Friday, April 29, 2011

Between Two Ends by David Ward

Between Two Ends
Between Two Ends  Description from Goodreads.com
When Yeats and his parents visit his grandmother's creepy old house, Yeats reunites a pair of pirate bookends and uncovers the amazing truth: Years ago, Yeats's father traveled into The Arabian Nights with a friend, and the friend, Shari, is still stuck in the tales. Assisted by the not-always-trustworthy pirates, Yeats must navigate the unfamiliar world of the story of Shaharazad--dodging guards and tigers and the dangerous things that lurk in the margins of the stories--in order to save Shari and bring peace to his family.

David Ward has created a fantasy rich with atmosphere and full of heart-stopping drama.

Wonderful, unexpected fast paced adventure. It reminded me a lot of Inkheart, instead of bringing the characters out of the books, we travel inside the book to rescue Shari. The Arabian Nights of course being one of my favorite stories, is probably why I leaned towards a five star rating. It really had me hooked from the beginning and the fun twist of having magical Pirate book-ends is very entertaining and their attitudes are very frustrating throughout the story. Yet added to the story that makes it more of an adventure full of twists.
Great characters, amazing story!

  
Author's Site                    Other Books By Author



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday or Wishing on Wednesday is a meme that was started by another blogger and I cannot find their name at the time I typed up this post, if you have it handy please comment and I can get that fixed.  I apologize.


   The Cellar by AJ Whitten is probably the only Zombie book that has completely caught my attention. I was able to read an advanced copy of the book and really enjoyed it and cannot wait to buy a physical copy next month
Awaken I also was able to get my hands on an advanced copy and LOVED it. Rated 5 stars in my book and dying to get my own physical copy to love and re-read over and over again. Justin is a hottie and Maddie is just lovely! And I know what most people think, Zombie's can't love they are dead with no brains. But I really enjoyed this story and cannot wait to own my own copy to read again.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped                                                



Bumped (Bumped, #1)

Description from Goodreads.com   http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8517207-bumped
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

I knew as soon as I finished this book I would need some time to think about how to review it. And I found myself kinda speechless. And I was really glad to find that I was not alone! But here we go: My first impressions while reading where shock, disgust, humor, and sad. I think the thing is this is a dystopian novel, although the world where your selling your body as a surrogate is not completely unknown to us but the immense inhumanity that came through the way it was handled disturbed me. Other things that disturbed me were the religious aspect and the adultery, lying, money hungry, jiggalo's and paparazzi. The part that had me the most heart broken was that these girls are genetically tested early in life for the likely-hood of having healthy children, not just healthy but then they are matched up to have the babies look as much like the paying parents as possible by mixing and matching the teens to "breed" together. The bumping contracts begin early in life, the girls are treated as a business deal than human beings. Girls can also choose to bump with boys that they are not contracted to bump with but the kids seem less likely to be bought from unmatched coupling.
It all leads to a society that has a very messed up sense of sex, marriage and family. The emotions are strong, raw and very real.
It was an intense read for me. And I honestly think that I barely touched on what the story has to offer. I can definitely see this one getting banned. There is a lot of religious views expressed, a lot of controversial behavior and several things that can lead to some healthy discussions and our views towards teenage pregnancy and how it has become popularized by television and reality shows.
I do not want to discourage anybody to pick this one up, I actually recommend that you do. I think it was a life changing book for me, this is one I will never forget. This book is going to be a topic for discussion and highly debated. May just make the next banned book list....and that is a very good thing. Even though the religious aspect and the business side of the whole thing made me very uncomfortable I do believe it can lead to very healthy conversations.
Please check out the Discussion Guide for this book here:Bumped Discussion Guide
http://www.meganmccafferty.com/news/
http://www.meganmccafferty.com/2011/04/more-bloggers-love-bumped/

Friday, April 22, 2011

Plan B by Charnan Simon

Plan B (Surviving Southside)
Description from Goodreads.com    Goodreads Direct Link
Is this happily ever after? Lucy has her life planned out: she'll graduate and then join her boyfriend, Luke, at college in Austin. She'll become a Spanish teacher and of course they'll get married. So there's no reason to wait, right? They try to be careful. But then Lucy gets pregnant. Now, none of Lucy's options are part of her picture-perfect plan. Together, she and Luke will have to make the most difficult decision of their lives.

*Spoiler Alert* I hate spoiling anything but when the book is only 108 pages, it was really hard not to.

It was very well written. It honestly reminded me of the first two episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The dialouge is very specific, detailed and the most important decisions and thought processes are explained well. I think this story can be very usefully in explaining the many different thoughts and attitudes that come from 1) the pregnant girl as she finds out she's pregnant 2) the boyfriend/dad's thoughts 3) the parents of both 1&2 and of course the discussions and decisions that must be made from that point on by all of the above. How it changes your life and others.
So *spoiler alert* (but that is ALL it covers). It is only 108 pages so we do not get to see what happens pass these initial thoughts and decisions...and for this particular story things could have turned out way worse. This story perhaps shows the upside or more positive attitudes in this situation.

I hope that books like these help show that communication is the key.
Although I was anticipating more, I really enjoyed what I got. It was a fast read, but every informative, well written and should be included in all libraries.
More books by this author

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Description from Goodreads.com
Every girl who has taken the test has died.
Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.
If she fails..

The Goddess Test (Harlequin Teen) 

 I found this story very intriguing, it had romance, drama and a little education mixed in with a fun story.  Kate is very down to earth, relate-able and determined. 
Henry seems to be introverted, quite, beaten and a little bit of a push-over. I think it all has to do with the story though because it is his family that conducts the tests and he has to let them happen and step-aside.  The tests that Kate is put through are mostly subtle, some are noticeable and big events but the  majority are very subtle and in the end, appropriate. The story I felt was more of a look at how we live our daily lives, make our every day decisions and how they effect others and our futures. As a reader you do not get to know which events were tests until the very end.
The romantic aspect was very nice, it was slow and developed well. There are fun twists in Kate's thinking process that sometimes you do not know which way she will decide but all the decisions made seemed very appropriate and thought-out and well done. 
I had a very nice time reading this story, it was compelling and kept me interested, couldn't wait to see how it ended and when it all did, I thought that this is one I would read again. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird

The Betrayal of Maggie Description from goodreads.com
In seventeenth-century Scotland, saying the wrong thing can lead to banishment—or worse. Accused of being a witch, sixteen-year-old Maggie Blair is sentenced to be hanged. She escapes, but instead of finding shelter with her principled, patriotic uncle, she brings disaster to his door.

Betrayed by one of her own accusers, Maggie must try to save her uncle and his family from the king’s men, even if she has to risk her own life in the process.
Originally published in the UK, this book has a powerful blend of heart-stopping action and thought-provoking themes 
This was an interesting tale that discussed more the issues of Protestants and Catholics in the Scotland regions more than it was anything else (a witch story). I was hoping of more of the witchcraft discussed but it was an interesting enough read if you are into historical novels especially religions, you will like the way Elizabeth wrote this story, full of facts and concepts of how the King of England tried to force religion upon his people and the effects that war can have upon a people fighting for the right to stand up for their own beliefs. Told through the eyes of a teenager, also fighting to protect her family. She has a very trying time and a war is going on. A Lot of pressure on behalf of the church officials to attend or pay the price.

The best part of the story is if you go into it knowing that it's based off true stories.



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton


Angelfire (Angelfire - Trilogy)

Angelfire (Angelfire, #1)
Descrption from Goodreads.com
This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.
A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.
While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember

I have said it before: There are a lot of Angel books coming out these days in the Young Adult genre.
So there is obviously a lot of competition out there. But this book stands out.
It's got action, adventure, blood, fire, reapers, angels and a touch of romance. I think it's a great start to the series and very interesting world and concepts developed here that can lead to some awesome story-lines and some very descriptive well written fight scenes.
Have to say that in this book her father really stands out. I mean if I were more prone to swearing I'd have a couple choice words for his attitude and behavior. I'd really like to see where that story goes in the future books. 
Quirky thoughts: so this whole book I couldn't get out of my head: How does she go to school all day, fight reapers all night, and not complain about not getting enough sleep?
Answer: She's got awesomesauce for blood.
So if your looking for a tamer more romance filled book pick up Fallen by Lauren Kate or Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, because in Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton your gonna get an awesome kick-ass Ellie who you don't wanna mess with!
And if you have read this book and looking for an angel book with great action or twists, I recommend Unearthly by Cynthia Hand or Angel Burn by L.A.Weatherly
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed.
Angelfire (Angelfire - Trilogy)  


                                                   

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Red Glove by Holly Black

Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2)
First off Let me just warn you now as this is the 2nd book in the curse workers series, you are bound to read a little bit of spoilery from the first book if you continue reading from this point on...You Have Been Warned.
Read at your own risk.

Description from Goodreads.com
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.
When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?
Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose

Interesting twist happens in the first couple chapters that I'm surprised the description does not mention, as love and Lila are mentioned a couple times. We see Cassel going back to school as the new year starts and guess who shows up? Yes Lila seems to be attending his school now, she just can't seem to stay away from him..wonder why? You of course know the answer...so she decides until the curse has worn off it's better that she be close to him or else she'll lose her mind (sounds like a crazy stalker right?) But of course the wonderful Cassel whom any girl would fall for (curse or not) is very understanding and somehow becomes a little more irresistible (to me!)
So lets move on from the romance and get to the real stuff, He finds himself in tough situation. The Feds want to recruit him and the mobs want to recruit him. All the while his mother is out of jail and he still has to deal with her crazy antics as well has his family. How much can one guy take?
My Favorite Things:
Characters Rock: by the end of the book I realized that I love his circle of friends: Sam, Daneca and Lila
Plot twists: Follow your families wishes or follow your heart
Romance: Cursed or not, love hurts, maybe love is a curse
My tag line: Con or be Conned

I have to admit, I really did not figure it out. And the chapters in which the secrets are revealed, I think I held my breath through most of it. -And that is amazing story telling

I am getting more addicted ...and find myself wanting to buy myself a nice set of red leather gloves.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cover Reveal! Dearly Departed by Lia Habel



If you don't know that I LOVE Covers yet, you will find out soon.
Last week Lia Habel revealed the cover to her book and I cannot wait to read this one.
     Please check out her site for more details and follow on twitter for more details
http://liahabel.com/2011/04/07/nailing-on-the-lid/

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Rage (Horsemen of the Apocalypse, #2)

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.
A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

I have to admit while reading this book, I realized that I was paying a lot more attention to the parts about Missy's feelings. The way that the author has portrayed the "need" to cut was very profound and I could sympathize with Missy. I have never experienced cutting in my life or anybody I know personally, but we all have some form of relief that we take when stressed or overwhelmed. Of course books usually stress the faults of the characters to make it more dramatic and have an imapact on the reader. It's what makes a powerful story have an affect that you will remember.
Missy's need to release her feelings through cutting make her "feel better". And although Missy does not really show much rage as herself, her story in this series represents the idea of Rage and War very well. The books are very well written in description that you can feel what the characters are going through with them. And you get a glimpse outside of your own life and maybe remember that it's a big world out there with a lot of suffering in many other ways. That the Apocalypse in many ways can be fought internally as well as externally.
       So far with the book Hunger and now Rage (2 more to go) in the Horseman of the Apocalypse Quartet they are short, but very intense in subject matter.     
     

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Hunger
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home—her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power—and the courage to fight her own inner demons? A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, Hunger is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens  Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse)


The ties between the main characters and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse in this new series by Jackie Morse Kessler is very imaginative. They are really short books (just under 200 pages each) and very interesting. So far I have read Hunger, which is the first book that was published in the Riders of the Apocalypse series and it deals with a girl Lisabeth whom is anorexic. We get to see inside her head on what makes her not want to eat and how she views her own self image.
The main characters have to not only learn how to face world-wide issues but also their own. Lisbeth's journey in this book is saddening and very detailed and to-the-point facts that will emotionally punch the reading into realizing not only what goes on within the heads of others, but brings in the whole factor of realize what other people world-wide deal with. 

Lisbeth brings her punishment upon herself, but now she must witness others being punished for what they cannot control.

Very powerful and moving story.
Stay tuned, Thursday I will have a post on my thoughts about the next book RAGE.
Authors website: http://www.jackiemorsekessler.com/books/
                                                 

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

The Lipstick Laws
The Lipstick LawsDescription from Goodreads.com
At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.   For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.   But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?
After finishing this book I realized that Britney and April could have been twins separated at birth. I felt that April was more immature than Britney through most of the novel. I have read a lot of reviews so far on this one calling it similar to Mean Girls and I really agree. Where the "good girls" are not any better than the "bad girls" just trying to show up one another with prank after prank. Most pranks being really hurtful and each side responsible for bullying the other.
Whomever walks into a situation where you have to pass tests to become a member of a group. A Group that has taken the time to write down "laws" of what it takes to pass as a "friend" than you know something has to go wrong.
It was a fast paced read, full of superficial, hypocritical mean girls trying to get more popularity than the other.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish

Savannah Grey: A Horror Story Description from Goodreads.com 15 year old Savannah Grey has never felt she's belonged. She keeps her distance, so she's surprised by her attraction to the new boy Reece. Then strange things begin to happen: nature, it seems, is exerting an overpowering force on the world. Birds behave strangely; gusts of wind blow leaves so fiercely they seem to lure people away. And Savannah learns she has supernatural powers. Nature has a purpose for Savannah and her friends. For they are on course to meet the vile and evil Orcrassa, who wants to destroy the world by corrupting nature. And it wants Savannah Grey to help realize its savage intent
I have absolutely ranked Cliff McNish as one of my favorite authors after reading this book. I immediately went online and ordered all of his books,  I was floored by his writing style. Every time I turned a page I had no idea what kind of turn this story would take. I was creeped out, intrigued and for some reason found myself holding my own throat during several pages at a time. It's amazing to come across a story that is so enthralling that you just want to read them for the next several weeks of your life, and he was that kind of author for me. My heart was beating fast, my throat was itchy and my eyes could not be taken off the page no matter how hard I tried. LOVED IT!  Savannah Grey: A Horror Story