Monday, June 24, 2013

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1)
Title: Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "When a dark prophecy begins to come true, sixteen-year-old Evie of the International Paranormal Containment Agency must not only try to stop it, she must also uncover its connection to herself and the alluring shapeshifter, Lend" (King County Library System).  
Opinions:One of the best parts of this book is the voice of the character/narrator. Told in first person (I believe -- I'm really bad at labeling voices) she is quintessentially snarky teen with a most unusual twist. I love being able to see inside of Evie and how her mind works, and her growth throughout the story. I love the creativity of stylistic paranormal characters seen with a new eye and a new way. 

It was hard for me to narrow down in this book who where my favorite characters. There was Lish, Evie's BFF who was a mermaid in charge of command central and had as much of a love of Easton Heights, the equivalent of Beverly Hills 90210, as Evie. Lend, the incredibly complex and multi-handsome (you'll have to read the book to understand why I write it this way) first ever teenage boy Evie has come in contact.  The deep and mysterious Reth, a faerie who has plans of his own for Evie. Requel the strict librarian looking head of IPCA who is the equivalent of the mom Evie's never known. . . and oh so many more.

If you love YA Paranormal at all, then I suggest you pick up this fun read immediately.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30)

Title: The Wee Free Men (Discworld #30)
Author: Terry Pratchett
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk's local Nac Mac Feegle - aka the Wee Free Men - a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together, they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds - black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors - before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare. And in the final showdown, Tiffany must face her cruel power alone... In a riveting narrative equal parts suspense and humor, Carnegie Medalist Terry Pratchett returns to his internationally popular Discworld with a breath-taking tale" (King County Library System).
Opinions: My husband is a HUGE Terry Pratchett fan and read this to me last night.  This book was brilliant. I've read some of the Disc World books, but when a friend gave me the sequel to this book my husband leaped right up, went to the library to check out the first Tiffany Aching book (this one), came home and immediately started reading it to me allowed. I'm glad he did.

Terry Pratchett has an incredible turn of phrase and the brilliant characters/personalities he creates leaves me more than slightly envious. The humor is on point, and the faith that Tiffany learns to have in herself by the end of the novel makes it a thoroughly engaging read.  The only difficulties I had with this book were some of hte Nac Mac Feegle's toungue twisting names and the periodic flash backs into Tiffany Aching's earlier life.  They did help to tell the story, but made it sometimes hard to recall if we were in the present or the past. However, baring that, this book is incredible.  I am now looking forward to reading the next one with my hubby as well.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Your Cup of Cake by Lizzie Early

Title:  Your Cup of Cake
Author:  Lizzie Early
Reviewer:  Karen
Genre:  Adult Non-Fiction/Cookbook
Rating: FABULOUS!!!!
Alerts/Warnings: Dangerous Calories lie ahead
Premise: The tantalizing scent of warm cupcakes wraps you in nostalgia, transporting you to the coziness of your childhood kitchen. Now, in a modern twist that's sure to satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth, the treats of your youth will once again tempt your taste buds as you embrace the cupcake craze in your own kitchen cupcakery. Starting with a cake mix, popular food writer and photographer Lizzy Early taps into America's love affair with the never-ending flavor combinations of this tasty treat-from the comforting classics of vanilla, German chocolate, and carrot cake, to the fanciful flavors of maple and bacon, churro, and root beer float. Complete with delectable photographs and handy hints for the cupcake novice, Your Cup of Cake is your ultimate guide to America's favorite gourmet goodies.
Opinions: Oh my, this book is my new favorite cookbook!!!!  I've tried four of the recipes so far, though I've read through all of them multiple times, and I'm addicted. I have plans to try out at least four more recipes this week as I'm getting ready for a bake sale.  If you love to mix up your usual cake mixes to create something incredibly scrumptious then get this book. So far everyone that I've given cupcakes to have LOVED them. I cannot get enough.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

To read my other reviews in this series click here: The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune

The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)

Title: The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Mid-Grade
Rating: Adore
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: " "The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land--Greece itself--to find the Doors of Death"--" (King County Library System)
Opinions: This series is intriguing as it combines Roman history and gods with the Greek pantheon and stories. I love the twists and turns. I loved seeing how two groups of people who throughout history have fought one another learn to work as one. Mr. Riordan does a fantastic job showing each point of view characters struggles, growth, and in-site.  Annabeth and Leo are my most favorite characters in this story for their intriguing personalities and struggles. I loved the ending but cannot wait until the next book comes out to see where it goes. This series is a definite must read.