Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Secondhand Charm:

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Directly off the semi-high of 'Darkness Becomes Her' I decided that something light and frilly was just what I needed. So sitting directly by a fire,-because it is like 56 degrees in the house- armed with a wine glass full of cranberry juice, country oldies playing off my I-Phone and a notepad cradled on my left knee; I snugged in under my black faux fur blanket for a nice and pleasant morning. Because I am one of those nocturnal weirdos that spends their time not sleeping at 3:06am but... *gasp*... Reading!
If ever there was a time that I was aching for a sweet fairy tale it would be now, and Julie Berry, well she spun a wondrous tale of feather-y lightness and intrigue with her debut novel The  Amaranth Enchantment.
Her writing style I adore, it is fleetingly sweet and matches the exactitude of the time period/era Berry has set her characters in. The way the words read makes it seem as if you'd have become the story, it's easy going lightness mingles with its straightforward lyricism. I wouldn't go as far as to say it is prose because in that aspect it doesn't mesh at all, but it is smooth as honey.
Miss Evelyn, known as Evie has a reputation in the village, as a remarkable healer she is sought after as a midwife for every to-be mother. Evie herself holds no desire to wed, her heart and head lies stuffed inside a book, she loves her schoolwork and is terrified for when it comes to an end. That is of course until the Royal King visits her village with a sick tax collector, after having proved herself as an intelligent medic the king offers Evie a scholarship to the Royal University. While at a festival in her village a gypsy woman grips onto Evie and proclaims she has saved charms just for her. Out of a tangled web of woven threads and charms Evie picks a love charm, a luck charm, and a protection charm, a charm that provides protection against snakebites. Ironic seeing as how just the day before she was bit on the lip by one.
Evie sets off on a grand adventure to the epic city of Chaceldon, only things go wrong. There's love abound, sinking ships, even more snakes, and filthy bandits. Oh my! If only that were all... When Evie does finally reach Chaceldon, penniless and without grantee of University she sets out for the palace, bent on a letter allowing her acceptance to the university, what she find instead is something entirely enthralling.

Who really is Evie? Why does the new princess take such a liking to her?And how is it that she's never known of the Serpentina's?And the ending; well that will hit you like a wrecking ball, over and again, as it crumbles what you thought would happen and leave you with the settling dust of what truly happened. Me personally I was rooting for the castle and princess, no matter if she be evil or not. Because you know those balance scales are fickle beasts aren't they?

The Day Before:

My rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.
The story starts off in a sprint of lyrical mysteries surrounding a girl name Amber. Amber, after sneaking out of her house successfully, hopes a ride in a limo down to the beach where she's left the excitement an chance of a wicked adventure completely up to the fate that day holds:

"Let the day 
reveal itself to me
in its own time,
In it's own way.

I am yours, Today.

I am yours."
I never enjoyed words more, a cliffhanger and a mind-reeler how ironic given the summary of this book. As it proceeds, however the story becomes flinty and the characters-- well flimsy to hold a connection with. The whole boy meets girl-girl falls in love-boys got a secret cliche threw me off guard. The adolescent nature of the troubled teens was vigorously true unlike some Y.A. novels that suggest a 17-year-old would honestly be capable of giving up her life in order to pursue love. With all the secrets revealed and the story wrapping itself in a tight neat bow I found myself disappointed. I liked the prose but the entire plot was as bland as a boiled pork chop.

Unbelievable (Pretty Little Lairs #4):

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
flashback at the beginning of the story of the day before the infamous sleepover sets you on edge and I love it. A good psychopathic thriller is just the sort of reading material I should be reading instead of getting a head start on The Aeneid for Fall Semester. 
h Aria my favorite pretty lair you just don't quit do you. Admiral as it is darling, do you honestly figure spence as the killer? She's something alright with her flip-flop wish-y/wash-y boggled mind playing constant streams of trickery on her A barely has to do anything but shove her off that balance scale of hers. And dear Lord Emily what planet have you landed on? Any moment I expect the shinning to take over her life. I mean really the chickens donate upset with screaming, well perhaps goats oughtn't barrel towards people and the said people might not have a reason upset livestock. Great now I'm talking like I've stepped out of some Hollywood made up Wild West movie. Until just as the chainsaw start to blare Miss Country-bumpkin of a cousin steps in to--fingers crossed--liven Iowa up a bit. Partying in a silo? So not the Gala I was expecting then again her cow of a cousin turning Ems into her uncle and aunt wasn't expected neither.
pence you poor demented bunny rabbit, are always one tiniest bit of a step behind aren't you? Then again parental stability does count for everything theses days. Her parents allowing Spencer to go ahead with competing with forged essay for Golden Orchid--a prize she scarcely wanted as it was, what with it having to do with horrid Econ--must suck up all the limelight she can before something breaks.
Hanna Marin of all the Rosewood dollface's you've got to be the one with a memory lapse. Seriously selfish. ;-) We were as it was just about to find out who A was, riveting oh yes it was. Don't worry though that fickle mistress of a memory floods back eventually leaving my little cub scouts scrambling to protect a fellow Lair in grave danger. 


Emily did you honestly expect banishment on a Iowa farm to last. I mean think of all those saucy ripped Abercombie's you'd have had to trade in for overalls well that's if the swear jar behaves. Horrifying I know. 

Spence now that those pesky memories have finally hit to straight and narrow think you might want to ditch the whole sister-boyfriend-kissing-marrathon you've got going. Oh and do watch the road conditions, Hon thunder showers are sure to come rearing its lovely head any time soon.Hanna, Love, how many times must I keep repeating myself. Cheese fries do not make everything better and Mona is a hag. Lucas was a treat i was rooting for but obviously treats and Rosewood Day's Queen Bee don't mix do they. Oink, oink: piggy says I'm no where near finished with you.

Aria, my pretty little favorite. The Mindless Art class Meredith so kindly paid for is paying off it seems. Right? And of that soulmate of yours, well teacher-to-student ratios have been lazy haven't they. Chin up, darling you've always got Meredith's diabolical secret to uncover. And if that gets dull; because let's face it not much wrinkled feathers comes a woman who enjoying painting cockroaches on ceilings as a pastime, you've always got The whole Jenny Thing to have another anxiety attack about. But good news Aria Jason's back and something tells me there's a (legal) connection going on there. Good luck doll face.

Because yeah bitches; I saw the entire thing go down. Or should I say; blow up.

- A

The Secret Circle: The Initiation & The Captive-Part I:

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
he beginning was bland, which is something because Smith normally delivers a taunt lucrative web of entrapment during the first dozen pages or so.
Cassie spends the summer in Cape Cod her mothers native hometown and meets the most interesting people. When the tune comes to return home to sunny normal California her mother drops a surprise in Cassie's lap. California's out and New Salem the newest red.
assie learns that their are some perks that come with living on Crowhaven Street and although Smith didn't dive straight into magic powers he did give a taste of what's to come. Cassie finds solace in Diana the picture perfect older sister who takes Cassie under her wing. Cassie realizes that something about New Salem is different, the Club Diana leads rules the town, teachers and students--the outsiders--are afraid to even look at the eleven Club members cross but when dead bodies of both outsiders and Club members start popping up, well tensions raise and all beats are off.
h dear Mother Earth Cassie grow some balls! After a dozen pages of Smith reenacting the brittle bitch meets Cinderella I just about nearly put to book back on my shelf. Smith made Cassie into a pathetic whining child, it is the sheer only time I revealed in how inadequate a book seemed in comparison to its T.V. spin off. Then the mighty Diana comes along and for a long stretch of the book I think Cassie might just be in love with her. Which would be a bloody brilliant twist if Smith ever got to the jumping-out-of-the-closet part of the novel.
aye; my favorite character for the series is portrayed as the horrid dark witch in the book, the skull inflames my curiosity and Diana well she just seemed to get on my nerves a bit. Who is that nice?

P.S. News about the series I just heard: Season two has been canceled, however ABC Family might might it up. Please, oh please ABC Family pick it up.

Friday, July 27, 2012


My rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
A girl is taken, stolen. A gymnast, diver, ballerina, best friend and baby sitter is kidnapped from curbside out side her gym. She's tied to a tree and left to die, having already been beaten, stabbed and bruised. Lark never thought she'd be one of those girls from the news. The ones making sadistic headlines, Missing Girl Found Dead; but she did, she made headlines and the entire town skipped a beat, only a beat.
When Lark finds that her soul cannot move on from the tree she'd died tied to, she reaches out to her old best friend Eve and Nyetta a little girl Lark would babysit. She needs only for them to look. If they see what happened and understand her death Lark will be free. 
Potentate in its realism, stark in its ferocity, and somehow mangled with rigid lyricism. I absolutely devoured the entire short read. I felt at one point that my heart had frozen, been brittled over with littering cracks running the entire length of it, for surely not more could hurt after this novel. The descriptive nature of which Porter portrays three separate yet interwoven lives is awe-inspiring and at points left me breathless. I was so thoroughly stunned to the point at one interval that I glared down at the book silently cursing its existence then tossed it onto my bed determined to no longer read it anymore.
Porter's writing style is something of a unique quality, it is fluid and richly descriptive, while complex and unnerving. At some point I thought it might hold a bit of prose in it for the rhythm of the novel seem to pulse with the beat of a good freelance poem.

Perfect (Pretty Little Lairs #3):

Aria's platform boots
and grey knitted earflap hat
indicated she was surely up to something

My Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
First off; what did Shepard grow up around?! I mean either she's got a morbid bone to pick with her parents or she's read far too many Bronte novels. The parents of these girl are horrid unloving things. Poor Aria's mom can't suck up her feelings long enough to realize she's a mother and oh yeah maybe their dad screwing a teenage girl might be just a little hard on Aria too. But oh its too hard for Ella to look at her, right. 
Spencer's parents; well I won't even get into that social service agents wet dream. I mean seriously who disowns a girl for kissing her sisters boyfriend and then freezes her out while her missing friends body is dug up in front of her eyes. Grimm fairytale here we come young adult readers. Hanna, poor demented Hanna. Grow a pair and drop Mona; she's a hag. Your mother well, she's the least terrifying of mothers; your dad well he's-a-piece-of-shit. Excuse my French. He doesn't want you okay no problem take comfort in the fact that drifting men always wander again. Pretty soon Isabel will be boring and plain, Kate will the selfish Bitch she always is and he'll be onto daughter and wife 3.0. 
mily, Emily, Emily I feel for you really. A dilemma that big is not something you can actually ignore. Fake being straight to appease that racist cow and continue to live amongst humans and not pigs. Toughie really! Things after this really just start to spiral off the band wagon, my darlings. But no, no more juicy, details from me. However, I can drop a few hints can't I? Just enough to make Ali proud.


Apparently soul mates cant be separated, let's hope a certain someone looks fetching in orange. Besides someone had to get That Scooby sniffer of yours pointed in the right direction or who knows what else you might have dug up. Secrets are better left to capable and experienced hands wouldn't you say? Wouldn't want to accuse the wrong killer. 

Oh Hanna you poor (gaining) little cheese addicted thing; didn't I tell you Mona was a hag. Best friends, please Hon you've got bigger SUV's to deal with. And more hurtles than Death himself just to find a suitable guy.

Memories can be telling can't they Spence, best to keep them locked up in that expansive subconscious of yours. You know for plausible deniability. Never know when a pretty lair is going to have to take a polygraph.

Tsk, Tsk Ems don't you know you should never leave your phone anywhere. Texts have a way of popping in at the most inconceivable times. Bright side; apparently occults can't change you. Phew; good to know. 

- A

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Boo Hag:

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
According to Gullah legend Boo Hag's are vampiric creatures who stalk their prey and then feed by consuming, or essentially 'riding' in their victims' body's. Talk about a freak show right. They have no skin of their own and the sort of muscular tissue they do have is rumored to be blood red. Boo Hag's attach themselves to their victims' by climbing in through their windows at night and sucking the breath from them. 
Straight from the first page David Morgan leaps right into the thick of an erie story. Setting up a plot that lead my fingers to be nail-bitten aching things. Lenny, a high school student who has horrid sleeping tendencies, wakes in the early morning of 4:32 a.m. Going to investigate she comes to the conclusion there will be no heading back to sleep for her when a revelation presents itself: someone has been in her house. Her search however, turns up only her parents and so Lenny disregards the situation; locking shut the fear she'd felt in the study. Off to school though, doesn't go off without a hitch or, well red slim...Once over the dastardly bathroom predicament Lenny, in first period meet up with her best friend Anna. The two of them holding such a strong bond with each other begin to unravel the weird occurrences happening to Lenny, while also juggling their teenage lives.
When Anna and Lenny together make the acquaintance of the Boo Hag, Lenny decides its time to enlist more help, the secret-admirer, the cheerleader, the teacher, and hot guy - here is where I start to think BUFFY! - with the help of Lenny's school chum's she  has the strength to fight back. Because Hell be damned if she's gonna let some zombie, teenage riding freak steal her skin. 
Now I, avid reader of young adult supernatural series was compelled to entertain reading this book. I don't normally enjoy long nights spent reading off my computer screen, because lets face it; nothing beats a hardcover book, but all this not withstanding I was intrigued by this book, and when I am intrigued I must read it right away. So read I did. 
As of late, I haven't been too overly fond of Young Adult novels, the words, overly simplistic as to capture a younger teens attention while not boring them seemed to lose its edge with me. I've transitioned, so to speak into adult mystery novels; or any historical fiction set in the 1920s - do so let me know if you have any of good note to recommend. However, I still dabble in young adult because, sometimes I just want an easy supernatural romance to soak in my claw-footed tub with. 
I enjoyed his writing style but only faintly, there were those annoyingly pesky grammar mistakes and over usage of excessive words to describe mundane things, such as checking alarm clock. The plot itself moved along with the speed of a freight train, of which I was grateful because I am not one for scary stories- though it could be contested that The Boo Hag was not scary in its essence, just dire. The characters held a teenage depth to them, Lenny's best friend crushing on the quarterback, high school drama where cheating seemingly has the effect to have ended to the world, so on and on. I do in moderation enjoy traveling back to the blissful days that made up my freshman year of high school, when I, myself crushed on the handsome Senior baseball star and had yet to worry about cutting the red tape barricading my way into college, I was glad to see the story did not revolve around high school but the eerie Boo Hag creature stalking Lenny.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Flawless (Pretty Little Lairs #2):

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The pretty little lairs pick up right where they leave off, with Ali's body now found underneath her backyard and a murder investigation in full swing no lairs is left unscathed. With Foxy (Rosewoods super posh gallia of the year) just around the corner and Hanna's relationships with her dream guy Sean on the fritz she is left reeling. Sinking feelings of slipping back into dorkdom has her binge eating and back to old habits. With such old habits follows A who never seems to miss a beat with any of her lairs.
As for Spencer well much can be said about dating your sister ex boyfriend but should such things be said? Her A+ grades are slipping with the secret meetings she's had to have with Wren and with her parents giving her the freeze out over the whole 'kissing-your-sisters-boyfriend-is-deplorable-Hastings-behavior' Spencer is gripping at straws to hold up her perfect star daughter routine while A threatens her aimlessly over E-mails and texts.
Aria, my personal favorite little lair, has not had it easy what with her family about ready to fall off a cliff and her dads quirky mistress insisting their in love A's benevolent presence seems to irritate her more than anything. Her love life has taken a shocking turn for the worst as well, he English teacher found her phone and claimed she was out the ruin him, which paved the way for Sean to waltz in the same Virginal cookie cutter Rosewood guy who no longer thinks he wants to wait to have sex anymore-talk about a slap in the face to Hanna.
Now Emily; the confused little mermaid who may or may not be a homofob, which is really quite dreary seeing as she is lesbian. I'm rooting for that one though, screw her parents stuck up conservisim throw that shirt off, knock back a whiskey sour and kiss the girl already-if your into that sort of thing that. If not, give it a whirl anyway. And Toby, sweet, delusional, possibly phsyco freak killer Toby whose hiden secrets I am awaiting En Pointe to be revealed.
A, that rascal and her overly-patient nature to drag out every climax to her secret bomshel's like its European oil drums.
I loved how it started with a flashback and then how it proceeded on right where the first book left off, how the author assumes one read the first installment of the series and spend no time in retro long the past book(s). How boorish is that? I mean I did read New Moon before Twilight but there is no need to spend half my time reading about what happened in the first novel just to be equipped to dive into the second installment.
Each book is a wondrous read I found, like escaping into my many soap operas. I adore it when I get so involved in a series that I place on hold the next four books in it.
Complaint department: she spent too much time stressing A's vigorous  vice grip over everything, also the switching between points of view was okay but that was it, it was okay. The plot was nice well detailed and I always love a Galla, however I was expecting more intrigue in each of the lairs lives and I would have liked to see them moving together as friends. But you know I am so impatient. I am off to watch We Bought A Zoo with the family now; Guten Nacht lovelies.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Remember Mommy's Smile:

Format: paperback
ISBN: 9780-6154-4752-0
Cover price: $11.95
Available at: I Remember Mommy's Smile
Availability: E-book Edition
Publisher: Baker's Dozen Press
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 
The words were simplistic and easy for children to connect with. I commend the amount of strength it took to writ this book; I don't think I could talk about my grandfather in such a way. The thing about loss is that the person who's been lost is important to us, it is hard to talk about it because we want to keep what we have left of them to ourselves. A human being needs to know two things about loss: 1.) There was nothing you could do to stop it. 2.) It was not your fault. 
This book made me cry and eternally sorrowful, it is etched into me so profoundly because it is true and raw. That alone is a reason to have this book sitting on your self. Everyone should know that its ok to talk about them but you shouldn't be forced to; you want to keep your grief silent take all the time you feel is necessary.  
The illustrations are quirky, different, and completely the perfect matching with this book. I don't think I could have imaged it better. The rich velvety colors and bold interpretations of the authors words was inspiring. The book itself was well bided and held my interest. The memoir type in which Dina recalled her mother was heart wrenchingly warm. The sheer depth of this children's book entrapped me in the story the words hung in my head heavy and my own memories swirled around them in an unpleasant way. It was deeply troubling to read this because I found so saddened and at the same time enlightening. I found that I learned many things from this book, things that seemed so self-evident to me that I couldn't understand why I'd never understood it before. 
My favorite quote came on page 30 where Dina depicted her mothers funeral and how a funeral parlor man took her hand to leave "I kicked the man's legs to make him go away." it showed Dina's courage while facing something she was saddened or afraid of. I liked how she left nothing out how the first page started out frank and bold. 
If you are to make a memoir make it clear that it's not a fictional romance, because sometimes people believe that losing there high school sweetheart will be the end of the world. What the book clarifies is that though you are sad now; it gets better. The pain ebbs but it's always there, Dina let's the children know that you can still live with the loss and sometimes you can even have fun. 
Complaint department: I didn't particularly enjoy the overly simple wording, but then again I am more leant towards prose in children's books.


Format: paperback 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN: 978-4327-8696-0

Cover price: $11.95
Availability: E-book Edition
Pages: 68
Category: Poetry/American/General
Available at: Outskirts Press
Distribution: Ingram, Baker & Taylor
Published: Outskirts Press, Inc
Publication Date: April, 05, 2012
My rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
I am avid lover of nature most especially rain, thunderstorms are electrifying. So when I was given the opportunity to sit down with Erik Hansen's new poetry book I was in awe. I was entrapped by his vivid use of realism and vice grip on detailing the little things of nature that breathe life into its imagery. His poems were fluid and flawed, emotional and real and if you know my poems than you know that's basically how I write. Poetry is the deepest form of expression (though I suppose a painter would say so of pushing leaded paint around a canvas to form a musician)  there is nothing poised or neat about ones emotions. Brutal things emotions are.
Anyhow, Erik managed well, to capture nature while also throwing in his own reflections on his personal thoughts; thoughts having arose from glimpsing nature. I was deeply saddened that I was not outside while reading this or in the mountains perhaps by a kindling fire. Now as a history major I was entranced, his use of Berlin's aches, stark detailing of Oxford, and devastation of young soldiers in South Africa. He seemed to have touched on ever subject poetry ought to touch upon. Most of his poems did not rhyme in the classical form and I did find that at points I was wishing for a bit more... I don't know refinery perhaps. Then he would say things like:
"Francis, Francis
Where do these ghosts of yours come from?
These "dead sons-of-bitches" grinning whitely
In the streetlights glow"
And I'd be so taken aback with inspiration that I'd forget the book and start scribbling away a poem of my own thinking where the hell did that come from?
I do so adore being surprised.
As for instance when I reached his poem entitled Hush where his words danced along the lines of prose sucking me into a story of a man infused with his first hunt. Words would slap out at me such the likes of:
"Cold and sweating
Begging to sleep
Praying to die
Trudging across the fields
Of fresh cut stubble
Cutting my feet"
And once again I am left reeling, brows creased in concentration when I reached the end of the poem I let out a rush of breath and said "Where the hell the did that come from?"
What I most enjoyed about Erik's poems was the simplistic way in which they flowed almost faulty; how his poems were a crack in his mind not written but just there. A metaphor for it would be the San Andreas fault line how it is simply there, deeply rooted in danger and realism. How we all know of it , we drive over it, live by it, not accepting but ignoring it's presence. Humankind has always been truly good at ignoring unpleasant things, the fault line will crack and split in two, shifting the earth, stranding people in the mountains from the people in the valleys below; but it hasn't happened yet so we ignore it. Erik's poems make me think of all the things I am forgetting the remember.
Why the rating: I did not connect with every poem, some we're a bit boorish I admit, (which is not to distract from the others that were not) some poems melted away from the pages leaving me with thinking they were just lines and words. Rhyme is something I am fond of and though my own poems do not have much of it (I'm told) I found Erik's to be lacking also a bit of rhythm - as mentioned before. To a point in which I found myself adding or replacing words in a poem.
Favorite Poem: Daughter; it was so richly... just full of love. The greaat exactitude his words reaked with made my heart ache. How he choose his words to shape his daughter to form his image perfectly and the amount of pride that shone through the words was endearing. Also it was simple and smooth little words here and there to snap my attention, to make my lips twitch into a fond little saddened smile. For what it made me remember.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bitterblue: Review Teaser!

Now I must state that the review is not so soon to come because I have yet to read the book but I just couldn't resist posting this. It is marvelous; by far one of my favorite series.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pretty Little Lairs:

"You know what they say about hope.
It breeds eternal misery!"

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Alison DiLaurentis played Rosewood like a master violinist on a stradivarius, until she dies.
After their best friend Alison DiLaurentis vanishes one night during a summer sleepover Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily royally drift apart. Now with Aria returning to Rosewood after three years of living in Iceland she isn't sure how her new European Aria fits in the posh countryside of Philadelphia. Hanna the newly remade over popular girl dropped fifty pounds shortened her skirts and became the new Ali. Whilst Emily won a swimming championship scored a hunky boyfriend, got confused and kissed a girl. Spencer was busy morphing into the super heightened A+ student superstar of her family, whose nights are spent inside text books and days alternate between shopping for Kate Spade back to school clothes and tennis playing at the Rosewood country club.
Now three years after Ali's disappearance the worst expectancy happens. Alison DiLaurentises' body is found, a funeral is planned, a murder investigation is launched by the police and a text message is sent. 

"You promised you wouldn't think about it, Aria thought,
glancing back over her shoulder."
Pg 101:
Aria says in regards to a secret about her dad.

Who'd have thought that a single text message could both eternally damn and reforge a thick friendship once lost?
Ali knew absolutely everything about her four friends but they knew nothing of her. From the grave it seems she is eternally committed to reminding her friends that fact, cryptic text messages making the four girls feel as if they are constantly being watched and when Ali's body is found the messages don't stop someone is out for the blood of the pretty little lairs and they aren't apposed to getting dirty.

I have caved, given in to conformity; whatever, the book is a glorious work of fiction. Better than the Gossip Girl series tenfold. Seven pages in and I was completely hooked. Captivated by the five girls and how I use to ache to be just like them, part of the in crowd and then how I felt when I had a year of it. Every girl wants it but when you have it: we'll there is nothing you won't do to keep it and nothing you fear more than losing it.
How the reviewing process works...
Shepard opens her enthralling book by introducing us to the little lairs, her detailing goes just far enough to state my thirst and then dives right back into the muck of the story. Just how I like my young adult books, simplistic and carefree.
Now normally I dislike it when point of views switch spontaneously between multiple parties, example being the horrifically challenged series of The Luxe, but Shepard pleasantly surprised me by capturing my attention of each characters lives. A fast paced read that left me clawing to start the next book.
Complaint launched: The dolls are freaky! Eight-six them from the cover, pronto. Seriously Shepard; why?

Pretty Little Lairs: Review Teaser!

“I kind of have to go to the bathroom," Aria said woozily.
Ezra smiled. "Can I come?” 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Devil's Kiss (Billi SanGreal #1):

“What, no balloons?' Billi asked drily.
'You want balloons, join the circus.”
~ Devil's Kiss, by  S.C. 
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Bilquis SanGreal knew without a shadow of a doubt that a time would come when she would have to choose. Choose between what she wanted and what was right. She just never guessed the choose would leave her so broken. 
As the only girl to ever be apart of the Knights Templar the pressure is on for Billi to show her worth, lately however things seem to have taken a turn for the worst, no longer is the Knight's this magical noble destiny Billi always sought out to be apart of. But now that she's seen the underbelly of the beast she realizes that the Knight's Templar does not make heretics but martyr's. Grueling days spent locked in a basement sparing with grown men tends to harden a girl, and while juggling the recent return of her childhood best friend - the ever self-sacrificing proclaimed oracle Kay - teenage emotional baggage and the sudden chance meeting of Michael a handsome ethereal man on the subway, there is no doubt that Billi has her hands full. 
When her Michael surprises Billi by understanding her more than anyone ever has in her entire life, Billi even surprises herself by accepting a date with the mysterious boy, however her nerves are prickling and as she begins to fall for both Michael and Kay she can't help but wonder. When is everything going to fall apart. In one single movement of male bravado Kay manages to shatter Billi small resemblance of a normal life. Using a sacred artifact King Solomon's Cursed Mirror, Kay unleashes the Templars most feared and dangerous enemy. The Archangel himself, the Angel of Death. It is exactly what Billi has long been training for, the battle that will make her a Knight for the rest of her life or end her life.
With children falling ill around her town Billi comes to realize that it is the Archangel's doing, his plan formed to bring people back to Christ, through fear, he vows, people will turn to faith. To save the world from one of the most vicious plagues since the Bubonic Plague of 1348 Billi makes a deadly deal with the Devil to receive the only weapon forged holding the power to kill an angel. But can Billi follow through with it, can she actually kill her father? Or is losing the love of her life to the Unholy worse?
I have to say reading this story threw for a loop, coming off a Meg Cabot novel I was almost to say devastated by its harshness, however that's not to say I didn't devour SanGreal tragic life. I mean honestly who hasn't thought of living in an old and historic castle, who hasn't wished they grew up like Buffy the Vampire 2.0 and who hasn't wished they knew Latin, just because.
Her chooses though, I would not ask for. 
Chadda's writing style was pungent and strong and I adored it. You do not tell a story such as this and use light fluid words, no they are supposed to be harsh and dignified. I must detour from this however to point out what I did not like about this story, the beginning. Summed up the whole four stars right there, it was dull and boring and for me I read the first two pages of a book to see if I like it and then if I like it I skip to the back of the book and read the last page. Don't ask me why, its weird. 
Anyhow, I got a dozen or so pages in and was already switching to another book. When I finally did come back to it, for that lack of any other unread book, I was deeply surprised when the story decided to all of a sudden become something energetic and wondrous. And the climax of it, now that was something no one will ever see truly coming, nor the ending for that matter. Because when you it is done, and your settled into the falling action, another big whooping climax comes by to steal the first ones thunder.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Morning Mailbox: II

Received from: Library, Dollar Bookstore in the mall, Dollar Tree.
Price Paid: 10 Dollars and 50 cents
Book Format: 4 Hardcover, 2 paperback.

Because of Romek by David Faber:
When walking through the mall with my mom we noticed a man who stood in front of a five-by-five square folding card table with books laying on it. He stood outside a bookstore and smiled at me, he asked me if I had ever heard of the Holocaust. I just about nearly flinched.
 I said "I would never forget."
He smiled and told my mother and I that he was a Holocaust survivor, he said this book was his story and I bought it, not because he had showed me his tattooed number on his left arm, but because I wanted it. No ones story should be discarded, or forgotten. Seconds later he asked who to make it out to and my mom said George. George is my uncle, his birthday was coming up and she thought, because he liked history  it would be a good present. David Faber's hands shook as he wrote out the letters, I nearly cried. When we got home my dad said that only I would want a book as a birthday present, and as it turned out, George hadn't wanted it, my dad bought him a tool from Home Depot. I kept the book, secretly jumping for joy.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell:

I do so love vintage withered books. So you could imagine my joy when I saw this lovely sitting on the classic's shelf of the Library Sale section. Only a dollar! I loved the movie, have watched almost every summer for the past like ten years. It is so witty, and romantic, so wondrously bold at times and it just makes you want to sigh tilt your head and rest it on you up-turned palm.
Please Don't Eat The Daises, by Jean Kerr:
Oh dear lemon drops! This book is amazingly fantastic, and I have only read the first page. So witty, and blunt, so unforgivingly brash. I do love the sixties and if you throw into the mix, a modern enlightened women, well there is just no telling what I will do!
The book is written so freshly stark with humor in every word, the details are so vivid that you feel as if the woman is actually talking to you.
During a time when women were expected to smile pleasantly, bare and raise their husbands children, and always have a freshly hot meal waiting for them when they got home, this book pleasantly surprised me with being nothing as is expected of it. Instead Kerr tells frankly about how her life was, and spilled all the glass marbles stating exactly what she thought of her housewife life.
The Breakdown Lane, by Jacquelyn Mitchard:
One has to be the center of attention, one has to be the quote-unquote mean girl of high school, and at least once in their lifetime a girl gets dumped, cheated on, or refused. For those people, they turn to help for the answer to the ever evading Why me? Advice columnist Julieanne is their help and she excels at her job; now if you took a peek at her own personal life, well her accreditation would just shot down the tubes. She has, like everyone else missed the signs! 
'Oh dreadful no, not the signs!' You say.
Me personally I strongly dislike the mythical signs because honestly, no one ever-and I do mean ever literally- sees those bloody signs. And tip for today: if they say they have well their either lying through there teeth or their lying about their life through their teeth.

Anyhow, after her husband informs Julieanne that he needs 'time' to think through his life, basically he needs 'time' away from his kids and his wife. After a while when he doesn't return to the white house, three kids, dotting wife, and a dog it becomes clear that he had never intended to use the word 'time' literally but figuratively for its second meaning was 'ever', he wasn't coming back ever.
Although life is not known to take things sitting down and so a twist erupts in this novel as Julieanne becomes ill; those left-behind three kids then go out on a mission to find they're runaway dad and bring him back before its too late for Julieanne.
How To Buy a Love Of Reading, by Tanya Egan Gibson:

How incredibly intriguing this debut novel seemed to me, a young girl studying endlessly for perfect SAT scores discovers her love for reading. Filled with witty retorts, dismayed teenagers, comical situations and a pestering English teacher always pushing more books and essays onto her students shoulders.
When one day in class this same teacher addresses Carley with a question “What is your favorite book?" Carley answers back “Never met one I liked,” Oh the humanity! Right!
Any-who, her parents decide they are going to buy their daughter love for reading by hiring a novelist/writer to write a book just for Carley, one that she have to love; naturally hilarity issues and things spin wonky.
Robin Hood and His Merry Men:
Oh how I adore the classics. *Sigh* Such perfect writing, and thought-through verses. Robin Hood vastly became one of my favorites, wait for the kicker now...I have yet to read it. 
*Gasp* Quite right you are my fellow readers, I admit to only having watched just about every Robin Hood movie, series, etc., etc. and not found inspiration or intrigue to read the novel. Though you know me, give me a vintage hardbound book for fifty cents and I add it to my collection of 'to-be' wall to ceiling study library.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Star Crossed:

"A worried crease lined
his forehead.
"Just how planned
is this plan of yours?""

My rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
I love a good adventure full of conspiracy and plot twists. I had long been forgoing this books, brushing it off, returning it back to the library twice without a second glance, but while on vacation I found myself in need of a medieval romance. What I got, well that was something else indeed!
Digger a strange thief from the great city of Gerse must flee her only home leaving behind the man who loved her so much he gave his life for her and the thieving behaviorisms behind as she becomes lady-in-waiting to Merista Nemair. However, as posing as Celyn Contrare a Nobel woman who was banished and thence escaped from a Cely's monastery she finds healed agreeing to leave by way of sail boat out of her beloved city and into the rural country side where Meri's parents await to whisk her away Digger/Celyn and another snobby nobel women Phandre in tow as her ladies-in-waiting to the high mountains of Bryn Shaer. 
Being a lady-in-waiting should be simplicity at its finest for the wanted thief but just as Digger becomes costumed  to her life of luxuries she is snatched back to her reality by the devilish Lord Daul who has somehow caught in an act of stealing! Digger is appalled because no one has ever caught her before, soon Daul is blackmailing her to become his personal spy among to Nemair's. Like any good thief Digger plans to flee through the rough day pass cut into the mountains, that is until an avalanche crushing any hope for escape. Armed with her rusty wit an old courtesan  acquaintance who is the only one among the Nobles that truly knows where Digger's come from and what she is; thankfully the familiar citybrat sticks to the code of their class, keep the secrets of a fellow thief, she has no choice but to follow through with Lord Daul's demands.
Now Digger must brush off her skills and put them to use in order to keep her secret carefully hidden, but what of the things she learns? Why are wizards baring the mark of Sar hidden away on Nemair's land, where has Digger's dagger gone and why would Daul own a magic lock if he is so devoted to the Greenmen's cause? Then the pieces start clicking together, each one distinct but improbable, explicit and most dangerous. Fear of rebellion and heretics spreads through Digger one night during a game of chess with Cwalo.
Then the most dastardly thing happens, Digger finds a trap door and hidden underneath a study's carpet. In the floorboards there is a narrow passageway that leads to a mediocre set of rooms. When Digger explores further she realizes there is a man in there, to her shock it becomes evident that it is the missing prince Wierolf himself. 
When secrets can no longer be kept tightly knotted together for Digger she is forced to tell the truth a concept she has spent her entire life running away from. But when the stakes of not telling the truth far outweigh the consequences suddenly there is not a choice she has left but to come clean and hope the gods are feeling less zestful and  more bored because surly the aftermath of it is bound to be an enchanting tale.
My heaviest complaint being simple: I flung this book at the wall!!! It was so annoying at the end, here comes a bright and shinning opportunity to make a four, maybe even five star book and what do they do they take the climax and stretch it so thin that it becomes nothing but thread and then build on it again. How aggravating it was to be biting your nails one moment and next, well the next your seething wanting to rip the book apart.
Set in a world reeking with unrest and intrigue a citybrat is swept away from the man she loves to a life of soft pleasantries. Rip with adventure and sharp turns of events that would make a military strategy analyst proud, Bunce weaves a wonder of a tale. I was however displeased with the writing style, I felt it was a light too bald for such an interesting story and though the story was appealing to me it was not invigorating. To a point I felt it resembled Graceling only without the jest Graceling had provided, the story was pleasant enough to read and to go a step further it held my attention but it was a slow read. I suggest this partly because there was opportunities in the story where a huge plot twist could have been something awe-inspiring but instead it fizzled dully. I felt it could have been better than it ultimately was. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Darkness Becomes Her:

My rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Well now that I have successfully ruined my fingernails, bitten them down to roots, I can get on with a review and then possibly Secondhand Charm I hear it is light and pleasant, because boy was this story just a whole bunch a delicious darkness!
Mother nature had never been one to throw out favors and Ari was no exception to this. With teal eyes and silver hair its easy to stand out. Where difference is found in a person, so than can solace can be found. Ari is all too familiar with this as she drifts through her life, and as the realiztion of being always the orphaned girl weighs Ari to the ground she decides enough is enough. Her search for answers leads her to New Orleans where she finds she is not so quite different for the people who enhabit the post-apocoliptic city that thrums with dangers of the supernatural. But what happens when the most fearsome creature to walk the earth fear you? Well Ari does the only sane thing she thinks up, she pokes and prods until answers flow from the monsters mouths.
I enjoyed her writing style, not overly thick, no grammar mistakes, none of the excess 'ands' or badly formed sentences. The words word delicate and precise, cordial and as sharp as a blade, they seemed to thud along with the ruination of New 2, the new name for New Orleans. After receiving a letter from her dead mother Ari is attacked by a man who speaks a strange language and who can stand being shot twice. Worse than killing this man seems to come when he vanishes right before Ari's eyes. It feels as if she should receive some slack after this ordeal but no the story proceeds to where she almost gets run over my a 12 year old and than hitches a ride with her to New 2. 
When Ari arrives in New 2 it is later than a day that she starts to fall in love, meets vampire half-lings, suffers through a mind ripping migraine, and is stolen by another blond haired warrior identical to the one sent to kill her back in Covington. Ari is not a fan of dark places and so when instead of attacking her the warrior drags her off the a cellar Ari is not at all pleased. So much for the protection the Novem's promised her. In her prison she meets the most exciting people including a harpy and a spider woman, than get the most enthrall long news. A Goddess is after her! 
I do so love bitter dry whit, much preferable to the over bubbly optimism that seems to be flooding the main characters  of the YA reading world lately. Kelly Keaton delivers a semi-unoriginal plot that is thick with dark secrets and a strong female. It was darkly seductive and at the same time it felt like I'd read it already; twice. Never has a story unraveled so finely, like spun lace, and been set in such the right place. I am a large fan of New Orleans, withs it roots practically dripping magic, the mystically dark world Ari inhabits couldn't have been set in a better atmosphere.
What an invigorating and enthralling ride that was! Full of romance, ancient myths, determination, a war called forth by the goddess of war herself and all ending with a cry for vengeance.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ruby Red:

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Being the girl who time travels is not easy, especially when the gene was supposed to skip you. 
Gwyneth a seventeen-year-old prep school girl from an eccentric and reclusive London family was well prepared for everything. She was taught what she should do if her cousin Charlotte ever received dizzy spells, she was taught not to resent Charlotte, taught to always carry chalk so as to mark the place should Charlotte ever disappear in for of her. Which was all well and fine, because the idea of time traveling to Gwen was repulsing; what with all the plagues, the bad hygeine, and the never knowing just what will happen to you, or when your coming back. Yes, Gwen knew exactly what part she would play in her family. She would help her predestined cousin; whom was fated to receive the time traveling gene and then she would go back to her semi-normal teenage existence, gossiping with her best-friend Leslie and watching bad history movies instead of studying. Gwen however, was not at all prepared for the day that she would faint in the middle of the street, landing smack dab in the middle of a completely different era.
When Gwen is thrust head-first into this secret world she never expected nor wanted, it is just about all she can do but scream at the top of her lungs. Handling the judgements of the secret society, shaking off her cousins cold shoulder, dealing the her mother's lies and struggling to wrap her head around her gorgeous time traveling counter-part, Gideon de Villiers. To make matters worse no one in this society seems to trust Gwen, and just when pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place a whole different puzzle shows up and someone says "Now assemble this puzzle and figure out how the two connect." Leaving Gwen with even more confusion and her mothers words proving to be the only self-evident truth there she can close her fist around: A secret is a secret is a secret. 
Not sure who to trust and unconfident that she can protect herself from the growing feelings she has toward Gideon, Gwen decides to just go with it and let the pieces fall where they will 
I immensely disliked how dim-minded the character was made out to be, and for goodness sake child; stick up for yourself! Don't just stand around an gawk at the men. The story was a wondrous adventure that I could help falling in love with. However, as I progressed further into the story, my thrill seemed to wane, it seemed to me that Gier would build up suspense and then...nothing, it would fizzle; leaving me with false satisfaction and a grim determination that the next page will hold at least some answers. Where the book leads off is where it starts up, the conclusion never came because it was never finished, unlike many other story's out there Gier truly sticks to the jest of a trilogy, she keeps the plot fluid and continuous, she doesn't end one adventure but picks up the second book exactly right where the first book left off. This was pleasantly surprising and extremely annoying all at the same time. 
A must read, it was genuinely a fun ride. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 12 – A Book You Used To Love But Don’t Anymore:

Lucy The Used Up Goose: Extremely Difficult.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
I find that a lot of books I love I normally tend to say in love with for some reason. I did however, like Escape From Memory by M. Haddix when I first read it and then looking back I realize it was sort of mediocre in a way, too confusing with just enough slight bad grammar to make it annoying. I do critque harshly on writing styles, I like fluid and smooth writing in romance novels, blunt and terse with memoirs, and sharply defined detailing in paranormals. The whole plot of Escape from memory was centered around a teenage girl whose life is thrust into a tail spin of chaos when the secrets of her families past come back to haunt her. It was original, I do admit, but I felt with a story like that, with such potential the writer could have took it three steps further than she had.
Just a snippet of the review to come. Stay tuned.

See Jane Run:

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.  Recommendation: Eh, it wouldn't kill you to read this.  The Intrigue: So listen, let's say you weren&...