Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Book Review: Through the Ever Night - Veronica Rossi

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It's been months since Aria last saw Perry.  Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission.  Now, finally, they are about to be reunited.  But their reunion is far form perfect.  The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller.  And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, can their love survive through the ever night?

3/5 stars (liked it)
Poor Aria really doesn't fit in anywhere.  After the end of the last book she has gone back to the Dwellers only to find it's not her home anymore.  But when she gets to the Tides, she's not really welcome there either.  Her relationship is kept a secret because of the way people feel about her and the fact that Perry is the new Blood Lord.  Roar and Aria have quite an adventure in this book and it's sad why the person that dies at the end.  Can't wait to see what happens next.

Book Review: Roar and Liv - Veronica Rossi

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Before Perry and Aria, there was Roar and Liv.

After a childhood spent wandering the borderlands, Roar finally feels like he has a home with the Tides.  His best friend Perry is like a brother to him, and Perry's sister, Liv, is the love of his life.  But Perry and Liv's unpredictable older brother, Vale, is the Blood Lord of the Tides, and he has never looked kindly on Roar and Liv's union.  Normally, Roar couldn't care less about Vale's opinion.  But with food running low and conditions worsening every day, Vale's leadership is more vital--and more brutal--than ever.  Desperate to protect his tribe, Vale makes a decision that will shatter the life Roar knew and change the fate of the Tides forever.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I loved reading about how the love story of Roar and Liv was.  This book explains how their romance started and what happened when Vale promised Liv to someone else in order to feed his tribe.  I was so sad for Roar.  We also see what Perry is like before he meets Aria.

Book Review: Son - Lois Lowry

Son (The Giver, #4)
They called her Water Claire.  When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn't exist.  That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen.  That it had been stolen from her body.  Claire had a son.  But what became of him she never knew.  What was his name?  Was he even alive?  She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible.  Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges.  In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry's epic tale culminates in a final class between good and evil.

3/5 starts (liked it)
I thought this was a great conclusion to the series.  We find out more about Jonas and where he is.  Also Kira and what life became of her after the end of Messenger.  As well as other characters that we got to know throughout the series.  We also find thing out from Claire's perspective since she was around when Jonas became the Receiver in the town they lived in.  Claire goes through a lot in the book to get to her son.  I thought it ended well and explained everything.



Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Book Review: Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

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Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with.  She's funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one.  Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beach side community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline's youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it off, Madeline's teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline's ex-husband over her.  (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare.  While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn't be, with those rambunctious twin boys?  Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school's parent body.  But loyalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny.  Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son.  But why?  While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I really hated Madeline and I really loved Madeline.  Even though she comes off as being harsh and mean, she is actually a very caring person.  She befriends Jane right away.  Jane is mysterious and you find out why she is the way she is throughout the book  Celeste seems perfect but what happens behind closed doors is not what you would imagine.  It was a great story, told through the perspective of these three women.  As well as little snipets of a death that occurs at the Trivia Night.  We know someone dies, we don't exactly know how but it was great to see how the events unfolded to that night.  I saw so much change in each of the characters, especially Jane.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Review: Messenger - Lois Lowry

Messenger (The Giver, #3)
Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special sight.  Village once welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders.  Matty has been invaluable as a messenger.  Now he must risk everything to make one last journey through the treacherous forest with is only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This was a very short book and very good.  This book takes place a few years after Gathering Blue.  In this book we get a glimpse into what has happened to Kira and where she lived.  We also get a glimpse into Jonas and Gabe.  This book focuses on Matty and what his life is like.  Overall a great book and I can't wait to read the next one to see how all the previous three stories are tied together.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Review: Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry

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In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world.  It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak.  Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future.  Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable.  Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long to ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Similar but the same as The Giver, the first book in the series.  Kira lives in a village where those that get injured or are deemed weak are put out in the field to die.  Kira was luckily saved by her mother at birth even though she was born with a twisted leg.  All her life Kira has had to work very hard to show that she is of value.  When her mother dies, she is taken in by the Council and is praised for her valuable sewing skills.  As was expected, things aren't always as great as they seem.  I enjoyed seeing Kira grow in this book.  I liked the new characters introduced, Matt and his dog, Thomas the Carver and little Jo.  I can't wait to see what happens next.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review: Midnight Hour - C.C. Hunter

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Being a dyslexic witch is a curse in itself, but Miranda Kane's time at Shadow Falls has helped her harness her magical powers.  Now, just as she's finally mastered them and is preparing to graduate with her friends, a near-death experience threatens to ruin it all.

Miranda awakens in the hospital with a mysterious tattoo that no one can explain.  As she struggles to make sense of it--and questions her feelings for a certain irresistible shape-shifter and a hot new guy--the strange markings begin to spread all over her body, leaving her desperate to find answers.  But before she can solve that problem, a new one arises: her sister is missing.

Has her sister been kidnapped?  Miranda will risk her life to find out.  Will she live to share the day she's worked so hard for with her friends?  When the clock strikes midnight, will Miranda make it to her graduation at Shadow Falls?

3/5 stars (like it)
This was a great conclusion to Miranda's story.  I love that C.C. Hunter focused a trilogy on each of the main characters.  First we had Kylie and her struggles with finding out who she was.  Then Dellla and oh how much I love Della.  Her struggles with love and her new powers.  Now Miranda with a love triangle, her new sister and possible new powers.  I love all the characters in the series.  I loved the ending.  I feel though that even though graduation happened we haven't seen the last of these characters.  I would love to see what life is like for them as they enter the workforce beyond college.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Book Review: The Return of the Witch - Paula Brackston

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After five years in the Summerlands, Gideon has gained his freedom.  Elizabeth knows he will go straight for Tegan, and that she must protect the girl she had come to regard as her own daughter.  In the time since the dramatic night in Batchcombe woods, Tegan has travelled the world learning from all manner of witches, and she is no longer the awkward teenager and novice spellcaster she once was.  However, her skills are no match for Gideon's dark, vengeful power, and he succeeds in capturing her.  Will Elizabeth be able to find her?  Will they be able to defeat their nemesis once and for all?

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I felt like the first book had a conclusion that I was happy with.  This book seemed somewhat unnecessary except that it gives some of the characters a happy ending.  New characters are introduced in this book.  I would have rather have liked to read a book about Tegan only and her time spent learning from other witches.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Book Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac - Gabrielle Zevin

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If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss.  She wouldn't have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn't have hit her head on the steps.  She wouldn't have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia.  She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace.  She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place.  She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her "Chief".  She'd know about her mom's new family.  She's know about her dad's fiancee.  She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her.  She wouldn't have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Naomi wakes up with amnesia and the last age she remembers being is 12 years old.  Her parents are happily married.  So it is a big surprise when she wakes up and finds out her mom is married to an old flame and she has a little sister.  Also surprising is that her dad is about to get married to a Tango dancer.  With the help of her best friend Will and her boyfriend Ace, she learns about her life.  During that time she questions why she did the things she did and why she ever wanted to date Ace.  In the end she ends up learning more about herself and changes to become someone better.

Book Review: The Beginning of Everything - Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything - Robyn Schneider
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Varsity tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before--before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book reminded me very much of Paper Towns by John Green.  Seems to me that all the terrible things that happened to Ezra were actually the best things to happen to him.  His friends were jerks that never cared about him.  His girlfriend only went out with him in order to look good.  Because of all of this he rekindles an old friendship with someone who truly cares for him.  He develops new relationships with friends and gets over his girlfriend.  In the end, even though Ezra's life was not what he thought it would be it actually seems like he grows up and becomes a better person.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Book Review: Dreamfall - Amy Plum

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Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure.  She thought things couldn't get any worse...but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there's a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there.  Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life.  Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they'd rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears.  And if they can't find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I didn't think I would like this book as much as I did.  The perspectives changed from Jamie, who is a pre-med student observing the experiment to Fergus and Cata who are stuck in the nightmare.  It was interesting to see how the kids trapped figured things out as well as know what was going on in the outside world.  The ending just let me hanging and I will definitely read the next one.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Book Review: Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi

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In a world of danger
an unlikely alliance
breathtaking adventure
 and unforgettable romance...

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie.  Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors.  So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry.  He's searching for someone too.  He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope of staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I was surprised at how much I actually liked this book.  Although at first Aria seems like she's high maintenance and whinny, she turns out to be pretty tough.  Perry seem very serious, and although he is I ended up really liking him.  I actually liked all the characters in the story.  Although we did not get to know Talon all that much, I'm sure we will.  I like how this book was not just about a love story but about how to people change and become stronger.  I can't wait to read the next book  to see what struggles Aria and Perry along with their friends and enemies will have.


Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Book Review: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Julia Alvarez

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In this debut nove, the Garcia sisters--Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofia--and their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after their father's role in an attempt to overthrow a tyrannical dictator is discovered.

2/5 stars (it was OK)
I started a book club where we will read books by Latino authors.  This is our first book that we picked.  I really though I could related to the Garcia girls since I am from Guatemala and moved to the U.S. when I was a child.  But I found that I could not relate to them at all.  I felt like all three girls were whinny and too much into themselves.  Also I feel like I didn't get to know them all that well.  The story jumps around in time and characters too often to keep track of things.  I would have much rather have read this book from the point of view of the mother and kept to a better timeline of events.  I was disappointed at the ending as I feel it didn't wrap things up, just kind of ended.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Review: The Magician King - Lev Grossman

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Quentin Coldwater should be happy.  He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory--a fictional utopia--was actually real.  But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace.  His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off--only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, a they'd hoped.  As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia's illicitly learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Quentin is the biggest whinniest baby ever.  He is never satisfied with what he has and is constantly seeking something better.  I would much rather have read this story from Eliot's point of view.  Although I really liked that we got to learn more about Julia in this book and all that happened to her from the time that she failed the test to get into Brakebills and how she met up with Eliot.  Although I wish we could have found out why she was there in the first place and their meeting from her point of view.

Book Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe - Lauren Graham

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Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three-year deadline she gave herself to succeed.  But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in a an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job.  She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates--Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material--and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.

Meanwhile, she dreams of doing "important" work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dish washing liquid and peanut butter commercials.  It's hard to tell if she'll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world.  Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won't call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I listened to this on audiobook since it was read by Lauren Graham herself.  Franny is funny and a worrier.  She is constantly making deals with herself.  I really like her two roommates too and like that as the book progressed they were in it a little more.  I loved the progression of Franny's character and how she went from a little unsure of herself to someone very confident in herself.  I loved and didn't like the ending.  The ending is left a little open but I thought it was a perfect ending to this story.  I would definitely read another book written by Lauren Graham.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review: The Chosen - J.R. Ward

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Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convinced of treason against the Blind King is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deed, he accepts his soldier's fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor's life.  But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear--even her role of mother to her precious young.  Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever lobe.  Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love...or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

4/5 stars (really like it)
I always enjoy Black Dagger Brotherhood books and I enjoyed this one.  Although this book was not just about  Xcor and Layla's forbidden love.  This story was about Quinn and Blay, Vishious and Jane, Trez (a shadow) dealing with the loss of his mate, Lassiter and his new role, Throe and his new role, Tohr and his struggles.  I almost thing there were too many side stories, some of which were wrapped up by the end but some that we'll have to wait until the next book to see what happens.  Overall an ending I expected and a story I enjoyed.

Book Review: The Wonder - Emma Donoghue

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In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation.  Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, The Wonder works beautifully on many levels--a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

3/5 stars (liked it)
At times I just wanted to smack Anna and tell her to eat!  Other times I wanted to smack her parents and the whole community for allowing an eleven year old to make a decision like that.  I found myself both disgusted and intrigued by this story.  The ending although expected, wrapped things up a little too neatly.  I was hoping for a different ending.  This story really makes religion seem way out there and how far people are willing to go for sacrifice.  Overall it was well written.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Review: Enders - Lissa Price

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Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael--teens with chips in their brains.  They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations--Starters who can be controlled and manipulated.  With the body band destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders.  But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do.  Like hurt someone she loves.  Having the chip removed could save her life--but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father.  Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too...and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear.  Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?

No one is ever who they appear to be, not even the Old Man.  Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for herself and her younger brother, Callie is ready to fight for the truth.  Even if it kills her.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book continues right after the last one.  I found Callie to be a little whinny in this.  I realize she's been through a lot but that should have made her a stronger person and she just seemed to have gotten weaker.  I would have liked to see more of Michael and learned a little more from him.  I thought the ending just wrapped everything up too quickly and things were conveniently explained.  Although the Old Man was a surprise, even he was conveniently taken care of.  Overall it was a good conclusion.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: Starters - Lissa Price

Starters - Lissa Price
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HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty.  She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie.  Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders--seniors who want to be young again.  Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor.  But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson.  It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party--and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined...

3/5 stars (liked it)
At first I didn't care too much for Callie but as the book progressed I grew to like her.  I love the mystery behind the Old Man and how he doesn't really have a name or face.  I wish the book alternated between Michael and Callie.  Michael seems like he would also have a good story to tell.  I started the second book as soon as I finished this one.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Review: Tales of the Peculiar - Ransom Riggs

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Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales.

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars.  A fork-tongued princess.  These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories in this deluxe audio volume of Tales of the Peculiar, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.  

4/5 stars (really liked it)
These stories were great and I love how we learn about the world of Peculiars.  I especially like how time loops were created and how peculiars were a long time ago.  Some of these stories were very interesting and I wanted to learn more.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Book Review: Bossypants - Tina Fey

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In her acceptance speech for Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey announced that she was proud to make her home in "the 'not-real America'."  It is perhaps that healthy sense of incongruity that makes the head writer, executive producer and star of NBC's Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock such a cogent observer of the contemporary scene.  Bossypants, her entertaining new memoir, shows that strangeness has been her constant companion.  Fey's stories about her childhood in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania are only appetizers for LOL forays into her college disasters, honeymoon catastrophes, and Saturday Night Live shenanigans.  Most funny read of the month; the best possible weekend update.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I love Tina Fey.  I loved her on SNL, as a writer and in the show.  I also loved 30 Rock.  It was great to hear how she got to where was is today.  I loved hearing about her early jobs, her honeymoon and her husband's fear of flying.  I would definitely get another memoir of hers.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Book Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms - George R.R. Martin

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Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones,  A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R.R. Martin's ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book contains three short stories dealing with a Hedge Knight named Ser Duncan and a small boy named Egg (Aegon Targaryen).  My favorite story is the first one where these two meet. The second story is okay but the third one is good.  I loved the illustrations in this book almost as much as the book itself.


Book Review: The Magicians - Lev Grossman

The Magicians - Lev Grossman
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Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York.  There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze -- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery.  But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would.  After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning.  But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I didn't really like Quentin, I thought he was a bit dull, whinny and mopey.  I did like the other characters though.  This book spans his whole college education.  While most of his college times are fairly normal and boring it isn't until he graduates and is living in the real world that things pick up.  There we meet an old character Penny.  He brings them an adventure to the land of Fillory, which is a place that is in a book series.  Quentin has been obsessed with the books.  I almost think this book could have just started after Quentin and the others graduated and they spend more time on their adventure.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review: Yes Please - Amy Poehler

Yes Please - Amy Poehler
In Amy Poehler's highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big  juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious.  Powered by Amy's charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I decided to listen to the audio book instead of reading this since it is read by Amy Poehler herself.  I'm so glad I did, I don't think the book would have been as great without her voice and some other celebrity voices.  Sometimes I felt like I was listening to a radio show instead of a book.  She's funny and serious all at the same time.  I loved Amy before and now I love her even more.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Book Review: When She Woke - Hillary Jordan

When She Woke - Hillary Jordan
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Hannah Payne's life has been devoted to church and family.  But after she's convicted of murder, she awakens to a nightmarish new life.  She finds herself lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes--criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime--is a sinister form of entertainment.  Hannah is a Red for a crime of murder.  The victim, says the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love.

A powerful re-imagining of The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a timely fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of the not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated, and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can.  In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith and love.

2/5 stars (It was ok)
I had higher hopes for this book.  But Hannah was not too likable.  She refuses to name the father of her unborn baby to protect him because of his position in the church and his marital status. He had an affair with her for two years and blatantly said he would NEVER leaver his wife for Hannah.  She also never told him that she was pregnant.  She also refuses to name the man who gave her the abortion because he was kind to her.  Therefore not giving those two names added 6 more years to her 10 year sentence as a Chrome.  She goes from her 30 days in prison to a religious halfway house where the people running it are horrible.  The only interesting thing that happens there is she meets another Red named Kayla.  I would have much rather have this book be about Kayla.  She is more likable and interesting.  From that point on the book just goes down hill.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Book Review: The Burning World - Isaac Marion

The Burning World - Isaac Marion
R is recovering from death.

He's learning how to breathe, how to speak, how to be human, one clumsy step at a time.  He doesn't remember his old life and he doesn't want to.  He's building a new one with Julie.

But his old life remembers him.  The plague has another host far more dangerous than the Dead.  It's coming to return the world to the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak, and stopping it will require a frightening journey into the surreal wastelands of America--and the shadowy basement of R's mind.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I loved the first book, I liked the sequel.  Although I really wish we could have found out what R's full name was.  This book involved flashbacks to R's life before he became a zombie.  He finds out he's not the person he wants to be and fights the memories.  We also learn a little bit about Julie.  New characters are introduced too.  I can't wait to read the last one.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch.  Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier.  Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life.  Clay is one of them.  If he listens, he'll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide.  He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I felt sorry for Hannah and Clay.  The snowball effect caused Hannah to kill herself.  Many people contributed to her life and making it worse.  From people starting rumors to people not really seeing her.  It's a very compelling book and I couldn't put it down just to see who the next person on her list was and what they had done.  Especially Clay since he's one of the people.  The very last person on the tape really surprised me.  Although we know Hannah is dead, we still root for her to not kill herself.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review: We Are The Ants - Shaun David Hutchinson

We Are The Ants - Shaun David Hutchinson

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn't.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes.  He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend.  He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer's.  And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn't know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn't know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship.  He doesn't know why the world is going to end or why the aliens offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have.  And they've only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving.  That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters.  But before Henry can save the world, he's got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven't given him a button for that.


3/5 stars (liked it)
I can’t decide if Henry was truly abducted by aliens or if it was all in his head.  The book ends two hours before the world is supposed to end.  I think Henry was truly abducted by aliens but the red button and the end of the world was not really what it appeared to be.  When Henry is told that he is the one who decides to end or save the world, it’s really a time for him to take a look at his life and see if he truly wants to live.  Through this he is forced to face the death of his boyfriend, Jesse.  Face an old friend, Audrey.  And make new a new friendship through Diego.  I really enjoyed this book.  I would have liked to learn a little more about Diego.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review: Library of Souls - Ransom Riggs

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls.  As the story opens, sixteen-year old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he's diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress.  Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They'll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil's Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England.  It's a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all.  Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

4/5 stars (really liked it)
I thought this was a great conclusion to the series.  I love the new found ability that Jacob has and his connection to his grandfather.  Although I thought something more was going to develop with his ability.  Loved meeting the new characters, especially Sharon.  I would love to see a short story of him and how he came to be where he was.  Addison is the best dog ever, he is very interesting.  The ending was what made me the happiest and I love Miss Peregrine.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Review: Blood Vow - J.R. Ward

The Black Dagger Brotherhood continues to train the best of the best to join them in the deadly battle against the Lessening Society.  Among the new recruits, Axe proves to be a cunning and vicious fighter--and also a loner isolated because of personal tragedy.  When and aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he's unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect.

For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe's dangerous appeal is enticing--and possibly a distraction from her grief.  But as they delve deeper into her cousin's death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart.

Rhage, the Brother will the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential.  But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary's new family, he finds himself back in the trenches again, fighting against a destiny that will destroy all he holds most dear.

As Axe's past becomes known, and fate seems to be turning against Rhage, both males must reach deep--and pray that love, rather than anger, will be their lantern in the darkness.

3/5 stars (liked it)
These books are very predictable.  Love story, it can't happen, then it does, then something comes between them and then things work out.  But even though these books are predictable I love reading them.  I love the characters and the writing.  This character contained several stories.  There is Rhage and Mary's story.  They love Bitty so much but a relative comes forward and threatens their perfect family.  I love the introduction of the uncle and look forward to learning more about him.  I have a feeling he will have his own love story.  There is also Peyton and his messed up idea of love and the tension between him and Novo.  I have a feeling something's going to happen with them.  There's also the story of Axe and Elise.  I felt like even though this book was supposed to be more about them, they were more of a background feature.  I didn't care too much about their love story.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Review: Marked - Sara Fine

Marked - Sara Fine
In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city.  What most don't know--including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis--is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife.  Once humans are "Marked" by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.

Unaware of Cacy's other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon--who happens to be Cacy's father.  Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past.  But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time.  Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli--and to make sure humanity's future is secure?  


3/5 stars (liked it)
I feel that this book could have just been a stand alone book rather than part of a series.  I know the ending is left open but not really.  I liked Cacy and I liked Eli but not necessarily together.  I felt like they were just thrown together for the sake of it.  I really liked Moros and I liked the epilogue.  Hopefully he is featured more in the next book.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Book Review: A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin

A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin
In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance--beset by newly emerging threats from every direction.  In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death.  But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her.  As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys.  But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenery's claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone--a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, will face his greatest challenge.  For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  Some will fail, others will grow in strength of darkness.  But in time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

3/5 stars (liked it)
These books are long and good.  But sometimes it feels like there are a lot of characters and a lot of points of views.  I think I would rather just pick less than 5 characters to closely follow and just focus on those.  My favorite character throughout the whole series is Tyrion an he is still my favorite.  I feel like some of the characters are whinny at times and need to be slapped.  Overall I will continue this series.

Book Review: Every Day - David Levithan

Every day a different body.  Every day a different life.  Every day in love with the same girl.  There's never any warning about where it will be or who it will be.  A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached.  Avoid being noticed.  Do not interfere.

It's all fine until the morning A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.  From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply.  Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with--day in, day out, day after day.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I've had this book on my to-read list for a while.  I finally got around to reading it and I'm glad I finally did.  A is very likeable and honest and caring.  He switches bodies every day but respects the body he's in and tries not to interfere.  He falls in love with Rhiannon and tries very hard not to disrupt things.  I like the developing relationship between them and the ending was great.  I can't wait to read the next one from Rhiannon's perspective.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 Reading Challenge

I decided to start this reading challenge for this year.  I know we're two weeks into the new year but I thought it would be fun to do.  It seems simple enough and I think I can do it!  Wish me luck.

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye - Tania del Rio

Warren the 13th is the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family's ancient hotel.  It's a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles--and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye.  Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Annaconda (and a slew of greedy hotel guests) beats him to it?

This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.

This book was so cute.  I loved all the illustrations and the story line.  I think this book would be perfect for middle-grade and up including adults.  I felt so bad for Warren and how his aunt and uncle treated him.  I fell in love with all the characters and hated the characters I was supposed to hate.  Warren especially is so likable.  I highly recommend this book and all sequels to this book.  There's a cute short story and activity book to go along with this book and can be found here.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Book Review: Wreckage - Emily Bleeker

Wreckage - Emily Bleeker
Lillian Linden is a liar. On the surface, she looks like a brave survivor of a plane crash. But she’s been lying to her family, her friends, and the whole world since rescue helicopters scooped her and her fellow survivor, Dave Hall, off a deserted island in the South Pacific. Missing for almost two years, the castaways are thrust into the spotlight after their rescue, becoming media darlings overnight. But they can’t tell the real story—so they lie.

The public is fascinated by the castaways’ saga, but Lillian and Dave must return to their lives and their spouses. Genevieve Randall—a hard-nosed journalist and host of a news program—isn’t buying it. She suspects Lillian’s and Dave’s explanations about the other crash survivors aren’t true. And now, Genevieve’s determined to get the real story, no matter how many lives it destroys.
In this intriguing tale of survival, secrets, and redemption, two everyday people thrown together by tragedy must finally face the truth…even if it tears them apart. 


3/5 stars (liked it)
I enjoyed the back in forth in time and the point of view change from David and Lillian.  I imagined when I started this book that something unforgivable had happened on the island.  But when I got done with the book, what I imagined was worse than what actually happened.  I think if I had been in Lillian's shoes I would have done the same as her.

Book Review: Through the Ever Night - Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night - Veronica Rossi It's been months since Aria last saw Perry.  Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the...