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 »

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mid Summer's Eve Giveaway Hop Winner

Congratulations to the winner of my Mid Summer's Eve Giveaway!  My copy of Deadly Cool is going to....

Amanda Dunville

Amanda, I sent you an email and you will have until Friday at noon to respond before I pick a new winner.

I want to thank everyone for entering my giveaway and say welcome to my new followers!  Stick around for some great reviews and more giveaways!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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!

My Teaser this week:
 Maura whirled toward Blue.  "Blue, if you ever see that man again, you just walk the other way."
"No,"  Calla corrected.  "Kick him in the nuts. Then run the other way."

~Page 126 of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
**Quote taken from an ARC and subject to change** 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

My Thoughts:  We live in a very rural area and my library is just now able to let you check out books on your e-reader.  I was pretty excited about this so decided to give it a try.  I was browsing through the books and saw this one and decided to give it a try.  I had no idea what it was about, just that it was a new release and I had seen it on some giveaways recently.  I am so glad I chose this book!  I finished it in one day because I simply could not put it down!

Travis is coming home from deployment over in Afghanistan.  He is 19 and joined the US Marines after high school to get away from his father, a former Green Bay Packers football player.  Travis and his father don't have a good relationship at all.  His father is controlling and was furious when Travis quit playing football.  

While in Afghanistan, Travis' best friend gets killed by a sniper.  Travis is suffering from hallucinations and PTSD.  He see's his friend Charlie everywhere and can't fall asleep without dreaming about Charlie and being in Afghanistan again.  However, all anyone from home wants to know is if he killed people over there.  No one understands what Travis is really going through.

Once home, Travis finds out that his family life wasn't what it was like when he left.  He mom and dad are having some problems.  His little brother, who is extremely envious of Travis (typical "older sibling gets everything" syndrome) has taken over Travis' car, girlfriends and friends.  

Travis runs into Harper, a girl he once knew in middle school and he actually feels like someone understands a little.  He feels like he can be normal with Harper.  Harper is a sweet girl and is there for Travis, even during the bad times.

I connected with Travis immediately!  I started the book and got wrapped up in Travis' life from page one.   Travis was a sweet guy that felt guilty that he was alive when his friend didn't make it.  He didn't feel like his home was his home anymore.  I loved that Travis had flaws too. He wasn't perfect but he was realistic.  

I really appreciated how the author didn't tame down the language.  I know there was some rough language there but they are young men in the Marines.  They talk like that. It was realistic.  The descriptions of fighting in Afghanistan were chilling but again, realistic.  There was no sugar-coating the war.

This review really doesn't come close to doing this book justice.  It's one of those books that you can't really tell people how great it is.  So, just take my word for it.  You will get caught up in Travis' life and you won't be able to put the book down!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Book Review: Elemental by Emily White

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.

But she wants to.

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner on an interstellar starship. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?

My Thoughts: This was such a fun book to read!  I couldn't put it down and easily finished it in one day.  It was refreshingly different from most YA novels and for that it get extra points right away!

Ella is a prisoner on a ship. She has been living in her cage for the last 10 years but suddenly she is freed.  Ella hesitates to escape just in case it's a trick but in the end she does it.  She just escapes.

Ella is taken in by Meir.  Meir is very protective and helps Ella along the way.  Ella connects quickly with Meir but after 10 years on a brutal prison ship, I would think Ella would connect to any kind person quickly.  

I loved how the reader found out answers along Ella.  Ella doesn't remember anything of her past (except the boy with the green eyes) and so we are finding out about her just as she is finding out about herself.  I actually enjoyed how nothing (and I mean nothing) came easily to Ella.  It made her a stronger character.

This book was a little hard to understand in the first couple chapters because you are literally just thrown into Ella's life.  And, remember, Ella remembers nothing and knows nothing about her world, other than the prison ship she is on.  You learn all this with Ella and it gets easier to understand.  The questions are answered and things start to make sense so keep with it if you find yourself saying "huh?" after the first chapter.  I really liked that you found out these things with the main character.  

Aside from having a little issue in the first two chapters with understanding what is going on and how things were in Ella's world, I enjoyed this book immensely and most of my questions were answered.  The ones that weren't answered make me want to read the next book to see if they are answered there!  It was a fast read that held your attention the whole time.  

A huge thanks to Kate at Spencer Hill Press for sending me an ARC copy for review!  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Winner of the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop!

Another giveaway is over and it's time to announce the winner!  I want to thank everyone who entered and welcome my new followers! 

Now, what you are really all waiting for...the winner!  Congratulations to....

Tracy Awalt Juliano

I have sent an email and Tracy has until Saturday at noon to get back to me or I will pick another winner.  

If you didn't win this one, head on over to my Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop and enter to win an ARC of Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by Christine Nolfi

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  A savage rape on hallowed ground. Secrets buried for decades by the town’s most influential family.

Now Ourania D’Andre will learn the Great Oak’s secrets as construction begins at the Fagan mansion. She can’t afford to turn down a job that promises to stir up the long-buried guilt—and the passion—she shares with powerful Troy Fagan.

She’s already juggling the most important job of her career with her new responsibilities as a foster mother for young Walt and Emma Korchek. And there’s a hard, older man on the construction crew with eyes void of emotion—cold and killing. The secrets of his brutal past will pose a grave threat to the children in her care. Will she find the courage to face him?

My Thoughts:  This is the second book I have read by this author and I have to say, she has not disappointed me at all with either book!  The author does an amazing job of making you connect with her characters that you feel like you know them on an intimate level.

Ourania is an electrician that has been contracted to help remodel a new wing in the Fagan mansion.  Troy Fagan is against having Ourania do the job but his sister overrides him and hires her anyways.  Troy does not want Ourania there because she stirs up memories of his brother, Jason, who was murdered years ago.  It doesn't help that the new wind is where Jason's room was.

At the same time as Ourania gets this job, she also gets two children.  Ourania has never been married and never had kids but when her mother, the head of CPS, asks her to foster Walt and Emma, she relents.  Walt and Emma have been abused by their father and Ourania knows what they are going through.  She was also abused as a child.  They start to get into a routine and be happy.  If only they could rid themselves of the children's father, all would be good.

While working in the mansion one day, Ourania finds a box in Jason's old room.  In the box are letters that could change everything.  Now Ourania must decide what to do with these letters.

This book was an incredible read!  It was full of mystery and suspense and love and family.  I enjoyed reading about adoption and multi-racial families as my own family is embarking on this same journey.  I enjoyed the relationship between Ourania and Emma and Walt and between Ourania and Troy.  The characters were so life-like and you can't help but fall in love with each and every one of them. 

This book was wonderful and certainly did not disappoint!  I can't wait to read what Christine Nolfi has in store for us next!

Book Review: House Haunting by Mary Merrell

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Rosemary Fernandes is a divorced, naïve woman, determined to make it in the tough world of real estate. Keith Laumer is a ghost, eager to leave his earthly haunt. As a real estate and a womanizer in life, Keith is the perfect partner to teach Rosemary the ins and outs of the real estate business, and he’s perfectly willing to teach her anything else she wants to know.

Frank Perez is a tough guy tattoo artist with ah-so-wide shoulders, and a chest Rosemary can’t wait to get her hands on. He thinks she’s a tease, jerking him around with this ghost story. And it won’t bother the ghost if the tattoo artist just disappears.

In struts Laura Toste, Rosemary’s gorgeous, best friend. She’s going to make all the bad voices go away. Keith wishes he can join these two lovely ladies, but all he can do is watch, as they recklessly investigate his death, staying one step ahead of the killers.

Can there be a love triangle between a goodie two-shoes, a tough guy, and a ghost? And how long will Rosemary remain naïve and alive when her less-than-subtle sleuthing drops her and her friends into a sinister years-old plot?

If you enjoy Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, you’re going to find a kindred “spirit” in Rosemary Fernandes.

My Thoughts:  I was contacted by the author to review this book and was excited to get it!  I love ghost stories and this one sounded fun and quirky.  I was not disappointed.  It was a fun, fast pacesd read that was perfect for summer!

Rosemary is divorced with a teenage son.  She has a new job as a real estate agent and is suddenly dealing with a new "talent".  Rosemary can see the dead.  This is something she really doesn't want to deal with.

Then Keith enters Rosemary's life.  He offers to help her learn the ropes of the real estate business.  There is only one catch...she has to help him figure out how he died.  Yeah, that shouldn't be all that difficult now, should it? 

Rosemary starts to investigate Keith's death and becomes aware of some dark secrets in her new business.  As she digs deeper, she discovers that person who killed Keith may be someone she acutally knows.  Now she must solve this crime before the killer silences her.

I liked Keith a lot.  He was very arrogant but at the same time you felt sorry for him as he saw in death what he never could see in life.  He was a fun character!  I also liked Rosemary.  She didn't back down even with the death threats.  I loved her relationship with Keith. 

This book has humor, mystery, thrills and chills!  It was fast paced and kept your attention from page one.  I was able to finish it in no time and now the only bad thing is I have to wait for the next book in the series.  If you enjoy cozy mysteries, this one is a must read!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

The Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop is hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Uniquely Moi Books.

This giveaway runs from June 20 - 26.  It is US only.  (Sorry International followers...I am trying to alternate my giveaways to save money so check out the next one)!  All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below!

I am giving away a copy of Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday.  This is an ARC copy.

Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1)

This is a great book!  You can read my review here.  So, just fill out the rafflecopter below and then hop on to the next blog! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my part of the "Clear Your Shelf" Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.
I have a TON of books!  Seriously overflowing shelves, books sitting on my piano, my counter, my bedside table.  I kinda hoard books so it is time for me to do some serious cleaning!  Especially since I have almost all of my books on my Nook Color now.

So, I am cleaning off my shelves and here is what I have to offer (one winner will get their choice of 1 book):

Secrets and Shadows (13 to Life, #2)  Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delaney (13 To Life book 2)

Prom and Prejudice  Prom & Prejudice (ARC copy) by Elizabeth Eulberg

Prophecy of the Sisters (Prophecy of the Sisters, #1)
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Guardian of the Gate (Prophecy of the Sisters, #2)Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink

All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecoptor and then hop onto the other great blogs participating in this hop!  This giveaway is international!  Good luck and have fun :)

Book Review: My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend

My Life in Black and White

**I received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi's face goes through a windshield. Now she's not sure what's worse: the scars she'll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she's much more than just a pretty face.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book!  Once in awhile it's nice to get away from the YA paranormal genre, even if it is my favorite.  I really enjoyed seeing Alexa actually grow and I didn't want to put the book down.  I really became involved in Alexa's world.

Alexa, or Lexi as her friends call her, has always been told she is beautiful.  From the time she was just a little girl, she grew up with strangers coming up to her and telling her mother what a gorgeous child she was.  There are pictures in every corner of the house of her.  In fact, she became friends with her best friend, Taylor, because of how pretty she was.  Now, Lexi and Taylor are about to begin high school.  They are the "it" girls and super popular.  Lexi has a great (and super cute) boyfriend, Ryan too. 

One fateful night, Lexi and Taylor decide to go to a party.  That night changes Lexi's life forever.  After seeing something that completely breaks her heart and shocks her, Lexi takes off from the party.  She ends up in a car accident that scars her face.  She is no longer known as the "beautiful" girl but the girl with the "scarred face".

Now Lexi must get through life without her looks.  She comes to realize that her looks aren't what define her.  She must deal with what she saw at the party and she is able to bond with her older sister, Ruth. 

Lexi did whine a lot in this book but you have to realize, she is young and immature and has always counted on her looks.  While she threw herself pity parties on a regular basis, you really couldn't fault her all that much.  At age 33, if I had my face scarred up, I would probably whine for awhile too!  Lexi has always been told how beautiful she is and now all of the sudden, she isn't "beautiful" anymore.  I love how she finds other ways to become beautiful instead of just her face. 

I really liked Ruth.  She didn't put up with Lexi's pity parties at all.  She didn't walk on eggshells around Lexi, just told her how it was.  Yes, it is horrible that Lexi's face is messed up but guess what?  Lexi was ALIVE!  Ruth was the least shallow person in Lexi's life. 

This book had some moments that made me very happy I am passed that stage of my life but it was a very good read.  Lexi was a very forgiving person (way more than I would have been!) and she had to deal with some serious issues.  She overcame them though and became a better person in the process.  This is a book that you won't want to put down though!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend

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!

My Life in Black and White
My teaser comes from My Life in Black & White by Natasha Friend. 

It is unaviodable.  Wherever you go in my house, there I am.  Hanging in the alcove over the stairs, propped on the mantel, stuck to the refrigerator door with alphabet magnets.  After what happened, you would think someone would tear down every photo in the universe so I wouldn't have to look at myself.  But no one has.
~page 1 (prologue) of My Life in Black & White

**This quote is from an ARC and is subject to change**


Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review: Survive by Alex Morel


**I received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Hatchet meets Lost in this modern-day adventure tale of one girl's reawakening

Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.

My Thoughts:  Do you remember that song, Ironic by Alanis Morrissett?  That song played through my head while I read this book!  This is not your carefree, fun read.  This book talks about big issues such as death, suicide, love and of course, survival.  That being said, I thought this was a very interesting book and I thought it a little ironic.  Here is a girl that WANTS to die and yet she is one of the only survivors of a plane crash...

Jane lives at Life House, a mental hospital for kids.  Jane was sent their after an "incident".  Her incident was a suicide attempt.  You see, Jane's grandmother and her father have both committed suicide.  Jane has been dealing with depression and suicidal tendencies and they come naturally to her.  Jane is also a planner.  In fact, she has planned how she is going to end her life this time.  It's a good plan too. 

Jane has earned enough "points" to go home for Christmas.  This is part of her plan.  She is going to get on the plane, take a lethal dose/mixture of sleeping pills and be dead before the plane hits the ground.  She has planned every little detail from earning her points, to getting the pills, to making sure none of the staff at Life House suspect a thing.  What she doesn't plan is for the plane she is on to crash.  She also didn't plan to be one of only two survivors.  Now Jane and Paul must figure out how they are going to survive.

I had mixed feelings about Jane.  As someone who has had to deal with depression for many years, I know what it is like and thought I would connect with her a little more.  Now, I haven't dealt with suicidal tendencies so I knew I wouldn't understand that part but Jane blames her suicidal thoughts on the fact that it's in her family.  That's it.  No other reasons there.  I just didn't buy it.  Once she is put in the position of fighting for her life (and wanting to live), I felt better about her.  I thought she was a stronger character and she obviously did want to live.  She could have thrown in the towel a few times and I was glad to see her fight.

Paul was a great character too!  He was funny and he was good for Jane.  I really liked how there was no "insta-love"!  That made the story much more realistic for me.  His experience dealing with his brother's death helped Jane deal with her father's death a little more too, I think.  I really enjoyed watching Jane and Paul's relationship grow and be something more than just your "love at first sight" romance.  Plus, the romance obviously didn't take over the story. 

This was a fast paced and exciting read.  Not a fun and carefree read but one that is definitely worth picking up.  There were some things left unanswered for me but for the most part, I enjoyed this one.

Book Review: Hidden by Sophie Jordan

**Received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory.

The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning....

Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.

My Thoughts:  Wow!  This book started out with excitement, suspense and action and never stopped!  From the first page to the last page, you are wrapped up in this book and won't be able to put it down.

This is the last book of the Firelight series.  We start off where Vanish ended with Miram being captured by the Enkros, Jacinda and Tamra leaving the tribe (initially to find their mother who was banished) with Cassian to rescue Miram and Will helping so he can leave with Jacinda after Miram is rescued.  The plan to get into the Enkros lab is for Jacinda to be "caught" by the hunters (Cassian and Will) and to be put into the lab so she can find Miram.  Then she is counting on Will, Cassian and Tamra to get them out. 

Of course, it never happens that easily.  Jacinda enters the lab and is immediately put into a cell.  She is able to speak to a few other draki and she has seen Miram!  However, Miram is laying in a heap on the floor of her cell and the other draki are busy warning Jacinda of "the gray one".  Before she can fully understand what the other draki are telling her, she is forced to meet "the gray one" for herself. 

After what feels like days to Jacinda, Will, Cassian and Tamra finally come to her rescue and just in time!  They manage to free all the draki, including "the gray one".  There are some seriously intense scenes during this time that I can't go into due to spoilers but hang on to your seats!  Unfortunately, even after they escape the Enkros, the hunters are still after them.  Now they must get Miram back to the pride and then leave to find Jacinda's mom.  Again, nothing is ever that easy.

I loved Jacinda and Tamra in this book!  They were strong characters but caring and loyal to each other and their pride. They were smart and able to outsmart the hunters for the most part.  I loved watching Tamra's relationship with "the gray one" (for the life of me I cannot remember what his name was...sorry!) grow and of course I loved reading about Will and Jacinda's relationship. 

Cassian and Miram were also amazing characters.  Miram was so broken after her stay with the Enkros and while there was still some tension between her and Jacinda, Miram finally realized how Jacinda helped her and their relationship became a little less tense.  Cassian was bonded with Jacinda so I enjoyed how their "bond" worked and how they could feel each other's emotions.  You knew he was jealous of Will but understood that was who Jacinda picked. 

The ending broke my heart but was a good ending in all.  It tied most everything together.  I would have liked to have found out what happened to the other draki that escaped and seen the Enkros shut down but the loose ends with Jacinda, Will, Cassian, Miram and Tamra were all tied up nicely.  I really enjoyed this fast paced ending to a wonderful trilogy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The winner (of My Favorite Reads Giveaway) is...

The My Favorite Reads Giveaway has ended.  I want to thank everyone for entering my giveaway and welcome all my new followers!  I hope you stick around for some fun reviews and more giveaways!

Okay, now for the news you are all waiting for....the winner!  Congratulations to...

Keetra Smith!

Keetra has until Saturday to email me or I will pick another winner. 

Again, thanks to everyone that entered!  Stay tuned for another giveaway soon!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Hidden by Sophie Jordan

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!

Hidden (Firelight, #3)My teaser is from Hidden by Sophie Jordan.  It is the 3rd book in the Firelight series.

"Something else has with him.  His fear tastes different...more acrid."
~Page 81

*Quote taken from an ARC.  Quote and page number are subject to change.*

What are you reading?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Book Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  In 1897 England, 16-year-old Finley Jayne is convinced she's a freak. No normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch. Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special . . . that she's one of "them."

My Thoughts:  I have read a lot of good and bad reviews of this book.  I was a little hesitant to read it and put it off for quite awhile.  Yeah....I am pretty sorry I did that!  The only good thing is that the sequel is out on NetGalley so I can read it right away instead of having to wait!  I really enjoyed this book!

Finley is a great character!  The story starts out with Finley fighting for her virtue as a housemaid.  The young man of the house has decided that he deserves to get whatever he wants from the young housemaids...and I do mean WHATEVER he wants!  As he tries to assault Finley, we find out how unique she really is. 

Finley has a good side and a "dark" side, much like Jekkyl and Hyde.  When her dark side emerges, she has incredible strength and is very sarcastic.  As she is running away from her job, she gets hit (literally, she gets run over) by Griffin King.  Griffin and his friend, Sam, take Finley home so they can tend to her.  Once there and awake, Finley learns that she is not the only one with "special" powers.  She quickly makes friends with Griffin and Emily but Sam is hard to win over. 

While at Griffin's, the four try to solve the case of "The Machinist" and stop this madman from harming the Queen and taking over England.  He has sent his automatons after Griffin, Emily, Finley and Sam and they must discover who he is, how he is controlling the automatons and how to stop him!  With the help of an unsavory character, Jack Dandy, and an American cowboy, Jasper Renn, the group attempts to take down this madman.

I really liked Finley.  She wasn't a wimpy character at all and she really loved to fight!  I enjoyed how she spent time with Dandy even though he wasn't an appropriate person to hang out with.  I liked how sarcastic and witty she could be and her dark side was fun too.  She really wanted to fit in somewhere and she wanted to understand what was going on with herself.

Griffin was a charming character.  He cared about Finley and really wants to help her "merge" her two selves together.  He was jealous of the time she spend with Dandy but put his feelings aside a few times when the moment called for it.  He was very loyal to his friends and family and hiw power was also fun. 

I absolutely loved Jack Dandy and his cockney accent!  He was really a likeable character despite the fact that he was a "bad boy".  I loved his boldness and how he interacted with Finley.  He was by far my favorite character!

I loved the mystery and I didn't think I was going too.  I didn't think I would enjoy a book about automatons and Organites but it really kept my attention.  I am really sorry that it took me so long to read this book but I am glad that I finally got to it!  It was definitely refreshing to read something so different!