Monday, November 30, 2009

Library 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. 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.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Silksinger by Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: September 2009

Author Website: www.lainitaylor.com

One Word Review: Amazing

First Line: “Whisper Silksinger knew two kinds of death.”

Synopsis: “Whisper Silksinger is the last of the secret guardians of the Azazel, one of the powerful Dijnn who dreamed the world into being. Relentlessly pursued by bloodthirsty devils, she flees to the city of Nazneen to restore the Azazel to his temple. At the same time, Hirik Mothmage is also on a secret quest, to find the Azazel and restore his disgraced clan's ancient honor. And behind them all flies Magpie Windwitch, first champion of the new age of faeries, desperate to rescue Whisper and the Azazel alike before the fall in the clutches of a sinister hidden enemy.”-GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: Ever since I read Blackbringer back in April I have been dying to get my hands on Silksinger. I was eager to find out what happens with Magpie, Talon and their flock of lovable crows. I was surprised when I started reading Silksinger to find that the main focus of the story is a new heroine by the name of Whisper. I fell in love with Whisper right off the bat. She is very unique from Magpie, in that she is very quiet, tender, and timid. At the same time she is still very brave and strives to do the right thing. She has a huge responsibility which she takes very seriously. We’re also introduced to a new hero, Hirik, who I also loved right away and was eagerly awaiting the meeting of Hirik and Whisper. They are very cute together and I really enjoyed learning their stories. No worries though, Magpie and Talon are still very present in this story and I was pleased to see that they are still just as amazing as they had been before. We’re thrown into the action from the very first page and it doesn’t let up until the end. The story ends on a cliffhanger and once again I’m left eagerly awaiting the next installment!

I’m still amazed by the world Laini Taylor has created. She is a great writer and has created a very complex world full of amazing places and characters. This is one of my favorite faerie stories and I hope everyone reads it! Its full of fantasy, adventure, friendship, duty, heartache, loyalty, magic, and I could go on and on.

Dreamdark Series:

Book One: Blackbringer
Book Two: Silksinger

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Troy High by Shana Norris

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: August 2009

Author Website: www.shananorris.com

One Word Review: Fun

First Line: “It was a late Sunday afternoon when I kissed my best friend.”

Synopsis: “Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider who fears that an epic high school rivalry is about to go up in flames, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena—who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders—transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten. The Trojans and Spartans pull wicked pranks on each other as homecoming approaches. And the Spartans’ wildcard football star, Ackley, promises to take down the Trojans’ offensive line. But the stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this one! It’s a great retelling of Homer’s Iliad. Cassie is a likable character. I think she suffers from “brothers-shadow”. She has two popular older brothers and thinks the cool genes ran out by time she came along (I can relate to that, having three amazing older brothers myself). Since her brothers are so popular she never really tries to fit in at her school Troy High (Trojans). Her best friend goes to Lacede High (Spartans) and she seems to get along pretty well with people at that school, at least at the beginning. So, I’m thinking her “uncoolness” is really all in her head.

Anyway, I digress. Cassie is all about keeping the peace while maintaining her friendships. She is surprised when cute girl Elena befriends her and really wants to keep that friendship going even when it means risking her friendship with her Spartans friends. The pranks are pretty funny, all the encounters between the Spartans and Trojans were also entertaining and of course the chemistry with Cassie and Greg was fun to watch as well. I really enjoyed the book and how everything ended up. A great read for anyone who likes retellings mixed with a little high school fun.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Girl in the Arena by Lisa Haines

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: October 2009

Author Website: www.lisahaines.com

One Word Review: Okay

First Line: “The clerk asks for my autograph.”


Synopsis: “Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I guess I’ll start with what I liked about the book. I really liked the cover, totally drew me to the book from the very begining. I liked Lyn, she was really understanding with her Mom and little brother. Even when they pushed her to her limits she still looked out for them and wanted to take care of them. I liked the overall idea of the book, the gladiators and politics involved. It created an interesting setting, especially the storyline with her Mom and the Wife Rules she had to follow. I thought the storyline with Uber (stupid name) was interesting as well. There is a bit of a love triangle, with Uber, Mark and Lyn. I kept reading to see what would happen, and again really liked the overall idea of the book.

There are just a few things that I didn’t like. I guess I will start with the setting, I really didn’t like that it took place in modern times. I know it’s a fictional book, but it just wasn’t very believable. We definitely live in a violent society, but there is no way they would allow people to kill one another in this fashion, even in the name of “entertainment”. I think the book would have been better if it took place in the distant future or in a fictional place. IMO. I didn’t really care for the writing style and thought it really dragged in certain areas. It would go from being really interesting to really boring. I also hated the absence of quotation marks, this really drove me crazy!

I didn’t really like how Uber was portrayed and how little his character was used, maybe because of that I didn’t really feel any chemistry between them. I thought it was a great angle to the story, but ended up falling a little flat for me. I also expected to see Lyn in action a little more. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say I was a little let down in that respect.

I’ve read some reviews that compare this to The Hunger Games. I guess I can see where they are coming from, but I honestly think the books are totally unique, so I won’t compare the two.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Girl v. Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date: July 2008

Author Website: www.collinsrideout.com

One Word Review: Enjoyable

First Line: “I glance around the auditorium, trying to take everything in without looking like I’m remotely interested.”

Synopsis: “When offered a chance to write an anonymous column for the school paper chronicling Dunfield High's efforts in Chicago's citywide literacy challenge, 16-year-old Luisa Perez jumps at the chance. She hopes to distance herself from her family's legacy of academic underachievement as well as to differentiate herself from the ten other Luisa Perezes in the school. The competition between the girls and boys heats up, as each group tries to outdo the other in fundraising. Luisa offers the girls' perspective for the paper, while another writer provides the male point of view. As if juggling her writing, a part-time job, school and a sudden rush of possible F.B.s (future boyfriends) were not hard enough, Luisa has to contend with her sister, Grace, who moves back home with her young daughter.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This turned out to be a very enjoyable story. I got a kick out of our main character Luisa. She’s had a somewhat hard life and has set a goal to graduate high school, something no one in her family has accomplished. Her English teacher see’s potential in her and asks her to write an anonymous column on a contest the school is having. She rotates each week with another anonymous male author. When she isn’t writing she is trying to figure out who the other author is. There are a few different possibilities and it was fun trying to figure out who the competition was. I figured it out early on and it was fun to see these two together, knowing something that they don’t know. I thought Luisa and “this guy” had good chemistry together. Luisa dates quite a bit in this book, so it was fun to see the different kinds of guys and was happy with who she finally ended up with. Overall, it was a fun read and would recommend it to anyone who likes cute high school stories.

It was pretty clean (I don’t remember any swearing?), a little talk of sex. Luisa’s older sister got pregnant pretty young and it shows the trials she’s had to go through by keeping the baby (instead of going the adoption route). I liked that Luisa had her head on straight and didn’t want to make the same mistakes that her sister or her mother made. One other note, the articles they write do have a lot of innuendo’s that I really don’t think a high school would allow, but it was still pretty clean.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Masquerade by Sierra St. James

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: June 2001

One Word Review: Enjoyable

First Line: “…and they lived happily ever after.”


Synopsis: “Meet Clarissa, a young, divorced mother in desperate need of a job to support herself and her little girl. Bring in Slade, a handsome Hollywood star, also divorced and in desperate need of a nanny for Bella, his four-year-old whirlwind of a daughter. Throw them together in Hawaii and the scene would be set for the perfect romance – except that Clarissa had to pretend to be married to get the job in the first place, and now she doesn't dare tell Slade other-wise.” -GoodReads


Kathy’s Review: Just one more amazing book by Janette Rallison (Sierra St. James)! I started this book last night with the intention of only reading a couple chapters….so of course I ended up staying up way past my bedtime reading the entire book! I just couldn’t put it down. Clarissa and Slade have great chemistry and Rallison really writes wonderful dialogue between the two. I’m not sure how she keeps coming up with awkward and embarrassing moments, but she does. Clarissa has more than her fair share, but they really are endearing moments and make you like her all the more. I thought the storyline was pretty original and it was fun seeing a glimpse into the Hollywood lifestyle. I was sad when the book ended, I would love to have had a few more chapters but was of course happy with how things ended up. Great book!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Moon


My last couple of book reviews have been quite negative and to prove to myself and to you that I do occasionally find things I really like, I'm happy to report that I saw New Moon Saturday morning and I really really liked it. Everyone kept saying, "It's way better than Twilight." and in the back of my mind I was thinking, "That's not that hard." It's not even on the same planet...heck same universe as Twilight. Gone was the weird uncomfortable stares and parts that were glaringly out of place. The movie stuck to the book so closely, with only a few parts that were all out invented. I felt like they moved the story along with good transitions. Bella was likable, Jessica and Mike hilarious, Jacob so adorable, Volturi very scary, and wolves spot on to my imagination. I must say I felt like such a cougar because if the guy that plays Jacob were 12 years older I would run away with him! His shirtless moments were of course my favorites and sadly made Edward look a little on the wimpy side. I'm excited to see what they do with Eclipse which won't be a long wait because it comes out in June 2010.

Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog

Genre: YA Fantasy

Author Website: www.cynbalog.com

One Word Review: Enjoyable

First Line: “People call me spooky.”

Synopsis: “Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne are a match made in heaven. They've been best friends since birth, they tell each other everything, and oh yeah- they're totally hot for each other. But a week before their joint Sweet Sixteen bash, everything changes. Cam's awkward cousin Pip comes to stay, and Morgan is stunned when her formerly perfect boyfriend seems to be drifting away. When Morgan demands answers, she's shocked to discover the source of Cam's distance isn't another girl- it's another world. Pip claims that Cam is a fairy. No, seriously. A fairy. And now his people want Cam to return to their world and take his rightful place as Fairy King. Determined to keep Cam with her, Morgan plots to fool the fairies. But as Cam continues to change, she has to decide once and for all if he really is her destiny, and if their “perfect” love can weather an uncertain future.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I started reading this one a little while ago and put it down to read a few other books and I decided today to give it another try. Looking back, I’m not sure why I didn’t get into it right away (maybe I was nervous for the outcome) because I ended up really enjoying the story. For me the whole thing was bitter-sweet, and I’m still a little sad about how everything ended up, even though it’s clear things ended the way they were supposed to. I liked Morgan, Cameron and Pip. It was an interesting love triangle, in which I still feel one of them gets the short end of the stick. I didn’t feel that Morgan’s “abilities” were really explained well enough, but they did add an interesting aspect to the story. I guess I’ve gotten used to reading so many series that I’m a little sad this is a standalone book. I wouldn’t mind a companion novel that follows a certain character and maybe give them a “happily ever after” of their own. A really enjoyable read, unique story and fun fairy lore.

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.


Fairy Tale
By Cyn Balog
Page 102


“Pip inspects them, then puts them on and looks in the mirror again, with a grin. And the slightest bit of confidence. And that’s when I get the first hint that I’m in over my head.”

Splendor by Anna Godbersen

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.theluxebooks.com

One Word Review: Mediocre

First Line: “Fifty years ago, every American girl wanted to be a European princess.”

Synopsis: “A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes. Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.” -GoodReads

Jess’s Review: If a debutante's greatest fear is that the public will lose interest in her; then her fear became a reality in Splendor. It was only because I was invested in the series that I enjoyed Splendor as much as I did. Frankly, there is not one thing in the book that could not have been accomplished in book three. The book is slow to get going, the story lines tired and predictable and in the end it felt like beating a dead horse. The ending was rushed and left me feeling like the rest of the book was just a filler to get to the last 50 or so pages. Carolina is on the cover of this book and to me she was a peripheral character and not capable to carrying most of the book. Like Kath, I think the series would have been better off as a concise trilogy. Hmm, where have I heard that before? Cough, Cough Stephanie Meyer...ahem. I am very partial to trilogies. I think you must have one heck of a story line to carry more books and keep my interest. However, I'm glad I saw this one through. I liked seeing how each character ended up and that each character seemed to get their just desserts. The series was a fun one and this one was fun as well, just to a much lesser degree. I say the series is definitely worth your time and that Splendor is easy to skim!

Reading Order:
Book One: Luxe
Book Two: Rumors
Book Three: Envy
Book Four: Splendor

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unclaimed Heart by Kim Wilkins

Genre: YA Fiction

Publication Date
: July 2009

Author Website: www.fantasticthoughts.wordpress.com/

One Word Review: Good

First Line: “Constance burst into the sunlight and began the last dash towards home from Dr. Poole’s: precisely where she wasn’t supposed to be.”

Synopsis: “The rules for a young English woman in 1799 are simple: Do what you’re told; stay out of the way; and don’t, under any circumstances, ask questions. But Constance Blackchurch is insatiable, headstrong,and complex; and the quest to find her missing mother is too much to resist…s is Alexandre Sans-Nom, the pearl diver who steals her heart, uproots all of her social expectations,and can either ruin or save the family she loves.”-GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I’ve been reading this one off and on for about a week and finally sat down today to finish it. I did enjoy the story; it was original in some ways and predictable in others. Constance was a likable heroine, easy to relate to and I admired her spunk. I thought the story between her and her father was nice, how she was able to get to know him and see him in a different light. You can’t help but like Alexandre. He was a good leading man with all the right qualities. Constance and Alexandre had good chemistry together, although I would have liked to see them together more before they make any declarations. I guess that’s just how it goes though. The ending was a little bitter-sweet, but I’m happy with how everything works out. A good, entertaining read.

Library 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. 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.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

Genre: YA Fiction

One Word Review: Fun

First Line: “Megan, we need to talk.”

Synopsis: “Megan is used to moving from place to place -- it's typical for an army brat. But she drew the line at South Korea. She insists on staying in the States to finish her last two years of high school. So her parents made arrangements for Megan to live with their friends, the McGowans...and the McGowans' 7 sons. Turns out, living with 7 boys might as well be a foreign country! The boys are messy. They are cliquey (who knew?). And worst of all, two of the oldest boys are H-O-T. (A problem considering they are supposed to be Megan's "brothers.") Megan is definitely in enemy territory. She needs to win over the boys' hearts without totally crushing her own. And when Megan starts falling for one of them, sibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning....What is a girl to do?” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would, which is always a good thing. I really liked Megan’s character and how she really started sticking up for herself, which you really have to do when you’re living in a house full of guys! I thought this was a pretty original storyline and because of the situation there are plenty of awkward moments between Megan and the boys. I liked that Megan was such a nice person who really tries to do the right thing. She brings out the best in the people around her. I wouldn’t mind a sequel to the story of Megan’s senior year and a little more about who she ends up with. Fun story, pretty clean (there is a little swearing and talk of sex, but nothing in detail).

Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee

Genre: YA Fantasy

Author Website: www.tanithlee.com

One Word Review: Good

First Line: “Yes. I stole this. This book.”

Synopsis: “All her life, Claidi has endured hardship in the House, where she must obey a spoiled princess. Then a golden stranger arrives, living proof of a world beyond the House walls. Claidi risks all to free the charming prisoner and accompanies him across the Waste toward his faraway home. It is a difficult yet marvelous journey, and all the while Claidi is at the side of a man she could come to love. That is, until they reach his home . . . and the Wolf Tower.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: La Coccinelle at Lady Bug Reads participates in a fun meme called “Share-a-Book Saturday”. Every Saturday you share or recommend a book that you think you’re followers would enjoy. In a way this kind of reminds me of Angieville’s Retro Friday Review and other similar memes.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago Lady Bug Reads chose Wolf Tower as their share-a-book and it really sounded like the kind of book that I would enjoy. I finally got a copy from the library and read it last night. I really did enjoy it, overall. Its written in journal format, which isn’t usually my favorite. I do wish there had been a little more dialogue and interaction between Claidi and Argul. Having said that, I did enjoy the book and Claidi’s journey. Claidi is a fun heroine with spunk and decides to take action and change her life. There was a lot of traveling going on in this story and by time we arrive at the final destination things got wrapped up a little too quickly, IMO. This is the first in a series of four books, so I imagine you’ll probably get more out of it if you read the rest of the series.

Reading Order:
Book One: Wolf Tower
Book Two: Wolf Star
Book Three: Wolf Queen
Book Four: Wolf Wing

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Icing on the Lake by Catherine Clark

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.catherineclark.com

One Word Review: Okay

First Line: “Stop. Stop! I commanded my skates.”

Kathy’s Review: This was a cute story. Kirsten moves to Minneapolis for a month to help her sister, who has a broken leg. As soon as she arrives she meets the super cute Benson brothers. Sean is really cute and acts totally interested, while Conor is equally cute, but acts like he hates her. The story moved along quickly, nothing really exciting happened. I was kind of disappointed with how Kirsten handled the situation, but overall thought it was an okay story. It seems like most of the books I read lately have had a similar theme of the girl liking the super popular guy and then ending up with someone else. What’s up with that?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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:

Do you think any current author is of the same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?

Hmmm, that’s a really tough question. To be honest, I think it’s impossible to really compare modern authors with the classic authors. The genre’s and writing styles have changed so much over the years that it would be unfair to really compare J.K. Rowling’s work to Charles Dickens. I do think authors like C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkein come pretty close though. They were both fantastic writers and still have that classic feel to their stories. I think the Lord of the Rings saga will definitely be around 100 years from now, as well as the Chronicles of Narnia.

I do want to give a shout out to Megan Whalen Turner. Her Queen’s Thief series is pure genius. She is a fantastic writer and each book gets better and better as the series progresses. I also love Sharon Shinn’s work, I’ve really enjoyed her books and still have a few of hers I need to read. Below is just a list of some of the amazing authors that I love:

Nancy Campbell Allen
Cinda Williams Chima
Suzanne Collins
Jessica Day George
Shannon Hale
Janette Rallison

There are many more, but those are just a few that sprang to mind when I thought of who my favorites are.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Top Ten TV Couples

I saw this fun meme over on Angieville's blog and thought it would be a fun one to participate in. All you have to do is compile a list of your top ten favorite TV couples and pass it on. It was hard to narrow it down and I ended up spliting it up by sitcoms and dramas. Below are my fun choices:

CHEERS: Sam and Diane

FRAISER: Niles and Daphne

SEINFELD: Jerry and Elaine
FRIENDS: Ross and RachelTHE OFFICE: Jim and Pam
DAWSONS CREEK: Pacey and Joey
FELICITY: Ben & Felicity
LOST: Jack and Kate
SMALLVILLE: Clark and Lois
CHUCK: Chuck and Sarah

Who are your favorites?
P.S. I forgot to add Stefan and Elena from Vampire Diaries!!

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


Scones and Sensibility
By Lindsay Eland
Release Date: December 22, 2009

Synopsis: “Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful land, a time where a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers. But alas, she was not. This, however, does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with a summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents bakery (how quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force…um…encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together…whether they want to be or not.”-GoodReads


Why I’m Waiting: Doesn’t this sound cute? I have a feeling Polly will be quite the matchmaker, and I can’t help thinking that all her matches aren’t going to go as planned. I hope that Polly has a little romance of her own along the way as well. I thought the cover was really cute and I also thought the title was a cute take on “Sense and Sensibility”. Anyway, I’m really excited for this one to be released.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What the Doctor Ordered by Sierra St. James (aka Janette Rallison)

Genre: Fiction

Author Website: www.janette-rallison.blogspot.com

One Word Review: Entertaining

First Line: “The topic of conversation at the Baxters’ dinner table was insanity.”

Synopsis: “They've never been out on a date. They can barely speak a civil word to each other when they find themselves in the same room. But Aunt Bertie, who is not crazy, just -eccentric- knows that John and Ellie belong together, and she's doing all she can to further their cause. When Ellie comes to Colton Idaho, to spend the summer with Aunt Bertie and prove to her parents that her aunt doesn't belong in an assisted-care facility, the confusion begins. Bertie's determination to marry Ellie off to Dr. John Flynn leads to a hilarious string of miscommunications in this delightful romantic comedy.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I believe that Janette Rallison is the queen of writing romantic comedies. I just love all her books and I was so excited when I found out last week that she had originally written four books under the pen-name Sierra St. James. Thank goodness for Amazon Marketplace where I am able to order used editions of these books. I received What the Doctor Ordered yesterday and only stopped reading when I had to attend class, and then quickly started when I got home and stayed up past my bedtime to finish it.

This book was a little unique from the other Rallison books that I have read. Instead of being teenagers the main characters were actually adults. This was a pleasant change and I felt like I was really able to relate to Ellie. I really enjoyed Ellie’s character; she is witty, kind and just has a great personality. I liked John as well. This was another unique aspect of the book; we were able to hear things from both Ellie and John’s perspective. This was a great way to get to know John and his motives. I thought they had good chemistry together and this was definitely a fun read. I also loved Bertie; she is so creative and I thought she really added a lot to the story.

So, I obviously really enjoyed this book, however there were two things that in the “real world” I wouldn’t like. First, Ellie is 21 and John is 33. The 12 year age difference is a little too long for me (I know age doesn’t matter, but it’s still quite the gap). And second, the whole story took place in about a two week time frame, if you’re dating and getting engaged in two weeks you’re moving way too fast. People should date for at least a year, IMHO. Still a great book and I totally would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good romantic comedy.

Sierra St. James Books:
Trial of the Heart
Masquerade
Time Riders
What the Doctor Ordered

Monday, November 16, 2009

Library 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. 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.

Jessica will be taking a little break from BWN so I’ll be taking over her weeks for our fun meme’s. Below are just a few of the books I have checked out this Monday.




Sunday, November 15, 2009

Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.rachelhawthorne.net

One Word Review: Fun

First Line: “’A totally hot ski instructor,’ Leah suddenly announced excitedly.”

Kathy’s Review: This was a fun read, I enjoyed Kate’s character. She’s had a major crush on her brothers friend Brad, and is disappointed when he shows interest in someone else. Kate soon gets to know Joe, another friend of her brothers, and finds that she has a lot in common with him. I thought Joe and Kate had good chemistry, and I really enjoyed Joe’s character. Everyone kind of paired off early on and I kind of missed getting to know the other characters, especially Leah and Allie.

The only thing that bothered me was that the high school seniors were sleeping with these college guys, not sure if they were just sleeping or if more was going on, but for some reason it rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I’m just old fashioned. The book is actually really clean, and I still really enjoyed the story. It reminded me a little of the last book I read, The Ex Games, and I think Hayden and Nick may have had a little better chemistry than Kate and Joe. Both good reads though.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.jennifer-echols.com

One Word Review: Fun

First Line: “At the groan of a door opening, I looked up from my chemistry notebook.”

Synopsis: “Hayden and Nick used to be a hot item, but their brief affair ended with a highly publicized breakup. Now the two are "just friends," excluding the occasional flirtation. When Hayden wins the girls' division of a local snowboarding competition, Nick is unimpressed, claiming that Hayden wouldn't have a chance against a guy. Hayden calls Nick's bluff and challenges him to a head-to-head boarding contest. Their mutual friends quickly take sides, the girls on Hayden's and the boys on Nick's, making for an all-out battle of the sexes. This friendly competition is bound to get heated - and they might end up igniting some old flames.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I’ve been seeing this book a lot as I surf through different book review sites and finally decided to go pick up a copy for myself. This was a fun, light romantic story. I enjoyed Hayden’s character as well as Nick’s. They have great chemistry together, but not the best communication skills. They had a TON of misunderstandings over really simple things. I don’t blame Hayden for being reluctant to trust Nick, what with their history and all. But I couldn’t understand why Nick was surprised that Hayden didn’t trust him. Anyway, I’m rambling. I thought it was a fun, original story and I really enjoyed it.

One thing that really got on my nerves was how whenever Nick’s hair fell in his face he used his pinky to move it out of the way. Apparently this is a really sexy move for Hayden, but for me I thought it was weird and overused. If you have to move your hair that much, cut it. And who uses their pinky to move their hair anyway?

There is a little swearing, but overall it was pretty clean.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Reading Challenge 2009

So, I've decided to join another challenge! I love Christmas and was excited to see that All About Books was hosting a holiday reading challenge. Below are the requirments and my choices (for now, they may change down the road). They are all books that I have wanted to read but never got around to.

Challenge Requirements:
1.Challenge will start Friday, November 20 and will end Thursday, December 31.

2.You can read anywhere from 1 to 5 books

3. And now, here's the clincher... they must be holiday related books. That's right, the holiday doesn't really matter, but it would be more "jolly" if your choices were Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.............

You can find the rest of the info at All about N.....

Here is my list of 5 Christmas books:
1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
2. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
3. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
4. The Christmas Sweater by Glen Beck
5. Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright


I'm also open to suggestions for other Christmas-y type books in any genre (mystery, spiritual, romanic, etc).

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 True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
First Published: 1989

“Did the story of the three little pigs ever seem slightly biased to you? All that huffing and puffing--could one wolf really be so unequivocally evil? Finally, we get to hear the rest of the story straight from the wolf's mouth. As Alexander T. Wolf explains it, the whole Big Bad Wolf thing was just a big misunderstanding. Al Wolf was minding his own business, making his granny a cake, when he realized he was out of a key ingredient. He innocently went from house to house to house (one made of straw, one of sticks, and one of bricks) asking to borrow a cup of sugar. Could he help it if he had a bad cold, causing him to sneeze gigantic, gale-force sneezes? Could he help it if pigs these days use shabby construction materials? And after the pigs had been ever-so-accidentally killed, well, who can blame him for having a snack?” -GoodReads

I decided for today’s RFR I would chose a childhood favorite. I was probably in third or fourth grade when I first read this book. It was my first experience reading a fairy tale re-imagining and I’ve been hooked ever since. I grew up loving fairy tales and for some reason I never really pictured the stories other than how they had always been presented. So, when I saw this book at a friend’s house I was extremely excited to see the story told from the wolf’s perspective. The story is linked closely with the original with all the huffing and puffing, as well as the three different kinds of houses, which gives it a lot of credibility. Personally, I think the pigs we’re being a little oversensitive and were stereotyping poor Mr. Wolf. I loved the art work and think this is a perfect edition in any child’s library!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

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:

Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

Great question! I do usually try and finish every book that I start. I’m always curious how everything will end up, even if I’m bored with the story. Sometimes if the book is really boring or I’m having a hard time getting into it I will skip to the end just to see what happens, then quickly move on to the next book. Most of the time I will only stop reading if I don’t like the content of the book, like if there are graphic sex scenes or other material that I just don’t agree with, then I will stop.

I read for pleasure, entertainment and an escape, so why keep reading if you’re not enjoying the story? I have a huge pile of books to read and won’t waste my time on something that isn’t worth it. So, I guess agree that life is too short to read bad books.
What about you?

Wednesday, November 11, 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. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Dark Devine
By Bree Despain
Release Date: December 22, 2009

Synopsis: “Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away. As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.” -GoodReads


Why I’m Waiting: This sounds just like the type of story I enjoy. I’ve read a few reviews of those lucky enough to get an ARC (I still need to figure out how to do that!), and all of them have been pretty positive. It sounds a little “Twilight-y”, which isn’t a bad thing if Grace and Daniel can pull off the chemistry, but I’m still hopeful for a unique story. You can even read the first chapter by following the link below.

Tuesday, November 10, 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 Red Necklace
By Sally Gardner
Page 285

“Yann knew there was hardly any time. The only way to get her out was to be bold—and bolder.”

Monday, November 9, 2009

Library 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. 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. (Photos and description from GoodReads)

Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson
Katie Chandler gets a job offer from Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., a company that tricks of the trade to the magic community. She quickly learns that office politics are even more complicated when your new boss is a real ogre, and you have a crush on the sexy, shy, ultra powerful head of the R&D department, who is so busy fighting an evil competitor threatening to sell black magic on the street that he seems barely to notice Katie. Now it’s up to Katie to pull off the impossible: save the world and–hopefully–live happily ever after.



The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
A mysterious gypsy boy, Yann Margoza, and his guardian, a dwarf, work for the magician Topolain in 1789. On the night of Topolain’s death, Yann’s life truly begins. That’s when he meets Sido, an heiress with a horrible father. An attachment is born that will determine both their paths. Revolution is afoot in France, and Sido is being used as a pawn. Only Yann will dare to rescue her from a fearful villain named Count Kalliovski. It will take all of Yann’s newly discovered talent to unravel the mysteries of Sido’s past and his own and to fight the devilish count.

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
He holds the secret that can end the world. The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects; the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Genre: YA Fantasy

Author Website: www.cindachima.com

One Word Review: FANTASTIC!

First Line: “Han Alister squatted next to the steaming mud spring, praying that the thermal crust would hold his weight.”

Synopsis: Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister Mari. Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Helena, Princess Heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea-the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems like her mother has other plans for her--plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.

Kathy’s Review: You may remember that I chose The Demon King as one of my "Waiting on Wednesday" choices. I finally picked up a copy at the store yesterday and couldn't have been happier. I loved Chima’s Wizard Heir series and just knew that this book would be awesome! As much as I loved the WH series, I think I loved this book even more. It follows the story of a reformed thief and streetlord Han Alister who is trying to turn over a new leaf in order to take care of his mom and little sister. And Raisa the Princess Heir, who is quickly approaching her sixteenth birthday and will soon be eligible for a political marriage. I loved that the book alternated between these two very different characters with their individual stories. It really gives you a chance to get to know and care for all the different characters in the forest clans and the royal court and what struggles each are going through. Chima has created a great new world full of intrigue, magic, power and even a bit of romance. Han and Raisa’s paths cross briefly and even though they each have separate love interests, I can’t help but wonder if there may be something between them in the next book. This was a great start to the trilogy, giving us a lot of background information, character development, and left things with enough closure to make me happy, yet still leaving some cliffhangers so that I really CAN’T wait to find out what happens next.

Reading Order:
Book One: The Demon King
Book Two: The Exiled Queen (Fall 2010)
Book Three: The Gray Wolf Throne (Fall 2011?)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Splendor by Anna Godbersen

Genre: YA Fiction

Author Website: www.theluxebooks.com

One Word Review: Posh

First Line: “Fifty years ago, every American girl wanted to be a European princess.”

Synopsis: “A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes. Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.” -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: I’ve been waiting for this one for quite awhile and was excited to finally get my hands on a copy so I could dive back into the crazy socialite lives of Elizabeth, Diana, Penelope and Carolina. This was a good conclusion to the series, although I was a little disappointed with how some things ended up, for the most part I thought everyone got what they deserved. This book didn’t captivate me like its predecessors and thought it was kind of lacking some of the drama and intrigue that I enjoyed so much in the other novels and I think really would have been better as a trilogy. I thought some storylines were kind of neglected and then resolved too quickly (Elizabeth), while others were drawn out and didn’t quite have the ending I was expecting. If you enjoyed the first three books then you will probably like seeing what happens with everyone.

Reading Order:
Book One: Luxe
Book Two: Rumors
Book Three: Envy
Book Four: Splendor
 
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