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Showing posts from 2013

Fav books of 2013 and thoughts

Favorite 2013 reads
In no particular order:

Pivot Point by Kacie West
Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
Jelicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Ester the Queen by Heather Moore
Countdown by Michelle Rowan
Friends and Traitors by CJ Hill
A Return to Virtue by Elaine S Dalton
Outpost by Ann Aguirre
Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson
The Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Going on hiatus:

I love reading.
I love being a book whisperer and helping others find good books to read that fit their personalities.
That's why I made this blog. I've toyed with the idea of incorporating the reviews back in with my writing blog. I'm afraid the reviews will take over; I read about 75 books a year.
Alas, this blog is getting behind in reviews. I'm so busy lately I haven't been able to give it the full attention I like and it makes me sad. I have a manuscript out on request. I am editing my NaNo project from this year and I'm in the middle of writing another story. Keeping up with my bl…

THE FALL OF ARTHUR by J.R.R. Tolkien

The world's first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the extraordinary story of the final days of England’s legendary hero, King Arthur.

The Fall of Arthur recounts in verse the last campaign of King Arthur who, even as he stands at the threshold of Mirkwood, is summoned back to Britain by news of the treachery of Mordred. Already weakened in spirit by Guinevere's infidelity with the now-exiled Lancelot, Arthur must rouse his knights to battle one last time against Mordred's rebels and foreign mercenaries.

Powerful, passionate and filled with vivid imagery, The Fall of Arthur reveals Tolkien's gift for storytelling at its brilliant best. Originally composed by J.R.R. Tolkien in the 1930s, this work was set aside for The Hobbit and lay untouched for 80 years.

Now it has been edited for publication by Tolkien's son, Christopher, who contributes three illuminating essays that explore the literary world of King Arthur, r…

SIEGE AND STORM (GRISHA #2) by Leigh Barduco

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.


First line:
"The boy and the girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they ever seen the True Sea." 

Tota…

GUARDIANS by Heather Frost

A vision of Kate's death causes Patrick to intensify his duties as Guardian. The Demon Lord is especially relentless now that Kate is the only Seer to ever escape his grasp. When Patrick discovers that Kate is the key to defeating their greatest enemy, he must choose between sacrificing the girl he loves or letting the Demon Lord win. You won't be able to put this final installment in the Seers trilogy down.

First line:
"I stood at my mother's side, listening to her soft laughter."

And this trilogy comes to a close and what an ending!
Kate and Patrick are the love interests and the main characters. Kate is a Seer and Patrick, her Guardian. Kate must defeat the Demon Lord but Patrick has foreseen her death and he doesn't want to sacrifice her. But she knows her responsibilities and is determined to save the world, even if it means dying.
I thought the book was paced well and kept me interested and turning the pages. I wanted to finish and see how love wo…

SHADOW AND BONE (Grisha #1) by Leigh Barduco

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

Hardcover, 358 pages Published June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co.

First line:
"The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, …

SIMPLIFY & SAVOR THE SEASON by Connie E. Sokol

Connie has sprinkled her trademark humor throughout this insightful, and much needed, book. She helps lead the reader through an easy 3-step plan that will simplify the holidays and yet keep what is dear to your family close. This book helps remind the reader to stop, breath and wonder at the holiday magic.

Her four step plan using PADE: Plan, Abbreviate, Delegate and Eliminate is a life savor! And worksheets are included in the book.

Connie also included touching stories and quotes that will melt your heart, make you smile, and help all of us enjoy the holidays a little bit better.

This book is a must read for the holidays. And every other day that we need to simplify. 

THE 5TH WAVE (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancy

The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.


First line: "There will be no awakening."

I started this book but didn't really want to finish it though I was hooked from the beginning. I thought I had picked…

THE SIREN'S SECRET by Heather Ostler

Julia’s life has gone from complicated to nearly impossible! When Julia loses her shapeshifting powers and her appearance changes in alarming ways, she flees to Sirenity, where she learns an incredible secret about her mother. In this thrilling sequel, Julia must take greater risks and make bigger sacrifices as she discovers who she really is and what she can really become.

First line:
"Julie sat down at the dinner table across from several other soldiers, who were busy conversting about Ossai, Lockham Castle, and the Guild.

Interesting tale of a girl who can shape shift but also is a siren. Which path will she choose?
This good, clean read will take you to two different, magical worlds.

Rating: PG
V: Fighting
L: No
S: No

Liked:
Unique story

Dislike:
Quick resolve at the end

3 STARS

SIX MONTHS LATER by Natalie Richards

Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her?
And why can't she remember



Paperback, 326 pages Published October 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire  First line:
"I'm sitting next to the fire alarm, and my best friend is going down in flames."

FORGOTTEN meets STEPFORD WIVES. That's what I thought of this young adult mystery. There's not many mysteries where I can't figure out the bad guy. This one stumped me for a little bit. I liked the intrigue and the mystery.
Th…

THE SILENT SWAN by Lex Keating

Once upon a time – better known as “now” - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid.

Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the braves…

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A gro…

INEVITABLE by Tamara Heiner

Visions of death plague Jayne, who thinks watching her boyfriend and sister die is the worst that could happen to her. But when she witnesses a murder, Jayne finds herself caught up in a dangerous world of intrigue and suspense.

As it turns out, she is not the only one doing the stalking. The killer is on to her, and all of her visions of the dying don't reveal how her life will end. Somehow, she must stop the murderer before he arranges Jayne's own inevitable death.



Paperback, 245 pages Published March 8th 2013 by Tamark Books  (first published January 30th 2013)  First line:
"The smell always hit me first."

I loved the idea of smelling death as lemony in this book. Jayne has the gift, or curse, of 'smelling' death on someone and if she looks into their eyes, she will have a vision of their death. With this gift/curse, one would think they could stop the death but Jayne doesn't have that power, so really, sh…

CURSE OF THE BROOMSTAFF (Janitors #3) by Tyler Whitesides

A secret society of Janitors with wizard-like powers continue their battle, and now, the stakes are even higher. The Bureau of Educational Maintenance is after Alan Zumbro and this time they mean business - deadly business. Spencer, Daisy, and their little team of rebels must find the source of all magical Glop and destroy it before it can destroy the world as we know it. No small task with the BEM and their monster toxites at their heels. It's a wild and dangerous ride as they follow the trail of clues all the way to the hiding place of the mysterious aurans: guardians of a secret landfill. What they discover there will change the way

Spencer sees himself, not to mention the fate of the rebels.


First line:
"Mrs. Natcher's chalk squeaked against the board, and Spencer shuddered at the sound." 

Tyler's writing and books keep getting better and better. Poor Spencer. He's a germaphobe and yet his special abilities take him through garbage and filth and dirt…

SHADOWHUNTERS AND DOWNWORLDERS

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, epic urban fantasy set in a richly imagined world of shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and more, has captured the imaginations and loyalty of hundreds of thousands of YA readers. Originally a trilogy (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass), the series has extended to six titles, plus a prequel trilogy, the Infernal Devices, and a planned sequel series, the Dark Artifices. A feature film is planned for 2013.

Shadowhunters and Downworlders, edited by Clare (who provides an introduction to the book and to each piece), is a collection of YA authors writing about the series and its world.


Authors Who Contributed:
Holly Black / Kendare Blake / Gwenda Bond / Sarah Rees Brennan / Rachel Caine / Sarah Cross / Kami Garcia / Michelle Hodkin / Kelly Link / Kate Milford / Diana Peterfreund / Sara Ryan / Scott Tracey / Robin Wasserman


Paperback, 198 pages Published January 29th 2013 by SmartPop  Fir…

THE LOST PRINCE by Julie Kagawa

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.


The last line:

"And for the first time, I wasn't afraid."

The Iron Queen's brother, Ethan, has the Sight and can see the fey. But he knows if they know he can see them they will bother him and his family, even hurt them. But when a friend goes missing, thanks to a ghostly fey, he knows he has to…

A NOTHING NAMED SILAS by Steve Westover

Publisher’s Weekly says Steve Westover’s “A Nothing Named Silas” falls “somewhere between ‘The Hunger Games’ and Ayn Rand’s ‘Anthem,’” which means it is sure to appeal to Young Adult readers.

The book is Westover’s fifth novel.
Silas doesn’t exist…not really. But neither does anyone else he knows. Bred for a life of Command, Silas’ life is thrown into crisis when he’s drafted into a menial life of Labor instead. Everything he knows about himself is about to be challenged.

When he steps through the entrance of the domed Labor shield and see’s prisoners hanging in cages overhead, Silas’ worst fears are confirmed. What he can’t see is that insurrection is brewing under the shield and the insurgents have devised a role for him to play. Silas must determine which side he will fight for as he learns the truth about who he is and why he was drafted into a life of Labor.

“I think at some point every teenager questions his or her value and wonders about who they really are,” said West…

DODGER by Terry Pratchett

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger.

Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl--not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

From Dodger's encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.

Beloved and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett combines high comedy with deep wisdom in this tale of an unexpected coming-of-age and one remarkable boy's rise in a complex and fascinating world.


Ha…

FRIENDS AND TRAITORS (Slayers #2) by C.J. Hill

The Slayers – teens who have powers to fight dragons—are back by popular demand in this high-octane sequel, now with a new cover package!

Tori is at a White House dinner party when she hears a horrifying sound: dragon eggs hatching. It means in less than a year, the dragons will be mature and dangerous. The Slayers are well-trained, but their group is not yet complete, and Tori is determined to track down Ryker Davis, the mysterious Slayer who has yet to surface.

What Tori doesn’t bargain for, however, is the surprising truth about her powers: she isn’t a Slayer after all, but a Dragon Lord, with a built-in predisposition to protect dragons, not kill them.
How will she overcome this to save the lives of her friends?



Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2013 by Feiwel & Friends 

First line:
"It would be ironic, Brant Overdrake thought as he paced around the cabin of his jet, for a man who could fly to be killed in a plane c…

COUNTDOWN by Michelle Rowen

3 seconds left to live.

Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.

2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game.

Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.

1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.

Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove ever more deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.

GAME 0VER



First line:
"The lights began to flash and an alarm sounded, so loud that I instinctively clamped my hands over my ears."

Maze Runner meet Hunger Games meet Running Man.

CLOCKWORK PRINCESS (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusio…

CLOCKWORK PRINCE by Cassandra Clare

In magical Victorian London, orphan Tessa found safety with the Shadowhunters, until traitors betray her to the Magister. He wants to marry her, but so do self-destructive Will and fiercely devoted Jem. Mage Magnus Bane returns to help them. Secrets to her parentage lie with the mist-shrouded Yorkshire Institute's aged manager Alyosius Starkweather.

Hardcover, Collector's First Edition, 502 pages
Published 2011 by Simon & Schuster, Margaret K. McElderry

Ms. Clare has quite a way with writing. Scenes, characters, plots, etc. It's hard to put her books down. Even though sometimes I don't enjoy some of the sappy stuff and I tend to skim it. 
About 3/4 of the way into the book I wondered if I would ever read about Mortmain, the bad guy. Where is he? And when oh when will we finally find out what Tessa really is??
Poor Will finally free to tell Tessa he loves her and... then he can't because. 
Jem. Sweet, silver-haired, drug add…

WONDER by R.J. Palacio

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.


Hardcover, Books for Young Readers, 315 pages Published February 14th 2012 by Knopf

First line:
"I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid."

This is a story that grade school children should read or have read to them. It teaches toler…

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (Cassandra Chronicles #1) by Cristin Terrill

You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protec…

THE ORIGINALS by Cat Patrick

17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.


First line:
"My part is first half."

How would you like to be a set of triplets who were identical but you really weren't tr…

ANDY SMITHSON: BLAST OF THE DRAGON'S FURY by LRW Lee

From the After Life, ten-year-old Andy Smithson’s relatives initiated a curse 500 years ago. Now they no longer agree it should continue and one is willing to sacrifice Andy’s life to end it. Unaware of the disagreement and with no say in the matter, Andy is unexpectedly and magically transported from his home. He finds himself in the Land of Oomaldee, facing mortal danger at every turn as he seeks to find a scale from a rare red dragon, the most ferocious of dragon species, to break the curse and save his life.

First line:
As soon as Imogenia died, the spirits that manage new arrivals escorted her to the terminal just inside the cemetery grounds in the land of Oomaldee."

 Dragons, magic and time travel. This book has everything a middle grade reader, especially a boy, will love!


OUTPOST (Razorland #2) by Ann Aguirre

Deuce’s whole world has changed.

Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn't fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.



Hardcover, 317 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
First line:
"I…

JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta

Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham 17, finally confronts her past. Hannah, the closest adult she has to family, disappears. Jonah Griggs, moody stares and all, is back in town. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.

First line:
"My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die."

Three things I liked about this book:
1. Relationships
2. Jonah Griggs
3. Ending

Told in two narratives: one earlier, one twenty-two years later,  I was emotionally drawn into the story of five kids tied by tragedy and of Taylor Markham. I was also confused in the beginning trying to figure out where everyone fit in but it worked. I loved it.
First person was a good choice for this story. Taylor had a strong voice and emotions. I loved her tough girl persona and her weaknesses. All the characters were strong and weak. Ben, Raffy, Santangelo, Jessa, they are in our schools and neighborhoods. And bes…

JACOB OF AVONDALE by P. Craig Packer

The king’s servant, Jacob, makes a shocking discovery in a secret room. What he finds could change his life forever. Witness the transformation of a commoner into a conqueror in Jacob of Avondale.
As Jacob reached the top of the staircase with the tray of soiled food still in hand, he heard a strange whispering coming from the room near the far end of the hall. In all of the years that Jacob had been a servant in the castle, he had never seen the inside of that room. He saw the court jester standing near the far wall with his back to the door. The little man seemed to be profoundly captivated by something and was whispering in an eerie, monotone voice.


The tyrannical reign of King Humphrey and Queen Millicent has inspired growing discontent among the people of Avondale. Few hold out hope for any change.

The king’s servant Jacob, an orphan who’s seen little beyond the castle walls, makes a shocking discovery in a secret room. What he finds could change his life and the futu…

CLOCKWORK ANGEL(The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Orphan Tessa Gray, sixteen, crosses the ocean from New York to find her brother Nate in Victorian London, her only possession a clockwork angel necklace from her mother. She is ignorant of her power to transform; the Dark sisters are not. They kidnap her for the Magister, who wants to marry Tessa and claim her power.

Shadowhunters, warriors of angel blood, battle demons and keep the peace in the Downworld of vampires, warlocks and other supernaturals. Orphan teen Shadowhunters Jem, Will, and Jess rescue Tessa and agree to help save Nate. Vengeful vampire Lady Camille Belcourt and her current lover, warlock Magnus Bane provide entrée to the Magister's secret Pandemonium Club.



First line:
"London, April 1878. The demon exploded in an shower of and guts."

How? How does Ms. Clare keep me reading her books? Sigh.

Rating: PG 13
S: No. Tensions
L: No
V: Fighting, intense images of death and paranormals

Liked:
Will
Jem


Disliked:


4 STARS

THE ROSE THRONE by Mette Ivie Harrison

Richly-imagined fantasy romance from the author of Princess and the Hound, a tale of two princesses--one with magic, one with none--who dare seek love in a world where real choice can never be theirs. For fans of Megan Whalen Turner, Catherine Fisher, and Cassandra Clare.

Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she's impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father's court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power--or the magic--to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to le…

THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS (MISTER MAX #1) by Cynthia Voigt

Max Starling's theatrical father likes to say that at twelve a boy is independent. He also likes to boast (about his acting skills, his wife's acting skills, a fortune only his family knows is metaphorical), but more than anything he likes to have adventures. Max Starling's equally theatrical mother is not a boaster but she enjoys a good adventure as much as her husband. When these two disappear, what can sort-of-theatrical Max and his not-at-all theatrical grandmother do? They have to wait to find out something, anything, and to worry, and, in Max's case, to figure out how to earn a living at the same time as he maintains his independence. This is the first of three books, all featuring the mysterious Mister Max.
Hardcover, 1st ed, 400 pages Expected publication: September 10th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
First line:
"On a bright Sunday morning in the early years of the last century, a bellhop from the Hotel Excels…

MRS. POE by Lynn Cullen

A vivid and compelling novel about a woman who becomes entangled in an affair with Edgar Allan Poe—at the same time she becomes the unwilling confidante of his much-younger wife.

It is 1845, and Frances Osgood is desperately trying to make a living as a writer in New York; not an easy task for a woman—especially one with two children and a philandering portrait painter as her husband. As Frances tries to sell her work, she finds that editors are only interested in writing similar to that of the new renegade literary sensation Edgar Allan Poe, whose poem, “The Raven” has struck a public nerve.

She meets the handsome and mysterious Poe at a literary party, and the two have an immediate connection. Poe wants Frances to meet with his wife since she claims to be an admirer of her poems, and Frances is curious to see the woman whom Edgar married.

As Frances spends more and more time with the intriguing couple, her intense attraction for Edgar brings her into dangerous territory. …

Amazing August Author Event!

I think I'm going to start my Christmas shopping early (hope to see you there!):







NOWHERE GIRL by A.J. Paquette

Luchi Ann only knows a few things about herself: she was born in a prison in Thailand. Her American mother was an inmate there. And now that her mother has died, Luchi must leave the only place she's ever known and set out into the world. Neither at home as a Thai, because of her fair skin and blond hair, nor as a foreigner, because of her knowledge of Thai life and traditions, Luchi feels as though she belongs nowhere. But as she embarks on an amazing adventure-a journey spanning continents and customs, harrowing danger and exhilarating experiences-she will find the family, and the home, she's always dreamed of. Weaving intricate elements of traditional Thailand into a modern-day fairy tale unique unto itself, Nowhere Girl is a beautifully rendered story of courage, resilience, and finding the one place where you truly belong.

First line:
"For the first time in days, I hear voices."

Luchi is born in a Thai prison to an American mother who is hiding from her…

HOW TO DELIVER A TED TALK by Jeremey Donovan

How To Deliver A TED Talk" is a complete guide for creating presentations that inspire others through your story. Based on intensive study of the most popular TEDTalks, this step-by-step playbook shows you how to select your topic, craft your narrative, master your delivery, and refine your design.

First line:
"Spread your ideas"

Good book with tips to help anyone deliver a good and motivating talk. A quick read.

Thanks to netgalley

4 STARS

SAVING WISHES (THE WISHES SERIES #1) by G.J. Walker-Smith

For Charli Blake, being seventeen is a tough gig.
She's been branded a troublemaker, her reputation is in tatters and she's stuck in Pipers Cove, a speck of a town on the coast of Tasmania.
Thankfully, it's temporary. Her lifelong dream of travelling the world is just months away from becoming reality. All she has to do is ride out the last few months of high school, which is easier said than done thanks to a trio of mean girls known as The Beautifuls.
When Adam Décarie arrives in town, all the way from New York, life takes an unexpected turn. His arrival sets off a chain of events that alters her life forever, convincing her of one thing. Fate brought him to her.
Saving Wishes is the story of a girl who doesn't quite fit the life she's living, and the boy who helps her realise why.


First line: 
"Alex, my brother, sometimes calls me wicked."


Charli wants to leave her home as soon as she graduates. The island she lives on is too small for her adventurous…