Apr 30, 2011

#57 - "The Black" by D. J. MacHale (ARC)

Title: The Black
Author: D. J. MacHale
Series: Morpheus Road, Book 2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Aladdin
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6517-6

Cooper Foley always had a knack for finding trouble, but nothing he’s ever experienced could have prepared him for his latest adventure: He has landed square in the middle of a border war between the worlds of the living and the dead.
At the end of The Light, Book One of the Morpheus Road trilogy, Marshall Seaver learned the truth about what happened to his missing best friend, Cooper. Now, the mystery continues to unfold, only this time through Cooper’s eyes.

What did Marshall’s terrifying encounters with Gravedigger have to do with spirits from another existence? Who is Damon, and what role did he play in Cooper’s dilemma? Most importantly, what is the mysterious Morpheus Road? 
It’s time to learn, as bestselling author and master of thrilling suspense D.J. MacHale delivers another fast-paced, fantastical story that has all of existence hanging in the balance.

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I'm glad I re-read The Light before reading The Black, because in this one are the same events, but what happened to Cooper at the same time. This book started on a lighter note than The Light, because Coop is quite different character than Marshall, more fun & outgoing, but quite likable, too. I'm glad I learned more about him. But soon, once again I was wrapped up in the story & I couldn't stop reading it! So, I loved this one, too & I wasn't disappointed. I'll have to mention the epilogue in this one. I was really happy for Marshall at the beginning of it, because I love him as a character & he deserves some happiness, but it's not over yet. I won't spoil it, but the epilogue was surprising & really good & sad (I got tears in my eyes) & let's just say, it left me wanting for the sequel right now, but I'll guess I'll just have to wait for a year. I highly recommend this book & the series!


    #56 - "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold

    Title: The Lovely Bones
    Author: Alice Sebold

    My name was Salmon, like the fish, first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer'
    This is Susie Salmon, speaking to us from heaven. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counsellors to help newcomers to adjust, and friends to room with. Everything she wants appears as soon as she thinks of it - except the thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on earth.
    From heaven, Susie watches. She sees her happy suburban family implode after her death, as each member tries to come to terms with the terrible loss. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet.
    The Lovely Bones is a luminous and astonishing novel about life and death, forgiveness and vengeance, memory and forgetting. It is, above all, a novel which finds light in the darkest of places, and shows how even when that light seems to be utterly extinguished, it is still there, waiting to be rekindled.

    My rating: 3 of 5

    My thoughts on the book:
    I first watched the movie & I loved it, so of course I wanted to read the book, too! I thought if the movie was great, probably the book is amazing, but I was wrong! I didn't have high expectations, because I've heard that some people disliked it & couldn't even finish it, but I still wanted to read it & I didn't expect so depressing book! I knew it will probably be sad book, but it was just too sad, but not what I call beautiful sad (like The Book Thief) but depressing sad. Overall, I liked the book. Some parts I liked it, some parts I loved it & some parts I strongly disliked it, even hated. The parts I enjoyed the most were Ruth's parts. I can't really not-recommend or recommend this book, unless you want depressing books. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good, overall it's ok book. Although I'll have to watch the movie again, I think The Lovely Bones is one of the few cases when the movie is much better than the book!


    #55 - "You Know You Love Me" by Cecily von Ziegesar

    Title: You Know You Love Me
    Author: Cecily von Ziegesar
    Series: Gossip Girl, Book 2

    College interviews, romantic troubles and a fancy wedding photographed for Vogue dominate this second installment of von Ziegesar's frothy but fun series about rich Manhattan prep school kids and the gossip Web site tracking their lives. Blair Waldorf's mother is marrying her "seriously tacky" boyfriend on Blair's birthday and has chosen the bulimic overachiever's former best friend Serena as a bridesmaid (Blair will be maid of honor). Meanwhile, "hunky" Nate avoids Blair (he's secretly seeing chesty Jenny Humphrey), and the compounded stress makes her act like a "freakshow" during her Yale interview. Blonde bombshell Serena is disturbed by poet Dan's intense affections, struggles through her own interview at Brown and scores first prize in a school film contest. The plot culminates at the wedding, where the girls' boy troubles come to a head. As with her Gossip Girl, von Ziegesar creates a complete world: the characters get drunk, shop and indulge in spa treatments plus, the film contest prize is two tickets to Cannes. While this is still strictly a guilty pleasure, the story lines are better developed in this volume and the characters show more growth. But it's their outrageous lifestyles and antics and the snide omniscient narrator that will keep readers turning the pages.

    My rating: 4 of 5

    My thoughts on the book:
    I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first book! The story is still similar to the tv series, some of the things happening in this book I think happened in the first season of the tv series, but it's also quite different & I like that & I'll definitely continue reading the series!


      "Ghost Diamond!" by Michael Broad

      Title: Ghost Diamond!
      Author: Michael Broad
      Series: Agent Amelia
      Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
      Imprint: Darby Creek
      Publication date: October 1st, 2011
      Pages: 144
      ISBN: 9780761380566

      Secret agent Amelia Kidd has saved the world loads of times from evil geniuses and criminal masterminds—thanks to her great disguises, gadgets (which sometimes work), and her brilliance at improvising in sticky situations.
      The three secret agent case files in this book are:
      The Case of the Ghost Diamond, in which Amelia foils a daring jewel theft during a class trip to the museum, thanks to her convincing granny disguise and her mirror-on-a-stick gadget.
      The Case of the Cat Nappers, in which Amelia discovers the reason for all the disappearing cats in her area—they have all been trained to become burglars! Cat burglars! Luckily Amelia's quick thinking foils the robbery and catches the thieves!
      The Case of the Whispering Weeds, in which an innocent trip to the garden center results in Amelia meeting an evil genius who has cultivated a weed army to control every crop on the planet. Weed killer—and Agent Amelia smarts—to the rescue!

      My rating: 4 of 5

      My thoughts on the book:
      This book is fun! The stories are fun & funny & Amelia is fun character & I know that I would've loved it as a child, although I still liked it a lot! I highly recommend it for children! 


      "Like Clockwork" by Bonnie Dee

      Title: Like Clockwork
      Author: Bonnie Dee
      Publisher: Carina Press

      Victoria's work with automatons has gained her renown and changed the face of London. But her concern that the clockworks are taking too many jobs away from humans, creating social unrest, is ignored. Given the ugly mood of the underclass, she fears more outbreaks of violence similar to the murder spree of the notorious Southwark Slasher.
      Dash, unemployed thanks to the clockworks, has pledged fealty to The Brotherhood, a group determined to bring about the downfall of the automatons by any means necessary. His plan to kidnap Victoria goes awry when the unorthodox scientist pledges her assistance to their cause.
      Despite their opposite social classes, a bond grows between them, and Victoria begins to feel emotions she never expected for the passionate Dash. But when the Slasher strikes close to home, Dash and Victoria realize that the boundaries of polite society are far from the only threat to their happiness...

      My rating: 4.5 of 5

      My thoughts on the book:
      I really enjoyed this book! This is steampunk romance with a dash of Jack the Ripper & I enjoyed it a lot! The story was good, I loved both Dash & Victoria as characters & they have great chemistry & although this is short read, you can see their love developing & I highly recommend this book! 


      #54 - "The Alchemist's Key" by Cristina Brambilla

      Title: The Alchemist's Key
      Author: Cristina Brambilla
      Series: The Alchemist's Key, Book 1

      An original novel set in Venice that serves up themes brilliantly suspended between magic and reality.
      Is there a vaccine to ward off the allure of Venice? Lucilla knows at least three: moving from her beloved Milano to the rheumatism capital of the world; a mother fighting for her life in a hospital in another city; an alchemist father too much involved in secret research to take care of her. And what do a splendid winged lion and a big-eared gargoyle have in common? Why, the key of King Salomon, of course – a super-powerful relic tucked away in the inner-most recesses of Venice. Unless the gargoyle succeeds in finding it, as the key is the only way he has to become a great and beautiful lion again. This has been his only thought since Napoleon removed him from atop the column in St. Mark’s Square, transforming him into a pathetic fountain-piece. For years he’s been working for Lucilla’s father, who’s promised to restore him to his former glory. But when the alchemist disappears in the murky waters of the canal city, Lucilla and the gargoyle must join forces.

      My rating: 4 of 5
      My thoughts on the book:
      I liked this book a lot! It was fun fantasy book, I liked the characters & the storyline, the ending was good also & I can only hope that the next book will be translated & published, too!


      "Casketball Capers" by Peter Bentley & Chris Harrison (ARC)

      Title: Casketball Capers
      Author: Peter Bentley
      Illustrated by: Chris Harrison
      Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
      Publication date: July 1st, 2011
      Series: Vampire School, Book 1
      Pages: 96
      ISBN: 9780807584620  

      St. Orlok's Elementary is no ordinary school...it's a school for young vampires! Vampires like Lee Price.

      Lee and his best friends Billy and Bella are on the St. Orlok's casketball team. They're all getting ready for the big game against the Chaney Street Werewolves. But when the other team arrives, it seems that some of them aren't planning on playing fair. Lee needs a plan--fast! Will he manage to foil the cheats before the final whistle? 

      My rating: 5 of 5
      My thoughts on the book:
      I loved this book! It was just so funny! I still laugh when I remember it! The story was lots of fun, the characters were fun & likable & the illustrations - they just cracked me up :) Really funny, really fun & enjoyable read & I highly recommend this book, not only to children, but to adults as well!


      "Rosa and the Water Pony" by Katy Kit (ARC)

      Title: Rosa and the Water Pony
      Author: Katy Kit
      Illustrated by: Tom Knight
      Series: Mermaid Mysteries, Book 1
      Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
      Publication date: July 1st, 2011
      Pages: 76
      ISBN: 9780807550885

      When there's a magical mystery to be solved, the young mermaid detectives are right on the case.

      The mermaid friends are excited about Mermaid Bay's annual carnival, where the best performance wins a beautiful pearl necklace! Rosa uses magic to create a pony out of water, and she plans to perform amazing tricks on its back. But just before the carnival begins, the magical water pony is stolen. Who is trying to sabotage the friends' performance--and why?

      My rating: 3 of 5

      My thoughts on the book:
      Overall, it was enjoyable book for children. Obviously, I'm not a child, but if I was, maybe I would've enjoyed this book more. I also have to mention that I didn't like the illustrations, I actually disliked them a lot.


      "The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale" by Christine Bell (ARC)

      Title: The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale
      Author: Christine Bell
      Publisher: Carina Press
      ISBN: 9781426891526

      I'm a time pirate-born in 1810, now a 21st-century woman. I travel through time trying to right wrongs without disrupting the fragile balance between what is and what can never be.

      That's why it's vital that I go to 1836 and find the man who conned my brother out of his Time Travel Mechanism as quickly as possible. If the technology falls into the wrong hands, it could change the world as we know it. The notorious Duke of Leister definitely qualifies as the wrong hands. An amateur scientist of the slightly mad variety, he's bound to figure out how to use the TTM sooner rather than later.

      I knew this wouldn't be easy. But I wasn't counting on him being as sexy as hell. Or winding up chained to his bed...

      My rating: 4 of 5
      My thoughts on the book:
      I enjoyed this book a lot! Although at the beginning I was a little annoyed by Stormy Gale's character, after that I wasn't. It was good steampunk romance, a little sad, too, but with good storyline & I liked it a lot & I recommend it!


        #53 - "The Light" by D. J. MacHale

        Title: The Light
        Author: D. J. MacHale
        Series: Morpheus Road, Book 1

        Marshall Seaver is being haunted.
        It begins with mysterious sounds, a fleeting face outside a window, a rogue breeze - all things that can be explained away. That is, until he comes face-to-face with a character who only exists on the pages of a sketchbook - a character Marshall himself created.
        Marshall has no idea why he is being tormented by this forbidding creature, but he is quickly convinced it has something to do with his best friend, Cooper, who has gone missing. Together with Cooper's beautiful but aloof sister, Sydney, Marshall searches for the truth about his friend while ultimately uncovering a nightmare that is bigger and more frightening than he could ever have imagined.

        Number one New York Times bestselling author D. J. MacHale launches his eerie trilogy with a story so packed with chilling suspense, listeners will want to sleep with the light on.

        My rating: 5 of 5

        My thoughts on the book:
        The Light was one of my favourite reads in 2010! Now, before I read the sequel The Black, I decided to re-read it & I'm glad I did. Although I already knew what will happen next, I still loved every second of it & it still kept me on my toes, because there are just so many things happening & I really cared about the characters. I don't want to repeat myself, so if you're interested what I thought the first time I read this book, the link to the review is HERE! Everything I wrote then, still counts & I highly recommend this book! Definitely one of my all time favourite books!


          #2 - "Made for Each Other" by Paul D. Storrie (ARC)

          Title: Made for Each Other
          Author: Paul D. Storrie
          Illustrated by: Eldon Cowgur
          Series: My Boyfriend is a Monster #2
          Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
          Imprint: Graphic Universe
          Pages: 128
          ISBN: 9780761356011

          Tom Stone stepped into Seward High and into Maria McBride's life like a bolt of lightning. He's the perfect guy for Maria—nice, smart, and well-built. There's just one problem: his family. Tom's father is the town's new funeral director, and business is booming. The bodies are piling up thick and fast in Persephone Falls, Alaska, so Dr. Stone keeps Tom up late at night working in the funeral home. And it's clear that Dr. Stone and his creepy assistant, Graves, don't want Maria around. Maria knows Tom was made for her. She's determined to find out what Dr. Stone has against her. When Tom refuses to stand up to his father, Maria begins to stitch together the clues...and finds out that the Stones are into recycling in ways she never could have imagined. 

          My rating: 3 of 5

          My thoughts on the novel:
          This is the 2nd My Boyfriend is a Monster graphic novel & although I liked it, I was a little disappointed from the story! I loved the first book, it was just so much fun & funny & romantic, so I guess I expected too much from this one. So, this one was ok & the story was ok, overall enjoyable graphic novel!


            "Friendly Fire" by Megan Hart (ARC)

            Title: Friendly Fire
            Author: Megan Hart
            Publisher: Carina Press
            ISBN: 9781426891403

            After Agent Kendall Frasier's partner is shot in "friendly fire" during a drug bust, she agrees to take a week's vacation on a tropical island as part of her psychiatric evaluation. Sand, sun, sea-what could be better to help her work through her guilt? Even if the presence of the man responsible for the shooting, Agent Zane Vincent, seems counterproductive to her mental health.
            As Kendall gets to know Zane, and realizes he feels worse about what happened than she does, it becomes impossible to hate him. And their mutual attraction becomes impossible to deny.
            Kendall and Zane soon agree to put the event that brought them together in the past-and spend the present exploring their most erotic desires. Do they have a future in the real world when their week in paradise is over?

            My rating: 3 of 5

            My thoughts on the book:
            I liked this book! It's definitely hot adult contemporary romance, with good chemistry between the main characters & I enjoyed reading their story! I recommend it to all the fans of erotica!


              #52 - "Blood Eagle" by Craig Russell

              Title: Blood Eagle
              Author: Craig Russell
              Series: Jan Fabel, Book 1

              The first woman had her lungs ripped out. When the same gruesome ritualistic method was used again, it was clear that the same killer was responsible. But there is no precise evidence to link the two cases, except for the tantalising email. In his first crime novel, Craig Russell introduces us to a new detective hero, Jan Fabel -half-Scottish, half-German -a man of conscience and imagination. Russell has also created a richly textured scenario where the City of Hamburg plays a central role -it is a city where the old Germany combines increasingly with the new, where gangs from Turkey and the Ukraine battle for supremacy. Blood Eagle is a violently exciting thriller and Fabel's desperate attempt to solve the case before more victims are discovered, gradually uncovers layer upon layer of intrigue. How can he track a murderer who leaves no trail, whose victims seem purposefully random and whose motive reaches far beyond greed and lust, into the darkest recesses of the human soul?

              My rating: 4 of 5

              My thoughts on the book:
              I liked this book a lot! Good thriller, with some really gruesome murders & although there weren't really any surprises in it, the pacing & the suspense was good, the characters likable & I definitely want to read the next book in the series! I recommend it!


              #51 - "The Food of Love" by Anthony Capella

              Title: The Food of Love
              Author: Anthony Capella

              Laura Patterson is an American exchange student in Rome who, fed up with being inexpertly groped by her young Italian beaus, decides there's only one sure-fire way to find a sensual man: date a chef. Then she meets Tomasso, who's handsome, young - and cooks in the exclusive Templi restaurant. Perfect. Except, unbeknownst to Laura, Tomasso is in fact only a waiter at Templi - it's his shy friend Bruno who is the chef. But Tomasso is the one who knows how to get the girls, and when Laura comes to dinner he persuades Bruno to help him with the charade. It works: the meal is a sensual feast, Laura is utterly seduced and Tomasso falls in lust. But it is Bruno, the real chef who has secretly prepared every dish Laura has eaten, who falls deeply and unrequitedly in love. 
              A delicious tale of Cyrano de Bergerac-style culinary seduction, but with sensual recipes instead of love poems.

              My rating: 4 of 5

              My thoughts on the book:
              I enjoyed this book! Some parts I liked it, some parts I loved it, but overall good contemporary romance, especially if you love Italian cuisine or books with cooking! Most of the dishes that are cooked in this book were really mouth-watering, even those that I don't eat or I can't imagine myself eating ;) If I had them before me than, I probably would have tried them ;) So, it's fun, delicious & fast-read!

              Apr 27, 2011

              "Waiting On" Wednesday #44: Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx by James Rollins!

              "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
              Jake Ransom and the Howling Sphinx
              (Jake Ransom, Book 2)
              James Rollins
              Publication date:
              May 3rd, 2011 
              Using his father's watch as a key, Jake intends to return to Calypsos. Instead he's thrust into a strange desert land where he's joined by his friends Marika, Pindor, and Bach'uuk and his sister, Kady. As they try to figure out what to do next, a surprise attack by the beautiful young Princess Nefertiti takes them all captive.

              Soon even she is battling the Skull King's minions. For Jake has something the Skull King wants - a prize that will give its owner awesome power, including control of the fearsome Howling Sphinx. In a new pounding adventure, Jake races against time to outfight and outwit Kalverum Rex, knowing that if the Skull King wins, he'll be unstoppable.

              Filled with unexpected danger, challenging puzzles, and dazzling action, this is a first-rate, fast-paced thriller - a read only James Rollins could have created!

              WWW Wednesdays #33

              To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
              • What are you currently reading?
              • What did you recently finish reading?
              • What do you think you’ll read next?
              This weekly meme is being hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading!
              What are you currently reading?
              What did you recently finish reading?
              What do you think you’ll read next?

              Apr 10, 2011

              Dewey's Read-a-Thon: Final Update

              Title of book(s) read since my last update:
              Ghost Diamond! by Michael Broad

              Total number of books read since I started: 6

              Pages read since my last update: 191

              Total number of pages read since I started: 923

              Time spent reading since my last update: 1 h 2 min

              Total amount of time spent reading since I started: 10 h 57 min

              Mini-challenges I completed: 
              - Hour 2: Where in the World Are You Reading?
              - Hour 12: Mid-Event Meme 
              - Hour 22: Book Trailers 
              - Hour 24: End of Event