Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dream Dark


**Book 1 * Book 2**

Dream Dark is a little blip in the Caster Chronicles. After Link is bitten in Beautiful Darkness, he starts transforming. He goes to Macon to get help and to learn about his new abilities. But, he also learns that the events that happened at the end of book 2 have repercussions that can bring about the end of the world.

It's a short story, with six chapters. It took me almost no time whatsoever to finish. It's not a great little story, but I'm not really a huge fan of Link anyway.

Beautiful Darkness

** Book 1 **

Ok, first, a slight confession. I've been comparing these books to the Twilight Saga. I have a good reason though. I find a lot of parallels between the two.

This is the second book of the Caster Chronicles. Lena is struggling with her identity after the disastrous night of her sixteenth birthday. Her uncle is dead, and she blames herself. Her eyes are becoming increasingly golden, a mark of a Dark Caster. She's pushing Ethan away and hanging with a boy named John Breed. A boy who seems to be an Incubus, but with the green eyes of a Light Caster.

The parallel of this book to New Moon is that the supernatural character in the relationship separates because they think that it is unsafe for the Mortal to be around them. But, unlike Twilight, where the Mortal sits and mopes for months, Ethan goes out and does something about it.

What this results in is a quest through the secret underground Caster Tunnels. Ethan, Link, and Liv (Marian's summer intern) attempt to find Lena while Ethan tries to figure out his destiny as a Wayward, a living compass for someone in the Caster world (Lena).

There is something magical about these books when I read them. I have a hard time putting them down.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Little Town on the Prairie

**Links: Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6**

The Ingalls girls are growing up. Mary goes off to the special college for the blind, Grace is a rambunctious three year old, Carrie is older, but somehow more frail, and Laura, well, she goes through a lot of changes.

As Mary heads off to college, Laura becomes resigned to the fact that in just a short while, she will have to become a teacher to help keep Mary in college. While she isn't excited about it, she accepts it as a must happen.

Nellie Oleson, the horrid girl from their time on Plum Creek, has made a reappearance in De Smet. She is just as stuck up and superior as she had been before, although now her family is broke and she just comes off as a spoiled brat.

And Almanzo seems to be beginning a courtship with Laura. He walks her home from church during a week of revival meetings, and she seems flattered, albeit confused.

Oh to be courted in that time period. I imagine it must have been very romantic. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing. Which, I'm pretty sure, is what the next book in this series is about: the love.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beautiful Creatures


I had been seeing mixed reviews regarding this book. It seemed like people either love it, or they hate it. I am in the love it category. I mean, I blew through it in three days. It just sucked me in.

Ethan is just a normal boy. A normal, mortal boy. Then, Lena appears in his small town. A small town where new people are outsiders. She is shunned and hated by the whole town because she's different. She's not from the town, so she doesn't belong.

It doesn't help that she has magic that she doesn't have full control over.

Ethan doesn't care, he falls for her anyway. But she's counting down to her sixteenth birthday, the day when Lena's whole world will change.

I loved this book. I'm hoping the next is just as engaging.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Time Traveler's Wife


Tear jerker warning. Have tissues handy!

Henry is a time traveler. It's not really as glamorous as you'd think. See, he has a genetic problem where he becomes, essentially, lost in time. Not only that, but he becomes lost in time completely nude.

Clare is his, well, everything. She knows him her entire life, although he only meets her when she's twenty. But they fall in love because they have to.

I want to say that this is a fluffy chick lit book, but it really isn't. It's emotional and difficult. The writing style is a little difficult, with the point of view often changing between Henry and Clare and their many different ages. But it's romance and sci-fi kind of all wrapped together.

My husband would have had a field day trying to tell me that this or that isn't possible because of the space-time continuum, but I don't care. It's a book, it's fiction, and it's a great story.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Lovely Bones

You know how there are books that end with that terribly depressing fact of one of the main characters dying? This book isn't like those. In this book, the main character, Susie Salmon, dies in the beginning.

Susie is killed by a man in the neighborhood. This isn't a mystery, we know the who, the how, and the why right from the start. Unlike everyone else involved with it. But this entire book takes place in Susie's heaven as she watches the people she loves on Earth.

She keeps wishing that she can help guide the investigators, her parents, anyone, to capturing Mr. Harvey, the man who murdered her.

I just love this book. I was so pleased when I saw the movie that they stayed really true to the book. I wish all movies made from books would be like that.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Babyville

I must say, I enjoyed Babyville much more than I liked Jemima J. Same author, but this story was a lot more enjoyable and less anger inducing.

I think part of the reason I liked this book was because I saw so much of me in each of the three main women.

First, Julia. She has been with her boyfriend Mark for four years and they decide to try for a baby. Not the best idea since their relationship is a miserable one. But they try anyway. There's just a problem. They can't get pregnant. Julia tries everything. Nothing works. I relate to this because I've done the try everything method just to have it fail miserable.

Second is Maeve. Maeve effectively takes over Julia's role in, well, everything. She fills in for her job when Julia goes on leave since she became so baby-obsessed that she stopped doing her job. But, she also kind of takes over Julia's role as Mark's girlfriend. Yeah. That's an interesting story line. Mark was supposed to just be a one-night stand. But Maeve got pregnant off that one-night stand. She initially says she'll have an abortion but Mark convinces her otherwise and one thing leads to another.

Third is Sam. Sam is a new mom. She's obviously dealing with postpartum depression. She hates her life, her marriage, her husband. Everything except her son. I can totally relate. I had those same feelings after my first child. Sam soon finds herself falling for another woman's husband, convinced that her marriage is over and this man is who she is meant to be with. She has full fantasies about it. Eventually she discovers the dirty truth about this man and manages to find her way out of the PPD fog to appreciate her husband again.

So, right now I'm at 50/50 with Jane Green books. I think I need to read more just to get a clear impression of her.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Long Winter

**Links: Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5**

This was a tough read for me. Not because it was hard to read or anything, but because the subject was a little difficult.

The Long Winter is about, well, a long winter. The blizzards hit De Smet, South Dakota in October and did not fully let up until April. The trains that would bring in the food for the town stopped. The trains were not able to move through the cuts before a blizzard filled them in again. The families in the town begin to starve before the winter ends.

Laura, the second oldest, but the oldest seeing child, has to help her parents with everything. She feels the worry that they feel that the entire family won't make it through the winter.

Just a few more books left in this series. I'm excited to share them with my daughter at bedtime.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Jemima J


Eh. I can honestly say I didn't love this book. For the most part, it's normal chick lit. Very lightweight romance. But I had a problem with one major piece of the story line.

Jemima Jones is fat. She admits it herself in the beginning of the book. She hates how she looks, she wishes she was thin, but she has an addiction to food.

Jemima is in love with Ben, her coworker at a local newspaper. Ben doesn't notice her. Because she's fat.

Jemima meets Brad online. She tells him that she's thin and beautiful. He believes her. He wants to meet her.

Jemima drops over 100 pounds in 3 months. See, she trades out her food addiction with an exercise addiction. Then, she, for the most part, stops eating.

Here's my problem with the storyline. It practically glorifies eating disorders. It doesn't show how Jemima would really be feeling if she stopped eating more than one meal a day and exercised three times a day. She wouldn't be feeling fabulous and beautiful. Chances are, she'd be feeling rather weak and run down.

Sure, it ends with a happily ever after, but I wasn't a fan of this.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Water for Elephants


This was a fun book.

Jacob Jankowski is two ages during this book. Sometimes he's a 90 (or 93) year old man, but for the majority, he's 23. His parents die and since he has nothing after they do, he joins a circus. Considering that he's 23 in 1931, it's the original understanding of join the circus. The place for all the misfits, people who don't belong anywhere, the freaks.

He's lost. But he becomes the circus vet and meets many colorful characters. But none of them compare to Marlena. If only he knew how she was going to affect him and what he would be willing to do for her.

I hope the movie does this book justice.