20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction · Tags:

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, 338 pages, read by Angie, on 03/17/2013

Calpurnia Virginia Tate is the only daughter in a family of seven kids. She is a naturally curious child who loves spending time with her grandfather. Her grandfather is teaching her all about the natural world, evolution and science. They have even found a new species of plant. This wouldn’t be so unusual except it is 1899 and girls are not supposed to be scientists. Calpurnia’s mother wants her to learn womanly arts like tatting and embroidery and cookery. She does not want her to go tromping through the fields and woods looking for bugs or plants. Through all the scientific adventures with her grandfather and the antics of her six brothers, Calpurnia discovers who she is and who she wants to be.

Callie is definitely a spunky young girl. She has a very inquiring mind and isn’t afraid to ask questions even questions that aren’t necessarily appropriate for a girl her age at that time. I found Callie to be very realistic and interesting. She is exactly the type of girl you want to read about: smart, funny and inquisitive. I listened to the book on audio and thought the narrator did a great job. My only real complaint is that I never really felt like I got to know any of the brothers. They all seemed to run together, except for Harry the oldest. I really enjoyed Callie’s relationship with her grandfather. It was really the heart of the book.

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Janet, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

The Laughter of Dead Kings by Elizabeth Peters, 324 pages, read by Janet, on 03/17/2013

http://origin.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9780061246241/LC.gif&client=mirip&type=hw7Who would imagine that the protection of bodies in Egypt’s Valley of Kings would involve several people being killed because of their knowledge of the artifacts?  Elizabeth Peters always give a full description of the people involved, the surroundings, and enough past information to connect the incidents to the present.  One learns a lot of history and an appreciation of those who uncover and take care of these ancient items. In this story, the bones of King Tut had been stolen and were being held for ransom. A hand was sent for proof.  It takes good detectives to be able to identify the thieves, locate the rest of the body, and move it to a safe place.  Good reading (and lots of eating by the participants).

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Romance, Women's Fiction (chick lit) · Tags:

Savannah breeze by Mary Kay Andrews, 434 pages, read by Kira, on 03/19/2013

savannah-breeze-mary-kay-andrewsThe book opens with the protagonist B.B. falling for a rich, good-looking man, with a yacht.  They do boring stuff, like hang out on the deck, and he buys her expensive jewelry.  In addition he does listen to her and fix some of her troubles.  Despite this, it was very difficult to see what the attraction was, surely people are Not that shallow, that they only see the gleam of wealth.  The man  turns out to be a con man, and fleeces B.B.,it was difficult to empathize with her.  Then although he steals/defrauds her of $4mill! they cannot follow him into another state, because she signed a Power of Attorney, to him in the middle of the night, and the law won’t go after him, BECAUSE HE IS IN ANOTHER STATE! seriously?

By the end of the book protagonist BB is making life changing to commitments to with another guy Harry, who is physically attracted to her, but that’s all, oh and he is grouchy.

Is all chick lit this bad?  I chose this author because, she was supposed to be funny, I did Not laugh, nor chuckle, maybe it contained this new-fangled cringe-humor.

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Fate Interrupted 2 by Kaitly Cross, 245 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/14/2013

Dean Jacobs used to be Milwaukee’s most eligible bachelor until Megan and her bombshell came along. With her father watching his every move, Dean has to figure out a way to return to Evy, his one true love, without anyone else getting hurt.

If Evy lets Dean go, will fate bring him back? Is Megan lying about everything? And will Sugars take Brooke and Ben into their twilight years, or crumble into pieces around their feet?

Fate Interrupted 2 will answer these questions and more in the heartfelt conclusion to the love story of Evy and Dean.

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

If You Stay by Courtney Cole, 354 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/10/2013

24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match. But he’s got his reasons. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count. As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade. So he slipped far, far from it. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right? Wrong. And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila. Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe. When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness. But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it. He knows that. And he’s working on it. But is that enough to make her stay?

 

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Reckless by S.C. Stephens, 546 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/08/2013

When the band hits it big, Kiera and Kellan must ask themselves: Can their love for each other withstand the constant pressures of superstardom? The friendships they’ve formed, the new family they’ve found, and the history they’ve forged will all play a part in helping them navigate the turbulent waters of the band’s exploding popularity. A greedy executive hell-bent on success, a declining pop star looking for an edge, and a media circus that twists lies into truths are just some of the obstacles the lovers will have to overcome if they are going to remain together. Fame comes with a price—but will it cost Kiera and Kellan everything?

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Beauty From Pain by Georgia Cates, 260 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/06/2013

They agreed on three months…but their love knew no boundaries. Jack McLachlan is a winemaking magnate and easily one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors. His success and wealth make him no stranger to the complications of romantic relationships and that’s why he goes to extreme measures to avoid the hassle. He prefers simplicity in the form of a beautiful female companion with no strings attached. He arranges relationships like business deals and they’re always the same. No long term relationships. No real names. It’s his game and his rules. He’s content to play as usual, but when Laurelyn Prescott enters his life, his strategy must change because this player is like none he’s ever encountered. His world is turned on its head after he begins a three month affair with the beautiful American musician. Nothing goes according to plan and as he breaks more and more of his own rules for her, she’s exceptionally close to becoming something he never thought possible. His ultimate game changer.

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Fate Interrupted by Kaitlyn Cross, 230 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/03/2013

Dean Jacobs is one of Milwaukee’s hottest eligible bachelors and in no mood to settle down, until she comes along. Evy, however, is focused on opening a new dessert lounge with her sister but Dean won’t take no for an answer. She finally gives in to the want in her gut and – much to her surprise – discovers he isn’t the player she thought he was. Just when things turn into a fairytale sent from above, Dean’s past comes back to haunt him. The only question is: will it make them stronger, or rip them apart?

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Jessica, Romance · Tags:

Never Too Far by Abbi Glines, 188 pages, read by Jessica, on 03/01/2013

He withheld a secret that had destroyed her world. Her entire life had all been a lie. Blaire couldn’t stop loving him but she knew she could never forgive him. Now, she was back home and learning to live again. Moving on with life… until something happened to send her world spinning once again. What do you do when the one person you can never trust again is the one that you need to trust so desperately? You lie, hide, avoid, and pray that your sins never find you out.

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Nikki, Romance · Tags:

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski, 427 pages, read by Nikki, on 03/19/2013

51VwyFO6qQL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-66,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Camryn Bennett is a 20 year old who has had to suffer more loss than most in her short time. At 18 she lost her first love in a car accident, then her parents divorced, then he brother was sent to prison for killing another man in a drunk driving accident. After a dramatic night at a club with her two best friends, Camryn decides to get away from it all and travel to Idaho on a bus. While on the bus she meets Andrew Parrish who is on his way to Montana to visit his dying father. Andrew and Camryn connect instantly and decide to go traveling together in his car. They travel down south to New Orleans where they eventually give in to eachother and become a couple. But what Andrew is secretly hiding may destroy their relationship forever.

Good book! I love how you read from both characters point of view. I love to see what the man is thinking in the book. There were a few weird corny parts in the book I could have gone without but other than that it was good. There’s quite a twist and surprise towards the end of the book I was not expecting, so that was enjoyable. I also found a few new favorite songs from this book!

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Nikki, Romance · Tags:

Wait for You by J. Lynn, 331 pages, read by Nikki, on 03/16/2013

51+iMnj+yHL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-65,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_Avery Morgansten has moved as far away as possible from her family and home in Texas to start a new life in college. She wants to get as far away from Texas to help erase that terrible Halloween night five years ago. She hopes to forget the past, move forward with the future and hopefully make some new friends. What she doesn’t plan on is running into Cam Hamilton. One of the best looking men on campus.

Cam is a junior in college and is everywhere Avery is. She can’t seem to escape him. Not that she really wants to, but she knows she has to stay away from him to keep a low profile. But Cam is unrelenting in bring Avery out of her shell and finally charming her into a date. But once Avery starts receiving threatening voice mails and text messages, she’s afraid the secret she’s kept for so long will come out and destroy her and Cam.

This book was very similar to The Coincidence of Kallie and Kaden, so with that said I had no choice but to like it, because I LOVED The Coincidence of Kallie and Kaden. Avery has had a terrible thing happen to her when she was 14, and she once considered the easy way out (suicide) but didn’t go thru with it. Instead she braved, judgement and cruelty from everyone around her including her family, even though it wasn’t her fault. That is mostly why I liked this book so much, a female character that is strong enough to pull through some of the most difficult times. I also, liked the book because in the end you see how not standing up for yourself and speaking out can affect others. I don’t want to say to much about what happened so I don’t ruin the book. But it was good and I would suggest it to others.

20. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Nikki, Teen Books · Tags:

Find you in the Dark by A. Meredith Walters, 394 pages, read by Nikki, on 03/14/2013

51PN8ucQRfL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Maggie Young is a senior in high school. She’s got two great best friends, loving parents and just a normal good life. All of that changes when she runs into Clayton Reed. He’s the new kid in school, and he’s anti-social, rude and very good looking. Maggie can’t help but be drawn to Clayton. She feels like he can spice up her normal life. Clayton just wants to be left alone and stay out of trouble. But he soon finds that he can’t resist Maggie either. He starts to think that Maggie might be able to save him from his self destructing ways.

This book was pretty intense. It has it’s teen love story which starts out good. At first I thought it was going to be about teen abusive relationships, but it turned into a mental illness thing. Clayton, who has moved in with his Aunt to get away from his home life and friends, is struggling to control his mental illness issues. He stops taking his medication when he meets Maggie, because he feels like she is making him better. So you get a feel for mental illness and how people sometimes become overly dependent on others. This wasn’t a happy ending kind of book and that always rubs me the wrong way, but a second book is coming out soon to continue their story and I can’t wait to read it.

19. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Melody, Teen Books · Tags: ,

Undeadly by Michele Vail, 267 pages, read by Melody, on 03/17/2013

Undeadly is a great debut novel by Michele Vail.  It is the first book of what seems will be a promising series The Reaper Diaries.  Vail’s Undeadly is a refreshing new take on the zombie genre by mixing necromancy with Egyptian mythology.  Great characters and the romance that is inevitable in teen fantasy is not as sticky sweet as the norm.

19. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Melody · Tags: ,

Shifter's Wolf by Patricia Briggs, 529 pages, read by Melody, on 03/18/2013

Shifter’s Wolf is the debut novel of fan favorite Patricia Briggs who writes the popular werewolf fantasy series Mercy Thompson and Alphas and Omegas.  It was written in Briggs senior year of college and while she shopped it around, it was never picked up. Only after the success of her subsequent novels and a through edit was it published.  Fans of Briggs will enjoy the book.  She is a consummate storyteller with great characters and world building but it is evident to a reader of  her later works that this was a first novel.

18. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Eric, Fiction, Science Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell, 340 pages, read by Eric, on 03/16/2013

Damien Locke is a typical 16-year-old, assuming everyone grows up in a world dominated by superheroes and villains. He’s anticipating his sixteenth birthday, when his thumbprint will transform into a V, assuring his place at the supervillain university, just like his parents. When the magical day arrives, however, his print forms an X, proving he is a combination of hero and villain genes. His actual father is a hero. What could be worse? With only a handful of weeks to influence the outcome, Damien pledges to do everything he can to embrace his villainous ways, and turn that X into a V, and not an H. It won’t be easy. Especially when he’s forced to live with his father’s current family of heroes.

Create a written mashup of the films The Incredibles and Sky High, and the result is this book.Those looking for realistic personalities, especially for adult characters, look elsewhere. Damien is snarky, reasonably intelligent, and never quite in control to the level he believes. In other words, he’s a teen. His juggling of relationships is humorous, as is a good portion of the interaction between the characters. Recommended for fans of comics, humor, and deadly lasers.

 

17. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Teen Books · Tags:

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, 348 pages, read by Angie, on 03/17/2013

Chloe and Ruby are sisters. They are basically on their own. Their mother is a drunk and their fathers have abandoned them. Ruby is charismatic and beautiful and people love her. She can do whatever she wants whenever she wants and she can get the people of the town to do things for her. Chloe looks up to her older sister Ruby and will do anything she asks. One night Ruby asks Chloe to swim the reservoir in their town. During the swim Chloe discovers a dead body in a boat. This so traumatizes her that she moves away and lives with her father for two years. Then Ruby comes and gets her; Ruby wants her back. Back in the town and under Ruby’s influence it is like the events of that night never happen. London, the dead girl, is alive and if not well at least present. Ruby’s hold on the town and its people seems stronger than ever, but something strange is happening and it involves the reservoir. Ruby has always told stories about the town of Olive and how its people held on even when the government built the damn and flooded the reservoir. She tells of how the people of Olive are still there, waiting at the bottom of the deepest part of the reservoir. Now there seems to be something about the reservoir that Ruby isn’t telling Chloe and it involves London.

This was a beautifully written book. The language is almost lyrical. However, I had no idea what was going on throughout most of the book and my questions were not answered at the end. How does Ruby have such influence? It is like she controls everything within the town borders, but this is never explained. I am not sure I trust Chloe’s explanations of anything that happens either. Something just seems off about the whole thing. The town of Olive? Does it still exist at the bottom of the reservoir? What exactly are its people if it does? What really happened to London? To Ruby? Is it magic, paranormal, aliens? I really have no idea. I couldn’t put this book down, mainly because I couldn’t figure it out, but it was a very frustrating read. Nothing really made sense and nothing was ultimately explained.

17. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction · Tags:

Operation Yes by Sara Lewis Holmes , 256 pages, read by Angie, on 03/16/2013

Bo’s dad is the commander of the Air Force Base they live on. Bo is in sixth grade and has a new teacher this year. Ms. Loupe is an Air Force brat so she knows all about life on the base. Her entire family is in the military including her brother Marc who is stationed in Afghanistan. Ms. Loupe is unlike any teacher the class has had before. She comes from a theater background and starts teaching them improv from day one. She has a “taped space” where anything can happen and she brings in a ugly green couch for a prop. Gari is Bo’s cousin. She is forced to leave her home in Seattle and move in with Bo’s family when her mom, an Army nurse, is deployed to Iraq.

Marc is reported missing from his squad and when he is found he is gravely injured. This puts Ms. Loupe off her game and makes her step back from her class. In order to get Ms. Loupe back and to show how much they care for her, Bo, Gari and the rest of the class enact Operation Yes. The plan is to get 100,000 LGM (little green men) and deploy them throughout the school. Each LGM can be purchased for a $1 donation and all proceeds will go to help wounded soldiers. Soon the students have started a nation-wide campaign and written a play about the soldiers. But best of all they have brought Ms. Loupe back to herself.

I didn’t think I would like this book as much as I did. It seems like such a simple story about kids on a military base, but it ended up being more than that. It was about hope and learning to accept the life you are given and making something of that life. I thought the kids were fantastic and very realistic. I would definitely recommend this one to kids.

17. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

Prodigy by Marie Lu, 374 pages, read by Angie, on 03/15/2013

Prodigy picks up after the events of Legend. June and Day have fled Los Angeles and are headed to Vegas. They are hoping to find the Patriots and enlist their help in rescuing Day’s brother Eden. The Patriots agree to help as long as June and Day help them. The Elector Primo has just died and his son Anden has taken his place. The Patriots want June and Day to assassinate Anden and start a revolution. The plan calls for June to be captured and become close to Anden and for Day to show his face and start causing a ruckus. The people see June and Day as heroes and the Patriots want to cash in on their celebrity status. The plan goes off without a hitch, but while getting close to Anden June learns that he is not what the Patriots think. He could be the voice of change they all hope for. She just has to get the message to Day and hopefully foil the assassination plans.

Oh how I love this series. It is so smartly written and so engaging that you really don’t want to put it down. As in Legend, this book is written from the dual perspectives of June and Day and while I am not always a fan of this style of writing I think it works perfectly here. By having both June and Day tell the story from their points of view you get a much wider picture of what is going on. I think the world-building is much stronger in this book. We get a look at the colonies and at the history of the country and a peak at the world outside the former United States. I like that both June and Day each have their eyes opened to what is going on outside the Republic.

The story was so fast-paced and so tightly written that I really can’t say anything negative about it. There is the inevitable love triangle or love square. I have to admit that I like the contrast between Anden and Day and their affections for June. I despise the addition of Tess to this romantic scenario. It just kind of grossed me out! But the June/Anden connection works as does the June/Day connection. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I do have to say the ending was heart-breaking and Marie Lu better fix that in the next book!

16. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction · Tags: , ,

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis , 304 pages, read by Angie, on 03/12/2013

Kat Stevenson is bound and determined to save her family, mostly from themselves. She is the youngest of the clan. Her eldest sister Elissa and her middle sister Angeline don’t always see the wisdom of Kat; they are too involved in their own lives and their romances. Elissa is set to marry a horrible old man who killed his first wife (or so the gossips claim) and all because their brother Charles has gambled away the family fortune (what little there was to begin with). Angeline has started dabbling in magic and love spells to comic results. Their poor stepmamma is bound and determined to make good matches for the girls and to make sure no magic occurs. Their mama was a known witch which caused quite the stir as a clergyman’s wife. It turns out Angeline is not the only one to inherit their mother’s talent. Kat too has found she has magical powers and not just witchcraft. She learns her mother and now she is a member of a magical group called The Guardians and they frown on regular witchcraft. Things come to a head at a house party when a highwayman appears, plots are uncovered and secrets revealed.

I must say that Kat is a delight. I really enjoyed her mischief and her relationships with her sisters. As someone who has two sisters I definitely recognized the behaviors of the sisters. They can fight and squabble among themselves, but to the outside world they are a united front. I loved the way Elissa looked down on Kat and just sees her as the baby of the family. I also really appreciated the jealousy between Angeline and Kat regarding the use of magic; very typical sisterly behavior. This is definitely a fun series to watch.

13. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Nikki, Romance · Tags:

Reckless by S.C. Stephens, 544 pages, read by Nikki, on 03/08/2013

RecklessKiera and Kellan have made it through some serious rough patches in the last two years together. Now they’re in a great place together. Kiera has graduated college, and Kellans band is on their way to success. Kiera is planning on going on tour with Kellan and writing a romance book that reflects her and Kellans relationship. But what they don’t know is that their rough patches are not over with. They will experience a whole new world, where Kellan is in the public eye, music consecutives telling them how to act, and a pop star hell bent on using Kellan to raiser her popularity.

This is the third and final book in this Thoughtless series. And thank you Jesus for that! All three of these books were the most frustrating annoying books I’ve ever read! Don’t get me wrong, I loved them, but for the love of God I’ve never wanted to smack a female fictional character more in my entire life! I don’t even want to go into further detail on that. I just want to be done and over with this series. If you want to be annoyed, pissed off, frustrated but love it all in the same time, have had this series.