Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: The forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

I'm honestly not sure what to do about this book. The world Ryan creates is well thought-out, the Unconsecrated are terrifying, and the choices some of the characters have to make are heart wrenching. 


I'd have to say my biggest problem with this book is the portrayal of the marriage system. After the Return, there are few survivors, and they live in a tightly controlled religious community. Divorce is unheard of, and commitment, not "true love," is the driving force in marriages. And that's a bad thing. As a (happily) married woman, I argue that commitment is as important, if not more, than our emotions, in making a marriage last. Even the most passionately in love don't always feel that way, and like the book, our marriage vows promise our spouses AND GOD that we will be together good times or bad. The love story in The Forest of Hands and Teeth leads the reader to hope the characters break those vows, which, BTW, one character admits to planning on, before even making.  In a society where half the marriages end in divorce, the LAST thing we need is a book geared toward teens that makes commitment and religion the enemy. (Steps off soap box)

I really didn't like Mary as a MC. Through the whole book she hates herself for being reckless and selfish (and she's right) but she never changes, just keeps making the same mistakes over and over. It made reading a little boring, because I always knew what choice she'd make.  There is a sequel to this one, and hopefully she shows some growth in it. As far as Travis, her love interest, the reader knows nothing about him, except that he has green eyes. I need more than that to root for a relationship (above comments aside) and I honestly just didn't care about them. 

I had a hard time getting a visual idea about the setting, except in the treetop village, and I really didn't always know what was going on. This could have been because of the present-tense writing, or because Ryan was trying to do too much at once. Either way, I was more confused then scared, and my feelings for the characters bordered on apathetic. In the end, I can't recommend this one to anybody, but if you've read it and feel differently, maybe you can help me understand it.

YS Notes: See above
Rating: NONE

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Check the List!

 Over the weekend I went to the local library because I had somehow managed to let myself run out of new reading material. (Which should never happen.) Since I had Stitch with me, I was in a bit of a hurry,so I just grabbed two titles I thought looked interesting. When I got home I cracked open the first book, read the first page, and realized I thought the very same book looked interesting about a year ago. I checked my Goodreads list, just to be sure, and sure enough, it was right there on my "read" shelf. I'd like a show of hands. Who else has done this? And why don't we check our shelves before heading off to get new reading material? Grrr. But at least my second book came from the "new release" shelf, so the trip wasn't a total waste. And I also have a pretty new blog in which to rant about my experience. See, there is a bright side to everything. :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's PRETTY!!!

So, what do you think? Make sure to check out all of my fancy new tabs, and check back often for more. AND if your blog needs a new 'do, I highly recommend Silvia at Darkest Sins!

Coming Soon

Well, it's time to face the facts. This blog needs help. I know it, and you know it. I mean, seriously, BROWN?? Well, at least it's better than the weeds I had in the background before. But I give up. I'm bringing in a professional. And soon I shall have a shiny new blog. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On Haunted Ground, Lisa Rogers

Lisa Rogers sensed that the house she bought with her husband Wes came with a ghost. But nothing prepared them for doors slamming on their own, objects flying, and the nightly appearance of a freaky green orb in their bedroom. Their two children had opposing views on the paranormal activity. While Keshia grew attached to the grandmotherly ghost who taught her not to be afraid of thunderstorms and the Native American spirit that tucked her into bed, her brother Troy wasn't quick to believe in their unearthly guests.This amazing true story details two decades of terrifying, funny, and heartwarming paranormal encounters--the mischievous entity that imitated the voice of each family member, the spool that "came to life" to chase the kids, the shocking events that shake Wes and Troy's skepticism--and the enduring love that keeps the family together through it all.  Goodreads

I cannot review this book for three very good reasons:
1) Lisa Rogers is my mother.
2) This is the story of my childhood. And seriously, how do you review that?
3) I wrote the last chapter.
And so I ask that  you overlook the lack of review.  But it is an awesome book for anyone who believes in ghosts, or has an open mind to the possibility that they may exist. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, hop on over to Ghost Talk and enter to win a free copy.  Good luck!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ah, Fame.

     Since it is now only a matter of time before I am incredibly famous, (read with as much sarcasm as you choose) I think it is time to start thinking of my family's privacy, but they are my family and I'm sure I will still talk about them from time to time. An author I respect has solved this problem by assigning each member of her family with a nickname, and I think I will follow suit.
    My husband will probably be referred to as "my husband." Creative, I know. And my son will henceforth be called...Stitch. As in the highly intelligent, good natured, adorable, destructive little monster from the Disney movie. (Yes, he is a toddler.)

P.S Be sure to like me on facebook!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yippee!! (Cont.)

The official announcement went out this morning. My DEBUT NOVEL Blood-Bound will be published be Spencer Hill Press in 2013!

Blood-Bound follows Brielle, the main character in my short story "Family Ties" (Published in the anthology UnCONventional. So if you haven't read it you totally should) as she starts college and struggles to accept her new identity. 

Guys, words cannot express how excited I am right now, so I think I'm going to go dance some more. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


So, I bought a new computer recently. It is awesome. I love it. But sometimes...

This morning I woke up early, bursting with ideas I needed to get down before my angelic baby woke up and demanded all of my attention. So I sat down to my lovely new machine and just let the words flow from my fingers. I was on fire. I had pages of ideas and plot twists when suddenly: Windows is RESTARTING to finish new updates. Poof. It was gone. And of course I hadn't saved. On my old computer I had set the system to auto-save every two minutes, and I just hadn't gotten around to changing the settings on my new computer. (Oh, it's been fixed now) I didn't lose everything, fortunately. It did auto-recover a good portion of my brainstorming, but not all. And if you've ever tried to re-brainstorm you know it doesn't work out too well. So, moral of the story; adjusting the auto save option should be your FIRST priority when typing on a new computer.

And no, the new computer was not the reason behind my Yippee!! post last week. Yes, I will tell you, but I can't just yet. We must all be patient. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I seriously need to work on my happy dance. I twisted my ankle and my son thinks I'm insane. More on this later. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Elemental, Emily White

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. 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?  Goodreads.

I can honestly say I've never read anything quite like Elemental. My hat is off to Ms. White, and anyone else who can take a novel set squarely in the sci-fi  genre, throw in fairies and a few obscure King Arthur references, and make it all work.

Elemental opens with a dramatic escape, and the action doesn't stop until the last page. I had trouble putting it down, even for a minute. The world(s) that Emily has created could use a bit more description, but since this is the beginning of a trilogy, I am assuming more will be on the way. And the lack of description didn't  take away from the story at all because it is so character driven.

Speaking of characters, I love Ella. I don't think I've read another book where the heroine truly struggles with whether or not she is actually the enemy. I felt her emotions and it almost seemed like I understood what she was going through.

Meir just made me want to give him a big hug all the time. He's the ultimate father figure, with wounds and secrets of his own. Malik has me all sorts of confused. He goes from tender to jerk in .02 seconds, and yet I really wanted to like him. And the jury is still out on Cailen. I know. We're all supposed to squeal and say things like "swoon-worthy" about the love interest. And he is, don't get me wrong. But he's still too much of a mystery for me to fall head-over-heels. But, since romance isn't the point of this novel, survival is, I don't really see that as a bad thing. It gives us something else to look forward to in Fae.

This is a great start to a series, and I recommend it to sci-fi lovers everywhere, and also for fantasy readers looking to branch out. You won't be disappointed. 

Rating 5/5 stars

YA notes :Mild language.