I hate spending time reading about the plot of a book on review sites - just tell me, Did you like it or not?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Graduation Day

Graduation Day (The Testing #3)

Meh. Not great. Too many questions in the prose: "Should I do this?", "How can I do this?", "Who can I trust?", etc. Too distracting.

I'm just glad this trilogy is over. It wasn't stellar - more of a Hunger Games meets whiny girl meets Rage Against the Machine. If I had to do it again, I probably wouldn't waste my time.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Girl with the Windup Heart

The Girl with the Windup Heart (Steampunk Chronicles #4)

Published May 27, 2014 by Harlequin TEEN
I love these books. This book follows the continuing stories of Finley, Griffin, Mila and Jack. Much like a soap opera jumps from one storyline to the next, this book follows that pattern. In one, Finley is trying to free Griffin from the evil clutches of Garibaldi; and in the other story, Mila is discovering the world.

Mild swearing and implied sex. Nothing to make you blush.

I hope there are more of these books in Kady Cross's head.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chasing the Prophecy

Chasing the Prophecy (Beyonders #3)

3 stars

512 pages
Published Mar. 12, 2013 by Aladdin

If you can get past all of the questions that are asked in the narrative (and there are so many, I started skipping those paragraphs), this is a great ending to a pretty great trilogy for kids. The questions asked by the main characters were so plentiful that it detracted from the pace and action of the book. Instead of asking so many questions, like "Is this the right thing to do? How do I know?" etc. the book's action and pace would be better served by decisive decision-making.

Despite that, the book was full of moral themes that I would love to have my kids adopt. Themes such as valuing friendship, being loyal and having faith.

I can recommend to any kid or teen wanting a action-packed, yet still clean book to read.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Empower (The Violet Eden Chapters #5)


4 stars

496 pages
Published May 6, 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published Nov. 12, 2013)

Finally, finally! I am done with this series. And fortunately, I didn't waste my time. The last book was quite possibly the best of the bunch. It was full of action and soul-searching and more action. The only thing that bugged me was how the the huge, pivotal change of heart that Violet had that changed the outcome of the book was handled. It was like the suffering that she had endured for the past two years was changed in two paragraphs. It was unsatisfying and abrupt.

Besides that, I enjoyed the book immensely. There was one sex scene (not graphic) and little to no swearing.

I can recommend to anyone looking for a not-too-many-books series, in which they've all been published. (Don't you hate having to wait for the next book in an on-going series??!)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Seeds of Rebellion

Seeds of Rebellion (Beyonders #2)

4 stars

512 pages
Published March 13, 2012 by Aladdin (first published March 12th 2012)
I read this book while visiting my in-laws down in Utah while waiting for our things to arrive at our new house in Washington. It was a great escape for me - there were 6 kids running around the house having a grand (loud) time, and I just needed to live in a world other that my own for a while.

Great action, completely kid-worthy and clean. I've just started the last book in the trilogy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Honor's Knight

Honor's Knight (Paradox #2)

As far as sequels go, this one is a winner. I was ecstatic about the first novel, Fortune's Pawn, and was eager to get my hands on No. 2 in the trilogy. I did! And I read the thing in a day. While sick. And while my 20-month-old was sick. It was that engrossing.

The book is full of all the good stuff that was in the first book, minus the sex scene. Plus lots of answers and explanations. Not all, but definitely enough to satisfy me. I am on the waiting list for the last book, and can't wait to read it.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fortune's Pawn

Fortune's Pawn (Paradox #1)


4 stars

320 pages
Published Nov. 5, 2013 by Orbit
Ah. Sci-fi at its best! I loved this book! It's full of space adventure, fighting, aliens, a mysterious enemy, love, travel ... all well thought-out and described. Bach has created a universe full of diversity, danger and beauty. I can't figure out how one person can bring such creativity and imagination to a book.

The only thing I can't figure out is if this is a YA or an adult book. I am leaning toward adult, because the main character, Devi, is almost 30 years old and is quite free with sharing her sex life. There is a sex scene in here, but it's not terribly graphic. But it is there.

There is some swearing, as well. I wouldn't let my mom read this book.

Yet saying that, I can't wait to read all the books in this trilogy! I haven't read a book that gets me excited like this in a long time.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Dark Triumph

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)

I was so confused at the beginning of this book. It had been a while since I read the first book, and was expecting to keep following the main character in that one. But I had forgotten her name, so I was so out of it. I persevered and finally figured out that this book follows a completely different character. Once I had that straightened out, I started to enjoy the plot and action.

Like the first book, the writing is dark and depressing, yet compelling. I couldn't put it down, but I had to to preserve my sanity. The bad guy was truly bad - so bad that it was slightly unbelievable. And the end of his story was unsatisfying. I wish there had been more to it.

I will probably read this last book in this series, which I assume will follow a different character than the first two books.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy

The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy (Steampunk Chronicles #2.5)

Published July 1, 2013 by Harlequin Teen
This is a great little novella that explains bridges the gap between #2 and #3 in the Steampunk Chronicles. It tells how Jack Dandy came to find his "dark discovery" and what he thinks and feels about himself, his father and "love." It's a quick read - it took me an hour maybe - and worth it if you love the Steampunk Chronicles, which I totally do!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Secret Prophecy

The Secret Prophecy

Published Oct. 30, 2012 by Balzer + Bray
I wasn't a huge fan of this book. The concept was good-ish, but it just didn't work. There was too much Da Vinci Code shenanigans, but without the panache. And the ending??? Don't get me started on such a poorly written, confusing, abrupt end to a lackluster book.

There was too much dialogue and too much conspiracy theory to make this an acceptable book for the YA genre. Characterization was blah. Em was a wuss; Charlotte would have made a much better main character. At least she had some gumption and smarts.

At least there wasn't any swearing or sex. That was a positive. And it was a stand-alone book. Thank goodness.

Monday, June 9, 2014


Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)


Published Feb. 5, 2013 by Feiwel and Friends

Ever since I won the first book in this series, Cinder, in a giveaway and LOVED it, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Number 2, Scarlet. But my local library didn't have a ebook copy I could download, so imagine my happiness when I found a copy after months of waiting!

And I wasn't disappointed. This book was just as good as the first. Lots of action, new characters, a fantastic villain. Plus, no swearing and no sex makes it great, too.

I'm looking forward to reading Cress. I hope it lives up to the first two books.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Into the Still Blue

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)


Published Jan. 28, 2014 by HarperCollins

Finally! I got to finish this trilogy. My life can continue.

Since it had been a while since I read #2 in the trilogy, it took me a while to catch up on what had previously happened. You know how some books have the book equivalent of TV shows' "Previously Seen on ..." before the books starts to get you reacquainted with plot and characters? This book would have benefited by having that.

But it's not too bad. There aren't a gazillion characters you have to remember. And the plots pretty simple.

The one thing that bugged me about the ending and their journey to the Still Blue is the abruptness in which they found their destination. It was so easy! After 2.5 books touting the difficulty of the way, everything was so simple.

And what really bugged me was how Cinder was treated. I'm not giving anything away here. You'll have to read the book and find out, but I HATED what happened to him!!

There was a bit of teen sex that was glossed over, but little to no swearing. There also is a bit of gory violence and a few torture scenes.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Dark Planet

The Dark Planet (Atherton #3)


This trilogy finished with a happy ending ... yay! A little bit unbelievably, yes, but I was willing to ignore the craziness of the denouement because most, if not all loose ends were tied up. Although, it doesn't come outright and say what happened to Cmdr. Judix. I love tied up loose ends. They make me happy and feel complete.

For a kids' book, this is nicely done. Simple plot, lots of adventure and excitement. And there are dragons AND spaceships involved! What could be better?

I will probably recommend this trilogy to my 11-year-old. I think she'd like it.

Kudos to Carman for not swearing in the book. Kids don't need to read - or hear- that stuff.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Serendipity (Only in Gooding #5)

336 pages 
Published Nov. 1, 2010 by Baker Publishing Group

Monday, May 12, 2014

Time to downsize

As I am coming up on my 1-year anniversary of this blog, I have realized a few things.

First, there's a lot of spam that comes with creating and writing a blog. It sucks. I try and ignore it.

Second, not many people read my blog. And that's OK. I do it not for the fame (obviously), but for an outlet for my semi-creative side. I'm not a good writer - I like things short and sweet. But I do love to read and recommend/condemn books. And this is a great forum to do that.

Third, because of the above two things, and because I am going to be VERY busy the next 7-8 months with a move and a new baby, I am going to be downsizing the number of posts I publish. I am thinking one per week will be sufficient to balance my desire to write and my need to take care of family.

I will keep publishing. My blog will stay active and simple. It will still provide my opinions on books. It just won't be as often.

Just think - now you'll have more time to read books!

And after you've read all those extra books, if you would like to submit a review for me to publish on this blog, I'd be happy to oblige. Just send me the text and title and I'll do the rest.

Friday, May 9, 2014




3 stars

410 pages
Published Jan. 24, 2012 by HarperTeen 
What irked me about this book was that it was a total knock-off of Twilight, complete with the truck that almost squishes the main character, and the forbidden love, and end scene where the girl is saved at the last minute by the hero.

That being said, the book didn't suck. Maybe because I'm one of those people who liked Twilight. I'll probably read the next in the series, just to make more Twilight comparisons and to indulge my closet romantic side.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kissing Shakespeare

Kissing Shakespeare


352 pages
Published Aug. 14, 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Not a fantastic book by any stretch of the imagination - just because you are writing about Shakespeare does not make your writing automatically great.

I was bugged, like others, that the vast majority of the book was focused on how the main character - Olivia/Miranda - needed to "bed" Shakespeare as the only possible way for him to avoid joining the Jesuit brotherhood and thus never writing his plays.

The book reads like there was no way Shakespeare could make up his own mind without the sex. All that work-up and stress was allayed with one sentence towards the end of the book. Nothing had needed to be done by the main character. This really negated the whole purpose of the book - changing Shakespeare's mind, when in one sentence, he did it himself with no help from Olivia.

The only reason I give this two stars is because of Olivia's decision regarding whether or not to jump in the sack with Shakespeare.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Independent Study

Independent Study (The Testing #2)

Published Jan. 7, 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers
I finished reading this book weeks ago, but couldn't convince myself that it needed a review immediately - there were other books that were more worthy of my words and attention. Not to say this book was BAD, it was just kinda meh. But I liked it mostly.

Confused, yet?

Yeah. I am, too.

This novel built a bit on the first book, but not too much. There were some well-written suspenseful parts - being trapped in an airtight container comes to mind - and some not so well-written parts.
There was no sex and mild-to-no swearing, which bumped it up to a 3 star rating from my original 2.5.

I haven't decided if I'm a-gonna read the last book in the series. I am not super invested in the characters - so if the author wants to "kill off Tris," it wouldn't break my heart.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Rivers of Fire

Rivers of Fire (Atherton #2)


I picked this up immediately after finishing the first book in this trilogy, The House of Power, because I liked that one so much.
This one didn't disappoint. It was nice and short, too, which was perfect. I don't know if I could take anymore Cleaners mayhem.
It was a great adventure book, with flavors of Jules Verne rippled generously throughout.

There are some gruesome deaths and some themes that might disturb little ones, but I can recommend this book to kids older than 8.

I will likely pick up the third book to complete this trilogy, but honestly this book wraps up the story of Atherton pretty well.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The House of Power

The House of Power (Atherton #1)


I've had this book on my to-read list for like 2 years, and I finally got around to it. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. It had just about everything I was looking for: adventure, a touch of sci-fi, some creepy creatures, secrets and revelations, no swearing or sex. Just a great book for older kids and even teens. And there was no love story - which was a huge plus. Those sure get old after you read them a zillion times.
I can recommend to anyone who is in the mood for suspense and adventure. I may read this one to my kids for a bedtime story.