Monday, August 30, 2010

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod-Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

Vlad is in the eighth grade. Vlad is fodder for the bullies. Vlad is half human and half vampire. His mother was human and his father was a vampire.

Vlad's parents have both died. He lives with "Aunt Nelly" who isn't his real Aunt, but was his mother's best friend. Nelly is trying to give Vlad a "normal" life. She is a nurse so she is able to bring him blood from work. She hides the blood in different forms so that Vlad can live like other teenagers. She will place it in a cup and call it "tea". She puts capsules of blood in his sandwiches so that he can remain nourished throughout the day. Vlad has never tasted blood straight from the source...well with one exception. When he was 8 he bit his best friend Henry. Henry is the only human besides Nelly that knows that Vlad is a vampire.

When one of the teachers at school is missing and feared dead scary things start to happen for Vlad. First is their new substitute teacher. One of the first things he wants the class to do is write a presentation on a mythical figure. Vlad picks Werewolf out of the hat, but right before his eyes the words transform into the word "VAMPIRE". Other things happen that make Vlad fear that this new substitute may be onto his secret and may even be the reason that the teacher is missing and also may be responsible for the death of his parents.

Through reading his father's old journal Vlad discovers that there is a whole vampire world that he never knew existed. Can he discover who killed his parents and why?

Eighth Grade Bites was entertaining. And I look forward to seeing how Vlad developes as we go with him through the twelfth grade.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Wow! I finished the whole series once again. I love to visit "old friends" in what I read. I love the Twilight series. I explained how I became a fan on my Twilight post. By the time I read the series the first 3 books were already out. I sailed right through them and then had to wait for the release of Breaking Dawn. It was a LONG wait! So for the big event my friend Karin(the Edgy half of Edifying and Edgy) and my daughter planned to go to the release party at Borders. I had never been to a release party so didn't know what to expect. PLUS, on a normal night even for a weekend I am in bed early. So staying up until after midnight was killing me! The party started at 9pm. We entered into a trivia game(made up of teams), Karin had a bite mark tattooed on her hand, we got lots of freebies that the store was giving out. And then the ultimate excitement of the night...the books! Of course I had to buy 2 because my daughter and I were NOT going to fight over who got to read the book first! Our second copy was sent to my niece after I had finished it! We got home probably close to 1 in the morning and couldn't go to bed without reading some. I think I was up until after 2 reading and then up the next morning to start again. I loved it! And I especially loved the "Happy Ever After" ending! I'm all about that! We took pictures of our evening and I made a poster to hang up at work:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay pretty much starts where Catching Fire ended. Katniss rescued from the Games and Peeta captured by the Capitol.

As a result of the rebels rescue of Katniss her District 12 is destroyed. Many families perished in the Capitols attack. Katniss and her family were taken to District 13. District 13 is totally underground. They are also the leaders of the rebellion against the Capitol. Their idea is to use Katniss to inspire the other districts to help overthrow the Capitol.

Gale is there helping to strategize for the rebellion. It seems that the only thing they want Katniss to do is to provide video to inspire the troops. Katniss is still trying to recover from the loss of her own District and also the capture of Peeta. Seeing Peeta tortured on one of President Snow's newscasts sends Katniss reeling into shock. A daring rescue is planned. What nobody expects is how devastating the torture of Peeta actually was. Will he ever be the Peeta that Katniss knew in the Hunger Games?

The last book in the trilogy had me turning pages as quickly as I could. My heart was racing to find out what happened next! I didn't want to put the book down. Exciting to the very last page which had me brushing away tears! Beware though, this is not a warm-fuzzy book just as The Hunger Games or Catching Fire were not. There are scenes of war, death and violence that may not be suitable for younger children.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Secret of the Shroud by Pamela Binnings Ewen

Wesley Bright is a bitter man bent on destroying the church and the people that he feels let him down as a young boy. Seeing his brother thrown off of a roof by young thugs, being disappointed at the judge that didn't give them enough punishment and not getting satisfactory answers from the young priest that saw the whole thing sets Wesley on a course of destruction.

Wesley becomes the archdiocese of the Apostolic Church and is bent on changing the false ideals of Christianity. When the Shroud of Turin comes to New York Wesley sees it as an opportunity to further debunk Christianity.

The story is told from different characters in the book. It was interesting how the author even went back to the crucifixion comparing and interchanging Wesley and Peter(who denied Jesus 3 times).

The Secret of the Shroud was interesting but sometimes I got bogged down in all of the technical stuff.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Wow Jacob is persistent! Sometimes to the point of being annoying! Two of my most favorite parts in the book were when Bella punched Jake's jaw and the tent scene.

I was glad to see the end of Victoria and her newborn army. After 3 books it is about time that Bella and Edward catch a break from all of the drama and calamity that seems to follow their relationship.

This was one of my favorite in the series. I loved the humor in it and Edward's devotion and love for Bella.

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon is not my favorite book in the Twilight series. This is the book that Edward leaves Bella and Jacob comes into the picture. I don't like the despair that Bella goes into when Edward leaves. I don't like the fact that even though Bella tells Jacob that she can't love him she still uses him to keep her thoughts off of Edward. On the upside though, finding out that Jacob is a werewolf was pretty stinkin cool! The humor among the wolf brothers was great! I have sympathy for Jacob. But really, I will always be TEAM EDWARD!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

So this isn't my first time reading this series. In fact it is like the 3rd time reading it and I have listened to it on audio once. So am I addicted? Probably! I'm not going to review this really since I think you seriously have to have been hiding under a rock if you have not heard about this series! The first time I read this book was in 2006. I was starting my job as a library assistant in a middle school library. My friend who was the librarian there was obsessed by vampire books. I was getting a bit tired of her going on about all of these weird books that she had read. So one day I looked at her and asked her, "You do realize that vampires are not real don't you?" Needless to say she wasn't very appreciative of my sentiment. So she proceeded to grab a Twilight book and tell me to read it and then let her know what I thought of vampires. So I read it, and the rest is history...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Only The Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Book four in the Gallagher Girl series. The Gallagher Girl Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a school for girl-spies. Cammie "The Chameleon" has been attending there since she was in 7th grade. In this installment Cammie is being heavily guarded by other operatives. "The Circle" has been trying to kidnap her. For reasons unknown to her and reasons nobody else is willing to tell her.

She soon finds that a teacher that she has known at the Academy has been playing the double agent. She also finds that she cannot trust Zach(a boy from Blackthorn Academy, a spy-school for boys) because he keeps turning up at every attempt that the Circle makes to get to Cammie. The only people Cammie can truly count on are her best friends Bex, Macey, and Liz. They have her back every step of the way.

This is a fast-paced installment to the series. I enjoyed it and am waiting breathlessly for the next book to come out! I'll have to go check out Ally Carter's website at to find out if she has posted anything about book 5!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Snowflake A Novella by Jamie Carie

Ellen Pierce and her brother are on their way to the Alaskan gold rush. Ellen promised her mother on her deathbed that she would watch over her brother. Ellen's brother is jealous of any man that looks at her. He is not well in his head. Ellen lives in fear of him, never knowing if he will have a "normal" day or if his eyes will have that empty look that she knows means the day will be most difficult. Ellen feels that she has been rejected by God. She feels that the burden of her brother's care is on her and that her life will never be normal.

Buck Lewis is heading the same way but for a different reason. His mission is to find the man that shot and killed his wife. He is determined to bring the man to justice.

When the steamboat that they are on becomes locked in the ice of the Tundra all seems to be hopeless. Buck proposes to take whomever wants to go on a 200 mile trek in the bitter cold to Dawson City. Of course Ellen's brother wants to go. He cannot be reasoned with. Buck is nervous about taking a woman on the trek but they set out. The going is not easy and they lose several lives in the course of their trek.

Ellen and Buck are attracted to each other. Buck is reserved though. He cannot understand how he can have feelings for another woman. His wife has only been gone for 7 months. Plus there is his mission to find her killer. They make it to Dawson City. Ellen collapses and a kind woman named Kate takes her in to nurse her. When Ellen comes around she soon discovers that she is staying in a brothel! Kate is the owner of several such establishments and saloons. Ellen immediately sets out to find work for herself and a place to live. Buck decides he must continue on his search for his wife's killer. On parting Ellen asks Buck to promise to be with her on Christmas day.

Having no success in finding a place to live or work Ellen takes Kate up on her offer of dancing with lonely men for a dollar a dance. She is an instant hit with all the men because of her compassion and caring for them. She listens to their stories and she promises that she will pray for each of them if they would like her too.

Will  Buck be able to keep his promise to Kate and be back by Christmas? Will he find his wife's murderer? Will Kate ever feel that she is loved by God and that he hears her every prayer?

The Snowflake is a quick read. I was able to read it in a couple of hours. The characters were engaging, but being a Novella they weren't developed enough. There were hints of what had happened in the past but not overly detailed. For those that like romantic short stories this will be a perfect read for you!