Sep 30, 2010

Challenge Wrap-Up: Cozy Mystery Challenge 2010!

For the challenge I read the following books:
1. The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts - review
2. Devil May Ride by Wendy Roberts - review
3. Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck - review
4. Dating Can Be Deadly by Wendy Roberts - review 
5. Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie - review
6. Dead and Kicking by Wendy Roberts - review

#174 - "Dead and Kicking" by Wendy Roberts

Sadie Novak cleans up crime scenes for a living and is also blessed - or cursed - with the gift of second sight. This time she's digging out the home of a compulsive hoarder. She discovers unexpected things, including an angry ghost who wants her to go away. And there are even more secrets beneath the surface that someone will kill to keep buried. 
My rating: 3 of 5
My thoughts on the book:
I have to admit that I was disappointed with this one! I loved the previous 2 books in the series, so when compared - this one was lacking a lot! I just didn't liked where the story with Zack was going! Also, it felt for me like the mystery was the subplot, not the main plot! Overall, it was ok & I still enjoyed it & I'll definitely read the next book in the series when it'll be released (I just hope it'll be as good as the first 2 books). Also, I have to admit that I prefered the covers of the previous 2 books. This one is cute, but I loved those more!


#173 - "The Return of the King" by J. R. R. Tolkien

As the Shadow of Mordor grows across the land, the Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, has joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and takes part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escape into Fangorn Forest and there encounter the Ents.

Gandalf has miraculously returned and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Sam has left his master for dead after a battle with the giant spider, Shelob; but Frodo is still alive -- now in the foul hands of the Orcs.

And all the while the armies of the Dark Lord are massing as the One Ring draws ever nearer to the Cracks of Doom.

My rating: 4 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I finally read The Lord of the Rings trilogy! It was about time! All I can say is that I enjoyed this one a lot, too & I highly recommend the series, if you still haven't read them!


#172 - "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman

When Coraline explores her new home, she steps through a door and into another house just like her own - except that things aren't quite as they seem. There's another mother and another father in this house and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. Coraline must use all of her wits and every ounce of courage in order to save herself and return home... but will she escape and will life ever be the same again?

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I loved it! Another great story by Neil Gaiman! It's fun & creepy & with interesting characters & storyline & you can't help it, but be wrapped-up in the world Neil Gaiman again has created! I highly recommend it!


#171 - "Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye" by Victoria Laurie

You'd think being clairvoyant would give Abigail Cooper the ability to avoid danger.
But being psychic doesn't necessarily allow you to sidestep murder and mayhem - it just lets you know that they're coming...
In Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, thirty-something Abby Cooper lives a life that's kind of like vanilla ice cream - good enough, but a little bland. Her work as a P. I. - Psychic Intuitive - can be rewarding, but she feels like somehow she's missing out on the hot-fudge topping...
Now she's getting what she wished for - when a client winds up dead and the clues start pointing in Abby's direction. Turns out she knows too many details about the murder for her own good. To make matters worse, the hot blind date she just met is the lead investigator on the case. And gorgeous Detective Dutch Rivers is convinced she's a fraud.
No matter how great her psychic abilities, Abby doesn't know if she can solve this case. Unfortunately for her, though, the killer thinks she can... 

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I loved it! Great story, loved the characters, I especially loved Abby's lie-detector ;) & I'm looking forward to reading more of the series! I highly recommend it!


#170 - "Return to Paradise" by Simone Elkeles

Maggie and Caleb just went through the worst year of their lives. Hit by a car and starting life over with a limp, Maggie never thought she would forgive Caleb. But she did - and fell in love. What they shared was real. But Caleb wanted to be free from the past-and a terrible secret: he wasn't the one who hit Maggie. So he left Paradise - and Maggie - forever.

When Maggie and Caleb run into each other in a different town, they can't deny their true feelings. Will Maggie let Caleb get away again? Or will Caleb face the truth and return to Paradise? 

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I loved Leaving Paradise & I loved this one, too! Great sequel & it wrapped-up Maggie's & Caleb's story really good! Their chemistry was still there & I enjoyed their interactions! If you enjoyed Leaving Paradise, I think you'll enjoy this one, too! I recommend it!


#169 - "Paranormalcy" by Kiersten White

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. 

My rating: 4 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I loved it! Really fun book, with fun & lovable characters & fun story! I loved both Evie & Lend and I recommend it! I guess I would've liked if it had some big twists that surprised me, but I still enjoyed it, loved the writing & I'll definitely read the sequel!


#168 - "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through distinct stages in Jane's life: Jane's childhood at Gateshead, where she is abused by her aunt and cousins; her education at Lowood School, where she acquires friends and role models but also suffers privations; her time as the governess of Thornfield Manor, where she falls in love with her Byronic employer, Edward Rochester; her time with the Rivers family at Marsh End.
This novel is the love story of Jane Eyre, a plain yet spirited governess, and her arrogant, brooding Mr. Rochester. 

My rating: 5/5

My thoughts on the book:
I finally read Jane Eyre! It's just one of those classics that I never got around to read... Now, that I finally did, I loved it! I was surprised that it was actually really fast read! I don't know what I was waiting for until now! If you still haven't read it, I recommend it!

Sep 29, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday #29: Slayed, The Lost Hero & Twisted Tales: Cinderella & Sleeping Beauty!

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

So, this week's my-can't-wait-to-read choices are:

Amanda Marrone

Publication date:
October 5, 2010

The Van Helsing family has been hunting vampires for over one hundred years, but sixteen-year-old Daphne wishes her parents would take up an occupation that doesn't involve decapitating vamps for cash. All Daphne wants is to settle down in one place, attend an actual school, and finally find a BFF to go to the mall with. Instead, Daphne has resigned herself to a life of fast food, cheap motels and buying garlic in bulk.

But when the Van Helsings are called to a coastal town in Maine, Daphne's world is turned upside down. Not only do the Van Helsings find themselves hunting a terrifying new kind of vampire (one without fangs but with a taste for kindergarten cuisine), Daphne meets her first potential BF! The hitch? Her new crush is none other than Tyler Harker, AKA, the son of the rival slayer family.

What's a teen vampire slayer to do?

The Lost Hero
Rick Riordan

Publication date:
October 12, 2010

After saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Now, in a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they’ll need the help of some familiar demigods.


Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she’s his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids.” What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior
Maureen McGowan

Publication date:
October 5, 2010

Cinderella lives in a magical kingdom with many highly-trained wizards, both good and bad. Her stepmother uses magic for evil. The stepmother married her father to steal her late mother's wand, and she killed him when he refused to comply. She is jealous of Cinderella's beauty and both hopes and is threatened that the girl might have inherited an aptitude for magic. She casts spells on Cinderella to control her, requires her to do tedious housework, and often inflicts unnecessarily harsh punishments on the young girl. In spite of her hardships and mistreatment, Cinderella perseveres. She possesses a skill for martial arts and secretly practices to hone her abilities, hoping someday she'll be strong enough to escape her stepmother's nefarious grasp.

One day, an invitation arrives for a Magic Festival celebrating the prince's birthday. Despite her nubile magic powers, Cinderella wants to enter the magic competition in an attempt to break free of her family. When Cinderella discovers her mother's wand, she becomes aware of her innate magic abilities. Will Cinderella perform well in the competition? Will she catch the eye of the prince? Will she escape her stepmother's control?

Here's the twist - you're in control. At three points during the story, you get to decide what Cinderella would do next. Depending on your choice, you flip to that relevant tab for the continuation of the story, and her adventures unfold. And the extra fun part? After reaching one outcome, the reader can re-read the book, choose different options, and read an entirely different story!

Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer
Maureen McGowan

Publication date:
October 5, 2010

Long ago in a faraway kingdom where humans co-exist with vampires, werewolves and fairies, a beautiful baby princess named Lucette is born. The king and queen host a celebration, but exclude the vampires because of tensions brewing between their previously peaceful kingdoms. Angry at the slight, the Vampire Queen crashes the party and puts a curse on the baby: when Lucette reaches adulthood, she will cut herself, and the instant her blood falls upon the ground, she will never wake again while the sun is in the sky. When night falls, she will awaken while everyone else in the kingdom will fall asleep, leaving Lucette alone in the darkness.

The royal wizard can't reverse the spell, but alters it so that the curse can be lifted if Lucette proves she has found true love. But falling in love seems impossible if all the eligible bachelors are sleeping. Furious at the curse tampering, the Vampire Queen breaks the peace treaty that forbids vampires from attacking the people of Lucette's kingdom. An army of vampire slayers is created to defend the kingdom from the nightly rampaging bloodsuckers.

Lucette secretly trains with the army, knowing that if her parents' attempts to protect her fail and the curse comes true, one day - well, technically one night - she'll be the only one in her kingdom awake to fight back.

And here's the twist - you're in control. At three points during the story, you get to decide what Lucette would do next. Depending on your choice, you flip to that relevant tab for the continuation of the story. Based on your choices, Lucette's adventures unfold. And the extra fun part? After reaching one outcome, the reader can re-read the book, choose different options, and read an entirely different story!

Sep 27, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading? #35

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is being hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey through a World of Books.

This is a great weekly event where everyone can keep track of the books finished last week & the books planning to read this week!
After a few weeks of reading very little, I finally read a lot ;)
I participated in the Fall Catch-Up Read-a-Thon, so all the books I read last week, I read for the read-a-thon! 

So, last week I finally finished Edge by Thomas Blackthorne
Although this was really good sci-fi book, I was reading it for a long time!

I also started & finished the following books:
  • The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson - really good ya forensic mystery & I'll definitely continue reading the series
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I know, I finally read it & of course - I loved it
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - this one was lots of fun, too. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel :)
  • Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles - really good sequel of Leaving Paradise, if you loved that one, you'll love this one :)
  • Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie - I finally tried the series & I loved it, so I'll continue reading the rest of the series 
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman - what more I can say, except another great read by Neil Gaiman
  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien - I finally read The Lord of the Rings! It was about time ;) This one was good, too!
What I'll be reading next?
Well I should read at least one more cozy mystery until Thursday for the Cozy Mystery Challenge, so I started Dead & Kicking - the last book in the Ghost Dusters Mysteries by Wendy Roberts! I loved the previous 2, so I know it'll be a fast read! After that I might read You've Got Murder by Donna Andrews, but if not, whatever I'm in mood for!
So, what are you reading this week?

Sep 26, 2010

Fall Catch-Up Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up!

The Fall Catch-Up Read-a-Thon was hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict

For the read-a-thon I read the following books:
  • Edge by Thomas Blackthorne (I've started this book previously, so I just finished it. I read around 150 pages from it!)
  • The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
  • Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
I guess I read a lot, but these all were really fast-reads & I enjoyed them all!

Thanks to Michelle for hosting the read-a-thon! 

Sep 25, 2010

Steampunk Challenge!

The Steampunk Challenge is hosted by Rikki @ The Bookkeeper!

The challenge starts October 2010 & ends October 2011!

You can read as many steampunk books as you'd like & you can view some of the recommendations HERE!

To sign-up & for more details, go HERE!

If you still haven't tried steampunk, I highly recommend it! I tried it & now I just can't get enough! ;) I  already have lots of steampunk books that I'd love to read, so I couldn't resist signing-up for the challenge!

My List of Books I'd Love to Read:
  1. Thomas Riley by Nick Valentino
  2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  3. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  4. The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell
  5. Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee

Fall Catch-Up Read-a-Thon: Mini-Challenge!

It's Banned Books Week, so the mini-challenge for the Fall Catch-Up Read-a-Thon is to look-up at ALA's web page which books have been banned or challenged to be banned & if we've read some of them! 

I went over the lists & I've read some of them, but there are many more banned books that I've been planning to read. 

One of my favorite series is J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter! I already knew they've been banned! I don't really care if a book is banned or not, if I want to read it, I read it! Although, I have to say that this last week I've been annoyed with some people who say some stupid reasons why a book should be banned, especially about Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak! Anyway, back to the Harry Potter series & why I've read them. I didn't start with the books, I started with the movies... I just fell in love with them & I was eagerly expecting every one (I still am). After watching the 5th movie, I read both the 6th & 7th book & after that I've read all the books in the series & I'm planning to re-read it soon. Definitely one of my favorite series & if someone still hasn't read them, don't know what's missing ;) Especially with The Deathly Hallows!

Sep 23, 2010

Fall Catch-Up Read-a-Thon: Update #2

I read two more books: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte & Paranormalcy by Kiersten White! Now I'm reading The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien & Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie!

Sep 22, 2010

WWW Wednesdays #21

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
This weekly meme is being hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading!
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

"Waiting On" Wednesday #28: Me, Myself and Why?, Rise of The Darklings, StarCrossed & The Mermaid's Mirror!

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

So, this week's my-can't-wait-to-read choices are:

Me, Myself and Why?
MaryJanice Davidson

Publication date:
September 28, 2010

From New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson comes an outrageously funny novel about a highly unconventional FBI agent, a rather odd serial killer, a best friend on the edge, a gorgeous baker. . . and oh, yeah, love.

Sweet and innocent with a twist of girl-next-door, Cadence Jones is not your typical girl and certainly not your typical FBI agent. Just ask her sisters, Shiro and Adrienne. (Wait. . . best if you don't ask Adrienne anything.) But it's her special ''talent'' which makes Cadence so valuable to the FBI and it never comes in handier than when she and her partner, George, get tagged to bring down the Threefer Killer. A serial killer who inexplicably likes to kill in threes, leave behind inexplicable newspaper clippings, and not one shred of decent forensic evidence, soon starts leaving messages that seem to be just for Cadence and her sisters. Could it be that this killer knows all about Cadence's special ''talent''?

In the meantime, love blooms in the most unexpected place when Cadence meets her best friend's gorgeous brother who is in town visiting--and she discovers that he knows her secret too! When attraction burns hot between them her best friend isn't thrilled with the romantic development and this time Cadence just might agree!

Suddenly Cadence finds her unbalanced life turned even more upside-down as she tries to date a baker who wants to get in her heart and in her bed, dodge a pesky psychiatrist, keep a leash on her sociopath partner, while trying to catch a serial killer who's now fixated on her. Some days it's not even worth getting up in the morning.

Rise of the Darklings
(Book 1 in the Invisible Order series) 
Paul Crilley

Publication date:
September 28, 2010

Emily Snow is twelve years old, supporting herself and her younger brother on the streets of Victorian England by selling watercress. One early winter morning on her way to buy supplies, she encounters a piskie--a small but very sarcastic fey creature that has been cornered by a group of the Black Sidhe, piskies from an opposing clan. She rescues him and unknowingly becomes involved in a war between the Seelie and the Unseelie, two opposing factions of fairies that have been battling each other throughout the long centuries of human history, with London--and England itself--as the ultimate prize.

When the Invisible Order--a centuries-old secret society of humans that has protected mankind from the fey's interference--gets involved, things really start to get complicated.

Now she is the central figure in this ancient war that could permanently change Earth. With no one to trust, Emily must rely on her own instincts and guile to make the right choices that could save her family and all of mankind.

Elizabeth C. Bunce

Publication date:
October 1, 2010

16-year-old Digger thrives as a spy & sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner & lover Tegen is killed, she disguises herself in a group of young nobles & sneaks out of the city. Accepted as a lady-in-waiting at the stronghold of the powerful Nemair, she finds new peace & friendship (*and* some new targets). But when an old client from the city comes to the castle, she realizes her hosts may be planning the ultimate uprising against the king - & rather than true peace, she may be at the heart of the rebellion. 

The Mermaid's Mirror
L. K. Madigan

Publication date:
October 4, 2010

There's something drawing Lena to the water.

It's making Lena sleepwalk to the beach.

It's compelling her to surf even if it means putting herself in grave danger

and going against her father's wishes.

A woman emerges from the waves--a woman with a silvery tail.

She has a message.

She has a key

When Lena finds a brown leather sea chest and uses the key to unlock it, she has no choice

but to look into the watery depths of her secret past through the mysterious mermaid's mirror . . .

Lena's life will never be the same.

Fall Into Reading 2010!

Fall Into Reading 2010 is a reading challenge hosted by Katrina @ Callapidder Days!
The challenge starts September 22nd & ends December 20th!
For more details about the challenge, go HERE!

My reading list:
  1. Thomas Riley by Nick Valentino - review
  2. Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie - review
  3. You've Got Murder by Donna Andrews - review
  4. The Angel of Death by Alane Ferguson
  5. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
  6. Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass
  7. Dead and Kicking by Wendy Roberts - review
  8. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  9. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  10. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  11. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - review
  12. Everlost by Neal Shusterman - review
  13. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  14. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - review
  15. Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles - review
  16. Warrior by Zoe Archer
  17. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - review
  18. Jonas by Eden Maguire - review
  19. Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
  20. Unraveled by Gena Showalter