Sunday, June 16, 2013

Melting Away the Ice by Mary Smith

As a long time hockey fan and Hockey Mom, I couldn't wait to read Book Nerd Mary's debut novel.  There was only one potential problem that I could see....This picture was taken when I was in high school and should be a dead giveaway.

Yes, I am a Red Wings fan and Mary's book is about the "Chicago Eagles"...AKA the Blackhawks.  While I will always consider Steve Yzerman to be "The Captain", Lucas Sharp is a close second :)

I absolutely loved the behind the scenes interactions between the players.  Max, Marc, and Lucas are very close both on and off the ice.  When you are The Captain of a very young team that is in contention for the Cup, your work is never done.  Lucas is a consummate professional, but from the moment he meets Sara at a meet and greet he can't stop thinking about her.  

Sarah is not a hockey fan and has a lot of personal baggage.  She comes from a less than caring family and has experienced some traumatic events in her life.  It was captivating to watch the changes in both Lucas and Sara as their relationship developed.

There is some rather graphic content, which is probably not appropriate for young readers.  I would classify this as NA to Adult.  It could be considered NA based upon the fact that the characters are in their late 20's, but I would be cautious about giving this book to a teenager.  There were some scenes that even caused me to blush.  Not that I am complaining...

Overall, I felt this was a highly entertaining story.  I wish Mary the best as she continues to work on the companion novel, which will focus on two of the secondary characters in this book.  Hopefully we will get to see what happens next in Sara and Lucas' relationship while learning more about Rachel and Max.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade

Queen of the Dead is the second book in the Ghost and the Goth trilogy.  If you haven't read the first book, here is my review.  This book picks up shortly after Will's high school graduation.  While he no longer has to endure the daily torture of attending a high school filled with ghosts trying to talk to him all day, he still has his arrangement with Alona.

As Will Killian's spirit guide, Alona is the go between for all of the ghosts looking to resolve their unfinished business, which is preventing them from passing onto the white light.  While trying to assist one such ghost, they came across another ghost-talker like Will named Mina.  Will was interested in getting additional information from her, but her objective was more along the lines of the Ghostbusters and not helping the ghosts.

When Alona discovers that her parents are finally moving on with their lives since her death, she panics.  How could her Mom throw away her VALUABLE things?  She asks Will to talk to them, but he doesn't think it is a good idea.  She decides to take matters into her own hands, which turns into a HUGE mess.

I never would have anticipated the direction Stacey took with the last half of this book, but it was exceptional.  In fact, I can't wait to read the final book in this series. Stacey does a remarkable job of telling a story from both a male and female character's point of view.  Her characters are full of personality and I find her snarky teenage sense of humor to be highly entertaining.  If you are a fan of YA, this is a series you should definitely read.