Monday, March 26, 2012

Some Great Books You May Have Missed!

It was Spring Break last week so I had to prepare for my trip to Mexico by downloading several books on my Kindle.  I decided to look at some of Amazon's recommendations for me and purchased a couple of those titles even though they were a bit older.  I was pleasantly surprised with both Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler as well as Poison Study by Maria Snyder.

Twenty Boy Summer was published in 2009 and I am not sure how I missed this jewel.   The story is set during the summer in Zanzibar Bay, California.  Anna and her best friend Frankie go on a three week vacation with Frankie's family where the girls decide they must meet 20 boys during their trip.  But this novel is anything but a light and airy teen romance. This novel is about tragedy, grief, secrets and healing.  I highly recommend it.

Poison Study was published in 2004 and is the first in a trilogy.  Again, I don't know how I missed this book.   Yelena is about to be executed for murder when she is offered a choice.  She can become the commander's food taster and learn how to recognize the different poisons that may taint his food instead of being executed.  Of course, Yelena realizes her death is immenient; however, she reluctantly agrees.  Thus begins a wonderful fantasy full of intrigue, romance and plot twists.  Yelena is such a strong female character and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her evolve from a terrified girl to a strong and capable woman.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

I have just finished Born Wicked which is the first book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles.  This book is utterly absorbing but I am absolutely irritated with the ending.  I haven't been this annoyed since I read Twilight, which I might add was long before all of the movie hype.  I had to wait many months for New Moon which was utterly frustrating.  And now, I will have to suffer long months before I can read Book 2 of the Cahill Witch Chronicles. 

This book is set in New England during the late 19th century.  But this is an alternate New England where witches used to rule but have been overthrown by The Brotherhood.  Women are not allowed an education and can choose only to marry or join The Sisterhood.  And any woman who is a witch must hide it or risk being sent to an asylum. 

Cate, Maura and Tess Cahill are sisters who are witches.  Their mother has died before teaching them to use their magic.  Their mother's dying wish is for Cate to take care of her sisters. Cate  tries to protect them at all costs but she is thwarted at every step.  Magic has a way of showing itself and the sisters are in great peril.

Besides carrying the burden of protecting her sisters and their secret, Cate must choose between marrying a respectable man she doesn't love or loving a man she can never have.  Cate carries the world upon her shoulders and only she can protect those she loves from ruin. 

This is an exceptional story that kept me riveted.  The plot is unique and unexpected and the characters jump off the page and into your heart.  Cate's independent nature makes her a heroine you want to believe in.

I absolutely love this book but I may die of curiosity before the second book is published! I've put the link below so you can watch the trailer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is the most disconcerting novel I have read in some time.  The plot coils and twists so much that I never really knew what would be thrown at me next. When I finished the last page, I was left wondering what had just happened and where did the ending originate.  This novel intrigues me and I am still trying to figure out all of the details. 

The story begins with the main character Mara waking up in the hospital after an accident.  Her best friend Rachel along with Claire and Claire's brother Jude have died after the building they are in collapses, but Mara escapes unscathed other than a bruise on her face.  The problem is Mara cannnot remember anything about the accident or how her friends died.  So begins the spiraling story of Mara Dyer. 

Mara and her family relocate to Miami after Mara cannot handle life after the accident. She enrolls at a fancy private school and meets Noah who has a reputation as a womanizer and user.  Mara is drawn to Noah but has bigger problems because she is hearing voices and seeing her dead friends in mirrors and classrooms.  Not to mention, Mara imagines people's deaths and then finds them dead in exactly the same way she pictured it.  And this is only the beginning of the mystery surrounding Mara Dyer.

Part mystery and part horror with a healthy dose of fantasy mixed in for good measure, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer will keep you perplexed until the last page.  And be prepared, there will have to be a sequel in order to tie up the very unexpected ending.  Enjoy!