Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holiday Thursday Review: Christmas Bouquet

Last Christmas Caitlyn, caught a wedding bouquet. Getting married in the near future isn't in her plans, but plans often change. When Caitlyn realizes she's pregnant, she's not exactly thrilled.

Noah wants to marry her, but Caitlyn's dragging her feet. Marriage and a baby spell the end of her dream of going back to Africa and helping as a doctor there.

With hectic schedules and added pressure of trying to figure out her future, Caitlyn isn't ready to make major life choices.  Will she be able to have a family and make her dreams come true?
My Thoughts:  I love the O'Brien family but they're a bunch of meddlers when they don't get their own way. They add humor to the story. I love the family meals and seeing favorite characters again. I love seeing Caitlyn and her twin grown up. I hope her twin gets her own story next. I admired Caitlyn for wanting to help others and return to Africa, but the story didn't seem like it had enough conflict. While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't my favorite in the series. The cover and the title are a little deceiving as the book takes place during the entire year, although it starts and ends at Christmas. I wish there were more details of the season. Still, it was a fun fast entertaining read.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween

This week's topic is Top Ten Books/Movies To Read Or Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit OR Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween. Now, I don't like to be scared, so I don't watch horror movies or read scary books. I'm so much of a wimp that I can't read cozy mysteries after dark if I'm alone in the house...
Halloween Costumes: 
Katniss (Before the movie and everyone thought I was Robin Hood)

A Gallagher Girl

One day: I'd love to be Hermoine and Kat from Heist Society 

  Bonus: My Potterhead Dog

Other things that get me in the mood for Halloween

Anything pumpkin sweets

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story
Wait til Helen Comes - LOVED this book as a kid

Plus RL Stine and Christopher Pike 
The Prom QueenSpellbound

And this movie:
Hocus Pocus

Tween Tuesday Review: Great Greene Heist

Jackson Greene is out of the con game after the last one list him a good friend and his crush.  The same girl's running for class president and the worst guy in school announces he's running against her.

Jackson knows that he can't let Keith win. Even though Gabby isn't talking to him; he has a plan.  It's ambitious and most likely it will never work. But if you're going down, it might as well be in flames.
My Thoughts: I read this book ages ago and loved it.
1. I'm a sucker for heists (books/movies)
2. All the plans (I never saw them coming)
3. Middle School  = horrible times
4. Entitlement kids got what they deserved
5. Lots of misunderstandings from the previous heist (added drama)
6. Best intentions
7. Choosing Sides
8. School Clubs (I wish I went to a school where the clubs had access to that kind of resources)
9. Power
10. Understanding people (back to the plans upon plans)

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library

Monday, October 27, 2014

An end to a trilogy Mortal Heart

* 3rd companion book in the Gave Mercy Trilogy *
Annith watched her two friends and sisters go off on missions while she patiently awaits her turn. Annith's now tired of waiting and wondering when her turn will arrive. When another sister leaves the covenant, who isn't trained as much as herself, Annith's had enough.

She's not an obedient person - someone who can be molded into the perfect person. Her determination won't let this matter lie. Upon learning her fate in the covenant, she strikes out on her own hoping to expose the truth her home and to finally learn some answers.  Does Annith find what she's been seeking all these years?
My Thoughts: I loved this trilogy. It's the perfect blend of historical fiction with romance, friendship, politics, and religion. I can't praise these books enough. For the past three years, they have been in my top picks for the year. Given I read more than 300 books a year, that's huge. Plus all three books are fantastic and each build upon the previous book. I hand these book out whenever I can at the library. I'm sorry to see this trilogy end!

Cover Thoughts Perfect
Source: BEA 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Adult Review: Matter of Grave Concern

Abigail doesn't want her father's school - Aldersgate School of Medicine to close because they have no understanding of anatomy. She takes matters into her own hands. Abigail sets up a meeting with a group of grave robbers to secure a body. She's done it before, but this time it goes terrible wrong.

Max's working with Jack Hurstill - digging up bodies and selling them, but he has a secret. He's not about to let anyone ruin his plan, least of all a young girl.  When he helps Jack double cross Abigail, he think he's doing the girl a favor. Of course it backfires on him. Now Max must keep her same from Jack as all costs; he's not having another death on his hands.
My Thoughts: A great historical fiction novel - perfect for the fall.  I liked Abigail - she was sassy, feisty, and determined. She's willing to get her hands dirty for the people she loves. Her quick thinking gets her out of trouble often. I love how she wants to be a surgeon, even though her own father isn't sure this is the best course for her.  I liked Max - he's protective and gentle, but he can be scary when he wants to be.  He's a great flawed hero. It's a fascinating look at history and societal norms that isn't often talked about in books or in history.  

Cover Thoughts: Nice
Source: Sent for Review

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Inherit the Word

* Book 2 in the Cookbook Nook series
The Cookbook Nook will be hosting the annual Grill Fest - a local cooking competition. Natalie's been the winner the past 8 years and she's looking for her 9th win this year.

During the first round of the competition, someone pulls the fire alarm in the building. Everyone evacuates the shop. When they return to the competition, it's clear that Natalie's missing. They find her body in the alleyway next to the store.

Jenna becomes involved in looking for clues when a close family friend becomes the prime suspect after fighting a day eariler with the deceased. Soon, Jenna's back to asking questions and trying to piece together the mystery of that day.
My Thoughts: Another winner in this series! I loved the cooking competition - so perfect given all the similar shows on TV. The grilled cheese combinations (among other treats) made my mouth water. i like that she's taking cooking lessons from her friends.  I loved the conversations about the long cookbook titles. I loved the talk of cozy mysteries, especially noticing the ones that I've read myself. I felt horrible for Jenna and dealing with her personal life. For the record, I thought something else happened entirely when I read that letter. Still I wasn't expecting that, I sympathized with Jenna. I'm glad she had the support of her friends and family plus that cute kitten of hers to keep her mind occupied.

Cover Thoughts: Fantastic
Source: My Library 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Side Effects

Whitney's mom died and five months later, her dad disappears. Her life's turned upside down. Her oldest brother returns home from med school to pick up the pieces.

Everyone starts behaving differently. Whitney needs medication to help, but they give her hallucinations (often in the form of musical numbers).  Lexi (her sister) finds solace in guys and parties. Jason (her twin) gives up baseball. Sam just tries to hold on.

When the family finds out their home's in jeopardy, they make a last ditch effort to find their dad - together. 
My Thoughts: I love Jen Calonita's books. It's a good read that reminds me of the TV show Party of Five sweet and full of drama. Everyone in the family deals with the loss of their mother and then their father in different ways - not all of them good ways, but all of them are realistic. I like how they bicker and fight like family, but also how they have each other's back. Even though Side Effects mentions romance, bullies, sports, and friendship drama, it's mostly about family.

Cover Thoughts: Ok
Source: Sent for Review