Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What Comes After Review

What Comes After
Steve Watkins

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date:
April 12, 2011
YA, Contemporary
Hardcover, 334 pages
4/5 (Avg 4/5)
A gripping portrait of a teen’s struggles through grief and abuse - and the miraculous power of animals to heal us.

After her veterinarian dad dies, sixteen-year-old Iris Wight must leave her beloved Maine to live on a North Carolina farm with her hardbitten aunt and a cousin she barely knows. Iris, a vegetarian and animal lover, immediately clashes with Aunt Sue, who mistreats the livestock, spends Iris’s small inheritance, and thinks nothing of striking Iris for the smallest offense. Things come to a head when Iris sets two young goats free to save them from slaughter, and an enraged Aunt Sue orders her brutish son, Book, to beat Iris senseless - a horrific act that lands Book and his mother in jail. Sent to live with an offbeat foster family and their "dooking" ferrets, Iris must find a way to take care of the animals back at the farm, even if it means confronting Aunt Sue. Powerful and deeply moving, this compelling novel affirms the redemptive power of animals and the resilience of the human spirit.

After reading this novel, the first thought through my mind was how unusual it was to have a book about a female character that focused more on her growth as a character rather than a romance. Did I mind it? Absolutely not! It was a refreshing change of scenery. Scenery that included one incredibly written main character... and animals. Yes, animals! Do I have your attention yet, fellow animal lovers?

Iris is one of those characters that you cannot help but love. Her best character is that she is human. She's relatable in the way that she's kind and very caring, yet she still has flaws - she takes falls and she struggles. Yet every time she falls, she has the resilience to get back up, dust herself off and move on. I love her for that. Her foster parents added some nice quirk to the novel while her aunt Sue and cousin Book... well, what they added I wouldn't exactly call 'quirk'. I sometimes felt a little for Book, but there was never a good excuse for what he and his aunt put Iris (and the animals) through.

This book is heavy - and I'm not talking about it's physical weight. If you're looking for a light-hearted book to read and feel good afterward, I would look the other way. This book is emotionally devastating and tugs at your heartstrings like no other. Don't get me wrong, it's a GREAT book! Just be prepared to cry... a lot.

Waiting on Wednesday

July 26, 2011

This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended–Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer–one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack–and the man–she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

I have been chomping at the bits, waiting for this one to come out ever since I read Nightshade. Andrea Cremer has created an incredible world with characters that you either love or love to hate.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Some customers seemed outright suspicious when they saw me. "Where's Sue Allen?" a woman asked, as if I might have murdered Aunt Sue in order to take over her farmers' market stand.
- page 102

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Monday Update

Link I want to start by reiterating what today is truly about. Today is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who have fallen and have been wounded in battle while serving the USA. Without their sacrifices, we wouldn't have all of the freedoms that we have today. And also let's remember those who are still serving our country and say a little prayer to keep them safe.

With that said, it's time for the Monday Update! I haven't done one of these in a while, so my TBR list has changed and shifted several times. I won't bore you with all the details, but I will tell you that I have updated my reading challenge on Goodreads from 100 books to 125. It's not even June yet and I have managed to read 76+ books. I say more than that because there for a while at the beginning, I didn't know that you were supposed to add a book to "Currently Reading" before rating so it would be added to the list of books on your reading challenge. 76 is the number that I have since I realized this.

Also, I'm going to be out of town for most of the week starting tomorrow. I have a bunch of scheduled posts, but in the off chance that Blogger decides to rebel against me and not publish my posts... well, just don't give up on me. I'll be back late Friday or early Saturday.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Author Profile: Kate Kaynak

Kate Kaynak
"I was born and raised in New Jersey, but I was able to escape. My degree from Yale says I was a psych major, but my true course of study was YPMB.

After serving a five-year sentence in graduate school, I started teaching psychology around the world for the University of Maryland.

While in Izmir, Turkey, I started up a conversation with a handsome stranger in an airport. I ended up marrying him.

We now live in New Hampshire with our three preschool-aged kids, where I enjoy reading, writing, and fighting crime with my amazing superpowers." Find out more here.


Social Media
Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Books By Kate Kaynak

Book Chapters & Excerpts
Minder Excerpt
Adversary Excerpt
Legacy Excerpt

Upcoming Books


Missy's Reads & Reviews
Minder ★★★★★
Adversary ★★★★

Buy Kate Kaynak's Books
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Sunday, May 29, 2011

2011 Top Picks Giveaway (Giveaway CLOSED)

Alright guys, it's time for the fourth and final giveaway of the 1st Annual Anniversary Celebration! I'm extremely excited about this one because I get to showcase all of the many 5-star books that I have read and fell in love with [so far] this year. Just for consideration, some books may be available as an e-book only. Please make sure to check the BOTTOM of THIS POST where I will have a list of the books that are e-book format only.

**You guys seem to like getting extra entries, so I'll go again for this giveaway as well. For each review post that you comment on, you get +1 extra entry for the giveaway. This is completely optional, of course.

As per usual, let's go over the rules one last time!

(1) Choose one book from the options below to receive if you're picked as the winner of this contest.
(2) Make sure to read the rules on this post before entering.
(3) Contest is INTERNATIONAL.
(4) Fill out THIS FORM to be entered!

Good luck!!

E-books Only
The Gods of Dream
LadyStar: The Dreamspeaker
The Mind Readers
When Colors Bleed

Don't forget that this giveaway is part of a four-part giveaway for the 1st Annual Anniversary Celebration. If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out and enter the other giveaways below as well.
Giveaway #1: In My Mailbox
Giveaway #2: Before & After
Giveaway #3: New Releases

Blog Tour: James Christian Character Interview

Today it is my absolute thrill to welcome everyone's favorite teacher, James Christian, to the blog as part of the tour for Jennifer Laurens' A Season Of Eden!

Hi, James! How would you describe yourself, outside of being a teacher?
I have a secret fantasy of winning American Idol.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I wanted to change lives, bring music into consciousness where there wasn't any appreciation for it.

What was your first thoughts of Eden?
That she's really a strong girl. Really determined and aggressive. She's not afraid of anything.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Walk the beach. Write music. Read.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
In graduate school maybe. Getting my Masters. Still teaching.
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