Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler
Can I just say that was an excellent read. I really, really enjoyed it. I love shapeshifter stories and I would put this one at the top of my list of favorite ones. The story was interesting as well as the characters. The writing was great, I appreciated Mrs. Ostlers attention to detail, as well as the dialogue between her characters. To me this is what really made the book so enjoyable all the great dialogue. I really like this cover to it is very alluring, made me want to find out what was on the inside of it's pages after looking at it and reading the synopsis.
With that said, this is more than just a pretty cover. The story is full of mystery, suspense, and romance. Julia is from New York, and is about to get her whole world rocked, when she discovers her true identity. She is a shapeshifter from another realm, and someone wants her. I really liked Julia she is very down to earth, stubborn, strong willed, good friend, and courageous. Oh my there were several twist and turns in this story, as we try to find out what is going on. I don't want to say to much and ruin the story, so I will be very vague. I really liked that a majority of the story takes place at a special academy. Julia makes some pretty amazing friends that really round out this story and make it so awesome. I really liked Sierra her best friend ,she was Julia's conscience trying to help her make smart choices, she was also really sweet, funny, and competitive her love interest was pretty cool too. Gabe was another he was ultra smart, witty, and had social awkward moments. Caleb was great he was stubborn, smart, would not put up with certain peoples crap or immaturity, he is chivalrous, and stubborn oh ya I said that, sometimes though it made me want to bonk him on the head ( and yell wake up or you are going to regret it, big time!) Terrance is Chivalrous, and sweet, caring and moves fast, maybe a little to fast, but I still liked him. He has some great cat climbing moments. Lancer her dad was one of my favorites he is really strict, but just because he loves Julia and doesn't want her to get hurt. In the beginning I thought he was a little over the top, but once you see how much he loves and cares about her well being, you get it. The romance in this book is great, slow, but not slow for some of the characters. I liked the pace, I liked that there is more than one relationship going on in the story. Now for a personal rant, NO, NO, NO, I want the other guy hehehe. Great story, it just seemed to get better and better with every turn of the page. I didn't want to put it down, and when I did put it down I kept thinking about it. Now that is a mark of a good book. I really hope I do not have to wait a year for the next one please come out soon!

no language
clean, fun romance

Thanks to Netgalley and Cedar Fort Publishing

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent I thought was a refreshing look at a dystopian society. I thought it was interesting that in this particular society everyone was placed into a factions of Virtues they are of Candor (the Honest), Abnegation (the Selfless), Dauntless (the Brave), Amity (the Peaceful), Erudite (the Intelligent). Made me think which one would I fit into and I hate the thought of fitting into anyone of them. Thank goodness we are all beautifully Divergent.
At the tender age of 16 a test is administered to tell each person which faction he or she would fit the best in. Ultimately they will get to chose which one they want. Then they will have to spend the rest of their life in it. I thought it was like giving them the choice without giving them a choice, if that makes sense. Were is the agency in can see were future problems might evolve. Beatrice (Tris) undergoes the test and is told which faction she would be best suited for and then she chooses... her choice could have vast consequences for her, her family and the faction she has chosen.
Tris's initiation into her faction is rough, and demanding both physically as well as mentally. Who is friend and who is foe, how to reveal things about herself, but yet not to much? Tris is a great character, I loved watching her struggle with choices, figure out who she is, and continue to be true to herself. She is so courageous, strong, and a good friend/person. I really liked her. Eric, scared me he was a really good bad guy. Four is awesome sometimes he frustrated me because he seemed to lack compassion for others, he is very courageous, smart, calm and flawed. All the characters even minor ones were well developed and I enjoyed getting to know them.
Things start to fall apart as secrets are revealed, and other factions have different ideas as to how things should be. Really a fun story with lots of action and a non stop pace. The romance in this story builds nice and slow, which I could appreciate, and it was soooo sweet at times.

I listened to the audio version of this story and thought it was done very well.

Serahpina by Rachel Hartman
***.5 stars
I had such mixed emotions over this book early on, so I am going to get those out of the way first. When I read the premise for this book I fell in love with it. I love dragon stories and looked forward to reading this story. Seraphina starts of well for about the first 20% and then for me it just stalled out to the point I wasn't sure I wanted to keep reading it or not. Then at about the 45% mark it picked back up. At this point one thing after another was either being set up to unfold or was unfolding which happily drew me back into the story. In the end I was glad I preserved, and for me it was worth it.
Seraphine is a beautifully written story there is no flaws in the writing itself or in the world building. The descriptions were great of the City of Goreddi as well as that of the dragons. One of my favorite parts of the story is Seraphina's Garden of Grotesques. I like how that is apart of her and the whole story. I thought it was quite unique how it all came together in the end. Conceptually I think this story is unique and interesting. I just wonder if there were parts that might have been edited to have helped with pacing of the story. I liked the world that was created were humans and dragons lived together. Dragon's had to live in disguise as humans as per the treaty of Comonot. There was still a lot of unease between the groups. This unease may reach a breaking point if prejudice cannot be set a side and war may be emanate.
The Characters in this story were interesting as well, some more fleshed out than others. A few of my favorites were Seraphina she is the assistant music director to the Queens court. Her family life is stressed, her friends are far and few between, which was a little sad. She is strong, intelligent, witty, loving, kind, flawed, sincere, and in search of finding out who she is and what she is made of. Ormar is her tutor, and I really liked him, not so much in the beginning but latter on. Can't really say much more about him without giving to much away. Princess Glisselda is next in line to be queen. She is immature, prejudice, good friend to Seraphina, sweet, strong and redeemable. Prince Lucian is fiance to Princess Glisselda and also her cousin. He is full of chilvary, integrity, good friend, flawed, stubborn, and strong. I also really liked Abdo who is a dancer from pygegyria troupe and so much more.... There were many more characters I enjoyed in this story but I won't list them all.
In the end I was glad I stuck it out. I really liked how the story unfolded in the end. I do want to continue Seraphina's journey as it unfolds in the next book.
Rating I would say 3.5 stars.

Clean read

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children's Books Publishing.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren
I LOVED this story, and couldn't put it down. We start off with Cora and her family in 1913 Montana on a little dry farm trying to mill out an existence. Events transpire that lead to a mysteries man arriving on her front door step clamming to be her father. He wishes to get to know her and for her to get to know her siblings. He has arranged for her and her siblings to go on a Grand Tour, ( Okay I want to come too, well I guess I did in a way lol). The tour for this book takes place in England and France. Cora knows it will not be easy to be excepted by her siblings or society. She is an illegitimate daughter of a very wealthy and powerful man, society was not very excepting of situations like this. So Cora's self discovery begins, who is she deep down inside, who does she want to be, what is worth working for and fighting for. Cora is a bright, witty, kind, frustrated, sometimes immature, carrying, strong, and flawed young woman. I really enjoyed her story, how she interacts with her new found family, how they treat her which is definitely bumpy, and will take time and trust on both their parts. The Grand Tour is pretty grand they get to go to all sorts of neat places and social events. There is also a mini love triangle which is fine with me. She is trying to figure out who she is. The men are sweet chivalrous and a little mysteries. Mrs. Bergren's writing is wonderful and flows beautifully. It has been a lot of fun watching Cora begin to come into her own. I enjoyed every minute of it and can't wait for the next one. I received this as an arc for my e-reader, but I have already pr-ordered it for my own personal library to share with friends and family. The cover is a perfect fit and gorgeous.

Clean read

Thank you to David Cook Publishing and Netgalley
Another favorite series of mine by Lisa is "River of Time Series", Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent. This series was a wonderful read different from Glamorous Illusions. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Girl In The Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
***** very favorites
I really loved this book it is now one of my very very favorite books. It has every thing I enjoy in a really good book. You have wonderful characters that you know intimately and are vested in their welfare. Mrs. Cross characters voices are awesome, and I love, love, love them. I also like that we get lots of points of views. I like knowing what is going on in all their heads, it feels more real an creates an intimacy with each character. The plot/story was fun and adventurous and keeps you on your toes. I also like that it is a steam punk novel, in this way we get to see some cool inventions from today with a twist. I loved the airship it sounds really cool. The writing flows smoothly and effortlessly.
"The Girl in the Clockwork Collar" picks up about five days after Jasper has been arrested Griffin, Finley and the gang go after their friend to find out what is going on, this leads them to America and one heck of an adventure. Is Jasper guilty of killing some one back in San Fransisco? How will the gang help him out, oh my and how will they? Sorry can't spoil it for you. We do get more of Finley in action, and wow she is amazing. I love Finley's character. She is going through so much Griffin recently helped her to consolidate her two selves, but which will she choose the good or the bad? It is fun to watch how she justifies, and figures things out. She is one awesome, frustrating, sweet(yes sweet), good friend, she is stubborn, witty, kick butt, and loyal. Griffin is still Griffin, chivalrous, smart, amazing friend and loyal, and sometimes a little self doubting. There are a few new characters who show up Mei, she is a cute little Asian gal (on the cover of the book), she is stuck in a difficult position with a strange necklace about her neck. Who is she? Then there is Dalton the very handsome, rich, and very bad man. Nikola Tesla the scientist plays a part in the story as well. I really enjoyed this not long ago I had watched something about him on PBS, so it was fun to see his inventions show up in this story. I liked Tesla and Emily's interactions since they are both so intelligent. One of Tesla's inventions has been stolen and Griffin and the gang help him try to recover it along with trying to retrieve Jasper. The romance heats up in this story and it is awesome.... sooooo goooood. There is so much more to this story, it was so much fun to read, I was so caught up in it and didn't want to put it down nor did I want it to end. Can't wait for the next book!

Clean language
Clean romance

Her Lone Star Cowboy by Debra Clopton
Gabi has come back to live with her grandmother and start a new. She has recently gone through some trying experience, and at the same time has found peace in God. She is a spunky, smart, witty, speaks her mind kind of a gal. She finds herself in a pickle, and who should come to her rescue but Jess a handsome cowboy. He is full of chivalry, stubborn, and kind. They find themselves drawn to each other and fighting it all the way. Both have past issues that may stand in the way of them fallowing their hearts. That doesn't stop Gabi from trying to help Jess, and try and save his and his brothers farm. This was a such a sweet,and enjoyable read.

Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
I was so excited to get this book the premise sounded interesting. I thought a story of Goblins with possibly a new approach enjoyable. However that is about as far as it went, this story was painfully slow for me. The plot looked to have potential and then stalled out after the first quarter of the book. It did pick up a bit toward the end or last quarter, but by this point I didn't much care what happened. I think this book might have good potential if marketed for a younger age group eight to twelve year old change the ages of main characters and keep them just as friends that would be all it would take. There just was not enough depth, to plot or characters for my liking. I started off liking Lena the main character but as time went on I lost respect for her. She was a lousy friend to Jimson, and Mr. Bearsly, naive, shallow, self serving. She does redeem herself a little in the end but it just was a little to late for me. She seemed rather immature in her friendships for an 18 year old girl to not out right confront them and be honest in her suspicions and concerns. Jimson was probably my favorite character he was naive and gullible, but kind and good natured. Mr Beasley was an interesting sort mysteries and concerned for others well being. The plot was soooooo slow, and had spurts or moments of movement, most were predictable, and not that exciting. I would say if you are a younger YA you might enjoy it as for myself it was just not up to speed.

clean language
clean romance wasn't much at all

Thank you to Netgalley and ABRAMS publishing.