Book Notes


Title: Stones
Author: Polly Johnson
Genre:  Contemporary
Published: Publisher: Authonomy (December 9, 2013)
Source: Free eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review




A vivid, compelling and intensely moving novel from an exciting new voice in young adult fiction.


Coo is trying to cope with the hand that life has dealt her. At sixteen, she feels she’s too young to have lost her older brother, Sam, to alcoholism. She’s skipping school to avoid the sympathy and questions of her friends and teachers, and shunning her parents, angry that they failed to protect her, and desperate to avoid having to face the fact that, towards the end, she began to wish Sam would leave forever – even die. Then, one day, truanting by the Brighton seafront, Coo meets Banks, a homeless alcoholic and she’s surprised to discover that it is possible for her life to get more complicated.
Despite warnings from her friends and family, Coo and Banks develop an unlikely friendship. Brought together through a series of unexpected events, strange midnight feasts, a near drowning and the unravelling of secrets, together they seek their chance for redemption. That is, until Coo’s feelings start getting dangerously out of hand.
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War Brothers by Sharon E. McKay and Daniel Lafrance


Title: War Brothers
Authors: Sharon E. McKay and Daniel Lafrance
Genre: Graphic Novel
Published: Annick Press Ltd. Feb 2013
Source: via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review



The unforgettable story of a child soldier.

Much has been written about the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, where, under the leadership of the infamous Joseph Kony, young children are kidnapped and forced to become rebel soldiers. Author Sharon McKay, whose research often involves spending time in the countries she writes about, traveled to Gulu, Uganda to record true-life accounts from Kony’s victims. Their stories are full of horror, but they also capture the resilience, friendship, and courage that these children experienced.
Based on Sharon’s interviews, War Brothers was originally published as a novel in 2008. It tells the harrowing tale of 14-year-old Jacob who, along with his friends, is brutally abducted and pressed into service as a rebel soldier. Together with hundreds of other children, he is forced to commit brutal acts. Convinced that he and his friends will somehow be rescued, he struggles to hold on to his sanity as time passes with no sign of help. Finally, Jacob engineers a daring escape and returns to his village only to discover that he and his friends are feared and reviled as former child soldiers.
In this graphic novel version of War Brothers, artist Daniel Lafrance captures the terror, poignancy, and hope expressed in the text. In the best tradition of the graphic novel, this one brings an immediacy and power to a story that will sear itself into the mind of every reader.
MY REVIEW (3 stars)

By the words Amnesty International , there are several thousand child soldiers worldwide. It's absolutely horrifying. Children shouldn't be at war. There shouldn't be war in the world at all. In 2012, world was shaken by the Kony 2012 video, that called the arrest of Joseph Kony, the leader of LRA. His name is also mentioned in this book several times.
Intended for ages 14 and up, War Brothers is narrated by Jacob who has been abducted  from his school with his friends by assassins .  And even if it's strongly forbidden, some  children form a friendship, together they conquer the horrifying soldier period in their life with hope for the future. 
War Brothers definitely was a miserable read, full  of unfathomable brutality of humankind. Sharon E. McKay has done a fantastic job interviewing former child soldiers and putting together this story.  I also liked the artwork.But I'd say too much if I said that War Brothers was an unforgettable read for me. Sad, yes. But not unforgettable. Unfortunately, real life is more miserable than this book, and I am not going to forget that there are several thousands of child soldiers worldwide, trust me.  
If you like to read books/ graphic novels on societal issues, this book might be for you. 
Reblogged from Angels With Attitude Book Reviews:
Kuvatakse: Christmas Town Book Cover.jpg

The Christmas Town, by Elyse Douglas, is a new time travel, mystery, romance novel that was released on October 5, 2013. Free ecopy provided in exchange for an honest review.


While traveling home for Christmas, Jackie and Megan, two young women in their 20s, encounter a huge snowstorm. After crossing a covered bridge, they suddenly find themselves stuck in the past in a small picturesque Vermont town in 1943. While struggling to return to their time, they fall in love with two handsome soldiers. As Christmas approaches, Megan and Jackie are torn between their new lovers and their desire to return to their time. At the last moment, they must make the difficult decision and, because it is Christmas, a miracle happens.  

The Christmas Town is a thrilling adventurous novel interspersed with humor and romance. It's a great read any time of the year, but it's an especially cozy read during the winter months around Christmas. 


The Christmas Town is available in both paperback ($8.79) and kindle ($4.99) on Amazon:

REVIEW (2,5 stars)

Note to myself: if you happen to travel in time, never fall in love. It's too much trouble and  unnecessary heartbreak. Time travel romances usually leave me enormously heartbroken (The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger) or bawling my eyes out (Dream of Time by Nancy J. Price). The Christmas Town did neither of them. Is it good thing or not, I don't know. However, it was a nice entertaining, fast, but a bit predictable Christmas read. 
Two young women, Jackie and Megan, had to cooperate to get home to Portland through the snow storm. But the problem is that they didn't like each other much, so it was kinda funny at the beginning, how each coped with their enforced travel partner.

But they got lost in a snowstorm and suddenly two women found themselves in year 1943 in the small town called Holly Grove. They, of course, were quite a sight with their car and clothing. Then they found love. Some difficult decisions had to be made, too. 

Well, I thought at the beginning the writing was a way to descriptive. I couldn't have cared less what every person in this book was wearing. It was important in historical settings, not that important in contemporary situations. Otherwise, I couldn't complain about writing.

Jackie and Megan were nice women, but they didn't like each other at the beginning. As the story develops, they grow together and difficulties that they lived through, made them nice to each other.  Development of their friendship was really lovely to see. 

The Christmas Town was a nice read during the holidays. But I think it would be as good to read anytime during the year. If you like sweet time travel romances, The Christmas Town may be one of the options to consider. 


Kuvatakse: Elyse Douglas.jpg
Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include: “The Astrologer’s Daughter,” “Wanting Rita,” “The Christmas Diary” and “The Christmas Town.” They currently reside in New York City.




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Once in a Blue Moon - Ken Christopher Ping


Title of the Book: Once in a Blue Moon
Author: Ken Christopher Ping

Genre: Short stories

Publication date: May 27, 2013
Source: Free ecopy courtesy of an author in exchange for an honest review. 

Brief Synopsis:

A small collection of three short stories: Of Sand and Castles; The Mother's Day Gift; and the title story, an enchanting fairytale, Once in a Blue Moon.

Amazon link:
Other online stores: Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo 

Review (3,5 stars)

Once in Blue Moon is a collection of three short stories having important message of their own to say. Consisting of tales about essence of being human and with sprinkles of magic the short read was enjoyable. 

Of Sand and Castles

Tries to find the answer to the question: What's more important: to please others or to be happy just the way you are?

The Mother's Day Gift 

Sneaky but successful attempt to crawl under my skin and break my heart. Little boy sees a perfect gift for her mother to give on Mother's day. This was just a really beautiful little story, makes me cry only by mere thought about it. The Mother's Day Gift certainly stays in my thoughts for a longer time.

"And obviously he learned about good manners and about right and wrong, because despite all the days he would ever spend in school, his mom was his real teacher, she was his sculptor, who would mould him to be all that he should be in the world"  

Once in a Blue Moon.

Beautiful little story with a sprinkle of magic, in which Bow tries turn impossible into the possible.

In conclusion - this little book was an inspiring and magical read.

Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus

Book Details
Title: Night Chill
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Publication date: May 31st 2013
Genres: Adult, Supernatural, Thriller
Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah. When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there. As he digs further, he learns the conspiracy reaches more deeply than he could have imagined. Finally, he will have to face the question, What is a father willing to do to save his child? The answer? Anything. Anything at all.
REVIEW (5 stars)
I can't breathe. "Night Chill" was just a hell of an adventure. It was a scary intense book about some horrible creatures, but most of all - ethics. 
Jack just wanted to take a time off and spend some quality time with his family. So they moved to a relatively calm little Prescott City. He and his family has been satisfied with their decision so far. When things are starting to slip out of their hands, Jack with his wife Lauren would have to stand against to horrific monsters and do anything to save their daughter's life. 
I felt really strong emotions while reading this book: sadness, anger, fear. Definitely fear, lots of it. I didn't know what would come next, dangers lurked around the corners. Chills, cold  chills everywhere. As I felt for Lauren I was constantly on the verge of  tears, probably I was just overtired. It happens, you know. Especially when you stay up late because the book is just too damn interesting to go to sleep. No, I just couldn't sleep. No. 
Writing was absolutely beautiful as well.
So I'd say it would be the best horror novel I have read for I while. Just in time when I thought there was no hope to stumble upon a good one anymore.
In addition to writing supernatural thrillers for adults, Jeff Gunhus is also the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles. ( The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born and recognized as a 2012 Forward Reviews Book of the Year Finalist. Jeff has been a Stephen King and Dean Koontz fan since he was a kid reading their novels under the covers at night. Seeing Night Chill next to King and Koontz on the Amazon Bestseller lists has been a surreal experience. He leads an active lifestyle in Maryland with his wife Nicole and five incredible kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

Lovely Vicious

Title: Lovely Vicious
Author: Sara Wolf
Blog Tour Hosted by: Romance Addict Book Blog


Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to the Buttcrack-of-Nowhere Ohio to help her mom escape a bad relationship. 


All the girls in her new school want one thing – Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.


Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.


The goal: Make the other beg for mercy. 


The game board: East Summit High.


The reward: Something neither of them expected.

**This book contains language, some of which may be unsuitable for younger readers. 

**This is the first book in the LOVELY VICIOUS series.


Buy Links

REVIEW (4,5 stars)

I like sarcasm. However, I can't allow being sarcastic myself  in my daily life. I would have zero friends and everybody hating me. So I enjoy sarcasm in the only place they should belong - books. "Lovely Vicious" is just as sarcastic as the blurb promises and I laughed a lot. Hard. 

Isis was a loud, rude and insane. She loved to throw little funny snide remarks. Well, that was the side of her what she showed to others. Because "jokes are like armor for you, aren't they? Easy to hide behind."

I thought that Jack Hunter was a little bit arrogant, because he seemed to think he was better than the others. But in fact they both, Isis and Jake, were in great pain. 


I loved the writing. It sucked me into the story with a big slurp! 

And it made me feel a variety of emotions. At the beginning the book was funnier, it made me laugh out  loud. Well, I also laughed  when I was almost finished with the book, but now through the tears. 

I thought that the "war" lasted too long. It was funny at the beginning but then it was just annoying. I'd straightforwardly categorize some of Isis's and Jack's behaviour as a school bullying, and I thought it was childish. But it pushed the book going, and the story was so good overall. 

Of course I want to know what is going to happen next with Jack and Isis. "Lovely Vicious" finished with a huge cliffhanger. It's not fair. So not fair. 

Author Bio

Sara Wolf is the author of ARRANGED, a college-aged romance series centered on an arranged marriage. She’s currently working on her next New Adult romance series. She’s addicted to the Vampire Diaries, loves chocolate and romantic angst, and can’t get enough of damaged heroes.


Dreams of the Cursed

Review (3 well-earned stars):


Dreams of the Cursed" is a sequel to a spectacular book "Legacy of a Dreamer". I really enjoyed the first one in the "Dreamer" series, so I grabbed the opportunity to read the second book.

"The Dreams of the Cursed" starts there where the first one stops. There is few breathing space for Chantal and Mathias as they have to fight against evil forces. The story is heavily packed with action. There is some room left for the romance too, but fortunately not much. Little romance in fantasy fiction is my own personal taste, though.

I liked the writing too, it's beautiful, smooth and therefore, easy to read. Dialogues make this book incredibly fast to go through.

But somehow it took me too long to finish this book. I read many books before finishing this one. I don't know really why, because "The Dreams of the Cursed" was an interesting story...

If you haven't read "Legacy of a Dreamer" you may do so now. And if you have already read the first book and haven't read the second, you have to know what happens with Chantal and her friends, right? And in order to find out ...? Yes, you should read "Dreams of the Cursed".