Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: Away Laughing on a Fast Camel

Title Away Laughing on a Fast Camel (Georgia Nicholson #5)
By Louise Rennison
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Georgia is back and funnier than ever. Desperately missing her sex god boyfriend who's gone to New Zealand, Georgia copes as best she can. A handsome new boy in town might help distract her but only if she can stop accidentally kissing Dave The Laugh.

First Sentence
Gray skies, Gray cluds, Gray knickers.

I love this series. It's so silly and irreverent. I also, if you haven't notices, have been enjoying a book or two around read-a-thon time. They're perfect read-a-thon books because they're fast and easy to read and keep me awake because I can't stop laughing.

While some people might be bothered by Georgia's lack of loyalty to her boyfriend, I find these books very truthful depictions of teenage girls. Some anyway. I was never too flighty but I had friends that were and I loved them and I love Georgia.

Should you read it
Yes, and the other books in the series too.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review: Homecoming

Title Homecoming (Mercy Thompson GN #1)
By Patricia Briggs
Genre Graphic Novel
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The urban fantasy world created by Patricia Briggs comes to life in this graphic novel. Highlighting Mercy's arrival in the Tri-Cities area.

First Sentence
Go for a run, I thought.

I enjoy the world Briggs has created and have loved reading her novels so when I saw there was some graphic novels released mirroring the series I promptly checked them out.

There's only two out so far and while I enjoyed seeing the characters in art form, I found the story, as I often do in graphic novels, rather too light for my taste. It just rushed by and I didn't get enough depth. Because of that, I'm not sure I'll finish the GN series but I will continue with the novels.

All in all, it was fun seeing an artists depiction of some of my favorite characters but I need more story.

Should you read it
I actually would recommend that you read this one if the series sounds interesting. It might give you a taste of the world Briggs has created and get you to read the novels.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: Baby Proof

Title Baby Proof
By Emily Giffin
Genre Adult Chick Lit
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Claudia has never wanted children. It just isn't in her future, but finding a man who agrees? Not so easy. When Claudia meets Ben he's her perfect match for a million reasons including his desire for a childless marriage. But when one of them suddenly changes their mind years into the marriage will their love survive?

First Sentence
I never wanted to be a mother.

Emily Giffin's books are so addicting. They're really quite silly for books that deal with serious issues and I often find her characters doing unrealistic things but I can't help myself.

Baby Proof was just as addicting as her other books. I read it in two sittings. It was a hard book to read for me because of personal reasons. (If you know what I mean) However, I still gulped it up.

My absolute favorite thing about this book was the relationship between Claudia and her sisters. I loved how they all had completely different desires and lives but stayed close and just loved each other. I wish I was as close to my sisters as Claudia was to hers. I also loved her friendship with Jess. The relationships in the book was what kept me reading.

The actions that were taken so brashly by main characters were a bit unbelievable to me. I guess if it hadn't happened that way there wouldn't have been much of a story but I still found it completely unrealistic.

I liked the ending too. It was wrapped up quite nicely but minus the bow. So it wasn't too neat.

Should you read it? 
I'd recommend this one over some of her others for sure.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Review: While You Were Sleeping

Title While You Were Sleeping
By Kathryn Croft
Genre Adult Suspense
Rating  ⭐

Tara Logan's life may not be perfect. Her husband and her are on rocky ground since his affair and her teenage daughter is a handful. Still, life is mostly calm and quiet. That is until Tara wakes up in her neighbor's bed and discovers he's been stabbed. She has no memory of how she got there. Terrified, she chooses to keep quiet. With an investigation getting closer and closer she may have to tell what she knows.

First Sentence
I lie in bed and watch Noah pack.

Ugh! I seriously need to check out a books publishing info before reading it? Will I ever learn? This one wasn't self published; I believe a small publishing house published it and I didn't notice any typos but, damn, the writing was mediocre at best and the story had me rolling my on every page.

I got more than half way through before I started skimming. Usually if I don't officially finish a book (meaning I read every last word) I don't rate a book and mark it as DNF but I read most of this book and skimmed the last 100 pages or so, so I'm calling it read. And I'm reviewing it to warn you to stay away.

First of all if the MC knew she didn't kill her neighbor then rather than stay quiet she should have spoken up. There was no real reason for her silence. I won't go on with everything else that was completely unbelievable because I don't want to waste my time.  If you don't heed my warning and read it anyway, I don't want to ruin it for you but, seriously, don't read this pathetic book.

Should you read it? 
Were you not listening? Don't read it!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April Wrap-Up 2017

April's showers have come and gone! Guys, I read NINE books last month!!!! I'm so proud of myself!! OK, so here's what I read. And uh, I'm still catching up on reviews so I don't have a link to each book yet.

The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer, Away Laughing on a Fast Camel by Louise Rennison, Homecoming by Patricia Briggs, Baby Proof by Emily Giffin, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, With Malice by Eileen Cook, Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr, While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft and The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Favorites this month were Bone Gap, a reread for book club, (love this book! Go read it!) and Gem & Dixie. Least Favorite was The Mothers and While you Were Sleeping.f

Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: Gem & Dixie

Title Gem & Dixie
By Sara Zarr
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gem's life isn't great. Her mom is barely managing to hold down a job between benders and her dad has always been in and out of the picture. The only thing Gem has that's consistent is her younger sister Dixie. Thought they've drawn apart lately they've always had each other. When an opportunity for a way out of her life comes, Gem wants to take it but the one thing that's holding her back might be the one thing she needs to let go of the most.

First Sentence
Nine quarters.

I love Sara Zarr's books. I always inhale them. And I mean inhale. I read this one in two sittings and that's because I made myself put it down so I could enjoy it a bit longer.

Zarr's last two books were a bit of a let down so I was a little nervous going into this one but it was great. I felt like I was reading one of Zarr's older books. Like she'd gotten back down to basics. Her stories are always fairly simple. They're about people. I find people fascinating and Zarr's "people" are always very fascinating.

I was rooting for Gem the whole book. That first scene in the book just broke my heart and watching Gem slowly make her way up and out throughout the book was what mended it. I couldn't have been more pleased with the ending. I loved it.

I felt like perhaps I was supposed to care more for Dixie but, well, I just didn't. I guess it's because I knew there was probably no help for her. She was who she was and I didn't feel like Gem was in any position to help. The book ended on a hopeful note and while it was a bittersweet ending, I adored it.

Should you read it? 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: The Chemist

Title The Chemist
By Stephanie Meyer
Genre Adult Suspense
Rating ⭐⭐

She used to work for the government until they wanted her dead. On the run years, always looking over her shoulder, she has one more chance to get her old life back. But things are about to go from bad to worse.

First Sentence
Today's errand had become routine for the women who was currently calling herself Chris Taylor.

For those of you who know me, you know I really hated the Twilight series. I gave up on the series and never read the last book. I have a myriad of reasons for my dislike but won't go into that here. Yet, despite my dislike of those books I read The Host by the same author and chose to read this one.

Despite how cringe worthy I find her romance and insta-attraction/love there is something about Meyer's writing that sort of sucks you in and holds you down while the story licks your face like a cutesie wittle puppy dog. So annoying.

That being said, this one didn't suck me in at all. I read it with a couple of good friends and we had a fun Twitter chat about it midway through so that kept me reading but about half way through I just wanted to be done so I could read something else.

It felt like the author had done her best to research it but it ended up being overly detailed and then, of course, she just couldn't help herself; she threw in a completely unnecessary and unbelievable romance. The characters just felt too young and naive for the kinds of people they were supposed to be.

Filled with convenience and predictability the rushed ending just didn't do it for me and I wished it had ended another way. Oh well.

Should you read it?
If you're a Twilight fan I think you'll find this one lacking in that Meyer strong hold style but it's got the romance so give it a whirl.    

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Read-a-thon Time!


It seems like the last few read-a-thons fell by the wayside for me so this time I'm participating!

I've got my books which consist of two graphic novels a chick lit and a non fiction I'll be reading a chapter or two from.

I've got waaaaaaay too many snacks....

I've got my kitties....

I'm ready! I'll probably do most of my updating on Twitter and Instagram so feel free to follow me there. I'll be using #readathon.

Will you be joining? If not, you should. It's so fun!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review: With Malice

Title With Malice
By Eileen Cook
Genre YA Suspense
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

When Jill wakes up in a the hospital she's shocked to learn she was in an accident in Italy and that her best friend was killed. The media is in a frenzy, Jill is being blamed for her friend's death and the Italian government wants her extradited back to Italy. But Jill's biggest problem is she has absolutely no memory of  the event. She doesn't even remember going to Italy.

First Sentence
I'm not a morning person.

I've been hearing great things about this book and it sounded pretty exciting so I bought it when it was released and decided I better read it sooner rather than later.

I inhaled this book in two sittings. I challenge you not to do the same. The story jumps from following Jill in the hospital after the accident to rehab to police interviews, emails, witness accounts and incident reports. It drags you in and won't let you go. That cliche "compulsively readable" comes to mind again.

That being said, and I did end up giving it 3 stars, I had quite a few problems with the book.

First off was I saw the mystery coming a mile away. I really hate when it's so obvious. Still, the book was hard to put down and I just wanted to know how it all turned out.

And that leads me to another problem with the book. I don't know what I think of these endings. I've read a few books now that are trying this twist ending and I'm not sure how I feel about them. I can't say much or I'd give it away so this review is turning out rather dull, I'm afraid. It's just that most of what I liked and disliked has so much to do with the plot that I'd ruin it if I said anything. Sigh! Oh well. Just know that I thought it was suspenseful and fun to read but I didn't think it was perfect.

Should you read it?
If you like suspense, I'd highly recommend it.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: The Mothers

Title The Mothers
By Brit Bennett
Genre Adult Fiction
Rating ⭐

A study on why religion, gossip, and old biddies ruin peoples lives.

First Sentence
We didn't believe when we first heard because you know how church folk can gossip.

Once more a Tournament of Books book. The tournament is over and I totally called it. The Underground Railroad won. I didn't even read that one so I guess I can't be too judgey (I didn't want it to win) but I will anyway. Any who. I read this one after the tournament was over because I had in on hold at the library and it came in.

I should have skipped it. This book was the stupidest book I've read in a long time. Read my synopsis and you'll know what I thought of it.  But let me elaborate.

First of all the writing was not beautiful and lyrical, it was disjointed and confusing and more than once I had to reread a paragraph or sentence just to determine what was going on. There was little to no point to the story. All I could see was that a girl made a decision that never really did make her happy and then a bunch of old church gossips wagged their tongues and destroyed the only thing they had going for them in their pathetic lives. Idiots!

It's all well and good to write a book as depressing and maddening as this one was to maybe point out that things like this are stupid and need to change but I felt like the author loved the lifestyle and was fondly reminiscing. What the hell? This was a horrible story with stupid characters that were so damned determined to be miserable. Not one character wanted happiness! Ugh!  I can't even talk about it anymore. I just don't ever want to think about it again. It makes me that mad.

Should know what? NO! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Review: The One and Only

Title The One & Only
By Emily Giffin
Genre Adult Contemporary Chick lit
Rating ⭐⭐

Shea Rigsby has always been a Walker fan. Fan of the town she grew up in and fan of the college football team. Her whole life has centered around the football and her best friend's dad the coach of her beloved team. Despite her comfortable life, Shea soon realizes it's not going anywhere. She's in a rut. When a new job and a new relationship blossom it looks as though things couldn't be better but Shea's heart longs for something different. Something that might ruffle too many feathers. Can she have the life she truly wants or will a small town's watchful eye keep her away from what she wants most?

First Sentence
I should have been thinking about God.

I'm a sucker for Emily Giffin's books. They're so overly dramatic and kind of silly but I can't help it, I love them. I decided to give this one a go even though the subject matter was football. Like... a lot. Seriously. I expected some football talk but wow! It was almost not about anything else. It was so bad I almost gave up.

That and Shea's passive attitude really annoyed me. I knew where things were heading the moment the book started and I really didn't want the ending it was leading too.

So many times I almost put the book down...but I didn't. I probably should have. I didn't end up hating the book but it really wasn't worth my time. It wasn't just the football talk either. There was some possible rape stuff that got covered up that I didn't approve of and I really hated the love interest. It just didn't work for me.

It wasn't the age thing that bugged be but the fact that she worshiped this man. I'm not sure she really ever loved him. I think she loved the idea of him.
***End of Spoiler***

Usually her books are so readable. It's one of the reason's I love them so much. Even if you're not totally in love with her story you just can't put it down. This one didn't even have that going for it and I felt like I had to force my way through it. I guess my like for the author is why I'm giving it two stars. Otherwise it would be a one star for sure.

Should you read it?
No. Go ahead and read her others. They're worth a read but not this one. Just no.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

March Wrap Up 2017

Yay! March is over. Sorry, March and July are my least favorite months of the year.  I only read five books but now-a-days that's not bad.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Version Control by Dexter Palmer and The One and Only by Emily Giffin

I didn't have any favorites this month; nothing got more than three stars. Hmmm, that's not so good. I don't think I really had a least favorite either.

Ugh! See why I hate March? Everything, including my reading, is so bland! Good riddance it's over! Hopefully I read some 4 and 5 star books in April!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review: Version Control

Title Version Control
By Dexter Palmer
Genre Adult Science Fiction
Rating ⭐⭐

Rebecca feels like something just isn't right. Her world, her life, the president on TV. Nothing feels right and it's not just that she's still grieving the loss of her son two years ago. Her husband, a brilliant Physicist is working on a invention he calls the casualty violation device (a time machine but don't call it that in front of him). He's close to success but he may have already succeeded.

First Sentence
Nothing is as it should be; everything is upside down.

This was another Tournament of Books read but one I kind of wanted to check out anyway. I listened to this one on audio and always wonder how that affects my opinion. When someone else is reading in different voices and intonations than you might it skews your perspective a bit. And it was loooong! 25 hours or something like that. In print form it's about 500 pages.

And that leads me to my biggest problem with it. It didn't need to be that long. There was a bunch of little details that were completely unnecessary. And all these details seemed to be thrown in to make the book feel more like a story. Without them, it felt like reading a research paper.  That's not to say there wasn't a story, there was, just a story bogged down by science. The characters would have these conversations to explain things but it just made me zone out. I didn't really care how the machine worked or didn't work. I'm a reader, not a scientist, I don't need to know every little detail.

As for the characters, I hated, downright loathed, Phillip. He was a freaking machine. He acted so un-human that for a while I actually thought maybe he wasn't going to be human. There were other characters that I had suspicions about too but I never really got an answer...just another thing that bugged me.

This is making it sound like I totally hated the book and I didn't. Despite all the science and the length I was never bored. I wanted to know what was happening and how things would wrap up and I was satisfied with the ending if not in love with it.

It was an interesting read with plenty going on to think about. I liked the near future aspects and the character interactions. I liked that there were character interactions. This book could have easily fallen heavy on the story side but managed to be about people too. It made me think about the tech world we live in and wonder if things haven't gotten a bit out of hand and I think, maybe, that's what the author wanted.

Should you read it.
Can't say I'd recommend this one necessarily but I wouldn't outright tell you to avoid it either. I'll let you decide. ;)    

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: Hex Hall

Title Hex Hall
By Rachel Hawkins
Genre YA Supernatural/Paranormal
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Sophie is a witch. A witch that just can't stay out of trouble. When she tries to help out a fellow student with a love spell and things go horribly wrong she ends up being sent to Hex Hall school for all the things that go bump in the night. Navigating her way through her new school Sophie is about to learn more about herself than she ever wanted.

First Sentence

This in one of those books that's been sitting on my shelf forever. I think I bought it when it first came out in 2010. I fell in love with the cover and thought it sounded like a fun read. But then of course I came home, placed it on my shelves, and proceeded to ignore it. I've been wanting to work on the books on my shelves particularly series so I finally picked it up.

I was worried it was going to be too juvenile and cliche. You know, love at first sight, love triangle. The typical YA supernatural/paranormal book. And, well, it was pretty cliche but there wasn't love at first sight or a love triangle so that's something.

It was a fun, light, fluffy read. It wasn't anything new or the perfect story but I enjoyed it. The world was the best part. I liked learning about all the different supernatural creatures and how they interacted. I liked learning more about Sophie and her history. While I'm not sure I'll remember this one for long I do think the characters will stick with me. They were typical but just sort of stuck out in my mind.

Sadly, I don't have the other two books in the series but I'd like to get my hands on them pretty quick so I can read the whole series together and knock another one of the list.

All, in all a fun read. Nothing new or extraordinary but still fun.

Should you read it? 
If this is your type of read, I'd say go for it.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Tag-I'm It

I saw this tag on Kara's blog. She got it from some one else but I thought I'd just link to her and participate. Mostly so there's more than just book reviews on my blog. Sigh! So here we go and feel free to tag yourself and participate. 

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I'm going to go with Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy my first book purchase. I have a few children books that my mom got me for Christmas when I was a kid but I'm not counting those.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Current: The One & Only by Emily Giffin. Needed a light book after Version Control by Dexter Palmer...which answers what my last read was. Next I'll probably be rereading Bone Gap for book club or reading The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer....Jenni??? 

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated? 

Um, everything? No, but it often feels that way. I'll go with Code Name Verity. I just read it and didn't like it but I feel like everyone else adored it.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Not sure, probably one of those pesky classics I feel obligated to read but don't want to. 

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

Um, no idea. There's still so many books to be released before I'll retire. What it if it's one of them? 

6. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

I used to read the last page of books all the time. Now I never do. I know I'll get there eventually. 

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I always read them. I may skip over the names of people that mean nothing to me but I like to read them. Some are quite funny. 

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Oh dear. I don't know. These questions are hard. Any character living in London??? I really want to live in London. 

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

Speaking of London. I've been there twice and on my first trip I read Interview with a Vampire and started reading Dracula. So both those books remind me of London. 

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way. 

The Lovely Bones. I used to work at a hotel and someone left it behind in one of the rooms. One of the housekeepers brought it to lost and found and I picked it up and started to read it. I loved it so much that I ended up bringing it home and having my mom read it. Still have it...and don't worry. The rightful owner never came back for it. 

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

Not that I can think of. I remember liking The Adoration of Jenna Fox and wanting a certain sister of mine to read it. I bought her a copy. 

12. Which book has been with you most places?

Um, if you count all the books on my phone...a lot. But I'll go with Odd Interlude (A Odd Thomas novel by Dean Koontz). I brought it with me on a Mediterranean cruise. Didn't get much reading done but it did see Italy, France, Spain, Croatia, Germany, and Sicily. That's something, right? 

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
I was homeschooled so I didn't have required reading. I read whatever my little heart desired. 

14. Used or brand new?

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Sadly, yes. I read The Da Vinci Code when everyone else was. I thought it was mediocre. Dan Brown has the most annoying habit in his writing of creating suspense by having characters say, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" And then ending the chapter. It got incredibly tiresome. 

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

17. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

So many! One that sticks out is Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. That stupid pink sugar cookie on the front drove me crazy! 

18. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Me. Sorry, but its true. I don't always pick winners but I have a pretty good idea what I'll like. So if anyone says to read a book I'll definitely check it out but in the end I decided whether I'll read it or not.

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Once upon a time I hated reading fantasy. Anything fantasy I'd avoid. Then my sister got me to read Harry Potter and, well, here we are. There's not really a genre I won't give a shot to now. 

That was fun! Join if you'd like. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: A Madness so Discreet

Title A Madness so Discreet
By Mindy McGinnis
Genre YA suspense
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Grace is in an insane asylum. She doesn't speak. The ever growing bulge in her belly speaks for her. Speaks of the dark secrets of her family that landed her there. Rescue comes in the form of a faked lobotomy and a strange doctor who is making strides in a new form of solving murders. Grace's eye for detail is put to use and her new home and friends make life worth living again. But can she escape her past or will her past catch up to her?

First Sentence
They all had their terrors.

This is one of those books I bought based solely on the cover. Isn't it a beautiful cover? It's a more metaphorical depiction of the story within its pages, however.

So, I started this one and was not liking all. I was rather bored and wanted to know where it was going. I actually set it aside to finish another book I was working on and when I came back to it I gulped it down in a few hours. I guess I just wasn't in the mood the first time or maybe it just took a bit to get going? I'm not sure but either way I ended up liking it.

While I found a lot of it highly unlikely and unrealistic I easily overlooked those things and just fell into the story. The characters were all great. I loved that good people were to be found in even the darkest of places.

This one was a sad story with a lot of hard things to read about but offered hope in the end. I really ended up liking it and am glad I picked it up based on that lovely cover.

Should you read it?
I would highly recommend this one. Know that's it's a tough one to read and a bit sad but worth it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Code Name Verity

Title Code Name Verity
By Elizabeth Wein
Genre Adult Historical Fiction
Rating ⭐⭐

Follows the friendship between two women as they put their lives in danger during WWII.

First Sentence
I am a coward.

Another book club read and another book that got rave reviews and I just don't get it. I promise I don't just choose to not like books like this because everyone else loves them. I have my reasons.

First of all it was slow. So Slow! It had the longest slowest start to a book ever. And it's not just that it's slow but so confusing. I mean, for like 100 pages I was desperately trying to grasp exactly what was going on. That's not a good thing! It's one thing to have mystery, it's another to be so vague and unreliable that I'm losing interest by page 10.

Don't believe me? At our book club discussion there were several people there who had read this one a while ago so they kept asking questions about things to refresh their memory and those of us there who had just read it kept looking at each other in confusion trying to remember as well. And we'd JUST read it. Geeze! I hope the author is proud of herself; that she pats herself on the back because she wrote the first ever book where you need to reread the four hundred plus pages right after you finish it just to figure out what the hell you just read. You should want to reread books because they're good, not because you have to.

I'm not sure why this book is considered YA. It's about adult women in war, There's torture and death and a lot of things that made me think it should have been marketed as adult not YA.

In the end, I didn't outright hate this one but I did have a lot of issues with it.

Should you read it?
I think most of you have. If you haven't and choose to, plan on reading it twice. *rolls eyes*

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In My Thoughts This Fine Day #14

Holy Crap! A In My Thoughts post? I know, right?! It's been a while.

 1. Guys, I'm so BORED with my current reads! I don't want to fall into a slump because of them but I also don't want to give up on these ones. I'm reading A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on the planet who is bugged by it. My problem with it has things to do with my ...*gulps* dislike of anything Sherlock Holmes. Don't hurt me! I'm sorry. I just can't stand anything to do with Sherlock. I've tried it all and I hate it all. Any way, this one has nothing to do with Sherlock but it kind of feels like it and it's bugging me. Plus I'm 130 pages in and am still trying to figure out where its going. I need something soon or I'm giving up.
I'm also reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and it's OK but slow. I'm reading it for book club so I won't give up but...I kinda want to.

2. I keep thinking of giving up blogging but then I think of the why I haven't yet. I remember when blogging was so fun for me. I couldn't wait to sit down and write a silly post or a book review. Now I have to force myself to write anything. It's not that I'm so much busier than before, either. Though, I am. I blame smart phones. I find myself sitting down to read or blog or even watch a stupid TV show and somehow I end up looking at Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest on my stupid phone! I'm seriously freaked out by this strange habit. I was born in the early 80s. I've only had a phone for 11 years and only a smart phone for like 5 years. That's not even a third of my life and yet I'm addicted! I've decided I'm going to put my phone in another room when I sit down to read etc. so I don't pick it up. As for blogging? I'm going to try to remember what I loved so much about it.

3. A moment for a soccer mention. Wow! I know! I'm talking about soccer again?! It's been, what? 5 years since I've had a soccer post? Crazy! Let me explain why. I had to get rid of my precious soccer channel. I was trying to save money and it had to go. So I couldn't watch my boys anymore and suddenly a bunch of them were transferred to different teams and new guys were transferred in and now I hardly recognize my beloved Real Madrid boys. So sad. I miss it but now, not only have I gotten rid of the channel, but have gotten rid of TV all together. Anywho, in my absence a certain player who I'm pretty sure is a vampire...has made giant strides.

  A Facebook post by our "vampire" . If you remember he turned his fellow team mates and after this post I saw this picture.
Is this him motioning to all he owns?!

Stay safe my friends! The "vampire" is coming!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Review: Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Title Dreams of Gods & Monsters (DOSAB #3)
By Laini Taylor
Genre YA Fantasy
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Karou and Akiva work side by side to save earth and change Eretz for the better.

First Sentence 
Nerve thrum and screaming blood, wild and churning and chasing and devouring and terrible and terrible and terrible-

I did it!!!! I read all three books is just two months. I'm glad to have finally finished this series. I had very high expectations and while the story fulfilled those expectations the characters did not. As I've mentioned before, I do not like Akiva. He wasn't even tolerable in this one. Sorry.

The story in this one was a little slower than I wanted. Then last half was much better than the first half.  While I ended up adoring Eliza  I thought it was weird that we only meet her in this one. Suddenly out of nowhere she steps into the story. It was just weird.

I liked this one best of all three. It was more exciting and there was a lot going on. I liked seeing how everything turned out. I especially liked that the ending wasn't wrapped up all nicely in a neat bow. There was a lot of work still to be done and it felt much more realistic.

Great ending to an fun story....Just ignore Akiva if you can.

Should you read it?
I know several of you haven't finished this series yet. I say do it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Wrap Up 2017

Another month has passed us by. February and March always drag for me. This February wasn't horrible but with snow and freezing temperatures one day and warm spring like weather the next it was annoying. I only managed 5 books in February. Dang! I was on such a role in January. Oh well.

Day's of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor, Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet, Landline by Rainbow Rowell, All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders and Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor.

Favorites of the month were Sweet Lamb of Heaven and All the Birds in the Sky. No least favorties this month though I wasn't super fond of the Landline.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: All the Birds in the Sky

Title All the Birds in the Sky
By Charlie Jane Anders
Genre Adult Magic Realism/Dystopian/Fantasy/Science Fiction
Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Magic and science meet in this story of a boy and a girl and their strange lives.

First Sentence
When Patricia was six years old, she found a wounded bird.

Another book for The Tournament of Books. Another great book. While I felt a lot of this one sort of went over my head, I really liked it. I'm not crazy. I got the whole story line etc but the deeper meaning and subtle hints at something more flew right over my head, I'm sure.

Still, as far as stories go, I loved this one. I was fascinated with the story and the lives of these strange characters. The book felt like a mash up of Harry Potter and The Magicians with a dystopian/science fiction twist. It wasn't at all what I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised.

Dang! Sadly, I find myself at a loss for words on this on. Just know that I really liked it and would highly recommend it.

Should you read it
I just said you should. ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: Landline

Title Landline
By Rainbow Rowell
Genre Adult contemporary
Rating ⭐⭐

Georgie is a successful writer on a TV show. Her marriage is struggling but until she can't go with her husband and kids out of town for Christmas, she thought things would be OK. When her husband takes the kids and leaves without her she's scared her marriage may be unfixable. Discovering a way she can talk to her husband from the past on her mom's old landline, Georgie tries to fix her marriage before it ever started.

First Sentence
Georgie pulled into the driveway, swerving to miss a bike.

Well, folks, this is my third Rainbow Rowell and I didn't much like it any more than her others. As always I love Rowell's writing. It's very well done and makes things vividly clear. Her stories are always engrossing and draw me in. I can't put them down.

I read this one for book club and it was a great discussion. There's much to talk about in these pages. The idea of (if you could do it all over again, would you make the same choices?) was a wonderful topic for discussion. So writing and plot were great. What's my problem, you ask? The characters. I finally discovered what it is about Rowell's books that I don't like and it's the characters. They have too many issues that don't mesh well with one another.

Obviously there needs to be conflict in a story, and Rowell creates it with these issue-y characters. I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the way these issues meet. I think she creates toxic relationships. Relationships that will never work out. There's opposites attract and then there's this. Relationships that are...well....toxic. Hopeless.

I thought Neil (Georgie's husband) was a whiny little mope who blamed all his choices and resulting reactions to those choices on Georgie.  Did I think Georgie was perfect? No. But I thought she was who she was and who she'd always been and just because she had goals and a future to work for and Neal didn't, he resented her.

So....yeah. I thought the book was written well and did exactly what it was supposed to do. Make you think and discuss. I just don't like reading about toxic relationships. There's no hope in them.

Should you read it?
I guess you could and you'd probably like it. I however, think you wouldn't miss out on anything if you skipped it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Sweet Lamb of Heaven

Title Sweet Lamb of Heaven
By Lydia Millet
Genre Adult Contemporary
Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Leaving her cold and distant husband wasn't hard for Anna and her six year old daughter. Staying apart might not be so easy. Ned is going into politics and wants the picture perfect family. He wants Anna back and will let nothing stop him. Hiding in a small hotel in Maine Anna discovers the other guests have secrets of their own and they all might have more in common then she thought.

First Sentence
When I insisted on keeping the baby, Ned threw his hands into the air palms-forward.

This is another of those Tournament of Books picks I was telling you about. And I LOVED this one. I was immediately drawn into the story and was shocked to discover that, yes, this is a book about a woman on the run from her awful husband but it was so much more than that. I don't want to say too much because I think you just need to read it to see what I'm talking about.

This book gets an interesting idea presented in an entertaining way right. I absolutely loved the "other" part of the story. I loved the idea of people coming together with a deep intelligence and helping each other out. And, yes, I liked the simple story that held the deeper story in its hands too.

Remember how I said I like to read reviews of a book I loved on Goodreads after finishing it? Well I did that very thing after reading this one hoping for intelligent, open minded readers who saw what I saw and was sadly disappointed. I felt like everyone was calling it an interesting story with supernatural elements. NO! It was so much more than that! Sigh!

Sorry. I'm not trying to sound like a snob. I just get frustrated when an idea gets presented and no one sees it.

Should you read it
I think everyone should read this! If you just see an entertaining story, that's OK. Still read it!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight

Title Days of Blood & Starlight (DOS&B #2)
By Laini Taylor
Genre YA Fanstasy
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Reeling from Akiva's betrayal, Karou goes to the only place she feels she can: The monsters. As their new Resurrection she throws herself into her work. But the war is just getting started and the truth that's becoming clearer may change everything.

First Sentence
Prague, early May.

I'm determined to finish this series. I'm enjoying the story mostly but the characters are still driving me nuts.

This one particularly gave me a run for my money with the characters. This book is dark. There's tons of despair and angst and outright anger lingering in the pages and the character's stupidity made me want to gouge my eyes out. I still can't stand Akiva and really wish Ziri was an option for Karou because he's a million times better but, no, she' still hung up predictably on Akiva.

If there was not instalove/we're meant to be together/fate/ bullshit, I think I could get behind these books better. As it is....the story is at least entertaining.

Should you read it
Hey, if you made it through the first one and have any desire to finish the series, sure, give it a go.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Review: Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

Title Grief Is The Thing With Feathers
By Max Porter
Genre Novella/Essay
Rating ⭐⭐

(I'm going to let Goodreads have this one) In this extraordinary debut - part novella, part polyphonic fable, part essay on grief, Max Porter's compassion and bravura style combine to dazzling effect. Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth.

First Sentence
There's a feather on my pillow.

Oi! I'm reading several of these books as part of the Tournament of Books that the Morning News puts on each year. I'm a newbie and know literally nothing more than there's a list of books and it's kinda like March Madness as one by one they get voted off until there's a winner....I think. Something like that any way. My friend Jessica loves to read all the books nominated and follow the fun. This year I decided to join. I'm not attempting all the books but I'm trying several.

This one was almost like a verse novella/poetry. I'm not a big fan of poetry. I hate symbolism. I like when people say what they mean. Straight forward and clear as day....sometimes. I do like the occasional nuanced symbolism but not when it's this confusing.

And this one was so confusing. At the end of it, and it's not long, you get the general picture. There's a father and his two boys dealing with the loss of the mother. While it had some tiny bits of wisdom, I found it mostly confusing gibberish.

I guess I just don't like books that make you feel stupid in a (I'm going to purposely make this illegible and then mock you if you don't understand it) way.

 I didn't find it clever and profound. I'm not going to stand in the crowd watching the Emperor stride naked down the street and exclaim with wonder that his nonexistent  clothes are beautiful so I don't look stupid.

Should you read it
I see no reason why you can't go happily about your life having never read this one.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Review: My Name is Lucy Barton

Title My Name is Lucy Barton
By Elizabeth Strout
Genre Adult Contemporary
Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In a hospital room, recovering from surgery, a daughter reconnects with her estranged mother. Though they talk lightly of people from their hometown, an underlying story of the daughter's past is hinted at.

First Sentence
There was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks.

Well, that was a difficult synopsis to write. I know this book probably won't appeal to most. On the surface,it looks like there's really not much to it. However, this book was a beautiful albeit sad story. I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

At only 160ish pages it's a quick read. Lucy's past, present and future are all equally fascinating. Especially the past. Though most things are only hinted at or glossed over we get the idea that her upbringing was far from good yet she turns out fairly balanced.

With tons of snippets of wisdom and a few close to home, eye opening, moments, I really loved this little book.

Should you read it
As I said before, I'd highly recommend it.

Friday, February 3, 2017

January Wrap Up 2017

Big fat snowy January has come to an end. Seriously! Enough with the snow already! Still, all that snow falling made for good reading weather. I read 7 whole books! I'm so proud! It's been ages since I read 7 book in one month!

The Girl from the Sea by Shalini Boland, The Pact by Jodi Picoult, Ketchup Clouds by Anabel Pitcher, The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout and Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter.

Favorites of the month were Ketchup Clouds, My Name is Lucy Barton and The Nest. Least favorite was The Girl from the Sea.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Title Daughter of Smoke and Bone (DOSAB #1)
By Laini Taylor
Genre YA fantasy
Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Karou is an art student in Prague who's prone to go missing from time to time, has blue hair actually growing from her head that color and strange tattoos on her hands. Who she is, is the question she doesn't even know herself. In a war between monsters and angels everything is chaos.

First Sentence
Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.

I've been waiting and waiting to read this book. Putting it off over and over. Everyone LOVED it and I really wanted to too but I was scared. You guys know me, I never like what everyone else does. I finally decided it was time.

It started out great. Karou was kickass had a fascinating life and was just plain fun to read about and then HE had to come into things. Why?! Why do these stupid boys exist? I hate them. Loathe them! And I'm so sick of their whiny (but I Wuvvv you so that excuses my freakishly annoying actions) attitudes. Suddenly the book took a strange turn.

What started off feeling more like my favorite genre, urban fantasy, turned into a full blown, traditional fantasy with a love at first sight romance and the most annoying male character to grace the pages of a book since Edward effing Cullen.

Needless to say I was left feeling cold. And not just because the ending was one of those stupid non endings. You know, stop the story mid sentence. So annoying!

Still, I liked the writing and because I have all three books (that's how much unfounded faith I had in this series) I'm going to finish them but oi!

Should you read it?
I kind of feel like everyone already has. If you haven', ugh! I guess, just don't look for a decent male character love interest. You won't find him here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: The Nest

Title The Nest
By Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeny
Genre Adult Contemporary
Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Plumb children have always relied on the certainty that when the youngest, (Melody) turns 40, they will receive their inheritance. Each, with their own reasons for needing the money, eagerly await that day. But when Leo, the oldest, gets in an accident, the money is all but drained to pay for his indiscretions.
The future they've all depended on and imagined is no more. Can they fix their futures with out money? And will their troubles pull them together or drive them apart?

First Sentence
Because the three Plumbs had agreed on the phone the previous evening that they should not drink in front of their brother Leo, they were all-unbeknownst to one another-sitting in separate bars in and around Grand Central, savoring a furtive cocktail before lunch.

I'm not sure what exactly drew me to this one. Peer pressure, I suppose. I saw it was nominated for best fiction book by Goodread's users and I had seen a lot of buzz for it around the web, though I couldn't see why, the meager plot line seemed too flimsy for a story, but for some reason I picked it up. And I'm glad I did! Though, a third of the way through it I was starting to reconsider finishing it.

The characters were so reliant on having the money that they all acted stupidly and immature. Not seeing what blessings they had right in front of them. But before you can completely give up on them you begin to see a spark of an ability to cope with their predicament and suddenly you can't put the book down for want of seeing them succeed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The meager plot line was indeed meager but this was more a story of character and I was wholly and completely OK with that. Very satisfied!

Should you read it   
Yes. I'd recommend it. Especially for a book group read. There's much to discuss within these pages.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Ketchup Clouds

Title Ketchup Clouds
By Annabel Pitcher
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Zoe" as she calls herself in her letters to a death row inmate, has a secret. A secret that's tearing her apart. A secret that she feels like she can only confess to a death row inmate. After all, they have something in common; they've both killed someone.

First Sentence
Dear Mr. S. Harris, Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner.

Finally! A five star read! My first two books this year were a let down so I was glad I found this one. I wasn't more than a few pages in when I knew I'd found a good one. Don't you love that? Knowing, you've found a treasure just a few pages in?

Written in epistolary form this book tells the story of "Zoe" as she calls herself and the secret she's harboring.

There's something so perfect about a book that's both laugh out loud funny and heart rending-ly sad at once. Ketchup Clouds is such a book.

This may sound weird but "Zoe" was from England and her life, her family, and her shenanigans reminded me of Georgia Nicolson if Georgia Nicolson had some more serious things to deal with.

What more can I say? This is one of those books you wish everyone would read no matter their preferred genre. It was beautiful!

 I wish I could write a review that would make you drop everything you're reading right now and find this book. But, alas, I'm not that talented. Just take my word for it. Drop everything you're reading and grab this book! Or at least add it to your TBR list and get to it soon. Very soon!

Should you read it
If you love laugh out loud humor, swoony romance and struggling, relatable characters trying to make it through this crazy ride we call life, you have to read this one.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: The Pact

Title The Pact
By Jodi Picoult
Genre Adult contemporary
Rating ⭐⭐

The Golds and the Hartes have lived next to each other for 18 years. Their two children, Chris and Emily, have grown up so closely it's hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. It's no surprise when the two begin to date. What is a surprise is when Emily ends up dead and Chris wounded in what, Chris says, was a suicide pact. Is Chris telling the truth or did something much more sinister happen? Two family's worlds are shattered and torn apart as they try to understand what happened.

First Sentence
There was nothing left to say.

This is only the second Jody Picoult book I've ever read. I picked it up on vacation at a Goodwill on a whim and started reading it on the plane ride home. The other book I've read of hers, Second Glance, was quite good and while I've heard that her books are a hit and a miss, I wanted to try another. This one was a miss.

Her books are very readable. They suck you in and hold you down for the ride but that doesn't mean you'll like the ride when all is said and done.

Again we have a book that doesn't have any likable characters. It  makes it so hard to care about anything that's going on if there isn't one single character you can like. Why can't authors see that?! Or do they actually think they have likable characters? Ugh!

-Going to get a bit spoilery so read on at your own risk-

The parents, while totally unintentional, should have stopped their two children from having such a close relationship. I realize no one is perfect and that they probably saw no harm but how could you not?! These kids were each other's world. It was an unhealthy relationship and sad to me that no one saw it.

Emily drove me absolutely nuts! I felt like I was supposed to have all this sympathy for her because she was dead but she was so unlikable that I just couldn't. Plus, I found her thoughts and reactions completely unrealistic.

Chris, too, was unlikable and annoying. While I felt that he grew up a lot, I never felt like he truly understood Emily as well as he claimed to.

-End of spoilers-

This book also had that crime book feeling. We didn't follow a cop around but we did follow Chris' lawyer a bit and the ending covered the full court trial. It was interesting to read so I didn't mind but I did think it was a bit long in written form. I prefer to watch court scenes, not read about them.

All in all the book held my interest but I just didn't like the content or characters all that much.

Should you read it? 
If you're a Picoult fan and like long drawn out court scenes then, sure, give it a go. Otherwise, just avoid this one. She has at least one other book that's much better.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review: The Girl From The Sea

Title The Girl From the Sea
By Shalini Boland
Genre Adult Suspense
Rating ⭐

Waking on a beach with no idea who she is or what her name is a woman searches for answers. Before the accident it seemed like she had the ideal life but something seems off. But as she searches for answers she might not like what she finds.

First Sentence
The scent of salt and seaweed.

This was my first book of 2017 and sadly, is not going down as a favorite. I actually read this one on the recommendation of my mother in law. She loves to read too and is always recommending books to me but we have completely different taste in books so I always decline. Which makes me feel a little bad that we can't discuss what we're reading with each other in depth. So when she mentioned this one I thought it sounded like something I might like and quickly downloaded it.

Not far into it, however, I discovered this one was not published by a mainstream publisher. That's not a bad thing but in a lot of cases that's not a good thing either. There were several typos and discrepancies that irritated me and the writing had that unpolished, amateur quality to it. I just about gave up on it even though I really wanted to finish it for my mother in laws sake.

Luckily, at some point, I became just interested enough to know what happened to finish it.

I'd love to say the ending blew me away and that it totally made the read worth it. Well, the ending surprised me alright, just not in a good way. I sat there after finishing it thinking, "what the hell did I just read?". I think the author just wanted to shock us. As if that would make up for the rest of the shoddy book. Ugh! Now what do I tell my poor mother in law? Sigh!

Should you read it?
Absolutely not. Sorry, I can't recommend it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Looking Forward 2017

One last year end looking back/looking forward post. I promise. 

This year, I've set my Goodreads goal to 60 books. That's 10 more than I've managed in the last two years and I really want to reach my goal this year, dammit! I can do this, right?! 

I have no idea what this year will bring but I hope I still can read through whatever comes. 

Last year I read more adult books than YA which hasn't happened for some time and I see the trend continuing through this year. Does that mean I'm growing up? Eeep! I hope not. 

My only other goal for myself is to set aside a book if it's not making me happy or working for me with zero guilt! I've already done this on one book so hopefully I can continue. 

I like having a place I can review the books I've read. Whether anyone else reads it or not means very little to me. I like to look back at my old reviews to remember what I thought of a book. Sometimes I read so much that I forget the more detailed thoughts I had for a book. So, I plan on still reviewing books here. As for discussion posts or any other kind of post, well, we'll see. Sadly, this might me my last year of blogging....maybe. 

2017 is the year of no guilt! Seriously, guys. I have lived my entire life saying and doing things so other people are happy. I worry so much about what people think of me that I actually let it effect my mood. What?! No one can effect my emotions! No one! I finally realized this a few days ago and I'll be damned if I'm going to live my life for other people any more! 

So, this year I'm going to do what makes ME happy, read what makes ME happy and live so I'M happy.  I know that sounds selfish but after 35 years of trying to make everyone else happy, well, I just don't care. I think it's about time I took care of me.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Best & Worst Of 2016

It's that time of year again! OK, I've been really behind on my 2016 wrap up posts. Bear with me. I love doing a top ten worst books I read in any given year, but this year I thought I'd do top 5 best books and top 5 worst. Mostly because I didn't read a ton of books in 2016 so the pickings are slim. However, I did read some great books this year and some not so great books. So here you go.

My Top 5 Best Books of 2016
(in no particular order)

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
I love the books by Moriarty that I've read and this one is my favorite so far.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
I'm afraid some people will wonder what on earth I saw in this one but it just spoke to my soul. Right book at the right time, I guess.

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Who knew a GN would make it to my top 5 best books? Not me. This one totally blew me away.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Very cute story that dealt with some serious issues. Love these types of books.

 Roomies by Sara Zarr and Altebrando
Honestly, I'll give just about anything Sara Zarr writes 5 stars.

My Top 5 Worst Books of 2016

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Take the stupidest story ever...and then read it on repeat and you'll get this book. Never again!

Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen
I can't believe someone thought this book was good enough to publish...even the author. Horrible!

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
While you can't really bash someone for writing a book about how they grieved the loss of a loved one, it sure is tempting with this one.

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
For a book about an Empath I don't think she had much empathy.
(sorry Jenni)

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
Sometimes, when you're really looking forward to a book and it disappoints you this much it doesn't matter that it wasn't THAT bad, you hate it anyway.

And there you have it. My top 5 worst and best books of 2016. Are we in agreement on any of these? Or total disagreement?