Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Last Chance Christmas by Vicki Lewis Thompson

A Last Chance Christmas by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Series:  Sons of Chance
Harlequin Blaze
Publication Date:  November 18, 2014
Date Read:  September 7, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Harlequin Blaze via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

3 stars

I thought this short book was OK.  I did not hate it and I did not love it.  I have not had the opportunity to read any other books in this series so the number of characters in this book was a bit overwhelming and I felt a bit lost at times.  I do think that readers who have read other books in the Son of Chance series will enjoy revisiting characters who make an appearance in this story.  

I did have a couple of issues with this book.  There were way too many characters to deal with for such a short novel.  It seemed like the entire family popped in for a cameo during this story.  There are times that less is more and I think this may have been one of those times.  I was also annoyed during the sex scenes (which is probably NOT what the author intended).  It was nice that the Hero was well endowed but seriously how many times must we talk about it.  I really saw no need to repeat what had already been said.  I also did not like this pair's issues with pursuing a relationship.  Their reasoning seemed to come from left field AND they were each able to overcome their issues quite painlessly.

There were some things that I really liked in this book as well.  I did like the awkward first encounter between the pair.  That seemed very realistic and I felt their chemistry.  I liked this pair together and enjoyed seeing them together on the page.  I also liked the fact that they were both so passionate regarding their career.  The secondary characters that played a large part in the story, such as Sarah, were wonderfully written.  

I would recommend this book to readers of the series or to any romance reader that has a few extra hours.  I hope to pick up other works in this series and by Vicki Lewis Thompson at some point in the future.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Releases - October 28, 2014

October 28, 2014
It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!
Here are some of the books releasing today that you may want to keep an eye out for:
There are a lot of great books being released this week!  I am so excited about the new Ilona Andrews book that I am starting it right away.  I have already had the chance to read the John Connolly book and I am interested in Amy Poehler's book.  I have not had the chance to read Patrick Rothfuss just bet but plan to someday soon.  I generally do like Nora Roberts every once in awhile but I need to read the first two book in the series before jumping into this one.

Which books are you excited to read?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reign of the Vampires by Rebekah R. Ganiere

Reign of the Vampires by Rebekah R. Ganiere
Series:  The Society #1
Kensington Books
Publication Date:  November 17, 2014
Date Read:  September 27, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Kensington Books via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

4 Stars

This book was different.  I enjoy reading books with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches, and really anything that falls into the paranormal realm.  When a saw this book on Net Galley, I instantly requested it because I was ready for a vampire story.  I really expected a run of the mill vampire love story based on the cover and I was okay with that.  What I got was a unique take on vampires in a many layered story.

Danika is a vampire lord in the Chicago area.  She is the only female vampire lord in the entire country and she heads the company that produces Savor, a bottled blood drink.  When humans are found and captured, they are quickly sold into slavery.  Mason was with a group of humans out foraging when he was captured.  Danika buys Mason at auction to be her protector.

It becomes obvious early on that Mason is not just human but something more.  He feels very protective of Danika and takes his role very seriously.  Both Danika and Mason are hesitant to act on their feelings towards each other but eventually come together.

This book had some problems.  My biggest problem is that Danika purchased Mason.  How could Mason ever feel anything towards the person who paid for him and was responsible for his captivity.  I just don't see how you overcome the fact that Danika literally OWNS Mason.  To be honest I just kind of pushed it aside in my head because the world and society was so different.  Danika also starts to realize that there may be other ways to do things by the end of the book. 

I thought that the world building was great.  It is a very different take on the vampire world and I thought it was done well.  The writing was solid.   There was enough mystery in the story to keep me going.  I was dying to know what Mason really was and also who wanted to harm Danika.   The villains were the kind that I love to hate.  Overall, I thought it was a solid story.

I would recommend this book to others that enjoy a different take on vampires.  These vampire see humans as a commodity so this is not the typical romantic vampire world that is often popular.  This is the first book by Rebekah Graniere that I have read and I do plan to continue with this series.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Series:  His Fair Assassin #1
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date:  April 3, 2012
Date Read:  October 21, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

 4.5 stars!

I loved this book.  I was totally sucked into the story and could have easily read it from beginning to end without stopping.  Unfortunately, my life dictated that I had to take breaks for things like sleep, work, and children.  It seemed so unfair to be stuck at work while I had a book begging me to finish it at home.  I could not get this book out of my mind when I was not reading it - It was really that good.

I thought that the writing in this book was phenomenal.  It drew me into the story and I could not help but like Ismae almost instantly.  I loved the way that the author injects just a small amount of humor into the writing every once in a while even though this book is in no way a funny book.
   "I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face and commending his soul to Mortain."
The characters in this book have a lot of spunk and show a lot of growth during the story.  Ismae's life was difficult prior to arriving at the convent.  She quickly embraces the training at the convent and cannot wait for an assignment.  Once she is given an assignment, she is determined to excel.  She is assigned to a very important task focused on keeping the duchess safe which requires her to be paired with Duval.  The longer she is on the assignment the more she realizes that everything may not be as simple as she had once thought.  
"One heart cannot serve two masters."
The longer Ismae and Duval work together they more they start to feel towards each other.  I was so happy to read a Young Adult novel that did not focus on a love triangle.  Not only was the love triangle absent, there was no insta-love.  This pair actually spend time with each other and get to know each other before any feelings develop.   Once feeling develop it does become a major part of the story but it does not take over the book.  I actually think that the romance in this book adds to the overall story.

"And while it is more than I ever dared dream, it is nowhere near enough."

 I was instantly drawn to the overall concept of the book.  Who wouldn't love the idea of assassin nuns?  The fact that this book is set in the 1400's seemed perfect to me.  Once I started reading the story and came across some of the special gifts that Ismae possess, it was even better since I love anything with a touch of paranormal.  I did not expect this book to be quite as political as it is but I liked that aspect of the story while it may become a bit tedious for some readers.  I do have to say that the book did drag just a bit about 3/4 of the way through for me but it quickly picked right back up.  I thought the conclusion was very exciting and I was pleased with how the book ended.

I do plan to continue with this trilogy.  In fact, the second book, Dark Triumph, is already loaded on my kindle ready for its turn.  This was the first chance I have had to read anything by Robin LaFevers but it will most certainly not be my last.  I would definitely recommend this book to others and feel that it is appropriate for most older teen readers.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Releases - October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are some of the books releasing today that you may want to keep an eye out for:

It will be interesting to see if John Grisham's comments during an interview recently will have any impact on his book sales.  His did apologize later on his website, or made an attempt at damage control) but it appears that he may have lost a few fans. I know that I have purchased a few of Mr. Grisham's books in the past but will not do so in the future. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I just got nominated by Paranormal Book Reviews!  Thank you so much for the nomination!

Of course, there are rules...

1.  Thank the blogger that nominated you, and link back to their site.
2.  Post the award's logo on your blog.
3  Answer the 10 questions that you have been asked.
4. Nominate 10 other bloggers and ask them 10 questions.

Paranormal Book Review's Questions and my Answers:

1. What is your favorite genre?  I love anything paranormal.  Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, Demons - I love it all!

2. Who is your book crush? Come on, I know you have one. :D  Curran.  I am in love with Curran.

3. Which love triangles do you love?  None of the above.  I am a hater of the triangle.

4. paperback or hardback?  Neither.  I am a kindle girl all the way

5. Favorite female heroine?  Gotta love Kate

6. Female or Male?  Last time I checked I was a female.....yep, I am still a woman.

7. Would you rather: get killed instantly or die of poison?  Neither one sounds appealing at the moment.

8. Would you rather: get killed peacefully, or go down fighting?  I am always ready for a fight.

9. Are you the geek or the popular girl/ boy?  Geek / Nerd all the way!

10. What are you willing to do to keep your favorite books?  I am not really worried about it.  I will always have something to read.


My Nominations:
1.  Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger
2.  Nyze @ EverythingNyze
3.  Lindsey @ Lindsey's Library
4.  Jess @ Books A True Story
5. Filippa @ Countless Books
6.  Kimberly @ Book Swoon
7.  M @ The Life of Little Me
8.  Sara @ Bean's Book Reviews
9.  Lacy @ All Night Reading
10.  Monica @ Avid Reviews

My questions:
1.  What is your favorite book?
2.  Approximately how many books do you currently own?
3.  Do you enjoy re-reading books?
4.  What is the worst book that you ever read?
5.  When you are not enjoying a book do you stop reading or do you feel the need to finish it no matter what?
6.  Do you feel like you must read the book before seeing the movie?
7.  Do you like to watch TV?  What is your favorite show?
8.  Do you like to read several books at the same time?
9.  Who is your favorite author?
10.  Approximately how many books do you read every year?

Thanks again, Paranormal Book Reviews!
Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly

The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly
Series:  Charlie Parker #12
Atria Books
Publication Date:  October 28, 2014
Date Read:  October 13, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Atria Books via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

3 Stars

It is really my fault.  I take full responsibility on this one.   I saw this book on Net Galley and thought it would be a great read.  It probably fans of the series.  That's right - I thought I could jump into a series on book number 12 and not have any problems.  Boy was I ever wrong.  

This was one of those books that I liked at times and just wanted to finish at other times.  I liked the parts of the book that focused solely on the main storyline in this book.  I was bored by all of the parts that were not directly tied to that storyline.  I am guessing that the pieces of this book that I did not like were part of a story arc that spans several books in the series.  I am sure that fans of this series loved those parts but I really just wanted to get back to the mystery.  

The death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter brings the town of Prosperous to the attention of Charlie Parker.  As Charlie looks into Prosperous, he finds that there may be more going on in that town than just good fortune.  As the town protects its secrets, Charlie works to find out what is really going on in the town of Prosperous.

I had such high hopes for this book.  I love anything supernatural and I love a good mystery.  The Charlie Parker series is described and a blending of the two and I do think that it that blending is well executed.  I was a bit surprised to find after reading the book that Charlie Parker was in less than 25% of the story by my rough estimates.  Most of what we learn regarding the mystery of Prosperous is comes from parts of the book told from various residents of that town.  

The mystery in Prosperous was great.  It was exciting and interesting.  It was well told and I found myself totally engrossed in the story.  Unfortunately, that was usually when the story would switch to something not connected to the Prosperous mystery and I would grow bored.  I really think that this book is really best for readers of the series.  

I am actually curious how I would feel about this series if I actually read it from the beginning.  I did like John Connolly's style of writing so I would like to read more of his work....but no more jumping around in the series for me. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Releases - October 14, 2014

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are some of the books releasing today that you may want to keep an eye out for:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga

Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga
Series:  I Hunt Killers Trilogy #3
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  September 9, 2014
Date Read:  October 10, 2014

5 Stars!

What a conclusion!  I LOVED this book.  I absolutely LOVED it.  Since the previous book in the series left us with a giant cliffhanger, this book started out knee deep in action and the excitement did not stop for even a millisecond.   I literally could not put this book down and ended up finishing it while sitting in the rain at a football game.  This book wrapped up everything in the trilogy beautifully.   As I finished this book, I realized that all of my questions had been answered and I was completely satisfied with the story. 

This book picks up right where Game stopped.  I was really not very happy with the cliffhanger ending of the second book of the trilogy, Game.  I just don't think books should end with absolutely no resolution - it is just not nice.  This book made up for it so all is forgiven at this point.  This trilogy really needs to be read in order. 

I liked so much about this book and this trilogy.  I loved the characters - Jazz, Howie, Connie, G. William, and even Billy Dent.  I loved how these characters grew during the course of the trilogy and stayed true to themselves.  I loved the dialog between the characters.  Barry Lyga takes a dark subject and injects just enough humor to add to the story without feeling forced.  I loved the gore.  When I started the first book, I Hunt Killers, I was a little nervous that many details would be glossed over since this is a Young Adult Novel.  Boy was I wrong.  This book is just as bloody as the many adult novels that I have read and to be honest probably more. 

I am completely impressed by how deeply we get into the characters' minds in this trilogy.  The first and third books in this trilogy are strong psychological thrillers.  The second book reads more like a mystery novel but after reading this book I realize that it set the stage for the conclusion. 

I highly recommend this trilogy and this book to both adults and older teens.  The subject matter may be a little much for younger teens depending on the individual.  I will definitely be reading more from Barry Lyga in the future. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
St. Martin's Press
Publication Date:  October 14, 2014
Date Read: October 8, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

4 Stars!

I must admit that I am not this biggest fan of anthologies but I ended up liking this one.  In my experience, most anthologies have some great stories, some good stories, some okay stories, and some not so good stories and this book held to that idea.  Even though I am not a huge fan of anthologies, I still like to read them because it give me opportunity to sample the writing of authors that I want to try without committing to a full length novel.  There were several authors in this collection of stories that I plan to read in the future simply because I liked their story in this book. 

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell - 5 Stars
I loved this story.  The story jumps back and forth in time on New Year's Eve telling Mags and Noah's story.  Every year they go to a party at the same house and it was fun watching their feelings towards each other change over the years.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link - 2.5 Stars
This story started out strong but then lost it's magic about halfway through.  By the end of the story, I actually felt more confused than anything.

Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena - 4 Stars
This story was quite good.  A lot was packed into just a few pages.  Shy is cat sitting over the holiday when a huge snowstorm hits the area.  Haley lives upstairs and is also snowed in for the holidays.  The pair form a unique bond over frozen pipes and banana nut muffins.

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han - 2 Stars
This story was weak and I found myself drifting off.  This is the story of Natty who lives with Santa at the North Pole. 

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - 4.5 Stars
I liked this story quite a bit.  Marigold buys a tree from North but really wants him to do some voice work for her.  One thing leads to another and he helps her bring home a tree and helps her fit the tree into her apartment. 

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - 2.5 Stars
This read more like a scene than a full story.  We see the boyfriend of a man dress up to play Santa Claus for the man's little sister.  It was readable but didn't really go anywhere in my opinion.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black - 2 Stars
I did not really care for this story.  A group of friends decided to throw a New Years party so that they can confront a boy.  To be honest, I just did not see any point to the story. 


What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman - 3.5 Stars

A pair meet at a campus holiday event and bond over apple pie with cheese, light up sweaters, and a menorah.  I liked both of the characters in this story and thought it was better than much of the anthology.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire - 3 Stars
A young man chooses community service at the church pageant over the alternative when a poorly aimed firecracker burns down the church's barn.  He learns that not everything is a joke and not everything is as it seems as he helps pull off the ill fated pageant.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - 4 Stars
This was a really nice little story about a little working town in California.  It is set in the local diner and loved the growth and change that happened when a new cook comes to town.

  Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - 4 Stars
On an impulse a girl trades plane tickets and places with a girl she has never met.  The results end up changing her life.  I loved this story and thought that the characters were wonderful.

The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor - 4 Stars
Believe it or not I have never read anything by Laini Taylor until I read this short story.  I need to fix this really soon.  This was a story that I would have liked to see extended into a full length book.  The world building in this short piece was well done and I can't wait to see what she can do with a full length novel.

I would recommend this collection of stories to others.    I thought that the majority of the stories were very good.  To be honest there were a couple of stories that I wish I would have skipped but overall this collection should appeal to a wide audience.  I definitely plan to follow up with some of these authors in a full length novel.

Monday, October 6, 2014

This Is How It Ends by Jen Nadol

This Is How It Ends by Jen Nadol
Simon Pulse
Publication Date:  October 7, 2014
Date Read:  July 27, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for the purpose of providing an honest review.

3 Stars 

I liked this book but must admit that I am a bit disappointed because I honestly believe that it had the potential to be so much more than it was.  A group of teens with the power to see the future using a magic pair of binoculars was such an interesting concept and I had such high hopes.  Please don't get me wrong this is a good book with a lot of positive attributes but it fell short in several areas as well.

Riley and his friends are hanging out in a cave playing Truth or Dare when they find a mysterious pair of binoculars.  They each take turns looking through them and each see a vision of themselves with the exception of Trip.  They shrug it off as a hallucination until Natalie's vision becomes a reality.  

The relationships between the teens in this book were very well done and realistic.  It was really nice to see a book with a male as the main character.  The mystery connected to Natalie's vision was interesting with the group trying to solve it on their own.  This group of kids had more details and know how than the local police.  

I felt that the book had two major negative points.  The slight paranormal angle of the future seeing binoculars was incredibly underused.  If I had access to something that could tell me my future, I would be using it constantly and I am an adult with a lot more restraint than most teens.   The biggest problem with the book was the ending.  I was so disappointed in how this book ended or really did not end.  There really did not seem to be much of a conclusion and what was learned towards the end of the book was really quite the let down.

I would recommend this book to others and think it would be appropriate for older teens who enjoy mysteries.  This is the first book by Jen Nadol that I have read and I would be open to reading more in the future. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Unmarked by Kami Garcia

Unmarked by Kami Garcia
Series:  The Legion #2
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  September 30, 2014
Date Read:  October 4, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown and Company via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

4 Stars

I was excited to get my hands on this book.  I recently read and enjoyed the first in the series, Unbreakable.  This book did not disappoint as it lived up my expectations after reading the first book in the series.  This book was a fast paced book with lots action, much like the first in the series.  I would recommend that this series be read in order because this book picks up right where the first left off and the events of the first book are often discussed. 

This book opens with Kennedy being not only separated from her group of friends, members of the Legion, but also being sent away to school by her aunt.  The book gets it title from the fact that Kennedy remains unmarked after killing a spirit which means she is not actually a part of the Legion.  She is not only crushed by that knowledge but by the knowledge that her actions have release a strong demon into the world.  She tracks the demon by focusing on crime and notes that a string of girls have disappeared - all of which look very much like her.  

Her friends have not forgotten her and she reunited with them after they track her down at school.  Her friend, Elle, is with the rest of the group.   Together they work to track the demon and find a way to destroy it before it is able to destroy the world.  Their journey forces Kennedy to look into her family tree for answers and she realizes that everything may not be exactly as she had thought.  

This book has a lot of twist and turns and is just plain fun to read.  The writing flowed and I found myself consuming this story.  The love triangle that I found annoying in the first book was gone in this book with Kennedy focused on only one of the boys.  I found the characters a bit more likeable in this book than in the first.  My only real complaint with this book was that there was no solid resolution.  The ending was not abrupt and I am actually okay with the ending but it would have been nice to have seen everything get wrapped up with a nice little bow.

I would definitely recommend this book to others that enjoy a light paranormal story, especially those that enjoyed this first book in the series.  I plan to continue with this series and cannot wait to see what else is in store for Kennedy and her friends. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Fever by Megan Abbott

The Fever by Megan Abbott
Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date:  June 17, 2014
Date Read:  September 30, 2014

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown and Company via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

DNF @ 23%

I hated this book.  I hated it more than I thought I could possibly hate a book.  I am not someone that gives up on a book very often but this needed to be one of those times.  I only read 23% of the book and I tried to push forward but it just was not to be.

Why did I hate this book?

I did not like way it was written at all.  I felt very removed from the story.  This third person stream of consciousness from several points of view may work for some readers but I loathed it.  I did not like the characters.  After reading 23% of the book, I could care less about any of the characters found within its pages.  I did not like the use of sex for shock value.  Seriously, the only goal for some of the things discussed in this book had to be shock value.  

I want to be clear that I have been a female my entire life and I have never assisted a friend with her tampon and I have never asked for help.  I would be happy to go and buy one for a friend but she is on her own when it comes to the actual use of the product.  This kind of helping just is not done and reading about it is just gross.

These were not my only problems with this book.  I seriously doubt that the whole school would be so concerned about this especially when only one girl was affected.  I really hated how this book read like a Young Adult book but such a focus on sex.  Everything from the description of the french teacher to a young man's thoughts regarding her sister.  It was just unnecessary and forced.

Did I like anything about the book?

The cover is kind of nice.  Really that is the only positive thing that I can say.  After the cover, the whole thing goes downhill.

I would not recommend this book to anyone.  I told my teen daughter that if anyone tries to give her this book to run in the other   This is the first that I have read anything by Megan Abbott and I am pretty sure that this is going to be my last.
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