Saturday, November 30, 2013

Allegiant (Divergent, #3) by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

There were things that I liked about this book and things I disliked. I would actually give it a 2.5 rating out of a 5 star rating scale if I could. This is the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy. It explains some aspects of their society and shows what the rest of the country was like, but it still ignores the rest of the entire world. We finally find out what is going on, but it is rather bizarre and totally unrealistic. Good fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian fiction has a world that is believable in it's own setting and this one is not. I did not like the ending. At all.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Board Stiff by Piers Anthony (Xanth #38)

Board Stiff by Piers Anthony
I received this book free to review from Netgalley. It is the 38th Xanth book. I have been reading these books since the 1980s close to the time they began being written, when I was in college and my boyfriend and I would fight over who got to read each new novel first. I do think that the earlier books are better than the latter ones, but if you love the Xanth novels, then you will enjoy this one as well. It is full of puns including many computer related puns this time and the plot revolves around a group of characters on a quest. Kandy has been turned into a board by a wishing well and given to Ease, who wished for the perfect woman. Together with Tiara, who has unmanageable hair, Mitch, whose hair is rather unusual as well, Pewter, a manifestation of Com Pewter, and Astrid, a basilisk in lovely human form, the friends traverse Xanth in a variety of settings aided and hampered by magic, puns and Demons as they attempt to save Xanth from a pun destroying virus. Magic, romance, adventure and puns abound in this fun novel. I highly recommend it!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1)
I chose this book to read because it is on the World Book Night 2014 list. It weaves together a variety of bizarrely fractured fairy tale elements into the story of Sunday, a seventh daughter of a seventh daughter in a magical family of too many children who live in a rather unusual home. Sunday meets a frog, who of course is an enchanted prince and falls in love with him - as a frog. Will she know him as a man? Romance, magic and love abound in this twisted tale of fantasy and fun! I enjoyed this book very much!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hoot by Carl Hiassen

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
I chose to read this book because it is on the list of books for World Book Night 2014.
I substitute teach and have given out books from World Book Night to students for the past two years. I like to give books that I totally love and can highly recommend to the students. Hoot is a funny book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not sure, however, if kids will enjoy it as much. It is a book about kids, but it is written in a more adult voice. Roy is 12 years old, and the new kid in school, since his family moves a lot. He is being hassled by the local bully, which, having often been the new kid, Roy is rather used to, but, reluctant to put up with. When he sees a barefoot boy running by the school bus, he is intrigued, and decides to investigate, which lands him right in the middle of a standoff between the barefoot boy and a pancake house and some endangered owls. Toss in some incompetent adults and some humor and it makes a funny story.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) by Lindsey Fairleigh ,and Lindsey Pogue

Into The Fire by Lindsey Fairleigh
Better than the first book. Dani is now in the Colony, which is run by a maniacal man who has the power to control other people's thoughts and is trying to - well -  rule the world basically. Her friends, Zoe, Jason, Jack and the others are trying to find and rescue her. MG, the man of her dreams, is now Gabe and he is really not so dreamy. There is a lot of action, some romance and plot twists and the book is a really good read. There is no more e-mailing - which was odd anyway, instead, there is telepathic communication between the girls, but there are way too many coincidental relationships. It is the end of the world as we know it, yet somehow, all of the main characters wind up having known each other or having been related to one another before the virus that wiped out most of the population and left the rest of them with mental abilities like telepathy, the ability to wipe other people's memories and other super powers. I received this book free to review from Netgalley and I do recommend it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
This book has some fantabulous first lines! First line of the book: "During the third attack, Hazel almost ate a boulder." First line of chapter XXIX: "Percy was relieved when the demon grandmothers closed in for the kill." And, chapter XLIII: "Piper didn't plan to shoot blueberry muffins." Those are just a few teasers to the adventure that lies within this book. Amidst the fun of fighting off monsters and demons and traveling through Tartarus, the book also includes humor, a little romance and the breaking of a cultural taboo. I see that many people were upset by that, but actually, it was part of the ancient Greek and Roman lifestyles and it is part of today's culture too. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought it was fantastic!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber
I found this to be a very open and real memoir and an interesting book. Nadia is an ex-alcoholic and stand up comic and she became a Lutheran pastor. She tells about her past and present lives and her struggles with being a pastor. I found some quotes in her book that I really enjoyed including: "I can't imagine that the God of the universe is limited to our ideas of God." "I need a God who is bigger and more nimble and mysterious than what I could understand and contrive. Otherwise it can feel like I am worshipping nothing more than my own ability to understand the divine." She started her church as one for the outcasts like herself - the tattooed, the homosexuals and others outside of "regular" church attendees. I love that when the soccer moms and business men started attending too, she got over her initial feelings of "they don't belong here" and was able to really have an all-inclusive church. This is an interesting book and I enjoyed reading it.

Infinity (The Chronicles of Nerissette, #3) by Andria Buchanan

Infinity by Andria Buchanan
Lies, betrayal, war and death abound as Allie's aunt tries to take over the kingdom and the throne. Who can Allie trust? Will ruling as queen turn her into a bloodthirsty monster? What does Allie really want and what will Fate allow? Read to find out in this third book of the series. I received this book free to review from Netgalley. I enjoyed the series and highly recommend it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Evanescent (The Chronicles of Nerissette, #2) by Andria Buchanan

Evanescent by Andria Buchanan
Fantasy, adventure and romance abound as Allie, now Queen of Nerisesette, and her boyfriend Winston, a dragon and her best friend Mercedes, a dryad along with her loyal subjects, fight to keep their world safe from the Fate Maker, who, having disappeared, is not really gone. All the while, Mercedes, Winston and Allie really want to find a way to get back home although Allie is torn between her love for her friends and family and her loyalty to her kingdom. Allie learns that being Queen can be rather boring and frustrating at times as well as being a quite dangerous job. The book is fast paced and action packed and I look forward to reading the next one!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Everlast (The Chronicles of Nerissette #1) by Andria Buchanan

Everlast (The Chronicles of Nerissette, #1)
Allie was a fairly normal teenager until one day, she and some friends "Opened the book...fell through the hole in reality, woke up here." Here would be Nerissette, a place that Allie had only read about as a fairy tale. Now, she and her friends are trapped there and she is to become their queen. With dragons and dryads, evil trolls and giants and the most evil of all, the magicians, Nerissette needs a queen to save them all. Apparantly, that would be Allie. Fantastic adventure and a lovely fairy tale! I am looking forward to reading the next two books!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ever Wrath (A Dark Faerie Tale #4) by Alexia Purdy

Ever Wrath (A Dark Faerie Tale, #4)
Best in the series. I think this book wraps up the series very well so far. While some book series start off with a bang and end with a whimper, this one starts out in dire need of an editor and ends on a high note. I did not find editing errors in this book at all - either because it was edited better or because I was so wrapped up in the story. I like that Shade is a strong female hero and that while the books have romance, they do not have sexual content and they are quite appropriate for the Young Adult audience. With fantasy, action, adventure and romance, this is a great YA novel.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ever Winter (A Dark Faerie Tale, #3) by Alexia Purdy

Ever Winter by Alexia Purdy
Getting better! I did not find as many editing problems in this book as I did in the earlier ones. That helps a lot. In this book, Shade comes into her power, is enmeshed in the fairie battle, and brings her family and best friend into it as well. With more action and romance, this was a really good book!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ever Fire (A Dark Faerie Tale, #2) by Alexia Purdy

Ever Fire by Alexia Purdy
I received this book free to review from Netgalley, so I went on and got the first two books to read as well. I think this book is better than book one and book 0.5, but it still needs an editor. I don't know why authors chose to publish books without hiring an editor. Alexia, HIRE A GOOD EDITOR! The books would be much better if they were properly edited. The story has action and romance. I am not thrilled about the whole Twilightish two boys are in love with me and what should I do now thing, but the story was still pretty good. I do recommend this book.

Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale #1) by Alexia Purdy

Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale, #1)
Shade is 18 years old and has always heard "voices" in her head. Now they lead her to a situation that takes her to the land of fairie where she learns that she is half faery and only she can save their world. So, she takes off on an often dangerous quest through faery to retrieve the magic waters that will save the land according to one of the two factions of faerys who are fighting. The book contains some inconsistencies and needs better editing, but is an interesting adventure.                  

Evangeline (A Dark Faerie Tale 0.5) by Alexia Purdy

Evangeline (A Dark Faerie Tale, #0.5)
Perhaps it is better to read the other books first? I read this because it is supposed to be an introduction to the series. It is choppy and needs editing and cannot stand alone. At least it was free. I hope the other books are better.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Lightning Charmer by Kathryn Magendie

The Lightning Charmer by Kathryn Magendie
Sorry, sorry, sorry. Strange, strange, strange. When an author cannot express her character's emotion in any other way than repeating the same word over and over - usually 3 times - is 3 times the charm? - then it is time for the author to increase her vocabulary a bit I think. The book is not well written and is poorly edited and is rambling and confusing and contains inconsistencies. I received it free to review from Netgalley. I am giving it a two star review rather than a one star because there is a bit of a plot in there somewhere trying to be found and I was able to actually finish the book although I did want to just give up on it for a while because parts of it are so bad. I don't recommend this book.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model by Kylie Bisutti

I'm No Angel by Kylie Bisutti
Kylie tells her story of what it was like being a fashion model as a teenager and how she won a Victoria's Secret Angel contest. She explains how she saw the ugly side of the modeling industry and how she became a Christian, married a Christian man and how that changed her views of the modeling that she was doing. After finally seeing that the modeling she was doing was simply selling sex, and seeing that the top of the industry is just as bad as the bottom, she was convicted by the Lord to quit modeling. She now has a ministry to girls about modesty and beauty. I think that the book is well written and interesting - I read the whole thing in a few hours today and I think that it does send a good message to girls and women.

The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore

The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
In book 4 of the series, all of the Lorians are brought together when they find Five. Lots of fighting - both the Mogs and each other - abounds in this book as the Garde tries to plan a way to keep the Mogs from taking over earth. Ella, however is having strange dreams featuring Setrakus Ra, the evil Mog leader and Five is not terribly friendly. The book ends in a cliffhanger and has excerpts from several of the "Lost Files" novellas at the end. If you enjoyed the first 3 books, you will enjoy this one as well.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Daniel Cure: A Guide to Improving Your Physical and Spiritual Health by Susan Gregory, Richard J Bloomer

The Daniel Cure by Susan Gregory
I received this book free to review from Netgalley. I realized that it is sort of a companion book to the book titled "The Daniel Fast" by the same author and I bought that book although you don't need to read one to read the other - they can each stand alone. The Daniel Cure book explains the Daniel Fast concept - which I will go into later, and takes it further, adding a few more food choices and making it a lifestyle choice due to the author's documented cases where eating this type of diet can "cure" diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

The Daniel Fast is basically a vegan diet with no sweeteners and no drinks except for water. It is a 21 day diet based on the verses in the book of Daniel from the Bible where Daniel refuses to eat the meat and wine and rich foods that the king offers because they are not kosher and he and his friends prove that they can remain healthy and strong on a vegan diet.

This book goes into detail about the causes and symptoms of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and inflammation and then explains how eating according to the Daniel Fast diet can help cure those problems.
The book includes a 21 day diet plan, and devotional plan along with recipes and tips for how to change your diet into a lifestyle of eating healthily. The Daniel Cure part of the diet adds in a bit of meat and dairy to the purely vegan diet and allows for occasional splurging on treats.

I have read a variety of diet and health books and this one does not contain anything that I have not read elsewhere. They just put a religious spin on the vegan whole food diet by relating it to the Bible and adding a devotional to it.
I think the diet sounds like a healthy one although I was disappointed in the recipes in this book. I found a few recipes in "The Daniel Fast" book that I have tried and enjoyed, but I did not find any in this book that impress me.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Inhuman (Fetch #1) by Kat Falls

Inhuman by Kat Falls
In this YA dystopian novel, a virus called Ferae has been accidentally released into the US, and a wall was built blocking off the part of the country that is east of the Mississippi river to keep the virus from spreading to the rest of the country. Sixteen year old Lane lives west of the Titan wall only having heard rumors and bedtime stories about the hybrid human/animal mixes that the virus creates. Then, she is thrust into the feral zone in order to rescue her father and she sees the results of the virus firsthand. An animal lover, she hates to see the hybrids who have not yet gone feral - violent and no longer thinking as humans - mistreated. Can she complete her mission in this wild and dangerous world and keep from getting infected? Fortunately, two handsome boys who both have the hots for her are there to help her in her attempt to rescue her father. This is the part that I have a problem with. The teenage girl with two guys in love with her theme is way overdone now. It became wildly popular with "Twilight" and continued with "Hunger Games", but it has now been repeated in so many YA books that even the kids are getting tired of it. I substitute taught in a 7th grade Language Arts class last week and showed a clip of preview trailers for books in the book fair that is coming to their school next week. One of the books features the teen girl with two good looking guys who both like her and she has to chose between them theme and the 12 year old kids began complaining about that theme being stupid and overdone.
Kat Falls is an excellent writer and the book is well-written, and gripping with lots of action and a little romance and fits the YA category well. I really did enjoy the book a lot, but I do wish she had stayed away from the whole two hot boys who both like the teen girl theme. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.