Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Fairer Than Morning

From Goodreads:
In 1826, Ann Miller travels to Pittsburgh with her widowed father and two young sisters, only to find that a mysterious man has pursued them all the way from Ohio. Is Ann's father just a circuit minister, or is he hiding something that may endanger them all?

Will Hanby indentures with a Pittsburgh saddler maker, only to discover that his master is a cold-hearted tyrant. After years of abuse, Will becomes a prisoner of his own mind. But then lovely Ann Miller comes to stay next door and her compassion lights a long-dark part of Will's soul. His renewed courage puts his life in jeopardy as he begins to assist fugitive slaves.

Will's murderous master and Ann's questions about her family may keep both of them bound in the shadows forever. Or will they find freedom-together?

When I picked this book up to read it, I thought I was getting a historical romance.  The back cover blurb (that is different from the summary above) led me to believe that.  I will say there was a little bit of romance that finally came to realization the last chapter of the book.  Otherwise, this was mostly a historical fiction, which I really enjoyed.  It’s one of my favorite genre’s of book.  Set in Ohio and Pennsylvania in the 19th-century, this story deals with the real time issues of slavery, indentured apprenticeships, and abuse and cruelty at the hands of their masters.  Elliott has based her story and main characters on the lives of real people who lived at the time.  This story evoked emotions of disgust, disbelief and empathy.  This world can be cruel and unkind but thankfully there are and were people who showed forth kindness and help others.  I think this book does a good job at showing this.

This is a Christian Fiction book that I received from BookSneeze for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Tansy Miller has just learned that she is 78 percent pathetic from a fairy godmother she had no idea she even had.  Evidently she earned this particularly pathetic ranking for her choice in boyfriends which led to a doomed date of vandalism on a city building where said boyfriend ditches her and she is arrested by police.  Tansy believes that her luck is about to change when her fairy godmother grants her 3 wishes.  Anything she wants.  But either Tansy isn’t very good at making wishes or her fairy godmother isn’t very good at getting them right.  Either way, Tansy finds herself is one mess after another until she is sitting in a barn in the Middle Ages, chained to the wall, expected to turn straw into gold and guarded by her brother’s handsome friend. 

Janette Rallison has created yet another story with wit and fun dripping from each page.  I was entertained and amused the whole way through.

Tansy is a girl who has been hurt by the divorce of her parents.  She’s a good girl making some bad decisions; struggling with how to handle the hurt she feels with the acceptance she needs.  I think every teenager will be able to relate to Tansy on some level or another.

And oh to be Chrysanthemum (Chrissy) Everstar.  Her clothes and pedicures alone leaving me wishing.  Well, maybe I don’t want to BE her, I just want to be able to put together outfits, hair styles and make-up like she does with a flip of her magic wand.  Without being so self-absorbed and half witted, of course.  And for the record, I never want a fairy godmother like her.  No matter how pathetic I become. 

This light read will recreate the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin in way you never dreamed of and leave you smiling in the end.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Winner

Wow, my first hop was such fun.  Thanks to all who took time to enter and follow me.  You guys rock.  I'm happy to announce that Tamara has won my giveaway.  Hurray for Tamara!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have not had the typical childhood.  Summers have been spent at archaeological sites while their parents dig and discover.  This summer is no different, except their father isn’t there anymore.  The Betarrini sisters join their mother, obsessed with her latest discovery, in rural Tuscany.  Gabi is tired of dusty dig sites and being ignored by her mother who lives in a different world.  Looking for a bit of adventure, Gabi convinces her sister to join her in one of the recently discovered ancient burial tombs to explore.  When Gabi finds handprints in the wall that fit her and her sister’s hand perfectly, the world shifts, spins and they find themselves in the fourteenth century.  But Lia and Gabi are separated.  Gabi  is set in the middle of battles, castles and of course, knights in shining armor.  This wasn’t exactly the usual summer in Italy she had planned.  Who knew her very own knight in shining armor would be found hundreds of years before her time in the midst of so much turmoil?  But, Gabi must find her sister and get home.  No matter what.

I'm seriously so happy I read this book.  It was so much fun.  And, I freely admit I'm a sucker for a good, fast paced adventure/romance with a hunk of a medieval knight leading the way.  Yup, it was a great read.  I polished it off in one day and I'm now handing it off to my 13 year old daughter who is going to eat this book up.  Guaranteed.  I sure don't like endings that leave me hanging though and this one sure did!  I'm wishing it were June 1st so I could snatch up the next book and read it too!  Aagh!

There was no offensive language or sexual content in this book.  (Yipee!)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Matched and meeting Ally Condie!

From Goodreads:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I actually read this book before I started blogging so I've never done a review on it.  I'm going to today because I met Ally Condie last night at an author event near me.  She was part of a 5 member panel and it was so much fun to hear all the authors.

Loved this book. Loved it. Well written, thought provoking, enjoyable. It evoked emotions in me and kept my interest the whole way through.  I loved Grandpa.  He is one of my favorite characters in book one.  He reminded me a lot of my grandpa. 

It always scares me a bit when I read books where the government takes complete control.  It seems, on one hand, that it could never be that way.  Right?  I mean, how would we, as people ever let it get that far.  And then, on the other hand, I can totally see it happening.  Slowly but surely until we don't even realize it has happened.  "Do not go gentle."

Matched was a great read and I'm sad I'm finished with it. It's going to be a long wait for the next book!

If you haven't read this book yet, you should pick it up.  It's a keeper.

This is a clean read.  No swearing, no sexual content.  Yipee!  :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. What is on your current playlist right now?

Well, I'm still obsessed with Mat Kearney.  I love him. 

 I'm going to see him in concert in July and I'm SO excited.  I love this album by him:
I'm actually as eclectic with my music as I am with my book reading so I listen to all kinds of music.  But, Mat is the top of the charts for me.  Nobody has moved in to take his place for awhile.  I'm patiently waiting for his new album.  Hopefully it will come out soon!  :)

So, have you heard Mat Kearney's music?  Is there any love for him?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase, half faery princess, half human, now resides as prisoner to the Winter Fey.  After defeating the Iron King she returned with the Winter Prince, Ash, as his prisoner as promised.  All dreams of Ash loving her have vanished as his icy cold treatment and words cut through her heart.  Relations between the Summer and Winter fey are strained and there is talk of war.  Meghan knows that the real threat comes from the Iron fey but nobody believes her.  And worse, she can’t do much about it because her powers have been cut off and she has no idea who to trust anymore.

I was excited to read this book.  I’ve read so many reviews of people loving this series and the word is that every book gets better.  I would have to agree that this book was even better than the first one.  It is pretty predictable as far as plots go, and it has the classic love triangle but if you just read it to enjoy a romp through fairy land with a half-human girl and two hunky fey boys, you are in for a fun read.  I must admit that one of my favorite things in the book are the swirly vines at the beginning of each chapter.  Thorns?  No thorns?  Hummm.  I love the fast pace of the books that never leave me bored.  It’s time to get some good love resolution though.  I’m hoping I find that in the next book!  Am I going to get it?!

My one complaint is the language in the book.  It’s just too much for me.  boo hoo.

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

This is so exciting!  This is my first giveaway hop!  Thanks for stopping by.  The giveaway rules are simple. 
1)        1.  You must be a follower of my blog.
2)     2.  Leave me a comment with your email address
3)     3.  If you want an extra entry, leave a comment on one of my reviews and let me know in a separate comment on the giveaway page.
I am giving away a book, your choice, from the Book Depository up to $12.00.  

If The Book Depository ships free to your country, you can enter!  J
Happy Hopping!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q. Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

I have a lot of people asking me about what books to read or what books their kids would like and it's fun to talk to them about books, but I guess I don't really have anyone who is obsessed with reading like me to talk with. Like Marie at Romance Around the Corner,I am a garbage disposal of book reading.  I like to read so many different kinds of books.  Probably the reason I started up a book blog.  I know that every single book I read someone out there in book blog land will have read too and have an opinion on.  If I have read a book my kids love, they will talk with me.  I have some girlfriends share a love for sappy romantic, happy ending books so we talk about those.  See how I need my friends in blog land?  Only you people can understand my love for books and talk with me about them!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: The Boyfriend Bylaws by Susan Hatler

Hello? Set in Sacramento? My growing up stomping grounds... How could I not appreciate that? The characters were fun and the dialogue between them was natural and easy. The story moved along quickly and ended all too soon in my opinion. I would sure like to see a longer version of this. (This is a novella, so a very quick read.)  I think the employees being caught in the janitorial closet was very funny and I loved the word of the day idea. So much fun.  Loved the happily ever after ending.

My conservative reader side needs to mention (especially to all my squeeky clean reader friends) that while there was no explicit sex scenes, there was talk of having been there and going there. Buying lingerie, having the wrong kind of underwear on for pre-sex play... Characters in the book have implied sex, not detailed.

Susan Hatler has a fun way of writing that I really enjoyed. My thanks to her for letting me read her book. And my congratulations. :)

You can pick this kindle book up at Amazon for .99 cents!  It was worth a dollar, for sure!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The story of Gen begins in a prison where Gen is being held for stealing.  He is not just a thief, but a bragging thief.  Self proclaimed as the best thief, able to steal anything.  The king’s scholar, the magus, needs Gens help as a thief to steal a rumored and hidden treasure of the God’s from another land.  We follow their journey to the hidden temple of the Gods where Gens abilities are put to the test.  The magus has plans, but Gen is a trickster and has a plan of his own. 

I didn't get really into this book until Gen reaches the temple of the Gods and begins his adventure there.  From the beginning I guess I felt a bit indignant on behalf of Gen and the cruel treatment he received.  I mean, I know he was a thief and all, but still.  I did love the ending of this book because it went someplace I wasn’t expecting.  It unfolded into another story.  

I read and reviewed this book for another website before I started blogging.  I've actually read the whole Thief series and loved it.  I recently won this book through a giveaway (thank you, Lindsey @ and had the chance to remember my love.  It's so lovely to own a copy and share it with the people around me.

The moment I really bonded with Gen was when he said this in response to Sophos’s question, “If you could be anywhere you wanted right now, where would it be?”  “In bed.  In a big bed, with a carved footboard, in a warm room with a lot of windows.  And sheets.  And a fireplace, and books.  Lots of books.”  That was the moment that I knew I could love Gen.  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Review: Prom and Prejudice

From  Goodreads:
After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.

I was a bit hesitant about reading this because I really LOVE the real Pride and Prejudice.  How could you even compare?  And really, you can’t.  But, this was a fun, light read that made me smile.  It’s not deep or thought provoking, and I’m okay with that.  The base characters, their traits and the main idea of “pride and prejudice” are similar in the two books.  This was just fluffier and current.  I really did enjoy reading it.  I liked it heaps better than The Lonely Hearts Club, also by Eulberg.  I appreciated that this book was clean (you know, no swearing or sex).  Oh, and for the record, I loved the ending too. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday


Is there seriously somebody who has never done this at some time or another? Yes, I have judged a book by it's cover before. You tend to think of that as seeing a book and thinking it must be bad because the cover is horrible, but I have picked up a book thinking the cover looked so good and been very disappointed.  I guess you just never know until you delve in.

Judgment Day by Wanda L. Dyson and a Giveaway!

Suzanne Kidwell hosts a weekly cable show called Judgment Day where she is known for her sensational journalism.  Her goal is to exploit and expose people of prominence for the lies they tell.  She fancies herself a champion of ethics when in fact, she is quite the opposite.  Suzanne’s lazy investigation tactics and creative embellishments put her job in jeopardy and leave innocent people ruined.

Things begin to go terribly wrong when Suzanne’s boyfriend dies in a car accident that was meant for her.  Then the police find someone murdered on her living room floor and she has the blood on her hands.  Jail is the last place Suzanne ever expects to find herself and when she comes face to face with a man she betrayed in college, things really start to heat up.  Suzanne knows about something big, something worth killing for if she can just stay alive long enough to prove it.

This book was fast paced and I couldn’t help but be sucked in to the plot.  The character of Suzanne as a cold hearted journalist looking for fame and success definitely came across well.  In fact, I really didn’t like her at the beginning and I still didn’t like her at the end.  I felt like her change of heart at the end was shallow and more about her brush with death than actual regret for her horrible treatment of others.  The plot rotates around the horrible practice of organ harvesting and it is a sad and sick thing.  I’m sure it does happen today, but I shudder to think of it.  Overall, if I view this book as a distraction and don’t think too much about it, I liked it.  It was a quick, engaging read.

I received this book courtesy of Blogging for Books for my honest review.  They actually sent me and extra book to give away so if you love a good murder mystery kind of book, leave me a comment here with your email address.  Giveaway will end Tuesday, April 19th.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas by Abby Sunderland and Lynn Vincent

This book follows the epic and heroic journey of sixteen year old Abby Sunderland as she sets out to be the youngest person to sail nonstop around the world unassisted.  Setting out from Marina Del Rey, California, Abby sailed a southern route around Cape Horn and become the youngest person to sail solo around the “Mount Everest of sailing”, proving wrong the critics that predicted her trip would last a few weeks at most.  Abby literally battled against the odds as her equipment failed, vicious storms pounded her, and the public attacked her family.  The greatest test came in the Indian Ocean, twenty-seven million square miles of the most treacherous and wicked waters on the earth.  Here Abby battled alone against the waves that would change her life forever.

When I first saw this book, I was interested.  I hoped that it would be an engaging read but didn’t really expect great things from it.  In the middle of reading another book, I picked up Unsinkable and thought I’d just take a glance at the first bit.  I couldn’t put it down.  All other books become non-existent as I became swept up in the story of Abby’s sailing.   I loved how the first chapter took me right into the middle of her worst nightmare and then pulled me out and placed me in the beginning where I learned about Abby’s family and her first experiences onboard a sailing boat.  The story is cleverly told, alternating between Abby and a narrator where we get a whole picture.  There was a glossary in the back that helped me understand the sailing terms I am positively uneducated in.  There was also a diagram of Abby’s boat so I could identify where the things were that were being talked about.  It was an education!  What I loved most about Abby’s story is her courage and tenacity.  What a remarkable young woman.  I was so impressed with the calm self control and that core strength that Abby possesses that got her through the tough times.  At one point, her equipment was failing and she had to fix it.  She spent the whole night, drenched in cold water, in the dark trying to fix something with only verbal instructions over the phone.  She never lost her head, never became rude or impatient.  She kept trying and refused to give into the many things stacked against her.  That is some kind of impressive control.

I loved reading this book.  I can’t say enough good about how impressive Abby Sunderland is.  Her story is inspiring.  This is a fantastic read for adults and teens alike, and I’m better for reading it.

I received this book from BookSneeze for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Winner of Across the Universe!

Congratulations to Annette who won the giveaway for Across the Universe by Beth Revis!  Annette said,"I haven't read this yet, but I am so intrigued. It seems many bloggers have a "love/hate" relationship with this book. I'm looking forward to seeing what it's all about. Great review. Thanks!"
Enjoy the book, Annette!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Infinity: Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sarcastic, quick-witted Nick Gautier thinks he knows pretty much everything about the world going on around him.  At fourteen, he’s had his share of hard knocks.  With his dad in prison, his mother working as an exotic dancer and barely bringing in enough money to feed them, Nick knows plenty about being poor and doing without.  At school he is constantly bullied by kids who think they are better than him because they have money and status.  Nick knows how to be tough.  Then weird things start happening, like one of the kids at school tries to eat another kid.  The world Nick thinks he knows is only the surface of what is really out there.  As he quickly learns, looks can be deceiving and things are not always what they seem.

There are a few things I liked in this book.  I enjoyed the dry sarcasm Nick had.  It was quirky and often funny.  I liked the idea of paying forward the kindnesses you receive, especially if you are in a position to help others.  I could relate to a mother who loved her son and wanted better for him that what she got dealt in life. 

Past that, for me, this was a read I endured.  I’m not a fan of zombie books so it didn’t have much appeal to me.  I felt like for most of the book that I was missing out on something.  This series is a prequel to Kenyon’s adult Dark Hunter series, which I haven’t read.  I’m pretty sure that’s why I always felt like I didn’t really know some things that were going on that I should have.

As for content, there is language and while there is no explicit sex, there are plenty of sexual references.  I actually read this book per request for the website The Literate Mother where we review books for content for those that want to know.  If you are interested in the breakdown on content you can view it here.  

Last Day for Across the Universe Giveaway!

Just a reminder that today (Monday 4-4) is the last day to get in on the Across the Universe Giveaway.  You can read my review and get in on  the giveaway here.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday


I don't think there is a book I don't want to admit to loving. If I love a book, I'll tell you. I think everybody is entitled to their own opinion, especially about books and what one person loves another may hate. But if you love a book others hate, there has to be a reason, right? There are so many books I love. I admit to all of them.  :)

If you haven't read Across The Universe yet, enter my giveaway. It ends on Monday.  

Happy Friday!