Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review: Castle in the Air - Diana Wynne Jones

Abdullah dreams of a castle with gardens and a princess, until a threadbare carpet flies him to the Sultan's clever lovely daughterl, Flower-in-the-Night and his dreams come true.  When a djinn kidnaps her, he sets out to find her, helped by a cranky genie, a clever ex-corporal, and magic black cat Midnight.

3/5 stars (liked it)
The same magic and story telling as the first book.  I love all the adventures and how at the end all the little peculiar things are explained.  I love the connection with Howl, Sophie and Calcifer!

Book Review: Middle Ground - Katie Kacvinsky

For four weeks Maddie has been living in Los Angeles, trying to be good.  But no matter how hard she tries, something inside her won't be sated.  She can't live a life of half-truths and false pretenses.  So one night, she says how she really feels.

That's all it takes.  One night.  One bad decision, and Maddie is thrown into a detention center where she's forced to undergo secretive treatment meant to squash her rebellious streak.  The powers that be call it rehabilitation.  Maddie calls it torture.

Alone, Maddie will not survive.  But if she can find something to hold on to - an image of Justin, their love - maybe she can fight.  And if she's really lucky, maybe she'll even win.

2/5 stars (it was OK)
I read the first book in 2011 and didn't realize that there were more books.  I did not re-read the first one so I had forgotten a lot of things.  I don't like Justin at all, he feels fake to me.  Maddie is okay but not super likable.  The one character I would love to see more is Gabe, he is new in this series.  Maybe in the next book he'll be featured more.

Book Review: Spellbound - Rachel Hawkins

Spellbound - Rachel Hawkins
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away.  Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies--the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium.  Or at least that's what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery.  The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending.  But without her magic, Sophie isn't as confident.

Sophie's bound for one hell of a ride--can she get her powers back before it's too late?

3/5 stars (liked it)
Sophie's powers are bound and Elodie is around and bound to her and she can posses her and use her own powers.  Sophie spends most of the book wondering where Cal, her father and Archer are and if they are alive.  Hex Hall is being taken over by the Kassanov's and they are turning the student body into demons.  Sophie must travel to Hell to get the demon glass to defeat them.  I thought the book lead up to something that was over really quickly.  Although I am happy with how the series ended.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gilmore Girls on Netflix

I am a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan.  I watched the show when it originally aired on the WB and then re-watched it on DVD and then re-watched it again on Netflix when it was available.  So when I found out that it was being brought back on Netflix I was very excited.  I got a chance to marathon watch it on Saturday and I think I might have to re-watch it because it was over way too quickly.

I love that the show was 4 episodes long, each being 90 minutes long and each taking place during a season.  
Starts off with Rory coming home to Stars Hollow.  We get a little recap of her life and what she's been up to.  I'm a little disappointed in Rory that she's been traveling and doesn't have her dream job.  She's basically homeless and jobless.  She has boxes scattered all over and doesn't even have any underwear!  Things that disappointed me were, no Sookie in this whole episode, no Dean, no Jess!  We do however see Logan, one of the people Rory has been staying with.  Very much a friends with benefits type relationship.  Sad part was that Richard Gilmore died.

I loved, loved Paris in this episode.  The scene in the bathroom was great, I had to re-watch it!  Rory and Paris go back to Chilton, where the Headmaster tells Rory to get her Master's Degree and come back and teach there.  I definitely think she should listen to him.  Lorelai and Emily go to counseling together.  Rory has difficulty landing a job at Conde Nast and Sandee Speaks.  She is so arrogant in these job interviews, she thinks they just need to give it to her.

Rory gets a job, kind of. She becomes Edit for the Stars Hollow Gazette, which was going to stop being published.  This episode finally had Jess come to town, but unfortunately there was not enough of him.  I was hoping April would not make an appearance but she did.  At the end of this episode, Lorelai decides she wants to do Wild, the book version.

The concluding episode.  Lorelai does her Wild thing, Luke thinks they will never get back together.   The Life and Death Brigade come and Rory has one last night with Logan.  Did I mention he's been engaged this whole time?  Rory decides to write a book about her and Lorelai.  She finally moves back home.  Seems like at the last second we see Christopher, Dean and Sookie.  And OMG the ending was both happy and surprising and left open.

Could we get more Gilmore Girls?  Come on Netflix!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Review: The Only Pirate at the Party - Lindsey Stirling

The Only Pirate at the Party - Lindsey Stirling
Electronic and dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling shares her unconventional journey in an inspiring memoir filled with energy, persistence, and humor that have helped her successfully pursue a passion outside the box.
A classically trained musician gone rogue, Lindsey Stirling is the epitome of independent, millennial-defined success: after being voted off the set of America's Got Talent, she went on to amass more than ten million social media fans, record two full-length albums, release multiple hits with billions on YouTube views, and tour sold-out venues across the world.
Lindsey is not afraid to be herself.  In fact, it's her confidence and individuality that have propelled her into the spotlight.  But the road hasn't been easy.  After being rejected by talent scouts, music reps, and eventually national television, Lindsey forged her own path, step by step.  Here, for the first time, she shares every triumph and trial she has faced until now.  Beginning in a humble yet charmed childhood, this book follows Lindsey through a humorous adolescence, to her life as a struggling musician, through her personal struggles with anorexia, and finally all the way to her success as a world-class entertainer.  Lindsey's magnetizing story is at once remarkable and universal--a testimony that there is no singular recipe for success.  And a witness that, despite what people may say, sometimes it's okay to be The Only Pirate at the Party.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I love Lindsey's music and I saw her on America's Got Talent.  I love her videos and so when I saw she had a memoir, I had to read it. I love learning about her childhood and her struggles in becoming the person she is today.  She seems so down to earth.  I will continue to watch her and listen to her music.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Review: Replica - Lauren Oliver

From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity.  Replica is a "flip book" that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology.  Turn the book one way and read Lyra's story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma's story.  The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters.  The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey.  Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.

Lyra's story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful.  But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.  When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects--Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72--manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember.  A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.  But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family's past and discovers her father's mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility.  Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story.  Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

3/5 stars (like it)
I was not too crazy about two books in one.  I decided to read two chapters of one and flip over and read two chapters of the other.  Back and forth.  I think I would have rather had both points of views in one book.  I liked the character of Lyra more than Gemma.  I wish we could have seen more of life at Haven but since Lyra and 72 escape we only see some.  I liked the character of Pete and I'm glad we'll get to see more of him in the next book.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Book Review: Redeemed - P.C. & Kristin Cast

Redeemed - P.C. & Kristin Cast
In the final electrifying novel in the House of Night Series, Neferet has finally made herself known to mortals.  A Dark Goddess is loose on Tulsa and the world.  No single vampyre is strong enough to vanquish her unless that creature has the power to summon the elements as well as the ability to wield Old Magick.  Only Zoey Redbird is heir to such power...but because of the consequences of using Old Magick, she is unable to help.  Find out who will win and who will lose in this epic battle of Light versus Darkness.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This is a series that I think went on too long and I lost interest in it for a while.  So much so that I didn't realize the last book was out already.  I'm glad I did because it was a good conclusion to the story.  We got closure with Kalona and Nyx.  Closure for Zoey, Stark and Aurox/Heath.  Also saw a new love develop.  Overall I see a good ending to the series.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Book Review: The Fever - Megan Abbot

The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit.  Tom is a popular teacher and the father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student.  Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class.  Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school, and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families, and the town's fragile idea of security.

1/5 stars (did not like it)
I didn't like any of the characters, especially the main ones.  The story had so much potential but the author did not use it.  

Book Review: Hot Six - Janet Evanovich

Low-rent bounty hunter Stephanie Plum reaches depths of personal experience that other women detectives never quite do.  In Hot Six, for example, a sequence of new and hideous cars bite the dust; she finds herself lumbered with a policeman's multiply incontinent dog; and she has several bad skin days.  All this when she is trying to prove her distinctly more competent colleague and occasional boyfriend Ranger innocent of a mob hit; avoid the heavies trailing her in the hope of finding him; and cope with a wife-abusing bail defaulter with nasty habits, such as setting Stephanie on fire.

3/4 stars (liked it)
These are always a fun quick read.  Stephanie is so funny.  I love Morelli and her grandmother.  Especially in this one since they are both in it quite a bit.  The dog, I fell in love with and I hope he stays in the series.  I can't wait to continue the series.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review: Demonglass - Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch, which was why she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shapeshifters, and fairies).  But that was before she discovered she was a demon, and her hot crush, Archer Cross, was an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping her kind off the face of the earth.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Sophie decides she wants to get the removal done but her father convinces her to spend the summer in London before she truly decides.  She brings along her vampire friend Jenna.  There she meets two other demons.  She grows closer to Calahan, the groundskeeper at Hex Hall.  She also grows closer and understands her father a lot more.  Her feelings for Archer have not changed.  Overall in this book Sophie learns a lot about her herself and the past of her family.

Book Review: Demonglass - Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch, which was why she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shapeshifters, and fairies).  But that was before she discovered she was a demon, and her hot crush, Archer Cross, was an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping her kind off the face of the earth.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Sophie decides she wants to get the removal done but her father convinces her to spend the summer in London before she truly decides.  She brings along her vampire friend Jenna.  There she meets two other demons.  She grows closer to Calahan, the groundskeeper at Hex Hall.  She also grows closer and understands her father a lot more.  Her feelings for Archer have not changed.  Overall in this book Sophie learns a lot about her herself and the past of her family.

Book Review: Demonglass - Rachel Hawkins

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch, which was why she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shapeshifters, and fairies).  But that was before she discovered she was a demon, and her hot crush, Archer Cross, was an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping her kind off the face of the earth.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Sophie decides she wants to get the removal done but her father convinces her to spend the summer in London before she truly decides.  She brings along her vampire friend Jenna.  There she meets two other demons.  She grows closer to Calahan, the groundskeeper at Hex Hall.  She also grows closer and understands her father a lot more.  Her feelings for Archer have not changed.  Overall in this book Sophie learns a lot about her herself and the past of her family.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Review: The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find if he is capable of true love.  Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date.  He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance.  So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock.  Yet he mist concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project.  In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner.  She will be punctual and logical--most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things.  She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent--and on a quest of her own.  She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with.  Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie--and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper,

"The Rosie Project" is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges,

3/5 stars (liked it)
I liked this book right away and some of the things that happened in this book made me smile and laugh.  I did predict the ending, both on who the father really was and what would happen between Rosie and Don.  I like how Rosie pushed Don to the edge and made him do things he never would have done.  I never really liked Don's friend Gene or his wife Claudia.  And thought the relationship between Don and Gene's oldest child was odd but I wasn't sure if that was clouded by Don's interpretation of people or not.  Overall a cute story.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Book Review: Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins

On her twelfth birthday, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch.  Three bumpy years later, after a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, she's exiled to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shape-shifters.

By the end of her first day, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Then, when a mysterious predator begins attacking students, and Sophie's only friend is the number-one suspect, a horrifying plot begins to surface.  Soon Sophie is preparing for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book reminded very much of the ShadowFalls Series.  In this book Sophie is a witch, she came into her powers at 12 like all other Prodigium.  Her dad is a Warlock and her mother is a mortal.  She has been performing magic but went a little too far and got sent to Hecate Hall school, which is like a school for trouble maker Prodigium.  There she meets three witches that insist she be in their coven, but Sophie refuses.  Her new roommate is a vampire, Jenna and the only one at Hex Hall.  The previous year her roommate mysteriously died.  Also there is a ghost in a green dress that keeps appearing to her.  Of course there is the super cute Warlock, Archer whom Sophie finds incredibly attractive but very annoying.  The secret society is the Eye (aka L'Occhio di Dio), which is a society that kills Prodigium.  I kind of figured out the ending of this book, but still a good read.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Book Review: The Hidden Oracle - Rick Riordan

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the go Apollo is cast down from Olympus.  Weak and disorientated he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy.  Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favor.

But Apollo has many enemies--gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed.  Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go...an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I love the idea of seeing a god punished by being turned into a mortal.  I felt though that this book moved a little slow as most of it was Apollo getting used to being human and it isn't until the end when a battle happens, we find out who the bad guy is and what the quest will be.  I missed old characters like Percy and Grover, although we saw a little Percy in it.  I will for sure read the next book though.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Book Review: Kalona's Fall - P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

In Kalona's Fall, the shadows in Kalona's past will finally come to light.  We will learn about the winged immortals' secret history and discover how he went from being the Goddess's Warrior and Guardian to her enemy and betrayer.  Did Darkness taint Kalona as it did Neferet, or has the powerful immortal always preferred power over honor, and control over faith?  This novella will be crucial to fans' understanding of Kalona, before his role in the explosive final installment of the House of Night, Redeemed.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I got this as an audio book because I have so many books I want to read and no time and thought since I spend about an hour in the car each day this might be a way to catch up on books.  I had never had an audio book before and I found myself actually enjoying it.  The reader was quite good and even had a different voice for each character.  I enjoyed learning about not just Kalona but Erebus and Nyx as well.  Also how the vampires came into being.  I can't wait to see what happens in the final House of Night novel and how Kalona's role will ends things for the other characters.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Book Review: Calamity - Brandon Sanderson

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born.  David's fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night.  Steelheart killed his father.  Firefight stole his heart.  And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof's secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners' leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers.  But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much.  Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny.  He's disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there's no turning back...

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics--Megan proved it.  They're not lost.  Not completely.  And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back.  Or die trying.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I really like Brandon Sanderson as an author and was looking forward to a great conclusion to a great series.  I felt like the end just wrapped up a little too nicely and just ended without much closure.  This whole book is leading up to them getting Professor back and then when they get to that point they are unprepared and things don't go as planned.  I do like the journey that David made throughout the book and his acceptance of himself and other Epics.  I feel like the ending left it open to possibly have a follow-up book.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Book Review: A Torch Against The Night - Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against The Night - Sabaa Tahir
Elias and Laia are running for their lives.  After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf--the Empire's most secure and dangerous prison--to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival.  And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias.  The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene--Elias's former friend and the Empire's newest Blood Shrike. 

Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own--one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape...and kill them both.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I didn't think I would like this book as much as the first one, but I was wrong.  I love the developing story and love between Elias and Laia.  I was not too crazy about Helene in the last book and in this one I really grew to understand her and love her.  Keenan and Izzy both come back in this book and I love the things we find out about them.  The bad guys, Marcus, Commandant and Warden are all really, really bad guys.  I cannot wait to see what happens to all the characters in the next book.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Review: Flirting With Felicity - Gerri Russell

Flirting With Felicity - Gerri Russell
Felicity Wright never expected to inherit the hotel where she works as head chef.  But now, she'll do anything to keep the Bancroft Hotel operating--even if that means mixing it up with the late owner's handsome nephew, Blake Bancroft.  He's here to challenge her unexpected inheritance of the Bancroft Hotel, and there's no way either of them are walking away without a fight.

When his uncle wills away his family's oldest property, Blake Bancroft cooks up a plan to get it back.  To check out his competition, he'll need to check in.  Too bad his first encounter with Felicity proves to be anything but smooth.  As their battle over ownership begins, things begin to heat up between them--and not jut in the kitchen.  Their attraction may be a recipe for disaster.  Yet with the right ingredients, it could turn into a recipe for love...

3/5 stars (liked it)
I liked Felicity's character and grew to like Blake's character.  I knew where the book was heading from the beginning and guessed the ending.  But I liked it and was wondering how the author would wrap everything up in the end.  I think this could potentially have a sequel and would definitely read one if there was.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Review: A World Without You - Beth Revis

A World Without You
What if finding her means losing himself?

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time.  When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him.  So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he's actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have "superpowers."

At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofia, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility.  Sofia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before.  In turn, Bo provides comfort for Sofia, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.

But even the strength of their love isn't enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression.  After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she's not actually dead.  He believes that she's stuck somewhere in time--that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it's his job to save her.  And as Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofia, he must decide to face his demons head-on or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I didn't care too much for this book when I started reading it.  Bo has delusions that he can travel through time.  It's such a sad book to see how convinced he is that he can.  Then when he is faced with the truth that no one has powers he thinks someone with powers is manipulating what he is seeing.  It's so sad and I not only felt bad for Bo but for Phoebe his sister.  It also made me wonder if Bo and Sofia were really together of if their relationship was another delusion.  I do like the ending though and even at the end it left me wondering if maybe, just maybe Bo really did have a power.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Book Review: Firefight - Brandon Sanderson

Firefight (Reckoners, #2)
They told David it was impossible--that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic.  Yet, Steelheart--invincible, immortal, unconquerable--is dead.  And he died by David's hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple.  Instead, it only made David realize he has questions.  Big ones.  And there's no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though.  Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find.  And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it.  Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart.  A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived.  Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic--Firefight.  And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This book picks up a few months after Steelheart.  With the Reckoners in Newcago taking care of people.  They finally decide to go to Babylon to take care of the High Epic, Regalia that keeps sending epics after the Reckoners.  Prof has David come with and he is eager since Megan (aka Firefight) is there too.  David is torn between his hatred of Epics and his love for Megan.  While in Babylon he learns many things about Epics and the team he works with.  I thought the ending and all the twists were great and I can't wait to read the conclusion to this trilogy!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Book Review: The Sixth Idea - P.J. Tracy

The Sixth Idea (Monkeewrench, #7)
The peaceful Christmas season in Minneapolis is shattered when two friends, Chuck Spencer and Wally Luntz, scheduled to meet in person for the first time, are murdered on the same night, two hours and several miles apart, dramatically concluding winter vacation for homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth.

An hour north of Minneapolis, Lydia Ascher comes home to find two dead men in her basement.  When Leo and Gino discover her connection to their current cases, they suspect that she is a target, too.  The same day, an elderly, terminally ill man is kidnapped from his home, an Alzheimer's patient goes missing from his care facility, and a baffling link among all the crimes emerges.

This series of inexplicable events sends the detectives sixty years into the past to search for answers--and straight to Grace MacBride's Monkeewrench, a group of eccentric computer geniuses who devote their time and resources to helping the cops solve the unsolvable.  What they find is an unimaginable horror--a dormant Armageddon that might be activated at any moment unless Grace and her partners Annie, Roadrunner, and Harley Davidson, along with Leo and Gino, can find a way to stop it.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I've read this series since the beginning.  It had been 4 years since the last book was published and was pleasantly surprised to find this one.  I love the relationship between Grace and Leo and how she is opening up more and he is there no matter what.  I love the dog too.  Not much of Annie and Roadrunner in this book since they are out of town on business.  I also really liked the character of Lydia.  I was a little disappointed with how the story ended with the murders.  This seemed to me like the conclusion to the series, which had an ending I am happy with.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review: Mitosis - Brandon Sanderson

Mitosis (Reckoners, #1.5)
Steelheart may be dead, but Epics still plague Newcago and David and the Reckoners have vowed to fight back.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Short story that takes place after Steelheart.  The Reckoners are helping to rebuild the city after the events of the first book.  In this story Mitosis, an Epic comes to try to take over Newcago.  But of course David and the Reckoners are on it.  A great story to lead to the second book.

Book Review: Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)
Ten years ago, Calamity came.  It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers.  The awed public started calling them Epics.  But Epics are no friend of man.  With incredible gifts came the desire to rule.  And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners.  A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in.  He wants Steelheart--the Epic who is said to be invincible.  The Epic who killed David's father.  For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning--and he has something they need.  Not an object, but an experience.  

He's seen Steelheart bleed.  And he wants revenge.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I finally started reading some Brandon Sanderson books and love them.  He keeps me on the edge of my seat.  This book series is aimed at older teens.  There are innuendos and violence.  That did not stop me from reading this book, my husband and my 12 year old son.  All of us loved this book.  I kind of guessed something about one of the characters.  Also I had many theories on Steelheart's weakness.  I can't wait to finish the series.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review: Paper and Fire - Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire (The Great Library, #2)
Ink and Bone introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely.  Now, the story of those who dare defy the Great Library--and rewrite history--continues...

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned.  His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever.  His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library's deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess's home isn't safe anymore.  The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, and his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control...

3/5 stars (liked it)
I enjoyed this book much more than the first one.  The books picks up right where we left off.  Jess, has been learning as much as he can to find out what really happened to Thomas, his friend and how to free him.  Also there is Morgan who is much more powerful than she seems.  I can't wait to read the next one because the way this ended it really left me wanting more.

Book Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories - Various Authors

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy.  Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.  Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake.  So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses.  You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block. Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I mainly read this book because it contained stories from Cassandra Clare and Veronica Roth.  I enjoy both of these along with a few others.  The stories by Leigh Bardugo and Nina LaCour I really enjoyed as well.  The story by Libba Bary was okay, not really a love story to me.  I really liked the Stephanie Perkins story as well.  Overall I enjoy reading anthology books because I get to read new authors.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Review: Warbreaker - Brandon Sanderson

Sisters Vivenna and Siri are princesses of Idris.  Susebron is the God King one must marry.  Lightsong is the reluctant minor got of bravery.  Vasher is an immortal still trying to undo mistakes of centuries before.  Magic from individual breath from everyday objects can perform all manner of miracles and mischief.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Took me a long time to read this since it was a free PDF version I read on my phone and I prefer to read actual books.  Also it's not the fastest paced book at the beginning, but it did keep my interest.  This book focuses on 4 main characters, Vivenna and Siri, who are sisters.  Vivenna is supposed to marry the God King Susebron but their father instead sends Siri.  Siri is a bit rebellious and immature and has no clue what to do when she meets Susebron.  I love the development of Siri and Susebron's relationship.  Then there is Vivenna, who was raised to know how to be the wife of the God King and suddenly finds herself not being that.  She goes to save her sister Siri from the position she is and.  On the way there she learns how to survive.  There is also Vasher, a mysterious character with a mysteriously deadly sword.  I was always happy when the story came back to him and I really found him intriguing and wanted to learn more about him.  Also there is Lightsong, a minor god who is always questioning his priest and questioning the whole system.  He's a god that doesn't believe in gods.  I loved his story and I loved what happened to him and it was so fitting.  Overall a great stand alone book but left it open for a sequel, which I would definitely read!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book Review: United as One - Pittacus Lore

United as One (Lorien Legacies, #7)
The seventh and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling I Am Number Four Series!  With United as One, this action-packed series comes to a surprising, breathtaking, and utterly satisfying conclusion.  The Garde didn't start this war, but they'll do whatever it takes to end it once and for all...

The Mogadorians have invaded Earth.  Their warships loom over our most populated cities, and no country will risk taking them head on.  The Garde are all that stand in the way, but they'll need an army of their own to win this fight.

They've teamed up with the US Military, but it might not be enough.  The Garde need reinforcements, and they've found them in the most unexpected place.  Teenagers from across the glove, like John Smith's best friend, Sam, have developed abilities.  So John and the others must get to them before the Mogs, because if they don't their enemies will use these gifted teens for their own sinister plan.

But after all the Mogadorians have taken from John--his home, his family, his friends, and the person he loves most--he might not want to put any more lives in danger.  He's got nothing left to lose, and he's just discovered he has been given an incredible new Legacy.  Now he can turn himself into the ultimate weapon.  So will he risk his life to save the world, or will he realize that power in numbers will save us all?

3/5 stars (liked it)
As much as I like this series, I was ready for it to end and for the Garde to finally defeat the Mogadorians and Setrakus Ra.  John and the others have been through so much and have lost so many loved ones.  John especially is in a dark place in this book where he will do anything to defeat the enemy, which includes him dying.  I love the relationship that developed between Six and Sam.  I wish there was more Danielle in this book as I was really starting to like her and we didn't get too much of her.  Nine is great and love what happens to him at the very end.  I thought it was a great wrap up to the series.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Book Review - The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson
The Rithmatist (Rithmatist, #1)
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist.  Rithmatist have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings.  Rithmatists are humanity's only defense against the Wild Chalklings.  Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice.  Then students start disapperaint--kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood.  Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discoery--one that will change Rithmatics--and their world--forever.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I have not read many books by Brandon Sanderson but my husband has and he recommended this book to my 12 year old son.  After he read I and raved about it I read it too and loved it.  Joel is so likeable and I feel so bad for him.  His father, the Chalkmaker died and so it is just him and his mother living on campus.  All the professors and staff have known him all his life.  His mother is working non-stop cleaning the school.  Joel has a hard time finding friends and any he does make are not very nice to him.  But Joel is very intelligent and he uses that in this book.  The ending although I had guessed some of it really wanted me to read the next one, which isn't out yet.  I never would have thought a story about chalk drawings would be so compelling.  

Book Review: If I Was Your Girl - Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee.  Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in.  But Amanda is keeping a secret.  There's a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she's determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett.  Grant is unlike anyone she's ever met--open, honest, kind--and Amanda can't help but start to let him into her life.  As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself...including her past.  But she's terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won't be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda's been keeping?  It's that she used to be Andrew.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I felt so bad for Amanda and the way she was treated her whole life.  It started with her parents, teachers and classmates.  All because she didn't fit society's ideal of what a boy should dress like, act like and be like.  Andrew was always Amanda on the inside.  Not only did she have that to deal with but she also felt responsible for her parent's divorce.  I know this was fictional story but it was based on the author's own personal experience and I'm glad she got to write these down to let people that don't know much about the subject understand it a little more.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Book Review: The Last Star - Rick Yancey

The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3)
The enemy is Other.  The enemy is us.

They're down here, they're up there, they're nowhere.  They want the Earth, they want us to have it.  They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth:  Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer, Zombie, Nugget.  And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet.  Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth's remaining survivors will need to decide what's more important: saving themselves...or saving what makes us human.

3/5 stars (liked it)
So I was expecting more from this book.  Although I am satisfied with the ending and I'm glad Rick Yancey ended it how he did.  There was still more I wish would have happened.  The ending is both sad and happy.  I would love to see a follow up book to see where the characters that survived are doing in this apocalyptic world.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Book Review: The Raven King - Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)
Nothing living is safe.  Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king.  One by one, he's drawn others into this quest:  Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey...and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun.  Dreams and nightmares are converging.  Love and loss are inseparable.  And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I wanted to give up on this series but I figured since it was the last book I wanted to know what happened.  Adam is my favorite character and I wish that there was a book just about him.  The ending was not surprising.  I liked the epilogue.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Review: Nick & Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown - Bob Pflugfelder & Steve Hockensmith

Nick and Tesla's Solar-Powered Showdown: A Mystery with Sun-Powered Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
Super-smart kid inventors Nick and Tesla Hold have outsmarted crooks, spies, and kidnappers, but now it's time to crack their biggest mystery yet: where the heck are their parents?  With the help of their eccentric Uncle Newt, the twins trace the clues to their missing Mom and Dad, scientists working on solar-power research for a clandestine government project.  They'll need all their wits, along with an assortment of homemade gadgets, to outsmart the criminal mastermind who's trying to turn solar power into a secret weapon.  Featuring instructions for building and using five awesome solar-powered contraptions--a hot dog cooker, alarm bell, listening device, model car, and nighttime LED signal cannon--this sixth installment is sure to please budding scientists and sleuthers alike.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I received this free copy to review on my blog.

My almost 12-year old son read this book before me.  We have read all the books in the series and both love them.  He said that he really liked this one and thought it was the last one since it kind of wraps things up.  He now wants to get some cans of Pringles and make the hot dog cooker.

I also liked this book and it did feel like it would be the last book in the series.  I wish there was an epilogue at the end to see where Nick & Tesla are maybe a few months later.  I loved that Uncle Newt was more involved in the adventure and not just a background character.  I kind of would love to see a series with just Uncle Newt and what he was like as a kid as well as his brother (Nick & Tesla's father).  Overall this is a really fun series to read for any age.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Book Review: Midnight Bites - Rachel Caine

Midnight Bites: Stories of the Morganville Vampires

By day, Morganville, Texas, is just a typical college town.  By night, the vampires emerge and take control...

In a town where it's not safe to be out after dark, student Claire Danvers and her friends have had their fair share of thrills.  But Morganville still has a few secrets left to tell.

Now, in this collection, you can venture down the town's strange streets, revisit all the tales you've come to love, and experience six new stories featuring your favorite Morganville residents--both human and vampire...

4/5 stars (really liked it)
Wow, loved the stories.  Especially ones involving Myrnin, since he's my favorite and it was fun to see his past a little more.  Really enjoyed the story with Myrnin and Shane.  Eve is always a favorite.  I really liked that some of these stories took place after the series ended, which gave us a glimpse on where everyone is at after the series ended.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: Demigods & Magicians - Rick Riordan

Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes
Magic, monsters, and mayhem abound when Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase meet Carter and Sadie Kane for the first time.  Weird creatures are appearing in unexpected places, and the demigods and magicians have to team up to take them down.  As they battle with Celestial Bronze and glowing hieroglyphs, the four heroes find that they have a lot in common--and more power than they ever thought possible.  But will their combined forces be enough to foil an ancient enemy who is mixing Greek and Egyptian incantations for an evil purpose?  

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This book consists of three short stories.  In the first story, Percy and Carter find themselves chasing the same monster.  They fight eachother and then work together.  Although they don't reveal much about eachother they decide to keep their eyes open.  In the second story, Annabeth and Sadie find themselves chasing the same monster.  Their encounter goes smoother than Percy's and Carter.  Especially since Percy told Annabeth about his encounter with an Egyptian Magician.  Annabeth and Sadie work well together.  In the third story all four heroes are chasing a bad guy and working well together, combining Greek and Egyptian magic to defeat a super foe.  Three great stories and I can't wait to read more crossover stories.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Book Review: The Beast - J.R. Ward

The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14)
Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn.  The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power.  But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself...

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect--or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable.  Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving.  But Rhage can't understand--or control--the panic and insecurity that plague him...

And that terrifies him--as well as distances him from his mate.  After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhague must reassess his priorities--and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world...and Mary's.  But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from...

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This seemed more like earlier books in the series.  In this book we follow Rhage and Mary and their "happily ever after".  Also in this book is Layla and her pregnancy.  I figured out the ending from the beginning.  There are little tidbits we learn.  Such as a little bit about Xcor.  Also we are introduced to a human woman, Jo and we really don't learn her connection until the end.  Overall a good book.  I like how J.R. Ward ties the Brotherhood Books to the Black Dagger Legacy.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

New Favorite

I don't go out to buy coffee too often.  I received a Starbucks giftcard for my birthday so I thought I would stop there this morning on the way to work.  Well the line was long but gave me a chance to think about what I wanted.  I got an Oprah Chai Tea Latte with a shot of espresso.  I drink that I've come to know as a Dirty Chai and the Starbucks employees with laugh at and tell you that it's just a Chai with a shot.  LOL  So that's what I got this morning.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

My Thoughts

I tend to write mostly book reviews, which is fine but I realized I really don't write about much else.  As much I love reading there is a new passion in my life.  Zumba!
I became a Certified Instructor in December 2015.  I began teaching at LA Fitness twice a week in January.  It is great fun and I enjoy it more than I thought I would.  I love coming up with fun choreography.  Just another passion I wanted to share.

Displaying Zumba Logo_Primary.jpg
Displaying Zumba Logo_Primary.jpg

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: Almost Midnight - C.C. Hunter

Almost Midnight - C.C. Hunter
Almost Midnight (Shadow Falls: After Dark, #3.5)
Novella Collection

Nestled deep in the woods, Shadow Falls is a secret camp where teens with supernatural powers learn to harness their abilities in the normal world.

Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang did not believe in vampires...until she became one.  Chase Tallman is the newest member of Shadow Falls, but what made him into the sexy, mysterious vampire he is today?  And what led him to Della Tsang?  An for Miranda Kane, magic has always been something she's struggled with, but when an opportunity to test her powers takes her to Paris, she'll have to prove that she's a witch to be reckoned with and belongs at Shadow Falls.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I had previously read the first story.  I loved seeing how Chase became a vampire.  And what he was like as a human.  We had heard his story in Della's After Dark Series but it was nice to see things from his point of view.  Also learning more about Miranda and her family.  Seeing Miranda as more than a witch that can't control her powers.  Also Fredericka, the were we met in Kylie's Series.  We see her background and see another side of her.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Book Review: Pawn - Aimee Carter

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice.  She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked--surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances.  As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous.  She will be adored.  And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch.  She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed and one Kitty believes in.  Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose--and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Kitty was a little whiny at times and I found her annoying.  But overall I liked the story.  Although Kitty loves Benjy, it really wasn't much of a love story.  The story was more about the society and how people are treated unfairly.  Those with high marks get the privileged life and those with lower marks get crappy jobs.  The marks are based on intelligence and how well they do on a test.  But it really isn't fair because those born into high marks are destined to get high marks.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review: Why Not Me? - Mindy Kaling

Why Not Me?
In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it's falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you're constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I enjoyed her first book and I think I enjoyed this one even more.  I loved hearing about her time as a writer on The Office and how she started out in her own show.  As well as what it's like in Hollywood and how other celebrities act.  Even though she didn't specifically name some people.  My favorite part of the book was her pictures of what a typical day is like for her.

Book Review: Money Never Sleeps - Tu-Shonda Whitaker

Money Never Sleeps - Tu-Shonda Whitaker The bling is brighter, the drama is amped up, the delicious beauties from Tu-Shonda's Milli...