Review of Betrayed (House of Night #2) by P.C. & Kristin Cast

Betrayed is the second book in the House of Night series. I like how the story progressed over the course of the book. The first few chapters are a recap of the first book, Marked, and then the story picks up a month after it left off.
In this book, the reader learns more about Zoey’s affinities as well as the affinities of her friends, she gains an ally, loses a friend, makes an enemy, and her love life stays complicated. She still can’t choose between fellow fledgling Erik or her human ex-boyfriend, Heath, whom she’s Imprinted with.
I liked seeing Zoey get more comfortable with her powers and her place as the leader of the Dark Daughters, but I do feel like she bosses her friends around a bit. A new character named Jack was introduced and I’m interested to see what his role in things at the House of Night will be.
I’ll be reading the third book, Chosen, as soon as it gets to my house.

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Review of The Medium by C.J. Archer

The Medium by C.J. Archer is about a girl named Emily Chambers who is a medium living in historic London.  Her and her sister, Celia, perform séances for people.  During one of the séances, a demon is unleashed from an amulet that Celia purchased from a street vendor. The book is the story of the events that followed.

I like Emily’s character because she’s not a ditsy society girl.  She’s intelligent and has a mind of her own.  Unfortunately, that gets her into trouble as it wasn’t considered ladylike during the time in which she lived and she has to be accompanied by a male most of the time.  Her and Jacob are the main characters, while George and Celia are kind of secondary characters.  George is featured more than Celia though.

Jacob is a spirit sent from the Otherworld (spirit realm) to help her catch the demon and Emily is also trying to solve the mystery of his murder.  He’s different from most spirits because he appears solid to her instead of see-through like the other spirits.  She can also touch him. The two end up having feelings for each other and grow closer as things get more dangerous.

George Culvert is an expert in demonology and helps Emily a lot by escorting her places and helping her get meetings with suspects.  He has feeling for her, which she doesn’t return, and I felt a bad for him.  He ends up being a good friend to her though.

The story itself is pretty good.  It slowed down a little bit near the halfway point, but picked right back up and had some good action in the second half.  I feel like this book can be read on it’s own, but I want to read the rest of the trilogy.  The kindle edition is currently free on Amazon.

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.

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.