Monday, May 14, 2012

Shield the Heart by TK Richardson

Here's a little bit from the author, TK's website
Lilly’s gift of reading the heart seemed like a curse, but when she discovered her gift was linked to an old, Russian prophecy it changed everything. What she never questioned, though, was her own heart.

When the prophecy pulls Lilly back to Russia and demands to be fulfilled she is torn between love and loyalty. She must make the most difficult decision of her life and choose between the two. But Lilly’s decision is farther reaching than even she is willing to acknowledge. It stretches from East to West - from the past to the future.

Lilly discovers there’s more to the old prophecy than she realized and enemy forces are bent on stopping it from unfolding.

One thing is certain - there will be casualties. And sparing those closest to her may be impossible. While Seth attempts to shield Lilly from the truth, Nikolai reveals secrets that could change everything.
As Lilly falls into the arms of Russia she must decide: will love or loyalty reign? And can she live with the consequences? Two sides compete for Lilly’s heart and she must find the answers she needs before her enemies find her.

My Take

This is the second in the series.  I fell for the characters in the first book Return the Heart and have continued my love affair with them through the second book as well.  In this story Lilly and her friends spend almost all of the book in Russia.  Lilly discovers secrets about her heritage and the prophecy that sets so many questions in motion. 

More action, more romance and an ancient prophecy lie within the pages of Shield the Heart.  This book was wonderful and I can't wait to read the final book in the series.  I'm giving this little gem 4 1/2 heartfelt kisses!

Friday, May 11, 2012

So Shelly by Ty Roth

Here's a bit from the author's webpage
High school junior John Keats was never a close friend of schoolmate and literary prodigy Gordon Byron. At his best and worst, Keats was a distant, envious admirer of Gordon's talents, fame, and "player" lifestyle. That changes when their mutual friend, Shelly, mysteriously drowns. After stealing Shelly's ashes, the boys set a course for the small Lake Erie Island where Shelly's body had washed ashore and to where, according to Gordon, she wished to be returned. As they navigate obstacles and resist temptations during their odyssey, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly's and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her premature end.
Outrageous, poignant and in subtle homage to Lord Byron's classic Don Juan, SO SHELLY captures the indomitable spirit of Romanticism while confronting contemporary issues of sexuality, dysfunctional families, suicide, poverty, racism, alcohol and drug use, the hidden costs of popularity and fame, and friendship and while exploring themes of death, dying, grief, abandonment, abuse, and belonging.

My Take

Admittedly, it took me a while to get around to reading this book.  For that, I'm profoundly sorry.  But I can say that I really, really loved this book.  I can't count the number of times that I laughed out loud while reading it.  The author, Ty Roth, deftly mixes humor amongst the darker themes for a great balance.  Keats is a funny fellow.  He's a great narrator with keen observations.  As the story of the three unfolds, the characters take shape.  Gordon is the most colorful of the three and his character demands to stand out.  He craves attention constantly.  Keats is a pallid sidekick who pines for Shelly, but feels too inadequate in Gordon's wake to ever speak up.  Shelly has her own unrequited love, only it's directed towards Gordon.  We get to know her better as the story of their past gets revealed.  Keats deep self examination throughout the book gives him more shape and as he evolves becomes quite endearing.

This was a lovely book and the info given at the end regarding the actual Keats, Byron and Shelley was extremely interesting.  I thought that since I knew little of Keats, Byron and Shelley that may get in the way of enjoying this book.  Not in the slightest though.  It was a wonderful story with a very contemporary message about living in the now and being present in every moment.  Something we can all use a little reminder about from time to time.  I'm giving this one 5 shiny kisses!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Brother/Sister by Sean Olin

First, let me say sorry for taking ages to post reviews here lately.  I've been busy with life's happenings though, and I appreciate everyone understanding that. :)  You're all the greatest!
Here's a quick bit about Brother/Sister by Sean Olin from it's goodreads page: Will and Asheley have a troubled past. Their father left them when they were little, and their mother has just been carted off to an alcohol treatment center. Now, they have the house to themselves, and an endless California summer stretching out before them. Through alternating perspectives, they tell the story of how and why their lives spun violently out of control - right up to the impossibly shocking conclusion you'll have to read for yourself to believe.
My Take

Will and Asheley are close siblings.  Their lives have been in the shambles pretty much from the start and things are only getting worse.  This book really makes you think about how one wrong choice ignites others and can set someone in a tailspin.  That being said, there was a fair amount of mental illness in this book as well.  Very rarely does someone escape a traumatic upbringing completely unscathed.  This is as much about the heartbreaking events as well as the undoing of these characters (heartbreaking in its own right) as anything else.
I thought it was well written and gripping.  While somewhat disturbing in the events that take place, it's gritty reality at the same time.  I'll give this one 4 shattered stars.

Currently Reading

Currently Reading

Just Finished

Just Finished