If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.
* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.
Endure, by Carrie Jones carriejones ****+ I enjoyed this! I think my favorite part was how Carrie handled the 'love triangle' between Tara, Nick, and Astley. I liked how realistic it was and how Tara's feelings were true to the situation rather than based on the 'typical' teen momentary emotion (I know, that probably doesn't make a ton of sense, but I don't want to list spoilers). Anyway, the pixie situation was also interesting, and the twists were well done and the pacing strong. The story: Tara has found Nick and brought him back from Valhalla, but now that he realizes she's a pixie, she fears he'll never be able to love her again. While Tara struggles with her feelings of abandonment, she continues to search for Betty, who's been in her tiger form since her friend Nix was killed -- and as more people disappear, Tara and Astley realize they must find a way to end this struggle once and for all. (YA paranormal, released 5/12, publisher: Bloomsbury)
In Serena's Web, by Kay Hooper **** This was pretty good. It flowed well, and I liked the MC (Serena), though she was definitely rather manipulative. I also liked Brian and Josh. The story could have focused more on the suspense aspect rather than the romance aspect, for my personal taste, but it was still interesting. The story: Serena's dad hired Brian to watch over his daughter as she traveled from Europe across America to California. In the process, Serena has decided she wants Brian, and she'll do just about anything to get his attention -- anything honest, that is. In the meantime, the reason for her needed protection comes to light, and when she's kidnapped, Brian must face not only his feelings for her but his fears, as well. (Adult romantic suspense, released 3/10, publisher: Bantam)
Storm, by Brigid Kemmerer ****+ I really liked this, although the angst almost killed me. ;) Chris is the most sympathetic character (imo), and it was hard to see him being turned away by Becca when she was so open to Hunter. All the characters had so many issues, actually, that it made for a heavier read than some. Still, I like the plot, and the pacing was especially strong (enough that I couldn't put it down and read the looong book in one sitting). The twists and turns were nicely done, and although I suspected one of them, the other completely surprised me. One minor complaint -- outside the main characters and Quinn, most of the others were so mean and lacking in compassion that it made it hard for me to find any sympathy for them (even though they had struggles too). The story: Becca has always had trouble fitting in, but since the 'complication' at the end of the summer, life has been horrible. The rumors about her spread more quickly than she'd ever thought -- and when she sees another classmate being bullied one night in the parking lot, she doesn't hesitate to step and do what she can to help. After that, her life becomes entwined with Chris Merrick's somehow, and the strange mystery surrounding Chris and his brothers seems to move to the forefront of the town. Add to that a new boy, Hunter, who is clearly interested in Becca (though she doesn't know why) and Becca's father's sudden return to town -- and Becca feels torn and insecure. She knows she has to learn to stand up to those who hurt her, but the humiliation which seems to come at every turn breaks her down again...still, as fall continues on, Becca begins to find strength, even as the Merricks' lives are threatened. (YA paranormal, released 5/12, publisher: Kensington)
[One Small Thing, by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O'Shea **** I wasn't sure I'd like this (I tend to dislike caring-for-baby stories -- I lived that, so I don't need to read about it), but because of Eric, I really enjoyed it. Eric is a great character -- so quirky and quiet and honest...I like him a lot. I wasn't totally sure what he saw in Rue, except that Rue clearly brought Eric to life in many ways. I liked how the story didn't revolve that much around the baby but more about Rue and Eric and how they learned to care for one another. (I must admit, I wasn't sure how Rue ever got a girl pregnant, drunk or not -- Eric would have been a better choice, character-wise, imo -- but I can see how that wouldn't fit the story as well.) Another minor nitpick -- the ending seemed a little contrived and made Rue appear a little self-centered (and unable to see things from Eric's perspective), but I did like the resolution. The story: Rue gets a girl pregnant during a drunken liaison, and when she doesn't want the baby, Rue agrees to take her...but now, he has to find day care. He can't afford (and doesn't like) the groups around town, so he looks to people in his own building. One of the newest tenants, a quiet man named Eric, wins by default (he's the only one home all day), and despite some of his quirks, Rue suspects he'll do fine. Eric has never cared for a baby before, but something about little Alice pulls him out of his shell -- and soon Rue is noticing Eric's intelligence and hard-working spirit too. The three of them begin to build their own little family together, until Rue is offered a job across the country, and he must decide between his relationship with Eric and his desire to build a career. (Adult contemporary romance, GLBT, released 5/12, publisher: Dreamspinner Press)]
On Deck: well, I still have a pile (which is a great feeling), so it'll be something good...