Tag Archives: book review

George Orwell Meets Barbie

Sensational Saturday

A blog for fun! Fun! fun!

I don’t read too much YA, but when my daughter insisted I read Beauty Queens, I took the plunge. The cover cracked me up, a bandoleer of lipsticks on a bikini clad girl, but I was still a little leery. Luckily she was right. Beauty Queens is a fabulous book. Author Libba Bray has achieved the impossible, a YA that is both serious and fun, and highly satirical.

Beauty Queens by libba braeThe most interesting thing about Beauty Queens for me is that Libba herself is the narrator. I am listening to it on audio as I drive back and forth to work. I fact I missed two exits on my way to Rom Con because of the book. In audio books the narrator makes all the difference.

I’m usually not a big fan of authors narrating their own books, but Libba does a superior job. She does all the girls in different voices, and the sparkle she adds to the footnotes is amazing. Yes there are footnotes. Forty seven I believe. And Libba does them all in a bright and shiny announcer’s voice that the Corporation (TM) would be proud of.

The Corporation. Here’s where the fun starts.

Lovely girls survive a plane crash, that’s an interesting plot. Brings up memories of Lord of the Flies and high school. But you’ll see I’ve mentioned George Orwell, not Golding. This book is a satire, and one of the ways Libba has worked that is to add in, not just overly shiny commercials and footnotes, not just a culture that mimics ours in a satirical way, but she’s brought in the Corporation. The Corporation controls the world, in other words, our compulsive consumerism has put commerce in charge of our lives. What would your life be like if consumerism was the number one motivator?

We’re not that far from it, and Libba makes her point with ease. At the same time she exposes our cultures obsession with beauty, the lack of respect for girls with brains, and she does it all with flair and fun. I was laughing out loud. You will too.

And I highly suggest reading it in audio. I have yet to read the print book, but Libba has cleverly added bonus features to the audio. Every time the disks changed one of the girls came on and announced it. And then there is Libba herself. I can’t imagine how I would have read this book without her voices. Each girl has her own and they are spectacular.

It’s not paranormal, but Beauty Queens is one of the best books I’ve read all year. And I think it may be one of the best audio books ever.

Want to get to know the genius behind the covers? HERE is an interview with Libba.

Have you had a surprise summer read this year? Ever read a book that is better in audio than in the print version? (Not that I’m saying that about this one, I hear the print is pretty good, but you miss out on Libba.) Who else is making a dent in their TBR pile while driving to work? Or are you all sitting in beach chairs lounging with your drinks, hot waiters and your books?

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Bloghop and Book Review Thursday

Thursday’s Bite

a paranormal blog

Just a brief nod to the blog hop on Paranormal Freebies. If you are a paranormal author looking for a fun bloghop sign up HERE. No responsiblities other than to check out your fellow PNR authors.

If you want a challenge, write a less than 500 word ghost story and post the link HERE. There is a prize. Link closes on Tues the 12th and judging will begin!

There will be two more writing challenges, I’ll post them here or you can go directly to PNRFreebies for the low-down.

And last but not least, ML Guida has done a fab book review of Lynda Hilburn’s Dead in the City HERE. Lynda is not only a fabulous person, but she writes a very creative series about a Vampire Shrink! Love it!

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Shadow Fall Review

Sensational Saturdays

A blog for whatever I feel like writing

Today I’m posting my end of the month Thursday’s Bite Book Review, delayed one posting by the amazing Hillary Seidl’s take over of Thursday’s Bite. I plan to be back on schedule for the month of November, so check back on the last Thursday of the month for a new review and another Bite.

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Erin Kellison rocks!

Not only is she amazingly sweet and funny, but she can really write romance. Her book Shadow Fall is the second in the series that began with Shadow Bound and continues with Shadow Man out September 2011. I had the opportunity of meeting Erin at Rom Con 2011 and she made our paranormal games a blast.

Shadow Fall tells the tale of ballet artist Annabella whose talent for ballet creates a link between our world and the shadow world. Annabella’s grace and beauty lure not only a shadow wolf, but also tempt a fallen angel, Custo.  Custo’s tale of desperation as he races time and deportation back to heaven to save Annabella from the stalking wolf intertwines beautifully with Annabella’s ballet and the world’s battle against the wraiths.

Confused? You won’t be. I read this as a stand alone and was up to speed immediately without being bogged down in backstory. Ellison’s skill as a story teller sucked me in and kept me wanting more. And I’ve awarded her the coveted five omegas, ΩΩΩΩΩ not just for a superb book I’ll want to read again, but for creating a fabulous series that call me from the shadows.

If you’ve read the first book in the series, Shadow Bound, you will have already met Custo. I have yet to read the first one, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the story of Adam and Talia the half-breed daughter of the Shadowman himself. All three of these characters play important roles in Shadow Fall, but the stars are Custo, Annabella and the wolf.

And if you’re like me and love a good series it looks like the fourth in the series a novella entitled, Shadow Touch, will be out June 2011. Definitely add Erin to your TBR pile, in fact put her on the top!

Today is the last day in my Halloween Treats giveaway in celebration of my novella Little Red Riding Wolf available on February 18th, 2012 from Passion in Print Press. Leave a comment to enter in today’s drawing for The Bride Wore Scarlet and to get a final entry into Monday’s drawing for three grand prizes of swag bags and B&N Gift certificates. Contest closes Sunday, October 30th night at midnight!

Thursday’s winner is Sherry Isaac! Congratulations and send me your address through my contact box and we’ll get you your prizes!

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Seduced By Shadows Book Review

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

Hello faithful blog readers. I’m starting a new tradition in hopes that I will let myself read more. Now that I write like a fiend I have less time for reading so I’m adding a book review at the end of the month and I’ll also post them on Goodreads. As my current WIP and the last two novellas I have written are were-wolves, I’m alpha obsessed, but handing out letter A’s seemed odd so instead I’ll be handing out purple omegas. Ω

Book Review: Seduced by Shadows, by Jessa Slade

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Paranormal readers will be shocked to learn that while I had heard of Jessa Slade, I had not read any of her books prior to this month. When Jessa was assigned to me as one of my buddies for Rom Con I ran out in a panic to find her book. How could I possibly be her buddy if I had never read her?

I prayed the book would be good. Because what would be worse than not reading her was reading her book, her baby, and hating it. But I was lucky. I loved it!

Jessa’s incredibly complex opening had me re-reading the first few pages, but instead of shaking me loose it hooked me completely. No simplistic plot line here. No, Jessa has skillfully woven a totally new view of demon possession into a suspenseful plot line that has you rooting for the sinners like they were saints.

I loved the idea that in a moment of weakness, good people are taken over by demons aching to repent. And then that repentance forces the humans to fight evils so the demons gain their repentance. Only a twisted plot crafter could entwine forced labor with a drive for good in such a riveting fashion.

If you are dying for a more intricate plot in your paranormal romance then Jessa Slade’s Marked Soul series is for you.It hooked me right away, and kept me hooked all the way through the book. I loved it so much I almost gave it a top rating of five omegas, but I had to cut it down to four because of the rapid fire confusing beginning. I’m looking forward to discovering what happens to the rest of the demon possessed. We all know how much I love those tortured alphas!

I’m thrilled to announce that Jessa is my buddy and I love her new twist on paranormal. Now I have to run out and find all the rest of her books. Except for Vowed in Shadows because, lucky me, Jessa handed me one on the first night of Rom Con!

And don’t think you can get your hands on my copy, because she signed it in shiny purple ink just to me!

Have you read Jessa Slade? Do you have some recommendations for next months paranormal review?

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