Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich

Where to start….I love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series (or I did till she got to about #15), and this being her niece, I thought I would give it a shot.  There was a lot about this book I loved…both Evanovich women have a panache for creating delectable men…Ranger and Logan, in my mind, look like Dwayne, the Rock, Johnson, *sigh*. 
Stephanie Evanovich definitely has a much, much naughtier side than her aunt…less than 50 shades but you get the idea…and we got to those scenes by page 17.  I do agree with the reviews that there are some body issue/self esteem things going on…can’t get hot guy until she loses weight ect ect ect…but it didn’t ruin it for me.  I loved the characters, there were some laugh out loud scenes and it was just fun (wink, wink).

Book Description From Booklist

In this modern take on My Fair Lady, obese young widow Holly becomes the special project of Logan Montgomery, a personal trainer whose typical clients are professional athletes. As Logan reshapes Holly’s body and helps her deal with the emotional reasons she binge-eats, the two first become friends and then an attraction grows. Logan has never been with anyone like Holly before; his typical conquests are model-beautiful women who aren’t looking for commitment. When their relationship becomes physical, they keep it secret owing to Logan’s discomfort and Holly’s insecurities, but soon Holly realizes that she deserves to be in a relationship with someone who accepts her imperfections. Evanovich’s debut effort is a funny, clever, and well-paced read, but it lacks polish. Holly is a sympathetic protagonist and Logan has his charming moments, but the novel sends mixed messages about body image, self-esteem, and seeking male approval. --Aleksandra Walker

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Monument 14 Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

I hate when a sequel disappoints…I loved Monument 14 and really was excited for the sequel.  My first issue  was that it was only 210 pages, what?!?   It read more like an online novella than the actual second book in the series.  The book ends with another cliffhanger and an apparent continuation in the series and not sure if I will tune in.  This just felt rushed and incomplete…overall a disappointment.

Book Description From Booklist

The toxic cloud released in Monument 14 (2012) split our struggling group of kids into two factions: those like Alex, 13, who are using the junked school bus in hopes of reaching the Denver airport, where supposedly assistance awaits; and those who remained barricaded inside the superstore, including Alex’s 16-year-old brother, Dean. There is some hastiness to Laybourne’s prose here, but the trade-off is a fair one: the split point of view accelerates the drama as the bus is hijacked, the superstore breached, and certain characters learn to use their toxin-induced homicidal rage to reach their goals. Pretty darn breathless by the end. Grades 8-11. --Daniel Kraus

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe by Mary Simses

If you are still in need of an easy, breezy summer read…this is perfect.  My favorite part of the book is the setting...Maine.  There is just something about the tiny New England state - their coastline and beaches and lobster…perfect.

Book Description From Publishers Weekly

In this bittersweet debut, Simses tells the story of Ellen Branford, who sets out to investigate her grandmother's mysterious past and ends up finding herself. As she lays dying, Ellen's grandmother extracts a promise from Ellen: that she will deliver a long-overdue apology letter to the man her grandmother jilted back home in Beacon, Maine, nearly six decades earlier. After leaving her fiancé in Manhattan, Ellen heads to Beacon and promptly falls through a rotted pier. A strong rip current catches her and she is saved from drowning by local boy Roy Cummings, who pulls her to safety and lands them both on the front page of the local paper, gaining Ellen much notoriety as the Swimmer. Fighting her budding feelings for Roy, Ellen digs deeper into her grandmother's past, unearthing not only her grandmother's jilted hometown crush but also a whole host of new questions. The answers that come to light will drive Ellen to make a choice that will change the course of her life. Agent: Deneen Howell, Williams & Connolly. (July)

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

This series just keeps getting better and better…I am already mourning the end of the series, Ruin and Rising in 2014.  This is such a well written, exciting fantasy series; with great characters, amazing world-building, action, romance…it really has it all.  Although it is cataloged as a Young Adult it really has a very wide appeal to all fantasy lovers.

Book Description From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up–After narrowly escaping the Darkling at the end of Shadow and Bone (Holt, 2012), Alina and Mal are still on the run. Though many believe her dead, Alina knows he will never stop hunting her, and she is right–it isn't long before the Darkling finds and recaptures both Alina and Mal. Forced onto a boat, the imprisoned couple has little choice but to do as he commands: track a second amplifier so that he can use Alina's twice-amplified powers against Ravka. With the help of a pirate with questionable motives, Alina and Mal escape and seek a third amplifier that Alina hopes will give her the strength to combat the Darkling's increasingly evil power and influence before his dark power becomes unstoppable. As with Shadow and Bone, this is a dark fantasy best for patient readers: Bardugo takes her time developing the plot and keeping readers guessing. World-building and character development are top-notch, and relationships and motives are complex; Alina hungers for more power just as much as the Darkling does. Those who haven't read the previous novel recently may want to brush up as there is little rehashing of its plot. An action-packed, heartbreaking ending will leave teens breathless for the final installment.–Leigh Collazo, Ed Willkie Middle School, Fort Worth, TXα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.