Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis and a GIVEAWAY!

(From Goodreads)  A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

AGH!  This is such a mixed review for me!  Maybe I should tell what I loved and then what I didn’t love?

Wow, this book is a page turner for sure.  I was completely sucked in from the very beginning and I literally plowed my way through this book.  It was so compelling and I have to say, a bit disturbing.  It reminded me of how I felt reading the Hunger Games, the urgency to keep reading to find out what happens.  Only a very well written story can do that.  I think the characters were solid and I understood them and where they were coming from.  How crazy would it be to be frozen in one time and wake up in another time that had ideas, values and lifestyles completely backward and foreign to everything you had ever known?  Yeah, this book stays in your head.  I like that.  There is really only so much you can say without giving everything away here.

And now for what I didn’t love.  I know I am on the conservative side of reading.  I freely admit this and understand it is a difference between me and other readers.  I guess the most bothersome thing in this book for me was the whole “mating season” and how it was described.  It was disgusting and crass.  I do realize, that is exactly what the author wanted me to feel about it, but I think I would have still gotten that point without the descriptions of groping, thrusting and smells.  I just didn’t need the details and it all went on a bit long for me.  That didn’t need to be such a focal point.  If I could tweak that aspect of the book, you would have a girl who would be raving about this book. 

Something I have to say that I loved is the idea that DNA does not the entire person make.  It’s that soul, the spirit inside you that really makes you who you are.

Content wise, there is swearing and plenty of sexual situations.

I'm giving away a copy of this book.  If you haven't had a chance to read this book yet, just leave me a comment letting me know why you'd like to win.  Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact if you do win.  I'd love for you to follow my blog, but I won't make you.  :)  Happy Reading!


Congrats to NC at Truly Bookish who won my giveaway this week for A Time to Love!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday


1. I read everywhere. I always have a book with me.

2. I am a fast reader

3. If I am really worried about how a book ends, I cheat and read the end so I won't stress about it anymore. (i haven't really done this too much)

4. I almost always finish a book whether I like it or not

5. I hate people reading over my shoulder.  Whatever I'm reading is mine until I'm done with it.  (selfish, I know.)

How about you?  Leave me a link to your blog, I always return a follow.  And if you like romance novels, check out my giveaway that ends today (Friday).  Happy Friday!  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase has been looking forward to her sixteenth birthday.  It’s the magical birthday where you gain the independence of driving and the world's possibilities are endless.  Perhaps a romance, or ice cream falling from the sky.  But that’s not how it happens for Meghan.  Instead, Meghan gets a chart topping horrible day at school, a changling for a brother, a fey for a best friend and a whole bunch of creatures that want her dead.  Oh, and definitely no drivers license.  Meghan sets off on a journey through the world of the Fey to rescue her brother with Puck as her guide.  She doesn’t expect to discover that King Oberon is her father, and she is a princess. The world of Fey is unusual and frightening but Meghan is determined to find her brother and bring him home.

Yeah, so I finally got around to reading this book.  The good thing about starting into a series that everyone has been reading and talking about for so long is that you don't have to wait too long to read the next book.  I feel like I'm the very last person to read this though.

I love the cover of this book.  It's so pretty and I'm always drawn to blue so swirly's and blue is right up my alley!  I enjoyed this story, it moved along well and kept my attention.  I'm a girl that reads more than one book at a time unless it really sucks me in.  I put all other books aside to finish this one.  That's saying something.  By the end of the book I found I just wanted to know more.  I wanted deeper understanding of the characters, especially Puck and Ash.  I know there is another book, so hopefully I will get more there, and not more questions.  Meghan is a determined girl.  I love her loyalty to family and friends, even though it was called her weakness.  If you are going to have a weakness, that is a good one to have.  I'm looking forward to the next book.

There is swearing in this book.  Most swear words are used more than once.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mini Review and a Giveaway: Spellweaver: A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms and a Lynn Kurland Giveaway!

This is the latest book in this series by Lynn Kurland.

In this book we follow Sarah and Ruith around the countryside in search of his evil father's spells so he can destroy them before they fall into the wrong hands.  Of course, Ruith loves Sarah and is quite sweet and attentive but Sarah does her best to put him off because he is, after all, a mighty and magical prince. Neither one can accomplish their tasks alone and so together they face the challenges and surprises that come their way.

What I love about this series is that they are fantasy adventure but there is more romance than many fantasy books.  What?!  I'm a girl that likes some love.  BUT, they are not steamy romance books, they are clean.

This book contains frequent hell's and damn's.  Bastard is also used frequently in describing someone's half brothers who were sired out of wedlock.

Okay, so in honor of my love for an occasional Lynn Kurland romance, I'm giving away A Time for Love which actually contains two books in one.  (If I Had You and Another Chance to Dream)  These aren't fantasy books like the Nine Kingdoms series, but just straight up romance.
If you are interested in winning, just leave me a comment with your email address.  Giveaway ends Monday, March 28th.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: A Cowboy's Touch by Denise Hunter

Abigail Jones is a workaholic. Writing is her life. She is the “truth seeker”, writing to expose corruption and lies. All that overtime work is catching up with Abby though and she finds herself with high blood pressure, headaches and heart palpitations. Her mother and Dr. agree. A three month leave of absence is just the thing Abigail needs to rest her body and mind.

Middle of nowhere Moose Creek, Montana is where Abigail ends up for the summer. Great Aunt Lucy is getting older and some time spent with her is just what the doctor ordered. The slow pace and majestic scenery will calm the nerves and the spirit. Or it would, if Wade Ryan weren’t standing in the picture looking all attractive in his cowboy hat, strong and steady, making her stomach flutter and her heart pound.

Abigail knows she is in trouble of falling deep for Wade and spending ever day in his presence only cements the fact. As she works as a nanny for Wade’s eleven year old daughter, she finds her heart and mind agreeing that a life with these two might be all she ever wants.

Wade is hiding things though. His past is secreted away and locked up tight. In digging deep to find the answers, Abigail is faced with decisions that could tear them apart. How far is she willing to go? What will she risk?

I have to say right up front that I’m a fan of Denise Hunter’s books. I’ve read many of them and I’ve loved them. This was, I think, one of my favorites. A hunk of a cowboy, sizzling attraction and a journey of love and faith. It was a perfect combination for me. I loved it. I like the imperfect characters who make mistakes but know how to be accountable and overcome. And I like examples of forgiveness too, for others and for ourselves. When my heart gets a happily ever after ending, I feel good.

I received this book from Book Sneeze for my honest review.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. How did you come up with your blog name?

I can't even remember how I came up with the name for my blog.  It must not have been an "event" or I think I would have remembered it.  Gee, it wasn't even that long ago... Yup, even as I type here and think, still nothing.  It probably just popped into my head and that was that.  I love reading.  And with that said, I'm going to go "get my read on".  I hear that cowboy book calling to me....

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Kate’s mother is dying.  For years now, Kate has taken care of her mother and watched as she has deteriorated.  Now, her mother’s dying wish is to return to her home.  Kate is not excited in the least about the dilapidated house they will be living in or the new school she will be going to.  When Ava approaches her about attending a party to meet all the kids, Kate hesitantly agrees.  This sets off a chain of events that Kate never dreamed could be possible.  Greek Gods are real?  The God of the Underworld wants to marry her?  If she survives the next 6 months?  If she passes the tests?

I have to say that I usually enjoy books that have some sort of mythological base to them.  This was really no exception.  I was pulled into the book right away and there I stayed for a whole day.  That was how long it took me to read this because this was easy reading.  There was no confusion with the plot or ideas of this book.  Kate has a generous heart that forgives easily.  I think that is an admirable trait.  I really wished that Henry’s voice was as clear to me.  I finished the book wishing I knew more about him, how he felt and why.  I liked him, I just wanted more. 

I also really liked the idea that any little decision may be a test.   Someone is always watching to see how act and react, and just maybe proving our worth isn’t so much in the big, earth-shattering things, but in the everyday ways that we treat other people and handle ourselves.

I’d say this was a great debut title by Aimee Carter, who, by the way, has a way cool first name.  J  I’m looking forward to her next book because I was left hanging!  (but not too bad…)  I received this book courtesy of NetGalley for my honest review.

There was some language and sexual content in this book.  If you are interested in the break-down of these things, you can head over to The Literate Mother to check it out.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

Elodie leaves her family in pursuit of her dreams of becoming a masioner.  But her best laid plans change instantly upon arrival in the town of Two Castles.  There are no apprenticeships, and Elodie’s copper is stolen so she has no money.  She meets the dragon, Meenore, in town and finds herself agreeing to be IT’s assistant.  Meenore is no ordinary dragon.  She is a mystery solving dragon, brilliant in the game of observation and deductive reasoning.  Elodie’s first case with Meenore involves the Ogre that lives in one of the two castles in town.  Count Jonty Um is a giant, shape shifting Ogre who’s greatest desire is to be liked and respected by the townspeople who clearly do not like him.  Count Jonty Um seeks out the help of Meenore when his dog is stolen.  Elodie soon finds that this mystery is much more than finding a missing dog.  It’s about saving the Ogre’s life and maybe even her own.   

I knew I would enjoy this book from the second paragraph.  It says, “Albin stood to the side a few feet and blew his nose with a honk.  He could blow his nose a dozen ways.  The honk was the saddest.”  I have enjoyed every book I’ve read by Gail Levine and this was no exception.  I loved the mystery solving duo of Meenore the dragon and Elodie and the friendship that developed between them.  I loved how Elodie didn’t take someone else’s word on who she should like and why.  She gave everyone a chance and judged after knowing them.  This was a fun, adventurous book, cleanly written and well done.  Recommended reading level by publisher is ages 9-12.  I would agree.

I read this book courtesy of NetGalley.  A Tale of Two Castles will be released May 10th 2011.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

" who are You the Boy/Girl, instead of You the Blogger?

I am Aimee.  I am a wife and a mother.  I have 3 awesome kids that keep my busy!  I've been working in the real estate world for the past few years and I have the best job ever.  I'm currently on the Friends of the Library Committee in our city.  Yea for libraries!  I sing with an all women's choir which I totally love.  I do digital scrapbooking and I'm currently working on my brother's wedding pictures.  

I love the summer and the sunshine!  Flip flops are my favorite next to bare feet!  Chocolate.  I can't forget that.  :)  Tell me something about you!  Happy Friday!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Mine Is the Night

Mine is the Night
By Liz Curtis Higgs

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genre’s to read.  Liz Curtis Higgs has a real way of writing so that as a reader, you connect with the characters and the places of her stories.  In this book, I was carried away to eighteenth century Scotland and immersed in the language, customs and celebrations of its people.
Elizabeth Kerr, newly widowed, displaced and without title, accompanies her mother in law to Selkirk seeking refuge and a chance to rebuild a life for herself.  Elizabeth is quite talented with a needle and is unafraid of the work that will be required of her to support her family.  So much loss and betrayal have left Elizabeth and Marjory with broken hearts and lives in peril.  They find help and hope in Lord Jack Buchanan, a wealthy, retired navy man.
Although it took me awhile to become really invested in these characters and the story, it did happen.  The care and love of Elizabeth, Marjory and Annie for each other was inspiring.  The lessons of family and loyalty were strong and uplifting.  I really enjoyed the Scottish influence.  It was so good, so satisfying to read a happy ending for all.  That is just the way I like things to end.

This is a Christian based fiction book.  There was no profanity or sexual content. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.

2011 E-Book Reading Challenge

I think I might be a bit late jumping on this challenge, but I'm in now! I read books on my computer and my phone when I'm on the go. I'm looking forward to the books I have so far to read. I'm currently reading A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine. Here's what else I'll be reading:

The Man from Shenandoah by Marsha Ward
Redemption by Jaime Grant
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Is anyone else participating in this challenge? What are you reading?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

What embarrassing thing have you done on cold medicine?

Yikers! I don't think I really need cold medicine to do embarrassing things! They just happen naturally. :) Maybe I should take some cold medicine though to have a better excuse....
Book Blogger Hop
"Who's your all-time favorite book villain?"

Hum, that question makes me think because I don't think I've ever really put a villain into a favorite category.  President Snow from the Hunger Games was a real evil villain.  Easy to hate and all that.  I guess that would have to be my answer.  I'm sure as I read all your comments, I'll go, "oh, yeah.  I didn't like him/her either!"  Thanks for stopping by my blog!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Read Across America Day

"Hidden in the pages of books are extraordinary worlds and characters that can spark creativity and imagination, and unlock the potential that lies within each of our children. Reading is the foundation upon which all other learning is built, and on Read Across America Day, we reaffirm our commitment to supporting America's next generation of great readers.

"Cultivation of basic literacy skills can begin early and in the home. It is family who first instills the love of learning in our future leaders by engaging children in good reading habits and making reading a fun and interactive activity. Regardless of language or literacy level, every adult can inspire young people to appreciate the written word early in life. Parents and mentors can help build fundamental skills by reading aloud to children regularly, discussing the story, and encouraging children to ask questions on words or content they do not understand. By passing a passion for literature on to our sons and daughters, we prepare them to be lifelong, successful readers, and we provide them with an essential skill necessary for academic achievement."  --From President Barack Obama
Now THAT I can agree with!  Yipee for reading!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Couple Baseball Book Reviews: Pujols: More Than the Game and Tale of A Baseball Dream

Is it spring?  Well, it's sure not where I live!  Snow is in the forecast today.... SIGH.  But, in the baseball world, spring training has started!  In honor of that, here are a couple baseball book reviews.  I love baseball!  :)
Pujols:  More Than the Game
By Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth

Does the name Albert Pujols mean anything to you?
 In 2010 Pujols became the first player in baseball history to bat .300 with 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in for ten consecutive seasons.  That is something that Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Hank Aaron did not do.  In the 2010 season Pujols also hit 408 home runs.  Every time he touched home plate he pointed toward heaven, giving credit to a power higher than himself.

 If you aren’t a fan of baseball and statistics don’t impress you, perhaps Albert’s off the field deeds will impress you. 

Albert Pujols was born in the Dominican Republic where poverty prevails but so does baseball.  In his teenage years, the Pujols family immigrated to the US where Albert enrolled in high school, started playing baseball and learned about Jesus Christ.  From that time on he has tried to live his life as a good Christian man.  He has foundations to help kids and families with Down Syndrome because with his own daughter affected by this disability, he knows how it is.  Pujols also frequently and freely gives back to his own birthplace in Dominican Republic, helping with medical care and necessities of life.

Those close to Albert speak highly of him as a man and as an athlete.

I enjoyed reading through this book.  I love baseball and there is no doubt that Albert Pujols is an amazingly talented athlete.  His statistics speak for themselves.  It’s nice to read about the good efforts he is making to help others and give back.  This was a well written biography.  It’s wasn’t a stay up past midnight to finish it kind of book, but it was interesting and definitely left me feeling good.  Here is my favorite line from the book.  “This isn’t only about being a baseball player.  It’s about having the opportunity to change lives.”

Tale of a Baseball Dream
“World’s Greatest Baseball Story”
By Jerry Pearlman

Dusty Hunter has loved baseball all his life and he’s worked hard to be the best he can be.  With the help of his dad, he has spent countless hours batting and catching.  Don’t let Dusty’s small stature fool you because his big heart and determination more than make up for it. 

Entwined throughout the story of Dusty is another story of baseball great “Bubba ‘the Brute’ Brugosee”. These two stories make up an inspiring “Tale of a Baseball Dream”.

I love baseball.  It’s in my blood.  Even sitting here now I can hear the crack of the bat and feel the crowds in the stadium all around me.  Peanuts and hot dogs, warm summer days.  Take me out to the ballgame!  This book was exactly what it proclaims to be; a sweet and inspiring tale of a baseball dream.  It could be the dream of any young boy starting out in tee ball and little league baseball.  I enjoyed reading this book.  It left me with a smile on my face and that is a very good thing.  This book is recommended for ages 8-12 and I completely agree.  My sincere thanks to Jerry Pearlman for sending me this book to read and review.

Wednesday's Winner

A big CONGRATULATIONS to BookGeek for winning this week's giveaway of Between Shades of Gray!
Thank you to all who took the time to comment.  I really appreciate the support!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review of Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Life has not been easy for fourteen year old Luce.  Before her dad died she lived with him in a van and was constantly on the run.  One day Luce’s dad goes out to sea for work and never comes home.  Luce is left to live with her uncle who is a mean drunk.  Things reach a climax when Luce’s uncle tries to rape her and then leaves her on the dangerous cliffs of a small Alaskan town.   Luce fully expects to die when she drops into the freezing water below the cliffs but instead turns into a mermaid.  When Luce is taken in with a group of mermaids she feels a sense of true belonging and family but that sense of belonging is shattered when Luce realizes that these mermaids are driven to use their voices to destroy boats and kill humans.  Luce has a particularly beautiful voice and is capable of great power with it but Luce doesn’t want to kill humans.  As the other mermaids recognize Luce’s great skill, they put pressure on her to use it to their advantage.  Luce struggles between loyalty to her new family and her conscience.

This book was not at all what I was expecting it to be.  It was dark and sad.  I kept waiting for it to turn around, for hope to shine through but it never really did.  The whole mermaid vibe was disconcerting.  This book reminded me of a zombie movie, only with mermaids.  There was lots of death, bodies and blood. 

Luce is a strong, smart character with that base need to find love and acceptance that drives her on.  I liked that even when she knew that base desire would be rejected, she still kept to her convictions.

This was not a great read for me, but I’m not really into the whole zombie scene, even when it’s mermaids.  About halfway through, I felt like I had the idea and knew how Luce felt.  Things just seemed to spin in one place without moving forward.   I like some happy in my books, some resolution that good conquers evil.  While I realize that this is the first book in a series and this book lays a foundation for the rest (which may eventually give me some of the happier stuff I’m looking for) I have to say that based on this book, I probably won’t pick up the next books.

Lost Voices will be released July of 2011.