Personal Demons~ Book Review

•May 16, 2011 • 3 Comments

by Lisa Desrochers
read May 2011

Paperback Edition
Published by Tor Teen/Macmillan
Genre~ YA Paranormal Romance
ISBN 13 Hardback~ 978 0765328083
Source~ Sent for review by publisher

Rating~ 4/5

Review
Lisa Desrochers is an author local to me, so I was happy when I was offered the opportunity to review her book! Check back next week, I will be offering up a giveaway of a brand new copy!

Personal Demons is the first novel of a planned trilogy chronicling the life of Frannie, a mortal human, Lucifer (aka Luc), a demon sent to tag her hell for Hell, and Gabriel (aka Gabe) an angel sent to save her from Luc and tag her for heaven. The premise of the book was a welcome new twist to many of the books I have read in this genre. The idea of demons and angels roaming the Earth tagging souls for Heaven and Hell is intriguing.

The story is told from the alternating point of view of Frannie and Luc. I really felt the book lacked something by excluding the point of view of Gabriel. Maybe we will see more of Gabriel’s POV in future novels. I was also not a fan of the names of the characters. Frannie was never a favorite name for me and to call a character who is a demon, Lucifer, and the angel in the story, Gabriel, just lacked creativity for me.

The story though, is intriguing. The battle for Frannie’s soul is exciting and the discovery of what makes her so special unfolds nicely. Some might find the love triangle a bit tiresome, but I enjoyed it. I liked seeing Frannie form feelings for both boys, but in different ways.  The characters, even the supporting ones, are rich and believable.  None of them fell flat.  I really felt like the author captured the essence of teenagers.

A few plot twists were predictable but not unwelcome. It is the kind of book that sucks you in and makes you not want to put it down. Quite impressive for a debut novel.

One last thing I didn’t like was the cover art. I’m never a fan of seeing models posed as the characters of the book because I like to use my imagination, but I can usually look past it. With these models though….they look about 30 and are supposed to be playing high schoolers. But then again, Luke Perry was about that when he was in 90210 wasn’t he?  Generally speaking, cover art is not in the hands of the author, so I won’t hold it against her.🙂

Overall, an enjoyable book. I hope to read the second book in the trilogy, Original Sin, in July when it comes out.  The third novel, Hellbent, is due out May 2012.

Visit the authors website here.

~Jenn

EDIT: I Spoke via email a bit with the author and she emailed me this link to a blog post regarding her decision on naming her characters.  It is something that others have questioned as well. http://lisadesrochers.blogspot.com/2011/04/in-defense-of-clichesand-original-sin.html

I love it when authors are down to earth and can take the good and the bad with regard to reviews.

Clarity~ Book Review

•May 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

by Kim Harrington
read April 2011

Advance Reader Copy
Published by Point an imprint of Scholastic
Genre~ Young Adult/Teen Fiction, Mystery/Paranormal
ISBN~ 978 0 545 23050 6
Source~ Amazon Vine Review Program

Rating~

Review
Clarity Fern, aka Clare, is a teen girl growing up in the tourist town of Eastport. Unlike most teens though, Clare and her entire family are labeled as freaks. In this case, their taunts hold some value. Clare, her mother, and her brother perform psychic readings for tourists. Clare is a psychic, her mother a telepath, and her brother is a medium.

Something sinister is happening in Eastport.  A tourist turns up dead.  The mayor is willing to do whatever it takes to find the killer, including enlisting the help of Clare, his son, Justin, and Gabriel Toscano, the son to the hot shot new detective from New York.

Overall this book surprised me.  I was expecting to not get into it at all but I really enjoyed it.  The story didn’t have a lot of crazy subplots that distracted from the main plot.  The writing style flowed well from page to page.  Some things I didn’t like though.  I found the premise a bit unbelievable.  I mean I understand it is about psychics and mediums and whatnot, but the idea that the police would indulge these teens in leading their own investigation was unbelievable to me.  I loved the main character.  She was smart and witty without being over confident and unlikeable.  The balance was nicely done.  The author was able to capture her awkwardness in dealing with her gift of psychic visions and the repercussions this brought her at school and around town, with a girl who was intelligent and funny who didn’t let it all get to her.

The romantic sub-stories were well-written.  The author really portrayed the conflicted feelings of the main character.  The ending, however, left too many questions unanswered for my liking.  I did some digging, and found out that book #2, Perception, is due out March 2012.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and will pick up the sequel when it comes out.

~Jenn

Click to visit the author’s website.

Intertwined~ Book Review

•April 26, 2011 • 1 Comment

by Gena Showalter
Read April 2011

Paperback Edition
Published by Harlequin Teen
Genre~ Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
ISBN-978 0 373 21012 1
Source~ Amazon Vine Review Program

review
Gena Showalters, Intertwined has one of the most unique ideas in the budding YA Paranormal genre.  The backstory is so inventive and creative it really drew me in, made me want more.

Aden Stone is a human, but not a “normal” human.  Trapped inside him are four souls, all with supernatural powers.  Eve can travel in time, Julian can raise the dead, Elijah can tell the future, and Caleb can possess another being.  Throw into that mix a young girl named Mary Ann who makes the voices go away.  Aden doesn’t know why, but he HAS to know her.

Add in a good mixing of vampires, werewolves, Vlad the Impaler, witches, fairies, goblins, and other paranormal beings and the result is a book I didn’t want to put down.

Now, I wish I could say I had no complaints, but I did.  The interactions between the male/female teens in the story was disturbing to me.  I know teens fall in love hard, but I found it all annoying.  Then again, I am 30 reading a book intended for teens…so who knows.  They were weirdly jealous and possessive, and I just didn’t like it.

I also wasn’t fond of the ending.  It just…stopped.  There is a second book in the series, Unraveled, but I still like it when each book in a series can stand alone.  There was also a lot of backstory that was brought in that made me check twice to see if I had missed the first book in the series.  Some information seemed hastily thrown in as you would in a second book in a series to do a quick recap of what has happened so far.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and will definitely be looking for the second in the series.

~Jenn

Best in Show~ Guest Book Review

•April 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Please welcome my friend, Lauren Winnett, as a guest blogger.

Best in Show
by Laurien Berenson
Rating- 6/10

The plot is not easily visible like so many other mysteries, but the reader has to have some basic interest in dog shows of course they would have to, to pick it up. The book can give a novice a general idea of what happens at a dog show the good and the bad.

The story line is gossipy and filled with little twists and comical instances of parenthood relationships and dog shows.  Dog lovers will enjoy and dog event goers will hold in high esteem as they can easily see friends & enemies in some of the faces illustrated in this books pages. They seem to combat myths and superstitions of dog ownership and give pointers to people that own dogs. All in all, an excellent read but may lose people who are not interested in canines.

And the Winner is….

•November 21, 2010 • 1 Comment

MYSTICA!!!!!!!

She will be getting a brand new copy of Beat mailed to her directly from the publisher.

I will be emailing you shortly for your mailing address.

I also must give my sincere apologies to the author STEPHEN Jay Schwartz for leaving out his first name. I have no excuse….I just wasn’t paying attention when I copied.

Check back on Monday, I will be posting a new giveaway.

Jenn

GIVEAWAY

•November 10, 2010 • 6 Comments

I meant to post this last week, but my in-laws have been visiting from England at it was just hectic.

I have up for grabs a brand new copy of Beat by Jay Schwartz.

About the book:

In his sophomore release, Los Angeles Times best-selling author Stephen Jay Schwartz, gives us another raw look into the haunting, personal journey of Hayden Glass, LAPD Robbery-Homicide detective in Beat.

A distinguished and gifted detective, LAPD’s Hayden Glass is a mental mess. Suffering from a deep desire to connect with anyone, Glass seeks refuge in a world where connection is a myth – the seedy world of strip-clubs, prostitution, and the one place where pornography reigns supreme, the Internet.

Glass becomes obsessed with Cora, a web-cam vixen and prostitute operating out of San Francisco. While on leave from the LAPD, he soon finds himself making weekly trips north, in attempts to save Cora from herself.  Instead, Glass falls deep into the grim hole of the se x-slave trade in San Francisco. In this sinister world run by a labyrinthine system of crime rings and corruption, his attempts to battle his own addiction get challenged like never before.

His struggle lives on beyond the pages with that age-old question: Just how do we beat our own personal demons?

I have yet to start the book, but I’m hosting this giveaway for the publisher.  The winner will receive one copy sent directly from them.

RULES

You must leave a comment with a valid email address.

Multiple entries available by;

1. Tweeting about this contest and linking back in a new comment.

2. Posting about it on your blog and linking back with a new comment.

3. Refer a friend and you each get an extra entry if you mention it in a new comment.

This contest is open internationally to participants over 18 (or minors with parental permission).  The winner will be selected on Nov 21st at 8am PST by random number generator.

Please check back as I have a few more giveaways to list.

~Jenn

And the Winner is….

•October 24, 2010 • 1 Comment

The winner of a brand new copy of The Half-Made World is…….

Giada M.

I didn’t have very many entries! Next time tell your friends and get extra entries! I need to get back into my blogging circles and get more readership again!

Check back on Wednesday when I will post a new book for giveaway!

Giada M. has been sent an e-mail and has 3 days to respond or I will pick a new winner via random number generator.

~Jenn

 
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