Wednesday 29 February 2012

Guest Review: Stuck With You by Trish Jensen

Stuck With You by Trish Jensen
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Pages: 230
Genre: Adult Romance
Pub Date: 3 Jan 2012
Format: ARC Kindle

A special Thank you to my new friend Catriona for reviewing this book and a Thank You to NetGalley for sending it for review.

Two feuding divorce lawyers. 
One infectious "love bug" virus. 
The symptoms are hard to resist . . . 

Paige Hart is blessed and cursed with a large, loving and. . .colorful Southern family. As the only lawyer in the clan, she can't say no when her cousin needs her help in a messy, no-holds-barred divorce. Tax attorney Paige squares off with Ross "the Snake" Bennett-one of the slickest divorce lawyers in the county. The case is going as well as an acrimonious, zinger-filled, wrangle of epic proportions can go until exposure to an infectious bug with an unusual side effect lands both lawyers in quarantine together. 

Catriona's Review:

I was hooked on this book right from the word go. It doesn’t hang around and gets you into the action straight away. There’s also no time wasting on describing elaborate settings and environments because the two main characters are locked in a hospital room, this really allows for the dialogue and action between them to tell the story itself.

I found this a super speedy read because the tension between the characters builds and builds and right from the word go, I found myself needing to know what was going to happen, how things were going to pan out between them. On a number of pages I even realised I was holding my breath whilst the two of them dealt with the tension, sexual and otherwise, in the room.

The sexual scenes in this book are not for the faint-hearted and will leave any reader a little hot under the collar, but without them this book really wouldn’t have worked. Along with the main characters there is a sub-story involving their doctor which I would have liked to have seen developed a little more… Apart from that, however, I found this a thoroughly enjoyable ‘ride’ from start to finish!

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Night Sky by Jolene Perry

Here is a little teaser of the book I just finished Night Sky by Jolene Perry. AND....It's a little bit more than 2 sentences. I don't think you'll mind.

“Tonight is me taking care of you.”
            I step toward her and raise an eyebrow. I could think of a few ways I’d like to be taken care of.
            “Puh-lease.” She pushes past me into my house, a large bag in her hand. “You’re an emotional wreck. And I know to guys, that doesn’t matter, but it does matter to girls. So. Tonight I’m going to be your friend.” She turns to face me.
            “Sounds depressing,” I tease.
            “Don’t tease.” Her eyes narrow.
            “But I’ll want to kiss you all night, and if we’re friends, I won’t be able to.” I wonder if protesting will get me anywhere.
            “Jameson. Just take it.” She tries to sound bored, tired.
            “Okay.” But I haven’t seen her in days. I want something.
            She stands looking at me. Her eyes widen. “You’re serious. Aren’t you?”
            “Of course I’m serious!” I’ve been thinking about our kiss since she left.
            “Fine, come here. Let’s get the kiss over with.” She rests against the counter and motions with her hand for me to step closer. Her face is flat. She looks almost bored.
            “I’m sorry it’s so torturous for you.” I step closer. She’s so beautiful I feel it in my chest.
            “It’s not.” She shakes her head. Her voice is soft. “Kissing you is like . . . it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt.” I watch her swallow. Does this mean she’s nervous? Is it possible for Sky to be nervous?
            This makes me pause. I pause long enough to get my head on straight so I don’t devour her in needing our mouths together. I take the bag out of her hands and set it on the kitchen counter. I can hear her breathing change – it’s more shallow and loud. I’m thrilled to have this effect on her. I brush my lips against hers and open my mouth slightly before kissing her again. Her arms slide around my neck, bringing us together. Now it’s her who’s pressing herself against me, and her mouth that’s moving more urgently against mine. This is amazing. My body is both tense and warm with relaxation at the same time.
            “You. Are. Dangerous.” She whispers in my ear.
            My mouth tries desperately to pull into a grin. I try desperately to stop it. Because, really, I need to be cooler than that.
            “Come on. Show me to your room.” She picks up her bag from the counter, and I know she’s purposefully keeping her eyes off mine.
            “And pick up where we just left off?” I slide my fingers down her back. Her shirt is as soft as it looks.
            “I’m re-thinking the whole honesty thing,” she teases.

Monday 27 February 2012

Review: Night Sky by Jolene Perry

Night Sky by Jolene Perry
Publisher: Tribute Books
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Kindle

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honestly somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.

Oh. Em. Gee. Swoon! Oh, thank you Jolene! I trusted you and you totally came through for me. Honestly I didn't even care what this book was about, but I knew I wanted to read it because I trust author Jolene Perry as a writer. I read her debut novel Next Door Boys and I loved it. I knew she would give me what I wanted. A book full of kissing. Huzzah! It's not only full of kissing, but she does write some super great love scenes. I mean, seriously. She can deliver! 

When I bought it I finally read the synopsis. I know, kind of weird right? Ha! I even broke my book buying ban for it. Well, it actually sounded good too. I loved the Native American aspect to the story and I found myself wanting Sky to talk more about it. There were parts where I was about to dip my hand into the book and slap her silly if she didn't start spilling the beans! Get with it gurl! Don't be a hypocrite! BE HONEST! 

This books is actually told through Jameson's POV. Which I loved! I mean, I love a dual point of view, but that's been done to death. It was nice to get into the guys head for once. Feel all the romance from him. YES! It was like reading Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer. You know, Twilight through Edwards eyes. I know you drooled over that book as much as I did. I absolutely loved knowing what Jameson was thinking all the time. I really liked seeing him fall for Sky and it was so awesome to be inside a guy's head for once!

Let me just talk about the romance. The hotness of it all. H-O-T. Squeel! I like my books to have more than one piddly kissing scene. I want lots of kissing. I want excitement. I want to actually feel like I'm being kissed while I'm reading it. Is that weird? I don't care. I'm married, but I'm gonna tell you, I LIVE for the romance of it all in books. It's nice to stir up those feelings while reading. Isn't it?! I was feeling butterflies in my stomach and light tingly feelings all over. Spot on Jolene! Thank you!

The story line is good and there is  character development in droves.  Along with several surprises! I read it super quick because I just couldn't help myself. I was loving it. Stayed up until about 1am reading then got back up at 4am to finish because I wanted more! I love when that happens. I'm not even tired. If you're looking for a hot book then this is it! It's fun and heavy all at the same time. 

"Now that they’re both in view, the problem is clear. 
Girl I’ve loved, girl I’m falling for. Let’s meet in my driveway and see if we can give Jameson his first heart attack." 

Sunday 26 February 2012

The Newsstand {13}

The Newstand is an original feature here at The Sweet Bookshelf. It was started almost 2 yrs ago and took a hiatus for awhile. It's back! Here we dish on news, up and coming books, Kindle deals, tidbits,  and important things bookies should know. Check out what you can glean from this week.

Join in the Discussion!

Books I want! 

That's it for this week. As The Newstand evolves there will be more content to enjoy! What do you think? What would you like to see more of in The Newstand?

Saturday 25 February 2012

Kids at The Shelf: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Puffin
Reading Level: Middle Grade (10-12)
Pages: 304
Review by: Grace (11 yrs)

Twelve-year-old villain, Artemis Fowl, is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. His bold and daring plan is to hold a leprechaun to ransom. But he's taking on more than he bargained for when he kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance Unit). For a start, leprechaun technology is more advanced than our own. Add to that the fact that Holly is a true heroine and that her senior officer Commander Root will stop at nothing to get her back and you've got the mother of all sieges brewing!

Grace, age 11
Wow! This book was amazing. Between the action and commotion you can hardly catch your breath to stop reading. You'll want to know what's next in the book. I loved it and you will love it too. Artemis is the youngest criminal mastermind in the world because he is only 12! He will probably scare you will his expansive knowledge. Anyone with interest in faeries, magic, and the evil side of the world will never be able to put this book down. 

Kids at The Shelf: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
Publisher: Atom
Pages: 448
Format: ARC Paperback
Review by: Morgan (age 14)

A special Thank you to Atom Books for sending me this book to review.

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and a boyfriend she adored. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands. Chris was dead. Adriane couldn't speak. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also-according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone-a murderer. Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora's determined to follow the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. But Chris's murder is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

Morgan, age 14
The Book of Blood and Shadow is a weird, interesting, love story full of mystery and horror. I LOVE IT! This book is awesome! It is one of those books that you are afraid to keep reading but you do because you love the characters and worry what the author will do to them. I must say that I believed in Max the whole time. I love to reread books and I think I will read this one again. It is one of those books that each time you read it you will find a whole different story. Anyone will a taste for historical horror and romance will enjoy this book like I did.

Friday 24 February 2012

Christy's Review: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 400
Pub Date: 13 March 2012
Format: ARC-Kindle

A special Thank you to Candlewick Press and NetGalley for sending me this book to review.

Blood sings to blood ... 
Those born last will make the first ...
For Charyn will be barren no more.

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home ... or so he believes. Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior's discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place.

It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood ... and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen. 

Christy's Review: 
Froi of the Exiles is the sequel to Finnikin of the Rock. I was exstatic to receive this galley to read and review. I've been waiting for ages for this sequel, with bated breath. And in the first few pages I found myself furious at the story. The perspective of the book had shifted from being that of Finnikin (of said rock) to Froi (Which really shouldn't have come as much of a surprise, due to the title, but... honestly I hadn't expected it, because if you've read Finnikin of the Rock... it's FROI! Froi, whom we all learned to hate in the last book.) So after a few chapters I adjusted. And I came re-appreciate the plain-speaking talents of author Marchetta once again, and I realized that I had just been schooled, because I was now growing to understand (and like) a character whom I'd carefully learned to dislike in Finnikin of the Rock, and I was again astonished at the author's mad characterization skills...

 my happiness with Froi of the Exiles didn't last much longer than a few chapters. 

Let me preface the next part of my review by saying that I normally don't write negative reviews, but I have really mixed feelings for this book, so I'm going to go ahead. Without spoiling anything, I think the entire midsection of this book was really badly done. Instead of Marchetta's normally brilliantly crafted encounters with harsh realities, the midsection of this book was poorly paced (it dragged on and on and on...) and was hugely focused on sex and an entire civilization's loss of moral compass due to a "curse." But instead of treating the tough themes in the story with caution, learning and care, as I've come to expect from Marchetta, it felt manhandled, somewhat pornographic in parts and really, really awkward, like this should have been a very bad first draft instead of a finished book. 

This is NOT a book for kids, tweens or teens. I am fairly convinced that I could have done without reading this book, except I never would have done because I love this author too much. I'll just say that Froi of the Exiles is officially my least favorite of all of Marchetta's works. That said, I will be tuning in for book three of this companion novel series, whenever it comes out.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Russian Winter Blog Tour

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
Publisher: Arrow
Pages: 480
Format: ARC Paperback

A special Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me this book to review.

When she decides to auction her remarkable jewellery collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has drawn a curtain on her past. Instead she finds herself over­whelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events that changed the course of her life half a century before.

It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theatre; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions, Gersh, a dangerously irreverent composer, and the exquisite Vera became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia where a terrible discovery led to a deadly act of betrayal.

Now living in Boston, Nina has hidden her dark secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest: Drew Brooks, an in­quisitive young associate director at the Boston auction house; and Grigori Solodin, a Russian professor who believes that a unique set of amber jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together, these unlikely partners find themselves unravelling a literary mystery whose answers will hold life-changing consequences for them all.

My mother was a dancer. My uncle is an even better dancer and had a dancing career. He now teaches at the University of Florida. He's kind of a big deal. I started dancing at age 3 and stopped as a teenager. I've always loved dancing though. I've always loved the ballet, so this book really had appeal with me. 

There is plenty of action, drama and intrigue here! It's a fascinating story. The narrative set in 1950's Moscow was my favorite. I enjoy anything historical. The book is about ballet, love and jealousy. Yet there is suspicion and constant danger here. There is a mix of about everything!! The ballet made for an interesting setting.  I didn't enjoy the present day part of the story as much as going back in time. Those parts of the story is where my heart went. 

If you're looking for something different than what you've been reading or want to get out of a reading funk pick up this beautiful debut!

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Save in a Fire

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature at The Broke and the Bookish.

Yo, I'm going to be real with this post.  If there was a fire, I don't think I'd be grabbing my books.  Those are replaceable. Seriously, they are.  I'd be grabbing some other important pieces.  I'd grab my son. I'd let me husband find his own way out.

But, I would so grab my kindle ya'll! If you don't have a kindle yet, what are you waiting for?! They are the most amazing invention ever! If there was a fire, I'd be needing something to keep me occupied while my place burned to the ground and I tried to replace all my other possessions. My Kindle would be there to keep my mind off of the tragedy. I'd save my Kindle!

Monday 20 February 2012

Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
UK Pub Date: 14 Feb 2012
Pages: 272
Format: ARC Kindle

A special Thank you to Hodder Books and NetGalley for sending me this book to review.

'We've got at least seven hours to get what we want before the sun comes up.'
School is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. Somewhere in the glassy darkness, he's out there, spraying colour, birds and blue sky on the night. And Lucy knows that a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for - really fall for.

The last person Lucy wants to spend this night with is Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since punching him in the nose on the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells Lucy he knows where to find Shadow, the two of them are suddenly on an all-night search to places where Shadow's pieces of heartbreak and escape echo off the city walls. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.

Oh, WOW! I'm totally in love with this book. It is so arty and it makes you see life with different eyes. My grandmother is an artist and I took my obligatory Art History course in college, but that is where my art knowledge ends. I have been to the Louvre in Paris though! There are many reference to different pieces of art and Graffiti Moon made me want to know what they looked like. I found myself Googling these art pieces just to see what Lucy and Ed were talking about.

The story is told through 3 POV's. Mainly Ed and Lucy but a few chapters filled with Poets poems. It is more than alternating points of view though. Author Cath Crowley takes a step back and we re-visit the scene through the next characters eyes. I loved this. I got to know what both Lucy and Ed were feeling and thinking about the same situation. Perfection.

Lucy has just graduated high school and she is on the hunt for Shadow, a graffiti artist that she is in love with. She's never met him though. She is in love with his art and feels like she knows him. Graffiti Moon is a night of adventure! A night of Shadow Hunting with old and new friends. What could happen?!

Let me just tell you, I love this book! It stirred so many emotions within me and I was just pulling for Ed and Lucy. I wanted Lucy to find Shadow too. I wanted to see more paintings and I wanted kissing!  That is the ONE thing I would change. More kissing. All I needed was one good kissing scene. Really good. To match the rest of the feelings I had stirring within me. But, oh how I loved this book. Brilliant! Pure brilliance!

"When wanting collides with getting, that's the moment of truth. I want to collide." 

Saturday 18 February 2012

Let's Connect!

There are so many different ways for us to connect.  I'm all over the world wide web for your reading convenience. Here is a list of different ways you can get all of my posts from The Sweet Bookshelf, plus so much more!

Facebook: You'll get all my posts delivered straight there. If you find yourself on Facebook throughout the day, come on over and see me! I've also got an album for the books I receive each month. Come and see what I'm reading.

Twitter: Ya'll, I love Twitter. It is amazing. I'm sharing all my posts there, as well as so much more! I tweet bookish articles I find, Amazon deals, discuss books, and re-tweet authors and publishers! Come and tweet with me. I love twitter!

GoodReads: What a great bookish community! You'll find all my reviews in one place here. I join in discussions, enter contests, and mingle with authors! What's not to like!

Networked Blogs: There are so many great blogs on Networked Blogs, it is a great way to get all my

Google Friend Connect (GFC):  See that follower button on my sidebar? If you use Blogger to follow your favorite blog, just click JOIN this site to get up to the minute coverage on everything on The Sweet Bookshelf!

Follow by Email: Are you an email person? Always checking who's sent you a message? Well, you can get all my posts auto sent directly to your email. Just fill in your email in the sidebar Subscribe via Email section.

Google Reader: What is RSS anyway? RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication'. Seriously. People describe it as your 'newsfeed' of blog information. Any time one of your favorite blogs has posted, you'll know about it. All in one place. You can create different folders for different kinds of blogs/websites. What's not to like about that?! If you click that little orange sqaure it will take you to a page where you can choose how you'd like to follow The Sweet Bookshelf via RSS feed. Just choose Google and start using Google Reader today! 

Let's Connect! Hope to see you around!

Friday 17 February 2012

Christy's Review: The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose

The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose
Publisher: Atria Publishing
Pages: 384
Pub Date: 13 March 2012
Format: ARC Kindle

A special Thank you to Atria Publishing and NetGalley for sending me this book to review.

Jac L'Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances--and of her mother's suicide--she moved to America. 

Now, fourteen years later she and her brother have inherited the company along with it's financial problems. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing--leaving a dead body in his wake--Jac is plunged into a world she thought she'd left behind.
 Back in Paris to investigate her brother's disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend the House of L'Etoile has been espousing since 1799. Is there a scent that can unlock the mystery of reincarnation - or is it just another dream infused perfume?

 The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra's Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet's battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac's quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

Christy's Review:
I read a lot of YA fiction. I like YA fiction. I don't like gruesome murder or "adult" scenes. But every so often I want to read something less... juvenille, less wistful, more intense. I recently picked up The Book of Lost fragrances not having clear cut expectations from it. I hadn't heard of this author and I'm not a huge follower of mystery and crime novels. But I do LOVE travel factoid mysteries, like Angels & Demons and The DaVinci Code. (I've read everything by Dan Brown, actually. Love the history/mystery. The Plot lines are predictably formulaic.) Anyhoo... The summary of this book was definitely intriguing enough to catch my attention. I decided to give it a whirl, because hey, I could have just put it down if I'd hated it, right? Right. 

Wow. Who knew this book was going to knock my socks off? Not me. And it did. (Obviously.) 

It is safe to assume that I really, really had a hard time to put this book down. There is so much more to it than the enticing summary lets on. Ancient Egyptian mysteries, Crime in modern Paris. Jet setting from New York. A bit of the supernatural/reincarnation. Great research. Catacombs. Kidnappings. Tibet and China. The Dalai Lama! Wow. Just wow. It was all tied together in a beautifully coherent, infinitely visual storyline involving characters that matter.

For a great frolic through time and across continents pick up The Book of Lost Fragrances!

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Audiobook: Harry Potter and the Sorcererr's Stone by JK Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: JK Rowling
Narrator: Jim Dale
Length: 8:05:41

Just when it seems that there cannot possibly be another twist to the Harry Potter tale, Stephen Fry dons his haughtiest and naughtiest tones to bring Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to vibrant life on audio.

Harry Potter has spent the first 10 years of his life at the mercy of the dreadful Dursleys--the aunt, uncle and fat, spoilt brat of a cousin who reluctantly gave him a home after the death of his mother and father. But on his 11th birthday Harry discovers that he is no ordinary boy, and despite the best efforts of his hideous relatives he escapes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to begin his new life as a trainee wizard. And the rest, as they say, is history...

As Harry battles against the evils thrown in his path, Stephen Fry injects the proceedings with a wry, dry and extremely contagious humour that perfectly suits the tale, wringing out the best in Harry and his cohorts as they get to grips with their new lives at the sharp end of Hogwarts. Fry's innate upper-class drone is perfectly suited to the telling of this most magical tale, cracking into the high-pitched squawking of Hermione the swat, or the gentle tones of the firm but fair Dumbledore, or the evil sniping of slimey Snape at precisely the right moments.

Audiobook Review:
I've been wanting to re-read The Harry Potter series for so long but the books are so large.  I knew it would take awhile as I'm trying to get through my TBR review pile. I am ashamed to say that I've not read the last 2 books in the series. I know, I must be some kind of traitor to the HP lovers everywhere. It was time. I wanted to read them. What better way than to try the audio book? I've only ever really tried a few audio books.  But, let me tell you. The narrator makes ALL the difference. I am so monumentally impressed with this audio book I almost have no words. 

I first read Harry Potter when I was 19 yrs old (1999). Whoa! I remember the first time I saw the book. I was working at Applebee's and serving a mother and son. He was probably 8 yrs old and he had this huge book. I said,"That's quite a big book don't you think?" He said,"It's Harry Potter." I went home thinking, who is Harry Potter? I called my Mom and told her that I'd seen a kid reading a huge book. My Mom said,"It's probably Harry Potter." How did she know?! Well,  my mother is a reader. Nothing gets past her. 

It has been a long time since I've revisited Harry Potter in text. I've enjoyed all the movies. But, I wanted to read the last 2 books and I want to start at the beginning. I'm so enjoying the audio books! I have forgotten how wonderfully these books are written. Pure Brilliance! But let me tell you, the narrator makes all the voices. He does a superb job. It has really changed the stories for me. I'm enjoying them so much more than before. If you've never listened to an audio book, please start with Harry Potter! It's amazing!

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Broke My Heart

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature at The Broke and the Bookish.

Books that broke my heart.  What exactly does that mean? Broke my heart in that they were sad? Broke my heart in that there was a stupid cliffhanger, again?! Broke my heart in that they didn't live up to the hype? I'm guessing a little bit of each. So, I'm sharing with you my list of SIX books that broke my heart for different reasons. Some good. Some, not so good.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I do not want to start a debate, but I hate this book. It did not live up to the hype in my eyes.  I actually pretend that it isn't part of the series.  I felt like it wasn't even a part of the series and checked that  it was even written by the same author!  There was so much lacking here, I can't even begin to talk about it. My heart broke.  I wanted it to be so much more. I missed my Peeta.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I can not even tell you the feelings I had when I found out Clary and Jace were siblings.  I threw the book. Then I called my sister and told her she had better tell me what the end of the book entailed, and the rest of the series or I would never take her recommendation ever again.  I don't think I could have gotten through the next books without knowing those few small pieces of info. Shock of my life. But, EXCELLENT series! If you've not read it, DO IT NOW!

Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Laurel, you chose the wrong boy! What's wrong with you?! ARE YOU CRAZY?! I've been wanting to slap you silly for the past few years. Destined, the final installent in this quartet, comes out this spring and she had better fix it! Team Tamani FOREVER!

These is My Words by Nancy Turner
Why is this book on every list? Because it's my all time favorite, that's why! My sister sent me this book. It arrived soaked in water. The postman must have dropped in the the ocean. I put it in the oven and used the hair dryer on it to get it dry.  I read it all crinkled.  When I was done I was crying so hard I needed to call my sister to console me.  She answered and I just started bawling.  She said,"You finished it didn't you?" Yes I did. Bravo! Amazing book! Broke my heart. The ending is...well, I can't tell you. But, it is heartbreaking. I was so glad to find out that there were two more books.  I needed more.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Oh. My. Goodness. Shock. That's what the end of this books was.  It wasn't like I didn't know something like this wasn't going to happen. It's the Holocaust for crying out loud! But, I was not prepared for the details.  I wasn't. My hands clasped my mouth and I let out a cry when I read the ending.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Another Holocaust book. Of course, you know there will be death, but it's the who. It is the fact that things were never said or done before said person dies. Shocking. Tears. One of the best books I've ever read. Broke my heart.

Monday 13 February 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Dystopian
Pub Date: 2 Feb 2012
Format: ARC-Paperback

A special Thank you to Puffin for sending me this book to review. 

Los Angeles, California Republic of America. He is Day. The boy who walks in the light. She is June. The girl who seeks her brother's killer. On the run and undercover, they meet by chance. Irresistably drawn together, neither knows the other's past. But Day murdered June's brother. And she has sworn to avenge his death.

I had heard so much about this book. I wasn't sure if it was going to live up to the hype or not. Well, I am really impressed. Dystopian fiction is such a hot genre right now. I was not disappointed. 

The book is told in dual points of view. June and Day. I love that. You really get a sense of what is going on when there are different POV's. June is from a well to do family. Her brother is a military official and she herself has had a perfect test score and is poised to follow in her brother's footsteps. Day is from a poor family, failing test scores, and now has a life of crime. He is nameless, faceless, and finger print-less. Yet, they are so similar in many ways. But the capital has treated them vastly different. They handle situations similarly. It is very interesting. We're back and forth between June and Day throughout the whole story and I found myself looking forward to what the other character thought about a particular situation. It was nice that I got to find out!

I thought the relationships in this book worked really well. Everything felt necessary. Sometimes in dystopian novels the love story feels tacked on. Thrown in as another element.  Forced. I wouldn't say that about Legend. It felt like the natural progression of things. But, all the relationships felt that way. Mother and son, brother and sister, friend and enemy. They all worked well for me. I enjoyed watching what was happening between characters. I'm a character development kind of reader and there is plenty here. It all felt needed. 

Many of the scenes stuck with me. June in the Skiz fight. Day bandaging June's wounds, and Kissing. I love kissing. I did wish that June and Day were older though. They are both 15 yrs old. I felt that was very very young. Maybe too young for some of the scenes. I kept wanting them to be 18 yrs old. I felt they should have been older. 

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It is worth the hype associated with it. This would be perfect for those who enjoyed Divergent by Veronica Roth. I'm so looking forward to more! 

"What a joke! Poor little rich girl's fallen in love with the Republic's most famous criminal." 

Saturday 11 February 2012

Are Self-Help Books Helpful?

I'm trying to be more well rounded.  So, I'd like to talk about more than just Young Adult books on The Sweet Bookshelf.  I think there are so many good books out there from all different genre's.  I enjoy many different kinds of books and I don't want to be limited in what I talk about here. I want to talk about all good books I like! Who's with me?

I kind of enjoy self help books. I peruse the isle of my book store or even Amazon for them. Is that weird? I think more people read them than are admitting to it. I've said before that I read to be entertained, I still do, but sometimes I want to learn about a certain topic or need a bit of help in a certain area. Reading helps, more than you know.

My Mom is a self help book junkie.  She is always reading one self help book and one fiction novel.  I also enjoy cookbooks. Not self-help, well maybe? I like the pictures. I like to find a good recipe from time to time.  I'm also curious as to what self help books others are reading.  Do they really help?

I think it depends on what you read, obviously.  In my, somewhat limited, experience with self help books they have helped.  I'm very selective with this genre though.  I'm not like my Mom in that respect.  I don't read everything I can get my hand on with the subject I need help on. I choose one or two books that I think will really help. I've actually found some really good ones.

I hope that you will open your eyes to trying something new, and try a self help book. I've actually got a few here that I think you'll really like.

He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt
You probably thought it was just a movie didn't you? Well, it was a self help book first that they turned into a chic flick. I still laugh that they were able to do that. The book is hilarious, let me just say that. I laughed so hard in bits that people were looking at me weird.  I bought this out of desperation in 2006 when a string of short term boyfriends were getting me down. I needed to get over it.  This book totally opened my eyes. The author takes letters written by old clients and just spells it out for them! HARD CORE! He lets them have it. You actually see how ridiculous it is to still be pining over someone when they are clearly not into you. Loved it!

It's Called a Break Up Because It's Broken by Greg Behrendt
By the same author, I just had to have it.  This helped me so much with a breakup. I felt relationship challenged and this book helped put me back on track. Thanks Greg!

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Seriously you guys, this OPENED my eyes to communication! You don't need to be dating anyone, or married for this book to be effective.  It's just about learning how to communicate in ways that the significant people in your life can understand. I wish my husband would read this!! He took the quiz though, so that helped. At least I know where I'm headed with him. It's a really short book too. 

What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
They are making this one into a movie also. I find that hilarious. This book is the ONE STOP SHOP in baby books.  It helped me through my pregnancy, because let's face it, I was clueless! This makes a perfect baby shower gift. 

The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
Written in the 1920's and still one of the most prominent financial books ever written. I had to read this for my Finance class in University, and LOVED it. It's only about 160 pgs but there are 11 ancient Babylonian tales revealing the way to financial success.  It is so simple, we don't usually think this way. We make money to be complicated, when it's really not.  If you're looking for a good money book, this is it!

Have you read any self help books? Do you have an recommendations for me?

Friday 10 February 2012

Christy's Review: Scarlet by AC Gaughen

Scarlet by AC Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Children's
Pages: 304
Pub Date: 14 February 2012
Format: ARC-Kindle

A special Thank you to Walker Books and NetGalley for sending me this books to review.

Robin Hood is given a fresh, feminine twist in this romantic retelling from the point of view of "Will Scarlet"
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance, from debut author A. C. Gaughen. Posing as one of Robin Hood's thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. When the heat turns on up the band of thieves as the Sheriff of Nottingham seeks revenge, the romance burns strong between Scarlet and her flirtatious fellow outlaws. Helping the people of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It's only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Christy's Review:
I can’t begin to describe how much I liked this book! It’s like These is My Words (after a fashion) meets Robin Hood, meets Kristin Cashore’s Fire. I inhaled this book in a day! I really enjoyed the idea of Robin Hood told by Will Scarlet (a character who very little is actually written about in the original Robin Hood book, save that he is Robin’s best mate), who is actually a girl. Very, very cool idea. The voice and style given to this story by A.C. Gaughen is utterly convincing and gut-wrenchingly believable. Her use of colloquial English really completes and polishes the story. It’s a story about love, redemption, facing one’s demons and seemingly doing the wrong things for the right reasons; in other words, it is a worthy Robin Hood novel. Really, really well done.

If you’re a fan of Robin Hood and ready for a fresh take on his adventures, or are just looking for a good action/adventure/romance, definitely check out Scarlet!

“’I’m not the type to have someone.’ Why were I saying this so much these days? I looked at Robin, John, and Much up ahead. They were someones, to be sure, but that didn’t mean they were for me. They were with me, maybe, but not for me.
‘More people care about you than you know, Scarlet. No matter how you got your scars.’
I covered my cheek, looking at her.
‘Not just those scars. The ones that make you think you’re unlovable.’”

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Review: Unbreakable Love by Angela Carling

Unbreakable Love by Angela Carling
Publisher: Acacia Publishing
Pages: 220
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Format: Kindle

A special Thank you to Acacia Publishing for sending me this book to review.

Jennie Townsend is unlucky in love, so she is immediately suspicious when a mysterious new student named Nate tries to gain her friendship. But there is something special about Nate, and in spite of her best efforts Jennie finds her feelings for the boy growing deeper every day.

In fact, Nate is more special than Jennie can even imagine. He is a guardian angel, sent to protect Jennie during a most dangerous time in her life. To do so, he must first become close to her - but not too close. The rules for Protectors warn against physical contact and strictly forbid falling in love. But the more time Nate spends with Jennie, the harder the rules are to follow. Will Nate be able to save Jennie from a premature end, or will his own emotions - and Jennie's - get in the way of completing the task for which he was specifically chosen?

I actually couldn't remember what this book what about when I started reading it. So, I went in blind. I only had the cover to go by. Looks pretty good. Loving couple on the front. What's not to like?!

This is a guardian angel story.  I've not read any angel paranormal in quite awhile.  I'm not up on all the lore involved. Nate is Jennie's Guardian Angel.  Her protector.  His job is to protect her from a certain event so she is not harmed.  That doesn't mean that others won't be, but that she needs to live to finish a greater work in her life.  Nate worms his way into her life, and BAM! Oops, he's fallen in love with his protectee.  There is protocol to follow and he keeps breaking the rules.  

I liked the story line. It was interesting. The middle was a bit slow.  There is a bit of a waiting game. Nate and Jennie don't talk for a few months.  So, I felt like I kept willing certain things to happen and they just weren't there yet. The romance aspect is light.  I wanted a bit more of it, especially when I finally got some! Give me more!!! But, it was a quick read. If you like angels, then this is your thing! 

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Non-Readers

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature at The Broke and the Bookish.

I thought hard about this topic.  What non-readers come to my blog? If there are any, show yourself! I want to meet you!! So, I'm writing a list of books geared at different age groups. These books, I believe, will make readers out of you!

Middle Grade 9-12 yrs

Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Young Adult 13+ yrs

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

20+ yrs 

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

30+ yrs old

These is My Words by Nancy Turner
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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