Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review - Insatiable by Meg Cabot (Insatiable, #1)

Title: Insatiable (Insatiable, #1) (Amazon)
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: Jun 2010
Pages: 451
Genre: Y/A
Source: Library

Sick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.

But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . .

If she even has one.

Kim’s Take – I have to say I was pretty intrigued when I found a vampire story written by Meg Cabot. She has become one of my favorite authors whose books I go for automatically when I want to read something I am guaranteed to like. And I wasn’t let down. I loved this book!

There is always humor thrown into Meg Cabot’s books and this one was no different. Meena Harper is a writer on a popular soap opera. Irritated by the vampire craze, she is livid when she finds a vampire character is being written into the show. In Meena’s opinion, vampires are non-existent. Which is odd since she possesses a strange capability of determining how someone is going to die. The skill has often hurt her more than helped.

When Meena is saved one night on the street by a mysterious stranger she almost feels as if it had to be a dream. But she soon finds that is not the case once she meets Lucien. Sweet, sexy Lucien is like a knight in shining armor and she falls in love with him immediately. Unfortunately for Lucien, he also finds himself obsessing over Meena. Which is a good thing for neither of them. Lucien is not only a vampire, but he is the worst of them all. He is the “Prince of Darkness”.

Enter Alaric. He is the hot, misunderstood, demon hunter who has his sights set on ridding the world of Lucien. He finds that Meena is becoming more to him than just a link to Lucien.  Imagine a battle between the prince of darkness and a bad-ass demon hunter for possession of one woman. Hot! It’s hard choosing one side when both guys are swoon worthy!

There is a very interesting cast of characters throughout the book which makes it interesting during the battle at the end and the truth regarding many of these characters comes out.

I was obsessed with the story and started the second book in the series immediately. More to come!

Kim’s Rating -5/5

Monday, October 10, 2011

Review - The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Title: The Truth About Forever (Amazon)
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date:  May 2004
Pages: 374
Source:  Library

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

Kim’s Take – I have to admit that this is my first Sarah Dessen book even though I have heard and read such great things about her. I now know why. I loved the book and can’t wait to read her others.

The book is based around Macy, whose father passed away suddenly. I automatically felt so bad for Macy since she seemed so close to him and felt unnecessary guilt over his death. Unfortunately, she has no one to talk to about her feeling and holds everything inside where it eats her up. Outwardly, she tries to make herself appear in control and that she is fine. Mrs. Responsibility.

Her so-called boyfriend (I call him Mr. Cold, Insensitive, Perfection!) is going away for the summer to a nerd camp and has recruited her to replace him at his library job during his absence.  Spending her summer days being condescended to in the company of her boyfriend’s admirers, who feel she is not good enough for him, is hellish.

She meets Wes at a catered affair at her mother’s house and seems to be attracted to the chaos and how well the owner seems to thrive on it. When she begins doing some side work catering events with them, she begins to question her current controlled existence and spends more time with Wes who seems to be able to open her up more about her feelings. I loved the relationship between the two of them and hoped they would end up getting together.

Over the course of the summer, Macy rediscovers herself and the things that are important to her. She gains her voice and is able to verbalize her feelings to change things for the better and to question and rethink her relationships.

It was such a good story about being yourself and not what you think everyone wants you to be. Without this, you will never be truly happy and it just had such a positive ending.

Though the beginning was rather slow, it reflects the mundane life Macy was leading and picks up as she realizes things about herself and begins to open up more. A great read for everyone and I will be ordering other books by Dessen right away! (Goodreads)

Kim’s Rating – 4/5

Friday, October 7, 2011

Review - Nevermore (Nevermore #1) by Kelly Creagh

Title: Nevermore (Nevermore #1) (Amazon)
Author: Kelly Creagh
Publisher: Atheneum
Release Date: August 2010
Pages: 543
Genre: Y/A
Source: Library

 Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares. 

Kim’s Take – I can’t say this story grabbed me right off. It took a little bit for me, but once I got to know Isobel and Varen a little better, I started to get more involved.

The popular cheerleader, Isobel, and the mysterious goth, Varen, are paired for a school project. Not a happy match! But when she gets to know him a little more, Isobel seems to become the pursuer. This doesn’t go over real well with her normal crowd of jocks and fellow cheerleaders. But, all of their protesting and vile treatment seems to make Isobel become even more interested in Varen. And as she discovers more of Varren’s past and his connection to the creepy things that have begun happening to her, she decides that she is the only one who can save him from himself and the forces that want to consume him.

It’s a very original story with likeable (and highly unlikeable!) characters. I really like when the perfect and popular types come to realize that there is a whole world of different people outside of their own perfect lives. People who they felt were beneath them just by being different.

The only thing that kind of kept me from a perfect rating was the whole Poe aspect. Edgar Allen Poe’s work is so woven into the story and actually gets kind of confusing in the end. I had to reread a few sections to even see if I understood it correctly. I’ve just never been into Poe so that sort of turned me off but if you are Poe fan, you will absolutely love this book.

I’m curious to see where the story heads in the next book!

Kim’s Rating – 4/5

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review - The Egyptian by Layton Green

Title: The Egyptian (Amazon)
Author: Layton Green
Publisher: First Ward
Release Date: August 2011
Pages: 327
Genre: Fiction
Source: ARC

At a mausoleum in Cairo’s most notorious cemetery, a mercenary receives a package containing a silver test tube suspended in hydraulic stasis.

An investigative reporter tracking rogue biomedical companies is terrified by the appearance of a mummified man outside her Manhattan apartment.

A Bulgarian scientist who dabbles in the occult makes a startling discovery in his underground laboratory.

These seemingly separate events collide when Dominic Grey and Viktor Radek, private investigators of cults, are hired by the CEO of an Egyptian biomedical firm to locate stolen research integral to the company’s new life extension product. However, after witnessing the slaughter of a team of scientists by the remnants of a dangerous cult thought long abandoned, Grey and Viktor turn from pursuers to pursued.

From the gleaming corridors of visionary laboratories to the cobblestone alleys of Eastern Europe to a lost oasis in the Sahara, Grey and Viktor must sift through science and myth to uncover the truth behind the Egyptian and his sinister biotech – before that truth kills them.

Kim’s Take: Wow. Layton Green has become the new master of gripping, chilling, and suspenseful stories. His books are fast-paced and grab you right from the start. I have completely fallen in love with Dominic Grey!

Dominic is an investigator working for Viktor, a specialist in religious cults throughout the world. Dominic has just taken on the job of recovering a missing test tube of anti-aging research for a biomedical company. A simple case of suspected corporate espionage soon turns into much, much more than that.

Green’s books are non-stop learning experiences. Soon, you are entering into a world of Egyptian gods, beliefs, old cults, and even mummies! It makes his books even more interesting when you are learning about different countries and cultures. And this story includes interesting information regarding the aging process and abilities to stop or reverse it.

Descriptions are fantastic and the characters are complex and interesting. The story flows so seamlessly with many surprising twists. Just when you think you know what’s going on, you discover that it is not the case. Every twist made me want to put the book down even less! I absolutely had to find out which way the story was going to go next.

The only thing that keeps me from a 5 star rating, is that it takes me some time in the beginning to get familiar with some of the terms used, which I found a little confusing. It doesn't take long though for it to make sense, and by that time, I can't get enough! 

I can’t wait for another book to come out in this series to see where Dominic will be headed next.

Kim’s Rating: 4/5

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Review - Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door & Endless Summer) by Jennifer Echols

Title: Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door & Endless Summer) (Amazon)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 587
Genre: Y/A
Source: Library

Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer. 

Lori can’t wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wakeboarding and hanging with her friends--including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. 

Now that she’s turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that’s not going to happen--not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it.
Lori plans to make Sean jealous by spending time with Adam. Adam has plans of his own for Lori. As the air heats up, so does this love triangle. Will Lori’s romantic summer melt into one hot mess? (Goodreads)

Kim’s Take – This was such an excellent summer read!

Lori has grown up with the boys next door, working at their family’s boating business every summer, and perfecting her wakeboarding skills with them every afternoon. But this year, Lori is intent on changing her tomboy image to attract the attention of one of the older brothers, Sean, who will be leaving for college in the fall.

When she fails to attract his attention on her own, she resorts to an agreed upon “fake relationship” with Sean’s younger brother, Adam, after Sean hooks up with Adam’s girlfriend. The idea is to make Sean and Adam’s ex-girlfriend jealous. But what Lori doesn’t realize is that Adam is harboring his own crush on Lori and feels that Sean is not good enough for her. Non-stop complications ensue, making Lori feel she will never get her chance at Sean and that, just maybe, she doesn’t want to.

And when Lori finally comes to realize who she loves and should be with, circumstances occur that make it forbidden for her to see him.

All of the characters were very realistic and I found myself really rooting for Adam. I really like Jennifer Echols writing and the way she connects you to the characters so you can easily feel their emotions. And her descriptions made me feel like I could smell the water and feel the sun.

A great read for everyone, so pick it up!

Kim’s Rating – 4/5