Monday, February 28, 2011

If you Like...Delirium

Check out this week's If you like post!

Review: Orphan of Destiny

** WARNING - this is book 3 in the series - SPOILERS exist from the previous 2 books**

Tristan and his companions Robard and Maryam have finally made their way back to England. They managed to escape capture from Sir Hugh. However, Tristan became injured during the escape. Now he's trying to heal as they make their way North to deliver the package to Rosslyn.

As they make their way North, they encounter old friends, make new friends, learn of death and destruction of loved ones, and attempt to hide their tracks from old and new enemies.

They stop briefly at Robard Hode's estate before the three friends continue their journey. When they arrives at the end location, they encounter a grave danger that might cost them everything.

My Thoughts: The end of a great series filled with action, danger, friendship, betrayal, and loyalty. I love how the tale weaves in historical/mythical people such as Robard Hode (Robin Hood), Maryam (Maid Marian), Little John, and Friar Tuck with the Holy Grail. I loved the series. The map was great. I wish there had been an historical note at the end of the series explaining the historical elements of the tale.

Cover Thoughts: I adore these covers because they bring forth the action of the series and they're eye catching!

Source: my library

Similar Read: Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times

Challenge: YA Historical Fiction Challenge

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mysterious Saturday Review: Orchid Affair

Laura Grey doesn't want to be a governess anymore. She applies to the Selwick Spy School. After completing her training, she's sent to France to infiltrate the house of Andre Jaouen - as a governess.

Known as the Silver Orchid, she's to teach his two children. On her first day, she takes the children to the bookstore to select reading material for them. It's also the place where she'll receive messages from the Pink Carnation herself.

However, as soon as they return, Monsieur Jaouen forbids them to leave the house. Laura isn't sure how she'll receive her messages now, but she's determined not to let M. Jaouen intimidate her. She stands up to him as much as she possibly can without getting fired.

Gradually she begins to unravel the secrets in the house of the man second in line to Bonaparte's minister of police. As she learns more about her employer, will she find her heart changing?

My Thoughts: I love this series! It's one of my favorites. I enjoyed this new spy's tale in the heat of the French Revolution. I liked the devious plots, the false leads, and how everyone wasn't what they seemed. I liked watching the relationship between Laura and the children grow. I loved the banter between Laura and M. Jaouen. I loved the present day parallel story between Eloise and Colin. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

Cover Thoughts: I love the parts of the city in the background and how it goes with the rest of the books in the series.

Source: My Library

I also met Lauren Willig last month in New Haven. She was charming and funny. Sadly I didn't take any pictures of the event. She did pass around cupcakes. I was very happy to see her. Plus YA author Jennifer Lynn Barnes was there too. It was great seeing her again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ten Things: Adult Romantic Mysteries

As you know, I'm a huge mystery reader. I read mostly cozies and love the splash of romance in them. Here's a few of my favorite romances in mysteries/thrillers

Stephanie Plum series: I'm a Ranger fan, but I love the choice between him and Joe
Truly Madly: I love the idea of the cupids in this series and that fact that Lucy doesn't have the gift. She still manages to snag Sean's attention.
How to Murder a Millionaire: the Blackbird Sisters series: I love the pull between Nora and Michael. Plus Michael's family connections make it all the more interesting.
Hannah Swensen Mysteries: The choice between Mike and Norman doesn't seem that hard - until life gets in the way.
Some Girls Bite: A paranormal mystery, but I love the tension between Merit and Ethan
Size 12 Isn't Fat: Heather relies on Cooper more than she realizes
Savannah Reid mystery: It's not an entirely romance relationship but the banter and the potential between Savannah and Dirk are amazing.
Domestic Bliss Mystery: What starts as immediate dislike could grow into to something more between Erin and Steve. I love their banter and all the design talk.
Givenchy Code: A strange deadly game brings Melanie into the arms of a handsome strange.
Coffeehouse Mystery: I love the smell of coffee you can sense all through this series. I like how Clare can't keep her thoughts to herself. Mike Quinn definitely gets under her skin

What about you?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

If You Like Vampire Diaries...

Check out this post from Reclusive Bibliophile for more books, movies, TV shows, and music recommendations from other bloggers (including me)

Cover reveal: Vanish

It's FINALLY here! After all the twitter teasing, here it is.
And it looks AWESOME!

I can't wait to read it. I love how they kept the face scales and I LOVE the font!

Simply amazing.

Now if only Sept would hurry up

Review: Paranormalcy

Evie is sort of Normal. She has tutors - it doesn't matter that they are werewolves. She has a best friend - it doesn't matter that she's a mermaid. She has a room- it doesn't matter that she's never had a home and she lives in a facility. She has a job with the International Paranormal Containment Agency.

Evie has a special talent. She can see past glamours. She can see what they really look like and because of her talent, she's invaluable to IPCA.

Strange things are happening in the world, the paranormals are dying. No one knows what's happening or why they are dying. Tensions are running high. Evie has some ideas but no one is listening to her.

When she befriends the boy who broke into the facility, he starts to open her eyes. Before long, she's questioning everything she's ever known.

My Thoughts: I devoured this book. I loved the unique world of Evie and how she tried to understand her world and her place in it. I loved her kick butt attitude, her sense of style, and her thrill for breaking the rules. I loved how her relationship developed with the boy who broke into the facility. This book has it all: friendship, danger, romance, fashion, and a question of belonging. A wonderful debut! I can't wait to read Supernaturally.

Cover Thoughts: Loved the cover! Simply Amazing

Source: My library

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reviews: Tale of Two Pretties

Warning **** SPOILERS from the previous novels ****

With Massie's family news, the clique reels from shock. The New Year is bringing all sorts of surprises. Massie's broke, Alicia's psychic mentions she could be upgrading to an Alpha, Dylan's family has a new reality show and she's sworn to secrecy, Kristen won a spot on an elite soccer squad which means she's giving up all her free time, and Claire's family bought a house and she's moving out of the Block estate.

Each of the Pretty Committee member holds on tight to her secret. No one wants the group to change. Little by little the secrets spill forth. Could this be the end of an era or will their ah-mazing luck keep them together again?

My Thoughts: I'm sad the Clique has ended, but I love the ending. I also love Lisi Harrison's letter to her readers explaining the reasons for the ending and dedicating this book to them. A fun flirty series featuring mean girls, fashion, boys, crushes, frenemies, friendships, and being true to yourself. I loved the differences between Claire and Massie and the ending between them.

Cover Thoughts: Cute - as always

Source: My library

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Times Squared

Twins Emma and Payton can't believe their good luck. They're both going to New York City for a school field trip. Emma and her mathletes will be competing in an elite tournament, while Payton and the drama club will be attending an off-Broadway show.

They couldn't be more excited - until they arrive.

All Emma wants to do is study for the math event. The competition is fierce, especially right in her class. Jazmine James isn't going to go down without a fight. Emma is soon forced into joining the drama club and their activities. Can she keep her focus long enough to sweep her competition?

Payton can't believe the star of the off-Broadway show is none other than Ashlynn from summer camp. It's her worse nightmare come true. Now, everyone will know about her Summer Slave days, unless she becomes Ashlynn's stage slave.

Through drama, math, friendship, frenemies, and boy drama, the twins barely have time to enjoy their field trip. With so much going on, could they actually be thinking of switching places yet again?

My Thoughts: The third book in this series is full of fun, humor, drama, sisters, friendship, boys, and being comfortable in your own skin. I love these books, as they're wonderful reads for tweens. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble Emma and Payton will fall into next!

Cover Thoughts:

Source: My library -reviewed also for where I gave it 5 stars

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Birthmarked

On the night Gaia performs her duty as a midwife for the first time, her whole life changes. Daughter to a famous midwife, Gaia can't help but want to follow in her mother's footsteps. Everything changes when she arrives home that night to discover the Enclave has taken both of her parents in for questioning.

The Enclave has questions for her two. She doesn't know what they're talking about, she is carrying a secret with her. Just before she found a soldier in her house waiting for her, an old family friend broke the news to her. Old Meg passes Gaia something from her mother, something that could be very dangerous to possess.

Gaia must make a decision. Will she believe everything the Enclave's taught her for the last 16 years or will her eyes be opened? Is there anything she can do to help her parents?

My Thoughts: This dystopian novel hooked me from the beginning. I liked watching the world unfold and how the capturing of her parents changed Gaia. The world was very interesting - an outside world dependent on a world inside walls ruled by a series of laws. With each world failing on it's own, one woman could have the key to changing both. Her daughter must decide what path to take. I loved the series of choices Gaia must make, the puzzles she deciphered, and the friendships she tested along the wat. A smart satisfying emotional read.

Cover Thoughts: I'm not crazy about the cover. Maybe I just don't understand it, but it just doesn't appeal to me.

Source: from the author

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mysterious Saturday Review: Killer Crop

At last harvest has arrived. Meg's busy taking orders from Bree, her orchard manager. She can't wait to start picking and spreading her apples around town. She doesn't count on things going wrong.

Meg didn't count on Bree falling and breaking her wrist. Now she's not allowed to pick. Hopefully with the other pickers and Meg, the apples can still be harvested on time.

Meg didn't count on her mother showing up on her doorstep unannounced. When her mother's followed quickly by the police, Meg knows that something's dreadfully wrong. When her mother's closed lip about the discovery of the death of an old friend, Meg doesn't know what to believe. She knows her mother didn't kill the man, but what is she hiding?

My Thoughts: I love this series - this is the fourth book. I love learning about the apples and in this one, the crop blossoms. I love the small town drama and how quickly gossip spreads. I love the academic plots, in Killer Crop, there's a side plot about Emily Dickinson. As I don't much about the poet, I enjoyed learning more about her life and her work. I loved the growing relationship between Meg and her mother. The mystery surrounds the academic world mentioning scholarly debates, publishing world, peers and adversaries. All in all, another great addition to the series.

Cover Thoughts: I Love it! I love the fall colors. It's just perfect for a Harvest Festival.

Source: My Library

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ten Things: Literary Crushes

The best books for me are when I become the character - and that means falling for the guy. So here' s another hard list to make, my top literary crushes.

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables
Harry Potter
Ranger from Stephanie Plum series
Valek from The Study Series
Michael Moscovitz from the Princess Dairies
Nash from Waiting for You
Jon Snow from a Song of Ice and Fire
Po from Graceling
Alex Rider

I know I could go on and on at length about several others, but who are some of your crushes that I missed?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: Love Off-Limits

Natalie writes for the school newspaper. Among other articles, she's in charge of the anonymous romance advice column. She feels like a hoax, because she's having the biggest romance doubts in her life.

She's been dating Jeremy for two years. Everything about him screams perfection. While she cares about him, she's afraid she's no longer in love with him.

It's the worst possible timing, as his parents are going through a divorce. She doesn't want to break up with him during his time of need, but she doesn't want to keep up pretenses of their failing relationship.

The worst part is she's having feelings for someone else - his best friend. How can she give advice to others when she can't even handle her own love life?

My Thoughts: LOVE OFF-LIMITS is a quick, entertaining read filled with humor, romance advice, self-doubts, and learning when to take a stand.

Cover Thoughts: This one doesn't pull me in either direction - it's ok, but not great and not terrible

Source: My Library - reviewed for

Challenge: Simon Pulse Ro Com Challenge.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: Starcrossed

In a country filled with tension and betrayal, Digger has a past that she's desperate to hide. One night, when things get out of control, she flees her old life. On the run, she comes across a group of people leaving the city, and she manipulates her way onto their ship.

She makes up a name and a convenient background. Digger becomes Celyn. As the group finds their way home, Celyn tags along. Reluctant to leave and cross boundaries without the proper papers, Celyn stays. She reinvents herself as a lady-in-waiting, attaching herself to Lady Merista.

Digger plans to leave Lady Merista the first chance she gets. However, circumstances change and, before she knows what's happened, she's snowbound in a castle.

Even worse, someone in the castle knows about her past. He's using that against her in order to find out more about her hosts. While she feeds him information, hating herself for it, she stumbles onto large secrets. She gives him just enough to keep him happy, all while trying to unravel the secrets for herself.

My Thoughts: After a slow start, STARCROSSED picks up with danger, romance, magic, double crossings, and secrets. Celyn's smart-aleck ways add touches of humor to an otherwise serious read. The action and danger of Celyn sneaking about the castle while uncovering clues and discovering secrets moves the plot along quickly. I couldn't wait to discover what she would uncover next, and I look forward to her next adventure.

Cover Thoughts: I like it - I like the spying aspect

Source: Reviewed for where I gave it 5 stars

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cover Reveal: Sweet Venom

I'm happy to be apart of TLC's Splash Team. She's an awesome author - I love her previous three books and simply CAN'T WAIT to meet the Medusa Girls!

Check out this awesome cover:
I love how the girl looks vulnerable, yet tough. I love the curls at the end of the braid and how it connects to the swirls from the title. It looks a little darker than Tera's other books and very intriguing!

Here's the teaser : Three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in a world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Doesn't that just sound AMAZING?

Too bad we have to wait until October 2011, Fall is SUCH a longs ways off...

Check out more info on the website
Add to your GoodReads list

Also check out the character collages for a quick look into the three girls. I love the collages, I can't decide which girl I think I'll like best. They all look fun!

What do you think?

Monday, February 14, 2011

If You Like...Valentine's Day edition

Check out this week's Valentine edition for your romance/love recommendations from book bloggers over at the fabulous Reclusive Bibliophile

What would you recommend?

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have a fabulous day filled with love and friendship and of course books!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mysterious Saturday Cover: Decadent Way to Die

Savannah's hired to look into a couple suspicious incidents in an feisty 80 year-old woman's life. Helene Strauss, famous doll maker, doesn't want to be bothered. She knows she's not going crazy. She relents and agrees to have Savannah dig into her family.

It's only when her housekeeper and her niece's boyfriend are found murdered in the hot tub that she agrees to more protection. Could someone in her family be looking forward to her wealth?

My Thoughts: Wow, this was filled with tension and a VERY serious issue. As a side story, Tammy becomes involved with a man. After the first meeting, it's clear that he's not a nice guy. McKevett delves into the horrors of having a friend in an abusive relationship. She writes about the signs, the interfering friends, and the strength of the abuser.

If you know someone in this situation, help them. Go to this website for more information.
If you're in this situation, call for help: National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE

I really love this series because I adore Savannah Reid. I love the way she adores food. I love her perfect night of chocolates, a bubble bath, and a great book. I love her relationship with Dirk, Tammy, and her grandmother. I love the way she takes care of everyone in her life and tries to keep them under her wing. I love her Southern Charm and her Southern words. I eagerly look forward to the next book in this amazing series. This mystery took a more serious tone because of this side story that made me cry for several minutes. It's a powerful emotional, addicting read that ends on a sweet note.

Cover Thoughts: Deliciously fitting

Source: My Library

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ten Things: YA Romances

This list was too hard to stop at just ten. I gobble up teen romances like candy. They're sweet, addicting, and hard to put down. Here's what made my list:

Anna and the French Kiss: Love the Paris setting and lots of angst

Graceling: a cross country adventure with a boy who might be your equal

Mediator series: Loving a boy who's a ghost and who saves you countless times

Boys Next Door: Finding true love with the boys your childhood friends

S.A.S.S. series: traveling to new countries and broadening your horizons while falling in love

Ripped at the Seams: holding on to your designing dream while on your own the city

Year in Europe: One year of traveling separately, three best friends who all fall in love with Europe and fall head over heels in love

Truth about Forever: A healing summer might mean welcoming chaos in your life and throwing caution to the wind.

Waiting for You: Finding the friend you thought you lost forever, in the form of a potential boyfriend

Novel Idea: falling in love over books

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book's I'm Dying to Read...

Magic, Regency England, and
Romance = sounds perfect


A test fit for a goddess
awesome premise!

Great first Viola novel
looking forward to book 2

Do I even NEED to say anything here?

Time traveling on board the Titanic!

I love prom books and the author!

Start of a new 39 Clues series!

Loved the first book,
can't wait to see what happens next!

a fun HF novel with a great cover!

Love this fun friendship series

I ADORE these series, so sad for them to end. One full of Hollywood drama and the other awesome action and thrilling danger.



I LOVED Hex Hall and can't wait
to see what happens next for Sophie!


I've heard such good things about this one,
plus the COVER!

LOVED Princess for Hire,
Curious about this one,
sounds Very Good.


Love basketball books,
this sounds a little like Diary Queen

Hoping to
attend the launch party!
I'm a sucker for books about
the sight and murder mysteries!
Loved the first book, curious about
where this one will lead!

All these books will be coming out in March or

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You Rock: Fun Valentine Craft

I saw this craft and tried at the library with teens/tweens.

They loved the idea and the candy and had a great time making the ipods. Most of them took items home to make another one. I liked it because while it is a valentine project, I thought it was cool enough to get their attention. Plus I loved the idea of creating your own playlist - which is what I did.

Review:Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy isn't thrilled about her mother's decision to sell the house and move across the country. She's been living in her home alone for the last month. Now, it's time to head to Connecticut - her new home.

As Amy doesn't drive anymore, her mother's friend's son will drive Amy. Roger's headed for Philadelphia for the summer. Amy's mother has planned out their whole trip, including hotel stops along the way.

Roger isn't happy with this plan. In fact, the first thing they do is ditch the itinerary. Amy wants to head to Yosemite Park, a place she's frequented with her father and twin brother.

Her father died in a car accident. Her brother is secretly in rehab. Amy can't talk to anyone about his death. She keeps her feelings bottled up inside her and pushes everyone away. She's become really good at being invisible to the world.

The driving time doesn't allow her to hide from Roger. He asks her hard questions that make her think. He forces her to confront her feelings. As each mile passes, Amy starts to become more and more like her old self. She knows several places she wants to stop along the way - as she has unfinished business.

My Thoughts: I read this one because of an IF YOU LIKE IT post from Reclusive Bibliophile. I adored this book. I loved uncovering what really happened to Amy's father and her exploring her feelings towards the rest of the world as a result of the accident. I loved the fact that Roger has a secret of his own and watching him open up to Amy. I love how the adventure unfolds and the people they meet along the way. A great road trip novel!

Cover Thoughts: I like it - it fits with the romance and with the road trip theme.

Source: Inter-Library Loan

Similar Reads: Check out the blog post here
Winter Longing

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tween Tuesday Review: First Light

Peter's excited that he'll be allowed to travel with his family to Greenland. He's father is going on research trip. For years, Peter's heard tales, but now he's finally able to go too.

When they arrive, it's different than he imagined. It's super cold. There's so much snow. Plus, it's sometimes boring. With his father working and his mother writing, there's not much for him to do. He's supposed to keep up with his school work, but one can only do so much homework.

Often, he goes out exploring. One such trip leads him to discover Thea. Thea lives in a different world, underneath the snow and ice. She's never seen the sun until the day she sees Peter. Although it's dangerous to talk to him, she needs his help. Before she knows it, their worlds collide.

Will they be able to survive the collision?

My Thoughts: I read this for our fourth and fifth grade book club. After a slow start, I enjoyed the read. I liked the different perspectives and uncovering information about Thea's unique world. I love the idea of a snow world - perhaps because I'm from Vermont and I spent countless hours digging tunnels in the snow.

Cover Thoughts: I like this paperback cover MUCH better. I like how it brings the two worlds together.

Source: My Library