Friday, January 20, 2012

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich ★

Wicked Appetite (Book 1)
by Janet Evanovich
September 2010
St. Martin's Press

Seven Stones of Power.  No one knows when they were created or by whom, each said to represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Being a huge fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, I was very excited to read this, the first book in a new, somewhat supernatural series.  In order to perfectly convey to you my feelings on this book I've written multiple reviews.  Simply skip to the heading that best describes you.

If you've never read a book by Janet Evanovich before:
You're in for a real treat because this is chick lit at its best!  Lizzy Tucker has recently relocated to Salem, Massachusetts where she is now working in a pastry shop making cupcakes.  The most exciting thing in her life is her struggle to get her cookbook published so she can fix up the home she just inherited from her Aunt.  While this sounds somewhat interesting, it's not novel worthy, which is why Lizzy is suddenly thrown into the hunt for the seven stones of power, each of which represent one of the deadly sins.  And of course it wouldn't be chick lit without the manly protector (whose sweat could probably be used as cologne) as well as a cast of eccentric characters that keep the book quirky, funny, and entertaining to the very last page!

If you've read one or two books by Janet Evanovich and didn't like them:
Do not read this book.  That is all.

If you've read every book Janet Evanovich has ever published:
Reread your favorite Stephanie Plum book, substituting new names for the following characters.

Stephanie Plum - Lizzy
Morelli - A little bit of Diesel
Ranger - Gerwulf Grimoire (pffft)
Diesel - Diesel (yes, the same guy from the holiday novellas)
Lula - Glo

I could go on, but you get it.  On the other hand, if you've already read every Stephanie Plum book out there you obviously aren't interested in original, inspirational fiction.  In fact, I'd even go so far as to guess that you actually LIKE this particular formulaic approach to writing.  Well if that's the case . . . then join the club!  I love it too and I very much enjoyed this fast, mindless read that puts a slightly new twist on chick lit as well as the paranormal.  I can't wait to read book two!

Books in the Wicked Series (Lizzy and Diesel)
Wicket Appetite
Wicked Business (TBR June 2012)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi ★

Shatter Me (Book 1)
by Tahereh Mafi
November 2011
Harper Collins

I have a curse.  I have a gift.  I'm a monster.  I'm more than human.  My touch is lethal.  My touch is power.  I am their weapon.  I will fight back.

I LOVED this book!  For all the books that promised me X-Men, The Hunger Games, and so much more, this one finally delivered!  Bad things happen when people touch Juliette's skin.  Shunned by her family and peers, for seventeen years she has lived a life completely devoid of human contact.  Finally locked away in an asylum, Juliette waits to die as she slowly spirals into insanity.  Until the day that a boy is thrown into her cell.  A boy from her childhood whom she has always loved, but never spoken to . . . until now.  Ashamed of herself and her abilities, and viewed as a weapon by those who want to posses her, Juliette must find acceptance and the courage to fight back . . . before she shatters.

I absolutely devoured this dystopian fantasy novel.  My only complaint is the eventual focus on the love story rather than the main plot, which I found much more interesting.  A few less "I found you! I love you! Let's roll around on the floor!" scenes and a little more "shoot 'em up and leave 'em" would have suited me quite nicely.  Honestly though I really can't complain.  This book kept me more entertained and on edge than any other I've read recently.  Then again, I'm a sucker for half-insane, deadly force wielding girls and their nearly as crazy, super strong, very chiseled (not my word) boyfriends.  Who isn't?  READ IT!

Shatter Me Novels
Shatter Me
Book 2 (Fall 2012)
Book 3 (Fall 2013)

Ann and Seamus by Kevin Major

Ann and Seamus
by Kevin Major
art by David Blackwood
February 2004
Groundwood Books

Come away with me, lover
stay with us, daughter
share my life, precious
share with us all

Through narrative poetry, Ann and Seamus tells the story of the wreck of the Despatch off the coast of Newfoundland in 1828.  Seventeen year old Ann, along with her twelve year old brother, father, and the family dog saved over 160 passengers aboard the Despatch over the course of several days using their fishing boat.  Although the story itself does not seem to give Ann much credit, notes at the end of the book state that Ann's father gave her the medal he earned, claiming that it was she who was most responsible for this feat.  Not much is known of this event, but Ann and Seamus' courage shines through and influences the big decision they must make at the end of the book.  A fast, historical read for children or tweens.

Other books told through narrative or lyrical poetry:
Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

Overbite by Meg Cabot

Overbite (Meena Harper Book 2)
by Meg Cabot
July 2011
William Morrow

The stakes have never been higher.

Am I allowed to say that I hope this series is over now?  My eyes glaze over every time I see the word "vampire."  Probably this is a sign that I need to stop reading vampire fiction.  In any case, Meena Harper is back!  No longer a writer for a crappy soap opera, she now lives the dramatic, Prince of Darkness filled, vampire hunting life of a cheesy soap opera character!  I shouldn't poke fun . . . but here it is in all honesty.  If you're not sick of vampires, you enjoy chick lit, and want a fast, fluffy read then I actually highly recommend this series.  For what they are, the books are enjoyable and can be very funny at times (though I'm still not sure if they were supposed to be).  Okay, so summary: chick lit, vampires, hot men, slightly cheesy.  Got it?  Happy reading!

Meena Harper Novels

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Divergent by Veronica Roth ★

Divergent (Book 1)
by Veronica Roth
May 2011
Katherine Tegen Books

One choice can transform you.

Of all the recently published books being compared to "The Hunger Games," this one comes closest, in my opinion to capturing similar concepts and themes.  In this dystopian world, society has been divided into five factions based on a particular virtue - all in the pursuit of civilized perfection.  Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).  All sixteen year olds must decide for themselves whether they will stay within the group they were born, or be forever scorned by their family by choosing to be different.

Abnegation by birth, Beatrice shocks her family and friends when she chooses to be Dauntless and renames herself Tris.  A brutal initiation, cruel faction members, and heartbreaking tragedy, all lead Tris to question the wisdom of the system, however, and it will take every ounce of dauntless and abnegation within herself to survive her "perfect" society.  Dystopian is the new paranormal and bookstore shelves are flooded with mankind's mistakes; but hot, broody boys; a secret war; and a tough, but very real girl makes this one very much worth the read!

Divergent Trilogy
Insurgent (TBR May 2012)
Book 3 (TBR)