Review: The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

Katie is driving to work one beautiful day when a dead man jumps into her car and tries to eat her.  That same morning, Jenni opens a bedroom door to find her husband devouring their toddler son.

Fate puts Jenni and Katie—total strangers—together in a pickup, fleeing the suddenly zombie-filled streets of the Texas city in which they live. Before the sun has set, they have become more than just friends and allies—they are bonded as tightly as any two people who have been to war together.

During their cross-Texas odyssey to find and rescue Jenni’s oldest son, Jenni discovers the joy of watching a zombie’s head explode when she shoots its brains out. Katie learns that she’s a terrific tactician—and a pretty good shot.

A chance encounter puts them on the road to an isolated, fortified town, besieged by zombies, where fewer than one hundred people cling to the shreds of civilization.

It looks like the end of the world. But Katie and Jenni and many others will do whatever they have to to stay alive. Run, fight, pick each other up when they stumble, fall in love…anything is possible at the end of the world.

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

The First Days stared off with a bang. The opening chapter titled Tiny Fingers was so emotionally charged I had tears trickling down my face while trying to read the story. I felt an instant emotional connection to Jenni one of the main characters in this story. At first the connection I felt was because the event that started this book ripped my heart out and made me bleed for Jenni; as the book progressed I felt connected to Jenni because well…She was awesome.

Katie the second lead character in this books intro into this novel was also powerful, just not as powerful as Jenni’s. Now you can call it playing favorites if you want but I feel like Katie’s character starts off strong but ends up being the weaker of the two characters. I think having characters that are total opposites in this story was a smart move on the author’s part because it gives female readers different heroines to relate to. I just so happened to find myself relating more to Jenni.

I usually really enjoy books about the end of the world where the characters are living out of backpacks and struggling to survive.

I love that Rhiannon Frater doesn’t waste time trying to intro characters. Instead Frater throws characters at the reader introducing each character through memories before z-day started. The memories made each character real to me and brought the story to life.

While the characters were strong and the intro to this story was amazing, I felt like the story itself was just good. It did have some epic actions scenes but as a whole it was just a good read and that’s okay. Not all stories are meant to be amazing reads some books you just enjoy, nothing more. So while The First Days was not a great book for me I did enjoy it.

Generations I: Book of Enlightenment by Mia Castile

For my first post-holiday review, I couldn’t have picked a more ideal read than Mia Castile’s Generations I: Book of Enlightenment. This novel is easy to follow with interesting characters and an engaging plot.  Opening with Ellie, the main character, and her brother, Gideon, applying to be their own guardians, the novel immediately sets itself apart by establishing the heroine (and, of course, her brother) as being orphaned and, thus, in charge of themselves.  This deviates from the standard plot aspect of “girl whose parents are against her current boyfriend or lifestyle” that is so common in YA paranormal fiction.

From the beginning, I wondered how this parent-less aspect of Ellie’s character was going to play out. While the author doesn’t immediately give it away, it turns out that everything about Ellie and Gideon’s lives is due to and revolving around their parents and the circumstances surrounding their deaths. As you follow along with their new journey in life from living on their own for the first time, getting jobs, finding love and, eventually, secrets, you find that you are really pulling for these two kids as much as the supporting characters are.

Speaking of supporting characters, I really like the people that Castille brings in.  Some are lovable, some are annoying, but they all have a very intricate function in what makes up a “Generation”.  What is a generation, you ask? Without giving away too much, it is a grouping of 6 ethereal beings who are destined to work as a team throughout history over and over again.  Think reincarnation meets the movie Hancock.  I will say that, for me, the girl torn between two boys is a bit played out in paranormal fiction, but I’ll accept it as necessary for this story line.  Also, in the beginning, I found the concept of Ellie dreaming night after night of this gorgeous guy and not living her love life at all in the real world kind of hokey, BUT it does play into the storyline eventually.  Once that works itself out, I was actually hooked.

Castille’s world, which was apparently based on a series of dreams a la Stefanie Meyer, easily lends itself to a big series.  There are so many details to work out just in this novel, imagine the number of things that have to develop and evolve with these people in this particular generation who will be starting over and over again for the rest of eternity! Not to mention other “generations” that we don’t know about yet. It’s a great concept; in fact, I wish I had dreamed it up myself.

Unfortunately, the novel ends abruptly with the next novel not coming out until 2013, so pretty much every single thing is left unresolved, all questions left unanswered. That is a trick of the trade that many writers use to keep you coming back for more, but I felt very unsatisfied at the end in this case. It just didn’t seem the most logical point to cut it off.  However, I have faith that the author is really going to let loose in the sequel, and I can’t lie…I will be happy to purchase it when it does come out.

Why I Hate My Kindle Fire

I received my Kindle Fire at the beginning of this year. I have been a Nook girl since the start of the ereader fad but I decided I wanted to own a cool piece of technology. Enter the Kindle Fire. I won my Kindle Fire in a bet against my husband, something I should never post on the internet but is honest to God hilarious! It involves aiming and drinking, enough said. Anyhoo I win the Kindle Fire and I am so happy to own my very first tablet-ish.

I get it home and I go to read my first book and the biggest problem from the start is how heavy it is. The Nook Touch is small and fits in my hands and it is light weight. I was used to the lightness of my Nook Touch, my little wienie hands can’t hold weight of the Fire for any long period of time.

Then the headaches started kicking in. Reading on the Kindle Fire is basically like reading on a computer screen. It has a glare and hurts my eyes/head. I cannot read outside with my Kindle Fire because of the glare. I like the Nook Touch because it felt like a book with the ink print screen.

Oh and don’t even get me started on Kindle Pages. I want to meet the person who invented Kindle pages so I can ask if it was some sick joke. I sometimes want to know how many pages are in the book I am reading and I am sure it is not 928351. Recently my Kindle won’t charge and I’ve replaced the charger twice already. It decides when it wants to charge and doesn’t, on top of freezing up and shutting off randomly. I came pretty close to taking a chainsaw to it the other day!

When reading on the Fire I don’t feel like I am reading a book, I feel like I am reading a computer screen. After reading on the Kindle Fire I stopped buying ebooks for a long period of time. I ended up purchasing bound copies because I was thrown into a book withdrawal tizzy. I needed to get my hands on a real book to remind me what I loved about snuggling up with books.

Now the Kindle Fire isn’t all bad. I enjoy tweeting from the Kindle Fire and playing the app games. I like checking my email and updating my Goodreads status. I also really like being able to email review books to my Kindle. It cuts my work load in half, because plugging in the Nook and drag and drop was so hard. (Sarcasm) I’m just lazy.

Now I am thinking about purchasing the basic Kindle, the cheap one. I really like emailing books to the Kindle so I am doing it for review books. If the Nook allowed me to email books to it I would be set! Or if the Kindle didn’t have “Kindle Pages” it would be perfection!

I am curious if anyone else has any of these problems with their “Tablet Readers”?

Disgruntle Consumer

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Considering that I just discovered Cassandra Clare and her shadowhunter world less than 6 months ago, it might come as a shock that Clockwork Prince was my most anticipated read of the year, and even more so when considering that I was reluctant to even begin reading the Infernal Devices series (based solely on my extreme partiality to Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments and my Taurean nature that is adverse to change).

Nevertheless, after Clockwork Angel, I thought I was going to die before December 6th got here! I didn’t die, but I did get a Kindle Fire as an early Christmas present so I knew just what I was going to download first.  😉 And when I started the book, I just died!

There is only one way I know to describe Clockwork Prince. It’s just like falling in love again for the first time.  You know how you get in a relationship with somebody new who just gets you and you think they are so fascinating? You think about them nonstop and doodle their name on every scrap napkin on your desk? And when you do, you get that feeling in your stomach, like a million butterflies covered in fairy dust on a sugar high? Read this novel, and you will feel it again.  In fact, I think my “Jem Carstairs” doodles almost ruined my marriage. Seriously. Jem makes me sigh out loud while I’m reading; my husband is suspicious.

The story returns us to the London Institute where the Branwells are desperately trying to save Charlotte’s role as head of the institute, Tessa is settling in as if she, too, is Nephilim, and Will is up to something with everyone’s favorite warlock, Magnus Bane.  The pursuit of the magister is still on with more and more pieces falling into place.  Is there time for the Nephilim to solve the mystery before the institute falls? Can Tessa fit into the world of shadowhunters so seamlessly, or does something drastic have to happen to secure her place? All of this and more is answered within the pages of Clockwork Prince.

We come a few steps closer to knowing the truth about who or what Tessa really is.  (The only person more excited to know than Tessa herself is probably me.  I still haven’t figured it out yet!)  We also get to see a stronger side of Charlotte and Henry, both individually and as a couple, and we find even more reason to deplore Jessie and Nate, which was pretty much set for me after the first novel.  The London backdrop that Clare describes is, once again, amazing, and it makes me almost homesick of London, a place I have never visited.  I find the heroin den setting to be devilish and delicious. 🙂

Additionally, I loved (with a capital LOVE) how Clare stepped up the romance in this novel.  The love scenes between Tessa and Jem and Tessa and Will are breathtaking.  In fact, one was downright smoking hot.  It never gets inappropriate by today’s standards, but the really sexy thing about the level of intimacy is that it would have been beyond inappropriate during Tessa’s time. As it is, I am dying for my husband to suggest that he take “liberties” with me just so I can say, “Take them.” (File this under things that are never going to happen.)

Finally, Clare always leaves about a million loose ends, but she does it so perfectly. She is honestly one of the best at this in the genre.  It’s never awkward or obvious; it’s pure magic.  I dove into this book and finished it in less than 12 hours, and that was only because I had to sleep and pretend to be a mother and wife for a bit.  I was pleasantly vexed when it ended without really ending anything, and if she weren’t coming to Germany in March, I’d probably begin to internet stalk her for more details.

Go. Buy. It. Now.

(Then, somebody please find the name of the guy who does the cover work for this series because he is YUMTASTIC. I want to have a new inappropriate and totally underage fantasy crush since Taylor Lautner has come of age.)

Let’s Talk: Where Has the Book Whore Been Hiding

*Rubs Eyes, Stretches* Hello lovely readers!!  I may be a little rusty at this but I am ecstatic to finally be back in the blogging world. Wait? What was that? You didn’t realize I was gone?!?! *Sniff* Well I want you to know that I missed you all so much. Every reading pal, every author, countless new releases, and every meme I enjoy looking at each week, I missed you. Where have I been you ask? Well have I got a story for you.

The past two years I have been in school for radiology. Up until the last month I didn’t have much of an issue balancing working (two jobs), school, studying, family, and my love of blogging/reading. I did start to have dwindling post but normally I was able to pop in every so often and say hey. Unfortunately this last semester has kicked my butt!! My school load became heftier which forced me to put away my romance novels and replace them with radiobiology books. Not my idea of fun let me tell you.

I am happy to tell you as of this week I have officially graduated! Cheers!

I wanted to jump into a book the very second I exited the stage! After all reading is my favorite escape, my hideaway, my best friend. Now as a graduate I will have lots of time to read…or so I thought. When it comes to being a medical student, graduating is only half the battle, passing your boards are the other half. Rest assured though as of today I have passed my boards!!!! BRING ON THE BOOKS!!!

I have crossed all my hurtles and can now break out of my school books and jump back into my romance novels. No more pencils, no more radiobiology books, no more teacher dirty look. Now that I have completed my schooling, passed my boards I am super happy to jump back into the world of reading/blogging. I miss all my blogging pals and all my reading buddies. I also missed all my book boyfriends but we can keep that tidbit between you and I.

Thanks everyone for sticking through this tough time with me.

January Book Club

Yes, I know what you’re thinking; December book club just started. Well I wanted to give everyone more time than last month to grab a copy. I realized some people like to grab a copy from the library, others have to wait for amazon, so snagging a book in a week is not a likely situation. I have made a few announcements on twitter and Bookwhore’s Facebook page, but here is the formal announcement.

With the approach of the “apocalypse” at hand what better way to ring in the new year then with a zombie paranormal romance. I could only think of one book that would do the trick so the book of the month for January is going to be Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

January Bookwhore Book Club Schedule
Jan. 1st- 9th Chapters 1-4
Jan. 10th-16th Chapter 5-10
Jan. 17th-23rd Chapters 11-15
Jan. 24th-30th Chapters 16-19
Jan 31st I will post a review and Linky for everyone to link your own review to as well. Forum type post will go up every Monday.

warm bodiesR is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world. Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.

 Book Club Copies
I contacted Isaac Marion and he is generous enough to donate a couple copies to Bookwhore Book Club participants. This is another reason I decided to make the January book announcement so early. I want to select winners and get the books in the mail as quickly as possible. Holiday’s most certainly slow down the mailing system and I wanted to be prepared. To be one of the lucky receivers of a book all you have to do is leave a comment in the comments section, and be sure to include your email address.

Review: Evidence of Trust by Stacey Joy Netzel

Yet another amazing love story told by none other than the brilliant Stacey Joy Netzel! Did I start off to strong? An instant boast isn’t always the way to go I know, but when it comes to the work of Stacey Joy Netzel I can’t help but want to shout from the roof tops “THESE NOVELS WILL NOT DISAPPOINT YOU”, or just shout it from the pages of this blog. Stacey is a writing force to be reckoned with. Stacey creates love stories that contain a building chemistry, with an edge of mystery, and suspense that will keep you wanting more.

The thing I love most about Stacey’s writing, I know when I pick up one of her novels I am not just picking up a love story. I am diving into an adventure, I am going on a journey, I am solving a mystery and along the way I will fall in love. Evidence of Trust did not disappoint.

Ranger Joel Morgan is searching for a poacher in Rocky Mountain National Park. Everyone Joel comes across is considered a suspect until the poacher is caught. One particular suspect named Brittany seems to push all of Ranger Joel’s buttons, and the feeling seems to be mutual. These two embark on a mystery to uncover the poacher and along the way they find a bit more than either was looking for.

I thoroughly enjoyed Brittany as a heroine. Brittany is headstrong and refuses to bow down to anyone. Brittany is a save herself heroine, not some damsel in distress awaiting her knight in shining armor.  Oh and Joel, my newest book boyfriend. Joel has this country boy feel to him that made me just fall in love with him. These two together form the perfect amount of chemistry that builds stronger throughout the story.

The love story is great believe me I have to have a great love story in my books. But the mystery behind who the poacher is or isn’t, is what kept me flipping the pages in this story. As the story progresses so many things happen and so many clues unfold I just had to know who it was. I just had to know how the story was going to end.

So of course I recommended this story to readers. How could I not? I recommend this story to readers and lovers of contemporary romance.