Monday, February 28, 2011

Review - My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster

Title: My Fair Lazy (Amazon)
Author: Jen Lancaster
Publisher: New American Library
Release Date: 2010
Source: Library
Pages: 370
Genre: Memoir

Summary:
Readers have followed Jen Lancaster through job loss, sucky city living, weight loss attempts, and 1980s nostalgia. Now Jen chronicles her efforts to achieve cultural enlightenment, with some hilarious missteps and genuine moments of inspiration along the way. And she does so by any means necessary: reading canonical literature, viewing classic films, attending the opera, researching artisan cheeses, and even enrolling in etiquette classes to improve her social graces.

In Jen's corner is a crack team of experts, including Page Six socialites, gourmet chefs, an opera aficionado, and a master sommelier. She may discover that well-regarded, high-priced stinky cheese tastes exactly as bad as it smells, and that her love for Kraft American Singles is forever. But one thing's for certain: Eliza Doolittle's got nothing on Jen Lancaster-and failure
is an option. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take:

Have I mentioned that I love me some Jen Lancaster? All of her books are amazingly funny and quick reads. So many sections make me laugh out loud. This time Jen takes us through her mission to remove herself from the couch and her beloved reality shows and become more cultured. Afraid of not sounding intelligent at upcoming book events as a best-selling author, she sets out in an attempt to expose herself to those things which have never interested her or make her uncomfortable. Her closest friend Stacy, a fellow author, helps push her in the right direction and keeps her on track, Needless to say, hilarity follows. Reading poetry, wine and cheese tasting, theatre, and her determination to try different food from all different cultures are mixed in with the loss and gain to her beloved animal menagerie and a taunting rat who takes up residence and the attempts made to rid him. Jen Lancaster is one of my favorite authors and I would highly recommend her books to anyone. I will admit this was the least funny of her books but still hysterical and I can’t wait for her new book coming out in March!

Kim’s Rating: 4/5 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that allows to showcase the books that we have received/purchased over the past week.

Here is what Missy has gotten over the past week-

Bought-


Forever by Judy Blume
The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Blue Bloods (Book Set 1-3) by Melissa De La Cruz
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Library-


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

For Review-


Abandon by Meg Cabot

I had an excellent week this week and I am so happy with everything that I got!

What did you get this week???

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review - Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither (Amazon)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date:  March 22nd, 2011
Pages: 368
Genre: YA
Source: Galley Grab

Summary from Goodreads:
What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.


Missy's take-

I had heard a lot about this book from other bloggers and when I got the opportunity to snatch it up I couldn't resist. It was not at all what expected and I am happy about that. It was so much more!

The story takes place in the future where all females die at 20 and males at 25. Due to the short life span, and hope to find an antidote, the need for procreation is extremely high. In order to find women to make as brides men hire Gatherers to search for women they can marry. The Gatherers take the women against their will and they are forced to marry. Some of these girls can be taken as young as 13 years old. Most men have multiple wives giving them the chance for multiple children and thus society has a chance to live on and hopefully find a cure.

We see the world through the eyes of Rhine, a 16 year old that is kidnapped to become a wife. She, along with 2 other sister wives have to learn to adapt to this new life. All 3 of them handle their situation with completely different mannerisms. They all go from one extreme to the next as far as how they feel about the situation that they find themselves in. Rhine is so eager to escape and get home to her twin brother who has no idea what has become of her.

I don't think I have ever really felt so much for the characters. They were so well written. DeStefano makes you feel their heartache and their sadness. The story is both disturbing and completely fascinating. It was scary to think that this was a world they were living in. It captured my attention from beginning to the end. I was always wondering what would happen next and I was fearful for the well being of each of the characters. It was full of heartache and sadness, but there are sweet, hopeful moments as well.  

I was incredibly happy to find out that this was going to be a trilogy. I can't wait to find out what's in store in the next 2 books. This was all around fantastic read and I highly recommend it!

I think the cover also deserves mentioning. How fantastic is it? I think it is absolutely beautiful!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Blogger Hop & Follow Friday (5)

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by  Crazy for Books make sure you head over there and link up!

This weeks question is:
Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?

Sometimes just because I am so incredibly indecisive. Kim and I went through about a million names before we decided on this one! I am terrible when it comes to naming anything. If I get an animal I have a terrible time coming up with a name for it. I change my mind ALL.THE.TIME!






Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee so make sure you head over and link up!

This weeks question is: 
Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...

Well, I love a lot of TV Shows! That would be my other obsession besides books. If I had to name favorites I would have to go with Glee (because Brittany is so hilarious!), Castle (I LOVE Nathan Fillion♥ ) and Battlestar Galactica (which I just recently started watching on Netflix). There are a ton more, but there would just be too many to list!


 Thanks for stopping by and we hope you stick around and follow! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review - We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Title: We Need to Talk About Kevin (Amazon)
Author: Lionel Shriver
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: 2004
Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Fiction

Summary-
The gripping international bestseller about motherhood gone awry
Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin's horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.(Goodreads)

Kim’s take -

This book was really good and had such a sad, shockingly unexpected twist at the end. The book is in letter format from Eva to her husband Franklin. They are the parents of a 15-year-old who murders 7 of his classmates in the school gymnasium in a very original, well thought out, and brutal fashion. It started out a little slow with Eva going over some of their marriage before they had Kevin and their decision to even have a child. Things go badly from the moment Kevin was born. He immediately seemed to develop a hatred of his mother from birth which his father seemed to dismiss because Kevin would act completely different when his father was around. Throughout the story, Eva seems to be the only one who sees Kevin as the evil and manipulative infant, child, and teen he becomes. Kevin seems to obtain pleasure in the mental torture and abuse he inflicts on his mother. His father fails to see any of this and accuses Eva of creating the stories of the horrific things Kevin has done, making excuses for him, or believing Kevin’s lies. But Eva sees the dangerous, evil, look of no remorse in his eyes. Of all those who have came into contact with Kevin, Franklin seems to be unaware of, or in denial of, how calculating his son actually is. And the murder of his classmates is only one of many hideous and unthinkable events caused by Kevin throughout his 15 years. It was a great look at the outcome of tragedy through the eyes of the mother of a murderous boy. A great read!

Kim’s Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It lets us spotlight what upcoming books we can't wait for!



City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments Book 4)
By Cassandra Clare
Release Date: April 5th, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Summary from Goodreads:
City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

“City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.”


I seriously can't wait for this to come out. We did get a little teaser last week with the City of Fallen Angels Chapter Hunt that ended off at The Story Siren on Friday. Fortunately April isn't too horribly far away so I won't have to wait too long!




********************************************************

Anna Dressed In  Blood
By Kendare Blake
Release Date: September 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . .

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.


And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

This sounds completely fascinating and a bit creepy! Can't wait to read it!

What are you anxiously awaiting?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tune in Tuesday (1)














This meme is hosted by Ginger at GReads & showcases music. Each week you can post an old or new song so that it gains more interest! So head on over and link up.
  
This is my first week and I decided to go for an old one that I LOVED when I was a teenager. "Clumsy" by Our Lady Peace. I pretty much love everything that they do! 

Take a listen and enjoy! 


Review - Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

images 
Title: Cryer's Cross (Amazon)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date:  Feb 8th, 2011
Pages: 240
Genre: YA
Source:  I own

Summary via Goodreads:
The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried

Missy's take - 

Wow. Just wow. I wanted to write the review about this while it was still fresh in my mind. It was absolutely haunting. That's the best word that I can use to describe it.

The story focuses on Kendall, a high schooler from a small town with OCD. In the course of a few months 2 students in their very small community go missing, including Kendall's best friend Nico. She begins to hear voices and see words etched into the desk that Nico sat at. The more she sees and hears things, the more she believes it is just her imagination due to her OCD.

I have never read anything that focused around OCD. It was interesting to be in the mind of someone who has it and to know what they are feeling and thinking. It's unimaginable how difficult things must be when having to worry about numbers or any other OCD related thing, along with everything else going on in someones life. I know people that have smaller forms of OCD and McMann hit the nail right on the head in my opinion. Having to obsess over such things must be extremely stressful and she portrays that beautifully.

I think the story was fantastic. It was very well put together. It was so creepy! Adding the OCD issue made it even more intriguing. I swear at some points of the books I really had goosebumps.

Missy's rating - 5/5 

I have been reading some fantastic books lately. I think I have given them all a 5! :) 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review - The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Title: The Invisible Bridge (Amazon)
Author: Julie Orringer
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Date Released: 2010
Pages: 597
Genre: Adult Fiction

Julie Orringer’s astonishing first novel—eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story
collection,
How to Breathe Underwater (“Fiercely beautiful”—The New York Times)—is a grand love story and an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are torn apart by war.

Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. As he becomes involved with the letter’s recipient, his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena, their younger brother leaves school for the stage—and Europe’s unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. From the Hungarian village of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andras’s garret to the enduring passion he discovers on the rue de Sévigné, from the despair of a Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond,
The Invisible Bridge tells the unforgettable story of brothers bound by history and love, of a marriage tested by disaster, of a Jewish family’s struggle against annihilation, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take –

An incredibly powerful first novel for an author. Just the amount of research into the state of the country at that time makes the story seem so real. The book is about Andras, a Hungarian Jew, who goes to Paris on a scholarship to study architecture in 1937. Things start going downhill for him as soon as he steps off of the train. He bravely perseveres through events which would have led others to give up their quest for education. He meets so many diverse characters throughout his time in Paris which will all have intertwining stories and secrets. He also begins a forbidden, complicated, and undying love affair with an older woman, Klara.

Forced back to Hungary due to the approach of WWII, the lives of Andras, his family, and friends becomes increasingly tragic and harrowing. Life in Hungary becomes increasingly oppressive and heartbreaking for the Jewish people. Corruption and bribery run rampant and many Jews who were well off lose everything for some semblance of safety. When Andras shockingly makes it through his first draft at a forced labor camp, he unbelievably is called on twice more to serve. It is shocking to me that anyone actually made it out alive since the conditions are horrific and barbaric. The story is so absorbing and descriptive. At times it was heartwarming and others left me wanting to cry at the unrelenting misfortune. So many times, I thought it couldn’t get worse for them but I was proved wrong again and again.

I love historical fiction and Hungary has never come to mind when thinking of WWII and the persecution of Jews. I loved the book and think anyone who reads it will have this story on their mind for quite some time.

Kim's Rating - 5/5

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. It gives us a chance to showcase the books that we have received over the past week. This is one of my favorite meme's because I love to see what everyone else is reading!

Here is what I (Missy) got this week.

Bought-


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Review here)
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles



Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Beastly by Alex Finn
Rhymes With Cupid by Anna Humphrey


I am in the process of reading Cryer's Cross right now and it is extremely good. I should have a review up for that within the next couple of days.

What did you get this week?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review - The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder (Amazon)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Release Date:  March 16th, 2010
Pages:  336
Genre: YA

Summary via Goodreads:
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself. 

Missy's take -

I finally decided to pick this up after all of the amazing reviews that I had read about it. I don't think that I have read one negative review. Now I can see why.

The Body Finder follows Violet, a 16 year old high school student, who has the ability to locate the dead by receiving echos. These echos are sounds or images that help her locate the bodies of animals or humans that were killed. In turn she is also able to see the same marks on the person or animal that did the killing. It is a gift, but it is also a curse. She is able to help bodies be found, but she also has to be the one to find them. Having this ability is very difficult on her. It is a secret that she and her family must keep and when teenagers in and around her town keep coming up missing she has to put herself and abilities to the test in order to help find them and their killer. For someone whose life is so complex, she is able to handle everything quite well.

I loved the relationship with her best friend Jay. Trying to figure out the feelings that she newly had for him and trying to deal with her ability at the same time. The dialogue they had with each other was both sweet, clever, and hilarious. We also get to meet her other friends from school who are amazingly well written. I must also point out that Jay is officially my new book boyfriend.  Seriously, Derting can write one perfect guy!

I ended up getting this at the library, but will definitely be buying a copy for myself as well as recommending it to everyone I know. The second book in the series, Desires of the Dead, is out now. I am looking forward to seeing where this ability leads Violet as the story continues.

Derting is an amazing author and I can honestly say that The Body Finder is one of the best books that I have ever read. It's one that I could see myself reading again and again. I am embarrassed that it took me this long to read it in the first place! I will not make that mistake with any of her other books.

So enough gushing about it! Go read it already! :)


Missy's rating - 5/5 (because honestly, what else could you possibly give it! )

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blogger Hop & Follow Friday (4)

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by  Crazy for Books make sure you head over there and link up!

This weeks question is:
 "What book(s) would you like to see turned into a movie?"
 
There are quite a few of them that I think would be interesting adapted into movies! I think Across the Universe would probably be really good. I don't normally read much Sci Fi, but I love Sci Fi movies. I also think Delirium would make a really good movie also!






Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee so make sure you head over and link up!


This weeks question is:
"If you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read Science Fiction before...any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?" 

I think that the most "science fiction" thing I have ever read would be Across the Universe by Beth Revis. I actually ended up enjoying it and because of it, would be willing to pick up another science fiction type book in the future. I always try to give every genre a chance before I decide whether or not I really like it.


 Thanks for stopping by and we hope you stick around and follow! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review - Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Title: Shadow of the Wind (Amazon)
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: 2005
Pages: 486
Genre: Fiction 

Barcelona, 1945—Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes one day to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a book from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the book he selects, a novel called
The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last of Carax’s books in existence.

Before Daniel knows it, his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness, and doomed love, and before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.
(Goodreads)



Kim’s take – It is no wonder that this book was a New York Times Bestseller. It is amazing. I didn’t want it to end! This book had everything. Suspense, mystery, love, intrigue, tragedy, and humor. When 10-year-old Daniel begins to fear he is forgetting the image of his deceased mother, his father, who owns a bookstore, takes Daniel to the mysterious Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel chooses a book called Shadow of the Wind and becomes intent on reading other novels by the mysterious author. In his search, Daniel becomes caught up in a web of deceit and mystery that only grows the more he learns. Aided by a humorous homeless man he befriends, the two scour Barcelona in search of the reason the author’s books are being destroyed. All the while, the two are being stalked by those who wish to destroy all traces of the author books and the author himself. The story was so mysterious and suspenseful I could not even guess what was coming next. It was everything that a good suspenseful mystery should be. I highly recommend it.

Kim’s Rating – 5/5

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Head over there and link up and let us know what books you are waiting on!



Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls Book 3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Release date: July 12th, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic 

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater
In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.


This is not enough of a summary for me! I was very excited about the release of the first 2 pages on Monday. It make me excited for it all the more. With the way Linger left off I have been dying for this one to come out! If you haven't seen the video of her reading the first pages you can go HERE to check it out! 


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images
Love Story by Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 19th, 2011
Publisher: MTV Books

Erin Blackwell is headed to college in New York City to study creative writing and earn a living as a romance novelist. Her grandmother has other plans: she approves of the college, but she wants Erin to major in business and then come back home to Kentucky to run the family’s famous racehorse farm. There is no way Erin will agree. Studying in New York and writing her way into a career is her escape from the farm and the family tragedy that happened there. So Erin’s grandmother decides Erin really will live life as a starving artist. She takes Erin’s future job running the farm, her inheritance, even her college tuition, and gives them all to Hunter Allen.

Hunter has lived on the farm for years. He’s Erin’s age, he’s the stable boy, and he’s the romantic dream of every girl in her high school. But he was involved in the family tragedy. Erin has always given him a wide berth. And he’s a slick opportunist. She’s furious that he fooled her grandmother into giving him Erin’s birthright and sending him to Erin’s college.

At least she’s free of him in her creative writing class. So she pens a story that has haunted her lately, in which the horse farm heiress at the very first Kentucky Derby starts a forbidden affair with the lowly stable boy. Unfortunately for her, the day she’s sharing this story with her New York classmates, Hunter walks in. He’s switching to her class. And after reading about himself in Erin’s story, he writes his own sexy assignments that lure Erin into dangerous fantasies about what could have been between them, and what might be.
 


I have seriously fallen in love with her books. They are so real. By the end of her them I feel like I know the characters so well they could be my friends.  

What are you waiting for?? 



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review - Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly (Amazon)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: Jan 4th, 2011
Pages: 448
Genre: YA

Summary:
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart. (Goodreads)

Missy's take:

One of the reasons that I wanted to read this book was because of  the cover. I think it is so pretty! Then I read the synopsis and other reviews and I knew I had to read it! I am glad that I picked it up. It was so beautifully written! I really ended up loving it.


I have read all kinds of paranormal books with fairies, vampires and werewolves, but  haven't read very many books about angels in the past so I wasn't sure what to expect. I am glad to say that I wasn't disappointed. I was absorbed in it right from the beginning. It does not start off slow like some books do. You jump right into the action with the first page.

This was a completely unique perspective on angels compared to what I've read. They have a specific purpose on earth and they have visions that help them see what that purpose is, but they also live like regular humans. Most of them don't start getting visions of their purpose until they are teenagers. They go to school, have friends, jobs and the same issues all other people have. 

It was really easy to lost in Clara's world. She struggles to balance her human life with her angel life. When she finds out the location of her visions she and her family are forced to move to another state. She has to start over altogether. New school, new friends, new problems. I liked that she was so easy to relate to. Besides being part angel she was just like any other teenager.


I loved the rest of the cast of characters as well. They were perfect compliments to Clara. I thought Tucker was sweet and funny and I absolutely fell in love with him! I also couldn't help but feel that something suspicious was going on where her mom was involved, but maybe we will find more out about that in the next book. 

I am so happy that this is going to be a trilogy. I can't wait to find out what happens next and how Clara's relationships with all the characters develop!


Missy's rating- 5/5 Love love loved it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Review - Bloodroot by Amy Greene

Title: Bloodroot (Amazon)
Author: Amy Greene
Publisher: Alfred A, Knopf
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 291


Named for a flower whose blood-red sap possesses the power both to heal and poison, Bloodroot is a stunning fiction debut about the legacies—of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss—that haunt one family across the generations, from the Great Depression to today.

The novel is told in a kaleidoscope of seamlessly woven voices and centers around an incendiary romance that consumes everyone in its path: Myra Lamb, a wild young girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain; her grandmother Byrdie Lamb, who protects Myra fiercely and passes down “the touch” that bewitches people and animals alike; the neighbor boy who longs for Myra yet is destined never to have her; the twin children Myra is forced to abandon but who never forget their mother’s deep love; and John Odom, the man who tries to tame Myra and meets with shocking, violent disaster. Against the backdrop of a beautiful but often unforgiving country, these lives come together—only to be torn apart—as a dark, riveting mystery unfolds.

With grace and unflinching verisimilitude, Amy Greene brings her native Appalachia—and the faith and fury of its people—to rich and vivid life. Here is a spellbinding tour de force that announces a dazzlingly fresh, natural-born storyteller in our midst. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take: This book was really good. It was such an original story and I loved the characters. The book is based on a girl named Myra and is focused on how history often repeats itself. As sweet as Myra seems, it appears that only sorrow follows for those left in her wake. Narration is from a number of different people in her life. The first are the Granny who raised her and the neighbor boy, Doug, who has always been in love with her. Granny tells the story of her own childhood, how she came to Bloodroot Mountain, her marriage and children, and the tragedy that led to her raising her granddaughter. Doug has loved and idolized her since he first saw her when they were children and tells of his undying need to be with her. As time goes by, the narration turns to that of her twins, Laura and Johnny. They tell of their lives with their mother, their feelings for her as she mentally declines, and the effects she has on their future happiness. And, just when I had given up hope, Myra begins to tell her side of the story. And I was rather shocked until the very end at the twists and turns that the story takes when told by Myra with information only she knows. It is such a good story about the simple lives of people trying to manage life on the mountain, caring neighbors, tragedy, and how many lives are unknowingly intertwined. I would definitely recommend!

Kim’s Rating: 4/5

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (3)



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme put on by Kristi over at The Story Siren. It let's us show what books we have received over the past week.

Here is what I (Missy) got-



When It Happens by Susan Colsanti
Possessions by Nancy Holder
Need by Carrie Jones
Strange Angels (Book 1) by Lili St Crow



Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

If you click on the book titles it will take you to Amazon. I got most of these books there this week and I got really good deals on them.

I have can't wait to read Forget You. I just finished reading Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols and I LOVED it! I will have a review for that coming within the next couple of days.

So what did you get this week?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review - The Passage by Justin Cronin

Title: The Passage (amazon)
Author: Justin Cronin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 766
Genre: Adult Fiction, YA

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction. (Goodreads)


Kim’s take - Wow. I don’t even know how to begin to describe how amazing this book was! It is my understanding that this is going to be the first in a series and I can’t tell you how excited that makes me. Justin Cronin is now one of my favorite authors. This book had such an amazing, suspenseful, intricate story line. I loved all of the characters. My favorite, of course, was Amy who is the key to the entire story. Cronin does an excellent job in adding such depth to his characters that you feel you really “know” them. 

The book grabbed me right from the first pages. As part of the FBI, Brad Wolgast has become responsible for delivering the agency chosen 6-year old, Amy, to a hidden government facility for experimental viral research. But Wolgast comes to think of her as a daughter and will do anything in his power to rescue her from the terrible fate he knows will befall her. What follows is the escape of the virus infected individuals which ends the world and civilization as we know it.

Peter, who grew up in The Colony which was a fortress secured in the early days of the infection, has known no other world than the shelter of The Colony and the threat of “smokes” which stalk humans after dusk until dawn. Similar to vampires in their thirst for blood, the comparison ends there. These monsters are much more vicious. The Colony has been able to sustain itself for almost 100 years but is now only a few years from losing its power supply which protects them from the smokes during the night. When Amy mysteriously shows up at The Colony, Peter embarks on a journey from California, The Colony's location, to Colorado where they have traced a cryptic transmission, and with hopes of discovering other surviving colonies. Have The Colony residents become the last of the human race?

What follows is a harrowing and nail-biting tale of survival, love, and terror.  I’m going to lose my mind waiting for book two! It’s apparently not expected to be released until 2012. I haven’t read a book this amazing in a while. I just never wanted to put it down because I had to know what was going to happen next! And that’s kind of hard to do with a book that’s 766 pages. But it is so worth it. This is one is going in my “have to own” collection!

Kim’s Rating – 5/5

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blogger Hop and Follow Friday (3)

I can't believe it's Friday again! Yay, for the weekend!





Here is this weeks question:

What is your favorite romance hero-type? Stereotype wise. Do you like the strong silent type or the brute macho man?

 

That is a really tough question. I generally like someone with a healthy mix of both. (Is that cheating?) Normally strong and silent, but a bit on the macho side when the time calls for it. There is nothing better than someone who is generally strong and silent, but gets possessive and macho when trying to protect you! :)

 

Book Blogger Hop

"Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!"

I guess that I would go with my Teaser Tuesday post since it was about The Iron King and I REALLY enjoyed reading it! You can check that post out HERE. It's a great book and I suggest you pick it up if you haven't read it already.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review - Room by Emma Donoghue


Title: Room (Amazon)
Author: Emma Donoghue
Publisher: Little Brown and Company        
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 321
Genre: Adult Fiction


To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take: It was a very good story but I still have some mixed feelings about it. I think the thing that bothered me the most was that it was written from the child’s view. And the language he uses just really irritated me sometimes. It’s probably just me, but there were several times I kept thinking that someone needs to put their foot down with this kid. But that was really the only part I had trouble with. It was a very sad story of a 19-year-old girl being kidnapped and held in a fortified shed for seven long years and the things she endured before and after giving birth all alone and trying to create a life for her son within 4 walls. After their daring escape, Jack goes on to detail how he is affected by a world he never knew about on the outside and the problems this causes for his mother and himself. A really good story if you can get past or not be bothered by the narration of a 5-year old.

Kim’s Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (2)



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are looking forward to.

 
A Need So Beautiful 
Author: Suzanne Young
Release date:  6/21/11
Publisher:  Balzer & Bray

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

There have been others before who’ve felt the Need, but they’re gone—erased from the memories of everyone whose lives they had touched. It's as though they never existed. This is the fate that awaits Charlotte. But the last thing Charlotte wants to do is disappear, to be Forgotten. She wants to stay with her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. She wishes she could just ignore the Need, but she can’t. And as everyone important in her life begins to slowly forget her, she has to decide if she’ll fight the Need in order to remain herself—no matter how dark the consequences.

June seems so far away. I can't believe that I have to wait so long to get this book in my hands! The synopsis sounds amazing and I can't wait to read how it all comes together.



Smokin' Seventeen 
By Janet Evanovich 
Release date: 6/21/11 
Publisher: Bantam 

Where there's smoke there's fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. 

The bail bonds office has burned to the ground, and bodies are turning up in the empty construction lot. To make matters worse, Stephanie is working out of a motor home she shares with a dancing bear, and Joe Morelli's old world grandmother has declared a vendetta against her. 

And just when Stephanie decides it might be time to choose between the two men in her life, Morelli and Ranger, a third man from Stephanie's past moves back to Trenton...


Well this one has the same release date as the other. What a long long wait we have!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

 
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
 
"Mom, there's something I have to take care of. I'll be back soon, I promise."




Monday, February 7, 2011

Review - Looking for Alaska


Title: Looking for Alaska (amazon)
Author: John Green
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date:  2005
Pages: 256
Genre:YA

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green's arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take - I really liked the story. It was funny and sad and the same time. Miles ends up with a pretty eccentric roommate and falls in love with the crazy girl he can’t have. He meets Alaska and falls in love with her instantly. There are a lot of pranks played throughout the book which makes it a lot of fun. There are also a few “firsts” which were hysterical. It all boils down to a few friends at boarding school trying to make sense out of life and seeking answers to a tragedy that befalls them. I thought it was very good.

Kim’s Rank: 4/5

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It let's us show everyone what books we bought, borrowed or received over the past week. Make sure that you hop on over to her blog and link up!

This week I (Missy) went on a bit of a spending spree again! Oops! :) Here is what I bought


Bought-
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Shadowspell  by Jenna Black
Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
I did pre order and order some books, but they technically won't be in my mailbox until later. 
I have already read and loved Delirium by Lauren Oliver. You can check out my review HERE.


So what did you get in your mailbox this week?



Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review - Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King


Title: Full Dark, No Stars (Amazon)
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 384
Genre: Horror

A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

1922
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.

Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.

Fair Extension
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.

A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage. (Goodreads)

Kim’s take

Stephen King is back with some darker and more gruesome short stories! The book really lives up to its name. I’ve never been a fan of short stories but this book has changed that. Of the four stories, my two favorites were actually the first two, 1922 and Big Driver. 1922 was just a creepy, dark story. Wilfred James is a farmer who assumes that if he kills his wife in order to prevent her from selling some property she had inherited, his problems will be solved. After the killing, things begin to unravel and turn terrifying. What he thought would be a solution turned itself into the maniacal undoing of himself and his son as well. In Big Driver, an author is stranded on the side of a country road with a flat tire when returning home from an appearance at a local library. The man who comes to her aid, who happens to be the size of the Jolly Green Giant, turns out to be anything but a Good Samaritan. What follows is the horrifying story of her very brutal rape then being left in a ditch, assumed dead. But she miraculously survives and her quest for vengeance leads to some very surprising twists. The other two stories were pretty good but neither pulled me in the way the first two did. I also recommend reading the afterword where King refers to his preference to portray regular people in extraordinary situations. I really liked it and recommend it to those of you who can handle the dark and gruesome suspense!

Kim’s Rating – 4/5