Monday, November 30, 2009

Evernight (Evernight, Book 1) by Claudia Gray

Everynight is an enjoyable, entertaining and interesting novel. The characters are well developed and the storyline is full of conflicts and twists. You will be on the edge of your seat.

Greys' writing is clever and I expect that this first book in a four book series is only the start of a great series.

The ending is unresolved but I suspect it is because Grey is setting up something spectacular for us to read in the next novel, Stargazer.

Grade: A


Bianca wants to escape.

At the eerily Gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he warns her to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between them can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mommy I'm Still in Here: Raising Children with Bipolar Disorder by Kate McLaughlin

There is no sugar coating in McLaughins novel. She is honest about what it is like living with and being the mother of bipolar children.

She holds nothing back and makes a voice for those who need to be and can't be heard. Her writing is passionate and shows the love she has for her family.

This book will move you and keep you busy reading for days. I say days rather than hours because the subject material can make you over emotional and require you to step away for a breather.

Grade: B+

When not one, but two, of Kate's children were diagnosed with adolescent-onset bipolar disorder, her mind ran through all the images of crazy the media fed to her over the years. She saw Margot Kidder, naked and shorn, in the bushes of an LA suburb, Jack Nicholson, first in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and then shouting "Redrum!" in The Shining. She saw sad faces and damaged bodies in Girl, Interrupted and grew ever more frightened.

She couldn't have known then that her children's illnesses would deliver even more frightening and horrifying scenes. Nor could she have known that her family's bipolar journey would spawn personal growth and spiritual changes likely unearned in a less extraordinary way.

Kate has lived and learned through cut wrists, overdoses, wee-hour 450 mile road trips, and hallucinations of black men emerging from a child's lily-white leg. She's lived and learned through mental ward stays, friend's revulsion, years of keeping secrets, and the freedom of telling the truth. She's learned to live with less judgment and more acceptance, less anger and more joy, less fear and more love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King

Dust of 100 dogs is unique and narrated by a teenage girl. Withing this novel you will find three recurring story lines each about the life of the same person taking place within different time periods (reincarnation).

King is talented and weaves a tale that will keep you mesmerized. It is clever, imaginative and absorbing.

I have to admit I was hesitant to read this but it was highly recommend to me by someone I know and I'm glad that I took a chance on a book I would have otherwise ignored.

This is a book you will find yourself recommending to friends, family and strangers because it is original and the characters are captivating.

Grade: A

Synopsis (B&N)

In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.

Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Black Tuesday by Susan Colebank

Black Tuesday is the typical good girl suffers tragic experience that takes her down a semi-destructive path.

She becomes rebellious, then learns from her experience and used it to revert to nearly the same person she was with a little change due to her life experience.

It's ok and entertaining enough.

Grade: B

Everything is going just the way superachiever Jayne Thompkins planned. She's at the top of her class and captain of the girls' varsity tennis team. Her ultimate goal? Harvard. She wouldn't be killing herself with all these extracurriculars otherwise. But her life changes when she crashes into another car—and a little girl dies as a result. Will she ever be able to live with the guilt she feels over this accidental death? A gripping and fastpaced story about guilt, anger, forgiveness, and second chances

Friday, November 20, 2009

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind is a great book. It is disturbing, fascinating and interesting.

This chilling novel grips you at your very core and leaves you wondering, what if? An excellent story line that is followed through to the very end. Characters that are not only well developed but believable.

Shusterman, knows how to keep you entertained and his writing knows how to make your toes curl and keep you outraged and hoping for the best possible outcome.

Expect to stay up late, finishing this book.

Grade: A


Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape—and to survive.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sleeping Arrangements by Madeleine Wickham

Sleeping Arrangements it a huge let down, I was disappointed but to be fair I have come to expect a lot more from Wickham (also, know as Sophie Kinsella).

Her characters are normally clever and witty but this were flat, boring and trite. The plot is thing, the characters are one dimensional and the ending is too perfect.

If you feel the need to read it, check it out from the library or borrow it from a friend. There are better books out there to spend your money on, for instance Sophie Kinsellas' Shopaholic Series.

Grade: D

Synopsis by Publishers Weekly

Wickham (The Gatecrasher; also, the Shopaholic series as Sophie Kinsella) spins a delightful story of British families forced to spend their vacation together after a mutual friend promises them the same week in his Spanish villa. Chloe Harding hopes that a holiday will soothe the strain between her and longtime partner Philip Murray, who is worried that a recent takeover of his company may cost him his job. Their hopes are dashed when they arrive and find another family already settled at the villa. To Chloe's disappointment, she'll be sharing the space with Hugh Stratton, the beau who broke her heart 15 years ago. Now married to high-maintenance Amanda and with two children, Hugh apologizes, and though Chloe initially expresses nothing but hurt and disdain (all the while keeping their past a secret from Philip), she eventually considers beginning life anew with Hugh. Wickham does a bangup job of creating believable characters-even Amanda is less vapid than she at first seems. Surprises abound as the plot unfolds, and the families begin to wonder whether their mutual friend made an innocent mistake in getting them together. (July)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blue Moon [The Immortals Series #2 ] Alyson Noel

Blue Moon is a dissapointing sequel. I didn't hate it, didn't love it, it read like an over dramatic soap opera.

Evermore was so much better and I had higher expectations for Blue Moon. Noel should have taken the time to develop a better storyline and work on character development since their are high hopes for her characters.

It starts off entertaining and then quickly goes down hill however I will read the next book in this series because Noel has done a good enough job in making me care what happens to her characters.

Grade: C-


Alyson’s Noël’s bestselling Immortals series has been hailed as “addictive” “beautiful” “haunting” and “mesmerizing.” In the second installment, Ever can bring her family back from the dead—but only if she’s willing to sacrifice the guy she loves more than life itself.

Just as Ever is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an immortal, initiated into the dark, seductive world by her beloved Damen, something terrible is happening to him. As Ever’s powers are increasing, Damen’s are fading—stricken by a mysterious illness that threatens his memory, his identity, his life.

Desperate to save him, Ever travels to the mystical dimension of Summerland, uncovering not only the secrets of Damen’s past—the brutal, tortured history he hoped to keep hidden—but also an ancient text revealing the workings of time. With the approaching blue moon heralding her only window for travel, Ever is forced to decide between turning back the clock and saving her family from the accident that claimed them—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows weaker each day...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi

Time of My Life is impossible to put down and left me wanting more, so much more!

You get in insiders view of Swayze's life from childhood to death. Swayze was so much more than an actor and dancer. The love between him and his wife is overwhelming and beautiful.

This memoir is a precious gift, Swayze has left his current, past and future fans. A book you will want to add to your collection. It page is filled with his passion for life that was cut too short.

A look into the life of a private man and the life he shared with his wife.

I wanted more depth and content but am satisfied with what they gave us because ever one deserves (celebrities included) a degree of privacy and their own memories to be kept sacred.

Grade: A


In a career spanning more than thirty years, Patrick Swayze has made a name for himself on the stage, the screen, and television. Known for his versatility, passion and fearlessness, he's become one of our most beloved actors.

But in February 2008, Patrick announced he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Always a fighter, he refused to let the disease bring him to his knees, and his bravery has inspired both his legion of fans and cancer patients everywhere. Yet this memoir, written with wisdom and heart, recounts much more than his bout with cancer. In vivid detail, Patrick describes his Texas upbringing, his personal struggles, his rise to fame with North and South, his commercial breakthroughs in Dirty Dancing and Ghost, and the soul mate who's stood by his side through it all: his wife, writer and director Lisa Niemi.

A behind-the-scenes look at a Hollywood life and a remarkable love, this memoir is both entertainment and inspiration. Patrick and Lisa's marriage is a journey of two lives intertwined and lived as one—throughout their years in Hollywood and at home on their working ranch outside Los Angeles, and culminating in the hope and wisdom they've imparted to all who know them. This book will open the door for families, individuals, and husbands and wives to grow, bond and discover entirely new levels of love and sharing, proving that life shouldn't be lived as a series of endings, but rather as the beginning of greater strength and love.

Monday, November 9, 2009

After You by Julie Buxbaum

After you is wonderfully written. It is entertaining and compelling. The characters are like able and sympathetic.

This is an emotional story that will keep you turning the pages as it is nearly impossible to put down. The character development is amazing and Buxbaum writes a novel that will impress you with the characters that come alive on the pages.

Grade: A

Synopsis (B&N)

The complexities of a friendship. The unexplored doubts of a marriage. And the redemptive power of literature...Julie Buxbaum, the acclaimed author of The Opposite of Love, delivers a haunting, gloriously written novel about love, family, and the secrets we hide from each other—and ourselves.

It happened on a tree-lined street in Notting Hill to a woman who seemed to have the perfect life. Ellie Lerner’s best friend, Lucy, was murdered in front of her young daughter. And, as best friends do, Ellie dropped everything—her marriage, her job, her life in the Boston suburbs—to travel to London and pick up the pieces of Lucy’s life. While Lucy’s husband, Greg, copes with his grief by retreating into himself, eight-year-old Sophie has simply stopped speaking.

Desperate to help Sophie, Ellie turns to a book that gave her comfort as a child, The Secret Garden. As the two spend hours exploring the novel’s winding passageways, its story of hurt, magic, and healing blooms around them. But so, too, do Lucy’s secrets—some big, some small—secrets Lucy kept hidden, even from her best friend. Over a summer in London, as Ellie peels back the layers of her friend’s life, she’s forced to confront her own as well: the marriage she left behind, the loss she’d hoped to escape. And suddenly Ellie’s carefully constructed existence is spinning out of control in a chain of events that will transform her life—and those around her— forever. A novel that will resonate in the heart of anyone who’s had a best friend, a love lost, or a past full of regrets, After Youproves once again the unique and compelling talent of Julie Buxbaum

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin

A Time for Dancing is a quick, easy, wonderful read. A story about love, friendship, dying and finding peace.

This story is told by two best friends. One with cancer and one without and how it effects them both. It is realistic, moving and emotional.

Touching, inspirational and courageous. A must read. Keep some Kleenex nearby.

Grade: A


Sam and Jules - everyone knows that when you see one, the other can't be far behind. Best friends for more than half their lives, the two are practically inseparable. And in the summer before their last year of high school, Sam and Jules are certain that whatever the future brings - college or professional dance careers or both - they'll be ready for it, sharing the triumphs and facing the tears together.

But nothing could have prepared them for Jules's sudden illness and the discovery of its cause - cancer. Sam tries to be a true friend, supporting Jules during the weeks of testing and doctors and treatments, but the horrifying pain and indignities that Jules suffers, and the feeling that she has lost control over her own life, force Jules to a place where even Sam cannot follow. Now both Jules and Sam must learn to accept the unacceptable - that Jules's cancer may not go away. How each, in her own way, comes to face the possibility of Jules's death, and learns to celebrate her life, makes for a searingly honest, unforgettable novel.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Condition by Jennifer Haigh

Haigh does an amazing job with character development which contributes to an amazingly well written novel.

The story line flows beautifully. This book turned out to be much better than I expected. You care for each character and become emotionally attached to this family.

Each character is vivid and comes alive as you devour passage after passage. The Condition has little to do with Gwen having Turners Syndrome and more to do with a family, that is broken.

You will easily fall into this splendid novel and be happy with the ending as it unites us all.

Among one of the best books I've had the pleasure of reading this year!

Grade: A+


The Condition tells the story of a proper New England family that comes apart one fateful summer. To their dismay, Frank and Paulette McKotch's daughter, Gwen, has been diagnosed with Turner's syndrome—a genetic condition that leaves her trapped forever in the body of a child, and sparks heated dispute between the couple.

Twenty years later, their three children—now grown, and each struggling with secret conditions of their own—are still dealing with the fallout of Frank and Paulette's divorce. Then, suddenly, Gwen falls in love for the first time, and the family's world is again tilted on its axis.

In an era when individual quirks look increasingly like symptoms and every symptom demands to be treated, the McKotches are determined to fix themselves and each other. They are a family for our time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4) by Richelle Mead

Blood Promise is a huge disappointment and doesn't get interesting until around page 420.

I love the series and wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters Mead has beautifully constructed so I sucked it up and keep on reading.

Blood Promise is NOTHING like the first three books. It fails to entertain and leaves you wondering what the writer was thinking.

A few moments are exciting but not enough to keep the entire book "alive" especially since they happen near the end.

If you are collecting the series, save your money and wait to get this book in paperback or from a used book store.

Grade: D

Synopsis (B&N)
How far will Rose go to keep her promise?

The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir's Academy was the deadliest ever in the school's history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.

He'd rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

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...