Monday, January 31, 2011

A-Z Reading Challenge

There I was, minding my own business, happily bouncing around the blogosphere, when this challenge caught my eye. Saw that Kate over at Midnight Book Girl is just as addicted to challenges as I am and had just signed up for this one. Curious, I headed over to The Thoughts of a Book Junky for more details. I didn't stand a chance...

This is a pretty simple challenge, in that you only have to read 26 books. The catch is that it's one book per letter of the alphabet. I've been tempted by these challenges in the past and have finally caved. I don't have a full list yet, so will fill it out as I go along.

Here's what I have so far:

A. Angelfire
B. Book of Tomorrow
C. Complaints
D. Dark and Disorderly
E. Enchanted No More
F. Forest of Hands and Teeth
G. Green Eyed Demon
H. hush, hush
I. I Remember Nothing
J. Joe is Online
K. Kiss & Hell
L. Lost Gate
M. My Way to Hell
N. New York to Dallas
O. Overbite
P. Pale Demon
R. Radleys
S. Summer's Crossing
T. Tempest's Legacy
U. Unearthly
W. Wither
Y. Youngest Templar 3
Z. Zombie Mommy

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: Angelfire

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Source:  netGalley

Rating: 3/5

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.(Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
I had mixed feelings about this one. There were parts where I really got into the story and couldn't wait to see what happened next, then there were other parts that didn't ring true for me. Overall, it was an okay story and I enjoyed it, I just didn't love it.

Ellie is not exactly your typical teenage girl, as her family is rich enough to buy her a new car for her birthday, her parents constantly fight, and she suffers from horrible nightmares every night. Horribly vivid nightmares, with terrifying monsters trying to kill her. Turns out that the nightmares are memories of previous battles, as Ellie is the reincarnation of a mighty warrior, put on Earth to protect humanity from the evil reapers.

While I understand that this is the first book in a new series, I felt that it took a little too long to set things up. Ellie seemed a little slow on the uptake, as she doesn't really remember her previous lives and she takes too long to accept her new reality. I'd like to think that if I suddenly saw monsters and was able to successfully fight them, I'd believe Will. Of course, I'd probably be paralyzed with fear and the monsters would eat me, but please humor me and leave me my delusions....

All in all, this isn't a bad start and I'm curious to read the next book to see what happens to Ellie and Will. And with Ellie's dad, as there's something not quite right with him. There were parts of the story where Ellie reminded me a little of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in that Ellie is trying to keep the rest of her life normal while fighting evil on the side. Wonder how long that's going to last?

You can learn more about the author and Angelfire at her website

Expected publication: February 15th, 2011 by HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books

Saturday, January 29, 2011

In My Mailbox (63)

In My Mailbox (63)
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the book. A small mailbox this week, but totally awesome!

For Review:

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Received an ARC of The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa from the publisher. This was a total surprise and not only did I squee when I opened the package, but I also did a happy dance! I love, love, love the Iron Fey series!

My name is Meghan Chase. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. This time, there will be no turning back.

What goodies did you receive this week?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: I Remember Nothing

I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

Source:  Personal Library

Rating:  3/5

Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. (Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts:
Nora Ephron is a very talented, witty, clever writer. I enjoyed her book I Feel Bad About My Neck, so ordered this one online. I like that it's a collection of essays and lists, so I could pick it up for a quick read whenever I had a spare moment.

This collection was a little uneven, as I really enjoyed some of the essays but not others. Some of them I just couldn't relate to, such as her beginnings as a journalist. Some seemed like page-fillers, such as the lists of what surprises people, what she'll miss, and what she won't miss. But some found me nodding my head in agreement, thinking once again that Nora is a genius!

Gave this a 3/5 rating because of the uneven quality, but think it was still worth reading. Like I've said before, Nora is an incredibly gifted writer and I'm a big fan. Pick up a copy and let me know what you think...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cat Thursday (36)

Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to highlight pictures of cats, little tidbits about what our kitties are up to, or any snippets about cats we've come across. Love cats and love funny pictures, so wanted to share my latest find with you!

I know just how the poor little guy feels.....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: hush, hush

hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Source:  Personal Library

Rating:  3/5

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life. (Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts:
I had mixed feelings about this one. It sat on my shelf for awhile because so many of my fellow bloggers raved about it when it first came out that I was hesitant to read it in case it didn't live up to all of the hype. Plus, I'm a little quirky and don't like to jump on bandwagons and read what everyone else is reading. So it sat and patiently waited.

Was it worth the wait? I don't think so. I'm still scratching my head over why there were so many rave reviews about Patch. I didn't like him. At all. He was unpleasant with no redeeming qualities, and I just didn't get it. He was stalking Nora, acted creepy, and did I mention that I didn't like him?

Nora was an okay heroine, and I liked that she made stupid mistakes that teenage girls are bound to make, but wasn't horror-movie-stupid. You know, where the teenage girl goes into the basement where the killer is hiding even though she should know better? Anyway, I liked Nora well enough, but didn't like her taste in boys.

Gave this one a 3/5 rating as I couldn't get past my annoyance with Patch. I still wanted to finish the book and find out what happened, and will no doubt read the sequel. I wasn't happy with the ending, but think that Becca is a talented writer and worth reading. I know I'm in the minority here, but think how boring things would be if we all had the same taste in books! Here's hoping the next one is better!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review: Blue

Blue by Lou Aronica
Blue by Lou Aronica

Source: Review copy provided by the author

Rating:  4/5

Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Becky is Chris's fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges to become a vibrant, vital young woman - and now faces her greatest obstacle yet. Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little, a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own and now finds itself in terrible, maybe fatal trouble. Together, Chris, Becky, and Miea need to uncover a secret. The secret to why their worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them. Blue is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed.(Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts:
At first, this story was a little confusing as it went back and forth between our world and Tamarisk, the fantasy world Becky and Chris created long ago. But once I got the hang of all of the multiple narrators and figured out who was who, the story flowed much smoother. Still not 100% sure who Gage is, but I have a rough idea.

Becky isn't your typical teenager, as she's a survivor of both childhood cancer and her parent's divorce. She has a best friend, Lonnie, who isn't the typical sidekick and made a refreshing change. I actually liked both of these girls, probably because they weren't stereotypes. Becky just wants to fit in, and is in denial that life might not be as okay as she'd like.

Between the two, I think I preferred Becky's story to Miea's. Not that Tamarisk wasn't interesting, but it was Becky's creation and I enjoyed watching her discover it during her visits. Of all of the characters, in both of the worlds, I liked Becky the most. Her father Chris did not make a good first impression, and her mother Polly was a weird combination of good mom/angry ex-wife. It was almost like she had a split personality!

This story kept me up much too late as I couldn't put it down, and I had a tough time finishing the book because it's a little hard to read with tears in your eyes. Tends to make the words go all blurry. I love a story that brings tears to my eye! The book had a strong main character, okay secondary characters, good plot, and an all over decent storyline. Definitely a good read!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Tempest's Legacy

Tempest's Legacy by Nicole PeelerTempest's Legacy by Nicole Peeler

Source:  netGalley

Rating:  5/5

Jane True has become proficient in basic magics, confident in herself and her abilities, and happily rooted in Rockabill. Her life is still divided between her supernatural brethren and her human friends and family, but it’s a division she maintains with very little trouble. Everything changes, however, when Anyan brings Jane news that will force her to confront her dichotomized existence - supernatural females are being murdered, or have simply disappeared....

Eventually, the trio stumble upon a secret so huge that it threatens to disrupt the tenuous traditions keeping humanity safe from the supernatural community that has, up until now, been content to lurk in the shadows. Will they uncover the truth in time to save Jane’s friends? And just how far will Jarl go to protect his secrets? (Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts:
Jane True is one of my favorite heroines! She's not helpless, yet she's not a hardcore superhero either. She's an entirely believable character that I'd like to be friends with, and I cheered right along with her as she discovered her strengths along the way!

Jane has been training hard, and muscles her way into an investigation with Anyan and Ryu. Jane finds that it's hard to gauge your own progress when you're surrounded by warriors, but learns she's pretty hardcore herself! Go Jane!

The main plot is the group tracking down who is behind horrible experiments on halflings and purebloods, but the good guys always seem to be one step behind the bad guys and the labs are empty by the time they're raided. There worst part is that there doesn't seem to be any point to some of the experiments and they're just an exercise in sadistic cruelty. No wonder Jane feels numb at times!

There's a great little side plot with Julian, one of Ryu's deputies and a fellow halfling. I've always liked Julian, so am glad that he had a little more to do in this one. Would love to see more of him in the future (hint, hint Nicole!). Yea Team Halfling!

Gave this a 5/5 as it kept me up much too late and I couldn't put it down! Just had to find out what happened next! As I may have mentioned a time or two, I adore Jane. She has a great sense of humor, is sometimes scared out of her wits but does what needs to be done, and finally resolves her relationships with the two men in her life. That part was important, as I get incredibly annoyed with characters who can't make up their mind and string their men along (Yes, I'm talking to you Stephanie Plum!). Jane is brave and funny and loyal and self-deprecating and wonderful. Definitely one of my favorite series!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (62)

In My Mailbox (62)
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the book.

For Review:

Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut by Jill Kargman
Received a review copy of Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut by Jill Kargman from the publisher. This was in a nice surprise package that I wasn't expecting. Not my usual read, but might be interesting!

Jill Kargman is a mother, wife, and writer living the life in New York City . . . a life that includes camping out in a one-bedroom apartment with some unfortunate (and furry) roommates, battling the Momzillas of Manhattan, and coming to terms with her desire for gay men. In this entertaining collection of observations, Kargman offers her unique, wickedly funny perspective as she zips around Manhattan with three kids in tow.

Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
A review copy of Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan was also included in the package from the publisher.

Little Princes is a true story of families and children, and what one person is capable of when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. At turns tragic, joyful, and hilarious, Little Princes is a testament to the power of faith and the ability of love to carry us beyond our wildest expectations.

Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The final surprise from the publisher was a review copy of Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

R.S.V.P. to the most riotous wedding of the year . . . Lucy Jorik is the daughter of a former president of the United States. Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends. One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible - Ted Beaudine - the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache. But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend's wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say "I don't," Meg becomes the most hated woman in town - a town she's stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure she can survive on her own wits. What's the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all.


XIV by Julia Karr
I've seen XIV by Julia Karr here and there around the blogosphere lately, so I picked a copy up at Barnes & Noble, read the first page, and was instantly hooked!

Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world - even the most predatory of men - that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past - one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else received this week!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Family Affair

Family Affair by Debbie MacomberFamily Affair by Debbie Macomber

Source:  Review copy received from the publisher

Rating:  3/5

Lacey Lancaster has always longed to be a wife and mother. However, after a painful divorce, she decides it's time to lay low for a while in her charming San Francisco apartment with her beautiful Abyssinian cat, Cleo.

Everything would be wonderful, except for her utterly impossible neighbor Jack Walker. When he's not arguing day and night with his girlfriend, begging her to move in with him, he's chasing down his cat named Dog, who seems determined to get Cleo to succumb to his feline advances.

Then Lacey discovers the awful truth - Cleo is in the family way and Dog's to blame. She's furious that neither Jack nor his amorous animal seem too upset about the situation. But Lacey learns that things are not quite as they seem. Jack's "girlfriend" is really his sister - and his intentions toward Lacey are very honorable. And though she's not quite sure about Dog, Lacey begins to discover the tender joy of falling in love all over again. (book synopsis)

My Thoughts:
I adore Debbie Macomber! Her books are the equivalent of comfort food for me. This is a reprint that was originally published in 1994 and at 99 pages, it's a fast read.

Despite my love for Debbie, I don't think that this story aged well. The main character of Lacey is too much of a helpless female, needing a big, strong man to rescue her. For as long as I've been reading romances, this type of heroine has annoyed me. I understand that she's getting over the betrayal of her husband and the resulting divorce, but why does she have to be so helpless?

And despite Lacey giving him the cold shoulder, why is Jack so determined to pursue her? Can't be her sparkling personality, as she won't even talk to him at first. I think Jack's sister is right and he likes to rescue strays, and Lacey seems like she needs rescuing.

This was a fast read, but just an okay story. Debbie is a very talented writer, but I simply didn't care for Lacey or Jack. I especially didn't care for the ending, as it was just too old-fashioned for my taste. I still love Debbie and will keep reading her, but this one just wasn't my cup of tea.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cat Thursday (35)

Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to highlight pictures of cats, little tidbits about what our kitties are up to, or any snippets about cats we've come across. Love cats and wanted to share my latest find with you!

Wait....when does Spring start again???

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Dying Light

Dying Light by D. Scott Meek
Dying Light by D. Scott Meek

Source:  Review copy from Get Red PR

Rating:  3/5

In the near future, a new world order society mercilessly eradicates the last victims of the Blood Virus. "Vampyres", constantly in fear of discovery and persecution, live and walk among humans as ordinary people with an extraordinary reality and a haunting past; a deal to save the last vampyres is struck, but intrigue and betrayal ensure that while the sun will rise tomorrow, no one knows who will live to see it. (Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts:
Really liked the premise of this book; vampires were caused by a blood virus, sort of like biological warfare. Scary!

The story itself was interesting. Vampires are all around us, but hiding their true identities in order to avoid persecution. The Vampire Lord is working behind the scenes to protect his people, and there are betrayals and anti-vampire groups to contend with.

There are several different characters who act as narrators during the story, which became confusing at times as it wasn't always clear who was speaking. I figured it out sooner or later, but it was a little annoying. That surprised me, as I like multiple point of views. Guess I'm becoming a lazy reader and now need things spelled out for me!

The premise was interesting and the writing wasn't bad, but too many narrators and unexpected flashbacks made it a little confusing. I thought that this was an okay story, with a rather abrupt ending. I'm curious what happens next.

You can learn more about the book and D Scott Meek at the Dying Light website.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I am a Reading Challenge Addict!

Reading Challenge Addict
I've already admitted that I suffer from challenge-acceptitis, so might as well join the Reading Challenge Addict support group! Saw it mentioned by SenoraG at her Reading, Reading & Life blog, and it seems like a perfect fit!

About the group:
Some of us have a bit of a problem.
Some of us have a huge problem.
Cheryl from CMash Loves to Read and Gina from Hott Books are two such people. They both stand proudly and say:

I am a Reading Challenge Addict!

How addicted are you?
Easy as Pie: 1-5 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
On the Roof: 6-10 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
In Flight: 11-15 Challenges (Entered & Completed)
Out of This World: 16+ Challenges (Entered & Completed)

  • They're not making this a difficult challenge, actually, it's going to be very simple!
  • This challenge will begin on January 1, 2011 and end on December 31, 2011.
  • Write a starting post joining the challenge and outlining your challenges.
  • Track all of your challenge accomplishments - good & bad.
  • Stop by to join in the mini-challenges, updates & extra giveaways throughout the year.

I was actually surprised that I'm only at the On The Roof level with 7 challenges, as it felt like I had signed up for more! They are:

1. 100 Books in a Year Challenge
2. Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
3. Off the Shelf Challenge
4. Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge
5. What's in a Name 4 Challenge
6. 2011 eBook Challenge
7. Goodreads 2011 Reading Challenge

I've finished entering all of my challenges for the year (fingers crossed I don't get sucked into yet another one!), and think I have a good shot at completing them all. But it's nice to know that I'm not alone in my addiction!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

netGalley Goodies

I love, love. love netGalley! They're the main reason that I finally decided to get my nook, as I don't like reading eBooks on my PC or laptop. However I do admit to self-control issues, as I have a tendency to start browsing and requesting, then suddenly wind up with a virtual shelf full of eARCs! Here are my latest finds:

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowen

Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

Tempest's Legacy by Nicole Peeler

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

I had to stop browsing, as I need to read and review these treasures before I request any more. Any suggestions on what I should keep an eye out for during my next netGalley visit?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In My Mailbox (61)

In My Mailbox (61)
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the book.

For Review:

Debbie Macomber's  Family Affair
Received a review copy of Debbie Macomber's  Family Affair from the publisher. This was a surprise, but I really like Debbie and am looking forward to reading this one.

To Have and To Kill by Mary Jane Clark
The review copy of To Have and To Kill by Mary Jane Clark was another surprise from the publisher. It's a mystery and I'm not a big mystery fan, but this looks like it might be a fun read so I'll give it a shot!

A Lonely Death by Charles Todd
Had requested this ARC of A Lonely Death by Charles Todd, so I was happy when it showed up in the mail! While I usually don't read police fiction, I love stories about Scotland Yard detectives. There's just something about them....  ;)

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else received this week!
Happy reading!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cat Thursday (34)

Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to highlight pictures of cats, little tidbits about what our kitties are up to, or any snippets about cats we've come across. Love cats and love funny pictures, so wanted to share my latest find with you!

funny pictures-Thank you, but I do believe I shall be remaining indoors today

This is how I felt yesterday morning, when I woke up to another 6 inches outside.
I know it's only January, but I'm already tired of snow!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Reading Resolutions Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the winner of my Reading Resolutions Giveaway!

The winner will receive a copy of Dying to Live by Kim Paffenroth, Bound by Antonya Nelson, and some surprise bookish goodies! So without any further ado....the winner is:

Elise R at Bookish Delights!

Congratulations Elise! I hope that you enjoy the books!

I've sent Elise an email confirmation and am just waiting for their response.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Review: Dark and Disorderly

Dark & Disorderly by Bernita Harris
Dark & Disorderly by Bernita Harris

Source:  netGalley

Rating:  4/5

Lillie St. Claire is a Talent, one of the rare few who can permanently dispatch the spirits of the dead that walk the earth. Her skills are in demand in a haunted country, where a plague of ghosts is becoming a civic nuisance.

Those skills bring her into conflict with frightened citizens who view Talents as near-demons. Her husband comes to see her as a Freak; so when Nathan dies after a car crash, she is relieved to be free of his increasingly vicious presence. Lillie expects to be haunted by Nathan's ghost, but not to become Suspect #1 for her husband's murder and reanimation.

But what's most surprising of all is the growing attraction between her and psi-crime detective John Thresher. He thinks that Lillie killed Nathan--and Nathan must agree, because his zombie is seeking revenge. Now she and Thresher must work together to solve her husband's murder--before his corpse kills her... (Goodreads synopsis)

My Thoughts:
While I've read books before about people who can see and interact with ghosts, don't think I've ever come across someone like Lillie before. I really liked her! She's been considered a freak almost her entire life and is dealing with the betrayal of her late husband, but still has an inner strength that I admired. Despite everything, I think she'll recover and take another chance on romance. And if that chance should somehow involve the interesting Detective Thresher, well....that could be very, very interesting.

Lillie lives in an ever-changing world. The supernatural is becoming more active, and the ghost problem needs to be addressed. Lillie is a contract employee for the town, and it's her job to address it. Sort of like a ghost remover. Natural-born talents like Lillie are usually distinguished by their silver hair and are not only able to see ghosts, but can dispatch them with a touch. Sometimes the ghosts resist, but Lillie is a strong talent and can usually handle them.

Her specialty is ghosts, but Lillie finds herself needing to know about the various myths and legends she may run into. For instance, no one expects to run into a Banshee at the local laundromat, yet Lillie does. And there are all those omens and signs foreshadowing death to keep track of.  What's that crow outside my window mean again?

Found this to be a well-written story, with good pacing and interesting characters. Like I mentioned, I really liked Lillie and hope that she survives so we can see her in action again. Future sequels maybe (hint, hint Ms. Harris!).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

eBook Challenge 2011

Just when I think I'm done signing up for challenges, I find yet another one to suck me right in! I had actually considered this challenge before and decided against it, but then I went a little crazy on netGalley this morning. Went there to request one particular eARC, started browsing, and let's just say my I went a little overboard and leave it at that... *blush*

This challenge used to be hosted by Alaine at Queen of Happy Endings, but is now hosted by The Ladybug Reads. While I'll never give up physical books, I love my nook and all the free eBooks I've downloaded from! Love their Freebie Friday offers! And you already know about me being like a kid in a candystore this morning at netGalley. As I have over 60 eBooks on my nook right now, thought I might as well track how many I read. And what better way to keep track than thru a challenge?

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are 7 levels:
  • Curious – Read 3 e-books.
  • Fascinated – Read 6 e-books.
  • Addicted – Read 12 e-books.
  • Obsessed – Read 20 e-books.
  • Possessed – Read 50 e-books.
  • Fanatical – Read 75 e-books.
  • Monomaniacal – Read 100 e-books.
3. Any genre counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1, 2011 and lasts until December 31, 2011.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to your post about the E-Book Reading Challenge. Include the URL so that other participants can join in and read your reviews and post.

I've decided to try for the Obsessed level of reading 20 eBooks. Think my previous challenge failures were because I was too ambitious, but I think I can easily handle 20 eBooks in one year!

Friday, January 7, 2011

ARC Preview: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

ARC Preview
I receive ARCs every now and again that won't be released for several months, but I don't want to have them just sit there and gather dust. Thought I would feature them to give everyone sort of a sneak peek at upcoming books. This feature was inspired by Shellie over at Layers of Thought.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb - males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape - to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left. (Goodreads synopsis)

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (March 22, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1442409053
ISBN-13: 978-1442409057

About the author:
Lauren DeStefano was born in New Haven, Connecticut and has never traveled far from the east coast. She received a BA in English from Albertus Magnus College recently, and has been writing since childhood. She made her authorial debut by writing on the back of children's menus at restaurants and filling up the notepads in her mom's purse. Her very first manuscript was written on a yellow legal pad with red pen, and it was about a haunted shed that ate small children.

Now that she is all grown up (for the most part), she writes fiction for young adults. Her failed career aspirations include: world's worst receptionist, coffee house barista, sympathetic tax collector, and English tutor. When she isn't writing, she's screaming obscenities at her Nintendo DS, freaking her cats out with the laser pen, or rescuing thrift store finds and reconstructing them into killer new outfits.

(This information about the author is from her website:

Preorder the book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It will be published March, 2011.