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So today is my birthday.  Since I am celebrating my birth today, I’m gonna hold off on posting a book review this week.  I’ll have a new, shiny review for you next week =)

From the Carrie Ryan’s website:

 In Mary’s world, there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

General Impressions

My mind is all over the place with this book, I’m not sure where to start.

Mary has got to be one of the most real characters in current Young Adult fiction. For the most part, she reacts exactly how I would imagine myself acting in her situation. Her actions (and thoughts) can easily be construed as selfish, but I don’t care how used to zombies you are, when they are knocking at your door, you’re going to be selfish.

The biggest issue I had was with the love rectangle. For the record, I’m not a huge fan of love triangles for the most part, so it had a big mountain to climb for me to look over it. I think what got me the most is a scene where they are somewhat safe, but still surrounded by zombies, and Mary is sitting their debating her love life. I understand the point of the love rectangle but it took away from the story more than helped it for me.

Carrie Ryan did an amazing job on the world building of this book. I was sucked into the world from the beginning of the book. The only gripe I had was wanting to know more about things like the Sisterhood and the Guardians. I was enticed but not satisfied on several aspects of the world. It’s obvious that Ryan did extensive world building, and I can only hope that some of the questions posed in this book are answered in the remaining books.

Final Takeaway

I’m not sure where I stand with this book. On one hand, it’s an amazing world and a different look at life after the zombie apocalypse. On the other hand, the love rectangle took a lot away from the story for me. Mary is what seals the deal for me. Ryan writes realistic characters that are easy to relate to. I will check out the next in the series.

If you are a zombie fan like me, definitely check this book out. Even with the love rectangle, it is worth reading just for the take on the zombie apocalypse. Ryan also writes some amazing zombie chase scenes that will satisfy any fan of zombie culture.


If you have not already read Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, stop and go read it now. I’ll wait.

Done? Ok, then you are probably waiting impatiently to read more Rose too.

From Denise Grover Swank’s Website:
When Rose reports for Fenton County jury duty she figures she’s lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Instead, despite a disastrous encounter with the new assistant district attorney, Mason Deveraux, she’s picked as a juror on a murder case. As the case progresses, she realizes an ominous vision she had in the men’s restroom proves the defendant is innocent. And there’s not a cotton picking thing she can do about it.
Or is there?
As if things weren’t bad enough, Rose’s older sister Violet is going through a mid-life crisis. Violet insists that Rose stop seeing her sexy new boyfriend, Arkansas state detective Joe Simmons, and date other men. Rose is done letting people boss her around, but she can’t commit to Joe either. Still, Rose isn’t about to let the best thing in her life slip away.

General Impressions
I fell in love with Rose roughly around page two of Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes. Her quirky style and naive ways make her instantly someone you want to have as your best friend. I read Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons in two sittings in one day. It would have been one sitting if I didn’t need to actually grocery shop and eat. Denise Grover Swank creates such a vivid world that you are instantly sucked into the story. The new characters introduced into the world are just as wonderful as the existing characters. I love how Swank makes all of her characters, even the ones that are just there to fill out a jury, into full people you want to know more about.

Rose and Joe are just as wonderful as they were in the first book. I will admit to wanting to smack them senseless at times. Violet shows her true colors. Neely Kate has to be my favorite new character. I really can’t wait to see what Swank does with her in the future of the series. Swank has an uncanny ability to play with her readers emotions and she utilizes all of these characters in a way you don’t know whether to smack some sense into them or just hug them and laugh.

Final Takeaway
Some major life-changing decisions were made by all the main characters of the series, which does leave you hanging waiting for the next book to come out. I highly recommend picking this one up, just be prepared for a roller coaster of a ride.

Two things to do while you wait for June 29th:

1. Check out www.denisegroverswank.com each day and participate in the 29 Reasons to Love Rose Gardner Giveaway

2. Check out this awesome book trailer:

Full disclosure: I beta-read and won an ARC of Twenty-Nine and A Half Reasons in a contest.

Bloodlines

I am very open about my absolute love for Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series.  I was one of those fans that waited up all night to watch the book download on my Kindle so I could read while waiting for the bookstore to open. (Yes, I tend to get the physical and digital book when I love a series.)  I knew that there was going to be a spin off series, but I wasn’t completely sure how I felt about that.  I mean there really can only be one Rose and no one would be able to fill that role ever again. So, I stayed away from Bloodlines until very recently. I knew the main characters of the book and they were great characters in the main series, so I finally caved.

Ultimately I’m glad I did.  Mead doesn’t try to recreate the VA series, instead focuses on the characters in front of us and gives them their own lives.  The book picks up shortly after the end of last sacrifice and all the characters have been effected by the events at the end of the VA series and the events that happened in between that led to the start of the book.

General Impressions

Mead does a great job of weaving an intricate world as always. The parts that I found lacking a bit for me were when it came to the mysteries that riddle most of her stories. Almost all of the mysteries I had figured out early on. This is unlike most of her other books which can leave me blindsided. This could be because I have gotten used to her writing, or because it is the first book in the series.

I was concerned about having Sydney as the main character for the series, but Mead worked her magic as always.  Sydney is definitely no Rose, but she stands her own and is a lot more than what was shown in the VA series.  I actually want to reread the VA series just to look at Sydney in this new light.

Final Takeaway

I definitely will end up checking out The Golden Lily, but I havent gotten to the rabid fan level that I was for VA. (At least not yet.)

Hello Again

Well hello again. Sorry for the prolonged absence. My life has changed so much since I started this blog and unfortunately the blog fell to the waist-side. Thankfully, I am finally starting to recover from the craziness that has been my life for the past couple of years. Anywho, until I am able to get back fully into writing my own stories, I’m going to be using this blog for book reviews. I’m sure you will still get the random post in there as well. Hope y’all enjoy.

It’s back to school time! Almost every writer I know loves this time of year for two reasons; the kids are going back to school and the sales on supplies.  (I don’t have kids, so I can’t fully appreciate the kids are going back to school excitement.)

For me the excitement of back to school time is the sales.  I live in a little village (our population has not reached town status, yet) and most of all forms of shopping is at our small Wal-Mart.  While I was grocery shopping last week I noticed the sales had started.  Note cards and spiral bound notebooks are my downfall.  Notebooks here normally run around $1.19 a piece.  I about screamed when I saw them for $0.20.  Same deal for the note cards, post-it notes, mechanical pencils, and pretty much everything else a writer needs.  This is the time for stock piling.  For the price of one notebook I get five!!! Yes, please!

This doesn’t even go into all the sales for desktops, laptops and pretty much anything else that could possibly be related to school.  I hate paying full price for anything so this is my favorite time of year.

 

But to be completely honest, I think what has me so excited is the decision I made to go back to school again.  Yes, I’m a geek and like school. =)

For those that don’t know, this July is peppered with amazing books coming out. I won’t go into the full list here, but feel the need to share some of the ones I’m truly excited about.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.

I’ve been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series for as long as I can remember, so needless to say tomorrow’s release of Dance with Dragons has me the most excited.  It is preordered and will arrive on my Kindle at 2am tomorrow morning to hold me over till I can get my hands on the physical copy.  If I suddenly disappear from the internet for awhile (like that doesn’t happen all the time anyways) you now know why.

 Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank.

I was one of the lucky few to beta read for Denise.  The first time (yes, I’ve already read it more than once) I finished it I was pissed because I wanted to jump around on the internet and discuss it with others and I couldn’t.  I wanted to hand over a physical copy to my friends telling them they have to read this and again I couldn’t.  So needless to say I am thrilled that this will be available to tomorrow. (If you have an eReader it is already available)  I already have a copy on my Kindle right next to the beta version (I guess I can take that one off now) and will probably have to get two physical copies tomorrow as well. (I have to have a permanent copy for my bookshelf and at least one to lend out to friends)  I’m already waiting impatiently for the next in the series =)

Born to be a Dragon by Eisley Jacobs.

While I haven’t read this one yet, I have been a beta reader for Eisley in the past and love her work.  I’ve been reading all her posts and tweets about this and have been jealous that I wasn’t on the beta list for this one.  (Really, why do you need kids to beta a middle grade novel anyways?)  Anywho, this one got released early and is now available on eReaders and physical copies at Amazon.  Also, Eisley is hosting a scavenger hunt over at her blog with some fabulous daily prizes.  Go check it out.

 

Happy reading!