Review: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

20140302-150145.jpgGiant mutant praying mantises that just want to eat humans and have sex. Mad scientists. Horny teenage boys. Horny teenage boys confused about their sexual orientation. By this point you’re either really interested in this book or completely turned off. Luckily for me, and for you if you’re still reading this review, I am not easily deterred by less-than-traditional story lines.

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Small town Iowa will never be the same after an army of genetically modified mutant bugs is unleashed on unsuspecting citizens. These bugs are big. They’re strong. And they’re either eating or reproducing, often at the same time. Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba, his girlfriend Shanna, and best friend Robby are right in the thick of things. It’s up to them to save Ealing, Iowa along with the rest of the world. If only it were that simple. Along with saving mankind from the ravages of the mantises, Austin is coming to terms with his relationship with Shanna while at the same struggling with his feelings for Robby, who also happens to be homosexual. Throw into the mix a cast of characters including a hot cheating mom, a masturbating sales clerk, a timid and oblivious stepfather, and you’ve got the ingredients for a true gem of a story.

Besides the fact that Andrew Smith writes one heck of a story, the narrative style blew me away. Austin goes back and forth between telling his story but at the same time providing history and background info on how everything is connected in some way. Six degrees of separation with a witty, rambling sense of humor.The conversations between the teenagers read true to life, and the other characters are weird but not so strange as to be completely unbelievable. A word of warning: This is a very strange book full of sexual innuendo along with the real thing as well as lots of foul language, drinking, and drug use. Not for the the faint of heart or easily offended. But, for those of you who are adventuresome enough to give it a try, you won’t be sorry. This is one book that you won’t soon forget.

~Thalia

Buy it Now: Grasshopper Jungle

Sneak Peak: Forty Acres by Dwayne Alexander Smith

20140317-222031.jpgClear your calendars for this one, friends! An edge-of-your seat thriller that’s guaranteed to cause controversy. Perfect for book clubs and sure to invite deep discussion. This one put me through the wringer! Hits the shelves on July 1, just in time to make your summer reading list. Look for my full review on June 30!

~Thalia

Preorder it Now: Forty Acres: A Thriller

Review: Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins

20140321-124822.jpg Oh. My. I just LOVED reading Waiting On You. I cracked up laughing and teared up crying. I hated Lucas and then loved him, and thought Colleen was just such a sweetheart. I was annoyed by (and endeared to) meathead Bryce and grateful for tomboy Paulina. Chef Connor spiced up the conversation from the back kitchen. I was like one of the regulars, sitting at the bar, listening in and watching the fray. So fun. And funny. And sometimes heart-wrenching.

The writing, by the way, is EXCELLENT. Higgins writes substantial characters — lots of them! — and witty dialogue. She sprinkles the cleverest one liners all over the place, lines like “he looked like sin begging for a taker” (that’s my favorite one; I could think about it all day). You never have to “wait” for the awesome words… They come before you’re even ready for them. It’s better than stand-up, I tell you.

Higgins gives the book high energy, All. Book. Long. I mean, it’s impressive to be reading a book and be on the edge of your seat (okay, pillow) the whole time. I just kept reading, right past my bedtime, right past midnight, and right into the last chapter.

I’m not even tired today, know why? Because I’m still thinking about Lucas and Colleen and the beautiful love they have for each other. I’m thinking… Re-read. I’m raving about it to my non-reading spouse. He doesn’t care, but I’m telling him anyway because Waiting On You is THAT good. I just want everyone to read it. That means You. And You. And You too. Even you non-romance types. Read it for the one-liners. Read it for the depth and breadth of characters. Read it because you’re a wine enthusiast or a Yankees fan or have a soft heart for animals.

You can click right down there and it will magically appear on your kindle next week. Let me know how much you love it.

–Calliope

Buy WAITING ON YOU

Review: Twisted, by Emma Chase

010 Synopsis

There are two kinds of people in the world. The ones who look first, and the ones who leap. I’ve always been more of a looker. Cautious. A planner. That changed after I met Drew Evans. He was so persistent. So sure of himself – and of me.

But not all love stories end happily ever after. Did you think Drew and I were going to ride off into the sunset? Join the club. Now I have to make a choice, the most important of my life. Drew already made his –in fact, he tried to decide for the both of us. But you know that’s just not my style. So I came back to Greenville. Alone. Well, sort of alone….

What I’ve come to realize is that old habits die hard and sometimes you have to go back to where you began, before you can move ahead.

This story takes place two years after Tangled left off, and it’s from Kate’s point of view.

Life has been perfect for Drew and Kate. Well, that is, until it wasn’t. I must admit, My stomach dropped at one point in this book. I was saddened by Drew’s actions. He most definitely NOT perfect. But I was still shocked. Now, don’t get me wrong, he was still the same smart a$$, and some of his comments cracked me up, but he also needed a swift kind in the balls, for some of his actions.

Kate and Drew’s happily ever after was shattered, and they must figure out if it’s worth the trouble to repair it.

There was lots of funny scenes and sexy scenes, and of course the token, “Holy Crap!!” scene. To quote Grandma, “Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.” Truer words never spoken.

This book will take you full circle and end at a very high point. No worries. HEA all the way!!!

~Melpomene

I received this ARC for an honest review.

Buy Twisted (The Tangled Series)

Review: Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak

20140318-221559.jpg March 25 release — newest Whiskey Creek

Come Home to Me is an excellent, complex, original romance, unlike any I’ve read recently. Novak takes her time developing the characters on their own, and then showing how they fit in with the cast. I admit I was a little impatient to get the story going, but all that character development made the plot nice and substantial.

So. Presley and Aaron. They’re the main romantic couple in the novel. What a pair. They have history together. They have chemistry. Still. But it’s just not that great of an idea for them to get together again, for a whole host of reasons.

I took this book nice and slow, and really enjoyed seeing how Aaron tried to entice Presley into a relationship with him. And even though I didn’t personally identify with Presley, I loved watching her give Aaron a hard time… sometimes because she just wasn’t feelin’ it, and sometimes just to watch Aaron squirm. 🙂

In Come Home to Me, Novak writes excellent characters with real and deep sibling relationships. Those family connections held up the characters of Presley and Aaron, and made their relationship part of real life instead of a romance bloomed in isolation. (I like those unrealistic kind of romance novels, too, but this was a pleasant breath of fresh air!)

–Calliope

Buy/preorder COME HOME TO ME

Review: The Troop by Nick Cutter

the troopI can not bear to finish this book. I am physically ill from reading this. I don’t mind gore. Actually, I kinda like it. Brian Lumley is fast favourite of mine.

I thought this was going to be a really wonderful book. I really did. When I started it, it was wonderful. I love the concept of it. A small group of boys on a isolated island with only a scoutmaster there to guide them. All electronics left behind and no outside communication allowed for the duration. Then one night a mysterious stranger joins them on the island. I loved the back stories of the boys. The mesh of their personalities. They all made for a very interesting storyline. I loved the scoutmaster as well…a small town general practitioner.

However, I have to write this review to warn others. There is some really disturbing stuff within these pages. Again, I don’t mind the gore. I don’t even mind if characters I like are picked off one by one….well, I mind…but you know what I mean…..

However, senseless animal cruelty that leaves me shaking and very nauseous is enough to make me not want to finish this book. No, it makes me unable to finish this book. Yes, I admit, I want to know how it ends…but I am not willing to pay the price for this knowledge. I understand that perhaps Cutter (which is really Canadian writer Craig Davison) is trying to use this to build up character’s personality….but I just feel there are better and more worthy ways of doing so than a play by play scene that leaves NOTHING to the imagination.

I don’t mean to bash this author or his writing….as I stated, there is a lot I like in this novel….however, I can’t let something that sits so uneasily on me go undisclosed. I know a lot of people are excited to start reading this…and I don’t wish to deter them, only warn them….

Until next time….

Urania xx

ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Troop by Nick Cutter

Special Announcement from K.A.Tucker

katucker

OH MY WORD!!!!! This day is getting better and better. K.A.Tucker just announced that, on September 1, 2014, Atria will be releasing a prequel novella to Ten Tiny Breaths, called In Her Wake. It will be from Trent’s point of view. The BEST thing about it, is it’s ONLY 99 cents!!! I can’t wait!!!

SYNOPSIS
Cole Reynolds had it all. And then one night he makes a bad choice… and loses everything.

When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends. The best friends that have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.

Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. The all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip of what once was important-college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.

And there’s only one person who can give that to him…

Look at this cover!!!!!!!

In Her Wake cover (1)

This is turning out to be an exciting year!!!

~Melpomene

Pre-order In Her Wake: A Ten Tiny Breaths Novella

Get caught up with the series

Buy Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel

Buy One Tiny Lie: A Novel

Buy Four Seconds to Lose: A Novel

Pre-order Five Ways to Fall: A Novel