Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review: The Marked by Inara Scott (Delcroix Academy Book 2)

The Marked by Inara Scott (Delcroix Academy)
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Publish Date: April 3, 2012
Hardcover, 320 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal
 ISBN: 978-1423116370

My Review:
It felt really good to be back at Delcroix Academy.  I read the first book last year and really enjoyed the world that Ms. Scott created.  I love boarding school novels, especially ones where the boarding school seems to hide secrets.  Delcroix Academy is for students with special talents and Dancia is one of those students.  The Marked picks up right where The Candidates leaves off (and I won't say much because I don't want to spoil anything).  And from there it picks up pace and never stops until the last page which wraps up book two nicely but leaves things open enough for book three to follow.  I can't believe I will have another year to wait for the next book.  But I know it will be worth the wait.

It was great to get to know Dancia, Cam and their close friends a little more, and there were a few more friends added in.  I really liked some of the additions and the back stories behind the characters to help get to know them better.  There are romances and friend troubles to keep side stories interesting  and the central mystery of this book as to who is behind the problems plaguing the school and the members of the Program.  This keeps the suspense level up there for the whole book.  There is also intrigue and trust issues among members of the Program that have to be worked out.  All things typical of teenagers in groups and I think Ms. Scott does an excellent job with these plot lines.

The Marked held my attention through the entire book, it had me turning pages to see what would happen next and I truly enjoy each and every page.  This series has me hooked.  It has the right level of contemporary/normal teenage goings-on mixed with the paranormal element of the story to make it fun and a good story.  Ms. Scott knows how to hold a reader's attention and I think she has a great understanding of teenagers and it shows in this series.  If you haven't tried the series, give it a try, but I recommend you start with The Candidates to get the full back story and then move on to The Marked for a better understanding.  Then you'll be hooked and eagerly awaiting book three like I am.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
All of her life, Dancia Lewis has wanted to use her powers for good. And now that she’s learned the truth about Delcroix Academy—and herself—she may just get the chance. But being part of Delcroix’s top secret Program isn’t anything like Dancia expected. She has to ask herself: what happens to the Talented kids who refuse to pledge their loyalty to the Program? And why did her friend Jack run away rather than join? Dancia’s adorable boyfriend Cam insists they need the help of every Talented student to defend Delcroix from dangerous enemies outside their gates. But Dancia has to wonder: what if Delcroix’s most frightening enemies come from within?

About the Author: 
Inara grew up in winter wonderland of Buffalo, NY. Consequently, she spent much of her childhood complaining about being cold. To spare the world her whining, she fled the cold climate and eventually wound up in the Pacific NW, where she practiced law for ten years before getting up the courage to quit her day job and write full time. A proud author of fantasy and romance for adults and young adults, Inara firmly believes that great literature doesn't have to be depressing, true love does exist, and everyone deserves a happily ever after.



FTC Information: I received this book through Good Choice Reading Tours for an honest review. 

Book Review: The Last Blind Date by Linda Yellin

The Last Blind Date by Linda Yellin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publish Date: October 4, 2011
Paperback, 288 pages 
Non-fiction, Memoir
 ISBN: 978-1451625899

My Review:
My thoughts:  A genre that continues to surprise me as one that engages me from cover to cover is the memoir.  I never thought nonfiction would read like fiction and be so interesting.  I mean my life is pretty boring.  And Linda Yellin is an ordinary woman, but I think that is what makes her book so interesting.  She's not a movie star, a talk show host or a broadway star.  She's just a married woman like me trying to find her place in the world.

From the first page, Ms. Yellin's humor shines through, but there is more than humor in this book.  There is pure emotion and feeling in each page.  I feel her pain when she is looking for a friend when moving to New York, or when trying to navigate the waters of being a step parent (something I wouldn't want to do).  I feel her joy when she finds love, or a good take out place.  I feel the emotions with her in each chapter, she can make you feel like you are with her and because she is a normal everyday woman, you can sympathize with her on each page even if you have never been to New York like me, or never been a step parent or even married.

The Last Blind Date is a love story of Linda and Randy, how they meet, fall in love, have a long distance relationship, decide to marry and then how Linda moves to New York to be with Randy and his kids.  This is where Linda's life changes and she changes.  And this is where the book is so much more than a love story.  It's the story of a woman who comes into her own over time.  It's beautiful, inspiring and a book I truly believe all women at any age should read.  There are lessons to be learned, inspiration to take away and laughs to be laughed on hard days that any woman has.  That is what a reader can take from this book.  That is what I took.  Ms. Yellin has charmed me with her wit and her emotion.  Her writing has inspired me to look around me and find what makes me happy in my current life and hold on to that.  And most of all she's inspired me to not take things too seriously - to laugh at things from time to time because laughing is needed.

I can't end my review without mentioning one of my favorite chapters - "Private School Benjamin" - I have never laughed as hard as her take on the private schools and the lengths parents went to for their kids and the references to her public school education.  Hysterical.  You will have to read this book just to read this chapter - it's well worth it.

So check this out, it's worth the time, it's not a long book.  It reads quickly and it's very enjoyable.  Full of humor laughs and great moments.  Have a tissue ready for the end if you cry at commercials some times.  It's classic and great.  I just cannot say enough great things about this book.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
A fun, charming memoir about a woman who falls in love, packs her bags, and starts over in the city that eats its young.

About the Author: 


I have an extra copy from the publisher of this wonderful book to giveaway.  US/Canada only. Ends 10/14.  Only mandatory entry is your name and email in Rafflecopter below, all other entries are extra.  Thanks!

FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.