Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Swine Flu?

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting recently and it was my turn this week to do the meme's, oops! I have been out of town without access to the internet. My parents recently returned from a year long service mission for our Church. I decided at the last minute that I would fly home to Utah to surprise them. They were totally stunned to see me there, and I was stunned I was actually able to keep it a secret (I'm horrible at keeping surprises). Anyway, while I was there I caught some kind of bug and ended up being completly sick almost the entire time. I thought I was doing better, but woke up around 2:30 this morning totally sick again. I had my flight home (which was awful) and just barely made it back to San Diego. Anyway, I will hopefully be able to get a book review up tomorrow and the rest of this weeks meme's done.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Author Website: www.carrieryan.com

One Word Review: Disturbing

First Line: "My Mother used to tell me about the Ocean."

Synopsis: In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Jess's Review: Overall I liked this book very much. It will never win a Pulitzer prize or anything but it was a quick read that was suspenseful, entertaining, and rather addicting. The book held a lot of promise and I got really involved with the story until about half way through where the book turned from an intriguing mystery where zombies are a device and not a central focus to a full blown zombie book. Fortunately, the story had enough momentum that I didn't care that there were plot holes big enough to drive a moving van through and that the main character Mary becomes less and less likable as she whines and becomes increasingly more selfish. I suspect that Mary has OCD about Ocean, as you can tell in the first line, and it grated on me toward the end. At first I was feeling the heat between her and her love interest Travis, but like most interesting things in this book the author failed to develop it until I was convinced that Travis could only speak one word at a time. The Sisterhood was another fascinating entity that held secrets that were never revealed and that really disappointed me because Sister Tabitha was almost more creepy than the Unconsecrated. I'm asking myself why, with all that going on, did I enjoy it so much? I guess because I jumped when I heard a noise in the house while I was reading it and because I did get some butterflies when I read about Mary and Travis and because I like the writing style where the reader is just as lost as the main character. I just wish that the story could have been developed in such a way that it could have come full circle and answered some of my questions. A fun read, but it could have been much more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Retro Friday Review

Retro Friday Review is a weekly meme hosted by Angieville. This focuses on classics, out of print books or just old favorites that don’t get the attention they deserve. This Friday’s review is:

The Indian in the Cupboard
Lynne Reid Banks

What could be better than a magic cupboard that turns small toys into living creatures? Omri's big brother has no birthday present for him, so he gives Omri an old medicine cabinet he's found. Although their mother supplies a key, the cabinet still doesn't seem like much of a present. But when an exhausted Omri dumps a plastic toy Indian into the cabinet just before falling asleep, the magic begins. Turn the key once and the toy comes alive; turn it a second time and it's an action figure again.




This book was originally published in 1981. My mom read this to my brother and since I wanted to be exactly like him I listened too. She would read to us before bed and I would snuggle in the covers and get lost in the story. I remember it being a little hard for me to understand but just thinking that my toys could come alive was such a thrilling idea! I remember the cowboy being hilarious for some reason. When I was looking through some old books I realized that I had tucked this book in with my beloved children's books and thought it would be perfect for a retro review. It is a great read. To my delight I also discovered, while writing this review, that there are more books in this series. The whole series will be on my TBR pile for my little ones.



Reading Order:

Book One: The Indian in the Cupboard

Book Two: The Return of the Indian

Book Three: The Secret of the Indian

Book Four: The Mystery of the Cupboard

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Market by J.M. Steele

Genre: YA Fiction

One Word Review: Blah

First Line: “Somewhere in the distance I heard a cell phone ringing, and I slipped in unnoticed through the side door.”

Synopsis: “When Kate Winthrop stumbles upon the Millbank Social Stock Market (the MSSM), she's horrified to discover that out of the 140 girls in her class, she's ranked a bleak 71. Determined not to accept her fate as a "junk bond," she and her best friends set out to make her the fastest rising stock on the Market — and their plan works. Kate is suddenly embraced by the most popular girl in school and attracts the attention of the hottest boy. But what begins as a fun social experiment quickly turns into an obsession, one that threatens to ruin her reputation, friendships, and a chance at first love. Will Kate survive the high and lows of the Market, or will her security crash and burn?” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: It was pretty early on when I realized I wasn’t going to like this book. It opens with our main character Kate (Kat, Katie) at a party. She has a huge crush on a guy named Will and when he actually comes over to talk to her she is SO excited. He is totally wasted and for some reason she thinks that’s totally sexy. I guess I like my guys sober. I kept reading, but after 100 pages or so I sort of skimmed through the rest. Overall it was just kind of boring for me and not really that original. Unpopular girl goes through makeover and rises to the top of the high school food chain. Turns out things aren’t as they seem and she discovers who her real friends are and finds true love in the guy who was there all along. Blah blah blah. Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but I really think in the hands of another author this could have been a cute story.

J.M. Steele is actually a pseudonym for two NY “entertainment industry professionals” (whatever that means).

The Brothers by Chris Stewart

Genre: LDS Adult Fiction

One Word Review: Underwhelming

First Line: Michael, the commander, stood at his window, his huge shoulders barely moving as the shudder passed through his chest.

Synopsis: As Peter read the charges against Lucifer, the enormous chamber remained deadly still. Everyone knew what the charges would be, for there were no more secrets among the children of God, and the evidence was damning, entirely whole, and complete. Satan was indeed in open rebellion. He was seeking not only to destroy the souls of all who would follow, but to bring down and destroy the society of the Father, to take His kingdom and power and glory and claim it all for his own. And because it was evident, and because he no longer denied it, there was no doubt of the outcome of the Council of God. Lucifer had to be defeated, his rebellion disbanded or crushed. He could not be reasoned with. There was no common ground. His followers had to give up their sedition and quit converting God's children to their dark paths or be cast out and expelled from the presence of God. Ammon shivered as he listened to the words Jehovah read. Damned for eternity. Denied their second estate. Cast out, never to be with the Father again. And so it was that the battle with Satan began.

Jess’s Review: I hardly even know where to begin my review. This book's target audience is people who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm unsure on what other religions believe, if anything, about our life before we came to earth. To sum up my church's doctrine we believe we lived in heaven, with God, before our earth life and that Satan rejected Christ and the Plan of Salvation and was cast from Heaven. This book centers around that conflict sometimes referred to as the War in Heaven and is purely a work of fiction.

To be honest The Brothers was a book that just made my head hurt. I can't understand eternity even in a novel. While reading I had a difficult time gaining a sense of time and space. The characters who are supposed to be so connected to one another just seemed to fall flat for me and all in all the book was poorly executed. The prologue and afterword were so strange and it was difficult for me to tie them in with the body of the book. I think I have a bias against male authors, in general, and this book made me realize why. Male authors tend to have little dialogue and what dialogue they have is forced. This could not be more true for this book. The descriptions were long and boring and the characters cheesy. The concept is fascinating however and the book did offer me a new perspective on the pre-mortal life and really got me thinking. I think writing a novel based on something that we know so little about would be challenging and Stewart was on the right track. I think I will give the rest of the series a chance because they take place on earth and although the prologue to The Brothers didn't fit in, it was extremely well written. I think Stewart was bogged down in a difficult subject matter.

Book One: The Brothers
Book Two: Where Angels Fall
Book Three: The Second Son
Book Four: Fury and Light
Book Five: From the End of Heaven
Book Six: Clear as the Moon

Waiting On Wednesday



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. After completing your post return to Breaking the Spine and add a comment with a link to their post. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:



Gone by Michael Grant
Release Date: July 1st 2008

Synopsis: In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE. Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...



Why I’m Waiting: As you probably noticed this book was released quite some time ago. I had to be creative for this post because I’m not waiting for any new books to come out but I am literally waiting for this book to come available at the library. I hope you’ll forgive the loose connection for this meme. I’m excited about this book because it sounds like a modern take on Lord of the Flies and because my sister highly recommended it. I told her I would read Gone if she would give Hunger Games a chance. The second book in this series, called Hunger, was released in May of this year. .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.rachelhawthorne.net

One Word Review: Cute

First Line: “For anyone not familiar with Ragland, Texas, the front-page headline in that morning’s Ragland Tribune may have seemed odd.”

Kathy’s Review: Danielle loves baseball and boys. This year she is determined to catch a boyfriend when the summer league comes to town. When she sees an ad in the local paper asking for host families for some of the team she talks her parents into letting a player stay with them, on condition that she not fall for that player. Unfortunately, Jason is not only the hottest guy on the team, he is also the only guy that Dani wants to date. What’s a girl to do?

This was a really cute, light read. I enjoyed Dani’s tomboyish character and the situation she found herself in. The book was lighthearted and clean, a good YA novel. The only thing I would have liked is if Dani had been a little older, or Jason a little younger. She is going to be a senior in high school and he is just starting college. It probably isn’t a big deal, but it would have been nice if they were the same age. Other than that, I thought the book was well done. This was my first Hawthorne book and I definately think I'll be checking out her other works.

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Genre: Fiction

Author Website: www.patriciabriggs.com

One Word Review: Good

First Line: “I starred at my reflection in the mirror.”

Synopsis: “By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for. Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after. It'll be her friends'.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: After each book I say that I’m not going to read anymore, and then I find myself reading the next book. Again, I think it’s because I just love Mercy and Adam so much. I was actually pretty happy with this one; I may have enjoyed it more than any of the others so far. Once again the vampires play a big role in the story line, which means there is a lot of blood sucking going on. Some is pretty descriptive, so don’t read if you have a weak stomach. I really think this series has made me a fan of werewolves, I just love them now! I love so many of the characters that I know I will keep reading the series and look forward to book five coming out in March.

Cover Comments: My husband totally makes fun of me whenever he seems me reading a Mercy novel. I don’t know why they portray her like that; it doesn’t really match the Mercy I’ve come to know. I also wonder about the tattoos, does she really have that many? Maybe I missed that, but I thought she only had one?

Reading Order:
Book One: Moon Called
Book Two: Blood Bound
Book Three: Iron Kissed
Book Four: Bone Crossed
Book Five: Silver Borne
Book Six: TBD
Book Seven: TBD

Monday, September 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday




Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It is open to anyone and is a fun way to get a taste of different books. The rules are simple and everyone is welcome to participate.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. Be careful NOT to include spoilers (you don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
5. Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teaser.
6. After completing your post, return to Should Be Reading and add a link in their “comment” section.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
By Carrie Ryan
Page 40

I have seen such horror and such grotesqueness that it never occurred to me that I would feel light-headed and weak-kneed when I saw Travis's injury. One couldn't grow up surrounded by the Forest and not see the most dreadful sights--the Unconsecrated with their hollow skin ripped and gaping from the wounds that caused the infection, their fingers cracked and broken from clawing at the fences, limbs attached by nothing more that gristle."



Reading this teaser makes me think that I will read this book during the daylight hours! My last zombie novel didn't work out well, so I'm really hoping this one pulls through for me.

Let's Be Friends Award


Thanks Andrea at the Little Bookworm for this amazing award! I am totally flattered! I'm glad I've found your blog. I love reading your reviews, you have a great layout and you always leave me the best comments! Thanks again!

Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers.

It was hard narrowing this down to eight, and it was also hard not giving this to a few of the blogs that I just gave some awards to. I decided I would pass this along to some of the more recent blogs that I have found (there are a few I've been following for awhile). These blogs are super cute and they havegreat reviews. So, here they are:

Libary Loot Mondays



Library Loot is a weekly meme that is hosted by A Striped Arm Chair. It gives book bloggers an opportunity to share what fun books we have checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate visit A Striped Arm Chair and add your post link to their site. It’s a fun way to check out what other bloggers are reading. Below are just a few of the books I have checked out this Monday.





I simply can't wait to start The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I'm reading The Brothers right now and I'm not really in love with it but, due to my little problem, I have to finish it before I begin The Forest in earnest. Although I have snuck in a few pages and it has already grabbed me in the first few pages.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.metteivieharrison.com

One Word Review:
Boring

First Line: “Long ago, there lived a wild cat that was the sleekest, fastest, and bravest of its kind.”

Synopsis:
“He was once a king, turned into a bear as punishment for his cruel and selfish deeds. She was a once a princess, now living in the form of a hound. Wary companions, they are sent—in human form—back to a time when magic went terribly astray. Together they must right the wrongs caused by this devastating power—if only they can find a way to trust each other. But even as each becomes aware of an ever-growing attraction, the stakes are rising and they must find a way to eliminate this evil force—or risk losing each other forever.” –GoodReads

Kathy’s Review:
I actually couldn’t finish this one, so I probably shouldn’t even write a review. All I will say is that it was just very bland and hard to get into. The first 130+ pages were told from the perspective of the Bear and the Hound. I never really got how the two “fell” for each other in this form. It was just a given I guess. I kept hoping that once they transformed into humans it would get better…it didn’t. In fact, Chala (the hound), still seemed too much like a hound. I guess I didn’t like hearing about hounds and their behaviors all the time. I didn’t really care for her personality, and how she really didn’t like humans at all and was constantly comparing them to hounds. And I didn’t care much for Richon (the bear) either. I never felt anything between the two. I remember not really liking the first book that much, but I thought this one sounded good (and I liked both their covers) so I thought I’d give it a try. It just wasn’t for me.

Reading Order:
Book One: Princess and the Hound
Book Two: Princess and the Bear

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website:
www.maggiestiefvater.com

One Word Review: Unique

First Line: “I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves.”

Synopsis: “For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I’ve been on the lookout for a good werewolf novel for awhile now and can happily report that this is a GOOD werewolf novel. Stiefvater has a unique, and believable, spin on the whole werewolf phenomenon. The story wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it was a little slower (not in a bad way) and more character driven than your typical werewolf story. I really liked Grace. She had a good personality, was funny, stubborn, brave and real. I also really liked Sam. They had known each other, in different forms, for so long that it was totally natural for them to fall for each other so quickly. I thought the book ended a little too quickly, but could have easily been a stand-alone novel. I hear that it will be a trilogy and I’m curious where Stiefvater will take the characters. If you like werewolves then you will like this very unique story.

I really loved the cover. I liked all the blue, with the bright red blood mark. Especially the image of the wolf, which I didn’t catch at first. I also loved that the entire book was in blue font (hince, this post being in blue font). At times I got so into it that I almost thought it was black, and had to have my husband double check to make sure I wasn’t going crazy.

Reading Order:
Book One: Shiver
Book Two: Linger
Book Three: Forever

Friday, September 18, 2009

Retro Friday Reviews

Retro Friday Review is a weekly meme hosted by Angieville. This focuses on classics, out of print books or just old favorites that don’t get the attention they deserve. This Friday’s review is:

The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again
By Bilbo Baggins (a.k.a. J.R.R. Tolkien)
Published: 1937

Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandolf came along with a band of homeless dwarves. Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse, unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo—alone and unaided—who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside. (Book cover)

---------------------------------------------------

I still remember my brother Rob and I going into the book store to pick up The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy. We were both in college at the time and thought it would be fun to read this series together. I went for the four book set, while my brother went for the combined set. I enjoyed reading them individually and actually finished all four books. My brother on the other hand only got through The Hobbit. We both loved it.

I think I actually like The Hobbit more than the trilogy. It’s a bit more condensed and I just love all the characters, especially Bilbo. It’s a fun adventure story, with all the fantasy elements you could want. I am so excited that they are making the movie, rumors are it will be released end of 2011 (that’s a long time to wait, but it’ll be worth it!).

Reading Order:
Book One: The Hobbit
Book Two: Fellowship of the Ring
Book Three: Two Towers
Book Four: Return of the King

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Forest Born by Shannon Hale

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.squeetus.com

One Word Review: Hmmm

First Line: “Ma had six sons.”

Synopsis: “Rin is sure that something is wrong with her…something really bad. Something that is keeping her from feeling at home in the Forest homestead where she’s lived all her life. Something that is keeping her from trusting herself with anyone at all. When her brother Razo returns from the city for a visit, she accompanies him to the palace, hoping that she can find peace away from home. But war has come to Bayern again, and Rin is compelled to join the queen and her closest allies—magical girls Rin thinks of as the Fire Sisters—as they venture into the Forest toward Kel, the land where someone seems to want them all dead. Many beloved Bayern characters reappear in this story, but it is Rin’s own journey of discovering how to balance the good and the bad in herself that drives this compelling adventure.” –GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I had really high hopes for this one. This is one of my favorite series and I was so excited to read Rinna’s story. So, I was surprised that I just didn’t like this one as much as the others. I’ll start by saying that if you read and enjoyed the first three books than you should read this one. Rin is Razo’s little sister and the main character of the story. She has spent her entire life in the forest living in the shadow of her mom. She finally decides to visit the big city and to try and figure out who she is. Rin was always comparing herself to those around her, especially the strong Isi, Enna and Dasha. She has the ability to people-speak, although she doesn’t know what that is until the end of the book. She thinks there is something horribly wrong with her and is constantly down. With the example of her mom and the other three girls she tries to be good and to do the right thing. She learns to have confidence in herself, trust her abilities and learns to stop looking at others and to be her own person. I loved meeting up with Isi, Enna, Dasha and Razo. I also liked the cover.

I don’t want to give away spoilers for those die-hard fans, so I’ll list the things I didn’t like about the book in the comments section of this post. I’ve read a lot of reviews where people loved this book and thought it was their favorite, so I think my opinion will be in the minority.

Reading Order:
Book One: Goose Girl
Book Two: Enna Burning
Book Three: River Secrets
Book Four: Forest Born

Booking Through Thursday


Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Booking Through Thursday. It asks fun book related questions each week. It’s a fun way to get you thinking about your books and share you're thoughts with other book bloggers. Once you’ve completed your post return to Booking Through Thursday and leave a comment and link. This week's question is:


What’s the most enjoyable book you’ve read recently?

I chose this book because it has just about everything in it: adventure, drama, romance, life and death situations, excitement, betrayal, and much more. After waiting so long for book two to come out and then getting a copy on release day and finally curling up and reading it all added to the overall enjoyment of the story. One of my favorite reads this year.

Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.


To read my review click here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. After completing your post return to Breaking the Spine and add a comment with a link to their post. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
Release Date: March 2, 2010

Synopsis: Beth has always been “the beast”--That’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Who could love a beast? Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist and receives the makeover of a lifetime. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Beth. Things only get better when her choir travels to Switzerland and Beth meets the mysterious Derek. They have an incredible whirlwind romance that makes Beth realize, for the first time, she too can find love. She’s no longer The Beast. In Derek’s eyes, she’s a beauty. But then Scott makes a heartbreaking confession to Beth that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous passionate feelings she has for Derek? And there’s an even bigger problem: Derek’s got a secret . . . one that could shatter everything.

Why I’m Waiting: I loved Morrison’s debut novel, Taken By Storm and thought this one sounded very promising. Not only does the plot sound exciting but I absolutely loved the cover, so so pretty! I’ll normally try and pick books that are being released a little sooner, but I have been waiting awhile for this one and couldn’t pass up the chance to get the word out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Need by Carrie Jones

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.carriejonesbooks.com

One Word Review: Okay

First Line: “Everybody has fears, right?”

Synopsis: “Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life's been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother's pretty much checked out. Now Zara's living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays & safe. Zara doesn't think she's in danger; she thinks her mother can't deal. Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn't a figment of her imagination. He's a pixie and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He's the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he's trailing Zara.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I think my expectations were too high for this one. Overall it was just okay. None of it really seemed that original to me and so the whole story was kind of predictable. I did enjoy it though, for the most part, and will probably read the second book. I guess I am use to the werewolves in the Mercy Thompson stories, so the werewolves in this story were kind of a letdown. I know I shouldn’t compare, but it’s hard not to. I did like the characters. And it had a good setting and a pretty good plot idea.

I didn’t like all the political ideas that Zara kept spouting off, maybe that’s just because I didn’t agree with them, but I thought it was kind of pointless and didn’t add anything to the story. I thought things moved along too quickly. Does the whole story take place in a week? Its only day one and she already has two best friends and is in love with a guy. Not only that but they tell her all about pixie’s and were-people and she believes them. It’d take me awhile to buy into something like that. And, I just have a problem with people in story’s falling in love that quickly, it’s just not believable.

I’ll end on a positive note. I did like all the different phobias, they were fun to read about and I thought added a fun element to the story.

Reading Order:
Book One: Need
Book Two: Captivate

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It is open to anyone and is a fun way to get a taste of different books. The rules are simple and everyone is welcome to participate.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. Be careful NOT to include spoilers (you don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
5. Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teaser.
6. After completing your post, return to Should Be Reading and add a link in their “comment” section.

Need
Carrie Jones
Page 1

“It’s a lot easier to understand things once you name them. It’s the unknown that mostly freaks me out.”

Monday, September 14, 2009

Awards

Jessica received the Friendship Bear award from The Ladybug Reads. Thank you so much for the award and recognizing Bookworm Nation. We recently started following Ladybug Reads and are big fans! It was hard narrowing down who we would pass the Friendship Bear too. Below is just a few of the friendly bloggers who always make an effort to comment on our posts, provide fun posts themselves and who have given us help along the way. Thanks everyone!

Kathy received the Honest Scrap award from Always Something to Read. Thank you so much Chantele for the award!! The award is to acknowledge those whose blogs are “from the heart.” After receiving the award you’re suppose to nominate seven other bloggers and also list ten little known facts about yourself. So, below are my nominations and fun facts.

Book Smugglers
Climbing Rose
GreenBeenTeenQueen
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
The Magic of Ink
Princess Bookie
The Story Siren


Kathy Fun Facts:
1. I read my magazines from back to front.
2. I LOVE the smell of books, I wish they had a perfume!
3. Besides reading/blogging, my other hobbies include photography, travel, quilting and scrapbooking.
4. I love teaching my little puppy new tricks, so fun.
5. I have a major sweet tooth and would rather eat dessert than dinner.
6. I’ve lived in five different states in five years (ND, UT, VA, RI, and CA).
7. I’ve always wanted to visit Australia…hopefully one day we’ll make it there.
8. I’m scared of spiders, hate them!
9. I LOVE movies and have a huge DVD collection.
10. I hate public speaking, I get so nervous I can’t think straight.

About Us


Kathy: If you couldn’t tell, I love to read. I may even have a slight addiction to reading, libraries, book stores, or pretty much anything related to books. I love all genres but mostly read young adult books. I suppose this is because they are usually creative, clean and can usually find any kind of genre in the young adult section. I also enjoy the classics, historical fiction, mystery, and of course I love a good romance in my stories. BWN has become a very fun hobby of mine. I enjoy reading, but I especially love letting people know about awesome books. I love when I recommend a book to someone and they end up loving it as much as me.

I'm a smidge over 30, happily married for over thirteen years and have four adorable kids. My husband is in the Marines and we've had the opportunity to move all over the U.S. and even Japan. Reading has been a great comfort throughout our moves and can be a great escape. I love Bookworm Nation and even though I don't have as much time with my little ones, I still love to escape into a good book and to share those books with others.




Deb: A busy mama of five, living in beautiful Wisconsin. Loves books and talking about books.

Library Loot Mondays


Library Loot is a weekly meme that is hosted by A Striped Arm Chair. It gives book bloggers an opportunity to share what fun books we have checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate visit A Striped Arm Chair and add your post link to their site. It’s a fun way to check out what other bloggers are reading. Below are just a few of the books I have checked out this Monday.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison

The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable


Darkborn by Alison Sinclair

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Need by Carrie Jones

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Echoes by Nancy Campbell Allen

Genre: Fiction

Author Website: www.ncallen.blogspot.com

One Word Review: Complicated (in a good way)

First Line: “When Adelaide Birmingham gave birth to two healthy twin boys on the 25th of December, she had no idea that before the old year was out and the new one on its way in, she’d be across several state lines with only one of her infants in tow.”

Synopsis: Jon Kiersey awakes in a hospital to one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen, and the news that his brain tumor is benign. Funny…he doesn’t remember having a tumor, and he has no idea who this woman is. As Jon tries to discover who he used to be and figure out his relationship with Paige O’Brian—the beautiful woman—people from his past emerge to remind him bit by bit who he was, what he escaped from, and what dangers lie ahead in the very near future.

Kathy’s Review: It had been a long time since I read this book and I was somewhat surprised when I started reading because I didn’t remember Jon’s story all that well. Poor Jon has had a very hard life and it doesn’t get better when he finds out he has a tumor. When he wakes up from surgery the tumor has been removed and he has lost his memory. This was an interesting aspect to the story. It really gave Jon the chance to look at his life with a little perspective and no guilt. He soon stumbles upon his true heritage and the true situation behind his childhood. I really enjoyed this novel. Paige is very likable; I could really feel her frustration with Jon and was hoping they would be able to figure a way to be together. It was good that they really had to work for what they had and I think it made them appreciate each other a whole lot more. This is the last book in the series, although each book could probably be read on its own. I recommend reading them in order though because certain characters do overlap throughout the books.

I have always been curious about the title of this one. The first three books all have “time” worked into their titles, this one does not. I sometimes like to think of it as “Echoes in Time” just for fun. =)

Reading Order:
Book One: Love Beyond Time
Book Two: No Time for Love
Book Three: A Time for the Heart
Book Four: Echoes

A Time for the Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

Genre: Fiction-Mystery

Author Website: www.ncallen.blogspot.com

One Word Review: Exciting

First Line: “Claire O’Brian viewed the empty spot on the shelf with something akin to dismay.”

Synopsis: For Claire O’Brian, a bright and beautiful archaeologist, working at a newly discovered archaeological site in the wilds of Guatemala is her opportunity of a lifetime. Unfortunately, the dig is being funded by Darren Stark, the manipulative ex-boyfriend. And if that isn’t enough, several rare artifacts have disappeared—and Claire suspects everyone. Enter “Bump” St. James, a handsome and capable private investigator. As Claire and Bump work together to unearth the mystery, their mutual attraction deepens.

Kathy’s Review: This was a fun mystery novel. There are a few different possibilities of who has been stealing the artifacts and it was fun trying to figure out who it was. I really enjoyed Claire’s character. I liked that she was strong, hard working, passionate and loyal. I also thought Allen did a great job giving her characters believable problems, like Claire’s eating disorder. None of the characters were perfect and aside from all the work related problems they also had personal problems to deal with as well. I’ve visited a few Mayan ruins before so I really enjoyed reading about that aspect of the story. Wouldn’t it be so fun to be an archaeologist! This was a fun read and would recommend it to anyone who likes mystery, archaeology, and of course a good romance.

Reading Order:
Book One: Love Beyond Time
Book Two: No Time for Love
Book Three: A Time for the Heart
Book Four: Echoes

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How NOT to Spend Your Senior Year by Cameron Dokey

Genre: YA Fiction

One Word Review: Odd (but not in a bad way)

First Line: “The story you are about to read is 100 percent true.”

Synopsis: “Jo O'Connor has spent her whole life moving around. When it comes to new schools, there's not a trick in the book about starting over that Jo doesn't know. But life is about to teach her a new trick: how to disappear entirely. They have to move again. Now. This very night. Jo knows better than to argue. Her dad is the key witness in a major case against a big-time bad guy. But Jo just can't resist one last visit to the school where she's been so happy. All she wants is to say good-bye. That can't cause any problems, can it? Now Jo's one last visit has landed her smack in the middle of a ghost story. Specifically, her own. By the time it's over, she'll have a whole new set of rules about what's real, what's make-believe, and -- most of all -- what's important." -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I have mixed feelings about this one. I really liked that the story was so unique and original. I like the idea that Jo and her Dad are in the witness protection program and are constantly “on the run”. It added a nice element to the story and it was fun seeing Jo’s take on transitioning through different schools. On the flip side, it was almost too unbelievable. I can’t say much without giving away details, but I will say that I found it hard to believe that people wouldn’t recognize Jo as Jo (That probably sounds cryptic, but you’ll understand once you read the book). There is a kind of love triangle (or square) going on, and I didn’t really believe in any of it. Jo’s first crush seems to happen a bit too quickly; they never really spend any time together and yet are totally in love. When that doesn’t work out she gets over it a bit too quickly, especially for someone who had been so in love. So, when she falls for someone else it makes me wonder if it’s just a passing thing. Okay, I probably gave away some spoilers there, but really the story is pretty predictable so I probably haven’t ruined anything. Overall, it was an entertaining read, I only wish there had been a little more believability with the plot. I did like the story though, it was upbeat, unique, clean and overall was pretty enjoyable.

How to Hook a Hottie by Tina Ferraro

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.tinaferraro.com

One Word Review: Amusing

First Line: “So, you and the baseball player,” prodded the twelve-year-old in te backseat of my car. “Is it true?”

Synopsis: “At 17, Kate Delvecchio has one goal in life: to become a millionaire before the age of 20. When Kate accidentally agrees to go to the sports banquet with the hottest guy at school, she stumbles upon a possible cash cow. The rest of the junior class is amazed that no-nonsense Kate could hook such a hottie, and one by one they approach her for help hooking their own. She doesn’t know anything about getting guys, but for $100 a pop, she’s more than willing to invent a six-step plan for How to Hook a Hottie. And how could that possibly backfire?” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I enjoyed the story idea of the two best friends becoming matchmakers to earn a little extra money on the side. I liked Kate, although she was a little too business minded for me. I liked Dal (Kate’s longtime best friend), and could tell from a mile away that he was into Kate, even though he had a long-distance girlfriend of his own. Kate has her hands full managing her matchmaking business, her “relationship” with school hottie Brandon, raise money for her future, and figure out her conflicting feelings for Dal. Kate really grows as the story moves along and her focus on money changes to her focus on family and friends. It was a quick read and thought it was a cute story.

Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs

Genre: Greek Mythology (YA Fiction)

Author Website: www.teralynnchilds.com

One Word Review: Fun

First Line: “I am a goddess.

Kathy’s Review: I think I enjoyed the first book a little more than this one. Having said that, this was still a fun, entertaining read. If you haven’t read the first book this review may give away spoilers. The story picks up a few months after the first book. Phoebe is still getting use to the idea of being a “goddess” and learning how to control her powers. She isn’t very successful and in order to master her new talents her step-dad has enrolled her in “Goddess Boot Camp.” Not only is she having to master her powers, she also is preparing for the Pythian Games (kind of the Olympics for the Gods) with her boyfriend Griffin.

I think the reason why I enjoyed the first book so much was because of the tension/chemistry with Griffin and Phoebe. I was wondering how Child’s was going to pull that off with this installment. Overall, I think she did a good job. There were still some misunderstandings, and they still had good chemistry. Griffin did lose a little bit of his edge and was almost too “perfect”. I do have a couple problems with that storyline, I’ll add those in the comment section. Phoebe was still a lovable character and it was fun watching her grow throughout the book. I’ve read that Child’s has plans for a third book and I’m hoping her publishers will let her continue Phoebe’s story.

Reading Order:
Book One: Oh.My.Gods.
Book Two: Goddess Boot Camp

Friday, September 11, 2009

Retro Friday Review

Retro Friday Review is a weekly meme hosted by Angieville. This focuses on classics, out of print books or just old favorites that don’t get the attention they deserve. This Friday’s review is:

Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone
by JK Rowling

As the story opens, mysterious goings-on ruffle the self-satisfied suburban world of the Dursleys, culminating in a trio of strangers depositing the Dursleys' infant nephew Harry in a basket on their doorstep. After 11 years of disregard and neglect at the hands of his aunt, uncle and their swinish son Dudley, Harry suddenly receives a visit from a giant named Hagrid, who informs Harry that his mother and father were a witch and a wizard, and that he is to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry himself. Most surprising of all, Harry is a legend in the witch world for having survived an attack by the evil sorcerer Voldemort, who killed his parents and left Harry with a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. And so the fun begins, with Harry going off to boarding school like a typical English kid? Only his supplies include a message-carrying owl and a magic wand. There is enchantment, suspense and danger galore (as well as enough creepy creatures to satisfy the most bogeymen-loving readers, and even a magical game of soccerlike Quidditch to entertain sports fans) as Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione plumb the secrets of the forbidden third floor at Hogwarts to battle evil and unravel the mystery behind Harry's scar.

Kath and I joke that we "owe" each other for certain books. I owe Kathy for encouraging me to read Harry Potter. Kath and I met at work and we would often talk about books when we should have been working. The fifth Harry Potter was coming out and Kath told me I had to read the series. I, for some reason, thought they were lame children's books. She finally convinced me and boy do I owe her. Never has a series captivated my interest quite like Harry Potter. I was so obsessed that I took notes on the books to try and figure out how the series would end. The books are magical and nothing is better then passing it down to my son who is finally old enough for me to read this book too. We started last night and I saw Harry Potter for the first time through a child's eye and I'll tell you his eyes were sparkling.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

Genre: Adult Fiction (Older YA)

Author Website: www.mariavsnyder.com

One Word Review: Okay

First Line: “We’re here,” Irys said.

Synopsis: “Kidnapped as a child, held prisoner as a teen, then released to act as a poison taster, Yelena is now a student of magic. As she struggles to understand where she belongs and how to control her powers, a rogue magician emerges—; and Yelena catches his eye. Suddenly she is embroiled in a situation not of her making. And once again her magical abilities will either save her life…or be her downfall. Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince—and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians. Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I didn’t go into this one with high expectations. I had read reviews that this book wasn’t as good as the first so I guess that may have tainted it a little for me. I thought the book was okay, but it was missing some of the excitement and originality that the first book had. I still like Yelena, although at times she seems almost too rough for me. I missed Valek throughout the first half of the book and was disappointed when he finally made his appearance. It was almost like he was only there for a “booty call” and nothing more (not to mention that I hated how he overused the term ‘love’ as a nickname for Yelena). Anyway, I did enjoy the overall story of Yelena finding her family, learning her history and mastering her magical abilities.

Like the first book the story does have quite a bit of disturbing elements, namely the villain of our story who happens to be a raping serial killer. I think these elements make it more of an adult book, not to mention all the “relations” with Valek and Yelena. I’m glad this is only a trilogy and will probably finish off the last book, Fire Study, just because I like to see things through to their end, and I admit I’m a bit curious what Yelena will get herself into next.


Reading Order:
Book One: Poison Study
Book Two: Magic Study
Book Three: Fire Study

Other Reviews:
Angieville
The Story Siren

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. After completing your post return to Breaking the Spine and add a comment with a link to their post. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Splendor
By Anne Godbersen
Release Date: October 27, 2009

Synopsis: It’s a new year, and Manhattan’s favorite socialites are stirring up brand-new drama: Elizabeth uncovers a dangerous secret from her past; Diana has an opportunity to follow her heart and claim her future, Lina discovers money can buy happiness…for a time, and Penelope finds that life without Henry brings unexpected pleasures. In this dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, old ties are broken, fresh bonds are formed and every decision comes at a cost.

Why I’m Waiting: The fourth installment of the Luxe series is worth waiting for because nothing makes me feel quite so guilty and quite so pleasant at the same time. In other words, the Luxe series is the ultimate guilty pleasure! I indulge myself in all the gossip and scandal and smile knowing that thankfully it is just a book and no one I know was injured in the process. Personally I’m hoping that Lina plays an extremely small role in this book, that Penelope gets a large serving of humble pie, and that Henry has indeed grown a back-bone.

Catching Fire - Jess's Take

Spoiler Alert: The following does contain spoilers.


I know a book is good when I can read it in 2 days when I have three kids and it's a holiday weekend. I could not put this book down and I have the bags under my eyes to show for it. Kath gave a great review of this book but I just felt like I had to put in my two cents...okay more like 50 cents! I don't' know if it's just because I haven't read anything riveting lately, but this book really drew me in. I don't usually like books written in the first person but for some reason it really works in this book and I feel like I AM Katniss. I hope that didn't sound weird. I can just feel her conflict as if they were my own thoughts. Katniss is such a great character. She isn't too idyllic nor too imperfect....she is just real. I like Peeta although he is just a tad too self-sacrificing. I usually find love triangles super annoying but this one is written so well. My take is that Gale is who she should want but doesn't deep down. Peeta seems all wrong for her but is the yin to her yang. I know the yin/yang thing took you back to the 80's but I couldn't resist. I like Gale but I'm not attached to him. I have a feeling that will change in the next book though. He will probably play a more prominent roll. When I found out they were going back to the Hunger Games I worried that it was too formulated. The fact that she could create the fear and intensity a second time was amazing. I'll tell you what, Suzanne Collins is one sick twisted freak to come up with some of that stuff and I loved every minute. The mockingjay's mimicking their loved ones raised the hair on my neck. I liked all the new characters and the mystery of what is going to happen. The cliffhanger killed me. I can't wait for the next one. Has she announced when it is coming out? Kath will know.

Tuesday's Teaser


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It is open to anyone and is a fun way to get a taste of different books. The rules are simple and everyone is welcome to participate.

1. Grab your current read.
2. Open to a random page.
3. Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
4. Be careful NOT to include spoilers (you don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
5. Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teaser.
6. After completing your post, return to Should Be Reading and add a link in their “comment” section.

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
by Beth Fantaskey
Page 128

“Catch her," Lucius insisted through clenched teeth, trying to roll over, gesturing toward the horse, which stood, flanks heaving, scared but still wary. "You can do it. Before she--"

I have to ask myself….why is Lucius having a hard time rolling over? I can’t wait to find out.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Genre: Fiction

One Word Review: Silly

First Line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

Synopsis: I could write an in-depth synopsis of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, heretofore to be referred to as PPZ, heck I could even copy and paste one from Amazon, but really what is the point? If you have read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice then it is her story with ridiculous zombie parts thrown in here and there to turn this classic into a zombie novel. If you haven’t read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice then please for the love of Pete read it before you waste your time reading PPZ. It’s a classic for a reason people.

Jess’s Review: Due a serious personal problem where I finish books, even if they suck, I read PPZ at the expense of far better reads like Catching Fire. It took me 3 weeks to finish PPZ and finally on Friday night I just hunkered down and pounded it out. My overall impression after reading PPZ is that the author Seth Grahame-Smith has been forced to watch the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice over and over by an overbearing wife, and as his revenge he has inflicted the world with PPZ. I picture him selling his manuscript to his publisher and they look remarkably like Beevis and Butthead and Grahame-Smith is saying, “Well, it is Pride and Prejudice on crack with the best lines stolen from the original author with silly zombies running all over the place.” With his publisher’s response, (Beevis and Butthead) “Huh u…yea yea!?!” How it got to be a New York Times bestseller is beyond me. Maybe he appeals to the men in want of revenge for having to watch the movie too much? I will say that it is pretty silly and does offer some laughs….albeit cheap laughs. I did find that it was funnier when I read it aloud to my husband then when I read it in my head. I would recommend reading it if you are really in need of feeling like a teenage boy who finds boogers funny otherwise I would skip it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.thegeekgirlsguide.com

One Word Review: Entertaining

First Line: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a high school boy in possession of a great athletic ability must be in want of...a bowl of oatmeal."


Synopsis: When Bethany--self proclaimed geek girl--makes the varsity cheerleading squad, she realizes that there's one thing worse than blending in with the lockers: getting noticed. She walays felt comfortable as part of the nerd heard, but being a member of the most scrutinized group in her school is weighing her down like a ton of textbooks. Even her varisty cheerleading guide can't answer the really tough questions, like: How do you maintain some semblance of dignity while wearing an insanely short skirt? What do you do when the head cheerleader spills her beer on you at your first in-crowd part? And how do you know if your crush likes you for your mind...or your pom poms? One thing's for sure: It's going to take more than brains for this girl genius to cheer her way to the top of the pyramid.


Kathy's Review: Was this that original? No. Was it predictable? Yes. Was it fun? Yes. So, this wasn't the most orignial story but it was still entertaining. Bethany is a good friend who goes along with her friend Moni to cheerleading tryouts. Both are stunned when they actually make it. Life doesn't get easier, actually it gets more complicated. I thought it was a fun read, Bethany was a likable character. I was surprised with all the Jane Austen refrences throughout the book, I think it made me like it a little more because of that. I did think Bethany was a little too understanding with certain people and I would have liked it if she stood up for herself a little more, or at least made certain characters work for it before she forgives them. It was missing some of the "romantic comedy" elements of a Janette Rallison novel, I would have enjoyed a bit more of that, but overall it was a nice clean read.

Libary Loot Monday


Library Loot is a weekly meme that is hosted by A Striped Arm Chair. It gives book bloggers an opportunity to share what fun books we have checked out from the library. Below are just a few of the books I have checked out this Monday.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

My review for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be forthcoming as soon as I can finish Catching Fire! I took a break simply to write this post. Kathy loved Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side so much that I’m looking forward to that as my next read. I have renewed Brisingr twice at the library and it keeps finding it's way to the bottome of to-read pile. I would love to know if is worth my time to read? It is such a huge book and I’m not sure I can recall what happened in the other books.
 
Blog Design by Imagination Designs
All images from the Beautiful Words kit by NewLifeDreams Designs and the Story Book Castle kit by Lorie Davison