AnnAlysis: The Seeds of a Daisy

seeds of a daisyFrom Goodreads:
From the outside looking in, Lily Lockwood–popular star of the hit TV show “St. Joes”–seems to have it all. She has recently been nominated for an Emmy and her star is on the rise. Lily shares her beachfront Malibu home with her gorgeous actor-boyfriend Jamie. Perfect? Not so fast. Within a microcosmically short period of time, the whole thing falls apart when she learns that this boyfriend, on location shooting a Western, is riding horses all day and his curvy co-star all night. Then, before Lily can catch her breath, she gets words that her beloved mother, bestselling author Daisy Lockwood, has had a near-fatal car crash and is in intensive care in New York.

Lily flies from Los Angeles to be with Daisy. Once there, she must make critical life-and-death decisions. While sorting through her mother’s papers, Lily makes a shocking discovery about her mother that threatens to shake Lily’s very foundation. This sets Lily on a journey as she seeks to unlock the riddle of her mother’s past.

My Thoughts:
It doesn’t take long in this book for Lily Lockwood’s seemingly perfect life to come crashing down on her. They say, “When it rains, it pours.” Lily experienced that first hand in this book.

Although it’s fiction, I think the fact that Lily is a celebrity and you get to see “inside” her life, it draws you in. Yes, it is fiction. But let’s be honest, most celebrities lives could be fiction and we would never know the difference. You never know if what you’re reading is fact or fiction and you never really know what goes on behind closed doors. Yes, they are people too, but they are put on a pedestal and there’s no way they can do the same things we do, right?

Lily goes through the toughest of life’s tests in this book. I can’t tell you what they are. Those would be spoilers. But the struggles in her life are real life struggles and of us could face and make you question what you would do in those situations. I recently read a meme that said 99% of the time I’m thinking about things that will never happen. That’s my life in a nutshell. My mind goes wild. I’ve had conversations in my mind that I know will never happen. But I feel like I have to be prepared for anything. Just like with reading scenarios in books. I always play them out.

I enjoyed the book and the characters. Some much more than others. You’ll know who I mean when you read it… for good and bad.

But the thing I loved most about this book was how Caiola worked journal entries into the text. I have started sooo many journals in my life. I do them for a while, then stop. I never keep with it. In this book, Daisy kept journals throughout her childhood and into her teen years. Lily found yand read them, finding out things she would have never known had she not read them. There are so many things that can be passed on through journals, whether it be self reflection, or something someone down the line reads. Maybe one day I’ll get serious about it.

There is a second book coming out. And some unfinished plot twists that I need to know how they play out, so I’ll definitely be reading the second one! Stay tuned for a review from it when I get it too!

I give The Seeds of a Daisy 4 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: January 2015
Author Website

Review copy provided by publisher for review consideration

AnnAlysis: Nashville Mercy

nashville mercyFrom Goodreads:
When a promising country music singer on the verge of stardom mysteriously dies after undergoing a routine medical procedure, Kate Katelinson, an investigative reporter for the Nashville Herald, becomes personally tied to the case. After sources connected to the reporter’s investigation start dying, Kate finds herself thrust into a twisted labyrinth of betrayal, corruption, and murder. Armed with only her investigative instincts and an unlikely alliance of friends, the reporter enters a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse with a mastermind more powerful than she could have ever anticipated. 

To complicate matters, Kate finds herself torn between her brilliant ex fiancé, and a charismatic hospital executive who both may be after more than her heart. 

My Thoughts:
This is the first Kate Katlinson series. Of course it caught my eye because she was a journalist who seems to get in trouble when covering her stories. I am always drawn to these books then they drive me nuts because I can’t focus on the story and focus more on what I would  do in the situation and trying to figure it all out.

I’ve not been reading as much as I am used to in the past, so this book took me a little longer to get through, and with that, I found myself not remembering some of the characters and what was going on. This was nothing at fault of the author, just a problem of stretching this one out.

I did like the story. I liked the mystery. I liked the characters and that Kate pushed the limits of integrity with her journalism, although it gave me anxiety. One thing that did confuse me about this book was that it was first in the series, but there were several times I felt as if I was missing something. There were points where the author discussed parts of Katlinson’s past, but I felt like there should have been more added. I kept having to go back and check and make sure this was the first book.

I give Nashville Mercy 3.5 of 5 bookmarks.

Goodreads
Released: February 2015
Author Website

Review copy provided by publisher for review consideration

 

AnnAlysis: Ticker

tickerFrom Goodreads:
A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.

When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.

On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings…or is the motive more sinister?

Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart. 

My Thoughts:
The second I saw this cover on Kindle First I was intrigued and the summary pulled me in even more. I’m always a sucker for something out of the box and this absolutely is. This is the first book I’ve read of the steampunk genre. It’s definitely different.

I absolutely love Penny’s character. Everything about her. She’s a young woman beyond her years and her time. She’s always pushing the limits, going places she probably shouldn’t, doing things she probably shouldn’t. Not to mention she has a brass heart.

The book has some action… some explosions and drama, but there’s also a little love story brewing.

One thing I struggled with with the book, and as I’m reading reviews, it seems to be common in many books in this genre is the vocabulary. There were several things I had absolutely no idea what it meant. It could have been a car and I may have thought it was a donut. Maybe I didn’t understand much of the book at all, but from what I thought it was, I liked it.

From what I’m reading, people either love or hate this book. I enjoyed it, primarily for Penny’s character, but I’ll let you be the judge. Click on the link for Goodreads if you want to read some other reviews.

I give Ticker 3.5 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: December 1, 2014
Author Website

AnnAlysis: Since You’ve Been Gone

since you've been goneFrom Goodreads:
Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school she’s in a different country.

Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn’t come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them.

Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life.”

My Thoughts:
I have so many mixed feelings on this book. I absolutely loved how strong Edie was, running around, looking for her mother in a new country. However, it broke my heart that such a young girl had been through so much and even had to consider doing something like this.

Payne did a great job in pulling you into Edie’s story. From the very beginning to the very end, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to know what was going to happen next.

And she hit so many tough topics – being constantly on the run, bullying, domestic violence, etc. These are all things that happen around us every day, but we often don’t see or care to see. Edie knows she isn’t perfect, that’s made a point to us very early. She is on the dark side, but no one really has any idea of what has happened or is currently happening behind closed doors. Then you have Jermaine, who is also far from having a perfect life thus far, but he’s an angel of sorts for Edie.

This book is much darker than a lot of YA I have read in the past, but that gives it just a little something more. Shows life really isn’t all pom-poms and proms.

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Released: January 9, 2015
Author Website

Review copy provided by NetGalley for review consideration

AnnAlysis: Forever

foreverFrom Goodreads:
Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year’s Eve party. They’re attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they’ve decided their love is forever, they make love.

It’s the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine’s parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart…

“Forever” is written for an older age group than Judy Blume’s other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content. 

It was a book ahead of its time – and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage best-seller. America’s No. 1 children’s author has written some of the best books of our time about real-life issues – family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce, the problems of growing up and sexual awakening, bereavement – with insight, sensitivity and honesty.

My Thoughts:
I had a few Judy Blume books growing up. I’ve already been a reader. But this is one I had never picked up. In December, Simon Teen and PulseIt teamed up for 31 Days of Reading. They offered a free YA book a day. Several big name books by big name authors. There were several books I wanted to read, but there was a caveat. The books were only available for 24 hours. The doesn’t bode well on work days. However, one day I saw this one, downloaded it on my phone and spent my lunch break making my way through it. I have no idea how I did it, but I finished the book between lunch and the time I got home until bedtime. It was a very quick read.

Since its been a while since I read this, I went back and read some other reviews so I could get a refresher. Reading it, I don’t remember feeling all the drama I’m reading in reviews. While the characters are teens, it’s a book for more mature teens, or even young adults out of their teens. They fall in love, they have sex, they go through your normal teenage relationship. I’ve seen people complain about how quickly the teens fall in love. Doesn’t that happen in every teenage relationship? I think we’ve all gone through whirlwind relationships in our youth, a time when we are impressionable and without really knowing who we are or what we are looking for in a relationship, make rash decisions. And just like that, the flame burns out and you’re on to the next one.

Keep in mind this book was written in the 1970s. Quite a lot has changed since that time around us, but I still think the book and it’s message are relevant. I also think it’s a very good interpretation of a teenage relationship.

I give Forever 4 out of 5 bookmarks.

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Released: April 2007
Author Website