Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Genova, tackles, Autism in her newest novel. The story is told in alternating views by two characters. Beth and Olivia are both suffering from heartache. They are trying to discover who they are, through pure coincidence they run into one another. They both have a connection to an autistic boy.

The story is interesting enough but doesn't measure up to, Genova's other books. I really wanted to love it but I only ended up being mildly interested. I liked it enough...but I can't give it the high praises as her previous novels.

Grade: C+

Overview [B&N]

I’m always hearing about how my brain doesn’t work right. . . . But it doesn’t feel broken to me.
Olivia Donatelli’s dream of a “normal” life shattered when her son, Anthony, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Understanding the world from his perspective felt bewildering, nearly impossible. He didn’t speak. He hated to be touched. He almost never made eye contact. And just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, Anthony died.
Now she’s alone in a cottage on Nantucket, separated from her husband, desperate to understand the meaning of her son’s short life, when a chance encounter with another woman facing her own loss brings Anthony alive again for Olivia in a most unexpected way.
Beth Ellis’s entire life changed with a simple note: “I’m sleeping with Jimmy.” Fourteen years of marriage. Three beautiful daughters. Yet even before her husband’s affair, she had never felt so alone. Heartbroken, she finds the pieces of the vivacious, creative person she used to be packed away in a box in her attic. For the first time in years, she uncaps her pen, takes a deep breath, and begins to write. The young but exuberant voice that emerges onto the page is a balm to the turmoil within her, a new beginning, and an astonishing bridge back to herself.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Future We Left Behind by Mike A. Lancaster

The Future We Left Behind, hits the shelves, November 13, 2012

When I first started reading, The Future We Left Behind, I felt lost and confused as if, I was missing something. Then, I found it was a sequel to, Human 0.4.  I haven't read Human 0.4 and I recommend that you read it first or you will be as lost as, I was.

This book takes place thousands of years in the future --- Humans are connected to technology and they are constantly linked in. They are essentially connected to the Internet 24/7. 

Peter Vincent is the son of a famous scientist who saved the world by solving the dwindling bee population by developing an artificial bee. His father is brilliant and Peter doesn't measure up. That's not to say that, Peter isnt' brilliant because he is --- he not an inventor, he thinks quite differently from his father.

Things are rather normal, until Peter meets, Alpha. This puts, Peter on a much different path than his father would like. He beings to question the infamous Straker Tapes, tapes his father say don't exist. 

Lancaster, develops excellent characters and I imagine that the story itself flows well if you know the background story (which, I don't). There are also particular aspects of the book that left me confused, things I didnt' understand but I hope to after reading Human 0.4.

Grade: B

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day

Reflected in you is the second installment in the Crossfire series. Gideon and Eva are still as  f***ed up as ever but they are somehow managing to work things out and make their relationship work.

The love they have for one another is possessive and over the top. They are fiercely addicted to one another and are trying to overcome the jealousy, doubt and trust issues that are embedded deep into their relationship. The attraction they have to one another is hot, hot, hot! 

This book is a super fast read and the character's are as complex as ever. 

Grade: A

Scroll down for information on how to win a FREE book of, Tom Barry's newest novel, When The Siren Calls. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Age of Miracles: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles is a great book, one I almost passed over since the cover didn't draw me in. I am absolutley glad that I read it because it was impossible to put down. The storyline is unique and chilling. Imagine a seeminlgy ordinary Saturday, in which you find out that the world you live is is changing and the effects of the change are unknown.

The earth's rotation begins to slow --- resulting in an increase in the length of the day. Day and Night no longer come in an ordinary cycles. There is light, when there should be darkness and darkness when there should be light. Daylight hours grow longer, the sun beats down heavily on the earth. The nights are long and cold. The face of earth is changing.

This catastrophe is narrirated by eleven year old Julia. She is dealing with a variety of issues, ranging from being on the cusp or puberty to the ever changing world around her.

The character's are well crafted, the story is captivating and the premise is rather unique. Expect a spin on the dystopian front that is unlike anything you've read so far.

Grade: A

Scroll down for information on how to win a FREE book of, Tom Barry's newest novel, When The Siren Calls. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life After Death by Damien Echols

I am not exactly sure how to review this particular book. I've followed the story of the West Memphis Three (WM3) since 1998. I remember watching the documentary for a class and being outraged at the attitudes of the community and disgusted when the sentencing was handed down.

The lives of many people were forever changed when the three accused were found guilty. The system had failed countless people. Those involved, their families and people moved by what happened.

I strong encourage you to watch the documentaries before reading this book. If you fail to do so -- you will not have any understanding of what is going on and why this case was/is so controversial. It will also give you an opportunity to make your own opinion(s) about the case.

The documentaries are:

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills 
Paradise Lost 2: Revelations 
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory 


The book is about, Echols life in and out of prison and not about the case. I repeat it is NOT about the case. Echols purposely avoids discussing the case in further detail because he feels the documentaries cover it.

He discloses many details about his life before the guilty verdict. Your heart will ache and you will be full of emotions. Echols does come across as cocky at times but as a reader you have to keep in mind what he has suffered and that in some ways he is much younger then his biological age (Echols is older than me but it many ways seems much younger). 

Echols is also honest and expresses gratitude for those who have helped him along the way. His insight is excellent. You will feel his emotions coming off the pages. 

Set sometime aside to go through this emotional journey with, Echols.

Grade: A


Overview: [B&N]

In 1993, teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, Jr.—who have come to be known as the West Memphis Three—were arrested for the murders of three eight-year-old boys in Arkansas. The ensuing trial was marked by tampered evidence, false testimony, and public hysteria. Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life in prison; while eighteen-year-old Echols, deemed the “ringleader,” was sentenced to death. Over the next two decades, the WM3 became known worldwide as a symbol of wrongful conviction and imprisonment, with thousands of supporters and many notable celebrities who called for a new trial. In a shocking turn of events, all three men were released in August 2011.
Now Echols shares his story in full—from abuse by prison guards and wardens, to portraits of fellow inmates and deplorable living conditions, to the incredible reserves of patience, spirituality, and perseverance that kept him alive and sane while incarcerated for nearly two decades.

Scroll down for information on how to win a FREE book of, Tom Barry's newest novel, When The Siren Calls. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Giveaway!!! Giveaway!!! Giveaway!!!

Tom Barry's newest novel, When The Siren Calls it out and he has offered up two free copies !!!  A physical, signed copy and an e-book copy.

 [Scroll down for further information on how to win]

When The Siren Calls is a sexy, seductive book. There is love, betrayal, infidelity and unexpected twists.  There is so much going on, its like watching a really good movie. It's brilliant. It's character driven and the plot is intriguing. The sex scenes are steamy and erotic without being over the top.  This is the first book in what is set to be a series, so you get to revisit your favorite characters in the next few books.

Grade: A

--- Amazon describes, When A Siren Calls as ---

A story of seduction, deception and betrayal... 

When restless and neglected Isobel is invited to an idyllic Tuscan retreat by the suave and streetwise Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage. Despite fear and guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate love affair, but is soon trapped in a web of feminine manipulation, business intrigue, and ruthless ambition, while controlling Jay encourages conservative Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries.

But all is not as it seems in the hilltop paradise and as her lover battles for survival, she finds herself a player in a dangerous love triangle. Unable to know who she can trust, she must fight to control both her own cravings and to save what little of herself is left. As her life falls apart, she is torn between the consequences of infidelity, her love for Jay, and fear that he will be her nemesis. For both Isobel and Jay, the excesses and confusions of an uncertain and largely amoral age are about to be brought home to roost, right in the heart of their lives.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 

Information on how to win:

So, your probably asking. How do, I win a signed copy of this fab book (mailed to you for FREE).  It's rather simple. Post a review of this book on, Amazon and then --- drop the link of YOUR review in the comments section of this blog and you're all set. 

For a chance to win an e-book copy of, When The Siren Calls. Make a comment here, at Books & Reviews about your favorite, fictional character.

The contest starts now and ends  October 31, 2012.  A winner will be announced in early November. Good luck and May the odds ever be in your favor.

*** Don't forget to use an unique name to identify yourself.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Breed: A Novel by Chase Novak

Alex and Leslie have a seemingly perfect life. Good looks, a beautiful home, successful careers and money. Lots of money. The one thing they lack and desire are children. They have tried various methods to beat their infertility but have had no success until Dr Kis. They travel deep into, Slovenia and Dr Kis provides a treatment that not only makes Leslie pregnant but has adverse and unique side effects.

Their twin children, Adam and Alice are clever, beautiful and acutely aware that not all is normal with their parents. They spend each night locked up in their rooms until one night when Adam finds a way out and takes his sister with him.

They escape and run from the madness surrounding their home life in a quest to find answers and avoid imminent death.

Breed starts off really strong --- and have a interesting angle but somewhere along the way the fire burned out.  The characters are well developed, the plot is very interesting but it just isn't very compelling.  If you're squeamish skip this book because there are a few gruesome scenes.

Grade: C+

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wellesley Wives by Suzy Duffy

Today brings us a very special and exciting stop on the Wellesley Wives, book tour.
A first for, Books & Reviews. I am excited to introduce my readers too, Suzy Duffy's newest book.

Wellesley Wives first came out, September 27th of this year and it is book one of the, New England Trilogy.

This book is a gem. I loved everything about it. The storyline, the characters, the writing and the relationships are all fantastic and interesting. Duffy knows how to deliver a great story. The dynamics of the relationships are all rather interesting and hook you in.

Popsy and Sandra are the best of friends, living the high life in Boston. They have beauty, money, successful husbands and an amazing friendship that is about to be tested. Divorce, infidelity, family problems and financial ruin put them on an unexpected path.

Popsy's two daughters, Rosie and Lily also play pivotal roles in this story adding a very interesting mix to the story line. This character driven book is told in a point of view fashion by all four ladies. Buckle up and expect a fun and bumpy ride.

Grade: A

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Outpost is the second novel in the Razorland Series --- it does NOT stand alone.  You absolutely must read, Enclave or you will have no idea what is going on with the storyline or characters.

This book is completely different from, Enclave. The writing isn't as strong but the character development has improved -- they have more depth and emotion to them.

Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan are all trying to adjust to their new lives in, Salvation. Fitting in is proving to be extremely difficult for Deuce, who isn't use to dresses, being treated as a child or acting like a "lady". The hardest thing to suppress is her inner huntress.

Deuce's entire identity is being challenged daily and she isn't one to give up easily --- so when she given the opportunity to volunteer to help protect the community's plots from the freaks, she jumps at the chance.

This proves to be much more difficult than anyone ever imagined. The Freaks have evolved --- their smarter, move conniving and vicious. Then the unimaginable happens....The freaks have taken, Fade and Deuce will do anything to get him back, even if it means her death.

Expect a slow start and a cliffhanger ending. The book doesn't really pick up for a while but it is worth the read.

The third book promises to give us more information of how the freaks or muties (they are not zombies) came to be. I simply can't wait to find out.

Grade: B

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...