Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This is Not a Test

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to? -Amazon.com

I chose this book to read/review because I adore Courtney Summers, and I am so glad that I did. Not only is it about zombies, which is scary, but Ms. Summers puts her own unique spin on the story that makes it a hard book to put down.

The characters are multi-dimensional, and I enjoyed reading about all of them. The main character is Sloane Price. The books starts off with Sloane contemplating suicide. At first I was like "wait a minute, isn't this book about zombies?" Sloane lives with her father, and he is not what you would call a "good" father. He is very hard on her, and her sister, Lily. Lily just up and left 6 months ago because she couldn't take it anymore. So, naturally Sloane is bitter and no longer wants to be in the house alone with her father. However, when the zombies invade, Sloane finds herself taking shelter in the local high school with 5 other students. Each student is struggling with his/her own battles, while they all struggle to be a team and stay alive.

I loved how the story is about a zombie apocalypse, however the characters take center stage. I really felt the book revolved around what each character was dealing with in his/her life, while the zombies loom right outside waiting for them to make a mistake. I found the book both thought provoking and intense.

I found it hard to put this book down, as I did with her previous books. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next!  4/5 stars!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Enchanted Attic: Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame

A hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo's story while searching for some way to get him back home---if he can survive long enough in the modern world.  From Amazon.com

First of all, let me just say, I'm not a huge fan of middle grade.  However, I've been reading more of them because my oldest son is 7 years old and is an avid reader.  So, I want to read books that he might be interested in as he gets older.  And boy was I -pleased with this series!

Not only is the book witty, imaginative, and adventurous, it also incorporates friendship, treating everyone with respect and a background in older literature.  I actually enjoyed reading it, a 30 year old woman!  I really enjoyed how Ophelia, Walter & Linus treated Quasimodo with respect and human decency, something he did not get in his time.  I also enjoyed reading about how they worked as a team to get Quasi back to his own time without harming him.  I also loved how the book raises poignant questions such as; Can Quasi change his fate back in his time, by what he's learned in our time?  Not only is this a great lesson in teaching young children that we can make our own decisions, but whether or not we make the right ones, and how to go about doing that.

The other point I really enjoyed was the narrator.  A grown up janitor who is both witty, informative & makes for a very fun read!  I highly recommend this book for any middle school classroom and/or library and for middle grade readers.  Also, this is a series!  I can't wait to read the next one and I absolutely cannot wait to share these books with my children (they are a bit too young now, but soon won't be!)

Rapture (Fallen #4)

RAPTURE, the fourth & final FALLEN novel, is the Lauren Kate book the world has been waiting for.

The sky is dark with wings. . . .
Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.
Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.
And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters. In the fight for Luce, who will win?
The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer. -Amazon.com

I have been so excited for this book for a LONG time.  I could not wait to read the ending to this series.  I love how unique this "fallen angel" series is compared to others, the tragedy of Luce & Daniel's love, the way not all the fallen angels are actually Hell's angels or bad.  After reading the third book of the series, Passion, I definitely could not wait to finish the series.

What I truly wanted from Rapture was more Daniel/Luce time, and Lauren Kate gave it to me.  I honestly would have liked more, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. :)  We finally get to know how Daniel and Luce FIRST met, and I mean for the VERY first time.  And Ms. Kate does a great job of tying all the lose ends together, while still giving us some romance and adventure.  

I was a bit worn out with the whole love story of Daniel and Luce though, to be honest.  I mean, after Passion I just wanted them to be happy and to not have to be living their love over and over without ever truly being together.  In my honest opinion, I think the series could have been 3 novels and been better.  However, that's just me!  Overall, I think this book does a great job of ending the series, giving the readers closure with all the characters, and I think fans of the series will be happy with it.  Thank you Ms. Kate, for a great and unique story!

  I was truly hoping for an ending to the entire series that I could be happy with. I think Lauren Kate did just that.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012


 Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples--cracks in time. Are his powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before he can find out, Jonathan Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want? In the wake of Landers's return, the Hourglass organization is given an ultimatum by a mysterious man. Either they find Landers and the research he has stolen on people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered--with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most. Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their extraordinary powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? Even if they succeed, just finding him may not be enough ...Amazon.com

Last year I could not wait to read 'Hourglass' by Myra McEntire, and she did not disappoint.  I was anxiously awaiting the sequel, 'Timepiece', and when it came up on netgally to read/review, I swooped in (after waiting a few hours because the fans requesting the book were crashing the site!), to request this book.  I was so delighted when I finally received the book via my Kindle and could get to reading.  I could NOT put the book down.

First of all, the book is from Kaleb's POV.  Yes, Kaleb's POV...did I mention Kaleb? :)   Myra does a fantastic job of telling Kaleb's story and bringing his character to life.  I'm sure it's not easy to write from a male POV, especially a teenage one, but she pulls it off flawlessly.  Not only is Kaleb a complex character, but he is likable.  Really likable.  I was a bit leery when I first heard that this book would be from Kaleb's POV, because I've been burned before with male POV, but oh my goodness, it was so good.  I was hooked from the first line; "Maybe getting drunk and dressing up like a pirate for the masquerade was a bad idea." *snort*  Oh Kaleb.  After that first line, it only gets better.  

I can honestly say that I loved  'Timepiece' more than I loved 'Hourglass'.  Yes, I loved the sequel more than the first book, and that's saying something since I absolutely loved 'Hourglass'.  This book kept me on the edge of my seat in suspense, made me laugh out loud, made me want more and more, and overall told a ridiculously GOOD story.  Myra McEntire is a genius.  And she somehow makes the whole time travel aspect believable and easy to understand.  How does she do that?  Duh, like I said, she's a genius.  

If you loved 'Hourglass' then you must read 'Timepiece'.  You will not disappointed.  Especially if you enjoyed the Kaleb scenes, *cough* apron scene *cough*.  And don't worry, there is still plenty of Em & Michael, too, so you won't miss them too much.  Kaleb more than makes up for their absence, trust me.  5/5 Stars to Timepiece by Myra McEntire.