Review: A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens

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A Season of Eden by Jennifer Laurens
Publisher:  Grove Creek Publishing
Published  October 20th 2008
Paperback, 248 pages
Challenges:  100 Books in 2011

He’s my teacher. I shouldn’t be alone with him. But I can’t help that he’s irresistible.
I let the door silently close at my back. He stared at me, and a taut quiet stretched between us. “I like hearing you play,” I said, moving toward him. He turned, in sync with my slow approach. He looked up at me but didn’t say anything. I rested my clammy hand on the cold, slick body of the baby grand. “May I?” The muscles in his throat shifted, then he swallowed. “Eden.” My knees weakened, like a soft tickling kiss had just been blown against the backs of them. “Is it okay?” I asked. His gaze held mine like two hands joined. He understood what I was really asking. “Let me stay,” I said. “Please.” “You’re going to get me in trouble,” he said.

When I first heard about this book I jumped at the chance to read it right away.  A romantic relationship between a teacher and a student is so taboo that I had to read it! Unfortunately, this book did not live up to all the expectations I created in my mind.  That is not to say that this book was not good.  It was actually really good, there were just a few things missing, at least for me.  

It is Eden’s Senior year and she needs to take an elective.  She doesn’t want to take a class that she actually has to do work in so she chooses an “easy” elective, Concert Choir.  However, Eden becomes obsessed with this class, and not because she loves to sing but because of her new music teacher, Mr. James Christian.  Right away she is overwhelmed by his voice, his preppy style fashion, and his music.  She also notices that he is only four years older than her, making him that much more appealing.  Her life becomes consumed by James Christian and the possibility of a real relationship, despite the fact that he is her teacher and she is his student. Soon, just like the forbidden fruit, a forbidden “friendship” is formed, one that puts them both in jeopardy, just for different reasons.  

While I was very eager to read this book I became very weary very quickly.  Eden’s character screams “stereotype” throughout most of the book – she is very rich, popular, beautiful and smart, all of which she knows and plays off of, and even uses people and situations to her advantage without feeling.  She comes off as very self centered, selfish, and fake.  Only when you read some of her ‘behind the scenes’ you find that there is more to Eden than just looks and money and popularity. Her relationship with her father is strained if existent at all.  Her relationship with her step mother is one of disdain.  The relationship between her and her boyfriend is one of convenience, at least on her side.  

Despite Eden’s superficial qualities, Jennifer Laurens has actually done an amazing job at creating a real teenage girl.  For Eden her crush consumes her life, just as any real teenager girl would feel (at least most).  You also see little glimpses into the growth of her character throughout the book – like most, teenagers (and adult) don’t grow up overnight.  In fact they make a lot of mistakes! Eden is not excluded from this. She gains a realization of her mistakes and character and acquires the desire to change for the better.


There were a few things that would have made this book make more of an impact for me.  I would have loved more information/scenes that gave more background Eden’s relationships:  with her parents, including her step mother, as well as with her friends.  Her relationship with her friends said nothing beyond superficial, and it was hard to believe that she really cared about these people when she spoke to them.  I also would have loved to read more about James Christian himself.  Eden finds qualities in him that are profound, but his actions and words don’t equal her feelings – of course this has a large part to do with the fact that she is a teenage girl completely smitten.  


While there were a few things missing, A Season for Eden is a wonderful read.  The writing style is simple making this a very quick read (I read it in a day and a half).  It is a perfect read for the summer.  While it may not have made it to my favorites list, I highly recommend this book!



My Rating:
Stay updated with Jennifer Laurens through her WebSite, Facebook, Twitter, and her Blog

** Disclosure: I received this book from The {Teen} Book Scene in exchange for an honest review.


Teaser Tuesday (14)

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This week’s Teaser comes from My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent:
 
” ‘We’re talking about humans inhaling the toxic life force sucked out of a demon from another world.’ Quiet possibly the weirdest sentence I’d ever said aloud… ‘And according to your mom, if they survive addiction-and that’s a big if-their scrambled brains’ll make Ozzy Osbourne look rational and coherent’.”
(p.42)
*Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

Releases This Week: May 29th – June 4th

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Watched by Sharde Richardson (5/30/11) **2011 Debut Author
Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini (5/31/11)
Nightspell (Mistwood #2) by Leah Cypess (5/31/11)

Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews (5/31/11)
Demon (Fallen #2) by Kristina Douglas (5/31/11)

Concrete Savior (Dark Redemtpion #2) by Yvonne Navarro (5/31/11)
Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay (5/31/11)

She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Anne Peters (6/1/11)
The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen (6/1/11)

Secrets (The Ivy #2) by Lauren Kunze & Rina Onur (5/31/11)
Queen of the Dead (The Ghost and the Goth #2) by Stacey Kade (5/31/11)

The Eternal Sea (Everlasting #2) by Angie Frazier (6/1/11)
Spoiled by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan (6/1/11)

Winter’s Shadow by M.J. Hearle (6/1/11)
Cascade (River of Time #2) by Lisa T. Bergren (6/1/11)

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari (6/1/11)
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (6/1/11)

Forgiven by Janet Fox (6/2/11)
 Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson (6/2/11)

Clockwork Prince – Chapter Titles Released!

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Interested in knowing what the Chapters of Cassandra Clare’s highly anticipated Clockwork Angel are?
Of course you are!!

Today the Mundie Source; The Official Cassandra Clare FanSite released the book’s Chapter Titles!!
Without Further Ado:
Prologue: The Outcast Dead

Will visits the Cross Bones Graveyard in London.

Chapter One: The Council Chamber

Pretty literal — the Council meets to discuss whether Charlotte is fit to run the Institute; we see a bit more of the Lightwoods, not to mention the Waylands and some other familiar families.

Chapter Two: Reparations

“Mr. Bane has been awaiting your arrival, sir,” said the footman, and stepped aside to let Will enter.

Chapter Three: Unjustifiable Death

The term, under the Accords, for a Shadowhunter killing a Downworlder without provocation.
“This was the first time she had been alone with Will in weeks.”

Chapter Four: A Journey

Tessa, Will and Jem leave the Institute and in fact, London entirely.
“Gabriel Lightwood strode across the room to meet them. He really was quite tall, Tessa thought, craning her neck to look up at him. As a tall girl herself, she didn’t often find herself bending her head back to look up at men.”

Chapter Five: Shades of the Past

This one is a pun that will probably only make sense upon actual reading. Althpugh one of the themes of the book is how the past affects the present.

Chapter Six: In Silence Sealed

Again the theme is hidden secrets. The title comes from a Charlotte Bronte poem. “In secret kept, in silence sealed.” Tessa begins to uncover the secrets of her own origins.

Chapter Seven:  
I had to redact the title of this chapter. It’s a spoiler. :)

“When Will truly wants something,” said Jem, quietly, “when he feels something — he can break your heart.”

Chapter Eight: The Purposes of Wrath

The title here comes from Thomas de Quncey’s (yes de Quincey!) Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. The paragraph is about addiction, and both the pleasures and the pains of opium, and the chapter is not dissimilar. Also, we meet Ragnor Fell.

Chapter Nine: Fierce Midnight

This chapter ends the night begun in the previous chapter. And has some pretty hot kissing. Titled after a Swinburne poem.

Chapter Ten: The Virtue of Angels

The virtue of angels is that they cannot deteriorate; their flaw is that they cannot improve. Man’s flaw is that he can deteriorate; and his virtue is that he can improve. —The Talmud
Someone rather unexpected hits Gabriel — who, really, was asking for it.

Chapter Eleven: Wild Unrest

This chapter title comes from the poem “City of Dreadful Night” by James Thompson. It’s really about taking on the suffering of someone you love. Will wanders about London at night. “He had reached Fleet Street. Temple Bar was visible through the mist in the distance” — Temple Bar is the structure Jem is standing in front of, on the cover of the book.

Chapter Twelve: The Ball

This is somewhat self-explanatory. There is a masquerade ball. And a balcony. And Magnus.

Chapter Thirteen: The Mortal Sword

We finally see the Mortal Sword put to its actual use: extracting the truth from reluctant Shadowhunters. And it is not pretty.

Chapter Fourteen: The Silent City

“Ah,” said a voice from the doorway, “having your annual ‘everyone thinks Will is a lunatic’ meeting, are you?”

Chapter Fifteen: Thousands More

From a poem by Charlotte Mew: There are thousands more; you do not miss a rose.
“Will has always been the brighter burning star, the one to catch attention — but Jem is a steady flame, unwavering and honest. He could make you happy.”

Chapter Sixteen: Mortal Rage

In which there are automatons and vengeance and explosions. The title comes from Shakespeare: “And brass eternal slave to mortal rage.”

Chapter Seventeen: In Dreams

There is the famous “in dreams begin responsibilities” but this title is actually from a poem by Matthew Arnold. The chapter from which this deleted scene was taken.

Chapter Eighteen: Until I Die

This chapter title has really freaked people out. So I will be nice and say that it is from a poem by Christopher Brennan (no relation to Sarah Rees):
Then seek not, sweet, the “If” and “Why”
I love you now until I die.

Chapter Nineteen: If Treason Doth Prosper

Betrayals and misunderstandings come thick and fast. And Magnus may have a new boyfriend. The title is from a poem attributed to Sir John Harrington:
“Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

Chapter Twenty: The Last Dream

This is the chapter that made me cry! I rarely cry so I felt good about that. The chapter title comes from A Tale of Two Cities.

Chapter Twenty-One: Coals of Fire

I guess if you’re paying a lot of attention you’ll recognize this as part of something Jace quotes in City of Fallen Angels. Endings, beginnings, new characters, and, I promise, not too bad of a cliffhanger.

Book Blogger Hop (15)

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This week’s Hop Twist:  
“What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?”
 
Another tough but great twist question… 
Most Liked? I would have to say, as I focus on YA lit, Harry Potter hands down.  I love the book series and I think that the movies do a superb job at hitting the most important things in the books.
The book-to-movie adaption I have disliked the most… I’m not really sure. I can’t think of one I have disliked with the ones I have seen so far.
 
*Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books

Book Tour: Character Interview with Sunny from Shadow Dancer

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The ever so interesting Sunny from Shadow Dancer has graciously agreed to share a bit more about herself in a short interview! 
You have this new amazing gift! Can you please tell us more about it?

You mean Shadow Walking? That is pretty cool actually. It’s funny you wake up one day and suddenly you are not who you thought. I’m still learning, but from what I can tell, the shadows actually allow me into them. They cover and blanket me, so that I appear to be invisible. I’m still there, but no one can see me. Oh, to think of all the times I could have used that gift as a small child. The only problem I seem to be having with this gift is remembering that I may be invisible but people can still hear me. I wonder sometimes, if that is all that ghosts are, just shadow walkers having some fun.

For those that have not read your story yet, what are Shadow Walkers?
Shadows Walkers are another race of humans. They come from the kingdom of Acadia, which is in the Sun Realm, located on the other side of the shadows. They have the ability to use the shadows around them to cloak them into invisibility as well as to travel within the connecting four realms (Sun, Water, Fire, and Ice). Some Shadow Walkers have other gifts such as speed, or being able to feel and track other Shadow Walkers, or use and manipulate energy. I don’t know what all they can do yet, but the possibilities are pretty exciting as well as scary.  
Pulling shadows over yourself sounds terrifying!! But becoming invisible sounds fun! How did you feel at first when you discovered your gifts? 

I had several different emotions go through me when I found out that I was a Shadow Walker. Scared, excited, weird, all sorts of moments. First of course was excitement. I mean really, how cool would it be to be able to become invisible, whenever you wanted or needed? But on the other side, there was also a bit of fear at being something, someone different than everyone else or different than I had always believed. A freak. I worried about how it was going to change my life. Would it make it better? Would it make it worse? The jury is still out on that one by the way, as some days it’s good, but then some days it really sucks.

If you could choose to have any other gift, what would it be and how would you use it?

I get asked this a lot, and the truth is, the gift of being invisible is the perfect power to have for me, but if I had to choose a different one, I would choose to be able to fly. How would I use it though is a hard one. I suppose I could run around the world and try to rescue people, but I really need to finish High School first.

What is next for you? 

Well, I’m going to have to make a trip to the other side. I need to go to Acadia to see what I am up against. See if I can be of any help to my people. I’m not ready yet for this trip, but Leif is really pushing me in that direction. I don’t think I will be able to put him off too much longer.

Wow! Thank you Sunny!!   I too would be both Scared and Excited to have such an amazing ability!!
Thank you so much for stopping by!
~~~~
For those of you that have not read this amazing book by Courtney Rene, head on over to Amazon and buy your copy today!
Sunny has a gift that she has no idea how to use, until she meets Leif, a boy from the kingdom of Acadia, on the other side of the shadows.

Leif teaches Sunny about Shadow Walkers and how to use her new found gifts. As they grow closer and their gifts grow stronger, a threat arrives. The Shadow Guard has been sent to bring Sunny back to Acadia, to determine if she is a threat to the king as the rightful ruler of Acadia.

As Leif and Sunny prepare to defend themselves, Sunny finds that Leif has also been sent to bring Sunny back to the kingdom but for very different reasons. As a battle for possession of Sunny wages, she is struggling to come to turns with her feelings of inadequacy regarding controlling her gifts as well as the hurt regarding the lies and deceit of everyone around her.

Cover Revealed! Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

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This morning Mundie Moms revealed the cover to Clockwork Prince, the 2nd installment of The Infernal Devices, from the BEA!!
For the full post just click on the picture of this amazing Cover!!
I love it! I love all of Cassandra Clare’s Covers.
I for one tend to pick up books because of their covers, and then go from there, so this is another one I would choose solely based on the cover.
So what do you think?
P.S. Head on over to Mundie Moms to enter in a giveaway to win some Clockwork Prince Stuff!

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