Sunday, February 28, 2016

Book of the Week: The Martian by Andy Weir

It's SUNDAY!  You know what that means!  It's time for another Book of the Week...though seriously, do you have any idea how hard it is to pick one fantastic book to feature each week?!  It's insanely hard!  

I cannot believe February is almost over! We have ONE more full day left before we are officially in March....the third month of the year.  Holy crap where has the rest of the year gone?  I mean, it's already passing by so very quickly!  

Anyway, without further adieu, here is this week's Book of the Week! 

The Martian
Andy Weir

This book is absolutely fantastic!  It had me laughing from start to finish.  I love all the characters in this book and I'm actually looking forward to seeing the movie and I really, really hope that they kept in some of my favorite parts! 

Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.  However, now he's certain he'll be the first person to die there.  A dust storm forced his crew to evacuate, nearly kills Mark.  Well, the storm didn't kill him, and now Mark is stranded on Mars with no way to even send a signal to Earth to let them know he's alive.  Even still, it would be a chance of them getting to him before his supplies ran out...which probably wouldn't happen. 

Though, there is a good chance Mark won't be starving to death.  Nah, damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or just 'human error' is likely to kill him first.  Will his ingenuity, engineering skills, and refusal to quit be enough to keep him alive and overcome the insurmountable odds against him? 

I highly recommend you check this book out, and I'd love to know what you think if you've already read it!  

Friday, February 26, 2016

What's On My Kindle? Unsorted Part 2

A book nerd that doesn't have this problem, is one that I am insanely jealous of.  Just sayin'.

Anyway, it is FRIDAY!  Yes, Friday!  We've survived another week!  You know what that means...time for another edition of What's On My Kindle? Where I share some of the books that I have stored on my kindle to read immediately, or allow them to sit until I forget they are there...only to come across them again when I am floundering for something to read (yeah, true story that).  You all also know that I am INSANELY OCD and organized when it comes to my kindle without further adieu, I present you this week's What's On My Kindle?

The first book in the HOUSE OF ROYALS series by Keary Taylor.  I snagged this one when it was free, and I'm actually looking forward to reading it.  I might actually add it to March's TBR pile, which I am currently formulating given the fact that we are nearly done with this month already (GASP!) which is absolutely maddening.  Though, it means that my birthday is getting closer (yeah, not sure why I'm excited about that.) ANYWAY, tangent ftw!  Alivia Ryan inherits Conrath plantation, and finds a mansion and staff who look at her with fear in their eyes.  Ian Ward, well, he attempted to kill her when they first met - and then insisted that he train her how to defend herself against the House.  Interested yet? I know I am! 

Another I'd snagged by an author I like and had been wanting to read things by her before. I'd read some short stories, some blurbs on facebook and things like that.  So, when Alpha was free on Kindle, I snagged it.  I'd checked the reviews, and things like that.  So, there are mixed reviews and this book definitely will end up being filed in my erotica section on my Kindle when all is said and done.  However, I'm willing to look over the reviews, and ultimately I will formulate my own opinion of the book and share my review when I ultimately read it.  
Basic premise is this: Floundering under the weight of bills and other financial obligations, girl gets check in the mail for 10k, cashes it.  Another month goes by, another check.  Totaling 120k over the course of a year.  Knock on the door...time to pay her debt...oh, and there were notes on the first three checks reading "You Belong To Me." 

This one, I think I'm saving for a day or so when I need an ugly cry.  Simply because that's what Colleen Hoover's books seem to inspire in me.  That deep, dark, ugly cry that makes you feel weak, empty and broken.  I am not sure I'm ready for that right now, and the fact that this is part one of three and I only own PART ONE is definitely a sign I should get the other two parts before I embark on this journey of emotional chaos.  Also, because this is part one of three...I have a feeling I will want to pitch my Kindle across the room when it ultimately ends because there is a good chance it will be a cliffhanger.  Ugly cry + cliffhanger = things get thrown.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wish List Wednesday: Released This Week

Welcome to this week's Wish List Wednesday!  There have been SO MANY good books released recently, and so many good books that are coming out soon!  The books featured this week are books that I want to grace my shelves and further enrich my life, and the best part is they released this week!  Yesterday to be exact!  So, without further adieu, here is this week's wish list! 

Okay, I have to admit, this book grabbed my attention simply because of the cover and the title.  Like seriously, that title.  How could it not make you go huh?  Either way, this collection of stories by British author Helen Simpson is one that I would be proud to own.  Simpson writes with wit, candor, and warmth about the complexities of modern life and her collections have been compared to such authors as Flannery O'Connor and Alice Munro.  This book released 2/23 in paperback in the UK.  Its original release date was Nov 5, 2015 in Kindle format, physical copies were released this year.

Prose and I are good friends, as are poetry and I.  I love reading them. D.J. Taylor's The Prose Factory only logically would end up on my wish list.  This book is gossipy, entertaining and an all around fantastic read full of details and anecdotes about the great minds of the twentieth century.  It holds so many up for scrutiny.  I look forward to ultimately getting a copy of this book in my grubby little hands in any format.  Though hardback would be most appreciated...because look at that awesome cover! 

Of Love and Desire by Louis de Bernieres.  A collection of love poems that had been written over a lifetime and effectively capture love in its many forms.  There is rapture, infatuation, urgency, sorrow, heartache and disillusion.  This is de Bernieres' second collection and there are traces of many influence ranging from classical Persian poets, Neruda, Quintus Smyrnaeus, Brian Patten...and many others.  The illustrations, beautiful things, are done by Doland Sammut. 

Rick Riordan.  Percy Jackson.  Greek Gods.  Gods in general.  Synonyms.  Seriously.  I absolutely love the rich world that Rick Riordan created with the Percy Jackson series.  This book includes a full color illustration by John Rocco, who was a Caldecott Honoree.  In this particular book, the son of Poseidon adds his own magic - sarcastic asides - to the classics.  You get Percy's personal take on the Who's Who of the Ancients from Apollo to Zeus.  If you are expecting restraint from the son of Poseidon, you will be disappointed.  I love the cover on this book and I can't wait to see the pretty illustration from John Rocco! 

Okay, I've read some Gena Showalter before, namely Alice in Zombieland which I was kinda lukewarm on.  However, I'm willing to give her another chance with this new release.  Once I can get a copy in my grubby little hands...either through the library or purchase or gift.  Ya know.  With this book, it seems an interesting concept.  Life as we know it is a dress rehearsal...real life begins after death.  Yeah, you read that right.  Our heroine, Tenley "Ten" Lockwood is seventeen and locked in Prynne Asylum - not for the reason you might think (her obsession with numbers) but for the reason that she will not let her parents choose where she will live when she dies.  Yeah, that.  Two realms exist in the Everlife - Troika and Myriad...both want Ten.  It seems interesting and eventually I'll let you know how I like it! 

What books top your wish list for new releases this week, this month? 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: Guilty Pleasure Reads

Welcome to this week's Top Ten!  Every week, I will attempt to gather some of my favorite books and toss them into a cohesive list of 10 items.  (We'll see if I can actually stop at ten or if I have to force myself...and how many times I actively rework each and every list because I'd forgotten a book or five).  

This week is my favorite guilty pleasure reads.  You know the books I'm talking about.  Those books that we usually don't admit to reading, but are some of our all time favorites and we constantly turn to them and re-read them when we need a little pick me up or something like that.  

If you've been following this blog for any length of time you know I'll read just about anything once (twice if I like it).  So, with the books in this list I know I'll catch some flack, but ya know what #SorryNotSorry because these are my top ten guilty pleasure reads! 


10.  The Hunger Games Series
All of it.  All three books are among my favorites. I love rereading them when I need a pick me up, or want to revisit the characters that I love :)

9. Fifty Shades of Grey Series by E.L. James
Yes, I've read all three.  Yes, I will and have reread them a couple of times over the years.  No, I'm not ashamed.  No, I don't care that it is horribly written.  No, I don't care that it is a Twilight fanfic with BDSM (bad BDSM thrown in), that is what makes it a guilty pleasure.  This is a judgement free zone. #SorryNotSorry

8. The Pretty Little Liars Series by Sara Shepard
Okay, unless you've been living under a rock, you know that this series is a widely watched show on ABC Family (or is it Freeform now) but still.  The series is good for what it is.  A twisted YA mystery that plays off quite a bit of things.  I love the TV series too so...yeah. Definitely a guilty pleasure for me to indulge in every now and then. 

7. The House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Zoey Redbird is one of my favorite, maddening heroines.  This series is by far one of my guiltiest pleasures and I have read almost all of them...-eyes P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast- Books 11 and 12 nao please!  I've even read the novellas and I just love dipping into the waters of this series that twines a bit of Native American heritage with an interesting Vampire mythos.  

6. The Devil Wears Prada Series by Lauren Weisberger
Okay, I'm usually not big on the fashion industry, however, I've taken an avid interest as of late (and I blame a couple of friends for this) however, this book and the movie are among my favorite guilty pleasure reads.  Even without the 'fashion industry' part of this book, we have all had bosses like Miranda Priestly, and we have all survived the hell of dealing with people in powerful positions.

5. The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
This is by far one of my favorite worlds to return to.  The Urban Fantasy scene set in Ireland with faeries and so much more has become a comfort for me.  Not just because I want JZB...or anything like that.  I also want his book store..but that's beside the point.  This series will definitely sink its teeth into you and never let go.

4. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
I've not read the most recent book in this series, however I will be reading it soon as well as Kiera Cass' new book as soon as I can get my grubby little hands on it.  This book and America Singer are among my favorites and I love returning to this world and the relationship between America and Prince Maxon. I also have a thing for dystopian novels and this fits that category. 

3. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Okay, I will admit I was twenty-one when this book came out.  So it wasn't really one that I 'grew up' reading.  However, that did not stop me from tumbling into the Wizarding World and wishing I had gotten my letter to Hogwarts when I was 11 instead of trudging through regular school.  I return to this series in both written and visual form at least once or twice a year and reopen the love and heartache that spans this whole series.  Am I looking forward to the new one this really have to ask that question?

2. The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward
Okay, this one I can blame on my best friend.  She is the one that got me hooked on them.  I'm not sure if I have a singular book boyfriend on this particular guilty pleasure, however I want them all.  Every.  Single.  One. Of. Them.  I am greatly looking forward to The Beast book #14 that comes out this year.  That book is all about Rhage and Mary...GAH! Give.  Now. 

1. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
Okay, if you've been following the blog and have read one of my past #TBT posts, you'll know that this series has always been a comfort for me, and was my first real break into reading historical fiction.  It also started my book OCD because the first book I'd been given was Drums of Autumn which is book FOUR in the series.  I forever will venture into the world of Clare Randall and James Fraser.  Always.  This is my guiltiest pleasure and by far one of my favorite reads.  

There are dozens more books that I've read that count as guilty pleasures that I could add to this list.  I could spend all day reworking numbers 10-3, because those top two will never, ever change.  What are some of your favorite guilty pleasure reads? 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Book of the Week: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

Welcome to another week!  That means, Book of the Week time!  Yes, I know I forgot last week's book of the week...don't judge me.  Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are not known to be the best of means to get productive things done...just saying.  Anyway! 

This week's book, you can find listed on my TBR for the month...right there *points to the shiny box*  Chances are I will actually get it done by the end of the month and it won't have to carry on another month...This is what I'm hoping anyway!  

This week's book is....*insert drum roll here*: 

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls
Lynn Weingarten

I've had this book for a few months (got it as an early Christmas gift because my friends know that books are always a win for me) and I'm actually looking forward to reading it.  

I've read mixed things about it, and ultimately I'm willing to give it a shot. It's been on my wishlist for a while, and was actually near the top of it until of course it became mine in one form or another.  

I share with you the awesome blurb taken from Goodreads about this book..

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend, Ryan, were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again.

Now Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls will keep you guessing until the very last page.

So, yeah, I'm really, really hoping that I get to this one at least by the end of the month.  There will of course be a review .... eventually, because that's what I do :) 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Review: Strings

Title: Strings
Author: David Estes
Format: Ebook
Pages: 354
Date(s) Read: Feb 9-10, 2016
Rating: 5

Pia, a sixteen-year-old girl, has always lived in a mysterious facility where her existence is controlled by mechanical strings.  Apprenticed to her father, Gio, she soon suspects diabolical human forces behind what she knows as her reality.  Will she be able to reveal the secrets of the Company, or will the risks she takes be too great?


I was gifted an ARC of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

There is a reason David Estes is by far one of my favorite YA authors.  He has once again crafted a magical world that I want to be a part of.  Sci-fi twists on fairy tales have become some of my favorite things to's the reason I enjoy reading Cinder and books of that particular genre.  Retellings with a spin crafted by the author are absolutely wonderful.  

The gender swap of the traditional Pinnochio, by making Pia female was something that was refreshing.  I love her Papa, Gio!  Fig is absolutely wonderful as well!  I just love it all.  

Pia seeks to break free of her strings, however, in doing such she is forced to take so very many risks.  She must navigate the dangers posed by Mr. Davis who obviously does not want her to gain her freedom and expose the truth of the Company.  

I absolutely love that the book comes with it's own 'moral of the story,' like traditional fairytales usually do. The development of the characters throughout the story, the pacing in general are quite good and nothing less than I would expect from an Estes story!  The plot twists and turns definitely are enough to keep me enthralled.  

I will eventually have to lay claim to this one in audio as well, because I'm looking forward to hearing Kate Rudd read this fantastic story! 

Thank you to David Estes for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book before it was released!  

Strings by David Estes RELEASES TODAY!!!!

"A wonderful retelling of the Pinocchio story…I simply couldn’t put this book down." 
Rysa Walker, bestselling author of TIMEBOUND

Written by David Estes
Add Strings to Goodreads
Purchase Strings
Sometimes the strings that tie us down are the same strings that set us free.

Sixteen-year-old Pia has always lived in a mysterious facility where mechanical strings control her existence. She plays apprentice to her father, Gio, in performing nanotech designs for the Company, and she soon suspects there are diabolical human forces behind the manufactured reality of her world.

Though her childhood memories and the origins of the strings remain strangely elusive, she begins to find solace with the introduction of two unlikely friends: daring, irrational Sofia, and calm, tender Marco.

As the truths of the past and present unravel together, Pia must find a way to free herself from her strings and escape the facility before facing the wrath of the unstable head of security, Mr. Davis. But to gain her freedom, she must navigate the dangers posed by Davis and by her suspicious new friends to find the real identity of the puppeteer.

If Pia can succeed in revealing the secrets of the Company, she may very well find the independence she so desperately seeks. But in her controlled world nothing is as it seems, and the closer she gets to the truth, the graver the consequences.


About the author

David Estes is the author of more than 20 science fiction and fantasy novels that have received hundreds of thousands of downloads worldwide, including The Moon Dwellers, Fire Country, Slip, Brew, and his new SciFi Pinocchio retelling, Strings. He lives in Hawaii with his inspiring Aussie wife, Adele, rambunctious son, Beau, and naughty cat, Bailey. When he's not writing, you'll likely find him at the beach swimming, snorkeling, or reading under an umbrella.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: Shatter Me

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Format: Ebook (Kindle)
Pages: 338
Date(s) Read: June 29-30, 2015
Rating: 5

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in 264 days.  The last time she did, the Reestablishment locked her up for murder.  Who would worry about a seventeen-year-old girl.  The Reestablishment said that their way was the only way, and so Juliette went into a cell.  Now, so many have died, that the people are whispering war.  Juliette now has a a weapon or be a warrior. 


Okay, honestly, I've not been entirely known to see all the hype in most books.  There have been a few that have easily won the five star mark from me and lived up to the epic amount of hype.  I have read the hype, the amount of fabulous words written about this book and ultimately this series. It has earned some of it. 

There are things that drove me absolutely crazy about the first book, and there are things that I absolutely loved.  The constant strikethroughs of many things was at the absolute top of my maddening list.  Honestly, I think that could have been left out...with the words just left in.  Though, I do understand the visual it gives to the one reading this story and for that I chose to overlook them.  

The character development was interesting.  Getting to know the characters in this story was one of my favorite things.  There are some I love, Kenji and James.  There are some that got on my absolute nerves: Warner, Juliette.  There are some that I am still not entirely sure about: Adam.  

Beyond that, I will definitely be looking over the rest of this series!

January In Review

Well, damn.  We've made it to the end of January!  Holy crap!  This month has been up and down.  Seriously.  I've been trying to play catch up, and ultimately dealing with a few things but getting back into the swing of things and pushing most of my owned TBR books into February as well as most of my intended reviews for this month...BUT, I'm getting things geared up and hopefully will have a few more posts slammed out before my get up and go decides to leave without me!  

Now, here's a glimpse of what happened in January here at the Confessional! 

I'll Give You the Sun - Jandy Nelson
Kalona's Fall - P.C. Cast
The Future of Us - Jay Asher
Destined (House of Night #9) - P.C. Cast
The Realm of Possibility - David Levithan
After Alice - Gregory Maguire
Hidden (House of Night #10) - P.C. Cast
Seven Paths to Death (Samurai Detective #6) - Dorothy Hoobler
Cinderella is Evil (Fairy Tales Retold #1) - Jamie Campbell
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry
The Martian - Andy Weir
The Testing (The Testing #1) - Joelle Charbonneau
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
Black City (Black City #1) - Elizabeth Richards





So, that was my January in a nutshell lovelies!  Let's see what February has in store!