Monday, October 10, 2016

Review: Empire of Storms

Empire of Storms is the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series and I have to say that every time I read another book, I kick myself for putting off the series for as long as I did. Sarah J. Maas is probably now one of my favorite authors of all time.  Her writing style has had me completely engrossed in the stories from beginning to end.  I can honestly say that there is not one single part that had me bored or wanting to put the book down, even for a minute.  Every character, Aelin, Aedion, Rowan, Lysandra, Manan, and Dorian, was written beautifully. Each has come from their own backstory and they have now all joined together for a common cause, the saving of Terrasen and the defeat of Erawan and his dark forces. 

In this installment, I was most moved by Manan's story. Wow!  It used to be that I couldn't wait to get back to Aelin's or Dorian's perspective but in this book, Manan became one of my favorite characters.  It was one of her scenes that had me on the edge of my seat crying my eyes out as I read frantically to see what would happen next.  Beautifully written and heart wrenching at the same time. I love that as the story moved forward, she began to find a bit of humanity and that she and Dorian may be developing a relationship in the future.  

As for the ending? It had me both satisfied and just a tad frustrated. It wrapped up well in the sense that everyone has a purpose and is moving on to the next stage in their adventure.  As a reader, I can feel that events are all coming together for that final push to the end. However, I was also quite upset by the events in the last two chapters and by some of the decisions that were made, even though I knew that something like this had to happen. I'm wondering what path the author will decide to take for the final book. The continuation of this story cannot come fast enough for me!

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I was just a little bit hesitant about picking up Harry Potter and the Cursed Child because, although I love Harry Potter, I thought that the script format might take away from the story.  I could not have been more wrong.Once I got going, I almost didn't even notice the format anymore and the story flowed just as smoothly as any other book I read.  The new Harry Potter was definitely a page turner and I finished it pretty quickly.  I enjoyed every moment and have now passed the book on to my son, who I know will love it just as much.

Synopsis from Amazon:
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."

My Review:  
As I shared above, I loved the book.  Harry himself really doesn't have that large a part but  the part he does play is crucial and his presence is felt throughout the entire story.  The characters who do take the main stage are so well written and fun that you get lost in their adventures just as you did in the original HP series.  It was nice to see Harry as a father struggling to make good decisions for his family and to see his son Albus trying to find himself in the shadow of his father's fame.  I loved the friendship that developed between Albus and Scorpius.  It was a perfect fit and I look forward to reading more about these two and their lives at Hogwarts.

I have to say, I did not go into this book expecting another Harry Potter epic.  I think that some people really compared this to the other books and so may have been disappointed.  I however, was not and think this book stands perfectly on its own while still giving the reader the pure joy that comes with being a Harry Potter fan.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Reading: Part 3

Well, school starts Thursday and my official summer reading is over.  I didn't read as much as I wanted to but I was able to read seven books and am in the middle of two more.  I'm pretty satisfied with that.  I am looking forward to listening to audiobooks more often since my commute to and from work will begin again.  

So, the last two books of summer were:


The Murder of Mary Russell is I believe the 14th book in the Mary Russell Mystery series.  I love them all.  Mary Russell is the young wife of Sherlock Holmes.  She is the main investigator and heroine while he is her partner.  The books are almost all from Mary's point of view and she is a delightful narrator.  In this book, Mrs. Hudson comes home to find blood and disarray and she fears the worst.  No one can find Mary and the scene is grim.  I was quite worried that this would be the final book in series but I found that much of the story focused on the back story of Mrs. Hudson and how she came to be in the employment of Holmes.  It was so interesting and well written.  It wove in perfectly with the disappearance of Mary.  I will not spoil the story but I can say that I was riveted from beginning to end, not because of any intense amount of action of emotion, but because Laurie R. King's stories are so engaging.  I certainly hope this isn't the last of this series.

I am also lucky enough to be on the Penny Reid "Always ARC" e-mail list.  I adore her Knitting in the City series and have read every book without shame.  I always make sure to give myself a few hours when I start a new one because I know I will want to finish it in one sitting.  Grin and Beard It was no exception.  One thing I especially loved was that the main character of Sienna was not your usual skinny model type.  She was a size 14 and proud of it.  Jethro loved each and every curve and he was as hot, if not hotter than the other Winston brothers we have met along the way.  The plot revolved around Sienna, who is a writer and movie star, falling for Jethro, who is a quiet park ranger with a shady past.  It was nice to watch their romance build and how they overcame the obstacles in their way in order to be together.  The Winston brothers were also present in all their glory and we added a few more characters I would love to see again, like Dave, who was Sienna's bodyguard.

Yes, this was another great story from Penny Reid.  She continues to satisfy and be almost the only contemporary romance author I read.  Can't wait for the next one!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Titles in the Tabloids (Bout of Books Day 4 Challenge)

Welcome to Titles in the Tabloids, one of the challenges for Bout of Books 17. This is my first time as a challenge host and I'm hoping everyone enjoys this activity.

We've all stood in line at the grocery store and giggled at some of the outrageous headlines we see. So, for today's challenge, I thought it would be fun to take some of our book plots and make them into fun tabloid headlines.  For example, a tabloid headline for the book Twilight might be...


Now it's your turn!
  • Think about the book you are reading or one that you finished during Bout of Books 17
  • Create a "tabloid" type headline.  Make it fun, feel free to use sarcasm liberally.  :)
  • Post your headline in the comment section below 


  • Tweet your headline using two hashtags: #boutofbooks and #tabloidtitles
Have fun with it! We are all looking forward to seeing some of the creative tabloid headlines you all come up with. :)

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Bout of Book 17: Update and Challenge Day 1

I got some decent pages read for the first day of Bout of Books.  In print, I am reading The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King and on Audible, I'm listening to a paranormal romance titled Deadly Fate by Heather Graham.  Hoping to finish one of them tonight or tomorrow to move toward reaching my week's goal of four books.  :)
Day 1 Challenge:  
Favorite/Least Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation

Favorite (hard to choose just one):

Least Favorite (also hard to choose just one):

What's yours?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer Reading: Part 2

Vacations are over and I'm back to my normal schedule of daily reading.  I missed it so much while I was away but most days we were tired from the day and always with friends/family so I wasn't really able to get many pages in.  I have however, read three more books to add to my early July reading for a total of 5 for the summer so far.  

Hopefully, during next week's Bout of Books, I can reach my goal of four books and catch up a little!

Here what I read over the last few weeks:

These were three good ones.  Beastly Bones is the sequel to Jackaby by William Ritter and continued to follow Jackaby and his assistant, Abigail Rook as they solve yet another supernatural mystery. While I felt the first book was engaging from the start, this one took a few chapters to get into. However, that being said, once it got going, I fell into it just as I did the first one.  It was a lot of fun and I was glad to see Abigail and Charlie meet again.  

The Pursuit is the fifth book in the Fox and O'Hare series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg and I listened to this one while walking each day.  I've really enjoyed this series.  It was such a fresh new series when I couldn't get into her Stephanie Plum series anymore.  It hasn't been too repetitive and I love how once the two main characters got together, they pretty much stayed together without constantly being torn apart or in a love triangle that never ends.  This series is fun and there is a lot of action in addition to the romance part of the story.  The minor characters reappear in several books and they are also quite entertaining.

Finally, Chakana was given to me in exchange for an honest review.  I wasn't sure about it at first but when it was described as being reminiscent of Indiana Jones, I was in.  I really enjoyed it.  I love archaeology so as soon as the plot was revealed, I was hooked.  I loved the journeys to find the different pieces of the artifact and the bad guys following the good guys, always a step behind until you get closer to the end.  It was also a lot of fun to see the booby traps and how the characters got through them.  Kate and James were likable characters and the romance in the story was a perfect accompaniment to the adventure.  My only complaint is that their first encounter together was kind of corny and Kate seemed to recover from being scared out of her wits extremely quickly.  But when you look at the big picture, the story was a lot of fun and wasn't really meant to be perfectly realistic. I enjoyed it and if you like adventure/romance, you will too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I'm Ready for Bout of Books 17!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda and Kelly and you can sign up on the Bout of Books blog.  Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon that begins on Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th. The goal is to read as much as possible during the week. In addition, there are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize but all of these are optional.  You can read one book or many books.  It's up to you!

I have participated in Bout of Books twice before and had a lot of fun.  It's a great opportunity to catch up on my reading.  I love the summer read-a-thons best because I am home and can really get some reading done.  It's a lot harder when I work throughout the year.  As for goals, I really just want to finish the two books I started a few weeks ago and maybe get two more read and reviewed for a total of four books for the week.  I would feel good about that.  

I'm also hosting the daily Bout of Books challenge on the 25th and am really looking forward to it.  Be on the lookout for the post!

Don't forget, for more information about Bout of Books 17 and to sign up, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog