Tag Archives: books

Book Review: The Moon and More


Author: Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA

Summary: Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Review: Dessen has a magical way of writing a true teenage girl. Every. Single. Time. And they’re always different. Emaline, the heroine of this novel, is just as authentic.

I loved the way Dessen built Emaline’s love of her small town. As a “small town girl in the middle of nowhere”, it has taken a few years and lots of nostalgia to appreciate and even love living in a small town. Seeing Emaline defend her hometown to the big “city clickers” was refreshing.

Dessen also does a great job setting up this view between the vacationers and the townies of “us” and “them”. Emaline has to decide which part of “us” and which part of “them” she wants to be part of. I also loved the tension that Dessen created between Emaline and her father. 

Recommendation: READ!! Read NOW!




Book Review: Storm Front (Dresden Files #1)


Author: Jim Butcher

Genre: Fantasy/Crime

Summary: Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or
Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.

Review: Butcher has an amazing way with description. This is an action packed novel, but he doesn’t rush anything. Instead, each page is brought to life through description. Whether that be physical descriptions or description through Dresden’s many observations. It works!

Dresden is a witty, sarcastic, badass (to say the least) private investigator slash wizard. Butcher has done a great job creating a well-liked character who is also very authentic. His faults and sarcasm bring him to a human (though he’s a wizard) level. 

Recommendation: READ!!






Here’s your chance to win an ARC of THE MURDER COMPLEX!



An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision. The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is-although he doesn’t know it-one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family? Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.


Just head over to Lindsay’s blog to enter!


Book Review: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)


Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA

Summary: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. 

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. 

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Review: I love love love this book. Maggie is a genius writer. She crafts every paragraph and every sentence with a science. (Really, she does. She even talks about it on her blog).

This is a great second book of a series. Sometimes books can lag in the middle, but this one did not. Readers got to see more into Ronan’s life than in the first book. Maggie also kicks up the tension of the love story (near the end, thank goodness). 

This book is all action and suspense. And creepy magic things. 

Recommendation: GO. READ. NOW



Book Review: Forever…


Author: Judy Blume

Genre: YA

Summary: Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.

It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart…

“Forever” is written for an older age group than Judy Blume’s other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content. 

It was a book ahead of its time – and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage best-seller. America’s No. 1 children’s author has written some of the best books of our time about real-life issues – family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce, the problems of growing up and sexual awakening, bereavement – with insight, sensitivity and honesty.

The response of readers all around the world continues to make her one of the best-loved writers ever published.

Review: Now, I’ve got to say, I think I missed the Judy Blume phase. I can read this book and, as a writer, tell you that it’s great! It’s absolutely wonderful…for a certain age.

This is the type of book that began the YA genre and what also made the majority of society think that YA was for 13 year girls getting their period and wanting to sleep around with boys.

While the writer in me can see how well crafted this book is, the book reviewer in me can only say that it’s good for a certain age. It is definitely not a cross-over book. 

Recommendation: Buy for the right person, and it is wonderful! Read as a writer, and it is wonderful!




Book Review: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1)


Author: Gail Carriger

Genre: YA/Steampunk

Summary: It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger’s legions of fans have come to adore.

Review: I read part of Gail’s first series, The Parasol Protectorate, and was extremely excited when I learned she was writing a YA series. She really sold me on Steampunk.

Her character’s are unique and solid within themselves. This is set in a different time, not to mention that there are different creatures in this world as well, but she does a wonderful job at keeping the character’s true to the time, and still very relatable.

Her description is wonderful. I love the steampunky words used to describe the machines and the funny names of the machines themselves. Also, the names of characters are extremely unique. You won’t see them in any other YA novel, that’s for sure!

Overall, I love Carriger’s pith. She gives every chapter a purpose, but she throws a dash of hilarity. Mostly, the pith is all in the language and conversation, which makes reading in this time setting completely lovable! 

Recommendation: A must read!




Book Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)


Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA

Summary: The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance

Review: I learned about this book when Fierce Reads book tour came to my town. I got to met Leigh and a handful of other amazing authors. As soon as I heard about this book, I was ready to read it!

Leigh’s pacing is masterful! This is the first in a series and she did an amazing job setting up the story. The story never felt slow, but she didn’t hurry over facts and emotions. The world building is phenomenal! 

I also thought she had a great new view on magic. She gave the characters powers (that I’d never heard of before) but also gave them limitations. Her use of a different language was unique as well.

As for the characters themselves, I loved them all! I was invested in Alina’s story from the first page. Her emotional development throughout the story was a nice arc. Leigh did a great job at playing around with the “bad guys”. I was constantly second guessing who was telling the truth and who wasn’t.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

Recommendation: Go read!!