Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review- Shine

I finished reading Shine (Shade #3) by Jeri Smith-Ready today.

From Goodreads:

In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.

Shine was a satisfying ending to the Shade trilogy.  Quite a lot happened in this book and it spanned over several months.

As much as I like Zachary, I found myself missing Logan.  He wasn't my favorite when he wasn't around but I missed him when he was gone.

I think the ending wrapped up too neatly.  I don't think things would suddenly just be okay after Aura and Zachary get attacked one of the times.  For as much as the DMP seems to be after them, I don't think they'd suddenly just stop.  But I liked the part of the ending that deals with the Shift.  It makes sense and just feels right.

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend.

Monday, May 26, 2014

In My Mailbox- May 26, 2014

In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week

Say What You Will- Cammie McGovern--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Book Review- Everyone She Loved

I finally finished reading Everyone She Loved by Sheila Curran.

From Goodreads:

A wise and triumphant novel about four women who've come of age together only to discover that -- when it comes to the essentials -- life's little instruction book will always need revising. Penelope Cameron, loving mother, devoted wife and generous philanthropist, has convinced her husband and four closest friends to sign an outlandish pact. If Penelope should die before her two daughters are eighteen, her husband will not remarry without the permission of Penelope's sister and three college roommates. For years, this contract gathers dust until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly, everyone she loved must find their way in a world without Penelope.

For Lucy Vargas, Penelope's best friend, and a second mother to her daughters, nothing seems more natural than to welcome them into a home that had once belonged to their family, a lovely, sprawling bed-and-breakfast on the beach. This bequest was only one of the many ways in which Penelope had supported Lucy's career as a painter, declaring her talent too important to squander. But now, in the wake of a disaster that only lovable, worrisome Penelope could have predicted, Lucy has put her work on hold as she and Penelope's husband, Joey, blindly grasp at anything that will keep the girls from sinking under the weight of their grief.

With the help of family and friends, the children slowly build new lives. But just when things start to come together, the fragile serenity they have gained is suddenly threatened from within, and the unbreakable bonds they share seem likely to dissolve after all.

In this entertaining and uplifting novel, Sheila Curran explores the faith one woman placed in her dearest friends, the care she took to protect her family and the many ways in which romantic entanglements will confound and confuse even the most determined of planners. A story about growing up and moving on, about the sacrifices people make for one another and the timeless legacy of love, "Everyone She Loved" is, above all, about the abiding strength of friendship.

There are some books that I read a chapter here and a chapter there and take me forever to read.  This was one of those books.  I  never got into it.  At all.  But I make myself finish every book I start, so here I am. 

There were too many sub-plots.  Way too many.  Death and cheating and lesbianism and obesity and anorexia and bulimia.  Add it crazy characters, none of which I liked, and it didn't make for such a great read.  Okay, I take that back.  I kinda liked the two kids although its really more that I felt sorry for them than anything else.

And that's all I have to say about that.

I gave this book a 2/5 rating.

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in return for an honest review.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Sunday Salon- May 25, 2014

The Sunday Salon

Only 2 more weeks of school!  The end of the year is coming so fast---it'll be here before I know it.  I can't wait til summer!

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready

I am currently reading Shine (Shade #3) by Jeri Smith-Ready and up next is Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book Review- Shift

I finished reading Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready today.

From Goodreads:

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

For some reason, this book took me a while to read.  I'd get absorbed in it but when I came up for air, I'd have read way less pages than I thought.  I enjoyed it so I'm not sure what my problem was.

Anyways, I remembered that there was a cliffhanger at the end of the first book but for the life of me, I could't remember what it was.  Luckily I was clued in pretty quickly at the beginning of this book and remembered most of it.

I liked learning more about Aura's mom and why the Shift happened.  And I liked Aura and Zachary together and Logan.  But that's all I really remember.  For some reason, it's just not sticking with me.

I'm glad I have the final book in the series, Shine, to read next.  Hopefully I'll be more with it!

I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I traded this book with a friend.

Monday, May 19, 2014

In My Mailbox- May 19, 2014

In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week

The Lost- Sarah Beth Durst--from publisher for review

My Life Next Door- Huntley Fitzpatrick--Teacher Appreciation Gift from an awesome friend!!

The Fault in Our Stars- John Green--PaperbackSwap

Endure (Need #4)- Carrie Jones--PaperbackSwap

Otherbound- Corinne Duyvis--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Since You’ve Been Gone- Morgan Matson--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Wish You Were Italian (If Only #2)- Kristin Rae--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan (The Secret #3)- Jessica Sorensen--contest win from Goodreads

Shine (Shade #3)- Jeri Smith-Ready--PaperbackSwap

Prodigy (Legend #2)- Marie Lu--PaperbackSwap

Divergent- Veronica Roth--borrowed from friend

Dark Water (Siren #3)- Tricia Rayburn--PaperbackSwap

Bang (Visions #2)- Lisa McMann--PaperbackSwap

Juliet Immortal- Stacey Jay--PaperbackSwap

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In My Mailbox- May 12, 2014

After the End (After the End #1)- Amy Plum--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Free to Fall- Lauren Miller--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

The Sunday Salon- May 11, 2014

The Sunday Salon

Happy Mother's Day!  I unfortunately wasn't such a great daughter.  I caught the stomach bug that has been going around the classroom and so while I still drove home to spend time with my mom, we had to change our plans.  It was supposed to be a family outing to the Players Championship golf tournament, but we ended up just sending the guys to the tourney and we stayed home and watched movies!

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings 

I am currently reading Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready and up next is Shine.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Book Review- The Murder Complex

I finished reading The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings yesterday for an Around the World ARC review.

From Goodreads:

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

This book was very dark.  And gory.  And dark.  Did I mention gory?  Yeah, I'm not known to like those things.  I do think the whole premise of the story was pretty interesting.  Someone created a cure to illnesses so the population is being too large.  So murderers were created to help solve this problem.  And I guess that would entail lots of blood and violence.  

As for the characters, they were okay.  Meadow was a super strong character. And Zephyr was an interesting mix of strong when he's an assassin and regular when he's not.  I'm not sure I was really feeling their relationship though.

Anyways, if you like your stories dark and gory, then this is right up your alley.  As for me, I need something lighter to read after that.

I gave this book a rating of 3/5.

*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Around the World Tours.

Monday, May 5, 2014

In My Mailbox- May 5, 2014

In My Mailbox: Here's what I got in my mailbox last week

(Don’t You) Forget About Me- Kate Karyus Quinn--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Dorothy Must Die- Danielle Page---review for an Around the World ARC Tour

The Murder Complex- Lindsay Cummings--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

Wild- Alex Mallory--review for an Around the World ARC Tour

The Lady is a Vamp (Argeneau #17)- Lynsay Sands--PaperbackSwap

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Sunday Salon- May 4, 2014

The Sunday Salon

4 and a half weeks until summer break!  A bunch of my kindergartners were out with a stomach bug this week so I've been struggling not to get it.  So far, I've been successful.  And this is a big week!  We have a Mother's Day Tea for the moms on Friday!

I finished and reviewed the following books last week:
Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg 

I am currently reading The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings and if I don't get a tour book, I'll try again for 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K. A. Barson.

Book Review- Better Off Friends

I finished reading Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg today.

From Goodreads:

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

I so enjoyed this story.  It was told by Macallan and Levi in alternating chapters of their view of their friendship together.  And in between chapters is commentary from them in current day.  Yes, you can probably guess the ending, but the getting there made the story.

Both Macallan and Levi are such great characters.  They grew up during their friendship and faced challenges that all teens face (and then some).  Nothing was overly dramatic.  Just real.  And I loved their banter and the way they were together.  Whether they ended up as a couple or as just friends--one thing was obvious--they were soul mates (this was never said in the book but I just feel that sometimes best friends can be soul mates).

If I had one complaint, and that's minor, it would be that I wish that there was more current day happenings at the end of the story.  I wanted more (that's not a bad thing).  I just couldn't get enough of the two of them!  I wouldn't be mad if the idea of a sequel came about.  Definitely one of my favs of the year so far!

I gave this book a rating of 4.5/5.

*FTC Disclosure: This book was given to me for free by the publisher for a honest review.

Summer Reading Challenge

I’m participating in the @booksparks #SRC2014! #Enter to #win a Kindle each week & jump start your #summerreading –

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Praise for Empower: Fight Like A Girl

"Even non-girls will feel empowered by these stories about ordinary, flawed characters finding their own
strengths. Highly entertaining and original."
- Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Chase and King City, whose mother lost her hearing to lupus.

Women of TV have united against lupus! Presenting Empower: Fight Like A Girl, a special collection of short stories by top women writers from some of your favorite shows, including: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Family Guy, Person of Interest, Grimm, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Law & Order: SVU, Star Trek: Voyager, Eureka, Twisted, The 100, Malcolm in the Middle, Millennium, Being Human, The Shield, Castle, Chuck, Gilmore Girls, and Game of Thrones. In this anthology, you'll discover supernatural thrillers, crime mysteries, horror, comedies, and more.

Authors contributing stories to this volume include:

  • Amy Berg
  • Cherry Chevapravatdumrong
  • Akela Cooper
  • Liz Edwards
  • Jane Espenson
  • Shalisha Francis & Nadine Knight
  • Lisa Klink
  • Pang-Ni Landrum
  • Lauren LeFranc
  • Kam Miller
  • Jess Pineda
  • Jennifer Quintenz
  • Lisa Randolph
  • Kay Reindl
  • Kira Snyder
  • Jeane Wong

  • All proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Lupus Foundation of America to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus.