Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Improving Witch

Audrey's Guide to Black Magic by Jody Gehrman


Sometimes you have to fight black magic with blacker magic. But in trying to save the people she loves, will Audrey fall into the dark abyss that claimed her father?

In Book II of the Audrey's Guide series, Audrey learns about her witchy roots and continues to fight her nemesis; this time she must dig deeper than ever, experimenting with dark magic to combat the insidious enchantment that's invaded her newfound community. She travels to the magical compound on the Mad River, the home her mother fled twenty years ago. Here Audrey meets her grandmother, the powerful matriarch of the Clan, and a host of colorful characters, some friends, some foes. When a sinister force begins to take over the magical community, Audrey must decide how far she's willing to go to protect the people she loves.

Rate & take


I'm happy to report this second title in the Audrey's Guides series (and the last one that I am aware of) was most definitely an improvement over book one. All around it was an enjoyable, quick read. There was a good bit of time spent with "the" guy, the plot moved nicely with action, and the ending gave good closure to the tale. Also the author smartly left just enough last words that could lead to a third book if she so choose. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Weak Witch

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman


Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. 

When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

Rate & take

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This title is a YA title, however that is no excuse for weak writing. I have read some great YA, and this is not it. It was a lot of monologuing angst with not a lot of plot action. 

Now having had my negative say, I will share with you there was one element of this book that kept me going right into book two. The relationship between our main female lead and a certain young man. I wanted to see this play out, so I am off in book two. Review to follow. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the writer to grow thus giving me something better to read and enjoy.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Drumming Lite

Sustain by Tijan


I had a simple life. 
I worked two jobs, made ends meet, and hung out with my mom and twin brother. The other part of my life was about avoiding him, but when SWAT raided my boyfriend’s home, that was the last straw. The boyfriend got tossed and to help me keep busy, my brother talked me into joining their old band again, but I had to be honest. It wasn’t a hard sell. Playing drums was in my blood. I used to be addicted and that craving hadn’t been satisfied in three long years. The only problem was their lead singer. 
It was him. 
The drums might not have been the only thing I was addicted to. I think I was still addicted to him too.

Rate & take


Try as I might, I can't be hard on this title. The plot had appeal for me and I found I was rooting for a certain couple. I think this would be considered a decent beach read, lite and satisfying when you want something quick and uncomplicated.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Beautiful tree

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith


The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

Rate & take


I'm not sure how to I can say it any better than blurb above. I just know it was all that and then some. 

Before I started the read I was concerned it would feel dated given the time it was written in (1943) and the story itself takes place in the early 1900's. I should have had no concerns at all, anything that could have smacked of olden times was made anew with the vivid writing style of Ms. Smith. From the first few pages I didn't read this book, rather I inhabited it right along with Francie, through every hunger pang and every dilemma. I now know why this was the favorite read by the people in this book. The writing transports you to Williamsburg, whether you have ever been there or not. If you have ever had personal hardships, or known someone who has struggled, you will easily find yourself as drawn into this story as I was. There are so many facets of life here that are examined and considered, and it is done seamlessly, keeping the plot flowing until you turn the last page and it's all gone. Leave you (me) wanting more.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Even I think that's really old

The Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Jonasson


It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun and feel-good book for all ages.

Rate & take


I just loved the ride this book took me on! So many twists and turns and each time I thought, AHA! This book is about to derail from the weight of its own creative story telling, but it never did. Much to my reward for the happy hours spent reading this title. If you are up for something different, something often times madcap, but always with a thread of wisdom behind it, (well most of it anyway) then I urge you to give this one a go. I am so glad I listened to the book buzz on this.