My favorite quotes!

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." - C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Ashes

Title:  Ashes
Author:  Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher:  Egmont
Publication Date:  September 6, 2011
Genre:  Young Adult/Horror/Apocalyptic
Pages:  480 pages
Source:  netgalley
Goodreads Description:
It could happen tomorrow...

A cataclysmic event. An army of "The Changed."
Can one teen really survive on her own?

An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human...

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom---a young army veteran---and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.

This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive.
My thoughts:
Thank you Egmont for allowing me to read Ashes before publication.  The first half of the book is exactly as the description states with Ellie and Tom.  Alex is a seventeen year old with a brain tumor that is coming to terms with her parents death, her impending death, and everything else that she is going through.  She goes on a personal trip to get rid of the ashes of her parents.  Suddenly an electromagnetic pulse kills billions including Jack whom Alex has just met.  This leaves Ellie with Alex.  Ellie is the kind of kid that can throw a real fit if she doesn't get her way.  Trying to get to help and figure out whats going on they meet Tom.  Tom saves them and they become a family of sorts.  They have to survive zombies, other survivors, and the environment.
The story changes halfway through and Alex loses Tom and Ellie.  It was a little frustrating having something happen and then the time just jumps forward.  Hehe...I had to go back to the previous page a couple times to make sure I hadn't skipped over anything.  Alex ends up in the town of Rule and things are just strange there.  The book ends in a serious cliffhanger.  I'm not sure if I can wait until next August or September when Shadows is due out, the second in the trilogy.

Friday, July 22, 2011


meme hosted by Ya-Aholic!

1. My first wish would be a months vacation from everything.  I could stay up all night and sleep all day.  I could travel and go exploring.  It would be soooo much FUN!!

2.  My second wish would be to catch some big Borders sales before all the good books are gone.  I know thats bad because its really sad that another bookstore is going out of business. 

3.  I know my third wish could be for Borders to stay in business but to get the sales and discounts!!!
Borders Stores

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: Unlovable

Title:  Unlovable
Author:  Sherry Gammon
Publisher:  WordPainting Unlimited
Publication Date:  January 19, 2011
Genre:  Young Adult/Romance/Thiller
Pages:  307 pages
Source:  Bought for my nook
Goodreads Description:
Seventeen year-old Maggie Brown is truly the poster child for Heroin Chic, complete with her jutting bones and her dark-ringed eyes. She’s struggling with her growing feelings for the new guy at school, Seth Prescott, and fears he is just another person who will let her down, like everyone in her life has done thus far.  Seth Prescott is an undercover cop assigned to Port Fare High, and despite his job, he’s developed strong feelings for Maggie. Seth’s working tirelessly to flush out the sadistic heroin peddlers that have invaded the small town of Port Fare, New York, while Maggie fights to stay alive as the search turns deadly. Seth and Maggie’s romantic journey is one of humor, heartbreak and self-discovery as their world is about to change forever.
My thoughts:
I have been reading A LOT of paranormal, vampire, fairies, shifters books lately.  So having read that genre lately it was different reading Ashfall by Mike Mullin a couple days ago and now Unlovable by Sherry Gammon.  These two books could actually happen in real life and that was a change.  On to my thoughts on Unlovable.
I LOVED Unlovable.  It had been sitting in my nook for a few months and I kept pushing it aside.  Yesterday I decided to give it a go.  Well...I couldn't put it down.  I stayed awake until 5:30 in the morning to finish it (good thing today was my day off!).  First the characters were all great.  Either I loved them, hated them, or they gave me the creeps. 
Maggie Brown is a seventeen year old girl that has a verbally abusive alcoholic of a mother.  She believes that she is unlovable and that everyone in her life is always leaving her and letting her down.  With the kind of life she has lived so far it's easy to understand how she feels.  It is hard for her to let down her walls and let people in.  Maggie is slowly starving to death because her mother uses all her money on getting drunk and staying that way all day.  Throughout the story I felt strongly for Maggie and wanted her to sooo much have things go her way.  She had to take care of her mom - cooking, cleaning, making sure she ate, paying the bills, and everything that a normal seventeen year old shouldn't have to worry about.  Maggie even gave up a FULL SCHOLARSHIP TO STANFORD in order to stay close to take care of her mother.  How selfless and strong is that?!? 
Seth Prescott is a MET agent on assignment at Port Fare High School as a student trying to bust a heroin selling ring.  He is sweet, caring, kind, good-hearted, and good looking.  Hmm...maybe I could trade him for my husband??? Is it wrong of me to crush on a 21 year old character in a book?!? maybe I need help (:  Alright, back to where I was.  Seth is supposed to get close to Maggie to determine whether her and her mother are involved with the heroin ring or the dealers.  Seth, however, falls for Maggie and has to break through the walls that she has put up to protect herself.  In the process he has to also protect her from drug dealers that are out for revenge and also have theirs sights set on Maggie. 
Characters I hated included Bill, Alan, Hillary, Zack, and Maggie's mother.  Characters I loved included Seth, Maggie, Booker, and Cole.  Unlovable is a great read.  It made me laugh and cry sooo many times.  I cannot wait to read other books by Sherry Gammon especially the story of Cole and Booker. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: Ashfall

Title:  Ashfall
Author:  Mike Mullin
Publisher:  Tanglewood
Publication Date:  October 2011
Ages:  12+
Pages:  472
Source:  Netgalley

Goodreads Summary:
Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.
Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

My thoughts:
Ashfall had me hooked from the first page.  I can’t wait to read the sequel and anything else that Mike Mullin publishes.  As his first book this is a winner.  Alex, a young teenager, is left alone while his parents visit his uncle about 140 miles away.  You can tell right away that Alex is a kid that loves his video games and is going through that teenage stage where he believes parents are never right.  A couple pages into the book is when the action starts.  Usually a book takes a little while to get going.  Ashfall was going from the start.  The progress of Alex going from his hometown in Cedar Falls to his uncle’s home in Warren is rough and forces Alex to do a lot of growing up.  Along the way he meets Darla.  Darla and her mom help Alex when he is hurt.  They take him in and get him back on his feet.  Tragedy happens and Darla has to leave her home with Alex.  Along the way they meet people out to hurt them and others, but they also meet people just trying to survive and willing to help.  It is a strong story that is in every way believable. 

In no way am I a scientist on the subject of super volcanoes, but Ashfall seems very believable nonetheless.  It left me thinking and wanting to research all aspects of Yellowstone and the possibilities of the threat that Alex faced.  I want to stockpile food and necessities in my home in case this happens to us (going a little overboard?). 

There are some issues with the age group that the story is aimed toward.  Ages 12 and up seems a little young with some of the events that take place in Ashfall.  Having an almost 12 year old, this is not something I would allow her to read.  Rape, murder, starvation, cannibalism, sexual situations (though not that bad and sometimes just mentioned in passing) are all involved in the story.  There is one scene in the story which describes the killing and skinning of a rabbit in very fine detail.  There is another scene in the story that describes the butchering of a pig.  With these things in mind, this is a story for older young adults.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: Cinder and Ella

Cinder and Ella Written by:  Kimberly Lemon
Publisher:  Cedar Fort
Pages:  208
Publication Date:  November 8, 2011
Source:  Netgalley
Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Summary from Goodreads:
After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you'll never forget.

My thoughts:
I have to say that when I first heard about this book I thought it would be a sort of retelling of the classic fairytale "Cinderella."  It's really not.  There are some similarities such as good (Ella) versus evil (the Prince), two spoiled sisters, and the father's disappearance.  Other than that these stories are nothing alike.  There is not a glass slipper and I couldn't find a fairy godmother anywhere in the story.  The title and the cover are what drew me in the first place.  The genre on goodreads states "adult/young adult" but I would go more towards middle grade/ young adult.  The language and actions of the story are tame and I would allow my 11 year old daughter to read (in fact I am hoping to get her to read it and add to my review). 

There are many lessons to be learned from the story about family and taking care of one another.  Cinder and Ella were the main caregivers of the family after their father drifted away.  Cinder was always the kinder one with more patience, but Ella was strong in her beliefs.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story and hope I will be able to get my daughter to enjoy it also.

Friday, July 15, 2011


meme hosted by Ya-Aholic!

Three Wishes...............
1) My first wish would be to have my dream job of a bookstore owner or a librarian.  However, that is not in the cards for me at the moment.

2) My second wish would be to have The Iron Knight already in my hands or on my nook as of yesterday (:  I am really looking forward to reading this book after I have just finished the first three books in less than a week. 

3) My third wish would be have less stressful days for at least a week!  That's all I ask :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review: Tris and Izzie

Written by: Mette Ivie Harrison
Published by: EgmontUSA
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Source: Netgalley

From Goodreads:
A modern retelling of the German fairytales "Tristan and Isolde",  Tris and Izzie, is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until -- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.

My thoughts:
Thank you EgmontUSA for allowing me to read Tris and Izzie. 
Tris and Izzie is the story of a young girl who seems to have everything she wants or needs.  There is magic in the world that is hidden from the non magical people and Izzie's mom is a witch.  Izzie has believed her whole life that she doesn't have any magic.  When Tristan shows up things change.  She falls for him immediately even though she has the perfect boyfriend.  Two-headed dogs, giants, and serpents are all included in the story along with swords that aid in flying.

I looked forward to reading Tris and Izzie because the cover is beautiful and the synopsis leads me to believe it could be a great love story just like "Tristan and Isolde."  However, even though I read this book in two days, it was hard to get through.  Izzie is sort of self-centered and hard to connect with.  The relationship she has with the other character seems strained and the love between her and Tristan is rushed.  I know all the love at first sight, destiny to be together, meant for each other is part of the story but I didn't really feel it for Tristan and Izzie (actually I felt it more for Branna and Mark).