Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: Entombed by Linda Fairstein

Series heroine Alexandra Cooper, head of Manhattan's sex crimes unit, returns in a novel that might have been titled "Nevermore,": focused as it is on the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. When the body of a two-decades-old skeleton is found bricked up behind a wall in a soon-to-be-demolished building where Poe once lived, it looks like a very cold case indeed. But then that old murder is linked to a more current slaying, one that at first looks like the work of the Silk Stocking Rapist, Alex's old enemy, who terrorized the upper East Side of Manhattan several years ago but hasn't been heard from since. As usual, Alex and her good friends, detectives Mercer Wallace and Mike Chapman, take the reader to an area of New York most tourists never see--in this case, the Bronx Botanical Gardens and its wild, forested environs--and bring it dramatically to life. Just in case Poe ever has his own category on Alex's favorite TV show, there’s enough trivia included about the master of the macabre's life and work to propel any reader to Final Jeopardy. Entombed is a smart, stylish, well-told tale.


My third Alex Cooper book and so far the series for me is just fantastic. This time around, a killer is using Edgar Allan Poe's poetry to murder innocent victims. The victim was entombed inside a wall. How scary that must have been if that person was still alive. Imagine yourself in that situation. I, for one wouldn't want that kind of death. Just shoot me and be done with it. Prolonging someone's death is the most heinous crime possible for me. 

I learned so much from this book, Linda provided detailed background about Edgar Allan Poe, I get to know Edgar's life, his poetry, his family and his tragic love story. It's so much fun to learn important people in a way that you won't get bored. Thanks Linda for educating me in a very unique way! 

The book for me, was just excellent. All the three main characters (Alex, Mike and Mercer) are just superb. Alex was also entombed! For just a brief moment. Talk about getting in over your head. But that's the price someone has to pay when you're doing police work. It's also interesting that Alex and Mike are having a kind of romance-in-the-air vibe.  That would really spice things up! I'm looking forward to the next book, Death Dance! 

My Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In My Mailbox #31: A Little Creepy

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by  The Story Siren.

I forgot the first Bentley Little book that I've read but I'm pretty sure it was about a town nestled in the heart of the desert, oh I think the book is entitled The Town. Yeah that's it. I think I've read that book when I was still in high school. A long time had passed. The Town was a great read. A horrifying tale of death and supernatural beings.

After so many years, I now have The Burning. When I saw Bentley's book, I remember his ability to scare the readers out of their minds. There's no way I'm letting this book just pass me by. :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Review: Home To Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

Nestled in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the town of Big Stone Gap has been home for Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney and her family for generations. She's been married to her beloved Jack for nearly twenty years, raised one child and buried another, and run a business that binds her community together, all while holding her tight circle of family and friends close. But with her daughter, Etta, having flown the nest to enchanting Italy, Ave Maria has reached a turning point. When a friend's postcard arrives with the message - It's time to live your life for you, - Ave Maria realizes that it's time to go in search of brand-new dreams...


I've told you all before that when I buy a book, sometimes I do an extensive research first and sometimes I just go with my feelings. This is the latter part...

Usually, I don't buy books that have this kind of story. Basically, Home To Big Stone Gap is a book for grown-up women. So, why do I have it? Again, there are no boundaries when it comes to reading. As long as I'm interested in the story, I don't care if it's chick-lit, romantic suspense, paranormal, young adult, crime, thriller, medical horror and romance. The most important thing is that I enjoy all of them.

The book I think is all about marriage, family and friends. ( I can easily relate to family and friends. I'm still single hehehe). Even though this is the fourth book, I can still follow the story quite clearly. Upon knowing that it's a series, I did a bit of research of the previous books and gathered some info so I can understand this book more. Adriana Trigiani is such a delightful writer. I don't know if she herself experienced all the things that she wrote in this book, coz authors sometimes write stuff from their own lives, Home To Big Stone Gap is a book that will teach you to love, forgive and live life to the fullest. Highly recommended! 

My Rating: 4 Stars

Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: City Of Glass by Cassandra Clare

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight. As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her new found powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost? Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

I gave a 5 star rating on City of Bones and I think that City of Glass exceeds that, I'm giving it a six star rating. Hehehe. Although I skipped City Of Ashes entirely (my bad), I managed to piece together the remaining plot (thanks to wikipedia for that) and eventually all the things that I needed to know on City Of Ashes are all answered one by one.

This is an amazing book to end a series, (technically, it's not over yet, because of the books popularity, Cass will have two more books to write) City of Fallen Angels will be released this coming April 2011, it's really good to have more of Jace and Clary! As far as I'm concerned, Cass can write as many sequels as she wants. Hehehe. This is the same wish I had wanted from the Harry Potter Series. Book 8! Book 8! :-)

All the characters are still enjoyable to read. That's really important. Don't want to get bored, and if that happens the book is slowly annoying me. The action is not a priority in this book, I wanted some hardcore fighting scenes but that wasn't the case. Nevertheless, things were superb. Cass, you did a great job on this one!

In my opinion, best book in the series. Wow!

My Rating: 5 Stars

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In My Mailbox #30: A Chance For Jance

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by  The Story Siren.

When you're a book lover like me, there's an endless list of authors that you want to try and read...And that's what I'm doing with every purchase that I make, to discover new authors and new exciting stories. I know J.A. Jance (from her website hehehe). I've come across most of her books whenever I'm out and about doing my book hunts, and I know that these two books are part of a series. But it doesn't matter. These two novels can hold on their own. They have a specific story and a satisfying ending. I hope...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review: Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

Blossom Street—where you'll find everything you're looking for! From yarn and flowers to friendship… There's a new shop on Seattle's Blossom Street—a flower store called Susannah's Garden, right next door to A Good Yarn. Susannah Nelson, the owner, has just hired an assistant named Colette Blake, a young widow who's obviously hiding a secret—or two. When Susannah and Colette both join Lydia Goetz's new knitting class, they discover that Lydia and her sister, Margaret, have worries of their own. Margaret's daughter, Julia, is the victim of a random carjacking, and the entire family is thrown into emotional chaos. Then there's Alix Townsend, whose wedding is only months away. She's not sure she can go through with it, though. A reception at the country club, with hundreds of guests she's never met—it's just not Alix. But, like everyone else in Lydia's knitting class, she knows there's a solution to every problem...

It's good to be back on Blossom Street! The last time I was on this street, some of Lydia's friends (The Shop on Blossom Street, A Good Yarn and Susannah's Garden) are finally settling down and having a great time with their lives. In this book, Lydia is starting another knitting class and she's determine to teach her friends about knitting and about life.

One of the main characters is on this book again, my favorite, Alix Townsend. She's about to get married and she's not getting what she wants from this big event of her life. Her friend Jacqueline have taken the reigns on her wedding and she's calling all the shots. Alix wanted a simple wedding and Jacqueline is not a bit interested in that. I like Alix's character, she's strong and able to make decisions on her own. That's why she's very annoyed that somebody is taking over her moment. She's thankful that Jacqueline is helping out but it is her wedding and she should be the one to decide about everything.

Colette Blake is a new character in this book, she has a very big problem. She's pregnant and she doesn't want people to know, even her parents. She's in hiding and afraid. The father of her child was her former employer and she's scared to tell him the truth because she knows that the feelings she's got will only push him away.

The Blossom Street Series only gets better and better as each new book promises new endearing characters and well realized storylines. I'll never get tired of reading them.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: Lies by Michael Grant


It's been seven months since all the adults disappeared. Gone. It happens in one night. A girl who died now walks among the living; Zil and the Human Crew set fire to Perdido Beach; and amid the flames and smoke, Sam sees the figure of the boy he fears the most: Drake. But Drake is dead. Sam and Caine defeated him along with the Darkness—or so they thought. As Perdido Beach burns, battles rage: Astrid against the Town Council; the Human Crew versus the mutants; and Sam against Drake, who is back from the dead and ready to finish where he and Sam left off. And all the while deadly rumors are raging like the fire itself, spread by the prophetess Orsay and her companion, Nerezza. They say that death is a way to escape the FAYZ. Conditions are worse than ever and kids are desperate to get out. But are they desperate enough to believe that death will set them free?


The third installment from Michael Grant's GONE Series, Lies for me was a whirlwind ride! Seriously, I can't get enough of these series. Each volume keeps on getting better and better!

In this book, the kids in Perdido Beach formed a town council, a group of people who are going to be in charge of decision making regarding the welfare of the town. They did this to start a system that will benefit all of them. Also for the first time, Grant takes us outside the FAYZ, from the outside, the FAYZ is surrounded by an impenetrable barrier. All the people outside have been petrified by this incident. Loads of parents are in shock to have learned that all the children are trapped inside and with no adults to take care of them. They couldn't figure it out why this happened to the town of Perdido Beach.

Grant also revealed that the kids who turned 15 will automatically be sent back to the outside world, now the kids inside doesn't know this. New characters are also introduced in this book, there's an island where other kids are left alone after the adults disappear. Basically, that's where the story revolved, they have loads of food so Caine and the other bad kids wanted to get there. 

Plague is the fourth book in the series due to be released this year, at the end of Lies, some of the kids are having some kind of flu. I think that this flu is much worse that it seems. Now the kids will be facing another dilemma that is spreading throughout the town. I hope they have enough medicines to sustain all of them...Lies is definitely a book that will entertain you till the last page!

My Rating: 4 ½ Stars


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: The Gatekeeper by Michelle Gagnon

As Kelly's fiancé, Jake Riley, races to find Madison, Kelly is assigned to another disturbing case: the murder and dismemberment of a senator. At first the two cases don't appear to be related. But as Kelly navigates her way through the darkest communities of America—from skinheads to biker gangs to border militias—she discovers a horrible truth. A shadowy figure who calls himself The Gatekeeper is uniting hate groups, opening the door to the worst homegrown attack in American history.From the moment sixteen-year-old Madison Grant is abducted, an unthinkable terrorist plot is set in motion—pitting Special Agent Kelly Jones against her most powerful adversary yet. The kidnapper's ransom demands aren't monetary…they come at a cost that no American can afford to pay.


Okay, I'll make this review as short as possible, I'm doing this to soften the blow...I rarely write a bad review because I usually do research on the book that I want to purchase first. But there are times that I just want to buy a book on the basis of the cover, story and author alone.

The Gatekeeper is the 3rd installment from Michelle Gagnon's Kelly Jones Mystery. I haven't read the two books, but that's not a problem for me. The author always give a small review on what happened on the previous books and that alone is enough to catch up with the story.  

The book started out interesting for me, I kinda was engrossed with story and the characters were okay. But when I was in the middle of the book, I got bored and I wanted to discontinue reading it. But I did managed to suck it up and finish the novel. I wasn't satisfied with the ending either. Anyways, I'm not giving up on Michelle Gagnon, if ever I come across with her other titles again, I'll give her another try. Cheerz!

My Rating: 3 ½ Stars


Monday, February 7, 2011

Review: Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

What do a suburban mom and her troubled daughter, two recently divorced brothers, a pair of former child stars, born-again Christian newlyweds, and a couple of young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on Lost and Found, a daring new reality TV show. In teams of two, they will race across the globe--from Egypt to Japan, from Sweden to England--to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play. What starts as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. Before long the question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.


I don't like watching reality shows, you know, like the very popular Survivor series, The Bachelor, The Amazing Race and loads more that I won't mention. I don't find them realistic and true enough to waste my time on them. I just want to make it absolutely clear that I don't have anything against these kinds of shows, it's just that I don't like them. They're not my cup of tea. :-)

So how come I have Lost and Found? It's a book! That's the reason I have it and of course I'm really interested with the story. Although I can't help but compare it to the Amazing Race, the book is so much more than that. In this book, all the characters have backgrounds from their personal life. Not like the one we see on TV where all the contestants just go to places and compete with various challenges. What kept me reading Lost and Found are the stories of the contestants that are told in their own point of view. Their lives are as real as ours and they face the same problems we do everyday. This is the kind of book that will keep you interested from beginning to end.

Carolyn Parkhurst is a wonderful author, I can't possibly think how she managed to create a story with very realistic characters. I was really blown away with this book. Cheerz!

My Rating: 4 Stars


Sunday, February 6, 2011

In My Mailbox #29: Upside Down

 In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by  The Story Siren

As I've said before, I'm controlling my urge when it comes to my book purchases every week. It's really not easy, there are loads of books out there and sometimes the price is just so right I can't resist it! I think this is an addiction, well, in a good way right?

Anyways, this is the first time that I'm going to read John Ramsey Miller, I kinda like the story of Upside Down. A good story should not go to waste, I'll say! Hehehe. I'll add this one to my To-Be-Read pile. Cheerz!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: Hunger by Michael Grant

Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers. Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.
But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them. The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

Michael Grant has created a world that is fascinating and disturbing at the same time. This book is so much better than the first one. I feel like the story is really taking shape and all the characters are having all the exposure in terms of their powers and abilities.

In this book, the kids inside the FAYZ are facing the very worst enemy possible: HUNGER. All their resources are in short supply and they have to do something about this fast. Sam and his followers are trying very hard to get the kids to do some work in the fields to grow crops and eventually harvest them. But it's very hard for the kids to comprehend that they need to work in order to eat. Some of the kids  turned to boiling grass and eat them (yuck, right?). Another one opened a dance club to momentarily forget the hunger that's incessantly gnawing inside their stomach and minds.

Amidst the hunger and the ever looming presence of the darkness, some kids who doesn't have any special powers are concocting a plan against the "freaks". They want to have control over the FAYZ themselves and have a separate place from the freaks where they would feel superior. Pandemonium struck when kids turn against each other and violence erupted throughout the FAYZ. Things aren't looking good for all of them...

To wrap it up, Hunger is a superior piece of entertainment! Michael Grant is a remarkably gifted writer! Cheerz! 

My Rating: 5 Stars


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: Last Known Victim by Erica Spindler

In 2005, hurricane rescue workers made a grisly discovery at one of the massive refrigerator "graveyards"--six female hands. Captain Patti O'Shay, a by-the-books cop, is assigned to the case. But with the evidence lost to time and the elements, the heinous incident goes unsolved. The perpetrator, known only as "The Handyman," remains at large. Two years later Patti is still haunted by her own personal tragedy--her husband and fellow police captain was murdered in the post-storm chaos. But when a female victim missing her right hand is unearthed, Patti prepares to return to The Handyman investigation. She is unprepared, however, for what she finds at the crime scene--the victim's bones beside her husband's police badge. Casting aside all the rules, Patti is fearless in her quest to find the truth...because if she isn't, she could become The Handyman's last known victim.

This book falls under the whodunnit kind of story that I really, really just love reading. Keeping me on the edge of my seat while reading Last Known Victim only makes Erica Spindler one of my favorite authors around. 

In this book, Captain Patti O' Shay struggles to find and capture the killer who murdered her husband. She goes out of her way and even managed to break the law herself to reveal the killer who has eluded her in the past. 

Set against post-Katrina, the author managed to unite two chilling stories, explore the destruction that Katrina has done to the city of New Orleans and a  killer that's out of control. I admire Erica for giving me the kind of book that I really can read over and over again. To wrap it all up, Last Known Victim is a nail-biting suspense with a breathless twist!

My Rating: 4 stars

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