Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: Blackmoore

Title Blackmoore
By Julianne Donaldson
Genre Period Romance
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis
Kate Worthington has longed to go to her childhood friend Henry's estate Blackmoore for as long as she can remember. At last her wishes are coming true. But making a deal with her meddlesome mother and dealing with the disdain of Henry's own mother, makes the visit to Blackmoore less than pleasurable. Can Kate escape her burdensome life and win her freedom, or is her heart already lost to Blackmoore and it's future heir?

First Sentence
A woodlark sings of heartache.



There's this funny little discussion that comes up at my book club occasionally about Julianne Donaldson's books and it basically comes down to this: Team Edenbrooke or Team Blackmoore. Those are her two book's (in case you didn't know). Everyone has their favorite and while I had only read Edenbrooke, and couldn't participate in the discussion, it was always assumed that I'd like Blackmoore better.

I finally got in the mood for a "regency romance" and cracked this one open. For some reason I thought it was going to have a murder in it or some other dark mystery. I was way off. Sure, because of the moors and the mysterious estate with secret passageways, it felt more Gothic and dark than Edenbrooke, but it really was and is a romance at heart.

And that romance is sooooo swoon-worthy! Donaldson sure know's how to capture your heart and squeeze the breath out of you! The relationship between Kate and Henry was wonderful. I loved the romance that simmered beneath the surface of their banter. I liked the emotions Kate's predicament evoked in me. Living back then as a woman must have been unbearable!

While I did enjoy this one I did have issues, (are we surprised?) The ending of this one irked me. I felt Donaldson wrote our characters into a hole with no happy way out. There was really nothing that could have been done. And while desperately romantic, Henry's declarations were not okay with me. I don't want to get all spoilery so I can't go into detail but I will say this: Love between two people isn't necessarily about sacrifice and compromise. I might have said this once, maybe even as little as a few weeks ago but now I see it differently. Love is about living your dreams and letting your partner live theirs. And supporting each other in those dreams. OK, I'm done being all preachy. I just really was bothered by the ending of this one and it was a huge disappointment to an otherwise wonderful story.

Should you read it?
I'd still recommend this one. It's a beautiful romance that plays with your emotions and makes you swoon and smile just beware the ending.

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Wrap Up 2016

It's time for my April wrap up! I've been in such a blogging slump and my real life has been so jammed back but I did manage to read four books. I've decided to shake up my wrap up post. I'm stealing the idea from Kate over at Midnight Book Girl. I hope she doesn't mind. Here you have it.

Books Read:
Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffing, Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and The Selection by Kiera Cass.

Favorite of the month:

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson (Review to come)
Loved the banter and swoony romance but the ending irked me.











What did you read? Have you read any of these? Tell me what you thought.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Readathon!

It's that special time again! Sat April, 23rd! Get your read on!

The place...

My Library!
The Books...


Just the one I'll be working on.

The Snacks...

Mmmm! Grasshopper cookies! 

And, yeah! So I probably won't actually be able to participate very much this time. Stupid life! That's why I only have one book to work on. I do plan to read what I can and snack on my yummy treats. Everyone have fun! I'll see you on the other side!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ratings

Awe, the elusive ratings of a book in its natural habitat. Uh, OK, just bear with me. My book club and I are always discussing rating of books. They all think the system on Goodreads is flawed. All of us has our own way of thinking and reasoning behind the rating of a book. So, I thought I'd share my thoughts. Cause, you know, you've all been just waiting for me to write this post. I bet some of you have been waiting for this day. Not.

Anywho! In defense of Goodreads' rating system.



On Goodreads 1 star means you didn't like it. I don't see anything wrong with this. If you think a book you didn't like deserves no stars then you must not believe in the rating system to begin with. No stars isn't a rating it's...well, nothing. So, yeah. I'm defending the 1 star rating. I think of it not so much as giving the book a star as marking the book with 1 star to show your opinion...Does that make sense? No? Well then the rest of my post might just be as boring. Feel free to quickly exit the building.

The 2 star rating. On Goodreads it means you thought the book was OK. Again, I don't have a problem with this. Lot's of my friends think that 2 stars is just far too low of a rating for a book if you thought it was OK. I don't see it that way. I mean no offense to a book I give 2 stars but to me, it means exactly what it says. I thought the book was OK. It doesn't mean I hated it.

3 stars stands for, according to Goodreads, you liked it. Yep! I agree. Now I'm sure some author's out there want to punch the 3 star rating in the throat. It brings their numbers down, damn it! But, I think a good solid 3 star rating is perfectly acceptable. I like a book, it's getting 3 stars.

And then there's the 4 star rating. Goodreads could have gotten a little more clever with this ranking that means you really liked it. Oh well. I still can get behind this. 4 stars means I really loved the book. It was entertaining, funny, romantic, exciting, beautiful etc. It had great writing, great characters, great world building etc. I loved the book so I'm giving it 4 stars.

And 5 stars. Goodreads says: "It was Amazing". Here's where I shake my head. I disagree. It's just me but an amazing book is getting 4 stars. For me a five star book is a book that I wouldn't hesitate to read again. We book lovers have a never ending pile of books we hope to read someday, right? So for me, to close a book and think, "yeah, that was perfect and I want to read it again. If not now, soon". That book gets 5 stars. It's a new favorite. That's why I'm stingy with my 5 star ratings.  

So what about you? Do you hate Goodreads' rating system or do you like it? Do you think 2 stars is stingy? Do you wish you could give a book you hate no stars? What say you? Anyone even still here?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Review: The Selection

Title The Selection (The Selection #1)
By Kiera Cass
Genre YA Dystopian
Rating ⭐️⭐️


Synopsis
Take ABC's The Bachelor, sprinkle in a dystopian world and angst ridden teens and you have The Selection.



First Sentence When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic.





This book has been taunting me since its release in 2012. Dystopian books were all the rage and ABC's The Bachelor still a big hit so I'm sure the author thought to herself this would make a great premise for a YA book. And sadly, the public ate it up. I heard so many good things about this book from Goodreads. I resisted. I heard so many good things from fellow bloggers. I resisted. Then my sister read the whole series and warned me it was ridiculous but addicting. I gave in. Sigh! You know what they say: If you can't beat 'em, join' 'em.

All that being said, I went into this one with incredibly low expectations. Always a smart move, if you ask me. And, well, it was exactly what I expected. Predictable and unoriginal. Still, I wasn't completely put off by the book. I thought the story was entertaining enough. About as much as an episode of The Bachelor and at least this book was clean.

My biggest hang ups aren't about any of that, though. What bothered me was I picked up this book totally wanting a stupid fluffy read with an big fat love triangle. Hey, don't judge. I was in the mood! Anyway, I just didn't like either of the love interests. In fact, I wasn't really a fan of the MC, America either. Sigh! So now do I read the rest of the series? No really. I'm asking. I'm more of a plot girl than a character girl so not being invested in the characters doesn't really bother me. And I am sort of interested in where the plot is going. So...what do you say? Have you read the series? Does it get more interesting plot wise or is it just about the love triangle? Should I finish the series?

Should you read it?
If you haven't already I guess you could give it a go. It's not the worst thing I've ever read.