Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: Dark Days

TITLE: Dark Days
AUTHOR: Kate Ormand
PUBLISHED: June 3rd, 2014
GENRE: Dystopian
PREMISE: Sia lives in a sector. One of the unlucky sectors that is going to get killed off in 14 days...
MY REVIEW: I'll be honest with you guys: I'm starting to feel that dystopian burn-out feeling. You all know what I'm talking about. That moment when you start to lose your excitement for a genre because almost everything is the same. I felt it with Urban Fantasy, despite loving UF. I'm starting to feel it with dystopians and we all know I'm a dystopian junkie. If you say dystopian, I'm pretty much there. The only thing that would make me pick it up faster is if you threw in witches and steampunk.
Sadly this book didn't get back the happy feeling. There's nothing actually wrong with it. The author writes well, has a plot going, and a character who doesn't drive you nuts. The only honestly irritating thing was the insta-love. It's reads like every other dystopian I've read.'s not's just not very memorable either. So I don't have much to say other then shrugging and moving on to the next book.
WHO SHOULD READ: Dystopian fans (who aren't bored with dystopians yet)
MY RATING: Three out of Five I've Read This Before Feelings

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review: Three Souls

TITLE: Three Souls
AUTHOR: Janie Chang
PUBLISHED: February 25th, 2014 (was released 2013 in Canada)
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Drama
PREMISE: A woman looks back on her life as she tries to move on to the next one...
MY REVIEW: I'm not sure where I first heard about this one. Entertainment Weekly, possibly? I've been reading their reviews more to try and keep up on adult books to look at (key word try, there are so many and I want to read them all damn it! But..I also have to work for a living. If any of you have a job for me that lets me read all the books and get paid for it, feel free to offer it to me).
This was basically a "this was your life, now speak to person in dreams to make amends" sort of tale. It was nice. The historical bits were the most interesting to me to be honest. The characters themselves...were kind of bland. I was also left rather confused about why what happened was exactly the main character's fault and why SHE had to make amends but whatever.
It was nicely written, had a plot, and was a good historical read. I wouldn't call it a must read though. I'd say this is for historical fiction readers mostly.
WHO SHOULD READ: Historical fiction fans, Joy Luck Club fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five ghosts watching you

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: Panic

TITLE: Panic
AUTHOR: Lauren Oliver
PUBLISHED: March 4rth, 2014
GENRE: Contemporary, Mystery?
PREMISE: Heather enters Panic, a local game of dares where the winner wins a lot of cash...
MY REVIEW: I honestly just don't know what to make of this book.
On one hand, it's a great character study. Oliver is great at getting into the heads of her characters and exploring why they do the things they do. She doesn't have everything be black and white in her books and I like that, which is why I keep reading despite some of the flaws she has as a writer.
Which brings me to the flaws of the book. Like most of Oliver's books, it's an intriguing idea. But it never feels fully formed. That was the problem in Delirium and that is the problem in Panic. There's also plot holes galore since I'm expected to believe that this takes place in our world when I just can't believe students would go along with a crazy game they're never going to enter and shell out one dollar a day. Especially students who don't have a lot of money. I don't care what "reminders" you use. People don't generally give money daily to things that they're not going to have any part in.
So once again, plausibility got into Oliver's way. Unlike Delirium however, it didn't work. Yes, I know finding a cure for love is more absurd then this, but Oliver made it work by having a great world set up. Here...not so much. It kind of makes the book hard to get into. At least I found this one hard to get into. I still want Oliver to stick around though. She has really interesting ideas. I just wish she'd work on plot execution because I think that is her ultimate downfall.
WHO SHOULD READ: Lauren Oliver fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five I Don't Get Its

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Murder at the Breakers

TITLE: Murder at the Breakers
Book 1 in the Gilded Newport Mystery series
AUTHOR: Alyssa Maxwell
PUBLISHED: March 2014
GENRE: Historical Mystery
PREMISE: When her brother is accused of murder, Emma Cross goes on the case to clear his name.
MY REVIEW: This is one of the latest historical mystery series (a genre near and dear to my heart) and it was a fun one.
Sure, it didn't change the genre or anything. But if you're in the mood for a female sleuth who does actual sleuthing and doesn't just dance around with two men while sort of maybe trying to solve a mystery, this book is for you. Not that Emma doesn't have the love interests. She absolutely does. But it's nice in the fact that it doesn't take over the whole book. Much of this is devoted to the mystery as it should be.
This was just a plain good solid mystery. If you're in the mood for a historical leaning mystery, I definitely would recommend this.
WHO SHOULD READ: Historical Mystery fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five women cleaning up after their wayword brothers

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What to Read Next: After Hunger Games

You've all likely seen the awesome Capitol ads online already (no seriously, I cannot gush enough about how much this marketing team is rocking it because they get what this product is, other marketing teams for YA movies, please take notes). So the Hunger Games fever is about to set in again. Which means I'll likely be selling the trilogy again to newbies which means there'll be new HG fans who will be all "what now?" Have no fear, I've got your back.

What to Read After Hunger Games:

1) Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
Why: Okay, this one is obvious. But if you've read Hunger Games it's probably at least helpful to know about Divergent because likely you'll run into the Hunger Games VS Divergent argument time and again (not there's much argument, I'm sorry, HG is better ;still bitter about the mess that was Allegiant;)

2) Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Why: Another one that tends to pop up in the dystopian discussions and this is actually one of my favorite of the YA dystopians so I can't rec it enough.

3) The Giver Quartet series by Lois Lowry
Why: This series is a classic and actually one of the first YA dystopians out there (no, HG did not invent the genre, it just made it popular again). If nothing else read the first book, especially since it's being made into a movie coming out in August.

4) 1984 by George Orwell
Why: Speaking of books that helped shape dystopians. This one definitely did that. In fact, it's the one that coined the phrase big brother. Consider this one the grandfather of the dystopian genre. It may not have invented it, but it has definitely influenced it.

5) The Handmaid's Tale by Margeret Atwood
Why: Like 1984 and The Giver, this one is very influential. All you women who think you don't need feminism anymore, please for the love of god, read this. I'm betting you wouldn't say that anymore.

6) Uglies series by Scott Westerfield
Why: Another dystopian that was a pre-cursor to Hunger Games (sorry, I'm just trying to hit home to some people that Hunger Games did not invent this genre, it's been around for a LONG time). This one talking about beauty standards. Also check out Westerfield's Leviathan Trilogy. It's not dystopian, but it is fabulous steampunk with kids fighting against the establishment and a girl posing as a boy soldier. It's awesome stuff that should please Hunger Games fans as well.

7) The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken
Why: What happens when kids gain powers and adults start to fear them in return? Some messed up stuff. This is part dystopian and part urban fantasy and flat out awesome. Third book comes out later this year.

8) Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness
Why: Dystopian with a sci-fi bent. Also answers what would happen if women disappeared. The answer: bad stuff. Sorry sexists.

9) Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver
Why: This dystopian asks what would happen if love was considered a disease? While I still don't think the ending was that satisfying, the world Oliver creates here is horrible and fascinating all at the same time.

10) The 5th Wave Trilogy by Rick Yancey
Why: Dystopian with alien invasion! All about a girl having to survive an invasion and the results of it. Think Independance Day but much more realistic and with a badass teen girl instead of a badass Will Smith. The second book, The Infinite Sea, comes out September 16th (yay!) and there's already plans for a movie with Chloe Meretz that will likely be out around early 2016.

Happy reading!

Book Review: Blonde Ops

TITLE: Blonde Ops
AUTHOR: Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman
PUBLISHED: May 6th, 2014
GENRE: Mystery
PREMISE: A girl gets sent to work for a magazine editor but soon gets wrapped up in a mystery when something happens to her.
MY REVIEW: This one was pretty much what it was billed as: Devil Wears Prada with a mystery added.
It was cute and harmless and clearly aimed at younger YA readers. So I don't really have much to say about it. There's nothing awful about it. But there's nothing spectacular about it either.
If you're in the mood for a cute mystery or your teen is growing out of the Nancy Drew series, I would say this book would be good for them.
WHO SHOULD READ: Nancy Drew fans, younger YA mystery fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five heels

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: Do Unto Others

TITLE: Do Unto Others
Book 1 in the Jordan Poteet series
AUTHOR: Jeff Abbott
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PREMSIE: A woman is murdered and Jordan Poteet investigates because he's the top suspect.
MY REVIEW: This is one of those that I picked up for my reading through the library project. If you see a random book on here, it's likely due to that project.
I'll be frank: this was basically a cozy mystery but written by a male and with a male main character. I find that blurb saying this is so unique really strange because frankly, I've seen this plot before, just with a female character and by a female writer. But I guess it doesn't count unless it's with a male or something. Have I mentioned how much the sexism/double standards in publishing bothers me lately? Because it still does.
 So this one was just okay. I probably won't be continuing the series because I was extremely bored while reading this one.
WHO SHOULD READ: mystery fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five shrugs

Book Review: Born of Deception

TITLE: Born of Deception
Book 2 in the Born of Illusion series
AUTHOR: Teri Brown
PUBLISHED: June 10th, 2014
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
PREMISE: Anna and Cole arrive in London and soon get swept up in a kidnapping mystery once again...
MY REVIEW: Born of Illusion was one of my underrated favorites last year. So I was really looking forward to this one. Sadly...I didn't love it as much as I thought I would.
Most of it has to do with that it suffers from really bad second book syndrome. This one is mostly just a stall on the way over to the next book and it stalls way too much. Then it goes into pointless love triangle drama and there's some funky messages in it that I didn't care for. Like the one where the mother says females can't be friends and the author doesn't help matters by having the one female friend betray Anna. No, I'm OVER the whole females can't be friends nonsense. We do not need more of that.'s not so much a bad just suffered a lot from second book syndrome. I'm crossing my fingers and keeping my hopes up for book three though. Hopefully that will go a lot smoother.
WHO SHOULD READ: Born of Illusion fans, Diviners fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five could have been betters.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

This is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.
Today, we're talking about TV. Now, I freely admit: I'm a TV junkie. You name a show, it's likely I've seen at least one episode of it. Or am at least familiar with it. Now, I'm doing everyone a favor and not including lists of past TV shows on here to narrow it down for my sake. So these are my CURRENT favorite tv shows. If we want to include some of my past favorite TV shows, we'd be here all day (feel free to ask in comments though if you're curious).

1) Doctor Who-Yes, I'm a Whovian. Since it always comes up, my favorite Doctor is Nine (Classic Doctor is Four). Favorite Companion is an honest to god three-way tie between Donna Noble, Rory Williams, and Martha Jones.

2) Once Upon a Time-I'm a retelling junkie. Who here is really shocked that I love the hell out of this cracky show?

3) Castle-Came for Nathan Fillion. Stayed all these years for the awesome character that is Kate Beckett.

4) Project Runway-One of my two reality TV indulgences (Dancing with the Stars is the second. Don't judge). I mostly watch for Tim Gunn who is flawless. Plus I just like seeing the creative process at work. After watching a episode it always inspires me to work on my stuff.

5) Revenge-This show is Count of Monte Cristo on soap opera steroids and I love every unashamed moment of it.

6) Teen Wolf-AKA that show you think is going to be really dumb and kind of is, but grows on you because it's highly self aware and doesn't take itself seriously. It helps that there are many awesome lady characters in it (Lydia is my queen).

7) Sleepy Hollow-This show is kind of like Teen Wolf where it's highly self aware and that works in its favor even though it's total crack as well.

8) Elementary-Yes, I watch Sherlock and I enjoy it, but I personally think Elementary does things a lot smarter character wise. Plus, Joan Watson is everything in this. Because I firmly believe in a John Watson that does not let Sherlock get away with crap, which sadly BBCs Sherlock doesn't really do.

9) Bones-Can you tell I'm a sucker for buddy cop shows yet?

10) Agents of Shield-Marvel fangirl. First half of the season had a few rough patches but the fun of the show kept me watching despite taking awhile to get to the meat of the point. Hopefully second season will not have that problem because they're not going to have Captain America 2 there to shake things up for them this time around.

Also enjoying: Game of Thrones, True Blood, Downton Abbey, Arrow (still in the middle of second season though. I'm catching up for Season 3 and am pumped for the Flash show), BBCs Musketeers, Supernatural (but the treatment of lady characters on it annoys me greatly), PLL off and on (I get irritated with it, but then a reveal will come and I'll come crawling back. It's kind of a rough relationship really), and I just started watching Girl Meets World (its so cute and my Boy Meets World nostalgia is full on right now).

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Book Review: Wicked Little Secrets

TITLE: Wicked Little Secrets
Book 2 in the Prep School Confidential series
AUTHOR: Kara Taylor
PUBLISHED: March 16th, 2014
GENRE: Mystery
PREMISE: Anne continues her investigation into a cold case that has her questioning everyone around her, including her boyfriend...
MY REVIEW: This is one of the latest in the "lets do a boarding school mystery setting" type of series that has been released. I have to say, it's one of the better ones. Mostly because the mystery is actually quite good.
The second thing is Anne herself is just FUN. The series gets that it's a teen mystery and plays on that perfectly. True, some of the drama with the friends kind of took away from the story sometimes. But it still was a good mystery that is still going on and mystery is why I'm reading this after all.
So if you're looking for something to fill that Veronica Mars shaped whole in your life, this one...okay probably won't totally fill it (Veronica Mars is very awesome) but at the very least, it should make you miss the show a little less.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fans of Prep School Confidential, Veronica Mars fans, Mystery fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five plaid skirts

Friday, July 11, 2014

What to Read Next: Sookie Stackhouse Series

In mourning for Sookie Stackhouse and the end of the True Blood series? Looking for a series to fill that whole in your heart? Well, check out these:

1) The Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep
Why: It's got interesting world building like the Sookie series. Gin is also somehow charming like Sookie despite the fact that she's very very flawed. No vampires in this one, but lots of magic and lots of women kicking butt.

2) The Kate Daniels series by Illona Andrews
Why: This is another urban fantasy series with a awesome female main character. If you liked the shifter side of the Sookie series, this one is definitely for you. Also features many women kicking butt.

3) The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia  Briggs
Why: Again, excellent urban fantasy. Also features shifters and a badass heroine. Please ignore the scantily clad Mercy on the covers. It totally misrepresents who Mercy is and what this series is about (plus it doesn't make sense because in the books Mercy is strictly a t-shirt/jeans gal). It goes on for a bit long, but that is the book publishing world way nowadays.

4) Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong
Why: Again, excellent world-building stuff and excellent female leads. I also suggest checking out the two YA spin-off trilogies that also take place in this universe (Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising).

5) The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine
Why: Maybe you just wanted vampires being vampires? Well, this series has that. The quality of the series goes up and down. But this should be a pleasing one for Sookie fans. Also check out Caine's adult UF series.

6) The Hollows series by Kim Harrison
Why: Also has that urban fantasy flair with a sassy female lead. I've actually only read the first book of this. I need to get to the rest of it.

7) Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Why: The Lestat series has influenced a lot of vampire stuff today. Lestat is pretty much pre-curser Bill/Eric. While I don't think it's accurate to say Rice is why vampires became sexy...she certainly had a big hand in them becoming popular.

8) Dracula by Bram Stoker
Why: Well, I firmly believe all vampire/horror fans should read Dracula at least once.

To be honest if you're a Sookie fan any Urban Fantasy series should do the trick. I also recommend trying Harris's other series. She just started one this year as a matter of fact. Haven't gotten to it yet though.

Series/Book Review: Cheese Shop Mystery Series

TITLE: Days of Wine and Roquefort
Book 5 in the Cheese Shop Mysteries
AUTHOR: Avery Aames
PUBLISHED: February 2014
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PREMISE: Charlotte solves yet another mystery while her fiance is away.
MY REVIEW: So I started this series as part of my library project. I am now done with it. I read the books in between but didn't review them here because I didn't want to bore you all by saying the same thing over and over again.
My feelings on the series haven't changed much since the first book. It's a cute cozy mystery. If that's your thing, go for it. If that isn't, you probably wouldn't bother with it in the first place.
So this series is a good library read for those into cozy mysteries. That's honestly about all I have to say about it, because it's typical cozy mystery stuff.
WHO SHOULD READ: Cozy Mystery fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five cheeses

Book Review: The Falconer

TITLE: The Falconer
The Falconer series Book 1
AUTHOR: Elizabeth May
PUBLISHED: May 6th, 2014
GENRE: Historical Fantasy, Faeries
PREMISE: In the eighteen hundreds in Scotland, a young heiress kills fae as revenge...
MY REVIEW: Anyone who has figured out my taste from this blog probably already suspected I would love this. You were right: I did. While I admit the world building is a wee bit shaky, the storytelling, characters, and idea are all so much fun that it doesn't really matter in the long run.
This is frankly just an entertaining romp and I certainly don't mind the ride. Heck, I didn't even mind the love triangle bit, it was that much fun of a read. I can forgive shaky bits here and there if your book is entertaining and this book was definitely that.
So best book ever? No. But definitely a fun ride if you're into historical fantasy/steampunk bits which as we all know, I am. Also, the faerie sidekick in this was the BEST. Seriously, he stole the whole book.
WHO SHOULD READ: Steampunk fans, MI fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five wise-cracking faeries who are totally laughing at you

Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: Clockwork Princess

TITLE: Clockwork Princess
Book 3 in the Infernal Devices Trilogy
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
PREMISE: Will, Jem, and Tessa face off against Mortmain for the finale...
MY REVIEW: This review will be short because honestly...I don't have much to say about this book. My feelings on the MI series will probably always be conflicted. On one hand: I get a kick or two out of them. On the other hand: series has gone on way too long and has gotten stale as a result.
This ending is a perfect example. Because frankly...nothing happened here that I wasn't expecting. About the only surprising thing was Jem becoming what he did and that...honestly felt like a cop out. I kind of would have preferred if he had died because that kind of cheapened all the Jem feels. Plus again, Tessa doesn't have to choose! She gets time spent with both! But not at the same time, mind you.  Sigh. Please keep in mind, I say this as someone who was rooting for OT3 Will/Tessa/Jem because frankly Will and Jem loved each other just as much (if not more) as they loved Tessa. She admitted to loving both! Yet, we can't get OT3? Really? As far as I'm concerned, it happened anyway. To heck with canon.
So this spin-off is done. But apparently we're getting two more. Like I said: it's gotten old. I really wish Clare would write something else (on her own. I don't know how much of that book she wrote with Black was actually her idea. I'll probably be able to tell when I read it though. Black and Clare have pretty different styles). But it seems to not be. But I just seriously can't quit this series despite how stale it's gotten so you'll probably see a review of those up when they come out. I'll probably also do a review of Heavenly Fire soon as well because this series has honestly just become habit reading for me. seems I lied about the review being short. Guess I had more to say then I thought.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of MI (still into the books)
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five whatevers

Book Review: Bad Luck Girl

TITLE: Bad Luck Girl
Book 3 in the American Fairy Trilogy
AUTHOR: Sarah Zettel
GENRE: Historical Fantasy. Faeries
PREMISE: Callie has just gotten her Mother and her Father back and is headed to Chicago with them and her best friend Jack. Unfortunately, getting her parents back had consequences, such as starting a war.
MY REVIEW: Oh American Fairy Trilogy. You are so underrated. Seriously, I love this trilogy. I don't get why more people don't gush about it. No, it's not the most original thing in the world but it has some very cool things about it.
For one, it's got faeries. With fabulous faerie mythology going on. For another, it's set in the nineteen thirties and doesn't glamorize it. It also has all those things that I hear people complain about YA not having. It's got diversity. It doesn't focus on romance. It has a flawed main character who screws up and acknowledges that. There's not even a love triangle!
If you're like me and anxiously awaiting for the next installment of The Diviners (which has been delayed AGAIN ;sobs;) then seriously pick this up. This was a great finale. I'm sorry to see this trilogy go, it was a great ride. Even if I was pretty much fangirling over it by myself.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fans of the first two books, faerie book fans, Diviners fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five jazz bands

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Looking Ahead: July

Here are some books coming out in July that I'm eager to read/get my hands on eventually:

1) California by Edan Lepucki
Released: July 8th
CATEGORY: Adult fiction
GENRE: Dystopian/survival
Why I'm looking forward to it: It's dystopian and I'm a self admitted dystopian junkie. Also I'm kind of laughing because YA always gets bashed for having too many dystopians and yet here we are, adult book that is a dystopian that is being hyped. We have officially come full circle.

2) Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Released: July 8th
CATEGORY: Adult fiction
GENRE: Contemporary/Realistic fiction
Why I'm Looking forward to it: I haven't read Rowell's adult book, Attachments yet. But if her adult books are as enjoyable and well done as her YA books then I'm sure to like this one even though contemporary fiction isn't usually my thing. Especially adult contemporary fiction which has the bad habit of being very predictable.

3) The Kiss of Deception Book 1 by Mary E. Pearson
Released: July 8th
GENRE: Fantasy, Romance
Why I'm Looking Forward to it: Loved Pearson's Jenna Fox series. I can't wait to see her tackle fantasy. Plus, pretty cover is pretty.

4) Midnight Thief series Book 1 by Livia Blackburne
Released: July 8th
GENRE: Fantasy?
Why I'm Looking Forward to it: Female thief bucking the system? Sign me up! I will read anything that has a female thief.

5) Elemental Assassin series Book 11: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep
Released: July 22nd
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Why I'm Looking Forward to it: God knows when I'll get to this one. I'm woefully behind on the Elemental Assassin series because I just discovered it last year. But I'll get to it. Eventually.

6) Something Strange and Deadly Trilogy Book 3: Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard
Released: July 22nd
GENRE: Historical Fantasy/steampunk, Zombies
Why I'm Looking Forward to It: There have been a few of these zombie historical books in YA but this trilogy is my favorite of them. The world is fabulous, the main character is great and plot is always moving. I can't wait to see how it all ends.

7) Kate Daniels series Book 7: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Released: July 29th
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Why I'm Looking Forward to it: LOVE the Kate Daniels series though I confess, I haven't gotten to book 6 yet. That's totally my bad. My only defense is that i have a lot of books to read and only so much time to read them in.

8) Bloodlines series Book 5: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
Released: July 29th
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Why I'm Looking Forward to it: Because that cliffhanger on the last book was evil. Evil I say!