Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review Starting Now by: Debbie Macomber

Title: Starting Now
Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 338
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley

Description:

For years Libby Morgan dreamed only of making partner in her competitive, high-pressure law firm. She sacrificed everything for her career—her friends, her marriage, her chance at creating a family. When her boss calls Libby into his office, she assumes it will finally be good news, but nothing can prepare her for the shocking reality: She’s been let go and must rebuild her entire life . . . starting now. 

With no job prospects in sight, Libby reaches out to old friends and spends her afternoons at A Good Yarn, the local knitting store. There she forms a close bond with Lydia, the sweet-natured shop owner; Lydia’s spirited teenage daughter, Casey; and Casey’s best friend, Ava, a shy yet troubled girl who will shape Libby’s future in surprising and profound ways. 

As A Good Yarn becomes a second home—and the women a new kind of family—Libby relishes the different person she’s become. She even finds time for romance with a charming and handsome doctor who seems to be her perfect match. But just as everything is coming together, Libby must make a choice that could forever change the life she holds so dear.

Warmly told and richly textured, Starting Now is filled with the promise of new beginnings and the unending delights of companionship and love.

My Thoughts: 

Libby Morgan is having a very bad day when she gets fired due to down sizing with lawyers.  Libby is stunned she thought she was moving up in the world.  Having divorced her husband some time ago as he wanted children and she wasn't ready to step up and be a parent yet.

Now jobless she finds herself going to A Good Yarn and picking up a old habit that she did with her mother before she died.

Libby also connects with Dr. Stone who assumes when she shows up with two girls delivering caps for infants that she is the mother of a pregnant girl.  Libby and Stone go on a few dates before Libby gets scared and pushes him away so she can get a job and refocus her attention again.

Meanwhile Ava is hiding a big secret and all anyone can figure out is that she is getting fat but not eating alot.  When Libby mentions pregnancy Ava freaks wondering how she will get through this being only 13.

This book was great I loved reading about Libby and Ava and things they had to deal with and I loved how Libby was able to have her cake and eat it too!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review The Butterfly Sister by: Amy Gail Hansen

Title: The Butterfly Sister
Author: Amy Gail Hansen
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 298
Format: Paperback
Source: Request Review via Publisher

Description:

"My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep."

Eight months after dropping out of Tarble, an all-women's college, twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year-a year marred by an affair with her English professor and a deep depression that not only caused her to question her own sanity but prompted a failed suicide attempt.

And then a mysterious paisley print suitcase arrives, bearing Ruby's name and address on the tag. When Ruby tries to return the luggage to its rightful owner, Beth Richards, her dorm mate at Tarble, she learns that Beth disappeared two days earlier, and the suitcase is the only tangible evidence as to her whereabouts.

Consumed by the mystery of the missing girl and the contents of the luggage-a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, the book on which Ruby based her senior thesis, and which she believes instigated her madness-she sets out to uncover the truth, not only about Beth Richards's past but also her own. In doing so, Ruby is forced to reexamine the people from her past: the professor who whisked her away to New Orleans and then shattered her heart and the ghosts of dead women writers who beckoned her to join their illustrious group. And when Ruby's storyline converges with Beth's in a way she never imagined, she returns to the one place she swore she never would: her alma mater.

My Thoughts:

When Ruby Rousseau receives a suitcase from a messenger service and realizes the suitcase was from a classmate Beth Richards, Ruby is intrigued to find out what happened to her former classmate.  From this point the story goes back and forth from when Ruby was in college at Tarble and met the attractive English teacher Mark Suter who many girls think is handsome.  

Ruby ends up following a difficult path while writing her thesis about woman who have committed suicide and were powerful writers the likes of Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Anne Sexton, Sarah Kane, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and using the book A Room of One's Own wondering if the room is a metaphor for the mind or a physical room.

Ruby goes up and down with the end of her college life and where it leads her to.  It was a great personal journey of a woman who wanted to write.  I found myself intrigued by this story and couldn't put it down it was so captivating!  I love how Ms. Hansen wove the story to include great female authors who died much before their time! I think we forget about their contributions to the literary world as they aren't talked about much and I'm not sure if it's because they were all suicidal or because they are classics.

Review The Wednesday Letters by: Jason F. Wright

Title: The Wednesday Letters
Author: Jason F. Wright
Publisher: The Berkley Publishing Group
Pages: 280
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Description:

Their story begins with one letter on their wedding night, a letter from the groom, promising to write his bride every week—for as long they both shall live.

Thirty-nine years later, Jack and Laurel Cooper die in each other's arms. And when their grown children return to the family B&B to arrange the funeral, they discover thousands of letters.

The letters they read tell of surprising joys and sorrows. They also hint at a shocking family secret—and ultimately force the children to confront a life-changing moment of truth . . .

My Thoughts: 

What a great story that deals with the death of Jack and Laurel Cooper when they died and their kids return home to bury them and find thousands of letters Jack wrote to Laurel.  As the kids read the letters they learn so much about their parents.

This book was great and most of it was told between letters like who Malcolm's father really was?  And what happened to his mother so long ago, and how Jack Cooper stepped up and accepted Malcolm as his own regardless of what happened.

And all the legal trouble Malcolm was in got straightened out when the truth of the attack on Rain was explained.  I really enjoyed this story and loved how it was letters from Jack to Laurel that we learn more about the couple!

Stained Cover Reveal


 Back Cover:
Front Cover:
All together now!
Stained is due out on August 20th. It tells the beautiful, yet heart-wrenching story of a young woman whose only defense is to run when the going gets tough; and the man who will do anything to help her face her demons, including letting her go so she can find herself. Add Stained to your GOODREADS want to read list!

  About the Author: Windy City writer, Elizabeth Marx, brings cosmopolitan life alive in her fiction—a blend of romance, fast-paced Chicago living, and a sprinkle of magical realism. Elizabeth resides with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs. She grew up in the city, has traveled extensively, and still says there’s no town like Chi-Town.
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review Mr. Monk Helps Himself by: Hy Conrad

Title: Mr. Monk Helps Himself
Author: Hy Conrad
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pages: 286
Series: Mr Monk
Format: Hardcover
Source: Edelweiss

Description:

Now that Monk and Natalie are both in San Francisco again, life is almost back to normal for the duo, with one exception: Natalie is studying for her PI license, the last step to becoming Monk’s full partner.

Before taking the plunge, Natalie sneaks off to Half Moon Bay for a retreat run by Miranda Bigley, charismatic leader of the Best Possible Me self-help program, whose philosophy has helped Natalie deal with her recent life changes. But her plans for a relaxing weekend away are disrupted when Monk tracks her down, determined to rescue her from the cult.” Their argument is cut short when Miranda, in full view of everyone, calmly walks to the edge of a cliff and jumps off.

Even though Miranda’s death looks like suicide—especially when it’s discovered that she was on the brink of financial disaster—Natalie is sure it is murder. But Monk brushes her off to help the SFPD solve the murder of a clown, despite his coulrophobia, or fear of clowns—number ninety-nine on his list of one hundred phobias.

As Natalie and Monk begin their separate investigations, they are quickly caught up in many precarious situations, but if they want to figure out whodunit, they will have to find a way to become true partners….

My Thoughts:

I felt like reading this book was going back to the television shows and reminded me so much of Adrian and Natalie's banter from television which I think is great when a writer can continue what was done on tv.  This one follows Natalie as she is trying to pass the P.I. test to become a licensed private investigator.  She goes off on a retreat at Half Moon Bay and not long into that her self help guru has committed suicide but Natalie doesn't buy it something doesn't add up.  Meanwhile Monk is dealing with a murder of his own when a Clown ends up dead, for Monk this is a huge deal as he has an OCD to Clowns.  

Like any Monk story this one has all the makings of a great story.  We get to see Leland the head of the police department and how he has to get Monk on board to deal with the clown death, and how no one is buying into Natalie's theories on the guru death. This one had all sorts of great ups and downs and very true to Monk fashion in the end we get the "this is how it happened" that everyone loves!  I am definitely going to check out all the Monk books as I am a huge fan of the tv show and miss it dearly! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review - The Collector by: John Fowles

Title: The Collector
Author: John Fowles
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Pages: 305
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal purchase

Description:

Hailed as the first modern psychological thriller. The Collector is the internationally bestselling novel that captured John Fowles into the front rank of contemporary novelist. This tale of obsessive love- the story of a lonely clerk who collects butterflies and of the beautiful young art student who is his ultimate quarry- remains unparalleled in it's power to startle and mesmerize.



My thoughts: 

I finished this yesterday, when I took the wrong bus in the morning and ended up stuck in traffic. When I went on to GoodReads to mark it as "read," I realized it's taken me 41 days to read this book!

The Collector by British author John Fowles is among "books you must read before you die" today, even though it was rejected by many publishers in the beginning. It reminded me a little bit of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead-- not because the subject-matter is similar, 'cos it's most definitely not, but because both books have made their way into pop culture through movies and tv shows. I can't tell you how many times I've come across a scene like this: character X is holding The Fountainhead. They're talking to character Y about nothing in particular. Then, as they're about to part, character X says, "I'll lend this to you; you gotta read it." Therefore, the "you must read this" is planted into our brains, mostly without us even realizing, I'm sure, through references in pop culture. 

Fowles's The Collector is very similar to Rand's The Fountainhead in this sense. I don't exactly remember where else I saw references to The Collector, but there's one I haven't forgotten: Criminal Minds. The last episode of the first season (The Fisher King: Part I) and the first episode of the second season (The Fisher King: Part II) are set up around the book, really. In the end, in order to solve the mystery, the FBI has to get in touch with libraries across the country to locate a copy of the first edition of The Collector. As you watch the show, of course, you wonder, "what could be going on in this book?



To sum up what's going on... There's Ferdinand, who's a sociopath. He sees an art student named Miranda, likes her, stalks her for quite a while, and then when he wins money, he decides it's time to kidnap her because now he can provide for her. 

The book has four chapters, and the first one was my favorite because it was from Ferdinand's point of view. I don't know why, but I always prefer the psycho's POV because there's something very interesting about being inside a brain that I normally do not understand at all. His chapter I finished in a day, but the rest of the book took me 40 days to get through. The reason behind this is Miranda's POV: she's the classic, whiny girl who makes women hate their own gender. Her POV is basically her journal entries, and she keeps going on and on about this much older artist G.P., who has an important effect on her, to the point where she accepts his values as her own. And she just keeps going on and on and on about him.

The last two chapters which bring the book to an end were rather exciting. I do understand now why The Collector is among must-reads, but I shouls also admit that it wasn't what I'd expected it to be. I guess I expected more psycho behavior? I don't know. 

Just a warning, though: THIS IS NOT A HAPPY BOOK. If you have a problem with bad endings, don't pick this up. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review The Rockin' Chair by: Steven Manchester

Title: The Rockin' Chair
Author: Steven Manchester
Publisher: The Story Plant
Pages: 269
Format: Paperback
Source: Author Book Tour

Description:

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy Grandpa John calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

My Thoughts:

This book starts out with bits and parts of memories of John's wife Alice who's suffering from something memory related.  Early on we learn she has Alzheimer's and that her time is running out.  John is devastated by this news.

John and Alice's son Hank and Elle and their kids reunite after the funeral.  To there John helps everyone get on the right path including making amends for past mistakes.  For Hank that is his relationship with his father, and kids and Elle his wife.  For Elle it is fixing her marriage with Hank.  To John that is helping his son and grandkids find their way.  Everyone has a turmoil and a situation they have to come to tems with it.

Towards the end of the book you see people connecting and finding things that make them happy it was so great to go on the journey with them in this book.  Once again Steven Manchester hands us a brilliant story I would put him higher than Nicholas Sparks.  Mr. Manchester has a way to reach deep into the soul and really stir your emotions.  I felt a tear wanting to run down my face, if I wasn't so allergy ridden I would have been crying my eyes out at such a masterpiece a book I will treasure for a long long time.

Definitely my number one writer for these genre of books.  His writing ability is so inspiring and brings out so many emotions in his stories!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Is Not A Book #2

My adventures with Kerri Smith's This Is Not A Book continue. Thankfully, there's no time or order limit in the book or I'd probably have given up by now...

This time, I had to hold the book on my head for as long as I could. Normally, for these kinds of things, they say, "don't try this at home," but I thought this assignment would best be done at home. And I was right (I think).

I put the book on my head while I was sitting at my desk. I was able to keep it there for a little longer than a How I Met Yout Mother episode. Thankfully, it's not a heavy book; you forget that it's even there on your head. I'm pretty sure I could've held it there longer, but it was over when I jumped up to answer my phone. I'm also thinking it would've been over when Harry the Cat decided to come down from the top of the bookshelf.

So here's me with This Is Not A book on my head.

This is Harry the Cat on top of the bookshelf. He likes to sleep there. And when he decides to come down, he jumps on the back of my chair first.

And here's my result: 23 minutes. Not too bad, eh?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review Pretty Is As Pretty Does by: Debby Mayne

Title: Pretty is As Pretty Does
Author: Debby Mayne
Publisher: Abingdon
Pages: 299
Series: Class Reunion #1
Format: Paperback
Source: Pump Up Your Book Promotions
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Description:

Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she s a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren t exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth and she may be surprised at what she discovers.

My Thoughts: 

This was an interesting story that follows the story of four people.  Priscilla Slater who is the main character voted Most Likely to Succeed,  Tim Pucket who has a huge crush on Priscilla, and ends up her date to the reunion, Laura Moss who is running the reunion and preparty and in way over head, then there is Trudy Baynard who is beauty queen pagenant winner and prom queen who's fallin apart after her divorce to Michael Baynard who is dating whatever flavor comes along.

What we learn in this book is that everyone is not what Priscilla remembers she tries to be nice, but her classmates are a class unto themselves.  They all seem to have issues of some sort to jealousy all the way to alcoholic issues.  It's a great look into reunions and how they aren't always what they appear to be.  That people sometimes lie to make themselves look better than they really are!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hollywood Strip Blog Tour


About the Author:

Shamron Moore became fascinated with Hollywood at a young age.  She counts Ava Gardner, Greta Garbo, and Sharon Tate as early inspirations.  In 2000, she left her home state of Michigan for the excitement of Los Angeles.  Over the course of nearly eight years, she appeared in various international print publications, commercials, television shows, and feature films.  She left the industry to focus on writing, one of her lifelong passions.  Many of her experiences in Hollywood served as inspiration for Hollywood Strip.  She has since written a sequel and is currently penning her third novel.  You can visit Shamron at www.ShamronMoore.com.



Her latest book is Hollywood Strip.



Connect & Socialize with Shamron!

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS
About the Book:



A young Midwestern girl moves to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune only to find success is more than she bargained for.



Callie is a plucky young woman who knows exactly what she wants: fame, fortune, and a fabulous career as a Hollywood actress. A starring role in an unlikely hit movie and a romance with a sexy, chart-topping singer brings her instant notoriety. But in the City of Angels, overnight success is a breeding ground for money-hungry leeches and privacy-robbing paparazzi. She quickly discovers life as an on-the-rise starlet is not as glamorous as she once envisioned.



Purchase your copy at AMAZON.



Hollywood Strip Blog Tour Page:

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/06/16/virtual-book-tour-hollywood-strip-virtual-book-publicity-tour/


Monday, July 15, 2013

Review - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by: Neil Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Pages: 181
Format: Kindle
Source: Personal purchase


Description: 

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Laneis told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.


My thoughts:

I wrote this review 20 minutes after I finished the book. I cried for those 20 minutes and couldn't stop my tears. I didn't cry because the book was over; all good things do end eventually. I cried because Gaiman reminded me once again why I love words, stories and books. I cried because people who make fun of me saying, "you're holding onto the child in you way too tightly" will never get to discover this world. From now on, I'll hold onto that girl even tighter.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane was published on June 18th. I got quite a few criticisms from friends who said, "you say you're in love with this author, yet you haven't even read his new book." What they don't get is... You can't just dive into Gaiman's world; it'd destroy you. You have to prepare yourself, decide where and how you'll read his book, make sure nobody will interrupt you, and open your mind to the idea that anything can be real. Only then should you hold Neil's hand and open the book.

I myself have been getting ready for this one for an entire week. I had to stay home on Saturday to wait for packages in the mail, so I've decided it would be a good time to read. I uploaded the book onto my Kindle, and uploaded the audiobook onto iTunes. I started reading right after breakfast. Some of it I read myself, some of it Neil read to me. In the end, I was crushed into a million pieces and found myself whole at the same time. 

If you ask me what's going on in this book... An adult remembers his childhood, the time when he was 7. A man who's renting a room at his house is found dead in his father's car at the end of the lane. When they go to see what's happened, they meet the Hempstock family, the family who lives on the farm at the end of the lane. Later, our narrator goes on a search for why the guy died and how with the 11-year-old Lettie Hempstock. That's when the adventure starts, and you dive right into Gaiman's dreamland, thinking, "this must be what it feels like to walk on water."

If you're one of those people who couldn't wait to grow up, you'll regret that you did that. If you still hold onto the child in you, as I've mentioned before, you'll embrace him/her even tighter. Next time he/she tries to drag you down a path, you won't question it as much as you used to, and realize that when you do that, you'll really be following your heart.

Adults follow paths. Children explore.

As a result, I fell in love with Neil Gaiman all over again. I reminisced about my childhood and thought of how I should thank my mother again for making me love books. I wished I could fill the ocean into a bucket and bring it home and then dive right in. I believed Lettie when she said the pond was actually an ocean, and I got mad at our narrator for questioning her logic. When the story got tense, I said, "I'm scared, Neil" silently, and I felt him hold my hand and squeeze it in reassurance, showing me there was nothing to fear, just like Lettie does to our narrator in the story.

I wished the journey would never ever end.




Neil's amazing wife Amanda Palmer blogged about what was going on while he was writing this book. And you can read that here.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Review Penumbras by: Braden Bell & Giveaway



Title: Penumbras
Author: Braden Bell
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Pages: 304
Series: Middle School Magic #2
Format: ebook
Source: Book Tour

Description:

Conner, Lexa, and Melanie are back! Just when they think life is normal again, a dangerous shadow creature begins to hunt them. The trio must develop their powers in order to conquer this new peril and protect their school. Filled with action and even more magic, this book continues the exciting adventure in the Middle School Magic series.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Thoughts: 


There was so much going on in this book. As Conner deals with the aftermath of the shadowbox and what it did to him.  He thought he was going dark but apparently that isn't the case. Lexa and Melanie are both worried about what is happening to Conner and how their guide is very injured Dr. Timberi after his battle with The Stalker also known as Timothy.  This puts a crimp on their training as Dr. Timberi can't train them after being so badly injured.

The Darkhands are doing everything in their power to destroy the four kindling Lexa, Melanie, Conner, and Pilaf who has some kindling but all his powers are unknown.  As the kids learn what they can from an injured Dr. Timberi  they also learn more about themselves then they knew before and learn more about their own abilities.

What an incredible story with so much going on and the ending was incredible such a major twist to the whole story!  I really can't wait to see what book three will have. I am such a huge fan of this well written series!  Bravo Braden Bell for showing us a different type of magic and evil and light fighting!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This Is Not A Book


A friend got this for me for my birthday this year. It's by the creator of Wreck This Journal, Kerri Smith. I found it as I was going through my books the other day, and I thought, "what better time to start this now that it's summer!" This kind of thinking doesn't make any sense, I know, but the heat being what it is one need something to hold onto.

There are different, creative assignments in the book. There's no time limit or order. So, I'm going to try and document what I'm doing as I move along, hoping I'll be done with it before the year is over.

The first assignment is titled, "this is an inconvenience." You have to carry the book with you at all times for one week and make sure to place it where everyone can see it. I started this on a Monday, so it spent most of the day sitting on my desk at work. I held it in my hand while I was walking. Not that anyone came up to me and asked what it was; I'm so wishing they did. Oh, then, today I realized when I got on the bus that I forgot it at home. So, today it couldn't make it outside.

I also did this assignment. Can you crack my code? If you can, you'll notice it looks like I slept in the kitchen. Which I didn't. But I forgot to take the book with me to the bedroom. Eh.

More to come as I complete more assignments!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Review Vigilante Nights by: Erin Richards

Title: Vigilante Nights
Author: Erin Richards
Publisher: Merit Press
Pages: 303
Format: Hardcover
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Description:

A "good boy" will do anything for vengeance when a gang rite kills his twin sister. Will Lucas win, or follow his sister Silver into the darkness?

After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren't identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.

After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he's crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver's former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver's death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver than can be accounted for by mere chance.

My Thoughts:


When twins Silver and Lucas end up in a horrible car accident and Silver dies and Lucas ends up in a coma for a month he comes out of the coma learning Silver died, and that he is done with football due to all his injuries.

With Silver inside his head telling him things that revenge needs to be served for those who killed her, Lucas sets out to correct things what he doesn't know how deep the gang that killed Silver ran.

What starts out as pranks at the school come to find out are bigger things someone is pranking the school and Lucas is getting blamed for it.

This book was a different look at teen angst and grieving and what happens when someone you love dies.  It was an incredible story to read and one I think older teens will enjoy!

Review Beautiful Redemption by: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Redemption
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 451
Series: Caster Chronicles #4
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchase
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Description:

Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.

My Thoughts:

This I found to be a great series in this one Ethan has jumped off the water tower and died, he is buried and Lena is waiting for a sign from Ethan that he is trying to come home. In the otherworld he connects with his mother Lila and his aunt and finds out that there is a journey he can go on to get home.  The journey is hard and he may not win.

This book was full of so much seeing Lena and Ethan works separately to work towards being together again was great!  I really enjoyed this series and was sad to see it end.

Lessons in literature from Disney?

BuzzFeed suggests "16 Fancy Literary Techniques Explained by Disney." Do you agree? Do you think they did it on purpose? Do you think Disney stories make good stories? Let us know!

Book Blast Siding with Plato by: Michelle Manning


ABOUT SIDING WITH PLATO
Brooke Aarons can’t get to college fast enough. Leaving behind her small town life, she intends to transform herself into a brilliant psychologist with no distractions along the way. But when she finds herself on a double date with the school’s star football player – and worse, enjoying it – Brooke has to wonder if she’s the one who needs her head examined. James Cartwright’s easy life, endless bucks, and long line of willing girls should make him a non-starter for Brooke, but as she learns, the psychology behind a bad crush is a whole lot messier of a subject. Maybe Plato was right. Maybe love is a serious mental disease. If so, Brooke doesn’t have long to find a cure before James’ attention proves to be a terminal condition.

Purchase your copy:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE


Author Bio:

Michelle Manning was born and raised in Valencia, CA, attended Arizona State University, and graduated with a degree Siding With Plato.
in journalism. After bouncing between New York and Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry, Michelle is releasing her debut novel, 
Visit her website at www.michellemanningwrites.com.

Connect & Socialize with Michelle!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Top 3 fictional female characters

This is going to be very similar to my If Only These Female Characters Could Be My Friends! post, but you can never have enough fierce female characters! I made a list of my top 3 female characters for a readathon last week, and I thought you guys would enjoy it as well. I'm sure when I see this post again in a few days, I'll be mad at myself thinking, "how could I forget about HER?"


First up and my number one is Jo (Josephine March; later March-Bhaer) from Little Women. She's 15 at the beginning of the book, which is around the same age I was when I first met her. I had a Turkish translation copy of the book my mother gave me; it was the book she had and read as a girl. I was instantly in love with Jo; I wanted to be her, I wanted her to be my friend, my sister. She's very different from all her sisters, which is why I liked her in the first place. Then, she's rather tomboyish, has a temper, knows what she wants and works hard to get it. She's creative, funny, strong, unladylike for her own good and a writer. She cares about her family and friends and will go to any length for them. Meeting her was the first time I really realized I didn't have to fit the mold the society had set out for me. In the 1994 movie, she's played by Winona Ryder, and I really think she fits her so well. Every actor/actress casted in that movie was just how I pictured them. I love the movie just as well. I watch it at least once every year to remind myself of what I've learned from Jo.


Then there is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Even though she ends up a princess in the end, she struggles through life and love first. I've always felt very close to her probably because she loved to read. I myself too had my nose buried in a book since I can't even remember when, and when I saw that girls who read could be princesses too, I had hope. I've also always thought the Beast was more cute than ugly. He turns into a blond prince in the end, which might even explain my obsession with blond men. But let's leave it at that for now since it's a whole another psychological evaluation.


My third and final pick is Hermione Granger. This one doesn't need much explanation, right? She's got the books, the smarts, the beauty; the everything. She's someone we all wanna be and also to have as a friend. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review Clockwork Princess by: Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 568
Series: The Infernal Devices #3
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchase
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Description:

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. 

He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

My Thoughts: 

Wow there is so much about this book the good the bad the sad and so on and so on. Probably be the first review that won't due it justice so much happens.

As Tessa gets ready to marry James Carstairs she finds out that Mortmain wants her to finish his army.  To do what no one knows.  Meanwhile Jem is dying has been dying but the medicine is running out and Will and Tessa are running out of time to save him.  Mortmain kidnaps Tessa to complete his army and it's up to Will to save her.

Jem sends Will to find Tessa and bring her home, knowing that Will is also in love with Tessa.  Jem makes one last decision that will impact everyone and then Will feels their bond die.  Which to Will means Jem has died.

This book had everything you could hope for love, anguish, rage, horror, action, adventure.  Cassandra Clare is always great at delivering such great books and this trilogy gave you that.  And at the end was bittersweet as we know that Tessa is immortal and will continue on like Magnus Bane.  Which unfortunately means she outlives everyone in the Infernal Devices. It's a great emotional journey!

Review Clockwork Prince by: Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 510
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchase
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Description:

In magical Victorian London, orphan Tessa found safety with the Shadowhunters, until traitors betray her to the Magister. He wants to marry her, but so do self-destructive Will and fiercely devoted Jem. Mage Magnus Bane returns to help them. Secrets to her parentage lie with the mist-shrouded Yorkshire Institute's aged manager Alyosius Starkweather.

My Thoughts: 

With picking up where Clockwork Angel left off Tess Gray is with the shadowhunters living at the institute and the pressure is on Charlotte to correct what happened and find out where Magister is hiding out or loose running the institute.  

Meanwhile Will is going through all sorts of bad things, feeling cursed and desperate to lift the curse so he can love Tessa without worrying about her dying.  Which pushes Tessa and Jem closer together which ignites a fire between them.

Also we see Magnus Bane again and find out what he knows and how he can help them.  Also we learn in this book that someone at the Institute is betraying them to Nate Gray and to what ends it goes too.

This had so much I love about Cassandra Clare she really pulls you in and won't let go.  An incredible journey to go on so much you won't let go!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #3

This is a meme created and hosted by Tynga's Reviews where blogger can spotlight books they have received in the mail.  While I've read alot of STS this is the first time I will be participating.  So here's what I got this week.

This week seems to be like the heat a dead week I got one book* in the mail:



Through NetGalley I got a couple of books: 



Friday, July 5, 2013

Review Awaken by: Meg Cabot

Title: Awaken
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Point
Pages: 343
Series: Abandon Trilogy #3
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Description:


Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.


Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves.



But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.



If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.

My Thoughts: 

So much happens in this book Pierce is in the Underworld with her cousin Alex and classmate Kayla. Alex is trying to find a way to get out, when John notices something is wrong and two boats are about to collide with each other.  While John is fixing the problem he winds up dead again.  It's up to Pierce, Kayla, Alex and John's mates to go above ground to find out what is going on. 

Up in the real world the storm is going crazy and the group finds out furies are still after Pierce and that John is there in spirit and now they have to find  the god of Death and who he resides in.

While they rescue John they find out alot of interesting things and set some things right like Pierce's relationship with her parents, and fighting the furies and learning that the fates are there and help in their own way.  

I was sad that this story ended I wanted it to continue it was a great world Meg Cabot created and it's always sad when a great thing comes to an end.  I will love the characters that were created in this trilogy they will hold something dear to me.  What a great series!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review Underworld by: Meg Cabot

Title: Underworld
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Point
Pages: 336
Series: Abandon Trilogy #2
Format: ebook
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Description:

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

My Thoughts:

What an incredible continuation to Abandon Pierce is now alive in the Underworld and trying to figure out what to do next.  When she stumbles across her cell phone and figures out she has to go back and check on her cousin and say good-bye to her mother.

What she doesn't count on how much goes wrong with going back.  She learns more about John and what happened to him so long ago.  From there she learns about what happened to her Uncle Chris's twenty years ago.  She also tries to help and protect her cousin until that becomes a situation where Kayla, Alex and the rest of the gang have to head to the Underworld.

Also the furies are back and still out to kill Pierce now matter where she goes.  This was an incredible journey full of adventure and drama I loved it!

Happy Fourth of July


We at Community Bookstop wanted to take the time to wish those of us who celebrate Independence Day a safe and happy holiday!

At our house this year we are gonna watch Independence Day and have a good ole barbecue.  Our thoughts are with those who are serving in the military and not able to be with their families this year!

Feel free to share your links for your Happy Fourth of July!

Best of YA! (Part II)


Yesterday, I gave you my top 5 YA classics at Best of YA! (Part I). Today, I'm giving you my top 11 YA authors who are still blowing minds all over the world. Just realizing how hard it was for me to narrow it down to a silly number like 11 and knowing there's so much out there I haven't gotten around to yet is very, very exciting! So here we go, in no particular order:

JOHN GREEN
I wanted to start off with John Green to really show you you have good options, that it's cool and you can still find YA to read if you're not into the supernatural or the damned. His books are realistic fiction with hints of magical realism here and there. They make you laugh and cry and think and consider and ask questions and feel. A lot of emotions will hit you all at once. He doesn't just have great stories, he himself is great at his craft as well. I myself read The Fault in Our Stars first because I was way too curious about it. Then I read Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. I'm saving Papertowns for a day when I might really need John's witty and clever writing.

NEIL GAIMAN
If you haven't read any Neil Gaiman yet, you're missing out on a lot because he's a treat for children, teens AND adults. Writer of the SANDMAN comics, therefore the lines, "Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly." His work is magical, heart-felt; and just like John, he makes you laugh while you feel the tears weld up behind your eyes. Some of my YA favorites of his include Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Neverwhere and Stardust. I'm currently reading Odd and the Frost Giants, and I've recently acquired the audiobook version of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, read by Neil Gaiman (I don't have to say I'm superexcited, do I?)

CASSANDRA CLARE
I heard about Cassandra Clare through Harry Potter. I don't even remember the details right now (and I'm too lazy to look them up), but she was writing HP fiction and then got involved in some sort of a scandal: she was accused of plagiarizing. This whole thing made me even more curious about her and I started on The Mortal Instruments series right away. I do definitely see the similarities of her work to Harry Potter, but I also believe she created a world of her own, and it's an amazing world. She also has a steampunk series, The Infernal Devices

J.K. ROWLING
The woman created the Harry Potter world! I honestly don't think I need to say anything more than that. DO READ the novels or at least watch the movies, people. I've had friends who resisted, saying it was for kids. I've had friends who made fun of me for loving them. But once they read that first book or saw the first movie, they were addicted. I've heard mixed things about her adult novel, Casual Vacancy, but I will eventually read it out of my love and gratitude for the woman who gave me an amazing world to escape to all those years.

JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT
After reading the first 2 books of the Lux series, I'm thinking Armentrout is acutally an alien and definitely knows what she's talking about! Drool-worthy male characters, funny dialogues, a bookworm heroine... She's also the author of the Covenant Series, which I'll be starting ASAP.

ERIN MORGENSTERN
Her one and only book so far is The Night Circus. It's been a while since I've read it, but I still haven't reviewed it because I honestly don't know what to say! All the magic and the competition sucks you in from the start, and I cannot wait to see what this author comes up with next.

KAREN THOMPSON WALKER
Another debutante, author of The Age of Miracles. This book was very different from any other YA novels I've read so far. It's rather scary, heart-felt, and way-too-realistic at times. She's another author I'm curiously watching.

N.K. JEMISIN
Author of The Inheritance Trilogy and Dreamblood series. Haven't gotten around to the Dreamblood series yet, but The Inheritance Trilogy is one of a kind: a kickass heroine, dark and sexy gods... 

JODI LYNN ANDERSON
Remember the cute Indian girl from Peter Pan? Anderson's Tiger Lily is her story, and I was absolutely in love with it. I've never ever ever liked Wendy and longed for Peter to end up with Tiger Lily (if not with me, that is). And this book sorta made my dream come true. She's also the author of the famous Peaches series, which is definitely on my to-read list.

LAINI TAYLOR
Just look at her! Trust me, her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is just as colorful as she. When you read it, you'll think, "This becoming real would make the world a much more magical place."

SUZANNE COLLINS
Author of The Hunger Games, she's already an inspiration to many others. I wasn't too crazy about how the series ended, but I very much enjoyed the ride while getting there. I love how she draws from real life, myth and even current politics. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.