Wednesday, May 30, 2012

#ArmchairAudie Review Post 4 and my Winning Choice



THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT: Voices from the Titanic
Allan Wolf
Read by Michael Page, Phil Gigante, Christopher Lane, Laural Merlington, Angela Dawe
(Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick)Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope--twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.

Millionaire John Jacob Astor hopes to bring home his pregnant teen bride with a minimum of media scandal. A beautiful Lebanese refugee, on her way to family in Florida, discovers the first stirrings of love. And an ancient iceberg glides south, anticipating its fateful encounter. The voices in this remarkable re-creation of the Titanic disaster span classes and stations, from Margaret ("the unsinkable Molly") Brown to the captain who went down with his ship; from the lookout and wireless men to a young boy in search of dragons and a gambler in search of marks. Slipping in telegraphs, undertaker’s reports, and other records, poet Allan Wolf offers a breathtaking, intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy, told with clear-eyed compassion and astounding emotional power.


This was a wonderful surprise. I had a hard time not picturing the faces of the people in the movie Titanic when there were similar things happening in this story. It really did play out like a movie in my head.
I think the most surprising part for me was the variety of voices the audio brings out. It not only has a view point from the humans on the ship. From the Captain, to the workers, both men and women. But it also includes the voices of a mouse scurrying through the underbelly of the boat, and the poetic views of the iceberg itself.
With the variation from the different characters and their stories it really keeps a pretty quick pacing to the story.
There is a good balance between time the reader gets to know the characters that by the time the tragic event happens, you can relate emotionally with each of them.

As far as overall production and the voices, the readers connection with the story and the characters this audio gets my vote for best multi-voiced audio production.

Armchair Audie Post 3



1Q84
Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel [Trans.]
Read by Alison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
(Audible, Inc./ Brilliance Audio)
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers


At just under 47 hours of audio this audiobook is the biggest feat I have ever taken on. What makes this worth the while is that it was amazing. This story and the narrators really make it worth the time and have an ability to really bring the reader into the story. I found very few spots, if at all that my mind would wander even slightly from the story.
The story is entertaining as well as thought provoking. With the switching of perspectives and narrators the pacing of the story is impressive and even though I left it to last to listen to for these Armchair Audie posts I was really worried that I was not going to make it through the book in time, but the fact that I really looked forward to getting back into the story, says a lot about the audio I think. I only left myself a little over one week to listen to the whole thing and even with the bad timing on my part, I think that the enjoyment I had listening to it for several hours each day can say more than anything else about how well put together it is, especially for it's size.

There was a moment or two this week that I wanted to really put this one as the best nominated in this category and should win. It was difficult choosing between this audio and the one that I eventually ended up picking of the audio I think will eventually win in this category. (also to be announced in the next post---stay tuned!)

Armchair Audie Review Post 2



"There’s a reason why Brewster can’t have friends – why he can’t care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can’t be explained. I know, because they're happening to me."

When Brontë starts dating Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins – the guy voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” her twin brother, Tennyson, isn’t surprised. But then strange things begin to occur. Tennyson and Brontë’s scrapes heal unnaturally fast, and cuts disappear before their eyes. What at first seems like their good fortune turns out to be more than they bargained for…much more


Bruiser is the only Young Adult audiobook in the multi-voiced production category. I read and listen to a lot of YA here on the blog and have had this one on my wishlist for awhile.
The story is a very heart-wrenching one, more than I anticipated by reading the summary. As I was listening there were a couple places near the end where you could feel the tension and the anticipation building up and not knowing what was going to happen, but yet the feeling of dread creeps up on you each new chapter.
The narrators were able to capture the emotions of characters very well. I was surprised that Bruiser himself has less sections under his perspective than Tennyson and Bronte do.
The story presents different views on how people deal with stress, physical and emotional pain. There are families that go through a great deal of pain and heartache and others that even things as common as divorce these days it really has a heavy toll on the whole family.
Even though the sections from Colby's perspective were some of the hardest parts to listen to. The innocence that he represents is brought to the forefront with the perfect narrator and child-like thinking is spot on with the writing. I was also impressed on how well the author was able to get the emotions from a girl's perspective as well with Bronte.
The pacing of the audiobooks are really easy with the multi-voiced perhaps more than others because the listener does have the added benefit of having the different voices for characters instead of just a solo performance. The solo narrators are really a hit or miss when it comes to audio books, but with the different narrators in my opinion it's an added bonus.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Armchair Audie Review Post 1



This is the first play adaptation of the classic novel and cult film. It premiered in April 2000 at the Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, starring Kathleen Turner as Mrs Robinson



California in the 60s. Benjamin's got excellent grades, very proud parents and, since he helped Mrs Robinson with her zipper, a fine future behind him… A cult novel, a classic film, a quintessential hit of the 60s, now Benjamin's disastrous sexual odyssey is brought vividly to life in this world stage premiere production.
"Terry Johnson is that rare creature: a moralist with wit. He writes with responsible gaiety" (Guardian)



Publication Date: February 15, 2011 | Series: L. a. Theatre Works Audio Theatre Collection
A Raisin in the Sun is a seminal American drama and a heroic testament of hope. This new recording of Lorraine Hansberry s classic play, starring Rutina Wesley from the HBO hit series True Blood, chronicles a working class African American family struggling to maintain dignity in a harsh world. With her late husband s insurance money finally in hand, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a better home. However, her children have other plans: Walter Lee wants to buy a liquor store, and Beneatha wants to go to medical school. What happens when family dreams drastically diverge? A full-cast performance featuring: Judyann Elder, James Gleason, Noah Gray-Cabey, Corey Hawkins, Deidrie Henry, Terrell Tilford, Rutina Wesley and Mirron E. Willis.



I have decided to batch these two together in one post because I have very similar feelings about both of the productions. Honestly my opinion is that by having these full cast plays into the running with audiobooks is a little on the unfair side.
Firstly the actors that are in these plays are all very talented people, they are trained and have amazing talents in acting and vocal abilities. It's hard to rate one over the other because the cast of both do amazing jobs. I could not say that I loved one over another.
My reasoning besides the fact that these audio cd's are more like going to a play or having the tv on. They come with audience participation that laugh, cry or gasp in the right places and it adds more of a full bodied production than a typical audio book would contain.
In my opinion these type of audio's should be sold as soundtracks rather than audiobooks, I think as far as the comparison between these and the other audiobooks in the category is kind of hard to place one higher than the other.
Each story on it's own brought about several emotions. I enjoyed hearing a voice I recognized and imagined them acting it out on stage, I laughed along with the audience and overall it lead to some really entertaining rides to work over the last couple of weeks.
There is no way that I could rate one higher on the enjoyment list than the other. They were both very enjoyable and entertaining.

Monday, May 28, 2012

#ArmchairAudies! And The Multi-Voiced Nominees Are


It's that time of year that the Audiobook awards will be handed out on June 5th. To celebrate The Literate Housewife is hosting the countdown to the event. She has gathered together a group of bloggers to get together and listen to the numerous books nominated for the awards you can find the full list HERE

I have decided to listen to the Multi-Voiced Performances:
Multi-Voiced Performance
To Category List




1Q84

Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel [Trans.]
Read by Alison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
(Audible, Inc./ Brilliance Audio)
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.
Hardcover, 925 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2010) ISBN 0307593312 (ISBN13: 9780307593313)

Fiction • 47 hrs. • Unabridged • ©2011

Trade Ed. • Audible, Inc./ Brilliance Audio • 2011
CD ISBN 978-1-4558-3049-7 $39.99 • Forty One CDs
MP3-CD ISBN 978-1-4558-3051-0 $29.99 • Three MP3-CDs
DD ISBN $39.95

Library Ed. • Audible, Inc./ Brilliance Audio • 2011
CD ISBN 978-1-4558-3050-3 $99.97 • Forty One CDs
MP3-CD ISBN 978-1-4558-3052-7 $44.97 • Three MP3-CDs




A RAISIN IN THE SUN



Lorraine Hansberry
A Raisin in the Sun is a seminal American drama and a heroic testament of hope. This new recording of Lorraine Hansberry s classic play, starring Rutina Wesley from the HBO hit series True Blood, chronicles a working class African American family struggling to maintain dignity in a harsh world. With her late husband s insurance money finally in hand, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a better home. However, her children have other plans: Walter Lee wants to buy a liquor store, and Beneatha wants to go to medical school. What happens when family dreams drastically diverge? A full-cast performance featuring: Judyann Elder, James Gleason, Noah Gray-Cabey, Corey Hawkins, Deidrie Henry, Terrell Tilford, Rutina Wesley and Mirron E. Willis.


(L.A. Theatre Works)Poetry & Drama • 2 hrs. • Unabridged • ©1961

Trade Ed. • L.A. Theatre Works • 2011
CD ISBN 9781580818001 $25.95 • Two CDs





BRUISER
Neal Shusterman
Read by Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Luke Daniels, Laura Hamilton
(Brilliance Audio)"There’s a reason why Brewster can’t have friends – why he can’t care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can’t be explained. I know, because they're happening to me."

When Brontë starts dating Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins – the guy voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” her twin brother, Tennyson, isn’t surprised. But then strange things begin to occur. Tennyson and Brontë’s scrapes heal unnaturally fast, and cuts disappear before their eyes. What at first seems like their good fortune turns out to be more than they bargained for…much more
Narrated by Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Luke Daniels, Laura Hamilton



THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT: Voices from the Titanic
Allan Wolf
Read by Michael Page, Phil Gigante, Christopher Lane, Laural Merlington, Angela Dawe
(Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick)Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope--twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.

Millionaire John Jacob Astor hopes to bring home his pregnant teen bride with a minimum of media scandal. A beautiful Lebanese refugee, on her way to family in Florida, discovers the first stirrings of love. And an ancient iceberg glides south, anticipating its fateful encounter. The voices in this remarkable re-creation of the Titanic disaster span classes and stations, from Margaret ("the unsinkable Molly") Brown to the captain who went down with his ship; from the lookout and wireless men to a young boy in search of dragons and a gambler in search of marks. Slipping in telegraphs, undertaker’s reports, and other records, poet Allan Wolf offers a breathtaking, intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy, told with clear-eyed compassion and astounding emotional power.





THE GRADUATE
Charles Webb, Terry Johnson
Read by Kathleen Turner, Matthew Rhys, and a Full Cast
(L.A. Theatre Works)This is the first play adaptation of the classic novel and cult film. It premiered in April 2000 at the Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, starring Kathleen Turner as Mrs Robinson
California in the 60s. Benjamin's got excellent grades, very proud parents and, since he helped Mrs Robinson with her zipper, a fine future behind him… A cult novel, a classic film, a quintessential hit of the 60s, now Benjamin's disastrous sexual odyssey is brought vividly to life in this world stage premiere production.
"Terry Johnson is that rare creature: a moralist with wit. He writes with responsible gaiety" (Guardian)

Stay Tuned! Over the Next 24 hours I will be posting my own thoughts on each audio CD and announce my winning choice for Multi-Voiced performance of 2011

Friday, May 25, 2012

Time Weaver by Thomas A Knight




The Time Weaver by Thomas A. Knight
It started with a car accident.

What should have killed thirty-year-old Seth Alkirk, instead causes time to stop. He didn't know what was happening as he took in the frozen world around him. He didn't know why he was the only one who could move, or breathe, or see what was going on. But when a rift opened in the middle of the intersection, and a vicious twelve-foot-tall creature stepped through into his world, Seth did know one thing for certain...

He had to run. Or die.

Enter a parallel world where magic exists. Discover a kingdom in danger of being overrun by a massive army. And follow Seth as he discovers he is more than a human – he is a Time Weaver who can change the balance of the coming war, if only he can learn to control his powers in time (summary and cover from Goodreads.com)



This story was so much fun to read. Very entertaining and great unexpected twists.
I thought the mixture of characters and personalities was fun and brought some humorous dialogue.
With a unique twist to the usual stories including wizards, dragons and castles is all very magical and lead to some great visuals while reading along.
Even though I read mostly books for teens, when I was approached by the author to review the book I thought that the readers on my blog would be interested in this one as well. It has an adult main character, but the adventures and trials that he has to go through are very entertaining and it has a lot of action and adventure.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wander Dust (The Seraphina Parrish Trilogy #1) by Michelle Warren




Ever since her sixteenth birthday, strange things keep happening to Seraphina Parrish.

The Lady in Black… burns Sera’s memories.

Unexplainable Premonitions… catapult her to other cities.

The Grungy Gang… wants to kill her.

And a beautiful, mysterious boy… stalks her.

But when Sera moves to Chicago, and her aunt reveals their family connection to a centuries old, secret society, she is immediately thrust into an unbelievable fantasy world, leading her on a quest to unravel the mysteries that plague her. In the end, their meanings crash into an epic struggle of loyalty and betrayal, and she’ll be forced to choose between the boy who has stolen her heart and the thing she desires most.

Wander Dust is the breathtaking fantasy that will catapult you through a story of time, adventure, and love




When I started getting into the story I guess I didn't realize how much time travel would play a role. It mentioned it in the summary but didn't really realize it until I got into the story. I haven't read many books that include time travel in it and this one was interesting. It was written like a paranormal teen story, but with the addition of time travel gave it a more interesting and unique twist.
Although I enjoyed the story and the characters, I didn't feel the gripping power I was hoping for in the writing. I wasn't exactly thinking about the story when I had to put it down, but I did always come back to it until it was finished.
The concepts of secret societies and the danger that she faces is all really fascinating and I really like the idea behind the story, I am not sure why I wasn't completely gripped with the story and the characters and root for them as much as I wanted to, but the legend/mythology it touches on and powers and plot is unique and interesting.
I would recommend this book to fans of Tempest by Julie Cross

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Power Within (The Lazarus Children #1) by C.L. Causer




Charlotte 'Charlie' Gordon wants nothing more, than to be a normal girl. But having a near death accident as a child, she finds out that she has powers. After accidentally electrocuting her sister and blowing up her mother's kitchen, she suppresses her powers for ten years. Unknowing that there are more people like her out there. A lot more.

That is until a secret group of them try and hunt her down because of her unusual abilities. Forcing her family into hiding, she goes on the run. Having to learn about her powers and her past, she meets many new friends along the way. But you can't run forever. She learns that someone has betrayed her to the very people she is running from
(from goodreads.com)

Charlie has been trying to keep a grip on her powers that she has had for about 7 years now. But lately her powers are getting out of control and she does not know how to control them. When she finds out that some people are after her and an attempt made to kidnap her powers become too scary for her to handle alone and decides to make a visit home. She never wanted any powers, just wants to be normal.
Charlie is a good main character because she is selfless, she wants others to be safe and not hurt anybody, even the people that want to hurt her.
There are a lot of different side characters that are brought into the story. Ranging from her college friends to family and the "bad guys". All very interesting as well.
The story has a good balance between the action and the unraveling of the plot, or down time. The best part of the writing is the dialogue. I love when books have great dialogue because I feel that is a good way to get to know the characters, how they interact with others instead of always inside their heads all the time. Also a good balance between narrative and dialogue.
Overall it was a good, fast read and I was surprised to see the kindle version selling for only $1. That is a great deal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Faustian Host (Apocalypse Signs #1) by Dave Becker




Plymouth Rock is bleeding. Day has turned to night. Hundred-pound hailstones level buildings. The small town of Clement seems cursed, and the residents know who's to blame: the new kid, Tony Marino.

After losing his family and his home, 14-year-old Tony is forced to move from Florida to Massachusetts to attend Kalos Academy, an unconventional school for gifted children. Strange things begin to happen the day he arrives, and soon stories of plagues, monsters, and mystical objects surround him. Refusing to believe superstitions, Tony struggles to explain the occurrences logically, until he comes face to face with a satanic cult determined to bring about the end of the world


The students that attend Kalos Academy are gifted. After the student passes the initial tests to get into the school,they will never have to take a test again throughout their whole High School days. He has to take tests in several different subjects thinking that there was not way he was going to pass them and felt like he didn't belong there. He was not as conservative or preppy as the other students there.
Tony is used to being alone and taking care of himself. In the book he is described as "feisty" by one of his teachers and there were times when he was very argumentative and often spoke his mind.
There are some interesting and creepy things that are going on at the school. Nobody seems to trust Tony and this has raised the level of uncomfortableness between him and the other students.
There is some religious aspects to the story when trying to solve the mystery. Talk of cults, ancient magic, creatures, and crazy weather. It would actually be a really great Halloween time read as well. It's another book that I couldn't chose a favorite character, they were all great. 5 stars.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Audiobook Review Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful #1) by Yvonne Woon



On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.


Renee discovers her dead parents in the middle of a forest. There is something mysterious about their deaths that she has never felt comfortable about. She goes to live with her grandfather who decides to move her across the country to attend Gottfried academy for “her safety.” As soon as Renee starts there she knows there is something different about this school. The school monitor seems out to get her, she finds that she has a keen ability to find dead things and there is a curse on the school and students have been known to die there. Not to mention the mysterious Latin classes and student monitors that are up to something. Even the handsome and mysterious Dante has a deep attraction to her that he has never felt for anyone before.

There was not a boring moment in this story. The unraveling of the plot and the pacing is what kept me hooked. I thought there was a great mixture of characters. I liked the story line and the mystery behind what is happening at the school and her timing in finding out the events leading up to the end was all perfect timing. Even though I was not a huge fan of the how mushy the romance factor was in this one, it did not over power any of the main plot and events leading to the ending.

The story is put together very well. I know that I should have been able to see what was coming at the end, but I really didn't see it. The unraveling of the plot and the growing suspense kept me sucked into the story and I hated having to put it down. I have to say that I did find the romance between Renee and Dante a little on the mushy side, maybe a little bit too fast, but overall it really didn't cause me to want to rate it lower than 5 stars

I wanted to add a note here that I listened to the audio book on this one. I thought the narrator was fantastic in portraying the voice of Renee and I was hoping to find the second book Life Eternal in audio as well, but I couldn't wait for audible.com to get it in stock before I just ended up buying the physical book because I really don't want to wait to see what happens next, so you'll see that review soon!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Mayfair Moon (The Darkwoods Trilogy #1) by J.A. Redmerski




After a nightmarish encounter with a werewolf, seventeen-year-old Adria Dawson loses her sister, but gains the love of a mysterious young man and his legendary family.

Strange and tragic things begin to happen in the small town of Hallowell, Maine: residents come down with an unexplainable ‘illness’ and some disappear. In the midst of everything, Isaac Mayfair is adamant about keeping Adria safe, even from her sister whom he has warned her to stay away from.

As unspeakable secrets unfold all around Adria, impossible choices become hers to bear. Ultimately, no matter what path she takes, her life and the lives of those she loves will be in peril. As she learns about the werewolf world she also learns why her place in it will change the destinies of many
(From goodreads.com) You can now enter to win a copy on Goodreads.com through May 25th

I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. I knew it sounded good from the description but I didn't expect to not want to put it down. As the beginning chapters started playing out I had several mental flashbacks to the movie GingerSnaps. Two close sisters, a wolf like creature and them getting attacked and one of them relying on the boy to help her. But this story went in a different direction pretty quick. I just didn't want to stop reading.
There were several different layers to the story and the plot unraveled well with twists I didn't see coming. Especially when it came to the end of the book and we got to see the "young man" parents and the, I guess it would be the politics of how the group was run. The romance factor was not overwhelming or to angsty for me.
This story had a lot more depth to it that I thought it would initially going in. It was darker and more sexual as well. The writing really had a way of drawing me in and after finishing it became really happy that it's part of a trilogy

Sexual scenes and language.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

*Talisman of El by Alecia Stone

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?

One Planet.



Two Worlds.

Population: Human ... 7 billion.
Others ... unknown.

When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He's afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.

Char­lie doesn't know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.


The thing that I noticed immediately was how much dialogue was in the story. I do not know why this stood out for me. I normally pay attention to the dialogue as it brings through most of the humor and a way for me to really get to know the characters. But I noticed that this particular story is told more in dialogue than anything else. Which is not a bad thing.
The reader is introduced to Charlie and how he does not feel like he fits in. He knows there is something different about him and possibly more out there. He suffers from nightmares and living with his adoptive family, he is bullied inside and outside of his home by his new family members and schoolmates. Eventually through different events that take place, he ends up bonding with a group of friends, together gaining the knowledge of a place called Arcadia, deep within the Earth's core.
They decide that they must go on this adventure together.
All of these events I could see building up and was expecting something more to happen next, but never in my life after reading the blurb and beginning this book did I imagine it would become a battle between Angels and Demons. The idea that part of the story takes place in the hidden lands beneath our feet was a very unique spin. One of the boys that Charlie befriends, Derkein is also an unusual guy, he is 26 but looks 60 and continuing to age faster than others every day.
I though that the world that they discover and the creatures and myths and rules that come along with this story was an amazing read. I loved reading as they had to overcome some of these weird animals, and finding Eden. Everything has to be done in a certain time frame and with all of these distractions it becomes a very intense and fantastical adventure. I wish that I could have stayed longer in the world of Arcadia.
I cannot say that I really had a favorite character in the story. I think that was partially because of the writing style, all of the characters showed an equal role to the story. Although their tasks could not be completed without Charlie and what he finds out he is, each and every character is just as unique and an integral part of the story that I had a hard time liking any of them over another.
At 364 pages, and once I got into the story I was hoping for more of it to be focused on Charlie's big task, but I find that I feel this way a lot in the first book in series, that of course we need to get introduced to the characters, the world and the plot before more of the adventures can take place. I struggled with whether I wanted to rate it 3 or 4 stars, it was an enjoyable read and I am going to continue to see where the next story goes.


Don't forget tomorrow is the last day to enter the giveaway for this book! Click link for details http://www.centrinian.com/talisman-of-el-arc-bonanza

Friday, May 18, 2012

Shut Up by Anne Tibbets



Mary's older sister, Gwen, has royally screwed up her life. Not only is Gwen pregnant at seventeen, but she's also decided to marry The Creep who knocked her up.

Now Mary is powerless to stop her family from imploding. Her parents are freaking out, and to top it off The Creep has a gross fascination with Mary while Gwen enjoys teasing her to tears for sport.

Despite her brother's advice to shut up, Mary can't keep her trap closed and manages to piss off Mom so much it comes to blows.

Mary doesn't know what to do, and all her attempts to get help are rejected. When she finally plans her escape, she fails to consider how it could destroy them all
(from goodreads.com)


I don't read much contemporary fiction. I like to spend my money on books that take me to fantasy lands and a whole new world to explore. When I do pick up contemporary it really has to speak to me for me to like it. This was obviously one of those books.
When the author contacted me to read the book I was looking for a change of pace, it was a short read and I wasn't exactly sure where the story was going to go and it sounds intense.
what I did find from this story was a very emotional and depressing situation. One that while not all people have dealt with in their lives, I think that the majority of people can understand the depth of the depression that Mary fell into during this time in her life.
The writing is what really got me. It was so well portrayed that you could see the spiraling of Mary's emotional state at each stage, as the events happen that you really did wonder how it was going to all play out.
I don't want to give any spoilers away, but I just wanted to say there were some people in this story that made me proud. Good for them. 5 stars

Thursday, May 17, 2012

WIFYR & Scholarship opportunity!

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers - 2011 Participant
http://www.wifyr.com/

Some information about the conference from their website
Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers is for anyone who is seriously interested in publishing books for children and teens. If this is a passing interest, you may not want to invest the 40 + hours this conference takes. But if you really want to publish, there will be people here who will be able to help you get the best work possible in the time allotted.
Many people find this conference to be a life-changing experience as far as their career as writers or illustrators. It's a long, hard week that attendees love. In fact, we have many return attendees--almost 50 % of the people who come have been here more than once.



Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults
A.E. Cannon
Picture Book Class
Trudy Harris
Illustration Class
Julie Olson
Middle Grade Novel
Tim Wynne-Jones
Beginning YA Novel Class
Kimberley Sorenson
Fantasy Class
Matt Kirby
Science Fiction Class
Mette Ivie Harrison
Paranormal Class
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Writing the LDS Middle Grade and Young Adult Novel
Kirk Shaw
Advanced Class
Greg Leitich Smith
Advanced Class
Carol Lynch Williams
Writer's Boot Camp
Ann Dee Ellis

Here is the direct link to an awesome contest/scholarship
http://www.wifyr.com/blog/2012/03/09/1rst-annual-wifyr-writing-competition-and-fellowship-award/

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Friends Are Dead People by Tony Ortiz



In a secret world that coexists with our human one, a selected few among the dead are given a second chance at life. But there's a catch. They must become hideous monsters that can only live one day each year - the scariest one of them all.

Whether by fate or chance, thirteen-year-old Jesse and his friend Katie are taken into this haunted community by two magical gravediggers to participate in a brutal game where monsters battle each other for glory. As the game comes to its violent end, a dangerous entity emerges from the darkness, one so evil it was denied entrance into Hell. When it starts annihilating an endangered Halloween species, Jesse and Katie are caught in the middle and have to survive the deadliest war in the history of both worlds
(info from Goodreads.com)


I barely noticed the story was over 300 pages. It seemed to fly by pretty fast. The intensity of the story grows with each chapter, and your not exactly sure what is going to happen, even at the end.
The addition of several different dark creatures that always seem to get in their way they really have one whirlwind of a day with one thing after another, crazy. I usually end up having a favorite character in a book, but I didn't have one here. I think that each element of the story was brought in with perfect timing and each character had appealing qualities and I enjoyed all of it.
There were some interesting character names in this one. Jacoby, Meesi, tortic, Duma. Several different dark elements to the story, great climactic ending with everything coming to a huge end with a lot of danger and excitement. I think this is a great Halloween story for teens or those that like to experience Halloween all year long.
I did like that they cared for the human children during their struggles. They did not want to harm them even though danger was bound to happen. It is a clean read, creepy, great for Teens and Adults.
This is going on my list to read again in October.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bound by Annie Oldham



After her mother dies, Elowyn Challis would do anything to bury the pain, but being shipped off to boarding school isn't what she had in mind. Things could be worse. Wyn finds a place for herself in the academy and living in the capital is just sparkling. But under it all, her mother's death still haunts her. Then Wyn discovers a secret that changes everything she believes: the bedtime stories her mother told her as a child are real, the faerie realm exists, and she is the Binder—the one mortal on earth with the power to seal the gate to Fae. It's a power Wyn's not sure she wants or can even wield. But she must confront her nightmares and her grief, or two worlds will be torn apart (info from Goodreads.com)


It starts out with a very mysterious tone to the story. Wyn starts noticing things around campus and making friends, getting to know the place. Her heartache over the loss of her mother does stick with her throughout the story and you really feel for her.
I think the thing that appealed to me most about this story (and it's the small things that matter) was the fact that the boarding school that Wyn goes to sounds amazing. It's was the royalties old home and located close to the Palace. I could just imagine the beautiful architecture and picturesque views throughout the story as I read. The writing had a great way of pulling you into the world and being able to imagine the setting and the people's eyes (they had glowing eyes) was so smoothly done that I was able to lose myself into this world very easily.
I found the story enjoyable, Wyn is a great main character. We get to see some strength and weaknesses in her. Also there is a great cast of other characters.
It's a fun, clean read that I enjoyed spending some time with.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Last Seer and the Tomb of Enoch by Ashland Menshouse




Do you believe?
Can a ghost haunt more than your home? Can a Sasquatch track more than footprints?
Aubrey Taylor's quaint and cozy life in the subdued, Appalachian town of Lake Julian had never been exceptional. Shouldered by his lifelong friends, Buzz Reiselstein and Rodriqa Auerbach, he quietly endured the puerile punishments of a persistent pack of pesky bullies that included the most-feared kid in school, Magnos Strumgarten, and his own obnoxiously, well-accomplished brother, Gaetan. Comfortable in his humdrum niche of the absolutely average, Aubrey never pushed back.
Until...fate dug a little too deep...and the unseen darkness of unspoken places rattled his mediocrity.
When spurious specters and elusive mountain men battle for a tomb of Watchers, buried in ages past, only those who choose to look beyond the surface feel the grip of the ancients' revenge. Unusual disappearances, a colorful cadre of insightful townsfolk and a whirlwind of blunders and mishaps exposes the struggling forces that transform Aubrey and his friends into more than spectators amidst the oldest war of all.
Prepare yourself to see the unseen as you've never seen it before
(from goodreads.com)

This is a very fun and entertaining read with creatures paranormal and mythical, adventure and trips to the hospital. The events that the kids go through are both dangerous and exciting.
There is a variety of interesting characters that come into the mix as the kids set on their quest to answer some questions. Questions like, why is there a ghost haunting his room, and who is the mysterious new woman in town?
There were times that I did wish the book was not as long as it was. When there were certain points with a lot of action it slowed down a little too much for my taste before something happened again, a lot of descriptive and detailed writing. It might be harder for younger readers to hold their attention, but if they have a good attention span, it is worth the wait.
I think the story was very imaginative and sometimes spooky. The mixture of characters along with the creatures they come across, the people that help them and the ones that deter them. All very intriguing concepts and with this lengthy novel it will keep you entertained for several nights. Which I would also recommend, to take it in sections, end on the high points then when you start it up again the story will build up again to another point of action.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers



Seventeen-year-old Jocelyn follows clues apparently from her dead twin, Jack, in and around Seale House, the terrifying foster home where they once lived. With help from childhood friend Noah she begins to uncover the truth about Jack's death and the company that employed him and Noah.

Jocelyn's twin brother Jack was the only family she had growing up in a world of foster homes-and now he's dead, and she has nothing. Then she gets a cryptic letter from "Jason December"-the code name her brother used to use when they were children at Seale House, a terrifying foster home that they believed had dark powers. Only one other person knows about Jason December: Noah, Jocelyn's childhood crush and their only real friend among the troubled children at Seale House.

But when Jocelyn returns to Seale House and the city where she last saw Noah, she gets more than she bargained for. Turns out the house's powers weren't just a figment of a childish imagination. And someone is following Jocelyn. Is Jack still alive? And if he is, what kind of trouble is he in? The answer is revealed in a shocking twist that turns this story on its head and will send readers straight back to page 1 to read the book in a whole new light
(From Goodreads.com)

I thought this book had interesting appeal because of the way that Jocelyn has to follow clues left behind by her brother. The clues each leading her to a different place from her past, a past that she'd rather not remember.
Each clue is different, some are riddles, some are paper folding to show certain words and others are purely clues based off her memories of the games they played as they were children.
What I honestly did not expect from the book was how dark it got. The twins ended up having to go into foster care at a young age. Unfortunately they ended up in a really bad home until they could get a family to move in with or adopt them.
As Jocelyn solves each clue her life gets put in danger several times. She is a very strong female lead, even though when she meets up with Noah, a boy from her past she realizes that she needs help. Although not at first, it really takes her to go through alot before she accepts his help. They travel a lot figuring out the clues and it seems that every step they take, danger is always a couple steps ahead.
The author really puts her main character through a lot. I had no clue how the story was going to end and some points you could see the direction, but I enjoyed the twist at the end and it did take me off guard.
The story is told from a present day perspective and flashbacks of when the children were young and the experiences that they had while living in that home. It gets pretty dark and sad in places. I really enjoyed this story.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab



Sixteen-year-old Lexi, who lives on an enchanted moor at the edge of the village of Near, must solve the mystery when, the day after a mysterious boy appears in town, children start disappearing.

The day after a mysterious man is scene near the village, a boy goes missing. It's logical that the townsfolk believe that it's the man who is responsible and that the witches are housing him. But Lexi believes differently. She is friendly with the witches and she has met the mysterious man (who is really a boy). She believes that it was the Near Witch that responsible for the missing boys disappearance, and she is going to find the answers, no matter what the consequences.

At first the boy refuses to talk to Lexi, so she gives him a name of Cole, although he hates his name, as they become friendly, he accepts it. They work together to find the answers of the Near Witch's history by piecing together the stories that Lexi's father and the townspeople would say to their children. As a warning to behave.

As they get closer to finding the answers, they also become closer to each other as well. Cole has several mysteries that surround him as well and comes to rely heavily on Lexi and her friendship. By finding the answers, she could possibly save Cole's life as well as the other children of Near village.

A story full of fairytales, mysteries and friendship.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Praglide by Peter Anthony Kelley


For siblings Jim and Erica Winters, a summer vacation to London promises adventure and a bit of freedom from their overprotective mother. But once they arrive, they end up with more excitement than they bargained for. Their mother is kidnapped and her captors demand the one thing they can’t produce – their long-absent father.

Unable to trust the authorities, Jim and Erica set off in pursuit of their father, racing across Europe and fending off mysterious assailants. As the trail of clues dries up, help arrives in the form of a raven-haired beauty. Is she the answer to their prayers or a romantic distraction?
With the kidnapper’s deadline looming, the truth about their father’s shadowy past is revealed. In a last ditch effort to save their mother, Jim and Erica must climb high into the Swiss Alps where a perilous choice confronts them. Can they trust their father who has repeatedly betrayed them?
(from goodreads.com)


With their mother kidnapped and their father in hiding these kids really have it rough. But with determination and a lot of twists to the plot that comes up, they are able to travel to different countries, outrunning the kidnappers themselves looking for the answers.
They first must find their father to find their mother. He seems to be the key on why she has been kidnapped. The kidnappers seem to think that their father has to do with some stolen crown jewels and they have taken their mother as a way to bring him out of hiding. The only real problem is, they haven't seen their father in months. They never know who they can trust to help them and rely heavily on each other.
The writing is very detailed and descriptive. There is always a sense of danger and intensity to find the answers before something more dangerous happens. It was done in adventurous way that I think younger teens will enjoy.


First Paragraph: Genevieve Winters was gone. Vanished! Jim and Erica raced through the gift shop and around the ticket windows, searching up and down long curving lines of sightseers, ignoring irritated cries about budging and queue jumping. Jim clutched his sister's hand and ran to the visitor's plaza. He examined every face, chasing after turned heads and hunched shoulders, whipping a hoodie of a startled skater boy. Nothing. Their mother was gone.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle



Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured
(info from goodreads.com if you click on picture it will take you to it's page)

I have been reading a lot of mermaid books in the YA arena and when this author approached me to read and review this story I jumped at it. I was very intrigued with the idea. Here is a link to the Selkie wiki page if you would like to read more about them.
The book really grips you from the first page in which Kait discovers that the newborn baby was a half-breed and the town has thrown it into the water to die. She jumps into the water to try to save the infant even though it is common for this to happen, she takes a stand. Eventually one of the Selkie men sets his eyes on her, she become smitten with him and even though she is to marry another there soon comes a battle for her love.
The book is full of great characters and imaginative writing that will draw you into the world of mythical creatures and one girls desire to be with the one she loves, no matter what society thinks of her.
The greatest battle of all is that her love, Eamon cannot survive long on land. The reader is never sure if her attraction to him is his magical doing or if he never put a spell on her and their feelings are true.
This is really an emotionally filled book, romantic and emotional. There are sexytimes but they are not at the forefront of the story, mostly just implied.
I think that you will fall in love with Kait and her all-out determination to be with the one she loves, no matter what. She is fearless.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth




Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.


This book did something to me that others that contain the same aspects in it have not been unable to do. First there is insta-love. All it took was one look at the guy and the girl believes he is her destiny. Second the heavy religious aspects to the story.
I am ok with insta-love, but this one I did struggle with a little bit because of just how much the main character needed the boy. There was just a little too much dependence on the guy before she really knew what he was about, or even his last name for that matter. I did appreciate the fact that she does go back and forth with her emotions and it was a struggle for her at some points in the story.

Secondly, religion in books I usually avoid like the plague. It's hard for me to read a book that I don't feel like I'm being preached too, but this was handled well. The religion is integral to the plot. The prophet and the group that oppose him are both religious groups, and the main character is stuck in the middle of the battle.

I was immediately attracted to the book because of this cover. I have been reading a lot of dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels and am enjoying the ride. This looked right up my ally and really lived up to the expectations I was holding for it. The main character is attracted to lightning. She has scars all of her body from the effect of getting struck so many times. After a huge earthquake hits California the cities are in a state of emergency trying to get food and supplies in. The prophet is rising in popularity, but not all people believe in him or his preachings. Eventually through a new group that forms at school and the new boy she meets Mia and her family get stuck right in the middle of the struggles between the groups. She maybe the only person that can get her family, family and quite possibly the whole world out of this mess safely.

I read through this story so fast, it only took me a day and I really want to read it again.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Brotherhood of Praxia by Michael Drakich



Years have passed since the overthrow of the monarchy by the Brotherhood of Warlocks and they rule Piaxia in peaceful accord. But now forces are at work to disrupt this rule from outside the Brotherhood as well as within! Follow Tarlok, Savan and Tessia as their paths intertwine, with the Brotherhood in pursuit and the powerful merchant’s guild manipulating the populace for their own end If you click on the book cover it will take you to the goodreads page, in which you can read a sample.

This is one of those high Fantasy books in which you will completely immerse yourself in. There are several central characters and political intrigue with magic and adventure. Set during the time of Castle's, Princesses and alliances between Kingdom's is crucial.
Princess Tessia is in the middle of the negotiations between Kingdoms and she is my favorite character, showing strength and determination. She also brings a little bit of the softer side to all of the politics that are going on.
I liked the addition of magic into the story as well, it gives it that little extra to make the story more enjoyable and helped to break up the constant discussions between the characters of strategies and attacks and winning the battles.
A good story for boys interested in war strategies and battles, in general.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor, Lisa Rojany Buccieri


Eva Mozes Kor was 10 years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Mengele's twins were granted the privileges of keeping their own clothes and hair, but they were also subjected to sadistic medical experiments and forced to fight daily for their own survival, as most of the twins died as a result of the experiements or from the disease and hunger pervasive in the camp. In a narrative told with emotion and restraint, readers will learn of a child's endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil. The book also includes an epilogue on Eva's recovery from this experience and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she has dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and working toward goals of forgiveness, peace, and the elimination of hatred and prejudice in the world



This story reminded me a lot of Night by Elie Wiesel it was a very short story of this particular author's memories of what happened to her and her sister during the war. It is of course a little less detailed and horrific as the book Night was. This book would be a good addition to school libraries and classrooms to help lead discussions on the war and what the people experienced above and beyond what most classrooms see through the story of Anne Frank.
Eva and her twin sister are the focus of this story. We get a little bit of background of the war and the Third Reich and politics behind it. The family is taken out of their home to ghettos, them to camps and onto Auschwitz. It goes into some detail about the experiments that happened to them, but nothing that would give the reader nightmares, more like a hint at what happened.
We do not stay long at the camp, they were their in the last days of Auschwitz and the second half of the book is their survival and moving into the orphanage and then onto living with their relatives.
There are photos that go along with the story and it was interesting to see a lighter read that also details the ideas and politics behind the war with the heart of a survival story, forgiveness.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Boo Hag by David Morgan



Lenny Petrakas is worried about her skin. Not the way you're thinking. Not like that at all. While most people spend time concerned about dirt and elasticity, temperature and moisture, Lenny has a more pressing problem. Something is after her. Something evil that won't stop until it has peeled every last inch of skin from the teen's body. And then, it may end her misery quickly, or it may dump her body in the woods. Let infection and dehydration run its course.

Lenny is just your normal sixteen-year-old girl. Was. Was just your normal sixteen-year-old girl. Quiet and polite. Petite. Introspective, but not to the point of isolation. Loyal? Fiercely so. Outstanding? Noteworthy? Different? No, no, and no. Or so she thought. What started as an eerie feeling, a certainty that someone had been in her room while she slept, has spiraled into something far worse. Something was in her room. Something that finds her highly different, extremely noteworthy, and intensely outstanding.

Game over? Wrong. Lenny's a fighter, and she isn't about to lie down and take what's coming to her. Enlisting the help of her best friend, a not-so-secret admirer, the hottest guy in school, one odious cheerleader, and a paranormalist teacher, Lenny is facing her fears head on, in a battle she knows can only end in death


This story has a great premise. The idea that there is a Boo Hag that is after Lenny and there was suspense and mystery that filled the pages and got me interested enough to keep me reading.

I did not feel as connected to the characters as much as I wanted to. I feel that the choice of writing the story in 3rd person felt a little off to me and the repetition of the characters names on one page was distracting and noticeable for me. I confess that repetition is just a personal peeve of mine. I know that it's common for 3rd person to be used in books, but I rarely if ever noticed that a story is written in 3rd person, but this stood out to me.

As far as the plot and storyline go this book has a great one. I liked the idea of the Boo Hag coming in and adding that addition of fear and mystery to the story, but when she does make appearances she disappears way to fast.
As a whole I liked the idea of the story, I was hoping to get pulled into it more and my favorite parts were when they had to confront the Boo Hag, but they went by so fast I ended up missing her when she was not around.
I will be recommending it to my friends that like similar reads. If you like a softer take on thriller/horror stories you would enjoy this book. Great for younger teens who are interested in the horror genre.

Here is just one example from the beginning of chapter 3.
Lenny guided her shiny, yellow 1968 Volkswagen Beetle into the driveway. The girls had stayed a little late at school to complete the lab. When first period ended with the pair of tantalizingly close to finishing, they plead their case to Ms. Miller, who gave in, as, she noted, Lenny had no control over her intestines. But Anna was happy to have Lenny on her side; she could easily imagine the biology teacher coming to another decision if her best student hadn't been involved. Lenny got a lot of leeway, especially from Ms. Miller, because of her stellar academic record. After School the girls made a quick stop at Anna's house to pick up some essentials, and then made their way to Lenny's to investigate in the bedroom.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wicked Hungry by Teddy Jacobs


Stanley Hoff has it hard. His overprotective mom thinks she's a witch who can see people's auras; Stanley himself is getting hairier by the minute, his teeth ache, and the moon above him makes him want to howl and growl.

But things are not going to get any easier.

After a confrontation with a high school bully brings unwanted fame, Stanley's childhood crush Meredith invites him to her Halloween party. Which would be more than fine, except his friend Karen has broken up with her boyfriend and wants to be more than friends. But when Karen turns allergic to sunlight, Stanley has to ask himself, is Karen interested in Stanley as a boyfriend, or as... food?

And Stanley himself? He's WICKED HUNGRY. And not for anything he can eat in his vegetarian home.

As a growing supernatural threat menaces his suburban New England community, as more and more of his friends turn into shifters, as the stakes get higher and higher, Stanley must decide who will he choose to love, and, even, as much as it's going to hurt... who will survive


This story was a harder one for me to rate. I enjoyed the fact that there were a mixture of different characters as well as supernatural beings. I enjoyed the story but I still feel like I didn't get to know each character as well as I would have liked to. I think that it's the first book that I have read in awhile that didn't have any angst, mushy romance or really over emotional scenes at all. It's a pretty straight forward storyline. With a mystery at it's heart. What is going on in this town?
There were several different beings from faeries, werewolves, witches, zombies, ghouls ect. There are a lot of teenagers in this town starting to turn recently and as each human is different, they all turn into different things. I felt that too much focus was put on aspect of the story that normally authors would gloss over, like in the beginning chapters and his focus on the hamburger, his desire to eat meat. Instead of just being mentioned, it went on for a couple of pages. But not quiet enough time spent on getting the reader to attach emotionally to the character and rooting for him. Which is why I would categorize this more into a light fun read category. Even though there is the formation of a love triangle, all the emotions we would get from a female main character in this same position are completely different than what we get here with a more straight forward mans approach to liking 2 girls at once, more confusion that angst.
I liked that there were a lot of creatures in the town, it gives the story a lot of directions that it can go. There is humor and good dialogue. I would say that I lean more towards 3 stars than 4, it has a unique storyline and open enough in the end to go into another book. Now that we are introduced to the characters and the world a book 2 could really good.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

*Moment of Kairos



Four worlds. Four ages. Four struggles through deserts, demons, criminal underworlds and overwhelming odds. Elian searches for answer to the mysterious blackouts, led forward by his only clue: an encoded diary. Ben stalks the streets at night in search of horrific creatures not of this world. Alexander hunts down criminals, always intent on doing the right thing whatever the cost. And Prometheus tries to save his village without dying in the process.

Separate but intertwined, they press on, linked somehow to the mysterious John, who watches and waits - for it seems each of the four is part of something much greater than they could ever have imagined.


In the world of Elian we are introduced to a world in which the remaining people of town are huddled into a cafe, listening carefully to the news on which cities have gone black. Just outside their door the army has blockaded the most recent city to go black. People were not allowed in, or out. But so far nobody has come out. Elian is approached by a stranger, asking if he would like to join him on his journey into the darkness to search for answers of why it is happening.

In Alexander's world. The leaders are the Church. They have Knights and Sires that do it's bidding.

In the Prometheus world his town is attacked by soldiers.

In Ben's world is current day, just moved to London. On the way home one dark night, getting lost on his way home something grabs ahold of him. The leathery skinned creature is able to grab him, flying at him and attacking him.

Told from these 4 different perspectives this story is one of mythical creatures, dangerous travels and characters that have to be brave to survive. Throughout time, all of these characters and their stories are tied together...somehow.

I have always been a fan of fantasy stories with unusual creatures and fighting scenes. The combination of different characters bring in an aspect to the story, as each person tells their story it is like going from modern day to back in history, then back again. Each persons story is a different time, and yet all connected in a imaginative way that includes epic adventures, amazing battles and mythical creatures.
Although I enjoyed the stories of Ben and Elian the most, the idea of getting several different stories tied into one made for a fun and fast paced read.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

At Season's End By Eric Hendershot.





Even the river didn't stop Paw. Clothes and all, he jumped into the whirlin', swirlin’ waters of the great Columbia.

At this Maw let out a scream. Mebby she thought Paw was goin’ to end it all. Then Tim yelled, “Oh, no, Paw!” But I was too surprised and scared to say anythin’.

I suppose it was just a second or two, but it seemed like minutes before he came up again to show us he had two heads and four arms. Then the mighty water turned him over to prove he had four legs. That was when we realized Paw was holdin’ on for dear life to a young drownin’ boy.

Hit hard by the Great Depression, Sal’s family loads up an old Buick and heads out to find work wherever they can. Driving from place to place, living off the little they can make, they soon realize they’ll never be able to afford to settle down again.

Then, when tragedy strikes, Sal and her brother must learn to fend for themselves. In a world of harsh realities, there’s no room left for romance. But that can’t stop Sal from dreaming of a life with Ben—a boy from another migrant family—even though she knows she may never see him again.

This heartwarming story about growing up in a troubled time is sure to resonate with modern readers of all ages

www.AtSeasonsEnd.wordpress.com


As I was reading this story I found my mind thinking about Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It touched on some of the similar ideas that were presented in it and I couldn't help but compare them in that way.
This story is about a family during the great depression that must travel to find work to feed themselves. They are constantly on the move looking for farm work that all of the family members can participate and help bring in the money they will need to survive for the rest of the year. This also means that they are in constant movement following the seasons to find the jobs on the farms where their help is needed and they can get good pay.
It's a short novel, but contains a story in which a very tight nit family has no choice but to work together. Each person must do hard labor to bring in every cent that they can to pay for travel and food to get them to the next job. The Great Depression was a very hard time in American History, and this is a inspiring story about one of those families and the people that they meet during their travels.
They have to endure several trials of their own, a story of love, loss and hard work.