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review 2014-12-14 22:11
5 moons - Guilty Pleasures by LKH (Re-Read)
Guilty Pleasures - Laurell K. Hamilton

Okay, I'm going back to re-read (or actually in this case, listen) to my old favorites thanks to my local library. I read Guilty Pleasures back during my binge reading days in the Navy in 2009 - 2011. Let's just say I had a hard time diving back into reality after reading the Anita Blake series. I loved every bit of this series and still do. I thought I would listen to the books in audio this time around.

Anita Blake will always be a favorite female character of mine because she kicks butt and I love kick butt female characters. I also enjoy reading Urban Fantasy because it gets me out of reading funks all the time. UF and PNR are my go to genres to get back into binge-reading like a man woman, even when working full-time again.

I was a little nervous to have someone narrate Guilty Pleasures to me and bring the characters to life, but Kimberly Alexis did an amazing job on telling the story. She even did an amazing job on giving certain characters accents and she made Anita sound kick-butt too. Anxiety averted and now I'm anxious to listen to the second book in audio. Thanks to Kimberly Alexis I have found yet another female narrator that can bring my favorite characters to life and make me enjoy the story even more.

If you haven't read this series I do highly recommend it to UF readers, but if you don't like reading long series then maybe this series is not for you. Laurell K. Hamilton does change up the series often with a lot of sexual explicit scenes that can be uncomfortable to some readers, especially in later books. BUT…Laurell K. Hamilton has stated several times on her site, she has no control over her characters at times and she lets them take the reigns. She also writes from the heart, so if something happens in her life it can affect the story a bit. This is why I LOVE Laurell K. Hamilton's writing style and everything she writes.

The first time I read Guilty Pleasures I knew I was addicted right away due to LKH's world-building and introducing the characters in the series. Anita Blake is known as the famous Vampire Hunter, so every vampire out there knows what they are up to against. In Guilty Pleasures, we get introduced to Jean-Claude and several other characters. Jean-Claude has always been a favorite of mine, so I'm glad I'm re-visiting his character again. I'm discovering things I missed the first time.

I will say this, the bad guy in Guilty Pleasures is really friggin' scary. I still have nightmares over the bad guy from Guilty Pleasures because of how Laurell described her and what she did in this book. This book had me upset at the end, but I invested time in a certain character and well let's just say Laurell did not make it easy. Anita has a full life of crazy in front of her thanks to Jean-Claude. She's supposed to be helping solve the murders of vampires in Guilty Pleasures, but she also is going to end up being in between a Master Vampire and everyone else. It's crazy how she gets thrown in with vampires, when she's a Vampire Hunter.

Overall, I loved this book due to how Laurell K. Hamilton introduces a little bit of Anita Blake's crazy world already.  These books are not for everyone, but for me I enjoyed these books the first time and I'm enjoying listening to them a second time around. I just need more time in my day to listen to them in audio version. Work is taking priority.

If you are a fan of UF, I highly recommend reading the Anita Blake series. This series is what got me addicted to reading UF. I look forward to re-reading the rest of the series whenever I can find free time. =)

Source: booklovinmamas.com/2014/12/14/audio-review-guilty-pleasures-by-laurell-k-hamilton
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review 2014-11-03 02:59
American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang
American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang

This trifold story illuminates the struggle of Chinese Americans in the face of adjusting to and being accepted within the American culture, but also staying true to self. The Monkey King, high schooler Jin Wang, and high schooler Danny (popular but embarrassed by visits from his Chinese cousin Chin-Kee), each have engaging stories that intertwine in the end.

 

Lexile: 530
AR BL: 3.3 MG+
Recommended for: teens

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review 2014-11-03 02:16
Coaltown Jesus, Ronald Koertge
Coaltown Jesus - Ron Koertge

Walker, a teenager grieving his brother's death, gets a visit from Jesus after praying for help. He and his mother, who live above the nursing home she runs, have been struggling to deal with Noah's death. This modern day Jesus spends some time with Walker and helps him come to terms with his loss.

This is a very quick read, written in verse, and in a lighthearted, humorous manner despite the heavier content. Good pick for reluctant readers.

 

Lexile: 390
AR BL: 3.1 UG
Recommended for: teens/tweens

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review 2014-11-03 00:27
I am the Messenger, Markus Zusak
I Am the Messenger - Markus Zusak

Ed is the "epitome of ordinariness". He never went to college, lied his way into a job as a taxi driver, spends most of his free time playing cards with his friends, and has no vision of making more of his life. When he becomes caught in the middle of a bank holdup and is dubbed a hero, subsequently receiving a mysterious Ace in the mail with messages to deliver to strangers in need, he takes the role. This story follows Ed through his receipt of all four Aces, and the delivery of the messages on each. Even when he doesn't understand exactly what he is doing or why, he knows he has a mission and his life will never be the same again. 

 

I found this title's storyline to flow well throughout and found it a fairly easy read. Many readers will be touched by the relationships that Ed makes and the sense of purpose that he gains as we are shown that the smallest acts of kindness can make all the difference in the world. Humorous scenes are thrown into the mix of mystery and character-building.

 

I, personally, was unimpressed with many of Ed's messages-whether seemingly insignificant or morally questionable, and found it disconcerting how little he questioned "why?" while using violence and making decisions affecting others' lives. The delivery of many of the messages as well as the language were rough, and in my opinion, the tone was more depressing than hopeful and the main characters weren't terribly likable. It did make me think about ethics and may motivate teen readers to push for purposeful lives.

If you read this book, be ready to be thrown by the ending. 

 

Lexile: 640

AR BL: 3.9 UG

Recommended for: older teens

*language, violent and sexual content

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text 2014-10-12 01:58
Male Characters That I've Broken Up With

This is a list of male characters that I thought I was in love with while reading the book, or the series, but looking back on it I'm not as in love with them as I once thought.  This doesn't mean I don't like these characters, as I'll explain my feelings toward them in the later part of this post.  

 

***Remember these are all my own opinions, and I don't mean offence to anyone in anyway.  This post is just meant to be fun.***

 

Augustus Waters (The Fault In Our Stars)- Don't get me wrong, I loved him while I was reading the book.  I felt all the feels that everyone else does, but after finishing the book.  We grew apart.  Other characters came into my life.  I moved on.  We'll always be friends, we just aren't meant for each other.

 

Tobias Eaton (Divergent)- Four... Four old pall.  I thought I had a crush on you, in the first book.  You were the mysterious, kick butt guy.  You stole my heart withing pages, and then when Insurgent came around... You weren't who I thought you were.  You changed, I changed.  We just didn't click anymore.  And that's that.

 

Stefan Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)- When I began reading the Vampire Diaries back in 2011 I was completely team Stefan.  I thought he was the cat's meow.  I shipped Stelena all the way.  By the time the spin off series The Return came, Stefan became whiny and weak in a lot of senses, and because of this, and other factors, I haven't been able to finish the series.

 

Ezra Fitz (Pretty Little Liars)- In the beginning I was all for Aria and Ezra, but as the series went on and things happened he really got on my nerves.  Since the beginning of the first book when Noel was first introduced I wanted him and Aria to get together.  But she was just so consumed with Ezra that she didn't really see anyone else.  And I found Ezra a bit sleazy throughout the series...

 

Daniel Grigori (Fallen)- This was my first angel novel and OMIGOSH he's a fallen angel! That is so sexy! Ahhh! But seriously he was only cool for like the first book.  He became a tad bit selfish, whiny, and too mushy gushy "I love you so much Luce, we can't be together but you can never be with anyone else. I need you so much but I'm going to put myself first in this relationship. Kay?" Give me a break.  I like Cam so much better than you.  At least his character has some depth and he has the whole bad boy thing going on.

 

Eli Stock (Along for the Ride)- I've never felt the emotional connection to Eli that I did to Sarah Dessen's other characters, not saying that I didn't like him because I did very much, he just didn't compare to Wes or Owen from her other novels.  He was one of the first male love interests that I read about back in 2011 and the world of reading and contemporary was new to me, so he'll always be special to me in that way, but I love him more like a brother nowadays. 

 

Sam Roth (Shiver)- In the first installment of the Shiver Trilogy I thought Sam was cute.  I read this way, way back in the sixth grade maybe... So like 2010... ish? So I didn't know much about male characters and just how sexy they can be.  Sam was cute, and sweet and I really did like him.  But then Cole St.Clair happened.  He still sits on my list of crushes.  He completely blew Sam out of the water.  He was the bad boy rock star.  I have a thing for the bad boys, and Sam just couldn't keep up.

 

Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games)-  And then we have Peeta.  The sweet, caring, boy with the bread.  I wanted to love him throughout the novel because everyone else seemed to love him.  I was never able to reach that level of emotional connection with him that I've felt with my favorite characters.  Peeta was a nice guy, but not the right guy for me.  But that's okay, he's got lots of fangirls all over the world who love him.

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