Monday, August 31, 2015

August Wrapup 2015

Another month has come and gone. August as you well know was Utah Book Month. A month dedicated to books written by Utah authors. First off, I just want to give a huge shout out to Suey, Jenni Jessica and Kami. These wonderful book bloggers are IRL friends as well a amazing bloggers. They put in so much time and effort to make this Utah Book Month absolutely awesome. They organized challenges and Twitter chats with awesome authors like Sara Zarr, Sara B Larson, Julianne Donaldson and Courtney Alameda. And they planned an awesome IRL Utah Blogger/Author/Writer party. These girls always do such a wonderful job organizing something that they get absolutely nothing back from. You go girls!

So part of Utah Book Month is reading as many books written by Utah authors as you can. Sadly, I only read three books by Utah authors and one book not by a Utah author. Here they are.

Bone Gap
Magic realism at its finest. Seriously, read this on and then you can thank me.

Not In The Script (Utah Author)
Not enough plot but a cute enough romance.

Stitching Snow (Utah Author)
Like The Lunar Chronicles? This Snow White retelling will satisfy for sure!

Transparent (Utah Author)
Sketchy writing but character and story so awesome, you won't care.

There you have it. Favorite of the month was Bone Gap. Least favorite was Not In The Script.

September's plans

I don't usually make reading plans but this month I'll be reading The Girl On The Train for book club and Poison by my awesome book blogging buddy Lan!Can't wait.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: Transparent

Title Transparent (Transparent 1)
By Natalie Whipple
Genre YA Supernatural
Pages 350

Even in a world full of people with abilities, Fiona's is unique. She's invisible.  As a leader of a crime syndicate with the power to sway woman to do as he pleases, Fiona's father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years. But when he tells Fiona she's going to have to kill for him it's too much. Fiona and her mother go on the run. Trying to hide in a small town, Fiona begins making friends for the first time in her life. But even being invisible isn't enough to hide forever.

First Sentence It's a good thing summers in Vegas are so hot, considering how often I walk the streets naked.

What it has going for it
I'm a huge fan of X-Men so any book with characters with super powers appeals to me right away. That doesn't mean I'll automatically like the book, though. Transparent, thankfully, I ended up loving. In fact, after I finished it, I woke up the next morning and was heartbroken that I couldn't keep reading the story. I missed it. The book starts out showing us just how dangerous Fiona's life is and while, after her escape things calm down and become more character driven, that danger still lurks throughout the story. I'm not usually a character girl. I'm all about plot, but the characters in this one were great. Each with their own fleshed out personalities, with the exception of Graham, but more about that later. The slow build romance just tugged at my inner swoony girl. I loved it! I think it was probably the best part of the story. Which says something, because I'm not the biggest fan of romance. All in all, this story just makes you care. I'll miss the characters. Thank goodness there's a sequel.

What's lacking
The's not perfect. This is obviously Whipple's first book. There's a LOT of telling not showing and that underlying "yeah right" feeling going on sometimes. And Graham just drove me crazy. Not because he was the "villain" but because he was just so cliche. Saturday morning cartoon cliche. All that was so easily overlooked, though. Something about this book just works and makes you love it.

Yea or Nay?
Yes. Exciting, fun and romantic I'd highly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What Does It All Mean?!

One of my absolute favorite things about reading is how books can mean such different things to different people. After participating in a read a long where the questions was asked, "If there's a lesson to be learned from this story, what do you think it is?" and reading everyone's different responses, I was just blown away. I mean, check out my friend's responses. 

"Everything is not always as it seems."
                            ...Suey from It's All About Books

"Don’t trust what someone tells you unless it’s from the source. Also, don’t be afraid to give people a second chance. Some may surprise you and others may not."
                           ...Jenni from

"Be kind. Be genuine. Don’t act different in front of different audiences."
                           ...Jessica from The Bluestocking Society

and my own thoughts...

"You can't spend your whole life making everyone else happy. At some point you need to think of yourself."

Crazy huh? And then my friend from Bookmark Dragon posted this thought...

Edmund Wilson

“No two persons ever read the same book.”

― Edmund Wilson

Very true indeed. 

I know! Bad childhood memories just resurfaced, right? Hopefully not. That's why required reading always bugged me. (now, technically I was home schooled and did not experience it myself but I have many a friend who did)  You have this crotchety English teacher who insists you read a book. So, you read the book and, hey, maybe it wasn't so bad. You go to class all ready to discuss, or you write your paper on the book only to be mentally and verbally backhanded by your teacher who claims that She/He is the only one that knows what the author was really trying to say and what the book is really about! Well, I don't know about you, but that's not what reading is about. Not to me, at least.

Books are to be experienced. They mean something different to everyone that reads them and may even mean something completely different on a reread years later. That's why I love reading so much. It's why I love talking about books with other book lovers. Books are awesome! Am I right?!

So what about you,  did you have a scary English teacher that insisted they and only they knew what the book was really about? Or did you have an awesome teacher that let you interpret books any way you wished?

And next time you are with someone that read the same book as you, ask them what they thought the message to the book was. It's pretty cool to get other's perspectives!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Stitching Snow

Title Stitching Snow
By R.C. Lewis
Genre YA Fantasy Retelling
Pages 338

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.  (From Goodreads)

First Sentence It took me seventeen seconds to decide Jarom Thacker's reputation as the sharpest fighter on Thanda had been exaggerated.

What it has going for it
I first heard of Stitching Snow from a blogging and IRL friend Jenni. She raved about this book. I knew it was a retelling but I didn't realize it was a retelling set in a scifi world much like The Lunar Chronicles. That being said, make no mistake this is not a ripoff of Meyer's work. This story is unique. The wold is unique and the retelling is done so subtly it feels fresh! A gigantic accomplishment, if you ask me. I loved Essie, our main character, she was braver than she believed her self to be. She was always determined to do what was right even if she was scared spitless. The adventure was awesome as well. The best part, really. Joining Essie in her journey from world to world to the final show down with the evil queen was just plain fun! I'll definitely be picking up any other book Lewis writes, starting with her sequel/companion novel Spinning Stars a retelling of The Wild Swans.

What's lacking
Stitching Snow was great, guys, but it wasn't perfect. The only things that really bugged be were 1) I just couldn't get on board with the love interest Dane. He bothered me, I won't say more because it's really not a reflection on the book. It was just a presonal preference thing. 2) The story was great but there was a choppiness to it that was a little jarring. I don't know how to describe it, really, it just didn't flow from scene to scene very well. Still, I believe, that this minute detail was due more to this being Lewis' first novel than anything else and I believe and hope that choppy feel will be absent in her next book.

Yea or Nay?
If you love retellings with awesome kickass heroines than look no further.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: Not In The Script

Title Not in the Script
By Amy Finnegan
Genre NA contemporary
Pages 392

First sentence "Celebrity Seeker claims that I'm dating Troy again," I say as I skim the pages of the gossip magazine.

When Emma Taylor, famous actress, starts a new TV series and discovers that her new costar is "The Bod", who's real name is Jake, who's also the guy her best friend Rachel has obsessed over for years things might get complicated. Emma's sworn to not get into anymore relationships with costars but there's no denying her growing attraction to Jake. Can Emma hold to her vow to not get into a relationship with a costar? And if she does how will she tell Rachel? Can their friendship survive?

What it has going for it
If you read my Read Along Discussions, you probably can tell this wasn't a favorite book. However, I didn't outright hate the book and there was one good thing about it. The peek behind the scenes of a Hollywood TV series was so fun. Especially since the author's brother has been in the industry for years sharing stories and Amy, herself, has been on the set of the TV shows Parenthood and Parks and Recreation. So you know this glimpse of Hollywood is legit.

What's lacking
Where do I begin? There were just too many things about this one that bothered me. I couldn't get invested in any of the characters. None of them felt real to me. I wanted to like them. I wanted to like the book. All my book club friends loved it. I just couldn't get on board, I guess. The book, while perfectly clean and great to recommend to younger audiences without fear of exposure to "scary" scenes, was almost too clean. Everyone knows Hollywood is far from squeaky clean. The author even omitted swearwords. Now that's fine but it just didn't ring true to me. But my biggest hangup with the book was it's length and lack of plot. 392 pages with only a tiny, minor plot conflict was just too long! And don't believe all those people that tell you that this one had a slow building romance because it simply isn't true. The characters are instantly attracted to each other and admit as much. They even start hanging out almost immediately. But, because of the tiny little plot hiccups, they don't officially become a couple. That's not slow burning romance, people, don't be fooled!

Yea or Nay
This book takes light and fluffy up a notch to cotton candy. Sweet and cute but no substance!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Utah Book Month Read Along

Our read along of Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan is at an end. Now we get to have book club with the author tonight! How exciting is that?!  Here's my answers to the second half discussion questions. 

1. Have your opinions of any of the characters changed from the first half?
Not really. I was hoping Brett might be used in a more clever way.

2. Would you watch Coyote Hills?
I have no idea. That's one of the things that bugged me. I had no idea what it was about. It sounds like a 90210 or something so probably not.

3. Did everything go down like you thought it would?
Oh yes, a little too predictable.

4. If there's a lesson to be learned from this story, what do you think it is?
You can't spend your whole life making everyone else happy. At some point you need to think of yourself. 

5. How do you feel about the portrayal of the parents of these characters?
Emma's mother as her manager and the problems it was causing could have been used in a more exciting, add to the plot, kind of way but that too was smoothed over all sweetly. 

6. What parts felt realistic and what parts felt unrealistic?
I feel bad, I really do but the whole thing just felt too neat and tidy and unrealistic. 

7. What was your favorite part?
I liked when Emma and Jake went stargazing together and finally kissed.

8. Who was your favorite character?
Probably one of Jake's friends. 

9. Do you have a favorite quote from the book?
Not one that comes to mind.

10. If you were in charge of a sequel, what major plot would you include?
I really don't think she left things open for a sequel. The drama of Emma firing her mother could have been something left hanging. Using Brett in the way I wanted her too could have left things more open. Honestly, though. I was fine having this one just be a stand alone. 

Cover Reveal: Something in the Air

Hey, guys!

My blogging buddy Marie from Ramblings of a Daydreamer, has a new book coming out November 3rd! I'm so excited for her. This isn't her first novel. Marie is an accomplished author with several books under her belt. Without further ado...

Something in the Air by Marie Landry

Contemporary New Adult
Publication date: November 3rd, 2015
Add to GoodReads

Her life hasn't gone as planned, but she's about to realize that sometimes the best things happen when you stop expecting life to be a certain way...

When Rose Morgan put off her college plans to help her mother through a difficult time, she thought it would just be a bump in the road of her journey. She got a job to help pay the bills and started picking up the slack at home. But three years later, her bumpy ride hasn't smoothed out yet, and Rose feels stuck. She's working at a job she hates and living with a manipulative mother. She's tired of feeling like her life has stalled, tired of the resentment and anger building inside her with each passing day.

Then Declan Connelly appears in her life, and even though the hot Irishman is seriously tempting, Rose is determined not to let him in. She's afraid to suck anyone into her bizarre life, especially someone who seems too charming for his own good. She soon learns there's more to Declan than his sexy accent and charismatic personality, though. He's a good man, and he wants Rose in his life, baggage and all. He's got his own, and he isn't scared away like she originally feared he would be.

Everything in Rose's life is changing quickly. It's finally her time--time to figure out what she wants and what her future holds. Time to get swept off her feet and not fight it. But when her plans might take her away from all the amazing new things in her life, including Declan, Rose has to make a choice. Is she willing to chase her dreams, even if it means letting go of love?

Marie Landry has the best job in the

world one where she gets to make stuff up for a living and shamelessly

eavesdrop on everyone around her. She writes happily ever afters while

dreaming about the day she'll have her own epic love story to tell. Most

 days you can find her writing, reading, fantasizing about traveling the

 world, listening to U2, watching copious amounts of TV on DVD, or

having grand adventures with her nephews and niece.

For more on Marie and her books please visit She also loves to chat with fellow book lovers, so feel free to tweet her @SweetMarie83 any time!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Utah Book Month HotSpots

Utah Book Month is almost over! Eeeep! And I've only read one Utah author book so far. Oh well. This weeks theme is Utah Bookish Places. So I thought I's share some fun pictures with you. Enjoy!

Pioneer Book 

Orem  Library

Provo Library

The King's English Book Store

We have such a great selections of  libraries and bookstores in Utah. Jealous yet? No, I tease, but seriously, if you're ever passing through you should check some of these places out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

It's Top Ten Tuesday again! This week's prompt: Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors for me. Head on over and link up if you want to make your own list. What with it being Utah Book Month I should list UTAH authors but I'm having a hard enough time coming up with ten authors so you'll have to be satisfied that only  two of the authors on my list are from Utah. Here we go.


Sara Zarr. Couldn't find a picture of her holding one of her books.

Sheesh! That was hard. There's plenty of authors I love but would I really read ANYTHING they wrote? No, probably not. These ten, though, yep! I'd read anything from them.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mini Movie Reviews #5


Mission Impossible Rouge Nation
Typical MI movie. I enjoyed Simon Pegg's contribution. He's always been a favorite of mine and was great at keeping the, otherwise wild and tense, movie a little easier to breath through. I also, surprise, surprise, liked the girl. I usually can't stand the girls in these movies but this one was likable. The Villain was a little too "comic book/evil genius" for me but all in all, the movie was enjoyable. If only the theater had turned the AC down. Seriously 85/90 degrees with about 150 people in the theater is just too damn hot!


Ex Machina
Honestly, I only watched this one on the recommendation of my brother-in-law. I'm pretty sure I had a permanent expression of confusion on my face for the duration of the movie. It went right over my pretty little head. After talking to my BIL and hearing what he thought the message behind the movie was it made a little more sense...but I'm still not sure I agree with his assessment and I still wouldn't recommend this one.


If I Stay
I saw this one on Netflix and thought, "well, I hated the book but what the hell." I'm actually glad I watched the movie. It made me really appreciate the book better. Something about seeing these characters go through what they did and seeing their emotions helped. I even teared up a bit. I will warn you it jumped around so much that it felt longer than it was, which is never a good thing, but I think it's worth the watch.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: Bone Gap

Title Bone Gap
By Laura Ruby
Genre NA Magic realism
Pages 373

First Sentence 
The corn was talking to him again.

Finn and Sean O'Sullivan are used to losing things in their small town of Bone Gap. Their mother left them to fend for themselves and Sean gave up on his dreams to raise Finn. When the beautiful Roza joins their lives it seems things might be getting better but just as quickly as Roza appeared she's disappeared and the only witness to her kidnapping is Finn. Finn the boy they call Moonface, Sidetrack and Spaceman.

What is has going for it
I could just tell you that this was my first five star book of the year and leave it at that but  I loved this book too much to not talk about it. First of all, how did I not know about this amazing author? Laura Ruby's writing...,guys, it's so beautiful and poetic. And then comes this wonderful story. It's mysterious and heart wrenching. The feels! This has it all, a hint of magic, with a side of romance topped with suspense. Argh! I guess I'm not going to talk about it too much after all. I don't want to give anything away. You just need to read this book!

What's lacking
Nothing is lacking but I will warn you this is more of an NA than a YA so there was a scene that was for more mature readers.

Yea or Nay?
Seriously? You're still on the fence? Read. This. Book!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Utah Author Highlight

This week for Utah Book Month the theme is Utah Author's as I mentioned here, there are a lot of them. I thought about all of them and was trying to decide which one to highlight. I know there're some people out there who's jaw is going to hit the floor but here goes.

Brandon "McSmug" Sanderson

The reason my highlight choice is so shocking is because I really, REALLY do not like this man. Still, he has quite the nerdy following and is probably one of the biggest known Utah authors. So in traditional Jenny style I thought I'd list all the reasons I really just can't stand the guy. Ready?

1 I don't speak THAT dialect of nerd.
Look at them! Every book signing or author event that this guy is at is just filled with these nerdy nerds. Now, I consider myself a huge nerd. I like X-men and can probably tell you more about each of the X-Men's backgrounds than you'd ever want to know. I religiously watched Batman and Spiderman cartoons when I was a teenager. I've seen all the DC and Marvel movies and, yes, I can tell you which heroes are from which universe. I know what Stan Lee looks like etc etc. Seriously, guys, I'm a nerd. Just not THAT kind of nerd.

2 I don't like his books

Pretty good reason, right? Well, not really but let me explain. Sanderson seems like a nice guy but he has this self satisfied, arrogant, pat himself on the back personality and it's so out of control it shows up in his writing. Like this: "Look at me! Look at my books! Look at this world I built! Oh wait, I'm supposed to have likable characters? I could cut my books in half by leaving out all the flashy, attention seeking details? world building is so awesome! Not to mention my magical system! LOOK AT IT!!!"

3 He actually knows enough about these books to have been chosen to finish the series
Need I say more? Sheesh! He's probably got them memorized. *cough cough* geek *cough"

I'll stop now before a nerdy lynch mob with greasy hair shows up in their flooder pants, waving their pointy elbows around like a chicken and threatening to use D&D like powers on me. ;) I've seen Sanderson's house, people. It's huge. Obviously the man is talented and earns lots of money. Making anything I have to say about him moot.

So there you have it, folks, my weird highlight on that "smug" SOB Sanderson. :)