On My Wishlist

Chasing Fire

Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature.

But there’s also little else as thrilling — at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive firefighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan’s blood: her father is a legend in the field. She’s been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday. At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home — even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering in the air.

Fortunately, this year’s rookie crop is among the strongest ever — and Gulliver Curry’s one of the best. He’s also a walking contradiction, a hotshot firefighter with a big vocabulary and a winter job at a kids’ arcade. He came to Missoula to follow in the footsteps of Lucas “Iron Man” Tripp, yet he’s instantly more fascinated by his hero’s daughter. Rowan, as a rule, doesn’t hook up with other smoke jumpers, but Gull is convinced he can change her mind. And damn if he doesn’t make a good case to be an exception to the rule.

Everything is thrown off balance, though, when a dark presence lashes out against Rowan, looking to blame someone for last year’s tragedy. Rowan knows she can’t complicate things with Gull — any distractions in the air or on the ground could be lethal. But if she doesn’t find someone she can lean on when the heat gets intense, her life may go down in flames.
Hex Hall Book OneThree years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

The Hunger Games

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.

Now you tell me – What is on your wish list?  I can always use some new ideas!!!

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It’s where I list all the books I desperately want but haven’t actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It’s also an event that you can join in with too – Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own ‘On My Wishlist’ post. If you want to know more click here.
So what is on my wishlist this week you ask:

Review: Like Mandarin

Like Mandarin

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: March 2011
  • Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
  • Format: Hardcover , 320pp
  • Sales Rank: 181,974
  • Age Range: Young Adult


It’s hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it’s not her mother’s pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin. When they’re united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town’s animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their Badlands town. Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin’s unique beauty hides a girl who’s troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

My Thoughts

Right away I was able to connect with the main character, Grace.  She is the socially awkward smart girl who just wants to be like the popular girls, in this case Mandarin, that everyone wants to be or looks to as the bad girl – wild and free.  Grace has disappointed her mother early in life by throwing her final big beauty pageant chances out the window on a whim of disobedience.  Grace is paired with Mandarin by a teacher that is hoping that Grace will be able to help Mandarin pass her classes and graduate.  Little does this teacher know that this is going to prove to be an interesting lesson for Grace to live though and that she is going to get hurt along the way.

My favorite part of this book is when Grace and Mandarin liberate the stuffed mounts in town.  It is just odd to see these two high school girls break into grocery story and restaurant in town and then set these heads free down the river.  This scene made a lasting impression on me.  Maybe in part that this was Grace’s way of trying to keep Mandarin as a friend after they got into a disagreement.  There are very little distances that teenagers will go to keep those they want close to them close. 

There are multiple layers to this book, as well.  I like that there was not just one story line but there are at least two.  The second is that of Grace and her mother and their relationship.  Grace has a little sister named Taffeta and their mother is putting her through the pageants that Grace never finished.  Grace feels as though she was never wanted and Taffeta was perfectly planned and is everything her mother wants.  It was interesting to see how these views grow throughout the book.

I also enjoyed the little science lesson that were mixed in the book here and there.  Things like a river flowing north instead of south and information about the rocks and winds.

Overall, this was a pretty good read.  While not the best book I have read, it was worth reading and would be great for a teenage girl who just doesn’t feel like she fits in her world.

My Rating

3.5 of 5 stars.  Worth the read.

Review: Treachery In Death

Treachery in Death

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: February 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: NOOKbook (eBook) , 384pp
  • Sales Rank: 26


In the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon, Eve Dallas tracks down those who break the law-including the ones sworn to uphold it.
Detective Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a senseless crime-an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. This is Peabody’s first case as primary detective-good thing she learned from the master.
But Peabody soon stumbles upon a trickier situation. After a hard workout, she’s all alone in the locker room when the gym door clatters open; and-while hiding inside a shower stall trying not to make a sound-she overhears two fellow officers, Garnet and Oberman, arguing. It doesn’t take long to realize they’re both crooked-guilty not just of corruption but of murder. Now Peabody, Eve, and Eve’s husband, Roarke, are trying to get the hard evidence they need to bring the dirty cops down-knowing all the while that the two are willing to kill to keep their secret.

My Thoughts:

This series has bring me back time and time again.  Treachery In Death is the 32nd book in this series and while you could read any of them stand alone or from any point really, I highly recommend that if you have not started the series to start and the beginning and really learn who the characters in this story really are.  They have grown and changed a ton since book one.  It always amazes me that J.D. Robb can make me feel like I am visiting old friends when I pick up an In Death book.  I think that is one of my favorite parts of this series along with the character development in not only the main characters, Roarke and Eve, but all of the sub characters Mavis (along with her now husband and baby) Peabody and McNab, Feeney and Mira. 

This book is a little different that most of the books in this series because there is not a whole lot of Eve’s private life in this book.  That being said that book was still great.  The book starts with Eve giving Peabody primary on the case.  Which is a huge step for Peabody while taking down the perpetrators Peabody has some trouble with her hand to hand skill and Eve makes a comment about it.  Peabody proceeds to take some time to work out in the gym that no one uses.  While she is in the shower, she over hears a conversation she never should have.  There are dirty cops right in their own building.  This story is all about how they bring the bad cops down.

As in most of these books, Roarke is brought in as an independent consultant which always add to the fun.  He is always trying to balance the legal way of getting information and his way of getting information.  It is a balance act in Eve and Roarke’s relationship.  A very interesting part of this books for me is seeking IAB in a different light, internal investigators are normally talked down in this books but it was nice to see Webster in a new way.   Even to the point of being in a relationship with another cop.

By far, my favorite scene in this books is when Mavis leaves Bella with Eve so she can use the bathroom.  It is a wonderfully awkward scene because Eve has no idea what to do with the baby.  It is so nice to see her a bit vulnerable. 

J.D. Robb does a wonderful job with the story telling and the details are put together extremely well.  While the topic of bad cops is difficult the story is well written and reminds us that there are good guys out there. 

I highly recommend this series.  Each book has its own unique story line and it is a pleasure to watch everyone grow and change.

My Rating:

4 of 5 stars.  I hope to see many more of these books to come.