Friday, April 29, 2011

Absolution by Jennifer Laurens

Zoe’s secret is out. And the powers of Hell are ravenous to claim her soul. Her brother, Luke, knows her secret: that she sees both good and evil spirits. Her boyfriend knows. At least Matthias is her guardian angel again. But now Hell’s most ruthless leader will stop at nothing to have her soul.

Albert, Matthias’ father, is relentless in his hunger for Zoe. He wants to destroy Matthias and will use Zoe to do so.

The battle between Heaven and Hell tests everything Zoe has. As she witnesses everyone important in her life suffering, she’s brought to the ultimate choice: will she sacrifice her soul to save the ones she loves?

 Interesting series. I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I will admit, the first book was my favorite and I was totally content to end with that one. 
I liked the characters. Each had a unique voice, especially Matthias. 

Rating: PG 16
V: Fighting
L:A few words
S: Sexual tension

Page 69 test:
""You. Us. The truth."
He studied me with deciphering eyes. Then his gaze fell to the floor. He shook his head, let out a helpless-sounding laugh. "You're..." He looked at me, searching gone, a trace of fear now coloring his pale expression. "You're sure?"
"Positive. Look." I stepped closer to him, but he inched back. To my right, Albert crossed his arms over has chest. "Whatever happened to me, this ability I have to see guardians and stuff also enables me to see evil spirits."
He swallowed. Didn't respond.
"He doesn't believe you," Albert murmured.
Yes, he does, I thought, even thought Albert couldn't hear me. And then you don't have a reason to be here.
Finally, Weston closed the space between us. "I have a girlfriend who sees guardian angels and murderers. You are--" He stroked the side of my face with the back of his fingers,"--something else, Zoe."
"Girlfriend?" My insides tingled and I smiled, approving of is endearment.
Weston slipped his arms around my waist and snuggled against me, his forehead pressed to mine. He closed his eyes. "One more reason I love."
Albert's arms unfolded and went behind his back. I grinned inwardly to myself.
I inched back and looked Weston in the eye. "I never want be the cause of why someone I care about loses control. Ever."
"I love you," he whispered, then held me close. "I'm sorry I acted idiot."
"It's okay. Making love is not something I've ever done before," I admitted.
"Me neither."
I was relieved the understood the difference. Albert's eyes hardened. He zigzagged like a caged wildcat. The word trapped kept surfacing in my head. Trapped. Afraid.
And gone."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson ARC review

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.


Love the new, sassy voice Elana Johnson has introduced to YA lit!!

Rating: PG 14
L: Mild ("d" and "h" words sprinkled throughout. One sh* word?)
V: Mild fighting
S: sexual tension

Page 69 test:
"...the Association, my past life was just that--in the past. I only wished it didn't make me feel so empty.
"You do smell like a guy," Jag whispered, his voice soft in my ear. His breath tricked down my spine. His fingers filled the spaces between mine perfectly.
"Shut up," I managed to say, but my voice sounded breathless. Surely he noticed the effect he had on me. I wasn't that good at hiding it. We'd only been living in the microscopic cell together for two days, but I felt a connection with Jag somewhere inside--somewhere I hadn't known existed until I met him.
I slid off the bed and settled onto the floor, my hipbone grinding painfully into the unyielding cement. Jag leaned over the side of the bed. "Vi?"
"I'll help you." His hand rested on my shoulder as I fell asleep.

For the first time in, like, forever, I might have been able to sleep all night, but the whirring Mechs roused me before it was light. Jag didn't stir, even amidst the creepy Mech-chatter--unusual for his light sleeping habits.
The Mechs (three of them) escorted me to an elevator (totally old tech) and we rode to level one (at least I'd..."

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Healing Spell by Kimber Griffths Little

 Twelve-year-old Livie is living with a secret and it's crushing her. She knows she is responsible for her mother's coma, but she can't tell anyone. It's up to her to find a way to wake her momma up.
Stuck in the middle of three sisters, hiding a forbidden pet alligator, and afraid to disappoint her daddy, whom she loves more than anyone else, Livie struggles to find her place within her own family as she learns about the powers of faith and redemption. Livie's powerful, emotional, and sometimes humorous story will stay with readers long after the last line is read.
Set in the lush bayou of Louisiana, Kimberley Griffiths Little brings Livie's story to life with power and grace.

I truly enjoyed this book and would buy the hard cover to add to my library. A story of hope, love and family.
Ms. Little is a master of descriptions in world setting and characters. I loved all the people in the book, even the bratty cousin and the baby alligator. Strange, I know but that is how well the author placed me in her story. And I felt like I had visited the bayou though I've never been.
My favorite part was the healing spell and what Livie was willing to do to heal her mamma. I found myself wanting to help her, soothe her and be a friend. Livie has a very strong voice.
I recommended this book to our library's mother/daughter book club. Well worth reading.

Rating: PG
S: None
V: None
L: None

Page 69 test:
"Aunt Colleen called out, "Thibodaux, take those newspapers out to the front porch and tie them down so they don't blow away."
"Did you see what he did?" I asked.
"See what?"
"Poking Mamma's legs."
"Oh, I'm sure you didn't see right. he'd never do something like that."
"I ain't blind."
"Don't get impertinent with me, young lady."
I let out a gasp just as Thibodaux slammed the front door, leaving the house as fast as he could. I wanted to shake the freckles right off his red face.
I knew I shouldn't have said what I did, but Aunt Colleen was starting to make me mad. I was getting in trouble for something her son had done! And he was the one that stormed out of the house like a brat.
Aunt Colleen changed the subject. "How long has Crickett been like that?"
I pushed my rag across the dirty linoleum, not looking at her, feeling sulky. "Like what?""

Monday, April 18, 2011

Finding Mercie by Blaine Yorgeson

As Hector Lopez runs against the frigid Chicago wind clutching the bleeding girl in his arms, he hopes his ailing heart doesn't fail before he reaches the medical clinic. Even after safely delivering the child and continuing on his way to work, Hector cannot forget the image of the little girl curled up like a rag doll in a small pool of mostly frozen blood. And if he could possibly forget the incident, the Chicago Police Department will not let him—particularly detective Lee Tierney, whose prejudiced eye sees a killer in this Good Samaritan. Now burdened as a murder suspect, Hector witnesses the further unraveling of his life when his teenage son, Raul, announces that his girlfriend is pregnant. Then Hector's cancer suddenly comes out of remission, threatening his life as well as his relationship with Liliana—the one woman he's loved since being widowed years earlier. And when Raul's itch to find the true killer spirals out of control, Hector finds himself desperately running once again to save an innocent life—and possibly his own. With more than 3 million copies of his work sold worldwide, award-winning author Blaine M. Yorgason has written more than seventy books, including the bestselling novels Charlie's Monument, Windwalker, and Hearts Afire.

I couldn't get into this book at all. I enjoyed part of the first chapter and that's where my reading ended. I tried to read several other chapters, hoping to get hooked and it didn't happen for me. I skimmed and skipped and turned pages. There wasn't enough for me to even care about the hurt girl, where she came from or the story about her. 

I can't give this book an honest rating either. From the bits I did read, it was clean.

Want to buy it?

Page 69 test:
"Chapter 25
In a daze of anguish and fear, Hector rode the bus from the hospital to the Avondale stop nearest North Richmond. he shad spent hours in the room of the injured child listing to her soft groans and whimpers as he wiped away her tears and only gradually developing hop that because she was in a comatose state, she wasn't actually feeling the pain that was in her voice and wetting her cheeks. Or at least that was what the nurses had told him ,though how much they actually knew, he wasnt' certain. But in case she was feeling things, he had continued his silent praying, pleading with the Great God in Heaven that He watch over her and hold her in His healing hands. And also that He hold Hector in the same marvelous way.
Numbly Hector walked from the bu stop to his home, entered, and was immediately surrounded with its familiar loneliness, the empty feeling that had only grown worse as Raul had matured. Turning on the light in the kitchen, he stared about him, thinking that he should eat but having no idea what. Finally in silent resignation he abandoned the idea, returned to the darkened living room and fell heavily on the couch."

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

 My name is Meghan Chase. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.
This time, there will be no turning back.


That said, this is another great book from the Iron Fey series. And yes, I did break my resolution to only read a series if the books were all published. In my defense, I stated a trilogy as a series. So I'm technically off the hook because their is a fourth book.
Another great book with characters becoming stronger and better through trials. Each character has a unique voice and personality. Love, hate, war, finding inner strength, sacrifice, betrayal and magic are woven throughout the story.
I was thrown at revelation of the false king...

Rating: PG 14
V: War
S: Kissing, one scene where you know two people are "together"
L: Some through out each chapter

Page 69 test:
"...all things she could ask for. But before I could say a word, Ash took my elbow and pressed something into my palm.
Curious,I held up my hand. A small gold ring flickered in my palm, surrounded by a gently swirling aura of blue an green. It looked exactly like the one we'd taken from the tomb. I glanced at Ash sharply, and he winked at me.
"Remember when the oracle asked if you had the ring's mate?" he whispered, his breath tickling my ear. "At least one of us was thinking ahead."
"Well, darling?" Leanansidhe called before I could reply. "What are you two whispering about? Does it have anything to do with what you're going to trade for your father?"
I gave Ash a brilliant smile and turned to Leanansidhe again. "Yes," U murmured, and raised the Token so that it gleamed under the lights. Leanansidehe say straight up in her chair. "I can give you this."
The brief, eager flash in the queen's eyes told me we had won. "A Token, darling?" Leanansidhe leaned back again, feigning nonchalance. "That might be sufficient. For now, anyway. I suppose I can trade your father for that."
I was weak with relief, but Ash stepped forward, closing his hand over the ring and my fingers. "That's not enough," he said, and I gaped at him in disbelief. "You know the Iron fey are looking Meghan. We can't just wander around the mortal world without a plan. We need a place that will be secure from the false king's minions."
"Ash, what are you doing?" I hissed under my breath. He gave me a sideways glance and mouthed, "Trust me."
Leanansidhe pursed her lips. "You two are pressing the boundaries of my patience. "She drummed her nails on the armrest and sighed. "Oh, very well, darlings. I have a quaint little hideaway that I can lend you for the time being. It's out in the middle of nowhere and fairly safe--I've got a few of the local trows keeping an eye on it. Will that be good enough for you, dove?"

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

So far, I've enjoyed this series.

The characters grow, show their weaknesses, fall in love, feel rejected, love someone they shouldn't, defy orders and try to do what's right.
Meghan is half human, half faery who has to find her own inner strength to fight the Iron Fey and not rely only on her magic.
Ash is the Romeo.
Puck is the third in the love triangle.
Ms. Kagawa kept me hooked throughout the book. I found myself wishing I was home while I ran errands so I could keep reading. I made up excuses for crawling back into bed with the book.

Rating: PG 13

L: sprinkled throughout
S: kissing, 

Want to buy it?

Page 69 Test:
""Make ready, my subjects!" the queen rasped, raising her arms. "The war with summer starts now!"
Another roar, and the minions of the Unseelie Court scattered, leaving the room with raucous battle cries. Mab spared me one more glance over her shoulder, his lips curling into a snarl before she walked out. Rowan stared at me a moment longer, snickered, and followed his queen from the room. Silence fell, and I was left alone, dying but unable to die.
When you can't breathe, each second feels like an eternity. My entire existence shrank into trying to draw air into my lungs. though my head knew it was impossible, my body couldn't understand. I could feel my heart thudding laboriously against my ribs; I could feel the hideous chill of the ice, searing my skin. My body knew it was still alive and continued its fight to live.
i don't know how long I stood there, hours or only a few minutes, when a shadowy figure slipped into the room. Though I could still see out, the ice made everything cracked and distorted, so I couldn't tell who it was. the shadow hesitated in the doorway, watching me for a long moment, Then, quickly, it glided across the room until it stood next to my prison, laying a pale hand against the ice.
"Meghan," a voice whispered. "It's me."
Even through my air-starved delirium, my heart leaped. Ash's silvery eyes eyed through the wall separating us, as bright an soulful as ever. the torment on his face shocked me as if he were the one trapped and unable to breathe.
"Hang on," he murmured, pressing his forehead to mine through the wall. "I'm getting you out of there." He leaned back, both hands against the ice, and closed his eyes. The air began to vibrate; a tremor shook the walls around me, and tiny cracks spider-webbed through the ice.
With the sound of breaking glass, the prison shattered, shards..."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wovles, Boys & Other Things that might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler

KJ Carson lives an outdoor lover's dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she's not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that they're assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted . . . and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light.

 Interesting subject matter of wolves and I'm not talking werewolves. Set in a small town near Yellowstone, the story is about KJ, or Katherine Jean, who sees issues as black and white. She develops a crush on the new boy whose Mom is is in town to study the wolves. That is one side of the story.
The other side is the ranchers who hate the wolves because they eat their livestock which is their livelihood.
I didn't really connect with the characters. I skimmed the parts about the wolves and their names. Not much romance either. Maybe I missed it when I skimmed. And I'm sure there was some parallelism between KJ's story and the wolves but I wasn't intrigued enough to figure it out.
I LOVED the first chapter. The voice and sarcasm.
Others will like this book for the environmentalist take on the wolves.

Rating: G
V: shooting, accident,
L: None
S: kissing

Want to buy it?

Page 69 test:
"Chapter 7
Taking Inventory
Dad gets me up early to help with inventory. "How are things?" he says over reel boxes.
"Things?" I say.
"A's except for math."
"How bad?"
"Not good."
We unpack boxes for a minute. I rip. He stacks. Then I try again. "I took a review test I probably bombed. I can never tell. It's starting to sound familiar to me though."
He takes a bag out of my hand. "You've gotta have decent math grades, KJ."
"I'm pretty sure I know that," I say.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wrong Number by Rachelle Christensen

When Aubree Stewart receives a mysterious phone call on her way to work, she doesn't know what to think when the caller mentions a dead body. At first she assumes it s some kind of prank. But the call isn't a practical joke, and Aubree soon finds herself swept up in a world of danger, intrigue, and murder. With help from the FBI, Aubree races to protect herself and what s left of her family, but the one thing she forgets to protect is her own heart.

Good story with bad guys, good guys and romance.
Rachelle offers a story of intrigue when Aubree gets a wrong number. From the beginning this book is full of suspense, making me distrust every person in her life. Even the ones that seem to be falling for her.

Good, clean and quick page turning read!

Rating: PG
V: Bad guys, gun fight
L: None
S: kissing

Want to buy the book?

Page 69 test:
""Having a baby is like being run over by  truck," the nurse said and chuckled.
Aubree nodded and then watched the nurse take out the needle.
"The pain medicine will help you feel better."
"No, I'm okay. I took a pain pill earlier," Aubree said
The nurse fiddled with the tube connected to Aubree's IV. "This is just to last you through the night."
"No. When I take too much pain medicine, it makes me sick."
The nurse didn't hesitate when Aubree protested, and Aubree felt her heart rate increase as she watched the needle approaching the IV bag.
"Oh, this won't do that," the nurse said.
Aubree realized that maybe this nurse wasn't here to help he feel better. She pulled herself to a sitting position. "Jason!" Aubree cried. "Help me!"
The nurse jumped back in alarm as the door burst open, and Jason and Sanderson ran in. Lights flooded the room."What are you doing?" Jason demanded, grabbing the nurse's arm.
"I'm giving her some morphine like the doctor ordered." Her voice trembled.
"Morphine! She's allergic to morphine," Jason shouted.
Aubree felt like she was in a bad dream. She watched Sanderson grab the syringe form the nurse and examine it.
"Where' her chart? I want to see the orders," Sanderson demanded.
"It's on the computer. The doctor ordered it up because her pain level was a seven," the nurse said.
"I was sleeping. I never asked for more pain meds," Aubree said. She grabbed the bed sheets, wiped her sweaty palms, and took a few shallow breaths.
Jason tugged on the nurse's arm, leading her toward the laptop hooked to the hospital's mainframe. "Show me."
Sanderson bent over Aubree's bed. "Are you okay?'
She nodded, and another nurse waring pink scrubs entered the room, pushing the newborn cart. Aubree leaned forward when she heard Scarlett's cries. The nurse looked around and frowned. "Is everything okay here?"
"No," Jason answered and pointed to the other nurse. "She was about to give Aubree a lethal dose of morphine."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Fourth Nephite by Jeffrey S. Savage

Kaleo Steele is starting to cut seminary and hang out with some new friends ; in fact, he s not even sure what he believes anymore. When his seminary teacher finds him at the wrong place at the wrong time, Kaleo is in jeopardy of missing his high school team s regional football game a game where college scouts will be coming to see him play. But his seminary teacher realizes that much more than a game is at stake, and sends him on a soul-searching quest. Guided by Ladan, a mysterious old blind man, Kaleo pushes through a battered wooden door only to find himself in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827. Soon he is caught up in a battle between treasure seekers led by Allaster Blackburn, a necromancer hired to steal the gold plates and the young prophet Joseph Smith, who is sworn to keep them safe. In his quest to find a key that will send him back to his own time, Kaleo will have to decide what to believe. Before it s too late. In the style of the Tennis Shoes among the Nephites series, The Fourth Nephite is an exciting new time-travel adventure series for LDS teens and their families.

Fun, intriguing, educational story! Mr. Savage is an excellent storyteller and this book is another example of his talent. I enjoyed reading a different viewpoint of the time of Joseph Smith and his family.
 This is a series and I will add it to my library. Hopefully, my kids will enjoy it as much as I did.

Rating: G
L: None
S: None:
V: fights

Want to buy it?

Page 69 test:
:...up was a little ralike thing that squesaked and ran deeper into the woods.
"What now?" I asked. After all my walking, my legs ached and my back felt like I'd been nailed in the open field by a strong safety. I didn't know how long I'd actually one without a meal, but my stomach was complaining up a storm. I figured I might as well continue on to the road. Wahtever I was supposed to find didn't seem to be here, and the sooner I found a road, the sooner I could find a house--and a phone.
First though, I'd take a little break. These boots might have been handmade, but Air Jordans they were not. I oculd feel blisters on the backs of both of my heels. I dropped to the ground, leaned my head back against the side of the rock and stretched out my legs with a sigh.
I closed my eyes and listened as a breeze rustled the leaves over head. Now that the sun was gone, the air was srting to cool down. It wasn't neral as cold as it had been the night I'd driven into the city, but I also wasnt' wearing the down jacket I'd had on then. The coat I was wearing now was thick, but if Ididn't find someplace to spend the night, I would be hurting by the morning.
I rubbed my hands together, rying to warm them up, and felt someting strange. The skinn on my right hand seemed...odd. Holding my palm out in fron of my face,O shook my head. A lot of crazy things had happened today, buthtis was more than wrong. I got to my feet and stepped into the moonlight just to be sure of what I was seeing.
I ran the fingers of my left hand over the skin of my right,"