Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cameron's Coffee ~ African Cinnamon

Product:  African Cinnamon Coffee
Manufacturer:  Cameron’s Coffee 
Product’s Website:
Weight:  Single Pot
Tagline:  Keeping Specialty Coffees Special
Description: A blend of cinnamon and spice creates a unique cup of coffee.  Perfect for anytime.
My Rating:(★★★) Cameron’s African Cinnamon Coffee is a lighter roasted coffee made from Arabica coffee beans with cinnamon and spices for some extra flavor.  It is listed under their flavored coffees and comes in individual packages or sample packages.  It’s hard for me to rate and review coffee since I am honestly, not a “connoisseur” of coffee, I can’t drink it plain, but I know there are many many other people just like me.  I took a few sips of this coffee without anything added to it, and you can definitely taste the cinnamon in it.
If you don’t like cinnamon, absolutely do not get this coffee.  I added a little half and half and two spoonfuls of sugar, and it’s almost as good as a coffee from the coffee shop that would cost you four dollars.  That’s really the only way I can drink coffee, as I do prefer other ways to intake my caffeine, like soda. 

My Rating System:
= didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing

© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Secret of Moonacre

Title:  The Secret of Moonacre
Director:  Gabor Csupo
Rating:  PG
Length:  103 Minutes
Tagline:  A magical journey begins!
Synopsis: A 13-year-old girl (played by The Golden Compass' Dakota Blue Richards) discovers that she is the only hope for banishing an ancient curse from a magical kingdom in director Gabor Csupo's adaptation of author Elizabeth Goudge's 1946 children's book The Little White Horse. Ioan Gruffudd, Tim Curry, and Juliet Stevenson co-star in a film penned by screenwriting partners Graham Alborough and Lucy Shuttleworth. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
My Rating:(★★★★)  Not many people have heard of this movie since it was premiered mainly in Europe, honestly, I hadn’t even heard of it until I came across someone talking about it on a costuming blog where the woman that wrote the blog had bought one of the dresses from the movie that Loveday wore.  I immediately had to look it up and see what the movie was about because that one dress was so amazing! 
The  Secret of Moonacre movie is based on the book by Elizabeth Gouge called The Little White Horse.  It’s about Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards), who is an orphan sent to Moonacre Valley to live with her Uncle, Sir Benjamin (Ioan Gruffudd).  Maria’s governess, Miss Heliotrope, accompanies her to her Uncle’s home where Maria discovers that she is the last Moon Princess and Moonacre Valley’s only remaining hope in breaking the curse that the entire valley is under that will culminate in the next full moon.
My favorite thing about this movie is not the acting, because in all honesty I think that the acting is not stellar.  There are some times when Ioan Gruffudd’s acting seems a little bit off, like in one scene he yells at Maria, “Do you ever stop asking questions?!” and his eyes are full of tears.  I didn’t understand it.  He is my one main complaint about the movie, his relationship with Maria isn’t conveyed through the acting, I am not sure if it’s because, solely, of his acting or if there were scenes taken out of the movie that should have been left in, or what.  He also comes across as this gruff crabby Uncle, but near the end calls Maria a “dear sweet girl”, where’d that come from?  Just seemed a sudden turnaround to me.
Even with my complaints about the acting, I loved the movie and now own it on Blu-Ray and have watched it several times since receiving it in the mail.  I love Dakota Blue Richards of The Golden Compass fame (yet another movie that could have been better but I still like it- at least until I watched my DVD version of it and the entire ending was changed from how it was in the theaters), I love the ending of the movie the best, where it seems they used the majority of their special effects budget (other than Wrolf).
My favorite thing about the movie is the costumes.  I can’t describe how much I love them so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Quotes: Maria Merryweather,”How can I possibly go to live in the country? It's full of... the countryside.”

My Rating System:
= didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing

© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Director: David Yates
Rating: PG-13
Length: 146 Minutes
Tagline: The End Begins/ It All Ends Here/ Nowhere is Safe
Synopsis: Voldemort's power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to finish Dumbledore's work and find the rest of the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But little hope remains for the Trio, and the rest of the Wizarding World, so everything they do must go as planned. Written by Chris Green.
My Rating:(★★★★★) It’s been awhile since I have read the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so I can’t write a comparison review until I reread the books.  I’ve only read them all once as they came out, so I don’t remember the detailed specifics of each story and the sub-stories of each book.
I’m putting on hold my reading of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart because I haven’t had the chance to read since I had our son in early October, and now I want to reread Harry Potter and since it is crowding out my desire to read Inkheart, that’s what I will do.
The movie was, in short, amazing.  It is so much darker than the previous movies, even Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I thought was pretty dark for what is considered a “family” movie.  HP7 made me cry within the first ten minutes and several times throughout the movie.  There is a lot of death, darkness and adventure.
I would have to say my favorite part of the movie was the story of the Deathly Hallows, narrated by Hermione Granger, it was visually stunning and a great story in and of itself.  The only thing I didn’t really enjoy about the movie (other than the obvious deaths of innocent people which you can’t take out of the story because it’s part of the story and partially makes it what it is) was that a few times it seemed to drag on a little bit while they were out in the wilderness searching for the Horcruxes.
I can’t wait until the final installment! And until then, I will be rereading the books to re-familiarize myself with all the subplots that I have forgotten, plus I think I sped through Deathly Hallows the first time I read it because I just wanted to find out what happened, I didn’t relax and just enjoy the story.  I’m looking forward to re-reading them.
Quotes: Dobby, “Dobby never meant to kill! Dobby only meant to maim, or seriously injure!”

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tris's Book { The Circle of Magic Book #2 }

Title:  Tris’s Book
Author:  Tamora Pierce
Ideal Age Range:  Middle School
Mass Market Paperback:  272 pages
Copyright Date:  1998
Blurb: Earthquake damage leaves Winding Circle vulnerable to pirate attack, so everyone--including the young mages-in-training Tris, Briar, Daja, and Sandry--is working to strengthen the community's defenses. When Tris's cousin Aymery comes to visit, he advises the "weather witch" to return to the family that exiled her, but she doesn't wish to leave her friends to face the thread without her.
As the onslaught begins, two things become terribly clear: The pirates have a powerful new weapon, and they have an accomplice within Winding Circle. But the attackers have failed to reckon with the fury of a young mage betrayed once too often and her very stubborn, very loyal friends..”
My Rating:(★★★)  Tris’s  magic is weather based, and linked to her feelings.  This book is set after (obviously) Sandry’s Book, Tris is the character that is spotlighted, and each student at Winding Circle is busy studying under the tutelage of each of his or her teachers.  Sandry is busy with Lark restocking the stores of bandages that were wiped out in the aftermath of the earthquake, and Daja is focused on re-forging the magical barrier in the harbor that protects Winding Circle.  The students are called upon to protect their new home against Pirates that have a ally at Winding Circle, soon the students will learn who has betrayed them and will have to learn how to control their powerful magics against full grown and trained wizards.
Trisana by robotic-flowers
In short?  Not my favorite.  It has some grisly scenes for being a book for younger readers, it easy to read and entertaining.  I’m not that big of a fan of Tris’, maybe because I have issues with people who can’t control their tempers, or at least people who don’t seem to even try, and sometimes she comes across as a whiny temperamental brat.  That’s with the knowledge that she’s had a tough life, man, I can be judgmental of fictional characters!  It must be one of my downfalls, well that and my ability to judge a book by its cover.  Tris’s Book is still a good read and a great addition to the series even with it’s downfalls I still rate it as an “I liked it”.
But I’m biased.
Quotes: “We can't just act without thinking anymore, Tris. They've been trying to teach as that all along. I guess if we're mages, we can't exactly be kids, can we?”
Similar Titles: Any of the other Circle of Magic books, The Circle Opens books by Tamora Pierce

My Rating System:
= didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Asian Pasta Stir-Fry

Serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

2 cups whole-wheat penne
2 teaspoons whole-wheat flour ( i used all purpose flour because I didn't want to buy whole-wheat for just this recipe)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 egg plus 3 egg whites
1 tablespoon olive oil (used vegetable oil)
4 cups baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced (used minced garlic in a jar)
2 cups chopped tomatoes ( can of diced tomatoes )
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled, coed, and cut into thick sticks; or 1 1/4 cups canned pineapple chunks, drained
salt and freshly ground pepper

1.)  In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente according to package directions; rinse under cold water and drain.
2.)  Meanwhile, whisk together flour, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and broth in a small bowl.  In another small bowl, lightly beat egg and egg whites.
3.)  In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.  Add spinach and garlic and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.  Drizzle eggs into pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.  Stir in tomatoes, red pepper, and soy sauce mixture.  Cook for 2 minutes, then increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. 
4.)  Remove from heat, add pineapple, and toss gently to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition score per serving (2 1/2 cups): 332 calories, 6g fat, 1g saturated fat, 56g carbs, 14g protein, 8g fiber, 81mg calcium, 4mg iron, 403mg sodium

Source: Shape Magazine

My comments~ I thought there was a little too much heat for my taste, so if I were to make it again I think I would use less crushed red pepper flakes or maybe even none.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Title:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Author:  J.K. Rowling
Ideal Age Range:  Tween and Up
Mass Market Paperback:  400 Pages
Copyright Date:  October 1998, U.S. Version
Blurb: Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick.  He’s never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hate a dragon.  All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley.  Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday part in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger:  a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed.  There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him..if Harry can survive the encounter.
My Rating:(★★★★★)  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is another one of those books that I put off reading for the longest time because of the artwork on the cover.  It looked like a book meant for younger people than I was at the time of it’s publication, which was in 1998 and would have made me 17 years old.  What’s interesting about the Harry Potter books is that even though they are written for a younger crowd, tweens specifically, as you get further in the series, the books grow more mature as if they are aging with their initial readers.  I have been guilty many times of judging a book by it’s cover, which has probably kept me from enjoying some great books in my lifetime, but I finally read the first Harry Potter book right before the first movie came out because I was working at Hollywood Video at the time and obsessed with movies.  I really like reading the book a movie is based on first so that I can compare the two.  As soon as I finished reading the first book I was hooked, and bought and read the others within a month.  At least all that were available at the time, which I believe was up to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire if I remember correctly.
I became an instant Harry Potter fan.   Sorcerer’s Stone is a great beginning of Harry Potter’s story, he meets new friends, defeats his first enemy and is able to decipher between the bully of the school and who are good people to be friends with.  Oh, and he learns magic and gets to fly on a broomstick while playing one of the most exciting sports known in the wizarding world: Quidditch.
J.K. Rowling’s books are fun and easy to read and are great at getting the reading public more interested in reading!  I could probably safely say that she alone has increased the number of bookworms in the United States.  Not to mention the fact that the popularity of the movies have gotten people to read the books as well, as evidenced by myself.  I am in the process of re-reading all of the books because I sped through them the first time, and it was so long ago that I want to re-absorb the small nuances of character and all of the magic that is within their pages.
Quotes: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." - Albus Dumbledore
Similar Titles:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
My Rating System:
= didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BBC List Meme

The BBC believes that out of the following 100 classics, most people will only have read an average of six. Bold the ones you've read, italicize those you've dabbled with (read a portion/watched a film rendition/read an abridged version).
In my case the large percentage of italicized titles are because I've seen the movie and/or play.  Only a few have a read a few pages of.. the bolded are ones I have absolutely read.  Bolded and italicized are obvious.  I have both read the title and seen the movie based off of the title.
I think I beat the 6 easily.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Prince of Persia (2010)

Title: Prince of Persia (2010)
Director: Mike Newell
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Length: 116 Minutes
Tagline: Defy the Future
Synopsis: A young fugitive prince and princess must stop a villain who unknowingly threatens to destroy the world with a special dagger that enables the magic sand inside to reverse time.
My Rating:(★★★★★) I really enjoyed “Prince of Persia”.  I only regret that I didn’t get to see it on the big screen.  I didn’t get to see several of the summer blockbusters this past year that I wanted to see in theaters.  What with my employer closing their doors and being pregnant with my first child, I had a lot on my mind and hands during the busy time for the movies.
I rented “Prince of Persia” on Blu-Ray from our closest Redbox.  I used to hate the idea of Redbox and Netflix, mostly because I saw what the brands were doing to the company I worked for (Hollywood Entertainment).  I saw my employer going down the drain as they raised rental prices when their were options out there for people that were more convenient and less expensive without the threat of huge fines if their rental was brought back late.
I see the positives of Redbox and Netflix now, and use them frequently since losing my job in May.  Redbox when I don’t want to wait for my choice to come in the mail and Netflix for online streaming Television shows and other movies that I am willing to wait for.
Back to “Prince of Persia”.  I rented it on Blu-ray, like I said, paid the $1.50 from Redbox in order to take it home where I watched it while my son napped next to me on the loveseat.
The only thing I rolled my eyes at during the movie were some of the silly lines that Jake Gyllenhaal says near the beginning of the movie.  Otherwise, I really thought that the movie was fun, exciting, adventure filled and I really adore Mr. Gyllenhaal in most of the movies that I have seen him in.  I’m looking forward to seeing him in “Love and Other Drugs” later in November.
The special effects were amazing; the scenery beautiful (and probably all fake), the story was fun to follow and the movie was full of beautiful people who can actually act.  I enjoyed Sir Ben Kingsley as Nizamas well as Gemma Arterton as Tamina, and obviously Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan.
I won’t give any of the plot/storyline away by talking about it.  I wonder if I liked it so much because I used to play the 2D video game back in the day on our old Amiga (if I remember correctly), or because it just fits in the mold of the kind of movies that I have always adored since I was little?  They have to have an element of fantasy, a dash of adventure, faraway locales and a good looking main character doesn’t hurt either.
A clue that I liked it?  My husband came home with 5 minutes left of the movie, and I started it over immediately and watched it with him.
Prince Dastan: Difficult, not impossible.
Tamina: All more proof you're insane.
Prince Dastan: Why do you look so impressed?
My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shiver { Wolves of Mercy Falls #1 }

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Ideal Age Range: Young Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 390
Copyright Date: 2009
Blurb: the cold.  Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house.  One yellow-eyed wolf-her wolf-watches back.  He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn’t know why.
the heat.  Sam has lived two lives.  As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves.  And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace…until now.
the shiver.  For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance.  But once it’s spoken, it cannot be denied.  Sam must fight to stay human-and Grace must fight to keep him-even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
My Rating:(★★★) I reserved Shiver from the library just last week, and I blame the pregnancy on my inability to concentrate for long periods of time which deters me from finishing a book in a decent spell.  Most of the time I trail off as I’m reading, and then I realize that I just skimmed over a whole page while I was thinking of what color on what wall in the baby’s room I want to paint, then I have to re-read it.
It’s not a dissatisfaction of the book in any way; it’s just my pregnancy affected brain rebelling against the book lover, the werewolf lover and the young adult novel lover in me.  Shiver reminded me of why I like living in Minnesota, since it is set in my home state, albeit a lot farther north than the Twin Cities that is my home, closer to the country line between the United States and Canada.
There is one scene in which she describes a golden wood that brought me back to my youth, when I would go out before school, tack up my little red mare and go riding in the back forty while the sun burned the dew off of the tall grass that inhabited our land.  It made me want to go take a nature walk so that I could enjoy the untamed nature that does lay just outside our back steps if we only embrace it, or at the most, go for a short drive to enjoy it.
I thought that the blue ink was interesting, I’m not sure why this is something that I am choosing to comment on, but it’s something that I noticed about the book right away.  It made the pages colder.  While you are reading at the beginning of each chapter, what degree of temperature it is outside, you can just imagine the words chilling on the page.
After getting over the novelty of blue ink on a novel, I was left with a feeling of slight let down at the end of the book.  It’s guilty of those terrible cliff hangers like at the end of season of your favorite television show, and yet I’m happy that there is a second book to read, and I will be picking up Linger in a few days or weeks.  Depends on what I feel like reading next.
The characters were not your typical teenage semblance, as both of the main characters were independent individuals who were used to taking care of themselves.  For very different reasons, of course, and maybe in this day and age with both parents most of the time working out of the house, most kids will relate to these characters.
While I didn’t love this book above all others, I will say I didn’t find anything that I really disliked about it.  I rated it at “I liked it” because while I do enjoy the take on the werewolves, I felt that the ending was a tad bit anticlimactic, but I did enjoy 95% of the prose.  I will read the rest of the series and probably like them just as much, maybe better.
Quotes: "Baby bunnies." She narrowed her eyes, so I grinned and said, "Adult bunnies, too. I'm an equal-opportunity bunny-eater."
Similar Titles: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, Wounded by Stephen Cole
What I’m Reading Next: Honestly, I’m not sure yet.  I have a few to choose from, Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and Duchess by Night by Eloisa James.

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Personal Demon { Women of the Otherworld Series #8 }

Title: Personal Demon
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Ideal Age Range: Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 371 Pages
Copyright Date: April 2008
Blurb: Tabloid reporter Hope Adams appears to live the life of an ordinary working girl.  But in addition to possessing the beauty of a Bollywood princess, Hope has other unique traits.  For she is a half demon-a human fathered by a demon.  And she’s inherited not only a gift for seeing the past but a hunger for chaos- along with a talent for finding it wherever she can.  Naturally, when she’s chosen by a very dangerous group for a very dangerous mission, she jumps at the chance…
The head of the powerful Cortez Cabal- a family that makes the mob look like amateurs- has a little problem in Miami: a gang of wealthy, bored offspring of supernaturals is getting out of hand, and Hope is needed to infiltrate.  As spells, astral projections, and pheromones soar across South Beach, Hope weaves her way through its elite hot spots, posing as upscale eye candy and reading auras of the clientele-and potential marks.
My Rating:(★★I normally adore Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, but this installment had me not quite as excited as usual.  Maybe it was because the main character was Hope Adams, Expisco Half Demon, or perhaps it was the fact that the point of view actually jumped between her and Lucas Cortez.  And for some reason that rankled me.
Maybe it was because the series is called, “Women of the Otherworld” and not “People of the Otherworld”?  So the point of view should only be a woman?  I’m not trying to be sexist or anything, but it did seem like a foray off the normal path that Kelley Armstrong is used to in her other books.  I could be mistaken though because it’s been many moons since I read No Humans Involved, the book that came before Personal Demon.
Her style of writing is still free flowing and very smooth to read, and a few of the scenes are exciting to follow along with but in my opinion, overall, the story was just not as good as some of her previous plots.  I wasn’t as involved, and I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m just not as big of a fan of the half demon character or if the mystery just didn’t appeal to me as much.
Overall, I can’t say I have anything specific to complain about, so I still rated Personal Demon as an ok read, but I do hope her next book is a little more of a stellar read because I really do enjoy her, and would hate to be disappointed again.
Quotes: She nodded.  “When it comes to bullshit detecting, Karl’s a natural.”
Similar Titles: Any of the other Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, my favorites are the ones that star Elena as the main character: Bitten, Stolen, Broken and I haven’t read Frostbitten yet.
What I’m Reading Next: Haven’t decided yet.

My Rating System:
★ = didn’t like it
★★ = it was ok
★★★ = liked it
★★★★ = really liked it
★★★★★ = it was amazing
© demureconnoisseur/ Stacy Grey