Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Night Date Night

Friday Night Date Night is a feature on my blog that showcases movie reviews (mostly movies that were adapted from books). Hopefully some of these reviews will help you decide what to watch on your date night or a night of relaxing at home.

Sarah's Key
When I first joined a book club I was hoping to find some great books that I wouldn't normally pick up and read myself.  To my surprise, this happens quite often and I found a couple of books that soon became my favorites.  One of those books was Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.  From the first page to the last I devoured this novel.  It is wonderfully written and the plot takes something that is often written about and gives it a new and completely unique twist. 

I really wasn't sure what to expect from the movie so I didn't go into it with any preconceived notions.  I did enjoy the movie, but it didn't give me that warm and happy feeling the book did.  It crammed a lot of emotion and events into a small time and I don't think that quite worked for me in the movie.

I, however, loved how they did the flash backs between current time and the past.  It was so interesting to see the story unfold in both eras and how they eventually connected.  The acting was good, but Sarah was not quite how I pictured her.  You could definitely feel her conflict and her guilt, but her younger self wasn't as docile as I imaged her to be.  The one thing I wasn't expecting was that since most of the story takes place in France you have to read a good part of the dialogue, unless of course you can understand French.  I don't mind reading subtitles but I feel like I miss more of the story because if I look away for something then I miss what's being said. 

I did enjoy this movie, but the book is one hundred times better   

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday's Name Game: Virginia from Willow Pond

When I first started blogging I did this feature called Thursday's Name Game and as I was going through my posts I realized that I had a lot of fun putting the posts together so I thought I'd try it out again.

Essentially I just take whatever book I'm reading, pick a character and research a little about their name. So here it goes...

Name: Virginia
Gender: Female
Character From: Willow Pond

Origin of Virginia:

It is Latin for the word "maiden"

Places named Virginia:

Virgina, State in US
West Virginia, State in US
Calle Virginia, Puerto Rica
Virginia, Ecuador
Rue Virginia, France
Characters named Virginia?

  • Virginia Woolf, a character in the novel The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Have you heard of these gals?

  • Virginia Patterson "Patsy" Cline, a singer
  • Virginia Dare, the "first" baby born in America of English Settlers
  • Virginia "Ginger" Rogers, a singer and dancer, best known for her role in Kitty Foyle which she won an Academy Award for.
  • Virginia Woolf, an author

Do you know of anyone named Virginia or any famous Virginia's I am missing?

*adapted from

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review of The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos

Title: The Emerald Talisman
Author: Brenda Pandos
Published by: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Source: Obtained free from Amazon (12/27/2011)
Format: ebook
Rating: 2.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.

The Emerald Talisman started out with so much promise.  In fact, I flew through the first third of the book.  The writing was good, the plot enticing, and the characters quirky and fun.  Then for some reason it changed for me.  It didn't hold my attention or feel like anything that was extra special.  It turned into one of those novels that you feel like you've already read. 

Julia has led a hard life and it just got more crazy.  She did seem caring and used the gift of empathy to help her friends, instead of using it to her advantage.  I'm not sure how much she would call it a gift, but it seemed to help her out at times as much as it was a burden.  I liked Julia, but felt she was a bit obsessive and was annoyingly stubborn at times which put not only herself, but others at risk.  She didn't think very clearly and instead acted on emotions alone.  This is not someone I'd like in my corner when facing blood thirsty stalkers.

The story was good, but not very original and it got a bit weird at the end.  A lot of major events happen at the end without any real explanation.  The conflict of this story did get resolved, but I think Brenda Pandos also used this novel to set up her next in the series by leaving the readers with some major questions. 

While it wasn't my favorite read, I still think I'll check out the next in the series to see if some of those questions get answered. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Narrator: Kate Rudd
Published by: Brilliance Audio
Length: 6 sound discs (7 hr., 19 min.)
Source: Library
Format: Audio
Rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Seriously, how does John Green amaze me every single time? 

Like the rest of John Green's novels, The Fault in Our Stars was phenomenal.  This story is so much more than a girl battling Cancer; it's about the epic and sometimes ironic adventures of life.  It's about finding happiness in the darkest of times and leaving your mark on the universe.  Is it sad?  Sure, once I was actually crying so hard I had to pull over and stop the cd for a while.  (They should put some warning labels on these audio books!) But again, the whole novel is not sad and tragic; instead the sad parts highlight the rest of the story and makes it that much sweeter.

Hazel and Augustus are two characters that will easily enter your life and make a lasting impression.  In fact, all the characters in The Fault in Our Stars had so much depth and dimension that the story easily came to life.  Hazel, Augustus, their family and friends have an inner strength that could rival any Marvel superhero.  They haven't lived the easiest of lives, but that didn't stop them from having a life, falling in love, and dealing with not only the death of loved ones, but also the guilt of survival and health. 

I can't pinpoint exactly what makes John Green's novels shine the way they do, but I believe it has to do with his writing.  He is a master of language and verbal sparring.  He has an extensive vocabulary and puts words together in such a flawless way that I'm in awe of the writing before I even fall in love with the story. 

This is the first novel that I have listen to with Kate Rudd as the narrator and I look forward to listening to more in the future.  She portrayed so many different emotions in such a way that I almost feel I got more out of listening to the book than by reading it.  This is what makes a truly great audio book in my eyes.  Phenomenal story and great audio can't go wrong with that combination.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Night Date Night

Friday Night Date Night is a feature on my blog that showcases movie reviews (mostly movies that were adapted from books). Hopefully some of these reviews will help you decide what to watch on your date night or a night of relaxing at home.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
To my surprise the other night I came home and noticed that someone had rented The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo from the library.  I had tried watching the Denmark version of this movie and could never get past "that scene."  I had heard great things about the American version so I thought I'd give it a try + I love me some Daniel Craig! 

From what I remember of the book (it's been years since I read it) the movie held pretty true to the story line.  There was enough of the plot there to keep you interested and understand the gist of the story, but like any movie there was some information and scenes left out.  If you are planning on reading this book or watching the movie I do suggestion downloading a Vanger family tree such as one of these.  Trust me it will help immensely since there are a lot of characters to keep straight.   I printed one out when I listened to the audio book and then gave it to my mom when she listened to the book too.  I don't think either of us would have been able to keep everyone straight without it. 

I loved how fast the movie seem to play out.  It was action packed and definitely kept my attention.  Daniel Craig (as Mikael Blomkvist) and Rooney Mara (as Lisbeth Salander) were fabulous.  They brought the characters to life in a far better way than my imagination did.  I have to say there are a couple of scenes where Daniel Craig looked as good as the US Men's Olympic Swim team.  Those were a nice change from some of the other scenes that I knew were coming up and still couldn't watch.  (Thanks to my mom for telling me when I could uncover my eyes and unplug my ears again.  Are not moms great no matter how old you get?) 

I really enjoyed this movie and I look forward to seeing The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Want to see more?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday's Name Game: Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars

When I first started blogging I did this feature called Thursday's Name Game and as I was going through my posts I realized that I had a lot of fun putting the posts together so I thought I'd try it out again.

Essentially I just take whatever book I'm reading, pick a character and research a little about their name. So here it goes...

The Fault in Our StarsName: Hazel
Gender: Female
Character From: The Fault in Our Stars

Origin of Hazel:

It comes from the name of the tree or the color.

Places named Hazel:

Hazel Green, Wisconsin
Hazel Grove, England
Characters named Hazel?
  • Hazel, (male) rabbit in Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • Hazel, a 1960s TV show
  • Hazel, a witch on Bugs Bunny cartoons

Have you heard of these gals?
  • Hazel Patricia, Julia Robert's daughter
  • Hazel Clark-Riley, a US Olympic Runner

Do you know of anyone named Hazel or any famous Hazel's I am missing?

*adapted from

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review of Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Title: Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Narrator: Johanna Parker
Published by: Recorded Books Inc.
Length: 8 sound discs (9 hr., 30 min.)
Source: Libary
Format: Audio
Rating: 3 stars

Summary from GoodreadsWith Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

Sookie, Sookie, Sookie...we are on the 12th book and people are still trying to kill you.  Don't get me wrong, I love this series.  I've read and listened to all the books, however, they are all starting to sound the same. 

After Sookie is summoned to Eric's house to entertain Felipe de Castro, all hell brakes loose when they find a dead girl on Eric's front lawn.  After the last book I expected the wrath of Felipe de Castro to be a little more terrifying.  He is supposed to be this big bad vamp and yet a lot of the book didn't focus on that.  In fact, it didn't focus much on vampires at all much to my disappointment.  I wanted some quality Eric time and this book didn't deliver that, instead it focused mostly on Sookie.

Sookie is her typical self; a little flighty, quick tempered, and forced into awkward and dangerous situations.  However, she does seems to be doing a little soul searching in this novel.  She looks over her life and all the things and people in it.  I think this may be leading up into the big decision that the next (and last) book in the series will hold.  Who does Sookie really belong with? Eric, Bill, Sam, Alcide or someone completely new and human? 

The plot was pretty much the same as all the rest of the books in the series.  Though the ending does bring a bit of a surprise that I wasn't expecting.  Overall, I felt like this book was pretty much setting up everything for the final installment of the series.  It wrapped up a couple of loose ends and set up some decisions Sookie will have to make about her life. 

Even with its predictability and typicality's it was still a fun book to listen to.  I enjoyed listening to Johanna Parker read as Sookie.  I know she's narrated some Meg Cabot and Jennifer Weiner books, but to me she will always be Sookie. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

What happens when the movie/TV show is better than the book?

I don't know about you but I'm a big fan of reading the book before I see the movie or the TV show and 99% of the time the book is so much better, but what about that 1%?

Yes, as much as we hate to admit it, there are times when the visual effects or the slight changes in the plot make the movie or TV show better than the actual book.  **Gasp**

What do I do when this happens?  Silently shake my head and then...get over it and enjoy the movie or show.

I'm sure there are many shows or movies that are better than the books, but these are just a few of the ones I noticed:
    I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)
  1. The Green Mile by Stephen King.  Yes that jolly big man brought me to tears many times.
  2. Misery by Stephen King.  Kathy Bates at her finest.
  3. Rizzoli and Isles by Tess Gerritson.  Seriously this show is so addicting and I don't even watch much TV.
  4. The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike.  This was another TV show that captured my attention.  I loved it.
  5. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.  The effects in this book were pretty awesome. 
Those are the ones that first come to my mind.  What about you?  Which movies or shows do you think are better than the books?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

When I first started blogging I did this feature called Thursday's Name Game and as I was going through my posts I realized that I had a lot of fun putting the posts together so I thought I'd try it out again.
Essentially I just take whatever book I'm reading, pick a character and research a little about their name. So here it goes...
Name:  Luke
Gender: Male
Character From: The Emerald Talisman
Origin of Luke:
Means 'light' in Greek and in Latin, Lucas, means 'man from Lucania'
Places named Luke:
  • Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, United States.
  • St. Luke's Hospital, various locations, United States. 
Characters named Luke?
  • Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars movies
  • Luke Danes from the TV show Gilmore Girls
  • Luke Castellen from Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan
Have you heard of these guys?
Luke Perry, an actor best known for 90210 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie)
Luke Wilson, an actor best known for Old School, Legally Blonde, and Anchorman
Luke Bryan, a country singer best known for "Rain is a Good Thing"
Do you know of anyone named Luke or any famous Lukes I am missing?
*adapted from

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Harper Audio
Length: 9 hr., 12 min.
Source: Library
Format: Audio
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: "You can't touch me," I whisper.

I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.

He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

I'm a little late to the game in reading Shatter Me.  Everyone ranted and raved about it so I knew I eventually had to read it, but I was scared with all the hype surrounding it I would be disappointed.  I have to admit it took me awhile, in fact almost the whole book, to get why everyone loved it so much and then the ending came and I understood. 

Juliette is a complex character.  She's so lonely and heart-broken.  Her touch is deadly and after an incident in a grocery story she was locked up in a "mental asylum" and essentially left to die.  I feel so bad for her.  I think it would be horrible to never touch another person, to feel the comfort of a hug or the passion of a kiss.  Juliette craves the company of others but never really had the chance to interact with them.  She kept herself separated for fear of hurting others and her parents isolated and ignored her.  Talk about an intriguing psychological profile...Juliette is more than a little scarred from her ability. 

Because of Juliette's "gift," The Reestablishment tries to use her as a weapon.  This plot seemed similar to many other novels.  Find someone with a gift and use them for the evil people's agenda, throw in a cute guy, and a creepy, conniving leader and the story is complete...up until the ending.  Oh, the ending.  It is perfect and I am so excited about it.  This for me is what made the book.  If Tahereh Mafi would have stopped the novel 100 pages earlier I wouldn't have been that fond of it, but she didn't and I thank her a million times for that.    

This was one of the more interesting novels I've listened to on audio.   Kate Simses had a bit of a younger and softer voice than I imaged by looking at the girl on the cover of the novel, but the voice fit Juliette.  I think there is a bit of a disconnect about how I viewed Juliette and the fierce looking chick on the cover.  Anyways back to the audio.  They did this really cool thing where every time Juliette "scratched out" a word in the story, the audio made the sound of a pencil scratching out the word on a piece of paper.  It was such a small addition but really aided to the enjoyment of the audio.  It was a great sound affect.

While the beginning started off a bit slow for me the ending definitely made up for it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review of Hammered by Kevin Hearne

Title: Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles #3)
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Author: Kevin Hearne
Published by: Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 hours
Source: Library
Format: Audio
Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully — he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare. One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plane of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer - wielding Thunder Thug himself.

There is never a dull moment in an Iron Druid Chronicles novel.  They are packed with action, adventure and tons of mythology.

Atticus is back and this time it's his mission to kill Thor.  I'm not quite sure why Atticus promised Leif he would do this.  It's a dangerous mission and while Thor is a complete number one jerk, Atticus has no personal issues with him.  As we got to know each of Atticus's companions and their reasons for wanting to kill Thor, I was right along with them.  It wasn't enough that I wanted his head on a silver platter, I wanted his death to hurt.  He was a horrible man and I'm happy that this unlikely, but lovable crew came together to plot his demise. 

While this book had tons of action and fighting it was lacking some of the light-heartedness of the other novels.  No matter how dire things got, there was usually some comic relief, but not so much in Hammered.  I missed Oberon, the widow, and some of the other characters who kept things fun and lively. 

The narrator, Luke Daniels, did an exceptional job as always.  I seriously could listen to this guy read books to me all day long.  He does a wide range of voices for each character and puts so much expression into his tones that it makes it quite enjoyable to listen to.  If you are new to audio books or just looking for a great narrator try Luke Daniels.  You won't be sorry.

While this wasn't my favorite book in the series, it was still a great read and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review of The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore

Title: The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies #3)
Author: Pittacus Lore
Published by: HarperCollins
Pages: 416
Source: Edelweiss and HarperCollins
Format: ARC ebook
Available: August 2, 2012
Rating: 4.5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive.

Together, we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others. . . .

I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we're looking for the others--including John.

But so are they.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York--but I escaped.
I am Number Six.
They want to finish what they started.
But they'll have to fight us first.

This series just keeps getting better and better.

The Rise of Nine is action packed, thrilling, and edge of your seat good.  Finally things start falling in place for the Lorien.  They are finding more of their own and starting to understand their legacies.  It is so interesting learning what each person's legacies are and how they are an integral part of the plot.  Of course some characters seem more powerful than others, but it is truly about them working together and using their individual talents to fight the common evil.  Who doesn't love a great "good versus evil" plot line!

Four is back but for some reason doesn't seem as strong in this novel.  Maybe it's just that more of the Lorien are there and they are all unbelievably fierce and have some serious and deadly skills, but I want Four to swoop in and save the day.  I won't give away who you get to meet in this novel but some of the old favorites are back with new powers and a taste for vengeance.

I have to admit that I am quite jealous of all their legacies and their chests of goodies.  As the Garde band together they seem impossible to defeat but Setrakus Ra and the other Mogadorians have some tricks up their sleeves as well. 

One things I loved about this novel was the alternating POVs between the members of the Garde.  It was interesting to see how each of them were thinking about a situation.  The one thing that confused me though is there was no indication of which Lorien was speaking.  You have to read a couple of sentences into the chapter to figure out which one it is, but after a couple of chapters I got used to that and was so addicted to the novel that I couldn't put it down.

The Rise of Nine surpassed my expectations and now I'm impatiently waiting for the next book to hear the rest of their adventure. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Night Date Night

Friday Night Date Night is a feature on my blog that showcases movie review (mostly movies that were adapted from books). Hopefully some of these reviews will help you decide what to watch on your date night or a night of relaxing at home.

When I heard that We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives Forever by

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday's Name Game: Tobias from Insurgent

When I first started blogging I did this feature called Thursday's Name Game and as I was going through my posts I realized that I had a lot of fun putting the posts together so I thought I'd try it out again.

Essentially I just take whatever book I'm reading, pick a character and research a little about their name. So here it goes...

Name:  Tobias
Gender: Male
Character From:  Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Origin of Tobias:

Hebrew biblical name that means Yahweh (God) is good

Places named Tobias:

  • Tobias, Nebraska a city in the United States
  • Tobías Bolaños International Airport in Costa Rica  
Characters named Tobias?

    Tobias Gregson, character in the Sherlock Holmes novels
    Tobias Snape, Severus Snape's father in the "Harry Potter" series
Have you heard of these guys?
Tobias Sippel a German soccer goalie who plays for 1. FC Kaiserslautern
Tobey Maguire, an actor

Do you know of anyone named Tobias or any famous Tobias I am missing?
*adapted from

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review of Fairy Metal Thunder by J.L. Bryan

Title: Fairy Metal Thunder
Author: J.L. Bryan
Published by:
Pages: 196
Source: Obtained Free from Amazon on (6/30/2012)
Format: ebook
Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans, no gigs, and they're going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on their lead singer, but she doesn't seem interested in him at all.

Then Jason steals instruments from the fairy world. Soon the band is enchanting crowds, and Jason is a step closer to the girl of his dreams, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic they can't control.

Their shortcut to success has cost a troupe of innocent fairies their livelihood and turned Jason and his band into enemies of the powerful Queen Mab, who sends supernatural bounty hunters to track them down, including one of the most dangerous horned creatures in Faerie...a small unicorn named Buttercake.

Fairy Metal Thunder is a fun, quirky read with a storyline that will have you quickly flipping through the pages. 

This is my second J.L. Bryan novel and in both novels he has the most unique elements in his stories.  In Fairy Metal Thunder there are some rockin' musical fairy instruments that are out of this world.  They change everything for the lives of Jason and his band members.  I love that this story centers around the power of these instruments and how they are used.  I have never encountered anything like this, so the idea was fresh and captivating. 

As for Jason he seemed like a genuinely good guy.  Of course he is a teenager and a bit of a rebel at times but the way he cares for is his younger sister is endearing.  Of all the character, we get to know Jason the best with him being the narrator.  I wish that there would have been a little more character development with the other characters, especially Erin.  Maybe in the next books in the series we will get to learn more about each of these characters and see where Jason and Erin's relationship goes.

The music the Assorted Zebras play is explosive.  I really wish there were some mp3 that went along with the book so we could hear it.  I have a feeling it would be quite a psychedelic experience.  Along with the music an interesting part of the story for me was the setting.  The novel was set in home state!  Therefore when they mentioned cities and such I knew exactly what they were talking about.  Always a neat experience.

Whether you are a music fan or just like a great twist to a fairy tale try Fairy Metal Thunder.  I think you'll like it. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Narrator: Sarah Drew
Published by: Random House/Listening Library
Length: 9 sound discs (ca. 72 min. each)
Source: Library
Format: Audio
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

Stunned, shocked, and hopeful are just a few emotions you will experience as you journey through Lena's new life.  Delirium left readers emotional drained and curious to see what would happen next.  Does Pandemonium deliver?  In my opinion...yes.  Lauren Oliver has so much talent not only in the premise behind the novel, but also in her writing.  It is quite beautiful and captivating. 

As for the characters, Lena finds her strength in this novel.  She leaves everything she knows behind and has to forge her own path.  I admire her determination and will to survive.  She is a fighter and will do what it takes to help the Resistance.  You will meet some new characters who add dimension and mystery to the story.  They will burrow into your heart and leave a lasting impression.   

Sarah Drew did a fantastic job narrating Pandemonium and bringing the character of Lena to life.  However, I got confused as the book jumped between now (Lena as she takes part in the Resistance movement in New York) and then (right after Lena escaped the fence).  It took me a while after each change to get used to the setting difference.  I think the alternating times worked for this novel as it kept people wondering about multiple things at once.  There was never a dull moment and it kept the readers wanting to read more. 

Just like Delirium, Pandemonium ends with a bang.  I, personally, am not sure how I feel about the ending, but all I can say is the next book will sure be interesting. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review of Dead Ringer by Allen Wyler

Title: Dead RingerAuthor: Allen Wyler
Published by: Astor + Blue Editions
Pages: 286
Source: Publicist/Author
Format ARC ebook
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads: While speaking at a Hong Kong medical conference, neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae slips the cloth off a cadaver’s head during a routine medical demonstration, and is overwhelmed with the shock by what’s staring back at him: His best friend, Andy Baer.

Stunned, McCrae races back to Seattle to discover that Andy is in fact missing and may have been murdered by a gang of body snatchers who operate a legit funeral business and make a fortune by selling recovered body parts to medical researchers.

McCrae teams up with an unlikely pair—a beautiful but hardnosed female cop and a gang member whose family was victimized by the body parts ring—to try and expose a macabre web of corruption that involves law enforcement, politicians, funeral home curators and murdered prostitutes.

Dead Ringer was gripping, entertaining and a welcome addition to the medical thrillers family.

Lucas McCrae is one neurosurgeon you don't want to mess with.  Not only is he brilliant, but he's also fiercely loyal to his friends.  After the shock of seeing his best friend's head on the demonstration table he's determined to find out not only why his friend is dead, buy also how he died.  Lucas  is the type of character that you admire.  He is down to earth, caring and compassionate.  He's your everyday good guy and someone you'd want on your side if things went downhill.   

The premises of this novel was intriguing.  The unusualness and slightly morbid idea of killing prostitutes to sell their body parts was like watching a can't look away no matter how horrible it is.  I enjoyed this fresh take on a medical thriller, especially the partnership between Lucas, the investigating officer, Wendy Elliot, and Luis, a gang member looking for revenge for his sister's death.  It's unexpected, tension filled, and at times a bit saucy, but still fun and exciting. 

While I did really enjoy this novel, I felt the ending was a bit rushed and it left me unsatisfied.  Don't get me wrong, it was actioned packed and thrilling, but there was something missing from it.  I would have liked to seen a more detailed and thought out plan.  There were some loose ends that didn't seem to get tied up and left me wondering. 

Despite the ending I liked Dead Ringer and I'll be looking forward to more novels from Allen Wyler.