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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: 4.5 Star Books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 46
1. Love Letters to the Dead: review

Months ago, I had to put Love Letters to the Dead down because it was making me so desperately sad. Almost a full year later, I read the last half of it with a lump in my throat and tears dripping down my face. This is a profoundly moving meditation on grief, written with rare sensitivity and the kind of prose that nearly stops your heart with moments of quiet, anguished beauty. I cried throughout the book because there are so many small moments that so keenly observed bewilderment and pain, as well as anger and recklessness in the face of abandonment. This is a slow, contemplative, and occasionally blurry book, but it so skillfully weaves past and present together that when a devastating moment comes late in the story, it took me a minute to realize what was actually happening. My heart aches for this kind of intense, complicated... Read more »

The post Love Letters to the Dead: review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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2. Her Dark Curiosity: Review

Ah, I am seriously so interested and excited by this book. For folks who are unfamiliar with The Madman’s Daughter series by Megan Shepherd, the basic premise is as follows: what if Dr. Moreau (island, animal-human hybrids, H.G. Wells) had a daughter with the same scientific bent? The first book (Wendy has a positive review of that book here; Tonya liked it less) follows Juliet Moreau from London – where she’s been living and working, cleaning university laboratories and the like after her father disappeared following a scandal that besmirched their family name – to the fabled island her father’s currently set up shop on. Juliet’s anxious and excited about reuniting with her father, but her feelings become more troubled when she discovers that the rumors are true: not only is her father a vivisectionist, but he is crafting human beings from the parts of different animals. (Whom he names after characters from Shakespeare, because... Read more »

The post Her Dark Curiosity: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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3. Book Review: My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Title: My Double Life
Author: Janette Rallison
Series: None
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Released: May 13, 2010
Website: http://janette-rallison.blogspot.com/

Book Summary
Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia's photo filters through the Internet, she's offered a job to be Kari's double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia's mother has always warned her against celebrities.
Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!
So Cute! I love escaping into Janette Rallison's books!  She creates great characters who despite their flaws actually have a moral compass and values.

My Double Life was a fun realistic fairy tale like story.  One of those books that makes you smile and laugh and sigh.  It's an upbeat and feel good story that can easily be read in an afternoon or evening.

If you are looking for a light-hearted, quick read with a great message you can't go wrong with My Double Life.



Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend

Content: Clean

Source: From Author for Review

3 Comments on Book Review: My Double Life by Janette Rallison, last added: 3/5/2012
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4. Book Review: Caller ID by Rachelle Christensen

Title: Caller ID
Author: Rachelle Christensen
Series: Stands Alone but is a Companion to Wrong Number
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Released: March 13, 2012
Website: http://www.rachellejchristensen.com/


Book Summary:
When twenty-three-year-old Courtney Beckham, the privileged daughter of a highly successful land developer, is abducted in the mountains near her home, FBI Agent Jason Edwards investigates the ten-million-dollar ransom and turns up more than just a kidnapping crime.
And when Courtney catches a glimpse of the caller ID in her kidnapper’s home, what she sees sends ice through her veins. Even if she escapes her captors, something much more dangerous lies ahead.
From the author who brought you Wrong Number comes another story featuring Agent Jason Edwards that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Caller ID is great romantic suspense.  The story-line was fast paced and kept me guessing.  We find out who is behind the kidnapping fairly early on but I wasn't expecting it to be who it was.  Even though we know who the bad guy is there are still lots of twists and turns in the story right up until the end.

Caller ID stands alone but one of the main characters Jason Edwards was in Rachelle's first book Wrong Number.  I enjoyed Caller ID enough that I decided I wanted to see what happened to Jason in Wrong Number so it is my next read.

Caller ID definitely made me a Rachelle Christensen fan.  I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.



Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend

Content: Clean

Source: From publisher for review



Author Website: http://www.rachellejchristensen.com/
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachellechristensenauthor
Publisher Blog http://www.cedarfortbooks.com/
Publisher Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cedarfortbooks
Publisher Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/cedarfortbooks



"To celebrate the release of CALLER ID, Rachelle is hosting a contest for a new Ultra Flip Video Camcorder (4GB memory, Records 120 minutes Value $149.99) and other great prizes. You can enter to win between now and April 14, 2012. Winners will be announced and notified April 16, 2012.

For how to enter: http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/p/ultra-flip-video-contest.html
1 Comments on Book Review: Caller ID by Rachelle Christensen, last added: 3/15/2012
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5. Book Review: Women of Strength by Tristi Pinkston

Title: Women of Strength
Author: Tristi Pinkston
Series: None
Released: March 8, 2012
Publisher: Walnut Springs
Website: http://www.tristipinkston.com/


Book Summary:
The need for courageous, faithful women has never been greater than it is today. As we draw nearer to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, we are faced with temptations on every side. But we can prevail as we gain true strength from living the gospel.
In Women of Strength, Tristi Pinkston shares inspiring stories, as well as insightful quotes from Church leaders, to demonstrate the power and influence of righteous women. This book invites women everywhere to deepen their relationship with the Savior, rely on the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and learn what it really means to be strong.

This book is aimed a faithful latter-day saint women and was just what I needed. It's a quick read one I easily knocked out in a couple of hours but is packed full of quotes and stories that I really related to.  There is a lot of wisdom within the few pages of this book.  Tristi writes in a way that motivates without sugar coating or condemning.  I gleaned a lot from this wonderful little gem.



Content: Clean

Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend to LDS women

Source: From author for review

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6. Station Eleven: Review

This is a fascinating story, a combination of post-apocalyptic genre fiction and literary fiction. A novel that is not so much concerned with the how of survival as it is with the why. It is a survival story but it is not survivalist. There are almost no heart pounding action scenes or encounters with the depraved dregs of humanity. There are big questions at hand. What does it mean to be alive when almost everyone else is dead? How do we go on when the world we knew is gone? How do you make a life in the graveyard of civilization? There is a certain horror element in how real the situation could be. A pandemic flu could come and wipe out humanity. There have been great plagues throughout history. In the age of air travel our world is more interconnected than ever. We will carry that virus farther and... Read more »

The post Station Eleven: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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7. Book Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Title: Wondrous Strange
Author: Lesley Livingston
Series: Wondrous Strange Book 1 of 3
Released: September 9, 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins
Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Faeries, Midsummer's Night Dream

17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelley's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.

The Wondrous Strange series has been on my to-read list for nearly two years. I had company coming this past weekend and needed to spend a day cleaning so I needed a good audio book to listen to. Wondrous Strange did the trick and I got my house clean and an entire book listened to all in one day.

I was a little worried when I started this and it said "read by the author". Most of the books I have listened to that have been read by the author have been a less than stellar performance. Thankfully Lesley Livingston did a great job with the narration of her book.

I enjoy young adult faerie stories and love the characters from Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream so Wondrous Strange was right up my alley. I loved the Iron Fey series and although this book has some of the same characters it is completely different.

I was completely drawn into the story, loved the writing and characters. I'm just about to start the sequel Darklight.  For those who enjoy young adult faerie stories I recommend you give this book a try, I'm hoping the rest of the series is as good as this one.


Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend

Source: Audio download from Audible.com

Content: a little language (maybe 4 or 5 times throughout but no F word)

6 Comments on Book Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, last added: 10/4/2011
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8. Book Review: Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston

Title: Tempestuous
Author: Lesley Livingston
Series: Wondrous Strange Book 3 of 3
Released: December 21, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, Faeries

Book Summary contains Spoilers if you have not read Darklight.

I don't love Sonny Flannery."
That's the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn't know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that's hidden deep underneath New York City.
But Kelley's not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she's got to find out who's after his magick—and how to use her own. She's got to uncover who's recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She's got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she's got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he's around Kelley.
The intrigue and romance that began with Wondrous strange andDarklight come to a stormy head in Tempestuous, the breathtaking conclusion to Lesley Livingston's ravishing urban Faerie trilogy.


This was a great end to a great series. I listened to an audio version of this book and Lesley Livingston again did a fabulous job as the narrator. We've had A Midsummer's Night Dream then Romeo & Juliet and now references to Shakespeare's The Tempest.  I have really enjoyed this series, the exact type of books I love to read.

It's nearly impossible to write a review of the 3rd book in a series without including spoilers so this will be brief (as most of my reviews usually are anyway).  All the unanswered questions from the series are all wrapped up nicely and everything comes together in this satisfying conclusion to the Wondrous Strange trilogy.  This book has a little of everything: magic, mythology, mystery, adventure and romance.  A series I would highly recommend.

The main characters Kelley & Sonny are of course fabulous but there is also a great cast of supporting characters as well. I love Fenrys, Tyff, Chloe, Maddox, Jack, Bob and all the rest.

If you enjoy faerie fantasy and can handle some mild language then try this series.




Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend

Source: Audible.com download

Content: Some language

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9. Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Series: Book #1
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Released: January 11, 2011
Website: http://acrosstheuniversebook.com/
Author Website: http://www.bethrevis.com/


Book Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance, Mystery, Adventure... There's a little bit of everything mixed into this debut novel by author Beth Revis.

Across the Universe is told by two narrators Amy & Elder. The book begins with Amy about to be frozen in cryogenic sleep for a 300 year journey on the ship Godspeed. Our second narrator is Elder, the future leader of the ship Amy's frozen body is traveling on.

This was a fast paced book full of twists and turns, lies and deceptions.  I had a hunch fairly early on who the murder was but there were other story elements that took me by surprise. There is a great cast of characters who are all flawed but likable.  As is the case with most first books in a series the ending left many unanswered questions that I'm assuming will be addressed in future books.

Fans of young adult dystopian books are likely to enjoy this one. I found it to be a unique, entertaining story and I'm definitely looking forward to reading the sequel.



Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend to older teens & adults

Content: just a couple instances of mild language and then some substitute swear words similar to what was done in the Maze Runner. Some sexual content including an attempted rape scene and some animalistic type mating practices that occur during "The Season".  Not overly graphic but I wouldn't let a young teen read it.

Source: Download from Audible.com

Download an Audiobook to Your iPod for only $7.49


The Sequel A Million Suns was released today January 10, 2012.

The 3rd book Shades of Earth will be released in January of 2013.
10. Book Review: With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

Title: With a Name Like Love
Author: Tess Hilmo
Series: None
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Released: September 27, 2011
Website: http://tesshilmo.com/

Book Summary:

When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession? Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.

With a Name Like Love is a wonderful middle, grade historical fiction, read that reminded me of Little House on the Prairie.

Ollie's dad is a traveling preacher. Every three days her family moves on to a new town. That's the way life is, the way it has always been and the way it seems like it will always be. At least until the family arrives in Binder, Arkansas. When Ollie befriends lonely Jimmy Koppel the family's way of life is turned upside down and they find themselves in a battle to help Jimmy and his mother.

This book is a heartfelt story that would make a great read aloud.


Content: Clean

Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly recommend

Source: Review Copy

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11. Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: None
Publisher: Scholastic
Released: October 18, 2011
Website: http://maggiestiefvater.com/

Book Summary:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Technically classified as young adult fantasy this book seemed real. The water horses in this book are based on mythological creatures but Maggie wrote them in such a way that I wouldn't be surprised to see them coming up out of the sea the next time I visit the ocean.  A testament to what an amazing writer Maggie is.

Due to the fact that I loved Maggie's Mercy Falls werewolf series, the Scorpio Races has been high on my want to read list.  Although completely different than the Mercy Falls series the Scorpio Races did not disappoint.  The Scorpio races is less romance and more about the horses, the island, the people and the races themselves.

I found myself rooting for both Kate and Sean and hoping somehow they could both win the race.  Ultimately I found the ending of the book to be very satisfying.

There is some violence in this series due to the fierce, untamed nature of the water horses (but violence in books doesn't bother me the way sex and language does).

I started Maggie's Books of Faeries series but never got further than the first chapter of Lament. I think I'm going to give that series another try because this book proved to me that Maggie is a phenomenal writer.



Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend

Content: some language and violence

Source: Download from Audible.com

Also by Maggie Steifvater:
The Wolves of Mercy Falls



Books of Faerie

15 Comments on Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, last added: 1/30/2012
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12. Book Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Author: Lisa See
Series: None
Publisher: Random House
Released: February 21, 2006
Website: http://www.lisasee.com/


Book Summary:
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

Fabulously written but heart-wrenching. One of those haunting books that make me shake my head and wonder what posses people to carry on traditions that are wrong on so many levels. This book was really quite depressing. It captured so many emotions and painted such vivid pictures in my mind. Some of those pictures are beautiful but others are horrific.

This was the selection for my book group this month. It's a great choice for a book club, I'm sure we'll have some very interesting discussions next week.

This beautifully written book is one that lovers of Historical Fiction should pick up. I felt transported back to a time period that I am extremely grateful I do not live in.




Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend to Adults

Content: This is historical fiction and has many details that are far from pleasant to read about from physical and emotional abuse to the breaking of bones during Chinese foot binding. Some language, sex, abuse and implied lesbian relationship.

Source: Library

Also by Author Lisa See

7 Comments on Book Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, last added: 1/30/2012
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13. Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: Book 1 of 4
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: March 16, 2010
Website: http://www.kimberlyderting.com/


Book Summary:
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

This was a creepy, suspenseful, romantic read.  A great mix of mystery, romance and fantasy.

Most of the book is told from Violet's point of view.  Violet hears "echoes" of both the dead and of those who've killed others.  For the most part this unique ability usually finds her digging up the bones of dead animals but occasional she stumbles across something much more horrifying.  No one knows of her ability except for her family and childhood friend Jay.

I loved watching Violet's relationship with Jay develop into something more than just friendship.  I'm a succor for the "best friend turned more than friend" kind of relationships.

Most of the story is told from Violet's perspective but there are short snippets thrown in that are written from the mind of a serial killer, that's that creepy part.

For those who scare easily you might not want to read this while home alone at night.  I don't scare easily and enjoy an occasional suspenseful, creepy book so I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  I'll definitely be reading the sequels.




Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend

Content: Some language including 1 F word. No sex but some passionate making out. Creepy & suspenseful.

Source: Download from Audible.com

Also by Kimberly Derting




4 Comments on Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, last added: 2/4/2012
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14. Book Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers Book #1 of 7
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: July 29, 2009
Website: http://rachelvincent.com/


Book Summary
She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

I probably should have reviewed this book as soon as I finished it earlier this week. Instead I found and read its prequel, then picked up the 2nd book in the series, and then the 3rd. I started the 4th book at midnight last night and have already finished it and just bought book number 5. As soon as I'm done with that I'm planning to buy the 2 novellas I've not yet read. I'm sleep deprived but just can't seem to get enough of this series.

It's been way too long since as series of books kept me up because I couldn't put them down.  I'm sure it helps that the first five books in the series are already out.  I've loved being able to finish one and jump right into the next one.  In fact part of me wishes I'd waited to start this series until all the books were out. I have a feeling the wait for the last two books in the series is going to be excruciating.

So did I like the first book My Soul to Take? Most definitely.  It is original and full of twists and turns and some amazing characters.  I loved both the story line and the characters.  My knowledge of folklore is obviously lacking because I didn't even know what a bean sidhe was prior to starting this book. Rachel Vincent's version of banshees & grim reapers is both creative and entertaining.





Content: language, making out, innuendo, sexual tension. (Having now finished the first 4 books of the series I should note that the intensity of the content has increased with each book).

Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend to Older Teens & Adults

Source: Audible.com Download

5 Comments on Book Review: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent, last added: 2/5/2012
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15. Book Review: Hope's Journey by Stephanie Connelley Worlton


Sydney is a straight-A student heading to college on a scholarship, and Alex is a quiet jock preparing to serve an LDS mission. But their dreams are shattered on the eve of their high school graduation when they find out that Sydney is pregnant. Separated, they must both trust in God as they search for the worth they once found in each other.

The author did a fabulous job capturing the emotions and thoughts of her characters. I could relate to what they were going through, connected with them and felt for them. When done reading I kept thinking about the story. I felt like I had learned something by reading this book.

This book truly had the potential to be a 5 star book. There are just a few things that detracted from the story. I wished there had been a couple more chapters at the end. For so long it felt like the story was headed one direction and then it headed another direction which was ok but I felt like it was just too easy. I wanted more resolution and closure and it just wrapped up too quickly. There were also several subplots that could have been left out or developed further. For example Sydney's brother abruptly decides not to serve a mission but we are never told why and he's never brought up again so why include that storyline at all.

Hope's Journey is a fabulous book I would recommend to any LDS teenager in a serious relationship as well as to the parents of LDS teenagers. This was a book I couldn't put down.

In the Author's Notes Stephanie says this:

Everybody makes mistakes; nobody makes it through this life unmarked. It just so happens that some sins are more visible to others. It is my desire to tell a story that will perhaps cause people to take a step back and take a deeper look before they cast judgment.

By sharing her story in this book she achieved her desire.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Content: Clean

Source: From Publisher for Review

1 Comments on Book Review: Hope's Journey by Stephanie Connelley Worlton, last added: 7/28/2011
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16. Book Review: Mommy Whispers by Jenny Lee Sulpizio


Mommy Whispers is a keepsake children's book that depicts the special relationship between a mother and her daughter through each stage of their lives and ultimately, the power of prayer and faith in God through it all.

Like Robert Munsch's book I'll Love You Forever this book brought tears to my eyes. And like that book Mommy Whispers is a picture book that is likely to be appreciated by a parent more than by the child.

Perhaps it is just the stage I am at in life with my own mother having passed away and my children growing up so quickly right before my eyes. Mommy Whispers made me remember to stop and appreciate the gift that my children truly are.

At each stage of her daughter's life a loving mother whispers "You are God's gift to me, forever you will be". This is a beautifully done picture book that would make a great book to share with your mother or daughter.


Rating: 4.5 Stars

Source: From Author for Review

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17. Book Review: Fall Mixed Up By Bob Raczka

"Every Septober,
Every Octember,
Fall fills my senses
with scenes to remember."

"Bears gather nuts.
Geese hibernate.
Squirrels fly south
in big figure eights."

Fall is all mixed up in this silly book from Bob Raczka! Can you find his mistakes in the words and pictures?


This book was right up my alley. Sometimes when I read a book I'll intentionally say something wrong to see if my kids can catch the mistake. I do this often especially when it is a book we've read multiple times. My kids love it and sometime ask me to read the book the wrong way.

In this book the pictures & words are full of mistakes. My daughter had a great time finding things that were wrong in the book.

I loved the illustrations and had fun reading it to my daughter. A great addition to a home or school library to celebrate the arrival of fall.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Source: Netgalley

2 Comments on Book Review: Fall Mixed Up By Bob Raczka, last added: 8/6/2011
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18. Book Review: Witches by Cheryl Christian


Little witches abound in this rollicking, rhyming adventure that features all of the fun, fantasy, and treats—but none of the tricks— of a Halloween night to remember! Whimsical, colorful illustrations overflow with charming details that will engage young readers to read the book again and again to discover all its charms! Ages 2-5

Halloween is still 2 1/2 months away but I couldn't resist reviewing this whimsical Halloween book. I'm not a huge fan of Halloween itself (candy & costumes just aren't my thing) but I love Halloween pictures books!

Witches is a short book with rhyming text making it a quick fun read. I love the illustrations. Perfect for preschool aged children.


Rating: 4.5 Stars

Source: Netgalley

Witches by Cheryl Christian will be released on August 15, 2011 by Star Bright Books.

2 Comments on Book Review: Witches by Cheryl Christian, last added: 8/9/2011
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19. Book Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa


Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.


To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Having the chance to read The Iron Knight was motivation for me to buy a Kindle. I have loved the Iron Fey series and was really looking forward to this final book in the series.  When I had the chance to read it via Netgalley I ordered a Kindle since I hate reading books on the computer.

I have mixed feeling on this one. It is a great story but honestly I missed Meghan. The Iron Knight is told from Ash's perspective and it is his story. We learn more of Ash and his past with Arielle as well as details about his friendship with Puck. The story focuses on Ash's quest to gain a soul so he can be with Meghan in the Iron Realm. That quest takes up almost the entire book. I spent the entire book waiting for the all to short ending. I know this is many people's favorite book of the series, and it is a great book, but The Iron Queen will remain my favorite.  That said please don't get the wrong idea - this book is a must read!

I'm grateful Julie wrote her author's note at the end and grateful to her publisher for her influence on the ending.  If you have not read this series yet I highly recommend you give it a try!



Rating: 4.5 Stars - I highly recommend this series!

Source: Netgalley

Content: the same as the other books in the series, if you didn't have an issue with them this one won't bother you.

4 Comments on Book Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa, last added: 8/18/2011
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20. Book Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

It is always hard to review a sequel without spoilers from the first book in the series!  So I'll just keep this brief and say that I really enjoyed the second book in the Caster Chronicles series. It is however a long book and took me a while to make it all the way through. There is a lot of detail in this book and it takes place over a short period of time. Personally I love all the detail but some people may find that the book lags a little.

If you read and enjoyed Beautiful Creatures you'll likely enjoy this one just as much.  I'm glad the release date for the 3rd book, Beautiful Chaos is just 2 months away.


Rating: 4.5 Stars

Source: Audible.com download

Content: A little language, some kissing

0 Comments on Book Review: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl as of 8/17/2011 2:25:00 PM
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21. Blog Tour: Book Review - Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger.
Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.
Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

Fabulous debut!

There is already a lot of hype about this book and its release date is still 3 months away.  In my opinion it is well deserved hype.  Shattered Souls is an original, engaging book that is sure to be a hit with those who enjoy young adult paranormal fiction.  I was hooked right from the start and loved the characters and storyline.  This book stands alone but I would love a sequel. 

There is an overwhelming number of books in this genre being released and it is impossible to read them all.  Shattered Souls is one you don't want to miss.


Content: A little language and innuendo

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Source: ARC Tour through The Teen Book Scene

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey will be released by Philomel/Penguin on December 8, 2011.

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22. Book Review: Ruby, Violet, Lime by Jane Brocket


Ruby flowers, violet quilts, lime frosting--colors are all around us. How many colors can you find in the pages of this book?

I adore the beautiful, vivid, bright pictures in Jane Brocket's newest book Ruby, Violet, Lime: Looking for Color.

This book would make a great read aloud for preschool children and would help teach the concepts of the color wheel to elementary aged children.  Primary colors, secondary colors, black, white, brown, gray, pink, silver and gold are all featured with amazing color photographs.


Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly recommend

Source: Netgalley

Ruby, Lime, Violet: Looking for Color by Jane Brocket was released on September 1, 2011 by Millbrook Pr.

2 Comments on Book Review: Ruby, Violet, Lime by Jane Brocket, last added: 9/7/2011
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23. Book Review: Gabby God's Little Angel by Sheila Walsh

Gabby, God's Little Angel
This first book in a delightful new series offers a comforting message for young readers-God loves you very much and is always watching over you!
What little girl wouldn't love her very own guardian angel? Parents and children alike will be won over by this humorous tale of Gabby, a guardian angel in training who has much to learn about taking care of God's little ones. Her new assignment is to protect a young girl named Sophie, but Gabby soon realizes that watching after Sophie is a bigger challenge than she had expected! After a close call while riding her pony, Sophie learns what the Bible says about guardian angels: "He will put his angels in charge of you. They will watch over you wherever you go" (Psalm 91:11 ICB).

I'm one who believes the message of this book - that God is watching over us and angels are all around us helping and protecting us.  I really enjoyed this cute story of Gabby, a guardian angel in training.  Gabby herself is a little clumsy and has a lot to learn about being a guardian angel.  She is assigned to watch over Sophie and finds they have a lot in common.  But being a guardian angel isn't as simple as it seems.

The pictures in this book are adorable and the story was humorous and flowed well making it a great read aloud for a child ages 4+.
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Source: Blog Tour

Gabby God's Little Angel by Sheila Walsh was released September 20, 2011 by Thomas Nelson.

1 Comments on Book Review: Gabby God's Little Angel by Sheila Walsh, last added: 9/23/2011
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24. Book Review: The Break-Up Artist by Shannen Camp Crane

Most teenage girls can agree that the worst part of starting a relationship in high school, is the inevitable breakup. All the careful planning in the world doesn’t ever seem to be enough to prevent that horribly awkward moment of telling your soon-to-be ex-boyfriend “It’s not you, It’s me”. But what if you had someone to do that for you? Imagine being able to hire a breakup artist the same way you’d hire someone to do your nails. That’s where Amelia Marie Bedford comes in. Blessed with good looks and absolutely no friends, Amelia finds her true calling in the subtle art of the breakup. But when a gorgeous green-eyed client named David seems to actually be interested in her for more than just her looks, Amelia starts to falter on her “no dating your paycheck” rule. As the pre-Prom deadline closes in on her Amelia has to decide if David’s intentions are true, or if something more sinister lurks behind that perfect face.

I should probably wait a couple months to post this review. The Break-Up Artist by Shannen Crane Camp doesn't even have a cover yet and won't be released until December.  However I know myself well enough to know that if I wait any longer I won't remember the book well enough to say much more than I loved it.

I received an early review copy of this book and had no intention of reading it yet.  It was a digital review copy that I didn't have a clue how to transfer to my Kindle so I had to sit at my computer to read.  I hate reading at my computer but I opened it up to read just the first couple pages and didn't want to stop reading.  With as much as I read it has become increasingly hard for a book to grab me and suck me in.  The Break-Up Artist managed to do that.  I found it light, refreshing, humorous and I just kept reading and reading while sitting at my computer.

This book has potential to be a 5 Star book. It is still in editing so I'm hoping a couple things will be cleared up and clarified while it goes through editing. Even if nothing gets tightened up in editing I would still highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys clean, light, fun young adult books.


Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend

Content: Clean

Source: Review copy

The Break-Up Artist will be released on December 8, 2011 by Sweetwater Books an imprint of Cedar Fort.

2 Comments on Book Review: The Break-Up Artist by Shannen Camp Crane, last added: 10/4/2011
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25. Book Review: Hang 'Em High by Tristi Pinkston

When Ida Mae Babbitt receives an invitation to visit her son Keith¹s dude ranch in Montana, she¹s excited to mend their broken relationship, but not so excited about spending time with cows. Arlette and Tansy go along with her, ready to take a vacation that does not involve dead bodies or mysteries of any sort - one must have a break from time to time. But it seems a no-good scoundrel has moseyed into Dodge City and is bent on causing all sorts of trouble for the ranch. Unable to keep her curiosity in check - especially when it seems her own son is the most likely culprit - Ida Mae decides to investigate. Can she lasso the varmint and get him to the sheriff in time?

Hang 'Em High by Tristi Pinkston is a cozy mystery.   It is only recently that I even learned what a cozy mystery is.
From cozy-mystery.com
  • The crime-solver in a cozy mystery is usually a woman who is an amateur sleuth.
  • The cozy mystery usually takes place in a small town or village.
  • In a series, it is important that the characters are likable, so that the reader will want to visit them again.
  • Cozy mysteries are considered “gentle” books… no graphic violence, no profanity, and no explicit sex.
  • Cozy mysteries tend to be fast-paced, with several twists and turns throughout each book.
  • The cozy mystery puts an emphasis on plots and character development.


Hang 'Em High is most definitely a cozy mystery. A really good one!

  • Ida Mae is our amateur sleuth who with the help from her friends solves the crimes.
  • Small town setting? Yep! Omni, Utah is the small town setting for the first books in the series, Hang 'Em High takes us to a dude ranch in Montana.
  • The characters are likable, quirky and humorous which makes me want to visit them again, can't wait for the next book in the series.
  • Totally "gentle" - no swearing, sex or graphic violence.
  • A very fast-paced, quick read with enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until the end.
  • The Secret Sisters Series is character driven - it's the likable characters that bring me back to the series.

Hang 'Em High has been my favorite of the series. It's a quick, easy read that made me smile.

There are currently 3 books in the Secret Sisters Series
Secret Sisters


Dearly Departed


Hang 'Em High


Coming Soon...
Targets in Ties (Nov. 2011)
Tell Death Do Us Part (May 2012)


Rating: 4.5 Stars - Highly Recommend

Source: From Author for Review

Content: Clean

Giveaway:  Manuscript Evaluation
To celebrate this book's release and blog tour, you are invited to participate in a contest! If you leave a comment on this review, you will be entered to win a manuscript evaluation done by Tristi, up to a $75.00 value. Horror and erotica excluded.  If you aren't a writer, you can give the evaluation to a writer friend as a gift. The winner will be chosen at midnight, October 5th MST so leave a comment ASAP! For more chances to win

7 Comments on Book Review: Hang 'Em High by Tristi Pinkston, last added: 10/5/2011
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