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Cat Secrets Review

Posted March 16, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

Cat SecretsCat Secrets by Jef Czekaj

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, you want to know all about cat secrets? You have to read this book! This is the only book that will tell you! But you must pass their tests before they will reveal their secrets. Do you have what it takes?

Oh the fun of 2nd person point of view. Jef Czekaj really gets the reader into the book and each page is leaving you wanting more. Would make a great read to little ones to get them trying to act like a cat!

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Future Imperfect Review

Posted March 14, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

Future ImperfectFuture Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Product Description

Ade Patience can see the future and it’s destroying his life. When the seventeen-year-old Mantlo High School student knocks himself unconscious, he can see days and decades into his own future. Ade’s the best of Denver’s “divination” underground and eager to join the heralded Mantlo Diviners, a group of similarly enabled teens. Yet, unlike the Diviners, Ade Patience doesn’t see the future out of curiosity or good will; Ade gives himself concussions because he’s addicted to the high, the Buzz, he gets when he breaks the laws of physics. And while there have been visions he’s wanted to change, Ade knows the Rule: You can’t change the future, no matter how hard you try.
His memory is failing, his grades are in a death spiral, and both Ade’s best friend and his shrink are begging him to stop before he kills himself. Ade knows he needs to straighten-out. Luckily, the stunning Vauxhall Rodolfo has just transferred to Mantlo and, as Ade has seen her in a vision two years previously, they’re going to fall in love. It’s just the motivation Ade needs to kick his habit. Only things are a bit more complicated. Vauxhall has an addiction of her own, and, after a a vision in which he sees Vauxhall’s close friend, Jimmy, drown while he looks on seemingly too wasted to move, Ade realizes that he must break the one rule he’s been told he can’t.
The pair must overcome their addictions and embrace their love for each other in order to do the impossible: change the future.


My Review:

I won an Advanced Uncorrected Copy of this. I will ignore those grammatical errors which I saw, which weren’t too many, and reserve judgement. 🙂 (I’m sure the copy editor will catch them before release)

So, on with the review.

Written for the young adult audience, the language used was quite unique to me. I’ve never really read a book that went directly into the head of the person and pretty much read like he spoke. For me, this was an interesting experience. I am one who tries to write proper. It was instilled in me through my career at school and one thing I have a hard time breaking away from. So, to read this as if someone were talking to me directly, telling the story in his own voice, was different for me. However, I did find it quite easy and quick to read. It was like I had sat down with Ade and he told me his story.

The story itself was also interesting, taking a new twist on addiction and learning to live “clean”. It did seem to have all the basic elements of the addiction and clean up process, at least that I could see. I’ve never experienced it myself, but I was totally into the whole story wanting to help Ade and his quest to clean up his life. Or, at least, it was an interesting ride through his trials of learning to live in the here and now, and not some distant future.

I think this would be a good book for the early adult audience as it does incorporate the addiction aspect as well as some sexual situations and adult words. However, it was quite tactfully done with much left to the imagination, rather than the “in your face” visuals.

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Poetrees review

Posted March 8, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

PoetreesPoetrees by Douglas Florian

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Upon receiving this book you will immediately know it is quite unique. The spine is the top and you open the book by flipping up, not from side to side. A rather interesting quirk that leaves me kind of frustrated because, you know, when you are used to doing it a certain way, change is rather hard to get used to! 😛 So if you pick this book up to read it, try to remember to flip it up! 😀

The poetry in this is short and whimsical while educational. I loved learning about the different and exotic trees. And the author really does a wonderful thing by stretching or changing the direction the words are going in order to punctuate the word choice. He’s also incorporated words within the pictures as well. I loved how this is presented in this way.

I also liked the fact that this book includes a glossary (or rather, a glossa-tree as everything is about trees). It not only introduces the young reader to poetry and different types of trees, it also introduces them to a very pertinent part of books. When you need to know what a word means, it is a mini-dictionary. I like that this includes one and thus, encourages the reader to expand his/her vocabulary.

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After The Leaves Fall Book Review

Posted March 3, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

After The Leaves FallAfter The Leaves Fall by Nicole Baart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard this on one of my talk shows I listen to, said his wife and staff members couldn’t put it down and it was offered free on Amazon Kindle on Valentine’s Day. I had no idea what this book was about. But I wanted to read it anyway.

Once I started, I was sucked in. The main character was real and down to earth. Her mom left, her dad died, and she went to live with her grandmother on a farm in some small town. Her life turned upside down and semi-bitter, her faith became questionable as she went on through her life trying to find her way. Despite the many differences between her life and mine, I felt I could connect with her on a deeper level. I saw myself in her thoughts many times. Her uncomfortable-ness with others, her feelings of invisibleness, her falter of faith, her independence, and her lack of direction and where she fit in — I’ve seen it all within myself growing up.

I really enjoyed reading about Julia’s growth and her “one step forward, two steps back” dance with life. Because, isn’t that how life operates? And who really is your one constant in life? It wasn’t her mother, her father, her grandmother and it surely wasn’t Thomas. Julia finally realizes who her constant is at the end.

Julia’s story is not complete at the end of the book. Be warned and anticipate purchasing her sequel. 🙂

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Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus Review

Posted February 27, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

Yes, Virginia: There Is a Santa ClausYes, Virginia: There Is a Santa Claus by Chris Plehal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh what an amazing book to read!

When your child comes to you asking that glorious question, “Is Santa real?” this is the book to read with them!

I absolutely LOVE this answer. I’ve been telling this to my son for years! He never really knew the commercial Santa Claus except what he sees on TV. But he always knew of his Spirit and the Spirit of Christmas as well as the reason for the Season — Celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Well written. Beautiful art work. Based on a true story. And they included the actual “Letter to the Editor and response” from the New York “The Sun” from back in the 1800s.

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There Are Reasons Why We Have Editors & Publishers!

Posted February 20, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

The Haunted E-bookThe Haunted E-book by J.L. Bryan

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I recently won an electronic copy or J. L. Bryan’s The Haunted E-Book in exchange for a review. I have been a fan of horror since my first encounter at the age of nine, when my parents bought me The Complete Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe. Alongside Poe, I grew up with Stephen King, Peter Straub, and John Saul. I’ve never really been actually scared but the deep psychological thrillers always seemed to pique my interest. I hadn’t been reading horror for quite some time now as Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and children’s books have been capturing my attention lately.

When I read the synopsis of the book I thought it might be intriguing. So, I began reading. Unfortunately, the synopsis was better written than the book. I only finished because I was obligated to write a review.

You are introduced to the main character, Dee, in the first chapter but are not given enough time to get to know her, or connect with her before you are thrown into the book she is reading. You are hopelessly lost to find out who you are supposed to be rooting for here. Although, it is interesting that he tied them all together. The logic is not quite there.

This leads me to the next issue of reading a book within a book, within a book. It was an interesting concept to be reading a book within a book. However, Bryan does not pass this off well enough. There is too much jumping between the books. To have each book titled the same as the main book with just different chapter numbers separating them is very trying just to keep those books straight. It is very confusing to keep the people, story, and characters straight.

I was very disappointed with the lack of warning this book had in regards to the language and scenes. There were many adult oriented scenes that really had no place in the book. I understand, this is a “horror” book, but sex does not have to be a part of it. And the gore, well, I could see his descriptions of the “horror” scenes as nothing more than the “in your face kind of gore” you get with today’s horror movies. Whatever happened to the ones that make you THINK? I mean, those are the TRUE horror!

Bryan is not very colorful with his writing. He lacks the imagery necessary to keep the reader engaged. Most of his adjectives are repetitive and mundane. He also seems to lack the visionary of an editor. This does not even begin to touch on the fact that there are so many grammatical and spelling errors throughout this book. I feel it was poorly written and Bryan hurried to get it out in print, bypassing any editing process.

My impression of this book is very poor. I can see this book as nothing more than Bryan’s attempt at a novel during the NaNoWriMo challenge in November, where a writer challenges himself to produce a novel of 50,000 words in the span of thirty days. Just because you have accomplished writing 50,000 words does not mean that you’ve completed the task of writing a novel and it’s ready for readers.

I did a little research, as well. I found out that this book was published using “CreateSpace”, which is a self-publishing tool. This leads me to the conclusion that my gut instincts were right. He has bypassed the whole editing/publishing process just so he could get his name and book in print. There are reasons we have editors. They help eliminate the grammatical and typographical errors this book is riddled with. There are also reasons why we have publishers. They help weed out nonsensical and poorly written stories. They know the market. They know what will sell. They can weed people like J. L. Bryan out of the book market!

Please, don’t read this! It’s not worth your time!

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I Love You THIS Much Review

Posted February 16, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

I Love You This MuchI Love You This Much by Lynn Hodges

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a lovely book to read to children. It’s rhyme and rhythm make is a joy and very easy to read aloud. I love it’s use of opposites as well. And, it can very easily be used as a beginning reader introductory book.

“I Love You This Much” is a poignant story of the love we have between parent and child. It also reinforces our relationship with our Father in Heaven by comparing the loving relationship we have with Him to that of the loving relationship we have with our children. It is a wonderful story for both parent and child.

I would recommend reading this on either a colored NOOK or the real deal. This was a promotional free eBook I read on my Sony eReader. The pictures were black and white…not as effective as they would have been in color. Also, no CD with this version.

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The Law of Nines Review

Posted February 15, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

The Law of NinesThe Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you’ve read Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth Series, you will be familiar with the premise of this book. At the end of Confessor, Richard Rahl opens a gateway to another world where those without the spark of magic and those who wish to live in a world without magic can live without the continued corruption of Richard’s world. Richard’s sister decided to join this new world, thus continuing the Rahl line in the new world.

In The Law of Nines, we are introduced to Alexander Rahl, an artist. The book’s setting is present day Earth, with all the technological advantages we have, without any magic, or so we think. We are thrown into the story when a young, beautiful woman (Jax) “pops” into Alex’s life and turns his world, and what he knows of the world, upside down. With Alex’s mother locked away in a mental institution, Alex quickly begins to doubt his own sanity. As events unfold and “magic” happens before his eyes, Alex’s sanity is no longer questioned and he begins the quest to fulfill the prophecy from another world.

Just as The Fellowship of the Order in The Sword of Truth series wanted to eradicate all magic, it seems that history is doomed to repeat itself. A new “order” has formed and is threatening magic once more. It is said that the one named in The Law of Nines prophesy shall save their world, but that man is not of their world. Jax must go and find him. Over the course of a millennia, those who with magic have managed to bridge the void and enter the world without magic.

The Law of Nines is a classic conflict of good versus evil, where The Sword of Truth left off, The Law of Nines brings to light the continual history repeats itself issue. Life is a dichotomy and when there is a happy ending, there will always be a sad beginning. History always seems to repeat.

And, as with any of Terry Goodkind’s books, it is such a slow build up to the action. All of his books I have read seem to start anything really good about midway through the book. This is no different. Another issue I have with this is the name of the heroine of this book (Jax). In the Sword of Truth series, Terry Goodkind embedded the love story of Richard Rahl and Kahlen Amnell. In The Law of Nines, the lineage is kind of odd. I understand that Alexander Rahl is descended from Richard’s sister, Jennsen Rahl. But, Jax is supposed to be descended from Kahlen as Jax holds the name Amnell. Unless Kahlen kept the name of Amnell, and thus her children inherited that name…I cannot see how Jax would be descended from Kahlen, more like her father’s house…Prince Harold, her half-brother, and thus her Confessor line would be void. But, in The Law of Nines, it is alluded to that Jax is a Confessor, based on the length of her hair and the fact she doesn’t let anyone cut it.

I love the continuation of the storyline. So, I must overlook the problem. Just as I had to overlook the serious plot issue with Nathal Rahl in The Sword of Truth Series. Maybe this point will be explained deeper in Goodkind’s new book, The Omen Machine, where he will continue the Richard and Kahlen story. One can only hope.

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Jacques & Spock

Posted February 7, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

Jacques & SpockJacques & Spock by David Michael Slater

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful tale of two socks, a matching pair, until one day they were separated. They were identical brothers, one for the left foot, one for the right. However, their personalities were as opposite as the feet they kept warm. One was outgoing and always looked after the other — the shy one. Happy to be rid of the burden, Spock quickly realizes just how lonely he is without his brother. Jacques quickly learns how to be more independent on his quest to be reunited with his brother. A wonderfully witty tale that teaches both sides of the story.

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The Christmas Sweater

Posted February 4, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

The Christmas SweaterThe Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very heartwarming story everyone should read. It is especially helpful for those going through tough times, as we all do. It explains just how things happen and they are not our fault. Atonement is the most important highlight in this book, just as in real life. Your life is yours, and the path you take is your choice. Do not blame anyone else for your circumstances. But there is always time for 2nd chances. Highly recommended!

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His Majesty’s Dragon Review

Posted February 1, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first encounter with Dragons. I intended to begin with the Pern series, but a friend of mine talked me into this one. I’m glad she did as I fell in love with Temeraire–his inquisitive and intelligent mind. I can foresee his coming philosophical ideals and challanges. I fell in love with Laurence’s constant struggle between what is good, proper and expected and what is wholly life. Temeraire opens Laurence’s heart and mind, with his “innocence of a child” questions and comments. All the dragons are so loveable. Historic events are included in this story that are accurate and make the story that much more real. Reading this book, we could all wish for dragons! There are characters you could love to hate, and character you would hate to love. There is potential for the rest of the series. I am looking forward to more. I must continue…

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Review of How To Train Your Dragon

Posted January 31, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)

How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon, #1)How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this in early February 2010 as a pact between myself and my son. When I found out that How to Train Your Dragon was going to be released in theaters, and that my son really wanted to watch it, I struck a deal: “I’ll take you to see the movie only after you read the book.”

So for Christmas 2009, I bought him the entire set of How To Train Your Dragon books. After he read the first book, he brought it to me and said, “This is good, you should read it before we see the movie too.” And so I did. What kind of mother would I be if I wasn’t willing to do as I asked of my own son. 🙂

This was a wonderfully written book from the point of view from the main character, Hiccup. Cressida Cowell has a wonderfully witty sense of humor in both the names of characters and places, as well as the situations she puts them in. It was a very easy read, meant for 8-13 year olds, but a joy for any age.

If you think you won’t enjoy the book because you have already seen the movie, think again. It is completely different.

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