Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Review: Mastiff, Taomra Pierce

        Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal. (Goodreads)

              I try really hard not to go “crazy fan-girl” in my reviews, but sometimes I just can’t help it. Tamora Pierce is AMAZING. Mastiff is a perfect conclusion to the Beka Cooper trilogy, and the way it all ties into the bigger Tortall picture is GENIUS! Okay, I’m done now, on the review.

            Mastiff picks up several years after we last saw Beka, and she’s at her fiancĂ©’s funeral. My first thought was, “Beka was engaged? Since when?” I did feel a little disoriented in the first chapter, but all of Beka’s friends from the first few books make an appearance, and since I never actually met her betrothed, I didn’t mourn him. The plot was fast-paced and flawless. I could barely put the book down. And when the traitor to the crown was revealed I was blown away! I totally did not see that coming. Apparently, Beka and I have different ideas in the love department, but that’s okay. I was always partial to Rosto, while she has different ideas. And even though I’ve never fallen in love with her man, it works for her. Honestly, it is refreshing to occasionally read about a female main character who doesn’t spend most of her time worrying about relationships. Beka is a busy girl, but if a cove can keep up, good for him!

The way the book ended was perfect and sad and made me want to re-read the Song of the Lioness quartet. That’s all I can say without giving it away. But I highly recommend this book to all readers, new to Tortall, or long-time residents.

Rating: 5/5 stars

YA notes: mild language and brief suggestive content.

Book provided by book divas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Dance Time!!

So when I got home today I had a box in the mail. Know what was inside? Come on, guess. Give up?

It was my advanced copy of UnCONventional. The anthology that contains my very first published work. UnConventional hits shelves on Jan. 15th, 2012. But I can give you a sample of my story now. So read away and let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Book Review: Forever, Maggie Stiefvater

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

            Forever is definitely my favorite book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. It wraps everything up in a way that is unexpected, yet satisfying and believable. I loved seeing officer Koeing finally get involved. I knew he’d be important eventually! Anyway, moving on.
            The plot was awesome. It was fast paced and almost impossible to put down. I would have finished it in one setting if my husband didn’t think dinner was absolutely necessary. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming, but it was basically what I’ve come to expect from the characters, which is fine by me.
            Speaking of the characters, what can I say about Cole St. Clair? He’s like a wounded pit bull. You really want to help him, but you know it’s a bad idea. He and Isobel are like oil and water, but somehow that just makes them more perfect for each other. Normally I don’t like the overly cruel “poor me” side characters, but Cole and Isobel were actually my favorite characters in the book. I do have to say that the way things ended for them just wasn’t fair.
            Sam was loveable, as always, and has finally grown a backbone. Between having to be the one to take care of Grace, and dealing with his very mixed feelings toward his adoptive father, I’m starting to think he just might make it in the human world.
            Grace, honestly got on my nerves. I think it may be because I related to her so much in the beginning. The change in her character just doesn’t sit well with me. I think it has to do with her attitude toward her parents. No, they weren’t perfect, but treating them like they’ve treated her doesn’t really feel like something over achieving let’s-not-make-waves Grace would do. But that’s just my opinion.

Overall, this was a great way to end the Mercy Falls saga. 4 stars

YA notes
Brief sensuality, strong language.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review: The Ghost of Greenwich Village, Lorna Graham

For Eve Weldon, moving to Greenwich Village is a dream come true. She’s following in the bohemian footsteps of her mother, who lived there during the early sixties among a lively community of Beat artists and writers. But when Eve arrives, the only scribe she meets is a grumpy ghost named Donald, and the only writing she manages to do is for chirpy segments on a morning news program, Smell the Coffee. The hypercompetitive network environment is a far cry from the genial camaraderie of her mother’s literary scene, and Eve begins to wonder if the world she sought has faded from existence. But as she struggles to balance her new job, demands from Donald to help him complete his life’s work, a budding friendship with a legendary fashion designer, and a search for clues to her mother’s past, Eve begins to realize that community comes in many forms—and that the true magic of the Village is very much alive, though it may reveal itself in surprising ways. -Goodreads summary.

The Ghost of Greenwich Village was not at all what I expected. It started off a bit slow for me, but once the story really got started, I was hooked. Lorna Graham, who formerly wrote for multiple news stations, sprinkled a lot of fun details throughout Eve’s experience that made the story very realistic. The characters were well developed and by books end, they felt like old friends. Eve really grows throughout the story, going from a girl desperately chasing her mother’s ghost to a confident young woman, making her own choices. I didn’t really expect to like Donald, but I ended up loving him!  He’s self-absorbed, rude, and his writing style is awful. But when his past is finally revealed, he’s the most sympathetic character in the book. The relationships built throughout the book are complex and believable. I felt like I was part of Eve’s group of friends. There were several fashion references that went over my head, but they weren’t vital to the story line, so don’t worry if you aren’t a fashionista!  This was a great debut, I will definitely add Ms. Graham to my “watch list.”

Rating: 4 stars

Book provided by bookdivas