Welcome To My Blog

Welcome to my blog! I invite you to enter into the splendiferous world of the library where I will share my knowledge and love of books I have read, as well as send out praise to the authors of these treasures. Most of the books reviewed on my site will be Teen or YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy, though every now and then I'll throw in an adult book just to shake things up.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Darkness by Joann I. Martin Sowles

Not long ago, Laney Alexander was living a carefree life, that is, until she was thrown into a world full of creatures only the imagination thought possible. Now, after surviving a terrifying night, Laney and Oliver are lying low at Julz's place, relieved to be in each other's arms once again. But fate seems to have other plans...
Julz is not happy to have visitors in her home and emotions run high. Laney is pushed to her limits as she watches Carter fight for his life and her relationship with Oliver becomes strained as she discovers secrets about Julz that could tear them apart.
As she reaches her boiling point, disaster strikes and her life is shattered. Laney must come to terms with what has unfolded. Will she lose her way and let the darkness consume her or will she find her light in Oliver?
Secrets will be revealed. Hearts will be broken. Lives will be lost. Darkness will fall.

I am going to start this blog off by saying what a TERRIBLE blogger I have been lately! I read this book months ago, but due to some chaotic bumps in the road that is my life, I am just now finding the time to get this review posted.  I'M SORRY!!!!  Ok, now on with the show.

Many of you may remember when I reviewed the first book in this series, LANEY, I started off a bit worried that I was getting another version of TWILIGHT.  Thankfully (and happily) I was quite surprised by Joann's twists and turns that took LANEY down it's own path.  I was left feeling like there was quite a few mysteries left at the end of the book, subtle hints that I thought she had given on where this series was going. So when Joann sent me DARKNESS, I tore into it, eager to find out if all the crazy assumptions and guesses I had made were correct……. 

But once again, she only gave me breadcrumbs of information, not really saying that there is a hidden plot, but very carefully eluding that there is something even more important going on that we don't know about yet. 

With that said, I must proclaim loudly that I HATED Oliver through this one (I wanted to smack him for all the possessive and domineering crap he was pulling on Laney AND everyone else).  But it was Carter, Kiera, and Felix that really stole the show in this book.  Each of them really got to tell more of their own story this time instead of being Laney's supporting cast.  I really enjoyed getting to know the other characters, seeing into some of their past, getting tiny glimpses of their (possible) futures, but more than anything I loved that it wasn't just the Laney and Oliver show.  

So, I leave you with this, if you liked LANEY, you are going to be thrilled with DARKNESS.  And if you're anything like me, you're going to notice all the tiny hints that Joann is weaving in.  I know she has something BIG she is working up to and if I'm right about any of my hunches, this is winding up to have one heck of a finale. So stay tuned and keep reading, it's going to get interesting.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

From GoodReads: It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….
But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I've opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.

I have to start by admitting that I chose this book solely because of the cover.  I didn't read what it was about, who the author was, or look at anything else besides the cover.  I am happy to say, that the cover did not let me down!  I got sucked into this book immediately and didn't put it down until I was finished, which took all of 3 hours.  
The storyline itself was, though a common enough idea, very unique and the characters were very well written.  I enjoyed the little details that were added, that although they didn't really pertain to the story, added a life to the characters that helped bring them to life.  
I look forward to reading more from this author and can't help but wonder if she will continue with these characters, turning One Hundred Candles into a series, or exactly what new, unique novel she will give us next.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

From GoodReads: t's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

From the second I read the blurb about this book I was intrigued, and now, 3 hours after starting it (and finishing it) I can honestly say that the blurb did not do it justice.  
This book was amazing!! There was this constant underlying mystery to solve, a who-done-it with very few clues.  The story was so unique and well-written that from the moment I picked it up, I couldn't put it down! I was torn through emotions just as the main character, Kate, was.  Constantly wondering what was coming nest.  I think the second book to this series will be even more exciting than the first and I cannot wait to read it! A round of applause for Aimee Carter, brava!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In My Mailbox

I know I have been MIA again lately and I apologize, it has been a rough last couple of weeks for me as most of you who know me already know.  I would love to rant and vent right now and tell you all about my troubles, but this blog is not about me and I don't want to drive away the few followers I have.  
Instead I am going to tell you the books I have gotten in the last few weeks, some of which I have already devoured and posted reviews of.  (I'm playing catch-up tonight and posting as much as I can for you!)  I will say that it has been a great couple of weeks for me reading-wise.  I have SCORED at both of my libraries, as well as the one in Fort Dodge.  Here is what I have brought home!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Just a Quick Note


I just wanted to write this note quick to answer a question that I have been asked a lot lately.  A few of my followers not only read this blog, but are also my friends on GoodReads, Shelfari, or We Read (on facebook).  They have noticed that I have had Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev and Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler in my "currently reading" pile for longer than it should have taken me to read them.  They want to know what it is that is making me take so long with these two books.  Is there something about them that is hard to get into?   Are they super long?  Are the dull or uninteresting?

The answers to all of those is this:

No there is not a darn thing wrong with either of these books.  In fact, it is the complete opposite.  I adore Lisa Mantchev's books.  I found Eyes Like Stars to be the greatest read in a bubble bath, let your relaxed mind fill with the brilliant images that she so beautifully writes in explicit details.  In fact, I loved it so much, that I was sad when I finished it and agonized by the wait for Perchance to Dream, which wasn't released for months after finishing Eyes Like Stars.  
So when I received my Librarian's ARC of Perchance to Dream, I vowed that I would not finish it before the third book was either released or I had a Librarian's ARC in my hands.  So I have not let myself read more than a few pages or (once in a while) chapters before I force myself to put it down again.  I will be finishing it sometime this summer, as So Silver Bright is set to be release September 13, 2011.

As for Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler, most of you have read my review of her brilliant and emotional novel, Hunger, the first in her Horsemen of the Apocalypse series.  This novel was such an original, unique, and emotionally gut-wrenching masterpiece, truly a book that every teenage girl should read to show the dark side of eating disorders.  I cannot say enough great things about this novel, and with that in mind, could not wait to get my hands on Rage, the second book in this hard-hitting series.  
Once I got Rage from Netgalley, I started reading immediately, devouring the first few chapters so quickly that I had to stop myself.  I knew that I was going to immediately want the third book, Loss, which doesn't come out until 2012.  
So as much as it pains me, I have put this book down for a couple of months.  I would love to be able to read a couple of pages or chapters like I am doing with Perchance to Dream, but I believe that with this brilliant a writer, this amazing of a story, and this horribly long time before the next book, I just can't trust myself not to devour it in one sitting and be left with this hole inside of me that only the rest of the series can fill.

So that, ladies and gentleman, is why I  have had those two books on my "currently reading" list for a heck of a lot longer than it should have taken me to read them.  I hope that this answer not only satisfies your curiosity, but piques your intrigue enough to make you check these two books (and their respective series) out and maybe find the joy and wonder in them that I have.

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

From GoodReads: Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now. 
An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River—one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you, when I picked up the first book in the Mercy Thompson series, Moon Called, it took me almost a month to get into.  I thought it was too slow, too adult (for me I mean, I don't like a lot of adult books because I find that they have way too much sex, swearing, or needless violence and gore), and just plain dull.  I forced myself through it, but had no intentions of reading the rest of the series.  
I then got another series by Patricia Briggs in at my library, the Alpha and Omega series.  I took this one home hoping and praying that it would be better than Moon Called.  It definitely was.  I devoured the two books that are out in that series and was DYING for more!!  So I knew if I wanted more from Patricia Briggs, I had to go back and read the rest of Mercy's series.  
I got book two, Blood Bound, and was sucked into it immediately.  I stopped reading after a couple of chapters just so that I could run to my library and get the rest of the series that was out.  In a matter of days I had read Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, and Bone Crossed.  I waited in agony for the release of Silver Borne, not waiting for my library book supplier to send it to me, but searching it out on release day.  After reading it in a mere couple of hours, I started the torturous wait for River Marked.  
The week before it was set to be released we received a box of books at the library.  In that box, much to my hearts content, was River Marked.  I think I scared half the people in the library when I screamed in delight. I raced home to start my favorite book-reading ritual of putting my kids to bed, filling the bathtub with bubbles, turning off my cell phone, and sinking into the world inside the pages.  
It took me about a day to read River Marked, only because I had to force myself to go to bed that night AND get up and go to work the next day. (Oh how I wanted to call in sick so I could stay in bed and read this book!)  I will start out by saying that a lot of the characters that you would normally find in a Mercy Thompson book were absent through most of the book.  While you got to see them a little in the beginning and at the end, the majority of the story involves only Mercy and Adam Hauptman (her boyfriend/fiance/pack leader).  But despite the missing characters and the change of scenery (not once in this book is Mercy working at her garage!), this book brought in a whole new element.  River Marked dives further into Mercy's indian heritage than any of the previous books.  It brings in brand new characters, evolves old relationships to new levels, and introduces a bad guy that we have never seen the likes of before.  It was a little slow at first, but it starts building your anticipation and emotions from the get-go, ending with your adrenaline pumping, your palms sweaty, and your heart racing with each page.  Once again, Patricia Briggs has outdone herself, creating yet another brilliant rollercoaster ride in River Marked, the sixth book in the Mercy Thompson series.  And while I don't recommend this series for younger teens or middle schoolers, older teens and adults will love this series, it's ramshackle cast of characters as well as  the action and adventure of these heart-pounding stories that make this series a must read in my opinion.

Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

From GoodReads: The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.
The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.

It was about two years ago, I was still pretty new to being a librarian, when we received a box of teen books from our book supplier.  In that box was Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr.  The cover was intoxicating, drawing me to it like a moth to a flame.  I took it home that night and within mere hours had devoured ever page.  It was only after I read Ink Exchange that I found out it was part of a series, the second book in the series to be exact.  I immediately had my library director order Wicked Lovely and when it arrived, I devoured it also.  
I waited (impatiently) for Fragile Eternity followed by Radiant Shadows.  I became an uber-fan of Melissa Marr, joining her fan forum, Rath and Ruins, traveling over 6 hours to go to one of her signings, and have since bought almost every anthology that she has a story in.  Needless to say, I was heartbroken when I learned that Darkest Mercy would be the final book in this series.  I was terrified that she would end the series with some things unfinished, too many questions left unanswered.  I worried that she would kill off many of the characters I had fallen in love with over the years.  Darkest Mercy, I was afraid, was going to be a huge let-down and leave me highly upset.
I was shopping in Wal-Mart the weekend before Darkest Mercy was set to be released, and I wandered into the book section as I always do.   As I walked the aisle browsing the covers and titles of the same books that had been there the last few times I was there, I saw a cover that was familiar to me peeking out from behind another book.  I moved the book in front to see what had caught my eye.  Low and behold to my shocked and awe-struck eyes was a copy of Darkest Mercy.  Of course, it went straight into my cart, into my car, and home with me.  I went straight to my bathroom when I got home, started a bubble bath, and got in the tub with the book.  I lay in that tub for three hours (adding more hot water when necessary of course) and read the entire book from cover to cover.  
It is with great joy and relief that I tell you now that I was wrong to be worried, stupid to have ever doubted Melissa Marr's ability to write a brilliant story, and I am completely, utterly, ridiculously speechless with Darkest Mercy.  Not only did Melissa Marr tied up every single loose-end, but she filled this story with absolutely brilliant scenes full of action, adventure, emotion, adrenaline, and heart-wrenching  details, down to the very last page.  I am in awe of how she put in twists and surprises that not only did I never see coming, but I couldn't believe were happening even as I read it.  
Melissa Marr is truly one of the most brilliant, original, unique, thought-provoking, and addictive writers I have ever had the pleasure to not only read, but also meet.  I can tell you that, without a doubt, her books are some of the best out there and you should DEFINITELY get your butt out there and get them if you haven't already.  I also recommend that you go to one of Melissa Marr's signings to meet her, she  is honestly one the the most entertaining, honest, and caring authors out there and deserves all the support and adoration that her fans feel for her and her work.  Give her a chance if you haven't already, you won't be disappointed I assure you.