Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Monday, February 28, 2011

7 Facts Award

Freda over at Freda's Voice awarded me this fun award!  Make sure to head on over and check out her blog!

1. Post 7 Random facts about yourself.
2. Award other bloggers.
My Facts:
1.  One of my most favorite singers ever is Karen Carpenter.
2.  I collect Willow Tree Angels.
3.  I have the fattest cat ever!  He weighs more than my 3 year old (the cat is 27 lbs.)!
4.  I don't know how to swim.
5.  I live in an extremely rural area but love it.
6.  I have to bring my pillow with me everywhere...I can't sleep on any other pillow!
7.  I am watching it snow like crazy right now....and it will be March tomorrow!

Awarded to:

Sarah Reads Too Much
Awesomesauce Book Club
Blkosiner's Book Blog
California Clippin'

Author Interview: Mieradome by Kate O'Hegarty

Welcome to Author Kate O'Hegarty!

About Kate: 

Kate has a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from Goddard College. She has been an international traveler since she was 7 years old which has helped shape Kate's active imagination and writing style. She currently lives in the Central Valley of California. Mieradome is her debut novel.

BLM:  If you could invite 3 people to dinner, who would they be?
C.S. Lewis, Juliette Gordon Low (founder of Girl Scouts), and Chumlee (from Pawn Stars) Chumlee is there so I'll laugh : )

BLM:  What is one book you think everyone should read?
The Chronicles of Narnia

BLM:  What is your favorite music? 
The Corrs (they are an Irish band)

BLM:  What is something on your bucket list? 
Snorkel in The Great Barrier Reef

BLM:  Where is your favorite place to write?
On a comfy chair, in the front room of my house, with a cup of Egyptian Licorice tea nearby.

BLM:  What do you do when you receive a bad review?
 I just take it in stride. It’s not a personal attack on the author, just a reader not completely getting into the work. Art is subjective, some will love it & some won’t, that’s just how it is : )

BLM:  What is your favorite book?
Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

BLM:  Do you prefer vanilla or chocolate? 

BLM:  What do you do when you aren't writing?
Generally I’m traveling around getting inspiration for new stories.

BLM:  What was the last book you read?
Trish Ryan’s A Maze of Grace

BLM:   How did you come up with the idea for Mieradome?
I have a great video that tells all about Mieradome’s creation.

BLM:  If you could go back in time, what decade would you chose and why?
 I’d go back to the 1920’s. I love the idea of flappers and great music and literature. It was a grand time back then.

A huge thank you to Kate O'Hegarty for the interview!  It was my first author interview on my blog so I was very excited!

Check out Mieradome here!  You can also read my review here.

Book Review: Mieradome by Kate O'Hegarty


Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Mieradome pulls the reader into a unique fantasy world of faeries and technology, a different take on the Alice in Wonderland concept. The story revolves around a young girl named Amavia who believes she is a human girl, but slowly comes to find she is a faery in the world of Mieradome. Slowly who Amavia was began to unravel to show the truth; the truth that she just may be the evil they need to destroy. This is the first novel in a series, and gives a glimpse of what is to come for the main character Amavia. Fans of the Harry Potter series and His Dark Materials will definitely enjoy this adventure.

My Thoughts:  This book started out a little slow for me.  It was slightly confusing but I kept with it and despite the fact that it was not an easy or fast read, it was pretty good...especially if you like books about fairies!

Amavia has grown up thinking she is a normal human.  Then she starts having dreams and ends up back in Mieradome (a Fairyland), dragging her two siblings with her.  There Amavia must save Mieradome by recovering "The Light" and along the way she meets dragons and fairies and other strange and mystical beings.  As they travel through this strange world, Amavia and her siblings grow and change. 

My favorite character was Caiden (maybe because this is also my son's name)!  However, I was torn between him and Garin when it comes to the romance.  Caiden was just made to be adorable and immediately steal your heart.

I thought some of the scenes were confusing.  Some of them (like the fight) ended too quickly and were completely unrealistic and sometimes I thought the story dragged on a little long.  The world of Mieradome was very detailed and I could imagine it easily, which was fun.  I liked the variety of mythical beings in the story as well. 

If you like fantasies, you should try reading this book.  It's not the easiest read but I certainly think it is worth the effort in the end!

**Stay tuned for an interview with the author, Kate O'Hegarty!**

Book Review: Rotters by Daniel Kraus


Title:  Rotters
Author:  Daniel Kraus
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Publish Date:  April 5, 2011
Source:  Star Book Tours

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.
Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.
Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.

My Thoughts:  I have to be honest here, I had no clue what the book was really about.  I mean, I knew it was a little about grave robbers but was not expecting this.  That said, I thought this was a very good book!  Disturbing?  Yes, for sure but so interesting and it involved you right away. 

Joey is your typical high school boy.  He lives with his single mom in Chicago and really has no thought about his dad at all.  Until the day his mom dies.  After the accident, Joey is sent to Iowa to live with his estranged father.  His father, also known as "the Garbage Man" in town lives on the outskirts of town in a small cabin.  Joey immediately notices the stench and the mess.  His father immediately takes off and leaves Joey to his own devices, including starting at a new school.

School life is not easy for Joey.  From they first day, the kids notice the smell that comes off him and when they find out his dad is the "Garbage Man", they make Joey their newest target.  His time at school is spent in misery when even his Biology teacher decides to ridicule him on a daily basis. 

After following his father on one of his outings, Joey figures out what his father is doing and demands to learn as well.  From this point on, Joey's life is in a downward spiral.  He meets many new and unsavory characters along the way and learns things about himself that he never wanted to know.

I loved the diggers!  They were all so well developed and I loved their nicknames.  Baby was the most atrocious character!  He actually made my stomach turn.  The description of Baby was just sickening but so real I could almost smell him!  My favorite diggers besides Harnett (Joey's father) were Lionel and Crying John. 

This book is not for you if you have a weak stomach or are disturbed by death.  It is brutally honest and holds back nothing.  The descriptions of the corpses in their graves are realistic and extremely detailed.  In fact, after reading this book, I'm thinking cremation sounds good!  It was so amazingly interesting though that I couldn't stop reading.  My morbid curiosity won out on this book and I think it completely paid off! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

My Thoughts:
Oh, how I loved this book!  It grabbed me from the very first sentence and I couldn't put it down until the last sentence!   I stayed up late to finish it which wasn't such a great idea since I had to be up early to teach a bunch of 3 and 4 year old kids the next morning.  But it was worth it!

I loved Calla.  She was a strong character right from the beginning.  There was no whining, poor me, pity parties with Calla.  I liked how she didn't like that she was forced into a union with Ren but she is so loyal to her pack and family.  I liked the turmoil in her feelings for both Ren and Shay.  I actually felt her confusion about which one she really liked.  I won't give away the ending here but I'm still on the fence about who Calla should have picked.

I loved Ansel, Calla's little brother, as well!  He was cute and sweet and honestly cared for his big sister and his pack.  I really enjoyed his relationship with Bryn and was impressed with how much he loved her and showed it to everyone. 

Ren was hot!  He was in control, sexy, demanding yet not quite so self-assured when it comes to Calla.  In the end, he really shows how much he actually cares for Calla.  Despite sometimes really hating Ren (like during his jealous rages, for instance), I still find myself drawn to him.  At the end, I actually even felt sympathy him.  However, I cannot say for certain that I am "Team Ren". 

Shay got on my nerves at times.  He was very whiny about the whole union between Calla and Ren.  He didn't really care what kind of trouble he got her into and would continually urge her to read the "forbidden" book or go places they weren't suppose to go.  I just felt that if someone really cared about another person, they would not keep trying to talk them into getting themselves into trouble.  At the end, I found myself liking him more though and now I think I am as confused as Calla was over who to chose! 

So, I was really excited that this was a werewolf story without the usual werewolf ideas.  There was no waiting for the full moon, no clothes ripping off as they changed forms or anything like that.  There were no vampires!  However, there were the "Keepers" and the "Searchers" that kept things plenty interesting.  As Calla and Shay learn more about the deception of the Keepers, you begin to wonder more as well.  Are the Searchers really the enemies?  What are the Keepers hiding?  These questions are still running through my mind!
I cannot wait for Wolfsbane!  The ending of Nightshade was a major cliffhanger so I am dying to find out what happens to Ren, Calla and Shay.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 2/22/11

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading.  The rules are simple:

  • Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page

  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

  • Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)

    "I stayed still as he moved past me, wanting to go with him.
    'And Calla.'  He bend down for a moment, whispering into my hair, 'I don't think I'm the only one who's being lied to.'" ~page 217 of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Book Review: The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

    The Anti-Prom

    Title:  The Anti-Prom
    Author:  Abby McDonald
    Publisher:  Candlewick
    Publish Date:  April 12, 2001
    Source:  Star Tours

    Synopsis (Goodreads):  Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.

    They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy - some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, ├╝ber-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night

    My thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book!  It was a light, easy and fast read but very entertaining.  It didn't take me long to get into it at all and it kept my attention the whole way through.  I was constantly wondering what these girls were going to get themselves into next.

    Bliss is your typical popular, super cute, rich girl.  She is dating one of the most popular boys in school and is surrounded by "friends".  However, she is in for a rude awakening when she finds her supposed best friend making out with her boyfriend in the limo on their prom night.  Seeking revenge, she finds herself asking bad girl, Jolene, for help.

    Jolene has her own set of issues.  Her parents are divorced and her father has remarried into money.  He would love to forget he even has an older daughter and Jolene does not deal with this very well.  She has turned into a rebel and bad girl but shows up to prom to soothe things over with her mom.  When her prom date doesn't show, she finds herself being followed around by Bliss and finally agrees to help her get her revenge as long as Bliss helps Jolene with her secret mission.

    Then Meg enters the scene.  Meg is quiet and pretty much invisible at school.  Her step-mom arranges a prom date for her with one of her friend's sons but at the last minute he bails on her.  As she is driving away from the prom, she winds up hooking up with Bliss and Jolene and agrees to help them with their plans so she doesn't have to go home to the disappointment of her dad and step-mom.

    Thsi book was filled with your typical high school drama.  However I enjoyed watching Bliss realize how petty and cruel her little social group is.  Jolene ends up dealing with her daddy issues and Meg completely emerges from her wall-flower status.  The stunts they pull through the night are fun, exciting and something that I could totally see myself doing at that age (sad, yes but true).  

    My favorite characters would have to be Scott and Dante.  They were fun personalities and I was glad to see that neither of them disappeared into the background.  They weren't main characters but were involved in just enough.

    This book had some sexual content and swearing.  I would recommend it for 16 years and up just because of the sexual content.  Nothing too major but enough that I wouldn't let my 14 year old read it (if I had a 14 year old)!  

    Overall, I thought this book was fun and exciting.  I enjoyed the lighter story and can see girls acting just this way.  It took me straight back to high school and I had fun reading it!

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Book Review: Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon

    Kevin's Point of View
    Synopsis (from Goodreads):  To escape the emotional turmoil of his father’s death 12-year-old Kevin Tobin has retreated inside himself, developing his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes everyone with his superhero antics, his ability to escape inside himself becomes critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father’s death. When a mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted by a ruthless villain who is determined to retrieve the package, which holds the key to his plans for world domination. After enlisting Kevin’s teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the group escapes into the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado and eventually discover that Kevin’s entire existence is because of the love of someone we never expected.

    Kevin's Point of View is Del Shannon's debut novel and shows a deep appreciation for the powers of imagination, family ties, and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it. The fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style makes this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.

    My thoughts:  Kevin's Point of View was a very different book from what a usually read.  It was a little strange but absolutely wonderful at the same time!  It was full of adventure, twists and turns and even humor. 

    Kevin's world changes when he loses his father.  He deals by escaping into his own world and finding the courage to face danger.  Then Kevin gets a gift from an unknown source called The Influxitron.  The gift ends up bringing danger to Kevin, his sister and her boyfriend and Kevin's best friend.  The ending was unexpected for me and I loved that it was so unpredictable!

    Kevin was a great character.  My son loved him!  I liked the enemies, you know the ones that keep reappearing even after you think you have gotten rid of them?  Yeah, I thought they were great! 

    I thought this book was fairly easy to follow and read and my 8 year old (who reads at a 5th grade level) seemed to have no problems following along.  It was a clean read but packed with such adventure and excitement that you never get bored!  I would tell my son "okay, one more chapter" and at the end of the chapter he would say "well, we can't just leave it like that.  Read one more!" until I finally had to call it quits for the night.  I loved that it kept his interest like that!

    Book Review: Zan-Gah by Allan Richard Shickman

    Zan-Gah:  A Prehistoric Adventure (Zan-Gah, #1)

    Synopsis (from Good Reads):  Zan-Gah, seeking his lost twin brother in a savage prehistoric world, encounters adventure, suffering, conflict, captivity, and final victory. In three years hero passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes include survival, brotherhood, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, and nature's wonders and terrors. This is the electronic version of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which has been awarded Mom's Choice Gold Medal for Series, the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year.

    My thoughts:  This story was full of excitement and adventure!  Not my usual read, I was hesitant to sit down with it.  However, my son and I read it together and we both really enjoyed it.  I liked that the writing was basic and easy to understand so my son could enjoy it without constantly interrupting to ask what certain words meant. 

    The story was about Zan and his missing twin, Dael.  After fighting against a lion with the tribes and being the one to actually kill her, Zan becomes known as Zan-Gah.  Zan dreams that his brother is still alive and searches for him, after fighting with his parents over it. Zan suffers many trials to find his brother including almost dying in the desert and being taken captive by the people who took his brother.  Zan is a very courageous character and he grows and matures throughout the book. 

    At first I was afraid that my son wasn't interested in the book.  My son is 8 but reads at a 5th grade level so I wasn't worried about his comprehending it at all, just about his interest in it.  However, I didn't need to worry about it because my son loved it so much that he actually asked to re-read it himself after we finished it and I heard him telling his friends about it and how great it was.  I think with all the action and adventure in this book, even the most reluctant reader will enjoy it!

    There was only one thing that I didn't care for and that was the chapter about Zan's uncle Chul.  It was just a little out of order or misplaced.  It didn't flow well for me but my son didn't seem to notice or care so it may have just been something that was a little off for me. 

    I am excited for my son to read the second book Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country.  I think he will enjoy it as much as the first but we will let you know soon!

    Missing In Action...

    I know I haven't posted a lot lately.  On Friday, I took my very best friend (who was 38 weeks pregnant) shopping (at her request) and a girls day out.  I got a call at 11:30 that night telling me she was in labor so I spent the weekend getting to know the sweetest little boy! 

    After many hours, she gave birth to a perfectly healthy little guy and both mom and baby are doing great!  However, I spent the weekend at the hospital and getting stuff kinda cleaned up at their house and ready for them to come home.  Then I had to take care of my own kids and house and go back to work so I haven't been reading or blogging much this weekend.

    I am back though and almost finished with a great book that I'll be reviewing shortly.  So, I just wanted you all to know I'm still here and I'm still reading!

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    The Friday 56: 2/11/10

    The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda over at Freda's Voice.

    *Grab a book, any book.
    *Turn to page 56.
    *Find any sentence that grabs you.
    *Post it.
    *Add your (url) post below in Linky.

    It's that simple.
    Here's mine:

    "Mrs. Morton's pale finger trailed over the picture frames in the hall.  'We trace our family back over three hundred years,' she said.  'Roots are so important, don't you think?'" ~Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Library Thursday Blog Hop: 2/10/11

    Library Thursday is a weekly blog hop that Lah over at Lazy Girl Reads started to:

    1. Encourage people to support their libraries when they can
     2. Meet new bloggy friends and grow your following

    How to participate (UPDATED):
    • Create a Library Thursday post with a list, pictures or a vlog of your books. Or feature a cool picture of a library, or spotlight one of your favorite libraries.
    • Grab my button if you like it and include it in your post! Make sure to shout the library out that you went to!
    • Once you've created your post, link it to the linky at the bottom of my weekly post
    • Hop around to the other blogs participating and check out what other people are reading. Be sure to leave them a comment to let them know you were there, this is about making friends as well!
    Well, all my books on hold decided to come at once this week!  I went to pick up a couple that they told me had come in and is my was obviously more than a couple books!
    1. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
    2. The Van Alen Legacy:  A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa De La Cruz
    3. Captivate by Carrie Jones
    4. Club Dead:  A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris
    5. The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
    6. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
    7. Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
    8. Teenage Waistland by Lynn Biederman & Lisa Pazer
    9. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
    10. The Darlings are Forever by Melissa Kantor
    11. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd
    Holy Cow!  I'm slightly overwhelmed....yet again!  So, what am I doing blogging?  I better get reading instead right?  What did you get this week?

    P.S.  I would post a picture of the Stevenson, WA Public Library but can't find one!  Maybe next week I will take one myself!

    Book Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

    Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
    Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
    Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

    My Thoughts:  This story starts out with Jacinda and her friend Az sneaking out during the day to fly.  Yes, I said fly.  They are draki which are descendants of dragons.  Jacinda, is in fact, a very rare, firebreathing dragon.  They are forbidden to fly during the day for fear of getting caught by hunters but Jacinda and Az have no fear.  Until things go wrong and they are found by hunters.  Trapped in a cave behind a waterfall, Jacinda is sure she is going to die.  However, when Will, the hunter seeking her, finds her, he lets her go.

    After this escapade and getting in big time trouble with their pride, Jacinda's mom packs up her and her twin sister, Tamra, and sneaks away in the middle of the night.  Jacinda is confused as her mother won't explain the reason why they are escaping from their pride and thinks it is only because the pride wants to keep her for themselves as the only firebreathing draki.  The head to Nevada, the desert, so that Jacinda can lose her draki traits.  Needless to say, Jacinda is not happy with this plan.  That is, until she finds out that Will, the hunter that let her go, is also a student at her high school.  Now can she keep the secret of what she is from him and his hunter cousins?

    This book was so good!  Right from the beginning it catches your interest and refuses to let it go.  I really like Jacinda with the exception of how she really doesn't stand up to her mom or her sister and thinks that she is always making things worse.  I did not like her mom or sister at all!  Tamra was a whiny, spoiled little brat.  When something happens to Jacinda at school one day, resulting in her getting suspended and other bad things I won't mention here, all Tamra is upset about is that she didn't make cheerleading and she blames it all on Jacinda.  As if Jacinda could really help what happened. 

    I loved Will!  Mysterious, romantic, sweet, protective....yeah, he had it all!  He reminded me a little of Edward in Twilight (in fact, there were quite a few things that were similar but not enough to ruin the book).  His cousins were jerks though and were perfect villains!

    I loved that this book was about draki/dragons!  It was such an interesting twist to the usual vampire/werewolf paranormal books I read.

    The ending of this book was so intense!  I am now desperately waiting for the second book to find out what the heck happens! 


    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Top Ten Tuesday (2/8/11)

    Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created  at The Broke and the Bookish.

    Each week they post a new prompt for a top ten list, and bloggers fill it out on their blogs.  Everyone is welcome to join.  This is just another way for bloggers to network and get to know one another.  All that's asked is that when you post you put your link and go and visit other's blogs as well.  This gives book bloggers the chance to go and find other blogs to read.

    Top Ten Characters I'd Name My Children After
    1.  Calla from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. 
    2.  Jace from The Mortal Instrament series by Cassandra Clare. 
    3.  Dmitri from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.   
    4.  Scarlett from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.   
    5.  Finn from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.   
    6.  Schuyler from the Blue Bloods series by Melissa De La Cruz. 
    7.  Lyra from The Golden Compass. 
    8.  Teaghan from Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton.
    9.  Rowan from The Mayfair Witches Series by Anne Rice.
    10.  Aria from the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepherd.

    So, that's my list!

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Irresistably Sweet Award

    I was awarded the Irresistably Sweet award from Lah over at one of my favorite blogs,  Lazy Girl Reads! In order to accept the award, I will be passing it along to six other bloggers, and I must confess to four guilty pleasures.

    So, here are my four guilty pleasures:
    • Pepsi!  I cannot live without the stuff.  Sad, I know but I must have Pepsi (in a bottle, not a can) to make it through a day.
    • The Bachelor/Bachelorette:  This has to really be one of the dumbest shows on tv.  I mean really, who falls in love with someone they have barely known?  And the cat fights....priceless!  So, despite it's unrealistic view on love, I watch for the fights!
    • Hot baths with bath melts from Lush Cosmetics.  My mom, sister and I go on a "girl's day" to Lush twice a year and a spend a huge amount of money so I can take my relaxing baths.  Lush is the only thing that got me through my complicated, high risk, 3rd pregnancy!
    • Cannoli:  My absolute favorite dessert!  There is a small grocery store across the river from me that sells the best cannoli ever and even though it is 20 miles away, I have been known to drive there just to get some.
    Now, to the six blogs I want to award this too:
    1. Dizzy C's Little Book Blog
    2. Sarah Reads Too Much 
    3. YA Bookie Monster 
    4. Freda's Voice
    5. Watcha Readin', Books?:  A Teacher/Learner's Blog
    6. Truly Bookish

    Teaser Tuesday: 2/8/11

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
     "Ironic, huh?  To keep that part of me alive, I have to be close to that which kills it." ~page 93 of Firelight by Sophie Jordan

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Book Review: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

    Title:  The Vespertine
    Author:  Saundra Mitchell
    Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Publish Date:  March 7, 2011
    Reading Level:  YA
    Source:  Netgalley

    Synopsis (From Goodreads):  It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
    When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

    My thoughts:  This book was simply amazing!  I love historical fiction so that was a huge bonus for me!  Then, add in a little forbidden romance and the paranormal and you have a hit!

    Amelia is sent to Maryland to become a lady and find herself a "proper" husband.  She stays with her cousins while there.  Zora and Amelia immediately become best friends.  I loved both Amelia and Zora.  Amelia was very headstrong and independent, especially for a woman of that time.  Zora is more ladylike and sweet.  I really enjoyed her character and found both of them well developed and fun!

    Nathaniel and Thomas were also great characters.  Nathaniel was so mysterious and as a "fourteenth", he was not a proper prospect for Amelia.  Despite that, the romance that ignites between them is undeniable.  The more we find out about him in the book, the more I liked him.  All these characters were completely real to me and believable!

    I really liked how the author made Amelia's "gift" seem almost like a game at first.  Even Zora's mom laughed about the girls' "parlor trick" making the popular, as once the word got out that Amelia could see the future, the girls received many calling cards.  However, things go terribly wrong at the end of the book and we really see how serious the situation is. 

    I liked the switch from the present day, where Amelia is left in her brother and sister-in-laws care, to the past, where you find out why Amelia's brother is treating her so poorly.  I honestly have to say that I did not like Amelia's brother at all (yet he was a great character!) but loved her sister-in-law, Lizzie.

    I loved how this book caught my attention from page one and I couldn't put it down until I finished it.  The story had just enough historical detail to really set the scenes but not too much that it made it boring. The ending left you begging for more!

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Kindle Giveaway!

    Kid Lit Frenzy and three other great blogs are giving away a Kindle Wi-Fi!  This Kindle is awesome!  It holds over 3500 books, you can get your books off in about 60 seconds, the battery lasts for a month and you can easily take it anywhere with you!

    So, what a great prize huh?  Who wouldn't want to enter this contest?  All you have to do is visit Kid Lit Frenzy, A Life Bound By Books, The Bookologist, and The Undercover Book Lover and sign up at one of them!  Super easy right?  And, it's a free Kindle!  So get moving :) 

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Book Review: Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle

    Synopsis (from Goodreads):  The streets of San Francisco would be lined with hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn't be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.

    With his final breath he leaves Brooklyn a cryptic message, and gives her a priceless—and supposedly cursed—copy of Goethe's Faust for safekeeping.

    Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to the humorless—but attractive—British security officer who finds her kneeling over the body. Now she has to read the clues left behind by her mentor if she is going to restore justice.

    My Thoughts:  This is the first cozy mystery I have read and I actually really liked it!  It reminded me a lot of the Nancy Drew mysteries I read when I was younger.  It was an easy, fast and kinda "fluffy" read but super fun!

    Brooklyn restores books in San Francisco.  She is invited to her mentor's celebration for his latest book restoration project that includes Goethe's Faust.  The collection belongs to a very wealthy and prestigious family who really knows nothing about books. 

    As Brooklyn looks for her mentor, Abraham, so she can have a sneek peak of the Faust, she catches the eye of private security, Derek Stone.  She meets her mom downstairs on her way to Abraham's workroom and is surprised to see her there.  As her mom hurries away, Brooklyn finds Abraham....dying in a pool of blood.  He gives her the Faust and a clue.  Now she just has to find out what the clue means while trying to defend her innocence. 

    The characters are definitely fun!  Derek is good looking and serious, Minka is just a pain in the butt woman that you want to smack.  Brooklyn's parents are fun, yet flighty. 

    There was one issue that I can't really divulge or I'd have to add a spoiler alert but when Brooklyn finds out a friend is gay (in present day San Francisco), he cries and is so embarrassed and ashamed.  I mean, hello?  It is 2011 (well, 2009 in the book) in San Francisco.  Why would anyone be ashamed to be gay there?  Why would you really try to hide it to the extent that this person did? 

    All in all, this was just a fun mystery read.  The death attempts on Brooklyn's life were unrealistic and at times, a little corny but I was expecting that.  The ending was rather ridiculous but again, like in a Nancy Drew book, I was expecting it.  So, since I was expecting a little fluff and corniness, I really enjoyed this book!  It will not be my last cozy mystery!

    Library Thursday Blog Hop: 2/3/11

    Library Thursday is a weekly blog hop that Lazy Girl Reads started to:

    1. Encourage people to support their libraries when they can

     2. Meet new bloggy friends and grow your following

    How to participate (UPDATED):
    • Create a Library Thursday post with a list, pictures or a vlog of your books. Or feature a cool picture of a library, or spotlight one of your favorite libraries.
    • Grab my button if you like it and include it in your post! Make sure to shout the library out that you went to!
    • Once you've created your post, link it to the linky at the bottom of my weekly post
    • Hop around to the other blogs participating and check out what other people are reading. Be sure to leave them a comment to let them know you were there, this is about making friends as well!
    I only got one book this week as I am slightly overwhelmed with all the library books I have to read!  I did get some DVDs for my kiddos and a few more books for them as they seem to get them turned back quicker!  So, here's my finds this week:

    I also got (for my kids):

    1.  Max & Ruby DVD: Everybunny Loves Winter!
    2.  Jolly Holiday (with Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank, etc) DVD
    3.  Bill Nye the Science Guy:  Dinosaurs DVD
    4.  Barbie in the Nutcracker DVD
    5.  Max & Ruby Bunny Party DVD
    6.  Max & Ruby Max's Christmas Wish DVD
    7.  Team up with Thomas DVD
    8.  Max & Ruby Bunny Hopscotch DVD
    9.  Strawberry Shortcake:  Wonderberry Ball DVD
    10.  Discovering Dinosaurs with a Fossil Hunter by Judith Williams
    11.  The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss (Feb. is tooth month)
    12.  Our Abe Lincoln Adapted by Jim Aylesworth (for Pres. Day)
    13.  President's Day by Anne Rockwell
    14.  DK Eyewitness Books:  Dinosaur
    15.  Fancy Nancy:  Poet Extraordinaire! by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser
    16.  Fancy Nancy Spectacular Spectacles by Jane O'Connor
    17.  Geronimo Stilton:  Geronimo and the Gold Medal Mystery
    18.  Geronimo Stilton:  The Giant Diamond Robbery

    So, there is my haul this week!  What's yours?

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Teaser Tuesday: 2/1/11

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    "And even though you have atrocious taste in clothing and worse taste in shoes, I'll really miss you if you get yourself killed."  ~page 124 of Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle.