Book Review: The Cradle

Book Review: The Cradle by Patrick Somerville

First sentence: "Marissa could not be comforted, and wouldn't have it any other way."

From the back: "Early one summer morning, Matthew Bishop kisses his pregnant wife and sets out in search of the antique cradle that used to be hers. Although the cradle has been missing for many years, she is determined that Matt find it before the arrival of their first child.

A decade later, Renee Owen, a successful writer of children's books, prepares for her only son's deployment to Iraq, and his departure brings to the surface memories of a lost love, an old truth, and a long-hidden life."

My take: I started reading this book and almost didn't get past the first 40 or so pages. But I decided to give it a chance and read a few more pages. I'm glad I did. I wound up really enjoying the story. The things Matt does for his wife are incredibly selfless. It's like somewhere inside of Marissa (Matt's wife) she urges him to go find the cradle for other reasons. Woman's intuition? The journey leads him in directions that are unimaginable. It tugs at your heart-strings, for sure. Read the book -- and if it doesn't stick with you right away, give it a few more pages. You won't be sorry.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (April 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316036110
ISBN-13: 978-0316036115

My Rating: B

Book Review: Casting Spells

Book Review: Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton

First sentence: "Do you ever wonder why things happen the way they do?"

From the back: "Sugar Maple looks like any bucolic Vermont town, but when the tourists go home, it's a different story -- inhabited as it is with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches, and an ancient secret. And I know all about secrets. I'm Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & Strings, a popular knitting shop where your yarn never tangles, you always get gauge... and the knitter sitting next to you comes out only after dark.

I'm also a sorcerer's daughter -- a single sorcerer's daughter with Sugar Maple's future in her hands, which means the whole town is casting spells meant to help me find Mr. Right. Who'd have guessed I'd find him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple's very first murder? Bad news is he's 100 percent human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like me -- in love, n danger, and in way over my head."

My take: I picked this up at Half Price Books and it is just a fun read. I liked Chloe, though I had a little bit of a problem connecting with her for some reason. The town of Sugar Maple is under a spell of protection. No one dies there, there is no crime there -- no one even locks their doors. It's up to Chloe to fall in love and save the spell over the town from breaking. Chloe has several cats, thankfully none of them talk. The people in the story are quirky but fun. If you are wanting a read where you don't have to think too much, this is a fun one to get absorbed into. I've been on a "magic" kick lately.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (November 4, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425223647
ISBN-13: 978-0425223642

My Rating: B

Book Review: Stargazer

Book Review: Stargazer by Claudia Gray

First sentence: "At midnight, the storm arrived."

From the front flap: "Evernight Academy: An exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all -- vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas -- a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were ton apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross -- or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yes Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning."

My take: Hey. It's like Twilight in reverse teaming up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I liked it enough to read it all the way to the end and think about the next book in the series. To see what happens next. But the book annoyed me at times and I'm not entirely sure what about it annoyed me. I liked the characters enough. Sometimes the dialog is a little meh but other than that, I liked the people. Interesting, entertaining -- not madly but mildly. If you're looking for a new vampire series to read and have read this one, by all means indulge yourself.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 Reprint edition (February 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061284467
ISBN-13: 978-0061284465

My rating: C

Book Review: Evernight

Book Review: Evernight by Claudia Gray

First sentence: "It was the first day of school, which meant it was my last chance to escape."

From the back: "At the eerily Gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he wants her to be careful -- even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between the two of them can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed."

My take: Ok. I liked the book just ok. But (and this is a spoiler here...) it was like the first 140 or so pages were written by a different author than the rest of the pages after that. I like surprises when I'm reading a book, but it was like we had two different Bianca's in the story. She doesn't start talking about the vampires until about that time. So you read the first part of the book thinking it's girl meets boy and falls in love with boy... and goes to creepy school where people are just strange and anti-social. I don't know what to think. I read the book and I have just started on the second book in the series, having picked them both up at Half-Price Books over the weekend. It's a good book, I liked the people. It just took me in a different direction than I expected to go. Not that that is a bad thing.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Love Vampires

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 Reprint edition (February 10, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061284440
ISBN-13: 978-0061284441

My Rating: B

Book Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Book Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

First sentence: "It took a moment for Emily to realize the car had come to a stop."

From the front flap: "Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother's life. Such as why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew -- a reclusive, real-life gentle giant -- she realizes that mysteries aren't solved in Mullaby, they're a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson's cakes -- which is a good thing, because Julia can't seem to stop baking them. She offers them to satisfy the town's sweet tooth but also in the hope of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Flour, eggs, milk, and sugar... Baking is the only language the proud but vulnerable Julia has to communicate what is truly in her heart. But is it enough to call back to her those she's hurt in the past?"

My take: A-mazing. Now, I need to get a copy of Sarah Addison Allen's other books, especially Garden Spells, and read them. I loved this book and devoured it in just a few hours. Did you ever read a book only to be sad that it's over? You've reached the ending wanting more? That's the way I feel about this book. I loved the people in this book. Every last one of them! I found the book to be just the right touch of magic and the right touch of realism to be perfect. Like the cakes that Julia bakes -- awesome. There are essentially two love stories here and the way their lives is intertwined is fantastic. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Loved it. One of my favorite so far in 2010, if not for all time!

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

S. Krishna's Books
Teen Reads

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Bantam (March 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553807218
ISBN-13: 978-0553807219

My Rating: A

Book Review: My Name is Memory

Book Review: My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

First sentence: "She hadn't known him very long."

From the front flap: "Lucy Broward is an ordinary girl growing up in the Virginia suburbs, soon to head off to college. As she prepares for her last high school dance, she allows herself to hope that this might be the night her elusive crush, Daniel Grey, finally notices her. As the events of the night unfold, though, Lucy discovers that Daniel is much more complicated than she imagined, and perceives that there's something going on here that she really doesn't understand. Why does he call her Sophia? And why does it make her feel so strange?

Daniel Grey is no ordinary young man. Daniel has "the memory," the ability to recall past lives and recognize the souls of those he's previously known. And he has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Lucy (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together -- and he remembers it all. It is both a gift and a curse. For all the many times they have come together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

As we watch Daniel and Lucy's relationship unfold during the present day, interwoven are glimpses of their history together from 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes tortuous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when Lucy begins to awaken to the secret of her past, to understand her relationship to Sophia, and to understand the true reason for the strength of her attraction to Daniel, the mysterious force that has torn them apart in the past reappears. Ultimately, they must confront not just their complicated history, but a persistent adversary as well, if they are ever to spend a lifetime together."

My take: I have always loved these types of stories. The stories of reincarnation. Born again and again to be together. Ann Brashares has done a remarkable job telling this story. I went to her blog and read her post: The First Page in which she talks about how she got the idea for the book. While I have not read anything by this author previously, I have seen "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," movie, which I loved. This book is wonderfully written and woven back and forth between modern day and his past lives with Lucy. I loved the characters so much. Daniel is a very endearing young man who is remarkably patient and persistent. I believe that this book is also to become a movie. Read it and fall in love with falling in love!

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Girls Without a Bookshelf
Book Line and Sinker

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594487588
ISBN-13: 978-1594487583

My Rating: A

Book Review: The Cougar Club

Book Review: The Cougar Club by Susan McBride

First sentence: "When it rains, it pours."

From the back: "Meet three women who aren't about to run and hide just because the world says they should be on the shelf and out of circulation.

Kat: Her life seems perfect until she loses her high-powered advertising job and catches her live-in lover in a compromising position -- with his computer!

Carla: This sexy TV news anchor is in danger of being replaced by a twentysomething blond bimbo. Wasn't it just yesterday that she was the up-and-coming star?

Elise: A married dermatologist, Elise thinks her plastic surgeon husband is playing doctor with someone else.

Kat firmly believes that aging gracefully isn't about giving up; it's about living life with your engine on overdrive. So this unofficial "Cougar Club" quickly learns three things about survival of the fittest in today's youth-obsessed society: True friendship never dies, the only way to live is real, and you're never too old to follow your heart."

My take: I have never read anything by Susan McBride before. Imagine my surprise when I realized she lives in St. Louis, MO and was writing about places in the STL area that are at least familiar to me in passing. (I've only lived here a little over 3 years). I enjoyed the book very much and maybe part of that is because I like younger men, myself! My ex-husband is 10 years younger than me... Anyway, the book starts out with Kat, she loses her job and catches her boyfriend in a not-so-delicate position all in a matter of a few hours. She decides that it's time to move back home to St. Louis and she winds up reconnecting with two good friends in the process. Each of the women has their own unique situation/story and I found the book very entertaining. I think my favorite character was Elise. She may be married, and she may think her hubby is cheating on her, but you'll never suspect with who! I think the over-forty crowd will be able to relate to this book.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Avon A; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061771260
ISBN-13: 978-0061771262

My Rating: B

Book Review: Incarceron

Book Review: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

First sentence: "Finn had been flung on his face and chained to the stone slabs of the transitway."

From the inside flap: "Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: Its inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities, and unbounded wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.

Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, can't remember his childhood and believes he came from Outside Incarceron. He's going to escape, even though most inmates don't believe that Outside even exists. And then Finn finds a crystal key and through it, a girl named Claudia.

Claudia claims to live Outside -- her father is the Warden of Incarceron and she's doomed to an arranged marriage. If she helps Finn escape, she will need his help in return.

But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost far more than they know.

Because Incarceron is Alive."

My take: I liked this book a lot. It was a gripping story, well-written and very intriguing. I loved the twists and turns and the excitement and the energy. I had a hard time bringing myself to put the book down. I'm anxous for Sapphique to come out now! I liked the characters -- Claudia was a great heroine. She has grit and spirit and yet she's very likable. Finn sometimes seemed a little weak, but he came through when it really counted. He's Oathbrother Keiro was even likable in a bastard sort of way. I highly recommend this book for entertainment purposes! The way Catherine Fisher writes, the way she weaves a story, makes me wonder why I've not read her work before. You can bet that will change!

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Dial; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0803733968
ISBN-13: 978-0803733961

My Rating: A

Book Review: Wondrous Strange

Book Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

First sentence: "Puck's tortured words rang in Kelley's ears as she lifted her head, struggling against the darkness that threatened to descend upon her."

From the back: "For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icce King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening... something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery -- and her growing feelings for Sonny -- in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance."

My take: I bought this book used at Half Price Books some time ago and never quite got around to reading it. I like Fairy stories, but must confess -- after reading Maggie Stiefvater's work... I'm a little bit spoiled. This is a good enough read, I won't say that the author didn't do a fine job, because she did. I liked the book a lot. I liked Sonny. Kelley? Not so much. I don't know why, but there was just something about her that didn't sit well with me. The ending leaves you wanting more Kelley and Sonny and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. Entertaining, quick easy read. This wasn't actually a book about romance, either. Not particularly.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061575399
ISBN-13: 978-0061575396

My Rating: B

Book Review: The Alchemyst

Book Review: The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

First sentence: "Ok -- answer me this: why would anyone want to wear an overcoat in San Francisco in the middle of summer?"

From the back: "The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on Septermber 28, 1330. Nearly seven hundred years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.

The records show that he died in 1418.
But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects -- the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world.

That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.
And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time."

My take: It was a bit of a snoozer in places. It was an exciting adventure ride in others. Like waiting for hours and hours in a long line at Disney World -- only to have the thrill of the ride over in a matter of moments. The reason I read this book is because I wanted to read his newest one and decided I might want to read them in order. The Alchemyst being the first of the series. I think that you do need to read them all in order, this is how it all began for Sophie and Josh. I will most likely read them, one by one at some point. I enjoyed the book and clearly visualized much of the story in my mind. I recommend the book to people who are into fantasy so unbelievable that it can be made believable by the right author.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (June 24, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385736002
ISBN-13: 978-0385736008

My Rating: C

The Poison Diaries

The Poison Diaries

This looks like a good one!

In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . .

Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure -- or kill.

When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined . . .

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

First sentence: "Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day."

From the back: "According to Anna's best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie -- she's already had her romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago."

My take: Such a touching story. I laughed, I cried. I loved Anna and Frankie. Envied them on their A.B.S.E. (Absolute Best Summer Ever). Felt sorry for both of them for their loss of Matt and saw through their eyes how that lost affected both of them in different ways. There are so many good things about this book. I liked it a lot and look forward to reading more things by Sarah Ockler. A great book to take to the beach or to lounge around pool side with over the summer.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316051586
ISBN-13: 978-0316051583

My Rating: A

Book Review: Rules of Attraction

Book Review: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

First sentence: "I want to live life on my own terms."

From the front flap: "Carlos Fuentes idolized his older brother, Alex, when he was a member of the Latino Blood. So when Alex chose to get jumped out of the gang for a chance at a future with his gringa girlfriend, Brittany, Carlos felt shocked and betrayed. Even worse, Alex forced Carlos to come back from Mexico to join him on th estraight and narrow path. Trouble is, Carlos just wants to keep living on the edge. And ties to his Mexican gang aren't easy to break, even hundreds of miles away in Colorado.

In Boulder, Carlos has to live with one of Alex's college professors -- and he feels completely out of place. He's even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor's daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he's usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart."

My take: I love the way Simone Elkeles writes. I loved Perfect Chemistry to the point of it being my favorite book from 2009. This book is a lot like Perfect Chemistry. The chapters alternate between Carlos' point of view and Kiara's point of view. I like books that do that, so that you can get a feel for what each of the main characters is thinking and feeling. I liked the characters a lot in this book. In fact, I liked Kiara from this story more than I did Brittany from the first story. I might have liked Alex better than Carlos, but they are both likable in a bad boy sort of way. Some twists and turns and a little bit of action and a little something you don't see coming at the end. Great book! I could not put it down.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers (April 13, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802720854
ISBN-13: 978-0802720856

My Rating: A

Book Review: Sunshine

Book Review: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

First sentence: "It was a dumb thing to do, but it wasn't that dumb."

From the back: "It was a dumb thing to do but it wasn't that dumb. There hadn't been any trouble out at the lake in years. And it was so exquisitely far from the rest of Sunshine's life; she just needed to be alone with her thoughts for a little while. But then the vampires found her. Now, chained and imprisoned in a tumbledown mansion, alone but for the vampire shackled next to her, Sunshine must call on skills she didn't know she had if she is to survive. But her fellow prisoner is not what she expected of a vampire, and soon Sunshine discovers that not only does she need his help, he needs hers..."

My take: I'm a sucker for a good vampire story. I really am. I blame Twilight! Twilight was like a form of crack for me that sucked me in and got me addicted to reading again. A good crack, I guess. I've never read any of Robin McKinley's work, but know that most people rave about it. You are probably wondering why I've mentioned Twilight and crack in a book review that is NOT about Twilight or crack -- I'm trying to make a point about the writing style of this book. The entire novel of Sunshine is full of non-important rambles stuck here and there in between the "good" stuff. Some rambles lasted for a paragraph or two, others painfully drug on for a couple of pages. I think the author thought this information would help flesh out the world she created, but instead it bored me to tears and I found myself skimming over a lot of the pages. The story advances for a couple of pages, and then I found myself cross-eyed with more details and I would forget what I'd been reading in the first place. If this 400 page novel had been 300 pages by editing out all the unnecessary stuff, then it might have been a really good book. The storyline, the plot, the characters -- very strong points. The unnecessary filler stuck in randomly here and there? Not so much. The description says Young Adult. But I think it's for older YA's.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Speak (April 29, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0142411108
ISBN-13: 978-0142411100

My Rating: D

Book Review: Light Beneath Ferns

Book Review: Light Beneath Ferns by Anne Spollen

First sentence: "This story does not teach a lesson."

From "Elizah Rayne is nothing like other fourteen-year-old girls. More interested in bird bones than people, she wraps herself in silence. Trying to escape the shadow of her gambler father, Elizah and her mother move into an old house that borders a cemetery. All her mother wants is for them to have "normal" lives. But that becomes impossible for Elizah when she finds a human jawbone by the river and meets Nathaniel, a strangely hypnotic boy who draws Elizah into his dreamlike and mysterious world.

Only by forgetting everything she knows can Elizah understand the truth about Nathaniel—and discover an unimaginable secret."

My take: I honestly thought that this book would be different than it was. I thought that I'd like it more than I did. It reminded me a lot of "The Hollow." It's not a bad book. It's short and I never felt like I was struggling to get through it. I kept with it, thinking something was going to happen. Elizah's a loner. Not a very likable loner. Why the people around her -- boys and girls -- even bother trying to be friends with her is beyond me. She moves into a new school and doesn't talk to anyone. Just wants to be left alone. My guess is that in the real world... people would not go out of their way to be nice to her just because. But that's just my opinion. The boy who does like her... not sure why. She just isn't likable. Period. Find a library copy, or borrow it if you want to read it. I didn't hate it, it just didn't grab me like I would have hoped.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Flux (February 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738715425
ISBN-13: 978-0738715421

My Rating: C

Book Review: The Body Finder

Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

First sentence: "The sound of the alarm clock was an irritating intrusion into the comfortable haze of sleep that wrapped its arms around Violet."

From the front flap: "Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies -- or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer -- and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself."

My take: I enjoyed this book and it didn't take long for me to work through the 300+ pages. A little romance. A little paranormal. A little mystery. A lot of things to keep me intrigued. I liked Violet. I liked Jay. What girl wouldn't want to fall in love with her best friend? This was a great book, sure to go on my list of favorites for the year.

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

From the Shadows
Along For The Ride

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (March 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061779814
ISBN-13: 978-0061779817

My Rating: A

May Recap

Monthly Recap for May 2010

Books I read this month:

1. Love You, Hate You, Miss You
2. Shade
3. The Year of Disappearances
4. The Light of Asteria
5. A Certain Slant of Light
6. Catching Fire
7. The Hunger Games
8. Return to Sender
9. April & Oliver
10. The Society of S: A Novel
11. Wings
12. Fade
13. Leaving Paradise

This month's reads were all so good that it's hard for me to pick my favorite. But I loved "April & Oliver" just a little bit more than the others. The least favorite read was "Return to Sender." Even that one was a decent book. It just fell short of the other books I read for the month. I finished "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" technically in May, but didn't get the review up until June, so I will count that toward June's reads.

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

First sentence: "My mother used to tell me about the ocean."

From the back: "In Mary's world, there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and service. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the forest of hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?"

My take: I enjoyed this book. Now... I have to get "The Dead Tossed Waves." Most YA romance novels that I've ready end happily every after. You know, where girl sees boy -- falls in love with said boy -- and they ride off into the sunset together. In this book, they hardly ride off into the sunset. More like fight their way out along a path out into who knows where. I liked Mary a lot. When I was reading this book, I couldn't help but be reminded of Gone With The Wind. Why? Because Mary reminded me of Scarlett O'Hara and Cass reminded me of Melanie. All the men wanted Scarlett -- but she only wanted Ashley. If you haven't read or seen Gone With The Wind, you won't have a clue what I'm babbling about. :) I know that I'm a little late getting to this party, but if you haven't read this book, what are you waiting for?!

If you've reviewed the book, leave a comment here and I'll post a link to your review!

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (February 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385736827
ISBN-13: 978-0385736824

My Rating: A


Congratulations Brenda -- misskallie2000! You are the winner of the May giveaway and are the proud recipient of a $15.00 gift card from You have been notified. :)

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