Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Boys that Bite by Mari Mancusi

Boys that Bite is the first novel in the Blood Coven Series.

It is funny, action packed and makes references to many other vampire stories, that will crack you up.

The characters are on their way to being well developed and the story line is interesting and flows well.

The ending leaves you a bit surprised and craving more from this series.

Grade: B+

Synopsis (B&N)
This is not your typical boybites-girl love story.

Technically Sunshine can't get killed-because she's immortal. Well, not quite yet. Due to the worst case of mistaken identity with her dark-side-loving twin sister at a Goth club called Club Fang, Magnus, a vampire hottie, went for Sunshine's innocent neck. Now if she doesn't reverse it in time, Magnus will be her blood mate forever and she's doomed to be a blood-gulping, pasty, daylight-hating vampire. That would seriously bite.

And now, after the unfortunate slaying of the vampire leader, Sunshine, her sister Rayne, and Magnus must find the one thing that can solve her problem: the Holy Grail. They wish it were a joke but it's not. It's absolutely necessary that Sunshine gets out of this in time, because somehow she scored the hottest prom date in her school, the mouth-watering Jake Wilder. So she just can't be a vampire for the prom-let alone the rest of eternity.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Oxygen: A Novel by Carol Wiley Cassella

Starts off strong and ends blandly.

Too predictable and the foreshadowing is beyond obvious. The characters are interesting enough and sympathetic.

Cassella does an amazing job of transferring her knowledge of anesthesia over to readers not familiar with the processes. She is also able to give one a deeper understanding of the legal and insurance aspects pertaining to malpractice.

An average, debut novel. Check it out or wait for paperback.

Grade: C

Synopsis (B&N)

With the compassion of Jodi Picoult and the medical realism of Atul Gawande, Oxygen is a riveting new novel by a real-life anesthesiologist, an intimate story of relationships and family that collides with a high-stakes medical drama.

Dr. Marie Heaton is an anesthesiologist at the height of her profession. She has worked, lived and breathed her career since medical school, and she now practices at a top Seattle hospital. Marie has carefully constructed and constricted her life according to empirical truths, to the science and art of medicine. But when her tried-and-true formula suddenly deserts her during a routine surgery, she must explain the nightmarish operating room disaster and face the resulting malpractice suit. Marie's best friend, colleague and former lover, Dr. Joe Hillary, becomes her closest confidante as she twists through depositions, accusations and a remorseful preoccupation with the mother of the patient in question. As she struggles to salvage her career and reputation, Marie must face hard truths about the path she's chosen, the bridges she's burned and the colleagues and superiors she's mistaken for friends.

A quieter crisis is simultaneously unfolding within Marie's family. Her aging father is losing his sight and approaching an awkward dependency on Marie and her sister, Lori. But Lori has taken a more traditional path than Marie and is busy raising a family. Although Marie has been estranged from her Texas roots for decades, the ultimate responsibility for their father's care is falling on her.

As her carefully structured life begins to collapse, Marie confronts questions of love and betrayal, family bonds and the price of her own choices. Setagainst the natural splendor of Seattle, and inside the closed vaults of hospital operating rooms, Oxygen climaxes in a final twist that is as heartrending as it is redeeming.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Heartless (Pretty Little Liars Series #7) by Sara Shepard

Heartless is the 7th novel, in the Pretty Little Liar Series.

We learn a bit more about the girls and big secret is revealed, as well as the killers identity. It is edgy, full of drama and suspense.

Shepard seems to have lost some of her passion for the characters and series and while not the weakest novel in this series it just isn't as exciting as the first few novels.

I am looking forward to the end of this series not because I don't like it but because I like the characters and I'd hate for them to "jump the shark."

Grade: B-


In picturesque Rosewood, Pennsylvania, neighbors gossip over picket fences, and gleaming SUVs sit in every crushed-granite driveway. But recently, friendly smiles have been replaced with suspicious glares and accusatory whispers—and it's all because Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer just can't keep their mouths shut. . . .

First they claimed they found a dead body in the woods behind Spencer's house, only to have it vanish without a trace. Then when the same woods went up in flames, they swore they saw someone who's supposed to be dead rise from the ashes. And even after all that, the pretty little liars are still playing with fire.

Hanna's trading in her Dior trench for a straitjacket. Aria's trying to contact the dead. Emily's dumped her boyfriend and is skipping town . . . again. And Spencer thinks someone in her family has gotten away with murder.

The friends insist they're telling the truth about what they saw, but all of Rosewood thinks they're simply out for attention—and nobody likes a girl who cries wolf. So when the big bad killer comes after the girls, will anyone believe them . . . or will they be the next to disappear?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

April & Oliver: A Novel by Tess Callahan

April & Oliver is Callahan's debut novel. The characters are well developed, the storyline flows but the level of predictability is high.

The story is character driven but the characters are a bit stereo-typical. Expect an emotionally charged read in this disturbing yet uplifting novel.

Grade: B-


From the Publisher

Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to "save" his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own--secrets he hasn't shared with anyone, even his fiancé. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April's life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral...towards salvation.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

True Notebooks: A Writer's Year at Juvenile Hall by Mark Salzman

True Notebooks is haunting, honest and saddening.

It is written with intelligence, humanity and sensitivity. It teaches everyone a lesson(s) and impacts they way one views all juvenile delinquencies.

At times passages can drag and become tiresome but the insights that these young men write about inspire you to continue reading.

If language is a problem from you, stay clear from this particular book.

Grade: B-

Friday, February 12, 2010

unSweetined by Jodie Sweetin

unSweetined is a fast paced memoir that chronicles the life of Jodie Sweetin.

She is honest in detailing all her ups and downs in her addictions with alcohol and drugs. Her memoir is deeply personal and well written.

You will be engrossed from page one and find it impossible to put down.

I was left wanting more...and you will be too.

Grade: A-

Synopsis (B&N)

How Rude!

Once Danny Tanner's bubbly daughter on America's favorite family sitcom, Jodie Sweetin takes readers behind the scenes of Full House and shares her terrifying -- and uplifting -- real-life story of addiction and recovery.

Jodie Sweetin grew up in front of America, melting our hearts and making us laugh for eight years as the cherub-faced middle child on Full House. Her ups and downs seemed not so different from our own, but more than a decade after the popular television show ended, the star we knew as goody-two-shoes Stephanie Tanner publicly revealed her shocking recovery from methamphetamine addiction. Even then, Jodie still kept a painful secret -- one that could not be solved in thirty minutes with a hug, a stern talking-to, or a bowl of ice cream around the family table. The harrowing battle she swore she had won was really just beginning.

In her deeply personal, utterly raw, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Jodie comes clean about the double life she led -- the crippling identity crisis that began at her birth, the hidden anguish of juggling a regular childhood with her Hollywood life, and the vicious cycle of abuse and recovery that led to a relapse even as she wrote this book. Jodie traveled the country speaking to college kids about her triumph over substance abuse, yet she partied nightly, spending tens of thousands of dollars on her habit. Her addiction tore her family apart and alienated her from her former Full House cast mates until becoming a mother gave her the determination and the courage to get sober.

Today, Jodie's life is a work in progress. Resilient, charming,and funny, she writes candidly about taking each day at a time. Hers is not a story of success or defeat, but of facing your demons, finding yourself, and telling the whole truth -- unSweetined.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shadow Tag: A Novel by Louise Erdrich

This book is... difficult and nearly impossible to enjoy.

The characters are bland, unforgiving and unreal. The writing is pretentious, annoying and far from interesting.

Had I not already invested time I would have abandoned this particular book. Check it out, don't purchase it.

The write up inside the book is the best part.

Grade: F

Friday, February 5, 2010

Uninvited by Amanda Marrone

Uninvited is a huge disappointment.

The plot is thin at best and the characters are self indulgent, poorly created and more interested in sex, drugs, drinking and partying and while these topics don't normally bother me, it does when it is geared into a fashion that makes it seem "cool" and acceptable.

The cover and write up on the back of the book is inviting. I was hoping for a quick, easy, fun read and instead I got a read that took much longer than necessary to read.

Do not, Do not, purchase this book, check it out from the library or borrow it.

Grade: D


When rejection comes back to bite you...

Jordan's life sucks. Her boyfriend, Michael, dumped her, slept his way through half the student body, and then killed himself. But now, somehow, he appears at her window every night, begging her to let him in.

Jordan can't understand why he wants her, but she feels her resistance wearing down. After all, her life — once a broken record of boring parties, meaningless hookups, and friends she couldn't relate to — now consists of her drinking alone in her room as she waits for the sun to go down.

Michael needs to be invited in before he can enter. All Jordan has to do is say the words....

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Ten Things I Hate About Me is an "ok" book with a good concept.

The main character is sweet and like able but the writing has dull moments. A very simple read that is semi-enjoyable.

Grade: C


"At school I'm Aussie-blonde Jamie -- one of the crowd. At home I'm Muslim Jamilah -- driven mad by my Stone Age dad. I should win an Oscar for my acting skills. But I can't keep it up for much longer..."

Jamie just wants to fit in. She doesn't want to be seen as a stereotypical Muslim girl, so she does everything possible to hide that part of herself. Even if it means pushing her friends away because she's afraid to let them know her dad forbids her from hanging out with boys or that she secretly loves to play the darabuka (Arabic drums).

But when the cutest boy in school asks her out and her friends start to wonder about Jamie's life outside of school, her secrets threaten to explode. Can Jamie figure out how to be both Jamie and Jamilah before she loses everything?

Publishers Weekly

Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult

Zoe and Max have spent thousands of dollars in trying to conceive a child. After Zoe's most recent miscarriage her life starts to fall ...