Friday, June 29, 2012

The Stranger Inside by Melanie Marks



After her father's mysterious death, seventeen-year-old Jodi Logan is forced to move back in with her mother and stepfamily. This in itself tears at Jodi. Her mother kicked her out two years earlier after discovering Jodi was romantically involved with her stepbrother, Jeremy. To make matters worse, there’s Jeremy himself. No matter how hard Jodi fights it, she’s still drawn to him.

Adding to the suck-fest that is now her home life, lately Jodi has time lapses she can’t account for, waking places she doesn’t remember going. When she comes to one day and finds herself making out with a boy she's never met, Sawyer, Jodi learns she's been living a double life as a girl named Kenzie. But who is Kenzie? Jodi fears she's going crazy—maybe developing a split personality. But when she discovers the truth, it's even worse. Jodi is possessed by a ghost—a stranger inside her that refuses to leave. When a girl from school is murdered Jodi doesn’t know who she can trust: her new friends? Sawyer? Jeremy? Or the stranger inside?

Note: The main character in this novel does not drink alcohol; however, other underage characters in this book do


Possession, ghosts, romance, drama, dealing with death of loved ones.

This book caught me off guard a couple of times. There were several different layers to the story.

Firstly there is a lot of confusion on who Kenzie is, the most prominent plot line that pushes the story forward.

Secondly the decision that Jodi made to date the best friend of her last love, Jeremy. The story behind how Jodi and Jeremy was more like soul mates than a lot of teen love triangle factor. I knew that something had to happen when it was found that she was now dating his best friend Sawyer. There had to be some uncomfortable conversations there!

Thirdly there was the story of the death of her father. And the draw Jodi kept having towards the psychic center and things being moved around her bedroom suspiciously ghost like behavior.

Throughout the book Jodi has a constant atmosphere of mystery and saddness that surrounds her. I found myself wondering why she was drawn to Sawyer, he seemed to be hiding something or not ever telling her the full truth. Very suspicious behavior especially surrounding his band.

As the story behind Jeremy, how they met, fell in love and eventually broke was so sad! It's true that sometimes you just cannot help who you fall in love with. It's a real story of true love.

Jodi had lost her father tragically and she missed him so much that it was my first conclusion to think when the idea of ghosts appeared that it had to be him trying to contact her. There is much more to the story and some twists that I definately did not see coming.

I think this is one of my favorite books so far from this author. Even though I just finished reading it this week, I have already added it to my list to read again later this year. Something that I don't do very often, but it's one of those stories that tend to resonate with me and would like to visit again.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Is Not A Test By Courtney Summers



It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?


Courtney Summers is known in the YA/Teen book world for her contemporary novels CRACKED UP TO BE and SOME GIRLS ARE, and FALL FOR ANYTHING.
This is her first step into the Horror genre with her first Zombie novel.
In the beginning we see a very depressed and intimidated young girl, Sloane Price. Living alone with a very strict and abusive father, her sister has abandoned her. Out of now where the zombies arrive and she must find shelter outside the home. Ending up at the local school house with a group of others. They decide to stay until things outside die down. They have water and food enough to last for months.

About 75% of the novel is a very dramatic, character driven novel. Sloane is still torn by the abandonment of her sister and the abuse by her father. The group hiding out are each experiencing their own paranoia, both between each other and constant fear of the zombies.
There is a bit of a romance that happens, but with the fear and hyper sensitivity the characters are feeling it is more of finding comfort in others than falling in love.
This is my first time reading a book by Courtney Summers, I do not read much contemporary and when I heard this one would have zombies in it, I jumped at the opportunity.
Needless to say my favorite part was the last 25% when the zombies make a huge appearance. The author does not approach them carefully either. There is gore, great detailed scenes and a run for their lives.
I am very happy she decided to take on this project because I was happy to have read it.
I have heard that those that like her contemporary books will enjoy this novel as well, there has been some great reviews so far that I have read that have been long time fans of her books.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#JIAM City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare




The New York Times best-selling Mortal Instruments continues - and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

Can the lost be reclaimed? What price is too high to pay for love? Who can be trusted when sin and salvation collide?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

©2012 Cassandra Claire, LLC. (P)2012 Simon & Schuster


I have become a huge fan of the audibooks for this series. The narrator Molly C Quinn represents Clary exactly as I would have wanted her to be.
In the newest addition to the series we get to get a little bit into each of couplings that have begin to form as well as Simon's emotional turmoil from the new troubles with his mother.
I was very happy to see some private time happening with Clary and Jace as well as with Magnus and Alec. With each new book in the series I am loving these characters more and more. My heart breaks along with them and I smile right along with their happy times.
Every time I pick up one of Cassandra Clare's audiobooks I am on the edge of my seat, I never see the twists coming and she always surprises me with how much she puts her characters through. Clary has a heart of steel and her dedication to Jace always amazes me. But I am always rooting for them to succeed.



 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

#JIAM My Favorites!



June is Audiobook Month! Today is a busy day for me so I thought I would throw up a list of my favorite audiobooks as recommendations for you!

Earth's Children Series
This series is the story of Ayla during the time of the Cave man. The first of the series being The Clan of the Cavebear: A remarkable epic of one woman's odyssey - filled with mystery and magic. Here is the saga of a people who call themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear; how they lived; the animals they hunted; the great totems they revered. But mostly it is the story of Ayla, the girl they found and raised, who was not like them. To the Clan, her fair looks make her different - ugly. And she has odd ways: she laughs, she cries, she has the ability to speak. But even more, she struggles to be true to herself and, with her advanced intelligence, is curious about the world around her. Although Ayla is clearly a member of the Others, she is nurtured by her adoptive parents, befriended by members of the Clan, and gradually accepted into the family circle. But there are those who would cast her out for her strange, threatening ways. So the conflict between the ancient Clan, bound by heredity to its traditions, and the girl in its midst, of a newer breed destined to alter the face of earth, could never be resolved. And it is this same struggle that leads Ayla to venture where no Clan woman has ever dared. Driven by destiny and a will to survive, Ayla breaks the forbidden taboo. Listen to more in the Earth's Children series. ©2004 Jean M. Auel; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio (Summary from audible.com)

Sookie Stackhouse Series!
I have to say that I am a lover of this series, but what constantly keeps me coming back to the audiobooks is the narrator. She does a fantastic job and if an audiobook is narrated by her, I know it's something I will enjoy listening to.
Vampires have officially "come out of the coffin", and Miss Sookie can't wait for one to come her way. Anthony Award-winner Charlaine Harris' New York Times and USA Today best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels entice countless fans with an irresistible mixture of vampire romance, beguiling mystery, and old-fashioned Southern charm. Listen to more titles in the Sookie Stackhouse series. ©2007 Charlaine Harris; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC
(summary from audible.com)

And most recently the YA books that I have listened to and thoroughly enjoyed and recommend are:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hell's Game by Teresa Lo

"They only exist because you have to much pride, and pride is one of the seven deadliest sins. It is pride that will cause you to stay in Hell. Remember the knowledge you read in my books. Remember that there is a Higher Power than yourself. Remember that it is okay to lean on others in your time of need. Go home and prepare your body, mind and soul to be as strong as it can be before The Game begins, and tell the others to do the same. That is the only real advice I can give you, but that advice is what will help you conquer." -Mayor Hercules Hell's Game by Teresa Lo On Halloween night in Deer Creek, Kansas, Jake Victor, Ashley and Ashton Gemini, and Kristin Grace convince Ronnie Smalls to meet them at the town cemetery, which local folklore has always rumored to be the Gateway to Hell. Their intention was only to scare him, but soon the wicked prank becomes actual horror as the group learns the Gateway is all too real. After demons snatch Ronnie and drag him to Hell, the terrified foursome vow to keep what they had seen a secret. Two years later, the group receives a mysterious letter, an invite to play a high-stakes game in Hell. If they win, they release Ronnie’s soul as well as their own from eternal damnation. If they lose, they are stuck in Hell forever. Choosing to play, they face nightmare after nightmare as each level escalates in intensity and forces them to face the seven deadly sins. Inspired by the legends of the Gateway to Hell in Stull, Kansas, Hell’s Game explores the cruelty that teenagers can inflict upon each other as well as the horrors that exist amongst mankind. It is a dark, action-packed young adult novel that will both scare its readers and make them question the true meaning of evil I love how in the summary it says that the teens "chose to play" the game. The letters that they receive are actually pretty threatening. Stating that if they refuse to play the game, it will be instant access to Hell upon their death. If they win they rescue themselves along with Ronnie's soul from Hell. Usually with young adult books I always hope for a little bit of a darker read when it comes to the horror books. This one did a great job of fulling that hope. I was a little disappointed to see how lenient they were on the rules, especial regarding giving them the access to a watch when the Gamemaker clearly states that they do not usually do that. But it's really a small thing compared to the whole storyline of the novel. The trials that the teens have to go through was a unique twist and almost reminded me a bit of The Devouring series by Simon Holt. You get a little bit of physiological mixed in with the physical activities of the games. Then you have the added bonus of having a time limit to complete the tasks. The time limit keeps the story paced well and the games are dark and it's a pretty fast paced novel.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Stiff Kiss by Avery Olive




Who knew kissing a corpse would change everything?

Death always hits Xylia Morana too close to home, but she likes it that way. She hangs out with the terminally ill, attends random funerals, and every so often, when the weather is right, she sleeps in open graves.

But after Landon Phoenix, the high school hottie, dies in Xylia's arms, she sneaks into the morgue to say goodbye. How could she know stealing a kiss from his corpse would wake him up?

With Landon returned to the living and suddenly interested in Xylia, life has new meaning. But what Xylia doesn't realize is that by kissing Landon back to life, she's thrown Life and Death off balance. The underworld demands a body, and it might just have to be Xylia's this time


Well I personally think that the summary gives a little too much away about the story, it really does sum up the book perfectly.
One thing that appealed to me while reading the story is how morbid Xylia is when it comes to death. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing gross in the story, she's just borderline obsessive about death. This extends to the fact that the loss of her mother hasn't fully set in yet. I know that a loss of a loved one never really, truly is something that you ever get over. Throughout this story I was always second guessing about whether Xylia's mother died, or just left them.
Xylia's father is a doctor, and that gives her a little more access to her fascination. She knows that the morgue is out of bounds, but knowledge of where it is and how she can sneak in there is more of a drive for her to find him, and eventually kiss him, leading us on this story.
When Xylia awakens Landon, I have to be honest that I was a little confused on why she kissed him. It was a high school crush, she didn't even seem to know him very well before he died. But when he does awaken, their connection to each other becomes a driving force to the story. It was very romantic but with a more Goth- Fairytale like feeling to it.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

#JIAM Audiobook Websites!

June is Audiobook Month!
It's the weekend again and today to celebrate audio book month I want to talk a little bit about the websites that I have used to listen to audiobooks.

Library:
When first deciding if I wanted to listen to books on audio. I checked them out from my local library. This is what got me started with my love for audiobooks. But I came to find out very soon that I didn't like listening to the audiobooks at the pace that the narrators usually lend to a book.
Online Library (aka Overdrive) I started downloading books from the library instead and when working with the overdrive program I soon learned that I can speed up the pace of the narrator. This made for a better experience for me because I am also an above average reader as well. I do not read super-fast or try to challenge myself, but I also do not usually read at slow pace.
Overdrive: this program also allows me to download the book to my ipod/phone to take on the go. This is the most beneficial part to me because I can listen in my car, bus, walking, shopping, working. Pretty much anytime and anywhere.

For awhile I messed around with a website called projectgutenburg.com This website has a variety of narrators from computer narrated to a person at home reading and recording it. It is a free website and the people narrating are donating their time, or recordings to the site. I personally had a love/hate relationship listening to books this way because of the variety of the quality of the recordings that it provides.

When I found that there were books that I really wanted to own that I enjoyed a lot I then started looking for good deals to Buy Books
For the majority of my listening needs I use overdrive(through my library lending site). I always have 5 books "on hold" with the library and have a handful checked out as well, but sometimes for the titles you are dying for and cannot wait for..

Audible.com This has been my go-to site for audiobook purchases for the last 5 years for me. They have several different levels of membership but I have always been a
Membership Plan Description:
AudibleListener® Platinum Membership - Monthly: $22.95 a month.
Receive 2 credits each month.
Save 30% on all audiobooks purchased without credits.
Roll over up to 12 credits.
Get a free audio subscription to The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal.
Enjoy complimentary titles and samples on our Free for Members page.


This works for me because I listen to 2-4 audiobooks a month. Between the library and my audible account I am able to fulfill my listening interests.

I have tried to shop around a little bit, most recently I tried audiobooks.com

They offer UNLIMITED STREAMING of audiobooks and this really excited me, but I found their collection lacking in the Teen/YA/MG books that I really wanted to listen too. I have talked to them and they are trying to get more books added to their collection but some publishers are questioning the "unlimited" streaming that they offer. I really hope that more join up for this program, but for now with the limited catalog they had, it was better to wait for the copy to become available at the library (my own opinion of course) audiobooks.com is about $2 more expensive than audible.com and you don't get to keep the book (but neither does the library, but at least that's free)

Finally if you are just testing out audbiobooks yourself I would suggest your local library or online library for a download.
Also for the next couple of weeks audiobooksync.com is offering free downloads until August 22 check out the titles! AMAZING

Websites that I know of but have not tried out yet:
Simply Audiobooks
http://librivox.org/

*I am not an associate or partner with audible.com these are my own thoughts and am not getting paid for my opinion*

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Thoughts on: Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire




A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts


Doesn't this cover remind you of Alice in Wonderland?
Spoiler Alert, If you have not read Hourglass do not read this post!

I was very vague with my post on Tuesday regarding Hourglass because I did not want to spoil the fact that Emerson's story involves Time-Travel. But as the summary above gives that away, now is the time to discuss! There are more than just time travelers in this one as well though, it's a mixture of abilities and each new character introduced is slowly learning how to develop theirs and work along with the others.
Firstly, I was very surprised to see this book from Kaleb's perspective. I was at least expecting a couple thrown in from Emerson's (since she had the first book and I was familiar with her) but no. It is completely dedicated to Kaleb. I am still not completely sure how I feel about the switch because I was really getting into Emerson's mind and her budding relationship with Michael.
Overall I thought it was an interesting approach to this series, wondering if book three will take on a whole new character or a combination of the ones we already know?
The second book is a complete match with the first one. The pacing and developing of the characters. As well as the romance between characters as well, since we are in a new POV we also get a new romance beginning.
This technique was an interesting way to learn more about the world and The Hourglass and seeing the other characters from Kaleb's perspective.
I would not go as far as to say that this book contained more action or activity in it than the first, they were pretty equal in my mind. I do have to say that I missed Emerson a little, I am very fond of Michael and after seeing these books jump from different perspectives, I would absolutely love to see a Prequel in Micheal's POV!
I have yet to fully develop my thoughts on the book, I finished it last night, but did want to get some thoughts out. If you enjoyed Hourglass your going to enjoy this one as well!
Intrigued to see what happens in the next book..new characters..new adventure...new POV? We Will See.
I have to also add that I am really digging the bad guy Jack. He was kind of my driving force through reading the stories to see what he would do, or appear next.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Way We Fall (Fallen World #1) by Megan Crewe




It starts with an itch you just can’t shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you’ll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you’re dead.

When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn’t?


This book is told through the passages of a diary. Kaeylyn is writing to an old friend Leo, and telling him about the events that have been happening on the island since signs of the sickness started.
Kaeylyn works at the hospital with her father and gets some of the inside details of what is going on and through this her knowledge gives us the most practical time line of the events.
We learn that as more people get sick, the doctors are unable to find a cure. This leads to eventually the island being quarantined. Supplies are dropped in and having no contact with anybody off of the island the people are unsure when their next food load with come.
People are not only paranoid and frantic because of the sickness, but also the lack of information they are getting from the outside. With this sickness, it's not a matter of if you get sick you will die, there are some people that survive it.
The reader gets to see both the good and bad side of this particular town. There is really nothing shocking in this novel. There are some very sad moments of loss.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hourglass (Hourglass #1) by Myra McEntire




One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?


The second book in this series came out today! (Timepiece
)

I decided that before I posted my thoughts on Timepiece (scheduled to post on Thursday) I wanted to celebrate the fact that the kindle book is on sale right now for just $1.59 (limited time only) for Hourglass.
In Hourglass we get the story of Emerson, she's lost her parents in a tragic accident and is now living with her much older brother and his wife.
Since right before her parents death she has been seeing ghost-like people and flashes of moments/scenes of history. (mostly associated with the area of the city they live in) She has just recently decided to take herself off of her medication and the visions are getting worse by the day.
When the gorgeous Michael makes an appearance in her life from the Hourglass. She finds herself brutally honest with him about what she sees and her feelings about it. His appearance into her life is not coincidental.
When I first picked up this book I was expecting something a little more paranormal with ghosts and hoping for something towards a psychological thriller. But this book takes a different turn, something that was unexpected and very unique.
I liked how the author was able to put a twist on it that was intriguing. Michael's introduction into Emerson's life really gives her a purpose, something that she can help and be a part of without feeling so out of place and delusional.
Everybody is looking for a place that they can fit in, even if it is unconventional.



Monday, June 11, 2012

Dragon Chica by May-lee Chai

Description from Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7957215-dragon-chica
Nea, a Chinese-Cambodian teenager, flees to Texas as a refugee from the Khmer Rouge regime when a miracle occurs. Although her family has been struggling to support itself, they discover that a wealthy aunt and uncle have managed to make it to America as well. Nea and her family rush to join their relatives and help run a Chinese restaurant in Nebraska. But soon Nea discovers their miracle is not what she had expected. Family fights erupt. Then the past – and a forbidden love– threaten to tear them all apart.
     Dragon Chica follows Nea, an indomitable character in the tradition of Holden Caulfield, Scout Finch and Jo March, as she fights to save her family and herself.


A surprisingly great read. I was a little nervous of this book having a lot of heavy content, but it was very well written and even though this story was heavy, it was very thought-provoking and a good read. I always enjoy reading about other cultures. This was a very educational novel for me. It's a coming of age story about a young Chinese/Cambodian girl Nea. They are refugees from a rice field in Cambodia to Texas, USA. Her family travels from Texas to Nebraska in hope for a better life and more money at their family's restaurant, but find it just as full of challenges and hardships as Texas had been. Nea's family runs a Chinese Restaurant and she and her siblings struggle. School is rough and the town is full of bigots and people that do not make them feel welcome.
This book opened my eyes regarding refugees in America today, and the more detailed points of every day life they must endure and the hardships immigrants endure to make the simplest of livings. I came away from this story a little more grateful for what I have.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

#JIAM Narrator Johanna Parker

June Is Audiobook Month!!!
I am a huge fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I started listening the books when there was talks that it was going to be a tv show. I was surprised at some of the changes they made in the show as they don't match up with the series, but also pleasantly surprised. The show, in my opinion is an extension of the idea behind the books. It was like seeing the world in one way through the books, then getting the opportunity to view it another through the tv show.
I would say that 80% of the reason that I have stuck with this series for so long and pre-order each new book as an audio is because of the narrator. I love her! She does a fantastic job of representing Sookie with the perfect southern accent, attitude and voices. I for one love anything this narrator does and highly recommend her!
That narrator's name is Johanna Parker and if you look her up on audible.com alone she has 89 different titles that she narrates.

Highly encourage you to check her out, even if you are not a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series, she has several other titles that she does as well.
Here is a link to her website; http://www.johannaparker.me/Johanna_Parker/Home.html

Friday, June 8, 2012

Have Book, Will Travel by Kfir Luzzatto



Max fears that his family will disapprove of his friendship with Darla, a common girl from the village outside his uncle’s fortress walls. That's why they meet secretly to read together from an old book, which she has found in a dusty room near the fortress laundry where she works.

They read about a lost lake and feel adventurous when they slip out of the fortress to go swimming there; but the trouble begins when they find that, in the meantime, the fortress has been sealed and they can’t get back in. It’s lucky that they have the book with them, to guide them through the many dangers that await them on their way back home…or perhaps it is the book that is the source of their troubles.

In the end, it is the power of the friendship that Darla and Max have forged, and their courage, that see them through a series of breathtaking adventures.


I am a big fan of the Inkheart series. This book when first hearing about it kind of reminded me of that. Except that instead of pulling characters out of the books, they travel into the books, by reading a line aloud. Although I have not read any of her books I have heard this story is similar to Enid Blyton's writings.
The story is a very light-hearted one of adventure and friendship. I would say that it will appeal to both Middle Grade and early Teen readers. Although in all honestly for those that like adventure, imagination and friendship, readers of all ages might enjoy this one.
I wished that the worlds the kids went into were a little more equal in the time that they spent in each. The pacing develops with the advancement of the story and the anticipation for what will happen next develops with each chapter, which was great.
I liked the light fun and imaginative story. The friendship that develops between Darla and Max is one that is memorable and one that you will want to come back to.
It's a very magical story with a "Book of Dreams" that will literally take you to places you never imagined.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne



After a huge storm hits, the school bus crashes into a lamp post and several kids die along with the driver. There are only 6 survivors and they, along with the others that came on the rescue bus, eventually end up in a superstore where they end up living for awhile. Upon debating on whether they will stay there or try to find their way home, they try to make contact with those outside. But after several events occur (including a hail storm with ice as big as basketballs) they decide that it's best they stay inside, with food and shelter. There are people of all ages from young elementary school through high school.

There are a lot of post apocalyptic books out there today, especially in the Young Adult arena. This book has a lot of potential in the idea, but the thing I think that held it back the most for a teen reader, may appeal more towards the younger teens. There are elementary aged school kids that get stuck in the situation with the older kids. Sometimes there are parts of the story in which more difficult concepts have to be explained to the children. The use of dialogue and actions that they used around the children kind of deterred me as an older reader from really engaging into the feel of he novel. The action parts and the events in which were able to hold my attention were when things started to go bad towards the end. Rivals between the older kids mostly.

Also the idea that all kinds of events were happening outside the superstore, we don't get to witness much of. We are told what is going on outside and are given some description of the damage. But we don't really get to venture out into the mess and see any of it beyond being introduced the idea of the terror.

My favorite parts of the story were in which there was immediate danger upon the major players in the story. The fight for life and death and the real feel of what I think an apocalyptic story should contain. This would be a good introduction book for those that have no read into this type of genre as a stepping stone before exploring further. It was a good story, but I cannot say that I loved it. I am giving it 3 stars.

Happy Reading!
Krista

Monday, June 4, 2012

Shaman, Healer, Heretic by M Terry Green



Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn't exactly part of the drill. When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics. A Hopi god visiting the real world isn't just wrong;it's impossible...Or is it?..Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries. As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one. Left with few options, Olivia is forced to defy centuries of shaman prohibitions. As she and her allies risk everything in their bid for survival, Olivia ultimately learns that the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them has a terrible cost

In today's world, people have evolved. We now use GPS devices to help us guide our way, we use cell phones to tweet, email and watch videos. So why not bring forward technology into the world of Shamanism as well? Perfect idea.
20-something Livvy wears electric goggles that enables her to to visit the spiritual realms. No need for the old time hallucinogens of the Shaman of early days. With her employer SK who is looking out for her and the increasing dangers that she is putting herself in traveling through the otherworlds to help lost souls. She is noticing increasingly unusual things each time she enters the otherworlds. From unusual traffic of souls to the more common sightings of the Kachina.
Together SK and Livvy take on some interesting and dangerous jobs to rescue souls from the otherworlds and trying to bring them home, or rescue them. (for very small fees)
This urban fantasy set in modern day Los Angeles, is a fun, entertaining look at a very old Indian practice, mythology and lore. It is highly enjoyable, adventure and a very unique twist to urban fantasy. I recommend this one, it's a clean read and a page turner as well!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Nightworld by Jack Blaine



Scraping by in classes, hanging out with his best friend Charlie, and trying to get a date with Lara Hanover, the prettiest girl in school—that was Nick Robbins’ life.

Survival was the last thing on his mind.

Then, a strange cloud appeared over the city. A cloud that kept growing. The darkness on the horizon consumed the light around it. And Nick’s dad, a Department of Defense energy physicist, might have something to do with it. Soon, it became clear that the world Nick knew would never be the same.

Now, night is never-ending. The temperature is falling as heat leaves the world. Plants and animals are dying and people are turning into predators waiting for any small advantage. But Nick is determined not to disappear like the fading light. Desperate to glimpse a familiar face in the shadows, Nick races to find his friends—and the one clue that’s his glimmer of hope
(info from Goodreads.com)

Going into the story I couldn't help but be reminded of some of the post-apocalyptic novels I have read recently, such as Ashfall by Mike Mullen and Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts.
This book was not quite as long or intense as those reads, but I definitely got the same kind of vibe. A boy who's father hides him in a closet when he fears a group of people are coming for him, witnesses his fathers death. Before shooting him they ask for a device, which he refuses to help them find. In a panic he decides to go to his friends abandoned house to hide out until things cool down some. There has just been a recent event that has caused a dark cloud to hang over the city, several people have left and murders and stealing has run rampant. When he starts to run out of food he decides it's time to move on and find different shelter and food. He also gains a companion, a dog.
There is the mystery of the black cloud, the device and what his father was doing that caused the men to come after him. It seems that the device the men were looking for maybe something Nick can get his hands on and save the world.
There is a romance and Nick makes both friends and enemies as he tries to figure out what is going on.
It is a pretty interesting and sometimes intense read, not anything that would give you nightmares, it does have a cliffhanger ending though and I anticipate a lot of action and activity going on in book 2.

Friday, June 1, 2012

#JIAM2012 June Is Audiobook Month! First Up: Coraline!

As you know I participated in the Armchair Audies in May and have decided that I am going to continue with posts on audiobooks throughout the month of June as well to celebrate Audiobook month.
I have other posts scheduled as well so I will be focusing on Weekend Audio Selections throughout the month. I will be featuring anywhere between 1-3 books Friday-Sunday each weekend throughout the month of June! I encourage all of you to participating and join in on the fun. With the tremendous amount of sales that have been happening over at audible.com I have several new listens and some great favorites that I would love to share with my readers and participates of #JIAM2012 (twitter hashtag)

Some of the books I will be mentioning this month are ones that I either got in for review from a publisher but mostly books that I purchased with my own money (mostly audible.com because I love that site!)



So first off! I got from the library (overdrive.com) Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I have never read the book before but a huge fan of the movie. I have seen it several times and always love to compare movies with the book.
Firstly I have to say I enjoyed the movie more because of the addition of the visuals and of course Wyborn (not sure on the spelling) But he is one of my favorite characters, and for those that may already know he is not in the original book.
As far as the audiobook goes, Neil Gaiman himself narrates and it was an amazingly good listen. He has the perfect reading voice and added life into the characters and just a little bit of song added in as well.
It still has a great creepiness to the story, but still sticks to the heart of Coraline being a very spunky girl who is very adventurous and determined. I recommend this audiobook to Middle Grade and up, it's fun and entertaining.