Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes

Silver Bay

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes is another shinning gem from this author.  The story involves two worlds, London and Silver Bay (Australia).  Mike is from London and he will be going to Silver Bay to check out on a development contract for his company; Liza is from London, but ran to Silver Bay and her Aunt Kathy’s arms 5 years prior for mysterious heart wrenching reasons; Kathy is known for catching a shark when she was 17 and now at 76 she has been running her family’s bed and breakfast hotel in Silver Bay; Hannah is 11 and only knows loss: the loss of her sister, the loss of her mother’s sanity, and the loss of freedom; Greg’s wife has just left him and Liza is still running cold around him, what does a man have to do to catch a break and be happy?  This is the story of how lives can intersect at the best and worst times, how one action/word/decision can affect many, forgiveness, love, compassion, and redemption.  I didn’t cry, I didn’t call all my friends about this book like I did for Me Before You; however, as time passed after I finished I started thinking and reevaluating things in my life.  This is a book that commands you to reflect, but it seeps slowly and unrelenting into your subconscious in Jojo Moyes’ true fashion.  This book will compel you to feel. 

 

4 out of 5 stars.  Thank You Net Galley.

In the End by Demitria Lunetta


In the End (In the After, #2)“No time, sunshine.  You making it okay out there?”

“I’m handling it.”

“Good girl.  Listen, I need to tell you something…”

“Kay, what is it?!”

“It’s… Baby.”

My stomach turns over as dread seeps into every pore of my body.

“Dr. Reynolds has Baby.”

 

So begins the conclusion to the In the After series.  At the end of In the After Amy was leaving New Hope and running towards Fort Black, another survival colony.  Dealing with the truths that she learned in New Hope, and having to leave Baby there, Amy is desperate to reach Fort Black.  There she will find Kay’s brother, and together they will return to New Hope to rescue Baby.  Except Amy was not counting on Fort Black to have been a prison in the Before, and she was not counting on making personal connections with anyone there.  After leaving the conspiracy ridden New Hope, Amy has walked right into another conspiracy/danger ridden place.  With Dr. Reynolds taking Baby, the clock is running out for Amy to dismantle everything he built, save the people that survived the After, and get the people she loves out of danger’s grasp.  An action packed exciting story of a post-apocalyptic world, where humans are the monsters and Frankenstein should have been a parable to the world in this book. 

4 out of 5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss.

#Scandal by Sarah Ockler

#scandal
Sarah Ockler is a great YA author with some major stories out, and her recent book #Scandal just came out, but is it as awesome as her other books?  The answer is no, unfortunately I liked this book but did not love it like I have loved The Book of Broken Hearts and Fixing Delilah.   That being said, this book is fun and outgoing.  The message is important but doesn’t go as deep as the two mentioned novels above, and that is why I cannot fully love it to the max… but I will say I enjoyed it.  When I grew up we had to worry about crushes, mean girls, and what to wear; however, now with the internet there are more things for kids to worry about; Lucy is a perfect example of this.  For one night Lucy must substitute as her best-friend Ellie.  She loves Ellie, so normally doing her a favor wouldn’t worry her, but there are a few things to worry about:

1.       She hates dresses

2.       She’d rather stay out of the spotlight

3.       She’s in love with her date, Ellie’s boyfriend Cole

What is a girl to do?  Lucy sucks it up and goes to prom, and just when she thinks she’s home free she’s dragged to an after party.  At this after party Cole does the unthinkable, he kisses her under the stars.  The kiss is both amazing and epically wrong.  How could Lucy do this to her best-friend?  After, Lucy and Cole agree that Ellie needs to know and Lucy basically brushes off her feelings on the matter and makes Cole do the same… that is until she gets to school and realizes everyone at school knows what happens.  Actually everyone at school knows what everyone did on prom night, because pictures and videos were uploaded to Facebook, via Lucy’s account.  She didn’t do it, but no one is listening.  When you are public enemy number one, how do you get the truth out?  With the help of friends, minus Ellie for obvious reasons, Lucy is out on the prowl looking for the culprit.  All the while she is dealing with being harassed by classmates, final weeks of senior year, Cole’s focused attention on her, winning back her best friend, and a secret scandal blog writer that seems to know everything that is happening in school.  A fun light read, perfect for the summer.

 

3.5 stars out of 5.  Thank You Edelweiss

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)



“The Four Commandments of the Shallows.
Commandment One: Honor the Initiative.
Commandment Two: Thou shalt not attempt to cross the Perimeter.
Commandment Three: Honor the Silent Hour.
Commandment Four: Thou shalt not harbor useful items from the days Before.”
—The Murder Complex

 

In The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings, the world is a desolate place, much like dystopian worlds can be.  People work hard, there are classes, and there is never enough of food, liberty, or free thought.  Instead in this world there are killers, victims, and conspiracies.  Meadow has been taught to kill and defend her by her father, in order to survive the chaos they live in, and especially since her mother was one of the victims of the high murder rate.  Zephyr is a ward of the state, which by class definition is in charge of cleaning and getting rid of trash (waste or human bodies); however, there is a secret (even from Zephyr) job he is responsible for, he is part of The Murder Complex.  The Murder Complex upholds the standards of living; one of the positions in The Murder Complex is assassin.  These assassins are like robo-cops, they are given their target and will complete their mission, no matter what.  Zephyr has no clue; neither do the rest of the public.  No one really knows about the programmed assassins, and when Meadow meets Zephyr, he is given the order to eliminate her.  What unfolds after is full of conspiracies, lies, politics, and of course—science.  A fast pace thriller that seems to be a promising series for YA readers.

 

3 out of 5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Strange Maid byTessa Gratton

The Strange Maid (The United States of Asgard, #2)

The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton is the second book in The United States of Asgard series.  I really fell for this series in book one, when Soren Bearstar was introduced.  This magical world is set up as an alternative Norse influenced reality.  The world is pretty much the same, but people are separated into champions for different gods, for Soren it was Odin and then Boulder.  This story is about Signy Valborn, trolls, Ned the Spiritless, Valkyries, and solving riddles.  Signy lost her parents, and out of despair climbed the tree, where Odin first introduced himself to her.  On that night he called her his little Raven and asked her to be one of his Valkyries.  Signy took well to this and began training, until one day Odin appeared again and left her with a riddle that changed her life and made her runaway.  Signy must figure out her destiny, and Ned will help guide her there, but if there is one thing we can learn about the gods is that they are always messing with destiny, and everyone is a pawn in the big game.  Fun, action packed, and Soren is back!

4 out of 5 stars.  Thank You Edelweiss.

(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

(Don't You) Forget About Me

(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn is her second book, after she debuted with Another Little Piece.  In this world Skylar lives in a quiet town, but it is not like every other small town in the USA, it has a couple of secrets too big to be another small town.  In Gardnerville no one gets sick, people don’t age as quickly, some have disturbing powers, and people who are deathly ill make a full recovery when they move there.  It is a town that is classified as invite only and the invite is loaded with a secret.  You see, for all the benefits of this town, there are some major setbacks.  One of the setbacks happen to be that once you move there you must cut off all your ties to the outside world, and you can never leave.  Another setback, every 4 years the teens go crazy.  They kill each other or hurt each other and sometimes it all escalates from something small, like ballet.  If someone hurts each other during the 4th year, they are sent away to do time in their “penitentiary” which is really hospital, and the people that come back almost have a lobotomized personality that replaces the old them.  4 years ago Skylar’s sister, Piper, led a group of people to the railroad tracks and made them jump; now 4 years later Skylar is nervous she might end up where Piper is.  What Skylar does is drug herself enough where she forgets things, because forgetting is better than knowing what really happened.  Forgetting about Piper has made it easier, but during her lucid periods Skylar knows there is something wrong, that Piper’s ex-lover is up to something, that Piper would never be defeated, and that she must find her before it is too late.  But in the town of Gardnerville, being a Gardner like Skylar, means it has always been too late to leave and too late to save yourself. 

Another creepy and inventive story from one of my new favorite authors.  If you are looking for a different book/story to be told, with dark undertones Kate Karyus Quinn is the author to look for.

 

4 out 5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence

Prince of Fools (The Red Queen’s War, #1)
Prince of Fools is the first book of Mark Lawrence’s new series, The Red Queen’s War, which is a spinoff of The Broken Empire series.   I really enjoyed the Broken Empire series, and was glad to be back in the same world, but with new characters.  Do not fret Jorgan is back, but readers will be surprised by the timing of the Red Queen’s War series in comparison to the last series’ ending.  Prince of Fools introduces Prince Jalan, who encompasses the characteristics of a spoiled prince.  He gambles, he womanizes, he drinks, and his hijinks are spoken about throughout the land.  Soon Jalan’s lap of luxury life will burn up in smoke, due to the impending undead army that marches through the lands.   After the Silent Sister, a witch who services the Queen and only Jalan and a few others can see, sets a spell on Jalan that ties him to a Norse warrior, Snorri, they both begin a journey to the North.  This journey is not just about separating the two but about finding the undead army.  With battles, women, and endless taunts this is a journey of pure high fantasy, and comedy. 
4 out of 5 stars.  Thank You Edelweiss.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

Zac and Mia

Zac and Mia are the new face of tragic love.  Zac has always been a healthy athlete, with a ridiculous amount of friends, and a charmed life, until one day something changes everything.  Now Zac is stuck in hospital rooms, sterilized and cut off from their friend, and his looks are just going through the ringer.  Feeling lost and a bit jaded Zac is ready to go home and live his life the way he used to before the cancer. Mia has always been free and wild.  Looking to get her cosmetology license, go to the prom with her rakish boyfriend, and continuing to party are the major things on her mind and plate.  One small injury leads her into the same cancer ridden life as Zac.  Together they are trapped in the same sterilized hospital, one who wishes to beat the odds and the other one not caring that the odds are in her favor.  One has a supportive family, the other has loud fights with her mother; one is genuinely nice, while the other is too prickly for her own good.  Apart they will face their struggles or run away, but together they will have someone to lean on, someone who doesn’t really just see them as their sickness.  A story of loss, percentages, and living, this is one book to get readers going.  One thing I will say, it is not The Fault in Our Stars; that one was too sweet and nice, this story will have readers’ heads spinning and hearts breaking, melting, and molding back together. 

5 stars.  Thanks Edelweiss.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dark Days by Kate Ormand


Dark Days
 
“Then he told me the worst part.  The part that shattered me.  The part that made me feel as though I’d been kicked in the stomach and had the wind knocked out of me.  He told me that those who aren’t chosen will be slaughtered by an army.  A cyborg army.”Dark Days by Kate Ormand

In a future divided into sectors, there has come the time to choose the elite from the group and create a better society.  Sia is one of the many that has not been selected for a better future; however, she has been selected to die by cyborg army.  She, and everyone else, has 15 days left.  Sia wants to enjoy these last few days, but with the depressing air around her she needs to figure out what to do with her time, and she also is thinking of ways to survive.  A very quick read, set in a span of 15 days, full of action, questions , and consequences.

3 out of 5 stars, thanks Edelweiss

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

We Are the Goldens


We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt seems like an open letter from a younger sister to an older sister.  Layla is the perfect daughter.  Her parents spent a lot of money and energy to conceive her and her beauty is one that seems set in high definition.  Nell is the unplanned second child, who constantly lives in the shadow of her sister Layla, and will be starting high school this year.  Nell and Layla have been inseparable, and Nell is excited to be close with her sister at school again, especially since Layla is a cool junior.  Soon Nell starts to figure out that not everything is as it seems.   Layla is hiding something, and that something is that she is having a relationship with her teacher.  This is the story of one sister, who loves her sister, but cannot understand how or why that sister is spiraling out of control.  Nell must finally find out who she is without Layla, and how to find her voice.

3 out of 5 stars, thanks Edelweiss.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Girl Who Never Was by Skylar Dorset

The Girl Who Never Was (Otherworld, #1)

“One day, my father walked into his Back Bay apartment to find a blond woman asleep on his couch.  Nine months later, I appeared on his doorstep.  One year later, my aunts succeeded in getting him committed to a psychiatric hospital.”

 

The Girl Who Never Was by Skylar Dorset is the story of Selkie Stewart, who lives with her two great aunts and her father has been committed to the psych ward.  Selkie has never met her mother, and only knows what her father has told her, which sounds like gibberish.  All she knows are her great-aunts, her father, and Ben, a street vendor that she has been quietly loving and is constantly making her feel happy.  After one trip to Salem, MA and entering a weird museum, Selkie begins to ask the wrong questions or the right ones, depending on what side you are on.  The secret behind Selkie is that she is half fey and half ogre, and she is part of a great prophecy.  Depending on what side you are on, she is the best or the worst thing to happen to the fey and other-worlders.    Just to add another ingredient to this mess, her mother is the fairy queen, who rules with an iron fist, like most fey do.  Selkie must now choose which side she’s on, how she will help the people she loves, and find out how to get out of her mother’s clutches.  Quick urban fantasy read.

3 out of 5 stars, Thanks Net Galley. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Feral Child by Che Golden


The Feral Child

The Feral Child by Che Golden is an inventive twist on fairy tales.  Maddy is an orphan living with her grandparents in Ireland.  Dealing with the recent death of her parents, uprooting from London, and having her cousins and aunts make her feel un-welcomed are not the only issues that Maddy has to deal with; on top of everything else she is dealing with fairies.  After a night excursion in an abandoned castle Maddy encounters a fairy that steals children and replaces them with changelings.  She could have pretended that those stores about fairies her grandfather tells her are made; she could have just let it go, but not when the child that is stolen is none other than her next door neighbor Stephen.  Now Maddy is determined to go into the fairy world and rescue Stephen before it is too late.

I really liked how quickly the story developed and carried on.  There was never a dull moment and the imagery was very vivid.  The only complaint is that the series doesn't seem to have any continuity, I don’t know if it is because it was first published in the UK.  I hope this will be fixed in the US.

4 out of 5 stars!  Thanks Edelweiss.  

The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead

The Immortal Crown (Age of X, #2)

The Immortal Crown is the second book in Richelle Mead’s Age of X series.  In her new adult series we continue to follow Mae and Justin in their search for the Elects and godly influences mixed with human lies.  Mae and Justin are still dancing around their emotions, Justin is still hiding things that could help Mae discover who this new god is that is communicating with her, and they have stumbled onto some crazy stuff.  On top of dealing with all this Elects turning on each other, which causes them to hide their true natures with charms, they are also helping Lucian Darling on a diplomatic assignment.  This assignment deals with a society outside of the RUNA, in Arcadia, where men are polygamist and women are treated as if they must uphold the Taliban rules.  On top of all this Mae is also investigating where her niece might be, and rumor has it she might be located near Arcadia.  This is not a sophomore slump book at all, filled with action and adventure, along with some interesting introductions to new gods it is a book to keep the audience captivate.  Mae and Justin still keep the reader interested with their tension and wit, and frankly the end is very promising for an exciting next book.



3.5 Stars out of 5  Thank You Edelweiss