Monday, May 30, 2011

In a Perfect World by Laura Kasischke

In a Perfect World takes place now, not in the far future but now --- which makes the storyline more alarming and frightening.

This book has more complexities than, other end of the world scenarios. It involves any array of relationships, some more chaotic the others.

The Phoenix Flu is running rampant all over the world and taking lives. The United States and its citizens are thought to be the cause of this pandemic --- which causes a plethora of problems for individuals. The United Sates blames other countries and the story explores the lives of a few individuals living in one small town in America.

A gripping read --- however the ending does not tie up neatly.

Grade: A

Synopsis [B&N]
This is the way the world ends...
It was a fairy tale come true when Mark Dorn handsome pilot, widower, tragic father of three chose Jiselle to be his wife. The other flight attendants were jealous: She could quit now, leaving behind the million daily irritations of the job. (Since the outbreak of the Phoenix flu, passengers had become even more difficult and nervous, and a life of constant travel had grown harder.) She could move into Mark Dorn's precious log cabin and help him raise his three beautiful children.
But fairy tales aren't like marriage. Or motherhood. With Mark almost always gone, Jiselle finds herself alone, and lonely. She suspects that Mark's daughters hate her. And the Phoenix flu, which Jiselle had thought of as a passing hysteria (when she had thought of it at all), well . . . it turns out that the Phoenix flu will change everything for Jiselle, for her new family, and for the life she thought she had chosen.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel by Candace Bushnell

I will admit that I was rather hesitant to read Summer and the City, since I disliked the Carrie Diaries but I found it to be much more interesting.

This book flows and Carrie's friendship with other characters flourishes and expands. The, Carrie from the, Sex and the City series begins to emerge and this make for a satisfying read.

The relationship with, Samantha and Miranda builds as Carrie falls in love with New York City and all it has to offer.

A perfect beach read!

Grade: A-

Synopsis: [B&N]
Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream.
This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her— to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love - by Matthew Logelin

Two Kisses for Maddy --- is touching, warming and bound to make you tear up.

This memoir is about love and grief. Love between a husband and wife. Love between a father and daughter. The pain and grief of losing your spouse in a time that should be full of happiness and joy --- the birth of a child.

Logeline writes from the heart. He is honest, open and shares his life in a way that makes you feel as part of his family.

This is a simply wonderful read.

Grade: A

Synopsis [B&N]
Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. After years of long-distance dating, the pair finally settled together in Los Angeles, and they had it all: a perfect marriage, a gorgeous new home, and a baby girl on the way. Liz's pregnancy was rocky, but they welcomed Madeline, beautiful and healthy, into the world on March 24, 2008.
Just twenty-seven hours later, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and died instantly, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited. Though confronted with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt did not surrender to devastation; he chose to keep moving forward-- to make a life for Maddy.
In this memoir, Matt shares bittersweet and often humorous anecdotes of his courtship and marriage to Liz; of relying on his newborn daughter for the support that she unknowingly provided; and of the extraordinary online community of strangers who have become his friends. In honoring Liz's legacy, heartache has become solace.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Save Me by Lisa Scottoline

Save me has a strong start but a weak end. The characters are a bit on the weak side --- and the plot is thin, predictable and rather amateurish.

The story is too neat and ties up way too easily.

I did like the premise of the story and it did make you think about choices you make and the effects it has on others and yourself.

I feel as though Scottoline lost her focus and as a result the book ending up being rather weak and average.

I would check this book out from the library or borrow it from a friend.

Grade: C-

Synopsis [B&N]
From the New York Times bestselling author of Think Twice and Look Again comes an emotionally powerful novel about a split-second choice, agonizing consequences, and the need for justice
Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in her daughter Melly’s school in order to keep an eye on Amanda, a mean girl who’s been bullying her daughter. Her fears come true when the bullying begins, sending Melly to the bathroom in tears. Just as Rose is about to follow after her daughter, a massive explosion goes off in the kitchen, sending the room into chaos. Rose finds herself faced with the horrifying decision of whether or not to run to the bathroom to rescue her daughter or usher Amanda to safety. She believes she has accomplished both, only to discover that Amanda, for an unknown reason, ran back into the school once out of Rose's sight. In an instance, Rose goes from hero to villain as the small community blames Amanda’s injuries on her. In the days that follow, Rose's life starts to fall to pieces, Amanda’s mother decides to sue, her marriage is put to the test, and worse, when her daughter returns to school, the bullying only intensifies. Rose must take matters into her own hands and get down to the truth of what really happened that fateful day in order to save herself, her marriage and her family.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night Road is quite an emotional read. The characters and writing bring real emotions. You will be angry, sad, frustrated and overjoyed.

The story flows beautifully and the characters are expressed vividly. Hannah captures the ages and gender of her characters perfectly. The realism nearly jumps off the pages.

The story is told over a span of ten years - expect a lot of changes, some sadder than others. This is a love story on many levels.

Grade: A-

Synopsis [B&N]
For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows — her twins, Mia and Zach, are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close-knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.
Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy — until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time Mia and Zach leave the house, she worries about them.
On a hot summer’s night her worst fears are realized. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget... or the courage to forgive.
Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, Night Road raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11) by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning is rather entertaining but there are a few minor problems, such as inconsistency and not remaining true to her characters.

The book felt a little rush and Sookie's character is undergoing an even larger transformation than before however some details about Sookie's telepathy are revealed, which makes for an interesting read.

I hope that this book is just a bridge for the rest of the series and that the last books will be as, fun and exciting as the first few.

Grade: C+

Synopsis [From the publisher]

With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Afterlife: An Evernight Novel by Claudia Gray

Afterlife is the final installment in, The Evernight Series and it concludes in a fairy satisfactory manner.

There are twists, turns and some unexpected outcomes. Lose ends are tied up and you are left wanting more -- This is a bittersweet end with an unforgettable cast of characters.

I can't divulge more without giving the story away.

Grade: A

Synopsis [B&N]

Destiny awaits Bianca and Lucas . . .
Bianca and Lucas have always believed they could endure anything to be together. When a twist of fate not only transforms Bianca into a wraith but also turns Lucas into a vampire—the very creature he spent his life hunting—they are left reeling.
Haunted by his powerful need to kill, Lucas can turn to only one place for help . . . Evernight Academy. Bianca is determined to remain with him. But with the vampire leader of Evernight waging a war against wraiths, her former home has become the most dangerous place she could be, despite the new powers her ghostly transformation has given her.
A battle between wraiths and vampires looms, and Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They've overcome every obstacle life has thrown at them, but is their love strong enough to survive the challenges after life?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Raising: A Novel by Laura Kasischke

The Raising was rather fantastic up until the ending, when it just seemed to fall apart.

The premise is promising and sounds like a fun, scary read. It takes place on a college campus and it is set up as a ghost story. The characters are quite interesting and many secrets surround several of the characters. Some secrets are deep and as they unravel you find that characters aren't what the seem to be.

Kasischke writing is beautiful and her transition from different time periods and characters is smooth. This book is character driven and unsettling.

Grade: B

Synopsis [B&N]
Last year Godwin Honors Hall was draped in black. The university was mourning the loss of one of its own: Nicole Werner, a blond, beautiful, straight-A sorority sister tragically killed in a car accident that left her boyfriend, who was driving, remarkably—some say suspiciously—unscathed.
Although a year has passed, as winter begins and the nights darken, obsession with Nicole and her death reignites: She was so pretty. So sweet-tempered. So innocent. Too young to die.
Unless she didn’t.
Because rumor has it that she’s back.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Immortal Beloved is a wonderful start to a trilogy. The characters are strong and well developed, the plot is rather unique, with many twists and turns.

Immortal Beloved is narrated by a 450 year old, Immortal, who is essentially trapped in the body of a teen. After decades of hanging out with her friends, an event occurs that causes her to run and seek refuge from another, Immortal.

As the story unfolds, you find yourself completely captivated. Nastasya, the main character has many struggles and dark urges to overcome. She finds herself among many other, Immortals who have their own individuals problems, adding more intrigue to this already unique and refreshing novel.

The myths and elements of this story are not something, I have come across, so I was able to easily fall into, Tiernans world.

The book ends at a perfect point --- Expect the second book, Darkness falls this, September.

Grade: A


Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.
Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe—until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.
Cate Tiernan, author of the popular Sweep series, returns with an engaging story of a timeless struggle and inescapable romance, the first book in a stunning new fantasy trilogy.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Chosen One: A Novel by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chosen One is about a young girl, who lives in a polygamist community.

In this, secluded community outsiders are considered Satan and the leaders of the community know and see all. Judgment is quick and repercussions are severe.

When 13 year old, Kyra is "chosen" to marry her uncle, she rebels and consequences are unlike anything one can imagine.

The plot is interesting but the writing is mediocre, which takes away from the story. You won't love this book but you won't hate it either -- Take a chance and read it.

Grade: C+

From the Publisher
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters. That is, without questioning it much—if you don’t count her visits to the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her secret meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—she must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

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