Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: The Realm of Possibility

Title: The Realm of Possibility
Author: David Levithan
Format: Hardback
Pages: 210
Date(s) Read: Jan 7-8, 2016
Rating: 3


This is a unique collection of twenty selections of prose.  Twenty different voices.  Twenty unique perspectives.  One school. 


Okay, I'm a sucker for poetry.  It is honestly my first love.  I write it...not very good mind, but still.  This book is written in verse, twenty verses to be exact.  Unique perspective of twenty teenagers in one school.  Possibilities are no doubt endless, and the emotion that is crafted within these twenty unique pieces of verse are fantastic.  

The poems within that can be related to.  Some that played with your emotions.  Some that left a lesson behind once you finished reading them.  The perspectives are different, emphasized, and every story has a different perspective.  I could have perhaps given this book a higher rating, however, three seems a much more fitting rating.  It is a book that I enjoyed reading, and would recommend to someone if they were looking for something unique and different.  However, it is not a book that I would ultimately scream it's praises from the rooftops. 

I have four favorite poems from this particular collection and they are in no particular order: 
1. Suburban Myths
2. Gospel
3. Writing
4. The Patron Saint of Stoners

Review: After Alice

Title: After Alice
Author: Gregory Maguire
Format: E-book
Pages: 256
Date(s) Read: Jan 7-8, 2016
Rating: 3


Published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's beloved classic Alice in Wonderland we follow Ada, a friend of Alice's briefly mentioned in the original tale, in her own plummet down the rabbit hole.  Ada wishes to see Alice restored back to life in Oxford.  Can she do it? 


Alright.  So, I am a HUGE fan of Gregory Maguire's Wicked series.  Hands down some of my favorite books to read and indulge in...because I might have a teensy, tiny obsession with Oz. Tiny.. Yup.  That's an acceptable word.  Said as she hides multiple copies of Wicked, her entire collection of the original classic...


Moving on! This is After Alice, not Wicked.  

I honestly went in to this book with quite a few high expectations.  Gregory Maguire did quite well with Wicked, however, this book kinda left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth and I cannot even to this day even consider re-reading it right now...perhaps a year or so in the future, but even six months in the future is not enough.  Which is sad, because I am such a fan of Alice in Wonderland and have more than once quoted various bits of it in short stories and things that I've written.  

There was something I did enjoy about it, and that was the effect of Victorian society on a handful of memorable characters.  I am partial to Maguire's writing style, however, I am not entirely sure that it makes me want to recommend this particular book to others.  Though, I will say this, his style works well with the Victorian England setting.  

The shifting point of views in the chapters made things a bit interesting.  One point of view is young Ada, a ten-year-old girl, who is Alice's best friend.  Who, of course, escapes the house before her governess realizes it and stumbles into the famed rabbit hole that sent Alice into Wonderland.  There, Ada comes into contact with familiar characters: the Queen of Hearts, the Walrus, Humpty Dumpty and even the Cheshire cat.  She is looking for Alice, who has of course disappeared - again.  

The second pov in this story is that of Lydia, Alice's sister.  Lydia had one task - look after her sister.  Which, as we all know, she failed.  Lydia is, in her adventure, joined by a unique cast of characters: Mr. Darwin (the one and only), Mr. Winter - who is a man from America, Siam - a former slave who had been freed by Mr. Winter and manages to fall through the looking-glass in Alice's house, and Miss Armstrong - who is looking for Ada.  These chapters end up being more character study than anything else, but I honestly think that they were some of my more enjoyable interactions of the story. 

I have been slightly put off on Alice in Wonderland retellings at least for the time being.  Perhaps I will reread the original Lewis Carroll story sometime this year and then hunt for another retelling to see if the magic can be recreated.  This is not a whimsical retelling, more so it is a peering into the darker parts of what it means to be human.  At the ending, I wasn't entirely sure how to feel or what to was a mixed bag of emotions and reactions and I think that is why it took so long for the review to be done. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review: Hidden

Title: Hidden
Author: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Format: Hardback
Pages: 302
Date(s) Read: Jan 9-10, 2016
Rating: 3


Zoey has what she wanted.  Truth is out.  Neferet's evil has been exposed, and the high council is no longer on her side.  However, she's not done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world.   Tensions are at their breaking point, friendships are going to be tested.  However, can the 'nerd herd' come together to stop the spread of Darkness before it is too late?


Okay, I think my opinions of this series might be a touch on the downward slide of things.  This book, I don't know, kinda struck me as a bit dull compared to the others.  Yes, I've read them all up until this point, including all four novellas.  Yes, chances are I will read the next book when it comes out, and the subsequent ones after that...why? Because I apparently am masochistic like that.  So, let's get to a few things that give my reasoning for the three stars this book has earned from me.

Lack of showing and an abundance of telling.  Seriously!  Also, the tone at times to the writing comes off as patronizing - as if one moment the characters know what the hell is going on and can speak properly, and the next they are absolutely freaking stupid.

“It’s about time the House of Night is aware that there are prodigious forces of good working on our side against all that Darkness.”
“Prodigious means real big.” Stevie Rae translated.
Aphrodite: “Gay Boy’s all atwitter, or atitter, or whatever.  “You are no good at espionage at all.”  
Those are just two of the examples of what makes me absolutely nutty with some of this writing.

The fact that the twins begin to take different paths - and why in the bloody hell would her sister not do something about it when *spoiler* Erin started going down this darker path?  SERIOUSLY?! I mean, come on.  When someone I love is doing something stupid, or something completely out of character....I FREAKING SAY SOMETHING!!! Why? Because I care about them and for sure want to know why in the hell they are behaving in a way that is completely different from what is considered normal.

I, honestly, hate to day this now, liked Zoey at the beginning of this series.  Now, however, I want to stab her....repeatedly...until she is little more than a pile of bloody flesh.  Okay, last book she annoyed me, this book yes, she kind of (kind of) redeemed herself on this.  She has by the end of the book shown maturity, and I honestly hope that in the next book that maturity continues, without the need for it to be spelled out.  Without the need for it to be told to us instead of bashing us over the head with everything.

For the sake of my sanity, I do hope book number 11 is better.  However, I will not at this point hold my breath.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Review: Destined

Title: Destined
Author: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Format: Hardback
Pages: 325
Date(s) Read:  Jan 3-7, 2016
Rating:  3 


Zoey is home, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark.  She is preparing to face Neferet.  Rephaim's been released from Kalona's hold and given human form.  He and Stevie Rae can be together.  Can Rephaim stay free of his father's shadow and walk the path of the Goddess?  What will happen as the forces of light and dark continue their struggle continues its focus on Tulsa's House of Night.


Okay, so it's been a bit since I've read this book.  Even with the background I have from the Novellas, I wasn't entirely thrilled with this book.  I am, thanks to my book OCD, committed to finishing this series.  However, I do not think the books will ever receive higher than a three from me as far as rating goes.  The plot, the premise of the story was one that I enjoyed from the beginning.  However, at this point in time I am starting to think that it is getting drawn out further and further.  There is very little resolution in these stories and it is, to be honest, starting to get maddening. 

I honestly really used to like Zoey and Stevie Rae...I really did.  However, at this point in time, Zoey is getting on my damn nerves.  She's gone from something likeable to something vapid and annoying as hell.  She doesn't deal with her emotions, she doesn't deal with things.  Instead of dealing with the potential death of her mother...she wakes Stark up for SEX!  Seriously? That is the first thing you do when you have a dream with Nyx in it that tells you your mother is freaking dead! You wake your boyfriend up for sex?! Also, for one, if you wake your boyfriend up and he gets MAD AT YOU for waking him up over something like that....IT IS TIME FOR THE STUPID BOY TO GO!  Like now. 

I have more to say about this series, however, I'm not entirely sure where to start or how to make it sound less ranty than it actually is.  UGH!   I don't think that's possible.  So, I will simply leave this review as it is because otherwise I might make it longer than I intended. 

Review: The Future of Us

Title: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Format: Hardback
Pages: 356
Date(s) Read: Jan 4-5, 2016
Rating: 4


Josh and Emma are neighbors and best friends.  Until last November...Josh did something that changed everything.  Josh ultimately ends up bringing over an AOL CD (we all know the free ones that were sent out all the time) and when they install it on Emma's computer they are automatically logged onto their Facebook pages...but Facebook doesn't exist yet!  They are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.


This is one of those books that I wasn't sure if I wanted to read or not.  I'd read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and while I liked it, I wasn't even sure I wanted to read this one because I wasn't sure I was ready for a roller coaster ride that had been present in Thirteen Reasons Why. I was honestly torn, until I'd read a few reviews and further learned a bit about the premise of the story.

1996, I was a kid, born in the early 80's and loved everything (just about) about the 90's.  This was nostalgia and wonderful things mixed in with a glimpse of the future.  I remember getting AOL discs and the NetZero ones too.  Good coasters and ended up using them in some arts and crafts projects too because why the hell not.  The same music, all of it.  I was 14 in 1996, and this was how a lot of my teen years were spent.  Seriously.

Both Emma and Josh get a small glimpse of their own futures and begin realizing that even their small conversations, choices and small decisions have impacts upon their major stuff going on.  Consequences of actions aren't something that is usually considered by people when making decisions - beyond that - to see the impact in a potential future it makes one definitely stop and think.  That is what this forces Josh and Emma to do as they begin to realize what lies ahead for them.

Definitely one that made me dust off my Dave Matthews CDs and listen to some Goo Goo Dolls and Hootie and the Blowfish.  I would absolutely recommend this book.  Josh and Emma are pretty fun characters.

CoaB's Summer Reading List

Okay, so in school we had summer reading lists...that usually came along with a project that had to be presented within the first couple weeks of school or a paper that was due like the first day or whatever. Thankfully, as an adult, the pressures of projects and things like that are off my shoulders so, I just get the joy of reading some really awesome books during the summer months.  Not all of them are new titles, and some of them are titles that have been on my Kindle for a bit now that I've been meaning to get to.  They even have their own category on my Kindle, specifically for this project!  I'm even going to attempt to get the reviews up in a timely manner to!  YAY for planning and being all adulty and stuff! 

Now, keep in mind that this list doesn't include any books that are set at as July's TBR (usually library books and a bit of carry over from June if any).  

1. Recurve - Shannon Mayer
2. A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
3. The Clockwork God - Jamie Sedgwick
4. A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab
5. House of Royals - Keary Taylor
6. Never Never: Part One - Colleen Hoover
7. Fractured Fairy Tales - Various Authors 
8. Hopeless - Colleen Hoover

What are some books you are trying to tackle this summer? 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

BoTW: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Hello lovelies!  Welcome to another Sunday!  I do hope you had a good weekend and I hope your week is filled with all the fun and wonderment that comes with reading a good book!  It's Sunday, and we all know what that means here at the confessional...time for book of the week!  

Honestly, do you know how HARD this decision is for me each week?! Honestly, I have to pick one awesome book to feature and ninety-nine percent of the time I have absolutely no idea what book I'm going to feature...because honestly, I read so many and there are so many that I want so desperately.  However, this week's book I've had planned since last week! I know, look at me being all you know pre-planning and things! 

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Sarah J. Maas

This will be the second series by Sarah J. Maas that I'll be reading and honestly I am looking forward to it.  I've heard an abundance of good things about this book and I am anxious to read it as well as a bit weary.  Mainly, because I hope that it lives up to the hype and that it doesn't fall flat.  Books that tend to have so much hype tend to fall flat with me, however, I do like her Throne of Glass series so hopefully I will like this one. 

If you've read this one, please tell me that this one is absolutely wonderful like her other series?! 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

BotW: Locked Inside

Welcome to Sunday loves!  You know what that means, it's book of the week time!!! This past week has been rough for me.  Especially due to the shooting that happened in Orlando a week ago today.  I will forever be haunted by the loss of friends and members of the LGBTQ+ community.  I weighed my options when choosing a book for this week, because there are so very many that I can feature - some that I've read, some that I've not. 

However, my decision comes with the knowledge that this woman is a fantastic writer and someone I have greatly enjoyed getting to know through a group on Facebook.  I won a copy of this book in a give away last Christmas, and only recently (in the last few months) got around to reading it and I was not disappointed.  It was also one of the first pieces of lesbian fiction I'd read, period.  I highly encourage you to track down this book and other works by this author, you won't be disappointed.  I'm also including a link to my review of this book, check it out.  

Locked Inside
Annette Mori

If you've read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, are a psychology or medical student you are somewhat familiar with locked-in syndrome.  I'd been familiar with it in vague terms from watching shows on television (as I'm a fan of Grey's Anatomy and House), so I wasn't completely unfamiliar with what Belinda was experiencing at this particular moment in her life.  

I like the characters in this book, their struggles are unique to them and yet bring them together to hopefully give them each that glimmer of hope that love might actually be a possibility between the two women despite various obstacles and fears.  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Review: Locked Inside

Title: Locked Inside
Author: Annette Mori
Format: Kindle
Pages: 199
Date(s) Read: April 3-5, 2016
Rating: 4 (up from initial 3)


Belinda is semi-comatose, suffering from what is known as locked-in syndrome.  Carly sees something special in her, and begins spending time with her.  An unusual bond is formed.  Can Carly pull Belinda from her own emotional prison?  Will Belinda's fears keep their relationship from developing into something deeper, something more?


Thank you Annette Mori for a copy of this book.  It was a surprise and a blessing rolled into one when I was the one chosen in the giveaway.

Yet, for some reason, I was nervous about reading this a member of the LGBT community, and this being my first piece of lesbian fiction...I wasn't sure what to expect.  I wasn't sure what was behind the cover.  However, the uncertainty faded as I started reading, and I was pulled into the story of Belinda and Carly.

Locked-in syndrome is not something nice, not something that we can fully understand, but we know it exists.  The fact that Carly was willing to take a chance on Belinda was something that made me hopeful.  After a six-year coma, Belinda surfaces, however her body at this point is nothing more than a shell.  Locked inside herself, she can only communicate by blinking her eyes.  It was Carly that began noticing the change, as she spent her lunch hours reading to Belinda.  

Eventually, Belinda's recovery begins and Carly is by her side every step of the way.  Yes, this story made me cry at times, but then again what story like this wouldn't move you to tears at least once.  I am very thankful to have read this book, and I will definitely be looking for more of Ms. Mori's work in the future.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review: Kalona's Fall

Title: Kalona's Fall
Author: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
Format: hardback
Pages: 160
Date(s) Read: Jan 1 - Jan 3, 2016
Rating: 4


Kalona, the winged immortal.  His history was a secret.  How did he go from being the Goddess' Warrior and Guardian to her enemy and betrayer?  Was he tainted by the Darkness like Neferet, or did he always crave power over honor, and control over faith?  


Seriously? Kalona is by far one of my favorite bad guys.  Dunno why I'm so attracted to this fallen angel.  This creature that has turned from Warrior and Guardian to Enemy and Betrayer.  

This book is an insight into Kalona's history, his past.  What made him who he has become.  His relationship with Nyx and Erebus was absolutely not what I had originally expected, and in fact it surprised me and was more than I could even ever expect.  

Kalona and Erebus were crafted by Mother Earth for Nyx.  3 tasks were given to prove their worth to the Goddess, their elements were chosen to allow them to wield them to gain the Goddess' favor.  Both had feelings for Nyx, but their feelings differed greatly.  Nyx, however, cared for them both quite deeply. 

As you can already determine, Kalona's choices were not the best and ultimately lead to him being cast from Nyx's realm.  Fallen Warrior is what he would always be seen as.  

I am greatly looking forward to reading more of Kalona's story in the upcoming House of Night books. 

Review: I'll Give You the Sun

Title: I'll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Format: Hardback
Pages: 371
Date(s) Read:  Dec 27, 2015 - Jan 1, 2016
Rating: 4


Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are close - very close.  Age 13, Noah draws and falls in love with the boy next door.  Jude cliff-dives, wears red-red lipstick and talks for both of them.  At 16, they barely speak.  Early years are Noah's to tell.  Later years, are Jude's.  However, each twin only has half the story - if they find their way to each other - they can get the whole story.


This book.  All the feels.  I cannot even begin to express how much of an impact that this book had on me.  The stories that are told by both Noah and Jude are powerful, passionate, and beautiful.  There were tears, lots of tears as I read this book and honestly, I still can't figure out why I did not give it a full five star rating - however, it is worth each and every one of the four stars that I have gifted it with!

Noah and Jude can be related to, not necessarily to the extend of how they buried themselves in dream-shredding lies and secrets, but to the act that they are so very real.  Every aspect of this book is so very much real, and it sucks you in and traps you in the struggle between brother and sister.  Hell, even the secondary characters are absolutely real and I love all of it.

This book however, has ultimately further endeared this author to me, and I will be hunting down some more of her work.  Especially if her other works are as real and engrossing as I'll Give You the Sun.

BotW: End of Watch

Good Sunday Morning lovelies!!! Did you miss me? I hope so!  It's Sunday, and we all know what that means!!! Book of the Week! YAY! Beyond that, last week seriously made my week!! Why? Because a couple of hours after I posted my Bibliophile Wish List post....I got an email alert from my local digital hold for End of Watch came in!!! HAPPY DANCE!  I just started reading it this morning (mainly because I have a strict no Stephen King in the dark policy). 

So, guess what this week's book of the week is?! 


Stephen King

LOOK at that cover?! Isn't it so pretty?  Seriously! I love it!  It's creepy and yet not all at the same time!  I'm definitely enjoying this one so far!  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wish List Wednesday: New Releases

To echo the gif above...I am seriously excited about all these books that are on my wishlist...because well DUH! Books.  I want them in physical copy, I want them in digital copy.  Yes.  Both.  Why? Because I'm a cover whore, and I absolutely love pretty covers and they look good on bookshelves!  Digital, so I can cart them around wherever I go on my Kindle! 

Anyway, without further adieu here are a few of the books that are on my wishlist: 

THAT COVER! So pretty and bloody...and just Stephen King.  The third installment in the Bill Hodges Trilogy...and it is out NOW!!!  Chances are my hold from the library will come in within the next few days once they get their copy and things...and then I won't be able to talk to my roommates about it because I'll have been the only one to read it!  Why does it have to come in when I have to go to work and can't sit up and read all night?!  WHY?!

This book caught my attention (and not just because of the eerie looking cover), because the description puts it along the lines of Pan's Labyrinth and John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things which I've not had the pleasure of reading yet.  However, I've seen Pan's Labyrinth and adored it.  So, I'm looking forward to getting my hands on this one. 

Okay, I've at least read the first two books of this series, and now it appears that I need to get my grubby hands on the third book and wait patiently for the fourth book in the Asylum series by Madeleine Roux.  Patient (yup, I can be that...honest!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: Mid Year Favorites

Welcome to this week's top ten Tuesday! 

Ten books.  I think that's easier than picking five...right? I mean 5 is bigger than 10 and gives me more room to juggle the rankings and keep me sane...RIGHT?! Okay, that's what we'll go with! 

So, this week's top ten is going to be my mid-year favorites, since we are at the half way point through this year (SERIOUSLY, where did this year go already?!).  

2016 Mid Year Favorites

10. The Eye of Minds - James Dashner
9. Trigger Warnings - Neil Gaiman
8. The Bourbon Kings - J.R. Ward
7. The Shadows - J.R. Ward
6. Dorothy Must Die - Danielle Paige
5. The Dom Who Loved Me - Lexi Blake
4. The Martian - Andy Weir
3. The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon
2. Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo
1. Strings - David Estes

And there are my 10 Mid Year Favorites.  
What are yours? 

Monday, June 6, 2016

What Is To Come!

Hello loves!  I have missed you greatly! I have been a horrible, terrible slacker and I will in the coming days, weeks, and well, months remedy that!  I have reviews coming out my ears, considering we are in the sixth month of the year and I've not posted a single review for books that I've read this year.  Last year's well, those will eventually weave their way into the fabric of things, but now is the time to start with the reviews for 2016 (shut up, I know I'm running late on things...nothing new there!) . 

Things have been rather busy for me as of late, I think I had enough down time in the month of May to do about ten things for myself.  However, this month is starting off a lot slower than May did, and I am thankful for that.  Just had company for the weekend and that was a blast as always! Now, it is time to get back to business!  

I've lots of things coming, and I promise, I'll be good and not flood your inboxes overly much as I get things going and moving and ultimately ensure that things are caught up where they need to be! 

Coming Attractions

1. Top Ten Tuesday
2. Wishlist Wednesday
3. What's On My Kindle
4. Reviews in abundance
5. Book of the Week
6. Book of the Month
7. Author of the Month
8. Surprises here and there

That's what I'm looking at currently, and will be spending some time today compiling various blog posts for the week and getting them scheduled.  So, check back often.  Subscribe.  Follow.  All that fun stuff.  <3

Saturday, June 4, 2016

BotW: Dorothy Must Die

Okay, so am doing this week's post via my phone, so all the flashy bits will be added when I get back to my computer. I know, the month of May started with a bang and kind of died. I did read quite a bit during the month and I will be working on posts for you lovelies.

Anyway, back to the reason you are here today....this week's Book Of The Week!!!

Rarely do I use the book that I am currently reading, but this book has earned that honor.

As you can tell from the title of this post, this week's book is....

Dorothy Must Die

Have you read it? Thoughts? I am in love with it so far and am completely suckered in for the full series ride on this one.