Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Glitch (Glitch - Trilogy) by Heather Anastasiu

Glitch goes on sale, August 7, 2012.

Glitch is the first book in, Heather Anastasiu's trilogy. It is a dystopian, novel that takes place in the future in which, humans are implanted with chips that essentially wipe out all their emotions and keep them connected to the link. The link basically "thinks" for humans. 

Zoe's starts to have glitches. She begins to have her own thoughts and emotions. Her feelings are getting harder to suppress and she needs to keep in control before the authorities find out and take necessary actions and potentially deactivate her. On top of everything --- she starts to experience a telekinesis power.

Luckily( or, not so lucky), Zoe meets others with powers, in particular, Adrien who can see the future and Max who can can change his appearance. They band together to keep their powers secret, because secrets are forbidden in the community.  Of course things become confusing --- both boys making Zoe experience feelings and creating a love triangle of shorts. These unknown feelings of course cause issues that can easily destroy them all.

Anastasiu creates a wonderful cast of character's, that can easily be related too. The storyline is entertaining and creative. I love the idea behind the character's who glitch having powers. The author makes you experience the character's new emotions with them. It is captivating. This is definitely a trilogy I am looking forward to finishing and adding to my collection.

Grade: A-

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen

Absolutely juvenile. I have no idea, why this book is so popular. It is completely degrading to women, it is garbage.

The plot and character's are unreal. It doesn't have one degree of realism to it. It is full of exaggerated and unbelievable sexual escapades. If, I didn't know any better, I would suspect that it was written by a horny 16 year old boy.  It is immature and lame.

I have no idea how this book got published and I don't even know why I continued to read it ---  I suggest that you don't waste any of your time reading it.

Grade: F

Friday, July 27, 2012

Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams by Shawn Johnson and Nancy French

In, June of 2012, Shawn Johnson; America's sweetheart and four-time Olympic medalist retired from gymnastics. She was unable to come back from an injury. Like many other, Americans, I was crushed. The spunky, sweet, cheerful gymnast's career was over.

I waited to put this review out, until today. The opening date of the London 2012 Olympics. In honor of all the athletes who are competing, those who have retired and those who tried but never quite made it. May we crush at the Olympics this year and bring home more than ever.

Her book -- outlines her career as a gymnast and her life after the, 2008 Olympics. Shawn didn't have the "typical" gymnastic career. She was never pushed into it nor did she workout 40 hours a week. Her parents wanted her to stay grounded, she attended public school and even went to homecoming. She got to experience life as a relatively "normal" teen in addition to the life, fame and notoriety that comes with being a recognized elite athlete.

Shawn makes a difficult sport look simple and her book gives you insight to her inner struggles with with gymnastics and home life. She is a role model, who has managed to stay "true" to herself and at age 20 has accomplish more than most people ever will.

Her book is an easy, enjoyable read. I recommend if for her fans, those who want to know more about gymnastics and parents of future gymnasts.

Grade: A+

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Circle of Silence by Carol M. Tanzman

Circle of Silence goes on sale, today!!! 

Circle of  Silence is NOT an extraordinary book, it is rather average. It is essentially about this 17 year old girl, named Valerie. Valerie wants to be a reporter and is on the school's newspaper, when a school prank under the initials MP is discovered, she thinks solving the mystery of who it is will help put her on a future career path as a reporter. 

Valerie along with her newspaper crew, start an investigation into who, MP is.  This results in email warnings and a dead bird in Valerie's locker. This doesn't stop her in fact she is more determined than ever to find out just who MP is. Finally she gets an insider's lead --- and then things make a dangerous turn and lives are a stake.

Sounds, really interesting, right? It really isn't until over halfway through the book. It just moves so s-l-w-l-y and the character's are all that interesting. If you pay close attention you can figure out who the insider is (that is, as it gets near the end of the book).  It is kinda of anti-climatic but the storyline is interesting. If you like young adult mysteries or are just starting to get into them, this might be a good book for you however if you're good at figuring out whodunit type of things --- this might be something you want to pass on.

I expected a lot more excitement and felt let down as a reader, however I think a much younger audience say 14 and under, might appreciate and enjoy this book more than I did.

Grade: C

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, Book 2) by E. L. James

Surprisingly this second installment is better than the first. The writing hasn't improved much but there is a bit (tiny bit) more depth to the storyline and more character development.

You get more background information on, Christian and he becomes a slightly more sympathetic character but other than the sex and need to "save" one another, I don't get why these character's are together.

The sex is hot but it's basically the same stuff and if, Ana says 'down there or my sex' one more time, I just might scream. I'd rather she just called what it is, her vagina. Oh and the whole referring to her inner goddess thing is worse than ever -- she refers to it not once, not twice but 50 times! Just kidding, I really don't know if it was 50 times or more because it felt like it was done every other page.

The story is predictable, repetitive and cliched. Will, I read the last book? Sadly, yes, however it will be a while before I read it, it took me nearly one week to finish this book and that is a lot of time for me!

I can say that, I am more interested in the, Christian's character and I think it would be interesting to have a book about just him. About how he grew up and got to be the way he is -- and not just sexually. His ability to be successful despite his initial upbringing is the most interesting part of this entire trilogy.

Anyway --- I don't understand why these books are so popular or why I am reading them for that matter
I suspect I just became a victim of peer pressure,

Grade: C

Monday, July 16, 2012

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer (

Between the Lines is a combined work effort of Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha. It is a  young adult book and is nothing at all like, Picoult's previous work. Don't expect the same caliber. 

This book is basically about a character that is stuck inside of a fairytale book and wants to find a way out. It's also about what happens when a book is closed and character's can step outside their written roles and enjoy "life".  

I have to be honest here and tell you --- that, I had to struggle to finish it, to get through it.  It just didn't hold my full attention. This book was not for me and if you're expecting work that is similar to Picoult's you too will be terribly disappointed.

The idea behind the story is very interesting and it has a lot of potential. It's just way too cliched and if you can get past expectations you have ---  you might be able enjoy this novel on a different level than, I did.

Rating this was very difficult for me, since I tend to really enjoy her work and that of similar authors. I tried not to let that cloud my judgment and when it finally came down to it. I have to rate this below average.

Grade: C-

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

The Next Best Thing is Jennifer Weiner's 10th novel. It is an interesting, fun and a perfect summer read. I am not going to lie and say it is her best work because it isn't but it is definitely worth the read.

Expect the usual greatness of wonderful, creative character's and enjoyable storytelling that has become her trademark!

This story is about Ruthie and her grandmother. Together they embark on a journey from Florida to California in hopes to make Ruth's dream of becoming a television writer come true. After years of working in, Hollywood her script is finally picked up by a network. Needless to say, Ruthie is beyond excited that is until --- she finds out that her vision can be easily changed by others.

The filming of the pilot isn't what she wants and things are doing downhill quickly. If you want to know what happens next --- pick up this book and start reading!

Grade: B-

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fifty Shades Of Grey by E. L. James

I have heard many things about the Shades of Grey Trilogy and very few things were good. I decided to jump on the wagon and take a chance. I figured it was best to form my own opinions on this book rather than listen to all the bad, bad, bad things I've heard.  Everything -- I heard was true.

This book is atrocious yet, I managed to finish reading it! I wasn't bothered by the subject material at all, I am far from prudish but the writing -- the character's -- the cliches are all over the top. I cringed every single time the heroine Ana' made mention of her "inner goddess" -- which seems to happen every 20 pages or so.

Then I did some research, I heard that this all started out as, Twilight fan fiction (which is, just wrong, wrong, wrong!) and you know --- I totally see it. It's as though the author couldnt' quite come up with her own characterization and took the character's and some story lines right out of Twilight. There has to be some type of copyright infringement. I recognized that stories will have similarities and there is really no "new" ideas but her character's are nearly the exact same --- lets do some comparisons here:

Christian (50 shades) and Edward (Twilight)  are  both dark and dangerous, adopted, play the piano, give their heroine a car, filthy rich, tall, handsome, have stalker like qualities, and harbor a deep secret.  Ana (50 shades) and Bella (Twilight) are both clumsy, beautiful, virginal, always in danger of some sort and consider themselves plain when everyone else views them as beautiful. Ana and Bella as both have strong father figures and "flighty" mothers  --- and these are just some of the similarities with the characters... don't get me started on other things.

This book is not well written and phrases are constantly repeated. I also think the author pulled out the thesaurus and threw in obscure words for the sake of trying to make the character's appear more sophisticated and intelligent ,when in fact all it does is annoy the crap out of you.

When it comes down to it this book is rather simple and easy to read. It isn't and won't be great literature and is purely for entertainment value. I would not buy it but I would check it out from the library or borrow it from a friend.

Is it worth reading? Eh --- depends on you. If you want to get to the "good" stuff just skip ahead to around page 70 or so.  Will, I read the rest of the books? Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. I also can't just read one book in a trilogy and not review the rest. I'm hoping it improves and I find a way to like the characters.

Oh --- I nearly forgot to tell you what the book is about. It is basically about this young woman named Ana who meets up with a gorgeous powerful man named Christian. It is about Ana wanting to be loved by Christian and he wanting to control her and show her his world of sex.

Grade: C--

The best and my favorite part of this book --- is the cover.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Golden Lily: A Bloodlines Novel by Richelle Mead

You must and I repeat you must read, Bloodlines first. Golden Lily pretty much picks up where, Bloodlines left off. However if you really want to get more back story read the entire Vampire Academy series.

The characters have all grown emotionally and the storyline is well constructed. Mead develops a believable and realistic world. The character's all seem to be struggling with their inner demon's . There is romance but it's sweet and not cheesy at all.

I can't say enough good things about this --- so just go out and get it!

Grade: A

Overview (B&N)
Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students—children of the wealthy and powerful—carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

This is Not a Test is an okay, book. It takes place during a zombie apocalypse but is not about zombies.

A group of six teens seek refuge inside their high school. They have quite a bit to deal with. They are frightened and cut off from the world but other than that not a lot happens ---

The book is pretty dark and bleak. I'm not sure that I like it and I can't exactly pinpoint why so --- I will leave you with an overview from B&N.

Grade: C-

Overview (B&N)

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

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...