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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

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!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Take: I, Morgana by Felicity Pulman

I, MorganaI, Morgana by Felicity Pulman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I, Morgana is written from Morgana point of view, which I really enjoyed. Most of my experiences with the whole King Arthur tale is from his perspective, with Morgana being the evil witch.

Now she isn't exactly nice in this telling, but some of her actions seemed explained, almost justified. But not completely.

Her father had declared Morgana as heir to his throne. An honor she took very seriously and to heart. He was killed in battle and unfortunately, her mother remarried Uther who took control of the kingdom. Her mother had become pregnant with Arthur during the time Morganas father had been killed. Her mother is quiet selfish and spends her time with Uther, neglecting her and Arthur.

Merlin took Morgana under his tutelage when she was a child. She was proving to be a quick learner and eager student. And as Arthur got older, she began bring him along. Which leads to future issues when Merlin betrays Morgana, at least in her eyes, by favoring Arthur to become the future king. Which Morgana feels is her right to be the Queen, since her father had named her heir.

So, the rest of the book follows her throughout her life as she seeks revenge on all those whom she feels have wronged her and gain the throne she knows is rightfully hers.

I really enjoyed reading this story through the eyes of Morgana and seeing the differences in how things play out in this tellings.

None of the characters were perfect, nor were they completely evil. They were very real to life in how they allowed their emotions and egos and pride guide them in their decisions. And to watch them play out with unforeseen outcomes. And how they tried to deal with them and even attempts at correcting mistakes.

This just revived my interest into the stories of Camelot and King Arthur.

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Take: Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by P.T. Jones

Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't FlyFloating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I actually give this book a 3.5 stars.

This is a story about a 14 year old girl named Mary. Who at a cousin's birthday party, watched with the rest of the guests as one boy climbed a tree and floated away.

What follows is confusion and ultimately chaos in the small town of Ipswich,Massachusetts. She finds herself going up against a mad scientist and a sudden outbreak that puts all the adults either in the hospital or a mob-like state as they panic with fear. While the youth face other, less sick type of reaction to the outbreak.

I was curious from the start as to what it was that made this floating boy float. Was it magic? What and where did this outbreak come from? I had no idea, but it was a mystery I wanted to solve. And as I read, the mystery grew and I liked it.

I enjoyed the funny little quips and references throughout the book. I laughed at her use of "muggles" to describe her unbearable aunts and uncles. Who doesn't love references to Harry Potter?! It gave it a real world feel. And gave Mary a fun, relatable personality. She was a typical funny teen in that way.

The Floating Boy, as he unfortunately was called throughout the book, was around the same age as Mary. And I was, naturally, curious about him. And once he reappeared after his first sighting, instantly felt attached to him and as the story went on, I wanted to just give him a big hug. He was so sweet and as I learned more about him, I just felt for him.

The overall plot was interesting and something I haven't read before. And I really didn't know how it would unfold, which I appreciate that it didn't feel predictable.

Now, the issues I had with this book was how Mary handled certain situations. I understand that she was only 14, but when her little brother started showing signs of "strange behavior", she didn't act upon it, like how I feel a normal kid would react. Like, call her parents... It just didn't seem like a natural reaction, even despite her issues with anxiety and the issues that came with that. There are a few other little examples, but I feel they would be to much of a spoiler to say here.

Also, I wasn't really satisfied with the ending. It felt a bit rushed and incomplete. I would change my mind on that if I knew there would be a book two. But as it stands, it just didn't feel..right, and it left me with questions, that again, I can't express here without spoiling.

Overall, I did enjoy reading this book and couldn't put it down. I read it pretty quickly in just a few hours.

It is a good read that I think a lot of people can enjoy.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Take: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

LandlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Landline by Rainbow Rowell is an adult contemporary. So, don't go in expecting a typical Rainbow YA experience.

This book is about a married couple, Gorgie and Neal. They have two kids, Alice and Noomi and a marriage that is on rocky ground.

Gorgie has a very demanding and time consuming job as a tv sitcom writer and Neal is a stay at home dad. (I love that!) And it is Christmas time and a show that her and her lifelong friend and colleague, Seth, have been planning for years is finally getting picked up for a pilot. This means she has to work through Christmas break and be away from the family, yet again. Neal makes a decision to head out to his parents in Omaha with the girls anyway. Without Gorgie.

Even though this book is realistic, something mysterious and almost magical happens to Gorgie. And it is something that could save or erase the life she has lived with Neal and her daughters.

The characters in this book felt extremely real. Which really is something Rainbow Rowell does well. She writes characters who are interesting and relatable. That have rich backstories and are just all around well developed, and Landline is no exception. I just love the personalities of the characters, they just come to life on the pages. I LOVE how, again, real the characters are with each other. Noomi, for example, is four and thinks shes a cat and how Gorgie indulges her by meowing back. She is the sweetest little girl! I just adore them all.

The story itself had it's range of emotions. We got to experience how they met and how they ended up where they are. It addresses the very real issues of everyday married life, and just life in general. How we get so caught up in our own issues and day to day routines, that we lose focus on the relationships around us. And how it affects everyone. This book had its share of sadness, but also hope and love. A lot of love.

I think Landline will brings in a whole new audience for Rainbow, and completely satisfy the fanbase she already has. This is another hit for me and just cements my own love of Rainbows work.

I won an ARC of Landline, but all opinions here are my own and honest.

View all my reviews

Review: The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and DisappearedThe 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The 100 Year Old Man..." is the story of Allan Karlsson, who upon his 100 birthday in the old folks home he now resides in, decided quite suddenly that he wanted nothing more to do with any of it. So, he climbed out the window in his room and left. As simple as that.

He was soon on a journey that sends, not only him, but the reader on an adventure of a lifetime. A run in with a criminal who entrusted the old man with a mysterious suitcase while he goes to the bathroom at the train station, sets everything into motion.

As he meets with people on his journey, we get filled in on the extraordinary life of Allan.

This book is filled with historical, mostly political figures, places from all over the world and a beautiful insight to the man that is Allan.

I thoroughly enjoyed how Jonas Jonasson weaved real historical people and events with the characters he created. It was so entertaining throughout the book to see these people in a very real way. And how Jonas put Allan right smack in the middle of these events. How he allowed Allan to have a direct influence.

This book is rich with story and character development. The humor and wit was perfect and Jonas proved to have the ability with the timing of each twist and turn and humor.

This book is brilliant and entertaining from start to finish.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Take: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"The circus arrives without notice."

What an exciting and curious opening line to a book!

I heard many people talking about this book, and was quickly interested in knowing more myself.

It instantly pulled me from that first line.

Celia, the daughter of Prospero the Enchanter, a great magician, with very real powers that captivate audiences across Europe. Meeting her father for the first time at age 6 when her mother commits suicide, she finds herself thrust into a world of magic and relentless hours of study at the hands of her overbearing father.

Marco is a young orphan who is taken in by Alexander. Another powerful, but more private magician. His, study is less interactive and more secluded consisting mainly of research and book work.

Both are unwittingly forced into a powerful bond in a game that the two caregivers have created. They spend their youth practicing and studying, not knowing who they will be in competition with. Or even how the competition will play out or where or when it will end.

That is, until a rich proprietor by the name of Chandresh Christophe Lefevre comes up with a brilliant idea for a circus. A wondrous magical circus, filled not with clowns or elephants, but wonderously mysterious and talented acrobats, contortionist, illusionists and many others. Not realizing that he is setting the stage for the two young competitors to compete in.

And so, The Night Circus is born.

Erin Morgenstern is able to capture the imagination in a wondrous and beautiful way. The imagery in her descriptions is vivid.

"The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds and crimsons to be seen. No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black-and-white stripes on grey skies; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powered, or treated with some other circus trick."

The characters she populates this world with are so interesting and colorful and mysterious. They all added to the overall ambiance and reading experience. I found myself fascinated by each new person I was introduced to.

I did enjoy reading this book, and found it quite poetic at times.

However, I did find the pace of the book in places a bit slow. Not that I didn't enjoy every page, just that I could spend 40 minutes reading, but find I only read a couple of chapters. Which for me, in most other books, I would normally read three or four chapters in the same amount of time.

I suppose I underestimated the density of the book. It is a very descriptive book, with many things going on. Different stories being told. They flowed nicely, but it did cause me to feel slowed down somewhat.

Now, I find this book to be one that you should approach with that in mind. Don't expect to pick this book up and fly through it. Take your time and savor it. You will find a much more enjoyable reading experience. I feel that if I had been able to have that insight when I started this book, I wouldn't have felt the slowness as a downside.

Overall I enjoyed this book and felt the magical wonderment throughout the story.

It is a beautiful story of mystery, love, magic and fun.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Take: Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci

Tin StarTin Star by Cecil Castellucci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a sci-fi duology by Cecil Castellucci that centers around Tula Bane. A young girl who, along with her mother and sister, leave Earth and head towards the possibility of colonizing a new planet.
Under the guidance of the leader of this endeavor, Brother Blue, they stop at the space station Yertina Feray that lays 6 light years from Earth.

However, he finds Tula's inquisitiveness a flaw that needs to be eliminated. He calls her away from her family and the rest of the people and beats her to death...Or so he thought. He leaves her lifeless body with the supplies her families ship needs for survival, on the docking station.

She luckily lives, and is able to care on with life on Yertina Feray when an alien, Heckleck, shows her how to do survive. An unlikely alliance forms between the two and throughout the months and years, a solid friendship is formed.

Tula is stuck on this space station and longs for not only her family, but to be able to be free on a planet again. And she strives to make this happen. And this desire is strengthen when three humans crash on the station over after over a year later. Being the only human all this time, seeing these humans, brings up struggles and fear and hope in her. And reminds her that she too, is human.

She is also set on revenge against Brother Blue for what he did to her, but she discovers just how low he has and will go to achieve his goals. This only further fuels her desire to get to him and make him pay.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I knew I was interested in the story, but I didn't expect to feel so invested in the characters as I ended up being. I felt emotions when things happened to them, or anxiety when newcomers came in that I felt she shouldn't trust. And that makes for a good read.

I enjoyed reading a sci-fi book, complete with aliens. A genre that has been lacking in my book collection.

I read through this book quickly, and now left patiently waiting for the sequel to this story.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Take: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the DeadLove Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"There are a lot of human experiences that challenge the limits of our Language."

I was unsure of this book when I first read up on it. I felt it would probably be a bit too juvenile.

But shortly after midnight of April 1st. (Its official release date.) I opened up my Nook and found the free sample and thought why not check it out.

Those free pages flew by and I knew I had to own this book.

It is set up entirely in the form of letters written by Laurel, to famous people, who happen to be dead. It started off as an assignment for English class, that ended up being the very thing that allowed her to finally open up and express all the emotions and thoughts she never felt she could share before. Or more importantly, didn't know how to share.

She writes to a varied group of famous people. Each one allowing her to express a different perspective or outlook. From Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse to E.E Cummings and Amelia Earhart. As the book goes on, you can see Laurel discover herself, her sister and the experiences she had. And how she grew and was learning from being able to truly think about all of it. And how it helped her to finally open up to her friends and ultimately her family.

This book is sad, tragic, filled with hope, love and is just beautiful.

I didn't cry throughout the book, but I felt the tears sting my eyes several times and felt so many emotions. But finally towards the end, I had to get tissues as I thought of those I loved who are no longer with me. And realized that I was Blessed to have had members of my family who knew it was ok for us all to fall apart together and still be able to support each other in our loss. That it was ok. That we will be ok in time.

This book touched my heart. I just loved every page.

"I carry your heart(I carry it in my heart)."

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday | Recommendations for new readers

Hello fellow Booklovers! 

This weeks top 5 topic is; recommendations for new readers.

Now, I did have a bit of trouble deciding the books. The new reader may be new or may not read as much as some of us. BUT they can be a varied in interest as their are books. 

So, I had to stop over-thinking it and just try to find books that I enjoyed and feel they are easy to pick up and be quickly engaged in the world that lives inside the covers. 

In no particular order:

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

I have talked about this series many times. And for good reason. They are brilliant! Such a wonderful and vibrant world that any reader, new or otherwise can easily enjoy and love. 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A classic and favorite of mine. This is such an endearing story that is easy to just lose yourself in. It is just a beautiful book for a new reader to fall in love with reading. I feel this way because it is the book that opened the world of books up for me. Thank you Ms. Hartley! 

 The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

This is a great book for a new or light reader. It is a great novel to pick up and curl up on the couch or even to read during lunch hour. It is compared to Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan. The story of a mother, daughter, their yarn shop and the wonderful women who come every week for knitting. Sharing stories and their lives of happy times and sorrow. I just love it!

 The Child Thief by Brom

I chose this book for the reader who may want something a bit more serious and maybe a little more darker. It takes the familiar story of Peter Pan and flips it upside down with a more modern world and a darker twist. I recommend this for both new and regular reader. It pulls you into this world and you find that you end up reading longer than you intended or even realized. 

 Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Now, I know I have been singing the praises of Rainbow Rowell lately, but I just can't help it. Nor do I want to. I would, in all honestly recommend all of her books to both new and regular readers alike. 
They are not complicated nor are they simplistic. they are a perfect balance. They are so engaging, and the characters are so well written that you really do care about them. Attachments is set up mainly in email format, but don't let that deter you. It is so well done that you feel a bit voyeuristic, without actually being so. It really leads to a very interesting and enjoyable and fun read. 

So, that is my top 5 recommendations! I hope you enjoy and check out these books! I promise you will love them! 

Let me know if you have read these books or please recommend books that you would like for us to read! 

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Top Five Favorite Book Covers

Hello fellow book lovers! 

As some of you may know, I love a good cover on a book. I know, I know, you can't judge a book by its cover, but you can still appreciate the cover just the same. A good book cover can inspire and set the imagination alight! 

So, in this post, I'm am going to share my top five favorite book covers! 

5.  Zombies vs. Unicorns by various authors

4. Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

3. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

2. Rot & Ruin series by  Jonathan Maberry

1. Wicked and Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

What are some of your favorite book covers? Leave a comment below!!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Top Five Most Hated Character Names.

Hi my fellow book lovers! I am going to start in on a series that was created by Gingerreadslainey. She started a series call Top Five Wednesday.   

I'm starting this whole shebang with her first of this series, Top Five Most Hated Character Names.

5.  Malfoy. As in Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter. I don't like that name, not because he was just an unlikeable character, but saying it felt like a really large piece of gum in my mouth. (Please tell me you understand that heh). And yes, maybe his nastiness played a tiny part by association.

4. Renesmee Cullen from Twilight.When I first heard it, I was like huh? Then when I first saw it written, I felt my face scrunch up trying to make sense of the reason for such a nonsensical name. I just do not like it. 

3. Percy from Percy Jackson and the Lightening Theif. That name is just not attractive to say or hear. 

2. Bean from The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Her actual name is Bianca, which I love, but they nickname her Bean. It is such an ugly thing. I just imagine a soup bean for some reason. An ugly, reddish soup bean. lol 

1. Dwynwyn from The Bronze Canticles by Tracy and Laura Hickman. This name is what i refer to as a reading speed bump. You are moving along the story, really immersed in the world and what is happening, then you come across this name, Dwynwyn, and you find that you slow down to linger on it for a second while you try to pronounce it or make sense of it in your head or out loud. Even the look of the letters combined together look off. 

What are your most hated character names? Please share with us in the comments section below!

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bookshelf Tour 2014!

Hello my fellow book lovers! I just wanted to share my newest video showing all my books on my shelves! Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My Take: Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in the Grisha Trilogy. 

It centers around Alina Starkov, who was orphaned by the Border Wars. The only person she trusts and loves has been another orphan, Mal. 

This book takes us into a new and strange world of magics, monsters and mysteries. A world where a magical elite called Grisha hold the true power. Where one of the most powerful of them all called the Darkling leds them. 

They live in a world that is being threatened by the impenetrable darkness called the The Shadow Fold. Inside this darkness that could consume the land of Ravka are monsters who feed off human flesh. Mal and Alina are grown and now are a part of the army regiment. Alina, an apprentice for the map makers, and Mal a strong and respected solider. 

The Darkling has the army cross through the Fold,  where they are attacked and Alina realizes a deep unknown power of her own. A power that thrusts her into, immediate danger by enemies, as the Darkling rushes her off to the capital. There, she enters a life unlike anything she has ever seen or experienced. A life of comfort. But she is there to learn to master her newfound power to help save Ravka, if not the world of the Fold.

But not everything is as it seems, and soon finds herself wondering who she can trust. And despite being surrounded by so many people, she is left feeling lonely. She finds herself missing her lifelong friend Mal, and surprising even to her, a love that runs much deeper.

This was a really interesting book. I love that I felt I had entered into a whole new world. A world I had yet to experience in other books. The characters were well written and the world building was show and not tell. Which was so refreshing given that some other books, rather just tell you what it looks like instead of just taking you on the tour. 

Alina, was a really likable character, that I felt for. That I want to get to know more. And Mal, what a great guy. Truly, he is funny, loyal and brave.  

The Darkling is mysterious and powerful. You don't quite know what his story is, but you find yourself NEEDING to know more about him. 

And this world! Words you never heard of and never will anywhere else in THIS world, and dangers that leave you anxious and entice the imagination create a truly unique experience. I read this book in just under two days. I really couldn't put it down. I just had to know what happens next.  

I cannot wait until I get book two Siege and Storm!

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Please leave a comment if you have read this book, and let us know what you thought!

Monday, January 27, 2014

My Take: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments is an adult contemporary novel by Rainbow Rowell

Endearing. Quirky. Funny. Warm-fuzzy comfort in the form of a hardcover. 

That sums up my instants thoughts on this book. 

This book is set in the late 90's and centers around Lincoln. A sweet, somewhat socially awkward, smart guy. He has acquired many degrees, plays Dungeons and Dragons, had his heart torn out by his first and only love, and has moved back home with his Mom. He is so sweet and loveable and is tall, with broad shoulders! I love a man with broad shoulders guys! I just want to hug him! 

He gets hired at a newspaper as an IT guy, to monitor the work emails and internet usage.  When an email gets "flagged" as inappropriate, he is suppose to send out warnings to the sender. 

Enter Beth and Jennifer, whose emails to each other get flagged. A lot. As he reads through the email, he finds the emails draw him in. The interaction between the two friends is so endearing to him. He does struggle with this. He knows it is wrong on so many levels, but he feels this apprehension to sever the only contact with them. I know, I know. How very stalker and creepy...right? But no! It was written in a way that I think a lot of people can relate to. It doesn't read as creepy. HONEST! Lincoln is just...he is just...It's innocent I tell ya! 

The story unfolds through the emails, as well as through Lincoln's personal story. We get to be a little voyeuristic with Lincoln, and I think that was really interesting and fun. And it was really well done. The flow was perfect throughout the book. 

Jennifer, I really liked her. She is a nice person with a crappy Mom, who left her with this constant sense of foreboding and doubt. But it didn't leave her being a dull and unlikeable character. In fact, it was quiet the opposite. I felt more attached to her.  She is married to a  man who is perfect for her. A man who sees what a great person she is. And is very patient with her inner struggles. 

Now, Beth. She is another great character in this book and the one the Lincoln really feels a kindred spirit type of thing for. She works as a movie critic for the newspaper. Beth is witty, clever, so caring and just a really good friend and person. Her friendship with Jennifer is so authentic and wonderful. She is in a relationship with a rocker guy who is less than attentive to Beth. It was so fun to read Beth's emails talking about a really cute guy she has seen in the office. (so giddy!!)

I loved how so many chances for them to meet, left me feeling excited and giddy. And without giving any spoilers away, to find out, how paths come so close to crossing.  

The chapters where Lincoln is with his friends were so well done. I enjoyed seeing him with people he was comfortable with. And the scene in chapter 80 had me cracking up. Lincoln had been not showing up as often to the D&D nights and Dave pointed out that "Either you're in the game or not, Troy has been dragging your unconscious dwarf on an earth sled, just to keep you in the campaign. You're a constant drain on his magic."  Dave, Lincoln and Troy continue on like that for the rest of the page. That whole interaction between the three was just hilarious. 

This book, I have to say, is the first book that I felt I could fall in love with the lead man. Yeah, I have swooned over the hot hunk in other books. Or really liked the male leads. But Lincoln is seriously someone I feel I could fall in love with. That I want to fall in love with. 

The sincerity and lack of fear in showing his vulnerable side makes him endearing. And the fact that I feel he isn't afraid of stepping up and being a man and "protecting" his loved ones makes him feel like a total package. 

I love this book. I love Lincoln and Beth and Doris and Troy. I just love it all. 

Attachments has definitely leaped to my top favorites list. 

I give this novel an obvious 5 out of 5 stars! 

Have you read this book? If so, tell me what you thought of it! 

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Take: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl  is a contemporary novel by Rainbow Rowell. 

It is set in a college in Nebraska, where twins Cather and Wren (That would be Catherine, the estranged mother couldn't be bothered to give them two actual names.) are set to start their first year.

Despite being twins, they couldn't be more different. Cather is an introvert who prefers the world of imagination, whereas Wren is completely extrovert, who thrives on being in the middle of any social scene. 

But they both were extremely close growing up and both loved The Simon Snow Series. Think of Simon Snow as Fangirls version of Harry Potter. The two girls are so in love with Simon Snow Series, they write fanfiction for it. Mainly Cather, who ultimately is the main author. Her fanfic ends up gaining a huge audience. Thousands, tens of thousands! This is where Cather thrives, this is where she feels calm. This is the backbone of Cather's life and the link throughout the book. 

As college approaches, she finds her relationship with Wren strained. Distant. And then Wren decides to not room with Cather, which sends Cather into this state of loneliness, frustration and sadness. Cather does not feel equipped for life on her own without her built in friend. Her codependence on that sisterly relationship left her ill equipped for the social necessities of college life. 

But she is forced to learn how to be more independent. To "make nice" with these strangers who insist on being friends or at least friendly with her.  To grow as a person, no matter how resistant she feels about the whole thing. To live outside of her head. She meets her roommate, Reagan and Reagan's "boyfriend" Levi. Who play a pivotal role in Cather's life as just Cath, and not MagiCath or twin Cath. Just Cath. Just.

I did find I could identify with some of Cathers personality. Being somewhat of an introvert myself, who loves dreaming away about fantastical worlds. But, (and this is kind of a pretty big but), I felt frustrated by her lack of ability to adapt to the changes around her. Her absolute resistance to some very basic and what I felt were simple changes. It felt like pulling teeth with her sometimes and it left me feeling moments of annoyance. Not in any breaking way, but just like "Really Cath? Come on!" 

I felt the way she dealt with the last big assignment for her fiction-writing class wasn't accurate to Cather. Who I felt was very studious and serious about her education.  I just didn't buy that little story line at all. But it was a very minor issue I had.

Her growth throughout the book, as slow as it may have seemed, can, I feel, be related by so many people.  I sympathized with her on so many levels. I appreciated, her efforts at times. And I just adored the scene where this was said:

"And then she kissed my receding hairline and cried, she imagined him saying. In her imagination, Levi was Danny Zuko, and his roommates were the rest of the T-Birds. Tell me more, tell me more." 

The realness of this chapter, of the moment that was happening, and how I could so identify with her on that level had me laughing so hard! There was something very real about Cather and the other people in this book.

Dad and his struggles of being a single working parent of twin girls! The trauma of the abandonment of his wife, mother of his girls.  The complicated relationship between him and Cather and Wren.

Levi, what a great guy! He was such a likable character that I felt I would love to know in real life. He wasn't some perfect hottie who said all the right things at the right time. He was just a breathe of fresh air. 

Wren. What can I say about Wren. I was not happy with this chick at all. And rightfully so. I wanted to understand her, but I just couldn't. When dealing with a novel, you don't get all the meaty parts you can get with a trilogy or a series. There just isn't enough time for all that extra. So, without getting a Wren POV, I was left feeling frustrated with her for most of the book. 

No, this wasn't a story about Wren, or Levi, or Dad or Mom. 

This was a book about Cather. No. One. Else. This was her story. Her coming of age, love story. Her breaking out of her shell (albeit, against her will) story.

And it was beautiful. 

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

Have you read Fangirl? Leave me a comment below what you thought of the book!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0 Wrapup

So as many of  you know, this past week I have been participating in bout of books read-a-thon.

I started off reading The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy and was doing pretty good. I finished the book, then found by the middle of the week I was moving at a snails pace with my reading. Mostly life happening, but also, I found that I was not able to enjoy my second book, The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter. I love this series (Lords of the Underworld), but felt I was rushing and missing a lot of the story. 

Note, this read-a-thon is not some mad dash, it is very laid back actually. But I still felt a self-imposed push to read as much as possible. It is all my fault *sigh*. lol

Anyway, I decided on an easier read and picked up my Pretty Little Liars Wicked box set by Sara Shepard. It is I believe the second box set in the series. 

And yup! That did the trick! I picked it up on Wednesday evening and finished it Thursday evening. So, Friday morning I woke up and picked up my sons graphic novel, Neon Genesis Evangelion.  And had it read by late Friday afternoon!

I then grabbed book 2 from the Pretty Little Liars set, Killer on Friday night, and completed it on late Saturday afternoon. I took a break to go out and visit with the real worlders on Saturday night.

Then I ended bout of books with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on Sunday!

I felt at first I wasn't doing so well, but after some chit chat with others on twitter, I realized I needed to not worry about it. Looking over my reads this week, I did pretty freaking good! And I enjoyed what I was reading. And THAT, my friends, is what it is all about! 

Recap of books and pages read:

The 5th Wave: 458
The Darkest Craving: 53
PLL Wicked: 311
PLL Killer: 322
Neon Genesis Evangelion: 513
Fangirl: 73

Which gives me a total of  *drum roll* 1730 pages read for bout of books read-a-thon!

Not to shabby if I do say so myself.

Did you join in on the bout of books read-a-thon this week? If so, how did you do?

Also, if you have read any of the above books, let me know which ones and how you liked them!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Take: Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan

Yellowcake is a collection of 10 short stories by Margo Lanagan.
I enjoy short stories and had a couple people tell me to try this book out. So, I hopped on my Nook and did just that. 

Before I get started, I will share the blurb from GoodReads:

" The stories range from fantasy and fairy tale to horror and stark reality, and yet what pervades is the sense of humanity.  The people of Lanagan's worlds face trials, temptations, and degradations. They swoon and suffer and even kill for love. In a dangerous world, they seek the solace and strength that comes from family and belonging. 

   These are stories to be savored slowly and pondered deeply because they cut to the very heart of who we are."

Ok, now, I purchased this book, like I said and started on it right away. That was back in late August. I read the first story, The Point of Roses, twice. I was still slightly confused. And yet, I pushed forward to the second story, and sat the book down. 

It wasn't until Christmas Booktube-a-Thon, December 20-22 that I chose to pick it back up to finish it. I felt like I was forcing myself to read this book. I felt lost/confused by many of the stories, and genuinely uninterested in the rest. I felt that for some of the stories, they felt muddy. Like I entered into the middle of a conversation that no one was willing to fill me in on. 

Out of the 10 stories I only liked three. 

Fine Magic, Into the Clouds on High and Ferryman. Those were very clear and interesting. The characters felt whole and the emotion was easily obtained. I ended each of these three stories feelling something. Like with Fine Magic, I felt anger towards the man. What right did he have to take that revenge. Into the Clouds on High left me feeling sad, my heart actually ached, as did Ferryman.

I can see the talent that Margo has with her writing, even though I do not particularly like the content within the stories. She does have a unique point of view and way of telling stories. She isn't afraid to go down that dark and twisted road and tell a disturbing tale of dismembering a giant human or other such taboo instances. And I can truly appreciate that. 

However, having said that, I still can't say I enjoyed this book. Overall, I struggled to complete this book, and only being able to say I like 3 out of 10 stories is disappointing to say the least. 

 I give this book a 2 out of 5 stars.

If you read this book, please let me know what your thoughts are. Let me know if you enjoyed it, or if you felt like I did. I welcome all opinions! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0!

Bout of Books

Update: Bout of books is now over. So, to see how my week went with this read-a-thon click HERE! 

I am really excited to be participating in Bout of Books read-a-thon!
This is my first time joining in on this event, and I can't wait!

If you are doing this read-a-thon, leave a comment below letting me know where to follow you! Otherwise, what are you waiting for! Sign up!

Below is the information for this read-a-thon:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My goals:

The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter. I have started already, but only 29 pages in.

 The Pretty Little Liars Box Set by Sara Shepard

I have had this set for oh about 2 years or so. I have read the first four books and thought this would be a great time to pull the next four out and read them. They are easy quick reads. I love the show as well, so would like to see the similarities and differences between the two.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Take: The Lords of the Underworld by Gena Showalter

I stumbled upon these books about three years ago and have been hooked ever since!

"Long ago, twelve immortal warriors-each more dangerously seductive than the last--stole and opened Pandora's box, unleashing the evil from within. Now they carry that evil within themselves. Violence, Pain, Death, Disease, Disaster, Misery, Doubt, Promiscuity, Defeat, Lies, Secrets, and Wrath. When a powerful enemy returns, they will travel the world in search of a sacred relic of the gods-one that threatens to destroy them all."

This is a paranormal/romance series by Gena Showalter that takes us through the lives of these immortals. There is something for everyone in this series. From intense fighting scenes, to romantic moments.  There truly are so many layers to this series as a whole that keeps you turning the next page and going out and buying the next book. 

Each book focus' on one of the twelve Lords, while still getting to know and familiarize with the others.  As well as being introduced to so many other interesting characters that will play a huge part in the Lords lives. 

Gena Showalter is such an amazing author! I love how she takes a romance type of series and turns it into so much more. There is actual substance and depth to this series. A constant war is happening inside each Lord and constant war/danger going on around them. The world is wonderfully built and so engaging. I am more invested into what is actually going on in this world than what is going on in the bedrooms.

Though the romance can get pretty exciting, ( and trust me it does), I feel those moments in the books are authentic and not forced. It feels like a natural progression in the lives of the people we are reading about. 

I find I am truly attached to many of the Lords. 
 This is a series I will hold onto and revisit for years to come. 

I give this series a 5 out of 5 stars!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Take: Benny Imura Series by Jonathan Maberry

This is My Take on Benny Imura series by Jonathan Maberry.

I want to first start this My Take off by pointing out the cover art. It is just amazing.
They say you can't judge a book by its cover, and in most cases that is true. However, these covers truly represent the books perfectly. 

They show fear, anger, the struggle, just all the emotions one would expect in a zombie book. Then the muted colors with shock of red being a common theme throughout adds to the feeling of a world in ruin. 

This isn't your basic hack and slash, blood, gore and zombies zombies zombies. I mean, those things are there, don't get me wrong. Many a zom attacked and many a zom was killed. No, this is a zombie tale where the human element is the focus. 

The zombies, all blubillion of them, take pretty much the backseat in this series. Focusing instead on the lives of those who are struggling to survive in what is left of their world.  Mainly, 15 year old Benny, his older brother, 34 year old Tom and Benny's friends, Nix, Morgie and Lou. 

The series starts off fourteen years after the zombie outbreak, so for Benny and his friends, they have pretty much only known this world. The world consists of small communities of survivors scattered through out the world. A world that is without technology, so communication is limited to the few traveling merchants, and zombie bounty hunters. But for the most part, each settlement is pretty isolated from the world outside their own fences. 

But for Benny and his group, that all changes when one fateful day, a jumbo jet flies over them while they were outside of the fence. Now remember, this is the first time they have seen anything like this. So, new hope blooms that maybe not all of the world is overcome with death. Or that maybe the world is making a comeback. This one jet, sets the characters into motion to search for answers, and maybe discover that not everything is lost. 

As the story unfolds, they discover new places, people and learn that zombies aren't the worst things to fear in this world. That there are much worse things to be frightened of. Bigger wars to be fought. 

The characters Jonathan Maberry created in this series are well developed and you can see the growth of each one as time goes by. And they all feel authentic and true in how they deal with their circumstances. The world he created is so believable, and scary and chaotic that you're left with this sense of anxiety, sadness, frustration. Which is a good thing when dealing with an apocalyptic zombie world. I just really felt the emotions of what was happening in this series. I had to, a few times, put the books down and walk away because I would get so invested in the story. But I would end up turning right back around to read more. The suspense was to great to stay away, I just had to know what happens next. And that is what makes a great story to me. It was most definitely a page turner for me. 

So, if you like zombies, and enjoy a good ole' apocalypse with a human touch. Then I highly recommend this series. 

I give this series a 5 out of 5 stars!

Have you read this series? Tell me your thoughts on it!

Thank you so much for stopping by!