Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer giveaway Hop

Hey blog hoppers!

For this giveaway, I am giving away a great book I just read.

I love this book.  If you haven't heard of it, check out my review here.

This is a must read book.

Just be a follower and fill out the form below.

Open international as long as the Book Depository ships to you.  Check here.

Now hop along to the next blog.

And the winner...

of Clockwork Angel
by Cassandra Clare
goes to

Nakoya Wilson
of the West Indies 
And if you didn't hear, Will took runner-up to Jace in the following categories
Best bad boy
Best one-liner

And he took 4th overall against some pretty tough competition.  I know Will won't be happy about losing to Jace, but if you gotta take second to someone, it ought to be Jace. =)

If you missed the interview I did with Will - find it here.

If you didn't win, make sure you pick up a copy of Clockwork Angel soon.  Read my review here.

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Source: Library

My Summary:

Francesca is one of thirty girls going to a coed school that used to be an all boy’s school, a school of more than 700 boys. Her mother is falling into deep depression and won’t get out of bed for more than 3 months. The friends she thought she had at her old school aren’t really friends. The only choices for new friends are a rag tag group of outcasts. She has strange neighbors that are always happy, driving her nuts. She blames her dad for her mom being sick. The 12th year prefect is driving her crazy. She doesn’t smile or talk much. Can her life ever get any better?

My thoughts:

2 stars- not my taste

So I heard about this book on another blog and checked it out on goodreads. Everyone loved it, so I picked it up at the library. I started reading and thought what is up with this writing? I put it down. I don’t usually finish books I don’t like so I was surprised when I picked it back up. There has to be something there, so many people liked it. I waited. I read. I never liked it. But maybe you will.

Here are the problems I had with this book:
• Scattered writing where it seems that scenes go unfinished and forgotten
• Severe depression not being treated to the point that it’s neglect
• Too many big problems that overwhelm the story
• Too many minor characters that make my head spin

So you can probably tell from my summary that there are a lot of story points that are wrapped up in a relatively short book. No wonder scenes seem to go unfinished, no room to deal with it all. As for the depression, I live with family that suffers from it. Never, never would I let someone suffer to the extent that this mother was allowed to suffer without getting help. I don’t care if you want help. You have to get help when it goes on this long. As a result, I was angry a lot during the book. This book was not my taste, at all. It may be yours.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Source: Library

My Summary:

Brooklyn’s boyfriend died a year ago. Now Gabe, the survivor of the car crash, has died. It’s a fresh shock and only makes it harder for Brooklyn, who hasn’t gotten over Lucca. But when Gabe starts haunting Brooklyn, chasing her through her dreams, she can’t take it. Nico, Lucca’s older brother, is being haunted too but by Lucca. Help Brooklyn is his message but Nico is not much better off than her. Both of them are broken and hurting trying to cope but not really living. Can they ever open up to each other and learn to move on?

My thoughts:

4 stars – a great read

I saw this book on a fellow bloggers site and it captured my interest. I picked it up at the library but it sat on my desk for weeks. I’ve been so overwhelmed with reviews and this book was just sitting there. Today I was done with a few things and felt like I could pick up something I wanted to read instead of had to read. I tried a couple of books before I choose this one. It went quickly. The book is written in prose with very little to no description or background. No world building or character explanations, just like reading a journal. What was fabulous was that it traded back and forth between Brooklyn’s entries and Nico’s. Both of them were in such pain from the death of Lucca but not dealing with it. They choose to avoid, hide or deflect. The hauntings were pushes from the other side to move on but they needed each other for that. I loved how they came together at first to try and help, then as friends and finally as more.

I may never be able to listen to The Killers again without thinking of Lucca and Nico. This is a quick great read. It’s not depressing or scary. It’s healing and hopeful. Pick it up.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Follow Friday 7/29/11

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by ParaJunkee – helping bloggers get out there and meet new bloggers!

Be sure to visit ParaJunkee blog to add your post to the linky.

Q. Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you? 

This is an interesting question.  I have a few options.  

First, I may go with the geeky teacher part of me.  I teach math but love tech so this works for me.

This would be code for "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again".

Geeky but I like it.

But if I want to show my weakness, I would have to go with the drinking shirt.  Now I don't drink alcohol so it wouldn't be the beer one, but if I could use the same idea with a Pepsi can instead of the beer glass I would very happy.  It also has the techy think I like.

Finally, if I really just want to combine everything, the teacher side as well as the caffeine dependent part, I would go with this one - a caffeine molecule 
So that's my answer.  What's yours?  Leave an answer in the comments or a link.  Happy Friday. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July is NetGalley Month Wrap-up

So I've had a busy NetGalley month completing 8 reviews, well actually 9.  Here is the list of my NetGalley reviews.

5 stars

3 Stars

5 Stars

3 1/2 stars

5 Stars

4 Stars

4 Stars

Beyond the Grave by mara purnhagen

3 Stars

And then there is the one I have done but pulled down until it gets closer to the publication date.  I read and finished the review for The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa during July.

So I'm done reading Netgalley books for July.  I have time left but need to move on to other books so I'm posting this now.  

Check out the Twitter Chat for #NetGalleyMonth
Friday July 29th
5:00pm EST

Thank you Netgalley for early looks at so many great books! =)

Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen

Source: Netgalley (Thank you)

My Summary:

Charlotte Silver’s life hasn’t been the same since she witnessed her vision the other side and the watcher still thinks she should be punished for it. Her parents were paranormal debunkers, that is until they encountered the real thing. But that life was put on hold after the watcher almost killed her mother. Charlotte was going to community college instead of leaving for school. Her Dad, lost and separate, spent all his time at the care facility with her comatose mother. Shane and Trisha were getting married. Her boyfriend was getting more and more secretive and distant. Charlotte was keeping secrets, trying to connect with paranormal energy alone. Would Charlotte’s life ever be safe again? Would the watcher ever be gone for good? Would she survive the wedding preparations? Who knows!

My Thoughts:

3 stars – a good read

I was excited to read this conclusion to the Past Midnight series. I really enjoyed One Hundred Candles and thought the books had turned it up a notch. The first line of the story really got me jumping into the book.

“I never should have sent my boyfriend to the electric chair.” Pg 1

And I did enjoy the beginning of the book, as Charlotte was trying to cope with the results of facing the watcher. It wasn’t easy for her to finish high school and graduate without her mom there to witness it. She was staying local for college and that takes an unselfish person. I had hoped so much that Charlotte had done some maturing. In book one and two, her biggest flaw was keeping secrets from those that loved her and could help her. But this book went down the same path. Every time she chooses to not tell someone an important development, I would moan and yell at her. You’re doing it again. Didn’t you learn anything? So the middle of the book lagged for me. It felt like we had to get through a few events without everyone knowing what was going on before the story could progress. By the end, the story fell together well and I was pleased with the conclusion. I guess I was tired of the keep secrets to build the plot ploy by book three. I was just frustrated with Charlotte.

I did enjoy the book, though, and was happy to see the resolution for these characters. I love Noah and had a hard time watching him go through some of the things he did. Trisha was the perfect self-consumed bride and was mostly a distraction in the book. I totally understood what Charlotte's Dad was going through. I felt his pain and understood his absence from the story. I loved the addition of Michael and the bigger role for Bliss. Bliss’s part may have been a little convenient but I still liked it.

Overall, if you have been reading the Past Midnight series, you should certainly pick this one up for your conclusion. I can see another book after this but the main issues have been resolved.

Mara Purnhagen | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depositiory

I have declared for the Net Galley July challenge and this book is part of that.  Thanks to Net Galley for the early look at this book. Check out the challenge here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Marked Son by Shea Berkley

My Summary:

Dylan Kennedy’s life sucks. His mother moves them around every time her relationship with some guy goes south. No one seems to remember Dylan and he has no friends. There is the dream of the beautiful girl that he has had for, well for a long time but that’s just a dream. His mother once again drags him from his life the summer before his senior year. She takes them to his Grandparents house, who didn’t even know he had been born, in the middle of nowhere Oregon. Then she leaves him. Can it get any worse? Actually, it can. Dylan soon learns the girl from his dreams is real and needs his help. An evil first is trying to grab power in her realm and Dylan may be the only one who can stop him. Dylan is drawn to this girl, Kera, with an incredible force that can only be described as love. He has to be with her. Will this passion he feels for Kera be his strength or is undoing? Who will die? Who will live? The sage has foreseen misery. It won’t end well.

My thoughts:

4 stars- a great read

Shea creates an interesting world where the magical realm is bound from the human world by a wall. Those that are pure bloods are called firsts, though they seem like what most books call Fae. Half-bloods are despised and human are expendable. The book starts out with a purely human world with only small hints that Dylan may be more than he understands. Rapidly the book explodes into a magical world where things are far from what they seem. Very quickly Dylan is not an average boy facing his senior year of high school.

The characters are where I may have had some problems. I liked Dylan. He was beat-up by his terrible life but was still trying to do better than what he was given. The problems I had with him were in how quickly he understood his powers. With no training and without anyone’s guidance, he was able to really come up with some impressive magic. I’ve never seen a character be so instinctual about their skills. Perhaps that was as the author intended and I don’t give Dylan enough credit but it gave me pause while reading the book.

Kera was very strong and level headed to begin with and then I saw this strange change in her. I’m not really sure what happened. It may have been the realization that her father intended her to marry the evil Navar. That would do it for me but again it gave me pause.

There was one other small thing that bugged me. The love between Dylan and Kera was so all consuming and so quick that I was growling about one of those love-at-first sight issues. They did know each other from shared dreams but it didn’t seem to be enough for me. I finally did feel alright about this near the end. I’ll just say that this group of magical creatures falls in love once and it’s hard and fast. It’s all good.

The plot was incredible. Action packed and everything that could go wrong did. With ten pages to go, I was sure there would be this huge cliffhanger frustrating me for a year until the next book comes out but, no, the book ended with quite a bit of resolution. Does this mean things fell flat, no I’d say things happened rapidly.

If you’re like me, you may need to be patient for everything to fall into place with this book. Most likely you’ll love it from page one and think I’m nuts. Oh well. If you like paranormal romance, this is great one to read.

Shea Berkley | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

I have declared for the Net Galley July challenge and this book is part of that.  Thanks to Net Galley for the early look at this book. Check out the challenge here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday 7-26-11

This is a weekly bookish meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
To participate you:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(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!

This weeks teaser comes from The Marked  Son by Shea Berkley

"I pull her close, our lips touch, and she melts against me.  The kiss is one I have a hard time ending." pg 172

Look at that! I managed to keep it to two sentences this week.  Aren't you impressed?

Still have a hundred pages to go in this book and I'm still not sure how I feel about it yet.  I'm sure the review is coming soon.

So what's your teaser this week?  Tell me in the comments or leave me a link.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Will Herondale

From The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare

He is a gorgeous seventeen-year old Shadowhunter that lives in London during the 19th century.  He is Welsh by birth and while many believe he is an orphan he actually left his parents as a boy and joined the Clave at the London Institute.

What does he look like?

According to Tessa in the Clockwork Angel, “He had the most beautiful face she had ever seen.  Tangled black hair and eyes like blue glass.  Elegant cheekbones, a full mouth, and long, thick lashes.  Even the curve of his throat was perfect.  He looked like every fictional hero she’d ever conjured up in her head.” Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel page 36

I admit that my mental image of Will has never been depicted in real life but the closest I have ever seen is Adam Gregory.  We just need to fix those green eyes to be blue and we have Will.

If this picture doesn’t convince you that Adam is Will, how about these?

There is little argument that Will has the looks, the boy is hot! 
But many think his personality is somewhat suspect.
He is a little full of himself.

“’Magister?’ He looked mildly surprised by her vehemence.  ‘That means “master” in Latin, doesn’t it?’… ‘I’ve mastered many things in my life.  Navigating the streets of London, dancing the quadrille, the Japanese art of flower arranging, lying at charades, concealing a highly intoxicated state, delighting young women with my charms...’
Tessa stared.
‘Alas,’ he went on, ‘no one has ever actually referred to me as the “master,” or the “the magister,” either.  More’s the pity…’”

Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel page 36

BUT do you also see that he is smart and funny.  Can’t you just hear that British accent?
Need more evidence that the boy is hilarious?

"Remember when you tried to convince me to feed a poultry pie to the mallards in the park to see if you could breed a race of cannibal ducks?"

"They ate it too," Will reminisced. "Bloodthirsty little beasts. Never trust a duck."
(Love this line!)

Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel

The boy has sexy down too.

“’Let me see your hands,’ he said suddenly. ‘Tessa?’  She gave them to him, palms up, hardly looking at them herself.  She could not look away from his face.”

“He brushed his fingers lightly over the surface of the glove.  There were four pearl buttons fastening it closed at the wrist, and as he ran his fingertips over them, they sprang open and the pad of his thumb brushed against the bare skin of her inner wrist, where the blue veins pulsed.”

“He was still stroking the inside of her wrist, his touch doing odd delicious things to her skin and nerves.”

“Will took her hand and pressed it to his cheek.  She was startled by the feverish heat of his skin. ‘Tess,’ he said, his voice thick and soft with desire, and she leaned toward him, swaying like a tree whose branches were weighted by snow.  Her whole body ached; she ached, as if there were a terrible hollow emptiness inside her.”

“When he leaned toward her and brushed his lips across hers, she reached for him as if she would otherwise drown.”

Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel   

As for fighting, he’s good!

“There was no fear on Will’s face as his gaze met the vampire’s—no hesitation, and no surprise.”

“He moved fast, Tessa saw, like a dark blur, and the knife in his hand was a flash of silver in the smoky dimness.  When he stopped moving, the boy was lying on the ground, the blade protruding from his chest.  Blood welled around it, thicker and darker than vampire blood.”

Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angel

Oh and the boy is distant, rude and difficult but you got to know he’s hiding something.  The bad boy routine is just an act to protect himself and others.

"Do reasons matter when there's nothing that can be done to change things."

“’Tessa,’ he whispered.  He crushed her against him; it didn’t matter now what he did.  He buried his face in the crook of her neck, where her throat met her shoulder.  Her hair, already beginning to stiffen with blood, scratched his cheek.”

“The smile broke what was left of his resistance—shattered it.  He had let the walls down when he’d thought she was gone, and there was no time to build them back up.  Helplessly he pulled her against him.  For a moment she clung to him.”

Cassandra Clare Clockwork Angels

If you don’t believe me that Will Herondale is the perfect YA bachelor, take it from him. is pleased to have Will Herondale with us here today.

Welcome Will, I just have a few questions for you.

`Tessa would like to read a book with you, of your choice.  What book do you choose and why?

Vathek. Fabulous bit of Gothic trifle. Potions, genies, lascivious dancing, blood sacrifice, magical swords, sworn enemies. If Vathek doesn't have her in fits nothing will. Good moral, too: “Woe to the rash mortal who seeks to know that of which he should remain ignorant, and to undertake that which surpasses his power."

`If you could have one favor granted to you by the angel Raziel, what would it be and why? (No fair asking for that little matter from your past to be fixed or for Jem to be healed - too obvious).

Well, that's not much good then is it? I would wish not to care — about anyone or anything.

`You're planning the perfect evening with Tessa (I know you can't be with her - you are just planning not doing). Where will you take her and what will you do there?

 Well, fortunately we Shadowhunters have slightly more relaxed rules of courtship than mundanes, for I would certainly not be allowed an evening unchaperoned with Tessa were I not Nephilim. But imagining that she wished to spend an evening with me, and that circumstances were other than what they are, I would think she would enjoy an evening at the theater, especially if it involved Shakespeare, I don't believe she's ever seen a play in the flesh.

`You visit Jem's room after being out all night "at the bars or the brothel or whatever" and he's playing his violin. You pause and listen before you enter. What's going through your mind?

That Jem makes beautiful things and I just destroy them. That really it ought to be me dying and not him. I mean what's the point of living if you can't even enjoy it?  Yet Jem enjoys all the life he's got. It isn't fair.

`You're fighting the Magister beside Gabriel (never mind how that came about it just did).  Gabriel falls and the Magister runs.  Do you help Gabriel or pursue the Magister?

Pursue the Magister. Not only is that the Law, but Gabriel can manage on his own, the tedious little sod.

Thank you Will, that was very enlightening! :)

I have one more little tidbit to help convince you this boy is worth your vote.  Cassandra Clare just released the prolog to Clockwork Prince and it's all Will.  While it was interesting and fun to read, the best part was the end when he was asking about love potions or rather something to help you fall out of love.  The ghost assumes he means to use it someone else, but it's for him!  He is trying soooo hard to stay away from Tessa to protect her from something.  Gotta love that noble sacrifice thing he's got going on here.  If you haven't read it, check it out here.

Well, that’s Will Herondale.  I hope you love him as much as I do.  Team Will!  Good luck Will.

Please vote for Will in the following categories:
  • Best Bad Boy
  • Sexiest
  • Best one liner (got to love the duck comment)
  • Best Fighter 
  • Change my mind
  • Overall Favorite

A very special thanks to Cassandra Clare for the character interview. 

For those of you not familiar with Clockwork Angel, check out my review here.

The book trailer is included below.

Countdown Widget for Clockwork Prince

Now what fun is talking about Will Herondale and Clockwork Angels without a Giveaway?

So if you want to win Clockwork Angels by Cassandra Clare, then follow and fill out the form below.  It's open international as long as Book Depository ships to you.  Check here.

Get extra entries for spreading the word or adding the Vote Will button to your blog

Follow Friday 7-22-11

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by ParaJunkee – helping bloggers get out there and meet new bloggers!

Be sure to visit ParaJunkee blog to add your post to the linky.


Q. Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?


So you want to know who I would want to spend an hour with? Hmm. I'd have to start with Cassandra Claire (The Mortal Instruments).  I absolutely love her books and would love to spend time talking to her about her inspiration and her characters.  Hopefully, I wouldn't go all fan-girl and embarrass myself. =)

After that obvious choice, it gets a lot harder to choose.  The last two would be a tie between three.  So I know I'm not following the rules here but when have I ever?  I follow all three of these women on twitter and know a little bit about their personalities.  It would be fun to get all three of them together to talk books.  I would choose Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey series), Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed) and Jennifer L. Armentrout (Half-Blood). 

My three choices, turned four are:

Cassandra Clare

Julie Kagawa

Josephine Angelini 

Jennifer L. Armentrout

What about you?  Which authors would you want to spend an hour with?



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

My summary:

Charlotte Silver is a senior in high school and it seems that Harris Abbott, the cute football player, is interested in her. Her family has settled in a place longer than they’ve been anywhere in her lifetime. She has friends at school that know about her parent’s strange paranormal investigation business but still like her. What could be better? Oh well maybe if her parents would stop fighting all the time. Or maybe if the school wasn’t haunted. Or maybe if whatever was going on with Marcus could be figured out. Or if Charlotte could figure out why she still had feeling for Noah when he seems to only want to be friends. Those things would make Charlotte’s life a whole lot better.

My thoughts:

4 stars – a great read

I really like the premise of this series. It’s different. Most paranormal books are about believers but this one is about a family that tries to disprove paranormal activity with science. But while so much of it can be explained away that way, some of it just can’t. It really adds a level of believability to this book. It’s got that “it could happen” factor.

I think Charlotte has done some growing. She still tends to put off dealing with things, which ended up biting her when it came to Harris. I could see that coming a mile away and was yelling at her a few times. But I think that after this book, she won’t make the mistake of not trusting her parents again.

I love how much more time we got to spend with Noah. I really like his character. He is strong and protective of Charlotte but he respects her too. I love his green eyes.

I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next in book three, Beyond the Grave. One Hundred Candles left us with a little bit of a cliffhanger and I really want to know how that concludes. I’m also sure that we haven’t seen the last of the difficult paranormal energies that have been hanging around the Silver family.

Any fan of paranormal YA should for sure pick this book up. It even has a little bit of romance in it this time too.

I have declared for the Net Galley July challenge and this book is part of that.  Thanks to Net Galley for the early look at this book. Check out the challenge here.

Teaser Tuesday 7-19-11

This is a weekly bookish meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.
To participate you:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(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!

This weeks teaser comes from 

by mara parnhagen

"What happened?" he asked, looking dazed.
"Who are you?" I demanded as I tried to suck in oxygen.
Marcus looked around as if he had no idea where he was.
"What's going on?"
I felt sick from the pain in my arm.  "You might want to cover your ears."
"What? Why?"
"Nothing personal," I said, taking a deep breath.  "But I'm going to start screaming now."

Yeah, you knew I would break the two sentence rule, what else is new?  I couldn't help it.  This is from page 21 and I just loved it.  Haven't got very far yet but I liked the first book so this one has nice familiar characters.  Expect a review soon.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Past Midnight/Rising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

My Summary:

Charlotte Silver is seventeen-years-old, facing her senior year of high school in her sixth or is it seventh school. Needless to say, her parents move around a lot. They are scientists who research and shed doubt on the paranormal. There work looks a lot like ghost busters to outsiders and Charlotte doesn’t like the attention. She wants a normal family instead of the “team” that she has. Moving to a new house and a new school, Charlotte wants to hind the strangeness factor and fit in but she’s not the only one keeping secrets. Her new friend, Avery has secrets. The school outcast and very cute Jared has secrets. With all these secrets floating around with all the paranormal energy, things are bound to get interesting.

My Thoughts:

4 stars – a great read

Past Midnight has a different kind of world building than the normal paranormal book. This book isn’t filled with the believers protecting their secrets, but instead it’s filled with the non-believers hiding their secrets. It’s interesting that there were really two different stories going on that collided near the end of the book. Those two stories kept the pages turning for me. Just as a stumbling block came in place for one story, the other story took over. Twisting the two together was Charlotte. I liked Charlotte. She is a confident young woman who has learned to not back down from a bully, Bliss. She is also still trying to grow-up and she tries to avoid dealing with problems head-on. I liked how she came to do a better job with that. I liked her new friend, Avery. Avery has problems, lots of them, but she’s the cool cheerleader and she befriends Charlotte. I really liked that about her. Avery didn’t have to go out of her way to help Charlotte fit in but she did. It may have been her screaming for normalcy in her very troubled life but I liked it. I, also, liked Noah. I wish we had seen more of him. It’s clear that Charlotte likes him. I wish that little sub-plot could have found some face time but there is hope for the sequel.

If you are a paranormal fan, then this is great one to pick up.

Raising the Dead by Mara Purnhagen

My Summary:

Charlotte is still in the same house and school, which is saying something. Her parents have decided to hang around the same place for a few years and she is happy to have friends and consistency. That is until the rain causes flooding that leaves coffins floating around the city. When her parents get involved in the job of restoring the coffins to a civil war age cemetery, the paranormal energy is sure to follow.

My Thoughts:

3 stars – a good read

This story continues with familiar characters from book one, Past Midnight. I was happy to see that both Jared and Noah had a bigger role to play in this story. I was disappointed that Noah seems to have no interest in Charlotte. It’s interesting that Jared and Avery have started some kind of relationship, whether that’s just the mutual support after a great lose or more, I can’t tell yet. This novella felt so much like just a couple of extra chapters that got cut from either the end of book one or the beginning of book two. I hope that book two uses this story somehow otherwise it will be just so incomplete to me. I really enjoyed Past Midnight and I’m looking forward to One Hundred Candles but this one fell kind of flat.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle

My Summary:

Laurel’s life is about to coming crashing down on her. Her parents and her younger brother are about to die in a car accident where the only survivor is the driver. The comatose driver is the father of the bad boy down the street, David. But David life has also fallen apart as his mother was also in the crash and his father isn’t waking up. As Laurel travels through the process of grief, she struggles to stay friends with her BFF, Meg. She questions everyone’s actions as pity including the good looking Joe who asks her to prom. David deals with his grief differently, dropping in and out of Laurel’s life suddenly and unexpectedly. She wants to be mad at him. His father is alive, albeit not really there. But she can’t quit thinking about David. She can’t quite get her life going forward again. How does a sixteen-year old go on after?

My thoughts:

5 stars – a must read although it’s an emotional one

This book is a very emotional journey. Jennifer does an incredible job of building a situation where the grief process can be experienced by those not going through it. It felt real. I loved Laurel and how she tried so hard to be strong but often thing were just too much for her. I loved how David took a different journey trying to deal with his grief. I loved how together they seemed stronger and didn’t even realize it. I loved how other people tried so hard to be helpful but weren’t. I loved how it became clear that Laurel wanted and needed people to treat her like she wouldn’t break even though she might. I loved how only David and Laurel knew how to treat each other. The personal growth in this book is so overwhelming for both Laurel and David. I was very impressed with them. This book is 100 percent contemporary but any YA fan should read it.

I have declared for the Net Galley July challenge and this book is part of that.  Thanks to Net Galley for the early look at this book. Check out the challenge here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Frostbite by Richelle Mead

My Summary:

Rose continues to study at St. Vladimir’s training to be a guardian but things are far from calm for this Dhampire. She still trains with Dimitri but she also loves him, which makes things difficult. But he is interested in Tasha who is certainly interested in him. Then there is Mason who would love for Rose to be interested in him. All of this drama is complicated by the sudden organized attacks by the Strigoi. Everyone is on edge and high alert. So the academy is crawling with guardians, including Rose’s mom who she hasn’t seen for years. The sparks fly between them verbally as well as in hand-to-hand combat. More sparks fly as everyone argues about how to keep the Vampires safe. Rose discovers that Dimitri has taught her more than she had realized as she tries to safe her friends from the same type of poor decision making that Rose herself is famous for. Those poor decisions have a way of costing more than anyone ever expects, including Rose.

My thoughts:

5 stars – a must read

Happily, I discovered that Frostbite is considerably better than the first book in this series. The world was built in book one and so this book spends a lot more time on character development and interaction. Richelle does a great job with that. Of course there is Rose, who has grown up some since book one. Her relationships have expanded to include others besides Lissa. And while she struggles with her feeling for Dimitri in this book, she proves that she really wants him to be happy. Speaking of Dimitri, I love him. He is quiet and strong but Rose sees things others don’t. I love his efforts to do what he believes is right. I love his willingness to be there for Rose. I love how he takes her seriously. He may say she is young but he respects her.

I loved getting to know Mason and Christian in this book. I admire both of them and think they add so much to this book. Adrian adds an interesting dimension to things too. I can really see him ruffling a few feathers in the future. Somehow I don’t think Dimitri is going to take his presence at the academy very well. HeeHee.

Lots of action and drama in this one. It was hard to put it down and I’m afraid that I just need to go buy the rest of the series and hide until they are all read because it feels like it’s only going to get better from here.

This is a must read for fans of paranormal romance.