Book Review : Lunarmorte by Samantha Young

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Product Details
  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press (July 30, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 1843866560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843866565
  • Available on: Amazon / The Book Depository

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Amidst the magikal children of the ancient Greek gods, lives a girl destined to bring their ancient war to an end.

Caia Ribeiro has lived a life of isolation and mystery since the death of her parents, and separation from her lykan pack at the age of seven. Returning ten years later under the supervision of the pack's young leader, Lucien, Caia finds herself seduced by pack life and her enigmatic guardian. But when strange happenings lead to near exposure of their world, Caia begins to realize Lucien and the Elders have been keeping unforgivable secrets, leaving Caia to come to terms with her dark and unique heritage.

Scarcely given time to adjust to her new reality, the war she believed stormed only on distant shores, crashes on her doorstep, forcing Caia to put aside her conflict with Lucien, in order to save them all from an old enemy and his relentless pursuit.

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Have you ever felt like you don't want to stop reading a certain book? Well, that happens to me when I read Lunarmorte by Sam Young. It's a story about werewolves, whose origins are said to be related to Greek gods. The characters in this book are well-described, and they really shine with their respective personalities.

I'll get on with the good parts first. Because of the werewolves' relationship to the Gods, I believe, the author inserted a few funny phrases which are, in truth, refreshing and hilarious. Notable examples are "Holy Artemis!", "What the Hades!" and "Goddess knows where". Caia's docile manner and even temper makes her a lovable character, although her emotions may vary depending on the situation and condition.

As Caia is separated from her pack at a tender age, and when she returns 10 years later, she feels out of place and don't belong. That's why the male Alpha, Lucien orders for a pack running which is sort of a symbol that she is accepted and welcomed into the pack. I think the author has written this part brilliantly, and her efforts of making the wolves' movement and temperament life-like paid off.

Caia's ability to control water also intrigues me. I wonder who she actually is, but I know the answers will be revealed, sooner or later, when someone finally decides to tell her about it. And when the truth is uncovered, I was both shocked and surprised. No, I didn't see that coming!

Apart from that, the interactions between Caia and the other lycans are well-written. The scenes are mostly enjoyable and interesting; I don't mind reading about Caia and Lucien all day long. Sebastian, who is secretly in love with Caia also earns my approval. He is kind, warm and supportive of Caia even when the others oppose her. He is willing to do anything for her, and that includes surrendering his own life, even though he knows Caia will never be able to love him like a soulmate. Read this passage:

"Cy,"he whispered and her eyes caught his again. "I love you, Cy."

"Don't," she choked on her tears. "You're going to be OK."

He smirked, "I love you anyway."

"I love you too," she whispered.

"That's good."

A deep silence settled on the truck and Caia began to shake with exhaustion and fear.

"Like a friend, Cy?" Sebastian whispered suddenly and then winced.

"What?"

"Love me like a friend. You?"

She nodded, unable to lie to him even now. But his eyes never dimmed, "That's enough for me."

I almost cried reading this part, you know. He was terribly wounded at that time, and he wanted to make sure of Caia's answer.

I loved the book from the beginning until the end, but I spotted some things that can't be left unsaid. First of all, spelling and punctuation errors. I noticed quite a lot of them throughout the whole book, and to be honest, they really got on my nerves. I can't help questioning the editor's professionalism. This stellar novel has been marred by these imperfections, and I'm unhappy about that.

At the front part of the book, I was quite confused when the author didn't explain who are the characters and kept using third-person pronouns in a certain passage. I kept wondering who 'he' is, who Lars is and what the Hades are they talking about:

“The door was thrown open, his tall, gangly assistant almost falling into the room in his hurry to get to him.

“The spell!” he heaved, as he lunged at him, out of breath.

“You’ve been running?” he asked him incredulously, following the trail of sweat that trickled down his assistant’s forehead.

He nodded, bending over, his hands braced on his knees as he tried to regain composure. “I…I…I still…haven’t haaaa…mastered the communication spell you gave me.” He gulped for air again, wheezing as he flopped down beside him.

“Well obviously you rushed with a purpose. Spit it out, Lars.”

Lars turned to him now, his eyes bright with excitement. “The protection spell is down. She’s unprotected.”

His eyes blazed with the news. “You’re certain?”

“Positive. I’ve been on Marion duty for two years. Her protection spell on the girl has been dropped.”

His smile of triumph was slow and predatory. “Do you know what this means?”

“It’s time?”

“Activate our agent.”

--- page 23, Lunarmorte by Sam Young

There is one more thing. I'm not entirely sure that this book is suitable for younger teens, because there is a mild sex scene between Caia and Lucien from page 219 - 222. I would recommend parental guidance for teens aged 17 and below.

To sum things up, Lunarmorte is an enjoyable debut which will enthrall readers with its stunning plot and unexpected twists. Highly recommend to fans of Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer and Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

Pros: Intriguing premise, action-packed, romantic, excellent storyline
Cons: Spelling errors, confusing passages without an exact character

Rating:
4.500

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Photo on back of Lunarmorte book jacket.
Samantha Young is the author of Lunarmorte, the first in a young adult fantasy trilogy.

Whilst studying classical literature at the University of Edinburgh Sam was struck with the idea of utilising Greek mythology to explain the origin of all manner of supernatural beasties. With so many ideas battling for release, Sam caved to her imagination, and began writing the first novel in the Lunarmorte trilogy during her final year at university.

Sam currently lives in Stirlingshire, Scotland.

You can visit Sam's blog HERE.

A - Z Reading Challenge

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Artemis Fowl (Book #1) by Eoin Colfer (Review HERE)
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman (Review HERE)
Catch Us If You Can by Catherine Mac Phail (Review HERE)
Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang (Review HERE)
Echoes (Fingerprints, #1-3) by Melinda Metz
Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog (Review HERE)
Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros
Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens (Review HERE)
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (Review HERE)
J
K
Lunarmorte by Sam Young (Review HERE)
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
N
Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter (Review HERE)
Poison Study by Maria V Snyder (Review HERE)
Q
Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely, #4) by Melissa Marr
Star in the Middle by Carol Larese Millward (Review HERE)
The Locket by Stacey Jay (Review HERE)
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Review HERE)
V
Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely, #1) by Melissa Marr (Review HERE)
X
Y
Zelah Green (#1 & #2) by Vanessa Curtis (Review HERE)

Guest Post with Michelle Moran + Giveaway!

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Have I ever told you how much I loved Michelle Moran's novels? Well, obviously, I adored them! From Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen to Cleopatra's Daughter, every one of her books has a special place in my heart, and apparently, on my bookshelf. Her books made me fall in love with the historical fiction genre and left me deeply mesmerized with the ancient Egyptian culture. Her fourth book, Madame Tussaud, will be launched on 15th February, and I'm eagerly anticipating its release. Make sure you purchase a copy of Madame Tussaud when it comes out! It is available for pre-order at The Book Depository.

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MADAME TUSSAUD: The Woman

When most people hear the name Madame Tussaud, the first thing that comes to mind are the eerily lifelike waxworks which crowd her museums throughout the world. But who was the woman behind the name, and what was she like in the flesh?

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Wax sculptor Marie Tussaud

Madame Tussaud’s story actually began in 18th century Paris. While most people know her from her famous museum in London, it was in France, on the humble Boulevard du Temple, where Marie first got her start as an apprentice in her uncle’s wax museum, the Salon de Cire. At the time, the Boulevard du Temple was crowded with exhibits of every kind. For just a few sous a passerby might attend the opera, watch a puppet show, or visit Henri Charles’ mystifying exhibition The Invisible Girl. The Boulevard was a difficult place to distinguish yourself as an artist, but as Marie’s talent grew for both sculpting and public relations, the Salon de Cire became one of the most popular attractions around. Suddenly, no one could compete with Marie or her uncle for ingenious publicity stunts, and when the royal family supposedly visited their museum, this only solidified what most showmen in Paris already knew — the Salon was an exhibition to watch out for.

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Madame Tussauds, Washington DC

But as the Salon’s popularity grew, so did the unusual requests. Noblemen came asking for wax sculptures of their mistresses, women wanted models of their newborn infants, and – most importantly – the king’s sister herself wanted Marie to come to Versailles to be her wax tutor. While this was, in many ways, a dream come true for Marie, it was also a dangerous time to be associated with the royal family. Men like Robespierre, Marat, and Desmoulins were meeting at Marie’s house to discuss the future of the monarchy, and when the Revolution began, Marie found herself in a precarious position. Ultimately, she was given a choice by France’s new leaders: to preserve the famous victims of Madame Guillotine in wax, or be guillotined herself.

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution is the story of Marie’s life during one of the most tumultuous times in human history. Her survival was nothing less than astonishing, and how she survived makes for what I hope is a compelling read.

Browse IndieSpotting

Madame Tussaud

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Michelle Moran was born in the San Fernando Valley, CA. She took an interest in writing from an early age, purchasing Writer's Market and submitting her stories and novellas to publishers from the time she was twelve. When she was accepted into Pomona College she took as many classes as possible in British Literature, particularly Milton, Chaucer, and the Bard. Not surprisingly, she majored in English while she was there. Following a summer in Israel where she worked as a volunteer archaeologist, she earned an MA from the Claremont Graduate University.

Michelle has traveled around the world, from Zimbabwe to India, and her experiences at archaeological sites were what inspired her to write historical fiction. She is the international bestselling author of Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen, and Cleopatra's Daughter. Her fourth novel, Madame Tussaud, will be released on February 15, 2011. You can visit Michelle’s Blog: History Buff


Enter to Win

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One of my lucky readers will have the chance to win:
Please leave a separate comment for each entry or it will only count as one comment! Remember to include your e-mail address or your entry will be disqualified!

Main entry (Mandatory): Tell me something you've learned after reading the guest post OR ask Michelle a question.

Extra entries (Optional):
+1 Join Michelle Moran's Mailing List
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Rules and Regulations:
This giveaway is for entrants of all ages from all countries. Please get permission from your parents or guardians if you are under 13 years of age. The author is responsible for the mailing of the prizes. This giveaway will end on February 22nd, 2010 at 6 p.m. Malaysian time. The winner will be selected randomly by random.org, and he/she must respond with his/her name and complete mailing address within 48 hours of being notified via e-mail. Prize(s) not claimed will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.

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You can also enter the Madame Tussaud giveaways on these blogs to increase your chances of winning!

Currently Reading... #1

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This is the first week of the What Are You Currently Reading? meme. You can put the button below on your blog sidebar / meme post if you want to participate. Remember to leave a link in the comments box so that I can hop over to your blog to read your post!


I'm currently reading Lunarmorte by Samantha Young. In this book, the werewolf legend is built upon a Greek mythology. So far, the story is interesting, but I discovered some spelling errors and punctuation mistakes. Take a look at the cover and blurb below:

LunarmorteLunarmorte by Samantha Young

Amidst the magikal children of the ancient Greek gods, lives a girl destined to bring their ancient war to an end.

Caia Ribeiro has lived a life of isolation and mystery since the death of her parents, and separation from her lykan pack at the age of seven. Returning ten years later under the supervision of the pack's young leader, Lucien, Caia finds herself seduced by pack life and her enigmatic guardian. But when strange happenings lead to near exposure of their world, Caia begins to realise Lucien and the Elders have been keeping unforgiveable secrets, leaving Caia to come to terms with her dark and unique heritage.

Scarcely given time to adjust to her new reality, the war she believed stormed only on distant shores, crashes on her doorstep, forcing Caia to put aside her conflict with Lucien, in order to save them all from an old enemy and his relentless pursuit.

You can visit Sam's blog HERE.


What are you currently reading?

Randomness by Deena

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”He’s doing it again,” Jaeden grumbled.
“Huh?”
“Looking at you like you’re a snack.”




James the tracker (from Twilight) enters scene:

*Smells the air*



”You brought a snack!”

First Sales!

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OMG, I'm so excited! I've sold 4 of my novels! Thanks to all my first clients for your support! I'm looking forward to expanding my client base so that I can save more to buy new books! :)

Wherever Nina Lies

If I Stay

Speak

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In My Mailbox {13}

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I got some nice books today! Yay! :)


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Won from Debbie's World of Books
Thanks, Debbie!

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Won from The Eclectic Reader
Thanks, Teddyree!

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Won from Medeia Sharif
Thanks, Medeia!

Book Review : Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail

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Catch Us If You Can
Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail

Product Details
  • Hardcover: 163 pages
  • Publisher: LONG (2006)
  • ISBN-10: 1405808780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405808781
  • Available on: Amazon


In this story, Rory, a young boy who has been caring for his grandfather, is devastated when he's told that grandad needs to go into a home, and that he will be fostered. The young boy and old man go on the run together - a real adventure and a journey of discovery, but with disaster lurking round the corner.

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This book is a (must-read) literature component for Form 5 students. Actually, I was quite excited to read this book, because it sounds special - a grandfather and his grandson on the run. I think the cover portrays the story quite well and it's really eye-catching.

In this story, Rory and his granda live together blissfully, even though sometimes there are troubles because of granda's
worsening Alzheimer condition. Granda is a quirky, loveable character who is quite funny at times, while Rory is a matured teenager who loves his granda dearly and takes care of his granda's basic needs.

After a fire started out at their home one day, the two are forced to live separately from each other - granda in the old folks' home and Rory in foster care. As Rory sensed his granda's desolation and depression and his own unwillingness to leave him alone, he decided to run away with his granda.

This short story is like a cup of cooling tea in the afternoon. It's refreshing, original, heartwarming and hilarious. You won't regret reading it.

Rating: 4.000


Stylish Blogger Award

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Lissa from Readers Unite awarded me with the Stylish Blogger award! This is my second Stylish Blogger award! You can follow Lissa on Twitter or friend her on Goodreads.

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There are 4 duties to perform to receive this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

As I've received this award from another blogger before, you can read this post if you want to know the seven things about me.


I'd like to pass this award on to:

News and Updates:

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The world-renowned Amabile Youth Singers' recording of, "Take me Home," Beth's solo in SING ME TO SLEEP, is now available on iTunes. All the iTunes proceeds will go to keep the Amabile family singing. The Amabile guys, who inspired the story of SING ME TO SLEEP, previously released, "Beth's Song."

Visit Angela Morrison's Website
Visit the Cayman Summer Blog
Purchase your own copy of SING ME TO SLEEP

Book Review : Logic of Demons by H.A. Goodman

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Logic of Demons by H.A. Goodman

Product Details
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (July 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452018189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452018188
  • Available at: Amazon /Barnes & Noble /IndieBound

What would you do if the love of your life was murdered by a deranged killer? Would you become a vigilante and seek retribution? And would this revenge affect those you care for in the afterlife? LOGIC OF DEMONS The Quest for Nadine's Soul takes you on a journey inside the psyches of men and women forced to deal with the spiritual consequences of their decisions. Through the lives of a demon, two Angels, and a mysterious teenage girl, a plethora of politically and socially relevant issues ranging from the roots of genocide and sex trafficking to child conscription and religious fundamentalism are addressed in this fantasy thriller. Life as well as the afterlife converge in this novel to explain certain peculiarities of the human condition. Whether you are God fearing individual or an atheist, LOGIC OF DEMONS The Quest for Nadine's Soul addresses moral and theological issues of interest for people of all backgrounds.


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I think I should describe Logic of Demons as 'unexpected'. It started off with Devin mourning his wife, Bridget's terrible death. She was raped and killed by a serial killer caller Earl Gray. He wanted to seek revenge, and for a moment he considered calling off his idea, but finally decided to preserve justice in his own way - by killing the murderer with his own hands. Little did he know that his actions will lead to some unimaginable consequences in the afterworld - with him at the very center of it all.

In a way, this book presents readers with a debate between good and evil, and the twisted logic of those who think they are doing the right thing when actually they are committing a heinous act. I found this book to be interesting, and I was expecting some really exciting events to take place. And the author did managed to surprise me with his creativity, as well as his bizarre, one-of-a-kind storyline.

I really enjoyed Goodman's writing style. While descriptive, it is also straightforward and honest. He lets loose a piece of information in each chapter, clearing a path for the other events to take place smoothly as he continues to surprise readers with each page.

However, the second half part of the story made me left me in bewilderment. I couldn't grasp the author's message somehow. The ending left me a little disappointed, because I was expecting something more intense or action-packed. Nonetheless, H. A. Goodman did a good job with his debut novel. He has successfully created a story that will make you hold your breath in anticipation for the next page.


H. A. Goodman is a former financial advisor and high school history teacher. He has a B. A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California and has also worked at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. He is currently an author of fantasy and science fiction novels. He recently combined his love for fantasy and international relations to write his debut novel, Logic of Demons, The Quest for Nadine’s Soul. H. A. Goodman currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Let's Make A Deal

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When I enter book giveaways on the internet, some of them state that the particular giveaway is open to US / Canada only. However, if I have a friend who can send the book to me, then I can enter no matter where I live.

So, here's the deal. I will enter all the book giveaways I can find and if I win, I will ask the host to send the book to your address. So, you get to read the NEW book and keep it for 2-4 weeks. Then, you will have to send the book to me IF I'm interested in reading it as well. Please note that I live in Malaysia, so the postage may cost a little bit more. You will be responsible for the shipping fees. (I'm still a student, so I won't be able to pay you.)

OK, maybe this sounds a little bit crazy, but you can get some benefits from this deal:
  1. You will get new books to read. Maybe there will be a lot, since I'm a giveaway maniac. LOL.
  2. You don't have to send me all the books I won. I only want to read certain books, so some of them will be entirely yours for FREE. (As an exchange for the shipping!)
  3. If I win 2 books, then 1 will be yours. If I win 4, then 2 will be yours. The list goes on and on... Of all the books I win, half will be yours.
  4. You will also get a secret gift from me once in a while. I promise it'll be something nice (though not necessarily expensive)!

Requirements:
  1. You are a resident of US/Canada.
  2. You love to read books.
  3. You don't mind paying for the shipping.
  4. You agree to send me the books I wish to read.
  5. You are at least 18 years old.

This deal is for 2011 only.

Please leave a comment here or send me an e-mail at aikychien at yahoo dot com if you're interested. Thank you!

Book Review : Star in the Middle by Carol Larese Millward

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Star in the Middle

Product Details
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: WestSide Books; 1st edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934813133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934813133
  • Available at Amazon :: Barnes & Noble :: The Book Depository


At 16, Star's life has changed drastically now that she's become the mother of a baby boy. To learn what's best for him, Star's taking parenting classes at a center for teen moms. But she's having trouble keeping up with the baby's demands, and her grandmother is threatening to force her to put the baby up for adoption. To top it off, Wilson, a popular star athlete, is in denial about being the father. He doesn't know about Star's terrible, painful secrets. But as Wilson's friends and family push him to accept his responsibility, he learns the truth about Star's disturbing past, facts that change his life forever. Told from Star's and Wilson's points-of-view, Star in the Middle reveals a compelling snap-shot of the difficult lives of teenage parents.

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Star In The Middle is a story about a girl named Star who gave birth to a son as a result of teen sex. She named her son Wil after his father. She faced a lot of difficulties in caring for the child's needs and planning her own future, which seems bleak so far. And her boyfriend, the one who impregnated her is running away from his responsibilities as a father. He convinced himself that the child was not his and was doubtful about his maturity and ability to be a father when he still called his mother "mummy".

This novel portrays the hardships of a single mother, the aftermath of unprotected teen sex and how this social issue is ruining teenagers' lives. The entire story is told from Star's and Wilson's (Star's boyfriend) alternating perspectives. Even though I tried my best to understand the characters' respective voices, I didn't manage to successfully connect with any of them. I failed to 'feel' the novel. I think the author's writing can be further improved with a little more emotion and descriptive words. There's not much going on, until the last part of the story where Star's dark secret originating from her childhood trauma starts to bubble up the surface.

When Wilson learned about why Star had been acting so strangely, he tried to locate the one who caused her so much sadness and heartbreak. His actions were rash and irrational. I think this is where the story starts to appear not logical. The climax came and went hurriedly and easily, and this gave me an impression of a messy ending. Still, I won't say I disliked this book, for there are some parts where I really enjoyed reading. I observed the author's creativity in writing and her good sense of humour. She also managed to surprise me sometimes, such as how Star's best friend --- Elizabeth, reacts to Wilson's denial (not acknowledging his son).

To sum up, this book offers readers a glimpse of what will happen if we do something without thinking the consequences. If you wish to have a child, please make sure that you are financially able to support his/her life, and that you are properly married. A kid who is born out of wedlock will be look down by others. Sorry, I'm blabbering again, isn't it?

Pros: Original, amusing scenes, interesting climax.
Cons: First half is plain, messy ending.

Rating:
3

This book contains teen sex and pregnancy, as well as one of the main character's dark past. Suitable for older teens only. Parental guidance recommended for younger teens.


Thanks to Carol for sending me a signed hardcover copy of this book! :)


http://www.authorsnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/DSCF9044-175x262.jpg
http://wsucomp3010.pbworks.com/f/quotes1.jpgI have always been a writer -- journaling, even as a child, was my way of getting to know myself and those around me. I think the most important thing that journaling taught me was to be patient. I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful children and young adults in my life. I found that it's children that bring out the best in me -- I love their spirit and their determination.

I have been married for forty years and have two wonderful children. They are both married to spouses that I would have chosen for them -- had they asked! Then there are the grandchildren -- six of them! http://cdn.worldcupblog.org/italy.worldcupblog.org/files/2010/07/Right-quotation-mark.jpg

Carol Larese Millward