Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Wicked Will Rise

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we spotlight upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Wicked Will Rise
Dorothy Must Die #2
by Danielle Paige
Expected Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die....

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?

Why I am waiting....
I really enjoyed Dorothy Must Die and can’t WAIT to read the next book in the series! March can’t come soon enough!
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday Memes: The Perfect Mother

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where you can share the first paragraph, or a few, of a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Today I am spotlighting The Perfect Mother by Nina Darnton

When an American exchange student is accused of murder, her mother will stop at nothing to save her.

A midnight phone call shatters Jennifer Lewis’s carefully orchestrated life. Her daughter, Emma, who’s studying abroad in Spain, has been arrested after the brutal murder of another student. Jennifer rushes to her side, certain the arrest is a terrible mistake and determined to do whatever is necessary to bring Emma home. But as she begins to investigate the crime, she starts to wonder whether she ever really knew her daughter. The police charge Emma, and the press leaps on the story, exaggerating every sordid detail. One by one, Emma’s defense team, her father, and finally even Jennifer begin to have doubts.
 A novel of harrowing emotional suspense, The Perfect Mother probes the dark side of parenthood and the complicated bond between mothers and daughters.

Opening Paragraph

    It was midnight and, lying next to her husband in their Philadelphia home, Jennifer Lewis was fast asleep. It had been a good day. Lily, their sixteen year old, had just found out she had made both the soccer team and the honor roll. Eight-year-old Eric was fast asleep after a day at the circus. And Emma, their twenty-year-old college girl, was having the time of her life in Spain for her junior year abroad. Life seemed so perfect that when the phone rang, Jennifer didn’t even have the usual flare of panic engendered by an unexpected middle-of-the-night interruption. Her husband, Mark, work first.
    “Get it, will you, honey?” he mumbled, still half-asleep.
    She reached over to pick up the phone.
    It was Emma’s voice, shaken and vulnerable, through torrents of tears.
    “Mom,” she sobbed. “You told me not to do anything stupid, and I did.”

My Teaser

    “Changed? Why? What negative things could they have dug up?” She looked again at Jennifer, her voice rising in agitation. “Mom?"
page 87

So...what do you think? Is this one you would pick up? Leave a comment below!
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die
by Danielle Paige

Why did you choose this book? I read anything and everything ‘Titanic’!
When did you read this book? November 2014
Who should read this book? readers of fantasy & fairy tale retellings
Source: library ebook
Here is a synopsis of Dorothy Must Die from Goodreads

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and I've been given a mission:

The Tin Woodman's heart,

The Scarecrow's brain,

The Lion's courage,

And then—


My Review

What a fun read! I picked this one up based on the cover….an obvious indication that this is a ‘Wizard of Oz’ story. And everything we remember about the Wizard of Oz is here; Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Lion, Glinda...and even the flying monkeys! It is not Oz the way we remember it, but Oz it is!

The story begins with Amy Gumm, a Kansas girl, landing in Oz as the result of a tornado. Sound familiar? (One interesting fact; Judy Garland, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, was born Frances Gumm.) When Amy arrives in Oz, she immediately recognizes that she is in Oz, but nothing is as it should be. There is magic, there are munchkins, and there is even a yellow brick road; but everything is dark and evil. Dorothy is back, and Dorothy is evil! Amy joins forces with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and is given the assignment to kill Dorothy thus restoring Oz to its former glory.

This is story is full of action and full of magic! There are plenty of twists leaving the reader to wonder who is really good and who is really evil….and what exactly is going on??!! I really enjoyed the journey! The only thing I did not enjoy was the fact that this is the first book in a series….and the next one, The Wicked Will Rise, won’t be released until March!!! There is a prequel novella available, No Place Like Oz, so I will have to pick that one up while I wait!

My Rating:  ★★★★1/2   4-1/2 Stars
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: The Look of Love

The Look of Love
by Sarah Jio

Why did you choose this book? I’ve heard a lot of good things about this author
When did you read this book? December 2014
Who should read this book? readers who enjoy a fun romance
Source: Penguin First To Read
Here is a synopsis of The Look of Love from Penguin First To Read

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.
My Review

I have heard a lot of good things about author Sarah Jio and have been tempted to pick up one of her books often, so when I saw this one was available for review, I jumped at the chance to review it. I have to admit, it got off to a bit of a slow start for me, possibly because there are several related storylines all going on at the same time. But once I read enough to sort through the characters and keep the storylines straight, I was hooked.

This is fun romance with an element of magical realism. Jane is a green-eyed woman who has had vision issues her entire life. During these episodes, her vision clouds and she becomes weak. Upon her twenty-ninth birthday, she receives a possible explanation for these episodes from an unlikely source. A stranger explains to her that she is one of a very few women in history who have been given a special gift; the ability to see love. She has one year to observe and document the six types of love or she will never experience true love herself. She is at first skeptical, and of course her neurologist is also skeptical of this explanation of her episodes.

While in some ways this is a typical romance with a predictable happy ending, there are also some unexpected, bittersweet moments. Some of these couples have some difficult decisions to make; the kind where someone has to be the loser. One thing I appreciate that the author does give us a glimpse thirty years into the future, so that we can see the resolution of these stories.

If there is one thing could change about the book, it would be to have the author explain the six types of love that Jane must find earlier in the book. While these types of love are given names when Jane is told of her gift, there is no description given until very late in the story. I think I would have enjoyed traveling along with Jane to see if I could identify the types of love. But that did not detract from the enjoyment of the story. A quick read for those who enjoy fun romance!

My Rating:  ★★★     3-1/2 Stars

I received an advanced review copy of this book through the Penguin First To Read program in return for an honest review.
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