Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: Sugar Skull


Sugar Skull
Denise Hamilton
Pocket Star
Tenacious heroine, Eve Diamond, in an electrifying new novel of suspense. When a distraught father breaks past security to beg for her help, "Los Angeles Times" reporter Eve Diamond can't refuse. His daughter, caught up in the rough "squatter" lifestyle, is missing -- and Eve, sensing a scoop, wants to know why a privileged teen from Pasadena would hook up with the dregs of Hollywood. When the girl is found dead, Eve suspects there is more going on than the tragic death of a rebellious youth.

The search for answers will take Eve from the street world of drugs and sex to the upper echelon of L.A. society -- who don't appreciate her digging up their dirt. Even as Eve fights against the powers-that-be who want her off the story, she finds herself mixing business and pleasure when she's irresistibly drawn to the brooding son of a Mexican music titan. For it is in his world -- and in the intricate sugar skulls that mark the Mexican "Day of the Dead" -- that Eve may find the key to unmasking a killer
My Review:  When I finished the first book in this series "The Jasmine Trade" I was blown away. So I dug this out off my shelf. I do not know how long I have owned it for but I was gun-ho to read it. I thought it was good and well written, but it did not blow me away. I did like it and the story was intriguing but I guess the newness of the author was gone ( if that makes sense). I also found some similarities between the two books. I will continue the series and see what happens.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review : The Devouring

The Devouring
Simon Holt
Little Brown Co.
When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.

To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?
My Review: This was a great book. I like horror but never expected to be scared in a YA book. This did a great job of that. Also a compelling read I needed to find out what happened next. This book did everything a good horror book should do :
1. Scare the crap out of you
2. Keep you up at night
3. You think about the story when not reading
4. Compels you to pick up the book every chance you get. 
Those are the four things that a horror novel should do. I am glad to say this one hit all four on the head. I have already bought the next two in this trilogy and I will be reading them soon.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Review : Sia

Josh Grayson
Josh Grayson
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.
My Review: I received this book through netgalley for my honest review.
    I loved this book. Josh Grayson debut novel was a real page turner. Sia is an interesting character because she is experiencing everything for the first time and we are there with her. Too wake up no memories is a great concept. We sympathies with Sia and see her struggle to find out who she is and what her life was before everything happened. I am buying this book because it also teaches some important lessons also. I think every teen should read this book they may learn something about themselves.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: The Rosary Girls


The Rosary Girls
Richard Montanari
Ballantine Books
Sprawling beneath the statue of William Penn, Philadelphia is a city of downtrodden crack houses and upscale brownstones. Somewhere in this concrete crazy quilt, one teenage Catholic girl is writing in her diary, another is pouring her heart out to a friend, and yet another is praying. And somewhere in this city is a man who wants these young women to make his macabre fantasy become reality. In a passion play of his own, he will take the girls–and a whole city–over the edge.

Kevin Byrne is a veteran cop who already knows that edge: He’s been living on it far too long. His marriage failing, his former partner wasting away in a hospital, and his heart lost to mad fury, Byrne loves to take risks and is breaking every rule in the book. And now he has been given a rookie partner. Jessica Balzano, the daughter of a famous Philly cop, doesn’t want Byrne’s help. But they will need each other desperately, since they’ve just caught the case of a lifetime: Someone is killing devout young women, bolting their hands together in prayer, and committing an abomination upon their otherwise perfect bodies.

Byrne and Balzano spearhead the hunt for the serial killer, who leads them on a methodically planned journey. Suspects appear before them like bad dreams–and vanish just as quickly. And while Byrne’s sins begin to catch up with him, and Balzano tries to solve the blood-splattered puzzle, the body count rises. Meanwhile, the calendar is approaching Easter and the day of the resurrection. When the last rosary is counted, a madman’s methods will be revealed, and the final crime will be the one that hurts the most.

My Review:  This is another author that is new to me. I found this book while on goodreads and read the above description. I thought I would give it a try because it is in my adopted city. So, I picked up a used copy of it. I was not disappointed. This was a dark and fast paced crime story that pulls you in and keeps you guessing till the end. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I liked how the author introduced them and then build on the foundation and back story of them. Not giving you full background before the story develops.
    The roller coaster of a ride that was this book was outstanding. I held on to my seat for dear life. I am now a fan of Mr. Montanari. I was captured by every aspect of this book. The crimes, the mystery, the characters, and their struggles.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review : The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman
Harper Collins
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . .

My Review: What can I say about this book. It was ..... amazing, wonderful, shocking, surprising. This book has it all. I was a little shocked at the description of the murders at the start of the book, but it worked and gave the story the suspense that made me continue to read. I could not put down this book. I wanted to know what happened faster than I could read it.
    This is the first book I have read by Neil Gaiman and I was blown away. The authors descriptive writing drew me in and I felt like I was in the graveyard too. I look forward to discovering the other worlds and adventures Mr. Gaiman has in store for me. I usually give book away or donate them but this has a permanent place on my shelf.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review : Whispers

Lisa Jackson
The suspenseful story of a woman with shocking secrets who is drawn into a journalist's web...and an obsession that could destroy her. In the chill of an Oregon Night, a man plunges to his death. Another vanishes without a trace. A third drowns in the murky waters of a quiet lake. Alone in the dark, a ruthless killer is certain that every loose end has been cut, every enemy silenced...except one. It's been sixteen years since Claire St. John fled in terror from her family's home on Lake Arrowhead. Sixteen years since her fiancé's tragic death and the shocking secret she promised never to reveal to anyone. But that was before journalist Kate Moran began probing the mystery of that horrible night, turning a light on the darkest corners of Claire's life, exposing her once again to a cold-blooded murderer's vicious fury. Now, as Claire returns home to face a past she's tried to forget, another body is unearthed, revealing the twisted nature of a killer who is ready at last to make Claire pay the ultimate price.
My Review: In the past I have always enjoyed Lisa Jackson novels. I started to really enjoy this novel and it was a compelling mystery I was drawn in. The characters were well developed and you get history that gives the story teeth to sink into you thoughts. I did try to figure the crime even when I was not able to read on. The plot twist and relationships are great. I had one problem with this book. The way the author repeats the plot at the last chapters of this book. Every other line seemed too dwell on the main plot. I could not get over that and it drove me nuts. I wanted to scream that I remembered what was going on. I almost put the book down and walked away, but because it was a compelling story I finished the book and I was glad I did.


Review : The Girl in the Steel Corset

The Girl in the Steel Corset
Kady Cross
Harlequin Teen
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no "normal" Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch....

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gas lit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her.
My Review: This is the first Steampunk novel and I did not know what to expect. I really liked this book. The plot was intriguing and pull you in from the beginning and keeps you reading. Character development was wonderfully done and you are interested to see what happens to them. The secondary characters bring depth and interesting smaller plots to the story and gives you a connection to all of them . This is a series I am going to continue and I hope to love all the books. I am interested to  see what happens next, and how the adventure continues.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Shadow Embraced

Shadow Embraced
Cheree Smith
Dark Cherry Press
No escape.

Those words haunt Scar's dreams. She thinks the creature that terrorizes her while asleep isn't real, but when she's abducted and taken to a reform school meant to contain creatures too dangerous to function in society, she starts to wonder whether she isn't some monster.

She turns to an underground fight club full of vampires, werewolves and witches established by the students to control her urges, and who is she kidding, she loves to fight.

When fighters begin to disappear, turning Scar into the prime suspect, she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.

The only problem is that she's not entirely sure she's innocent.
My Review :  I really enjoyed this book. The fast pace and action was great. I liked Scar because she was a teen and acted like one. She was rebellious like all teen are to discover who they are. I also like her because she was not afraid of any one, male or female. She is a strong character.
  The action in this story is very violent but does not cross the line into gruesome. I also found the world created very captivating and easy to lose yourself in. The paranormal aspect were well done too and included all paranormal beings. This book was a very unique and interesting read I look forward to the second in the series. I would like to see more growth of the characters.  

Review: You Are Mine


You Are Mine
Janeal Falor
Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.
My Review: I was a little taken back by this book. Women being owned. I was intrigued to read more. Serena is a outspoken and courageous character in a time when a woman can be punished for speaking her mind and is only valued for her blood (or magic in her blood). I relate to Serena because I speak my mind and I protect the ones I love. Serena is old enough to enter the marriage pool and is found to have high levels of magic in her blood, which make her very sought after by the upper class of her society . This pleases her farther who wants to sell her for a good price.
  I did enjoy this book. I like the interesting society Janeal Falor created and her take on the warlock culture is also unique. Serena is a great character though she puts up with a lot of cruel and unusual punishments in a world that allows them. She never stops being true to herself. It is inspiring to have a character who knows things are wrong and does not fear to question things or does not think before talking. The supporting characters are just as well written and give substance to a wonderful story. I will be looking for more in this series because I need to see what happens next.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review The Girls He Adored

The Girls He Adored
Jonathan Nasaw
Atria Books
Adult Suspense
For ten years, the charmingly disheveled veteran FBI Special Agent E.L. Pender has been investigating the apparently random disappearances of a dozen women across the country. The only detail the cases have in common is the strawberry blond color of the victims' hair, and the presence of a mystery man with whom they were last seen. Then, in Monterey, California, a routine traffic stop erupts into a scene of horrific violence. The local police are stunned by a disemboweled strawberry blond victim and an ingenious killer with multiple alternating personalities. Pender is convinced he has found his man, but before he can prove it, the suspect stages a cunning jailbreak and abducts his court-appointed psychiatrist, Irene Cogan.

In a house on a secluded ridge in Oregon, Irene must navigate through the minefield of her captor's various egos -- male and female, brilliant and naïve, murderous and passive -- all of whom are dominated by Max, a seductive killer who views her as both his prisoner and his salvation. Irene knows that to survive she must play along with Max's game of sexual perversion. Only then will she be able to strip back the layers to discover a chilling story of a shattered young boy -- and all the girls he adored.

My Review: This book was great. I should have read it sooner. Pulse pounding action and intriguing plot. Jonathan Nasaw is a wonderful writer that make you want to read more. I wanted to scream at points while reading this book. Fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and chills running up your spine. Dark and deadly two of my favorite things to read. Could not tear myself away from the story.
    Well written and fast paced I could not believe I read this book so fast. I am continuing the series even though I will have to re purchase the first two books so they will be on my book case for a creepy and terrifying re-read for next year.


Review : Sweet Venom


Sweet Venom
Tera Lynn Childs
Katherine Tegen Books
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.
My Review :  Amazing, outstanding, and action packed. Those are the words to describe this book. I must admit I bought this book not knowing anything about it I just loved the cover. I am glad I did. I loved the story of the three girls and how different they are. I enjoy mythology and this new take on Medusa is delightful to read. Once the action in this story starts hold on to your seat. Fast paced and very enjoyable this books makes you hold your breath at points and laugh out loud at others. Great read for anyone who likes Mythology and thinks they know everything there is about Medusa and her sister.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Review : An Ice Cold Grave

An Ice Cold Grave
Charlaine Harris       
Hired to find a boy gene missing in Doraville, North Carolina, Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver head there, only to discover that the boy was the only one left of several who had disappeared over the previous five years. All of them teenagers. All unlikely runaways.

All calling for Harper.

Harper soon finds them—eight victims, buried in the half-frozen ground, all come to an unspeakable end. Afterward, what she most wants to do is collect her fee and get out of town ahead of the media storm that's soon to descend. But when she's attacked and prevented from leaving, she reluctantly becomes a part of the investigation as she learns more than she cares to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville—knowledge that makes her the next person likely to rest in an ice-cold grave.
My Review :  This is the third book in the series so I will not spoil it for you. I did enjoy this book. Harper was struck by lightning when she was a teenager and as a result has the power to find dead bodies. Her and Tolliver (Her adopted brother ) Now travel the country and help local law enforcement and private citizens to locate bodies.
       This is a good series I enjoy the mystery that always surrounds the bodies and the way the crimes are eventually solved. Harper is a wonderful character and I love how she has grown as a person over the course of the series. Tolliver is the devoted brother and travel companion who is mysterious and sometimes creepy himself but always there for Harper in a jam. Their relationship goes through some bumpy points but they are always there for each other.
     I am going to read the last one in the series and I will miss Harper I hope the series ends well. I have also saved all four of the books so I can re-read them and keep them on my bookcase. These books remind me of "The Body Finder " series.


Review : The Monstrumologist

The Monstrumologist
Rick Yancey
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?
My Review: This book was amazing. It is refreshing not to read a book about vampires, zombies and werewolves. Rick Yancey has created a monster that chills the blood. The monsters in this book are exactly that monsters. Refreshing to see and read about. I am happy to read this book for the sheer terror instilled by the wonderful description of these creatures. A creature that's only purpose is to feed on humans . That is the first thing that grabbed me about this book. 
   The second thing was the idea that there is a science to study monsters. A hidden society of men whose life is dedicated to hunting and examining these beast to protect the people of the world and have a better understanding of them. 
   Third was Will Henry himself 12 years old working in this field with Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe ( the half crazed scientist ) and his dedication to this man. His loyalty to a man who has not a responsible bone in his body. The relationship that bonds them is touching at times but the other times you don't understand why Will Henry does not just run the heck away. 
 The last thing is the writing. To say this was well written would be an understatement. It is the best book I have read in a long time one of my favorites and I am going to continue the series because I got lost in the world that Mr. Yancey wrote about and I want to go back there. I will keep my eyes peeled for monsters.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: Sky Jumpers



Sky Jumpers
Peggy Eddleman
Random House Children's Books
12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost.

But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of air that covers the crater the town lives in—than fail at yet another invention.

When bandits discover that White Rock has invented priceless antibiotics, they invade. The town must choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from disease in the coming months or to die fighting the bandits now. Hope and her friends, Aaren and Brock, might be the only ones who can escape through the Bomb’s Breath and make the dangerous trek over the snow-covered mountain to get help.

For once, inventing isn’t the answer, but the daring and risk-taking that usually gets Hope into trouble might just save them all.
My Review: This is a wonderful debut from Peggy Eddleman. I look forward to reading more from her. This book is a middle grade read that has values we should encourage all children to have. Valuable friendships, a belief in oneself and self value. I like Hope because she never gives up and her determination is inspiring to people to young and old alike. I am running out and getting a copy for my daughter tomorrow because I thing all kids and parents should read this book.

Review: Pretty Dark Nothing


Pretty Dark Nothing
Heather L. Reid
It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

My Review: I was looking for a great Halloween read and I found it. The fact that I read this in one night tells you I could not put this book down. If your looking for a intense and nightmarish story this is it. I loved it. The darkness of this story keep me on the edge of my seat.
 Quinn the main characters life falls apart. Father leaves his family, boyfriend dumps her, then the nightmares begin. Not being able to sleep without plunging into a dream filled with demonic creatures that she can not keep at bay. Using any method she can to stay awake works for a while till she collapse at school. A fellow student name Aaron helps her.

    The relationship between Quinn and Aaron is stormy and can be frustrating at times but as you read on you understand why. I found this book a delightful read if your looking for something to scare you a little with enough twists and turns to keep you reading this is a great book.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Review : The Iron King



The Iron King
Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Teen
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
My Review: If like me you have waited for all the hype of books to die down before you read a book. Then let me tell you to run out and buy this book. I was enchanted by this book. I could not figure out why I waited so long to get around to reading it. I could not and did not tear myself away from this book for days. I was getting less sleep and thinking about the book more. This is the first book I have read from Julie Kagawa but not my last. Loved this book and looking  forward to reading the rest of the series.
    The world building is descriptive and dazzling. I was transported into a world I did not want to leave.  I also like how the author used characters from Shakespeare' s works. My daughter has never read " A Midsummer Nights' Dream " This book has her interested in that now. I could not put this book down and as soon as I am able I will be buying the second in this interesting and wonderful series. I am on a book buying ban right now trying to clean old books out for the new books I want.


Review : Zoey Rogue

Zoey Rogue
Lizzy Ford ( Incubatti # 1)
Evatopia Press
He only needs three nights to make her his …

With more heart than sense, fearless, beautiful Zoey has saved countless college-aged women from horrifying deaths at the hands of supernatural sadists. She may be a mere half-succubus in a society that views half-breeds with derision, but she still retains the highest rescue rate of any Hunter in the Sucubatti society.

As the calm, disciplined leader of the Incubatti Enforcers, Declan is the polar opposite of Zoey – and the sworn enemy of her society. Forced to rescue her one night, Declan realizes two things: he doesn’t need someone as wild and independent as Zoey in his life – and he can’t live without her.

In this world, there’s only one incubus for every Sucubatti and Zoey and Declan are stuck with each other. They’re just as likely to kill each other as they are to yield to each other’s sex magic.

She has authority issues and drinks too much. He is the irresistibly sexy incubus pre-ordained to tame her. Neither can fight their intense attraction, and yet trusting each other is out of the question.

What happens when their worlds crash down around them?

Strike three. You’re mine.
My Review: I really enjoyed this book. Fast paced and action filled. This book keeps the reader entertained and in the story. Zoey is a strong and self reliant hero who only wants to have a normal life. That is quite hard when you are a Halfling ( succubus and human) created in a lab to do one thing fight and kill  Cambions ( Incubus and human mothers ).  Who threatens young women.
   When Zoey's "normal" life falls apart and she feels like giving up, she meets her Soul-Mate but there is one problem. He is an Incubus, her sworn enemy. How can that be. Being pulled into two different direction one by loyalty and one by an attraction she can't explain she must decide who too trust. 

 That is the part I really liked. The part I was torn over was the sex in the book. This is my first New Adult book I have read and I don't know if it is because I am a mother but I would not give this to my daughter to read at age thirty let alone seventeen.  Then I thought back to when I was seventeen and I would have wanted to read this book. I think this is a great read for mature 17 year olds and older.