Thursday, September 30, 2010

September Summary

September Summary 
  1. Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler - finished 9/1/10 
  2. Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers - finished 9/2/10 
  3.  The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff - finished 9/3/10
  4. God is in the Pancakes by Robin Epstein - finished 9/4/10
  5. Candor by Pam Bachorz - finished 9/7/10
  6. Last to Die by Kate Brady - finished  9/10/10 
  7.  Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie - finished 9/11/10
  8.  The Strain by Guillermo Del Tor & Chuck Hogan - finished 9/13/10
  9.  Tough Customer by Sandra Brown - finished 9/14/10
  10. Finny by Justin Kramon - finished 9/14/10 
  11. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales - finished 9/15/10 
  12. Terminal Care by Christopher Stookey - finished 9/17/10 
  13. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff - finished 9/18/10
  14. Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck - finished 9/18/10 
  15. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin - finished 9/20/10 
  16. Bitter Frost by Kailin Gow - finished 9/21/10
  17. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris- finished 9/22/10
  18. Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich - finished 9/23/10 
  19. Secret Society by Tom Dolby - finished 9/23/10
  20. The Trust by Tom Dolby - finished 9/24/10
  21. The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur - finished 9/24/10
  22. The Skull Ring by Scott Nicholson - finished 9/26/10
  23. Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance by Brendan Halpin and Emily Franklin, finished 9/29/10

Review books:17
Library Books: 4
Books from my bookshelf:2

Favorite of the month: Really tough call this month with lots of great books.  So I'm going to break it down a little:

Favorite YA:  Tie between The Ivy and Mostly Good Girls
Favorite Paranormal: Personal Demons
Favorite Audiobook:  Hard Eight - I laughed until I cried

Favorite Adult/Suspense:  Tough Customer with The Skull Ring and The Strain running very close.

Progress in Challenges: 
So how was your reading month?

Book Review: Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Publisher: The EDGE
Publish Date: September 7, 2010
Hardcover, 240 pages
Young Adult Paranormal

My Review:
Why I read this: The title, the blurb for the book, and the cover all three sucked me in and no I have read the Wicked books yet, but I have them.

How is the novel driven:  This one is mainly event/action/plot-driven, but there is some character-development as well.

My thoughts: Honestly, I had a hard time getting into this one at first, but once I caught on to the society and how things worked and what was going on I was able to get into it.  It's an interesting premise, a group trained to kill vampires even as society as a whole is starting to embrace vampires.

The characters were interesting, this book focuses on Jenn, I'm not sure if future books will focus on the others, or she will remain a main character.  Jenn feels she is the weakest of the group she is a part of and really has no self-confidence.  Then she has to return home for her beloved grandfather's funeral, and what awaits her at her home is not what she expected.  Things go crazy and Jenn is just trying to stay alive until she can meet back up with her group and find her sister.

After the world-building is set up the book starts to speed along, though at times I thought it felt a little choppy.  No matter that, it is still an entertaining book.  One I would recommend, but not one I'm shouting from the rooftops.

If you enjoy a different take on vampires where they can be bad guys and where an elite group hunts them, then give this book a try.  I think the series has promise so I will be checking out the next one as well.

My Rating: 3.75/5.0

About the Book:
The ultimate battle. The ultimate love.

For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.

Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated—and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.

Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself—and her heart.

About the Author:
Nancy Holder has published sixty books and more than two hundred short stories. She has received four Bram Stoker awards for fiction from the Horror Writers Association, and her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. She has written or cowritten twenty Buffy and Angel projects. Her books from Simon Pulse include the New York Times bestselling series Wicked and the novel The Rose Bride. A graduate of the University of California at San Diego, Nancy is currently a writing teacher at the school. She lives in San Diego with her daughter, Belle, and their growing assortment of pets. Visit her at

Debbie Viguié has been writing for most of her life and holds a degree in creative writing from U.C. Davis. Debbie loves theme parks and has worked at both Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland in California. When Debbie is not busy writing she enjoys traveling with her husband Scott. Debbie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Florida.

Nancy's website
Nancy's fan page on Facebook
Nancy's Blog
Nancy on Twitter
Debbie's webpage
Crusade's fan page on Facebook

FTC Information: I received this book through Book It Forward Tours for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Book Review: Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Publisher: Dial
Publish Date: October 18, 2010
Paperback, 180 pages
Young Adult

My Review:
Why I read this:  Since my teens I have had a fascination with the book of Revelation and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are very much a part of that book.  So it was a given when I heard there would be a book series based on the Four Horsemen I was intrigued.  Add to that dealing with hard teenage issues and I was definitely in.

How is the novel driven:  Character, this is all about Lisabeth and her coming to terms with her own self and her problems.

My thoughts: A fascinating and short book.  But somehow the shortness works, I don't feel like it should have been longer or it was limited, to me the length worked perfect.  Hunger deals with the difficult subject of teenage girl self-esteem and how so much of that is wrapped around body image and weight.  Lisabeth has an eating disorder, and she's trying to hide it.  Then she is told she is Famine, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  At first she doesn't accept this but as she travels as Famine she learns what power she has can do and while that takes her away from  her problems for awhile, it ultimately shines a light on her real problems.

As I said before this book is fascinating and felt very original.  I don't think I've ever read or heard of a book like this so I feel like Ms. Kessler took an difficult subject and used a very different scenario to bring it to light.  Hunger is well-written, reads quick and made me think.  It's dark, but eating disorders are a dark subject and an epidemic we need to know about.  The darkness suits it and sets a great tone for the book.  In the beginning I wasn't sure if I liked Lisabeth, but as the book went on I felt I could relate to her more and more.

Interesting and original plot, fascinating characters and well-written, Hunger is a great YA book to pick up and read and I look forward to the next in the series.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

And here is the cover of the next book in the series (Isn't it amazing), Rage will be out April 18, 2011.

About the Book:
"Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world." 
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home—her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power—and the courage to fight her own inner demons?
A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, Hunger is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens.

About the Author:
JACKIE MORSE KESSLER is the author of several paranormal and dark fantasy books for adults. Hunger is her first book for teens. She lives in upstate New York.

Her Website
Her Blog

FTC Information: I received this book through 1-ARC Tours for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Fall Into Reading 2010

You know me - I love challenges and I especially love the ones that Callapidder Days hosts.  They are easy going, just list books you would like to read, it can be modified any time and then read from September 22 - December 20.  I think I will set my goal at 45 books.  Here are some of my titles high on my tbr.

Join in Callapidder Days by signing up here, more information is available on the site.  She will be having weekly questions and other things to participate.  I look forward to the fun and the reading.

My Tentative List:

  1. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
  2. Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten - finished 10/2
  3. You by Charles Benoit - finished 10/2
  4. Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
  5. Love Means Zero by Daisy Jordan
  6. Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn
  7. The Unidentified  by Rae Mariz
  8. Call Me Kate by Molly Roe, Mary Garrity Slaby
  9. Sloane Hall by Libby Sternberg
  10. Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Linn
  11. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  12. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  13. Hothouse Flower by Margot Berwin
  14. Solitary by Travis Thrasher
  15. What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen
  16. Don't Look Back by Lynette Eason
This is just a few - I'll mark these as I finish them and add more as I get them.

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is next weekend and I can't wait, I'm already trying to figure out what to read and if I can send my kids somewhere for the weekend. :)  It's so much fun.  I hope the weather is nice and fall-like so I can sit on my porch swing and read.  Last year I think I would read for about 50 minutes an hour and then get on my computer, blog hop and make update posts.  It was just amazing.  I even had my kids at home and one had a friend over, but it was okay, they were really cooperative, plus Daddy helped out quite a bit - what a wonderful husband!

So do you want to join?  Or be a cheerleader?  Then check out this website for more information.