Thursday, December 15, 2011

Torment (Fallen 2) by Lauren Kate

Here's a blurb from Ms. Kate's website:
Lucinda is sure that she and Daniel are meant to be together forever. Now they are forced apart in a desperate bid to save Luce from the Outcasts–immortals who want her dead. As she discovers more about her past lives, Luce starts to suspect that Daniel is hiding something. What if he has lied to her about their shared past? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

My Take
I liked the first book of this series, Fallen, but I didn't love it.  I still have those same lukewarm feelings for this installment as well.  I did like this one a bit better.  I felt Luce was more independent and that was a great thing for her character.  I also liked the supporting characters in this one as well.

I look forward to reading Passion to see where this story goes.  Can't wait to resolve the cliffhanger at the end of Torment too.

Oh and the cover is simply gorgeous!!  I'm giving this one 4 angelic kisses!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Demonglass (Hex Hall 2) by Rachel Hawkins

Here's a blurb from the goodreads page: That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

My Take

This is the second in the Hex Hall books.  What if your ex-crush were trying to kill you?  Then to make matter worse Sophie discovers she is one of two demons in the world.  She can't control her powers and they threaten her and those she loves.  She determined to go through the Removal, stripping her of her powers.  First she has to spend the summer with her, up to now, very distant father.  Will she still go through with the Removal?  What happens when she discovers someone is secretly creating more demons?  Will she ever make it back to Hecate Hall? 

I loved this book.  It was suspenseful, but also full of humor.  Rachel Hawkins makes me smile and even laugh out loud.  The characters are so lovable, the writing wonderful.  I read this book almost in one sitting.  I can't wait to read the next Hex Hall book.  This one gets five demonized kisses!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

Here's a quick blurb from Ms. Smith-Ready's website: Aura's life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend Logan died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows that he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can't deny her connection to the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she's not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura's search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets...and her heart.

My Take

I waited for what felt like FOREVER to read this book.  I loved Shade!  Well, it was worth the wait.  Shift was even better than Shade.

So much happens in this book.  We find out about the Shift and Aura's parentage.  The relationship between she and Zach really develops.  Yes, Logan is back and there are happenings with him as well.

This comes high on my recommend list to read.  I don't want to give away too much, just trust me when I say it's not to missed.  I'm giving it 5 violet kisses!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Here's a bit from Ms. Derting's website:
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

My Take

Violet is back.  She's still chasing down the ghostly echoes that haunt her.  She and Jay are still together but he's more protective of her now.  This is something she can't bring herself to appreciate.

Violet begins to realize that someone is stalking her.  Leaving gruesome gifts and notes for her to discover.  Can she unravel the mystery of who before things take a deadly turn?

I became engrossed in this book.  It kept taking me around all the twists in the plot path, leading me to its surprising conclusion.  The characters are easy to relate to and this second book feels like catching up with old friends with some new additions.

This one gets 5 breathless kisses!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith

Here's a quick blurb from the Goodreads page: What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan - the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah - unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.

Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy's story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.

My Take

First off, let me apologize for not updating my blog regularly.  I've been working almost 80 hours some weeks and just can't sacrifice the time.  I'll try to be better.  In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

Aahh, teenage love!  Great, right?!  Pretty torturous really.  Especially if you're Joy.  Her boyfriend, Zan abandoned her.  To make matters worse, she has no idea why.  He only left his best friend Noah to look after her.  Noah, who she finds excruciatingly annoying.

I wasn't sure if I could really connect with these characters at first, but I did.  I found myself enjoying the story.  There were times I wanted to scream at Joy to "wake up".

Noah is a great guy who is more than willing to be roped into whatever Joy chooses.  He keeps trying to show her what a nice guy he is.  I kept thinking, she had to realize it before he gave up and quit being a nice guy. 

Everyone needs closure, right?  Go along on the journey and see if Joy ever gets any closure with Zan?  And where would that leave Noah anyway?

This is one of the books in the Contemps Challenge also.  I'm giving it 4 sweet kisses!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Here's a quick summary from Ms. Forman's website:  It’s been three years since Adam’s love saved Mia after the accident that annihilated life as she knew it . . . and three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other.
Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, powerful prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My Take

Okay, the's lovely.  Not totally how I pictured Mia but I do love the cover nonetheless.  I have been waiting what feels like forever to find out what happens to Adam and Mia.  I really loved this book.  I really liked If I Stay and I know that I enjoyed Where She Went just as much.  It was tough to see these two characters struggling to know what they wanted and trying to determine if that might involve each other.  At times it was almost frustrating.  I won't give away the ending but wasn't disappointed by this book at all.  I'm giving this one 4 1/2 kisses!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Here’s a quick bit from Ms. Turner’swebsite:  The most powerful advisor to the King of Sounis is the magus. He's not a wizard, he's a scholar, an aging solider, not a thief. When he needs something stolen, he pulls a young thief from the King's prison to do the job for him

Gen is a thief and proud of it.  When his bragging lands him behind bars, he has one chance to win his freedom--journey to a neighboring kingdom with the magus, find a legendary stone called Hamiathes's Gift and steal it.

The magus has plans for his King and his country.  Gen has plans of his own.

Newbery Honor Book Award, 1197
ALA List of Notable Books, 1197
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Blue Ribbon List
Horn Book Fanfare List
Selection of the Junior Library Guild

My Take

I was so very fortunate to have won a copy of this book from the author in the hope that I would pass this along so that others could read it.  I am giving my copy to the library at my son’s school.  They are thrilled to be getting it and I know that many other kids will be reading it for some time to come. 

Now, about the book itself… I can see why this book has won so many awards.  It’s quite a tale.   I do feel it’s geared towards middle school age kids but older teens are just as likely to enjoy it.  I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.  I see that there are a couple more books planned beyond what’s out there now as well. 

This book was suspenseful and interesting.  Gen, the main character, was not terribly likeable in the very beginning.  However, as the story went on, he became much more endearing.  Ms. Turner’s writing pulls you in and takes you along on the journey.  I’m excited to see where Gen’s adventures take him next.  I’m giving this one 5 kisses!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Want to Go Private? by Sarah Littman

Here’s a blurb from Ms. Littman’s website:  When Abby meets Luke online, she can’t believe her luck. He’s nice. He’s funny. He listens to her and he thinks she’s pretty. He even gets jealous of other guys, which is adorable. Without Luke, Abby’s not sure how she’d make it through her first year of high school. Everyone, including her mom and her best friend, Faith, tells Abby that if she just made more of an effort, she’d be having fun instead of dreading each and every day as if it’s a prison sentence. But there’s nothing fun about being the lowest link in the social food chain.

Abby knows she’s not supposed to chat with random guys online. But Luke isn’t random, and he isn’t a stranger. Best of all, he really loves her. So what if she never goes out with her friends anymore and her grades are slipping? All she needs is Luke. Luke is her secret, and she’s his — it’s perfect that way. So when Luke suggests that they meet each other in person, Abby agrees. And then she’s gone. Missing. Without a trace. And everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don’t, they’ll never see Abby again...
My Take

It is so frightening to think about a child just disappearing.  And worse, you know they are with a sex offender and you’re left behind, helpless.  How terrifying.  Abby’s descent down the rabbit hole was difficult (to see as a parent) but absolutely realistic as well.

I can fully see how teens get sucked into the vortex of communicating with these predators.  Abby was a great character.  It was scary to see her separating herself from her friends and family.  Similar to watching an accident happen.  Her friends and family were all wonderful characters as well.  I think Ms. Littman did a wonderful job relaying a story that is a very real concern for teens today.  Her characters were likable, relatable and very human.  It would be a great book for teens to read and discuss with friends and family.  Maybe giving them pause to consider what they would do given the same situation.  This is another one of the books on the Contemps Challenge for this year as well.  This one gets 4 ½ kisses!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Here’s a little bit about this book from Ms. Walker’s website:

Does falling in love mean falling out of faith?

“Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver’s license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church’s annual haunted house of sin, Lacey’s junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn’t know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.”

My Take
I didn’t know if I was going to like this book.  I don’t generally do well with anything that’s one extreme or another.  However, I did find that I really did enjoy this book.  It was nice to see a different kind of character represented as well.  Not much swearing and not much sex in this book and it was nice to see a more innocent side of teens and in today’s world to boot.  Ms. Walker’s characters are very endearing.  A group of friends whose bonds are as strong as steel, but willing to add another to their ranks was wonderful.  It was also nice to see parents who were present, not clueless and not portrayed as the villains.  Are Lacey's values strong enough to withstand a challenge?  Will her family understand if Lacey's values aren't the same as theirs?  The love story between Lacey and Ty was great and built slowly, which I liked.  He respected her and was not the typical bad boy.  I thought Ms. Walker's characters were unique and I liked them all.  This book is yet another in the Contemps Challenge.  I’m giving it 4 ½ sweet innocent kisses!

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