Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review of Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Half-Blood (Covenant #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 281
Source: Library
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

I must start off by saying that I didn't really know much about this book except that a lot of people were loving it and the cover was simply stunning.  I was excited by the mythology in the story and this new form of demi-gods.  After the first couple of pages I saw a striking resemblance to another popular YA series, but that didn't bother me.  I'm sure we could find many similarities in a lot of books if we really looked for it.  Half-Blood did start off a bit slow, but I kept reading because I was eager to see where the story would lead.

Alex is a bit cocky and a little too confident for her own good.  Sure, she was top of her class before she left and she has killed two Daimons, but it won't be smooth sailing to get her back on track.  Alex is a fun character who is fierce and determined, but completely rash.  She had trouble controlling her emotions which often lead her to bad decisions.  I liked this about Alex.  Jennifer Armentrout gave Alex much more dimension than you see in your typical heroine.  Alex may have been brave and deadly, but she also was vulnerable and often her strong facade broke down.  She also had passion and it came through in almost everything she did, especially when it came to Aiden. 

Half-Blood was packed with action and the forbidden love aspect kept the tension high and the romance smokin.  There were some unexpected surprises that will keep you glued to the pages and it become obvious by the nervousness in my tummy that I was completely invested in these characters and their futures. 

Half-Blood is a strong start to what I'm sure is to be a great series. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review of Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Published by: HarlequinTeen
Pages: 268
Source: HarlequinTeen/NetGalley
Format: ARC ebook
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Hannah Harrington does it again.  This author knows how to capture an audience and turn a simple topic into an powerful story.

Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea...this chicka doesn't know how to keep her mouth shut.  It's all fun and games until she lets out two secrets that leads one boy to a coma and another two in prison.  She goes from being the popular girl that people love to hate to literally being hated by many many people.  She is ostracized and decides to take a vow of silence to learn the power that words hold.  Chelsea is a good person that I think has been led astray by the lure of popularity.  At times, I wasn't sure what to think of her and I was often surprised (both good and bad) at some of her thoughts and actions.  I think as crazy as the vow of silence was, it was something she needed.

Besides Chelsea there is a delightful group a characters that work at Rosie's, small town diner.  They are each unique and a bit of social outcasts, but they are truly fabulous people and friends.  Asha is one of the nicest and most thoughtful characters I have encountered.  Sam is just genuinely a good guy and he will easily find a place in your heart.  These supporting characters are some of the best I've read in a while.  They are complex, rich, and make the novel that much better.   

This is not only a great read, but Speechless also has some powerful messages.  How often do we not realize how much our words can hurt others?  Or how powerful forgiveness can be?  Only after I was finished reading this novel did I realize the impact it had.  Sometimes doing the right thing is not easy and, in fact, may be hurtful and scaring, but it's still the right thing to do.  I hope this book's lessons stick with me for a while and make me think twice before I speak. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review of Bossypants by Tina Fey

Title: Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey
Published by: Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books
Pages:  275
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon -- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

Hilarious, fun and an all around great book; Bossypants will keep you entertained from the first page to the last.

I must admit I'm not a huge Saturday Night Live or 30 Rock fan, but I do like Tina Fey.  She is seriously funny and not in a weird bathroom humor way, but in a sarcastic also has a good line way.  Bossypants explores her life and how she got where she is today.  My favorite part of the book had to be her childhood.  She went through some awkward stages and had a couple of summers at a drama camp that opened her to new people, life experiences and realizations about herself. 

One of the best things about this book is that it's real.  She doesn't filter herself and isn't concerned with what people will think about her.  She covers thoughts and feelings in her book that most people would stray from and she's honest about her faults and strengths.  It's nice to see a celebrity as they truly are and not how advertising perceives them to be. 

Because of Tina Fey's unique humor there were a couple times in the book where I was unsure if what she was telling us was true or just her humor.  Not big things in general, those I all believed to be true, but little lines here and there that I'm uncertain about. 

Bossypants is a very entertaining read filled with not only laugh-out-loud moments but also the startlingly truth that comes from when one examines who they really are and the experiences that lead them there.      

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review of Cascade by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Title: Cascade (River of Time #2)
Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Published by: David C. Cook
Pages: 295
Source: Bought
Format: ebook
Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.

But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

Who doesn't love time travel, especially when it involves manly knights and epic battles?

Gabi and Lia are at it again.  Once more they return to Siena, but this time they bring along their mother as well.  I loved how their mom fit in so well.  At first she was a little thrown by traveling back in time, she soon fit in seamlessly.  The characters in this series are always a joy to be around.  They are hopeful and daring.  Well most people from the 21st century would complain about hot water and indoor plumbing these ladies not only suffer in silence but also join in the deathly battles.

Florence and Siena are still battling.  The battles sounds dangerous and deadly, but at the same time them seemed more like a story to me instead of actually being in the middle of battle.  For some reason I had a harder time connecting to this book than I did to Waterfall.  There was lots of action and Gabi and Lia were always in the middle of it, but I never really feared something was going to happen.  There was a definitely separation at times in the book where I felt I was reading a great story instead of actually living in it.    

However, there was a new plot point in this novel that I loved.  There is a new character, Lord Greco, completely caught my attention and I want to know more.  There were some definitely twists in this story that keep you on your toes and your nose glued to the pages.  I look forward to seeing where Gabi and Lia's adventures take them next. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Audio Review of The Doula by Bridget Boland

Title: The Doula
Author: Bridget Boland
Narrator: Madeleine Maby
Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: 10hrs 35min
Source: Publisher
Format: Audio
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Raised in a funeral home, Caroline Connors saw her mother miscarry when she was just a young girl and realized that she had a calling. Unlike her family, who guide souls on their way out, Caro chose to bring them in. As a doula, Caro spent years providing comfort and emotional support to women in labor, but when her best friend, Mary Grace, experiences complications, she makes a quick decision, taking the baby’s life into her hands as her lifelong friend passes away. Now, charged with medical malpractice by Mary Grace’s husband, Caro must endure a trial that threatens her professional future, questions her identity as a doula and friend, and forces her to confront a dark past that she’s been hiding from for years.

Raw, soul-seeking and poignant; The Doula will stay with you long after you've set it down.

Caroline's life was finally getting back on track after years of bumps and obstacles when Mary Grace asks her to move to Milwaukee to help with the birth of her child. Caro packs everything and starts her new life over.  While I has some trouble with certain decisions Caro made, I still think she was a very realistic character.  She doesn't live a charmed life and, in fact, had a pretty dramatic and scaring childhood that has affected many of her life choices.  This definitely shaped her life and maybe the flaws make her more beautiful and real. 

I love that the setting takes place in my city.  It made me feel more connected to the story and helped me visualize everything in more detail.  The story itself was filled with hope and pain.  Child birth is a very personal experience and many people have passionate feelings about how they want their children brought into this world.  I loved that Bridget Boland explored them all, from the formal hospital, to a birthing center, to a spiritual/commune-type location.  It was so interesting learning how each doctor/midwife had their own style and feel to them.  It opened my eyes to all the different options pregnant women have depending on their styles and comforts. 

As for the lawsuit against Caro, it brings up emotions and past circumstances that many people don't want to face.  Mary Grace's husband was completely ridiculous.  I didn't like him from the first time he was introduced in the story all the way through the end.  I thought he was a jerk and that Mary Grace deserved someone better than him.  The one thing that bothered me with the trial is that all the blame was all pushed on Mary Grace.  Especially after events that happen later in the story I think the hospital should have been investigated in greater detail in accordance to Mary Grace's death and her daughter's birthing complications.  I thought something was definately suspect with the hospital and yet it seemed nothing fell on the doctors or nurses. 

While listening to the audio I immediately recognized the narrator's voice.  I had just finished another book that she narrates where she is a teenager, so it took me a couple of chapters to fit her voice into this new role.  But after that was figured out, the narration was wonderful.  I felt she really captured who Caro was and her struggling emotions through the entire ordeal. 

The Doula is a novel that unexpectedly touched me and I think it will be one that I re-read often in future years. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review of Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Published by: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Format: ebook ARC
Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:  Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met—a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.

Unspoken was a delightful read that was nail-biting and surprising funny.  I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this novel, but the story soon captured by attention and had me laughing out loud. 

When it comes to receiving the scoop on a story, Kami is one determined girl.  She will put herself on the front line and in awkward situations to find the news and answers she wants.  I really enjoyed Kami's character.  She was a bit spunky and crazy at times, but she went for what she wanted, except when it came to her heart.  I think that her and Jared make an interesting pair to be connected telepathically.  He's a bit rough and tumble and she's a sweet but insistent young girl.  They are not sure why they can hear each other's thoughts, but now that they can see each other face to face they are determined to find out. 

I didn't always understand how Jared was feeling about both the telepathy and Kami herself.  I was confused by some of his actions and I wish that I could have saw inside his head a little more. 

There is a large mystery in the novel of both the Lynburn family returning to the quaint English town, Sorry-in-the-Vale, and a murderer killing animals steadily progressing in violence.  Kami and her unique group of friends investigate on their own and often get caught in compromising situations.  Sarah Rees Brennan writes a great mystery.  I did not figure either mystery out until the very end.  I had no idea who was the murderer or the oddness of the Lynburn's and why the town treated the differently.  I loved that I was constantly caught by surprise while reading this story and seriously had no clue about either mystery.

With it's charming cast of characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and a gripping mystery Unspoken is a novel you'll quickly want to get your hands on. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cookbook review of 4 Ingredients One Pot, One Bowl by Kim McCosker

Title: 4 Ingredients One Pot, One Bowl
Author: Kim McCosker
Published by: Atria Books
Pages: 208
Source: Publisher/Edelweiss
Format: ebook
Rating: 3 stars

Summary from Goodreads: From a creator of the internationally bestselling 4 Ingredients series comes a new, must-have cookbook designed to bring joy and flavor back into the kitchen. 4 Ingredients One Pot, One Bowl is an ingenious collection of sweet and savory dishes full of fresh, easy-to-find ingredients that require only one pot and one bowl. That means less cleanup and more time enjoying life and delicious food with the friends and family you love.

In this book, you’ll find more than eighty recipes for tasty and deceptively simple casseroles, roasts, soups and stews, pizzas, pasta, pies, and desserts. Imagine Creamy Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken, French Lamb Casserole, Apple Crumble, and Baked Rice Pudding—all using four or fewer ingredients. With One Pot, One Bowl, life just got easier… and a whole lot more delicious!

I was intrigued when I came across 4 Ingredients One Pot, One Bowl.  Not only are there very few ingredients, but one pot?  That means my dish washing nightmares are over...right?  Well there is still some dishes because of prep work but otherwisw most of the recipes seriously only use one pot!  How awesome is that?

When I started looking through the recipes I was a little hesitant.  First I'm a pescetarian, and there were a lot of meat dishes.  Then as I was looking through some of the recipes I was wondering how well they will taste with just 4 ingredients.  I decided to find out for myself (with the all too willing family to help me with the taste-testing). 

The first recipe I tried was Key Lime Pie.  I was super excited about this recipe because Key Lime Pie is my favorite desert.  Because this was my first recipe from the cookbook, I followed this one exactly...well almost.  Instead of using a whole pie crust I used small individual pie crusts because I think they are so much cuter!  This recipe turned out really well.  It was smooth, creamy and a bit tart.  With some chocolate or raspberry syrup I think it would have rounded it out nicely. 

The second recipe I tried was Leek & Potato Soup.  I really liked this recipe.  It was so simple to make and I had everything in the pantry besides the leeks.  The first time I made this I didn't make any substitutions.  It was good, but lacked some flavor.  I made this recipe again last night and set out some shredded cheese, seasonings and turkey bacon (for the family) and they all liked it.  I love that the soup is thick and creamy without using any cream, milk or half n half.  I did substitute olive oil for the butter the second time around and I think it tasted even better.  This is soup will quickly be added to the rotation for it is perfect for those cold winter nights. 

The third recipe I tried was the Yummy Tuna Bake.  For this one I immediately added an extra ingredient because I wanted it to be a one dish meal so I added a vegetable.  This recipe was easy and fast to prepare.  While it did use more than one dish because of boiling the noodles and draining them I didn't mind so much.  It came out of the oven bubbling and nice a crispy on top.  The family did enjoy this dish (even my 2 year old niece), but we all thought it could have used more sauce since it wasn't as creamy as we were hoping.

Overall I enjoyed each of the recipes I tried.  However, I am not convinced that all the recipes in this cookbook benefit by having only four ingredients.  Sure it cuts down on time and cost, but I don't want to sacrifice flavor.  That is not to be said for all the recipes since I did only try 3 of them and with the addition of only one or two ingredients they were quite yummy.     

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Audio Review of The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Title: The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Narrator: Joshua Swanson
Published by: Listening Library
Length: 11 sound discs (ca. 74 min. each)
Source: Library
Format: Audio
Rating: 3 stars

Summary from GoodreadsPercy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem—when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no.

Franz is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes, but his bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Yea Percy is back!  I always get a bit sad when a series ends so the fact that Rick Riordan brought back one of my favorite characters in his spin off series makes me so happy. 

The Son of Neptune follows Percy, Hazel and Frank on their quest to free death.  These characters are fun and easy to enjoy.  They are not perfect or completely courageous which makes them real and so much more relateable.  I love the fact that even though they are demi-gods they still seem down to earth and go through some of the same doubts we do.  While I enjoyed these characters I didn't feel as connected to them as I was hoping.  I like them and wanted them to succeed, but they didn't steal my heart like Rick Riordan's characters usually do. 

Percy, Hazel and Frank have some tough legacies to live up to and at times the pressure can get to them, but by banding together they can fight through anything and fight they must.  This novel is jam-packed with action and fight scenes.  It's an exciting adventure and with twists, turns, and new discoveries on every page. 

It has been a while since I read The Lost Hero so I was super confused at the beginning of this book.  From what I remembered of the first book, The Son of Neptune didn't really seem to continue the story.  I'm not sure if this is an artifact from the time gap between reading these novels or if they are just two different stories that eventually merge into one.  After a good way through the audio it was evident that the latter was the case as more talk of the "Prophecy of the Seven" emerged. 

Overall, I enjoyed this audio version of the book and the narrator was great (as he always is), but something was lacking for me compared to Rick Riordan's other books.  Hopefully everything will come together more in the next novel in the series, The Mark of Athena

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Audio Review of Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Title: Burn for Burn
Authors: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Narrators: Joy Osmanski, Madeleine Maby, and Rebekkah Ros
Published by: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: 7 discs
Source: Publisher
Format: Audio
Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodreadsPostcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

With an unlikely alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently...” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

We've all done it.  As much as it's hard to admit, we all have a dark side that seeks revenge every once in a while.  Sure for the normal person it is just a passing thought, or maybe even a silent hope that karma will come through, but not for Kat, Lillia, and Mary.  They've been burned and they want revenge.

These three lovely ladies couldn't be more different or more unlikely to band together and plot revenge against those who have wronged them.  I absolutely loved these girls.  They were so unique and complete opposites that they seemed to only enhance each other's characters.  Kat is a bit rough around the edges and sometimes dangerous, but is tormented by her ex-bestie who happens to be Lillia's  current bestie.  Lillia is the sweet princess, but when Alex starts messing around with her little sister she's willing to get down and dirty.  Mary is the shadow no one sees, but is still scarred from past events with the glory boy of the high school. 

The story had alternating point of views between Kat, Lillia and Mary and there was a different narrator for each girl.  Joy Osmanski, Madeleine Maby, and Rebekkah Ros were wonderful and fit each character's personality spot on.  This made it easy to keep track of whose point of view we were hearing because of the different voices.  I was also amazed at how well the two authors "voices" blended together.  It was seamless.     

The plot was a thick and complicated tangled web of revenge.  At first you are right there with these girls wanting blood from their enemies, but as the story progresses doubt starts to creep in.  Do these bullies really deserve what's coming to them?  One event after another will sway your opinion and leave you unsure of what's warranted and what's not.

I absolutely adored this audio version of Burn for Burn.  Between the great characters, and the catchy storyline it was hard not to.  There is a subtle paranormal aspect, but so subtle you don't even notice it until the end.  Speaking of the end it was killer and left me highly anticipating the next book.  

Burn for Burn is one very dramalicious read! Between the girl's scheming and the typical high school antics, it's a fun read that you will devour and leave you craving for more.   

Friday, October 5, 2012

Review of Souls in Peril by Sherry Gammon

Title: Souls in Peril
Author: Sherry Gammon
Published by: Wordpaintings Unlimited
Pages: 442
Source: Author
Format: ebook
Rating:  4 stars

Summary from GoodreadsMax Sanchez is the “it” kid at Port Fare High. He’s the star of the baseball team, he’s dating head cheerleader Emma McKay, and he has a throng of wonderful, supportive friends. 

JD Miller is the school’s punching bag, verbally and emotionally. He has a loving mother, but her choice in boyfriends is questionable, leaving him a target at home as well as school.

A tragic car accident ends it all for Max when his soul is prematurely removed from his body. The powers that be have asked him to go back to earth temporarily to help classmate JD. Max, always up for a challenge, takes it as a chance to see his beloved Emma again and quickly jumps at what he views as the easy task of helping JD. Max knows with a little cardio he can easily whip the guy into shape, ending all his troubles.

While staying mentally connected to JD, Max’s soul steps into JD’s body. However, Max’s reality is shattered as he enters a world void of love and hope: JD’s world--life as the bullied kid.

Will he survive? Will JD? Did Emma's love for Max die also? Will Max be able to help these Souls in Peril, or is it all as hopeless as JD believes?

Souls in Peril will completely take you by surprise and touch your heart. 

Bullying is a huge epidemic around the world.  I don't think people realize how serious it is until it happens to them or someone close to them.  Sherry Gammon captures those feelings of vulnerability, hopelessness, worthlessness, and defeat that people who are bullied feel everyday.  She does an amazing job at connecting the readers to the situations in the book and showing all sides of bullying from high school students and staff, to members of the community, and to those who are closer to home.   

JD and Izzy both have tough lives.  They are bullied not only at school, but also at home.  There is no safe place for them anymore and they feel hopeless.  You can't help but feel for JD and Izzy.  These characters are so attacked and beaten that you'll instantly feel protective of them and just want to hug them and tell them you are there for them.   

Then enters Max and Emma.  While they may not be perfect, they are still pretty awesome in my book.  These two reach out to JD and Izzy and try to get others too as well.  They are both going through a rough time and yet, they still understand the need of a friend and someone on your side.  There are a couple characters in this book that you just want to stand up and cheer for because by the end of the story they are so amazing and you want the world to know how great of people they are.  Sherry Gammon really connects you to the characters and makes JD, Izzy, Max, Emma and so many not only a part of your life, but one you can't imagine were not there before.

Souls in Peril is a heartbreaking and captivating novel.  It is a story that will make you examine your own lives and how you see and treat others.  There are extremely sad parts, and other parts that will touch your heart and give you hope. 

While the beginning of this story started off a little rocky, things soon smoothed out and it became a powerful story and one completely worth reading. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review of Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Title: Vixen
Author: Jillian Larkin
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 421
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry.

If I could go back in time to any era, I would pick the 1920s.  Ever since I was little I wanted to be a flapper; there is something about the sexiness and the scandal that pulls you in.  Jillian Larkin portrayed this wonderfully in her novel.  She brings you to the past filled with  gangsters, speakeasies, and flappers who captivate your attention in a way where you won't want to come back to the twenty first century. 

Each of these girls bring a new element to the story.  Gloria is the perfect girl who just wants to rebel a little and break out of her strict confines.  Lorraine is jealous and completely out for herself and Clara just wants to escape her past.  All of the character were completely believable and while Gloria and Clara were easy to like, Lorraine is another story.  I have never yet a character was deceitful and vindictive.  Her tone was completely petty and self-entitled.  She was an easy character to pin as "the bad guy." 

Vixen is filled with forbidden romance and surprise love around every corner.  At first it's hard to know who to trust and who not to, but each character shows their true colors soon enough. 

I don't know what has taken me so long to read Vixen, but I can't wait to continue the series.  I hope it's just as fabulous and as scandalous.