Friday, December 26, 2008

Tangle in Tijuana (Miss Adventures) by Lilla and Nora Zuckerman

Go South of the Border in this hilarious first installment of a sassy, sexy new interactive series, Miss Adventure. Making good on a drunken promise to your wild best friend, Lani, you hop into her beat-up 1970s Mustang and head off for a day of margaritas, men, and mayhem in Tijuana. But there are dozens of shots to call -- and drink! -- along the way.

Will you give in to your baser impulses and blow all of your money on over-the-counter Viagra?

Will you flash the crowd to win a dance contest?

Will you get your hands on a mythic tequila recipe that is sure to make you a millionaire?

Will you land yourself in Mexican jail for buying a shopping bag full of M-80 fireworks?

Will you party with a group of slightly shady but smoking-hot rich guys on their yacht?

And most important, will you find Lani's car where you left it?

It doesn't really matter whether you meet the Latin lover of your dreams or the long arm of the law in Tangle in Tijuana -- with thirty-eight possible endings, you can always go back across the border and start all over again!

OMG, I loved this book!!!! I used to love choose your own adventure books when I was younger, and this adult version was freakin fantastic!!!!! A great book for me to read during the past few days with the holidays, it's a whole bunch of little stories into one book. I laughed out loud over and over, it was such a hoot!!!! I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants something quick, light and hilarious!!!! 5/5

Mates, Dates, and Sizzling Summers by Cathy Hopkins

" I reckon that's the last we've seen of Ollie Axford," I said.

"I wouldn't be so sure TJ," said Nesta. "I bet he calls and asks you out."

"Nah, he looks like a player. You know the type. Too much of a twinkle in his eye to be trusted."

"A bit like Luke then?" said Lucy.

Boys are like buses for TJ. No sign of one for ages and then two come along at the same time! First there's charmer Ollie Axford. And just when TJ has decided that he could be the one, old flame Luke De Biasi tells her that he wants to rekindle their romance.

TJ is torn between the boys, and unhappy that it makes her look like a two-timer. But it all seems unimportant when someone close to her is taken seriously ill. More than ever, TJ needs a clear head and the support of her friends as she faces the most important summer of her life.

The last in this seris, I'm really going to miss reading about these girls. This has been a great YA series, and the growth of the characters throughout has been terrific. I'm so happy I found book 2 at a library sale, which made me get my hands on book 1 first and start this series. It's been a fun series to read, and there are have been lots of lessons embedded into the stories. Kudos to Ms. Hopkins for writing such a great YA series!!! :) 4.5/5

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Haunting of Josie by Kay Hooper

Before writing such New York Times bestselling thrillers as Blood Dreams and Sleeping with Fear, Kay Hooper made her mark with novels uniquely blending romance and suspense. In this new edition of The Haunting of Josie, Hooper brings together the themes that have remained at the heart of all her work—passion, danger, and a touch of the paranormal—in this classic story of a woman haunted by the past and tempted by a man too irresistible to trust.…
Josie Douglas came to the isolated country cottage with her research, a good alibi, and a gun. She hoped that she’d have enough time to unravel the facts behind the tragedy that years before shattered her life. Instead she found herself in a house haunted by its own dark history. A series of strange coincidences, a ghostly visitor, and a mysterious brass key provide Josie with tantalizing clues to a mystery that keeps her guessing at every turn. As does Marc Westbrook—a landlord who embodies the meaning of the term drop-dead gorgeous. Soon she’ll have to trust him with the secret that drove her into seclusion—a secret that has already cost one man she loved his life.

This book was okay. Nothing great about it, but a decent read. It meshes a bit of paranormal with some romance and suspense. I know this is a reprint of some of her earlier work, and it is definitely obvious to me as her more recent stuff is much better in my opinion. Nothing I would rush to get to, but an alright read if you need a filler or something quick!! 3/5

Friday, December 19, 2008

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Isabelle Lee has a problem, and it's not just Ape Face, her sister, or group therapy for an eating disorder, or even that her father died and her mother is depressed and in denial. It's that Ashley, the most popular girl in school, is inviting Isabelle to join her at lunch and at sleepovers at her house, and this is presenting Isabelle with a dilemma. Pretty Ashley has moved Isabelle up the social ladder, but is it worth keeping the secret they share?
Caught in the orbit of popularity and appearances, Isabelle must navigate a world with mixed messages, false hopes, and potentially harmful turns, while coping with her own flailing family and emotions. The author brings a depth of characterization, humor, and a real adolescent's voice to this multileveled story about the desire to be perfect in an imperfect world.

Wow, this book really opened my eyes to the world of eating disorders. Ms. Friend has brought a delicate but rampant issue to light in this book, and has done a wonderful job in my opinion, of getting across some of the feelings these girls may have. I was completely enthralled by the story portrayed in this book, as it really does effect everyone involved in the persons life even if they don't realize it. A wonderful portrayal, and an informative book all teens, and adults as well, should read. 5/5

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Witch Hunt by Shirley Damsgaard

Small-town librarian Ophelia Jensen is finally starting to embrace her lot as one of the "chosen"—a psychic and folk magick practitioner, a.k.a. a witch. Expert loving guidance from her magickally adept grandmother Abby helps—and adopting Tink, an exceptionally talented teenage medium, has given Ophelia's life new purpose . . . until a brutal murder clouds the sunshine of their days.Ophelia's co-worker and best friend, Darci, is distraught when her cousin is implicated in the small Iowa town of Summerset's most recent murder—the violent death of a biker. Unfortunately for Darci's cousin, it's her fingerprints all over the murder weapon. She claims she's innocent, but it'll take Ophelia and Abby more than a good incantation or two to get to the bottom of this crime—what with ghosts, crooked cops, secret identities, and a small army of outlaw bikers thrown into this devil's brew.

This is such a great series, and one I truly enjoy. Love the characters, love the development from book to book, the story is always interesting and intriguing. Damsgaard knows how to write an enticing but witchy cozy mystery. I do believe I will be picking up the next book in this series to read much sooner than later!!!! 5/5

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mates, Dates, and Diamond Destiny by Cathy Hopkins

"That William Lewis really thinks a lot of himself," I said. "He's such a smartarse."

"Hhmm,"said Lucy, grinning. "That's what he said about you too."

"He did? What a cheek! God, he annoys me. I really hate him."

Lucy, TJ, and Izzie exchanged knowing looks. "Yeah sure," said TJ. "You hate him."

Nesta's life is thrown into upheaval when she gets involved in charity work thinking that it might be a cool way to meet people (mainly boys). But as her eyes are opened to the plight of the world, she begins to want genuinely

to get involved and help others.

On top of this, Nesta meets William, a boy who questions her motives. At times, she's convinced he hates her and the feeling is mutual. But Izzie, Lucy, and TJ think it is something more like love....

I know I say the same thing every time I review a book from this series, I truly love these girls and enjoy watching them progress on their journey!!! I am sad that the series only has a few left to read!!!! The character development from book to book is terrific and the lessons that are taught throughout are great as well. This book makes the reader aware of what you can do to come to the need of charities of all types and how important it is to give even a little bit. Love this series, and I truly recommend it to all readers, YA and more seasoned as well for a nice easy read!! :) 4.5/5

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)adventures of Waverly Bryson by Maria Murnane

Anything can look perfect...on paper

When her fiance calls off their wedding at the last minute, Waverly Bryson wonders if her life will ever turn out the way she thought it would...or should. Her high-powered job in sports PR? Not so perfect. Her relationship with her dad? Far from it. Her perfect marriage? Enough said.

Perfect...on Paper is a humorous tale of Waverly's efforts to cobble the pieces of a broken yesterday into a brand new tomorrow. What does the future have in store for her? Will she finally find what she's looking for?

Wow, I have to say this is the best book in this genre that I have read in a long time!!!! The honey notes included within are definitely laugh out loud funny, enough so that I picked up the phone a couple times to read them to my best friend. I truly enjoyed every moment I spent reading this book, it was light, fluffy and so enjoyable!! :) Waverly is such a fun character and reading about what she was going to get into next was a riot. A great book, Ms. Murnane is definitely a new author to keep your eyes on, I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!!! :) 5/5

November Reads

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Judas Kiss by J.T. Ellison

Sex, lies and videotape.

It was a murder made for TV: a trail of tiny bloody footprints. An innocent toddler playing beside her mother's bludgeoned body. Pretty young Corinne Wolff, seven months pregnant, brutally murdered in her own home.

Cameras and questions don't usually phase Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson, but the media frenzy surrounding the Wolff case is particularly nasty...and thorough. When the seemingly model mommy is linked to an amateur porn website with underage actresses and unwitting players, the sharks begin to circle.

The shock is magnified when an old adversary uses the sexy secret footage to implicate Taylor in a murder--an accusation that threatens her career, her reputation and her relationship.

Both cases hinge on the evidence--real or manufactured--of crimes that go beyond passion, into the realm of obsessive vengeance and shocking betrayal. Just what the networks love.

Wow, this series just keeps getting better and better!!!! The character development through the 3 books so far is fantastic and the suspense just keeps building and building throughout the book. This was definitely a book I only put down because I absolutely had to, it sucked me right in from the very first page!!!! I absolutely love Ellison's writing style, she is quickly moving up my favorite author list!!!! :) 5/5

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Fatal Slip by Melissa Glazer

When a building inspector is found drowned in a bucket of liquid clay slip, potter Carolyn Emerson's husband Bill is the prime suspect. It's up to Carolyn to clear his name and not let the real killer give her the slip.

Another enjoyable addition to this series, although I have to say it wasn't my favorite so far. I really enjoy reading about Fire at Will and the other shops on the river walk in Vermont. As well as the colorful people you will find walking the streets. I really enjoy this series, it is one of my favorite cozy series, and I hope to see it continue on!!! :) 4.5/5

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What Happened to Cass McBride? by Gail Giles

Kyle Kirby has planned a cruel and unusual revenge on Cass McBride, the most popular girl in school, for the death of his brother David. He digs a hole. Drugs Cass. Kidnaps her. Puts her in a box-underground. He buries her alive. But Kyle makes a fatal error: Cass knows the power of words. She uses fear as her weapon to keep her nemesis talking - and to keep herself breathing during the most harrowing 48 hours of her life.

This is a really quick read, but that doesn't mean it isn't a chilling and psychotic teen thriller. This book really makes you think about how what you say to someone can turn their world around. Things that you never meant for someone to hear or, and their life turns upside down. Is it possible for the words of a note to push someone over the edge or is the problem deeper. A twisted and intriguing book that really makes you harmful can a few sentences really be?!?! 4.5/5

Sleepwalking in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Flock has built a reputation for writing fiction that conveys the resiliency of the human spirit. In her novels, But Inside I’m Screaming, Me & Emma, and Everything Must Go, Flock poses tough questions about the complexities of life with characters that face difficult decisions. Now in her fourth novel, SLEEPWALKING IN DAYLIGHT, she returns with yet another strong characterization, adroitly entering the psyche of a mother and a daughter, both stuck at a crossroads in their lives and trying to cope with life’s disappointments.

Sam is a stay at home mom who seems to have it all: a beautiful home, successful husband, and three wonderful children, but beneath the surface lies a darker reality—she feels stuck at this stage in life and constantly wonders if this is all that life has to offer her. Cammy is Sam’s teenage daughter, battling depression and isolation. As Cammy spins out of control, exhibiting risky and dangerous behaviors, Sam misses her silent cries for help and in the end, SLEEPWALKING IN DAYLIGHT is the story of how a contemporary family deals with change and, ultimately, tragedy.

This is a wonderful and chilling tale of the relationship between a mother and daughter. As a parent it is sometimes so easy to become so overwhelmed with your life and the lives of your children, that things just pass you by. Sometimes it is easier to pretend you have tried to deal with a situation to make yourself feel better even though you know you haven't even scratched the surface. This book deals with all of that, and then some. Told in alternating chapters by mother and daughter as a reader you are ensconced into their lives and deepest thoughts. This is one of those books that really makes you sit back and think about how you are living your own life, dealing with your own problems and how you can try to make things better before they end up getting worse. Great writing, great reading!!! 5/5

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mates, Dates, and Chocolate Cheats by Cathy Hopkins

"Hey listen guys. I need you to tell me something and I want you to be really really honest...." "Sounds serious," said Nesta. "It is. I want you to tell me, do you think I've put on weight?" Nesta, Lucy, and T J looked at each other. "No," said T J after a moment too long. "Not really. Well, we all did a little on the school trip. So no more than the rest of us."

Izzie has always been "curvy," but since Christmas she has gained eight pounds, and nothing seems to fit anymore. In an attempt to lose weight, Izzie tries everything: one diet after another, a punishing exercise program, and every bit of conflicting advice anyone can give her.

Her constant worrying about her weight causes her to lose her confidence, and she stops appreciating the things in her life that are special -- her supportive friends, the fact that she has been selected for a TV teen panel, and a cute boy at the TV studio who seems to like her just the way she is.

I am really enjoying this series, I think I say that every time I review a book from it!!!! ;) One of the things that really appeals to me is the fact that these girls come across as real!!!! They are so easy to relate to, and while it's a book for entertainment, I feel myself invested in the lives of these girls!!! Dealing with real life problems, and nothing over the top makes the reader feel as if the the girls could be sitting in their living room. Love, this series and as usual, I'm already looking forward to the next one!! :) 4.5/5

Monday, November 10, 2008

Beach Road by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge

Montauk lawyer Tom Dunleavy's client list is woefully small - occasional real estate closings barely keep him in paper clips. When he is hired to defend a local man accused in a triple murder that has the East Hampton world in an uproar, he knows that he has found the case of his lifetime.
The crime turns the glittering playground for the super-rich into a blazing inferno. Dunleavy's client is a local hero, but Dunleavy knows the case rests atop a volcano of money, deception, and forbidden desires. His client is the perfect fall guy - unless he can find the key that unlocks the secret rooms of the gilt-shrouded set.
When Dunleavy is joined by his former flame, the savvy and well-connected attorney, Kate Costello, he believes he has a chance. But payback is a bitch - especially from the rich. The violent retaliations of billionaires threatened by his investigation exceed anything Dunleavy has ever seen. With the entire nation's eyes on him in a new Trial of the Century, Dunleavy orchestrates a series of revelations that lead to a stunning outcome - only to find afterward that the truth is wilder than anything he ever imagined.

Wow, Patterson always seems to amaze me!!!! This book had such an incredible twist at the end I still don't believe it!!!! What a great suspsense/thriller this book was!!!! Wow, let me just say that again!!! This book brings along with it lots of interesting twists and turns along the way. A truly enjoyable read, that had me picking it up at any time I had even a moment to get in a chapter. One of my favorite things about Patterson's books is the short chapters, where I can fit them in when I just have a free minute here or there!!! Again, this was an awesome book........I just loved it!!! :) 5/5

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gone With The Witch by Annette Blair

The Cartwright triplets use their magic for good and their good looks for seduction.

When beautiful bad girl Storm Cartwright hears the sound of a baby crying every time she's near Aiden McCloud, she turns on the charm. Because she's sure it means a child is in need-and that the handsome antiques restorer is the key to finding it. And when she lures Aiden into her seductive trap and kidnaps him, something magical happens between them.

Another fantastic book by Blair!!!! The chemistry between Storm and Aiden sizzles on the page, and the emotion evoked by the *crying babies* Storm hears is incredible. One of my favorite contemporary romance writers, Blair certainly does not dissapoint in her 2nd book of the Cartwright Triplets Trilogy. I also had the honor of meeting and having my book signed by Ms. Blair this weekend, which of course made it even better for me!!!!! I am anxiously awaiting Destiny's story which is coming out early next year!!! :) 5/5

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mates, Dates, and Great Escapes by Cathy Hopkins

"Do you think that room service will deliver chocolate?" asked Izzie, who was on her knees on the floor with her face in the minibar. "We're all out here."

"Yeah," said T. J. "Who needs boys when you can have chocolate?"

"Ah, but they come in handy when we haven't any," said Nesta. "Let's call the boys in their rooms. Maybe they haven't eaten their supplies."

A school trip to Florence seems like the perfect escape for Lucy. She wants time away from Tony, who is pressuring her to take their relationship further. In Italy she meets an American boy and thinks he might be the ideal way to get over Tony.

He seems to be the perfect gentleman, and Italy introduces Lucy to a world of culture and sophistication. Will she be able to move on from Tony? Or is it a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire?

Another great addition to this series. What I really like about this series, is that it deals with real life issues and in a manner that is true to life. This book finds Lucy trying to figure out if she wants to bring her relationship with Tony to the next level. I really like getting to know these girls more and more and watching them grow and mature. I truly love this series, and this book was no exception!! :) 4.5/5

Monday, November 3, 2008

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

“I’D NEVER GIVEN MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW I WOULD DIE– I’d had reason enough in the last few months –but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this. . . . Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of something else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.”
When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.
What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back. . . .
Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight will have readers riveted right until the very last page is turned.

I finally get all the hype behind this book, what a fantastic read!!!! You must understand that I am basically a 300 page book girl, and anything with alot more pages, like 200 more intimidates the crap out of me, which is part of the reason this series has been sitting on my tbr for AWHILE!!!!! I am so glad I finally picked it up and read it. The graphic details the Ms. Meyers portrays throughout the book paints such a vivid picture in ones head, it was like I could close my eyes and envision the scenes perfectly. She captures emotions so well, also, I could feel what the characters were feeling. Although I was a little worried that the book would not live up to the hype, it far surpassed it. A beautifully, descriptively written story of love, and how much one will put on the line just to bask in the glow of it. 5/5

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My October Reads:

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