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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Born of Illusion

Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion #1)


Published June 11, 2013 by Balzer & Bray

Thankfully, this can be read as is - I can almost consider it a stand-alone book. The writing was good enough that I was compelled to read the novel in two sittings.

I liked that the heroine was struggling between what she knew to be right and what she knew she needed to do to survive.

It was a bit predictable at the end. The bad guy was exactly who I thought it was going to be.

There is some mild swearing and some forays into the occult.

I am looking forward to read the next in the series.

Monday, October 28, 2013



Published June 1, 1974 by Amereon (first published 1939)
I got lucky when my friend handed me this out-of-print book. I had never heard of Elswyth Thane, but now that I have I just may find other books by her.

This book melded some of my favorite genres: romance and the supernatural. Basically - a girl falls in love with a ghost. But she's never seen or spoken to said ghost.

I enjoyed such a different and fresh take on the supernatural.
And no swearing and sex made it that much more palatable!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Fall of Five

The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies #4)

Published Aug. 27, 2013 by HarperTeen
Again, the fictional author Pittacus Lore has written another pulse-pounding novel in the Lorien Legacies series. This time we see betrayal plague the Garde.

I almost wish the title was a little more vague. It basically tells you the plot of the entire book. The only thing you are left wondering is HOW.

Despite that, the book is well-written, clever, and full of action. We also are treated to a few more clues to how the story will end. But nothing too much.

I, of course, will be reading the next in the series.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Rise (Eve #3)


Published April 2, 2013 by HarperCollins

Sooo ... I liked this book. Mostly. There were some things that I would have changed or included, but on the whole it was a decent ending to the Eve trilogy.
One thing that bugged me was the abruptness of how the book ended. I got down to the last 20 pages or so, and said to myself, "How is Carey going to end this book in 20 pages? Maybe there is another book?" There was just too much going on to be able to satisfactorily finish the series in just 20 pages. I was right. The blunt ending left me turning the page, and say "Where's the rest of it???"
I hated the fact that we never find out what happened to the girls who were locked away pregnant. Or to the children of those girls. What happened to Charles? The women in Califia? The boys in the dugout? Or any of the other characters we met throughout the series??
An epilogue would have greatly enhanced the book. It would have left the reader with a better taste in her mouth. The one I have now is slightly bitter.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ivan Ramen

Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint

Expected publication: Oct. 29, 2013 by Ten Speed Press
This half-biography/half-cookbook completely turned my American version of ramen on its head.  I have been completely clueless about what "real" ramen is supposed to be. I have been used to the 15-cents-a-package version you boil for three minutes, add the powdered flavor and away you go!
Real ramen, I've learned is not this AT ALL. Ramen is a near religion for some in Japan. It is an intensely precise and patience-demanding endeavor. If you're looking for very authentic Japanese noodle recipes, this is a great book. ‘Cause these recipes take a bit longer than three minutes.
I am a ramen neophyte and was hoping to get some good beginner noodle recipes from this book – something accessible. After reading it, though, I'm not sure I can actually embark on the journey  Orkin presents – the recipes are definitely for an ambitious, intermediate-to-advanced cook, who is well-versed in Asian cuisine and terminology.
Orkin recommends making the first recipe – shio ramen – over the course of a week! He freely admits that his recipes are “daunting,” but doable with patience. He starts his “gold standard” shio ramen recipe by first laying out the recipe, and second, defining each component that is included in recipe. There are eight. And each of these eight components has a recipe of its own – all from total scratch. Home cooks will find this approach frustrating and unrealistic for families busy with homework, soccer, and dance and tae kwon do lessons.
But for an experienced cook with time and ambition to spare, this book is perfect. It allows a cook to revel in the history, flavor and energy each ingredient brings to the table – or pot in this instance.
Orkin also provides many recipes to use up all those hard-earned – and now leftover – ingredients from the shio ramen. All look to be about the same difficultly level as the shio ramen.
Some of the ingredients – actually most – are hard-to-find. Orkin provides a resource page at the end of the book to point you in the right direction to obtain these elusive ingredients. The main idea: The Internet is your friend.
One big complaint I have with the prose is that the language is too lowbrow and features waaay too many curse words. Ramen is treated in such a highbrow manner in this book; it just seems disrespectful for the author to debase his passion with base words. It lowers the quality of the entire book.
I loved the photos found inside, although I wish there were more of them. Cookbooks can never have too many photos in my opinion.
I can recommend this cookbook to those wanting to try challenging recipes with a splendid payoff.
Thank you NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for allowing me to review this book.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Once (Eve #2)


4 stars

354 pages

Published July 3, 2012 by HarperCollins 
I liked this sequel to the dystopian novel Eve. A bit of teen sex, which is icky, but at least it was glossed over. And there isn't a love triangle! Yay! The author tries to force another guy on our heroine, but it doesn't stick. Hopefully, we'll keep that theme going through Number 3, which is out already, so I don't have to wait!

In this book, we find Eve captured and taken to Las Vegas to lived with the king of New America. We witness her attempts at escape and her relationship with rebels and with Caleb, her love interest.

The plot is simple - escape and overthrow the king. Pacing is pretty good, with lots of high points full of action and tension. The ending will leave you wanting -  nay, needing to read the last book, Rise. It is waiting patiently on my Nook for me to delve into.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Eve (Eve #1)

Published Oct. 4, 2011 by HarperTeen

Friday, October 11, 2013

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket #1)


Published 1989 by Cornerstone Books (first published 1964)

Well, of course I'm going to give this book 5 stars. That's a given. Roald Dahl is one of my most favorite authors of all-time. He writes magic. He is the Dr. Seuss of Juvenile Fiction.

I read this as a bed-time story to my son. He ate it up (no pun intended). Fabulous writing, a delightful plot and a not-so-subtle commentary on "bad" children meld to create a book that is entirely readable, loveable and unforgettable.

The books is infinitely better than the movies - yes, BOTH movies. Wonka is portrayed in the book as a bit eccentric, but not creepy. Yeah, I said it - Johnny Depp was freakin' creepy as Willy Wonka!

Anyway, before I get off topic too much ... I recommend this book to anyone with a brain. Anyone who breathes. Read this book!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Little Lady Agency

The Little Lady Agency (The Little Lady Agency #1)


4 stars

406 pages 
Published Sept. 5, 2006 by Gallery Books

A little Sophie Kinsella-ish, but the main character actually has some morals, if a bit innocent (which is refreshing). There is very little swearing and no sex at all! I enjoyed it quite a bit. Although, I think she ended up with the wrong guy at the end!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Sent (The Missing #2)

320 pages
Published Aug. 25, 2009 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Quickie Review:

I read the first and second books of the series one after the other, and it was a fun read. The second book is filled with history, which I love, but it was a bit confusing. I really just had to push on through her "explanations" and focus on the story. Some inconsistencies, as well, but nothing too distracting.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Camelot Caper

The Camelot Caper

352 pages
Published Jan. 9, 2001 by Avon (first published 1969)
I got through this. It was OK. If you can forget the fact that half the storyline details are dropped and just focus on the general plot, you will enjoy it.

Alas, it's next to impossible for me to ignore glaring gaps. The love story aspect is not developed correctly at all. Details are glossed over - then BAM! they're engaged. What just happened??

Character development was seriously flawed and jagged.

And the ending SUCKED - confusing and lackluster.

I think the reason I actually got through this was the writing. It wasn't bad. In places, it was quite witty and clever. It's like ... you have high quality ingredients for a cake recipe - but you put them together totally wrong and the cake flops. This is what this book was - a flopped cake with great ingredients.

So much potential. Such bad execution.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Scarlet (Scarlet #1)


Published Feb. 14, 2012 by Walker Childrens

I gotta be honest here, I didn't finish this book because my "editor" OCD kicked in and had a horrendous hissy fit.
The author, apparently in an attempt to enhance the authenticity of the speech, substituted the word "were" for "was." I just couldn't get past that audacious lack of respect for grammar!!! Every time I encountered the word "were," I had to stop and see if the word "was" was actually the word that was supposed to be used. I couldn't concentrate on what was happening, because I was on the constant look-out for all that bad grammar. So, even if it had a good plot, I wouldn't have noticed.

Yay for OCD!