Friday, February 28, 2014

The Descent: Book Three of the Taker Trilogy by Alma Katsu

The Descent is the final installment in, Alma Katsu's, Taker Trilogy. The conclusion is satisfying and unexpected.

Katsu has delivered a phenomenal series. It's rare when every single book in a series captivates and leaves you begging for more. The characters are rich and the storyline is superb. All the characters show growth and the introduction of new characters is seamless.This is one unique and enthralling trilogy.

The Descent's main focus is on, Adair's past and how he became the man he is. The formula for, immortality is revealed.  Character's come to terms with who they are.  Twist and turns unfold in unexpected ways

You will easily fall in love with these dark characters, who express love, power and weakness in unusal ways. My only complaint is that the series is over, however, I expect many more wonderful works from Alma Katsu.

You must read The Taker & The Reckoning --- this is NOT a stand alone book.

Grade: A+

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships by Jill Duggar, Jinger Duggar, Jessa Duggar and Jana Duggar

Growing Up Duggar hits bookshelves, March 4, 2014

For some unknown reason --- I am fascinated by the Duggars. I don't agree with their life style or many of the choices they make, yet I am interested in knowing what makes them tick. Maybe, I see them as a sociological experiment? 

The Duggars are an extremely devout family, that have set aside many rules, some rather bizarre but it seems to work for them. I can't possibly imagine, my first kiss ever being on my wedding day or having 18 or is it 19 siblings, most who live at home with me. I can't fathom what it is like to be an adult living at home and following all the rules set aside by my parents, on such things as "courting" , employment, school, and the monitoring of my Internet usage and texts. Yet, it seems as though they willingly do so but is it because they are sheltered and have very little to, do with the "real" world or because they are truly happy?

"Growing Up Duggar" gives some insight into what it is like being part of a BIG, religious family. The four eldest females, Jessa, Jill, Jinger and Jana were interviewed by Charlie Richards, the author who penned this book. I'm not sure if it is the writings of this author of the girls personalities, but them seem to all be ONE person. There really isn't any distinction between them. No,expression, voice or personality shinning through. This book is used as an opportunity to answer common questions that the public seeks. 

There are no "Big" reveals that the public isn't aware of this isn't a juicy tell all, if that's what you are looking for.

I was slightly disappointed by this novel --- only in that, I wanted more critical thinking and individualism from Jessa, Jill, Jinger and Jana that I got. It's basically just a rehashing of the core values set up by their parents, biblical references and some personal antidotes. 

This is a sweet and well meaning book but I look forward to the future when they have grown more and left their parents home to see who they really are and who they've become. 

Grade: B-

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Burn (The Pure Trilogy) by Julianna Baggott

Burn is the final installment in, The Pure Trilogy.

Burn is perhaps  the most interesting book of the entire trilogy. Baggott takes the reader inside and outside of the dome in a seamless manner. Telling the stories of the characters who survive in both worlds with ease and entertainment.

Baggott writing shows rather than tells the emotional and physical sides of her well developed, engaging characters.

Burn starts right were "Fused" ended. Partridge has returned to the dome and is now the leader. He has a variety of internal and external issues to deal with, Stepping into the leader role will be is biggest challenged yet. His self doubt might be his undoing.

Pressia, Bradwell, El Capitan and Helmut are in Ireland with another group of detonation survivors and when they return to American thye plan to bring down the dome.

Burn reveals more about the life and character's inside the dome than ever before, while keeping you intrigued about life outside the dome.  Both worlds are harsh, unforgiving and relentless however only those of one world can survive in both.

There is a tremendous amount of character growth and all characters are faced with life altering choices ---The ending will be hated by many but I loved it.

Grade: A

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Twisted Sisters by Jen Lancaster

Jen Lancaster writing is superb. Only, Jen can write a book in which you are full entertained by a character you despite.

Regan Bishop is uptight, obsessive, neurotic, self absorbed ... ( you get the idea).  Regan is a psychologist who works for a reality TV show, called Push.  Push specializes is dysfunctional adults who need long time therapy. Overall, Regan is happy with the TV show she stars in but thing are about to change when the show is sold to another network who plans to take the who in an entirely different direction.

The relationships, Regan has with people are negative at best. She is critical of her sisters and sees herself as the victim and not the perpetrator. She believes that her parents have always favored her siblings over her, despite being more "successfull" then, them.

Regan's life is further complicated by her messy relationship with her ex but things are about to change when, Deva becomes a bigger focal point in her life, teaching her a thing or two about herself and the relationships she has with others.

Jen's writing is clever, entertaining and laugh out loud funny. This is a perfect beach or pool side read.

Grade: A+

Monday, February 17, 2014

Above by Isla Morley

Above by Isla Morley will hit bookstores, March 4

, 2014

Blythe Hallowel, is a sixteen year old girl living in, Eudora, Kansas. On, what is suppose to be a fun night of celebration she finds herself in the hands of a mad man. She is abducted by, Dobbs, a man who works in her school library. He takes her underground to live in a silo.

 Dobbs is a fanatic and a survivalist. He believes that the world is going to end. He has stockpiled the, silo and plans to keep, Blythe so that they can repopulate the earth after disaster strikes. Blythe fights him tooth and nail, trying to find a way out, to be free but freedom doesn't come for 17 years. When, Blythe finally escapes with her teenage soon, she finds that freedom comes with a price.

The world has fallen into shambles, it is contaminated and so are the people who have survived the fall out. Blythe and her son who has never stepped foot outside the silo are left to navigate a new, harsh world

Above is an interesting read. The character's are strong and the storyline starts off strong but then takes  a steady nose dive downward. It felt as though, I was reading two different books. There are riveting scenes that keep you turning the pages and scenes that make you question why you keep reading. There is a mix of religion and some disconnect from the main character. 

Overall this book is an above average read. The first portion is the best and second half is rushed, chaotic and messy. The second brings down the overall enjoyment of this novel but if you find yourself with some time to your hands, take a chance and read, Above.  You might just like it more than, I did.

Grade: C+

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion) by Aimée Carter

Pawn is the first installment in, The Blackcoat  Rebellion series.

Kitty Doe has spent her entire life in a group home due to restrictions in society on, how many children can be born, her only way out is to score high on the national placement test that will determine her caste. Kitty is bright girl but she has a reading disability and this leads to her eventually downfall. She scores at III, which gives her no true opportunities to improve her life. Her life will be hard and full of impoverishment.

Kitty decides to ditch her assigned job and become a prostitute. On the night her virtue is auctioned off to the highest bidder in history, her life changes in ways she could never have imagined. Her body, face and being are transformed or "masked" into that another. Into a person, who wants to change the way society is. She is now, a VII, the highest rank possible but with it comes dangers and her life is at stake.

Carter's dystopian, while similar to many others out there saturating the market is worth your time and the read. The characters are intriguing, intelligent and unforgettable.

Grade: A

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Darkness of Shadows by Chris Little

Natalie was tortured physically and emotionally until age, sixteen when she went to live with her best friends family. Despite the scars and physical ailments left behind from the torture, Natalie is moving on with her life. That is until her father  returned to finish what he started.

He attacks her in a parking lot, leaving her more damaged than before. She moves back in with the Guerrero family to recuperate and long lost secrets slowly surface.  Rituals, connections and history reveal long buried supernatural abilities, that test, Natalie in ways she could never imagine.

This novel is a mix of drama, suspense and mystery. A fast, easy read than will keep you turning the pages. The mythology and plot are intriguing. Expect a different read.

Grade: A 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Challenger: An American Tragedy: The Inside Story from Launch Control by Hugh Harris

 Challenger: An American Tragedy: The Inside Story from Launch Control is a small yet informative and educational book.

I was too young to really understand what was happening when tragedy struck on, January 28, 1986 but as soon as I was able to grasp the impact of it, I was intrigued and had to know more. Not just about the tragedy but about the events leading up to it, the development and the implementation of the NASA program.

This spurred a life time passion, need of knowledge and love of space and anything space related, which brings me to this small yet insightful little book.

It has some technical details for all the "nerds" like me and moving, personal accounts, which all add up to a little gem of a story.

Harris's personal stories and account of what happen that day add to a very important part of  history. A must read for history and science fans.

Grade: A

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...