Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It Only Takes a Moment by Mary Jane Clark

It Only Takes a Moment is fast paced and will keep you guessing until the very end!

It is compelling, suspenseful and well written. The characters are well developed and your heart aches for Eliza when her daughter is kidnapped.

This easy read will not disappoint. The short chapters keep you entertained and make you anxious to find out what will happen next.

This suspense novel is a bit out of the ordinary since it doesn't have what we've come to expect, excessive violence and overtly graphic details.

This novel is overall enjoyable and I know for certain I will be reading more of, Mary Jane Clark's novel in the future.

Grade: A

Synopsis (B&N)
Eliza Blake, host of the top-rated KEY News morning show, has witnessed tragedy and danger in her career. But nothing the accomplished professional has experienced has prepared her for when her seven-year-old daughter, Janie, is snatched from summer camp. The country's viewers are glued to their television sets, anxiously awaiting the news that their favorite morning-television personality's little girl has been found.
With each passing day, the FBI and local authorities track down every lead: A profile of the kidnapper's most likely characteristics is developed, every fan letter written to Eliza over the last six months is scrutinized, every sex offender registered within a fifty-mile radius is interviewed, and psychics from around the country appear on Eliza's doorstep offering their help.
But Eliza isn't going to sit around and wait for answers. She and the rest of the Sunrise Suspense Society—brilliant producer Annabelle Murphy, cameraman extraordinaire B.J. D'Elia, and psychiatrist Dr. Margo Gonzalez—will band together to outwit a cunning criminal whose shocking motives threaten to snuff out a terrified little girl's life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vampire Kisses 5: The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber

Another enchanting novel in the Vampire Kisses series.

It is suspenseful, exciting and entertaining. Raven is as precocious and love able as ever. This novel is impossible to put down. I read it in one sitting and you probably will too.

You get a total surprise ending. I never saw it coming! Schreiber does an amazing job keeping you interested in the story line.

Grade: A

Synopsis (B&N)
When Raven returns to Hipsterville's cryptic goth haunt, the Coffin Club, she discovers a secret door to another disco-"The Dungeon"-that is inhabited by vampires only. Raven learns that the nefarious Jagger Maxwell has welcomed the vampire clan into the club and has gained the popularity he missed in Romania. He is poised to take over Hipsterville, until a new vampire named Phoenix challenges him for control of the Coffin Club. Unbeknownst to Alexander, Raven becomes caught up in the clash, entranced by the hypnotic vampire culture of the Underworld. A surprising twist at the end reveals that Phoenix is really Alexander! Alexander frequented the club in disguise to try to thwart Jagger's plans to expose the club's vampire clientele to the town.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Letting Go is entertaining enough. It has an interesting story line but the on purpose typographical are enough to drive one mad. Rather than adding to the story it takes away from it, making it at times nearly impossible to figure out what the character is trying to say. There is still one word I haven't figured out.

The destruction of the English language is not only a distraction but annoying as well.

The start of the novel is promising and the idea is novel but the ending is weak and unbelievable. After reading 479 pages you expect a solution but what you get is frustration and regret. The ending can be liked to a television end of the season cliffhanger.

The characters are like able especially the dog. I can't fully recommend this and therefor will not be reading the rest of this series. The grammatical errors are to frustrating to attempt reading it.

Grade: D

Synopsis (B&N)
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Amazing Gracie: A Dog's Tale by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff

Amazing Gracie is moving, emotional tale of man's best friend. This particular friend is a deaf, albino, Great Dane full of love.

It has adorable, whimsical drawing in the midst of the writing that add to this already delightful story.

It is beautifully written, inspiring and touching. It also details the start up of an all natural dog treat business and the lives of Gracie and her "sisters."

A captivating book for dog lovers!

Grade: A+

It was love at first sight. Amid the frenzied barking and prancing of a house full of Great Danes, one pup was shivering in the corner. Gracie. But when Dan Dye reached her, she struggled to her feet like a clumsy foal, raised her forehead to his, and announced, as clearly as if she had actually spoken the words, You know I'm the one. No get me outta here!By turns funny, moving, tender, and inspiring, Gracie's tale is a treat for every dog lover. There is Gracie's first morning, racing around Dan in the snowy yard. Gracie's first determination to prove to her step-sisters, Dottie the Dalmation and Sarah the Black Lab, that she's one of the girls. Gracie's defiant romance with a pint-size charmer named Byron, a Boston Terrier from the wrong side of the fence.Then born of necessity, the eureka moment: When Gracie's delicate constitution starts turning into anorexia, Dan teaches himself how to cook, and in three days is baking her the cookies that will spur her appetite, launch Three Dog Bakery, and transform their lives forever.Courage. Compassion. Kindness. Soul. Tenacity. And joy, above all, joy. These qualities Gracie possessed in abundance, and shared with everyone, human or canine, who had the good fortune to cross her path.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Brother's Journey : Surviving a Childhood of Abuse by Richard Pelzer

A Brother's Journey is written by the younger brother of David Pelzer who wrote, A Child Called "It" and Lost Boy.

While, Richard did not experience the level of abuse that David did, the abuse he did experience was horrific. This book is mainly about the abuse he received after, David would was removed from the home.

Richard's writing style is simple and to the point. You get a visual of the trauma and horrors that took place in that nightmare home.

Your heart will ache and anger will build inside you. Richard, seems to have taken parts of Davids books and repeated them. I would recommend reading Davids memoirs first and then, A Brothers Journey in order to get a full understanding and appreciation of what occurred to this two boys.

Insightful and sad.

Grade: B+

Synopsis (B&N)
Dave Pelzer's bestselling memoir, A CHILD CALLED IT, introduced the world to the Pelzer family and the shocking abuse that took place in their home. Dave was fortunately rescued from the Pelzer household by the time he was twelve, but at this point, his brother Richard became the target of their mother's alcohol-fueled rage. Subject to nocturnal beatings, denied clean clothes, and forced to swallow Tabasco sauce, Richard Pelzer suffered daily abuses throughout the remainder of his childhood. Now, for the first time, he shares his story. At once disturbing and uplifting, it is the story of a boy who found the courage to survive years of physical abuse - and how the human spirit can triumph even through the most sever and horrific circumstances.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Rapture by Liz Jensen

The Rapture is a dark and has the potential to be good. The beginning and end are weak, the middle is strong.

If you don't have a strong vocabulary the start of the book will be a tad frustrating. Jensen attempts to mix science with fundamentalist beliefs.

Truth be told I am on the fence about this novel, not quite sure if I liked it or loathed it. The idea behind it is thrilling but I just wasn't captivated. The best part of it might just be the write up.

Check it out from the library, don't buy it!

Grade: C-

Synopsis (B&N)
An electrifying story of science, faith, love, and self-destruction in a world on the brink. It is a June unlike any other before, with temperatures soaring to asphyxiating heights. All across the world, freak weather patterns—and the life-shattering catastrophes they entail—have become the norm. The twenty-first century has entered a new phase. But Gabrielle Fox’s main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her life after a devastating car accident that has left her disconnected from the world, a prisoner of her own guilt and grief. Determined to make a fresh start, and shake off memories of her wrecked past, she leaves London for a temporary posting as an art therapist at Oxsmith Adolescent Secure Psychiatric Hospital, home to one hundred of the most dangerous children in the country. Among them: the teenage killer Bethany Krall.Despite two years of therapy, Bethany is in no way rehabilitated and remains militantly nonchalant about the bloody, brutal death she inflicted on her mother. Raised in evangelistic hellfire, the teenager is violent, caustic, unruly, and cruelly intuitive. She is also insistent that her electroshock treatments enable her to foresee natural disasters—a claim which Gabrielle interprets as a symptom of doomsday delusion.But as Gabrielle delves further into Bethany’s psyche, she begins to note alarming parallels between her patient’s paranoid disaster fantasies and actual incidents of geological and meteorological upheaval—coincidences her professionalism tells her to ignore but that her heart cannot. When a brilliant physicist enters the equation, the disruptive tensionmounts—and the stakes multiply. Is the self-proclaimed Nostradamus of the psych ward the ultimate manipulator or a harbinger of global disaster on a scale never seen before? Where does science end and faith begin? And what can love mean in “interesting times”?With gothic intensity, Liz Jensen conjures the increasingly unnerving relationship between the traumatized therapist and her fascinating, deeply calculating patient. As Bethany’s warnings continue to prove accurate beyond fluke and she begins to offer scientifically precise hints of a final, world-altering cataclysm, Gabrielle is confronted with a series of devastating choices in a world in which belief has become as precious - and as murderous—as life itself.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Greed (Seven Deadly Sins) by Robin Wasserman

Greed, is the final installment in the, Seven Deadly Sins, series. It is quite possibly the best book in the series. Characters "find" themselves, loose ends are tied up and individuals find themselves on different paths.

Fans of this series will not be disappointed with the way, Wasserman concluded this series. Expect the usual but with some added flare.

Grade: A-

The end of the year, the end of an era... Lucky Miranda's finished strong. She has what she's always wanted: Kane. Reformed, relationship-ready, really boring. Harper has prom queen in the bag -- but sadly, her king has bailed. Adam's busy tending to Beth, who is fully unable to move on. It means leaving Reed, who, let's admit, has no future anyway. Before they toss those caps in the air, there is a surprise or two left. Have no fear.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Night by Elie Wiesel

Night will leave you holding your breath. It will break your heart and anger you. This unforgettable novel will haunt you and the voices of those who suffered will stay with you long after you've finished reading this autobiographical novel.

Night will give you a harsh glimpse at the atrocities of the holocaust and a look into the beautiful Jewish religion. This small book (120 pgs) is incredible, moving, sad and informative.

This book is beautifully written and powerful. A must read for all. Take the time to read this Nobel prize winner.

I leave you with this...

Question: "Where was God in Auschwitz?"
Answer: "Where was Man?"

Grade: A+

Synopsis (B&N)
A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel
Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
Author Bio: Elie Wiesel is the internationally celebrated author, Nobel laureate, and spokesperson for humanity whose decision to dedicate his life to bearing witness for the Holocaust's martyrs and survivors found its earliest and most enduring voice in Night, his penetrating and profound account of the Nazi death camps. Born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania, he was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of Elie Wiesel's memories of the death of his family, the death of his own innocence, and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man.
Elie Wiesel is the author of more than forty internationally acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America Congressional Gold Medal, the French Legion of Honor, and, in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Forget Me Knot by Sue Margolis

Forget Me Knot is cute, lighthearted and predictable. The read is fun, breezy and enjoyable. The characters are well developed. Expect some naughtiness.

Margolis will keep you entertained and you will be glad you took the time to read this book. It is witty, charming and so much fun!

Grade: A
Synopsis (B&N)
From the acclaimed author of Gucci Gucci Coo and Apocalipstick comes a funny, sexy novel about questionable engagements—and a love worthy perhaps of the big screen.Florist Abby Crompton has a knack for arranging the most exquisite bouquets for the hippest clientele. If only her personal life could run as smoothly. Although her fiancé, Toby, proposed a month ago, Abby’s still waiting for the ring. An up-and-coming lawyer, Toby’s been far too busy to shop—let alone muster the energy for romance. If that wasn’t frustrating enough, the night she’s supposed to meet her future mother-in-law, Abby gets stuck in an elevator—with a sexy stranger bearing fine wine. Needless to say, a tipsy Abby arrives late for dinner and doesn’t make the best impression.In the aftermath of the dinner disaster, Abby is thrilled to learn that a film studio wants to use her shop in an upcoming movie. But when she meets the director, Dan, she’s shocked to discover that he’s none other than the same man with whom she shared the elevator—and some highly personal information. Now, with Toby putting in more overtime, Abby’s feeling even more neglected. And her attraction to Dan is growing daily—as her own life begins to mirror the romantic comedy he’s shooting.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dance with a Vampire (Vampire Kisses Series #4) by Ellen Schreiber

Another, enjoyable read by by Schreiber. The love between Alexander and Raven continues to grow and you will simply adore it. It is so innocent and sweet, which will easily remind you of you first crush or romantic interlude.

There is also an added element relating to the care between siblings, along with of course sibling rivalry.

A simple, easy read. Like her previous novel , you can finish this in one day. You will be entertained and left wanting more.

Grade: A-

There's a new vampire in town. His name is Valentine Maxwell. Goth-girl Raven knows this latest intruder can only mean trouble—he's the younger sibling of two vampires she fought to drive out of Dullsville. But when her brother, Billy, befriends this dangerous tween night prowler, the stakes are suddenly higher. Though torn by the excitement of every teen girl's fantasy—attending the prom with her boyfriend—Raven must do everything she can to protect Billy.
Valentine's appearance may pose even further threats. Could he somehow know Raven's innermost feelings about becoming immortal for her true love, Alexander? The far-from-ordinary romance of these two teen outsiders takes another surprise-filled spin in the fourth book of Ellen Schreiber's applauded Vampire Kisses series.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vampire Kisses 3: Vampireville by Ellen Schreiber

Vampireville is a fantastic, easy read. The storyline continues yet remains fresh and fun. The characters are well developed, the writing is excellent and of course there is a twist.

Schreiber manages to entertain the reader and add the unexpected to this series. You can't help but to like, the main character, Raven and root for her every time.

A short, fast read. Pick an afternoon and sit down and enjoy!

Grade: B+

Synopsis (B&N)
For goth-girl Raven, dating her dream boyfriend is complicated, especially because Alexander's secret means that they can see each other only at night.
And now the pair must be extra wary in the dark with Alexander's archrival, Jagger, appearing around town. As if Jagger isn't enough cause for worry, Luna, his strikingly pale sister, has also surfaced and seems to have her sights set on Raven's longtime nemesis, Trevor. Together, Raven and Alexander must begin a terrifying search for Jagger and Luna's hideout to drive them away — that is, if it's not already too late to save Dullsville from becoming Vampireville.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville

Armageddon Summer is a book that seemed promising but turned out to be rather tiresome. The premise is good but the writing is all over the place and lacks entertainment value.

The novel doesn't seemed planned out very well, the characters are flat and unappealing. The story does not captivate you and the ending is weak.

Take a pass on this book. There are way to many good books out there to waste your time reading this one.

Grade: D-

Synopsis (B&N)
The world will end on Thursday, July 27, 2000. At least, that's what Reverend Beelson has told his congregation. Why should the world end now, when Jed and Marina, two teenagers with more attitude than faith, have just fallen in love? Told in alternating chapters from both Jed's and Marina's points of view, this is a story about faith and friendship, love and loss...and the things that matter most at the end of the world.
This first-ever collaboration between master storytellers Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville is a timely story of first love and the End of the World. Told in alternating chapters from both Jed's and Marina's points of view, this first-ever collaboration between two masters of children's literature is a story about faith and friendship, love and loss ... and the things that matter most at the End of the World.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gluttony by Robin Wasserman

Gluttony is book six in the seven deadly series. Wasserman started of the series strong and entertaining but as it has progressed it has gone downhill.

Gluttony, so far the worst book in the series did not hold my attention or keep me entertained. I simply could not wait to finish it and had I not been so involved in the series I would have left if unread.

The characters are flat, predictable and boring. Since there is only one book left, I will finish the series, I just hope that Wasserman is able to wrap it up in an enjoyable fashion.

Grade: D

It's Vegas, baby! Anything can happen.
Reed has a (small) chance to win fame and fortune, thanks to his"entourage," Beth.
Sick of feeling like a loser, Harper's betting she can win back herlife, starting with Miranda — whose birthday wish just might cometrue....
Adam's also getting lucky, with a certain ex-girlfriend.
Kane, as usual, is playing hard — and not very nice.
Win or lose, it's going to be wild.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Moose: A Memoir by Stephanie Klein

There is nothing extraordinary about Kleins, memoir, just another story about the "fat" girl who gets thin yet continues to struggle with her weight, body image and self-esteem. Just another book taking up space on the shelf.

My full attention was never really captured and near the end I found myself anxiously waiting for this particular book to end.

It is too long and a bit difficult to get through. The first half is the best part and the second half just drags.

Overall, I am really disappointed because I had been looking forward to reading this book. I do not recommend this book for pre-teens, teens or anyone with an eating disorder because it details such things and how to make yourself vomit.

This book is a huge let down and doesn't live up to the hype.

Grade: D

Synopsis (B&N)
Stephanie Klein was an eighth grader with a weight problem. It was a problem at school, where the boys called her "Moose," and it was a problem at home, where her father reminded her, "No one likes fat girls." After many frustrating sessions with a nutritionist known as the fat doctor of Roslyn Heights, Long Island, Klein's parents enrolled her for a summer at fat camp. Determined to return to school thin and popular, without her "lard arms" and "puckered ham," Stephanie embarked on a memorable journey that would shape more than just her body. It would shape her life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls Series, Book 1) by Ally Carter

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You is entertaining, witty and full of a cast of unforgettable characters.

This book is an action packed extravaganza full of laugh out loud moments and references to pop culture, such as Gilmore Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

This is a light, fun and quick read, one that you will easily enjoy and from what I understand it will be coming to a theatre near you in 2012.

A great read with a fun premise. I'm looking foward to the sequels.

Grade: A

Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her? Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

The Story Sisters is an amazing novel that will keep you interested until the very last page.

The writing is exquisite and the characters are well developed. This novel borders on dark because of subject material, which can often be true to real life events. Like, life it is sad yet beautiful.

Some of this characters will haunt you long after you've but this book down. Set a few days aside to read this novel because you will need to walk away from it at times so that you can get the full impact of the story.

Worth the hardcover price.

Grade: A

From the Publisher
From the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Third AngelAlice Hoffman’s previous novel, The Third Angel, was hailed as "an unforgettable portrait of the depth of true love" (USA Today), "stunning" (Jodi Picoult), and "spellbinding" (Miami Herald). Her new novel, The Story Sisters, charts the lives of three sisters–Elv, Claire, and Meg. Each has a fate she must meet alone: one on a country road, one in the streets of Paris, and one in the corridors of her own imagination. Inhabiting their world are a charismatic man who cannot tell the truth, a neighbor who is not who he appears to be, a clumsy boy in Paris who falls in love and stays there, a detective who finds his heart’s desire, and a demon who will not let go.What does a mother do when one of her children goes astray? How does she save one daughter without sacrificing the others? How deep can love go, and how far can it take you? These are the questions this luminous novel asks. At once a coming-of-age tale, a family saga, and a love story of erotic longing, The Story Sisters sifts through the miraculous and the mundane as the girls become women and their choices haunt them, change them and, finally, redeem them. It confirms Alice Hoffman’s reputation as "a writer whose keen ear for the measure struck by the beat of the human heart is unparalleled" (The Chicago Tribune).

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...