Monday, November 24, 2014

How to Destroy the New Girl's Killer Robot Army by Mick Bogerman

23367056How to Destroy the New Girl's Killer Robot Army by Mick Bogerman
Series: Slug Pie Story, #3
Publisher: Slug Pie Stories, LLC
Format: Paperback
Pages: 168
Source: Publisher for review.

When Savannah "Van Demon" Diamond comes to town she ruins everything for Mick. She takes over his favorite hang out, outruns him in gym class, and worst of the worst—his little brother has a crush on her. Devising a plan to get her kicked out of school and moved out of Beachwood is simple. Dealing with Savannah’s mind-blowing revenge is Mick’s most challenging adventure yet.
Join Mick as he thwarts insidious traps and deadly weaponry, fighting against the most cunning of enemies. Catastrophe looms for all of Beachwood unless Mick can put aside his pride, join forces with his rival, and destroy the new girl’s killer robot army.

When I was contacted to review this book I was so excited seeing as I really enjoyed the first two books in the series. This installment was just as wonderful as the first two and has me eagerly awaiting the release of book four.

 In this installment we get to meet a new character, a girl named Savannah. At first I didn't really like her but she quickly grew on me. She was witty and clever and all around fantastic. Mick and Finley were as lovable as ever and had me laughing out loud.

The story is written like a how to guide like the first two books and the pace is just as quick. There is never a dull moment with the shenanigans that the characters manage to get into and the problem that the kids were trying to fix was really cool. Who doesn't love killer robots?

If you want a fast paced, fun story for your kids (or if you like middle grade yourself) definitely give this series a chance! The characters are great and the stories are interesting and have quite a bit of action.

**Copy provided via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Friday, October 17, 2014

Destiny's Gate by Lee Bice-Matheson and J.R. Matheson

22833196Destiny's Gate by Lee Bice-Matheson and J.R. Matheson
Series: Paige Maddison, #2
Publisher: Friesen Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 283
Source: Review.

Live from a place of love. It conquers all that is evil. Shaken by the haunting from Conall, Paige Maddison hopes to put it behind her. When Paige's premonitions, nightmares, and ghostly visions return, however, she realizes there is no way of getting back to the normal she once knew. Try as she might to adjust to her new life at the O'Brien Manor, dark forces begin to brew on the grounds of the haunted O'Brien estate. Paige becomes the unwilling target of the Earthbounds, anguished souls who seek revenge and retribution. But where there is darkness, there is also light. Through an enigmatic string of events that has her questioning who she truly is, Paige soon learns that she is not only being watched over by guardians of both the spirit and mortal realms, but also being called upon by a greater power beyond her wildest comprehension. As her world is turned upside down, Paige faces a life-changing dilemma: Should she embrace her special gift and fulfill the destiny that is unfolding before her? Or will she succumb to the evil that surrounds her and deny her true identity? Destiny's Gate, book two in the Paige Maddison Series, follows the young heroine on her personal journey of discovering inner strength, undying loyalty, and the profound power of unwavering love.

Even after reading the first book in this series and not liking it I had high hopes that this book would deliver the excitement and creep factor that I was hoping for. Unfortunately I was left feeling unenthusiastic and tired after struggling through this book. I had hoped that since the book was longer it wouldn't feel as rushed as the first book but it ended up feeling like everything was being pushed just for the sake of something happening.
I still did not like Paige. She is still just as unappealing as she was in the first book and I found that I enjoyed her character less as the book went on. I just ended up not really caring what happened to her and in a book where the plot doesn't grab me I hope the characters do.
Even after finding out what she was and what she could do Paige seemed way too calm about the whole situation. It just didn't seem realistic. The story seemed to drag on and I kept having to put the book down because I was getting extremely frustrated with the pacing and Paige.
I will not be continuing with this series. It was way too hard to get through this last book and I don't like feeling like I have to force myself to finish a book or series even if I am not enjoying it. Don't let my feelings discourage you however, you may love the book, it just was not for me.

 **Copy provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wake Me Up Inside by Lee Bice-Matheson

15875725Wake Me Up Inside by Lee Bice-Matheson
Series: Paige Maddison, #1
Publisher: Friesen Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 104
Source: Review.

Wake Me Up Inside is a ghost story centered around a strong teen-age heroine, Paige Maddison, who is forced to move with her parents from Toronto to hicksville Ontario, to help look after her ailing grandparents. It is a story of discovering one’s heritage and uncovering secrets. What will Paige learn about her family’s past and what will she discover about herself as she moves through this journey?

Paige discovers that her maternal family home is a mansion called O’Brien Manor along with a guest house, condemned cottage and a graveyard. Before Paige leaves Toronto, she has nightmares and visions but does not realize they are of this place until she meets the ghosts haunting the Manor…

I was really excited to start this series when I was asked to review the first two books in the series, I was expecting a thrilling ghost story that would keep me guessing and would be really creepy and would keep me up at night hurrying to find out what happened. Unfortunately, the ghost story was not that interesting, the character's didn't really have me enthralled and the story somehow managed to drag by slowly yet at the same time everything felt rushed.
The plot sounded really cool, a girl having to go live in a fancy house where there seems to be a lot of secrets and ghostly things keep happening. It didn't really live up to everything it could have been, if only the book was longer maybe the story could have been developed more and it wouldn't have been resolved so quickly.
I did not like Paige at all. She was foolish and selfish. She only thought about herself and I did not really care what happened to her. The only characters I really liked were her grandparents even if they were kind of weird.
This book did not work for me, but if you like ghost stories but aren't into really creepy ones this one might be the way to go for you. The book is really short but keep in mind that the ending ends up being quite rushed.

**Copy provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Friday, September 5, 2014

Blind Stitches by J.B. Chicoine

22612837Blind Stitches by J.B. Chicoine
Series: N/A
Publisher: Straw Hill Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 300
Source: Review.

Nikolai Solvay has been dreading his sister’s wedding, but when his father dies unexpectedly two weeks beforehand, his return to New Hampshire promises to rake up his worst nightmares.

Meanwhile, talented young seamstress Juliet Glitch has been putting the finishing touches on the wedding dress. Mother of the bride—former prima ballerina and Russian expatriate—asks Juliet if she ‘would hem her blind son Nikolai’s trousers for the funeral’ … and the wedding.

When Juliet meets Nikolai, he draws her into the whirlwind of his unraveling family that makes her own quirky domestic situation seem normal. Confronted with the Solvay’s delusions and narcissism, Juliet must decide if her developing relationship with Nikolai is worth the turmoil as she deals with her own unreconciled past.

Either way, Nikolai cannot stave off the repressed memories surrounding his mother’s defection from the Soviet Union twenty years earlier. Against the backdrop of autumn 1989, during the Glasnost era, Nikolai’s family secrets crash alongside the crumbling Berlin Wall.

When I was offered the chance to post the Q&A with J.B. Chicoine I jumped at the chance because the book sounded really interesting, I was also offered the chance to read and review the book. Unfortunately I did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
The book went way too slowly for me. I was hoping for more mystery than what was in the book and a little more action. What I got instead was a romance that seemed to progress too fast and a mystery that didn't really start unfolding until halfway through the book.
I did love the whole Russian aspect to it. I love learning about Russia and the fact that the book is set during a time where the Berlin wall was coming down and communism was still very much alive in Russia was a huge bonus that kept me reading, I really wish that there had been more of the history involved with the book though.
The thing that I enjoyed most about the book was the ending. Not because it was over but because so much happened. I don't want to give away spoilers but that ending seriously surprised me. I may eventually give the authors other books a try but for now I don't think I was in the mood for an adult romance.

 **Copy provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Rid Your Swimming Pool of a Bloodthirsty Mermaid by Mick Bogerman

22493897How to Rid Your Swimming Pool of a Bloodthirsty Mermaid by Mick Bogerman
Series: Slug Pie Story, #2
Publisher: Slug Pie Stories, LLC
Format: Paperback
Pages: 141
Source: Publisher for review.

All Mick Bogerman wanted to do was teach his little brother how to swim in the coolest swimming pool in town. He didn’t ask to take care of a bunch of Sea-Monkeys while he was there. He certainly didn’t mean to morph one of them into a mermaid by feeding it genetically enhanced super food. No one is more surprised than Mick when the creature starts luring unsuspecting adults into the deep end of the pool. Adults who don’t resurface.
Join Mick as he battles a powerful adversary: a bloodthirsty mermaid who hypnotizes with a golden gaze, shatters glass with a piercing shriek, and reveals her true menacing self by the light of a full moon.

I loved this book as much as I loved the first in the series. In this installment we get to follow Mick and Finley around as they deal with a mermaid. This installment had more moments of suspense where I was wondering just how Mick and Finley were going to survive the ordeal they got themselves into.
This story was written in a how to style guide like the first, this one however was longer and seemed to be more detailed than the first book in the series. This was a great thing because I really wanted to spend more time reading about the boys shenanigans and all of the trouble they got themselves into.
I didn't really like PJ in the beginning. He was selfish and snooty, and really only thought about himself and what he wanted. He really grew on me as the book went on however and I'm really hoping that there is more of him in the third book. I'm also really looking forward to seeing more of Mick and Finley's adventures.
Much like the first book in this series, this novel is full of humor and suspense with monsters thrown in that Mick has to deal with. These books really fly by as you're reading them and I highly recommend them if you're a middle grade reader or just want a quick fun story. I will definitely be picking up the third book when it comes out and continuing on with this series.

**Copy provided via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to Navigate Zombie Cave and Defeat Pirate Pete by Mick Bogerman

22481346How to Navigate Zombie Cave and Defeat Pirate Pete by Mick Bogerman
Series: Slug Pie Story, #1
Publisher: Slug Pie Stories, LLC
Format: Paperback
Pages: 91
Source: Publisher for review.

Armed with a pitchfork, miner’s hat, and map, Mick Bogerman dares to hunt for pirate treasure in Zombie Cave. His little brother Finley is tied up at the beach. Literally--Mick tied him up. No one needs a little brother tagging along when you’re going to slay the undead.
But Mick soon wishes he’d taken some human company with him, because lurking in every corner, reaching from every crevice, is another hungry corpse. No wonder the place is named Zombie Cave! And finding treasure in the twisty tunnels is a lot harder when your map disintegrates. And man-oh-man the cold, dark tide chases fast. But the worst part about fighting off ravenous flesh-eaters is the one monster deadlier than a regular zombie . . . the worst of the worst . . . Pirate Pete.

I absolutely adore Middle Grade fiction and this book was no exception. It was quick and funny and suspenseful at points. I was either hoping that Mick got out of the situation alright or laughing at something that he said.
The plot of this book is really awesome and is what immediately had me accepting the review offer. A boy goes into a cave that is overrun by pirate zombies all to get the treasure that is inside to help his mom so she can quit one of her jobs. It isn't all action and fighting which I really liked since it had a lot of humor in it as well.
The way the story is told is unique as well. Each chapter is set up like a step on how to get through zombie cave and defeat the pirates which made it really fun. The story is told from Mick's point of view so it's not completely in list format so you do actually get a great story out of it as well. The book wraps up nicely and doesn't leave any loose ends so the next book is a completely new adventure.
I loved Mick and his brother Finley. Mick was impulsive and funny while Finley was the thinker and planner. They made a great team and I enjoyed reading about their adventure. I am looking forward to the rest of the books in this series and will definitely be reading them as they are released.


**Copy provided via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Royals, Volume 1: Eddie by Missy Kirtley

22839906The Royals, Volume 1: Eddie by Missy Kirtley
Series: The Royals, #1
Publisher: Createspace
Format: Paperback
Pages: 62
Source: Author for review.

The Royal family's fortune came from the Royal Car Company, founded by Charles Royal I. His son took over the company, married, and had six children. As close to American Royalty as possible, due to the fame of the company that bears their name, the children grew up in the spotlight. How much or how little it affected them is yet to be seen.

The eldest of the Royal children, Charles, purchased a house in Burbank, California, sight unseen. His younger brother, Eddie, is helping set up the home for his arrival. When Eddie sees a beautiful, young woman in the window next door he is instantly smitten. When he starts asking about her he's told that only an old woman lives in that house. Who is the woman on the other side of the fence? Will Eddie get to the bottom of this mystery?

I loved the idea of fairy tales set in the real world without magic, dragons, witches etc, which is exactly why I agreed to read and review this book when I was offered the chance. I loved the story and the characters and how it just flowed. The plot was really cool as well, a boy setting up a house for his brother and sees a girl who he just falls for, but nobody else seems to know that she lives there and he's doing anything to try to get to know her.

I never saw the ending coming either. I figured something totally different was going to end up happening and I was pleasantly surprised by the route the story took. Even though this was a really short novelette, it still managed to reel me in and keep me entertained. I found myself really loving the characters and was really routing for them and hoping that things turned out okay in the end.

If you like short stories that really focus on the characters then I highly recommend this one. It kind of had a little mystery to it as to who the girl was and it had a really adorable ending. The only issue that I had with the story is that I wish it was longer, but I cannot wait until I can read the second book in the series and get to know another one of the characters.

**Copy provided via the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Monday, August 11, 2014

Guardian's Nightmare by Darren Simon

22246835Guardian's Nightmare by Darren Simon
Series: N/A
Publisher: Divertir Publishing LLC.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 169
Source: Author for review.

Charlee Smelton is an average thirteen-year-old girl struggling to adapt after her family moves to San Francisco. She thinks her biggest obstacle is facing the bullies who brand her a nerd and a dweeb. She's wrong. Her life is about to change-for the worse. First, she receives a gift of the ugliest, most old fashioned bike she has ever seen. Try as she might to ditch it in the city, she just can't seem to escape that very mysterious two-wheeler. Then come the visions of a world across a dimensional divide, a princess in fear for her life and a dark knight pursuing her. Are they just dreams or something more? For Charlee, everything she ever thought she knew about herself soon crumbles as she starts down a path to discover her true self, and she will need that hunk-of-junk bike more than she could ever imagine. Without it, she might not be able to find the hero in herself-the hero she must become to save her friends, family, her city-the world-from an evil only she can defeat. An evil she allows into this world.

Don't let the two star review fool you, I did enjoy this book. It just would have worked better for me if I was younger. I feel like this book is better suited for a younger audience and that they would enjoy the fantasy and suspense immensely.

The plot was really cool. Finding out that you're more than what you seem to be and having to battle supernatural forces is what every kid dreams about right? It is also pretty fast paced and there weren't any points in which I found myself bored or wishing the book was over.

For the most part I liked the characters, obviously I didn't really like the villain of the book but you're not really supposed to anyway. Charlee did get on my nerves at points with her complaining and treating her dad so badly but they weren't big enough issues with her that made me hate her or the book.

The story takes place on Earth but mentions another world where these supernatural forces come from that was really interesting to read about and everything else besides that was really easy to grasp because it's all things we deal with on a daily basis (you know besides an evil being that wants to hurt you).

If you have a middle grade reader I suggest you check this one out. It has elements of suspense that will leave a young reader eager to find out more and just enough fantasy to make it interesting but not enough that will confuse the reader.

**Copy provided via the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Q&A with J.B. Chicoine author of Blind Stitches

I was offered the chance to post a Q&A from J.B. Chicoine and I was extremely excited and accepted immediately. I hope you all enjoy the Q&A and keep an eye out for a review of her novel Blind Stitches coming up soon!

About the Book:

Talented young seamstress Juliet Glitch has been putting the finishing touches on a wedding dress for socialite, Nadia Solvay. When Nadia’s father dies unexpectedly two weeks before the wedding, mother of the bride, Olga Solvay, a former prima ballerina and Russian expatriate, asks Juliet to hem her son Nikolai’s trousers for the funeral. He has just returned to America from England, where he has been attending a “school for the blind.”

Juliet’s life in the small but elite community of Historia, New Hampshire, is complicated. Her nineteen-year-old brother, Rome, has Asperger’s, and their aunt, with whom they live, raises chickens and hoards junk. After meeting Nikolai, Juliet finds herself drawn to the intense and serious
young man who is not what she expected. As Nikolai and Juliet spend time together, they embark on
a psychological and emotional journey into family dysfunction and repressed memories surrounding
his mother’s defection from the Soviet Union twenty years earlier. Set against the backdrop of autumn 1989, during the Glasnost era, Nikolai’s family secrets crash alongside the crumbling Berlin Wall.

Written in Chicoine’s trademark lyrical style, Blind Stitches provides a compelling study in
family delusion and secrets, along with a touching love story that contains heartbreaking revelations
of its own.

Q&A with J.B. Chicoine:
1. What was your inspiration for the characters and storyline in this novel?

Have you ever noticed how when a relatively sane person lives with crazy people, they can get drawn into the dysfunction of someone else’s even crazier family drama without realizing how nuts it all actually is? It becomes almost absurd, and I love absurdity! I’m also fascinated with mental quirks if not full-blown mental illnesses, which is probably why I love movies like Lars and the Real Girl, Benny and Joon, and Harold and Maude (generally lighthearted presentations of mental illness—an otherwise dark and depressing subject). I wanted to write about an absurd manifestation of Delusional Disorder, and while I was at it, I threw in a few other disorders, such as Narcissistic, Dissociative, a mild case of Hording, and a touch of Asperger’s Syndrome. I have known a lot of people with ‘mental quirks’ and I find them interesting and often highly intelligent—great characters. From there, it’s a matter of coming up with plausible reasons for their mental anomalies and building a story around it. That said, having dealt with my own depression and anxiety over the years, and even having to admit a close friend to a facility for treatment of a severe mental illness, I do not mean to trivialize the subject.

2. The story takes place during the Glasnost era, at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why did you choose to set the events of the novel during this historical time period?

I took the circuitous route to that time period. When I determined that the delusional mother was a Russian expatriate—a former ballerina in the Kirov—and since I rather like symbolism and metaphors in my writing, it just seemed like a perfect time frame. I also like writing stories during times in which there wasn’t a lot of technology, like cell phones and such. And I remember when the Berlin Wall fell. It made me realize how little I knew of the Russian people and how much of my knowledge had been tainted by Cold War propaganda and Hollywood—I mean, Russians were always portrayed as spies! In fact, when I started researching Russian history, it brought me to tears. Not that I shed new light on Russians—and I might have employed a few stereotypes, but I’ve come away with a greater appreciation for a truly noble people.

3. Juliet and Rome’s Aunt Anita is a lively character. What was the inspiration for Anita’s hoarding and her chicken farming?

The hording came about because I needed to put the lead female character, Juliet, in a socially unacceptable environment amidst an upper-class, conservative New England town. I know it’s gross, but I had the smell of the place in mind first, and it was pungent like cat spray. But cat ladies are so cliché. And then I got talking to a friend who grew up on a farm with chickens. He shared a few hilariously disturbing stories with me, and I knew I needed to incorporate that into the story. So, instead of a crazy cat lady, I went with crazy chicken lady!

4. Nikolai’s blindness and his mother’s delusions about it create the psychological backdrop for the story. How does the concept of blindness tie in with the themes explored in the novel?

This is where the story veers away from absurd and strikes a chord of reality. I think we all tend to have blinders on when it comes to some relationships—where we may have difficulty “seeing” an individual for who they truly are. For various reasons, I think we sometimes hold on to the fantasy of who we wish someone was, or we can’t bring ourselves to admit that someone who claims to love us may not have our best interest at heart, or even that we may be alienated from someone due to the way another individual has twisted or manipulated our “view.” Blind Stitches deals with each of these scenarios. Fortunately for Nikolai, his “sight” improves by the end of the story, but some of us never fully come out of that “blindness.” And if we do, it can create tremendous upheaval, the kind of conflict we like to read about in novels but don’t want to experience firsthand.

5. Your other four novels also include themes of romance, delusion, and family secrets. Would you say that these are the trademarks of your work as an author?

I guess they are. For better or worse, I am fascinated with how badly the mind can go wrong, and how that manifests itself in a person’s life, especially within the family. I have always been interested in psychology, and interpersonal relationships. I’m especially intrigued by how some people manage to rise above their torments, while others struggle and even wallow in them. And yeah, it’s true, I like a good love story!

6. Do you have plans for a sixth novel and, if so, what can you tell us about it?

To be honest, I don’t have anything on the burner at this time, although, since I’ve had a few requests, I have been considering writing a third story in my Portrait series—but how much more can I put poor Leila through? (A dangerous question for a novelist!)

About the Author:

J. B. Chicoine was born on Long Island, New York, and grew up in Amityville during the 1960s and 70s. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, but found that rural life in New Hampshire better suited her disposition. She has also lived in Kansas City and Michigan, although her favorite setting for novels is New England. She has been writing stories since she was a girl and has completed five novels: Uncharted: Story for a Shipwright, Spilled Coffee, Portrait of a Girl Running, and its sequel, Portrait of a Protégé, and the newly released Blind Stitches. When she's
not writing or painting, she enjoys designing book covers and binding novels, doing volunteer work, baking crusty breads, and working on various projects with her husband.

J.B. Chicoine's Website

Friday, July 18, 2014

An Ancient Gift and Other Stories by Jeanne Grunert

22435248An Ancient Gift and Other Stories by Jeanne Grunert
Series: N/A
Publisher: Grunert Family Holdings, Inc.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 55
Source: Author for review.

An Ancient Gift and Other Stories is a collection of three “light” horror stories. These tales of the paranormal are akin to old-fashioned campfire stories - stories that offer a sense of the uncanny without the gore.

“The Glove” offers the chilling tale of a woman recounting how her grandfather’s prejudices - and gift for sorcery - terrorized a neighborhood boy. Is her son at risk, too?

“Friday Night Visitor” features the old trope of a deal with the devil. But unlike fiddle contests of old, Rita, our heroine, must guess a riddle to unveil the identity of the visitor and save the guy she loves.

“An Ancient Gift”, the title tale, offers glimpse at a reluctant psychic. Anna and her sister Amy are charged with clearing out her grandmother’s house for the real estate agents when they uncover an unusually wrapped package in her father’s childhood closet, a deck of antique tarot cards. Did their father have the ancient gift of divination, and does one of the sisters have it, too?
Don't let my two star rating fool you, I did enjoy the three short stories within this book quite a bit. However, I truly went into it thinking they were going to be creepier than they were. However, this is not necessarily a deal breaker because they were creepy in their own way, just not to the point where I was terrified.
Honestly I think the three stories would be good for middle grade readers who like creepy stories but aren't necessarily allowed to read all of the extremely scary ones out there.
I enjoyed the last story, also the one the book is named after, the most. An Ancient Gift delivered what I was hoping for with these stories. It was creepy and I was really looking forward to finding out what happened to the two sisters. The first story The Glove was strange, I didn't know what to expect and the ending definitely made me want to know more about the characters and what happened. Friday Night Visitor was my second favorite, the whole mystery surrounding what was going on and how everything turned out definitely kept me entertained.
The major issue I had with this book was the grammar and spelling mistakes. It took a little while for me to deal with the mistakes and accept them but it didn't make the book less enjoyable overall. With a little more editing I think this book would be good to go.
The three stories that make up this book are quick reads and they are definitely mysterious. If you want something that you will fly through that will have you curious as to what is going to happen in the end I would recommend you check this out. You may end up loving it more than I did.

**Copy provided via the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

3168250The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1
Publisher: Ember
 Format: Paperback
Pages: 375
Source: Purchased.

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.

The records show that he died in 1418.

But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time

This was a strange book for me. I flew through the beginning and got stuck in the middle and by the end I was flying through it again. I don't really think it had anything in particular to do with the book itself I honestly just think it was the fact that I didn't want to read it at that point but being over 100 pages in I wasn't willing to stop.
The plot of this is amazing. I love anything to do with mythology and magic. Plus the fact that Harry Potter mentions Nicholas Flamel was what really made the name stick with me. I must say that this book did not disappoint. There was action and it was fast paced. The magic added a wonderful element as well as the prophecy that was hinted at throughout the novel.
As for the characters I loved Nicholas and his wife Perenell. They were fun and awesome and totally the kind of people you wish you could have as friends. Sophie was the twin that I actually liked. She was smart and thoughtful and didn't rush into things. Her brother Josh on the other hand really got on my nerves after awhile. He was brash and reckless and was jealous of his sister just because a certain thing didn't happen to him as well.
If you're a fan of magic and mythology I definitely recommend you check this out. It's a relatively quick read and will have you rooting for the characters to succeed. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

17162156Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1
Publisher: Quirk Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 382
Source: Won.

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

I was nervous about starting this book because of all the hype surrounding it, everybody seems to love it and I was afraid that I wasn't going to love it as much as everybody else. I am really glad I gave it a chance though because this book was awesome. It was creepy and mysterious and exciting. Though I do admit I had to put it down at night since the pictures really freaked me out.
The plot was amazing, going back in time through a time loop was something I hadn't seen before and it was totally unique. The peculiar children were strange and amazing at the same time and the fact that there were pictures included to show what some of them looked like was a nice touch. The monsters in the story were just as strange but they were frightening. I wouldn't want to be chased by one of them things.
I liked almost all of the characters. Jacob was kind of annoying at times when everything was pretty much right in front of him and he still thought it was all a joke. Though I do have to admit it was probably a lot to take in. I think that there's more to Miss Peregrine than what was shown and I really hope that there is a lot more of her in the sequel.
If you haven't started this book yet what are you waiting for? It is definitely worth all of the hype surrounding it and is full of mystery and action that will have you hurrying to find out what happens next.

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush by Laura Toffler-Corrie

16075951My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush by Laura Toffler-Corrie
Series: N/A
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: ARC
Pages: 352
Source: Won.

In My Totally Awkward Supernatural Crush by Laura Toffler-Corrie, Jenna Bloom is just an average middle school student until her family takes her to her least favorite restaurant for her birthday, where she meets Cowpoke Luke, her waiter and one true love. Oh, and he also happens to be an angel. Jenna can't believe that Luke could actually be interested in her, and yet he is! Unfortunately he's got a demonic foe named Adam who could potentially complicate matters, and when the two boys have a big showdown at the local community theater's performance of Fiddler on the Roof, Jenna is right in the middle of it all.

I knew going in that this was supposed to be an over the top parody. Still knowing this it did not make reading this book any more enjoyable. I found myself rolling my eyes more than I found myself laughing. The Twilight references got old after a while and I could not read more than a few pages at a time without having to set it down and pick something else up.

I could not connect with the characters. Sure Jenna has flaws, which I generally like in characters but they were extreme. She didn't find herself attractive at all, she was shallow and kind of self centered and she cared way too much what other people thought about her. I know, she's supposed to be in middle school and all but I felt that it was even too much for that age range. And Luke, he was supposed to be perfect, but I found him really awkward and I did not get the super awesome hero vibe he was supposed to portray.

All in all there really isn't much to say about this one. It simply wasn't for me but if you do decide to give this one a chance do not go into it with high expectations. It's supposed to be a parody and nothing else but the humor was lost on me.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

16075953Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Series: N/A
Publisher: Henry Holt & co.
Format: ARC
Pages: 288
Source: Won.

In Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, sixteen-year-old Samantha D’Angelo has death on the brain. Her summer internship at the local newspaper has her writing obituaries instead of soaking up the sun at the beach. Between Shelby, Sam’s boy-crazy best friend; her boss Harry, a true-blue newspaper man; and AJ, her fellow “intern scum” (aka the cute drummer for a band called Love Gas), Sam has her hands full. But once she figures out what—or who—is the best part of her summer, will she mess it all up?

As Sam learns her way around both the news room and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important—herself.

The one thing I absolutely loved about this story was the focus on Sam's job. I loved seeing how her job was a major part of her life and everything that went on in the office. However that was not enough to make me completely fall in love with this book.
For the most part I didn't connect with the characters. Sam bugged me. I just could not grow to like her. She was focused and hard working, two traits I usually really enjoy in a character but she was also kind of spineless in the beginning. I tried to like her I really did but in the end I liked AJ a lot more. AJ was awesome, a drummer and really into music. I could really identify with that aspect considering music has played a huge part in my life.
This was a pretty cute read. There just wasn't enough going on to keep me entertained however. The mysterious aspects in the story were fine for a while but I found myself not really caring whether they solved the mystery with the mayor or not.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Chasers by H.W. Vivian

21821174Chasers by H.W. Vivian
Series: N/A
Publisher: LuLu Publishing Services
Format: Paperback
Pages: 287
Source: Received for review.

The small town of Winston, Colorado, has a secret-one that hides in its children. Long ago, there were many children who suffered from the local "condition." There are fewer of them now, but Shelby is one of them. She was born with a ruby embedded in her skin. In the same year, two other kids in town, Gary and May, were born with emeralds. Now a teenager, Shelby nurses a crush on Gary, while he sticks close to the fragile May and tries to protect her from, among other things, Shelby's bullying. Despite their differences, however, their births connect them; when May goes missing, Gary needs Shelby's help. Together, Shelby and Gary learn the unspeakable truth about each other-and about the chasers. Death lurks around every turn; in order to survive, Shelby, Gary, and May must work together. It is now their responsibility to save an entire generation of people also born with their "condition" before a century-old grudge destroys them all.

This one took a little while to get into but once the action got started I was hooked. I had to know what would happen to Shelby, Gary and May to the point that I was staying up late trying to reach the end. This is like nothing I have ever read before, the idea that these kids have a debt to pay due to something that happened a long time ago and therefore have this really weird curse was just plain interesting.
Even though the beginning in this one is kind of slow, it does pick up and the events that the three teenagers have to go through is definitely action packed. One of the main things that drew me into this was the friendship between the characters. They would have risked their lives for each other in an instant, even though May and Shelby did not get along in the beginning.
The one thing that really took away from the story for me was Shelby. I just did not like her and I could not connect with her at all. She was selfish and nasty and a major brat. She did turn around towards the end but I just could not start liking her. May on the other hand was a sweetheart. Both her and Gary were my favorites. They stuck together through everything and Gary was so protective of May and definitely proved that guys and girls could be friends without romance being thrown in.
If you're looking for a quick read with an interesting back story I recommend that you give this one a chance. The action is fast paced and the fact that all of these teens would risk their lives for their friends really brings a lot to the story.
**Copy provided via the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**

Monday, May 19, 2014

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

6752378City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments, #4
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 424
Source: Borrowed

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

This book was not my favorite in the series so far. To be honest not too much happens in this one and it didn't hold my attention as well as the previous installments. This being said I still liked the book, when everything did start happening boy did it go down. I was not expecting the bad guy to be who it was and the reasons behind it.
I wasn't a huge fan of the Simon focus in this. I wasn't a fan of Simon before and I'm still not. My favorite character still remains Magnus and I have a feeling that this will stay the same for the rest of the series. Even though we don't get much of Magnus or Alec in this book the little bit that is shown with them was angsty and I couldn't help but want more.
 I cannot wait to finish this series. I hope that the last two books are more action packed like the first three books in the series because that is where this book really seemed to lag. I can't wait to find out what happens to the gang next, because the ending to this one left me holding the book wondering what horrible things were to come.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stones of Power: The Exile by Eric Buffington

18656790Stones of Power: The Exile by Eric Buffington
Series: Stones of Power, #1
Publisher: Center One Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Source: Author for review.

In a world where each person is born with a magic ability, the island of Denall is on the verge of an attack from a power hungry sorcerer, Mordyar, as he scours the world in search of the Stones of Power. While the stones are gathering and their power begins to be revealed, four boys leave their village on a rite of passage into adulthood and are swept into an adventure that will make men and heroes of them, if they can survive.

I'm generally not a huge fan of fantasy but I really want to try to read more of the genre. I was definitely surprised by the amount of enjoyment I had reading this book. I ended up getting absorbed in the story and rooting for the characters to pull through. And there was enough action to keep me turning the pages quickly to find out what would happen next.
The whole idea of these boys having to leave their village at 18 for a whole year to become men was interesting. The trouble they continually found themselves in was nerve wracking because I became so invested in these boys' story that I did not want anything horrible to happen to them, which of course everything that could go wrong did and although I didn't want that to happen I'm glad it did. Throughout the book Kaz really develops from a boy to a strong willed man.
The characters were a huge part of why I liked the story. Kaz was optimistic and no matter what happened he would do anything to help his friends. Farin was snarky and hard headed but he ended up being one of my favorite characters in the end. I was not as fond of Bendar as the others. He seemed off to me, throughout the book I kept wondering just what he was up to but I will say that he eventually grew on me.
If you're a fan of epic fantasy I think you would really enjoy this. It has adventure and action plus it focuses heavily on friendship and growing up. Even if you're like me and don't find yourself loving fantasy I really recommend giving this a try. You might just end up really loving it. I will definitely be reading the sequel when it's released since I need to know what happens to the characters.
**Copy provided via the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.**