Book Review: Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice (Finlay Donovan, #4) by Elle Cosimano

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Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice (Finlay Donovan, #4)  by Elle Cosimano opens with Finlay Donovan and her nanny, Vero, planning a trip to Atlantic City to pay off some debts, find Javi, and retrieve a stolen car.  But first, they come up with a cover story that backfires miserably.  Finlay and Vero have to be clever and sneaky to accomplish what they set out to do, but will they have to come clean? Thank you, NetGalley, for the Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice (Finlay Donovan, #4) by Elle Cosimano.  This is one of the books I was most excited about being able to read before it was in stores.  I received the eBook for free in exchange for my honest review. The fourth installment picks up where the last book ended and ties up the loose ends from Finlay Donovan Knocks Them Dead (Finlay Donovan, #3)  . . . so much so that I thought that this was going to be the last book in the series.  However, Finlay Donovan Rolls The Dice ends up having a couple of cliffhangers,

Book Review: The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1) by L.J. Smith

The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1) by L.J. Smith tells the story of Cassie Blake on vacation in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and becomes friends with Portia Bainbridge. When Cassie's mother receives a phone call that her mother is in poor health, she makes the decision that Cassie and she will move to New Salem, Massachusetts to take care of her mother. Intimidated by a new school, Cassie is in awe of a group of teenagers who rule the school where even the adults are afraid of this group.

The Secret Circle trilogy was my introduction to the author L.J. Smith. I immediately fell in love with The Initiation and couldn't wait to read the other two books in the series. Since it was originally published in 1992, it was turned into a television show, and I was ecstatic about the news. However, when the first trailer came out, I was disappointed because many of the characters were nixed, and they changed some huge parts of the series that vastly changed the story, including adding a character that never existed and killing off a character off that never died in the books. With all of that being said, I never ended up watching the television series. What is interesting is that the t.v. series ended up spawning additional books in the series that were written by a ghost writer under L.J. Smith's name, and these books apparently go hand in hand with the t.v. show.

Things I love about this book is that it deals with the trial and tribulations of making new friends and starting a new school (on the other side of a continent). It also deals with being different from other students and how others react to you because of those differences. Another thing I loved about The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1) is that Greek mythology is mentioned. It always makes me want to reread The Odyssey by Homer, which I first read in the eighth grade. I finally did buy a copy of it; I just have to make time to read it!

With as many characters as there were and being a young adult book, I felt like the characters were well developed. They all have good and bad traits. And, the way they were described, I could get a clear picture of what they looked like in my mind. Not all authors can convey this well, but L.J. Smith has a knack for it. I gave The Initiation (The Secret Circle, #1) five out of five stars.

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