Friday, October 28, 2011

Why I Love Halloween!

It isn't just Halloween that I love, I love the entire fall season leading up to it.  There is so much ambiance to this season, colors, scents, and fun.  I admit it, I am a sucker for this season!

Here are my top 5 reasons for loving this season and Halloween:

  1. The scent of falling leaves.  Sometime when you are outside during this season take a moment to sniff the air.  
  2. I love the smell of apples on the tree.3
  3. I love scary stories told around the campfire.  (Or just scary stories in general.)
  4. I love to see the kids all dressed up and going door to door.
  5. I love the candy.
Those are my reason for loving Halloween and the whole season leading up to it.  What are your favorite things about Halloween.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teen Tales Around the Campfire

Last Friday night, my library did one of the best programs I have attended.  It was a simple affair, but we had a blast.  We had a night of roasting hot dogs and marshmallows while listening to Addie Hirschten from Fantastic Fables tell scary stories around the fire.  Addie did a superb job with the stories and we had a wonderful night.  I hope we can do it again next year--what a blast.  There is nothing quite like listening to a professional storyteller tell stories.  Add in s'mores and a campfire and you have a great evening of fun and food!  

And in case anyone asks--yes this city girl does know how to build a campfire.  My secret is the paper towels, but don't tell anyone. :)

Addie, thank you so much for visiting us!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!



Welcome to the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and by The Diary of a Bookworm!  Be sure to stop by as many blogs as possible for your chance to win some great books or book related items!

For my giveaway you have a choice of either of these two books!

Tighter
Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters, #1)
Here are the rules:

* Contest will run from 12:01 am October 24th through 12:01 am November 1st.
* US entries only (sorry I don't have a lot of money to pay for postage)
* Must be 13 years of age or older.
* Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
* Not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail. I will pay for delivery confirmation.

Sign up for the giveaway using Rafflecopter below! Don't forget to stop by the other blogs on the hop for your chance to win some great prizes!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-thon + Updates #boutofbooks


I am once again participating in the Bout of Books Read-a-thon hosted by On a Book Bender.  Once again I have a ton of book that I need to read, but little time to do it.  So I am going to try to squeeze in as many books as I can this week.  Here are a few of the titles I am going to attempt to read:

The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1)

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)



Wish me luck! 

Updates:
10/24
Number of books I’ve finished today: 0

Number of pages I've finished today: 50
Titles of Books Read:  Iron Knight
Total number of books I’ve finished: 0

Comments:  Working Monday evening and having a car appointment first thing in the morning really put a cramp in my reading time today.  Yeah, I got some reading done while waiting for them to finish my car, but really there were too many distractions there to really concentrate on my book.  Plus, the customer sitting next to me wanted to know about my nook.  She was thinking of purchasing a Kindle and wanted to know why I had chosen the nook.  Being the good librarian, who trains people on both devices at our library, I had to share with her what I knew about both the devices.




10/25
Number of books I’ve finished today: 0

Number of pages I've finished today:  10
Titles of Books Read:  The Night Circus
Total number of books I’ve
finished: 0
Comments:  I know pathetic.  The only time I had to read today was at lunch with one of my friends from the book group we just started.  In case you couldn't guess--the first title we are reading is The Night Circus.  When I got home this evening I had to spend all night writing my 100 questions from Incarceron.  I got 75 done.  Our Battle of the Books program requires that I write a 100 questions per book, unfortunately I haven't had time at work to get them done, so I have to take them home.  Only 3 more books to go.  (Hey does this count as reading?)

10/26
Number of books I’ve finished today: 0

Number of pages I've finished today:  10
Titles of Books Read:  The Night Circus
Total number of books I’ve
finished: 0
Comments:  Okay this is getting a bit disheartening.  Yes I read a few more pages at lunch today, but nothing significant.  Once more I ended up taking Incarceron home to write Battle questions.  I'm up to 92!  When I finish, I get to move on to Leviathan!  This is depressing.  #boutofbooks Twitter chat did make me feel better.  Thanks for the encouragement guys!

10/27
Number of books I’ve finished today: 0

Number of pages I've finished today:
Titles of Books Read:
Total number of books I’ve
finished
Comments:

10/28
Number of books I’ve finished today: 0

Number of pages I've finished today:
Titles of Books Read:
Total number of books I’ve
finished
Comments:

10/29
Number of books I’ve finished today: 0

Number of pages I've finished today:
Titles of Books Read:
Total number of books I’ve
finished
Comments:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adult Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Title: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Author: Jamie Ford
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publication Date: January 27, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN-13 Book: 9780345505347
Publisher Audio CD:  Random House Audio
ISBN CD::  9780739382837
Source: I checked out the audio from my local library.  I purchased a copy of the book for my personal collection. (Also, so I could get it signed when the author comes to Kokomo!) This is my honest review!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Henry Lee first meets Keiko Okabe in 1942 Seattle, he thinks of her as just another Japanese girl. But as these two become friends, and share their love of jazz, something begins that he isn’t ready for. He and his father have never been on good terms and a Japanese friend is out of the question. In 1986, when personal items belonging to Japanese families sent away to internment camps are discovered in the basement of the Panama Hotel, Henry remembers his friendship with Keiko, and all the things they shared. As he searches through the old belongings, Henry finds more than he ever hoped for, including a relationship with his son, an understanding of his father, and events that he never dreamed possible.


I don’t get around to reading a lot of adult novels, but on occasion, I like to pick one up to see what I have been missing. This book has been chosen as our One Book One Community read for 2011, and many of my coworkers have recommended it to me.

This book was wonderful. I loved how the novel switched back and forth between 1942 and 1986. I love how real Henry felt as a character and how charming he was. Since I tend to prefer teen novels, I thought I would prefer the 1942 flashbacks, but I actually enjoyed seeing Henry’s relationship with his son and the events of 1986 the best.

This book took me by surprise. I am familiar with the Japanese internment, and the history there. The internment, while important to the story, wasn’t at the heart of the novel. The heart of the novel was about relationships and promises.

The audio version is produced by Random House Audio and read by Feodor Chin.  The audio is extremely well done and easily draws the reader into this remarkable story.  Chin is a convincing narrator and the production is exceptional.  A good listening experience.

Overall, this is an exceptional novel about people, love, and families. I recommend it to anyone who love a story with heart.

Note:  The author has been invited to come to Haven's Auditorium here in Kokomo on December 1st.  Tickets are a available for free at the library.  Should be a great event.


View all my reviews

Monday, October 17, 2011

This or That with Alex from Mike Mullin's Ashfall and Giveaway


Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Alex from Mike Mullin's gripping novel AshfallAshfall is an exciting page turner that features a young man who is determined to find his family when his world falls apart after the eruption of a super volcano.  Scroll down for a complete description.

This or That  with Alex from Mike Mullin's Ashfall

Cats or Dogs?

Cats, but my sister is allergic. It used to annoy me that we couldn’t get a cat because of her, but it was probably lucky. What in the world would I have done with a cat after the volcano erupted? For as bad as the disaster was for humans, it was even worse for pets.

Summer or Winter?

Summer

Oatmeal cookies or chocolate chip?

Chocolate Chip

Music or Sports?

Sports – especially taekwondo

Coke or Pepsi?

Coke

Toilet tank water or bathtub water?

You would think bathtub water, right? Toilet tank water just sounds disgusting. But after the eruption, toilet tank water actually tasted a lot better. It was covered so very little ash got in it. The water in my neighbors’ bathtub started to taste sulfurous very quickly, and even to get a little grit in it. It didn’t seem to hurt us, but it didn’t taste good.

Sweet or Salty?

Salty

Books or Movies?

Books

World of Warcraft or Runescape?

World of Warcraft. I tried Runescape once, but I couldn’t get into it. It felt a little too cartoonish for my taste.

Staying at Home or Traveling?

Staying at home. I wish I still had a home to stay at.
Thank you Alex for joining us today.  Trust me you don't want to miss a moment of Alex's adventures! 

About the Author:

Mike Mullin’s first job was scraping the gum off the undersides of desks at his high school. From there, things went steadily downhill. He almost got fired by the owner of a bookstore due to his poor taste in earrings. He worked at a place that showed slides of poopy diapers during lunch (it did cut down on the cafeteria budget). The hazing process at the next company included eating live termites raised by the resident entomologist, so that didn’t last long either. For a while Mike juggled bottles at a wine shop, sometimes to disastrous effect. Oh, and then there was the job where swarms of wasps occasionally tried to chase him off ladders. So he’s really hoping this writing thing works out.

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife and her three cats. ASHFALL is his first novel.

About ASHFALL:

Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don’t realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the Earth forever.
Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when the supervolcano erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.
Along the way, Alex struggles through a landscape transformed by more than a foot of ash. The disaster brings out the best and worst in people desperate for food, clean water, and shelter.  When an escaped convict injures Alex, he searches for a sheltered place where he can wait—to heal or to die. Instead, he finds Darla. Together, they fight to achieve a nearly impossible goal: surviving the supervolcano.
Excerpt
The first two chapters are available on my website: www.mikemullinauthor.com. You may reprint the first two chapters in whole or in part on your website so long as you do not charge anyone anything to access them.


Social Media Links
Goodreads

Ashfall came out September 27, 2011, and is available at any of the links below.

Barnes & Noble
  
GIVEAWAY!!!
Mike will be giving away fourhardback ASHFALL first editions during the blog tour, one to a random commenter from each week of the tour. The giveaway is US/Canada only, however anyone international can enter if they are willing to pay for shipping.

One International commenter will have the opportunity to win a copy of Ashfall. The Book Depository must ship to your country. Mike will purchase a copy of the book through the Book Depository to send out to the international winner.

So comment away!  Make sure to include an email in your comment so we can contact you if you win!  Stop by the other sites as well and comment for more chances to win!  

Tuesday, October 18: Val at Truth Be Told (When I’m Not Writing)
Wednesday, October 19: Michelle B at Hooked to Books (Review)
Thursday, October 20: Corrine at Lost for Words (Character Book Picks: Alex)
Friday, October 21: Julie at That’s Swell (Review) 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Title: Ashfall
Author: Mike Mullin
Genre: Teen Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
ISBN-13 Book: 9781933718552
Source: I received a e-copy of this book from Netgalley, then purchased a copy for my personal collection. This is my honest review!

Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)Ashfall by Mike Mullin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Alex was looking forward to his weekend alone while his parents and little sister traveled to Warren, IL to visit his uncle. He thought he would finally have time to play video games and avoid being hassled by his mother. Little did he know that soon he would be wishing to see his parents and little sister again. When the supervolcano under Yellowstone erupts spreading ash and debris hundreds of miles, Alex finds himself homeless and alone. Determined to find his family again, Alex packs up some supplies, grabs a pair of skis and sets off a on a journey that will take him over a 150 miles. Alex travels through a world in chaos, looters and desperate people pepper his journey to find his family.


When I first finished reading this novel I felt like I needed to form this review in the form of a letter to the author. “Dear Mr. Mullin, couldn’t you cut poor Alex a break?” This novel keeps you on the edge of your seat never knowing what will happen to Alex next. His journey to find his family is full of danger, suspense, and even a dash of romance.

This novel has some of best developed characters I have found in a novel in a long time. I enjoyed watching Alex change and grow through his experiences in the novel. Darla was a fascinating character and equally well developed. These are two people watching as their world collapses around them and doing their best to survive and remain hopeful. Neither knows what lies at the end of their journey, but they are determined to get there.

The plot is tight, and the journey harrowing. The pacing in this novel is spot on and keeps you turning the pages eager to see what is going to happen to Alex next.  Readers should be prepared to face a society that is falling apart.  Violence, looting, and even sexual violence, have all become a part of this disintegrating society.  

Overall this is one of the most engaging books I have read this year. Not since I read Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It have I had such a reaction to the setting and events of a novel. Like with Pfeffer’s work, Mullin had me wanting to go out to Sam’s Club and start stockpiling food, water, and nonperishables for the end of the world. I love it when an author can pull you that deeply into their story and have you feeling like you are living in the world they created. Thank you, Mike, for an unforgettable novel, a novel that could make me believe I was there.  I eagerly anticipate the next installment Ashen Winter which is due out in October of 2013.








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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review: Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay


Title: Juliet Immortal
Author:Stacey Jay
Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher:Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13 Book: 9780385740166
Source: I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. This is my honest review!


Juliet ImmortalJuliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Juliet wakes up in the body of teenage girl Ariel, a girl whose scars are more than just skin deep. Juliet is an Ambassador, someone who is supposed to give soul mates a push in the right direction, and help them find their way together. But the universe requires balance, and for Juliet’s good, there must be a force of evil. Enter Romeo. For centuries these two have fought over the fates of soul mates; Juliet for good and Romeo for the evil cause of the Mercenaries. Something is different about this latest shift for both Juliet and Romeo. Both are weaker, and for the first time, Juliet isn’t able to contact Nurse for guidance. The mirrors have gone dark and specters of their former selves haunt them. Can Juliet save the soul mates she was sent to unite, or will her own love for one of them, stand in her way?


I honestly am not sure what to make of this novel. Perhaps I should have waited a little longer to absorb the book before writing my review, but I am not sure that would help. I just can’t seem to sort out my feelings for this novel.

I guess I should start with the obvious question: Did I like this book? Again, this is a difficult question for me to answer. There are some parts that I enjoyed, I liked Juliet’s character, I thought her romance with Ben was sweet, and I like how she stood up for Ariel with Ariel’s mother and others. Juliet was a spunky heroine trapped in a timid person’s body. As to the rest of the story, it just didn’t mesh for me.

Ariel’s best friend Gemma, is a bit chaotic, going one minute from sweet likable girl to mean manipulative witch. It was exhausting trying to keep up with her mood swings. I also didn’t like how Juliet needed to push Ben away. Romeo, however was a train wreck. You don’t know whether to hate him or feel sorry for him. One minute he tries to force himself on Juliet and the next he is begging her to love him again—I guess that is accurate for an abusive relationship, but it just didn’t achieve any coherency for me.

Overall the story just lacks explanations and coherency especially the mythology surrounding the Ambassadors and the Mercenaries. I do like how the author tried to incorporate the story of Romeo and Juliet, that was definitely a pleasant choice, but I think the mythology kind of lost me. I just didn’t get it.

There is an audience for this book, and I can see teens enjoying this book enough to overlook those gaps in the mythology. This book will appeal to fans of the original play who like to see a modern twist to the old story. Be warned though, this novel isn’t for the faint of heart. Be prepared for gore, extreme violence, and even some sexual violence.


View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Teen Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: September 5, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
ISBN-13 Book: 9780316175562
Source: I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. This is my honest review!


Shut OutShut Out by Kody Keplinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lissa is sick and tired of the rivalry between the boys’ football team and the boys’ soccer team taking precedence over her relationship with Randy. She is tired of both teams trying to one up each other with pranks, and she is worried that someone will end up seriously injured. In an act of desperation, Lissa enlists all the girlfriends of the boys on the football and soccer teams to participate in a sex strike until the rivalry ends. Little does Lissa know what a hornets nest she is about to stir up.


I will admit this book surprised me. As a rule, I am not a realistic fiction fan, and while this book won’t change that opinion, it definitely has more depth and insight than the premise would give it credit for.

I think to adequately write this review, I need to mention that the premise was a bit uncomfortable for me in the beginning. I live in a conservative community, and I know that this book is a possible wave maker. In my community, parents don’t want to even think about teens having sex, let alone find it in their books, but I found this book to be about so much more than sex.

I found myself wishing there were books like this one when I was a teen. Not so much the rivalry aspect, but the frank discussion that the characters began to have about sex and female sexuality. This novel isn’t pushing sex, or even advocating it for teens. There are no graphic scenes of sex, just some plain speaking and honest talk about sexual experiences, or in the case of a few characters, the choice to wait. I loved how honest the characters were. One girl loves sex and the power she feels over her own body. Another girl has sex with her boyfriend, but doesn’t enjoy it. One girl has chosen to wait for the right time to have sex, and still another isn’t sure she ever wants to have sex. I loved how Keplinger explored the different aspects and opinions, and leaves the girls feeling that there is no wrong choice as long as you do what is right for you and your body. I love how she empowers the characters.

The actual rivalry in the story pales in comparison to the message Keplinger is sending teens. Even the budding romance between a couple of the characters takes a back seat to the frank conversations this novel demonstrates. The characterizations aren’t as fully developed as I would like, some prominent characters come across as rather flat and predictable, but ultimately that doesn’t matter. The story and the experiences of the characters is what teen girls need to hear.

While this book isn’t going to make the lists for the literary awards it is original and the message of empowering women and teen girls will definitely find an audience. Librarians, be prepared to defend this one, but I do recommend this book for libraries—I wish it had been around when I was a teen.


View all my reviews

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ten Things You Would Tell Your Teenage Self with Just Your Average Princess Author Kristina Springer


Just Your Average Princess
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Kristina Springer, author of Just Your Average Princess to my blog.   

Just Your Average Princess is the story of Jamie Edwards who works hard on her family's pumpkin patch.  Since she was a little girl Jamie has dreamed of being named Pumpkin Princess, and this year she is a shoe in for the title.  That is until her cousin Milan shows up and starts spoiling things.  The next thing you know Milan is attempting to steal Jamie's long time crush, her parents affection, and now even the title Pumpkin Princess.  Jamie isn't the type of girl who will go down without a fight. 

Ten Things You Would Tell Your Teenage Self
  1. Those girls who look like they have all the answers? Yeah, they don't have a clue either.
  2. That butt and thighs that you think are so big? You're going to be wishing you still had them in fifteen years.
  3. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but someday you will be able to successfully straighten your hair.
  4. Always, always, always wash your make-up off at night.
  5. That boy that liked you freshman year who you thought was gross? You'll like him junior year but he'll be so over you by then.
  6. No crash diets! They are bad, bad, bad!
  7. Mom is right.
  8. Study more.
  9. Have as much fun as possible!
  10. The best is yet to come!
Thank you so much for stopping by Kristina! Just Your Average Princess is released tomorrow October 11, 2011.  A prefect book for the season!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Book Review: Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer

Title: Just Your Average Princess
Author: Kristina Springer
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN-13 Book: 9780374361501
Source: I received a copy of the ARC for review from Teen [Book] Scene Tours. This is my honest review!

Just Your Average PrincessJust Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Since she was little Jamie Edwards has dreamed of being the Pumpkin Princess. Now it is finally her shot at the title and only one thing is standing in her way; her spoiled celebrity cousin, Milan. Milan, the daughter of two famous movie stars, used to be friends with Jamie, but for some reason is set on showing Jamie up and making her look like a fool. She seems to want to take everything from Jamie, her crush Danny, the love of her parents, and now even the title of Pumpkin Princess. Jamie works hard in the pumpkin patch and doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. That may just be just what she needs if she is going to deal with Milan.


I seem to have fallen into the fall reads lately. I love autumn and I really love it when I can find books that take place during that season. This was a perfect fit, pumpkins, a pumpkin patch, and a rivalry between cousins.

I love Jamie, she is sweet, hardworking, and a fun character. She has good, if a little odd friends. She is realistically portrayed and well drawn. You could understand her frustrations and her obsession with Milan who has suddenly pushed her aside in her own family.

Springer does an excellent job capturing the fall setting, and describing the pumpkin patch. So much so, that I found myself wishing I could find the place and go there! My only qualm with this book is that Springer named the town Average, Illinois. I felt that the name might have been a bit two generic, and would have like a name assigned to the town, because to me, this town was charming and anything but average.

Overall, this is a fun lighthearted read that is sure to entertain. Definitely a perfect fit for the season.

Cautions for sensitive readers: None.


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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review: Nomansland by Lesley Hauge

Title: Nomansland
Author: Lesley Hauge
Genre: Teen Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
ISBN-13 Book: 9780805090642
Publisher: Listening Library
ISBN-13 Book: 9780307737915
Source: I checked out both the book and the audiobook from my public library. This is my honest review!

NomanslandNomansland by Lesley Hauge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Keller is training to be a tracker for her community. As a tracker she learns to shoot and ride, take care of weapons and animals. She and the other trackers in training live on an island that is populated solely by women; women who are strong, and have no need for men whom they deem the enemy. When her squad finds a house long buried under the vegetation which contains artifacts of the time before, they fall victim to the mysteries these items (magazines, high heeled shoes, makeup, etc…) represent and begin to question what their leaders have told them. They begin to question who really is the enemy.


Keller’s world is hard and full of rules. These rules are often called pitfalls. Keller cannot look at her reflection because that would be a pitfall, she isn’t allowed to have friends, or see images of the past. Her society has done everything to control the minds of the girls they are training.

Keller’s character is well developed. She questions her society, yet at the same time recognizes that she must stay in her place. She treads a fine line, and when she attracts the attention of the Chair, Ms. Windsor, her actions become even more closely watched.

Keller’s world is not one I would be eager to jump into. No friends, difficult training, and any number of rules to break. Not to mention the fact that mutations have occurred since Tribulation, and her community destroys the mutations they find. Hauge has done a great job making Nomansland, (or Foundland as Keller and her people call it) a very unwelcoming place. Rules are strict, punishments stricter, and friends downright dangerous.

My only complaint about the novel is that I wanted to know more about how the world got this way. You are only told that it happened during Tribulation. Like so many other dystopian novels, this one only vaguely describes how we found ourselves in such dire straights.

The audio version of the book is produced by Listening Library and read by Justine Eyre. Eyre, who has a very memorable voice, also reads the Fallen series by Lauren Kate which had me thinking of those books while she was reading this one. The audio production is well done however, and once I got past the shock of thinking that Luce from Fallen was narrating the novel everything was fine. This is a short audiobook at only five CDs so definitely a quick listen for those who enjoy dystopian stories. Very well done audio.

Overall this is an interesting story. A fast read for dystopian fans.


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Monday, October 3, 2011

Book Review: Remembrance by Michelle Madow

Title: Remembrance
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Teen Fiction, Past Lives Fiction
Publication Date: August 5, 2011
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
ISBN-13 Book: 9780615512440
Source: I received an e-copy for review from the author. This is my honest review!


RemembranceRemembrance by Michelle Madow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Lizzie first meets Drew it is like a switch goes on in her brain. Suddenly she is remembering places and events from the regency era and drawing pictures of that time. She feels like she knows Drew, and despite the fact that she is seeing someone else and her best friend has staked a claim on Drew, Lizzie feels that she needs to be closer to him. But the closer she gets the more he pushes her away telling her he is trying to protect her. What secrets lie in their shared past?


I have been looking forward to this novel since I first heard about it. I have also seen it pop up on a number of blogs.  I couldn't wait to start reading this one, but ultimately it had to wait until I finished my committee list.  It was well worth the wait, and everything it promised to be.  Madow came up with the idea while watching the music video for Taylor Swift’s song “Love Story.” Several times while reading this I found myself humming the song; I can see the inspiration.

Madow does a good job developing her characters. Lizzie is a reliable girl who has been with her boyfriend Jeremy for three years—a long time for a high school relationship. Her best friend Chelsea thinks that Jeremy and Lizzie are perfect for each other and hopes to find a relationship of her own with Drew. Throughout the novel, the relationships between the characters strain against each other, make in the novel believable and giving it much of its tension.

I love the aspect of the past life, and the references to Pride and Prejudice. Madow does a wonderful job carefully building the past life into the story and making the past and the present reflect each other

Overall, this was a fun light read. Great for the season since it takes place in the fall. I enjoyed the parallels between the times and really enjoyed the way the author built suspense in the novel. A Great first novel, I look forward to reading more from this author.


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