Tag Archive | 2014

Book Signing Adventures: Christopher Moore

This signing may have been back in April, but it was still an absolutely amazing event!

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After I graduate college I came across You Suck and adored Moore’s writing. One of my close friends is a major fan so I offered to join him for this amazing appearance.

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Moore was witty, charming and even gave out goodies! (Soxx-long story).

We sat for a good amount of time, 30-45 minutes? It didn’t matter, hearing Moore talk was hilarious, engaging and full of charm.

Then came the signing. That took much longer, and the best part was that my friend discovered that his dad already had meet Moore himself and signed the copy of Lamb he’d nicked from home.

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My friend decided to just hand it to Moore to see what he would do. He signed it again. Two perfectly matched signatures, more then ten years apart.

Moore wasn’t supposed to pose for pictures either. He is seriously one cool author.

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I finally picked up The Serpent of Venice, I hope to get through it this month. I have so many books to catch up on for my Goodreads challenge and this is going to be one of them!

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It was a pleasure to hear Moore speak, and even more to meet him in person. I look forward to his future books and can only hope he’ll return someday to Seattle.

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Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Screen shot 2014-10-12 at 21.01.27A wealthy family. A summer of traditions. Three months of secrets. Can you discover what they’re trying to hide?

We Were Liars is one of those books were it’s best that the reader doesn’t know much about the book. It’s best to just dive in and don’t come up for air until you’ve finished. This mysterious tale will keep you ripping through the short and sweet chapters, wondering who is behind the current situations that the characters are in. 

This is an emotional book. Readers will fall into either one of two categories, those that understand and those that don’t. It’s as simple as that. If you understand, then you’ll love this book. If you don’t, well, this book won’t be for you. How can you tell? You can’t, but because it’s so short, it’s seriously worth a read. It’s quick with a punch to the gut. E. Lockhart has outdone herself with this haunting tale of a family and what happened one fateful summer. Are you brave enough to find out?

 

 

Book Review: The One by Keira Cass

The One

Screen shot 2014-10-12 at 21.34.53The wait is finally over. The Selection is coming to a close. America is sure who Maxon will choose as his bride.

Or does he? The Selection is down to four girls, and as tensions rise within this love competition, they’re just as high outside of the palace. The war is getting worse. The enemy keeps pushing for the end of the castes and the royal family. Maxon’s caught in the middle. Between choosing a bride and learning to lead his country, all eyes are on this pretty boy prince. Who will he choose? How will the country react?

I’ve absolutely adored The Selection series. I didn’t want to, but I gave up about two chapters into the first book. There is just magic within these stories. The idea is simple: the story of a girl that doesn’t actually want to be a princess, but she cares about her family. America comes from good stock. For a teenager it’s no wonder she can’t decide what her heart wants at seventeen. She doesn’t buy into the fantasy of the future, which makes her actions more understandable. 

Also, for those that have read this book. Celeste. If anything, finishing the series alone for Celeste. 

Cass doesn’t hold back in this conclusion. I waited months before reading because I wasn’t ready for the series it end. But end it is and Cass does a wonderful job. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

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If you’re looking for a shocking, in your face retelling of The Wizard of Oz, look no further than Dorothy Must Die. There is a reason this book has been trolling through social media. Yes. It is that good!

Alternative Amy Gumm is struggling to get through high school, but she’s used to that. With a druggie mother, Amy’s used to taking care of herself. That is, until the storm arrives. Amy is whisked away to the merry old land of Oz. Except, life here isn’t so merry anymore. The citizens are suffering, a war is brewing and magic is being sucked out of the land. Who could would do such a thing to this amazing place?

Dorothy. And she must die. 

Forget all you once knew about Oz. Amy definitely isn’t in Kansas anymore, but she’s not in the Oz she remembers either. With stark wit and a blend of political violence that’s wrapped up in a magical red bow, Dorothy Must Die will change the way you recall the Emerald City. It will still make you reach for the book again and again, wondering what is going to happen next. This debut in the series sets the world, characters and goal beautifully. You’ll see the glittering bricks, smell the toxic poppies and will be blinded by what Dorothy has become. Which side will you take? Are you with Dorothy or against her? For Amy, it’s clear where she belongs, and she’s not afraid of Dorothy. 

Many thanks to HarperCollins for providing me this book in exchange for a honest review. 

Book Review: The Body in the Woods by April Henry

The Body in the Woods
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(Please note this book was given in exchange for an honest review)

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.”

I struggled. I wanted to like this book, but what it comes down to is the writing style. The subject matter, the tone, the mystery, the thrill, it all had potential. It gets lost with the fact that the writing is for middle grade readers. As the story deals with murder, and explains a lot about a dead body and has a killer snatching another girl, I feel the writing doesn’t fit the subject?  With some work, I feel the writing can get there. 

Good things: I loved Alexis. Her profile, her strength and her determination is fantastic. Out of all the characters, Alexis was the only one that I felt nearly reached passed the middle school reading age writing. Her story arc is troubling, but she tries to push forward no matter what happens. She’s admirable and she gives a lot to the story. All of her chapters were my favorite. 

I loved the mystery aspect. The who-dunnit that kept you guessing until the end. Although the reader finds out before the characters, I didn’t see the killer coming (I guess I need to read more mysteries) and I loved how the author used the reveal of the killer to add more thrill with her main characters.

Also a fan of the premise – Search and Rescue in Oregon. Awesome idea. It’s new and interesting. The series has the ability to go places. 

In the end I wish there had been a better pairing. The writing is great for eight-year olds (think Goosebumps), but I wouldn’t want eight-year-olds reading about people killing teenage homeless girls. A bit much. I give much praise for Alexis, and I hope the author can improve Ruby and Nick up to her level. All three teens had excellent backgrounds, it’s just that for their ages Ruby and Nick need to be more mature, they act and sound like they’re ten. 

Don’t agree with me? Want to decide about this book for yourself? The Body in the Woods is out on Tuesday! June 17th! Pre-order now and tell me how you found it! I love a good book discussion. Even better – April Henry is running a special promotion with the amazing Powell’s bookstore in Portland, OR next week:

During the first week The Body in the Woods is on sale, for every copy purchased in person at Powells or online at Powells.com, I will donate $1.69  to MSCO SAR”

Many thanks to NetGalley and Henry’s publisher, Henry Holt and Co for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

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Steven’s contemporary and captivating story of Alexi Littrell and Bodee Lennox is a cross between a who-dunnit mystery and coming of age story.

Something terrible has happened to Alexi over the summer. She is unable to even say the word that haunts her dreams and causes her to scratch the back of neck into a bloody mess. I adore that Alexi isn’t seen as the ‘leader’ of her group of friends, she is in fact the opposite; a third to a pair that have been best friends for ages. I feel this is a more realistic side of teenage friendships. Teenage girls aren’t always worried about their boyfriends; their girlfriends matter just as much and can be lost just as easily. The story becomes more genuine and relatable. 

Bodee comes with his own heartbreaking story. The wallflower, brought into Alexi’ home because his father murdered his mother. What little he can express is his hair color choice through the use of Kool-Aid. He leans on Alexi for support in ignoring the next step in his future. Together they engage on a routine of comfort and safety, but also of ignoring the resolution for their conflicts. 

Alexi and Bodee need to each other to faking being normal. Their relationship is crafted in a subtle yet truthful way of how teens can become close and yet then change their minds about how they feel about someone.

Stevens weaves a web for Alexi and Bodee as the year carries on, each with a deadline, romance and conflict in order to see the light to stop hiding from their secrets. The final chapters will have you on edge, staying up late into the evening wondering who has hurt Alexi. Faking Normal is executed with a spot on message and with grace for her characters. This stand-alone is not to be missed.

Book Review: Split Second by Kasie West

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*Note – This is the second book in the Pivot Point Series – may contain spoilers
For my review on Pivot Point

“Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.”

I loved Pivot Point, adored it! I was bummed when I learned that another book was being added to make it a two book series – I thought it ended in a excellent way. 

I wish I could say I was wrong. The style of Addie’s two different points of view was unique and exciting. I feel slightly let down by having it go to a two different characters point of view. The pace is slow going too. It picks up, but I wasn’t as enchanted as before. 

Still, I’m glad there’s only two books in this series. Addie and us the readers, get the closure we need. It is interesting to see how Addie goes about living her life outside of the compound, again, and getting more information about the inside government of it was clever. The direction this book went was probably the best it could go. I don’t know if it’s silly, but I just wish there was more to the book? 

West’s writing is nevertheless engaging and her characters are still full of secrets even when us readers are being taken again on a second ride with Addie. I highly recommend reading West’s work, and I look forward to branching out to her other books, but I have to end by saying Pivot Point was better, but Split Second is ok too.