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The Fate of Destiny by Danielle Bourdon – Book Review

The Fate of Destiny (Fates, #1)The Fate of Destiny by Danielle Bourdon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Why would a girl feel compelled to write stories about people she’s never met? (I don’t mean novelists!) From the time she learned to write, Farris can’t help but write. By the time she’s almost eighteen, she has stacks of papers piled on every conceivable surface of her tiny cramped apartment. Is she a tad crazy like her “committed” mother, or is there a very good reason that she can’t help by write?

Then there’s the prophesy that her senile grandmother remembers two days before Farris’ 18th birthday, the mysterious and hunky guy that whirls into town right as a H*ll breaks loose. And… so much more. I don’t want to give anything away.

I enjoyed The Fate of Destiny, and thought that the plot was cleverly unique and the characters quirky, complex and interesting. The writing was well done. The pacing of the story was good, not moving too fast nor bogging down from detail. Bourdon seems very skilled at crafting a balanced, inventive novel and I can’t wait to see where the next book in the series takes me!

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Summer of the Wolves by Lisa Williams Kline – Book Review

Summer of the WolvesSummer of the Wolves by Lisa Williams Kline

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although I don’t read much in the way of Young Adult (especially the very-young kind) I couldn’t help but falling in love with this story and the girls, so much so that my often angst-ridden early teen years floated to surface in my mind and I understood how the girls were feeling and thinking. To me, that means the author Lisa Williams Kline not only did her job with this book, but did it exceedingly well.

I didn’t feel like I was reading a book about two young girls who are suddenly step sisters and spirited away to have some family bonding time at a Dude Ranch. No, instead I breathed in the country air with them. I saw the captive wolves skulk around in their cage. I tensed while they went white-water rafting.

Overall, a terrific book about family (both born and cobbled together)and understanding, interlaced with details about wild wolves and a wolf pack’s hierarchy- which relates to the overall story as well.

Well written, clean enough for my ten-year old and engaging enough for this thirty-something Mom as well.

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Library-Lubber, Yes I Am!

 As I’ve grown up, many of my interests have fallen by the wayside. No, I’m not on a self-actualized quest to become a jack-of-all-trades. I’ve just outgrown certain things, or they decided to outgrow me first.

Tennis turned into keeping my kids from bouncing off the walls. Horseback riding was a tad to risky to me– since I virtually spent three years having babies and recovering from having babies.

Any kind of crafty project is just way too inviting for my kids; paints, hot-glue guns, thread and needle– try keeping all that away from a brood of toddlers.

I did manage to hang on to one of my most favorite past-times– reading. I can do that during my twenty minutes of solitude in a bubble-bath. I can do that leaning over the kitchen counter in between burger flips. I can do that with one child sitting in my lap and the other clinging to my leg out of jealousy. I can read anytime, anywhere.

I vividly recall my mom fussing one lazy summer afternoon about my irritating devotion to the printed word.

The heat was unbearable. You know, those dry, molten days when you just wish the Chesapeake Bay would rise up and flood your back yard. A day so hot, drowning wouldn’t be so bad…as long as you got to be in cool water for the process.

Mom was going to The Pool. On those days, everyone went to The Pool. Everyone, that is, except me– and my mom just didn’t understand. Why in the world I would rather sit cooped up in the house, when I could be frolicking with half the Shore at The Pool?

That was just they way I was, and that’s the way I still am.

My husband complains sometimes, too.

Can’t you just put that book down for five minutes?” He’ll say, leering over our dinner plates, while my daughter pitches macaroni across the room.

Yes, I read through dinner sometimes. I read on the treadmill at the YMCA. I’ll read pretty much whenever a few minutes of free time presents itself. I guess one could argue that I’m addicted to books, and I wouldn’t deny it. But then, there are worse addictions one could have, I would point out.

Sometimes, I was able to coerce my mom into dropping me at the library on her way to The Pool. Those were my favorite summer days. While the Shore sweated it out in the elements, I sat cross-legged amid a pile of books. I meandered down the aisles in search of that perfect book, much like Dorothy on her quest down the yellow brick road.

While the dragonfly’s and bumble-bee’s hummed outside, I sat in the library as the hum of the air conditioner carried me through historical battles, futuristic planets, and steamy mysteries (that I will admit, I probably shouldn’t have read back then).

Go ahead, call me a “Library Lover”. I can take it. After all, it’s true.

I shudder to think who I would be if the library hadn’t been there to foster my love of the printed word.

Fortunately, there are many people out there that agree with me. We could make up a club. At the least, someone thought to designate the month of February for us– as Library Lovers Month.

So while I could sit here all day and expound on my debt to the Eastern Shore Public Library, I have better things to do. What, you ask?

Well, of course, I’m going to the library.

Gravity by Abigail Boyd – Book Review

Gravity (The Gravity Series)Gravity by Abigail Boyd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gravity is a YA paranormal tale with a side of romance (though perfectly PG) that takes a little while to get started. It does however, have an interesting plot and complex characters. There are little tidbits of paranormal, but they are more like hints in this novel, and even at the end, the reader is left wondering how the “hints” will play out in terms of the series. If this was a stand-alone novel, the ambiguity would have made me grumpy, but knowing that more novels will follow, I am optimistic that answers will be provided.

At the heart of any good YA novel, there is the typical teenage angst, boy trouble, friend trouble, and unpopular vs. popular interactions, and Gravity touches upon these themes as well. The adults in Hell (the name of the town) are quirky and at times reminded me of pod people. Although I’m sure that the about-face twist at the end of Gravity was only one of many to come, I’m impatient to figure out what’s really going on. So, I supposed that means I’ll have to read the next one!

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Anathema by Megg Jensen – Book Review

Anathema (Cloud Prophet Trilogy, #1)Anathema by Megg Jensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anathema is a well-written, fast paced YA fantasy that hooks you into the story from the very first page. I read a great deal of paranormal books, but I seldom stray into the land of Fantasy. I’m logical-brained and usually it takes too much for me to suspend my beliefs and really get into fantasy books. That was not the case with this novel though, and I’m glad that I stepped outside of my comfort zone.

I’ll skip the synopsis, because that’s what book blurbs are for. I will say that this book touches on universal themes like friendship and loyalty, and secrets and betrayals expertly and with finesse.

Jensen is a gifted writer who has developed well-rounded, complex characters, plot twists that you won’t see coming, and a fantasy world that believable and just detailed enough so a reader can use their own imagination. My interest was snared and held throughout the book (in fact, I read it in one sitting) and I will surely be on the lookout for the sequel to Anathema.

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Mini Book Review – Dead Girl Walking

Dead Girl Walking (Dead Girl, #1)Dead Girl Walking by Linda Joy Singleton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great YA book with unique plotting and interesting characters. Imagine, being stuck in a body that doesn’t belong to you!

It’s not just for the younger crowd though. As an adult with interests in paranormal and other unexplored possibilities, I will definitely be reading the next in the series!

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The Book of Lost Souls (Michelle Muto) – Book Review

The Book of Lost SoulsThe Book of Lost Souls by Michelle Muto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was pulled to this book multiple times by the fantastic cover alone, and the description on Amazon clinched it for me. For less than the cost of a latte, I was treated to a great paranormal YA read. I do have to qualify that I don’t normal read YA unless it pushes the boundaries into adult fiction. However, The Book of Lost Souls was a pleasant, refreshing surprise.

The Book of Lost souls is PG enough for the younger YA audience, yet still an intriguing and complex enough of a book to satisfy adults as well. The surrounding cast of characters is eclectic and fun, the interactions between characters is spot on. Although this book has a classic struggle between good and evil, it is one that skirts the gray area in between with finesse and insight.

Michelle Muto is a first class writer with a flair for creative and original ideas. I mean really, a senile werewolf! Little gems like that are sprinkled throughout this book, and Muto has turned out an original novel in a time when the paranormal market is saturated with stereotypical plotting and devices. This book is not one of those carbon copies and I will certainly be on the lookout for the next book from Muto!

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