Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Feature Characters With Red Hair


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Books That Feature Characters X.  This gives me a little a little freedom, so I've decided to share great characters with red hair.  Since I myself have red hair, I have to admit that I feel a bit of a thrill when I read about characters with the same mutation as me!  Her we go, in no particular order:


Scarlet by Marissa Meyer - Scarlet herself has flaming red locks.


City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare - Clary Fray, the main character of The Mortal Instruments, is a natural redhead.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - The entire Weasley clan has red hair!


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - Eleanor herself has curly red hair.


These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - As you can see on the cover, Lilac has brilliant red hair.


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark - Jonathan has red hair (but unfortunately he doesn't in the excellent adaptation - Bertie Carvel still does a marvelous job in the role, though).


Across the Universe by Beth Revis - Amy has red hair, different from everyone else on the ship.




A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin - Sansa, Catelyn, and Robb (less so in the show) Stark all have auburn hair.


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Jamie has ginger locks.


Archie by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples - This classic redhead is given a modern new look in this reboot.


Have you ever tried any of these books?  Thanks as always for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell - Review



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I received a free copy of this paperback book from Strange Books in exchange for an honest review.

Nothing is Strange is the first collection of short stories by Mike Russell. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to read this weird and wonderful collection after having enjoyed his work in Strange Medicine. In this collection, we get to see a wider variety of his style with twenty stories. I liked all of the stories featured here, but my favorites are "The Warehouse", "The Meeting", "Barry and the Triplets", "Extraordinary Elsie", "Mask Man", "Stan and Stan", and "The Living Crown".

These uniquely surreal stories aren't for everyone, but all of them are really well put together. As for all of the stories I mentioned above, I wouldn't say no to hearing a little more from those worlds or having each of them expanded to something a bit longer. If you like Karen Russell's style from Vampires in the Lemon Grove, you may want to give strange, in the best way, tales a look.

Thanks again to Strange Books for this wonderful opportunity!


I read this collection of short stories from September 23 - 24, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Music Monday: On The Radio


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

This week I'm sharing two songs that I first heard on the radio a few weeks ago that I still haven't gotten tired of.  Every time I hear "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man (2017) and "Song #3" by Stone Sour (2017) I turn them up!  I'm definitely going to have to listen to more from these two!





Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller (ARC) - Review


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I received this free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Violet is the sixteen year-old daughter of the founding father New Earth and she has lived a life of prosperity, peace, safety, and comfort. Life is easy thanks in part to the Intercept, a crime prevention device that monitors your thoughts and emotions and can potentially use them against you in order to keep the peace for all on New Earth. When Danny, her long time crush gets into a dangerous situation down on Old Earth, Violet decides to secretly begin investigating. Her findings lead her to question everything she knows about Danny, her father, and the Intercept.

I was really looking forward to to reading The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me. This is actually one of those stories where I preferred the concept to the final execution. Basically, it's a YA sci-fi dystopian that deals with the issue of the state controlling your emotions and thoughts. Think 1984, except instead of Big Brother you have the Intercept. The Intercept monitors everything - if you try to commit a crime, it makes you relive your worst memory and feel all of emotions that went along with it. It's pretty effective that way at stopping crimes - and it's a government approved program. Sounds pretty intriguing, doesn't it? I was totally expecting something along the lines of 1984, Minority Report, and a dash of the Dementors from the Harry Potter series. The first half seemed fairly promising as it begins to set up our characters and the world although at a slower pace. By the end, though, I realized I wasn't invested in the characters and there's not enough development in the individuals, or when it building their relationships. I was also disappointed with the world-building of New Earth, the background on it and Old Earth, and the Intercept itself. Unfortunately, all of these are lacking as well - I should have had less questions regarding each by the time I made it through that rushed ending.

Overall, The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller has a lot of potential to be a good YA sci-fi dystopian in the vein of a couple of classics. It didn't quite work out for me as I felt there wasn't enough world building or character development to really be invested in the long run. You may want to try this series opener if you are looking for a YA novel with the flavor of 1984 or Minority Report. By the way, I have to admit that I was totally waiting for a cat nun to show up!



I read this ARC from September 21 - 23, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.  This novel is due to be released on November 7th.

Moonlighter (PULSE #2) by R.A. Crawford - Review



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I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The best-of-the-best crew of Moonlighter, the most cutting-edge ship in the PULSE fleet, has been tasked with locating a missing woman, the most important woman in the entire universe. Captain Zara and her crew will risk it all to bring her home. Stella, the newest addition to the crew and the only Human on-board, is still recovering from her grueling Trial. She has a lot to learn or she may end up losing her posting because the Moonlighter only accepts the best PUSLE has to offer. She's also going to have to come to terms with just how alien her fellow crewmates really are. Even though the Moonlighter and it's crew are the best of the best, this mission just might turn out to be too much for even them.

I'm so thrilled to be back in the world of PULSE. I read book one at the beginning of 2017 and I absolutely adored it. If you like, you can check out my review of book one, The Trial, here. Thanks again to R.A. Crawford to giving me this opportunity! Anyway, the second book in the PULSE series, Moonlighter, takes up immediately after the intense thrill ride that was The Trial. The sequel really changes the game and I loved every second of it. We're still following Stella every step of the way, but this time we're thrown into an entirely new setting with an all new alien cast of characters. We get to see a lot more of the interstellar PULSE universe than what we got to glimpse in book one.

Just like before I loved getting a good look at, through Stella's eyes, our broad cast. Each member of the crew really gets their moment to shine. How all of these different alien species have come together to work together on the ship and get things done is fascinating, although there may be a little friction here and there. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Rao sisters, one of whom is the most well-known PULSE soldiers and the other has been assigned to work with Stella. Finally, I also want to mention just how great the author is a writing action scenes in this series. It's all very visual and I was really on the edge of my seat quite a few time.

Overall, I highly recommend the PULSEseries. I'm so thrilled to have had the opportunity to try both of the novels in the series so far, The Trial and Moonlighter. It's definitely set the tone for my wonderful reading year. This novel ends well, but I would love to come back to this universe some day. I'm looking forward to R.A. Crawford's future projects. Thanks again!



I read this ebook from September 17 - 22, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum + 50/50 Friday

 



On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook.  Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.  As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.   Then, for  50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, a nonfiction book called The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum.  This is actually my seventh book for Fall 2017 Bookish Bingo - I'm really on the ball this time - and it fulfills the American History square.  Anyway, I'd seen this come through the library recently and it really caught my attention.  So far it's fascinating.

Beginning:

Until the early nineteenth century few tools existed to detect a toxic substance in a corpse.

56:

Alexander Gettler, tracking cyanide problems in New York, kept a list of accidental poisonings, such as those caused when someone with an open cut on a hand polished the family silver.  The exposure was low enough that most people, after becoming miserably sick, survived.

50/50 Friday: Author You'd Most/ Least Like To Meet


Least - E.L. James


Most - J.K. Rowling

Are you taking part in Fall Bookish Bingo this season?  What have you read for it so far?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog, and perhaps even commenting down below.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook (ARC) - Review



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I received this free eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Skye has given tarot card readings and has had psychic visions before, but they've always come easily enough seeing as they've all been faked. Now, though, her "visions" are helping the police find Paige, the missing daughter of a prominent local judge, but this time she has insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy - a harmless prank - that would earn her the money she desperately needs to move to NYC after graduation with her best friend. Things go south as Skye realizes that the people she's involved with are willing to kill to get what they want. She'll have to uncover their true identity before it's too late.

The Hanging Girl is the first novel that I've had the chance to read by Eileen Cook and I'm certainly glad that this novel was my jumping in point to her work. If you love a great YA mystery thriller with an unreliable narrator, I expect you'll really appreciate this story. Let me get this out of the way first: I didn't really like any of the characters presented here. That being said, I was absolutely hooked by by this intense and twisty thriller. I didn't want to look away in case I missed the next turn because just when you think you're starting to get things sorted out - bang - something comes along and totally changes the game.

Skye, our MC, isn't all that likable, but she is still a fascinating character to follow since she is pretty much a compulsive liar. If she thinks she can benefit from a lie, she's spinning stories to get what she needs. She also has a great memory for details and she's great at reading body language and facial expressions. Her mother, to put it lightly, is half out of it and very eccentric. She thoroughly believes in all sorts of spiritual types of things from reading auras to having psychic visions and she definitely doesn't set the best example for her daughter, or provide for her. To say the least, Skye has a crappy home life on top of everything else. The only bright spot in her life is Drew, her best friend, and really her only classmate who has been willing to put up with her. While I appreciated Drew's role, I wish it could have been a bit further beyond what end up getting. As much as I want to talk about some of the big twists, I won't spoil it for those of you that haven't had the opportunity to try this novel. Here's my forewarning: don't let your guard down because you've got some real doozies coming your way!

Overall, The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook is a new YA mystery thriller that is a roller coaster of twists and turns. If like me you have a soft spot for unreliable narrators and are looking for a YA Gone Girl-esque read, you need to try this novel and meet Skye. I will definitely be bumping Eileen Cook's 2016 release, With Malice, up my TBR list.



I read this eARC from September 18 - 21, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.  This novel will be released on October 3rd, 2017.