Friday, January 31, 2014

"Villette" (A Classic Ashley Review)

Happy Friday!!!!!

  I wanted to finish the week with another classic, that I don't believe a lot of people know about. "Villette" by Charlotte Bronte, was the last book she ever wrote. I honestly didn't know about this book, until I happened to stumble upon it when I was looking her up on the internet and I am glad I found it.






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

   ""Villette! Villette! Have you read it?" exclaimed George Eliot when Charlotte Brontë's final novel appeared in 1853. "It is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre. There is something almost preternatural in its power."

Arguably Brontë's most refined and deeply felt work, Villette draws on her profound loneliness following the deaths of her three siblings. Lucy Snowe, the narrator of Villette,flees from an unhappy past in England to begin a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school in the great cosmopolitan capital of Villette. Soon Lucy's struggle for independence is overshadowed by both her friendship with a worldly English doctor and her feelings for an autocratic schoolmaster. Brontë's strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free.

"Villette is an amazing book," observed novelist Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. "Written before psychoanalysis came into being, Villette is nevertheless a psychoanalytic work—a psychosexual study of its heroine, Lucy Snowe. Written before the philosophy of existentialism was formulated, the novel's view of the world can only be described as existential. . . . Today it is read and discussed more intensely than Charlotte Brontë's other novels, and many critics now believe it to be a true masterpiece, a work of genius that more than fulfilled the promise of Jane Eyre." Indeed, Virginia Woolf judged Villette to be Brontë's "finest novel."

I loved Jane Eyre and this book is right up on the level with Jane Eyre. As the summary says, this book was written after Charlotte suffered the deaths of her sisters and you can feel the loneliness and sadness coming from the pages. This is why I love Charlotte Bronte, she had the talent to draw you into the character's lives and become one with them. This is a must read for any classic lovers.

Until Next Time,

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 photos of Charlotte Bronte.....

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"The Testing" (a formal Lexi review)


Dear readers,

I know this novel has been out, and the second novel was released earlier this month, but if you're here, you most likely were busy reading a host of other novels that came out around the same time. If you're thinking of reading this novel, read my review first. :)

The novel? The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau


Summary: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same? 

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career. 

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one. 
But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust." (Thank you tons, Goodreads!)

This novel was amazing. I loved the characters and the plot! The next community leaders are taken after high school graduation, away to a place where you're constantly being tested to prove you should be in college. Sounds pretty innocent but harsh, right? Well, the penalty for failing is nothing you want, and every upcoming leader won't remember a thing. So what exactly is being hidden and why? You'll find out once you read this adventurous book!

(Also, kinda reminded me of the Hunger Game premise, but more supervised and technical.)

In Conclusion: Read, read, read!


Rating:


4/5 lightening bolts


XOXO,
Lexi

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Mary Poppins" (A Childlike Ashley Review)

Hello Fellow Readers!!!!

 Today I am going back to my childhood. In all honesty, I didn't know Mary Poppins was a book until "Saving Mr. Banks" came out. "Mary Poppins" by P.L. Travers, is the first of the Mary Poppins series. While reading it, I was going back in time to my childhood, where when your parents said babysitter, Mary Poppins would come flying down on her umbrella...needless to say I was disappointed as a child.




Here is the summary taken from Goodreads....

  "From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. This classic series tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes. Featuring the charming original cover art by Mary Shepard, these new editions are sure to delight readers of all ages.

It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!"

This is a pretty quick read and doesn't take that long. It is kinda fun to read and compare the events in this book to the Disney movie Mary Poppins. I don't want to give anything away, but this isn't like the story you may know. I haven't read the other books in this series yet, but I bet one of these days I will. Mary Poppins, is the ultimate nanny, and makes magic look easy. This will hopefully take you back to your childhood and take you away from any responsibilities for just a short while.

Enjoy!!!!

Ashley

Rating: 4/5 photos of Mary Poppins.....

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Uninvited" (a not-guilty Lexi review)

Hey, everybody!

I am in a rush to catch up on a post, so not much chatter up here, except that I hope everybody is doing well and happily reading!!!

Today's book is Uninvited by Sophie Jordan! It comes out today!


Summary: "When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly." (Gratzi, Goodreads!)

This novel looks at issues with science, what it means to be human, human rights no matter what, and where the line should be drawn. It's actually very good, and I enjoyed it big time!

The characters all of depth. Also, the storyline is very interesting and brings you into Davy's life. You see a girl go from a privileged life to a shady, horrible life, all because of a possibility based on her DNA. She's goes from a girl with friends, a boyfriend, a high-end way of living, as well as loving parents, to almost nothing. Then you join her journey into a program for those with the HTS gene. You'll be hooked on the issues, romance, and how somebody can survive such a large change in their lives. The only flaw is some parts can be a bit slow, especially in the beginning, but otherwise, it's great!

In Conclusion: Read it! It'll make you think of big issues, but in a very entertaining way! This author is great!

Rating:



4/5 DNA Swabs

XOXO,
Lexi

Monday, January 27, 2014

"Ladyhawke" (A Magical Ashley Review)

Hey guys!!!!

  Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my days, I have just had a lot going on. But, you will be getting three blogs from me this week. To start it off, I am going to be reviewing a wonderful book that I just finished on Saturday. "Ladyhawke" by Joan D. Vinge, is magical story of true love and the sacrifices the couple make just to be together.

 


 
 
 Here is the summary to this amazing book taken from Goodreads....

   "A novel based on the screenplay by Edward Kharma, Michael Thomas, Tom Mankiewicz, and David Peoples.

Captain Etienne Navarre is a man on whose shoulders lie a cruel curse. Punished for loving each other, Navarre must become a wolf by night whilst his lover, Lady Isabeau, takes the form of a hawk by day. Together, with the thief Philippe Gaston, they must try to overthrow the corrupt Bishop and in doing so break the spell."


This book has something for everyone: Romance, adventure, magic, and of course true love. Even though they can't touch or be together in human form, you can still feel their love for each other. The way Navarre interacts with the hawk and the way Isabeau interacts with the wolf is every amazing. The movie is just as wonderful, but the book gives you more of a background of the characters and the ending is a little longer for the book than the movie.

If you want a short, fun, and different read, then you will want to read this book. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend that if you can find it to watch it and you won't be disappointed. It will make you believe in true love all over again.

Happy Reading!!!!

  Ashley

Rating: 5/5 Photos from Ladyhawke the movie......



Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Vitro" (a humanistic review by Lexi)

Hello again, our lovely Readers!!!!!

Today's novel stands out among its peers. It's Vitro by Jessica Khoury!


Summary: "On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.

Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives--and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus's dangerous research.
Now Sophie is torn between reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach." (Thank you, Goodreads!!!)

This novel is really interesting. Not only does it bring up the topic of who family truly is, and what ethical lines should or should not be crossed in science, particularly when it involves human lives. Also, what/who is or is not considered as human. It's a very good novel, toying with all of these ideas, plus adding in these characters that yank at your heartstrings or make you want to be empowered. This novel is seriously one of the best books I've read in awhile, especially with the subject of science and scientific breakthroughs. This novel has it as happening now, whereas you're usually overwhelmed with this futuristic new world full of technology. The plot is awesome and interesting, and you'll never guess what comes next on every page! This novel is truly great!

In Conclusion: If you like action-packed novels that make you think, read this ASAP!

Rating:

5/5 vials


XOXO,
Lexi

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Mystic City" (a bright Lexi review)

Readers!

For those who don't know, my laptop was, ahem, "out of order" for over a week thanks to my spilling a sweet tea on it... Well, somehow -- I'm going with magic -- I fixed it! Maybe it fixed itself, but I'm taking credit because I'm the one who was frantically freaking out, lol.

Well, I'm super happy to be back blogging! I read so much to make up for my body's refusal to sleep at night, and my "Blog About ASAP" shelf has leaked over to my "Apps" shelf, and I literally have no more room for any more until this week of blogging is over. (By then, I'll probably have replaced them promptly with even more books, lol.)

So today's is one I really liked and got into, called Mystic City by Theo Lawrence.



Summary: "Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud - and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths.

But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place.
Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection - and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city - including herself." (Thank you, Goodreads!)

This novel was wonderful! I was worried it was going to be overdone in the futuristic ideas like other books I've read, or that the romantic relationship be too over-the-top. However, though I went into this novel with a sigh, the first page alone got me.

The imagery was beautiful, and the ideas that were presented were just fantastic. The characters themselves had this depth to them (each character does), that makes the book more of a story that your friend is telling you, not a stranger who came up with these ideas. They play to similar characters that you've read in other novels, so you're comforting and familiar, but they each have their own important parts to play in this novel.

The structure was great, and the scenes are fluid and interesting enough to keep one interested and eager to see what comes next! The story is also very classic and comfortable, but surprising and fun enough to not get bored in any way.

I seriously just loved this story. It was wonderful!

In Conclusion: If you want a good, classic story with a futuristic twists that's exciting and unexpected, read this amazing book!

Rating: 

6/5 city buildings


XOXO,
Lexi

Monday, January 20, 2014

"The Princess Bride" (A Adventrue Review by Ashley)

Hello fellow readers!!!!

  I just finished this book and had to share it with yall on this beautiful Monday. I have loved the movie and now I love the book. "The Princess Bride", this is the abridged version, by William Goldman and it had me laughing all through out the book.




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

  "What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it's about everything."


This is such a wonderful book and it differs slightly from the movie. It mainly follows what we know from watching the movie, if you haven't I highly recommend it, and we get a deeper look into the characters. Although, when you read this book, it made me want to pull Buttercup out of the pages and slap her whiney ass....sorry but once you read this book you will agree with me. All the characters we love in the movie, are in the book, and you get to learn about their backgrounds when you didn't know where they came from in the movie.

This is a great read and if you liked the movie, you are going to love this book.

Happy Reading!!!

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 posters for The Princess Bride movie.....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kevin Hart & Technical Difficulties (a Sunday Lexi post)

Hey, Readers,

I know I've been gone for a week or so. I spilled sweet tea on my laptop, and it stopped working. I did a ton of stuff, and then the keyboard wouldn't work, but it actually turned on. And then I did more stuff, and then nothing, and then everything worked, and I'm not questioning it or saying it out loud unless this thing is in another room. Even this might jinx it. I will be back on Tuesday, when I have everything ready again on here. I still have things I need to do, which I have been doing for a few days now when I can.

So today, since I'm here, I'm going to post a hilarious Kevin Hart meme! Not only is it true and hilarious, but omg, I LOVE Kevin Hart!!!


XOXO,

Lexi

Friday, January 17, 2014

"Me Before You" (A Touched Ashley Review)

Hello out there in blogger land,

   Today I got another kind of dozy one for yall. This one will pull at your heart strings, but in a good way. It makes you want to be a better person and shows you that no matter what happens in your life you can do anything you set you mind to. "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes, is inspirational, moving, funny, and is just all around a gauntlet of emotion.




Here is the summary taken straight from Goodreads...

  "Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time."


Lou is your ordinary girl, trying to help her family and figuring out what's going on with her boyfriend. Will is a cocky, arrogant man and still is even after his accident. Put these two together and you got a beautiful story. I won't tell you what happens or why it's a beautiful story, that you have to figure out yourself. There might be a time or two when you want to cry or hit one or both of the characters, but to me that is when you know the book is worth the time it takes to read.

Hope you give this book a chance and you will want to go in with an open mind as well as an open heart.

Till next week!!!!

Ashley

Rating: 4/5 Lou's and Will's that a fan of the book drew.......

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"The Firebird" (A Happy Ashley Review)

Hello Fellow Readers!!!!!


 Today, I am going to be reviewing another different kind of book. This one has Russian History, people who can see things, and a huge mystery just waiting to be solved. "The Firebird" by Susanna Kearsley, is an amazing adventure ride, with again some romance thrown in. Plus, the cover is just so beautiful and it was the reason that I read the summary, truth be told.




The summary of this book was taken from Goodreads....

   "Nicola Marter was born with a gift: when she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When the gallery she works in receives a wooden carving she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird, the mythical bird that inspires an old Russian fairytale and was once owned by Russia’s famed Empress Catherine.

Nicola’s investigation into the Firebird’s origin draws her into the 1715 world of Anna Logan and leads her on a quest through Scotland, France and Russia, unearthing a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption."


I don't want to say anymore, because I don't want to give away this mystery that the book in tells. But, the way Susanna takes you through different countries and back in time, makes this book such an amazing read. This is the second book in a series, but you don't have to read the first to know what is going on with this book. You can if you want or if you like this book you can always read the rest of the series. My only problem with this book was the ending and if you read it you will know what I am talking about.

If your a fan of travel and history, then you will love this book. I hope you give it a try and like it. I will admit that it starts off kinda slow, but stick with it and it gets better, especially when you start to get to the mystery of Anna Logan.

Enjoy!!!

Ashley

Rating: 4/5 Firebirds birds rising in the air......

Monday, January 13, 2014

"The Golem and the Jinni" (A different kind of Ashley review)

Hey guys,

  Finally got my internet to be nice so I can post. I just finished reading this amazing book, that was something different than I have ever read before. "The Golem and The Jinni" by Helene Wecker, is a wonderful mix of mythological beings and the old days of New York. I know your kind of thinking "huh?", but the way she puts it all together is amazing and different.




 
 
Here is the summary taken straight from Goodreads....
 
  "In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale."
 
What I really loved about this book is that you got to see the future and the past, plus you learned the stories of other important characters in this book. I was really amazed by the way the author took all of the stories, flashbacks, and present circumstances and made them all fit together without confusing you. The unlikely characters, Chava and Ahmand, become friends and maybe a little more in this amazing tale. As the summary states, this is Helene Wecker's first novel and after reading it, I can't wait to read what she comes up with next. If you want a fun, different, interesting book to read with some romance mixed in, then this book is for you. Give this book a chance if it caught your interest as it did mine and you won't be disappointed.
 
Happy Reading!!!!
 
Ashley
 
Rating: 4/5 Genie's from Aladdin......




Monday, January 6, 2014

My Interview with Amanda Dudley-Penn by Ashley

Hello my fellow readers,

   I have an exciting interview for you today!!! The author of some of the books I have reviewed, has taken the time out of her busy schedule to let yall get to know her better. Amanda Dudley-Penn, is the author of The Brazil Werewolf series and is an amazing author. I also wanted to say that although I haven't met her I can tell she is an amazing person as well, because when my grandma was having surgery on her heart, she prayed for a safe recovery. It meant so much to me that a complete stranger would care that much about someone that they would keep them in their prayers and ask how she was doing. Here is the interview I was excited to do with her and I hope yall enjoy and read her books.


1.) How did you come up with the idea for The Brazil Werewolf Series?

I have always wanted to write a werewolf series.  They’ve always fascinated me and I knew I didn’t want them to be thrown into a vampire series.  I believe they get lost in the story that way.  I wanted them to shine on their own.  So, after those basic ideas, I sat down and created my main characters for each of the books and allowed them to get a mind of their own.    So, although each of the stories have to have points where they connect, they really do have their own story because after all, they are different people.  Honestly, I can’t wait until you meet them all.

2.) The family are gypsies, why did you pick the lifestyle of gypsies?

It was the only lifestyle that made sense to me.  They have to be ready to move if they are exposed as werewolves or if something bad happens.  So, I decided that they would live in motor homes.  The next reason is because at the time I was studying a line in my family history.  One of my great grandfather’s names had been listed as an Irish traveller or pavee and I was studying how he lived when he was alive.  Of course, when you are studying that you learn about all types of travellers.  I didn’t want to place them in one category because they are all such beautiful groups of people, so I just made them travellers.  However, my grandfather’s last name is Brazil, so I did name them after him.

3.)  How many total books are you thinking for this series?

There will be eight.   One story for each of the Brazil siblings.  That does include a book for Mirella.      

4.)  Will our favourite characters from the first book continue to make appearances?

Thankfully, the Brazil family is a close knit family so you will continue to see the characters from the first book.  They will always be a major part to every story.

5.) How did you know that you wanted to become an author?  

I have always written stories.  I can’t remember when I didn’t write.  However, I didn’t realize that other people wanted to read what I wrote until I was in the seventh grade.  My English teacher began a creative writing class.  She pulled me to the side after class and I thought I was in trouble.  Thankfully, I wasn’t in trouble.  She looked into my eyes and made me promise never to give up writing.  Until that moment, I knew I enjoyed writing but I didn’t know someone else would read it.  That is the moment where I realized that I liked the thought of people reading my stories.  That is the moment I realized I wanted to be an author.  

6.) When did you first start writing?  

I remember writing poems when I was seven.  However, I didn’t begin to write for publication until I was twenty-nine years old.  

7.) How did you come up with the name of these books so far?  

Beckoned and Summoned were chosen because Aurora and Lilly were constantly called to by their father.  The next book will be called Enticed so there will be a change in how the Grey werewolves do things.  

8.) If you know, is there anything you can tell us about the next book for this series, without giving anything away?

I will be glad to tell you about the next book.  Like I said before, it will be called Enticed and it is the story of Luc and Mary Jane.  This will be a change.  Mary Jane is not a sister to Aurora and Lilly.  She wasn’t conceived in rape.  Instead, she is the daughter of Sophia’s friends.  Unlike, Lilly and Aurora, she has known both of her parents.  Still, she is a bit naïve and she’ll have some growing up to do.  Unfortunately, she will also have to deal with Eli, who is bent on revenge.  Thankfully, Luc will be there to help her, even though he will be dealing with his own issues with the marriage and growing up. 

 
I want to think Amanda again for taking the time to do this interview and I hope that yall will read her books, so yall can be as addicted to the Brazil werewolves as I am.
 
Enjoy!!!
 
Ashley
 
 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Book Nerd Girl Problems (Lexi's Silly Sunday Post)

Looking weird while sniffing books...


What's worse? Giving into that voice through the entire store...

You can make up the rest of the rap easily, lol

And you get into trouble for that...

SERIOUSLY THOUGH!!!

And then feeling the need to call the author and scream and/or cry at them...
More hilariously true than it being a problem.
And a lil itty-bitty part of you dies inside, too...
What do you mean "Hermione" is not a nice name for a child???
Owwwwwwwwww...
This is when I ask why God hates me.
RIGHT!?!?!
Ash and I have this problem a lot... lol

Worst. Nightmare. Ever.
Then again, what else is fanfiction for???


AND THE BIGGEST BOOK NERD GIRL PROBLEM???

Your HUGE crush doesn't even know you exist...

because he's fictional.

BUT HE'S REAL IN MY HEART!!! lol

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"Gated" (a hidden Lexi review)

Readers,

It is too cold outside. Just saying. It's supposed to get even colder tomorrow!!! The benefit of this horrid weather? Perfect days to be in pajamas, curled up in a blanket, with a book in your hands! Thank goodness for books!

Today's novel is Gated by Amy Christine Parker.



Summary: "Appearances can be deceiving.

In the Community, life seems perfect. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited Lyla’s family to join his group and escape the evil in the world. They were happy to be chosen, happy to move away from New York and start over in such an idyllic gated community. Now seventeen, Lyla knows that Pioneer is more than just their charismatic leader, he is their prophet . . . but his visions have grown dark.
Lyla is a loyal member of the Community, but a chance encounter with an outsider boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community—everything. And if there’s one thing not allowed in the Community, it’s doubt. Her family and friends are certain in their belief. Lyla wishes she could feel the same. As Pioneer begins to manipulate his flock toward disaster, the question remains: Will Lyla follow them over the edge?" (Thanks, Goodreads!)

I love watching "Sister Wives," as well as the Hudderite show, and the specials "Dr. Phil" conducted about polygamy and cults. I guess I'm just a weird girl like that. I never want to join one, but they're something interesting to study, especially when they're religious cults. That means I was actually going to be very critical about this novel, and I was looking forward to reading it.

Saying that, I must admit that the novel is very in-depth, and seemed so real to me that it was creepy. This man had so much power in this little community of his, adding more members by playing on their fears, especially after 9/11. The plot took twists and turns that I definitely didn't see coming, and the ending just blew me away.

There's plenty of action in this novel. You'll also be able to study this in a psychological way, thanks to the narrator being a member of this cult since a young age. The backgrounds, full and believable characters, writing style, and subject will have you hooked from beginning to end. (Warning: You may feel compelled to read this all at once... lol)

In Conclusion: Whether you're into these books or not, I still recommend reading this book!

Rating:
5/5 bullets

Friday, January 3, 2014

"National Velvet" ( A Happy Ashley Review)

Happy Friday Everyone!!!!

  I have an author interview coming up for yall and can't wait to post it. I am going to make a confession...I didn't know "National Velvet" was a book until I found it on the shelf at half price books. I knew it was a movie, because it is one of my favourites and has been ever since I saw it as a kid. "National Velvet" by Enid Bagnold, is such a feel good story of a young girl, who no matter what anyone says, achieves her dream.





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

  "A 14-year-old English girl wins a horse in a raffle, trains it, and rides it in the Grand National steeplechase."

It may be a short summary, but don't let it take away from the fabulous book. It reminds you that a child's dream or even a dream you may have can come true if you only believe in yourself and your dream. Velvet, is a 14 year old girl, who does win a marvellous horse in a raffle and names him Pi. She meets an ex jokey along the way and together they train Pi, to race in the biggest race there is, the Grand National. Things happen along the way, but Velvet never gives up and when they lose their jokey just a day before the race, Velvet takes the reins and solves the issue. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, I am not going to tell you anything else, because I don't want to give anything away. After or before you read this amazing book, you should see the movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney, because it is a classic.


Until Next Time,

Ashley

Rating: 5/5 photos of the movie "National Velvet".........

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"These Broken Stars" (a celestial Lexi review)

Our Awesome Readers,

Happy New Year! I hope that everybody stayed safe and had fun celebrating! I know I did!

Today's book happens in the stars, so I figured it'd be a great way to start the year with yet another good book! Today's book? These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman.


Summary: "It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it." (Thank you very much, Goodreads!)

If this is how the future will be... Wow. Just wow. This novel is truly great. I love the plot, the characters, and how each character has this unexpected side that kills any thoughts you had on them. You can envision everything that the author has come up with: the decadence of the ship, the worry in the air, the whispers softly calling -- It's all vivid. This is truly a great book.

I love this novel!


In Conclusion: This book was great! Instructions -- Read and love!


Rating:
5/5 stars


XOXO,
Lexi

"Rebel Belle" (a deb Lexi review)

To all our Readers,

Today's awesome book is Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.



Summary: "Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth." (Gracias, Goodreads!!!)

This book is totally packed with awesome paranormal fighting moves, along with love, and relationships with family and friends. Harper is perfect. She is the perfection of a Southern Belle. However, her dreams are forced out after Homecoming, where some pretty creepy things go down. Her perfect life? Gone! Poof! So now she has to deal with major life changes/directions. How will she? By facing her life's new imperfections.

In Conclusion: Best original paranormal fiction I've read in awhile!!! Go for it!!!

Rating:
5/5 debutantes

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Dracula" (A Classic Tale Ashley Review)

Happy New Year!!!!!

  I hope everyone had a great and safe New Years Eve. Today I decided to do another classic review that I haven't done before. Mostly, because I am addicted to the new show on ABC "Dracula" with the every sexy Jonathan Ryes Meyers. "Dracula" by Bram Stoker, is the first and original vampire book for Dracula. There have been a lot of re makes and as we all know Hollywood loves making Dracula movies. This is definitely a darker look into the world of Dracula, but it is such a classic that years after it was written it is still read today.






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

  "This Norton Critical Edition presents fully annotated the text of the 1897 First Edition.
A rich selection of background and source materials is provided in three areas: Contexts includes probable inspirations for Dracula in the earlier works of James Malcolm Rymer and Emily Gerard. Also included are a discussion of Stoker's working notes for the novel and "Dracula's Guest," the original opening chapter to Dracula. Reviews and Reactions reprints five early reviews of the novel. "Dramatic and Film Variations" focuses on theater and film adaptations of Dracula, two indications of the novel's unwavering appeal. David J. Skal, Gregory A. Waller, and Nina Auerbach offer their varied perspectives. Checklists of both dramatic and film adaptations are included.
Criticism collects seven theoretical interpretations of Dracula by Phyllis A. Roth, Carol A. Senf, Franco Moretti, Christopher Craft, Bram Dijsktra, Stephen D. Arata, and Talia Schaffer.
A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are included."

If you have seen the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula with Wynonna Ryder in it, than you know the gest of this book. If you haven't, I highly recommend that you watch it, because in my opinion it is a very good, heart pounding movie, that dives into the essence of Dracula. Dracula also known as Vlad the impeller, is based on a real life person, who was violent. He would cut off the heads of his enemies and impel them on spikes for everyone to see. How he got turned into a vampire for a story I have no idea, but you can see the thirst for blood come out in Dracula.

Also, if you haven't started watching it, I love the NBC show "Dracula", it to me brings a different concept and side to the vampire you read about.

Happy Reading,


Ashley

Rating: 5/5 photos from NBC's Dracula TV show.......