WELCOME to the Small Book Blog! I am a voracious reader. I love losing myself in books and cannot wait to read myself into my next adventure. It is because of this love for books that I created this blog. I want to share my passion of books with you! I hope you enjoy my recommendations and reviews. My goal is that they will lead you to a new book, series or author, that you can fall in love with and recommend to others as well.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1)

This book was great! I loved it! It did not bother me at all that it is a YA book/series (YA= Young Adult) It was written with a great voice, great flare, it left you with nuggets of side plots to want you and tempt you to keep reading the series. It was very clear about what was happening/going to happen and didn't hide away when the deaths came nor did the author shirk her duty in delivering them. The character relationships suck the reader in and automatically have you picking sides, couples, voting life or voting death. I started the series later so I was able to go by the next too books and devour them because I could not wait to see where Katniss was going to take me next!

Here is the jacket write-up from Goodreads for those of you “out of the loop”:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Let the Hunger Games begin!

P.S. I predict, if done well, that when this comes out as a movie it is going to be the next “Harry Potter.”

Book vs. Movie: The Lincoln Lawyer

We watched the Lincoln Lawyer last night and I was very surprised that it was actually spot on with the plot of the novel by Michael Connelly. It was a great adaptation. I found myself really enjoying Matthew McConaughey and, like in the book, he is a smarmy bastard but you still end up caring about and respecting him. The movie does water down some of the relationships, for example, between Mickey Haller and his ex-wives and daughter. The movie also waters down some of the interesting details of how Haller runs his defense attorney business, other than conducting it out of his car. Some of that would have been nice to know but it did not detract from the story the movie presented. I would definitely recommend reading this novel and watching this movie.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chevy Stevens' Still Missing

Debut novelist Chevy Stevens delivers a novel that is dark, filled with suspense, and riveting. This is a rare novel and I don’t want to say too much other than if you can handle the subject matter it is a must read. It also makes me re-think my personal safety when I go out. It is chilling (even gave me bad dreams one night), horrific (and detailed), and haunting. The main character, Annie, is talking to her shrink about her present life while intertwining it with her previous kidnapping experience. The reader experiences both this horrible ordeal from her resent past and her present life while reading the novel. I believe the author puts it well when Annie explains, “Something about the stained-glass windows works for me too. If I were to get all deep on you, I could say the idea of all those broken pieces being made into something so damn pretty appeals to me.” I will say this, in a further attempt to get you, dear reader, to read Still Missing, in the end, there is hope and after the journey you read, that makes it worth it.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sharon Sala's Blood Ties (The Searchers #2)

I received this book in a free book club through the mail (you know, those pesky postcards in some books you throw away. I didn’t this time and I even remembered to cancel when the invoice and books came!) It’s possible that I might have enjoyed this book more had I read the first in the series before this one (the second in the series). However, I may not have. The book was okay and it had some scenes that were good. It was like a lifetime movie, everything is there for a fun or great book to get sucked into, but there is just that one element missing and you can’t. I think part of it was that it is listed as a romantic suspense and while there was romance and there was suspense it just didn’t do it for me as a romantic suspense. The main characters, the love interest, are long distance for most of the book, making brief phone calls. When they are together again, the action takes over and shadows the romance. Obviously, the romance is not all the way, but more than many books in this romantic suspense genre. Like I said, it had a “lifetime movie” quality I couldn’t embrace or get past. Like lifetime movies though, I enjoy them from time to time and I would give Sharon Sala another chance, I might try a different series though to see if that helped.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller #1)

I really enjoyed this novel. I did not see the movie before I read it. I find that many of the lawyer-ish books either are too dry or focus on the romance and not the courtroom/plot. Michael Connelly is able to make a flawed character intriguing in and out of the courtroom, causing the reader to want to read the books not only because they are interesting and intriguing by the plot but to see what Mickey has up his sleeve and see how he is going to turn out as a person...Michael Connelly also teaches the reader legalese and court room procedures in an education manner that fits into the pot and dies not dry it up. If you are a Grisham, Baldacci, Clancy fan you will enjoy the Connelly novels. If you need a new change of pace or genre it's a great one. I also just finished the second in the Mickey Haller series and it was good summer reading as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Exciting Upcoming Event!

Exciting news! I am talking with debut author, Becky Banks, to join us on the Small Book Blog to answer questions, talk about her new book The Legend of Lady Maclaoch, and maybe even do a giveaway. Becky and I am hoping to get our calendars together for September or October. Watch for this exciting event!

 A little about author Becky Banks from her Goodreads author profile:

Becky Banks grew up in the Maui countryside, where she spent her childhood running through grassy fields, swimming in the ocean, and learning the time-honored local tradition of “talking story.” She moved to mainland after high school to attend Oregon State University, where she studied forestry, natural resources, and science education.

With a keen understanding of human nature and a knack for vivid narrative, Becky’s writing resonates with power, charm, and wit. Her stories will enchant you, and her characters will become an unforgettable part of part of your life.

Becky lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband Keith.

More updates to come regarding this fabulous author, legendary novel, and exciting event!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Amanda Grange's Mr. Darcy, Vampyre

I felt like Jane Austen decided to get together with Anne Radcliffe and together they wrote this sequel to Pride and Prejudice.

I enjoyed this version because it had mystery with a touch of the classic gothic genre. I liked that I knew Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice because I felt that knowing them made the book more enjoyable and that I knew why they said or did what they said or did. This was truly helpful, because as the reader, you know that Darcy is a vampire, however, it’s the mystery in the novel. Many books I have read similar to this I get annoyed with the role Elizabeth would play, but in this, because we were “already friends” I found myself trying/being able to see through Elizabeth’s or Darcy’s eyes. Also, it was realistic with them, in this continuation, because as they were traveling on their honeymoon they would recall things from Pride and Prejudice but it wasn’t redundant storytelling or a vain attempt by Grange to tie the books together. It worked. Darcy and Elizabeth were telling the new people they met their story or sharing memories.

I was a little scared that it would be like one of those scary movies or thrillers that you are really enjoying and you are nearing the big reveal and then they show you the monster or alien and it is SUCH a letdown that you either want to turn the movie off or never see it again. I ended up liking how Grange put everything together. I also appreciate, as it was written for the time period and with the gothic of the era in mind, which she reverted back to your classic vamp and not “today’s vamps.”

I would also like to add, and not spoil; that her character development of Lady Catherine de Bourgh was grand. It made me smile and give a silent round of applause.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Karen Rose's You Belong To Me (Paperback edition)

Karen Rose is an intense, complex and exciting writer. Rose’s novels have two levels of mystery for the reader. The first is, obviously, the plot. Who did it, why, who will we/they figure it out, etc. The second level is the characters themselves. Rose gives clips of the characters past, your in their present and hints at their future. Some of the characters the reader will meet again in other novels. Both levels of a Karen Rose novel draw the reader in. What I have found is that even if I do not care much for one, the other level has already sucked my in and I have to keep reading, inevitably wanting to know what is going to happen to the plot, characters and what book is coming out next.

Karen Rose writes a darker romantic suspense than many authors out there. She does not sugar coat the store and she doesn’t hold back on painting the picture, no matter how dark, horrific and intense it may get. Rose also gives the characters believable lives, flaws, quirkiness, etc. The sex is titillating, paced and when the characters finally “do it” it is hot and sexy.

Something I noticed about Karen Rose isthat she is able to work the title into the story, generally into the dialog, but it fits in and is not forced or cheesy.

I loved this new novel by Rose, You Belong To Me. It had everything I wanted, flawed characters, hints at past lives still haunting them, glimpses of a happy future, while the reader is in the middle of a high-octane thrill ride with hold-your-breath suspense that leaves the reader guessing and hoping the entire ride.