vail-unchosenI devoured Undeadly, book one of the Reaper Diaries, and I was a fan of Michele’s books under the pen name Michele Bardsley. I needed a pick-me-up book and turned to book 2, Unchosen, to make me smile and giggle. Did it work?

Absolutely.

Molly Bartolucci, daughter of an Egyptian god, and student of Nekyia Academy, is in the cross-hairs again. Who is trying to stop her from locating the book she needs to answer her questions, and who dobbed her in for using illegal magic?

The cover art is still on point; the storyline hits all the right buttons. Each chapter starts with an entry from Molly’s Reaper Diary, and everything is going swimmingly with Rath. My only qualm is it just seems to stop at an odd point. It feels like it is perhaps 3 steps away from a nail biting cliff hanger.

I’m glad Michele found a way to have this book published; (through Freeman YA Publications) I just wish it didn’t take me two years to get my hands on a copy. Book 3, Unbroken, doesn’t seem to have a release date, and this makes me sad.

I want to find out how Molly evolves. I need to see the big fight scene. It HAS to happen, and hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.

Paperback, 194 pages

Published October 29th 2013 by Freeman Publishing Company (first published October 26th 2013)

ISBN 0615909094 (ISBN13: 9780615909097)

 

 



shaneyah-tnShaneyah Galley reviews Pitch Perfect 2

pitch-perfect-2This is going to be a slightly biased review, as I’ve been hanging out to see this movie since rumours of a Pitch Perfect sequel started flying last year. You have been warned.

The movie starts with the infamous President’s birthday concert that lead to the Bella’s being kicked out of the ICCAs. Chloe is utterly devastated, and is determined to win the world championships so that the Bella’s will be reinstated before they all graduate. Well, all except newbie ‘legacy’ named Emily.

We see routines from two new groups – both of whom we saw in the trailer – and renown acapella group Pentatonix make a cameo in the worlds as the Canadian team. One old group (besides the Trebles) makes a comeback with a new member. It’s so hilarious, I’m not going to spoil it for you.

All in all, this movie is a super fun sequel to the original flick. Catchy songs, a cute and kind of weird romance sub-plot, and lots of self-discovery by protagonist Becca. This is definitely one to see with your friends and lots of popcorn. Major props to Elizabeth Banks who produced the last film, and makes her directorial debut with this one.

Belinda_kisses_tnNow see what Belinda Hamilton thinks.

Pitch-Perfect-2-posterThe Bella’s are back, as are the fun A Capella battles and the great soundtrack.

This time they are trying to save face, or should I say, butt, from a disastrous performance for President Obama, you’ve seen the trailers… yeah that.

As part of their punishment they’re replaced by the European group on what should have been the Bella’s victory tour. Enter Das Sound Machine, the team they have to beat at the world titles.

The old cast is back and the newbies make me smile, including the Green Bay Packers. Uh huh I agree with Fat Amy on that one.

As with most sequels, the impact isn’t as punchy as the first time around; however, there are just enough laugh out loud and ‘oh no he didn’t just say that sexist remark,’ moments to save it from yawnsville.

I didn’t mind paying the $17.50 it cost to sit in a dark room with perhaps the 6 other people and sing along and snort giggle together.

I just hope they either realise the storyline has run its course and quit while they’re ahead or switch it up considerably if a third instalment to the franchise is to be considered.

If money is tight, wait for the DVD, hopefully the extras will be just as funny and add to the comedic value of the film.

4 out of 5



ockler_delilahBel:

Cover

Torn yellow paper dolls being held together with sticky tape, held by hands with chipped nail varnish. I feel like the symbolism is accurate for the story.

Characters

Delilah doesn’t know why her mother’s relationship with her family is so strained, and as we read on it is difficult not to fall in love with each and every character.

Favourite

Patrick, (I think we’ll probably all choose him). He’s just *sigh* so nice.

Least Favourite

Finn. Looooooooser.

Beginning

Delilah and her Mum spend the summer closing up her Grandmother’s house.

Storyline

The family secrets come to light and each character has to face their own personal demons.

Ending

Satisfying to say the least.

Thoughts

I loved this book so much.

Claire, Delilah’s Mum, begins the story with her head firmly up her butt. Sure she knew things weren’t going well, but by the end she had become someone I wouldn’t mind having a coffee with.

It’s important for us to realise our parents don’t have all the answers, and they get things wrong sometimes as well.

Themes of grief, mental illness, and self respect are wonderfully prevalent throughout.

Quote

“Claire? It’s Rachel. I’m afraid I have some bad news.”

 

ockler_mermaidsJoelene:

Cover

A paper-doll chain with one doll torn and patched with sticky-tape. It suits the nostalgic aspect of this novel and the idea of a family that has forgotten how to function.

Characters

The novel is from the perspective of Delilah Hannaford. Other major characters are her mother, her aunt Rachel, and Patrick, the guy she was friends with as kids but hasn’t seen for years. While Delilah’s grandmother, grandfather and other aunt, Stephanie, are all dead, they almost seem like characters in their own right.

Favourite

Delilah. She had her flaws, but her voice is really strong in the writing.

Least Favourite

Patrick. He wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t feel like he added anything to the story. Every time he was in it, I wanted to go back and figure out what was happening with Delilah, her mum and her aunt. He was also a little too unforgiving. When Delilah had just found out that the person she most trusted had been lying to her her whole life, it’s no wonder that she doubted him.

Beginning

Delilah has been getting in trouble a lot lately; getting caught shop-lifting, sneaking out with a boy – and her grades are dropping. When her mother gets a call saying that her grandmother has died, the last remaining Hannaford women head for Vermont to tie up loose ends.

Storyline

Leaving the past behind is more difficult than it would seem, as the Hannafords soon find. Delilah’s determined to uncover the reason for the rift that split the family eight years before. Her mother is equally determined to keep those secrets buried.

Ending

The ending here is satisfying and sweet without being cheesy.

Thoughts

I really liked this one, which is odd because it’s not a genre I’d choose. It’s well written and the characters are easy to understand though they have complex emotions.

Quote

“…if things were different between us, more like they used to be, I’d want to go…because nothing would be as important as helping my mother and aunt through this tragedy and tying up its many loose ends – the three remaining Hannaford women united and strong as an unsinkable ship.

But things aren’t different. She’s her and I’m me and surrounding us is an ocean of mess and misunderstanding…”

 

ockler_twitter2011Krista:

Cover

I think the cover with the cut out paper dolls is cute. It represents there is a crack in the chain and represents the story well with Delilah stuck in the middle.


Characters

The story focuses on Delilah, her relationship with her mother and love interest Paul.

Favourite

I would have to tie my favorites with Paul and Delilah’s aunt Rachel. They both seemed to bring the most stability to this rocky situation they find themselves in.

Least Favourite

I can’t say that any of the characters were the least favourite.

Beginning

After her grandmother’s death. Delilah, her mother and aunt all stay for the summer getting the house ready for sale. A friend from a long time ago comes to give Delilah some help and company.

Storyline

While preparing her deceased grandmother’s house for sale, Delilah and her family have to face their past head-on and confront what has come between them, one secret at a time.

Ending

I guess a part of me was really hoping for a big dramatic ending with Delilah and Paul running off into the sunset and the happily ever after. But we get a very down to earth and heart warming story of this family, finally learning how to communicate and opening new doors to their futures.

Thoughts

I don’t read realistic contemporary very often. But joining the book club was exactly for reasons like this book. Opening my eyes to something outside my usual style. This book especially spoke to me because it focused on a dysfunctional family and how they learn to communicate better with each other. Every single character in this story grew, learned from each other and in became closer to each other by doing so.

Quote

“It‘s complicated. I think when bad things happen—whether someone dies or people argue or split up—you get to a point where it‘s just too hard to go back. There‘s so much lost. So many versions of the truth. So many versions of how things might‘ve turned out differently. We all long for what could have been. For some people, it‘s just easier to move forward and try to forget.”

“Doesn’t matter how many people are in the crowd anymore, Delilah. Ten or ten thousand, I’m still only singing for one.”

Discussion Topics

Mental illness is a key theme in Fixing Delilah. While it’s good to see these issues in literature, was Ockler’s handling of it astute – or kind – considering the fates of the two characters who suffered from this affliction?

Do you think that honesty is the best policy?

 



George_edgoe fo waterYou may remember we reviewed The Edge of Nowhere for the book club last year, and I was thrilled to see book two, The Edge of the Water, on the shelves recently.

We head back to Whidbey Island but not only do we spend time in Becca’s point of view, we also follow Jenn, the most unexpected character. Glimpsing Jenn through Becca’s eyes in book one made us all cringe just a little. However, Elizabeth George manages to create a sympathetic character from someone I had pretty much written off as a bully and a complete bitch.

We’re introduced to a few more characters and the situations they are all put through are enough to pull you out of your comfort zone. Not everyone is as they appear, and mythology is tied into the storyline beautifully. George has a knack for suspense and keeping you well and truly hooked.

If you haven’t had enough of the community of Whidbey Island you are in luck as the next book, The Edge of the Shadows, looks to be due out late next month. I know for sure I’ll be picking this one up the moment I see it.

A perfect read for those cooler afternoons. Curl up with a blanket and a warm drink, and immerse yourself into this thrilling book.

http://www.elizabethgeorgeonline.com/

The Edge of the Water

Paperback, 400 pages

Published April 10th 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published January 1st 2014)

ISBN 1444720015 (ISBN13: 9781444720013)

 

 

 

 



Belinda_kisses_tnBel:

blake_Girl-of-NightmaresCover

We see Anna reaching back towards us in the black, white, and red picture of a rather daunting backdrop. It reflects the story really well.

Characters

We get to meet one of the major characters from Anna Dressed in Blood, and a new threat comes to the fore.

Favourite

Jestine, mainly because she kicked ass, and kept her word.

Least Favourite

The Order. Sometimes the hive mind isn’t the way to go.

Beginning

Months after the final scene in Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas and his friends are struggling to come to terms with how things played out.

Storyline

Cas makes moves to rectify the problem, and heads to England.

Ending

Nothing is quite what it seems.

Thoughts

I don’t know about the others, but I felt no real sense of dread. No heart stopping urgency. Perhaps this could have been rectified by covering Anna’s point of view for a part of the book.

I did like the male, female relationships and I’m glad Cas’s mum wasn’t as pointless as some other YA parental units.

I enjoyed the story, and as a sequel it was entertaining.

Quote

“For a professional ghost killer, you sure ask a lot of numb-nut questions.” ~Morfran talking to Cas.

 

Krista McKeeth_2_tnKrista:

Blake_anna dressed in blood

Cover

Very Manga cartoon-like imagery of Anna…in hell?

Characters

Our main character, Cas and his friends Thomas and Carmel are the major roll players in this series. Cas is a ghost hunter who, with his special knife, is able to send the spirits onto other worlds. He has a strict rule of only hunting those ghosts that are dangerous to humans and can cause harm.

Favourite

Tie between Anna and Cas; they both do very selfless acts, admirable.

Least Favourite

Well there is always the villain to hate, but I didn’t really dislike any of the characters in this story.

Beginning

Cas is obsessed with where Anna might have gone since the events in the first book. She has been calling to him.

Storyline

When his school work is done for the year, he convinces Thomas to travel to Ireland, to the group that made the Athame, and ask for their guidance on how to rescue Anna from Hell.

Ending

We see a much more determined Cas in this book than the first. When he really sets his heart on something, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Thoughts

I like the idea that there are these powerful weapons that are made out of a metal not available on earth. I enjoyed the fact that Cas got to do some overseas travelling in this one. It brought a lot of atmosphere to the novel. There are some dangerous moments, a lot of world building; especially with the group and the history behind the weapons they use to banish the spirits. Plus more blood than we saw in the first book with very humorous dialogue and relationships between the characters.

Quote

“She crossed over death to call me. I crossed through Hell to find her.”

Lisa-Smith_tnLisa:

kendare blakeCover

I’m actually a big fan of the covers in this duology! I think they portray the story inside very well; it’s not too scary or brutal, just a bit creepy like the story.

Characters

Overall, I thought the characters were alright. We don’t meet too many new people, just a few random characters who take smaller roles. I don’t think I want to name the only new main character we are introduced to! Why? Because he makes the story what it is, and I don’t think he is mentioned in the first book; meaning, I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you!

Least Favourite

She wasn’t my least favourite in the first book, but in Girl of Nightmares she is. Carmel was the sweetest girl in Anna Dressed in Blood but completely changed in this second instalment. I loved her so much, so I was a little disappointed to see this kind of change in her. She spent the whole first book wanting to be a part of everything. In the second book, she leaves the two boys in the dust, without truly explaining why. Obviously, she does later in the story, but after she breaks Thomas’s heart.

Favourite

This is a hard one! I have a few favorite characters including Cas, Thomas, and the new character introduced in this book who I cannot name…he’s not from Harry Potter if that’s what you’re thinking! But both of these boys are interesting! Cas with his knife and the ghost killing thing and Thomas with his witch powers!

Beginning

Girl of Nightmares takes place a month or two after Anna Dressed In Blood ends. Anna has gone, Cas can’t help his feelings towards her and misses Anna, and Thomas and Carmel are still working out their entire “relationship”; if you can call it that.

Middle

Cas can’t deny the feelings he has for Anna, and has to get her back from the other side. He seems to see her everywhere he looks, and even starts to think that he might be going crazy. He finally tells Thomas and Carmel about this, and asks them to help bring her back. While they might not believe this is possible, both agree to help Cas in any way.

Ending

Bringing back Anna turned into something WAY bigger than the three could have imagined. It affected the entire witch and ghost hunting community, and it even stretched across the world! Who knew getting back the girl you love could start an entire war?

Overall

Before I started this duology, I was told many times how creepy it was. So when I finally got around to reading Anna Dressed In Blood I was a little disappointed at first. The story wasn’t horrifying or scary. Anna wasn’t as bad as she was made out to be in all of the reviews I’d read, but, nonetheless, I enjoyed the story.

When I started reading Girl of Nightmares, I didn’t read any reviews, and decided to just jump in right after finishing Anna Dressed In Blood. Again, I enjoyed this one as well. The entire story was a crazy roller coaster ride, dragging the group from one place, and one person, to another. I was strapped in and ready for the ride! I do have to say that the ending wasn’t very satisfying, but realistic, which I liked. Obviously, I spent the whole time cheering one the three best friends, and hoped the best for them, but things don’t always end up that way.

If you haven’t picked up these books, I recommend you do. I don’t promise that Anna is absolutely terrifying, but you will experience an entirely new perspective on the paranormal!

Joelene_tnJoelene

blae-ungodlyCover

The cover was what made me buy Anna Dressed in Blood, the first book in this series. I like the second cover even more. With Anna standing on the precipice of Hell, it’s more dynamic and the colour scheme is amazing.

Characters

All of the characters that I loved in Anna Dressed in Blood are back in Girl of Nightmares. They’re still amazing, but what they’ve been through has changed them.

Favourite

Cas maybe? Or Carmel? Possibly Thomas? I don’t know. I love how the characters interact with each other more than loving each of them on their own. They’re such a good team that I couldn’t imagine how things would work without one of them.

Least Favourite

This is even harder. The easy answer would be Colin Burke; not because I hated him, but because he was a bit of a non-entity.

Beginning

Anna has sacrificed herself to save Cas and his friends. He is trying to come to terms with life without her. He might even manage it, if she wasn’t coming back to haunt him at the most inopportune times.

Storyline

When Cas becomes convinced that Anna’s soul is not at peace, but being tormented in some hellish alternate plane, he is determined to find her and bring her back. Not everyone thinks that the dead belong in the world of the living, and there are some who would enforce those convictions to the bitter end.

Ending

Bitter and sweet? At some point when reading about a romance between one person who’s living and one who’s dead, there is the realisation that however this ends, it’s not going to be rainbows and unicorns.

Thoughts

I loved the direction that Blake took Carmel’s and Thomas’s characters. They don’t stagnate and they’re not just silently there to have Cas’s back whenever he needs it. Thomas’s power has grown considerably since the first book, and he has more confidence in it – though he still manages to be awkward around the cooler kids at school. Carmel refuses to compromise her social life to support Cas and Thomas – she’s as independent as she ever was. She’s also more prone to question the things that Thomas will accept.

I wasn’t dissatisfied with the ending, but Anna came into the book far too late and played too small of a role. I liked Jestine, but I would have traded her for Anna in a fraction of a heart-beat.

Quote

There’s smoke, and wind, and screaming, and it’s impossible to tell which side it’s all coming from. I lower my voice. “Anna. What do you want me to do?”

For a second I think she’ll stonewall. She takes quaking, deep breaths and with every exhale bites down on her words. But then she looks at me, straight at me, into my eyes, and I don’t care what she said earlier. She sees me. I know she does.

“Cassio,” she whispers. “Get me out of here.”

 

Discussion Topic:

Question: Would you give up your way of life to fight against demons who cause danger to human lives?

Take your discussion to our GoodReads page!



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