Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard


It's no secret among my friends that I am the big Travel Girl. I have been to several states and several countries and have no intention of stopping anytime soon. In fact, I even have a travel blog -- On Wanderlust. I have been really bad with updating it, but I bring it up for this reason. I have always loved the word wanderlust. I feel it describes me so well, and it has this dark, mysterious sound to it as it's coming off of your tongue: wanderlust.

So, along comes Kirsten Hubbard and IMPROVES upon one of my favorite words. Believe it or not, I did not even make the connection to wanderlust and Wanderlove when I first saw the book. I just wanted to read it because I read that Kirsten Hubbard is a young adult author and a travel writer. This basically makes her my hero.

Wanderlove is the story of Bria, a recent high school graduate who has just broken up with her longtime boyfriend Toby. She plans to take an overseas with her two girlfriends, but they tell her they don't think she's ready and back out. But Bria decides to go anyway. She heads to Central America with a travel group, but ends up abandoning them in favor of traveling with two backpackers, Starling and Rowan.

As any good travel writing piece, Wanderlove makes you want to drop your life and run off to Central America. Hubbard is so great with the details of the destinations. She does not just tell you about them -- all five senses are awakened as you see, smell, touch, taste and hear them. Bria (and Kirsten) are artists, so there are some great sketches throughout the book.

Rowan and Bria are both broken characters. They both start traveling to run away from the pain in their pasts and both discover that they learn about themselves through the people and experiences they meet along the way. At points this book felt like it was trying too hard to be deep and meaningful. The insights and life lessons were sometimes too much: too long-winded and too over-stated. But I did like seeing the changes that Bria and Rowan brought about in each other.

Finally, I have not forgotten Wanderlove! Here is how it's described, courtesy of Starling:
"Wanderlust is like itchy feet. It's when you can't settle down. But Wanderlove is much deeper than that. It's a compulsion. It's the difference between lust and love."
So, am I in wanderlust or Wanderlove?! Personally, I think I have been in both before and will be in both again. In the meantime, I hope there are books like Wanderlove to keep my spirit traveling between trips.

~Flo~

Wanderlove will be released March 13, 2012. Thank you to Netgalley for provided me with an Advanced Readers Copy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Dig (Zoe and Zeus #1) by Audrey Hart


Audrey was nice enough to send the BookNerds an ARC of The Dig. I (Flo) jumped right on it, since you all KNOW I love books based on Greek mythology. (I even sponsored Greek Week here on a blog. It's that deep.) 

In The Dig, a girl named Zoe is at her aunt and uncle's archaeological dig site in Greece when she gets transported back in time to ancient Greece. Once she is there, she discovers that she has certain power over the earth. She gets mistaken for a god (rough, right?! Happens to me all the time!) and has to head up to Olympus for answers -- and hopefully, a way home.

Unfortunately, when Zoe gets to Olympus, she finds that all the gods are not open, inviting and friendly. In fact, they are rather like a high school clique -- with all the gossip and melodrama included. This is a strength and weakness of the book for me. Audrey does a great job of portraying the environment up on Olympus like it's a high school. Too good. I don't want to relive that aspect of high school. I don't want to be reminded of the trauma of not being cool enough, feeling different and every little thing taking on way more meaning than it should. I left all that messiness back in high school because it's not fun. There are other fun aspects of high school -- dances, sports, crushes -- this is the stuff that I enjoy experiencing again through my high school narrators in YA. 

Also, Zoe has a voice similar to Pierce in Meg Cabot's Abandon -- I felt Pierce was too stream of consciousness in that she kept hinting at some big event but never telling us about it straight up. I similarly felt Zoe went off on too many tangents as she was connecting things in her head.

The coolest thing about this book is ZEUS. Yes, the Zeus. Leader of the gods. Lightning. That guy. In this book he is portrayed as a YA hottie and I love that. What a great way to put ancient Greek mythology and the modern YA reader on the same level. It's no secret that I -- and all the BookNerds -- love to swoon over crush-worthy YA boys. Audrey's Zeus easily makes the list: he's cute, attentive, and willing to help Zoe no matter what. I love the relationship between the Zoe and Zeus -- if I can't have him, then I guess I'm happy to see him with Zoe!

~Flo~

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do. (from Goodreads)

I had heard a lot of hype about this book before it came out. I meant to read it then and never got around to it -- so I was sure to request it from the library as soon as it became available. Rae Carson did not let me down. This story was rich with detail and surprises.

Elisa was the shining jewel of this book for me. I loved her character. She was real, unapologetic, brave, questioning, and loyal. She was certainly not your typical princess -- both physically and in character -- and that really made her character strong.

Another great thing about this book was that it was realistic. Here I go with a Hunger Games comparison again, but I know that Mockingjay, the final book in that trilogy, sometimes gets some flack because major characters die. Mockingjay was my favorite book in the trilogy because it portrayed war so honestly, and I feel the exact same way about this book. This was also a story about a war, and like Katniss, Elisa was focused on the war and not on her potential suitors. In fact, this story was so realistic, that when some of the major characters died off, I kept waiting for the "Just kidding!" reveal. Like they weren't really dead. But you know what? They were. War is horrific like that. It takes people away and doesn't look back. You just have to keep moving foward, and Elisa did.

All that being said, this book did have lovely romantic elements. I really enjoyed Humberto. He knew his place -- but he also knew his heart. As for Alejandro...I'm on the fence about that guy. But I think that's testament to Rae's great character building. I don't think he is the kind of guy someone can fully love or fully hate.

The sequel, Crown of Embers, doesn't come out until next October! Hopefully, it will be on Netgalley again, so I don't have wait so long for it!

~Flo~

Friday, December 2, 2011

Split Second by David Baldacci

Jacque's Review:

Sean King was a secret service agent protecting a presidential candidate on the the campaign trail.  He had a lapse in concentration that resulted in the death of his protectee.  It is now eight years later and he has reestablished himself as an attorney in a small town in Virginia.  He is living a very quiet and comfortable life when he hears that another presidential candidate was kidnapped while under the watch of the secret service.  Michelle Maxwell was the lead agent assigned to the candidate, John Bruno, at the time of the kidnapping.

Shortly after the kidnapping, Sean discovers one of his employees murdered inside his law office.  The story makes the headline news and Michelle immediately recognizes Sean as the disgraced agent she learned about during her secret service training.  She feels a connection to him due to their similar circumstances and begins looking into the events surrounding the death of Clyde Ritter, the candidate Sean was protecting on that fateful day. 

She eventually contacts Sean and they begin investigating the events pertaining to his murdered employee, Clyde Ritter, and John Bruno.  The closer they get to uncovering the truth the worse the personal ramifications become.  Before long I was constantly worried that something terrible was going to happen to both Sean and Michelle.  The only thing that gave me any sense of reassurance is the fact that I know there are four other books in the series.  They must make it out of this alive if there are additional books, right?

The details of the mystery were constantly evolving and were very convoluted.  I felt that Baldacci did a remarkable job of weaving all of the clues together throughout the story, which kept me constantly wanting to see what would happen next.  The ending was like nothing I had ever read.  I will compare it to the grand finale of a fireworks show.  I don't want to give it away, so I will just leave it at that.

I really enjoyed the characters King and Maxwell.  They are both brilliant detectives and complemented each other perfectly.  I can't wait to see how things unfold in the rest of the series.  Hopefully they can keep themselves a little further from the action in the future.  I also hope their relationship evolves more throughout the series.  Baldacci planted the seed that they are attracted to each other, but the circumstances in this book did not leave any room for a personal relationship.  There is over a decade between their ages and they have very different personalities...King is a neat freak and Maxwell is a slob.  How will this play out as they work together in the future and perhaps on a more personal level?  I can't wait to find out.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hereafter: By Tara Hudson

Jacque's Review:

Hereafter is a story about an 18 year old girl named Amelia, who has been wondering the earth for an undetermined amount of time as an unclaimed spirit...ghost.  She doesn't remember anything about life prior to her death, but she has recurring nightmares about drowning and eventually wakes up each time in a graveyard.

All of this changes the night she meets Joshua.  Due to his family history and a life changing event he is able to see and interact with Amelia.  Together they are able to unravel the mystery behind the numerous events that have taken place on High Bridge over the years.  (This is the site of Amelia's nightmares).  He is also able to help her recall who she was in real life. 

The love story between Joshua and Amelia is very touching, but there always has to be some element of conflict to keep the pages turning.  That is where Eli comes in.  He is another ghost who attempts to convince Amelia to join him in the after world.  He was a very creepy character, but there were some sincere moments when he shared some of his history and helped Amelia discover her abilities as a ghost. 

I found this to be a very fast and enjoyable read.  I was so excited about the story that I convinced Teri to read it because I wanted someone to discuss it with.  I was baffled by the fact that she wasn't as enthralled with it as I was.  Perhaps I am just a sucker for a good love story.  If you are as well, you will not be disappointed.  I have read about numerous paranormal relationships, but I can't recall any of them involving an intangible being.  This added a unique element that I would have thought was insurmountable, but Tara makes the relationship very believable. 

This is the first book of a trilogy.  The second book, Arise, is scheduled to be released in July of 2012.  I am anxious to see how things will unfold for Amelia and Joshua now that they understand the past and can focus on living in the present.

Teri's Review:
I am kind of in the middle on this book. I didn't dislike it but I didn't love it either. So let me tell you my "bad "points first. Get them over with and move on to the good. I think I was expecting more of a mystery ( this coming from the one booknerd who doesn't read mysteries) I felt the book centered more on the love story between Amelia and Joshua, and maybe it was suppose to and I missed the point. I'm in the gray area there!. I did indeed find out the details surrounding Amelia's death, but it wasn't until late in the books and as I read I would forget I was suppose to be wanting to solve this mystery. There were also times as I read that I would totally forget that Amelia was a ghost and I felt I was just reading a regular love story between the two. OK with that being said lets move on to the good...... 

I liked the characters in this book. Amelia was not whiny and that says a lot to me. She was determined not to be a bad ghost and fought hard for Joshua. Joshua was sweet and I felt his love for Amelia throughout the book ( tho I still have a problem with how easily the character accepted that she was a ghost.."Oh your a ghost? No biggie..) I even had a few laughs as I imagined how he must look to passerby's as he carried on with Amelia considering no one else could see her. BUT Tara Hudson did a good job of making him do actions to advert this, such as opening the car door for her and acting like he was digging for something in the floorboard as she slipped out. Eli...OK...I will admit it I liked Eli. Oh, not in the swoony like way of Joshua, but lets face it he added some creepiness to this book and I kinda felt sorry for him. I know his job was to bring souls over, but bless him I think he was truly lonely and wanted Amelia as company. OK yes..I did like the book more than I disliked it..I just wish all the action hadn't waited until the last 100 pages of the book!

Mary's Review

Ghosts, good vs evil, love…..does this not sound like the perfect  story.  I thought so too when I was reading the back of this jacket of the book.  And even though all those things are in the book……it does not set well with me.  Let me explain, I love ghost stories and a ghost love story is all the better BUT when I read this book (and I struggled to finish it) I mainly read……blah blah blah.  I know that this a bit harsh but I did not like this book at all.  Amelia is an 18 year old girl that is dead because of another ghost (bad guy) Eli.  Then Amelia saves another boy from drowning, Joshua.  Well, Joshua is a “Seer” so he is able to talk, see and fall in love with Amelia.  Josh helps Amelia remember a lot about her life and family and Eli shows her how she died (which he helped in that part) and wants her to be his partner to capture more souls.  Here is the ending….Good wins, evil is defeated (for the time being) and Joshua and Amelia go on.  As much as some of the other BookNerds liked this story I can say this BookNerd did not.  I would be interested to see what Tara Hudson writes next……..

December Read Alongs

Monthly Read: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

 Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.
Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.
In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space. (Barnes & Noble Overview)

Sunday Mystery Corner: The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli and Isles Series #1)

In her most masterful novel of medical suspense, New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen creates a villain of unforgettable evil--and the one woman who can catch him before he kills again.
He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer's methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him "The Surgeon."
The cops' only clue rests with another surgeon, the victim of a nearly identical crime. Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed her attacker before he could complete his assault. Now she hides her fears of intimacy behind a cool and elegant exterior and a well-earned reputation as a top trauma surgeon.
Cordell's careful facade is about to crack as this new killer recreates, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell's own ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands--and savors--the secret fears of every woman he kills.
Filled with the authentic detail that is the trademark of this doctor turned author . . . and peopled with rich and complex characters--from the ER to the squad room to the city morgue--here is a thriller of unprecedented depth and suspense. Exposing the shocking link between those who kill and cure, punish and protect, The Surgeon is Tess Gerritsen's most exciting accomplishment yet. (Barnes & Noble Overview)

Book to Movie: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The classic ghost story by Susan Hill: a chilling tale about a menacing spectre haunting a small English town.

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black. Psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie, The Woman in Black is a remarkable thriller of the first rate.  (Barnes & Noble Overview)

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Night Circus: by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart. (Barnes & Noble overview)

I really enjoyed all of the characters along with the storyline, but this was a slow read for me.  I kept thinking it would pick up at some point, but it never did.  It contained a lot of very lengthy detailed descriptions, which at times were difficult to envision.  The tents and the circus with their black and white theme sounded beautiful, but I wished Morgenstern had spent more time on the characters and less time on the setting.

Another issue that I had with the book was the third person perspective.  There are chapters where she refers to the reader as "you" while you are watching or exploring a portion of the circus.  I felt like I was never really a part of the book.  I was always an outsider looking in.  If Morgenstern could have captured me and made me feel like I was part of the circus, I think it would have propelled the story along.  

On a more positive note, the few times when the main characters Celia and Marco were together, it was pure magic.   I absolutely flew through those sections and was left longing for more.  If only they would have spent the majority of the book together, I probably wouldn't have been able to put it down.  Unfortunately, I often had to wait 50 pages or more between each dose of excitement. 

I also really enjoyed the interaction between Bailey, Poppet, and Widget.  Poppet and Widget are twins who were born opening night of the circus.  Their parents are performers, so they grew up within the circus and are now performers themselves.  Bailey becomes enchanted by the circus when he is a boy and is destined to become a part of it.  When the circus comes back to Bailey's hometown, he becomes friends with the twins and we begin to experience more of the circus through their adventures. 

The love story, characters, and elements of magic are very enchanting, but for me The Night Circus lacked the spark needed to really capture the readers.  It is going to be made into a movie and it is being hyped as the next Harry Potter or Twilight.  If they are able to capture the detail and magic of the tents I think it will be a better movie than book, but I have a hard time believing it will draw anywhere near as much attention or revenue as Harry Potter or Twilight.

-Jacque

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. (from Goodreads)

Flo's Review: Stephanie Perkins strength lies in writing imperfections. She writes these teenage boys who are...teenage boys. They make mistakes. They are quirky. They can be immature. But these faults make them real -- so real. And the quirkiness makes them loveable. You all know that Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss is my second fictional crush, behind only Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games. He is beautiful and flawed.

Lola and the Boy Next Door introduces us to Cricket Graham Bell -- yes, a direct descendant of Alexander Graham Bell. Cricket wears multicolored bracelets and tight dress pants short enough so you can see his socks. He writes different things on his hand everyday. He has flyaway hair. He has messed up. He is a good brother. He is a good guy. And, here's a Flo Fact, he is AMAZING!!! (Why yes, he has found his way on my fictional crushes list. How'd you guess?!)

Lola herself is a great character to experience the story through. She has this crazy way of dressing and talking to the moon and other things that seem wacky, but are perfectly rational and explainable to Lola. 

My second favorite part of this book (behind Cricket -- have I gushed enough about him yet?!) are Anna and St. Clair. I knew that Lola was a companion book to Anna, and so they would be making an appearance. But I still may have squeed out loud the first time I recognized them in the book. And I didn't realize just how big a role they would have in Lola's story. LOVE!!

The only reason Lola got 4 stars from me and Anna got 5 is because I loved Paris. Lola's San Francisco is bright and fun, but it can't hold a candle to falling in love in the City of Love.


Teri's Review
I will make a confession...Stephanie Perkins has done the impossible...she has me falling in love with a contempory boy..not once but twice now, she is really ruining my reputation as a lover of bad boys! Yes, I am talking about Cricket Graham Bell..he is the most dreamy of boys with his overly tall self, his messy dark hair, his skinny pants, his arm full of braclets and  *sighs* that special star he keeps drawn on the back of his hand!

I started reading Lola and the Boy Next Door because I loved Anna and the French Kiss..I mean..I LOVED that book. Lola and the Boy Next Door started out a bit slow for me. Maybe its the time of the year, being in retail Im super busy right now, but I got the surprise of my life when I turned one page and there was St.Clair ( I knew this was a companion book, but I never really thought about him and Anna being in the book). From that moment on I was hooked! The characters in Lola are all fantastic..Lola herself was fun with her wacky way of dress ( I wouldn't dress like that but I admire that she does so) Her parents, I loved the fact that Stephanie Perkins gave her two dads and made them both loving and protective of her. Hey, I even liked Max ( Sexy bad boy with guitar thing, you know ) up until a certain point when he was standing in a door talking to Lola, then I just wanted to hit him in the face! ( little Teri fact: My very favorite song ever and ever is Lola by the Kinks, it was hard not to love Max when he belted out a line to this ) 

As you can probably tell, I loved this book. I didn't mind that it didn't take place in a romantic place such as  Paris, it could have taken place in my boring nondescript Midwestern neighborhood and I would have still loved it. Like Flo, I gave it a 4 star rating..mostly because for me..it took too many pages for Anna and St Clair to show up!

Friday, November 18, 2011

OMG, it's Breaking Dawn Day!!!


Who all is excited about the release of the Twilight Breaking Dawn movie today?! Did anyone go at midnight to see it? (Besides BookNerds Jacque and Teri?) In honor of this fabulous day, we thought we'd just share a couple of our past Twilight-themed posts. (Think of it as a Twilight Flashback!) First, the BookNerds managed to get all the way through a re-read of the first part of Breaking Dawn. It was pretty fun to do, as the 4 of us all have different perspectives on this one! To see our thoughts on the book click here:

http://booknerdspoilers.blogspot.com/

Speaking of different perspectives, remember one of our favorite features, BookNerds in Love Triangles? I believe the idea came from the fact that we are divided among Team Edward and Team Jacob. Click the link to read our teams and rationales:


http://booknerdsacrossamerica.blogspot.com/2011/04/booknerds-in-love-triangles-twilight.html

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed. Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime. (From Goodreads)

This has been on my TBR list ever since I knew it existed. The summary made it sound like a unique, engaging story, and I was not disappointed. As I simply stated in my Goodreads review, this book is Dystopian Done Right. You all know that I am a sucker for some swoon-worthy guys, and Max definitely fits the bill! (Not at first....but once you learn more about him and his story, he grows on you.) 

Derting created some great characters. Charlie's two best friends Aron and Brooklynn ended up playing roles in the story that will surprised me. Angelina, Charlie's silent little sister, stole my heart. The relationship between Charlie and Angelina reminded me of the relationship between Katniss and Prim in The Hunger Games. And Charlie herself is strong and faithful to what's right. 

I pretty much flew through this book -- Ludania is an interesting world to learn about, and the action kept me engaged and wanting to see exactly how it would all play out in the end. I didn't like the little cliffhanger at the end, but it makes sense to the story and is an interesting set up for the next book in the series. I will admit that I haven't read The Body Finder or Desires of the Dead, but after reading The Pledge, I am adding them to my TBR list.

~Flo~

Thursday, November 10, 2011

HAYMITCH HAPPY HOUR

Do you love Hunger Games?  Do you love books?  Do you like to try an occasional drink every now and then?  Do you love Haymitch?  If you answer YES to any of these questions then you need to hop over to PanemRadio.com and listen to Haymitch Happy Hour Hosted by Mary and Flo. Haymitch Happy Hour is a radio program show that discuss different books.  Along with that, and keeping with the theme of Haymitch, there will be a special drink featured each week. Each Friday night at 9 pm Eastern time you can hear Mary and Flo's opinions on a different book each week.  The discussion will include the characters, theme, likes/dislikes of the book of the week and THE DRINK OF THE WEEK!!

Flo and Mary would like to thank Sam Cushion for giving us this opportunity.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

Flo's Review: Let's take everything that makes logical sense and completely destroy it, ok?? A place called the Goodgrounds is actually an oppressive society that Vi, our protagonist, hates. The place called the Badlands is actually a place where people get to think for themselves -- is that bad? Well, it's not Freedom, the city where people are controlled and learn how to control others. See what I mean?! I love that Elana Johnson took it to the very, very basic concepts of Good and Bad, and completely demolished them. But something about this book was just a little off for me. Part of the reason, I think, is because when we start the story, Vi already hates her dystopian society and is rebelling. We don't get to journey with her as she goes from the process of going along with it because it's how she's raised and all she's known, starts to discover the kinks in the system and starts to question it, and then eventually starts to fight it. We do learn why, but it is after the fact. We don't uncover the glamour of the Good with her. I really would have liked to do that, and I think that would have given me more of an acclimation to the society as opposed to jumping right into it. On a final note, I love the concept of Chokers. From here on out, I am no longer looking for my soulmate or my Romeo or my Match -- I'm looking for my Choker!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Brass Verdict - By Michael Connelly

Jacque's Review:

The Brass Verdict is the second installment in the The Lincoln Lawyer series.  When we left Mickey Haller at the end of The Lincoln Lawyer he was recovering form a gun shot wound to the abdomen.  We learn at the beginning of this book that Haller took over a year off work to recover from his injuries and a resulting addiction to pain killers.  He spent some time in rehab and has gotten his life back in order.  He is planning a slow return to work when he is called into the office of the Chief Judge.  Judge Holder tells him that his friend and colleague Jerry Vincent was murdered and that he was named in his will as the beneficiary of all of his cases.  So much for his plans for a slow comeback.  He now has over 30 active cases, one of which is a high profile murder case that is being billed as the case of the decade.

The detective that is investigating the murder of Mr. Vincent is none other than Harry Bosch, the lead character in another series written by Michael Connelly.  Bosch and Haller work together to help solve Vincent's murder and eventually come to the realization that there is another link between them in addition to this case.

Haller tells us multiple times that everyone lies.  "The cops lie, lawyers lie, witnesses lie, and the victims lie.  A trial is a contest of lies and everybody knows this."  He believes his high profile client Walter Elliot isn't telling him the whole story.  Once Haller thinks he has it all figured out something else develops that completely changes his opinion of his client and the case.  I never would have guessed how the ending played out. 

I really enjoy Connelly's style of writing and the characters he has developed.  I am constantly amazed by Mickey's brilliant and cunning legal skills and I can't wait to see what is in store for him both personally and professionally in The Reversal, which is the next book in the series.  I think we will also have to include a Harry Bosch book in one of our future Sunday Mystery Corners to further explore his character. (Hint Hint.)

Flo's Review:

Michael Connelly wants to kill me, y'all. Granted, I don't read a lot of legal thrillers (or any kind of thrillers for that matter), but I truly think Connelly is a Master of Suspense. I think the majority of my Goodreads status updates were, "I'm so scared for Mickey!!" Michael Haller (Mickey) is a character I came to love in The Lincoln Lawyer and that love grew in The Brass Verdict. Haller is clever, knowledgeable and compassionate. Lorna, Mickey's case manager, is always one step ahead and compliments Mickey's working style perfectly. Walter Elliott is the defendant in the big case that Mickey acquires, and he is an interesting character as well. The relationship and dynamics of his relationship with Mickey are ever-evolving as two men who both like to be in charge and have to figure out how to work with each other. I love putting the pieces of the mystery together with Mickey, who again, is brilliant. Finally, I guess I should comment on Bosch...I didn't really like him. He came off to me as too demanding the whole time without giving anything up on his end. Mickey does that too, yes, but he always explains why and is not short and snippy about it. Perhaps I will grow to like him more in The Reversal, the next book in The Lincoln Lawyer series? At any rate, The Brass Verdict is a wonderful second book in the Mickey Haller saga, and I look forward to more.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bel Ami - Guy de Maupassant

Jacque's Review:

I have to admit, I selected this as our October book to movie for one reason...Rob Pattinson.  I began reading with the expectation that this was going to be like one of the numerous books I was forced to read in high school, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It was a very easy ready and I enjoyed it thoroughly. 

Georges Duroy moved to Paris upon completion of his military service in order to "improve his position in life".  He is working at a railroad office making not nearly enough money to survive.  He is starving and living in poverty when he runs into an old friend on the street, Mr. Forestier.  Mr. Forestier is the editor of the La Vie Francaise newspaper.  He invites Georges to his home for dinner and gives him money to buy a nice suit for the occasion.  Mr. Forestier also invited the newspaper's owner and several writers, with hopes that they will give Georges a position on their staff.  Georges makes an excellent impression on everyone in attendance...especially the ladies.  This is where the "history of a scoundrel" truly begins.

Mr. Forestier's wife Madeleine assists Georges in writing his first article, which secures him an entry level position.  While his salary increases, his financial position does not.  He uses his additional income to bribe police officers and other insiders for information to use in his articles.  His standing as a writer improves greatly, but he decides that he will need to use other methods to advance socially.  He realizes that he has a way with the ladies and begins using his looks and charm to his advantage.  He seeks out a series of wealthy married women and establishes relationships with them based upon their ability to help him achieve his goals.  Even after amounting his own financial wealth, he is never satisfied with his position.  He is always jealous of those with more and is continuously strategizing his next move. 

I do not want to give away EVERYTHING, but this gives you a pretty good idea of the events that unfold in this book.  I am anxiously awaiting the release of this movie and can't believe that we still do not have an official release date.  I can't think of a better person than Rob to play Bel Ami...which is translated as "Beautiful Friend" in the book. 

Here is a link to the movie trailer.

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

"In The Lost Hero, three demigods named Jason, Piper, and Leo made their first visit to Camp Half-Blood, where they inherited a blood-chilling quest:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death


Who are the other four mentioned in the prophesy? The answer may lie in another camp miles away, where a new camper has shown up and appears to be the son of Neptune, god of the sea. . . With an ever-expanding cast of brave-hearted heroes and formidable foes, this second book in The Heroes of Olympus series offers all of the action, pathos, and humor that Rick Riordan fans crave." (from Rick Riordan's website, where you can read Chapter 1 for free.)


I love Percy Jackson. Can I marry him? I know he is only 16 years old and also a fictional son of an Olympian god, but that kind of stuff has never stopped me from having crushes before.

I loved The Lost Hero, the first book in Rick Riordan's new series about demigods -- children with one mortal parent and one Olympian godly parent. I anxiously awaited the second book in The Heros of Olympus series, and it did not disappoint! While one of the great things about The Lost Hero was seeing Camp Half Blood through other eyes besides Percy's, one of the strengths of The Son of Neptune was seeing a whole different camp.

We are introduced to two more demigods who are part of the Prophecy of Seven -- Hazel and Frank. Just like Piper, Leo and Jason in the first book, I learned to love these new two characters for their strengths as well as their vulnerabilities. With them, we have the seven half-bloods of the prophecy: Hazel, Frank, Jason, Leo, Piper, Annabeth, and Percy Jackson.

Riordan does an amazing job of crafting his story. The action left me rushing through the pages and I continue to be in awe of how well all the littlest details end up connecting. I breezed through this book in a few short days and now have to wait in agony for the third book, The Mark of Athena, which will be released in Fall 2012.

If you haven't read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series yet, do so -- because they are incredible. If you have, and you miss Percy and his adventures, then pick up this series because Rick Riordan continues to bring the goodness.

~Flo~

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Read Alongs

Monthly Read: Hereafter by Tara Hudson


Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won't want to miss. (B&N Overview)


Mystery Corner: Split Second by David Baldacci


Michelle Maxwell has just blown her future with the Secret Service. With heavy reluctance, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight to comfort a grieving widow. Then, behind closed doors, the politician whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.
Living a new life on a quiet lake in Central Virginia, Sean King knows how the younger agent feels. He’s been there before. In an out-of-the-way hotel eight years earlier, the hard-charging Secret Service man allowed his attention to be diverted for a split second. And the presidential candidate Sean was protecting was gunned down before his eyes.
Now,Michelle and Sean are about to see their destinies converge. She has become obsessed with Sean’s case. And he needs a friend -- especially since a series of macabre killings have brought him under suspicion and prompted the reappearance of a seductive woman he’s tried hard to forget.
As the two discredited agents enter a maze of lies, secrets, and deadly coincidences, they uncover a shocking truth: that the separate acts of violence that shattered their lives were really a long time in the making -- and are a long way from over...
With an adrenaline rush on every page and a plot that springs one jaw-dropping surprise after another, David Baldacci’s new novel will plunge you into a dangerous realm of rage, desire, betrayal and revenge.


Book to Movie: Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison


The publication of this magnificent trilogy of short novels — Legends Of The Fall, Revenge, and The Man Who Gave Up His Name — confirmed Jim Harrison's reputation as one of the finest American writers of his generation. These absorbing novellas explore the theme of revenge and the actions to which people resort when their lives or goals are threatened, adding up to an extraordinary vision of the twentieth-century man.

Crossed by Ally Condie


Note: Spoilers for Matched ahead. Proceed with caution if you have not read Matched.

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever. (from Goodreads)



Oh Ally Condie, how you play with my heart! I loved learning more about both boys. I loved that the reader got to see more that happened in Matched. I enjoyed the new characters. I loved seeing the bigger picture become clearer to Cassia and its relation to the 3 main characters. And I was absolutely not expecting that ending!!!  

~Flo~ 

Note: I am also on staff at a fansite for the Matched trilogy, The Matched Department: thematcheddepartment.com. Check it out!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Brida by Paulo Coelho

This is the story of Brida, a young Irish girl, and her quest for knowledge. She has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom, who begin to teach Brida about the spiritual world. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her about overcoming her fears and trusting in the goodness of the world; and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world, and how to pray to the moon. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch. This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure—it is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller. (from Goodreads)

 I loved The Alchemist -- if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it -- and have always been meaning to pick up another Paulo Coelho book. Brida just happened to be on sale at the library, so I scooped it up and put it on my TBR pile, where it remained for several months. I brought it back up again when I found the audiobook at the library and decided to give it a listen.

The most interesting aspect of this book for me was the interplay between witchcraft and Christianity. As a Christian, I must admit I never really thought the two shared similarities. But Coelho did a great job of drawing parallels between the two on several points throughout the book. He really made me stretch my mind, look at something I thought I knew about in a new way, and examine my own beliefs. I always love when a book can do that.

~Flo~

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Until I Die - By Amy Plum

The Book Nerds have been anxiously awaiting the release of Until I Die by Amy Plum ever since we read Die for Me. Here is a link to our interview with Amy Plum as well. 

For those of you who haven't see it yet, here is the cover of Until I Die.  It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL.  I didn't think it was possible, but I think I like this cover better than the first.  The release is scheduled for May 2012 and like a kid at Christmas, we will be counting down the days. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Flo's Review: Michael made me miss my bus stop. He did. I was engrossed in a very action-heavy scene, mentally screaming, "Michael!! Noo!!!" when I thought to glance up and saw the bus driving away from the spot where I was supposed to get off. Needless to say, I did enjoy this book. Emerson is a strong, female character in all aspects of the word: physically, because she is a little thing (petite like me!) but she can flip a grown man. Strong emotionally because she makes the choice to fully be alive, rather than just present in life, but fully doped on medicines. I do have to say that there are a few scenarios in the book that I would have liked more explanation for. A lot of things were hinted at and suggested, then just simply accepted by Emerson. I would have liked McEntire to be more plain in some of her explanations. Also, I think Riverbend Park would have made an amazing epilogue. (I am trying to be non-spoilery, but if you've read the book, you should know what I mean.) I have a feeling the second book will start off with maximum velocity now that a lot of the explanation is out of the way.

Teri's Review
Uggg..I have the most embarrassing confession..don't laugh at me..but I do not understand time travel AT ALL .Seriously! You know that part in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure where they travel into time to get the key to get them out of jail?Yea...I was as confused as Ted was in the whole move. And don't EVEN get me started on the Back to the Future movies! So when I picked up Hourglass and read the cover, I felt I was doomed. The book does deal with time travel and there were parts of the book I still went Huh? in, you know wormholes, portals, stopping time, but it wasn't so bad that I didn't enjoy the book. And luckily for the most part I was able to understand it, as long as I read it and didn't dwell on what they were doing. I liked all the characters in this book, which is kind of unheard of from me..Micheal, Kaleb and Emerson, and even the lesser characters such as Emerson's family and her best friend Lily. The romance between Micheal and Emerson was electrifying ( hee hee, you will understand if you read the book) with some occasional interference from Kaleb and Ava. Toward the end of the book, there are some WOW moments, but I'm not going to spoil them for you. Read it for yourself. Then come back, and try to explain to me those parts that confused me, you know..the time travel parts..I'm really wanting to take on Dr. Who!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I am so glad that I read this book! The first person that I called when I finished this book was my mother.  My mother is an older woman (now) but was a teenager at the same time  this book was set in.  She was actually able to tell me more than what the book entailed.  She told me more about the sit-ins, the protests, and what it really meant to be in a different "class".  I felt like what she was saying happened a million years ago, but it was not. 
Skeeter knew that the world could change but she was not sure how to change with it.  It was the 1960's in Mississippi: Ablieen Clark was a black maid who worked for Skeeter's best friend and Minny, also a black maid who got fired from one job and had to lie to get another. 

Now, as badly as I want to tell you eveyr inch of this book.....I am not going to.  Because I feel that everyone need to read this book.  I laughed at Minny's craziness, I cried at Skeeter's and Ablieen's frustrations, and I cheered for the ending. 

It truly deserved every award it receives.

Snowman By Jo Nesbo

I did not realize when I started this book that it was #7 in the Series.  However, I did not feel lost in it at all.  There was enough back story to inform me of what had happened in the previous chapters.

Harry Hole is a heavy drinker and the love of his life has left him.  He is going through a tough time when he begins to investigate several missing woman.  As he conducts his investigation, he comes to the realization that this is a serial killer and he has struck before.

The police do not want the public to know that there is a serial killer on the loose and they need a scapegoat. Harry is it.

Through the twist and turns of the book you start to feel really bad for Harry and all that he is going through.  The book did hold my attention and I did not see the ending coming at all. I would recommend it for others to read.

--Mary--

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

"For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life." (From Goodreads)

I wasn't going to do a full review for this one, since I know that I am the late one to the party in reading it. A look at my Goodreads feed shows that, seriously, a LOT of my friends have already read it. But I was writing up a little Goodreads review and it was getting lengthy, so here we go:

The first book always has the issue of trying to set up the supernatural world. I felt in this book it took a little too long to get to the Big Reveal, especially since I am assuming (which is bad, I know) that most readers already know what Patch is before they even start reading.

I think the series of strange occurrences could have been cut down. There were more than a couple of times when I found myself rolling my eyes at some "scheme" Nora and Vee had cooked up. On a random note, I did not really like Patch for the majority of the book. It's just funny because everyone always swoons about him, and BookNerd Teri even ranked him just below Jace in her brackets. But amidst all that I was like, "Patch? Ehh....he's not nice! He's sketchy! He might be trying to hurt her!"
 
But it was a line from him at he end of the book that I thought was the sweetest line EVER and left me feeling all warm and fuzzy and eager to read Crescendo. I think the second book in the series will be better than Hush, Hush due to the fact that the scenario is already set up.

~Flo~

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Read Alongs

Monthly Read: Possession by Elana Johnson
 
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
 
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play. (Barnes and Noble Overview) 


Mystery Corner: The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly

Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next.
 
Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent's killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.
Bringing together Michael Connelly's two most popular characters, The Brass Verdict is sure to be his biggest book yet. (Barnes and Noble Overview)

Book to Movie: Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant

Maupassant's second novel, Bel-Ami (1885) is the story of a ruthlessly ambitious young man (Georges Duroy, christened "Bel-Ami" by his female admirers) making it to the top in fin-de-sihcle Paris. It is a novel about money, sex, and power, set against the background of the politics of the French colonization of North Africa. It explores the dynamics of an urban society uncomfortably close to our own and is a devastating satire of the sleaziness of contemporary journalism.
Bel-Ami enjoys the status of an authentic record of the apotheosis of bourgeois capitalism under the Third Republic. But the creative tension between its analysis of modern behavior and its identifiably late nineteenth-century fabric is one of the reasons why Bel-Ami remains one of the finest French novels of its time, as well as being recognized as Maupassant's greatest achievement as a novelist. (Barnes and Noble Overview)

Book Review-10th Anniversary James Patterson

Goodreads Summary 

For every secret
Detective Lindsay Boxer's long-awaited wedding celebration becomes a distant memory when she is called to investigate a horrendous crime: a badly injured teenage girl is left for dead, and her newborn baby is nowhere to be found. Lindsay discovers that not only is there no trace of the criminals--but that the victim may be keeping secrets as well.

For every lie
At the same time, Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano is prosecuting the biggest case of her life--a woman who has been accused of murdering her husband in front of her two young children. Yuki's career rests on a guilty verdict, so when Lindsay finds evidence that could save the defendant, she is forced to choose. Should she trust her best friend or follow her instinct?

There's a different way to die
Lindsay's every move is watched by her new boss, Lieutenant Jackson Brady, and when the pressure to find the baby begins interfering with her new marriage to Joe, she wonders if she'll ever be able to start a family. With James Patterson's white-hot speed and unquenchable action, 10th Anniversary is the most deliciously chilling Women's Murder Club book ever

Teri's Review
I have always been a James Patterson fan, which is saying a lot, as I usually do not read mysteries at all.  You can probably tell from my lack of reviews each month on our mystery posts. His books are easy to read, filled with short chapters and not to many details to bog down my mind. 10th anniversary didn't fail to entertain me , I have always enjoyed the Lindsey Boxer stories and was thrilled that she and Joe finally tied the knot. As usual in James Patterson's books, several stories are taking place over the course of the book. This one mostly dealt with a teenager who misplaces her newborn, a series of drugged rapes and a murder trial for Yuki.

James Patterson's stand alone books are some of my favorites, and several have been written with Maxine Paetro. Maybe this is why I enjoy James Patterson so much. It is refreshing to read a book, even one in a series, that can be read without having to read all of the preceding books. I can promise a twist at the end..always..with James Patterson. But they end, and you can go on without having to wonder what happens next...until the next one comes along.
  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Maximum Ride #2: School's Out -- Forever

 "Adventure, fighting, backstabbing and love abound" (VOYA) in this action-packed follow-up to the #1 New York Times blockbuster MAXIMUM RIDE: THE ANGEL EXPERIMENT, now available in paperback. The heart-stopping quest of six winged kids--led by fourteen-year-old Max--to find their parents and investigate the mind-blowing mystery of their ultimate destiny continues when they're taken under the wing of an FBI agent and attempt, for the first time, to live "normal" lives. But going to school and making friends doesn't stop them from being relentlessly hunted by sinister spies, who lead Max to face her most frightening match yet: a new and better version of herself." (from Goodreads)

So, we've already established that I have beef with James Patterson for getting me sucked into a whole new series. And now he goes and makes the second book better than the first! This one was all about shades of gray...characters you thought you knew made you second guess them. Is Jeb actually trying to help? Was Angel right about what she realized about Ari? The same goes for new characters: parents. Real and adopted ones show up in this book...that should be a good thing....right?! Maybe not. And what about the Voice? And finally, even Max. 

In retrospect, I should have seen the ending plot twist coming, but I totally didn't! To be totally cliche, this series is one ride that thrills me and surprises with its crazy plot turns and twists along the way. Guess I have to hang on tight and see what else Mr. Patterson decides to throw at me!


~Flo~

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September Giveaway Week 4

Hello BookNerds! We are all so happy about how successful this month's giveaways have been - THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! 
We are now into the last week and this one will be a little bit different.  The one thing that we all have in common is the fact that we are all BookNerds at heart and there are so many book series out there that so many of us have never heard of yet.  Since I (Mary) am obsessed with book series I want to hear from you.

This is not quiet a "give-a-way" as much as a "guest reviewer". 

Pick your favorite series, one that we have not done yet, and send me the review.  I will choose the WINNER on Friday September 30th and I will put your review on the blog.

Please submit your review to: booknerdsblog(at)gmail(dot)com

I cannot wait to read them!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

September Extravaganza - Week of Giveaways WINNERS!

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest...In my book you are all winners..BUT..in the contest there can be but one...so the winner of the 20.00 Barnes and Nobles gift card goes to.............


Cassandra502


Cassandra if you will please contact me @ dirtybrit(at)ymail(dot)com
and send me your address I will get the card out to you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Me and Maggie Stiefvater, author of Forever, at This Is Teen
Authors are my rock stars, to steal a quote from a magnet I have on my fridge and a conversation I had with the MIA Crew at the Carrie Ryan book signing. And those of you who know me know that I tend to get a little mute and tongue-tied and weird around my faves, even though I know they're regular people and all that. Anyways, this goes to explain why upon meeting Maggie Stiefvater at the This Is Teen event in Miami back in July, I decided to tell her that her books made me cry in public when I read them over my lunch breaks. To which she let me know that Forever would certainly make me cry in Burger King. Thanks Maggie.

I'd heard mixed reviews about Forever, so I wasn't sure what to expect going in. And WOW. I think it 's my favorite of the trilogy. Maggie doesn't just write scenes, or write a narrative. She writes poetry that weaves together to form a plot line. I can honestly say that I wasn't sure whether I wanted to read her next book, The Scorpio Races, and now I know I will for sure. Just to experience again the song that is her writing style.

But back to Forever. I have another confession to make. Unlike pretty much everyone else I've talked to who has read this series, I was not really a huge fan of Cole. (This even includes Maggie who told us at This Is Teen that Cole surprised her and was really fun to write.) I could take him or leave him. Eh. But by the end of this book, he won me over.

And then, at the end of this amazing book which, Maggie added an Author's Note that included this:

"Many, many readers have written me asking wistfully about the nature of Sam and Grace's relationship, and I can assure you, that sort is absolutely real. Mutual, respectful, enduring love is completely attainable as long as you swear you won't settle for less."

Ok, how much do I love Grace, Sam and Maggie?! A lot.

~Flo~

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Day by David Nicholls

I am going to keep this review short and sweet because I know that the movie is still in theaters and I think that everyone should go and see it.

When I began this book it was starting to feel a lot like "When Harry Met Sally" in some ways.  However, in other ways the book is a stand alone.

I love the back and forth with Emma and Dexter's relationship and I enjoy how they share so much of their lives together with each other.  There friendship had its up and downs and I enjoyed the "pop" culture references throughout the book.

Now, the ending is something that I never, never saw coming and I was a bit upset that Nicholls put it in there, but I understood that it was important for the storyline. 




Flo's Movie Review
I am a bad BookNerd. I know that in the majority of cases, the book is better than the movie. And I really was planning to read this book and then go see the movie afterward so I could make a comparison. However, I happened to be at the movies and this was the only one playing in an acceptable time frame that I wanted to see. And I haven't read the book yet. And after the seeing the movie...I don't think I will. The movie was...okay. Just okay. I do think that the book probably provides a lot more depth than the movie could hope to penetrate in two hours. I felt like we kinda knew Emma and Dexter and the other characters, but not really. The yearly snapshots provided insight into their characters, but not enough for me to feel strongly vested. Because of this, the surprise at the end didn't have what I think was the intended effect on me. I was just surprised. I think if I had read the book, I would have enjoyed the movie more because I could see the visual representations of characters I had come to know in depth, instead of looking at them for the whole story.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September Giveaway Week 3

Uggg as always I am late getting around to getting things posted, but I havent forgotten any of you. This week I am giving away to one lucky follower a 20.00 gift card from Barnes and Nobles! YAY....Ok for my part of the contest I require the following:


  You must follow our blog in order to enter.

To enter the contest, you will need to post a comment containing the following information:

Let us know what book you cant wait to read in 2012...there are so many good ones coming out next year and you might just give me some more reading ideas! You know how we all need a bigger TBR list =o)
 
  Your e-mail address or twitter name so that we can contact you if you are the winner.

The winner will be announced Sunday September 25, 2011.....

Good luck everyone!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

September Extravaganza - Week of Giveaways WINNERS!

CONGRATULATIONS to the following winners from last week's September Extravaganza Week of Giveaways!

The Half Life audiobook goes to ... Ricki!

The Summer I Turned Pretty goes to ... Annette!

The Girl's Guide to Vampires: All You Need to Know About the Original Bad Boys goes to ... Khyla!

Torment audiobook goes to ... Emily!

The Witches of East End ARC goes to ... ebaker!

Thank you to everyone who entered! We had a great time reading all your responses. Stay tuned for more prizes -- September's not over yet!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

September Extravaganza - Week of Giveaways, Day V

The Witches of East End ARC by Melissa De La Cruz

From the author of the highly addictive and bestselling Blue Bloods series, with almost 3 million copies sold, comes a new novel, Melissa de la Cruz's first for adults, featuring a family of formidable and beguiling witches (from Goodreads).  
TO WIN THIS CONTEST:  Leave us a comment telling us your favorite thing about the Book Nerds Across America blog. Don't forget to include your name and email address so we can contact the winner.