Archive | August 2011

That Summer by Sarah Dessen

That Summer

Hardcover
240 pages
Published
April 6th 2006
by Viking Juvenile
(first published October 1st 1996)
  For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.
First off, I have to say that I am not a huge fan of the chick-lit type books.  I will say that this however was not what I exspected it to be.  I am by no means converted by this book but I am now more open to reading more of Dessens books.  I started with this particular novel because my middle daughter is named Hayvin and even though they are spelled differently it is very unusual to find someone even a fictional character named that.   I of course  love the name Hayvin and Ashley is the middle name of my oldest daughter so I felt that if I was going to read one of Dessens books  and get my friend off my back then this one would have to be it. 
The book was a fun short read that dealt with the very real life experiences.   Haven is a very unique character with very strong feelings that she hides through most of the beginning of the book.  Then, as with most of  us she gets to her breaking point at which she takes it out on a costumer at the mall that she works at.   I read that part in the book and I have to say that I could see myself doing the same thing.  I won’t say what she did because I don’t want to give it away but I tell you I so would have done it and been like so what!  I think there is so many moments for me like that in the book.  I found myself saying things like shut up and then Haven would say it in the next paragraph.  Ashley reminds me of people in my family with all the drama and hysterics and I can so relate to how Haven feels about her.   
 I feel Dessen has captured what its like after a split in the family happens.  She gets how people try to figure out what went wrong and how to cope with the change or even who to place the blame on.  I felt that this was going to be some silly love-sick type of book but I was gladly mistaken when I found that this book had real depth to it.   I would recommend it to anyone who is look for more than just a silly love-sick type of book.

Misfit by Jon Skovron

Misfit

Hardcover
384 pages
Published
August 1st 2011
by Amulet Books

Jael has always felt like a freak. She’s never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad’s always been superstrict—but that’s probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family’s dangerous history and Jael’s untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.

Author Jon Skovron takes on the dark side of human nature with his signature funny, heartfelt prose.

I know most of my family and friends  would not approve of the subject matter in this book.  I personally don’t find this to be a problem because over half the bible is about demons, hell and the various religions around the world.  I find this book to be a different take on an old theme which is good versus evil.

I thought that Jael was a great female heroine,  with an amazing back ground.  I liked how this book points out how you can’t pick your family so you just have to be able to do the best with what you have been given.  Jael may have just wanted to be a normal mortal girl but that isn’t what she is so she has to figure out what she is going to do with her life and her powers.  She also has to figure out what she is going to do about the demon that killed her mother and is now trying to kill her.  There is also the fact that she needs to figure out how to protect her friends and family from the demon and his minions.

I loved how this book was a mix of religion and mythology.  I found that I was so intrigued by it that I was telling all my friends about how interesting this book is.  I didn’t even care that my friend were speechless when I told them that it was about demons because this book is just so much more than that.  I so suggest that people check this book out because it is just a really good read.

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

Delirium (Delirium, #1)

Hardcover
441 pages
Published
February 1st 2011
by HarperTeen
series
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love — the deliria — blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

At first the thought of love as a disease was to far-fetched to me and I wasn’t in that big of a hurry to read this book.  Then I saw a review on you tube about the book and it sparked my interest so I went and bought.  I still wasn’t sure if I was going to read it now or wait because of my piles of books still needing to be read.  Then my daughter read it and couldn’t stop raving about it.  Yet, I was still on the fence about it and then my library got it on audio.   Which was great for me because I needed something new to listen to while going out-of-town.  I am so glad I found this on audio, because it could have been months before I finally got to this book and that would have been a shame.
Disease is something that scares everyone no matter who you are.  With love being the disease it is even worse because there is no way of not being born with it or medication that can fix it.  As Lena knows all to well, because her mother had the disease and died from it.  She has alway felt like she was a ticking time bomb and all she wants to do is be normal and have the disease cut out of her body.  The closer she gets to her cure date the more crazy her best friend Hannah gets.  Hannah starts acting out by saying and doing things that could possible get her in trouble.  Then there is a boy named Alex that makes her body react in weird ways and she is desperate to keep herself safe until she can get the cure. 
Ok , I love the way this story evolves between the characters and how Lena begins to finally question the way things are done and the things that she has always believed.  There is just so much that is right about this book that the few things that might not make sense don’t really matter.  The only thing that I found kind of out-of-place was Hannah’s decision at the end because I felt that given all she had done prior to their last run together she would have chosen to go.  This is just a really good book with a really well conceived and thought out plot.

True Blood, Vol. 1: All Together Now by Alan Ball, David Tischman, Mariah Huehner, David Messina

True Blood, Vol. 1: All Together Now

Hardcover
160 pages
Published
February 16th 2011
by IDW Publishing
 
 
 
Blood and sex mix on a hot rainy night at Merlotte’s, when Sookie and her friends are trapped by a vengeful spirit who feeds on shame. People die and dirty secrets are revealed as Sookie, Bill, Eric, Sam, Tara, Jason, and Lafayette and are all coerced to dig deep and tell painful memories from their past-those things we all have locked within us that we never tell another living soul! Bon Temps, Louisiana has never been stranger, or more twisted, in a story co-plotted by TRUE BLOOD series creator Alan Ball, with a script by David Tischman (Bite Club) and Mariah Huehner, and lush art by David Messina (Star Trek: Countdown).
 
 
I love the books and I like the television show a lot but the comic to me was a little out there.   Well, it might not be for the tv show but definitely for the book series.   What ever type of creature that was in this graphic novel    should have been in a superhero comic at least that’s what it reminded me of.    I just don’t feel that this type of creature would have been in the book series, but as for the tv show you can never tell what kind of crazy they will come up with.
 
I have to say that the graphic art was absolutely gorgeous.  The art just popped right off the page.   This graphic novels art is just as spectacular as the art done for Laurell K. Hamilton in her graphic novels series of  Anita Blake.   Although what make this novel special is the full color photos of the cast from the tv show through out the book.  
 
I cant say this is one of my favorite but I was pleasantly surprised by the art works.  I am looking forward to reading more because these are nice to read between books and the tv show.

Tiger’s Curse (The Tiger Saga #1) by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Curse (Tiger Saga, #1)
Hardcover
402 pages
Published
January 11th 2011
by Splinter
Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?The last thing 17-year old Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and  mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

First off, I want to say that I didn’t think that this book would be as good as it was.  I saw it on  one of the book websites and watched one of the you tube videos about it and decided to give it a try.  I was throughly pleased that I picked it up, bbecause not only was it a fantastic read but it also took me on an amazing journey!  The mythology in this book was very interesting and it makes me want to learn more about India’s rich history.
I will say that the only thing I found a little disappointing was the fact that Kelsey was so strong in her conviction to help Ren fight the curse but was so down on herself.  She couldn’t bring herself to believe that Ren could possible love someone like her.  I just felt that it was a little cliché in the fact that here is this girl who gives up everything and risks her life but he can’t love her because she isn’t good enough.   PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK!!
Even with Kelsey being a little pathetic this book was still just a wonderful escape into a land I have never give much thought about.  Also, the tiger aspect was fascinating because of the way Kelsey and Ren met and how she ended up getting to know him.  The cover is gorgeous with the picture of the tiger surrounded by the blue and silver just makes it irresistible.   I definitely think that anyone who is looking for an epic journey or just a truly good read should check this one.

Under His Spell (My Boyfriend Is a Monster) by Marie P. Croall, Hyeondo Park

Under His Spell (My Boyfriend Is a Monster)

Library Binding
128 pages
Published
April 1st 2011
by Graphic Universe

Bethany Farmer’s life is a boring high school routine, and she likes it that way. Soccer, coffee, homework, more coffee, and no goofy romance. That is, until foreign exchange student Allein Atwood shows up in her Midwestern town, and her life turns epically weird. Allein has unearthly good looks, princely politeness, and a bunch of goofy, romantic pick-up lines. But is his country really so foreign that they don’t know anything about soccer? Or coffee?

To her horror, Bethany is swept off her feet by Allein’s spellbinding ways–and then knocked flat by savage creatures set loose into suburbia to hunt Allein down. Suddenly Bethany’s normal town is twisted upside down, and nothing is what it seems. Can Bethany rescue her prince of a boyfriend and keep them both alive long enough to go on a second date?

I have to say that I am reviewing this book for Net Galley.  I am a big fan of graphic novels as most of the people who know me or read my blog already know.  I hardly ever find one that I don’t like but this one was not a favorite of mine.  I really liked the last one because the are work was phenomenal, but this one lacked the artistic talent that the other one had.   In my opinion graphic novels need to have awesome art in order to make the story come to life.  Graphic novels lack the content that regular novels have so you need the art work to help bring the story to life.  This graphic novel has a good story line but the artwork takes away from this story.  The story line had potential and could have been so much better had the artwork been better.  I have to agree with many of the other reviewers and say that this one just fell flat for me.   I am just disappointed because this had such potential to be an awesome addition to this series because lets face it, the Fae are magical and the art should have been magical..

Pride/Prejudice: A Novel of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, and Their Other Loves by Ann Herendeen

Pride/Prejudice: A Novel of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, and Their Other Loves

Paperback
432 pages
Published
January 13th 2010
by HarperCollins Canada / Fiction
literary awards
Jane Austen’s most popular novel has enthralled generations of readers, as proud Mr. Darcy meets his match in witty and prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet. But only now can the hidden story be told, of the two parallel loves that complicate this ideal romance: Darcy’s controlling affection for the gentleman-like Charles Bingley; and the sympathetic intimacy between Elizabeth and her more practical friend, Charlotte Lucas. Written in a comparable ‘bright and sparkling’ style, “Pride/Prejudice” ‘fills the gaps’ in Austen’s story, daring to imagine the full truth suggested by the original. What is Darcy’s real motivation for preventing Bingley’s marriage to Elizabeth’s beautiful and virtuous sister Jane? How can Darcy reconcile his desire for Elizabeth with his determination to save his friend from a similar entanglement? And what is the disturbing history behind Darcy’s tortured relationship with his foster brother, George Wickham? “Pride/Prejudice” brings to light all the buried secrets, weaving a tale of intertwined passions that must be resolved through honesty and forgiveness, the humbling of pride and freedom from prejudice.
 I am a huge P&P addict so much so, that I will read just about any thing out there.  I was a little shocked to find out that this one was not what I  had originally thought it was about.   Although  once I started it I found it to be very intriguing.  I have to say that I have nothing against this type of content.  I am all for freedom of expression and art.  To me love is love no matter the form as long as it is between two consenting adults.  With that being said, I will say that I found this book to be a little out there.
To me the relationship between Wickham and Darcy was way off base, but Darcy and Bingley I could see some what.  The fact that Jane would be so understanding to the relationship didn’t surprise me.  Although Elisabeth’s reactions to me were out of character.  Also, the reaction she has toward her daughter after the way her mother treated her was also out in left field.  I didn’t love this book but I can’t say that I was able to put it down either.  So I am kind of on the fence about this one.  
I would recommend this book to any one who likes stories of same-sex couples and anyone who loves P&P and doesn’t mind this type of content.  I found that as I was reading it  I wasn’t focused on the sex aspect of the book but more of the complex minds of the characters.