Still down

Hi everyone, sorry for my lack of writing lately. Computer’s still down and it looks like it’ll be another week before I’ll be back. I’ve finished all of the books that I had on my TBR list last Friday (amazing!), and now I’m looking for books to read in September. If anyone has any suggestions, or you have a book you want reviewed, send me an email or a comment!

REVIEW: Ascension by Caris Roane

Title/Author: Ascension by Caris Roane

Genre: Paranormal Romance

ISBN:978-0312533717

Buy it link: http://www.amazon.com/Ascension-Guardians-Caris-Roane/dp/0312533713/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346253045&sr=8-1&keywords=ascension+by+caris+roane

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Alison Wells is no ordinary woman. Born with supernatural powers, she can never make love to a man without putting him in grave danger. But when her special vision reveals a glorious muscled man soaring overhead on mighty wings, she feels an overwhelming attraction she cannot resist—even as he tells her: “I have come for you. Your blood belongs to me.”

Oh boy…I’m a huge fan of paranormal romance, and this book is excellent! I was leary of starting this series but I’ve heard so many good things about it from other people. I am so glas I started this series. The author does such a good job of explaining the world and dimensions there wasn’t a single question in my mind. I couldn’t find holes in them, and the storyline didn’t leave time to question anything. The romance was hot, the action was fast-paced. I can’t wait to start the second one!

REVIEW: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Title/Author: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

ISBN:978-0446605236

Buy it link

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

A man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a morning ritual she doesn’t understand. Until he begins to read to her. The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever. Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories… until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape. Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments, and fundamental changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really matters.

I found this to be a very sweet and tender romance story. I think this was the only Nicholas Sparks book that I haven’t cried at, but I was close a few times. It’s so good to read about a romance that can continue and grow stronger throguh the years. Even through the bad times, even when it breaks his heart, Noah continues to love Allie and stay by her side, day by day and night by night.

Downtime

Sorry to all of my followers. My computer’s kaput at home right now, going to the shop tomorrow. I hope to be back up and running on Thursday or Friday.

I’m not ignoring you, just can’t get to you! 🙂

 

Feature and Follow #1

So I found this through Kim at Snuggle My Books. It’s Feature and Follow.

And the question this week is:  Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you’ve read and loved?

At first I couldn’t answer this question, but the old classic book A Wrinkle in Time has been on my mind alot lately (probably because I read Ender’s Game). Its been around for so long, that the cover has changed several times, so I’m just going to pick the most hideous of them.

Apparently this is one of the original covers to the book, which was first published in 1962 ( a full 15 years before I was born!).

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REVIEW: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Title and Author: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Genre: Science Fiction/ YA

ISBN: 978-0812550702

Amazon link/BN.com link/Google Books

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Quick synopsis from Goodreads: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

I’ve seen this book many times in the bookshops I’ve frequented through the years, and have picked it up once or twice to buy it, always putting it back down. I’m glad that I’ve finally read it. This is a classic book that should be a must-read for everyone, along with Madeliene L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.

This book is amazing, and heartbreaking. In the beginning, Ender is six years old. I have a 6 year old and I watched her as I read it. I couldn’t imagine putting my 6 year old through some of that book. On the other hand, Ender is so far advanced, at such a genius level, so beyond the word “gifted”, that its easy to believe you’re reading about a much older child or teen. The way the adults in the book manipulate the children is cruel and heartless…understandable given the situation, but heartless and cruel noetheless.

I enjoyed reading about Ender, and how he kept his humanity throughout the book, instead of becoming callous and unfeeling. The end had me in tears and wanting to read the next book immediately, Speaker for the Dead.

Friday Finds

ImageFRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

This week, I’m happy to say that I finished last week’s TBR pile, and reviewed them all, as well as finally finished Ender’s Game last night. I’m planning on geting a review up for that this weekend. So now, this week, I plan on the following of my massive TBR pile:

1. Ascension by Caris Roane

2. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth

REVIEW: Hunters by Stefanie Pristavu

Title: Hunters

Author: Stefanie Pristavu

ASIN: B008RTTOQ2
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads: Rachel and Daniel broke every rule in the Hunter book.
Don’t turn humans into Hunters. Daniel did that when he saved Rachel from becoming a vampire bride. Don’t travel beyond your assigned area. Assigned area? They’ve traveled half-way around the world in search for Vlad, the vampire boss. Report all hunting activity to the Hunters’ High Council. There’s a Hunters’ High Council? Don’t tell humans about the existence of paranormal beings. Ooopsy, they kinda let that one slip. Don’t resist arrest and escape from your death sentence. Well, about that… If they’re to go down, they’re taking Vlad with them, especially since he screwed up both their lives. The Council has a valid reason to want their heads, but Rachel and Daniel have more pressing matters to worry about. Like the screechy voices inside Rachel’s head which sing of death and destruction and the creepy Banshee who predicts the coming of a Hunter – vampire war. A war which Daniel and Rachel must trigger to save their race from extinction. And Rachel seriously doubts that a head-on battle between the vampires and the Hunters will be their ticket out of the death sentence.
In the beginning, I hated this book. I got the PDF version for free in exchange for giving it an honest review. Throughout the entire book, it switched font and size on my Nook every few words. Very frustrating when you’re trying to read. With the author’s permission, I used Calibre to change it to EPUB format and that fixed that issue.
This was the first book I actually took notes on, I disliked it so much. These are how my notes go: Don’t like this book. Vlad the Impaler? Really?! No real sense for where the book is until about page 17. First four chapters — book 1?! WTH is a Bride? Why do they need to stake vamps so many times?
Eventually, I stopped taking notes and just read the book, despite wanting to put it down and walk away several times. I’m glad I didn’t put it down because eventually it got ok. A lot of the Hunter world wasn’t explained, which made me think that perhaps this should be a book 2 of a series. I didn’t understand how two relatively new “Hunters” could go after THE vamp, Dracula himself. Also, unless you read Stoker’s Dracula and its surrounding mythos, you don’t get the idea behind a Bride. As my notes say, the reader doesn’t know where the characters are in the beginning of the book. Something small to clue the reader in would have been good, and not all the way till page 17 or so.
Ultimately, this book could have been so much better, and definitely has potential, which is why I’m giving it 3 stars.

REVIEW: The Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer

Title: The Wedding Cake Girl

Author: Anne Pfeffer

ASIN: B008ONMR2Y

Genre: YA fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads.com: Seventeen year old Alexandra spends so much time helping others realize their dreams that she never has time for her own. An expert ocean diver and reluctant maker of wedding cakes, she longs to leave roses and frosting behind to study oceanography. Alex’s mother won’t have it—needy and dependent, Mom can’t run the family wedding cake business on her own.

No matter what Alex does, things only get worse for her. When she risks her life to save a tourist while scuba diving and becomes the local hero, Mom’s angry with Alex for going diving at all. Mom also discourages Alex’s new friendship with the insanely wealthy Jeremy, a fun boy with a secret.  Then, Alex’s best friend, Zack, a hunky island guy, starts to take an interest in her as well. The problem is, he’s dating another girl.

As Alex struggles to learn where she stands between her two difficult and confusing Prince Charmings, it occurs to her that maybe what she really needs is a Prince Charming for Mom. If she doesn’t do something, she will make cakes all her life and die in her “Sue’s Wedding Cakery” apron with a spatula in her hand.

This story features a colorful island setting, dangerous underwater diving adventures,a family of billionaires, and lots and lots of buttercream. It is Alex’s journey toward not only finding love, but learning how to step forward and take control of her own life, a rite of passage that faces all young readers.

** I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That being said, let’s continue to the review. I didn’t expect to like this book. I thought it would be too juvenile for my tastes. Instead, I was hooked as soon as I started reading it. I felt the main character Alex was driven, by both her love of oceanography and diving, and her love of her mother.

However, as much as I felt conected to Alex, I felt myself questioning my own mothering abilities, as I put myself up against Alex’s mother. Would I get rid of the object of my daughter’s love if I was afraid she could die from it? Can’t you die from anything? Could I trust my daughter’s judgement? Would I, could I ever be that dependent on my own daughter, and put that much responsibility on her shoulders as a teenager?

And yet, as much as I understand the ending, I don’t agree with it as a mother. But that’s just me. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil it.

The fact that this book made me question and self-reflect upon my maternal abilities definitely gives it a high rating. Life-changing? No. A great read for an adult? Yes. A great read for a teenager/YA? Definitely.

 

It’s Monday! Whatcha reading?

Last week, I was reading Ender’s Game. While I’m still reading parts of it between review books (and really enjoying the book!), currently I’m reading Hunters by Stefanie Pristavu. I’m not going to go into it, I really just started it about two hours ago. Between trying to watch the Monday Night preseason Football game between the New England Patriots and the Philiadelphia Eagles and giving my older daughter a bath, I’ve goten to about page 51 so far. Hoping to get to at least 75 tonight.