Thursday, May 30, 2013

May in Review

Month in Review is the format I use to share the books I read this month as well as books I started and plan to read in the next month. 

Books I Finished This Month (10) - all of these titles have been added to my 2013 Shelf on Goodreads and have star ratings there. 

1) Pushing the Limits by Katie MacGerry - A great contemporary novel. See my thoughts here!
2)  Bare Bones by Kathy Reichs 
3) Terrier by Tamora Pierce
4) Opal by Jennifer Armentrout
5) Iron King by Julie Kagawa
6) Shadows by Jennifer Armentrout
7) Monday Mournings by Kathy Reichs
8) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor - This was a fantastic book! I enjoyed it very very much and I posted a review here.
9) The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien
10) Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs

Books I Started This Month 

Under the Dome by Stephen King 
The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Catherynne M. Valente 
The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien 
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Review - Pushing the Limits

by Katie McGarry

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.
Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

I'm fairly picky about which contemporary books I read. I'm more of a fantasy type of gal rather than contemporary, but I ended up really liking this book! I was in a reading slump after only reading one book last month. At the beginning of this month I picked up this book and it pulled me out of it.

Echo and Noah both have tough situations to deal with and they both have to struggle with events that have changed their lives forever. The pacing of this book worked really well for me. McGarry uncovers enough through the course of the book to keep you on the edge and interested so the plot doesn't drag at all. I was quickly pulled in by Noah and Echo who are both awesome characters on their own but even better together. Their romance is fiery and forbidden (which is one of the best kinds) and it develops throughout the book while both characters come to terms with the hardships in their young lives.

One of my favorite things about this book the the writing and the duel perspective that McGarry used. During this book Kate McGarry switches between Echo and Noah's point of view which works really well for this book. I think it would be really each to misunderstand one of the main characters in this novel without that extra insight into their thoughts and actions. Normally switching point of view in contemporary novels can be annoying to me, but I think it worked really really well in this book.

This book is fun to read! It is defiantly something I would like to read on the beach or at the pool. Alas I read it in my bedroom during the beginning of May when it was still chilly, but I think it would be a great summer read. The contemporary romance was easy to get into and both story lines are intriguing. Echo and Noah pull you in. Echo can't remember everything, but she is also afraid to remember. She just wants to get back to how life was before the incident with her mom. Noah is trying to get his brothers back and trying to cope with living in the foster care system. Neither one of them can go back to the lives they had before, but they are both trying to get back some normalcy. Both of them are keeping secrets and I could not stop reading until I found out what they were hiding.

This story is one of my favorites that I've read so far this year and I've already added this awesome contemporary to my favorites list. I recommend this for sure!

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie

Top Ten Sequels I want to read! 

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

A big topic in the book community lately seems to be the finishing of series. I have started so many series and just read the first book. I have a lot of sequels that I really need to read so I though I'd list 10 of them to motivate me to pick them up. 

1) Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani Taylor - I literally finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone and ordered this book at full price in order to get it ASAP. I cannot wait to read it and I probably will tear through it even thought the next book in the series doesn't come out until 2014

2) Beautiful Darkness- Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - I read Beautiful Creatures earlier this year and I am dying to read this, but the end of the first book was really chaotic and I don't really remember what happened so I'm going to have to skim that again before I pick this up.

3) Bloodhound- Tamora Pierce. The first book in the Beka Cooper series just made me happy and I enjoyed it so much. I love Tortall and I cannot wait to get back to that world.

4) Linger - Maggie Stiefvater - I really want to read this book and finish this series, but I just haven't pick up the second book yet. Maybe someday it will just magically fall into my lap. I just always seem to forget about it when I am shopping for books.

5) The Dark Monk  - Oliver Potzsch - I read the Hangman's Daughter  last year and  the beach and loved it. I can't wait to read this at the beach this year.

6) Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - I know this isn't technically a sequel, but I have the book and I loved Anna and the French Kiss sooooo much that I am dying to pick this up as fun read this summer.

7) Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick - I have this book. I just haven't read it even though I've started it multiple times  

8)  Back to the Divide - Elizabeth Kay - I love the first book as a child and I have reread it. Now I just need to read this one and the final book in order to complete my childhood.

9) The Iron Daughter- Julie Kagawa - I've started this and Meghan is really starting to get on my nerves so we shall see how long this book lasts.

10) A Storm of Swords- George RR. Martin - I am so far behind reading this series. Everyone else is done and I'm only starting book 3. They are just so intimidating even though I love these books! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review - A Daughter of Smoke and Bone

by Lani Taylor

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

I've been wanting to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone for ages and after making my book jar I was happily surprised when this was the first title I pulled out to read! Even though I've heard great reviews about this book and wanted to read it forever, I didn't know a whole lot about the plot or anything about the characters. I was going into this story rather blind and I think it made me love this book even more. I don't want to give too much away in this because the mystery is an awesome part of this story.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the amazing word choices and writing style by Lani Taylor. I was instantly drawn in by the style of her writing. By the end of the first chapter I knew I could sit down and tear through this book in an evening. However, I purposefully slowed myself down so I didn't. There is a lot of description in this book, and Lani Taylor's writing made me want to savor every line of it. Too often I get impatient with authors who describe everything in their world and leave nothing for the reader to imagine. To me that amount of description disrupts my reading and bores me because I have nothing left to be surprised by or really imagine myself. This book never felt like that too me. There are many different settings in this story and the descriptions are fantastic and well written which made me sit up and really read them rather than skimming them. The writing is just fantastic and I was drawn and I believed this story.

One of the cities that I am in love with for no particular reason is Prague. It is on a short list of places I have never visited but am already in love with (Dublin, Prague, Istanbul...there are a few more). So I loved the original setting for this book. Each setting is interesting and vividly described. While Karou's life in Prague has enough secrets for a lifetime, she travels the world and other worlds in this book. I loved the mythology that she used and it worked perfectly seamlessly throughout the book in my opinion.

Karou is an amazing character. She is strong, witty and brave with the right amount of caution and fear mixed in to be able to relate to her and understand her. She has great mystery surrounding her. I love her approach to her secrets and her artisitc talent was so well described and meshed into her character! Even she doesn't know all of her own secrets so the story is very engaging. While Karou works to try and save her friends and family, others are trying to discover her secrets. The writing brings her alive and makes her an amazingly complex and engaging character.

I already know this is going to be one of my favorite books of this year! I loved this and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. It is a fantastic story and completely captured me. After I read the next book I want to get my hands on more of Lani Taylor's writing as well because her writing style is simply fantastic.

Rating: 5/5

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Summer Reading Goals

Goodreads continues to inform me that I am in fact behind on my reading goal for the year! Therefore this summer I have some pretty ambitious reading goals for the summer of 2013. I think they are ambitious at least!

To help with this problem I have created a Reading Jar! If you don't know, the concept of a reading jar is for you to put the titles of books you own and need to read in a jar. Then when you need to find something to read, you just pick a title out and proceed to read that title. The first one I picked out was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor which I am so excited about.

On my Goodreads list I have over 100 books that are unread. I want to read at least 25 books this summer. The day I start counting is the day I graduate which is May 18th and I am going to end my summer on the official end of summer date of September 21. That is a total of four month and it means I should read between 6 and 7 books per month. This doesn't seem like it will be a problem because I am going to be doing nothing but working my tail off, going on vacation and reading!!

Overall I want to finish/work on several series that I have started and have not finished
1) Lord of the Rings by JR Tolkien - Currently I'm reading The Two Towers
2) Song of Ice and Fire Series by George RR Martin - I've read the first two books and now I need to tackle the book known as A Storm of Swords 
3) The Iron Fey Series- I've read the first book and I'm currently reading book number two. This series already has me addicted.
4) Castor Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - I'm dying to read Beautiful Darkness.
5) Beka Cooper Series by Tamora Pierce - I've only read the first book, but Bloodhound sounds so good and I love Tamora Pierce so I will definitely be picking this up soon.

I also want to reread at least 5 books, but I don't have a set list of titles for that. I am excited for this summer and I cannot wait to start this project!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Reads #3

This idea was a hashtag stared on Twitter, and someone brought it into the blogging community. I've seen it featured by Bunny Cates on her Youtube channel. 

I recently started Bare Bones by Kathy Reich and  I am flying through it! I love detective stories. I also continuing to read Terrier by Tamora Pierce! I lost this book for about a week and I was so sad I haven't been able to finish it, but thankfully I found the book again! I am also continuing to read my copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I just finished  A Study In Scarlet  and it was awesome! I can't wait to keep reading it!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May Book Haul

Books Mentioned

Book Sale (19) 
My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George
The Mixed of Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – EL. Konigsburg
Bad Beginnings – Lemony Snicket
The Reptile Room - Lemony Snicket
The Austere Academy - Lemony Snicket
Heist Society – Ally Carter
Mossflower- Brain Jacques
The Long Patrol - Brain Jacques
Martin the Warrior - Brain Jacques
Mariel of Red wall- Brain Jacques
The Bellmaker - Brain Jacques
Robinson Caruso- Daniel Defoe
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Son of a Witch- Gregory McGuire
The Boleyn Inheritance – Philippa Gregory
Discovery of Witches –Deborah Harkness
Trace – Patricia Cornwell
Blowfly – Patricia Cornwell
11/22/63 –Stephen King

Online (8) 
Beauitful Creates – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Beautiful Darkness- Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Beautiful Chaos - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Beautiful Redemption - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
Lola and the Boy Next Door- Stephanie Perkins
Anna Dressed in Blood- Kendra Blake
Shadow and Bone- Leigh Bardugo
Clockwork Princess (I forgot this in the video) - Cassandra Clare 

Kindle (10) 
Redwall- Brian Jacques
Ireland – Frank Delaney
Defiance- CJ Redwine
Max – James Patterson
Final Warning - James Patterson
Fang - James Patterson
Angel - James Patterson
Nevermore - James Patterson
Tiger Lily – Jodi Lynn Anderson
Girl in the Steel Corset – Kady Cross