Sunday, May 1, 2016

BotW: Outlander


Hello lovelies and happy Beltane! Welcome to the start of a new month!  It so happens that this month starts on a Sunday...which means that I must share with you my book of the week for this coming week!  Wonderful! 

Happy Sunday!  This week's book of the week is by far one of my favorites, and I figure I will share it with you!  

In honor of today being Jamie Fraser's Birthday...the book of the week is...

Outlander
Diana Gabaldon


This series, this book, it has absolutely EVERYTHING that I could want in a book.  The series come to life on television has done it so much justice and I love that Diana is involved in the process.  

I highly recommend checking this book out if you love historical romance, time travel, hot men in kilts...did I mention the kilts...and the hot men? Oh, and there is plenty of adventure too! 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April: Return from Radio Silence


Hello Sweeties! 

Forgive me for abandoning you for a month and a half.  Things have been rather hectic and not all the best for me the last month and change.  A depression spiral, and my slow, perpetual return to the light has been a struggle.  However, I am back, not fully into the light, but better than I have been the last few weeks.  This month's reading has been slim, but otherwise decent reads.  


WHAT I'VE READ:

  1. American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle
  2. Locked Inside by Annette Mori
  3. Slathbog's Gold (Adventurer's Wanted #1) by M.L. Forman
  4. Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
  5. Independent Study (The Testing #2) by Joelle Charbonneau
  6. Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

Beyond that, the month has been fairly calm aside from various little things that rear their ugly head to simply drive me absolutely crazy.  My hope, my sincere hope, is that with me now bullet journalling, and forcing myself to keep better track of things I will stop allowing the things that I love to be set aside in favor of staring at the screen and doing nothing.  

My intent over the coming months is to turn the months that remain in 2016 into something to be positive about.  

I don't have much more to include in this update, because life has been just that boring and nothing of importance has happened (aside from my trip to St. Augustine earlier this month....during which I bought 3 books). 

APRIL'S BOOK HAUL

Covet by J.R. Ward
Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

And, with that I'll leave you for the month of April! 

Bring on May!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Review: Across the Universe


Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 398
Date(s) Read: July 7-9, 2015 (re-read)
Rating: 3 

Summary: 

17-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the spaceship, Godspeed and expects to wake up 300 years in the future.  However, she is woken up fifty years too early.  Her awakening wasn't a computer error, but an intentional thing.  Someone, among the thousands on the ship, was trying to kill her.  Her parents will be next if she can't find out who it is.  She must race to find the ship's hidden secrets, however, there is only one name on her list of murder suspects that matters: Elder.  The future leader of the ship and the love she never saw coming. 

Review: 

Okay, so I've now read this book twice.  Yes, twice.  Before actually sitting down and formulating this review.  Note, there was also eight months between my last read and this review.  Yeah, I've been sitting on this one for a little while and for reasons that I will get to momentarily.  

I did not love this book.  I also did not hate this book.  Thus the somewhere in the middle three that it has received.  It is a good book, however, for me there were a few issues.  The characters for one, I couldn't really find a true connection with either of them.  

Amy came off as a Mary Sue, and the point of her Mary Sue-ness was stressed even more with the biggest cliche to describe her red hair "flaming red hair," is something that drives me absolutely crazy.   She honestly doesn't even have that great a personality, and it is like she is stuck in two modes: running or complaining about her left behind boyfriend.  I get it, you're a teenager and you were forced to leave your boyfriend....a boyfriend and a relationship that I really had no connection with, no understanding of, or scope of aside from the few seconds of flashback that we were given.  Jason - ask me about him and honestly, I would have absolutely nothing to tell you.  I have no idea what his personality is, or even what to tell you made him so great to Amy. 

Elder.  Seriously, I do not like him at all.  I mean, I'd probably like him if he wasn't a jerk, or seriously shallow.  His only thoughts about Amy are objectifying.  He wants to make out with her.  He wants to have sex with her.  Seriously dude, get a grip.  Then, what we learn about Elder makes me really, really angry.  It also further proves just how absolutely shallow and self-serving this guy really is.  Why would you do that?  Why would you freaking RISK her life, just for that?! Oh, right, you also just want to make out with her and have sex with her. I got it.  Elder is a douche.  

Right, I've officially gotten that out of my system.  For now.  I think.  At least until I get to book two and I might have to hop back on the "I really don't like Elder" train.  

The ending, however left me feeling kinda meh.  Everything was pretty much tied up just a little bit too neatly, too easily.  The reasons for the murders did not make a whole lot of sense.  Also, seriously? Are we arriving on Centauri-Earth in this book?  Is Amy going to be living out her life without her parents?  Is she going to end up having a relationship with said objectifying douche? Please someone give me the answers, because they are simply NOT in this book.  

I think it is worth the read, despite the fact that there were things that drove me quite batty about this book.  YAY I managed to actually write this review without having to use the spoiler tag.  A feat that I wasn't certain was going to happen. Win.  For.  Me.

Review: Since You've Been Gone


Title: Since You've Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Format: Hardback
Pages: 449
Date(s) Read: November 4-7, 2015
Rating: 4

Summary: 

Emily and Sloane are the kinds of friends you never see without the other.  Joined at the hip for the most part.  They'd ultimately planned the most awesome summer.  However, when the first week of summer comes and goes, Sloane is no where to be found.  All that she left is a list.  A list of thirteen things that Emily should do, that Emily would NEVER do.  However, would doing them bring her friend back? 

Review: 

This book.  I think the only thing keeping this book from being a 5 for me is minor issues with the writing that I couldn't get over.  Beyond that, EVERYTHING about this book is absolutely wonderful.  

Shy.  Check.
Introvert.  Check. 

Emily is both of these, and she is complimented by her best friend Sloane who is her polar opposite.  We don't actually get to meet Sloane, however we learn of her from flashbacks throughout the story.  Emily, we learn quite a bit about, and ultimately she learns more about herself while she goes through the thirteen item Sloane-inspired to-do list.  

Something I did like about this book is that there was no attempt to 'fix' or 'change' the shyness that makes Emily who she is.  The story writing allows Emily to essentially come to terms with who she is, and settle into her friendships and relationships without Sloane's guiding hand all the time.  

The list is by far my absolute favorite part about this story.  Apple picking at night.  Dancing until dawn.  Skinny dipping.  All fun things to do, and then there would be a singular word.  Just one word and then there would be a flashback, an explanation as to what the word meant and we would learn why it is on the list.  

I am in love with this book and I will probably end up eventually owning it (rather than repeatedly checking it out from the library) because it is one that I will enjoy re-reading (despite the excessive bits of fluff that could have been cut).  

Review: Prudence


Title: Prudence
Author: Gail Carriger
Format: Hardback
Pages: 359
Date(s) Read: July 3-8, 2015
Rating: 5

Summary: 

Book the First in The Custard Protocol series.  We follow Lord and Lady Maccon's daughter, Prudence and her best friend Primrose on a trip from London to India.  The trip taken of course by dirigable, given to Prudence by her adopted father, Dama. However, when you are a metanatural (having the ability to take another supernatural's abilities with the merest touch) things very rarely go as smoothly as one would hope.  

Review: 

Okay, so I have read this one without reading all of The Parasol Protectorate series.  I will remedy that eventually, the books are on my TBR pile and will be gotten to eventually.  However, even with the minimal background I had about the individuals in this story, I truly did enjoy it.

It was within the first thirty or so pages that I realized that I was getting quite a few spoilers from the PP series, however, there has been enough time between reading this and the time that I ultimately get to the rest of the PP series that I will have likely forgotten them.  Don't judge me.  Yes, it is also killing my book OCD that I read a spin-off without finishing the ACTUAL first series. 

This story did get a bit ditsy for me, and the focus on proper fashion and reputation and things like that was not entirely unexpected for the time period that this is set in.  Steampunk, Victorian, etc it is quite expected for propriety and proper dress.  Prim tended to annoy the absolute crap out of me, but I did enjoy the character and how she interacts with Rue as well as her brother. 

The entire cast of characters were absolutely wonderful and entertaining.  I love the wit and snark between the quad on "The Spotted Custard," on their time in the air and even when they stop in various places along the way from London to England. 

I can understand some of the negativity that this book received, however, I can think that some of it might be around the hype for this particular book.  I went into it without all of that.  To be honest, the only reason I'd actually picked up the book initially from the library was the fact that I absolutely LOVED the cover, and to be honest I am a sucker for an awesome cover.  I was pleasantly surprised with the story, and definitely believe that this book is so much more than an interesting cover.

Book of the Week: Wicked


Okay, so this is two...or is it 3 days late since it is now Tuesday and this usually goes up on Sunday?  Either way, it's up now!  So I didn't slack too much! 

I've been obsessed with all things Wizard of Oz for some time now, and one of my absolute favorite series of the retelling of the story is The Wicked Years series by Gregory Maguire.  

The first book of this series is this week's book of the week!  So without further adieu...this week's book of the week...

Wicked
Gregory Maguire


I love everything about this story.  The background given for the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn't really all that wicked at all.  This re-creation of the land of Oz is something that makes me enjoy things by Gregory Maguire.  His writing is absolutely wonderful, and the world creation or rather re-creation from the original Wizard of Oz is stunning. 

The fact that this book has been turned into a Broadway musical, filled with a fantastic soundtrack, does not surprise me in the slightest.  I must say, that I am however, some what relatively new to the Wicked bandwagon, despite my love for all things Wizard of Oz.  I'd only originally stumbled upon the series in late 2012, when I'd finally checked the book out of the library - and ultimately have been given most of the series as gifts from friends.  I might only be missing one of the books, I'm not certain.  

However, I do highly recommend this wonderfully rich re-creation of the Land of Oz.  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hello Sweeties!


Sweet lord.  I never thought the last week was going to end.  I do apologize for going dark for nearly a week and change.  I'd worked an over 40 hr work week last week and my body simply could not even begin to function beyond necessities.  This, coupled with a minor anxiety attack over the fact that my first paycheck from the new owner at work was late...it was just absolute chaos.  I don't even remember if I finished reading anything last week...let alone updated anything.  

It's been crazy.  So, I'm spending some time getting up some much needed love.  I'm a little late on some reviews (if anyone is surprised by that you must be new here) and I'll be doing my darnedest to get things caught up.  I am legit almost caught up (if I can get my butt in gear and start working on things properly).  

Here are some of the things you can expect for the coming week or two! Yes, I'm going to attempt to get that much done!  Don't die of shock!  

Today
Book of the Week
Review: Prudence
Review: Since You've Been Gone
Review: Across the Universe

Monday 3/14
TBR Update
Review: A Million Suns
Review: If I Stay
Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Tuesday 3/15
Top 10 Tuesday: Book Hotties
Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Review: Mr. Penumrba's 24-Hour Bookstore
Review: The Lost Days

Wednesday 3/16
Wish List Wednesday: Leather Bound Editions
Review: Dark Times
Review: A Midsummer Night's Scream
Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Thursday 3/17
Review: Dark Places
Review: Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Review: Asylum

Friday 3/18
What's On My Kindle: Birthday Gifts
Review: Red Rising
Review: Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter
Review: Queen of the Tearling

Saturday 3/19
Review: Dragon's Oath
Review: Lenobia's Vow
Review: Neveret's Curse
Review: Kalona's Fall

Sunday 3/20
Book of the Week
Review: Destined
Review: Hidden
Review: I'll Give You the Sun

Starting with the review of I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, that will begin books that I've read in 2016, and have me fully caught up from last years books aside from books that I'd been given for review.  See, I'm getting there!  However, I think I have a few more books to add to the list.  Also, one of these reviews, I think probably one of the ones on Monday or Tuesday will be my 100th review! 

So, without further adieu...time for me to get things rolling!