Wednesday, April 30, 2014


by Veronica Roth

The simulation that took the minds of the Dauntless has ended.  Most of the Abnegation are dead in the streets.  Those who survived are on the run.  And Tris must face the horrible truths of the deaths caused by her own hand.

The few remaining Dauntless, now free of the simulation's effects, must find allies where there may be none and they must find answers when others want only to be ignorant.

Will Tris and Tobias find the truth or will their world come crumbling down before what's real and what's simulation can be truly identified.

Final thoughts:  OMG!  It's an M. Night Shyamalan ending!  Are you freaking kidding me?!?!  Seriously?  Come ON!  So very frustrating!

I started off a little bugged because this book started off right after Divergent, which is a book I haven't read since it came out, so it's been a while and I've forgotten almost all of it.  Most sequels have a chapter or two to get you back into the swing of things and remind you about the plot, but this just dumps the reader in and basically yells, "SINK OR SWIM, BABY!"  Needless to say, I sank a little.  By the time I came up and started really swimming, I was into the story, but it felt forced.  The chemistry between Beatrice/Tris and Tobias/Four just wasn't as amazing as I (kind of) remembered.  Tris seems to have some sort of death wish, a la Bella Swan, including walking into a situation where she's pretty much guaranteed to die.  She lies constantly to the love of her life and feels bad about it, but never changes anything.  Tobias tends to be more than a little possessive and controlling, and yet still doesn't really get much done.  I'm glad I finally read it, but the ending especially just made me groan and glare at the sky in frustration.

Rating: 3/5

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fiance by Fate

Fiancé by Fate
by Jennifer Shirk

Sabrina is more than a little superstitious.  She tosses spilled salt over her shoulder.  She checks her horoscope.  She looks for signs everywhere.  And she meets with psychics to get answers to some of her biggest problems.

Her current problem is that her fiancé, the man who proposed on the anniversary of her parents' tragic death in a fatal car accident (that's GOT to be a sign, right?), has put their engagement on hold while he works things out for himself.

When Jack Brenner, son of her boss and the 3rd most eligible bachelor of Boston, shows up in her life, there are signs there, too.  Of course, they're all pointing away from him, but Jack's got a proposal for Sabrina that may be just what she needs.

Pretend to be his girlfriend to get his father off his back and he'll make sure her ex is so jealous that he begs for Sabrina to come back to him.

Sounds simple.  But the simple plans are usually the ones that get the most complicated.

Final thoughts: Pure cotton candy.  There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this book except that it takes you away from reality for a while.  There's a lot of telling instead of showing and some of it is just completely unbelievable, but it still has a hook and is basically just brain candy.  Don't look for anything here that will change the world; you're really just reading a rom-com.

Rating: 3/5

Friday, April 25, 2014


by Gabrielle Prendergast

Named after the archangel
Not an angel at all
Thought by many to be the devil

Trying to be some

Finds love
Finds heartbreak
Finds family

Loses freedom
Loses normalcy
Loses God

Her story
In verse

Final thoughts: Simple verses tell a powerful story that really should be read in one sitting.  Raphaelle has a number of serious issues to deal with including her father's emotional distance, her mother's bulemia, her brother's early death, her sister's asthma, and a whole lotta other things that go wrong because she's constantly to trying to be someone different to get away from her memories of the past.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fashionably Dead Down Under

Fashionably Dead Down Under
by Robyn Peterman

She'd just saved the world so you'd think Astrid would get a break... but, noooooo... she had to get dragged down to hell to meet her uncle, Satan.

Now she has to find a magical sword that can kill any True Immortal, solve a few crimes, stop her crazy grandmother (Mother Nature) from having tantrums that could literally destroy the world, and find a way to make sure the Vampyre love of her life doesn't turn to dust while visiting her in Hell.

It's just a day in the life of the Chosen One.

Final thoughts: Messy.  Too many jokes and not enough development.  One of the things that bothered me with the first book was that everything happened so quickly.  This book is worse.  It's like the story's on crack.  Problems are solved almost as soon as they're mentioned.  Ethan could turn to dust if he doesn't get out of Hell in a week?  Fine!  Have grandma stop time on Earth.  Problem solved.  Demon sets off a magical disaster in the dining room?  Fine!  Talk a few minutes and it's solved.  Jokes fly left and right about Hell and what it looks like, but there's just no time to develop it all.  This one book could have been so much more detailed, and could have been split into two or three to do it, if necessary.  I also missed some of the great characters from the first book who don't even get a mention in this one.  Plus the chemistry between Ethan and Astrid was completely gone this time.  I'm disappointed.

Rating: 2/5

The Conduit

The Conduit
by Stacey Rourke

After a series of break-ins at their home, Celeste Garrett's mother sends Celeste, her sister, Kendall, and her brother, Gabe, off to live with their grandmother until she can sell the house and join them.  And while they're old enough to go out on their own, they'd rather stick together for now, especially since the tragic death of their father.

So now Celeste is living with her siblings and her you're-only-as-old-as-you-feel grandmother, and she's taking the time to figure out what she wants in life.

But life has a way of figuring out what it wants before you do.

When Celeste accidentally activates her own destiny via a family heirloom, she and her siblings suddenly become the only people alive who can stop the oncoming demon assault.  As "the conduit", Celeste is the key to saving the world and the world really needs her right now.

Final thoughts:  Cotton candy fantasy-ish book.  While Celeste is supposed to be 18, her "voice" comes off much younger, but that doesn't stop the fun.  Overall, it's a decent read with a few hiccups and a few truly funny moments.  It's not perfect, but it's a pretty interesting ride for a few hours.  Side note: it's a little confusing having Kendall on the cover when Celeste is the center of the story, the POV, and the protagonist.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


by Aimée Carter

Kitty Doe has been raised to believe that everyone has an even chance.  With a simple test, every citizen can prove her worth and become a productive member of society.

One test leads to one tattoo and that tattoo means everything.  A II or III works menial labor.  A IV has a shot at mid-level jobs.  A V or VI can rise to the ranks of the powerful.  A I is removed from the population and sent "Elsewhere".  And a VII... a VII is the highest rank belonging only to the Prime Minister and his family.

When Kitty fails her test and ends up as a III, she knows that life will never be the same.

When Daxton Hart, the Prime Minister, shows up and offers her the chance to be a VII, Kitty realizes that it's her one chance to be more than just a number.  Or at least her one chance to be more than just Her number.

What Kitty doesn't realize is that she's going to have to be someone else and change everything about herself, whether she's willing or not.  And just days after she agrees, she becomes Lily Hart, niece of the Prime Minister, as she's been surgically changed to looked exactly like the murdered Hart girl.

Her job now is to end the rebellion that Lily started or more than just her life is at stake.

Final thoughts:  OK start to a dystopian plot even if it plods along a bit.  There are far too many twists and turns to keep them all straight easily and it's nearly impossible to figure out who is who or who is on who's side.  Some of the future described is actually fairly realistic, but it's not very engaging.  Decent, but not great.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lennon's Jinx

Lennon's Jinx
by Chris Myers

  • Looks like the quintessential "bad boy with a heart of gold".  
  • Hooks up with girls because he can, but doesn't want to be tied down.
  • Famous parents who both have serious issues.
  • Adorable younger sister.
  • Uses music to get away from his problems.

  • Afraid of men since an incident three years before.
  • Has an evil Step-Monster who rats her out to her mom on a regular basis.
  • Parties a little too hard.
  • Still in love with her ex.
  • Uses music to get away from her problems.

  • They are able to bridge the gaps in their lives to find something real.
  • They take care of each other.
  • Find better futures.

Final thoughts:  Not very realistic for realistic fiction.  The situations are odd and I just can't understand why people would think Jinx is the "good girl/virgin" when she's such a heavy party-goer.  She regularly gets drunk and keeps a stash of "but it's medicinal" marijuana in her house.  The sheer amount of alcohol served to these seventeen year-olds is astounding.  Even the "responsible" adults let them drink wine.  And, I'm sorry, but there is NO WAY a doctor is going to let a 17-year-old make life or death medical decisions for his little sister when 1) the guy is NOT an emancipated minor, and 2) the birth parents are standing right there.  It's an interesting read while you're in it, but may not be worth the effort of reading the next ones.  Melodramatic and yet bland at the same time.

Rating: 3/5


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