Thursday, May 30

The Keeper's Curse: Book Review

The Keeper's Curse

Diana Harrison

November 13th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal
Official Blurb - 
After fifteen-year-old Emmy Rathers unintentionally summons a strange glowing cloud during a break-in, her mother rips her from her home, her father, and her world, forever.

When she lands in the rustic, militant land of Methelwood, she is told she's a crafter - a person who can perform magic by conjuring souls of the dead. But starting life over normally in the midst of grieving for the life she has left behind, while at the same time attempting to fit in in her new war-obsessed school, becomes impossible when she begins to hear a voice in her head. Complicating the matter further is the fact that the voice belongs to a boy at school named Breckin, who just also happens to be the most powerful crafter in the world, and the future ruler of Methelwood.

But that's not the worst part - suddenly Breckin's most hostile adversary is coming out of the shadows and trying to kill her. With no other choice, Emmy must travel deeper into this bizarre, dark world she is so unfamiliar with to find out why this is happening to her, and more importantly, how to stay alive.

So much of this book just didn't make sense. Like the characters would always jump to the most illogical solution. Obviously no one ever explained to them that the most direct and obvious is usually true. It was really hard to take them seriously when they were so far off in left field. I never could understand the importance they placed on everything. Why, was the question most on top of my mind. I also had a really hard time seeing Emmy as even remotely grown up. Is it any wonder no one else did when I couldn't even see it. For some reason she really has a very pre-teen sort of way of thinking. The cover definitely does not lead you to think this is some near child. The bad guy is pathetic. He has all these opportunities to kill Emmy and he just keeps hesitating. Maybe he doesn't even want to be himself but wishes someone would stop him and put him out of his misery.

On another note there are a bunch of convoluted sentences as well as plenty of missing words. It was quite distracting and frustrating trying to figure out what the author was trying to say.

The story is fairly average despite all the backwards thinking. The only real redeeming quality is Cyrus. There are some entertaining moments with him. But even he is really odd. Emmy clearly is trying to bite off more romance than she can chew. Trying to get all it is the end of the world that at fifteen he heart has been broken but don't worry I will dedicate myself to you. Like I mentioned earlier she doesn't seem old enough to be bothering with this stuff yet.

Violence: Moderate
Moments Divine:
"Can I hit you? That'll make me feel better."

"You most certainly cannot! I'm not letting you anywhere near my face."
"What, no sarcastic quip?" she said, not being able to stand the silence any longer.

"Oh, um, you . . ." he waved a hand at her as if this explained everything. "You clean up well."

"Really? That's the best you can do? Please refrain from complimenting me for the rest of the night."

"Your shoes don't match your dress, either."

She clacked in her shoes over to him and smacked him on the shoulder. "Let's go. Maybe you shouldn't talk at all."

Tuesday, May 28

Rivals and Retributions: Book Review

Rivals and Retributions

13 to Life #5

Shannon Delany

St. Martin's Griffin
August 7th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal
Official Blurb - 
In Rivals and Retribution, the fifth book in the 13 to Life series by Shannon Delany, Pietr and Jessie will find themselves caught in a pack war with a new breed of werewolves.

Jessie Gillmansen is in trouble again and she's in for the fight of her life--and Pietr's! With Marlaena’s dangerous wolf pack putting more pressure on the Rusakova family, change is inevitable and when it comes, it brings a heavy price that forces Alexi into action to save his youngest brother's heart, head, and life. In the stunning conclusion of this celebrated paranormal series two werewolf families fight for control of the small town of Junction, control of each other and--most elusive of all--control of themselves.

Someone drained all the fire and passion out of this one. After the last one being dull I was actually happy to see Pietr being a bit of a jerk. I wanted it to blow up in his face. Give me some fire but it was denied me. Instead there was understanding and compassion.

There were far too many mentions of Twilight and similar pop culture for my liking. It just felt like it cheapened the story. As if it couldn't stand on its own without help.

The end was a very fast wrap up. The worst part being Pietr in jammies. I don't think Pietr and jammies should ever be used in the same sentence. Just not manly but then none of the male characters seemed as masculine in the last two books as they were before. Bit of a let down. But back to the ending. Everything wrapped up a bit too conveniently and quickly. For one I wanted some small proof Pietr did not turn into the geek again. Yuck! Plus, as a geneticist I have a really hard time with the genetic cure. it just seems so preposterous that after a few twitches Pietr has the best of both worlds. Oh well fiction, right?

Language: Moderate

Saturday, May 25

Pile Denial: 29

I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
The Proposal by Lori Wick 
Flock by Wendy Desol
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta  
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
If I Should Die by Amy Plum 
Blurred by Tara Fuller 
Pile Reduction:
The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams
Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
The Rising by Kelley Armstrong  
Fragments by Dan Wells
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan
Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne 
Flock by Wendy Desol
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta 

The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
The Proposal by Lori Wick 

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
Bottleneck Effect:
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

Well, I sort of fell off the blogging and reading wheel. More so blogging than reading. Maybe it will just be a summer thing. Maybe not. But here is a check in for my progress with getting rid of the pile.

It looks impressive but it has been at least a month since I checked in. On top of which I haven't much felt like reading. Most of my time has been spent filling my etsy shop, knitting, and making cheese or yogurt. All have been an interesting experience. The yogurt is definitely the best of what I have been up to. My attempt at mozzarella was barely palatable. Not sure if that is the norm for fresh mozzarella or my mistakes.

Until next time. . .

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books:36 (decrease) :
eBooks: 22 (increase) :(

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Thursday, May 23

Dare You To: Book Review

Dare You To

Katie McGarry

Harlequin Teen
June 7th 2013
Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Official Blurb - 
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Better than Pushing the Limits. Sorry Noah and Echo but you got nothing on Ryan and Beth.

Just love that Ryan is the good guy. Loved it. So refreshing. He is just such a treat to get to know. I have a new found respect or at least good thoughts for sports. Instead of seeming like a waste of space they actually seem to have merit. Ryan makes you feel like anything is possible. Just believe and you can make it happen. No wonder he is such a perfect fit for Beth.

Katie McGarry definitely brings the heat in this story. Yowza! You might need to fan yourself.

Very hard to put down. Intense and addictive. Would have rated it five stars except for all the profanity and I lost some respect for Ryan when he gives up his virginity. Otherwise an absolutely awesome read.

Violence: Heavy
Language: Heavy
Sexual: Moderate to Heavy
Underage: Sex, drinking, and drugs
Moments Divine:
All girls are the same. It's what I tell myself as I stroll to the counter. She might look different from the girls at home, but all girls want the same thing--a guy who shows interest. A guy's problem is having the balls to do it. Good thing for me I've got balls.
Listening to them discuss my gay brother's possible gay boyfriend is just as comfortable as convincing my mom over and over again that I prefer girls and their girl parts. Nothing makes you think you might need years of therapy like having to say the word breasts in front of your mother.
"Get your arm off of me before I rip it off and beat the shit out of you with it."

We're heading for the bonfire. I feel small underneath his massive arm, like a girl, and such vulnerability makes me uncomfortable. Instead of letting go, Ryan effortlessly tucks me under his shoulder. "When you kiss guys, do they drop dead from the venom that spews out of your mouth?"

"I wish, because I would have kissed you days ago."

Tuesday, May 21

A Shade of Vampire: Book Review

A Shade of Vampire

A Shade of Vampire #1

Bella Forrest

December 14th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal | Romance
Official Blurb - 
On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

Obscure title but very nice looking cover.

Mental voices of Derek and Sofia felt the same. There was even one time when they were so similar I mistook one for the other. Only when the individual finally referred to the other did the character become apparent.

Derek Novak was a great disappointment. He didn't feel like some great vampire to be reckoned with. Especially since he is weak enough to let others disobey him. Also, for someone who saved his clan from dangerous hunters as well as being an ex-hunter he is really blind. Sometimes willingly blind to danger. Not the individual I would trust my protection too.

I didn't like how much sex and all things related was a pivot point to this story. Almost from the start Sofia and all humans are sen as toys to be exploited, played with. Repeatedly they are mentioned as beautiful and dressed like Victoria Secret models. It felt like this sort of treatment and views of their oppressors should have caused some real dislike from the victims. But time and time again the beautiful toys didn't seem all that upset by these views. Sofia has several offensive molestation encounters with a certain vampire and it was really disturbing. Yet the next second she is practically frolicking and then back to groping. *shudders* It just isn't right.

The characters failed to endear themselves to me. In some cases they failed to merit an individual voice.

So much of the story is still hidden. And the ending didn't leave us enough to go on for a sequel. Didn't inspire an unstoppable need to read more.

Quick read and a decent romance. Could have benefited from better character development.


Violence: Heavy (Molestation)

Thursday, May 16

Destiny and Deception: Book Review

Destiny and Deception

13 to Life #4

Shannon Delany

St. Martin's Griffin
January 31st 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal
Official Blurb - 
The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakovas fighting to overcome their biggest challenge yet.

With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

So much of this book was dull and disappointing. It began so thrilling and dramatic. Then all the life drained out of it just like Pietr. He has been the energy of all the books. Now he is just boring. It seems all the characters have been slapped with the dull stick. Regular life and routines abound. And while they are wrapping themselves in routine a deadly trap is being sprung for them. And all their routine has left them ill prepared to defend themselves from the upcoming trouble.

It begins to seem that the entire story won't end well. Bummer. Maybe we will at least get a bit more passion and excitement before it is over. Still I had a hard time putting down the book. I just had so much hope that the next page would be a complete turn around.

Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate

Tuesday, May 14

The Girl with the Iron Touch: Book Review

The Girl with the Iron Touch

Kady Cross

Harlequin Teen
May 28th 2013
Young Adult | Science Fiction | Historical | Paranormal
Official Blurb - 
In 1897 London, something not quite human is about to awaken

When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What's left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends' lives.

With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, the young duke's sanity is close to the breaking point. Seeking help, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. When Jack kisses her, Finley must finally confront her true feelings for him...and for Griffin.

Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel's desolate alleyways to Mayfair's elegant mansions. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine.

To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist's ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she's to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has....

Oh la la, that was lovely.

New and old characters + crazy mad hatter villain = another awesome Kady Cross book

*does a happy dance* Its not the end. (Or at least it definitely leads into another book.) I am so happy to have more time with each of the characters. There is still so much I want to know about them.

Top notch steampunk! Move over placid Regency era you got nothing on this. Such vivid fascinating characters. Can't help but love them all. In that family sort of way that sometimes means you want to smack them fondly.

Read the entire book in one day it was so compelling. A treasure from start to finish.

Just when you thought it couldn't get much stranger this book will pull out another pow. The villain's master plan in this story is so wrong. Why won't he ever die?

These characters are not ones to express their emotions. So when they finally do it is really heart melting powerful and precious. There are definitely some moments that will bring the heat to your cheeks in these pages. I feel like a puddle of blissful goo. Such a great read and if you haven't started this series I definitely recommend you stop procrastinating.

Language: Mild
Violence: Moderate
Moments Divine:
"Dandy?" Sam was full-on scowling now. "What the hell does that scoundrel want?"

Finely returned his dark expression with one of her own. "You shouldn't use words you can't spell, mutton head."

He rose to his feet, towering over her. Good grief, had he actually grown? "You shouldn't invite people into a house that is not yours."

She climbed onto the low tea table, moving the tea service with her foot, so that they were almost nose to nose. "This is as much my home as it is yours, mandroid."
"I imagine you'd suffocate yourself by shoving your head too far up your own backside."
"You need me, eh?"

Finley nodded. His other hand splayed across her back, fingers warm through her thin linen camisole. All the moisture in her mouth disappeared, leaving her a little short of breath, her face flushed. His chest was bare beneath the dressing gown. She could see his skin in the dim light, smell his soap and his warmth. Her hand slid down to rest just over his heart. Its rhythm was strong against her palm, the muscle there firm beneath her fingers.

It took all of her will to push him away. "I do, but I'm not going to be a distraction for you, or allow you to be one for me."

"A distraction?" He folded his arms across his chest.

"Is that what you think you are? That I am? Bloody hell, woman. I need something to distract me from you! Why do you think I feel so guilty about Emily and Sam? It's because I don't even think of them when I'm with you. All I can think about is how you smell and feel, that I want to kiss you and touch you and . . ." He looked away.

Heart in her throat, Finley took a step toward him.


Griffin's head turned just enough that he could look at her from the corner of his eye. His jaw was tight. "You know what. Two of my best friends are in trouble, and all I want right now is you. You think I'm proud of that?" He laughed humorlessly. "You're not a distraction, you're a bloody obsession."

Thursday, May 9

When I'm With You: Book Review

When I'm With You

The Jane Austen Academy Series #3

Cecilia Gray

Young Adult | Contemporary
Classic Retelling
Official Blurb - 
Kat is destined to be a star and her big break has arrived at last! As the assistant to a celebrity classmate on the set of a feature film, she's going to show everyone she has what it takes. That is, until she discovers pursuing her dreams may mean forfeiting her heart. Unless she can find a way to have both…


Modern retelling of Northanger Abbey.

It works.

Great view into the average life of a teenage actor.

Charming characters.

Not terribly deep but still very satisfying.

Manages to be modern without being completely without morals. The story manages to stay fairly true to the heart of Northanger Abbey.

Come the end I found I craved more of this world and spunky characters. I wanted to go back and read the two previous books as well as the next one.

Very fun, light and quick read. 
Language: Mild

Tuesday, May 7

Across the Universe: Book Review

Across the Universe

Beth Revis

November 29th 2011
Young Adult | Dystopian

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

"An unforgettable opening scene." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Gripping first novel." - Publishers Weekly

"A compulsively readable crowd-pleaser." - Booklist
The whole thing is a shifting sand of lies. There is no normal only a mess and mockery of what should be. All that is sacred and special has been lost.

If I have learned anything about this scenario, travel through space to a new planet, it is that it will never work. It has to be the most doomed idea ever conceived. There is no way a group of people spanning several generations trapped in a metal can won't eventually kill each other before achieving their goal. So if I were ever approached with such a grand (by grand I mean cockamamie) idea I will decline and take my chances on my home planet. Thank you very much.

The characters weren't as strong as I would have liked. Things were obvious to the reader long before the characters caught on. In all their technological advancements they have really degenerated. So very many thins wrong with this world. I don't understand why they are all so bothered by being cooped up in the ship. It isn't like we don't travel the same rut every day. Especially now that so many sit in front of computers the whole day long. Sure their will always be those who operate outside the box but the majority continue in the path they were trained in.

I didn't much like Elder's name or lack there of. It is a title not a name. He should rebel and pick a name. I wouldn't be the least surprised if they had to wake the frozens to fix their problem. To me it seems either that or die. Is anyone else pissed that Luthe hasn't had a reckoning? Creep. Elder is messed up. Instead of being charming he is only one step away from creepy. I am sure it is how he had been indoctrinated but I hope it doesn't last. Oh and he is a selfish jerk.

I am most curious about the contingency area. What could possibly be back there? Loads of clone-able fresh DNA, a smaller escape ship, a back up engine, a monster self-destruct button?

Basically aside from a few possible interesting mysteries there isn't much draw for me to continue the story. The people on this ship creep me out too much. Can't say I even want to hang out with them fictionally so I will be bowing out of the sequels.

Sexual: Heavy (Rape)

Thursday, May 2

Trail of the Spellmans: Book Review and Giveaway

Trail of the Spellmans

Lisa Lutz

Simon & Schuster
February 28th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal
Official Blurb - 
FOR THE FIRST TIME in Spellman history, Isabel Spellman, PI, might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities—with no apparent motive. Dad has a secret. Izzy’s brother and sister are at war—for no apparent reason. And her niece keeps saying “banana” even though she hates bananas. That’s not to say that Izzy isn’t without her own troubles. Her boyfriend, Henry Stone, keeps wanting “to talk,” a prospect Isabel evades by going out with her new drinking buddy, none other than Gertrude Stone, Henry’s mother.

Things aren’t any simpler on the business side of Spellman Investigations. First, Rae is hired to follow a girl, only to fake the surveillance reports. Then a math professor hires Izzy to watch his immaculate apartment while he unravels like a bad formula. And as the questions pile up, Izzy won’t stop hunting for the answers—even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family.

Reads like a diary as well as a sitcom. Isabel is the Queen of Tangents. Feels like she lives in a house full of people with severe attention span issues. Will the story ever focus and get anywhere?

Language: Moderate to Heavy


US Only
Must be 18 or older

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