Volcanoes (Grace Murphy 3)

9 March 2013

VolcanoesVolcanoes (Grace Murphy 3) by Nicole Hamlett



Be careful what you ask of Fate – sometimes she gives it to you.

When we last saw our heroine, she’d watched her faithful pet rip off her new best friend’s head to save her son’s life and Atlantis was rising from the depths. Now, Grace Murphy is back in the third installment of the Huntress series, but this time she’s facing an all-out war. It’s critical that Nyx (and Atlantis) stay buried, but her psychotic brats will do most anything to get her back.

With Hypnos invading her dreams, Dylan caught up in the throes of his “change” and juggling her relationships with Drew and Heph, to say Grace’s hands are full would be an understatement.

You didn’t think that was all, did you? Of course there’s more!

Grace wished her life would just go back to the way it was before, and that she wouldn’t have her powers or responsibilities anymore. Unfortunately, it looks like Fate answered this time. The results aren’t pretty.



Volcanoes (Grace Murphy 3) reads like a diary with internal monologues thrown-in. Its humor that’s comical bordering on satirical. If you can’t LOL while reading this book then you have no sense of humor. You should stop reading and get that checked immediately.

Grace Murphy is a mid-thirty-ish author, mother, demi-god with borderline arrested development in her early twenties. Her problems don’t stem from her recent discover that her mother is Diana, goddess of the Hunt, they are her problem. The dysfunction of her family makes me smile that they aren’t mine.

Coming off her adventures in Rift, her enemies make their revenge personal. Grace Murphy is constantly at odds with her family and friends, struggle to break the cycle. It’s just plain humor as she tries to break it like a monkey banging its head against the cage. Through her amazingly displays of power to her constant battles with Hypnos and the other children of Nyx, Grace is finally accepting that she’s a badass demi-god daughter of Diana.

The story ends resolute with much of her conflicts unresolved. Yet you know there are more stories to tell in the life of Grace Murphy. Grace Murphy is a character in progress, she is nowhere close to reaching her potential based on her parentage. It will be interesting to see where the amazingly hilarious author Nicole Hamlett takes her.


Book 1 – Huntress

Book 2 – Rifts


I give Volcanoes (Grace Murphy 3) 5 out 5Gs.

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Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

5 March 2013

breaking dawn 2Kristen Stewart  
Robert Pattison  
Taylor Lautner  
Peter Facinelli  
Elizabeth Reaser  
Ashley Greene  
Jackson Rathbone  
Kellan Lutz  
Nikki Reed  
Billy Burke  
Mackenzie Foy  
Michael Sheen  
Dakota Fanning  
Jamie Campbell Bower  
Christopher Heyerdahl  


PG13       115 min       2012


After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.


This movie took several awards at the Razzies this year namely Worst Picture of the Year. The Razzies love to give Twilight hate. It’s not a masterpiece but this movie is nowhere near the worst movie of 2012. Not by a longshot for one simple redeeming fact. It’s a little twenty-six minute action sequence that nearly made the entire series worth watching.

Taking into account all the acting digs, the questionable special effect executions, you still have to admit that final battle was amazing. You had to get to know the character to appreciate that final battle. Yes, I read the books and knew what was going to happen. It was still an amazingly drama action scene.

Whether you liked it or not Breaking Dawn Part 2 put to bed a series, which changed the movie landscape. Just like the Matrix redefined movie special effects, the Twilight change skewed the movie demographic from males to females. It’s also lead to Hollywood’s new tread: finding their blockbusters in the aisles of bookstore. If you want to find what Hollywood is going to be producing next you’ll find it there.


I give The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 4 out 5 Gs.


Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles 4)

7 February 2013

Beautiful RedemptionBeautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl



Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan’s return, vowing to do whatever it takes — even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.



Beautiful Redemption is the fourth and final book in the Caster Chronicles series. It was bittersweet and a fitting end to the series. I was actually comforted by the vanquishing of foes and fate was righted. This time the sacrifices were justified. Although I felt a pang of lost it was a “true order” of things.

This time around the story felt more personal. “Everything that has a beginning has an end” and you definitely feel that in this one. If you didn’t think Ethan and Lena were met to be together by the end of this novel you will. You reach the end wanting them to have an happy ending.

There are some surprising twists in this novel. Characters that seemed random were actually more important. Although the love story of Ethan Lawson Wate and Lena Duchannes is over Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl have created such a rich world that it could still plucked for more stories, whether they are written together or separately.



The other books in the Caster Chronicles are as followed:
Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles 1)
Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles 2)
Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles 3)


I give Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles 4) 3 out 5Gs.


Hopeless

6 January 2013

HopelessHopeless by Colleen Hoover




Due to sexual content and heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 17+

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING NOVEL

“Hopeless blew me away. I was so wrapped up in this story, I felt as if I was Sky. She’s so real. And Holder…dear God, fan me please. This one will rock your world. Trust me.” ~Abbi Glines, bestselling author.

“HOPELESS has set the bar for the best first kiss in the history of first kisses. And the best leading man. And the best plot twists. And the best love-making. And the best last ‘chapter.’ I guess it’s safe to say this book has set the bar for every book I pick up from here on out.” ~Lynn’s Reads

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Recommended for readers 17+ due to sexual content, harsh language and heavy subject matter involving abuse and other mature issues.



Hopeless should be on any self-respecting bibliophile’s 2013 must read list. It takes the reader on an unsuspecting journey that even now reading the description doesn’t do it justice. If you haven’t read this novel yet, you should stop reading and get it NOW. Seriously, YOU should really stop reading this review and purchased this novel NOW.

But if you must continue… in simple terms it’s beyond amazing. This work of fiction took me on such a twisted emotional rollercoaster the likes of which I hadn’t been on since reading the novel Room by Emma Donohue. I thought Slammed and Point of Retreat were astounding but this takes it to another level.

When I first purchased this book I only knew too things: Colleen Hoover wrote it, which was a good enough reason unto itself, and my sister wanted to read it. It’s a rarity that my sister is more enthused about a book than me. I’m usually bringing her to the bandwagon. For those two reasons I didn’t research the book I just bought it.

Once I started reading I never put it down. I knew from the opening chapter that I was in for something special. I turned off my analytical side of my brain and just enjoyed the show. It didn’t disappoint. For me, I’m declaring this the best book of 2013; yes the year is only six days old. They’re other releases I’m looking forward to but I don’t think they will be as surprising, shocking, engrossing as this novel. I don’t think after read this novel anyone would disagree. Go out and get this novel you won’t be disappointed.


I give Hopeless 5 out 5Gs.


The Mind Games (Mind Readers 3)

3 January 2013

Mind GamesThe Mind Games (Mind Readers 3) by Lori Brighton




For years Cameron has hidden behind a façade of normalcy, warned there were those who would do her harm should they uncover the truth…that she is a mind reader. She never imagined her biggest threat would come from the parents she thought dead. Cameron’s life changes dramatically when she’s abducted by her mother, a woman she hasn’t seen in thirteen years. Even more shocking is the truth… Cameron’s mother leads a group of rogue mind readers and their number one enemy is Cameron’s very own father.

Everyone has their own agenda and Cameron is caught in the middle, unsure who to trust. But one thing is clear, war looms on the horizon and in order to save those she loves, Cameron must not only pick sides, but learn to believe in herself and her powers.





The Mind Games (Mind Readers 3) definitely reads like the final chapter in a trilogy. It’s a bittersweet ending to the series because it’s a plausible, yet tragic and cathartic ending. It rings true to the situations of life.
 
To me this entire trilogy was about a girl’s coming of age story. This final chapter epitomized this more than the others. Although I think there are more stories to tell about Cameron and her mind reading friends, Cameron really does come into her own in this one.
 
Even with it being the final full length book, Lori Brighton manages to bring shock and awe to the story. There is one twist that I didn’t see coming. Looking back I realize they were there I just didn’t see or realize them; like they say hindsight is twenty/twenty
 
Fans of the first two books will be pleased with this one even if its ending is bittersweet. All children have to learn to stand apart from their parents to truly become adults. Finishing this book I think Cameron final came of age. She is deserving of her respite, finally finding everything that she was searching for in the very first novel.
 
If you haven’t read them follow the link to get the first two novels in the series:
The Mind Readers
The Mind Thieves (Mind Readers 2)




I give The Mind Games (Mind Readers 3) 3 out 5Gs.

//


The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)

28 December 2012

Image

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) by  Jessica Sorensen

 

Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

 Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it’s summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.

 Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.

 Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.

Okay, the first thing that caught me about this story was the name, “The Secret of Ella and Micha.” It’s specifically the word ‘Secret’, the word is like a box of chocolates. It can be good, it can be bad, it can create or destroy. It’s just a kinetic word with so much potential.

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) got lost in the shuffle of new books and sat for a while before I got to it. I started this book after rereading and watching “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” (Definitely one of the best adapted movie of 2012) So if you’re familiar with the work you know where my mind was in terms of ‘the secret’. I’m more familiar with the author’s name than with her works and I plan to rectify this situation in the coming year.

I have to say that it was an amazing story. To me a graet story makes me visualize actors in the scenes of the story;  Jessica Sorensen does this perfectly. It doesn’t come off as overly melodrama. If adapted correctly could be modest box office hit.

It flips between the perspective of Ella and Micha. It’s the rekindling of a love that has been smoldering for several years. The conflict to their love is them and the things that people let get in the way of finding that love. The constant changing perspective does sometimes leave you confused to which perspective you’re reading from. Whether intentional or not I liked it. It made it seem that even through their problems they were of one soul.

The obstacles in the way of their love are organic in their nature; it doesn’t feel like a caricature of real life. As the story unfolds and more backstory is reveal you start to understand why these characters are apart. From their varying viewpoints you know that they love each other. The story is about the realization that they CAN be together.

This is the just the first in the story of Ella and Micha. Even if it wasn’t I was happy with the way the story concluded. It was realistic. The couple didn’t find that blissful happiness in the happily ever after castle. Their love is still a work in progress. It’s a satisfying ending that left me wanting to know.

 

I give The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) 4 out 5Gs.


Pitch Perfect

21 December 2012

Pitch PerfectAnna Kendrick
Skylar Astin
Rebel Wilson
Adam Devine
Anna Camp
Britney Snow
Alexis Knapp
Ester Dean
Hannah Mae Lee
Ben Platt
Utkarsh Ambudkar
Michael Viruet
John Michael Higgins
Elizabeth Banks

PG13           112 min           2012

Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

From the opening commentary by John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks you know it’s going to be a wild ride. Disappointment is not in this movie’s vocabulary. Yes, it’s a clichéd romantic comedy that knows it’s a comedy before a romantic movie.

The cast deftly delivers dialog that made me laugh from beginning to end. If you can’t find anything to enjoy about this movie then you don’t have a heart. You might be a sociopath… check into that promptly. Although this is an Anna Kendrick, who by the way has transitioned nicely post Twilight, Rebel Wilson is the star of this movie. She has such amazing one-liners I can just imagine what hit the cutting room floor.

The real star of the movie though is the music. In the post-Glee world, Pitch Perfect is more entertaining than the first season of its inspiration. Weeks later I’m still humming the tunes from this movie. The mash ups are amazing… 500 Hundred Miles/Titanium mash up is my favorite wished more had been heard.

Whether you like musical or not you’re going to find something you like in Pitch Perfect. It’s that movie that when it comes on the screen you’ll want to watch it. Even if you think the final product is flawed, there are individual parts that you will find addictively watchable.

I give Pitch Perfect 5 out 5 Gs.


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