Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Missing: Book 5 - Caught by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Caught by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Another most excellent book in The Missing series. A great adventure including time travel and famous people minus Bill and Ted. Jonah and his sister Katherine are once again drawn into the time traveling realm - this time with the missing daughter of Albert Einstein. Turns out that his first wife was majorly smart and highly influencial in his career (in this story at least). Mystery, intrigue, physics and women's equality! What more could you ask for? Great book in a fun series!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Troubletwisters: The Monster by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

The Monster by Garth Nix
This is the second book in the Troubletwisters series. Twins Jack and Jaide who are troubletwisters - twins who will become wardens - supposedly - have now been in Portland for a week. After saving the East Ward, there is again trouble from The Evil. They suspect the father of the new girl Tara of being a possible agent of The Evil. Their grandmother won't tell them the whole story of what is going on because they have not yet gained control of their gifts. Despite all the trouble, they once again manage to save the day - and the town. This is a fun, well-written book.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood kills dead people. He is NOT a Ghostbuster. Following in his father's footsteps, and using his father's athane - a special knife used to kill the dead who are killing the living, he travels around - killing dead people so they won't kill any more living people. Quite the job for a 17 year old boy. His mother, a witch, travels with him and his current job is to kill a ghost who is called Anna Dressed in Blood due to the bloody dress she wears. In this new town, he makes some friends - a first for him - and they join him and try to help him to kill Anna, who he falls in love with and no longer wishes to kill. The entity who killed his father, however, has followed him and now he must deal with him, or be killed himself.
This is a rather haunting story and a good read.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family, #1)

This is an adult tie in to the Blue Bloods series.
In it we follow the stories of Freya, her sister Ingrid, and their mother Joanna as their idyllic town is changed by some sort of evil. Although they have been banned from practicing magic, they break the rules to try to help the people of their town. Freya is caught between loving two brothers, Ingrid tries to help the women of the town and in the end, true identities and motives are revealed - or are they? Looking forward to the next book!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dark Souls by Paula Morris

Dark Souls by Paula Morris
Ahhh, this is a much better book than the author's first book, Ruined.
This book also contains historical and factual information, but it is woven into the story and does not read like a travel guide or history textbook. 
In this story, 16 year old Miranda and her older brother Rob have gone to visit York with their parents in an attempt to try to get over the tragic car wreck that Miranda and Rob had been in 6 moonths before that killed her best friend, Jenna. Ever since the car wreck, Rob has suffered from claustrophobia in cars and other small spaces and Miranda has been able to see ghosts. In York, Miranda meets Nick, a mysterious boy who can also see ghosts, and her brother befriends Sally, a waitress. When strange things begin happening in the cellar of Sally's family's pub, Miranda finds herself drawn into the mystery.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth

Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth

In this book, the author has described 10 principles of Amish life and explains how we can apply these to our lives. Ahe also tells about her own life and how she has tried to apply these principles in her life. To me, the parts about her own life sounded rather sanctimonious and I was not thrilled with that aspect of the book. The Amish princples of living a simple life, in a closely knit family and community focused on the Lord sounded good and I did enjoy that part of the book although that seemed overly idealized in parts as well. There are a few recipes at the end for some breads and soups and I look forward to trying them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ruined: a Novel by Paula Morris

Ruined by Paula Morris

Meh. This book was ok. I often wonder why authors put the words "a novel" after the title of the book. In this case - the title "Ruined a novel" is rather appropriate. The plot had interesting elements and could have been really good, but there were quite a few things that kept it from being as good as it could have been. First of all, Rebecca is supposed to be 16 years old, but her character seems much more like a 12 or 13 year old. I don't think she is ever described physically at all, and her thoughts and feelings don't reach the 16 year old level.  Secondly, the author tries too hard to insert historical and cultural information about New Orleans and does not weave that information in skillfully, so many parts of the book read more like a textbook or travel guide than a novel. Thirdly, the ending is rather bogus. I don't think you could have that many prominent adults and teens from a community involved in a plot to kill an innocent 16 year old girl. One or two maybe, but almost a dozen or more - no way - not realistic.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lost in Time: a Blue Bloods novel by Melissa De La Cruz

Lost in Time by Melissa de la Cruz
In this book, we learn more about Allegra's romance with Ben, and Mimi and Oliver go to hell to rescue Kingsley and Jack, Schuyler and the gang also go to the gates of hell.  I guess you could say that this is one hell of a story. ;) 

Bloody Valentine: a Blue Bloods Book by Melissa De La Cruz

Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz

This book contains three short love stories about 3 of the vampires. I guess the vampire part gives it the "bloody" in the title and the love part is the valentine? But there is no mention of valentine's day in the stories and I thought the title was a bit of a misnomer.
The first story involves Oliver and Freya - a witch who is a character in a different series by the same author. The second story tells the beginning of Allegra and Ben's story, and the third story is about Schuyler and Jack. Nice, short stories to go with the series.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Misguided Angel: a Blue Bloods novel by Melissa De La Cruz

Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz

Mimi Force is now Regent in her father's absence. She is also a Venator and has learned that she has had a pretty cushy life. But, as an Angel of Death, she is a pretty tough warrior chick Vampire. Reality sets in and she takes over things in her fashion. Jack and Schuyler are in Italy and fall in with an odd group and Mimi has put a price on Jack's head for breaking their bond. Two Vampires have been murdered and Mimi must find out who did it and why or risk losing the conclave. Another fast paced novel!

Keys To The Repository by Melissa De La Cruz

Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz
A companion book to the Blue Bloods series, this book fills in some of the details using letters and other documents from the Repository - a library of all of the Vampire records. It tells the history of some of the characters and fills in details from earlier books. A must read for those who like the Blue Bloods books!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Van Alen Legacy: a Blue Bloods novel by Melissa De La Cruz

Van Alen Legacy, The by Melissa de la Cruz
I read this book in a few hours today. It is set a year after the previous book. Schuyler and Oliver have been on the lam. We find out the reason for Bliss's nightmares and visions, Schuyler is still in a love triangle w/ Jack and Oliver, there are lies, intrigue, fallen angels fighting Leviathan and Lucifer and more family secrets revealed. Mimi still has her heart set on bonding with Jack but she finds herself attracted to someone else also.
Another gripping tale!

Revelations: a Blue Bloods novel by Melissa De La Cruz

Revelations (Blue Bloods, #3)
In this book, we learn who some of the Silver Bloods are.  Who are the bad guys and who are the good guys?  Things are not as they seem.  Bliss and Schuyler learn more truths about themselves and the boys they love, their pasts and their families.  Yet, there are still many questions that are unanswered. 
I read this book in less than a day too and am looking forward to the next one.

Masquerade: a Blue Bloods novel by Melissa De La Cruz

Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
This is another fun book in the series. Schuyler and Bliss learn more about their vampire powers, become fashion models and have boy problems. Dylan, who Bliss likes has all sorts of problems that they do not understand, and Jack, who Schuyler likes, is bound to another. Mimi gets involved in the darker side and more vampires die - even though they are supposed to be immortal. The existence of Silver Bloods is debated and the deaths lead them to believe that the threat is once again among them.
Great book - read it in less than a day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Ok, this book has been in our house for a couple of years or so - it is my older daughter's book and I had not read it because I had read the Twilight books and a couple of other vampire series and I was just tired of the whole vampire bandwagon. But, I was dying for some escapism fiction so I picked it up and started reading it - and I really liked it! It is a bit of a different twist on the whole vampire genre. In this book, vampires are fallen angels with glow in the dark blue blood that begins to manifest when they are around 15 years old. Before that, they are not aware that they are vampires. The story follows several young teenagers who are beginning vampires and there is romance and danger and I don't want to go into more detail because you should just read it for yourself. It really is good. I am now going to read the next book in the series!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Dear John
This is a well-written book, and I liked it, but it was too sad.
John is a young man who joined the Army, then later meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah while on leave visiting his father.  They fall in love and plan to marry, but after 911, he re-enlists and she decides she won't wait for him.  So sad.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson

Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson
"What if your imaginary friend from childhood was your one true love?" It would be a delightful, wonderfully imaginative story, which this book certainly is. Jane, whose mother Vivienne is a powerful Broadway producer, had a fantastic imaginary friend named Michael when she was a child. When she turned 9, he had to leave as all imaginary friends do. He told her she would not remember him, but she did - and he remembered her as well. Now, when Jane is in her thirties, Michael appears in her life again. Is he real, or imaginary?
What a fun, fantastic romantic fantasy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn

A Kiss in Time
Such a fun book!  I really enjoy Alex Flinn's re-told fairy tales.
This is the story of sleeping beauty, a princess named Talia, who is cursed to prick her finger on a spindle and fall asleep along with her entire kingdom before her sixteenth birthday.  Her parents spend her whole life trying to shield her from spindles to no avail.  The deed is done, a forest grows around the kingdom and it is not until 300 years later when Jack, a teenager from the USA on tour in Europe decides to skip the tour of yet another museum and while looking for the beach, stumbles through the forest to the sleeping kingdom of Euphrasia, sees the beautiful sleeping princess, kisses and wakes her and the adventure begins. 
Fantastic book, humor and adventure - really loved it!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Never More: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure by James Patterson

Nevermore by James Patterson
My son said it best. It was obvious that the author was trying to end the series. I liked the series, but was not thrilled with this last book. The bird kids are trying to foil a plot to kill off 99% of the world and only leave "enchanced" humans like themselves alive. The scientists are evil, Ari is resurrected yet again, Jeb and Dr. Martinez are involved, the whole flock is reunited and Max choses between Dylan and Fang. We find out who "the voice" is and then it is the end of the world as the Maximum Ride series knows it.

The Power of the Prophetic Blessing by John Hagee

Power of the Prophetic Blessing, The by John Hagee
The image on the cover of this book is an open treasure chest with golden light spilling out from it. It reminds me a bit of "Raiders of The Lost Ark". I think it is about as valid Biblically as "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is as well. I have not read anything by John Hagee before, but I had heard his name and wanted to see what he had to say and was interested in reading the free copy of the book I got to review. I was sadly disappointed with the book. The author has a clear agenda and he picks and choses Bible verses and stories and just says that they support his points. For instance, he claims that "be fruitful and multiply" is both a blessing and a command and therefore must imply that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. What about people who can't or don't want to have children? Are they disobedient or not blessed?  He also claims that Jeremiah 1:4-5 "clearly declares" that "God has called children to a divine work and has sanctified them for that work while they were in their mother's wombs". Really? It seems to me that verse is only about Jeremiah - not about all children. The book goes on and on in the same vein with the author giving Bible verses and saying that they support his views when they have nothing to do with them in reality.
He also says "If you do not passionately believe it - you will not achieve it!" That sounds like the power of positive thinking to me rather than the power of God. It takes matters out of God's hands and makes the results directly linked to the ability of the believer to believe passionately. If you don't achieve it, you obviously did not believe passionately enough.
I was not impressed at all with this book.