Monday, May 28, 2012

Strings Attached

Have you ever gotten caught up in something and before you knew it, things were out of control?  What  if circumstances were out of control before you were even aware, and your life unfortunately fell into place to line up in an unbelievably intricate plan of deception?  Sound crazy?  This is exactly the life Kit Corrigan finds herself living in Judy Blundell's Strings Attached

Strings Attached lives up to its name.  The main character, Kit, has been working through circumstances beyond her control her whole life.  She is one of a set of triplets raised by a single father.  Her mother died in childbirth and in the middle of the Great Depression, her father found the best way to avoid becoming completly destitute, was to capitalize on the cute factor of the three redheaded darlings under his care.  Life in the spotlight appealed to Kit. Now it is 1950 and Kit is 16, and she is determined to work her way onto Broadway.

However, Kit doesn't just leave Providence, Rhode Island to find her big break.  She leaves to escape the disasterous end of her relationship with Jimmy Benedict, son of famous mob lawyer, Nate Benedict.  As you may have guessed, this isn't as easy as she would like for it to have been.

Kit finds herself in the middle of a mystery, a love triangle, and a mob hit.  Strings Attached really packs a punch.  It definitely kept me guessing the whole time.  Give this one a try.  Judy Blundell (aka Jude Watson) also wrote What I Saw and How I Lied and lots of other books.

*This book is probably best for older teens.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Girl of Fire and Thorns

I like lots of books.  It's really almost difficult for me to find one I don't like.  However, I usually shy away from high fantasy.  But, I've got to say Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns (watch the trailer here) is certainly an exception for me.  It is absolutely a piece of fantasy that grabbed me.  I've recently come to love the show Game of Thrones (yes, I know it's a book), and The Girl of Fire and Thorns just might be Game of Thrones for the teen girl.  Well played, Carson!

Elisa is the chosen one in more ways than one.  She is chosen to marry the debonair King Alejandro, whose country is plagued by more trouble than anyone is aware.  Elisa is also the chosen bearer of the Godstone. With the exception of being chosen to be the bearer, Elisa has always been the shadow of her older sister.  But that is about to change.  Now, at sixteen she is forced to secretly marry Alejandro, travel to his country, and raise his young son.  Devout Elisa has lived her life not knowing about the true implications of being the bearer.  However, in the early days of her stay in her new country she is kidnapped.  This event leads her deep into war torn lands and to knowledge about herself.

There are lots of things I loved about this book.  For example, I loved its dessert setting.  I loved picturing the jewel toned silks of the dresses and the crimson sands.  Characters of Middle Eastern heritage also appealed to me.  I am guilty of "white washing" all characters in my mind.  I liked being reminded of Elisa's brown skin.  Also, I liked that Elisa described herself as fat.  Yep, she does, and I like it. 

The second and third installments in the The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom will be released in the fall of 2012 and 2013, respectively.  Please visit Carson's website to learn more about this trilogy.  There's some cool information there.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Maureen Johnson's Devilish is delightfully entertaining!  I absolutely adore this Faust retelling.  Just like in The Name of the Star (read my review here) where she retold the Jack the Ripper tale, Devilish is wonderful.

This story takes place in Providence, Rhode Island at St. Teresa's Preparatory School for Girls.  Here Jane Jarvis and her best friend Ally exist outside the bubble of popularity.  Jane is quite content with her superior intelligence, quirky sense of style, and cozy life.  But, Ally, on the other hand, is just the opposite.  Ally wants to be among the chosen ones.  So much that she would do anything.  I do mean anything.

As crunch time in the most important time in the life of a St. Teresa's senior: Little-Big day.  Only the lowest of the low seniors don't get a Little.  Jane being the good friend that she is is distracted by helping make sure Ally is able to secure a little.  However, Ally is unexpectedly saddled with a demon.  Like a for real demon.  Not kidding. 

Ally begins to change while under the influence of Satan's right hand girl, leaving Jane to deduce the rather unbelievable chain of events.  Luckily for Ally, Jane is no ordinary brain.  And, as luck would have it, they also have access to a team of demon hunters who have been awaiting the arrival of this particular demon.

This book is a fantastic read.  I was completely pulled into the story.  I really enjoy reading Maureen Johnson's books.  Check out the books section of her website to read a bit about them all.  I also follow her on Twitter.  Her tweets are funny and fresh just like her books.  Check out this Devilish; it won't disappoint.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ingenue (Flappers #2)

Warning: This review contains Vixen spoilers.  Wait no longer.  Read the first chapter of Vixen here!

Oh my goodness!  My love for Ingenue is mountainous.  Yes, I love it with a love as big as a mountain.  It is, to quote Lorraine Dyer, "the cat's pajamas"  which is a phrase I will single handedly be attempting to bring back to the mainstream.  If you haven't begun the Flappers Series by Jillian Larkin, there is no time like the present.  The series begins with Vixen (read my review here) and is followed by Ingenue.

The action in Ingenue picks up after the dramatic end of Vixen.  Our friends Gloria, Clara, Lorraine, and Vera have found their way from Chicago to New York.  Each of the girls is facing a new set of problems.  Gloria Carmody was forced to leave Chicgao after killing a gangster and in order to be with her true love Jerome Johnson.  Unfortunately, life in New York isn't easier for Gloria and Jerome.  The stress of their relationship begins to take its toll as both Gloria and Jerome struggle to find work as musicians and evade those out to destroy them.

Former vixen Clara Knowles also finds herself in a predicament.  She has committed to turning her back on her old flapper ways in order to share a life with the perfect Marcus Eastman.  Much to her surprise, she finds hereslf in the middle of her old ways as a means of starting a new phase in her life.  Unexpected.

Lorraine, oh Lorraine.  Needing revenge against all her former acquaintences from Chicago, Lorraine has dedicated her life to luring Gloria and Jerome into a trap.  However, she may ultimately be the one entrapped.

Last but not least is Vera Johnson, the beautiful sister of Jerome.  Vera is committed to intervening on the part of her brother.  She cannot bear to think of him as being a target of the mob.  Much to her dismay, finding him may not be that easy.

Ingenue is genius from the plot to the title.  I must admit I was not familiar with the term ingenue.  Just in case you are also not, an ingenue is a young, naive woman or an actress who is typically cast in the role of the innocent and wholesome woman.  Both of these are truly on point.  Each of the main characters truly fits one or both of those definitions.  Well played, Jillian Larkin.  Well played. 

The excitement of the Flapper series continues with the book Diva.  Diva is set to be released June 10 2012.  I for one cannot wait to see what happens.  Plus, the cover is just beautiful!  Be sure to visit the series website to do cool things create a photo of yourself as a flapper!

*These are best suited for older teens.