Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I, Lorelei by Yeardley Smith

Lorelei Connelly is no ordinary eleven-year-old. She's practical and a forward thinker. When her favorite cat, Mud, dies, she starts a journal to him, chronicling her daily life as a sixth grader so that he can continue to follow her rise to fame and fortune as a beloved actress, celebrated chef, and/or bestselling author. She figures it's also a good way to make sure her future biographers don't get anything wrong about her. But when her parents' marriage starts to unravel, Lorelei's lighthearted daily log becomes a poignant and defiantly humorous account of a family in distress as Lorelei grapples with the ground shifting under her feet.

Yeardley Smith engages the reader with wit, candor, and authenticity.

First off, who wouldn't love a book with a diary made out to a cat named Mud?!?!? And the little cat drawings that accompany the first page of each diary entry are too cute for words!!! Now, for the meat of the book, this was a terrific book. Definitely geared toward middle school kids, but an enjoyable read from my standpoint as well. This book encompasses a little more than 2 months of Lorelei's life, in which she encounters 3 major incidents. The way she writes to her cat is so open and honest. The questions she asks herself are real, and what many kids in her situation must be asking themselves. As an adult I really enjoyed this read, and think it should be a must read for any tween dealing with issues of seperation or divorce, it tackles these matters delicately, but realistically!!!! 4.5/5

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Midnight Rambler by James Swain

Explosive. Pulse-pounding. Heart-racing. From the bestselling author The Wall Street Journal hails as “one terrific writer,” Midnight Rambler is the breakout thriller of the year–a brawny, brainy novel of suspense that pairs James Swain’s trademark smooth-as-silk prose with a plot bigger and bolder than anything he’s done before.

In South Florida, Jack Carpenter is infamous. He’s the cop who busted the notorious serial killer Simon Skell–aka the Midnight Rambler–and sacrificed his badge and marriage in the process. Haunted by the Skell case, Carpenter now works as an abduction specialist in Fort Lauderdale, reuniting families with their missing children.

But the body of one of the Midnight Rambler’s victims has just been uncovered–and forensic evidence suggests Carpenter jailed the wrong man. With Skell just days away from release, the tarnished hero must reopen the case that shattered his life and the lives of eight murdered women.

As waves of heat and rain wash over the steamy streets, Carpenter races against the clock to reaffirm the case against Skell. Yet the deeper he digs, the more he starts to realize that Skell is just one piece in a terrifying puzzle of predation and murder, just one player in a shocking conspiracy that ranges across the state of Florida. And as the relentless Carpenter draws the net tighter, his enemies prepare to spring a devastating final surprise.

From the seaside bar that Jack Carpenter calls home to the glittering tourist kingdom in Orlando to the funky jungle of Coconut Grove, James Swain unleashes a wild ride into the heart of evil–with the RollingStones’ “Midnight Rambler” as the throbbing, terrifying soundtrack.

This book allows one to peek inside the mind of a serial killer, and what a terrifying place it is to be!!! It is also a good perception of what a member of law enforcement has to deal with in order to keep those that are guilty locked away. This book will prove just how smart a criminal can be, and to what extent they will go to avoid imprisonment and/or get out of jail. A terrifying but exhilarating glimpse into the mind of a sick and sadistic killer!!! A book that keeps you turning the pages to see what could possibly happen next. If you're in search of a good suspense/thriller, you must find yourself a copy of this book!!!! 4.5/5

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mates, Dates, and Tempting Trouble by Cathy Hopkins

"I wonder what would have happened if I'd met you before Nesta," said Luke as he took my hand and looked deeply into my eyes. A bolt of electricity shot through me and I snatched my hand back as if it had been burnt. This can't be happening, I thought.

When Luke, the boy that Nesta has been dating, declares passionate love for T.J., she doesn't know what has hit her. She does her best to avoid him, but when the local schools are asked to work together on a project, Luke is chosen as the overall coordinator and T.J. has no choice but to report back to him on a regular basis. Misunderstandings and miscommunications threaten the girls' friendship and split them into two camps: Lucy and Nesta, Izzie and T.J. Will their friendship survive? And what will T.J.'s steady boyfriend, Steve, make of it all?

Another good addition to the series, although it wasn't my favorite. I liked it good enough, but have enjoyed others in the series much more than this one. Although it was nice to get into T.J.'s head a little more as she was more of a newcomer, I just thought this one was alright. Hoping the next one is more like the previous books in the series!!!! 3/5

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

Juggling the demands of her yarn shop and single-handedly raising a teenage daughter has made Georgia Walker grateful for her Friday Night Knitting Club. Her friends are happy to escape their lives too, even for just a few hours. But when Georgia's ex suddenly reappears, demanding a role in their daughter's life, her whole world is shattered.

Luckily, Georgia's friends are there, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they've created isn't just a knitting club: it's a sisterhood.

This book is the ultimate story of friendship. The epitome of women's fiction, a fabulous and engaging story about a group of women who come to rely on each other and count on each other in their times of need! This is a book you'll want to share with your best friend, your sister, your mom, any woman with who you share a close bond. It made me laugh out loud, cry like a baby, and feel warm and fuzzy inside when realizing how amazing friendship can truly be. I am thrilled there is a sequel to this book coming out, and cannot wait to read more about this amazing group of women. 5/5

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Labor of Love by Rachel Hawthorne

To Do:
Investigate the French Quarter
Buy new hammer
Stop worrying that hard hat is going to ruin my hair
Stop thinking about ex-boyfriend. No guys this summer!
Find some cool jazz clubs to visit later
Get psychic readings with Jenna and Amber
Get Jenna and Amber to stop talking about psychic readings, the cute guy the psychic said I would meet, and the cute guy I just met. No guys this summer!!!
Throw self into work. Stop thinking about the cute guy!

Really cute and quick YA read!!!! Loved the characters, every one of them brought something special to the story!!!! Loved the fact that they were in New Orleans helping with the rebuilding after the hurricanes, it puts forth a wonderful image for the younger crowd the book is targeted to. A sweet story about taking chances, and going for what you really want!!!! 4.5/5

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mates, Dates, and Sequin Smiles by Cathy Hopkins

Izzie, Lucy, and T. J. crowded round and stared at me, like they were waiting for a circus freak to begin her act. I shook my head. "You're going to have to open your mouth some time," said Lucy. "Come on, put your hand down." I shook my head. "It's horrible. I look like a can opener."

Nesta is devastated. She has to wear braces. She thinks that no boy will ever look at her again without thinking of the killer shark in Jaws. And practicing a smile that doesn't show her teeth isn't helping. There's only one option: to become a recluse.

Lucy, Izzie, and T. J. try to help Nesta understand that her looks haven't changed, but Nesta's not convinced. Things change, however, when she meets Luke, who not only restores her confidence in her ability to attract boys, but also introduces her to a whole new side of her personality.

Love, love, love this series. It is so true to life, I suppose that's why I like it so much. Once again, Hopkins does not disappoint with this continuation of her series!!! :) Watching Nesta grow in this book was great. She doesn't change so much as makes some realization, that help her character to develop. Great series for teens and adults as well!!! 4.5/5

Death Perception by Victoria Laurie

Abby Cooper's betting the house on her inner eye...

It took a while for Abby Cooper's FBI agent boyfriend, Dutch Rivers, to accept her psychic gifts as the real deal. But these days he knows better than to question Abby's visions. So when his favorite cousin Chase is kidnapped in Vegas, they both catch the next flight to Sin City. Abby's inner eye insists that Chase is still alive, but nothing else about the case adds up—especially Dutch's reluctance to involve his own Bureau.

On top of everything, Dutch is battling a mysterious illness, and Abby keeps having disturbing dreams that predict his death. Dutch wants Abby to promise that if the investigation goes south, she'll head home to safety. But when the chips are down, Abby won't fold without a fight...

Another good addition to this series. I really like Abby Cooper, she's a fun and interesting sleuth and constantly getting herself into situations she shouldn't be in. I always enjoy reading about her relationships with Dutch, her sister Cat and her new partner Candice. This book did not dissapoint. As usual an enjoyable read from Laurie!!! :) 4/5

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chosen by PC Cast & Kristin Cast

Dark forces are at work at the House of Night and fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird's adventures at the school take a mysterious turn. Those who appear to be friends are turning out to be enemies. And oddly enough, sworn enemies are also turning into friends. So begins the gripping third installment of this “highly addictive series” (Romantic Times), in which Zoey's mettle will be tested like never before. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, is undead and struggling to maintain a grip on her humanity. Zoey doesn't have a clue how to help her, but she does know that anything she and Stevie Rae discover must be kept secret from everyone else at the House of Night, where trust has become a rare commodity. Speaking of rare: Zoey finds herself in the very unexpected and rare position of having three boyfriends. Mix a little bloodlust into the equation and the situation has the potential to spell social disaster. Just when it seems things couldn't get any tougher, vampyres start turning up dead. Really dead. It looks like the People of Faith, and Zoey's horrid step-father in particular, are tired of living side-by-side with vampyres. But, as Zoey and her friends so often find out, how things appear rarely reflects the truth…

Loved this book..........almost as much as the first 2. I'm still giving it all 5 stars, but I think this book impressed me just a little less than the first 2. In this installment Zoey seems to be going a little wishy washy in her actions. I suppose since she came across as so strong in the first 2 and really grew into her leadership role in the 2nd book that is why I feel this way. Of course I have to keep reminding myself that she *is* a teenager so these things are to be expected. When I let myself realize that, I loosened up and really let myself enjoy. I have the 4th on my tbr and don't think it will be very long before I delve into it!!! ;) 5/5

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mates, Dates, and Mad Mistakes by Cathy Hopkins

As soon as Mum dropped me off, I made a dive for the ladies room, where I trashed the sandwich she'd made me and reapplied my makeup. Mum really didn't understand. I couldn't possibly get up on stage in front of everyone looking like I was dressed for afternoon tea with my grandma.

Izzie is restless, and eager to be treated like an adult. So she decides it's time to make some changes. But the new Izzie comes with new problems. First there is Josh Harper, an older, cute-but-wild boy. Then there is her mother, who is opposed to every part of the "new Izzie."

How can Izzie learn about herself and what it means to be grown up -- without upsetting everyone along the way?

Another awesome addition to this series!!!! The character progression in this series is fabulous, the girls are definitely growing and dealing with new issues, situations, and problems on a daily basis. The introduction of new characters definitely helps the series move along and grow, and I am enjoying learning more and more about these girls in every book. These girls are dealing with real life, everyday situations and it's great to see how they deal with what is thrown at them. This is definitely one of my favorite YA series to read!!!! :) 4.5/5

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Big Boned by Meg Cabot

Life is reasonably rosy for plus-size ex-pop star turned Assistant Dormitory Director and sometime sleuth Heather Wells. Her freeloading ex-con dad is finally moving out. She still yearns for her hot landlord, Cooper Cartwright, but her relationship with "rebound beau," vigorous vegan math professor Tad Tocco, is more than satisfactory. Best of all, nobody has died lately in "Death Dorm," the aptly nicknamed student residence that Heather assistant-directs. Of course every silver lining ultimately has some black cloud attached. And when the latest murdered corpse to clutter up her jurisdiction turns out to be her exceedingly unlovable boss, Heather finds herself on the shortlist of prime suspects—along with the rabble-rousing boyfriend of her high-strung student assistant and an indecently handsome young campus minister who's been accused of taking liberties with certain girls' choir members.

With fame beckoning her back into show business (as the star of a new kids' show!) it's a really bad time to get wrapped up in another homicide. Plus Tad's been working himself up to ask her a Big Question, which Heather's not sure she has an answer for . . .

Let me start out by saying that Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors!!!! But, I have to say this is not one of my favorite of her books. While the last 50 pages were unputdownable, the rest of the book was just alright for me. Usually when I read a Cabot book I am sucked in from the beginning and no matter what feel the need to finish. I know I have a lot going on right now, so maybe that is part of it, and don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, it just wasn't as good for me as the previous 2 in this series!!! Of course, I will most definitely be running out to get the next in this series when it comes out because like I said, the last 50 pages.............YES!!!!!! I felt those were written in what I have come to view as true Cabot fashion!!!! :) 3.75/5

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September Books

What's Hot by Caitlin Davis

Holly is spending the summer at the local country club, working at the hot grill and dishing out burgers and fries to all the hungry, cute boys. But the one boy she keeps focusing on is her fellow burger-flipper, Paul! He and Holly are always fighting and arguing, and soon, sparks are flying even away from the grill! But when Holly's best friend Ainslee tells her that she wants to ask out Paul, it sends Holly into a tailspin. Will Holly realize that she and Paul are meant to be...before their love goes up in smoke?

Really cute, really quick read!!!! Your typical YA fare, no heavy lifting with this one. A very light story with enjoyable characters. Definitely can be tackled in a couple hours!!!! A nice change for me from the darker book I read previously!!! :) 3/5