idaho. At the Lightning Speed call center in Spudsville, Maddy plunges into the wild and dysfunctional world of customer service where Sales is prided over Service and an eight hour shift is equivalent to eight hours of callers bashing her over the phone. Oh sure, the calls are bad. But Maddy manages to find humor on the phone and off the phone. And with all the salacious drama behind the calls, there is never a dull moment at the Lightning Speed call center.
Lately . . . Maddy has been pining for her smolderingly gorgeous co-worker Mika Harket. Now things are heating up on the phone--and elsewhere. Don't hang up on this novel. Working at a call center has never been this garish . . . or this delightful. 

My Review:
I actually had a hard time rating this book, mostly because there were moments in the book that I didn't think needed to be there, language and references that weren't necessary to make a good story so I decided that a 3.5-4 rating was pretty fair.
This was a cute funny read. One of my first jobs was working in a call center so I can completely relate to this book, seriously, I think I got some of the same customers she did in this story which just made the scenes even more funny to me. I found myself nodding my head during moments as I related to her frustration and exasperation at the people who called in. Overall it was a good read and I really liked the slight romance interest in it between Maddie and Mikah.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog

Title: Fairy Tale
Author: Cyn Balog
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 23, 2009)
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Morgan Sparks has always known that she and her boyfriend, Cam, are made for each other. But when Cam’s cousin Pip comes to stay with the family, Cam seems depressed. Finally Cam confesses to Morgan what’s going on: Cam is a fairy. The night he was born, fairies came down and switched him with a healthy human boy. Nobody expected Cam to live, and nobody expected his biological brother, heir to the fairy throne, to die. But both things happened, and now the fairies want Cam back to take his rightful place as Fairy King.

Even as Cam physically changes, becoming more miserable each day, he and Morgan pledge to fool the fairies and stay together forever. But by the time Cam has to decide once and for all what to do, Morgan’s no longer sure what’s best for everyone, or whether her and Cam’s love can weather an uncertain future.

My Review:
I have to admit what first drew me to this book was the cover. Isn't pretty? Okay, okay, so sometimes I do judge a  book by it's cover.
Really though, this is my second book my Balog, I really like her writing so I was pretty sure I would like this one as well, pretty cover and all. I wasn't wrong. This was a great story. Super easy read, super cute and it had a HEA that I am so fond of. 
I loved the different take on fairies and all the characters were great ones that you couldn't help but like.
I think this was a great fun summer read.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

Title: I Heart You, You Haunt Me
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Published by: Simon Pulse (Jan, 8, 2008)
Genre: YA
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Girl meets boy.

Girl loses boy.

Girl gets boy back...

...sort of.

Ava can't see him or touch him, unless she's dreaming. She can't hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she's crazy, but she knows he's here.

Jackson. The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. He's back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

My Review:

This book was amazing. So touching. It is written in prose which, is just beautifully done. It is a touching story about losing someone you love and moving on. I think anyone that has ever lost someone they loved should read this. Seriously well done. It was heartbreaking and heart warming and brought tears to my eyes more than once, I absolutely loved it!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Desire (Desire #1) by Kailin Gow

Title: Desire
Author: Kailin Gow
Publisher: Edge books (self published)
Genre: YA dystopian
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Goodreads Description:

A Dystopian world where everyone's future is planned out for them at age 18...whether it is what a person desires or not. Kama is about to turn 18 and she thinks her Life s Plan will turn out like her boyfriend's and friend's as they desired. But when she glimpse a young man who can communicate with her with his thoughts and knows her name...a young man with burning blue eyes and raven hair, who is dressed like no other in her world, she is left to question her Life's Plan and her destiny. Knowing the truth can destroy everyone...

My Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first opened this book up,a typical dystopian book I suppose, and while I did get that I also got a love story with a slight paranormal aspect as well.
While there are editing errors throughout the book that are slightly distracting the sweet love story and life of Kama more than makes up for it. I am a sucker for a good love triangle and Gow seems to be the master at making them and she didn't disappoint. While I loved Liam, I felt myself rooting for Torrid as well.
I think this new series has a lot of potential. It is a fast easy read that will leave you wanting more and wanting to find out what happens next to Kama, Torrid, her mother, her mysterious father, Pim, The Catchers, The Magical Ones, Sarah and to Liam.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Are you ready for summer?

I know I am! Every summer I love reading books that just let me get away from it all. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones that make us laugh out loud, smile like a fool, tug at out heart strings and want to chuck across the room and slap the main characters and give them a good shake for their stupidity. And this summer, I plan on making no exceptions to that tradition.

In fact, I already have my Kindle stock piled with new authors and old favorites, I have pulled out the sunscreen and polished my sunglasses. I am so ready for some good old fashioned mindless reading and stories.

So with all that in mind, consider yourself forewarned. As I celebrate the next few months of no bedtimes, crazy schedules or homework, I plan on reading until my eyes go cross.
Are you with me?

If so then let the fun (and reading) begin!