Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: The Mark by Jen Nadol

The Mark The Mark by Jen Nadol

My rating: 4.0/5.0

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publish Date: January 19, 2010
Hardcover, 228 pages

FTC Disclosure: ***I received this book through Around the World Tours.***  I also do not receive money through the links provided to Amazon.com.  The Amazon Associates program does not pay out to residents of NC.

My Review:

The Mark has a very interesting premise. What if you could see that someone was going to die. What would you do with that knowledge? Would you share it with the person, would you try and change the future by protecting them? Would you let them know so they could live what little is left of their life to the fullest? Or would that harm them more than do them good?

This is what Cassie is trying to come to grips with when she finally figures out why she sees a glow around certain people from time-to-time. It's a haunting story and you can really feel and see what Cassie is going through with Ms. Nadol's storytelling. Cassie has to grow up a lot and I think she grew up too much too fast, but she really learns what the real world is all about.

This book is haunting and beautiful - it asks questions that are hard to answer and it deals with the characters in an amazing way. At times I felt irritated with the characters but that soon passed and I really took a lot away after finishing this book. I look forward to more from Ms. Nadol in the future.

About the Book:

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?


More on Fundraising for the CF Foundation and Giveaways

I realized in the earlier post about my fundraising that I didn't offer an alternate to giving money other than my CF Great Strides page.  If you would like to donate and send a check for a smaller amount (I'm not sure if the CF site has a minimum for the credit card donation), please email me at crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com and I'll send you my address.  You can make the check out to the CF Foundation and I will turn them in to the local chapter.  This way you know your money goes to the CF Foundation (and I promise CF doesn't stand for Crystal Fulcher :))

Any and all donations are welcome - my sons are doing change drives at their schools and it's amazing how much every penny means.  So please consider contributing either online or mailing in a check.  It's a worthy cause and I would love to see a cure for CF found in my nephews lifetime!

Again there are giveaways going on with the fundraising.  See my original post for information (and a cute picture of my nephew) but the gist is:

  • Donate and earn entries (comment here or the original post to be entered)
  • Tweet, and blog about the fundraising to get entries (comment here or the original post to be entered)
  • Comment on my posts (any posts after 2/21/10) to make a contribution through me to the CF Foundation.  I am giving $0.05 per comment through April 1 to donate to the CF Foundation.
I hope to have more giveaways soon - but so far I have:
  • Choose 5 books from a list of books (these may be ARCs, recent books and they may be older books but you can have your choice)  (From me) (1 winner - worldwide)
  • $20 Amazon GC. Giveaway open worldwide.  (From me) (1 winner - worldwide)
  • Two sets of JP O'Donnell's Gallagher series that is reviewed highly here and on Amazon.com - this is a copy of Fatal Gamble and Deadly Codes for two winners (donated by author J.P. O'Donnell, see his web site here) (2 winners - US/Canada)
  • $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon.com (donated by author J.P. O'Donnell, see his web site here) (1 winner - worldwide)
Here are some of the possibilities for my giveaway:

Crystal's giveaway

Power Play
The Postmistress
The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter
The Things That Keep Us Here
Out with the In Crowd
Anything but Normal: A Novel
Swinging on a Star: A Novel
Sleep No More
Dreams That Won't Let Go: A Novel
Lone Star Legend
One Amazing Thing
Seduced by a Rogue
The Courteous Cad
A Precious Jewel
Knight of Pleasure
The Information Officer: A Novel
Yellow Moon: A  Novel
Lessons in French

Crystal's favorite books »

If you know of anyone who would love to sponsor this and offer giveaways - please let me know - I can use all the help I can get.  I really want to make a great contribution to the Great Strides walk this year in honor of my nephew and I can do that through your support and help.

As of today - 3/2/10 - My family and I have raised over $200 ($50 came from my son's change drive) and I would love to continue to raise more.  Almost $0.90 of every dollar goes to CF research or helping families with someone with  CF.

Also I plan to soon start up an etsy store with baby items and other sewn items to sale with all monies going to the Great Strides Walk.  So look for that announcement soon.

Thanks everyone!

Review: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook

My rating: 4.25/5.0

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: January 5, 2010
Hardcover, 224 pages

FTC Disclosure: ***I received this book through Around the World Tours.***  I also do not receive money through the links provided to Amazon.com.  The Amazon Associates program does not pay out to residents of NC.

My Review:

If you are a young adult or you like young adult fiction that takes an outsider who moves to a new school and becomes a new person then I believe you will like this book.

I was never in the in-crowd in high school, althought I wasn't completely on the outs like Helen. However I think all girls at one time or another have been betrayed by a friend. If you haven't consider yourself blessed. Helen is seriously betrayed by her best friend, Lauren Wood in Lauren's attempt to become popular when she starts high school. Thankfully Helen moves away and gets to start a new life, but she never forgets or forgives Helen. Then a few years later, Helen gets the chance to return to her home town and face off with Lauren. At first she doesn't want to go, but then she realizes she will finally get her chance to get revenge on Lauren. So what does she do? She completely reinvents herself, and becomes the popular new girl at her old school. Using a new name and living with her grandmother she becomes someone new and starts on her trek for revenge.

Along the way she learns lessons and in the end she has to decide whether getting revenge is worth it. Full of meaning and a lot of fun, this book was a quick read for me. So much of it I could relate to, and that made it easy to get in to. I think Helen grows a lot during this book and so do other characters in the book.

I thought it was all very well done, from the plot to the characters to all of the situations they go through. This felt like a true-to-life young adult novel and I can easily see it being made into a movie as well.

About the Book:

Popularity is the best revenge.

In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face. Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn't dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.