Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Sweep Series -- Book of Shadows -- Cate Tiernan

The Sweep Series -- Book of Shadows -- Cate Tiernan

Book of Shadows is the first installment of the Sweep series. In this first book you meet Morgan Rowlands, it’s the first day of school and she is a junior in high school taking advanced classes. Morgan was meeting up with her best friend, Bree, when saw him. His name was Cal Blaire, a senior, and already Morgan and Bree were drooling over him. Cal is a social butterfly and he was already fitting in with different cliques. He then invites everyone to a party out in a clearing in the woods. When everyone shows up Cal explains that he wanted to get people together to join his Wiccan coven. Some people were shocked, other was scared and they left. A few people including Morgan, Bree and Robbie (Morgan’s other best friend) stayed to try it out. They performed a circle and they enjoyed it and decided to join. But joining Wicca causes problems. Morgan has been an active church going Christian with her family and joining Wicca get everyone upset. Her family thinks its evil. Her sister whom she’s very close to is scared. Also Bree and Morgan start fighting over Cal when Cal chooses Morgan over Bree.
I liked this book. It was one of those books where I finish in two hours because I wanted to get to the end. I remember Leah let me borrow it because if I didn’t read it she was going to shove it down my throat! I also wanted to shove it down her throat because she only gave me one of the books. I was playing monopoly and reading at the same time and my uncle kept making fun of me. But I loved what was happening to Morgan. How she was somehow physic after that first circle. I liked how Tiernan put family struggles into perspective and how the whole family was affected. I recommend this book to kids 13+ it’s a cool read and you’ll like it J

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Personal Demons -- Lisa Desrochers

Frannie Cavanaugh has always been a bit of a loner. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance, even her closest friends. That is, until Luc Cain enrolls in her school. He's hot, sarcastic, and dangerous--and Frannie can't seem to stay away.
What she doesn't know is that Luc is on a mission. Because Frannie isn't exactly ordinary. She possesses a skill so unique that the King of Hell himself has taken notice, and he's sent Luc to claim Frannie's soul. It should be easy: All he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and he's just started making progress when  the angel Gabriel shows up. Gabe will do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for and his angelic charm might just be enough to keep Frannie on the right path.
It isn't long before Luc and Gabe find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie's soul. But if Luc fails to win her over, there will be Hell to pay...for all of them.

The cover immediately caught my eye, so I read the back and thought that this would be a good read. I mean, who doesn't like Angels and Demons fighting for the soul of a teenage girl? My first impression was wrong, though. I did not enjoy this book. I felt that the idea for Personal Demons was great and definitely movie worthy, but this idea was, in my opinion, poorly executed. I would give this book a 2/5.

We don't get to know much about the supporting characters, and the love triangle between Luc, Frannie and Gabe didn't grab my attention at all. I just couldn't connect with these characters. Another thing that annoyed me was the fact that both Luc and Frannie's voices were the same. If I stopped reading this book in the middle of a chapter, I had to go back and check to see which perspective I was reading from. I felt myself forcing myself to finish this book, just to get it over with and start a different book.

There is a scene that reminds me of a modern day take on Shakespeare's balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. In Personal Demons, Luc is talking with Frannie's grandfather in the driveway of Frannie's house and looks up at Frannie, "I glance up at her window and smile when I see her, elbow propped on the sill and cheek resting in her hand, watching us. My need to be that hand--to touch her face--almost knocks me over."(225) This scene is much like the balcony scene where Romeo looks up at Juliet and says, "See how she leans her cheek upon her hand. O, that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek." [2.2.24-26]

There are some things in Personal Demons that aren't explained, like the term "ginger" for example. In this book, "ginger" is not used as a cooking ingredient, nor is it used as a nickname for one who has red/orange hair, it is used by Luc when he addresses the sent of Frannie's soul. Desrochers also uses food as a way for the reader to get a feel for Frannie's emotions. I feel that this method should have been explained in the beginning of the book. Some of the demons that we encounter throughout this book weren't explained when we meet them, and although this aspect may not be that important at times, I feel that it would have been nice to read.

Read on!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hush, Hush -- Becca Fitzpatrick

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

I finished this book a while ago and I can't wait until I have enough money to get the sequel! Personally, I liked this book, but I felt like it was lacking something. So I would give it a 4/5. The cover of this book is astounding, and I really like the contrast between the red feathers and the black-and-white background. I really liked Patch's voice and the twists that surround this book. It somewhat reminds me of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, because while reading, you think that the story is going to go one way and then as you read you can sense a change, but you do not know when this change will occur. In the end you are blindsided by a fantastic ending and a new story to listen to.

Nora was a typical teenage girl, she gets good grades and spends some time tutoring her best friend, Vee. That is, until an unexpected seat change puts Nora sitting next to Patch; the mysterious new guy without a past. When Nora meets Jules and Elliot, and her life gets weird. Someone has tried to attack her on multiple occasions, but every trace of any encounter with this mystery person is erased minutes afterwards and Nora begins to question whether these encounters have even happened at all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Snap - Carol Snow

Madison Sabatini thought she knew who she was: an almost-sophomore with a bright future. The newest photographer on her school paper. A shopaholic with great hair and a fabulous wardrobe. Then, in a flash, everything changed. Now she's stuck in Sandyland, a gloomy beach town in the middle of nowhere, living with her parents in a crappy hotel "suite." Instead of spending the summer with her friends at home, she's hanging out with pink-haired Delilah, an artist who works in a shop called Psychic Photo, and a skater boy named Duncan who's totally not her type. Except, maybe he is...Determined to make the best of things, Madison throws herself into her one passion: photography. But when strange figures start appearing in her pictures—people who weren't there when she snapped the shots, people who are later reported dead—she begins to question everything about who she is...and who she wishes she could be.

It only took me a day to finish this book. It is a quick read, but can be boring in some areas. Over all I'd give this book a 2/5. I like the top half of the cover of this book, but the bottom half just doesn't make any sense to me. I know that it's supposed to be Madison, the main character, but it doesn't show much about anything in the book. I didn't really attach myself with this book, and I didn't connect with Madison, which might be why I gave this book a lower rating than most. Overall it was a good story-line, but I don't think that it was executed properly.

The main character in this book is Madison Sabatini. She is 15 and expects everything to come to her on a silver platter. This aspect of the character annoyed me so much, I almost stopped reading this book entirely. As the story progressed, Madison's snootiness skyrocketed. I found myself internally complaining about her each time I turned the page. It is because of the annoyances of this character that I believe that Carol Snow captured the voice of a privileged teenage girl moving to an almost run down city perfectly. Madison is ignorant to the other side of the fence, and this aspect of her both makes and breaks this book.

My favorite part of this book would have to be Duncan. He is a mysterious character from the start. Mainly because Duncan isn't his legal name, but a name that he has decided to go with. Duncan is protective of the people that he cares about, because he doesn't have much. He has moved around so much throughout his life, and many people have left him, so he doesn't feel like he can completely be himself around others. Duncan knows how to make the best of any situation, and strikes me as an optimist.

Personally, I didn't like this book much. But, those of younger ages might fall in love with it. I would recommend this book to people starting from the age of 12 and up.

Read on!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

There are only three books in my IMM this time. This is mostly because of the heat wave that has decided to attack the universe - and my house. Since Borders is closing I am going to have some more IMM's than usual, although some - like this one - won't have many books in them. This time in my mailbox I have gotten:
Fallen by Lauren Kate []
Eon by Alison Goodman []
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce []

I haven't had much time on my hands to do  some reviewing, but I am going to start a To Be Rev'd (To Be Reviewed) pile and I hope to get started on that soon.

Read on!

Robert's Rules of Writing -- Robert Masello

Robert's Rules of Writing -- Robert Masello

Robert's Rules of Writing
101 unconventional lessons
every writer needs to know

"You already have a million writing books. You know the principles, the lectures, the "expert" techniques. And you've discovered that sometimes tried-and-true just equals tired.

In Robert's Rules of Writing, successful author Robert Masello stomps out status quo writing advice and delivers 101 uninhibited techniques to improve your writing that include:
Burn your jurnal. (See Rule 1.)
Strip down to your briefs. (See Rule 38.)
Spend time gossiping. (See Rule 61.)
Buy the smoking jacket. (See Rule 56.)
Skip the Starbucks. (See Rule 7.)
De-claim! De-claim! (See Rule 63.)

Whether you're a fiction writer, freelance, memorist, or screenwriter, Robert's Rules of Writing gives you the unorthodox advice to transform your writing life and get published!"

Masello uses humor to tell you the official rules of writing that contradict everything you have ever learned. He states the rule, tells you why it is important then gives an example.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

This is our second In My Mailbox which shows Leah and Katelyn showing Leah's  books that she has gotten in June and July.

Friday, July 15, 2011

City of Bones -- Cassandra Clare

This is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series which will consist of a grand total of six books. There will also be a prequil series to the Mortal Instruments called the Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Princess).

When 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 odd markings. This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons--keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It's also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. 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 an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Once you start reading this enthralling novel you are immediately engulfed in a unique and astounding new world. The Shadow World is a magickal relm that is invisible to humans and consists of Shadowhunters, known as Nephilim (the children of humans and angels) among other creatures such as Demons and Downworlders. Shadowhunters hunt and kill demons, and try to keel the tension between the  Downworlders--human-demon hybrids such as vampires, werewolves, warlocks, and the Fair Folk (Faeries)--at bay. The main character in this book is Clary Fray, a mundane (human), who lives in a single parent household. Her father died in an accident before she was born, leaving her mother, Jocelyn to raise Clary, along with her "Uncle" Luke. Clary and best-friend Simon have been pretty much inseperable since they've met and now Simon wants to be more than just friends. Clary is suprised when she follows Shadowhunters; Jace Wayland, Isabelle Lightwood and Alec Lightwood, as they  kill a Demon. Jace starts to show up everywhere Clary goes and she starts to get a little freaked out when she realizes that no one else can see him. She also starts to feel a strong attraction to Jace, which causes tension between everyone, especially Simon. Becoming a Shadowhunter doesn't just happen, you have to be born with the Sight. Clary then realizes that she can see the Shadow World and is taken to the Institute where she finds out more about her past and memories that have been mysteriously taken from her by an unknown person. When Clary's mother is kidnaped by someone from Clary's unknown past, Clary and Jace set out on a quest, with help from Simon, Isabelle and Alec, to find out more about Clary's past, and who has taken Jocelyn Fray.

When I first saw this book at my local library in 2007 I was very skeptical. At first, I was confused at the cover and young-reader-me didn't really stop to read the back of a book. I was that girl who judged the book by it's cover and I admit that young-reader-me was very, very wrong on her initial assessment. Since then I have gotten over my quick once-overs and have looked deeper into books before I start to read them. I am getting very off topic so, on with the review. This book made me want to tear my hair out, in the best way possible. (Kudos to Katelyn for dealing with my frustrations that were brought by this book) I absolutely loved City of Bones! I questioned myself on many occasions, because I kept thinking that Clare was going in one direction, and then she does a complete 180 and goes in an utterly different direction.

My favorite character would have to be Jace. I loved Jace's confidence and his ability to see through some people while being completely oblivious to others. My favorite chapter is chapter 17 because you really get to see a softer side to Jace. You get to see the mushy side to him and how he really, truly cares for his friends. Since Jace is one of the strong and silent types it was nice to see him put himself out there a little bit. He is loyal to a fault and will do anything to protect the ones he loves, which is both lovely and frightening. I hated watching Jace break under certain pressures as his world shatters again and again.

If you were like me and judged this book by the cover, please read this astounding book!
I will definitely be reading the next book in this series, City of Ashes, as soon as my TBR (To Be Read) pile lowers a little.

Read on!

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Leah's First Bookshelf Tour!

    If you see any books that you would like to be reviewed, please, let us know. :)

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Skipping Christmas -- John Grisham

    "Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That's just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they'll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty; they won't be hosting thier annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren't even going to have a tree. They won't need one, because come December 25 they're setting sail on a Carribean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences-and isn't half as easy as they'd imagine.
    A classic tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition."

    I could not put this book down because I was reliving one of my favorite childhood movies "Christmas with the Kranks" It was a tradition of ours to watch the movie near Christmas time. It's pages are filled with laughs and I love reading about the reactions of everybody when they find out they're skipping Christmas.

    This book was--as most books are--better than the movie. I could really connect with the characters, and I found myself losing sleep just to turn the page. My favorite character would have to be Luther because his thoughts throughout the story kept me laughing. His stubborn attitude was hilarious, and I couldn't wait to see what he thought of next.

    Caution: Spoilers.

    My favorite parts would be when the Kranks wouldn't put Frosty on their roof and the street all gangs up on them and try to make them surrender Frosty. Another favorite part is at the end when they find out their daughter, Blair, is coming home for Christmas with her fiance (italics)and they start rushing to actually put Chrsitmas together in eight hours.

    Overall the book brings a good laugh, and is a real page turner.

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief -- Rick Riordan

    Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking strait out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
    Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal, by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

    This series is definitely geared towards those that love books for younger readers. I enjoyed reading this book, although some things were annoying and took some getting used to. I loved the idea of a summer camp for demigods, and Riordan does a fantastic job of painting a detailed picture of Camp Half Blood and showing the reader a general sense of how things work. I also loved the fact that some misconceptions about certain animals were shown, creating a light feel to some parts of the book. However, the plot of The Lightning Thief was pretty simple: Find Zeus's bolt and save the world. I would have liked to see more conflict between the main characters, maybe showing them argue over something simple, causing a slight riff in their friendship which could have been mended by the characters' need to save the world. Another thing that annoyed me was the face that whenever Percy needed something, he got it relatively quickly, usually with the help from a god or goddess. This pattern was shown throughout the book, and made the plot a little more dull. I am, however, willing to overlook those slight flaws, because this book was thoroughly enjoyable and I was sorry that it had sat on my bookshelf for about a year before I finally picked it up and gave it a read. I liked learning more about the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus and their lives are depicted in a way that is suitable for younger readers. I would recommend this book to anyone, starting from the age of 10, because the lives of the gods and goddesses may not be understandable to those of younger ages.

    Read on!
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