11.07.2013

Blog Tour: Book review: "Rook" by Monica MacDonald




My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Welcome readers.... one and all!!! Glad to have you here as part of the blog tour

for Monica Mac Donald and her book, "Rook".




A blurb about Rook by Monica MacDonald
Could you be the monster to save who you love?

Two women, separated by generations, must leave what they know to start a new life. Seventeen-year-old Kate's senior year is ruined when she's moved from the only home she's ever known. After an isolating month alone in her apartment, school starts, but neither her classmates nor her teacher are who they seem. Kali, a single mother living in the nineteenth century wilds of Montana, is stalked by a malicious past. She fights to keep her daughter safe while her freedom is threatened by her less than benevolent benefactor. Both find love, and with it hope, but that is quickly ripped away as one woman must learn the lessons of the other -- before it's too late to save either.
Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon



I am grateful to Candace for setting up this blog tour and letting me be a part of it.


So.  Here it is.... my review.

Wow.  Can I just say that I loved the twist?  I can't even tell you the thing I loved most because it is closely tied to the plot, but let me just say: this is no ordinary paranormal book.  No vampires or werewolves here.  I am not hating on those types of books, I'm just always impressed by authors who go beyond that.  Seek out fresh, new paranormal characters.  That is what I loved most about this.

I really cared about the good characters by the end.  They aren't perfect or bold or powerful, but they make you feel for them and they try hard and they are good 'til the end.  I appreciate that in a book.  It makes it easier to get lost in the world the author has created if there are characters that you can care about... invest in.

This book also drew me in.  I couldn't let go of what was happening and when life intervened and forced me to close my computer I kept looking for a few moments to sit down and read some more.

Finally... this book was almost entirely clean.  I mean, how often does that happen anymore?  There were a few bits and pieces that flirted with being dirty, but not many.  I am always so grateful and relieved by that.  I really am.  Plus, good news for the author... I can read your whole book without skipping a bunch.  :)

All right, readers... I'll officially say this was not a waste of my time.  Try it... you might find you quite like it.  Take care!

Oh and p.s. if you wanna try to win a $50 Amazon gift card as part of this blog tour go here: GIVEAWAY!!!!

About the Author Monica MacDonald:




Monica is a married graduate student with three boys. Utah is home right now, but the need to wander has extended beyond the fantasy world of writing and into real life. She's lived all around the US and even into the Middle East. The world is really a small place, only made bigger through imagination.

Find the author: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads 

Oh and hey, if you liked my review and want to read more, follow my blog.  I'm always adding new book reviews and by following me you'll be able to keep up!  I know I can always use more book suggestions.  Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks again, Candace.


10.17.2013

Book Review: The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ick. Well, that's not really fair, I guess. The story kept me reading and sucked me in like all the other stories about Percy and his friends. However a lot (A LOT) of the dialog was inauthentic and whenever Rick Riordan tried to appeal to teen readers with his writing it was awkward, weird, and just difficult to read. The "romantic" scenes felt particularly forced.

However. I am DYING to read the next book and still really love and am interested in all of these characters. The action, pacing, and intrigue were as good as ever. Three stars because of the awkward dialogue being balanced out by a lot of great things.

View all my reviews

10.14.2013

Blog Tour: A Holiday Miracle


Welcome bloggers and blog readers!  I am excited to once again participate in a blog tour for Cedar Fort.  This time was particularly fun because I am definitely thinking a lot about Christmas and feeling ready for the Christmas season to get started.

This is June McCrary Jacobs.  Isn't she cute?  I just wanna hug her.
This is June's book.  Love the cover.  LOVE.  So Christmas-y and romantic and absolutely pretty.

This book was an ultra quick read (which is perfect when you want to read a little romance and feel a little boost of Christmas spirit, but you don't have time because, you know... life).  The story moved quickly and didn't leave time for the reader to be bored.

This book was clean -- squeaky, blessedly clean.  Love it!!!  I have read some "clean" romances that aren't exactly clean, but this one definitely was.  I am always so grateful for that.  I hate having to constantly be on my guard when it comes to the content of books.  I hate having to skip paragraphs or pages.  I definitely didn't have to be on my guard with this book.

This book told a lovely story... a story about a little girl and her family going through something difficult and traumatic and their community that comes together to make a difference.  What a heart-warming and sweet way to remind us of the good we can do when we step outside ourselves and love our neighbor.

Thank you, June and thank you Cedar Fort for letting me be a part of this blog tour.  I am grateful to be reminded ahead of time that I should love and serve more, especially at Christmas.

Happy day and [early] happy Christmas!!!


10.08.2013

Blog Tour: Carla Kelly's Christmas Collection

Carla Kelly's Christmas CollectionCarla Kelly's Christmas Collection by Carla Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Welcome Carla Kelly fans... new, old, and soon-to-be... I am glad to be participating in this blog tour. A big thanks to Cedar Fort for giving me the opportunity to read this book and be a part of this.

I am now in a Christmas-y mood.  What fun!  I usually put my tree up the day after Halloween... I know that'll bug some people... but I love it! So, no hating. ;)

So, this book is comprised of four short stories.  The first three were, to me, the most Christmas-y.

The first story is about a father looking for the right husband for his bookish daughter.  He has someone in mind, but so does his son. And so does his other daughter.  The man he has picked is scholarly and scatterbrained and just a bit... oblivious. He sticks his foot in his mouth a lot. A lot, a lot.  The pick by her brother is everything a woman might seem to wish for: handsome, important, wealthy, worldly... and a little bit pompous.  The final candidate is not so much spoken about other than that he is lame.  Misunderstandings, confusion, and all around chaos ensues.  It was fun and a little silly with a sweet romance mixed in.

The second story is about a small town with a crummy choir.  Mrs. Chard (The Dowager Lady Wythe) is determined to change that.  It is also about Peter Chard, a single father with two children, Will and Emma.  Somehow Peter gets roped into recruiting new singers for the choir.  Along the way he meets a beautiful, if slightly common, woman.  She is pregnant and a widow... living with her late husband's family and quite unwelcome.  Yet another lovely love story that made me want to snuggle up and drink cocoa.

The third story is about a sea captain who loses his first mate  in a battle with the French. He is battle weary and hardened by all he has seen.  His ship is broken and will require some repairs.  After holing up at Portsmouth he is surprised to meet the niece and nephew of his late first mate... they've come to him with nowhere else to go.  Since he is dead our lovely sea captain takes them under his wing for Christmas -- returning to his estranged mother and brother.  A lovely story that talks about how events can change us for better or for worse and how the worst events can still make us strong and good people.  It also broaches the topic of attitude in adversity.  I quite appreciated the deeper moral here.  The love story was also sweet and the protagonists were flawed, but likeable.

The final story is about a girl, Sarah Comstock, fleeing French-occupied Spain.  She meets up with an old friend of her brother's (her brother was shot and killed while trying to copy some old letters concerning Columbus).  The friend she meets up with ends up just kind of... disappearing, which was a little strange.  This friend left her in the care of Colonel Sotomayor.  After some trouble from the French, Sarah and the colonel find themselves separated from the other soldiers and being hunted for some as yet unknown reason by the French.
Because this is set in Spain they talk about the way the Spanish celebrate Christmas.  It feels well-researched and authentic.  It doesn't entirely feel Christmas-y, but that is a small thing.


Overall, I really, really enjoyed this collection of Christmas stories.  I want to purchase the paperback just so that when I feel like being in a Christmas-y mood I'll have a good, cozy book to snuggle up with and get lost in for a moment.

I don't feel as though I wasted my time at all and, like I said, I feel like buying this book -- an indication of my approval.

Here it is, October 8th... Christmas will be here before you know it.  If you are like me and can't hardly wait, then get this book now and read it!  If you like waiting until after Thanksgiving, then make sure you get this book and have it ready... the day after Thanksgiving will arrive and this book will definitely put you in a very holiday mood.  It is a lovely, festive read that will touch your heart and make you smile.

Thanks for stopping by and... Happy (early) Christmas!


View all my reviews

9.27.2013

Book Review: How the Hangman Lost His Heart

How the Hangman Lost His HeartHow the Hangman Lost His Heart by K.M. Grant
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have struggled with rating this book. I don't really feel it deserves a 2, but I didn't like it enough to give it a three. So for the writing, cleverness, and ability of the author to be morbid without being utterly gruesome... I give it a 3.  But for the fact that I will never read it again and don't really care that I ever read it, and don't really think I'd suggest it to anyone... I give it a 2.

Overall, it was fine.  The characters were complex enough to be interesting, but simple enough to keep the book light.  The content matter was very grown-up, but the writing suggested a younger audience.  This book was placed in the YA section of my library, and I suppose it fits.  Adult (ish) content... child (ish) writing so it ends up being somewhere in between.  I think that if the author had pushed herself she could have written an impressive adult fiction (not the dirty kind) novel or even a truly stunning YA novel.  Alas the book just rests easy in the safe and simple category.

There were some ridiculous (and I mean that in a good way) parts, and some clever parts, and even one or two laugh out loud parts.  I don't think I'd rate it a waste of time, but it might be.  This one will definitely depend on the reader. (Most do, I know, but some books really are quite horrid and others are worth giving a chance for almost everybody.)

9.18.2013

Book Review: A Proper Pursuit

A Proper PursuitA Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was impressed. I think I would rate this a 3.5, honestly. I thought it looked cute when I saw it at my friend's house and am glad I asked to borrow it.

Not a waste of time.

The main girl reminded me a lot of Catherine Morland in, Northanger Abbey with her wild and overactive imagination and silliness. She was lovely and cute and funny and fanciful and just a little ridiculous.

And Silas was lovely, too.

The book had a lot of silliness and fluffy-ness, but the main character, Violet spent the book having her eyes opened to the silliness and fluffy-ness of her world.  She had to spend a lot of time deciding what was worthwhile and where her place was in the world.  Set in a time when the world is on the cusp of change,  Violet has to find a place somewhere between the excitement of the new world and the safety and goodness of certain traditional values.

I was also really impressed with the obvious level of research that went into this book.  The knowledge the author has about the World Fair that year, what the exhibits were, etc.  She does a wonderful job bringing Chicago in 1839 to life.



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9.11.2013

Book Review: Prank Wars

Prank WarsPrank Wars by Stephanie Fowers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I found the characters in Stephanie Fowers's previous books... obnoxious after a while (sorry to sound harsh... they just... grated the nerves) and so it kind of ruined the books for me. But this book???? Not so much. Fun, crazy action with a surprising twist halfway (ish) through with characters that are likeable and not nearly so whiny and harsh. She is bitter like the other two main character girls in "Meet Your Match" and the other one "Rules of Engagement", but there's less of her preaching than the other two and so it doesn't get old.

Not a waste of time. Clean. And I love Lord Byron's character. Love.

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9.10.2013

Book Review: Blackmoore

Blackmoore: A Proper RomanceBlackmoore: A Proper Romance by Julianne Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was soooo happy when a friend told me Julianne Donalson was having another book published.  She had already bought it and finished it in a day and so shegave it to me this morning. I gobbled it p.  Every bit as lovely and full of clean romantic tension as Edenbrooke with an entirely different plot that sucks you in until you have finished it.(minus the girl not thinking she could get the guy.  That part is the same.  It suits, though.  We, as women, often relate to that 'cause we have almost all felt it.)...

Be prepared, readers to let the dishes, laundry, and kids fend for themselves because you will not be able to put this sweet, thrilling romance down.

I will say I kept thinking of Phillip any time Henry spoke... they had a similar voice... but Kate was different and had a lot of different struggles.

Love. Love, love, love, love, love.  Clean, sweet, and absolutely satisfying.

9.07.2013

Book review: The Family Under the Bridge

The Family Under the BridgeThe Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think that this book is a good way to help kids understand that people who are homeless aren't necessarily there because they are lazy and teaches them to respect All types of people. I know it did for me.  I loved this book growing up.

Armand certainly is lazy, though, and so that adds another layer to the story.  It is nice, too, to see him grow up and change.  I love that quote, "It is never too late to be what you might have been." by George Eliot.  Armand's character illustrates this well.

We read this with our four year old over the course of... maybe a month and a half. He was SO bored.  So... maybe for older kids that can understand deeper concepts and don't need a lot of humor and action, this would suit.  Little ones? Not so much.

Also, this book is set at Christmas, so if you are looking for a novel to read with your kids at Christmas time and want to try something different, this might be a good one to read.

Not a waste of time!!!

9.03.2013

Book Review: Shadowlands

ShadowlandsShadowlands by William Nicholson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The problem with really short books... it's hard to give them four stars. This book was so, so, so great, but I didn't love it... I didn't have time to love it.

Nevertheless, really good book.  I love the image of C.S. Lewis questioning what he alway thought because he actually had an experience with it.  Life definitely has a way of testing our faith.  And that's good. Without adversity, there can be no strength.  I also love that he chose, after a time, to continue to have faith that it is all for our good... no matter how hard it seems.

A book that would be awesome for a book group because there's a lot to discuss.

Not a waste of time (I wanna see the film!)

8.27.2013

Book Review: The Shadow Society

The Shadow SocietyThe Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Let down and then surprised...

I'll explain.

So, I really had a little bit of a hard time getting into this book.  The writing was choppy, the characters cliched, and the plot was cliche.

As Darcy grew as a character the writing smoothed out.  Maybe the author did this on purpose.  We'd have to ask.  But it seemed to fit.  As she calmed down and found her place in the world there was less angst (which translated into choppiness for me) and more calm, real, decent writing.

I don't mind a little cliche in plots... with SO MUCH YA BEING PUBLISHED... it's kind of inevitable and a lot of authors (or maybe it's publishers) seem to want to stick with what works rather than take a chance.  I can't fault 'em entirely, but I always loved something new.

So, yes, the type of paranormal characters were different (read: NOT vampires and NOT werewolves), but the feel of the characters and their roles in the story was not so much.

Not a waste of time. Not spectacular or miraculous, but decent on the side of good.

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Book Review: Count Down to Love

Count Down to LoveCount Down to Love by Julie N. Ford
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bahaha. I don't know. It was cute. It was clean. It wasn't really cheesy... it just felt... obvious. It was clean, which was lovely. And quick which is often nice because I like to finish a book in one sitting whenever I can.

The characters were cute and likable and the books was fine, just fine. Nothing special, but cute enough.

These other two books are basically the same thing:

Reality Check, Second chances

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8.22.2013

And the hits just keep on coming...

Carla Kelly's Christmas CollectionCarla Kelly's Christmas Collection by Carla Kelly


 Heads Up... again!!

I'll be participating in this blog tour. The date I am posting on will be October 8th.  I just finished it and am starting my review.  Check back so you don't miss it!

Love, Me

8.18.2013

Heads up!

I'm going to be part of another blog tour. I'll be posting November 7th.  Keep coming back so you don't miss anything!

-Brooke

8.17.2013

Book review; A Long Way From Chicago

A Long Way from Chicago (A Long Way from Chicago, #1)A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very... Dead End-esque Dead End in Norvelt.. though as good as it was, it didn't quite measure up.

It was fun, quick, witty, with a strong voice and loveable characters. It was fun to see their grandma huff and puff and then quietly show her good-as-gold heart. I especially thought Richard Peck did an amazing job making it sound like a good ol' boy was telling the story without making it seem forced, awkward, and lame. He did awesome. AWESOME.

I definitely recommend this book (slightly older kids... it does talk about a bloated, bloody body and a few other such things that I wouldn't recommend for first grade listeners).

I declare it not a waste of time.

I am excited to read the next book, "A Year Down Yonder". A Year Down Yonder (A Long Way from Chicago, #2).

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8.16.2013

Book Review: The Heirs of Southbridge

The Heirs of SouthbridgeThe Heirs of Southbridge by Jennie Hansen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So... wow. Um... glad I didn't buy this book when I was going to

I planned to purchase it... I had just read "Edenbrooke" and was looking for a book that would draw me in and keep me reading... a book that would be clean and sweet...  A book that was hardly ever cheesy...

This was not that book.

Not to be a negative Nel. It wasn't that bad. Hence the fact that I didn't rate it one star.  But... it just wasn't very good.

The writing wasn't poor... or crummy. It just... was boring. The plot wasn't when I think back on it. But man! I had the hardest time paying attention or getting into it. I had a really hard time caring about the characters at all... I just... it just... bah. It fell flat. There's no other way to say it.

And I am sorry for it. I am. I really wanted to like this book. I made myself finish it. I'll just never read it again and feel relieved I borrowed it from the local lib. instead of buying it.

I don't really feel like I wasted my time... but kind of.

The characters were not bad. They could even be likable... I just never felt a connection. Never really cared about any of them.

It was clean. Which was good. I appreciated that. And I could even see how the author may have set the book up for a spin off (Travis's story) if you enjoyed the book and wanted to see where things went (you might get lucky, it sure seemed like she was thinking in that direction).

Okay. Sorry if this seemed harsh. It's hard to find the line between honest and rude.  And maybe you'll love the book. I've never read a lot of westerns (like, almost none) and this, I would say, would fall into that category so maybe that's why I didn't like it much.

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Book Review: Destined

Destined (Wings, #4)Destined by Aprilynne Pike
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay. So. I just finished this book like... five minutes ago.  I was stressed 'cause I had things going on here at home making it difficult to finish!!!

First off, this was a really fast read... like, if I hadn't had any interruptions I probably would have finished in two hours.  BUT! It honestly had everything it needed to have in it.  Aprilynne Pike didn't waste a lot of time on useless descriptions or crummy ol' sex scenes.... she just wrote the story and I appreciated that.  The pacing was great and I never felt bored or rushed. She found a really great middle ground for all the plots/action/adventure/love story/ friendship/ intrigue that she had to wrap up for the other three books.

I liked the ending. It wasn't totally drawn up and clear and yet all the endings I needed as a reader to feel satisfied, I got.

I am having a hard time recalling all the books, but going off this book and the fact that I read the other three (and the fact that it was such a fast read anyway) I would say this series wasn't a waste of time and the ending really made me feel satisfied and like I could move on knowing things work out without feeling stressed... like maybe the author has another eighteen books in the works. ;)

Okay. Let me add one last tiny thing. So, Laurel's wings (her flower) were such a big deal in the first three books... from adding a sexual note (which, really? Not my cup 'o tea anyway and pretty darn near unnecessary) to revealing her fairy identity... NOT EVEN MENTIONED ONCE and honestly, you'd be hard pressed to think of her as anything other than human in this book until the very, very last moment. She was a weak heroine indeed. That I did not like.

All right. That is all!
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8.13.2013

Book Review: Delicious Conversation

Delicious ConversationDelicious Conversation by Jennifer Stewart Griffith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A modern day LDS take on Persuasion (which is one of my favorites). It was cute, fun, quick, and overall fairly well-written. It took me a second to notice the correlation to Persuasion and when "the penny dropped" I felt awfully silly... it's obvious!
A good love story-ish. I wish there were more scenes between John and Susannah... but it was cute.  The tortoise bits were... strange really. A funny take on making the bad guy interested in the heroine... and just a little ridiculous. But not much.  At least, it didn't ruin the book for me.

I have read it three times... and it's on my "I want to own" shelf on Goodreads... so that can tell you something!

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I found out about a giveaway on another blog: Kindle Fire giveaway link...

http://www.faebooks.co.uk/2013/07/SummerKindleFireGiveaway.html

Hello readers! There's a giveaway happening at that link ^ there.  Check it out. Good luck! Kindle Summer This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".
Kindle Fire HD 7" Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
  Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)
 

Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
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  7. S.A. Larsen - Writer's Ally
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  44. Author Talia Jager
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  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire. Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE. Ends 8/15/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

8.08.2013

Book Review: Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale by Rebecca Jamison

Persuasion: A Latter-day TalePersuasion: A Latter-day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So. Truly, I have to say I was impressed. There was definitely a connection to this book and the original... but Rebecca Jamison did a wonderful job modernizing the story.  I felt as though she really captured the heart of each of the characters even though she modernized the book. Even though, when you re-write a classic you already have the plot lined out for you... honestly, it would be difficult, I imagine, to capture the feel of the original characters while completely removing them from their original surroundings. The plot doesn't do all of your characterization for you.

Rebecca Jamison also did a good job of keeping the original plot, and yet not.  It was not set in England, he wasn't the captain of a ship, she didn't have her horrid/"trustworthy" friend, she didn't have to move out of a house (she was already out), and she was... a stock broker.

I appreciated all these new details. I appreciated the way there weren't obvious connections to the original book... and yet there were.  I didn't feel as though I were reading a sad wanna-be of a masterpiece... I felt like I was reading a clean, modern nod to a wonderful classic.

I would like to own this book. It is clean, it is sweet, it is fun, it is a little fast-paced sometimes and just a nice, easy read that would be lovely to pick up whenever I'm in the mood for a little light-hearted romance.

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Book Review: Scarlet

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Did not love...the crude language. The love triangle.

Did love... pretty much everything else.

Wow. I stayed up 'til 1:15 in the morning to finish this (took me about three hours to read so it was sort of quick) 'cause I was so into it.

Will Scarlet is actually a girl... is actually (spoiler. Won't ruin it for you).

Little John and Robin Hood and Scarlet with a little guy named Munch make up the band of Merry Men

Robin Hood rocks.

Not a waste of time. Fun, exhilarating read.
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8.06.2013

Book Review: I Belong With You by Shannon Guymon

I Belong With You (Love and Dessert Trilogy, #2)I Belong With You by Shannon Guymon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is also posted on Amazon.

So. I love Shannon Guymon's books. Clean, sweet, and all of them end happily. Now, some people might have a problem with that. But she does it on purpose... 'cause fiction can be an escape. Doesn't have to be, but it can be and she chooses to make it one.

This book in particular was lovely. I haven't read the first one yet, but aside from a few things I didn't know... this book could have stood alone. Shannon does a good job filling in the gaps and reminding readers what happened in the previous book without making it seem like she's retelling the whole thing.

I literally had a smile on my face for most of this book and I finished it within a couple of hours. I had to know how it ended. Also, because I'm that kind of reader (don't hate) I skipped to the end for a moment because the suspense was killing me and I HAD TO KNOW who she was going to end up with.

A lot of suspense (both romantic and otherwise)... clean... fun... thrilling... and enough to make me smile while reading.

I also, just to add a note, should say that if you like girl power, sister relationshipos, close girl friends... any of Shannon's books would be for you. The way she writes about the bond between sisters and friends in her books makes me think she would be a lovely, lovely friend to have.

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8.03.2013

BLOG TOUR: Book Review: Emma A Latter-day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

 This is Rebecca Jamison.
And this is her new book.

I am excited to be a part of this blog tour and to have had the opportunity to read this book. Welcome if you're visiting from Rebecca's website and welcome back if you are a returning reader.

I love Jane Austen... not that unusual ;). I also love when an author can take a plot that obviously works and make it feel fresh and new.  In this version, the characters were modernized in a way that I really enjoyed. It felt halfway between "Clueless" and "Emma".

Emma has recently found success as a matchmaker so when quiet, sweet, poorly dressed Harri catches her notice Emma decides to keep the ball rolling. Enter Phil. A single guy that Emma is sure would be just the guy for Harri. Just as in the book, Emma, Harri is persuadable and easily led.  Phil is not on the same page. Emma is determined to force things that won't be forced. Justin Knightley is lovely. And Emma's dad provides a little comic relief.

I knew what plot twists were coming because I've read and watched Emma before so the really intriguing part about this book was seeing how Rebecca Jamison modernized the characters and setting.  I also love how well LDS culture blends into classic stories.  Keeps the classics as clean as when they were first written. I do not like seeing classics "smutted up" for the masses.

A sweet, twisty, silly love story that makes you think about perceptions and makes you wonder if you really do know what's best for someone else.

Worth a read... NOT a waste of time. Not even a little.

7.24.2013

GO JANE!!!

Head to this link to read a cute little story about Jane Austen and British money... I am now going to obtain a ten pound note.

http://www.latimes.com/features/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-jane-austen-british-10-pound-note-20130724,0,2907066.story

Book Review: The Deepest Night

The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark, #2)The Deepest Night by Shana Abe
My rating: 2 of 5 stars



View all my reviews
 
I had read "The Sweetest Dark" and was glad to see where the story went in this book. I will be glad to finish the series just to see how it all wraps up.

Armand is lovely and I hated all the back and forth, but am glad for the way the book ended.

This book was never... explicit and yet sometimes it felt that way. I feel so frustrated by this. It is set in a time period where even a kiss would be scandalous and exciting. Why add so much sexual tension and overtones?

The story was good. There was danger and intrigue in the last half of the book and a whole lot of (sometimes dull) social intrigue in the beginning.

I don't feel like I wasted my time. I enjoyed the book and I don't feel dirty having read it, but there were definitely parts that made me uncomfortable and I was always on edge as to whether or not I'd have to skip a few pages. I never did, thankfully, but there was a lot of "toeing the line" going on.

7.23.2013

Free graphic for your Facebook cover photo

I created this graphic using Daisytrail and you can right click and save it to your computer to upload as  your FB cover photo.


Book Review: Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Fablehaven, #4)Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So. This book. Typically I just rate a series, but there aren't always five great books in a five book series.

This book was good. Definitely better than the third book. There was a definite purpose behind this book and not just as a filler. Seth's character was definitely not super obnoxious, but I still hate how he is constantly breaking rules and always justifying it.

What I didn't like about this book (and this is a trend in this series):
There are a lot of convenient things that go on to make everything fall into place. There's no subtlety when the author is placing something that will later help the plot move along or save the characters when they find themselves in dire straits. This is not to say that there aren't surprises and plot twists... there definitely are and definitely not ones you see coming.

Overall a fun, intriguing book. Clean and exciting with characters and circumstances that will enthrall boys and girls of many ages.

View all my reviews

6.21.2013

HEADS UP! Blog tour upcoming.

Hey all. It has been a busy couple of months. I kind of dropped off the blog world for a mo' but I wanted to let you know to keep checkin' back. I'm going to be part of another blog tour soon. August 3rd is the day I'll be reviewing a new book, "Emma: A Latter-day Tale" by Rebecca H. Jamison

I am just starting to read it now. I'm excited to review it for you.

4.20.2013

Book review: Hourglass: Coming Soon

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)Hourglass by Myra McEntire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



K. I'm going to review this when I have time to do it justice.

4.18.2013

Book Review: Coraline Graphic Novel

Coraline Graphic NovelCoraline Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SO! This book. A review for you? Okey doke.




The hubs and I were discussing this book after he had finished it and he said that the hard thing for him was the lack of style-ized-ness (I know, I know... not a word) since the original book and the movie were both so stylized.

Now. I do not know why P. Craig Russel did this. BUT! I have some thoughts about how it affects the story for the reader. If you read Coraline, or were creeped out by it (I almost classified it as "Horror" on Good reads ;) ) and didn't want to read it, or if you 'd like to get a general idea of the story without committing to reading the whole book, this may or may not be the book for you.

I feel like this interpretation of the book and the style of the illustrations did two things for this story. Those two things are in direct opposition with each other. I feel like it made the book scarier, and at the same time less scary. Here's why:

When the book (and also the film) was written, the original illustrations that accompany it are very kid friendly... they look like sweet children's illustrations. They even seem to have inspired some popular dolls for little girls. (Speaking of, I cannot walk past that aisle in Wal-mart without being a little creeped out and wishing for a stone with a hole in the middle.)
When illustrations look like a fun children's story but really turn out to be something of a horror story it adds a really creepy element -- introducing terror to innocence. Like, for me, when I watch a scary movie that has children in it, or if the children even turn out to be the bad guys, it is SO much scarier and creepier and ickier. So, in this way I feel like this version is a lot less creepy because it takes the sweet, silly innocence out of the creepiness.
The illustrations also make it look like it is not for little kids so it makes it seem like a more grown-up book. Which in turn makes it less scary since the content doesn't seem as frightening for middle school-ers as it would for elementary kids.

Here's the flipside:
Have you read Maus? Something I always felt about Maus was that it took some of the reality away from the story (in a good way) by using animals instead of people in the illustrations. It helped me be able to read the story without breaking down sobbing every-other frame.
In this case I feel like it's the opposite since in it the pictures are more realistic. It takes the fantasy element away and makes it more real and therefore a little scarier.

For the most part I really liked this book. I felt like the pacing was good and the illustrations were beautifully done. The meat of the story was there and seeing so much of the book in pictures added a fun goose-bump inducing element. I.e. seeing the "other father" in his globby maggot-flesh, eyeless form was extra creepy when you see him in four or five frames and chasing after Coraline.

It was definitely not as great as the original, and I (personally) like the stylized illustrations and fantastical style better... but it wasn't bad. It was, honestly, fairly well done.