Jan 31, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading? #50





It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is being hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey through a World of Books.


This is a great weekly event where everyone can keep track of the books finished last week & the books planning to read this week!
 
 
 
Actually it's almost Tuesday, but better late than never ;)
 
 Last week I finished 3 books: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (my review), Jane by April Lindner (my review) & Sandstorm by James Rollins (my review).
 
 
 
 
 
This week I'll continue reading (and probably finish) Forsaken by Jana Oliver, Embers by Laura Bickle & Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell!
 
 
 

#10 - "Sandstorm" by James Rollins


Title: Sandstorm
Author: James Rollins
Series: Sigma Force, Book 1


Summary:
Nationally bestselling author James Rollins has transported readers to the dark heart of the Amazon, the bowels of the earth, far below the ocean, and the top of the world. Now he embarks upon his most gripping and terrifying adventure yet: to a nightmare buried beneath a treacherous desert wasteland. An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum -- a devastating blast that sets off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world, as the race begins to determine how it happened, why it happened, and what it means.

Lady Kara Kensington's family paid a high price in money and blood to found the gallery that now lies in ruins. And her search for answers is about to lead Kara and her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery's brilliant and beautiful curator, into a world they never dreamed actually existed. For new evidence exposed by the tragedy suggests that Ubar, a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert, is more than mere legend ... and that something astonishing is waiting there.

Two extraordinary women and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, are not the only ones being drawn to the desert. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Painter Crowe, a covert government operative and head of an elite counterespionage team, is hunting down a dangerous turncoat, Crowe's onetime partner, to retrieve the vital information she has stolen. And the trail is pointing him toward Ubar.

But the many perils inherent in a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmarish secrets to be unearthed at journey's end. What is hidden below the sand is more than a valuable relic of ancient history. It is an ageless power that lives and breathes -- an awesome force that could create a utopia or tear down everything humankind has built during millennia of civilization. Many lives have already been destroyed by ruthless agencies dedicated to guarding its mysteries and harnessing its might. And now the end may be at hand for Safia, for Kara, for Crowe, and for all the interlopers who wish to expose its mysteries, as it prepares to unleash the most terrible storm of all ...
 
My rating: 4.5 of 5
 
My thoughts on the book:
I won't say much, except that I loved it & if you're fan of Indiana Jones & similar books & movies, than you should try this one. It was fast-paced, action-packed & suspenseful adventure, with lots of suspense, mystery, action & a dash of romance, with lovable characters. I highly recommend it. I've already read Map of Bones 5 years ago, the next book in the Sigma Force series  & although not my favourite of James Rollins' books, I'm already looking forward to reading it again.  

Challenges:

#9 - "Jane" by April Lindner


Title: Jane
Author: April Lindner

Summary:
Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.
But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?

An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic
Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.

My rating: 4.5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I loved it! Although Jane Eyre will be always uncomparable, this one is really good modern retelling of it! I loved both Jane & Nico & their banter & how their love developed was just as goos as it was in Jane Eyre. Basically, it follows the original story, but there are a few twists. I recommend it to every fan of Jane Eyre.

Challenges:

#8 - "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore


Title: I Am Number Four
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: Lorien Legacies, Book 1


Summary:
In the beginning we were nine.
We left when we were very young, almost too young to remember. Almost. And now . . .

Three are gone.

We are here to keep our race alive, which was almost entirely obliterated. We're just trying to survive.

Six are left.

But we are hunted, and the hunters won't stop until they've killed us all.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.

Number Two in England.

And Number Three in Kenya.

I am Number Four.
 
I am next.
 

My rating: 3 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I wasn't too impressed with this book! The premise was great, but except for the action scenes, it just didn't deliver. But, my main problem was the writing style. It was too easy to notice that two authors wrote this book. All the action parts were really good & I loved them, but most of what was happening in between was just so boring. The pacing wasn't slow, but the writing style made it boring, so I just couldn't connect with the characters & I didn't really care what was happening to them. The only character I liked was Sam. Also, I didn't care about the romance between Sarah & John (Number 4) & I was bored with that, too. I was thinking to give it lower rating, but in the end, the action scenes saved it. I can't really recommend this book. As I said, the action parts were pretty great, but in between, not so much. So, what I'd recommend is to wait for the movie. I just hope that will be good or at least much better than the book!

Challenges:

#7 - "Yours for the Taking" by Robin Kaye


Title: Yours for the Taking
Author: Robin Kaye
Series: Domestic Gods, Book 4


Summary:

Gina is convinced that he is either gay... or her perfect match

He might be too good to be true...

Ben Walsh should be single. Handsome and wealthy, Ben is equally at home in Idaho where he grew up and in Manhattan where he's now an art dealer. Suave and successful with impeccable taste, he normally has women beating down his door. But the one woman he wants can't be convinced that he's for real...

And she doesn't have the luxury of believing in fairy tales...

Gina Reyez has fought for every bit of her success, and it's about time for things to start going her way. So when Ben makes a proposal that will allow her to take care of her family the way she wants to, she agrees. Besides, a guy this perfect would never be interested in her...right?

By the time Gina figures out that she's read Ben all wrong, their lives have become intertwined, and seriously complicated...

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book:
I loved this book! I love all the books in the series, but this one the most & I think that this one is the best (also, it has the loveliest cover). Since i found out that this one will be with Ben & Gina, two characters we've met in the other books, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it & it didn't disappoint! It was really fun book. I loved both Ben & Gina as characters and their banter & chemistry! I liked all the side characters, too. They were just so much fun & I can't wait to read their books! I highly recommend it! 

Challenges:

#6 - "Hush Money" by Susan Bischoff


Title: Hush Money
Author: Susan Bischoff
Series: Talent Chronicles, Book 1

Summary:
Be normal, invisible. Don’t get close to anyone. Kids with psychic abilities tend to mysteriously disappear when they get noticed. Joss has spent years trying to hide. Now she has an unasked-for best friend, who is the victim of an extortion plot by the school bully, who used to like Joss, who is best friends with her long-time crush, who is actually talking to her. Life just got more complicated. 
 
My rating: 4 of 5
 
My thoughts on the book:
I enjoyed it a lot! The pacing was steady (not fast or slow) & suddenly at the middle of the book, there was this big action scene & I loved that. Finally some action. Joss's talent is great, although I like Dylan's, too. I just love books with superheroes & superpowers. I liked the characters (except Marco) and I liked the book a lot, but it ended too soon & I wish there was a little more in the end.  I mean, I wish we learned a little more about the government & what they do to the Talents, but in the end, everything was about Marco. But, it was good & I recommend it & I'll definitely read the sequel, too!
 
Challenges:

#5 - "Much Ado About Marriage" by Karen Hawkins


Title: Much Ado About Marriage
Author: Karen Hawkins

Summary:
MUCH ADO ABOUT MARRIAGE is a rollicking tale that traverses a mystical Scottish isle, a stormy sea, and lands firmly in a luxurious manse upon the banks of the Thomas as the luckiest man in England is forced to wed Fia MacLean, the unluckiest woman in Scotland! A fun, spirited prequel to Karen's MacLean Curse Series and her upcoming Hurst Amulet Series.

My rating: 5 of 5

My thoughts on the book: 
I loved it! I'm a big fan of Karen Hawkins' books & I loved the Maclean Curse series, but this one might be my #1 favourite of her books so far! I loved the characters & the story! It was lots of fun & I enjoyed the banter between Thomas & Fia. I also liked Thomas' best friend Robert a lot, so I hope he'll be the hero to one of her books in the future! This book also made me want to reread the Maclean Curse series & to read the Hurst Amulet series. Definitely one of the books I'll read again & again & I highly recommend it!

Challenges:

    #4 - "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" by Jeff Kinney


    Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    Author: Jeff Kinney
    Series: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1


    Summary:
    "Let me get this straight. This is a JOURNAL, not a diary." That's what Greg Heffley says. He is going into middle school. Everything seems great. He's got great friends, he plays video games all day long. Until he steps into that dreaded box they call middle school. Now, Greg is suffering a lot of hummiliation, and he looses his best friend Rowley. Can he make it through the school year without it getting phissically, AND emmotionally painfull?
     
    My rating: 4 of 5
     
    My thoughts on the book:
    I have to admit that although I've heard about the series, it was just one of those I kept postponing reading, but when I found out about the movie, I watched it & I loved it. It was hilarious & I can't wait for the 2nd one! After that I decided definitely to start the series, so months after watching the movie, I finally read it! It was fun & fast read & I enjoyed it a lot & I recommend both the book & the movie!

    Challenges:

    #3 - "His at Night" by Sherry Thomas


    Title: His at Night
    Author: Sherry Thomas

    Summary:

    Love is hottest in the darkness before dawn...

    Elissande Edgerton is a desperate woman, a virtual prisoner in the home of her tyrannical uncle. Only through marriage can she claim the freedom she craves. But how to catch the perfect man?
    Lord Vere is used to baiting irresistible traps. As a secret agent for the government, he's tracked down some of the most devious criminals in London, all the while maintaining his cover as one of Society's most harmless - and idiotic - bachelors. But nothing can prepare him for the scandal of being ensnared by Elissande.
    Forced into a marriage of convenience, Elissande and Vere are each about to discover that they're not the only one with a hidden agenda. With seduction their only weapon - and a dark secret from the past endangering both their lives - can they learn to trust each other even as they surrender to a passion that won't be denied?

    My rating: 4 of 5

    My thoughts on the book:
    This was a little more serious historical romance, but I still enjoyed it a lot! Elissande & Lord Vere weren't some sweet & funny characters (except when Lord Vere was acting like an idiot on purpose), but they were still perfect for each other in every way & that's what I liked about this book a lot! This was the first book by Sherry Thomas I've read, but definitely won't be the last! I recommend it!

    Challenges:

    #2 - "Cinderella: Ninja Warrior" by Maureen McGowan (ARC)


    Title: Cinderella: Ninja Warrior
    Author: Maureen McGowan
    Series: Twisted Tales, Book 1
    Publisher: Baker & Taylor Publishing Group
    Imprint: Silver Dolphin Books
    Publication date: April 1st, 2011
    Genre: YA Fantasy 
    Pages: 320
    ISBN: 9781607102557   


    Summary:
    In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince--she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next--but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read! 
     
    My rating: 5 of 5
     
    My thoughts on the book:
    I loved it! It's really great retelling of Cinderella! Let's start with the title. I have to admit that I used to giggle every time I read the title of this book, but not anymore. I think that it fits the story perfectly & let's just say that Cinderella isn't the ninja I used to imagine when I read the title every time.  
    So, what's the story about? 
    Cinderella's mother used to be really powerful wizard & her stepmother is powerful wizard, too, but of course she's evil. Now she's keeping Cinderella trapped with spells, so Cinderella secretly trains her ninja & magic skills, so she can free herself. I won't reveal more, 'cause I don't want to spoil the story, but there are lots of twists on the original fairy tale! This is a book that although starts & ends the same, you can choose the direction of the plot & story! After reading the book, I returned to the other choices to read them & I loved them, too. From the 1st "crossroad", I definitely preferred the first choice I made (it had more action & I loved that encounter with Ty more), although the other one was fun, too, as for my other choices, I definitely chose the storyline that developed more close to the original tale, but after reading the other last choise, I loved that one, too & it made me love the book even more! This book is just so sweet, fun, fast-paced, with action, magic, romance & humor. I loved the banter between Cinderella & Ty, their scenes were so enjoyable & romantic & sweet & I really liked Ty. I really cared about the characters & a few times I heard myself whispering "Noo!", so yeah I was definitely enveloped with the story. I highly recommend this book for everyone & every age, especially if you like fairy tales & retellings, 'cause it's amazing retelling of Cinderella & it's definitely on my must-buy list!

    Challenges:

    #1 - "Rules of an Engagement" by Suzanne Enoch


    Title: Rules of an Engagement
    Author: Suzanne Enoch
    Series: The Adventurers' Club, Book 3


    Summary:
     
    For proper young ladies, good behavior has always been the rule.

    Captain Bradshaw Carroway loves the seafaring life - though he'd rather be battling brigands than his current assignment of ferrying a boatload of spoiled aristocrats. One passenger, however, has caught his eye: a bewitching young minx who definitely distracts him from the rules of shipboard decorum...

    Some rules, of course, are meant to be broken.

    Miss Zephyr Ponsley has traveled the world, but she's completely innocent in the ways of love. She's never learned to dance or flirt. But scientific observation has taught her that the laws of attraction have no rules, and that no adventure, on land or sea, is more dangerous - or delicious - than passion!
     
     
    My rating: 4 of 5
     
    My thoughts on the book:
    I enjoyed this book a lot! I liked both Shaw & Zephyr & I liked their chemistry & I liked the story! Although not as good as The Rake & England's Perfect Hero (these are my top favourite of her books & are with Shaw's brothers) it was another good & fun book by Suzanne Enoch & I recommend it.
     
    Challenges:

    A to Z Challenge 2011!

    January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.


    How does this reading challenge work? Choose the option that works best for you...


    Authors -- Read alphabetically by author. Commit to 26 books.
    Titles -- Read alphabetically by title. Commit to 26 books.
    Authors & Titles -- Commit to reading 52 books.



    How strict is the 26 or 52? I know it isn't always easy to find those difficult letters. The thought of finding the X's (for example) might scare folks away. It shouldn't! I'm a merciful host! (Ask anyone!)


    If you want to give the X's a go... For authors, try to find an X in the first name, middle name, or last name. For titles, it doesn't have to be the starting word. Try to find an X somewhere in a title, and it'd count in my book.


    Still can't find a book for the letter you need? I'll take your word for it. I've been there. I know. If your library doesn't see the need to order books just because it starts with an X, then I don't blame you for not wanting to special order a book that you may or may not enjoy. You gave it your best, don't feel bad. You can still make this challenge work for you .



    For more details about this challenge & to sign up, go HERE!

    I'll go with 26 Authors!
    My List:
    1. A - Andy Behrens (Beauty and the Bully)
    2. B - Bickle, Laura (Embers)
    3. C - Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl)
    4. D - Durst, Sarah Beth (Drink, Slay, Love)
    5. E - Enoch, Suzanne (Rules of an Engagement) - my review
    6. F - Frances O'Roark Dowell (Ten Miles Past Normal)
    7. G - Gena Showalter (The Darkest Kiss)
    8. H - Hilari Bell (Trickster's Girl)
    9. I - Isaac Asimov (The Caves of Steel)
    10. J - Jana Oliver (Forsaken)
    11. K - Karen Rose (Silent Scream)
    12. L - Lisa McMann (Cryer's Cross)
    13. M - Maureen McGowan (Cinderella: Ninja Warrior) - my review
    14. N - Nicole Peeler (Tempest Rising)
    15. O - Oliver, Lauren (Liesl & Po)
    16. P - Palahniuk, Chuck (Lullaby)
    17. Q - Quinn, Julia
    18. R - Rollins, James (Sandstorm) - my review
    19. S - Sabrina Jeffries (How to Woo a Reluctant Lady)
    20. T - Testa, Dom (The Comet's Curse)
    21. U - Ursula K. Le Guin
    22. V - Victoria Schwab (The Near Witch)
    23. W - Wizner, Jake (Castration Celebration)
    24. X - Xell, Matt (Tower of Parlen Min) - tbr
    25. Y -
    26. Z -


    Alphabet Challenge 2011!



    The Alphabet Challenge is hosted by The Life (and lies) of an inanimate flying object!

    Rules:
    1. 26 books!
    runs January 1st 2011 –December 31, 2011. For each letter, read a book that has a main character or key supporting character  (not some random minor character mentioned twice!) whose name starts with that letter. It doesn’t have to be the title of the book, just the name. Ex: Alice (in wonderland), Bella (twilight), Cathy (Wuthering Heights), Dracula (Dracula) Estella (Great Expectations),  etc.
    2. only one letter per book!
    3. Crossovers are fine
    4. audio, e-book, bound book, someone reading it out loud to you, reading a book to your little brother or sister, it all counts.
    5. any length—short stories, books of the Bible, etc. they all count for this one.
    6. Don’t have to be a blogger, don’t have to review the book. Just tell me you're participating. Goodreads is a great way to keep track of books for non-bloggers (make a shelf for this challenge and keep track of them that way!)

    Levels:
    Level 1: 10 Letters
    Level 2: 20 Letters
    Level 3: Completes all 26 letters (yes, that means X and Z and Q. I’m sure you can find something.)

    To sign up for this challenge, go HERE!

    I'll go with level 2, only because I don't think I can find names for Q & X (already read a book this month with the main character named Zephyr).


    My List:
    1. A - Anya (Laura Bickle's Embers)
    2. B - Blair (Cecily von Ziegesar's Gossip Girl)
    3. C - Cassel (Holly Black's White Cat)
    4. D - David (Karen Rose's Silent Scream)
    5. E - Elissande (Sherry Thomas's His at Night) - my review
    6. F - Fia (Karen Hawkins's Much Ado About Marriage) - my review
    7. G - Gina (Robin Kaye's Yours for the Taking) - my review
    8. H - Hiram (Kathy Reichs's Virals)
    9. I - Iridium (Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge's Shades of Gray) tbr
    10. J - Jaciรกn (Lisa McMann's Cryer's Cross)
    11. K - Kelsa (Hilari Bell's Trickster's Girl)
    12. L - Leandro (Sarah Mayberry's Hot for Him)
    13. M - Minerva (Sabrina Jeffries's How to Woo a Reluctant Lady)
    14. N - Nico (April Lindner's Jane) - my review
    15. O - Omaha (James Rollins's Sandstorm) - my review
    16. P - Piers (Eloisa James's When Beauty Tamed the Beast)
    17. Q - Quinn (Sarah Mayberry's Her Best Friend)
    18. R - Roger (Morgan Matson's Amy & Roger's Epic Detour)
    19. S - Sadie (Sarah Mayberry's Take On Me)
    20. T - Ty (Maureen McGowan's Cinderella: Ninja Warrior) - my review
    21. U - Uri (Sam Bourne's The Last Testament)
    22. V - Van (Brian Eames's The Dagger Quick)
    23. W - Will (Sophie Jordan's Firelight)
    24. X - Xypher (Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dream Chaser) - tbr
    25. Y - Yvonne (Philip Carter's Altar of Bones)
    26. Z - Zephyr (Suzanne Enoch's Rules of an Engagement) - my review