Saturday, October 27, 2012

BOOK REVIEW {Skid by Doug Solter}

Title: Skid
Author: Doug Solter
Publication Date: May 20, 2012
ISBN: 1477432655

Can a small-town girl with a big attitude balance a boy and a demanding racing career in Formula 1, the biggest racing circus in the world?
Samantha Sutton drove the car that killed her dad. Now the seventeen-year-old can’t rest until she becomes the racing champion her dad molded her to be. Samantha exploits the system and earns a spot on a German racing team struggling to be relevant against the elite teams of Formula 1.
Samantha pushes herself, pushes her car, pushes her luck at 200 miles per hour. She battles Emilio Ronaldo, seven time world champion and Ferrari racing god. A hero to young girl, but now a rival to a young woman.
To keep herself sane, Samantha relies on her best friend Manny. But she doesn’t know quite what to do about his deep feelings for her. She would love to ask her sisters for advice, but they won’t talk to her. Not since Samantha told them the truth about Dad’s accident. The truth about that dark and rainy night.

Skid is a story that revolves around racing. Personally, I'm not a fan of racing but my husband is. He even races himself. Because of this, I jumped at the chance to read this book. I thought that it might teach me a thing or two, and it did!

Samantha is just a normal, small town girl who is struggling with the death of her father. A death that was caused by her driving. She jumps at the chance to become a real race car driver. A chance to make her fathers dreams for her come true. She becomes best friends with a boy named Manny. As her career in professional racing grows, so do her feelings for Manny.

I really like Samantha's character. She had a bit of a temper but she stood up for herself. Manny seemed a bit nerdy to me and I couldn't ever quite envision him in head. They're "love story" frustrated me a little. I don't want to give to much away but they both just seemed a bit to stubborn about revealing their feelings to each other. It was a tad bit overkill. 

The writing was really well done. Mr. Solter really drew me into this story. And that is saying a lot coming from a girl who doesn't enjoy racing! The ending held a small let down. I just anticipated it being a little more dramatic than it was. But it completed the story line very well. It even brought a few tears to my eyes.

Even if you aren't into racing, I'd recommend this book. It was a fun read. It surely didn't "blow my mind", but I enjoyed the time spent with Skid.

*I received an e-copy of Skid from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

BOOK REVIEW {Faded by Chloe Miles (The Faded Trilogy #1)}

Title: Faded
Author: Chloe Miles
Publication Date: August 24, 2012
ISBN: 9780987392312

After seventeen-year-old Savannah Fraser and her three friends are killed in a car accident, they are given a second chance at life by a group of hundred-year-old teenage earthbound spirits who need their help.
Savannah and her friends learn that they are The Chosen Ones, which means they can switch between human and spirit form, heal people and control the weather. And they are also now invincible.
The Chosen Ones are the only ones who can defeat The Forces - a group of evil spirits who are slowly destroying the perfect little town of Fort Everwick with violent storms and not-so-natural disasters - and stop them from harming everyone they care about.
The Forces are set on destroying everything Savannah knows and loves, but they also have another plan - they want a new member to join them. They aren't willing to give up until they get the one they want...and they have Savannah firmly in their sights. 

Ghosts, evil and some romance makes for a pretty nifty read. I've never been a huge fan of reading about ghosts, but this story was interesting. The biggest issue I had was the formatting. I received an e-copy and because my Kobo died, I had to read it on my cell phone. I figured that might have had something to do with the way it was displayed. Once I got through several pages, I got used to it and it didn't bother so bad.

I thought Ms. Miles did a wonderful job with this one. It has an excellent story line that I was instantly drawn into. I wasn't crazy about some of the wording she used through out the book. Lines such as, "Crazy storm we're having, hey?" tended to bug me. Maybe it's just where I'm from but we don't say "hey" at the end of all our questions. That aside, I really enjoyed reading this book!

She did a pretty sweet job with the characters. I felt as though I knew them all quite well as I was reading. And there were so many to keep up with! I liked that about it though.  Savannah seemed a tad "goody goody" but it did fit her. Some of the romance scenes were a little mushy but nothing over the top. Hunter seemed like the perfect gentleman. The kind of guy every girl dreams about. And I'm anxious to find out how his and Savannah's relationship will progress!

The ending felt as though it was over to quickly. Like it was just to easy, but I also got where Ms. Miles was taking it. And that last scene really blew me away! I must say that I can't wait to find out what happens next!!

I would have to say that the only thing I didn't like about this book was the cover. It just seems kinda "ho-hum". It's not something that would catch my eye if I was in a book store, or even browsing a website. I will admit, I'm a cover whore. It's definitely true what they say though, "Don't judge a book by it's cover!".

If you are into a little romance, some ghostly spirits with some evil happenings on the side, then I would suggest reading Faded. It won't become one of my favorite books but I'm glad I was given the chance to read it. And I did get interested enough to want to finish out the trilogy!

*I received an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Downside Girls by Jaine Fenn

Title: Downside Girls
Author: Jaine Fenn
Publisher: Clarion Publishing
Publication Date: September 24, 2012
ISBN: 9781909016156

The floating city of Kesh rests above the uninhabitable planet of Vellern. For the Topsiders life is about luxury and opulence, while for those of the Undertow day to day survival takes precedence. Kesh City is a democracy by assassination, where the Angels - deadly state-sponsored killers - remove those unworthy to hold office.
When Vanna Agriet accidentally spills her drink over an Angel it could spell death, but instead it leads to a rather peculiar friendship. The downsider Geal hopes for a better life topside, only to find herself embroiled in a 'removal' by the Angel Thiera. Downside, Isha's brother Rakul brings a little black box home with him, and sets Isha on a journey that takes her to a meeting with the most powerful man in Kesh City. Larnia Mier, a talented topside musician and instructor, is injured after witnessing a removal first-hand. As her abilities diminish, new possibilities open up. With a foreword by Alastair Reynolds (author of ‘Revelation Space’ and the recent ‘Blue Remembered Earth’, as well as ’On the Steel Breeze’), 'Downside Girls' is a standalone collection of interlinked stories by Jaine Fenn, that also shines new light on characters from 'Principles of Angels’, Jaine's first novel in the 'Hidden Empire' series. ('Principles of Angels', ‘Consorts of Heaven’, Guardians of Paradise’, ‘Bringer of Light’, and 'Queen of Nowhere').

This is a collection of 4 short stories that make for an amazing novella style read. Before reading Downside Girls, I had never heard of Jaine Fenn or her "Hidden Empire" series. I am now hooked. I can't wait to get my hands on more!

Ms. Fenn's style of writing is captivating! I was drawn in from the first couple of paragraphs. She does an amazing job at world building. It's one of those stories where you can actually envision yourself right there in the middle of it. Of the 4 stories, "Collateral Damage" was my absolute favorite. It's based on such a simple storyline. Two strangers meeting by "accidental" chance, becoming friends and then enemies (in a sense.). The twist ending I did not see coming!

Each story is completely stand alone but yet they intertwine with each other. There are some characters who make repeat appearances in the different stories. They give you just enough of a taste of their world that you can't help but want more and more.

I am super excited to give Jaine Fenn's "Hidden Empire" series a read! I want to know more about this world of Topsiders, Downsiders and Angels. I highly recommend you all check this one out as well! Especially if you like a quick read. An amazing way to "test" a book series without jumping in head first!

*I received my copy from the Library Thing's Early Reviewers Giveaway program.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Monad 12.21.12 The Awakening of Stella Steinar

Title: Monad 12.21.12 The Awakening of Stella Steinar
Author: T.Anderson
Publisher: Sunbury Press
Publication Date: August 22, 2011
ISBN: 1934597635

Stella Steinar isn't concerned with the rumored menacing date of December 21, 2012 looming just around the corner. The adopted but privileged daughter of two renowned scientists is embarking on a new chapter in her life. Ignoring her steadily increasing headaches and visions, Stella is anxious to leave everything in Minnesota behind and anonymously begin again. Headed for Berkeley, fate has other plans for her. What's about to happen in California will change everything she knows about herself and the world--forever.

MONAD, the largest scientific research firm in the world, seems to be hiding a top-secret project. And who is in charge? Stella's adoptive father and Berkeley alumni , Dr. Erling Steinar. On her quest for the truth, Stella finds herself deeply entwined in the project--but is it too late? Will she have time to change the future and escape her inevitable destiny? From meeting the family she's always wished for, to exploring her spiritual beliefs surrounding life and death--follow Stella's story as it takes mysterious loops through time and reality.

Wow! I'm not even sure how to begin! I loved, LOVED this book. I will admit, it took a couple chapters to really draw me into the story. This book is very fast paced and it was never at a loss for something exciting happening.

Stella just wants to live a normal life. She leaves home to attend college expecting to finally be free of her parents. She soon realizes that a "normal life" just isn't in the stars for her. She discovers she has a completely new family, including a twin sister named Aron. She slowly begins to remember bits and pieces from past lives and realizes just how involved she is in her fathers research. Will she figure it all out in time? Or will she be forced to start all over again in a new life?

I felt like we could have learned a little more about all the different characters. This book dove so fast into the plot of the story that it felt a little lacking with Stella and Aron's backgrounds. I have read that we will learn more about them in the next book though! I can't wait for that!

Monad is unlike any book I've read before. It touches on so many different spiritual aspects. Buddhism  Reincarnation, Folklore. While these things are fascinating to me, I've never been able to actually sit through an entire book that focuses on those subjects. The way that Ms. Anderson intertwined these into the story line was brilliant! I felt like I learned so much about the different cultures.

I was in no way prepared for the ending. It came as a complete shock to me! And what a cliffhanger! It feels like one of those crazy, twist endings to the first season of your favorite tv show. The torture of the following months (let's hope only months!) until we can find out what happens next! Amazing work!

If you have not read The Awakening of Stella Steinar yet, what are you waiting for?! This is one of those books you can't pass up! I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

*I won my copy of The Awakening of Stella Steinar from Goodreads First Reads giveaways.

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