Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Puzzle Cover

Here is the first challenge we are offering you in our Lent Challenge. Its an easy game of What are the Covers? All the covers are from 2012 releases. All of them are YA. Guess all of the correctly and you will win a small swag prize pack. Included in the pack : 1. Near Witch signed Bookmark 1.Forbidden Book Mark 1. Hushed Book Mark 1.Signed Keeley Brothers Sticker ( this is worth winning alone!!!) 1. Signed Pyxis magnet 1. Switched Book Mark

You might not get them all right but that is ok.  Just email your answers to: Be sure to leave your contact information so that we can get back in touch with you

We will choose the one who has the most right and that will be the winner.  If there is a tie then we will have a random number counter choose for us.

The contest begins NOW and ends March 03rd .... good luck!!

Stealing Grace by Shelly Crane

Yet again @luvmyhootie came through again for me! She read this book and then loaned it to me.  I was hooked after the first chapter.
This book is something different that I do not usually read.  Let me explain for a minute about me.  I am HUGE into current affairs and politics.  I love to read books about current topics also; however, one topic that I do not know much about it sex slavery.  It is not that I don’t care about the topic I just don’t know a lot about it.
This book brought it to a different light, in more than one way. 
Meet Elena.  A 22 year old that had a very rough life and was trying to survive all alone.  One night after work she was kidnapped and sold to Alex.  She was scared, unsure of what was going on, but knew that she had to get away.  Alex took her home & they were married almost immediately.  But Alex was different.  He did not touch, he slept on the couch, and he was always saying “sorry”.  Elena could not understand what he wanted.  Soon, it all came together.  Alex was good, not evil and wanted to help others.  Elena saw all the good in Alex.  However, there was a problem they still live in a community that stole women and forced them into marriage.  There were beating and wives could not leave the home it was horrible.
I could not put this book down! I was sucked into this world with Elena and Alex! All I wanted was more! This really put this topic of sex slavery into the light.  Even though the story was fiction the topic is real!

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Jacque's Review: (My first BN4Lent Challenge)

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift. (Barnes and Noble Overview)

To borrow a quote from Logan..."WOW."  This book was AMAZING.  I have to thank Teri for recommending it.  The next time she recommends a book to me...I am on it ASAP.  None of this waiting for a BN4Lent challenge that prevents me from reading all of my existing mystery series.  Clearly, if she gives it 5* and tells me to read it...I should RUN to the bookstore or simply download it to my Nook.  I never should have waited this long to read Shade, but in a way, I'm kind of glad that I did.  I just bought Shift, the second book in the series.  By the time I finish it, I will have less than two months until I can get my hands on Shine (the third and final installment in the series), which is scheduled to be released May 1st.  I don't think I could have endured a year of waiting between each of these books.

Shade was an emotional roller coaster for me.  I have not connected with a book in this way since Twilight.  I absolutely fell in love with Edward and the Twilight Saga, as I'm sure many of you did, and he has been the measure of excellence ever since.  Several books have come close, but nothing has been able to capture me in that way...until now.  (Sorry to my DWTC BookNerds...not even the Hunger Games can compare.  I know I will catch A LOT of flack for that comment, but it is my post and my there you have it.)

I am Team Zogan for the time being.  I absolutely loved Aura, Logan, and Zach.  Since Logan is dead, this is not your typical love triangle.  Aura is trying to come to terms with what has happened and Zachary is beyond sweet and supportive.  Any girl would be fortunate to find someone with half of his charm and compassion, so I was immediately drawn to him.  The fact that he has a Scottish accent and uses many British phrases/words just adds to his appeal.  To complicate things...Logan is still around.  He is still the cute, arrogant, immensely talented musician that Aura has known since childhood and loves.  Every time Logan would sing after his death...I was immediately brought to tears.  In is happening again now just thinking about Logan, so I need to bring this to a close. 

I can't say enough about this book.  Anything I could tell you would not measure up to the feelings I had while reading it and the sheer brilliance behind this story.  Jeri Smith-Ready is an outstanding author and I HIGHLY recommend reading this book.

Mary's Review

Teri made me read this book.  She kept going on and on about it until I finally agree. Well.........I will NEVER doubt her again!!! Talk about amazing!! We have all three BookNerds requirements;

1) Supernatural.  Check!! Logan is dead and is still in love with his girlfriend Aura. Plus there are other spirits walking around.
2) Love Triangle. Check!! We have Logan (dead but still in spirit), Zach (yummy!), and Aura (who likes both)
3) Series book.  Check!! Shift is already out and Jacque and I both cannot wait to read it.

I read this book in just a few days time.  Mainly because I could not put it down.  Not only was I sucked into Aura's world but I am thinking I am Team Zach! I still can see the benefits of Team Logan but I am still leaning towards Zach.  I could really feel the struggles that Aura, Logan and Zach went through.  I felt so bad for Logan and really was hoping that he could be helped (in some way).  Poor Aura, being in love with her boyfriend who died and became a ghost, constantly seeing him but not able to touch him in any form.  However, there was Zach, alive and she is able to feel and touch him.

I am dying to read book 2!!

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L. J. Smith

This is all Flo's fault! The whole Vampire Diaries series is all Flo's fault!

Well, let me start from the beginning.  Flo LOVES the Vampire Diaries (more than anything) and I was seeing her tweets about it, but I never watched the series or read any of the books.  So, one night on Netflix I saw that the first 2 seasons were on there and I thought "Why not?!"  O.M.G I was hooked! I wanted more of Stefan, Damion, and Elena I just could not get enough and all the characters were amazing!

Then I figured I should read the books. (Y'all know how much I love my series).  I was warned that the books were much different than the series but that does not bother me that much.   I WAS WRONG!

The Book series SUCKS! I am not meaning that in a good way either.  They are nothing like the series and I could not wait to the first book was O-V-E-R! The only reason that I kept reading was because I was hoping that it would get better. WRONG AGAIN!  The plot is kind-of the same but the characters (up to include their personalities) are so much different that it was just WRONG!

I am just going to stick to the series on the CW and stay away from the books!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Once again I need to thank the social network known as Twitter that lead me to this book.  My friend @LuvMyHootie was so kind to loan me a copy of this book to read. 

I read it in just one day.  It is not very long but it is GOOD! Although I was unsure about it at first because I thought it was just going to be another love triangle book.  However, you seem to get sucked into the world with Beau, Sawyer, and Ashton. 

First, we have the preacher's daughter, Ashton, Mr. All-American Sawyer, and bad-boy Beau.  Let me say that there are no vampires, werewolves, or any other supernatural beings. (I know that is strange for me but HEY we all have to try something different every now and then.)

Ashton and the Vincent boys (Sawyer and Beau are cousins) grew up together in their small town.  Ashton was not always the "good" girl, her and Beau would get into trouble when they were young.  Flash forward 10 years when they all in high school and you will see a different picture.  Ashton and Sawyer are an item and Beau is the town bad boy.  However, Sawyer leaves for part of the summer and everything changes.  We see the transformation of the good-girl & bad-boy which all leads to a twist that even I did not see.

Abbi Glines really pulls you into the story and even gave this Book Nerd a flash back to some of her old high school days!! I really enjoyed this book and hope that others will too.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. It’s been three months. In that time, Amy has learned to hide who she is. Elder is trying to be the leader he’s always wanted to be. But as the ship gets more and more out of control, only one thing is certain: They have to get off the ship.
(from Goodreads)

A Million Suns is the sequel to Across the Universe, a book that I surprisingly really enjoyed. The whole premise of space ships is usually a bit more sci fi than I usually read, so I was hesitant going in and quite pleased by what a great book it was. I had heard that A Million Suns is even better, and I must say I agree.

This book really made me re-consider what I would automatically view one way. I mean, I love Elder (frex, I love that man!) so of course I was rooting for him throughout the book. At the same time, I don't think the residents of Godspeed were wrong about wanting a democracy and questioning the ability of a teenager to lead the ship. See?! This dilemma ultimately kept me turning the pages to see what would happen.

Well, that and Elder himself. I loved seeing him grow into the leader he was born to be in this book. He is such a strong person -- even when everything is chaos around him, he sticks to what he believes is right. 

I couldn't help but wonder why Elder and Amy kept going on the path they were going on, instead of taking what I would think would be the easier way to get answers. I mean, I think the answer lies with Amy -- she wouldn't do it that way -- but it really seems the more logical course.

Also, while I guessed who the "villian" was pretty early on, I in no way guessed what the secrets were and how the book would ultimately end. Shades of Earth, the last book of the trilogy, has the potential to be the most sci fi of them all -- and I can't wait for it!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Lent for Book Nerds Challenge Goals

The Lent for Book Nerds Challenge is a great way to enjoy Lent and challenge yourself to a goal.

Each Book Nerd has set a goal for themselves during this Lent season.

Mary's Goal:

I had no clue what I was going to do for Lent this year.  When the Book Nerds and I began discusses this on Twitter I knew that I had to set myself a good goal.  Plus, I have recently had a lot of time on my hands with not a lot to do.  My goal for this Lent is 20 books in 40 days.  I will review each book and I will number them so that everyone (and mainly myself) can keep up! I really hope that more can join us in this challenge.  I think that setting goals (even goals for just 40 days) are a great way to make oneselve feel better! Good Luck to All!

Jacque's Goal:

Selecting a challenge has not been easy give the fact that I have some insider information related to future Lent challenges here on the blog. *hint hint*  After reviewing my lengthy TBR list, I have finally come up with something book related to give up for Lent.  For those of you who follow the blog regularly...I am one of the few BookNerds to read mysteries.  I am currently up to my ears with books from various mystery series that I want to catch up on.  SO...I am going to give up mysteries for Lent and will focus on the considerably smaller selection of books remaining on my TBR list.

Flo's Goal:

I was lying in bed the other night thinking about how often for Lent people give up something they love...making it that much more of a sacrifice. You know now that the BookNerds have been talking about our  Lent For BookNerds Challenge, so I tried to think about how that realization relates to this. And I thought -- pretty much right away -- of something I love in books: a love triangle! It's the heart of our BookNerds in Love Triangles features that we do every so often, and a popular YA story element -- because, really, what girl wouldn't want to have 2 eligible men into her?! Anyway, because it has become so popular and I love it so much...can I do without it? Can I sacrifice it?? So, for the next 40 days I will not be reading any books where the main story line involves a love triangle. This is going to be tough! But I think it will also give me appreciation for a nice, simple love story.

Tee's Goal:

 The other day Jacque and I were talking and she asked me how I was liking the Nook Santa Clause brought me at Christmas  . I told her it was great, I was getting a lot of Words with Friends and Angry Birds played on it, but I had yet to read one book on it. I CAN NOT MAKE MYSELF READ SOMETHING OTHER THAN A PHYSICAL BOOK!!! So for Lent, I have decided that I will read at least one book a week on my Nook. I have plenty on it, I started downloading right away, but they have just been sitting there! I am actually not giving up anything, but this is a challenge after all and I need forced on this!!! In a way I am giving up something...Im giving up my books, the one's I love to hold and smell...So wish me luck..I have a feeling this is going to be as hard as the Lent I gave up my Diet Coke......

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent for Book Nerds Challenge

It is that time of year again.  It is Ash Wednesday and time for Lent.  One thing that the Book Nerds would like to say is that we would never push our beliefs onto anyone.  This was just a challenge that was discussed on Twitter and gave us an idea. 

For those who do not know, Lent is celebrated by many Christians and (mainly) Catholics.  It is when you sacrifice something or challenge yourself to something.  It can be anything really. Most of the time people give up something for the time of Lent  but the Book Nerds came up with something different.

For 2012, the Book Nerds are going to challenge themselves to read! It is simple, just read and review.  We each have set goals for ourselves to reach before the end of Lent.

We would love for others to join in on this challenge and see how many Book Nerds we can get!  It does not matter the book, just read and review.

Keep watching the posts and looking for the hashtag #Lent4BN on Twitter!

picture cane from

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Jacque's Review: 

Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash--fast--but times are tough, and soon she's forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.

Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She's got no experience. But that doesn't matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father's Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water--wanted for murder.

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn't. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight--and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man. (Goodreads Overview)

I have had these books on my to-be-read list for a LONG time.  This is a VERY lengthy series (18 books as of the time of this post) which has been my number one deterrent.  I wasn't sure I wanted to tackle that many books in addition to all of the other series I started last year and still need to catch up on.  When I saw the movie was released last month starring Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum, I decided it was finally time to step up to the challenge.

This was a very fast read and highly entertaining.  I enjoyed watching Stephanie struggle to learn the finer points of becoming a bounty hunter.  There were a few situations that she got herself into that caused me to literally laugh out loud.  There were others that were downright frighting and would have had me running to the nearest unemployment office.  (Unemployment would have looked like a far better alternative to chasing down fugitives.) 

Once Stephanie realizes this is a life and death occupation, she begins to take things more seriously.  She seeks out the assistance of Ranger (another bounty hunter) and Eddie Gazarra (a relative that is a cop) to teach her how to shoot and successfully apprehend an FTA...a suspect that "failed to appear" for their court date.  None of her training goes to waste.  She has taken on a VERY dangerous occupation and does surprisingly well at it...given her limited amount of training and experience.  She manages to be in the right place at the right time and has reasonably good investigative instincts.  She isn't going to be working for the secret service anytime soon, but she manages to put food on the table and oil in her car.  (You will see what I mean by that last comment if you read the book.)

Overall...If you are looking for a fluffy, fun, read that doesn't require much thought...this series is for you.  I really liked the hot and cold relationship between Morelli and Plum and look forward to seeing what is in store for them in Two for the Dough.

Here is a link to the movie trailer.  If you have seen the movie please leave a comment.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  Personally, I am thinking this will be a rental.  I don't think I am willing to pay theater prices to see this one on the big screen, but I really do want to see it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Jacque's Review:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her. (Goodreads Overview)

When we first meet Luce, she is on her way to Sword & Cross as a last resort.  She was present at the time of a fire that killed Trevor, a student from her previous school, but she cannot recall what caused the fire.  She also has a history of perceived mental illness because she sees unexplainable shadows.  The shadows, along with her inability to explain her lack of involvement in Trevor's death, lands her at this new school.

At Sword & Cross all of the students must wear black, some of the students wear tracking devices that can issue a shock if needed, and they are all under constant surveillance.  The students are allowed one 15 minute phone call per week and the classes are far from typical.  This is the last place Luce wants to be, until she meets Daniel.  There is a bit of a love triangle, but Daniel is the only one Luce is REALLY interested in.  She has an odd feeling that she knows him from somewhere, but she isn't sure why.

It takes Luce the better part of the book to figure everything out, which was a little too much buildup and not enough action for me at times.  I really enjoyed the last third of the book, but I don't think I will rush right into Torment.  While I completely understand the concepts behind Revenants, Demi-Gods, Vampires, Shadowhunters etc...I didn't fully grasp the "shadows", which left me liking this book...but not loving it.  The paranormal elements were interesting and I think there is a lot of potential for this series.  Perhaps with further explanation and understanding from Torment, I will have greater appreciation of the series. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hour Game by David Baldacci

Jacque's Review:

When we left Sean King and Michelle Maxwell at the end of Split Second, the two ex-secret service agents had decided to open their own private investigation firm.  This book starts out with Harry, a local attorney, asking them to investigate his client's involvement in a burglary he doesn't believe he committed.  Junior is accused of stealing from a very wealthy family he was working for at the time.  There is SO much evidence pointing to Junior that Harry believes it has to be a set up. 

While King and Maxwell are investigating Junior's case, a serial killer strikes the small town of Wrightsburg, Virginia.  He has been toying with the authorities and copying famous serial killers from the past.  The killer is obviously not your run of the mill serial killer and the local police are baffled.  The chief decides to deputize King and Maxwell, which gives them full access to anything related to the investigation of the murders.  This is by far the smartest thing the chief could have done.  Without Sean, I have to believe they would still be looking for the killer.

As was the case in Split Second, Sean and Michelle manage to get themselves right into the middle of all of the action.  I was on the edge of my seat wondering how they would get themselves out of each potentially deadly situation.  There were clues throughout the book, which I missed almost every time, but Sean quickly picked up on and would investigate.  Clearly, this is why I am not an investigator.  I was not surprised by who the serial killer was, but why he did it was really the mystery.  There were two murders that were not the result of the serial killer. I was SHOCKED to find out who committed them and why.  Everything all comes together in the end thanks to Sean, but without Maxwell protecting him along the way...we never would have gotten to the bottom of this case.  Sean is one person that truly needs his own secret service agent watching his back. 

If you enjoy mysteries, I would highly recommend the King and Maxwell series.  I absolutely love these characters and can't wait to see what is in store for them in Simple Genius, the next installment in this series.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cornerstone By Misty Provencher

I would like to thank a friend from Twitter (@LuvMyHootie) who loaned me this book! I was not real sure about it but I knew that I had the weekend off and needed some new books to read.  It sounded interesting and I thought "Well, why not?"

Then I started the book and O.M.G...I could not put it down.  Now I know that you all understand my love for series books (and of course this is another series); however, this was a great series to start!  Misty Provencher is an awesome writer.  She makes you feel like that you are there.

Let me explain: Meet Nalena, a teenager who has a mother that hoards paper.  All her mother does is writes all the time! I mean ALL THE TIME!! Their house is full of paper! It is everywhere even to the point that they only use a microwave because the stove is full of paper!  This makes it very hard for Nalena and her social life - well, she does not have one because she is called "The Waste" at school and they make fun of her everyday because of her mother's issue.  So all Nalena does is run and spend time at the library because she can be away from her home and all the madness that goes on there and it keeps her away from others so they do not make fun of her. 

Then one day, while at the library, she meets a boy named Garrett.  Of course this changes her whole world.  In the time that she meets Garrett, Garrett's family, and her father - up until the end of the book - her whole life goes through a world-wind of changes.

This book will keep you guessing and wanting more the whole time.  I have no information on when the second book comes out but I will keep everyone updated! You can follow the author on twitter at: @mistyprovencher she is an awesome person and amazing author! Cannot wait until the second book comes out!!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. (From Goodreads)

This is a book I've been looking forward to reading for awhile. First, it got a lot of pre-release hype in the blogger community. I started following Tahereh on Twitter and she is just such a gem. Then, I fell in love with the cover when it was released. My plan was read Shatter Me as soon as it was released in November! But, as all BookNerds and book lovers know, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Then I found out that Tahereh might be coming down to my area in April for a book signing, and Shatter Me climbed its way back up to the top of my TBR list.

The style of this book definitely threw me in the beginning. Tahereh has the challenge of writing from the point of view of a character who has been in solitary confinement for almost a year. 264 days to be exact. And no matter how sane you are going on, you will start to go a little looney tunes after being locked by yourself in a room with no one to talk to for such a long time. So in order to show the conflicts going on in Juliette (the main character's) mind, Tahereh wrote some of her thoughts -- the deep down thoughts that Juliette thought but wouldn't really want to admit -- with strike-through text. I don't know if I really liked it after awhile. It was unique. The stream-of-consciousness style did not flow well to me as reader. It didn't give the story forward motion and make me want to keep reading. She did a good job of illustrating Juliette's mindset. I put the book down, almost stopped reading it, and ended up just skimming a lot of it until the action picked up. This beginning made the change in Juliette when she is finally able to be touched and to touch that much more intense.

Speaking of intense....these Juliette and Adam scenes?! WHOA. Juliette has never touched anyone or let anyone touch her in years. And now this hot, sexy man is touching her in all kinds of PG-13 ways. (Lol! I could not think of a way to write that phrase without it sounding wrong.) Tahereh does such a great job describing how it feels to Juliette...I mean, think about just how nice a simple embrace is. Now think about how nice a deep kiss from someone you love is. Now imagine never having felt anything like that before and suddenly it's all there and WHOA!!! For this reason, the scenes with Adam and Juliette were, hands-down, my favorite and what made the book for me.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Scary School by Derek Kent

Get a load of these teachers:

Ms. Fang, an 850-year old vampire

Dr. Dragonbreath, who just might eat you before recess

Mr. Snakeskin- Science class is so much more fun when it's taught
by someone who's half zombie

Mrs. T- Break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry 
Tyrannosaurus rex!

Plus...Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose.  The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch

And...The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost!

Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends - including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf - and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky! (Barnes & Noble Overview)

We were asked to review this book, which is for a younger audience, so I decided to ask my 7 year old son to read it with me. If he was a REALLY good boy and finished this "big boy" book...the BookNerds would give him the opportunity to write a guest post on our blog. (Only the child of a BookNerd would be excited about this opportunity, but he genuinely was.)

I usually struggle to get him to sit down and read for more than 15 minutes at a time. He is a typical 7 year old boy with endless amounts of energy. This is the first book that he actually wanted to continue reading. He would ask to read Scary School and then he would want me to read an extra chapter or two when it was already past his bed time. Since I would never discourage a BookNerd in training from reading...I always agreed.

I probably enjoyed reading this with him as much as he did. It really is a cute story that will capture the interest of elementary and middle school children.

Preston's Review (with some help from Mom)

I LOVED all of the silly characters in this book. With each chapter there seemed to be a new and very unusual character added, which really held my attention. I thought it was really funny when one of the teachers got in trouble for being late to class. The reason why he was late was very fitting. I also REALLY liked the science teacher. If I had a teacher like that, I'm sure I would remember everything that was taught.

As if a school where students can be eaten by a dragon, crushed by the principal, or turned into a vampire isn't scary enough to a first grader...scary school joined the Ghoul Games. This is a competition with other scary schools where the winners get to EAT the losers. While all of this may sounds scary, I thought this book was very funny. I loved all of the pictures because they really helped me to visualize what all of the scary school characters looked like.

This is the first book that I have read with over 200 pages. I told my Mom to give this book 5 stars and I really want to read the next scary school book.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Interview with Nicole Williams

I know that I have been going on and on about the Eden Trilogy but TRUST ME they are amazing! The second that I put down United Eden Book 3 I rushed to my computer to email Nicole Williams, the author.

I begged for an interview on my hands and knees (well maybe that is a bit much but I did beg) and she was so sweet and kind to grant me and interview. 

1.     I also love to ask the authors that are interviewed why did they become authors?  I do this because I have gotten some very funny answers before and some that are really moving.  So, my first question is: why did you become an author?

My reason doesn't have a funny flair to it, nor is it particularly moving, but it is quite meaningful to me of course. My passion for reading goes back to my first memories, but my love of writing came a bit later. In third grade I started participating in an annual Young Writer's conference. To prepare, we got to write, illustrate and create a cover and binding for our book and I remember feeling so proud and excited to show my finished product to anyone I could corner. Then in sixth grade, we were tasked with writing a story over the course of a month. Each week we'd get together in small groups and read our latest progress to our group and the members of mine couldn't wait to hear what was going to happen next in mine. And I couldn't wait to write more. Once the assignment was done I continued writing it, until I realized it was a never ending story and capped it off around eighty pages or so.

Fast forward a decade and a half and I find my love for reading waning and I'm able to pinpoint it to the books I'm immersing myself in. I was mainly reading adult fiction at the time and found an ongoing theme that was far too realistic and depressing for my liking written in a melancholy voice. These were some solid works of fiction, don't get me wrong, but they just weren't "it" for me. So I wandered into the young adult section of a local bookstore and picked up a few titles, thinking, "why not?" and guess what? I was in love with reading again.

So much so, I decided that's what I needed to write. My passion was in escapism and fantasy and true love and happy endings, so that's what I wanted to create for others. So I put fingertips to keyboard and got after it. I didn't have any formal training as a writer; I'd taken several English courses in college before deciding a English Lit degree wasn't in the cards for me, so I picked up a ton of writing mechanics books. For the cost of a couple hundred dollars, I felt I got a very good education on novel writing 101. I finished Eternal Eden, my first book, in eight weeks. The first draft at least. I write like that, in huge bursts of creative energy where neither hungry or tired register. And once I'm done with a novel, I pay the price and have to catch up on all things of a human nature for a month or two before launching into my next one.

I became a writer because that's what I was meant to be, that's the passion that was born in me. I became an author because I took a leap of faith, didn't let the nay-sayers wear me down, and believed in myself.

2.    I fell in love with the relationship between Bryn and William and when I read the second book it was so hard to see the pain that Bryn was in.  Was this hard for you to write because of the bond that authors have with their characters?

It was very hard. William and Bryn are my first loves as far as characters go, and their love for one another sets the bar for other love stories I write, so I had to force myself to stick with the novel's outline or else it would have ended about two days after Bryn flew to Paris and then one or both of them decided to go get back the other. I had to create an intense playlist and listen to it over and over again while I wrote. I also had to make sure I got lots of sunshine to counteract the somber tone of the book.

3.    Patrick is so funny, loving, and an amazing character.  Did you mimic him after someone in your life or was it because he was just the opposite of William?

Patrick is partly mimicked after my brother, and partly created to provide plenty of comic relief as Bryn and William are a couple of serious characters. My brother is a smarty pants, too charming for his own good, and the life of a party. He doesn't surf, though (yet anyways) and he's married (sorry, ladies).

4.    I know that you announced that a new book will be out soon from Patrick's point of view.  Can you give us any details about the book and when it is coming out?

I'm so stoked about this book! For me, Patrick is an easier character to write than either Bryn or William because he never stops talking in my mind as I'm writing. I can't keep up with his internal dialogue. I'm about a week away from finishing the first draft. After that I'll do a couple weeks of revisions, send it off to my editor, and my goal is to have it out the first couple weeks of March. It's entitled, FISSURE, THE PATRICK CHRONICLES and highlights Patrick's life and shenanigans at the conclusion of The Eden Trilogy. The official jacket blurb will be released in a few weeks, but I can say that it's time to get out the black, ladies, because the man who loves all the women is about to fall hard for just one of them. Again.

5.    What is one thing that you love about writing Bryn and William?

I love that their relationship has the potential to inspire a woman who doesn't believe this kind of love can exist. I love that it can challenge them to set standards and stand by them. I love that women can potentially see a piece of themselves in the insecurities Bryn faces and come through a gauntlet of challenges to come out stronger and more confident on the other side. I love, loved, writing their wedding night; for me, that was a thousand pages and three years coming and I couldn't wait to get that down on paper.

Bonus Question:  With the popularity of werewvoles and vampires why did you choose Immortals?

I blame it on my crazy imagination and wanting to write a species of beings and a world I'd never read or heard about before. Of course there are parallel themes between the world of Immortals and other paranormal beings, but I really enjoyed digging into what purpose these beings who lived FOREVER would have other than just taking it one day at a time. So, yeah, I hold my imagination fully responsible for that one

Thank you so much Nicole for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with me! 


United Eden by Nicole Williams

It is here! Finally! The final chapter of Bryn and William! I LOVED every moment of this book.  There was the fear that the council would not let Bryn and William finally have their marriage and of course John is back.  However, we can always count on Patrick to be there for us .... or can we?

I am making this review very short and sweet because I do not want to ruin a single minute of the world-wind that is the Eden Trilogy! So here is it:

William = amazing, wonderful, caring, and there is no one that I could imagine Bryn being with. 
Patrick = funny, funnier, loyal, loving, and I cannot wait to see the book that Nicole Williams is writing from his point-of-view. That's right you heard me!!
Bryn = LOVE HER!! What else is there to say?  William and her make the perfect couple, she fits into the family so well, and ......... wait for it ............. do her eyes change color??? (hehe)

I love them all and I love this series.  I am sitting on the edge of my seat for Nicole and her new book!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Read Along

Dead to You by Lisa McMann

Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable... (GoodReads)

The release date is February 7, 2012.

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Jacque's Review:

It was a really long wait from the time I finished the ARC of Wolfsbane until the release of Bloodrose, but it was well worth it. 
The final installment in this series presents the guardians and searchers with the task of collecting the remaining three pieces of the elemental cross in order to rid the world of the keepers and their magic.  Of course, each piece is in a remote location and is protected by magic and enhanced creatures. 

In order to bring the love triangle back into the mix, Calla and one of the searchers rescue Ren and convince him to join their side of the fight.  The tension between Ren and Shay is high throughout the book.  I was on the edge of my seat until the very end just waiting to see if my team would win. 

The book was full of action and we were able to connect with several of the characters on a more personal level.  More relationships develop throughout the book and in some cases finally come to fruition after years in the making.  As Andrea already told us, war does not come without loss.  There are numerous losses on both sides.  Some were absolutely shocking to me, but in the end I was very happy with how this series came to a close. 

After looking back through my GoodReads account...I realized this is one of the few series in which I gave ALL of the books 5 stars.  This truly is an exceptional series.  Fortunately for us, with the end of the Nightshade series comes the beginning of Andrea's next series.  Rift will be the first installment in a Nightshade prequel series that is scheduled to be released on August 7th.  Since I am fortunate enough to be the one selecting the BookNerds read along in August, you can probably guess what it will be.

Mary's Review

I am going to dive right in with what I did not like about the book.  I know that the BookNerds really enjoyed this book.  On the other hand, I did not.  First, it bounced around too much for me.  Not just with the love triangle between Calla, Ren and Shay.  I thought that there was too much going on in the different areas that they went too and all the different missions.  I understand that there had to be to keep up with the storyline but I did not enjoy it. 

Second, was Ren.  I know and understood what Anderea was doing when she was writing Ren's storyline but I still do not have to like it.  With certain parts of Ren's storyline I was just thinking in my head "Really!? Where is this going?" 

Third, I did not like the ending of the book.  Again, I understand why Andrea wrote the storyline the way that she did, but I do not have to like it. 

Now with all of that out of the way I can tell you what I did like.  I loved the Sabine storyline! I thought what she did for Ansel was very thoughtful and caring! I really liked that.  I also love Connor and his comic humor throughout the book. 

Here is the surprise of the day...... Even though I am TEAM REN I did enjoy seeing Calla and Shay's love blossom a bit.  I felt that Andrea wrote their relationship well and you could really feel the struggle that Calla went through with Ren and Shay. 

I love the fact that Calla's Dad came to the rescue for her too and that he killed Emile.  I loved the ending with the wolves and Ren.  That was very moving and i am sure that was hard for Andrea to write.

Overall, I like the series but it is not one of favorites.  However, one thing is for sure ..... I am always going to be TEAM REN!

Flo's Review

Oh, Andrea Cremer! The emotion you put me through!! What an intense ending for this great trilogy. The first great thing about Bloodrose was that chapter one had an amazing Team Ren scene -- and the greatness continued from there! The tension between Ren and Shay was pretty thick throughout this book. The love triangle was definitely most defined in this one. At times their bickering was a little annoying, but overall it was great to see that both guys genuinely loved Calla. I also enjoyed a scene where Calla goes to Ansel and Brynn to talk about her feelings and she's struggling the whole time -- hilarious! Actually, there was a lot of funny dialogue in this book that kept me chuckling throughout the seriousness of the situation. Another funny scene was the one involving the Water part of the elemental cross...let's just say, wolves and water don't mix! I really enjoying seeing all the challenges they had to face to get the remaining pieces of the cross. Of the three books, Nightshade is my favorite, but I'd definitely put Bloodrose at second.

Teri's Review

WHAT. A. ENDING. Andrea Cremer had me from the beginning on this book, and I was glad because I had been a bit disappointed in the last one.Don't get me wrong, it was still good, but so many times Middle Books seem like filler to get us to the great ending waiting in the 3rd book. Seriously tho, I could not put Bloodrose down, and I begged my fellow Booknerds to hurry and read so I could vent to them! Talk about action...this book defiantly had it, you could barely take a breathe from one page to the next. And the ending.... Well, wasn't REALLY to my liking, but it had to end and I thought Cremer did well at ending it.
Us Booknerds are "Team" people..we each have our teams we love, and they are not always the same ones. This series was hard for me. Usually I know right off which Team I will be joining. Nope, not this one. I spent my time as I read confused, Ren or Shay..Ren or Shay. Finally in the middle of Bloodrose, I knew without a doubt where I belonged and then BOOM the rug is pulled out from under me in the worst way ( I am refraining from telling you my allegiance due to spoilers for you who have not read yet) I will say this..if there was a Team for Mason ..or Connor I would def. hop on board. I loved these two. They provided me with laughs when I needed them without it being forced into the story.
This book was ended perfectly, tho there was a bit of a Twist in the ending and I didn't see it coming. Yet, its hard also for me to say I loved the me it was just Bittersweet.

Goddess Interrupted (The Goddess Test #2) by Aimee Carter

Bella Swan gets a lot of flack. I personally think she is one brave girl. In the first book, Twilight, after finding out that the guy she has only know for a few months is a vampire, she's like, "That's cool. You won't hurt me." That takes guts! But she ends up getting a bad rap for when he leaves in New Moon and she just gets all mopey for several months instead of doing something productive.

Kate Winters was similar to me in Goddess Interrupted. The book was one big spinning wheel of listening to Kate feeling insecure and everyone telling her she has no reason to. I mean, I understand the scenario -- I do. Your husband is obviously in love with a woman who broke his heart and you feel like you can never live up to that. It sucks, it does. But the entire middle section of the book was Kate thinking about how she felt insecure, whining to the other gods that she feels insecure, then whining to Henry to do something about it. AND THEN she has the audacity to get mad at James for something he did thousands of years before she even existed! Really, Kate?! You're going to hold that against your best friend??!? And then the straw that broke the camel's back for me was when some chick she didn't even know had to reassure her that Henry loved her. Because it wasn't enough to hear it from her mother and all the other gods!

I have to be honest...I almost gave up halfway though this book.

I'm glad I didn't, though. I had heard all these mysterious comments about a cliffhanger ending -- and it is. I wasn't expecting any part of that at all! And for all my whining about the middle of the book, it made the final scenes between Kate and Henry that much sweeter.

I am expecting great things for The Goddess Inheritance. It will start off with some great action, and I think Kate will finally, truly be at her best and ready to help the other gods win the war.


Click here to read my review of The Goddess Test.

I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley.