Sunday, December 30, 2012

December in Review

Hello there!
I'm sorry I didn't post anything for a while. The end of the semester and the Holidays really tied me down but  I've been on a bit of a reading streak recently and I finished four books since the end of the semester which put me over my goal of 50 books for this year! 

1)The Circle Opens - Cold Fire (Daja's Book) - Tamora Pierce

Rating - 4/5 

It took me forever to read this but that isn't a reflection on Tamora Pierce's writing or this book. The four young mage's seem to be learning that they are teachers as well as masters in this series. Daja has always been my favorite character in this foursome and she is just as strong on her own in this book. She discovers magic in a pair of twins while traveling North with Frostpine during the winter. While trying to find teachers and guiding her new students, Daja also must find who is starting dangerous fires in a town mostly made of wood.

I loved this story. It was sweet and sad. I think this book really shows us even more about Daja because I think she sometimes gets overpowered by the other three even though I think she is a fabulous character and very powerful. She is a terrific heroine and she is so so strong both in her magic and her character.

Now I move onto Tris's story which might be a struggle for me but I enjoy the writing, the world and the magic so much I'm not sure I could ever be upset to find more book that I have to read by Tamora Pierce.

2) The Hobbit - J.R.R.- Tolkien

Rating - 4/5

I really loved this book overall but there were elements that were missing for me.
Bilbo Baggins was awesome. He was an excellant character and I really enjoyed Tolkien's writing style where he talks to the reader as he writes. It is a unique writing style and it takes a little while to get used to it but I enjoyed it very much and I think it gives the reader even more information without always stopping to make room for it in the story.
The adventure itself it so wonderful and so interesting. The story follows Bilbo as he becomes the fourteenth member and the burglar for a company of dwarves who are trying to win back their homeland from the dragon Smaug (who is another awesome character). This is the story of their journey there and back again.
 I think something major that was missing was character development for many of the dwarves! I felt that through much of the book I knew nothing about them even though they were a major part of this fantastical journey. At the end I was a little disappointed. After all the adventure, the ride home wasn't as interesting. I love the story but I felt like a lot of description was missing. I found out later that there are appendixes that give a lot more information about the world and I hope I can read some of that soon.

3) Obsidian - Jennifer Armentrout 

Rating 5/5 

I've been waiting to read this book for a while and it was on sale for Kindle for $3 and how does a girl say no to a sexy alien. I started this book in around nine right before I went to bed but I never looked back at the clock until I had finished every extra that Jennifer Armentrout had to offer and it was 1 am. 

There is a Twilight feel to this book. Girl meets hot guy and boy isn't human. He saves her life a couple of times. Perky sister is her best friend. As I read I noted the similarities as I went but they didn't bother me. Even so, I think this story works a lot better. Katy and Daemon's banter had me laughing out loud. Their insta-love is a little annoying but a lot of stories work like that in YA now. There are a lot of elements that work in this story though. I thought the alien story was unique and interesting. Its kind of a typical paranormal YA romance but I really enjoyed it. I thought the extra scenes in Daemon's point of view were excellent. I want to read even more from his POV. Katy is a great character and I loved that she had a passion for books. That element made me love her and really connect with her. 

I couldn't put this book down and I have already purchased the next book in the series. I cannot wait to have time to read it.

4) From Potter's Field - Patricia Cornwell

Rating - 3/5

Overall I like this end to the Temple Gault story line I was getting used to the murder, problem, solve problem and catching the bad guy progression of Cornwell's books and this mixed things up a little. Overall I think it was done rather well and I really like Kay Scarpetta as a character. I don't have a whole lot to say about this book though other than it was a gripping plot that ended this string of books on a good note. I am excited to read the next one and see what is in store. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sorry November!

Sorry guys I've been incredibly busy that I haven't finished a single book this month! Its been insane and stressful so hopefully next month I'll be able to make up for it. I'm not making a Month Ahead video this month because I have no idea what I'm going to read once I get started.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Month Ahead - November

Books Listed: 
The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson 
Eldest - Christopher Paolini 
Cry of the Icemark- Stuart Hill 
Cold Fire - Tamora Pierce
Seraphina - Rachel Hartman 

Hopefully I will read these! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October in Review

I only had one goal for October and that was to read more books than I did in September (which was 1) and I read 5! So I accomplished that one!

1) What Would Mr. Darcy Do?- Abigail Reynolds
Rating 4/5
I really really enjoyed this book. I was expecting to like it because I have heard many good things about Ms. Reynolds books but I could not put it down! I think one of the best things that she does it that she grasps the original characters so well. As soon as I started reading the book I could see the scenes happening. I didn't have too many moments where I would stop reading and think "would Darcy and Elizabeth really do this?" most of the time I thought her changes worked very very well. 
I also actually really enjoyed her tweaks to the timeline. The changes she made have purpose and make the story her own. In other adaptations I struggle with how much affection Austen characters can show without it being a)totally inappropriate for the time period and b) far outside the original boundaries of the story. For the most part I thought Reynolds did a great job balancing out a good amount but also satisfied my craving for the question of what if? Reynolds doesn't make Lizzie into a Lydia but she isn't quite as controlled as her original character. Overall I enjoyed the story very much.

2) Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One - Sharon Lathan 
Rating: 3/5 
I have several issues with this book. One major problem for me was that this book is based on the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Hence it is a continuation of an adaptation. I felt like that movie changed the characters quite drastically and left a lot of story out which made this story feel incomplete. I also felt like there wasn't much story to this book. There is very little plot development or character development. Most of the book is focused on Darcy and Elizabeth's passion and love for each other. I wanted to love this book but there just wasn't enough plot and instead of reading a story it was more like reading about a series of events.

Link to the Review I did comparing the two:

3) Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of the Ghost Adventures Crew - Zak Bagans 
Rating 4/5

Let me start off by saying that this book is written to appeal to people who have watched the show. I love their show and I view it regularly. A lot of the instances Zak talks about are in the shows but he goes into them in more detail and more personally in his book. I wouldn't recommend reading this if you aren't super interested or at least intrigued by the paranormal. I love to scare myself silly sometimes. Anyway.....I read this book in about six hours. I could not put it down once I started. Zak knows what he is talking about and as a big fan of the show I really enjoyed all of the stories he put in it. Zak also shows off a more serious side of himself in the book which I really like and he talked a lot about the science and future of paranormal investigation which really made me see him in a different light. In the show Zak is a strong leader but he's goofy too so to see the intellectual and serious side of him made me respect him more. There are some errors and some issues the editor did not fix that I caught in this book while reading but overall I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what Zak does in the future.

4) Chasing Spirits: The Building of the "Ghost Adventures" Crew - Nick Groff
Rating 3/5 
I read this book immediately after I finished Zak's book Dark World. Even though I enjoyed this book I didn't find it as interesting. I probably shouldn't compare the two but it was difficult not to when I read them one right after another. Nick's book is more about how GAC got its start and how they started the show than it is about paranormal experiences and the field of paranormal investigation. 
I really loved the beginning. I though Nick did a great job explaining how hard it was to get respect in paranormal research and how difficult it was to start a television show. That part was excellent and very interesting. I also really liked when Nick talked about his experiences investigating the paranormal. I didn't want him to cover exactly what Zak did but it would have been interesting to see his view on some of the investigation (other than the ones that really affected him so personally). I got a bit bored near the end but overall I really enjoyed it. 
Nick doesn't quite have the finesse that Zak does and his story does lack a bit of what made me finish Zak's book in 6 hours. I enjoyed Nick's personal story but I also wanted more of his personal experiences in the paranormal and I did not quite get that.

5) City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare 

Rating - 5/5
Review to come when my feelings calm down.

Friday, September 7, 2012

August Book Haul

Books I bought in August:
Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern
Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
Bare Bones by Kathy Reichs
Spider Bones by Kathy Reichs

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Month Ahead - September 2012

I am going to designate September as the month to finish/catch up on as many series as possible. I have started many different series and I feel like I have abandoned many of them to start other books. So this list will be long and ambitious but this is what I want to try to accomplish in September. There are no guarantees that somethings else won't strike my fancy as I go along either.

First I want to try and finish the project I started last month

Mansfeild Park - Jane Austen
Emma - Jane Austen (this one is a maybe. I picked it up to start reading in August but I remember reading it very recently so I might skip it.

Second finish series I have started.

City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare.
Cold Fire - Tamora Pierce
Shatterglass - Tamora Pierce
Back to the Divide - Elizabeth Kay
Jinx on the Divide - Elizabeth Kay
Would I lie to You- Cecily Von Ziegesar
Don't You Forget About Me - Cecily Von Ziegesar
It Had to be You - Cecily Von Ziegesar

Thats 10 books....hopefully I'll get somewhere if I try really really hard.

August in Review

My goal in August was to read all of Jane Austen's books which didn't quite happen. I read five books and four of them were Jane Austen.

1) Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Rating- 5/5. I love Elenore even though she isn't Lizzie Bennet she is a great character that holds her own and takes care of everyone else in her life before herself. It might not be very romantic but she is a wonderful person and I found I could relate to her quite well. There are a lot of characters in this book to keep track of but most of them stay in the book for long periods of time so once they are there you can store them in your memory and keep moving. Marianne is quite a character as well. Even though she is love sick and obsessed she is also one of my favorites. Everyone knows what its like to be slighted and I think her case is extreme but it also makes her so much more interesting.

2) Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen
Rating 4/5- I liked this book but I had issues with it. I could get past the issues and give it a good rating but  the main character, Catherine, I found really annoying. She is constantly worried about everything she does. Compared to Sense and Sensibility and the strong lively characters in that book, Catherine and her friends are not as interesting. I though the romance was cute and light. Its not a bad story, in fact it is really easy to follow, it just doesn't feel as mature as some of Austen's other books. 

3) Irish Americans - Jay P. Dolen
Rating - 3/5 This book reads a lot like a textbook and I think it was set up to be one rather than a book that someone can pick up and read for pleasure. The book covers the history of the Irish in America extensively. Even though it is a extensive history, and there is a lot of history, I was bored. A lot of the information is repeated several times. It took me quite a long time to read this book. I had trouble really getting into it because it is dry. Even though the author obviously knows a lot about the subject the writing does not draw you into the book. If you are looking for a book to give you a lot of names and information this is the book that you need. It was easy to skim over the information while getting the idea which wasn’t what I wanted to do but the writing just wasn’t very exciting.

4) Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen 
Rating - 5/5 I love this book. I read it a couple of times when I was younger but I did not catch all the humor then. Everyone knows what happens in this story but I don't think everyone knows that there is a lot of humor and wit in this book! Even though I've read it before, I think I never took the time to think about the content or the historical setting. I caught a lot of the hidden meanings and I could empathize with the characters much more this time. It didn't hurt I had also been reading a lot in this style which gave helped me understand the writing as well.

5) Persuasion - Jane Austen 
Rating 5/5 -Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel. This is mostly because I find Captain Wentwoth to be the best of the Austen men. I love him. His motivations and feelings are easy to follow and understand and even when he is resentful toward Anne there are moments when you can still feel his love for her. I love all the characters in this book and I think they are all easy to empathize with (even Lady Russel in my opinion.) Anne is quiet and reserved but she has also learned from the past and with each change of setting also grows and changes. I love this book and I can't wait to read it again.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TBR - August

My plan for August is to fit as much reading in as possible before school starts at the end of the month. I also want to read all of Jane Austen’s books this month.
1) Sense and Sensibility
2) Emma
3) Pride and Prejudice
4) Mansfield Park
5) Northanger Abbey
6) Persuasion
(these are maybes)
7) Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
8) Eldest -Christopher Paolini
9) Body Farm - Patricia Cornwell
10) Irish American History - Jay Dolen (I’m already 1/2 done with this one)

July Flashback - 8 books

In July I read 8 books! I spent a whole week on the beach which help quite a bit.

1) The Confessions of Fitzwilliam Darcy - Mary Smith 
     Rating 5/5 - I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I had picked it up once before and never finished it which was a BIG mistake. I could not put this book down once I started it. I did not enjoy it quite as much as I did Mr. Darcy's Diary but it still was an easy fun read. While this book sticks to the P&P storyline, it also gives a fresh view from Mr. Darcy's side.

2) Deadly Decisions - Kathy Reichs
    Rating 3/5 - This is the third in the Temperance Brennen series and I liked the first two book very much. This book was just not as good in my opinion. I found all of the names of the biker games to  confusing. I thought that would go away as the novel went on but it did not really. I like how Brennen talks to herself. It is one of the things that makes her seem more human. Sometimes authors make their characters easy to relate to but not human and I think Brennen is both.

3) Thirst - Christopher Pike
Rating 2/5 - This book was ok at best. I have serious issues with it that make me almost hate it. This novel actually contains 3 different stories all relating to the same character. Sita is a vampire but not in the conventional sense. There are so many issues. She is an invincible being that happens to drink blood sometimes more than a vampire. She tells the readers all about herself and her abilities but it is almost unbelievable and annoying. So often Sita was way too perfect. She is so smart and so strong that I could not relate to her difficulties. Her romances were....I don't know how else to say it but her romances were stupid and she is more manipulative than she is in love. I have the next three books and I'm planning on reading them if only because I own them.

4) (reread) Eragon -Christopher Paolini
Rating 4/5 - I love this book. I just love it because it has magic and its fun and easy to read. I love reading it and my copy is falling apart. I know a lot of people have issues with the plot of this series but I just enjoy it for what it is and don't let it bother me.
5) 1066 and all that - W.C. Seller
Rating 3/5. - You need a thorough knowledge of English history since 1066 to get all of the jokes in this book. I got some of them. I got more as the time progressed. I liked all the jokes but if you aren't clear on a certain part of English history there are no hints to help you along. I liked it but it was slightly annoying.

6) Hangman’s Daughter -
Rating  4/5 - This book was kind of dark. It involved torture, witches and murder and I loved every minute of it. I had a few issues with the book but mostly it was a great page turner. I was at the beach when I read it and I did not take this book out on the beach only because a lot of the names in this book are very similar so its easy to mix them up. The characters in this book are amazing! The hangman is an awesome guy. I loved trying to figure out this mystery with the hangman, Simon and the hangman's daughter. This was the best book I read this month. The only other issue I had with the book was that I thought the book could have been 3/4 of the length and some points were repeated too often but those are minor details when compared with how awesome the characters were.

7) Fatal Voyage - Kathy Reichs
Rating 4/5 - This is the fourth book in the Temperance Brennan series. This book was much more interesting than the third book in this series. I love following the emotions of this character! The thrill of this book was just amazing. As I read I kept thinking how is she going to get out of this! but she did and Brennan fights to find the truth. The characters are great and I love the descriptions of the air plane crash. The book goes fast and keeps you turning the pages!

8) Hush Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick
Rating 4/5 - I heard a really bad review of this book right before I read it but I actually enjoyed this book very much. Patch is dangerous and mysterious but he is thrilling as well. Patch was easily the best character in this book. Nora is well, she's dumb, and she reminds me of Bella which disappoints me because I wanted to love this book with no flaws and all my heart but that Twilight reference was nagging at me throughout the book. She isn't academically dumb but has a reason to be cautious with strangers and SHE IGNORES IT! That was easily the most annoying thing about this book. I loved this book but I had major issues with it. My love for Patch and his sexy smile is the only reason it gets this score.