Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Oh me, oh my I have found a new author that I will most definitely be following! Red-Headed Stepchild was an awesome debut and I'm happy to say the beginning of a trilogy (I believe). Sabina is half vampire and half mage which means she is an outcast amongst the vampires who are her family. She chooses the only occupation offered to her by her Grandmother, one of the head vampires, and becomes an assasin. Trouble begins brewing when Sabina is asked to infiltrate a rival group and assasinate the leader by her Grandmother. Because it seems as if her Grandmother hasn't told her everything including details that deal with Sabina's mage side of her heritage.

I'm going to gush about this book just so you have a heads up. I was completely captivated with this story and couldn't put it down. Sabina was a strong main character that wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty. The reader was able to see her vulnerable side though as she began to question the truths that she had been told about her parents and her mage heritage which was a nice contrast to her tough side. The story itself was fresh and original and kept me turning the pages as fast as I could. This story just pulled me in and wouldn't let go. I just plain loved this book. The ending was tied up enough that I was satisfied while leaving it open for the next part in the trilogy. And I still wanted more! I would highly recommend this one to anyone that enjoys a good urban fantasy as the world Wells' creates is captivating and one that I want to read more of. Awesome read :)

My Rating/Recommendations: 5 out of 5 and recommended to anyone who enjoys a good urban fantasy or paranormal. Loved it!
Challenges: New Author Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge, Once Upon a Time III Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("W" Author)

P.S.- Don't you love that cover?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Sunday Salon- Catching Up!

Good morning Sunday Saloners! I've been absent for much of this week due to a nasty flu bug that went through our entire household. Yuck! Plus, my daughter managed to get a double ear infection which is no fun. I've been disinfecting my house like crazy to get rid of all of those nasty germs and trying to catch up on my laundry. Which means it has been a quiet week on my blog as I just haven't been up to posting.

I have been reading though and thought I would share what I've been reading lately. The first book that I finished this week was Wild Highland Magic by Kendra Leigh Castle. I have loved this series so far and this book didn't disappoint. I won't be posting a review until next month but suffice it to say that if you've enjoyed the first two books in this series you will like this one.

After I finished this one is about the time that everyone got sick. And I needed a comfort read to get me through which meant I picked up Divided in Death by J.D. Robb. I love these books and just gobble them up. I literally flew through this one and can't wait to read the next one. There is just something about this series that makes me feel like I am visiting old friends when I read one of these books. Great read!

Finally, last night I finished The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano. It was good for this being the author's first book but I just didn't love it. I'll share my thoughts more in depth in my review which I will try to post soon. I liked it but just not as much as I expected to after reading other reviews on it.

All in all, it was a great reading week for me even if we were all sick for a portion of it. I haven't quite decided what to read next but I am leaning towards The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason. It is due at the library soon and I really want to read it before it goes back :) I'm focusing on laundry today but I think I'll try and write up a couple of my reviews for the week. Then I won't have to when I come home from work and have a million other things that I should be doing :) I'll be stopping by to visit everyone later on this afternoon. Have a great Sunday!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Heartstopper by Joy Fielding

From Goodreads:

"Welcome to Torrance, Florida. Population: 4,160. As Sheriff John Weber would attest, the deadliest predators to date in his tiny hamlet were the alligators lurking in the nearby swamps. But that was before someone abducted and murdered a runaway teenage girl...and before the disappearance of popular and pretty Liana Martin. The pattern is chilling to Sandy Crosbie, the town's new high school English teacher. With a marriage on the rocks, thanks to her husband's online affairs, and a beautiful teenage daughter to protect, Sandy wishes she'd never come to the seemingly quiet town with shocking depths of scandal, sex, and brutality roiling beneath its surface. And as Sheriff Weber digs up more questions than answers in a dead-end investigation, one truth emerges: the prettiest ones are being targeted, the heartstoppers. And this killer intends to give them their due...."

My Thoughts:

Sorry guys, but this is a review that I've been putting off forever. How I fell so far behind I cannot say but this review was pushed to the back burner which is why I borrowed Goodread's summary. This is only my 2nd book by Fielding and it was just as good as the first book. Fielding has a knack for writing page turners that keep the reader guessing throughout the story. And I was definitely guessing...trying to figure out who the killer was while I was reading. Heartstopper is told through multiple viewpoints which may throw some readers off but for me it added to the story. I liked seeing the other character's thoughts and felt that the different viewpoints added to the mystery of the story. Sandy was an interesting main character as she wasn't always likeable for me but I still wanted good things for her and for her to find some self confidence. This book had a lot of emphasis on looks, beauty, and the things that people will to attain beauty. At times I felt that the author was pushing the point a bit much but overall it was a good read. I didn't see the ending coming by a mile and never did figure the killer out. As I was turning pages as fast as I could, it ended up being an enjoyable read for me. I will most certainly be reading more from this author in the future.

My Rating/Recommendations: 3.5 out of 5 and recommended to anyone who enjoys a good thriller!
Challenges: 100+ Book Challenge, 2nds Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("H" Title)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Library Loot- April 15th

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by myself and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

I can't seem to stop checking out books. This is serious as my stack of library books is currently out of control. I was going to tell you guys that this was two weeks worth of books so I didn't look and sound so insane...but I'm thinking that it isn't going to quite work when you check out my list. I guess all that matters is that I am happy in my library book filled world, and I am sure that the librarians are happy with me :)

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters- It seems like everyone has read this cozy mystery series besides me. I couldn't resist when I spotted this one on the shelves.

Fault Lines by Nancy Huston- I spotted this one on the shelf of new books and then I noticed that it was the winner of The Prix Femina...haven't a clue what award that is but it sounds good :)

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance- Another series that I have been wanting to begin for awhile now...I'm a series addict if you haven't noticed.

Who By Fire by Diana Spechler- I read Literary Feline's review of this and was sold instantly. And then the author was nice enough to email me offering to do an interview but I never saw the book at the library. I HAD to have this one so I took it home :)

Divided In Death by J.D. Robb- You all know how much I love this series...

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly- I think the blame falls squarely on Ladytink's shoulders for liking this book and giving it a great review!

Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe by Jennie Shortridge- Haven't a clue where I heard about this one but it sounds good.

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer- This is for the Once Upon a Time Challenge III

Deadly Night by Heather Graham- I've never read anything by this author but it sure looks good.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson- Seriously, do you even wonder why I snatched this one up?

Okay, after looking at my list I think that you should definitely consider this to be two weeks worth of books :) I might be embarrassed if you weren't all as library crazy as I am. Good thing, right? I need to get to reading....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell

From the back of the book:

"Young Lola, under duress, accepts a huge bribe to break up with her boyfriend. The worst part is, the bribe is from his mother. Ten years later, when they meet again, her feelings for him are as strong as ever-but how is she going to win him back without telling him why she broke his heart in the first place?"

My thoughts:

My thoughts on this book can be summed up in one sentence: "What a fun read!" Seriously, it really was a fun read and I ended up enjoying this book immensely. I can't say that I read a lot of chick lit. but this is an author that I will be looking for more of. The main character was hilarious...Lola is far from perfect and not worried about it. She is lovable, crass, crazy, and not quite realistic at times. But I couldn't help but like her and hope for the best for her. And I am going to have to repeat how hilarious she was. There were times that I was reading this book where I was shaking with laughter (this happened while I was reading on my break at work..they probably all think I'm nuts now :) My only qualm with the book was that the plot wasn't realistic at times....the tidy bow type of ending for example. But it really didn't detract from the book for me because I liked it so much. It was pure escapist reading and I was caught up in its' thrall. One of the quotes on the back of the book said it best when they said "you won't get a thing done till it's finished." I didn't want to put it down and was constantly wondering what Lola was going to do next. All in all, a fun read and I have found a new author that I will reading more of in the future!

My Rating/Recommendations: 4 out of 5 and recommended to anyone who enjoys chic lit. or is in the mood for a good read :)
Challenges: 100+ Book Challenge, New Author Challenge, A-Z Challenge ("A" Title)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blogging Break

Hey guys, I probably won't be around for the remainder of this week and the beginning of next week. My internet is down and the soonest that they can fix it is next Monday. We'll see if I am back up again by then or not. I'm at the library this morning but unfortunately don't have a lot of time. I will try to stop by and visit everyone's blogs once everything is fixed but for now I am just going to relax and read. I finished Uglies last night by Scott Westerfeld and ended up really liking it. I picked up An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell and am absolutely loving it! I'll try to get a review of that one posted this week since it is a review book. With Easter this weekend and family coming in town who knows though :) Just wanted to pop in and say hi!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn

Give a brief summary of the book:

Kitty is in Vegas with this book and about to do her radio show on live television. But nothing is ever simple when Kitty is involved and before she knows it she is tangled up in a web of bounty hunters (that kill werewolves like her for a living), vampires, a magician, and a band of performing lyncanthropes. Vegas is never dull especially where Kitty is concerned :)


What I liked about this book is that we continue to see Kitty and her struggles to lead a semi-normal life. And once again the reader is caught up in the adventures that Kitty finds herself in. Kitty isn't the "sit back and wait patiently" type of girl and I like that about her. She may find herself in the midst of trouble but she always is trying to help someone or do something for someone else. It makes her a really strong female main character and I like reading this series because of it.

I can't quite put my finger on it but this wasn't my favorite of the series. I think that the plot fell a bit flat for me and while I did enjoy it, I wasn't "wowed" by it. I can't go into detail without sharing spoilers but suffice it to say that I didn't like Balthasar's character and couldn't figure out why Kitty dealt with him. Maybe not so much dealt with as I couldn't figure out why she didn't stay as far away from him as possible right off the bat. It just wasn't my favorite book in the series and that is the best way to put it.

Additional Thoughts?

Hmmm....yeah...I want to be clear that I did like this book. I just didn't love it like I have the previous ones. I'm still a fan of Kitty and am always interested to see what kind of trouble she will get herself into. And I still think that you should give this series a try if you haven't yet but start with the first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour.

My Rating/Recommendations: 3.5 out of 5 and recommended to paranormal and urban fantasy fans.
Challenges: 100+ Book Challenge, Series Challenge 3