Monday, August 20, 2012

[Guest Blogger Book Review] Undead by Kirsty McKay

Summary (from Amazon):
Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.
The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.
Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.
But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.
Combining the chill of THE SHINING, the thrill ride of SPEED, the humor of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and the angst of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Kirsty McKay's UNDEAD is a bloody mad mash-up, a school-trip splatter-fest, a funny, gory, frighteningly good debut!

I received this book as a gift from my good friend Rebeca Valdez, an amazing girl who loves to read and is also a writer. Rebeca or “Becky” knows that I am not a reader, in fact I started reading this year when I bought “The Hunger Games” and I started to get into those types of books. Becky went to a book fair and she was given this book, I believe they are called ARC? Anyway… Becky knows I love Zombies and that is why she gave me this book.
The plot of this book is really good it hooked me from the first chapter! I had a really busy month when I started reading it, if not I would have kept on reading it and not set it down until I was done with it! The book is not lacking anything, there are no plot holes and the whole book is easy to read. One of my favorite things about this book is that we know how the outbreak started and what caused it. A lot of zombies shows and or movies I have seen left me wanting more, asking a lot of questions but this book does not let down!
I love how the author describes every character. The book has the heroine Roberta or “Bobby”, a love interest who is also kind of the rebel without a cause Smitty, the snobby cheerleader Alice or “malice” and the nerdy albino Pete. There are some other minor characters but even their characters or roles are important and add a lot to the book.
I am not into romance that much but I enjoyed the way Smitty flirts with Bobby and how Bobby is conflicted with the situation ( I mean they are in the middle of a zombie apocalype after all…). The Author does a good job at leting the reader know that Smitty does care for Bobby event though he can be a jackass from time to time. The romance is not overwhelming but it is there and it is enjoyable.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Blogger's Note: USA release date is September 1, 2012.
Special thanks to Adrian C. for doing this wonderful review!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

[Book Review] Remember by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

Summary (from Amazon):
Convinced she could make it on her own, Ashley Baxter has kept the most important people in her life at a distance—her family, the man who loves her, and the God she is sure can never forgive her. Now, just as she begins to open her heart, the events of September 11 rip into Ashley’s world and she is led to heartbreaking and hope-filled decisions that will forever change her life. This story vividly illustrates that we must value others more than ourselves, and it drives home one of Gary Smalley’s key messages: Honor one another. Remember is second in the five-book Redemption series by Gary Smalley and Karen Kingsbury that centers around the Baxter family. As readers follow the hopes and struggles of the family, they will explore key relationship themes as well as the larger theme of redemption, both in characters’ spiritual lives and in their relationships. Each book includes study questions for individual and small-group use as well as a "teaser" chapter of the next book in the series.

I’ll start with saying I was right with my guess that Ashley was the main character on the book. I’m guessing there being a guy on the cover of Return, that it’s Luke’s book. As for Rejoice, it sounds like it could possibly be Brooke’s story and Reunion Erin’s.

Redemption – Kari
Remember – Ashley
Return – Luke
Rejoice – Brooke
Reunion – Erin

And with that being said, or written, I’ll get to the review over with.

I was super excited that Ashley was the main character of this book. There were a lot of questions about her past in Redemption that I felt needed to be answered. Now it’s the same with Luke, Brooke, and Erin, but I’m hoping all my questions will be answered by the series end.

Plot: I read on the back that it had to do with 9/11. So I waiting and waiting as I got closer to that happening. A friend had already told me that none of the Baxter kids died, but that it did affect their family. Boy, was she right.

I have to say that the plot was a little bit weaker than the first book, but was still good. Actually it makes up for it in romance.

Characters: I’m not going to lie; I fell in love with Landon Blake. He’s probably my favorite character in this book. He was sweet and caring. He was there for Ashley and Cole. As for another main male character, Luke, I found myself becoming frustrated with him. I won’t spoil what exactly lead me to become frustrated with him, but I have to say he makes some really dumb decisions in this book. I can only hope they’re fixed, in the third book.

Relationships: I think the most important relationship in these books is the relationship of the Baxter family. The series starts off with basically with two of the kids being in their own direction. The circumstances of the book cause most of the children to come together, but one does fall away from the family. Still, I love how most of the family came together when something tragic happened.

Romance: Landon and Ashley! Kari and Ryan! Umm, yeah. I can officially say that I love how Karen Kingsbury writes romance. It’s not the lets-make-out-in-every-scene type of romance that I’m used to reading in YA series, but the romance is still there. It’s definitely gentle and not in your face, which is perfect.

4 out of 5 stars to Remember by Karen Kingsbury with Gary Smalley

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

[Book Review] Bewitching the werewolf by Caroline Hanson

Summary (from Amazon):
When witch for hire, Megan Stephens, is assigned to help the local werewolf pack leader find a mate, she thinks the job will be easy. Get in, get him up and get gone. But when she meets Zack Connor, she realizes her future might have a lot more dog jokes in it than she ever imagined.

I wanted something quick, fast, and romantic to read. Bewitching the Werewolf is just that. It was a book that I can read in one sitting which is what I wanted.

The title in itself was enough to drag me in. It’s unique and catchy.

Plot: Although the plot isn’t exactly anything new (girl sent to find mate for guy, girl has the hots for guy), the whole witch and werewolf thing made it different. I wish this was a longer piece. It would have been to explore these two worlds more.

Romance: Both main characters had a strong personality that it made the story funny. I absolutely love it when a story has banter! So better than “oh I like him, but he’s the popular guy and I’m the quiet girl” type of stories.

And with that, short fast review for a short fast story. It’s free on Amazon so get it while you can!

4 stars for Bewitching the Werewolf by Caroline Hanson.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

[Book Review] Sleeping With Paris by Juliette Sobanet

Summary (on Goodreads):
Charlotte Summers is a sassy, young French teacher who is two days away from moving to Paris with the love of her life and from fulfilling her dream of studying at the prestigious Sorbonne University in France. But when she discovers her fiancé’s online dating profile and has a little chat with the busty red-head he’s been sleeping with on the side, she gives up on committed relationships altogether and decides to navigate Paris on her own.
Determined to stop other women from finding themselves in her shoes, Charlotte creates an anonymous blog on how to date like a man in the City of Love—that is, how to jump from bed to bed without ever falling in love. But, with a slew of Parisian men beating down her door, a hot new neighbor who feeds her chocolate in bed, and an appearance by her sleazy ex-fiancé, she isn’t so sure she can keep her promise to remain commitment-free.
And, when Charlotte agrees to write an article for a popular women’s magazine about her Parisian dating adventures—or disasters, rather—will she risk losing the one man who’s swept her off her feet and her dream job in one fell swoop?

Normally, I like to have print copies of the books I’m reading. I like to be able to hold the book while I read it. But in the last year I’ve made lots of online writer friends who only have e-books published. So I  got over my selfish ways, downloaded Kindle for my laptop (and iPod) and got a bunch of e-books. Sleeping With Paris was one of the first ones. Still, it took me months to finally sit down and decide to look at a book on my iPod. I went straight for Sleeping With Paris.

Plot: The main idea of the story is what drew me in. A women about to leave to Paris with her fiancé finds out he’s cheating. Here comes something I haven’t really read about before. She creates a blog teaching women who to date like men. For the most part, I could see where the story was going. I noticed that with most contemporary books that I’ve read. However, Sleeping With Paris did take a few unexpected turns that I didn’t see coming.

Characters: Along with the unexpected turns came some unusual characters. I typically stay in the YA genre. Along with a different genre comes different characters. These aren’t teenager guys who want the school hottie to look at them. They’re grown woman who make it seem like they don’t want to fall in love. Take Charlotte, the main character for example; she found out the man she loved was cheating on her. Therefore she loses her trust in men. Lexi, a friend she makes in Paris, just wants to jump every guy’s bones. Then there’s Fiona, another friend the main character makes who is more on the calmer side. Any scene with these three girls together is pretty funny, in my opinion.

Relationships: Any why I like Charlotte, Lexi, and Fiona scenes so much? Because I really like the friendship that girls had with each other. Three completely different girls who bring out the best (and worse) in each other.  

Romance: There’s more than one romance in this book. There’s one relationship that I knew I was game on for since the beginning (actually when the male character was introduced) and there’s another romance that was dragged out a little more. Both romances kept me reading for more. I’m just hoping that “Kissed In Paris” (the companion novel following SWP) tells the story of the other pairing.

Creative Way of Writing: I absolutely loved the blog entries at the end of the chapters. That has to be one of my favorite things about Juliette Sobanet’s writing. I really liked the format that it brought to the book. Also since the book is set mostly in Paris, there’s a lot of French being spoken. The author doesn’t just assume that I know French nor does she flat out say what the character has just said, but creatively works it into the next sentence. Sly, but wise.

I really enjoyed Sleeping with Paris and can’t wait until I have time to pick up Sleeping With Paris.

5 out of 5 stars for Sleeping With Paris by Juliette Sobanet.