Friday, August 31, 2012

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1) Review

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)**3.5 stars**
August 31, 2012
Kindle Edition

It was so easy to become immersed in this story and forget about my surroundings.  I really enjoyed the story and am happy it wasn't a typical "younger age" book.  The language and formatting of the book made it easy for me--I'm out of the target audience range--to read without finding it to be too childish.  In fact, it seemed almost more like a YA book than many books I have read within the YA genre.  I did watch the movie first, but I enjoyed the book more.  The movie is a good adaptation but I liked the characters more in the book.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series especially after the teaser added at the end of the book.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) Review

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, #1)**3 stars**
August 29, 2012
Hardcover Edition

An interesting and fairly original read although it did take me a few chapters to get into the story.  I had high expectations for the book since the majority of people who have read and recommended the book loved it.  I don't think it was as good as I was expecting, but it was still a good read.  If it is turned into a series, I will definitely be reading the next one.  The only issue I really had with the book was the ever-changing names for the Grisha.  I couldn't figure out which types fit into which category of which group.  For example, you have the various Summoners with their specific titles grouped together in another category (I could never figure out if it was Materialki, Etherealki, Corporalki or something else).  I finally just gave up trying to figure it out.  Overall, though, I did enjoy the book and would recommend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tiger Lily Review

Tiger Lily **3.5 stars**
August 27, 2012
Hardcover Edition

I really loved this retelling of the Peter Pan story from Tink's perspective. It follows the life of Tiger Lily before and after Wendy comes to Neverland (for the record, I still dislike Wendy) as told by Tinker Bell who has formed a loyalty to Tiger Lily and follows her everywhere. The descriptions of the characters was very good and the way they interacted with each other was well written. The story itself was a quick read, but didn't feel hurried or dense. I would definitely recommend to fairy tale lovers.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) Review

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)**2.5 stars**
August 24, 2012
Paperback Edition

I think this book was just a little too far out there for me.  The concept was very good and I give the author points for originality (romance between living and undead? When has that happened before?) but I just couldn't get into the story as much as I would have liked.  I did like the "ethics" presented in the book on whether all zombies should be exterminated or if some should be given a chance for another life, even if it is an undead life.  I still don't understand how some turn violent and some are still essentially normally functioning humans.  The explanation of prions causing the disease rather than a virus is by far the more believable reason for the walking dead that I have heard.  I wouldn't put it past those nasty little proteins to do something like that.

I finally realized that I am not a fan of changing narrative during books.  One or two different POVs is fine, but not four or more.  I just get far to confused as to who is speaking and what their personality is supposed to be like.  Pamela was really the only character I thought had a different voice; the others all sounded the same to me.  And when I wasn't in Nora's POV, I disliked her.  Her narrative presents her as a "strong" female who doesn't take no for an answer and will do rash things.  But the other characters seemed to always present her as just a tiny little flirt who primarily cared for herself.  I couldn't keep up on whether I liked her or hated her.

The romance.  I would like to say this first: GROSS.  I'm sorry, but the romance just didn't do anything for me.  She was in love with a CORPSE.  She kissed cold, dead, decaying lips and liked it (Katy Perry, I dare you to sing about that).  I think this is really the main reason I took off a half star and am stating my opinion as "ok."  I just... *shudder*.  Anyway, I won't be continuing the series since I didn't fall in love with the characters or the story.  I might recommend for those who like a little weirdness in their books, but not very highly.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Long Walk Review

The Long Walk**3 stars**
August 24, 2012
E-book Edition

This is a difficult book to rate because of its content and the tone in which the story is presented.  The story is about a walk that occurs every year and consists of 100 young boys.  The point of the walk is merely to survive.  Each boy must keep a pace of 4 miles per hour or else they receive a warning; three warnings and you are shot.  The walk ends with the last boy standing who is then received a Prize of whatever he wishes for the rest of his life.  King chooses to focus primarily on one boy, Garrity, and his interactions with the other walkers.  King also writes in an almost brutal tone.  He doesn't sugarcoat anything that happens, he just writes it and moves on to the next point which I thought was the most disturbing part of the book.  Readers aren't given time to recover as walkers are shot, some with a lot of detail.  I had to stop reading a few times and take my mind off the book for a little while, but I always ended up wanting to keep reading and find out who the last walker standing ends up being.  Stephen King knows how to draw the reader into the story while at the same time causing them to push back a little at the disturbing topics he presents.  I am really glad I chose this as my first King read and I will definitely be reading more of his books.  I might recommend the book, but really only for those who enjoy more "serious" reads and can handle the bluntness of his writing style.

Awesome Giveaway

Hey all!  Just wanted to make you aware of an awesome giveaway from one of my favorite authors, Cameron Jace.  It is a weekly giveaway of one Kindle book of your choosing.  Hop on over to his blog for more information on how to win and check out his books while you are at it.  I highly recommend all of them!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Thirteenth Tale Review

The Thirteenth Tale**3 stars**
August 23, 2012
Hardcover Edition

Honestly, I initially didn't think I was going to enjoy this book and struggled to keep reading. But once the story really begins it is difficult to put the book down.  The author weaves a tale within another and keeps you wanting more.  I absolutely love Vida Winter's story and the breaks between telling were well done.  Every time I started to get antsy and want to skip ahead to the "past," it would pick up again.  I wasn't really interested in Margaret's story which is probably why I had a hard time getting into the book in the beginning.  But I'm glad I stuck with it.  I don't know if I would really recommend the book to the general reader.  I really think you have to like the genre and the writing style to actually enjoy the story.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1) Review

Beastly (Kendra Chronicles, #1)**2 stars**
August 21, 2012
Paperback Edition

An interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but not my favorite.  I actually prefer how the movie portrayed Kyle/Adrian as simply a scarred and ugly human over the book's description of him as an actual beast.  I guess I like my fairy tales to be slightly realistic.  However, I did like how Kendra pops up here and there throughout the book and has her own happy ending, even if we don't know what that ending is.  The chat text was humorous and a nice addition to the story.  I would have liked to know if SilentMaid's story ended up following that of the traditional Little Mermaid since her part in the book ended before you found out if she ended up as sea foam.  Overall, the book was okay.  It wasn't really what I was expecting and I am slightly disappointed in the book, but that is probably due to my having watched the movie before reading the book.

Calamity Jayne Review

Calamity Jayne**3 stars**
August 21, 2012
Kindle Edition

A fun chick-lit mystery.  I loved Tressa even through her ditzy blond moments.  Who doesn't enjoy laughing at accident prone characters?  I was happy there wasn't really any romance in it which I feel would have definitely taken away from the story.  The addition of the bikers and the crazy grandparents was perfect.  I absolutely loved Joe and Manny and they were by far my favorite characters.  The tone was pretty light for the entire book which made the story seem a little less serious, but made it more entertaining.  I would recommend the book for those who enjoy sassy chick-lit every once in a while.

Illicit Magic (Stella Mayweather #1) Review

Illicit Magic (Stella Mayweather #1)**3.5 stars**
August 21, 2012
Kindle Edition

I really liked this book.  It was fun and humorous throughout the entire book.  It was an interesting take on witches and how they can and cannot use their magic.  The characters were fun and fairly well described and while I wasn't able to "connect" with them, I still enjoyed reading about their lives.  My only complaint is the bedroom scenes which, to me, were completely unnecessary.  There was too much description for my liking and the conversations that took place after each scene was ridiculous.  I lost track of how many times Stella assured Evan that she "didn't usually go around doing this" etc.  I wish the author had worked more paranormal creatures into the story, but that is probably in the next book.  I was a little surprised that Stella hadn't figured out what Aunt Meg was until the end.  Then again, she was pretty much clueless the entire time about pretty much everything.  Not my favorite character, but at least she was sassy most of the time.  Overall, the book was funny and original.  I would recommend, but maybe for an older audience due to the few scenes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

February Review

February by Lisa Moore**1 star**
August 20, 2012
Paperback Edition

Honestly, it was a struggle to keep reading this book until the end. The language was beyond irritating and extremely confusing. It was written almost as if the characters were taking down every thought as they move through their lives. It was constantly switching from past to present and from character to character and I could never keep up. Just when I thought I understood what was going on, the whole thing shifted again and I was completely lost. There didn't really seem to be much of a plot to the book other than perhaps learning to move on after a loss and learning to deal with your mistakes. But those are just guesses since that is all I could understand of the book. I would not recommend this book at all unless you are the kind of person who loves rambling, artsy language.

Origins (Black #1) Review

Origins by Jessa L. Gilbert**1.5 stars**
August 16, 1012
                                          Kindle Edition

First to explain the rating: I did not hate the book (which I reserve 1 star ratings for) nor did I think it was okay (which is 2 stars). It just wasn't good. The book is fairly short and I really think the plot suffered because of it. The characters weren't developed, the places weren't described well, and nothing was resolved. In the beginning of the book, we are introduced to several characters who initially appear to be important. For example, Bryn the best friend. Yet a few pages after being introduced to these characters, they are never heard from again. I had really hoped that Bryn would have made more of an appearance since she is, after all, the best friend. But all she gets is one little scene and then she disappears completely from the story with not even a little phone conversation to tie her back in. The conversations between characters were, for me, the unrealistic conversations that make you roll your eyes in disbelief. I'd be lying if I said I didn't skim most of the dialogue.

Next comes the romance. I couldn't keep up with it half the time! They like each other one second, the next they hate each other, then they are back to making out, then they want to kill each other, and so it goes. All in one or two paragraphs. I guess that just isn't really my kind of love story.

I think the overall idea of the book was decent, but the execution was really lacking. But that could just be because I'm not a huge fan of the genre. I wouldn't recommend it, but it also isn't on my "avoid at all costs" list.

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) Review

Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers**3 stars**
August 16, 2012
Hardcover Edition

A nice, fun YA book. It was a little long, but everything flowed well and the story never really dragged. The romance aspect was decently written (although completely predictable) and wasn't irritating. The language was a little annoying since it is very proper and supposed to reflect the tone of the period in which the book is set, but I got used to it fairly quickly. Sorry the review is short, but it has been a long few days since finishing. I would recommend to YA historical fiction lovers.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Island of Lost Girls Review

Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon**3 stars**
August 13, 2012
Paperback Edition

Incredibly quick read, which is good because I couldn't put it down. Which may not be the best when you start reading around 1am... The book moves very quickly and it took a lot of attention at times to follow the story. Right from page one, the story takes off and never stops going. While this isn't my favorite book by McMahon, it is still an excellent read. The story follows Rhonda (Ronnie) as she searches to find the young girl she witnessed get kidnapped by a rabbit. As she hunts for the missing girl, she is reminded of her childhood and starts to question the disappearance of her best friend years ago. I never really connected with Rhonda. I found her incredibly annoying and very self-centered. But the author keeps you guessing throughout the book and you keep hoping that the ending is happy. Which I have come to realize is probably why I love McMahon books so much: the endings are rarely happy. This book is no different. Everything is neatly tucked into place so you can at least feel slightly satisfied with the ending but it is far from being a happily-ever-after. A book I would recommend, but not as highly as some of McMahon's other works.

Revived Review

Revived by Cat Patrick**2 stars**
August 12, 2012
Hardcover Edition

The book never really got interesting for me. It started off slow and pretty much stayed that way. It wasn't a bad read, but it definitely wasn't what I was hoping for. At times it felt like the whole Revive story was just a subplot and the main plot was about loss and grief. I wanted to read more about Revive and the God Project, not about how hard it is to not have her new boyfriend speaking to her. However, the book was well written and the characters were really well defined. I was able to connect with all of them on some level. The descriptions weren't over-the-top but everything was described with detail. Not a book I would really recommend just because I didn't find it that interesting.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel Review

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel**2 stars**
August 10, 2012
Paperback Edition

The book was okay.  I liked that it was another aspect of WWII that doesn't get much attention.  The story follows one Polish Jewish family as the are separated while fleeing the Nazis and struggle to reunite and stay alive.  I really enjoyed the fact that the Stepmother was not portrayed as being evil and heartless, but rather fierce and loyal.  She did all she could to protect her family and keep them safe.  I didn't really understand how Magda was a "witch," unless it is just due to her Gypsy heritage.  It just seemed mostly like a childish nickname caused by her living alone for so many years.  Aspects of the fairytale were woven in very well and I never knew when one was going to surface.  The reason for not rating this book very highly was because the tone of the book was very flat.  The language didn't alter when "important" scenes occurred, leaving me a little lost as to where the story was trying to go.  There weren't really any climaxes to keep me interested in the story and want to keep reading.  To some, that would probably be the best part of the book, since it treats it more like history than fiction.  But I wanted just a slightly more dramatic tone to the book.  Overall, it was good and I would probably recommend to WWII historical fiction lovers.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dismantled Review

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon**4 stars**
 August 8, 2012
Hardcover Edition

Another excellent mystery/thriller. It took a little while for me to get into it since a lot of information was purposefully held back in order to make it more mysterious. I just wanted to know what had happened in the past so I could move on and enjoy the present story. But the wait was worthwhile. I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on and every time I thought I had it, a twist was thrown in that completely confused me. Throughout the book you never really know if everyone is crazy, if there is a haunting or possession occurring, or if there really are just real live human beings messing with the main characters. Eventually I just came to the conclusion that it must be all three because I was completely stumped. I absolutely love when I can't guess the ending to the story within the first few pages. This is beautifully written and very complex story that I would recommend to fans on the genre.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Am Alive (I Am Alive #1) Review

I Am Alive (I Am Alive, #1)**3.5 stars**
August 2, 2012
                                         Kindle Edition

Loved it!  There were some similarities with The Hunger Games, but I like this book so much more.  I was able to connect with the main character and actually get emotionally involved with the surviving Monsters.  The descriptions of places and contests was good.  This is first book I've read in a while that I really couldn't put down.  I took away half a star from the review because there were a lot of grammar and spelling errors throughout the book, but I know a newly edited edition will be coming out soon and I'm sure I will have to adjust my rating.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and finding out what Decca chooses.

'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy (Bombay Assassins #1) Review

'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy by Leslie Langtry**3 stars**
August 1, 2012
Kindle Edition

A fun story about a dysfunctional family of assassins. I loved all of the quotes at the beginning of the chapters from various movies. They definitely added to the overall humor of the book. I'm happy the author didn't go into detail on the romance scenes, although the main character got annoying as she constantly fantasized about Diego. Nothing too drastic and detailed, but extremely annoying. The book kept you guessing as to who the mole actually was, but didn't drag it out. I'm still surprised that no one in the family ever really had a problem with the "family business" and didn't raise any issues when a member had to be disciplined. There was a small rebellion, but nothing over the top. Overall, the book was fun and humorous. I would probably recommend it for those interested in the genre.