Review - Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Caster Chronicles #1
Author: Kami Garcia
Publish Date: Dec 1, 2009
Publisher: Little Brown Books
563 pages

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I enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and for some reason, it really kept me reading.

I say this because there were many times during this book I was confused as to what was happening. There was a lot of back and forth from present times to past without explanation; people with the same names; and descriptions that feel short of telling what was going on. I do think that the author kept the reader in the dark on purpose as she didn't want to reveal too early. Usually this would bother me and make me not like the book or want to stop reading, but I really enjoyed this book. Really!

It could be the characters were very well written. Lena is the main character. She is turning sixteen and at that time, she will either be Dark or Light; good or bad. She wants to be good, but has seen people close to her go bad and she is scared. The more the book moves along, the more she learns about other people who are bad. I truly felt for Lena. She is so different and refuses to be drawn in to the followers. In this she is cast aside and left to be scorned, criticized and the entire town turning against her. Any teenager would be distraught, yet Lena holds on. I loved it.

Ethan is the boy who has been dreaming about Lena without knowing it is her til he sees her. For some unexplainable reason, they are drawn to each other. Surprisingly, against all odds (the entire town) he stands up for Lena and protects her. His best friend, Luke stands up for Ethan as much as he can given his mother is the first to cast stones in Lena's direction.

Kami Garcia wrote the book so that the reader didn't like Amma nor Macon - Amma being Ethan's aunt and Macon is Lena's Uncle. Neither of which really ever tell the two what is happening which leaves the reader (and Lena/Ethan) wondering what they are hiding. As the story develops I love the way Garcia reveals the true identity and wishes of Amma and Macon.

I didn't want to like Ridley either, Lena's cousin who turned Dark last birthday. She wants nothing more than to be mean to Lena. To show her up and make fun of her, but they reveal the true meaning behind her actions later in the book and I just immediately felt for her.

It was so beautiful how the author subtly put the title in the book about three quarters of the way through too! Look for it.

Seriously looking forward to the following book. I'd like to read about Ethan and his history of his family. The part where his mother has passed away and his father stays locked in his study all day to be near her, yet there is a force pulling Ethan to the study and magically unlocking the door for him (and him only) to enter. So awesome!

Next Up -
Beautiful Darkness
Caster Chronicles #2
Kami Garcia

**See why I feel it is so difficult to rate a book? This book left me wondering what I didn't like about it because something held me back, yet I couldn't put it down. **

Summary -

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Review - Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich

Title: Two for the Dough
Stephanie Plum series #2
Author: Janet Evanovich
Publish Date: Feb 5, 2004
Publisher: Penguin

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I am completely captivated by this series. I read the first one simply to see the movie. Heaven forbid I see the movie first and I just love Katherine Heigel.

I bought the second one just to find out if the others were as good as the first. I have to say the second one lacked just a little bit. But only a touch. There were a few slow moments in this book, but for the most part it was as comical, fun-sleuthing and gun totting as the first. I really like that there is a romantic pull between Stephanie and Morelli, the sexy cop she chases in the first book. I love that they pull her Grandmother in the story. She wants to be a cop too, so Stephanie gets to keep bringing her Grandma along on these adventures and the two of them get into quite the trouble!

One of the great things about her books is they are available through the library, but I have been buying them on my Nook because I know I will want to keep them.

Summary -
Kenny Mancuso shot his childhood buddy Moogey Bues and then jumped bail. Now bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is on the case to track Kenny down. Then someone finished Moogey off, Kenny can't be found, twenty-four coffins are missing, and there's some ex-army heavy artillery roaming the streets.

Review - Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Title: Frostbite
Vampire Academy #2
Author: Richelle Mead
Publish Date: April 10, 2008
Publisher: Razorbill
Paperback, 327 pages

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I am really glad I decided to give Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series another chance. I wasn't thrilled with the way she wrote the first book that kept the reader in the dark.

The second book in the series starts out by explaining all the questions I had from the first book. It was so very helpful. It also made the rest of the store that much more interesting.

I am really in love with the star crossed lovers Rose and Dimitri are being shown as. Even though they are destined not to be together, they still are so utterly romantic.

Also in this book, Rose meets her mother for the first time ever. Her mother walked away from her as a child to become a protector as Rose is now. Talk about trying to live up to your parent's expectations. Rose has no idea how volatile her relationships can be.

Summary -

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians—including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…