Saturday, December 31, 2011

Darkness Under the Sun & The Moonlit Mind by Dean Koontz

Last post of 2011! Wow, so glad this year is over, the beginning pretty much sucked, the end has been better, and hoping that 2012 turns out really good, especially if it is the last year we have according to all those people who say the end of the world is coming. :-)
So, recently I was trying to figure out exactly what was the last Dean Koontz book I read. A couple years ago I just didn't have the money to keep buying his books when they came out in hardcover, and I can't quite remember when I stopped. So I got online and looked up a list of his boks in the order they were published. Well, I think I found my answer, but I also found 2 books that have only been available as e-books, and they were kind of companion novels to the last book, What the Night Knows, and the newest one that came out this week, 77 Shadow Street. Since they were both short, I'll include them both in one blog post.
First, Darkness Under the Sun, was written I think after the book it goes with, What the Night Knows. The main character in this is a boy named Howie. He is disfigured because his father tried to burn him over a custody dispute. Howie goes to the top of a building to watch the town around him without having to be a part of it. The day we read about at the start of this novella he is not alone when he gets up there. There is a man, a very tall, also pretty messed up looking man. This man is Alton Turner Blackwood, the killer from the book this goes with. Howie and this man become friends, so much that Howie invites him to come live in the room above their garage. The man says he has to think about it, but asks Howie to bring him pictures of the house, as well as his mother and sister. Howie brings the pictures and then leaves. When he comes back, the man is gone, the pictures have been torn, and Howie suddenly knows what he's done. He runs home to find the killer getting ready to attack his family. And he is able to scare him off. But it turns out he's now given the killer an idea of how he can kill and earn the fame he wants. Later on he sends a letter to Howie telling him this. Good story, not sure if it really leads me into wanting to read the book. In fact, it has the first chapter or so at the end, and now I'm not sure if I've read the whole book, or if I just read these two chapters at the back of whatever book came before it. It was a very Dean Koontz story, exactly what you'd expect.
The 2nd story, The Moonlit Mind, was available before the book it goes with was released this past Tuesday. And let me say, I REALLY enjoyed this one. It reminded me of some of the earlier works of Koontz that I really enjoyed. Like Twilight Eyes, Strangers, Watchers (all by Koontz), as well as Anouther Faust by Daniel Nayeri. Just something about it really was the type of book I liked. And now I'm really eager to read 77 Shadow Street. This novella is also with a young main character, a 12 year old boy named Crispin who has lived on the streets since he was 9. He ran away from his mother and step-father's house after his younger sister and brother disappeared. The way they disappeared was very mysterious. It seems as if there is a cult or satanic rituals going on in this house. And very strangely there is a miniature replica of the mansion that Crispin is really intrigued by. And it turns out that replica has a connection to all that is going on. Crispin has also made friends with the "Phantom of Broderick's" or as she calls herself, Amity. Amity works and lives at Broderick's department store. And Crispin, and his dog Harley, named after his younger brother, stay there nights as well. But Crispin can't stay in any one place too long, for soon the people from his past will come looking for him, and have caught up to him in the past. Amity also has a scary past. And together they will try to overcome them. This is a great lead in to the book, although the first few chapters of the book at the end of this novella, don't quite match the tone of the novella, but hopefully it will get back to what I liked about this.

Friday, December 30, 2011

TBR Pile Reading Challenge

Working part time at a bookstore, I get a lot of ARCs and also books that have stripped covers, and so I have lots of books to be read. I also see books I want as they come in, and then buy them with my discount. Not to mention for a year or two I belonged to a book club and I got some good deals on books that way. And finally, working as a teacher, those book fairs at school not only help the school library out, they have some darn good deals! So I have at least 300 books needing to be read sitting in my 2nd bedroom/office. I found through several blogs that I follow a link to this challenge which is being sponsored by Evie @ Bookish.
Basically I am setting a goal to read a certain number of the books from my TBR pile between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. The books have to have been published in 2011 or before, can't be any new books, otherwise they don't count in cleaning out the TBR pile! There are 5 different levels of how many books you think you will read. You can increase and go up levels if you think you'll read more, but you cannot back down. You can list your books in this post if you want, but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to pick the books up as they strike my fancy. So I will mention they're for this challenge when I review them, and then I will have a wrap up post at the end that lists them all.
Another cool thing is that there will be contests and giveaways with this challenge! To find out more about this, follow either of the links above, the picture, or the name of the host. I, personally, am choosing level 2: A Friendly Hug, as I am going to do my best to read at least 1 a month, for a total of 12 for the year. Not much of a dent in my 300 TBR pile, but maybe I'll get further. Here is a list of the awesome hosts for this challenge:
Angel @ Mermaids Vision

List of books read and date:
The Slayer Chronicles:  First Kill by Heather Brewer
Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner
Torn (Trylle Trilogy #2) by Amanda Hocking.
Rebirth (An Aftertime Novel) by Sophie Littlefield
Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
Ghost Whisperer - Revenge by Doranna Durgin
Ascend (Trylle Trilogy #3) by Amanda Hocking
Dark Souls by Paula Morris
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse #11) by Charlaine Harris
Frozen by Mary Casanova

Feature and Follow Friday #16

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event sponsored by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read. The purpose is to expand your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. This week's question is:
The New Year is here - and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp, and re-do on your blog for 2012?
Well, that's a hard one. While I'm considering moving my blog or maybe re-doing the background (adding another dog to the header now that I have a puppy too), the main thing I want to do more of this year is scheduling blogs. I only learned about doing that this past fall. I know, I know, I'm behind. But I plan to use this to make sure that I am blogging once a week for sure. I can get my Waiting on Wednesdays set up ahead so that I know I will always have one once a week. Also, according to NetGalley, some of the publishers want you to wait until about a month before a book's actual release before you post a review. So I can use the scheduling for that, and actually already have one scheduled for a book that doesn't come out until August! So I've already started.
So, what are your resolutions for your blog?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Underworld by Meg Cabot

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we get together to discuss upcoming books that we are eagerly awaiting.
This will of course be the last one of 2011! Yay! I have a hard time doing this some time because there are soooooo many books out there that I am looking forward to. So I scrolled through my Goodreads list for one I had on my to-read list that already had a picture for the cover.
My choice this week is Underworld by Meg Cabot, which is a sequel to her book Abandon. Here is the summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn't dead. Not this time. But
she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and
hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final
journey. Her captor, John Hayden, claims it's for her own safety. Because
not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up
after leaving the Underworld, they've come back as Furies, intent on vengeance .
. . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves. But
while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers
could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its
ruler than with his enemies. And unless Pierce is careful, this time
there'll be no escape.
Can't wait to go on with this story. I just really enjoyed it! What is your WOW?

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath (Everneath, #1)Everneath by Brodi Ashton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins, first off let me say I LOVED this book. I like the new take on the afterlife. This was a different paranormal romance, no vampires, werewolves, angels, fairies. There are immortal beings, and in a way, they are kind of like vampires. These immortal beings though live on the feelings or emotions of mortals. They can take it during events like concerts, like the band that Cole is in. Or they can take you to the Everneath where you will be right next to them for 100 years while they get the sustenance they need to last another 100 years. Now, this 100 years in the Everneath is much longer than how much time actually passes on the surface. And normally, after you've been here, you age too. But for some reason, Nikki, our main character, doesn't age after this 100 years with Cole. And she wants to go back, back to a face, a boy she knew. She went with Cole because she was sad, her mother had died, things with her social life were not at the greatest, and so she let him take the pain away. But by going back, instead of staying with Cole and doing what he wants her to do, to stay with him forever and maybe take over the Everneath, she now owes the shades, the creatures that connected them, and after a short time back, about 6 months or so, they will pull her back into the Tunnels, a horrible dark place she is told. But Nikki wants a chance to actually tell her family and friends goodbye this time. She needs to see the guy whose face she saw the whole time, Jack, at least one more time. Cole is there the whole time trying to win her back.

This story was so good. I had to know what would happen. I loved the mythology in it, as well as the way those myths could be re-interpreted to fit this story. I'm so glad to see on Goodreads that there is a sequel, because I need to go on with this story. I'm not ready for it to end. And you won't be either.

And, isn't the cover beautiful!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A - Z Book Challenge

So, I really only did one book challenge last year, the Debut Author Challenge hosted by

The Story Siren. And I'm now debating whether to do that one again this year or not. But this is a challenge that sounds really interesting and different. So I'm going to try it. I'm going to go with the "B" method, of just as I read adding titles to the the list. In order to make this list, what I'll probably do is make a post, and then just add to it as I add books to the list and update it. Not sure how else to keep a list on my blog right now. I'm not so great with all the design stuff. But if any of you have suggestions on how I can do it, I'd love it! I'm kind of at the mercy of using Blogger's little widgets right now.
If you're interested in participating, just click on the button at the top of this post and follow the instructions to get involved!

A- Another Jekyll, Another Hyde by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
B- Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
C- Fever (Chemical Garden series #2) by Lauren DeStefano
D- The Death Cure by James Dashner
E- Revealing Eden (Save the Pearls #1) by Victoria Foyt
F- First Kill (The Slayer Chronicles) by Heather Brewer
G- Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFever
H- Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
I-  Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
J- Transcendence by C.J. Omololu
K- The White Oak (Imperfect Darkness #1) by Kim White
L- Rebirth (Aftertime #2) by Sophie Littlefield
M- My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1) by Rachel Vincent
N-  On Fire (Teen Wolf) by Nancy Holder
O- Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
P- Pure by Julianna Baggott
Q- Rift (Nightshade preQuel #1) by Andrea Cremer
R- Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
S-  Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz
T- Torn (Trylle Trilogy #2) by Amanda Hocking
U- Suck it Up and Die by Brian Meehl
V-  Redemption by Veronique Launier
W- The Weepers (Other Life #1) by Susanne Winnacker
X- Truth (XVI #2) by Julia Karr
Y- Monument 14 by EmmY Laybourne
Z- The Kill Order (MaZe Runner prequel) by James Dashner

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got to read the first book in this series, Unearthly as an ARC a few months before it came out the beginning of this year. So I'm glad I was able to get this egalley from Netgalley and HarperTeen. It means the amount of time between reading them is the same for people who wait for each book to come out, and I like that. This was probably the 2nd angel series I read, I gave it a try after I liked Hush, Hushand I enjoyed it as well. In this book we jump in about where we left off. Clara is with Tucker, the boy she decided to save in the book before, even though her purpose seemed to be directing her to save Christian, who it turned out was also an angel-blood. Tucker knows the basics about Clara being an angel. In this book though, Clara gets a new vision, and since she's sure she failed her purpose, she thinks that it will be someone she loves who dies. She soon finds out that it will be, but not who she first imagines. And when she finds this out, it leads to all sorts of changes in her life. But the Black Wing from the first book is back. But her father also comes back. And she learns all sorts of things about herself, as well as angels in general. And her brother is hiding something, we do find out what, but still unsure quite why he is acting the way he is, we are left wondering at the end.

Once I got back into the book and remembered all from the first book, I got sucked back in and it was a book I had trouble putting down. So I'm sure people who enjoyed the first one will be glad to pick this one up. It actually left me ready to read the next in the series, which I'm sure there will have to be.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Breaking Dawn Movie Review

Yeah, yeah, I know this is a book blog, but as Breaking Dawn is a movie based on one of my favorite book series, I think this works. I personally felt this was the best of all the movies so far. I do have a few complaints, as anyone would. First, one thing I loved in the book was the banter between Jacob and Rosalie, the dumb blonde jokes, and then when Rosalie made the bowl into a dog dish to bring Jacob his food. That was left out, and I was a bit disappointed. Second, a lot of people laughed at the part where the wolves were talking, but I didn't think that was bad. I mean, come on, we're talking a movie about vampires that sparkle and werewolves that can communicate telepathically. How else would they do that? I was okay. One part that made me cringe was when Emmett and Jasper came to take Edward to his "bachelor" party. The way they laughed and shoved each other around down below Bella's window was kinda dorky and stupid seeming. Also, I know Alice is supposed to be the "fashion" queen, and I know I'm not really a fashionista, but at the beginning when she's got on shoes that are a lighter color than the hose/tights she is wearing? I can't stand that look, it looks dumb to me. And the other part that really made me cringe was at the wedding the way they were showing Alice and Jasper dance as if it was really stunning and impressive, but it was only a little jump they did. Really? Kinda dorky.
Other than those complaints, I loved it! I know people have complained there wasn't much action, and I can see their point, but the movie ended at the EXACT point I wanted it to. Although not sure the dress Bella is in is really what was descrbied in the book, so may be a little disappointed in how the next movie starts. But we'll see. I've seen it 3 times, and know I'll see it at least 2 more times. If not more as usuall. And now, well, I've got to wait until next November to see the next one! Which sucks because that means I'll have to go to New York again to see it. :-)
Anyway, I'm looking forward to my Christmas break from teaching and actually getting some reading done! So that I can post more book reviews on here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed (Matched, #2)Crossed by Ally Condie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First let me say that I need to take a cue from something I saw The Story Siren say, that she doesn't read other reviews. Because in the case of this book, I wonder how much of my dissatisfaction is because I read other reviews of people that were not completely pleased with this book. I also wonder how much is because it is the "sophomore" book in the series, which often aren't as good as the first. Let me be clear, it wasn't bad, it was a good story, but it just didn't live up to how much I loved the first book in the series,Matched. After thinking about it, here is why I think that is. I liked the whole society part of the first book, the 100 books, movies, songs, etc. I liked being a part of all that. This book took our characters out of that society and put them out in the wilderness basically. And while I do enjoy books like that, it just didn't keep up with where the first story went. It reminds me of my displeasure with Mockingjay, the 3rd in the Hunger Games trilogy. I think I didn't enjoy the 3rd book because there was no "hunger games" in it. It sounds as if the 3rd book in the Matched series may get back to the setting that pulled me in to the series in the first place. And I did like learning more about Ky, as well as about the people who weren't in the society, and why things became the society like that. All in all I believe it furthered the story, told us what we needed to know, but I'm ready to read on and hopefully get back into the society.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Fear (Gone #5) by Michael Grant

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This is where we share the books we are eagerly anticipating the release of.

This week I've chosen Fear (Gone Series #5) by Michael Grant. I first learned of this series when I was reading for the Truman nominees a few years ago. I was hooked and begin burning my way through them. And these are some thick books! But really quick reading, hard to put down. In the series all adults have disappeared, basically anyone above a certain age. Turns out that whatever did happen, the town is now inside a giant dome and they can't see what is outside. And when the kids turn that age, they can, but don't always have to, disappear as well. Inside the dome there are monsters and of course there are kids who are "bad" in the Lord of the Flies way almost. So here is a synopsis of this book from Goodreads:
This is a blood-pumping, white-knuckle sci-fi thriller of epic proportions. Night is falling in the FAYZ. Even though it's been nearly a year since everyone over the age of fifteen disappeared, the sun has continued to shine on the kids of Perdido Beach. Now, though, the gaiaphage has blotted out the sun and plunged the FAYZ into perpetual gloom. Divided and dispirited, the survivors face their greatest enemy yet - the darkness of their own minds ...

I can't wait to read this and continue on with the story. What book are you eagerly awaiting?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Feature and Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event that helps you expand your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. It is sponsored by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read. This week's question is:

Keeping with the spirit of giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read, and if you could, would you buy it for all of your family and friends?

Again, this is a really hard question this week! I think that I would actually have to pick a book that really touched me because of what I personally deal with in my own life, as well as family members I've had do this. The book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I especially want to recommend it to all middle school age kids. I know it is really about high school students, but I see my students saying these mean things to each other all the time. And I think the way the girl in the book describes how these little things that people say affect her, after all she's been through, is very realistic. It's so easy to just let your bad mood cause you to be rude or short with another person, not thinking about how it affects what they're already dealing with in their lives. And I guess along with this book, I'd also recommend the book How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath. This taught me a long time ago to think about how when another person doesn't say hi when you walk by or smile, or whatever, it's not necessarily anything to do with you, so don't take it personal, and also, realize how what you do or say can be taken personal by someone else, and do your best not to fall into these traps. I think the 2nd book is something to help you live by, and the first is good for those who are either suffering from depression, or who maybe are bullying, to see what they are actually doing to someone.

Okay, I think this post is kind of depressing for me today! Sorry about that! What books did you pick?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Epic Giveaway by author Beth Revis!

You have got to go enter this contest! Not only are there a ton of prizes available, as explained in the video below, but she is donating $1 per entry (up to 1000 entries) to charity!

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never SkyUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi from Netgalley. I have to admit when I first started reading it, I had a few thoughts I wasn't going to really enjoy it. The dystopian future seemed a bit too out there at first. And I'm not sure why, because a lot of the technology they started with in this book is similar to what is in other books like Bumped and even Skinned, the 2nd of which is one of my favorite series. I guess the part where they went into the pod where all the plants were dead, and the way the guys with the main character, Aria, acted about the fire and all that. But when Aria was betrayed because what happened with the fire was caused by a high ranking official's son, and sent out into what they called The Death Shop to make it on her own, I was hooked. I knew as soon as she went to talk to the official that was probably going to happen. Just had a feeling. She meets up out there with the Outsider who had saved her from the fire that night. The outsider has what I'd consider a mutation, probably caused by whatever had driven so many people to live in the Pods. He has what she needs to try to find her way to where communication was lost with her mother in another Pod. He needs this eye piece tech as well because he believes he can use it to get his nephew back, who was kidnapped by the Dwellers he assumes so they can get the information Aria recorded on there of the Official's son. Out in this wilderness they come across all kinds of "real" nature, something that Aria has only experienced as what would be called virtual reality. Her body also starts reverting to its natural state. And in one thing that to some people may be TMI, to me, I wasn't sure how she got by in the clothes she had, she got her period, but didn't know what it was. Not sure how she dealt with it either. Call me crazy, but I wanted to know for sure. Other than that, the relationship between her and the outsider Perry develops in a fair way I felt. And as we got to the end, where once again we were left hanging, I found myself wanting to read on, and sad that it was over and I'd have to wait to learn more. I think this will be a good new dystopian series.

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Waiting on Wednesday - Darkness Falls (Immortal Beloved #2) -Cate Tiernan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.

This week I've chosen Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan, the sequel to Immortal Beloved. It is set to be published January 2, 2012.


Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River's Edge, despite some drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won't allow herself to have. But just as she's getting comfortable, her family's ties to dark magick force her to leave. She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her?

I got the first book on sale when Borders was going out of business. I really enjoyed it, and am now eager to move on and find out what happens next in the story.

What is your most anticipated book this week?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Deadly Little Secret (Touch, #1)Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know this book has been out for awhile, but I've seen it at the store and picked it up and thought about reading it. However NetGalley offered a free download of it in preparation for the latest book in the series being released, so I went ahead and downloaded and read it. Okay, so first I have to agree with some other reviewers that this starts out JUST like Twilight. The mysterious boy saves the girl from a car crash. This boy is hot and cold toward her. Yet his touch and something about him just mesmerizes her. The girl is Camelia, the boy is Ben. Well, Ben has a history, it is rumored he killed his girlfriend, but the police found him innocent, so he didn't get charged with it. But everyone at school believes the rumors, and gives him a hard time. Now, Ben is the new one at school. Turns out he wants to go back to a normal life, public school, as he's been homeschooled since his girlfriend died to deal with these same kind of issues. Camelia is intrigued as I said, but about this same time she also seems to have picked up a stalker of some sort. And she doesn't quite know who it is. It begins with a picture of her left in her mailbox. And it goes on to creepy phone calls, and more violent things such as someone breaking into her room and tearing things to shreds, like a gift this same stalker left at her windowsill. And to top it all off, Ben has a power, and it seems this power can help Camelia, but could also be what caused his girlfriend to die.

Getting past the part that was so identical to Twilight, I really got sucked in. There were so many people that could have been the stalker. The author set the clues and false clues up so well. I won't spoil it and tell you who it was, but I will list all the people I thought it could be as I read, Ben of course, her friend Wes, her ex-boyfriend Matt, the guy she worked for at the Pottery shop, the guy her best friend had a crush on, and even her best friend Kimmie, all stood out at times as possibly being the stalker. Was it one of them? Like I said, I won't spoil it for you, you need to read it yourself. It was really creepy trying to figure out who it was. I guess I'll now have to go on and read the other books in the series.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Follow Friday #14

Feature and Follow Friday is a blog hop that helps expand your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. It is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This week's question is:

What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don't like love triangles or think plots. Tell us about it!

Wow, this is kind of a hard question this week! Just because I'm not sure what pet peeves I have with books. I either like them or I don't. I know that with realistic type fiction, I have trouble when I can't relate to the main character, especially if there is any romance. As someone who is in their late 30's and single, never been married, it is hard for me to read about women who are unhappy in their marriages. I'm not saying I don't think those kind of stories aren't realistic, they just don't speak to me. So, not sure if that is a pet peeve, but that is something that I do think about a lot when it comes to choosing books to read.

What are your pet peeves? Surely you have better, more thought out ones than I do.

The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. I: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. I: The Gathering StormThe Katerina Trilogy, Vol. I: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this as an e-book from Netgalley. I normally wouldn't enter the Goodreads contest to win a copy of a book I've already read, but I did really enjoy this, and since it is part one of a series, I'll want to have it to re-read before the next one comes out probably. I really liked the story to begin with. The characters really grabbed me, and it was fun to kind of read about "royalty" in a way. To read about girls who were supposed to only get married and be good wives. Yet our main character, Katerina, doesn't want that kind of life. She wants to be a doctor. Now in her country, women have been banned from going to medical school. Her father supports her, along with another doctor, and says he will help her to go to a school that does allow women. But this is not the main storyline, although it is a big part of her life. Katerina can see a light around people, a light that tells something about whether they are close to death or not. And she soon finds out, this may be because she is a necromancer. In this world there are vampires, and fairies, and zombies, and all kinds of magical things, ghosts, etc. And it is a world of it. The light and dark sides. Katerina is needed by both sides. One needs her for a ritual to help their son ascend, and then they want her powers for other things later on. The other side needs her to be able to raise a creature that can save them from the dark. The one side, the son says he's in love with her, but Katerina doesn't trust his family, or him. The other side has a soldier/royal son who irritates her, and he doesn't trust her because he can tell what her power is. But soon, a spark grows between them as they continue to be thrown together in all these dangerous situations. But Katerina may have to deny her true feelings, as the other side threatens her friends and family if she does not marry their son and do as they ask.

Now, as I've said, I really enjoyed this book. When I picked it up, I had trouble putting it down. The story was very thought out, all the background of the families and all the paranormal situations and entities. It ended at a point that I'm very eager to read on past and find out what happens, and that's the problem with reading advanced readers copies, since it isn't even published yet, now I have to wait until it's published, plus probably another year before I'll get to read on. I wish when I got an ARC of a series, I could just get all the rest early too. But I'm sure all readers feel that way. Anyway, my only complaint with this book has to do with some of how it was so involved. I feel like the book just started in with some of the paranormal stuff, but didn't really explain it well until later, which was a bit confusing. Also, Katerina didn't know she was a necromancer, or that vampires were real, but she did know there were fairies? Seems weird to know about that and not the rest. But all in all, a great book, and I totally got past that once I got into the story.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Follow Friday #13

It is time for this week's Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee, and Allison Can Read. This is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers.
This week's question is:
It's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., so we want to know what you are thankful for - blogging related, of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?
First I am thankful for all the years I have been employed by the Barnes and Noble book company. It is through them that I got my first ARCs. I also met my friend Charlotte, who has her own blog: Charlotte's Web of Books and kind of inspired me to start blogging about books. Along my journey, I've learned lots about book blogging from people like The Story Siren, and even Parajunkee. Even non-book bloggers have helped, like another of my friends from the bookstore, Greg at The Confounded Cook, inspired me with his consistency and dedication to his blog. So many authors that I've met and talked to online through Twitter keep me going too. I also am a big fan of, another site I learned about from my friend Charlotte, that helps me get to read egalleys of books. And finally, I have to once again thank my bookstore job, as they allowed me to have a table in the store this past summer and fall that had my book recommendations as well as a sign advertising my blog. So that was really cool! And I want to thank Parajunkee for letting me be a featured blogger, and helping me to increase my blog following. I'm thankful for all the great bloggers I meet who share new book titles that I may not have heard of before.
So, what are you thankful for in your book blogging world?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Lovely Blog award!

Thanks to Samanth at The Written Escape for giving me the One Lovely Blog Award! I know many bloggers don't want to do awards, and I understand that it takes time to do this, but for now I'm grateful and will continue to participate as long as I have the time to do it.

Now it is my turn to award 15 other bloggers with this award. So here we go:

2. Christy at Love of Books

5. Giselle at Xpresso Reads

6. Nia and Nhien at Your Average Bookworms

I tried to not pick anyone who had an "award free blog" so if I did, I apologize, I didn't see where you said that on your blog. For those of you who I did nominate, you need to now nominate 15 of your favorite blogs to pass the award onto as well.

Waiting on Wednesday - Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.

This week I've chosen a book that I am eagerly awaiting for many reasons. Not just that I loved the 1st book, but that I got to meet the author last Friday when I was in New York, and now I'm even more excited! My book this week is called Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz, and it is the sequel to Spellbound. In this 2nd book, Emma is hoping things will go back to normal now that she has broken the centuries old romantic curse keeping her and Brendan apart. She is now getting used to being a witch though. Still dealing with the cliques in her school, it is helpful that Brendan is the most wanted boy in school, and her boyfriend. But there is something else out there that still wants to break them apart, and get their own powers from them. The release date is next March.

The exciting thing? I got to read the prologue when I met Cara last week! And it was so intense and I can't wait to keep reading! When I was in New York I got to meet Cara, and even had a chance to hang out with her for a little bit. Later in my trip I made sure to go to the Belvedere castle in Central Park, which features in a very exciting scene in Spellbound, and get my picture with the book taken there. Cara was so nice, and it was so neat to learn about her and where these stories first came from. She gave me the bit of a push to get back to working on my novel that I was about halfway through when I ran out of time and motivation to keep writing. Meeting her only reinforced my thoughts that authors are my rock stars!!

What authors have you met, and do you feel the same way I do about them?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I've been a fan of Maureen Johnson since I first began following her on Twitter. I even got her to reply to me one time, a long time ago though. I hadn't read her books yet, just knew her name from working in the children's department at the bookstore where I have a part time job. I immediately picked up her books once I saw how funny she was because I just knew anyone who could be so funny in 140 characters or less had to be an asesome writer. And she is really good. I've read her Scarlett series, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Devilish. And now I've read The Name of the Star, which I hear is going to be the first in a series. And I'm very glad to hear that because I really enjoyed this book.

I have also been fascinated by the Jack the Ripper stories ever since reading the book by Patricia Cornwell: Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper - Case Closed as well as the movie From Hell which starred Johnny Depp, and the guy who plays Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies.

In this book, our main character is Rory, who is from Louisiana, but is now attending a school in London because of her parents traveling for their own jobs. She is attending a boarding school that just happens to be right near the whole Ripper scene. And, just as she arrives, someone has begun to imitate the Ripper murders. Rory also has some other weird things happen. She keeps seeing people that no one else sees. She soon realizes that she has the ability to see ghosts, one of which may be responsible for the new Ripper like murders. She also discovers she's not alone in having this ability and that she may be able to use it to help out and save more people from dying.

View all my reviews

Friday, November 11, 2011

Follow Friday #12

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers and it is hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read.

This week's question is:

In light of 11/11/11 and Veteran's Day, tell us about your favorite soldier and how he or she is saving the world. Fictional or Real life.

This is a hard one. I don't actually know any specific soldiers out fighting right now. So I am going to go back to my grandpa and my uncles. All served in the military in foreign countries. My grandpa Moritz during the Korean war. So he is my favorite soldier, and he passed away several years ago, but I thank him for what he did in the past.

Who is your favorite soldier?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

The Book of Blood and ShadowThe Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this book from Netgalley, and am so glad I did! I'm a huge fan of Robin Wasserman's books because of the Skinned series, which I think is now called the Cold Awakening series. But anyway, this is a really good book. It is one that makes me realize why I can never finish any of the books I start. The depth of the detail and the back story in this is incredible! I love books that use letters or flashbacks to historical diaries or events like this one does. In a way this is a Da Vinci Code type of book in that it brings in an ancient religious sect. I also like the sciencey part to it, as I am a science teacher. This was a big book, lots and lots of story to read. It starts out and says where it starts is the middle of the story. But really, while it is kind of the start of the whole 2nd part, the 2nd part is HUGE! Not in a bad way, just you get to that part and it's not really the middle of the book, just the middle of the story. I do like that it starts like that, so that you know kind of what is to happen, but you don't know just what will happen after that until you get to that part. I loved that I was kept guessing on whether the boyfriend, Max, was a bad guy or a good guy the whole time. So many clues led you back and forth. And the cousin, the unknown guy who shows up after Chris's murder, again, you don't know if he's good or bad. I kind of wanted to like Eli, hated him at first for how he talked to Nora, the main character, but as the story went on, really liked the love-hate relationship they had, I often enjoy those types of stories.

The story talks about an elusive machine that is supposed to get the maker/user in touch with God, it is called the Lumen Dei. The way it works at the end when they finally get it together is really good and totally adds to the whole story, and makes up for waiting all through the story to know what it will really do, although you're not left knowing what actually happens.

Great book, I'll be putting it as a staff recommendation at the bookstore where I work when it comes out in January.

View all my reviews

Waiting on Wednesday - Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases we are eagerly awaiting.

Last week I veered off the path a bit with all the books I'd been waiting on in the past, but now were released, yet I hadn't had time to read them yet. This week I'll be back on track.

I didn't know until I posted about not liking the ending that Delirium by Lauren Oliver was going to have a sequel. Then I was a little better with the way it ended. So now, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.

I now know this is going to be a dystopian trilogy. In this book we continue with Lena Holloway from the first one. In this society, all people are mandated to get "the cure" which cures you of the disease of love. Lena fell in love with Alex though, and he with her, and they tried to make their escape. Unfortunately, Alex didn't make it (the reason I didn't like the ending), and now Lena must go on without him outside of the society. It is slated to be released March of 2012.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November RAK

Well, I signed up to do RAK last month, and got 3 different books! It was awesome! I'm sure a lot of that was because it was my birthday month. However, I'm a little ticked at myself because I can't find the emails to remember the people that sent me the books. And I know I saved them just to have for this blog post! Well, I did send a book, a Nook e-book to one of the people that sent me a book. So you'd think I'd still have their information somewhere, but no, again, something happened and I can't find it. I wonder if when I was trying to save my school emails as they were changing our system at the district where I teach, if somehow they got mixed up in those emails and I'll have to search through that mess. Hopefully at some point I can find them, and come back and edit this post to give thanks publicly to those people who made it a great birthday month.

I received Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler, which I've already read and reviewed. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, which is on the list to probably read later this month. And finally, The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, which I do still have the email from Erika at who sent this to me. I still have hers because the book came with a Karma seed for me to pass on. Which is part of why I am doing RAK this month. I need to pass this along. You can read about the Karma seed program here:

Here is my wishlist from

And my top 5 that I'm hoping for this month are:

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Crossed by Ally Condie

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Death Cure by James Dashner.

If you're interested in participating this month, here are the links you need:

To see who else is participating so you can choose who to send a gift to, go here:

Hope you'll join in as this is a great thing to be a part of.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm thankful for Nancy Drew

I'm a huge fan of Beth Revis, I loved her debut novel Across the Universe. She is having this awesome contest in honor of Thanksgiving by asking fans to post about their favorite titles and the winner will receive all 19 of the signed books listed, as well as some awesome swag!

So I decided to do this, as hard as it will be to pick just one book.

One of my first choices would have been the author's first choice, the Narnia series. Like her, this was a series that I read over and over. I still have my copies of the books, and they are tattered and dog-eared, showing how much I read them and loved them. To me, a book that is loved isn't all pristine and perfectly new looking.

But I didn't want to be copying, so instead, I chose the book series that I really see as my entry into being the avid, obsessed reader that I am today. I remember one weekend, I think I was in about 3rd or 4th grade probably, we were at the JCPenney's outlet store across the Missouri-Kansas state line. We went there probably once a month looking for good deals. I remember stopping with my mom in front of a display of these yellow books. I don't remember the whole experience, but I think my dad went on with my brother while my mom and I stopped and looked. For some reason, she bought me a large number of them. I think at least 10 were bought at that time. I took them home, and devoured them. And soon bought almost all of them. I am missing a few, but still consider buying them at the bookstore I work at just to complete my set. I don't know what it is about them, but I loved stepping into the world. I loved the mystery, Nancy and her friends Bess and tomboy George. Her boyfriend Ned. It was like hanging out with friends. From this book I moved on to probably Narnia next, or maybe A Wrinkle in Time, another series I got sucked into and loved. But I am thankful that this series got me started on the path to loving reading the way I do now.

Gateway 2012-2013 Nominee 5: The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith

The Other Side of DarkThe Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. It is not really historical fiction, but it goes back and does get into some history and it is a ghost type story as well. In a way it reminds me just a little bit of Ghosts I Have Beenone of my favorite series ever when I was younger. I like that this has the history along with the ghost story. And I also enjoyed reading from the viewpoint of a teen boy who has a black father and a white mother. It was interesting to read his take on his father's crusade to get reparations. This book also jumped between viewpoints of Law Walker, and the "crazy" girl in town, Katie Mullen. It turns out that Law had a crush on Katie when they were younger, before she became the crazy girl. But his mother didn't let him ask her to the dance because she lived on the wrong side of the town. Law's mom and dad are well to do. Katie is not. In fact she lives with her step-father, because her father died in the military, and her mother died later. But now Katie sees ghosts. She wants to believe it is just hallucinations, until she draws one of the ghosts and when Law sees the drawing, he doesn't know how she knows what those things looked like. She has to come to terms with the fact that things in her past may not be quite as she has believed. And Law must figure a way to do what he wants and not completely disappoint his father who has his own plans for Law.

I really enjoyed this book. Couldn't wait to get back to it whenever I had to put it down. It was also nice that I had some extra time when I was reading this so that I did not have to take too long to read it.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #12 and Follow Friday #11

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is sponsored by Jen at Crazy For Books. Just read at her site that this will be the last one of these for a while. So sad! But I understand, it does take a lot of time I'm sure to do all of this, as I know I've not been able to keep up with doing this every week. But this is basically a place to connect with other book bloggers and readers.

This week's question is: What is your favorite Halloween costume? Even if you don't celebrate, what kinds of costumes do you like?

Well, I actually dressed up last Saturday night for a friend's party. On Monday night I'll be at home, with a big bowl of candy, hoping to have some trick or treaters. Last year I didn't have very many, which was disappointing, as that is one part of Halloween I've enjoyed as an adult. My favorite costume is one that I can't fit into anymore, but still have. Even when I lost weight last year, I believe certain parts of my body have either not lost weight, or have settled to a different postion that made me unable to zip the dress all the way up. Probably almost 10 years ago, my mom sewed me the famous pink Marilyn Monroe dress, the same one Madonna wears in her Material Girl video. That is my favorite costume. I wish I could wear it at least one more time. But because it is homemade, and so fitted, there was no way for my mom to "let it out" in the bust area, so I was unable to wear it.

Follow Friday is sponsored by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read.

This week's question is: If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?

Hmm, that is kind of a hard question. Because I think I'd like to have dinner with Edward from Twilight, and of course, he wouldn't really be eating anything so I wouldn't have to serve anything. Or, I would like to have dinner with Jacob, and we'd go to a nice steak house for dinner. I know, that is probably a cliche answer, but it is what it is. My best answer.

So, do you have a favorite Halloween costume? And who would you choose to have dinner with?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse, #1)Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I actually really liked this book. I think the subject of anorexia is one that is very overlooked sometimes. I liked the irony in a girl who was anorexic being in charge of famine. I liked that the other riders, Death, War, and Pestilence, were portrayed in a somewhat different way than you normally see. I like the choice that Famine was given. This book did speak to me personally, not that I'm anorexic, but that I struggle with weight, and I understand the feeling of looking in the mirror, and what you see is not what others see. There are times I leave my home and I thought what I put on looked good in my mirror. Then I get to school and walk by a window and see my reflection and hate how fat I look. Or I'm somewhere like a party, in an outfit I planned and thought made me look really good, then I see a picture later and think wow, how fat I really am, and why don't I see that in the mirror when I look. And then other people will say how good I look, and I don't think I look like that. For a long time, when I was younger, I never understood how anorexics could look in a mirror and feel fat, when all I saw was barely any person there. But now that I can't trust my own eyes when I look in a mirror, I get it. And I think this book showcases that very well. I like that at the end it isn't just easy for her to begin eating and be normal. She thinks she can, but soon that "thin voice" is back in her head telling her how many calories, or minutes exercising each food will cost her. And making her feel guilty for even thinking of eating one french fry.

I look forward to reading the next one in the series, Rage. This was a quick read, as it is a short book, and I think there could probably have been more detail to flesh the story out and make it last a bit longer if there was anything that wasn't perfect about the book, that's it.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - New Style

Okay, what I mean by "New Style" is that I know I'm not doing the exact correct thing here, but I'm so far behind on reading since school started back in August, that I kept thinking about how many new books were out that I'd been waiting on, but hadn't had the time to read them yet. So, hopefully Jill at Breaking the Spine doesn't mind too much if I veer off course this week. Instead of choosing one book that is not published yet that I'm eagerly awaiting, I want to share the books that have recently been published but I haven't had time to read them yet.

First is The Death Cure by James Dashner. This is the 3rd, and as far as I know at the moment, final book in the Maze Runner series. According to
Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

Second is Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick, the 3rd, and I think final in the Hush Hush series. According to The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

Third is The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. I enjoy following Maureen Johnson on Twitter, she is so funny. And I've read a few of her others, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, Devilish, to name a few. The 3rd one was the closest to my normal type of book, I mean paranormalish. But this new one sounds really in my area, and I did get it for my birthday, so it will be one of the next ones I read. According to
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Fourth is First Kill (The Slayer Chronicles #1) by Heather Brewer. I loved her Vladmir Tod series. I love following her on Twitter, and I was so excited to get to meet her last spring! I was so excited when I heard about this series which will fill in the summers between the Vlad Tod books, but from Joss, the vampire slayer's, point of view. Here is the summary according to Joss McMillan’s perfect life crashes down the night he witnesses his sister’s murder — at the hands of a vampire. He then finds out his family’s secret heritage: They are part of the Slayer Society, a group whose mission is to rid the world of vampires. Joss is their new recruit. As Joss trains, bent on seeking revenge for his sister, he discovers powers that could make him the youngest, strongest Slayer in history. But there is a traitor in the Society, one whose identity would shake Joss to the core . . . if the traitor doesn’t kill him first.
With over a million copies already in print, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod is still sinking its fangs into new readers every day. Now, bestselling author Heather Brewer brings us the other side of the story, from the perspective of Vlad’s former friend turned mortal enemy: vampire slayer Joss McMillan. This is the first in a series of five books that can be read alongside Vlad Tod or entirely on their own.

The 5th book I came up with, and I know there are many more, is The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore. This is the sequel to I Am Number Four, which I only picked up to read in the first place due to some of the controversy about who the author really was. I'll let you do some research into that on your own if you're interested enough. Here is the storyline according to
I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.
Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?
They caught Number One in Malaysia.Number Two in England.And Number Three in Kenya.They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.
I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.
And I'm ready to fight.

So, as I said, I hope that the blog who does this meme isn't upset with me for diverging from the normal way of doing this for this week. I just really wanted to do a blog about this, and it felt kind of like I was "waiting" so I decided it fit perfectly under "Waiting On Wednesday" because instead of waiting for a book to be published, I'm waiting to have the time to read them!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Must Read Monday #1

Fans of Fiction

Just found this meme through someone I follow, and it is sponsored by Fans of Fiction. It is called Must Read Monday, and I love the creativity behind it! You pick a book based on whatever the theme is, and you explain why it is a must read. But you must explain it using an acrostic poem. This week's theme is paranormal, which can include paranormal romance. I just read a really good one I'd like to share, but since the title is so long, I decided not to do it for my first foray into this meme. Instead I'll go with another really good one I read this past spring. I chose Abandon by Meg Cabot.

Ancient stories of the underworld

But who really believes in them anymore.

An accident nearly took Pierce's life

Near death, but she came back

Doing her best to move on with life isn't easy, so she moves to her mother's birthplace

Oh but still he finds her, and still he wants her to come live with him

Now she must decide her own fate.

Wow, now that I do this, it might be easier next time to do a longer title to fit more in. Hope I've given some idea of the book with this poem. It was fun if anything.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman by Harlan Ellison

Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman: The Classic StoryRepent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman: The Classic Story by Harlan Ellison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read this book after hearing about an author challenging the movie In Time that comes out next week starring Justin Timberlake. The movie is about people only living until the age of 25, and for any time after that they work to earn it. Living until 25 though, means that you don't age past that. You pretty much look that age as long as you have time. You get paid in time, you pay for things in time. It looks like a really interesting movie.

I can see how the idea could have come from this short story, but honestly, the movie looks to have gone in a bit different direction. The people in the book are killed if they are late or waste time. It doesn't talk about using time as currency or only living till a certain age. So while I can see the basis of the idea, I don't see the actual whole plot of the movie in this short story.

The story is kind of weird and hard to follow, something many other reviewers on here like about it. And I can understand that. But it wasn't really enjoyable to me to read. I liked the idea behind it, but wish it had made more sense.

Check out the movie trailer and see what you think:

Tighter by Adele Griffin

TighterTighter by Adele Griffin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I borrowed this book from my friend Kim, who won it from a contest here on Goodreads. I actually saw this book before then on the shelf at the bookstore where I work, and blogged about it in one of my Hazards of Working at a Bookstore entries. So I was very excited she won it and I got to borrow it.

I'm going to start with what I didn't like. I didn't like the drugs part. I totally understand why the character was taking them, well, I understand based on what the author wrote it as. But I guess I'm just a goody-goody in that I don't like that she couldn't overcome the drugs even when things seemed to be looking up for her.

Okay, on to the good stuff. The main character is Jamie, and she is spending the summer as an au pair on this little island. She gets to go live in this huge house and take care of the little girl. She doesn't learn till she gets there that the au pair from the year before died tragically. She also doesn't know that the little girl's big brother will end up hanging out with them all summer. Weird things start to happen. Jamie also finds out that she looks eerily similar to the au pair from the year before, and as has become something that haunts her at home, she is seeing the girl's ghost, along with the boy that she died with. The story was really good, one I didn't want to put down while I was reading, and the twist at the end was so good, I needed to go back in the book and try to see why I hadn't figured it out earlier. Not a spooky ghost story to me, but an intriguing one.

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The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

The Space BetweenThe Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the first book I read by this author, The Replacement. So I knew I would enjoy this one right away, and was so excited when I won an ARC from I was a little disappointed at first that it wouldn't be a sequel to the first book, as I feel that one left open for a sequel. But the premise to this story was really good as well. I was fortunate in that I picked this book up at a time when I actually had some time to read, and I got it all read within about 3 days time, the majority of it yesterday. Once I picked it up and started reading, I was just sucked in and had to know where it was going. What I love about this author's books is that she is so descriptive, and the storyline, background, history of the world, etc., they are all so involved. Even with all the fallen angel stories that are out, and even some now about demons as not so bad of people, this has it's own originality.

The main character is Daphne. She lives in Pandemonium, which is a city in Hell. The interesting thing about this city is that when they open the furnaces of hell, everything burns. They must close doors and windows and cabinets to protect things that are not from that city. Daphne is the daugher of Lillith, a demon, and Lucifer, the devil. She has many half brothers and sisters, most are demons like her mohter, but one is her brother Obie. Obie has gone to earth, but he chooses to save lost souls, whereas her sisters choose to take from the men.

We begin with a boy showing up in Pandemonimum bleeding and lost. Obie helps to save him, and then afterwards, Obie chooses to go live on Earth to stay, as he has fallen in love. When Daphne's mother sees that Obie disappears, she sends Daphne to earth to find him, as Lillith cannot go herself. Daphne still feels a connection to the boy who her brother saved, his name is Truman. And she feels that he may have an idea to where her brother might have disappeared. So she goes to Truman (I love that this is the character's name), for help. But it is not safe for Daphne on earth, there is the archangel Azriel who wants to kill and destroy all demons who come to earth, in order to save the humans. Together they must pass through several obstacles and dangers to find Obie, and it is possible that they may not all survive. But who will give their life for love?

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gateway 2012-2013 Nominee 4: The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

The Last Summer Of The Death WarriorsThe Last Summer Of The Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the books I read to help with selecting next year's Gateway Award nominees. I did really enjoy it. Didn't think I would, again, like many of the titles on the list this year, it is not my normal type of book. But I really liked the story, and got involved with the characters. At first I was irritated with the main character, Pancho, as he just didn't want to connect with anyone. Just pushed everyone away in his search for vengeance for his sister's death. I totally understood though, his need for vengeance. I can feel in the same situation that I would probably think the same way. I liked the D.Q. character, and again, I can see feeling the same way he did about his sickness and how he wanted to deal with it. I did feel it was a bit predictable with how the whole relationship with Marisol turned out. Obviously it wasn't a Nicholas Sparks type of book where she would fall in love with the terminally ill patient. But once it said something about how she would feel about Pancho, I knew at some point she would tell D.Q., and he would be upset, which he was. But I do like how he realized that was wrong, and how he came around to understand it. Overall, I think it would be a good read for kids on all sides. Even the way the vengeance portion turns out was a good, realistic seeming way, with a bit of a lesson in it.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Hazards of Working at a Bookstore Vol. 4.1

Wow, I can't believe how long it has been since I blogged! School is so busy, 3 jobs are crazy! I also am thinking I may not be able to read the nominees for next year's Gateway. I am going to get a friend, and maybe some students to help me. But I'm getting an opportunity to help someone who is opening a new publishing company, and that is really something that I think will be a help to me in the future, something to put on a resume, and something I really want to do. I've got a ton of books written for my hazards posts since I haven't done one since August. So, again, I'm going to divide them into different categories. Today's category is Teen and Young Adult, 3 books I'm going to share.
First is Following Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci. I read the first one a year or two ago, and really enjoyed it. I didn't know there was going to be a sequel until I saw it on the shelf at the store. In this story a body was found in Steepleton and the main character Torey posts it on his blog. A college reporter hops a plane to get there and try to get the story to launch his career, while Christopher's younger brother just wants to find some answers.

The 2nd book is The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch. This is kind of a futuristic/dystopian/science fiction story. There's been war after war in America. People not wiped out by that are dying from illnesses such as strains of the flu. The main character is 15 year old Stephen. He's traveling across America with his dad and ex-marine grandfather. His grandfather dies, and his father is in an accident and so he must find somewhere to go and he ends up in a town called Settler's Landing, a town that seems so perfect for this afterworld. He falls in love with the town outcast, and it turns out the "elders" of the town want to remake their town back to the way things were before the collapse.

Third is a book I've seen on the shelves for awhile, but haven't really picked it up until recently. And it sounds interesting. It's called Reckless by Cornelia Funke. The main character's name is Jacob Reckless. He is able to go to a hidden world through a portal in his father's study and has gone for years, finding lost items and solving quests. One day his younger brother follows him through the portal, and he is attacked and infected. When he comes back Jacob must figure out a way to save him before he becomes a monster from the other world.