Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dead Girl Walking

Dead Girl Walking
by Ruth Silver

Ophelia Dacre is a princess who is on the path to marrying for political gain, but she loves a common boy. When she sneaks out one night to meet up with the boy she loves, she ends up murdered behind a tavern.

But it's not all bad news. Ophelia is offered the chance to be a Grim Reaper. By signing a contract, she becomes the newest member of a group of the undead who go around and collect souls. Her job is to grab a soul before death in order to help prevent pain and suffering before he or she heads off to the afterlife.

She now has a job and near immortality. The only problem is that she has to watch people die to do it.

Final thoughts: NO! Avoid!!!!! This is a blatant and complete knock off of Dead Like Me. Tragic death. Sister struggling with it. Ophelia doesn't want to take the souls, especially since she seems to think that she's killing people even when it's clearly explained that she's not. She refuses to complete her first reap, resulting in her soul being buried with the body (like the time George in Dead Like Me left a man in his body during his autopsy). Ophelia's given the job of reaping a young girl and refuses to do so, which leads the girl's soul to rot in her body even while she was still alive. By waffling on a decision, Ophelia causes multiple deaths that the rest of the reapers have to cover. Ugh! I'm a huge fan of the series, so seeing this book steal idea after idea just ticked me off. Additionally, the characters are flat and one-dimensional. Ophelia has no redeeming qualities and there is just no reason to care about her. I finally stopped at 72% and I really wish I had stopped sooner.

Rating; 1/5

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Cellar

The Cellar
by Natasha Preston

When Summer goes out one night to a club just down the street, she doesn't realize the danger that she's in.

When Lewis watches Summer leave, he doesn't realize that it may be the last time he ever sees her.

When Clover kidnaps Summer, he has no idea how hard Lewis will fight to find her.

The only real question is whether or not Summer can pretend to be Clover's Lily long enough for Lewis to find her.

Final thoughts: Decent read, but a little slow. There were some unrealistic things and some just plain weird things, but the overall story was ok. I wish we'd seen more of Lewis, though I also think the timeline should have been much shorter. For the amount of time Summer was missing, the discussion of news coverage is very unrealistic, as is Lewis' constant searching throughout that time. The ending feels a bit abrupt, though it appears to also be a setup for a sequel.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Hush : An Irish Princess' Tale
by Donna Jo Napoli

Melkorka has been raised to be a princess of Eire. She has always believed that her father is a good king. When she convinces her father to let her go to the Viking town for her birthday, she has no idea that she's starting a chain of events that will lead to her own capture.

Mel had always believed that slaves deserved to be slaves. 

Now she is one. Now she knows that her father was wrong.

She's trapped and her only weapon against her captors is her silence. By not talking, Mel gets a small amount of control. But will the control be enough to get her any sort of freedom?

Final thoughts: This book is written for a young audience, but its themes are not that young. The language is stilted and broken. The plot plods a bit and there is relatively no action. Mel is realistically written, but still kind of dull. Additionally, near the end, Mel is raped repeatedly, which isn't written with much detail, but still may not be appropriate for younger readers. Decent read, but not strong.

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dragons Are People, Too

Dragons Are People, Too
by Sarah Nicolas

By day, Kitty Lung is your typical diplomat's daughter who just happens to go to school with the son of the President of the United States. By night, Kitty Lung is a dragon-shifter and spy for the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC).

The number one rule over DIC is to NEVER reveal the existence of dragon shifters, so when a newly trained operative, under Kitty's command, panics and shifts into full dragon mode on camera, everything changes.

Now the world knows about dragons and the population is scared.

All known dragons are captured by the CIA and taken into custody for the good of the people. Only Kitty and her best friend, Sani, are still free.

When the President's son is kidnapped, Kitty is forced to put the rescue of her friends and family on hold in order to save the son of the leader of the free world.

Maybe, just maybe, if she can save the kid, maybe the President will let her parents go.

Final thoughts: Cotton candy all the way. There is some strange logic brought in to explain why dragons have never been caught on camera before (invisibility when in dragon form) and a lot of discussion about self-healing, but it all kind of makes sense, especially if you don't think too hard about it. Kitty is pretty cool, if a little underdeveloped. Sani is both awesome and a little annoying at the same time. The revelations at the end are decent and there's a definite second book coming, though I'm not sure if I was drawn in enough to remember to look for it when it comes out. Fun and fluffy with no real thinking needed.

Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Let's Pretend This Never Happened

Let's Pretend This Never Happened
(A Mostly True Memoir)
by Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. The Bloggess)

Childhood is a time of discovery. It's when you become who you will always be. So what does your future hold if your dad is a man fascinated by dead animals?

Jenny Lawson was raised in an extremely tiny town within the largest state in the Continental United States. She's a Texan through and through, and she has the childhood trauma to back up her own brand of crazy.

From squirrel puppets (made from real squirrel), to crazy turkeys, to baby raccoons, Lawson's life was never a normal childhood in the traditional sense. In addition, she was also cursed with possibly the most physical and mental issues that could be dropped on one person without that person going insane. Or it's possible that she really is insane... 

In this memoir, Lawson shares events from her childhood, her marriage, her motherhood, and her growth into a pretty darn good person. 

Final thoughts: I am a HUGE fan of The Bloggess. I can relate to a number of her issues and I definitely love her sense of humor. I strongly recommend reading a few entries on her blog before buying this book, though. Her humor is not for everyone, though I'm not sure how well I would get along with people who couldn't laugh at many of the things she writes. This book is especially great for those who suffer from depression as Lawson shows that even the deepest moments of depression and anxiety can eventually become fodder for jokes.

Rating: 5/5

Friday, April 3, 2015

Every Last Word

Every Last Word
by Tamara Ireland Stone

As summer ends, Sam knows she must return to school and become Samantha again. She must rejoin the clique she's been in since kindergarten and pretend to be the perfect girl she feels that she's expected to be.

But even her best friends who've known her most of her life don't really know her.

They don't know about her obsessive need to have all things end on three. They don't know that she must check everything about everyone she knows. They don't know that she sometimes has thoughts of harming all those around her.

Sam has OCD. With the help of a very understanding family, pretty good meds, and an amazing therapist, Sam's been very good at hiding her disorder from everyone she knows, but it takes more effort each day and it has really drained her.

She can't keep hiding who she is, but she also fears going against the girls who can often be cruel to others and will definitely be cruel if she tries to leave them.

Then one day, Sam meets Caroline and she's led to a group of misfits who accept her for who she is and help her find her voice.

Final thoughts: Great book about the struggles with OCD, as well as what it may be like for the girls in the mean girl groups who may not really be that mean. Sam is a fascinating character and her growth throughout the book feels authentic. The twist near the end felt a little strange and forced, but Sam was real throughout.

Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.


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