Saturday, February 28, 2009

Confessions [Private, Book 4] by Kate Brian

Confessions, not as good as the previous books, yet good enough to make you want to read the next book in this series.

Alot happens in this book, A LOT! Brian, delivers a surprise ending, one that I didn't' see coming and I'm usually really good about these type of things.

Secrets come spilling out and just about everyone is hiding something.

An excellent mix of mystery and chick-lit for YA readers.

Grade: A-

Friday, February 27, 2009

Untouchable [Private, Book 3] by Kate Brian

Just when you think there possibly couldn't be any more drama, the book becomes explosive, leaving you with a cliffhanger ending.

Untouchable goes much deeper into the lives of the students at, Easton Academy and yet somehow I doubt we have even reached the level of secrets that lay among these privileged youth.

Kate Brian is on a roll and each installment seems to get better than the one before it. I can't possibly imagine what she has in store for the rest of this series. Each line in this novel will keep you at the edge of your seat as the plot thickens.

Be prepared to not only be able to put this book down but to read it in one sitting.

Grade: A

Synopsis ( B & N)
Cheating, partying, blackmail, and now...murder?
Can the Billings Girls remain untouchable?
Reed's boyfriend, Thomas Pearson — the popular, easygoing, irresistibly handsome and charismatic boy she fell in love with — is dead. No one knows how it happened, and everyone is after the truth. Or are they?
Life at Easton Academy begins to feel very different. Taylor is acting like the poster child for Prozac, Kiran is spiking her cornflakes, Noelle is being kind of...nice, and Arianna keeps floating along as if nothing has happened.
Thanksgiving break arrives and Reed and Josh find themselves alone on campus. They are forced to confront the feelings they've been hiding. Those feelings combined with an empty campus result in the hottest hookup Reed could possibly imagine. But when Reed breaks the news about Josh to the Billings Girls, there's no fun game of tell-all. Instead, Josh begins to look like suspect No. 1 in the murder of Thomas Pearson.
The perfect life Reed has constructed as a Billings Girl begins to crumble. And as everyone becomes more convinced of Josh's guilt, Reed's private suspicions lead her somewhere she doesn't want to go.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Invitation Only [Private, Book 2] by Kate Brian

Invitation Only, is an excellent sequel to Private.

Reed, has more obstacles to face and the stakes are higher. You will entangle yourself into the life of Reed and the other Billings girls.

We get a more in depth look at the other characters and who they are. A fascinating, easy read that will keep you turning the pages.

Grade: A

Synopsis ( B& N )
Reed Brennan's future is looking as bright as the two-karat diamonds in her new housemates' ears. Being accepted to the most prestigious private boarding school in the country wasn't enough for Reed. She had to break every rule to do it, but she has accomplished the impossible:
Reed is a Billings Girl now.
And with her new status come respect, envy, and, most important, opportunity. Not to mention the parties. Unfortunately, at the next illicit party in the Easton campus woods, her roommate snaps some pictures of Reed in more than one compromising position. She uses the photos to blackmail Reed: Dig up dirt on the most powerful and popular Billings Girls or she will have Reed expelled.
And speaking of parties, the Legacy is coming up. It's the invitation-only Halloween party in NYC and it's rumored that Thomas -- Reed's MIA boyfriend -- will be making an appearance there. Too bad Reed isn't even close to invited.
Life as a Billings Girl is every bit as glamorous as Reed imagined. What she didn't bargain for is the tangled web of private lies these girls weave.

Monday, February 23, 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones wasn't exactly what I was expecting but sometimes the unexpected surprises you.

As far as good books go, it falls somewhere in the middle. It was a little bit too long and slow. It is not original and is cliched yet it somehow manages to entertain you.

If you don't expect a lot from this novel you will be happy with what you get. The characters are like able and the plot has the potential to be explosive.

Grade: C+

Synopsis (B&N)
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

Kiss Me Kill Me could have been better. It lacked flow and the most of the plot was fairly easy to figure out yet the ending left no true resolutiong, just pieces thrown together.

I understand it is to set up the sequel, Kisses and Lies but after reading Kiss Me Kill Me, I have no desire to find out what happens to the characters.

I am more interested in the private school, the relationship between the main character and her grandmother rather than the suspicious death of a cute boy.

I do love the use of British slang, since it takes place in London and the proper use to speech. It is in fact what kept me going rather than tossing it in the bin.

There are much better fiction/mystery books out there. IF you feel a strong desire to read this, check it out from the library or borrow it from a friend. Don't waste your hard earned money.

Grade: D

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What Happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles

Simple and easy to read but not worth the hour or so you spend on it.

It lacks complexity and suspense. There is no real end or solution, it just finishes. The characters have no real depth or flavor.

Reading this book is on the dull side and not exactly what I bargained for. Wish I'd read something else. It sounds like a good read but the synopsis is the best part of the book.

Grade: D-

Kyle Kirby has planned a cruel and unusual revenge on Cass McBride, the most popular girl in school, for the death of his brother David. He digs a hole. Drugs Cass. Kidnaps her. Puts her in a box-underground. He buries her alive. But Kyle makes a fatal error: Cass knows the power of words. She uses fear as her weapon to keep her nemesis talking - and to keep herself breathing during the most harrowing 48 hours of her life

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Private [Private, Book 1] by Kate Brian

Private is an easy read that is surprisingly interesting despite it having the same premise as many other popular young adult books out there . It involves a private school, rich kids, scholarship kid and the need to fit in and become part of the "in" crowd.

Be prepared to be addicted to these well developed characters. You will be a bit intrigued, as you can't wait to see what happens to the main character Reed. I look forward to reading the rest of this series and so will you.

Grade: A

Tradition, Honor, Excellence...and secrets so dark they're almost invisible
Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in.
Until she meets the Billings Girls.
They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.
Reed uses every part of herself -- the good, the bad, the beautiful -- to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe)by Kimberly Pauley

Pauley's debut novel is fun, witty and original.

She puts a new spin on vampire novels, making it stand out among the plethora of teen vamp novels.

The main character is funny, like able and forced to make a difficult choice in a matter of a few weeks. Each chapter starts with a myth and a truth, adding to the cuteness of this book.

This book however is more about a girl growing up and having to make choices than about vampires.

Entertaining, enjoyable and lighthearted

Grade: A

Sunday, February 15, 2009

You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay

I absolutely loved, You are so UNDEAD to me. It is light hearted, funny and a bit Buffyish. Very reminiscent of Joss Whedon, which is such a good thing! I haven't had this much fun reading a YA book in ages!

The main character, Megan is fresh, fun, adorable and quite like able. The plot is original and well developed.

This novel is a great mix of horror, mystery and romance. An impressive debut novel for author Stacey Jay.

I simply can't wait for the sequel , Undead Much?

Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.
Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse - until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life - and more importantly, the homecoming dance - depends on it.
Grade: A+

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Disquiet by Julia Leigh

Disquiet is 128 pages of disappointment.

The topics that arise are quite interesting and the potential for a great, dark and engaging story is there however the author falls shorts of extending this story and capturing your full attention.

It is as though the author had great ideas but couldn't find a way to tell her story. She leaves you baffled, frustrated and annoyed. I quite enjoyed the premise of the story but not the book itself.

Grade: D

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All Together Dead [Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 7]by Charlaine Harris

The seventh book in the Sookie Stackhouse series is by far the most action packed one of the bunch.

It is riveting and keeps you at the edge of your seat. We deal mainly with vampires which is refreshing since I was getting a little tired of the other super natural characters.

This book has a bit of a different feel from all of Harris's previous ones but this change of pace is what made it all that more interesting.

It moves a bit slow at first but once you get past that and into the real action you're sad to turn the last page.

The only true disappointed I had was with Jason's character but I'm hoping that his actions are going to cause something of a consequence in the 8th book. What he did was completely out of character and unexpected.

Grade: A-

Monday, February 9, 2009

Traci Lords: Underneath It All by Traci Lords

I first saw Traci Lords in a re-run episode of Roseanne, I had no idea who she was until the man in my life informed me of her past. I remember thinking to myself, what is it that prompts women and men alike into the porn industry. I remember statistics and figured her childhood had been traumatic and unfortunately I was right.

Her story is more than just her life as a porn star but more about finding the ability to love and respect herself because it had been taken from her violently at age 10.

Don't expect eroticism from this book because she has clearly and thankfully left that harmful chapter of her life behind her nor is it about the inner workings of the porn industry.

Her writing is raw, emotional and at times scattered but the honesty behind her words makes the read worth the time. After reading this memoir you will look at her in a different way, I know I do.

Grade: B+

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tethered by Amy Mackinnon

Tethered is MacKinnon's debut novel. It is a dark novel filled with the accounts of children's deaths and their funerals, which have little to do with the plot.

The writing touches down on deep emotions of the characters but this book doesn't work for me. It didn't hold my attention and at times I was bored.

The characters and storyline fall apart. The best part was learning the meaning behind flowers.

Grade: D

Clara Marsh is an undertaker who doesn’t believe in God. She spends her solitary life among the dead, preparing their last baths and bidding them farewell with a bouquet from her own garden. Her carefully structured life shifts when she discovers a neglected little girl, Trecie, playing in the funeral parlor, desperate for a friend.It changes even more when Detective Mike Sullivan starts questioning her again about a body she prepared three years ago, an unidentified girl found murdered in a nearby strip of woods. Unclaimed by family, the community christened her Precious Doe. When Clara and Mike learn Trecie may be involved with the same people who killed Precious Doe, Clara must choose between the stead-fast existence of loneliness and the perils of binding one’s life to another.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Bride Stripped Bare: A Novel (P.S.) by Nikki Gemmell

I read the Bride Stripped Bare while reading other books because it doesn't read very quickly. This however does not mean it isn't decent. It is a bit provocative and disturbing.

This novel is for a MATURE audience since it is sexually explicit. I can't say that this book is revelatory because it is about things that do happen in many marriages.

The disappearance of the bride is pointless and I'm unsure of how it adds to the story. I do have to say that it is overrated and the writing style put me off a bit since the main character references "you".

Grade: C+

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow

The Last Lecture is an inspiring read and a true legacy for Pausch's children.

It is poignant and spellbinding it will captivate and entrap you. The authors passion for life leaps from the pages and he delivers his last lecture beautifully.

This book is not depressing. It is uplifting in an unexplainable way. Many of the passages will stick with you long after you've put it down. It is a little gem and a must read for all.

Grade: A+

Synopsis: (courtesy of B&N)
We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."—Randy Pausch
A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave—"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"—wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.
Watch, "The Last Lecture" online at
FYI: This is not about religion or spirituality.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies by Lizabeth Zindel

The Secret Rites of Social Butterflies in an incredibly fast, simple and easy read.

It reminded me of Mean Girl in several ways. A new girl comes to the scene makes friends with a not so popular girl then suddenly becomes friends with a group of popular girls. The girls have rules and gather gossip about there peers and teachers to share and write on a secret wall they have. The wall is found, people get hurt, blah, blah, blah. Seen it before, right?

This book wasn't amazing or fantastic it was just another book among many.

Grade: C

Monday, February 2, 2009

Promise Me by Harlan Coben

Promise me was ok. The write up was better. The novel had the potential to be really good but somewhere along the way the story fell short.

I anticipated more excitement. The good thing is that the story is intricate with twists in the end. One which was very unexpected.

The main character Myron Bolitar is well developed and like able which vastly improves the read.

Grade: C+

Sunday, February 1, 2009

No Limits: The Will to Succeed by Michael Phelps (Author), Alan Abrahamson (Author)

Phelps is sweet, funny and honest. After having read this, I liked him more than I previously did and I adored him before.

Reading his book filled me with the same excitement that I and many others experienced, as we watched him win medal after medal at the Olympics.

This book isn't extremely personal but it is a fast and interesting read. I learned a lot about swimming and more than enjoyed it.

It is inspirational and gives you an inside glance of his quest to obtain his 8 gold medals. You clearly feel and hear Phelps voice.

The only complaints I have is that there are a lot of statistics which can get a bit confusing and at times the book jumps around.

Grade: A

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

Charlotte Gorman is a librarian, a "nerd" and enjoys being casual and comfy. Her twin sister, Ginny is an famous instagram conte...