Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Review: 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea

Title: 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea by Jonathan Franklin
Publisher: Atria
Format: ebook was received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 288 pages
Genre: non-fiction

Synopsis: On November 17, 2012, Salvador Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico for a two-day fishing trip. A vicious storm killed his engine and the current dragged his boat out to sea. The storm picked up and blasted him west. When he washed ashore on January 29, 2014, he had arrived in the Marshall Islands, 9,000 miles away—equivalent to traveling from New York to Moscow round trip.

For fourteen months, Alvarenga survived constant shark attacks. He learned to catch fish with his bare hands. He built a fish net from a pair of empty plastic bottles. Taking apart the outboard motor, he fashioned a huge fishhook. Using fish vertebrae as needles, he stitched together his own clothes.

He considered suicide on multiple occasions—including offering himself up to a pack of sharks. But Alvarenga never failed to invent an alternative reality. He imagined a method of survival that kept his body and mind intact long enough for the Pacific Ocean to toss him up on a remote palm-studded island, where he was saved by a local couple living alone in their own Pacific Island paradise.

Review: Based on hours of interviews with Alvarenga and his rescuers along with input from other people who have also survived long periods of time in tragic situations this book is a true tale of survival.  I wasn't hooked from day one but once that storm hit Franklin had me and didn't let go. Interspersed with the story are snippets of information from oceanographers, doctors, earth science specialists, and climate specialists which really added to the story by making it educational as well as entertaining.

No one else has ever survived that long at sea but somehow Alvarenga surived for 14 months adrift at sea.  He started out in Mexico and finally washed ashore in the Pacific Islands.  Finding fresh water and food was a daily struggle. The way in which Alvarenga kept his mind occupied and didn't completely lose hope was even more miraculous. Its amazing that he made it with his mind intact.

I have read many stories on survival but this tale will stick with me.  Alvarenga's will to survive and his extraordinary ingenuity really got him through in the toughest conditions. It really gives you a new perspective on life.



Sunday, December 27, 2015

ARC Review: Grave of Hummingbirds

Title: Grave of Hummingbirds by Jennifer Shutelsky
Publisher: Little A
Format: ebook received through amazon prime
Pages: 204 Pages
Genre: Mystery

This title will be released January 1, 2016

Synopsis: In the remote Andean village of Colibrí, a boy discovers what appears to be the body of an angel. But in the face and wounds of the dead, winged woman, Dr. Gregory Moreno sees something even more disturbing: an uncanny resemblance to his beloved late wife that cannot be mere chance. And in American anthropologist Sophie Lawson, still more echoes of the doctor’s lost love stir…igniting the superstitions of the townspeople, and an elusive killer’s deepest desires and despair.

When Sophie vanishes, her son and Dr. Moreno must navigate the streets, politics, and mysteries of a place where tortured ghosts and strange omens exist side by side with mortals both devout and corrupt. But they may need nothing less than a miracle to save her from sacrifice at the altar of a madman’s twisted passion.

Review: Sophie and her son Finn stumble upon the small town of Colibri while on vacation.  Despite laws against it Colibri still holds mysterious ceremonies to appease the gods. Finn seems to have a mysterious connection to animals and Sophie resembles two women who have both died mysteriously in Colibri. Both start to feel uncomfortable and want to leave Colibri but find themselves being kept there like they are lead actors in a play not of their choosing.

 There is a lot of folklore and small town mystery, intrigue and superstition in this book, reminding me a lot of Isabelle Allende's work. Ghosts and secrets abound leaving you often wondering what exactly is real. This story is very atmospheric and lyrical. Several of the characters are very well developed and others we get to know enough to carry us though.  This small town seems to be straddling their present and their past traditions, they seem to need to let go of the past in order to move forward but struggle with letting go.  I really loved this book and found the feel of it to be very fable like also reminding me of the works of Paolo Coehlo. The ending was surprising and satisfying even though it left me wanting a little more.

The title is a little confusing I feel like it should be Grave of the Condors not Hummingbirds which barely make an appearance.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Book Review: A Grimms Curse

Title: A Grimm Curse (Grimm Tales Book 3) by Jana Jennings
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Format: e-book received through netgalley.com from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 174 pages
Genre: YA, Mystery

This title was released on November 20, 2015

Synopsis: An orphan girl befriends an enchanted frog while her cursed stepsister plots revenge in a twist that can only transpire in a fairy tale.

Lady Wellington’s obsessive quest for a crown for one of her daughters has ensnared Cynthia and her musical talent in her scheme. Cynthia turns the nightmarish concert into a gesture of true friendship in an attempt to reverse the curse of a frog prince.

Attempting to be invisible to her abusive stepfamily while sidestepping the arrogant prince, Cynthia searches for an understanding princess to change Remi back to his rightful form.

Things do not go as planned when Remi disappears, leaving their friendship in his wake. Meanwhile, the single-minded Prince Wilhelm is determined to make Cynthia his bride.


Review: I really liked this reimagined story.  Cynthia lives with her step-mother and two horrible step-sisters (sound familiar?). During a ball for the prince Cynthia caught the eye Prince who is now trying desperately to get her to agree to marry him.  But Cynthia wants more than the pompous prince and is starting to have memories, or are they dreams of another place.

With her cousin, the Prince's cooks son, Jack, a stolen goose, and a fisherman Cynthia tries to make her way back to her world but can she do that before the Prince or her step-mother find her?

Blending fairy tales together in a unique and really enjoyable way, Grimms Curse is a great little book.  Weaving characters from some of the most loved fairy tales together in a twisted tale with more self-confident women and princesses.  Although it is the 3rd in a series I didn't feel confused or lost, it definitely can stand alone.





Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ARC Review: Tough Justice: Exposed 1

Title: Tough Justice: Exposed (Part 1 of 8) by Carla Cassidy
Publisher: Harlequin Special Releases
Format: advanced e-book sent to me from the publisher through netgalley.com
Pages: 85 pages
Genre: Thriller/Mystery

This title will be released January 12, 2016

Synopsis: A new job. A new case. A new criminal…?
Special Agent Lara Grant will do anything to get her mark—until her last undercover case, infiltrating the notorious Moretti crime ring, forced her to get close to the top. Way. Too. Close…

Now starting a new job in New York City, all Lara wants is to leave the ghosts of her past behind. Until a dramatic sniper attack leaves Lara's face – and real name – all over the media. In the blink of an eye, her cover is blown, her identity exposed.
Then a woman's body is found, branded with the ritual Moretti tattoo. Someone knows who Lara is…and exactly how to make her pay

Part 1 of 8 in a chilling, high-octane FBI thriller TOUGH JUSTICE from NYT bestselling author Carla Cassidy and Tyler Anne Snell, Carol Ericson and Gail Barrett.

Review: I was really interested in this book not only by the description but also because each installment is written by a different author and I am curious to see how the writing varies and if it changes the way the story flows.

This first book really set the stage and left me wanting more.  Lara Grant has a lot of secrets from her time undercover in the Moretti crime ring and we haven't even scratched the surface of it yet.  When bodies start turning up with crime ring tattoos there has to be a connection to Lara, but Moretti is in prison so who is setting up these kills? Is it Moretti seeking revenge from prison, someone else trying to start up his crime ring or something else entirely? Lara has to learn to trust her team but trust isn't easy for her.  Can she trust them or are they in on whatever is going on?

This was a quick read and I am anxiously awaiting the release date so that I can download the other installments to this series.  This is a fun, edge of your seat mystery with lots of dark alleys to wind down so I'm hoping that the authors take us for a wild unpredictable ride.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review: The Innocent (Book 2)

Title: The Innocent: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel by Taylor Stevens
Publisher: Broadway Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Mystery Thriller

Synopsis: Eight years ago, five-year old Hannah was spirited out of school and into the closed world of a cult known as The Chosen. Ever since, followers of its leader have hidden the child and shielded her abductor. Now, childhood survivors of The Chosen who have escaped to make a life for themselves on the outside know here to find Hannah and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help. Munroe reluctantly takes the job, and travels to Buenos Aires to infiltrate the cult and save the girl. Inducted in to a world unlike anything she has faced before, Munroe must navigate unpredictable members and their dangerous cohorts, the impatient survivors who hired her, and the struggle against her own increasingly violent nature so she can rescue the child before the window of opportunity closes and Hannah is lost forever.

Review: Its been a long time since I read the Informationist which is the first book in this series.  I do remember liking it and wanting to return to it so here I am a few years later.  Michael Munroe is a deadly chameleon. She can change her appearance, fluently speaks several different languages and knows how to blend in. Her expertise is information.

When her friend asks her to help get a child out of a cult she reluctantly takes the job. She is having a difficult time and is having nightmares that leave people in danger.  Hopefully she can suppress this long enough for her to find Hannah and get her out of the cult before she gets moved again.

I found myself a little lost on what the nightmares were about, maybe it was something that happened in the first book that I don't remember but her violent episodes were such a central part that I felt I was missing something. However it didn't take away from the overall story.  The Chosen are terrifying in the realistic portrayal of a religious cult and the way in which Michael infiltrates them is brilliant and simple.  The characters are well developed with many layers.  

I don't think I will wait so long to read the next book in this series.




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review: My Girlfriends Pregnant

Title: My Girlfriend's Pregnant!: A Teen's Guide to Becoming a Dad by Chloe Schantz-Hilkes
Publisher: Annick Press
Format: protected epub - received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 129 pages
Genre: Parenting, pregnancy, adoption, abortion, fathers

This book was published August 2015

Synopsis: Based on interviews with teenage dads, social workers, and medical professionals, this book explores:
  • What it's like to discover that your girlfriend is pregnant
  • What to expect during pregnancy and childbirth
  • The experience of parenthood--both positive and negative
  • How involved the role of a teen dad can be
  • How parenthood can affect young relationships
  • The stress of being a teen dad
  • The impact of abortion and adoption on young fathers.
Review: This is one of the only books I've read that focuses on the father.  Most teen pregnancy books are written from the mothers perspective, and I really appreciate the shift.  With great quotes throughout the book this book gives some great insight into the thoughts and feelings of many young men who find out their girlfriend is pregnant.  While most of the book does focus on parenting there are also chapters on the other alternatives, abortion and adoption. This book also includes chapters on dealing with stress, domestic violence, relationships, and childbirth. There is also a resource guide in the back.

Finding out that your girlfriend is pregnant can bring up so many emotions and this book validates so many different responses to different scenarios.  Whether you plan to parent, place the child for adoption or your girlfriend has an abortion there is no right or wrong way to feel and this book has interviews with many different fathers in different situations.  This book is very much about really looking at what is best for you and taking care of yourself.  It also stresses that staying together may not be the best option and if you do try to stay together what obstacles you may face and not to use the pregnancy as the reason to stay. There are many co-parenting relationships out there that are healthier because they decided not to stay together than if they had tried to stay together.

While this book is geared toward teens I believe any young adult up through their 20's could benefit from reading it.  When that pregnancy test turns out positive there are all kinds of emotions that happen and this book helps break them down so you can start to put them into perspective.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Book Review: Friday Night Bites ( Chicagoland Vampires Book 2)

Title: Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 2) by Chloe Neill
Publisher: NAL
Format: paperback
Pages: 368 pages
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they're enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But should people learn about the Raves--mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle--the citizens will start sharpening their stakes.

So now it's up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn't want peace between them--someone with an ancient grudge...

(82) Review: Merit is back standing sentinel for house Cadogan. Torn between Morgan of House Nararre and her Master Eric Sullivan.

Merit has a secret, she seems to have not fully integrated into a vampire, in fact the vampire seems to be a separate part of her that is aching to come out but what will happen once she does?

This book was a little slower to develop than the first one but the characters and emotions are getting deeper and more developed.  I really appreciate the struggles that some of the characters are dealing with learning of their new natures.  It rings very true and helps pull you into the story.

The political maneuverings in this book get a little deeper and more twisted.  Merit also may need to face her secret if she is going to defeat some of the enemies coming after her house.

All in all a solid book that gives you enough of the backstory that you wouldn't feel adrift if you hadn't read the first one.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Book Review: Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires book 1)

Title: Some Girls Bite: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel by Chloe Neill
Publisher: ROC
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. When a rogue vampire attacked me, I was lucky he only got a sip. Another bloodsucker scared him off and decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed,
four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude—and servitude. Right…

But someone’s out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.

Review: I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to this series.  I've had books 1-3 sitting on my shelf for almost a year.  I finally picked it up the other day and couldn't put it down.  I love this world and I fell in love with Merit, her roommate Mallory and the host of other beautiful and crazy characters.  The hole that was left by the ending of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series has now been filled with Chicagoland vampires.

This world is filled with political maneuvering from Merit's ambitious father, as well as the new vampire world she finds herself in.  While Merit was a bit of a geek as a human she is a very talented vampire.  Caught between hatred and love with the vampire who made her to save her life and now rules her house and is ultimately her boss, Merit often finds herself walking a thin line and having to play catch up to the vampire politics that have been around for centuries.

The characters all have multiple layers and are developed nicely.  The politics are fascinating and I can only see it getting more complex and intriguing.  This is a great start to a series and it definitely sucks you in (pun intended).  I expect that we will start to meet more species in the supernatural spectrum as the series goes on.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Book Review: Autobiography of an Assasin: The Here and Now

Title: Autobiography of an Assassin: Part One: The Here and the Now by MT Hallgarth
Publisher: Troubadour Publishing
Format: advanced e-copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 273 pages
Genre: Mystery Thriller

This title was released on Aug 28, 2014

Synopsis: Beneath a seemingly pleasant and unpretentious façade lurks a ruthless predator...
A narcissistic sociopath!

Martin has an unusual life – he works as an assassin, having killed his first victim when he had only just turned sixteen. After fleeing to Belgium, he finds himself recruited by a mercenary organisation, more commonly known as ‘La Légion’. Given a new identity, Martin is taken to Morocco to undergo extensive training... training that is frequently brutal and bestial.

In Vietnam, Martin is recruited into ‘Section 9’, a covert organisation with the British Secret Intelligence Service. Upon discovering they want Martin to become an assassin, fate intervenes. On arriving back in London, he discovers feelings and emotions that he’s never experienced before – love and affection.

But nothing lasts forever...

When tragedy strikes, an assassin is truly born and overnight, Martin becomes a ruthless, heartless killer.

Review:  I waited and waited for this book to get better but for me it just didn't.  Over the top descriptive with chapter after chapter on guns, different types of guns, different types of ammunition what damage they do as well as different types of bombs, etc...I have to give it to the author they definitely know a lot about weapons.

Interspersed were really interesting bits and pieces of a story that I wished the book would have been the focus instead of on the weapons.  Describing different missions that Martin and his family undertook. There was also a vivid description of the Manor house and how they came to obtain it, renovate it and find the secrets to it.  Those were the pieces that held my attention and I wish there were more of.

The next book in this series is Autobiography of an Assassin: The Family






Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ARC Review: Mailbox

Title: Mailbox: A Scattershot Novel of Racing, Dares and Danger, Occasional Nakedness, and Faith by Nancy Freund
Publisher: Gobreau Press
Format: advanced ebook received from publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 232 pages
Genre: Fiction, coming of age

This title was release May 10, 2015

Synopsis: The Drue family moved from New York to Small Town, USA in the '70s, and they may never fully fit in. Thirteen-year-old Sandy's parents encourage her curiosity, her imagination, and her challenge of social conventions - but not without cost. Sandy and her brother are now learning about horses, cows, swimming pools, and guns. An artist and intellectual, their mother feels like she's hosting foreign exchange students who never leave. Sandy loves the idea of this - both hosting foreign students and traveling the world. As a start, she begins writing letters to distant friends and to the universe, seeking answers to the biggest question she faces...whether there's anyone bigger in charge.

Review: Each chapter is different and the book wanders around from topic to topic but it all fits together, sort of like reading someone's diary.  This diary is of Sandy Drue, who wants to be Nancy Drew and has all sorts of delightful insights into life and adults.  Maybe it's due to the fact that I grew up in this time period but it was wonderful to read about so many of my childhood staples, the metal roller skates, the politics of the time, and all sorts of things.  Sandy's parents are artistic and unconventional and allow their children to figure things out on their own.  Her parents often state that they feel like they are raising foreign exchange students, they don't always understand their kids but they are always supportive.

This is a great coming of age novel. I loved the style of the writing and the insights into childhood in the 1970's USA.  Very well done, but don't expect a fluid story.


Monday, November 23, 2015

ARC Review: A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mystery Book 1)

Title: A Beautiful Blue Death (Charles Lenox Mysteries) by Charles Finch
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: e-book received from the publisher from netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 324 Pages
Genre: Mystery
This title was released on June 26, 2007

Synopsis: Charles Lenox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, likes nothing more than to relax in his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist the chance to unravel a mystery.

Prudence Smith, one of Jane's former servants, is dead of an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison. The grand house where the girl worked is full of suspects, and though Prue had dabbled with the hearts of more than a few men, Lenox is baffled by the motive for the girl's death.

When another body turns up during the London season's most fashionable ball, Lenox must untangle a web of loyalties and animosities. Was it jealousy that killed Prudence Smith? Or was it something else entirely? And can Lenox find the answer before the killer strikes again―this time, disturbingly close to home?

(78)Review: Set in Victorian England this mystery has many twists and turns and well developed characters.  Charles Lenox is a bachelor in the upper levels of society who spends his free time trying to solve the mysteries of the Ton.

Charles Lenox would be happy if he could find a good pair of warm waterproof boots, have a nice fire, tea a good book and the company of his neighbor Lady Jane. However he always seems to get sucked in by a good mystery as an amateur detective. In this book Lennox with the help of his brother, footman, and a host of other colorful individuals Lennox struggles to find the killer of a maid whose murder looks like a suicide but could hold the key to a much larger deception.

Excellent read, I may be picking up more of these charming books.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Review: Anything for Amelia

Title: Anything For Amelia: A true story of the challenges endured by two gay men who had the desire to adopt a child. by Andrew C. Branham
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 209 pages
Genre: Adoption, memoir, lgbt

Synopsis: A true story of the challenges endured by two gay men who had the desire to adopt a child.

When Andrew and DJ decided to adopt and bring a child into their lives, little did they know what they were about to endure; yet never did the thought cross their minds to give up. The horrific, pitilessly, and beyond comprehensible hoops one woman would make them jump through demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that little Amelia was going to be much better off in the loving home that Drew and DJ could provide her. Just when you think, how can two people survive such a nightmare and the journey is just about over when little Amelia is born and will be safely in the arms of her loving dads, Sandi decides to pull one more shenanigan that could change their lives forever.

Review: This book really drives home to me how using an agency instead of an adoption facilitator can help shelter families from women who try to take advantage of prospective adoptive parents. Andrew and his partner DJ used an adoption facilitator who matched them with a birth mother (Sandi) but most of the work was done by themselves with calls to their attorney.  They got paperwork signed, they set up meetings with their birth mother and her family and they didn't have anyone really looking out or protecting them from this demanding woman. In addition further along in the book you realize that their facilitator knew more about this woman than she told Andrew and DJ, there had already been an agency that had tried to put information out there about her manipulations and illegal actions with another family.

We can all look at Sandi with disdain for her manipulations and actions but this woman was smart and knew how to work the system.  She was manipulative, she lied, and she blackmailed, she was abusive to her children, to her boyfriend, and to pretty much everyone around her yet she survived and usually got her way.  I'm not saying she was a wonderful person but you have to give credit to her survival skills.

I think that there were many unrealistic expectations on the part of Andrew and DJ as well as Sandi on what to expect during the whole process and the facilitator didn't do enough to help them navigate this new relationship.  Throughout this book I was struck that Andrew and DJ considered this child theirs before termination even happened.  This is not a surrogate relationship, this was an adoption, and Sandi had rights, and the child she was carrying was hers until she signed her surrenders.  The fact that Andrew and DJ were posting on facebook that they were going to have a boy or a girl was disrespectful to Sandi and manipulative in its own way.  I understand that Andrew was worn down and angry with Sandi at the time he wrote this book but I feel the anger and disrespect he writes about her, his child's mother is inconsiderate of Amelia.  Even with all her faults this is the woman who carried and gave life to their daughter and that in itself should be enough to think about how this tale will effect his daughter when she is older, and I wonder how they speak of her to their daughter.

Even in divorce situations you are always cautioned against badmouthing the other parent. Andrew didn't just tell his story, he told Sandi's and he also told Amelia's.  If he was that concerned about Sandi's children he would have called Child Protective Services, or better yet why didn't the Adoption Facilitator? She should be a mandated reporter, so knowing everything that was going on she should have been obligated to make a call.  Andrew has stated in comments that he didn't call anyone because it may have jeopardized the adoption, that Amelia may have wound up with Sandi and while I appreciate that he wanted to save a child from her wrath, he and all the other adults in this situation allowed 4 children to suffer for months, which seems a little self serving and selfish.

I think that anyone reading this book would feel compassion for Andrew and DJ but I really wonder how will this book impact Amelia in the future? This negative, degrading description of her birth mother? This is a good cautionary tale and a good reason why using an agency to facilitate the adoption process and navigate the relationship between prospective adoptive parents and birth parents is a good idea, but I still feel that there were expectations and feelings on both sides that led this adoption down a dark path that could have been nipped in the bud early on.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Review: Half a World Away

Title: Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Format: Kindle
Pages: 256 pages
Genre: Adoption

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Jaden is adopted, and he knows he’s an “epic fail.” That’s why his family is traveling to Kazakhstan to adopt a new baby—to replace him, he’s sure. And he gets it. He is incapable of stopping his stealing, hoarding, lighting fires, aggressive running, and obsession with electricity. He knows his parents love him, but he feels...nothing.

When they get to Kazakhstan, it turns out the infant they’ve traveled for has already been adopted, and literally within minutes are faced with having to choose from six other babies. While his parents agonize, Jaden is more interested in the toddlers. One, a little guy named Dimash, spies Jaden and barrels over to him every time he sees him. Jaden finds himself increasingly intrigued by and worried about Dimash. Already three years old and barely able to speak, Dimash will soon age out of the orphanage, and then his life will be as hopeless as Jaden feels now. For the first time in his life, Jaden actually feels something that isn’t pure blinding fury, and there’s no way to control it, or its power.

(76)Review: This was a great book that really got into the head of a 12 year old boy who was adopted at the age of 8 from Romania.  Jaden is having a hard time adjusting to his new home, he is angry with his birth mother, wants to love his adoptive parents but struggles with it.  He is sad he had to leave Romania and is angry with his adoptive parents for taking him away but also knows that they love and care for him.  He struggles with attaching and loving them expecting them to betray him.

Ms. Kadohata was able to really get inside the head of a boy struggling with attachment, the different emotions building up inside him and allows you to see things from his perspective.  When the family travels to Kazakhstan to adopt another child Jaden's feelings really rise to the surface as he believes he is not good enough and that is why his adoptive parents want another child.  His insights into the orphanage children and baby they are adopting is poignant and touching.  He relates to them, he knows what it is like to live in an orphanage.  He knows what it is like to feel hopeless.

Beautifully written Ms. Kadohata has really strongly developed characters and a great story that has you really living in Jaden's skin.  You want him to feel, you want his wall to crack, and you feel his pain as he struggles with it.  This would be a great book for anyone adopting an older child either through the foster care system or internationally as Jaden's character is very easy to relate to.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review: How Open Should My Adoption Be?

Title:How Open Should My Adoption Be?: Levels of Openness In Adoption (Guide to a Healthy Adoptive Family, Adoption Parenting, and Open Relationships Book 3) by Russell Elkins
Publisher: Inky's Nest Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 50
Genre: Adoption,

Synopsis: This book is part of a four book series that can be purchased together as an ebook set.

An open adoption relationship can be scary! Open adoption means that an adopted child has a relationship with his or her biological family. But just how “open” should that relationship be?
There is nothing in this world like an open adoption. Because of that, it’s hard to foresee the many different scenarios that will come. You do your best to plan ahead, but you’ll still find yourself in situations you hadn’t fully considered. Should you connect with your child’s birthparents on social media? Should you allow face-to-face visits? How often should you share photos and letters?

This book cannot answer these types of questions for you. What it will do, is help you envision how these intimate interactions can positively or negatively affect your relationship so that you can answer them for yourself. It will walk you through many of these situations to help you plan for what could be one of the most rewarding relationships in your life.

(75)Review: This short 50 page book is packed with a lot of really important information.  Russell Elkins adopted two children and has a very open adoption with both of his birth parents.  How these relationships developed is different and you can learn through their mistakes how to navigate these difficult and emotional relationships.  The only shortcoming of this book was the continuous references to his other books and how you should read them.  Which I admit are all great books I just wish he didn't feel the need to advertise in each of them for the others.

The gems in this book touch on social media, extended family, and the importance of communication.  Another really important piece to be aware of is how the 1st year after adopting is often much more stressful than you expect, becoming new parents, establishing that new relationship with the birth parents and with each other, lack of sleep, fear of disruption, and the invasion of social workers who have to check up on you until finalization can all put a lot of strain on what is already a very emotional time.  So maybe lower your expectations of what this year will look like and take it moment by moment.  Also very important is his section on the time in the hospital.  Respecting the birth parents time with the child in the hospital and remembering that this time belongs to them and isn't your time to start parenting. You may have a lifetime to do that and they have the very short period of time spent in the hospital, respect that.

This book can be read in an hour but it is one you may want to keep around to reference when things come up.  He has some really great ideas and some really profound insight.  I appreciate the short length of this book because it wasn't overwhelming amounts of information and gave lots of food for thought.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

New name, same site


After a few years of writing book reviews here at New Paper Adventures, I felt I needed a change. The blog remains the same only the name has changed, slightly.  It is now Paper Safari: ReadingGrrls adventures into the magical world of books.  You can still find us here at newpaperadventures.blogspot.com or you can use our new url www.readinggrrl.com (yes that is two rr's and no i in Girl). I hope you keep following, commenting and reading!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Book Review: Which one of you is the Mother?

Title: Which One of You is the Mother?: The Absolutely Positively True Adoption Story of Two Gay Dads by Sean Michael O'Donnell
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: Kindle
Pages: 130 pages
Genre: Adoption, LGBT

Synopsis: After fifteen years of up-all-night gay disco dance parties, Sean O'Donnell and his longtime partner Todd decided to trade in their leather chaps for mom jeans and start a family. In August 2012 the not-so ambiguously gay duo walked into a Pittsburgh-based adoption agency and said, "We'd like a child, please." For the next several months they attended parenting classes, subjected themselves to probing FBI background checks, and completed enough paperwork to reforest the whole of the Amazon River basin. Despite lacking a magical baby-making vagina the pair successfully made omelets without eggs when in July 2013 they flew to Oregon to meet their seven-year-old son for the first time. No longer Sean and Todd they would now be forever known as Dad and Papa to the observant boy ("So that's how you sleep.") with a million questions (“Do you have a girlfriend?”, “Where do babies come from?”, “What’s gay?”) No sooner had they settled into their new roles when the stork returned the following year, delivering another boy who quickly proved that five-year-olds were basically talking babies who could use the toilet. Which One of You is the Mother? is the story of how two gay guys finally met the two kids who were always meant to be their sons. This is a book that celebrates a different kind of family who just happens to be like every other family on the block. Only gayer. And funnier.

Review: This is a quick often laugh out loud funny collection of essays written by Sean O’Donnell about how his life changed after adopting two children through foster care.  He touches on the hoops they had to jump through, some of the feelings they encountered at having to choose certain criteria in their children, and how it felt not knowing the past of these two wonderful kids that are now part of their family. Parenting changes you, and your life and Sean O’Donnell has some amazing insights into how wonderful and underappreciated some of them are.  If you are looking for something light but with some insight this is a good choice.


Monday, November 9, 2015

ARC Review: A Blossom of Bright Light ( A Jimmy Vega Mystery - Book 2)

Title: A Blossom of Bright Light (A Jimmy Vega Mystery Book 2) by Suzanne Chazin
Publisher: Kensington Books
Format: e-galley received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 368
Genre: Mystery

This title was published on October 27, 2015

Synopsis: A split-second decision thrusts Detective Jimmy Vega into the epicenter of a disturbing case when a body is found near a gathering place for immigrants in upscale Lake Holly, NY. The cold-bloodedness of the crime and the innocence of the victim torment Vega. But so, too, does the feeling that he's to blame. Or is he? Could the ravings of a delusional vagrant hold the key to the killing? And if so, why can't the police locate him?

In a community gripped by fear of deportation, Vega needs the help of his girlfriend, activist Adele Figueroa, to gain people's trust. But Adele is acting strangely, consumed by a secret that threatens to tear them apart. When the case takes a personal turn, both Vega and Adele discover that Lake Holly's tranquil façade hides a terror of monstrous proportions, poised and ready to strike again. To confront the killer and save their relationship, Vega and Adele must forge a new level of trust—in each other, and in their most deeply held beliefs—to expose an evil that threatens to eclipse anything they'd previously imagined.

(73)Review: This book really shines the light on the plight of undocumented workers and how they can be taken advantage of and also the uncertainty of what can happen to families if they are caught. While investigating the death of an infant Vega stumbles upon a many women being taken advantage of and the culture of silence that protects their perpetrators.

While touching on very important issues that aren't always brought to light, this book also has a great underlying mystery. The book deals with rape and murder but doesn't involve graphic violence. There are multiple twists and turns that keep you reading and overall this was just a really enjoyable book. There was great character development that helped move the story along and I look forward to reading more of this series.




Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review: In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption

Title: In Their Voices: Black Americans on Transracial Adoption by Rhonda M Roorda
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Adoption, race

Synopsis: While many proponents of transracial adoption claim that American society is increasingly becoming "color-blind," a growing body of research reveals that for transracial adoptees of all backgrounds, racial identity does matter. Rhonda M. Roorda elaborates significantly on that finding, specifically studying the effects of the adoption of black and biracial children by white parents. She incorporates diverse perspectives on transracial adoption by concerned black Americans of various ages, including those who lived through Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era. All her interviewees have been involved either personally or professionally in the lives of transracial adoptees, and they offer strategies for navigating systemic racial inequalities while affirming the importance of black communities in the lives of transracial adoptive families.

(72) Review: This is a straight forward and very eye opening book for white families adopting black or bi-racial children.  With a lot of adoption history as well as civil rights history there are interviews with prominant figures that speak on helping trans-racially adopted children learn about their roots, learn what it means to come from whatever rich culture they are from.  Its about helping white families empower their children of color without sugar coating the realities, its about teaching parents how to help their children of color grow up in a still very racist society.  While some of the content of this book might be very in your face, its needed to break through the barriers of many white parents who take on a color blind approach to parenting. The world isn't color blind so adopting transracially often means getting out of your comfort zone for the sake of your children.

This book also provides a wake up call to agencies and those who place children for adoption to educate families and really find the appropriate families to raise children of color.  Not all families are cut out for the job, it's not always comfortable, its not always easy but the rewards are worth it when you raise a confident child who has a sense of cultural identity. Straddling two worlds can be complicated as Ms. Roorda can attest to as a woman of color raised by white parents.  This is not a book bashing trans-racial adoption in fact she supports it but also encourages families to step up and look at the hard questions in deciding if trans-racial adoption is the right fit for thier family and encourages agencies to take step out of their comfort zones and really teach families about what trans-racial adoption really entails.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book Review: God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother

Title: God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother by Amy Seek
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Format: Kindle ebook
Pages: 353 pages
Genre: Adoption, Birth Parents, memoir

SynopsisGod and Jetfire is a mother's account of her decision to surrender her son in an open adoption and of their relationship over the twelve years that follow. Facing an unplanned pregnancy at twenty-two, Amy Seek and her ex-boyfriend begin an exhaustive search for a family to raise their child. They sift through hundreds of "Dear Birth Mother" letters, craft an extensive questionnaire, and interview numerous potential couples. Despite the immutability of the surrender, it does little to diminish Seek's newfound feelings of motherhood. Once an ambitious architecture student, she struggles to reconcile her sadness with the hope that she's done the best for her son, a struggle complicated by her continued, active presence in his life.

Review: Amy Seek writes a gutwrenching account of placing her son for adoption. Seek has an open adoption with the adoptive family of her son, this means that she meets with them, talks to them and exchanges correspondence.  At the beginning of any adoption these days the power really lies with the mother.  She is carrying the child, she gets to choose a family, and ultimately it is up to her to decide if she can go through with placement.

Seek and her then boyfriend Jevn, take finding a family very seriously.  They compose a list of about 100 questions to ask families to see if their values are the same, they interview couples and really take the whole process of finding the "right" family very seriously. After several hours of labor Seek decides to nurse her son, and then ultimately starts having second thoughts.  She winds up taking him home and parenting him for about a month before she relinquishes her rights.  Given that she had a strong support system and people willing to help I found this book really lacking in the reasons why she decided to place.  Its a huge missing gap.

Throughout the book you can feel the grief, anger and frustration that Seek still seems to be dealing with regarding her placement of her son, who by the end of the book is a preteen.  After placement the power shifted to the adoptive parents and away from Seek leaving her powerless and lost with her emotions.  I'm not sure where all the support that she was offered to keep her child went after she placed her baby but this seems to also be a major hole in the story.

Despite these big issues and some others that crop up regarding Seek's later pregnancies I don't think I have ever read a more honest and soul bared account of placing a child for adoption. The mix of emotions, grief, anger, happiness, relief, frustration, loss, etc are laid bare for the reader.  However that being said some of those emotions often felt detached and just out of reach. This book is a good conversation starter, because as this book proves there is so much more to adoption than just placing a baby, its a lifelong commitment and a lifelong journey for everyone involved in the process.




Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Review: Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti

Title: Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti by Olivia Wildenstein
Publisher: Createspace
Format: e-book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 319 pages
Genre: YA, Teen

Synopsis: Cora Matthews, the principal’s gloomy goth daughter, is not exactly popular Duke Meyer’s type. Still, Duke finds himself inexplicably drawn to her dark eyes and mysterious manner. She makes it clear she doesn’t return his admiration, but when a burst appendix lands Duke in the hospital, he and Cora will be forced to come together by the most unlikely intermediary: her eight-year-old brother, Jaime.

Duke learns Jaime has brain cancer and little chance of long-term survival. He admires the kid’s plucky positivity and wild imagination and offers to write a story about Jaime’s make-believe superheroes. So begins an epic tale—that of Ghostboy, Chameleon and the Duke of Graffiti—and a deep friendship between Duke and Jaime.

Despite their outward differences, Cora and Duke bond over their affection for Jaime, but unintended betrayal and Jaime’s advancing disease threaten to derail their blossoming romance before it can truly take root.

Review:This is a fabulous YA book that reminded me of John Green's books.  Duke is a pretty boy who hangs with the popular kids and is trying to get initiated into a secret society within his school. During his initiation he gets caught and finds himself sentenced to help clean up the school. It is during this time that he meets Cora, the Goth girl who for reasons he can't seem to explain intrigues and excites him.

Duke lives with his mom, dad and grandmother.  The interplay between Dukes mother and grandmother give this book some much needed comic relief to what could be a downer of a book. Don't get me wrong I cried, but I also found myself laughing and smiling through some of those tears. I was totally drawn in by the characters and despite knowing just as all the other characters did that Jaime's prognosis was not good it still hurt when anything went wrong and I still was hoping for a miracle.

However, Jaime also has a fabulous upbeat outlook on life and as much as we all think that Duke was helping him I think it was very mutual.  What Duke learned from working with Jaime was about living life to the fullest. Not to take things so seriously and laugh at yourself once in a while.  I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a John Green fan.




Monday, October 5, 2015

ARC Review: Pop Goes the Weasel (Helen Grace book 2)

Title: Pop Goes the Weasel: A Detective Helen Grace Thriller (A Helen Grace Thriller) by MJ Alridge
Publisher: Penguin Group
Format: advanced e-copy was received from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 416 pages
Genre: Mystery Thriller

This title is due to be released October 6, 2015

Synopsis: A man's body is found in an empty house. 
A gruesome memento of his murder is sent to his wife and children.

He is the first victim, and Detective Helen Grace knows he will not be the last. But why would a happily married man be this far from home in the dead of night?

The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse: a serial killer preying on family men who lead hidden double lives.

Helen can sense the fury behind the murders. But what she cannot possibly predict is how volatile this killer is—or what is waiting for her at the end of the chase....

Review: Detective Helen Grace and her co-worker Charlie are still struggling to get back on their feet after what happened at the end of book 1.  Now with a new boss, who seems to want to take all the glory but not actually do any work her team is faced with a new challenge.  Men are being murdered and their hearts are being sent to their families. With her team falling apart, her boss doing everything she can to remove her from the case and the reporter who seems to know her every move, DI Grace is running out of time to solve this case.

Since I read a galley copy of this book I am assuming some of my issues will be solved when it is published but there were transition issues from one character to the next where I found myself confused. Paragraphs ran together leaving me having to go back and figure out whose story I was reading and this was distracting.   Despite this I found that I enjoyed this book more than I did Eeney Meeney, book 1 of this series.  I'm finding the development of DI Grace to be intriguing and it will be interesting to see how some of the other main characters either evolve or disappear in coming books.

All in all this is a good suspensful mystery thriller.  Chapters are short which keeps the book moving and you turning the pages.  The next book in this series is due out in the US in February 2016 and I find that I'm actually anxiously awaiting it. I hope this series just continues to improve.




Friday, September 25, 2015

Book Review: Ruined

Title: Ruined: (A Decadence after Dark Epilogue) by M. Never
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: Kindle
Pages: 102 pages
Genre: Erotica, romance, BDSM

Synopsis: ***Content Warning***
Claimed is a dark erotic romance. Please pay close attention to the use of the words dark, erotic, and romance. It has intense sexual situations, a Master/slave relationship, mild abuse and some violence. Reader discretion is advised.

Kayne Roberts.
Kayne Rivers.
Kayne Stevens.

No matter his name, one fact remains the same. He's the man who enslaved me, ensnared me, claimed me and ruined me...For all other men that is.

My life.
My love
My happiness.
All belong to him.
I belong to no one but him.

He owns me.
And I own him.

(68)Review: The finale to the Decadence After Dark series, a very satisfying ending to this series.  Once again it is smoking hot and well done. Will Kanye and Ellie have children? What will happen to thier relationship if they do? Can Kayne deal with his past in order to move foward with his future? Jett and London, now married with kids help move the story along and also have some fun along the way. I almost feel that these two couples should just buy a big mansion and move in together, and oh how hot that would be! Yikes, I take that back, the house might burn down!

Great short ending to this series.  



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review: Claimed

Title: Claimed (Decadence after Dark Book 2) by M. Never
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: Kindle
Pages: 269 pages
Genre: Erotica, romance, BDSM

Synopsis: ***Content Warning***
Claimed is a dark erotic romance. Please pay close attention to the use of the words dark, erotic, and romance. It has intense sexual situations, a Master/slave relationship, mild abuse and some violence. Reader discretion is advised.

With one look he consumed me.
With one touch he marked me.
With one kiss he owned me.
With one whisper he claimed me.

Ellie Stevens thought she had moved on from the domineering man who abducted her. Now living in Hawaii and following her dreams, no one is going to keep her down. But things aren't always as they seem.

Kayne Rivers reluctantly let Ellie go, but just because she's gone now, doesn't mean she'll be gone forever. She is his, and he won't stop until he's reclaimed her as his own.

(67)Review:  I had some problems with the beginning of book 1 but they worked themselves out, book 2 is just as hot, just as smoldering and maybe more real. I was really happy to reconnect with these characters.

As Ellie struggles with her feelings toward Kayne, Kanye struggles to live without Ellie.  When she finally gives in to seeing him again she awakens something inside herself that she now has to accept or it will not allow them to move forward.

We learn a lot more about Kayne's background and Kayne's best friend the super sexy Jett and his lovely girlfriend London are of course major players in this book as well.

Of course what would a romance be without some conflict so when someone abducts Ellie, Kayne loses his mind, hoping he saves her in time.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ARC Review: Owned

Title: Owned (Decadence after Dark Book 1) (A Decadence after Dark Novel) by M. Never
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format: I received an advanced E-book copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review through netgalley.com
Pages: 237 pages
Genre: Erotica, romance, BDSM

This book is due to be released in paperback on Oct. 3, 2015 
but you can download a kindle version now. 

Synopsis: ***Content Warning*** Owned is a dark erotic romance. Please pay close attention to the use of the words dark, erotic, and romance. It has intense sexual situations, a Master/slave relationship, mild abuse, and some violence. Reader discretion is advised.

Ellie Stevens has lusted over Kayne Roberts since he first walked into the import/export company she works for a little over a year ago. As Expo’s most important client, Ellie has always kept a safe distance from the man with the majestic blue eyes - until temptation finally gets the better of her. Impulsively, Ellie invites Kayne to one of Expo's infamous company parties her flamboyant boss is notorious for throwing. Unbeknownst to Ellie, the god in the Armani suit isn’t just the suave entrepreneur he portrays himself to be. Underneath the professional exterior is a man with a secret life, dark desires, and nefarious contacts.

In a hidden corner of a trendy New York City lounge, the spark kindling between the two of them ignites. Unable to resist the sinful attraction, Ellie agrees to leave with Kayne, believing she is finally bedding the man of her dreams. Little does she know when she walks out the door, she’s about to be Owned.

(66)Review: If you liked Fifty Shades of Grey this may be too much for you...while 50 shades of grey was 50 shades of terrible,  M. Never takes you into the dark and wickedly erotic world of BDSM, and while I didn't appreciate the way in which Ellie came to belong to Kayne, I felt Never did a good job of explaining that this wasn't the norm and that most submissives were willing participants.  I will admit when I first started to read this book I was a little pissed, and almost stopped reading I felt that it was perpetuating a negative stereotype of the BDSM world, but by the end I understood what was going on and wasn't as angry about it.  For those who want to jump to conclusions before really getting anywhere in the book I'm sure there will be some negatives reviews, but keep reading, besides being filled with some amazingly HOT scenes there is a lot more going on than meets the eye.

The play between Kayne and Ellie is smoldering and Jett just adds dimension to the characters adding tidbits of information that help you understand there is more going on and gives you a little insight into Kayne to help realize he isn't the raging bastard you think he is in the beginning.

By the end you are panting along with Ellie and want nothing more than them to be together forever. The end of the book takes you on a ride that tears at your heart and leaves you wanting more...which is why I wound up downloading books 2 and 3 immediately.

Much more realistic than 50 shades of Vanilla, the chemistry between Ellie and Kayne is enough to keep you reading. The kink in this book is more on the level with The Story of O or Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series.






Monday, September 21, 2015

ARC Review: A Song of Shadows

Title:A Song of Shadows: A Charlie Parker Thriller by John Connolly
Publisher: Atria Books
Format:Advanced e-copy from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 448 Pages
Genre: mystery, thriller

This title is to be released on September 29, 2015

Synopsis: Still recovering from his life-threatening wounds, private detective Charlie Parker investigates a case that has its origins in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War.

Parker has retreated to the small Maine town of Boreas to regain his strength. There he befriends a widow named Ruth Winter and her young daughter, Amanda. But Ruth has her secrets. Old atrocities are about to be unearthed, and old sinners will kill to hide their sins. Now Parker is about to risk his life to defend a woman he barely knows, one who fears him almost as much as she fears those who are coming for her.

His enemies believe him to be vulnerable. Fearful. Solitary.

But they are wrong. Parker is far from afraid, and far from alone.

For something is emerging from the shadows . . .

(65)Review: This book takes place a few months after Wolf in Winter ends.  Charlie is recouperating from his near death experience. His friends found him a home in a small town in Maine close to the hospital where he is doing his physical therapy.

A single mom moves into the house next door.  Charlie tries to keep his distance but feels that there is something amiss with this new family.  When a dead body washes up on the beach and his neighbor starts acting stranger than normal Charlie doesn't seem to be able to help himself and finds himself looking into the investigation.

If you have an interest in World War 2, Nazi Germany, and Nazi war fugitives than this Charlie Parker book will have you hooked and turning pages. The information is plentiful and very interesting I think Connolly really put some research into this one.  I even learned some things I didn't know or wasn't familiar with that I am now going to have to look into.

I am totally in love with this spooky, dark and violent series I can't put them down.  Charlies friends Louis and Angel are also some of the best characters I've ever read, I love them.  I want to be friends with them and how many contract killers can you say that about?

The ending was completely satisfying and leaves me wanting more but not in a cliff hanger way, plus there is a new mystery brewing. Not only can we continue to wonder what Charlie is -because he does seem like an avenging angel...but now we are starting to see more glimpses into his daughter and she has some things going on that even Charlie doesn't understand.




Thursday, September 17, 2015

Audio Book Review: Rogue (book 3 of Croak Series)

Title: Rogue by Gina Damico
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audible Audio Book
Length: 9 hrs 10 min
Narrator: Jessica Almasy
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Lex, a teenage Grim Reaper, has the power to Damn souls, and it’s getting out of control. Her boyfriend, Driggs, is dead . . . sort of. She’s a fugitive, on the run from the maniacal new mayor of Croak and the townspeople who want to see her pay the price for her misdeeds. Uncle Mort rounds up the Junior Grims to flee Croak once again, but this time they’re joined by Grotton, the most powerful Grim of all time. Their new mission is clear: Fix his mistakes, or the Afterlife will cease to exist, along with all the souls in it.

The gang heads for Necropolis, the labyrinth-like capital city of the Grimsphere. There, they discover that the Grimsphere needs a reboot. To do that, the portals to the Afterlife must be destroyed . . . but even that may not be enough to fix the damage. Things go from bad to worse, and when at last the fate of the Afterlife and all the souls of the Damned hang in the balance, it falls to Lex and her friends to make one final, impossible choice.

(64) Review:  An action and information packed finale to this great YA series.  Once again the humor and characters in this book make the series.  Throughout all three books you can see them change and evolve.  There are lots of surprises during this book, unexpected twists that I didn't see coming which was a nice surprise.

This book was by far the darkest of the series but still kept is dark humor which moved the story along and didn't leave you reeling from some of the events that transpire.  I'm always a little sad when I finish a series but this book really wrapped things up to a point that I didn't feel the sadness and wonder that many series endings leave me with.  I felt satisfied.

Once again Jessica Almasy narrates this book in the best possible way.  Her narrations really brings you into the story.


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