Monthly Archives: August 2011

*Review* Hourglass – Myra McEntire



Myra McEntire

397 pages

ISBN: 9781606841440

Read (8-28-11)

     In Hourglass, Emerson Cole has had a very rough life; she lost her parents and now lives with her brother, went to a boarding school, and had even been placed into a mental health ward.  The reason for the commitment into a mental health facility?  She sees people who aren’t really there.  They are people who looked like they have walked straight off the set of Gone with the Wind, soldiers, and a horse drawn carriage.  Her brother restores older building, and since Emerson lives with her brother in one of these restores places and goes to functions for the restorations, seeing these apparitions has become more and more frequent.  Trying to find yet another form of help, Emerson’s brother hires a man from a group called the Hourglass.  Finding information on the group proves difficult for Emerson and she wonders if this new guy really can help her and if she should trust him.
     Honestly, I did not enjoy the first half of this book as much as the second half.  I felt like the main character was a bit too freaked out by the phantoms she saw, and in my opinion, if you have been seeing apparitions for 4 years, you’d be pretty desensitized to them and not still majorly freaking out.  This was the only reason I wasn’t very crazy about Emerson at first, because she over reacted about things so often (this made her seem kind of immature), but aside from that I liked Emerson.
     I liked the book enough to want to read the next installment, but I think it had more potential than what it held.  The whole concept was very interesting and I liked the twists that the author threw in towards the end. 
     As for the romance part of it, once again I liked the second half, but not the first half.  There was no real build up of a relationship, her love interest automatically liked her and acted like he had known her for a long time, so I felt no real development between the two of them, however, I did like their closeness in the second half of the book after they had time to know one another.
     All in all, it was enjoyable and I look forward to the next installment.  It turned into a different story than I originally thought it was going to be, and it’s good to see something different.  People who enjoy young adult science fiction may enjoy this, just look out for a semi-rough start.

Interesting, good plot, rough beginning, good ending.   3.5 stars.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Upcoming ARC Titles to be Reviewed

These are a few books I will be reviewing soon.  They are advanced reader copies and they all hit the shelves in October.  I’m thrilled to be reading and reviewing them before they come out.


Ellen Hopkins

533 pages

ISBN: 9781451647204

On sale 10-18-11









Anna Carey

318 pages

ISBN: 9780062048509

On sale 10-4-11







 Liesl & Po

Lauren Oliver

307 pages

ISBN: 9780062014511

On sale 10-4-11

I can’t wait to put these books under my nose!!!

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*Review* The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

308 pages

ISBN: 9780345525543

Read 8-23-11

     The Language of Flowers is a beautiful novel about Victoria, a foster child that has been passed home to home, unable to be placed with a family.  When she turns 18, she is emancipated from the group home she currently stays and is forced into a world where she needs to take care of herself and live on her own.  The only skill she has is knowing the language of flowers, a Victorian era form of unspoken communication delivered through the special meanings of flowers.  Her life takes a big turn when she meets a florist who hires her on at her shop and continues to change when she meets a mysterious flower vendor at the local market.
     Today is the release date for The Language of Flowers, and it was a fantastic read!  I am very glad I was able to read it and review this magnificent story before it was released.  This book is written in an impeccably beautiful way.   The flow of the words and style is magical and musical; perfection on a page.  Not only is the style of writing beautiful, but so is the story; it tells the difficult life of a child in the foster care system, finding love, losing it, and forgiveness.
     Victoria is such an incredibly strong character, and she is like a flower herself, only a bud at first, then slowly opening herself up letting a select few slip past the wall she keeps herself guarded behind.   She has a lot of ups and downs throughout the book, and you ride the emotional roller coaster right along side her.  The author words keep you pulled into the world of this book and you feel every emotion the characters do; my heart ached so much for Victoria as i read her story and her challenges. 
     Flowers have a big place in Victoria’s life, since she is not very good with people, she find she can communicate what she wants to say to them with flowers, whether they understand it or not.  They have so much meaning for her and I really enjoyed learning the meanings behind the different flowers in the book.  This story was very original and lovely.

Emotional, exquisite, heart-breaking, hopeful, simply marvelous!!    5 stars!!


Filed under 5 Stars, Adult, Fiction, Literary

*Review* Brother / Sister – Sean Olin



Sean Olin

272 Pages

ISBN: 9781595143860

Read 8-18-11

     Brother/Sister is a very unusual book told from the switching perspective of Will and Asheley who are siblings.  They have something go quite wrong in their life and everything becomes a huge mess.  The novel is told from the siblings’ points of view as they tell their sides of the story.  The writing style is used in a way that makes it sound like the siblings are actually speaking, as if they are talking during an interrogation and you hear only their sides. 
     The book keeps you continuously reading to find out what is going to happen next, but all in all, it was not as exciting as I was hoping it was going to be.  There was a slight twist at the end, but I figured the twist was going to happen, and there wasn’t much action.  I thought the author did a good job at portraying the emotions of the characters, including the buildup of anxiety over what happened and how they were going to deal with it.
     The story itself is a very warped tale and situation, but it just didn’t fully suck me in.  It was a pretty quick read, though and I liked the way the book ended.  People who like mild thrillers may enjoy this book (I say mild because I wasn’t very nervous through it).

Quick read, not much action, twisted, good emotional dynamics.    3.5 stars.

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

*Review* The Girl Who Chased the Moon – Sarah Addison Allen


The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Sarah Addison Allen

265 pages

Read 5-14-11

ISBN: 9780553385595

     Mullaby, NC is a mysterious and secretive town where Emily Benedict has come to live with her grandfather after the loss of her mother.  Not only did her grandfather know of her existence until recently, but he is also a giant, towering over everyone in the town.  Emily discovers the overly tall man is not the only oddity in Mullaby, but also little lights that dance around in the woods near the house and other strange happenings.  Emily has to find her place in this bizarre town and uncover secrets about its residents and even about her own mother.
     This is another fantastic novel from Allen, and it was actually the first by her that I read and I instantly fell in love with her style of writing.  It’s so beautiful and poetic with a lovely flow and she has an amazing way of making magic seem realistic.  The cover is what attracted me to this book originally with its dark background, contrasting subject and fluttering butterflies.
     Emily is a strong character that has to cope, not only with the death of her mother, but also the harsh way some of the townspeople treat her and make her feel alienated.  I didn’t have a single favorite character because they were all so well written.  By the time the book ended, there was an opening left to be able to continue a story for a different character, and I am hoping the author does decide to write one for this character.
     Everything is nicely wrapped up for this novel and nothing is left in question.  This is a truly wonderful story and I can’t wait for more from this author.  Highly recommended for those who enjoy an element of magic and a literary novel.

Poetic, mysterious, meaningful, beautiful, absolute pleasure to read!  4.5 stars!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Adult, Fiction, Magical Realism

*Review* Babe in Boyland – Jody Gehrman

 Babe in Boyland

Jody Gehrman

292 pages

ISBN: 9780803732742

Natalie is a high school student who gives advice from her relationship column as Dr. Aphrodite.  The problem?  She’s never been in a relationship!  This realization is made aware to her in rude comments from guys on her blog telling her she tell girls only what they want to hear and have no idea what guys think.  Seeing the truth behind this, Natalie decides she needs to do something about this, and determines the way to do this is by disguising herself as a guy and enrolling in an all boys school!  Now she has to hide her girlish ways, which proves difficult with her hunky roommate Emilio around.  Will she really be able to accomplish this gender-bending undercover story?

This was an absolutely, fantasically fun read!  Natalie and her friends are so quirky and entertaining, not to mention the plot is so playful.  From beginning to end this book was a blast to read and I even fought sleep to be able to keep reading.  The characters are very relatable and realistic and there is a character for so many aspects of high school life; the jocks, the nerds, the quiet ones, the narcissists.

The book makes me think of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, but surprisingly out of all the Shakespeare mentions in the whole book, this one never came up.  Twelfth Night has a major plot of mistaken identity and a woman who dresses as a man, but the only comparison made in the book to one of the plays is when the girls are talking about Portia’s cross-dressing scene in The Merchant of Venice.

The style of writing for this book was straight and to the point, so it was written clearly and reads very quickly.  Not only was this book amusing, but it also had a good life-story for young adults after Natalie’s cross-dressing escapade.  This was an excellent book and I highly recommend it for those looking for a super fun read, no matter what age.

Enthralling, delightful, humorous, thoroughly marvelous!!  4.5 stars!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Graveminder – Melissa Marr


Melissa Marr

324 pages

ISBN: 9780061826870

Read 8-8-11

     Graveminder is a fantastic novel of the walking dead, not your typical zombie-like story.  Unlike the popular zombies that you see in movies, these walking dead are aware of things going on.  Rebekkah is the granddaughter of Maylene, who is the graveminder, and when she is murdered, Rebekkah must return to Claysville.  On top of her grandmother’s murder, many other issues are thrown onto her, including a past relationship she has been running from, a difficult inheritance, and something that is running around hurting the townspeople.

Melissa Marr is known for her Wicked Lovely series in which she shows us the world of fairies.  She has a superb way of creating worlds and being able to put the reader into them.   Graveminder is her first adult novel, and I was just as sucked into this story as I was with the  Wicked Lovely series, which is for young adults.  Her style of writing and description make it hard to put the book down and bring yourself back into the real world.

With this style of story, the author has stepped outside of the box for what is normally seen as the walking dead, giving this novel a freshness that others of the same subject do not have.  Strong characters, strong relationships between them, and a strong story, I recommend this to those who are already a Melissa Marr fan and to those who want something outside the norm.

Fast-paced, hard to put down, intricate, extremely well-written.  4.5 stars!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Adult, Fiction, Supernatural