Category Archives: Uncategorized
Scorch by Gina Damico
Published September 25th 2012 by Graphia
Format: Paper Book
Length: 332 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Grim Reaper, Modern Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult – I do think this one is unsuitable for younger kids
Goodreads | Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.
To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all —but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?
I’m horrible about reading series. I read the first book, I may even love it, but by the time the second book comes out I’ve forgotten about it. Lucky for me, Scorch by Gina Damico was already waiting for me when I finished the first book, Croak. I was late to the party but that meant I could go straight to the next book. Now, all I have to do is remember to get the third book, Rouge, when it comes out this autumn. Here’s hoping I can remember to pick it up by then! (Warning! Spoilers for the first book in the series, Croak.)
In this book, we return to the town of Croak with Lex and some new Juniors. The Grimsphere is still being terrorized by Zara. The group realizes that Zara must have some insider help because she keeps getting into Croak without triggering the security alarms, has gotten a new scythe from somewhere and is crashing with purpose again, Damning those she feels deserve it. (Or is she? What a clever twist!) The Senior Grims are slowly turning against Lex and the other Juniors, led by Norwood and Heloise, and Uncle Mort is trying everything in his power to protect his niece and her friends and sort of failing. It’s just a good old time in grim reaper land!
I have a deep seated loathing for the cliché where the main conflict is people’s inability to share information. If there was more communication between adults and teenagers in this book there wouldn’t be half as many problems as there were. But Uncle Mort is a secretive asshole and Lex is stuck in the mentality of us against them and nobody is sharing their information. This pretty much means that everyone is fumbling around in the dark and things would be so much easier if they just talked with each other. But god forbid Mort treat his niece like an intelligent person or Lex act like anything but a competitive snot. It’s one thing when nobody knows a piece of information but it’s entirely another when butthead characters refuse to share information. Then they just end up looking like petty morons.
(grumble, grumble, stomp all over) Despite hitting a pet peeve of mine, Scorch was a good book. It avoided the second book slump by being fast-paced and exciting. I felt like you didn’t have time to get bored because Lex and her friends were always racing headlong into danger and the unknown. Lex has no sense of self-preservation and she’s slightly reckless. There were a few slight hiccups. I felt the man in white that we see just once in Croak should have gotten more page time just to keep him in the forefront of our minds. He turns out to be an important character but it feels like he was just kind of dropped on us. He’s lead-in could have been more gradual. There are a lot of small puzzles to keep track of and that makes for a suspenseful but occasionally aggravating novel. Altogether, Scorch by Gina Damico is a great second book and I be looking forward to book number three this autumn.
Welcome to the Friday Ramble, where I share what has been going on in my life and on the blog the past week.
Bookish Blog News
Talked about some of my reading habits on this week’s Musing Mondays post.
Two books reviews:
1) Merry Lee and the Cursed Grandfather Clock by Amanda L. Kidd (Middle Grade)
2) The Secret Tunnel by James Lear (Erotica; Adults Only)
Check out what I added to my to be read shelf this week in Friday Finds.
Cha…cha…changes! I’ve decided to get a better handle on my health. On Monday I went to my general care doctor to talk about my continued hair loss due to my PCOS (it’s a hormone imbalance) and how my current birth control pills weren’t really doing anything to stop it. When I shower, there are clumps of hair left on the bathmat. Of course, she referred me to another doctor like I knew she would. Waste of $20 really but she wanted to see me even though I called the nurse line first to try and avoid that. Now I get to wait for two months to see an Endocrinologist. Fun all around.
On Wednesday I went to the dentist for the first time in over a decade. Don’t give me that look. I hate the dentist and as a child would utterly freak out when my Mom told me I was going. I’m talking sobbing, screaming meltdowns. But I decided 30 years old was old enough to put on my big girl panties and get over myself. I have a horrible gag reflex. But the lady put salt on my tongue and we were able to get xrays done without me trying to vomit. Neat trick. She cleaned my teeth and all is good. I have a small cavity I have to go back for in May but other than that, surprisingly good for not seeing a dentist in the last ten years.
What am I reading?
Finished: Merry Lee and the Cursed Grandfather Clock by Amanda L. Kidd, The Secret Tunnel by James Lear, & The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson
Started: The Witches’ Kitchen by Allen Williams
What Next: Scorch by Gina Damico, The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
quotes from the book wolverine worst day ever – No quotes but my review is here.
splintered a.g howard review – Review here.
give up the ghost megan crewe rating for what age – Middle Grade. I wouldn’t have any problems with a 4th or 5th grader reading it. Maybe even a 3rd grader. Review here.
Note Worthy Articles
Amazon is well on its way to ruling the planet by buying Goodreads. People are annoyed, to say the least.
Amazon purchase of Goodreads stuns book industry - The Guardian
Amazon Buys Goodreads For Undisclosed Sum – The Huffington Post
Amazon buys Goodreads: We’re all just data now – Salon
From The Blogs
This week was the Book Blogger Twitter Con 2013. I did manage to make several of the evening chats. I couldn’t make the afternoon ones because I’m at work but the chats I could make were a blast. If you missed some of the chats you can look them up by searching for the hashtags on Twitter.
The Monday afternoon chat was Copyright and Plagiarism. Search for #BBTCCopy
The Monday evening chat was A Case of the Neggies 1. Search for #BBTCNeg1
Tuesday afternoon – The Art of Copy Editing. #BBTCArt
Tuesday evening – Book Smack. #BBTCSmack
Wednesday afternoon – Digging Deep. #BBTCDig
Wednesday evening – A Case of the Neggies 3. #BBTCNeg3
Thursday afternoon – Amazon Addicts. #BBTCAddicts
Thursday evening – Twitter Awesome. #BBTCTwit
Friday afternoon – Giveaway Diva. #BBTCGive
Friday mid-evening – Get ‘em Talking #BBTCTalk
Friday evening – The Case of the Neggies 2. #BBTCNeg2
See all the BBTC posts and even the Twitter chat archives here.
Kelly @ Radiant Shadows picks apart the two most popular blog readers; Bloglovin’ or Feedly?
Books Added This Week
From the Library
Scorch by Gina Damico
The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Witches’ Kitchen by Allen Williams
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Bought for Kindle
A Sticky End by James Lear
I hope everyone had good weather for their Easter activities. It’s cool but sunny where I am. The park on the other side of the creek is having an egg hunt, so I was awoken at 9am by the echoes of screaming children. Not the best wakeup call I’ve ever had. No plans for the day. My mother is getting over a cold, so no dinner plans with the family. I bought a small pot roast for myself and it’s cooking away in the crock pot. That one roast will be good for several meals for me. I will be spending my day doing dishes and laundry.
My spot of family trouble is over. (An aunt admittied into the hospital for chest pains and then an emergency surgery for a clogged artery. She’s fine and should return home in a few days.) So, I should return to normal posting this week. I hope everyone else is enjoying time with family. Now, I’m off to carve the sacrificial chocolate bunny. Have a good day!
Something in real life has come up and I’m going to have to lay the blog aside for a few days. I already missed two posts I was going to do and it looks like I’m going to miss the rest of this week too. If all goes well, I’ll be back next week. Sorry folks.
FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased). Hosted by Should Be Reading.
So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!
Strange Fates by Marlene Perez
Published March 5th 2013 by Orbit
The first in a line of three exciting new urban fantasy novels blending elements of Greek myth and forbidden romance against the backdrop of Minnesota’s magical underworld.
Brooding, leather jacket-wearing Nyx Fortuna looks like a 20-something, and has for centuries now. As the son of the forgotten fourth Fate, Lady Fortuna, he has been hunted his entire life by the three Sisters of Fate that murdered his mother.
Fed up and out for revenge, Nyx comes to Minneapolis following a tip that his aunts have set up a business there. His goal to bring down his mother’s killers and retrieve the thread of fate that has trapped him in the body of a twenty year old unable to age or die.
But when a chance meeting with the mysterious, dangerous and very mortal Elizabeth Abernathy throws off his plans, he must reconcile his humanity and his immortality.
Found this one on its blog tour. Looks good and I’m always a sucker for male main characters.
The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
Published December 27th 2011 by Ballantine Books
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.
Um. Yes, please? Sounds hot.
Touch by Michelle Sagara West
Expected publication: May 7th 2013 by DAW Hardcover
Nathan died the summer before his final year in high school. But he wakes in his room—or in the shrine of his room his mother’s made—confused, cold, and unable to interact with anyone or anything he sees. The only clear memory he has is a dream of a shining city and its glorious queen, but the dream fades, until he once again meets his girlfriend Emma by the side of his own grave.
Nathan wants life. He wants Emma. But, even if Emma can deliver what he desires, the cost may be too high to pay…
I loved the first book, Silence, and it was one of my favorite books for 2012 and featured during October for Halloween. I am ecstatic to finally have a cover for the sequel. I can’t wait to read it.
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
A character’s name is very important. By giving a character a certain name, you can make them seem mysterious, brave, cruel, or any number of things. You can also make them seem silly. I know authors try to make their characters stand out in a crowd but if I giggle every time I read that character’s name then you’ve lost any chance I’ll take the book seriously. Also, if two characters’ names are very similar looking then that has a habit of tripping up a reader. It’s very annoying to be flying along and get confused when you have to backtrack to make sure you read a character’s name right when something doesn’t add up. (This happened to me a lot in a book where two main characters that had a great deal of scene time with each other were called Thomas and Tony. My brain just blew past the T names and then I ended up confused when I mixed them up. I skim read, ok! It’s what happened when you’re in the zone.)
I finished my first gay erotica book this weekend. Now, I’m used to reading erotica on the internet but this was the first time I’d read a book instead of a piece of fanfiction. (It was very good and I’ve already bought the second book in the series.) But I just have to pause and say – erotica is silly. There, I said it. The cat is out of the bag. It’s silly. The sex is silly and giggle worthy. The reproductive process of humans is ridiculous. It’s messy and awkward and if what I was reading were happening in real life, then probably painful. I laughed a lot. I probably looked like a loon. I giggled when character A’s dick was being stroked by character B’s hand. It’s stupid but we read it anyway. I don’t know why either. Humans are odd.
Speaking of erotica, I need to announce that my reviews will now be labeled with appropriate age levels and warnings. Meaning erotica (having graphic sex), adult, young adult, and middle grade books. The first, will be posted late at night. (What should I call it? After Dark? Red Light Books?) I’m doing this so readers will be able to avoid posts they don’t wish to read or are too young for. (Not that I expect that to stop any curious teen but I promise to keep any erotica book talk fairly clean for public consumption.)
It’s Monday, the Irish lady who usually answers phones took the day off to recover from Saint Patrick’s Day, so I’m stuck doing phones all day long. I hate phones. But this also means I get to prop my Kindle up against the computer screen and read. But still, phones. Ugh. (I hate phones because people are rude and the help desk set up is asinine. I must content myself with copious amounts of coffee to get through the day instead of hard liquor.)
Inspired by numerous other features, memes, showcases, and radar post around the book blogging community, To Be Read is where I will post a couple of books from my overflowing ‘to be read’ bookshelf. These posts will include new releases as well as books I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I never fail to find something interesting on another blogs’ ‘to be read’ posts, so I’m hoping my readers will find some new books to add to their bookshelves as well.
Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy
Published March 27th 2012 by FSG Originals
The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.
Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.
At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.
Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy
Published July 3rd 2012 by Bloomsbury
After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her overopinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
Published June 3rd 2008 by HarperCollins
In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery’s pocket and touched the wizard’s locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who or what is stealing the city of Wellmet’s magic.
I hope you added a new book to your to be read shelf today!
Since I got a Kindle for the sole reason of being able to read less available books, I thought it would be nice if I posted a reading list. I actually just finished my first book on the Kindle and while I still prefer paper books, it wasn’t so bad. As long as I watch how much I spend on ebooks, I think this should work out just fine. Plus, I’m self-aware enough to get a vicious little thrill knowing that me buying one of these ebooks is supporting the less popular genres and subjects rather than buying some explosive best seller. I love the underdog.
Coming soon from my Kindle, a list of LGBT books.
Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow
Status: Finished; review coming soon.
Scarlet of Lysia is an honest peddler, a young merchant traveling the wild, undefended roads to support his aging parents. Liall, called the Wolf of Omara, is the handsome, world-weary chieftain of a tribe of bandits blocking a mountain road that Scarlet needs to cross. When Liall jokingly demands a carnal toll for the privilege, Scarlet refuses and an inventive battle of wills ensues, with disastrous results. Scarlet is convinced that Liall is a worthless, immoral rogue, but when the hostile countryside explodes into violence and Liall unexpectedly fights to save the lives of Scarlet’s family, Scarlet is forced to admit that the Wolf is not the worst ally he could have, but what price will proud Scarlet ultimately have to pay for Liall’s friendship? (Gay Little Red Riding Hood! Ouch! I think my childhood just flinched.)
Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman
Status: On Kindle; not started.
A lonely boy walking along a highway one autumn evening meets the boy of his dreams, a boy who happens to have died decades ago and haunts the road. Awkward crushes, both bitter and sweet, lead him to face youthful dreams and childish fears. With its cast of offbeat friends, antiques, and Ouija boards, Vintage is not your typical romance but does offers readers a memorable blend of dark humor, chills and love.
Unnatural by Michael Griffo
Status: Not Bought.
Michael Howard and Ronan Glynn-Rowley meet at Archangel Academy, an all-boys school in Eden, a rural town in north western England. Both are outcasts and decried as unnatural, Michael because he’s gay, and Ronan because he’s a hybrid vampire. But when Ronan, afraid to reveal his true self to Michael, turns him into a vampire against his will, both become drawn into a dangerous new world, where traditional vampires plot to destroy hybrids, and where fellow students, teachers, even their own families have unexpected secrets… (Gay vampires! How can I resist?)
Rise of Heroes by Hayden Thorne
Status: Not Bought. I’m annoyed because this ebook isn’t available but book 2 and book 3 of the series is. Why would the first book of series not be available as an ebook but later books are? Fail Amazon!
Strange things are happening in Vintage City, and high school goth boy Eric seems to be right in the middle of them. There’s a new villain in town, one with super powers, and he’s wreaking havoc on the town, and on Eric’s life. The new super hero who springs up to defend Vintage City is almost as bad, making Eric all hot and bothered, enough so that he almost misses the love that’s right between his nose. Peter is Eric’s best friend, and even if he does seem to be hiding something most of the time, he finds a way to show Eric how he feels in between attacks on trains and banks and malls. The two boys decide to start dating, much to the chagrin of their other best buddy, Althea, who has a terrible crush on Peter, and a secret or two of her own to keep. As the fight between the villain, known as the Devil’s Trill, and superhero Magnifiman picks up, Eric’s relationship with Peter almost ends before it begins when Eric finds out about Peter’s special talents, which might just rank Peter as a superhero in his own right. When the Trill takes an interest in Eric, too, Peter and Althea, along with Magnifiman and Eric’s normal, middle-class family all have to work together to keep Eric, and their city, safe. Can they figure out the super villain’s plan in time?
Heart Sense by K.L. Richardsson
Status: Not Bought.
The only son of a traveling merchant, Katjin spends his summer in the clan lands with his grandparents. He wishes his father, his apa, would take him along, but despite the promises that someday he’ll get to go, Katjin is left behind while his apa heads away on business that seems more and more suspicious the older Kat becomes. During one such summer, Katjin finds Mikael, a lost young man, who draws Kat to him by answering his song. In a world where the Empire brands all people as either ‘paths, people with psychic talent, or as non-’paths, Mikael is remarkable in that he has no brand. Fearing that the Calvary, who are arriving to recruit new members, will find Mikael in their clan and bring the Empire’s fury down upon them, the clan sends Kat and Mikael to hide away until it is safe – along with his cousin Soren to keep them both safe. Knowing the best way to keep Mikael from being taken is to make him a member of the clan, Soren and Katjin plan a blood bonding ceremony, but they have no idea what kind of trouble they’ve started with their actions. Katjin learns soon enough that he won’t be able to escape his bond with Mikael, and that danger lurks around every corner. Danger that he never knew existed. Can he keep Mikael safe long enough to figure out exactly what their future holds?
I’ve decided to do reviews of these books, mostly because the idea of excluding a book because of subject matter makes me twitch. So, expect reviews for LGBT books to start showing up here. I’ll probably only get one or two ebooks a month to stay in budget, so they will only appear every once and a while. These should get me thought spring. I’ve challenged myself to see how many LGBT books I can read this year and how they stack up against main stream books. It will be interesting to see how male/male relationships contrast to female/male relationships in young adult and fantasy books.
Happy reading, everybody!