Monday, June 23, 2014

A Kiss by Design by Christy Hayes

Emily and Dylan...what can I say? Well, for one thing, Dylan is a sweetheart. He is totally willing to disregard the feelings he has had for Emily since they were children in order to give her the happiness he so believes that she wants to be a part of. But, seriously dude, family is family and love is love, and sometimes family is just not enough when you truly love someone. I felt so sad for him throughout some of this book. He truly is conflicted. He does not want to hurt anyone, but yet everyone could be hurt if he decides to follow his heart. But the person he truly loves could be the most hurt if he just decides to back off and let her be. Poor guy cannot win either way.

Emily, I believe, is a girl lost in the comfort and familiarity of her current relationship with Dylan's brother. So lost, in fact, that she cannot see the truth that is right in front of her. That fact that Dylan is her confidante, her heart, her shoulder to cry on. He is her rock, whereas in contrast, she has yet to truly confide in her current boyfriend. Love sometimes takes a while to hit us, and in Emily's case, it has definitely taken a while.

The Three Amigos: Shelby, Kayla, and Reagan. I loved these girls to death. They were witty, supportive, sarcastic when the need arose, and even plotting little minxes when the occasion called for it. They are the delicious filling in this word-filled cake, and I adored every moment they hit the page. They each reminded me of me in some way, and I just could not get enough of them. Every woman has a friend, or two or three, that resemble at least one or even all of these girls, and what would we do without 'em?

Now, I guess I had better talk a little bit about the boyfriend in the middle of all this mess. Dylan's brother, Zach. Throughout this book, Zach seemed to me to be a bit in the same predicament as Emily. He is blinded by the comfort and familiarity of his and Emily's relationship. I think that might be the initial reason why he decides to propose in the first place. I won't dare to call him inconsiderate or an air-head, but I will say that this book does not really shed him a good light. It's not a bad light, but I was put in a position to dislike this character. Or at least root for Emily and Dylan more. I cannot wait for Book 2 when Zach's point of view will be shown. Who knows, the roles might be reversed. I might begin to like Zach more and see his way of thinking. I just know that I have vowed not to be biased until his story is released.

I loved this book. It was a very entertaining read and had me glued to each page in anticipation of what was going to happen next.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton

Olivia Black's life is pretty much as normal as it is going to get. The fact that she has a ghost hand does cause quite a few stares and disbelieving glance, but since she has dealt with it since she was born, it is really nothing new to her. So when her hand suddenly starts to act seemingly on its own, even she is quite freaked out.

But a strange boy who is new to town doesn't seem at all surprised or disturbed by her hand's sudden actions. In fact, he doesn't seem disturbed by her hand at all and the fact that you can see right through it and it glows blue. BLUE!!! Normal hands do not do that. So why isn't he running in the opposite direction?

These are the very thoughts that I imagine running through Olivia's mind in the beginning of this book. How can a person so new to town be so calm around something so unexplainable and rare? As the pages turn and the plot unravels, Olivia finds that he knows more about her condition than he lets on. In fact, he may know enough to save her from a fate worse than death in her supposedly safe little town.
I absolutely devoured this book. The story is one that I have never read before, and I could not get through each chapter fast enough. All in all, it was a phenomenal read and I am definitely going to have to check out the second in the series, Ghost Hold, really soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ratpaths by Angelika Rust

I absolutely loved this book. The main thing about it that I loved was the fact that it is a fantasy tale, but without all the things associated normally with a fantasy tale. I mean, I adore fantasy tales with elves, dragons, even magic, I absolutely thrive on them, but this book takes you on a journey that enraptures you in every second of the story without the need for those things. Well…it enraptured me at the very least.

Nivvo is a very likeable and seemingly independent character who knows what he is capable of doing, due to the fact that he has encountered so much hardship since the young age of six. He knows how far he is willing to go for those he loves, and he is also willing to sacrifice his own self, happiness, and freedom to make sure those he loves are safe.

I love the that I wasn’t just told Nivvo’s whole story from the very beginning. On the contrary, he was just thrown into the story at his present age and the writer gradually introduces him throughout different daydreams and memories the character experiences.

I also love the character of Reka. She is so feisty and bold. I absolutely adored reading every part she was in, because she is a fighter. She will fight tooth and nail for the things she wants to protect.

This book made me want so much more. I cannot wait for anything else this author can dish out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Switchback by Drew VanDyke and David VanDyke

Okay, so I received this book for an honest review, and boy am I going to be honest. Now, let me first say that I was surprised that this book was written by two beings of the male gender. The reason being that the characters, well at least the three main woman characters, are so perfectly written out that I was amazed at their personalities. WELL DONE, MEN!

Now on to the story.

It was entertaining from the very beginning. You find that the main MAIN character, the character we most focus on, was shot in the butt. Yes. Let me repeat one more time...shot in the butt. How did that exactly happen? Well, let's just say that a hunter might have mistaken her for a wolf? Okay, so they may have not mistaken her as one so much as she IS one. That's right. Wolf-girl in the hizz-ouse.


There is also a lurv interest in this book, between the main character and her high school on-again-off-again boyfriend. However, it is somewhat hard to become involved with someone when you are A) haunted by a terrible event from your past, brought to life by the fact that you have moved back to your home town involuntarily, and 2) you're a werewolf!

Yeah, the whole wolf thing tends to complicate matters.

Also, it doesn't help when someone is threatening you at every turn. With the usual items, of course. Threatening letters, the occasional animal heart in a box...WHAT?
I guess if you want to delve into the madness that is my review, you will have to read this book. It is a wonderful read that made me laugh, gasp in surprise, and turn pages like crazy in order to find out what happened next.

So, go ahead, find out what it's like for yourself. But I'm warning you, you will not be able to put it down once you start.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros

I picked this book up at my local Dollar General after a few weeks of contemplating actually getting it. I am what you call a book hoarder, because I own more books than I have read, but while I am solving that issue by giving away the ones I have read, I still have quite a few to get rid of. Knowing that, I bought this one anyway.

Usually I can name the one thing that catches my eye when I first see a book that I want to buy. Sometimes it is the cover, sometimes the blurb itself, and sometimes it is both. But in this case, neither was what truly goaded me into buying this. I knew I had to buy it the moment I opened the book to a random spot and began reading. The spot I had opened it to was a page of tweets between the two main characters. The moment I saw that, a small laugh almost erupted from me. I thought it was kind of cool. A book based on tweets. How neat.

The story obviously does not start with tweets, but with an introduction to the main character. Abigail Donovan is an author who had a one-hit wonder years back, and who has been struggling ever since to finish her second novel with no luck. So when her publicist basically forces her to interact with her readers by making her a Twitter account, it seems like a hopeless endeavour. Until a man named Mark contacts her.
Mark breaks down her walls little by little as the pages go by, and he makes her see herself and her writing in a whole new light. He teaches her the value of writing for herself instead of for others and shows her that she has so many more stories inside of her just waiting to come out into the open.

This was an amazingly sweet book that made me laugh and feel a sadness too. It kind of taught me something as an aspiring author as well. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone willing to read it. It is phenomenal and did not disappoint.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson

Sadie is a girl who has a wonderful life. Boys love her, she has a best friend who would do anything for her, and her and her mother are immensely close. So if this is indeed the case, why isn't she happier? Sadie has been having bouts of depression and sadness. At first, they occurred quite a ways apart, but lately they have been getting closer and closer together with less and less time of true happiness in between. What could possibly be wrong with her? An encounter with a strange boy with sparkling green eyes could be the answer.

Rayne was assigned to keep Sadie safe. And he does just that when he saves her from drowning. She is only a job for him. Like any other assignment, he must keep a professional attitude towards her. But that becomes hard when they seem to forge a bond together. A bond that, in Rayne's eyes, is just the effect of his saving her. It is nothing to worry about, so long as he keeps his distance, which becomes harder and harder to do.

When a criminal of Rayne's world finds out about Sadie and threatens her life, Rayne will do anything to protect her. And in the process, he might just find how deep this bond really goes.

I absolutely loved this book. The descriptions of Rayne's eyes (which are very important to the story, by the way) and even Sadie's (again, important) are so vivid and beautiful. The characters are very realistic. The places and situations are described to the point where I feel like I am actually there. This author did an amazing job writing this, and I cannot wait to check out the other installments of this series.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Treacle Mountain (Annie's Story) by F.W. Pinkerton

Okay, so I must admit that this book seemed like two different stories. One a coming-of-age story of a girl who is trying to change the dark world she lives in to one of safety and stability. And the other a thriller about a girl suddenly thrust into a plot of smuggling and drugs. A plot that just seems to thicken with every turned page. By themselves, I can see how both stories would definitely make for good books, but together, to me it was just too much. I kind of wish that the author would have stuck more to the thriller aspect for this particular book. It seemed that it had a bit more substance to it. And also, I kind of did not like the person the main character was turning into when she was making the world she lives in “better.” I guess I should probably explain the quotes around better.

Annie, our main character, lives in a rundown place with a failing marriage behind one wall and a constant demand for pleasure behind the other. She absolutely hates the situation she is in. Hates it to the point where of course she wants to change it. But she goes about it, in my eyes, the wrong way. She basically delves into the terrible world she wants to get away from and uses it to her advantage. The advantage being she can get back at those who have pissed her off, such as a local drug dealer, the man who lives in the apartment beneath her, and at one point, even her supposed best friend/lover. I mean, every single thing she did was almost mind-blowing to me. Not because of what she did, but because of her justifications behind it. It just didn’t seem…right, I guess is the word?

And also, the author hints at various times throughout the story about an incident from Annie’s past. Supposedly it had haunted her for years. But it didn’t seem that way. I kind of wish the author had started the story with a flashback of the incident. And also, along with that, written in the character Fred’s point of view. Because he is very important to the thriller aspect of the story and is found to be indirectly connected with the incident from her past. Along with the whole plot of smuggling and drugs that Annie is suddenly thrust into, everything would have connected in some way. Because that is something I really did not get from this book the way it was written, a connection. Like I said before, this seemed like two stories instead of one. And neither really felt part of the other.

While in the end I did enjoy the story, I wanted more development.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Crimson Dawn by Amos Cassidy

This book has to be my absolute FAVOURITE in this entire series. Mainly because this is the book where the final battle begins, and where the fate of the world hinges on overcoming the Power.

So to recap from the last book, Rose has now lost her body to the Power. The little deal she made now fully sentient. But just because she has lost her body does not mean she is going to stop finding a way to get it back. She just needs to get rid of certain...complications first.

So much action is packed into this part of the story. This third installment. And it basically involves bad guys becoming good guys, good guys being taken over by the bad guys, and a couple of new additions that could sway fate.

This is the epic battle all of us readers have been waiting for. And believe me, it will not disappoint.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Luthier's Apprentice by Mayra Calvani

After the sudden disappearance of her violin instructor and mentor from a locked room, Emma, a very talented musician, begins an investigation that will reveal family secrets she never thought existed. Secrets that involve her grandfather's unmatchable talent as a luthier, a strange locked room she is never allowed to go in, and a famous violinist from the 1800s who disappeared over 100 years ago. It will also reveal a magical inheritance that she will have to learn to control.
She will find allies to help her in her quest for answers. One in the form of her best friend, Annika, who is like a sister to her. And the other in the form of yet another of her instructor's students, Corey, a boy who almost rivals her own love of Sherlock Holmes stories and has an enviable memory.But Corey also has his own family secrets that will come to light. Ones that involve his father's death and the disappearance of an old family pet.
A whole other world will be discovered. One led by a very powerful sorceress bent on ridding the world of male violinists and allowing female violinists to reign supreme. Can they stop her in time to save their beloved instructor, and his fellow prisoners in her world, or will their attempts be futile?
I love YA books, sometimes more so than adult books. And, being an adult, I have no embarrassment whatsoever in saying this. Mainly because YA books have a certain quality to them that you just do not see in adult books. Or at least most of the time, anyway. And being the book connoisseur that I am, I am always on the lookout for something fresh and different. And this book is definitely different, but in a very good way.
Disappearing violinists, a pact made years ago, magical singing trees, and a pair of Sherlockians who are definitely after my own heart. What more could you want in a book? Not much, in my opinion.
This book was beautiful. Especially when the world in which the sorceress lives was revealed. Violins are so graceful instruments, and that is definitely how this story felt.

I can honestly say that I was definitely trying to find anything at all to critique about this book. But, much to my very pleasant surprise, I could not find one thing. I absolutely loved it, and was very excited hear that this will only be the beginning for Emma. This book was wonderfully written and had such musicality to it. And not just because it had music in it. It read very easily and I definitely would read it again...and again and again.

And P.S...the cover is absolutely gorgeous!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Incantation Paradox by Annamaria Bazzi

Dolores Reynard has two girls she absolutely loves with all her heart and an ex-husband she could very well live without. Her life is not perfect, but it is hers and she wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world for it. Well, much to her chagrin, she is about to. After a terrible accident, she wakes up to find herself, not dead or terribly injured, but in the body of seventeen-year-old girl named Mona. She must find some allies in this new life of hers that will believe her story and help her answer all the questions going through her mind, or she might have to grow up all over again.

Jason Richmond understands all too well what Dolores is going through. The problem is finding a solution to her predicament. Along with that, he must deal with two forces that could very well bring Dolores' souls' undoing. One force which brought about Mona's supposed end, and which is now trying to hurt Dolores as well, and one which, if it awakens, could put Dolores on the back burner in the body she now inhabits. Hopefully, temporarily.

Throughout all this, Dolores and Jason begin to have feelings for one another. And once a solution is found, IF one is found, to get Dolores back into her own body, they must figure out how to prevent their growing love for another from being forgotten.

While I loved the beginning, and I especially loved the ending, the middle didn’t seem to flow as perfectly and could have used a bit more polishing and organizing. But all in all, it was a really, really cool story. It was different and had a wonderfully strange quality about it. A magical quality that made me want to turn every page. I just had to know what was going to happen next. Read it, because it is totally worth it.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Desolation - Flash! Friday Contribution

The bell tolled ominously, warning the people of the onslaught soon to come. The great beast roamed the starry sky, fire bursting from its maw, the light illuminating the night with a sort of terrifying beauty. “Ready the black arrow!” One man shouted in the midst of the chaos, his demeanor that of a soldier who knows what the upcoming battle may bring. At a signal from his accomplice indicating the arrow had been readied and was now aimed at its target, the man took a deep breath, knowing this was a final chance to rid themselves of the beast which had haunted their dreams all these years. He raised his arm and threw it down with a strength one can only muster in the worst of times. And with the sight of the arrow flying true, he whispered, “If this is to end in fire, then we’ll all burn together.”

This Flash Fiction piece was contributed to the Flash! Friday Micro Fiction Challenge. This past week (Friday June 6, 2014) we had to include a fire in our work as well as find inspiration for our story from this picture of a bell tower.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

I have been wanting to read this book since I first read an excerpt from it in the last pages of Fang...or was it Angel...not sure, but anyway, I was ecstatic when I found it at my local library, so I immediately grabbed it and pretty much devoured it in my first week.

This is a murder mystery taken to the next level mixed with a bit of a thriller aspect added to it. Halfway through it I was somewhat reminded of Patterson's Maximum Ride novels, because how the parents' pharmaceutical company connects to the kids' general talents and personalities' is similar. Well, not avian DNA similar, but similar nonetheless.

I loved the murder aspect of this book, because it made me suspect everyone. I was trying to figure out who had motive, who didn't, and who would have the opportunity to kill the victims. But the thing that is revealed throughout every single page is that no one is really ruled out. Everyone has something to hide, and everyone had reason enough that they could have done it. Even the narrator of this story believes that she could have been the culprit. Which I felt was surprisingly refreshing, in a weird way.
The ending disappointed me a little bit because of its outcome. I kind of did not know how to word that since I really did not want to give anything away as the story, but knowing some of James Patterson's other work, I was hoping for a rather different ending. Or at least one slightly less disappointing, however noble and filled with love as it may have seemed.

Besides that, though, there is really nothing to complain about with this book. The chapters are short reads and I went through the book pretty quickly, thoroughly enjoying it every...well, almost every step of the way.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

In Liam's Wake by Ashlyn Forge

I have to admit that I had to reread the beginning of this book a couple of times because for some reason the first time I could not get into it. Maybe I was distracted by other things, but luckily the second time I read it, when I knew I could have some quiet, I was definitely able to get into it.

In the beginning, we see only one side of our main character, Liam. I mean, we obviously see he has some sort of disregard for the place he is in and those higher up, but we don't understand truly why he feels the way he does. That, however, is pretty well explained or shown to us as the story goes on.

Now the relationship Liam has with Riley seemed a bit confusing to me. It was kind of a love/hate thing. But I kind of saw that Liam did not really hate Riley so much as he kind of hated the fact he had feelings for him. He was confused and, to be honest, a tad scared, which I think scared him even more because his heart was leading him more than his head was. And I think considering how tough a guy he seems, and regarding everything he went through in the flashbacks that revealed his blooming relationship with Riley, it kind of freaked him out that his own morals were being proven wrong and being changed due to his growing feelings.

I love that the story gets more complicated as it goes on. We start out getting to initially know the characters brought to life before our eyes, and then just when we think we know who they are, something happens to bring us even deeper into their world. This first book of this world is phenomenal and just sucked me, you know, once I was able to just sit down and read it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Cult of Cole by Micheal Maxwell

In this third installment in the Cole Sage series, journalist Cole Sage may be in over his head when a mysterious man sets off a series of bombs in response to an article Cole wrote years ago.

So in this story this mysterious man is mainly only truly mysterious to Cole and we as readers get to delve into the bombers brain. We get to experience why he initially begins acting up and what it was in the article Cole wrote that set him off.

I actually quite liked this book in the series because it made quite a few references to the sixties. It had a different feel to it for me than the others mainly because of this fact. We meet some new characters, and one in particular should be very familiar to most people. Again, a reference to the sixties, or at least, a reference to a very poignant moment and person in the sixties.

Love is also in the air in this latest book. Cole begins to blossom even more than he already has since losing his first great love in the first book, and a pretty strong woman catches his eye, and he hers. Will it work out? I guess you all will have to find out by reading it.

There is a chance Cole might not survive this newest story of his...this newest investigation. One man's obsession could mean another's doom. Let's all hope for the best and maybe, just maybe, he can use his wits to get himself out of yet another dire situation.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Crimson Darkness by Amos Cassidy

This book is tense!!!

Okay, so after the events of the first book, Crimson Midnight, this book starts off with us wondering how Rose will get out of her current predicament.  She is herself, but not herself. She is stuck inside her own mind, her body merely a capsule at this moment. But a deal with an unknown entity allows her to come back, along with a friend or two. Tehe. Well, friend is a very general term. We should probably say that they are her protectors, which, in the current state of the city, pretty much screams friendship to me.
So Rose has been changed by the events of the first book. She has great power inside of her just waiting to be released at her very call. But, as the old proverb states, with great power comes great responsibility. She is going to have to make some very difficult decisions regarding herself and her friends, and not everyone is going to be happy with the choices she makes.

Along with Rose, Roman is also changed. Because his wolf is now gone, he somewhat feels lost and possibly unworthy of even being around the people he has known forever. He is moody and a bit 'woe is me', and somewhat annoying in this. UGH!! He keeps mentioning that he is not good for Rose and no matter how good they are together, or at least how good they were together in the first book, everything has changed. Okay, news flash! Dude, suck it up! Your wolf may be gone, but that doesn't mean you just give up the fight! Just because you feel weak or helpless doesn't mean you should let that consume you!! I mean, seriously! Rose's life is falling around her throughout this entire book and she stands strong and tries to protect those she loves!!! Seriously!!

Sorry about that.

On a lighter note, this book is a wonderful sequel to the first, and I love how the characters are getting even more complicated. It just makes me feel alive when I can rant and rave about characters. Tehe. 

Read This! You will definitely not be disappointed.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Whodunnit: Murder on Mystery Island by Anthony E. Zuiker

Okay, so I was absolutely stoked when this sequel to Murder in Mystery Manor came out. So stoked, in fact, that I had already pre-ordered it before it released and spent my early morning hours of the day it came out reading it, or shall I say listening to it, since I also bought the free audio book, I listened to it that whole day, finally finishing it in the dark hours of the evening.

Now as far as audio books go, I tend to judge them by the reader, because ultimately to me, if the reader is not interesting, no matter the subject or genre of book, I will tend to stop listening. I usually will just pick up the true book copy and read it for myself when that happens. Luckily, with this book, I was just as entertained by the reader as I was in the first one. I mean, come on! It's the butler from Rue Manor for crying out loud!

And speaking of Rue Manor, it actually is mentioned in the beginning of this book, but while I do appreciate the fact this book is based off the show, I kind of wished they would not have even mentioned Rue Manor. To me, the story was not really affected by the mention of the events at Rue Manor, and also, because things do not really go into too much detail of the events, I felt like I was missing something. I kind of wish they would make a book version of the events at Rue Manor and consider that one to be the second book. That would clear things up, and also, what would I have thought if I hadn't watched the show? I would have felt lost.

All in all, this book was awesome, despite my Rue Manor rant I had a few chapters in, and it was filled with twists and turns and so much more intricate death scenes. OH, THE DEATH SCENES! That is the amazing part of books. You can do so much more with the imagination than you could ever do in real life. Well, TV-wise.

I absolutely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the show, and those who have read the first book, because this one just adds to the story and even sets us up for a third installation. CAN'T WAIT!! Well, if they make it that is....