Monday, March 31, 2014

Saga: Volume One

Author:  Brian K. Vaughn
Illustrator:  Fiona Staples
Year: 2012
Publisher:  Image Comics
Pages:  160

Goodreads Description:
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

This specially priced volume collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make."

I absolutely loved this story. I think the best part about it is that it's this totally sci-fi story but it has a real heart to it. The love story is terrific. I found myself hoping everything works out but knowing that it's not likely going to happen (at least not in this volume). I'm intrigued as the story is told from the point-of-view of the baby so I know she's going to live - but how? Where's she at now? I can't wait to read more and am really psyched that I found another graphic novel series where I can get into the characters.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Merchant of Death

Author:  D.J. MacHale
Series: Pendragon, Book 1
Year:  2002
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Narrator:  William Dufris

Goodreads Summary:
Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal 14-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby: he is going to save the world.
And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.

I've had this book and audiobook for ages (we're talking nearly a decade) and just haven't got to them. I was impressed with the amount of world-building and imagination that this first book has. It was loads of fun and a real roller coaster ride. One MacHale started things rolling, the action never stopped. At times, it felt like the narrator was out of breath he was talking so fast. Although I enjoyed the story a lot, I think I would have liked it more when I first bought the books a decade ago. As a matter of fact, I would have loved them as a teenager. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dare You To

Author:  Katie McGarry
Series:  Pushing The Limits, Book 2
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages:  456

Goodreads Summary:
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."
"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....
"I dare you..."
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

I must admit, I was a little disappointed when I saw that we were getting Beth's story and the guy she was falling for was not Isaiah. After all, after the first book, I was pretty sure Beth and Isaiah were going to end up together. But then I met Ryan and, in all honesty, he is completely perfect for Beth. This book had all the intensity and emotions that Pushing the Limits. I was surprised at how much I ended up liking Beth. I didn't care for her at all during Pushing the Limits but once I got in to her head and started seeing where she was coming from, I loved her. The chemistry between Beth and Ryan was off the charts. If you want a good romance with lots of feels, this would be a perfect read for you.

Now let's move on to Isaiah's story and find out who the perfect girl for him is!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Scorpio Races

Author:  Maggie Stiefvater
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Scholastic Audio
Narrators:  Steve West & Fiona Hardingham

Goodreads Summary:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

I've always been on the fence with Maggie Stiefvater. I loved Shiver but never have been able to get into The Raven Boys (although I haven't given up on it). I'm not really sure why I bought this audiobook but I am so glad I did. This, by far, is the best Stiefvater book I've come across. It's just a beautiful tale and absolutely magical. Stiefvator brought the island to life and I could feel the island air. Puck and Sean were awesome characters and their story was a real romance. It was funny because I wasn't sure how to describe the love story and then at the end of the audiobook there was an interview with the author where she described Sean as a "Mr. Darcy" and I thought that it was the perfect description. He was quiet and dark and brooding but in the end loved fiercely. I was sorry to see this story end as I wanted more. But it was also quite perfect. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Author:  D.J. MacHale
Series:  The SYLO Chronicles, Book 1
Year: 2013
Publisher:  Razorbill
Pages:  406

Goodreads Summary:
Does Tucker Pierce have what it takes to be a hero when the U.S. military quarantines his island?
Fourteen-year-old Tucker Pierce prefers to fly under the radar. He’s used to navigating around summer tourists in his hometown on idyllic Pemberwick Island, Maine. He’s content to sit on the sidelines as a backup player on the high school football team. And though his best friend Quinn tells him to “go for it,” he’s too chicken to ask Tori Sleeper on a date. There’s always tomorrow, he figures. Then Pemberwick Island is invaded by a mysterious branch of the U.S. military called SYLO. And sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option for Tucker, because tomorrow may never come.

It’s up to Tucker, Quinn, and Tori to uncover the truth about the singing aircraft that appears only at night—and the stranger named Feit who’s pushing a red crystal he calls the Ruby that brings unique powers to all who take it. Tucker and his friends must rescue not just Pemberwick Island, but the fate of the world—and all before tomorrow is too late. 

#1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale brings his brilliant plotting and breathless pacing to SYLO, the first in this ultimate end-of-the-world adventure trilogy.

I must admit, I was quite enthralled by this book. I stayed up way too late on two consecutive work nights reading it. I liked the characters and the location of Pemberwick Island. I so wanted to know what was going on and just exactly what SYLO was up to. I just couldn't put the book down. MacHale's story is very fast paced and the hits just keep coming. I'm ready for the next book in the series.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Shade of the Moon

Author:  Susan Beth Pfeffer
Series:  The Last Survivors, Book 4
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages:  288

Goodreads Summary:
The eagerly awaited addition to the series begun with the New York Times best-seller Life As We Knew It, in which a meteor knocks the moon off its orbit and the world changes forever.
It's been more than two years since Jon Evans and his family left Pennsylvania, hoping to find a safe place to live, yet Jon remains haunted by the deaths of those he loved. His prowess on a soccer field has guaranteed him a home in a well-protected enclave. But Jon is painfully aware that a missed goal, a careless word, even falling in love, can put his life and the lives of his mother, his sister Miranda, and her husband, Alex, in jeopardy. Can Jon risk doing what is right in a world gone so terribly wrong?

I must admit that I was a little disappointed that this book was about Jon and not Miranda and Alex. I LOVED Miranda and Alex and really wanted more of their story but once I got past that and learned to deal with this story being about Jon, I was OK. Jon was one of those protagonists that was hard to like. He's a bit self-centered and has a feeling of entitlement that kind of makes you want to slap him. But once he starts opening his eyes and looking at his world differently, he starts to come down off his pedestal and becomes more likable. There were parts in this book that broke my heart. Other parts were redeeming.  This book was not Life As We Knew It nor was it The Dead & The Gone but it was a decent read. And I did love the glimpses I get of Miranda and Alex and how they were getting on. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Gods of Guilt

Author:  Michael Connelly
Series:  Mickey Haller, Book 5
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Hachette Audio
Narrator:  Peter Giles

Goodreads Summary:

Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game.
When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.
Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Mickey must work tirelessly and bring all his skill to bear on a case that could mean his ultimate redemption or proof of his ultimate guilt. The Gods of Guilt shows once again why "Michael Connelly excels, easily surpassing John Grisham in the building of courtroom suspense"

 I get excited whenever a new Michael Connelly book comes out. That excitement is only slightly dampened when it's not a Harry Bosch book (sorry Mickey but Bosch is my man). I think it's because I tend to enjoy the detective novel more than a courtroom drama. Don't get me wrong though, Bosch does a terrific job with the courtroom drama and The Gods of Guilt is no exception. I think one of my favorite things about Mickey Haller is that he doesn't represent the "good guys."  He's a defense lawyer so his clients are not always great people. In fact, they're usually pretty bad people and his client here is no exception. Connelly is also excellent at blurring that line and making his good guys not so good and the bad guys a little good to where everybody has grey hats. And that makes all his writing that more intriguing.

In addition, Peter Giles is a terrific narrator for this series. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


Author:  Rainbow Rowell
Year:  2013
Publisher:  St. Martins Griffin
Pages:  434

Goodreads Summary:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I absolutely LOVED this book! It completely took me back to the days between Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I stalked fanfiction boards reading so many stories dying for more information and just more from the world. There were stories that I followed that I absolutely loved. Sometimes today I have to stop and think for a minute whether something I remember happened in J.K. Rowling's stories and actual canon or was it something that was in one of the fanfiction stories I read. So to have this story about Cath - a person who is introverted and caught up in her fanfiction world being thrust into a new world where she's having to step out of her comfort zone and let others in. I was destined to love it. And I did. I thought Levi was wonderful. He was actually darn near perfect. I enjoyed this book much more than Eleanor & Park.  This story got me excited about what Rainbow Rowell has to offer next. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jack and Yani Love Harry Potter

Author:  Mary E. Twomey
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Createspace
Pages:  172

Goodreads Summary:
Best friends Jack and Yani do everything together. After Yani's thirtieth birthday party, however, she decides to leave town on a spontaneous vacation to visit all the sites of the young adult fiction novels she loves, hoping that when she returns, she'll have buried the secret flame she has for Jack. Forced by his friends to go on a road trip to track down Yani, Jack learns a lot about his best friend by reading the novels she's been obsessed with. From vampire hunting in Forks to searching for wizards in Florida, Jack confronts his greatest fears -that he just might love Harry Potter...and perhaps, Yani.

This book was absolutely adorable and so, so, so much fun. I totally geeked out on it. I saw my friends and myself in Yani and 100% saw us making this road trip. As a matter of fact, I was thinking of the places we'd visit if we did this. But what was even  more fun was seeing the books (and the places) from Yani's friends point-of-view. I laughed and loved every minute of that because I know that most times when I do get one of my friends to read one of my lowly YA books they come away admitting that it's "really not that bad." 

I bought this book as an ebook but definitely will order a paper copy just so I can put it on my shelf and tell people that they have to read it when they ask me about it - which is the one advantage to have paper copies of books over ebooks on shelves. I highly recommend this fun, light and easy read to all fans of YA books - especially older fans that take some ribbing from your friends for still reading YA books.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Author:  Rachel Vincent
Series:  Shifters, Book 2
Year:  2008
Publisher:  Harlequin Books SA
Narrator:  Jennifer Van Dyck

Goodreads Summary:
Okay, so cats don't always land on their feet.

I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I've made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I'm working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty.
But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We're beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...

I remember being slightly underwhelmed with the first book in this series but thinking that I should stick it out because I loved the Soul Screamers series (still one of my favorite series). And I was right. This book was much better than the first book. I liked Faythe so much more in Shifters than I had before and just felt her more overall. But, oh, that ending - it's classic Rachel Vincent.  I am definitely much more vested in this series and finding out what happens now.  Also, Jennifer Van Dyck is a great narrator.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Such a Rush

Author:  Jennifer Echols
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Pages:  325

Goodreads Summary:
A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.
Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.
But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.
By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.
Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.
When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.

I went into this book blind. I hadn't read any descriptions but had seen where it received a lot of great reviews; so when I came across it in a bargain bin, I had to buy it. This was a great romance. There was lots of tension and humor. I loved Leah and Grayson. Actually, I loved most all the characters. At times the story was heartbreaking and other times it was heart warming. I had a warm, gooey feeling in my stomach when I finished this book and wanted to read it again.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Last Boyfriend

Author:  Nora Roberts
Series:  Inn Boonsboro, Book 2
Year: 2012
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Narrator:  MacLeod Andrews

Goodreads Summary:

A new novel of a shared past, a fresh start, and a lifetime of love. #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts introduces you to the Montgomery brothers—Beckett, Ryder, and Owen—as they bring an intimate bed-and-breakfast to life in their hometown.

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist—and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery McTavish...
Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation—and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent. As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected—and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last.

I'm enjoying these audiobooks a lot. I love the way Roberts writes the couple's stories but at the same time includes the entire family and friends stories too; so we're not having to lose any of our couples. And this setting around the Inn Boonsboro is just perfect. These books have been the perfect getaway during the day making my work life so much more relaxing.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Up From the Grave

Author:  Jeaniene Frost
Series:  Night Huntress, Book 7
Year: 2014
Publisher:  Harper Audio
Narrator:  Tavia Gilbert

Goodreads Summary:

There’s always one more grave to dig.
Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war…
A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death…because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences. And if they fail, their lives—and those of everyone they hold dear— will be hovering on the edge of the grave.

This has been one of my favorite and definitely most entertaining book series. I love the characters and really can not pick a favorite person in the series: Cat, Bones, Denise, Spade, Ian, Vlad, Leila, Don, Fabian - there's just too many to love. I absolutely hate seeing this series come to an end but can totally understand Ms. Frost's feelings that it was time to end Cat and Bones' story. She ended the series very nicely.  This book didn't have some of the steamy sex scenes as prior books but there tons of feelings and some different feelings from Cat than we've seen before. I felt like Ian really rose to the occasion in this book and I would love to see Ian finally get his happily ever after. He definitely deserves it now. I loved the way Frost took a chance to bring back all the great characters from prior books and give everyone a chance to make an appearance. It was a true final bow. So, thanks Ms. Frost, for giving us readers this awesome series and I can't wait to see what you unwrap for us next.