Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Posted August 20, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Title: Insatiable

Author: Meg Cabot

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: June 2010

Genre: Adult Paranormal Contemporary Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis: can be found here

Vampires, Psychics and Slayers! Oh My!
Meena Harper, a dialogue writer on a soap opera titled “Insatiable”, has a secret of her own. She can see how people are going to die. Armed with this gift since she was small, she has grown up hiding her gift and helping out when she can. Whether that’s a stranger on a subway, or best friend, she’s found a way to calmly steer people away from their own demise. Now if only Meena could help herself.
Meg Cabot is hit or miss for me. While I enjoyed her Princess Diaries YA series, I did try another one of her adult fiction books and it left me kinda empty.  So I didn’t have high hopes for this book. Sure, it looked like fun and who doesn’t like a good vampire story now and again? (I DO!)
And… Wow!
I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. A new, awesome twist on the Dracula legend, Cabot’s characters don’t take themselves too seriously. There are some funny pop culture references to a couple more famous vampires that made me laugh. 
Meena is a strong female role model. She’s been through a lot, always on the outside because of her gift. She’s fun, compassionate (rescued her little dog Jack Bauer from the pound, and yes, he is named after that Jack Bauer), and still flawed enough to be believable. She stands up for herself, even in the face of certain death a.k.a. crazy Vampire Slayer threatens her with sword for info on her vampire boyfriend. What I love most about Meena is that she thinks for herself. She has strong opinions and her own mind.
Lucian, our Prince of Darkness, is well rounded. His baggage is subtle and in his own dark, brooding way, he’ll capture your heart.
And our Vampire Slayer, Alaric, is awkward, powerful and vain. But as we journey with Alaric, we see something hidden. Something more.
The book is a fun, roller-coaster ride. It’s a thicker book, coming in at over 450 pages, but that just made me enjoy living in their world a little longer.
Who doesn’t want that?
Bravo Meg Cabot.

I’ll be grabbing the follow up, Overbite, as soon as I can!

Rating: 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted August 20, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Book Review: Sean Griswold’s Head

Posted August 16, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Title: Sean Griswold’s Head
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: March 2011
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
Payton is my type of girl. She loves to be organized, and even color-codes her folders. She’s a smart student who likes to place things in their proper places. Therefore, it’s especially traumatic for her when she learns a secret that sends her reeling into her guidance counselor’s office. Her guidance counselor recommends she find a focus item to concentrate on. And what do you know? It’s Sean Griswold’s head.
I didn’t know what to expect from this book. The synopsis sounded cute and I figured it would be some light-hearted treat I could read quickly and move on. But there’s a lot more to it than that. My friend loaned me her copy, with the words, “No, it’s awesome. You’ll love it.” And I did.
Leavitt is a very talented writer. Her characters are well rounded, full, rich and funny. Even when they’re suffering, they don’t lose their wholeness or depth. The novel touches upon more than just Payton and Sean. It delves into relationships between family members, especially parents and children.
Payton’s character is so real, she felt like she was sitting next to me. Her emotions, thoughts and actions made her into a mature teenager, just growing out of adolescence and trying to figure it all out.
And Sean Griswold is more than just a head. Payton gets to know her focus item, the sweet and kind Sean Griswold. He has such a wonderful personality, reminding me of some of my best guy friends from home.
As their relationship develops, Payton grows in leaps from the character she started out at the beginning to the young adult she eventually becomes.
A wonderful and hilarious story that should not be missed!
Rating: 10 One of the Best

Posted August 16, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Book Review: Across The Universe

Posted August 9, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Title: Across The Universe

Author: Beth Revis

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: January 2011

Genre: Young Adult Dystopia/Science Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One

Synopsis can be found here.

Review: Amy joins her parents aboard the massive spaceship Godspeed where she will awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But Amy awakens fifty years too early and begins an adventure that might create more questions than answers.

Revis’s debut novel is not to be missed. A little bit sci-fi, a little bit dystopia, Revis has created a lush and frightening world aboard the space ship Godspeed, where all the characters have hidden agendas.  Just when I thought I had it all figured out, a twist would come out of nowhere and make me go, “Wait, what!” in a good way. Dark, sinister characters move around the spaceship, and Amy is different. Which makes her a target and a threat.

The dual narrative between Amy and Elder is well done. Two distinct voices relaying a story adds to the overall tension and feel of the ship and the relationships on it. I’ve found it hard sometimes for an author to write a narration in the opposite sex, but Revis does this very well. At no time did I feel Elder was anyone but Elder, a boy on a spaceship who had an impressive and complicated job before him.

Across The Universe reminds me of an episode in Lost. You know the ones- the groundwork is laid, the action going strong, but you wind up with more questions than answers. Leaving me unsatisfied and wanting.

This book is probably not for younger readers below fifteen or sixteen.  The first chapter alone is very graphic and traumatic. I almost cried when Amy went through the freezing process. There are other moments through the book that are downright scary.

Overall, the unsettling themes and tone of the book left me off balance, which was probably the point. I’m excited to continue with the series to see how it all plays out. It’s a serious ride.

Rating: 7 Pretty Cool, Would Recommend

Posted August 9, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 5 Comments

Book Review: Naked In Death by J. D. Robb

Posted August 2, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Title: Naked In Death
Author: J. D. Robb
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 1995
Genre: Adult Mystery Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One
Synopsis can be found here.
Eve Dallas, a police Lieutenant in a futuristic New York City, hunts the killer of a beautiful socialite and gets more than she bargained for. The first book in this beloved and looong series, 32 books and counting, introduces us to the main group of characters that will continue on through the series and grow in our hearts.
J. D. Robb, a pen name for Nora Roberts, writes this mystery series very well. It was recommended to me from a lover of Nora Roberts and having read Nora Roberts before, I thought I would give it a try. I was not let down.  Eve’s world and her voice is sound. She is a strong, takes-no-prisoners character who not only fights crime, but has also her own inner demons every day. I can’t say Eve is likeable, in this first book especially. But be patient. Her character grows with the series.
While investigating this case, she meets the undeniably sexy Roarke, who happens to be a suspect. Handsome and mysterious, Roarke becomes fascinated with Eve also and well, things get…Heated. Irish, rich and very very male, he is the quintessential romance male lead in those Harlequin paperbacks you see in the drugstores. But that doesn’t mean he’s flat. Roarke is a multi dimensional character who I rooted for during the entire book. (Please don’t let him be the killer, please don’t let him be the killer)
This first book hooked me onto the series so bad, I went out and bought the remaining books in the series. Make no mistakes -while this is probably found in your local bookstores’ mystery section, the best parts of the book are the sweet, patient scenes between Roarke and Eve.  And this is where Robb/Roberts shine.
A fun, romantic thriller mystery book. Easy to read. Likeable characters. Lots of chemistry.
Go on! You know you want to.
Rating: 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream

Posted August 2, 2011 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 3 Comments