Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review - Reaper

This is the synopsis from Amazon:

Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him--and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.
Suddenly Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between....
An ebook exclusive Soul Screamers series novella.

My review: 3 stars

Plot: This novella was very confusing for me. I suppose if I had read her other books I might understand more, but the tension in this story wasn't enough to completely satisfy me.

Characters: The few characters that were in the novella seemed to all be overly static, minus the main character. I'm all for static characters, don't get me wrong, but I prefer them to be a little more lovely than these ones were.

Setting: Most of the setting was insignificant, with the exception of the recurring hospital. It goes with Tod's situation, but I can't tell you anymore. You'll just have to read it!

Overall: This novella wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. I feel like it took too long to get into the main part of the novella, and it dragged it out too much. Also there seemed to be a few extra characters that didn't need to be included. I would recommend it, but make sure you understand the series before you read it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review - The Hunger Games

This is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My review: 5 stars

Plot: This book has it all. Intensity, plenty of action, and even love Although it is the overused love triangle, it still plays into the plot as a whole and causes the book to hold a reader's attention no matter the reason they enjoy the book.

Characters: I do feel that Katniss comes across as ignorant and stubborn at times, however it is a product of the society she grows up in. Her relationships with all if the characters grow in various ways and they all help her through her journey in one way or another.

Setting: The arena for the Hunger Games that most of the novel is set in is a constantly changing landscape. It's mind-boggling to realize that the gamemakers are the ones changing everything, from the wildlife to the weather. The small changes up the ante of the intensity of this story.

Overall: This book keeps your interest all the way to the end. You fall in love with the characters and even sympathize with them. The only drawback I saw was the frustrating ending! (Since this book is a series, the first book cuts off pretty abruptly.) I am in the process of getting my hands on Catching Fire to continue the series. Definitely a book to try out!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hello :D

Welcome to my book blog!

If you're here, you probably know that I had a personal blog and created this one as a separate book blog. I already transferred of review and book related posts, and will continue to post book related news here. Feel free to comment and follow and I will return the favor :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review - The New World

This is the description of the book from Amazon:

In this dramatic prequel to the award-winning Chaos Walking Trilogy, author Patrick Ness gives us the story of Viola's journey to the New World. Whether you're new to Chaos Walking or an established fan, this prequel serves as a fascinating introduction to the series that Publishers Weekly called "one of the most important works of young adult science fiction in recent years."

 My review: 5 stars

Plot: Oh. My. GOOD. NESS. This book made me stop breathing. And it's a NOVELLA!!!! It was nothing but intense and had you pulled in wondering what on earth would happen next. Beyond amazing.

Characters: The mom and dad aren't in the story much, but they are good supporters of the main character, Viola. Due to the circumstance of the book, she is expected to be a strong leader, against her wishes. She plays her part well, and you want to comfort her because you feel her pain.

Setting: The setting is unique because it's mostly set in a ship, on the way to a new planet that they are moving too. It helps set the whole story.

Overall: Yes, I just gave a novella 5 stars. And yes, I am adding the rest of the series to my wish list. I. am. sold. Read it.

Review - Living Above Worry and Stress

 This is the description of the book from Amazon:

These topical guides will deal with issues that women wrestle with today: God's Will, Living in Christ, Prayer, and Worry.
Reaching an audience across race, socio-economic, denominational, and age boundaries, these guides will enhance the lives of women in America as they empower them in their weekly devotions. The study guides can be used for both individual and group settings.
Women are asking good questions about their faith. With our study guides, we want to join them in their quest for knowledge and lead them in finding the answers they are seeking.

My review: 4 stars

This was written as a 12 step study, although I read it straight through. While it had great advice and tips in each chapter for each separate emotion, it almost seems like it would be better to read the chapter that corresponds to the way you feel at the time. It also includes a leader's guide, so you can do it as you see fit.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review - Outta the Bag (Me, Myself, and Why? Prequel)

Starting with this review I'm planning on separating my review into plot, characters, setting, and my overall opinion of the story. Hopefully I can give more in-depth reviews this way.

Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

From New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson, comes OUTTA THE BAG the hilarious prequel story to her upcoming novel ME, MYSELF AND WHY, the first in a brand new series. In OUTTA THE BAG, Clive Better—the better-than-best plumber in town—attends a speed dating event where—instead of attempting to score phone numbers—he recounts his recent run-in with a freaked-out cat and a sexy-but-psychotic woman that has left him confused, scratched up, and rather aroused.  

My review: 2 stars

Plot: Since this was a prequel, it didn't have much of a plot line. And honestly, I felt the plot line didn't make any sense.
Characters: The blond that the plumber talks about it just plain WEIRD. I think she might have multiple personalities, because of how drastically she changes over the short time of the story. While she is interesting, she was just odd and didn't interest me much.
Setting: Since it was such a short story, there isn't much setting. Basically it's just set around the guy's plumbing truck. Nothing too exciting.
Overall: This book did nothing for me. I'm sorry, but I prefer my short stories to pull me into the series and want to look into it, and this book didn't. I was quite disappointed.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review - Cat Calls

This is the description of the book from Amazon:

Tiffany's grandmother sees something wild in her future -- but is 16-year-old Tiffany prepared for the powerful shape it will take? When she takes over her grandmother’s fortune telling booth for a day, some really strange things happen… CAT CALLS is a short story by New York Times Bestseller Cynthia Leitich Smith -- set in the same dark universe as her novels Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed.

My review: 3 stars

This one was a little weird for me. I t was good, and it had me hooked. But I felt like this short story should have been the book in the full series, rather than Tantalize. Also, I looked up the other books in the series and this series doesn't sound as appealing as the others did. Not something I would look for again.

Review - Remedial Magic

This is the description from Amazon:

Delve deeper into the world of the fae with a Faeriewalker bonus story.
Having a prodigy for an older brother is not so fun…especially one who is magic wiz-kid. But Kimber has a plan to finally step out of his shadow.

My review: 3 stars

Honestly this companion novel wasn't as good as the others I read. It was based off of a character that I couldn't even find mentioned in the original Faeriewalker series, and it seemed very out of place with the series. Pretty much the only useful thing it did was introduce the world the series is based in.

It also includes the first two chapters of Glimmerglass, the first Faeriewalker novel, and I was HOOKED. The second chapter end with such a cliffhanger! I literally gasped when I saw there were no more pages :P All three novels of the series are now on my wishlist :)

Review - Beasts and BFFS

This is the description of the book from Amazon:

A Bonus 13 to Life Prequel Story.
Meet Jessie Gillmansen as she realizes that things might not be what they seem in the town of Junction.

My review: 5 stars

As I mentioned in my last review, I typically don't like companion books. However this book was so intense, I was literally on the edge on my seat. One of my friends even came by and made me jump a foot! It also includes the prologue and first chapter of the series it is attached to, 13 to Life, and I added the books to my wishlist right after. These books sounds amazing and I can't wait to find out more!

I apologize for the massive attack of reviews, but more will come! I've started reading shorter books on my Kindle and since I read my ebooks fast I finish them in no time. And I try to post reviews as soon as I finish a book, otherwise I tend to forget. For my readers who don't read much, especially fantasy, I would still recommend looking up future releases on Amazon in the genre you prefer; you'd be amazed what books you find! Plus Amazon does recommendations, which are often very accurate.

Review - Retro Demonology

This is the description of the book from Amazon:

A Demon Trapper’s bonus story.
Before Riley Blackthorne can take on Grade Five demons, she has to trap her very first. Her debut solo trapping experience should be a breeze, just a harmless Grade One after all. But throw in some dippy hippies (whose peace signs and Patchouli really aren’t driving any demons away), one mischievous demon, and a run-in with the police, and Riley might not be able to pull it off...

My review: 4 stars

This is a companion novel to The Demon Trapper's Daughter, and it's actually pretty good. I want to read the original story now! Typically I don't like companion novels or short stories because of the lack of depth, but this one is just enough to get you interested and wanting more. If you like fantasy, I definitely recommend it.

Review - The Clouds Roll Away (LATE!)

This is the description of the book from Amazon:

Raleigh Harmon's life seems as impossible to solve as the high-profile case she's pursuing.
Closing her assignment with the FBI's Seattle office, forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, expecting a warm welcome. Instead she finds herself investigating an ugly cross burning at a celebrity's mansion and standing in the crosshairs of her boss at the Bureau. And the deeper Raleigh digs into the case, the murkier the water becomes...until she's left wondering who the real victims might be.
To make matters worse, Raleigh's personal life offers almost zero clarity. Her former confidant is suddenly remote while her former boyfriend keeps popping up wherever she goes. And then there's her mother. Raleigh's move home was supposed to improve Nadine's fragile sanity, but instead seems to be making things worse.
As the threads of the case begin crossing and double-crossing, Raleigh is forced to rely on her forensic skills, her faith, and the fervent hope that breakthrough will come, bringing with it that singular moment when the clouds roll away and everything finally makes sense.

My review: 4 stars

This book was not my normal genre, so it took me a long time to get into it. While I do love suspense and mystery (and my two favorite tv shows are crime labs) I don't like reading about detectives and such. So this book started out really slow for me. However, once it got started it was really good! One thing that kept me on my seat was the twists and turns regarding both the cross burning and her fragile relationships. I felt so horrible for her every time her former best friend said something cold!

I didn't know this before I read the book, but this is book 2 in the series. Book 1 is The Rivers Run Dry, which I hope to get my hands on soon, and book 3 is The Mountains Bow Down which I will hopefully get through an upcoming blog tour.

I received this book free from the Litfuse Group. This review is my own opinion.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review - Emotions: Freedom from Anger, Jealousy and Fear

This is the description from Amazon:

Help in Understanding the EmotionsStrong emotions that we don't know how to handle effectively lie at the core of so many difficulties in the life of the individual. They can affect our relationships with loved ones, and how we function in our work. They play a profound role in how we feel about ourselves, and can even affect our physical health. And we are too often trapped in the dilemma of "expression" versus "repression." Expressing our emotions can often hurt others, but by repressing them – even in the benevolent guise of "self-control" – we risk hurting ourselves. Osho offers a third alternative, which is to understand the roots of our emotions and to develop the knack of watching them and learning from them as they arise, rather than being "taken over" by them. Eventually we find that even the most challenging and difficult situations no longer have the power to provoke us and cause us pain. Osho's unique insight into the workings of the mind, the heart, and the essence or "being" of the individual goes far beyond the understandings of conventional psychology. Over more than three decades of work with people from all walks of life, he has developed simple techniques and insights to help modern-day men and women to rediscover their own inner silence and wisdom.

Review: 3 stars

While this book had some good points, it was a just too weird for me. It referenced multiple religions, and sometimes in weird ways. Also at the end it gives many exercises that help the reader release certain emotions, but some of them were pretty strange. I wouldn't recommend this book unless you're really looking for something out of the ordinary.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review - I'm Beautiful, Why Can't I See It?

This is the description of the book from Goodreads:

Emotional eating. It's a rising epidemic. Katrina looks in the mirror and sees "repulsive," "fat," "stupid," even though friends tell her she is one of the most intelligent and beautiful girls in her college. If I'm so beautiful, why can't I see it? Katrina wants to take back control of her life. Do you? Author Kimberly Davidson, a recovered bulimic, found spiritual and physical restoration and brings a clear message of hope and restoration in I'm Beautiful? Why Can't I See It? Anybody suffering from unhealthy eating patterns and low self-esteem needs unconditional love and acceptance, forgiveness, as well as needing to learn how to forgive herself and others who may have harmed her. This effective, proven, step-by-step 13-week healing devotional study is for anyone struggling with unhealthy patterns of eating and body image issues, including eating disorders (compulsive overeating, bulimia, and/or anorexia). Emotional (or disordered) eating is very serious, and God has specific processes for setting people free. I'm Beautiful? Why Can't I See It? can be used as a personal resource or in groups and is 12-step compatible.

While this book has plenty of great info and advice, it didn't apply to me as much as I'd hoped. It focused mostly on eating disorders, and some of the steps branched off of the expectation that the reader has an eating disorder. For that reason it was hard to read, as I don't have an eating disorder, but as a whole the book is definitely worth reading. Even if you simply compare yourself to others, wishing you were someone else, I would encourage you to pick up this book and try it out. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review - Pretty Little Liars

This is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic, sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back? A strong launch for a suspenseful series.

I went into reading this book with hesitancy. I am already an avid fan of the TV series, and I didn't want my enjoyment of the show to be spoiled by the books, which while the cast of the TV show has stated there are differences, I won't know what the differences are and I don't want the show spoiled. The book turned out to be much better than I thought, however there are many things I did not like about the book compared to the show.

Since the show is aired on ABC Family, the show is mostly clean. However after reading this first book, I can see they cleaned it up a lot more than I originally thought. The book is much more graphic with many scenes (which I'd rather not go into detail here) and has fairly strong language, while the show keeps the language out almost entirely. Don't get me wrong, the book was really good. I just wish the book was a bit cleaner than it is.

While shopping today I bought the new TV tie-in edition of Flawless, the second book in the series (pictured at right), so I will hopefully have that one read soon and have a review up. First, I need to finish reading another book for a blog tour (that I am super late on!) and get that review up. Hopefully that one will be up in the next week.

Hope everyone is enjoying the end of Christmas break, and for those going back to school this week, hope it's not too overwhelming!
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