Jul 13 2015
Review: Paper Towns by John Green
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

papertowns-jgPublisher: Dutton
Published: October 16, 2008
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 305
Form: Hardback
Series: Stand Alone
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter
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Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

My Thoughts

This is my fourth John Green book and probably my last.  I read Looking for Alaska first and thoroughly enjoyed it.  But I was unenthused with An Abundance of Katherine’s and The Fault in Our Stars, and now I can add Paper Towns to that list.

Frankly this seemed like a knock off version of Looking for Alaska.  It featured the same kind of quirky, unusual, average teenage boy pining away after the cryptic, mysterious, and elusive girl who seems to touch everybody.  But the main character Margot is really not a very likable girl, and I found myself only wanting to know what happened to her because Quentin was so concerned.

But his obsession with her disappearance was concerning and the way she left was completely selfish and self centered.  The only thing I really loved about this book were Quentin’s REAL friends.  They were loyal and supportive of Q, and did all they could to support him in his quest to find that girl.  Radar’s honesty was particularly refreshing.

Overall, while the mystery of Margot’s disappearance was enough to keep me reading, I didn’t like Margot.  Also the book put me in the mind of Looking for Alaska too much for me to be able to enjoy it as it’s own work.  Just seems too formulaic.

 


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Jul 06 2015
Review: For Your Love by Beverly Jenkins
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

foryourlove-bjPublisher: HarperCollins
Published: April 28, 2015
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 295
Form: Paperback
Series: Blessings Series (6)
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter
Buy The BookB&N | Book Depository

NAACP nominee and bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns to Henry Adams, Kansas–an unforgettable place anyone would want to call home–with a story of family, friends, and the powerful forces from our past that can irrevocably shape our future.

Mayor Trent July and his wife, Lily, are enjoying life as newlyweds and embracing the challenges and joys that come with being adoptive parents to two wonderful boys. But fatherhood has inevitably forced Trent to think about his own birth mother.  Raised by his grandmother Tamar–and, in many ways, the good people of Henry Adams–Trent was blessed with a childhood full of love.

But now he can’t help wondering what happened to the scared teenage girl who gave birth to him. And questions that he’s never voiced are now begging to be answered: Who was she? Is she still alive? Why didn’t she want him?

Trent has always believed that no good comes from dwelling on the past, especially when you have a loving family, a strong community, and folks who depend on you. But when the past comes to Henry Adams, Trent has no choice but to face it–and the woman who left him behind. The truth will shake his very being and everything he thought he knew about life, love, and the bonds that hold families together… but can also tear them apart.

My Thoughts

I don’t quite know how to describe my affection for the Blessings series by Beverly Jenkins, but I just love re-visiting Henry Adams and catching up with all its residents, old and new.  And the drama that goes down in this one small town reminds me so much of my childhood town that it”s scary!

Being an adoptive parent to two boys has both challenged and pleased Mayor Trent July.  But it has also made him wonder about his own birth mother and why she gave him up.  So when she arrives in Henry Adams after 45 years, Trent’s world is turned upside down, and old town secrets are revealed.

These novels just get better and better.  While Trent is trying to forge a bond with his new found mother, Bernadine is still dealing with her irresponsible sister and the crazy owner of the neighboring town, Franklin.  She is also busy settling in new residents Bobby, KiKi, and their baby twins, while trying to find a place for residents fleeing Franklin under the tyranny of Astrid Wiggins.  She has a lot on her plate, but with help from Trent and the rest of the community, she seems to handle it all with poise and grace.  I also was ecstatic to see her relationship with reformed playboy, Malachi July, deepen.

Between Trent and all of his family drama, Bernadine juggling all of the town problems, and the new residents settling in, For Your Love was an exciting and engaging installment.  I can’t wait to see what is next for Henry Adams and it’s residents.

About the Author

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Beverly Jenkins is the author of thirty historical and contemporary novels, including five previous books in her beloved Blessings series. She has been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street JournalPeople, the Dallas Morning News,Vibe, and many other publications.

Find out more about Beverly at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

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Jul 02 2015
Review: Heart of Gold by Beverly Jenkins
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

heartofgold-bjPublisher: Harper Collins
Copyright: 2014
Published: April 9, 2014
Pages: 295
Form: Paperback
Series: A Blessing Novel  (5)
Author: Beverly Jenkins| Facebook | Twitter
Buy The Book: B&N | Book Depository

Bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns to the charming town of Henry Adams, Kansas, in this heartwarming story of family, friendship, and the surprises hidden in our lives

Henry Adams has had its fair share of drama ever since Bernadine Brown bought the town with her divorce settlement. Now, just when things are starting to settle down, it’s about to get crazy again. . . .

Cephas Patterson doesn’t just want to be left alone—if you dare step onto his property, he’ll meet you with a shotgun and a warning to stay away from his gold. He reminds Zoey of the lonely time she spent living on the streets, so she quietly begins leaving him small offerings. But then Cephas dies and leaves a saddlebag of gold—to Zoey.

And that’s not all. Zoey’s parents are going through a trial separation; her former BFF, Devon, is giving her fits; and her friend Crystal has run away from home. Then there’s Bernadine’s mean-spirited baby sister, who has arrived unexpectedly, and an ongoing battle with a neighboring town that’s about to heat up.

Will Henry Adams ever be the same again?

My Thoughts

Whatever it was I found lacking in A Wish and a Prayer was more than made up for with Jenkins’ 5th installment in the Blessings series, Heart of Gold.  I could not put this one down.While the main focus of this novel is adopted 10 year old Zoey and her family drama, we also get a glimpse into the lives of the rest of the residents as well as some new characters.

Zoey seems to be having a hard time of it in this book.  She gets into trouble after disobeying her parents, and gets into a bone breaking bike accident after visiting the town’s grouchiest resident.  Her so called best friend has been acting like a world class jerk to her and everyone else, and her parents aren’t getting along and want to separate.  Despite all the turmoil, Zoey still finds herself very blessed.  She meets a new boy that she likes a lot, inherits a bag of real gold from the town hermit, and stumbles upon some extended family she never thought she’d know.

As for the rest of the residents, Bernadine is dealing with her entitled and hateful baby sister, her daughter running away from home, and the mayhem caused by the Mayor and his wife from the neighboring town of Franklin.

With all the shenanigans going down in this book, I just couldn’t put it down.  Heart of Gold left me feeling optimistic and fulfilled, and definitely had me looking forward to the next installment.


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Jun 25 2015
Review: A Wish and A Prayer by Beverly Jenkins
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

awishandaprayer-bjPublisher: Harper Collins
Copyright: 2012
Published: April 10, 2012
Pages: 304
Form: Paperback
Series: A Blessing Novel  (4)
Author: Beverly Jenkins
Buy The Book: B&N | Book Depository

Anyone worried that living in a small town could be boring certainly hasn’t lived in Henry Adams, Kansas. From the wealthy divorcée who saved this historic town founded by freed slaves to the romantic entanglements that have set tongues wagging and hearts fluttering (and everything in between), there’s plenty to keep the lovably eccentric townsfolk busy.

Preston Miles is happy living with his foster parents, but an e-mail from his maternal grandmother is about to change all that. . . . Riley Curry, the former town mayor, is convinced his pet hog, Cletus, acted in self-defense when he sat on—and killed—a man. Now Riley just has to prove it in a court of law. . . . And as for Rocky, she has already had a lifetime of hurt. Will she risk opening her heart—and her life—to Jack?

Warm, funny, poignant, and unforgettable, Beverly Jenkins’s latest excursion to Henry Adams is a true delight—a welcome return to a place that always feels like home.

My Thoughts

A Wish and a Prayer is the fourth novel in Beverly Jenkins’ Blessings series, and while I did eventually end up enjoying this book, it wasn’t as entertaining as the previous ones in the series.

This book let’s us catch up with all the residents we know, love, and hate in the small town of Henry Adams, Kansas, but the major focus of the book is on adopted brain child Preston Miles.  While Preston is happy and adjusting to life with his adoptive parents, he still longs for answers and a possible relationship with his birth parents.  But when his maternal Grandmother reaches out, Preston must prepare himself for a bit of heartbreak.

Poor Preston.  I can’t imagine not knowing who my parents are and pining to understand why they would give me up.  But despite this, there are a lot of great things happening for Preston.  He is building a better and stronger relationship with his Dad, despite the rockiness of the past.  Also, he has friends that are super supportive, and he even has some success with the ladies.

While Preston is finding his way, former Mayor Riley and his deadly pig Cletus are still causing mischief and mayhem.  Mayor Wiggins of nearby Franklin is taking every opportunity to be a thorn in Bernadine’s side, and Rocky and Jack are finally finding their way with a budding relationship.

Still full of cheese, and while not as great as the previous books, A Wish and a Prayer is still a very worthy read.


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Jun 21 2015
Review: The Sapphire Rose by David Eddings
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

thesapphirerose-dePublisher: Del Rey Fantasy
Published: November 23, 1992
Copyright: 1991
Pages: 502
Form: Paperback
Series: Elenium (3)
Author: Site | Facebook
Buy The BookB&N | Book Depository

The Secret of the Stone

Finally the knight Sparhawk had come to possess Bhelliom, legendary jewel of magic that alone could save Queen Ehlana from the deadly poison that had felled her father.  Sparhawk and Sephrenia, ageless instructor in Styric magics, made haste to free Ehlana from the crystalline cocoon that had preserved her life while they desperately sought a cure.

But Bhelliom carried dangers of its own.  Once the stone came into his hands, Sparhawk found himself stalked by a dark, luring menace.  Whether the foul Zemoch God Azash was behind this threat, or some other enemy, even Sephrenia could not say–only that the sapphire rose held powers too dangerous for any mortal to bear.

Restoring Queen Ehlana would be only the beginning of Sparhawk’s mission.  With the aid of four stalwart knights, one from each Militant Order, he must thwart Ehlana’s poisoner, the Primate Annias, in his plot to assume the throne of the Church.  For as Archprelate, Annias would serve his secret master, Azash, and deliver up to the dread God the one thing Azash thirsted for–Bhelliom itself!

My Thoughts

With Bhelliom secure with Sparhawk, he and his companions must race back to Elenia to save Queen Ehlana.  Each book in this series got better and better.  With Bhelliom well in hand, they save Princess Ehlana and turn to the business of stopping Martel and his thugs, preventing Annias from ascending to the Archprelate and destroying Azash.

This adventure with Sparhawk and his companions was action packed and absorbing.  The characters were intriguing and entertaining once again stole the show.  The clever ways they found to thwart Annias and everyone in cahoots with him gave me life.  And the final showdown with Azash was super intense and quite thrilling.

Overall a very entertaining conclusion to the Elenium series.  Saprhawk and his companions did not disappoint.

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