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Saturday, March 31, 2012


Title: Gods and Fathers
Author: James LePore
Publisher: The Story Plant
Published: 2.7.12
Pages: 261


SUMMARY:

Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he's known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy's girlfriend.

Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.

Gods and Fathers is at once a powerful mystery and a provocative international thriller, all of it presented with LePore's signature fascinating characters placed in dire circumstances where every choice poses new and potentially fatal challenges.


Review:


  Gods and Fathers is a very gritty, complex story. I really enjoyed the way that the character's develope throughout the story. We get action, suspense, and so much drama, that you find yourself completely immersed in the story.

Its got to make you feel horrible when your ex wife marries someone that makes you feel like a lesser man by giving you son everything you know you can't. This is what happens between Matt and his son Michael. As the story continues, you can really feel the heartache between father and son over having such a poor relationship.

I love the fact that everyone has their own dark past and things they'd rather not have come to light. That includes Matt's exwife, and his past lover.

This story has so many twists and turns and becomes an incredible cat and mouse chase with Matt trying to do everything possible to save his son. (What parent wouldn't?) Terrorist's are involved as well as revenge.
How great does that sound?!

Even though there were moments in which I'd get the secondary characters a bit mixed up,  the story itself is amazing. 

My rating: 4 stars. I'd recommend this book to anyone.  
-Sarita

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Lose
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers:
Challenge: Soul Screamers Reading Challenge
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 1, 2009
How Received: Purchased
Rate:5

Summary (as quoted from Amazon)It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it's the worst day of her life.
Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.
She tries to convince everyone she's fine--despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she's crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities....

My thoughts:
My Soul to Lose is one of the most awesome mini-books I’ve read, ever. The story follows seventeen year old Kaylee, who is just a normal teen, focused on good grades, working, shopping, and crushing on the hottest guy in school. But she also has a scary secret ; she has the horrific tendency to start screaming right before someone dies. Her family thinks that she is experiencing panic attacks, but she isn’t so sure. Holding the scream back is almost impossible, but Kaylee has always managed to do it… Until one fateful day, while shopping at Sears with her best friend, the darkness takes over, and she sees a kid who is about to die. This time, though, she can’t control the scream, and she lets it loose, much to the horror of everyone around her. The pain consumes her to the point that she looses consciousness, and when she wakes up, she finds herself strapped to a metal table, alone, with nowhere to go. When someone finally comes to her rescue, Kaylee finds out that she has been committed to a mental hospital due to the fact that, while trying to stop the screaming, she almost ripped her throat out. Knowing that the only way out of her situation is to lie about her “panic attacks”, (and stop making sarcastic jokes to the staff member assigned to watch her), Kaylee becomes a silent, ideal patient, never causing any trouble, and, luckily, never feeling the urge to scream. But when another patient starts dying, Kaylee gets the urge to scream again - and this time, if she can’t control it, she’ll never see the light of day again. I loved getting to know Kaylee in this prequel ; funny, sarcastic, and smart, she is easy to relate to, and you find herself rooting for her even while she herself is questioning her sanity. I went into this novella with high expectations, and I was not disappointed. With her easy writing style, captivating heroine, and witty plot, Rachel Vincent has created a world that is extraordinarily unique ; if you are looking for a quick read and a new series to start, then I highly recommend picking up My Soul to Lose today!
5/5
~Moujnir

Review: Wicked as they come

Title: Wicked as they come
Author: delilah dawson
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Publication Date: March 27, 2012

How Received: Review
Reviewer: Kati


Summary: 

Review: Wicked as they come was truly an amazingly crafted book. Although it took me a bit to finish. I adored it! The characters the differences in the worlds. The love and the loss. Its all so beautiful. The end kind of shocked me the last chapter was kind of iffy. But the rest was beautiful and amazing. Must read. A little bit of an adult novel. Sorry for the short review, everything's been a little complicated latley.
When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Toys

Title: Toys  
Author: James Patterson with Neil McMahon
Publisher: 
 Little Brown and Company
Publication Date: 
 March 14, 2011
Reviewer: Ethan

Review: James Patterson thrusts readers to the distant future in his novel, Toys. The year is 2061. Hays Baker is an Elite, a kind of enhanced superhuman, genetically and mechanically engineered to be a superior being of the world. We learn that Elites are the ruling class of society, controlling all government, medicine, and commerce. While humans still exist, they are left to fill the service rolls of society (waste collection, janitorial jobs, etc.) and live in the poverty stricken outskirts of the new cities, which have replaced the big cities of old.

Hays, along with his wife Lizbeth, is a senior agent for the Agency of Change. After the success of an important mission, they are called to meet with the President, and Elite named Hughes Jacklin. During this meeting, they are tasked with assisting in the most important mission of their career... destroying the human race! 

On their ride home, the couple is attacked by a band of misfit humans. Narrowly escaping the humans, Hays plans to relax with his wife and two young daughters, but he is instead called to the popular Toyz store where a gruesome murder has taken place. While chasing a human suspect, Hays suffers a near fatal fall on the job and learns that he is not who he thinks he is. Suddenly shunned by every person he knows, Hays is forced to rediscover his identity and decide who to trust before the world changes forever. 

The quality of Patterson's recent novels and the fact that he employs a co-author (Niel McMahon assists with this one) has come under considerable criticism lately. Despite these criticisms, I really enjoyed this book. I was ready to write this off as a ridiculous attempt at a futuristic thriller, but found that I couldn't stop reading it. Patterson's attention to a driving plot, really helps this story move along, but doesn't allow for much character development. Normally, this would cause me to find the characters one-dimensional, but in this futuristic setting, I get the feeling that these "robotic" characters add to the overall intention of the story. Hays sees many of his relationships explode before his eyes, but hardly seems to care. Overall, this is definitely not a masterpiece of literature, but is a fun way to spend the afternoon with a story from a master thriller writer.

Gods and Fathers Tour



TITLE:  Gods and Fathers




AUTHOR:  James LePore
PUBLISHED BY:  The Story Plant
ISBN: ISBN-10: 1611880297 ISBN-13: 978-1611880298
GENRE:  Suspense
SYNOPSIS:  Nationally bestselling author James LePore has established a reputation as a writer whose vividly drawn characters and morally complex plots have kept readers up to all hours turning pages. His new novel promises more sleepless nights and more nonstop thrills.


Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he's known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy's girlfriend.


Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.


GODS AND FATHERS is at once a powerful mystery and a provocative international thriller, all of it presented with LePore's signature fascinating characters placed in dire circumstances where every choice poses new and potentially fatal challenges.
AUTHOR BIO: James LePore is an attorney who has practiced law for more than two decades, and an accomplished photographer. He is the author of three previous novels, A WORLD I NEVER MADE, BLOOD OF MY BROTHER, and SONS AND PRINCES, as well as the story collection, ANYONE CAN DIE. He lives in Westchester County, NY with his wife, artist Karen Chandler.
AUTHOR SITES:  website: www.jamesleporefiction.com
ADDED INFO:  Published date  02/07/12
                            300 pages
EXCERPT:
 “Why can’t you stay at your mother’s when they’re away?”
“I told you, Basil’s worried about security.”
Though this statement was challengeable on several levels, Matt let it pass. The marriage six years ago of Debra DeMarco, nee Rusillo, and Basil al-Hassan, a rich and handsome Syrian businessman, had marked the beginning of the end of Matt’s long and tortured fight for a place in his son’s heart. Armed with the ultimate weapon—-her new husband’s money—-Debra had made quick work of destroying the last vestiges of Matt’s hopes. A penthouse on Park Avenue, a beach house in Easthampton, a flat in Paris, a “cottage” in Bermuda, clothes and cars virtually on demand, Matt had no way of competing with all this, and no way of expressing his anger—-until tonight.
“What about Mina?” Matt asked.
“What about her?”
“Why aren’t you seeing her?”
“She’s studying.”
“Studying?”
“Yes, studying. You keep repeating what I say. She’s a student. Students study.”
This statement was delivered dismissively, not sarcastically. You’re stupid, Dad. I’m tired of you. Why am I bothering with you? are what Matt heard, and it occurred to him, with a clarity that shocked him after all these muddled and painful years of effort and rejection, effort and rejection, ad nauseum, that he could not hurt Michael, that his own son was indifferent to him, and this was a blow, and strangely a release.
“Well, your friends are assholes, and you are too, Michael. You’re an arrogant, shallow asshole. Where you came from, I don’t know. But not from me.”
“That could be. Maybe Mom had an affair–like you did--and I’m not your son. Do I care? No, I don’t. Can I go upstairs now? I’ll leave in the morning.”
In the kitchen, Matt poured himself another scotch. He took the pizza out of the refrigerator and sat down to eat it, surprised to find that he actually had an appetite. Until tonight, despite the bad cards he had drawn, he had never stopped trying to break through to his son. It’s over, he said to himself, over and done. He’s not your son. He’s Debra’s son, Basil’s son. You lost him a long time ago.
He finished the pizza and was wrapping the garbage to take out in the morning when the doorbell rang. Looking out the kitchen window he saw that it was snowing heavily. Those idiots, he thought, they’re probably stuck someplace. No choice but to let them in. But when he swung open the front door, it wasn’t Adnan and Ali, but his friends Jack McCann and Clarke Goode, homicide detectives who he had worked with for many years, standing facing him. He could see their unmarked car at the curb, and behind it, blocking his driveway, a Pound Ridge patrol car, its engine running and headlights on, two uniformed officers in the front seat. McCann, a florid Irishman whose blue eyes were usually lit by some inner secret joke, looked grim; and Goode, a gnarled black man who never failed to greet Matt with a big smile, was not smiling. Far from it.
“Come in. What’s up?” Matt said. Then, nodding toward the street where the patrol car sat: “What’s with the uniforms?”
The two detectives stepped into the foyer.
“Take your coats off,” Matt said. He could see they were dressed for work, sport jackets and ties on under their trench coats.
“Matt...,” McCann said.
“Talk, Jack,” Matt said. “Is somebody dead?”
“Is Michael home?” Goode asked. He had not taken off his coat, and neither had McCann.
“That’s his car out there,” Matt said. “You know that.”
“Where is he?”
“He’s upstairs.”
Matt looked from McCann to Goode, then back to McCann; looked in the eyes of each, and did not like what he saw. “What about Michael?” he asked.
“We’re here to arrest him,” McCann replied.
“For what?” Drugs, Matt thought, good, let the kid get a taste of the pain he’s always inflicting on others. Him and his two Arab suppliers.
“For murder, Matt,” Goode said.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Wyatt's Revenge

* Giveaway *
Title: Wyatt's Revenge
Author: 
H. Terrell Griffin
Series: Matt Royal Mystery
Publisher: 
 Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: 
 November 19, 2009
Reviewer: Ethan

Review: After reading Bitter Legacy, the fifth novel in the Matt Royal series by author H. Terrell Griffin, I knew I wanted to read the earlier books in the series. Blood Island, the third installment in the series, hits the ground running as Matt Royal, a former soldier and lawyer who has retired to Longboat Key, Florida, finds a body in a vulture cage at a local wildlife refuge. We learn that trouble seems to follow Matt, but fortunately, his friendship with the local police chief helps to assure the authorities that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Upon his return home, Matt is shocked to learn that his ex wife, Laura, has left a message to arrange a meeting with him. When they get together, Laura explains that her stepdaughter, Peggy, has been missing and was last seen on Longboat Key. Despite the divorce, Matt still loves Laura and agrees to help search for the missing girl. As he investigates the disappearance, he finds himself involved with murder, religious cults, prostitution, and terrorist attempts. All this, he learns, is linked to the mysterious Blood Island and the people who own it. When Laura also goes missing, Matt races to unravel the mystery before it is too late. 

Griffin clearly has a great love for Florida. The setting and the people who inhabit this story all carry a type of reality that can only be portrayed by someone who has experienced them. In the hands of any other author, this kind of fast paced thriller could become shallow, but Griffin infuses enough emotion, historical fact, and suspense to keep the reader thoroughly invested in the story. In a genre that is often filled with plot based story telling, it is nice to have a book that keeps a sense of truth while still providing entertainment. This novel is a quick read and a really fun mystery. 


Giveaway Rules:
1. Use the link above to read the Amazon review. At the end of the review, indicate "YES" this review was helpful.
2. Leave your email address in the comments of this post, and indicate that you have completed the above step. 
3. This giveaway will continue to April 5.
4. US and Canada entries only.
5. Two winners will be chosen

Attention

The winner's of the E-book giveaway will be given their prize's soon. My lack of Internet has messed up the organized process.
So please have patients and you will get your books soon.
Thank you for understanding.
-Kati

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Her Frozen Wild by Kim Antieau

Title: Her Frozen Wild
Author: Kim Antieau
Series: ---
Publisher: Green Snake Publishing
Publication Date: January 11, 2012
How Received: For Review
Rate: 4.5

Summary (as quoted from Amazon) :Scientists in the Altai in Siberia uncover the 2,500 year old frozen mummy of a tattooed priestess. This mummy has the same genetic material as American archaeologist Ursula Smith whose mother disappeared in Siberia 30 years earlier. Ursula travels from the U.S. to Siberia to unravel the mystery of the “lady” and meets Sergei Ivanovich Polyakov, a Russian doctor who graciously invites her into his home. After they become lovers, she discovers Sergei has the same tattoos on his body as the tattooed lady. He tells a disbelieving Ursula that they have met before and she is destined to save the ancient People, considered as devils by some and shape-changing gods by others. A shaman takes Ursula to one of the sacred timeless caves where Ursula’s mother vanished. When Ursula allows the shaman to tattoo her, she is thrown back in time where she must unlock the mystery of the People and their link to her past in order to save them and Sergei—even if it costs her her life.

My thoughts:
Her Frozen Wild was a great read. The story mostly revolves around Ursula, a young archaeologist who feels like she’s missing a piece of herself. Ever since her mother disappeared on an expedition in Siberia, Ursula has never really felt normal. Not to mention that between her cheating husband and boring office, Ursula feels like she’s making all the wrong decisions, leading her on a path to nowhere. But all of that changes when one of her fellow archaeologist colleagues finds a 2,500 year old mummy of a tattooed lady in Siberia that happens to have the exact same DNA as Ursula. After her husband leaves her, Ursula gets the opportunity to travel to Siberia. Even though she gets sick every time she goes on a plane, she summons up her strength and decides to take the flight. On her way there, she meets a mysterious man named Sergei, who helps her with her flight sickness and allows her to stay in his home. They soon become lovers, and while making love, Ursula notices that Sergei seems to transform into a bear, and then back into a human : as if he were a were-bear. He reveals to her that she is one of the ancient People - a race of shape shifters, people who truly experience the beauty and wonder of nature. To realize her true self, Ursula must travel in a timeless cave, and go into the past. Meeting all sorts of different people ; from alchemists, to shamans, to warriors, to her own People, Ursula realizes that traveling into the unknown is sometimes exactly what you need to be known ; and to discover your wild self. I really enjoyed Antieau’s writing style ; it was fast-paced, and I felt like I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Even though the story mainly revolves around Ursula, there were multiple perspectives, and while I did get confused sometimes, I was mostly able to follow the story without getting lost. With an entertaining plot, interesting writing style, and quick pace, Antieau has created a great novel ; I recommend it to anyone looking for a new, one-of-a-kind read.
4.5/5
~Moujnir

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Two Moons of Sera Part Two is out today!!!

Hey guys!!! You might remember a book called Two Moons of Sera Volume 1, (you can read my 5 star review here: http://www.klearsreviews.blogspot.com/2012/02/review-two-moons-of-sera-by-pavarti-k.html ). It is one of my favorite recent reads, and I wanted to let you all know that the second part is available today!!! If you are a fan of the series, you should definitely check out the second part - and if you aren't a fan, what are you waiting for? Go pick up the first one! ;)

Here's a link to Two Moons of Sera, Volume Two for the Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Two-Moons-Sera-Vol-ebook/dp/B007MC3HGS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1332301449&sr=8-2

~Moujnir

Review: Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Title: Tiger's Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Series: Tiger Saga
Publisher: Splinter
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
How Received: Borrowed
Rate: 5+

Summary (as quoted from Amazon) The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince! When she learns she alone can break the Tiger's curse, Kelsey's life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.

My thoughts:
Tiger’s Curse is one of the most amazing novels I have ever read. The story begins with an eighteen year old girl named Kelsey looking for a temporary job to do over the summer. When she snags a job for a traveling circus, the last thing she expects is to feel an immediate connection with a stunning white tiger named Ren- a connection so strong that when she gets an offer to travel with Ren from her small town in Oregon to Mumbai, India, she takes it without hesitating. But spur-of the moment traveling isn’t the only surprise in store for Kelsey, because it turns out that Ren isn’t just a tiger- he’s a handsome Indian Prince. A prince who has been trapped in the form of a tiger for three-hundred years due to a spell cast on him and his brother by a greedy, evil man named Lokesh. Only Kelsey can break the spell to turn Ren and his brother, Kishan, human again. To do so, she must embark on four epic quests ; and first up in line is finding the Golden Fruit of India. In order to complete the first quest, Ren and Kelsey must travel through treacherous jungles, run through swarms of giant beetles, fight off venomous monkeys - and do all of it while avoiding Lokesh. Kelsey is an awesome heroine! Funny, sweet, smart, sarcastic, strong, and witty, she was super cool - I can’t wait to see how her character grows in the next book. Ren is an equally awesome hero. He’s strong, intelligent, charismatic, funny, a little stubborn, but most importantly, he possesses a limitless amount of courage . Other characters, such as Mr. Kadam (Ren’s right hand man) and Kishan always appeared at the moment when you least expected them, and added a lot of excitement to the story. The way Houck combines non-stop action and pulse pounding adventure with sweet, steamy romance and a vastly addictive plot was absolutely breathtaking. If you are looking for a book filled with excitement, adventure, and romance, Tiger’s Curse is it ; I highly recommend picking it up today!
5+/5
~Moujnir

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Welcome Caller, this is chloe

Title:Welcome Caller, this is chloe
Author: shelley coriell
Publisher:  Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
How Received: Review
Reviewer: Kati



Summary: Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

Review: Ive got to say this right now... They say BF in this book when they mean BFF. Kind of annoying. Continuing on: This book is... Not as good as I hoped it was going to be. Wait for it! I totally fell in love with this book toward the end total and utter LOVE! I want to know more about Chloe's life and Chole's world. There needs to be a book two. I wanna know about the station, her grandma and Duncan. I want to know more about this world. Moreee please!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: The Snow Child

Title: The Snow Child
Author: Eowyn Ivey
Publisher: 
 Little Brown and Company
Publication Date: 
 February 1, 2012
Reviewer: Ethan

Summary: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

Review: Facing the unimaginable grief that comes with the loss of a newborn child, married couple Jack and Mabel have moved to the rugged wilderness of 1920's Alaska. Upon their arrival, they realize that despite their best efforts to escape, grief has followed them to their new home, bringing even more troubles bare. Not the strong young man he once was, Jack struggles to keep up with the heavy labor of maintaining a farm. Left to the solitude of the cabin and a husband who can barely look her in the eye, Mabel has nothing to do but wallow in her loneliness. 

But there is hope. Jack, who has to take several trips into town, befriends a local man who invites him and Mabel to have dinner with his wife and sons. Although Mabel would rather stay in the quiet of their cabin, she agrees to go to the dinner. After that evening, the couple leaves the neighbors place with their spirits slightly lifted. Upon their arrival home, a frivolous snowball fight ensues, culminating with the construction of a small snow child. 

In the night, Jack awakes, startled to see that the snow child is gone. He sees small footprints leaving the site where the child stood, and as he looks out into the woods, he glimpses a young, fair-haired girl running through the trees. The next day, Jack attempts to keep what he saw to himself, but soon, Mabel notices the tracks as well. When she too sees the girl running amongst the trees, the couple is truly puzzled. Is this child the answer to their prayers, or simply the "cabin fever" effect of their grief?

This debut novel by author Eowyn Ivey is a modern day fairy tale filled with a powerful emotional presence. Ivey's simple portrayal of this grief stricken couple leaps off of the pages and stays with you for a long time. I really enjoyed the way that the setting/tone seemed to reflect the main character's emotions. The opening, when the couple is overcome with the grief of their lost child, is written in a way that I could almost feel the coolness of the landscape. This tale of love, loss, and moving forward combines the fantastic with the harsh realities of the world, providing an extremely satisfying read. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: Banned for Life by D.R. Haney


Title: Banned For Life
Author: D.R. Haney
Publisher: 
 And/Or Press
Publication Date: 
 May 5, 2009
Reviewer: Ethan

Summary: For almost two decades, rumors have swirled around Jim Cassady, the quasi-legendary punk-rock frontman who disappeared without a trace after his girlfriend’s apparent suicide. Though largely written off as dead, some claim to have had brushes with Cassady, now said to be homeless and bumming change on the streets of his native Los Angeles. Intrigued, Jason Maddox, a would-be filmmaker and Cassady fan, decides to investigate. But the man he eventually finds and befriends is damaged in ways he could never have imagined, and Jason’s own life begins to unravel as he tries to save the hapless Jim Cassady from himself.

Review: As a teenager, I read the novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I remember being attracted to the idea of kids who went against the social norm and really enjoyed reading the novel. Now, many years later, I find myself in awe at the power of another novel about young "punks" and growing up. In Banned for Life, author D.R. Haney captures the realism and grit of growing up an outsider, on a level I have never experienced before.

The novel is narrated by Jason Maddox, a struggling filmmaker who recalls the events in is life that have brought him to where he is today. Jason did everything he could to fit in with the kids at his high school. He wore the same clothes, listened to the same music, and even dated the prom queen. Despite all of this, we get the sense that Jason never really fits in. His life takes a drastic turn when sleeps with his girlfriends mother, and nearly kills his "friend" who told the whole school about Jason's affair. Expelled from school and disowned by his family and friends, Jason turns to the only other person he can relate to.

Bernard, Pewee as he comes to be called, makes it a point to be different. He listens to punk music, wears tattered clothes, and dyes his hair bright colors. When Jason finds himself with nowhere to turn, he finds Pewee to be not so strange after all. Through Pewee, Jason is exposed to new ways of thinking and discovers the greatest music he has ever heard. When the boys go on a trip to New York to hear their favorite band, Rule of Thumb, they are unable to enter the club, but later meet the lead singer, Jim Cassady. In that moment, Jason's life is forever changed.

Flash forward ten years, and we learn Jason is now a screenwriter, struggling to keep his head above water. Gone are the glory days of playing in bands with Pewee. Looking to find some kind of meaning in his life, Jason believes that if only he can find Jim Cassady, his questions will be answered. Unfortunately, no one has heard from Cassady since Rule of Thumb separated years ago. Jason makes it his mission to find this man before his own life unravels before his eyes.

I found Haney's writing style to be very refreshing. Never before have I read characters who carried so much truth in them. I found myself really caring about each one, even those I disliked. This novel captures all of the triumph and heartache of being an artist, and learning how to grow up. The sometimes graphically described moments may be a bit much for some readers, but I found that through this reality, the author perfectly presented Jason's journey to adulthood.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review: The Help


Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Publisher: 
 Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Publication Date: 
 February 10, 2009
Reviewer: Ethan

Review: Every once and a while, a book garners such commercial and critical acclaim that it becomes a kind of phenomena. Since its release, I have heard nothing but praise for The Help. As is often the case, I put the book on my list of books to read, and there it has sat. With the movie adaptation of the novel receiving award recognition, I finally got my hands on a copy of the book and decided to see what all the talk was about.

The story opens with a narrative by Aiblileen, a black maid working for a young, white family in Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. She carries a sense of wisdom, as she raises the young daughter of the family, her seventeenth white baby. Despite the loss of her son (he couldn't get the proper care in the "colored" hospital), Aibileen finds a kind of solace through her job, her faith, and her best friend Minny. Minny is also a maid. While she is praised for her cooking skills, her sassy mouth has gotten her in trouble with previous employers, and finds her with no job and a husband who beats her regularly.

Eugenia Phealan, or Skeeter, is a fresh out of college, 22-year-old white woman, who has returned home, to her mother's dismay, without a husband. We learn that Skeeter has always had trouble fitting in with what society, and her mother, expect of her. Upon her return home, she is shocked to learn that the maid who raised her, Constantine, has left the family home, and no one seems to want to tell Skeeter what happened to her. Saddened by the loss of her childhood companion and eager to get a job at a big publishing company, Skeeter decides to write something important. After a chance encounter with Aibileen, Skeeter enlists her and her friends to tell their stories of being, "The Help" to white families.

I found this to be an unputdownable read, that perfectly mixed lighthearted fiction with the horrors of racism in the south during the 1960's. It is fascinating to read about three strong women who are forced to deal with problems that, unfortunately, many can still relate to today. By relaying the story of each main character through their perspective, Stockett provides beautifully imagined insight into the minds of these progressive women. In knowing the history of this time period an the violence it entailed, there was and underlying sense of suspense throughout the entire story. A kind of To Kill A Mocking Bird for modern audiences, The Help is a book that demands to be read by all.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Discord's Apple


Title: Discord's Apple
Author: carrie vaughn 
Publisher: Tor Books 
Publication Date:
July 6, 2010 
How Received: Review

Reviewer: Kati



Summary: When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done.
And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.
Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.


Review: I'm probably the only person in the world that just couldn't stand to read Discord's apple. I really tried but it just didn't catch my attention. I'm kind of disappointed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Dark Frost


Title: Kiss of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher:  KTEEN  
Publication Date: 
May 29, 2012 
How Received: Review

Reviewer: Kati



Summary:  Tough and irreverent, Gwen Frost has battled Reapers of Chaos and mythological monsters since coming to Mythos Academy, and she's almost been killed too many times to count. But when a group of Reapers attack a museum and kill several Mythos Academy students, the stakes get even higher.


Review: In this book when the author goes to explain something from previous books its like she copy's and pates the description. Its almost the exact same description as in the second book. Like how it starts right away with a bit of action. This book was extreamly fast paced! Loved it from beginning to end. I'm ready for another book!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Kiss of Frost


Title: Kiss of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher:  KTEEN  
Publication Date: 
November 29, 2011 
How Received: Review

Reviewer: Kati



Summary: At Mythos Academy, teen warriors in the making train to take up their roles protecting humankind. With her snarky, self-deprecating voice and strange gift of psychometry - the ability to know an object's history just by touching it - Gwen Frost is an outsider both to the students of the Academy and the rest of the world. But now that she's taking private tutoring with the Academy's most notorious young Spartan, and has Nike's own sword to protect her, she's ready to make mark...


Review: Kiss of frost was great. Fast paced and action packed. Romance and danger. This series is turning into something quiet amazing I cant wait to read dark frost! Hope for those of you reading this series as well like it as much as I do. Gwen is my favorite character!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Touch of Frost

Title: Touch of Frost
Author: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: 
KTEEN 
Publication Date: 
July 26, 2011 
How Received: Bought
Reviewer: Kati



Summary: Gwen Frost is an outsider at Mythos Academy, a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword. Gwen is an outsider both to the students of the Academy and the rest of the world. But when her gift of psychometry - the ability to know an object's history just by touching it reveals dark undercurrents and danger afoot, she has no choice but to get involved.


Review: I never knew about First Frost so when I went and bought the series I only bought Touch of Frost and Kiss of Frost. I'm disappointed I didn't get to read the first one because in the beginning of Touch of Frost I was pretty lost.
When I read the reviews on this book I wasnt much of a believer. But i'm a lover of mythology and all that so I thought I would give it a shot. OH MY GOD! I loved this book sure the beginning was a bit confusing but after I got past that fact I just couldn't put the book down! I deffinally suggest this book!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review: Holding on to Zoe


Title: Holding on to Zoe
Author: George Ella Lyon
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Publication Date:  July 17, 2012 
How Received: Review

Reviewer: Kati


Summary:  After sixteen-year-old Jules has her baby, Zoe, it doesn’t matter anymore that her mother thinks she’s a drama queen, or that her father left them years ago, or even that Zoe’s father is gone, too. She and her baby make a family now; she doesn’t need anyone else in the world except Zoe.Though it's tough being a new mom, balancing Zoe’s needs with working at the Toyota factory and thinking about how to finish school, Jules is sure she’ll figure it out. Still, she wonders, why can’t anyone be happy for her and Zoe? And why does her mom refuse to believe that Zoe's real? 

Review: I don't really know what to say about this book. It's good and shocking. It leaves me pretty speechless. Im sorry I wish I had more to say or something to compare it to. But I've never read another book like this.

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