Friday, September 22, 2017

Review - The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas


Series: The D'Artagnan Romances #1
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Age Group: Adults
Audiobook- 22hr 45 mins
Dover Publications - 560pgs

Rating: 3/5

With its rousing cry of "One for all, and all for one," Alexandre Dumas's thrilling adventure novel has captivated generations of readers since its initial publication in 1844. Action, intrigue, and romance abound in this swashbuckling epic, which traces a country lad's path to the French court of the early 1600s and the glorious fraternity of the king's men, the Musketeers.
A son of impoverished nobility, D'Artagnan arrives in Paris to find the Musketeers disbanded by the cunning Cardinal Richelieu, who hopes to seize power from the weak-willed Louis XIII. The daring and ambitious youth proves his mettle in the company of the famous Musketeers — Porthos, Athos, and Aramis — and joins them in a heroic struggle to defend the king and his lovely queen, Anne of Austria.

So often, I am not patient enough for classics. The language is different than what I am used to and the action takes a lot longer than a lot of modern books. In the end it is me that is the problem and not the book. Though my experience with Three Musketeer movies did not prepare me for this book, I did find some of the plot lines very interesting.  

There are actually four main characters in this story and their antics are amusing. All four of them have a strong bromance even though some of their actions would not be considered heroic. Through the book we follow a series of plots that are somewhat interconnected and each new thread picked up just as the last one was losing my interest. The audiobook definitely helped me get through this book and still enjoy it. 

However, Dumas meanders in many different directions throughout the story and a lot of our "heroes" actions are rather selfish and immoral. I wasn't exactly impressed since my impressions as a child put the Musketeers on the same level with Robin Hood. Overall, I think the book could have been trimmed down a bit by being less repetitive and more concise, but the action and adventure was fun to read.I enjoyed some of the plot lines, but I was annoyed that women were either in need of saving or were villains. All the things that annoyed me about this novel were combined when we spent four or five chapters following a women's every move in a jail cell. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

Though I have made this list of ten books for Top Ten Tuesday, I doubt I will finish all of these by the end of the year let alone in the next three months! Last year I did this same post and I only read two books from that post! That is my record so we shall see if we can beat it.

7728889The Hate U Give 28260587

6587387 26542535 20443235

30319101 20764879 25810368

Friday, September 15, 2017

Review- Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Genre: Biography
Age Group: Adult
Hardcover 818 pgs
Penguin Press (2004)
Add it// Buy it

Rating: 5/5

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, National Book Award winner Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.

Though I enjoy biographies, I don't think I would have found this one or enjoyed it as much without the Hamilton musical. I was deeply obsessed with the music when I originally borrowed the audiobook from Overdrive, but I picked up the physical book at Christmas when I couldn't finish 36 hours of audio in two weeks. Finally after many fits and starts I made it my mission to focus on this monster this summer. Unlike Angelica, I am completely satisfied. 

Hamilton's life is a whirlwind and completely captured my attention. He overcame tremendous odds to even make it to the American Colonies and it was a very interesting read. I really enjoyed the writing style and the narrator of the audiobook was fantastic. I did find myself skimming most of the sections about Hamilton's financial policies. They were a bit over my head and his personal as well as his political battles interested me much more. 

While some of the topics can be a little dry, the final few chapters detailing the duel and its aftermath had me in tears. Chernow does a fantastic job of weaving Hamilton's story through the many historical events he was at and connecting you to his life. I can highly recommend this to any fan of the musical as well as any history buff.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bout of Books TBR (Round 20)

Happy Bout of Books! One of my favorite readathons is happening this week and I can't wait to read what I've picked out. I doubt I'll get a lot accomplished because life is very hectic right now, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Review - Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3)
Series: Mercy Thompson #3
Genre: Paranormal 
Age Group: 
Mass Market: 287 pgs.
Ace - 2008 
Add it // Buy it 

Rating: 4/5

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape - but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy's loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can't decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her...

Trigger Warning: Rape, Date Rape, Drugging.

Does every paranormal series hit its stride with book three? If so, I'll go back to a couple I haven't continued. Paranormal series can be a bit formulaic, but so far Briggs has kept things interesting and surprised me many times. I really enjoy the way she sets up her stories. She continues to build up the rules of this world by expanding Mercy's circle from werewolves and vampires to the very dangerous fae.

I'm absolutely addicted to the fast pace of these books and I love how trim they are. Even though they are just 300-400 pages, nothing is missing. There is a fantastic amount of action and I've become very attached to all the characters. One thing I like, especially compared to the Kate Daniels Series, is the relatively small cast of characters.

Briggs expanded her characters and her world once again in this installment and I've been completely hooked. Though many of the elements have been used before, this series is fresh interesting and original. I can't wait for more.

My Last Review---> Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bookshelf Tour (Part 1)

For ages I've wanted to publish a bookshelf tour like I did for my TBR shelf. It took a lot more work to capture all these books! I'm excited to bring you part one today and you will see the next installment soon!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Review - Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)
Series: Captive Prince #1
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Adult (Mature) 
Paperback - 314 pgs
Berkley - January 2014
Source - Library 

Rating - 3/5 

Trigger Warnings: Rape, physical abuse, torture, pedophilia.

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else

There a lot of mixed reviews about this book. I come down somewhere in the middle of it all. I see why this story is highly criticized but it did keep me engaged and interested to see where else this story will go. I kept turning the pages because the characters are so well developed and have a lot of layers to them. Laurent seems irredeemable at this point, but I want to know what happens to Damen and the hype around this series has me interested enough to continue reading.

The trigger warnings I mentioned are not given lightly. This story is intense to read. I don't think I quite knew what I was getting when I started it. Slavery permeates across this world and every culture has slaves. It took me about half the book to really wrap my mind around the world and customs Pacat created. I wasn't looking for romance in this first installment, but I wasn't expecting the brutality either.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this book and how complicated my feelings are about it. On one hand I found the characters fascinating and the complex political situation that played out in this story made me read this story in a day. Several months later I'm still disgusted by parts of this and enthralled by others. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

If We Were Having Coffee

Since I've hit a blogging slump again, I thought I would try out this post I've had on my list for ages. Jamie from The Perpetual Pageturner has a series called If We Were Having Coffee. I love this series and I've always meant to write one of these for my own blog. So here is my first crack at it!

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you I'm thirteen books ahead on my Goodreads Challenge and right on track to read 40,000 pages in 2017. This summer has been amazing stretch of reading for me and I've plowed through quite a number of books. Right now I'm listening to Norse Gods by Neil Gaiman and finding the audiobook quite addictive.

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you my vacation in Cape May was gorgeous and I've had trouble staring at a computer since. The beach house we rented had finicky WIFI and my cell service was terrible. Hence, I was cut off from most of the world's news and social media for a whole week. Since I returned to Pennsylvania, I've had a hard time doing technology things. My brain is still in vacation and disconnected mode.

If we were having coffee...I'd mention I'm having trouble keeping up with everything. On top of adding a new, larger library selection to my Overdrive (I joined the Free Library of Philadelphia recently and so should you if you live in PA), I also discovered Hoopla thanks to a friend. Right now I am overwhelmed with choices and I've borrowed a lot in the past few weeks. Hopefully I actually finish most of this, but right now I'm feeling stretched thin.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Tome Topple/Beach Weekend TBR

It seems like I just returned from vacation, but my friends and I have an annual tradition of doing a girl's beach weekend. This year it falls right at the beginning of the Tome Topple Readathon. So my plan is to kick off this readathon in a serious way by hitting the beach and reading ALL day. However, I have a few more things on my TBR than just Tome Topple books. Check it out to see what I'll be reading!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Top Ten Things I've Been Doing to Avoid Writing Blog Posts

I'll be honest. Over the past few months I've been really lazy here on the blog. Summer has been passing so quickly and I've been doing just about everything except working on blog posts. Mostly, I've gotten out of the habit of writing reviews and brainstorming posts.

What have I been doing you might ask? Well, let me tell you!

1) Reading (Glad this one made it to the list) 

2) Vacationing

3) Starting a Free Trial of Hulu

4) Staring at my books

5) Comparing Netflix and Hulu

6) Watching baseball games (Go Yankees!)

7) Making lists of reviews I need to write 
(then being scared stiff by the sheer number)

8) Giving my dog belly rubs

9)  Getting enough sleep

10) Anything and everything

So hopefully I'll be back working on my posts and get back in the habit of writing reviews too! Here's hoping that will work out!