Sunday, August 26, 2012

Biting Cold

Biting Cold
by Chloe Neill

Merit has her favorite vampire back from the dead, so things should be pretty great!

Unfortunately, she has to chase after her best friend who is attempting to unlock a magical book that will release evil upon the world.

And even if that turns out ok, there's the diabolical ex-mayor of Chicago who also wants that book and all that's inside.

So much for a happy reunion with her favorite undead supernatural.

Final thoughts: Much better than the last book, which was depressing and confusing.  The initial problem was resolved fairly quickly and the second problem had some good moments.  I really hope Ethan gets over his need to overprotect Merit; she's proved again and again that she can handle herself... most of the time.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls

Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls 
by Tellulah Darling

Sam Cruz has been a major player for a while now. He may just be a high school senior, but he's got all the moves. He has mastered the one-night stand. No sex at his place. No cuddles after. He's the "hit 'em and quit 'em" type all the way. 

If only the girls weren't always looking for something more...

When Sam's best friend, Ally, gets dumped, she begs Sam for help. She wants to be a player, too. Just a few one-night stands with no emotional attachments would really help boost her self-esteem and get over her ex.  So Sam becomes Dr. F@*kenstein and teaches Ally all his best techniques. 

And it works! Now Ally has guys falling at their feet for her... including Sam. 

It so was not meant to be like that. 

Final thoughts: It's cotton candy and it has its moments, but it's not great. The idea of promoting casual sex among high schoolers is a little disturbing and Sam's conversion from player to jealous guy is messy. It's a roller coaster for both him and Ally told in alternating viewpoints. I actually liked Sam's point of view more, but I still with there had been a little more development of his emotions. 

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


by C. J. Skuse

Jody is completely and totally in love!  He's the most amazing guy ever!!  He's the only one who truly understands her!!!

He's rock GOD Jackson Gatlin, lead singer of The Regulators, and Jody knows that if she can just get to the front of the crowd at his next concert, he'll see her and fall head over heels in love with her.

Of course, nothing ever turns out the way Jody hopes.

Sure! She gets the rock god back home; he's now living in her garage.  But it wasn't true love that brought him there; it was her accidentally kidnapping him that did it.

Things are looking pretty bad.

They look even worse when Jackson refuses to leave...

Final thoughts:  Cute concept poorly executed.  Jody is a complete idiot.  From start to finish, she can't seem to make a single decent decision.  The big question is really why anyone would put up with her.  The circumstances of the "kidnapping" all the way through to the end had no believability.  Thank goodness for Mac and Cree!

Rating: 2/5

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Existence and Predestined (dual book review)

by Abbi Glines

It's not surprising when Pagan sees souls walking around.  She's been able to see them every day since she was very young.  They tend to just walk on by and ignore her as long as she doesn't let them know she can see them.  But even if they realize the truth, the souls can't talk to her and they tend to disappear when she touches them.

However, one day one of them not only spots her quickly, but also talks to her.  He actually begins to follow her around and make comments about the cute guy who seems to like her.

And he also begs her to NOT go in the car and drive off when she becomes extremely upset one day.

He then becomes the first person she sees when she wakes up in the hospital after her nearly fatal car accident.

And from that point on, he's everywhere and suddenly everyone else can see him.

He isn't the only one out there who's interested in Pagan, but he may be the only one who can protect her from what's out there.

Final thoughts:  This one is ok.  There are the Twilight elements again that seem to pop into every YA supernatural book nowadays (stay away from me; I'm no good for you; you'd be better off without me; if you knew who/what I was, you'd run screaming), but it's got its own legs.  I like Pagan, and Dank (despite the truly crappy name) is a good dark and brooding.  My only real problem was the sharp left the book took about 2/3 of the way in, sending Pagan off to a completely different setting for no real reason except to introduce a character who was needed later.  The whole section of the book is just completely unrealistic and out of place.  Even the dialogue between Pagan and the docs seems stupid and contrived.  That stupid set of scenes aside, it was still a decent read.

Rating: 3/5

Predestined (Existence #2)
by Abbi Glines

Through some miracle, Pagan got the supernatural person she loves and he is allowed to stay with her.  They are together as often as possible and things finally seem to be going their way.

But right after they found out they could be together, Pagan's ex disappeared and Dank finally explains that her ex never had a soul to start with, so he's not dead... just gone.

Except in her dreams.

Through her dreams, Pagan finds out that her mother made a deal with the Voodoo spirits and accidentally promised Pagan's soul to the son of the leader of them all.

That son is Pagan's missing ex... and when he comes back for her, Dank is less than pleased.

Final thoughts:  This was a stronger book than the first.  It still had problems, but there were good moments of suspense.  I never felt sorry for Leif, even though Glines worked hard to try and make him sympathetic.  He was just really annoying and possessive.   Gee has won me over in this book, so I'm glad she was introduced in the first book, but still ticked at that initial storyline. Currently, I'm bugged by the fact that people keep forgetting the supernatural characters once they've been gone for a while.  Glines tries to explain it, but it comes off more as an excuse than a reason.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, August 10, 2012

Poseidon : Earth Shaker

Poseidon : Earth Shaker
George O'Connor

After defeating their father and sending him down into a crater that reaches far below the Earth's crust, Poseidon and his brothers are faced with the decision of who will rule which realm.

Hades gets the Underworld.  Zeus claims the Heavens.  And Poseidon is left with the Sea.

It seems like a good fit.  As God of the Sea, Poseidon has quite a bit of power over man without having to be bothered with him much, except when a female catches his eye.

Sadly, despite trying to have children who can continue his line, his children are all monstrous.  When they are ugly, they can be kind, but turn cruel when cruelly treated (Polyphemus the Cyclops).  And even when they are gorgeous, they can be monstrously cruel (Theseus).

Poseidon's attempts to deal with man never seem to end up right.  There is death, destruction, and horror left wherever he and his children go.

But Poseidon won't let anyone mess with him or his children and those who remember that are the ones who will survive.

Final thoughts:  This was not his best.  Like his book on Hera, things are just getting far too confused.  Granted, that's true for all Greek mythology.  There's also not enough information about Poseidon for O'Connor to work with, so he ends up talking about the children, their quests, and their dealings with other people on quests.  Odysseus gets a chunk of the book, as does Theseus.  The artwork is still absolutely amazing and the series is still good for getting people hooked on Greek mythology, so it's definitely worth the look.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars
by Allison Rushby

Josephine Foster, a.k.a. "Zo Jo", is one of the hottest new papaparazzos on the Hollywood scene.  At 16, she's tiny enough to pass for 11, which means she can get in to places that other members of the paparazzi can't.  It's her job to get pics of the celebrities and the more embarrassing the pics, the better.  If she can catch Justin Bieber peeing in a bush, she could get tens of thousands from the tabloids.

Now she's been given an undercover assignment.  Teen superstar Ned Hartnett comes out of seclusion, only to "collapse" in public then go to a rehab retreat in Boston and Jo's been sent in to get exclusive pics.  

With this, she can finally afford the tuition to a photography school and get out of the business for good.  With this, she can finally stop getting stepped on, cursed, hit, and reviled.  

Without this, she might be able to find love... with the target of her assignment: Ned Hartnett.

Final thoughts:  It's cotton candy time!  This is fluffy and mindless.  There are tons of unbelievable situations, but it's still fun.  Of course, there is the frustrating attempt by the author to get into the minds of the paparazzi and "justify" their points of view.  It's made up for a bit at the end, but it was annoying to read the "celebrities need us as much as we need them" and "if the public didn't buy the magazines, we'd quit because we'd be out of work" arguments.  Jo grows and there was a nice little twist in the middle, so it was entertaining, but will probably never be a "must-read".

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


by Terri Clark

Aly just won the ultimate grand prize from EnterTEENment Magazine: a trip to Los Angeles to visit the set of her fave show, Paranormal P.I., and meet hunky star Dakota Danvers live and in person!!!!  She gets to take her best friend since, like, forever... yeah! (but has to take her older sister as her chaperone... crud!).

They head out for the best week ever for any pair of teenaged girls during the summer before their senior year.

It's the first truly good thing to happen to her, or at least the first thing she's gotten excited about, since her mother died in a car accident two years before.

Unfortunately, things aren't that easy.  

Hollyweird's favorite actor is really the Son of Satan and his personal assistant is actually an undercover fallen angel sent by the Big Guy Himself to stop the spawn from whatever deadly plan he and his father have created.

Now Aly must come to grips with the fact that all the supes she's watched on TV are real, her celebrity crush is a douchebag, and her fave guy can't be with her because there are "rules" against that kind of thing.

Final thoughts:  I thought this would be a cotton candy book.  It was supposed to be fluffy, light, and filled with sugary sweetness.  Sadly, it really just ticked me off.  Missy served no real purpose except to cause problems.  Des was there to be the human encyclopedia of supes and convince Aly.  And Aly and Des were just STUPID.  You've been warned that you're about to be confronted with the 7 Deadly Sins.  You even count them off, so we know you know them.  And yet when a complimentary cart of never-ending chocolate shows up, you scarf for 45 minutes of Gluttony?!?!  Then, when you complain to the "management", you're strangely sent to the best suite in the house and waited on hand and foot, not noticing all the Sloth everywhere??  And even after you realize those were bad, you Lust after a man in the woman's shower at the beach and Greedily snatch up allegedly discarded designer clothes, shoes, and jewels (worth tens of thousands of dollars)?!?!!  These don't register as problems to you?!?!  So frustrating.  
God texts!?!?!  
Dozens of made-up words, used only once each, that the author then has to have her characters explain?!?  (Seems more like an "OOH!  Look what I can do!  I can make up stuff!")
Those, plus a rushed ending that had things never foreshadowed anywhere earlier in the book (almost a literal Deus ex Machina... how handy!), and a happy ending for all the good guys with no consequences or real danger, make this a poor choice.

Rating: 2/5


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