Sunday, December 30, 2012

Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy **Minor Spoilers**

I came across this book as a recommendation from amazon while trying to find a book to fill time between releases. I was excited because it is set in New Orleans which is where I live. I really enjoy books that are set here since there are familiar places, etc. This book does meet the new adult criteria, as Allie is post-high school. First and foremost I want to reiterate there are some minor spoilers in this review. Please don’t read on if you don’t want to read them. Here’s the plot description from goodreads:

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

I was a little skeptical when I bought this book as it doesn’t specify what type of supernatural the story is about. Naturally, since it is set in New Orleans I assumed vampires and then when that was ruled out thought it would be werewolves because of the local folklore. However, I was extremely surprised that it was shifters, but they are raptors. After that came to light I was enthralled simply based on how different the premise is from most the paranormal books currently out. I will say that the way they chose to reveal their secret was a little ridiculous and could have been written better. I felt like if someone was going to reveal this sort of information to someone they wanted to stick around all the buildup wouldn’t have happened since any sane person would have just left when all the creepiness started.

The characters are all extremely likeable despite their faults. For instance, Levi is a complete arrogant jerk and yet you still find him very likeable. The secondary characters in Levi’s circle are equally interesting and likeable. Allie is a bit different as she tries to come off as harsh and uninterested while she really isn’t that type of girl. I found the differences in how she felt and acted gave her character a lot of depth and reality. No sane girl is going to jump into a relationship with a boy in a strange town that she just met. This made the relationship that developed seem more natural. However, the only character I found myself severely annoyed with Allie’s supposed best friend. Her behavior is so contradictory to how she feels at one point that I wanted to slap her. She makes some bad decisions (I don’t want to ruin it) and then disappears from the story all together. I do have to wonder if she was only a caveat for Allie to meet Levi. Her disappearance is strange as I was left wondering if she would re-enter the story at some point. I found that she didn’t and it made her presence in the book strange.

Overall, I am very intrigued with this new series and am looking forward to the release of the second book in the series Focus that comes out on January 31. I dearly hope it is released early since you are left with a lot of unresolved issues in this book. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What is New Adult?

I wanted to address a genre that I have been following for awhile now: New Adult. I believe the publishers are describing this as books geared at the 18-25 population. They are often about students in college or around the right age. However, I am 29 and find that I am strongly identifying with these books and am gravitating more and more toward those and away from YA. I think those of us that were drawn back into reading by the Twilight series or Harry Potter are looking for something a little closer to home as we mature. Thus, I have made the decision to include reviews of this genre in my blog as well. This will be a hybrid blog for both. I do want to make my readers aware that "New Adult" often contains sex and as such I am not endorsing this as a genre for younger readers. Some of the books can be quite explicit and some are more tame. I will include a statement on my reviews of these books so that parents/younger readers can be aware before they decide to pick up the book.

A little background on the genre is that it was made popular by indie authors. The likes of Tamara Webber, Jamie McGuire, Abbi Glines, etc. To my excitement (for the authors) and my dismay (for the longer waits) many of the books in this genre have recently been picked up by publishing houses and the authors have been signed for their series. Frankly, I look forward to the day when there is a "New Adult" section at my local Barnes and Nobles. I think this is an under-represented group in literature and that it has a lot of room to grow. What are your thoughts on this emerging genre?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday Five 12/21/12

1. Today was the dreaded Santa picture day for my family. We have yet to have one picture that didn't end up with one of the kids crying. This year we attempted this with a 7 week old baby.... And surprisingly it came out pretty good. Brienna (my youngest) looks a bit like a grumpy old man but everyone else is smiling and looking at the camera. I think its one of my favorites!

2. I am the WORST person at Christmas. I hate surprises so I will snoop around the house to find gifts and have no shame about it. The only line I won't cross is actually unwrapping the gifts. This year my husband finally got smart and used cash to purchase the gifts and has hidden it so well I can't find it.. Of course it makes it all the more fun for me to keep hunting around and trying to find it. He claims that one day I will outgrow this habit but since my dad is in his 50s and still doing it; I highly doubt it.

3. I am leaving in 20 days to spend 2 months in Los Angeles with my son for his acting career and I haven't done anything besides book our apartment... I am likely going to be up on Wednesday and going crazy over this. I just need to get past Tuesday and all the crazy family obligations that come wth having a huge family.

4. Is anyone else still procrastinating wrapping? I have found with the little ones in the house it is better to wait to wrap presents. So I wrapped everyone else's presents but not the kids. The drawback to this is that I have more presents for the kids than everyone else together. Now I have to somehow find time to wrap a bagillion gifts...

5. I'm really excited about next week. My good friends from high school are all coming home (we only get to see each other once or twice a year). So I have 2 days we are squeezing as much time as possible in to spend together. We all keep in touch during the year but this is one of the only times we can get together as a group. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I stumbled upon the Lux series through Amazon recommendations. With the new baby I have found the only way to endure the sleep deprivation at night while feeding or rocking her is to read. Therefore, I have blown through my TBR pile that has gathered for the past few months and find myself browsing through goodreads and amazon’s recommendations. Opal is the latest installment in the series and was just recently released. Here’s the summary from goodreads:

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

If you haven’t read this series it is about a group of aliens called the Luxen. Now I know many people aren’t a fan of Sci-Fi but really even though there are aliens in here I would classify it as more of a paranormal. While they are aliens Jennifer doesn’t dwell on that aspect. It seems more paranormal in that the group is more like humans with super powers. They aren’t parts on UFOs or other planets. So even if you aren’t into Sci-Fi I would recommend picking up this series.

One of my favorite things about this series is the intensity of the relationship between Daemon and Katy. It has that same intense quality of twilight but with the realism of an everyday relationship. While they both have intense feelings for each other, they fight just like any other couple. I find this the most refreshing aspect of their relationship.

Katy is an incredible strong female lead that doesn’t annoy the reader. She isn’t so strong that she alienates herself and Jennifer has done a great job giving her interests outside of Daemon and the other Luxen. Daemon has a strong protective streak but allows Katy (after heated discussions) to do things her own way. I find the realism in this series to be one of its strongest points. If you haven’t read this series then I suggest picking up the first book Obsidian. Also on a side note: Wow the cover model is good looking!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Five 12/14/12

Life has been fairly busy this week. Here are a few things going on:

1. I really wish retailers wouldn't put the Christmas decor, etc up so early. It makes it seem like FOREVER until Christmas finally arrives. Case in point, my two year old has argued that Santa is coming every night since Thanksgiving. She isn't quite old enough to understand the calendar I keep showing her. This makes my mornings quite rough as she is disappointed there aren't any presents. Although I must admit her enthusiasm is pretty cute.

2. I finally broke down and got an apartment for our trip to Los Angeles for my son's acting. We have stayed in a hotel the past few times and really with the new baby it would just be way to small for the 2 months that we stay there. I'm very excited about the apartment since its a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom. It will be nice to have space to move and not have to constantly try to find places to go so the kids don't get too restless. I'm a little nervous as I've only seen pictures online but I've stayed in the area a few times and hope it is as nice as it looks... I also rented my furniture and have no clue if its even going to match so that should be interesting.

3. So I have been dieting post baby (She's 6 weeks old as of yesterday) and I know I just had her yada yada. However, since I did the two kids back to back I have 2 pregnancies worth of weight to loose so I really want to get a good start on it. I have really enjoyed the weight watchers app for my phone. For those of you that need help with keeping up with what you eat its great. I don't need the meetings, etc so I gave the app a try and I love it. With 3 kids I need something that is low maintenance and this really is. I love the barcode scanner that I can use while grocery shopping to decide if something would be good for me. I also love that with 3 clicks I can journal my food and have it with me at all times. So far I'm down about 8 lbs since starting the weight watchers 2 weeks ago and about 30 since having the newest addition. Of course she was 9lbs of that weight loss...

4. I'm so excited Pitch Perfect will be coming out next week. I am going to find some time to watch it. If you haven't seen it I thought it was hilarious! The music is great and the plot is fairly decent. Mostly I enjoyed a lot of the dry humor on the part of several actresses. I'm not usually one to watch or go to movies (which I realize is weird with a child that acts in them) but this one is definitely worth the time to see it.

5. I can't wait until after Christmas when my kids get their swing set to play on. I desperately need them to run off some of their daily energy because staying home with them is wearing me out! Honestly, going to work everyday requires less than being an at home mom. Especially since I can't get my youngest 2 on some sort of schedule. It seems like when 1 is sleeping the other is awake an in need of something. I really hope I can get them on some sort of similar nap time to get at least an hour to think or get things done. Hopefully, with the swing set my two year old can at least go outside and wear herself out on the small slide and see saw that is attached. I even went and bought "outside" clothes and shoes she could ruin...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hooked by LIz Fichera

I'm very excited that I got an early galley of Hooked. This is the first one I have gotten in awhile since taking a break from blogging and it was definitely a good start. It is scheduled to be released on January 31st. Before I give you what this book is about I want to say this was a refreshing read. It seems that a lot of literature is repeating itself with themes. I was really happy that this contemporary YA didn’t have a love triangle or a played out angle. Here’s the summary from goodreads:

Get hooked on a girl named Fred...

HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Why is a girl taking my best friends spot on the boy's varsity golf team?

SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me - especially Ryan Berenger.

HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go - especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.

SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.

But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile...

I was a little leery of a book on golf but I was pleasantly surprised with the complexity of the story. This isn’t another story about a kid from the wrong side of the tracks. So here are the things that I loved about this book!

-       - Underneath the plot there are themes of race and gender woven throughout the book in a tasteful manner. Not only is Fred a girl but one of 6 Native Americans in her school. I really liked that the topic of race wasn’t overly prevalent in the story. It felt like it would be in today’s society.. subtle.

-  * I haven't read anything with a golf theme so it was nice to pick up something new while reading the book. 

-   * Fred is a great character. She is strong but still makes those around her want to shelter her. She is a great blend for a lead. Ryan is also a great character in that he is very flawed but it is a fairly realistic flaw.
Some of the points that I wasn’t as fond of:

-     * The relationship between Fred and Ryan moves really fast. Ryan goes from completely hating her to an intense like for her in a really short time. I really felt like that part was rushed and could have been developed a little slower especially since they didn’t go through any extreme situations that would rush their feelings.

-     * Some of the behavior that Ryan exhibits is completely without consequence. While his teenage rebellion is definitely realistic, however, the lack of punishment seemed completely unreal.

Overall I found that this book was extremely enjoyable and it was very different from the other books that have been coming out recently. I would recommend this for those that like Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Echols.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday & I'm back

Well it has been a long time since I posted on here but I am delighted to be back. In the quiet I quit my job to stay home and allow my son to pursue acting full time, had my third child, and found new employment working from home as an adjunct math instructor with a few different universities. Life has had a lot of changes in the past year but I am finally settled and have time to get back to one of my favorite hobbies: reading!

Since I have gotten back into reading I have been doing a lot of catching up with series that I have fallen behind on. The up side to this is that I don't have to wait near as long for the next installment. The book that I am eagerly waiting on this week is Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep.

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads: I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself.

The thing that I really enjoy about this book is that it involves a lot of different mythologies. It is still paranormal with a touch of romance but without all of the usual suspects (vampires, werewolves, etc). Since there are several different mythologies it really holds your attention as you try to keep up with what is going on. Lastly, there is a lot of butt kicking going on in this book. If you are looking for a great series to start reading check out the Mythos Academy series. It would make a great winter read!