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 »

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

My Thoughts: I waited quite a while to read this series.  I honestly knew nothing about it except that it was written by one of my favorite authors.  I never read the synopsis or the reviews.  I'm glad I didn't because alien books aren't usually my thing so I don't know if I would have read it but imagine my surprise when I found out Daemon was an alien!  

Katy has just moved with her mom to West Virginia.  Her mom wants a new start after Katy's father has passed away.  Katy is perfectly happy to spend the summer at home, blogging about books (how cool is that??) and gardening but her mom wants her to meet people before school so she suggests that Katy meet the neighbors.  Katy goes to ask for directions to the store to appease her mother and meets Daemon, an incredibly hot yet extremely rude guy.  They do not get off to a good start.  However, his sister Dee is another story.  Dee and Katy hit it off right away and become close friends, much to Daemon's dismay.  

Katy is at her wit's end trying to understand Daemon's hot and cold attitude towards her.  She is forced to spend time with Daemon and can't decide if there is an attraction between them or not.  It is truly a love/hate relationship.  The Daemon saves Katy's life, not once but twice, and after the second time she is forced to spend even more time with him due to the fact that he has left a "trace" on her.  It is then that Katy discovers Daemon and Dee's secret and learns about the Luxen and the Arum.  

I love Katy, Dee, Carissa and Lesa.  They are fun and great friends.  I even loved Daemon.  How could you not love him, even at his worst.  But I could not stand Ash or Andrew.  They were just  nasty.  I did like their brother, Adam, though.  He seemed like he could be decent.  

The ending was very action packed.  I do have to say that I thought Katy was one of those dumb characters that just don't think.  Without giving too much away here....I get that she was trying to keep Dee safe but to me there seemed to be so many other options that would have been smarter.  So I was rolling my eyes at that part of the story a little bit.  

Other than that, I thought this was a fun read.  It was different for me to read about aliens so I found that refreshing.  I am interested to see how the next book compares.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
My Thoughts:  Layla is part demon and part Warden.  A Warden is a gargoyle who hunts demons so you can see how this could be a slight problem.  However, she is taken in at a young age by Abbott, a Warden, and grows up in the clan and Layla definitely considers herself on the Warden's side.  She can see people's souls (or lack thereof) and "tags" demons for the Warden's to take out.  With the exception of some soul cravings here and there, Layla thinks this is working for her.  
Then Layla meets Roth.  Roth is an upper-level demon and oh, so hot!  He saves her from a demon right off the bat and then shows up at her school.  Once Layla meets Roth, she starts to question everything she has grown up thinking she knows.  Are demons really all evil?  Should they all be wiped out by the Wardens?  Are the Wardens all good?  

After Layla finds out the truth about who she is and what she can do, things start to get dangerous and a little exciting (who am I kidding??  Things get A LOT exciting).
I loved Layla immediately.  She is a very strong character and despite the things that she finds out about herself, she doesn't ever feel sorry for herself or have pity parties.  The revelation of who Layla's father was shocked me and I immediately felt for her but she moved on and didn't let it ruin her.  I also really loved how, even though there appears to be a love triangle at first, there really isn't.  Layla knows exactly what she wants and knows that the love she feels for Zayne and Roth are different.  
Zayne was a great guy.  He was a little over protective of Layla and that could get a little annoying.  I also was mad when he wouldn't answer his phone when Layla really needed him and his support.  I felt he put her off and was petty at times but he was a pretty decent guy.  

Roth...I am team Roth all the way, no doubt about it!  From the time he entered the story until the end, I was completely for Roth!  He's hot, he's bad (I mean, he's a much more bad can you get?) and he can be so sweet to Layla.  He can be totally sarcastic and I loved his sense of humor.  Plus, he has Bambi and Thumper (read the book and you'll find out who Bambi and Thumper are) and that was pretty awesome.  

This book was action packed from page one.  It was full of surprises and the end will make you want to cry or scream!  I hated putting the book down and stayed up late to read it.  I cannot wait to read the second book (comes out in October) and see what happens with Layla, Roth and Zayne.  This book is a definite must read for 2014!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's top ten is ten popular authors I've never read.  

Sarah Ockler 
 I own several of her books but haven't gotten around to reading her yet

Fixing Delilah Bittersweet     

Becca Fitzpatrick
I have the whole Hush, Hush series but again, they sit on my Nook and wait for me to get to them!
Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)    Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2)  Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)   

Meg Cabot
I have a bunch of her books too (do you see a trend here?) and my daughter loves the Princess Diaries series so I have to get going on these to see why.  I did love the movie though!
Abandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1)  The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)  

Lauren DeStefano
I have read such great reviews about her books and again, I have them all so just need to get to them!
Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)  Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1)  

Brenna Yovanoff
Her books look so creepy to me and I just bought Fiendish!  I can't wait to read some of them!

The Replacement  The Space Between Fiendish  

Cynthia Hand
Again, I have the whole Unearthly series but haven't read it yet.  I really need to get moving, huh?

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)  Hallowed (Unearthly, #2) Boundless (Unearthly, #3)  

Allie Condie
I bet you can't guess what I'm gonna say...yep, have the whole series but nope, haven't read them!

Matched (Matched, #1)  Crossed (Matched, #2) Reached (Matched, #3) 

Rachel Vincent
I really want to read her Soul Screamers series.  It looks amazing!

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1) My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2) 

Veronica Roth
I've recently bought the Divergent series and I am looking forward to getting it read.

Divergent (Divergent, #1) Insurgent (Divergent, #2) 

Rachel Hawkins
She's another author that I am excited to read!  I love books about witches so this should be right up my alley!

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1) Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2) 

I think what I have figured out from this post is that I need to get reading more of my TBR pile!

Teaser Tuesday: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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!

"Layla," Abbot called out, and I stopped at the door.  "Just one last thing."
My stomach tumbled.  "Okay."
Abbot smiled tightly.  "Where did you get the clothes you're wearing?" 
~page 214 of White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Take Control of Your TBR Pile March 2014 Challenge

Take Control of Your TBR Pile 2014 

The Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.   I really need to get control of my TBR pile!  I have books that I bought as soon as they came out only to sit on my bookshelf for years.  So, as soon as I finish my current read (and ARC), I am definitely going to concentrate on my TBR pile for this month.

Here are a few of the books on my pile that I hope to get read:
Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) 

The Night Circus 
Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Hopefully I will get through more than five books but this is where I am starting.  I will link my reviews on this page and keep you updated through the month!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Book Review: Sixth Covenant (A.D. Chronicles) by Bodie & Brock Thoene

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Who in Bethlehem could guess that their tiny, obscure village, populated by shepherds, would become the hinge upon which all history turns . . . and the focus of a terrifying rampage? Sixth Covenant is the conclusion of the three-book Nativity story within the A.D. Chronicles series. Sixth Covenant chronicles Mary, Yosef, and baby Yeshua in the first months of his life in Bethlehem. From the shepherd's visit to the escape to Egypt to the Bethlehem babies who gave their life for Jesus, discover the most critical events in the history of the world.

My Thoughts:  I started reading Brock and Bodie Thoene's books when I was pregnant with my daughter and put on bed rest.  I started with the Zion Covenant series and have worked all the way to the A.D. Chronicles.  These books are amazing and quite addictive.  

In Sixth Covenant, Mary and Yosef have arrived in Bethlehem and Mary has just given birth to the Messiah, baby Yeshua in Rachel and Zadok's lambing cave.  Rachel, Zadak, Eliyahu and Havila make Mary and Yosef very comfortable and welcome and Mary and Yosef start to settle down a little with the baby.  

During this time, King Herod is getting more and more paranoid.  He is sure that there is a rebellion happening even though there is no evidence of one thus far.  That does not stop Herod, aka the Butcher King, from crucifying anyone he thinks is a traitor.  When a caravan of astronomers and princes and kings from several countries come looking for the baby Messiah, Herod becomes outraged.  When he realizes that the coming Messiah that he is looking for is a baby, he orders all males children ages 2 and under killed.

This story is straight out of the Bible.  If you know this story, nothing will be a surprise to you, except maybe the horror you feel at the end.  I knew what King Herod did.  I have read the story several times and always thought it was horrible but I never had any real emotions attached to the story until now.  Rachel and Zadok and Eliyahu and Havila both have baby boys.  You come to know these families and their babies and love them.  It was heart wrenching to read the end.  It also makes it worse since I am a mom to two beautiful boys.  I cannot begin to imagine what all those mothers felt when their children were taken from them so brutally.  

The rest of the book had some slow moments but I loved all the history and details in it.  I enjoy reading about Mary as a normal mother with the same feelings of love and joy while looking at her child and the same feelings of helplessness when her baby is hurting or crying.  I haven't ever really taken the time to think about what it must have been like for her.  

I am now anxiously awaiting for the seventh novel in the series to get here from my library.  I cannot wait to finish reading how Mary, Yosef and Yeshua make it to Egypt and I want to see how Zadok survives now.