Friday, January 31, 2014

Barre Hopping At Midnight by Amanda Brice

This is a short story in the Dani Spevak Mystery Series. While it falls in the middle of the series it can also be a stand alone.

Dani is just your average fourteen year old girl. She enjoys reading, dancing and even has a boyfriend. The only difference is she attends a boarding school for those talented in the performing arts. And her boyfriend is a famous movie star staring in Dani's favorite book turned movie Midnight. Although anxious because of tabloid stories involving her boyfriend and his costar she's excited to see him in Sedona where she's at for the teen arts festival and her boyfriend is there shooting. Maybe a little romance or maybe a mystery or possibly both but things are bound to be interesting.

This is a short sweet little novella that has me really interested in reading the other books. I enjoy mysteries and I have a fascination with ballet even though I'm not and never will be a dancer. It was really good and very well written although the characters could use some more fleshing out. Hopefully they will be in the other books.

Tangled Beauty by K. L. Middleton

An anniversary party for her gay best friends parents where she has to pretend to be his girlfriend. To Sinclair it's better than spending yet another weekend at home alone. Her "boyfriends" brother Reed also decides to attend the event with his fiancee Sela despite having doubts about their relationship. When Reed and Sinclair meet sparks fly. With all of the discord surrounding them will they ever be able to be happy together?

This is a good steamy love story with an element of surprise and suspense that I enjoyed. It does contain some rather detailed sex scenes so if that's not something you enjoy you might want to choose a different book. Personally I liked it and thought it was a good story.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

In the land of seven kingdoms there are people with special abilities called Graces. Along with their abilities they are marked by having two different colored eyes. Their abilities are as varied as they are from fighting, to music to needlework, even to killing. Killing so happens to be Katsa's grace, granting her speed and stamina far beyond what one would expect for a girl her age. The king has exploited her grace since she was ten, thus she has begun secretly rebelling trying to make up for the things she has been made to do by carrying out secret missions to help the people. During one of her missions she meets someone who will change the course of her life forever. Will it be for good or for ill?

I first read this book when I was a sophomore in high school when I was about 16, I absolutely feel in love with it. Re-reading it about five years later its just as intoxicating as it was the first time. One thing that draws me to certain stories is strong protagonists and that is Katsa in a nutshell. She's been ostracized for her grace practically since she was born, and it progressively got worse as she honed her grace. The other main characters contrast and compliment her strength and aloofness with being more open and friendly.

The setting is wonderfully described and so vast setting it up for the next books in the series so they're not stuck in a cookie cutter pattern. I personally loved the graces they reminded me of a manga that I really enjoy Alice Academy. 

All in all this book is totally worth it and a wonderful ready one of my favorite fantasy stories. I'm really glad that I found that again.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Summer of My Secret Angel by Ana Katmore

Jona has spent the majority of her life in a orphanage in London where she has followed an unfortunate pattern and has started stealing. After about a year just a few months shy of her eighteenth birthday she is caught yet again and put in front of a judge who sentences her to something worse then prison, at least in her mind. Being sent to France to live with her estranged mother, her mysterious caretaker, and and aunt and uncle she's never met. Filled with resentment and questions she begins her journey, will she stay or escape as is her original plan?

I really enjoyed this story. I haven't read many stories where the protagonist has a petty criminal background, they are either hardcore criminals or never been caught just had a speeding ticket type. Jonas point of view is different and unique and this story is captivating. I'm very glad that I found this story and I enjoyed the fantasy twist to it as well.

The Doctor's Secret Bride by Ana E. Ross

Michelle has lost her job due to downturn in the economy so she accepts a position as a nanny for a seven year old girl named Precious. Her father Erik is a widower whose wife died two years ago in a traumatic car wreck.While working for Erik, they all start to become a family but will their little family survive the truth of who killed Erik's wife and a secret marriage?

This is a good Cinderella-esque story. A down on her luck woman meets a rich man and then they fall in love and happily ever after right? Well close just add a few snags along the way and that is the basis of this story.A classic story that people keep falling in ve with no matter how many adaptations there are. This one while not one of the best I've read it definitely isn't one of the worst. I feel this author is someone who I'd enjoy reading more of to see what some of her other stories are like.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Striking by Lila Felix and Rachel Higginson

Cami is a California party girl who got sentenced to help on her aunt and uncles farm to rehabilitate. Where as Stockton is a small town boy from Tennessee who is raising his younger sister after the tragic death of his parents. Two opposing personalities that clash the second that the meet, that may actually end up happy and together.

A sweet down to earth love story with interesting characters and different meanings to love. A girl who has never known love from her family struggles to fit in in a small town and become a better person. A man who gave up on his dreams because he blamed himself for his families death.

These authors wove a compelling story, one that I was glad to read and hopefully will read more of their work in the future.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Deeper by Blue Ashcroft

Life as a lifeguard is difficult, the pressure of saving lives constant vigilance. But what happens when you lose somebody? What if that someone is a fellow guard or the woman you love? Will you be able to get over the loss move on and begin again? These are the challenges that face Rain and Knight as they begin the season as co-supervisors along will all of the usual challenges of being a gaurd.

A well thought out story with main characters that really make you feel for them, for they've struggles that they've experienced and are working to overcome. I feel the rest of the series may be worth looking into, not my usual but promising.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Find Her, Keep Her by Z. L. Arkadie

As a travel writer Daisy gets to travel to exotic locations and get paid for it. Her life is great, well thats what she thought until she found out that her best friend is now engaged to her boyfriend. Not only that she found out via Facebook. Now broken-hearted and single she goes to Martha's Vineyard to work, recover and possibly finding true love in the form of Belmont Lord. A new chance for happiness or just another player who will break her heart?

I liked this story, the characters were fun and dynamic, descriptive setting, and an engaging plot. Just a warning this book contain risque scenes if you're not a fan of such things.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Charming Crime by Tanya Kappes

Making homeopathic cures to sell at the flea market, taking care of Mr. Prince Charming, and causing a few explosions thats life for June Heal, that is until she moves to Whispering Falls. Not only does she get to open a shop to sell her cure she learns about her heritage as a spiritualist, specifically one that has the power to tell what a particular client will need. Also her best friend moves to Wispering Falls with her. A new start, answers life couldn't get any better. Well that's if she wasn't a prime suspect in a murder case.

This story adds a new twist to the supernatural genre having spiritualists instead of witches, vampires, or werewolves. The spiritualists each have different gifts such as palm readers, reading tea leaves and other things that have been associated with magic over the years.

I'm glad I found this series it is charming and magical and one that I've enjoyed very much.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Overwhelm Me by A.C. Marchman

Allison Marshall has just passed her finals and is just about to graduate with her B.A. a night out with her friends is just the thing to celebrate. While out having a good time she meets Donovan Callahan, tall, dark, mysterious and a doctor. The pair instantly hits it off, will they be able to survive jealousy and dark pasts?Well read and see.

This was a decent book, the storyline familiar for the genre but with a few twists that make me hopeful for the continuation of the series. However some of the twist seem a bit far fetched and awkwardly placed. Hopefuly the next book will be be smoother.

Caution books contains risque scenes if you're not a fan of such things.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Never Forget by Emma Hart

Alexis is a city girl through and through, loves to shop and party so being stuck in Lilac Bay visiting her grandmother all summer is the last thing that she wants. However it may just end up being the best thing that could happen to her, reuniting with a childhood friend, and a summer romance.

This was a very sweet story of coming of age, changing, and loss. This is a perfect story for anyone who is going through a rough patch. The characters are very easy to empathize with, and very realistic. I truly enjoyed it, partially because I very much empathized with the main character and her loss. It reminded me of my thoughts and emotions from about a year ago and the authors ability to touch that is quite amazing.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Be Still My Soul by Randy Petersen

Growing up Catholic, attending mass, I've heard many hymns throughout my life. I love some for the melody for the meaning, but others I believe drag far too much, that's what comes from taking choir for six years. Until now I never knew much about where they came from or who wrote them. Be Still My Soul opens the door into knowing more about this huge part of mass that few people give much thought to.

This is one of those books that you can read straight through or pick and choose which song you feel like learning more about. Personally this is a style of book that I enjoy giving you more freedom also it's a book that could take hours or days to read. Giving you plenty of time to reflect on what learn. This particular book includes some if my favorite hymns. Such as Amazing Grace, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and Shall We Gather At The River.

The songs and composers are organized alphabetically to make finding what you want nice and simple.  From Christmas to Easter and praise and worship there are songs for every occasion with sheet music included for every song.

I received Be Still My Soul compliments of Tyndale Blog Network for my honest review which is freely given.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Salty Caramel Christmas by Barbara Loher

Rachel's year hasn't been the best, cheated on by her now ex boyfriend, partying too hard, slipping grades, now coming home for Christmas things some how get worse. Her little brother is out of control and her mom's health has deteriorated since she was home for Thanksgiving. Needless to say she isn't feeling very merry this Christmas. Can she turn her life around? Will it take someone from her past that she completely overlooked to help make her holiday feel more like Christmas? Well read the book and find out.

For a Christmas story this is very melancholy, for at least the first three quarters of the books don't expect warm and fuzzy you won't get it until the very end where it gets sort of happier. It was still a good story just not super happy and Christmasy, just be aware before you start reading and expect a happy story.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Forever Fae by L. P. Dover

Calista is the eldest princess of the summer court and Ryder is the eldest prince of the winter court. They first meet on Calista's twenty first birthday, the day she receives her guardian, and, not to sound cliche, sparks fly. For the two have been bound by a prophecy that ties them to the land of fae and to each other. However in true fairytale fashion there is an evil sorcerer, competition for Calista's hand, traitors, and help in the most unexpected places.

One thing you should know about me, I have a slight obsession with fairies or fae depending on which term you prefer. So books that have them tend to become instant favorites so if you'll forgive my partial bias I shall continue with the review.

This was an extremely well written, descriptive story, one that pulls you right in. The characters are engaging and diverse, all the archetypes you'd expect in a fairytale and more. The plot is suspenseful and moves along quickly. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Language of Souls by Lena Goldfinch

Solena is a young girl from the city of Torrani blessed with the gift of healing. Despite her gift she isn't strong enough to cure her grandfather so she must go in search of tymia in Oden, which is constantly at war with her people. She travels to this hostile country, gets captured and branded a spy. With a little help, a lot of luck and of faith she just might make it out of Oden and home alive.

I absolutely love when authors are able to create a brand new world filled with unique customs and traditions and draw you in so completely that you want to know more. Lena Goldfinch did that with this book. Two completely different places connected in their past but so very different in their current customs with the exception being the votiffs. A religious totem that both cultures revere.

I finished this book in less than a day I loved it so much and I highly reccomend it to anyone who likes love stories or faith stories.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Silence by Natasha Preston

Oakley is just your average high school student, a best friend she has a crush on, over protective parents, oh and a secret so huge she hasn't talked since she was five.

The story splits the perspective between Oakley to Cole (her best friend and crush). Helping to capture all angles of the story. From Oakley's desire yet terror to speak and Cole's love and concern for her the contrasting similarities keep you entangled in the story.

This story was a touching love story about how love can overcome all sorts of obstacles such as lack of speech. It also touches on some very sensitive subjects with the utmost respect to them.

The Atheists Daughter by Renée Harrell

Everyone lies but what if every time you lied you feel your mouth disappear and tasted blood when you talk afterwards? Or every time someone lied in front of you, you saw their mouth disappear? That's just life for Kristin and life just got even weirder when Piotrowski's café reopens. Seeing as they appear transparent to Kristin.

Although this story starts off slowly and jumps around a bit it really is a good story. It's by a writing duo that want to do a sequel if they get the readership for it. I for one would be more than happy to read a sequel to tie up some of the lose ends.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rivals by Lacey Yager

This is a short little novella that introduces you to The Unholy Alliance series. Born into a family of Chasers (vampire hunters) Emily is desperate to join the fight and carry on her father's legacy despite her mother's reluctance.

As an introduction this was a good story. Introducing the chasers, setting up the world the series will be set in, and introducing the characters. Also it's a cute little love story, so it's a win win in my book.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Eve Genome by Joanne Brothwell

Adriana Sinclar has always been a part of a pair. Born the twin of Analiese she has always identified as half of a whole but when Analiese dies of a botched blood transfusion she loses sight of who she is. If coping with the death of her twin wasn't difficult enough there's something unusual about her blood, and her sisters.

With heart wrenching scenes and twists and turns around every page this is one story that is extremely hard to put down. The characters are well developed with many facets to their personalities. A sci-fi novel exploring an obscure theory of evolution. That being said people who are believers in creationism will not like this book as it's basis directly opposes those beliefs.