Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

16059149In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

PUBLISHER: Simon and Shuster

PAGES: 336

~*~*~*~*~

I went to Powell’s during the past 3-day-weekend and limited myself to a book budget of $15. I happened to go over by one dollar, but, really, if you know me, it could have been much worse. Leaving $16 poorer is the best of all possible Powell’s scenarios. Truly.

I haven’t read a book set in the South for some while, and I’m always up for a good YA romance. Magnolia has been on my TBR for some time. While this plot was a bit too unrealistic for my tastes (two kids being left alone right before a gigantic storm? I don’t know about that), it was still a fun read. Continue reading

Review: The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

MMD+final+cover+hi-resSixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray

PAGES: 420

~*~*~*~*~

Walked into the library. This book caught my eye. Recognized that several of my book blogging peers had read this book. Read the blurb. Gaped at the beautiful cover. Checked this book out.

I didn’t used to check Goodreads before checking a book out at the library, but I’ve become a Goodreads fanatic since becoming a book blogger. People seemed torn about this book, and I inevitably find myself torn at the end, like everyone else. Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday #17

img-thing-pink2Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I have to say, I’m pretty pumped for the release of Duplicity. Not only does it have a male narrator (something I adore), but it also has a computer hacker. Maybe I’m the only one, but I’ve always wanted to be a computer hacker. Judge me.

Three Key Words for This Week’s WoW: Hacking, Reflections, Thrilling

Continue reading

Review: Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell

22504472Victorian-Era England Comes Alive in This Witty Romance
For years Charlotte Withersby has worked as an assistant to her father, an eminent English botanist. As she approaches the old age of twenty-four, her father pushes her out into society, swayed by an uncle who believes God’s only two roles for women are marriage and motherhood. When one of the Withersbys’ colonial correspondents, Edward Trimble, returns to England, he’s drafted as the new assistant so Charlotte is free to marry. This suits Edward’s plans quite well, since the last thing he wants to do is reunite with the family he is ashamed to call his own.
Though Edward proves himself vexingly capable on the job, Charlotte won’t surrender the job without a fight, and schemes with her best friend to regain her position. Perhaps if a proposal seems imminent, Charlotte’s father will see his error and ask her to return. Charlotte tries to make headway in her town’s social life, but reveals herself to be unaware of all the intricacies of polite society. Though Edward pitches in, tutoring her in society’s expectations, she just seems to make things worse. And the more she comes to know of her father’s assistant, the more trouble she has imagining life without him. Caught in a trap of her own making and seeing the hopelessness of her prospects, will Charlotte get to keep her work or will she have to cede her heart?

PUBLISHER: Bethany House Publishers

PAGES: 363

~*~*~*~*~

A huge thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Siri Mitchell for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

I have a secret penchant for books about botany-loving protagonists. Now that I’ve told you, it’s not much of a secret anymore. It’s all good. I’ve never read one of Mitchell’s novels, but I wasn’t impressed with this one. Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday #16

img-thing-pink2Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I’m going to be completely honest–I hadn’t heard of this book until I worked on my New Year’s Eve Countdown post. Now that I’ve heard of it, though, I’m positively obsessed with it.

Three Key Words for This Week’s WoW: Kidnapping, Romance, TOO MANY FEELINGS (that was three key words in itself, but we’ll let it slide just this once)

Continue reading

Review: This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

18465566Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age—a story of renewal and revelation.

PUBLISHER: First Second

PAGES: 320

~*~*~*~*~

I won this book through Goodreads’ First Reads program! Yay!

This was my first graphic novel. I don’t know why, but I’ve just never gravitated towards graphic novels! It’s such a novel idea, though, and I feel as if I’m going to read more graphic novels in the future. Continue reading