Friday, July 29, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 9:00 AM
Thursday, July 28, 2011
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Synopsis from BN.com: Edgar and Mallory Battle are on the run after a spectacularly violent escape. Now, with a trail of bodies behind them, they need a hostage against the inevitable standoff with the police. Their first doesn’t last long, thanks to sociopathic Mallory. Edgar has been hiding his brother's crimes since they were kids. Now he’s torn between family loyalty and self-preservation.
They carjack Lucy Brightwing, a criminal fresh from her own heist, with a fortune of uncut gems hidden in her vehicle. She could escape – but she won’t abandon her millions. She could kill the Battle brothers, but she has to be careful. For one thing, if the law investigates, they’ll find her ill-gotten loot. For another, her own life is sacred. She’s the last member of a Florida paleoindian tribe thought to be extinct – the Tequesta. With her share of the money she plans to buy, bribe and blackmail her way into her own ancestral tribal lands in the heart of the Everglades: a Tequesta nation.
Lucy leads the brothers into her beloved swamp, determined to kill them. But when she falls for Edgar she must decide whether to risk her heritage and the future of her tribe to save the doomed brothers.
**I received a complimentary copy of this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review**
Review: Usually I do a little overview of the story on my own, but I feel like the synopsis does a very good job of hitting the highlights, so I'll just get right into my review!
1) Character Development: I always love a tough female main character and Lucy Brightwing did not disappoint. Not only was she incredibly strong, but she was a very able thief, when need be, and the last remaining member of the Tequesta tribe. I enjoyed reading about her passion for the swamp that she called home; she truly did love the wilderness and respected all of nature, as was probably customary with her tribe. The Battle brothers, Edgar and Mallory, were a different story altogether. They didn't appear to be very successful criminals at all, fumbling along while running from the police after Edgar made his escape. Edgar, the older brother, was supposed to be in charge, but often Mallory decided to take things into his own hands. Mallory is, for lack of better words, a bit on the slow side, at least when it comes to emotions and social interactions. He didn't seem to see anything wrong with torturing, killing, raping; basically not understanding right from wrong. He was very obviously a scary individual, but at times he seemed so normal that you almost liked him - that was even worse! Sometimes I liked the characters, other times I couldn't really relate or connect to them which made me lose interest. This book is a little different than the norm, in that all of the main characters have done things that are morally corrupt (some more than others) and yet you can still find them likable.
2) The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: First, The Good - I did like the characters, I just didn't love them. However, I did form enough of a connection with each of them to enjoy this book. I liked the unique storyline, because it truly wasn't like anything I've ever read before. I've always been a fan of Native American mythology, so I really enjoyed the different stories told throughout the book. The Bad - I think a spectacular novel has to have a good amount of detail to it, without going overboard. To me, this book had entirely too much detail to the point that I had trouble reading it at times. I understand that the author wanted us to be able to visualize the place Lucy lived, because most of us would not know what it was like to live in the wilderness, basically in the middle of nowhere. Also, since Edgar and Mallory are from the city, a lot of observations were made on their part about their surroundings and how out of place they were in them. It was all just a bit much for me at times, although I did appreciate the author's attention to detail and helping us be able to visualize the environment. The Ugly - There is one part that I found extremely disturbing; it was an incident between Mallory and Lucy, and that's all the particulars I'm going to give, so as not to ruin it for everyone. It's Lucy's reaction to this event that I didn't like and wasn't able to completely believe. Also, earlier in the book after they carjack Lucy and they get stuck in a small town, Mallory starts shooting everyone in sight and doing something else to one of the victims that is not explained in great detail, just enough so you get the gist of what's going on. Lucy is shocked and appalled, so is Edgar for that matter, but she continues on with them; not out of fear, but she doesn't want to be caught with the stolen jewels. I get that she doesn't want to be caught with them and she needs them in order to secure the land for the Tequesta tribe, but she had many opportunities to ditch these guys and she just didn't do it. I know she's a criminal too, but these two (especially Mallory) were on a whole other wavelength.
3) Romance Sizzle Or Fizzle?: I'm not really sure how to answer this one. At times I could feel a connection between Edgar and Lucy, but it was hard for me to really believe that they were falling for each other under the circumstances. After seeing what his brother is capable of, I would have been running for the hills as soon as I could. You would definitely have to be a different kind of person to go along with all of that. There were times though, at her house in the swamp, that their romance seemed more believable. I thought the part where she takes him to see the fireflies was especially lovely. In the end she ends up risking a lot for him and I just don't know if there was enough of a connection between them to warrant that.
4) Uniqueness Of Plot: I'd say this book is pretty unique, in the fact that the main characters are all on the opposite side of the law; definitely a case of finding love in the strangest of places.
5) Final Thoughts: While I wouldn't say I loved this book, I thought it was ok and enjoyed most of it. The middle of the book moved pretty slowly and didn't keep my attention as well, but there was some twists and action at the end that were fun to read. All in all it was a pretty decent book!
My rating: 3/5 stars
If you would like to learn more about the author, Sullivan Lee, you can check out her webpage!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I can not even begin to express how excited I am about Fever. Waiting until February is going to be complete torture, unless I can get my hands on an ARC before then (oh please, oh please!). It the meantime, we can stare at this completely gorgeous countdown widget.
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 11:52 PM
Monday, July 25, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 2:09 PM
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Synopsis from GoodReads:
Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
**I received this book for free through Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab program**
Review: How could I not read this book? Everywhere I looked I kept seeing people gushing about how good it was, so I had to see for myself. We first meet the main character, Ashline "Ash" Wilde on a very bad day. She just found out her boyfriend was messing around on her with another girl. Plus her erratic and volatile sister, Eve, has returned and promises to stir up all kinds of trouble. The situation quickly turns deadly (and I mean that literally) and Ash feels there is no other choice but to run away to a private school and try to start over. There, things start looking up and she has so many things going for her; the past is finally behind her, gone but not forgotten. After a series of strange occurrences, it is revealed to Ash and a few of her fellow classmates that they are, in fact, reincarnated gods and goddesses. As hard as it is to believe, they can't explain away their unique talents. They are told that they each have a specific task that only they may know about and that it is up to them to save the world. Just when it seems life couldn't get any more difficult, Eve decides to show back up to cause trouble. Will Ash and her friends be able to fulfill their destinies or will the world be destroyed?
1) Character Development: Ash is definitely one tough chick. I like how she's so sarcastic and witty, refusing to take crap from anyone. I have to admit though, at first Ash's personality rubbed me the wrong way; she was always acting so tough and sarcastic that it bordered on annoying at times. After a few chapters though I really grew to love her snarky attitude and that's when my feelings on the book as a whole pretty much changed. There are so many incredible secondary characters that are so important to this book. First we have Ash's older sister, Eve. Destruction and mayhem usually ensue whenever Eve shows up. I completely understood Ash's conflicting emotions when it came to her sister. On one hand, Eve always managed to cause a lot of damage or do some evil deed which made Ash hate her. On the other hand, Eve is the only blood family member that Ash has left, since they were both adopted when they were very young. Very big struggle between sticking with family and doing what's right. Then we have Serena, a blind girl who first alerts the other teens to their real identities; she herself being supernatural, her purpose is to bring all of these people together in hopes of saving the world. There are four other students from this private school who find out that they too are gods/goddesses: Ade, Raja, Rolfe, and Lily. They each have different, spectacular powers and I enjoyed reading about when they first used those powers. Each story was very unique, but I'll let you read the book to find out for yourself.
2) The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: First, The Good - Above all else, I loved the characters. Like I said previously, I wasn't a huge fan of Ash in the beginning, but there was a turning point (not sure exactly what part it was) where I really began connecting with her and the rest of the characters. The storyline was fresh and exciting and it had my heart racing at times, wondering what would happen next. And the ending...well let's just say it was pretty amazing! The Bad - The only other negative I can think of besides my trouble connecting with certain characters at first, was how slowly the story progressed after Ash transferred to the private school. I know the author had to develop the characters and build up the storyline, but up until they find out that they're gods/goddesses I was having trouble finding the desire to continue reading. Luckily that part wasn't very long at all and after I got past it I fell in love! The Ugly - I don't have anything horrible to say about this book, it turned out to be a great read.
3) Romance Sizzle Or Fizzle?: I would definitely say sizzle! Ash ends up meeting Colt, a local park ranger, one night when she sneaks off to a bar with her friends. Ash is a little resistant at first, mostly because she thinks that Raja
4) Uniqueness Of Plot: I'd say this book is pretty unique. I don't know about the rest of you, but most of the main characters in the books I read are white. It was nice to see some cultural/racial diversity; in this case, the main character Ash is Polynesian. There are quite a few books out right now dealing with mythology and gods/goddesses, but I think this book took it in a different direction than the others and it felt fresh and new.
5) Final Thoughts: Despite my initial problems with this book, I ended up falling in love with it. This is a perfect example of why I usually read at least half of a book before deciding if I want to stop or not; the first several chapters did not win me over at all and I thought I was going to have to give it only 3 stars, if that. Then when the story started to pick up (and it did in a BIG way), I knew that this was a book that was seriously going to redeem itself. It certainly did, beyond my expectations. This is definitely a book you're going to want to read this year!
Rating: 5/5 stars
If you'd like to learn more about the author, Karsten Knight, you can check out his webpage and his Twitter account.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 1:28 PM
Friday, July 22, 2011
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Synopsis from GoodReads: Cid Wymann, a scrappy kid fighting to survive a harsh upbringing in Queens, NY, is a almost a prisoner in his own home. His only escape is sneaking to Times Square to see Errol Flynn movies full of swordplay and duels. He s determined to become a great fencer, but after his family disintegrates, Cid spends five years at an orphanage until his injured war-veteran cousin Lefty arrives from England to claim him. Lefty teaches Cid about acting and stage combat, especially fencing, and introduces him to Nikolai Varvarinski, a brilliant drunken Russian fencing master who trains Cid. By 16, Cid learns to channel his aggression through the harsh discipline of the blade, eventually taking on enemies old and new as he perfects his skills. Evocative of The Book Thief with a dash of Gangs of New York, Open Wounds is the page-turning story of a lost boy s quest to become a man.
**I received this book for free in return for an honest review**
Review: I wasn't sure what to think about this book before I started. You may or may not know, I'm not a big fan of historical fiction at all. This book is set in the 1930s - 1940s and has a main character who wants to be a great fencer and I know next to nothing about fencing. I was wondering how I would ever be able to fall in love with a book like this. Let me just say, it drew me in with the first pages and I fell in love almost instantly. We first meet the main character, Cedric "Cid" Wymann, when he is 7 years old and living with his father and grandmother in Queens, NY. He has a less than stellar childhood, having no friends due to being home schooled and dealing with physical and emotional abuse. His life changes the day he sees his first movie, Captain Blood. From that point on he's hooked and wants desperately to be like the heroes on-screen. He has the good fortune to make some friends, Tomik and Siggy; his life is looking up, but it's still far from perfect. Suddenly his family falls apart and he ends up in an orphanage for 5 years until finally being rescued by Lefty, a cousin he never knew he had. It's with the help of Lefty and the "crazy Russian" Nikolai Varvarinski that Cid gets immersed in the world of fencing and despite their dysfunctional nature, finally feels like he has a family, that he belongs.
I really loved the main character, Cid. We essentially get to see him grow up through some incredibly tough circumstances and he becomes stronger because of it. He had a lot of tenacity and when he set out to accomplish something, he didn't let anything get in his way. His determination and will to succeed was inspirational to see unfold through the course of the story. Cid was the main character, but the other characters were just as important. Tomik and Siggy were Cid's only friends growing up; all three were close, but I felt like Siggy was the more caring and genuine friend. My favorite characters, besides Cid, were definitely Winston Arnolf Leftingsham ("Lefty") and Nikolai Varvarinski. They both played such a huge part in Cid's life, helping him grow as a person and fulfill his dreams. Lefty was a veteran of World War I and along with having his the left half of his body pretty much destroyed, also had lingering effects from mustard gas; it essentially was rotting him from the inside out. As imposing and potentially cruel as he seemed when he first picked up Cid from that orphanage, we see many depths to this character as the story progresses. He thought himself to be almost insane, having to dull his excruciating pain with morphine just to function, just a shell of his former self; every once in a while we get to see the man he once was, before the war. When he first appeared in the book I thought there was no way I would ever like his character or feel anything for him, but I was so wrong. Same goes for Nikolai Varvarinski. Lefty insists that Varvarinski can help Cid with his fencing and so they start training everyday. The Russian is drunk pretty much constantly and when you find out what happened in his past you really can't blame him. He is still a genius when it comes to fencing and with Cid so eager to learn they make a great team. Varvarinski comes off as just a gruff, no-nonsense man, and he is that; but he's also a lot more than that too. It's incredibly hard to describe these characters and the depth they have to them and be able to do them justice; this is just one book you have to read for yourself and you'll know what I mean.
I enjoyed everything about this book: the characters, the story line, and the attention to detail. It was very obvious that the author knows a lot about fencing and I felt like I learned a lot just from reading (since I knew nothing about the sport going into this book). A lot of the fencing terms were foreign to me, but they were explained well and then if you are still confused, you can simply refer to the incredibly handy glossary of terms in the back of the book. Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about this book; it was so well written and the story moved along flawlessly.
For some reason I have trouble writing reviews on books I enjoyed so immensely. I just can't do them justice. Believe me when I say that this book moved me in ways I wasn't expecting and stayed with me long after I finished reading; I'm not ashamed I teared up a few times. This is certainly a must-read for 2011; make sure you pick it up, I promise you won't regret it!
Rating: 5/5 stars
If you'd like to learn more about the author, Joseph Lunievicz, please check out his web page and his Twitter account.
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 12:15 PM
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 11:19 AM
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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As owner of Cowboy College, Adele Donnelly makes it a rule never to get involved with her guests. Especially not a famous and footloose cowboy whose life is all about traveling the rodeo circuit. But Ty is more than just another handsome face…and getting pregnant with his baby wasn't in Adele's long-term game plan. Because men like him can't be tied down. And she's not used to family sticking around.
Why should Ty be any different? Should she give the cowboy a chance to be a championship daddy?
**I received this book through the Harlequin Ambassador program, in exchange for an honest opinion**
Review: I never know what to expect with plain old romance books (as I prefer romantic suspense); sometimes they're corny or overly sappy, but sometimes they surprise me. This is one of the times I was surprised, because I wasn't actually expecting to like this one very much at all. I'm going to skip my usual overview because the synopsis above gives you plenty of information, I would just be repeating it.
1) Character Development: I actually fell in love with these characters. First we meet Ty, who's kind of a celebrity on the rodeo scene, but he's extremely sweet and humble, as evidenced by the fact that he agreed to check out the Cowboy College in the first place. He's not a jerk at all and not too proud to ask for help. Adele is the woman who runs Cowboy College and Ty is sort of smitten with her right away. She's a no-nonsense person who can rope just as well as any of the guys in the sport. Her childhood was rough, with her parents divorcing and her mom trying to bed any cowboy that came along; that's why she swears she would never date Ty. She doesn't want to be like her mom and she's not looking for just a short fling. I loved how tough she was, and such a smart businesswoman. I also liked how Ty never gave her any grief about teaching him; he knew this woman would be able to help him figure out what was preventing him from riding and roping to the best of his ability. The only secondary character we see through the entire book is Pop, Adele's grandfather. I loved him, he may be old but he knows his way around a horse and he gently suggests (or pushes, at times) Adele into doing the right thing...as he sees it anyway. I also liked Ty's rival, Garth Maitland. Although Garth had taken the win due to Ty's shortcomings in the big competition, he didn't rub his face in it. It was nice to see them be competitive, but Ty was able to put his hurt from losing aside to see what a great guy Garth was and that there was no reason they couldn't be friends (when they're not roping that is!).
2) The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: First, The Good - Absolutely loved the characters and the story line. As I said, normally I like a little more conflict or action with my romance novels, but maybe I just needed a break from all of the close calls, action sequences, and death. This was just a nice, light romance and it was refreshing to me after some of the depressing books I read. The Bad - I'm disappointed about the cover model for the paperback. The following quote is directly from the book:
Reaching across the counter, Ty removed his cowboy hat, and an unruly lock of sandy-blond hair promptly fell across his tanned forehead. (pg. 15 of paperback)
The guy on the cover, while deliciously gorgeous, does not look at all how Ty was described in the book. That was really disappointing to me. I can make up my own yummy images in my mind, but I feel like the cover should have done a better job of trying to match the character. The Ugly - I HATE how the synopsis on the back of the book gives away a major plot point. All I can say is "Why?" You don't need to give away the whole story to get people to read the book. It annoys me, because this major plot twist would have been really fun to discover on my own, but instead I made the mistake of reading the synopsis first. Major bummer!
3) Romance Sizzle Or Fizzle?: Oh sizzle! There was definitely sexual tension between Ty and Adele from the beginning, but the romance wasn't rushed or forced in any way. Adele had her fears about dating anyone, much less a guy that would be away most of the time with the rodeo circuit. It was really sweet to see their relationship bloom and evolve as the story progressed.
4) Uniqueness Of Plot: Not really all that unique, but that didn't make me like it any less. As long as you take it for what it is, a nice, light read, you won't be disappointed.
5) Final Thoughts: I'm really glad I got the opportunity to read this one. The romance was sweet and not rushed; Adele and Ty made a really cute couple. Although I had some problems with the cover and the TMI (too much information) synopsis, I'm not going to detract from my overall rating because I did enjoy the story a lot. Definitely a nice little romance that anyone could enjoy!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I just thought this was too cool - and gets me even more excited for the movie! I have the countdown embeded in my sidebar but unfortunately it's too big and cuts off part of it...boo! Does anyone have a way to fix this? I tried to change the dimensions in the HTML but it didn't work. *SIGH*, oh well. So here's the movie poster:
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 7:07 PM
*Be careful not to include spoilers! (be sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others)
*Share the title and author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 11:25 AM
Monday, July 18, 2011
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Synopsis from BN.com: Vimbai is a hairdresser, the best in Mrs Khumalo's salon, and she knows she is the queen on whom they all depend. Her situation is reversed when the good-looking, smooth-talking Dumisani joins them. However, his charm and desire to please slowly erode Vimbai's rancour and when he needs somewhere to live, Vimbai becomes his landlady. So, when Dumisani needs someone to accompany him to his brother's wedding to help smooth over a family upset, Vimbai obliges. Startled to find that this smart hairdresser is the scion of one of the wealthiest families in Harare, she is equally surprised by the warmth of their welcome; and it is their subsequent generosity which appears to foster the relationship between the two young people. The ambiguity of this deepening friendship - used or embraced by Dumisani and Vimbai with different futures in mind - collapses in unexpected brutality when secrets and jealousies are exposed. Written with delightful humour and a penetrating eye, The Hairdresser of Harare is a novel that you will find hard to put down.
**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**
Review: When I agreed to review this book, I figured it would just be an interesting read. What I didn't expect is how much I would love the smooth writing style and humor that make up the story!
1) Character Development: Vimbai is the main character and the story is told completely from her point of view (first person). She is very witty and her humorous opinions and observations had me smiling while reading. She's definitely what you could call a "diva"; for a long time she's been Mrs. Khumalo's best hairdresser at the salon, so she knows no matter what she they won't fire her. They need her because she brings in business and she uses this to her advantage, coming in late to work most of the time and doing whatever she pleases. Here's a good example of Vimbai's attitude at the beginning of this book:
Everyone knew I was the goose that laid the golden eggs. If I left, half the customers would follow me. In any case letting them wait made them realise how lucky they were to be served at all, so I was actually doing the business a favour. (pg. 2)
As the story progresses, we get to see Vimbai grow and change, becoming more humble as the days go on. When Dumisani, "Dumi" for short, comes on the scene Vimbai is extremely jealous at how talented he is. For lack of better words, she acts like a spoiled brat; she doesn't want to get to know Dumi or have anything to do with him. He ends up stealing a lot of her customers, but he is so charming and genuinely nice that even though Vimbai remains jealous she starts to enjoy his company. It's very interesting to see how much their relationship changes through the course of this book, which makes the ending even more shocking as a major betrayal on both sides is revealed.
2) The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: First, The Good - I loved the characters immensely in this book. They were so believable and I was able to see them change, especially Vimbai, through the course of reading. I enjoyed the humor; even though this book tackles a very real and serious issue, it still managed to make me laugh at times. The whole book flowed very smoothly and I had trouble putting it down because I just wanted to see what happened next with these characters. The Bad - I don't really have many negative things to say about The Hairdresser Of Harare. Since this story was set in Zimbabwe, I had trouble with some of the non-English words throughout. Luckily some definitions were given immediately following the unfamiliar words, but occasionally there were words or phrases that were not readily defined. A glossary of words at the back of the book might have helped in that situation, but it didn't affect my overall opinion of the book much at all. Also, I felt like the ending was a bit abrupt. Maybe I'm the only one that felt that way, but I wanted to know more about what happened with the characters later in life. The Ugly - Absolutely nothing horrible to say about this book, I thought it was pretty amazing!
3) Romance Sizzle Or Fizzle?: This question does not really suit this book, so I'm not going to answer it. Dumi and Vimbai do develop sort of a relationship, yet Vimbai is extremely blind and naive to things that might be obvious to anyone else. Especially when she accompanies him to his brother's wedding and his parent's make a huge deal out of him bringing his "girlfriend" to meet them. Vimbai finds it strange but decides not to think too much of it; I think that with her past unhealthy relationship she just wanted so much to be loved that she was willing to overlook what was right in front of her the whole time. The very first line of the book pretty much sums it all up:
I knew there was something not quite right about Dumi the very first time I ever laid eyes on him. The problem was, I just couldn't tell what it was. Thank God for that. (pg. 1)
That's a very strong statement, because I think if she had learned Dumi's secret at the beginning the outcome might have been even more tragic; with her jealousy, I think she might have exposed his secret out of spite to anyone who would listen.
4) Uniqueness Of Plot: I feel like the story was fairly unique. I've definitely never read anything quite like it and wasn't sure what to expect when I started, but it turned out to be a fresh and engaging read.
5) Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, it certainly exceeded my expectations. The characters were interesting and felt genuine and Harare was described very vividly. The writing was superb and gripped me until the very last page. I'm so glad the author gave me a chance to read/review this book!
Rating: 4/5 stars
If you would like to learn more, please visit the book website: The Hairdresser Of Harare
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 9:41 AM
Friday, July 15, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 6:22 PM
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 2:57 PM
|Purchase from B&N or Amazon (Paperback/Kindle)|
Synopsis from GoodReads: Krista Miller feels like she has lived her entire life in a glass box with her every emotion on display. She can't help feeling like a defect as her sensitivities have made her socially inept and without any real friends; the one exception being the boy that visits her each night in her dreams.
Krista's emotions are put to the test when a move to California triggers a devastating change to her fantasy world. The nightly comfort that the boy provides has now become a recurring nightmare as he is taken from her by an unseen force.
Struggling to appear normal, Krista enrolls in a new school and finds it to be nothing like she thought. Her new life is sent spiraling out of control from a strange connection with a boy, Mark, who claims to know all her secrets.
As Krista begins to explore the emotions that Mark evokes in her, secrets from their past about their shared connection threatens to separate them just when they have found each other.
Review: I bought this book quite awhile back and have been hearing amazing things about it ever since, so I finally decided to read it. Krista is different from anyone else; her emotions always get the best of her and this happens often since she can feel what other people are feeling. She also has the same dream every night of the same boy. Her father died unexpectedly and in order to finally begin to heal, Krista's mom decides they need to move away to Santa Cruz, away from old memories. Upon arriving she immediately feels a sense of belonging, which is solidified even more when she meets her friend Sam; it feels like she's known her forever. The biggest surprise of all is when she meets Mark; it's like she's met her other half. They have no idea what ties them all together, but the secrets and their identities may be more dangerous than they realize.
1) Character Development: To be completely honest, I didn't connect well with the characters in this book. I wanted to, but I ended up just kind of feeling indifferent to them. Usually I have a lot to say about the characters, but I don't really in this case. Krista is sort of a loner due to her extreme and intense emotions; being close to other people means being subjected to their emotions as well. The only time she really seems happy is during her nightly dream of this guy that may or may not exist. She considers herself as somewhat of a freak, at least until she meets Sam. Sam and Krista turn out to have a lot in common, more than just their taste in movies or music. Where Krista is more serious, Sam is more bubbly and outgoing, so they kind of even each other out. Mark is like the ideal boyfriend; cute, smart, funny, and fiercely loyal and protective of the one he loves. We get a little bit of background on all of the characters, but not enough in my opinion to really connect and sympathize with them.
2) The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: First, The Good - I loved the story line, the idea of dreaming of a guy your whole life and then finally meeting him one day. A soul mate. There's just something really appealing about the idea of soul mates, it's just really romantic. As much as I felt kind of so-so about the majority of the book, the ending was pretty intense and I enjoyed it. The Bad - The writing didn't flow well for me, I had trouble picking it up again after I put it down. I didn't feel drawn into the world the author created; it just wasn't described well enough for my taste. Some books are overly descriptive which is insanely annoying to me, but so to is being not descriptive enough about the characters and the world around them. Also, sometimes Krista would flash back to another time in her life and usually it was in the middle of a conversation; by the time the flashback had ended I totally forgot what in the world was happening present day. The Ugly - Mostly I'm just disappointed that I couldn't connect with the characters; that can make or break a book for me. The dialogue to me was a bit awkward and corny at times. It didn't affect the whole book, there were just times where it made me cringe a bit.
3) Romance Sizzle Or Fizzle: I'm kind of in the middle on this one. On one hand, we only meet Mark at first through Krista's dreams, before she even knows who he is. I get that they're supposed to be soul mates, but when that idea is implemented sometimes it's hard to believe that these two people are all of a sudden in love. That being said, since it does seem they were meant to be together and are soul mates (they did dream about each other their whole lives), their rushing into a relationship makes sense. There were some really sweet moments in this book, and I'll share my favorite quote with you:
"I want you to listen to me. You seem to be under the misconception that there is nothing special about you. There is nobody else in the whole world that I would rather be with. I could look at you for hours and never get sick of it. I could spend every second of everyday in your presence and I would die a happy man. You belong with me." (Mark talking to Krista, pg. 177-178 of paperback)
That scene just made me melt because it was so romantic. On that quote alone I'm leaning more toward sizzle on this one!
4) Uniqueness Of Plot: I've never really read anything quite like this story before. It takes awhile to get to the secrets of who these teenagers really are and the truth about their pasts, but I thought it was a really interesting and fresh idea.
5) Final Thoughts: I didn't love this book, it was just ok. I liked the overall storyline, but the middle of the book moved kind of slow and I wasn't able to connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. After the ending though, I'll definitely be reading the next installment in the series to see what happens next!
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 1:58 PM
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 10:49 AM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Guy McHotbod embraces being a bachelor. He's sexy, young, and has trouble keeping his shirt buttoned. Many might think he's a true cowboy, perhaps a bullrider, but sadly the closest he ever got to being in the ring was his stint as rodeo clown (albeit a very HOT rodeo clown). His ability to woo the ladies depends on his image, so he makes sure he carries his lasso with him everywhere and dresses in only the finest western wear money can buy. The truth is he's unemployed and living in his parent's basement; will he ever find a woman who will love him for who he is?
Ok, so that was a LOT of fun! I really want to read everyone else's, so if you happen to be participating in this read-a-thon and took part in the challenges leave your link so I can check them out!
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 9:25 PM