Tag Archives: reading recommendation

How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Publisher: Pocket (February 22, 2011)
Kindle: 384 pages / 629 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

Review:

An entertaining read, this was my first time reading anything by Molly Harper. Of all the places to move to just to get some distance from your parent, to go from southern USA to Alaska seems extreme. But as Mo elaborates on how her hippie parents are like, Alaska might not be far enough.

Mo is an interesting character who I’d probably get along with. She’s a good person, just looking for the place where she belongs after her tumultuous childhood. New to the small town of Grundy, Alaska, Mo is a novelty that has most bachelors flirting with her as she quickly finds a place for herself in their community.

The only one really against Mo’s move to Grundy is the perpetually grumpy Cooper. (As well as Lynette, who’s dislike comes from the men’s attention on Mo.) Consistently at odds with one another, Mo and Cooper can’t deny the latent attraction at work as well.

The book starts off pretty slowly. But when we finally get to the scene described in the summary, where Mo finds a naked man stuck in a bear trap, the story just takes off.

A quick, fun read, this book isn’t one to pass up.

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Abandon by Meg Cabot

Publisher: Point (April 26, 2011)
Kindle: 320 pages / 360 KB
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Review:

This was such a great read. However towards the beginning it did require a bit of a push to get into the story. Cabot jumped around in time so much that I nearly got fed up. But I knew it’d make more sense if I just powered through. Luckily my faith was rewarded.

Even when Pierce was so angry with the situation at hand and didn’t like John all that much, I couldn’t help but root for them to be together. There was this pull that Cabot made apparent and irresistible. The plot twists and increasing mysteries only help to keep me drawn in and reading to the end.

What makes this better is that “Abandon” is just the first book. There will be more to expand on the characters and answer the questions left unanswered. This is a great start. Cabot worked magic on this, and I’m excited to see where she takes it. Another book I’d recommend to anyone who’s interested in either YA fantasy books or vague interpretations of Greek mythology.


Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Publisher: Harper Collins, Inc. (May 31, 2011)
Kindle: 496 pages / 833 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Review:

We start off with Helen who isn’t normal, but wants to be. Or so she tells us. Sure, she can lift heavy weights and run distances without tiring, but how strange is that? To the skeptical, it can all be explained with extreme training that happened prior to the reader’s entrance into Helen’s life. But that’s no fun, nor is it supernatural in any way. Solution to that: Helen is a demigod.

I’m not talking Rick Riordan’s half-bloods who get quests from their godly parents and a decrepit oracle. This is about an ancient blood feud and generations of parallels forced onto the younger generation by the Fates.

Enter the Delos family. Before their arrival on the small island Helen lives on, Helen had no idea what she was. All Helen was is a beautiful, extraordinary girl trying desperately to fit in and fade into the background. It’s all for naught as the first thing Helen does is try to kill Lucas, on of the Delos kids. Oh, that blood feud at work again, forcing innocent people into violent rages they don’t understand.

This book started off slowly with Helen’s overly modest nature and need to be normal while inwardly accepting that maybe she isn’t, and it grates on my nerves at first. But with the appearance of Lucas and his family, things start to get interesting. From there the mysteries just keep coming.

As “Starcrossed” is only the first in a trilogy, more questions are brought up than answered. But Angelini wrote the book in such a compelling way that rather than be upset over being so left in the dark, I’m happily anticipating the next book. It’s just so frustratingly wonderful. Or is it wonderfully frustrating? Either way it is an interesting play on Greek mythology, and is definitely a recommended read.


Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Publisher: Penguin Publishing (March 1, 2011)
Kindle: 430 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she’s seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Review:

Such a captivating read. It was maddening, confusing and just … wonderful. The start was a little rocky. Something inside me rebelled against all the restrictions Theia had to deal with.

For the first part, up until I find out what Haden is, the book was very Alice in Wonderland-esque. I felt lost and confused, just following Theia as she searched for answers. Then as some questions get answered, more pop up. Rather than being frustrated, I was intrigued and more drawn into the world Hayes created.

By the end I was happily satisfied by the answers provided and the story’s end. In fact, I was bursting with happy energy of having read such a good book. But, of course, “Falling Under” is just the first book. I look forward to the the next installment, though, and hope it’s just as enthralling.

A recommended read for anyone who doesn’t mind more than a little confusion and a whole lot of romance. It’s a great read for any YA paranormal romance fan.


Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (September 13, 2011)
Kindle: 400 pages / 5 KB
Source: Galley Grab
Rating: of 5 stars

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire . . . fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil . . . until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast—as the entrÉes.

The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

Review:

I know I mentioned on the Book Munchies Twitter (follow if you have a Twitter!) that I would be switching to another genre besides Young Adult/ Teen fiction. Apparently, I lied. I decided to try “Drink, Slay, Love” by Sarah Beth Durst. Maybe it was Durst’s story or the characters she created that made me change my mind. Or maybe it was the fact that the book wasn’t based off of Greek mythology, and was an interesting change of pace. Who knows? All I know is I got sucked into it almost immediately. (There was a slight hitch until the unicorn came into the picture, but from there it was smooth sailings.)

Normally I race through books trying to see when the romance between the characters will start. But not with this book. The premise of the books is so unique and enthralling that, for once, Pearl’s romance with Evan took a back seat. It also helped that Durst had these neatly placed tidbits to tide me over until the romance actually kicked in.

The writing was smooth, and the pacing perfect. There were times where I worried about Pearl, and other times she just made laugh because of something she said or a situation she found herself in. Her worries, her thoughts, her interactions … her everything just fit. As a vampire who could exist in the sun due to a unicorn attack, Pearl had me convinced.

Definitely a recommendation for anyone who wants to read a non-traditional vampire tale and have a good laugh while you’re at it. “Drink, Slay, Love” comes out on September 13, 2011.


The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 1, 2011)
Kindle: 304 pages / 441 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

Review:

It was a fun read that was easy to get caught up in. Carter brilliantly craftered this tale that, rather than being a retelling of Hades and Persephone, was very much it’s own story.

Fast paced, almost too fast at times, I was able to enjoy Katie’s changing feelings in regards to her tests and towards Henry. The mysteries that kept me reading late into the night were one by one revealed in the end.

Though I would have been happy if this was a stand alone novel, to find out it is just the first in a trilogy is great as well. I recommend others even remotely interested in YA romances and Greek myths to read this. You won’t be disappointed. Then we can anxiously anticipate the next books together. (“Goddess Interrupted” coming late January 2012 according to AimeeCarter.com!)


We’re making a comeback!

Hey Book Munchies readers,

Sorry for disappearing all summer like that. Ali and I got caught up in life and school and work. But now, we’re ready for another shot at this. We’re “working” hard reading like crazy and writing reviews as we go. Coming up in the next few weeks we should start posting reviews and other fun stuff again. Anticipate it.

– Kim


The Search by Nora Roberts

Publisher: Putnam Adult (July 6, 2010)
Kindle: 768 pages / 680 KB
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle’s coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescues. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare…

Several years ago, Fiona was the only survivor of the Red Scarf serial killer, who shot and killed Fiona’s cop fiancé and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. But all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He’s the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon’s house, and he’s at his wit’s end.

To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can’t handle. Simon, however, is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he’s a rugged and in-tensely private artist, known for the exquisite furniture he creates from wood. Simon never wanted a puppy-and he most definitely doesn’t want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to his hormones.

As Fiona embarks on training Jaws, and Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona’s life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands…

Review:

It’s the latest of Nora Roberts’ stand alone novels (not counting Chasing Fire being released tomorrow).

Frequently with her novels, Roberts presents an interesting plot to explore. The idea of a search dog/ dog trainer being stalked by a convict, who’s back to finish the botched job, has potential. Added to that, we have the love interest, a new arrival in the small community, is a necessary but interesting aspect. He adds to the story because of how delightfully casual their relationship is and how it grows into something more without them really noticing. There’s a sense of ease, yet discomfort that feels natural (despite the catalyst of a stalker/killer).

Clearly a Roberts’ novel, it follows her basic formula, which tends to be a drawback for many. But as a faithful reader, there is a comfort to be found there. Combined with her interesting plot ideas and ability to make these characters real for me, I feel it balances out into an enjoyable and easy read over all.


“Waiting on” Wednesday: Crossed

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Crossed by Ally Condie

Hardcover: ??? pages
Publication date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

From Amazon.com:

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky–taken by the Society to his certain death-only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander-who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart–change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.


Stay by Deb Caletti

Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 5, 2011)
Kindle: 352 pages / 670 KB
Source: Galley Grab
Ratings: 5 of 5 stars

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is–and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough…

Review:

This is my first Deb Caletti book, and I was simply blown away by it. Normally I’d stick with YA science fiction & fantasy, but for books like this one, I’d gladly try other YA contemporary fiction novels.

Masterfully written, Caletti finds a balance in her novel that could easily have come out poorly. Alternating chapters helps the reader to learn of what was happening to Clara now, and her relationship with Christian from the beginning. With books that switch back and forth that way, I traditionally find myself preferring one time frame, and impatiently reading/skimming through the other section. That wasn’t the case with Stay however. Caletti’s writing was flawless and kept me enchanted and engaged, even when the darkness in Christian started to make itself more known.

I realized, as I was writing this review, that I wanted to start off a lot of my points with a “normally I don’t” or a “usually I wouldn’t”. This entire book is outside of my norm, yet isn’t. Caletti has this way with words that I can’t get enough. Her metaphors are dead on, and her language brings this novel to life. The idea isn’t unusual in itself, but it’s the way Caletti takes it and makes it her own that makes Stay as good a read as I found it to be.

Caletti was able to take a dark and serious topic, and wrote it in such a gripping way that it is not only relevant to the YA target audience, but to an older audience as well. Definitely a recommendation for anyone remotely interested.