Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Cruel Beauty" (a gorgeous Lexi post)

Our Awesome Readers,

This is a book that is coming out in 2014, called Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. 


Summary: "Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love." (Thanks, Goodreads!!!)

ALL I CAN SAY IS AH-MAZ-ING!!!!!

In Conclusion:

ALERT: BE FIRST IN LINE for this book!!!!! It is the best retelling of "Beauty & the Beast" that I've ever read!!!!!

Rating:
12/5 roses




XOXO,

Lexi

Monday, December 30, 2013

"Entwined" (A Fairytale review by Ashley)

Good Morning!!!!

  Today is of all things my birthday, but most important my Grandmother is having surgery on her heart, so prayers would be appreciated. I wanted to do a fairy tale retelling for my birthday and I bet yall are going to like this one. "Entwined" by Heather Dixon, is a retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses", and it is a wonderful one. You don't have to be familiar with "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" to understand this book, it is so well written that you can learn everything you need to know about the original story.






The summary of this retelling is as follows......

   "Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her... beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing... it's taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.

The Keeper likes to keep things.

Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late."


Azalea, is a strong heroine, when tragedy strikes she finds herself looking after her younger sisters. To escape the lonely world they know, they sneak down to a magical place and dance until the sun comes up. Than something happens that threatens to expose their secret, but the sisters will stop at nothing to keep it safe. There are some dashing young men and of course a happy ending, but I won't tell you anymore of what may happen, because I don't want to give anything away. This is such an amazing and enchanted read, that you will want to read it again and again.

Till Next Time,

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 paintings of twelve dancing princesses......

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How to Have a Great Christmas!!!!!, a.k.a. Merry Christmas Eve!!!!! (Lexi's Holiday Post)

Readers,

How to have a great Christmas!


1.) Greet everybody with a "Merry Christmas"!!!

Or not...

2.) Answer the phone when your relatives call.

Just like this.


3.) Don't be grumpy.
Or just try not to openly scowl...


4.) Get excited about gifts!!!



5.) Don't spread yourself too thin!!!

But be open to snuggling!


6.) Spread the love, even if you think the person doesn't deserve it.

...even if they're acting like a South Pole elf.

7.) Pretend Santa is real if kiddos are around.




8.) Don't overeat.



9.) Try to avoid too many sweets.



10.) If you wanna be annoying, do it with Christmas cheer!!!

It makes it more annoying to others, hahaha!


11.) No swearing!



12.) Be welcoming!!!

"Does somebody need a hug?"


13.) Try to relax as much as possible so you aren't stressed. When you are, close your eyes and go to your happy place.




Have a great time!!!!!

XOXO,
Alexis

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays From Ashley!!!!

Hey guys!!!

 As yall are aware Christmas Eve is tomorrow and Christmas is on Wednesday. I have been wrapping presents all day and finally got everything done. I don't have a book review today because I have been busy. So I wanted to do something fun and post funny Christmas pictures to get everyone in the Holiday spirit. No matter what you celebrate I hope every one is safe and happy on the holidays.











Happy Safe Holidays Everyone!!!!

Ashley

Saturday, December 21, 2013

"The Forever Contract" (an everlasting Lexi post)

Hello!

Today's book is actually a dystopian novella: The Forever Contract by Avery Sawyer.


Summary: "In the very near future, the country is plunged into drought and unrest. Scare resources and constant heat are making life completely miserable. Casey doesn't think she can stand slugging back another gel pack or working one more shift at the wells. Fortunately, there's a solution: anyone over the age of seventeen can sign the Forever Contract and enter a utopian paradise. While people's minds take a permanent vacation, their bodies get warehoused and hooked up to a complex array of sensors and feeding tubes. As Casey's brother says, "You upload your consciousness to the system and you're free to live as long as you want, however you want. No more pain, no more heat, no more awful dust, no more work. Just pure thought. It's what our species has always been meant for. Suffering is for philosophers. Not for me."

Casey's ready to sign--a permanent vacation is just what she needs. There's only one problem: her boyfriend James doesn't trust it." (Thank you, Goodreads!)

This actually was a great story that makes you think. Plus, it has some awesome twists! The characters and plot were just wonderful! Wish it was a novel instead of a novella, but I'm grateful for it either way!


In Conclusion: It's short and sweet, so go for it!

Rating:

4/5 slimy stuff

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Number The Stars" (Another Heartfelt Ashley Review)

Happy 5 days till Christmas everyone!!!!

  I can't believe that in five days Christmas will be here, where has this year gone. The last book of the week is "Number The Stars" by Lois Lowry. This is another book that has to do with the holocaust. In all honestly, I can't say I have read this book in awhile, the only time I read it was in middle school, but I feel like it fits with the other two books.






Here is the summary of this book taken from Goodreads......

    "Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life."

This is another book of life during Nazi Germany and the risk of hiding a Jew. All three of these books have that in common. You, as the reader, get to see three different stories and how they affected different people. These are such amazing books, yes they will pull at your heart strings and yes you might struggle to get through them, but if you can you will be able to see things differently. I honestly hope that you give one or all these books a try, if you have never read them. They will have an impact on your life and will show you how the holocaust affected everyone that was dealing with it.

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 quotes that I believe go great with the theme of the week.....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"The Diary Of Anne Frank" (A Heartfelt Ashley Review)

Hey guys,

  So, I decided to stick with a theme for this week, because I feel like this book and the book on Friday need to be reviewed and read by book lovers everywhere. "The Diary of A Young Girl" by Anne Frank, is a true, first hand account by a young Jewish girl and her family in hiding. Back then, if you were found hiding a Jew, there would be severe punishment, for everyone.





The summary for this book, if you haven't already read it, is as follows.....

   "Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annexe" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short."


You may have already read this book when you were in school, like most of us did. But, this is one book that I believe deserves to be on everyone's book shelf. This is such an amazing and moving re count of what life was for a Jew who had to hide from the evil that was Hitler. It will take you on an emotional whirl wind and give you a look into one of the most horrible, senseless acts of war. What I love about this book, is it is a diary of this amazing girl and that it survived when their hiding place was raided.  You get to see that no matter what bad thing happened, Anne never let the Nazis get the best of her and ruin her spirit while she was waiting for the world to be safe once again.

Happy Reading,

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 photos of a young girl, so full of spirit.......

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"A Gift of Magic" (a bleh Lexi review)

Readers,

When I got this novel, I did because I used to read Joan Lowry Nixon novels, and it looked like it was going to be similar. Nope. So here's my review of A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan.


Summary: "When the old woman died, she left each of her grandchildren something very special. For Kirby, the gift of dance. For Brendon, the gift of music. And for Nancy, the most extraordinary gift of all . . . the gift of magic."

This novel truly wasn't good. That's honestly all I can say. It was a big letdown.

In Conclusion: Don't even look at it.

Rating:

0/5 psychics

Monday, December 16, 2013

"The Book Thief" (A Very Amazed Ashley Review)

Good Afternoon fellow readers,

   I just finished reading this amazing book and I just have to share it with yall. "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak, is such a jewel that I believe it will become a classic. It is a whole lot different than anything you have ever read. I will say that I didn't know if I was going to like it or not, but I was hooked from page one. I took this book everywhere with me, because I didn't want to put it done. There have been a lot of negative and unfair bashings on Goodreads about this book and to those people I want to say they didn't get the message and have no feelings at all. Harsh, but this book is meant to pull at your heart strings and make you go through a lot of emotions, because it is about such a terrible subject.





Here is the summary taken from Goodreads......

  "It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time."

I will give this warning, if you don't like dark humour or books without happy endings, then this book isn't for you. There is no happy ending, Markus will kind of tell you what is going to happen before it does, but it doesn't ruin anything. For me it helped me prepare to either cry or know when something bad was about to happen. If you can get passed all of that, please give this book a try and you won't be disappointed. I want to go see the movie and I hope it's as good as the book, but who knows now a days. I will say if you love history, with this book you will get a first hand look at how Hitler's craziness effected everyone. It will talk about the treatment of Jews, death, and bombings, so you need to be prepared for that. But, all and all this is such an amazing book, that I hope and pray yall give it a chance.


Till Next Time,

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 posters for "The Book thief"........

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Six Gifts for/from a Book Lover (a Lexi Sunday post)

Sometimes, it's hard to find gifts for the book lover in your life, especially if you aren't sure which books they own. Plus, gifts should be more personal than yet another B&N gift card. So why not check these out?

Awesome gifts from/for a book lover:



1.) Your top 5 books (even from Half Price Books), plus a note inside each cover on why you chose those books. Even if they already own the book, your point of view could be a whole new way for them to use it in their lives, even kiddo books.




2.) Literary quote blanket. This literally will have you wrapped up in books! Another option, which is sooooo cute, would be this one.



3.) Poetry/quote scarf. Easy and cheap to make, and makes a classy statement.




4.) Secret Hideout Book. This is done by carving out a hardback book! It is harder to make, but so rewarding in the end. Or you can buy it on etsy. You can also do this same thing, but make the spot big enough for the person's e-reader!




5.) Customized Book Messenger Bag. Again, can make or buy.




6.) Library Perfume/Home Scents. This was going to be a five thing list, but I saw this product and had to add this for booklovers! It smells like a library, which is just perfection!


XOXO,
Lexi

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"This Wicked Game" (a voodoo-y Lexi review)

Readers,

Any of you been to NOLA (New Orleans)? It is magnificent, whether you're a partier or not. They have plantations (like Oak Alley), all kinds of food (fried alligator tastes like chewy chicken), and just tons of places to explore in the French Quarter alone! I've been three times, two as an adult and without my mother shielding my eyes, lol. It's seriously magical. And that's why I am reviewing This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink.


Summary: "Claire Kincaid’s family has been in business for over fifty years.

The voodoo business.

Part of the International Guild of High Priests and Priestesses, a secret society that have practiced voodoo for generations, the Kincaid’s run an underground supply house for authentic voodoo supplies. Claire plays along, filling orders for powders, oils and other bizarre ingredients in the family store, but she has a secret.

She doesn’t believe.

Struggling to reconcile her modern sensibilities with a completely unscientific craft based on suspicion, Claire can’t wait to escape New Orleans – and voodoo – when she goes to college, a desire that creates almost constant conflict in her secret affair with Xander Toussaint, son of the Guild’s powerful founding family.

But when a mysterious customer places an order for a deadly ingredient, Claire begins to realize that there’s more to voodoo – and the families that make up the Guild – than meets the eye.

Including her own.
As she bands together with the other firstborns of the Guild, she comes face to face with a deadly enemy – and the disbelief that may very well kill her."

First of all, let me say that it doesn't matter if you believe in voodoo or not; this novel is great for everybody! It's a coming-of-age story, in my POV. The main character is the descendant of a high voodoo priestess (if you know anything about NOLA and voodoo, you can already guess who it is), and yet she's not sure whether she believes in the craft or not. However, after knowing a dark force has come to her home, she has to figure out what she does and doesn't believe in quickly!

The characters, tension, etc. is very good in this book. The plot is continually exciting and out there! I think that this is just a great book, for teens and adults alike!

In Conclusion: Go for it! You won't regret it!

Rating: 
5/5 voodoo dolls

Friday, December 13, 2013

"Beautiful Beast" (A Bewitching Ashley Review)

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!!!!!


  Today, I am once again going to review another version of the classically loved "Beauty and The Beast". This is more kind of along the lines of "Beastly", because this is an actual boy and not a man with fur. But, it is still a great retelling none the less. "Beautiful Beast" by Cindy C. Bennett, is a modern day fairy tale, although it is a short story, it is still one of the best.



 

The summary of this amazing retelling is as follows....

  "Calli is cursed by her beauty.

Though she knows it's cruel, Calli agrees to accompany her friends to Monster House where it is rumored the beast howls at the moon each sunset. When she hears him for the first time, her heart is wrenched by the anguish she hears in the sound.

Facing trespassing charges for her folly, Calli is forced to move into Monster House where she is to befriend the beast. Using the bribery offered by his father to gain some desperately needed money for her father, Calli accepts his terms. Horrified but trapped by her circumstance, Calli steps inside the doors of the great house to face the unknown.

Alex is cursed by his beastliness.

Alex believes Calli has bribed her way into his home in order to get a look at the beast of Monster House, and is determined to hate her. He isn't prepared as she batters down the hard walls of his soul with her kindness and humor.

Alex allows Calli into his inner sanctum, sharing with her the most private parts of his heart. But when he finds out the truth, will her love be enough to convince him of her true feelings, or will she lose him forever? "


Since it is along the lines of "Beauty and the Beast" you can kinda know how this will end, but it is fun to read all the different retellings just to see what people come up with.

Happy Reading!!!

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 drawings of Beauty and her Beast.....

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"The Naturals" (an undercover Lexi review)

Our awesome Readers,



Summary: "Cassie Hobbes is not like most teenagers. Most teenagers don't lose their mother in a bloody, unsolved kidnapping. Most teenagers can't tell who you are, where you're from and how you're likely to behave within moments of meeting you. And most teenagers don't get chosen to join The Naturals.

Identified by the FBI as uniquely gifted, Cassie is recruited to an elite school where a small number of teens are trained to hone their exceptional abilities.
For Cassie, trying to make friends with the girls, and to figure out the two very different, very hot boys, is challenging enough. But when a serial killer begins recreating the details of her mother's horrific crime scene, she realises just how dangerous life in The Naturals could be..." (Thanks, Goodreads!)

This novel was truly interesting! It mixes thriller, mystery, and teen crushes in a cool way. I'm definitely a fan of this novel. The idea of having this natural ability that sets you apart, but it working in a positive way just is a good thing to read about. The characters have depth, and I definitely recommend it!

(By the way, this novel is great for teens and adults, but leans more towards older teens. Could have just been me though.)

In Conclusion: Go for it, no matter what you're in to!

Rating:

4/5 FBI ID's

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"To Tempt The Devil" (A Crazy Romantic Ashley Review)

Hello Peeps,

  Today, I bring you another wonderful Historical Romance, that I am in love with. "To Tempt The Devil" by C.J. Archer, is a different type of historical romance. It has murder, false accusation, romance, a head strong heroine, and a brooding leading man. Which, in my book makes historical romances the best.





Here is the summary taken straight from Goodreads....

   "For years, Rafe Fletcher wandered the world, an assassin-for-hire and one of Europe's most feared swordsmen. It's a fitting life for a man who once beat his own brutish stepfather half to death, one of many sins for which he hopes to atone upon his return to London. Yet redemption proves elusive when he reunites with Lizzy Croft. A child when Rafe left, Lizzy remembers her dear friend's brooding brother all too well. And though dismayed to now find herself drawn to his dark good looks, she hasn't forgotten how dangerous he can be. She dare not trust him ? until the Master of Revels is murdered and Lizzy becomes the prime suspect. Suddenly Rafe is the only man she can trust, the only man who can protect her as they race to unmask the true killer. As her heart begins to thaw to the mysterious rogue, Lizzy wonders if loving him is the greatest risk of all?"

The summary alone should kind of peak your interest, I know it did mine. Although, I have definitely gone through an historical romance phase, but what reader hasn't gone through a phase. This is definitely a one and only type of historical romance. It has laughter, intrigue, and falling in love with a dark, handsome rogue...lol. If your in the mood for a nice historical romance than give this book a chance and you could probably finish this in a day or two. So, it is a very good, page turning read and it will have you hooked with the first page.

Till Next Time,

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 drawings of Hades and Persephone........