Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Silence (Hush Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Silence
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Hush Hush, Book Three of Four
Published By: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing (Oct. 4, 2011)  
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

My Review:
I am going to admit that I have had a hard time deciding on a rating for this book. I keep wavering between and 3 and a 4.
Why you ask?
I did really like this book, bad boy Patch is as great as ever, in fact he might have even been better in this book, we finally get to see a softer side of him and there are some pretty swoon worthy quotes in this book,

“Angel... I don't think you understand the lengths I would go to if it means keeping you here with me." Patch to Nora

“I missed you, Angel. Not one day went by that I didn't feel you missing from my life." Patch to Nora

“You're mine, Angel. And I'm yours. Nothing can change that.” Patch to Nora

“If I lose you, I lose everything” Patch to Nora

*sigh* Pretty fabulous right? Right? I mean this is Patch at his best. Those quotes are the reason I love him so much, yet, I just couldn't help but feel a little let down by this book.

I can't even name exactly what it was. Maybe it was the crazy amnesia thing going on at the beginning or maybe it was how Vee, (who I adore by the way, best friend ever) wasn't honest with Nora, or maybe it was her mom that just, I don't know, just seemed off in this book.

I don't know, like I said, something just didn't feel complete with this book. Of course, the crazy ending didn't help. Thank goodness there is another book coming out or I would have been seriously disappointed in the ending of this series. I felt like there was so much left unsaid and unexplained.

I am glad that we will get another book with Patch and Vee and Nora, they are great characters and I do love them, I just really really hope it is a great book. Something that will blow me away because to be honest, this one just didn't do it for me.

I wanted a swoon worthy ending that would have me thinking about it long after I was done reading it and this just wasn't it.

Come on Fitzpatrick, I know you can do better and I am looking forward to reading it in the next and final book in the series.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Indie Book of the Week; The Deepest Cut by J.A. Templeton

Title: The Deepest Cut (MacKinnon Curse Series #1)
Author: J.A. Templeton
Series: Book One of a Planned Series
Published By: Self Published (Oct. 1, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Solid Stars

Goodreads Description:
 Sixteen-year-old Riley Williams has been able to see ghosts since the car crash that took her mother’s life and shattered her family. Guilt-ridden over the belief that she’s somehow responsible for her mom’s death, Riley is desperate to see her mother’s elusive spirit to gain her forgiveness.

When her father moves the family to Scotland so they can all start over, Riley believes her life couldn’t get worse––that is until the ghost of nineteen-year-old Ian MacKinnon catches her purposely cutting herself. An uneasy truce quickly turns into friendship, and soon Riley’s falling hard for Ian.

Riley believes her gift could help Ian end the curse that has kept him tied to the land for centuries, but that would mean letting him go forever and she’s not sure she is strong enough to do that. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough, the spirit of the woman who killed Ian returns and she’ll stop at nothing to keep Riley from helping Ian find eternal peace.

My Review:
How far would you go for true love?
Would you fight for it?
Would you love them enough to let them go forever?

These are the questions that plague Riley when she meets Ian, a Scottish (and did I mention hot?) ghost that haunts her house.

Ian is cursed and therefore is bound to the house until someone can break it, and that someone just so happens to be Riley.
But what happens when Riley falls in love with him and doesn't want him to go? When she can't bear to be without him. When the one person that understands her and brings her happiness after not having it for so long, must leave her forever?

Will she be strong enough to let go anyways? Will love will conquer all?

This was such a fantastic read! The romance in it was sweet between Ian and Riley and even heartbreaking at times.

I felt for Riley in this book, with the guilt of the death of her mom hanging over her and then her love for Ian, it was just hauntingly (no pun intended) good.

I loved the mystery behind Ian's curse and of course Laria, was just super creepy, so creepy in fact that I am thankful I didn't read this book at night. I think I would of had a hard time going to sleep if I had.

The side characters in this story are just as good as the main ones and you can't help but fall in love with them all and feel connected with them.

I love how this story ended too, so bittersweet. I can't wait for the next in the series to come out. I really enjoyed reading this book and really look forward to learning what happens next and to getting to know all of the characters better and so glad that their story isn't over yet.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chasing Clovers by Kat Flannery

Title: Chasing Clovers
Author: Kat Flannery
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Imajin Books (Self Published, Oct. 9, 2011)
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 Mail order bride, Livy Green, is desperate to escape the memories of her past. John Taylor will never love another woman again, but his children need a mother. Will they learn to trust each other, or will their pasts interfere?

Longing to escape the awful memories and the saloon she once sang in, Livy Green lies about her past so she can be a wife to John Taylor and mother to his two young children. Overwhelmed by the task, she struggles to put her resentment aside and love them as her own.

John loved his first wife and is still heartbroken over the loss, but he needs a mother for his children. When his distant and unfriendly mail order bride arrives, he begins to doubt his decision, though one glance into Livy's terrified green eyes tells him he can’t turn his back on her.

As Livy's past catches up with her and suspicious accidents begin to happen on the ranch, she is tempted to come clean and tell John the truth. But will he send her back if she does? Or will they forever be CHASING CLOVERS?

My Review:
It has been awhile since I have read a historical romance so it was nice to change it up a little with this book.
I love almost anything set in the 1800"s and I love a good romance and this happens to be both things that I love wrapped up in a good story.

This is the first book by Flannery that I have read and I really enjoyed it.

The characters were great, Olivia was feisty and broken and flawed and I just really enjoyed watching her character grow and her broken heart mend. I love how strong and courageous she was.

And John was a great character too, also broken but determined to do what was best for his family and I really loved watching him overcome his demons as well.

This really truly was a sweet story that was very well written and had just enough romance and action to keep you turning the pages and wanting more.

Crescendo (Hush Hush #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Crescendo
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Book Two of Four
Published By: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing (Oct. 19, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.

My Review:
I admit I read Hush Hush quite a while ago but I really enjoyed it and of course I really liked Patch in all his bad boy glory so I knew I would have to read the rest of the series. I really wanted to wait until all the books were released (or at least close to being released) before I started the next one in the series and although I just found out there will now be a fourth book, I still decided to go ahead and read it.

I think I loved Patch and his sarcastic self even more in this book. Yes, he is the ultimate bad boy and yes he is a huge jerk and we learn even more about him in this book but I have to say, I still love him. There is just something about him that I like. Just something about him that I know can be redeemed and even after all his shenanigans in this book, I now he truly cares about Nora, maybe even more than he ever has cared about anyone before and I like that is what draws me to him, because maybe, just maybe, that is what will save him in the end.

In fact this is one of my favorite quotes from the book: "Being with you never felt wrong. It's the one thing I did right. You're the one thing I did right.” 

Sigh and okay, I swooned a little there too. Come on, this is Patch we are talking about, all dark and brooding and angry and even a little bit mean, but always truthful and always caring about Nora even when he doesn't want to be.

This book has a lot of twist and turns in it that I just didn't see coming. Mysteries surrounding Nora herself, her father, Patch, The Black Hand, Rixon and even Nora's mom and of course Nora's nemesis Marcie has a bright and shinny spot in this book too and even though Marcie might be part evil, I kind of like her too. I know, I know! What is wrong with me, right? But I can't help it, I see some good in there and we learn a lot more about her too so I just couldn't help feeling a little bit sorry for her in this book and thinking that maybe she has a right to be just a little bit nasty after all.

And we even get some new characters to ponder over as well as some old ones. Scott, Rixon..okay, well I won't say anymore because I really don't want to give anything away but I will say that this was a pretty good sequel to Hush Hush and I really enjoyed it.

Be warned though, make sure you have Silence sitting right next to you after you finish because the ending will blow you away and leave you hanging and begging for more. I couldn't help but pick up Silence and start reading it as soon as I finished this one.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway Winner Is......

And The Winner of After Obsession is..........


Huge Congrats Evie! I will be contacting you through email for you info.
Big THANK YOU! to everyone who entered and all of my followers. I wouldn't be here without you!

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Holiday!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Between Here and Forever
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Simon Pulse (May 24, 2011)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...

My Review:
 I usually like to wait awhile after I finish a book before I write up my review but I feel with this book I just can't do that.
I had so many emotions running through me while reading this story. It was so heartbreaking at times that I wanted to reach through the pages and just give Abby a great big hug and tell her that she was wonderful and deserved so much more than she was willing to let herself have and that she was worth so much more than she thought she was.
And Eli, I loved Eli too. He was just perfect for Abby in every way.
I love the stories that can stick with you and make you think, not just think about the characters but think about the actual problems they are having and to be able to feel their emotions so much that it brings tears to your eyes and makes your heart ache more them.
Elizabeth Scott has the amazing ability to do that, to make you feel for her characters and for them to become a part of you.
To think and care about them long after their story is over.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Doubleday (Sept. 13, 2011)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Solid Stars

Goodreads Description:
 The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

My Review:
 You are about to enter into a place that is beyond imaginable. A place where anything is possible. A place that defies gravity and time itself.
Where it can snow in summer and where dreams come true.
A place you can jump into the clouds and wish on a tree.
A place like no other.
Welcome to the Night Circus.

I will admit, I really really had fun reading this book.
It was mysterious and just plain captivating.
It did have a lot of detail but Morgenstern has a way with words that suck you right into the pages and makes you feel like you are there along with the characters feeling what they are feeling and seeing what they are seeing.
I completely felt like I was there, as if I had jumped through the pages and landed along side them waiting anxiously to enter into the Night Circus and experience it all for myself. To feel the mystery and magic that is their world.
I wanted to know them and be a part of it too.
I loved the underlying romance between Celia and Marco. I loved the challenges that they had to face not only with the competition but with each other as well and most of all I love how this ended.
There were so many twists and turns and unexpected happenings that I never felt like the story lagged or got old, in fact I craved all the details and stories and people.
I admit, I almost didn't read this book because of all the hype and some of the reviews, it seems you love it or you hate it.
I am so glad that I did because if I hadn't I would have missed out on so much
Morgenstern is truly a master with words and I so look forward to seeing what she comes out with next.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Indie Book of the Week: Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne by Cody Young

Okay, I know what you are thinking because honestly, I was thinking it too when I first saw the title of this book. You are thinking, what? What an unusual title for a book. In fact, you probably don't even know what to think...right?

Well rest assured, this book was fabulous, kind of crazy title and all.

Although admit it, you like the cover because it too is sort of strange and draws you in. It makes you want to pick it up and read it. 

I know if I was in a bookstore and was walking down the isle and saw it, I would definitely stop and pick it up and flip through it and I know once I read the synopsis I would have snatched it up.

I mean, a vampire, a time machine of sorts and star crossed lovers? You betcha!

So without further ado, the synopsis taken from goodreads:

So what? I’m seventeen and he’s twenty-one. That’s okay… isn’t it? He drives a Lamborghini. He was born in 1462. Uh-oh. He seeks revenge, but there is one person standing in his way. Me.

On a high school trip to London, Madison Lambourne meets seductive stranger Johnny De Vere, who believes he knows her already, and is torn between love and revenge. Eager to learn more about this beautiful, lonely young man, Madison agrees to go with him to a re-enactment at the Tower of London. Dressed as a highborn medieval lady in a black velvet gown, she accidentally slips through a doorway that leads to the past. Knowing she will not last long on the streets of medieval London, Johnny must follow her… with devastating consequences for them both. A wild time-travel adventure full of love, lies, mystery and betrayal.

My Review:

This is the first book by Cody Young that I have ever read and I can say for a fact, it won't be the last.

I was completely caught up in this story from the very first chapter.

Two of my most favorite loves (for those of you that don't know) is historical fiction and paranormal.....well, paranormal anything really, YA, urban fantasy, adult, you name it.

So this book was right up my alley and I was pretty sure I would like it.

I didn't anticipate how much I would enjoy it however. It was very well written and had enough romance and action to keep me reading, in fact, I think I finished this book in about a day or so.

This really isn't your typical vampire romance, in fact I don't think for the most part, there is even any real drinking of blood involved or biting of necks (okay, maybe a little bit, but surprisingly, not on the heroine).

There is the instant attraction thing going on but it isn't cheesy and it isn't over played, in fact Madison stays very independent throughout this story and I love that about her. She doesn't let her feelings for Johnny get in the way of what she needs to do to set history right. To right some very bad wrongs.

I love that while she wasn't always the smartest, she was brave and did do what was right while still being true to her heart.

I mean, if you could change history for the better, would you? Would you risk your life for another?

Would you right the wrongs of the past if you could? What if it was at the risk of losing someone that you love?

Not such easy questions to answer are they? 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone that just wants a good paranormal read that is different from some of the others out there right now.
I would rate this book a solid 4 Stars out of 5.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Before (Heven and Hell #0.5) by Cambria Hebert

Title: Before 
Author: Cambria Hebert
Series: Prequel to the Heven and Hell series (Book One Masquerade out December 16th)
Published By: Otherworld Publishing (Nov. 18, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 What if your life was charmed and everything in it was perfect…

This is the story of my past. Of what things were like for me when everything was normal. Of what every teenager’s life is like. Clothes. Parties. Boys and summer vacation. What’s so wrong with that? I liked it. I was happy.

Until things changed. I changed.

I didn’t know that lies and secrets were about to take over my existence. I didn’t know there was someone out there, someone meant just for me. I didn’t know that I was about to go on a journey, a journey that would lead me to the girl I am today.
This is the beginning of the worst year of my life. Would I go back and change things? Erase everything that has happened to go back into these moments?

Not a chance.

This is a story of before.

My Review:
Heaven and Hell. Light and Dark. Goodness and Evil. Sadness and Happiness. Hope and Despair. Sam and Heven.

Cambria Hebert has created a fresh new look into monsters and darkness and a young man that is struggling to overcome what he is and what he wants and what he is drawn to in this great new series that will leave you breathless and wanting more.
This prequel may be short but it will grab a hold of you and refuse to let go until you get more.

Cambria Hebert is a very talented, very promising new author. This book will tease you and leave you begging for more.

I can't wait to read the first in the series, Masquerade!

I think we can expect some great things from Ms. Hebert in the future if this short novella is any indication of what is to come.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

Title: Thoughtless
Author: S.C. Stephens
Series: Book one in two
Published By: Self Published (June 11, 2010)
Genre: Mature YA
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 For almost two years now, Kiera's boyfriend, Denny, has been everything she's ever wanted: loving, tender and endlessly devoted to her. When they head off to a new city to start their lives together, Denny at his dream job and Kiera at a top-notch university, everything seems perfect. Then an unforeseen obligation forces the happy couple apart.

Feeling lonely, confused, and in need of comfort, Kiera turns to an unexpected source – a local rock star named Kellan Kyle. At first, he's purely a friend that she can lean on, but as her loneliness grows, so does their relationship. And then one night everything changes...and none of them will ever be the same.

My Review:
How does one even start to describe a book like this one?

One that makes you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster with all of its ups and downs and highs and lows.

When it was good it was great and when it wasn't so good, you wanted to reach through the pages and smack the MC Kiera or chuck your book across the room in frustration and exasperation with wrongness of it all. 

This is just one of those books that gets under your skin. One you can't stop thinking about long after you have put it down.

Lets face it, Kiera made some horrendous mistakes and choices that really hurt two really great guys that you just couldn't help but fall in love with and even though they were totally different from one another they were both just swoon worthy in their own ways and so hard to pick a favorite.

I still can't even say, hours after finishing this book and thinking about it, that I necessarily liked one more than the other. I loved them both for their own reasons and it broke my heart when their hearts got broken. In fact, I found myself frustrated with Kiera and not really liking her much through out this book. If she would have been someone I would have known in real life I would have had a hard time being her friend. I know, sound awful but I hated that she strung two fabulous guys along and continually was selfish throughout the whole ordeal.

I will say this though, as much as she frustrated me, I still felt for her and have to admit, if I would have been in her shoes, I would have had a hard time choosing too.

I hated how she put herself in the situations that she did but I was still fascinated enough with the story and the writing that I had to keep reading. I had to find out what happened, and the romance? Well the romance was what really kept me coming back.

This book really reminded me a lot of Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, was I loved by the way, I usually don't like to compare books but this one really had the same feel to it. There was the good guy, the bad boy and the girl that you wanted to shake until she saw what was right in front of her and stopped trying to run away from it and accepted it for what it was.

I really did enjoy this read and I had a really hard time putting it down, it just captivated me with all the drama and sweet romance and yes, even the heartbreak.

S.C Stephens definitely knows how to create a swoon worthy guy, and in this case, two very swoon worthy guys that will take your breath away and make you fall in love with them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Indie book of the week, Cicada by Belle Whittington

Title: Cicada
Author: Belle Whittington
Series: Book one in a planned series
Published By: Self Pubslished (July 14, 2011)
Genre: YA Sci-Fi 
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Summertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends--until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair's true love becomes something more than human...something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.

My Review:
I wasn't completely sure about reading this book when the author approached me to be honest. Not because I didn't think she was a good writer (because I do) or because I didn't think the cover was pretty (because it is) but because a book about aliens? Just usually so not my thing.
In fact, I think I have only read like..three in my life time. So you see why I was a little apprehensive about trying it.
Little did I know that I had nothing to fear.
This book was so great and unusual and unique and just a fun mysterious read.
We don't get all the answers to what is going on or why or even how.
Instead Belle Whittington pulls you in with the mystery and gives you little bits here and there, just enough to appease you and drive you crazy at the same time and leave your mind reeling with what in the world is going to happen next.
The book leaves you wanting more, wanting to know more about the creatures and the friends and just....well everything.
I really look forward to the second installment of the series so I can find out more. 
I really think anyone that enjoys Sci-fi will really love this book, in fact, even if you don't love Sci-fi I think you will enjoy this book. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Celebrating Reaching 100 Followers! Get an ARC!

That's right, I reached 100 followers and I am so excited and thankful to all my followers that I will be holding a giveaway for my ARC copy of After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel!!

All you have to do to enter is be a follower (if you aren't one already then please start following!) and leave a comment below saying you would like to enter (this is open to international followers as well).
I will then pick one lucky follower to win my paperback copy of After Obsession which will then be mailed to them.
I will run the giveaway from November 9th until November 23rd!

Good luck to all that enter and thank you for being such wonderful followers!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Q and A With Indie Author Jim Franz and His YA Book World Without Faces

So I had the extremely great pleasure in recently reading Jim Franz' book World Without Faces and I have to say that this book blew me away.

It was so much more than I was expecting. It was original and so well written. 

It sucked me right into the story and I became engrossed with the plot and the characters and before I knew it I was done with the story and was left a little sad because I wanted more.

 I love when I find books like that, the ones that you can't stop reading and that surprise you with the twists and turns and just the whole experience of reading it.

After reading it I just knew that I had to speak with Jim and ask him some questions about his work and the book.
He graciously accepted my offer of a little interview and below are my questions and his answers.

MGO: Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be when you were little?

JIM: I began writing when I was in elementary school.  My mother had a typewriter, and I would happily bang out anything I imagined.  During high school, I wrote dozens of short stories on a Commodore 64 and worked on the first novel I would finish.  Despite that, I believed writers were somehow "other".  You couldn't become one.  Writers didn't have childhoods, and they didn't hone their craft through many drafts and stories.  There were no blogs, then, nor any trade magazines of which I was aware to see writers as being human.  For that reason, I never thought it was possible to be a writer.  It's not that I rejected it; I was oblivious.

When I first went to college, I chose pre-med as my major.  I knew I wanted to be in a helping profession, and medicine was an obvious path.  Although I did well in the coursework, I didn't enjoy it.  I felt like I was missing humanity by studying only the human body.  I eventually found what I sought in the field of psychology.  I've since earned my doctoral degree in psychology and I'm still a practicing clinical psychologist.

Throughout my education and career as a psychologist, I continued to write novels.  The novels I've written act almost like markers in my life.  One particular novel was written when I was in college; I completed another when I was in graduate school.  I remember plotting parts of a third during my lunch breaks in a hospital cafeteria.  Despite never recognizing the career path of a novelist, I never seemed to stray far from the primary tenet: keep writing.

MGO: I must admit, I adored your book World Without Faces, but I had never heard of Prosopagnosia and in fact I had to look it up to see if it was actually a real illness. I was pretty fascinated with what I read about it. How did you learn about it and what gave you the idea to use it in a story (which was brilliant by the way)?

JIM: I first learned of prosopagnosia in a college course, but I memorized it as a fact out of a neuropsychology book.  In graduate school, I again was reminded of the disorder, but it still didn't stick with me beyond its definition.  It wasn't until years later when I was actively brainstorming my next novel that the idea of a protagonist with prosopagnosia occurred to me.  And once you've got a character who can't tell who people are, it only made sense to have him witness a murder then try to solve it!

MGO: You also have another book out called Bleeders that looks really good as well. I noticed it is in a different genre than your first book. What made you decide to switch genres and which genre do you prefer to write in?

JIM: I understand that most authors prefer writing one specific genre, but I haven't found that to be the case, for me.  When I pick up a book to read, I don't care whether it's YA, science fiction, fantasy, suspense, or mystery.  I've read and loved them all.  Similarly, I don't judge my ideas based on their genre.  So long as I have an intriguing and exciting plot with interesting characters and strong relationships, I've found my next novel.

I've heard (and see value in) the advice that authors should focus on one genre in order to build a dedicated readership.  I believe there's truth to that.  However, I also know that I'll follow my favorite authors into any genre, so I hope to become that author for my readers.

MGO: Any plans for future books (gets a hopeful look in my eyes that you are planning a sequel to World Without Faces)?

JIM: You will definitely see more novels coming out from me!  I'm working on one novel right now, and I have a series idea that refuses to leave me alone.  Unfortunately, I'm not a speed-writer.  Developing plots and strong relationships between characters takes a while, so I'll never publish as many books a year as some authors do.  I hope to have a new novel out by late Summer or Fall, 2012, but it's too early to announce anything definitive.

Since I hadn't published any novels prior to writing World Without Faces, I refused to allow myself to consider plot ideas set in the same series.  Unpublished writers are routinely told, "Don't write sequels.  What if you can't sell the first one?  Go write something else, instead."

Now that World Without Faces is out, I've allowed myself to wonder whether there's enough of a journey left for David and his friends (and enemies).  As of this moment, I believe there is.  World Without Faces is a stand-alone novel with its own beginning, middle, and end.  However, I can't help but wonder what life looks like for the characters six months after the final scene.  If I can develop a plot that stays true to the characters and that meaningfully adds to the world I created in the first book, I'll write that story.

MGO: I always am interested in what books authors like to read themselves so, who are some of your favorite authors and books that you enjoy?

JIM: As I mentioned above, I'm eclectic in my reading.  I adore Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus series.  I also enjoy Scott Westerfeld's novels, and I'm currently reading the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card.  I recently read My Sister's Keeper and Plain Truth from Jodi Picoult as well as Dear John by Nicholas Sparks.  Once I find an author I enjoy, I tend to go through their backlist.  I'm also easily swayed by friends; if somebody tells me they have a new favorite author, that author ends up on my To Be Read pile!

Thank you so much Jim for doing this interview with me and sharing your book with me as well. I really truly had a great time reading it and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.
And thanks for letting us get to know a little bit about yourself as well.

World Without Faces is a fabulous YA read. Very unique and so well written.
If you are looking for a bit of mystery and fun, please try this book. You won't be disappointed at all!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

Title: Hallowed
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Book Two of the Unearthly series
Published By: Harper Collins (Jan. 17, 2012)
Source: ARC Copy E-galley
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars

Goodreads Description:
For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.
My Review:
I recently finished Unearthly and as soon as I finished it I knew, other books be darned, I needed to read Hallowed.
Cynthia Hand has an amazing way with words. You see what she wants you to see and you feel what she wants you to feel. Her books are so rich in detail that you feel like you have been transported to that time and place and you want to experience it all. You soak it all up and into you until it becomes a part of you.

I love the characters she has created, Clara, Jeffery, Tucker, Angela, Wendy and Christian. Her Dad, Mom and all the congregation.

I really don't want to post any spoilers in this review but I will say that this book rocked. I think it was even better than the first and that is saying something.
We learn so much more about Clara and Jeffrey in this book. We even (finally) learn more about Clara's Mom and even her Dad. Questions from the first book are answered and even though they are answered, they sometimes lead to more questions, although that isn't a bad thing in this case.
We get to see more of Tucker and Clara's sweet romance and even some more of Christian and new developments between him and Clara that I didn't see coming.

I think I fell more in love with both Tucker and Christian after reading this book and I hate to say it, but, I now love them both equally.

They both develop so much in this book and they each have this appeal to them that can't be denied.
Clara grows so much in this book and learns so much. Cynthia Hand has a way of making fun of her own genre and love triangles and teenage angst that just makes it fun to read and never makes you want to hurl your book across the room or roll your eyes. Instead you are loving every minute of it and left wanting more.

And even though this books ending may have some people upset with Hand, they will still love her all the more for it and wish the next book wasn't going to be a long agonizing wait until it is released.

This book has some many great moments in it, prom, graduation, the funeral, revelations, discoveries, secrets, mysteries, heartache and heartbreak and love. Lots and lots of love.

Unearthly fans will be blown away with this sequel and be left aching for more.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Book One of Unearthly Trilogy/Series
Published By: Harper Collins (Jan. 4, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Solid Stars

Goodreads Description:
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

My Review:
I am really starting to wonder why it takes me so long to read a series that I have heard so much about? Am I not picking them up because I am wondering if they will really live up to their hype? Is it because I don't want to be disappointed? Or maybe it is because I know if I do love it then I will have to wait a whole year (in most cases) for the next one to come out?
Either way, I always kick myself when I have finally read a book that everyone raves about guessed is fabulous and I am wondering once again why I waited so long to read it.
This book was awesome. Clara is awesome. I love heroines that are strong and that don't always take the easy way or even necessarily make the choices that they are suppose to make but rather the ones that they want to take, the ones that they feel are right. The ones that they can live with later on.
I think I loved every single character in this story, Christian, Wendy, Angela, Tucker, Jeffery, I love them all. I even liked Clara's mom who I admittedly wanted to shake a few times for keeping things that were important from Clara and Jeffery.
It was nice to read an angel book this time through the point of view of the angel instead of the MC finding out their love interest was one or the boy next door or their best friend.
It was refreshing.
I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading the next in the series. I mean, who wouldn't want more Tucker and Christian...ahhh Tucker and Christian. Two boys couldn't be more different and more same if they tried.
Cynthia Hand created a wonderful story. I love her writing style and how engrossed I became in the story and in Clara's life. I have only been through Wyoming in passing but now I really want to go there and spend some time.
Hand has a way with describing the world and people that make you long to be there.
I can't wait to read the next book in the series, especially considering how this one ended.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson and Richard Dilallo

Title: The Christmas Wedding
Author: James Patterson and Riachard Dilallo
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Little Brown and Co. (Oct. 17, 2011)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
The tree is decorated, the cookies are baked, and the packages are wrapped, but the biggest celebration this Christmas is Gaby Summerhill's wedding. Since her husband died five years ago, Gaby's children have drifted apart, each one preoccupied by the turbulence in their own lives. They haven't celebrated Christmas together since their father's death, but when Gaby announces that she's getting married-and that the groom will remain a secret until the wedding day—she may finally be able to bring them home for the holidays.
But the wedding isn't Gaby's only surprise—she has one more gift for her children, and it could change all their lives forever. With deeply affecting characters and the emotional twists of a James Patterson thriller, THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING is a fresh look at family and the magic of the season.

My Review:
I have loved James Patterson's other contemporary romances in the past and was so excited to see that he finally came out with another one. I have been waiting two years for him to write another one so, needless to say my expectations for this book may have been a little high.
Maybe, sadly, a little too high.
I was a little disappointed with this one. Maybe it was the wait or the anticipation that made me a little disappointed with it. Maybe it was the fact that this didn't even really seem like a romance so much as a telling of a family. Their hardhsips and struggles and their strengths and weaknesses, their life than anything else.
Either way, I was in fact slightly disappointed with this book.
Now, don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad story, in fact it was rather good and even a little heartwarming and touching but it just.....wasn't what I hoped it would be.
Maybe I was looking for more of a Nora Roberts type story, I don't know.
The writing was good and the story itself was done well. I even loved the family but I just didn't feel that connection to any of them that I love to have with characters in the books that I read. I didn't find myself really caring who Gaby picked in the end and that just made me a little sad.
If you are a fan of Patterson's romances then I would suggest giving this one a try too, I just wouldn't put it up on a pedestal and hope it is as good as the others because, it just didn't compare.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thrill Ride by Rachel Hawthorne

Title: Thrill Ride
Author: Rachel Hawthorne
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Avon (May 1, 2006)
Genre: Realistic Fiction YA
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
Thrill Ride!
One-day admission: $15

Summer job:

Living on my own (plus roommates)
Rides are free (but avoid the roller coasters—too scary!)
Super-hot coworker . . .

Periodic homesickness
Dressing like Gretel for job in fairyland gift shop
Super-hot coworker . . . and boyfriend back home. Too thrilling!

My Review: 
I love Rachel Hawthorne's books. I can always count on picking up one of her books and getting exactly what I want from them, a quick fast, sweet read that will give you that "awww" moment that you are looking for.
You know the reads.
The fluff reads you need on a bad day that will put a smile on your face and melt your heart just a little bit.
I love stories like that. I know some don't so I would imagine these books wouldn't be for everyone but I love to read something light and fluffy every now, I am after all a hopeless romantic.

So, if you want just a feel good read Rachel Hawthorne's books are definitely for you.

And while this book wasn't earth shattering or life changing it is still worth the read.

I love reading about teenagers that find themselves and find love in the process as well.
Those that are willing to jump in head first and just take a chance on love, knowing very well they may get a broken heart in the process but a lot of great memories to take with them either way.

This is a great summer read or just a great read if you are looking for something to put a little more brightness in your day.