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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I'm still alive....

I really am still alive.  I just haven't been posting because the books that I have been reading really all lend themselves to a very small review.  Rather than give you the one sentence synopsis, I have listed below all of the books that I read recently that were really, really good. I promise to write a proper review now that the semester is over. 

5 stars
Princess of ThornsDreamer's Pool (Blackthorn and Grim, #1)Return to Sleepy HollowStitching SnowRebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)

4 stars
Rite of RejectionThe Here and NowTin LilyThe Body ElectricCaptive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2)

All were great reads, but a special shout out to Stolen Songbird for taking me by surprise.  Who knew trolls could be so fascinating?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier

Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn and Grim, #1)

Goodreads blurb:
In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.

With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.

5 stars (more if I could)
I am so glad I splurged and bought this book the day it was released. It was truly a great book, and it ranks right up there with my two other favorite Marilliers - Heart's Blood and Daughter of the Forest. Blackthorn and Grim are some of the most flawed yet perfect characters I have ever read. Their tale broke my heart. It always hurts to know just how evil humans can be to one another. We never get to hear Grim's backstory though which was pretty clever on Marillier's part. If you needed a reason (which I don't) to read the next book, learning Grim's tale would be a good one.

The story was magical. So much so that I wanted to savor each word and draw out the book, yet I rushed toward the ending to see the outcome. You really come to care about the characters and want to see things work out. Even the secondary characters are fleshed out and realistic.

I loved the shout out to Daughter of the Forest letting us know that Sorcha and her brothers were not too far removed from this story. I have so many books in the TBR pile, but all I really want to do is lose myself in a Marillier book even if it is one I have already read. There is something about her writing draws you in and keeps you spellbound.

This is an adult novel and has some sex, but no offensive language.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)

 Blurb from Goodreads:
Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.


3 stars
Having recently read The Fall by Bethany Griffin and the fact that I love EAP, I thought this was going to be a 5 star read. For some reason, this just didn't catch hold for me. The romance was the focus of the book. I wanted to learn more about the plague and how it impacts life. Other than the inconvenience of having to wear a mask, the characters didn't seem too bothered about the plague. At times they even rip their masks off usually to engage in kissing. Nothing says romance like someone ripping away their life saving mask.

I wanted more Prospero too. He was the main bad guy for the first half of the book, and then we find out that there is a minister who is the actual bad guy. Prospero showed such promise. He is the kind of evil that is inherently evident. He has no compassion and is a total narcissist. A combo that is always entertaining for the reader (not so much for the characters).

So I loved Araby's name. I thought it was beautiful. I felt she would be master of her own destiny in one passage, but then would allow other people to decide for her in another. Sometimes it was Elliot, others Will and her parents. I understand she had to let Prospero dictate his terms. I wanted her to just scream at everyone to leave her alone and let her decide for herself.

This was a good book, it just missed the eerie atmosphere and wonderful world building of The Fall. I will be reading the second book because I believe that Prospero will play a larger role, and I want to see his get his comeuppance.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir


Blurb from Goodreads:
 Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.
4 stars
Is it just coincidence that I happen to be reading a book of short stories by Daphne Du Maurier when I picked up this book to read? I had read a couple of chapters and was enjoying Suspicion before I knew that it was based on Rebecca. After reading, I can't really say that this book was similar other than the creepy house and spiteful housekeeper. I think it would have been better not to be linked to Rebecca, but that is just my two cents.

I thought the mystery was a well done plot, but the supernatural felt forced. If the mystery powers were done away with, I felt the book would have been stronger. Once again we are bombarded with insta-love and too much focus on the handsome, good looking, swoon worthy, divine looks of the love interest. Once is enough to understand that the boy is attractive. I realize that the two had a relationship with each other when they were younger, but they were 10 and 12 years old so I don't believe a story line where they magically fall in love with each other based on the past.

The book did keep me guessing, and there were some points that I didn't see coming (probably because I thought it was based on Rebecca). If you are looking for a good mystery and don't mind a little paranormal then I would recommend this book. If you're looking for a new Rebecca, I don't think this book hits that mark completely. There are similarities, but not anything that would make me certain it was based on Rebecca.  I, of course, recommend very highly Rebecca by Du Maurier if you haven't read it yet. 

Content - Clean from language and sex.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Books I Am Excited For....

Books that I have and need (and want badly) to read....

And books that I am desperate to get my hands on....
Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Atlantia by Ally Condie

Blurb from Goodreads:
Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths

4.5 stars
I will warn you - this is slow to get started. It takes awhile for the world to be built and the characters to get situated, but once it does, it is an amazing world to explore. Rio is an immensely complex protagonist who really struggles with the right thing to do. But I think my favorite character of all was Maire. She is so nebulous - you don't know whether to hug her or smack her. She is a big reason this book almost got five stars from me. The rest of the book was spectacular as well. I felt the plot and motivations of the characters were really strong.

I really feel that this was a stand alone novel. It was perfect the way it ended, and I don't feel the longing to visit these characters again. Their story has found the perfect balance.

I loved the way that True treated Rio. He felt concern for her, but he never treated her like she was less than he was. He didn't agree with what she was doing, but he stepped back and respected her enough to make her own decisions. This is good writing, and I applaud Ms. Condie for creating a strong male character who treats women with respect and dignity. Too many romantic leads think they know better for their female counterparts and try to act against the wishes of their love interest. Real men or should I say True men respect women.

I read the first two books in the Matched series - liked one and not so much the other one. This book was a genuine pleasure to read, and it makes me want to eagerly read the next book she comes out with.

Oh, and isn't the cover divine?

Content - completely clean read.  No sex or language.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Return to Sleepy Hollow by Dax Varley

Return to Sleepy Hollow

Blurb from Goodreads:
He was there again…just below. I awoke as always to the power of his presence.

My bare feet hit the cold floor. One peek—just one—out the window.

It’d been three years since I’d seen this horseman. THE Horseman. And, as then, his hand reached out, summoning me to him.

Three times he’s appeared since Ichabod and I fled to Philadelphia.

Why here? Why now?Why me?

But whatever the reason, he wanted me—a want so strong, I was weak to resist.
* * *
The sequel to Sleepy Hollow is here!

4.5 stars
This sequel does not disappoint! The perfect read for a windy and rainy day in October. This furthers the story of Katrina and Ichabod in wonderfully unique way. I realize that Ichabod's story ends in the original tale, but I was glad to see him back in this one. And we see a lot more of the Headless Horseman. He is spooky and creepy, but things are not always what they seem. I really was kept on the edge of my seat and could not figure out where the books was headed. The ending felt a tad rushed,and everything wrapped up nicely except for that last sentence again. I am hoping that means there will be another one. I look forward to reading more from this author and hope that there will be more Katrina!

Content: There is sex although not graphically explained.  No language.