Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Lurve

There's a new blog in town from a long time blogger! I've been following Sarah's various blog incarnations for several years and I'm excited she's back! To get her blog started off with a bang, she's  giving away a $20 gift card in a Twitter contest. Here are the rules:

Follow @thebooklurve on twitter and tweet this message out to your followers:
Check out and enter in the Twitter contest for a $20 gift card to your choice of Amazon or Barnes & Noble. #Booklurve
Be sure to use the hashtag #Booklurve — Then, visit her blog, comment on this post along with a link to your tweet about the contest and you’ll be entered. If you do a blog post about this contest then leave that link as well and you’ll be entered twice. This contest is going to go through 12/23/2010. All gift cards will be sent via email to the email address that is given upon contact with the winner.

Be sure to stop by Bool Lurve and give her a warm welcome back!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Book Fairy

Angie of Angieville recently posted about her Holiday Reading & Giving and asked what books we're giving to others this holiday season. I love this idea and thought instead of just posting in her comments I would share what books I've bought for people. This year I've bought less books than I have in the past. I ALWAYS try to give at least one book to anyone I buy gifts for. Luckily, I have lots of friends and family who are voracious readers and are ecstatic to receive books as gifts.

I usually buy books for my mom that I haven't read yet but have been getting a lot of buzz in the blog-o-sphere. That way I can borrow them when she's finished! Thank you all for your fabulous book pimping skill because of all the books I've bought her, that I haven't read, she's loved! So thank you! I haven't read either of these but they sound excellent and I'm sure my mom will enjoy them:

For my dad I thought he would enjoy this book, which I also have not read but intend to borrow when he's finished!

I told one of friends about the Downside series because I thought it was something she would enjoy but she hadn't bought the first book yet so I did it for her. Also thought she would enjoy the Beautiful Creatures series as well!

My other friend loves J.R. Ward but hadn't picked up the second book in her Fallen Angels series so I got that for her.
So, as Angie asked, what books are you giving this year?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Review: Mind Game by Carolyn Crane


Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.
I picked this up for my Mom at the Romantic Times Booklover's Convention earlier this year.(I even got it signed by Ms. Crane!) I've been waiting for my Mom to finish it so I could borrow it and I'm so glad I finally got to read it!

I love that Carolyn Crane has created a world with various shades of gray. Her characters' hidden agendas mixed with their special talents make for very unreliable characters. As a reader, I love stories that don't necessarily have clear cut heroes or villains. The world we live in is not black and white and, while I often read to escape the "real world", I love finding authors whose unique, complicated characters challenge me as a reader.

Even Justine questions the morality of the work she does for Packard. Are they providing a service the public by disillusioning criminals or playing god with their special brand of vigilantism? She's torn between believing in Packard and her own instincts about her most recent target Otto Sanchez, Midcity's golden boy Police Chief.

I love this this type of ambiguity and conflict in a storyline. It gives us readers a lot of fodder for coming to our own conclusions. Crane puts her characters in compromising situations, making questionable decisions and, in the end when the mystery is unraveled, we're still left with the sense that there are no easy answers, just shades of gray.

I loved Justine for the same reason I loved Chess in Stacia Kane's Downside series. Even though these characters are deeply flawed, they're unique, engaging, and their otherness challenges me as a reader. It's a talented author that can make a neurotic hypochondriac and a druggie ghost hunter unlikely heroines! Bravo, ladies.

As for Packard,I felt he had a bit of a Barrons-esque quality to him. Is he a good guy? Is he bad? For those of you reading Karen Marie Moning's Fever series,the mystery that is Jericho Barrons remains, however Packard's secrets are revealed only to remind us readers that he is neither a hero nor a villain but falls on the spectrum somewhere in between.

Possible Spoiler alert (highlight to read):

I'm gonna go ahead and officially say I'm team Packard. Even though Otto turns out NOT to be a psychotic killer, I don't care for him as Justine's love interest. In this world of gray, Otto is firm in the belief of right and wrong, black and white. With the kind of work Justine does I don't see this thing working out between them. I'm totally a Packard girl. The end.

I'm anxious to get a hold of Double Cross and read about the (mis)adventures of Justine and her fellow Disillusionists. I'm sure there aren't many of you out there, but if you haven't read Mind Games, what are you waiting for? It totally lives up to the hype!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Library Loot: December 8 - 14

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted alternatively by Marg and Claire that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky (at Claire's this week) any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!
It's been awhile since I posted my library finds! I haven't been reading or reviewing much and haven't gone to the library much at all. But I did get some good books this week:
Jenny really enjoyed this one and it's a paranormal....without vamps!
Yes! So burned out on the whole YA vamp scene.
I've heard great things about this book and can't wait to read it!
I'd forgotten about this book until recently. I'd meant to pick it up when it came out but totally forgot! Oops.

I'm trying to return a lot of my library books because I know I won't get to them all. However, I'm having a hard time parting with some of them... I MIGHT get to them soon...yea...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lightening Reviews

I had some things I wanted to say about the following books but not enough to come up with two whole posts, so I figured they were good candidates for another round of Lightening Reviews!

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

As most of you know I'm "re-reading" the Black Dagger Brotherhood via audio books. I've always enjoyed Rhage in other books he's sexy and a smartass, I love it! But listening to his book I realized how little we saw of his funny personality. Since we get his POV we see that there's more to the brother than just snarky one liners and a never ending supply of movie quotes. But what I didn't like about Lover Eternal was the complete lack of his personality at all. I don't remember noticing that before but he nary made a wisecrack or joke the whole book. I know he didn't have a lot to joke about what with the curse and his ill human mate and all but I'd liked to have seen a bit more of his humor. I also loved how Mary deals with both Rhage and his beast. Taming the thing when no one else dared, even the other brothers. Mary's kind of a bad ass! ;)

As usual, I love Ward's books because of the multiple story lines. We're introduced to John Matthew in Lover Eternal, we also get more of Z and Bella as we're set up for their story in Lover Awakened. While Lover Eternal isn't my favorite BDB book, (that's a tie between Lover Awakened and Lover Mine) I did enjoy it this second time around!


Abandon the Night by Joss Ware

This third installment of Ware's post-apocalyptic series is, I'm sad to say, my least favorite so far. Which is a shame because I really loved the interactions between Quent and Zoe in the previous books. Quent's frustration with Zoe's actions mirrored my own. I like that she's such a strong kick ass heroine but her constant abandonment of Quent grated on my nerves.

I felt really bad for Quent in this book. Zoe bolted every chance she could get, even when she was doing what she thought was right, she really showed a lack of trust and faith in Quent and I felt it got pretty old. However, I continue to enjoy the series for Ware's world building. This series reminds me a lot of The Walking Dead, which I'm also loving! All in all a good addition to the series, even if it wasn't my favorite.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Reading Recap: November 2010

Well this certainly won't be a very long post since I haven't been reading or reviewing much this month! Here is my sad list for November:

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward (audio book) - 4 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Lover Eternal by J.R Ward (audio book) - 4 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins - 3 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Abandon the Night by Joss Ware - 3 Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Currently reading:

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
Night Betrayed by Joss Ware

With winter finally settling in here in Ohio, I'm hoping I'll feel more like curling up with a book and will get more read next month! Although with the holidays, reading time may be scarce yet again!
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