Saturday, February 28, 2015

Purenet by HJ Lawson

Dystopian novels are a dime a dozen these days. Really good, dystopian novels are rare. They all seem excruciatingly similar but Purenet has something, I  have yet to run across. Mind reading. Yes, Mind reading! It only happens amongst family members (and not all  can do it) but it adds depth to the storyline and makes the bonds between characters stronger while enticing the reader.

Purenet is one of six  underground, dome cities developed to protect the residents from harmful UVA rays. Skylier lives in, Cueva. Like many other dytopians it is a city in which the residents are being controlled unbeknown st to them. Skylier's mother is dying and the only way to get the money and medication to cure her is to become a  host or for her brother to be selected for the sanctions games.

On a school trip, Skylier overhears a secret -- a secret that gives her major insight into the working of, more to find out what this secret is!

The characters are well developed, interesting and like all good characters have flaws. The story is a page turner but it is tragically short!  There are a few twists and turns and you will be left wanting to know more.

Grade: A

FYI: Purenet can currently be downloaded on your Nook at Barnes and Noble.
        Click here for the FREE download

Thursday, February 26, 2015

*** Flawless (Pretty Little Liars, Book 2) by Sara Shepard

“The sweetest smiles hold the darkest secrets...” 
― Sara ShepardFlawless

Flawless is the second installment in the PLL (Pretty Little Liars) Series.

Alison is officially dead but the mysterious A is still threatening, Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hannah.
A murder investigation into, Alison has been opened up and the girls are thicker than thieves.

They have so much to protect. They know it, A knows it and the only choice that have is to play A's wicked games. Their lives are spiraling out of control and sometimes what you covet comes back to bite. Relationships are complicated and A not only knows secrets of the past but also present day ones!

Flawless reveals exactly what, Alison's secret was. Secondary characters make larger impacts and the story line becomes a big deeper. There is a bit of jumping around and sometimes, I had to reread sentences  or whole paragraphs to figure out who, why and what.


Monday, February 23, 2015

*** Pretty Little Liars (Book #1) by Sara Shepard

"I met you in that bar, and I was like... wow, who is this? She's so unlike any other girl I've ever met."  - Sara Shepard, Pretty Little Liars

I  read, Pretty Little Liars back in September of 2008 and the furthest I got in the series was book 10. The series currently has 19 books and since the TV show is a guilty pleasure of mine, I figured, I'd reread and finish the series. Wish me luck!

This is the first book in the series.

Alison is still missing. Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hannah are no longer the best of friends. After, Alison went missing they drifted apart but a series of events will bring them back together and they just might end up closer then ever.

 Anonymous messages and texts start to slowly trickle into the lives of each girl and they each hold a secret to them that only, Alison knew about.  They begin to question whether or not  Alison is alive. Eventually they regroup and the old bonds of friendship bring them back together. They need to figure out who this mysterious A is before their secrets become public knowledge but A is smart as a whip and figuring out who she/he is is going to be tougher then they ever imagined. Everyone is a suspect..... and the secrets might just unravel and destroy family units, friendships and relationships.

An interesting, super easy read. You will be drawn to these characters and itching to know more.

Grade: A

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dogtology: Live. Bark. Believe by Jeff Lazarus

Dogtology will be published, April 21, 2015

Dog· tol· o· gy
1. The belief in Dog.
2. The system of rituals, practices, and behaviors engaged in by Dogtologists.
 - Jeff Lazarus, Dogtology

This is the perfect book for any dog lover. I own a 7 pound, loveable, quasi friendly, Chihuahua. He is my " baby". He makes me laugh, gives unconditonal love and has no judgments. The love between a human and his dog is unbreakable.  I am talking about a human who won't abandon their dog when they move, have a baby, when the dog gets old or any other shitty reason people give up dogs. I am talking about the love, in which you rearrange you life and take your dog on vacation (if possible) with you because you simply can't be without him. 

Dogtology is about that love. It is full of funny, relate able moments. You will find yourself nodding your head in agreement and laughing aloud. There is a mix of humor and facts throw into this book.  You won't want to put this book down, unless your dog is looking for attention and laying across the book for  belly rubs like my little guy!

Get a copy or two for you and your friends and family.

Grade: A

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I'll Have What She's Having: My Adventures in Celebrity Dieting by Rebecca Harrington

If pneumonia were a food, this is what it would taste like.”
― Rebecca Harrington,
I'll Have What She's Having: My Adventures in Celebrity Dieting

Rebecca Harrington has tried every diet known to mankind. She is a professional dieter. I'll Have What She's Having takes you on, Rebecca's adventure in trying out 14 different diets and none of them turn out quite right!

The writing is funny and at times you cringe and wrinkle you nose in disgust at the foods she tries. There are hilarious moments and moments when you think -- "Just give it up, already!" Harrington pokes fun at celebrities and makes fun of herself.

This is a tiny book about 170 pages and a super fast read. If you have an hour or less to spare, I suggest you pick this up and enjoy the witty writing. My mian issue was the use of "literally", yes I know the definition has been update to include the constant misuse of this word but I expect better from writers. It drove me a bit mad, hopefully you can see past it.

Grade: B

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

 “Now it was hard to remember ever feeling innocent and audacious enough to dream of a certain type of life, as if you got to choose how things turned out.”
― Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies

The start of the book is rough, really difficult to get into. I put this book down countless times and probably reread the same paragraphs over and over. It just didn't draw me in and then finally something broke and I was able to get involved in the storyline. I usually give up reading a book if I can't get past the first few chapters but I heard so many good things about, Big Little Lies, I felt a persistent need to get though it and I'm glad I did.

Big Little Lies has a large cast of characters and if you aren't good at keeping track of so many characters and the relationships they have to one another, get a notepad and start taking notes. This novel is essentially about the secrets we keep and the effect they have on our lives.  It tackles a variety of subjects such as bullying, abuse, divorce, rape and parenting.

It is a murder mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end. The murdered and murderer aren't revealed right away, which keeps you turning the pages. The lives of the characters are interesting and keep you entertained. Who knew the drama involved in the lives of parents and kindergartners could be so much fun!

All the characters have different versions of what happened on, Trivia Night -- the night of the murder and when all is revealed, you will find that reading this 400+ page book was worth the time you put into it.

Grade: B+

Friday, February 6, 2015

*** Jemima J by Jane Green

Jemima J is the first novel, I read by Jane Green. It was many, many years ago and to date it remains one of my favorites amongst Green's novels. This, book about an ugly duckling turning into a swan made me a fan of Jane Green. If you haven't read this book or anything by Green, I suggest you pick this one up.

I WAS the ugly duckling-- I was the opposite of Jemima, rail thin, unattractive, tiny and made fun of by my peers. Elementary and Middle school were tough and in High School, I was pretty much left alone. The girl with no dates, the late bloomer. The nice girl --- the girl who guys wanted to be friends with but not date.

My senior year in High School and the summer before my freshmen year in college, I transformed. I gained weight, went over the 100 pound mark and finally "blossomed". I'm no great beauty, I'm cute at best and probably hate my body more than ever. I am not rail thin or obese, I am somewhere in the middle. I could stand to lose weight but I also know many women would be happy to have my body.  I guess what I'm getting at is --- we all struggle with our self worth, we all judge ourselves harshly, probably worst than society does and this book, gives me a bit of hope that maybe, eventually I will accept the reflection in the mirror rather than hide from it.

"And I'm sure that everyone comes into our life because they have something to teach us." -  Jane Green, Jemima J

Jemima J is over 100 pounds overweight. She aspires to be a well respected journalist and is in love with her co-worker, Ben. Ben is kind to, Jemima and they develop a sweet meaningful friendship but Jemima wants more. 

The Internet is new and chatting online is an even more novel concept. Jemima J meets, Brad online. He is a handsome, hard bodied, California.  Jemima sends hims a photo shopped photo of herself. She is thin and sporty in the picture and an online relationship develops between Brad and Jemima. Jemima puts herself on a strict weight lost diet and taking up working out. She begins to shed pounds and become the woman in the photo.

Jemima heads to beautiful, sunny California, leaving dreary, rainy, England behind. She meets up with, Brad and the connect is intense but Brad isn't all that he seems to be. Read the book to find out the secret she uncovers and what happens when she returns to, England.

Grade: A+

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

*** The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

I read, *** The Goddess Test back in, April of 2011. I forgot what a great little book it is. I also neglected to read the following books in the series. I'm excited to read the rest of the books and find out what happens.

“The afterlife is whatever a soul wishes or believes it to be.”
― Aimee Carter,
The Goddess Test

The Goddess Test is about a teen girl named, Kate who's mother is dying. They moved to a small town and on her first day of school, Kate makes friends and enemies. One of the enemies she makes is named, Ava. Ava plays a horrible prank on her that ends in her death but a dark, handsome stranger makes a deal with, Kate. He will revive, Ava if she agrees to live with him for six months out of the year. Kate agrees and then changes her mind, resulting in the death of Ava.

Kate meets up with  Henry and he makes another bargain with her. This time he will extend her mother's life if she agrees to live with him six months out the year and rule the under world with him.

Kate jumps at the chance but in order to truly become a goddess and rule with, Henry she will have  to pass 7 tests. If she fails one test, she will not rule, her memory will be erased and she will be sent back to live as a normal mortal human.

Carter does an excellent job at weaving, Greek mythology into her storyline. The characters are well developed and the plot twist makes this book delightful. It's a fast easy read will will keep you full entertained. A must read if you are intrigued by Greek mythology!

Grade: A+

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...