Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last Kiss In Venice (Legend of the White Snake #1) by Martin Chu Shui

Beside a bridge over a canal in Venice, Charlie is spellbound not only by Caitlin’s absolute beauty but also by what seems like a mythical bond between them. The more he knows about her, the more mysterious she becomes. As they finally admit their love to each other in Paris, then move to settle down in Australia together, it looks like the start of Happily Ever After. But neither of them realizes that this is just the start of a heart-wrenching journey. After a lifetime of searching, Caitlin finally finds her true love, settles down in the beautiful rolling countryside of outback Australia, and starts to raise a family, but her enemy is never far away. She loves Charlie deeply and is certain he is her soul mate, but she knows she can never reveal her secret; he must never know who she really is, and that is her downfall. Information in the hands of her enemy brings her life crashing down around her. To save all she has worked for, she must fight for her love and the right to survive. “Last Kiss in Venice” is a reinterpretation of one of China’s most famous love stories, ‘Legend of the White Snake’. It is a supernatural love epic that encompasses both eastern and western culture to tell a story of love and hate, loyalty and betrayal, revenge and justice. This cocktail of oriental magic, vampires, and sword fights is a legend not easily forgotten

A very romantic story! I have never heard of the Legend of the White Snake and I had to do a little research online to read more about it. This story got me that interested (I have included a short paragraph below from wikipedia of the Legend)

I don't read a lot of romance stories, but paranormal romance is something I am always up for. The summary had me thinking, shape-shifters and the idea of eternal life. I was surprised by how much more this story had to it.

When going into the story, it really seemed like it would heavier on the romance than any paranormal aspects, but once it gets going, I did not want to put the book down. There is a certain something about Cait that I admired. She represents a very non-judgmental and helping compassion to mankind that it gave me a feeling of, well admiration of her. I think that as she is the foundation of the story, her character is the most important to get right in doing a retelling. I would love to read more renditions of this story, it's pretty engrossing.

Cait is a very motherly character. When people fall sick and she thinks that she can help. She gives absolutely not second thought to not try to help. No matter the consequences. She is ready to go head first into battles (and there is an amazing one at the end of this story)

I think that when a character is surrounded by people that support and would die for them, it shows a lot about them. Charlie and Alice have complete devotion to Cait even when they don't agree with her actions, they always support her, and fight with her.

There were so many levels to the story. It did take me a while to get into the story, get wrapped up into the world. It really is a "This cocktail of oriental magic, vampires, and sword fights" It was a lot of fun to read, with a lot of adventure and something I wanted to pick up and read again as soon as I finished it.

Taken from Wikipedia: a small description of the Chinese Legend of the White Snake Basic story "At its most basic, the story tells of a young scholar who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is a thousand-year-old white snake that has taken on human form. A monk intervenes in order to maintain a law that forbids humans and spirits from falling in love with each other, and casts the white snake into a deep well at Leifeng Pagoda. Over centuries the story has evolved from a horror tale to a romance story, which tells that the scholar and the snake woman are genuinely in love with each other, but their relationship is forbidden by nature's law. There are also other variations of the story, such as the white snake having met the scholar before and the story continues in their next lives, or the white snake's offspring being a reincarnation of the deity Wenchang Wang. An additional character is a hundred-year-old green snake (or in some cases a carp also referred to as blue snake or brown snake due to earth or water powers) that has also transformed into a woman, and serves as the white snake-woman's close friend and confidante".

Friday, September 28, 2012

What Do You Think?! Cover Reveal!


After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.

Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.

Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.

One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.

GOODREADS Release (The Protector #3) Exiled (The Protector Book 1)
Shift (The Protector Book 2)

I love this series so much, I couldn't recommend it more. Please feel free to read my reviews for the previous books. Just click on the name for the links here: EXILED  SHIFT

Keep An Eye OUT! The blog tour will be taking place from December 10th, 2012, to January 18th, 2013, Giveaways and fun to be had :) You can also follow author M.R. Merrick on TWITTER

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Burning Star (Star #1) by Jessie Lan

Can she reach her destiny before tragedy strikes?

The doctors have told Kay that she will die before she reaches her eighteenth birthday. Her mother’s determination to save her life leads them to a move outside of Asheville, NC to a new set of cancer specialists in the hopes to help her. But it’s not what Kay and her Mom find in the doctor’s offices in Asheville that lead them on the journey to save her before time runs out. It’s what Kay finds in the woods outside of Asheville, and an inhumanly gorgeous guy named Ryan, instead.

Myths and fairy tales come to life before Kay’s eyes, bringing her closer to the ultimate cure if she can stay alive long enough to get there. And if the cancer doesn’t kill her before she finds the cure the secrets her mother has hidden from her may be the beginning of the end.

When the doctors tell Kay that she only has 6 months to live, her mother decides to move her to a new house to hopefully make her life as calm and relaxing as possible. When Kay comes across a strange boy battling an animal in the forest by her house, her life becomes anything but relaxing.

When Ryan returns home and tells others of the amazing girl that he met, they put together some clues that maybe, just maybe Kay is the long lost princess that was stolen years ago. They decide to go back to visit Kay with a magic stone to reveal who she really is.

I was surprised by how much happens in this book. Of course the first thing that flashed in my mind was memories of the Iron Fey series. The sickness that Kay has really puts a suspenseful aspect to this story, unsure if she will be able to find the answers to who she is before it's too late. And the added interest of Kay's mother, how is it exactly that Kay became a stolen child?

There is a lot of time spent in the Fae world, the story is full of adventure, mystery and imagination. I have not read many Fae stories, but this was was very entertaining. I liked the interactions between Kay and Ryan and Kay and her mother. And they were also my favorite characters.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Covet by Melissa Darnell

Melissa really steps it up in this novel. I would trade this series in for Twilight Saga any day. This book made my top 5 list of 2012. I am not exactly sure where to begin without completely gushing.

Characters: This story is told more from Savannah's perspective than Tristan's even though we do still get to see the alternating perspectives. Savannah is experiencing the most changes in her life throughout the story and so the majority of the book is from her perspective, and it's one that the reader really does want to stick with for awhile.

Story: (Warning...this is book 2 in a series you will get spoiled if you read this paragraph)
Savannah experiences a loss in her family because of her actions with Tristan in the ending of the last novel. This causes turmoil in her life and she ends up moving into a new house. She has broken up with Tristan, and to make everything perfect, her vampire side is starting to take effect. Her every move is still being watched by the vampires and the Clann, but now she is also having threats on her life.

The story had me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed reading Crave last year and re-read it again this year before I piked up Covet as a refresher. I was completely drawn in by everything that happens in the story. I hated to see Tristan and Savannah apart, but I admired the way that Savannah dealt with every single thing that seemed to be coming at her. I see the ability for her to be an amazing leader.
The author has this way of adding in that extra step to the plot at the perfect time that I literally did not want to put down this book.

I had a hard time not comparing things/situations to that of The Twilight Saga. It's something that I rarely do and was surprised that I was doing so. But I am going to say it, Melissa Darnell steps up the game. The romance was better, the twist and combination to the paranormal creatures was better and overall the maturity and growth of the characters was perfect. I recommend this one, I love this series and I really do not want it to end anytime soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Am A Harvester Of Light by Sarah Tsomides

I was born into a society, a village close to the forest; a conservative one indeed, the death of my parents when I was young left me with questions about the traditions and beliefs fostered by the Forest Council.

Light and darkness represents two different things for the inhabitants of the village where I live; light is represented by good and darkness as evil. The definition does not sound as easy as you would think. There seems to be more to the evil and good side!

My parents were swallowed by darkness and neither did I know that more tragedy was on its way. A tragedy which I could or maybe would handle. If you are reading this; then be afraid of the dark henceforth and as for the light hold on to it wisely but with logical reasoning.

We have the harvesters of light and the shadowers all wrestling for survival, identity in a society fostered by class, gullibility, oral tradition, secrecy, and thirst for power. But one thing remains for certain- I am a harvester of light

This story was so imaginative and fun for me to read. I picked it up not sure what to expect as it wasn't especially to long, more like a novella. But from the beginning to the end the plot unravels at a perfect pace and by the end I was just wanting to learn more about the characters, their lives and this world. It was way to short in my opinion and something that I will definitely read again.

The main character is not introduced to the reader until a couple of chapters in. We are learning about the world and what happened to the parents and that they live with the grandmother, but not until quite a ways in do we even get introduced that indeed Lumiere is the name of the boy telling the story. In a way I found it frustrating and was wondering if I would ever be told. And I have never experienced that kind of confusion before, and I liked having something new presented to me in such a way.

Lumiere is a harvester of light. He gets sent out on errands to bring back light to the village as they have to have to live in constant light because in the dark are were the Shadowers live. If the village were ever to fall into darkness they would all disappear and/or be killed by the mysterious Shadowers.

There is also a continuing storyline of continuation of life. If a Shadower dies, then the next baby born is believed to be born to take it's place. The same is for the harvester's as well.

I was very impressed by the determination and intelligence of Lumiere. 14 or 15 years of age he really does drive the story forward with his experiences of harvesting light and the adventures and discoveries that he finds during his work day. It is one particular day that starts a chain of events that just may change the world as he knows it.

I can see so much potential in this story to be stretched out into a series of books. I loved the idea behind the world building and the ideas of dark vs evil and what may lie beyond the forest. A opening to imagine the inside lives of several of the characters that barely get touched on. The sister, the parents, grandmother and council members. All have an appeal to them that if fully developed and given past presents and futures in a more detailed and fully fleshed novel or series is one that I would love to read.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Trouble With Nightingale by Amaleen Ison

Eighteen-year-old Millie Scrubbings must decide if she can stomach her responsibilities as Hell's new Gatekeeper, or risk the denizens of Hell defiling her home turf.
When eighteen year old Millie Scrubbings moves to new digs on East London’s Nightingale Estate, she believes she’s finally closed the door on a childhood dictated by strangers. But overnight, her peaceful high-rise turns bonkers, and a series of grisly murders leaves Millie frightened and more helpless than ever.
Millie must accept her lead role in rescuing Nightingale from its descent into anarchy, or risk all Hell breaking loose.

A short story that is very fast paced and trip to the dark side. Millie (18) is having problems around her flat lately. People dying and the unusual neighbor that makes you feel uncomfortable to be around.

She comes home to a package she has ordered of an assortment of candles and products to cast some spells. Soon a policeman is knocking on her door to let her know they have found a body in the lift, that has been there just about the same time she came home the night before.

When she finally does get around to saying some of the incantations all hell breaks loose (and she thought she had it bad before)

Without giving spoilers, there are demons, hellhounds and more.

It's a great short story, especially if you want a quick fun read for the upcoming Halloween season, but it will only take about an hour or so to read.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Young Love Murder by April Brookshire

First love’s a killer, but so is seventeen-year-old Annabelle Blanc. The teenager was raised to be an assassin and taught to never fall in love. She lives for the job until she meets Gabriel Sanchez, the son of her latest target.

Wealthy, spoiled and self-indulgent, Gabriel Sanchez is a teenage playboy. Setting his sights on the beautiful Annabelle, he's drawn to the mysterious new girl who's playing hard to get. Gabriel also finds himself drawn into a world of deception, violence and murder.

Off-centered for the first time in her life, Annabelle struggles to fight her doomed attraction for the handsome Gabriel.

In this gritty, mature YA novel, you'll follow Annabelle and Gabriel in an intense, funny, angry, crazy, rocky and passionate romance.

As two worlds collide and they're repeatedly thrown together and pulled apart by fate, will Annabelle and Gabriel overcome betrayals, revenge and heartbreak to find a lasting love?

I'm a little on the fence on what I wanted to originally rate the book. I have a love/hate relationship with some of the things that happen and the direction the plot takes. I'm not going to lie, it took me a long time to read the book, it is a pretty large book and a roller coaster of a read. It also spans about 4 years of time.

I could tell from pretty on in the early chapters that Annabelle was going to fall for Gabrielle. I wouldn't exactly call it insta-love, it was insta-lust. They had an immediate sexual attraction to each other.

As the story revolves around Annabelle's 17-20 years of age, the plot is developed more through dialogue scenes than descriptive/action scenes. The book is really heavy on dialogue. For a book about a young, killer assassin I expected a little more action. There is some action spots, kidnapping, murder and fight scenes. But the main characters always thinking about each other and the romantic relationship between the two drives the story as a whole.

Therefore I will end on the note that it really is the romantic aspect that pushes the story along. Even though Annabelle and Gabriel have on again off again relationship. It is the basis of what the story is about. Through years of events, traveling to several countries. Getting involved in several predicaments and life changing events. They are still drawn to each other.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Blog Tour: The Night Has Teeth (The Magdeburg Trilogy #1) by Kat Kruger

There’s a darkness that lurks in the City of Light

Seventeen-year-old Connor Lewis is chased by a memory. On his first day of kindergarten he bit a boy hard enough to scar the kid for life. Since then he’s been a social outcast at a New York private school.

Through an unexpected turn of good fortune, he lands a scholarship to study in Paris, where everything starts to look up. On the first day he befriends two military brats, and he may finally get a taste of what it’s like to be a normal teenager.

It doesn’t last.

His host family — an alluring young tattoo artist and her moody, handsome boyfriend — inadvertently introduce him to the underworld of werewolves where there are two types: the born and the bitten. Those born to it take the form of elegant wolves, while the latter are cursed to transform into the half-man, half-beast creatures of horror movies. The bitten rarely survive. Unfortunately, Connor is on the wanted list of a four hundred-year-old bitten human who’s searching for both a cure and a means of wiping out werewolves for good.

Connor’s loyalties are tested as he becomes embroiled in a conflict where werewolves, mad science and teen angst collide.

Expected publication: September 23rd 2012 by Fierce Ink Press Co-Op Ltd.
ISBN13 9780988106710
**To enter the goodreads giveaway, click on the book image**

Urban fantasy novel about werewolves in Paris? Yes Please!
Connor Lewis has not found it easy in life to make friends. After experiencing some less than pleasant things at his American schools, his parents decide it may be best to send him to boarding school abroad. But who knew that this particular school was crawling with werewolves.

Upon arriving to his new school Connor does not find it hard to find new friends. He is welcomed into a group with open arms, but soon discovers that this seemingly normal group of kids is more than he bargained for. But he builds relationships with each of them, forming strong bonds before finding out their secret.

He soon finds out that it's not your conventional werewolf that he's dealing with. There is a mad scientist causing problems and an ongoing battle between the werewolf groups as well.

This is not your typical werewolf story. A coming of age story? Sure. A urban fantasy with rival werewolf groups? Check. A creepy alter-ego'd scientist with a villainous plan? Yep, and so much more.

The city of Paris plays more than just a setting in the story. The travels through the city and underground play a huge role in the storyline. As well as the fact that the group of people that Connor comes into contact with throughout the story are all in their own, each a valuable addition to the plot. My favorite being Madison and her very real emotions that any reader will drawn to.

A fast paced story with twists that will shock and grip you until the last page.

Kat's Twitter

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Jack Be Nimble: The Crystal Falcon

Circling ever closer to a truth concealed behind layers of conspiracy, assassination, and horrific acts of global terrorism, Jack Flynn and his team of clandestine covert operatives are on the run, barely ahead of the forces of a vast global enterprise engineered to bring about anarchy and the destruction of the free west.

In Cuba, fueled by an ancient vengeance, a ruthless crime lord sets in motion a plan to assassinate the leader of the worlds newest democracy. Jack strikes at the heart of this plot only to find himself face-to-face with the woman he thought lost to him forever. Together, Jack and Mercedes are on a collision course with a terrifying criminal mastermind whose strategies are already in motion and far, far ahead of schedule.

The Crystal Falcon is the third book in the Jack Be Nimble thriller series.

click Here to read an excerpt

This is one series that I love picking up. Usually I talk about Young Adult books here on the blog, but as you may have noticed I have been branching out a bit to others as well. This is a series I have been reading but have yet to post about on this blog.

The Jack Be Nimble series follow the story of celebrity actor Jack, who just so happens to also help solve international crimes. Along with the Lois Lane-like Mercedes, who is not only pretty, but insanely intuitive. The reader does not only get personal relationships between the characters. But world wide travels, detailed and researched plot lines and a rather ingenious villains.

The third book in the series spends a lot of time in Cuba. It was gripping from the very first page in which we are exploring a vacated island in which the tenants moved out very recently, and very fast. Food still rotting in the fridge and possessions strewn around in each of the houses. But what about the insanely detailed clean up job of removing all technology, wiring and electronics. But with there is still one paper, jammed in the back of one of the desks that has some clues. Fingerprints.

It's really hard to put down these books, they are action packed with just a great amount of research and detail put into them that it's bound to keep your eyes glued to the pages.

While the previous books took us from Paris, London, San Francisco, this book does a lot of focusing on Cuba. It is somewhere I haven't read much about and I enjoyed the writing that makes you feel like you are actually there. There is so much detail and visuals in the writing it's really hard not to lose yourself.

If you enjoy international thrill writers like Dan Brown, I recommend you give this series a try. You'll pretty much be hooked after book one. You Welcome.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Human Instincts by Ioana Visan

Dr. Deanna Nichols is a geneticist searching for a cure to save the world. After the war nearly destroyed it by releasing an aggressive virus, it was the vaccine that killed the humanity’s chances for progress and survival. Deanna feels guilty because she has participated in creating the vaccine, and General Mackenzie never lets her forget that.

Their luck changes when they are contacted by the convicts held in a secret military prison hidden in the arctic desert. The C deviance criminals are willing to negotiate and provide unaffected DNA samples in exchange for supplies and a visit paid by the doctor herself. Suddenly there’s hope, so Deanna embarks on a dangerous journey to a grittier reality than she had expected.

Could a woman alone save the world?

The short story (100 pages) is a pretty fast paced book and very to the point. At first when I finished it I was disappointed I did not get to get more background and fully rounded characters, but that made me realize that I enjoyed it and wanted more.

There were some parts that were overwhelmingly full of science, biology and scientific references that I did struggle a bit to get through. (Although you can tell it was very well researched and logical that these events could happen)
Overall it's a very interesting story. It will get you thinking.

I believe I read that the story was originally written to be published in an anthology of like-stories. Which would have been a great addition if, I would have liked to see that happen. But as is I think it would make an awesome full length novel with more fleshed out characters

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year's Fourth of July festival won't see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects. The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing's wrong.

And they're not the only ones hiding something.

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people's pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year's Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.

In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?

Clare lives with her mother in Winston. In the last two years people have been murdered and the town is on edge as the murder anniversary date of the fourth of July is nearing.

Clare is a psychometric. When she touches fabric she has visions from the lives of those that wore them. As she loves to design her own clothes and shop at used stores she has these visions often. But when she happens upon one of the murdered girls jacket. The visions pull her into the mystery of what really happened that night. Clare is torn between how deep she should get into the visions that the jacket is causing. It scares her how vivid they have become. But when Clare's friend receives a threat, the mystery of what the jacket is trying to tell her about the murders becomes a priority. It may just be a matter of life and death.

Clare is an eclectic character. She has a few but dedicated friends, she has a passion for clothing and designs and style. The family dynamics and relationship between herself, her mother and her grandmother was my favorite part of the story.
She is a very caring person and even though her visions are scary and most would not get involved, she reaches out and in the end we have a story of loss, mystery, family and friends. Through clare's investigations and visions we get to see how close the people in the town are to each other.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Free Kindle Book!

Night of the Purple Moon - Free promo - Sep 10 & 11

The epidemic strikes everyone who has passed through puberty.

Abby Leigh is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple. For months, astronomers have been predicting that Earth will pass through the tail of a comet. They say that people will see colorful sunsets and, best of all, a purple moon.

But nobody has predicted the lightning-fast epidemic that sweeps across the planet on the night of the purple moon. The comet brings space dust with it that contains germs that attack human hormones. Older teens and adults die within hours of exposure.

On a small island off the coast of Maine, Abby must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her -- adolescence.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tess, Terrorists and the Tiara by Terry Baldwin

Thirteen-year old Tess has never been able to compete with her “perfect” older sister, but now she must—if she wants to inherit her grandmother’s priceless tiara. The two girls have been invited to their grandparent’s lake house for the summer to help take care of Grandma who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The sister who earns the most “helpful points” wins the former beauty queen’s crown.

"It’s not easy for Tess, who seems to always get things wrong despite best intentions. And who is that mysterious stranger who’s just moved next door to their grandparents’ summer cottage?
Does he know that Tess’ grandmother was once the winner of a famous patriotic beauty contest? Or that she keeps her tiara where anyone can steal it? And why doesn’t he have a face?

This story was a pretty fast read. I was a little nervous about the twist the author may take on the "terrorists" part of the story. But the combination of themes really worked out together in the end.

I have to say that I really didn't love the main character. I wanted to tell her how irresponsible she was being so many times and felt that the grandparents were not watching her close enough. It seemed that every single page the girl was making another bad decision and not thinking at all. But that's how kids are sometimes, especially when on vacation. I guess I just was scared to see this rambunctious young girl and what the terrorists would bring into the story. She kind of made my tummy ache. But the author is able to throw in some cute moments in between, the fact that she's kind of a klutz and has a very wild imagination helped push the story along.

When Tess discovers some unusual strangers in the house near their grandparents. She develops a somewhat unhealthy stalker-ish attitude towards the family that lives there. Even when requested by her grandfather to stay away and give them peace.

I think that the most disappointing part was how far Tess gets involved in harassing the new family and even going as far as getting involved in a scheme with a very much older and dangerous man in the area. (This part made my stomach hurt the most when reading, I had no idea where this story would take me)

So, it was a little bit darker than I thought it was going to be. I have to say that I thought that the story was put together well and the ending events pulled it all together nicely.

It is a book I would recommend to some readers that might have an interest in other cultures and if they are younger, available to a parent to talk some of the actions out that Tess (and Frank the scary neighbor) partakes in. Discussion would be good. But of course if your older and looking for something different, this is a book you'll want to try. It sure had me thinking a lot.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Out of This World by Douglas E. Richards

To save their parents they will have to travel to unknown worlds. Too bad the natives on each world all seem to want them dead . . .

Zachary and Jenna Lane are a brother and sister pair who would much rather tease and trick each other than work together. But when their parents vanish before their eyes through a mysterious shimmering portal, the two kids join forces and adventure through a series of fantastic worlds in an effort to rescue them.

But each world is more treacherous than the last, and staying alive for even a day will prove to be the ultimate test of their wits, courage, and determination. And when they finally puzzle out what is happening to them and why, the impossible happens: things get even worse. Because far more is at stake than just their lives. And the odds against them could not be any greater . . .

Out of This World is a fast-paced adventure sure to delight young and old alike, packed with breakneck action, brilliant escapes, thrilling cliffhangers, and plenty of heart

Right away you can tell there is some between tension siblings Zachary and Jenna. Zachary comes off as a know it all, trickster. And Jenna comes of as younger, naive and ready to finally outsmart him.

When their parents disappear into a portal that appears in their house. Zachary and Jenna end up going on a mission out of this world and having to rely on each other to rescue their parents.

There were just a few moments in the story that I felt things were moving way to fast. The reader doesn't have a chance to try to figure out what will happen next before it happens.

It is a very fast paced story that has lessons to learn and morals that tie in with the plot. It is a non stop adventure that combines science fiction and fantasy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life (Scott Pilgrim #1) by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about Scott Pilgrim comes Scott Pilgrim Color Hardcover Volume 1: Precious Little Life! The first in a series of brand-new hardcover editions, this remastered, 6"x9" hardcover presents Scott's first "evil ex" battle as you've never seen it before - in full-color! Plus, previously unpublished extras and bonus materials make this mighty tome one that's required reading for Scottaholics everywhere

The slacker, band member of the group Sex Bomb and his adventures with girls, well particularly one girl has been redone in color format. I'm going to be honest here, I am a complete outsider. I have never seen the movie, read the comics or heard of this comic until the movie came out. It was a book vlogger on youtube that actually turned me onto looking into the series because of her enjoyment of it.

Scott has announced to his friends and sister that he's dating a 17 year old girl. (he is 23) and they think he's crazy, but overall (except his sister) are pretty supportive and love Knives enthusiasm at the band practices. The one thing I found amazingly surprising about Scott's character is that out of all the qualities that he doesn't have. His ability to listen and pay attention to what his girlfriend is saying was a good clue for me that maybe I might root for him. When he sees Ramona Flowers it's insta-love and he becomes obsessed with dating her. But when he finally gets a chance, that's when we learn that she has some baggage. And Scott has to fight for her if he wants to stay with her. (also an admirable trait)

I am a fan of the colored edition, bright and vibrant colors. I felt that I got just enough to know who each of the characters were. My favorite character was Knives, even though she's young I loved her energy.

It's a fun, very light read that was like brain candy. There is some fun added to the pages in which the band plays and it shows the music so you could play along, if you wished.

There are some additional pages in the end that gives an extra touch to the characters and who they are. It's all very silly, fun and most importantly, entertaining.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Hero For WondLa (WondLa #2) by Tony DiTerlizzi

The highly anticipated new illustrated novel in the New York Times bestselling The Search for WondLa series.

Before the end of The Search for WondLa, Eva Nine had never seen another human, but after a human boy named Hailey rescues her along with her companions, she couldn’t be happier. Eva thinks she has everything she’s ever dreamed of, especially when Hailey brings her and her friends to the colony of New Attica, where humans of all shapes and sizes live in apparent peace and harmony.

But all is not idyllic in New Attica, and Eva Nine soon realizes that something sinister is going on—and if she doesn’t stop it, it could mean the end of everything and everyone on planet Orbona. Three illustrations trigger a 3-D Augmented Reality flying game that mimics action in the novel.

Featuring an abundance of lavish two-color illustrations and spot art throughout and introducing a host of remarkable characters that reinforce the importance of friendship, A Hero for WondLa has all the hallmarks of a classic book—of the future

I listened to the audiobook on this one, so as the summary indicates there are illustrations in the novel, I did not get to see those, other than what is posted online. I hope to buy this series in Hardback set, it's worth it and I love this story. I haven't felt this good about a middle grade series in years. It's imaginative and will pull you in.

This series is meant to be read in order. There are several references to the events of the first book throughout book 2.

Finally after all her travels Eva Nine finds her way to New Attica. But after the newness begins to wear off she finds that it's not anything like she really imagined it would be. There are strict rules, medical experiments and secrets and the discovery of a sister.

Eva Nine is a strong and determined main character. She learns by listening and observing. Her past experiences give her some intuition on what to watch and listen for. Like the Harry Potter series, the Wondla series has very different levels of ideas brought to the table. The growth of yourself through your experiences and standing up for your beliefs and those you care for. Also the social and political interactions between beings and betterment of society altogether. (we view both positive and negative interactions)

I was a little torn between how I felt with the narrator of the audiobook Teri Hatcher. For one I loved her speaking voice, she does the character impersonation very well and the emotions came through. The pronunciation and the slowing of speech during parts of the story where sometimes hard for me to push through, as I am used to a fast reading pace. But I think that for the younger listeners (in which this story was intended for) will not have these same issues and it may even help them understand the story better.

The best part about choosing the audiobook option for this book is the fact that on the physical CD's there is a picture. When you take a snapshot of that picture with your webcam you will be taken to a website full of adventures and games that continue on into this imaginative world this author has created.

An amazingly detailed and creative science fiction adventure for kids of all ages.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Little Sacrifices by Jamie Scott

How much would you risk to stand up for your beliefs?

When Duncan and Sarah Powell move with their daughter, May, to Savannah Georgia in 1947, they hope against hope that they’ll be welcomed. But they’re Yankees and worse, they’re civil rights advocates almost a decade too early.

At first May can pretend they’re the same as everyone else. It means keeping quiet when she knows she should speak up, but it’s worth the sacrifice to win friends. Unfortunately her parents are soon putting their beliefs into action. And when they wake to find that they’re the only family on the block with a Ku Klux Klan cross blazing on their front lawn, the time comes for them to finally decide between what’s easy and what’s right

This story did take me a little bit longer than usual to get into. I was not exactly sure which direction the author was going to take the story. At first I was expecting a drama filled story of an unhappy teenager, running away from home and possibly getting caught up with an older man. But after the bus ride scene and the conversation that she had I was warming up to the idea of it being more like a historical coming of age story.

When May's family moves into the new house she soon discovers a journal that's been hidden of a woman who lived in the house around 1912. And we get alternating chapters between her story and May who is living there in the 1940's.

As the book takes place in Savannah, Georgia. It's told from two very different and evolving times in American History. With a huge focus on civil rights, the Ku Klux Klan and segregation in the South.

May's family moves from the North to Georgia. Which during this time period in our history had huge differences in the interactions between the races. The historical details that went into the novel were noticeably researched and greatly detailed. You can tell that there was a lot of time that went into writing the story.

With the weaving of the stories between the journal and the current time it was a nice change to go back and forth between times. Like most others have mentioned in their reviews, it's really the epilogue that pulls the story together nicely. It was a heavy (emotional) story and a great read. I ended up really loving the main character and her family.