Tag Archives: NetGalley

NetGalley Review: Thunderstone by Barbara Pietron

        Scribe Publishing  Published Nov. 12, 2013             262 Pages
Scribe Publishing
Published Nov. 12, 2013
262 Pages

*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

15 year-old Jeni is visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota with her family when she meets Ice after buying a bird like sculptor at a gas station. Trying to get the sculptor back, Ice who is the medicine man’s apprentice, follows Jeni to her cabin and in hopes of convincing her to give him the sculptor, ends up telling her Native American myths including the one about the sculptor. 

Not believing him one second but knowing that there is a connection between her and Ice, she indulges in the story and gets caught in the truth that she released a monster at the lake. Not only does she have to believe in her fate but she must believe she is capable of saving Ice and those in danger of the monster. 

This book is a very quick read and it is because the author gets right into the action once you open the book. I loved that about the book but it also was its downfall. I liked Jeni but I did believe she was too gullible. It didn’t take much for Ice to convince Jeni of anything. I thought it was too easy and I am not sure if the author did that on purpose to keep the fast pace of the book but I didn’t really enjoy it.

Ice was alright. He was the cute boy that was dying to do things right for his people as well as for Jeni. Jeni’s and Ice’s relationship was boring. Although you read about the spark, you really couldn’t feel any spark between them. Jeni acted as if that was the first boy to show her attention so she jumped at the chance and Ice acted as if she is the only girl he has ever got in contact with. I think their relationship didn’t have enough build up.

Throughout the book, all I could think about was how fast the book was going. There was no real dramatic build up; within the first three chapters the monster was already killing people in the lake and Jeni was already accepting her visions. I feel that the author should have took more time to develop the story more.

However, with what was written I thought it was a wonderful story that needs a second book. Overall it gets 3.5 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Insanity by Susan Vaught

Bloomsbury USA Childrens   Published Feb. 18, 2014                384 Pages
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published Feb. 18, 2014
384 Pages

 

*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. *

Never, Kentucky is a small town that is place for ghosts and humans that cannot find peace. 18 year old Forest, fresh out of foster care is working the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, which is a mental institute.  

Forest took the job in hopes of saving money for college and getting out of Kentucky. But fate has other ideas for her when she sees a patient’s dead husband being chased by supposedly a devil agent named Levi. 

Caught in a situation Forest never thought she would be in, she must find information about her heritage and look at the bigger picture in life. 

This book isn’t just about Forest. It is actually told from the point of view of 3 other teenagers. The author did a horrible job of transitioning these point of views and for a big part of the book I was lost.  Vaught abruptly ended Forest’s story to talk about another one and it was bad. Most of the beginning of the book you only know about Forest and the agent. Even in the summary the focus is Forest and not the other teens.

I wasn’t able to finish the book. But I did read half way through before anyone decides to kill me.

However, I did enjoy some parts that I read. I liked Forest and was completely into her story. She was motivated, wasn’t hung up on the past (until it bit her in the butt) and she was realistic. I also liked the fact that she wasn’t a rebel or a jerk. She was a nice girl.

I didn’t like Levi. He didn’t really do anything for me to like him. He was a jerk who actually liked Forest, so when he began being nice to her I just threw some shade at him and called it a day. He wasn’t well rounded.

The book was boring and dull. In the opening you see Levi being killed but then for the next 6 chapters nothing weird or crazy happens to Forest minus the seeing ghosts. The story tries to come off creepy but it doesn’t ever really reach there. Overall the book (what I read) gets 1 Pickle I didn’t have huge expectations for this book but I still was hugely disappointed.

NetGalley Review: Sing for Me by Karen Halvorsen Schreck

        Howard Books To Be Published April 8, 2014            336 Pages
Howard Books
To Be Published April 8, 2014
336 Pages

* I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion*

Rose Sorensen is a good girl. She listens to her parents, does whatever they ask with no lip, and goes to church on a regular basis. However, Rose likes to sing and she likes to sing jazz but it is forbidden by her parents and those who attend her church. 

But one day her cousin decides to take her to a jazz club for her birthday and that is when things fall apart. Between falling for an African-American man and wanting to sing Jazz, Rose has a lot on her plate.

I was surprised at how much I liked this book. The book is set in a time when there is no legal longer segregation but blacks and whites are separated none the less. It is also during a time when people believed that singing anything else but God was a sin.

This is a really important time because it changed a lot of thoughts about music and it changed families. I thought it was great that the author decided to focus on this part of history. With that being said I liked Rose. Although she was completely plain, I did enjoy her character. How she remained the church loving girl throughout the entire book even though she did begin singing jazz. She didn’t change who she was, her work ethic or how she felt about her family, she just simply added singing jazz to the list of things she can do.

When reading the summary I thought the book was more about the romance between Rose and the African-American male. However, he just happen to be there. The book was more about Rose’s love for jazz and the desire to pursue it. She fell in love with jazz before she fell hard for her young man. I think for him it happened to be right place right now because most of the book, before she admitted feelings, all she could think about was the music and how that was what needed to be hidden from her parents.

I was disappointed with the lack of romance within the book but I wasn’t that disappointed because this book was well written and it was passionate. There wasn’t a lot of glitz and glamor, which is fine. The book and story is very simple and it is a breath of fresh air.

For this historical fiction I highly recommend it to those who aren’t looking for something dripping in romance and a greater purpose. Overall 5 Pickles

NetGalley Book Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant (The V Trilogy #1) by Joanna Wiebe

      BenBella Books    To Be Published Jan. 14, 2014                272 Pages
BenBella Books
To Be Published Jan. 14, 2014
272 Pages

*This book was received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Recently Motif by Tanya interviewed author Joanna Wiebe about her new book. Read it here!

Anne Merchant is sent to Cania Christy boarding school where the most wealthiest teenagers attend. Not understanding how she was able to attend the school, since her father is the funeral director, Merchant begins attending the school with nothing but questions. 

However, this isn’t any typical boarding school. You are graded for every thing you do including a school dance. Students are obsessed with the Big V which is to become valedictorian and no one could be trusted.

Merchant, with the help of an attractive senior must learn the school’s secrets and accept the truth in order to live.

When I finished this book I really couldn’t tell if I liked it or not. But I am going to say that I liked it but as much as I thought I would.

Merchant is an interesting character. Her mission is to find the truth and she does a horrible way of doing as such. She was a boring detective. However, she was witty which I loved. So I went back and forth with her because she was pushing for answers but barely did the work to find it out.

As for the writing I though the story itself had too much going on towards the end. It was one twist, another one and then one more to add dramatic effect for the second book. Although the story was a bit boring, I liked what the author was doing up until the climax.

But the story itself is completely original. It was nothing what I expected from a story regarding boarding school. I just believe that towards the end it was too much added in the first book.

Finally, I didn’t like the ended. THAT was expected and it was disappointing. I looked at the book and scream WHY! I seriously do not know one teenager that would agree with that decision.

Overall, the book gets 7 out of 10. I am curious about the second book but I am in no rush to read it.

Pickles

Adults ONLY Book Review: The Education of Victoria by Angela Meadows

        Sourcebooks Casablanca  To Be Published April 1, 2014          272 Pages
Sourcebooks Casablanca
To Be Published April 1, 2014
272 Pages

ADULTS ONLY

*This book was received via NetGalley in exchanged for an honest review.*

After being caught by her father with the stable boy, 16-year-old Victoria is sent to a boarding school in which she believes she will be trained to be a proper woman/wife. However, she is sent to the Venus School for Young Ladies in which she learns the arts of pleasure for men, women and herself.

When schooling is over, she returns to England and finds that her father is going bankrupt. Desperate to help, Victoria uses her new skills to save her family estate.

I like my erotic books to have a story and a purpose. This book was just flat out porn. Every page EVERY PAGE was about how either Victoria did this to herself, roommate, teacher, classmates. It was way too much.

I didn’t understand how her father just sends her to a school without research and I also didn’t understand how the author decided to throw in there a 16 year old having some fun with some old man. It was distasteful and I didn’t see the point of the story. Most of the book we are with Victoria at this school and all she does is have sex. SHE IS 16.

How the author thought this was okay I really don’t know. Yes, back in those days a 16 year old can get married. But here is the thing she wasn’t married screwing half the school and wasn’t during this time girls were supposed to wait until marriage?

Beyond that . . . Victoria was a lifeless horn-dog. I was completely disappointed in this book and I need to stress the fact that this is porn not exotica.

Overall, this book gets 4 out of 10.

Pickles

NetGalley Review: Nick the Saint by Anthony Szpak

          Vincere Press  To Be Published Jan. 24, 2014            388 Pages
Vincere Press
To Be Published Jan. 24, 2014
388 Pages

*This book was received via NetGalley in exchanged for a honest review*

It’s the Industrial Revolution (American) and business is booming. But little do most people know or want to acknowledge business is growing due to child labor. Children are being used to work long hours, they are beaten and starved and some points killed. However, one person Nick . . . has decided that it must end.

I was disappointed in this book. But here is what I liked about it first. I liked the originality of the story (or at least what the story is supposed to be). Nick is saving children all over New York City factories and he uses his “friend” to complete these daring missions. Here is where the purpose of this mission got lost.

The man that owes all the factories raise Nick to be one of those child workers. But when Nick fell in love with the girl, his “father figure” wanted he kicked him out. Nick ran away with the girl and was caught by the police and was in prison for 10 years.

At this point I believed that Nick is on a revenge mission and at some point he would find out about his real parents. But no; Nick was pissed off after he escaped prison but he wasn’t too serious about taking revenge on his former boss/father. It wasn’t until he said that his former love married the man, that Nick went off.

But even that Nick got himself cleaned up and showed up to her house to run away with her. This is halfway through the book and there are no signs of him talking about saving the kids in the factory. He wanted his love and the life he was supposed to have.

The story was more of a love story that happened to include this man wanting to take down this evil boss. I was expecting that especially since the description didn’t say anything about love. The whole story felt that it was less about the children and more about the love.

As far as writing go . . . it needs work. It was a bit amateur and too whimsical (Nick so happens to break out of jail with an inventor).  Overall this book gets a 5 out of 10.  It has a lot of work if it isn’t supposed to be focused on love.

 

-Pickles