I hate spending time reading about the plot of a book on review sites - just tell me, Did you like it or not?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Until I Die

Until I Die (Die for Me #2)


4 stars

353 pages

Published May 8, 2012, by HarperCollins Publishers 

 I am so happy! I just read a fantastic sequel! Yay!
I always pick up a sequel with a bit of hesitation because many, many times I am bitterly disappointed in Book #2 or #3 after a wonderful Book #1. (a.k.a. Hunger Games)
In this sequel, we learn more about revenant lore and legend. We meet Violette and Arthur - two revenants from the 16th century who are the "experts" on numa. And Kate is learning how to fight. I love a good fightin' girl.
The focus isn't so much on the looooove between Kate and Vincent - but the goal of making the relationship last.
Pacing was fast. Fight scenes well choreographed and easy to follow. And characters are further fleshed out. Everything a good sequel should have.
I can't wait to pick up #3 in the "Die for Me" series!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Glad Tidings

Glad Tidings (Here Comes Trouble & There's Something About Christmas)


I've delved into "adult fiction" with this book - a rare occurrence. But there isn't anything offensive - like so many adult fiction books. Little to no swearing and zero sex. In fact, I gave it to my mother-in-law to read after I was done with it on our trip.

For what it is - two sweet, unassuming love stories - this book excels. If you're looking for angst and star-crossed lovers who are constantly faced with obstacles before they can be together, this book is not that. Sometimes, I just was plain, ol' cheese. Just a boy and a girl falling in love - your guaranteed a happy ending - if a bit abrupt.

It's definitely not fine literature, but it never pretends to be. Macomber has made a name for herself for fluffy stories - and this is a great introduction to her style.

This is a good book for every once in a while. I wouldn't be able to read one Macomber book after another. She uses too many of the same devices and formulas in her stories. It would seem like you're reading the same book over and over.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I'll be back ...

I've got family visiting!

I'll be incommunicado for 2 weeks. But I'll be back with lots of new books to review!

If anyone has a request, please comment to this post and I'll do my best to git 'er done!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013




Published Sept. 18, 2012, by Spencer Hill Press

Not too bad. It's the classic star-crossed lovers who can never be together for some reason or another. This time, it's The Touch of Death. Nice.
Totally transparent bad guy, though, which was a downer. I saw him coming a mile away.
It will be interesting to see why Olivia and Emmie are so sought after, so I'll definitely read the next in the series.

(Just discovered that this is a stand-alone book. Whaaat?? Way too many loose ends for me to consider it that. So I'm knocking it down a half star for lack of a satisfying ending.)
There is some language - and one f-bomb. That sucked.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences

Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences


3.5 stars

240 pages

Published Oct. 12, 2010, by Candlewick Press

I needed a "palate cleanser" after a bunch of YA paranormal romance type stuff. And this quick "alien" book fit the bill.
After aliens come and take over the earth in 2 seconds, the humans - products are what they are called - who survived are taken as slaves in the new regime led by a little green dude called Lord Vert.
The survivors start accessing their latent psychic abilities and fighting back.
The premise is good, the writing is solid and characters are pretty well developed.
My only gripe is that I wish the story were longer. There were things that could have been explained further. And the ending ... quite abrupt. I hope there is a sequel, but I don't think there will be. I would totally read it!
A smattering of mild swearing. No sex. Little to no physical violence. It's all in their heads. Literally.
Great read for anyone - boys, girls, teens, adults.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Cornerstone (Souls of the Stones #1)


I am reading this as part as the complete "Souls of the Stones" 3-book omnibus that I received from NetGalley and All Night Reads.
As a fantasy, this is a bit slow at first. Usually, there's lots of action and sword fighting and cloaks and dragons and stuff like that - at least in all the Robert Jordan books that I've read - namely the Wheel of Time series. Here, it seems that this first book is just setting the stage for the rest of the books. Lots of the dialogue is repeated, which is annoying. There are some inconsistencies, too. And the idea of the "Stones" is hardly touched on in the first half of the book. There is the requisite "quest," which involves lots of traveling by horseback and by foot, so in that sense it fits into the fantasy category.
In the attempt of keeping the "bad guy" a secret, I got confused. I had to re-read passages to try and figure out who exactly was talking.
Also, the author likes to skip immediate explanations (such as how Em escaped Russel) and wait, like, 50 pages before we find out how it all went down. It was distracting from the rest of the book, I kept thinking about "How did she get away???" It wasn't until that explanation appeared was I able to refocus.
Luckily, things gets better - roughly 2/3 of the way through the book. The pace starts to pick up, and it gets entertaining. But still no sword fighting! Bummer! And there was a gun, which was weird.
And a love story starts to develop. But that's waaaay towards the end. So don't expect anything right away.
I will be reading the next in the series, as I think things will get better as the story continues.
Thank you NetGalley and All Night Reads for allowing me to review this book.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Obsidian (Lux #1)


Published Nov. 23, 2011, by Entangled Teen

Super quick review...
This book was pretty cool. A bit of a cross between Roswell and Twilight. There is a bit of language, so watch out for that. But all in all, great writing, great action and great plot. I am looking forward to the next in the series!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Die for Me

Die for Me (Die for Me #1)


341 pages 

Published May 10th 2011 by HarperTeen

Another love-at-first-sight YA paranormal story. You'd think I'd get tired of them, right? But it's amazing what good writing and a healthy dose of drama and action can do for you. It's addicting.

This book introduces a new kind of "paranormal": revenants. There are good revenants and bad revenants. I've heard of "bad" revenants, but never of "good" revenants, so props to Amy Plum for introducing me to that. And our human heroine (she's 16 years old) falls in love with a good one ... who is technically waaaaay older than her, which is kind of "ew." But whatever, I can overlook that.

Also, it seems like all the characters in YA fiction are fabulously wealthy and are hotness personified. Just once, I'd like the hero/love interest to be dirt poor and normal looking. THAT would be an interesting story.

Anyway, I'm ignoring that and focusing on the imaginative premise. Which I really like. It's very clever how she invented a whole way of life for these undead people. She gives new meaning to the phrase "dead to the world."

Although I enjoyed the book quite a lot, a bit more action and less "lovey mush" would be nice. Maybe the next books will focus more on the action, since the "lovey mush" has been established. And I would like to know why Jules is all stalker-y.

I'll be reading the next in the series - I hope it's as good as this one.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods (Little House #1)


First published 1932

I read this book with my kids as a bedtime story. They were fascinated by all the "old fashioned" stuff contained within the pages. And the illustrations helped them see what life was back in the "olden days." 

I wasn't sure if they'd like it, seeing how un-modern it was, but they LOVED it! And that is a testament to Ingalls Wilder's fantastic writing, to be able to reach across generations and entertain and instruct children.
We will be reading the whole series.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dark Eden

Dark Eden (Dark Eden #1)


336 pages

Published Nov. 1, 2011, by Katherine Tegen Books

Sick of love triangles? Tired of angels? Got a hankerin' for some YA that's dark, creepy and slightly twisted?

Step into Patrick Carman's Hitchcock-ian world of teens with incurable fears and phobias.

Nice, even pacing (which is moderate, just like a psychological thriller should be) and a cool premise help this on it's way to a solid three stars. The suspense was carried throughout the whole book - something was "off," but you can't quite figure out what. That was well done.

But super flat characters was the reason it didn't get any more. A psychological thriller needs more internal dialogue to explain why the person thinks the way he/she does. It also helps to catch a glimpse into what is going on in the other "crazy" characters' minds.

The unexpected twist at the end was appreciated. I definitely didn't predict quite that ending. I also enjoyed the "explain all" chapters after the main story concluded. You can be satisfied with just this one book - there is no cliffhanger.

But I'll probably pick up the next in the series to see where it goes.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters #1)


Published October 1st 2010 by Hachette Australia

I'm really leaning toward 2.5 stars, but I'll probably read the next in the series because I'm curious, so I'll bump it up.

Why 3 stars? Well, the writing is decent. The plot is pretty good. 

But I'm tired of love triangles. And teenage sex. At least there were no gross details. Ick. And the lack of parental involvement would constitute neglect in any court in the nation. Be a dad, man.
And there was some language. Totally unnecessary.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Girl with the Iron Touch

The Girl with the Iron Touch (Steampunk Chronicles #3)

4.5 stars

384 pages

Published May 28, 2013, by Harlequin TEEN 

Another clever and exciting installment in the Steampunk Chronicles! Cross's bright, original and inventive writing gives birth to a story that is quick-paced, exciting and absorbing.

I love how each book focuses on one member of the "Greythorne 5," and how the others in the group converge to help out and rescue them, while defeating the bad guys. All within a delightfully imaginative universe, filled with automatons, sentient machines, beasties and "organites."

This time, it's "Ginger" who gets into a spot of trouble.

Although, like the first two novels, the "Don't go! It's not safe! I'll go instead!" line of thinking between characters is overdone.

One bit of glossed-over sex and little-to-no swearing.

I am thoroughly enjoying this series. Can't wait for the next one to come out!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Spellcaster (Spellbound #2)

3.5 stars

371 pages

Published Mar. 27, 2012 by Harlequin Teen

A solid sequel to the book Spellbound.
The evil just keeps on coming for Emma and Brendan. This time in the form of a jealous, unbalanced teenage witch. If you thought regular teenage girls are catty, they've got nothing on this crazy witch. She's so evil, it's funny.
But Emma finally grows a spine and decides she's going to deal with the crazy, and not hide behind Brendan and his hero complex.
Pacing is quick. Writing is engaging. One thing that bugged me, though, was that in the first book, there was little, if any, animosity between Brendan and Angelique. In this book, there suddenly appears this disgust with one another. Where did that come from?
It's not a huge inconsistency, just annoying.
I'll probably read the next in the series.


Breathe (Breathe #1)


If you can get past the super-blatant tree-hugger theme, it's actually a decent dystopian novel.
I love trees - who doesn't? - so it's an interesting idea to think of a world without them and how people would adapt and exploit this.
Something that bugged me was the relationship between Quinn and Bea. One day - best friends, and the next it's looooooove. At least Bea is constant.
There is a smattering of language, too, so watch out.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Pyramid of Souls (Magickeepers #2)

The Pyramid of Souls (Magickeepers #2)

I was quite a bit disappointed in this book. For such a short book (less than 200 pages), you'd think that the action/plot would be roaring from the start, but alas, with "The Pyramid of Souls," it does not.

In fact, it take half the book for any semblance of plot to kick in. And the problem/solution was exactly the same as in the first book. I hate cookie-cutter books, and this one was definitely one. I will not be reading any more in the series.