Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lisa Jackson Read-A-Fest

J. Kaye at J. Kaye's Book Blog has announced the Lisa Jackson Read-A-Fest for April 1-June 30. The main idea is:
Beginning April 1st thru June 30th, J. Kaye’s Book Blog will host a Lisa Jackson Read-a-Fest. The idea is to read as many Lisa Jackson books in the months of April, May, and June. It could be as little as one book or as many as you’d like. This is not a reading challenge, but will work well with many of the challenges in place, such as Serial Readers Challenge 2009, 1st in a Series, 2nd in a Series and Series Challenge Season 3.
This sounds like fun and since I love Lisa Jackson but need to get caught up (ahem, started) on her New Orleans series to be ready to read Malice. So my hopeful reading list is:

New Orleans series

Hot Blooded (2001)
Cold Blooded (2002)
Shiver (2006)
Absolute Fear (2007)
Almost Dead (2007)
Lost Souls (2008)

I'll add these into my Spring Reading Challenge as I finish them also. I'm really looking forward to being a part of this - it should be fun. Reading great books plus there are several giveaways for participants. Too check out all the details for yourself - see the links above.

Marked: House of Night Book 1 by P.C. and Kristin Cast

I am an admitted fan of the Twilight series. After reading the Booking Through Thursday responses today I was reminded that even though the Twilight series is a huge seller, it is not reviewed positively by everyone. Bringing me back again to my previous post where I read for me. I do read reviews and if someone is really praising something and it sounds good to me I will want to read it. If someone hates it and it still sounds good to me I will read it. If someone praises it but it doesn't sound good to me I won't read it. I read for entertainment. I do like to think also so sometimes I read for entertainment and to think about an issue (Jodi Picoult's books are and example of this for me), but most of the time I just read for entertainment.

So being a fan of the Twilight series and having read all of them, I decided to see what else was out there. The YA genre seems interesting to me at the moment along with the paranormal so that brought me to trying the House of Night series by P.C. And Kristen Cast. I actually saw these in a B&N a few weeks ago and hadn't heard of them. Then I join the blogging world again and learn more about them. So the first book, Marked, made it onto my Booksfree Queue and made it's way to me.

An interesting take on vampires, not totally new, but not totally and completely done too much either. We find Zoey Redbird leading a fairly ordinary teenage girl life in the beginning of the book. She has friends, a not-so-ex-boyfriend and parent troubles. Then her life is turned upside down when she is "marked" and thus must attend a special school for vampyre fledglings. I found the vampyres-living among us as a known entity interesting as well as the school.

So fast-forward ahead and she's at the school, but not until she has more problems with her parents. Being Christian I actually thought I would have problems with the divide created between organized religion and the vampyres as evidenced by Zoey's mom and stepdad. But I really didn't. The world is honestly full of hypocrites and while I didn't smile at the way her parents were portrayed, it is actually accurate of a lot of religious people (note I said religious which is not always the same as Christian - though I am not one to judge on that either) - scared of what you do not know. So while there are pagan rituals and the like in the book, I saw them as a side theme - something that developed the story and the school better. I don't have to participate in the ritual to read the book. Nor do I have to be a vampyre :)

Once that was realized I relaxed and really enjoyed the book. A great coming of age story. Zoey is a likable character and I look forward to watching her grow more through the books. She's not perfect but she tries to think about all her decisions and make the best ones for her and for those around her. Something that not many people do anymore.

So after all of that - I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal. It's just a good fiction read. The Cast's have created an interesting world with likeable and not-so-likeable people. It let me escape a few hours and the characters have stayed with me after I finished reading it. So to me that was a worthwhile book and I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

On Sale Date: May 2007
Date Started: 03-19-09
Date Finished: 03-20-09
From: Booksfree
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Setting: Oklahoma
Character: Zoey Redbird
Pages: 304

Booking Through Thursday

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Suggested by Janet:

The opposite of last week’s question: “What’s the best ‘worst’ book you’ve ever read — the one you like despite some negative reviews or features?”

I don't know if I can think of any one book, but I can think of one author. I remember being a teenager and Danielle Steel was all the rage (this was the late 80s/early90s) and I started reading her. I stopped reading for a little while (college got in the way) and then came back and started reading her and many many others. Eventually looking around the internet I found that most people (at least the people that talked about it) did not like Danielle Steel. At first I was horrified - there must be something wrong with me and then I remembered we are all different. What I like someone else may not and I may not like what they like. So I continue to read Danielle Steel. No I don't think some of the newer stuff is the caliber of her older stuff, but it continues to entertain me. And that is often all I ask from a book - just let me live someone else's life for a little while whether that life is good or bad. I know some find her formulaic but I often wonder how the heck authors can come up with new ideas, but they keep doing it and if her novels do follow a pretty standard formula that is okay with me. Again I just want to relax and read.

I also have to say that I read Lightning about 3 months before my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and reading that gave me some idea of what my mom was going to go through and then what she actually went through so there was definitely benefit in that book. Did it mirror my mom's experience - no way, but it did give a very scared 22 year old daughter something to hold on to. (and my mom is now a 13-year cancer survivor)

So join in on Booking Through Thursday today - I'm interested in reading everyone's best "worst" book - I'm always open for a new book to read :) And if anyone feels like admitting at least a little like for Danielle Steel I would like to hear it too (or you can even tell me you think I'm the most insane person you have ever met) :)