Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Eon Duology - Review

by Alison Goodman 

Eon (Eon, #1)  Eona (Eon, #2)

Sixteen-year-old Eon has a dream, and a mission. For years, he's been studying sword-work and magic, toward one end. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye-an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.

First of all, if you haven't seen these covers in person, you should. They are stunning when you hold them in your hands. Initially the covers are what drew me to this book because, as you know if you read my Five Favorite Friday - Key/Buzz Words, I love dragons and dragon mythology.

There is so much complexity and detail woven into this story. The world building is amazing and reading about this fictional culture could keep me interested for a long time. My knowledge of Chinese culture and history is limited. Even so, based on the cover art and the prevalence of the twelve dragons (which are named after the same animals of the Chinese zodiac) historical Chinese culture was a heavy influence in this book. I thought Goodman did an excellent job of submersing you in the world and quickly describing what a dangerous world this was to live in. Throughout the story we follow Eona as she moves in different circles and different social classes. I was impressed with the way Goodman kept every part of society distinct and consistent. It was more realistic that Eona had trouble adjusting to the expectations because they changed so often.

Character development is also fantastic throughout this book. Over the course of the two books characters are tested through physical and mental challenges. Eona and her friends must survive so many different experiences and you can see the wear and tear on them early on. I think one of my favorite parts of this book was the amazing relationships. So many of the characters are so fiercely loyal which made them very endearing to me. The trails and tribulations that Eona must face throughout this story changes her which again makes it very believable.

Lady Dela is my favorite character hands down. She is just amazing and her character is so interesting. Overall this book has amazing side characters that are just as interesting and complex as the main character. I loved the all so much.

That being said, I had trouble reading these books at times. I found it really really difficult to like Eona at certain points especially in Eona. I never became strongly attached to her and I think it was because she was rather hypocritical. I know that one of her character flaws was pride, but her pride made her seem selfish and almost mean rather than strong and confident at times. Overall I was easily frustrated by her character for a number of reasons that I don't want to explain because of spoilers.

This is an excellent set of book though and I definitely recommend them. I liked this series, but a lot of people seem to like it even more than I do! They are rather long (each book is 500+ pages), and I think each book is worth the time!

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Death Comes to Pemberly - Review

by P.D. James 

  Death Comes to Pemberley
A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

This sounds like a great idea for a book. The cover alone made me want to pick it up because the design I think is very elegant. However, I did hear some mixed reviews about this book so when I actually got my hands on it I was cautious.

The pace of this book felt painstakingly slow to me for a murder story. The plot was drawn out far longer than I was expecting. (The story actually takes place over the course of about a year) I feel like the description of this book is misleading and I was disappointed that it wasn't what I expected. I also may have anticipated the solution to the mystery well before the end of the book so I was a little bored with the slow pace.

I think what I was most disappointed in was Lizzy. She was changed from the bright inquisitive character that I know and love from P&P to a rather dull version of a dutiful mistress of Pemberley. This is understandable and a lot of her behavior was correct for the time period. However, I was struck by the change and the choice to make her less lively and witty. Maybe this was just because a lot of the story is told from Mr. Darcy's perspective so Lizzy literally isn't in the picture during certain parts of the story.

Even though I was disappointed in this book, I do not want to make it out as all bad. I did like the picture that James painted of the future of Pemberley and the future of the Bennett daughters. I always enjoy seeing how authors interpret what will happen after the end of Pride and Prejudice. I enjoyed the course the story took and how everything worked out in the end. I think this is a fun read and overall I ended up liking the book as a whole.

Do I Recommend? - If you get the chance to read it either by borrowing the book from a friend or the library or getting it for a good deal, I would say pick it up. I'm certainly glad I did not buy it to read it though.

Rating 2/5

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Review - Ice


by Sarah Beth Durst

When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back — if Cassie will agree to be his bride.

That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her — until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice

I didn't review Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst because I borrowed it from the library and finished it right before I had to return it to the library. I was in love with it though. I thought the characters were awesome and the world building was fantastic. Not only that, but the ending was superb and different than typical YA books. I really really liked it and gave it a five star rating. Naturally, I thought I should pick up another book by Sarah Beth Durst. On the next trip to the library I picked up Ice.

I had a totally different experience with this book than with Vessel. I feel terrible, but I was close to hating this book by the time I finished it. Ice is a retelling of the fairytale; East of the Sun, West of the and instead of being fantastical and really well written, it fell flat for me. The characters and world building were lacking the sparkle that was so attractive in Vessel. Granted Ice was published three years before Vessel, but this retelling really didn't work for me at all.

It was also super weird and uncomfortable for me for most of the book. Cassie leaves to save her mother, but Cassie has no real relationship with her mother who I remember being essential in the original story (if I remember correctly?) Personally I found Cassie inconsistent and annoying in her loyalties and actions. I never connected with any of the main characters and the romantic element was really rushed. I find sudden realization moments that lead to sudden infatuation to be unrealistic and annoying. There were so many elements of this book that were weird and pushed me away from characters rather than being interested in them.

Overall I just really didn't like this book and found the interpretation of the fairytale to be too strange for me personally. I would recommend  Vessel over this book, but I hope to read another book by Sarah Beth Durst in the future, maybe just not a fairytale interpretation.

Rating: 1/5

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Haul!! - November 2013

Hello everyone I just realized I forgot to post the book haul I filmed for November! These are books I purchased way back in September all the way up until now! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review- Entwined


by Heather Dixon 

Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.

Hey everyone! I haven't posted a review in over a month! I need to fix that. I've been reading a lot of graphic novels that I want to review as a series so please forgive me because this is the only regular novel I've finished so far this month.

Entwined was the first book that I read on my new Kindle! It was a nice experience and I ended up enjoying this book a lot. One of the things I really liked about this book was that there wasn't any insta-love going on. The romances were genuine and they developed over time and were often unexpected. I also really liked the elements of magic in this book. Magic isn't common and a lot of it is left over in their castle from long ago so I think it made all of the events in this book seem even more fantastic and wonderful. Something else I liked was that the girls really grew and changed in the course of a year especially Azalea. (I just loved her)

Azalea and her sisters are all their own characters which made this book so much more fun to read. Each of the eleven sisters had some kind of characteristic that kept them distinguishable even if they weren't mentioned very often. The Keeper is a very interesting antagonist. He creeped me out so much from the very beginning I just wanted to shake the girls and say RUN!!!

Sometimes this book was a little predictable, but overall it was a nice take on the fairytale and very enjoyable to read.

Rating 4/5 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bookish Five Fridays (7) - Male and Female Characters

I'm sorry I've been absent! Life has been busy and I'll make it up to you by doing a double Favorite Five Friday. These are my Top Five Favorite Male and Female characters in books.  They are in no particular order.

Male Characters -
1) Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympian Series)
2) Fred and George Weasley ( Harry Potter Series)
3) Augustus Waters (The Fault in our Stars)
4) Adam Parrish (The Raven Boys) 
5) Captain Wentworth (Persuasion) 

Female Characters
1) Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)
2) Alanna (Song of the Lioness Series)
3) Annabeth (Percy Jackson and the Olympian Series)
4) Liyana (Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst)
5) Hazel Grace Lancaster (The Fault in Our Stars)

The Last FFF ----> If They Write it I Will Come

Monday, November 4, 2013

October in Review (2013)

October was a fairly productive month for me as far as reading. In total I read 7 books.

Books I Read this Month

1) Vessel - Sarah Beth Durst
2) Divergent - Veronica Roth
3) The Fault in Our Stars- John Green
4) Son of Neptune - Rick Riordan
5) Virals - Kathy Reichs
6) The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater (Audiobook)
7) Ice - Sarah Beth Durst

Books I Started this Month

Entwined - Heather Dixon
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater
Insurgent - Veronica Roth
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bookish Five Fridays (6) - I'll read it if they write it

These are five authors I'll pick up no matter what they write as long as their name is on it.

1) Kathy Reichs - Adult mysteries and YA paranormal adventure stories are her specialty.

2) Tamora Pierce - If you didn't know this, I don't know where you've been.

3) John Green- I've been reading John's books for years and I am always more in love with the latest one I've read than the one before.

4) Rick Riordan - I can't not preorder his books anymore. I want them in my hands ASAP.

5) Jennifer L. Armentrout - I've only read one series by her but now I want to read all the things.

Last Week's Five Fav -----> Buzz/Keywords

Celebrate the Book Event!!

Celebrate the Book

This past weekend I attended a small book event in my area called Celebrate the Book! This event was a small gathering of all things book from the Carlisle area. This community event has been going on for several years and features speakers, authors, publishers as well as local independent book stores.


Zoraida Cordova and Jennifer Armentrout
at the "Balancing Act" YA panel in Carlisle, PA.
I heard about this from Jennifer Armentout's blog and a packet of information we received at my work about local events. Luckily my best friend is a very good sport about my obsession with all things book related and agreed to travel over an hour with me to watch a YA panel. Sadly I could only stay for one panel and a book signing, but I thought it was well worth the drive.

Honestly I wasn't sure what to expect when I headed into this event. We also got lost on the way there so there was plenty of uncertainty and adventure along the way. Even so, I really enjoyed myself and met some wonderful authors of books that I've adored or admired from afar. I would definitely recommend looking into local events if you can find ones like this. I was able to purchase books from independent book sellers that I wasn't aware of which was really cool as well!

We went to the panel "Balancing Act" which was about how authors manage what they want to write, what fans want to read and what publishers want authors to write. It was super interesting and covered a lot of topics including how authors decided what to keep in and throw out of a book. There was also a tangent about readers wanting everyone to live and who we, as readers, become attached to. Very interesting stuff.

I ended up getting my copy of Obsidian signed as well as my copy of the Vicious Deep. Then I purchased a copy of Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins and got that signed as well. The event was low key (I don't know if there were 100 adults in the building), but that also made it more interesting.

Thanks to everyone who put this event on because I had a lot of fun here and I hope I can go next year as well!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bookish Five Friday (5)- Keywords/Buzz Words

There are certain words that peak my interest and make me investigate a book farther even if I've never heard anything about it before. I have a weakness for certain subjects and if a book summery mentions them, I'll definitely be looking into the book or possibly walking out of a store with it.

1) Gods - One of my favorite topics in books is gods. Elemental, Greek, Roman, magical, Egyptian, ancient or vengeful. I'll take it on. I just love to read about gods! 

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)  Vessel Antigoddess (Goddess War, #1) Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2)

2) Angels - If a book features angels, you can bet I'll give it a try and probably fall in love with it.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1) 

3) Girls in a powerless situation and having a secret way to become powerful - I love stories where girls are in a bad situation and they take charge or find a way to become powerful either through secret powers or just strength of will.

Divergent (Divergent, #1) The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)  Not a Drop to Drink  Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

4) Dragons - If you give me a dragon, I'll want it to fly. Other than that I cannot ignore a dragon book.

Scorched (Scorched, #1)  Brisingr  (The Inheritance Cycle, #3)  Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Eon, #1)
(another one for dragons would be the Game of Thrones Books)

5) Dystopian/Apocalyptic - I have a weakness  for these types of stories and sometimes I just cannot put this genre aside.

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1) The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) Defiance (Defiance, #1)

Book Tag Video - Because Feelings Matter!

This is a tag that I did just for fun! All the links for the original video and where I saw it are below and in the video description.


1. What book made you feel confident, either about yourself or your life?
2. What book made you feel sympathetic or sympathise greatly with the characters?
3. What book made you feel anxious?
4. What book made you feel annoyed?
5. What book made you feel disappointed?
6. What book made you feel confused?
7. What book made you feel satisfied?
8. What book made you feel like you could really relate to the main character?

Review - The Maze Runner

By: James Dashner, Narrator: Mark Deakins

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)
Series: Maze Runner #1
Published: Oct. 2009
Pgs: 374
Format: Audiobook by Listening Library 

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

I think I am late to the game with the Maze Runner books. I have heard about them forever and I know the last book is coming out in paperback fairly soon. I've heard a lot of people talk about them and I thought they were all good things so going in I had fairly steep expectations for this books. I mean the plot sounds fantastic and I'm positive I've heard movie buzz around this so it seemed like a good time to jump on the bandwagon.

To say I was disappointed isn't quite right. I wasn't disappointed as much as I was expecting more or different I guess. Something just didn't work for me as I read. The plot was good, the characters were engaging and I wanted to find out what happened, but something didn't click with me. I think what initially turned me off was James Dashner's writing style. There are only so many analogies a girl can take!  I was especially conscious of this because I listened to this on auidiobook. There was a predictable pattern in Dashner's writing that really annoyed me as I listened. It kind of put me off to the whole book even though I liked many of the other elements of the book.

As far as characters go, I really like Thomas and the rest of Gladers. I really liked the dynamics between the boys and Dashner wrote all his characters as intelligent people and that came across very well. I really liked how the boys had adapted to living in this world and you could see how some of them still struggled with the transition and having no memory. This is a very interesting idea and I am still interested to see what happens next and where the boys (and Theresa) go from here.

Overall I liked the suspense and excitement of the book. I wanted to find out what happened and I was invested in the characters, but I'm not thrilled. I'm not sure why I cuoldn't connect very well with this book, but something put me off. I'll have to see how The Scorch Trials compare. I do recommend the read though because it was enjoyable and very thrilling.

Rating - 3/5

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bookish Five Friday (4)- Book Worlds

I think everyone has a favorite alternate world they love slipping into after a long day of work or school. I know I have several that I love to explore. Whether you like fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, adventure, mysteries or contemporary, any book takes you to a world where certain rules don't apply. I love to use my imagination to examine the amazing possibilities which can be explored in a world that is fictional! These are just some of my favorites.

1) The Wizarding World - Harry Potter was one of the first books I remember pretending to live in and wanting to be a part of. Just knowing that JK. Rowling has more of this world mapped out in her imagination, and she hasn't shared, sometimes drives me crazy. I would devour anything she wrote pertaining to magic.

2) Percy Jackson's Reality - I've had a love of the Greek Gods from a young age and reading about Percy's adventures make me not so secretly with I could go to Camp Half-Blood. Controlling water would be fairly awesome too...

3) Night Circus - If I could travel around in the Night Circus around the world, I think I would be happy forever. I loved the twist on magic in this book and the magical feats in this book are mesmerizing. It would would be fantastical to step inside this story.

4) Shadowhunter World - Even though the Shadowhunter World is also set in present day, I really loved the Infernal Devices. I am a little bit in love with Victorian England too so if I could step back in time that would be really awesome.

5) Vessel - I just finished Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst and I loved it so much! I was enchanted with the dessert world of tradition, freedom and magic. The clans and gods were really interesting and Liyana was one of my favorite heroines that I've read in a long time.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bookish Five Favorites(3)- Series I need to Finish

This week I've been thinking about all the series I've started and loved, but even though I have the books I haven't finished them! I really want to finish as many of these as I can before the end of the year. These are only out of series that I own all the book and are completed. So some of my favorites actually are missing!

1) Castor Chronicles - I have the last two books in this series to read. I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness so I am very excited to see what happens to Lena and Ethan next!

2) Beka Cooper Series - You all know how much I love Tamora Pierce. Sadly, I am very far behind on reading one of her newest series. I loved Terrier so I cannot wait to jump back into Tortall and finish reading Beka's story.

3) The Heroes of Olympus - I loved the first books The Lost Hero. I cannot wait to read Son of Neptune and I've already pre-ordered House of Hades so I'm ready to get caught up.

4) Girl of Nightmares Duology - I love Supernatural so of course I was obsessed with Anna Dressed in Blood and I've heard things only get better.

5) Wolves of Mercy Falls Series - I read Shiver over a year ago so I'm pumped to finally have the other two books in this series to finish it off.

The biggest reason I haven't finished these is because I don't have enough time! As soon as I find the time to read these books, I will be tearing through them.

Monday, September 30, 2013

September in Review

I cannot believe how quickly September has flown by. I did a lot of book related things this month! I've made two trips to the library and bought myself some birthday presents. I ended up reading nine books this month!

Books Mentioned:
Break no Bones - Kathy Reichs
For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfrund
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland… - Catherynne Valente
Persuasion - Jane Austen **
Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins
The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan
Demon Glass - Rachel Hawkins
Spell Bound - Rachel Hawkins*
Maze Runner - James Dashner (Audiobook)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Series Review - Hex Hall

by Rachel Hawkins

  5287473  8428064

Book One Published: March 2010
Total Series Pages: 1009
Series: Hex Hall 1-3 (Series Complete) 

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

This series is simply addictive. Once I started I could not stop! I finished this series in a week simply because they were fun engaging reads that pulled me in. I borrowed Hex Hall from my local library then had to steal Demon Glass and Spell Bound from my friend who had check them out rather than read the other books I had picked.

Sophie is such a great character. I loved her sass and her quick wit really keeps the dialogue moving. I think what I love most about her is even though she's thrown into a world she doesn't understand, she doesn't take anyone's crap. She fires right back at people who attack her and she's very loyal to her friends and family. I just love her! One of my biggest pet peeves in books is main characters who whine. Sophie kicks butt and doesn't complain about her problems. She takes her situation in hand and keeps moving.

This is not the most complex plot line in the book world and it isn't the most original. The story isn't overly complex, but it kept me engaged and interested. I didn't start reading this expecting more so I was perfectly satisfied with this story. So even though I'm gushing about how much I love it, have that in the back of your mind. I think that is what I liked most about it though.  Of course, I found things I didn't like or had problems with, but I didn't care. I just kept reading. It was a fast, fun read that was easy and mindless. There were things I could predict, but other twists I didn't expect.

Demon Glass was my favorite book in the series I think. I loved seeing Sophie's relationship develop with dad in that book. Plus I think it is the most mysterious and has the best plot twists. I want Jenna as a best friend and I'll date Archer if Sophie isn't interested.Sophie's love interests are fun and amusing. I always wanted magical powers and I'll take them even if I have to go to Hex Hall. Because even with all its faults, I thought it seemed homey like a run down mini Hogwarts in the middle of a tiny island.

This is the first series I've read in rapid sequence for a while and I've missed being so engaged and immersed in a book. I had a lot of fun reading this book. Overall, this series isn't my favorite that I've read this year, but it is one of the ones I've enjoyed the most. I would highly recommend these if you enjoy easy reads and chick-lit stories.

Rating: 4/5 

All books individually rated 4/5.

Bookish Five Fridays #2 - Places To Read

Welcome to the second week of Bookish Five Friday! This is a weekly post I started to feature my Five Favorites of something book related. This week's theme is favorite places to read! This can be areas in your house, libraries, favorite benches in the park! Wherever you love to read most. 

1) My Couch in My Room - This is my absolute favorite place to read. I have very few distractions and I can always find a comfortable position.

2) Outside- I often read either on my porch or my back deck which can be awesome, but sometimes nature distracts me. Sometimes I read in the local park as well.

3) In my car - If I get somewhere early, I like to wait and read in my car rather than going in and awkwardly standing around. I also just discovered the joys of audiobooks and have been listening to them as I drive.

4) At Work - On my lunch and during breaks I tend to wander around the building and find a comfy space to read. I'm lucky that the building I work in has several areas that well lit and have comfy chairs.

5) In Bed - I like to read in bed because it is comfortable, but I often fall asleep. Its a love/hate relationship. 

Last Weeks's Favorites - Favorite Children's Books

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Banned Books Week!

This week is Banned Books Week. This week readers celebrate the freedom to read and bring awareness to the issue of banned books. Banning books is a process that prevents libraries from having certain books in their collection.

The American Library Association explains on their Banned Book Week site, "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice."

You can find out more about Banned Book Week here and here. You can also see a list of some of the most challenged/banned books here. Also I found this really cool post on tumblr that has more links about Banned Book Week and Banned Books in general. You can see that HERE! I know that is a lot of links, but it is very interesting and important to know about censorship and when books get banned it hurts everyone.

Even though I don't plan on reading any banned books this week, some books that I have read and enjoyed are on the list. Luckily my parents never censored what I read when I was younger and I was allowed to explore literature to my heart's content.

Here are some popular books that have been challenged or banned.  
                                 Thirteen Reasons Why                                                                        Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bookish Five Fridays #1- Intro and Childhood Books

This is a new feature I'll be starting here on keepcalmwithbooksandcoffee. I'm sure there are variations out there, but this is the one I came up with! I participate in Top Ten Tuesday pretty regularly and this is a similar idea. My own variation is meant to be shorter and I usually have more time at the end of the week than on Tuesdays! Sometimes it will just be pictures and other times I'm sure there will be a lot of text!

This week I will be featuring five books I remember reading as a kid. These are five books that I really remember All of these books were obsessions at some point in my childhood. Since I was a nine year old girl at one point in my life there is evidence that I was obsessed with horses. I also really liked historical fiction.

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From top left to bottom right: 

1) The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
2) My Side Of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George 
3) Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
4) Heartland Series by Lauren Brooke 
5) High Hurdles Series by Laurain Snelling

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars

    By Diana Peterfreund



It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

My favorite Jane Austen book is Persuasion and this book takes that story on in a way I never imagined could work. I never read a Persuasion adaptation up until now because I simply love the original story so much. I was hopeful, but ready to be disappointed even though I'd heard very good things about this book. I am so happy that this was my first venture into Persuasion adaptations. It is brilliant!!

Even though this is an adaptions, it woks well on its own. Peterfreund has set up a society which is familiar because of the influx of dystopian style books in YA recently. Elliot North is part of a ruling minority of Luddites who have outlawed technology and most forms of advancement because of the Reduction, a virus that spread through a large part of the population after a genetic experiment went wrong. The Reduction resulted in the Reduced, a population of people who rely on the Luddites to care for them. For generations the society has relied on Reduced labor to make Luddite farms profitable. This repression has now come to a boiling point and Elliot is caught in the middle. She wants to care for the people who work for her even though her father and sister seem to foster no concern. She begins to take risks to protect the people she cares about while going against her family and her society's beliefs.

The world building is excellent. There are lots of details about the beliefs and history of this society that make it real and complete for the reader. The excellent world building is one of the reason I think this book would work so well on its own and why it worked so well as an adaptation. The rigid structure of Elliot's world reminds me a lot of Regency England and was an excellent way to separate Elliot and Kai like Anne and Wentworth were separated. There were definitely some darker elements to this book as well which I thought were well explored and not glossed over. While Kai and his friends have become rich and powerful because they escaped their situations. It is clear that not everyone is as lucky and that tensions in the North family run deeper that they first appear.

The elements of Persuasion  are beautiful weaved into Peterfreund's original story. I think she really captured Jane Austen's characters and put them in a fresh setting especially Anne/Elliot. Where Anne is trapped by Regency England etiquette and values, Elliot is trapped by the laws and religion of the Luddite Society. Both of them want and dream of more but are bound by duty and obligation. If you know Persuasion at all, you know how important letters are in that story. I thought the use of letters to introduce the reader to Elliot and Kai's past relationship was superb. It was a great way to introduce more information about the world and give the reader a back story without overwhelming us with information. I would love to have a discussion about the two settings and the differences in the characters because there is so many similarities, but also striking differences.

While I knew how the story was going to end, I really enjoyed the new setting and fresh take on the characters and how this story played out in a different setting. I'm looking forward to Peterfreund's next book, Across the Star Swept Sea, which comes out next month and takes place in this same world.

Rating - 5/5

Update: I also put up a bit of a review where I talked about the book on my Youtube channel!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesdays are created by: The Broke and the Bookish

These are ten books I am anticipating reading this fall! Some of them are new releases and some are just books I have sitting on my shelf. They are not in any particular order.

1) Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani Taylor

2) Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

3) The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan -

4) Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (New Release this fall

5) Scorched by Mari Mancusi (New Release this fall

6) The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente (New Release this fall) 

7) Across the Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund (New Release this fall)

8) Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (New Release this fall)

9) Girl of Nightmare by Kendare Blake 

10) Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce 

I'm very excited about all of these and some of them have been sitting on my shelf for a very long time while others are brand new! I cannot wait to get my hands on them and start reading!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

By: Catherynne M. Valente 

Published: Oct. 2, 2012 
Pages: 258 
Series: Fairyland #2 

September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September’s shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland’s shadows back.

Fans of Valente’s bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September’s journey, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem. . . .

If I liked the first book in this series, (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making) I adored this one. When I came home tonight I placed the order for my pre-order of the next book in this series because I am so excited to see what happens next in this fantastical world. I was in the perfect mood to read this book when I picked it up and the quirkiness of it just drew me in this time. During the first book, I sometimes felt pushed away from the world because of the bizarre elements. I don't know it was familiarity with Valente's writing or the mood I was in, but this book clicked with me so much better than the first.

September has found her way back into Fairyland after some time at home. She finds it different and without the same magic that it had before because the magic is disappearing along with everyone's shadows. Her shadow, Halloween, has been misbehaving and stealing all the shadows from the topside of Fairyland. While September is trying to reconnect with her shadow she travels through Fairyland-Below, which is a very different place than Fairyland-Above. Instead of a whimsical story about saving Fairyland, I found this book to be about one of my least favorite things. Growing up. (My favorite Disney movie was Peter Pan. I hate talking about growing up because I never wanted to do it.) However, I was able to forgive this book because luckily September is doing a much better job than I did, but I'll get back to that.

I did not read these books in rapid fire so I have forgotten some of the details about A through L and Saturday since then. However, I remembered why I loved them so much when I met their shadows. While the shadows are similar to September's friends, there are differences as well. I loved that the shadows gave Valente's characters more depth. They felt wrong because I missed their lovely counterparts, but there is also a more sinister and darker feel to Fairyland-Below. The shadows add to that darkness (no pun intended). Even so, I felt for the shadows because they have experienced everything their counterparts have, but have never been given any credit or thanks or ridicule for what they have done. Now that they have been separated they do not want to go back even though it may be endangering all of Fairyland.

There are so many strange and bizarre moments in both of these books. Unlike Alice in Wonderland, where I was frustrated at the with the strange and crazy writing, I really enjoyed the strange creatures and happenings of Fairyland. I love how Valente speaks to the reader as the story goes along and keeps me in the loop and also keeps me guessing the whole time. Elements always come back around to be important long after I dismissed them from my mind.

Something else I really love is that Valente sneaks in lessons about life in her fantastical world when I'm not even looking. September is of course older in this story and she begins to see the real consequences of what she did to Fairyland in order to save it. There are lessons pouring out of this story and many mature topics are touched on throughout this story. This time around things are more difficult because they always are as you grow up and everything is more complex. She encounters different problems and doesn't have one villain to fight at the end of her journey. Instead she has to solve many different problems that don't have black and white answers while dealing with betrayal, love and Dodo birds. September's growth between books is wonderful to see but she really blossoms into her new form throughout this book. Valente also develops her other character so September is not the only one who has matured and Fairyland becomes even more interesting and complex when you see the underside of it.

Overall I loved this book more than the first and I'm going to be busy reading the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Rating 5/5

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review - Shadow and Bone


by Leigh Bardvgo 

Published: June 5th 2012
Pages: 358 pages
Series: The Grisha #1 

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him? Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

I was absolutely pulled in by the cover of this book and I've wanted to read it for ages. I started reading this book in the mornings before I would head off to work. Then, suddenly, reading it chapter by chapter was not enough. I devoured the second half of this book in one night and stayed up until 2am to do so.

At the beginning of this book I was honestly concerned that I wasn't going to like it. Alina is sort of typical when it comes to YA characters at the beginning of this book. She crushes on someone who doesn't notice her, she discovers a new power no one else has, and she is thrown into a new life that should be amazing but she is worried that she isn't good enough to fit in. I think we've all watched this scene play out 100 times. So at the beginning I was understandably unimpressed. Things changed as this story moved forward.

First of all, unlike many stories where the villain is a physical person looking to take over or ruling over a world, the Shadow Fold is the main cause for concern. A huge expanse of land is covered in complete darkness and strange (very frightening) creatures inhabit it. Alina's country is cut off from the sea and many resources by the Shadow Fold. At the beginning of the novel Alina is planning to cross with her unit of soldiers and her best friend Mal. Of course as they cross there is trouble and Alina exhibits a power she didn't know she had. BAM! Alina is taken to work with the Darkling who is powerful but mysterious and told she is the key to saving the world. (This is the part I thought sounded unoriginal)

It is not all bad though! Actually I ended up really liking this story and I am very excited for the sequel. While the setup isn't exactly original, where this story goes is fantastic! The scenery in this book made up for a lot of the other problems. I have to say that Leigh Bardvgo knows how to use description. I often found myself playing out a movie with settings and characters for this book where I could see exactly what was happening as I read. The richness of the detail was complete, but not overwhelming. There are surprises galore about the characters that will turn your world upside down and I never saw them coming. Bardvgo does a wonderful job of making you believe in or suspicious of characters just before she throws you for a loop. I loved every moment.

As I mentioned, I was reading this in the morning in bits and pieces when I had time before I went to work. Usually only a chapter at a time. If there had been a lull in the action, I would have quickly put this book down and moved onto another until I had time to sit down and read it. Instead this book fit my purposes so well that I had trouble putting it down to go to work. I was satisfied with Alina's character development. Her growth as a character was explosive near the end of the novel so I am excited to see what comes in the next book. One thing I wanted to know more about was the magic. Sometimes I felt like instead of being immersed in the magical world I was floating on the surface.

Overall I was satisfied by the end of this book. It improved over the course of the novel and became more of its own story. I understand that this is going to be a trilogy so of course there are things that will not be wrapped up at the end of this novel. There are still a lot of elements that are typical YA, but many of the elements are things I like and enjoy in the story (like a character discovering a power they don't know how to use). I didn't dislike seeing those elements, but I wanted more from this story. I hope the next book will continue to develop the world and the characters so that it becomes its own stand out story.

Rating - 4/5

Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekend Reads

I try to used these Weekend Reads posts just to update readers about what I am currently reading and to give a glimpse my preliminary thoughts on what I'm reading. 

This weekend I hope to read a lot. The weather is going to be beautiful in my area and I'm planning on going to the library to get a library card! I am so excited to try this out! I had a library card as a child, but I haven't gone in years so I am so excited to get another one.

Currently I'm reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. I've read this before and it is my favorite Austen. I am always persuaded (wink) to read this during August because one of my favorite book blogs The Book Rat hosts a blog event called Austen in August. So once again I am reading this. I will probably finish this tonight though because I'm about 2/3 of the way through.

I've also just started Eona  by Alison Goodman and The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. I am less than 50 pages in on both though so right now I do not have any thoughts to share about them. I've read books by both authors before so I knew I would like the writing style and thus far I am not disappointed.

Monday, September 2, 2013

August in Review

I actually only read three books this month. I was in a bit of a reading funk, but I was also very busy with work and life so I only actually finished a few. I am luckily still on track to meet my goal of reading 75 books this year. In fact at the end of this month I have already read as many books as I did in the whole year last year. So that's exciting!

Books I Read This Month

1) Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
2) Return of the King - JRR Tolkien
3) Shadow and Bones - Leigh Bardugo

Books I Started This Month 
1) Eona - Alison Goodman
2) Persuasion - Jane Austen

Total Number of books I've read this year: 51

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Favorite Summer Reads - Summer 2013

Since the first week of school is coming to a close, I thought I'd look back over what my favorite books I read this summer were. This summer I read quite a few books and most of them were excellent! I wanted to mention 5 that I thought were my favorites from this summer (and maybe a couple of honorable mentions that I couldn't quite ignore)

1) The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
I love this book and even though it is a little dense it quickly pulled me in. It was intreiging and rather unique (at least I've never read anything like it before) I loved the element of illusion and the setting of a circus was fantastic. Even though a large chunk of this book was set in the winter months and in Europe rather than on the beach, I read this really quickly and thought it was a great book to read on vacation. My Full Review is Posted!

2) Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake 
This book was right up my ally because I love Supernatural the TV show. This is a fast paced adventurous story that is violent and dark but somehow still makes me laugh out loud.

3) Opal - Jennifer Armentrout
I love this series and the fourth book is on its way to my house as I write this! I cannot wait to see where the next book goes because this one ends on such a cliffhanger! I love Katy and Daemon's romance and I never put these books down because they are so fast paced!

4) The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey
Is there anyone out there that hasn't read this book this summer and loved it? I feel like everyone was pushing me to read it and I'm so glad I did! This book is fantastic and so thrilling. I read it on the beach over two days and loved every sun soaked second of it. Definitely Recommend!

5) My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick
This is one of the cutest contemporary stories I've read in a long time. The characters are great and the story is so easy to relate to. This was another great book I read on the beach and this might by my favorite book of this summer! Watch for a review to follow soon!

Honorable Mention

Serephina - Rachel Hartman 
This book is fun and engaging. I thought it was very well developed and thought out. The world felt real and it had depth to the story. I loved this book and really enjoyed the writing as much as the story! My Review

Lola and the boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins 

If you liked Anna and the French Kiss, I think you'll like this book too. I adored this story and it is full of cute moments just like the first one. I think I am one of the last people to read this, but I would recommend for sure! It is quick, easy and very sweet.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Defiance

Defiance (Defiance, #1)

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Published - August 2012
418 pages

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

I was anticipating this novel for a while, like most of the book I read because I've had it for a bit. I had purchased it when it was on sale for Kindle and I was excited mostly because of cover appeal. I didn't know anyone who had read it and I didn't see any reviews from people I trust. I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was meh? I was disappointed a little bit. 

While I enjoyed the storyline, I thought it could have been a little more developed. It was a little repetitive and I thought there was a lot of description about the world and the monster that had destroyed the society. It felt a little flat though and it lacked complexity. The author drops a lot of terms in about the society, but a lot of times I felt like I should already know what they were. Even when terms were first introduced they weren't really explained. This made me disconnected from the story and less interested in the traditions of the society. It didn't feel like the author had a solid picture of the society she was introducing me to. Instead it seemed like some things were made up as a means to an end for the plot of the story. 

I couldn't quite connect to the characters either. I liked Rachel and Logan, but again, I felt like I was thrown into the middle of the friendship/relationship rather than introduced to it. At the beginning of the story Rachel is assigned to someone to be her caretaker and by the way Logan and Rachel react I thought the two of them are next to strangers. Later I started to realize they were fairly close acquaintances, but their relationship seemed to be uneven throughout the book. One minute they are really awkward around one another and the next they seemed to be deeply in love with one another. Even so, I think their romance works. They complement each other in a lot of ways. One is a lot of the brains and the other is a lot of the brawn. (Their relationship dynamic reminds me a lot of Peeta and Katniss) I liked Logan's back story and how that drove him to protect Rachel. Overall I'd like to see where they go from here, and how they will adjust to the changes in their world that they helped bring at the end of this book.

Even though I had some issues with this story, I think I will be checking out the sequel. I really was intrigued about what happened to Rachel's father and by the end of the story I was invested in what will happen next. I'd like to see a little more world development and just better description of the society. That was what really lacked in this story for me. Even so, I thought the idea was good and it already has me hooked to see what will happen to Rachel and Logan.

Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars

Find on Goodreads

Mansfield Park Read Along Part 1

I just like to talk about books as much as I can manage and this month there is a read-along and discussion going on about Mansfield Park over at The Book Rat. These are some getting to know you questions.

1) Was Mansfield Park the first Austen book you read?
No. I do not think that is a bad thing either. It is, in fact, the last one I finished.

2) Is this the first time you've read Mansfield Park?
This is the third attempt and the first successful one. I started Mansfield Park in the middle of July because I anticipated being unable to finish this book or at least not being able to keep up with it. I did finish the book at the beginning of the month and I was very surprised. I'm not exactly reading along now but...I was meaning to. 

3) How many other Austen books have you read?
All of them except her unfinished work. Persuasion is my favorite.

4) Will you read more of them/reread them?
Last year I read Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice during Austen in August. Maybe I'll read Emma and Persuasion. I like to reread them. I learn something new every time and as I get older I realize more about the time period and empathize with the characters more.

5) Do you or will you read Austen adaptations?
I have and will read Austen adaptations. I think they are fun and also bring a fresh perspective to a classic story.

My responses to Mansfield Park

  • What were your initial impressions of the story? Not just the characters and their respective situations, but also the style and tone - if you've read Austen before, do you find Mansfield Park to be very different in any significant ways? I don't think the writing style is different than any of Austen's other novels. It has the same kind of format and same basic plot idea. Even so, it is much more difficult for me to stay interested in this story. 
  • Going more into the characters now, Mansfield Park's inhabitants are pretty universally considered Austen's hardest to love. What was your response to them through the first half of this story? Do you feel for any of them? Hate any of them with a vehemence beyond that which you normally reserve for fictional characters? And if you try to look at them objectively, do you have any more sympathy (or disgust) with their actions and behavior? Even though almost all the characters in this novel are some version of horrid, I don't hate all of them. I dislike Mrs. Norris, but I have a soft spot of Sir Thomas because he eventually tries to take Fanny under his wing a bit. I think the one that disgusts me the most is Mary Crawford. From very early on she knows Edmund is going to be a clergyman and is appalled by it. Yet, she continues to put herself in his path. She denounces his profession and I think if his characterization was stronger and he argued with her in a more spirited way it could be interesting. Instead I think Edmund comes off as a prude rather than someone who firmly believes in his frutue. Mary Crawford is the one I hate rather than Mrs. Norris. 
  • Fanny is often considered to be a very milquetoast, frustratingly passive heroine. Do you agree with this perception of her? Do you find yourself making excuses for her or holding things against her? Or do you feel that Fanny is underestimated as a character? Consider the scene in the Rushworth's park, as Fanny sits for hours, waiting to be noticed again, while everyone around her seeks their own amusement. Fanny is so frustrating to me because so much happens around her, but nothing happens to her (at least not at this point). I do make excuses for her because I wouldn't be very assertive either if Mrs. Norris was constantly picking on me. STILL I find her very frustrating and she just seems too passive to be the main character of a novel. I know I shouldn't try to hold her up against Austen's other heroines to compare her immediately but I kept thinking WWED? (What Would Elizabeth/Emma Do?) They just wouldn't have stood by to be forgotten quite as easily as Fanny does. Julia strikes off on her own to find everyone else as soon as she can while Fanny sits and is easily forgotten by everyone else while they explore Rushworth's property. 
  • "The Play" and preparation for it is one of the most telling and pivotal scenes in Mansfield Park - discuss your reaction to the entire Lover's Vows storyline: what it brings to light in the characters, what changes and ruptures it causes among them, things that amused or irritated you, etc. Did your feelings about any of the characters change as a result of The Play? How did you feel about Fanny during this whole incident? Would you have liked to see the play - and its aftermath - without the intrusion of the returning Lord Bertram? Fanny is incredibly dull, but she does stand by her principles as well as her disposition allows her. Even when Mrs. Norris heckles her she disagrees with the play and stays out of it as best she can. Obviously the Crawfords seem more devious after the play because of how Henry plays the sisters against one another and how Mary toys with Edmund. Rushworth is obviously worthless after he is hopeless during the rehearsals. During most of this part of the book I was actually bored because it just is a lot of bickering and improper behavior that just seems rude. This section actually ends on the most dramatic note, Sir Thomas' return! 
  • Many of the relationships we've been introduced to so far are very contentious: Maria and Julia, sometimes Tom and Edmund, Mrs Norris and everybody. And in fact, the story starts with a rift in the family. What do you make of the "friendships" and family dynamics in the story, and of the changes wrought by the entrance of the Crawfords? I think the friendships and family relationships seem fragile at the beginning of the story especially between Fanny and most of her family. She constantly worries she will do something to offend and will be sent away as a result. However, when the Crawfords join them, I think it makes all the relationships appear shallow and transparent. Maria's engagement seems even more about marrying for advantage, Edmund's friendship with Fanny is weaker and many of the other relationships are weakened by the entrance of the siblings. 
  • Is there anything else you'd like to talk about from Volume One? Can someone please explain why Henry Crawford was considered such an expert on landscaping? Did I miss this in the novel or is it weird to anyone else?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tag 3# - Completed Series

This tag is a lot of fun and really easy to do. You simply go through your shelves to see how many series you have completed! I've finished 15 series! Is that a lot? It feels like a lot. 

My Completed Series include: 

1) Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling (of course!)
2) Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collings
3) The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
4) The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare
5) Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
6) Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
7) Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
8) Luxe Series by Anna Godberson
9) Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce
10) Immortals Series by Tamora Pierce
11) Protector of the Small Series by Tamora Pierce
12) Circle of Magic by Tamora Pierce
13) The Circle Opens by Tamora Pierce
14) Trickster's Series by Tamora Pierce (Listed as the Daughter of the Lioness Series on Goodreads)
15) Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Book Haul - August!

These are the books I've bought since my last book haul back in April(?) There are a lot. I'm need to retrain myself or soon I'm going to buried under books that I haven't read. 

Books Shown -
1) Withering Heights - Emily Bronte
2) Divergent/Insurgent Box Set - Veronica Roth
3) For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund
4) Chopsticks - Jessica Anthony
5) A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
6) Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me - Kristen Chandler
7) The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June - Robin Benway
8) Ripper - Stefan Petrucha
9) Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World - Abigail Reynolds
10) The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey
11) My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick
12) The Vicious Deep - Zoraida Cordova
13) Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell
14) Mastiff - Tamora Pierce
15 & 16) Linger and Forever - Maggie Stefvater
17) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
18) Days of Blood and Starlight - Lani Taylor

Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

*I had this all ready to go this past Tuesday but for some reason it was never posted. Oh well! I'll put it up anyway. Silly me!

Top Ten Tuesdays are created by: The Broke and the Bookish

This Top Ten Tuesday is all about books or series that are complete, but you could have read more about that character or that world. I love this idea because so often I want a story to keep going!

This is a rather short list because I have a lot of series that I haven't finished. Therefore, I want more of the story, but there is more story already promised.

1) Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce - I have always been interested in the years in between when the Song of the Lioness series left off and when Alanna and George have children. Alanna seems much older to me in the Immortals series, and I always wanted to know what happened in those years between the two series.
*Really I could read more about any of Tamora Pierce's worlds because they are some of my favorites. 

2) Harry Potter  by JK Rowling - I think everyone wants to know more about the wizarding world! Ever since I heard that Rowling has written a biography of Remus Lupin (unpublished) I am dying to read it. I've always wanted to know more about the world and see it from a different perspective than a young hero. I think it would have be really awesome to see more of Harry as an adult or any child's home who grew up as a witch or wizard would be awesome!

3) The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini - At the end of this series I thought there was so little resolution and so little information about Eragon and what happened to him that I simply wanted more explanation about him and his life. (Overall I thought this series ended on a dumb note and I wanted a better ending for such a long series.)

4)  Persuasion - by Jane Austen - This is my favorite Jane Austen novel and when I read it I never want it to end because they always end as soon as the couple gets together.  In some ways I always want there to be more interaction between Wentworth and Anne at the end. I love them so much and I just want more lovely communication between them.

5)  My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - I want more story because this story was SO good, and it was complete so in another way I don't want more of it. I can't wait to see what the author comes out with next.

6)  Hunger Games by Susan Collins - In a lot of ways I would have loved to see more of how Katniss recovered from what happened and more about her life after.

7) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - I just want another whole book about Anna and St. Clair because they are just so cute.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July in Review

So far in July I have learned that the surest way for me not to read something is for me to tell the internet that I am going to read it. I read a lot of books in July, but most of them weren't the ones I said I was going to read! I normally do not post a TBR list for just this reason, but I thought with my vacation I would try. It didn't work out at all. Over half the books I said I was going to take to the beach did not even make it into my suitcase.

The Books I read during the Booktube-A-Thon: 
 1) The Woman Who Rides Like a Man - Tamora Pierce 
2) Chopsticks - Jessica Anthony 
3) Lola and the Boy Next Door- Stephanie Perkins 
Books I started but didn't finish: 
Defiance by CJ Redwine 
Eon - Alison Hutchinson 

At the tail end of the Booktube-A-Thon I left for a week long vacation to the beach! I did a lot of reading here as well. 

Books I Finished while on vacation  and not for the Booktube-A-Thon
1) Eon - Alison Hutchinson 
2) The 5th Wave- Rick Yancey 
3) My Life Next Door- Huntley Fitzpatrick 
4) Defiance - C.J. Redwine 

Other Books I Read this Month 
1) Beautiful Darkness- Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 
2) In the Hands of the Godess- Tamora Pierce (reread) 
3) Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsburg 
4) Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World - Abigail Reynolds 

So overall I read 11 books this month! I had a lot of fun watching the Booktube-A-Thon videos that people posted. I never posted anything because even though I participated in the reading portion of the event I did not have time to record and edit videos during that week. 
I'm very behind of reviews and I'll be working on this as much as I can as soon as I can. My schedule has been super hectic because I started work at a new job full time. (This keeps me super busy) 

Books I Started in July 
1) Mansfield Park - Jane Austen  
I've tried to read this so many times, but I always get stuck. Even so, I am going to try to read it again because it feels like a challenge. I'm still struggling a little bit though. 
2) Gravity - Melissa West 
I've only read 30 or so pages of this and I have mixed feelings about the writing and the main character so far...

I promise I'll be posting some real reviews soon! I know I am super behind!