Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wow #5

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

About the book: In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

About this author Isabel Bandeira grew up surrounded by trees and lakes in Southern New Jersey, right on the edge of the Pine Barrens. Her summers were always spent in Portugal, where the cathedrals, castles, and ancient tombs only fed her fairy tale obsession. Between all those influences and her serious glitter addiction, it wasn’t a surprise when she started writing stories of her own.

In her free time between writing and her day job as a Mechanical Engineer who designs and develops medical devices, she reads, dances, figure skates, and knits.

Isabel lives in New Jersey with her little black cat, too many books, and a closetful of vintage hats. She is represented by Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER is her debut novel.

My thoughts: I love the idea of a character who loves books just about as much as I do, she sounds like a someone I would like as a friend. And her idea of a perfect place is Belle's library...who doesn't love that.

(Just as a side note, the last part came out of a discussion on #FAC16 a twitter chat that features new authors)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewing a book like The Kiss of Deception is not difficult because its really good, however I really think the author was sort of clever in playing the deception on the reader like she did.

Or was I the only one confused about who was the prince and who was the assassin until the middle.

Okay let me start from the beginning...

I really liked Lia, she wanted more with her life than being a pawn in the kingdom's politics. I see her being happy with just being a barmaid with Pauline. She runs away from her duty, but one she really does not want. Maybe I understand that, and its easy to do. However she learns that running away isn't always the choice that one is going to be able to keep.

She meets Rafe and Kaden, two strangers who strike her interest. They both play protectors, and they both have other intentions when it comes to Lia.

I actually found myself liking both of these guys, it became very unclear what they were actually going to do until the middle.

Okay in not giving away any spoilers...well the rest of the book is good too.

Hints: Kidnapping, an object to decipher, feelings to be sorted out, and truthfully still figuring out the intentions of others.

The biggest one is telling the truth.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shacking the Shelves #2

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

This is a little late but it has been a busy week. First I want to thank my fellow blogger Jessica Porter over at CrossroadReviews for sharing her birthday trip to Jacksonville with several of us. I received the three books I wanted about a week later, and I am cover heaven.

I don't have a picture of the other books I got in the mail. But here are the titles: The Storyspinner, A Creature of Moonlight, The Girl at Midnight, Saints Astray. (I will post a picture later)

I am going into reading these after reading the description and with some mixed reviews. All but Saints Astray, I really liked the first book Saint Olivia and Jacqueline Carey is a really good author. Plus the relationship is a very different one, and may lean more to the adult category then YA. I also got the Uk paperback of the Falconer, that is also one I will post a picture later. Yes I have a copy of this on my Kindle but I love this cover.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)The Diviners by Libba Bray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So picking apart this Libby Bray book, is like a 1000 piece puzzle, with too many blues, too many reds, and not enough edge pieces.

It took me awhile, I feel good that I finished, but I also feel like I am missing pieces. So let me list everything I liked, disliked, wanted to scream at, wanted to cringe etc.

The characters-

Evie- What can I say about Evie, she had this Scarlett O'hara vibe, you hate to love her, and you love to hate her. She was annoying, but I could not help but to like her at times. She was a bad influence, a lush, selfish, but at the same time, loyal, at times had other peoples interest first in her mind. I think it was the love she had for her brother that sort of won me over.

Jericho- Okay I liked him, but then I got to that big reveal, I was like wait a minute, what genre of book am I reading. I am so confused...

other characters- Okay so I am lumping here, don't get me wrong, I did like all the other characters, but those two really stuck out for me.

I couldn't get past the vernacular, seriously people didn't talk in it all the time did they. Evie even had to translate a couple of times. Just throwing up my hands in frustration here.

Is it wrong for me to admit I found some of the content heavy, it made me think, made me ponder. It even had me cringing at times. I like that, I think that is what makes a book good, and an author great to read. Yes I will eventually get to the second book, I just think I need a break for awhile.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

My first stacking the shelves involves a shopping trip last week to two books stores

I was sort of excited about finding the Libby Bray book, I have the first two, so this completes the trilogy. It was on the used cart also, so that was the second bonus. The two hardcovers were from the same store. I am super exited to read both of these books.

The paperbacks were from the other bookstore, I have Code name Verity, I thought I pick up Rose under Fire as well. I picked up Queen of Tearling, after hearing about on various blogs and twitter.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Review: Velvet Underground by Teri Brown

Velvet Underground by Teri Brown

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: October 20th 2015

Rating: 4 stars

Source: eDRC from Edelweiss

Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?

From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences

My Review:

First I want to say thanks to the publisher for a chance to read this. I have to admit, I do not read many spy-related books, even though I am a big James Bond fan. I liked this one for various reasons. One the main character, Sam is a likable person, she has a strong sense of duty to her family that I can appreciate. She just didn't jump head on into the spy game without thinking seriously about it. She shows her lack of experience making mistakes that could lead to her downfall. Maybe it was just pure luck on her side, or something else why she wasn't caught earlier.

I liked the setting and the time period also, WW 1 is not a usual period to be written about, well not that I have read anyways. In fact this sort of made me curious about the whole spy games during WW 1, and I will have to go look up what girl guides were, sounds really intriguing to me.

There are many twists in this book, they will have you guessing until almost the end about who Velvet is, and this one caught me completely by surprise. The romance was just a little bit of flirtation, nothing to serious. It was all and all a very good read, I hope the author has plans for something else in the future.

Review: Queen of Someday by Sherry Ficklin

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Queen of Someday tells us the story of Sophie, who would later becomes Catherine the Great of Russia. Sophie is somewhat of a rebellious child, she doesn't really like to do what her mother tells her, and she has a mind of her own. She becomes the favorite for Peter the heir to the Russian throne.

I actually liked Sophie, she has a certain spunk about her that sort of won me over, yet then again the woman she becomes is quite well liked by her people when she rules. I understand that the author says she might have taken some liberties with dates and some people. However I do think she did her research, so it does not spoil the story to much.

This sort of reminded me of the 1995 TV movie with Catherine Zeta Jones, which may not have been completely historical accurate as well. I just remember how horrid Peter was in the movie as well.

I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.

I am sort of curious about the title though, is it a metaphor.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WoW #4 REVENGE AND THE WILD by Michelle Modesto

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.

About this Author

Michelle Modesto is an associate editor at Gold Man Review, a west coast literary journal. She is also a former tattoo artist and works as a dog groomer and rescuer. She loves hockey, mudding and redneck things. She lives in Northern California with her two kids and a couple of bed-hogging bull mastiffs

My thoughts: I love the cover, but its the story that sounds different to me. Western mixed with some steampunk, I would love to read that.

Review: Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin

Thorn AbbeyThorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thorn Abbey is a retelling of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I like some things about Thorn Abbey, however a couple things bugged me.

This story is about Tess, a new student at Thorn, who isn't the rich sort that usually inhabits the school. Tess is the smart girl, she likes to learn, and she is the type who on some levels I can totally relate. The relationship between her new roommate and herself is somewhat hard to describe. Devon is a not very nice 5 letter word, she is the type who often you think might be nice and then puts you down.

So back to Tess, I can relate yes, the smart girl...but I just could not stand the overwhelming feelings she had for Max. Max is the love-interest in the story, smart, athletic, super hot, know the type that all the girls fall for. I understand in the dynamic of the story the romance was important, but it just didn't click for me.

And then there is Becca, the ex (the deceased ex). One would think that the dead girlfriend wouldn't be much of a competition. Yet she was perfect, know the Queen B type. Even dead one could hate her, she just didn't seem that perfect to me.

I liked this one because there were some twists I didn't expect, I knew what was going to happen, but that one big twist at the end, I didn't expect that one.

My overall impression would probably be a 3.5.

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Review: Island of a Thousand Springs by Sarah Lark

Island of a Thousand SpringsIsland of a Thousand Springs by Sarah Lark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really do have to say one thing, I love Sarah Lark. She writes a tale so interesting that one doesn't really want to put down the book. Yet it is also her attention to detail, such as the setting and the people that also make the story a good one.

Like In the Land of the Long White Cloud the journey is not an easy one. Yet this one did not seem to be as sorrowful.

I have to admit, I did not like the main character at first, her naivety was extremely annoying. Some might think she was just extremely hopeful and didn't give up easily. Yet this really didn't seem to a strength to me, just something to shake my head at. She never really moved on from her first love, I might have found that endearing at first, but after falling in love the second time, let it go.

Also like her other book, the setting becomes an entity that in itself tells its own tale. I love the fact she doesn't hide things in her book that might make some people uncomfortable. I am looking forward to the sequel and future books.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Update of sorts

I am just posting an update. I am in the middle of reading a few books, taking a little longer then I want. I forgot to post my WoW, so I will probably wait until next Wednesday.

So it was a beach day today, anyone have a good book suggestion for the next time. I couldn't decide between the Red Queen or Crown at Midnight and in the end forgot them both. So I people watched instead, sometimes more entertaining. Will posting more in the next week hopefully, have a good fourth of July.