October 25, 2011


Author: Yvonne Woon
Publisher: Disney Publishing
Category: Young Adult Fiction

WARNING: Spoiler Alert.

This is the sequel of the book DEAD BEAUTIFUL. The biggest premise of the series is that children (up to age 21) who die and are not buried nor burned will reanimate after 10 days.  they will retain memories from their former life and still be functional yet are quite different.  their senses will be dull and they will be emotionally detached, apart from having very cold skin.   The Undead can only live up to 21 years after reanimation unless they can find their lost soul, which is virtually impossible.  And one kiss from them will mean a stolen soul and death.

Renee Winters’ parents died after being kissed by the undead.  She gets shipped off by her grandfather to Gottfried Academy where she meets mysterious and gorgeous Dante Berlin. She falls deeply in love with him only to find out that he is an Undead.  While she on the other hand is a Monitor, a person who can sense the dead and is tasked to kill them if necessary.  Circumstances happen and she willingly kisses Dante to give him her soul and die herself.  But at the end of Dead Beautiful, Dante sacrifices his new life to give Renee back hers.

Life Eternal starts with Renee not quite herself anymore.  She died and lived again because of Dante, but in the process literally lost a big part of her soul to him, and as such they have become one entity, only fully alive when with each other.  She knows that the only chance they have at life together is if Dante finds eternal life.  Another problem is that Dante is on the run from Monitors who are hunting him down as they are convinced that he killed the former headmaster at Gottfried Academy.  But rumors abound about the Nine Sisters who are believed to have discovered the secret to living forever.  So Renee searches for clues that may lead to eternal life….or death.

I love the character of Dante.  He is strong and loyal.  And even though at a certain point in the book Renee starts wavering on her trust in him, he never lost his faith in her.  Renee on the other hand is confused.  Certain events, and deaths in the book point towards Dante and since he chooses to remain silent about his activities while on the run and his whereabouts, Renee has reasons for her questions.  There’s also Noah, another Monitor who is a really good and supportive friend to Renee.  But he wants more than what she can give….. because in the end, there is always Dante. 

This is a good read.  although it’s quite lengthy, I didn’t really notice time pass as  every chapter drew me in more.  the pace is just right and as expected, the ending left me hanging.  It left me frustrated about Noah (the ice! The ice!) and hopeful about Dante and Renee.  It also left me with questions, the biggest being:  will one truly have to die for the other to survive?  Let’s ponder this one ladies until the next book comes out.  Till then, read these with a tissue or two…. 

October 13, 2011


Book: Marian's Christmas Wish
Author: Carla Kelly
Publisher: Cedar Fort Inc.
Category:  Historical Fiction

Marian Wynswich’s life is about to change.  Their father died deeply in debt after gambling away all their money and property, including Covenden Hall, their home since forever.  So Marian is determined to make their last Christmas here as happy as it can be before it is taken away from them. 

In an effort to save everything though one night her older brother Percy comes home with two moneyed gentlemen in tow.  The first is the ugly Sir William Clinghorn whose only aim is to find a meek and dutiful wife.  He later on proposes to poor Ariadne, Marian’s sister, who happens to be in love with the town vicar Sam Beddoe.  The other guest is Gilbert Collinwood, Earl of Ingraham.  
At once Marian and Gil hit it off, with him saving her many times from embarrassment, especially with Sir William whose high and mighty airs did not endear him to the family.  Having had enough, Gil plots with Marian’s other brother, the troublemaker Alistair, to scare William out of their lives permanently and succeeds. 

Upon learning that Gil is not spending Christmas with his mother only because he is embarrassed about his facial scar, Marian and Alistair schemes to bring him to his home themselves, conscious or not.  What happens after changes all their lives forever

Set in the time of Napoleon, the story has political undertones that explain much of what and why Gilbert is as he is.  In fact, the nature of his work is the reason for the main confusion and heartbreak of the heroine ¾ into the story.  The author completes the personalities of the heroine and her hero with their words and actions.  We see that Marian, though with a good heart, gets into much trouble with her loose tongue and sharp mind.  Gil on the other hand is secretive yet very kind and particularly attached to Marian, despite the 12 year age gap.  There are many threads in the story which weaves together nicely enough in the end.  But one must be most interested in a historical romance before starting this book as it will take awhile to finish. It is a lovely story though with a sweet ending.  Perfect for romantics this holiday season.

October 11, 2011


Author: Jus Accardo
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Category: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Deznee is a thrill seeking teenager hell bent on getting her stoic father’s attention one way or another.  One night she meets Kale, whose fear, desperation and constant wonder at everything ordinary seemed out of place.  Turns out he escaped from Denazen, the company for whom Deznee’s father worked.  
Kale is one of the SIX, a group of people with special abilities being rounded up and trained to be the perfect assassins.  Kale’s ability is to disintegrate every living thing he touches…. Except for Deznee. She is somehow immune to his powers. She decides to help him when she finds out that her mother, whom she believed died giving birth to her, is actually alive and is kept prisoner at Denazen.  And in the process falls in love with Kale.

TOUCH is a combination of the book I AM NUMBER FOUR and the TV show HEROES.  Its plot is interesting with lots of action, drama and romance in between. 

Deznee’s character is the typical rebellious i-hate-my-dad-he-doesn’t-give-me-any-attention-so-I’ll-give-him-hell teen.  Since she was made to believe and feel that her mother’s death is all her fault, it’s no wonder she feels so much hate for her father at the same time, without pointing it out, she actually tries to always look for a spark of kindness and understanding in his eyes, which she gets only once…kind of.  
Sympathizing with her character is easy, more so Kale’s.  He is an innocent.  He was raised in captivity so he lives and breathes Denazen and knows nothing of the outside world.  He has never touched anyone he has never tried to kill so touching Deznee was like a miracle to him.  He looks at everyTHING with the eyes of a child yet looks at everyONE with those of a killer’s.  they get attached to each other pretty quickly since aside from being the gorgeous beings that they are,  Deznee also has abilities which in the end, may be more powerful than his. 

Marshall Cross, Deznee’s father, is much like Noah Bennet of Heroes.  You can’t quite pinpoint if he is pure evil or is still saveable.  Another interesting character is Alex, Deznee’s former boyfriend whose love for her forced him to make bad decisions.  My favorite though is Brandt, Dez’s cousin whose power comes out so much later yet may just be the best among them.  And there is a lot of them.  As the story moves further, more characters and powers come out, again, not unlike the tv show. 

The book is worth reading.  Lovers of Pittacus Lore books I AM NUMBER FOUR and THE POWER OF SIX will appreciate the adventure that is within the pages.  The pace is very good and the ending is hopeful, and yes, poised for book 2 or even book 3.  There is no lull in the story though admittedly I did not get quite as attached to its characters as I did with the abovementioned titles.  It does have a lot going for it though that I am sure lovers of science fiction will appreciate.

October 04, 2011


Author:  Prudence Bice
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Category: Historical Romance

The book starts with 12 year old Georgiana luring her friend Ridge under the massive oak tree, otherwise known in the community as the kissing tree, as a dare by her best friend Samantha. She happily obliged and kissed the one boy she has always fancied herself in love with.  Then she left. 
And 5 years later returns as a proper lady come home to help out her grandfather in his cattle ranch.  For some reason, even with men clamoring for her attention, she has never given her heart completely, not even to Dawson, her handsome and accomplished friend and suitor.   Upon seeing Ridge again though things became clearer, yet more complicated, as he can never seem to be straightforward with his intentions and instead teases her until her Irish blood boils.  She herself didn’t know what she wanted: Ridge, the man she has always loved, or Dawson, the man everyone thinks she is meant to be with.  And so she fights against her heart.  But with the help (or scheming) of her grandfather Angus and Samantha, it’s a battle she was meant to lose.

I haven’t fallen in love with a historical romance in a very long time.  So this was a welcome surprise.  From the very beginning I was caught up by the intensely sweet love-hate relationship of Georgie and Ridge.   There’s an innocence in these characters that’s refreshing to read.  also, no one is left hanging as practically all the characters have an end to their stories, including the bad guys.   Since I cannot divulge the ending, all I can say is that for eternal optimists like me who love happy endings, this book will not disappoint.

Technically, the pace of the book is perfect.  The progression of the love story is just right.  you can’t help but feel invested in their happiness.  Not just Ridge and Georgie’s, but also Samantha’s and Dawson’s….even Georgie’s mom Charlotte.  and despite all the different characters’ points of view, you still won’t get distracted from the main point which is the relationship of the two.  There are several plot points in the book that could have gotten distracting, yet was written so well it was seamless.  There are no loose ends in The Kissing Tree, just a great ending.  And that my friend, is why I love this book!