Review: Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau

May Contain Spoilers

Yeah! I managed to knock another series off my TBR pile!  Graduation Day picks up right where Independent Study left off.  Cia has just been forced to kill a rival classmate, and she is suffering from guilt.  She is terrified of being caught.  She doesn’t know who she can trust.  When she stumbles across a bigger plot to bring down the President, she’s not sure she can carry out the mission she’s been given.  Her task, handed to her by the President?  Kill the ardent supporters of the Testing in order to end the cruel tradition once and for all.

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Review: Curses and Smoke by Vicky Alvear Shecter

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Okay, wow, Curses and Smoke put me through an emotional meat grinder.  I was a bit hesitant to read a book based on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, mainly because I had reservations about receiving a happy ever after.  I mean, this story is framed around one of the greatest natural disasters of the ancient world.  I can’t imagine how the people of Pompeii felt during the earthquake, and then when the mountain exploded with a deafening boom, vomiting a deadly mix of debris 20 miles into the air.  I know how I would feel, and I at least understand some of the science behind the event.  Not so for the citizens of Pompeii.

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Review: The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

When I learned that Diana Wynne Jones had passed away, I actually cried.  I have loved her books so much, for so long, and the thought of her wonderful being silenced depressed me.  She was writing brilliant tales brimming with magic long before Harry Potter arrived on the scene, and it’s frustrating that she never attainted the recognition she deserved.  I remember haunting used bookstores and libraries in search of her then out of print books.  At least today, the majority of them are readily available, and quite a few are offered in eBook format.  Win!

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Novella Review: Love for Beginners by Sally Clements

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I picked up Love for Beginners because I had a short window of time open in my reading schedule, and a story about a mechanic sounded like fun.  I have enjoyed quite a few Entangled novellas, so I was eager to jump into another one.  While I occasionally had trouble connecting with the characters, I found this an entertaining afternoon read. 

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Novella Review: A Cowboy Unmatched by Karen Witemeyer

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I don’t read many Inspirational romances because I don’t like having the religious aspects shoved down my throat.  I took a chance on A Cowboy Unmatched because the cover is cute, and because it’s a novella.  I figured it couldn’t be too overwhelming considering the length, and there are several other books by the author I am itching to try, but I wanted a less expensive introduction to her writing.  After reading this, I am game to give a few others a go.

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Review: Stop Dragon My Heart Around by Susannah Scott

May Contain Spoilers

Ah, it’s the Memorial Day weekend, and the heady of scent of meat cooking over blazing grills permeates the air.  What a great time to pick up a book about a dragon shifter.  In this case, a fire dragon shifter.  Leo can barbeque steak as easily as he can rescue his beloved, setting an SUV ablaze with skilled ease.  What’s not to love about a guy who can fly, save your butt from bad guys, and ignite a bonfire for a romantic evening in the desert with just one breath?

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Review: Daughter of the Gods by Stephanie Thornton

I have been fascinated with Hatshepsut since my introduction to her in Pauline Gedge’s Child of the Morning.  What an awesome woman!  She ascended the throne of Egypt, proclaimed herself Pharaoh, and led her country into a period of wealth and prosperity.  Her name survived thousands of years, even though her nephew (and step-son), attempted to obliterate all knowledge of her from history.  When I saw that Stephanie Thornton had written a book about my historical idol, I had to read it!

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Review: Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I had really high hopes for Blonde Ops, and while some were met, the overall pacing of the story disappointed.  It started out so promisingly, too!  Bec has been kicked out of yet another boarding school, and she’s returning home in disgrace.  A bit too smart for her own good, she was caught hacking into the school’s database to change her grades.  In retrospect, it wasn’t the brightest thing she could have done – it would have been far better to wait until after classes were out for the semester, because the likelihood of her getting busted would have been much less.  This turns out to be Bec’s greatest fault: she is impulsive and usually doesn’t think before she acts, which causes so much grief for her.

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