Tag Archives: Book

Closing the doors: A review of United by Melissa Landers

United by Melissa Landers (Audiobook) This is book three, and the end of the alienated series. 26180279There is a lot going on in this book. The author introduces a new alien world and culture that not only threatens to destroy Earth, but L’air as well. (I may have misspelled L’air. Sorry)

Anyway, while I can’t say I enjoyed this book as much as the first two, It was a satisfying ending. There is a decent amount of action an adventure, and maybe a touch too much politics for my liking, but necessary for the plot. This book closes all the open doors on every character, letting you know how things pan out (good or bad) for everyone mentioned in every book (including the bad guys)

I was definitely satisfied with the ending, and I also noted that a few side characters were sent off on a little adventure of their own – Hello opportunity for a spinoff! All in all, I recommend this series. It’s good alien-induced fun.


 

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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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And then their was a soldier – A review of SOLDIER by Julie Kagawa

Soldier by Julie Kagawa (Audiobook)

Arghhhh! I thought this was the last book in the series but nope, I was wrong.17342750 I thought for a moment at the end that it was going to have a surprise ending, but then BOOM!– Epilogue to open up the new conflict.

While I don’t think this is my favorite book in the series, I really loved how the author flashes back to give us glimpses of the characters previous lives. I think knowing the past, especially for side characters, made this story really rich.

I’m looking forward to the next book, but now I have to wait! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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Do NOT look lout the window! A review of GIRL ON A TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins (Audiobook) This is a contemporary missing person mystery with an unreliable narrator. Rebecca is a drunk, but she thinks she has seen a crime while riding on a train. The book deals with her personal issues and her own quest to find out the truth, which leads her to getting involved in the lives of people she’s watched every day from the train.

This book is a little creepy and stalker-ish at times. I had trouble connecting to the main character because of the drinking problem, but I guess her issues are real and timely. I love the way the author wove little bits and pieces of the stories of three women involved… letting us in on just enough information to make us THINK we know what’s going on, while sometimes leading us in the totally wrong direction.

This book is one of those crazy breakout best-sellers. I can see why. It is really well written. Still, there was a part in the middle, and it is a very BIG part, when I was getting bored with this drunk woman and her meddling in other people’s lives. It got slow for me, and while all those scenes we leading up to something great, I really wish that the author could have condensed it a bit.

HOWEVER- I am willing to admit that this is a mystery, and the typical reader of this genre is looking for a slower pace to figure out all the clues. So I don’t really think this is a problem with the book. Rather, it is a problem with a poorly matched book and reader. Anyway, the ending was worth the wait, but I would suggest NOT WATCHING the movie trailer while reading this book, because the trailer, believe it or not, gave the ending away for me.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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Let’s Get Wrecked! (Or Maybe Not) A Review of Wrecked by Sherilee Gray

Wrecked by Sherilee Gray (Ebook) I need to give this book three stars and I feel really bad about it. The author is a very talented writer. The words stream freely and are easy to read, and everything about the story “flows”. However, I think this book was a poor match of reader to novel.

I try to read a couple contemporaries a year to keep up with trends in Romance. Once in a while I grab one and shake my head in wonder.

There are some great tortured characters in this book. A wonderful alpha male with issues over a past mistake, and tons of scars to remind himself about it every day. We also have the heroine, the hero’s best friend’s baby sister, who has been in love with our hero since she was a kid, and we find out the feeling has been mutual. The characters were great, but the hero constantly pushing the heroine away because “she deserves better” got annoying after a while. Seriously, I wanted to smack him. Even when they do get together, he is still whining about it won’t ever work, because she deserves better. (And this is probably half the book.)

Also, there was this creepy factor where he watches the girl from out the window, and does inappropriate things to himself. And when he admits it, she is okay with it.

Huh

I also had a problem with the way he talked to her. I mean, I guess I’m a prude, but I found just about everything about this guy offensive and I would have drop kicked him out my front door. Now, that being said, I understand that there might be women out there that want to be reduced to a piece of meat and spoken to like trash… so I am trying very hard not to judge…

Also, there was this added tension of a real estate guy trying to buy her house that was never resolved. We also have a on-line-date she goes on to try to make the hero mad, but it backfires… this leads to what I had hoped would be an epic confrontation at the end. But just when the excitement started, it was over as easily as locking a door.

WAAAAY too easy, and a big disappointment.

It is a shame. This author’s writing was pretty good. I might have been inclined to pick up more of her books, but I would be afraid to find more of the same.

HOWEVER-if you are rolling your eyes at me and thinking that you like stuff like this, then please pick it up! This author is talented… just not a good match for me.

This is me, reaching for some nice, safe, well-developed, not-foul-mouthed YA for my next few reads.

Sorry. I feel bad on this one. [Big sad face]


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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Enter to win a $175 e-gift card to Barnes & Noble!

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Christmas is a time for giving. So her we come a-caroling!

Some of my favorite author-friends and I have banded together to giveaway a $175 e-gift card to Barnes & Noble.
Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter.
Would you like to find out more about the authors behind this giveaway? Jingle on over to their websites.

Julie Reece
Jennifer Bardsley
Jennifer DiGiovani
Melanie McFarlane
Suzanne VanRooyen
Dorothy Dreyer
Shaila Patel
Melanie McFarlane
Suzanne VanRooyen
Liza Wiemer
Nicole Conway
Jennifer Anne Davis
Jennifer M. Eaton

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***Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter!***


And don’t forget to check out all the great book written by your sponsoring authors!

Fine Print:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
1. Promotion Description: The ‘$175 Barnes & Noble Giftcard’ (“Sweepstakes”) begins on 11/28/2016 at 07:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 12/13/2016 at 08:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) (the “Promotion Period”). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Jennifer Bardsley (“Sponsor”), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes.
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3. Winner Selection: The winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted by 48 hours by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information on or about 48 hours after the random drawing. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.
4. Prizes:
– 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [(1) $175 Barnes & Noble e Gift Card ] (approximate retail value or “ARV”: $175 USD)
Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor’s good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items.

 

How to become a princess: A Review of Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (Audiobook) This book was the monthly selection for my book club. I expected this to be a YA novel, but in truth, while it does deal with YA issues, it reads more like a middle grade novel. (Which yes, I should have figured from the cover)

The characters for the most part, are 14 and up, put with all the teasing and really young behavior and actions, they all sounded more like nine year olds (Comparing them to my own kids who are 10, 12, and 15)

In this book, a mountain province has been selected as the place where the prince will choose his new bride. Since the people living there are peasants, they create an academy for all the girls to attend to make them “princess worthy”.  After a year, the prince will choose one of them.

This is a nice, light story about building friendships, love of country, family, and home, and finding out that what you dream of might be hidden right outside your front door.

I can’t say I loved this book, because I have trouble connecting to middle grade characters in any story, but this was an enjoyable read. It will probably never rank among my favorites, but if you enjoy a good story about growing up, this might be a great choice for you.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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The Unexpected Life of the Genie in the Bottle (Sort of): A Review of SUMMONED by Rainy Kaye

Summoned by Rainy Kaye (Ebook) I picked up this book on Netgalley. It centers on a male character who has to do whatever his master “wishes”. It is a genie/master relationship.

The only problem is, Dimitri has no magical powers. He has to figure out how to do what his master wants (Including murder) in a given amount of time, or he will experience intolerable pain.

Dimitri cannot afford relationships, instead living through a string of one-night-stands, until he meets the quirky Sid, who keeps coming back, no matter how hard he tries to push her away.

I really loved the premise of this book, and the unique take on Genie lore. This is what kept me reading. The characters seemed a little flat to me, although I can’t quite place why. They both have distinct personalities and backstories that should have hooked me. This may be due to the male POV character, who always scooted on the edge of his emotions (as I believe is realistic for his situation) We get a lot of thought from Dimitri, but for some reason I could not feel his pain (although I DID understand his pain)

I still gobbled up this book, though, really enjoying the whole idea. And when Dimitri’s master makes that last wish! Omigosh! Loved it… and then when things get even worse! (Can’t tell because of spoiler) I wish it were a little more fast paced in spots where the relationship was developing, but overall I really did enjoy this book – especially the roller coaster ride ending—and I am interested in seeing what the net book has to offer.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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The Tooth Fairy? Well, Kind Of: A Review Of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Audiobook) This was a very bizarre book. It deals with angels and demons. Well, sort of.

The main character is a girl that is raised by a family of demon-like people, and her job is to collect teeth for one of them.

NOW WAIT! Stay with me a minute.

When I read the “teeth” thing I almost didn’t read this book, because, yeah, it’s weird, but it works in the context of the story.

And no, she is not the tooth fairy. She collects teeth from dead things…

Anyway, she uses these portals to get all over the world collecting teeth. Little does she know there is a huge war going on, and that cute angel that almost killed her knows who she really is (or used to be).

This book is wildly imaginative. It is not told in sequential order, which confused me at first, but after a while I got used to it. It flip flops back and forth from past to present, so you are, in effect, reading two books at the same time. On a few occasions, this tripped me up and confused me, but it worked for the most part. I’d definitely recommend this one, and I will probably be reading the next book some time soon.

Definitely one of my top three reads this quarter.

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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

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I don’t remember what this book is about – but who cares? A review of THE RAVEN BOYS

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stieveter (Audiobook) I’m a little conflicted on this book. The writing was great, and the character development of the side characters as well as the main characters is outstanding. I just wish I loved the story more.

Early in the book our heroine, Blue, daughter of a psychic, sees the death of a boy called Gansy. She soon meets him, and reluctantly joins him on a search for the “layline” which is a magical road powered by spirits.

It took me a very long time to start enjoying this book. I think what kept me going was the great characters. I wanted to know more about them, and to see how things panned out for each. All the characters were very different, and I thought it was great that we got to see their side lives intermingling within the main plotline without it becoming confusing. This is the part that I enjoyed. As far as not enjoying the story as a whole, I think that is a poor match of reader to book. The subject didn’t hook me. But I think that people into paranormal ghost stories with a little bit of mystery investigation would absolutely love this.

***Ha! I forgot I’d reviewed this already, so I wrote another review for this book two weeks later – this is what I said***

– I found this book to be quite a conundrum. I really didn’t enjoy the story. In fact, I couldn’t care less what happened in the plotline… but never once did I consider not finishing the book. And, oddly enough, when I made a few statements on social media noting this, quite a few people agreed that they had the same dilemma. This made me sit and ponder this for a while. I waited about two weeks between finishing the book and writing the review, just to see how I still felt about it after finishing some more novels. I also wanted to figure out WHY I felt this way. As the plot dwindled into a blur, almost forgotten, I realized I remembered a few things about this book. What I remembered was not what happened, and why, but instead, I remembered the characters. I then realized that I was so totally engaged with these characters that I didn’t care what was going on, I still wanted to read about them. For that reason, and that reason only, would I consider picking up the next book. Taylor is a master at creating characters that we will not only remember, but also that sink into our bones and become part of us. Someone told me that her other series what much better plot-wise. I will definitely be looking into this, because it is a rare day when I am totally engaged in both the plot AND the characters. I’d give this book a solid four star, dropping one because I probably won’t remember what this story was about in another few weeks.

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Just be glad you’re not #1! A review of I AM NUMBER FOUR

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (Audiobook) A teenage boy is one of nine aliens, the last of their kind, hidden on Earth. There is another alien race trying to destroy them. The kids wear a charm that makes it so they can only be killed in a certain order. When one dies, a ring burns into the skin of the others.

A third ring just burned into John’s ankle, and he is number four. No pressure. Try to live your life knowing there is an army of alien soldiers looking for you!

I enjoyed this book on many levels, because it is, you know, aliens. But this isn’t anything deep to make you think. In fact, they probably don’t want you to think much at all, because there is a huge plot hole that never got plugged for me (no matter how hard they tried to explain it away.)

The “hole” was this: The bad-guy aliens invaded #4’s planet and killed almost everyone. These 9 kids got away. The bad guys now have the planet, and have almost used up all the recourses. So, my question is: why send soldiers to kill the kids? Yes, they try to explain this away, but the plausibility never cemented for me. I just didn’t buy it. But while that particular hole screamed at me in almost every chapter, I was able, for the most part, to suspend disbelief and just enjoy a nice, fun ride.

Yes, I would recommend this, but don’t expect rocket science. Just enjoy an interesting and fun story.

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