Monday, June 29, 2009

What about this book?

I don't know about you, but I've been seeing Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart everywhere, lately. There's the book drive going on at My Friend Amy and this positive review over at Presenting Lenore. Oh, and this hilarious interview.When I first saw this book, the title threw me off a little bit. The first thing I thought of was, "Ghosts? Not really my thing." That was before I read the summary and found out a little bit more of what the book was about.

Ever since her mother passed away, Katie's been alone in her too-big house with her genius dad, who restores old paintings for a living. Katie takes a summer job at a garden estate, where, with the help of two brothers and a glamorous librarian, she soon becomes embroiled in decoding a mystery. There are secrets and shadows at the heart of Nothing but Ghosts: symbols hidden in a time-darkened painting, and surprises behind a locked bedroom door. But most of all, this is a love story—the story of a girl who learns about love while also learning to live with her own ghosts.

The more I learn about this read, the more it intrigues me. I'll definitely be at the live chat tomorrow evening. What about you? Does this book sounds like something you'd like to read?

Is it worth it?

Does it bother you to read a book and know what the ending will be? For me it basically depends on what I’m expecting. In a few books I’ve read lately, I’ve known basically what the ending would be before I ever began. For the books I read it didn’t bother me too much. They were fun, light, basically chick-lit reads. I wasn’t expecting a big shocker at the ends. In the past, I have read a few books that I was bitterly disappointed in when I finished because I did know the endings. I kept expecting something to happen but nothing ever did. Those books were more action oriented. Have you had any experiences like that in the past?

Is it still worth it to read a book and know the ending beforehand?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

In My Mailbox (7)

Thanks to Kristi from The Story Siren for hosting this meme! I received a couple contest wins this week, as well as picked up a book from the library. Here's what I got:

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.

I've read several reviews of this book, and they've all been pretty positive, so I can't wait to read this one!

Lutie McFee's history has taught her to avoid people, to places, and to almost everything. With her mother long dead and her father long gone to find his fortune in Las Vegas, 15-year-old Lutie lives in the god-forsaken town of Spearfish, South Dakota with her twelve-year-old brother, Fate, and Floy Satterfield, the 300-pound ex-girlfriend of her father. While Lutie shoplifts for kicks, Fate spends most of his time reading, watching weird TV shows and worrying about global warming and the endangerment of pandas. As if their life is not dismal enough, one day, while shopping in their local Wal-Mart, Floy keels over and the two motherless kids are suddenly faced with the choice of becoming wards of the state or hightailing it out of town in Floy's old Pontiac. Choosing the latter, they head off to Las Vegas in search of a father who has no known address, no phone number and, clearly, no interest in the kids he left behind.

I like the cover of this book. The plot sounds intriguing, and perhaps a bit deeper than that of which I've been reading lately.

Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...

In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

Just one question: How is the title of this book pronounced? I can't figure it out. Anyway, this is the book I picked up from the library. I've been waiting on it for awhile, so I can't wait to get started!

Well, that's what I received this week! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

God's Gift by Dee Henderson

James has been on the mission field for six years helping the people of Africa. It’s who he is and what he does. When he must return stateside because of an illness, he wonders what in the world God is doing. Rachel Ashcroft is still dealing with the grief from losing her fiancée/ business partner. She’s overwhelmed with work and rarely takes time off. Something has to give. As these two people work on figuring out what they will do with their lives and where they are going, they must figure out if they’re going there together.

True statement: Dee Henderson is my favorite Christian fiction author.

Her plots are always a bit complex, and her character always differ from the norm. The plot in this book was very interesting. There was a definitely a couple more twists than I was prepared for, so that helped me stay in the story. Also, all the characters were more than one-dimensional people. They had depth. They were far from perfect. They were people I know.

There was one problem in this book, and I’m not exactly sure why I felt this way. To me, the way the characters talked seemed a bit stilted. As in, it didn’t flow quite as smooth. I’m beginning to think it’s just me because I can’t place what it is that bothers me about the speech, exactly.

Overall, this was a good read from a great author.

My rating: 3/5 stars

Faithful Reader
Dancing Word

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Grand Hotel by Mary Davis

Aimee is on a treasure hunt. Family legend has it that one of her ancestor’s left something in the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island when it was built. It is her dying grandmother’s wish that it be found. Once she gets to the island she runs into a problem; Dillon Thurough. He’s as uptight as Aimee is impulsive and they get in each other’s way immediately. But when Aimee runs into trouble, Dillon is there to help. How does a person who lives from day to day fall in love with a person who has a one, five, and ten year plan? And will Aimee ever find the treasure?

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that there was nothing really original about this book. The plot, the characters; pretty much everything was a bit clichéd. I guess I must be a romantic, because even with all of that, I still enjoyed this book. It was a cute read, and it got me through a lazy afternoon. The characters were probably my favorite part. Aimee and Dillon are polar opposites and definitely put truth to the saying that opposites attract.

Overall, I know this book made me smile. However, whether I think you would enjoy this book or not is something I don’t know. I guess it depends on how much you enjoy seeing a happily ever after!

My rating- 2/5 stars


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

From the back of the book: History and fiction merge seamlessly in Tracy Chevalier's luminous novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. Through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Griet, the world of 1660s Holland comes dazzlingly alive in this richly imagined portrait of the young woman who inspired one of Vermeer's most celebrated paintings.

This book is a perfect example of why I love historical fiction. When I finished, I actually caught myself thinking that this story was the true story behind the painting! The writing was absolutely fabulous, and I was really drawn into Griet’s story. All of the character’s in this book were complex, and I don’t think I ever completely figured any of them out; especially the painter. I would summarize the book like this: This was the story of one girls’ life in Holland that turned out more dramatically than she ever expected.

Book Reporter
Blog Critics

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Everything Austen Challenge

In the Everything Austen challenge, hosted by Stephenie's Written Word, those participating are challenged to pick six Austen-themed items to read or watch. This can include Austen's own novels, of course, the numerous sequels to her novels, or one of the movie adaptations. This challenge will run from July 1, 2009 (my birthday!!!) to January 1, 2010. If you sign up for this challenge b July 15th, you'll be entered into a drawing to win Lost in Austen on dvd. I've seen a few clips of the mini-series, and it looks hilarious! You'll also have the chance for more prizes as the challenge moves along. For all the information and to sign up, visit the original Everything Austen Challenge post.

Here's what I plan on watching and reading for this challenge.

Persuasion (2008)

Bride and Prejudice
The Jane Austen Book Club

Persuasion by Jane Austen
An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aiden
Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange

Well, that's all that I plan to do for this challenge. Why don't you join in?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Critical Care by Candace Calvert

Critical Care tells the story of nurse Claire Avery. After her brother dies in the trauma room, she can no longer face the ER. She begins a new life for herself; a new hospital and a new job working in the educational department. Then, one day, there is a horrible accident and Claire is called to the ER to offer counseling to a stressed out staff. There, she meets Dr. Logan Caldwell, a man who believes counseling is a waste of time. Against her will, Claire has to go back to the ER more than once. She’s been praying, but she doubts whether God will ever answer and “heal her heart and move her forward.”

When I first settled into the story and began to parts of the characters and their pasts, I initially thought that the setting was a bit dramatic. Then I began to think about people in my life, and I realized, yes, it is dramatic. But it is a true representation of what life sometimes throws at us. Life can be harsh! We lose people we love, make mistakes that cost us dearly, and get caught up in things that don’t matter. With that new perspective, I picked up the book once again.

This book was a very good read. I felt like I got to know the characters well and in a few ways, I could relate to them. The characters in this book are all very real. No one is perfect. Everyone has challenges in their lives that they must learn to deal with. That was something that resonated with me as I read this book.

The plot in this book was predictable, at least a little. However, there were a few twists and turns. One in particular had me saying, “Wow. Definitely didn’t see that comin’!” Because this is the first book in a series, we got to know a few other characters a bit more in depth than usual. In fact, every once in a while the writing switches to their point of view. This helped to really flesh out the story a bit more, and let me see things from basically everyone’s point of view.

Overall, this is a very good read that delves into ordinary peoples’ lives, as they deal with the challenges they face.

My rating- 3/5 stars

For more information click on these links-
Relz Reviews
A Peek At My Bookshelf
Novel Reviews

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blog Award

This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.

Thanks so much for this award, Sandy! You're awesome. :)

I'd like to pass this on to:

The Story Siren: You helped me so much when I was getting started!
My Years of Reading Seriously: You're so friendly!
Books By Their Covers: Thanks for answering my questions about The Awekening.
LiyanaLand!: Thanks for all those awesome comments!
Maw Books: Thanks for answering my questions during the bloggiesta!
Presenting Lenore: Thanks for answering my question about Prada and Prejudice.
Bloody Bookaholic: You leave some really cool comments!
Must and Lust for Books: Thanks for telling me about your new puppy. She's so cute!

All of you definitely deserve this. Thanks for being awesome! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Bloggiesta Finish Line

The Bloggiesta was a lot of fun, don't you think? I finished many things on my to-do list.

Things I did during the Bloggiesta:

-Wrote five reviews

-Wrote a couple posts to save for a rainy day

-Wrote review policy

-Participated in seven mini-challenges at: My Friend Amy, The Book Lady's Blog, Beth Fish Reads, Fizzy Thoughts, Books, Movies, and Chinese Food, Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile, and Book Blather

-Tweaked review format: in the future I’ll link to other reviews as well as Amazon

-Updated all my blog related networking sites' profiles

-Worked on blog’s sidebar

I spent fifteen hours and twenty-two minutes working on this challenge. It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In My Mailbox (6)

This week I got some really great books in my mailbox. This meme is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

Through the Hip Scout program I recieved Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. This is a book of short stories about all things geek. I love the cover of this book. It's so cool! It's been awhile since I've read many short stories, and so far, I'm really enjoying it!

Through a contest at The Story Siren: Drive Me Crazy by Erin Downing. This one was signed by the author! I wasn't expecting that, and I was so excited! I actually finished reading this book and posted a review: Drive Me Crazy

Through a contest at Peek at A Peek At My Bookshelf I received Critical Care by Candace Calvert. This one looks really interesting. For some reason, the cover keeps reminding me of the TV show House. I'm not exactly sure why.

From a BAM order, I received The O'Reilly Factor for Kids. So sometimes, this guy annoys the dickens out of me. Despite that, I enjoy the way he talks completely straight. There's got to be a certain freedom with saying what you think, how you think it. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

And finally, from my library, I borrowed a copy of Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson. I remember really enjoying another book by her, Speak. I really like the cover of this one. It looks like her eye is really looking at you!

Well, that's what I received from my library and mailbox this week. What did you get?

Review Policy

Thank you for taking the time to look over my review policy. I'm happy to recieve finished copies or ARCs from publishers, authors, etc. as well as participate in blog tours, host contests, and interview authors.

What I read: I read a little bit of everything; fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, historical, autobiographies, both YA and adult. Although I’ve yet to find a genre that I positively don’t like, I have to say that I have a soft spot for historical fiction.

If I accept a novel for review: I can guarentee you that I will review it. However, I can't promise a positive review. When I write a review, I state my honest opinion. Even if I don't enjoy the book, I aim to be fair and also try to point out a couple of the book's redeeming qualities. My reviews include a picture of the cover, a summary (usually my own, occasionally Amazons or Goodreads), my personal thoughts on the novel, and a link to the book's Amazon page. I cross-post my reviews on Amazon.

Books received for a review are immediately bumped to the top of my TBR. However, I cannot give you a specific timeline for a review. If you would like a review to be posted by a certain date, be sure to mention that in your email.

Thank you for reading my review policy! I look forward to working with you.

My e-mail address:

You can also reach me through Twitter: @MelanieMFoust

Find out more about me on my About page.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Death By Denim Giveaway

Aphra Connolly is being chased by some very dangerous people. She knows her survival depends upon staying far away from love interest Seth, and listening to her mom’s lectures on the finer points of anonymity and survival. But how is a girl supposed to live under the radar and not think about her boyfriend when she’s in Paris—the most romantic city in the world? When her mom’s contact in Paris is found floating in the Seine with a deadly message stuffed in his mouth, Aphra realizes that she will never be able to stop running unless she confronts the situation head-on. Sneaking away from her mom, Aphra tracks down the criminal mastermind in Italy, only to unwittingly reveal Seth’s location. And her mistake has just put them both in mortal danger. . . .

So, I have two signed copies to give away! This is how it will work:

+1 entry for telling me where you would like to travel
+1 entry for being/becoming a follower
+1 entry for posting a link to this contest (must tell me where)

Rules: This contest will be open until July 14 at midnight. Addresses in the US only, please. If you’d like to be notified if/when you win, be sure to leave an e-mail address.

I’m so excited to be hosting this contest! This is a really interesting read. I’ll have my review up in a few days. Good luck to all of you! :)

My Bloggiesta Starting Line

Remember a couple days ago when I posted about the Bloggiesta? Well, it's here. It's finally here! It runs from Friday to Sunday with the focus being on improving your blog and getting caught up. For me that includes:

1. Writing reviews for-
The Grand Hotel by Mary Davis
Critical Care by Candace Calvert
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
God's Gift by Dee Henderson

2. Working on my sidebar

3. Writing things for future posts, using the ideas that have been rolling around in my head for quite some time.

4. Updating all my blog related social networking sites' profiles.

It looks like I'll be having a busy weekend! Wish me luck. :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Drive Me Crazy be Erin Downing

Kate thinks she has an amazing summer in front of her. She's going on a road trip with two friends up to their families' lake houses in Love, Wisconsin. Waiting for her there is Lucas, the guy she shared a hot end of the summer kiss with. She can't wait to see him again so they can get their romance going. Then everything falls apart. Her best friend's cousin is going on the road trip too! Adam is the last person Kate wants to see. He's sarcastic and a know-it-all. Kate just wants to get to Love and fall into Lucas' arms. But things don't always go as planned, and sometimes people can suprise you.

Drive Me Crazy is a fun, light read. Perfect for those lazy summer days. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a "romantic comedy", but this book definitely pleased me. While I was reading, many of the characters in the book sounded like people I talk to every day! Kate's feelings toward Adam were very easy to relate to. I know I have some people in my life who can annoy me by just looking at me the wrong way! The characterization in this book was great.

The plot was a bit predictable. However, I think I enjoyed it that way. Instead of focusing on what the outcome would be, I ended up focusing more on the journey along the way. Kate's romance life was the main focus of the book, but there was also an adequate amount of attention paid to the minor characters. In fact, I think my favorite part of the book was watching Kate's friendship with her two best friends, Sierra and Alexis. Those girls could count on each other to watch out for them.

Now, all I want to know is, is there actually a place called Love, Wisconsin?

My rating- 3.5/5 stars

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albrom

Eddie is 83 years old. For years he's been the maintenance man at Ruby Pier. His routine is the same, day after day. Then one day he dies, trying to save a young girl. From there, he doesn't go to Heaven, as he expects, but instead goes on a journey meeting five people who's lives he has influenced and have influenced him. Through this journey, he sees the meaning in his own life and gives closure to others.

The writing in this book was fabulous. It's simple, and it rolls at an easy pace, tugging the reader along with it. It was very easy to follow, even with the occasional flashback.

The characterization was great! I know I really felt Eddie's pain and confusion as he went on this journey, learning things about others and himself that he never knew. All of the minor characters were well developed as well. I certainly didn't find out everything about them, but I knew enough to realize their contribution to Eddie's life and Eddie's life to theirs.

The ending of the story fit very well. I was kind of worried about it because I wasn't sure what to expect, at all! I was suprised how it ended, in the best way possible. You know that feeling you get when you end a book, and it feels so right? Like the story ended exactly as it should? That's how I felt when I ended this is story.

Overall, this is a great read that you should definitely give a try. I think you'll enjoy it!

My rating-4/5 stars

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Shakespearean Summer

Shakespeare is one of the most famous playwrights of all time, right? Today, though, most of the reading of his plays that goes on is required school reading. Liv, over at Liv's Book Reviews has come up with a challenge for everyone to read three Shakespeare Plays by August 31 this summer. This challenge is being sponsored by Lisa Mantchev, and those who complete it will be entered into a drawing to win:

1. a signed hardcover of Lisa Mantchev's debut novel, Eyes Like Stars
2. a fabulous prize,TBD
3. an invitation to do a guest post on the series' website Théâtre Illuminata.

How awesome is that? To get the rest of the information, as well as sign up head over to the original post.

Personally, I've only read one Shakespeare play. It was Romeo and Juliet for my English 1 course. I absolutely loved the plot, although I just wanted to knock the two main characters over the head, most of the time. It made the cynical side of me come out. I'm really looking forward to reading more of his work. You should give it a try too!

Monday, June 15, 2009


After being gone for two weeks, I've got plenty of stuff I need to get caught up on. It just happens to be perfect timing that Natasha from Maw Books is hosting the first edition of the Bloggiesta!

It'll give me a chance to get caught up on my reviews, write some other posts that have been on my mind for a while, do some blog improvements, plus update some of my blog related profiles on social networking sites.

There is something I've been contemplating that you could help me out with. Should I change my blog layout? I was looking at it yesterday, and it seemed to me that it was a bit hard to read because it was dark on dark. I'm thinking about finding a layout with a white center. What do you think? If I do change it, I'll go on a hunt for a new layout during the Bloggiesta.

This event runs for 48 hours, 8 a.m. on Friday to 8 a.m. on Sunday. Full information and details can be found over at the event post. You should join us! It's gonna be fun.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

When I got home from camp, I was SO excited to see the books I got in my mailbox.

One book was Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev! I've read a couple reviews of this book, both of which were fabulous. The plot line isn't something I've heard much of, and it just looks fascinating! I'm hoping to get started on this tomorrow afternoon. I also really like the cover. The dress is gorgeous, Bertie has blue hair, and there are creatures flying around her head! It's gonna be fun.

The other book I received was Death By Denim by Linda Gerber! This is such a cute looking book! Aphra seems like a girl who can totally kick butt. If I'm thinking correctly, it's a mystery book. To be honest, I haven't many in the past, so I'm hoping I'll really enjoy this one.

On a side note, I recently got a Twitter account. Recently as in, so far I have updated twice. Anyway, I couldn't remember my password for the life of me, so I just spent twenty minutes trying to change it and log back in. Wow, I feel amazingly smart. :D My handle is @MelaniesMusings, and I'm hoping to use it more in the upcoming weeks, so feel free to follow!

Back to the main topic, both the books I got in my mailbox look great to me! What did you get?

I'm Back!

Camp was certifiably awesome, and I had a really good time (other than being hot and sweaty most of the time). I'm really excited to be back home, there's no place like it. I was able to read some pretty cool books while I was away, so I can't wait to share my thoughts.

Hope your summer is off to a great start! I'll be getting back into the swing of things soon.

Newer Posts Older Posts Home