Friday, September 28, 2012

Sleepover Stakeout by Kim Harrington

Title: Sleepover Stakeout

Author: Kim Harrington

Published: Scholastic, Inc.; June, 2012

Pages: 192

Series: Book 2, Sleuth or Dare

Summary: May contain spoilers! WHO'S OUT THERE?
Norah and Darcy's detective agency, Partners in Crime, is taking on a new and chilling case. The girls' classmate, Maya, is hearing strange, crackling voices coming over the baby monitor while she's babysitting late at night. Maya is worried someone might be in danger.
To help investigate, Norah and Darcy join her for a sleepover stakeout. In between eating snacks and watching TV, the girls are on high alert for anything suspicious. Soon, they stumble upon a mysterious secret they never could have imagined -- but Norah and Darcy clash over how to interpret the new clues.
Can the girls get past their differences to see their way to the truth?  (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: I absolutely love Kim Harrington’s books and Sleepover Stakeout was just as awesome as all the other books.  I started it and had to keep reading because I was really curious about a lot of what was happening.  Later on I could figure out what was going on but it was still really fun to watch the characters figure out the mystery for themselves.

This is a middle grade novel so it’s a really fast read and one that I found really enjoyable too.

The ending was very interesting and left a place for the next book which I am looking forward to reading.  I’m curious to see how the rift will be solved.

Overall, I love Kim Harrington’s work and Darcy and Norah just have such fun adventures that if you love mystery you should be checking out these books.  

Source: Own copy

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Supernaturally Kissed by Stacey Kennedy

Title: Supernaturally Kissed

Author: Stacey Kennedy

Published: Ellora's Cave; January, 2012

Pages: 250

Series: Book 1, Frostbite

Summary: Ghosts harass and annoy Tess to save their souls. Sometimes she helps them. Other times she ignores them. But one ghost will give her no choice. Kipp, a former cop with the Memphis Police Department, will stop at nothing to gain her help, including using his ghostly charms to seduce her. 

Tess must help solve the five-year-old cold case of Hannah Reid’s disappearance, because solving the case will save Kipp. But a bigger problem presents itself. Tess is falling in love with a ghost. Now she must decide. Keep Kipp forever, or find the killer. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: The cover of this book kind of made me really nervous to read this book for a really long time but thanks to the lovely invention known as ereaders I no longer need to worry about people seeing covers like that and wondering what the heck I am reading. Except if I’m reading a paperback, then I just hide the cover as much as I can.

That being said, the main reason I picked up this book is because I love mysteries and well this sounded really good.

I got a lot more laughs out of Supernaturally Kissed than I had expected. Kipp and Tess’ interactions just had me laughing quite a bit at times it was really awesome.

The characters were interesting. I loved both Tess and Kipp but I thought Caley to be the most annoying person ever. Zach was pretty cool too. It was just Caley that annoyed me so much, she’s so bossy and I really don’t like bossy people.

If you’re a bit squeamish when it comes to bedroom scenes then you might not want to read this one because there are a couple of scenes that are more adult but not as many as you’d think given the cover. They’re fairly tasteful though and I managed to read through them without getting really embarrassed and uncomfortable.

My only complaint is that there were some editing mistakes such as words being used that don’t quite match up with the sentence. It wasn’t completely awful it was just scattered in random spots here and there and barely detracted from the story I just happened to notice them.

Overall, I really enjoyed Supernaturally Kissed, it was funny and an awesome mystery. I’m definitely keen to read the next book in the series as I am so curious to see what happens next. I’m also glad to see that the sequel has a chick with more clothes on, on the cover.

Source: Own Copy

Monday, September 24, 2012

Partners in Crime by Kim Harrington

Title: Partners in Crime

Author: Kim Harrington

Published: Scholastic Inc., May 2012

Pages: 192

Series: Book 1, Sleuth or Dare

Summary: Whodunit?
When best friends Darcy and Norah have to create a fake business for a school assignment, they come up with a great idea: a detective agency! Darcy loves mysteries, and Norah likes helping people, so it's a perfect fit.
But then their pretend agency gets a real case. Someone is missing, and it's up to Darcy and Norah to take on the search. Unfortunately, there's someone else out there who doesn't want the two detectives stirring up any trouble. . . .
With the help of hidden clues, spy gadgets, and trusted friends, can Darcy and Norah crack the case in time?  (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: As an avid Kim Harrington fan I was excited to read her middle grade mystery series.  The first book was so awesome it had me laughing at many points and I just thought the whole thing was really entertaining.
The story was really cool.  The mystery was interesting and it was something a little different.  I say that because most of the time I’m reading murder mysteries.  Anyway, this mystery was quite refreshing and while I predicted it my 12 year old self would have greatly appreciated it.

Darcy and Norah were so awesome.  I feel like I could relate to both of them because they both had personality traits that I also had.  Norah was worrisome about getting good grades but a really nice person while Darcy had this wild streak but was good at heart.

Overall, I loved Partners in Crime and I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.

Source: Own Copy

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Mere Formality by Ilona Andrews

Title: A Mere Formality

Author: Ilona Andrews

Published: Ilona Andrews, 2011

Pages: 36

Summary: The alarm chimed, sending tiny shivers through Deirdre's fingers, coated in liquid interface.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Being a huge fan of the Kate Daniels series I was interested in reading this short story.  I knew that it would be nothing like the Kate Daniels books but I still enjoyed it.  I like science fiction but don’t really read much of it so this was a good story to find.

The story was not really what I had expected to be honest.  There is a bit of adult content that surprised me somewhat, I knew that there would be some form of adult content because you are warned before downloading the book but I was surprised that it wasn’t actually sex scenes as such.

That being said, I thought the story was quite interesting.  You don’t really get told too much about the world or anything like that so it’s got this mysterious element to it which was quite cool.

Overall, I thought that A Mere Formality was an interesting short story and I had fun reading it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This is a Book by Demetri Martin

Title: This is a Book

Author: Demetri Martin

Published: Grand Central Publishing, 2011

Pages: 269

Summary: Demetri's first literary foray features longer-form essays and conceptual pieces (such as Protagonists' Hospital, a melodrama about the clinic doctors who treat only the flesh wounds and minor head scratches of Hollywood action heroes), as well as his trademark charts, doodles, drawings, one-liners, and lists (i.e., the world views of optimists, pessimists and contortionists).  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have been waiting for this book ever since I discovered its existence last year.  I could of course have purchased it as a hard back but because I’m cheap I waited for the paperback release.  Needless to say the wait was worth it because I loved this book so much!

I am someone who loves books written by comedians as they always have this whole level of hilarity that is consistent throughout the entire book.

Not only are there hilarious passages and commentaries there are a lot of pictures that made me laugh so much, they were so funny.  I had a lot of fun reading through this book and sharing it with some of my friends as well.

Overall, as a HUGE Demetri Martin fan I absolutely adored this book and got many hours of laughs.  This is a Book is well worth a read.

Source: Own Copy

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Would MacGyver do? True Stories of Improvised Genius in Everyday Life by Brendan Vaughan

Title: What Would MacGyver Do?

Author: Brendan Vaughan

Published: Hudson Street Press, 2006

Pages: 208

Summary: You're driving on a deserted road when your car dies. Your cell phone isn't getting service. All you have on hand are a gum wrapper and a wire hanger.
Or maybe you're living in a building without central air conditioning in July. You can't afford an AC; all you have access to are a fan and a bucket of water.
In such times of desperation, many have called upon the symbol of all that is inventive, the hero who awed thousands with his cool, quick wit:What would MacGyver do? they ask..
For anyone who's ever wished they could channel the 1980s action-adventure icon comes this clever collection of forty-five true stories, commemorating the use of improvised genius to solve everyday problems. Inspired by television's Angus MacGyver (played by Richard Dean Anderson), a secret agent who relied on his brains and scientific prowess - not to mention duct tape and a Swiss Army knife'to save the day, the "MacGyverisms" recounted range from the concrete (using Chex Mix to provide traction in an icy parking lot) to the intangible (saving a relationship with the perfect turn of phrase).  (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: I wasn’t originally going to write anything about this book but as I was reading through it I kept thinking more things about the book and so I wanted to talk about this book and what I thought of it.
For starters, the title and cover are so misleading it isn’t funny.  Yeah sure, these are stories where some people act on a whim but so many of them were things that weren’t really what I would consider to be genius.  

Most of the stories were things that people would do given those situations.  For example, one woman’s boyfriend was panicking and considered opening the emergency door on an aeroplane as they were in the air, so she got up and asked a ‘good looking buff’ guy to help her subdue said boyfriend.

While the idea is an interesting one I feel that the execution wasn’t that great.  In all honesty I don’t think that MacGyver would be all that impressed by the majority of stories in this book.  I know that personally, while I found them entertaining I didn’t think they were suited to the book.

At the end of the day, I feel like this is an entertaining, short read that is probably worth reading if you’re passing time somewhere such as waiting on a bus or elsewhere you need to fill in time.  Do not expect this to be MacGyver like situations though or you will be very disappointed.

Source: Library

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Title: This Side of the Grave

Author: Jeaniene Frost

Published: Avon, 2011

Pages: 357

Series: Book 5, Night Huntress

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .
With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"; the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.  (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: The fifth book in the Night Huntress series and I’m still not sick of it.  In fact, there is only one book left for me to read before I’m all caught up on the series L  However, I love this book just as much as I have loved all the others I’m just going to talk about This Side of the Grave.
Bones and Cat are just as awesome as always in this book.  They’re just such a great team and I can’t help but smile every time they team up to take on the bad guys.  Not only did we get a whole heap of Cat and Bones in this one but my other favourite character Vlad was an important dude within the whole story.  (As a side note can I just say how stoked I am that there is a spin-off all about Mr Dracul, yay!)

One thing I noticed is that if you haven’t read the spin-off books you could be quite confused by a couple of things because they’re reflected in the plot of this one and well one such event plays an integral part of the story.

One thing I really like about these books is that there isn’t a whole heap of action.  I’m not really a fan of heavy action, I’m more into people wandering around trying to uncover mysteries and so the small piece of action in this book was just enough to make it not unbearable.

Overall, I am completely in love with this book and I for one am going to be picking up book six as soon as I can.

Source: Own copy

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Eternal Kiss of Darkness

Author: Jeaniene Frost

Published: Avon Books, 2010

Pages: 361

Series: Book 2, Night Huntress World

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she's only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he'd seen it all. Then Kira appears, this fearless, beautiful . . . human who braved death to rescue him. Though he burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.
But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: As I was reading this book I kept thinking, wow this reminds me a little of Beauty and the Beast.  At the beginning anyway, which isn’t a bad thing considering I absolutely love Beauty and the Beast.

Then the book turned into a cat and mouse game between Kira and Mencheres and that bit was so frustrating.  It did make me zoom through the book though because I just had to know how things were going to end with them.

Then of course there are the appearances by some of my favourites from the series.  I cracked a huge smile when they showed up.

As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of Mencheres I actually really enjoyed this book.  I don’t really care that much about Mencheres still, but I did like Kira.  I thought that Kira was such a cool character and because of her I was really engaged in the plot.

Needless to say, I’m really loving the Night Huntress series and I loved this spin-off.  I do find it a little weird that it’s called a spin-off though because I imagine that if you didn’t read this and the previous Night Huntress World series then you would be spoiled if you just ploughed on through the night Huntress series itself.

Either way I am totally loving these books.

Source: Library

Monday, September 10, 2012

And Now for Some Light Relief … : The Genuinely funny Joke Book by Peter FitzSimons

Title: And now for some light relief ... The Genuinely Funny Joke Book

Author: Peter FitzSimons

Published: Random House Australia

Pages: 256

Summary: Two drunks were walking home along the railway tracks. The first drunk says, 'There's a hell of a lot of steps here.' The second drunk says, 'I'll tell you what's worse, this hand rail is low down.'  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book, my boyfriend probably not so much.  As I was reading the jokes I would laugh loudly for about 30 seconds and reading it out to him.
  The jokes in this book were so funny.

I don’t really have too much to say other than I loved this book.  The jokes are so funny.  There’s a section for pretty much everything.

I didn’t get the sports jokes or the Aussie jokes so much but the rest I did and so many of them were so darn funny!

Source: Library

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thriller 2: Stories You Just Can't Put Down

Title: Thriller 2: Stories You Just Can't Put Down

Editor: Clive Cussler

Contributors:  ,   , 

Published: Mira, 2009

Summary: When some of the top thriller writers in the world came together in "Thriller: Stories To Keep You Up All Night, " they became a part of one of the most successful short-story anthologies ever published. The highly anticipated "Thriller 2: Stories You Just Can't Put Down" is even bigger. From Jeffery Deaver's tale of international terrorism to Lisa Jackson's dysfunctional family in the California wine country to Ridley Pearson's horrifying serial killer, this collection has something for everyone. Twenty-three bestselling and hot new authors in the genre have submitted original stories to make up this unforgettable blockbuster.
Turn off your phone.
Shut down your computer.
Say goodbye to your friends and family. Be prepared to read for days.  (Taken from Goodreads)
Thoughts: After reading the first and third in this series I was excited to read this one.  I was also very glad to see that each story was going to be a new original story and not using characters from well-known books written by the authors.
I quite enjoyed Clive Cussler’s commentary it was interesting and didn’t drag out.  It told me a little bit of background that I found quite interesting.

The stories were a mixture of great and not so great.  I did enjoy the large majority of the stories and some of them were so good.  There were quite a lot that had me hanging on to every word and I could picture them in my mind really well.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading the Thriller 2 anthology and thought it was worth a read.

Source: Library

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jaquie Brown's Guide to Everything by Jaquie Brown

Title: Jaquie Brown's Guide to Everything

Author: Jaquie Brown

Published: Random House New Zealand, 2009

Pages: 204

Summary: Jaquie's guide to all things important to the modern woman, from food and your body, to animals, birds and the environment, fashion and being cool, love, romance and dating, and politics. If you find Jaquie boring (unlikely), she's included some recipes, quizzes and puzzles for your enjoyment. 

Jaquie is full of tips and useful information on how to navigate life; for instance, how to lose weight by becoming a Breatherian, what your hat says about you, or how to know if you're talking to an alien. She exposes the truth about swans, tells you what words to use if you want to be cool and which words to avoid, and lets you in on the rules for rescuing a friend if they've got food stuck in their teeth.   (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: One of my favourite types of book is humorous non-fiction and being a fan of The Jaquie Brown Diaries on tv I just knew this book would be right up my alley.

It was pretty funny, just not as funny as I thought it would be although I did giggle a lot through the book.
The book says it is Jaquie Brown’s Guide to Everything and it pretty much is.  Jaquie covers some really weird things in this book and adds in quizzes, recipes and a lot of pictures to make this book have almost everything.

There’s even a sealed section that I found to be particularly funny.

Overall, I thought that Jaquie Brown’s Guide to Everything was quite funny.  It was a quick and enjoyable read and sated my appetite for something funny for a couple of hours.

Source: Library

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review Policy

I mostly review books in the adult category but still enjoy the occasional middle grade novel.

The fiction genres reviewed here are:
Urban fantasy

I do accept both physical and ebook copies.  Physical copies get read a lot faster, and if you are wanting me to read and review an ebook my preferred format is epub but I do accept pdf as well.  Although I would mostly prefer epubs. 

*Currently I am accepting a very limited number of books for review as I have some of my own books to work through as well.*

Monday, September 3, 2012

Awful First Dates by Sarah Wexler

Title: Awful First Dates

Compiled by Sarah Z. Wexler

Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca, January 2012

Pages: 207

Summary: "He spills out a pile of pennies all over the table, telling me he fished through the couch for change to pay for his big night out." 
From the guy who chews on rocks to the one who has his mom tag along, Awful First Dates is filled with hilarious, cringe-worthy, holy-crap-did-that-really-happen? stories from celebrities like Lauren Conrad and Michael Kors, you'll laugh, you'll cringe-and most importantly-you'll feel better about some of the date's you've been on 
-He ate an entire bowl of dip with his fingers. 
-He said, "I think we should hang out in the woods and just groove on each other."   (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This book was a really fast and really funny read.  I pretty much sat down and read the whole thing in an entire sitting.

The book is made up of different people’s short snippets about what they experienced.  So many of them were so funny.  I was laughing out loud quite a lot and at one point one of the stories had me laughing for about 10 minutes.

I really liked that some of the stories were from celebrities.  Justin Halpern’s story had me in stiches, it was so hilarious.

Overall, I loved Awful First Dates, it was so funny and a nice quick read I would recommend it to those who love humorous non-fiction.

Source: Library