Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Echo by Amanda Clay

Emily(Echo to her friends) is getting ready to go to Nocturne in Vancouver. A place where her cousin will be showing off her newest clothing creations. Emily is looking forward to modeling one of those creations. Of course she wants to look her best and that best means being the skinniest she can be. Echo at first starts out by limiting her intake of food. It then progresses to times of binging and purging. When Echo sees herself in the mirror all she can see is the fat content of her body. Soon her best friend Julian confronts her about becoming too skinny but Echo assures him that she is eating and being careful. When her new boyfriend Eddie and several other friends begin to take notice and express concern, once again Echo assures them all that she is being careful. Echo knows that she is in control and nobody can stop her from reaching her goal. Echo wants to be perfect, she finds out at Nocturne what a steep price being perfect can be.

My Thoughts:

ECHO sucks you in from the first page to the very last. It is told from Echo's perspective so the reader is able to see all of Echo's thoughts and feelings that lead her on this journey of destruction. ECHO's characters bring a variety of feelings to the reader also. Echo's best friend Julian is gay and they share many evenings together working on just the right outfit to put together. His care and concern for Echo is heart-warming as he confronts her about her eating disorder. I could not stand Echo's mother! In my opinion she is the majority of the problem in Echo's eating disorder. Instead of a nurturing mother she is more like a jealous high school girl willing to do what it takes to cut out the competition. Eddie made a great boyfriend for Echo as he too had a dysfunctional family life.

Amanda Clay did a great job portraying the progression of Echo's eating disorder. The characters were well thought out and consistent in their behavior. A great story for teens who love to read about angst and drama and real-life situations. My one warning about the story would be that some of the language could be offensive to some readers. While I have read books with much more cursing, the "F" word is scattered throughout the story. An entertaining first novel from Amanda Clay that has me looking forward to her next novel.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Survivor by DiAnn Mills

When Amy Garrett approaches Kariss Walker to write her story Kariss is intrigued. When Amy was 9 years old she was abducted from her bedroom and left in a field to die. She survived the horrific assault and is now ready to tell her story. But the killer is still out there and he for one is not willing to be caught.

Kariss and FBI Special Agent Santiago(Tigo) Harris are no longer dating. Kariss saw no future for their relationship when Tigo does not share her faith in a Savior and also neglected to share a major event in his life with her. Both are hurting and their relationship seems impossible. When a case that Tigo is working on and Kariss' book subject cross paths Tigo once again finds himself trying to protect the woman that he has come to care for.

At the same time that I found myself frustrated with Kariss and Amy's behavior I also found the story gripping and exciting. Kariss and Amy frustrated me with their constantly putting themselves in danger. Neglecting to listen to the advice of professionals to keep them protected both of the women thumbed their noses at their own safety. Of course that frustration led to part of the excitement of the book, but I found myself thinking "Oh good grief did you NOT learn from the last incident?" I also found Kariss' constantly saying she can take care of herself because she knows self-defense and carries a gun rather irritating. Just because a person is equipped does not mean that they cannot be taken by surprise. That aside I did enjoy the story and hope that there will be more in the series.


I received my copy of The Survivor from NetGalley and also ordered a "real" copy from Booksneeze(before I realized I had already gotten it from NetGalley), and also received a review copy from Zondervan. The product description is linked to Zondervan to order this book.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

When Hale's Grandmother Hazel passes away it sends Hale into a downhill spiral. When Hazel's will is read it sends surprises throughout the Hale family.

Suspecting that the will has been tampered with Marcus, Hale's driver, and his sister Marianne request to hire Kat and her crew to find the "real" will. Realizing that the trustee to the Hale fortune is about to make off with a prototype that would save the Hale empire from ruin, Kat calls in everyone she knows to help con a con man. But will this con prove to be over Kat's head?

For a while I was getting concerned that Kat had lost her talent. She seemed a bit insecure several times in the book and Hale's behavior really threw her for a loop. But I held on because Kat and her crew always manage to come up with an ingenious plan to get the job done and I was definitely not disappointed! Ally Carter knows how to weave a good con story and I look forward to future Heist Society novels!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren

Nick Noble has been away from his home The Silver Buckle for over 10 years. He left home an angry young man and never knew how to return and apologize to those he loved and hurt. Now his father has passed away and left part of The Silver Buckle property to Nick's childhood friend Cole. Nick swears one thing-he will never allow one piece of Silver Buckle property to fall into Cole's hands. He returns home to protect the land he was raised on and to hopefully make amends to those he hurt when he left, but not to Cole, no never to Cole.

Piper Sullivan is a journalist trying to clear her step-brothers name and prove that Nick Noble framed him. Determined to get the evidence she needs to provide justice for her brother Piper hires on to The Silver Buckle as a cook. One problem though, Piper cannot cook! Believing that all she needs is one week to gather her evidence Piper bluffs her way through her first big meal.

Maggy, Nick's sweetheart through high school and into college married Cole soon after Nick left. They have had a good life, but now Cole's health is deteriorating and he faces leaving their son and Maggy with more than they can handle. When Nick returns Cole knows that Maggy will go running back to him, after all Cole feels that he never really deserved a girl like Maggy.

Add in to all of that a suspense element and Reclaiming Nick grabs the reader and keeps them turning the pages through all of the twists and turns to the surprising and satisfying conclusion.

Reclaiming Nick had me from the beginning and now I am going to go order the next book Taming Rafe to continue on with the Noble family story. I liked the human-ness of the characters in Reclaiming Nick and their need to forgive, be forgiven and forgive themselves. I also liked the romance between Nick and Piper. I got a little frustrated with Cole and Maggy's relationship, the reader knows that Maggy loves him, but having felt like he was in Nick's shadow all of his life Cole is a man who cannot believe his good fortune in gaining the love of a woman like Maggy. A great story with lots of twists and turns to keep the readers interest!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

In My Mailbox


Monument 14 Sky On Fire and A Breath of Eyre are books from my friend Karin. Can't wait to read them!

And here is my copy of Scarlet that I ordered even though I have already read the ARC. I had to have the hardback because I love love love the cover and I had to have it to go with my copy of Cinder. Because I'm weird like that!

I'm afraid my daughter is going to grab Perfect Scoundrels(the newest Heist Society novel) before I can even blink!

I love getting books in the mail!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Teardrop(7 Hours) by Travis Thrasher

From Goodreads:

In each installment of 7 Hours, a character is visited by the enigmatic Thomas Constant, who makes a heart-stopping statement: "You are about to die. But you may choose from one of three options: Live seven more hours, travel back in time and relive seven hours, or accept the inevitable and die now.

My Synopsis:

Former police officer Mike Harden's wife was brutally murdered 6 years ago. Now running a coffee house that is about to go under, Mike's only comfort seems to be his two Chihuahua's Payton and Butkus. Each morning Mike takes the dogs for a walk no matter what the weather. On this day when he is just about home he meets Thomas Constant. Trying to be nice to a stranger, yet wanting to get rid of him Mike offers to meet the persistent Constant at his coffee house and give him a free cup of coffee.  When Constant makes him his standard 7 hours offer once again Mike tries to blow him off. Thinking that it would be easier to just play along Mike tells Constant that he would like to go back in time to his wedding day. When Mike realizes that he has been transported back in time to that very day he has one goal in mind: to kill the man that murdered his wife! 

My Thoughts:

I really liked TEARDROP. I liked the fact that Mike was able to relive some moments from his and Ashley's wedding. To take the opportunity to tell her several times how much he loved her and how thankful he was to God for bringing them together. I liked the mature 41 year old man looking back on his 24 year old self willing to redeem some of his mistakes.  


Friday, February 1, 2013

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

When Reef McKenna is accused of murdering Karli Davis his sister Piper refuses to believe him capable of the murder. All of the evidence points to Reef; it looks like an open and shut case. Piper is determined to find the real killer even if it means putting herself in the killer’s sights. 

Landon Grainger is like family to the McKenna’s, one problem; he is the one who has to arrest Reef and risk breaking Piper’s heart. Landon has known Piper since she was a child but recently his feelings for her have changed. Piper is no longer a child, and has become the woman that Landon has fallen in love with. Landon is determined to keep his feelings to himself believing that Piper could never feel the same way about her lifelong friend.

With reporters swarming all over the story the last thing that Gage McKenna wants to do is enlist one of them to help investigate the murder. Gage believes Darcy St. James is just another reporter trying to climb the ladder of success. Even though sparks fly every time they are near each other Darcy may have resources that will help in the investigation. 

As the investigation progresses they find that Karli Davis was not the person they thought she was. As they slowly unearth Karli’s life they get closer and closer to the truth that may just jeopardize all of their lives.

I did not want to put this book down! This was a great suspense-filled novel that kept me turning the pages until the end.  Add in Piper and Landon’s romance and I was in book bliss! The author explores her characters feelings and reasons behind the behavior they exhibit. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series. There are still so many relationships to be explored and there are definitely more McKenna’s that need to find peace with God.

I received my copy for review from NetGalley.