25 Following

Little Miss Bookmark

Just a blog about books ... the good, the bad and the very ugly.


I'm not ashamed to say that I totally judge a book by it's cover.

Currently reading

The Mark of the Dragonfly
Jaleigh Johnson
Lori Adams
One Tiny Lie
K.A. Tucker
The Book Thief
Markus Zusak

Fire & Flood

Fire & Flood - Victoria Scott
Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

Usually, after I finish a book and it comes time to write up the review, I have a pretty clear idea of what I'll be saying about the book. I'll have looked through my notes and formulated what I see as being the best (and most fair) review for me to share. This time ... I'm having a hard time really grasping what I want points I want to hit on and what views to express. Nothing to say? It's not that ... it's never THAT with me, I always have something to say ... I think that it's just taking a while to fully process this book.

If there is anything that you take away from this review, it needs to be this ... this book is absolutely amazing. It is THE best YA book that I have ever read. And you may want to sit down for this ... it's better than my favorite book, Divergent (GASP). I know. I. Know. Dude, I thought that the sun and moon set on Divergent. Well, Divergent has been bumped. And it would take a lot for me to say that. This book had me from the first two sentences. Can you imagine being hooked on a book, falling in love with a character, loving an author and knowing that this book is going to be amazing from the first two sentences?!? It happened. The heroine of the novel, Tella, is just ... captivating. She's sassy and cynical and passive aggressive and funny. She masks her sadness and uncomfortable situations with smart ass remarks. LOVE her smart-ass-ed-ness (yes, it's totally a word). It's nothing short of refreshing. And yes ... part of that could be because Tella seems like me. Reading her dialogue and thoughts was almost like taking a peek inside my head ... it was weird.

Gosh, I don't know where to go next ... the landscape that Tella is thrust into is quite amazing. It's written in a way that it almost becomes tangible. You feel like you are right there next to Tella, trudging through the jungle. It was like this throughout the entire book. And it flowed into the characters as well ... by this I mean that the characters were so realistic that they seemed like someone you know. Each of the characters was so thought out and so ... complete. And the best part is that right when you think that you know these characters like you know yourself, something shifts and you find out that they aren't who you thought that they were. Awe. Some.

Haha ... I write tons and tons of notes when I read a book ... things that I need to remember, quotes I love, that kind of thing. Well, I wrote this one note and I just have to share it. I was almost done with the book, it was a little after midnight and apparently, I was a bit loopy. This is what I wrote:

Just when you think that you know what is going on, the author
twirls you around, smacks your ass and then laughs at you.

And that really sums up the book. This is the first book that I've read by Victoria Scott but it will not be the last. There were tons of plot twists that really took me by surprise. Did I pick out a few of them? Yes. Okay, well ... I actually only figured out one ahead of time. The rest were TOTAL surprises. That kind of thing doesn't happen to me very often these days. It may be because I've read so many books or because after having our two boys, nothing really surprises me anymore. And that's pretty sad, I like being surprised with some twist in a story and this book was the perfect example of twisty-turneys (also, totally a word). There is only one thing that I regret about this book and it's that it's not out yet. Which means that #2 won't be out for a very long time and THAT is a huge downer.

I want to say so much more but I don't want to ruin the surprises. But you need to go read this book because it's going to be wildly popular pretty quickly. I just know it.

Ten Tiny Breaths

Ten Tiny Breaths - K.A. Tucker Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

Even as I type this, I'm deciding what rating I will give this book. I can't even remember how many times I've rewritten this review ... twenty or thirty times? ... maybe more. My feelings are just so conflicted. Man. First of all, I have so many books piled up to read that by looking at them, I don't know what they are all about. When that one lucky book gets chosen for reading, I don't read the blurb on the back of the book. If I thought it was good enough to read before, reading the back of the book before I dive in isn't going to change anything ... so why spoil any surprises?!?

I really didn't have any clue as to what was going to be within the pages of this one. It doesn't help that from the first page, you're thrown into Kacey and Livie's lives like you've been there the whole time. I was confused at first, a confusion that won't happen if you're smarter than me and read the back of the book. That beginning confusion lasted only a few short pages but then a real and gritty confusion lasts for a while but it's not for the book ... it's for the characters. K.A. Tucker really took me for a ride. I became totally immersed in the characters. Anytime the story was focused on Kacey, I WAS Kacey and the same goes with Livie and all of the other characters. It was really the weirdest damn thing that I've ever encountered while reading. I was just invested so fast that it was confusing and quite startling, to be honest.

This novel is one of those that really pulls you down with it. Now don't take that in a bad way. Authors want you to feel. I think they all strive for you to become one with their book like they have. They want you to be tugged with the ebb and flow of emotions and/or actions within the walls of the world that they have created. And I totally did ... I was feeling depressed when the characters were depressed. I was happy when they were and I was totally prepared to hold this one dude down when Kacey wanted to light his junk on fire. I told you, I was invested.

The beginning of the story, as heartbreaking as it was, was actually a lot easier for me to read than the last 1/5 of the book. Dude, that last quarter damn near broke me down and I'm not a crier!! It was so hard to feel a wonderfully written character break down ... to watch them get to the worst possible version of themselves and then just become a shell of a person. I held my breath for like 40 pages, just wondering if this character would piece herself back together. It was NOT what I was expecting when I picked up a New Adult novel. Not at all.

But I'm glad that I did. Tucker will definitely be on my list for authors that I keep up with and possibly Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads stalk. This book is an absolute must read. You have to read it. Put down what you're reading now (unless it's Divergent or The Testing - in which case read that quickly and THEN immediately put it down) and pick this book up. You won't be disappointed. Wait a second, yep. Just changed the rating to a 5 star. Now, if you want to be my friend, you have to read it.

The Twisted Window (Laurel-Leaf Suspense Fiction)

The Twisted Window (Laurel-Leaf Suspense Fiction) - Lois Duncan Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

Man, was this a blast from the past! I grew up in the 80's and Lois Duncan was a regular on the library shelves. Seemed like every where you looked, there was a new Lois Duncan mystery novel just waiting to be checked out.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did when I was younger. The first time I read it, it opened my eyes to what reading could be. It could be suspenseful, mysterious, surprising and you could fall in love with characters ... you could bond with them. But as an adult, the book just fell short for me. I didn't feel that same connection with the main character that I did all those many, many, MANY years ago. Maybe I'm just jaded now from the hundreds ... dare I say more like close to 1,000 or over?!? ... of books that I have read since first picking up The Twisted Window. Either way, I just couldn't connect this time.

It's a well written book, no huge grammatical errors or lulls in the story. Everything ran smoothly, it just was a bit boring to me. That's it ... no shock and awe. I wanted the shock and awe. I wanted to be taken by surprise or gasp in horror as I flipped the pages. Now, before you say it's because I remembered the book, I didn't. Heck, I didn't remember anything about this book but that I blew through 3 copies when I was younger.

Not much else to say ... the ending was a bit ... anticlimactic for me. It felt like things were just coming to a head and then fizzled out for me. Probably would be a good read for the young kids - around 11 or 12 ... they probably wouldn't be able to predict what was going to happen next and get a little more out of the book than I did.

To Seduce A Scoundrel (Secrets & Scandals #3)

To Seduce A Scoundrel (Secrets & Scandals #3) - Darcy Burke Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

I'm a little ashamed to say how long I stayed up finishing this one last night. I went to bed and I had about half of the book left and before I knew it, it was super late and I realized that I would only get a couple of hours sleep before I had to get our boys out of bed for school. Let's just say that I'm definitely dragging ass this morning. After I finish writing this bad boy, I'm heading to bed.

Okay, okay, okay ... sooo ... historical romance. LOVE this genre. I love how they talk, the dresses, the balls, the dance cards ... I just adore everything about these books. I've never read a Burke book but this will not be the last. Ha ha ... Burke book ... that reminds me of that Vine ... the one where the dude says, "Don't drop that durka durk, heeeeeyyy". You could always change it to "Don't drop that Burke book, heeeeeyyy".

Anyway ... moving on ... this book was filled with more drama and intrigue than most historical romances. It was really a nice change! Most of the time, the author will focus on the horizontal mambo and while that is still in To Seduce a Scoundrel, it really wasn't the heart of the book. I mean come on, what would a historical romance be without all of the bedroom action?!?

Anyhow, you could really tell that Burke knows these characters. All of her characters have this full and amazing back-stories that add a lot of depth to the novel. It really seemed like I had read a few books in the series - I was that acquainted with the characters. There wasn't really any fluff in this one either ... anything that is written on the page is important to the heart of the story. And man ... the bad guys were skeevy as hell! They really gave me the creeps ... amazing writing job.

I really don't have anything else to say about the book. I know ... shocking, right? Usually, I pick a book apart and just demolish anything I may have liked about it but not this time. Good read, super entertaining, it made me stay up all night and I'll definitely be picking up another book by this author and it will be sometime soon.


Deeper - Blue Ashcroft Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

Man, oh man. Whew. I don't really know where to start. First, I do hate giving these types of reviews. I don't enjoy it at all. But I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and that's what you're going to get.

For me, this book was just all over the place. I never really got attached to the characters. This is going to sound crazy ... it was like when I was a kid, my dad was a gigantic Star Trek fan. He had all of these collectible toys and I never understood why I couldn't rip those bad boys out of their packaging and play with them. That's what the characters in this book were like for me. I just wanted to get to know them better but they were all locked away in a closet like a dirty little secret.

Let's see ... the teenage vernacular was a little unrealistic for me in this novel as well. Not that there aren't teenagers who talk about the low visibility in the water ... I'm sure that there are but it wasn't just a once in a while thing, it was all the time with these weirdly academic phrases and words. It felt really forced and not like actual phrasing that anyone would use. It was just another contributing factor in not being able to grasp these characters.

The two main characters, Rain and Knight, both had traumatic experiences in their past. Instead of making me sympathetic to their situations or endearing them to me, the stuff in their past just kinda ticked me off. Especially when you find out what is in Rain's past. I literally rolled my eyes when I found out why she was celibate. And this is a tiny spoiler, so you need to skip to the next paragraph immediately unless you want to know about the "boyfriend". Okay ... the term boyfriend must mean something different to me than it does to the author because the blurb on the back of the book states that Rain's boyfriend dies ... yet when you find out what happened to him, it turns out that they weren't really dating! Rain's ... dude ... made one comment about how he liked her before his death and now all of the sudden they're dating ... and she's totally devoted to a guy who flirted with her? I'm sorry but throwing yourself onto the proverbial sword for a dude that you basically just started talking to? Becoming a hermit/outcast/loner for a guy you barely knew? Le sigh.

After I read that part of the book, I basically checked out. Come on. Talk about dramatics. There were other things that I didn't really like in Deeper but why rehash all of that at this point. I won't lie to you. I probably won't read another book by this author. I'm kinda done.

Enticing the Earl

Enticing the Earl - Christie Kelley Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

It's been a while since I have read a historical romance. Man, they are one of my favorite genres. Here's the deal, was it an earth shattering, life changing book? No. But it was really good. I will definitely pick up another book by Kelley.

I'm one of those people that LOVES a flawed character. The more messed up, the better. I think I just like to see how people can overcome their inner demons. I love an underdog. I think someone being at the lowest of the low will fight harder in life. They're hungry. They just want it more. The flawed character in this novel is Simon Blakesworth, the hero of the story. Was he flawed? Yes. Was it huge? No. I think that the author could have taken it a few steps further. I would have loved to see her really rake him over the coals. It was just so close to being that, it almost felt like Kelley wanted to make Simon Blakesworth more tortured but then she pulled back. Here's my thoughts on writing a flawed character and this is coming from someone who doesn't write ... so I more than likely don't have any clue as to what I'm talking about but I am a reader and I know what I like. And you get to hear that! Lucky you!

Brace yourselves ... this explanation and description is going to be pretty rocky. Okay ... I think that creating a character is like making a wreath (hey, I'm a crafty lady and this is what came to mind) ... you add so much crap to a wreath that you look at it and think, "Dear, Lord. That is ugly as hell." and then you add more to it. Then lo and behold, it's perfect! So take the character to the point where they are repulsive and you can barely stand them ... then just one more step further is the perfectly flawed character that you get to spend 300-some pages fixing. I think that Simon Blakesworth was almost a perfect hero. Sooo close.

Now, Mia ... our heroine ... was pretty awesome. I liked how she was a wise woman (a medicine lady, healer, nurse). I think that brought a lot of tenderness to her but on the same note, she wasn't overly caring about people. This is another time when I think that the character Mia could have withstood a little more umph ... no ... it's not a word ... but it is a sound so it must count as a word.

The story was great, lots of suspense and intrigue ... I really liked that part of the story. Some twists in there that were pretty unexpected. I enjoyed how some of the surprises just crept up on you. I'll be picking up another book by this author, definitely.

OH ... almost forgot ... this is the second book in a series. While it's not a BIG deal, I did find it a bit of a deal when I didn't know what was going on in some sections ... it wasn't that much of the book but I did get a little confused a couple of times.

Betrayals of the Heart

Betrayals of the Heart - Melissa Ohnoutka Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

This one started out really strong for me. The author just throws you into the middle of Makayla's story and while some might find that confusing, I LOVE IT when author's start off their adventure that way. Right off the bat, you hate Makayla's husband. He seems to be a sadistic bastard that everyone's nightmares revolve around. This Steven character is the monster under your bed, the bad guy in the closet. As scary as it is, I'm sure there is more than one actual person like this in the world. Man. He just gave me the creeps.
Ohnoutka can sure write a good bad guy.

Once Ryan enters the story, that's when I'm officially hooked. I love his character. I like how his character develops as the story and the connection with Makayla feels genuine and heartfelt.

Now ... all of that being said ... after about halfway through the book ... I just totally lost interest. I don't know why. The ending was great, I was a bit surprised how everything came to a head and I really enjoyed how all of the events and characters finished things off but the meat of the story was a little ... meh. It really bothers me to say that because I did get really invested in what was going on between Makayla and her husband and then with Ryan. I felt almost robbed. I think that I kinda wanted the beginning part with Ryan to take more pages. A lot more. I really enjoyed the give and take between Makayla, Ryan and Michael during that time period.

Anyhow ... pretty good book till about half way ... I would definitely give this author another shot since I liked the beginning of the book so much.

The Testing

The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

A dear friend recommended this book to me. Now, Lauren and I have swapped book recommendations back and forth for a while and she's never steered me wrong. Well, the Sookie Stackhouse debacle would have been a disaster if those damn books weren't so addictive. So when she said that I had to read The Testing, I knew that it would be awesome. And then I went to go purchase it on Amazon. Holy, Lord. It was $10! I know that makes me sound cheap ... the authors work so hard and should be paid accordingly but I haven't paid that much for a book since pre-e-book times. And that was a long time ago. But I bit the bullet and purchased the book. We may have to live in a van down by the river, but I have the damn book.

Dude. Best decision I've made in a long time.

When I review a book, I take notes like crazy. If it's on my Kindle, there are tons of highlights and notes everywhere and same goes with an actual book but it's post-its. I keep track of great passages or kick ass quotes and don't forget the critiques that I may have. But while reading The Testing, I only had one and I'll get to that later but the point is that I didn't have time to make notes. I had to force myself to slow down in order to enjoy this book. My mind really wanted to skim page after page just so that I could see how it ended.

The only note that I had about this book was "Hunger Games meets Divergent meets I Am Legend". And thinking back, I don't know for sure that this combo is correct. It's similar to Hunger Games because it involves our youth and the shaping of a new nation while crippling our country at the same time. And it's like Divergent because of the dystopian landscape ... can you imagine a war and weather ravaged earth? Well, you could if you read this book because the author described it perfectly. And lastly it's like the Will Smith movie, I Am Legend because ... well ... you'll have to find out that one on your own. As much as I want to tell you, you really need to read it for yourself! But I will tell you the similarities are not because of those creepy creatures in the movie ... no creepy creatures in this.

And that's it. That's all I have for you. I won't go on a long diatribe about the character development or descriptions. I don't have things that rubbed me the wrong way. And I don't have any weirdo descriptions for the book that I usually like using. The book is awesome. I actually read this about a month ago and I was waiting for those final feelings to set in about the book before I reviewed it ... but that never happened. I read The Testing then immediately read the next book in the series and I feel like I have one foot hanging off of a cliff and I don't know whether to take that step forward or to back up. I'm just hanging. I'm assuming that it will be that way until the third and final installment comes out this year.

I did love this book ... dare I say ... better than Divergent?!? I don't know. Some days I think that I liked it more than The Hunger Games and some days I don't ... same goes with Divergent. While they are so similar, they are vastly different. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games and Divergent, you'll enjoy this series. Hell, I think that just about everyone will enjoy this series. Even if it is $10 a book. It's worth it. I promise.

Introductions (The Academy) (Volume 1)

Introductions - C.L. Stone Okay, so you've read the blurb for the book. You know that it's about this girl named Sang who has this mom with this issue, her dad is never there, she's alone - almost completely isolated and then she meets these dudes.

I know, I know. You already know all of that ... I'm just trying to waste a little time before I jump into this because I really have no idea where I'm going to start or where this will end up, for that matter. I have such mixed feelings about this one and I just can't quite put my finger on why.

I'm going to try to not give anything away about the book but there are some things that I have to discuss because they really bother me and it's not like it's some secret. But at the same time, I can't really give that much away because I really ... have NO FREAKING CLUE as to what in the world is going on in this book. Hopefully I can put some of that into words today. Fingers crossed. Cross yours too ... I'll probably need it.

So right off the bat, there is this really weird child abuse going on in Sang's home. I'm talking ... WEIRD. SHIT. I had to actually put the book down because it really bothered me. That and I had to do a little checking up on the author to see if they looked and sounded like they were just bat-shit crazy because this abuse is just ... messed up. So horrible. And it seemed like a lot to take in for a young adult novel. Now that could be because I'm a mom and I just couldn't imagine that kind of thing happening to our boys, let alone by my hands or maybe it's because I want our kiddos to stay innocent and free from these types of horrors. Who knows, but there it is.

Moving on ... then the boys in the novel come into play. And there are quite a few. I mean, it started off as one dude hanging around her and then it was three and before you know it ... Holy Lord ... there are nine dudes climbing out of this hot guy clown car. Well, there wasn't really a clown car ... I'm trying to give you a visual ... these hot guys just kept coming out of no where. Now, I have no problem with that. If I were a single, high school girl and all of these amazingly built, sweet, smart, hot guys kept wanting to hang out with me ... AWESOME. But it felt like it was a bit much. Especially with the hair brushing, cuddling and clothes.

I really had no idea where the story was going to go from one chapter to the next. It had some surprisingly awesome twists and turns that I loved. But. And this is a big ol' badonkadonk: I had no clue as to what the motivation behind the story was. Why was this story being told? Why did all of this matter? I mean, the abuse mattered ... that needed to stop ... but why were the guys fawning all over her? Why is this girl so damn important?!?!?

I'll leave you to answer those questions after you've finished this one. I must admit ... I finished this book and immediately bought the second in the series. Then the third. And the fourth. I was pretty ashamed of myself ... I had absolutely no self control when it came to reading this series. I just had to have the next one. Dude, I would have sold a kid on ebay to read the next in the series. Thank goodness it didn't come to that! As it stands, I have to wait for the next book in the series because I read all of them. You know how when you eat your favorite dessert and you gobble it up so fast that you don't know where it went and you wish that you could have that first bite back again? Yeah. This book is one of those.

** http://littlemissbookmark.blogspot.com/ **


Deadline - Sandra Brown Well. This has cemented it. I now have a book crush on Sandra Brown. This is THE best book from her yet. I absolutely loved it. I have read sooo many books that I can pick out most "surprises" or twists and turns but I was totally thrown for a loop!! There were so many twisties that my head was spinning.

The depth that Dawson Scott was written with was just ... character development genius. I don't know that Brown has ever delved that deep into a character before. Now, this could be because I adored the character of Dawson Scott. But the reason I adored him was because he was almost real to me.

I also really connected with the way that Amelia's boys were written. Most of the time, the quarrels and conversations really reminded me of our two boys. It brought a smile to my face to see such insignificant characters given as much author love as the main ones.

Usually I have more stuff to pick apart but Brown has been at this for so long that she's got it down to a science. She probably writes in her sleep. Ugh. I wish I had something to pick apart so I could use one of my weird analogies that I've grown to love but alas, I've got nothing.

Great book ... pick it up if you like romantic suspense!

Find more reviews at http://littlemissbookmark.blogspot.com/

Tandem: The Many-Worlds Trilogy, Book I

Tandem - Anna Jarzab I can't begin to explain how much I wanted to love this book. I really did. I love me some dystopian/futuristic young adult stuff. But this one ... well ... it was interesting ... parallel worlds with you in it but it's not you, it's another version of you ... sometimes a better version, sometimes a worse version ... come on. That's some good shit! But it just fell flat for me.

The writing wasn't bad. The story line wasn't bad. Character development, the back story ... all okay. But that's all it was for me. Just okay. When I first saw the cover, it knocked my socks off! Yes, I judge books by their cover. You do too, so don't judge me. The cover is cool as hell and then the blurb on the back just pulled me in. I couldn't wait to get started on this one. And then it just dropped off for me. The sad thing was that I got about halfway through the book when it started to happen and then it was just a flat-liner from there on out.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad book. So if you like semi-dystopian and futuristic stuff, this might be the best thing you've ever read. A lot of people really liked it. The characters are pretty well written ... I liked the heroine of the story quite a bit. The men that are pulling her into different directions are pretty okay as well. Oh, I did like her grandfather. He had a soft spot for her just like my grandpa had for me ... so I automatically loved him. It just wasn't a BAM!!-Emeril Lagasse type of story for me.

Now, since I liked the premise of this novel so much, I might pick up the next book just to see if it hooks me. You guys should check it out too! You never know ...

** http://littlemissbookmark.blogspot.com/ **

The Goddess Test (Harlequin Teen)

The Goddess Test - Aimee Carter I've always been interested in Greek mythology. It's nothing that I've obsessed about and read everything that I can get my hands on, but I know most of the gods and goddesses so this book was pretty interesting for me. By no means to you need to have this huge amount of background info on Greek mythology in order to enjoy this book but I think that a bit of knowledge might come in handy. It will just give you a sense of a back story to The Goddess Test.

Jumping right in, this book was pretty good. I enjoyed how the author really stuck pretty true to the actual mythology and then wove her story in between those firmly established tales. Each of the characters that she created for this novel were pretty in line with how I would imagine that particular god or goddess to be in the modern day. Except for Hades. Hades is the god of the underworld, in case you didn't know. I just think someone who is in charge of world damnation would have been ... mean or have a gruff undercurrent to his character. I never really expected him to be almost timid or shy. Sure, I get that he's tortured by things in his very long past but still, something seemed off about him to me. I would think that Persephone leaving him would have made him more aggressive or dominating with his dark side but it really just turned him into a pansy in this book. I think I was waiting for him to come out of that shell and just take control or do something, I guess. I don't know. Like I said, something was off about him.

I really liked the character of Kate. Man, the author wrote a great history for Kate and her mother. I really liked the mother as well - especially the further that you get into the story. But Kate ... she started to get whiny. I haven't heard anyone else say that after they have read this, I could have just been irritated and looking for something to be wrong ... but I wrote whiny on a post-it, so if it was important enough to waste a post-it on, I figured that I would bring it up. Sounds silly but you have NO IDEA how many post-its disappear at our house. Our boys take them to write "tickets" or stick on the cats or their own faces. We blow through a lot of them. I don't take post-it usage lightly. Lol.

Anyhow, pretty good book ... there are quite a few characters, so make sure that you read this with a clear mind at first until you can get everyone straight. Worth looking into if you love Greek mythology or you're just looking for a change of pace from your other books.

Allegiant (Divergent)

Allegiant  - Veronica Roth 10/24/2013 update: First of all, I love this series. I've loved it since I read Divergent over a year ago. I gave both other books in the series five stars for how amazing they were. But in Allegiant, it really slowed down for me about 1/4 of the way through. I really reached a point where I had to push myself through. That has never happened before with Roth. Now, it could be because I was resisting what was happening in the story. It was just falling really flat for me and I was hoping that the series wouldn't go out so ... blandly. Oh, and I guess that it needs to be put out there that it is written in both Tris and Four's pov. Annoying? A little. But I can't imagine the story being written any other way. I think that it's important for us to get inside both of their heads at this point in the story and it really paid off for me in the end.

But. Veronica Roth really reestablished my love and adoration of the Divergent story. I had lost my way in the big picture of this dystopian society but she pushed it back into focus for me. Man, she is an amazing author. And to think that she started writing this while she was in school ... I see amazing things to come for this lady and I'll be the first in line for any future works.

Now, before I get too derailed on how awesome Roth is, there is this one quote that Tris says that I absolutely adore ...

"I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me."

How awesome is that?!? I'm telling you, you've got to pick this book up.

There's not much to say about character development, writing style or any of those other things ... Roth really sets up her stories beautifully and you become invested quite quickly in the outcome of the character's lives.

Anyhow ... I really can't say all that much more about the book ... there are too many things that could be given away. But I will say this ... I didn't latch onto this series because of the warm fuzzies I got while reading it. I like it because of the grittiness of the characters' feelings and the constant internal character struggle between what you should do and what you want to do. I wanted the last installment of this series to rip me to shreds and leave me just sitting there wondering what in the hell happened. Well, to say it plainly, it did. I'm still sitting here wondering how the series could be over and mulling over what took place. Now THAT, makes a great novel.


5/14/2013 Update:
Allegiant has been pre-ordered for my Nook. I don't know how long I can be politely patient ...



5/9/2013 Update:
Just saw the cover on the Today show ...


I ADORE the it!!

I absolutely CANNOT wait until this book comes out!!!

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green This isn't one of my usual reads. Usually I don't gravitate towards books that are about cancer, it's just taken too many people from me. I don't want to go through that heartache again, even if it's for a fictional character. But when this book came up on the list for my book club, I was pretty intrigued.

The book is pretty well written, the characters were well thought out and their path/destiny was an interesting journey. I thought that the naked honesty about facing and living with death was admirable. I appreciated the light humor sprinkled throughout and I also enjoyed the bittersweet moments of humor and sadness that really touched my heart.

I really liked the part where Gus was saving the world (which is what two of my friends call playing military-ish video games) and he saved some kids in the game and said "my life bought them a minute and that's not nothing". That really resonated with me - every minute is so important.

There was one character that drove me absolutely nuts. I didn't like this character at all and even though the book was based almost completely around him, I found parts of his involvement in the book to just be a waste of time. Why was the book hinged on this character? I keep thinking that if some of his interactions with Hazel had been different, it would have changed the tone of the book and it may have changed the lackluster ending for me.

I'm always in constant search for a novel that has two things: I want a flawed main character, I want them to be so messed up that I almost can't stand them because you usually get to see this amazing character transformation/growth happen during a novel. I think it's pretty damn close to magic to watch those transformations happen and a great author can make it almost seamless. The second is for a book to make me feel. I don't care what it is... love, hate, disgust, admiration... it doesn't matter, just make me feel. This book delivered the first but I thought it fell short on making me feel.

Now don't get me wrong, it was sad but it didn't break me down and I think I was waiting for that. I expected for this to have a gut-wrenching ending and when it didn't, I felt a bit let down. And that just kind of ruined ... everything for me. I think that an ending can make or break a book and this ending didn't do the book justice at all for me.

All of that being said, it's being turned into a movie and while I don't feel compelled to see it now, I probably will get it on Netflix because I have to see how all of the characters are portrayed and see if maybe I was wrong about any of them.


The Switch

The Switch - Sandra Brown Sandra Brown was very close to a 5 star rating this time! Man, she really kept me guessing on this one. Usually I get a hint of what the end result might be on a novel but not with Sandra Brown. Dang it!! I really thought that I knew who the bad guy was. Hell, I really thought that I knew what was going on. I was totally wrong.

As usual, Brown really delivers on the character development within the story, she delivers on the premise (how in the world does she come up with this stuff?!?), she delivers on the descriptions, the convos between characters, the whole plot ... just ... everything!

I really can't sing this author's praises any more than I already have on every other review that I have done for her stuff. Here's the deal ... if suspense is what you want, then Sandra Brown might be the author for you. If you want a little romance, she is one of my faves. But if you want romantic suspense, she's top notch and I really don't like any author as much. She just can't be beat!

Anyhow ... now that my weird adoration/gushing is over ... this book is great. Just when you think that the story is heading in one direction, you suddenly hit a brick wall and you get spun around just to find out that you're upside down, your favorite cat is missing and you can't find your right shoe. Basically, she lets you think that you know what in the world is going on just so that she can rip it away and give you something else to believe in ... and then she yanks that away also. I'm trying to say that it's an awesome book. Guess I could have just said it's an awesome book ... but then you couldn't have come on this crazy little journey with me.

See more reviews at http://littlemissbookmark.blogspot.com/

Note to Self

Note To Self - Peter   Ward If I was rating this book on only the last half, it would have gotten 4.5 stars, easy. The beginning was just so slow for me. I really struggled. I had one of those, UGH feelings when I picked up my Nook. I just really wasn't interested. I'm glad that I pushed through, though. The payoff at the end was completely worth it.

I don't think that there was one certain thing that made the beginning hell for me. In all probability, it was a combination of things ... it just dragged on like a nightmare family reunion. That's it! I'd equate the beginning of this novel to getting your cheeks (the ones on your face) squeezed for hours by that one old aunt that smells like mothballs and White Shoulders.

Now, that's not to say that the beginning wasn't interesting. It was. It was just boring. Once it started picking up, I became excited about the book again and blew through it.

The ideas that were brought up in the book were pretty spot on. The flat out accusation that our society is too focused on technology couldn't be more correct. I survived a childhood without all of these doodads and I mostly turned out okay and kids these days (mine included) just can't seem to live without technology. Anyway, so that was pretty interesting.

This book is a prime example of pushing through the reading fog. I've read some amazing books that got off to a rocky start. But this one is worth pushing through. It has an awesome ending, one that will stay with me for a while. Is this something that I would read again? Mmm, I don't know. But I don't plan on deleting it from my Nook anytime soon, if that means anything.