Saturday, January 14, 2012

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)
Goodreads Description:  When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

My Thoughts:  Such a great fun read!  I had this read in about 4 hours.  There were some twists and turns in the book that surprised me.  Kat was a great leading character.  I wanted her to be able to stay at Colgan School for longer!  But, family ties are strong, and she really felt like she needed to help her dad.

There were some great quirky characters.  Simon was fun, I loved the Bagshaws, and Hale.  All through the book I kept trying to think of W names to help Kat figure out Hale's first name.  :o)

I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Only part in the book that was questionable was when Kat put on a dress, and the boys focused on, and kept mentioning her boobs.  Other than that, it was a clean, cute read.

Minor Adjustments by Rachael Renee Anderson

Minor Adjustments
Goodreads Description:  Chicago businessman and bachelor Devon Pierce is completely unprepared to be the guardian of Australian four-year-old Ryan Caldwell. But Ryan's solicitor, Stella Walker, won't take no for an answer. Little does Devon know this "minor" adjustment will grant him a future he never expected to have. Told in a fast-paced, poignant, and witty style, Minor Adjustments will take you on a journey of humor, growth, romance, and love.

My Thoughts:  I've been wanting to read this book since it came out!  The cover and the description just grabbed me.  It might be because I love the movie "Baby Boom", and it seemed like the basis was about the same.

Having said that, the premise of both stories - a very focused businessperson being given a child from someone that they didn't know very well, was about the only similarity between them.  I love that this story was set in Australia, a place that I really want to visit!

I loved the characters!  Cute Ryan would be able to steal anybody's heart, Stella was very tenacious and I loved all the trivia that she knew, and I enjoyed watching Devon's change of heart.  Devon's parents and family dynamics really cracked me up.  His dad was great!  Justin was a perfect bad guy.  I really did worry there at the end about where Ryan would end up.  And, is there really a chance for Devon and Stella to have any type of a relationship with one being in the US and the other in Australia?  Hmmm

I really enjoyed this book!  I would give it 4.5 stars.  Very clean content.

I won this book in a blog giveaway.  Rachael, herself, signed it before she sent it on to me!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Ember Gods by Andrea Pearson

Goodreads Description:  Jacob Clark has just returned from the world of Eklaron, where he frustrated the evil plans of the Lorkon and returned the magical Key of Kilenya to its rightful owners. His quest is far from over, though--Aloren is trapped in Maivoryl City by the Ember Gods, and Jacob can't return to save her until he receives the potion that will protect his team from the corrosive influence of the Lorkon.

Balancing between this new world and his own proves tricky. Not only has he started his first year of high school, but his magical abilities are bringing him too much attention. He feels pulled by both sides, hoping he'll figure out his special powers to save Aloren in time.

My Thoughts:  I liked this book even more than I liked the first book of the series, The Key of Kilenya!  Jacob is really coming into his own and learning to deal with his powers.  I loved that he could use his powers to try to get the graffiti off of the school desks, to the amazement of the kids sitting close to him.

I'm glad that we got to know Jacob's brother, Matt, a little more in this book.  It was fun seeing these boys interact with each other, and to see Matt's reaction to the world of Eklaron.  Jacob really had a hard time trying to balance everything in his life, and I'm glad that he had Matt there to help and support him.  I felt a little bad that Jacob wasn't able to share his adventures with his "human" friends, especially Tani.  That would have been so hard for me to keep something like that secret!

There weren't too many new characters in the story.  I would have like to see more of Akeno, but am glad that he was healing.  Hopefully we'll see more of him in the next book.  Even though this book is called the Ember Gods, they didn't really factor into the story very heavily.  I like how Andrea puts little tidbits in the story to make you wonder what will happen next.  Like, what is with Shirley Christensen and her mom?  I also loved the Bald Henries - really not what I expected them to look like.  Made me chuckle.

There was a great twist towards the end of the book that I really did not see coming!  I'm really looking forward to seeing how all that plays out!  What is it, you wonder?  Hmmm, you'll just have to read the books and see.

I've really enjoyed these books and am passing them on to my kids to read too.

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