Sunday, June 29, 2014


Author:  Rainbow Rowell
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Narrator:  Laura Hamilton

Goodreads Summary:
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder, coworkers at The Courier, know the newspaper monitors their office e-mail. But they still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers, and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill still can’t believe that it’s his job to monitor other people’s e-mail.

      This book was so much fun. I loved the friendship between Beth and Jennifer. Their emails back and forth were so much fun and, I must admit, they reminded me a lot of my friends and I. And the idea that someone could be reading our emails - AAACK! But Lincoln was all kinds of perfect and I would love to find my own Lincoln. The atmosphere and feel of this audiobook reminded me so much of You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Rainbow Rowell could definitely be the successor to Nora Ephron in the romantic comedy field.

Dark Places

Author:  Gillian Flynn
Year:  2009
Publisher:  Random House Audio
Narrators: Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins, Robertson Dean

Goodreads Summary:
"I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ."
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.
The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club… and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.
As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

Wow! I have never read a book with so many unlikable characters. Libby, the main character, is totally unlikeable and it so hard to feel sorry for her even though she went through this horrible tragedy. It's actually that tragedy that made her so unlikeable. But despite not liking the characters, I still got caught up in the mystery and wondering exactly what happened that night Libby's family was killed. Was Ben guilty? Or was someone else the murderer and Ben set up? I kept trying to figure out the killer and I was partly correct. I must say, I do like Gillian Flynn's writing style. I read Gone Girl and was amazed by the twists and turns. This book didn't have the twists and turns but she painted a horribly accurate picture of families living in poverty. I think I will go on to read Sharp Objects and see what that one's about and compare it to these two.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hot Blooded

Author:  Amanda Carlson
Series:  Jessica McClain, Book 2
Year:  2013
Pages: 320

Goodreads Summary:
It hasn't been the best week for Jessica McClain.
Her mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge --- but Jessica is playing for keeps.
Because she's the only female werewolf in comes with its own set of rules...and powers.
Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means.
All in a day's work for a girl.
The second novel in the Jessica McClain series is a full on action adventure featuring one angry Goddess and plenty of monsters, demons, and a few newly risen beasties...

I enjoy this werewolf series a lot. In fact, it might be my favorite. I am curious to find out what Jessica is. Jessica is so bad ass and she is working super hard to understand her new found abilities and rescue her mate. I love seeing her working so hard to make all the supernatural and human species work together. This book is really non-stop action and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sixth Grave From the Edge

Author:  Darynda Jones
Series:  Charley Davidson, Book 6
Year: 2014
Publisher: Macmillian Audio
Narrator:  Lorelei King

Goodreads Summary:
Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it's time to learn more about his past, but Reyes is reluctant to open up. When the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap, Charley decides to go behind her mysterious beau’s back and conduct her own investigation. Because what could go wrong?
Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap—one with dangerous implications. Some very insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn't come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear.

Add to that a desperate man in search of the soul he lost in a card game, a dogged mother determined to find the ghost of her son, and a beautiful, young Deaf boy haunted by his new ability to see the departed as clearly as he sees the living, and Charley has her hands full. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture only adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Good thing for Charley she's used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.

There's nothing more enjoyable than listening to a Charley Davidson book. Charley is such a fun and sarcastic and smart heroine. Charley knows she bumbles around but she also figures things out. She doesn't need anybody to take care of her but it sure is nice having Reyes Farrow and her rottweiler. What impresses me most about this series is that I'm on book six and never tire of listening to them and always come out of one thinking they are too short. I laugh, I cry, I get tense. All the things I look for in a book. And Lorelei King is the perfect narrator. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Kimono Dragons, Motherland & Whys and Wherefores

Author:  Brian K. Vaughn
Series:  Y: The Last Man, Volumes 8, 9, & 10
Years: 2006, 2007 & 2008

Goodreads Summaries:

KIMONO DRAGONS brings the hunt for Ampersand—the monkey who could unlock the mystery of the male-killing plague— to its explosive climax, as the last man on Earth and his companions finally reach Japan and discover the truth behind Ampersand's abduction. Collects issues #43-48 of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra's award-winning Vertigo series.

This volume of the critically acclaimed series features Yorick and Agent 355 preparing for their ultimate quest to reunite the last man with his lost love.

Meanwhile, the person, people or thing behind the disaster that wiped out half of humanity is revealed!

Yorick Brown's long journey through an Earth populated only by women comes to a dramatic, unexpected conclusion in this final volume.

Seems like I've been reading these books forever! But they were well worth the time invested. This is a terrific series with some kick-butt characters. It was interesting to see the conclusion of Yorick's journey and it wasn't what I had expected. Excellent job on this series. I'll definitely be recommending them to others.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Death and the Girl Next Door

Author:  Darynda Jones
Series:  Darklight, Book 1
Year:  2012
Publisher: MacMillian Audio
Narrator:  Lorelei King

Goodreads Summary:
Sophomore Year Was Never Supposed to be This Complicated
Ten years ago, Lorelei McAlister's parents disappeared without a trace, ans she is finally beginning to accept the fact that they're never coming back. Life must go on. She's got her grandparents and the support of her best friends, and high school is not quite as painful as she thought it would be.
But This is What Happens When You Fall for the Angel of Death.
Until the day the school's designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, tough, sexy Jared Kovach - comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other, and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.
Life as She Knows it is About to Change Forever.
What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can't have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Death and the Girl Next Door proves Darynda Jones is a force to be reckoned with.

Darynda Jones' Charley Davidson series is one of my absolute favorite book series. So I was very interested to see how I was going to like her young adult series. It's not Charley Davidson but it is a ton of fun. I felt like this book did a lot of build up for the other books in the series instead of jumping into and having a complete story in and of itself. However, Lorelei has a lot of the same sarcasm that Charley has and I totally see similarities between other characters in the Charley Davidson series and this series. Of course, that could be just because both series use the same narrator, Lorelei King. As usual, Lorelei King does a fantastic job with this audiobook.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Saga, Volume 2

Author:  Brian K. Vaughn
Illustrator:  Fiona Staples
Year: 2013
Publisher:  Image Comics
Pages:  144

Goodreads Summary:
From award-winning writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (Pride of Baghdad, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (Mystery Society, Done to Death), SAGA is sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and horrific monsters, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her strangest adventure yet... grandparents.

I love, love, love this series. It is this sweeping saga that really packs a punch with the emotion and family story. I love Marko and Alana's story. I am so curious to find out what happens with Hazel. I even find the side stories involving the assassins interesting. I definitely recommend this series.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wizard's First Rule

Author:  Terry Goodkind
Series:  Sword of Truth, Book 1
Year:  2008
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Narrator:  Sam Tsoutsouvas

Goodreads Description:
A Legend Begins...
In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, in his forest sanctuary. She seeks his help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.
In their darkest hour, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword--to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed...or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

This is one of those books that I should have read. It's been on my list for forever. I've had the audiobook since about 2008 but I just never got around to listening to it. But now I finally did! And what an experience this was. I will admit that it took me about three hours to get into the audiobook. There was a lot of build up and I wasn't sure what was happening and didn't get the story. But once I figured it out, this was a terrific audiobook and story. Goodkind built a magnificent and layered world. He didn't spare his main character from pain and suffering. And the happy ending still left tons of questions and openings for the future stories. Yes, I will definitely be recommending this book to other fantasy lovers (if they haven't already read it) and I will be picking up the other books. Although the narration of the audiobook was terrific, I will be reading the others in physical books. I can just read them so much faster than the story gets read to me and these books are huge commitments.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just One Night

Author:  Gayle Forman
Series:  Just One Day, Book 2.5
Year: 2014
Pages: 40

Goodreads Summary:
After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.

I appreciated getting this little novella to finish up and round out Allison and Willem's story. I had felt before like Just One Night left me hanging and this came back and properly ended the story. Highly enjoyable.

Friday, June 13, 2014


Author:  Joe Hill
Year:  2013
Publisher:  William Morrow
Pages: 692

Goodreads Summary:
NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

This was my first Joe Hill book but it definitely will not be my last. This was one of those creative, old-fashioned horror stories that 100% reminded me of Stephen King (who just happens to be his dad). It had that creepy vibe that makes your spine tingle. It's normal people that aren't quite normal and their special "talents" cause problems for them. At points I began to wonder about the main character's sanity (and Lord knows everybody in her world thought she was crazy). Yet, it turns out Vic wasn't crazy at all. Manx is a creature out of all nightmares. This book made me want to search out more horror stories.

One other thing that made me love Joe Hill even more were some references I caught to Stephen King's books and universe which made it seem all the more plausible that all the stories were happening together. Gotta love that the books are intertwined like that.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Parnassus on Wheels

Author:  Christopher Morley
Year:  2010 (originally 1917)
Publisher:  Melville House
Pages:  142

Goodreads Summary:
I imagined him in his beloved Brooklyn, strolling in Prospect Park and preaching to chance comers about his gospel of good books.
"When you sell a man a book," says Roger Mifflin, the sprite-like book peddler at the center of this classic novella, "you don't sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue—you sell him a whole new life." In this beguiling but little-known prequel to Christopher Morley's beloved Haunted Bookshop, the "whole new life" that the traveling bookman delivers to Helen McGill, the narrator of Parnassus on Wheels, provides the romantic comedy that drives this charming love letter to a life in books.

This was an absolutely charming book. I loved the story of Helen McGill and the Professor. It was just so cute and adorable and I just fell in love with it. I can't wait to read Haunted Bookshop. I loved the idea of setting off across the countryside selling books to people. I thought that Helen and the professor had an adorable romance. This is one of the ways that I can tell a classic that stands the test of time - that no matter how long ago it was written, I don't get frustrated by the language or the concepts of the time, I'm still captivated by the story. And this one captivated me. I read it in one sitting and wish there was more.

On a side but related note, this book is part of Melville House's The Art of the Novella series. It's a beautifully made book with a great cover that is so nice. It makes me want to collect the entire series. I did scan through the listing in the back and there are a number of them I will buy. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Moon Called

Author:  Patricia Briggs
Series:  Mercy Thompson, Book 2
Year:  2006
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages:  288

Goodreads Summary:
Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water.

Now this is how a shifter novel should be done. I adored this story. It was impossible to put down. The characters are perfectly drawn. Mercy is a terrific main character. She's got spunk and smarts and good sense. Thompson built a great world and gave me just enough information to get me hooked but left questions out there for future novels. I can't wait to get more of these books in my hands and keep following this world. I even noticed that the audiobooks are narrated by Lorelei King (who is my absolute favorite) so I might just listen to some on audio.