Review of Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast (House of Night book 1)

My best friend has been trying to get me to read this series for years now, and I regret not taking her advice sooner.  This book is a really good start to the series.

The authors do a great job with the characters and setting. The vampire school sounds really cool!  I love that the authors did their research regarding the religion aspect. If that was off, it would’ve ruined the whole story for me.

I like Zoey as a character. The way she talks and the way her thought process works is very true to her age (16). Her friends are pretty great too. I was happy for her that she made friends at the new school. Damien is my favorite.  He’s smart, witty, and gay. Excellent!

The book has quite a bit of action and magic, which kept the story interesting.  I really liked seeing Zoey’s affinities manifest.  She even gets a potential boyfriend.  There’s some swearing, incase that bothers anyone.

I’d recommend it to anyone who likes young adult paranormal, magic, and/or vampire books.

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My review of Bargain Fever: Our Obsession With Getting More For Less by Mark Ellwood

I received this book through a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads.com.

Mine is an Uncorrected Proof with the name Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World.  It started off well, and I really liked the section about couponing, but it slowed down a lot in the middle of the book and never really picked back up.  I feel like the author spent too much time discussing the amount of Louis Vuitton rip offs you can find on the street and how certain managers and creative directors of companies got fired after the companies lost money due to limiting or not offering discounts. 

It does give a lot of good information about how sales work and how sales and discounts have changed with the times.  If you’re interested in sales and marketing, this would be a great read for you.  It just wasn’t what I expected.

Review of Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan

This was a good book, but it was sadder than I thought it would be.  I like that it takes place in Connecticut, which is where I’m from, because I knew the towns and the places that the author mentions.
  The book is about the last shift at a Red Lobster that has been closed down by corporate and it takes place during a blizzard.  The manager, Manny, is the main character and he feels guilty about a lot of things.  He has a baby on the way, he still has feelings for his ex (whom he works with), and he can only take five crew members with him to the Olive Garden.  He worries through out the book about whether or not he chose the right five.  He tries to keep the staff’s spirits up and wants everyone to act like it’ll be a normal day, even though they’ve barely had any customers and the ones they did have were difficult.
  Manny pretty much walks around in a nostalgic fog.  He remembers everything about his relationship with Jacqueline (a waitress) and little things that have happened during his years at the restaurant. Things just keep getting worse for him as the night goes on, but he tries to put on a brave face for the staff.  The end doesn’t really resolve much.  Manny just goes on with his life.

Review of A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

The author gave me a free e-book copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

I thought the book was ok and I would read the second one.  It’s about a girl named Sophia who is kidnapped at the beach and brought to The Shade, a vampire island that is in permanent darkness.  She becomes the personal slave of Prince Derek Novak, who has just woken up after sleeping for 400 years.  At first he treats her like a slave, but eventually he starts treating her more like an equal and does some things to make her happy, such as letting her spend time with the other slave girls and design a room in the palace.  However, his creepy brother, Lucas, is always after Sophia because he’s the one who brought her to The Shade.

I feel like Sophia might have Stockholm Syndrome instead of actual feelings for Derek, but she’s a pretty resilient character.  I was sort of surprised when she stayed. I would’ve been like “Freedom!”  Lucas is a complete douche though.  I don’t like that he’s never punished for what he does (sexually harass and molest Sophia).  I understand why Derek didn’t kill him, but there should’ve been some kind of punishment. I like the character Corrine.  She’s a smart and sassy witch who’s her own person instead of letting the vampires own her.

My review of What You Want is in the Limo: On the Road with Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, and the Who in 1973, the Year the Sixties Died and the Modern Rock Star was Born

I won this book from a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads.com.

It’s pretty interesting.  The book focuses on three tours that took place in 1973 to support the big albums by The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Alice Cooper: Quadrophenia, Houses of the Holy, and Billion Dollar Babies.  The author gives a lot of insight into how tours were ran, how important marketing was, and how brutal the press can be, especially for Led Zeppelin whom Rolling Stone magazine always insulted.  In the later parts of the book, Walker did a great job showing the perils of excess. Some members of the bands (The Who’s Keith Moon, Alice Cooper’s Glen Buxton) weren’t even able to function by the end of their tours and the bands would need fill-ins or replacements.
  I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t more about the debauchery that supposedly followed these bands, but it mentioned a little bit about some hotel rooms getting trashed.  If you’re a fan of either of the three bands, or a fan of rock music in general, it’s an interesting book.

Review of Uninvited by Amanda Marrone

Uninvited is about a girl named Jordan who’s life is a mess. Her and her friends drink and do drugs, her mom doesn’t seem to care about her, and her dead ex-boyfriend haunts her at night.

Most of the characters aren’t very likeable.  The mom is an insensitive snob who tells Jordan that Michael (the dead bf) wouldn’t of left or killed himself if she had been prettier and tried harder to look nice. Great parenting, lady.  Her friends, with the exception of Rachel and Lisa, are shallow and catty.  Rachel likes to read self help books and dye her hair purple. She ends up being the only one of the group that’s an actual friend.  Lisa is Jordan’s childhood best friend whom everyone thinks has been to rehab, but she was really at a cancer treatment center.  Jordan herself is a mess for most f the book.  She’s bummed about dumping Micahel, his death, her friends, her failed relationship with a guy named Danny, etc.  She actually considers letting Michael in because she’s convinced that he’d kill her.

The book is really slow until the night of the party, which is about 3/4 of the way in.  The party is the start of Jordan’s wake up call after she is almost forced into having sex by the guy she was drunkenly making out with. When she gets home she finds her friend Lisa in her room and she wants to know how she got there. Apparently she still had a key, but she’s really freaked out because she saw Michael.  Jordan explains that he’s a vampire and tells Lisa everything that has been going on for the past few months.  Lisa goes home and Jordan goes to sleep. After sleeping most of the day, Jordan finds out that Lisa is missing.

She asks Rachel to drive her to the beach to look for her and explains about Michael being a vampire.  Rachel believes her and they stop to get some holy water.  Once they get to the beach a big fight takes place where everyone gets banged up and Lisa is almost drained of all her blood. She had offered herself to Michael in place of Jordan.  They kill Michael and then the book skips to a few months after the incident.

Jordan has to walk with a cane because Michael screwed up her leg, Rachel and Lisa are fine, and Danny, a boy that she had liked, comes over to help her cut down the tree by her window.

I like that Jordan goes from being a drunk to being able to stand up for herself. It just sucks that it takes almost being raped and almost losing her best friend to a vampire to wake her up.  I also sort of like Rachel’s character. I just wish the author didn’t wrap everything up in 4 or 5 pages.

Overall, it was a quick read with a semi-different plot than most YA vampire books.