Monday, May 27, 2013

Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram

Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram

Summary from Goodreads:
An accident that should end in tragedy instead gives seventeen-year-old Jamie Baker a slew of uncontrollable superhuman abilities. To keep her secret safe Jamie socially exiles herself, earning the title of Rocklin High's resident ice queen. But during a supercharged encounter with star quarterback Ryan Miller she literally kisses anonymity goodbye. Now the annoyingly irresistible Ryan will stop at nothing to melt the heart of the ice queen and find out what makes her so special. Unfortunately, Ryan is not the only person on to her secret. Will Jamie learn to contain her unstable powers before being discovered by the media or turned into a government lab rat? More importantly, can she throw Ryan Miller off her trail before falling in love with him?

3 Stars

Read May 2013

YA Contemporary/Sci-fi, Library Book

My Review:
I have a book on my "to read" list by Kelly Oram.  I searched for it at the library and the only book they had was this one.  I thought I would give it a try even though I knew nothing about it.

This book was ok.  There were parts I liked, parts I didn't.  I loved Ryan Miller.  What a great guy.  I really liked Jamie's parents.  I wasn't terribly fond of Jamie herself.  I felt like parts of the book dragged on, but then there were parts I really liked too.  It just wasn't a consistent "ooo, I like this" book for me.

Warnings: Rape, death, accidents, sexual innuendo

I would let my 15 year old daughter read this, but I just don't think it is a good enough book that I would recommend it to her.  I would not let my 12 year old read this book.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Twitterpated by Melanie Jacobson

Twitterpated by Melanie Jacobson

Summary from Goodreads:
Jessie Taylor is furious when her roommate secretly posts her picture on the dating website LDS Lookup -- furious, that is, until she spends all night instant messaging Ben Bratton, a man whose wit and warmth just might make Jessie forget the train wreck of her last romantic relationship. Their first date is a smashing success (literally), but Ben's overall awesomeness can't save Jessie from having to deal with Craig, her competitive coworker whose baiting behavior sets new standards for obnoxiousness. Determined to beat Craig at his own game, Jessie spends long office hours finishing projects and putting out fires, but while her performance wows her boss, it only makes Ben skittish -- after a failed engagement to an up-and-coming lawyer, he's not about to pair up with someone who's married to her job. Will Jessie figure out how to be true to herself and take her big chance at love before it's gone with a click of the mouse?

4 Stars

Read May 2013

LDS Romantic Fiction, Inter-Library Loan

My Review:
Another fun romantic story from Melanie Jacobson.  I found this story a bit predictable, but it was fun and had a happy (although a bit short, gimme more!) ending.  One of the things I like about Melanie Jacobson's stories is that they deal with some real personal, emotional issues.  Yes, they are lighthearted and I usually read them in a day.  But they also have characters that have problems that I think people can relate to.  The way the story resolves in the books is not what would typically happen in real life (hey, it's a fiction story), but I think the characters are dealing with emotions and problems that do happen in real life.

I can't wait to read another book by her.

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old daughter read this book.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sarah M. Eden's New Books!

Sarah M. Eden has become one of my favorite authors this last year.  See some of my reviews of her work by going to the Reviews by Author page and looking under her name.

She has 2 new books coming out this year.  Yay!  Check out these beautiful covers and more information on her blog.  

Sarah M. Eden's Blog

Glimmer of Hope coming June 2013

Longing for Home coming August 2013

New Princess Academy Book!

I love the Princess Academy Series by Shannon Hale.
Princess Academy
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone

She announced today the working title of her 3rd installment in this series:
Dragonfly Sisters.

There isn't a cover yet, but check out her great blog post about this book coming in 2015.

Shannon Hale's Blog

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Duke's Undoing by G.G. Vandagriff

The Duke's Undoing by G.G. Vandagriff

Summary from Goodreads:
Meet the Duke of Ruisdell, the unlikely hero of my new Regency Romance.

The duke has just returned from the Napoleonic wars on the Iberian Peninsula with a wound in his shin, where a musket ball was lodged. He is weary, cynical, and very bored. Known as the worst rake in England, he finds he has no interest in upholding that distinction, when his friend, the Marquis of Somerset, proposes a bet: “Five thousand guineas says that seducing Miss Elise Edwards will cure your ennui.” Because his friend has just lost a packet to him, he agrees that the bet be posted in White’s famous Betting Book.

The following day, he has a most unsettling experience. Walking in Green Park, he spies a mysterious young woman, veiled, and obviously grieving. A disembodied voice, sounding strangely like that of his late adjutant, informs him, “The jig is up. That is the girl you are going to marry!” He scoffs, but is nevertheless intrigued by something about the slight figure. He even sketches her and asks if he can be of assistance to her. She declines his offer kindly.

At the opera that evening, he is again intrigued by a beauty across the Opera Hall. He hears the same voice, saying the same thing. The marquis informs him that the woman in question is Miss Elise Edwards. When he meets her, he recognizes her voice as that of the woman in the park. Now she is surrounded by a surfeit of ex-fiance’s, one of them dangerously unbalanced. Ruisdell discovers an actual bond between them which makes him honor bound to protect her.
Thus begins a train of unstoppable events–dangerous, humorous, devilish, and amorous–that carry his life along at such a pace that the duke soon knows not whether he is on his head or his heels. And then there is that bet . . .

3.5 Stars

Read May 2013

Historical Romance, Got a free Amazon e-book

My Review:
I had a hard time at the beginning of this book.  I didn't particularly like the hero or the heroine.  But a few chapters in I began to like them and was drawn in to their story and their bond.  The middle of this book was great with the love blossoming and the twists and turns in the story.  Then, I hated the ending.  It wasn't at all what I wanted for these 2 characters (not that it is my choice).  I felt let down.

So, I give the beginning of this book 3 stars, the middle 4 stars, and the end 3 stars.  Thus the 3.5 stars.  

Warnings: Lots of talk of sex although there aren't any sex scenes.  One character exposes her breasts.  People are stabbed, hanged, killed in a duel, kidnapped, attacked.

I would let my 15 year old read this, but I would not recommend it to her.  I think there are cleaner historical romances that I would recommend to her before this one.  In my opinion it is more for adults.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gallagher Girls Book 6 Cover Reveal and Title

I love the Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter.  They are clean, witty, have action and romance.

I am sad that the series is ending, but I can't wait to read this book.  It is due to come out later this fall.  Here is the new cover and title of the final book in the Gallagher Girls Series.

Ally Carter's Blog links to this article in Entertainment Weekly.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium Trilogy #3)

Summary from Goodreads:
They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

4 Stars

Read May 2013

Young Adult/teen/dystopian, library book

My Review:
I have really enjoyed this trilogy.  It is an interesting look at one's freedom to choose and a unique look at love, as a disease.

As much as I enjoyed the first 2 books, this one was a little harder for me.  For some reason I struggled with the back and forth between the 2 voices of Lena and Hana.  I liked knowing what was going on in both places, but it was hard at times to pick back up where I left off with the other voice.  I sometimes had to go back and read where that person was and what was happening before it had been interrupted by the other voice.

I also felt a lot of angst in this book.  It is good that a book can bring on feelings and this one definitely provoked anxiety.  And to top it all off, this book doesn't end with a neat bow.  The characters are free to choose where their lives are going to go and we don't get to see it.  The point is that they are able to choose.  (I'm glad they can choose, but what happens to them?!)

The main message I took from these books, and I think that Lauren Oliver wrote it beautifully in this third book, is this:

“Who knows? Maybe they’re right. Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings. Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it. 
But we have chosen a different road. And in the end that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.
We are even free to choose the wrong thing.” 

Warnings: More swear words than I prefer, but only a few of the f-word.  Death, emotional abuse

I would let my 15 year old read this series.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Not My Type by Melanie Jacobson

Not My Type by Melanie Jacobson

Summary from Goodreads:
Twenty-three-year-old Pepper Spicer is not living the dream. She ended her engagement at the last minute because her fiancé -- a musician and soon-to-be reality TV star -- wanted her to sacrifice her own career ambitions for his.

Now she's stuck at home sharing a room with her little sister, trying to pay off massive debt for a wedding that didn't happen, and spending Friday nights Facebook-stalking everyone who has a better life. Her therapist father urges her to choose her career dreams and count her blessings by writing weekly thank you notes, but gratitude is a tall order when she botches an important job interview and has to settle for writing an undercover dating web-zine column -- the last thing in the world she wants to do. Still, as Pepper (byline: Indie Girl) chronicles her bizarre and hilarious blind dates, she gives her father's challenge a try and slowly finds herself leaving self-pity behind. Life takes a major upswing as Pepper's column hits the big time and she tastes the exhilarating thrill of success. But there's one tiny problem: the intensely hot man she's falling for is having issues with her job (again). Will Pepper trade her personal ambition for another chance at love?

5 Stars

Read May 2013

LDS Romantic Fiction, Inter-library loan

My Review:
FUN!  This was a fun book.  I loved Pepper.  I loved her wit and quirkiness.  I loved her interactions with her family (check out their clever names).  I loved her interactions with friends and her love interest.  This book has a bit of a Pride and Prejudice feel to it, in the "first impressions aren't always correct" kind of way.

Some great things about this book...Pepper's self discovery, themes about paying off debt, being grateful, being a friend, being honest with others as well as oneself, and forgiveness and letting go of pain.

I would recommend this book to anyone, even if you aren't LDS.  The LDS aspects of the book are mostly cultural and I think that readers that can appreciate that a character is religious and that that is part of her life will understand.

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old read this book.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection

Melanie Jacobson, Julie Wright, Rachael Anderson, Annette Lyon, Heather B. Moore and Sarah M. Eden

Summary from A Timeless Romance Anthology Blog:

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection. Readers will love this collection of six sweet contemporary romance novellas, centered on a Summer Wedding, all with one thing in common: Romance.

In Melanie Jacobson’s charming novella, Love Bytes, Bree is the maid-of-honor and Dallen is the best-man. Living across the country from each other, they commiserate over their prospective best friends’ unrealistic wedding demands. While they plan and plot over email and texting, Bree realizes that the best part about the Maui wedding might be meeting Dallen. She just hopes that he’ll feel the same way.

Romeo and Julie-ex is a sweet romance by Julie Wright. “Romeo” turns out to be a two-timing jerk, and when Juliet Moore’s pre-ordered wedding dress arrives from UPS, Juliet curses everything male. In a stubborn streak, she decides to keep the bridal photography appointment—if only because the money isn’t refundable and it was the one thing that her ex-fiance actually paid for. Plus, she has the perfect wedding dress. When Juliet shows up for the appointment and meets photographer Jack Montague, she might have to take back some of her curses on men.

In Rachael Anderson’s enchanting novella, The Meltdown Match, Courtney spends each summer in her hometown of Heimel, Alaska, to find inspiration for her next novel. Her writing method has become a pattern—outline a novel in Heimel, then move to the place her novel is set to finish writing it. But when she runs into former high school friend, Mitch Winters, and they both win the Meltdown Match—a traditional dating contest—Courtney discovers that leaving her hometown at the end of the summer might not be so easy this time.

In Golden Sunrise, an engaging romance by Annette Lyon, Natalie takes time out of her crazy schedule to fly to Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. Sierra and Jason, high-school sweethearts, are finally getting married. Fortunately for Natalie, her old high-school flame, Adam, has a work commitment and can’t be there as best man. But when she arrives at the wedding rehearsal—late and ragged—Adam is there. Memories from the past—and all her old feelings—come flooding back. When Adam makes a wild suggestion, Natalie just may take him up on it, even though she knows he’s moved on. A single choice may mean Natalie is taking a shot at reclaiming the past—or that she's putting her heart in harm’s way a second time.

Tide Pools is a captivating story by Heather B. Moore. When Lexi makes a quick trip to Hawaii to attend her friend’s wedding, she discovers that the engaged couple, Sydney and Apelu, are still trying to match-make for her. Lexi laughs because not only does their friend David have a serious girlfriend, but he owns a restaurant on the island. Lexi has too many plans that don’t include a long-distance relationship or coming between a guy and his girlfriend. But when Lexi meets David, she has a hard time remembering why all of her plans were so important.

In Sarah M. Eden’s delightful novella, A Regular Bloke from Stanmore, Abby is helping her sister, Caroline, plan her British wedding. That’s right, Caroline is obsessed with all things British and insists on an authentic wedding in . . . Oregon. When they arrive at Sainsbury House reception hall, it has everything Caroline loves, and the host, Matthew Carlton, even has a British accent. Yet Abby isn’t buying the whole good-looking-British man with impeccable manners thing; she’s determined to expose him as a fake. But the more Abby gets to know Matthew, the more she realizes how wrong she really is.

4.5 Stars

Read May 2013

Clean Romances

I received this as a free e-book from one of the authors to give my honest review.

My Review:
First off, I read another of these anthologies back in December. See my Review of A Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Collection.  

Each Anthology has some of the same authors and some different authors.  It is fun to get a variety of "voices".  I plan on reading each anthology that comes out.  One of the nice things about these anthologies is that the stories are short enough to read in one sitting.  If you would like to read another, then you can.  Or you can put it down and come back to the next story another day.  As much as I enjoy all of these stories, I do like putting the book down in between some of the stories.  I read something else for a day and then come back to it.  I like being able to do that.  It is like getting 6 books in one.

Overall, this anthology is everything I expected.  Clean, Sweet, Romantic.  I enjoy every story.  They each have a common thread of a wedding being the setting.  What's more romantic than a wedding? 

I really like that I know they will have a happy ending.  I know that sounds silly and unrealistic, but that is why I like them.  There is tension and some conflict, but I know that things will work out in the end.  I like reading happy stories.  

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old read this book.