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Showing posts from May, 2015

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters - Review

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London, 1922. The City is tense - ex-servicemen are disillusioned and many are demanding change. Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, once part of the proud upper class now need to share their stately home and take in lodgers, aka "paying guests". Little do the Wrays know just how much Lilian and Leonard Barber, a young modern couple from the "clerk class", will shake up their lives and how far the repercussions surrounding the relationship formed between Frances and Lilian will travel.

I had only read The Little Stranger by this author and I was so impressed with it that I knew I had to read more by this author. While I wouldn't really compare the two books, both were great in their own ways. Waters excels at creating flawed and complex character who jump off the page, Frances and Lilian are the two I found myself invested in. I liked the slow build of their relationship and exploration of each character separately so we are able to get…

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (The Grantchester Mysteries #1) by James Runcie

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.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.



This week I am spotlighting my current read, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (The Grantchester Mysteries #1) by James Runcie.   I was pleasantly surprised by how great the PBS Masterpiece tv adaptation starring James Norton and Robson Green was - Grantchester, Wolf Hall, and The Hollow Crown have been recent favorites.  When I realized it was based on a book series, I neede…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer

It's already Tuesday - it doesn't seem like it!  This Memorial Day weekend really through me off.  Thanks to all those who served.  Anyways, the theme this week for Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer or Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads.  I don't really have a "beach bag" or even go to the beach for that matter, I'm taking the first option.  The books on this list are all books I plan to read this summer.  Here we go, in alphabetical order:

All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka - I watched the movie adaptation Edge of Tomorow: Live Die Repeat with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt not too long and it was awesome.  If the book has a fraction of that awesomeness it would still be great!


Cold Days by Jim Butcher - This is the fourteenth installment of The Dresden Files, one of my favorite urban fantasy series.  I've just picked up this one and the next one, Skin Game, in pa…

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) y Julie Kagawa - Review

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Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Nothing has been quite right in Meghan Chase's life since her father mysteriously disappeared 10 years ago and she's never quite fit in anywhere. When a stranger starts watching her and her best friend, Robbie, becomes overly protective of her, she can tell that something is about to change. She never would have guessed the truth - that she's a half-faerie and the daughter of Oberon, King of the Seelie Court. That makes her very important and a potential war-time pawn. Now she'll find just how far she'll go to save her kidnapped little brother, and stop a threat that no faerie would dare face.

I've wanted to read this for quite a while now. I'd had it one my shelf for a long time and I finally got around to it I'm actually kind of ashamed that I hadn't gotten around to it sooner because it was a lot of fun.

The world-building is pretty darn fantastic throughout the novel. Kagawa is quite a visual writer s…

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Slip (The Slip Trilogy #1) by David Estes

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.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.


This week I'm spotlighting my current ebook read, Slip (The Slip Trilogy #1) by David Estes.  I'm currently about 18% of the way through novel, but I'm enjoying this new YA dystopian story.  This is my fourth title by David Estes and it certainly is promising so far, even just considering the two snippets below.  If you haven't checked out his work, I can't reco…

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Part 1: Phantom Blood, Vol. 1 by Hirohiko Araki - Review

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Actual rating - 2.5 stars.

When Dio Brando's father passes away, a nobleman he "saved" years earlier agrees to take in Dio and raise him as his own alongside his own son Jonathan. Dio's father was a real scumbag and the apple didn't fall far from the tree - Dio, if anything, is actually much worse. Dio makes it his life goal to torment Jonathan Joestar, a young man who wants to be a true gentleman, and take his family for everything it's worth. There's also a stone mask that has vampiric qualities that makes the wearer seemingly immortal and incredibly strong.

I'd never heard of this series before I picked it up at the library - mostly because the cover is just so eye-catching and the opening full-color pages are quite intriguing. Since, I've looked it up and learned the series has it's roots in Shonen Jump Magazine and has been around since 1986, this is just the first time it's been translated into English.

So far, I can hones…

Top Ten Tuesday: Songs I'm Currently Enjoying

This week's Top Ten Tuesday theme, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie so I decided to go a different route this week and talk about music.  Listed below in alphabetical order by artist are ten songs I'm currently enjoying, not all of which are new but are definitely worth a listen:


Let Her Dance by The Bobby Fuller Four -This song was featured in the movie adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox (which if you haven't seen, you really should).  This list could have easily comprised the entire soundtrack of the movie actually.  I recently rewatched the movie and remembered how much I liked this song.


Hounds by Della Mae - Della Mae is a fantastic up-and-coming bluegrass group.  This particular song is from their last album, This World Can Oft Be.  They've just released their newest self-titled album and I can't wait to hear it!


Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy - I've always like this band and I don't know why but I haven't got their two most…

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis - Review

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Lynn knows every potential threat to the pond from droughts and coyotes to the most dangerous of all, thirsty people who just want a drink. Every day life is a constant struggle to survival and Lynn has dedicated herself to making sure she sees tomorrow. She has no use for whatever may exist away from her home, the pond, and the nearby fields and woods. The pond requires constant protection and Mother has taught her well during their hours on the rooftop with their rifles at the ready. However, Lynn knows that what little peace they have won't last much longer - the smoke on the horizon, footprints near the pond, gunfire, and nighttime threats mean strangers and Lynn knows that they won't stop until they get what they want.

I won a copy of this book a while back and I knew it was high time to see what all the fuss was about. I particularly enjoyed this unique post-apocalyptic story. I found myself particularly drawn to the language, characters, and setting. I d…

Down the Wormhole (Wormhole Stories #1) by Ana Franco - Review

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I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

One day, a girl named Kitty (no last name) arrives at an orphanage for teens who live double lives. In fact, these teens are gods and goddess straight out of a variety of mythologies - Greek, Celtic, and Egyptian. Before she has time to be surprised by their identities, she is taken into a magical world that slowly reveals that slowly reveals the truth about herself. She'll have to come to terms quickly because there are bigger secrets about to be revealed.

Generally, I'm a fan of mixed mythologies if it's presented well and clearly. I particularly liked the sound of Lewis Carroll meets Rick Riordan which is what Down the Wormhole tries for. Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to either of those. While reading I was perpetually in a state of mild confusion just trying to keep the characters straight, which is really saying something coming from me. The characters seemed to randomly jump b…

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - Review

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Just out of a psych hospital, Camille's first assignment back at the newspaper is to cover the murder of two preteen girls in her hometown. Since she left eight years ago, she has barely spoken to her mother or the thirteen year-old half-sister she hardly knows. While staying in the family's Victorian mansion, she is haunted by the dark, traumatic past she tried to cut from her life. As she works to find the truth about these murders, she realizes she strongly identifies with the victims. In order to make it beyond all the dead ends, Camille will have to confront the demons of her past if she wants to survive this homecoming.

I listened to the audiobook of Sharp Objects. The performance by Ann Marie Lee is particularly good, particularly her interpretation of Camille and Amma. All of the characters Flynn has created for this psychological thriller are bad people. People you wouldn't want to meet in dark alley, especially the women. That being said, it…

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

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.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.

This week I'm spotlighting my next read, The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.  I'm actually kind of ashamed I haven't already read it.  Based on these two snippets, I'm definitely intrigued to find out more!

Book Beginning: 
The Ghost in the Computer
Ten years ago, on my sixth birthday, my father disappeared.
No, he didn't leave.  Leaving would imply suitcases and empty d…

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I REALLY Want To Meet

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  This week's Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Authors I REALLY Want To Meet.  Yes, REALLY is in all caps.  There are so many I'd love to meet, but I going to simplify things for myself and choose authors who are currently living.  Here we go, this list is off the top of my head:


J.K. Rowling


Jim Butcher


Kevin Hearne


Neil Gaiman


Maggie Stiefvater


Marissa Meyer


John Green


Patrick Ness

Laini Taylor


David Estes


What do you think of my list?  Would you like to meet any of these awesome authors, too?

Ms. Marvel, Volume 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jacob Wyatt - Review

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Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Jacob Wyatt continues the adventures of Kamala Khan. Now the question is this: Who is the Inventor and what does he want with the new Ms. Marvel? She meets one of her favorite superheroes, Wolverine, and stumbles upon Inhumanity and her connection to it via a gigantic dog called Lockjaw. As she learns more and more about her past, the Inventor continues to threaten her future existence. She joins up with an unlikely batch to try to put a stop to this birdbrained genius Inventor before he can cause irreversible damage, but has she stretched herself too far? How long will she be able to keep her two lives separate before things start to catch up to her.

I can't describe how excited I felt when this came in for me at the library much sooner than I expected it to! G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel is an absolute must-read for everyone, not just fans of comics and graphic novels. I…

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

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.

I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.

This week I'm featuring my current read,  Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis.  I won this a while ago and finally decided to see what the fuss is all about!I've just started it but it seems promising and I've heard great things about it.  Just based on these two snippets, it sounds like it's going to be a very intense read!  


Book Beginning:

Lynn was nine the first…

Springtime Giveaway featuring Unhinged by A.G. Howard

I've said this before but I love a good giveaway - free books are the best!  So in honor of reaching over 10,000 page views on my blog (which I still can't believe!) and the full-fledged arrival of Spring, I'm hosting another giveaway.

This time I'd like to share with you my love of A.G. Howard's Splintered series by giving away the second book, Unhinged (if you like you can also check out my review).


Look how beautifully the violets growing in my yard compliment the cover!  If you'd like to win this copy of Unhinged, be sure to see the Rafflecopter widget below!  The giveaway begins right now and ends at 12 a.m., May 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in your favor!  Good luck!

Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1) by J.A. Souders - Review

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For most of her just about perfect life, Evelyn has been trained to be a Daughter of the People in the utopian, underwater base called Elysium. She was selected from hundreds for her genes, and as far as she's considered everything is just about perfect - her underwater world, the people she serves, and the law. But, then when a Surface Dweller, Gavin Hunter, stumbles upon this utopia, Evelyn realizes that she's been lied to her entire life. In fact, she's been brainwashed and her own Mother is a monster. Together, Evelyn and Gavin plot their escape, but Mother has one last trick up her sleeve that could destroy them all.

I won a copy of this book a while ago and while I wasn't exactly sold on the cover, the premise sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it didn't hook me or hold my attention, even after giving it one hundred pages. I don't leave books unfinished often, but I just couldn't get into this one even though the premise is, like I said …

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard - Review

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After everything Alyssa faced in Wonderland last year, now all she has to do is graduate from high school, go to prom, and attend the prestigious art school in London with her boyfriend Jeb. However, that's much easier said than done what with her mother being overprotective after her release from the asylum and Morpheus showing up at school to tempt her back to Wonderland with a new challenge. Alyssa has to juggle the real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about his lost memories. Wonderland is starting to bleed through into her world and Morpheus warns that the Red Queen is close behind. If she stays in the human world, she could endanger everyone she holds dear, but if she goes back to Wonderland, it could cost her much more than her head.

For the most part, Unhinged by A.G. Howard takes what makes Splintered so great and takes it to the next level. This deliciously twisty story is excellently detailed and the creepiness of Alyssa's world is very Tim Burt…

Among Thieves (Tales of the Kin #1) by Douglas Hulick - Review

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Drothe, a Nose for the Kin, works and rubs elbows with crime lords, thieves, and murders on a daily basis while smuggling relics on the side. Things are going along well enough until he comes across a dangerous relic, a book, that could potentially bring down emperors. This is a relic that just about any member of Ildrecca's underworld would kill to get their hands on.

I've kept the above summary short and sweet, but Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick, a great series opener, is densely and tightly plotted. I loved the level of detail to Drothe's world. There's so much to talk about here, but the world-building is top-notch. However, the characters are absolutely fantastic. They are fully fleshed out and their realness bleeds off the page. Drothe, our narrator, really stands out. He has a great voice, and really kept me invested in following his journey through the criminal underworld. He's definitely not a good guy, but he is, for the most part, a g…

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Will Probably Never Read

The theme for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a different one.  It's Books I Will Probably Never Read.  When I realized what the theme was I probably looked just like this: 

Ha!  Can you see the panic behind the eyes?  I didn't even want to think about some of these for various reasons, but I pushed through it anyway.  The ones I have included below are titles I have absolutely no intention of ever picking up.  
Books I never want to open:
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The Selection by Kiera Cass


Series I never want to continue:
Crossed by Ally Condie

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unmarked by Kami Garcia

Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Torment by Lauren Kate


As far as I'm concerned, these books just aren't for me. 

 What do you think of my list?  Do we share any dislikes?  Are there some you would have expected me to include, or are curious t…