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Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Girl of Nightmares by: Kendare Blake (Anna #2)

Girl of Nightmares, the acclaimed sequel to Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor. ”

4 stars

This is the 2nd book in the Anna duology, the  first being Anna Dressed in Blood. I enjoyed this book almost as much as I did the first book. It was a bit slower in pace, but still a lot of fun. With the exception of Caramel, I really liked most of the characters in this story. This book didn’t have quite the same Supernatural (the tv show) feel to it as the first book, but it does have some really dark sides to it, and yet I still wanted to like Anna in spite of it all.

I was pleased with how the story wrapped up and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by Kendare Blake.

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The Beast is an Animal by: Peternelle Van Arsdale

Alys was seven the first time she saw the soul eaters. Twin sisters, they radiated an energy that excited Alys. Through them she felt the wildness of the forest, and The Beast within it. Too late, she learned of their power to destroy.

By the time she is fifteen, Alys knows too much about both the lure and the danger of the soul eaters. She lives in a world of adults who are terrified of their power, and who cower behind high walls and grim rules. Fear of the soul eaters—and of The Beast—rules their lives. Even more, they fear the ways in which The Beast may lurk among them—and within a girl like Alys.

For Alys has a connection to the soul eaters, and The Beast. And she hides a truth about herself that she can reveal to no one, for fear she will be called a witch. As the threat posed by the soul eaters grows, Alys must undertake a journey through the wild danger of the fforest. But the greatest danger is not outside her. Alys’s secret about who—and what—she is terrifies her most of all. And in order to save her world, she must also risk losing herself.”

3.5 stars (Almost got 4 stars, but faltered at the end.)

I was really excited when I found out that my local library not only had this book, but that it was in stock and available for checkout without having to sign up on a wait list.

I absolutely adore the cover and it was a big reason that I wanted to read this book. I really didn’t know what to expect beyond the Old Byd Nursery Rhyme on the back of the book, which drew me in and pushed this book to the top of my TBR list.

The book moves along at a slow but steady pace, which I was ok with. It had the feel of an old fairy tale, dark and creepy. At times it even reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, which I really enjoy. Unfortunately once the romantic interest was introduced to the story it lost a bit of its creep factor. The story was still good, it just developed a different feel. I also felt like the end of the book was a wee-bit of a let down. It just didn’t have the bang that I was hoping for based on the creepy way the book started.

On a positive note, this book is a stand alone. It’s gotten harder and harder to find stand alone books now-a-days, so I was happy when this book had an actual ending and not a cliff hanger. This is Peternelle Van Arsdale’s first book and I did enjoy it enough that I will be keeping an eye out for her next book so I can give it a read.

 

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Sara’s Game by: Ernie Lindsey (Sara Winthrop #1)

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Two years ago, Sara’s husband left for the gym one morning…and never came back. His car was found. He wasn’t. Unbelievably, the police report said, “No foul play suspected.” There were a few unreliable sightings over the following months, but little else.

Now, on the last day before summer break, her three children have gone missing from their schools, all at the same time.

And the note under her windshield wiper asks one simple question: Are you ready to play the game? ”

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4 Stars

What a ride. This book starts off on the day that Sara’s children are abducted. There’s no messing around with a lot of back-story before you get to the action. This was a fast paced story that kept me up reading late into the night. I will definitely be reading more by this author.

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Unlikely Substitute by: Leah Atwood (Mail-Order Husbands #1)

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“Once widowed, once duped Anne Marie Meadows has no desire to be married, but she is down to her last option. In order to save her farm, she sends for a mail-order husband.

U.S. Marshal Jude Malstrom is a loner dedicated to his work, but when a dying man asks him to deliver a letter, he reluctantly carries out the task.

When nature unleashes her fury, Jude and Anne Marie find themselves in each other’s company for longer than they wish. Can they see beyond obligation and find an unlikely love?”

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3 stars

At only 55 pages long this novella was a really quick read. It was a clean, fun and entertaining story.  I enjoyed it enough that I would definitely be willing to read more by this author.

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A Little Something Different by: Sandy Hall

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Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is a little aloof, Gabe is shy, and it looks like they are never going to work things out.
But something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at the local Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV series. The bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes Lea and Gabe were meant to be together.
Fall in love with falling in love in this irresistibly romantic, completely original novel!

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2 stars (maybe closer to a 1.5 star book for me)

**small spoilers**

When I first heard about this book I was really excited. I thought that seeing this couple’s romance unfold through the eyes of those around them, would be fun. I was even excited that one of the POV’s was that of a squirrel. Sadly this book didn’t turn out to be quite what I was hoping for. I was a bit put off by the college writing professor that became so obsessed with her “project couple” and the speed at which their relationship was or wasn’t progressing that she became emotionally distraught. And the bus driver that was so worried about listening in on the conversation that the couple was having that he sat through multiple green lights. Then you have the POV of the local park bench that was only worried about the perfict butt setting on it. It wasn’t long before I started skimming the book in an attempt to see if it got any better, but when I could literally read the first sentience in each paragraph for multiple pages and not miss anything important to the story line, I simply finished the book because I knew it wouldn’t take me that long and I felt I owed it to the author if I was going to review the book. I really don’t like to give bad reviews. I know authors work hard on their books and I know not every person is going to love every book. Unfortunately this book just didn’t do it for me.

 

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Death’s Acre by: Bill Bass & Jon Jefferson

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Nowhere is there another lab like Dr. Bill Bass’s: On a hillside in Tennessee, human bodies decompose in the open air, aided by insects, bacteria and birds, unhindered by coffins or mausoleums. At the “Body Farm,” nature takes its course, with corpses buried in shallow graves, submerged in water, concealed beneath slabs of concrete, locked in trunks of cars. As stand-ins for murder victims, they serve the needs of science — and the cause of justice. For thirty years, Dr. Bass’s research has revolutionized the field of forensic science, particularly by pinpointing “time since death” in murder cases. In this riveting audio book, he investigates real cases and leads listeners on an unprecedented journey behind the locked gates of the Body Farm. A master scientist and an engaging storyteller, Bass shares his most intriguing work: his revisit of the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder, fifty years after the fact; the mystery of a headless corpse whose identity astonished the police; the telltale bugs that finally sent a murderous grandfather to death row; and many more.

Forensic science and murder investigations are among the most fascinating topics of our time. Dominating television and print media the subjects could not be hotter. As one of the world’s leading forensic anthropologists, Dr. Bill Bass is the premier guide to this unusual realm.”

Audio book cover:

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3 stars

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction books, but this one sounded really interesting so I gave it a shot. I was having a hard time making progress with the book, not because it was boring, but because for me reading usually means getting out of the real world and into a make believe world. With this book it was all about the real world. I finally decided to give the audio book a shot so I could still do something I found relaxing while completing a sometimes depressing story about the evil things that can happen in life and the people that try to solve those cases.  Once I switched to audio book I was able to complete the book very quickly. I found it very interesting to see just how the Body Farm came to be and all the good that has come from it.

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The Legend of Holly Claus by: Brittney Ryan

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Santa Claus’s daughter, Holly, comes to Earth seeking an end to the curse cast upon her and the Land of the Immortals by an evil wizard, whose own punishment will end only if Holly willingly gives him her pure heart.

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3 stars

According to Goodreads everyone seems to file this book under Fantasy, but I got a much stronger Fairy Tale feeling while reading it. The basic story line is…Princess baby is born, a curse is placed on the kingdom, princess must grow up and save her kingdom. Throw in a little unexpected romance and you have the complete Fairy Tale package. That being said, I really did enjoy this book. Even though Holly is the daughter of Santa Claus and Christmas is mentioned many times in the book, it didn’t really feel like a Christmas story to me. The Fantasy aspects of the book made it more of a fun winter read than just a holiday read. Laurel Long did an amazing job on the illustrations and they really added to the overall enjoyment of this book.

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