Monday, December 18, 2017

Book Review: Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer

Eleven secret government expeditions and few have returned unscathed--the first book in VanderMeer's exciting new Southern Reach Trilogy and soon to be a major motion picture.

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades.  Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization, and the government is involved in sending secret missions to explore Area X.  The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

Annihilation opens with the twelfth expedition.  The group is composed of four women, including our narrator, a biologist.  Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all of their observations, scientific and otherwise; and, above all, to avoid succumbing to the unpredictable effects of Area X itself.

What they discover shocks them: first, a massive topographic anomaly that does not appear on any map; and second, life forms beyond anything they're equipped to understand.  But it's the surprises that came across the border with them that change everything--the secrets of the expedition members themselves, including our narrator.  What do they really know about Area X--and each other?

3/5 stars (liked it)
We never learn anyone's name.  They are simply referred to as the Biologist, the Psychologist and so on.  The Biologist's husband was on the eleventh expedition and he died of cancer.  We learn through flashbacks on what her relationship was like with him and how he was when he came back.  This book was very interesting and kept me reading.  Although at the end I wasn't sure if all the Biologist had seen and heard was real or if she was somehow hallucinating the entire thing.  I will read the next book in the trilogy.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review: Shadowshaper - Daniel Jose Older

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her firends, and skating around Brooklyn.  But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season.  Sierra's near comatose abuelo begins to say "Lo siento" over and over.  And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep...Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories.  Her grandfather once shared the order's secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends.  Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one.  With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick's supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family's past, present and future.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I really liked the idea and story behind this.  Although I felt that Sierra was a whinny teenager.  I would have liked to get more back story to Robbie.  I felt their ethnic background were brought up like they were an issue but they really weren't.  Robbie is Haitian and Sierra is Puerto Rican.  Overall a good story and good ending.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Book Review: Hanna Who Fell From the Sky - Christopher Meades

Hanna has never been outside her secluded community of Clearhaven.  She has never questioned why her father has four wives or why she has fourteen brothers and sisters.  And in only one week, on her eighteenth birthday, Hanna will follow tradition and become the fifth wife of a man more than twice her age.

But just days before the wedding, Hanna meets Daniel, an enigmatic stranger who challenges her to question her fate and to follow her own will.  Then her mother tells her a secret--one that could grant Hanna the freedom she's known only in her dreams.  As her world unravels around her, Hanna must decide whether she was really meant for something greater than the claustrophobic world of Clearhaven.  But can she abandon her beloved younger sister and the only home she's ever known?  Or is there another option--one too fantastical to believe?

With lush, evocative prose, Christopher Meades takes readers on an emotional journey into a fascinating unknon world--and, along the way, brilliantly illuminates complexities of faith, identity and how our origins shape who we are.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I liked Hanna right away and knew she did not belong in this community.  I felt bad for her brothers and sisters and sister-mothers because the father Jotham and how he treats everyone badly.  In this story we see Hanna grow and learn to believe in herself and question things around her.  Most of that is in part to Daniel.  I wish we had learned more about Daniel and his past, although things were mentioned.  Overall I liked the book and really liked how it didn't end quite how I thought it would have.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Book Review: Revenge Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger

Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job "a million girls would die for" working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine--a dream that turned out to be a nightmare.  Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a high end bridal magazine.  The Plunge, which has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish.  Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her heart's content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro.

Even better, Andy has met the love of her life.  Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous.  Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple.  Andy Sachs is on top of the world.  But karma's a bitch.

The morning of her wedding, Andy can't shake the past.  And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread.  Andy realizes that nothing--not her husband, nor her beloved career--is as it seems.  She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago--and directly into the path of the devil herself...

2/5 stars (it was ok)
Andy is not the same person she was in the first book.  She seems to have changed quite a bit.  She is best friends with Emily and is writing for a high end bridal magazine.  Alex is long gone and Lilly has moved away.  She is in love with Max a gorgeous guy.  I never saw any chemistry between them and their love felt forced the whole book.  This book is not just about Andy's career and running into Miranda but takes us to married life, kids and career and love again.  I did however like how the book ending as it seemed very fitting. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Book Review: Iron Crowned - Richelle Mead

An embattled mystically entwined with our own, the Otherworld is at the mercy of one woman...

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm.  But as the Thorn Land's queen, she's fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom.  Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear...

Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part.  Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search.  And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way.  To control the Crown's ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation-one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril...

4/5 stars (really liked it)
This book picks up right where the last one left off.  Eugenie and Kiyo are over due to what happened in the next book and she is now with Dorian.  Dorian seems to have changed a lot since the first book as has Eugenie.  Because of the events from the previous book Roland, her step-dad refuses to talk to her.  With the urging of Dorian and a seer at the castle, Eugenie and Kiyo set out to see the Iron Crown.  The war with the Rowan land is not letting up.  Seems like so much happens in this book.  I am really growing to like Jasmine, Eugenie's half-sister.  The ending of this book really makes me want to read more!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review: Insatiable - Meg Cabot

Sick of hearing about vampires?  So is Meena Harper.

But her bosses are making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn't believe in them.

Not that Meena isn't familiar with the supernatural.  See, Meena Harper knows how you're going to die.  (Not that you're going to believe her; no one ever does.)

But not even Meena's precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets--then makes the mistake of falling in love with--Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side.  It's a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, Lucien's already dead.  Maybe that's why he's the first guy Meena's ever met that she could see herself having a future with.  See, while Meen'as always been able to see everyone else's future, she's never been able to look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future...

If she even has one.

2/5 stars (it was OK)
Sadly I was expecting something different in a vampire book, instead I got the cliche of a woman instantly falling in love with a vampire.  A vampire with a temper who doesn't kill humans.  I actually didn't care too much for Lucien or Meena.  The characters I really liked were Alaric Wulf the vampire-hunter that works for the Palatine and Meena's brother John.  Who I was very sick of hearing about was Jack Bauer, the dog.  I felt like that's all we heard about was the dog.  Also did not like the chapter headings of time and exact locations.  If Alaric is in the next book more then I will definitely read it.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Review: Camanchaca - Diego Zuniga

A long drive across Chile's Atacama desert, traversing "the worn-out puzzle" of a broken family--a young man's corrosive intimacy with his mother, the obstructive cheer of his absentee father, his uncle's unexplained death--occupies the heart of this novel, Camanchaca is a low fog pushing in form the sea, its moisture sustaining a near-barren landscape, Camanchaca is the discretion that makes a lifelong grief possible.  Sometimes, the silences are what bind us.

2/5 stars (it was ok)
I couldn't really get into it.  Each page contained little snippets of thought and sometimes they really didn't mean much.  I think this would have been more enjoyable as a full novel.  I would have liked to have gotten more from the main character instead we don't get much.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book Review: Another Day - David Levithan

Every day is the same for Rhiannon.  She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don't be too needy.  Avoid upsetting him.  Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes.  Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day--a perfect day Justin doesn't remember the next morning.  Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything.  Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person...wasn't Justin at all.

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan tells Rhiannon's side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book is the same book but different than the first book.  This book takes place in the same amount of time as Every Day except in Rhiannon's point of view.  I loved reading about how she views A and all that he reveals to her.  So sad how she had basically given up and was in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship and she never questioned it until A came around.  I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book, especially with how things in the first two books ended.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Review: Royal Wedding - Meg Cabot

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity: living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements.  And speaking of engagements, Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend, Michael, manged to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question!  Of course, Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal "oui."

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: her grandmother has leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom.  Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a stomach.  Can Mia prove to everyone--especially herself--that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

3/5 stars (liked it)
It was nice to read about Mia again.  Unfortunately it seems Mia still has not grown up.  She complains about being a Princess, her Grandmere and basically everything.  It feels like it took a long time to get to the proposal and then it was a wedding and over just like that.  I did enjoy reading about the characters and where they were in their grown up lives.  I feel like it was left open to another book.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Review: Symptoms of Being Human - Jeff Garvin

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock.  Snarky.  Rebellious.  And gender fluid.  Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl.  The thing is...Riley isn't exactly out yet.  And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection is uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure--media and otherwise--is building up in Riley's so-called "normal" life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it's REALLY like to be gender fluid teenager.  But just as Riley's starting to settle in at school--even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast--the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley's real identity, threatening exposure.  Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created--a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in--or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This story is just thought and events that happen to Riley in a period of a few months.  Although we don't find out if Riley was biologically born as a boy or a girl I feel like it really didn't matter and I like that we never find out.  Riley starts a new school and hasn't come out yet.  Throughout the books traumatic events happen and I love the ending.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Book Review: Labyrinth Lost - Zoraida Córdova

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic.  At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power.  But it backfires.  Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust.  A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

3/5 stars (like it)
I didn't really feel that Alex really disliked magic.  Sure she seemed like she wanted a normal teenage life but I didn't feel she hated magic so much she wanted to get rid of it.  I knew Nova was trouble the moment she met him.  She has a best friend, Rishi who doesn't know anything about Alex's family or the fact that she's a Bruja.  Most of the time is spent getting to know Alex and Novo as they travel through Los Lagos to save her family from the Devourer.  The Devourer was once a witch who was banished to Los Lagos and decided to take it over and make the place a horrible place.  The love interest for Alex was not who I was expecting and the ending left things open but gave closure.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Book Review: The Magician's Land - Lev Grossman

Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams.  With nothing left to lose, he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic, but he can't hide from his past, and it's not long before it comes looking for him.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters.  But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica, to to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost forever.  He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, and a new Fillory--but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory together.  To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I thought it was a little slow at the beginning.  We find out what Quentin has been up to and it's really not much.  He becomes a professor at Brakebills.  We also find out what has been going on in Fillory.  Overall I thought it was a good wrap up to Quentin's story and Fillory's story.  We got to reunite with some old characters and we got to say goodbye to some characters.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Book Review: Thorn Queen - Richelle Mead

Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire.  She's paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld.

But something happened after her last battle.  She became queen of the Thorn Land.  With her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind, the job's really not all it's cracked up to be.

Now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one seems willing to find out why.  Or to put an end to it.  Not that Eugenie's fazed by spilling fey blood, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and dangerous--and nursing a very personal grudge.

Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in a power she can barely control.  She may be a reluctant queen, but she's vowed to do her duty, even if it means facing the darkest and deadliest side of her nature.

4/5 stars (really like it)
This book continues right where the other one left off.  Eugenie has become the new queen even though she doesn't want it.  Throughout this book she is dealing with a double life, one in the human world and one in the Thorn Land.  She is trying to keep them separate and even doesn't tell her parents about being queen.  There is also her love life, which is with Kiyo.  He is having a baby with his ex-girlfriend who is a queen in the Otherworld.  Then there is Dorian, a king int he Otherworld.  I loved the ending of this book and how Eugenie has changed so much since the first book.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Book Review: Storm Born - Richelle Mead

Just typical.  No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get your pants...

Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world.  Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat.  Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite.  Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy--on that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's' first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.

Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead.  Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she need some formidable allies for a job like this.  She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction.  But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...

4/5 stars (really like it)
I LOVE Richelle Mead and have pretty much read all her books.  I had been holding off on this series until it was done and then I forgot about it and then remembered it.  So glad I read it.  I though Eugenie was okay and grew to like her more as the book progressed.  I absolutely love Dorian and Kiyo and not sure which guy is hotter.  I love how the story goes from Eugenie just being a great shaman and having a day job to where she ends up by the end of the book.  Definitely will read the second book.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review: The Girl in the Spider's Web - David Lagercrantz

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo--a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit.  He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States.   The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker--a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well.  The implications are staggering.  Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help.  She, as usual, has her own agenda.  The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminials, and government around the world, someone is prepared to protect it...

4/5 stars (really like it)
David Lagercrantz did a great job picking up the series where Stieg Larsson left off.  I felt that this book had the same feel as the other three.  Salandar is still her bad-ass anti social genius.  Blomkvist is still the compelling journalist who seems to be fumbling through things but really know how he's doing.  Although Salandar and Blomkvist don't actually talk face to face throughout this book their interactions were great!  I also really enjoyed learning more about Salandar's past as well as having someone from her past come back.  I will definitely read more books from this series.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review: Into The Still Blue - Veronica Rossi

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate.  Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do--and they are just as determined to stay together.

Within the confines of a cave they're using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people.  Dwellers and Outsiders, who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation.  Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities.  Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission.  Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival--he's also their friend.  And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her earth-shattering Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I thought this was a great conclusion to the trilogy.  Things are never easy for the characters in this book and I'm glad for it.  Sable is brutal.  We get to see the Dwellers interact with the Outsiders.  We see characters grow, like Soren, Roar, Perry and Aria.  We also find out who Aria's father is and why he left her when she was a baby.  Great ending, if finished things but still left some things open, which could signify more books.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Book Review: Night Shift - Charaline Harris

At Midnight's local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves--only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town.

Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who. while translating mysterious texts, discovers, what makes Midnight the town it is.  There's a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place.

And now must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight.  For if all hell breaks loose--which just might happen--it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be...

3/5 stars (liked it)
I thought it was a great conclusion to the trilogy.  In this book we learn about how Lemuel became a vampire, who Olivia used to be and even where Mr. Snuggly was born.  We also meet Fiji's sister Kiki and get to know why she doesn't like her family very much.  Also there's a little love story with Manfred.  We see Lemuel interact with other vampires, although it would have been fun if he had met ones from Sookie Stackhouse books.  Overall I like how the story was wrapped up.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Book Review: Nothing Stays Buried - P.J. Tracy

When Minneapolis homicide detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are called to a crime scene in a heavily wooded city park, everything about the setting is all too familiar.  And when they discover a playing card on the victim's body, their worst fears are confirmed there is a serial killer operating in the city for the first time in years.

Across town, Grace MacBride and her unconventional partners at Monkeewrench Softaware find themselves at both personal and career crossroads.  Weary of the darker side of their computer work for law enforcement, they agree to take on a private missing-persons case in a small farming community in southwestern Minnesota.

As the violence accelerates in Minneapolis, Magozzi and Gino soon realize their killer is planning to complete the deck, and they enlist Monkeewrench to help stop the rampage.  As a baffling tangle of evidence accumulates, the cops and Monkeewrench make the unlikely connections among a farmer's missing daughter, a serial killer, and a decades-old stabbing that brings them face-to-face with pure evil.

3/5 stars (liked it)
Wow, I can't believe this is the eighth book in the series.  These books always have me flipping to the next page to find out what happens.  I love the story betwen Leo and Grace and how much their relationship has changed in all of these books.  Not only that but how much Grace and the rest of the Monkeewrench gang have changed.  Gino is always a fun character.  Overall a great and fast read.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Book Review: Generation One - Pittacus Lore

It has been over a year since the invasion of Earth was thwarted in Pittacus Lore's United as One.  But in order to win, our allies known as the Garde unleashed their Loric energy that spread throughout the globe.  Now human teenagers have begun to develop incredible powers of their own, known as Legacies.

To help these incredible and potentially dangerous individuals--and put the world at ease--the Garde have created an academy where they can train this new generation to control their powers and hopefully one day help mankind.  But not everyone thinks that's the best use of their talents.  And the teens may need to use their Legacies sooner than they ever imagined.

3/5 stars (liked it)
I don't like this quite as much as the original series with the Garde.  I wish more of the Garde were in this book.  Although we meet some of the Humans that developed Legacies that were introduced in the last book.  I really like Nigel and Ran.  Each of the humans have a story and we find out more about them.  There's of course a new bad guy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Book Review: Day Shift - Charlaine Harris

There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas, where the residents like to keep to themselves.  Even in a town full of secretive people, Olivia Charity is an enigma.  She lives with the vampire Lemuel, but no one knows what she does; they only know that she's beautiful and dangerous.

Psychic Manfred Bernardo finds out just how dangerous when he goes on a working weekend to Dallas and sees Olivia there with a couple who are both found dead the next day.  To make matters worse, one of Manfred's regular--and very wealthy--clients dies during a reading.

Manfred returns from Dallas embroiled in scandal and hounded by the press.  He turns to Olivia for help; somehow he knows that the mysterious Olivia can get things back to normal.  As normal as things get in Midnight...

3/5 stars (liked it)
I love that two character from the Sookie books made an appearance in this book.  Although one did not stick around for long and I hope he comes back in the next one.  Poor Manfred is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I feel like the killer storyline was just wrapped up and forgotten.  I would have liked to see more of the other characters in the town featured more.  Although it was nice to see more of Olivia and Manfred together and working together.  Seems like a few items were left open, so hopefully they are answered in the next one.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Book Review: Ash and Quill - Rachel Caine

Words can kill.

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets.  But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny...

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit.  But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library's rule.

Their time is running out.  To survive, they'll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies--and to save the very soul of the Great Library...

3/5 stars (liked it)
I can't say I have a favorite character because I really like them all.  They all find themselves going from one kind of prison to another.  Using their skills to find a way to free themselves.  I feel like this book contained more action than the previous books.  I can't wait to read the next one.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Book Review: Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road.  It's a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There's a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night).  There's a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger).  And there's new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he's found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal.  Stay awhile, and learn the truth...

3/5 stars (liked it)
I was a big fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books and thought I would try another one of her series.  Plus this is a trilogy so very doable.  I liked this first book.  We don't find out if everyone is human or otherwise but we find out about some.  My favorite character has to be Mr. Snuggly, the cat that talks.  He is just a cat and he can talk and all he cares about is himself and whether he will get his food and a comfy place to lay.  He's so funny!  This book revolves around the murder of Audrey, Bobo's girlfriend (the owner of the Pawnshop).  The killer really surprised me.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Book Review: Through the Ever Night - Veronica Rossi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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
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.

Book Review: The Program - Suzanne Young

The Program - Suzanne Young Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone.  With suicide now an international epidemic, one outbur...