Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

This book was different in that there were no werewolves! Seriously, folks! My last few books were about werewolves and I had no idea that is what I picked. (I should be more proactive when I check out books. I go off other lists and am usually surprised with what is waiting for me at the library).
Instead of werewolves, we have fallen angels. Are they considered demons? Patch is the main bad-guy-fallen-in-love-with-the-person-he-is-to-kill-to-save-his-soul; Nora is the why-do-you-even-like-me girl.
There were a few surprising twists and I think I accidentally gave one away. SORRY.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with 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 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.

Argh! I had a hard time with the chauvinistic men in the community where Kyra spent 13 years! And Ms. Williams makes sure I feel that way so because of this aspect, the book is written well.
The Chosen One is a quick read and lingering affect (I talked about the story for two days). I liked the voice and writing in this book but I had a hard time with the subject. Not the subject, really, but the amazingly sexist cult the 13 year-old lived in with her mother and dozens of siblings. The author showed all the leaders (all men) in the polygamist group as mean, greedy,abusive and prideful. It was almost 'in your face' through the whole book and left me mentally tired.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack

Award- winning author Josi S. Kilpack introduces a new series of culinary cozies that is sure to tantalize mystery lovers. In this debut volume, cooking aficionado turned amateur detective Sadie Hoffmiller tries to solve the murder of her beautiful young neighbor- a single mother who was mysteriously lured from her home while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie's search is the woman's missing two year-old child. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects including her! For an added treat, original mouth- watering recipes for Sadie's Lemon Tart, Homemade Alfredo Sauce, Carrot Cookies, Brownies, and Granny's Gingerbread Bundt Cake are sprinkled throughout the book.

This book has many intriguing elements: a mystery, humor and yummy recipes!
Sadie Hoffmiller is a busybody neighbor who knows her way around the kitchen. When a delicious mystery rears its intriguing lemon head, Sadie pushes herself into the middle of it; she can't help herself, especially where food is involved.
This 'cozy' mystery was a fun, clean quick read that kept me guessing. The books in this series would make delightful gifts for any reader on your list.
Check back soon when I review the next book: English Trifle

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lockdown by Traci Hunter Abramson

Another amazing book from Traci Abramson! Another book I couldn't put down until I read the lat page.
A college girl name Riley was part of a massacre on a college campus in Virginia. She was one of three people who survived. She's trying to put the memories of that fateful day behind by helping put together a training session with SEALS to help authorities learn to deal with terrorist situations.
Love blossoms between the two main characters (of course), he must rescue his woman (goodie), and the bad guys don't win (yippee). All silliness aside, I liked this book. I enjoy the smartness in Traci's books, the clean romance and the happy endings.

Only twice had she set foot inside the building since the massacre. The first time had been just a month after the tragedy .. . . The second time she had returned to the scene of the crime had been two days ago when she forced herself to enter the building to check on the temporary office for the SEAL team. The counselor she had seen in the months after the shooting had encouraged her to face her fears, but now . . . Riley wasn’t sure she was ready to face them after all. Caught up in a hostage situation that is hauntingly familiar, Riley Palmetta once more finds her life hanging in the balance.
What starts out as a well-organized and highly intensive training course for the prevention of random acts of terror quickly turns into a real-life nightmare of suspense and intrigue that will test the faith and finely honed skills of Tristan Crowther and his elite group of LDS Navy SEALS.
For Tristan, this is not only a race to save lives; it is a deeply personal mission that moves relentlessly toward an irreversible crisis. And life—as well as love—is on the line.

Seasoned LDS author Traci Hunter-Abramson once again displays her skills and expertise in this fast-paced, suspense-filled novel. It is a story loaded with action and real-life parallels— guaranteed to leave you both breathless and satisfied.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Eyes Like Mine by Julie Wright

William has been missing for two days. And even though the rest of the wagon company has decided they must continue on to Zion, Constance Brown refuses to go any farther until she finds her husband. All she can think about is the last time she saw him—he lovingly touched her face and then sang their baby girl to sleep. Will that memory be all Constance has to hold on to?

In a future time and place, Liz King is a teenager struggling to find her identity in the modern world. The embarrassment she feels because of her parents’ divorce and her family’s newfound financial problems turns to bitterness.

Through an inexplicable twist of fate, Constance and Liz are brought face to face. In this story of a family that transcends time, were these distant relatives brought together in order to help each other?

I admit, I read a couple of chapters into the book and put it down. I was annoyed with what I thought was another LDS time-travel-ancestors-will-make-you-see-the-light book. While Julie's book did have some of this aspect, there was much more to the story.
Julie is a gifted storyteller and was able to weave a story with with heartache, triumph and reconciliation. Not everyone got what they wanted but life isn't that way either.
Each of the characters had their own voice. I enjoyed the strong female characters!
I felt drawn into the King family through their trials. Not every family is perfect and sometimes singing about families being together forever is hard. People make stupid mistakes and broken hearts take time to heal. Support from loved ones is crucial in times of need.
The story took a few unexpected turns which helped heighten the stakes in the story and bring the changes needed in the characters.
The only downside for me was the how long it took the main character to admit she liked someone!
I think this is my favorite of Julie's books and the best one so far.

Friday, February 5, 2010

14 Cows for America by Carma Agra Deedy

A story of compassion and charity, of giving everything you have to someone else in need. A book easy enough for children to understand the message and yet deep enough to move adults to tears.
This story is an African parable and a true story beautifully illustrated.

In June of 2002, a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya. An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed on the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unsought and unexpected as it is extraordinary.
A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw. Tears flow freely from American and Maasai as these legendary warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away.

Word of the gift will travel news wires around the globe. Many will be profoundly touched, but for Americans, this selfless gesture will have deeper meaning still. For a heartsick nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust and darkness as a soft light of hope--and friendship.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

It's a good thing vampires and werewolves and fairies are mythical because every author who uses them in books can use them how they want.
This book has a different name for those who hunt down the demons: Shadowhunters. Ordinary humans or 'mundanes' can't see the Shadowhunters or the ones they hunt. Clary can't see them either until the night she witnesses a murder. Suddenly, another world opens to her vision and she is thrust into danger.

It was interesting enough to keep me reading, trying to figure out the truth.
And that's all I have to say about that :)

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....