May 23, 2015

Short & Sweet: Bloodlines, Rivals in the City, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Nightspell

So it's been, um, about 3 months since I posted here... sorry, guys! All is well, I've just been super busy with school (and now my final internship)! Which means I have had little to no time for either reading (for fun) or blogging. But I have read a few books that I haven't reviewed, and I'm not sure if/when I will get around to writing up a review. I did put short blurbs of my thoughts up on Goodreads, though, so I figured I would post those here too. Without further ado...

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
8709527Very slow start to this one – things didn't really get going until about halfway through the book, but once they did my interest was caught. Sydney does not have the sort of bold personality/voice that Rose of the original VA series did, but I think her character could grow on me as the series continues. Plus, interested to see where things go with the Sydney/Adrian potential...
Verdict: 3.5 stars.

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Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee
Sad that this was the last Agency book! I liked that some of the characters from the first book were brought back, and overall it was a pretty solid conclusion to the series. Plus, James is adorable. But there was very little of the usual Mary-James romantic banter in this one! :(
Verdict: 4 stars.

18080771Dark, and weird, and tangled... Despite this book being utterly fantastical in some ways, Neil Gaiman manages to touch upon very real thoughts and emotions. Interesting exploration of the adult/child power dynamic in particular. I kinda wish we'd seen more of the narrator's life in the present, to compare with the past. Also, I am left with a few questions, one being, whose funeral was he attending?
Verdict: 4 stars.
Nightspell by Leah Cypess
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I still have a lot of questions about this one, especially why the author chose the ending she did. Unfortunately I found it rather anti-climactic after all that build-up. Also, the characters seemed to follow leaps of logic and come to conclusions at a pace that left me going, "huh?" Interesting, though, that the focus in this book is really on sibling relationships (rather than romance), and it certainly raises some thought-provoking questions about life, death, and being "undead." (I do still wish we'd been given Kestin's POV, however! I think that would have been fun.)
Verdict: 3 stars.

February 9, 2015

Guest Posting about My Fair Lady!

Why yes, I *am* still alive!

Just wanted to give a quick head's-up that I've got a guest post today over at Bring My Books. I'm chatting about the awesomeness of the film My Fair Lady, and I invite you to hop on over and join me!

 

January 5, 2015

Books I Got For Christmas...

   

How is Christmas over already?! *looks around, bewildered* *sighs* On the bright side, I have a whole lot more books than I did before the holidays! Including...


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
If You Follow Me by Malena Watrous
Literary Listography: My Reading Life in Lists by Lisa Nola (thanks to my friend back in BC for this one!)
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Thanks very much to my parents for getting so many of the top priority books on my wishlist!


Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith
What Goes Around by Courtney Summers (this is a 2-book compilation of Some Girls Are and Cracked Up to Be)
Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons
A signed copy of The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell

The first four books I ordered for myself from BookOutlet (I couldn't pass up a $10-off Black Friday deal they had going on) and the last one the author herself generously sent to me, after I'd featured it as an All I Want for Christmas pick


Thank you so much, Hannah — I'm looking forward to reading it! :)

December 20, 2014

All I Want for Christmas... (8)

Every year my mom asks me to send her my book wishlist for Christmas, since it just isn't Christmas without books. In the hopes of getting some content onto this blog more regularly, I'll be posting my book wishlist picks on here.


If anyone would like to join in with picks from their own wishlist, please feel free to add your link in the comments :) And if you've read any of the books on my list, let me know what you thought of them (good, bad, or otherwise!)


This week's pick:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
19486412From Goodreads:

"Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . .
  A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what?
  Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:   Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.   New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
  Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
"
I've read two of Liane Moriarty's previous novels — The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot — and particularly loved the latter. Moriarty does such a wonderful job of creating characters who feel real. Big Little Lies sounds like a bit more of a mystery than some of her other books but from what I've seen it's been getting good reviews, and I'm eager to check it out for myself!

What books are you hoping to find in your stocking this Christmas?


December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Rook, First Frost, and Ink & Bone

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and features books that we just can't wait to get our hands on!

Oh look, it's a Waiting on Wednesday post! Haven't had one of those on the blog in ages...

Anyway, without further ado, my WoW picks:

Rook by Sharon Cameron

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Goodreads' description:

"History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.
"

I think I first saw this one mentioned by Lindsey at Bring My Books as one of the top books she's looking forward to in 2015. And then once I read the description I was like, "Yep, that is going on my TBR list!" I read and enjoyed Sharon Cameron's The Dark Unwinding (have not yet read the second book!) and so I'm hoping Rook will deliver as well. It sounds like a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel but...set in a future Paris? Very cool.

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

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Goodreads' description:

"From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves...

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins.
"


I quite liked Garden Spells, so I'm interested to see how Sarah Addison Allen continues those characters' stories in this sequel (pretty sure it's the first sequel she's written to any of her books...?). I particularly enjoyed the subtle use of the magic in this world in Garden Spells, so I hope that keeps up in First Frost.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine


20643052

"In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…
"

Anything involving the Great Library of Alexandria gets automatic points from me. A world where you can only access books by use of alchemy? Spies? Heresy? SIGN ME UP. 

What books are you waiting for?

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