Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Forest of Adventures by Katie M. John

The Forest of Adventures (Knight Trilogy, #1)For seventeen year old Mina Singer, falling in love with an Arthurian Knight on a white horse was never part of the plan - especially being that she's an ordinary college girl living in the twenty first century.
As Mina finds herself catapulted into a land she believed only existed in the bedtime stories of her childhood, she soon discovers that Fairyland is not quite as innocent as she imagined.

The question is...who will come out alive?

Haunting, beautiful and sexy, The Forest of Adventures, is a dark romantic quest into the land of true and forbidden love.
My Review:
This was pretty adventurous story that I got sucked in to right in the beginning. The story is about a girl named Mira who falls in love with an Arthurian Knight.  The problem is she is also in love with her boyfriend of 2 years, Sam.  The Forest of Adventures is based in a magical realm, were there is a dark and enchanting forest. Even though there is all this magic, knights and evil forces the story still reflects reality, and is full of interesting characters.

I have to say though that I was quite disappointed with some of the characters.  I really thought the main character Mira was un-developed. I thought there was much to her character that I didn't quite understand or relate to.  I also thought that the relationship with her mom was not quite believable.  It just didn't seem very parental or it lacked love, not quite sure how to describe how I felt about.

However, I thought that Katie M. John did a great job in developing an exciting story. There were lots of adventures, lots of plots that just jump out at you that kept me completely entranced with what was happening.  There is lots of this story to love; there is romance, mystery, suspense, tragedy and of course an ending that has you hanging there on the edge! 

I do recommend this story to YA fantasy lovers! Just a side note - there is no sex scenes in the book, which is always a plus for me.  There was however lots of sexual situations that didn't upset the whole story but I wouldn't recommend it to the younger readers, more like 16 and up.

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
About the Author:
Katie M. John

Married to a handsome giant and mummy to a two foot mud-fairy, Katie has been writing stories and poetry since childhood and has always been away with the woodland fairies.
She has taught secondary school students the joys of English Literature for the past ten years which has been an adventure and a joy.
Katie has just finished her three year journey towards completing her first novel.
Her website:  

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

My review:
3 STARS - I am not recommending this book....I was dissapointed that it was not a "clean YA book".  However, I wanted to write my review and you can form your own opinion.
I loved the whole concept of the story! It's about a girl named Grace who at the age of 8 was attacked by the wolves in the woods behind her house.  One wolf saved her though ever since that day she keeps seeing "her wolf" in the woods behind her house.  She becomes completely fascinated by him and he seems to be fascinated by her, then they meet! I'll leave the rest of the story for you to find out about!

I did really enjoy what the story was about and how it flowed! My only complaint is that it's too sexual. It really bothers me when the teens in a young adult book have sex.  There is enough books out there with sex in them that I feel it's not necessary in a young adult book.  Teens see and hear about sex enough and it shouldn't be in a book. That being said, I guess my religious beliefs and values make my review lower than most.  I do think it's a good book but I want people to be warned about the content.
Usually I would also include a summary of the book and author but because I don't feel like recommending the book, I am not going to include it.  However, here is a link to the author's goodreads account so if you're interested you can go check it out.


Here is a give-away for one of Janette Rallison's books! Janette is a great author, she writes teeny-bopper stories but I really enjoy them because they are clean and a bit silly so they are a fun read!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Keepers of Elenath by Amanda Bradburn

Evil is stirring in Elenath. A rapid chain of events: a righteous king's murder, a dark queen's seizure of the throne, and the stirring of ancient peoples opens a new chapter in Elenath's history. Dark powers seek to control all and a bare few stand against the sinister forces. At the center of the tempest lies Gwaeron, princess of Anirum. Secrets surround her true identity, and the strange gifts she is capable of are sought after by both sides of the silent war. Another evil haunting the land of Elenath; sweeping from the northwestern wasteland to Anirum's eastern coast is the dreaded eves fornost. Hearts of human, elf, etel, and gnome will turnfor good or evil. And the worst is yet to come.

My Review:
I thought The Keepers of Elenath was very good. The story is about a princess named Gwaeron who has many secrets about who she is and the strange gifts that she has. There is evil all around haunting the land and giving nightmares to Elenath and the others that are terrifying. There is also a young boy who vows to become a Knight. There are elfs, etels, gnomes, goblins, and of course evil forces. All these creatures are battling evil or joining evil and it is up to Gwaeron and the others to save the land from the evil that is taking over.

I did love how this story unfolded; however, I found it to be a bit hard to get in to. The beginning was a bit rough and it took me a while before I really understood what was going on and got involved with the story. You could tell that the author is young but I was surprised at how well this story grabbed my attention once I really got in to it. It is an action packed on the edge of your seat story. I love that his all my favorite things like princesses, knights, and dragons and of course a battle between good and evil. Although this story had a slow start, the plot and characters did greatly improve as you read it. I am looking forward to read the next book and to see where this journey is headed. I think that Amanda Bradburn is just going to keep getting better and better.

I won this book off of a blog I entered.  I was in no way inflluenced by that. I give my honest opinion on all books!

About the Author:
Amanda Bradburn was born in Nevada in 1991. Writing became very important to her early in life, and by the age of seven she was co-authoring a mystery series with friends. Time has passed, and she has gone on to write other genres. In 2009, her first book, The Keepers of Elenath, was released to a worldwide audience through Tate Publishing Company LLC.
Amanda worked for several years on her Christian Fantasy novel and is now currently engaged in writing its sequel, The Phantom Assassin, to be released sometime late 2011.

This biography was provided by the author or their representative.

Visit the authors website at

You can buy this book online at amazon!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1) 
Summary:  4 STARS
This is a cute little story about a girl named Virginia who had a very eccentric aunt.  Her aunt passed away from brain cancer but before she did she wrote Virginia a note with instructions on her going on an adventure following her specific instructions.  She had 13 envelopes, each with an instruction that Virginia had to do.  This took her to Europe! She went on some amazing adventures, traveled to all kinds of places, and met very interesting people!
When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

My Review:

I did really like this story!  It was a cute and simple story about a young girl going on an adventure to just have one more chance to know her aunt.  I was sucked in to the story right from the beginning and was so curious as to where these envelopes were going to take her that I couldn't put it down.  That being said, I was a bit disappointed with the character Virginia, I wish there was more to her, at times she really seemed un-emotional and clueless! But I really did enjoy the story and plan on reading the next book!

About the Author:
Maureen knew from an early age she wanted to be a writer. She went to high school at an all-girls' Catholic school and graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in writing. She now lives and writes in New York City.

Many of the adventures Maureen's characters face in her books are based on real-life stories. Maureen has traveled all over Europe, and is a Secret Sister to vlog brothers Hank and John Green.

Order this book on Amazon

My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia's photo filters through the Internet, she's offered a job to be Kari's double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia's mother has always warned her against celebrities.
Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!

My Review:

My Double LifeAnother great book by Janette Rallison! I just love her books! My Double Life was about a girl named Alexia who lived in a small town called Morgantown, West Virginia, (which ironically is that same place I lived for 1 yr. on my teen yrs.).  She lives with her mother and grandmother and has never met her father and doesn't even know his name.  Her life is pretty boring and normal until someone sees her picture and says she is an exact look alike of a famous rock star named Kari Kingsley.  Suddenly her life changes when Kari asks her to play her double and go to events pretending to be her and be paid thousands of money for each event.  She finds out who her dad is and that if she goes with Kari to be her double she'll get a chance to meet him.  Soon enough she is pretending to be Kari and enjoying all the perks that go with it, like a hot famous boyfriend, paparazzi, clubs and concerts.  Things get really complicated when she can't even tell her boyfriend or her dad who she really is. 

Like I said, this is another great book by Rallison! The reason I love her books is because there just a simple book about a teenagers life.  They make me laugh and there always a fun read.  This story line was very cute! Everyone pretends they are a celebrity at one point in their lives and how amazing would it be to actually professionally pretend you are your celebrity look alike! Very great story, easy going, up-beat and just an enjoyable read!

About the Author:
Janette Rallison has five children who keep her well supplied with plot ideas, sometimes even making cameo appearances in her novels. She likes to write romantic comedy because there is enough angst in real life, but theres a drastic shortage on both humor and romance.

Playing the Field was named Society of School Librarians International Best Book Award Honor Book, and both Alls Fair In Love, War, and High School and Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Free Throws were included on YALSAs Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list. Fame Glory, and Other T...more.
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Playing the Field was named Society of School Librarians International Best Book Award Honor Book, and both Alls Fair In Love, War, and High School and Love, Life, and the Pursuit of Free Throws were included on YALSAs Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list. Fame Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List, was just chosen for IRAs YA Choices list for 2007
If you'd like to learn more about the author, visit her blog!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Driven by Shellie Neumeier

I won this book from a blog that I follow.  When I read the author's interview I knew it was a story I'd be interested in.  Driven is a book that has you thinking about spiritual battles right from the first page! What an amazing story! The story is about a girl named Robyn who takes on the role of leadership in her youth group.  With that role come the spiritual attacks that Christians face when stepping out in leadership and following God's will.  There were demons that possessed humans and then those humans were used to try to destroy Robyn's faith.  It seemed like the main point was that if Satan could destroy Robyn then her destruction would bring down a whole lot of others to destruction, like her youth group and friends.  Satan used every possible tool to crush her faith!

I really really enjoyed this book!! I am a youth leader at my church and have been dealing with teens for 5 years now and I can't imagine a better display of how Satan using things, experiences or people to crush our faith!  I really want to recommend this book to young adults and young adult leaders or for any Christian adult for that matter.  I've always believed that there is spiritual battles going on all around us, but Shellie Neumeier but it to me in real sort of way that reminded me how the simplest things in life could bring down my faith. 
Driven reminds me that we always have to be aware of spiritual attacks. We must call on God and pray often.  It's a reminder to me to know my scripture so that I can speak the words to rebuke Satan.  Thank you to Shellie for a story that speaks to my soul! I loved it!

Snow Angel by Jamie Carie

Based in the late 1800's, Snow Angel is about a young girl named Elizabeth who was given away by her birth mother as an infant.  She went through a couple of orphanages and then ended up being adopted by a very horrible set of parents.  When the Alaska gold rush came around and Elizabeth had a chance to escape her horrible adopted parents she took it!  She was then followed by a man who was paid by her adopted parents to find her, she had to continually be on the run, never trusting anyone or staying one place.  Somehow she ended up on the porch of a man named Noah.  Noah took an interest in her but could not get through to her tormented soul. Can Elizabeth stay safe from the man who hunts her and wants to destroy her life and can Noah convince her that he loves her and can keep her safe. Can both Noah and Elizabeth follow the voice and direction of God?!
Jamie Carie did a great job with developing characters that you just connected with right from the start. Even from the beginning you wanted to continue reading as fast as you could to see what was going to happen to poor Elizabeth.  I really enjoyed this story because it encourages those that have struggled with broken families, hurt relationships and bad experiences that you can overcome those situations and learn to love again! It's very inspirational and encouraging!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Season by Sarah MacLean

I have to just say right off the bat that I LOVED this book!! I have found that I can't get enough of these historical romances!! The Season was an amazing story about a girl named Alex and her two friends that are making their debut this season. The main character Alex has no desire to find a husband but would rather go on an adventure.  They attend balls, house parties, dinners but most of all these 3 young ladies get completely caught up in one of the biggest mysteries of all putting themselves in complete danger! Through all of this is a new romance between Alex and her friend but this romance might just get them killed.
This story had everything I love. There was the historical aspect with the balls, the flirting, the courting, lots of humor and much more.  Then there was the mystery and the very exciting romance!! I couldn't get enough of this book. I read it all in one day! Can't wait to read more of MacLean's books!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

She walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

She Walks in BeautyWhat a very intriguing story! She walks in beauty is about a young girl named Clara who is debuting to win the most sought after guy of the year.  This story is about all the things that woman of the 19th century had to go through in society standards, all the primping and correcting, all the lessons and criticism, and of course the marriages to the most wealthy families. Clara doesn't want anything to do with it, she doesn't like the corsets, the dancing, the food and she especially not happy about having no choice in whom she should marry.

Siri Mitchell did a great job at connecting you with the characters. I was so moved by all that Clara had to go through that you just couldn't help but to be sad and devastated with all that she had to go through to just be considered acceptable in society. I really connected with her and I just loved how the story ended!
I love that Siri Mitchell made it known to the reader that God loves us just the way we are, that we were not meant to go through so much pain to be loved.  She talked about God in such a way that your heart just ached for Clara to fully understand it but she didn't bombard you with religious statements over and over. It was very sweet and true to the culture! I enjoyed this book greatly!

About the Author:
Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

Her ninth novel, A Heart Most Worthy, follows prior Bethany House releases: A Constant Heart (October 2008), Love's Pursuit (June 2009), and She Walks in Beauty (Apr 2010). She Walks in Beauty won the inaugural INSPY Award for Historical Fiction in Dec 2010. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. Love's Pursuit was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award.

Shackles of Honor by Marcia Lynn McClure

I loved this book by Marcia!! She is my all-time favorite romance author and this book was just fantastic! I loved the tension and explosive interactions between the 2 main characters! The plot about the pre-arranged marriage was so exciting! Shackles of Honor had so many of the things in it I love, it had a historical background, it had pre-arranged marriages, tension, love-hate atmosphere, jealousy, desire and was just amazing!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough

The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough was a very interesting story. The story is about a man named Luke who ran away for 11yrs because he had his heart broken by Rachel. He finally decides to return to his hometown where Rachel lives and finds out that she is now a widow. He is now the town marshal and is staying next to her boarding house and she was to cook and clean for him. He is still so angry with her that he won't speak to her much. Then the story takes an interesting twist, 3 mail-order brides show up to marry him and he didn't order them, his cousins did. Soon all 3 brides are competing to win Luke!

I really enjoyed this story mostly for the plot! I'd never heard of such an interesting story. The idea of 3 mail-order brides biding over one man had me giggling. The Anonymous Bride had me laughing at times and it was also heartbreaking. Luke had a lot of forgiving to do and I enjoyed watching him go through the process of forgiveness and healing. I loved how this story showed us that only God knows the truth of situations and we need to trust him that he knows best. It had me thinking about the people in my life I need to forgive and how important that choice is! Very thought provoking and inspirational.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Timeless by Alexandra Monir

I loved this book!! Timeless by Alexandra Monir is breathtaking! It captured my heart right from the beginning! Timeless is about a girl named Michele that went through a horrible tragedy and had to move from California to New York. When she gets to NY she is suddenly able to travel back in time! She meets the guy that she has had dreams about for years! This story is one of the most romantic stories I have ever read!
I haven't read a book in a long time that has gotten to the brink of tears but Timeless did just that! At times the story is so romantically sad that it just broke my heart and other times I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face!
This is one of those books that as soon as I started reading it I could not put it down. I read it at every spare moment I had. I was so involved with the story that it felt like my own reality! I don't have any complaints about this book at all! I recommend it to anyone that loves ya romance, you will not be disappointed! The ending of this book blew me away and I can hardly imagine having to wait another year for the sequel.

The Snowflake by Jamie Carie

Jamie Carie has really done an amazing job with the character depth in "The Snowflake". This was an amazing book!! It captured my soul right from the beginning and had me eager to keep reading.

It was Christmas of 1897 and Ellen had lost pretty much everything important to her in her life. She was traveling with her brother Jonah to reach the Alaska gold rush. When tragedy stuck the boat they were on they decided to travel to Dawson City on foot with her brother and some other men aboard the ship. They met all kinds of struggles along the journey. She soon became close with a man named Buck! Buck had his own heartbreak to deal with too but a connection still formed. All Ellen wants this year for Christmas is to not be alone, will that wish come true?!

I really connected with the story of Ellen and Buck. Sometimes when you go through a tragedy it is hard to see what God's plan is for your life and it's hard to have faith when you've been shaken so badly. I've never been so involved with the characters as I was with this book, in some parts my heart felt torn and broken and I literally cried and other times I rejoiced when they rejoiced!

This book is full of surprises, amazing love, God's faithfulness and grace!! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a sweet romance and a story of God's healing power and forgiveness, you will not be disappointed. I am new to the world of reading. I just enjoying reading, all the time and now I can't stop! I had never heard of Jamie Carie before but I won this book from an interview she did on a blog and I was clearly not disappointed!! I am excited to read the other books Jamie Carie has wrote!

A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley

I loved A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley! The story is about a lady named Sarah Prescott, the funny thing about the title is Sarah is far from a lady!! Her parents died when she was a young girl and so she was raised by her wild, revenge seeking older brothers. They didn't teach her how to be a lady but how to defend herself against the harsh world and shoot, lie and sneak around. Sarah soon runs to a preacher by the name of Justin Wells who saves her numerous times and she ends up saving him a few times too. Sarah and Justin come from very different worlds and society standards that at first they clash badly, but soon a friendship blooms. They find an orphaned baby and are determined to find her a good home. Justin is trying to convince Sarah, who is an outlaw, to turn herself in and trust on God to keep her safe, all the while he is struggling with his own faith in God too.

A Lady Like Sarah is filled with mishaps, laughs, tears and lots of adventure. Margaret Brownley has really captured a good story of inspirational romance and God's forgiveness and guidance.

I really enjoyed the character of Sarah. She very much felt that God had abandoned her and that she did not deserve a good and happy life. Once she learned how great God was/is and that he never left her she turned her faith right around like a child! I recommend this story to anyone who loves inspirational romances and stories of God's amazing guidance, love and forgiveness in our lives

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy was a great book. I had this idea in my head that it was going to be really dark and twisted so I kept putting off reading it. I was pleasantly surprised!! Paranormalcy is about a teenage girl named Evie who works with the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA) to bag and tag tracking devices on paranormals. She has an ability to see through paranormal glamour, which nobody else can do. Then the most unusual paranormal, Lend, comes in to her life and the whole world as she knows it changes. She finds out new information about herself and also finds out that all the paranormals of the world are in danger. She tries to save them but it is a crazy world.

I really connected with the characters of Paranormalcy. Kiersten White has really done an amazing job of creating characters that you can invest in. I just loved Evie, she was hilarious! Like I said before, I thought the book would be all sad and gloomy but Evie is just a hilarious teenage girl with "normal" girl problems in some ways. Lots of funny little jokes and quirks!!

This book is amazingly written. It contains a lot of action that has you on the edge of your seat but it also has romance in it which is amazing! The romance aspect of the story is very good and I was just invested in the story I could hardly stand it ending! Kierston does a great job of creating an action packed story without having the romance part take over, brilliant!! I loved this book!!

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

I was so enthralled by this story right from the start!! Such an interesting story. The Healer's Apprentice is about a young girl named Rose whole lives with the town healer as her apprentice. It story takes place in 1386. Rose is such an interesting character, I was just drawn to her right from the beginning. She had such determination in being the woman God created her to be but she was having a hard time figuring out what she wanted in life, she liked helping people, but the sight and smell of blood just made her feel sick. She then meets a wonderful man who she knows she can never be with but they are so drawn to eachother.

I absolutely love stories about castles, dukes, princes, etc. They are by far my favorite type of stories and Melanie Dickerson has wrote my all-time favorite of this genre. The medievel time period is so fun and with the romance involved the story was just enchanting! I loved it! She did such an amazing job of captivating the audience right from the start. I can't wait to read more of her books. This is one of those books that after borrowing it from a friend, I really would just like to own my own copy so I can read it again and again!