Monday, June 1, 2009

Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast

4 stars

Marked is the first book in the House of Night series. Zoey Redbird is your typical sixteen year old girl until she gets marked. Getting marked means you have to move to the House of Night and train to become a Vampyre. Not everyone survives the change...

I've read a lot of mixed reviews about this book, but I liked it. The storyline was good and kept my attention. For the most part, the characters seemed like typical teenagers. Zoey's use of the word "poopie" was all that seemed a bit off to me. It was definitely interesting enough for me to continue the series.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

4 stars

Plainsong is set in the rural community of Holt, Colorado. It's the story of a pregnant teenage girl, two lonely teachers, a pair of old bachelor brothers, and two young boys abandoned by their mother.

I've said this many times before, but I'll say it again. I'm a huge fan of character novels. Stephen King and Richard Russo have always been my favorites, but I can now add Kent Haruf to that list. I was captivated by this story. I fell in love with the characters, especially the McPheron brothers. Haruf had no problem putting you into their lives and making you care for them. I look very forward to reading more of his books.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Flight by Sherman Alexie

5 stars

Flight is the story of fifteen year old Zits. Zits is a half Native American/half white orphan. He's been in and out of foster homes since his mother died when he was six years old. Zits has decided to commit a massive act of violence. Right at the moment he begins to act on that decision, he is transported back in time into the body of an FBI agent during the Civil Rights era. This happens to be Zits first stop in a series of travels through history.

This was an amazing little book. The main character gets to find out what it's like to be inside someone else. To feel what they're feeling. To see what they're seeing. To see hate and what it does to people no matter what race they are or what side they're on. At one point, Zits is a white man hunting down Native Americans. At another point, he's a Native American killing the white man. It was just so interesting to see both sides of the same situation and see how both sides feel justified in what they're doing. These aren't the only situations he finds himself in, but they're all interesting. This book is quite violent and the language is rather course, but it should be. This is a fifteen year old boy that's lived a horrible life and the things he does and says feel real. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in this sort of thing, but I can see some parents having issues with the language and violence. Personally, I would let my kids read it if they wanted, but that's just me.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Malice by Lisa Jackson

4 stars

New Orleans detective Rick Bentz is seeing his ex-wife, Jennifer, everywhere. The problem is that Jennifer died in LA twelve years earlier. Bentz knows it's not his imagination, but how could Jennifer be alive? He's the one that identified her body. After receiving an envelope with recently dated photos of Jennifer or someone that's a dead ringer for her, taken in LA looking alive and well, Bentz is off to LA to find out who is messing with him and why.

Malice is the sixth book in Lisa Jackson's New Orleans series. I'm usually a stickler for reading a series in order, but I won a copy of the book and had a time limit to read it and answer some questions. Even though I had not read any of the first five books, I didn't feel like I was missing anything. There was just enough back story for each character for me to feel like I knew them, but not so much that it interfered with the flow of the story. The characters were very well developed. The story was fantastic, fast paced, and filled with suspense. I thought I knew who the culprit was, but I ended up surprised. I always love it when I'm surprised by a suspense/thriller novel because so many of them follow the same pattern and you end up feeling like you've read it a hundred times before. I didn't feel that way with Malice. I've already picked up the first book in the series and hope to get started on it soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson Review and Giveaway

5 stars

Seventeen year old Lia has been struggling with anorexia for years. Her best friend Cassie struggles with bulimia. When Lia is released from her rehabilitation program for the second time, Cassie tells her she's a bad influence and she doesn't want to be her friend anymore. A few months later, Cassie is found dead in a motel room alone. She left thirty three messages for Lia the night before, but Lia wouldn't return her calls. Now, Lia is seeing Cassie's ghost everywhere and while on a mission to find out how Cassie died, Lia begins spiraling out of control.

Wintergirls is told completely from the perspective of Lia. You are in her head from page one. At first, I thought the writing style was a little weird, but I quickly caught on to what the author was doing. There are parts of the book that are crossed out because it shows you what Lia's first thought was and then what she ended up actually saying or doing. Anderson really succeeded in making me feel like I was in this confused, scared teenager's head. This book is very raw and very powerful. I'd definitely recommend it.


Now for the fun part! This will be my first giveaway! The book is a paperback ARC. It has been read twice. Once by me and once by my sister. Now, no one in my household smokes, but my sister does. I don't think the book smells like smoke, but I thought I would warn you just in case. If you would like the chance to win, please leave a comment below. For a second chance to win, let me know what your favorite young adult book of all time is. I will draw a winner on April 30th and ship the book on May 1st. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain

5 stars

Synopsis: (from Barnes and Noble)

With Heartsick, Chelsea Cain took the crime world by storm, introducing two of the most compelling characters in decades: serial killer Gretchen Lowell and her obsessed pursuer Portland Detective Archie Sheridan. The book spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and garnered rave reviews around the world. But the riveting story of Archie and Gretchen was left unfinished, and now Chelsea Cain picks up the tale again.

When the body of a young woman is discovered in Portland’s Forest Park, Archie is reminded of the last time they found a body there, more than a decade ago: it turned out to be the Beauty Killer’s first victim, and Archie’s first case. This body can't be one of Gretchen's—she’s in prison—but after help from reporter Susan Ward uncovers the dead woman's identity, it turns into another big case. Trouble is, Archie can't focus on the new investigation because the Beauty Killer case has exploded: Gretchen Lowell has escaped from prison.

Archie hadn't seen her in two months; he'd moved back in with his family and sworn off visiting her. Though it should feel like progress, he actually feels worse. The news of her escape spreads like wildfire, but secretly, he's relieved. He knows he's the only one who can catch her, and in fact, he has a plan to get out from under her thumb once and for all.

Chelsea Cain has topped her own bestselling debut thriller with this unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat story.

My review:

Sweetheart, the sequel to Heartsick, is just as good as the first book! This book delves deeper into the relationship between Archie and Gretchen. Imagine being obsessed with the person that tortured and tried to kill you. So obsessed that it affects every single aspect of your life. This book was an amazing page turner. I started reading last night and only stopped because I had to. As soon as I got the opportunity, I picked the book back up and didn't stop until I finished. Gretchen Lowell is one of the most captivating "bad guys" I've ever read about.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Zombie Chicken Award

I got another award! How cool is that???

Desert Rose at DeSeRt RoSe BoOkLoGuE and Penny at Penny's Pages kindly passed along "The Zombie Chicken Award" to me.

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..."

I will definitely be coming back later to pass this award on. I don't want to face the wrath of those zombie chickens!