Review for [technically] DEAD (DEAD[ish] #2) by Naomi Kramer

(Technically) Dead by Naomi Kramer

TITLE: (Technically) Dead
SERIES: Dead(ish) #2
AUTHOR: Naomi Kramer
PUBLICATION DATE: October 29, 2010
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 100 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

Cooper’s dead and is shocked as hell to discover that Heaven is technologically challenged with not a single computer in site. Fuck that, he quickly returns back to Earth to walk around bored and confused until Linda shows up with orders from on high to help his lardass find peace.

I was a huge fan of the first story in this series, Dead(ish) and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. Though I don’t particularly like Cooper, he’s story was quite amusing and you still get plenty of Linda’s bad attitude to help it along. Trent also makes an appearance and that had me over the moon because I loved him in the first one. My only complaint is that this seemed shorter than the first one. But then, I felt like the first one was a bit short as well….and it’s probably only because I just want more of Linda & Trent!

If you liked Dead(ish) or are into comedic stories with tons of foul language, this is definitely for you!

Review for Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

TITLE: Beautiful Darkness
SERIES: Caster Chronicles #2
AUTHOR: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
PUBLICATION DATE: October 12, 2010
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown, And Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc
PAGES: 503 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

We pick up pretty closely after the ending of Beautiful Creatures. Ethan and Lena struggle to hold on to their relationship despite the constant turmoil of Lena’s life and all the unknown facts Ethan discovers about his and his families past. But the death of Macon was too much to take and soon Lena is pulling away and Ethan is having visions of Macon’s past. Now the countdown to Lena’s seventeenth moon has begun and no one knows what the future holds for her.

Rating this book was just as hard as rating the first. From the moment I started this story, I was instantly irritated at it. The pacing was much slower than the first book with a lot less action in the beginning. For most of the novel, I was reviewing it in my head, watching its star rating drop lower and lower as I thought up scathing things to say to warn people to stay far away. I felt like the authors were hiding in a dark corner, laughing manically because they knew I was suffering. I could hear them whispering in my head, “Ha! We fooled you! We gave you a great first that lacked the things you hate and now, just when we have lulled you into a false sense of security, we are going to throw every cliché you loathe right at you!”

The hero and heroine splitting up, love triangles, angsty angsty angst. Not to mention the amount of southern clichés that are so in your face, I have a hard time ignoring them. I live in the goddamn south, in a relatively small town (so small there is one lonely grocery story and not a single fast food restaurant) and I can assure you that I don’t know half the people there, much less every single one and all the gossip associated with them. I can attest that there are plenty of small-minded individuals here, but not everyone is. I’m almost insulted by the way they describe their world.

The more I read, the anger I became. Lena’s being a fucking moron, Ethan is just letting it happen, Link is so hung up over Ridley, he can’t see straight, and then they introduce a new female character who is naturally attracted to Ethan. Lena ends up running off with another Caster/Incubus hybrid and the tale is a clusterfuck of everything any book with Middle Book Syndrome has. There were parts where I just had to read something else because the urge to stop completely was too much to take.

Then, about 400 pages in (a pretty long way to go to get to the good parts, I know), things started to get better. Ethan stops being an idiot and goes after Lena. Link & Liv (the new annoying point on the triangle) follow him to what appears to be a make believe land and they battle darkness to save Lena. The last 100 or so pages are well worth the annoyances of the preceding ones. Everything comes together in ways I wasn’t expecting ****SPOILER****AND MACON IS ALIVE!!!!
NOT DEAD NOT DEAD NOT DEAD!!!! Sorry, but he was my favorite character and I’m beyond thrilled that I’ll get to see more of him in the next book.****END SPOILER****

I really recommend it for anyone who enjoyed the first novel. Yes, it goes downhill pretty fast, but if you can make it through the bad bits, there is a surprise waiting for you at the end!

Review for Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

TITLE: Warm Bodies
SERIES: Warm Bodies #1
AUTHOR: Isaac Marion
PUBLICATION DATE: October 28, 2010
PUBLISHER: Emily Bestler Books/Atria Paperbacks, an division of Simon & Schuster Inc
PAGES: 239 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
RATING: 4 stars

I had heard a small amount of buzz about the upcoming Warm Bodies film on several blogs, but it never really grabbed my interest….then I saw the full preview for the film and was hooked. I immediately went to my local bookstore to purchase a copy of the book only to learn that I’d either have to buy a used one online or wait a few months because they had stopped publishing it to redesign the cover to match the film.

I couldn’t make my mind up on whether to wait or to go ahead and buy a used one because I wasn’t entirely crazy about the original cover, but on the same note, I don’t generally like the movie book covers. Then a friend said she was planning on buying it for me for my birthday and problem solved. The book arrived and I’m genuinely glad I waited because I really love the new cover.

I mean, look at it. Teresa Palmer and Nicholas Holt make that red cover pop. ::drools::…anyway, enough rambling on onto reviewing.

Warm Bodies is told in first person from the perspective of R, a zombie. You may be wondering what R stands for and you can keep wondering because he has no idea. He has forgotten his name, all the zombies have. He feels lucky to remember that letter, that’s more than most can remember. He isn’t your typical zombie, he genuinely feels bad about killing people and eating their brains….that’s not enough to stop him from doing it, but he is definitely conflicted about it. Then he eats Perry’s brain and everything changes. Perry was in love with Julie and now R can’t help but feel some of that emotion. He saves her from the horde of zombies with him and basically kidnaps her. The bond they form is the beginning of a major change in him and in all the zombies in general.

After reading the book, I’m insanely curious on how they are going to portray everything in the movie. Voiceovers are going to be a must and how exactly do they plan on handling Perry? Are they going to change it? Edit those parts out? Throughout the story, Perry actually talks to R. Yeah, dead Perry, the one whose brain R on nom nomed on at the beginning of the novel. You’ll have to read it to get the full picture, but I want to know how the film-makers are going to handle that. Whoa, off topic again.

This book is really amazing. It’s an unique take on zombies that I wasn’t expecting. It’s well written and completely addictive. It’s one of those stories where you just can’t stop reading because you have to know what happens next. I recommend it for everyone looking for an unexpected love story.

Review for Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

TITLE: Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares
AUTHOR: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
PUBLICATION DATE: October 11, 2011
PAGES: 260 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 5 stars

Dash is minding his own business over Christmas break, roaming the shelves of his favorite bookstore, The Strand, when he comes across something rather odd. It’s a red moleskin notebook that is daring him to play a game with its owner. After completing several tasks in the store, he is supposed to leave it with the surly man at the information desk with his contact info tucked inside a second book and wait for her to get in touch. However, Dash thinks that is far too simple so instead of leaving contact info, he leaves a new set of tasks for the mystery book writer to complete. When Lily receives the book from her cousin Mark at The Strand, she is shocked to see the guy who accepted her challenge has dared her in return. A little nervous, she completes his tasks and then leaves the book yet again for him. Thus begins Dash & Lily’s adventure.

Dash is the most unique male character I have read since…well since Nick from N&NIF. A self-proclaimed persnickety, bookish teen boy obviously wins my affections instantly. Add to that his sense of humor and the manner in which he speaks and whoa boy, I’m in love. His parents are divorced and literally don’t speak to each other so he has managed to get a Christmas holiday all to himself by assuring both parents that he is spending the holidays with the other. He intends to spend his days off with solitude and several good books, but Lily changes all that.

Lily wasn’t exactly what I expected. She’s just a quiet girl who enjoys soccer and loves the Christmas season in ways most teenagers have outgrown. This year, her parents have managed to ruin this holiday by taking a second honeymoon to Fiji instead of staying in NYC with Lily and her brother. A brother who is ignoring Lily in favor of a new boyfriend. All alone, she is trying to make the best out of this bad situation and finally break out of her shell a bit when she goes out on this adventure with Dash.

Watching these two go back and forth, connecting in ways neither really thought was possible had me so enraptured that I may have had this book hidden under my desk in class so I could read while I was supposed to be listening to a lecture. Whoops. It was so worth it though. This novel has everything I look for in a good book. It’s sweet, well written, good characterization, interesting plot, and has so much humor packed into it that I am beyond words to describe it. The only phrase I can think of is “laugh out loud funny” and that just doesn’t seem to do it justice. Especially when Dash gets in the room with Ms Basil E. Both characters seemed so real, that I can’t help wonder if they really are running around in New York right now. I must be on a fucking roll or something because I’ve genuinely liked every one of the past 10 or so books I’ve read. Considering how picky I am, that’s quite the accomplishment. This would have to be my favorite of all the books I’ve read this month…well maybe a tie between this and Pushing The Limits

For those like me, who loved Nick & Norah, you’ll find references in here that will make you want to run back to your shelf to re-read your favorite moments. If you liked that, then you’ll love this. I think this is a book that anyone will enjoy. It leaves you with a smile on your face and a hope that maybe we all aren’t as alone in this world as we seem. Seriously people, GO READ IT!

****Thank you to Harlequin UK Ltd for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Beautiful Demons (Peachville High Demons #1) by Sarra Cannon

Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon

TITLE: Beautiful Demons
SERIES: Peachville High Demons #1
AUTHOR: Sarra Cannon
PUBLICATION DATE: October 29, 2010
PUBLISHER: Dead River Books
PAGES: 136 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

Man, it feels like forever since I’ve posted a review. Life has just been hectic lately. But fear not, I will never give up reading/reviewing. I started this book because my baby sister has been singing its praises and quite honestly, I saw that the first one was free on Amazon and figured I had nothing to lose. I had seen this book before, but the cover didn’t really grab my attention and I don’t like downloading books I’m not sure I want to read. Well..that’s not entirely true, I download WAY too many free amazon books because I mean they are free and I’ll get around to them eventually, right? I’m one of those crazy people who searches the interwebs for lists of new free ebooks (but hey, I’ve gotten some great deals, I got Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey for free and many other things). But for what ever reason, this one just didn’t grab my attention. I’m glad I gave it a try though. This book is a rollercoaster ride wrapped in a mystery dipped in intrigue and romance. So what’s not to love?

Harper Madison has been deemed a troubled case. Given up for adoption at birth, she went into foster care and lived with her adopted family for 8 years…until a tragic fire that she accidentally started ruined everything. Since then, she has bounced from home to home always being thrown out for one reason or another. Shadowford Home for Girls in Peachville GA is her last chance. If she fucks this up, she’ll be put in juvenile detention until her 18th birthday. She’s trying to put her best face forward but when she ends up being connected to the murder of a classmate, things slide out of control.

I loved Harper instantly. She was quirky, troubled, and rebellious in her own ways. She had no desire to become a cheerleader and fall into the popular crowd. Instantly crushing on the incredibly hot Jackson who is by far the most interesting character in the book (and sadly you don’t get to see enough of him.) For the first half of the book, I was in love with all of it. The mystery of what was happening, who Harper’s birth mother really was, would she end up with Jackson, and what the hell was up with all the secrets. Then, almost at the midway point exactly, everything turns. Harper starts forgetting important things and completely changes. She starts hanging out with the popular cheerwhorecheerleaders, develops a crush the assholequarterback of the football team and looses every quality that I liked about her.

WHAT THE FUCK? I was equally tempted to stop reading out of sheer annoyance and continue reading to find out what the hell happened. Obviously the latter won out. Sadly, things are rocky from that point out. The oh so delicious relationship with Jackson goes out the window and no one will explain what is going on to her. You hear snippets from her eavesdropping, but no one will answer her questions outright. Then it ends brutally with a cliffhanger.

So why four stars?

Put simply, I couldn’t put it down. Once I got past the first few chapters, I had to keep going and now I desperately want to buy book 2. Yep, that’s right folks, queen of kindle freebies is going to actually buy a kindle edition. I realize it’s only a dollar, but it’s a big accomplishment for me to pay for a digital copy when I typically like to get something physical for my money. Another reason is that the story felt entirely unique. I’ve never read a story with similar to this and I didn’t see the twist coming at all, like not in my wildest dreams did I think it would end the way it did. Shock and awe, people, shock and awe.

I feel very proud after reading this, not only because I have gained a new author to follow, but I have officially read my first book by an indie author. That’s right Sarra, you are my first. I intend to read many many more indie books now. 🙂

For all those who read ebooks, I highly recommend this one. It’s the first in a series of six, I believe and it’s well worth your time. It’s free on amazon, barnes and noble, and smashwords, so what have you got to lose?

Review for Heal the Wounded (Wounded #2) by Lynn Dove

Heal The Wounded by Lynn Dove

TITLE: Heal The Wounded
SERIES: Wounded #2
AUTHOR: Lynn Dove
PUBLICATION DATE: October 18, 2010
PUBLISHER: Word Alive Press
PAGES: 210 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Goodreads First Reads
RATING: 1 star

I must say that I am thoroughly disappointed with this book. I was more than a little nervous to start this novel because it is a Christian novel and I am….well let’s just say I’m not. Though the Christian elements were always present, it’s not what bothered me the most. There were several things that bothered me much more and that it what I will discuss here.

I found that the author didn’t seem to really know how to write a believable teen voice. This novel follows 4 families on their journey to get over the death of a loved one and varies other issues that arise and while the adults sounded very real, the teens sounded fake to me. The all felt very forced. Leigh, if we assume is a believable character, is very shallow and selfish, claiming to love Jake with all her heart and yet she dumps him just because she thinks he is going to leave her. After this, she completely avoids him. She has to leave town for a few months and blatantly refuses to respond to his calls or texts or emails. As soon as she arrives at her grandparents, were she is to stay, she falls head over heels for another guy. She does claim to feel minimal guilt about Jake, but has no issues blazing on in this new relationship. In real time, she is only out of town for a little over a week before she comes back to help out a neighbor, but in that time she has managed to get over Jake and “fall in love” (read lust) with Dylan. Poor Jake was the only teen character that seemed believable to me. He’s struggling with depression and doubting his faith because bad things just keep happening to him. First his best friend gets pregnant and dies in childbirth, then his mom gets breast cancer, and finally Leigh dumps him just because he has been a bit distant lately. For all you wondering, by the end of this novel, he’s back to being confident about his faith, but I enjoyed seeing him struggle with it.

I also felt like this novel was much too short to follow so many characters. It isn’t even 200 hundred pages yet it attempts to follow 4 different families (each with 2 or more perspectives) through a death of a friend, a house fire, and a cancer diagnosis. Plus, the story doesn’t even end. It just does stops. Nothing is resolved beyond a surgery removing all of the cancerous cells in the cancer victim. Leigh and Jake still haven’t talked, the house that burned isn’t rebuilt, and so many other issues haven’t really been touched on. I hate books that stop rather than end, but I hate it more when that is the end of the story. I realize life doesn’t tie everything up in a neat little bow for you, but some things do get resolved. It looks like there is a sequel planned, but as I could barely tolerate this novel, I won’t be reading the next.

Now for the one religious element that I can’t ignore. This novel almost felt like an attack to those people who don’t follow the Christian faith. In this entire novel, there are 4 characters that are not Christian. One is a teen boy who has lost his faith after the death of his sister. He cuts himself and enjoy watching graphic videos online showing animal cruelty. Two are a married couple with a son who just recently found Christ. They are both abusive towards the son. The father is also a drunk who apparently killed 2 people in a drunk driving car wreck. The fourth person is a doctor who shows a considerable urge to convert after praying with a family. The message this sends me is that everyone who isn’t a Christian with no intent to convert is evil and I don’t like that message. Oh and there was one questionable character. Dylan makes no comments either way. My thoughts on Dylan are this, he’s a bit creepy. He’s related to the 2 people who were killed in the drunk driving accident and the ending felt very much like a set up to see him go a bit psycho. Now that is pure conjecture, but that was the impression I got from him.

All in all, I disliked this book intensely.

****Thank you to Lynn Dove for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor #1) by Lisa Kleypas

Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

TITLE: Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor
SERIES: Friday Harbor #1
AUTHOR: Lisas Kleypas
PUBLICATION DATE: October 26, 2010
PUBLISHER: St Martin’s Press
PAGES: 211 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Goodreads First Reads
RATING: 4 stars

Generally, I try to stay away from contemporary romance (I’m more of a historical romance girl), but I love everything I’ve read by Lisa Kleypas, so I wanted to give this one a shot.

It was a great story, wonderfully written, with real emotional content. I enjoyed it completely. My only real complaint is that it was a bit to short for my liking. It felt a bit rushed.

****Thank you to McMillan Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Blindfolds (Wicked #0.5) by Lisa Campbell

Blindfolds by Lisa Campbell

TITLE: Blindfolds
SERIES: Wicked #0.5
AUTHOR: Lisa Campbell
PUBLICATION DATE: October 4, 2010
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 208 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Goodreads First Reads
RATING: 3 stars

This is, in my opinion a young adult fiction novel worth reading. It is the story of Ashley Stevens’ first semester in college and her relationship with Natalie, a new found friend and Jeremy, a love interest. It is set in modern times and told from the first person perspective.

Blindfolds was a quick read that kept my attention. What is Natalie hiding? What will happen with Jeremy? How will Ashley’s first meeting with her fraternal grandmother go? I just had to know. I have read other reviews say it has a rather abrupt ending and I have to agree. I can’t say much without giving the ending away, but I think the book could benefit from an additional chapter or even a very brief epilogue. That being said, I still liked the ending.

My only annoyance with this book is a personal one. When Ashley has to pick a novel from a list to read for school, she picks Wuthering Heights. This has become a complete and total cliche and drives me completely bonkers. It seems like every book I pick up here lately has the main heroine reading (and adoring) Wuthering Heights. Seriously people variety is the spice of life and there are TONS of classical novels to choose from. Read The Picture Of Dorian Gray or Great Expectations or The Phantom Of The Opera, something different!

****Thank you to Lisa Campbell for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review****