Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones

The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones

Children's/Middle Grade Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars
Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his Gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction--about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.Max's Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, the silver owls are extinct, and Max is no longer brave. But when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again. The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.
First Thoughts: I LOVE OWLS!! As I am typing this I am wearing my owl pj's. Yup. That's right. I am an adult and I have owl pj's and I am not ashamed to say it! Anyway, I received this book off of GoodReads as a First Reads and what got me of course was the owls. I don't read children's books anymore, not since Harry Potter (in the beginning) so it was definitely the owls that got me.

Writing Style: I have to say, I love Christine. Her writing made it easy to fall into the story and get lost in it. The characters are children and I think that she captured how children act in real life in this book. I felt everything that I was supposed to feel like anger and betrayed. Christine created a new world.

Characters: Poor Max. I am definitely a night person like him but to be allergic to the sun? That would suck! Throughout the book I felt his pain through the writing. Reading the things he lost and what was happening to him. If anyone needed to be a hero it was him. Rose is my favorite character though. She is so spunky and so sure of herself, for a twelve year old that is pretty cool. Especially with her being in the situation that she was in, she never showed fear and kept going. She is one brave girl.

Final Thoughts: The only reason this book took so long was because this was the busiest week of my year. I lost sleep because of this book. The only time I had time to read it was at night and I just couldn't stop. I have a feeling that this book could actually be the next Harry Potter. Now, I'm not saying it's sort of like the same story because Christine's story is no where near the same. What I am saying is that kids will fall in love with this book just like I did when I was a kid with Harry Potter. That is how fantastic this book really is. (This makes me wonder if there is a sequel in the works. I can't find if there will be anywhere but I sure hope there will be because I would not hesitate in buying it)

post signature

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

YA Paranormal

Rating: 4 Stars

Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

First Thoughts: I was looking around NetGalley and I saw this cover. There was no way that I could just ass up reading the synopsis because the cover is awesome! The cover fits with the synopsis very well so clearly it fits the entire book I like it when covers do that. They aren't just some random thing on the front, they have everything to do with this book. It's what I like to see. I got really into this from reading the synopsis.

Writing Style: The only thing I didn't like about Jennifer's writing is the repetition. For some reason I keep reading books that just repeat themselves over and over. I understand if they are explaining something in the book and they would have to go over everything but it was constant. I got annoyed with it and felt like I needed to skip over some parts but I stuck with it and I don't regret it. Everything else was pretty good to me.

Characters: I feel so bad for Kali. I guess it's kind of hard not to with all the crap she went through in her life as well as the crap that just keeps happening. She is a brave person even in her human form even if she believes she is weak. I really liked her. But I liked Skylar more. She was the awesome sidekick and even if Kali didn't see it, she was a great friend as well. I didn't like Bethany though. She was intentionally blind to the things happening around her and made working with Kali difficult.

Final Thoughts: I loved this story. I haven't read anything like this before and I enjoyed it a lot. There were twists and conspiracy theories everywhere as well as the action of the mystical creatures. As I said the constant repetition bugged me a bit but other than that I loved all the drama in this novel, could not put it down.

post signature

Monday, September 12, 2011

Shattered Dreams by Ellie James

Shattered Dreams (Midnight Dragonfly #1) by Ellie James

YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating: 4 Stars
Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late.

Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.
First Thoughts: I know exactly what got me into this one. The synopsis. A psychic who has visions and then when they make that brave choice to come forward they are accused as the guilty party who did it. I'm not a psychic but I can imagine real ones would be afraid to come forward for that exact reason. I can't forget the cover played a part too, I wouldn't even have read the synopsis if I hadn't seen the beautiful cover. I just love that necklace.

Writing Style: This is probably why I rated it four stars instead of five. Ellie isn't a horrible writer whatsoever but she is following the path most YA writers seem. It's not the how they all met thing. You know, the new student at school. How else are teenagers supposed to meet new people? The thing I'm talking about is the "I would die for you" love. How this has to do with writing is Ellie could have chosen to be different from the others through her writing and she didn't. I couldn't find her voice. Yes, she had her own story but she didn't write like it. Another thing that just bugged me was the constant use of her name. "Trinity." "Trinity." "Trinity!" OK. I know when there are certain scenes like when she is sleeping people call her name to wake her up. But constantly through the book it was everywhere. Someone was always calling her name It could have been "Wake up Trinity!" "What's wrong Trinity?" but it wasn't. It was just "Trinity." The single world all by itself. That is an annoying repetition that wasn't needed.

Characters: Trinity kind of bugged me. I connected with her easily and sympathized with her. The problem was her being so darn over-dramatic. She knew she liked Chase and in a matter of days she talked like she loved him. She lost her grandmother who made her choices for her so it seem to me like she clung on to the next available person. Chase was probably even worse though. He clearly didn't care about Jessica, even as a person, and the only reason he tried to help find her was because her father was pressuring him to do it. There was no sympathy for him. Trinity is clearly too good for him and I have a feeling Dylan might be hiding in the sidelines to take advantage of that.

Final Thoughts: There were a few things that bothered me, Ellie isn't a horrible writer but the random things listed above just bugged me and could have been avoided. Other than that I actually enjoyed the book. There was action, mystery, and twists. I couldn't put it down, well until I had to get some sleep. I love the whole concept of the story. That's why the four stars. There were a few things I didn't like but they didn't once make me say "Whatever, I give up." I didn't have to force read this. Except for the few things, Ellie has a fantastic book on her hands.

post signature

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back to Books Winner!

I didn't have as big as a turnout for this one as the last one but I totally blame that on it only being available to US. I wish I could have had it international. Anyway the winner is:

Jessica Edwards!!

Congrats Jessica! She has already confirmed and I will be sending that out to her ASAP.

Thanks for everyone who entered and stick by because I will be having another contest coming soon. I'm thinking maybe mid or early October. I wish I could have won a giveaway but I was so sick I barely had a chance to enter any. That's alright. I love being a part of the giveaway hops.

post signature

Metamorphosis by Devon Ashley

Metamorphosis (Immortal Archives #2) by Devon Ashley

Adult Urban Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars

Change is not always a good thing...

Some survived the battle – but not without a price. As one heart starts up again, another dies down. The pure vampires learn their immortality isn't as strong as they'd thought – the status of their hearts determines their vulnerability. And when the truth gets out, a betrayal by one of their own will cost more lives.

First Thoughts: I read the first book in this series, Ordained, and I loved it and gave it 5 Stars. So when Devon was having an ARC Giveaway on her blog, of course I jumped at the chance. I was so excited when I actually got it! I love, LOVE this cover. It's so magical. Of course the synopsis got me hooked as well, I like twists and it being all mysterious.

Writing Style: Devon is making me like third person writing a lot more. I like different point of views of the story. Especially here, easier to fall for the twists because you really don't know what's going on (if that makes any sense). I guess the only reason I hated third person was because the wrong people were writing that way. I was always confused. Devon is spot on here though.

Characters: I just love Abby. She can be pushy and over step some boundaries sometimes but she is so fun to read about. I loved Noel in Ordained and because of certain things happening in this book (not going to spoil it) I was shocked and couldn't believe what was happening, but I did and it made me sad. Until the end that is. I'm not a huge fan of Emily though, I don't think I was in the first one either. But she was still a great character, strong and still going through so much in her life, just not my favorite. Valerie is such a sad person. I understand why she does what she does even if the others may not like it. She is strong though even after all she went through.

Final Thoughts: Is Catacombs out yet??? Of course not, sad face. I wish I had more than five stars. Metamorphosis is even better than Ordained but I loved that one too. I feel like I should just add another star for this one. But I can't so it's stuck with five. I loved the twists (even if it made me sad sometimes) they kept me interested through the whole book. No forcing in this book. I blew right through it, when I had the time to sit down and read. Can't wait to find out what happens next!

post signature

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Me, a little sad. But a Thank You to you guys!

Sadly, the Giveaway hop ends tomorrow night. It's sad because I have been so sick I haven't felt good enough to sit in my computer chair to enter very many of them. The only thing I feel like doing is resting in my bed. The only good thing about that is I'm getting a lot of reading done.

This past week is still bringing down my mood. I have had so many comments regarding my dog from people I have never met before and it just warms my heart that so many people are being so nice. The only sad part of that is complete strangers are doing it when the people in my life aren't. I don't want to name names or anything (not that they read my blog anyway) but people who are supposed to be a big part of my life always disappear when I need them most. But anyway, a big thank you for all those wonderful comments. You guys are amazing!

So back to reading for me now. I am hoping I will start feeling well enough to write too. I feel like I'm neglecting my work unintentionally. Ah well.

Thank you again for all the wonderful comments!

post signature

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
Rating: 4 Stars
I gasped . . . or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. . . . His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked in my breath and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart.
First Thoughts: Give me faeries, witches, and demons and I am one happy lady! Although I'm not a huge adult book lover, I find myself reading them and liking them a little more than my usual YA. Probably because they are more mature and usually adult writers and better writers too (I said usually so I don't mean everyone so please no one take that personal). Anyway, the cover is what got me. It is beautiful and so inviting. The synopsis added to that and I couldn't resist requesting it on NetGalley.

Writing Style: Juliet is a fantastic writer. Her descriptions were so vivid and everything just wove together nicely. I can honestly say she is one of my new favorite authors.

Characters: Callie is an awesome main character. She has those qualities that people like these days. Clueless about the world she is a part of but never knew and turns out to be the super hero that everyone needs and has been waiting for. She is strong on her own but never turns any friend down for help. I knew something was off about Liam but at the same time I didn't want to just like Callie. He was the perfect man from all those romance movies, which is for a reason that I'm not going to spoil. I think maybe he did feel something for her though, I mean why else would he do what he did at the end? Kind of sad really.

Final Thoughts: Overall this book was fantastic. Kind of long, but still awesome. I felt that the story could have ended in the middle and have the rest be a sequel. There was a climax but then everything calmed down before it started to build up again. There was this silence of action in the book just like a beginning of a book would be like. I felt for sure it was over but saw that I wasn't even close to the end. The first half could have stood on it's own and have been an amazing first book. The only real problem I had with this book was it's length. Other than, of course, me not being a huge adult book fan but it still kept me interested and I didn't have to force myself through most of it (some parts I did). Juliet created her nice little world and it was easy to fall into it and love every part of it.

post signature

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Breezy...the most perfect dog that I lost today :(

Today has been one of the worst days of my life. So much happened and it is just not my day.

I lost a dear friend today. My dog Breezy (her real name was Reason to Believe) was put down today. She was 11 years old and we got her when she was 2. We have been noticing lately that she wasn't acting normal and she has been sick. She was blind for a long time but she was used to where everything was and could walk around without hurting herself. For some reason lately she runs into everything and sometimes it seemed like she couldn't hear us.

When my mother took her to the vet and they examined her. When the vet touched her hips she tensed up. They realized that she has been in pain for awhile but she never once showed pain to us. She never whined or squealed. She was hiding it from us. I think she just didn't want us to know because she wanted to stay with us. But we couldn't let her live in all that pain anymore, no matter what we could have tried to fix it, all of it would come back again.

I will miss her so much. She has been in my life since as long as I can remember. She loved playing outside and going for walks. She was even great with all my nieces and nephews, never once snapped at them if they bugged her. We even have a kiss named after her. It's the Breezy Kiss and it's basically just a lick. We would chase the kids around saying "I'm gonna give you a Breezy Kiss!" and they would just take off and laugh. I hope that never goes away.

I am going to miss her so much. I keep feeling like she's just going to pop up out of no where sniffing for me or run to greet me when I come home. No matter how much pain she was in, she came to greet me last night when I got home. Wagging her little curly tail like always.

I wish she was still here. I wish that I would have had a better goodbye. I can wish a whole bunch of things but I know she is gone. I will never forget her though. She was the perfect dog anyone could have.

A poem I found on the internet. Couldn't find who wrote it though.

Pawprints Left by You

You no longer greet me,
As I walk through the door.
You're not there to make me smile,
To make me laugh any more.
Life seems quiet without you,
You were far more than a pet.
You were a family member, a friend,
A loving soul I'll never forget.
It will take time to hear-
For the silence to go away.
I still listen for you,
And miss you every day.
You were such a great companion,
Constant, loyal and true.
My heart will always wear,
The pawprints left by you.

post signature