Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beautiful Malice by, Rebecca James~~Review

Beautiful Malice by, Rebecca James
Release Date:7/13/2010
So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?

Following a terrible tragedy that leaves her once-perfect family shattered, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.

But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.

But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.

And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice - she doesn’t like being cast off.

My Review:
I couldn’t put this book down! I had to keep reading this story grabs you from the first line and doesn’t let you go!
The Characters are great and the writing truly makes you feel their pain and happiness. I did figure Alice out early on but it didn’t stop me from being enthralled in this book and its characters. Alice will keep you guessing you know from the beginning that something awful is going to happen with her and that adds to the tension of the book. Our protagonist is Katherine and she is dealing with the death of her sister and is trying to figure out how to live with the grief and guilt of the whole situation. She is a character full of raw emotion and I felt for her the whole way through. The supporting cast is also great you feel for Robbie and yell at him to run away run away. But I’ve seen people in situations like this who stay with people who treat them bad and keep going back for more so for me it was very true to life.

I enjoyed the ending and was glad it worked out that way after everything these characters had been through.
This is a great psychological thriller I would recommend to Young Adults and Adults alike!

4 ½ Stars

Full Disclosure- I received this book through Librarything Early Reviewers Program-Thank-You!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesday~~Beautiful Malice by, Rebecca James

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

ARC Page Number may change-Page 20-
She is dead.
Why we should need to wallow in reality, relive it again and again, poke and prod and examine it until our eyes are bleeding, our hearts crushed with horror and inconceivable sadness of it, is beyond me.

This is an Early Reviewer Book from Librarything Release Date 8/31/2010-As of right now I'm having a hard time putting it down!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Queen Victoria Demon Hunter by, A.E. Moorat~~Review

Queen Victoria Demon Hunter by, A.E. Moorat
There were many staff at Kensington Palace, fulfilling many roles; a man who was employed to catch rats, another whose job it was to sweep the chimneys. That there was someone expected to hunt Demons did not shock the new Queen; that it was to be her was something of a surprise.

London, 1838. Queen Victoria is crowned; she receives the orb, the scepter, and an arsenal of blood-stained weaponry. Because if Britain is about to become the greatest power of the age, there's the small matter of the demons to take care of first... But rather than dreaming of demon hunting, it is Prince Albert who occupies her thoughts. Can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere?

With lashings of glistening entrails, decapitations, and foul demons, this masterly new portrait will give a fresh understanding of a remarkable woman, a legendary monarch, and quite possibly the best Demon Hunter the world has ever seen...

A. E. Moorat weaves a seamlessly lurid tapestry of royal biography, gothic horror and fist-gnawing comedy as he lifts the veil on what really took place on the dark and cobbled streets of 19th-century England.

My Review:This was a fun book if a bit gory at times.It is very camp and humorous.
Set in the time of Queen Victoria and there are demons and zombies running around .
Queen Victoria is a pretty tough demon hunter, she can swing an ax with the best of them. I also liked the fact that the head of her Protektors is a woman and the best on her team is also a woman.This Queen Victoria is no girly girl she doesn't take crap from anyone and has a mind of her own!
The Supporting characters are great Quimby & Perkins will make you laugh.
The last 100 pages were filled with action and the ending makes you wonder if there will be another one,although the story is wrapped up well.
All in all a fun romp.
3 1/2 Stars

Full Disclosure:I recieved this from Goodreads Giveway Thank-you!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


"Hello, boys and girls. Hannah Baker here. Live and in stereo...No return engagements. No encore. And this time absolutely no requests...I hope you're ready, because I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended. And if you're listening to one of these tapes, you're one of the reasons why...I'm not saying which tape brings you into the story. But fear not, if you received this lovely little box, your name will pop up...I promise."

That's how Side A of Cassete #1 begins. Of what, you ask? Of the audiotapes that a girl named Hannah Baker left behind after her suicide. Two weeks later, those tapes ended up on Clay Jensen's porch, a boy who happened to have a crush on Hannah before she swallowed a handful of pills.
There are 7 tapes in all, 13 sides, each side describing one of the reasons why Hannah ended her life; and one map, with red stars on places that were relevant to those reasons. Using the tapes and the map, in one night Clay Jensen journeys through his town and becomes a witness to Hannah's pain and learns the truth about himself and twelve other people who are now connected forever by the tapes.

Some of the things discussed in this book aren't really for kids 13 or under, or might just be above their heads. Besides that, this book still gets 5/5 for being amazing.

review by katie gisi *****

Dead in the Family by, Charlaine Harris~~Review

Dead in the Family by, Charlaine Harris

I enjoyed this addition to the Sookie Stackhouse series. I liked that Sookie was dealing with the events from the last book and it wasn’t swept under the rug. I was glad to see her and Jason getting closer again and acting more like brother and sister and to see Jason “growing up”.

Its kind of funny even though I have watched the True Blood Series I still see the people I’ve always seen in my head and not the characters from the show because “my Sookie” is different, which isn’t a bad thing it just kind of struck me while reading this.

I liked the growing relationship with Eric and how it is feeling more real and not just because of the blood bond or fairy attraction.

The whole storyline with Bill seemed a little rushed almost like an afterthought. It was like oh ya I suppose I need to write Bill in somehow. I hope there will be more to that story in the next book.

There was a lot less action in this one than in previous books but after what Sookie went through in the last book it was a good thing it was more character driven than action driven.

All in all another good book in this series.

3 ½ Stars

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday~~Dead in the Family by, Charlaine Harris

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Dead in the Family by, Charlaine Harris
Page 14- My initial reaction to Eric's explanation was bitter disappointment.
I'd heard this story before.
A Vampire more powerful than me made me do it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Allon Book 1 by, Shawn Lamb~~Review

Book Description: The land of Allon was a paradise until the fall of the Guardians paved the way for the rise of the Dark Way. Evil King Marcellus now controls the land as his forefathers did, with an iron fist and the help of the evil spirit, Dagar. But an ancient prophecy speaks of a time to come when the Guardians will return and Allon will be restored--lead by its rightful heir. All the while, the exiled teenage Promised Prince, Ellis, must prove himself worthy to be king through a series of supernatural trials that test his character, wisdom, courage, and his heart.
The first in the Allon series, this magical tale of adventure, destiny, and faith will test your strength and awaken your spirit of adventure.

My Review:
This was a good young adult fantasy but I would probably market it, as YA/Christian/Fantasy.There is a definite Christian feel to this book, which I don't normally enjoy although I did enjoy this book. I did however find it had way to many characters and it was hard to keep track of them all.

It is an epic battle of good and evil to save the “country” of Allon. The rightful King of Allon Ellis and the Daughter of Allon are to rule under the protection of Jo’Rel (God) with the help of the Guardians they are to battle the sitting King Marcellus who is using the Dark Ways of Dagar (The Devil) to stay on the throne. They talk a lot about a Great Battle in the past and I wish there would have been a prologue telling us a little more about that battle and who was who in it. Maybe then all the characters wouldn’t have been so confusing it felt like the author introduced a new character every page and you weren’t sure which ones you needed to remember for later. This may have been a 4 star book other than the fact of too many characters and it needs to be marketed as Christian fiction. I did like this book well enough to read the next book in this series.

I would recommend this book to Young Adults, Fantasy Lovers, and Christian Fiction Readers.
3 1/2 Stars

Full Disclosure: I received this book from the author

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Things you won't find in the library, but might want to check out anyway

The following is a review/general retrospective on Batman: Dead White by John Shirley

Oh, the irony of finding a graphic novel in the non-traditional sense. To explain, years ago when I was still new to the world of Batman and the like, I was attempting to imagine what a graphic novel was. At first, I thought it meant a graphic, violent, or more mature book. Later, I was corrected as I discovered that graphic meant images as in comic books, although, the former could still apply save for the classic book motif. Now, I consider myself to be quite Bat-savvy, but can honestly say I’ve never stumbled upon an actual book that centered on Batman with the exception of The Dark Knight’s script/book adaptation. Why it’s ironic is simple. It is graphic, violent, and all other things I had first imagined a “graphic” novel to be without actually being a graphic novel.
Batman is a very special character for me. He holds a lot of nostalgia from my days reveling in the genius that was Batman: The Animated Series to my first Batman graphic novel, Batman: Year One by Frank Miller (first graphic novel was actually the two Batman/Spider-Man crossovers), to my first live-action Batman film, Batman Begins. I look forward to any medium that features the Caped Crusader or mentions him in the very least. My interest has opened the doors to other works that I would have previously given no second thought. He’s a fascinating character with a wealth of layers to explore, an iconic rogues gallery, and so much more including how he interacts with other heroes, creating another dimension of intrigue. He possesses qualities that others can strive for, determination, willpower, bravery, and resourcefulness in any situation. Of course, it’d be ludicrous to ever compare to a fictional character, yet it’s what the character embodies that truly matters and makes an impact.
Batman: Dead White is an interesting and can be a very quick read. It takes place earlier in the Bat’s career and attempts to tie itself in with the Nolan-verse. The novel introduces a new and original villain, White Eyes, a white supremacist with thoughts of conspiracies within the government being controlled by “lesser” races. As such, there is quite a bit of profanity, racial slurs, swearing, etc. so it is clearly not intended for the Batmites. For the most part, I felt myself rushing through sections to get to the next since the novel jumps around, focusing on other characters and their storylines. Simply put, I didn’t have much invested with them and I wanted to get back to the title character, Batman. A minor thug, a father and son, and others attempt to flesh out the storyline and stretch out the length considerably. However, the thug’s chapter did generate some interest since Batman was involved and it was refreshing to see the encounter from the criminal’s perspective. There are some moments that I did care for; particularly the interactions between Gordon and Batman, Batman dealing with other government officials, and the last chapter that ties up some loose ends concerning a mostly forgotten hired gun.
In terms of writing, it was more of an inconsistent thing for me. There’d be some examples of a solid narrative with combat scenes that were a joy to imagine. However, there was weirdness. One paragraph noted that a flurry of bullets was dangerously close to hitting his crotch. I’m not kidding. It really used that sort of terminology. It jerked me out of the book even if it did provide some mild amusement, especially with the next sentence about Alfred’s dreams almost being shattered concerning seeing little Waynes running around the manor. There are more instances of just bizarre choices in the writing that took me out of it completely.
The most integral part of any attempt to do a story with an already iconic character is how he’s handled. Is this Batman more brutal or passive? Is his athletic prowess going to be emphasized? How about gadgets and tech? Do his detective skills come into play? What kind of style of costume? What about his build? Is he a stockier, bulkier Batman or leaner and more agile? How experienced is he? The choices are endless with a vigilante with decades of history behind him. This Batman is supposedly early in his career, aforementioned, and still trying to settle into his methods. There’s a lot of emphasis on his tech that I enjoyed because it showcased his ingenuity. For the most part, Batman seems to be in control of any situation he encounters and manages to adapt if things go awry. There’s a brief love story thrown in and some self doubt which hinders him and seems awkward. The first half was better than the last half. Every storyline is tied up nicely, almost too nicely at times. To wrap it all up, it’s a decent book that seems to forget it’s a Batman book when it meanders to other characters. There are inconsistencies. I enjoyed parts, although a lot of those parts were few and far between. It held my attention long enough to finish it which, admittedly, isn’t too difficult. I’d recommend others over this, but it’s not bad for my first graphic but not graphic novel. If you truly want my opinion, go pick up the box sets for Batman: TAS, and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited, and, if you want some literature, Knighfall Part One: Broken Bat, or do a search for Batman graphic novels and it’s guaranteed that a few top ten lists will pop up. Dead White provides a nice distraction until the first volume of The Question's acclaimed series by Denny O’Neil arrives in my mail, nothing more.

Retrospective/review by Alisa Heskin

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Let’s get this taken care of right off the bat. Simply put, this is Beauty and the Beast in New York City. Kyle Kingsbury is a jerk, and that’s putting it kindly. He asks an “ugly” girl to the prom only to have plans to embarrass her by ditching her. Of course, this chick is a witch who curses him with ugliness by morphing him to a big, furry werewo-err I mean beast. There is one hope. If he can learn to love a girl who can love him in spite of his features, the spell will be broken. Chances are, the reader will already know how this ends, but the take on this classic tale is refreshing and charming enough to warrant a look. I particularly enjoyed how the perspective was mainly from the Beast’s since I’ve always found him to be the most intriguing character. The supporting cast is likeable, especially Will. He acts as a tutor for young Kyle (later called Adrian) throughout most of the novel and isn’t scared off by his employer’s looks because…he’s blind. He has snarky wit and serves as clever comic relief if Adrian’s dour outlook is too overwhelming. Between every few chapters is a sort of break from the story. They’re merely short chapters that appear to be a chatroom for other iconic characters to hang out and discuss their various predicaments and seek advice. Namely, Ariel, the frog turned into a prince, and a few others make appearances and are mainly used as a retrospective of what’s happening and show the changes going on to and around them. However, a love story wouldn’t be any good if the romance wasn’t quality. Fortunately, it’s not insufferable, actually quite enjoyable. Lindy isn’t easily won over, but is a good enough character to not hurt her overall appeal. A few changes have been made. The “witch” takes a more active role in the plot, rather than showing up at the beginning and disappearing until the end. This offers more insight into her inner workings, and therefore, puts to light even further her motivations and reasoning behind her actions. In the grand scheme of things, it’s an excellent read that I found difficult to put down. It’s also short enough that there’s no reason not to give it a try. I award Beastly by Alex Flinn four stars. ****

Review by Alisa Heskin

I would like to note that a cinematic adaptation of this novel will be hitting theatres in the near future. First impressions are somewhat optimistic. Neil Patrick Harris will be playing a role as Will, the blind tutor, which raises my interest tenfold. Alex Pettyfer looks promising as Kyle/Adrian, although, I’m wary of the design of the Beast. He’s not furry, no claws, no fangs, or anything. I’m quite disappointed, but what to do? He looks more like a hardcore gangster/biker who lost a fight to a lawn mower. Perhaps they didn’t want to confuse him with Jacob from the ridiculously popular behemoth that is Twilight. Ah well, mind open for possibilities and awaiting the, no doubt, entertaining performance courtesy of the legen*wait for it*dary NPH.

Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl

Ah, the classics. More relevant to this is the idea of “classic with a twist.” This seems to steadily be growing more and more popular and, therefore, seems to have developed its very own subgenre. This particular novel expands upon the age old story of a monster ravaging a land, a princess in distress, a hero who rescues her through extraordinary means, and, finally, prevailing to win her heart and prove his bravery. This take is unique in that it melds two genres together. One of the two is science fiction; one that I’ve always felt can be very stiff when mishandled. The second is fantasy; a favorite of mine and a type that inspires the imagination and always proves to be an engrossing read.
In this case, the “monster” is a construction machine from invading aliens. The mystical enchantress is an extraterrestrial on a mission to keep this world on its rightful path in history. To truly accomplish, they cannot reveal themselves as not of this world. They manipulate and direct the heroes throughout the novel. It’s a fascinating concept that allows a different perspective in a classic fairy tale. There are moments when the pacing slows and the story becomes more deliberate, but it does a fine job of capturing the reader’s interest until the end. The characters are layered and the chapters switch from character to character. Normally, this technique can be disorienting and irritating when there is one character that is more interesting or the others are just acting as filler. Fortunately, this is not the case and it works very well. There is a love story involved which is no surprise, and not insufferable as some “forbidden love” stories can be. Overall, Enchantress from the Stars is a refreshing look on what’s already been established and is awarded four stars for its efforts. ****

Review by Alisa Heskin

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tucket's Travels By: Gary Paulsen

The first thing you shuld know about this book is that it is actually five books in one. The next thing you should know is that it is a really good book.

It is a western type book about a young boy named Francis Alphonse Tucket. Francis is on his way west with his family when he is kidnapped by a group of Pawnee indians. This sets off a series of adventures involving Mr. Grimes, a on e armed trapper, Braid, a mean indian brave, Lottie, a talkitive young girl, and Billy, Lottie's little brother. Together thay trap beaver, escape indians, bandits , and of course the ocasional crazy person.

In these stories Mr. Paulsen has manages to capture the vibracy of the old west in a tale of the life of a young boy.

Stars: ****