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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Read in 2012, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 24 of 24
1. 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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2. 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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3. 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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4. Book Review: Variant by Robison Wells

Title: Variant
Author: Robison Wells
Series: Variant Book #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: September 26, 2011
Website: http://www.robisonwells.com/

Book Summary
Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.
He was wrong.
Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.
Where breaking the rules equals death.
But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape--his only real hope for survival--may be impossible.

I really liked the first half of this book. It reminded me of The Maze Runner which I really enjoyed. It's a unique read that would appeal to a wide audience including teenage boys. The second half of the book was good but took some really bizarre turns.

I can usually figure out where a book is going but was completely wrong with this one. It was completely unpredictable. The cover says Trust No One on it but I didn't realize how literally I should have taken that warning. It was full of twists and turns I didn't see coming. It made for an interesting read although it was almost a little too far fetched to be completely believable.

I'll be picking up the sequel Feedback which will be released in October just to see where the author heads next after the cliffhanger ending this book had.

Rating: 3.5 Stars - Good Book

Content: a couple mild swear words

Source: Library

3 Comments on Book Review: Variant by Robison Wells, last added: 2/26/2012
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5. Book Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Title: Edenbrooke
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Series: None
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Released: March 27, 2012
Website: http://www.juliannedonaldson.blogspot.com/

Book Summary

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

Being the clean romance, Jane Austen lover that I am I LOVED Edenbrooke.

What a fabulous way to spend a morning.  Edenbrooke was a book I couldn't put it down.  I picked it up to read just a few pages before getting out of bed but didn't quit reading until I finished the book. While there may never be another Mr. Darcy it is possible that his twin is found roaming the grounds of Edenbrooke.

Squeaky clean, full of romance, humor and great characters this is a book I highly recommend.  Perfect for lovers of Jane Austen era romances.

Rating: 5 Stars - I loved it!

Content: Clean

Source: From Publisher

Add Edenbrooke to your goodreads shelf: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12820360-edenbrooke

2 Comments on Book Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, last added: 2/25/2012
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6. 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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7. 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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8. Book Review: Reaper by Rachel Vincent

Title: Reaper
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers Novella 3.5
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: November 16, 2010
Website: http://rachelvincent.com/

Book Summary
Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him--and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.
Suddenly Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between....
An ebook exclusive Soul Screamers series novella.

I started reading the 5th book in The Soul Screamers series (If I Die). About 1/4 of the way in I had to stop and read this book. I had a sudden desire to learn more about Tod. I've always liked Tod but as he started to take a big role in I was compelled to learn more about him.

If you are a Soul Screamers fan this novella is a must read. It's a short read but provides so much vital information within its pages.  This fits in as book 3.5 in the series but I would recommend reading book 4 first and then going back and reading this one. Sabine is mentioned and I liked not knowing anything about her relationship with Nash when I started book 4.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Similar to the others in the series - language, innuendo, crude comments, talk of sex

Source: Bought

3 Comments on Book Review: Reaper by Rachel Vincent, last added: 2/15/2012
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9. 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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10. Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: None but read Anna and the French Kiss first
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Released: September 29, 2011
Website: http://www.stephanieperkins.com/

Book Summary:
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

First off I should have read Anna and the French Kiss before reading this one. Lola and the Boy Next Door is not a sequel but a "companion" novel. It takes place after Anna and the French Kiss. Anna and St. Clair play a minor role in this story but obviously I now know how their story ended without having read their book.  Having enjoyed Lola I'll be going back and reading Anna and the French Kiss ASAP.

Lola and the Boy Next Door was one of those feel good, make you smile, read in a day kind of books. I loved the quirky characters in this story. Cricket was by far my favorite, he is just so sweet. I'm a succor for the boy next door turns into much more than a friend story line.

I'm not a fan of sex in young adult books. However if it is going to be there I wish it were always written the way it was in this book. It was done without the blow by blow details. Statements such as I lost my virginity on my seventeenth birthday work for me. I know it happened but I don't have to skip paragraphs or pages as every step is detailed. Of course there is still the issue that Lola was just 16/17 and her boyfriend was 22. I wasn't a fan of Max and appreciated Lola's parent's concerns and attempts to monitor and limit Lola's interactions with him.  I don't usually enjoy reading about gay characters but I loved Lola's parents.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Some language including a couple F words, there is sex but it's never graphic or described in any details, just things like - on my birthday I lost my virginity or I put my shirt back on, a few crude comments and some innuendo, Lola's parents are 2 gay men.

Source: Download from Overdrive

2 Comments on Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, last added: 2/24/2012
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11. Book Review: Targets In Ties by Tristi Pinkston

Title: Targets in Ties
Author: Tristi Pinkston
Series: Secret Sisters Mysteries #4
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
Released: January 30,2012
Website: http://www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com/

Book Summary:

After two long years, Ren’s mission is finally over, and it’s time for Ida Mae, Arlette, and Tansy to travel to Mexico to pick him up. They have their itinerary all planned out—visiting the ruins in the
Yucatan, shopping, playing in the sand and surf—and then they’ll head to Ren’s mission home and be reunited with that dear boy. But
a wanted antiquities thief crosses their path, and soon the ladies find themselves tangled up in a web of lies, intrigue, and costly jewelry. Held hostage by men desperate for riches, they do what only they
can do—keep their heads about them, plan their escape, and discuss the proper making of tortillas. Will they survive their most harrowing adventure yet?
Tristi Pinkston's Secret Sisters Mysteries make me laugh.  They are lighthearted, clean, humorous books that are perfect for days when you just need a good laugh.  Targets in Ties is the 4th book in the Secret Sisters Series and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first three books.

Ida Mae, Arlette, and Tansy are once again caught up in an adventure. This time they are travelling through Mexico headed to pick up Ren from his mission when they cross paths with an International jewel thief. What follows is another crazy adventure for this oddball team.  Kidnapping, grand theft auto and a cross country chase are all in a days work for these mystery solving amateur sleuths.

If you are a cozy mystery lover or those just looking for a quick, clean read that will make you smile pick up one of Tristi Pinkston's Secret Sisters Mysteries.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Clean

Source: From Publisher for Review

Want to win this fun Scrapbook Pack?

As part of the book tour for Target In Ties Tristi is giving away a Scrapbooking Pack. To enter leave a comment on this blog post, then go visit Tristi's blog at http://www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com and become a follower. You will then be entered to win this fun scrapbooking pack, including paper, tags, two decals, and metal tag frames. You have until midnight Mountain time on March 3rd to enter to win.
For all the tour stops: CLICK HERE.

Also by Tristi Pinkston:

12. 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

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13. 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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14. Book Review: Stork by Wendy Delsol

Title: Stork
Author: Wendy Delsol
Series: Stork #1 of 3
Publisher: Candlewick
Released: October 12, 2010
Website: http://www.wendydelsol.com/

Book Summary:

Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.

Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.

So this one gets point for originality. I've seen a lot of myths, lore, legends, and folktales tackled but have yet to read a book based on storks, you know the "where babies come from" kind of storks.   I've gone back and forth between giving this book 3 or 4 stars and finally went with 4 simply due to unique spin this book put on the folktales.  Of course this book did contain many of the typical YA fantasy/paranormal story-line elements you'd expect but it had enough inventive differences to make it memorable. I was however a little weirded out by the way the Stork Society called each other to gather for a meeting, it kind of made my skin crawl just thinking about it, perhaps that aspect was a little too original.

This is the first book in a series and I'll likely pick the next book up from the library to see where this story-line goes.  If you enjoy the young adult genre and are looking for something a little different give this one a try.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Some language, storks deliver babies so sex is implied and a couple of the candidates (including one teenager) are not married.

Source: Library

Also by Wendy Delsol:

2 Comments on Book Review: Stork by Wendy Delsol, last added: 2/25/2012
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15. Book Review: The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams

Title: The International Kissing Club
Author: Ivy Adams  (Emily McKay, Shellee Roberts and Tracy Deebs write under the pseudonym Ivy Adams)
Series: None
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Released: January 3, 2012

Book Summary:
The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams is the story of four best friends: Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy--the misfits of Paris, Texas. Their whole lives, they’ve dreamed of escaping small-town life and seeing the world. So when Piper is the victim of an embarrassing prank that goes viral online, she gets the idea that the girls should escape via the school’s international exchange program, in search of fun, love and internet redemption.

It took me forever to get into this book.  I just didn't care about the characters or the story line for the first half of the book.  It took me a couple weeks to get through the first half because it just didn't hold my interest.    Once I hit he half way point I finished up the second half really quickly.

Kissing for points is just not a concept that works for me and the whole premise just seemed shallow to me. The book did have some funny parts and by the time I got half way through I wanted to know how it all turned out for these four girls and the boys they had fallen for.

In the end I'd say this was a good book, I didn't love it but I don't regret taking the time to read it.

Rating: 3.5 Stars - Good Book

Content: language, innuendo, talk of sex

Source: Review Copy

1 Comments on Book Review: The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams, last added: 2/26/2012
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16. 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.
17. Book Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Title: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare
Author: Melissa Jensen
Series: None
Publisher: Speak
Released: February 16, 2012
Website: http://www.melissajensen.com/

Book Summary:

Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy.

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

I loved the way this book was written, it was quite witty. It starts off with Ella sharing her undying love for Edward Willing. The only problem with this is that he died...long ago, as in years before Ella was even born. Through the course of the book she has many an interesting conversations with her idol Edward. If only she could find someone alive who could live up to Edward. Of course there is always her crush Alex Bainbridge, but he's a "Philitte" who will likely never notice her.

Ella and her friends Sadie & Frankie attended Willing School where they are at the bottom of the social ladder. Sadie has money but has a less than perfect body, Frankie is gay and Ella is a scholarship student with a scarred body. This leaves the three of them nearly invisible among the many elite students (Philittes) who attend Willing. At least they have each other and their close friendship with many a game of Truth or Dare.

When Alex is assigned to be Ella's French tutor Ella finally has a chance to be noticed by Alex.

I loved the first couple chapters but then found it really slow going for a while. It picked up again by mid book and I enjoyed the story.  I ended up really liking many of the characters: Sadie, Ella & especially Alex.  I liked Frankie too but I just don't enjoy reading about same-sex relationships and was a little turned off by how often his relationships were mentioned.

Full of many great quotes and laughs I'm sure this will be a hit with those who enjoy contemporary young adult literature.

Rating: 3.5 Stars - Good Book

Content: a little language include 1 use of the f word, one of the main characters is gay so there many conversations about who he was dating/liked, one of the characters makes crude comments to and about Ella, a scene where a shirt is removed but done to show a scar, etc.

Source: ARC Tours set up by The Teen Book Scene

Also by Melissa Jensen:

18. Book Review: Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Outside In
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: #2 of 2 Insiders Series
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: March 1, 2011
Website: http://mariavsnyder.com/

Book Summary:

Me? A Leader? Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion - between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again - while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside. And something from Outside wants In.
I wouldn't go so far as to say I was disappointed with this sequel because I did like it.  I just didn't love it like I hoped I would.  Being such a fan of Maria's Study Series I had high expectations for this book and this sequel didn't quite live up to those high expectations.

Outside In was full of action and adventure and plot twists.  There was a lot going on in this story but I finished the book not really understanding exactly how everything had played out.  It seemed like there could have been a little less going on and little more detail and back story filled in.  The first book Inside Out was a clean read while Outside In had content I wish wasn't included.

I did like watching Trella grow and change especially in her relationship with her mother and Riley.  She makes some stupid decisions at times but learns from her mistakes.  I did like this book and don't regret reading it.

I'm going to start on Maria's Glass & Healer series soon to see if they better capture the magic I felt while reading the Study Series.

Rating: 3.5 Stars - Good Book

Content: Some language and sexual content, no sex scene but clothes were off

Source: Download from Audible.com

Also by Maria V. Snyder:

Inside Out - Book #1 in the Insiders Series

Study Series (One of my favorites - although this is adult not YA)

Glass Series

Touch of Power

2 Comments on Book Review: Outside In by Maria V. Snyder, last added: 1/28/2012
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19. 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

0 Comments on Book Review: With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo as of 1/1/1900
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20. Book Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Inside Out
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: #1 of 2 in the Insider Duet
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: April 1, 2010
Website: http://mariavsnyder.com

Book Summary:

Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Maria Snyder's Study Series has been one of my long time favorites so I was excited to finally get around to reading Inside Out. This book ended up being far different from the Study series but I still enjoyed it.

It's hard to say much about this one that isn't a spoiler.  Inside Out is a dystopian story with a science fiction twist. There were many things that were similar to several other dystopian books I've read recently, it helped to remind myself that this one was written prior to those books.

Maria Snyder proves once again that she is a great writer.  Great characters and lots of twists and turns made for a fun read. There was romance in this book but it wasn't the main focus, more of a side story.

Although I definitely enjoyed the Study series more than this one I can't complain because this was a great young adult book.  As soon as I finished I started in on the sequel.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Clean - there may have been a mild swear word or two but I can't remember anything else

Source: Download from Audible.com

Also by Maria Snyder:

Outside In - Sequel to Inside Out

Study Series (One of my favorites - although this is adult not YA)

Glass Series

Touch of Power

2 Comments on Book Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder, last added: 1/28/2012
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21. 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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22. Book Review: Girls Don't Fly by Kristen Chandler

Title: Girls Don't Fly
Author: Kristen Chandler
Series: None
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Released: October 13, 2011
Website: http://www.krischandlerstories.com/

Book Summary:

Myra is used to keeping her feet firmly on the ground. She's got four younger brothers, overworked parents, and a pregnant older sister, and if Myra wasn't there to take care of everyone, they'd probably fall apart. But when her boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her, Myra feels like she's lost her footing. Suddenly she's doing things she never would've a few months earlier: quitting her job, applying for a scholarship to study birds in the Galapogos, and falling for a guy who's encouraging her to leap from her old life . . . and fly.

Set in the Salt Lake City area, Girls Don't Fly is full of intelligence, humor, and is a refreshing change of pace for teen readers.

I thought Myra was a character who was easy to relate to. Her story rang true and reminded me of many of the feelings, doubts and insecurities I remember having in high school. The story was a cute, quirky coming of age, contemporary family drama.

Set outside Salt Lake City, UT and written by an LDS author I expected this to be LDS fiction but it was not. This could have been a book set in any town, anywhere. Other than a mention or two of the religious kids who went to church on Sunday there was no mention of anything about Mormons in this book.

Each chapter begins with a tidbit of knowledge about birds that ties into that chapter.  Very clever.

Girls Don't Fly was an enjoyable, quick read.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: Some language

Source: Review Copy

Also by Kristen Chandler:

1 Comments on Book Review: Girls Don't Fly by Kristen Chandler, last added: 1/29/2012
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23. 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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24. Book Review: Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Title: Midnight in Austenland
Author: Shannon Hale
Series: Austenland was a stand alone, this is a follow-up novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: January 31, 2012
Website: http://www.squeetus.com/stage/main.html

Book Summary:
When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

The follow-up to reader favorite Austenland provides the same perfectly plotted pleasures, with a feisty new heroine, plenty of fresh and frightening twists, and the possibility of a romance that might just go beyond the proper bounds of Austen's world. How could it not turn out right in the end?

I'm a huge Shannon Hale fan.
I love Jane Austen.
Cross the two and inevitably you will come up with something I will love.

I got a kick out of reading Austenland and am looking forward to the upcoming movie. Austenland was a stand alone book so I was both surprised and excited when I heard there was a sequel coming out.

Shannon Hale entertains me. Her books draw me in and make me laugh. There is no denying I had high expectations for this book. In all honestly, through the first half of this book I was a little disappointed. I wasn't relating to the characters, I wasn't falling for the love interest, I wasn't laughing... But this was Shannon Hale so there was no way I was going to put the book down so I kept reading. It took me until nearly the half way point of this book to really start loving it. Don't get me wrong, it was a good book but my expectations were really high. By the half way point I finally started laughing and relating to the characters and falling for the love interest. I'm not sure why there was a delay for me, but I'm glad I stuck with it because it was worth it.

Midnight in Austenland is based upon Austen's Northanger Abbey which is not one of my favorite Austen novels. Like the book it's based on, Midnight in Austenland is a little more mystery and wild run away imaginings than some of Austen's other book. Not a bad thing but I would obviously prefer more swooning Mr. Darcy moments instead of over-active imagination ramblings.

Midnight in Austenland is a fun, lighthearted read that fans of Austen & Hale should definitely read!


3 Comments on Book Review: Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale, last added: 1/31/2012
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