Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many of us have taken a hike, or what we would call a hike. The Appalachian Trail spans the length of Georgia to Maine and includes wonderful vistas, waterways and forests. If you really want to take a hike, this is the place to do it. When Bill Bryson decided to take this hike he really didn’t know what he was getting into, but it eventually got in his system and he craved the experiences found inside.

A Walk in the Woods could not have been more entertaining or educational. Bryson has used a writing style that will continually bring the reader along his journey with him. When I first started the book I thought I had read it (I was thinking of A Walk Across America), but even though they may be similar they are definitely separate works that can be enjoyed on their own merit. This book was written almost 20 years ago, but the ecological and political issues that affect this landscape should still be at the forefront of America’s mind. The movie adaptation of this book came out this fall and I highly encourage readers to finish the book BEFORE watching the movie.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: Need

Need Need by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is a new social networking site that is only for students at Nottawa High School. It is by invitation only and includes some added benefits. Teens can tell the website a “need” and they will be given a task. When the task is completed, their need is met. The tasks seem trivial … until they are not. As the pranks turn into crimes and people begin to die, will anyone step up and question who is behind this website? Are there any lines these students won’t cross to have their needs met?

Need is a new young adult thriller that will keep readers turning page after page. The alternating voices of the different students give the reader insight into the thoughts of the victims and the perpetrators. The entire story takes place within a very brief time period and I found myself wanting to complete the book quickly too. Readers who pick up this book because they loved Charbonneau’s the Testing trilogy will not be disappointed with this social media gone wrong story.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review: Dark Heart of Magic

Dark Heart of Magic Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lila is finally adjusting to the fact she must keep Devon Sinclair safe, but who would have thought she would need to compete in the Tournament of Blades? Devon knows that she will probably win this competition, even though that means he would have to be beaten also. The matches are getting more and more intense, but when accidents start happening on and off the field, Lila and her friends take it upon themselves to figure out the mystery. Is the Draconi family behind these attacks? Are the murders of monsters in Cloudburst Falls connected to the attacks at the games?

Dark Heart of Magic is the second book in the Black Blade series. Estep doesn’t spend too much time helping readers remember the first story, but since these characters and their backstory are so unique, readers shouldn’t have any problems quickly falling into this account. This fantasy novel has action, romance and mystery to entice readers of many genres into its pages. Readers may be able to start with this book, but it would definitely be less confusing if they begin with the first in the series. My only regret with this book is the next volume isn’t scheduled to be released until April 2016.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Review: Time's Divide

Time's Divide Time's Divide by Rysa Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kate’s grandfather and the Cyrists are still moving ahead with the Culling. Kate is continuing to jump into the future and the past in order to work into the weave of time and stop them. Unfortunately, each time she jumps there is chance she will trigger another timeline shift that will have an impact either for their cause or against them. Kate has to trust many people in several time periods, but as time progresses she continues to be concerned about loyalties. Who can she trust? What sacrifices will she be forced to make?

Time’s Divide is the third book in The Chronos Files series. Readers who jump into this book without reading the first two will be thoroughly and utterly lost. Each book is jam packed with information and this book is no exception. Walker has Kate traveling through so many series of time periods and events that it may be needed to pause each time and ensure you know when she is visiting. This book has a definite ending and the author says it is the end of the trilogy … yet she also mentions other stories that may come from this newly minted world. Let the stories roll, because I will read them all.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: A Sky Unbroken

A Sky Unbroken A Sky Unbroken by Megan Crewe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Earth has been destroyed, the rebel group has fallen apart and Skylar has been put in a living museum with the few Earthlings that were spared from the destruction. Win is home and pretending to be loyal to Kemya, yet he can’t believe that everyone just accepts what the Council tells them. Can Win and Skylar get the truth out? Will the Kemyate people work together to let the Earthlings free?

A Sky Unbroken is the third and final book in the Earth & Sky trilogy. Crewe has the story continue shortly after the last book and she portrays the short time frame with the quickly advancing storyline. The survival of two people groups is at stake, yet only a few characters are observant enough to understand the risks they are all facing. Although this is a final book, Crewe took the story all the way to the last pages before the reader is able to discover the outcome. That in itself was fine, but in the end I found myself rechecking the last pages to see if I missed something. I don’t know what was missing, but the ending was not satisfying. A fine story in itself, but probably should have had another 30 pages.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Review: Gathering Deep

Gathering Deep Gathering Deep by Lisa Maxwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chloe has survived being possessed by her mother and is trying to come to grips with the fact that her mother has been alive for over a century with the help of dark magic. She has no memories of the past few days and even though she is trying to stay away from her mother’s magic, she feels an unexpected pull that she can’t seem to control. After ritualistic killings begin again, Chloe must venture back into the dark French Quarter to try and stop her mother from killing once more. Can Chloe control her own powers in time to stop her mother? What risks will she be willing to make and which lines will she be unwilling to cross.

Gathering Deep is the second book in the Sweet Unrest series. Events pick up shortly after the conclusion of the last book and Maxwell has woven reminders about crucial portions to nudge the reader’s mind. Even though this is a fiction novel with a magical component, the storyline itself just didn’t feel real. Most of the scenes read as if they were included because of a requirement given by a person other than the author. The book itself was enjoyable, but not memorable and readers may find that they are wishing the book would end so that they could move onto their next read. I will probably read book three, but if it doesn’t get better I won’t be continuing this series.

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