What's Your Status...Can You Tell Me #12



Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life has a fantastic meme. In this meme you post your status of the books your reading this week, books you finished this week, books you're going to read next, and books you plan on buying this week. You can also post what reviews and memes you participated in for the week.
Finished Titles
Title:  Something Strange and Deadly
Author:  Susan Dennard

Title:  A Breath of Eyre
Author:  Eve Marie Mont

Title:  The Boy Recession
Author:  Flynn Meany

Title:  The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy
Author:  Nikki Loftin

Title:  Redemption
Author:  Veronique Launier


Title:  Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs
Author:  Molly Harper

Currently Reading
Title:  Keepsake
Author:  Keepsake
Progress:  page 92 of 327

 
Title:  My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Author:  Annabel Pitcher
Progress:  page 25 of 158

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

"The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy" is One Tasty Read

Title:  The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy
Author: Nikki Loftin
Format:  E-galley
Length:  304 pages
Publisher:  Razorbil

When Lorelei's old school mysteriously burns down, a new one appears practically overnight: Splendid Academy. Rock-climbing walls on the playground and golden bowls of candy on every desk? Gourmet meals in the cafeteria, served by waiters? Optional homework and two recess periods a day? It's every kids's dream.

But Lorelei and her new friend Andrew are pretty sure it's too good to be true. Together they uncover a sinister mystery, one with their teacher, the beautiful Ms. Morrigan, at the very center.

Then Andrew disappears. Lorelei has to save him, even if that means facing a past she'd like to forget – and taking on a teacher who's a real witch.

What Lorelei and Andrew discover chills their bones – and might even pick them clean!
-friendlyGoodreads


This may be a middle grade read, but it is a tale with real bite.  
It seems as though life has not been going very well for Lorelie Robinson; with the death of her mother, her father's remarriage to "Molly", and her school mysteriously burning down.  Just when she thinks that things are strictly downhill, along comes Principal Trapp and Splendid Academy.

With a playground straight out of a fairytale and a curriculum that seems to be focused on friends, feeding, and fun rather than reading and writing; you would think that Lorelei would be over the moon.
You would be wrong.
DEAD WRONG!

There is something very sinister going on at Splendid Academy, and it's up to Lorelei and her friend Andrew to find out what.
This is a cautionary tale that reminds young and old readers alike that "if something seems too good to be true...it probably is".
This novel is dripping enough suspense to keep the most grown of 'grown-ups' turning pages for hours.  At the same time, the vibrant imagery, kid-friendly writing style and great illustrations will capture the hearts and minds of younger readers.
  
One of the things that sets this book apart from the pack in terms of stories aimed at a mid-grade audience is the fact that there are no clearly BAD characters in this read.  There are characters who do bad things, but the reasons for their actions are explained, leaving the reader to make the final judgement as to the overall goodness or badness of the person in question.
The exploration of character motive at the mid-grade level is a wonderful change from the status quo of spoon fed black and white plots.
Throughout this tale, Lorelei and the reader are encouraged to trust their feelings about situations rather than going with the flow.
This is an excellent story of friendship, forgiveness, self-reliance, intelligence, and the transcendent power of love. 
My Rating:

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

WTF's In My Mailbox #10

It was a light week for me in the way of book acquisitions.
"I know...shock and awe!"
I have been doing much better in the 
REVIEWING
department.
Now to the goodies!

As always...
Don't  forget to stop by
Tynga's Reviews: Stacking The Shelves [14] + Lily-Ann appearance!

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

"Redemption" Is A Read Well Worth Saving!!!

Title:  Redemption
Series:  Hearts of Stone #1
Author: Veronique Launier
Format:  E-galley
Length:  360 Pages
Publisher:  Flux Books

Guillaume: For five hundred years I've existed as a gargoyle. Perched atop an old Montreal church, I've watched idly as humanity wanders by. With the witch Marguerite gone, there is no one left to protect, nothing to care about. I never planned to feel again. But then a girl released me from my stone restraints, allowing me to return as a seventeen-year-old human boy. I must find out all I can about this girl's power . . .

Aude: Getting attacked twice in as many days is strange in itself, but even stranger is the intriguing guy I keep running into. There's something so familiar about him, like a primal drum rhythm from my dreams. But spending time together only raises more questions--about my heritage, a native Mohawk prophecy . . . and an unearthly magic threatening our city..
-Goodreads

Just when you thought the world of supernatural fiction couldn't get any better.  Along comes authoress Veronique Launier and her deliciously haunting tale, Redemption.
Tired of the run of the mill fare of were with a side of vamp and a zombie chaser? 
How about Gargoyles?
That's right...
Gargoyles.
Not just any old gargoyles will do, you say?
Well, I've got a whole family of hot French gargoyles living in Canada.
Ooooh la la...right?

Guillaume and Aude are both characters that you will want to get to know from the start.
Guillaume because he is a gargoyle that has just been  awakened from a very long stent in stone and you may be just a little curious as to what it is that he plans to to do with his freedom.
Aude (pronounced ode) because she was the one that possessed the 'energy' that perked up "old stone butt".
As it turns out, his waking up and her powers are just the tips of a very large and very multifaceted literary iceberg involving:
1.  A lost legacy of witchy powers (Aude)
2.  A misplaced guilt for the loss of a love (Guillaume)
3.  A deep love of music (both)
4.  Dysfunctional family units (both)
5.  A destiny that has a lot to do with SAVING THE WORLD (both)
  
You see...
While the two of them are following each other around trying to figure each other and themselves out.  There are some other people trying to kidnap Aude and kill Guillaume and his family.  The author does a great job of keeping you guessing on who they are and what the want until all the other pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place.  So there will be no spoilers here.
That is not to say that the love affair with this book is not without its share of struggles.
There is the afore mentioned lost love named Marguerite that you may get a litttttttle tired of Guillaume whining about, but hang in there.  There is a good reason for it, although you will have to make it through most of the book to get to the WTF moment that explains it all.
There is so much going on in this book that once you pick it up, there is no way that you can put it down until you are done.
This is a very enjoyable read that can stand alone, but that thankfully does.not.
Yes...there will be more gargoyle-licious goodness!
Ohhhhh joy!


P.S. As if all the other reasons are not more than enough to send to running to buy this book.  You will be over joyed to know that it is written from both Guillaume's and Aude's point of view!
That's right dual POV's !
My Rating:

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Come Get Some...Shelf Candy #7

Shelf Candy is a wonderful meme brought 
to you by the fabulosity that is

My Pick:
 Title:  Hanging By a Thread
Series: Banished #3
Author:  Sophie Littlefield
Publisher:  Random House Children's Books

My Thoughts
"O.k...pretty girl,
maybe dead, but still pretty.
Lots of blood,
but no thread.
I guess hers must of broken...huh?"

*Please support your local libraries.*
They support us all.

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Enjoy The Freshness of "A Breath of Eyre"

Title:  A Breath of Eyre
Author:  Eve Marie Mont
Format: Kindle
Length:  342 pages
Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…

Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…  -Goodreads



Pros...
It is so easy to get lost in the story of Emma.  She is in essence a girl adrift. who literally finds herself within the pages of a book.  The fact that the story that she finds herself in just happens to be one of the greatest stories of all time...all the better.

Readers may not like Emma when the book begins and it's not necessarily due to anything that she does.  It is easy to be put off by her because she doesn't like herself.  Not to worry though, she gets better.  All it takes is a little lightening, some magic, and a reality shift of Austen proportions.

The best part of this book by far has to be the relationship between Emma and Gray.  Though the author alludes to a Rochester-like relationship between Emma and her teacher, it is really Gray who fit the Rochester bill.  He is tortured by his past and loves Emma in fear that she will never love him if she knows his past. (Rochester to the core.)
The thing that make these two so good for each other is that they are both wounded and each has just what the other needs to heal.  

There are also some really profound moments that happen between Emma and her mother that bring the book full circle in a very unexpected way.  
Please don't go into this read thinking that Emma is going to change the outcome of the story of Jane Eyre.  This is not the case.  She goes into the story and gets to learn from the actions, words and feelings of the characters.  Then uses the experience to attempt to create her own 'happily ever after'.

Cons...
Aside from the failed attempts at insinuating her English teacher into her life as more than a simple crush and the explanation of the magic; which has a tendency to be a be superfluous, this is a very good read.   
My Rating:


  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

"The Boy Recession" Has a Surplus Of Fun

Title:  The Boy Recession
Author:  Flynn Meany
Format:  E-galley
Length:  170 pages
Publisher:  Little Brown and Co.

Where have all the boys gone?

Down-to-earth Kelly is always the friend and never the girlfriend. But as her junior year of high school starts, Kelly is determined to finally reveal her true feelings for her long-time crush and good friend Hunter - that is, until the Boy Recession hits.

Over the past summer, an overwhelming number of male students have left Kelly and Hunter's small high school class. Some were sent to private school and others moved away. Whatever the case, the sudden population shift has left the already small Julius P. Heil High in desperate shape. The football coach is recruiting chess champs for his team, the principal's importing male exchange students to balance out school dances,and Hunter is about to become an unexpected heartthrob.

Content with his role as the guitar-strumming, class-skipping slacker, Hunter is unprepared to be the center of attention. Desperate coaches are recruiting him for sports teams, and the drama teacher casts him in the lead role of the school musical. Even the Spandexers, powerful popular girls in tight pants, are noticing Hunter in a new light - with a little work, he could have potential. He might even be boyfriend material...

In order to stand out from the crowd and win Hunter's heart, Kelly needs a "stimulus package" in the form of cougar lessons from a senior girl who dates hot freshman boys and advice on the male mind from her Cosmo-addicted best friend, Aviva. As if dating wasn't hard enough without a four-to-one ratio!
-Goodreads


My Thoughts 
This book is for all of the fringe kids.  You know..the friend of a friend of the popular crowd twice removed.  
This is a bird's eye view of what happens if all of the popular kids (in this case boys) disappear.
The shocking thing is that readers get to see that the laws of adaptation that are often seen in nature apply in this book.
Noooo... that is not to say that any of the females at Juilus P. Heil High School became male over night like those fish on the nature channel; but some pretty drab slackers in the male department do get to step up to the plate and show their truly awesome colors.

My Favorite Boys
Eugene
If there is something that you want he is the go to guy to get it.  He has the hook up on everything from beer to boys and he can be bought.  Who knew that he also bakes and has the 411 on sophistication and style.  He is the comic relief for this story and it is so fun to see him put his seedier skills to work in the during his time as a big fish in the popularity pond.

Hunter
Hunter is the cute guy that has all the right stuff but just doesn't know what to do with it.
He is the guy that sleeps in class if he comes at all and then scores a 1600 on hi SATs.
He is so sweet, sincere, and talented that you can't help cheering when all that he has to offer comes 
to the forefront.  

All About the Girls
Kelly
Kelly is not what you would call a 'stand out'.  In fact, she even manages to be the vanilla in the Neapolitan trio of friends.  She's not the smart, but not the super brain that is Darcy.  She's pretty, but not the show stopping boy magnet that is Aviva.
What Kelly is however is determined to do what it takes to get newly popular Hunter to notice her.

This book is hilariously funny without trying.  It has just the right amounts of teen cluelessness, self deprecation, epiphany, and swear words to make it a truly great coming of age story.
This is a summer read not to be missed.
 Every dog has his day?
Can Hunter run with the big pack?

 My Rating:

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Just Sittin' Here...Waitin' On Wednesday #21

This wonderful meme is based on the one started by Breaking the Spine
Oh...happy day!
I was finally able to make one of my most awaited WOW's come true!
I got
On Kindle today and I have already tucked in.
Whoooohooooo!!!!

And now...
My WOW!
Title:  The Libromancer
(Ex Libris #1)
Author:  Jim C. Hines
Publisher:  DAW
Expected Publication Date:  August 7th, 2012

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically "reach" into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that "leaked "from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.
With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . 
-Goodreads 
 

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Hollow Tours PR Stop: The Miracle Chip

 Title:  The Miracle Chip
Author:  Stanley Granger
Format:  E-book
Length:  430 pages
Publisher:  Xlibris Corp.

The Miracle Chip by author Stanley Grainger opens with the chasing of Sgt. Cantrell Stoggs. He has been part of a successful six-man team covert operation for the CIA but now, five years later, the team is being eliminated one by one. Only two are left, and Cantrell is one. They had been tracked down and assassinated because of a particular disk that contains an expose of conspiracy that involved high-ranking government officials. Though Cantrell has no idea what’s on that disk, their hunters are after it and his life is at risk. Readers will embark on an exciting, breathtaking journey and adventure as they unravel the truth in this intriguing novel.

This exciting saga leaps from the pages to grip readers in a spellbinding adventure that unfolds in the near future – exposing a conspiracy that could manipulate humanity into willfully surrendering their sovereignty to a One World Government. Several questions must be asked like “Are we being tracked?” Bar codes in products to track purchases; GPS in cell phones to track movement; and cookies to track online activity have been done and now ready. Chips implanted inside everyone’s body to monitor and control his or her life…Is it done? Can an avalanche set in motion be stopped? This book tells all.

 -Goodreads 


Where to Find Stanley

His Site:

On Facebook:


  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

What's Your Status...Can You Tell Me?? #12

Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life has a fantastic meme. In this meme you post your status of the books your reading this week, books you finished this week, books you're going to read next, and books you plan on buying this week. You can also post what reviews and memes you participated in for the week.
Finished Titles
Title:  Shine Shine Shiine
Author:  Lydia Netzer

Title:  A Breath of Eyre
Author:  Eve Marie Mont

Title:  The Assassin And The Pirate Lord
Author:  Sarah J. Maas

 Title:  The Boy Recession
Author:  Flynn Meany

Title:  Henry Franks
Author: Peter Adam Salomon


Currently Reading

  Title:  The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy
Author:  Nikki Loftin
 Progress:  Page 142 of 304

Title: My Sister Lives On The Mantlepiece
Author: Annabel Pitcher
Progress:  Page 25 of 170

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

WTF's In My Mailbox #9


This week just seemed to fly by.
I ven got the chance to FINISH some of
the books that I have in my post!
YAY!!
Here is what I have for you!
Enjoy...


As always...
Don't  forget to stop by
Tynga's Reviews: Stacking the Shelves [13]

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Adult Contemporary Review: "Shine Shine Shine" An Illuminating Read

Title:  Shine Shine Shine
Author:  Lydia Netzer
Format:  Audiobook
Narrator:  Joshilyn Jackson
Publisher:  Macmillan Audio

A debut unlike any other, Shine, Shine, Shine is a shocking, searing, breathless love story, a gripping portrait of modern family, and a stunning exploration of love, death and what it means to be human
Sunny Mann has masterminded a life for herself and her family in a quiet Virginia town. Her house and her friends are picture-perfect. Even her genius husband, Maxon, has been trained to pass for normal. But when a fender bender on an average day sends her coiffed blonde wig sailing out the window, her secret is exposed. Not only is she bald, Sunny is nothing like the Stepford wife she’s trying to be. As her facade begins to unravel, we discover the singular world of Sunny, an everywoman searching for the perfect life, and Maxon, an astronaut on his way to colonize the moon. Theirs is a wondrous, strange relationship formed of dark secrets, decades-old murders and the urgent desire for connection. As children, the bald, temperamental Sunny and the neglected savant Maxon found an unlikely friendship no one else could understand. She taught him to feel—helped him translate his intelligence for numbers into a language of emotion. He saw her spirit where others saw only a freak. As they grew into adults, their profound understanding blossomed into love and marriage. But with motherhood comes a craving for normalcy that begins to strangle Sunny’s marriage and family. As Sunny and Maxon are on the brink of destruction, at each other’s throats with blame and fear of how they’ve lost their way, Maxon departs for the moon, where he’s charged with programming the robots that will build the fledgling colony. Just as the car accident jars Sunny out of her wig and into an awareness of what she really needs, an accident involving Maxon’s rocket threatens everything they’ve built, revealing the things they’ve kept hidden. And nothing will ever be the same.
 -Goodreads

My Thoughts
Sunny is the perfect example of a person trying to be as perfect as she believes that the people around her to be.
The problem?
Sunny and her family are anything but...
She suffers from Alopecia Universalis, a condition which has left her completely hairless since birth.
Her son Bubber, is autistic.
Her husband Maxon, an AI specialist with NASA, appears to suffer form a mild form of Asperger's Syndrome.
Her mother is dying of cancer.
And...
She's pregnant again.

Sunny is a woman who is living her life in hiding.  She uses wigs to hide the fact that she is bald.  She medicates her son to keep his autism under control.
She denys the fact that she resents her husband for pushing her into motherhood and that she thinks that her son inherited his autism from him.
This beautiful story is all about the transformative  moments in the life of every person.  Those moments in which we are truly able to see ourselves not as we think we should be, but as we are, imperfections and all.  It is these moments which free us from our self imposed  prison sentences of unfulfilled lives and unrealized dreams and allow us to find our place in the world.
This is a book that any person who has ever felt in any way less than should read.  Within its pages you will find hard evidence that though there is no such thing as perfect.  There is happiness in self acceptance.
My Rating:
 


  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Come Get Some...Shelf Candy #6

Shelf Candy is a wonderful meme brought 
to you by the fabulosity that is

My Pick:
Title:  All The Truth
Author:  Laura Brodie
Publisher:  Berkley Trade Publications
 
My Thoughts
"This is one of the most
ethereal 
covers that I have ever seen.
Is she inside or out?"
 
*Please support your local libraries.*
They support us all.
 
 

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS

Solve The Mystery That Is "Henry Franks"


Title:  Henry Franks
Author:  Peter Adam Solomon
Format:  E-galley
Length:  288 pages
Publisher:  Flux

A dark, psychological thriller about a boy's search for himself

Four thousand, three hundred and seventeen stitches, his father had told him once. All the King's horses and all the King's men had put Henry Franks back together again.

One year ago, a terrible accident robbed Henry Franks of his mother and his memories. He can't remember anything: the accident, his mother, his life. The past sixteen years have vanished. All Henry has now are scars and a distant father--the only one who can tell Henry who he is. If only he could trust his father.

Henry tries to piece together his past with help from Justine, his only friend. Could his nightmares--a sweet little girl calling him Daddy, murderous urges, dead bodies--hold clues? While a serial killer stalks their small Georgia town, Henry unearths the bitter truth about his mother--and himself.
-Goodreads

Your heart immediately goes out to Henry, the immensely uncomfortable, sensitive, intelligent young protagonist of this darkly disturbing read.  Readers are almost compelled to follow the trail of clues that wind through this novel in much the same way that the stitches map Henry's skin.
It is in fact Henry's skin that starts the mystery.

Why is he covered in itchy scars?
Why can't he feel pain when he pricks his fingers?
What happened in the "accident" that resulted in his being this way?
WHY CAN'T HE REMEMBER BEFORE?   
 
One of the things that make this book work so well is the fact that there are very few relationships in Henry's life.
There are:
     1.Henry and his father-astranged due to his father's unwillingness to talk to Henry about his past.
     2.Henry and Dr. Margaret Saville PhD- Henry's therapist, the dynamic here is very clinical due to Henry's insistence upon not letting the Dr. in.  
     3.Justine-Henry's next door neighbor, crush, and friend.  This is the closest and most evolved relationship of the entire book.  She is a key factor in solving the mystery that surrounds his father and thereby finding the key to his past.
  
Readers of this book will be interested to note that the author went to great pains to keep things really simple.  The story itself takes place in a small island community, the cast of characters is very small, and Henry's level of interaction is kept to a minimum.  Keeping things with in story on a smaller scale allows the author to focus on scenes that add to the dramatic feel of this read.  This is a technique that is often employed by horror writers.
This book is packed with action, murder, mayhem, mystery and surprises.
My Rating:



  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS