Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

It's Tuesday again and that means I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  The theme this week is "books that were hard for me to read (for various reasons)" - I could easily fill this up with textbooks, but I'll try not to. Either way, the books below were difficult because they were cringe-worthy, had difficult subject matter, an odd writing style, or just plain difficult for me to get into, etc.

Without further ado!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 

My main issue with this is the clunky writing style and numerous unnecessary metaphors and similes.  I like a stylized novel when flows and comes across as effortless, but that is not the case with Shatter Me.  The romance also got old after awhile - I picked up right away that Adam is hot and brooding and that Juliette is angsty and desperate, I didn't need to be reminded every other paragraph.  And Warner, the villain, came across as so flat and I'm pretty sure he missed a crucial aspect of Juliette's character while he was busy twirling his metaphorical mustache.

The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries #1) by L. J. Smith

The tv show had been recommended to me so many times, so when I was waiting for it to arrive at the library, I decided to read the book first.  Good thing I picked it up at a junk shop for only a quarter!  My main issue with the book is that I couldn't stand Elena one bit.  The only thing that made me give it two stars was that I liked the Renaissance aspect.  Let's just say, I'm glad the show is completely different from the book!  (I'm in the middle of season four right now!)

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

I read this mystery novel for a course and wasn't impressed.  It was hard to read because at times it could be downright vague.  For example, the explanation of the crime is a huge weak point due to vagueness.  It left me wanting more of an explanation, or at least a better one, but it never came.  The writing style was also difficult to follow - which again comes back to the story being vague when it shouldn't.

The French Connection by Robin Moore

I love the movie that this case/book inspired, but the book is so dry that it became downright boring.  It became so hard to read that I ended up barely skimming it and looking at the case pictures.

Red Rain by R.L. Stine

When I was a kid I compulsively read everything Stine wrote, so when he came out with this adult book I had to read it.  Unfortunately, I couldn't even bring myself to finish it.  It just didn't work for me...I think I'll stick with Goosebumps and Fear Street.

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen definitely falls under cringeworthy (and it clocked in at a near constant eye rolling)!  Well for the first two chapters anyway which is as far as I made it!  It was recommended to me multiple times and I figured I should see what the fuss was about.  The reviews looked pretty divisive (either you love it or you hate it) and it sounded a little too much like Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (which I also didn't like).  It just wasn't for me!

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

I like when author's can take a well-used plot and put their own refreshing spin on them.  However, that was not the case at all in this poor Supernatural rip-off with weak characters and an instalove triangle making it pretty cringeworthy.  Basically, skip this and just go watch Supernatural!

The 100 by Kass Morgan

This was pretty hard for me to read because of the confusing multiple POVs and cringeworthy due to the stupidity and lack of common sense and the love triangle (really?!).  Thankfully, like The Vampire Diaries, it turns out the tv show is actually good even if it was a bit shaky in the beginning.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

I really wanted to like this!  The blurb sounded great and it started off strong, but it slowed way down turned into a romance novel (of the Twilight variety) where the characters mostly drink lots of wine and do yoga - not what I signed up for when I began listening to the audiobook!  If only it were cut it half, I think it would have hooked me.

Did anyone else feel the same about any of these novels, or was it just me?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Funday

Happy Sunday!  It's been a brilliant day!

In book related news, this week I visited Ollie's Bargain Outlet and purchased Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield, Luminous by Dawn Metcalf, Living Hell by Catherine Jinks, The Shadows by Jacqueline West.

Have I ever said just how much I love Ollie's?!

This week I also finished listening to the audiobook of Magyk (Septimus Heap #1) by Angie Sage .  I really should have gotten into this fantastic series so much earlier.  If you love Harry Potter like I do, you won't want to miss this series!

Now I'm working on reading Hollow City by Ransom Riggs which I am greatly enjoying.  I just love how he integrates those photographs into his work!

I am also listening to Doctor Sleep by Stephen King on audiobook and I like revisiting Danny 25 years (for him) after The Shining.  Initially, I didn't know what to make of Will Patton as narrator, but his talents are starting to win me over.

In non-book related news, I found Moonlight: The Complete Series on dvd at Goodwill for the spectacular price of $1.25!! I loved this show back when it originally aired and I'm really looking forward to rewatching it as many times as I care to now!

Doctor Who: Series Four, Part 2 also arrived in the mail!  There are some pretty fantastic episodes in this set!  Molto bene!

Of all of my holds at the library, The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season finally came in!  After that insane cliffhanger at the end of season three, I'm very interested to see how Elena handles her fate.  I've made it through the first five episodes and so far I like where they're going with it!  I can honestly say I prefer the tv series to the books!

And to top it all off, I've borrowed The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season from a friend and have been working my way through it!  Here's to hoping nothing too bad happens to my favorite characters, Darryl, Michonne, Glenn, Carol, or Rick!  But if the comics are any indication, things will not be easy for them!

This past week is when new tv shows began and old shows returned!  Sleepy Hollow continues to be one of my favorites and I'm absolutely delighted that it's back! Glad to see Ichabod and Abbie back in it!  I am looking forward to the extended season!

I also believe that Gotham will quickly become a new favorite based on the strength of its series premiere!  If you haven't watched it yet, you need to fix that right away!

Tonight I was really looking forward to watching the season four premiere of Once Upon A Time, but unfortunately ABC was not coming in...I'll have to watch it later online.  I'm looking forward to seeing how they're going to work one of my new favorite movies, Frozen, into Storybrooke!

Finally, the absolute best news of the week:  I've paid off my student loans and it feels great to be debt free!

Until next time!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Thanks very much to Gwen & Kate's Library for nominating me (and everyone else following them) for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

1.) Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2.) Put the award logo on your blog.
3.) Answer the ten questions they’ve set you.
4.) Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5.) Nominate ten people.

Now my answers to their questions:

1. What are your pet peeves?

Tardiness and an unwillingness to work.

2. Your favorite movies?

The Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, Star Wars series, Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Singin' in the Rain, The Princess Bride, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Strangers on a Train, Spirited Away, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Iron Giant, Iron Man, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Conjuring, Christopher Nolan's Batman series, Dark City, The Matrix, Edward Scissorhands, Inception 

3. Top thing(s) on your general bucket list?

Mostly to do with travel - I would love to visit Paris, Vienna, Prague, Dublin, Stockholm, Berlin, Beijing, and Tokyo.

4. Farthest you've ever travelled?

London (and I would love to go back!)

5. Your favorite fairy-tale?

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Mulan, Rapunzel, and Cinderella (Grimm version)

6. A unique habit or talent you have?

When I listen to the radio in the car, I can't help but come up with alternate verses.

7. Your favorite word?

Discombobulated! I just love the sound and how much I think it fits its meaning.

8. One aspect of your dream house?

A library straight out of Disney's Beauty and the Beast!

9. Favorite Harry Potter book (not having read all of them is not an option!)?

Books 3, 5, and 7 (How can I choose just one?!)

10. The hardest question to answer on this list?

Question 6!

Like my nominator, I would also like to nominate the people who follow me (and other readers who want to join in the fun). I also want them to answer the same questions I just did because these are some good questions!

Thanks again, Gwen and Kate!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday Flicks - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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I had initially hoped to see this movie at the movies, but was unable to at the time and I've just gotten around to seeing the dvd.  I really enjoyed the first film featuring Steve Rogers' transformation into Captain America and I enjoyed the character's appearance in The Avengers.  After hearing so many good things about this installment I was really looking forward to where the character would go from the last time we saw him.  I know some people consider the character (and first installment) to be on the boring side, but I liked it fact that Steve is already a hero before he becomes super.  If you haven't already seen other Marvel films, I think this would work very well as an entry point.  If you don't know anything about the movies or comics, you would probably be alright jumping in here.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed the second installment a little more than the first.   I already had a pretty good sense of who the characters are - great seeing more from Fury and Romanoff! - and I liked seeing that they have room to still have room to grow as characters before our eyes.  It's a fairly dark film in comparison to the first, but there are still fun moments, see Steve's list and his friendship with Sam.  I can definitely say I'm really looking forward to more of Sam Wilson in these movies.

Of course, I have to talk at least a little bit about the action sequences.  The are excellently shot and they're suspenseful in a nail-biting way, the best of ways!  Like I said before, I liked seeing more of Fury, especially how nearly indestructible his SUV is and just how awesome Scarlett Johansson is (seriously, when is Black Widow going to have her own movie?).  Of course, there's the Winter Soldier himself and he makes a great foe for Steve (even though I already knew who he turns out to be, I was still shaken up and maybe a little heartbroken).  I also really enjoyed the Sam's flight sequences as the Falcon, very well done (makes me wonder when there will ever be a Maximum Ride film...)!

I know this review didn't do the movie justice - just go see it! :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Magyk (Septimus Heap #1) by Angie Sage - Review

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Septimus Heap, the seventh son of a seventh son, is pronounced dead and is stolen by the midwife the night of his birth. At the same time, his father comes across a baby girl with violet eyes bundled up out in the snow all alone. The Heap family takes her in and raises her as their own daughter, Jenna Heap. A few months later her mother, Sarah Heap, learns that the queen was murdered and that the ExtraOrdinary Wizard rescued the queen's newborn daughter. Sarah realizes that Jenna must actually be the princess. Unfortunately a spy, realizes, approximately ten years later, the same thing and tells the evil Supreme Custodian, who promptly orders Jenna and the Heaps' deaths. The ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia, warns them of what's coming and spirits away Jenna and recommends that the Heaps' hide in the forest until they can be sure they are safe. Then, there is also the question of what will be done with Boy 412, the nearly dead ten year-old sentry boy Marcia revived outside of the Wizard Tower with Jenna.

I loved listening to this engaging and inventive tale on audiobook. Our narrator Allan Corduner gives a wonderful performance voicing the full cast. The magykal world-building is fantastic, but what really makes it stand out are the diverse characters Sage has created, even the supporting cast and non-human cast. All of the characters work well and compliment each other (not literally, of course!) in terms of the story as a whole. I also liked the sense of adventure and the brand of humor, which definitely reminded me of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. It's filled with twists and turns, and although being somewhat predictable, I couldn't stop listening to see where this delightfully detailed story would go next.

I highly recommend Magyk by Angie Sage for fans of the Harry Potter series and Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. I will be back for the rest of the series!

I read this from September 17 - 25, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Liebster Award Pt. 3

I've been nominated for the Liebster Award for a third time and it blows my mind!  Thanks for that Emily @ Emily Etc.

Sime I've been nominated before and nominated others then, I'll believe I'll save myself a little bit of time and simply come up with the 11 facts and answer the 11 questions supplied by Emily.

First things first!  The 11 facts:

1. I felt like I hit the jackpot yesterday when I found a nickel under a gallon can of paint! 

2. At the recommendation of a coworker I just started watching a Spanish television show called Grand Hotel, if you like Downton Abbey you should seriously consider watching it!  Right now the first season (out of three) is available on Hulu with English subtitles for people like me who don't speak Spanish.

3. Recently purchased what I thought was a nice Halloween decoration only to discover it is now my cat's most hated enemy (even more so than the vacuum cleaner!).

4. I'm really glad I didn't live in 1935-1936 Toledo, Ohio because as a pedestrian I would have had slightly less than a 50% chance of making it home uninjured (or even still alive for that matter). According to the 1937 Toledo Traffic Planning Report, the odds wouldn't have been in my favor against automobiles.

5. The Playaway is my favorite audiobook format.

6. I don't own a smartphone.

7. My third generation iPod Nano is considered obsolete by today's standards.  So obsolete that if it were a phonograph it would require a crank to play music! But it still works, so that's what matters! 

8.  I shouldn't be trusted with a credit card in a bookstore.

9. I like big books and I cannot lie.

10.  I love taking long walks - if it isn't at least 5 miles, it's not a good walk.

11. My favorite radio station changed a few days ago and now plays a completely different type of music that I don't like.  

And now on to the questions:

1. Which book world would you live in, if you could never return?

These first two are such difficult questions, but I would love to live in Harry Potter's Wizarding World!

2. Which book world would you travel to for a week before returning?

I would love to travel (or live in!) to Middle-earth!  Or perhaps, I could just take a vacation to New Zealand...

3. What book have you been meaning to read forever but just not got round to?

Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson - I loved the first installment of the series, Full Blooded, so I really need to read the sequel which has been sitting on my shelf for a little while now.

4. What book did everyone else love, but you hated?

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi -  I liked a couple parts of the premise but I couldn't get into the writing style or Juliette. And Warner - don't get me started.  I probably won't be returning to the series.

5. What book were you very sceptical about reading but actually loved?

 I was skeptical about reading Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks - I love the original short stories and the tv show with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, so I was nervous to find out if he could successfully write the characters.  Turns out he could and he did it well!

6. Fictional crush?

I'm going to be consistent and say Atticus O'Sullivan from The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.

7. Most perfect book ending?

I could go with quite a few here, but I'm going to mention a book that definitely deserves a lot of love and that's All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill.

8. What do you do when you're bored?

Earlier today I was feeling a little bored so I did an hour's worth of cardio...more likely though I will be reading!

9. When did you last cry, and why? (If you want to tell us!)

When I rewatched the series two finale of Doctor Who a couple of weeks ago - Rose! *sniff*

10. What's your happy song(s)?

Currently it's "The Walker" by Fitz and the Tantrums.

11. And finally, what's your sad song(s)?

"I Am Stretched On Your Grave" by Kate Rusby - I love this song and Rusby has an amazing voice, but it is a good song to feel sad to.

Thanks again for the nomination, Emily!

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

It's another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week the theme is Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List.  I'm going to further break it down by books I already own as of today. I'm really looking forward to these and they should keep me busy for a little while!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Reading Cram 2.0: Chills and Thrills Readathon!

This year I'm planning on participating in the #ReadingCram Chills and Thrills Readathon from October 24th to October 31 which is hosted by Jenny @ JuliaBabyJen's Reading Room, Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books, and Little Red Reader.  More information can be found at the above links, if you would like to participate too!

More soon!

Sunday Funday - The Maze Runner Movie Edition

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I had a great Sunday as I got to see this action-packed thriller! (Sorry my post is a little late, but I needed some time to compose a thoughtful response to the movie.)

First off, I think I prefered The Maze Runner movie to the book, and I don't say that often. All in all it's a fair book-to-screen adaptation, where the few changes are for the better.  The film also really makes the most of its budget and I really enjoyed the Maze and Griever effects.

If you don't already know the story, here is a quick summary.  After having his memory wiped,Thomas finds himself stuck in a place called The Glade at the center of a giant Maze.  Some of the other boys in the same situation have been stuck there for as long as three years without finding an exit.  As their carefully constructed society begins to fall apart, Thomas realizes he will have to team up with the maze runners if he wants to find a way out.

I really liked the diverse cast and the acting throughout was pretty solid.  Everyone seemed to have appropriate reactions to what was going on around them, even if they varied pretty widely (from Gally to Alby to Newt to Chuck to Thomas and Teresa) they all seemed realistic.  From the moment, Dylan O'Brien was cast as Thomas, I was interested to see where he'd go with it as he's easily my favorite character on the three and a half seasons I've watched of Teen Wolf.  He didn't disappoint as Thomas and he successfully manages to carry the film.  I'm looking forward to what he'll be doing in the future.  Going in I was also familiar with Will Poulter and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, so I was also pleased to see them cast as Gally and Newt, and both did an excellent job in their parts.  

As for the changes from book to movie, I liked that the Glader slang was cut down quite a bit.  It worked well enough for the book even if it did get a bit annoying, but onscreen I'm not sure if it would have come across well at all.  I did catch a few shanks and klunk here and there.  I'm also very glad they removed the mental link between Thomas and Teresa.  In the book, I was able to figure out the two characters are connected and didn't need to be hit over the head with it.  It seems such an unnecessary element so I'm glad it was cut from the film.  I also noticed the mind control aspect was removed, which honestly didn't hurt the movie as far as I'm concerned because it allows you to see just how much the experiment has screwed them up.

Regarding what I didn't like about the movie,  it's basically what I didn't like about the book and that would be the end and "reveal."  I didn't like the rest of the books in the series nearly as much as I liked the first and that may carry over into the films.  I liked the lab rats in a maze aspect of the first installment, but not so much the reasoning, if you could call it that, behind it.

Overall, The Maze Runner is riveting, intense, and claustrophobic in the best of ways.  I highly recommend seeing the movie, even if you have reservations.  It's a solid adaptation that makes the most of its source material.  I will be interested to see what will be done with the sequels for the big screen!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Friday Flicks - Frozen

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I've finally seen Frozen and I think it's an absolutely fantastic movie!  The animation is stunning - some things looked incredibly realistic.  I also really enjoyed the entire soundtrack - not just "Let It Go."  Of course, I adored the positive relationship between Elsa and Anna.

As for the characters, my favorite aside from the sisters has to be Kristoff.  He's a very likeable and steady character, who would be great to have on your side.  While watching, I was really surprised by the truth about Hans.  Looking back on it there was some foreshadowing, but not enough that it really set off any alarms for me.  Regarding our two main non-human characters, Olaf and Sven, Sven comes out on top with Olaf just behind.  Sven reminds me a bit of Maximus from Tangled, and I really liked Maximus.   Which reminds me, I spotted Rapunzel and Flynn!  Anyways, I'm not sure if it's just me but when Olaf dances with the seagulls in his daydream about summer, but was that a pretty good homage to Bert's penguin dance from Mary Poppins?  I'd like to think so! :)

Even though we don't really have a traditional villain in this movie, I loved it all the same.  Frozen is an incredibly refreshing take on Hans Christian Andersen's The Ice Queen and traditional Disney tropes!  I know I didn't do the movie justice in this review, but you should really take my word on its awesomeness!  If you haven't seen this movie yet, what are you waiting for?!  Go get the DVD and watch it as soon as you can!  I only wish I could have seen this at the movie theater.  Keep your eyes and ears open for Arrested Development references ("Finish each others sandwiches", Lindsey's chicken dance, and "I'm a monster")!  

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris - Review

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I really like the author's style and tone (who in a way, reminds me of Karen Russell), even though this isn't exactly what I was expecting when I picked it up. Some chapters held my attention more than others. Just a reminder it's not exactly funny in the big belly laugh so of way, but it does make you think. I will be reading more by David Sedaris.

I read this September 18, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.

The Histories of the Earth: Book One: In The Window Room by Steven J. Carroll - Review

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I won a copy of this through the Goodreads First Reads Program.

Delany, a student at the Mayfield School for Girls, gets punished and is forced to stay alone in an old abandoned home on the edge of the school grounds. As she begins to explore, she finds the window room and a new friend. The window room has a contraption that can transport you to distant lands for set periods of time. Delany and her new friend, Meris, have all kinds of adventures via the window room.

I really enjoyed the premise of In the Window Room by Steven J. Carroll and the almost fairy tale style of the story. It's truly a lot of fun and I think kids age 9 to 12 would get a real kick out of it.

However, I wish the narrator didn't break in as much as he does because it really disrupted the story. I would have rated this higher if the story was just told straight out rather than with all of the footnotes, brackets, and parenthetical references peppered throughout. It took me a little while to get used to the writing style, but once I liked the tale itself quite a bit.

Overall, I liked this short and sweet adventure to a far off land.

I read this from September 16 - 18, 2014 and my review is also available on Goodreads.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool - Review

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Abilene has been sent to Manifest, Kansas by her father for the summer while he works a railroad job. She has few possessions and doesn't really know anyone in town. She has heard stories about the place and hopes to find out about her father when he was a boy. When she sees the town for the first time it doesn't live up to her expectations, but when she finds hidden treasures. Some of the letters included mention a spy called The Rattler and with her newfound friends she begins a spy hunt. She also learns tales from the past from a diviner named Miss Sadie as she works to pay off a debt. The more of the town history she hears the more she learns of her father's role in it and she also begins to make her own mark on the town.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is engaging and a beautifully written work of historical fiction. I love that the author so seamlessly integrates 1918 and 1936 into the narrative and added some flavor with the newspaper articles and advertisements. Abilene is a very likeable, relatable, and independent leading character and I just couldn't help but root for her over the course of the story. While the story features a compelling mystery, at heart it's really about family, home, past and future, love, loss, and redemption.

Excellent narration by Jenna Lamia with Cassandra Campbell and Kirby Heyborne. They really brought life into Vanderpool's words. I highly recommend this amazing Depression-era middle-grade book in print or audio!

I read this from September 12 - 17, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Oath of Servitude by C. E. Wilson - Review

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

Cailin, a pixi, is forced to serve her father's oath of servitude owed to a man called Owen Ainsley. Years ago, Owen saved her father from certain death, and now Owen needs help with his son, Teague. Teague lost everything when he went blind in a baseball accident and has begun drinking like a fish, left school, and refuses to go to his therapist. Cailin's father decides he isn't going but is going to send his daughter to fulfill his promise by staying with the family for a year and trying to help Teague as much as she can. Cailin knows little about humans and is only twelve inches tall. Her father hopes that by fulfilling this oath will keep her out of the Darkness, a horrible place where pixi's are punished. In Cailin's case, she may have been sent because she doesn't follow the traditional pixi beauty standards (she dyes her hair and wears heavy makeup), and one of the pixi's of the Portune really has it out for her family, and is just itching for an excuse to send her entire family to the Darkness. Now, Teague has no idea pixi's exist and no idea who Cailin is, let alone why he should let her into his home for an entire year. Both will have to figure out how to make things work if they want to stay out of the Darkness.

I like the concept of this book. I haven't read many YA fantasy/paranormal books featuring pixis and the author does a good job of giving the pixis a distinct and unique sound in comparison to the human characters. Both Cailin and Teague had unique voices and felt pretty realistic. I liked that we could see them bring out the good in each other, but not too quickly.

However, the world-building left a little to be desired. I wanted to know more about the pixi as a culture/people. Sometimes Cailin seems so different from Teague, but then at other times I couldn't really tell the difference because she felt very human, just a little on the short side. I also would have liked to know more about this Darkness place, and what exactly is Lennox's problem? I also didn't quite understand the oath aspect. Cailin is sent to the human world in order to work to fulfill a promise made by her father to Owen, but it seemed to me that Owen had to do the most work. He has to keep her safe, in more ways than one, make sure she doesn't leave, and make his home more pixi-accessible. I also don't quite get what he was expecting her to do - how would her presence be better than a human therapist? I also thought the love-triangle aspect at the end was unnecessary as was the romance angle between Cailin and Teague.

Overall, I enjoyed this story even if I found myself with more questions by the end, and spotted a handful of typos sprinkled throughout.

I read this from September 6 - 16, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.

High & Dry by Sarah Skilton - Review

I found an ARC of High & Dry by Sarah Skilton at my local Goodwill and thought the blurb sounded interesting.

This is the blurb on my ARC copy:

Charlie Dixon is having a bad week. Framed for a stranger's near-fatal overdose at a party, blackmailed into finding a mysterious flash drive that everyone in school seems anxious to suppress, and pressured by his shady best friend to throw an upcoming match, high school soccer player Charlie Dixon is dealing with more than his share of drama. Add a broken heart -- and the drinking he's been doing to soothe it -- and he's near the breaking point. In this fast-paced, multilayered mystery, Charlie spends a frantic week trying to clear his name, win back the girl of his dreams, and escape a past friendship that may be responsible for all his current problems. This book captures the tone and style of the best crime fiction while also telling a high-stakes story of peer pressure gone tragically awry, from Sarah Skilton, the author of the critically acclaimed Bruised.

I gave it fifty pages, but I found I just didn't care enough about the Charlie or the mystery to continue the story so I quit reading, sorry. Like the blurb says about tone and style of the best crime fiction, I would agree Charlie's voice does remind me of a detective in a film noir movie or a hard-boiled crime fiction novel. Unfortunately, the author doesn't quite pull it off. It just sounds incredibly out of place to my ears.

I gave High & Dry a shot, but it just wasn't for me.

I read this from September 15 - 16, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.

The French Connection by Robin Miller - Review


When I found this at a yard sale I was so pleased because I love the movie of this true tale. I skimmed over the book and enjoyed looking at the photographs, but to be honest "The World's Most Crucial Narcotics Investigation" is so dry that it's almost boring. I would rather watch the movie.  I skimmed this book from September 14 -15, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.

I mean, watch this car chase scene from the movie - it's so awesome! If you haven't watched it, you really should!

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I've Only Read One Book From And Need To Read More

Time for Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is "Author I've Only Read One Book From And Need To Read More.

My list includes but is not limited to the following authors:

1. Sarah J. Maas - Throne of Glass is absolutely fantastic and I can't wait until Crown of Midnight arrives in my mailbox, which should be any day now!

2. A.G. Howard -  I love what this author did with Wonderland in Splintered and I'm really looking forward to Unhinged, which should be arriving in my mailbox anytime!

3. Trent Reedy - I was really impressed with this author's skills when I listened to Divided We Fall when it was made available through YA Sync.  I must continue this pre-dystopian series!

4. Cristin Terrill - All Our Yesterdays is now one of my favorite time travel books and, like Divided We Fall, I also discovered it through YA Sync.  I will read anything this author cares to write in the future!

5. Neal Stephenson - I was blown away by Snow Crash because it's just so brilliant in every way!  Of all the characters, Y.T.'s the best - take note YA authors because that's how you successfully write a strong teen girl! I have Diamond Age on cassette waiting for me on my shelf and I'm really looking forward to it.

6. Elizabeth Wein - Code Name Verity was also available through YA Sync this Summer and it's a marvelous piece of historical fiction.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it even if historical fiction isn't your thing.  I need to read the companion title, Rose Under Fire.

7. Moira Young - I loved Blood Red Road and I must continue with the series!

8. Rainbow Rowell - I've only read Fangirl so far and I really enjoyed it.  I must read Eleanor & Park, Landline, and Attachments, plus anything else she cares to write!

9. Suzanne Young - I was really impressed with what this author did with The Program and I am looking forward to finding out what happens to the cast of characters.

10. Marisha Pessel - I loved the dark tone of Night Film and I really flew through the book.  I'm keeping my eyes open for anything and everything else Pessel writes.