Saturday, March 31, 2012

We Bought a Zoo ~ Benjamin Mee review

We Bought a Zoo : The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives Forever
Weinstein Books
September 9, 2008
261 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon/or Book Depository

We Bought a Zoo is Benjamin Mee's memoir of the time when his family, well, bought a zoo. The British family purchased the run-down (and shut down) Dartmoor Wildlife Park in Devon, moving from France and discovering just what all it takes to get a zoo back up and running. Mee's story was also the subject of the BBC2 documentary "Ben's Zoo" and now the feature film We Bought a Zoo.

Not just a book about the money and business matters it takes to try to reopen a zoo, We Bought a Zoo covers so much more. It's also about Mee's family - his relationship with his wife who is suffering from cancer, with his children, with his mother who has made the move with them - about the majestic animals who inhabit the park, and the personalities who come to work there.

I learned so, so much more about zoos and their inner workings than I likely ever would have without ever reading this book. About the different animals, their backgrounds, breeding, interactions, etc but also how the zoo and its staff has to work with them. It was incredibly fascinating. (There were a few things, of course, that I can't say I wouldn't have minded not learning - about feeding them, mostly.)

The premise of a family buying a zoo is immediately interesting and something I thought I would like to read about - and see a movie about - but I enjoyed it so much more than I thought. I never dreamed how much work would go into attempting to restore a zoo - both within Mee's family (I had no idea the personal things he was dealing with) and the professional struggles as well.

If you listen to the audio version of this (it is available), make sure you pick up the book at some point so that you can see the pictures of the animals it includes!

This book makes me wish I lived closer to a zoo - I definitely want to go to one now . . . I'll just hope I can see We Bought a Zoo soon.

Rating: 8/10

Have you seen We Bought a Zoo? It's out on Blu-ray/ DVD on the 3rd and after reading the book I"m anxious to see it, see how it's different/similar.

There's a Movie Companion Guide (PDF), too - created by Allied Faith & Family (neither the book or the movie is 'Christian' that's just how the Guide is looking at things/written).

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Restorer ~ Amanda Stevens review

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1)
April 19, 2011
376 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon/or Book Depository

Amelia Gray has been aware of ghosts practically her whole life. She's also followed her father's rules on how to stay safe from them and keep them out of her life and her mind. Now, as an adult works around the South cleaning and restoring graveyard to their former splendor. When a detective - an enigmatic but also haunted detective - requests her help in finding a serial killer, Amelia finds herself breaking those rules.

The Restorer is so much fun to read. It's a murder mystery with ghost thrown in. It doesn't go full out Ghost Whisperer, though, as Amelia's worked her whole life to keep the ghosts out so she only sees a few of them and lives somewhere that they can't invade her life. They aren't popping up at the foot of her bed for friendly chats, but they're definitely there and affecting things.

The relationships between Amelia and other characters as well as Devlin (the detective) and later Devlin and Amelia as they work together, is really brilliant. Even with a killer on the loose and the characters working to find who it is, battling their own personal struggles (which we get to see some of; and through different characters perspectives, too) the characters interactions and relationships aren't left by the wayside.

Mira, a Harlequin imprint, really publishes some great books. They don't have as much romance/sex in them as the true Harlequin romance reads, instead taking a more literary turn and I adore them. It's a publisher/imprint that I really watch for new titles from - this series being no different.

I'm currently reading the second title in this series (and like it even more) so there should be a review of that very soon!

(This is an adult novel but should be appropriate for most YA readers as well.)

Rating: 9/10

SBBS: Day 10 ~ Sara Wilson Etienne

Spring Break Blog Spectacular Day 10: Sara Wilson Etienne Interview, Harbinger Trailer and Giveaway

Today's guest is author Sara Wilson Etienne, author of Harbinger. released this past February by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, a Penguin Imprint. I have an interview with Sara and, thanks to Stacey at Putnam, a giveaway of Harbinger.

Ideal spring break destination: ski chalet or tropical beach villa?
I’m more of a mountains and forest kind of girl. Give me a tent, an inflatable mattress (yes I’m a wimp), a creek, and I’ll be happy. Oh, I’ll also need chocolate.

In high school/college which was more likely spotting you on MTV’s Spring Break or just you and your friends savoring the week off?
Definitely me and my friends hanging out. Maybe some popcorn and a Buffy marathon?

What was your favorite Spring Break ever (where and/or why)? Or if you didn't go on Spring Break trips, where did you always want to go?
When I was a kid, we’d road trip to the beach in Florida. One year, on the way home my Dad suddenly said, “Let’s stop at Disneyland!” And we did, even though it meant he had to drive all night long to make it back in time for work the next day. Best. Trip. Ever.

Fly and have the fun be at the destination or road trip and have the journey be at least half the fun?
Trains! I wanna take a super schmancy train to an exotic locale. That way I can enjoy the trip in luxury.

Do any of your characters take Spring Break trips?
No. Unfortunately in Harbinger, Faye is locked up at Holbrook Academy, surrounded by razorwire and taser-toting guards.

Where would their ideal Spring Break destination be?
I think Faye would choose somewhere quiet and beautiful, maybe a beach, so she could enjoy the feeling of being free and with no one shunning her.

Which of your characters (in your recent/upcoming novel or anything you’re working on) would you most have liked to have met on a Spring Break trip?
My main character in my new book really kicks some ass...I bet she’d be a great person to travel with. Guy bothering you on the beach? Bam! Restaurant closed? Not anymore! I just wouldn’t want to be the one to make her mad!

Best book to read on Spring Break or a road trip?
I’m gonna go with Lola and the Boy Next Door. A perfect book for a little beach reading. Sweet, funny, and sexy!

Thank you!

 and since it is Friday, the day when I usually post book or movie trailers, here's the fantastic trailer for Harbinger:

Harbinger's synopsis:
Plagued by waking visions and nightmares, inexplicably drawn to the bones of dead animals, Faye thinks she's going crazy. Fast. Her parents beleive Holbrook Academy might just be the solution. Dr. Mordoch tells her it's the only answer. But Faye knows that something's not quite right about Dr. Mordoch and her creepy, prisonlike school for disturbed teenagers.

What's wrong with Holbrook goes beyond the Takers, sadistic guards who threaten the student body with Tasers and pepper spray; or Nurse, who doles out pills at bedtime and doses of solitary confinement when kids step out of line; or Rita, the strange girl who delivers ominous messages to Faye that never seem to make any sense. What's wrong with Holbrook begins and ends with Faye's red hands; she and her newfound friends--her Holbrook "family"--wake up every morning with their hands stained the terrible brown of dried blood. Faye has no idea what it means but fears she may be the cause.

Because despite the strangeness of Holbrook and the island on which it sits, Faye feels oddly connected to the place; she feels especially linked to the handsome Kel, who helps her unravel the mystery. There's just one problem: Faye's certain Kel's trying to kill her--and maybe the rest of the world, too.

A rich and tautly told psychological thriller, Harbinger heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in young adult fiction.

or you can find the book on Goodreads, Amazon, or Book Depository - or read my review here

Sara Wilson Etienne is on Goodreads, her website, @wilsonetienne on Twitter

and now for the giveaway . . .

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Every Other Day ~ Jennifer Lynn Barnes review

Every Other Day
December 27, 2011
327 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon/or Book Depository

Every other day Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl, going to high school, attending pep rallies, attempting to figure out multiple choice tests. Human. . . . But then every other day, she's not. She's something else.

Those are the days she spends hunting paranormal creatures. She still looks like the high school student she is on her 'human' days, but power courses through her, demons are drawn to her and she spends twenty-four hours killing hellhounds, zombies, and anything else she finds - or that finds her.

But when she sees a mark on a girl at school - a girl she's supposed to make nice with - she knows the girl's marked for death. And Kali just might be able to save her, but it would mean risking her own life.

She'll have to save her . . . and do it as a human. With a few new friends, something she's definitely not used to having.

I should preface any bit of a review by saying that I love Jennifer Barnes' writing  so very much. She writes incredibly strong heroines that are capable of kicking butt themselves - and don't sit back and watch while some hero saves them. I love her (and her characters) for that. I also love that she does have strong male characters when it's necessary (if you've read the Raised by Wolves series, that should be evident).

Every Other Day is different than other paranormal stories. For one thing, the world already knows - and, for the most part, accepts that paranormal creatures like griffins, dragons, etc exist. While that does give the story a leg up in the sense that all is not hidden from everyone (but Kali) it also doesn't mean everything is out in the open. Kali's Jekyll/Hyde life is still a secret as are what she does when she goes all demon-hunter.

That combination is great, though, because it allows for their to be organizations that exist - that are known - that work with the supernatural but might be up to shady business but also leaves some suspense around Kali and who/what exactly she is.

Once again I love, love the secondary characters. I really, so desperately want Skylar and her brothers to be the focus of some sort of USA Network show. I don't even care what it would be about, I just think their family is awesome enough that those characters could sustain some sort of television show.

I cannot wait for more from Jen Barnes - Taken by Storm and/or anything else!

Rating: 9/10

SBBS: Day 09 ~ Jennifer Castle

Spring Break Blog Spectacular Day 09: Jennifer Castle Guest Blog

Today's guest is author Jennifer Castle, whose first novel The Beginning of After, an amazing and emotional contemporary YA was published last September (and I can't wait to read her next one!).

Guest Blog:

You know that expression, “Getting there is half the fun”? Yeah, well. Often, it is totally not half the fun. Sometimes it is 3,000 times the nightmare, like when I was flying cross-country with my kids and one of them puked neon-orange cheese snacks on the other. But occasionally you get lucky, and getting there IS half the fun. Or maybe even all the fun, if the “there” ends up being pretty lame. That’s how I feel about road trips. I really love them.

You’ve got the great tunes and hopefully some interesting scenery. Squeeze in a stop at a memorable food joint and perhaps even some encounters with locals. There’s the fun of seeing things you’ve never seen before, and even if they’re boring, at least they’re new-boring. But the thing I love most is just the time spent in the car with other people. You end up having all these bizarre and random conversations that somehow never happen anywhere else. They’re usually a little deeper, a little more thoughtful. It’s harder to dance around tricky subjects. I guess there’s something about being stuck in close proximity, with very few distractions, in this world of the car where the rules of normal life don’t apply.

Then of course, there’s driving alone, which is not as much fun but I probably enjoy just as much. Because that is quality time with yourself. I have had life epiphanies and writing brainstorms and lovely sweet walks down memory lane, all behind the wheel with nobody else in the car.

Yes, I do like me a good period of sitting-still-in-something-metal-while-traveling-at-high-speeds. This is probably why all my books will probably have some kind of road trip in them. In “The Beginning of After,” there’s one…although we don’t get to see it. David takes off and goes out into what I (and Laurel) call The David Zone. He does a lot of driving by himself across the U.S. He spends a lot of time inside his own head, and that’s how he processes the tragedy of what’s happened (I’m thinking of writing a “companion” novella that takes place during this time, because it’s just way too tempting not to). It’s how he copes, as opposed to how Laurel does it.

There’s a road trip in my new book as well. It’s not a long trip, but it’s long enough for me to stick four people who don’t get along and have all this dramatic history between them into a vehicle and make them, like, talk. Really talk. It changes things. The story shifts after they spend time together on the move. I’m having a lot of fun with the dialogue and awkward/funny/sweet moments that come out of these scenes in the novel.

So this spring break, I hope you get the chance to hop in a car and share some great Road Trip Moments with someone. Maybe that’s someone you want to get to know better, or someone with whom you’ve been having some issues lately. Maybe it’s just a person you simply adore and you’re ready to adore some more. (Maybe all these apply, and that person is you.) Whoa. Just writing this makes me want to hit the highway, but I’ve got responsibilities and stuff. You do it for me…and send postcards!


Thank you, Jennifer for the blog!

About The Beginning of After: 
Anyone who's had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It's all about Before and After. What I'm talking about here is the "ka-pow," shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy. Sixteen-year-old Laurel's world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality... 

from my review: "The Beginning of After is Laurel's attempt to go on with her life after losing her family. It's real, it's visceral, and its painful - but it's something you can't put down, either."

If you're interested in Jennifer's book The Beginning of After - and you definitely should be - you can find it on Goodreads, my review of it is here or you can buy it on Amazon or Book Depository.

Jennifer Castle's website, blog, author page on Goodreads, Facebook page, and @Jennifer_Castle on Twitter

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

meme info on Schedule/Memes page

Two books I'm waiting on this week:

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.
out August 28, 2012 from Simon Pulse (on Goodreads)

While He Was Away by Karen Schreck

"This is just something I have to do, okay?" I hear David say. "The right thing."

He cradles my face in his hands. He kisses me hard. Then he lets go of me. His eyes dart from me to whatever's next. When Penna Weaver's boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she's left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing. She knows in her heart he will come home- but will he be the same boy she fell in love with?

out May 1, 2012 from Sourcebooks Fire (on Goodreads)

I love the sounds of these two books! While their plots are definitely different and unique, they have some similar elements that have me excited for the release of both of them. It's great that they're both so current, too :)

That's what I'm waiting on - what about you?

SBBS: Day 08 ~ Holly Cupala

Day 08: Holly Cupala Interview and Giveaway

Today's Spring Break Blog Spectacular guest is Holly Cupala! Holly's second book Don't Breathe a Word was released earlier this year. Welcome Holly and thank you!


Hello, and thank you for inviting me to Book Sp(l)ot Reviews!

Ideal spring break destination: ski chalet or tropical beach villa?
Either would be a blast, though it would be great to get out of rainy Seattle for a little bit of beach time!

In high school/college which was more likely: spotting you on MTV’s Spring Break or just  you and your friends enjoying the week off?
Friends, road trips, hanging out at the lake…though usually Spring Break meant more hours at work to save for college. On one memorable road trip, I fell in love with Seattle and ended up moving here.

What was your favorite Spring Break ever (where and/or why)? Or if you didn't go on spring
break trips, where did you always want to go?

I have always dreamed of going on a Mediterranean cruise, but it would have to be a nice long
one so I could spend lots of time at all of the different ports.

Fly and have the fun be at the destination or road trip and have the journey be at least half the  fun?
Flying or driving, as long as I got to be with my loved ones for the trip.

Do any of your characters take Spring Break trips?
No, but maybe they should! Hmm…you’re giving me an idea for a new book… ;)

Where would their ideal Spring Break destination be? (Together or on their own.)
I think Miranda from TELL ME A SECRET would love to go to Hollywood to explore where her sister never could. Joy from DON’T BREATHE A WORD would love to go on a road trip with Creed—they could visit all of the music stops in Oregon, and he could introduce her to his hometown and music routes. End with a visit to beautiful Seaside where they would dig for

Which of your characters (in Tell Me a Secret, Don't Breathe a Word or anything upcoming)  would you most have liked to have met on a spring break trip?
Well, there’s this little tiny cameo appearance in DON’T BREATHE A WORD of a certain “cute East Indian guy with glasses” who introduces the band in Chapter 11. He’s my real-life sweetheart, and I’d go anywhere with him.

Best book to read on Spring Break or a road trip?
I love to listen to audiobooks—some favorites from road trips past include FEED by M.T. Anderson and the Harry Potter books, read by Jim Dale. He does all of the voices to perfection! TELL ME A SECRET, read by stellar award-winning actress Jenna Lamia, is available from Audible, and we’re getting ready to release DON’T BREATHE A WORD on audiobook soon!

About Tell Me a Secret:
It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams--a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all--Miranda has a secret all her own.

When two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears, Miranda is stripped of her former life. She must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister's demons and her own.

In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future.

Tell Me a Secret on Goodreads, trailermy review

About Don't Breathe a Word:
Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

Don't Breathe a Word site, trailer, on Goodreadstwo chapter preview, my review

Find Holly Cupala on @HollyCupala on Twitter or at her website

If you're in the US, enter to win a signed copy of Don't Breathe a Word below

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

this week I'm finishing a couple of books, my teaser is from one of them:


That single word was all it took for something deep and fathomless to begin snaking its way up my spine. It felt like losing my body to a black hole, like lying on a sandy beach and absorbing warmth from every individual grain of sand.

-pg. 65 Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

(so it's two sentences and a word, but . . . I'll pretend it's two sentences, not three ;-))

SBBS: Day 07 ~ Jill Hathaway

Spring Break Blog Spectacular: Day 07 ~ Jill Hathaway Interview & Slide (release day!) Review

Today's guest is author Jill Hathaway. Jill's debut novel Slide is released today (Happy Release Day to Jill and Slide!) - I have an interview with Jill as well as an review of Slide. Enjoy!

While I'm not hosting a giveaway today, there's one on Goodreads (US only) that ends 30th April :-) and here on her blog (today only) that's international!


Ideal Spring Break destination: ski chalet or tropical beach villa? 
Ski chalet

In high school/college which was more likely: spotting you on MTV’s Spring Break or just you and your friends enjoying the week off? The week off

What was your favorite Spring Break ever (why and/or where)?  I went on a Disney Cruise; it was awesome!

Fly and have the fun be at the destination or road trip and have the journey be at least half the fun? 
Definitely road trip!

Do your characters in Slide take Spring Break trips? Nope!

Where would their ideal Spring Break destination be? (Together or on their own.) London

Which of your characters (in Slide or anything else you might be working on ;)) would you most have liked to have met on a Spring Break trip? 
Rollins, of course. ;)

Best book to read on Spring Break or a road trip? Anything by Stephen King

Thanks for having me!!!
Thank you, Jill :)


Slide Review:

Slide (Slide #1)
Balzer + Bray
March 27, 2012
256 pages
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon/or Book Depository

Vee knows something that she can't possibly explain to anyone why she knows.

Everyone else thinks Sylvia "Vee" Bell is narcoleptic, but she doesn't really fall asleep during her episodes. When it looks to everyone else like she's just asleep or unconscious, she's really 'sliding.'  Vee slides into someone else's mind and experiences things through their eyes.

That's why she knows that her sister's friend didn't kill herself; she was murdered. Vee slid into the killer as they stood over the girl's sladhed body, bloody knife in hand.

It's a terrible secret to keep, but how can he possibly tell anyone? Even her best friend, Rollins, has been distant lately - ever since she started spending time with Zane, the new kid.

With things getting more dangerous by the day, Vee needs to find a way to reveal the killer . . . before they can kill again.

Slide is one of those books where you wish it was longer because you hate for it to end but you're almost thankful it's not because you can't put it down until it's over (and other things totally need to get done that day). It's a fantastic mystery that gets more and more suspenseful and complicated as it goes on.

The characters aren't left by the wayside in favor of the mystery, though. They are just as strong - if not more - than the mystery of who the killer is and what's happening (or going to possibly happen). We learn a lot about Vee during the book; she's a very complex and sympathetic character. Vee and Mattie's mother died several years prior to the start of the novel and I liked that their feeling about her, about missing her, and how they and their father were now living life were still reflective of their grief but not overwhelmed by it. I also loved that Mattie wasn't just a sister who was just there she really grew as a character, too.

There was a plot element/point that was figured out by me (and likely by other readers) quite a lot sooner than it was by Vee. I'm not sure if it was supposed to have been - at least not as soon as it was - or not, but it didn't detract from things much. It wasn't anything major nor did it ruin any part of the mystery.

At first I thought there might be a bit of a dichotomy with Vee's love of astronomy and her sliding, with one being so scientific and proven and the other being so, well, not scientific or proven. The way her love of the constellations, etc was introduced and used, however, makes it work. And makes their coexistence as part of Vee understandable - even rather great.

Rating: 9/10

thank you to Harper for my arc for review

my soundtrack meme-y thing has all but gone away, but here are some songs for Slide: Last Kiss ~ Pearl Jam; The Freshman ~ Verve Pipe; Iris ~ Goo Goo Dolls

Other book(s) you might like: Fracture by Megan Miranda and The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

find Slide on  Goodreadson Amazonor Book Depository, or the trailer on YouTube (or here in my post)
and Jill Hathway on Goodreads, her blog, @JillScribbles

Would you slide into someone if you could? Already have someone in mind?

And/or since Slide has me wanting to revisit some of that 90s music I do love so much . . . why do we not have that kind of perfect rock music now? Or pop either? I miss 90s music /tangent Do you have a favorite 90s song?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gift ~ Andrea J Buchanan (eARC) review

Open Road E-riginal
March 27, 2012
add to Goodreads/buy on Amazon

Andrea J Buchanan's Gift is an enhanced e-rignal from Open Road Media. The way the novel will work, can best be understood watching the trailer:
when you get to certain parts in Gift you'll see, hear, etc the things that are part of the story at that point. I read an advance version from NetGalley so those elements were not included. My review is based solely on the text of the story, the few graphics included within and those at the end.

Daisy Jones doesn't want to draw attention to herself. She has a gift - or maybe it's a curse, that's still to be decided - that only her best friend, Danielle knows about that could easily draw a lot of attention to her. One that keeps her from owning a cell phone or even a computer. It also got her kicked out of her last school.

When a teacher sends her out of class to check on Vivi, the girl everyone considers at least a little bit weird and mysterious, Daisy and the girl in trouble soon start up a friendship. And Daisy learns she's not the only one with a a gift.

But between her new friendship, the wild claims Daisy's making, the dreams Daisy and Danielle both seem to be having, the cute senior paying attention to her, and a possible ghost, can Daisy really stay unnoticed?

I was curious if Gift would be good without its enhanced elements (the songs, images, etc) as just the text of the story. While I didn't love it, I didn't dislike it, either. The mysteriousness of what exactly it is that the girls are encountering - and how it relates to all of them, the dreams, and the other elements that are introduced - kept me wondering and interested enough to keep me reading.

I was also pleasantly surprised that when something supernatural was introduced at least one of the characters was skeptical and didn't just go with it right away. Even with paranormal/supernatural themed plots, I appreciate when characters question the sudden introduction of something otherwordly into their lives.

Daisy's gift was definitely different and I liked the way it affected different things. As she had it her whole life, it did seem like maybe it should have been a little bit less of a 'struggle' for her, but maybe not.

Danielle and Vivi were a bit underdeveloped. While they are secondary characters, they're also involved in a lot of the plot and action and I would have loved to see even more of - and about - them. I did like the 'More Gift' section at the end that gave us more insight into Danielle especially. I think it was a great way to keep the story focused where it needed to be, but still give us that at the end in the extras.

Rating: 7/10

In My Mailbox Monday

In My Mailbox Monday is a combination of In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and Mailbox Monday at the Printed Page - meme info always on Schedule//Memes page, even when If forget it in the posts!

From Harper:

(these books are actually from last week, not sure what sort of brain blip I was having in not including them)

The Vampire Diairies: The Return Vol 3: Midnight by LJ Smith

The Vampire Diaries : The Hunters Vol 2: Moonsong Created* by LJ Smith

The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries: Vol 6: The Compelled Based on the novels by LJ Smith and the TV series by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec

*"In February 2011, L. J. Smith was fired from Harper/Alloy; a ghostwriter will be writing the rest of the Vampire Diaries books." (Goodreads author page)

I really need to have a Vampire Diaries catch-up marathon! I'm crazy behind on the books (and I really probably will give all of them a chance - while being grrr arggh about LJ Smith's firing because I hate quitting series in the middle unless they're just made of fail) and thus the TV series.

Maybe later this spring/summer I'll have a Vampire Diaries book/TV marathon . . . or some sort of read/watch-a-thon.

The Divide (The Secret Circle #4) created by LJ Smith, written by Aubrey Clark
(I hate that I got behind on the TV series D: Maybe I can play a fun catch up with that - still not loving that LJ Smith isn't writing these now, though)

from NetGalley:

and LBYR:

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Belles by Jen Calonita

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad, translated by Tara Chace

Purity by Jackson Pearce

and Harlequin:

The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2) by Amanda Stevens

what books did you get this week? Any NetGalley titles I should request?
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