Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Haul (5) 7 Books

YAY!  IT CAME IT CAME!  (It came a while back but I am just getting to posting this now!  LOL!)

Title:  This Is Not A Test
Author:  Courtney Summers
Synopsis:  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?

I already read this and a review is to come.  I absolutely love love love this book!!!  

Also- finally grew a pair and got The Hunger Games!!!

  Title:  The Hunger Games
Author:  Suzanne Collins
Synopsis:  Winning means fame and fortune. Losing means certain death. The Hunger Games have begun...

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, the shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before--and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Also read this.  So glad I got it finally!!! Review to come!!

  Title:  After
Author: Amy Efaw
Synopsis:  An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . . Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made- Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there's only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.
And yet gifted author Amy Efaw does the impossible- she turns Devon into an empathetic character, a girl who was in such deep denial that she refused to believe she was pregnant. Through airtight writing and fast-paced, gripping storytelling, Ms. Efaw takes the reader on Devon's unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption.

I remember reading the synopsis and being sucked in fast and hard.  Haven't read this one yet, and I am looking forward to reading this!  I really hope Ms. Efaw pulls this off.

I have now become a fan of Courtney Summers, so the next one shouldn't surprise you!

Title: Fall for Anything
Author: Courtney Summers
Synopsis:  When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?

I cannot wait to start reading this.  I read the first chapter in the bookstore and was blown away.  

The next three books are for my personal Pagan/Wiccan Library.  

  Title:  The Witch's Master Grimoire
Author: Lady Sabrina
Synopsis:  This encyclopedia contains numerous spells and magical rites in an A-Z format that are simple and easy to follow. The author also gives tips on the best and most productive times to cast spells.

I flipped through this and really liked what I saw, so I snatched it up because it was marked down at HPB. 

  Name: Witchcraft: A Mystery Trafition
Author: Raven Grimassi
Synopsis:  Understanding the mystery teachings of Witchcraft is essential for those who desire to enrich their knowledge of the Craft. World-renowned author and scholar Raven Grimassi guides readers down the well-worn path to these mystery traditions by exploring their roots in myths, legends, verses, and lore.

Also was marked down at HPB.

  Title: Advanced Witchcraft
Author Edain McCoy
Synopsis:  In the beginning everything is fresh and new. Learning how to cast a circle, work magick, compile a Book of Shadows, and honor the God and Goddess on esbats and sabbats can be exhilarating. But once you've mastered the basics of Witchcraft comes the real challenge of living your faith every moment of every day. Living as a Witch is knowing that you are the magick.
Advanced Witchcraft doesn't contain any "Wicca 101" information--it assumes that you're already familiar with the nuts and bolts of the Craft. Instead, this book challenges you to think critically about your beliefs and practices, what they mean to you, how they've changed, and where you're going. 

I love McCoy, so I wanted to get this while it was there.  Though I won't say that I am ready to study advanced, it was marked down, and HPB only had one copy left!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The characters of my brain

So, currently, I am working on a story (that I have been working on for years) and picked up this niffy idea from my Aunt Darla.  She cuts faces out of magazines for the characters she's working with in her novels.  That way she can see them.  They are there, in front of her, real.  And easier to describe.

Anyway, so I went ahead and said fuck the magazines.  She can have them.  I looked on the internet. This took a while, as I would start my Google search with "woman blonde hair" or "men with spiky black hair".  It took a while to find ones that I liked.  Because I am THAT picky.

No, I am not.  There was just a lot of crazy pictures.

Don't be shocked if you know the actor or actress.  I didn't want to use known people, but once I found a picture I liked, it was hard to find one better.  So here is my cast.

Jessica Pearson, main character.  Yes, I started writing this when I was young enough to use my first name instead of someone else.  What can I say?  She grew into it.

Age 17, a senior at Belleville High School, a cheerleader.   Dates Terry Hugo. Best friend is Amber Black.  Love interest is Connor Summers.

Without revealing anything of the storyline, let's just say lots of shit happens to her.

Terry Hugo, age 18, Jessica's boyfriend of 2 years.  Quarterback for the Belleville Vikings.  He moved from Lansing where he and Connor have a past.

It wish I could go more into that, but you'll have to wait until the book is done.

And I am only on chapter 3 right now.

Hope the suspense doesn't kill you.  I mean that, I need you to buy my book when I finally get it published.

Anyway, I really should get more into his character.  He plays a big part in the storyline.

Then there is Amber Black

Isn't she a hottie?  I have no idea who this is, but man I love this picture.  Which is funny because she looks so much like Pattie (my roommate).  Hair style, hair color, eyes.

Anyway, Amber is Jessica bestie.  Age 18 (I think), is really a flirt, shows interest in boys left and right.  Turns out, she's gay.

No.  No, she's not.  But wouldn't that be something... My own little wet dream...

She is there for Jessica through thick and thin, and helps Jessica really find herself through the story.

She is like my Pattie, but better, because she doesn't make Jessica diet in the novel.

Just saying.

Enter:   Connor Summers.  YUM!  Totally love this picture by the way.  Moved from Lansing to Belleville to flee his past, but fails miserably when it hunts him down and tries to kill him.


The bad guy is a vampire.  Did I mention that?


Guess what?  The bad guy is a vampire.

Moving on.  Long story short, Connor gets Jessica involved in his world, and all of a sudden, there are a lot of life-threatening situations and plot twists and trauma.

This handsome stud is Rex Ray, Connor's pal.  He's older, already out of school... so probably 22.

He comes from a family of vampire hunters, and he has taught all he knows to Connor.

Blonde hair, blues eyes, 6'1", 182 pounds of hunk and muscle.

Lonely because all his family is dead. 

Sad story really- shame you won't know it unless you READ MY BOOK.

When it's out, of course.

Next is Dylan McCoy- another friend of Connor's.  

I actually cannot believe how well this picture captures Dylan. 

He graduated from Belleville the year previous, work's at Santi’s Pizzeria, and has a thing for Amber.  

But I can't go into that because it would ruin the story. 

He's a good guy, not a great fighter, but he tries.  I myself don't even remember how he met up with the gang.  But he helps hunt the things that go bump in the night. 

When he's not serving pizza. 

A minor character that I might make have a bigger part is Jason Peason, Jessica's older brother.  

For a good part of the story, he is away at college.  So he isn't really all that important in the first half of the book. 

In my original copy of this, he was a druggie and a drunk, promising to never live up to anything.  Then I felt bad for the poor guy and stepped up his game.  

Then all of a sudden he wants to go to college and my baby boy is all grown up!  

*sniffle, sniffle*

Ahh, the memories.  

Well, I should probably work on my story more instead of looking at hot pictures of half-naked men on Google.  I don't know how men manage to type one-handed.  ;-)

-Later germs!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Book Review: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Title:  Jurassic Park

Author:  Michael Crichton

Synopsis:  An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now, one of mankind's most thrilling fantasies has come true. Creatures extinct for eons now roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them- for a price. Until something goes wrong....


a.) Characters: 4/5 score.  Some of the characters were impossible not to like from the beginning.  Of course I am talking about Dr. Alan Grant!!  The book is told a little from each character’s point of view, and to be honest, it is easy to hate Ian Malcom at times and then to loath John Hammond even more.  But the characters felt very real to me.  

b.) Plot: 5/5 score.  Okay, OMG, dinosaurs, guys!  Of course this got 5 for the score!!  Reading this for the first time really changed a lot of things for me.  Even though I watched the movie (all three of them), there is something different about the plot when its in a book.  And this topped what you see in the movie.  

c.) Writing style: 3/5 score.  No really, it was amazing to read.  I loved the movies, all three of them.  When I got this, I was worried I was going to be let down because of how awesome the movies were- but it was the opposite!  I did enjoy the writing!  But when Malcolm would go on one of his rants, it was impossible not to cringe and want to skip those couple paragraphs.  

Rating: 12/15 total

OMG, just read it!  I have to admit, some of the technical stuff and Malcolm's rants were skip-worthy, but overall, it was hard to put down! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

 Title:  The Lovely Bones

Author: Alice Sebold

Synopsis: "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."

So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.  Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy


a.) Characters: 5/5 score.  Susie Salmon was fourteen when she was murdered.  Clearly insightful when she was alive, she is more so now that she is dead.  It was hard not to fall in love with Susie, even when you knew she was already dead and gone.  You love her life, her memory, and her character.  But above all, you love her hope.  

b.) Plot: 4/5 score.  Susie witnesses all.  We learn much through her life, her death, and her afterlife as she views her friends and family grow without her.  We learn through her heaven, and we see the aftermath of her removal.  I found myself weeping and laughing with each mountain that was presented.  

c.) Writing style: 4/5 score.  I was amazed at how Sebold could get Susie to sound like the teen she was and also as the ground up she would never become.  There was times when I would read chapter after chapter and I would skip dinner and stay up hours passed my bedtime because I got so wrapped up in the tale.  And that’s how you know it’s a good book.  

Rating: 13/15 total

From the beginning to the end, hard to put down and absolutely powerful.  If you've never read this, you should.  I absolutely LOVE this book!  I seen the movie first (by accident) and really thought the movie was grand.  But the book goes beyond that and really captures a surreal world into a perfect little snow globe.   It's so hard not to like this book.  When I watched the movie and then read the book, I was put off by the rape/murder of a fourteen year old.  (Still am.)  But the story focused on Susie- not the darkness that took her life, but the life that continued on after the darkness. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Book Review: Lenobia's Vow by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Title:  Lenobia’s Vow

Author: P.C. and Kristin Cast

Synopsis: Before becoming Zoey's favourite professor and the House of Night's powerful horse mistress, Lenobia was just a normal 16-year-old girl - but with enough problems to last a lifetime. In 1788, Lenobia's father places her on a ship bound for New Orleans. An evil bishop, skilled in Dark magic, makes the same journey. His appetite for beautiful young women forces Lenobia to remain hidden, but she secretly visits the ship's stables, where a handsome young man and his horses capture her attention. Can they make it to the New World before the bishop discovers her true identity and a powerful evil breaks loose? And will Lenobia follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk?


a.) Characters: 4/5 score.  This is not the same Lenobia that Zoey knows.  You can feel she is younger and hopeful.  But she is also haunted.  For a fifteen/sixteen year old, she is mature more than a teenager of this time would be.  I love her story, where she came from, her relationship with her mother, and her journey into a new life.  

b.) Plot: 3/5 score.  The plot was slow and, to be honest, weak.  The battle against evil was against the Bishop of Evreux, who possessed a jeweled cross that gave him his power (I think).  It wasn’t bad, and the ending was sudden and rushed.  But I was expecting more (like Dragon’s Oath).  Also, probably a little spoiler-ish, but she doesn’t actually get Marked until chapter eight.

c.) Writing style: 3/5 score.  They touched the dialogue with French.  And since I took three years of French in highschool, it was easy for me to read it and enjoy it.  But anyone else would probably have to use context clues to link the french to english.  

Rating: 10/15 total

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Haul (4) 7 books

Title: Gone (Gone #1)
Author: Michael Grant
Synopsis: In the blink of an eye. Everyone disappears. GONE.

Except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not one single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened. Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else... 

Super excited to start this.  I read the first page in HPB and just HAD to get it!  Since they had Hunger, I bought it too.  

 Title:  Hunger
Author:  Michael Grant
Synopsis: It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.

Three months since all the adults disappeared. GONE.

Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers. Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous. But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them. The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

 Title:  Linger
Author:  Maggie Stiefvater
Synopsis:  In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

I was not a die-hard fan of Shiver.  But the way she left it, I was still interested in the storyline.  So I made sure this wasn't over five bucks, and got it anyway.  If I end up not caring for the series as a whole, I'll sell them back to HPB.  

  Title:  Psych Major Syndrome
Synopsis:  Using the skills you've learned so far in Introduction to Psychology, please write a brief self-assessment describing how things are going in your freshman year.
Presenting Concerns: The Patient, Leigh Nolan (that would be me), has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards, not Rorschach blots). Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own...not so much. Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved. Like why doesn't Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night? Or why can't she commit to taking the next step in their relationship? And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much? More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream? Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who’s badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, naive.
Diagnosis: Psych Major Syndrome

When I first saw the cover, I wasn't thrilled.  But all I had to do was read that (above) and I was hooked!  I needed to get it and get the rest of her story!  Super excited to read this one too! 

Title:  Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Synopsis:  Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. 

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers. 

Call me a freak-  I absolutely love books about depression (if they are done correct).

Title:  Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Synopsis: Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything"—at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help,maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Another guilty pleasure- reading about broken up families.  I love reading books like this.  It is only recently that I have discovered this- and I plan on looking into more books of this genre to fill this craving I have for them! 
Title: Blood Promise
Author: Richelle Mead
Synopsis:  Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

Omg- I haven't read Shadow Kiss and already I can't wait to pick this one up.  I only bought it because it was in paperback, lol.  Besides, I'll read it eventually!  

Also- this is going to be the next 4-6 weeks:

I cannot cannot cannot wait for it to get here.  Whatever I am reading at the time will be put down so I can start on it ASAP.  Courtney Summers also did Cracked Up To Be- which I LOVED! 

Happy Reading folks!!!