Friday, September 30, 2016

Stonefield by Christy Lenzi

Stone Field

In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
   I received a review copy from readingteen.net

I have never read Wuthering Heights and am now curious if I had what my change my opinions of this story. Going into it somewhat blind on where the story would go I was almost mesmerized while reading it. The story read like an old family story grandparents would tell around the fire. The atmosphere, to me was almost like being in a dream and everything rounded out the story so unexpectedly for me.

The main character Catrina is what really drove the story for me. There were several times throughout the story that I questioned her sanity. After finding a naked man in the field, she becomes obsessed with him. Both physically and mentally drawn to this man who does not remember who he is. They fall headfirst in love with each other and cannot keep their hands off each other. But is it love or lust? It seems to Catrina that the both are one and the same.  Catrina has always been known as a wild child, her friends and family try to tame her. Especially when Stonefield begins to regain some of his memories and her brother puts his foot down regarding their unconventional relationship.

There was never a time that I became bored throughout the story. In a way it haunted me whenever I had to put it down. I believe that was due to the atmosphere and prose of the writing. I feel that there maybe some that are worried about the "insta-love" in books. This is one that really fits the story though, being completely swept away from her boring reality, Catrina and Stonefield truly find instant soul mates with each other. I think it was very well done. This is a story that I am looking forward to reading again.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wink Poppy Midnight (audiobook) by April Genevieve Tucholke

Wink Poppy Midnight

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.
 

I received a copy for review from readingteen.net


Told from three perspectives, Wink, Poppy, Midnight is a story about stories. Wink is a daydreamer and an avid reader, she narrates the story as a classic romantic fairytale. The Hero and romantic interest, Midnight the Villain and bully Poppy and Wink the protagonist who falls in love and also has to overcome heartbreak.
Midnight has just had his heart broken by the cruel Poppy. He thinks that moving further away will help him get over her. He becomes neighbors with Wink, who he finds an instant comfort in and they become inseparable. The only problem, Poppy still keeps showing up, because her true love and obsession is Wink's brother.
All three characters are so varied and layered, especially the girls'. The storyline brings out several different events that seem completely unrelated and almost questionable, until the end pulls everything together. I admit that I have never read anything as unusual as the story of these three characters lives. There were times that I could not tell which way the story was going to go, becoming very dark at times.
Overall the pacing is a constant stroll, dreamy days of reading in the rain, playing with the kids and falling in love with stories of all kinds. There is this underlying focus on the love of nature and they spend a lot of time outside. I felt the characters very relate-able and those of us who love to read may find an instant liking to Wink and her fantastical way of looking at the ordinary in life.

The narrators did a great job in bringing out the nature of each character. I absolutely despised Poppy and actually hearing the voice given to her made me a much more engaged listener. I feel I would have gotten a different and less potent imagery of this story if I had read a physical copy. I think the audiobook did it a lot of clarity bringing out the voice of the characters.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Glittering Court (audiobook) by Richelle Mead



The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)


by Richelle Mead
Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…
Published April 5th 2016 by Listening Library (Audio)    Received a copy from readingteen.net for review
I suppose that my anticipation for the book did me in this time. I absolutely love Richelle Mead's writing but I felt this book fell flat as far as the plot and storyline. As a lover of history I had a hard time not comparing this story to the colonization of the United States. Sailing across the ocean to a new land full of people from all over the world trying to establish a "new world". Socializing, settling new areas, having to work with the aboriginals and mining for gold. I suppose I was a bit irked by the idea of "selling" the women to the single men, the best trained woman getting the biggest amount of money.
I listened to the audiobook, while I enjoyed the narrator's voice I was impressed with how many different voices were being portrayed to represent all the peoples. But towards the end I felt that some of the characters began to sound similar and at times was confused if it was Adelaide or Cedric that was speaking. As I stated I believe that the high expectations I had going into the novel was my biggest upset, I think I wanted  more from the story, but felt it lacked a feeling of something new and exciting for me, personally.
I would have a hard time saying that this is not something I would recommend, because it didn't mesh with me, because I do recommend any of her books, to everybody. I think she's a really great writer and knows how to tell a imaginative and thrilling story. I believe that everybody will get something different out of this book, it touches on a lot of different subjects and it really helped me form my opinion on some issues.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Burning by Danielle Rollins

Burning

by Danielle RollinsAfter three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she'll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl's arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world has forgotten them?
 
I received a review copy from readingteen.net
If I were to make a comparison of the book I would state Orange is the New Black with Stephen King's Firestarter. It takes place in a girls detention center, as the story opens they are undergoing some new management and many changes are being made. New programs, new technology, and new girls. One of which holds a special interest to the new director. She is the youngest girl to be in the center, and the youngest to be kept in solitary confinement.
I honestly wasn't sure where this story was going to take me when going into it. I ended up really enjoying the characters and their soon to be plight to survive a horrible situation. Not long after the new girl arrives she is placed as a roommate to Angela. Jessica is shy and tries to keep to herself but everybody can see that she is different, and being watched closer than the others. As the changes take place around the center, Angela is soon faced with having to either relate all the inner details of Jessica to the director or risk getting more time added to her stay. It doesn't take long for all of them to realize they must escape, or die.
The book is not exactly fast paced but a pretty constant pacing that ends with a lot of excitement and revelations. If this ends up being a series it's definitely one that I am going to continue with. Some action, some adventure, a little romance, but mostly a lot of mystery.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Pearl

by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Run fast and run far, unless you’re fearless. Unless you’re courageous. I’m not, but I’d like to be.

Pearl Jaeger is seventeen and homeless after drugs, poverty, and addiction unraveled the life she shared with JJ, her formerly glamorous rock star mother.

This moment of happiness is fleeting; someone will take it from me.

When tragedy brings a chance to start over at an elite boarding school, she doesn’t hesitate. Yet the only salvation comes from an art teacher as troubled as Pearl, and she faces the stark reality that what she thought she wanted isn’t straightforward.

I trace the outline of my reflection in a window. I am no more than a replica of my mother. This is not the self-portrait I want to paint.

Through the friendships she forms at school—especially with Grant, a boy who shows Pearl what it means to trust and forgive—she begins to see a path not defined by her past. But when confronted with the decision to be courageous or to take the easy way forged by her mother’s failures, which direction will Pearl choose?
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Skyscape
I received an ARC from readingteen.net for review
I had one of those interesting moments when reading this book. At first I really had a hard time getting into the story, but it starts off really interesting and I wanted to see where it went. I decided to listen to the audio instead and found it a much more pleasurable experience, for some reason the physical book wasn't working for me (which doesn't happen often)
Pearl's mother was a rock star when she was younger, but somehow has succumbed to drugs and is on the borderline of hitting the bottom. Only two things can happen, recovery or death. She chooses to go to rehab and her brother offers to send Pearl to a boarding school to finish out her education while her mother is recovering. At school Pearl is able to make friends, explore art and try to figure out her future. She is constantly worried about her mother and being around wealthy people causes her to keep her old life a secret.
It's not too long before Pearl ends up making some of the bad decisions that her mother made. Unable to see what she is doing to herself, but thinking she can never end up like her mother, Pearl will have to grow up quick and make better decisions for herself, instead of always blaming her mother. She ends up meeting a boy who wants to keep it as friends, but we all know that rarely happens. Pearl falls in love hard. With so many things happening in her life it's hard to focus on what is important, but she has to or lose everything she's been given.
In most situations I would refer to this book as a coming of age novel, but with Pearl's past, it seems that she's experienced several times in her life she has had to grow up quick. In this particular instance, she is given an opportunity to change everything around, but finds herself not making very wise decisions and finding that she created her own problems that now have to be solved to be the person, and artist she's wanted to be.
This story deals with drugs, different levels of party only drugs to the hard addiction that ruins lives. Peer pressure and making your own decisions. It was at times hard to read, but in the end I think the plot is worthwhile and will give you something to think about.