Review: Take This Regret by Amy Lichtenham

Publication Date: July 28th, 2011
The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
Format: Paperback, 243 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars


SUMMARY

There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives. For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth.

Christian Davison has a plan for his life. He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm. Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.

After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life.

For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.

When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgivable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate. Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?

They say everyone deserves a second chance.

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For a book of less than 250 pages, this novel didn’t lack the intensity of an emotional powerhouse. Perhaps because it is such a short novel that made it even more so. Told in alternating point of views, Take This Regret is a story about wrong choices, consequences and their path to redemptions.

With his career in law about to take off, Christian was set to fulfill his goals in a steadfast manner. Nothing and no one could get in his way…that is, until Elizabeth delivered the news that could derail all his plans and ruin his hard work. He made a choice and made her choose. She walked away and life has never been as he pictured it would be.

I was really impressed by the author’s consistency in spurring emotions throughout the entire story. I felt all that I was supposed to feel – Christian’s overwhelming guilt, loss, regrets and the unconditional love he felt instantly as soon as he laid eyes on his daughter. All the while, he had this consuming need to just be a part of something that he consciously walked away from all those years ago.

I was frustrated with some of the decisions Elizabeth made once Christian walked back into their lives and in some ways I could relate. Her last moment-of-insanity though didn’t bode well with me. It was obvious to me that by keeping Christian away, she was hurting the most important person in the equation but she was blinded by her own fear and need to protect herself that she didn’t even see it coming.

All in all, this novel was a good find. It was a fast read but impact-ful just the same. There were so much loss, regrets and most important of all, love in spades. There’s much to be said about a book that focuses on one plot  and the author did an outstanding job of keeping the story clean. Expect no subplots or even much getting-to-know-you sessions with the characters. This is a plot-driven novel – centering on Christian’s plight to take his family back. There were bits of information about the characters, but not enough to give them other dimensions and that’s okay because like I said, the spotlight was on Christian’s  need to right a wrong.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m looking forward to reading more of the author’s work.

Review: Invisible Touch by Kelly Parra

Publication Date: October 14th, 2008
MTV Books
Format: Paperback, 279 pages
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars



SUMMARY
Kara Martinez has been trying to be “normal” ever since the accident that took her father’s life when she was eleven years old. She’s buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be — compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.
Because Kara has a gift — one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person’s fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she’s been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she’s been warned about — until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it’s her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it’s too late…or lead her even further into danger?
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I’m always excited to find books that are literally difficult to put down. I came across Invisible Touch through Alexa’s  review. For once, my bookshelves-stalking skills paid off! We generally have the same tastes in books so I trust her judgement completely. I ordered this book sometime in the summer and obviously, had just got around to reading it.  I picked it off my shelf last night and devoured it almost in one sitting. I’m sleepless and it feels like an entire construction crew is jackhammering the skull off my head. But I can’t say I have any regrets. I loved every wakeful minute spent reading this. 
HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Kara Martinez and her family had been struggling to be whole since her father was killed in a boat accident. Aside from having to deal with the grief, she’d had to play a game of pretend with practically everyone she knows. She’d also been keeping a secret – a secret that could have her institutionalized for being insane. On the day that her father was killed, she was pronounced dead…for eleven whole minutes. She woke up with a disturbing ability to see ghosts and signs on people foretelling of an imminent danger. Her latest premonition involved people she knew and a boy who knew more than he’d let on. 
  • Rubik’s Cube. Almost the entirety of the novel was a puzzle to be solved. There wasn’t any obvious answers nor there were any easy ones. I’ve never been a fan of mystery solving books but this one had me completely engrossed. The mark of a good mystery novel, if I may say so myself. 
  • Compelling Characters. The primary reason why this book gave me a sleepless night was because of its characters. Once you start reading about Kara, you’d have this inane desire to keep going. Her subdued beauty and traits clashed with her intense need to just break out, to be free from grief, to be free from all the pretences and to finally break free from the wall she barricaded around her. Often times, I wanted to shake this girl; I wanted her to cry and scream out her frustration. I wanted her to stop making everyone feel like everything was okay by pretending. It was completely exhausting. But no matter how frustrated I got, Kara was that type of character that I can’t just abandon. Her character has this ability to draw you in until you’re completely vested in the story. The family dynamics around Kara was to be expected of a family in grief. Her mother’s need to coddle her to the point of suffocation was her way of protecting what was left of her family. Jason, Kara’s brother folded into himself. There was something about his quiet anger that made me feel like he was also ashamed; ashamed for all his shortcomings as the man of the family. I also loved her best friend, Danielle. They were two sides of the same coin; each one hid a secret and had the same fear. I’ll get to Anthony Garcia in a bit. He deserves his own billing 🙂 I just think that Ms Parra created a cast of characters that were deeper than their token roles in Kara’s life. 
  • Toe-curling Romance.  I’m a big fan of forbidden romances and there was just a touch of that here. Anthony was from the wrong side of the tracks and Kara was absolutely not allowed to date him. I guess if there were any other stories that this novel would be akin to, I’d say Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles would be its close relative. He had some questionable reactions that were better explained toward the end. I loved his intensity; it jelled well with Kara’s constant insecurities. He was tenderness and sweetness and ferocity rolled into one package of hot Latin blood. *sigh* 
“If one day I was taken away…would you wait for me to come back?”
Concerned moved across his face. “Where are you going?”
“Just tell me, please. I need to know, without telling you anything else.”
“No.”
I swallowed and blinked back tears.
“I’d go after you,” he said.” 

LOWLIGHTS:
Sorry, this book is one of my favourites. I just can’t find any!


FINAL THOUGHTS:
If the page-turning mystery does not entice you to chomp this up, then the romance is sure to engage you in. 


IMM #14

In My Mailbox is a weekly event over at The Story Siren, which showcases the books we’ve purchased, borrowed and received in the mail this week. This is the fourteenth episode of HOARDERS, Books Edition.
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Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Tiger’s Voyage by Colleen Houck
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
Indelible by Lani Woodland
Wherever You Go by Heather Davis
The File on Angelyn Stark by Catherine Atkins
iBoy by Kevin Brooks
Prized by Caragh O’Brien
The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell
Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston
The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates
Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey
Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt
A Love by Any Measure by Killian McRae
Flame of Surrender by Rhiannon Paille
The Willows: Haven by Hope Collier
Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
Last Call by Jennifer Schmidt
Unwritten Rules by M.A. Stacie
Take This Regret by Amy Lichtenhan
Yes, this week has been insane…actually, every week has been insane. There’s literally books everywhere in my house. I’m trying to read as much as I can and on the last count, I’m up to 253 books read for 2011. I just have to find a way to curb my predilection of hoarding books.

QUICK PSA
There’s still about seven days left for the blog’s giveaway where you can win your choice of 4 new titles from November’s releases. ENTER HERE!

What’s in your mailbox?

Review: Darker Still by Leanna Rennee Hieber

Publication Date: November 8th, 2011
Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Paperback, 317 pages
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Add Darker Still to your Goodreads.

SUMMARY

The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart’s latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing…
Jonathan Denbury’s soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.
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Initial Reaction After Reading:
At a time when YA is flooded by novels that are cut from the same cloth, Darker Still was a refreshingly, original read. It’s Victorian gothic at its best – dark, historical and mystical but simplistic in a way that the reader will not be too encumbered with the formal writings of the time. 
HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Traumatized by her mother’s violent death, Natalie Stewart hasn’t been able to speak since childhood. Left to flourish under the care of her father, she has learned to cope with the possibility that she wouldn’t be blessed with a life like girls her age – no marriage proposals and no family of her own. When a supposedly haunted portrait of Lord Denbury comes into the possession of a decidedly spiritualistic rich matron, Natalie’s days and nights become a succession of believing the impossible and dreaming of the handsome Lord imprisoned inside the mystical, gilded frame of his own portrait.
  • Strong Heroine. Despite being blighted with the inability to speak, Natalie stands out as one of those admirably strong female lead. She fought for herself in any way she knew how. I loved that nothing could deter this girl from anything she sets her mind to. Aside from one instance when she threw a hissy fit and walked away from three dubious, oblivious girls, there didn’t seem to be anything that could faze her – even an evil version of Lord Denbury. 
  • Old Days, Old Ways. I’ve always been fascinated with the Victorian era. The propriety and the customs, the formality of the language – the author did a phenomenal job of creating a world genuine to the period. 
  • Goosebumps. If Natalie’s nightmares doesn’t give you nightmares, well, hats off to you. Ms Hieber has a penchant for writing visceral scenes that added to the seemingly sinister Gothic theme of the book. 
LOWLIGHTS:
  • Foregone Conclusion. Because this book was written in a journal form, there was a definitive lack of suspense throughout the novel. I wasn’t worried that Natalie would come out of each conflict unharmed because, well, otherwise there wouldn’t have been an entry in her diary. 
  • Lack of dialogues, pardon the pun.  I didn’t mean that because Natalie was mute, there wasn’t much talking involved. Sheesh. I’m not a fan of narrative novels. And as previously mentioned, this book was a succession of diarized entries so it was mostly Natalie telling you the story. I tend to lose interest in novels if I don’t see much quotation marks. But this novel had some saving graces that I managed to get through it just fine. 
  • He is, indeed a dashing Lord, but… What is it about aristocratic, British men? *sigh* I for one, am a sucker for these proper gentlemen and no one can deny about Lord Denbury’s hotness. But there is something disturbing about how perfect this man is. Rich, smart, philanthropic and have I mentioned handsome? I know this is a work of fiction but come on, a flaw or two wouldn’t hurt. But hey, that’s just me. You’re probably wondering what in the heck I’m complaining about. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just tired of reading unrealistically perfect species of men. 
FINAL THOUGHTS:
There was a great balance to this novel. The romance was tasteful and the air of mystery was not overdone.  The thrill of learning about runes and curses and the events leading up to Lord Denbury’s imprisonment captivated me to the end. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and I’m positively hungry for the next one. 




2012 Self-Published Reading Challenge

Hello there!

So for 2012 I decided to plunge right into doing some challenges. This one particularly have caught my attention because I have an astronomical amount of Indie books that I’ve yet to get to. What better way to slowly plow through them than challenging myself? If you guys are interested, here are the guidelines:

Challenge Guidelines:

  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 – Dec 31, 2012.
  2. Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is self-published by the author.
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the Self-Published Reading Challenge.
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.

Levels:

  1. Sentence – 5 books
  2. Paragraph- 10 books
  3. Page – 25 books
  4. Chapter – 50 books
  5. Short Story – 75 books
  6. Novel – 100 books
  7. Series – 150 books

At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews for that month. If you forget, feel free to add your reviews in the following month. Any reviews submitted will be entered into the draw for that month.

Yes, there will be draws every month for participants. As long as you are signed up below, every review you add to the monthly roundups will get one entry into the giveaway for that month.

There will also be a grand giveaway at the end of the year for eveyone who achieves their goal level (or  higher). There may be different prizes for different levels, but that is not decided yet. If you are an author and want to contribute to the monthly or grand prizes, please contact me.



By the way, this is presented by Workadayreads.com and you can sign up by clicking this link


I’ve decided to be conservative and to the Paragraph level.


The challenge now is, which of these books do I pick first?

Review: Dark Heart Forever by Lee Monroe

Publication Date: October 7th, 2010
Hodder Children’s Books
Format: Paperback, 372 pages
**DID NOT FINISH**

SUMMARY
Jane Jonas is nearing her 16th birthday and troubled by unsettling recurring dreams where the same mysterious boy her age comes to her, telling Jane that they are each other’s destiny. Her mother is increasingly anxious about Jane’s disruptive sleepwalking episodes, but for Jane her dream world and reality are about to collide …When she develops a friendship with an enigmatic stranger in town, the blond, uber-cool Evan, it’s exciting, it’s new, and Jane wants him more than she’s ever wanted anybody – until her mystery dream boy gets in the way. Now Jane is caught between two worlds: one familiar, but tinged with romance and excitement; the other dark and dangerous, where angels, werewolves, and an irresistible stranger are trying to seduce her …
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1 out of 5 Stars

Unfortunately, this book will be shelved under DID NOT FINISH. I was halfway through but nothing was really happening. The plot moved in such a snail’s pace that I quit reading before I could figure what this book was about. I hate giving up on books but I have to think about the other ones on my Mt. TBR that are more deserving of my time.

The beautiful cover did me in – again. So much so that I’ve bought the second book without knowing how the first one would turn out.

There wasn’t much character development and as a result, the characters felt inanimate – robotic, almost. Also, the relationship between Jane and Evan happened in a whiplash-inducing manner, something that I’m not a big fan of. Jane was caught in the middle between Evan and Luca and yet I didn’t see any instances where she vacillated between the two. She’s the type of girl who just goes with the flow. If she’s with Evan, then Luca doesn’t enter her mind and the same goes if she’s with Luca. The good thing about it is that the love triangle didn’t make me want to facepunch someone; actually, it didn’t make me feel anything at all. And really, that’s the root of the problem. This book couldn’t induce any sort of feelings from me.

There were some elements of this book that suffered greatly. Like the lack of background information on how Luca was supposedly connected to Jane; that she’s his half and vice versa. Ultimately, the book failed to hook me into its pages that regretfully, I had to give up reading. 

Winner Announcement!

I posted a review of Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly earlier and it received a 5 star rating. I did say that for the month of November, every book that receives a 5 star rating from the blog will be given away. So for the first 5 of the month, the winner is:


Congratulations, Tiffany! She also answered the question correctly. Vincent Jackson scored three touchdowns at the Chargers’ heartbreaking loss last Sunday. 

Review: The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore

Publication Date:  August 23rd, 2011
HarperCollins
Format:  Hardcover, 406 pages
Add The Power of Six to your Goodreads!

SUMMARY
I’ve seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he’s a mystery. But to me . . . he’s one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We’re hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we’ll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I’ve been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I’m ready to fight.

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MY TAKE: 2/5 STARS
Initial Reaction After Reading:
I’m thoroughly angry. The majority of the book was a fantastic read…until I got to the parts where Four/John Smith agonized like a fickle boy stuck between loving one girl and liking another. Oh, there’s a difference. It makes me mad that THIS overshadowed how great this book could’ve been. I’m sorry that I’m so hung up on the forced romances in this book but I detest love triangles; hate it, hate it, hate it – with a passion. I have debated on abadoning this book but with only about a quarter left, I forced down the irritation and persevered to continue.
Highlights:
  • The instalment to I Am Number Four follows the story of Four, Six and Sam on the run from the law and from the Mogadorians on their tails. Much like its predecessor, this book was action packed and full of unrelenting thrills.  
  • We finally learned of the contents of the chests and the legacies that will help the surviving six exiles to find each other and fight for Lorien’s resurgence.
  • Sam and Bernie Kozar remain my favorite characters of this series but I also enjoyed some new characters that were introduced: Ella and Hector.
  • Six is a bad-ass, kick ass chick, who unfortunately, had to suffer being a part of a ridiculous love triangle. We get to learn more about the life she led with her deceased Cephan, Katarina. I love her ferocity and will toward whatever purpose she was supposed to fulfill.
  • Step aside, Four, I have a new favorite Loric. Number Seven, much like Six is resolute in her beliefs. Having lived most of her Earth life in a convent, the suffocation she felt at being ‘imprisoned’ was palpable. I was frustrated with Adelina for renouncing her duties as her Cephan, but thankfully, there was some redemption in her character toward the end.
Lowlights:
  • Four/ John Smith. Through much of his angsty soliloquy about Sarah and Six, the thoughts swirling through my head was that this book was not written by the original author who wrote I Am Number Four. It just cannot be. How in the world could you introduce me to a strong male lead in the first book and then turn him into a pantsy, angsty alien on the next? The decision to see Sarah in Paradise was, in the spirit of honesty, the STUPIDEST thing he could ever done. I’m just having a hard time digesting how Four turned out. I’m almost glad that the entire book wasn’t told in his POV, because, seriously, when he’s not fighting Mogs? Being in his head made me want to slit my wrist. I’m not kidding. Stop pining already! Ugh.
  • Speaking of Sarah, why do I get the feeling that what she did was just a veiled attempt to force feed me with the idea of Four and Six?  Right now? I really couldn’t care less who Four ends up with. I am more interested to see what happens to the rest of the Lorics. Sarah was another character who turned Jekyll and Hyde on me. I just don’t understand why the author chose to un-developed these two characters. I didn’t really warm up to the idea of Sarah and Four but I’m furious that the author sold me – completely at that, on the first book with their professions of love only to make a mockery of it on the next. What.the.heck.
Final Thoughts:
Even after receiving a lukewarm reception from me, this book definitely did its job of building anticipation for the next one. I really am looking forward to reading the third instalment, regardless of how angry this book made me. I still think that this is an amazing series but I AM SO OVER FOUR.


Review: Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Publication Date: May 24th, 2011
Candlewick Press
Format: Hardcover, 449 pages
Add Angel Burn to your Goodreads!

SUMMARY
Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L..A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip – and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.

They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.

_______________________________
MY TAKE:  5/5 STARS
Highlights:
Be prepared to see these heavenly creatures in a different light. These breed of angels are unlike any other angels you’ve ever read before. They’re almost cannibalistic in their hunger for human life. The book is not gory, per se. But their appetites are probably comparable. They have the characteristics of a horde of aliens, parasitic and gluttonous in their hunger. They invade, they destroy, they move on. We’ve been serve with a cacophony of stories about these beings but as far as I’m concerned, Angel Burn is highly original.  

Willow is an amiable character. She is without the angst of a teenager who’d known her disparity with the rest of the kids her age.  Willow grew up knowing that she’s different. She’s a psychic with a talent in psychometry. She can tell anything about a person with one touch; she can tell what your future is if you give her your hand. Her beauty is ethereal, concealed in second hand clothes and grease from fixing cars. Her relationship with her vegetative mother is heartrending but it exists, nonetheless.

Alex was hard to figure out. I love the air of mystery that constantly surrounds him and the futile fight he had with himself as he tries to figure out who or what to follow: his heart or his belief that angels – of any kind should be terminated.

Lowlights:

Virtually none, in my honest opinion.

Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed every single page of this book. The heart pounding sequences were relentless and the romance was sweet and real. I’ve finally got my copy of Angel Fire (Angel Burn #2) and I’m chomping at the bits to get started.

BUY YOUR COPY HERE: AMAZON

Five Star review? You know what this means, right? GIVEAWAY! Want a copy of Angel Burn? I just happened to have an extra kicking around because Candlewick Press sent me a copy. Who wants it? Answer this question and if you’re the right number of commenter on queue, you win this book!

How many touchdowns did Vincent Jackson score this weekend?
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • You don’t have to be a follower but it will be nice if you’ll leave a comment.
  • I will not be held responsible for lost or damage during transit.

 …Aaaaannnnndd GO!

Top Ten Tuesday (4): Books I Read that were Outside of My Comfort Zone.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists and let’s face it, so am I!

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Top Ten Books I Read that were Outside of My Comfort Zone

  1. Sleeping Beauty Series by A.N. Roquelaure Traumatizing series. I had to force myself to finish book one.
  2. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown I’m not much into whoddunit books but I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed this one. I’ve always wanted to take any of Dan Brown’s books and book myself a flight to Europe – take a tour of all the places he mentioned here and in Angels & Demons.
  3. The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis I am a product of Catholic School education. On my senior year, I was to do a book report of my own choosing. I chose this and needless to say, it was rejected by my English teacher.
  4. Harold Robbins Books I was twelve when I discovered Harold Robbins. It didn’t take very long before I realize that his books are definitely not intended for my age bracket at the time. I remember being castigated by my aunt who told me I shouldn’t be reading his books so I found a way to read them secretly.
  5. Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer This series started my love affair with YA books. I’ve not looked back since.
  6. Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward Much like Twilight, this series by JR Ward paved the way to so many paranormal romance books on my shelves.
  7. Graceling by Kristin Cashore I wasn’t big on reading fantasy books – until I read this.
  8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan My very first zombie novels! I’ve been collecting them ever since.
  9. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins My first taste of dystopian. I remember reading the first book and basically forcing everyone I know to read it.
  10. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder Ms. Schroeder introduced me to verse books. So few words, yet so powerful. I have been reading these books since and loving each and every one of them!