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Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Monday, August 29, 2016
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him... or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Goodreads Summary

Amani depends on her shooting skills to get her out of her small town. She enters a contest as a boy and ends up leaving suddenly when the chance turns up. Jin, a mysterious foreigner, provided her with an escape plan...and more danger. Amani and Jin strike up a sort-of friendship and later, a romance. 

I liked how the author kept Amani's and Jin's relationship realistic. They did not always get along and did not always like each other. It wasn't a sudden romance, but a slow burn. Amani was smart, fun, and cocky. I think I would have liked her in real life. Jin was charismatic, gruff (at times), and devastatingly handsome. I did like that the author didn't focus the entire book on the romance; there was plenty scenes with just Amani or focused on only Amani. At times, I felt the plot could have been a little tighter. I loved the mythical world-building, but I wouldn't have minded a little more background. Overall, this would be a fun read for young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Patient's Resource and Almanac of Primary Care Medicine by Agnes Oblas, ANP-C

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Patient's Resource and Almanac of Primary Care Medicine includes essays on medical topics of interest to the lay reader; common diseases or conditions are presented with illustrations, and easy to understand graphs or charts. Resources are also identified for more in depth information.The Patient's Resource and Almanac of Primary Care Medicine serves as a basic reference and guide to 30 common medical- and health-related topics. Readers will find these topics to be pertinent, helpful, and reader-friendly. The essays are presented with resources, fun facts, and timelines, etc., to make the reading even more enjoyable. Some of the essays also include a section called "The Savvy Healthcare Consumer," which highlights points about that essay's topic which the reader should be aware of as it relates to a visit to a healthcare provider. You will find these essays free of medical jargon (or with definitions included) yet scientifically and medically sound. My purpose is to educate and clarify some complex medical issues while at the same time allowing the reader to enjoy the experience!

Goodreads Summary

As a medical student, this book interested me. I like that it includes a section specifically aimed at improving patients' wellness and visits to the doctor. Patients have to be their own advocate. It is important to know what to ask and when to push for more answers. The book is not overly medical in terminology; it isn't hard to understand. I really liked the little historical and factual tidbits. There were a few facts in there that I had never heard of or known. The definitions allow the reader that does not know a lot of health information to understand what it being talked about in the chapters. I don't necessarily think I would rely on this book during a doctor's visit, but it was informative.

3 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Rocks Fall Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family’s secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing.

Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he’s affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he’ll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they’ll go to keep their secrets safe.

With a smart, arrogant protagonist, a sinister family tradition, and an ending you won’t see coming, this is a fast-paced, twisty story about power, addiction, and deciding what kind of person you want to be, in a family that has the ability to control everything you are.

Goodreads Summary

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. It's very different than anything I have read before and it is difficult to describe why. I did not immediately like Aspen. He comes off as arrogant, self-assured, and much to cocky. I don't think I would like to have his ability to "steal" things from peoples' minds. I imagine it would be interesting for a day. I only started to see him in a different light when he began to realize how his "gift" affected the lives of those he used it on. I suppose it takes caring about someone (his girlfriend) before he thinks of the repercussions. Once he realizes that what he can do has negative affects on those around him he also realizes that he has been negatively affected by the gift, as well. Someone has been using his/her gift on him, but why and who?

Like I said, it took a while for me to become friendly to Aspen. His character changes radically over the course of the novel. Sometimes, I thought it was more a change of convenience or self-preservation than true personal growth. I thought the plot was interesting, but sometimes I had to put the book down and continue reading a different novel. I think the book is worth reading, but a different reader may get more from the book than I.

3 1/2 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Dancing With the Tiger by Lili Wright

When 30-year-old Anna Ramsey learns that a meth-addicted looter has dug up what might be the funerary mask of Montezuma, she books the next flight to Oaxaca. Determined to redeem her father, a discredited art collector, and to one-up her unfaithful fiancĂ©, a museum curator, Anna hurls herself headlong into Mexico’s underground art world. But others are chasing the treasure as well: the shape-shifting drug lord no one can really describe; the enigmatic American expat, who keeps his art collection locked in a chapel; the former museum director who traffics stolen works, and his housekeeper—deeply religious, a gay woman in a culture of machismo, dependent on a patron she loathes; the painter Salvador on his motorcycle, complex, sensual—but with secrets of his own. 
Anna soon realizes that everyone is masked—some literally, others metaphorically. Indeed, Dancing with the Tiger is a splendid reminder that throughout human history, cultures have revered masks: whether in the theater or in war, for religious purposes, or to conceal identity, masks are as universal as our desire to transform ourselves, to change. Anna, without an ounce of self-pity despite traumatic losses, stands out as a heroine for our times as, traveling alone, she finds the courage to show her true face.

Goodreads Summary

My favorite part about this book was that the author clearly did intensive research on Mexico and cultural art. I learned so much even though this is a fiction book! Anna Ramsey is a woman with something to prove. Wanting to bring more respect to her father's name and to show her cheating fiance what he lost, Anna follows a lead to Mexico. In Mexico, she discovers the seedy underbelly of the art world and many more secrets than she anticipated.

I enjoyed the author's writing style. The words had a flow-like quality to them and the book ended well after each chapter. I liked Anna's character. She was gutsy, intelligent, and pursued things as avidly as I would. I was a little annoyed when she was worried or panicked for so-so reasons. She came off as a little flighty or fluttery. I liked how the book was generally fast-paced. I do think that it might have been a better read if I had cared more about the characters.

3 1/2 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ