Monday, September 22, 2014

Schooled Review

Schooled (Lexy Cooper Mystery #1)

TITLE: Schooled
AUTHOR: Christa Charter
PUBLISHER: Missing Spoon Publishing
FORMAT: ebook
PAGES: 182
SOURCE: Bought

SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): Lexy Cooper is a Community Manager at Xenon Corporation, maker of the Xenon 24/7 videogame console and Xenonline gaming service. When a young woman's nude body is discovered on the Xenon corporate campus, Lexy's uncle, homicide detective Mike Malick, catches the case. As Malick investigates the crime, Lexy works the case from inside Xenon and discovers more about the seedy underbelly of the games industry than she ever wanted to know.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This story was pretty good. I wouldn't say that I was blown away or that it was super memorable, but I was entertained while reading it. I had fun trying to figure things out alongside Lexy. The ending was suspenseful, but not suspenseful enough. I felt like there could have been a lot more done with it to make me stand on edge.

CHARACTERS: Lexy annoyed me with the way she used her body to get what she wanted. I just cringed a little bit every time she did it. I liked Mike a lot. He was the right combination of protective and fun, and he was really understanding of what Lexy was going through.

COVER: When I first picked this up, I thought it was a graphic novel because of the cover, but it's not.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Velocity Review


TITLE: Velocity
AUTHOR: Dean Koontz
PUBLISHER: Bantam Books
FORMAT: Hardcover (0-553-80415-4)
PAGES: 416
SOURCE: I bought

INSIDE COVER SUMMARY: Billy Wiles is an easygoing, hardworking guy who leads a quiet, ordinary life. But that is about to change. One evening, after his usual eight-hour bartending shift, he finds a typewritten note under the windshield wiper of his car.

If you don't take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher somewhere in Napa County. If you do take this not to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours.

It seems like a sick joke, and Billy's friend on the police force, Lanny Olsen, thinks so too. His advice to Billy is to go home and forget about it. Besides, what could they do even if they took the note seriously? No crime has actually been committed.

But less than twenty-four hours late, a young blonde schoolteacher is found murdered, and it's Billy's fault: he didn't convince the police to get involved. Now he's got another note, another deadline, another ultimatum...and two new lives hanging in the balance. 

Suddenly Billy's average, seemingly innocuous life takes on the dimensions and speed of an accelerating nightmare. Because the notes are coming faster, the deadline growing tighter, and the killer becoming bolder and crueler with every communication--until Billy is isolated with the terrifying knowledge that he alone has the power of life and death over a psychopath's innocent victims. Until the struggle between good and evil is intensely personal. Until the most chilling words of all are: The choice is yours.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is my first ever Dean Koontz book and one of the very few adult books I read this year. This book creeped me out. I would never want to be put in Billy's situation. I was definitely hooked while reading this. I wanted to know who was behind everything and how the main character was going to deal with the next crazy thing that this killer would come up with.

CHARACTERS: While I couldn't really relate to Billy, the main character, I could completely sympathize with him. 

COVER: Bright, eye catching and to the point.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Belzhar Review


TITLE: Belzhar
AUTHOR: Meg Wolitzer
PUBLISHER: Dutton Books For Young Readers
PAGES: 272
SOURCE: Amazon Vine

BACK COVER SUMMARY: If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She'd be watching old comedy sketches with him. She'd be kissing him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn't be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, supposedly life-changing class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn't fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

When a journal-writing assignment leads Jam into a mysterious otherworld she and her classmates call Belzhar, she discovers a realm where the untainted past is restored, and she can feel Reeve's arms around her once again. But, a the pages of her journal begin to fill up, Jam must confront hidden truths and ultimately decide what she's willing to sacrifice to reclaim her loss.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I love reading books about boarding schools, and for some reason have this obsession with them, so I was really excited to start reading this.  The students in the Special Topics class this year are studying the works of Sylvia Plath, and because of that after reading this I really want to read "The Bell Jar." 

I love the idea behind this story. I haven't ever read anything like it and the topic was something that really stood out to me. I liked the progression of the story and I was really interested to see what was going to happen at the end of the book, but I was disappointed with the last part of the book. The ending itself was find, but the part leading up to the ending where we learn more about what Jam went through was not what I was expecting and I didn't like it at all.

CHARACTERS: I feel like there could have been some more character development. I would have liked to know more about all of the students in the Special Topics class as well as Jam's roommate. I liked all of the characters, but I felt like I didn't know them enough.

COVER: I love how the cover incorporates so many things from the book.

**Thanks to Amazon and Dutton Books for providing me with an ARC for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Room Review (Audiobook)


AUTHOR: Emma Donoghue
READ BY: Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, Suzanne Toren
LENGTH: 10 hours, 45 minutes
SOURCE: Library

SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): To 5-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for 7 years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough--not for her or for him.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic 5-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This book was just wow. I've wanted to read it for a while, but I recently started getting into audiobooks and saw that this was available at my library so I decided to give it a try. The thing about this book that makes it so haunting is the narrator playing Jack. He really sounds like a 5-year-old boy, which really helped get me into the feeling of the story. Throughout the whole story, Jack is so innocent. He doesn't understand that his life is not normal. It's so heartbreaking to see how he interprets things.

The story is so horrific, but at the same time feels like something that could actually happen - in other words, the writing is really believable.

The audiobook comes with an extra PDF file that is basically a bunch of drawings done by "Jack" of the room that they are held captive in. It really puts it into perspective just how tiny the room is.

I love that we get to see Jack's interaction with the world after his escape. It's interesting to see how he handles everything for the first time. These things that we deal with on a daily basis but that he's never encountered before.

CHARACTERS: I love Jack's character. He's so believable and so innocent. I feel like he is just a typical kid. He got on my nerves a few times just like any other kid would, but then you think about everything that he is dealing with and it breaks your heart.

COVER: I like the cover. It's nice and plain and I like how they used what looks like paints to write out the title as if Jack had painted it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Let's Get Lost Review

Let's Get Lost

TITLE: Let's Get Lost
AUTHOR: Adi Alsaid
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PAGES: 352
SOURCE: Amazon Vine/Publisher

BACK COVER SUMMARY: Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There's Hudson, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And Bree, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday--and a few stolen goods along the way.

Elliot believes in happy endings...until his own life goes off-script. And Sonia worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth--sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This was a really nice contemporary read. It was easy to read., it was quick to read, and it was really entertaining. I loved that the story was written in different parts where we meet a new character, but we also learn more about the main character. The ending of this book was perfect. This was such a feel-good book that made me smile.

CHARACTERS: I loved all of the characters in this book. I love the way Leila interacted with everyone and how she handled all of the situations she was thrown into.

COVER: I like the cover a lot. It completely represents the feel of the book.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Secret Hum of a Daisy Review

The Secret Hum of a Daisy

TITLE: The Secret Hum of a Daisy
AUTHOR: Tracy Holczer
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: ARC copy from Amazon Vine/Publisher

BACK COVER SUMMARY: Grace and her mother are their own family, traveling from place to place like gypsies. But Grace is tired and wants to finally have a home all to her own. She thinks she's found it with Mrs. Greene and her daughter, Lacey, so when her mother tells her it's time to move on again, Grace summons the courage to tell her mother how she really feels. She'll always regret that her last words to her mother were angry ones.

When Grace's mother dies suddenly, she's thrust into a world she doesn't understand and didn't expect--the town her mother grew up in and fled when she was just seventeen and pregnant with Grace. Now faced with making a home with a grandmother she's never met (and who, according to Grace's mother, never wanted her in the first place), Grace is desperate to be sent back to Mrs. Greene and her best friend, Lacey. A mysterious treasure hunt, just like the ones her mother used to send her on, may just be the key. It all begins with a crane. And Grace is sure it's her mother showing her the way home.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: For the first third of so of the book, I was having a hard time making myself pick up the book to read even though I was enjoying it, but that may have just been because there were so many other books that I wanted to read at the time. I got a lot more interested in the book and I wanted to see where the cranes were going to take Grace and how the relationship with her grandmother would progress.

CHARACTERS: I found myself really attached to the main character Grace. I felt almost like she was a younger family member of mine, and I wanted to make sure that she was okay and taken care of. 

COVER: The cover is nice. I like the blue to green gradient with the white graphics on top, it gives it a nice contrast. 

WWW Wednesdays #2


Answer 3 Questions:
*What are you reading?
*What did you recently finish reading?
*What do you think you'll read next?

1. What Are You Reading?

2. What Did You Recently Finish Reading?
A Little Princess

3. What Do You Think You'll Read Next?

Monday, September 1, 2014

August Reading Update

In August I read a total of 9 books. That brings my total of books for the 2014 "Real" Book Challenge to 54 books read and my total books read for this year to 65.

"Real" Books:
Zac and MiaThe Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)Shugo Chara!, Vol. 1: Who Do You Want to Be? (Shugo Chara!, #1)The Secret Hum of a DaisyServants of the StormLet's Get Lost

Audio Books:
RoomEvery DayGlitter and Glue