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Results 1 - 12 of 12
1. Book Review: Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Title: Best of Me
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Series: None
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Released: October 11, 2011
Website: http://nicholassparks.com/

Book Summary:

THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

I'm a sucker for Nicholas Sparks. I've read EVERYTHING he has written and enjoyed all of it. I think he is a great writer. However if you haven't read a Nicholas Sparks book don't start with this one, it's not his best. Try A Walk to Remember, The Notebook or The Last Song as an introduction to his work. If you've read his books and enjoy them then read this one too.

Since I've read all of his books I was totally prepared for the emotional manipulation and classic Nicholas Sparks life is not always the happily ever after we may think it should be ending. Good thing I was prepared because he dished it out in droves in this one.  I thought Dawson Cole was a great character but I wasn't as taken with Amanda.  I'm a happily ever after ending person and the ending of this one was not the happily ever after I would have liked to have seen.  I saw it coming but still wish things could have somehow gone differently.

Sidenote: Prior to starting this one I had just finished reading Anna and the French Kiss. As Anna described the books her father writes I couldn't help but think of Nicholas Sparks.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Language, violence, implied sex and other mature content that wasn't overly graphic however this is definitely a book for "adults".

Source: Library

5 Comments on Book Review: Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks, last added: 3/5/2012
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2. Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #2
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Released: April 5, 2011
Website: http://www.gayleforman.com/

Book Summary:
It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

If I Stay felt like a stand alone book when I read it. It didn't need a sequel, so I was surprised when there was one. Where She Went takes place three years after If I Stay ended. It's similar to If I Stay in the way it is told, we learn what has happened to Adam and Mia through flashbacks of the last three year. However this one is told from Adam's perspective and a lot has changed for Adam in the past three years.

Despite the fact that there was a lot of language and some other content in this book I wish wasn't there, Where She Went was a book I couldn't put down. I was engrossed in the story from the first page to the last. Beautifully written and heartbreaking, I could feel both Adam's & Mia's pain as the last three years of their lives unfolded in this story. So well done!  I loved this story.

Rating: 5 Stars - I loved it.

Content: Lots of it, explicit langauge - (I quit tallying F words but at least a dozen of them), sex talk and implied sex. Adam is living the life of a popular rock star and has everything that comes with that lifestyle.

Source: Dowloaded from Overdrive

1 Comments on Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman, last added: 2/25/2012
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3. Blog Tour: Book Review - Depth of Deceit by Betty Briggs

How does an intelligent woman find herself mired in a web of deception, abuse, and danger? In Depth of Deceit, author Betty Briggs pulls her readers into the life of Stephanie Saunders, a lovely young attorney with a big heart, keen mind, and a trust in others that nearly proves disastrous. Her handsome and wealthy boyfriend strikes her as perfect, but is he too good to be true? Her boss hovers around her like a protector and friend, but is he? Stephanie’s work focuses on defending the indigent, and one client earns her trust and friendship, but why is he showing up at the oddest places? It seems that she can trust only the horses she trains and loves, magnificent beasts who remind her of life’s purposes and meaning. In a dramatic turn of events, Stephanie must make a decision that will affect her life forever. While fans of the author’s earlier novels will be thrilled to discover a familiar character, this novel stands alone in plot and dramatic impact.

Given the title of this book I was on alert from page one and had trouble trusting any of the characters assuming they were all deceiving the main character Stephanie. I was pulled in to a web of lies and deceit in this well told mystery. Although I guessed from the start who could be trusted, the book kept me turning the pages to the end to figure out just how deep the deceit went and how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Although I would classify some of the subject matter in this book as "adult" in nature, I would still consider it to be a clean read with nothing graphic, no language, no sex scene.

There were a couple plot points I had trouble buying... such as a lawyer not knowing how to use the Internet to do a background check... but those implausibilities didn't deter me from enjoying the storyline. I enjoyed the ending of this book. So many books end too quickly. There were still 50 pages left to wrap everything up after the book hit the climax which left plenty of time to answer all the questions I had and left me satisfied with the story. I'll definitely be adding another one of Betty Briggs' books to my to read list.

Content: Clean

Rating: 4 Stars

Source: From Author for Review

Thanks to Tristi Pinkston for asking me to be part of this blog tour:

3 Comments on Blog Tour: Book Review - Depth of Deceit by Betty Briggs, last added: 4/27/2011
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4. 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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5. Book Review: My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Steal
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers Book 4 of 7
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: December 21, 2010
Website: http://rachelvincent.com/

Book Summary:

Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.

And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

This series has sucked me in... I'm sleep deprived but can't seem to get enough.

How to write a review for Book #4 in the series without spoilers? Not really possible!

If you've read this series and made it through book 3 then you'll likely love this addition to the series. For some reason I'm just pulled into these books. They are NOT clean reads. The first book wasn't too bad but the heat just keeps increasing with each book. In this one Sabine oozes sex, she's sex personified and there is nothing subtle about her actions.

Despite the content which I wish was toned down a little, I haven't felt such emotion while reading a series in years. My emotions were in turmoil while reading this book. Sabine is so awful. I abhor her and yet somehow came to love her too - is such a thing possible? Nash - to love him or hate him? I keep flip-flopping back and forth and it's making me crazy. Add in an evil Netherworld element and it's one wild ride of a story.

Rating: 5 Stars - I Loved It

Content: Once again this book was another step up from the last one. More language, more sex talk, more innuendo.

Source: Audible.com download

1 Comments on Book Review: My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent, last added: 2/14/2012
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6. Book Review: The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

Title: The Anti-Prom
Author: Abby McDonald
Series: None
Publisher: Candlewick
Released: March 8, 2011
Website: http://www.abbymcdonald.com/

Book Summary:
Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.

They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy - some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, über-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night.
Under usual circumstances this is a book I would have put down after reading the first couple of chapters, but circumstances were not normal.  This was the only audio book I had with me at work and I had a mundane task to complete so I just kept listening.  By the time work was done I was nearly half way through the book and then kept listening because I wanted to know how everything turned out.

The first half of the book was just ok, it was entertaining but I really didn't care about the characters and found it to be a little far-fetched and cheesy. However it held my interest enough to continue to the end and I did like the ending. So its rating went from a "not my kind of book" or "wouldn't recommend" to a "take it or leave it" kind of read by the end. There really isn't much more I have to say other than if it looks like something you might enjoy perhaps you should check out a few other reviews to see what others thought about it since it really wasn't my cup of tea.

Rating: 2.5 Stars - Take it or Leave it

Content: Too much for my liking. Lots of language including a couple uses of the F word, talk and descriptions of everything that goes with a stereotypical prom, after parties & frat parties.

Source: Library

0 Comments on Book Review: The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald as of 1/1/1900
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7. Book Review: Slayed by Amanda Marrone

The Van Helsing family has been hunting vampires for over one hundred years, but sixteen-year-old Daphne wishes her parents would take up an occupation that doesn’t involve decapitating vamps for cash. All Daphne wants is to settle down in one place, attend an actual school, and finally find a BFF to go to the mall with. Instead, Daphne has resigned herself to a life of fast food, cheap motels and buying garlic in bulk.
But when the Van Helsings are called to a coastal town in Maine, Daphne’s world is turned upside down. Not only do the Van Helsings find themselves hunting a terrifying new kind of vampire (one without fangs but with a taste for kindergarten cuisine), Daphne meets her first potential BF! The hitch? Her new crush is none other than Tyler Harker, AKA, the son of the rival slayer family.
What's a teen vampire slayer to do?

After 5 months of blogging the day is finally here, my first 1 star review.  Most books that deserve this rating I stop reading and never actually review. Unfortunately this was the only book I had with me during an hour and a half long basketball practice so I kept reading it. I enjoyed the first couple chapters but the book went downhill fast after that. I should have just closed the book and watched the basketball practice.

There were some large plot holes I just couldn't buy such as Daphne's "overprotective" parents let her, their 17 year old daughter, go off slaying vampires alone?

I was going to go with 2 stars because the despite the objectionable content the story was entertaining - rival vampire slaying families meet rich wannabe-vampire-slayer ex-star.  It was entertaining and an ok book - at least until the last page when I was completely turned off.

This is a book I just should have closed about chapter 3.

Tons of language & crude, crass, skanky content not appropriate for me as an adult let alone for a teenager. Skip this one, I wish I had.

Rating: 1 Star

Content: Tons of objectionable material including lots of strong language, innuendo and other crass, skanky content.

Source: ARC Tour

5 Comments on Book Review: Slayed by Amanda Marrone, last added: 11/24/2010
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8. Book Review: The Blood of Cain by T.L. Gray

Teagan Dacre loves fast cars, loud music and beautiful women, however he carries a secret that keeps him isolated from the general population; he has strange silver eyes, heals really fast and hasn't aged in over a hundred years.
The darkest secret of all - he has a blood thirst that must be satisfied by each new moon.

Believing himself unique, Teagan's world gets turned upside down when he meets an unruly family of immortals seeking their father and maker, none other than the world's first murderer, Cain.

Everything Teagan thought he knew about himself is transformed when he learns how vampires came to be and for what purpose he was made.

For everything, there's a price to be paid, Teagan wonders if he'll be strong enough to pay it.

If I had to pick one word to describe the book The Blood of Cain by T.L. Gray it would be unique. Often I can guess where a book is going but I never had a clue with this one. Full of twists and turns it kept me guessing until the end.

The Blood of Cain mixes Christianity with fantasy for a very different kind of story. The vampire mythology in this book is unlike any I have ever read. The story focuses on the Biblical character Cain who is marked with silver eyes and is cursed to live his life alone until he inadvertently discovers a way to transform others. The story is told from the alternating perspective of Cain and modern day silver eyed Teagan.  It's a face paced novel that could easily be read in one sitting.

Overall a well written story. I'd like to have seen the relationship between Teagan and Tatiana developed a little more.

Content: A clean read for adults - there is some violence and a little language but nothing that stood out or made me concerned about recommending it.

Rating: 4 Stars

Source: From Author For Review

1 Comments on Book Review: The Blood of Cain by T.L. Gray, last added: 1/20/2011
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9. Book Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

I really enjoyed Falling Under. I was hooked from the first chapter and wanted to know just what Haden really was. It took quite a while for the revelation to be made and by then I was glued to the book.  A great cast of characters and constant twists and turns made this a very entertaining book that kept me guessing until the end. Wrapped up nicely with plenty of room for a sequel.

This book is darker and more edgy than what I usually read. It is not a clean read and I would not let my teenager read it. There were just too many comments about sex and desire. Plus there was more language than I'm comfortable with.

Falling Under will be released on March 1, 2011.

Content: language including 2 uses of the F word and plenty of innuendo, sexual tension, desire and talk of sex although no actual sex scene - my teenager won't be reading this one anytime soon.

Rating: 4 Stars

Source: ARC Tour

7 Comments on Book Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes, last added: 1/28/2011
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10. Book Review: Between by Jessica Warman

Between by Jessica Warman:

Elizabeth Valchar --- pretty, popular and rich --- wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday on the yacht where she’d been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead. She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death.

She’s also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them.

In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn’t abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she’d been running much more than normal, and that she’d all but stopped eating. Liz’s mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out...

Thanks to teenreads.com I received a very early sneak peek copy of Jessica Warman's upcoming book Between.

In return I had to fill out a questionnaire with my reaction to the book. I'm not sure if there will be changes made to the book prior to its release later this year. If there are I'm sure they will be minor.

Since I don't want to give out any spoilers I'm just going to say this book is well written and drew me into the story from the first chapter. There is some content that would make me hesitate to recommend it to conservative readers. I liked the mystery element to this book and it's not until the very end that the pieces of the puzzle all come together. Often I know exactly where a book is going. I did figure out much of the story early on but there were enough twists and turns to keep me wondering.

The characters in this book are nothing like me but I could still relate to them and the struggles they were going through. The teen characters and their parents were very flawed and made many poor choices. I enjoyed this book despite the content I could have done without.

Between will be released in August or September of 2011.

Content: Without giving away any spoilers I would say this book is not for younger teens. There is a lots of content: drinking, drugs, smoking, language (including a half dozen F words), talk of sex (although no sex scene) and topics too mature for a younger audience.

Rating: 4 Stars

Source: Sneak Peek received via teenreads.com

5 Comments on Book Review: Between by Jessica Warman, last added: 2/3/2011
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11. Book Review: Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York--and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?

Lorraine Zago Rosenthal's debut Other Words for Love had me completely engrossed in the story and I stayed up to finish it.

The summary makes this seem like it's all about Ari & Blake's relationship but they don't even meet until nearly the middle of the book.  There are so many relationships explored in this book, relationships between parents, friends, and siblings in addition to the expected relationship with a first boyfriend.  This book tackled an unbelievable number of subjects in a short amount of time: parental expectations, depression, teen pregnancy, first love, death, loss, teen sex, STDs, friendship... all surprisingly well fleshed out.

There was a large cast of supporting characters who were all well developed.  Ari's parents, sister, brother in law and friend Summer as well as Blake's cousin, brother & father were all characters who I loved or loathed. 

This book was set in the 80s and it made me laugh to see it on someones historical fiction challenge list - was the 80s really that long ago?  Other than a few references to some cultural aspects of the 80s it could have just as easily been set today.

I would hesitate to recommend this book to "young" adults.  I freely admit to being conservative and believing in no sexual relations outside of marriage. I have a hard time suggesting teenagers read books that portray teen sex as ok.  At least in this one there was talk of concern over the consequences: pregnancy, STDS, etc.  Even as an adult reader there was a scene in this book that made me blush, although I admit it doesn't take much to make me blush. That said this was very well written and I'll read Lorraine's next book.

Content: This is not a clean read and there is quite a bit of content that parents and conservative readers should be aware of including strong language and sex.  Rather than go into detail here please check out the Parental Book Reviews websiter for a through detailing of content. 

Rating: 4 Stars

Source: From Publisher for Review

4 Comments on Book Review: Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, last added: 2/9/2011
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12. Book Review: Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris

In the midst of World War II, a Midwestern infantryman falls deeply in love through a yearlong letter exchange, unaware that the girl he's been writing to is not the one replying.

Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn't need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she's set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain.
They share only a brief conversation—cut short by the soldier's evident interest in Betty—but Liz can't forget him. Thus, when Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, stationed overseas, Liz reluctantly agrees.

Thousands of miles away, Morgan struggles to adjust to the brutality of war. His letters from "Betty" are a comfort, their soul-baring correspondence a revelation to them both. While Liz is torn by her feelings for a man who doesn't know her true identity, Betty and Julia each become immersed in their own romantic entanglements. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings.

Beautifully rendered and deeply touching, LETTERS FROM HOME is a story of hope and connection, of sacrifices made in love and war—and the chance encounters that change us forever.

Letters from Home is a Historical Fiction novel set during the last year of World War 2. It centers on and is told from the alternating perspectives of 3 friends Liz, Julia and Betty as well as a Private First Class Morgan McClain.  At the start of the book I was really only interested in Liz & Morgan's stories but by mid book I was drawn into Julia & Betty's stories as well.

Portions of this novel were completely predictable but a couple of the characters lives did not turn out how I anticipated they would which kept my interest in the storyline.

Well written with a nice mix of romance, friendship and heartache. This book seemed to be well researched and true to what life was like during the war.  If you enjoy historical fiction give this one a try.

Content: Language and innuendo as would be expected from enlisted men, implied sex but not graphically described.

Rating: 4 Stars

Source: From author for blog tour

1 Comments on Book Review: Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris, last added: 3/2/2011
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