Sunday, March 29, 2009

American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

American Wife is significantly different from Sittenfeld's novel Prep. If you loved Prep, you might end up hating American Wife. Don't expect her work or writing style to be similar. She tackles a life story loosely based on Laura Bush and thankfully she does not push republican beliefs down your throat.

American Wife has a strong start and the "early" years of the main character's life are perhaps the most intriguing part of this book. The ending seems stiff and almost forced.

This novel also ran a bit too long and at time passages became tiresome and I found my self longing for the ending. Around the middle of the book, it gets to become a burdensome read and had I not invested so much time I would have quickly dismissed it.

Had it not been for the first half being so well written I would have easily given this book an F rating. If you feel drawn to this novel, I insist you check it out. Do not spend your hard earned cash on this book.

Grade: D+

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with–and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pretty Little Liars #5: Wicked by Sara Shepard

It could easily be said that Wicked is the least desirable of the novels in the, Pretty Little Liars series.

I simply could not get into this book. I managed to finish it but was neither impressed or excited about the storyline, despite a cliffhanger.

This doesn't mean that, I won't read the sixth novel, Killer but I won't expect it to be as entertaining as the previous books in this series.

I think it is time for Shepard's to wrap up this series and head on to something, she can put her heart into.

Grade: C-

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Handle with Care: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

Handle with Care does a good job at illustrating the frustration, anxiety, joys and hardships of raising a special needs child.

It also highlights what can happen to a "normal" child that slips through the cracks since little to no attention is paid to that child.

This book deals with a child who has a rare disorder called, osteogenesis imperfecta and the wrongful birth law suit the mother files in order to get money to provide for the lifetime care of said child.

Picoult does an excellent job and educating the reader on osteogenesis imperfecta. You will walk away with an understanding on this terrible condition.

Picoult has a knack for engaging her readers but her formula is getting a bit tiresome. She also happened to include recipes in this novel which was rather annoying.

Expect a cop out ending and you won't be completely disappointed. Lets hope she gets back on track with her next novel(s).

Grade: B-/C+

Things break all the time.Day breaks, waves break, voices break.Promises break.Hearts break.
Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.
Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?
Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. Written with the grace and wisdom she's become famous for, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Privilege by Kate Brian

Privilege is a spin off from the private series revolving around Ariana Osgood .

Ariana is meaner than ever and way more selfish. She is out to get whatever she wants regardless of who gets hurt or killed along the way.

This book is fast passed and easy to read. However, this book does not exactly stand on its own, you pretty much have to have read at least the first four books in the private series to get an understanding of Ariana's character.

If you're a fan of the private series you will enjoy Privilege

Grade: B+

Ariana Osgood ruled exclusive Easton Academy — until she was arrested for murdering Thomas Pearson. She's spent the past two years at the Brenda T. Trumbull Correctional Facility for Women plotting her escape and is determined to get a second chance at the glamorous life she left behind. And Ariana will do anything to get her way....
From the author of the bestselling Private novels comes a new series about the dark world of wealth, secrets, and Privilege.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Sunday at Tiffany's is one of those fantasy, magical, romantic type of novels, in which the unbelievable happens.

A light, easy read. Not a typical Patterson novel. In this novel he delivers a sweet, fairytale story.

This heartwarming story will make you smile and remember your girlhood dreams of finding "prince charming."

Grade: B+
Synopsis (B&N)
As a little girl, Jane has no one. Her mother Vivienne Margaux, the powerful head of a major New York theater company has no time for her. But she does have one friend--Michael--and no one can see him but her. But Michael can't stay with Jane forever, and on her eighth birthday, her imaginary friend must leave her. When Jane is in her thirties, working for her mother's company, she is just as alone as she was as a child. Her boyfriend hardly knows she's there and is more interested in what Vivienne can do for his career. Her mother practically treats her as a slave in the office, despite the great success of Jane's first play, "Thank Heaven." Then she finds Michael--handsome, and just the same as she remembers him, only now he's not imaginary. For once in her life, Jane is happy--and has someone who loves her back. But not even Michael knows the reason behind why they've really been reunited.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Revelation (Private, Book 8) by Kate Brian

Revelation is the most revealing novel in the private series however that doesn't' mean it is the best book in the series.

Questions are answered but Reed is whiny and annoying. Half way thru the book you can pretty much narrow it down to two suspects and before the novel ends you can easily identify Cheyenne's murderer.

The end is perhaps the saving grace of this book because it is by far the largest cliffhanger, Brian leaves us with.

Grade: B-

The biggest mystery of all...and Reed is dying to learn the truth.
Two months after Cheyenne Martin was found dead in her Billings House dorm room, exclusive Easton Academy is rocked by another stunning revelation: Cheyenne was murdered. No one knows who the killer is, but everyone agrees that Reed Brennan, who took over Cheyenne's role as Billings's president, gained the most from her death. Once the most powerful girl on campus, Reed is now powerless to stop her classmates' accusing whispers. Rumors begin to swirl that she killed Cheyenne.
And just like that, Reed is kicked out of Billings.
She's lost everything — her friends, her home, her boyfriend — and Reed knows the only way to get it all back is to figure out who really murdered Cheyenne. And she has to do it fast because the killer is still out there. The more Reed investigates, the more she uncovers. And as any Billings Girl knows...secrets can be deadly.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka

Sister wife is told from alternating points of view. Each allows for the individual characters to express themselves freely.

This novel gives an unbiased looked into the polygamists sector. Hdrdlitschka, does an amazing job of telling this story without passing judgment on this much controversial community.

This is more than just a story set in a polygamous community. It is about finding yourself and your own idea of happiness.

An enjoyable read and look into what it's like to be a young woman inside and outside the polygamy community.

Grade: B+

Synopsis (B&N)
This story of life in a polygamous cult is told from the points of view of three teenage girls. At the age of 15, girls are assigned to be wives of older men. Each man is expected to have at least three wives who consider themselves sisters. The wives are expected to have as many children as possible. Taviana was invited by a kindly member to enter the community from a life on the street. She was content until she was kicked out because the law was looking for her, and the Prophet feared adverse publicity. Celeste, who becomes 15, is influenced by Taviana and has a crush on a neighboring boy from the cult. Nanette, Celeste's younger sister, is looking forward to being assigned a husband, but one she already likes. The conflicts between absolute obedience to the Prophet versus thinking for oneself, accepting medical science or allowing women to die in childbirth, and arranged versus love marriages drive the story. Descriptions of personal resolution through concentration while building balanced stone sculptures and inuksuks, stone markers from the Inuit tradition, are interesting. The treatment of young women like chattel by older men is sickeningly vivid. Although the tragedies and conflicts keep the interest up, this is not a book for everyone.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

The Luxe was much better than I could have ever imagined. I usually avoid novels set among high society during the late 1800s and early 1900s but I have to admit that this one in particular was quite enjoyable.

It is intoxicating.

This debut novel will entertain you and kept you turning page after page. You will be entertained, addicted and disappointed because the level of predictability is quite high.

I am eager to read the sequel (as soon as I can get my hands on it) and you will be too.

Grade: B+

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cathy's Key: If Found 650-266-8202 by Sean Stewart

Cathy's Key is just an average read. The presentation of the book is better than the actual story.

The book is in a diary type format and it has doodles and art work in the margins.

The story itself took a bit of energy to get through and did not hold my attention for long. The characters were not memorable in any way.

I had no plans to read the prequel or the next book coming out in may. If you feel that you MUST ready it check it out from the library of borrow it from a friend.

Grade: C-

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ambition (Private, Book 7) by Kate Brian

Ambition is an excellent mix of mystery and scandal. You're never quite sure what is going to happen to Reed and the other Billing girls.

The twist and turns in this installment will ensure that you finish this book in one sitting.

Brian keeps you on your toes for the duration of this novel and then she gives a jaw dropping ending.

You wont' be disappointed. Secrets are revealed and a huge betrayal leaves one person out in the cold.

Grade: A

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Legacy (Private, Book 6) by Kate Brian

Legacy is an amazing installment to the private series. So much happens and each event is more exciting than the previous.

Brian weaves a wonderful tale of fashion, money, gossip and drama in this series. Legacy, just might have the most drama in it, with just the right mix of conflict. This novel is quite different from the rest but that is because Reed is in charge thus adding a different but likable dynamic to the series.

Brian leaves us with yet another cliff hanger.

Grade: A

Synopsis (B&N)
The price of power...
After Cheyenne Martin's death, everyone at Easton Academy is struggling to recover from yet another tragedy—especially the girls of Billings Hall. With Cheyenne gone, they need to elect a new leader. And who better than Reed Brennan, the ultimate Billings Girls?
As the new Billings president, Reed suddenly has access to power she never imagined. Gossip is reported to her immediately, she has first dibs on everything from dining tables to dorm rooms, and Billings's most powerful alumnae are at her beck and call. So when Easton's students discover they're the only prep school on the East Coast not invited to this year's all-inclusive Legacy party, everyone turns to Reed to get them back on the list.
Reed is the most powerful girl at Easton.
She revels in her newfound status, but knows better than anyone that the Bilings leaders have a tainted legacy: Ariana was institutionalized, Noelle was expelled, and Cheyenne just died. History has a way of repeating itself at Easton, and now that Reed has everything she's ever wanted, she has everything to lose.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Inner Circle (Private, Book 5) by Kate Brian and Julian Peploe

Inner circle is not nearly as good as the previous books in this series but that doesn't' mean it isn't worth the read.

You will most definitely miss the old characters and the spice they added to the story line. Yet some how, Brian manages to bring forth previous and new characters to the mix giving this series a bit of a different spin.

However I have to say... without giving away too much, sometimes repeated events are just that repeated events.

This novel has so far been the most predictable and if you don't figure it out in time you will get an unexpected ending.

Grade: B-


Reed Brennan arrived at Easton Academy expecting to find an idyllic private school experience -- challenging classes, adorably preppy boys, and a chance to create a new life for herself. Instead, she discovered lies, deception, blackmail, and...murder. But, thankfully, the killers were caught and the nightmare is finally over. Now, with a new school year ahead of her, Reed steps back on Easton's ivy-covered campus ready to start over. So when the headmaster announces that billings is forbidden from holding their traditional, secretive initiation, Reed is relieved. She champions the new rules and the six new girls the administration has picked to live in Billings Hall: Constance, Missy, Lorna, Kiki, Astrid, and newcomer Sabine. But Reed's fellow Billings resident and new nemesis, Cheyenne Martin, believes the changes are a mockery of Billings history. Despite the new rules, Cheyenne vows to keep the old ways alive, no matter what -- or who -- stands in her way...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jealous? [The Ashleys, Book 2] by Melissa de la Cruz

Jealous? Book 2 of the Ashleys series was better than the first.

It has more drama and the characters are more outrageous. It's a fast and simple read. Melissa de la Cruz once again holds the attention of her readers.

Grade: B

They have it all: money, looks, popularity, anything their little platinum-encased hearts desire. They also have a new face. After Lauren Page's unexpected and brilliant maneuver at the fall VIP dance, she is in so tight with Ashley Spencer, the number one Ashley, that she might as well be Ashley's favorite pair of leggings.
But a new website catches on like the flu in February, and for the first time since kindergarten it's open season in the popularity race. Lauren Page sees a way in, Ashley Li and Ashley Alito see a way up, and Ashley Spencer sees a way to prove there's only room for one at the top.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice, is Lisa Genova's debut novel. Her novel keeps you immersed from start to finish. It is easy to forget that this is a work of fiction.

The characters are heartbreaking and nearly real. The story is written from Alice's, point of view on her incurable battle with Alzheimer's disease.

The books drains your emotionally and Alice becomes a memorable character.

This novel is riveting, terrifying and beautiful. I have never been so deeply affected and touched by a fictional character.

Still Alice is an unforgettable journey to an unimaginable place. A must read for all. Go out and purchase this book it's one you will want to keep on your book shelf.

Grade: A++
Synopsis ( B&N)
Genova gives us a hauntingly accurate portrayal of a young woman's descent into Alzheimer's Disease from the prime of life and the loftiest of cerebral heights

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sold by Patricia Mccormick

Sold is a National Book Finalist and is about a young girl sold into the sex-trade industry.

It is an all too familiar story for many girls, in many countries. Sold is beautifully written in first person giving you an sense of who Lakshmi is and her struggles.

This work of fiction will make you angry and make you cry because somewhere in the world, maybe you even your own backyard a girl or boy are being forced into sex against there will. Many beaten, raped , starved and threatened into submission. Taking away their basic human rights.

This book will haunt you and chill you to the bone.

If you have taken the time to read this review or have stumbled upon this page, please take a few more minutes out of your time to visit these page. You can save a life.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year by Amy Belasen and Jacob Osborn

Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year is dark, funny, witty and easy to read.

The words flow off the pages and this unlikely murderess is quite likable despite her ways.

There are a few sex scenes but nothing worst than we seen on mainstream television. Despite liking this book, I find the story line hard to believe.

The authors throw in a bit of Crime and Punishment and Macbeth like guilt scenes. You know the excess hand washing and dreams of murder but it lacks the classic beauty from the writings of Shakespeare and Dostoevsky.

Overall and entertaining and fast read.

Grade: B+

Synopsis ( B & N)
Hell hath no fury...
Jenny Green is a spoiled teen "princess" and the newest junior at Montreal's Molson Academy. Jenny wants a fresh start in her new school, and she's curious to see what Montreal has to offer, most especially in the boy department. Beautiful, charming, and sharp-witted, Jenny has no trouble getting the boys to fall for her.
But when she discovers just how despicable the male gender can be — with the lying, the cheating, and the utter disrespect — she decides to make them pay...with their lives.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Snadowsky captures the nostalgia of the first time (kiss, sex, love, etc ) with humor, sensuality and reality.

This modern day book will do for Today's Teens, what Judy Blume's Forever has done for other generations.

Depending on the individual this novel can be too graphic and descriptive. I recommend it for older teens or for parents to use as a sexual educational tool for their teen.

The main, character Dom is likable and sweet. You literally watch her grow up in this novel.

This book is fast paced and easy to read. It is perhaps the most honest look into teen relationships and the exploration of sexuality.

Grade: A

Synopsis ( B&N)
Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.And then came the fall.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Girls That Growl (The Blood Coven) by Mari Mancusi

Girls That Growl is really cute. There are a lot of references to pop culture that keeps you in stitches.

This is the first novel I've read by Mancusi and I had no idea that this book was part of a series, which means that it stands strong on its own.

The characters are fun, real and well developed. The story line is easy to sink your teeth into, making this vampire story an amusing read.

I am excited and cant' wait to get my hands on the books previous to this one and the one in the next installment.

Grade: A

Synopsis ( B& N)
Third in Mancusi's hip, sassy vampire series, featuring the heroine of Stake That! She's a vampire. She's also a vampire slayer. (It's a long story.) And now Rayne McDonald, Goth girl, has to carry out her most deviant mission yet: trying out for the cheerleading squad. Rayne already has enough on her plate: her twin keeps whining about whether or not to go all the way; her mom's boyfriend is moving in; and her man, Jareth, who's now allowed out in the sun, has turned from a dark, brooding hottie vamp into a surfer dude. But this vampire slayer is still on the clock, and she has a new assignment. A member of the football team has disappeared-and her bosses at Slayer Inc. think the cheerleaders had something to do with it. Now they want her to infiltrate the squad and get the dirt. But first, she'll need an extreme prep makeover. If only they'd let her wear fishnets under that revolting uniform.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tick Tock by Dean Koontz

Tick Tock turned out much, much better than I had anticipated. Don't expect to get Koontz's typical work from this book but be prepared to still remain entertained.

Koontz builds suspense until the very last page and the added humore makes this read enjoyable.

This is not his best book but once you get past chapter four the level of your intrest goes up and makes the time you spend reading this book, worth it.

Reading this book is like watching a funny yet not so great epside of Buffy or Angel.

Grade: B-

Synopsis ( B & N)
Tommy Phan is a successful detective novelist living the American Dream in southern California. One evening he comes home to find a small rag doll on his doorstep. It’s a simple doll, covered entirely in white cloth, with crossed black stitches for the eyes and mouth, and another pair forming an X over the heart. Curious, he brings it inside.

That night Tommy hears an odd popping sound and looks up to see the stitches breaking over the doll’s heart. And in minutes the fabric of Tommy Phan’s reality will be torn apart. Something terrifying emerges from the pristine white cloth, something that will follow Tommy wherever he goes. Something that he can’t destroy. It wants Tommy’s life, and he doesn’t know why. He has only one ally, a beautiful, strangely intuitive waitress he meets by chance—or by a design far beyond his comprehension. He has too many questions, no answers, and very little time. Because the vicious and demonically clever doll has left this warning on Tommy’s computer screen:

The deadline is dawn.

TicktockTime is running out.

The Embalmer by Caillé Anne-Reneé and Mullins Rhonda

The Embalmer is a short book around 80 pages or so. It's not as macabre as I was hoping but it is rather interesting. The book centers a...