Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Author Interview-Bryan K. Johnson

Hello everyone! Today I am posting my first author interview; I hope you all like it!
Bryan K. Johnson is the author of Yield, which releases today.

I asked him a few questions about his new book, writing, and reading.

Q: When did you start writing stories/books?
A: My journey as an author began first as an avid reader. I was given a box set of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was in the fifth grade by an influential teacher of mine. Even though some of the language was challenging for a ten-year-old, I really enjoyed the story and the amazing world of Middle Earth that Tolkien could create with each word. I read a lot in high school, moving into more science fiction and fantasy, enjoying everything from David Eddings and Brian Jacquez to more mainstream authors like Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Tom Clancy. I remember as I finished up one of Eddings's multi-part series having this odd feeling of disappointment in the pit of my stomach that it was all over. Eddings did such a masterful job of creating rich and memorable characters that they lived on in my mind well after the last page was turned. I honestly felt a little embarrassed that a book could affect me so much. That day, my mom could tell something was bothering me. She looked at me, and very matter-of-factly said, "Well, just write your own story then. Finish it the way you want." She said it like it was such an obvious thing. I started writing soon after, first with comic book stories, then screenplays, and finally my debut novel Yield.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being an author and writing?
A: To write is to create. It is as fluid as a plot twist or as concrete and tangible as the printed word. Writing is life. It constructs entire worlds on an anatomical scale, creating adventures one purposeful letter at a time. That is an incredible feeling for me, to know that what I put down someone else will ultimately pick up and experience in a completely unique way. There is something so incredibly freeing in that. Anything can happen when those words pour from your fingertips, like a monsoon of new possibility raining down. It is transformation itself—re-imagined at every glance.

Q: What type of audience do you write stories/books for? (ie: age range, genres, etc.)
A: I didn't really set out with a target audience in mind for Yield. I just wrote a story that I liked and felt very passionate about telling. I guess you could say that I am my own target audience. In the back of my mind, I did know the genre I was shooting for. I've always been a big fan of action, thrillers and science fiction, and thought my story would be a great combination of all three.

Q: How did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
A: I originally started down the path of visual arts. Creativity is one of those things that I think can easily cross over into other disciplines. Outside of writing, I love to draw. I sketched out many of my novel's characters and even some backdrops for Yield. You can check them out at: At one point in high school, I wanted to be a comic book artist but just didn't have the speed for it. The really good artists can finish several full pages in a day. I was also interested in graphics and animation, so I initially went to school for design and the media arts, receiving an Associate's in graphic design, finishing a Bachelor's program in advertising, and continuing on to get my MBA in marketing from the University of Liverpool.

I started writing at first as an extension of reading, and wanting to create equally memorable worlds for my own characters to inhabit. I started with the easier story lines of graphic novels, enjoying the illustrations at least as much as putting together the words. Even though my career took me into graphic design and ultimately the television industry, I never stopped writing. I've put together quite a few shorts that I'd love one day to expand out, and have also written a handful of screenplays. My current novel, Yield, was also once a screenplay, just begging to be freed. That story was clawing at the edges of my tab stops, refusing to be confined in such a restrictive format.

Q: How many books are you planning on writing in your Armageddia series?
A: From page one, I knew that the Armageddia story would stretch across at least three parts. To do it right, I knew it had to depict the epic journey and transformation of not only the characters, but also our country and world. There was just no way the story could fit into a single installment. 

I'm currently working on book two of the Armageddia Series, and love the direction it's going. I feel like I learned a lot while writing Yield, and that's helped my process on book two tremendously. The follow-up to Yield explores a darkening world, one filled with revenge, retribution, and a desperate struggle to find hope within the chaos. Book one saw the transition from normality to a new way of life. It was very sudden and immediate in the lives of Devin and the other characters. Book two of the Armageddia Series takes place a year later, and is more about the sustained struggle to survive, showing how the characters have changed in very different ways to do just that.

Q: How do you get the word out to people about your first book, Yield, so they can discover it?
A: I think that has actually been harder than writing the book! Becoming an author isn't simply putting together a compelling story with a unique hook, then watching the floodgates of success open wide. Becoming a published author with tangible numbers is far more difficult than just writing. There are a lot of other very talented writers out there, all competing with one another to reach prospective readers. New writers must be well versed in social media, able to network and build connections, be willing to invest their own time and resources, maintain engaging presences on a host of different platforms, and always be looking for ways to market themselves and their brand to new customers. I have an MBA in marketing, so thankfully I have a bit of experience in that arena. But trying to build credibility and a following takes time. New writers start at ground zero, regardless of how great you think your book might be. Don't get discouraged, but don't underestimate that either.

I've done everything from getting television and online ads, to networking across reader/writer sites like Goodreads, to contacting other media outlets and alma maters and submitting press releases. Authors also have to be marketers to get the word out in as many different places as possible.

Q: Where do you like to do your writing?
A: I lead a very scattered and chaotic life. I'm a moonlight writer with a busy day job, spending a lot of time on the road in addition to working 50+ hours a week. I write when I can in odd hotel rooms or bookstores, while also balancing time with my wife and kids when I'm at home. I was actually still writing Yield while finishing up my MBA program, too. I don't know how I juggled everything, but somehow you just find a way when you're passionate about it. Lately I've been more focused on the marketing of Yield, but when I'm in creation mode, I'll write in the evenings until the ideas stop flowing.

Q: What is your favorite book and why?
A: I just finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and was really impressed by the author. She did an amazing job of interweaving her world's backstory into the broader narrative, and creating an intense pace through the entire three-book arc. I think I read each book in about a day. They were just too good to put down. I love books like that.

Q: Who is your favorite author and why?
A: Dan Brown's gripping, page-turning style is one of my favorites. I think I read Lost Symbol in two days. Sometimes short chapters make things too choppy, but Brown does a great job of hooking his readers at each chapter break and making his stories really hard to leave. My favorite author growing up was David Eddings. His stories took me on amazing adventures with magic, knights, and the steady march of war. I was absolutely captivated by his fantastical characters and worlds, and was inspired to try building my own.

Thank you for checking out this author interview! If you'd like, you can buy Yield here:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber

Description: Not far from Dullsville, someone's lurking in the dark. . . .
After meeting the handsome and shadowy Alexander Sterling, goth-girl Raven's dark world has a bright, new glow. But as in her favorite movie, "Kissing Coffins," Raven knows that love always has its complications, especially when Alexander has a big secret to guard.
When Alexander suddenly disappears, Raven leaves Dullsville to begin a dangerous search to find him. Can she stay safe, no matter who--or what--she encounters on the way?

Review: For the most part, I enjoyed this book. I like the storyline and everything, I just don't really care too much about the writing style(otherwise I would've rated it five stars).
Also, the main character, Raven, is the most stereotypical goth ever. The author puts in as many "goth-y" things as possible: Edward Scissorhands lamp, Nightmare Before Christmas alarm clock, etc. I just try to look past it, but I don't know if Ellen Schreiber made her like this for a type of joke, or she just didn't know how to write about a goth. 
Overall, it was a good book, and I liked it for the most part. I'll be reading the next book in this series next(there are seven books so far I believe). I would recommend this book to anyone who likes vampire books(but REAL vampires, not the kind that sparkle). 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Justice(Deck of Lies #1) by Jade Varden

Description: A House of Cards...

When you build an entire life on a foundation of lies, it only takes one truth for the whole thing to come crashing down. I never invited the truth in. I never went searching for it. I never had any reason to suspect that the two people I loved most were dishonest with me every second of every day.

I made one bad decision, and in a single day my entire world changed. If I'm ever going to discover the truth about myself and my parents, I have to trace all the lies back to their source. I have to try to find the truth that they're hiding.

The more I discover about myself, and my past, the more I realize that lies really are better than the truth. But now that I know the lies are all around me, I can't stop until I've discovered them all. I'll pull each lie away, one by one, and examine it to see what's underneath…until this house of cards crumbles into dust at my feet.

I just hope I can survive the crash.

Review: I have been asked to write a review on this book by the author, Jade Varden, but my review will still be truly honest about my thoughts on the book.
      To start off, I fell in love with this book. It pulled me in very quickly, and I did not want to put it down. I had finished it in less than a day. I like how the title is introduced in the first chapter, but it's still carried throughout the book(although not as obviously). There definitely is quite a bit of foreshadowing in this book, yet it is still vague, which I greatly enjoy; it kept me wondering about what it all meant.
     There are many unexpected twists that kept it very interesting, but still realistic.
      It is easy to identify with the main character, Rain Ramey; she has depth and is not two-dimensional as some authors portray their characters as. The "mean girl" who opposes Rain is evident early on, and it is not hard to despise her right away. Each character is developed so nicely, I could picture them in my head, even the way I thought their voices might sound as they speak.
     Another thing I loved about this book was that there were many philosophical ideas sewn into the plot. For example, the theories about "Nature vs. Nurture" are questioned(although not by that title). I do not want to say much more about it because I do not want to spoil the twists in the plot.
     The ending of this book is very gripping, and left me wanting more. I most certainly want to read the second and third books in the Deck of Lies series, as soon as I can. The only problem I had with this book were a few editing errors, but the book itself was so great that I looked past it(which is hard for me to do, as I am going to school to become a copy editor, so this truly shows how much I enjoyed it!). Varden's writing style is unique from other YA authors I have read, which is a good thing. Yes, there are many great YA authors out there, but Varden's style stands out to me in a good way.
     I would like to thank Jade Varden greatly for asking me to read and review her book, and for sending me an e-copy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I would love for this author's work to be much more well-known! You can purchase the book here: I recommend this book to anyone who loves a well-written, fast-paced YA read.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Description: Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Review: If you are looking for a good summer read that involves mermaids and fantasy, definitely read this book. As with some good books, the beginning is a bit slow, mostly because the author establishes a lot of the description. Once that part is through though, you will not be able to put this book down. I bought this book at Barnes & Noble at the beginning of the summer because I wanted a new mermaid book to read, and the cover art captured my eye. The saying is "Don't judge a book by its cover," but so many people do. I'll read a book even if the cover does not appeal to me(and sometimes even if the cover is amazing, the book may not be), but this one fit my expectations. I liked that I could immediately tell it was about mermaids, and the description on the back made me decide to purchase this book.
     The use of dialogue in this book is good, and when they are underwater, they speak telepathically to each other. One problem I did have with the writing is that there is a lot of colloquialism, and there are a few slang words used that I did not understand(as they are surfers, and I definitely am not). A lor of the characters have odd or unique names, which makes it interesting, but sometimes hard to remember which is which. I do like how the evil creatures' names are meaningful(in mythology), and how the main characters' names relate to the characters themselves.
     Sometimes I did get frustrated with Tempest, the main character. She is just turning seventeen, and still trying to figure out the mermaid conflict, but she does not confide in her best friend or boyfriend, which makes for a lot of lies to be told. This is frustrating to the reader because it makes Tempest seem immature; if they really loved her and cared for her, they would definitely believe her and understand. One thing I don't really care for about most YA novels is that usually the girl has to choose between two guys, one she's loved for a long time and one she's just met. This annoys me because 1) when does it ever happen in real life?(this will frustrate younger girls who are just starting to date, or even like boys) and 2) since it doesn't often happen in real life, not many people will be able to understand her situation as well. I got frustrated with Tempest quite a bit because her feelings would bounce back and forth between the two guys, and I feel that if she was meant to be with the first one, she would not have fallen for the second.
     Overall, I really loved this book. It did not take long to read because I simply did not want to put it down and stop reading. The ending is somewhat satisfactory, but I had hoped there would have been more conflict with the evil sea characters. There is a sequel, titled Tempest Unleashed, and I do plan to read it when I can get it either at the library or bookstore.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dancing in the Shadows of Love by Judy Croome

Description: Lulu is different to others. Once, she believed, she had a friend to love her. Then that friend betrayed her and Lulu learned that hate is safer than love. When she begins her new life at the Court of St Jerome in the Old Sea City, she finds people who must fight their personal demons of hatred, ambition and greed. Embraced in St Jerome's fold, Lulu learns to trust again, perhaps even to love.

Nothing, however, is as it seems and Lulu discovers that love doesn't always wear the face of the one you yearn to call beloved.

Lyrical and atmospheric, buoyed by touches of magical realism, this compelling story explores the sacrifices people make in the pursuit of their dreams. Lulu's quest, and that of Jamila and Zahra too, is to find the divine love that will fulfil their hopes and save their souls...if they can recognise the masks of those who seek to lead them astray.


Review: I really liked this book. This book was sent to me for free from the author's giveaway on A lot of the book is about a religion that the author created, but it's very much like Christianity from what I gathered. Even if you are not very religious, I would definitely recommend this book. There are a lot of thought-provoking ideas in this book, including ones about human relationships, outcasts, and, of course, love.
     Judy Croome is excellent at writing descriptions, as they are beautiful to read and paints an image in the reader's mind. They are very detailed, but not so detailed as to bore the reader so he or she ends up scanning the rest of it. Every little detail is relevant to either the plot or the ideas behind it.
     This is a good summer read because it's one of those books that has you thinking about it even while you are not reading it. I did not want to put this book down, so it was nice to read all day when I had nothing that needed to be done until I finished reading. One thing I definitely loved about this book, in addition to what I've already mentioned, was the Shakespeare quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I took a Shakespeare class in my last semester of high school, so I liked being able to recognize the quotes and what they refer to later in each chapter of this book.
     I would like to thank Judy Croome for doing the book giveaway, as I enjoyed this book very much, and would not have found it if not for that. I do not know if this book is available in stores, but if you would like to purchase it, it can be bought here:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Greatest Mysteries of the Unexplained by Lucy Doncaster and Andrew Holland

Description: A compelling compendium of some the world’s most mystifying conundrums, from strange quirks of nature to supernatural phenomena, this collection of scintillating investigations presents the theories surrounding a diverse range of topics that defy straightforward explanation. Tales are recounted in vivid detail and incorporate all the latest scientific research and conclusions.     
     Where possible, specially chosen images accompany the stories to help explain a particular riddle or provide a deeper insight into the nature of the unknown generally. Including investigations into prophecy and the paranormal and religious and medical marvels, this book attempts to discover the truth behind the greatest enigmas of the universe. It is sure to both bewilder and intrigue.

Review: I definitely enjoyed and liked this book. Was it the best supernatural book out there? Nope. But it was a fun read. As the description says, there are pictures, although they are in black and white. Even though the description says "where possible," there are more pictures than someone may expect. Nearly every other page has a picture.
     The chapters are organized well, except for Chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 4 is "Paranormal Powers" and Chapter 5 is "Seers and Oracles." Most of the parts in both chapters were about the same type of thing: people who can "see" the future.
     In the "Mysteries of the Cosmos" chapter(the last one), the views and theories are complete and utter crap, to put it simply. Even though any sensible person would know that none of these theories could possibly be true, the authors write about them as if they could be 100 percent true. This bugs me because it's theories like that that make people with an interest in the unexplained look crazy to the rest of society. One of the theories is that humans had lived on the moon or Mars before migrating to Earth, completely ignoring the fact that the atmosphere of both are not able to support humans.
     A few things I really liked about this book were that it had a lot of big ideas, and it really gets the reader to ponder about life and our world. Also, it provides good insights, and the themes are interesting to discuss with other people. I definitely learned quite a few things from this book.
     Overall, this was a good, informative read. Sometimes it gave too many details that didn't seem relevant to the main subject, and it was confusing in some parts because of that. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in paranormal and supernatural things, or if you just want a good summer read.
                                                              Overall Grade: B   

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Summary: Everything is in ruins.

     A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

     So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

     Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

     But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

     And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
                                                                                 -Summary from

Review: I loved this book, a lot more than I expected to. I love Edgar Allan Poe, and when I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I wasn't expecting to be super impressed, since it's a retelling of Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death." Sometimes retellings aren't as good as you expect them to be, since the original is amazing. This is not the case for this book. It was amazing.
     The storyline is not mostly about Prince Prospero, but instead through the eyes of a teenage girl living in his era. The plague has taken over everyone's lives, but, as the rich do in Poe's story, the wealthy party and ignore the dying people everywhere.
     One thing that Bethany Griffin did do differently from Poe's story is that she developed the type of world that they lived in more. It's hard to tell whether it's in the future, the past, or an alternate reality like ours, but different. I liked this aspect of the book, because it kept me wondering. I have only recently heard of steampunk, but I know that this is definitely it. I loved reading about the different inventions that they had.
     I won't say anything about the ending except for that it is a major cliffhanger, so if you don't like those, wait until the second book comes out to read them one right after the other, since it doesn't come out until 2013(bummer, right?). I cannot wait for the second one to be released, I will definitely be reading it. I would recommend this book who likes steampunk, post-Apocalyptic worlds, unique YA novels, or, of course, Edgar Allan Poe's short story("The Masque of the Red Death").

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Phantom Evil by Heather Graham

Summary: A secret government unit is formed under the oversight of Adam Harrison, famed paranormal investigator. The six members he's gathered know a little of the otherworldly--each has honed a psychic talent of their own.     Jackson Crow, part English, part Cheyenne, heads the group. Haunted by his experience with an ancestral ghost who saved his life as a child, and the recent murders of two previous teammates, Jackson can't tell if Adam's demoted him or given him an extraordinary opportunity. Despite his link to the realm of spirits, he's well aware that the living commit the most heinous crimes, with spiritualist charlatans existing merely to fool and seduce the unwary.
     To counterbalance Jackson's careful skepticism, Adam Harrison has paired him with Angela Hawkins, a young woman who learned the painful lesson of loss at an early age. A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition in Virginia, she already has her hands full. But Adam's call to New Orleans is strong.
     The case: In a historic mansion in New Orleans's French Quarter, a senator's wife falls to her death from a balcony. Most think she jumped, distraught over the loss of her young son. Some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits that inhabit the house--once the site of a serial killer's grisly work.
     Whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion, greed and desire will cast the pair into danger of losing their lives...and their immortal souls.
                                                                                      -Summary from

Review: I really liked this book. Each book I read by Heather Graham just make me like her more and more. I love how she intertwines history, the paranormal, crime/murder, and romance in one book. Each character is developed nicely, and you can feel a connection with them, even if they are completely different than you.
     As each Graham book that I have read so far, the ending holds a twist that will shock you. Learning the clues throughout the book are interesting, and they helped me try to figure out who had really killed Regina Holloway. I love crime books and trying to predict the ending before I finish, but with Heather Graham's books, I always only get a fraction(if that!) correctly, and I love the suprise effect when I do finally read the conclusion.
     In addition, if you are picky about a writer's style and such like me, you will appreciate Graham's writing. I appreciate her writing, and it's all put together very well. The words flow nicely and it's enjoyable to read, but still intelligent and not "dumbed down." I definitely cannot wait to get my hands on the next of the Krewe of Hunters series! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes paranormal/supernatural and/or murder mysteries.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

     Of Mice and Men is a classic novel by John Steinbeck, the author of The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. The plot revolves around the two main characters, George Milton and Lennie Small. Lennie is a big guy, but he isn't all there. He forgets things that have happened in the past, but does remember certain conversations he has with George. George is a smaller man, and he is quite smart. He takes care of Lennie, also, even when Lennie gets in trouble.
     George and Lennie do farm jobs, laboring most of the day. They travel to California to work at a ranch, since they had to run away from their current one, in Weeds, because of an incident that Lennie had there.
     I don't want to give away too much of the story, so you're just going to have to read it! My thoughts on the book...I really liked it. I like the character of Lennie, even though most of my classmates did not. I really like Steinbeck's writing style, and it was easy to get into the book. I had loved East of Eden by him, so I had a feeling I would like this one too. The ending is kind of shocking, and it almost doesn't seem like an ending(the last sentence doesn't seem like it would be the ending). Anyways, it's a really good read, I definitely recommend it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham

     Unhallowed Ground is the seventh book in Heather Graham's Harrison Investigation series, and it is amazing, to say the least. Sarah McKinley is a historian who moves into her childhood dream home, a large, historic house in St. Augustine, Florida. While renovating the home, tons of human skeletons are discovered in the walls, all of them many years old.
     Caleb Anderson is a private investigator with Harrison Investigations who is in town to investigate the disappearance of a young girl who vanished a year ago. Another girl has also gone missing, and Caleb believes that the disappearances are connected.
     Sarah and Caleb team up to try to solve the mystery of the disappearances and find out what happened in Sarah's house years ago. They uncover stories of withcraft and murder, and try to stay safe in the process.
     I loved this book. The ending took me by suprise, it was a big twist, but I liked it. I have fallen for Heather Graham's writing. This is only the second book by her that I have read, but I love her style and how she develops her characters. It was never boring, and it didn't take me long to read because I never wanted to put it down! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes supernatural, kind of romance, mystery books; it was a great book.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger


  Her Fearful Symmetry is a book about twins, London, and the supernatural. Julia and Valentina Poole are twenty-year-old, identical twins that live in the suburbs of Chicago. Their mother, Edie, also has a twin, named Elspeth. While Edie lives in Illinois, Elspeth lives in London, England, where the two are originally from. The reader finds out that the elder pair of twins had a falling out earlier in their lives, and do not speak to each other anymore. Elspeth is unmarried, but has a relationship with Robert, who lives in the flat below her. Their flats are next to the Highgate Cemetary in London, an expansive cemetary where many famous and well-known people have been buried.
     Sadly, Elspeth dies of an illness, leaving Robert alone in the world. In her will, she leaves her flat in London to Julia and Valentina on two conditions: they live in it for a year before selling it and that their parents never step foot inside it. After much debate in the Poole household, Julia and Valentina are allowed to go. Eventually, they meet Robert, and Martin, the obsessive-compulsive who lives in the flat above them. The girls soon find out that Elspeth's spirit lives in the flat, and they begin to communicate with her. I won't give any more of the plot away yet if you want to read this, so stop reading now if you don't want to know what happens later!
     I loved this book, for the most part. Audrey Niffenegger is a beautiful writer, her words flow nicely and encapture the reader's attention. The supernatural part was enticing, and the cemetary sounded stunning. I did not really care for the ending though. SPOILER WARNING. At the end, Elspeth's spirit kills Valentina, because Valentina wants to escape her overbearing twin, and instead of later returning Valentina's spirit into her body, Elspeth takes her body instead. She claims that she tried, but could not return Valentina. Robert, who had loved Valentina after they got to know each other, left Elspeth(in Valentina's body), and he never returns to her. Valentina lives on as a spirit in the flat, where Julia decides to stay. Eventually, Valentina is able to escape the flat and roams the cemetary as a ghost, meeting new and old ghosts in the burial grounds. I had really liked Valentina as a character, and I think she deserved a much better fate than this. Julia meets a man, and they have a nice relationship. I did like the end for Martin, who overcame his OCD and reunited with his wife. Other than Valentina getting a terrible ending and Elspeth's betrayal, I really liked this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes supernatural books, or even just wants an interesting, well-written read.

Hush by Kate White

    Hush is a book about a woman who has some problems. Lake Warren's husband has left her and now wants full custody of her two children. She works at a fertility clinic alongside a handsome, flirtatious doctor, which isn't a first. After a dinner party with coworkers, Lake has a one-night-stand with this doctor, named Dr. Keaton. When she wakes up, she finds Keaton covered in blood with his throat slashed open. Since she doesn't want to show any reasons why she should not keep custody of her children, she flees the doctor's apartment and leaves the scene of the crime.
     Instead of telling the truth about the situation, she lies to the police every time they question her. Eventually, the killer comes after Lake. She does extensive research into the fertility clinic and what may have caused someone to want to kill the handsome doctor. The plot has many twists and unexpected outcomes. Throughout the whole book, Lake never tells the police the truth about what happened between her and Dr. Keaton before he was murdered.
     I did not like this book at all. Thankfully, I got the book as a bargain priced, past bestseller at Barnes & Noble. It caught my eye because the cover is interesting, and when I read the inside flap, it seemed like it could be a good, interesting read. I was wrong. First of all, Lake, the main character, frustrates the heck out of me. She caused all of her own troubles after the murder. She never confessed to being with Keaton that night, even though the police suspected her. I believe that she would have been much better off if she had just told the truth in the first place. She wasn't a very believable character, and I despised her. She made idiotic choices throughout the whole book. And in the end, she never gets in trouble for lying to the police and even ends up with a new guy. It was frustrating. While reading this book, I had actually wanted the police to find out about Lake's lies and for her to be punished. The plot dragged on throughout the book, and it included too many "what-if" statements in Lake's thoughts about what she suspected, and they were all over the place. It interrupted the flow of the writing, which I didn't think was honestly very good in the first place. Near the end of the book, White seemed to have realized that she needed to wrap it up, and sloppily wrote an ending that had nothing to do with what Lake had been trying to figure out through the entire book. Lake was an irrational character, and definitely acted very suspicious to her coworkers and everyone around her, including the police. I definitely would not have trusted her. I kept reading the book just to finish it; I really didn't enjoy any of the book at all. I would not recommend this book to anyone, not even for a cheap, summer/beach read.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Name is Memory

     I really loved this book. Ann Brashares did an amazing job writing this. She is also the author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books.
     Daniel is a man who has an amazing memory. So amazing, in fact, that he can remember all of his past lives. And one component is the same in every one: Sophia.
     Sophia is the one he has always loved, and always lost. He spends each life searching for her, hoping that this will be the life he finds her and gets to be with her. Of course, their bodies are always different, but their souls never change. Daniel could recognize Sophia's soul from anyones.
     The book switches between descriptions of Daniel's past lives(and his memories of Sophia) and the present time(in the 21st century). Don't think that the switching is confusing, it isn't. At the beginning of each chapter is the place and year, so it is easy to keep track of the history and what is going on. It is written beautifully.
     The one problem I did have with this book was the ending. I won't give anything away, but it was very sudden, as if the last chapter or two was left out. There are some rumors online about this book being the first in a trilogy, but I'm not sure if this is true or not. So far, there is no sequel. I am hoping for one to be written and published, but I'm not holding my breath.
     I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good love story and/or history.

The Search for the Giant Squid

     First of all, I love squid and especially giant squid, so I was expecting a lot out of this book. And thankfully, it lived up to my expectations.
     I know there are not a lot of things to know about giant squid, since they are very rare to see in person(alive, at least), and much is not known about their lifestyle at all. Ellis did an amazing job on this book. Each chapter has a main focus(and I have to admit, sometimes it seemed that he did go a bit off-topic), and it keeps it easier to read. There are a lot of names, places, and dates mentioned, and at times it is hard to keep track of them all. I tended to skim over the dates and all, because I do not need to know every single year that a dead giant squid washed ashore, but if you want to know, it's in there!
     I loved the chapter about the mythology of the giant squid. I am very into mythology and such, so it was very interesting to me. Ellis talks about how the giant squid is most likely the basis for the myths and legends of the kraken, and he also says that sea serpent sightings may also be linked to giant squid carcasses. This makes sense because a lone tentacle floating at the top of the ocean could very much look like a giant sea snake to a sailor who has been at sea for months at a time. This whole chapter was very interesting.
     I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in either marine biology or mythology.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bridget Jones's Diary

I enjoyed this book very much. Bridget Jones is a young woman who isn't completely sure what she's getting to in life. She goes through the ups and downs of romantic relationships, freaks herself out about not getting invited to a party or get-together, and her mother's constant ideas. She's a very hopeful person, mostly, but at times gets depressed and feels very down about her life. I feel that this is one reason that many woman can relate to Bridget. She is a very smart woman, but doesn't always show it. 
I would reccomend this book(and its sequel) to any woman(or man, even) who has had hers/his struggles in life thrown their way all at once. This book is a good book to read when you have a whole day to read, because you're going to want to read it all at once.