Friday, February 28, 2014

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Book 5), by Richelle Mead

Synopsis: After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's - and to her best friend, Lissa. It is at long last graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him . . .forever.

Thoughts:  I take back what I said about the previous book in this series...THIS is the best one so far. Rose's adventures in this book are above and beyond anything in the other four. And the end of the book?  Cliffhanger extraordinaire!! I'm #2 on the list to get the last one in the series from the library, and I can hardly wait for it.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Synopsis: Marriage can be a real killer. 
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
   As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Thoughts: I like the story this book tells, but NOT the way it's told. The book was very hard for me to read, even though I was curious to see how it all turned out. In all honesty, I'll have to wait for the movie to find out, since I just couldn't slog my way through the whole thing.  

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4), by Richelle Mead

Synopsis: The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them . . . including Dimitri.
He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Thoughts: Best book of the series so far! It starts off a little slow, but once it takes off, it's hard to put down. You're wondering how in the world Rose is going to get out of the situation she is in....and then amazed at how it happens.  Then, when you think she is safe,she gets a letter........and the book ends!  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Second Honeymoon, by James Patterson

Synopsis: A walk down the aisle, a resort hotel, a drink on the beach...for these unlucky couples, the honeymoon's over.
A newlywed couple steps into the sauna in their deluxe honeymoon suite—and never steps out again. When another couple is killed while boarding their honeymoon flight to Rome, it becomes clear that someone is targeting honeymooners, and it's anyone's guess which happy couple is next on the list.
FBI Agent John O'Hara is deep into solving the case, while Special Agent Sarah Brubaker is hunting another ingenious serial killer, whose victims all have one chilling thing in common.
As wedding hysteria rises to a frightening new level, John and Sarah work ever more closely together in a frantic attempt to decipher the logic behind two rampages.
Thoughts: A good story, but not really a James Patterson quality story. I suspect that many of the novels with co-authors have very little actual Patterson work in them, and just have his name on the cover to sell them.
Aside from that, I enjoyed the story, and the way the two cases were woven together. One killer is known to the readers from the beginning, but the other was quite surprising.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3), by Richelle Mead

Synopsis: Rose knows her love for Dimitri Belikov is forbidden. Her best friend, Lissa -- the last Dragomir princess -- must always come first. But a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose's mind. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle, Rose will have to choose between life, love, and the two people who matter most...but will her choice mean that only one can survive?

Thoughts: I think I said it after reading the second book, but it was reinforced in this one. Getting attached to ANY character in this series is a very bad idea. I had a feeling something bad was going to happen to someone, but it turned out to be neither of the two male characters I expected....I'm still reeling a bit over what happened.  Three more books left in the series, and I can't wait to read them!!!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby

Synopsis: Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.

In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.

Intense, hilarious, provocative, and moving, A Long Way Down is a novel about suicide that is, surprisingly, full of life.

Thoughts: I actually only made it about halfway through this one, which is unusual for me. I didn't find it riveting or provocative. When I had to force myself to go back to it and keep reading, I knew it was time to move on to something new.  I can only hope that the movie will be more interesting.

After Dead:What Came Next In The World Of Sookie Stackhouse, by Charlaine Harris

Synopsis: Dead Ever After marked the end of the Sookie Stackhouse novels—a series that garnered millions of fans and spawned the hit HBO television show True Blood. It also stoked a hunger that will never die…a hunger to know what happened next.
With characters arranged alphabetically—from the Ancient Pythoness to Bethany Zanelli—bestselling author Charlaine Harris takes fans into the future of their favorite residents of Bon Temps and environs. You’ll learn how Michele and Jason’s marriage fared, what happened to Sookie’s cousin Hunter, and whether Tara and JB’s twins grew up to be solid citizens.
This coda provides the answers to your lingering questions—including details of Sookie’s own happily-ever-after…

The book will feature extensive interior art by acclaimed Sookie artist Lisa Desimini, including a Sookieverse Alphabet, color endpapers, and several full-page black and white interior illustrations.

Thoughts: While this was a fun, quick read (took me less than half an hour to finish it), it was not really all that fulfilling. For me, it brought up more questions than it answered, and left me wanting more novels to fill in the blanks!