Posts By: Bonnie

Bonnie

Lover of tea. Crazed Bibliophile. Daydreamer.
I have a ridiculous love for the written word. I read anything and everything: Adult fiction, YA, Middle Grade, even the occasional Non-Fiction.

When I'm not reading I'm caring for my step-children, drinking obscene amounts of tea and contemplating what life will be like in the impending apocalypse.

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Book Review – The Silver Wolf (Legends of the Wolf #1) by Alice Borchardt

September 29, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 5 Comments

Book Review – The Silver Wolf (Legends of the Wolf #1) by Alice BorchardtThe Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt
Series: Legends of the Wolf #1
Published by Ballantine Books on June 16, 1998
Pages: 480
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

Regeane is a fatherless royal relation who happens to be a werewolf. Her guardian, Gundabald, and his venal son Hugo plan to recoup their fortunes by marrying Regeane to a wealthy bridegroom, even though she might inadvertently make him into a bedtime snack. Gundabald forces her into apparent compliance by threatening to reveal her secret to the Church, which would burn her at the stake. As the bridegroom, Maeniel, journeys to Rome to claim her, Regeane discovers allies in her quest to defeat Gundabald's machinations, including some very strong, funny, and levelheaded women. Unfortunately for Regeane, she also has more powerful enemies than Gundabald.
Alice Borchardt brings 8th-century Rome vividly to life. Her language is earthy and sensuously descriptive: "The wolf visited Regeane's eyes and ears. The girl staggered slightly with the shock. The light in the square became intense. Smells an overwhelming experience: wet stone, damp air, musty clothing, perspirations shading from ancient sticky filth to fresh acrid adrenal alarm."

Borchardt is Anne Rice's sister, but she writes a very different sort of tale. Ghosts, the dead, and supernatural forces are here, but so is laugh-out-loud humor and a happy ending. --Nona Vero

The Storyline
Regeane is a half-Saxon and half-Frankish woman without a father; her mother, Gisela is the cause of his death. After Gisela discovers that Woflstan, Regeane’s father, is a shape shifter and is able to take the form of a wolf she is convinced by her brother Gundabald that he must be the devils child and must be killed. Gisela is thankful that her daughter doesn’t appear to have any of the traits of her father; however, when she gets older she gains the ability to change into a wolf as well. Regeane had an extremely hard life as her mother attempted to ‘fix her’ and forces her to drink concoctions, pray for hours on end, and to swear that she would never change into the wolf. Nothing works.

When Gisela dies, Regeane is left in the care of Gundabald and his son Hugo who treat her horribly by keeping her locked in her room, feeding her scraps, and barely passable clothing. Gundabald informs her one day that she is to be wed to a wealthy mountain lord named Maeniel. Scared for her life she runs away from Gundabald and seeks solace in the care of Lucilla, the Pope’s mistress. Lucilla learns of her secret and promises to keep her as safe as possible from having her future-husband discover it as well. As Regeane says regarding Maeniel:

”I don’t plan to love him. I plan to survive him.”

The Characters
The characters were positively vibrant. Regeane was the epitome of strength and smart beyond her years. My favorite though? Maeniel. He has his own secrets just as Regeane and you can’t help but be entranced by him as well. Read it, you’ll see exactly what I mean. 🙂 Regeane and Maeniel didn’t meet until close to the end of the book, but the passion and love that developed between the two was well worth the wait.

Just a Note
I feel the need to write a word of warning for this novel. Many of you who have briefly scanned over the summary of this novel and said, “Oooh! Werewolves!” Stop and listen before you read this, end up severely disappointed and end up rating it all kinds of awful. This is what I like to call a ‘big girl book’. You will not find any melodrama here nor any love triangles. The main character may be a teen girl; however, you will not find any typical YA storylines here. I think a lot of people have the wrong expectations when going into this book. This is like, werewolves being thrown into a Game of Thrones or Mists of Avalon type storyline. Very mature writing, very mature situations, just with a teen girl that turns into a wolf.

This book has been on my bookshelf for YEARS. Being a huge fan of Anne Rice I had always wanted to read her sisters writing as well. Yep, Alice Borchardt is the sister of Anne Rice. But as far as my first experience with Alice Borchardt’s writing? I was not disappointed in the least. This was truly a book to be savored rather than gulped down, so don’t let the fact that it took me forever to read it discourage you.

This was a very detailed and intricate story that was beautiful in its intensity. Alice Borchardt was an extremely talented writer and it’s a shame that she isn’t around to continue creating beautiful stories. I finished this book with a smile on my face and will most definitely be reading more from her soon.

My Favorite Quote
“Love is eternal. That is its terror and its final beauty. Love never ends. The joy may go out of it, and, in time, even the pain may end. But it lingers like a living thing and follows you every moment of your life.”

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Book Review – Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love #1) by Jessica Park

September 28, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, New Adult, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love #1) by Jessica ParkFlat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Published by Self-Published on May 18th 2011
Pages: 400
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance.

Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.

When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

Flat-Out Love comes complete with emails, Facebook status updates, and instant messages.

Oh my, I ended up loving this book far more than I thought I would. I don’t know about you, but when I think of ‘self-published’ I cringe and I generally tend to avoid reading them as my experience has led to the expectation of them generally being a waste of time (as the writing tends to resemble my youngest child’s book reports). After hearing such lovely, positive, statements regarding ‘Flat Out Love’ I figured it was worth a try to see what all the fuss was about.

So I’ve typed out my typical ‘Storyline’ paragraph quite a few times and every time I write it out I make the book sound ridiculously corny. For those of you who have read it, I’m sure you understand. For those of you who have read it, let me just put it to you this way. This book is one of a kind with a wonderfully original storyline to boot. This was an extremely well-written novel; no choppy 8 year old sentences here.

The characters literally came into existence right before your eyes and were so full of life that I often had to take a short break to absorb and really try and understand what I had read. I’m not saying this was a complex novel that required a lot of thought; however, there is so much feeling behind every word that it can leave you more than a little moved.

As much as the idea of crushing on a penpal or someone you’ve never met before sounds ridiculously silly … well Jessica Park makes this possible. I think I even fell in love with Finn to be honest here. All of the relationships that the characters develop with each other (Julie and Matt, Julie and Finn, Julie and Celeste) made me practically envious.

There was so much about this book that I absolutely loved: the uniqueness of it all, the simplistic yet complex storyline, the so very real characters, the many laughs and smiles that I got, and the Christmas decoration scene? It made my heart melt.

But that’s what love does to you. Gut-wrenching, overpowering, crushing, fulfilling, complex, bring-you-to-your-knees love. Highly recommended for those looking for a sweet, heartwarming book.

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Book Review – Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2) by Nicole Peeler

September 27, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – Tracking the Tempest (Jane True #2) by Nicole PeelerTracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler
Series: Jane True #2
Published by Orbit on June 16, 2010
Pages: 368
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Tempest Rising, Eye of the Tempest, Tempest's Fury

four-stars

 

Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and Ryu - Jane's bloodsucking boyfriend — can't let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane's life is thrown off course.

Ryu's well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane's surprise...

 

Jane True series

 Tempest Rising (Jane True, #1)

Tempest Rising (Jane True #1)

I definitely didn’t like this one as much as the first and for one reason and one reason alone: the romance. Or whatever you want to call it. The drama between Jane and Ryu encompassed almost the entire novel and I thought it was a bit much.

Ryu second-guessing Jane and treating her like a child and just being an all-around prick was driving me NUTS. I haven’t cared for Ryu from the very beginning, he’s too cocky, he doesn’t seem to really care about Jane (although vice versa too.. Jane doesn’t appear to be in it for the long run either) he’s just always been a bit ‘off’ to me. And then telling her to stay home like a good girl? My eyes practically bulged out of my head and I proceeded to try and mentally manipulate the story so that I could kick his ass through Jane. Yes, I was that pissed (and delusional). Suffice it to say I was ecstatic when she kicked him to the curb. Although I still don’t understand what took her so long, she was obviously having a lot of internal conflict about their whole situation for a while.

‘I gotta admit, it felt really fucking good.
But I’d never felt so much like a goddamned granola bar in my entire life.’

If your boyfriend makes you feel like food… warning!

I loved how this book held the same sense of humor from the first and Jane’s internal dialogue, although not as prevalent, was still there to an extent. Still definitely a great series that I’ll be continuing shortly. 🙂

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Book Review – Meridian (Fenestra #1) by Amber Kizer

September 26, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Meridian (Fenestra #1) by Amber KizerMeridian by Amber Kizer
Series: Fenestra #1
Published by Delacorte Press on July 28, 2009
Pages: 322
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

You can’t help but be intrigued by the summary: “As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die.” Whaaaaatt??? Creepy right? I totally loved the introduction into the story, loved learning about her childhood and all that she had to endure as her parents never fully understood her.

On her sixteenth birthday when she witnesses a tragic car accident right in front of her house, her parents proceed to tell her that she must leave town immediately to stay with her great-aunt in Colorado. And… that’s about where it went downhill and into predictable-YA land for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is an extremely interesting story and I was extremely interested in learning all about ‘Fenestra’s’ and I loved how even though the story obviously has to do with angels it didn’t go overtly religious and the author had the decency to not associate angels strictly with Christianity.

The main problem I had was the main character was your typical annoying and immature YA character; she pretty much drove me crazy. The other problem I had was even as interesting as the story was to me, the actual writing kind of fell flat for me, was a bit choppy, and overall predictable. The fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did regardless of the problems I had with it I would still be interested in picking up the next in this series to see where the author continues to take this story.

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Book Review – Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly Black

September 26, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly BlackRed Glove by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #2
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on April 5, 2011
Pages: 352
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: White Cat

four-stars

After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov's retribution and finding out that Lila, the girl he has loved his whole life, will never, ever be his now that his mother has worked her, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life. That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family tied to one of the big crime families and a mother whose cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is also coming to terms with what it means to be a transformation worker and figuring out how to have friends.

But normal doesn't last very long-soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past. A past he remembers only in scattered fragments and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive.

Curse Workers series

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)

White Cat (Curse Workers #1) {My Review}

Cassel is now not only fully aware of his powers but fully in control (which definitely added some interesting to this sequel.) He’s glad to have Lila back in his life again; however, when his mother decides to give him a ‘gift’ by working Lila to love him. Now he’s left unsure of her feelings, whether it’s simply a result of her being worked or if the curse wore off and she really does feel that way. Feeling conflicted he feels he’s left with no other choice but to try to keep his distance from her.

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did White Cat, but I still managed to read this book in approximately 5 hours if that’s any indication. Still gets a solid 4 stars out of me. I felt that Red Glove focused a bit more on the ‘mob’ portion of the story and kinda left the magic portion in the dust. In Red Glove, the big mystery revolves around the recent death of Cassel’s oldest brother. Then the Feds come to him because they believe he has knowledge that would help in their investigation and also in their investigation regarding several deaths of other individuals… but Cassel thinks he knows exactly what happened to them, he’s just been worked to forget.

Then there was the ‘Lila’s been worked’ storyline. I really hated that story line and I REALLY hated the resolution to that whole bit… like really hated it.

Regardless, I can’t wait for the next in this series (and last one too from what I hear) comes out…

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Book Review – Phantom Evil (Krewe of Hunters #1) by Heather Graham

September 26, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Phantom Evil (Krewe of Hunters #1) by Heather GrahamPhantom Evil by Heather Graham
Series: Krewe of Hunters #1
Published by Mira on March 29th 2011
Pages: 368
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

A secret government unit, a group of renegade paranormal investigators…and a murder no one else can crack

Though haunted by the recent deaths of two teammates, Jackson Crow knows that the living commit the most heinous crimes.

A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition, Angela Hawkins already has her hands full of mystery and bloodshed.

But one assignment calls to them too strongly to resist. In a historic mansion in New Orleans's French Quarter, a senator's wife falls to her death. Most think she jumped; some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits inhabiting the house—once the site of a serial killer's grisly work.

In this seemingly unsolvable case, only one thing is certain: whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion will cast Jackson and Angela into danger of losing their lives…and their immortal souls.

Phantom Evil is the first in a new series by Heather Graham; the Krewe of Hunters. When the Louisiana state Senator’s wife is found dead after an apparent suicide, her husband requests a closer investigation of sorts when he suspects that ghosts were involved in her death. Jackson Crow heads the paranormal investigation team which consists of him and 6 other members who each have their own psychic abilities. The investigation seems to show that the Senators wife didn’t in fact kill herself but whether or not ghosts were the reason for her death have yet to be established.

The best part about this book was the overall character development. I first had a feeling that by having such a large number of new characters in an introductory novel that you’d either lose track of who’s who or learn more about some and the others simply fall off the map. Heather Graham did a great job at keeping all the characters straight and making them all a valued part of the story.

The storyline regarding the ghosts was what initially interested me in the book. As for it being my favorite ghost story it was not; however, it was interesting and even sometimes a tad bit scary! This is an enjoyable read for anyone interested in ghost stories or mystery type thrillers. I enjoyed the blending of the different genres, even with the added dash of romance thrown in; the author didn’t make it seem like overkill. Predictable, yes, but still nonetheless enjoyable. I’ll definitely be willing to invest more into this series.

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Early Review – Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

September 24, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011, YA 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Graffiti Moon by Cath CrowleyGraffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
Published by Knopf on February 14, 2012
Pages: 274
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

"Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers."

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.

His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.

Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

Storyline
Lucy has just graduated high school and all she wants to do is find Shadow. Shadow, the graffiti artist who’s been putting his art up all over town. His art makes Lucy think that he’s someone she wants to meet, someone she wants to know, and someone she really wants to connect with. Everyone talks about him but nobody has ever seen him, but Lucy is feeling confident and sets out in search for him one night.

Lucy and Ed
Reading about Lucy and Ed and hearing Lucy gush about Shadow having no idea she was actually talking to me was beyond charming. Those two together were plain adorable and I loved their interactions.

”You know, Leo’s brother’s hooking me up with a car when I get my license. I’m making you get in while it’s moving.”
“You’ll drive me places?”
“If your aerobic fitness is up to it, sure I’ll drive you places.”

Ed is constantly trying to act like he doesn’t like Lucy when in fact he can’t get her off his mind. Lucy can’t seem to make up her mind how she feels about Ed, especially after their disastrous first date from years back. All she can do is continue to talk about Shadow… I couldn’t wait till she finally found out he’d been in front of her the entire time.

‘I stand behind her, watching her watching my work. I feel like I’m shedding skin, feel like if she turns she’ll see a skeleton man behind her and then she’ll know. But she doesn’t.’

Ed was an amazing character. Here’s this kid who dropped out of high school because he has difficulty reading and he started working at a paint store. The girl he broke up with a few months prior was somebody he had really cared for; however, he knew that they didn’t have a future together because of who he is: a nobody. After he loses his job when his boss dies his paintings are all he has left. I couldn’t help feeling incredibly sad for him, wishing that he had more faith in his abilities.

‘But then I think about her finding out I’m Shadow. I think about her being disappointed because I’m a guy going nowhere, not a guy who’s sensitive and smart and funny. I think about her going to college and making glass and me staying where I am spraying walls and scraping rent.’

Friendships
Even though the story was semi-centered around Lucy and Ed, I still managed to grow some fuzzy feelings for the side characters as well. Jazz was great and I loved the relationship between Lucy and Jazz; two people so alike yet still so different.

“You should feel it like a horse tumbling through you,” I said to Jazz.
“You’re weird,” she said, falling asleep. “But that’s okay. It makes me seem normal.”

Wrap Up
I loved this author’s style of writing with her overlapping switch-ups in POV… I’ll be looking for more of her books, most definitely. Not only did it hook me in, but it made me feel. But it’s not all sad… I laughed, I smiled, I sighed. So essentially I hope this review makes at this one reader pick this book up, because it’s truly a great book that is definitely deserving of your time.

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Book Review – Tempest Rising (Jane True #1) by Nicole Peeler

September 22, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Tempest Rising (Jane True #1) by Nicole PeelerTempest Rising by Nicole Peeler
Series: Jane True #1
Published by Orbit on October 14, 2009
Pages: 372
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Tracking the Tempest, Eye of the Tempest, Tempest's Fury

four-stars

 

Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.

It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever-rub the genie's lamp.

You would think I’d learn my lesson by this point in my life… a lesson engraved in me since childhood: never judge a book by its cover. This is definitely a prime example of that, for sure. I mean taking a good look at this you may note that it’s a cartoon picture (warning automatically goes off in my head), there’s a strange dog with a giraffe like-neck in the background (seriously, that dog has one seriously long neck), and this strange looking girl that looks like she jumped out of my computer from one of those Yahoo! avatars. This may be one odd book cover (all of them in this series are, actually) but it certainly does nothing to justify the story within.

I really enjoyed this book and am glad to say I have found a new series to be keeping my eyes out for. It’s a refreshing take on the usual array of supernatural beasties… you’ve got your normal vampires and shape shifters but then some kelpies and selkies are thrown into the mix including some gnomes (with powers!) and even a rock spirit (still trying to work that one out in my head though). Jane True’s supernatural-ness isn’t automatically known (by her either), so I won’t ruin it for those who have yet to read this book. I thought it was an interesting take, learning about who she is and what she’s capable of right along with her. Jane’s continuous inner commentary was absolutely hysterical. I don’t typically care for characters that make fun of themselves time after time; however, this was done in such a light, funny manner that I couldn’t help but laugh right along with her. And the continuous internal monologue about her libido? Priceless.

The Love Interest
So we’re obviously talking about Ryu here… even though I didn’t particularly LOVE him personally. I’ve never been a big fan of leading men that know without a doubt that they’re hot shit; that just rubs me the wrong way. You can know you’re hot but not act like a total douche about it. Personally, I’m liking Anyan and I really hope to see more of him. I loved how the author wrote it though; not your typical love triangle. She kept Anyan in the mix without making the whole thing overly obnoxious, and on top of that he was respectful of her and Ryu’s relationship.

I’m jumping right into book 2! 😀

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Book Review – White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black

September 19, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 1 Comment

Book Review – White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly BlackWhite Cat by Holly Black
Series: Curse Workers #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on May 4th 2010
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: a Giveaway
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Red Glove

four-half-stars

Cassel comes from a family of Curse Workers - people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn't got magic, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail - he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

The Storyline
Cassel was born into a family of curse workers; however, he’s the outsider of the family… the one born without magic. Not to say he’s perfect…he’s become quite the con man at school and plus he did kill his best friend Lila and has lived with the guilt for the past 3 years. While at school he begins having dreams where he’s visited by a white cat that obviously wants to tell him something but Cassel isn’t paying that much attention… I mean it is just a dream, right? And there’s something stirring within his own family but he’s kept out of it because he isn’t one of them. Everyone’s keeping him in the dark and as he realizes they’ve been lying to him, he starts determining what exactly they’ve been keeping from him.

The Family
I found this whole aspect to be quite sad, yet a vital part of explaining why Cassel is who he is. His mother is in prison for ‘working’ a man into giving her thousands of dollars. His brother Phillip pretty much works for the mob because he has the power to break bones and hurt people simply with the touch of his finger. His brother Barron is the one he’s most close with but throughout the novel they grow distant. Cassel is literally the outsider in the family and is left out from all conversations regarding curse work because he’s technically not one of them.

My Thoughts
This is one brilliantly original novel and I loved it! I read this quickly and loved every minute of it. The characters were great, I loved the overall sense of humor, and the overall story is just completely unique that I couldn’t help but fall in head first. Cassel was my favorite character. I loved his sense of humor, I loved how he handled his own business, I loved how he wasn’t your typical whiny teenage boy, but I also loved that he came across as completely unpretentious. Quite rare, I’ve found, in YA novels that the characters in the end feel as if they were real people (regardless of all the magic involved.)

Overall
Well I’m starting Red Glove right away if that’s any indication. 🙂

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Short Story Review – Run From The Reaper by Cristian YoungMiller

September 19, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

I received this book free from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short Story Review – Run From The Reaper by Cristian YoungMillerRun From The Reaper by Cristian YoungMiller
Published by RateABull Publishing on August 6th 2011
Pages: 135
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
Format: eARC
Source: Library Thing
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

It awakens… Summoned by the will of a powerful psychic, The Red Reaper forces its victims to live their darkest fantasies. If they resist, they die.

In a college town during a record cold winter break, Jon, a lonely professor, wonders the empty campus barely holding on to his sanity. Unable to stay awake during the daytime he sees a red hooded creature in the shadows at night; immediately after, his twisted desires come to life.

Searching for answers he finds Clay, a local psychic who is more than he seems, and Sarah, a gorgeous expert on the underworld who has depraved secrets of her own.

Chased by demons and with the Red Reaper at every turn, the three must face their fears, survive its relentless attacks, and find a way to escape from the Reaper.

‘It awakens… Summoned by the will of a powerful psychic, The Red Reaper forces its victims to live their darkest fantasies. If they resist, they die.’

My Thoughts
This was a really quick read and even though I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the story itself, the author can still write an interesting tale. I entered this giveaway initially because it obviously had to do with Grim Reapers, and I’m a sucker for stories involving them. It didn’t end up being exactly what I had anticipated but it was still a well written and interesting story.

Overall
There were black reapers and red reapers and after a point I thought it was a bit implausible. It definitely takes the typical reaper type story and transforms it, I’ll give the author credit for that. There were some gruesome parts that I was totally glad I hadn’t decided to take a lunch and read this while eating!

My understanding of my ebook copy was that this was a finished copy so I wasn’t reading a pre-published version… with that said, I found several grammatical/spelling errors that kind of made my eye twitch. I’m not perfect by no means, I make my own grammatical errors; however, I would anticipate that they be corrected by the time a finished book comes to be. There was this one line where the character was talking about ‘dear’ in the road… I assumed it was intended to say ‘deer’ as in, the furry beasties with horns, aka Bambi.

Bottom Line: Flies are gross, watch out for those dear in the road, and I wanted purple reapers too dammit.

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