Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Forever Song

Author: Julie Kagawa
Series:  Blood of Eden, Book 3
Year: 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages:  393

Goodreads Summary:

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.


Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

Loved, loved this series. I liked how the world was dark and unforgiving. Being a vampire wasn't romanticized (even though there was romance for the vampire.) Allie is a kick-butt main character. I loved the barbs that flew back and forth between Allie and Jackal. Sarren is a completely evil bad guy with no redemption that absolutely refuses to die. 

I think Kagawa has a special talent for  making her readers become attached to her characters. It's a gift and one that makes her books an auto-buy for me. I am so excited to see where she takes her dragon tale this fall. But for now, I'm totally satisfied with the ending to this series. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Geography of You and Me

Author:  Jennifer E. Smith
Year: 2014
Publisher: Poppy
Pages:  337

Goodreads Summary:
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.
A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

 Adorable - that's the word that I think best describes this book.  Lucy and Owen's relationship is fun and cute. I love the way they correspond through emails and postcards. It's reminds me of the way I always send postcards back home to friends and family and how it's really a lost art. When I finished this book, I wanted to run out and send postcards to my friends and family. I think Jennifer E. Smith excels in writing adorable, cute romances that just make you feel good. After reading this I just felt warm and cuddly inside.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Dog Stars

Author:  Peter Heller
Year: 2012
Publisher:  Knopf
Pages:  320

Goodreads Summary:
What can I say to Bangley?
He has saved my bacon more times. Saving my bacon is his job. I have the plane, I am the eyes, he has the guns, he is the muscle.

He knows I know he knows: he can't fly, I don't have the stomach for killing. Any other way probably just be one of us.

Or none.

So that description tells you absolutely nothing about this book. I went into it knowing next to nothing about the book except that most of the people who'd read it says it's very good. The main character, Hig, is one of few survivors of a flu pandemic that has killed most humans. This is the story of Hig's survival. Bangley is his partner in survival. It's a very unique writing style that takes a bit to get in to but once I did, it ended up being an absolutely beautiful book. I loved it and could not put the book down. I've seen a number of comparisons to The Road and it is kind of the same type of story; however, The Dog Stars does not have that same dark, dire urgency as the road. The world doesn't seem quit as grim. I recommend everyone give this book a try. I think you'll like it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Flat-Out Matt

Author:  Jessica Park
Series:  Flat-Out Love, Book 1.5
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Self
Pages:  158

Goodreads Summary:
Matt is a junior at MIT. He’s geeky, he's witty, he's brilliant.
And he’s also very, very stupid.
When beautiful, cool, insightful Julie moves in with Matt’s family, why (oh why!) does he pretend to be his absent brother Finn for her alleged benefit?

It seems harmless enough until her short-term stay becomes permanent. And until it snowballs into heart-squeezing insanity. And until he falls in love with Julie, and Julie falls in love with Finn.

But … Matt is the right one for her. If only he can make Julie see it. Without telling her the truth, without shattering them all. Particularly his fragile sister Celeste, who may need Julie the most.
You saw Matt through Julie’s eyes in FLAT-OUT LOVE. Now go deeper into Matt’s world in this FLAT-OUT MATT novella. Live his side of the story, break when his heart breaks, and fall for the unlikely hero all over again.
Take an emotional skydive for two prequel chapters and seven Flat-Out Love chapters retold from his perspective, and then land with a brand-new steamy finale chapter from Julie.

I might  possibly have enjoyed this one better than Flat-Out Love if not for the skipping around it does. It follows the big chapters from Flat-Out Love from Matt's point of view and skips the smaller chapters. Regardless, I still loved getting Matt's POV and it made me love him all the more. This was a great idea for Jessica Park and she handled it beautifully. I love these books.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Judging a Book By Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere

Author:  Lauren Leto
Year: 2012
Publisher:  Harper Perennial
Pages:  269

Goodreads Summary:
Want to impress the hot stranger at the bar who asks for your take on Infinite Jest? Dying to shut up the blowhard in front of you who’s pontificating on Cormac McCarthy’s “recurring road narratives”? Having difficulty keeping Francine Prose and Annie Proulx straight?
For all those overwhelmed readers who need to get a firm grip on the relentless onslaught of must-read books to stay on top of the inevitable conversations that swirl around them, Lauren Leto’s Judging a Book by Its Lover is manna from literary heaven! A hilarious send-up of—and inspired homage to—the passionate and peculiar world of book culture, this guide to literary debate leaves no reader or author unscathed, at once adoring and skewering everyone from Jonathan Franzen to Ayn Rand to Dostoyevsky and the people who read them.

This was a fun little book. I saw myself in so many of the types of readers and in reader behaviors. I kept thinking all through this book, "Yep, that's me." or "Oh, I do that." I thoroughly enjoyed this and it read a lot quicker than I expected.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Author:  Laini Taylor
Series:  Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Book 3
Year: 2014
Publisher:  Little Brown
Pages:  613

Goodreads Summary:

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky?
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

The highlight of my week was receiving this book in the mail on Tuesday. All week I looked at the book sitting beside my bed and thought "this weekend. This weekend, I'm going to spend it reading you." It gave me hope. And now, I have finished the book and I'm completed satisfied. I can't remember a series where I fell in love with the side characters as much as the main characters, where I hoped so much for a happy ending or at least one with hope for the future (except maybe the Legend series by Marie Lu). And this final book rocked. It was a perfect ending. And I'm so sad to see Karou, Akiva and friends go. This series sets in a class of its own.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Eternity Cure

Author:  Julie Kagawa
Series:  Blood of Eden, Book 2
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages:  434

Goodreads Summary:
In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever—and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago—and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.

So this book has set in  my TBR pile for a year without being picked up. It has set there and lingered and waited on me to decide to read it and this week I finally did. And it did not disappoint. About halfway through I remembered why I loved The Immortal Rules. These stories are dark and gritty with little hope for the world. But Allison is a kick-ass heroine that has epic feelings even though she is supposed to be a heartless vampire. There were twists in this book that surprised me and upset me. Then there was the ending that left me wishing I had the final book in the series languishing in my TBR pile also; but, alas, I don't. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crash Into You

Author:  Katie McGarry
Series:  Pushing the Limits, Book 3
Year: 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Pages:  484

Goodreads Summary:
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane.

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

I can't tell you how much this book was me.  I love my mustangs and drag racing and was always the girl playing with the cars growing up. For that reason alone, this book had the potential of being my favorite of the series before I even started it. But then there was Isaiah. Oh, Isaiah - if only there were one of you in my life. Then, it'd be perfect.  :) Isaiah is my favorite character from this series and I loved seeing him finally come out on top. If you're not reading this series by Katie McGarry, you definitely should be. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 1: The Paradigm Shift

Author:  Simon Oliver
Illustrator: Robbi Rodriguez
Year: 2014
Publisher:  Vertigo Comics
Pages: 160

Goodreads Summary:
Wormholes in your kitchen. Gravity failures at school. Quantum tornadoes tearing through the midwest. As with all natural disasters, people do what they always do: They adapt and survive. And if things get really bad, the Federal Bureau of Physics (FBP) is only a call away.
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics is the story of Adam Hardy: Young, brash and smart, he's a rising star at the FBP, but when a gravity failure leads to the creation of an alternate dimension known as a "BubbleVerse," Adam is sent on a rescue mission and finds his skills and abilities pushed to their limits when he discovers his partner has a different agenda...

I love the premise of this series. The idea that the laws of physics are turned upside down and we can't count on the simplest of things (like gravity) to work is so intriguing. And I think a great foundation is built for the series in this first volume. There's the main story and then underlying mysteries. The artwork is colorful and simplistic. I'm glad I happened upon this series and am looking for great things from it in the future.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Author:  Dan Wells
Series:  Partials Sequence, Book 3
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Pages:  451

Goodreads Summary:
Kira, Samm, and Marcus fight to prevent a final war between Partials and humans in the gripping final installment in the Partials Sequence, a series that combines the thrilling action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Blade Runner and The Stand.
There is no avoiding it—the war to decide the fate of both humans and Partials is at hand. Both sides hold in their possession a weapon that could destroy the other, and Kira Walker has precious little time to prevent that from happening. She has one chance to save both species and the world with them, but it will only come at great personal cost.

This was a one sitting read (of course 1/3 of that was at the hair salon). But after reading that first 1/3 of the book, I was too caught up in the story to quit and come back to it later. So, I came home and finished reading to find out what happens to Kira and her motley crew. There were times when I couldn't believe the turns that Dan Wells took with this story. Overall this series ranks at the top of my lists. I like the world, the details, the friendships and the overall theme of the series of working together and living in peace. I even liked the way that Wells handled the stereotypical love triangle. It was a bit of a non-stereotypical triangle. I'm curious to read anything Dan Wells comes up with after this.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Authors:  David Leviathan & Rachel Cohn
Year: 2008
Publisher: Listening Library
Narrators:  Emily Janice Card & Kirby Heyborne

Goodreads Summary:
It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.
This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

This was such an interesting romance. At first, the language threw me off a little because I didn't expect it but once I got into it, I was caught up in the story and all about the romance. I loved both Nick and Norah and wanted things to work out for them. Of course, the entire story takes place within one day so we have no idea what happens to them in the long run but I wanted to feel like they were going to get their happy ever after. I found the writing style to be very unique and interesting.  All in all, it was a nice little romance to fill a day at work.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Author:  Brandon Sanderson
Series:  Reckoners, Book 1
Year: 2013
Publisher:  Audible Studios
Narrator:  Macleod Andrews

Goodreads Summary:
There are no heroes.
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.
But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

What a terrific book! It was creative, unique, and fun. I loved David's internal monologues. The discussions about word usage. Parts of the book seemed so tongue-in-cheek. Yet it was a wonderful fantasy world. It was a well developed world. I loved that David didn't have any magical powers and that he fought the Epics using his brain and his street wise smarts. I also appreciated the way that Sanderson wasn't afraid to kill off characters. Macleod Andrews did a wonderful job with the narration. This audiobook is well worth the time.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Flat-Out Love

Author:  Jessica Park
Series:  Flat-Out Love, Book 1
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Jessica Park
Pages: 389

Goodreads Summary:
Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it. When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.
And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul.
To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

This book snuck up on me. I started off thinking what a cute little story. And then it got serious. Suddenly, I just had to finish the book. I was concerned for the characters. What was going to happen? Would Celeste be OK? What was her problem anyhow? What was the big Watkins family secret? Will Julie find love? Who will she fall in love with? The title is Flat-Out Love anyhow so there has to be love there. Then when I got to the end,  my heart was breaking but it was a satisfied break. I'm obviously moving on the the companion novel very soon.