Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: May 2010

One Word Review: Fun

Author Website: www.janetterallison.com


GoodReads Synopsis
: Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia’s photo filters through the Internet, she’s offered a job to be Kari’s double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia’s mother has always warned her against celebrities. Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!

Kathy’s Review: Janette Rallison is one of my favorite authors, I love all her books and this was no exception. I knew this was a retelling of Charles Dickens book the Prince and the Pauper (which I have never read), I love retellings and thought the modern setting seemed like a lot of fun. Alexia was a great leading lady. I enjoyed her personality and it was fun to read about her experiences. There is a love interest in the story, it does play a big role, but to me not as much as some of her other books. It seemed like this one was more about Alexia discovering just who she is and her place in the world. The book moved along quickly and it was a great escape. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes reading good books.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Loyalt's Web by Joyce DiPastena

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Publication Date: November 2008

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.joyce-dipastena.com

GoodReads Synopsis: In twelfth-century France, King Henry II of England has just finished crushing a rebellion by his power-hungry sons and now seeks to tame the lawless barons who supported them in this corner of his “Angevin empire.” To this end, the king has sent the Earl of Gunthar as his royal representative to ensure that Prince Richard and his former cohorts faithfully adhere to the terms of the peace treaty. Far from being welcomed with open arms, Gunthar no sooner steps foot in the county of Poitou than he is greeted by a series of assassination attempts. All appear to be linked to the former rebellious prince through the agents of the family and friends of young Heléne de Laurant. A clever, intrepid young woman, she realizes that the only way to prove her loved ones’ innocence is by exposing the true assassin. Heléne races against time—and dark secrets of the past—to unmask the killer before the kingdom plunges back into war. Fierce determination gives way to mutual attraction as Heléne and Gunthar spar over the identity of the traitor. But their blinding magnetism almost causes them to overlook an even deadlier threat from an entirely unexpected direction.

Kathy’s Review: I just want to start with a little disclaimer. I had a major headache and a million other things on my mind while reading this book. I will have to give it another try when there isn’t so much going on.

I had read a ton of great reviews for this book and was really looking forward to reading it. I was a little disappointed, it moved along a little slow and I was bogged down with all the different characters and their very unique names. The story rotates points of view with Heléne and Gunthar. I actually really enjoyed the main characters and their story, I got a little bored when they weren’t together. Heléne is a good leading lady, although I did get a little tired hearing about how “plain” she was. I also really enjoyed Gunthar’s character and thought he had good chemistry with Heléne. Overall, I enjoyed the story and would give it another try down the road and would even read the companion book Illuminations of the Heart.


Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Reading Order:
Book One: Loyalty’s Web
Book Two: Illuminations of the Heart

Sunday, July 11, 2010

She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: May 2010

Author Website: www.kieranscott.net

GoodReads Synopsis: Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing. Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross. But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan. Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?

Kathy’s Review: Overall, I enjoyed the story, but would have liked it more without all the swearing and underage drinking. I knew going into it that it was the first in a series, but kind of think I would have preferred a standalone book. It leaves off with a few cliffhangers and I’m sure I’ll be picking up the next book as soon as it comes out. Ally is a likable character, she has been reduced in social status, but I think she would have been cool even when she was “popular”. The tension between her and Jake was great and I enjoyed their interactions. I felt sorry for a few of the guys along the way, but ultimately I think I’m on Team Jake. Jake wasn’t the perfect leading man, he is kind of the spoiled rich kid, but as the story progresses I think he really grows. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next book. It’s a fun Teen Lit book (minus the swearing).

Content Warning: Lots of swearing (including the “F” word) and underage drinking.


Bookworm Rating: 3

Reading Order:
Book One: She’s So Dead To Us
Book Two:

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: May 2010

One Word Review: Original

Author Website: www.teralynnchilds.com

First Line: “Water calms me.”

GoodReads Synopsis: Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush. Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life. When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Kathy’s Review: This was a really unique story that had me hooked from the start. I wasn’t sure where the story was going and enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen next. Overall, I liked Lily, but at times she really frustrated me. She is a little self-involved, but I think she gets better as the story goes on and I think through her experiences she will be a little more open in the next book. I of course I’m on Team Quince, he was a fun character and they had good chemistry together. I liked their bickering, but they could also be really sweet together as well. I wasn’t a fan of Brody’s, but felt a little let down with his storyline. He never really did anything to make me not like him, and I was hoping there would have been a little more reason for Lily not to like him either. Anyway, it was a fun read and I look forward to seeing what happens with Lily next!


Bookworm Rating: 4

Reading Order:
Book One: Forgive My Fins
Book Two: Fins Are Forever

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Genre: Fairytale Retelling

Publication Date: May 2010

One Word Review: Great

Author Website: www.jessicadaygeorge.com

First Line: “When someone knocked on the bedroom door, Poppy nearly leaped right off the bed.”

GoodReads Synopsis: Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other’s countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It’s got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

Kathy’s Review: Loved it! This was an interesting take on the Cinderella story, told from the perspective of Poppy, Christian and Eleanora. I’m thinking Eleanora is supposed to be the “Cinderella” character, but the main characters are really Poppy and Christian. I loved both, they were fun to read and I enjoyed their relationship. Poppy is a fun and unique heroine. She is a bit of a tom-boy, but is striving to be a little more lady like. She doesn’t take any gruff from people and jumps in to help when she sees her friends in trouble. Christian was also a great leading man, even when he was “enchanted” with Ella his feeling for Poppy kept him grounded. I hope I haven’t given away too much there. This is a sequle/companion to Princess of the Midnight Ball, it could probably stand on its own, but I would recommend reading them in order.

The story unfolded smoothly, was well paced, and full of surprises. Day was able to mix in common elements of the Cinderella story while still creating a very unique and enjoyable version. I think Day is an amazing author and I love her books, I truly hope there will be many more!

Bookworm Rating: 5

Reading Order:
Book One: Princess of the Midnight Ball
Book Two: Princess of Glass

Friday, July 2, 2010

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Genre: Fairy/Fantasy

Publication Date: April 2010

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.aprilynnepike.com

First Line: “Laurel stood in front of the cabin, scanning the tree line, her throat constricting in a rush of nerves.”

GoodReads Synopsis: It's been almost a year since Laurel discovered that she is a faerie, placed with human parents as an infant to help protect the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Although she's come to accept her true identity, Laurel refuses to turn her back on her human life-and especially her boyfriend, David-to return to the faerie world. But when she is summoned to Avalon to relearn her long-forgotten faerie magic, Laurel must depend on the charismatic faerie sentry Tamani. Her feelings for him are undeniable, and she is forced to make a choice-a choice that could break her heart. When a deadly enemy resurfaces and puts both Laurel's life and Avalon in danger, Laurel must draw on all her human strength as well as her faerie skills to save both of her worlds and all of those she holds dear.

Kathy’s Review: I don’t know how I did it, but I actually found a little time during the week to actually read. Although, it became clear that the days of sitting and reading a book cover to cover are long gone.

I’ve been looking forward to reading Spells for a long time. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed in Spells, but it didn’t “wow” me like Wings did. I think it may have suffered from Middle Book Syndrome. The beginning was fun, I liked Laurel going to Avalon and her time spent there, and of course her relationship with Tamani. Toward the middle of the book she returns to the human world and that’s where things really slowed down for me. Tamani was gone and David is the main focus. For some reason I just don’t like David. The last quarter of the book was still a little slow, even when the “exciting” things are happening it just didn’t seem all that interesting. I was also frustrated with Laurel who is suffering from the Bella Syndrome, where she loves two guys and wants them both, regardless of how it makes them feel. I like Tamani so much and almost wish he would end up with someone else, Laurel doesn’t deserve him. Anyway, I’ll get off my Tamani soap box and just say that while there were things that disappointed me, I still enjoyed the book overall. It’s probably a good set up for the last book and still worth reading. If you enjoyed Wings, then I think you’ll enjoy Spells.


Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Reading Order:
Book One: Wings
Book Two: Spells
Book Three: April 2011
 
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