26 February 2012

Tundra 37

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Aubrie Dionne
Pages: 288
Format: eBook (ARC)
Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (Thanks to Entangled Publishing): Gemme is a hi-tech matchmaker who pairs the next generation of Lifers aboard the Expedition, a deep space transport vessel destined for Paradise 18. When the identity of her lifemate pops up on her screen, she’s shocked that he’s the achingly gorgeous and highly sought after Lieutenant Miles Brentwood—a man oblivious to her existence. Believing everyone will think she contrived the match, she erases it from the computer’s memory.

Just as comets pummel the ship and destroy the pairing system forever.

With the Expedition disabled, the colonists must crash land on the barren ice world of Tundra 37 where Gemme is reassigned to an exploratory mission, led by Lieutenant Brentwood. Only in the frozen tundra does she understand the shape of his heart and why the computer has entwined their destinies.

My Take: Let's go in order here. At first, the novel was a bit confusing. You get thrown right into the story and sufficed to say, I had no clue what was happening. That didn't last too long though. I was glad to know what was happening. One thing that I loved about this book was that you get right into the action. You don't have to sit around and wait for something to happen. It doesn't get boring because things keep happening, granted, some things come out of left field but it's easy to keep up. Actually, overall, the novel is a pretty easy read. It helps that it keeps you interested.

There are a few strange things that happen, I won't ruin it. Trust me, none of it is bad or even too far fetched. It was scary enough to believe that this was actually a possibility for Earth was scary, then again, The Hunger Games scared me in the same way.

I also liked the destiny aspect that was added into the story. No spoilers, this is tough! Okay, well when you read it, because you should, you'll understand. I'm proud to say that I figured the end out a good while before I made it there but I still felt the need to read it until the end.

Final Thoughts: I loved the action and how plot twists and turns kept coming at me. I liked how there was a bit of talk of destiny in the story. I enjoyed that it was in the future, that there were new 'terms' used for objects and jobs, and that all of these new things and changes were explained so that the reader could clearly understand. Plus, who doesn't love a unique name every now and again. You should read it, just saying.

24 February 2012


Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Stuart M. Kaminsky
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary (Thanks GoodReads): Days and nights of heavy spring rain threaten to cripple New York City. Neighborhoods are experiencing periodic blackouts. People have been reported electrocuted by fallen power lines. Flooding of some subway lines has stopped trains in their tracks. And in the midst of the deluge, the CSI team has three cases to solve. 

Mac Taylor and Don Flack are on the trail of the perpetrator of a string of grisly murders with one thing in common: initials carved into the victims' bodies. When an unusual connection is found between the victims' lives, Mac realizes the killer isn't finished -- not by a long shot.

Lindsay Monroe and Danny Messer investigate the death of a teacher at an exclusive Manhattan private school. The victim seems like everyone's favorite teacher on the surface -- but they soon uncover a darker secret lurking beneath.

Stella Bonasera and Sheldon Hawkes are on-site at a suspicious building collapse when shifting rubble traps Hawkes

The intrepid members of New York's crack forensic team must race against time and the elements to bring three very different criminals to justice.
My Take: Here is a small fact: rain freaks me out. It's not that a fear drowning or I fear the rain itself. I've always been a tad bit fearful of what might be hiding under the dark, grey cover that rain seems to provide more often then not. I'm afraid of what might come with the rain. It's the flooding and mud that swallows your foot and the lightening that terrifies me. It's stupid and irrational, yes, I am very much aware so thank you but I can't help it. Because I'm already afraid of the rain, this book was spooky. I understand that not everyone is afraid of the rain but it's creepy nonetheless. The flooding makes the jobs of the CSIs near impossible but what can you do? Nothing. They have to keep trying anyway.

Also, I've never been one for having names carved into body parts. I didn't see the building issues coming. I loved that twist. The trick with these books is the twists because without them you can lose touch with the story.

If your a fan of the TV show then you should check out the book series. I have quite a few of them. The CSI Miami and NY ones are much better than the regular CSIs but to each his own. This should be on the top of the list though, for sure.

22 February 2012

Daphne and The Mysterious Girls Secret Bathroom Society

Daphne and The Mysterious Girls Secret Bathroom SocietyReviewer: Kristen
Author: Robert Shields
Pages: 209
Format: eBook sent by author
Rating: 8½ out of 10

Summary (via Goodreads): Following years of persecution at the hands of Vivica Vance, Daphne Downing levels the playing field wielding her No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil as she belatedly enters the world of witchcraft. Daphne becomes part of the Mysterious Girls’ Secret Bathroom Society and finds out that the politics governing witchcraft are daunting and sometimes deadly. She realizes she is aligned with the Charmers in this political battle with the Spiters led by her nemesis, Vivica. Along the way, she discovers that witches do not perform magic or witchcraft but a differentiated form of physics that only some women have mastered. The story deepens as she learns about the long history of witches’ domination and annihilation of wizards. 

My Thoughts: First thing I just need to address with this is the title, it's a wee bit overwhelming. But don't let that deter you, it's a really good read. The title just needs to be shortened - I could never remember the full thing to write it out. I recommend this book for pre-teens or anyone from 10 to around 15. It was an intriguing read and I read it all in one go. The witchcraft was really compelling for me because I'm so not used to it. I don't think I've ever read a book with it, so for me, I appreciated the originality in that. I really liked the background stories that were explained. The book was written a bit formally which I found odd for 13 year olds, but it didn't completely ruin it. This isn't my usual cup of tea, and to see it I probably would walk right past it. Don't make that mistake! This book offers a LOT and I definitely wish I would have read it when I was younger. Pretty sure it would be one of my favourites. 

Final Thoughts: If you like witchcraft and a clever story, pick this up! The plot is a great driving force, and I would definitely recommend this!  

20 February 2012


Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Kathy Reichs
Pages: 454
Format: Hardcover (available in paperback)
Rating: 8 out of 10
My Summary: Tory Brennan was probably born for adventure…and to be a geek. After all, her aunt is famous forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. When she moves to the middle of nowhere with her father, a marine biologist, who she had never known, she has a hard time adjusting. She meets a few people who are just as geek as she is though and they have the same need for adventure.

This group of teens save a wolfdog pup from a secret lab only to end up being subjected to a rare strain of parvovirus which changed them and their DNA. With their new found talents they now have to solve a murder. Through it all they stick together.

My Take: Being a fan of Kathy Reichs novels really helped here. I already had a feel for her style of writing even if this was her first Young Adult novel. With Kathy Reichs always comes mystery, science, adventure, action, and of course murder with a side of good friendship. It sounds a bit crowded but I think that Kathy Reichs does it near flawlessly.

I think that this novel shows a really good set of friends. I’m not so sure that my friends would do for me what Tory’s did for and with her. Also, they may all be a bit geeky but they definitely all have their own personalities which keeps things interesting.

Plus, there is a lot of good suspense in the novel and I didn’t see the end coming, at least, not the whole end. It’s refreshing to read a novel where the end is a surprise but still makes sense. You ask yourself how you didn’t figure it out.

I believe that the book came out at a good time. There are many others of the like on shelves everywhere. None of those are quiet like this novel though.

I don't want to spoil anything so here is just a quick overview for the second book in the series:

Author: Kathy Reichs
Rating: 8 out of 10

Brief Summarization: Ever since Tory Brennan and her friends rescued Cooper, a kidnapped wolf pup with a rare strain of canine parvovirus, they've turned from regular kids into a crime-solving pack. But now the very place that brought them together - the Loggerhead Island Research Institute - is out of funding and will have to shut down. That is, unless the Virals can figure out a way to save it.

So when Tory learns of an old Charleston legend about a famous she-pirate, Anne Bonney, whose fortune was never found, she can't believe her luck - buried treasure is exactly what she needs to save the Institute on Loggerhead! Trouble is, she and her friends aren't the only ones looking for it. And this time, the Virals' special powers may not be enough to dig them out of trouble . . .

18 February 2012

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Lewis Carroll
Pages: 239
Format: Paperback
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Through the looking Glass)

Summary (Via GoodReads): Weary of her storybook, one "without pictures or conversations," the young and imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground -- to come face-to-face with some of the strangest adventures and most fantastic characters in all of literature. The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the weeping Mock Turtle, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat -- each more eccentric than the last -- could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll. In penning this brilliant burlesque of children's literature, this farcical satire of rigid Victorian society, this arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up, Carroll was one of the few adult writers to enter successfully the children's world of make-believe, where the impossible becomes possible, the unreal, real, and where the heights of adventure are limited only by the depths of imagination.

My Thoughts: I really liked Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It was super original and a bit crazy. Actually, it was a lot crazy. I think that perhaps somebody did a little bit too much drugs before sitting down at his desk. Then again, I have some pretty strange dreams too. The characters were unique which I love, nobody likes to read about the same characters over and over again. Sometimes it was so bizarre that I really had to stretch my already over-sized imagination. Good and classic, definitely worth reading at some point before you die.

On the other hand, Through the Looking Glass was a bit different. I didn't like it near as much. The plot and layout were well done, if you know how to play chess that is. I do so I could appreciate it. Again, the characters were interesting. Sadly, the continued strangeness that carried over from the first book was a bit too much. It seemed to be the same thing over and over again. For a dream, however, it was pretty good.

Final Comments: Read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and if it happens to be your favourite book ever than read Through the Looking Glass. At the very least, wait to read them. Don't read them back to back like I did unless you really like them. Good story though. Very different.

15 February 2012

The Devil's Legacy

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Tom Jackson
Pages: 324
Format: eBook only
Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary (Thanks GoodReads): The opening of Pandora’s Box creates pandemonium in the office of the British Prime Minister. A team is assembled to solve a two hundred year old conspiracy in order to prevent the Box’s incredible secrets from being revealed to the world and plunging British society into chaos. Will the search for truth be successful? And will it result in the restoration of a country’s stolen heritage?

What is the bizarre umbilical cord that links the 200-year old theft of the Parthenon Marbles to the Turkish Governor of Athens, Jack the Ripper, Winston Churchill, the Titanic, Napoleon Bonaparte, the British Royal family, an obscure nineteenth century Italian artist and a Koala bear?

The British government’s decision to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece triggers the opening of Pandora’s Box, covertly held for over 100 years in the vaults of the British Museum. And thus the first appalling secret is revealed--the Parthenon Marbles are counterfeit.

A team comprising archaeological experts and secret service agents is assembled under the leadership of a young female lawyer and Parthenon expert. The team’s mission is to find the real Marbles, and ensure their return to Greece within a six-month deadline.

Success must be achieved against an intensifying background of treason, competition from an American billionaire collector, and the intervention of the Greek mafia.

My thoughts: This is hands down the most creative book that I've ever read. Only this book could take the Pandora's box, the Titanic, Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, World Wars, Napoleon, the mafia, and multiple countries and tie them all up together in a way that makes perfect sense and makes you question quite a lot about the world all at the same time. It was incredible! It was full of surprises too which kept things fresh. It helped that I was a history lover before I read this because I could fall back on what knowledge I already had. That made the book seem more real, more plausible. The little tidbits of love interest on the side really helped too.

I also really liked how the novel was laid out. It is done with flashbacks but they don't just come randomly. Every time the characters get another piece of information there is a flashback that explains it. That was a really good way to work it out.

It ended well. Everything was tied up and it was made to still make complete sense. It was a very good ending with surprise twists.

P.S. You really need to focus to read this book. It gets pretty complicated and it's a very intricate web. It's worth the work though so don't worry.

14 February 2012

"Top Ten" Love Stories of All Time

I think that this is mandatory today so here goes...

1. Wuthering Heights: A total eclipse of the heart.
2. Anna Karenina: Love can be a train wreck.
3. Romeo and Juliet: Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
4. Casablanca: Play it again, Sam.
5. Midsummer Night's Dream: Dream a little dream.
6. Doctor Zhivago: Boy meets girl meets girl.
7. Sense and Sensibility: Sisters and soul mates.
8. Dangerous Liaisons: Les Liaisons dangereuses is a novel composed of letters.
9. Pride and Prejudice: A literary game of cat and mouse, widely known as Jane Austen’s most famous novel.
10. Hunchback of Notre Dame: Oh Quasimodo!

Proud to say that I've read most of these!
Have a good Valentine's day

Love, Kelsey ♥

12 February 2012

The Sausage Maker's Daughters

The Sausage Maker's DaughtersReviewer: Kristen
Author: A.G.S Johnson
 Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary (via Goodreads): The sausage maker's youngest daughter is heading for the fight of her battle-scarred life. It's the era of the counterculture and Vietnam. But twenty-four-year-old Kip Czermanksi is nowhere near her home in California. She's in a jail cell in her hometown in Wisconsin awaiting a court appearance in the mysterious death of her ex-lover, who happened to be her brother-in-law. Given her father is the small town's leading citizen; Kip isn't overly worried, at first. But the personal grudge the DA holds for all the Czermanskis is about to find a foil Kip. What follows is a wild ride through Kip's present predicament and her past. She'll come to regret leaving her life in LA, regardless of the good reason for which she returned, when family dynamics and sibling rivalries, magnified by her counterculture attitudes and feminist beliefs, lay Kip's life bare before the courtroom. Distrusting her legal team, her rebellious history well known, things both personal and legal spiral out-of-control. It doesn't look good for Kip Czermanski

My Thoughts: I know, I know.. you aren't suppose to judge a book by its cover... or title. But, admittingly I judged a little. The more and more I read the book, my judgments faded. Quickly. I really, really enjoyed this book. It was intriguing, and Kip was such a complex character. She's strong yet weak, relatable yet unrelatable. Not just her, but the characters were so well described, so well explained that I really began to love them and hate them. These are some of the best written characters that I have yet come across. The courtroom was a bit hard for me to follow, but I don't blame AGS Johnson for that. I usually just avoid courtrooms and jail cells. If you don't mind that sort of stuff, it definitely is not a strike against it. The small town atmosphere, and the families dysfunction added to the story in a way that wasn't flashy but completely opposite. For some reason, it just compelled me. 

Final Thoughts: This book is wonderful, and the whole plot and story-line is original and compelling. Beyond a shadow of the doubt, check this book out!

11 February 2012

The Me I Want To Be

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: John Ortberg
Pages: 254
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary (From GoodReads): Reading The Me I Want to Be is your first step to becoming God’s best version of you. Join bestselling author and pastor John Ortberg as he guides you through the sometimes difficult but ultimately fulfilling journey towards a uniquely created spirituality. One designed just for you … one that will enable you to experience God more fully each day. Available in four unique colours, customers purchasing at retail will select the cover they prefer.

My Thoughts: So this is probably one of the first 'self-help'y books that's been reviewed on this blog but I just love this book. It's very affirming, has close to a gillion amazing quotes, has personal quizzes, cool tips, and many funny and heartwarming stories. The stories are entertaining but also relatable so that you can learn something from them and you can find the lesson in it. This book really makes you feel good about yourself and if by the end you still don't it gives you tips to help you with that. Personally, I have some issues with who I am, many people do, that's just how I thought life always was but this book told me that there could be something more than just that. It actually really helped. You should give it a look!

9 February 2012


Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Natasha Friend
Pages: 172
Format: Paperback
Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary (Thanks GoodReads): Isabelle Lee has a problem, and it's not just Ape Face, her sister, or group therapy for an eating disorder, or even that her father died and her mother is depressed and in denial. It's that Ashley, the most popular girl in school, is inviting Isabelle to join her at lunch and at sleepovers at her house, and this is presenting Isabelle with a dilemma. Pretty Ashley has moved Isabelle up the social ladder, but is it worth keeping the secret they share? Caught in the orbit of popularity and appearances, Isabelle must navigate a world with mixed messages, false hopes, and potentially harmful turns, while coping with her own flailing family and emotions. The author brings a depth of characterization, humour, and a real adolescent's voice to this multileveled story about the desire to be perfect in an imperfect world.

My Thoughts: This book had a pretty hardcore topic. I won't try to sugarcoat it and neither did the author. I'm glad that she didn't. So many girls (and boys) live through this or things like this and for them it's hard to see an end in sight. This book shows that you can get better and that is just what people in this situation need to know. The author doesn't say that it's super easy just that it is possible. I love that.

Another great thing about this is that it's written how somebody might speak to you. That makes it a simple and quick read. In other words, it's short but its full of plot, getting better, learning to take care of yourself, and growing up.

P.S. I've gone through something very similar to this. It isn't just girls. If you are in the middle of something like this or are cutting, get help. You can get better. Find someone that you can talk to that make you feel better about yourself, not worse.

7 February 2012

Getting Rid of Bradley

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Pages: 264
Format: Paperback
Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (Via GoodReads): Lucy Savage is finally getting rid of Bradley--and his hideous green recliner. Bradley is out of her life for good. Or so she thinks. Turns out Officer Zach Warren wants to arrest the very same Bradley for embezzlement and figures the lovely Lucy can lead him straight to his target.

Good thing there's a copy around. Because someone shoots at Lucy and then blows up her car. Zach insists she needs twenty-four-hour protection. What does he think her three dogs and attack cat are for? Still, he insists on moving right in to Lucy's house.

Now there's danger lurking outside and in her own kitchen, bathroom--and bedroom. Or maybe Zach is just what Lucy needs...

My Thoughts: I loved this novel. I loved the character of Lucy. She's so cute and so innocent...well, okay, not for long. Even though the stereotype is over done I really liked the fact that Zach was protective, even a bit over-protective. That's how he should be. It just seemed to make sense that he would act the way he did with him being a police officer.

Also, there was a great plot twist at the end. Sure, I saw it coming but to me, that really didn't matter because it made sense and only added to the story. I loved that there was a lot of foreshadowing but that they didn't make it so over-done that when it happened it was still interesting. I loved the action that was added. Plus, I'm a sucker for a little romance.

Final Thoughts: This novel has good character development and each one is different in their own way. The plot is never boring and something is always happening. I've read this book multiple times and think you should read it though I will need to put a 18A rating on it. That's just a heads up! Enjoy!
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