Friday, May 29, 2015

My Take: Wither by Lauren DeStefano


Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)Wither by Lauren DeStefano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a story about Rhine, a sixteen year old girl who lives in a world turned asunder. Through war and through a genetic mishap, that was meant to create a world where all disease and illness no longer exists. Which only worked for the first generation of this "miracle" in science. But their children were not so lucky. The result was daughters who only lived to 20 and sons who lived to 25. And the race to find an antidote to reverse this genetic time bomb has been in hot pursuit. But some, known as pro-naturalist would rather just see the human race run it's new course without interference. In other words, just let the humans die out. And stopping any attempts for a cure.

Rhine's parents were geneticist's searching for a cure. And who were killed by a bomb planted at the lab they worked at. Leaving Rhine and her brother, Rowan orphaned and struggling to survive this dangerous world.

This is a world of poverty and crime, and a new business is thriving by kidnapping young girls to be sold to the rich into polygamist marriages to bear more children.

Rhine and Rowan do their best to protect her from this danger, but one answer to a job wanted, lands her in a van filled with other kidnapped girls. And she, along with two other of the girls are sold to a wealthy family. She spends her time trying to find a way to survive and escape. To spend the remaining four years of her life free and with her only family, her brother.

I have to say that I really liked this book and wish I had the next one on me so I can continue the story.

Now, I have read some not so favorable reviews, and I can see some of their points. For example, the lack of world building, flawed science and medical speak and what-not.

BUT...Lauren DeStefano's writing is so engrossing and beautiful, that it didn't even register with me while I was reading. And read it I did...in two sittings. I could not put this book down. Her writing just pulls you in and doesn't let go. And I love when a book does that to me. I love to be so involved that I can't bare to part with it.

I found the characters to be well developed and interesting. And I cared, or in some cases hated, them.

And there were some topics that some, including myself, will find disturbing. Like the fact that a huge number of these girls sold into marriage and motherhood are underage. Like Cecily, one of the sister wives of Rhine. She was just thirteen when she was married and impregnated. Luckily, Lauren didn't get descriptive about it. Polygamy, was another taboo subject in this book. Which again, was something only the rich seemed to partake in. But it seemed to work out for these three girls. Rhine, had said that she seemed to be more of sister WIFE than a wife to her husband, who by the way was 21, which left him with only four years left. The bond that seemed to grow between her and the other two was a saving grace for the two older ones. Cecily was blissful in her new, seemingly secure life. She was just glad to feel like she had a home.

Despite all that, I found the struggle, heartaches, relationships between some of the characters, and overall story to be one I care about and want to know more of. I want to see where this series will lead me. I want to think Rhine and Rowan will once again reunite. And I want to be there if they do.

I did check this book out at the library, but I will now be purchasing the series for my own collection.

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

My Take: The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss


The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was just as brilliant and engrossing as the first book, but I will not go into a long poetic description, employing big words like I'm some big literally critic.

This is a beautiful tale that has captured my imagination and whimsy. I care about the world and the characters, (well, at least most of them) in a way that leaves me thinking about them even after I have put the book down.

The Wise Man's Fear, obviously picks right back up where The Name of the Wind left off, and we continue the journey of Kvothe's life. He is still at the University for the first part of the book, but due to some trouble that seems to find him, he is advised to take some time off. And so he finds himself back on the road traveling where many intrigues and people are to be met along the way.

Patrick has a way to make everything in the world feel so alive and real. Everything down to the streets Kvothe walks on is just as important as Kvothe himself.Even characters in passing take on a whole life of their own on the few pages they may grace. So, you never feel like he is over explaining things or that the flow of the story stopped. Which no easy task I'm sure, but Patrick makes it look effortless.

Now, I'm tasked with waiting for the third book in this series, wondering how I'm going to make it without it.



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Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Take: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall



A Little Something DifferentA Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the such a sweet romance story.

This book revolves around two college students, Lea and Gabe, as told by fourteen points of view. Yes, fourteen. With a couple of them being quiet unexpected, and added to the quirky charm of the book.

Now when I heard about how many POV's were adding to this story, I was a little concerned that it would be jumpy and all over the place. I was pleasantly surprised at how beautifully it flowed together. I didn't feel lost or annoyed by it at all. In fact, it complimented the story.

For the first time, I really enjoyed each character I encountered here. Despite not having full background story on them, Sandy Hall was able to made each one of them interesting. I could read more about each and everyone of them and not get bored. Sandy Hall really demonstrated what a wonderful story teller she is.

This is a stand alone book, but I wish I could read more. I would love to hear the stories of the people we spent so much time listening to. The bus driver, the waitress, Maribel and the others.

This isn't a big epic book, that was meant to send us on a journey of grandeur or life changing ideas. It is a sweet, fun, happy read. And it is perfect in that way. I love this book and feel happier for having read it.








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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Most Anticipated Books of 2015

Happy New Year!!! 

I felt that for the very first post of 2015, I should share with you, my most anticipated books for this upcoming year!




I Was Here by Gayle Forman, January 27, 2015

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.


  A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, February 10, 2015

"It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon." This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family--their two daughters and two sons, their grandchildren, even their faithful old dog--is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different too: Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red's father. Brimming with the luminous insight, humor, and compassion that are Anne Tyler's hallmarks, this capacious novel takes us across three generations of the Whitshanks, their shared stories and long-held secrets, all the unguarded and richly lived moments that combine to define who and what they are as a family.

     A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E Schwab, February 24, 2015 

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. 

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

Stone In the Sky by Cecil Castellucci, February 24, 2015
Book Two
After escaping death a second time, Tula Bane is now even thirstier for revenge. She spends much of her time in the Tin Star CafĂ© on the Yertina Feray—the space station she calls home. But when it's discovered that the desolate and abandoned planet near the station has high quantities of a precious resource, the once sleepy space station becomes a major player in intergalactic politics. In the spirit of the Gold Rush, aliens from all over the galaxy race to cash in—including Tula's worst enemy.

The Wicked Will Rise By Danielle Paige, March 31, 2015
Book Two

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die....

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?
 

EtherWorld by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam, March 31, 2015
Book Two

Elusion was hailed as an exciting leap in technology—until users began to disappear amid rumors of addiction. Regan’s search for the truth led her and her new love interest, Josh, to Etherworld. Etherworld is a dimension hidden deep beyond Elusion's firewall, where players can hide, and ultimately fight back. Regan's father and others are here working to destroy Etherworld, but the longer they stay the less likely they'll be able to return to the real world alive.

Escape means attacking Elusion from within the program. It's dangerous and it’s a puzzle. And even if they manage it, how will they be able to stop Orexis from distributing Elusion to the masses when the people who run it are corrupt?
 

Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz, April 7, 2015

Love and sacrifice intertwine in this brilliant and provocative debut of rare beauty about a girl dealing with her mother’s schizophrenia and her own mental illness.

Fig’s world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy.

But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. She knows that her daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day or avoiding water the next, are the only way to cure Mama.

The problem is that in the process of a daily sacrifice, Fig begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart.

Spanning the course of Fig’s childhood from age six to nineteen, this deeply provocative novel is more than a portrait of a mother, a daughter, and the struggle that comes with all-consuming love. It is an acutely honest and often painful portrayal of life with mental illness and the lengths to which a young woman must go to handle the ordeals—real or imaginary—thrown her way.


An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, April 28, 2015

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, June 9, 2015
Book Two

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.
 


Insidious (Twixt Series) by Dawn Metcalf, July 21, 2015
Book Three

True evil is rarely obvious. It is quiet, patient. 
Insidious. 
Awaiting the perfect moment to strike. 
Joy Malone finally knows who she is, where she comes from and how to live in two worlds at once. And now she can introduce her family and friends to her mysterious boyfriend, Indelible Ink. But when Ink's twin sister, Invisible Inq, calls in a favor, Joy must accept a dangerous mission to find a forgotten door between worlds--a door hiding a secret that some will kill to keep. 
Unseen enemies, treasonous magic and an unthinkable betrayal threaten both the Twixt and human worlds as Joy races to expose an ancient conspiracy and unleash the unalterable truth--some secrets cannot remain secret forever.

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell, August 4, 2015

Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home. 

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell,  October 6, 2015


Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

~~~

There are so many more books coming out this year, and I will do a part two when they give release dates for them. 

What are some books you are looking forward to this year? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks so much for stopping by! 





*Blurbs and photos from Goodreads

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Take: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a hauntingly beautiful novel.

This is my first experience with Neil Gaiman and will not be my last. I am hooked. He writes in such a powerfully poetic way that pulls you in and refuses to let go. Not that I was struggling to get away.

This book follows a man who returns to the place of his childhood home. He drives past where his house use to be, and on to the end of the lane, where the house of the women who changed his life still stands. We are transported back to his childhood and the events and people who brought to his life, fear, sadness, magic, friendship and love.

It reads very much like a dream, where you float along, but feel very much a part of the world. Everything feels so vivid and real.

This book was filled with childhood wonder, magic and the mysteries that get lost on the road to adulthood. There was so much whimsy, heartache and sacrifice. And I feel somewhere among all that emotion...hope. Hope for the day when we can grasp what we have lost and appreciate what we have been given.


"She said, "No", but she said it kindly. "You get on with your own life. Lettie gave it to you. You just have to grow up and try and be worth it."

Oh man. My heart ached so much as I read through to the last page. There was just so much power in these pages.

I. Love. This. Book. and it plowed right through to my top 5 reads of 2014.



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Monday, July 14, 2014

My Take: Since You Been Gone by Morgan Matson


Since You've Been GoneSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a good summer read, then this is it!

This is about Emily, who finds at the start of Summer that her best friend Sloane is gone. Moved. Without a word. She is confused and disheartened and feels lost. Until one day she receives a letter in the mail from Sloane. All it was, was a list of things Sloane wanted Emily to do during the summer time. No return address no explanation to her where abouts, just the list.

Emily, being an introvert/shy personality, is a bit thrown over some of the things Sloane wants her to do. But she feels like if she does these things, it will somehow lead her to her best friend.

As she starts doing some of the easier things on the list, she finds that it is bringing people into her life, that she least expected. And Sloanes list brings her more than just things to mark off a list.

She starts really coming into her own. Discovering who she is, and what she able to do.

This book, which is about two friends, ends up also being about finding friends, love and finding confidence in yourself.

I felt I could totally identify with Emily, in that I am an introvert who was and still is best friends with my "Sloane". A friend who very much is a extrovert, who brought out in me, confidence, support and a lifelong friendship. We balance each other out and bring out, I feel the best qualities in each other.

I connected with, not only the main characters, but the others as well. Dawn, Matthew, even Gideon. Everyone felt true to life, and like people I know or knew in real life.

This is a feel good book that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a book to dive into and get lost in.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Take: Darkness by Erin Eveland


DarknessDarkness by Erin Eveland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

This is tale of good versus evil in such a wonderfully dark and creepy way!

It starts off with the main character Catherine when she is around 6 and lives with her Nana. And goes through the struggle her grandmother has with the strange behavior and activities she sees in her granddaughter. The shadows that seem to come alive.

The rest of the book continues to follow Catherine as she gets older and is now living with her alcoholic mother in a rundown trailer park. And the strange activities and shadows seemingly all but forgotten. That is until one day, the shadows make themselves known once again. And they threaten everything that Catherine holds close.

This was such an on the edge of your seat read. The world building was on point as was the character development.

Artos is the antagonist and he was such a scary, intimidating figure. Along with all the Shadow Creatures. You know how sometimes you see a flash of movement out of the corner of your eye? Well, now I think of these creepy little guys when that happens lol.

Catherine was a likeable character, who you just sympathized with on so many levels. And I can't wait to continue to watch her develop as this series grows.

And I cannot wait to see the direction her friend Nathan takes. That ending though!!!!

This book is dark, and doesn't hold back on that. And that is exactly what I expect and want from a book like this. Anything less would have cheapened the story.

This was a thrilling read!

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