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 »

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading and asks you to :
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3 . Share 2 "teaser" sentences also citing the title of the book and the author and in that way people can have great recommendations if they like the "teaser".
4. Please avoid spoilers!
Dead Silence (The Body Finder, #4)"She tried to imagine Rafe going to the graveyard at night and digging up a body - Caine's body.
She squeezed her eyes shut, wondering whatever had possessed him to do such a think, to take such a risk." ~Page 190 of Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Antigoddess (Goddess War, #1) 
**I received this book from Around the World ARC Tours for review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

My Thoughts:  I love Greek mythology so I was really excited when I saw that Ms. Blake was writing a book about it.  I absolutely loved Anna Dressed in Black so was pretty confident that I would also enjoy this book.

Athena and Hermes are dying...only they aren't suppose to die.  They are Gods.  Gods don't die.  Hermes is wasting away from the inside out and Athena is sprouting feathers in her lungs.  They decide that they need to figure out what is going on.  After finding Demeter and getting some very random hints from her, they are on a quest to find the Prophetess, Cassandra.

Cassandra is your average teenage girl...well, except she is psychic.  Other than that, she leads a fairly normal life with her brother, Henry, her boyfriend, Aiden and her best friend, Andie.  Her visions start to change though and become more vivid and a lot stranger than before.  Soon, Cassandra realizes that she is in the middle of a war between Gods and she is the one that they are all seeking.  

The chapters switch back and forth between Athena and Cassandra, which I really liked.  It kept it interesting but not confusing to me at all.  Athena is a really strong character (duh, she is a God) and I really liked her.  I also liked Hermes a lot.  He was loyal to Athena even when he was scared.

Cassandra was also a great character but I definitely liked her better after she "awakened".  She was much stronger.  I thought Aiden was a little dumb at times.  Trying to run from Gods seemed impossible so not sure why they would even try.  

The ending surprised me a little and although I was sad, I thought it was a good way to end the book.  I was enthralled with this book from the first page and hated to have to put it down at all.  It was a fast read and will definitely keep you interested the entire time, especially if you like Greek mythology!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book Review: Black Spring by Alison Croggon

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

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, BLACK SPRING reimagines the passionate story in a fantasy 19th century society sustained by wizardry and the vengeance code of vendetta.

Anna spent her childhood with Damek and her volatile foster sister Lina, daughter of the Lord of the village. Lina has magical powers, and in this brutal patriarchal society women with magical powers are put to death as babies. Lina’s father, however, refuses to kill her but when vendetta explodes in their village and Lina’s father dies, their lives are changed forever. Their new guardian Masko sends Anna away and reduces Lina to the status of a servant. Damek—mad with love for Lina—attempts to murder Masko, then vanishes for several years. Anna comes home five years later to find Lina about to marry a pleasant young farmer, and witnesses Damek’s vengeful return and its catastrophic consequences.

Passionate, atmospheric and haunting, BLACK SPRING will stay with readers long after they turn the final page.

My Thoughts:  I read Wuthering Heights in high school and I fell in love with the story.  I was a little worried about reading this book but it has been a really long time since high school and I've forgotten some of the story so I thought it would be okay.

The book started out a little slow for me with the story of Hammel (a.k.a. Mr. Lockwood).  Hammel was leaving the city for the North to put some distance between himself and a lady.  After arriving, he decides to meet the man who is letting him stay at the Red House, despite his housekeeper's warnings.  Halfway to the Master's house, a storm develops and Hammel has to stay the night with the miserable man he finds at the manse.  Hammel meets Damek (Heathcliff) and his young wife, who is quite angry and who is treated very poorly.  After Damek tells his manservant to put Hammel in a room, Hammel spends a very uneasy night and in the morning, he is greeted by the face of a woman with violet eyes in the mirror.  After telling Damek what he sees, Damek goes a little crazy and Hammel quickly leaves.

Once back at the Red House, Hammel gets ill from being out in the storm and the dog bite that he received at Damek's house and has to be nursed back to health by Anna (Nelly).  Anna tells him the story of herself, Damek and a young woman named Lina (Catherine).  You see, Lina and Anna were milk sisters and although Lina had royal blood, she treated Anna like a sister for the first years of their lives.  After Lina's father brings Damek home, Lina instead turns to Damek as her best friend.  After Lina's father dies in an unfortunate accident, the King gives the estate over to a disgusting pig of a man, Masko.  Masko abuses Lina and Damek and Anna both leave.  Anna is summoned back to be Lina's housemaid when Lina is engaged and is shocked by Lina's fragile appearance.  Lina marries and becomes pregnant and then Damek returns.  From there, everything goes downhill.

The one element in this book that wasn't in the original was the wizards and witches.  Wizards have much control over the villages and are greatly feared.  Witches are usually killed.  Lina has the violet eyes of a witch and must be careful.  There is also the "vendetta" which was particularly  disturbing to me.  Vendetta is this:  if someone in the village gets killed, that person's first male relation must then kill his murder.  There is a 40 day grace period between the time the person is killed and the time that the male relation can kill the murderer.  Then that person's first male relation must avenge the death and so on.  This can effectively kill off entire villages.  The people must also pay a "blood tax" on each person that kills.  The people in the villages never knew when or where it would happen but always feared it.  

I really enjoyed this story.  It was very close to what I remember of Wuthering Heights.  It was a dark read and a little slow at the beginning but once I got into Anna's story, I couldn't put the book down.  I enjoyed this retelling of an amazing classic!


Blog Tour & Giveaway: Pods by Michelle K. Pickett

**I received this book from Spencer Hill Press for an honest review**

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.
My Thoughts:  This book scared me to death!  Seriously, it did.  The first reason is because I could totally see this happening.  I mean, whether the government releases it or it's some virus that we have never seen, it could totally happen.  The second reason is because I have kids.  Unlike Eva's parents, I have more than one child...I have three.  Now, if you haven't read the book, you won't know why this scared me so I'll tell you.  There are only so many spaces in the Pods for the uninfected to live in.  Therefore, there was a "raffle" and if your social security number was picked, you got to live! I spent the first few chapters thinking "what if this happened and if it did, what if only ONE of my kids got chosen?"  As a parent, how would you deal with that?  Luckily for Eva and her parents, she was an only child.

Eva comes home from school one day to find her parents watching the news.  They immediately turn it off and don't let her see anything because they don't want to worry her.  However, they forgot how rapidly news, especially "end of the world" news travels.  She finds out during school the next day that a virus is very quickly spreading through the world and killing everyone who comes in contact with it.  The government has no cure for it.  They don't even know how it is spreading.  The government decides that they are going to take the "important" people and then some lucky "regular" people underground to live in Pods until the virus is gone.  A raffle is planned for one evening and happens behind closed doors.  Eva is one of the lucky "winners" but her parents are not.

Going into the Pods reminds me a little of the T.V. shows Big Brother or The Real World.  Ten strangers are put into each sub-pod and must learn to live together for the next year.  No one comes in and no one goes out.  Eva is put into a Pod and gets to know her new roommates quickly.  Of course, when you are young (and they were all young) and stuck in a small area together for a long period of time, you are bound to have some romances.  Eva meets David and even though they fought it for awhile (how awkward would a break up be in the Pods??), they end up getting together.  

Everything is going along somewhat smoothly until they are told they are being released.  No one knows yet what is up above but they are told they will be going into "villages" which end up being more like compounds.  David and Eva are separated.  After some time, Eva finds out that there were survivors of the virus.  Some of the survivors are okay but others have a mutated form of the virus that has basically made them into zombies.  Everyone is safe as long as they are in the compounds but of course, that doesn't happen.  

Now outside the compound, but with David again, Eva must fight for her life.  David and Eva are part of a group of "outsiders" that are trying to make it to California.  They are fighting the "zombies" the whole way and lose some friends.  When they find the entrance to the now abandoned Pods, Eva and David show their group and everything goes smoothly until the infected find them again.  Now they must decide whether they stay in the Pods or try to make it to California.  

I liked Eva and David.  They were great characters and very strong but very stubborn.  I liked how Eva chose to fight with the men instead of cower in the circle but I really thought there should have been more of Eva teaching the other girls how to fight not just yelling at them to fight.  There were A LOT of romantic scenes in this book.  Enough that even I wanted to yell at Eva and David to get a room already.  Let me tell you, that must have been some love too because at one point, Eva mentions she hasn't showered in over two weeks, hasn't brushed her teeth in just as long and yet her and David are making out hot and heavy.  All I could think of was morning breath and slimy teeth...yuck!  

I really enjoyed the other characters like Tiffany, George, Jessica and Devlin.  I am hoping to get to hear more about them in the next book.  You know where George is and you know how Tiffany is doing at the end of this book but this book leaves you wondering what happened to the other Pod members and Jessica and Devlin.  

This book will definitely keep you on your toes.  It is filled with action and excitement and you never really know what is going to happen.  There were times when I held my breath right along with Eva while I read through the intense moments.  Make sure you have time to read because once you start this one you will NOT want to put it down until you have finished it!

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