Friday, February 27, 2015

The Friday 56: Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

This week I'm spotlighting my current read, Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross.  It's book two in the Beau Rivage series, but you don't really need to read the first book, Kill Me Softlyto get this one.  I'm not very far into it yet, but this fairy tale retelling definitely takes its cues from Once Upon a Time.  I mean, Snow's (excuse me, Viv's) stepmother's/the Evil Queen's name is even Regina in the book.  Really?  And, I'm going to say tv Snow is a lot more likable than Viv.  Viv is just coming off like an annoying, spoiled brat, but like I said I'm not that far into it yet - maybe things'll change.  All that said, I like Once Upon a Time, so I do like the concept behind this story.

A heart in a box was not a substitute for Viv; Regina was crazy if she thought it was. was true that he didn't want to give Viv up.  He would do anything not to lose her. That was why he put up with her crap, let her humiliate him, and then, the second she needed him, came running.  Because he still had that shred of hope that they could be together.  

Or maybe he didn't anymore.  Maybe he just remembered that hope.  He didn't feel hopeful when he listened to Regina.  He felt like everything was over, and he was just clinging to a lie.  

"Whatever you two had before, it's gone.  And you're the only one who's not okay with that.  Because she has a happy ending to look forward to.  What do you have, Henley?" Regina leaned closer.  "You have a choice.  You can be laughed at, thrown aside for a boy with a fancier pedigree...or you can take what's yours."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Heroines From Books, TV, and Movies

The theme for this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Favorite Heroines from Books/TV/Movies.  I decided to take it to the next level and come up with ten for books, ten for TV, and ten for movies (keep in mind that some do overlap)!  In no particular order, here we go:


Hermione Granger

Celaena Sardothien

Nita Callahan

Lihn Cinder

Daenerys Targaryen

Arya Stark

Aibilleen Clark

Katniss Everdeen

Lisbeth Salander

Esmerelda Weatherwax


Hermione Granger

Aibileen Clark

Katniss Everdeen

Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace)

Princess Leia

Black Widow


Matilda Wormwood

Sgt. Rita Vrataski


Buffy Summers

Willow Rosenberg

Lt. Abbie Mills

Arya Stark


FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham

Rose Tyler

Dr. Martha Jones

Donna Noble

River Song

So, what do you think of my list?  Do we share any favorite characters from books, movies, or TV?  I'd love to hear what you think!  Until next time.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Friday 56: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

This week I'm spotlighting A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.  It just recently came in at the library for me and I'm really looking forward to it.  I've heard so many good things!

I always told myself nothing was ever going to happen.  Theo's older than me.  He's snarky and selfish and his arrogance would be completely repellent if he didn't have the brilliance to back it up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sirens (Faithful #3) by Janet Fox - Review

❋ ❋ 

Jo Winter’s parents send her to live with her cousin in Manhattan, it’s to get married and forget about her brother death. She finds herself caught up in the swirl of her cousin’s flapper set—and their boyfriends—where she learns talk of marriage never stops, and behind the seemingly boundless gains are illicit business endeavors, gangsters, and their molls. Jo would prefer to be with the handsome but quiet Charles, a waiter at the Algonquin, than with a bootlegger. As Jo befriends a moll, she uncovers secrets to threaten an empire and destroy those she cares about.

It was very interesting to read this shortly after having read In the Shadow of Blackbirds and The Cure for Dreaming both by Cat Winters. Personally, though, I was disappointed in the overall execution of the story. I've always enjoyed this time period when major changes are taking place in American society, but this was just kind of meh. The leading character, Jo (and her boyfriend), was just so boring. I would have much preferred the novel to be led by Lou, the other narrator with less page-time. The ending also wrapped things up neatly, but I thought it was quite anti-climatic.

I would have preferred more of this:


Final verdict:

I read this book from February 16 - 18, 2015 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Related Problems I Have

It's Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this time the theme hits close to home with book related problems I have.  You can go the serious or fun route, or a combination.  I think mine counts as a little bit of both.  Here we go:

The cost of a brand new hardback.

I could have saved so much more money if I didn't spend it all on books.

I should not be trusted in a bookstore with a credit card.

I buy new books before I've finished reading what I currently have.

I'm running out of room to put them all.

My tbr shelves and stacks are really starting to look a little messy.

My Kindle just feeds my addiction.

So does Amazon.

And thrift shops.  

Some day I just be able to walk by a beautiful new book - but not today!

By the way, I got a spectacular deal today at my local Goodwill!  I purchased Longbourn by Jo Baker (ARC), Guardians of the Dead by Karen Healey (ARC), The Devil's Company by David Liss, Godless by Pete Hautman, Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne, and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi all for a grand total of $3.28! If I've calculated correctly I saved nearly $100 (if I figured in the projected prices of the advances!!


Like I said, sometimes I just can't help myself!  Does anyone else share these problems, or is it just me?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lauren's Presidents' Day Giveaway featuring The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

It's Presidents' Day!  What better way to celebrate than with a good book giveaway?  Of course, I could give away a book actually related to the holiday in some way, but no matter.  I would like to share my new found love of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black with one lucky person!

Just look at that gorgeous cover - doesn't it just make you want to dive right in?

This giveaway begins now and will stay open until 12AM on Monday, February 23rd.  To enter see the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in your favor!

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black - Review

❋ ❋ ❋ 

Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, a town where humans and fae live side-by-side. The faeries' magic attracts tourists, but the citizens of the town know just how dangerous that magic really is, especially Hazel. When they were children, Hazel used to be a knight, and her brother a bard, who fought to stop them when things went too far. In the center of the great woods is a glass coffin where a decidedly non-human boy with horns on his head and ears as sharp as knives has slept for generations. Both Hazel and Ben grew up loving this mysterious figure and making up all kinds of fantastical stories of their adventures together with the horned boy at their side. One day, though, everything changes when the boy awakes and he's not at all what anyone thought.

This is the first book I've read by Holly Black featuring faeries, as I have yet to read Tithe. I loved The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and The Curse Workers (I still have to read Black Heart), and The Darkest Part of the Forest sounded so intriguing that I knew it was a must read. I can honestly say that I love her style when it comes to faerie tales and she hooked me right from the beginning. She is an expert at creating a world that feels so real despite all the fantastic elements; the combination of the real world and fantasy world is incredibly intriguing. Her characters are flawed and all over the place, but I mean that in the best of ways because it makes them come across as all the more realistic.

I can also appreciate the way the romance elements don't completely dominate the story. The romance is there, but it's not all consuming - just the way I prefer it. The author also turns some of the conventional tropes of the genre on end. I thought I knew how the story was going to go, but thanks to unexpected twists I found myself delighted to be wrong. The only gripe I have is with the ending. While I liked it well enough, I still felt somewhat disappointed. Maybe I just want to see more of Fairfold and They Themselves.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed my first foray into Holly Black's dark faerie tales. Her world-building and character creating skills are stunning and completely enthralling. If you like The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, you will love The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black!

I read this book from February 12 - 16, 2015 and my review is also on Goodreads.

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters - Review

❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

Olivia Mead is a suffragist during a time that prefers its girls to be quiet and obedient. Olivia’s father, upset by her lack of femininity, hires a stage mesmerist to hypnotize the rebellion out of her and make her the perfect future wife for a young man. However, Henri, the hypnotist with interesting motives of his own, gives her the ability to see people’s true natures, even though she is unable to speak her mind and verbally express her anger. These challenges only make her all the more determined to speak her mind and fight for women's basic rights as American citizens.

The Cure for Dreaming is only the second book I've read by Cat Winters, but I would say that she is well on her way to becoming one of my favorite authors. I love how she is able to so expertly combine a stirring historical fiction novel with paranormal elements that really enrich and complement the well-researched historical (great selection of real-life photos included) aspect of the novel. I've always been fascinated with this time period and Olivia's story is a fantastic glimpse into the era. As a character, Olivia is a great heroine to take us on this journey. As a modern woman of the 21st century, following Olivia's story makes it quite accessible and her voice is refreshing in the light of those she faces in the novel. Even though the story is set in 1900, the subject matter still feels timely and urgent.

I highly recommend The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters. If you liked her previous release, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, you should not miss her newest book. I, for one, am interested in reading anything and everything she will write in the future. Since I've always been interested in the topics this story revolves around, I also plan on checking out the recommended reading at the end of the book.

I read this novel from February 8 - 12, 2015 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Friday 56: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.

This week I'm spotlighting The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.  It's my current read and the author's most recent release.  I'm not too far along in my hardcover yet, but I'm really enjoying her return to fairy stories so far!

And they did run, the barghest just behind them, weaving between trees like a leopard.  They ran and ran until they managed to wedge themselves in the hollow of an oak tree, where they hid, hearts thumping, breaths held, listening for the sweep of a tail or the pad of a heavy step.  They stayed hidden there until the late-afternoon sun was low in the sky.  Only then did they dare creep home, balancing the odds the creature was waiting for them against the worse worry of being discovered by it in the woods after dark.