Booky Thoughts and Me

Book reviews and pondering thoughts of a down to earth person

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Book Review: Unraveling Isobel

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

Publication Date: January 3, 2012

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Source: Library

Synopsis: (Goodreads): Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, Gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.

But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

Personal Thoughts: When I first read the summary and saw that there would be ghosts involved I was hooked. You know me, I like my ghosts and anything to do with the paranormal. 🙂 Although the book has ghosts, it wasn’t actually scary, just intriguing to see what they would do and what would happen next.

The relationship that Isobel has with her mother isn’t exactly a love relationship and we can tell right off the bat. I mean what kind of mother would marry someone within meeting them of  3 months and force her daughter to move to a new school in her senior year? Isobel shows her displeasure in having to move, especially since her house guests (aka her step-dad and her hot step-brother) aren’t exactly welcoming.

It was interesting to see her struggle with her sanity and seeing whether she was turning insane (it runs in the family). If it was one character I couldn’t stand, it was Dick.(the step father) Right from the start I could tell that there was just something off about him and he seemed to be really creepy.

One thing that I would have liked to see more of is the mystery surrounding the estate. It felt  like it was too short and done over quickly.  Otherwise this book was a great quick entertaining read. I finished it in one day, mainly because I wanted to find out what was going on surrounding the mystery of the house. Eileen Cook is starting to grow on me as an author. All the books that I have read so far have been awesome 🙂 Keep up the great work Eileen Cook!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Book Review: The Perfect Hope

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts

Published: November 6, 2012

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Source: Library

In the conclusion to the fabulous Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, sparks fly when Hope and Ryder attempt to get along and show that there’s nothing going on. Hope is the inn keeper and works for Ryder’s mother. She’s a female version of Owen: meticulously organized, clean, plan/schedule oriented. It’s a bit easier for Ryder because he’s had practice all his life with Owen.

Things really start to heat up when Hope’s ex shows up stirring up trouble. When Ryder sees Hope in a vulnerable position, he starts to see a new side and realizes that she’s not as perfect as he thought, but she just might be perfect for him.

Personal Thoughts: The conclusion to the trilogy was great. It was everything that I expected and more. The sparks and little fights that took place between Ryder and Hope made me turn the pages faster to find out when they would finally give in and realize that there’s something going on.

Ryder’s character and personality as well as Hope’s was a gem and it was enjoyable to read. It was good to see the whole Montgomery clan as well as Clare and Avery interacting with each other.

One of the best things that I finally got a chance to see was who Billy, the ghost, was and his storyline. I loved how the whole story was interconnected with one of the family’s and it brought closure once the final pieces were figured out.

Another great trilogy collection well worth spending the time reading and re-reading. Good job Nora Roberts! Keep up the great work crafting beautiful stories.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Book Review: Giving Up The Ghost

Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

Published: September 15, 2009

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Source: Library

Cass McKenna is no ordinary high school student. She has a special talent that no one knows about. She’s able to see and talk to ghosts. She prefers their company to ‘breathers’- people who are alive. Ghosts aren’t complicated and they are dependable, but  best of all they can provide Cass with all the dirt on anyone in school. She loves dirt and she is on a mission to do one thing– expose the posers and the fakes, the popular kids that think they are above everyone.

Things change when the VP of the student council discovers her secret and goes after her. Tim wants her to help him contact his deceased mother and Cass agrees, but only on her terms. As they start to spend more time together, Cass starts to realize there is more to Tim than she originally thought. He’s not like them, he’ s his own person and he desperately needs help, more so than she originally believed.

With everything that is going on in Cass’ life, she starts to think that maybe it is time to give life-  and people, another chance. It is time to move on with her life and live her life.

Personal Thoughts: The first thing that grabbed my attention was the cover. I absolutely love the cover! The mixture of the dead and the living is a perfect balance. The title was the significant part to the book and it stands out on the cover, more than the author’s name. I loved Cass’ character, personality and who care’s attitude. She was put in a tough spot when she started seeing ghosts and she dealt with it the best way that she could. The plot concept of getting the dirt on people from talking to ghosts was an original one. I mean there is no proof of how you got the information and who is next. Cass definitely had an advantage to bring people’s lives down and make their lives miserable if people messed with her. There’s a reason why no one approaches her.

The strange friendship that Cass and Tim was fascinating to follow. It wasn’t a typical boy meets girl kind of story. Both pushed each other away, even when they wanted to do the exact opposite.

This book is not a fluffy romance, but an interesting look on a girl who had her life turned upside down, given a talent that she didn’t want, and gave help to someone who’s life was in a delicate balance. It has dark themes of the paranormal, death, suicide and teen angst. The author wrote in a way that it wasn’t too dark  but still realistic enough to make it believable. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a different take on high school and teenage life.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


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Book Review: Beyond the Grave

Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Published: August 23, 2011

In the conclusion to the Past Midnight series, there are a lot of unknowns that still need to be figured out. Charlotte is still recovering from the attack that happened to her and her family three months ago. Everything has changed since then. She missed out on prom.  She’s going to a local community college instead of going out of state, her mother is still in a coma, but at least she still has her boyfriend Noah. But lately Noah  have been very secretive and seems to be pulling away. It

When strange things start happening and Noah disappears, Charlotte must find out what’s happening and fix it before another disaster falls on her and those around her. She must fight the paranormal and get her life back, she is done moping and waiting around for things to change back to normal.

Personal Thoughts: 

What a great conclusion to the Past Midnight series! There was so much action packed into this novel it’s crazy. The author did a good job of incorporating the other two books into this one with little tidbits to inform the reader of something that happened in the past. A reader can pick this book up and not feel like they are missing a piece of the puzzle. One thing that was a shocker for me was the additional characters Michael and Marcus and the the plot twists that happened with them.

The complexities of what was happening to Noah and those around him brought everything together in the end. It was interesting to see that Bliss went from ‘I hate you’ to ‘let’s be friends’ in this book. It shows that some times you can’t judge people and that they have their reasons for being the way they are.

Out of the three books in the series, I think this one is my favorite overall.

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Book Review: One Hundred Candles

One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

Published: March 2011

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

The sequel begins innocently enough with Charlotte, Noah and Avery going to a house party. The host of the party, popular football star Harris Abbott invites all of them to Gwyn’s house for a little fun. They play a game called One Hundred Candles, where everyone in the circle goes around telling ghost stories and lighting a candle after they are done. When one hundred stories have been told, something is supposed to happen. Charlotte thinks it’s just fun and goes along, debunking each story as its told, however it all changes when they all go back to school.

Unexplained occurences begin to happen and all of a sudden their school is said to be haunted. Charlotte, her family and friends are now in danger, and she must find a way to close the door to the other realm that she has opened before it is too late.

Personal Thoughts:

This is the sequel to Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen. First thought that popped into my mind as I was reading this book was wow. It’s definitely more action packed than in the last book. Right from the start of the book to the very end. I liked how there were two plots, a main one and subplot to keep the suspense going.

When I saw the cover I thought, the one hundred candles might have something to do with a seance and it was close to it. I love how on each of the covers, we never actually get to see Charlotte Silver. We only see a part of her face but never the eyes.

The plot made things tense for Charlotte for a while by making it really personal. People that are closest to Charlotte are hurt and there is nothing that she can do. I felt sympathy for her and it made me keep on reading to find out what was going to happen. Things are definitely not what they seem in this book and that’s what makes it even more interesting to read.

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Book Review: Past Midnight

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

Published: September 2010

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Past Midnight is about Charlotte Silver, a normal teenage girls who just happens to have parents that debunk ghost theories for a living. They travel all over the world searching for the next ghost phenomenon and proving that it is false. According to their theories, there are no such things as ghosts, it is usually something else such as energy, a creaky floor board etc.

She tries her hardest to keep it a secret for as long as possible but eventually someone finds out and her life is changed once again.

Everything changes when they visit Charleston and the ghosts begin to speak to Charlotte. She thinks that they have left her alone when they leave, but that is not the case when they make themselves comfortable within her dreams and in her bedroom.

To make it even more complicated, Avery, her new best friend is hiding something that happened the year before Charlotte came to the school. Everyone seems to know what happened, except her. Between the ghosts, her new life and friends, she is kept busy.

Through research and their ‘ghost’ equipment, the Silver family realizes soon enough that time is running out and something ominous could happen. Theories are thrown out the window when Charlotte is faced with the ghosts face to face and knows that she must do whatever necessary to bring closure, both for herself and the ghosts that are trying to move on.

Personal Thoughts: 

As a fan of the paranormal and ghosts, I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately, they fell short. I was expecting a lot more action when it comes to the paranormal side, especially since Charlotte’s parents were into it hardcore, but there was not enough in my opinion.

The overall story captivated my interest, but the pacing was a bit slow. It only started to be paced a bit faster towards the end of the book and that’s when it really grabbed my attention.

I loved how the author had a nice mix between the paranormal and real life contemporary young adult life. It was an easy and enjoyable read and I’ll be looking into the other books in this series. You know what they say about series, one book you might not like, but another you will love. Let’s see what kind of paranormal is stored in the next book. 🙂