Thursday, September 29, 2011

You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

First off, thank you to and EgmontUSA publishing for the chance to read an advanced e-copy of this book!

This book was told from two alternating points-of-view: Sophie, a 14 year old girl who is homeschooled and forced to live a somewhat reclusive life with her mother, moving frequently to escape the "No Good", and Emmy, a "simple-minded" 19-year-old mom to her much-adored Baby.

In the brief time that Emmy leaves Baby outside to get something out of the house, Baby is taken. Emmy is consumed with grief and fruitless searching efforts, resulting in a mental breakdown. Her husband, who appears to be abusive, has her committed to psychiatric care. But all Emmy wants is to get out and find Baby.

Sophie is tired of being kept behind closed doors. While her mother is at work, she develops a secret friendship with her next door neighbors, a young boy named Joey and his aunts Miss Cloris and Miss Helen. Sophie wonders about her mother's past, which she won't talk much about. Miss Cloris encourages her to search for answers. What she finds out will change her life forever...

I am going to make a confession first -- this is the very first e-book that I have EVER read! Cool, huh? I will always WAY prefer "real" books, but netgalley is such a cool website! Anyway, I really did enjoy this book. The author uses very poetic language that is just beautiful. I liked the alternating view points too - it made things more interesting. And I was intrigued from beginning to end. A beautiful, emotional and quick read!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Need by Carrie Jones

From inside the book:

"Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara."

I read a lot of paranormal titles, but this is the first "pixie" book I have read - which automatically differentiated it from all the other ones I've read. Sometimes, paranormal stuff kind of sounds the know, especially the vampires and wolves. I also loved how each chapter was named after a phobia...being a psychology major, that really caught my attention! This book had romance, action, and a satisfying ending...what more could you ask for? I did find the writing to be a little too "teenager" for me at times, lol. I know, I know - it IS young adult, but that was my main complaint. I will be reading the next books in the series in the future! I give it 4 stars.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Library Jackpot!!

This is what happens when I am on a book buying ban -- I go CRAZY at the library, lol!!

I had 4 holds come in:

Divergent by Veronica Roth - I've been SUPER excited about this dystopian! And I've been on the hold list forever!

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan - I read the first 2 over the summer, so I'm excited to read the conclusion to the trilogy!

Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin - someone on a mommy board I belonged to recommended this one, and I've had it on hold since it was first being processed by the library

The Babysitter Murders by Janet Ruth Young - I am the very first to read this copy! I've had it on hold since it was first ordered by the library!

Stolen by Lucy Christopher - my friend Tristen said it was awesome! She turned it in at the library, and I snatched it up a couple hours later, lol!

Compulsion by Heidi Ayurbe - I love stories about psychological disorders. This one is about OCD.

Captivate by Carrie Jones - I'm reading the first one, Need, right now.

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting - I just finished the first of this series, The Body Finder.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzgerald - been wanting to read this for a long time!

So, what have you gotten from your library lately?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

From the inside cover:

"Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies - or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world...and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer - and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer...and becoming his prey herself."

Honestly, the first 100 pages or so were really slow, and I kind of had a hard time getting into was more focused on Violet and Jay's burgeoning romance. But, once we are introduced to the actions of the serial killer, and the following pursuit, it really picks up. In several parts, my heart was literally racing!

I did love the romance between Jay and Violet. I've always had a soft spot for those "childhood best friends-turned love interest" relationships. His protectiveness of Violet made me melt.

I cannot imagine having a "gift/curse" like she has - sensing echoes of those who met an untimely demise. Even animals!

I was going to give this book 3.5 stars out of 5 - BUT, the ending!! Oh my goodness, the ending bumped it up to a 4. I am not going to spoil it - you will just have to read it for yourself...but I can say that I will definitely be getting the sequel Desires of the Dead.

In My "Mailbox", or rather, Inbox - 3rd week of September

My mailbox has been sad lately as it hasn't been seeing many books :( But, my friend, Tristen, introduced me to a website,, where you can request advanced e-books for free from publishers. Now, I am not a big fan of reading on my computer - it gives me a headache. But, how can I say no to a free book? Exactly. I can't. Now, it will NEVER, EVER replace a real book in my hands - but, hey, desperate times call for desperate measures...Anyway, here are some of the galleys I've been approved for this week.

This sounded really interesting to me. I'm about 75 pages into it, and it is proving to be a fast, interesting read. Will review it when I'm done.

This sounded interesting to me too...and it was available immediately! Gotta love instant gratification!

I had seen a lot of bloggers mention this book, and it sounded interesting, so I have to check it out!

I have Raised by Wolves on hand from the library, and I've heard it's really good, so I am excited to read this book by the same author.

I also received SEVERAL galleys for my 10 year old daughter to read on her kindle at school. We're having a bit of an issue getting them to appear on her kindle, so we'll see how it works out.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Best books: GIVE AWAY Shifting by Bethany Wiggins

Best books: GIVE AWAY Shifting by Bethany Wiggins: Shifting by Bethany Wiggins After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

From inside the cover:

"When a virus makes everyone over the age of 18 infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

16 year old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody's doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls' lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common."

I LOVED this book! Goodreads doesn't allow for "half stars", but I would rate it a 4.5/5. Although thinking about if our society was like this one makes me cringe, the plot is just so different and unusual - in a totally good way. It was never boring, and a very quick read - both major pluses to me. I loved how Melody and Harmony's relationship deepens throughout the book, and also Melody's relationship with Zen. The religious aspect of the book was intriguing as well.

I would say this book is for those over the age of 14...a LOT of sexual content (obviously...) and some rather strong language (maybe 5 instances).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

This book was sent to me by Quirk publishing for review. Thank you Quirk, and Mr. Winters, for giving me the opportunity! :)

This story is about Alex and Susan Wendt, and their young daughter, Emma. The book begins with their search for a bigger home. It is hard to find a larger home that is affordable for an up and coming gem photographer and a stay at home, aspiring artist. So, when they find an apartment, with not only a second bedroom, but a bonus room perfect for an art studio, at a low price, it seems too good to be true. The landlady, Andrea, is an elderly woman who seems to take a special liking to the young family and is willing to do anything to make the apartment more comfortable for the Wendts.

Shortly after moving in, the house's imperfections become apparent. Strange smells, warped floorboards, a strange pinging sound...they all seem harmless, don't they? Then one night, Susan woke up to discover a small spot of blood on her pillow. Or could it be paint? After seeing reports of widespread bedbug infestations, Susan becomes obsessed with the idea that they may have them. Another night she wakes up to a bite on her shoulder, and that is all it takes to convince her. Even when an expert exterminator declares them bedbug free.

The bites seem to become worse, and Susan seems to start seeing bugs everywhere in the apartment. However, she is the only one that can. A doctor convinces Alex that she has a psychiatric condition, but Susan KNOWS that there are bedbugs are lurking, and for some reason they are coming ONLY for her.

*shudder* Horror is not a genre I normally read. And I am reminded why. This book was very disturbing. The first 175 pages or so seemed relatively benign, but after that....let's just say I had to skim over some of it, because I was literally starting to feel nauseous.

If you are a fan of horror, you will probably love this book. I could totally see this being made into a successful scary movie. The first half of the book kind of drags a bit, but it definitely makes up for it. I, personally, did not care for the story, because I've never been a horror fan. If I was not reading this for review, I would have given it a 2 out of 5 on goodreads. However, keeping my personal feelings out of it, I think it deserves a 3. I think the characters were a little unrealistic at times, the writing was ok, but not superb, and the story was slow in the beginning. There was also a detail that really stuck out in my mind and bothered me. In a scene where the handyman is cleaning the smell out of the bonus room, the book says "Now the room smelled thickly of cleaning fluids, of bleach and ammonia" which implies that bleach AND ammonia were used in the cleaning. Well, most people know that if you combine bleach and ammonia, a deadly fume is formed. If he did in fact use both substances, it is likely that they would not have remained conscious in that small room.

Overall, a good choice for fans of creepy stories.