Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: The Iron Butterfly

The Iron Butterfly (Iron Butterfly, #1)

The Iron Butterfly

By Chanda Hahn


Blurb: Imprisoned, starved and left with no memories, Thalia awakens to find herself at the mercy of an evil cult known as the Septori. Their leader has chosen Thalia as the test subject for a torture device of untold power, designed to change and twist her into something that is neither human nor Denai.

Escaping, Thalia finds an unwilling warrior to protect her and an unlikely Denai to befriend her. After finding a home at the Citadel as a servant, Thalia’s worst nightmare comes to life and she begins to show signs of power. Scared and unable to control her gifts, she tries to hide her past to fit in among the Denai. But the Septori want their latest test subject back and will stop at nothing to retrieve her, dead or alive.
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Paranormal
Published: February 20, 2012
Series: Iron Butterfly by Chanda Hahn
My Rating: 5 stars!
I love, love, love, loved this book. Plus one more love for emphasis. Chanda Hahn is such an amazing author! I purposely refused to read any of the reviews so that they wouldn't bias me while I was reading, and I think this helped me enjoy it even more than usual.

I have been wanting a book that I can fangirl about for a while now. This one fits the bill. So...just let me gush about Kael for a sec. And I am sorry that this isn't a proper review. I just...the amazingness has stunned me.

HE'S SO MYSTERIOUS!! Oh my goodness, I think he may even be better than Jared from Unenchanted (same author) You just want to read more about him.

And then there's Joss, who is the sweet and kind nice guy. (Therefore, I think Kael's going to be the guy Thalia ends up with, even though they currently have a love/hate, but mostly hate, relationship right now. They'll get together. Eventually.:D But back to Joss.) He's so sweet!

Now, Thalia. I thought she was a pretty cool character. She was able to overcome the torture the Septori put her through, and go from being a scared and meek victim to a pretty kick-butt heroine, in my humble opinion. I can see some people thinking that she wasn't strong enough, but my reply would be to think about how you would act if you were getting tortured by an evil cult, and all your memories were gone so you had no idea who you were. (Speaking of which...THAT ENDING! AHHHH!) So, I DO think she was a pretty strong heroine.

And Faraway! I can't leave him out of this review. I loved him! I can't say anything else, though, without giving away major spoiilers.

There were a few grammar mistakes in here, but they weren't too bad. Anyone who couldn't stand Unenchanted because of the spelling errors shouldn't be afraid to try out this book.

This was so good. I cannot wait to get my hands on The Steele Wolf!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True


How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True

By Sarah Strohmeyer

Blurb: From Sarah Strohmeyer, author of Smart Girls Get What They Want, comes this romantic comedy about one girl's summer job from hell. Think The Devil Wears Prada set in Disney World.

When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they've hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want?

Once Zoe arrives, however, she's assigned to serve "The Queen"-Fairyland's boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money.

Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe's job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams?

Genres: YA, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Published: April 23, 2013

Series: N/A

My Rating: 3.5 stars

This book full of light and fluffy fun. Like, really fluffy. Cotton Candy fluffy. Which is appropriate, because the book's about a theme park. Ultimately, this is what gave How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True the lower rating; because I was left wanting a bit more substance when it was over.

Originally, I picked this up because it was compared to Disney Land meets The Devil Wears Prada. (True statement, by the way.) But Fairyland isn't actually Disney Land, which makes a couple inconsistencies. For example, Fairy Land should NOT have a Grumpy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Those names came from the Disney version of Snow White. But, I disgress.

I didn't really feel a connection to any of the characters, but I didn't hate them either. They were just...characters. Zoe really didn't stand out to me. She was just kind of in the story. Does that even make sense? I'll just say it does and keep going.

But I did like the ending. It was cute and satisfying.

I do recommend this book, but I don't think it's for everyone. You have to be a person who doesn't mind extreme fluffiness, who doesn't need some deep message for a book to be good. Right now, I'm not in that category. So excuse me while I go pick up The Fault in Our Stars. (Well, actually it will be a while, because there are 35 holds at my library, but you get the point.)

Content: (I don't usually post this, but I just feel like I should for this one) More mature content than I usually read, but no sex or anything; just some passionate kissing, talk about hook ups (making out, not actual sex) and a boy says that his ego is not the only oversized thing about him. (Then quickly realizes it was an inappropriate statement)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: How To Get Dirt

How To Get Dirt

How To Get Dirt

By S.E. Campbell

Blurb: Pickles Bartley has always wanted one thing–to have a family of her own. In foster care since the age of three, she’s had more than her fair share of bad homes. There’s no way she is about to give up her new home with Miranda and David; she is determined to have them adopt her–even if it means following her friend Prudence’s advice: “You have to be ready and form a plan if you want them to keep you.” So they do. In one of her old foster homes, Prudence blackmailed her foster father when she caught him kissing a pretty woman. Pru-dence insists that Pickles does the same in a four step operation called “How to Get Dirt.”
Genres: Juvenile, Realistic Fiction
Published: April 15, 2013
Series: N/A
Similar: the Great Gilly Hopkins; The Pinballs
My Rating: 2 stars
I gave this the  below average rating because I feel like the author could have done so much with this kind of plot, but the story itself was underwhelming.

Pickles was just not a likeable character. She was too perfect for me. I thought tht her character would have more of a The Great Gilly Hopkinsor The Pinballs feel, but she was not at all like them. She was a bit of a Mary Sue.

Also, it was very, very, short. She spends about a fifth of the book actually trying to 'get dirt', and it's the very last part. Considering that this book is around 100 pages, the book really isn't about 'trying to get dirt'. It's more general than that. And the plot feels rushed because of the shortness.

All together, I was not a huge fan of How To Get Dirt. Some people will surely enjoy this story, but it was not one that I loved.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: Pieces of Heaven Amish Romance Boxed Set

The Complete Amish Romance Boxed Set Collection

Pieces of Heaven Amish Romance Boxed Set

By Becca Fisher

Blurb: Goodreads doesn't have one. Basically it's about three amish girls who find love. Okay.
Genres: Adult/YA, Christian, Romance,
Published: I'm not sure.
My Rating: 1.5 stars
This gif pretty much describes exactly how I feel about this book:
I strongly disliked it. So, while I am going to try to not be too mean to this book, please understand that this was a very painful book for me to get through and that the tone of my review will most likely reflect this.

I read this because well, it was a clean romance book. And a boxed set too! Three stories in one...for freeeeee! You can't pass that up, can you? Well, I couldn't, but I really should have.

First complaint: the characters are one-dimensional and basically are all alike with the exception of William, and that was only because he was a guy. Oh sure, the author TRIED to make them different--one of them has issues with her sister,they're good at different things , but it just didn't work. There was actually one secondary character, Grace, who I thought was pretty unique, but the main character's only major difference was their names.

Secondly, the dialogue felt forced and unreal. I would give examples, but I think that in order to get the full effect, you have to read the entire book. (Trust me, not a good idea. I suggest just taking my word for it.) Anyway, the characters just don't speak...normally. There's no other way to put it.

Third: it was rather boring! Sometimes, I can give a one-star worthy book up to three stars because the plot was still interesting, even though everything else stunk. But this book is about three Amish girls who find 'true wuv.' And the plot was very rushed, as well, though I didn't have a problem with that because, honestly, I couldn't wait for this book to be over.

Also, William's story was bizarre, and at least three quarters of it was a dream. A dream! You think he finds the girl of his dreams, and then the author says something along the lines of "then Daniel woke up." Ugh, I HATE when that happens!

No, I don't recommend this book. But, if you read the full review, it's pretty obvious that I don't. I don't know...maybe someone will like this, if they positively love Amish romances. But that doesn't mean I would recommend this to them.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: Agartha's Castaway Book 2 (Novelette Series)

Agartha's Castaway (Trapped In The Hollow Earth Novelette, #2)

Agartha's Castaway (Book 2 of the Novelette Series)

By Chrissy Peebles

Blurb: As of Oct. 5th, 2012, this manuscript has been revised, edited, and turned into a novelette series. Casey's POV has also been changed to first person.
The dream vacation that might just turn deadly...

Seventeen-year-old Casey Smith can't wait to embark on her summer vacation, not least because she's finally shed her tomboy image, and now heartthrob Mike seems interested. What starts out great, with lots of flirting, taking her a step closer to winning her crush's heart, soon turns into her worst nightmare.

Tossed out to sea during a freak storm, Casey is washed up on what she presumes to be a mysterious tropical island that's on no map she's ever seen.
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Published: October 9, 2012
Series: Trapped in the Hollow Earth Novelette Series Book 2
Rating: 3 stars
This was what I was hoping for; a quick and easy read. However, I had problems with it. Mostly, the fact that they have just been chased by man eating spiders, and none of them seems to be even slightly tramautized at all. Half of the story is them cracking jokes (even when they find prints in the sand belonging to a predator who could totally kill them. They think it is a giant bird, so they joke about getting Colonel Sanders....WHAT!!! If I had giant, man-eating bird tracks in my backyard, Colonel Sanders WOULD NOT be the first thing on my mind, I can tell you that.) and fighting over who gets to date Casey. Yes. You read that right...pssh, forget about that we're on a uber-freaky island and there are MAN EATING SPIDERS and DINOSOARS...I wuv you, Casey!!!!!

I like how the author writes, but I don't like how she caved in to the love triangle craze. The book would be sooooooooooooooooooo much better without it. I usually don't get annoyed by love triangles, but this book is not the right setting for one at all.

I'll be continuing the series for now, because I bught the first five books for free. I don't know if I would have continued otherwise, though.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: The Island of Lote

The Island of Lote

Island of Lote

By Emily Kinney

Blurb: Milo Hestler is a lonely, unusual, fourteen-year-old girl. She is constantly moving from home to home with her oblivious parents. The only friend she has is her conscience, whom she has named Bob. Her only comforts are cooking and listening to hip-hop. When her family moves yet again, Milo is bullied mercilessly by her classmates. Such treatment prompts her to travel to Australia for summer camp. During the plane ride, Milo awakens to find the plane deserted and about to crash. After parachuting into the ocean, she discovers she is near an island. Milo passes out, and upon waking, learns she was rescued by a boy named Simon, who is cute, but can't speak English. Not able to understand him, she accidentally says yes when he asks her to marry him. He leads her to a small town on the island, where they locate someone who can translate for them. Milo is outraged to hear that she is engaged to Simon and wants to call it off, but learns that this island has rules that cannot be broken. She must go through with the marriage against her will. After learning about the trick he played on her, Milo hates Simon, though it is obvious that sixteen-year-old Simon really likes her. What will happen next on The Island of Lote?
Genres: Romance, YA
Published: March 15, 2012
Series: N/A
My Rating: 4 stars
I really liked this book. I think the author has a lot of potential! (But a better editor is needed; the writing has a few mistakes in it, though it does not take away from the overall story) However, I had an issue with Simon--I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start with the positives of this story first, shall we?

First, I liked the plot. I used to love a game called Virtual Villagers, (Still do, I just beat every single game!) and when I saw the blurb for this book, I knew I had to read it. Islands are my kryptonite in stories!

Secondly, Milo. She is a strong, funny female role. Nothing weak and wimpy to see here, people! She knows what she stands for and she's not afraid to tell others when she thinks something is wrong.

Third; Simon... I guess. He's also a dislike in this story, for one reason that I'll talk about in the next paragraph. I thought that he was sweet for most of the book. He tries so hard to get Milo's approval, and honestly, if I were him I would have given up on her, so I admire that. But......

He punches her!!!!!! Okay, we need to understand the context here before I go on a rant. She has just tackled him and refuses to get off. She is wrestling with him, and it isn't the lovie-dovie fake kind of wrestling where they're just trying to flirt; we're talking WRESTLING. The author is not trying to promote abuse in this book; in the next sentence she talks about how you should never ever hit a girl (and uses about fifteen nevers, which I fully agree with. Which is why this was not acceptable to me) But it didn't excuse the fact that he PUNCHES HER! I just couldn't get over that fact, and it definitely put a damper on the whole "Oh, Simon is a great husband" message for me.

Other than that, I liked it. I think that Emily Kinney is a really good author, and seeing as this is only her first book, I can't wait to see what she'll do in the future.

I won this book from Goodreads First Reads. This in no way affects my review.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Finding Sanctuary

Finding Sanctuary (The Halcyon Legacy #2)

Finding Sanctuary

By Casey Hopper

Blurb: Know your enemy…

Kit Hawthorn knows who the enemy is this time. The man responsible for kidnapping her friend Jason last summer is the same man who tore her family apart years ago. And this time Kit will stop at nothing to bring the elusive Mr. V to justice.

Just months after her escape from London, Kit is still reeling from the knowledge that her dad is an operative for the top-secret organization known as Halcyon. She thought she knew everything about the mysterious circumstances surrounding her mom’s death, but more truths continue to be brought to light, causing Kit to question her place in her family’s legacy. Once more, she’s faced with a hard choice. She can either follow her instincts and hunt V down, sacrificing the carefully rebuilt trust between her and her dad, or she can sit back and watch V slip through their fingers again.

With her decision made, Kit decides to throw caution to the wind and follow V’s trail to South America. With their relationship on the rocks, Jason and Kit form an unsteady alliance and begin their most dangerous adventure yet. With every heartbeat, Kit will push herself to the limit, all for the sake of knowing the truth. Deep within the Amazon rainforest, on their way to the mysterious location known only as Sanctuary, she will discover there is far more at stake this time than her own revenge. When Kit finally gets the chance to confront V, she will be faced with the hardest choice of all; to once again be the victim, or to embrace her parent’s legacy and fight back against evil with all the strength she has.
Genres: YA, Action, Adventure, Mystery, Romance
Published: February 20, 2013
Series: Halcyon Legacy by Casey Hopper (Book 2)
My Rating: 4 stars
I liked this book better than London Escape, because it was a bit more original. There were a couple things that reminded me of a specific Criminal Minds episode, (can’t get into the details though, it would be too spoiler-y) but for the most part, I did not suffer from déjà vu while reading this.

Jason was a much bigger character in this story, and I must say, I didn’t like him as much as I wanted to. His joking around with Kit got on my nerves at times. Well, the content of his jokes did. Not that they are dirty or anything; I just would get annoyed if my ex-boyfriend joked around like that with me, and I definitely would have told him to knock it off. I highly doubt anyone else will be annoyed by this, though.

The action, really, is what I love about this series. It reminds me a tad of the Gallagher Girls books (the later ones, definitely not I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You), so naturally I love it! You won’t get bored with this series, that’s for sure.
After finishing this I know that I’ll be reading the next book. This is a great series, especially for people who like to read spy/thriller stories!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: New York, New York

New York, New York (Love, Tink #2)

New York, New York

By Elle Strauss

Blurb: Love, Tink Series is Enchanted meets Peter Pan.

In Episode Two, Tink makes it to Peter's New York and is more than a little daunted by what she discovers. Under the guise of Belle Fehr, Tink registers at the school Peter attends. Her dreamy reunion is crushed when she finds that not only does he not recognize her, he has a girlfriend named Wendy!
Genres: Juvenile/YA, Fantasy, Juvenile, Retellings, Romance
Published: February 1, 2013
Series: Love, Tink by Elle Strauss
Similar: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry
My Rating: 3 stars
Some of you guys, if you have seen my review of Love Tink, are probably wondering why the heck I read New York, New York. Well:

1. I have a bit of series OCD.
2. I wanted a quick read, and the other novelette series I have started was one that I hated even more than Love Tink.
3. It's a purple cover. I am a shallow cover judger, I know.

Here is something I was not expecting to say:

It isn't too bad.

Yes, Hook is still a crummy version of the real J.M. Barrie character. Yes, I am still way less than thrilled by the fact that Peter is a New Yorker. And, yes, this book had a couple new problems besides those.

But it was still pretty good compared to Love Tink. She didn't annoy me like before, and I think taking the book out of Neverland, which, if we are going to be honest, no one will EVER be able to do as well as J.M. Barrie himself (Check out Peter and the Starcatchers; they came closest) really helped this. Now, I don't think that you can just waltz in to a high school and be all "I'm going here now, but it's okay because I'm from, ummm, an obscure foreign country" is really plausible. At all. But I'm not going to dwell on that.

I did like the inclusion of Wendy into the series. Though, Wendy is a bit of a witch in here, and in the orginal book, Tinker Belle was the catty one. Whatever. I'll be able to deal with it.

This series has redeemed itself in my eyes. I'm cautiously hopeful to read the next Love, Tink!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: The Jerk Magnet

The Jerk Magnet (Life at Kingston High, #1)

The Jerk Magnet

By Melody Carlson

Blurb: When Chelsea Martin's future stepmother helps her transform from gawky and geeky into the hottest girl at her new school, Chelsea is pretty sure it's the best thing that ever happened to her. But her hot new look has a downside. She's attracting lots of guys who all have one thing in common: they're jerks. And stealing the attention of all the guys in school doesn't endear her to the girls either.

Chelsea finally finds a true friend in Janelle Parker, and a non-jerk, Nicholas, catches her eye. Janelle keeps telling her to be herself, but Nicholas is the only guy around who doesn't give her a second look. Can Chelsea and Janelle come up with a plan to get his attention? Or will Chelsea's new image ruin everything?

Teen favorite and bestselling author Melody Carlson helps girls uncover the real source of beauty in this true-to-life story of young love, friendship, and being yourself
Genres: YA, Chick-Lit, Christian, Humor, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Published: January 1, 2012
Series: Life At Kingston High by Melody Carlson
My Rating: 4 stars
Melody Carlson...this my be my favorite book by you yet. It was just so good. I'm serious, guys, I was contemplating giving this 5 stars, but there was one plot element that I wasn't okay with. I'll get to those in a second.
This book handles teen issues from a Christian perspective. It's probably the edgiest novel I've ever read; I'm not saying that it IS edgy, I'm saying that I'm not edgy at all. Even slightly. I still stick mainly to the Juvenile section, honestly. But this book didn't bother me at all with it's slightly more mature themes; (I'll be honest, they are pretty slight compared to what else is out there) I liked that Ms. Carlso handeled them from a Christian perspective, instead of just doing an average, safe Christian novel.
The one thing that I didn't like is that the plot kind of hinted, to me at least, that if you wear really cute clothes you'll attract a bunch of jerks.  I get what the author was trying to say- that you shouldn't judge others before you get to know them- but still, it did bother me.
Anyway, I would recommend this to teens ages 12-13+. It's a great story with a good message, for the most part. I am definitely going to read on in this series!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review: Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids, #1)

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings

By Helene Boudreau

Blurb: First zit. First crush. First…mermaid’s tail?

If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?

Most. Embarassing. Moment. Ever.

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But this revelation raises a serious question: if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?

Jade is determined to find out. But how does a plus-sized, aqua-phobic, mer-girl go about doing that, exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend Cori, and her crush, Luke?

This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…
Genres: YA, Chick-Lit, Fantasy, Humor, Romance, YA
Published: November 9, 2010
Series: Real Mermaids by Helene Boudreau
My Rating: 4.5 stars
This book is flipping awesome. The humor, the character flaws, the MERMAIDS...awesomeness.

Jade is a great heroine, in that she is. not. a. mary. sue. Finally! A character who has flaws, who doesn't have ten different guys who think she is the most beautiful human being they've ever laid eyes on, who isn't the girl that rules the school, and who does not have enough money to buy ten mansions and a yacht. She's REAL. She has problems that girls will relate to. She struggles with her weight. She is going through a rough patch with her friend. She recently lost her mom. And her dad embarasses her when she is talking to her crush.

The whole mermaid thing is great too. I have around four 'mermaid books' on my kindle waiting to be read, and I am pretty sure this one will be among my favorites. Not since Emily Windsnap have I enjoyed a book like this so much!

Also, the ending is wonderful. I want to read the sequel now, and badly. It's sigh worthy, it really is.

So, if you are thinking about reading this, I highly recommend it. Especially if you love humor (really, this book is so darn FUNNY), real problems, and a good book in general.

Stacking the Shelves #4

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's reviews to highlight the books we have received, downloaded, bought, or borrowed this week.
(Click the cover to see the book on Goodreads!)
How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler
Cave Dwellers  Gwen: A Love Story About a Girl, a Boy, and a Pit Bull  Eyes On Him: Spring Love   Diggers: The Sharp Edge of the Universe  Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders (Book 1)
Borrowed (From Ebook Library):
A Kiss in Time
What did you guys get this week?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: Love's Stormy Gale

Love's Stormy Gale

Love's Stormy Gale

By Lynette Sowell

Blurb: Two years ago, Olivia Shea was trying on her wedding gown, dreaming of marriage and motherhood. But her fisherman fiancé was lost at sea and Olivia fled, unable to stay in the New England fishing village. Now she's back in Fairport, determined to face her fears by working on a whale boat tour. But the charter's captain is the sole survivor of her fiancé's ill-fated voyage—a man of danger and memories.

Jonathan Barrotta's scars from the night he nearly died run as deep as the vast Atlantic. To prove himself and to honor his friend's memory, he vows to fulfill his dream of piloting his own boat. But a life at sea means a life without Olivia—the woman he's always secretly loved. How can he ask her to be a fisherman's wife? Only with the Lord guiding their way will Jonathan and Olivia chart a course toward home—together.
Genres: Adult, Christian, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Published: May 7, 2013
Series: N/A
My Rating: 2.5 stars
This book was...a book. (I know, I'm a genius.) There was nothing that made me want to turn the page, other than the desire to finish it so I could go on to another more exciting story. Harsh? Yes. But true. So why am I giving it the average rating? Because I have read books that made me want to chuck my iPad across the room, and this one didn't do that. I was able to read without getting mad at the book. But I was a tad bored.

Don't worry, I am not going to be completely brutal on this one. It's not a terrible book at all; don't get me wrong. But, adult romance isn't exactly my favorite genre. If you enjoy this genre, though, you may love this book. It just wasn't my cup of tea--no, take that back. It wasn't my cup of hot cocoa. I'm not a fan of tea.

Anyway, I found it cheesy. That's to be expected, of course-this is a Harlequin Romance for Christians, basically- but it's still not excusable.

Secondly, I was at times forcing myself not to skim, because honestly, I found Olivia to be very unlikeable. We get it; your to-be-husband died the day before your wedding. That is tragic; I am sorry for you. But that doesn't mean every single fisherman boyfriend is going to die like that, and it's not a good reason to refuse to date Jonathan. What happened was a freak accident. I got really mad that she was refusing to date him because of this, because it is obvious that they like each other a lot.

If you absolutely adore Christian romance, ignore this review, buy Love's Stormy Gale, and read to your heart's content. If not, take caution; this book may not be for you.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Review: The Vanishing Violin

The Vanishing Violin (The Red Blazer Girls, #2)

The Vanishing Violin

Michael D. Beil

Blurb: When there are mysteries to be solved, the Red Blazer Girls are on the case! The discovery of the Ring of Rocamadour has secured the girls' reputation as Upper East Side super-sleuths, bringing many sundry job requests (no mystery too small, right?) and some unwanted attention from crooks. This time the girls must follow a trail of cryptic clues, involving everything from logic to literature, to trace a rare violin gone missing. But nothing is as it appears, and just as a solution seems imminent, the girls find themselves scrambling to save the man who was once their prime suspect. Bowstrings and betrayal, crushes and codes abound in this suspenseful companion to the Red Blazer Girls' 2009 debut. Recent clues indicate that there'll be more mystery and mayhem to come!
Genres: Juvenile/YA, Humor, Mystery, Realistic Fiction
Published: August 10, 2010
Series: Red Blazer Girls by Michael D. Beil
Similar: Girl's Best Friend by Leslie Margolis
My Rating: 4 stars
The Red Blazer Girls series is #2 on my mental 'funniest series ever' list; second only to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. If you read this series, I can assure you you'll be giggling at least once. The Vanishing Violin was not quite as funny as the first book, but it was very close. And there was an awesome revenge plot in this book-BWAHAHAHAHA!

I really got to know Leigh Ann much better in this book. That goes for all the girls, really. There is also a new character, Mbingo. Who doesn't love a name like Mbingo? I really hope we get to see more of her in the next book, because....I like saying Mbingo.

The mystery in here was just as good as Ring of Rocamadour. I liked the plot twists, and, though it's true some people will be able to guess the ending, I didn't. cutie! In this book we are introduced to Andrew. Don't worry; Sophie doesn't date him. There will be no love triangles in here!

Oh, and Livvy Clack...oh how I love the 'mean girl' plot. Love, love, looooovvveeee. I won't get spoiler-y on y'all, but that girl got what was coming to her. And I was mentally cheering the whole time.

This was almost as good as the first installment of the Red Blazer Girls, and I really enjoyed it. It's a great series!

Stacking the Shelves #3

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's reviews to highlight the books we have received, downloaded, bought, or borrowed this week.
(Click the cover to see the book on Goodreads!)

Tempest (Destroyers #1)  Fins  The Search for Artemis (The Chronicles of Landon Wicker, #1)  Aurora Abroad Moonlit  The Complete Amish Romance Boxed Set Collection 

Borrowed (From E-book Library):

 Defiance (Defiance, #1)  The Healer's Apprentice  Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings  Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1)  Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1)  Saving Juliet

I am super excited to read all of these. What did you guys get this week?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: My Very UnFairy Tale Life

My Very UnFairy Tale Life (My Very UnFairy Tale Life, #1)

My Very UnFairy Tale Life

By Anna Staniszewski

Blurb: You know all those stories that claim fairies cry sparkle tears and elves travel by rainbow? They're lies. All lies.
I've spent my life as an official adventurer. I travel across enchanted kingdoms saving magical creatures and fighting horrible beasts that most of you think are only myths and legends. I've never had a social life. My friends have all forgotten me. And let's not even talk about trying to do my homework. So -- I'm done!! I'm tired and I want to go back to being a normal girl. But then along comes "Prince Charming" asking for help, and, well, what's a tired girl like me supposed to do? 

Genres: Juvenile, Fantasy, Humor

Published: November 1, 2011

Series: My Very UnFairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski

My Rating: 3 stars

I had mixed feelings about this book. It was...bizarre, to say the least. But even so, I found it entertaining!

This was definitely a fluff read. The fact that I could read this without problems on only five hours of sleep says a LOT. However, despite all my problems with this book, I managed to enjoy it. Maybe not 'read the sequel NOW' enjoyment, but an 'aww, that's cute' enjoyment. Unicorns learn to share? Cute. Gnomes who like chocolate? Cute! Lamb princes who needs rescuing? Very cute!

I have a feeling that this author has coulrophobia. The antagonist was not only an evil sorceror, he was also a clown. (Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns, and no...I do not know if it is spelled exactly like that.) This is where the bizarre label comes in. I mean...a sorceror clown? Really? Creative, I guess, but...come on.

Plus the aunt who baked things with animal food in them. Ew. And the animals who had no mouths. -cue the creepy music-

To summarize, there are two words that I would use to describe this book: cute and bizarre. No, it's not the highest praise I've ever given a book, but I didn't hate it.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: The Plantation

The Plantation (The Plantation, #1)

The Plantation

By Stella Samiotou Fitzsimons

Blurb: A century has passed since they arrived. Human history has been erased. Children are enslaved on Alien plantations. Some have heard whispers of the existence of a rebel band of humans who roam free in the forests. Most slaves dare not speak of the rebels for fear the mutant guards will grab and make an example of them.

Seventeen-year-old Freya is pulled away in the night not by the mutants, but by her old friend Finn, to join the Saviors, the mythic band of rebel teens. Her bliss fades when she discovers she is the only Savior without a special ability. She is the odd one out, slowly pushing Finn away, defying Damian, the leader of the Saviors, and antagonizing the fierce and beautiful Daphne. In her despair Freya reaches deep within to discover a dark destiny, a truth so heavy it threatens to destroy her.
Genres: YA, Action, Science Fiction, Romance, Dystopian
Published: December 21, 2012
Series: The Plantation by Stella Samiotou Fitzsimons
My Rating: 3 stars
This was an interesting story! I really haven't read many 'alien invasion' books, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I did enjoy the Plantation.

The story doesn't truly pick up until the end. By then, there are secrets revealed, love triangles made, and an ending that, even if you hated the whole story, will make you at least interested in Book 2.

However, before that, I was a tad bored. Freya's character was not one that I really liked. Her emotions at a couple points seemed forced. Because of this, I couldn't really identify with her character.

Also...there were a few comma splices. I know, I know, I get so nitpicky with grammar! The grammar wasn't TOO bad in this book, but it was enough to distract me from the story once or twice.

I recommend this to alien invasion/sci-fi readers. It is an interesting book, but I did not like all the characters.