Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: The Girl with All The Gifts

I listened to The Girl With All The Gifts in audio format and the narrator did a really nice job. The story wasn't exactly what I was expecting but I did really like it. It is a sort of zombie apocalypse-type genre and it took a while to really figure out what was going on. Most of the beginning of book was set in a cell block with a bunch of children strapped to chairs in cells who go into a classroom each day to learn. Yeah... it was odd, and it took a few chapters to figure out what was happening and why these kids were prisoners. It was eventually revealed and at that point, I had my "a-ha" moment and I was hooked.  Once we left the cell block, things escalated quickly and both the pace and my engagement level increased substantially.

For the most part, the story revolves around five main characters. Two I loved from the start, one developed my trust and respect as the story went on, one I never really attached myself to, and one I hated the whole way through the book and I kept hoping her demise would arrive quickly. It didn't... I still hate her.

There are some really disturbing parts to this book as well, both mentally and graphically but without them, the realistic aspect of the book would have been lost. What really got me however, was the way it ended. No spoilers here but I will say that I did a lot of thinking of how the future would play out for those who were left once the final scene was finished.  It will be interesting to see if the movie holds true to the story.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Novella November is Upon Us


Tomorrow is November 1st and that means it is time to appreciate all of the short novels out there. It's also a great time to catch up on your reading.  There are so many novellas out there and both Kindle and Nook have specific areas on their sites where you can search for titles.


I usually take this month to read some short historical non-fiction as well as my usual go-to genres.  This month, I'm planning to start with the books below:


I would love to hear any novella recommendations from other readers so please feel free to comment with titles and opinions about what you are reading this month. 

Happy reading!

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...


SPARKLY VAMPIRE STALKS BROODING GIRL FOR ENDLESS STARING CONTEST

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 

AND/OR

  • 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?