Posts Categorized: Read in 2012

Early Review – The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

February 12, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 3 Comments

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

Early Review – The Demonologist by Andrew PyperThe Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Published by Simon & Schuster on March 5th 2013
Pages: 304
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Book Depository
Goodreads


three-stars

Fans of The Historian won’t be able to put down this spellbinding literary horror story in which a Columbia professor must use his knowledge of demonic mythology to rescue his daughter from the Underworld.

Professor David Ullman’s expertise in the literature of the demonic—notably Milton’s Paradise Lost—has won him wide acclaim. But David is not a believer.

One afternoon he receives a visitor at his campus office, a strikingly thin woman who offers him an invitation: travel to Venice, Italy, witness a “phenomenon,” and offer his professional opinion, in return for an extravagant sum of money. Needing a fresh start, David accepts and heads to Italy with his beloved twelve-year-old daughter Tess.

What happens in Venice will send David on an unimaginable journey from skeptic to true believer, as he opens himself up to the possibility that demons really do exist. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David attempts to rescue his daughter from the Unnamed—a demonic entity that has chosen him as its messenger.

‘Wandering this darksome desert, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to light
Alone, and without giude, half lost, I seek…’

‘The Demonologist’ is a sophisticated thriller that focuses solely on John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ (and I think it should be noted that it’s not a prerequisite to have read Milton before ‘The Demonologist’ either.) It’s not overly steeped in symbolism without sufficient explanation that anyone couldn’t pick it up and understand it.

David Ullman is a non-believer despite the fact that he has dedicated his adult life to studying demonic literature, primarily Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. When he’s approached one afternoon and asked to be a witness to a phenomenon that requires his professional opinion as a ‘Demonologist’ he accepts the offer and shortly afterwards is headed to Venice, Italy with his twelve-year-old daughter Tess. What David sees in Venice will leave him questioning everything he has ever believed. And when Tess is taken, he has no choice but to accept the things he saw in order to save her from the Underworld.

‘…I am an insistently rational sort, a spoilsport by nature when it comes to the fantastical. I’ve made an entire career out of doubt.
Yet here I am. Seeing the unseeable.’

Extremely creepy and unnerving. The type that really manages to burrow it’s way under your skin. The type that gives you goosebumps. The type that leaves you gasping at it’s intensity. The story line was riveting and I found myself flipping through pages rapidly. I’m not typically a fan of scary stories but this one was incredibly well done (I just made sure I kept to reading this while the sun was still up. But even with the sun there were moments where I feared my eyeballs were about to fall out of my head).

Just like that.

So why only 3 stars? Despite the fact that this book had me completely captivated, I felt the ending was an absolute disaster… to put it lightly. There were so many questions generated throughout the book that it was an exciting race to get to the end to get some answers. But it felt like the ending was entirely way too rushed to the point of it being utterly unintelligible. There were so many loose ends that the author may have possibly intended in order for the reader to interpret individually but that didn’t work for me at all. I even thought for a minute that this was a first in a series because of the abundant amount of unanswered questions but to the best of my knowledge, this is a stand alone. A completely enjoyable book with a less than satisfying ending.

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Book Tour Review – Vanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love by Megan Caldwell

January 15, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2012, TLC Book Tours 7 Comments

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

Book Tour Review – Vanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love by Megan CaldwellVanity Fare: A novel of lattes, literature, and love by Megan Caldwell
Published by William Morrow on December 26th 2012
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

A charming novel about a 40-year-old Brooklyn mother, recently divorced, who starts writing copy for a bakery, discovers a knack for food-related literary puns, and becomes entangled in a love triangle.

Molly Hagan is overwhelmed.

Her husband left her for a younger, blonder woman, her six year-old son is questioning her authority, and now, so is she. In order to pay her Brooklyn rent and keep her son supplied with Pokemon and Legos-not to mention food and clothing-she has to get a job. Fast.

So when an old friend offers Molly a copywriting position at a new bakery, finding romance is just about the last thing on her mind. But the sexy British pastry chef who's heading up the bakery has other thoughts. And so does Molly when she meets the chef's intimidating business partner-who also happens to have a secret that might prevent Molly from getting her own Happily Ever After.

Molly thought she had hit rock bottom when her husband of 10 years left her and their six year-old son for a younger woman. That wasn’t rock bottom though. Rock bottom came when she finds out her soon to be ex-husband has also lost his job (and his ability to pay her child support) and also depleted their savings leaving Molly with nothing to pay the bills. She ends up being hired as a copywriter for a new up and coming bakery. But on top of finding a job she may have also found a new romance. Or two.

Anyone who knows my typical book preferences would likely find it laughable that I decided to read a book regardless of the fact that it stated in the summary that there was a love triangle. Typically? I’d be running for the hills but the concept of this story was too cute to pass up.

I am total sucker for foodie type books in general but I completely fell in love with the concept for this book. I also made full scale plans of starting my own bakery just to be able to do something like this. Molly is hired to come up with a ‘hook’ for potential customers and it needed to be closely related to the library (which the bakery is across the street from) and/or literature in general. She comes up with the idea to use double entendres to name menu items and the store itself (Vanity Fare). A few of my favorites? The Bun Also Rises. A Room of Ones Scone. Of Mousse and Men. Much Ado About Muffins. And the best? Tart of Darkness. There are even real recipes included at the back of the book for several of these (including Tart of Darkness which I will so be trying, it sounds delicious!)

The romance(s) played a huge part of the story (and possible more than I would have preferred) which I suppose should have been expected as this can definitely be considered a chick-lit novel. But I have a total soft spot for chick-lit and these romances were quite entertaining. The main character, Molly, truly made this book though. She was witty, had a wonderful dry sense of humor, and was such a realistic character just struggling to not give in and let life beat her down. I found the story (and Molly) to be quite inspiring.

A four star rating (and possibly more) was totally in the bag but alas, I found the ending with Nick’s big “secret” to not be worth all the build up that led up to the reveal. Overall though this is a fun and delightful chick-lit novel that manages to be charming while still full of laughs.

dvd-pearl

This post was a part of the Vanity Fare blog tour.
Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.

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Early Review – Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster

January 3, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 4 Comments

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

Early Review – Here I Go Again by Jen LancasterHere I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
Published by NAL on January 29th 2013
Pages: 320
Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary, Funny-ha-ha
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog

four-stars

Hilarious new fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of Bitter Is the New Black and If You Were Here .

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn't understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped...beloved...feared. Present day, not so much. She's been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she's struggling to start a business out of her parents' garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.

Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it's not like she can go back in time and change who she was...or can she?

Lissy Ryder is that kind of girl in school that is super popular and you can’t help but love/hate her. I know we all went to school with at least one Lissy-type. Her 20-year high school reunion is coming up and shortly before, everything about her life seems to falling apart at the seams. She’s kicked out of her swanky gym for not paying the fees, she gets fired from her job and her husband just asked her for a divorce.

Choosing not to wallow and instead pick herself up and go to her reunion she discovers that the people from high school don’t love her as much as they used. Actually? They pretty much hate everything about her. But what can she do? It’s not like she can change the past or anything… right?

I can’t help but love Jen Lancaster. I’ve followed her on Twitter and on her blog for years, I’ve read all of her memoirs, and she’s one seriously hilarious lady. But in ‘Here I Go Again’ I felt that her sense of humor really shined through in a whole new refreshing kind of way.

I loved pretty much everything about the book. 80’s references were strewn throughout (mainly regarding the big hair bands) and being a personal lover of the 80’s (and big hair bands) this was incredibly fun. I loved the cast of characters that were so completely hilarious, although Deva and her quirkiness was my favorite. But what made this most enjoyable was the fact that Lissy’s ‘change’ into a better person after realizing how wrong she was in the past was truly genuine. The time travel bit was goofy but completely intentional. Did it make a whole lot of sense? No. Was it supposed to? No. But was it entertaining? Absolutely.

Jen managed to write an extremely multi-layered story that was hilarious and incredibly enjoyable. Normally with these stories there’s always the picture perfect happy ending, but in ‘Here I Go Again’, well, as Lissy would say:

‘Karma really is a bitch.’

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Book Tour Review – The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

January 2, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012, TLC Book Tours 1 Comment

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

Book Tour Review – The Death of Bees by Lisa O’DonnellThe Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
Published by Harper on January 2nd 2013
Pages: 311
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

A riveting, brilliantly written debut novel-a coming-of-age story with the strong voice and powerful resonance of Swamplandia! and The Secret Life of Bees—in which two young sisters attempt to hold the world at bay after the mysterious death of their parents.

Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.

Marnie and her little sister Nelly are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren’t telling. While life in Glasgow’s Hazlehurst housing estate isn’t grand, they do have each other. Besides, it’s only one year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.

As the new year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone and need his help. Or does he need theirs? But he’s not the only one who suspects something isn’t right. Soon, the sisters’ friends, their other neighbors, the authorities, and even Gene’s nosy drug dealer begin to ask questions. As one lie leads to another, dark secrets about the girls’ family surface, creating complications that threaten to tear them apart.

Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for each other.

“Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am 15. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.”

Launching right into the heart of the story, Marnie and Nelly bury their parents in the backyard after their father suffocates and their mothers hangs herself. With both parents gone the girls are left completely alone. Living in the slums of Glasgow, Scotland, Marnie makes a hasty decision to bury them both in the garden in order to avoid being placed into foster care. When Marnie turns 16 she can legally care for her sister so they just need to stay under the radar for one year. But between their curious but concerned neighbor and his inquisitive dog with a penchant for digging in their garden, a drug dealer their father owes money to, and a grandfather that wants to find his daughter their carefully constructed web of lies slowly begins to deteriorate.

Having lived with their parents misconduct their entire lives, finding their dead bodies didn’t have the emotional impact that would be typical for most people. Marnie had already been taking care of her and her sister for years so not having their parents there really wasn’t new. Except they were still there. Kind of. They were just in the garden now, buried under the lavender bushes.

It wasn’t until later that I connected the dots and the references to the sexual abuse from their father. The author manages to indirectly reference the abuse both girls received from their father without going into unnecessary detail but I almost missed it entirely. The only indication given of this abuse was the lasting impacts both girls exhibit (i.e. Marnie’s drinking and drug problems and lack of disregard for sleeping with married men and Nelly’s ongoing night terrors.) Their experiences nevertheless created an unbreakable bond between the girls.

Throughout the story, the reference to people being ‘monsters’ for actions in their life that have inevitably gone on to define them. The elderly gay neighbor Lennie who takes it upon himself to care for the girls when they so desperately needed someone. But due to a past transgression that labeled him a sex offender he becomes identified as a monster. Marnie and Nelly’s parents are more deserving of the label ‘monster’ because of the serious neglect of their children. The girls were forced to grow up at an extremely young age due to their parents terminal absence. Neither girl had anything close to a childhood and it was always a guessing game whether they would come home with groceries or drugs and booze. The children’s grandfather that appears and suddenly wants to be a part of their life to make amends for past wrongs is also deserving of the title. But that’s where the grey area develops: Do the girls actions make them monsters as well? Or is their behavior excusable because of everything they had already been through and what they were trying to avoid? The author doesn’t provide any clear cut answer in determining who is right and who is wrong but it’s safe to say that all characters are at fault in some way.

The style of writing and changes in point of view were brilliant. Each character had their own distinctive voice and their own important story. All points of view were told in first person but Lennie’s was written almost as a letter or diary entries to his deceased lover, Joseph. Nelly is quite the eccentric 12 year-old that is a violin prodigy, has a fondness for old classic movies, and speaks as if, as Lennie put it, “like she swallowed a dictionary”. Marnie, an extremely direct and to the point individual that carries a massive burden which she manages to somewhat hide. It’s obvious that both girls lack necessary help, they just simply don’t know where to look for it.

“What on earth is happening to the bees? They say it is an ecological disaster, an environment holocaust. Every day I wonder what the blazes can be causing this abuse of our ecosystem.” -Nelly

The meaning behind the title eluded me for quite some time and I actually spent several hours pondering its significance. So this is what I came up with, but I could be completely off the mark, I have no idea but it really does seem to have a simple and straight forward meaning. As Nelly stated above, the death of bees is an ecological disaster and an environmental holocaust as bees play a major role and their deaths have a lasting effect. Even though their parents didn’t play a major role in the girls lives, their deaths still managed to make a lasting impact on them.

‘I fear death, I have always feared death. It comes like a gale and never with permission. I would meet it again today.’

‘The Death of Bees’ is gloomy, somber, and brutally realistic but darkly comedic as well. Enthralling and thought-provoking, you’ll find yourselves racing to finish to find out these unforgettable girls’ fate.

dvd-pearl
This post was a part of The Death of Bees blog tour.
Click the button below for a complete list of tour stops.
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Short & Sweet – Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman

December 27, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012, Short & Sweet Reviews 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.

Short & Sweet – Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip PullmanFairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman
Published by Viking Adult on November 8th 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment—witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White”—Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.

From much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Rapunzel” and “Hansel and Gretel” to lesser-known treasures like “Briar-Rose,” “Thousandfurs,” and “The Girl with No Hands,” Pullman retells his fifty favorites, paying homage to the tales that inspired his unique creative vision—and that continue to cast their spell on the Western imagination.

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version are 50 of Philip Pullman’s favorite tales from the original Brothers Grimm. These are ‘retold’ but still mostly maintains the original version of the stories. Being fully aware of the well-told stories of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Snow White’ I found the lesser-known stories to be the most entertaining.

I’d been incredibly excited for this one for a while now after having finished Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy; I definitely wanted to read more of his writings. I’m not sure this would be a good one to start with if you were looking into trying Philip Pullman out for the very first time though.

I have a passing knowledge of the original Grimm Fairy Tale stories, having read only a few of the originals. With that said, I was interested to see just how original this new English Version by Philip Pullman actually was. It doesn’t appear that much was actually changed, however, this is still an enjoyable collection and one that I believe many fairy tale lovers will enjoy.

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Early Review – Quicksilver (Ultraviolet #2) by R.J. Anderson

December 25, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Book Tour, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

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

Early Review – Quicksilver (Ultraviolet #2) by R.J. AndersonQuicksilver by R.J. Anderson
Series: Ultraviolet #2
Published by Carolrhoda Lab on March 1st 2013
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Sci-fi
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Ultraviolet

four-stars

Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.

Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual... talents.

Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.

She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.

Ultraviolet series

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet #1) by R.J. Anderson {PurchaseMy Review}

Ultraviolet was an incredibly original sci-fi novel that I enjoyed immensely last year. I was thrilled to find out that Quicksilver was coming out as a companion novel and was so pleased that it was quite possibly better than its predecessor.

Tori knows that its only a matter of time before her past catches up with her and everyone in her life is going to be put at risk because of what she is. Sebastian Faraday shows back up and confirms that she does have more to fear but that he has a plan to hopefully save them all from Mathis. But it’s going to take strength and perseverance in order for this to pay off, and even then the likelihood of success is slim.

Quicksilver’s story line was an intense thrill ride that never let up. The writing was amazing and all the tiny intricate mechanical details and outer space facts made each word come alive. My main issue with sci-fi tends to be that it’s so completely unbelievable, but R.J. Anderson makes this science fiction word so completely real. As much as I loved Allison’s story and her incredible gift in Ultraviolet, I loved the story being told from the point of view of Tori. Tori was nothing like the blond, blue eyed, popular girl she showed the world. She was a tough, machine-building chick that had the strength to do whatever it took to keep herself and the ones she loved safe from harm.

Quicksilver was extremely well done and I love how well wrapped-up each book manages to be. Ultraviolet’s ending was an explosion of text with revelations that blew your mind, but I had no idea that I could expect more of the story. The ending of Quicksilver didn’t have a cliffhanger, but definitely left the possibility for a future story. And boy do I hope that happens. Highly recommended for sci-fi lovers looking for highly original characters with an elaborate story line.

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Early Review + Giveaway! Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman

December 15, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Giveaways, Read in 2012, YA 4 Comments

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

Early Review + Giveaway! Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle FormanJust One Day by Gayle Forman
Series: Just One Day #1
Published by Dutton Juvenile on January 8th 2013
Pages: 368
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Just One Year, Just One Night

three-stars

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

 ‘We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.’

Admittedly, I do believe I started this when I was in the completely wrong sort of mood. I totally killed this story for myself in the beginning and could not get into it. I was mentally flashing to scenes from ‘Taken’ and kept waiting for her to start using her brain and NOT get on the train with the complete stranger BY HERSELF to PARIS where she’s never been before, barely has any money, and can’t speak the language. I can understand getting caught up in the moment and feeling a connection to someone so much that you just lose yourself in the moment… but this was just downright reckless and so potentially dangerous that it sucked all enjoyment out of it for me.

Allyson was such a strange and unrealistic narrator. Always the smart girl, the girl who played it safe, and then she meets Willem and he unlocks a side of her that she herself didn’t know existed. Allyson had been on a tour of Europe for several weeks but had never got to see Paris, so he asks for her to go with him there. And this is where I get even MORE disturbed. They have one single day in Paris and it ended up being the most random, jumbled and seemingly unenjoyable day. So it wasn’t the type of day spent in Paris like you see in the movies but they didn’t even DO anything! So much beauty surrounded them and for part of it they ended up taking a nap in the park? Are you kidding me? If I had a single day in Paris and I needed to nap I’d be pounding the red bulls and trying to get the most I could out of that day.

‘We kiss again. This next kiss is the kind that breaks open the sky. It steals my breath and gives it back. It shows me that every other kiss I’ve had in my life has been wrong.’

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to meet someone and only after a single day they have somehow managed to change a piece of you forever. I believe that can happen; I’ve felt it. But I didn’t feel it while reading this and I was left dumbfounded and confused to what Willem did exactly to evoke such a long-lasting reaction. I just didn’t’ believe it strongly enough. My other issue was with the fact that she attributed this other her, “Lulu”, as a result of being with Willem. It was disheartening to see her give up that new her just because he disappeared. I would have liked to see her take the situation for what it was: a life lesson that opened her eyes to how different she could live her life and actually enjoy it in the process. But instead she crawled deeper into her shell than she had before.

The Ending. Spoilers! For real. Don’t click.

View Spoiler »

Of course I have to read the follow-up because it’s obvious that Allyson was lacking in answers and I can only hope we receive some resolution (that is logical too) from Willem’s side of things. And hello cliffhanger, thanks for that. Not terribly pleased with the story itself but there’s really no denying it, Gayle Forman can write one entrancing story.

*All quotes taken are from an uncorrected proof*

This is for my personal (ARC) copy of Just One Day and since I am covering the shipping charges this is open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers!

Giveaway ends December 31st, 2012

To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Early Review – Touch of the Demon (Kara Gillian #5) by Diana Rowland

December 15, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 0 Comments

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

Early Review – Touch of the Demon (Kara Gillian #5) by Diana RowlandTouch of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian #5
on December 31st 2012
Pages: 440
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Life As a White Trash Zombie, Mark of the Demon, Blood of the Demon

four-half-stars

Kara Gillian is in some seriously deep trouble.

She’s used to summoning supernatural creatures from the demon realm to our world, but now the tables have been turned and she’s the one who’s been summoned. Kara is the prisoner of yet another demonic lord, but she quickly discovers that she’s far more than a mere hostage. Yet waiting for rescue has never been her style, and Kara has no intention of being a pawn in someone else’s game.

There’s intrigue to spare as she digs into the origin of the demonic lords and discovers the machinations of humans and demons alike. Kara is shocked to discover that she has her own history in the demon realm, and that the ties between her and the demonic lords Rhyzkahl and Szerain go back farther than she could have ever imagined. But treachery runs rampant among all the lords, and she’s going to have to stay sharp in order to keep from being used to further their own agendas. The lords have a secret that dates back to earth’s ancient history, and it could have devastating repercussions for both worlds.

Yet more than anything else, Kara’s abilities as a homicide detective will be put to the test—because this time the murder she has to solve is her own.

Kara Gillian series

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #1) {Purchase – My Review}
Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #2) {Purchase – My Review}
Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #3) {Purchase – My Review}
Sins of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #4) {Purchase – My Review}

Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian series has been a favorite of mine from the very beginning, but with ‘Touch of the Demon’ she’s truly taken this series to a whole new level and as Kara is so fond of saying, “Shit just got real.” ‘Touch of the Demon’ truly mixed things up and allowed this series to remain outstanding for many more installments.

Touch of the Demon picks up right where the last one left off with that dreaded cliffhanger that I think had us all pulling our hair out. Kara finds herself in the demon realm and she’s being held against her will by the demonic Lord Mzatal. Unclear as to why he’s keeping her but positive that it’s not for anything good she finally manages to escape and get to Rhyzkahl but she finds herself in any even worse situation. It’s a complex story that has Kara spinning in confusion trying to figure out how to get out of this situation and finally get home, to Earth.

The best part of this story was the imagery Diana created. Her depictions of the demon realm were meticulous allowing you to visualize it completely. From details of the palaces she stayed in to the trees to the various different demons that she had never encountered before. Each additional detail really added something distinctive to making this story highly creative. There are so much more that could be said but there were so many intricate aspects to this story-line that each detail is essentially a part of the spoiler… and I would hate to ruin this for anyone. If you’ve been a fan of this series though, you will definitely love this one.

Touch of the Demon is hands down the darkest, grittiest installment yet, and it was absolutely fantastic. The cliffhanger lacking ending was music to my ears and still managed to set in motion potentially awesome storylines. I can’t wait to see where Diana Rowland takes us next on this brilliant endeavor!

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Book Review – Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

December 7, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy ChristopherStolen by Lucy Christopher
Published by Chicken House on May 1st 2010
Pages: 304
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Gemma, 16, is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty - rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar - pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback.

Stolen is her gripping story of survival, of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare - or die trying to fight it.

“How long will you keep me?” I asked.
You shrugged. “Forever, of course.”

I honestly never had any intention of picking this up as I try and stay away from those books with the tough subjects but they always seem to find their way into my reading pile anyways. Plus, it’s an Aussie read. I have to give it a shot for that alone. 🙂 And despite the tough subject and despite the fact that it was a hard, emotional read, this book was well worth the read.

I really enjoyed the writing style, the whole thing written in letter form from Gemma to the man who stole her away from her life, Ty. It’s natural to dislike Ty and I totally did… at first. Forget sympathizing or caring about the hardships he went through; he kidnapped a 16 year-old girl, drugged her, and had planned it all out to the point that he had a new ID and passport ready to get her on a plane to Australia. This was not a spontaneous decision. No, this was a plan that had been in the making for many, many years. I found it amazing (and shocking) the amount of time and energy he spent into making this whole plan work. He built a house in the middle of the Australian desert and stocked it with enough supplies for them to survive together for a very long time. It was honestly quite scary if you really think about it.

But, as time progressed Gemma slowly began to warm up to him. She saw a different side of him that she couldn’t help but like. And dammit, I began to like him too despite the other half of my brain trying to remain rational and recognize the situation for what it was. Kidnapping aside, (yes, I know, that’s a pretty big thing to brush off) I think the sole reason I gained a soft spot for him was I truly believed he cared for Gemma. Even before he kidnapped her from the airport he was watching over her (yes, I know, that’s stalking) and actually saved her from a pretty grave situation that she wasn’t even fully aware of. As Gemma states, ‘What you did to me wasn’t this brilliant thing, like you think it was.’ And it wasn’t, despite his best intentions and even though he truly thought that he was saving her, it was still wrong. Despite loving the letter style of writing I think it would have been even more brilliant as a dual-narrative; I would have loved to get a glimpse of everything that was happening from Ty’s point of view.

Definitely one of those books that sneak up on you emotionally. You have no idea how invested you are in what happens for these characters until it’s all over and you realize how much you had been hoping for that happily-ever-after type ending. The ending, while I wouldn’t call it perfect, was definitely fitting and managed to make the whole story even more plausible.

Emotional and powerful, Stolen is a thought-provoking story that will have you questioning right and wrong and the grey areas in between.

And, let’s face it, you did steal me. But you saved my life, too. And somewhere in the middle, you showed me a place so different and beautiful, I can never get it out of my mind. And I can’t get you out of there, either. You’re stuck in my brain like my own blood vessels.’

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Short & Sweet – And All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst

December 6, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, Short & Sweet Reviews, YA 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.

Short & Sweet – And All the Stars by Andrea K. HöstAnd All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst
Published by Smashwords on October 1st 2012
Pages: 260
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Sci-fi
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Come for the apocalypse.
Stay for cupcakes.
Die for love.

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.

None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.

Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.

Most dystopian’s tend to be the story of what came after, of how the Earth had changed and how lives were transformed. In ‘And All The Stars’ we get a glimpse into the inner-workings of the change while it’s actually happening and affecting people now. Strange clouds have spread across the skies of the city and sparkling dust is emanating from them.

‘The rest, from just below her collarbone down, was an unbroken dark blue, studded with motes of light. Galaxies, nebulae and fiery novae. They weren’t on the surface of her skin, but seemed to float below it, as if she had become a window on a night sky at the centre of the universe.’

As time progresses, Madeleine’s symptoms begin to show: from extreme hunger cramps, all-over body aches, and then the velvet begins appearing on her skin. She has no idea why this is happening and who is behind all of it but she’s determined to survive this.

The story incredibly original and the writing was extremely well-done and descriptive. Unfortunately I still felt that things weren’t as clear as I would have liked and I felt myself getting completely lost in the story. Highly original story that focuses more on friendships than relationships and just so happens to be a stand-alone novel. Recommended for fans of dystopians with a sci-fi twist.

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