Thursday, April 16, 2009

Betrayed by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.

This was another great journey into the lives of the teenagers at the House of Night. I am in total love with this world. The school is amazing, the characters witty and strong and the second installment in this series I believe is stronger than the first (and I really liked the first one as well!) Come along and learn more about Zoey, Stevie Rae, Erin, Shaunee, Damien, Erik and Aphrodite, along with some other new faces. The friendships are strong still and honor is important among the group of friends, they watch out for each other and others they deem important (which is most everyone but Aphrodite). More comes to light in this book about the House of Night and the characters, but I don't want to say too much and give something away. Just know if you enjoyed the first one, you will enjoy this one. I kind of knew where the whole thing was going, but didn't expect the way it got there, so it was a fun and interesting read. It kept me reading and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Now I can't wait to see what happens in Chosen.

If you enjoy a strong teen heroine who still has some self-doubt (as we all do) then you will enjoy this series and this book. The Casts make a great team for these books and I can see why they are such a hit!

Rating: 4/5
Reading level: Young Adult
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: October 2, 2007
ISBN-10: 0312360282

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

Handle with Care

From GoodReads:

Things break all the time.
Day breaks, waves break, voices break.
Promises break.
Hearts break.

Every expectant parent will tell you that they don't want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She's smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

Wow - since I read my first Jodi Picoult about three years ago I knew to expect a thought-provoking book. One thing I love about Ms. Picoult's novels is the fact that she brings interesting and controversial topics to light but doesn't tell you how to feel one way or the other about it, which is unusual in today's world. We all have our opinions and believe they are right. No doubt Ms. Picoult has her opinions too, but she chooses to bring all sides of a topic to light. Handle with Care is another great example of this. Making the wrongful birth lawsuit front and center and how it really makes different people feel. From the one who is being told that she shouldn't have been born (but that is a lie mommy is telling), to the sibling who is unintentionallly left behind in the dust of the lawsuit, to the marriage that takes second place at this point and to others it affects such as the doctor and best friend and the whole community of disabled people who essentially are told that their lives are not perfect and therefore not worth living. I think I have had the same thoughts as each of the characters and it really pointed out some things to me that I feel that are wrong in my own beliefs. It's definitely opened my eyes to several different things.

While the issue is a part of this book, but definitely not the whole. I felt like I truly got to know all the characters. I listened to this on audio and it was wonderful. They used different people for the different characters in the book who were writing to Willow at the time. The distinguing voices were a big help with listening. It was a true joy to listen to. The story never lagged for me, in fact I would find myself listening in the car a few extra minutes, carrying my mp3 player with me to listen when I could. The story moves forward at a good pace, the characters seem real and the story is just riveting.

This book is wonderful and heartbreaking and so much more. It is well worth the time it takes to read it (it's a large book) and I highly recommend it!

Rating: 4.5/5.0
Published March 3rd 2009
Publisher: Atria
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 477 pages
ISBN: 0743296419

Booking Through Thursday - Windfall

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Here is this week's Booking Through Thursday question:

Yesterday, April 15th, was Tax Day here in the U.S., which means lots of lucky people will get refunds of over-paid taxes.

Whether you’re one of them or not, what would you spend an unexpected windfall on? Say … $50? How about $500?

(And, this is a reading meme, so by rights the answer should be book-related, but hey, feel free to go wild and splurge on anything you like.)

Well I am one of the lucky ones and we are getting a refund. If I could do whatever I wanted with it, I would spend my money on books. I would first go to my local indie bookstore and buy and then I would go and walk around BAM for awhile. I would be looking for:

  • Sleeping in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Life Without Summer by Lynne Griffin
  • Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child
  • Honolulu by Alan Brennert
  • Tomato Girl by Jayne Popek
  • Need by Carrie Jones
  • Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
  • Second Opinion by Michael Palmer
I would also just look around and buy whatever I found interesting. It would be so fun and so relaxing! I would also look at sewing books (I love to sew) and cook books (they are so fun) and cool book/reading gadgets (might get some of those cover things I saw the other day on another blog).

But alas, we will have insurance and property taxes and a new water softener to buy, so there will be very little to spend. But I think we will have a little to spend and I will be buying books!