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Archive for October, 2012

 

 

by R.L. Naquin

Published July 30th 2012 by Carina Press

 

 

Summary:

I stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn’t imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I’d seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?

After all, I’ve always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don’t get me wrong, I like helping people—and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course…

 

 

Review:

 First, this is most definitely an ADULT ONLY book.  If you were to read just the beginning of the book you would think that this book is perfectly fine for teenagers, especially when you couple that with the title and cover image, but it is most definitely not a kid/teenager book.  The “bad guy” in the book is a demon, a demon who uses sex for fuel, enough said.

Even though there are a few adult scenes, overall this book was not all about sex, it is not a romance novel either, though I kept hoping it would become one.  I would call it more of a supernatural mystery.  Zoey, the main character, has a special ability, one that attracts monsters to her.  Through the interactions that Zoey has you learn that not all monsters are bad, she also gains a good friend and sidekick when Maurice the Closet Monster comes to her for help.  Zoey also makes a bunch of new friends and saves a few lives along the way, though, unfortunately, she is not able to save everyone.

This is a great start to what could be a very promising series.  Just remember, this is a very adult book with a very graphic sex scene near the end, so be aware of this when you recommend this book to anyone.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.

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by Coleen Kwan


Published June 25th 2012 by Carina Press

 

 

Summary:

Five years ago, Asher Quigley broke his engagement to Minerva Lambkin, believing she was an accomplice in a scheme to steal his prototype for a wondrous device. Minerva swore she was innocent, though the thief–and Asher’s mentor–was her own father.

Now, sheer desperation has driven Minerva to Asher’s door. Her father has been kidnapped by investors furious that he’s never been able to make the machine work. Only Asher, now a rich and famous inventor in his own right, can replicate the device. He’s also become a hard, distant stranger far different from the young idealist she once loved.

Despite their troubled past, Asher agrees to help Minerva. He still harbors his suspicions about her, but their reunion stirs emotions and desires they both thought were buried forever. Can they rebuild their fragile relationship in time to save her father and their future together?

 

 

Review:

First, I have never ever commented on a cover before, but I love this one! Asher is so super cute. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I thought I would like this book and I did. Asher’s invention is pretty straight forward. The summary of the book explains the overall plot quite well and tells you enough to get you hooked but not so much that you know the whole story. What the summary does not tell you is that this is not only a love story, but also a mystery.

The plot was quick paced and some of it was to be expected, Asher really is a good guy, Minerva didn’t betray him, ect… but the part that caught me off guard was who the bad guy was all along. I would never have guessed who in a million years. That was a refreshing twist.

I have really come to love Carina Press books, I don’t think I have read one yet that I did not like. They have all been interesting and refreshing. I also love that they are digital.

FYI- for those that want to know, there is mention of sex, but nothing graphic or overly descriptive, and they were engaged at the time. There is the threat of rape, but that term is not used, just inferred. I would recommend this book to adults because of the mention of rape, but, as always, it is up to you what your kids read. Again, I highly recommend this book to adults who like a nice mystery/romance novel in the steampunk genre. I loved it! It is also a standalone novel, as far as I can tell, with a nice ending.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.

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The Unquiet

 

 

by Jeannine Garsee

Published July 17th 2012 by Bloomsbury

 

 

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents’ separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn’s bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be “touched” by Annaliese…or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about–not to mention her own–she can’t help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?

 

 

Review:

I was apprehensive about reading this book since I knew the main character was bipolar and I know a few people who are bipolar.  I have also read quite a few books over the years written by, about, or to help people who know those with the condition.  So, needless to say, I am familiar with the illness but yet I was intrigued by the supernatural aspect of the story and how the author was going to blend the main character being bipolar with the seeing of ghosts, without making it cheesy.

I was quite impressed.  The representation of Rinn and how she acts without medication is spot on and not overly embellished, well except for the part about seeing ghosts.  The supernatural aspect aside, Miss Garsee portrayed the inner workings of the mind of someone who is bipolar and how they can think and act in a realistic way.

Now for the supernatural aspect; this part was, as was expected, farfetched, but yet had enough “reality” or at least the possibility of the situation being real, to make this part of the story acceptable.  I really loved the whole Annaliese portion of the story.

The third element was relationships.  There was a bit of a “like” triangle, but the whole relationship part got weird, kind of small town- only a few people to choose from kind of thing.  There were secret relationships, people dating friends ex’s, ect…  There was also a lot of secret keeping between so called friends.  This part of the story is very sad and I am not sure I really liked how things turned out for all of Rinn’s new friends, even Nate was affected, though she was able to help him.  Rinn’s mother was also confusing on the relationship front.  It seemed relationships started, but really just kind of stopped, abruptly.  Rinn’s mom definitely had some issues she needed to work through; she was not a good example for Rinn in any way.

Even though this book was geared toward YA’s in high school, there was strong violence and attempted sex- explicitly described.  Basically Rinn was trying to seduce Nate, but he said no.  I would not want my middle school kid to read some of these scenes; I am not sure I would want my high school student to read most of them.  I would recommend this book for 18 and up, no younger, but that decision is up to you.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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by Suzanne Joinson

Published June 4th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA (first published May 22nd 2012)

 

 

Summary:

 It is 1923. Evangeline (Eva) English and her sister Lizzie are missionaries heading for the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar. Though Lizzie is on fire with her religious calling, Eva’s motives are not quite as noble, but with her green bicycle and a commission from a publisher to write A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar, she is ready for adventure.

In present day London, a young woman, Frieda, returns from a long trip abroad to find a man sleeping outside her front door. She gives him a blanket and a pillow, and in the morning finds the bedding neatly folded and an exquisite drawing of a bird with a long feathery tail, some delicate Arabic writing, and a boat made out of a flock of seagulls on her wall. Tayeb, in flight from his Yemeni homeland, befriends Frieda and, when she learns she has inherited the contents of an apartment belonging to a dead woman she has never heard of, they embark on an unexpected journey together.

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar explores the fault lines that appear when traditions from different parts of an increasingly globalized world crash into one other. Beautifully written, and peopled by a cast of unforgettable characters, the novel interweaves the stories of Frieda and Eva, gradually revealing the links between them and the ways in which they each challenge and negotiate the restrictions of their societies as they make their hard-won way toward home. A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar marks the debut of a wonderfully talented new writer.

 

 

Review:

Honestly, this was not my favorite book, but it was worth the listen.  I was given this book as an audiobook ARC.  This is the second audiobook ARC I was given to review, but the first one I am going to review.  (The other was so terrible, I felt bad reviewing it, so I declined the review after only listening to about 15 minutes of it, if that.)  Since this is an audiobook, and the written version has been reviewed a number of times, I will focus mainly on the audio part.

I thought the reader, Susan Duerden, had a nice voice to listen too, she has a nice accent.  She didn’t mess up reading at all and left long enough pauses between the different time periods that after you caught on, you were not lost.  FYI- you do need to pay a lot of attention to this book as it is being read to you since sometimes it can be confusing when time periods are switched.  I do not listen to an audiobook straight through, I listen while cleaning, cooking, getting dressed, exercising, so I stop periodically and on a couple of occasions, I had to rewind to figure out what voice was speaking at the time.  It was a very good recording otherwise and I am very well versed in audiobooks having listened to well over 400 over the last several years.

As with all of my reviews, I must inform you that this book has some tough scenes, including but not limited to a death scene and a lesbian scene.  There is quite a bit of talk about and reference to gay sex.  Sex in general is a common theme in this book, the modern day woman having had a long time affair with a married man w/ kids and she doesn’t seem to care about the fact that he has a family at all.

There are quite a few parts of this book that were quite disturbing.  I would not recommend this book for teenagers at all, even though the cover looks fun.  Some adults would enjoy this book, but not all.  It is not a romance and it is not really chick lit either.  It is most definitely not a mindless, fun, beach read.

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.

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