Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Review: Agnes and the Hitman

I can't even remember right now where I first saw Agnes and the Hitman or what compelled me to purchase it but I am so happy that I did. Agnes and the Hitman is a fast-paced fun read with lots of laughs, a few murders, a mob family, a wedding surrounded by chaos, a food column, and a hot hitman. Enough said.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Agnes Crandall's life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen one night, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that she's staked her entire net worth on. Then a hero climbs through her bedroom window. His name is Shane, no last name, just Shane, and he has his own problems: he's got a big hit scheduled, a rival trying to take him out, and an ex-mobster uncle asking him to protect some little kid named Agnes. When he finds out that Agnes isn't so little, his uncle has forgotten to mention a missing five million bucks he might have lost in Agnes's house, and his last hit was a miss, Shane's life isn't looking so good, either. Then a bunch of lowlifes come looking for the money, a string of hit men show up for Agnes, and some wedding guests gather with intent to throw more than rice. Agnes and Shane have their hands full with greed, florists, treachery, flamingos, mayhem, mothers of the bride, and--most dangerous of all--each other. 

Most of the books I gravitate toward are somewhere in the fantasy/mystery realm with a little bit of romance on the backburner. If the character has some attitude, even better. Every once in a while though, I look for a book that will just make me smile and feel good. Agnes and the Hitman was perfect for this.  The characters were well developed and every one of them had just enough back story that you couldn't help but hope for each to get either their happy ending or their comeuppance. I found that I didn't want to stop reading so very little housework was done during the reading of this book. I highly recommend it.

Can't Wait Wednesday, June 20th

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released.

I think right now, at least 80% of the books on my Amazon wish list are not released yet. This is frustrating because I really want to read all of them now. I'm looking forward to all of them but I've picked two to spotlight here.

Title: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
Release date: October 2018

Captured by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin is trapped inside an iron box in a secret location, with seemingly no hope for escape. As she endures months of torture, her friends scatter to different fates. Without Aelin to protect them, soldier Aedion and shapeshifter Lysandra need to defend their homeland at all costs. Also left to forge their own paths in order to change history are Chaol, the witch Manon, and the golden boy Dorian-while Aelin's mate, the fae male Rowan, searches the world over for his lost love.

As Aelin gathers the strength to save herself and fight the ultimate battle of her life, all of their destinies hang in the balance. Some ties will bond even tighter together, others will be severed forever, and mysteries will be revealed in this action-packed, heart wrenching series finale.


Title: A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs
Release Date: October 2018

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.

Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.

Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Teaser Tuesday, June 12th

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by The Purple Booker and is a weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page

I'm listening to Agnes and the Hitman so no page #s, but there are some great lines in the book to make you laugh. 

“I'm talkin' about you. Stop pretending you're normal. You're insane. Make that work for you.”

“What are we going to do with the body?" She had visions of dragging it into the swamp, whispering, "Here, gator, gator," and she made a little sound of distress at the thought.”

I'm really enjoying the book.  It is super funny, with a bit of adventure, romance, and ridiculousness.

Enjoy your week!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday, June 5th

I definitely believe in DNF.  Why force yourself to read something that you aren't enjoying?  For me, trying to read something that doesn't interest me can put me into a reading slump.  I just keep avoiding the book but don't start anything new either so it truly becomes a negative experience.  There haven't been a whole lot of books out there that I haven't finished so I am going to add a little twist to this week's question...
Top 8 books I have not finished or wish I hadn't...

Books I did not finish

1. Poison or Protect by Gail Carringer:  I love this author. I have read all of the Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School series so I was excited for this one.  Very disappointed.  I did not like the main characters at all and put it down mid-way through. 

2.  How to Speak Brit by Christopher J. Moore:  I love all things British... except this book.  Boring.

3.  Dark Rites by Heather Graham:  Again, an author I love.  I've read every Krewe of Hunters book Heather Graham has written up until this one.  I did not enjoy Dying Breath (the first in this set) as much as the others because the main female character was so incredibly annoying.  When I picked up Dark Rites, I expected different main characters (as is Graham's usual pattern) only to find this character back in the spotlight again.  I put it down after two chapters and hope that the next set in the series has a more likable main character.

4.  The Arrivals by Melissa Marr:  This was supposed to be a spin-off from Graveminder, which I loved!  It just wasn't my cup of tea.  I was looking for the same feels I got with Graveminder and they weren't there.

Books I should have stopped reading before I got to the end 
(because in my opinion, the endings sucked)

1.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Crappy ending
2.  Allegiant: Crappy ending
3.  Gone Girl: Crappy ending
4.  The Girl With All The Gifts: Crappy ending

Hope you are all enjoying what you are reading this week!

Monday, June 4, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? June 4th

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Date and is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and plan to be reading over the next week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's also an opportunity to visit other book bloggers, comment, and add to that ever growing TBR pile! Also, it is one of my favorite link ups because I get to spend hours browsing everyone else titles... 

What I finished:
I didn't post last week so this actually reflects two weeks of reading. Of the four, The Restorer and Not If I Save You First were my favorites.  The Ghost Chronicles was good but I was a little bit disappointed in the final Everland book, Ozland.  It just didn't live up to the other two stories.

 What I'm reading now:
I've had Darkness of Light on my TBR for a long time but I just haven't gotten around to picking it up and starting.  I'm glad I finally did because I am really enjoying it.  On my commute, I'm listening to Agnes and the Hitman.  I was looking for a fun, light read and so far, this is perfect.

What I am reading next:
Soul of Stone was given to me in exchange for an honest review.  Nevermor will hopefully satisfy my Peter Pan craving and Soul Summoner is another title that has been on my shelf for a while so I figured it is about time to start it.

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Stacking the Shelves: June 2nd

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I actually did quite a bit of stacking this past couple of weeks and have been buying a few more print books than usual.  Here is what I have added recently (I already finished one of them):

Print books

 E-Books and/or Audiobooks

Now that school is ending for the year, I will have much more time to read.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what others have filled their shelves with to add even more to my TBR! Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Mini-Reviews for the Month of May

I was able to do a bit of catching up on my #sixtybooks reading goal these last few weeks.  I'm still not on schedule but I am at least a bit more on track.  These were my books of May:

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens:
I really enjoyed Melissa Marr's Graveminder book and was looking for something similar.  While this book wasn't quite as good, I still really enjoyed it.  It is the first book in the Graveyard Queen series but it also wrapped up nicely as a standalone if you aren't looking to start a new series at this time.  I loved the setting and the history of what it means to be a cemetery restorer.  It was all very interesting and I would have loved even more details into that aspect of the story.  The murder mystery was engaging, not easily predictable, and the pacing of the story kept me reading.  I finished it in just a few sittings.  The only thing that I felt could have been handled better was the relationship between the two main characters.  I would have liked that to go better.  It was a bit odd and the few moments they had together left a lot of questions.  Great story and I would definitely call it a page-turner.

Ozland by Wendy Spinale:
While I enjoyed the first two books in the series, I just didn't feel like this one was up to par with the others. The story was interesting but I missed the POVs from Everland and Umberland. I just wasn't as invested in Doc and Gail compared to Alyssa, Maddox, Pete, and Gwen from the previous books. I wanted more of their stories and instead, they were only minor characters in Ozland. I was a bit disappointed. This doesn't mean others reading the series won't enjoy it or that it isn't well written. It is just my personal opinion.

Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter:
This was a YA adventure I picked up while at the bookstore with my daughter.  I really enjoyed this one.  It was a quick read because it is fast-paced and the little edge of your seat moments are constant.  The main characters are the president's son and the daughter of the president's bodyguard.  They start out with some backstory when the kids are young and then move quickly to the teenage versions and the danger they are in.  I highly recommend this one for anyone 12 and up.  My daughter has a hard time finding books she likes and even she is enjoying this one.  A lot of fun.