Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book - Sewing a Friendship

Summer vacation had just started while the wind listened to a group of friends (Sokron Blossom, Meeka Venya, Jonsy Jipsy, Nina Key), all seven (7) years old, discussing their summer plans, a new one was presented to them. They wanted to be a part of the big fashion show, but the problem was they needed a five (5) member team to enter. They were only four (4), but as they were trying to figure out how to fix it, Sokron’s dog, Dogon, took off with the rules for entering. Chasing him down they found another little girl (Kiki Shaver), but she was nine (9) which might work out because one of the rules was that at least one of the team members had to be at least nine (9). So they asked Kiki if she wanted to be a part of the fashion show as one of their team mates. After much thought, Kiki agreed, for one reason she didn’t have many friends so she thought this would be a good place to start making some.

As a story concept, this is a very cute and inspirational one. One member of the team is overcoming a fear of shyness and all of them are looking past some of their preconceived opinions of the others. Mostly I liked how they were all accepted for who they are and they all made the best of each of their own special strengths to make it to the fashion show. The help of Babushka (Grandma) and Dogon was a cute addition to the story, but not entirely necessary. (The nit-pick section of my review is about the grammar), I did find a few spots that should have maybe been corrected, but only a small handful of them. The illustrations on this book are Magna in style, full of color and tie into the story well.

The interesting thing about this book is the fact that it is written and illustrated by a 10 year old. As a writer, she has room to grow (of course) but to be able to articulate herself so well through her story and pictures is just amazing. The book I received shows that it is has already been nominated or received awards from several places. This may be an up and coming author to watch. ( )

Book - Oh My Goth!

Always being the outcast in Haloway High School, goth girl Jade Leigh was not surprised she got into trouble again and was sent to the principles office. Surprised to see the popular girl, barbie like Mercedes Turner there and finding out that even though they were being punished for different crimes, they were going to be punished together. Being taken to see Dr. John Laroque, being sedated and then hooked up to computers didn’t prepare either of them for the virtual reality that they were about to enter. Punishment was living in a world where things are different than the norm, goth is now the in fashion and the barbie style is the outcast. New kid Clarik Spanger had just arrived and not been labeled yet and so, he wasn’t in the virtual Haloway High either. Having to find a way to work together so that they could get out of this world and back to normal life, Jade and Mercedes tried to put there differences aside, but it would not be easy, they had hated each other for years.

While I really like Gena Showalter and her creative story telling, this is one of the few that I have had any issue with. This is about high school students, but as a young adult book I would not recommend it to the younger end of the genre. There was lessons to learn about prejudice and conformity, but the end didn’t hammer that in to hard. Fun and fast paced, but had a difficult time feeling for the characters, all of them have their good and bad points, but they were all a bit to shallow for my tastes. I still like Gena Showalter a lot, with her creativity and story telling abilities. ( )
October 23, 2010

Book - Call Me Mrs. Miracle

Christmas season is rolling along while Jake Finley is struggling as always with the holiday season. Functioning only in a business capacity, he and his father JR disagree over the amount of one particular toy Jake orders for their family owned department store. The Intellytron Robot costs a lot of money and JR is concerned it wont sell by Christmas while Jake believes in his decision. Wanting most of all for his father to come home from the war, Gabe’s second choice is the expensive Intellytron (Telly) which his Aunt Holly will do anything she can to get for him. A chance meeting or designed by Mrs. Emily Merkle (known as Mrs. Miracle), Jake and Holly find that they each seem to need something that the other has to offer.

Christmas wishes and dreams of not only a small child who is missing his father, but for so many others that can be affected by gentle persuasion and chance encounters. As always, Debbie Macomber has put together and emotional, realistic and fun story about the season of giving. It was a quick read and worth every minute. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, of course I would recommend nearly every Debbie Macomber book that I have read to anyone, she is still one of my favorite authors.

What a great Christmas special this will make. I enjoyed the first Mrs. Miracle book and then the movie with Doris Roberts, and now they are collaborating again to bring this one to the Hallmark Channel (November 27, 2010). ( )
October 22, 2010

Book - Queen of the Night

This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Find Diane Walker working on her latest book and retired Brandon Walker trying to stay busy with TLC (The Last Chance). Spending most of his time going back and forth between ailing fellow TLC detective and longtime friend trying to find the answers to a very old case and his wife who seems to be having some struggles of her own. The newest of the murder rampages falls to Brian Fellows to look at with the help of the border patrol officer (Dan Pardee) that found the bodies. The four bodies were found on the Tohono O’odham Nation land, when the next of kin notifications were made, the death count went up by three more. Leaving only a small child behind as a witness, Dr. Lani Walker, with the help of Dan Pardee, kept the child in the Hospital for safety. Tracking and catching this killer before he realizes that he left any witnesses might be more dangerous than any of them realize.

Book 4 ….. I received this as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. When I realized that it was actually the forth (4th) book of the series, I decided that it would possibly be best to read the first three (3) of the series before I read this one so that I could understand the story line a little better. I was right to do that, I felt that if I had just read this story as a stand alone I would have not been able to follow all of the characters as well (there was a lot of characters in this one), most were reoccurring from the previous books. The bouncing back and forth between stories and years and places was a little confusing at times, but the main story line covered only a couple of days in early June 2009. Enjoyed the side story of Brandon and Diane, this did have the feel of the last of them, kind of a conclusion. I suppose if JA Jance wanted to continue this particular type of series, she could follow Lani, Brian and Dan. I never did figure out why the temperature was so important that it had a title type position with the places, dates and times, but it does help show how the desert can be different times of the day. I like reading about Tucson (I lived there for a long time) and this series has been an interesting way to remember the city. ( )
flag Oct 21, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Book - Hannah's List

It had been a year since Hannah’s death and while Michael Everett had continued his life, he still hadn’t moved on. Knowing her husband the way she did, Hannah left a letter with her brother, Ritchie (Michael’s best friend) with instructions of when to deliver it. One year after her death she was giving him one more last request, move on, re-marry, have kids, be happy. It would be a difficult request to fulfill so Hannah had given him the help he needed. The rest of the letter contained names of three women: Winter Adams - Hannah’s own cousin and the owner of the cafĂ© on Blossom Street. Leanne Lancaster - an oncology nurse that was always kind and caring. Macy Roth - a model and artist that was funny and clever and always has a smile to share. Not believing for a minute that he would pick one of his late wife’s choices to be a wife to him now, but knowing he had to grant her final wish, he decided to give it a try.

Book 7 ….. A little different perspective than normal, it is all from the mans (Michaels) point of view. Not mush of a connection to Blossom street, but wow - it was an emotional ride. From the first paragraph to the last it was an emotional book for me. There was a connection with the characters were from the beginning. The ladies all had problems as does Michael, but that just makes them all easier to relate to. Predictable - yes the one you think he ends up with from the beginning is the one he ends up with, but it’s the journey and not the outcome that makes this emotional drama worth the time. Tears flowed, for varied reasons and after all the “I knew its” I just reminded myself that this is why I like Debbie Macomber books so much. The simple yet emotional charged story of a man trying to move on. ( )

Book - Undead and Unreturnable

While Eric Sinclair considered them consorts and not in need of a wedding ceremony, Elizabeth (Betsy) Taylor had always dreamed of her wedding day. She was having a wedding, she was the Queen Vampire and no one was going to stand in her way of having that dream wedding. Not her new born baby brother, not the growing friendship with her half sister (the devil’s spawn), not the vampire fiend living in the basement, not the human serial killer, not the new ghost checking out all of her shoes, and definitely not her intended groom. Everything seemed to be working against this wedding that she had already rescheduled, more than once, but with determination she would succeed. The solution to some of the obstacles might be finding and helping her cop friend catch the “Driveway Killer”

Book 4 ….. Another humorous break from the seriousness of most paranormal romance novels. This one went really fast, I was almost surprised to find myself done. As always, Queen Betsy is the Shop-aholic shoe aficionado with a strange twist of her own on being a vampire. I really enjoyed George’s contributions (the vampire fiend in the basement). Entertainment value is there, as always I liked the laughs, there wasn’t really a clear main story to this book. Format reminded me of a soap opera, bouncing from one story line to another with little bits of overlap and some cross over between them. Haven’t decided if this kind of mix works for me, so I guess I will have to read the next one (Undead and Unpopular) to try and figure it out. ( )
October 14, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book - Hunger Games

District 12 was the coal mining district, the scarcity of food made it difficult to support her family (mother and younger sister, Prim). With only the meager rations allotted to them, Katniss Everdeen and her friend Gale Hawthorne regularly took to the forest to hunt, even though it was against the law. Her father had taught her the basics of surviving off the land and trading before he died and with Gales help, she was able to build her skills. Every year there was a reaping day, and that day was coming soon. One boy and one girl from each of the remaining 12 districts would be chosen to be a tribute for the Hunger Games. This year, Prims name was pulled for the girls but there was no way that Katniss would allow her 12 year old sister be a tribute, so she volunteered. The boy tribute drawn was Peeta Mellark, the son of the baker and a boy that she had remembered was once nice to her and her family. Knowing that very soon one or both of them would be dead saddened her with the only good thing being that her mother, sister and Gale would all be safe for the next year.

Book 1 …..This is marked as a Young Adult, but it seems a bit dark and violent for the younger of the group. Just because it is about teens doesn’t mean it is necessarily for teens. This game of survival is deadly for he children involved and the savagery is encouraged by the government. The story is fast paced and an attention grabber for sure. The characters are well formed (I think my favorite is dear Rue) and the action was quick and intense. The writing style had me pausing occasionally, it was tedious and exhausting with the ‘he said’, ‘she said’s (don’t know how else to explain it). This was not much of a concern compared to the story line, characters, action scene and the ending. Some might be content with this ending, but not me (primarily a romance reader), I need to know what comes next (in Catching Fire) for them all. ( )
October 13, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book - Halfway to the Grave

After discovering that she was the product of a rape, which is bad enough, she learns her mother had been raped by a vampire then delivered Catherine Crawfield (Cat) only five months later. Putting a whole new twist on being different, she is half-vampire and half-human. Hatred of the vampires grew in mother and daughter till Cat started hunting them - with her mothers encouragement. Bones was a vampire hunter also, he had his own reasons for hunting them, even though he was a vampire himself. Training Cat (Kitten to him) was beneficial to both of their causes. Keeping their feelings (good and bad) for each other out of their hunting relationship proves to be a tall order, for both of them.

Book 1 ….. This one has been on my tbr (to be read) for a while, not sure why I haven’t grabbed it before now, but so glad I finally did (thanks for the recommendation Penney). At first I was not sure how I felt about Cat and her preconceived, though understandable, prejudices - yes toward the vampires. Then in comes Bones, *sigh* so gentle yet strong (such a contradiction - in a good way) and determined to teach her whether she wants to learn or not. What a combination these two are. I know I will be getting the next one, since this one is left in a cliffhanger, I really have to know what comes next for Cat and Bones in ’One Foot in the Grave’. ( )
October 10, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Book - Thin, Rich, Pretty

Finding a friend in summer camp was easy for Holly and Nicola, they had to be friends with each other because the others girls wouldn’t be. While Holly had been fighting her weight and wanted to be thin, Nicola had a nose that no one thought was pretty, so a bond was formed to protect themselves and each other from the mean girls in the cabin with them. Always being grouped with the mean girls helped keep Lexi from being picked on like Holly and Nicola were, but it also left her more lonely than anyone would have guessed. Jump forward twenty years to find that Holly and Nicola have remained friends. While Holly runs an successful art gallery, she still struggles with her weight and Nicola may have been the lead actress in a hit movie, but she still regards her nose as less then her best attribute. The years have not changed Lexi much with the exception of her father dying and leaving everything to the step-mom. Now making her way on her own for the first time, Lexi must find a job, a place to live and a new way of life for herself. Her surprising turn of fate may change more than just her life.

Found so many of aspects of all of these characters that I could relate to. Bouncing back and forth with the summer at camp gave a good indication of just what type of people these girls/ladies are. Really enjoyed this one with it’s subtle romance but mostly it is a good friendship story. Surprisingly cared about Lexi as well as Holly and Nicola. A good view at the theory of “getting what you want doesn’t always make you happy”. A feel good story, thanks Macmillian audio books (I won this audio book through a facebook contest), I am interested in seeing what else Beth Harbison has written. ( )
Oct 7, 2010

e-Book - Render

This was a quick story, soft and gentle, that was over way too fast. I really enjoyed these characters and would like more of them. Which it appears I can get since this seems to be a short prequel to Beautiful Disaster. ( )
Sep 30, 2010