Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ashes [Review]

#1 in Ashes Trilogy
480 Pages [Kindle]
Published 6 September 2011
Find on Goodreads

Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents’ ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it’s a question of who can be trusted and who has changed... Everyone still alive has turned - some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh).

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom - an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home - and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse. This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to find food, shelter, while fighting off the “Changed” and those desperate to stay alive. A tense and involving adventure with shocks and sudden plot twists that will keep teen and adult readers gripped.

My Thoughts:
I hadn't really heard much hype about Ashes, but I had it on my TBR list for a while and then got approved for the second book in the series on NetGalley - so I decided it was about time I read it.

I really enjoyed the whole book. It kept my attention the whole time - which is getting harder and harder for me for most books nowadays.

The premise is that Alex, an orphan teen with a brain tumor, finds herself in a zombie-like apocalypse situation after a EMP was released while she was in the middle of a hiking/camping trip. She finds two companions along the way to finding out what happened and finding other people who may know what happened: Ellie, an 8 year old girl, who was with her grandfather and had ran into Alex before the EMP occurred, and Tom, a 20-something year old soldier on leave, who saves them from a couple of "The Changed". From what they can tell, the younger people are the ones changing, many people just died when the EMP was released, and they are unsure why some are "Spared" like Alex and Tom.

The Changed, or Chuckies as they are later called, are like zombies, but not in the traditional undead, mindless, hangry way. These zombies are smart. They form packs, communicate with each other, use weapons, etc. They are also inhumanely strong and fast. There is no virus - which is an interesting take. People change based on brain chemistry or hormones - from the characters' best educated guess.

I highly recommend this one for all zombie lovers out there. Throw in a little cult-like storyline, a militia forming, plus all kinds of other crazy events - and you have this amazing book.

Previous Review:
Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke [here]

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here]

Linked up at...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Peach Cobbler Murder [Review]

#7 in Hannah Swensen Series
384 pages [Kindle]
Published 1 March 2005

With The Cookie Jar, Hannah Swensen has a mouthwatering monopoly on the bakery business of Lake Eden, Minnesota. But when a rival store opens, tensions begin to bubble...

As she sits in her nearly empty store on Groundhog Day, Hannah can only hope that spring is just around the corner-and that the popularity of the new Magnolia Blossom Bakery is just a passing fad. The southern hospitality of Lake Eden's two Georgia transplants, Shawna Lee and Vanessa Quinn, is grating on Hannah's nerves-and cutting into her profits.

At least Hannah has her business partner Lisa's wedding to look forward to. Unfortunately, Shawna Lee has finagled an invitation to the reception-and is bringing her Southern Peach Cobbler for the dessert table. Things go from bad to worse when Shawna Lee and Hannah's sometime-boyfriend, Detective Mike Kingston, are no-shows to the wedding. When Hannah sees lights on at the Magnolia Blossom Bakery after the reception, she investigates-and finds Shawna Lee shot to death.

Everyone in town knew the Cookie Jar's business was suffering-a fact that puts Hannah at the top of the initial list of suspects. But with a little help from her friends, Hannah's determined to track down whoever had the right ingredients to whip up a murder.

My Thoughts:
I hadn't read a Hannah Swensen book in a few months. I've been slipping into a reading rut for the last few months as well. Not that I haven't read some great books, I've just been struggling to pick up and actually read. I get into bed at night and barely get through a paragraph before I fall asleep, book in hand. So while my husband visited family in Tennessee for a week, I had no adult interaction or company and I read my little heart out. I got through this surprisingly fast and have to admit, I still love love love Lake Eden and the community. I love Hannah still, even though I want to smack her for still trying to justify anything Mike does - PICK NORMAN ALREADY! #TeamNorman This one was definitely an interesting one. I think much more dramatic than the others to date. And Hannah got to be a suspect. I feel bad for her momma though :( But kind of glad too. No spoilers there.

Recipes in this book include: Aunt Kitty’s Jamaican Rum Balls, Chocolate Almond Toast, Chocolate Overload Cookie Bars, Desperation Cookies, Doll Face Cookies, Fake Orange Julius, German Chocolate Cake Cookies, Minnesota Peach Cobbler, Rhubarb Custard Cake, Strawberry Custard Squares, Strawberry Flip Cookies, Trudy's Shrimp Bisque, and Wedding Cake.

Previous Review:
Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich [here]

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here]

Linked up at...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Night School & Chosen [Review]

I have two reviews for y'all today :)

**3 1/2 stars**

#1 in Vampire Hunter Trilogy
62 Pages [Kindle]
Published 19 March 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November TBR List

So because I gave up on the horrible writing of the Casts, I "caught" up on my TBR list almost completely!

Books leftover from September:
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer [We Heart YA BOTM]
Books leftover from October:
  • Rising by Stephanie Judice [We Heart YA - General BOTM]
  • Gone by Michael Grant [We Heart YA - Series Readalong] 
Books for November:
  • 13 to Life by Shannon Delany
  • As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott
  • Lost in Shangri-La by Michael Zuckoff
  • Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
  • Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
  • Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick [NetGalley]
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard [NetGalley]
  • Entangled by Nikki Jefford [NetGalley]
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Episode 2 Graphic Novel [NetGalley]
  • Poison Princess by Kresley Cole [We Heart YA - General BOTM]

I'm hoping to actually read all of these and then more this month. I was sick a lot in October and couldn't read. November is supposed to be really really busy though. So we will see!

I'm also joining in for I'm Loving Books' Random Reads for the first time :)

I'm going to start out slow and try to read ONE random book off of my massive list on Goodreads. And that book is... Where the Truth Lies from Jessica Warman.

Seven-X [Review]

**3.5 Stars**

#1 in Seven-X Trilogy
250 Pages [Paperback]
Published 6 March 2012
ISBN: 0615505813