Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Donners Bend

Donners Bend is an engaging story about a young girl, Eliana Mae Henderson. Eliana was young and pretty, though not thoroughly convinced of the latter. After leaving home at an early age, she experienced her share of difficulties; but she knew this was her life and there was no looking back. Fortunately, she was not afraid of hard work or anything that accompanied her seemingly uncertain future.

As she navigates through the challenges, she finds joy, unwavering friendships, and courage; but more than anything else, what Ellie least expected... an amazing, extraordinary love.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Alexa V. James writes a soft-hearted novel that revolves around the life of Ellie in her book, Donners Bend. At 16, Ellie moves away from her parents so that she may start her life and the town of Donners Bend welcomes her as she begins her journey of independence. 

Ellie is a fragile girl, with a big heart, and the hope of leading a happy life. She was an easy character to like, but sometimes I felt her dialogue was stiff and that her actions were incongruent with certain situations. I wanted more of a back-story from Ellie as well as a deeper look into what made her tick. I actually wouldn't have minded a deeper look into each of the four biggest characters. Though Jamie was presented with the most background information. 

I enjoyed the plot of this novel, though it was a bit predictable at times. However I was rather surprised at the end of the novel. I had begun to believe this was love story between Ellie and John and was taken aback at what actually happened. The only main thing that bothered me were the time gaps. I don't what it is with me and time gaps, but I just don't like them. Though, the author did well backing up the time gaps. This love story actually took time rather then having the characters fall in love instantly. 

Overall, Donners Bend is a nice novel with a simplistically beautiful love story paired with the main character's coming of age. 

Rating: 3/5 cups

WWW Wednesday (21)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

01. Currently Reading:
Donners Bend by Alexa V. James. A coming of age novel focused on Ellie, a young girl trying to find her place in the town of Donners Bend. I am really enjoying the soft hearted nature of the book so far. :)

02. Recently Finished:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Absolutely unpredictable novel that figuratively broke my rating scale. Marriage really can be a killer...

03. Reading Next:
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. A book studying what the world would become if all of the human race disappeared one day. First book on my Fall Into Reading challenge and I'm excited to start it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012

The leaves are turning to gold and the air has a slight chill. Must be autumn! And time for another Callapidder Days challenge: Fall into Reading 2012. This challenge runs from today (Sep. 22) to December 21st and is open to anyone who wants to participate. Below is my list of books I'd like to finish before December 21st for this wonderful Fall into Reading challenge. :)

For the last Callapidder Days Challenge (Spring 2012), I chose the series A Song of Fire and Ice. So this time I tried to make my list include several genres and I'm pretty excited, though it is only five books. :)

My Fall Into Reading 2012 List:
01. The World Without Us by Alan Weisman [X] review
02. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke [X] review
03. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss [X] review
04. The Rules of Life by Richard Templar [X] review
05. Bone Blind by Abigail Padgett [X] review

Ready, Set, Fall into Reading! :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gone Girl

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet? - Goodreads

*May Contain Spoilers*

I have no excuse as to why I waited this long to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn except that it was out of stock everywhere until last week. And now I can see why. This is the most psychotic, demented, unpredictable novel that I have ever read. Period. 

As my reviews revolve around character connection, I'm not sure what to say exactly. Mainly because Flynn didn't write the characters as likeable people. I honestly don't like Nick or Amy one bit. Author success. But I loved the story  she crafted with cobwebs of deceit and rolling waves of raging revenge. 

Nick's main problem was that he was too scared of what everyone was thinking about him. He lost focus of the man he wanted to be and let his sociopathic wife steer him towards demise. And Amy. Oh, Amy. I loved the diary version Amy. Just like she (Amy/Flynn) wanted. I fell in love with the diary version of the loving-stay-at-home-supportive-forever-wife. I was so drawn to this "Amy" that I legitimately wondered if Nick suffered from multiple personality disorder. 

Then Flynn introduced a new "Amy." A more hated version. A character that betrays the reader and leaves them reeling. At that point, I started to like Nick. His good qualities came floating to the surface. Though I feel as if I was tricked somehow, because those characteristics weren't even "good." He was playing the role of the man Amy wanted him to be. And I suppose when it's that or the death penalty... you must choose wisely. 

I devoured this book. I cannot believe that I'm already finished with it, as I had planned on it being my weekend read. But Amy and Nick got their claws into me and with the last period in sight I let out a slow sigh of relief. It was over. Though it's not. At all. Flynn leaves the last chapter wide open, allowing readers to create their own ending for Nick and Amy. I know I've already thought about how I'd like it to really end. 

I very highly recommend this novel as it will figuratively slap you in the face with surprise. Though, as a warning, it does have some gruesome details and a heap of inappropriate language. Also, I have chosen not to rate this novel because my scale doesn't include the correct amount of variables to be able to put a number on it. It has broken my rating scale which is both exciting and terrifying. Perhaps I need a new scale? 

 I would love to hear thoughts on this novel! Feel free to share yours if you'd like. :) 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Dragon's Gift

Aeslynn was born on a special day...the dragon lord who protects her town grows to love her...but when dreams and a nobleman get in the way, what's Aeslynn and Lonryo to do?

*May Contain Spoilers*

This book took me by complete surprise! The Dragon's Gift by June Ashley follows the life of Aeslynn, a girl born on the day of the offering. When the dragon lord, Lonryo, first lays eyes on her, they immediately form an unfathomable connection. 

Aeslynn is a great character. I absolutely loved her innocence, her ability to love and forgive, and the loyalty she felt towards the important people in her life. Ashley does a great job at bringing the reader into the world of fantasy she created. Readers will have a connection with Aeslynn based on how she treats other characters throughout the novel. She's the kind of character that you want to be your best friend. 

The plot of The Dragon's Gift revolves around Lonryo and Aeslynn's connection. As Aeslynn grows older her bond with Lonryo deepens and she falls in love with him, though this is unheard of in dragon history. Then Aeslynn's dreams turn to nightmares and she prays that they don't manifest to ruin her happiness. 

As I previously said, this book took me by complete surprise and I am so glad that I read it. The only problematic thing for me were the time lapses in the novel. Throughout the novel, as the chapters changed, large periods of time would be skipped. I felt as if I was missing out on some of the story. Though overall I loved this book, I wanted to know more about Aeslynn and see her grow up rather than skipping the dull moments. However, the book would have probably been spread out into a series. 

Regardless, The Dragon's Gift is recommended for an enjoyable read. 

rating: 3.5/5 cups

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WWW Wednesday (20)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

01. Currently Reading:
The Dragon's Gift by June Ashley. When a young girl and dragon become connected what could possibly step in the way of their developing friendship? Love the story so far!

02. Recently Finished:
Blood of Anteros by Georgia Cates. The start of the Agape series had me reading at top notch. Lovely book! Need to add the second one to my TBR list.

03. Reading Next:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Finally reading this book! It's been sold out at stores for quite a long time and I finally own it. :) Cannot wait to start this book about a marriage where the husband seems to be his wife's killer...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (28)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Dragon's Gift (p.19)
    - June Ashley

"Her mouth fell open. There he was...

Up on the ledge that led into Lonryo's lair was the dragon himself... in his true form."

Should be Reading @ Wordpress

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blood of Anteros

"I was tantalized by the mystery of her. The leech inside me came out to find prey, but found none in this enigmatic girl. The close proximity of her essence didn’t entice the monster within, so what did that make her? I had more questions than answers, but one thing was unmistakable; although she released me from her embrace, her hold on me remained."

Cruel circumstances turned Curry Brennan into the wretched monster he hates and refuses to accept, but when an expected turn of events releases him from the bond of his obsessive maker, he returns to the home he knew 161 years earlier and finds the return of happiness and joy in something he didn’t know existed. Puzzled by his growing attraction to Chansey Leclaire, a human, he is unable to resist the captivating relationship that threatens to reveal his existence as a vampire. He eventually discovers the reason he was destined to find what he didn’t know he searched for and is faced with the cruel realization that the living and the immortal undead will always be separated by one thing. Eternity.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Georgia Cates takes a historic turn with her novel, Blood of Anteros, the first book in The Vampire Agápe series. It was an unexpected twist when this vampire novel drew from history to create the story line and Cates couldn't have done a better job at interpreting the myth of the Agápe to make it her own. 

The novel revolves around Curry, a vampire who would rather die then be tied to his sire. When the unexpected happens he is given a second chance at a life without her and the gods decide that it is his fate to have an Agápe. Curry is a courteous and very gentleman-like vampire. Having been raised in 1800s, he still holds his family values dear. Readers can connect with him based on the unfairness he has been shown in life and his desire to change for the better. 

He is granted his wish when he meets Chansey. She is Curry's Agápe, his fated love that will allow him to live like a human though she is also his biggest weakness. Chansey is a very likeable character with sharp wit and a tongue to match. The dialogue in this novel was wonderful and refreshing, though it did go a little over the top at points. Chansey is a strong character with a great sense of understanding. Cates does an amazing job at convincing readers of her Agápe status. Although, she does play the part of damsel in distress quite often which brings up the question of her true strength to readers. 

The plot that Cates creates for Curry and Chansey is a re-vamped (pun intended) take on the historical Agápe story. I had never heard of this before and am tempted to research the history to see how Cates adapted it for the story line. Blood of Anteros certainly stands tall in the genre of vampiric novels and I am eager to see how the story plays out in the following installments. 

rating: 3/5
Blood of Anteros (The Vampire Agápe Series Book #1)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WWW Wednesday (19)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

01. Currently Reading:
Blood of Anteros by Georgia Cates. Getting my vampire fix in! This book has been on my TBR for... a while. But I finally reached it! The basics: a vampire is not attracted to a human. As in, he doesn't want to ... bleed her. Which piques his curiosity as to why?

02. Recently Finished:
Angelfall by Susan Ee. Great. Great. Great novel. Reminded me of Amanda Hocking's Hollowland mixed with The Hunger Games. Hope she's on top of writing the second one because I need to read it, yesterday.

03. Reading Next:
The Dragon's Gift by June Ashley. Received from the author for review and I'm looking forward to read about a world of dragons and other mythical things! I don't read this genre enough so I'm happy to have this on my TBR.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.



Susan Ee has completely stunned me with her (excellent) novel, Angelfall. As the world erupts in chaos after the angel apocalypse, Ee enchants readers with her story about Penryn, a teenage girl who has vowed to save her sister from the angels wrath. Which involves her breaking into their aerie without getting herself killed. 

Penryn, who is also the narrator throughout the novel, is a remarkable character. She's strong, loyal, brave, focused, and knows a thing or two about martial arts. Readers will love her determination to save her little sister and side with her immediately, no second thoughts. 

One of the greatest things about first-person writing is that the reader gets to be in the shoes of the main character. Ee uses this technique and it creates a strong connection that only intensifies as the novel continues, making it an effortless task to connect with Penryn as she battles toward hell to save her family. Even her flaws help build the reader/character bond. The premise that Penryn isn't the perfect heroine makes her more relatable and likeable. 

The plot line throughout the novel was very simple, which helped keep the novel well-paced through the side line stories. Penryn must save her sister, no matter what. The obstacles that appeared were surprising, and sometimes a little gory, but they all helped Penryn move toward her goal, preparing her in various ways. 

Impressive debut novel. Now when does the equally impressive sequel come out? Because I need to know what happens next...

rating: 5/5 cups

Teaser Tuesday (27)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days) p.113
     - Susan Ee

"When you're small enough to have to look up at everyone around you, there's no such thing as a dirty fight. That's a new motto for me. I think I'll keep it."

Should be Reading @ Wordpress

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Sweep (9/9) - Sept. Special!

Here are 5 6 books (currently) under $5 $2 that will set you up nicely for your (reading) week. :)

High Heels Mysteries Boxed Set Vol. I - Gemma Halliday : $0.99
Stained - Ella James: $0.99
Preordained - Kelly Libsack : $1.99
Six Moon Summer - S.M. Reine : $0.99
All Roads Lead to Austen - Amy Smith : Free (List Price $14.99)


Alone: The Girl in the Box, Book 1 - Robert J. Crane
Free (Orig. $3.00)