Archive | September 2011

Dragon’s Oath (House of Night Novellas #1) by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast

Dragon's Oath (House of Night Novellas, #1)

Hardcover
145 pages
Published
July 12th 2011
by St. Martin’s Press
(first published 2011)

The first in an enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon’s Oath tells the story behind the House of Night’s formidable fencing instructor – the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt him

In early 19th century England, long before he’s a professor at the Tulsa House of Night, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome yet talented human teen who thinks he can get away with anything… until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon – and a brand new fate.

Becoming a Fledgling may be exciting, but it opens a door to a dangerous world…. In 1830’s St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are both frightening challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling…

But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off evil, while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her—or destroy them all.

I really enjoy the House of Night series.  Some of the book are better than others and this one is definitely one of the better ones.  This book gives the background story of Dragon Lankford who is one of the instructors at the House of Night.  I loved reading about him and how he became a vampire.   I thought how he and Anastasia met was just really cool.   This book lets you get to know Dragon and why he has changed so much in the actual series.   I think the way the authors linked the past to what is happening  now was just a brilliant way to tie things together.   I really can’t say a lot about this book other than if  you like the series then you are sure to enjoy this book.

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark

Hardcover
 320 pages
Published
September 27th 2011
by HarperTeen

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.

First off, I have to say the cover is just so beautiful and it fits the book so well.   I love covers and I believe covers draw you to a book or repel you from it.  This cover definitely is one to draw you in at least it was for me.   This cover had me wondering if the girl was falling or flying and I think those are some of the best type of covers. 

A Beautiful Dark focuses on seventeen year old Skye, who at six was left an orphan due to a horrible car accident.  Now being raised by her mothers best friend she has life pretty much figured out.  She gets straight-A’s, she’s on the ski team and has already decide on her college.   Things change when she meets Asher and Devin, two boys who basically seem to be stalking her.   The book seems to be some what of a love triangle but Skye is some what resistant to the boys because of a past relationship.  Soon she comes to realize that the boys are more than what they seem and that the share a secret that will change her life forever. 

  I don’t want to give away anything but I also don’t want to reword the synopsis either.  So basically the book is fantastic and the ending left me jumping and scream at the book in utter disbelief.  I just couldn’t believe that Mrs. Davies ended the book that way.  I dont know how I am going to wait the six months to a year for the next book to be released.  This book was like a really good desert that you can’t wait to dig into but when it is done it leaves you wanting more.  I have told everyone about this book and I know that they are getting sick of hearing my praises.   I just have not been able to stop thinking or talking about this book.  I know that it is a sign of a great read and I truly encourage anyone who likes fantasy to give this book a try..   I have to thank Netgalley and Harperteen for letting me read the book for review.  I will definitely be getting a finished copy for myself.

Stupid Cupid (Stupid Cupid #1) by Rhonda Stapleton

Stupid Cupid (Stupid Cupid, #1)

Paperback
272 pages
 Published
December 22nd 2009
by Simon Pulse
Original title
Stupid Cupid

Felicity Walker believes in true love. That’s why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid’s Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn’t just a matchmaker…she’s a cupid! (There’s more than one of them, you know.)

Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired?and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.

 

I normally would have passed on this type of book just by looking at the cover because I would have thought it to be realistic fiction and I am not all that into that type of genre.  Not because this cover isn’t attractive but it would not have normally appealed to me because it looks like one of those girly realistic love stories.  I am so glad that I went to a book signing and heard Rhonda talk about this book.  Rhonda is extremely funny in person and I just knew if a tenth of her personality came out in these books they would be fantastic.  After reading this book I may have to reevaluate what type of books that I pick up and what I push aside just because of what a treasure this book is. 

I normally like more of the supernatural books but I also love comedy so this book really hit home with me.  I am a huge fan of Janet Evanovich’s  Stephanie Plum series and I can honestly say that this book gave me the same joy that I get from reading Janet’s books.  Felicity is a fun, quirky and just a normal teenage girl.  She has an awesome job that might not always be as awesome as she first thought.  There are just so many funny moments in this book.  I honestly say that this was one of the funniest books I have read this year.   I am looking forward to reading more of this series and seeing if someone will play cupid for Felicity.

Dead Is the New Black (Dead Is #1) by Marlene Perez

Dead Is the New Black (Dead Is, #1)

Paperback
204 pages
Published
September 1st 2008
by Harcourt Paperbacks

 

Everyone in the Giordano family is psychic—except for Daisy. When her mother, who uses her power to solve crimes, enlists Daisy’s older sister to investigate a teenage girl’s mysterious death, Daisy feels utterly useless. But she takes matters into her own hands when she learns the victim has lots of company — teenage girls are being attacked all over town, including at Nightshade High School, where Daisy is a junior. And when she discovers a vampire may be the culprit, Daisy suspects head cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, who returned from summer break with a new “look.” She looks a little . . . well, dead.
Is looking dead just another fashion trend for pretty, popular Samantha, or is there something more sinister afoot? Daisy will stop at nothing to find out — she even joins the cheerleading squad. And with a little sleuthing help from Ryan, an old friend (who may be turning into something more), Daisy not only reveals the identity of the vamp, she also discovers powers that she never knew she had.

 

I have had this on my to be read shelf forever and I am not sure why I haven’t picked it up to read before now.  I actually got this book on audio from my library so that I would have something to listen to while taking my kids back and forth to school.  I absolutely loved it!  It has so many great elements to it that it hooked me right from the very beginning. 

At first it starts out as a normal book about highschool students and this girl whose mom is  a physic who helps solve cases for the local police.  The girl’s name is Daisy and she is crushing on a boy who has been her friend since they were kids and he just happens to be one of the hottest guys in school.  Ok, so it sounded like a chick-lit book at first except that her mom isn’t the only one with physic abilities and then the town of Nightshade happens to be more than just a normal little town.  There is a murder and a strange illness sweeping the highschool cheerleading squad.  So Daisy enlists the help of the guy she likes to help her get to the bottom of what is happening to the cheerleaders. 

The book has a mystery, super natural elements and a romance in the back ground what more could you possible ask for in a book.  I am not a big fan of mystery but this book is not just about who is causing the problem with the cheer squad.  That is just one aspect of the book.  I love the relationship between Daisy and her sisters.  I also like the way the author introduces her old friend as a possible suspect to help mend their relationship.  This book was just a very fun and quick read and I cant wait to read the next book in the series.

 

Eve (Eve #1) by Anna Carey

Eve (Eve, #1)

Uncorrected e-Proof
200 pages
Expected publication:
October 4th 2011
by HarperTeen
Series
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust…and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

First of I want to say that this book was not by any means a bad book.  It just couldn’t hold my interest.  I read the book and thought that it has great potential and I will be checking out the finished copy to see if it is any different.  Also,  I feel that maybe at this time the book might not have been what I was in the mood for.  I just felt that through most of the book it was just running in circles.   I will say that my friend thought the book was amazing and we usually like the same things so like I said before I will read the finished copy and see if I feel differently. I do believe this series has the potential to be really good so I will read the second book regardless of the first..
 
As far as characters go, I loved the little boys Benny and Silas.  I also thought the fact that Silas was running around in a tutu was hilarious.   My favorite character by far was Caleb.  I loved the depth of the character and the way he interacted with the other characters.  I hope to see more characters like him emerge in the future of this series. 
  I hope you give the book a try to and let me know how you feel about it.  

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)

Hardcover
 298 pages
Published
June 21st 2011
by Hyperion Book CH
Series
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life life. Friend.  Niece.  Daughter.  Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. There are only three problems.  First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years.  Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself.  But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

I thought the first book was just fabulous and I couldn’t put it down,  but then I read this and it blew me away.  I loved the tension between Kat and Hale.  I loved how some of the family history is brought out in this book.  I loved the cover because of the way Kat is looking at the emerald over the sunglasses but you can see it reflection on the glasses.  This cover just goes so well with the book. 
 I don’t want to give too much away and if I go into detail then a lot of the plot will be ruined.  I will say that this book takes Kat on a journey of self discovery.  She learns that maybe she isn’t as good as she thinks she is.  She also learns she can’t do everything on her own.  There are many of the old characters in the book and a few new ones.   I loved the story of the emerald and why it is supposed to be cursed.  This is just one of those books that once you start it you just don’t want it to stop.  I look forward to more installments of the Heist Society and highly recommend this to anyone who likes books with adventure, danger and so much more….

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

Prom

Paperback
215 pages
Published
February 2nd 2006
by Puffin

Ashley Hannigan’s plans for the future don’t include the senior prom; they include things like squeaking through to graduate, moving out of her parents’ crowded house and into a Philadelphia apartment with her high school dropout boyfriend. Those plans change when Miss Crane, the math teacher, embezzles all the prom money. Before she can say, “Too weird,” Ashley Hannigan’s plans for the future don’t include the senior prom; they include things like squeaking through to graduate, moving out of her parents’ crowded house and into a Philadelphia apartment with her high school dropout boyfriend. Those plans change when Miss Crane, the math teacher, embezzles all the prom money. Before she can say, “Too weird,” Ashley finds herself choreographing a school gala that changes everything. Tender; funny; perceptive.

I listened to this book for my September reads.  I will say if I had not listened to it I probably would not have finished this particular novel.  I am not a big fan of this type of fiction.  I also couldn’t connect to the characters.  I did find myself irritated with several of the girls in this book.  Just because most seemed not to want much out of life and I think since it hit so close to my own experiences growing up it kind of put me off.  I did like the ending and found that I was glad that I listened to it.   Which, I more than likely  would have set it aside halfway through if I had been reading it.  I saw a lot of growth by the end of this book.  I felt that the girls had redeemed themselves by the end.  So if you’re a fan of realistic fiction then this book is for you.  I thought it was alright but definitely not one of my favorite genres so, I don’t think my review is as objective as some elses who likes this type of fiction.