Friday, October 28, 2011

From Amazon:

An Impossible Romance.
Bitter Rivalries.
Deadly Choices.

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

First off, I love the title on the cover. The whole cover is pretty, but the title? Nice.

So, Vanish is the second book in this Firelight series. I've been waiting to read this for quite awhile because the last book left us hanging, of course. It seems like they all do. And, after reading this book I'm right back to the same place. Waiting, wondering, knowing how long it will be before I get to read the next book. –sigh->
 A struggle between what a character thinks is best and what a character wants is a common theme in any book. Especially when it comes to love. Jacinda's struggle is no different. The love she feels for Will, her family, and her draki family keeps her torn. It is a struggle most can relate to on some level because we've all been there before in some form or another.

I like the draki element in these books. I actually think I might like to be one! Come on, flying? Special powers? Strength? Yup, sign me up!

The problem with writing a review for this book is that it's almost impossible to say anything more than the summary without giving everything away. I don't want to do that. I will say that I don't like these love triangles. It makes me feel bad when there are two hot and incredible guys after one girl. Why does it always have to be that way? Love triangles. Bleh.

I did really enjoy Vanish. It was a good, fast read that kept my interest from beginning to end. I'll be anxiously awaiting the next book. I just know it's going to be good!

There was some frequent mild swearing and a couple instances of profanity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: The Death Cure by James Dashner

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

It was so nice to get to the end of this trilogy.  This is one intense, fast paced, action packed series and the wait in between books was killer.  

Poor Thomas.  He's been through so much in this series.  I really hope he can find a good therapist because I have no idea how anyone can survive what he did without one.  But, Thomas is loyal and brave and has a smart head on those shoulders of his.  All very admirable traits.  He is an awesome lead man.

I also have to say that James Dashner is one funny dude.  I've heard him speak a few times and have always enjoyed it.  Here I am with him at a book festival.  He would not give up that pamphlet of his book.  Believe me.  I did try.  We are also the same age.  I know, right?  Old.  <sigh>  Wait, did I just call myself old?  lol.  I'm looking forward to the future writings of Dashner.  He has some freaky stuff going on in that head of his.

Okay, well that wasn't much of a review, but I don't have much time.  I have a very sick kid with strep.  No fun.

FYI:  This book contains mild language and some graphic violence.  Just so you know.  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Must Read Monday #2

Fans of Fiction

Today begins week two of the new meme, Must Read Monday!  by Fans of Fiction
The goal of this meme is to find those books others are excited about to add to your To Be Read list.

Instead of answering a question, you are basically creating intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they'll read it?

On your post, you'll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing).

When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you're adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.

It's all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

This week's category: your favorite paranormal pick. This can include any of the paranormal subgenres (like paranormal romance).

Wow, I think I have a lot to live up to this week! Thanks to Fans of Fiction for this fun new meme and for picking my acrostic from last week. :) Like last week, I'm picking a paranormal that isn't necessarily my FAVORITE, but I'm reading it right now and it fits the genre this week. :) Well, here it is!

                                      She will Vanish, taking memories with her

                                                     Against her will

                                           yet kNowing what she has to do

                                                     It's not over

                                         promiSes he made

                            choosing will Hurt, the draki or him

Spooktacular Giveway Hop!

It's Halloween time!  Do you love Halloween?  Honestly, not my favorite holiday.  So, how to make it more appealing?  Join up with a book giveaway hop, right?!

I am giving away a book, your choice, $12.00 or less from Book Depository if you are international, and Amazon if you are US.  No pre-released books.

If you are interested in this giveaway, here are the rules:  (bleck, who wants rules?)  You must be 13 or older. You must follow my blog.  Leave me a comment with your follow name and an email address.  If you want an extra entry, make a new comment on any of the reviews I've done and then leave me a separate comment letting me know.  That's all!

There are SO many blogs to visit with this hop!  The opportunities are endless.  :)  This Hop ends OCT 31st.  Happy Halloween and happy hopping!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.

Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

Wow, this book just propels you forward constantly.  It's full of excitement and danger and romantic tension.  So well written.  Here is my very brief review.  (Unfortunately I read faster than I write reviews.  Go figure.  And with a sick child, I'm reading more with far less time to write.  It is what it is though...)

Here's what I liked:
The setting.  Seriously?  Werewolves on the Titanic?  Sweet.  The Titanic is one of those stories I think we will be drawn to forever.  So tragic.

The characters.  Tess, Alec, Mikhail, Irene... they all were very real, believable characters.  The evil just emanated from Mikhail.  I could feel it.  Tess is strong and courageous.  She is a girl with a plan.  I loved the characters, all. 

The cover.  Yup, it is awesome.  I love it.

The Author's notes at the end of the book.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's the inside guide to her thinking and research?  I just really liked reading them. 

FYI on content:  This book is full of mild language and profanity.  There are sexual scenes and implied sex without description.  (which I didn't love)

Monday, October 17, 2011

The First Must Read Monday

 Fans of Fiction

Welcome to a new meme Fans of Fiction is launching on Mondays. The goal of this meme is to find those books others are excited about to add to your To Be Read list. (Those chicks on the button must be reading a really good book, or fighting over whose is the best.)

Instead of answering a question, you are basically creating intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they'll read it?

On your post, you'll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing).

This week's category: a favorite dystopian pick. If you can't think of one, choose a book set in the future.

When you leave comments on other's post, be sure to mention whether you're adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.It's all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

Okay, here goes mine. And while this isn't my FAVORITE dystopian read, it is the one on my mind as I just finished it yesterday! (please keep in mind that I'm sleep deprived today after staying up most the night with my sick child! There is no inner creative goddess going on here!)


          Many Daring escapes
        with FriEnds and foes 
 who can he Trust?
                 tHe Flare is spreading fast

                   Cranks are taking over
One thing is sUre:
   The time foR lies
             is ovEr.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: Watched by Cindy Hogan plus a Giveaway!

When Christy wins a school trip to Washington D.C. she is sure this is just the thing that will change her life.  Christy longs to be accepted and popular instead of stuck in the smart, poor girl category and this trip is her chance to be with the crowd she longs to be a part of.  Things don’t go exactly how Christy imagined and when she witnesses a horrible murder, her life is definitely changed, and not for the better.  Christy and her friends are being hunted by evil men who want them dead.  Can the FBI protect them?  Can Christy make it out of Washington D.C. alive?

Generally when I get a new book in the mail or from the library, I open it up right away and start reading the first page.  I don’t know why I do this, I guess to just get an initial feel for the book.  To see if I’m going to be interested in it right away.  If the book really captures me I end up reading more, even though I’ve already told myself that I can’t read the book until I finish with whatever other books I’m working on for reviews.  Watched was one of those books that I started reading and didn’t put down even though I should have because it wasn’t its turn!

Christy is definitely a typical teenager with all the insecurities and desires I think many fifteen year old girls have.  Her plight to fit in and find acceptance was relatable, even to me as an adult.  Her nighttime exploits of sneaking out made the mother in me cringe though!  After the first horrible outcome, you would think those kids would learn their lesson and not sneak out in the middle of the night, but no.  They continue to do it, going to clubs and the like.  It’s amazing what a teenager will do for a hot looking boy.  Christy finds herself in all kinds of sticky situations.

I haven’t really read many YA suspense novels and I found myself really enjoying this one.  Watched was fast paced and exciting.  It had the tension that moves the story along and a bit of teenage romance too. 

One thing that didn’t quite jive for me was Christy’s relationship with her parents.  She often spoke of the rules in her home of not dating until she was 16 and even some thoughts on religion.  Yet she spoke of parents who were distant and uninvolved in her life.  She never called home on her trip or had contact with her parents in any way.  Her parents were supposedly contacted to inform them of a “bus accident” in which she was involved yet there is still no contact between Christy and her parents.  Really?  I find it hard to believe that parents that give rules like no dating until 16 and teach their child religion as Christy explains it would be so uncaring or uninvolved in her life.  Especially when something traumatic happens.  I guess I just didn’t understand that element of the book very well.

Aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I pushed through it so quickly because I just had to know what would happen.  I suspected everyone, my heart was pounding, I forgot to write my review notes.  That some good story!  It sure was left wide open in the end, so I’m hoping for an exciting sequel to come.

My thanks to William Hogan (Cindy’s husband) for sending me Watched to read and review.  How awesome to have your husband helping to promote your book!  William was kind enough to include an extra print copy for me to give away.  Yipee!  If you'd like to win, just leave me a comment telling me why you'd like to read Watched and your email address so I can contact you.

You can find out more about Cindy Hogan here and even read the first chapter of Watched here.

You can purchase Watched here.  Watched for the Kindle is only $.99 right now!  How cool is that?  It is for sure worth a dollar to read!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Alias by Mandi Tucker Slack Blog Tour and Giveaway!

“Jacey Grayson is an average, young, divorced mother struggling to build a new life for her son, Blaze.  But when the FBI discloses some disturbing information about her ex-husband, Jacey’s life becomes anything but average.  At the risk of losing her identity, her future and her heart, Jacey and Blaze flee to Utah, hoping to hide and start over once again.  But no matter how far she runs or who she pretends to be, her past is always lurking nearby, bringing old fears with it.”

This LDS fiction book grabbed my attention from the get-go and held it all the way through to the end.  It was fast paced and engaging.  It took me, oh, one day to finish reading this book.  I really felt the emotions of Jacey, willing to do anything to protect her son from an abusive monster of a man.  Her story, along with so many real life people who deal with physical and emotional abuse every day, is just heart wrenching.  I can’t even imagine living like that.  I admired Jacey’s courage and her determination to be stronger, to face her fears and find peace.

I loved Uncle Grant and Aunt Helen.  To me they personified the very essence of family.  No matter the distance or the years, family is family.  You take them in with open arms and a heart full of love.  They really felt like home to me.

The cover of the book is cool too.  It’s what first attracted me to the book.  J  The Wasatch Mountains pictured on the front cover really are beautiful.  I get to look out my window and see them every day.

The Alias was a fast paced (did I already say that?!), heart pumping and heart warming all at the same time.  It pulled me in emotionally and gave me some of that nice romance (which you gotta know I love!).  This was an all around good book for me.  I'm really looking forward to reading more by Mandi Tucker Slack in the future.  You can find out more about Mandi here.

I am so glad to be a part of this blog tour for The Alias.  My thanks to Tristi Pinkston for including me and thanks also to Cedar Fort for providing the book for me to read.  You can purchase The Alias here and just so you know, you can pick it up on Amazon for the Kindle for just $3.99!  That's and awesome price for an LDS fiction book!  

I’m giving a copy of The Alias away.  Happy stuff!  I actually signed on to do this blog tour and then won a copy of the book in a giveaway I entered.  So, I have two books and I’m giving one away.  Just leave me a comment with your email address to be entered.  That’s it!  Giveaway ends Oct. 31st.

And, as always, my thanks for stopping by.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q.If you could pick one character in a book, movie or television show to swap places with, who would it be?

Well, I could tell you a lot of characters I would NOT want to be.  But, who would I want to be?!  I just watched Enchanted with my girls.  I think I'd like to be the happily ever after girl who gets the hot guy in the end all enveloped in true love and stuff.  But, not for too long.  I don't think I'd want to live anyone else's life permanently.  While I love to enter a good book that can take me away, I'm quite content to return to my own life.

Now, as is the norm for these hops, I will go to all these other people's blogs and see their answers and go, "Oh!  I didn't think of that!"  and wish I had something more clever to say...

Happy Friday everyone!

Review: The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Lexi has heard the stories of the Near Witch her whole life.  “If the wind calls at night, you must not listen.  The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.”  So on a windy night when Lexi looks to the moor outside her home and sees a boy who fades into the wind, she knows that a stranger has entered her town which cannot be right because she’s always been told that “there are no strangers in the town of Near.”

Starting the next night, the children of Near begin to disappear without a trace.  The suspicious stranger is at the heart of accusations and the hunt is on to find him.  Lexi desperately believes the stranger is innocent and determines to find the children and the answers that just might lie in the stories her father always told.

I know so many of you have already read this book.  I saw it on NetGalley awhile back and it really made it's way around the blogs.  I just wasn't in a position to read it then (plus I just really like to hold books in my hands.  My Kindle is fabulous but I will always be a "real book" kind of girl.  This was a book I wanted to hold in my hands.).  Anyway, I'm finally getting around to reading this!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The writing was just beautiful and I was carried into the world of Near.  I had a clear visual picture in my head of the people and the places even though the book took on a very dream like quality to me. 

The writing was so gentle and flowing.  I loved that it never felt forced or harsh.  I cannot wait to read more by this author. 

This YA book was part ghost story, part romance and yet sort of felt like a fairy tale too.  Here is a couple of my favorite lines from the book:

“Fear is a strange thing.  It has the power to make people close their eyes, turn away.  Nothing good grows out of fear.”

“Maybe one day the words will pour out like so many others, easy and smooth and on their own.  Right now they take pieces of me with them.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

Eighteen year old Finley Sinclair’s life isn’t what you might expect.  Yes, she comes from a privileged family with money but still reeling from the death of her older brother, Finley is struggling. 

In a determined effort to reclaim her life and find the peace she so desperately wants, Finley decides to travel to Ireland as part of an exchange program.  Her goal is to see and experience all the things her brother wrote about in a journal he kept when he was there with the hopes of finding the beauty, the peace and the God that her brother found.

Famous actor and teen heart throb Beckett Rush is also headed to Ireland to film his latest vampire movie.  He is intrigued by Finley’s blatant refusal of him and determines to win her over.  They come to an agreement that Finley will be his assistant in running lines if he serves as her travel guide.

Dealing with the pressure of a new school, a life changing assignment, preparation for her upcoming audition with the Manhattan music conservatory, the death of her brother and a frustrating relationship with Beckett is more than Finley can handle.  Her physical, mental and emotional well being suffer.  Will Finley be able to find the God she is looking for or will she find that He has been with her all along?

I really fell in love with this book.  It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting when I first set out on this reading journey.  What I loved was the deeper feelings I experienced through Finley’s new relationships.  In her struggle to find peace, love and God, Finley discovers so much about herself and life.  While there were so many fun and light moments, they were interspersed with the deeper, more meaningful times where I fully felt Finley’s struggles.  Of course, at times I wanted to throttle Finley for her thick headedness!  Why can’t she see what is right in front of her?  But, honestly, she was a pretty typical eighteen year old, and I know that when we get caught up in grief and pain it is really hard to see the bigger picture.

I love the setting of Ireland.  I really want to go there someday.  This book made me want that even more.
Beckett was a character with his own mountains to climb and his own demons to slay.  His journey was just as satisfying as Finley’s. 

Here is my favorite quote from the book:

“There’s nothing you’re searching for that can’t be found in Ireland- God, good music, beautiful landscapes, wonderful food, maybe even parts of yourself.  You just have to be brave enough to look.”

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.  :)