Tag: Family

Review: Blood Prophecy by Alyxandra Harvey

Posted January 28, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: Blood Prophecy

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Walker Children’s

Publication Date: January 2013

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Six


Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:


It’s come down to this. Sister against brother. Best friends against each other.
Solange is officially Queen, and that may be the most dangerous thing to happen to the vampires ever. She’s slowly being possessed by Viola, and Viola’s motives are unclear except for one thing: get Solange’s spirit out of the picture as quickly as possible.

Everyone is back and a thrilling conclusion to this much loved series.

I love Lucy, and as always, she is just looking to get into trouble. Nicholas goes through a huge ordeal and I don’t want to give anything away but it is chilling. But this is really Solange’s book. She has to figure out who she is, what she wants, and if she’s strong enough to fight off Viola who has been waiting to make her move since Solange became a vampire. I have to say, Solange may be my least favorite main character in the series, up until this book. She’s a little whiny for me, especially next to Lucy is so kick ass. But the ending really endears Solange to me and makes me think her and Kieran may make it after all.


Lucy- kick ass. No more to say.
Nicholas- swoooon. That is all.
Solange- pretty great character arc. I’m glad she became such a strong female character in this book. 
Kieran- sigh. (doe eyes)

Not everyone survives, and the casualties may surprise you.

I thought this was a perfect way to end the series. I wish we had a little more time with some of the secondary characters, like Hunter and Quinn and Connor and Christabel. But I was happy to see them again, even for a short while. 

Harvey’s sense of humor shines through in this book, giving the reader a much lifted feel to a very heavy situation. (There may have been one too many Buffy jokes, but honestly, I love Buffy so I can’t hold that against her. I loved them.)

Oh, Ms. Harvey. I hope you do write more novellas so we can visit the Drakes again. My heart is already missing them.

Rating: 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted January 28, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments


Review: The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen

Posted January 10, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Title: The Vanishing Act

Author: Mette Jakobsen

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: September 2012

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.
This book was given to me by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

Twelve year old Minou lives on a remote island with her father, Boxman who is a magician, a priest and a dog called No-Name. One day, the body of a boy washes ashore and they take care of his remains for three days until the boat can come and take him away. In these three days, Minou relives the time she shared with her mother, who disappeared off the island.

I had such high hopes for this story, a mere 218 pages. But for me the story falls short, never reaching it’s full potential. Minou is a strong voice, for a twelve year old, narrating events she doesn’t fully understand. Stuck on this island with her philosopher father, who treats his daughter more like an accomplice than a child, she recalls the events leading up to her mother’s disappearance. While Minou’s character is strongly influenced by her father, logical thinking, her creative and whimsical mother tries to lure Minou to use her imagination more and through this coaxing, we see Minou’s trapped mother and content father.

There are some wonderfully vivid scenes in the story, especially dealing with Minou and her mother once her mother is gone as Minou begins to explore this new world she creates. But overall, I found the story lacking heart. Minou’s voice fails to express the loneliness and sadness around her. She calls the priest Priest, and her dog No-Name, and the former magician Boxman because he makes boxes that he sells overseas, taking everything at face value. Just that, the lack of curiosity or view of depth made me question Minou’s voice. In other parts of the story, she is alive with realistic insights and observations. I’m torn between who Minou in the story is and who I wished she could have been.

As for the plot and story itself, it moves slowly which isn’t a bad thing. The isolation and quietness of the island is another character in the book. Jackobsen does a great job creating the setting and drawing the reader in, so much so that even after I have read the story, the island comes back to me. The mother’s umbrella and peacock, her shoes and bag. I just wish there was something else happening on the island.

And then it ends, and I’m not satisfied. Not all of my questions are answered. Minou’s secret is less than surprising and it leaves me unsettled.

Rating 4 Not My Cup Of Tea

Posted January 10, 2013 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments


Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Posted December 3, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

Title: Slammed

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: January 2012

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Realistic Romance

Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book One


Synopsis can be found here.
NetGalley review.

Review:
Layken is uprooted from her life in Texas after her father’s death. Her mom moves her and her brother to far away to start a new life. And there she meet Will, her next door neighbor, and potential soul mate.
Will and Layken forge an irresistable bond, but something comes to light that tears them apart. Now, they are forced to stay friendly, while inside each person is pining for the other. But through Slam Poetry, maybe another bond can be formed. Maybe it’s a way to communicate, when conversation fails.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Thank you Colleen Hoover. It’s been a while since I’ve sat on the couch and read for hours, not wanting to do anything, including watch The Vampire Diaries. Seriously. I recorded it for later. I had to. I needed to finish reading this. It was so good.

I’m going to try my best not to give anything away.

Will is funny, strong and personable. He’s a great male lead, sensitive and mature. I loved the brothers, fantastic comic relief. Eddie is priceless and sweet, full of goodness. And Layken is pretty cool. I liked her inner monologue and her inner frustrations seemed genuine and real to me, although sometimes a bit dramatic. (A few times, I wanted to tell her to snap out of it because she was being a baby.)

I loved the Slam Poetry scattered throughout the book and how the author used it to forge these strong bonds between characters. I loved the romance because it was organic and sweet. And I loved the twist. I can’t say what it is, but this book is more than just a teenage romance. It’s more than a coming of age story.
Colleen Hoover, I applaud you. My heart broke, my heart soared.
I’ll be thinking about this novel for a while.


Rating: 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted December 3, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 3 Comments


Review: 52 Reasons To Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Posted November 29, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: 52 Reasons To Hate My Father

Author: Jessica Brody

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Publication Date: July 2012

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone


Synopsis can be found here.
Library copy.

Review:

Lexington Larrabee is in for a rude awakening. After causing a huge “incident” one night, her father comes to the decision that his spoiled heiress daughter needs to start taking some responsibility for her actions. And so he tells her she must complete 52 jobs in 52 weeks, in order for her to get her trust fund- $25 million dollars. Lexi, who has never worked a day in her life also has a babysitter- her father’s intern Luke who is watching over her and her jobs, making sure she completes them and hopefully learns something from them.

What fun!
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Lexi. There’s only so much sympathy I have for a spoiled, million dollars heiress. But from the start, Brody does a wonderful job of making Lexi into a normal girl. A very spoiled, bratty and delusional girl, but a teenage girl nonetheless. And totally likeable!!! She can be sweet, thoughtful and has generally been neglected her entire life. Her father’s minions and servants have been raising her from a very young age.
So already, while Lexi has everything materialistic, she doesn’t have anything she actually needs.

Enter: the 52 jobs.
Under cover of disguise, Lexi works her way through donut maker, maid, flower delivery girl and more. Hilarious and light, it’s easy to get behind Lexi as she makes new friends and gets a fresh sense of purpose. She becomes more confident, figuring out what she wants, what’s important and who is important.

And there’s Luke. Their friendship is so gradual and organic, it seemed that all of sudden they were friends. Or possibly more?
Her email updates on her progress are super funny and as Lexi transforms, so do others around her.

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy

Posted November 29, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment


Blog Tour and Review! A Thunderous Whisper by

Posted October 30, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Title: A Thunderous Whisper

Author: Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: October 2012

Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Ani is twelve, and the world around her is falling. Though she believes she is safe in her small village, she is very lonely for her father, who has gone off to war. She has no friends and her mother is a hard working woman with little time to mother Ani. Then Mathias comes along and they form a strong friendship, an important bond, which is needed during these war times. Because war comes for them and their lives are changed forever.

Thank you, Christina Diaz Gonzalez. The last few books I’ve read this month had left me in a slump. I kept going back and forth between them, not really enjoying them. But then I picked up A Thunderous Whisper. And yes! This is what I was looking for. I went home every day, excited to carefully read the next few chapters of this well written, heartwarming book.

The author’s writing is beautiful, flowing gracefully on the page. Ani is a multi-layered young girl who I couldn’t help but like. She has no friends, and is alone most of the time, except when she is working with her mother selling sardines. Her father is in the war, and there is something beautiful and heartbreaking about the author’s portrayal of Ani, sitting alone, under her tree, thinking up stories to tell her father when he comes back.

Mathias is smart, outgoing and brings Ani out of her shell, revealing her true self. He’s also friendly and loyal, seeing something special in Ani that no one else cares to find. Mathias is your best friend when you were young, someone you still think fondly about, your first real friend. All of these characters drew me in and waited for their story to unfold.

The story moves slowly, taking in the beautiful setting and its inhabitants before the bombing. And then, after and how the survivors pick up what is left and move on. 

Overall, it’s an uplifting story about friendship and family. Ani changes dramatically from the small, quiet girl at the beginning to the full and hopeful girl at the end. A book not to be missed. I’m so happy I’m on the blog tour and got to read this book!

Check out the other blogs on this blog tour and their schedule!
And thank you to Alethea at Read Now Sleep Later for organizing!

Posted October 30, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 1 Comment


Book Review & Giveaway!: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Posted September 27, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Contests / 15 Comments

Title: The Age of Miracles

Author: Karen Thompson Walker

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2012

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.

Review:

I’ve heard wonderful things about The Age Of Miracles. In fact, it jumped to the top of my to be read pile not only for the hype, but also because my friend L wanted to read it at the same time so we could discuss. I’m really glad i listened to her.

The earth’s rotation has slowed and a dark foreboding takes over Earth. The days and night grow longer and longer, to impossibly long lengths. The animals and birds are dying away, the tides are changing. And through it all, young Julia tackles what every young girl finds equally important- school, friends, crushes and the challenges only her family can provide.


While the topic and themes of the book are heavy and can be quite sad, the author does a fantastic job with Julia’s voice. it lightens the mood, making it a fresh read instead of something dark and depressing.

A beautifully written novel. Walker’s writing is slow and detailed, flowing easily over the page like warm honey. As the world slows, Julia’s observations are sharp and older than her eleven years of age. But she sees more than most of the adults see, for better and worse. I love Julia. She’s much braver, in a very human way, that can be admired and related to. Young, an outsider already, she watches with a keen eye the small devastations of ordinary life grow. She forms a new friendship, or maybe something more, with Seth Moreno, a classmate who seems to be one of the few who get her. And it adds a depth of sweetness, this awkward and young relationship, against such a harrowing backdrop.

Totally original, we see Julia and her family slowly stumble and fall, the rotation of the Earth causing panic and fear, but also allowing deep fissures to expand from smaller ones. Cracks that may be there erupt and Julia watches it happen in all aspects of her life. I particularly hear her mother very clearly, the worrier. Julia’s mother, Helen, is so real to me, I hear her in many of my friends, relatives and co-workers. Her clear, short comments are precisely what everyone is thinking, as the fear pulls them in. 


The Age of Miracles is a thoughtful read, a coming of age story. 

Rating 8 Cookie Worthy


Giveaway!

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Posted September 27, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews, Contests / 15 Comments


Book Review: You Came Back by Christopher Coake

Posted September 10, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Title: You Came Back

Author: Christopher Coake

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date
: June 2012

Genre: Adult Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone


Synopsis can be found here.

Review
Mark Fife believes he has moved past the death of his seven year old son, and the collapse of his marriage. Living with his girlfriend Allison, and ready to propose to her, he is thrown off balance by the arrival of a strange woman who claims his dead son, Brendan, still haunts the old house they used to live in. And that Brendan is calling for him.

Mark doesn’t believe in ghosts, but the temptation is too strong to check out the house and see if his beloved boy is haunting the place. Throw in his damaged ex-wife and Mark doesn’t know what to believe anymore. And what is real.

Beautifully written, You Came Back kept me engaged until the very last page. Coake does a stunning job of portraying the complicated emotions that plague Mark and Chloe over their son’s death and the real possibility that they will have a chance to make ammends. Mark questions everything about that day, the days before and over analyses almost to obsession his failed marriage. This is not really a ghost story. It is a story about love, family and grief. And how you can convince yourself of almost anything if you want to.

The beauty and tragedy in the story stems from Mark’s own guilt. How he wishes beyond reason things were back to the way they were, when Brendan was still alive, when his ex-wife Chloe was still in love with him. Though he has moved past that, and onto his new life, when his old life comes crashing back, the temptation to settled back into the past and try again is too strong for him. And this makes Mark a human character- to want to try again so deeply, he is willing to believe almost anything, hurt almost anyone, lie even to himself.

As Mark grapples with his feelings of desire for his past, Chloe is there pulling him along. While Chloe is a huge character in the book, I feel less sympathy for her than Mark. They are suffering through similar grief and understanding, but while reading, I didn’t get a strong sense of happy, loving Chloe. There are some flashbacks, and pictures of Mark and Chloe, content, together. But a lot of Mark’s reflections is how they were around the time of the accident- fighting unhappy and spiteful with each other. Maybe that was the point. Mark’s love for Chloe was as she was before, not as she is now and you know how dangerous it is putting your love on a pedestal.

The story moves fast, the language flowing nicely and before I knew it I was over half way through the book in one sitting. Watching Mark’s journey was emotional and sad and the twists in the story were believable. No matter how deep Mark got, I was still hoping he would pull himself out from the mess.
After finishing the book, I sat there, in awe of the story I just finished. I went back, re-read certain passages, especially the end. 

 Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book

Posted September 10, 2012 by Kimberly in Book Reviews / 2 Comments