Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic {by Suzanne Weyn}

Title: Distant Waves
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Rating: DNF

Chased by their pasts and drawn to a more hopeful future, four sisters embark on the journey of their lives…aboard the Titanic. One is going to have her wedding during the voyage. Another has become involved in a feat of scientific intrigue that has the potential to alter the course of history. All of them feel out of place, and at least one of them will soon find herself out of time. 

This is the synopsis on the back of the book. I've owned this book for years, picked up for a couple dollars at a used book store, but haven't actually picked it up to read until now…

The book is absolutely nothing like the description. Nothing. And although the Goodreads description is a little more accurate, it's not by much. I mean, it even says it is "a novel of the Titanic". But it wasn't. Also, there are five sisters. The description says four. (Okay, unless one just didn't embark on the "journey of her life". I didn't finish, so I wouldn't know.)

The book is told from the point-of-view of the second daughter, Jane. It starts with some back story, when she a young child, and watching her mother contact a spirit for the first time. Recently widowed and pregnant, the mother moves her four daughters to a place called Spirit Vale, full of spirit mediums, where she can practice her "gift" without being judged. On the way there, they meet the famous Nikola Tesla, when they get caught in an earthquake he created with some machine he built. They continue on their way, but this creates in Jane what is an almost unhealthy obsession with Tesla. For the next ten years, she continues to collect every article, newspaper clipping, and story she can find about Tesla.

Her older sister, Mimi, is skeptical of their mother's "abilities". As the story goes on, more and more proof appears that their mother is faking more than is real. Mimi wants to get out of Spirit Vale. Eventually, something happens that triggers the last straw. Jane, wanting to enter a journalist contest, wants to interview Tesla, and they two girls head to New York.

This is about where I stopped reading. Now, let's get this straight: the story isn't bad. But it wasn't what I was expecting, and so I got bored. The characters aren't really developed. I have a pretty good sense of Jane and Mimi, but I don't really know the younger three sisters. Historical names-such as Nikola Tesla, W. T. Stead, and John Jacob Astor-are thrown in to make this historical fiction, but it was slightly unorganized. I wasn't ever really sure of the plot, or what was going on, although most of that came from expecting something completely different.

The biggest part about this though was the spirit world. Now, I have read my fair share of paranormal. But, somewhere along the way, it just became not my thing. I don't have an issue with it, but I prefer to choose it when I do read it. Ghosts and the like have never been my favorite. So, I was expecting something light and innocent, and it did not turn out that way at all. I felt slightly "tricked" into reading this, as I would not have read it had I known what it was about.

I didn't want to give this book an actual rating, because I did not finish. I have read other books by Suzanne Weyn, and enjoyed them. (In fact, I loved Reincarnation so much I read it like four or five times when I was in middle school/beginning of high school.) It wasn't because of the writing, but instead because of content. And it wasn't bad, by any means. It was just misleading, and because it wasn't about what I wanted to read about, I became bored. If the supernatural and spirit world is your thing, then you may love this book.

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer" by John Grisham

Title: Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
Author: John Grisham
Series: Theodore Boone #1
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Goddess Test {by Aimée Carter}

Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Series: Goddess Test, book 1
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Every girl who had taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.
It's always been just Kate and her mom - and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld - and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy - until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride and a goddess.
If she fails...

I'm a sucker for gorgeous covers.

I'm also a huge sucker for Greco-Roman mythology. No seriously, for reals. I took all the way to Latin IV in high school because of it. Percy Jackson and the Olympians is one of my all-time favorite series. So when I saw this Persephone-inspired story, I immediately knew I had to read it. It was actually on my list for a while, back before I had a Goodreads, and my to-read lists were on pieces of paper scattered around my room (lol). I finally read it sometime last year, but I reread it last week in preparation to read the third one. I ended up reading the entire series in about a week, including in-between novellas. 

Kate Winters is an 18-year-old girl who is just trying to take care of her dying mother. Her mom's last wish is to move to her hometown, so they pack up and move to Eden, a small town in the middle of nowhere. There, Kate meets James, the loner dork, and Ava, the jealous Queen B. Ava invites her to a party, but it turns out to be a prank--a prank that goes terribly, terribly wrong. Ava takes her to the Eden Manor, and then tries to leave her there, swimming away. But instead of swimming away, she hits her head on a rock. Then, a mysterious guy shows up, claiming he can heal Ava, and asks what Kate will do in return. When Kate says she would do anything, he asks her if she has read the Persephone story, gives her until the solstice, and brings Ava back from the dead.

Kate thinks nothing of this weird encounter, thinking she has imagined the whole crazy thing, until solstice, when the mysterious guy, Henry, comes knocking on her door. She refuses to go with him, and the next day, Ava dies. She heads back to Eden Manor. There, Henry tells her the ultimate plot twist: he is actually Hades, god of the Underworld, and is looking for a bride. If she passes 7 tests, she will become his bride and queen of the underworld. If she doesn't succeed--or dies, like the 11 girls before her-- Henry will fade away and someone else will take his place as god of the Underworld.

Like I said, I enjoy mythology, so I enjoyed seeing the different gods and goddesses from a different point of view. The story was well-written and fun to read. It kept you engaged the whole time. You get caught up in the story, wanting to figure out the mystery of who is killing the girls as well. Finding out which servant is which god is surprising, as well as the plot twist at the end of who is actually killing the girls.

The only bad part was Kate's whining about how Henry doesn't show her love the way she wants. I mean, he has been single for a thousand years, and before that, he was with Persephone for a millenia. That's not something one forgets easily, and her mere 18 years can't wrap her mind around that. But other than that, it was a really good book.

Now, what did I say about gorgeous covers?

Aimee Carter:

Website | Blog | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"The Prince" by Kiera Cass

Title: The Prince [novella]
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection series, novella #0.5
Rating: Three out of Five stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Friday, June 14, 2013

"Bloodlines" by Richelle Mead

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #1
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spirit {by Brigid Kemmerer)

Title: Spirit
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental, book 3
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

Unlike some others, I never hated Hunter, but I never quite liked him either. He just wasn't my type of guy. He was sort of mysterious, as we never really undersold him or knew where he was coming from, until this book. And while he still isn't my favorite, I do like him a lot more. 

The budding bromance between him and Gabriel has obviously come to an end with the revelation at the end of Spark. With the problems at home with his grandpa and mom, Hunter is alone. Then Kate comes along, and he doesn't feel so alone. 

Hunter has trust issues. Instilled into him by his dad, it's a hard thing to forget. Which may not have been a terribly bad thing, seeing as how Kate wasn't all she seemed to be. However, it gets in the way of his relationship with the Merricks, as he is unable to realize that they truly do want to help him, no strings attached. These trust issues cause him to make decisions that ended disastrously, and could have been avoided. 

And as if I needed another reason to confirm Michael was my favorite, the way he took Hunter under his wing and gave him a place to stay and gave him work was awesome, showing a different side to the jerk he usually is. 

And let's not forget Kemmerer's ability to tell an amazing story. Not only was it told extremely well, but it held some unusual and unexpected plot twists. It was an amazing book that will keep you hooked the entire time. 

I will admit, I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. So I was pleasantly surprised. I would definitely recommend reading this series if you haven't already. It is seriously amazing.

The books:

The novellas:

Brigid Kemmerer:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Falling Kingdoms" by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Falling Kingdoms
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss {by Stephanie Perkins}

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. Sappy love stories? Not my thing. At all. So imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying this. 

Anna has been sent to a boarding school in Paris her senior year by her father, who thinks she needs to be "cultured". She isn't very happy, as she has to leave her friends and almost-boyfriend, as well as start over at a completely new school her senior year. At the same time, she's slightly excited. After all, it's PARIS. Anna was a likable and realistic teenage girl. The thoughts and decisions she had were believable, and it was refreshing to read about such a normal person.

The book had substance, as well as being a light and fun read. I loved the relationships between the friends just as much as Etienne's and Anna's. The descriptions of Paris were detailed and made me insanely jealous, making it seem like a livable place instead of just a tourist attraction.

The only thing I would say I didn't like was Etienne drawing out the whole "I have a girlfriend" bit. Also, once Anna realizes she "loves" him, it goes downhill from there. She turns into one of Those Girls (We all know which ones I'm talking about). I realize that I'm pretty the only one who has these feelings, as everyone else I guess is too busy swooning over Etienne.

Still, I liked the book. It was a fun read, and I would definitely recommend it.

Stephanie Perkins: