Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


by Lissa Price

published by Random House Children's Books

available March 13, 2012

synopsis (from Goodreads)

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. 

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . 


Amazing!  This book is hard to describe, is it dystopian? Yes.  Is it a thriller? Yes.  Is it YA? Yes.  It's a combo of everything.  

Callie is the main protagonist of the story.  A 16 year old Starter.   What's a starter? Well, the US has been a victim of the Spore Wars, a biological weapon killed everyone between the ages of 20-60.  The very young and old were the only citizens vaccinated against the spores. Callie's parents are dead.  She is looking after her young brother Tyler while trying to survive in a strange new world.  

Those over the age of 60 who lived are called the Enders, as in End of Lifers.  

Callie is introduced to a buisness named Prime Directive.  They 'rent' the bodies of Starters to Enders who wish to be young again.  Yuck!  It is done through a computer chip allowing the Ender to gain control of the young persons body.   Callie sees this as the only way to protect her brother.  

Well, of course things don't go as planned.  

Callie is an incredible character.  She is both strong and vulnerable.  She is doing everything she can to protect her younger brother in a hostile world.

Some of the other characters are equally spectacular.  I think the readers will like Helena and Lauren as well as Michael and Blake. Of course, there are also 'bad guys' in the book.  Very bad guys, downright evil in fact.

I did enjoy the humorous reference to the border wall built between the US and Mexico to prevent infected Americans from entering Mexico- this was a laugh out loud moment for me. (not a spoiler, just a quick reference to a funny part of the book) 

The book itself was a very quick read.  I didn't want to put it down.  When I finished, and boy what a jaw dropping finish, I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.  

There is a part 2 about the Enders due in the winter of 2012. 

Starters by Lissa Price

Friday, March 2, 2012

Michael Hirst
Yale University Press
received by NetGalley

This remarkable book is the first of two volumes in what will be the definitive modern biography of Michelangelo. An illuminating study of Michelangelo's extraordinary career, it follows the artist from his apprenticeship in Ghirlandaio's workshop to his final move to Rome in 1534, when, at the age of 59, he left behind his native Florence, never to return. During these years he created such outstanding works as the marble Pietà, the giant marble David, commissioned for the cathedral in Florence, the Sistine Ceiling frescoes, and the new sacristy and library for the Medici family at San Lorenzo. He began the monumental tomb for Pope Julius II in Rome, and he became one of the most sought-after artists of the early 16th century.

Written by the leading Michelangelo scholar, this prodigiously informative account benefits from recent archival discoveries and restorations, and is enriched by material from the long-awaited editions of the artist's correspondence and artistic contracts. The wealth of new information enables light to be shed on the genesis of Michelangelo's works in sculpture, painting, and architecture, and on his complex psychological relations with his family, friends, and powerful patrons.


Michael Hirst is professor emeritus in the history of art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

I have long been a fan of Michelangelo.  I've read Vasari's review of his life and Irving Stone's Agony and Ecstacy.  I've read Buonoratti's letters and admired his work.

This is an amazing biograpy of a portion of the artist's life.  The author has done an immense amount of research, that much is obvious.  He has presented the information in an informative and objective manner.  

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  I am grateful for the opportunity to read more about my favorite artist.   

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I could not put this book down (Shadow Moon).  The entire series of books- amazing doesn't begin to describe them.  The only bad part about this book is that it ended!  I'm literally left hanging....What happens to Allie?  I have a thousand different visions of how this is resolved in my head.  I know Marilee Brothers is such an amazing author, none of my visions will be correct.  She will come up with something unique and exciting!   
This is the most current book in an incredible series.  A truly unique series of paranormal beings.  A believable heroine, full of teenage doubts and, at times, questionable self esteem.  Allie 'finds herself' in these books.  We see her grow and mature throughout the series.  She begins with "Can I do this?" and by book 4 she's thinking "Bring it on"!  She meets all sorts of people from all walks of life.  She has friendships with close buddies and experiences a few boy/girl relationships along the way.
As I said, a marvelous series.  Each book is better than the one before it.  I would recommend you read in the order written, to get the full impact of these amazing stories.  

Just think, a series with magic, fairies, half demons, Trimarks, Star Seekers.... it just gets better with each book!

White Witch
by Trish Milburn
published by Bell Bridge Books
available 3/1/12
received from NetGalley for review

synopsis (Goodreads)
Witchcraft Is Her Family’s Business.No One Quits The Family And Lives To Tell About It. “Jax” Pherson has power, enough power to know her future will end in service to the dark coven her father controls. Unless she can stay hidden in a small community in the mountains of North Carolina. She must find a way to live without magic and deny the darkness she feels welling up inside her—the same dark power that fuels the covens around the world. All she wants is a normal life. A boyfriend. Friends. Some place to belong, but all too soon Jax’s barely begun new life hangs in the balance when she discovers that the boy she’s attracted to is sworn to kill her kind. He’s a hunter with good reason to kill everything that goes bump in the night. Even the most fleeting use of her power is tantamount to signing her death warrant and will bring both hunter and coven down on her. But can she walk away when her friends are threatened by an old evil? Something created by the magic of witches? Jax’s only hope of survival is to convince the boy she loves to forget everything he’s ever been taught and help her find a way to fight the covens. To believe there is some good in her

This is the story of Jax.  She is a witch who belongs with a coven of dark witches. They are intent on revenge for the witch hunts of the past.  Jax doesn't agree with their thinking and leaves the coven, incidentally, this is a punishable offense (death).
Jax moves to a small town intent on starting a new life, a quiet life, a normal life- no magic.  Well, guess what? It's not going to happen.  She has inadvertently started her new life in an area full of supernatural activities.
This is a very fast paced novel. Too fast at times, my head was spinning with all the information the author wanted to give the reader.  Plot development was as expected, nothing dramatically different from other YA books.  UNTIL the end--WOW..didn't see that coming!  Leaves us open for a sequel.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today we welcome Kate Hawkings, author of THE SPHINX PROJECT

Kate has dropped by to tell us about her new book and will answer my question, "Why do you write?"

Kate: Why I write.
The question of why I write has been swirling around my  mind for some time.  I mean, I know I enjoy it, but what exactly is it I like so much?  The first thing that came to mind was that it just feels right, but that's not exactly the sort of answer you guys want now, is it?  After a bit of thinking I realized it wasn't actually a hard question: I joke about the answers all the time!

1. The voices in my head tell me to.  I'm serious!  For as long as I can remember I've been a bit of a daydreamer.  When I was younger I had quite an over-active imagination- we set traps for the bogeyman up a Norfolk pine in our yard and I was certain I was a Sailor Moon...I just didn't know it--and in my teens if I wasn't reading a book, I was thinking of my own storylines.  I used to create scenarios in my mind, where I was the badass heroine, and of course I always got the guy.  Now I'm putting those voices to good use, but now I'm giving someone else the starring role while I tell them what to do.

2. I'm a huge chicken, I'm not going to deny it, but that doesn't mean I'm not curious.  As a writer, I can live vicariously through my characters and make them do all of the crazy stunts I'd never dream of attempting.  No matter how cool it seems, I would never be trying my hand at base-jumping.  That doesn't stop me wondering how it would feel though, from jumping off the cliff, until you released the chute and landed safely at the bottom...minus the complete and utter terror of course.  On a smaller scale, I can also make my characters say things I could only dream of.  I might like to think I'm a badass, but I don't have the guts to say most of the rubbish I come up with myself.

3. Writing makes me feel like I can achieve something.  There's something exhilarating about typing "The End" at the bottom of seventy or eighty thousand words.  Most people wouldn't dream of doing something like that for fun.  And lets face it, in the long run a lot who do don't make it to the end anyway...it certainly surprised me the first time I did.

4. Lastly, and most importantly, I want to entertain people.  I know I'm not perfect when it comes to the technical aspects of writing (thank goodness for my amazing editor,) but I'm hoping my stories are enough to make people happy.  Books have always been a huge part of my life, and the idea that one day I might be able to recreate the feelings they've provided me in someone else drives me onward.

Thank you very much for allowing me to visit your blog, Donna.  I hope you enjoy reading THE SPHINX PROJECT!

DONNA:  Thank you Kate for visiting.  I can't wait to read the novel!  It looks great.  I'll post a review when I finish.  Good luck with the blog tour!

Book Title:

The Sphinx Project, The Chimaera Chronicles  #1

Release Date:

Tuesday, February 28th 2012

Author Bio:    

Kate's just a Kiwi girl, making her way in the big old world. She pushes doors that say pull, tells people it's a long story when it's not, and is completely addicted to chocolate. Her début novel The Sphinx Project about a genetically engineered teen hits digital shelves February 28th, 2012. 

Tag line:

A lifetime as a lab rat, or forever on the run? For Michaela it's not a hard decision.

Book Description:

Not many people can say their entire existence has been one big lab experiment: poked and prodded by scientists, genetically modified to be the best and endure the worst, subjected to daily tests and trials that would kill a normal human. All Michaela wants is her own life, to be able to go to school, flirt with boys, maybe eat ice cream now and then. So when the chance to escape finally comes, Michaela and her sister grab it, taking their friends with them. 

But they weren't the only ones to find their way out of those labs. Following close behind are another breed of creature, one that doesn't know the difference between right and wrong, who exist only to feed their own hunger. The appearance of a strange boy who seems too much like them to be a coincidence makes things even more confusing. But as the world begins to literally fall apart around them, Michaela must accept his help, especially when she could lose the very thing she holds dearest: her sister. 

Buying links:

Available in paperback and ebook at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and other sellers.

Contact information:

Email: k.c.hawkings@gmail.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/kchawkings
Author Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KCHawkings
Personal Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002666290394
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3319171.Kate_Hawkings
Book Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12486526-the-sphinx-project
Blog: http://katherinehawkings.blogspot.com/
Tumblr: http://whoneedsneverland.tumblr.com/


synopsis (Goodreads)
Her mom's still dating losers. Her boyfriend's gone back to Mexico. Dad still hasn't told his wife and kids that she exists. At school, the drama queens and bullies still rule. But worst of all for Allie Emerson--aka the Star Seeker of an old Gypsy prophecy--is that her powers have taken a hike. She can't read minds anymore. She can't move stuff just by looking at it. The other Star Seekers are counting on her psychic gifts more than ever, and the evil Tri-marks are closing in, eager to snatch her magic moonstone necklace while she's helpless. The hot new guy at school is ready and willing to fight her battles, but he comes with some wicked baggage. Dear Diary: I'm a little worried. My new BF is a demon. Welcome again to Allie Emerson's funny, scary, amazing, and always unpredictable life, as the girl voted least likely to save the world from evil. REVIEWS: "This book has it all: danger, mystery, unexpected plot twists. The events of the book brought forward many unanswered questions and complications, and really made me look forward to the next book. I can't wait." -- Unmainstream Mom Reads Blog "Ms. Brothers does a wonderful job of expanding the world she's created and adding interesting new characters to the mix."


A fabulous continuation of Allie's story.
She has lost her telekinetic abilities. Kizzy engages the help of a young man named Beck Bradford to help Allie out of her slump.  Junior is in Mexico and it is uncertain if he will return.  Allie and Beck become close.  He is not at all put off by Allie's abilities.  Beck has demons of his own, literally. 
The Trimarks are back, chasing Allie to get the Moonstone.  They are still horrible, evil and rotten. 
Faye has straightened out somewhat, she has a job and a steady boyfriend.
Rather than read like a sequel, this book picks up right where the first finishes.  It is a perfect continuation of the story.  Allie has grown a bit, she's more mature but still frightened of her power. 
With the help of Beck and his twin Nicole she continues to learn to use the power of the Moonstone, it's power is awesome, far more than first thought...
Now, I'm off to read the third book!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Eden Newman must mate before her 18th birthday in six months or she'll be left outside to die in a burning world. But who will pick up her mate-option when she's cursed with white skin and a tragically low mate-rate of 15%? In a post-apocalyptic, totalitarian, underground world where class and beauty are defined by resistance to an overheated environment, Eden's coloring brands her as a member of the lowest class, a weak and ugly Pearl. If only she can mate with a dark-skinned Coal from the ruling class, she'll be safe. Just maybe one Coal sees the Real Eden and will be her salvation her co-worker Jamal has begun secretly dating her. But when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's secret biological experiment, she finds herself in the eye of a storm and thrown into the last area of rainforest, a strange and dangerous land. Eden must fight to save her father, who may be humanity's last hope, while standing up to a powerful beast-man she believes is her enemy, despite her overwhelming attraction. Eden must change to survive but only if she can redefine her ideas of beauty and of love, along with a little help from her "adopted aunt" Emily Dickinson


I love post-apocalyptic novels, especially ones with a unique twist.
A racist world where the "Pearls" (light skinned people) are the bottom of the pile, the minority.  The darker skinned 'coals' are the benchmark for beauty, the individuals with prestige and honor.  They even have their own post apocalyptic KKK, called the FFP. 
An interesting story full of societal issues that plague us today.
The author weaved very realistic descriptions throughout the novel.  The first few chapters were slow, but the groundwork for the rest of the book, the rest of the series, was being set. 
I think this is an ok book, not great but not bad.

3 stars