Apr 23, 2014

"Come Home to Me" by Brenda Novak


Title: Come Home to Me

Author: Brenda Novak

Series: Whiskey Creek, #6

Publisher: Harlequin

Imprint: Harlequin MIRA

Publication date: March 25th, 2014


My rating: 3.5 of 5


(Book read on April 17th-18th, 2014,  from a review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)   


Summary:

 

Home is where her heart is... 

When Presley Christensen returns to Whiskey Creek with her little boy after two years away, she has completely changed her life. She's made peace with her past and overcome the negative behavior that resulted from her difficult childhood. Now she's back in the small town that was the closest thing to "home" she ever knew—the town where she can be with the sister who's her only family.

There's just one catch. Aaron Amos still lives in Whiskey Creek, at least until he moves to Reno to open a branch of the Amos brothers' auto body shop. And no matter how hard she's tried, Presley hasn't been able to get over him. Seeing him again makes the longing so much worse. But she hopes she can get through the next few months, because she can't fall back into his arms…or his bed. She's come too far to backslide now. And there's a secret she's been guarding - a secret she'll do anything to protect.
 



My Thoughts on the Book:

 

When I read When Snow Falls a few months ago, I was left dying to read Presley & Aaron's story. They had been through so much (especially Presley), so I couldn't wait for their happily ever after.

But, this book wasn't everything I wanted it to be. I wish it was more concentrated on the relationship between Aaron & Presley - I wish we saw more of its development & the romance, instead of being told that it happened. And the secondary storyline with Cheyenne & Dylan was kinda awful, and totally diminished my enjoyment of this book. If I was in Dylan's shoes, and someone did that to me, I would definitely feel betrayed, so I really did not like it. She just used Aaron to get what she wants, and it was really selfish of her, despite her "unselfish reason". I wouldn't have minded if Dylan knew about it, and he agreed, that would've been good solution, but going behind his back - no, just, no!

Now, after getting that off of my chest - overall, I liked a lot this book (not counting Cheyenne's storyline). Wyatt was adorable, and Aaron was amazing with him. Presley was too unsecure, and despite having changed herself a lot, she was stubborn, and didn't want to accept that Aaron isn't the same guy, and has changed, too. So, I can't say that I quite liked her in this book, though I still kinda liked her from When Snow Falls. As I said, everything she's been through, she deserved her HEA, and with the guy he loves (Aaron), not with the next best thing a.k.a Riley. I really, really did not like Riley. I wanted to, but couldn't. I'm guessing he isn't as bad & unlikable as he seemed in this book, but to be honest - I don't care.

The chemistry between Presley & Aaron was great, I just wish there was more romance between them. And I really, really liked Aaron, he's awesome, and yummy, and so sexy, and just so good. And I was glad that he didn't give up. And the ending was just so sweet, and finally - romantic.

Come Home to Me is enjoyable addition to the Whiskey Creek series, and if you've enjoyed When Snow Falls, and you're interested in Presley & Aaron, then this book is a must-read, and I recommend it!
 
 
 

Challenges: 


Apr 22, 2014

"Dead Silent" by Sharon Jones


Title: Dead Silent

Author: Sharon Jones

Series: Poppy Sinclair, #2

Publisher: Hachette Children's Books

Imprint: Orchard Books

Publication date: February 6th, 2014


My rating: 3 of 5


(Book read on April 21st, 2014,  from a review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)  
 

Summary:



A snow angel etched in blood. An elite society. A secret dying to get out.
​ 
Shrouded in secrets, the truth is murder...
  
When Poppy Sinclair and her boyfriend visit snowy Cambridge, she doesn't expect to discover the body of a student - arms outstretched in the act of smearing bloody angel wings on the chapel's floor.
 
Suddenly, Poppy is faced with the possibility that the one closest to her heart might be the one committing the most malicious of crimes.
 
Dodging porters and police, dreading what she might find, Poppy follows the clues left by a murderer bent on revenge...
 
Long-hidden secrets are chillingly revealed, an avenging angel seeks forgiveness and red-hot vengeance must be quelled in the amazing new Poppy Sinclair thriller.

 

 
 

My Thoughts on the Book:

 
 
Dead Silent is actually the 2nd Poppy Sinclair novel, and I haven't read the first one before delving into this one. But, despite that, I found myself totally wrapped up in the characters & their story from the very beginning. It was like meeting old friends. The author gives us enough info at the beginning so the reader will feel like (s)he knows them, and that's how I felt.

My favorite part about this book was actually the friendship & chemistry between the two main characters - Poppy & Michael. They were just perfect for each other.

As for the story itself, it was interesting. I loved the visual of Cambridge, it felt like I was there, and I loved the mix of history with fiction, it delivered interesting & compelling story that I enjoyed.

I guess I'd say that the first half (or maybe even the two first thirds) of the novel were quite better then the last one. The ending was ok, but I guess the fact that I already knew who the killer was diminished my enjoyment a bit.  

Dead Silent is actually contemporary YA thriller, with a touch of the paranormal. I didn't mind the paranormal flair, though maybe it should've been more present. I guess the author will bring more of that in the next books, this book was more about the relationship between Poppy & her dad, and Poppy & her boyfriend.

I just might go back and read the first book Dead Jealous, and I might pick up the next book in the series. There's just something about Sharon Jones's writing & I want to read more. So, if you enjoy YA mysteries & thrillers, I recommend this enjoyable read.
 
 
 

Apr 21, 2014

"She Is Not Invisible" by Marcus Sedgwick


Title: She Is Not Invisible

Author: Marcus Sedgwick

Publisher: Macmillan's Children Publishing Group
 
Imprint: Roaring Brook Press

Publication date: April 22nd, 2014


My rating: 4.5 of 5


(Book read from April 14th to April 16th, 2014,  from a review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)  
 
 

Summary:

  
 
Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers - a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. 
 
But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness. 
 
She Is Not Invisible is an intricate puzzle of a novel that sheds a light on the delicate ties that bind people to each other.
  



 

My Thoughts on the Book:



She Is Not Invisible is only the second book by Marcus Sedgwick that I've read, and I really can't wait to read more. It seems that all of his books are peculiar & unique in their own way, and definitely unforgettable.

I loved delving in the story in She Is Not Invisible, as well as Laureth's world, and her dad's mind. The way this book is written, is simply brilliant & I loved every second of it.

And most of all - I loved all of the characters. Laureth is so amazing, and I loved her voice. And Benjamin is so adorable (Stannous, too). And than there's the strange 12-year-old boy - Mr. Michael Walker (which I also loved).

The story is told through Laureth's "eyes", and she (along with her 7-year-old brother) fly to New York to find her father. He's an author, and he's missing, and the only thing that's found is his Black Book (where he notes all of his writing ideas, and never parts with), so Laureth knows something is wrong, and wants to find out what happened.

This novel is not-your-usual YA contemporary mystery, that will weave its magic around you, and before you know it, you're caught, and won't be able to stop because you'll want to know what will happen next. It's fun, humorous, sad, interesting & intriguing, and suspenseful - just such a great story, from the beginning to its very end!

She Is Not Invisible is an unforgettable tale about family & love, with a great message at the end, which only made it even more awesome. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a copy of this book asap, 'cause Marcus Sedgwick is definitely one brilliant author you don't want to miss out on.
 
 
 

Apr 13, 2014

"Taste of Darkness" by Maria V. Snyder

 
Title: Taste of Darkness

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Series: Healer, #3
 
 
My rating: 3 of 5


(Book read from April 8th to April 13th, 2014.)
 
 

Summary:



She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?
  
Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.
 
But there's a more immediate threat: The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.
 
Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.
   

 

My Thoughts on the Book:



Taste of Darkness is the final book in the Healer trilogy. I loved the first two books: Touch of Power & Scent of Magic, and I loved the characters & the world Maria V. Snyder had created in them. But, unfortunately, Taste of Darkness wasn't as good. Both as a fantasy book, and as a finale of a series, it was on the disappointing side. There's a good possibility there will be spoilers in the review below.
 
The whole story was kind of a mess, to be honest. The characters kept running around, not knowing this or that, looking for this person or that person, everything happened on the spur of the moment, and to be honest, I didn't really care anymore. I just kept reading so I can finish it & get it over with. I still liked it, but I was annoyed with the fact that characters I loved in the previous books started to annoy me, and they kept getting on my nerves more & more as I was reading, and I'm sad to say that Taste of Darkness was quite an average read for me.

I think that I would've preferred if the author decided on the whole war path, without the whole Skeleton King storyline, which I think it was quite unnecessary. Tohon was evil enough, and the Skeleton King was only crazy & a psycho, but not really scary. Oh, so he's a cannibal, wow, I guess I should be scared. Sick, sure, but scared, no. So, he bored me, even though he was one crazy guy.

And Tohon, oh how you irritated me with all of your dreams. And that was another thing that bored me. Yeah, they were vital for the storyline, but they were repetitive & boring. But, in the end, I still loved seeing him in person, and I loved hating him then. Tohon is brilliant, too bad he was an evil one, and he was too arrogant, but that made him the perfect villain.

I wasn't a big fan of the new magic Kerrick had. It was cool at first, but I preferred his original one. Also, Kerrick lost his charm, and started to irritate me most of the time, but not always. The same goes for Avry. I didn't like her anymore as a character, as for the rest of the gang, at the beginning they made me laugh as before, but soon they stopped being funny, and started to irritate me, and soon I didn't care about any of them. The only one I still cared at least tiny bit before this book was over was Flea, and of course I still loved Danny. I wish there was more of him & of Noak & the northern tribes.

That being said, this book wasn't bad. Some parts were pretty good, but some quite average, and it seems while the author tried to tie together all of those loose ends in one whole, the story ended up being a mess, because she probably didn't want to leave anything unresolved. So, kudos to her for doing that, for wrapping up everything nicely.

The story itself & where she was going with it (as well as the ending) was interesting enough, but before we got to that part - I didn't really care anymore. I wish it was executed better, and it flowed better. But, if you enjoyed the previous books, you should definitely read this last book & see how everything wraps up for Avry & the rest.

Taste of Darkness is a nice conclusion to the series, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Maria V. Snyder's books!


 

Challenges:

 

"The Purple Girl" by Audrey Kane


Title: The Purple Girl

Author: Audrey Kane

Illustrators: Tory & Norman Taber

Publisher: Wakefield & Quincy Press

Publication date: January 8th, 2014


My rating: 1.5 of 5


(Book read on April 6th, 2014,  from a review copy received from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)  


Summary:
  
 
CAUTION! Violet lives within the pages of this book. 
And her purple spreads to everything she touches...

Violet lives behind garden walls. Is she magical? Is she the devil's child-or simply cursed? When the lonely thirteen-year-old embarks on a dangerous journey to find the one boy that dared to befriend her, she travels at night ... in the dark ... to keep people from seeing her purple skin. But no one is more surprised than Violet when she unlocks her mysterious gift.

Go where adventure, discovery and magic meet! 

Although this fun read captures the imagination of middle grade readers, discrimination is at the core of the novel ... but so are possibilities, and they appear everywhere.
  
 


My Thoughts on the Book:

 


I really, really wanted to enjoy The Purple Girl. It actually started quite interesting, but soon the story itself fell apart for me. The story wasn't fun, the characters weren't interesting, and it wasn't imaginative, and that ending, it was just so plain awful. It could've been good, but it wasn't :(

I know that it's supposed to be a book about discrimination, ok, but it felt forced, and a little bit preachy, and the story itself mostly didn't make any sense, and just wasn't good :( Even with such a short read I was thinking about giving up & not finishing it, but in the end I made myself read it until the end.

The only thing I liked about this book were the illustrations. They were quite lovely, and it would've been better if there were more of them.

I can't recommend this book, because it didn't work for me, and I really, really did not like it, and I'm kinda sad about it, but then again, we can't love everything...
  
   

Challenges: