Sunday, September 9, 2012


"Seraphina" (#1) by Rachel Hartman
Hardcover: 467 pages
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers (July 10, 2012)

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.

This book took me a little while to get into.  The language was somewhat difficult to get used to, but once I got past that it was pretty good.  I like dragon books for some reason.  This is a different kind of dragon book, actually half-dragons as well.  The story was good and it's going to be a trilogy (surprise, surprise).  However, it's worth reading and very enjoyable.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits

"When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits" by Mary Ann Winkowski
Hardcover: 238 pages
Published: Grand Central Publishing (October 22, 2007)

Lights flicker on and off for no good reason. You feel drained and inexplicably irritable. Your four-year-old is scared to enter her bedroom.
Tell these things to Mary Ann Winkowski, and she'll tell you that you have a ghost.
A happily married, devout Catholic, suburban mother and full-time paranormal investigator, Mary Ann Winkowski has been able to see earthbound spirits, spirits that are trapped on earth and haven't "crossed over," since she was a little girl. Mary Ann works with these spirits to help them make peace with what keeps them here - whether it be people they can't let go of or homes they love.
In WHEN GHOSTS SPEAK, Mary Ann will tell the amazing story of growing up with this gift, and will share tips on how to recognize when you're not alone, and what to do if you are in the presence of a ghost.

If you like to read about stuff like this, then this book is a good one for you.  I really enjoyed it, and will probably read her other books.  She is a medium, and the basis of the show "Ghost Whisperer".  I liked the insight I gained about spirits when reading this book.  Particularly earthbound spirits.  I didn't realize there was a difference between spirits.  This was a good book.  There were some actual photos of spirits in the book that were interesting to study, too.


Drums of Autumn

"Drums of Autumn" by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #4)
Hardcover: 896 pages
Published: Delta (August 7, 2001)

In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance....

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna....

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history ... and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past ... or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong....

I LOVED THIS BOOK!  This is the next best one in this series after the first one!  I actually cried in this one...They are now in America right before the start of the Revolutionary War.  I can't wait to read the last one, "The Fiery Cross".  It's in my stack of books to read, but I have to finish another one first.  If any of you are up to reading this whole series, you won't be disappointed.


The Seven Rays

"The Seven Rays" by Jessica Bendinger
Hardcover: 330 pages
Published: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (November 24, 2009)

You are more than you think you are.

THAT IS THE ANONYMOUS MESSAGE that Beth Michaels receives right before she starts seeing things. Not just a slept-through my-alarm-clock, late-for-homeroom, haven't had-my-caffeine-fix kind of seeing things. It all starts with some dots, annoying pink dots that pop up on and over her mom and her best friend's face. But then things get out of control and Beth is seeing people's pasts, their fears, their secrets, their desires. The images are coming at Beth in hi-def streaming video and she can't stop it. Everyone thinks she's crazy and she's pretty sure she agrees with them. But crazy doesn't explain the gold envelopes that have started arriving, containing seeing keys and mysterious tarot cards. To Beth, it all seems too weird to be true. You are more than you think you are? But here's the thing: What if she is?

The creator of Bring it On, Jessica Bendiner, brings her teen savvy writing to this paranormal romance, The Seven Rays.

I really liked this book, and I wish there was a sequel.  Yes, I actually said that about a book.  I can't believe I want a sequel to this book, but there was so much more I wanted to know when it ended.  I like to read about people with abilities, paranormal, etc.  This was a good fictional one.  My daughter liked it, too.


Between the Lines

"Between the Lines" by Jodi Picoult, Samantha van Leer
Hardcover: 358 pages
Published: Simon Pulse (June 26, 2012)

What happens when happily ever after... isn’t?

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

This was a cute book, and a good first one for Jodi's daughter, Samantha.  I really liked the idea for this story and it was well written.  It was a little young for my taste, but good anyway.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012


"Rapture" (Fallen #4) by Lauren Kate
Hardcover: 432 pages
Published: June 12, 2012

The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Alright...I've waited and waited for this last book.  When I finally read it I thought "This is it?"  It was only okay.  Of course, this whole series has been only okay.  It kept my interest though, and I thought it ended well.  I kind of figured out Luce's past before it was revealed towards the end.  I knew that was coming in the last book.  Angels and demons and some interesting points of view regarding Heaven and Hell through this series.  I'm glad I read them all.


"Dreamless" (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini
Hardcover: 487 pages
Published: HarperTeen (May 29, 2012)

Can true love be forgotten?

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out--a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Josephine Angelini's compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling "Starcrossed" delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.

This was a really good sequel to "Starcrossed".  Sometimes you never can tell with trilogy's, but this one seems to be getting better.  Not that the last book wasn't really was!  I like that this trilogy has a different storyline than most of the books out there.  Mythology is very refreshing after reading all about vampires, werewolves, and dystopian novels.  I am looking forward to the next book!  I hope it doesn't take too long to be published.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"Afterwards" by Rosamund Lupton
Hardcover: 400 pages
Published: Crown Publishing Group (April 24, 2012)

There is a fire and they are in there. They are in there...

Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and rush. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her.

Afterwards Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her children from the person who's still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love.

This book was OK.  Although this book has an interesting point of view, I found it kind of slow sometimes.  I also found that the combo of after death and crime mystery to be a bit much.  Much of the investigating in the book I felt was unneeded.  


Monday, July 9, 2012


"Voyager" (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon
Hardcover: 1072 pages
Published: Delta (August 7, 20010

From the author of the breathtaking bestsellers Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, the extraordinary saga continues.
Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her... and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.
Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her...the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland... and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.'s been a whole month since I've written anything!  This was probably the longest book I've ever read...AND they keep getting longer!  Hopefully I'll get through the next one in this series in a more timely manner.  Whew!

Anyway...this book was good, but not my favorite so far.  It took me forever to read, but it is summer after all.  I still love this series as a whole, and I plan on sticking it out to the end.  I've heard that the next one is really good, and I can't wait to start reading it.  I need a break first.  This book (if you have been reading these) takes Claire back to Scotland after 20 years in the present time.  She finds out that Jamie is still alive, so she takes a chance and goes back again.  She leaves her now 20 year old daughter back in the present, so I wonder if something will come of that later.  I guess I'll have to wait and see.  It kinda bothered me that she goes back to Scotland in the first third of the book, instead of towards the end.  Her trip back starts off a whole new journey again, but it felt strange having that story half-way through.  Anyway, a good book.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gypsy Boy

"Gypsy Boy" by Mikey Walsh
Hardcover: 278 pages
Published: Hodder & Stoughton 2009

Mikey was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a closeted community, and little is known about their way of life. After centuries of persecution Gypsies are wary of outsiders and if you choose to leave you can never come back.
This is something Mikey knows only too well.

Growing up, he rarely went to school, and seldom mixed with non-Gypsies. The caravan and camp were his world.

But although Mikey inherited a vibrant and loyal culture his family’s legacy was bittersweet with a hidden history of grief and abuse.
Eventually Mikey was forced to make an agonising decision – to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere he could truly belong.

This book was an interesting look into the lives of Romany Gypsies.  There is a show on TV right now that is about gypsies, and this book kind of reminds me of that.  Although this book shows a darker side to their ways of living, and hopefully not all are like this.  This is a sad and sometimes upsetting book to read, so beware.  It also reminds me of the book "A Child Called It".  


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dragonfly in Amber

"Dragonfly in Amber" (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
Hardcover: 752 pages
Published: Delta (July 1992)

With her now-classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters — Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful follow-up to Outlander....

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones ... about a love that transcends the boundaries of time ... and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his....

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart ... in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising ... and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves....

Wow, I FINALLY finished this book!  It seemed to take me forever...

This book was different than the first in the series.  It was more historical accounts of Jacobite events and battles.  There was a lot of political aspects to the book dealing with the funding of the Jacobites versus Bonnie Prince Charlie.  Some of it, I must say, was confusing.  I didn't need to know all the little details about this particular time in history, but I learned a few things.  It almost was like a history book sometimes.  Ok, after all was a good book.  The end of the book is making me want to read the next one "Voyager" right away, so it must have been good.  I'm not giving it the most stars, because I didn't like it as well, but it still was really good.  I can't wait to read the next one, but it's also 870 pages!  I think I will take a short break and then continue on this series, because I really want to know what happens. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Visit Your Local Library

Happy Mother's Day to all those reading Mom's out there!  If you have a Mom, be sure to tell her you love her today...

I'm still reading the GIANT book "Dragonfly in Amber" by Diana's over 600 pages, so it's taking me awhile.  It's a really good book so far.

I wanted to mention that I read all of my books from one's that I check out at my local library.  You don't have to buy books to find something good to read.  Sometimes you might have to wait a couple weeks to get your hands on a new book, but it's worth the wait and easy on your pocketbook.  Remember your local library, too!  Happy reading, ya'll.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bond Girl

"Bond Girl" by Erin Duffy
Hardcover: 304 pages
Published: HarperCollins (January 1, 2012)

When other little girls were dreaming about becoming doctors or lawyers, Alex Garrett set her sights on conquering the high-powered world of Wall Street. And though she's prepared to fight her way into an elitist boys' club, or duck the occasional errant football, she quickly realizes she's in over her head when she's relegated to a kiddie-size folding chair with her new moniker—Girlie—inscribed in Wite-Out across the back.

No matter. She's determined to make it in bond sales at Cromwell Pierce, one of the Street's most esteemed brokerage firms. Keeping her eyes on the prize, the low Girlie on the totem pole will endure whatever comes her way—whether trekking to the Bronx for a $1,000 wheel of Parmesan cheese; discovering a secretary's secret Friday night slumber/dance party in the conference room; fielding a constant barrage of "friendly" practical jokes; learning the ropes from Chick, her unpredictable, slightly scary, loyalty-demanding boss; babysitting a colleague while he consumes the contents of a vending machine on a $28,000 bet; or eluding the advances of a corporate stalker who's also one of the firm's biggest clients.

Ignoring her friends' pleas to quit, Alex excels (while learning how to roll with the punches and laugh at herself) and soon advances from lowly analyst to slightly-less-lowly associate. Suddenly, she's addressed by her real name, and the impenetrable boys' club has transformed into forty older brothers and one possible boyfriend. Then the apocalypse hits, and Alex is forced to choose between sticking with Cromwell Pierce as it teeters on the brink of disaster or kicking off her Jimmy Choos and running for higher ground.

Fast-paced, funny, and thoroughly addictive, Bond Girl will leave you cheering for Alex: a feisty, ambitious woman with the spirit to stand up to the best (and worst) of the boys on the Street—and ultimately rise above them all.

Another great book!  I must be on a roll...

I didn't know if I would like to read a book about Wall Street and finance, but it's written in a way that helps you understand.  The main character barely understands this stuff herself, and you struggle through things together.  This book reminded me of a couple other books that I enjoyed; "The Nanny Diaries" and "The Devil Wears Prada" (the second one a movie). You discover what it's like to work for a firm right out of college and all the crap that they put her through.  She manages to struggle through all their insults and duties, but realizes that she isn't where she originally thought she'd be.  The ending left me wanting more from her continued life.  I don't know if it will be a series, so I guess I'll have to imagine it myself.


"Outlander" (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon
Hardcover: 629 pages
Published: Dell (July 26, 2005)

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

This book was amazing!  Totally worth the 5 stars I'm giving it.  It's been a long time since I've read anything like this.  This book has everything...historical facts, romance, time travel, comedy, heart-wrenching events, adventure, you name it.  Normally I read Young Adult fiction, but I think I'm going to read this whole series.  These books are hefty...over 600 pages each, but I would recommend them.  Reading this book was like watching a really good movie over many days.  Like "Gladiator" or "Braveheart" but set in the 18th century.  I really hope they do make this book into a movie, except that it will be hard to cast the main characters.  I've built such images in my head regarding them, that I don't know if anyone can do it justice.  I also loved this book because I have Scottish heritage.  There really isn't a good way of describing this book to depict all that I want to say.  You'll just have to read it and judge for yourself.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs
Hardcover: 352 pages
Published: Quirk Books (June 7, 2011)

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Ahhh...a breath of fresh air, finally.  I really liked this book for it's uniqueness.  It has the elements of fantasy yet feels more solid than most YA books right now.  If that makes any sense.  The old photographs throughout the book are really neat to look at.  They are actual photos from the collections of collectors over the years.  Only a couple were photoshopped.  This book has an ending that I could tolerate by itself, but it's going to be a series.  If I didn't read any more in this series, I would be satisfied.   Of course, I will read the next one when it comes out.


"Fever" (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano
Hardcover: 341 pages
Published: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (February 21, 2012)

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

This book was good.  It's almost as good as the first one, but left me wanting to know more...hence the 3rd book in the series.  Most of this story is set in a drugged-out haze with the characters never really being themselves.  There is a really big COME ON at the end, but I won't spoil it for you.  I sure hope the next book is great.


Saturday, March 17, 2012


"Everneath" (Book #1) by Brodi Ashton
Hardcover: 370 pages
Published: Harper Collins/Balzer + Bray (January 24, 2012)

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

This book is pretty good.  It's a neat blend of mythology and our current time.  I found it hard to follow the supposed love interest as Nikki is so confused and unemotional most of the time.  I started getting tired of reading it towards the end.  Of course, it's going to be a series.  Oh joy.  The cover was pretty.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In My Stack

Hopefully these books will be good.  They look good!


"Bumped" by Megan McCafferty
Hardcover: 323 pages
Published: Balzer + Bray (April 26, 2011)

In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, 16-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.

Couldn't finish.  I just couldn't get past the slang that these kids use in this book.  It sounded like a really cool story idea, too.  Just. Couldn't. Do. It.  No star rating since I didn't finish.  Sorry guys.

Fallen in Love

"Fallen in Love" by Lauren Kate
Hardcover: 201 pages
Published: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers (January 24, 2012)

Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.

And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine's Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they
least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding-and losing love. Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first -and last- time, Daniel and Luce
will spend a night together like none other.

Lauren Kate's FALLEN IN LOVE is filled with love stories . . . the ones everyone has been waiting for.

True love never says goodbye. . .

Uugghh.  Don't waste your time on this one.  I absolutely love the "Fallen" books, but this one didn't even seem like it was written by Lauren Kate.  It lacked the depth of the characters in her other books, and the stories were cheesy.  The cover was pretty.


The Pledge

"The Pledge" by Kimberly Derting
Hardcover: 323 pages
Published: Margaret K. McElderry (November 15, 2011)

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

I wanted to really like this book.  I tried.  It was entertaining, but didn't keep my interest very long.  It could have been much better, but at least I finally finished a book.  Lately, I haven't found a good enough book.  I know that I won't read the next one in the series. 

This book was cool in that it felt like it was taking place during the Medieval times, but was actually in the future.  Maybe I need to switch to historical themed books...hmmm.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Best DVD's of 2011

I made a list of my favorite movies that came out on DVD in 2011:
  • Dinner for Schmucks
  • Megamind
  • The Switch
  • The Tourist
  • Chronicles of Narnia - Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Country Strong
  • No Strings Attached
  • The Other Woman
  • I Am Number Four
  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • Rango
  • X-Men: First Class
  • Thor
  • Bridesmaids
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Bad Teacher
  • Captain America
  • Water for Elephants
  • Secretariat
  • Burlesque
  • Morning Glory
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Paul
  • Horrible Bosses
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • Dolphin Tale
  • The Help
  • Cowboys & Aliens

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever

"The Alchemy of Forever" (Incarnation #1) by Avery Williams
Hardcover: 256 pages
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (January 3, 2012)

Seraphina's first love made her immortal...her second might get her killed.Incarnation is a new series that introduces a fresh mythology perfect for fans of bestselling series like The Immortals by Alyson Noel and Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

After spending six hundred years on earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falls for the human boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care for in great danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

This was an intriguing book to read.  At least it wasn't vampires or werewolves or angels.  Not that there's anything wrong with those, it's just that there are SO many books already written about those.  This book is about body snatching or soul sucking...whatever.  It's pretty good for the first in a series.  The book moved along at a nice fast pace and was really interesting.  I liked the book right up until the end, when I was like....WHAT?  It leaves you hanging in suspense for the next book.  As long as you don't mind that happening, it's recommended reading.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

"Daughter of Smoke and Bone" by Laini Taylor
Hardcover: 418 pages
Published: Little, Brown & Company (September 27, 2011)

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I didn't finish reading this book.  In fact, I couldn't get into it at all.  I started reading the first couple of chapters, but disliked the writing style and overall mood of the book.  So, I won't be giving this book a full review. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012


"Divergent" by Veronica Roth
Hardcover: 487 pages
Published: Katherine Tegen Books (May 3, 2011)

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series--dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

This book reminded me a little of "The Hunger Games" in the way it's written.  It takes place in some future dystopion existence in Chicago, so at least it's not a made up land like other books.  The four factions or groups of people in this book were a little hard to swallow.  I'm not sure that it would necessarily happen that way in real life, but it made for a good story.  I'm sure I'll read the next books in the series.  There's not too many books that could replace "The Hunger Games Trilogy" though.  Those are my favorite dystopian books.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In My Stack


"Entwined" by Heather Dixon
Hardcover: 480 pages
Published: Greenwillow Books (March 29, 2011)


Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late. 

I did not finish this book.  I tried to get into it, but it was just too cheesy.  I mean, calling your father King and dancing at the drop a hat...hmm.  The wording was just ...cheesy.  I know I said that already, but it's the truth.  I loved the cover of the book.  Very pretty.  If you want to read a great book based on the Twelve Dancing Princesses, then read "Wildwood Dancing" by Juliet Marillier.  Now, that's a good book!

Since I didn't finish the book, I will not give it a star rating.