Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
The Thirteenth Tale
Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father's antiquarian bookshop.  On her steps she finds a letter.  It is a hand-written request from one of Britain's most prolific and well-loved novelists.  Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history.  The request takes Margaret by surprise--she doesn't know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter's dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter's personal story, Margaret begins to read her father's rare copy of Miss Winter's Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation.  She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories.  Where is the thirteenth tale?  Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.

As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now  burnt-out estate that was her childhood home.  Margaret carefully records Miss Winter's account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story.

Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets...and the ghosts that haunt the still.

2/5 stars (it was OK)
I liked the writing in this book and thought it was very well written.  I actually didn't like the character of Margaret so it was hard to get into the book.  I found Vida's story very interesting though.  I wish the book had more of Vida's story and less of Margaret's story.  The ending of Vida's story did surprise me.

Book Review: Vanishing Girls - Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged.  When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around.  But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked.  Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Another good book from Lauren Oliver.  This book is from Nick and Dara's point of view.  It flips back and forth between before the accident and after the accident.  Nick doesn't remember what happened to cause the accident.  We learn what the relationship between Nick and Dara was before the accident.  I like how Oliver links the disappearance of Madeline Snow with Dara.


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Book Review: Someone Like You - Sarah Dessen

Someone Like You
Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett.  But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she's devastated.  For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley.  Though their friendship may be tested by the strain, like a true friendship, it will endure.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Halley and Scarlett are typical teenagers, they talk about boys and complain about their parents.  But then Scarlett's boyfriend Michael dies and then she finds out she is pregnant.  Then Halley gets close to Michael's best friend Macon.  Though all these experiences Halley learns so much about herself.  Overall a good story with a good ending.

Book Review: Children of God - Mary Doria Russell

Children of God (The Sparrow, #2)
The only member of the original mission to the planet Rakhat to return to Earth, Father Emilio Sandoz has barely begun to recover from his ordeal when the Society of Jesus calls upon him for help in preparing for another mission to Alpha Centauri.  Despite his objections and fear, he cannot escape his past or the future.

Old friends, new discoveries and difficult questions await Emilio as he struggles for inner peace and understanding in a moral

3/5 stars (liked it)
I didn't like this book quite as much as I did the first one.  Although it was nice to get a little closure on Emilio and what life was like in Rakhat after the humans were there.  Because of the humans being in Rakhat it made them question their way of life as well as how the Ja'anata treated the Runa.  Overall I think this book was about Emilio and how he was coping with what happened to him on Rakhat and how he needed closure.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: The Bane Chronicles - Cassandra Clare

The Bane Chronicles (The Bane Chronicles)
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I loved reading about how Magnus got to know Camille and their relationship.  Also his relationship with Santiago when he was first made a vampire.  Loved seeing all the people and Shadowhunters that Magnus got to know over time.  Especially the end stories with his first date with Alec and how he begins to help Clary.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Review: Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.  Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything.  But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life--a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free.  Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems.  With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha...and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.


3/5 stars (liked it)
I thought this book started out a little confusing.  But once Alina saves Mal things really picked up.  I really enjoyed that Alina was clueless on Grisha history and how things worked so we were able to learn about that world along with her.  I also really liked watching her struggle with her new found power and how she was not able to harness it well.  The book ended in a way that made me want to read the next one.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review: The Last Time We Say Goodbye - Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before.  When she had a family that was whole.  A boyfriend she loved.  Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself.  And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died.  But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone.  But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

3/5 stars (liked it)
What a sad subject to read about but so well written.  Lex is dealing with losing her brother and not understanding why he did what he did,  a father that is no longer around and really doesn't communicate, a mother that is dealing with the same loss and an ex-boyfriend that she couldn't deal with.  You see how Lex is by reading from her perspective in first person as well as journal entries she has written.  I thought it has a great ending.  I would love to read where things are with Lex 5 years from now.


Book Review: A Feast For Crows - George R.R. Martin

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)
After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce.  But it's not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather.  Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces--some familiar, others only just appearing--emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenge of the terrible times ahead.  Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes...and their lives.  For at a feast for crows, many are guests--but only a few are the survivors.


2/5 stars (it was Ok)
Not my favorite book in the series.  I thought it moved slowly and had characters that I did not care too much about.  Although I really liked Arya in this one.  Also I love how some characters under different names will run into each other and not even know it.