Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Amber Project

The Amber Project The Amber Project by J.N. Chaney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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The Amber Project opens us up to a futuristic world, about 200 years after the spread of a toxic gas known as the Variant (which spread in 2157). The gas steadily spread across the globe killing all living things it came into contact with and drastically changing the atmosphere. The sky is now purple, the grass is now blue and there are some predators who managed to adapt and change, but little is known about them.

An underground city was established and cordoned off and sealed from the Variant. The population is controlled by 3 main sections, the military/education, scientific and the matron. The three bodies must act together in order for there to be any order in this new world. The matron is in charge of all of the mothers that birth the population. Children are made through contacts and a mother must have the right genetic coding in order to be eligible to be a mother. Women see mothering as a sign of honor and stability and began having children as early as 14.

Once children reach the age of 7 they are taken from their homes (only run and managed by their mother and any possible siblings) and placed into the education system. Mara is one of the mothers with almost perfect genetic coding which causes her to be chosen for a specific scientific program, allowing her to fuse new experiments with her eggs to produce a possible child that can exist on the surface of the Earth with the Variant. This child is named Terry.

If you want to know more, than you must read the book. Suffice to say that the book is loaded with a devastating new world, political intrigue and power struggles as well as the troubles of growing into one self with the added side effects of being a scientific experiment.

The story is told through multiple points of view to give a brilliant all-around look into the world. In addition, there are answered questions through the release of past and current audio files and text to help the reader understand what has happened and is happening in the futuristic Earth.

Chaney has managed to brilliantly fortify a place within a genre rife with half-hearted attempts of literature and created a gripping new series! I can't wait to read on. This was an easy 5 stars and hard to put down.

** I received a copy of this book for free with the For Love of a Book Advanced Reader Opportunity Program

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Unseemly Unseemly by Jason Parent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unseemly is a short story/novella written by Jason Parent featuring a legend about an obscure Scottish Island. Peter is here for a black market payday, and another grave robbing experience. Although his true passion is archeology, he learned long ago that honest money didn't pay his bills.

He has come to the island to meet up with past unsavory partners that have teamed up on other undesirable jobs. This one features an academically researched legend into the sidhe. Against all of his intuition and instincts he continues along with the job.

This was a quick read and very exciting. An enticing fantastical horror story that ended abruptly. Made me feel like I was reading a more in depth "Are You Afraid of the Dark" tale. 4 Stars!

** I received a copy of this book for free with the For Love of a Book Read & Review Opportunity Program

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are a parent in any sense of the word, I find it safe to assume that you would be hard pressed to read this book without being swept up in some kind of emotion.

Stedman has beautifully articulated the Light Between Oceans, but it's a rather painful read. The topics are extremely sensitive and it's hard to determine whose side you are on. This book deals with VERY real issues that have no right or wrong answers.

The Light Between Oceans lives on in the grey of life, in between the white and the black of the decisions that may be right or wrong. I felt tears roll down my face a number of times, for a child, for a mother, for a father in many different capacities and through the eyes of several characters.

Worth a read for the realism and the way that the tale is told. I wish the end would have told more of what came to pass in between, but I suppose it decided to just tell what needed to be told. A solid 4 stars for me.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Review: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Girl on the Train starts out in a painful rendition of the mind of a blackout alcoholic. I can't say that this first section of the book is easy or enjoyable to read, but I must commend Paula Hawkins or her chilling rendition of the realities of the disease known as Alcoholism.

Once Rachel is established, you travel through the minds of 2 other women to get a more complete telling of the story. This psychological thriller is chilling in it's regard to human emotion and mentality.

It will keep you guessing and hoping for and against certain information to be exposed or outcomes to be revealed. This is a book the exposes aspects of sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies. It does such a good job that I was personally affected due to experiences with both in my own life. It was very chilling to say the least to see how something can so easily spin out of control in life.

Amazing job creating this environment to make the reader feel such, and makes me highly suspicious that she has experienced many of these personalities in person. 5 Stars for a brilliant creation.

This book is currently being made into a major motion picture as well!

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Girl Through Glass

Girl Through Glass Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is hard to classify this book as anything other than about dance and about life and as they merge into one. Sari has woven a tapestry that blends with reality and had me wondering what parts of this book were truly fictitious. The raw emotion and passion of the young girl can be felt through t the pages, just as the loss of self can be felt in the woman.

There are events that you can feel unfolding, and yet they still shock you in a way you were perhaps not prepared for. Beautifully written, and well presented.

For any lovers of coming of age, of finding and losing yourself, of soul searching, of dance, of new York, of teaching and of looking outside yourself to find fulfillment in something more. It was painful at times and yet hard to put down. 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for it's raw emotion bursting through the pages.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Girls on Fire

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I sped through this book and had a hard time putting it down. The events were kind like watching 48 hours or a crime scene, unsolved mystery, 60 minutes about teenagers all rolled into one. Robin Wasserman wove a tale of dark reality was that was to believe was non-fiction while I as immersed within the pages.

Hannah Dexter aka Dex, and Lacey both live on the fringes of the high school social scene. Did I say fringes... what I meant was that they don't fit in for vastly different reasons. Hannah, because she harbors a lot of feelings of injustice and just doesn't have the right look, and Lacey because she is the new girl in a small town, who brings big city Grunge attire and an extreme obsession with Kurt Cobain (the book is set in the early 90s). Lacey takes Hannah and gives her new confidence as she becomes Dex, the trusty sidekick. A hatred of the ultimate mean girl Nikki bonds them together in a girlhood crush on life and hating anything the "plebs" may deign to do or like.

I can honestly say that on the outside look in, that EVERY one of these characters is despicable in some way. Probably Lacey's mom the most for me, with the small glances we get into her selfish thoughts towards motherhood that made me want to beat the crap out of her. Nikki was a CLOSE CLOSE second, especially with the "sleepover" incident.

There is a lot of harsh realities of small town, overly religion, teenage life on these pages. A lot of topics that parents don't ever want to think about happening to their child or have their child out doing. Unfortunately, we can all hide under the blanket of suburbanite life or we can face the fact that things like this will happen to some kids. I wanted to smother my child and home-school him after reading this.

**Sensitive topics such as drug use, underage drinking, "satanic" rituals, rape, emotional abuse and death do occur in this book so be prepared.

With all of the horrors found within, this is also a book that feels so real it is scary. Such as the author either personally experienced these horrors from some point or was privy to someone who did. The book is written that fantastically that to give it anything less would be a travesty... 5 stars for me.

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Assassin's Blade

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Integral back story into the humanization of the legend that is Celaena Sardothien. These 5 novellas delve into some of the adventures before the Throne of Glass Book 1 and before Endovian mines.
I loved being able to get to know Sam on a more intimate novel. I previously read Books 1 and 2, and it helped explain SO much of the thoughts and feelings that Celaena has had and dealt with. If you didn't hate Arobynn before with slight references you will be hard pressed not to after this and yelling at Celaena to connect the dots!

My 2 favorites were 0.3 The Silent Assassins and 0.4 the Underworld. If you are into the Throne of Glass or thinking about getting started, I HIGHLY recommend this book. the order of the books DO matter and should be read in their designated order for maximum enjoyment. as they build upon and reference points within other stories at time. You will have an even more intense love for Celaena and the intricate world that Sarah J. Maas has so brilliantly created. 5 stars as a combined novella book for me.

My reviews of each individual short stories:

by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord is a delightful short story that occurs before we first encounter Celaena in Throne of Glass. It gives the reader a bit of a backstory for her when she worked in the Assassin's guild and let's us get to know the character of Sam. It was a nice short story and my main complaint is that it ended too quickly. I loved the way that we got to see how Celaena's character shows through even at the height of her cockiness. 4 stars

by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Assasin and the Healer was another great gem to this collection.  It was a fairly short installment that showed the readers a possible character that could pop up later in the series with the Healer.  (I have not read past Crown of Midnight as of yet).  It was a great woman empowering and having Celaena teach self defense.  Very short but sweet.  4 Stars


The Assassin and the Desert really stood out to me after reading the first two novellas.  My favorite one so far!  The trials and determination that come through on Celaena were inspiring.  It was nice to see a softer side of her with Ansel and to get to know more about the beautiful horses.  I loved the Silent Assassins and the constant comparison with her own guild.  In another life Celaena would have easily led a very happy life among them.  The fighting movements were spectacularly written. 5 stars!


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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tears, there will be tears, hope, nail biting, all of these things. For this is a book beautifully written by the talented Ruta Sepetys. She follows the journey of 4 main characters in the winter of 1945, Joanna, Emmilia, Florian, and Alfred... Refugees are traveling in the midst of WWII to avoid a Soviet advance.

I experienced this book through audio book. I am not a fan of audio book, but I don't think this book could have been more beautifully told than with the 4 amazing voices that took on the souls of these main characters and brought them to life with immense skill. So in praising this book I must also praise the readers: Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, and Michael Crouch.

This subject matter is heavy but the story is worth knowing and experiencing. Experience the war through the eyes of Teens. 5++ Stars.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Hell On Heels

Hell On Heels Hell On Heels by J.A. Coffey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book 3 in the Southern Seduction Series and finalizes out the trilogy of the main 6 characters of Coffey's story and I must say that she has "nailed" it again... Slight pun intended.

Jess & Matteo will forever be my reigning couple, but the passion between Stan and Caroline was steaming up my kindle... Although I loved the men in the other books, I felt an affinity to Stan the most. Having learned to harbor somewhat of feelings of disgust for the pain he caused Jess and his rumored affairs, Coffey did an amazing job of humanizing him.

Stan seemed the most complex of all of the men and his character was well developed and his internal battle of emotions came across the page beautifully. Caroline is second only to Jess for me, and I loved her fiery personality. This book had more humor than the others and I enjoyed the ride immensely.

Another entertaining and delightful read from the Southern Seduction series, I hope to revisit these characters again in the future. Don't miss out on an easy 5 star read.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm truly not even sure what to say about this book. Never before have I read ANYTHING like this, and in a way I hope I never do again. But do not take that as my regret at having read it in the first place. The amount of work that went into the creation of this book was immense.

I found myself constantly blurring the lines of fiction/non-fiction, going back to read what it was classified as and not sure if it was real or imagines.

This book is so many things: Crazy, witty, horrific, imaginative, intellectual, a mash of so many things, I really don't even know what to classify it as.

It touches upon the paranormal, the mythological, architecture, math, science, spirituality, abuse in all forms, good and bad passions, the imagination and what can come from it and a house that attunes to all who enter to find the darkness which knows no light.

There are 3 stories and more within this tome. The story of Navidson's Documentary and how it was made and those involved. Zapano, a blind man who worked up until his death to compile this story of the completion of Navidson, and then the unlikely Johnny Truant whose footnotes cause loads if entertainment and unrelated adventures during his own compilation of the works of those before him.

This is one of those books that could never be recreated and should be read once for the sheer curiosity of it, but it's not one you are likely to want to keep close to you in life, for it must travel on to others, and be shared as a contemplative genius of being put together. Those prone to fright from a simple horror/psychological thriller may want to shy away from this one... or let their curiosity get the better of them. 5 stars for originality alone

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