Home       About Me       Review Index

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Thoughts: All Fall Down by Megan Hart

In the midst of a chaotic midnight assembly, Sunshine is forced outside into the darkness. Holding a scrap of paper scrawled with a stranger's name and address, Sunny grasps the hands of her three small children and begins her escape.

Liesel Albright has dreamed of starting a family. She never bargained on inheriting one already in progress…or one so deeply damaged. When nineteen-year-old Sunshine appears on the Albrights' doorstep claiming Liesel's husband, Chris, is her father, all they can think to offer is temporary shelter. The next day, they're stunned by the news that the Family of Superior Bliss, led by a charismatic zealot, has committed mass suicide. Sunny and her children haven't just left the compound—they've been left behind.

Now, instead of a baby of her own, Liesel must play mother to the four survivors, while Chris retreats into guilt and denial. For Sunny, however, a lifetime of teachings is not easily unlearned. No matter how hard she tries to forget, an ominous catechism echoes in her mind, urging her to finish what the Family started.

Megan Hart, how you have slain me!!!

I have long been a fan of Megan Hart and her novels. I think she is one of the few authors that I go all 'fan girl' over. I really appreciate her novels and I find her one of the most versatile writers out there. She has the ability to write the most incredible stories in a multitude of genres. Megan is mostly known for her erotic fiction. Some of which are my favourite novels of all time. Her stories are heartbreaking and hopeful. They aren't the raunchy, tasteless stories that are often associated with the erotic genre.

It was in early 2011 that Megan's first non erotic novel- Precious and Fragile Things- hit the shelves. I was excited and nervous about this novel. I knew I wanted it to succeed but was I going to like it? Of course I did. Actually I loved it. Precious and Fragile Things was amazing and you can read all about why I loved it here. With that said, when All Fall Down was announced I was equally as excited about it as I was for Collide. After reading the blurb for All Fall Down I knew Megan had big plans and that she was going to blow us out of the water with complex characters and intense situations. 

All Fall Down begins with Sunny (or Sunshine) being awoken by her mother in the middle of the night and being rushed out of the place she lives with her three children and told she needs to leave and go look for her father. A man she has never met and did not know existed. Fleeing the compound Sunny does exactly what her mother instructs and later discovers that she has (in her mind) been left behind.

It's fair to say that Sunny grew up in what we would call a cult. What the Family of Superior Bliss believe is not something that a lot of people would be comfortable with. However it's all Sunny and her children know. It has been Sunny's life for nineteen years and something she was teaching her children. So, when Sunny is forced into the world of the "blemished' she is terrified and lost. Unable to comprehend this new world, and confused as to why her mother chose to send her out into it. 

Unable to go back to the compound due to a mass suicide, Sunny is forced to live with her father (Chris) and his wife (Liesel). This is a HUGE adjustment for both sets of people and it was intense reading about it.

This whole book is intense. I don't think Megan knows how to not do intense. I find it hard to write a review about something you really want everyone to read. And I want everyone to read All Fall Down. 

Megan was able to convey the extreme emotion of every situation perfectly. Fear, confusion, anxiety, anger, even the joy and wonder that Sunny experiences being on the outside. It's beautiful. The frustration that Liesel experiences when she feels like she can no longer continue with the ways things have been going. Every emotion is raw and it is real. Megan doesn't mask anything, she doesn't make anything seem like something it's not. I really appreciated that. 

I loved how this isn't only Sunny's story. It is also Liesel's. Liesel, who longs for a baby of her own. Who is shocked to discover that her husband has fathered a child who has children of her own. All Fall Down is Liesel's story in that it explores her desires to be a mother and the realities of what it means to be a mother and the work that goes into it. It explores what it could mean becoming a mother in your later thirties and how it will change your life. It explores the idea of being a mother to someone who is not biologically yours, and the choice one makes in allowing that someone into your family anyway.

Liesel I think was one of my favourite characters. She saw that Sunny was vulnerable and needed taking care of, and Liesel did it. She took care of her. Even when Chris could not be there. It was incredible.

There was a lot that went into this book. More then I could touch on. I am sure I could have a whole series of posts dedicated to the complexity of All Fall Down. What I can say about All Fall Down is... READ IT. It is well worth it. It's a beautifully told story, that will keep you on the edge of your seat and biting your nails. But, it will also twist your gut and put tears in your eyes. I loved it, and I am sure you will to.

With that said...

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Taker Fan Pack(s) Giveaway Winners!

First, a few thank youssss....

Thank you to tall who participated in the Giveaway! I had an overwhelming amount of entries, and I wanted each and every one of you to win. Even if you did not win, check this book out. It is incredible!!

Thank you SO much to Alma Katsu for writing such an incredible novel and for stopping by the blog and answering a few of her burning questions. Thank you also for providing us with this amazing prize!

Now for the Winners.

The Swag Pack Winner is...

Anna from Anna's Bookshelf

Anna is based in France and her blog is French which I thought was mega cool. even if you don't speak french, but sure to head over and take a peek at her blog. 

The Fan Pack Winner is....

Candace from Candace's Book Blog

Candace's Book Blog

Congratulation winners, I hope you enjoy your Prizes! 

~Happy Reading Everyone!! 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (2)

It's me again!!! It has been FOREVER since I've done any kind of book haul and I am back and here to show you what I have. I hope you enjoy! 

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.

Books Mentioned


White Oleander by Janet Fitch
The Selection by Kiera Cass


Sister by Rosamund Lupton

For Review:

The Blessed by Tonya Hurley 
Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh 
Happily Every After by Harriet Evans

The Taker Prize Pack Giveaway- Ends Monday June 18th!! 

That's it for me, make sure to leave a link to your book hauls so I can check them out. 

~Happy Reading Everyone!! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Thoughts: Thumped by Megan McCafferty

It’s been thirty-five weeks since twin sisters Harmony and Melody went their separate ways. And now their story has become irresistible: twins separated at birth, each due to deliver twins…on the same day!

Married to Ram and living in Goodside, Harmony spends her time trying to fit back into the community she once believed in. But she can’t forget about Jondoe, the guy she fell for under the strangest of circumstances.

To her adoring fans, Melody has achieved everything: a major contract and a coupling with the hottest bump prospect around. But this image is costing her the one guy she really wants.

The girls’ every move is analyzed by millions of fans eagerly counting down to “Double Double Due Date.” They’re two of the most powerful teen girls on the planet, and they could do only one thing to make them even more famous: Tell the truth.

I wasn't sure that I was going to review Thumped when I first finished reading it. You see, I really dislike reviewing sequels. I find it hard to not spoil anything, and I don't think it's really all that fair to compare one book to the next. But having thought about both Bumped it's sequel Thumped and my initial reactions to the two, I have decided to give it a go. Funnily enough my review of this book will go up one year after it's predecessor.

If you want to know my thoughts on Bumped by Megan McCafferty go here. It will act as a prequel to the next few paragraphs.

I initially had some serious issued with Bumped. Most of which stemmed from the fictional vocabulary that was found in the novel. There were some incredibly ridiculous words that the teens in the story were using and I wanted to scream at how often they were used. The use of these terms is HUGELY limited in Thumped. So much so, that I don't recall being all that annoyed. Actually some of the really obnoxious words weren't even in this novel. This was a relief. It made the reading of this novel effortless. Don't get me wrong there are still some pretty 'out there' terms that the teens use, but it's tamer in Thumped.

There was one thing that I was a little disappointed about in Thumped in comparison to Bumped. Which was how obvious the "message" was in Thumped in regards to faith and Christianity as well as teenage pregnancy. I found that it was more subtle in Bumped and I liked that better. I had really enjoyed how McCafferty able to make things funny and light with Bumped. In Thumped things were not as funny, there was a more serious feel. The goal of the novel was more obvious and in your face. I prefer messages about social issued to be perceived and something you have to think about. They are more effective that way. So that was a little bit of a let down.

In the beginning I thought I enjoyed Thumped more than Bumped. I was less annoyed by the language, I read it faster, I was used to the characters and I knew what I was getting with them and their reactions. But I think overall I enjoyed the story behind Bumped more. I enjoyed the creation of this new society and what McCafferty was trying to say with said society. I wish she would have continued this trend in Thumped.

Overall, I am glad that the story ended with Thumped and that it wasn't a trilogy. I really appreciated the social issues that McCafferty touched on in both books and the way she presented them. I believe they were done well in regards to the target audiences. I just expected more from the sequel.

With that said...

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cover Love: Lover At Last by JR Ward

What can I say? I kind of freaking love it!! 

I don't do cover reveals very often (almost never actually), but this one- the cover and the story is long awaited. Why? Because it's Qhuay's story- well Blay and Qhuinn's story. There are many fans out there who are very excited about this novel. Me... I'm not sure yet. 

You know I am a HUGE fan of The Black Dagger Brotherhood novels. I am the first in line when they come out and I read them in .5 seconds when the books are actually in my hands. I love the world the JR Ward has created, I love the language and the society that these vampires are a part of. I have a lot of fun reading them.


I have to admit, I was sad when it was announced that Qhuinn wasn't Layla's HEA (which was the original thought). I know, I know. I can feel you all shaking your head at me. But what can I say.  I am still totally looking forward to Lover at Last, and having read Lover Reborn I am a little more on board with Blay and Qhuinn's love story. They really are adorable together. They deserve to be happy. Also knowing that Layla is going to get her HEA (someday) has brought me around a little. Plus I think the title is totally appropriate- it fits the situation completely. 

Lover at Last isn't due to hit stores until March of 2013- which is forever away! But you better believe I'll be first in line when it does. 

~Happy Reading Everyone!  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Thoughts: When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it. 

I had read a brief synopsis of When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen months ago, and I knew right then and there, that I wanted to read it. I wanted it at that exact moment! I was intrigued. How could I not be? When I first read the synopsis, I immediately thought of Witchlanders by Lena Coakly, which I read last summer. I really enjoyed that novel and this one reminded me of it in a number of ways and I have to say I really enjoyed this novel as well. However, there was a BUNCH wrong with it. It was confusing and there I found there were plot holes galore. But at the same time I gave this book four stars, cause it was really good.  I am not really sure how to explain it. But, I'll do my best.

The story is told from the perspective of Felicita, a house-lammer, which is essentially an individual of a higher class. I think. I am not sure. Some of the vocabulary in When the Sea is Rising Red was hard to understand and some words were the same as for two separate things and others weren't. This made reading the novel a little difficult.

There are also many instances where the author expects you to know more then what she has actually told you. This was not something  I was a huge fan of. It often had me thinking that I had missed something. I would go back pages and pages looking for that paragraph, sentence, word even, that would explain what was going on. There was never anything. Which was a little frustrating. Sometimes not having all the information works in a story, unfortunately, in this instance it did not. I would have to work at figuring out what was going on, and would often just give up and see if it made sense later.

The other thing that bothered me was the really casual sex that took place between Felicita and Dash. I am not a prude nor do I expect there to be no sex in young adult fiction. But for some reason it made me mad in this book- well maybe not so much mad, but  I rolled my eyes a lot. The two weren't instantly in love but they fell into bed fairly quickly. Dash was a jerk and did not treat Felicita well at all, which it what frustrated me the most. But oh well.


I really enjoyed When the is Rising Red. I thought the story was original and I liked Felicita. I liked the magic that was involved with the story, although at times it did get a little corny. I kind of wish that the book had been a little longer and that things hadn't felt so rushed. It wasn't a long novel and it could have used an extra 50-100 pages. What is really good though, is that this was Hellisen's first novel and I am very excited to read more by her.

With that being said...

~Happy Reading Everyone!

Friday, June 1, 2012

May Wrap Up

Oh, looking back just now I realized I had a terrible month! I only read four books. FOUR! that is terrible. I don't know what I was thinking. That is WRONG! I have every intention of changing that for the moth of June. Yes I do. 

Books Read: 

-When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen
-The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
-The Reckoning by Alma Katsu
-Thumped by Megan MacCafferty

Books Reviewed: 

-Fracture by Megan Miranda
-Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
-The Reckoning by Alma Katsu 

I have no idea why I haven't been reviewing. Ugh, pathetic! 

Random Stuff: 

- I did a Book to Movie post this month, which I have not done in ages, and I remembered how much I enjoyed those. So maybe you'll be seeing more of those

-I had Alma Katsu on the blog and she answered some amusing questions regarding The Taker and The Reckoning and offer you a copy of The Taker plus some cool swag in a GIVEAWAY, which you should all go enter. 

Challenge Overview:

2012 Reading Challenge: 33/80 (I'm 1% ahead)

I have completely given up on my challenges. I need to focus more on my blog and producing quality content. I've been slacking miserably and that is unacceptable.  

But that is it for me, for may. Totally crap, I know but that's where I am at. Hopefully You'll be seeing more of me in the future. 

But for now...

~Happy Reading Everyone! 

"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl