Category Archives: 4 Stars

*Review* Impostor – Susanne Winnacker

Imposter Alt Cover Imposter

Susanne Winnacker

320 pages

Read 2-23-14

Format: E-book

Source: Netgalley

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 Tessa is a Variant with extraordinary abilities. She could be a hero, but all she wants to do is fall in love …

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. There she trains with other Variants, such as long-term crush Alec, who each have their own extraordinary ability.

When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. Tessa hates everything about being an impostor – the stress, the danger, the deceit – but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep.

Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

This book sounded very interesting, so when I saw it on Netgalley, I requested it and was lucky enough to get approved.  I also found this alternate cover, which I like even more than the original cover.  I liked the other cover a lot, don’t get me wrong, but this one is smoother and better fitting for the story than the original.

Tessa has a really cool power, she can morph into anybody she has touched, and she is given this really dangerous mission.  She has a lot of internal conflict over her mission, which is very understandable since she has to deceive so many people by posing as one of their loved ones.  Tessa was on okay character, but she could have been better.  I felt at some points she was a bit too obsessed with crushing at the wrong times, but did like Alec when he was being sweet to her and could understand why she would crush on him.  I also liked seeing her struggle with being part of a “normal” family.

As for the killer and such, it wasn’t really hard to figure stuff out and it didn’t surprise me at all who it was, but the ending scenes with the killer did get a bit exciting.  There were a couple small things that were left unanswered, so I hope that there will be some explanation in the next book.  Also, there was a character in this story that I hope had a bigger part in the next story since he was a bit pointless in this one.  The writing was pretty good, but there were some things that became a bit repetitive, not a lot though.

All in all I enjoyed the story and will be looking forward to the next book.

Interesting, good writing, good story, though no surprises in the end.

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*Review* Tides – Betsy Cornwell

Tides Cover Tides

Betsy Cornwell

304 pages

ISBN: 9780547927725

Read 8-31-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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When high-school senior Noah Gallagher and his adopted teenage sister, Lo, go to live with their grandmother in her island cottage for the summer, they don’t expect much in the way of adventure. Noah has landed a marine biology internship, and Lo wants to draw and paint, perhaps even to vanquish her struggles with bulimia. But then things take a dramatic turn for them both when Noah mistakenly tries to save a mysterious girl from drowning. This dreamlike, suspenseful story—deftly told from multiple points of view—dives deeply into selkie folklore while examining the fluid nature of love and family.

This was my Random Reads pick for the month of August and I was excited to read it since I love stories with mermaids and such.  This was my first selkie story and it was interesting and a nice read.  The story was very well-written and I enjoyed the visuals that came from the author’s descriptions.  I have never been to New Hampshire, but I hope it is as lovely in real life as it is in the story.  We get to see the story from different views, so we get to see on land and in the water with the selkies and hear some abut selkie lore.

As for the characters, I liked them, but I wasn’t as connected with them as I would have liked to have been.  Noah was nice and hardworking and Lo was quiet, but a good sister.  I liked them, but I just didn’t fall in love with them.  Mara was interesting, but I felt it was kind of weird that Noah would want to immediately befriend a girl who was running around in an oversized men’s shirt and string as a belt for clothing.  There were a couple more issues that were a bit more serious that were touch on in this story, but not talked about in great depth; it was part of the story, but not THE story.

I loved the cover and it’s soft colors.  I like to think that the person on the front is Mara, seeing her both in her human form and her selkie form.  I also liked the title with the fancy scripted letters of the T and S.  I really enjoyed reading this book, even if I didn’t connect to the characters the way I wanted to, it was still a great story.  I will definitely read more by this author since she writes such lovely scenes.  I definitely recommend this book to those who love stories about water creatures!

Beautiful writing, selkie lore, good characters, didn’t connect to them like I wanted to.

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*Review* Dangerous Girls – Abigail Haas

Dangerous Girls Cover Dangerous Girls

Abigail Haas

400 pages

ISBN: 9781442486591

Read 8-18-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined…

This was quite an exciting read and it was very fast paced. However, my mind was not blown like I hoped.  I saw a few reviews where people were really shocked by the ending, but I was not shocked and I think that some of the possibilities I was thinking up were so much more out there than the actual ending that when I finally finished it, I was like “oh, okay, yeah sounds right.”

The beginning was just a little confusing at first since there were so many people in there group, but eventually you get everybody straight. All the characters were really well written and seemed like real people and I think that the media was portrayed well with how things can get skewed and misinterpreted.  Several times I found myself wanting to strangle the reporters.

Wouldn’t we all look guilty if someone searched hard enough?  pg. 255

Elise was somebody I liked sometimes and didn’t like other times.  She was a good friend to Anna, but as a person she wasn’t the best and she slept around a lot, but she was there for Anna when nobody else was. I liked Tate at first, but it didn’t last too long.

The storyline bounces around a lot from the vacation to the trial to the time she is waiting behind bars and so on, so if you get confused by back and forth changes be warned. I think the bouncing around added to the drama and the frenzy of what was happening.  The author even threw in TV transcripts and text messaging, very different.  I also found myself getting quite anxious when it came time for the verdict.  It was a very enjoyable read and it kept me turning the pages, so it was quite interesting, just not shocking.  I recommend it to people who like a good murder mystery and a twist ending.

Fast paced, full of tension, good  characters, not as shocking as I hoped.

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*Review* Struck – Jennifer Bosworth

Struck Cover Struck

Jennifer Bosworth

373 pages

ISBN: 9780374372835

Read 6-30-13

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

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Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

This was my Random Read for June, and since I was on vacation and finished the book the day I was getting on the plane, I am now able to finally post my review.  This was the first book I have read that involves cults, and it sounded like it could be a pretty intense read, plus, the book trailer was one of the best I’ve seen.  I can’t say this one held up to my expectations, though I did enjoy it I wasn’t blown away by it.  The idea of someone being a lightning was also tugging at me to read it, but I didn’t really feel the “addict” part of it.

Mia was mostly a pretty good character.  It took a lot to shake her up (it would take a lot to shake me up to if I had been hit my lightning so many times) and she stood her ground for what she believed in.  She had a lot of hard decisions to make, sometimes making the obviously wrong ones, and she had a ton to deal with like a stubborn brother and a sick mother.

Jeremy was interesting and I thought it was cute how Mia compared him to Clark Kent at times because of his glasses.  By the end of the book, I had some mixed feelings about him because of some of the things that happened.  Rachel, one of the main Follower characters, I greatly did not like.  If she were a real person, I would have liked to punch her in the face a few times.  But, I’m sure this is what the author was going for, so, well done on her.

The book was written pretty well as were the descriptions; I just wasn’t wowed.  If you are interested in reading it, by all means, still pick it up because it was an enjoyable read and I liked the way it ended.  Also, if you have time you should look up Lichtenburg scars (the scars the MC has), they are pretty awesome looking!

Good descriptions, interesting story, good ending, didn’t wow me.

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*Review* Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay Cover Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)

Suzanne Collins

390 pages

ISBN: 9780439023511

Read 4-1-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Kat, her family, friends, and entire District 12.

This was a very exciting ending to The Hunger Games trilogy!  This book had the most action in it of all three and several ups and downs.  There are things I liked and things I definitely think should have been different.  Katniss is as strong as ever and we can see at several points how hurt and traumatized she is from everything the Capitol has put her through.  President Snow is a disgusting man and I imagine him as a horrible snake that was transformed human since he has that kind of personality.

Peeta’s change is quite surprising and it really hurt my heart that he was so different, but with what happened to him, yeah I would be different, too.  There is just so much going on in this book!  Things getting blown up, people dying, more things getting blown up, disturbing Capitol bred creatures showing up, explosions and more dying.  There are not many slow points during this book.  My biggest complaint, though, would have to be the way the uprising ended.  It was a bit anticlimactic for me the way everything went down.  I was hoping it was going to build for this huge blow out, but it didn’t have the bang I wanted it to.

I know this book is going to be hard to watch on the big screen.  For those of you who have already read this book, you guys know what I’m talking about.  I’m glad they will be splitting Mockingjay into two movies, so hopefully they will get everything the way it should be.  I’m very excited for the movies and I really enjoyed this trilogy!

Action, hurt my heart, strong heroine, anticlimactic uprising.

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*Review* Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac – Gabrielle Zevin

Memoirs Teenage Amnesiac Cover Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

 Gabrielle Zevin

288 pages

ISBN: 9780374349462

Read March 2013

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She’d know about her mom’s new family. She’d know about her dad’s fiancée. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.
 
But Naomi picked heads.

Well, here I am still catching up on some of my older reviews.  I was on 3rd shift for the entire month of April, which really threw off my days!  I couldn’t keep up with what day it was since I was at work on 2 different days.  Tomorrow was today and today was yesterday, I’d think it was Tuesday, but really it was Friday; it was a jumbled mess when it came to when it actually was.  I decided I like my M-F schedule much better than the alternating 12 hr workdays for 3rd.  Anyway, here is my next catch up review!

This book was really well written and one of the most realistic reads when it comes to amnesia.  Naomi was an interesting character, when we meet her, it’s right before the accident has happened and her personality is different than before the accident, so we don’t get to know how she was before hand really unless somebody was talking about how she was before.  I really liked Will.  He was fun and funny, plus he knew Naomi the best of anybody and was really there for her, though there were points where Naomi wasn’t fair to him and some other people, but I can imagine 4 years of lost memory can really be quite stressful.

There is a lot of stuff that happens to her while she has amnesia and a lot of questions she must ask herself and decide on what she wants since she doesn’t know what she wanted before since she can’t remember it.  She makes several mistakes and almost loses people she is close to.  Her life becomes a crazy ride for a girl who is missing a big chunk of memory.  The story was a bit on the slower side, but I liked the way everything ended. It wasn’t an incredibly amazing story, but it was still enjoyable.

Well-written, on the slow side, realistic, good characters.

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*Review* Red Glove – Holly Black

Red Glove Cover Red Glove (Curse Workers #2)

Holly Black

325 pages

ISBN: 9781442403390

Read 4-26-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Curses and cons.
Magic and the mob.

In Cassel Sharpe’s world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth — he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything — or anyone — into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion-worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue — crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too — they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone — least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

I enjoyed White Cat a lot more than I thought I was going to and I am really glad that I decided to pick this series up.  This is a great sequel and I really enjoyed it as well.  You learn a bit more about Cassel and their are great descriptions, especially concerning blow back from when he transforms things.

I like Cassel and I really feel for him at points when it comes to things, especially Lila.  Sometimes though, I just want to bonk him over his head and ask what he was thinking.  He is fun and quite sarcastic with funny quips, and he is definitely quite clever when it comes to getting things done, though somewhat reckless, but that’s part of what makes him fun.  I like all of the secondary characters, especially Sam since he is very loyal to Cassel and keeps all of his secrets.

I was surprised by a couple of things in this story, Cassel’s brother being murdered and even who murdered him.  The author did a good job not being obvious about who the murder was and really, I never suspected, so kudos there!  There wasn’t a whole lot of action, but it was still a good read and kept me interested.  I look forward to the third book and how things will be wrapping up.

Great descriptions, good characters, not much action, surprising.

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*Review* Rapture – Lauren Kate

Rapture Cover Rapture (Fallen #4)

Lauren Kate

432 pages

ISBN: 9780385739184

Read 12-2-12

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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The sky is dark with wings . . . .

Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again.

Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen.

For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters.

In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

I was pleasantly surprised with the final Fallen novel, and the second two books were definitely better than the first two.  I feel like Lauren’s writing was more ramped up and the descriptions were better, the characters were better and the story was better.   Knowing what I know now about this series, it is a beautiful love story; the first half of it was just a bit aggravating.  I hate having to go through so many books wanting to know what is being hidden from the character for sooooo long (kind of like when someone tells you they need to tell you something, but they wait a few days while you go crazy).

By the end of it, I did like Daniel and I was rather attached to a lot of the characters.  I really liked the way the story ended and thought it was perfect for their story.  There was just one thing I was confused about by the ending, not anything that happened, but it was something that didn’t quite add up right.  See spoiler below if you want to know if you already read it or don’t care about spoilers.

***SPOILER ALERT***SPOILER ALERT***SPOILER ALERT****

When their lives start over, it comes back to them 17 years later and Luce is in college.  The part that didn’t add up for me was that Daniel was 2 years older than her.  I can see Luce being 17 and in college, but if it was 17 years later, how could Daniel be 19?  So yeah, that’s my quirk with it.

***END OF SPOILER***END OF SPOILER***END OF SPOILER***

I really wish the first two books were done a little differently and I really would have loved the series!  The audiobook reader stayed the same and she did a really great job.  I wasn’t surprised by the stuff that happened in this final book, except for maybe one thing.  If you don’t mind working through two okay books to get to two good books, then you can try this series out, and this is just my opinion as there are plenty of others who loved the first two books as well, so I am not trying to hinder anybody from reading it!

Better writing, great descriptions, perfect ending, this series gets better with each book.

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*Review* Passion – Lauren Kate

Passion Cover Passion (Fallen #3)

Lauren Kate

420 pages

ISBN: 9780385739160

Read (11-26-12)

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way….

Luce is certain that something – or someone – in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime…going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel…and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history. Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames…forever.

Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.

I would have to say that so far, this is the book I have enjoyed most of the series.  In this book, we get to see and learn so much more than in the first two combined.  We got to see much more of Luce and Daniel’s story as she moves through time to witness their love with her past lives.  I really enjoyed seeing Luce’s past selves and how Daniel came into them.  They were all quite different and their relationship connected better in all those previous lives than they did in their current one to me.

The reader for the audiobook does a fantastic job with all the different accents as Luce travels to different countries as she goes back in time and she has a very clear and pelasant voice.  I still felt no surprise through the book as it was quite predictable to me.  Only one more book to the series left and I am hoping for a great finale with some surprises since it is the end.

Great reader, get to see more romance between Luce and Daniel, wonderful past lives scenes, still predictable, but enjoyable.

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*Review* Renegade – J.A. Souders

 Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1)

J. A. Souders

364 pages

ISBN: 9780765332455

Read 11-24-12

Format: Paperback

Source: DAC ARC Tours

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Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb… and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

This book turned out to be quite a fast read and different than what I expected, though I am not sure exactly what it was that I expected.  Right in the first chapter I was dragged in and quite surprised by the way that first chapter ended.  The world of Elysium seems like it would be beautiful, serene and perfect.  The descriptions of Elysium were quite lovely and the action scenes were well written.

Evelyn was an interesting character and she went through quite a transformation from the start of the book to the end.  She had a strange fascination in the Surface and everything that came from there, and that is probably why there was an instant attraction to Gavin.  I think there relationship was sweet with the way Gavin cared about her and made sure she was okay and wanted to take care of her, but “I love you” shouldn’t be said within 2 or 3 days in my opinion, do it felt a bit rushed to me.

I liked Gavin and he looked out for Evelyn once she gained his trust, and there were a few funny and embarrassing scenes for him, which were quite fun to read.  And Mother is the one you love to hate; she is a horrible, horrible person.

I can’t wait to find out more secrets about Elysium and learn the truth.  There were a couple of things, like the nanobots, that I felt weren’t fully explained, but hopefully they will be in the next book.  I really like the way the book ended and I look forward to seeing how the latest issue is resolved.  Great debut, can’t wait for the next installment!

Beautiful descriptions, good action scenes, great characters, a bit of insta-love.

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