Between the Bookcovers

Blogging About the Books I Read

Author: Eireann Corrigan
Published: August 1, 2010
Pages: 304
Rating: 4/5

Description from Goodreads:

They've gotten good grades - but that's not good enough. They've spent hours on community service - but that's not good enough. Finn and Chloe's advisor says that colleges have enough kids with good grades and perfect attendance, so Chloe decides they'll have to attract attention another way. She and Finn will stage Chloe's disappearance, and then, when CNN is on their doorstep and the nation is riveted, Finn will find and save her. It seems like the perfect plan - until things start to go wrong. Very wrong.

Review:

Finn and Chloe have been best friends for years. Near high school graduation the school counselor advises them that they will have to be very memorable to get into the college of their choice. Chloe comes up with a plan to fake her disappearance, believing that she will have a great story to put on her college application. She hides out in an empty house, while Finn has to watch the fallout of the fake kidnapping. Chloe's parents are distraught, Finn hates lying about the disappearance and then a friend is arrested for the kidnapping. The novel follows the entire plot and the consequences of their actions.

The book is fast paced and suspenseful and it kept my attention from the first page right through to the end of the book. The story was narrated by Finn whose teenage voice was realistic and we watch her character grow as she realizes that everyone has to pay for the choices they make and that sometimes the cost of friendship can be too high. Chloe was also a well developed character who was so self centered that I didn't like her. But it was the combination of the two that made the book work and it was fascinating to view the insides of their friendship. This was a captivating book and I couldn't wait to see how it all turned out. The ending was satisfying and by the end of the book the message was clear: your actions affect more people than you think and the consequences last a lifetime.

Rating: An excellent book with a unique story




Author: Maurissa Guibord
Published: January 11, 2011
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.

Review:

When I was a child I loved reading fairy tales. They have all the things for a great story - a good character, and evil character, royalty, and magical events that are usually far fetched. Guibord has given us an updated fairy tale: all of the elements of a good tale woven into a young adult novel. The story opens when Tessa (good character) and her father acquire a tapestry at an auction. The tapestry has a large unicorn with a castle in the distance, and every time Tessa touches it she experiences memories of the past. When she pulls a loose thread the unicorn falls out of the tapestry in the form of Will de Chauncy (magical event), a prince (royalty) who had been imprisoned in the tapestry for 500 years by Gray Lily (bad character). Throw in some mythology about the Fates and we have a story that is compelling and unusual in young adult literature. The novel follows Tessa as she tries to save Will from Gray Lily and as she unravels the mystery of the connection between the past and present. And of course, a little romance is thrown in to make it interesting.

While the events may not be your typical read, it has all the elements present to make this a fascinating contemporary fantasy. The story alternates between the present and the past, and when returning to the 15th century the historical elements are well done. The characters are well done but not as developed as I would have liked. Tessa is a strong heroine, she has a great best friend who I would love to have for a friend and Will de Chauncy is a dream prince. The plot is interesting and original, and I could not put the book down until I learned how it all turned out. This is a different type of paranormal read, one that has fantasy, romance,and intrigue. It is a story that is memorable for the unique way the author has woven the fairy tale into a great young adult read.

Rating: An excellent book with a unique story

There are just a few new releases to tell you about this week. I will be reviewing The Betrayal of Maggie Blair on Friday. Hope you can find something new in the following:


April 18




The Betrayal of Maggie Blair
Author: Elizabeth Laird

Description from Goodreads:

In seventeenth-century Scotland, saying the wrong thing can lead to banishment—or worse. Accused of being a witch, sixteen-year-old Maggie Blair is sentenced to be hanged. She escapes, but instead of finding shelter with her principled, patriotic uncle, she brings disaster to his door.

Betrayed by one of her own accusers, Maggie must try to save her uncle and his family from the king’s men, even if she has to risk her own life in the process.

Originally published in the UK, this book has a powerful blend of heart-stopping action and thought-provoking themes.


April 19th


Morpheus Road: The Dark

Author: D.J. MacHale

Description from Goodreads:

Cooper Foley always had a knack for finding trouble, but nothing he’s ever experienced could have prepared him for his latest adventure: He has landed square in the middle of a border war between the worlds of the living and the dead.

At the end of The Light, Book One of the Morpheus Road trilogy, Marshall Seaver learned the truth about what happened to his missing best friend, Cooper. Now, the mystery continues to unfold, only this time through Cooper’s eyes.

What did Marshall’s terrifying encounters with Gravedigger have to do with spirits from another existence? Who is Damon, and what role did he play in Cooper’s dilemma? Most importantly, what is the mysterious Morpheus Road? It’s time to learn, as bestselling author and master of thrilling suspense D.J. MacHale delivers another fast-paced, fantastical story that has all of existence hanging in the balance.



Defiance: Strange Angels #4

Author: Lilith SaintCrow

Description from Goodreads:

The heart-stopping fourth novel in New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels series.

Now that sixteen-year-old Dru's worst fears have come true and Sergej has kidnapped her best friend Graves, she'll have to go on a suicidal rescue mission to bring him back in one piece.
That is, if she can put all of Christophe's training to good use, defeat her mother's traitor, Anna, once and for all, and manage to survive another day . . .


Each week Kristi at The Story Siren hosts the In My Mailbox feature so we can share all the wonderful books that have found thier way into our mailboxes. I have some great ones to share this week:




























I have already read What Comes After, you can see the review here. Which book do you think I should read next? Hope you had some great things show up in your mailbox this week.

Author: Steve Watkins
Published: April 12, 2011
Pages: 334
Genre: Realistic YA Fiction
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

After her veterinarian dad dies, sixteen-year-old Iris Wight must leave her beloved Maine to live on a North Carolina farm with her hardbitten aunt and a cousin she barely knows. Iris, a vegetarian and animal lover, immediately clashes with Aunt Sue, who mistreats the livestock, spends Iris’s small inheritance, and thinks nothing of striking Iris for the smallest offense. Things come to a head when Iris sets two young goats free to save them from slaughter, and an enraged Aunt Sue orders her brutish son, Book, to beat Iris senseless - a horrific act that lands Book and his mother in jail. Sent to live with an offbeat foster family and their "dooking" ferrets, Iris must find a way to take care of the animals back at the farm, even if it means confronting Aunt Sue. Powerful and deeply moving, this compelling novel affirms the redemptive power of animals and the resilience of the human spirit.

Review:

Iris Wight doesn't remember much about her mother, she left when Iris was five years old and never returned. Now Iris is sixteen and she has just buried her father. The friends who promised her father they would care for her are having marital issues and can no longer keep their promise. She is forced to leave Maine and move to a farm in North Carolina to live with her Aunt Sue who she met once 14 years earlier. It soon becomes clear that the only reason her aunt agreed to take her was the money in her father's estate. Her life is lonely and difficult and the only comfort she finds is in the animals on the farm. But when Aunt Sue decides to slaughter her favorite goats Iris rebels and tries to save them. This results in an assault that lands Iris in the hospital and Aunt Sue and her son in jail. Iris is moved to a foster home and has to leave her beloved animals behind.
Watkins has produced a touching novel about a strong, determined young woman who has been abandoned by those she loves for most of her life. Her response is to withdraw and try to do things on her own. But as the book progresses she realizes that she cannot accomplish her goal of keeping the animals safe all alone. She slowly opens up to the people around her, and even develops a relationship with a classmate who is dealing with his own loss.

This is one of the most heartbreaking novels I have read in a long time. This is not an action packed read, but rather a character driven story that was a delight to read. The main character, Iris, is a real teen who has had more hardship than should be allowed but her strength and determination shine through to allow her to remain strong and likable. She has abandonment woven into her life. It started with her mother leaving, continued with her father's sudden death and was seen in her friend's inability to keep their promise. When she is faced with the dilemma of having to leave her beloved animals when she was placed in foster care she could not abandon them as others have done to her, no matter what the cost.

The secondary characters are just as memorable. From the Buddha looking school counselor who preferred to sit on the floor instead of behind a desk to the quirky, ferret loving foster parents, I was drawn to each one and would be glad to have people like them in my life. Watkins even made the animals within the novel come to life, each one with a unique personality, making me feel just as invested in their safety as Iris was.

The violence Iris experienced at the hands of Aunt Sue and her son was shocking and as a mother I wanted to jump in and give her she the comfort she desperately needed. When they were put in jail for their actions the school bullies stepped in and continued to harass Iris. How she dealt with these issues was remarkable, making her a memorable character.

On the surface this could be seen as a simple story about a girl who loves animals and tries to do what is right for them. But it is so much more. It is a wonderful tale about loss, grief and triumph over adversity. It teaches us that while everyone faces challenges in life, it is the way we decide to deal with them that dictates who we will become.

Rating: An excellent book with life lessons and memorable characters






I wanted to let you know about the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference, which starts tomorrow. This conference bring the publishing world and the blogging world together so issues important to both can be discussed. The best part is that is all online so you can take part in it without leaving home. It is not too late to sign up, so be sure to check it out.

Some things of interest:

  • 30 panels will be discussing things from writing reviews to the legal aspects of blogging
  • Forums are already active to discuss blogging issues
  • Publishers have donated books for giveaways
  • All discussions will be recorded so you can access the information when it is convenient for you

I am excited to be able to take part in this conference. As a new blogger I am hoping that it will help me to improve my site and make it a better place for those who stop by. If you have a book blog I hope you will stop by and check it out. It looks like it will be a great resource for all involved.

Author: Morgan Matson
Published: May 4, 2010
Pages: 352
Rating: 5/5 Stars


Four months ago Amy Curry had a perfect teenage life. Now her Dad is dead, her mother has moved across the country and her twin brother is in rehab. To top it off her mother expects her to drive across the country with a stranger. The book opens as Amy meets Roger, a college guy who has problems of his own. They decide to detour from the trip Amy's mother planned and see the country as they make their way from California to Connecticut. The book follows their road trip and their discovery of each other along the way.

Morgan Matson has created such an engaging story that I was sucked right into the backseat and went along for the ride. There was no fast paced action to pull you along, but I still was so drawn to the book that I could not put it down. Instead, it was the story and the characters that kept me reading. Amy and Roger's characters had so many layers, it was a joy to see them revealed as the trip progressed. The secondary characters were equally well developed, from the video game player on a quest to the topiary creating teen, each was unique in their own way. The slow building romance followed the pace of the journey, and was wonderfully done. The journal kept along the way was genius, it added so much to the story, from the receipts to the doodles, it allowed us to peak into the journey through the minds of Amy and Roger. And the play lists helped set the mood of the trip as it progressed.

This was a great book about grief, friendship, heartbreak and romance. It tells the story of how to move on with life by letting go. And it reminds us that the best discoveries are the ones we make when we aren't looking for them. I suggest you read this one, it is a journey you will not want to miss.

Rating: Outstanding, don't miss this one.

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. This week I received some great things:





























Did you have any good things land in your box this week?


Author: Carrie Ryan
Published: March 22, 2011
Pages: 384 pages
Rating: 4/5 Stars

The third and final book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy finds Annah living alone in The Dark City (later revealed as New York City). It has been three years since Elias left her and she decides to leave, believing he will never return. Just as she leaves she see her twin sister Gabry entering the city. What follows is her search for her sister, finding out about Catcher and the return of Elias. Any further information would spoil the book, something I don't do on this blog.

This book is closely related to the second in the trilogy. Many of the characters are the same. The introduction of Annah is a wonderful treat. She is a character who is in pain over leaving her sister behind and feels worthless and angry as she struggles to survive. The undead zombies are prominent in this installment, always seeking live flesh, and they add a dark, scary flavor to the story. Danger is constantly present and it is a struggle to survive. As in the previous books the writing here is beautiful and haunting, making the reader think while feeling the emotions displayed by the characters.

In the end the book is about life and the choices we make on how to live it. Do you limit yourself, keeping safe while missing all that life holds? Does one take a chance on love, knowing that pain and heartache can follow? This is a wonderful book and it provides a satisfying end to the trilogy. While you can read this one without having read the others in the series, the second book will provide a lot of the story about what has happened in the lives of the main characters prior to this book.

Rating: An excellent book that you will enjoy

There are just a few new releases this week. Here they are:



The Anti Prom
Author: Abby McDonald

Description from Goodreads:

Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance, and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy from acclaimed young author Abby McDonald.

They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy - some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, über-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night.





Enclave
Author: Ann Aguirre

Description from Goodreads:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.




What Comes After A
uthor: Steve Watson

Description from Goodreads:

After her veterinarian dad dies, sixteen-year-old Iris Wight must leave her beloved Maine to live on a North Carolina farm with her hardbitten aunt and a cousin she barely knows. Iris, a vegetarian and animal lover, immediately clashes with Aunt Sue, who mistreats the livestock, spends Iris’s small inheritance, and thinks nothing of striking Iris for the smallest offense. Things come to a head when Iris sets two young goats free to save them from slaughter, and an enraged Aunt Sue orders her brutish son, Book, to beat Iris senseless - a horrific act that lands Book and his mother in jail. Sent to live with an offbeat foster family and their "dooking" ferrets, Iris must find a way to take care of the animals back at the farm, even if it means confronting Aunt Sue. Powerful and deeply moving, this compelling novel affirms the redemptive power of animals and the resilience of the human spirit.



The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1)
Author: Kelly Armstrong

Description from Goodreads:

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.

It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.



The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide

Author: Stephanie Meyer

Description from Goodreads:

This must-have hardcover edition--the only official guide--is the definitive encyclopedic reference to the Twilight Saga and provides readers with everything they need to further explore the unforgettable world Stephenie Meyer created in Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. With exclusive new material, character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, and much more, this comprehensive handbook is essential for every Twilight Saga fan.


About This Blog

I review mostly Young Adult literature, any genre. I also review other fiction, especially horror, science fiction and historical novels. I also have occasional giveaways.

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