Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: Rivals in the City

 * Fourth and final book in The Agency series *
With the Agency split into two - Mary and James set up their own Agency. But an unexpected person from their past threaten their present happiness. They're forced to dissolve their partnership and their relationship - temporarily.

They must work alone, in secret, and in fear for each other's lives. Above all, this woman can not find out about their relationship. I could spell disaster for them both. Can they solve the mystery and put the past behind them in order to enjoy their future?
My Thoughts: I love this series and this book answered many questions. I love the Agency - how it defied normal and used women as agents. The blend of romance, history, and mystery make this series stand out. I love learning more about Victorian life - especially the parts that detail lives or ordinary people and not the aristocracy. 

I love Mary for her determination, her intelligence, and her resourcefulness. I love James his forward thinking, his intelligence, and his loyalty.  I like how Mary uncovered more about her family history in this book. Although I long for more Mary Quinn stories, I'm happy with the ending. 

Cover Thoughts: Gorgeous as Usual
Source: ARC for review

Overall Thoughts: I ADORE this series - a perfect blend of danger, mystery, history, and romance. I would read many more Mary Quinn books and I'm sad to have the series end. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Summer Reading: Superhero Ideas Part 3

While it's freezing here in New England, who doesn't dream of summer? Here are a few of my favorite ideas for teen programs for the summer - all on Pinterest. Go ahead and eat some yummy superhero food. 

Superman's Downfall
Captain America's Shield 
Spiderman Strawberries 
Power Rings 
Hulk Punch

Any of these look good?
Do you have other superhero food ideas?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mysterious Saturday Review: This Old Homicide

* Book 2 in the Fixer-Upper Series *
Shannon hasn't seen her next door neighbor in a few days. Uneasy, she uses her key to let herself into this house to check on him. The house is in a complete disarray. It's not long before she find Jesse's body.

At first, it looks like a heart attack killed her neighbor and her best friend's uncle. But Shannon isn't convince. Jesse would have never left his house in that shape. Could someone have tossed it?

What were they looking for? Jesse didn't have anything of value - except for that necklace he claimed to have recovered while diving. No one has seen the necklace. Or the new girlfriend he claimed to have. Everyone knows that Jesse loved telling stories - but could one of his stories have gotten him killed?
My Thoughts: I loved the second book as much as the first - with the small town charm and the characters. I really liked Jesse and was hoping to see him in many books to come, so I was saddened by his death. Although I did like how Shannon and Jane looked into this murder - how they didn't believe that he died of natural causes.

I enjoyed learning more about Jesse - from his tall tales to reality. I like how Shannon tried to include the police this time along with her mystery writer friend. I like how the two men play off each other - both as experts in the mystery world but also as romantic interests. 

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library

Overall Thoughts: Another fantastic edition to this series - if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for? It's got small town charm, romantic potential, friendships, and danger! I'm a big fan.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Guest Post with CORI MCCARTHY

Welcome Cori!

Let's talk books!  Name your top 5 favorite YA Novels:

5. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. Now I know what you’re thinking: That’s not YA! But poetry has no age-specific market. When I was in high school, I kept a secret copy of Leaves of Grass in my leather Bible case when I had to go to church. I feel as though that anecdote says just about everything you need to know about me J

4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore. This book! AH! So, I absolutely love that Katsa is a sword-wielding survivor, but I also just think this is one of the best love stories that has been written in the last twenty years. Cashore takes her time in revealing how feelings spring up even through the rockiest of soil, and how true love has no respect for good intentions.

3. The Lumateer Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. This is technically three books (Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles, Quintana of Charyn), but they create one unbelievable story of a feudal world where love and gender roles and desperate survival are all one tangled, breathtaking, high stakes cord. I fell for every single character in these books—even the “bad guys.” Also, the titles of these books might set off high fantasy alarms, but I assure you that these stories are accessible to non-fantasy readers. Give them a try; you won’t be sorry. Promise.

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This story speaks to me. I mean, really, it whispers into my ear about how you have to be strong. You have to face down all the personal injustices of the world and make your own way. Your own stand. I needed this story when I was fourteen and newly heartbroken, and I need even more now as a thirty-one year-old. Jane Eyre proves that the world is not fair, and good people are often punished for trust and vision. But that’s not the end of it! After a good trek across the moors, you can handle anything—like Jane.

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (again!). This novel confused me for forty pages, and then it broke my heart into a million shiny pieces before placing them all back together again. If you started this story and didn’t get through the first few chapters, try again, and give in to the confusion. This book sets up a world and then turns it all upside down in the best way. It is one of the most hard-hitting coming of age stories, and Melina Marchetta is (in my humble opinion) the best YA writer currently out there.

About the Book:

Breaking Sky
Sourcebooks Fire
March 2015 ● ISBN: 9781492601418
Hardcover/$16.99 ● Ages 14+

Fly to the last drop of fuel. Fight to the last drop of blood.
Showoff. Reckless. Maverick. Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx”, isn’t one to play it safe. In the year 2048, America is locked in a cold war – and the country’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy. Chase is one of only two daredevil pilots chosen to fly an experimental “Streaker” jet. But few know the pain and loneliness of her past. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. And Chase doesn’t play well with others. But to save her country, she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

CORI MCCARTHY studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for teens at Vermont College of Fine Arts. From a military family, Cori was born on Guam and lived a little bit of everywhere before she landed in Michigan. Learn more about her books at

Praise for Breaking Sky:
“Strong characterizations, action, adventure, and emotion combine to produce a sci-fi novel that is more than just the sum of its parts.” —School Library Journal STARRED Review

“Smart, exciting, confident—and quite possibly the next Big Thing.” —Kirkus Reviews

“McCarthy deploys breath-stopping depictions of high-stakes piloting with enviable ease, and the in-your-face personal confrontations are nearly as taut.” —Publishers Weekly

Buy Links:
Great Lakes Book and Supply – Cori McCarthy’s Local Indie! Pre-order here and receive a personalized signed copy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mini Review: Ruby Circle

* Book 6 in the Bloodlines series *

Sydney and Adrian fight for their future together while fighting for ones they love. Jill's been kidnapped and they will do anything to get her back. Unfortunately, they're stuck behind the walls at Court for their own safety. That won't stop them for long...
The Good: 
Seeing Sydney kick butt on more time.
That ending made me sigh with happiness.

The Bad:
It's over and I don't think more spin-off series are coming.

Final Thoughts: Great end to the series, I'll miss these characters, but I'm glad to see where they ended up. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On My Hold List (98)

My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books on hold at the library. I usually have 20-40 items checked out at the library and another 20 items on hold. 
Princess in Training (The Princess Diaries, #6)

Princess Diaries series: I'm going to re-read all of them before the Royal Wedding (Which I'm SUPER lucky to have a copy)

Last One Home
Last One Home: I love Debbie Macomber books, I'm excited about this new stand-alone featuring sisters.

At the Drop of a Hat
At the Drop of a Hat: I love this mystery series featuring two cousins in London who own a hat shop. I can't wait to see what trouble they get into next.

My Secret Guide to Paris

My Secret Guide to Paris: a scavenger hunt across Paris

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: favorite heroines

This week's topic is favorite heroines from books. This is a list I could go on and on about - so I cut my set off after the first 10 that came to mind, but man it was hard....
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
Ismae, Sybella, and Annith 

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)
Arya Stak

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)
Holly Short

The Lonely Hearts Club (The Lonely Hearts Club, #1)
Penny Lane
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
Rose Hathaway
The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)
Princess Mia

Poison Study (Study, #1)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Hermoine Granger

A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1)
Mary Quinn

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Celaena Sardothien

Who are your favorites?