Saturday, October 30, 2010

Worst Case (Michael Bennett) by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge


Patterson's work is becoming very formulaic which is disappointing since his other works are rather entertaining.

This book is rather mediocre and extremely predictable. The characters do have interesting aspects but they are also very cookie cutter like.

I think I will be taking a vacation from Patterson's books for a bit.


Grade: C-


Synopsis [B&N]
Best case: survival

The son of one of New York's wealthiest families is snatched off the street and held hostage. His parents can't save him, because this kidnapper isn't demanding money. Instead, he quizzes his prisoner on the price others pay for his life of luxury. In this exam, wrong answers are fatal.

Worst case: death

Detective Michael Bennett leads the investigation. With ten kids of his own, he can't begin to understand what could lead someone to target anyone's children. As another student disappears, one powerful family after another uses their leverage and connections to turn the heat up on the mayor, the press--anyone who will listen--to stop this killer. Their reach extends all the way to the FBI, who send their top Abduction Specialist, Agent Emily Parker. Bennett's life--and love life--suddenly get even more complicated.

This case: Detective Michael Bennett is on it

Before Bennett has a chance to protest the FBI's intrusion on his case, the mastermind changes his routine. His plan leads up to the most devastating demonstration yet--one that could bring cataclysmic devastation to every inch of New York

Thursday, October 28, 2010

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters


A fast and captivating read! You will be drawn in from the moment you read this. It is raw, depressing and heart wrenching.


Daelyn is on a mission to end her life after a lifetime of bullying and pain. With each turn of the page you feel the tortured soul of this young girl.

This book is well written and you won't want to pass it up. The characters are well developed and you will be draw into Daelyn's dark world.

The ending is rather disappointing because you aren't given any closure.


Grade: B+


Synopsis [B&N]

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers”— through-the-light .com.

While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life…isn’t it?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fragile: A Novel by Lisa Unger


Fragile is a slow moving book...

Unger has developed a good plot but at times the reading can be confusing since the subject matter changes rather quickly. The book jumps around way too much.

This isn't the type of book that will keep you up all night but it will keep you intrested enough to read it for a few days and finish up the novel.

Don't have high expectations and you don't be disappointed.

Grade: C


From the Publisher

Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on one another’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten. As a child, Maggie found living under the microscope of small-town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she has happily returned to The Hollows’s insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son, Rick, disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case—and also dangerous.

Eerie parallels soon emerge between Charlene’s disappearance and the abduction of another local girl that shook the community years ago when Maggie was a teenager. The investigation has her husband, Jones, the lead detective on the case, acting strangely. Rick, already a brooding teenager, becomes even more withdrawn. In a town where the past is always present, nobody is above suspicion, not even a son in the eyes of his father.

“I know how a moment can spiral out of control,” Jones says to a shocked Maggie as he searches Rick’s room for incriminating evidence. “How the consequences of one careless action can cost you everything.”

As she tries to reassure him that Rick embodies his father in all of the important ways, Maggie realizes this might be exactly what Jones fears most. Determined to uncover the truth, Maggie pursues her own leads into Charlene’s disappearance and exposes a long-buried town secret—one that could destroy everything she holds dear. This thrilling novel about one community’s intricate yet fragile bonds will leave readers asking, How well do I know the people I love? and How far would I go to protect them?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan


The Dead-Tossed Waves is a companion book to the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

Ryan does a great job at creating a realistic world and her characters are well developed and enjoyable. This story isn't as strong as The Forest of Hands and Teeth but it is worth taking the time to read since it explores other avenues.

It is slow moving but when there is action it is rather interesting... This post apocalyptic zombie world is a worthwhile read.

Grade: B-


Synopsis [B&N]
Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She's content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry's mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother's past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz


A well written and researched account of the Levy case.

A compelling and detailed look into a case full of mistakes based on shoddy police work and rumors reported by the media.

This book will answer any and all questions you've ever had about this particular case.



Grade: A


Synopsis [B&N]
It was the mystery that gripped the nation during the summer of 2001: the sudden disappearance of Chandra Levy, a young, promising intern, and the possible involvement of Congressman Gary Condit. And then the case went cold. By 2007, satellite trucks and reporters had long since abandoned the story of the congressman and the intern in search of other news, fresh scandals. Across the country, Chandra’s parents tried to resume their daily lives, desperately hoping that someday there might be a break in the investigation.

And in Washington, the old game of who’s up and who’s down played on without interruption.

But Chandra Levy haunted. Six years after the young intern’s disappearance, investigative editors of the Washington Post pitched two Pulitzer Prize– winning reporters their idea: Revisit the unsolved case and find out what happened to Chandra, a task that had eluded police and the FBI.

Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz went to work. e result was a thirteen-part series in the Washington Post that focused on a prime suspect the police and the FBI had passed over years before. They had wrongly pursued Condit and chased numerous false leads, including a claim that Chandra had been kidnapped and taken to the Middle East.

But the most likely culprit was far less glamorous: an immigrant from El Salvador, a young man in the clutches of alcohol, drugs, and violence who had been stalking the running paths of Rock Creek Park, assaulting female joggers at knifepoint. He had attacked again, even as the police and the press concentrated on a congressman romantically linked to the intern.
Finding Chandra explores the bungled police efforts to locate the crime scene and catch a killer, the ambition and hubris of Washington’s power elite and press corps, the twisted culture of politics, the dark nature of political scandal, and the agony of parents struggling to comprehend the loss of a child. Above all, it is a quintessential portrait of a cast of outsiders who came to Washington with dreams of something better, only to be forever changed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden


Losing Faith ... is about a family, in particular a younger sister dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one.

The circumstances surrounding Faith's death are odd and her young sister Brie is on a quest to find out exactly what happened on that fateful night.

The grief is real, many of the characters easy to relate too and the storyline is interesting. Expect to read this in one sitting.

The words fly off the pages as the mystery unravels.


Grade: A

Synopsis [B&N]

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dust by Joan Frances Turner


Dust does for Zombies what Buffy did for vampires!


Dust is told from the point of view of a zombie. What it is like to be one and to survive as one.

Turner "humanizes" zombies and puts a spin on this popular genre by having the reader experience what zombie society is like.

The characters are all richly developed, the storyline is intriguing, interesting and mesmerizing.

This is one book you can't miss! Be prepared to stay up late reading this hefty book and stay away from eating as the descriptions are gruesome at best.


Grade: A


Synopsis [B&N}

Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. After she was buried she awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Now she and her zombie gang, the Fly-by-Nights, roam the Indiana woods. When a mysterious illness threatens the existence of both zombies and humans, Jessie must choose between looking away or staring down the madness-and hanging on to everything she now knows as life...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Panic Zone by Rick Mofina


The Panic Zone has so many characters and locations in it that it is nearly impossible to keep things straight.

The plot is intricate and complex. It revolves around human trafficking, illegal adoptions and unethical scientific experiments.

An overall good read but be prepared to set aside some time to get through this book.


Grade: B-


Synopsis [B&N]

A car crashes in Wyoming: A young mother is thrown clear of the devastating car crash. Dazed, she sees a figure pull her infant son from the flames. Or does she? The police believe it's a case of trauma playing cruel tricks on the mind, until the night the grief-stricken woman hears a voice through the phone: "Your baby is alive."

A bomb explodes in a Rio de Janeiro café: The heinous act kills ten people, including two journalists with the World Press Alliance news agency. Jack Gannon's first international assignment is to find out whether his colleagues were innocent victims or targets who got too close to a huge story.

A Caribbean cruise ends in horror: Doctors are desperate to identify the mysterious cause of a cruise ship passenger's agonizing death. They turn to the world's top scientists, who fear that someone has resurrected their long-buried secret research. Research that is now being used as a deadly weapon.

With millions of lives at stake, experts work frantically against time. And as an anguished mother searches for her child and Jack Gannon pursues the truth, an unstoppable force hurls them all into the panic zone.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Generation Dead [Book 1] by Daniel Waters


Generation Dead puts a new spin on zombies. They are more interactive, relatively "normal" and don't eat flesh. They are trying to immerse themselves in society despite backlash and negativity.

The idea is unique and creative. Waters writing and storyline romanticizes the concept of dead.

The book starts of strong and somewhere along the middle it gets rather boring and then the ending is totally lame.

I love the cover, the concept but I don't' love the story. I am not currently sure if I will continue to read the rest of this series.

Grade: C



Synopsis [B&N}
Phoebe is just your typical goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead.

All over the country, a strange phenomenon is happening. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same—they stutter, and their reactions to everything are slower. Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to fit into a society that doesn’t want them.

Fitting in is hard enough when you don’t have the look or attitude, but when almost everyone else is alive and you’re not, it’s close to impossible. The kids at Oakvale High don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the differently biotic from the people who want them to disappear—for good.

With her pale skin and Goth wardrobe, Phoebe has never run with the popular crowd. But no one can believe it when she falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids. Not her best friend, Margi, whose fear of the differently biotic is deeply rooted in guilt over the past. And especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has just realized his feelings for Phoebe run much deeper than just friendship. He would do anything for her, but what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mini Shopaholic: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella


I absolutely LOVE the Shopaholic series and was beyond excited to find out what Becky has been up too.

Kinsella once again captures one of my favorite characters beautifully. She doesn't change much about Becky, which is fantastic since I've come to love her scheming ways.

The storyline is fun, entertaining and easy to read. This book is a strong addition to an already hilarious series.


Grade: A

From the Publisher

Sophie Kinsella has dazzled readers with her irresistible Shopaholic novels—sensational international bestsellers that have garnered millions of devoted fans and catapulted her into the first rank of contemporary storytellers. Now her beloved heroine Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) returns in a hilarious tale of married life, toddlerhood, and the perils of trying to give a fabulous surprise party—on a budget!

Becky Brandon thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But it’s trickier than she thought. Two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.

Minnie creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there’s a huge financial crisis.

With people having to “cut back,” Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source—and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.

Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And . . . most important . . . will Becky’s secret wishes ever come true?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Betrayal (Immortal) by Gillian Shields


Betrayal is much better than Immortal... It is much more interesting and faster paced.

The characters become more developed and the storyline is captivating. An introduction of a new character who is vital to the story adds a punch to this storyline.

Betrayal is edgy and thrilling. Be expected to read this is on sitting.


Grade: A-

Synopsis
From the Publisher

There are the small betrayals: the unkind word, the petty lies. And there are the betrayals that break hearts, destroy worlds, and turn the strong sweet light of day into bitter dust.


When Evie Johnson started at Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, her life changed in ways she couldn't possibly have envisioned: the discovery of her link with Lady Agnes, her special bond with Helen and Sarah, and their sisterhood in the astonishing secrets of the Mystic Way. Above all, Evie's love for Sebastian has turned her world upside down.

Now Evie returns to Wyldcliffe for another term and more danger. Surrounded by enemies, she lives every day in fear that Sebastian will fall into the darkness of servitude to the Unconquered Lords. The Wyldcliffe coven is plotting to destroy Evie and use Sebastian to secure their own immortality. Evie and her sisters must master the power of the Talisman before it is too late. But could it be Sebastian himself who will ultimately betray Evie?

In this companion to Gillian Shields's dazzling Immortal, magic and sweeping romance cross the bounds of time to deliver heart-stopping emotion and suspense.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Immortal by Gillian Shields


Immortal is a slight echo of Everynight by Claudia Gray and Evermore by Alyson Noel.

Many plots arise but they easily mingle into one. The characters are intriguing and as the story develops they become well developed and interesting.

The boarding school, Evie is sent to is mysterious and as she becomes aware of the secrets hidden beneath the wall of the school, she learns about herself and her own unique family history.

This is a simple, easy, fast read. Enjoyable and entertaining.

Expect a cliffhanger ending.

Grade: B+


Synopsis [B&N]

Welcome to Wyldcliffe, the place that haunts my present, my past, and my future.

Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn from her home near the sea to become the newest scholarship student, strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave her drowning in loneliness.

Evie's only lifeline is Sebastian, a mysterious and attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie's feelings for Sebastian blaze with each secret meeting, she begins to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl—a girl who is so eerily like Evie she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. As the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Every Last One: A Novel by Anna Quindlen


Every Last One is a quick, emotional read.

The character's are wonderfully created and the storyline is shocking and realistic. I don't want to give up to much because the unexpected does occur and I for one did not see it coming.

The violence and aftermath is unthinkable. I absolutely loved every single page of this book and look forward to reading more of Quindlen's work in the future.

Grade: A+


Synopsis

The latest novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Anna Quindlen

In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.

Mary Beth Latham has built her life around her family, around caring for her three teenage children and preserving the rituals of their daily life. When one of her sons becomes depressed, Mary Beth focuses on him, only to be blindsided by a shocking act of violence. What happens afterwards is a testament to the power of a woman's love and determination, and to the invisible lines of hope and healing that connect one human being with another. Ultimately, as rendered in Anna Quindlen's mesmerizing prose, Every Last One is a novel about facing every last one of the things we fear most, about finding ways to navigate a road we never intended to travel,...

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The more time he spent around her, the more he realized how rarely he thought anybody else was actually good. Nice, maybe, but niceness was ...