Monday, August 29, 2016

Three Reasons to Read: The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger

This year has basically been my year of discovering Gail Carriger. I have been obsessed with her Parasol Protectorate Series and I cannot wait to read even more by her. Check out my three reasons why you should read this awesome series!

Reviews of this Series:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review - Timeless by Gail Carriger

Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5)

Series: Parasol Protectorate #5 (Final) 
Genre: Historical Paranormal Fiction
Age Group: New Adult/Adult
Published - March 2012
Paperback - 328 pgs

Rating: 5/5 

Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a dampener on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle. 

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

This is the final book in the series. Please see my review of Soulless for an introduction to the Parasol Protectorate Series.

Starting the last book in this series was very mixed for me. I have loved this series so much and read it very very quickly. I already miss these characters and am anxious to read even more by Carriger. She has rocketed to the top of my list of slump breaking authors. I've already ordered more of her books to have on hand for this (and because I love her books).

In the final book in this series Carriger wraps everything up beautifully. While there are loose ends, I could see where Carriger was laying the foundation for more stories in this world vs where she was wrapping this series up. My questions were answered. Each character completed their arch and the story felt complete. It was extremely well done and I was so pleased with how the pieces fell into place. The action and adventure never stop in this book though so be prepared for a whirlwind.

My emotions were all over the place and I think I'm still recovering from the aftermath. The series has stuck with me and I miss the characters so much. I'm looking forward to many more adventures with some of these immortal characters and anxious to see how some of the events from this novel play out in the future. 

My Last Review: Froi of the Exiles

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

T5W - Books to Read Before the End of 2016

It feels like I've been making a lot of lists like this recently. Yesterday I talked about the 10 books I have on my TBR since before I started blogging. I also made a video on my goals update for the year and talked about the books I set goals to read. So I want to read a lot of books before the end of the year and hopefully I'll read them all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging

It has been a few weeks since I've participated in Top Ten Tuesday and this week seems to be themed around TBRs and books you still need to read. I've had all of these books for 5+ years according to Goodreads. Obviously I need to get busy and read them!

1) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert - I have had this book forever! I really want to read this classes, but I am always intimidated by it. Someday I will actually read this scandalous story.

2) Spider Bones (Temperance Brennan #13) by Kathy Reichs - The Brennan series is one I really want to get caught up on. There are at least five more books for me to read and I really enjoy these. After reading a little bit of Tempe's perspective in the Viral's Novellas, I am anxious to pick this book up.

3) Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer - At one time my friend group was kind of obsessed with this movie and I want to read something by Foer before I die (melodramatic I know).

4) The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas - I put off watching the BBC's newest version of this to read it first and I never did! The shame!

5) The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) by Rick Riordan - I've had a hard time starting this particular series by Uncle Rick. Anyone else run into this problem? I've had an obsession with Egyptian mythology for my whole life so I really want to try this again.

6) Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2) by Diana Peterfreund - Someday I will read this. I don't have an excuse why I haven't.

7) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - This adult fiction story sounds so cool! I didn't even know what it was about when I picked it up from a used book sale. Now I need to make time for it.

8) Secretariat by William Nack - Again I've had this for a while and was inspired to pick it up after watching the movie. The copy I got was on sale when Borders was closing so obviously I've had it for ages.

9) Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter - Modern adaptations of P&P and I do not really get along. I should probably read this one or donate it.

10) Through Wolf's Eyes (Firekeeper Saga #1) by Jane Lindskold - Ok. This book is the book I've had the longest. It is the first book I have memory of myself ordering offline and my dad bought it for me. I wasn't old enough to have a credit card and I'm pretty sure I was in middle school. I should probably read this book right?

My Last Top Ten Tuesday:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bout of Books 17 - TBR

It is Bout of Books time again! I love this readathon. It is low key and low pressure. I always seem to kick off a good reading streak during this readathon and I really need that right now. Though it is a busy time at work so I'm hoping I have time and energy to read during the week.

The readathon runs from Monday the 22nd through Sunday the 28th. There aren't challenge or rules to this readathon. The goal is to just have fun and read as much as you can! 

My TBR for this round of Bout of Books is within the video. Let me know if you are participating as well! 

Check out the Bout of Books Website for more details

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Slumpy End of Summer

Hello Friends!

So you may have noticed a lack of posting around here up until the past few days. August is my busiest time of year at work. I think I've mentioned on here I work at a college bookstore and it is absolutely crazy right now. Add to that I've been the only one in the office the majority of the time when I normally have three coworkers and you see why I haven't had the energy to do anything lately. Plus I think my five posts a week is catching up to me a little bit. The creative part of my brain is just drained.

It doesn't help I've been too busy/tired to read which makes book blogging a little difficult. Anyway I'm hoping to get back on track this week and really get the ball rolling again. Getting posts up the last couple of days has been a true accomplishment for me. I'll continue to try and kick myself out of this creative slump and get back to my favorite activity!

Anyone else hitting a slumpy/sleepy time right now? Hopefully I'm not the only one. How is your summer going? Have you done anything interesting? Let me know so we can catch up!

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Unboxing

Happy Unboxing! At the end of a long hard Monday I needed to unbox a book. Hopefully you felt the same way!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Review - Heartless by Gail Carriger

Heartless (Parasol Protectorate, #4)
Series: Parasol Protectorate Series #4
Genre - Paranormal Historical Fiction
Age Group: Adult/New Adult
Published: July 2011
Paperback  - 374 pgs

Rating - 4/5

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

After taking a short break from this series, I needed something to break a reading rut. So I went back to Gail Carriger knowing I wouldn't be able to put one of her books down.

Of course, it worked too. I picked up the fourth installment in the series and was instantly sucked back into Victorian London. I love how Carriger continues to tackle Victorian expectations with Alexia throughout this series. It has never been more prominent than in this novel where Alexia is struggling to perform her duties while heavily pregnant. Carriger also does an excellent job of staying historically accurate while removing some parts of history that were damaging to groups of people (specifically LGBTQ+). The description was just a tad deceiving, but overall I enjoyed where this story went. 

The series continues to be witty and delightful. All the characters are intelligent and even crafty in getting what they want. I absolutely delight in this. I'm shipping so many more couples than I thought I would and I love it. This installment moved the plot forward farther than the third book so I was pleasantly surprised. I was instantly ready to jump into the final book though I knew I would be devastated when this series ended. I did it anyway and that review will be coming to you soon.

Happy Reading!

Monday, August 8, 2016

August Currently Reading

Right now, I'm reading a lot of things. I have so many different books started and I am doing my darndest to finish a few of them. However, I'm not making much progress in any of them. Hopefully this recap will encourage me to finish something up and remind me why I'm so excited about these.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Review - Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)
Series: The Lumatere Chronicles #2
Genre: High Fantasy
Age Group - Young Adult? (Mature Themes)
Published - March 2012
Source - Purchased
Hardcover - 593 pgs

Rating 5/5

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home ... or so he believes. Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been taken roughly and lovingly in hand by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper with a warrior's discipline. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds in its surreal royal court. Soon he must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad princess in this barren and mysterious place. It is in Charyn that he will discover there is a song sleeping in his blood ... and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen. 

Quick Thoughts: While I was at the beach, I had the perfect opportunity to read this massive books in just a couple of days. It was impossible to put down and I am very sad I didn't bring book three with me because I'm ready for it! This series continues to surprise me and make regret I haven't read it sooner.

Full Review:
Honestly, once I knew who Froi was I wasn't sure I would love this novel as much as Finnikin of the Rock, even though many people have told me this one is even better. Froi wasn't my favorite character in book one and I wasn't sure where the plot was going either. However, I was anxious to read more of Marchetta's writing and I adored the other characters from book one. So I jumped into this one hoping for the best.

I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I am really impressed. The story starts up three years after the end of book one and we get a glimpse into the lives of our characters after they have matured and grown into their new roles. This set up and the introduction of Cheryn's problems and Froi remind me of The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix which is one of my favorite series. I can see this series sitting alongside that one on my favorites shelf.

The new characters we meet are fascinating and so well developed. They made my heart hurt with all the emotions I feel during this book. There is so much joy and so much sadness that it is hard to feel it all completely until you are finished and look back. The brokenness of the characters never seems to stop and it feels like they could never recover from what they've been through.

Like I mentioned in book one, Marchetta has a way of building up the story so the world building doesn't get dumped on you. Instead it feels like a puzzle where I have the outside edges complete and she hands me the right piece at the right time to fill in the gaps. It's beautifully written.

As soon as I get home from vacation, I will be picking up book three. Though, I am sad this series will be over so quickly. I cannot wait to see what happens and I want to jump back into the story.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Goals Update #2

Last year I did quartly updates for my goals. This year I'm trying to do them every four months so I have more to report each time. Though this time I don't have a whole lot to add anyway! Whoops! I need to work on reaching some of these goals before the end of the year!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Harry Potter Release Party

This past weekend I was on a short vacation and went beach camping. While we were walking the boardwalk in Rehobath, my friend and I ran across a Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Release party. I needed just a little bit of convincing, but once she reminded me this may never happen again, I was totally game. We returned to the bookstore for some fun games and tasty treats. Sadly we couldn't stay until midnight because we needed to hit the road the next morning. It was a lot of fun though.

The bookshop, Browseseabout Books, was an absolute gem about the entire event too. They have Harry painted on the outside of their store and everything inside was like magic.

Obviously the employees were just as excited as the kids and other fans that attended. They were all dressed up in one form or another. One was even handing out S.P.E.W. buttons and newsletters. Facepainting, trivia and book toss were all in high gear when we left. The costume contest was hilarious too. So many kids went all out to come to this event and I'm still curious who won the event since so many costumes were creative and cute.

We missed wand making, which is honestly a absolute tragedy, but it must have happened later on. Plus they had cupcakes and Polyjuice Potion. Although they must have missed some ingredients since no one was changing form while they took sips.

I haven't received my copy yet, but I'm excited to check this out especially since I've seen some mixed reactions online. I can't wait to read it and form my own thoughts. This event was really special and it was amazing that we stumbled onto it. Everyone was having fun and it was nice to see the Harry Potter fandom alive and well. I'll leave with you the two pictures I took with my dying phone (thanks Pokemon Go for draining the battery) which shows off the sign that caught out eye and the delicious cupcakes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ten Books You'd Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card

Book buying is one of my favorite past times. However, my bank account doesn't particularly like this habit of mine. So these are some books I've been dying to buy, but there are many reasons I haven't pick them up yet. Some of them have mixed reviews and I'm afraid I won't like them. Others are rather expensive. Some I have just learned about recently and will probably pick up soon and others I don't know why they haven't been added to my collection yet. However, I want to read them all very very badly. Happy Top Ten Tuesday!



 Exit, Pursued by a Bear by [Johnston, E.K.]