Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review - A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3 (Finale) 
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: New Adult
Bloomsbury USA - May 2016
Hardcover -  706 pgs

Rating - 3/5

A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

I devoured the first 2/3 of this book. I like the interactions between the characters and thought the planning was complex and interesting. Even in this third book we learned a little bit more about the world. I enjoyed learning even more about Prythian and absorbing these details while the action continued. It wasn't always front and center but I liked that it was added.

However, the end felt like Maas tried to wrap up every loose end, redeem every character, and make it end perfectly. This kind of ending never feels realistic or satistfying to me so I was disappointed with where we left off. I wanted more answers about certain characters and clarification of some of the events. Everything was rushed from the half-way point and in the end most plot points were only addressed in overview.

Book two was very character focused, which I loved, and this book shifted the focus back to plot and action. While the overall arc of the story is important, I didn't care very much about this war. I was much more interested in the histories of the characters and their interactions with each other. (and if everyone survived what would happen next)The action parts of the book just didn't hold my attention as well. To put it simply: I wanted more banter, more friendship moments, and just more about everyone especially Rhy's Court of Dreams. They were the ones I wanted this book to be about. I was so devoted and attached to them after ACOMAF.

Overall Maas's writing doesn't impress me anymore. I've read much better writing since I started reading her books with more diversity, better character arcs and more interesting worlds. I do think this is the better series of the two she has going right now. ACOMAF remains my favorite book in the series and I will be interested to see what the "next" books in this series will be about.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Death at Rosings: A Pride & Prejudice Variation by Renata McMann & Summer Hanford

A Death at Rosings: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

Series: Standalone
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Published: November 2015
Ebook - 183 pgs

The world of Rosings is turned on its head with the sudden death of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Not yet up to the challenge of managing the estate on her own, Anne de Bourgh enlists the aid of Elizabeth Bennet, who is staying with her cousin Mr. Collins at the time. Elizabeth is capable, intelligent and quick thinking enough to help Anne manage Rosings, but is she ready for the challenge of Mr. Darcy’s return to Kent? With his rebuked proposal, his letter and her knowledge that she misjudged him between them, can Elizabeth set her own feelings aside to help save Anne de Bourgh’s estate? 

This would be the definition of inhale reading. Coming in just under 200 pages I sat down to read this story and didn't get up until I was done a couple of hours later. The story is fast paced and an easy engaging read. I really enjoyed it.

The concept may seem odd, but many of the characters balk at Anne's request just like I did. Through the story Anne's character blooms a little more, but many of the other characters remain the same. Darcy is still awkward and Elizabeth still witty. I really enjoyed seeing them in this different situation. The romance was cute and fun to read from both sides.

At times I did think Anne was actually enlisting Elizabeth's help to play matchmaker for her and Darcy. She seemed to enjoy that role for other characters and her character seemed very strong even without Elizabeth's guidance. Maybe I was reading between the lines too much, but I felt like that was an undercurrent to the story?? 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't

This topic is perfect for me right now! I have so many series I've been thinking about starting (and finishing for that matter) but I just haven't done it! So thank you to the Broke and the Bookish. I need to think about this more often! And if you are so inclined, please let me know which one of these is ESSENTIAL for me to start next.

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1) The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight, #1) The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)

The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1) The Lost Sun (The United States of Asgard, #1) Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals, #1)

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1) Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #2)
Series: The Queen of the Tearling
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Published: June 2016 (Harper)
Hardcover - 515 pages

Rating: 4/5 

Trigger Warnings: Abusive relationships (physical & sexual)

Kelsea Glynn is the Queen of the Tearling. Despite her youth, she has quickly asserted herself as a fair, just and powerful ruler.

However, power is a double-edged sword, and small actions can have grave consequences. In trying to do what is right - stopping a vile trade in humankind - Kelsea has crossed the Red Queen, a ruthless monarch whose rule is bound with dark magic and the spilling of blood. The Red Queen's armies are poised to invade the Tearling, and it seems nothing can stop them.

Though I've knocked a star off of my rating, I don't want it to appear as if I didn't enjoy this book. I still love this series. I adore the characters and I'm anxious to read the final book. However, I didn't wholeheartedly love this book the way I did book one. There were just a few issues I want to point out.

In the first book I thought Kelsea made some rash decisions, but none of them were outrageous and I believed them. In this second book a few of her decisions seemed wild even after Kelsea was established as a risk taker. It pulled me out of the story to question her actions and how daring (and sometimes stupid) I believed her to be.

Johansen took a really interesting approach to the history of this world and I really appreciated how we learned about the past. I was skeptical at first, but the new perspective that was introduced really grew on me. When I was reading Kelsea's chapters I was just as, if not more, anxious to get back to the other perspective because Johansen left on a lot of cliff-hangers in those chapters.  Also I found these sections especially chilling because of the recent political climate.

Overall I really enjoyed this installment. It was a strong second book and, though the plot moved forward slowly, it didn't suffer from second book syndrome. These was a lot of world building and essential plot points I had questioned in the first book. I am anxious to see how this will wrap up because I still feel like we have a long way to go.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Reading Everyday in May - Vlog

Throughout May I made an effort to read every day. I was really frustrated with my lack of reading and my inability to focus on books in April so I decided to challenge myself in May. Throughout the month I read at least a little bit all but two days. I did not quite meet the challenge, but overall it helped me a lot. I finished more books rather than abandoning them and I accomplished my goal of rereading a series so I could start the last book in that series.

After I finished the challenge, I realized how many of these books were still rereads, which I had hoped to avoid, but the books I've picked up since the beginning of June have all been new reads. In the end I think this challenge helped me conquer part of my reading funk and put me on the path to a better reading attitude. 

In June I'll be continuing this challenge by joining Misty's #30dayBookBinge

I've accidentally deleted this post twice now so I think I will sign off here and let you know about my progress again at the end of the month! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Review: Stray by Rachel Vincent

Stray (Shifters, #1)
Series: Shifters #1
Genre: Paranormal
Age Group: Adult
Published: January 2007
Mass Market: 618 pgs

Rating: 2/5

Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault

There are only eight breeding female werecats left...And I'm one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I'd been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back... for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...

The longer I think about this book the more issues I have with it. While reading I was interested and engaged in the story if still a bit skeptical and frustrated with the length of the novel. Now though, I have a whole host of issues with it.

The first issue I had with this book was about the female lead. Faythe is not as strong a character as she is made out to be. She is immature and selfish. I have very little patience for her after 600+ pages of her antics. While we constantly hear about her struggle for freedom, it feels surface level. Faythe walks the line of cliché the entire book and I was never taken by surprise by her actions or the story.

Another issue was the extreme length of this novel. It took 300 pages for this story to become interesting. It was too long! It dragged on forever. Trimming the beginning of the story down (excluding some of the weird sexual posturing) would have really helped keep me interested at the end. When the main plot of the story finally came into view I wasn't as invested as I could have been because I had already suffered 300 pages of nonsense. Also did every villain in this story need to be from Mexico or South America? 

Finally I was disappointed in the romance. Again the story fits a trope and we see Faythe involved in a love triangle. There isn't anything interesting about this triangle either. The witty banter I expect in paranormal romance was extremely lacking. Instead Faythe plays with both boys emotions and acts like a pouty teen rather than the twenty-four year old she is.

I'll continue on with this series since I already own them, but I sincerely hope there are some improvements in book two.

My Recommendation: Read this Instead

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2)

Series: The Wrath and the Dawn 
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: April 2016
Hardcover - 416 pgs

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

Honestly I've made it my goal to reread a series before I finish it all because of this series. I didn't reread the first book before I picked up book two and I think my grasp of the plot suffered quite a bit because of that. Even so, I enjoyed this second installment and thought it was stronger than the first. 

In the first book we learned a lot about Shazi and Khalid, but we developed their individual personalities more in this book which I appreciated. There were more characters and more descriptions of the world, but many aspects still felt like they were only developed on a surface level. The magic especially felt like it was a background part of the story rather than a driving force. 

Overall I enjoyed the story and I'm happy with the wrap up to this duology, but I wanted more from it. More character development. More tension at the climax of the story. Less pouting from the boys and more action from Shaz. I liked just about everything about this book, but nothing in the series stood out as spectacular and I wanted to wholeheartedly love it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

These Top Ten Tuesday topics are always hard for me to narrow down.

Here are the top five books I already have preordered and am anticipating their release on an almost daily basis. All the Cooked Saints is Maggie Stiefvater's newest book and I cannot wait. All I know about this is it is set in Colorado in the 1960's and involves coyotes and miracles. The Tiger's Daughter is a fantasy novels that I've heard amazing things about. I'll be honest though the real draw so far is the cover. One Dark Throne!!! This one is the sequel (and possibly final book) to Three Dark Crowns. The first book ended on such a crazy note that I can't wait to get my hands on this one. That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston has a beautiful cover and a really interesting premise. I'm anxious to get my hands on it just so I can devour it with my eyes. Last, but definitely not least at all, is The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee which sounds delightful and I've heard nothing but good things thus far.

All the Crooked Saints The Tiger’s Daughter (Their Bright Ascendency #1) One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns, #2)

That Inevitable Victorian Thing The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Then there is the group of books I am also very very intrigued about but I haven't preordered these as of now. All very interesting but I am waiting for more reviews to trickle in before I decide which ones I want. 

Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1) Royal Bastards The Library of Fates 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Review - Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)
Series: Outlander #2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Age Group: Adult
Published- August 2001 
Trade Paperback

Rating 4/5

For nearly twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones... about a love that transcends the boundaries of time... and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart... in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising... and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves. 

Finishing one of these is like finishing a Song of Ice and Fire book. This has been a marathon and a lot happened during this installment that I will try to keep straight when I read Voyager. Though I'm left with more questions than answers at the end of this one.

Unlike Outlander that started off with a bang, this book takes forever to get going. We spend an annoying amount of time following a new character who ogles Claire and her daughter in the "present" while Claire tries to find answers about the past. When we finally flash back to pick up where we left off at the end of Outlander, the story had my attention. I did find it hard to keep track of all the characters at times because everyone has at least two names and they show up in so many different places.

I wish I was invested in the plot and what was happening as I was in the character. I care a lot about Jamie and Claire, but sometimes we lose sight of them in the tumult of things happening around them. 

Overall I have a lot of mixed feelings, and generally a lot of FEELINGS, about this book. Jamie and Claire's story is very raw at times and I felt their pain, sadness, and fear throughout this book. Gabaldon is great at getting emotions to come through strongly, but I do feel like this could have been trimmed down. We go on a lot of tangents and the forward progression of the story is slowed down so much.

At the end of the book I am left with a lot more questions than answers. I have no idea where we will go from here and I am burning with curiosity even though the story ended on a strange note. I'll be checking out Voyager soon. 

My Last Review---> Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Books I'm Putting in My Beach Bag this Summer

This week I do not have summer recommendations. Instead, I have books I really want to read this summer. These are ten different books I want to try to read before August. However, I've limited myself to one per series and I'm anxious to marathon many of these series. 

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2) Spies and Prejudice  

 The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1) Blackhearts (Blackhearts, #1) Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1)

 The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1) The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles, #2)  

 Code (Virals, #3)

Friday, May 19, 2017

April/May Book Haul (2017)

Two posts in one day? I am coming back in force today! I hope it lasts. It is time for a haul because I havnen't filmed one for quite a while and, of course, I've picked up some new books!

Books Mentioned:

Life Update and My Currently

Should I say oops? Hello? Welcome back? I've missed you? It has been a while since I posted anything here. Its been even longer since I wrote anything to post because I had so many posts scheduled in advance. I don't know if it was laziness or my reading blues that brought me down, but I've been away for a while. I'm writing this exactly a month after my last post went live and I think I'm finally ready to jump back into this.

So what have I been up to for the past few weeks? To give you an idea I'm using an idea from Jamie at Perpetual Pageturner who made a "Currently" post of her own recently. This seemed like a nice easy post to update you all on what I'm up to and an easy post to write after being completely unfocused for so long.

Currently Reading: Just started A Court of Wings and Ruin and I'm working on Traitor's Blade as well.

Currently Listening to on audiobook: Emma by Jane Austen. I failed to finish this for my book club so now I want to finish it before I start our next read. 

Currently Listening to: Panic! at the Disco. I've rediscovered this old favorite for running and it is working out really well. (Get it? Working out.) 

Currently Eating: Chocolate ice cream. Mmmmm

Currently Drinking: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy - My favorite beer is finally back in season!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

TBR Bookshelf Tour #3 ( Bottom Shelf)

We are at the end of the TBR Bookshelf Tours. Hopefully I will find time in the future to film a tour of my other bookshelf. That one is harder since the lighting is bad. I hope I can figure out a way to film it at some point. Let me know if that is something you are interested in seeing.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

TBR Bookshelf Tour #2 (Middle Shelf)

Last week I posted the first of these shelf tours I'm doing and started, of course, on the top shelf. Today I have the next installment for you all! If you are wondering why I'm doing these in short segments rather than one long video, it is simply because my computer can't handle exporting such a long video. Once videos get over ten minutes, the computer gives up. So anyway today we have shelf number two! This has some of my most anticipated reads involved so let me know which ones I should pick up first.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Review - Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Series: Kate Daniels #9 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Age Group: Adult
Hardcover - 328 pgs
Ace - September 2016
Source: Christmas Gift

Rating - 4.5/5

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules… 

In this novel we address many issues that have arisen since Kate claimed Atlanta, namely that Kate now has a ton of power and has to deal with how it is changing her. Also her father's continuous attempts to challenge or provoke her. Kate has a lot on her plate even before the Witch Oracle gives her dire news that puts her upcoming nuptials on the back burner. We have been working up to many of these problems for several books and I feel that drive towards the finish line. It is time clear up lingering problems and questions before the big finale which I think is coming (maybe) in book ten. 

We get a lot of answers in this book which I really appreciated. A lot of my favorite characters were back in the picture. (It would be nice to see even more of them.) Kate and Curran's relationship is still a sticky point for me. I find it frustrating that they constantly take action and ask for forgiveness after the fact. It seems to work for them, but the whole trust issue has been there since Magic Rises so I won't keep griping about it. (Well I will but in my own head) 

There is a lot going on in this book and I do want to read it again before the next book is released. Kate does what she does best in this installment. She uses her mental database of knowledge on myths and legends to come up with a plan to save her own skin. It is epic and just what I want from these novels. Kate kicks ass and is smart about the choices in front of her. I love it. I love her and I'm very very curious about where we go from here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#TomeTopple TBR (Round 3)

It is time, once again, for Tome Topple! This readathon doesn't always work out for me, but I still enjoy the community and the amazing books I hear about during it. This time I've picked just two books and we shall see how the reading goes!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review - Letters from the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: April 4th, 2016 (Bloomsbury)
Source: Won from Author 
Hardcover - 400pgs

Rating 5/5

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. 

This book walked into my life at just the right time. I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on Brigid Kemmerer's Facebook and this title arrived on my doorstep in the middle of a reading rut. I've loved Kemmerer's books in the past, and opened this book when it arrived to sneak a peak at the first few chapters. I read a lot more than a few chapters that first day and, in general, had a hard time putting this book down.

The letters at the beginning of most chapters take up a lot of space so you move through the chapters quickly and get a lot of insight into each character from them. Kemmerer didn't shy away from tough topics like loss, abuse, and guilt. I enjoyed how she tackled all these topics and her writing tugged at my heartstrings. I was deeply invested in these two characters.

Throughout the book I enjoyed how Declan and Juliet played into some stereotypes but defied others.  This kept my interest piqued for the whole book and made the characters much more interesting. The two of them grew and changed throughout this book and their growth felt very organic. I liked how romance wasn't the cure-all for these characters problems. They had to continue to battle their demons while romance was blossoming in the background. I also really liked how the physical side of the relationship took a back seat to their problems both in the writing and their minds.

I highly recommend this contemporary and bet this will be on my list of top books for 2017. It was excellent.

Final Thoughts: This story is for fans of You've Got Mail and The Shop Around the Corner.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fairyloot Unboxing Fail + Haul

My attempt at a Fairyloot Unboxing went a little awry when the footage disappeared! So I improvised and added a couple of books to the end.

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Review - Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Series: Lux #4
Genre: Paranormal
Age Group
Paperback - 364 pgs
Entangled Publishing - August 2013

Rating: 4/5

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

This year is apparently the year I tackle the oldest books on my TBR shelf. First came Across a Star-Swept Sea; now I've taken on the fourth Lux book. I adore the first three books in this series. They are fantastic. The world is solid. I love the characters and the romance. I've put off this installment for literal years. 

Origin is packed with action, adventure and swoon-worthy moments. My favorite alien couple is holding their own again government agencies and doing their best to keep themselves safe. Though this isn't my favorite in the series, we get more answers in this installment which I appreciated. This does take the series to a whole new level of weird, but nothing Armentrout hasn't already laid the groundwork for or I considered out of the realm of possibilities. 

After the events of Opal Katy and Daemon are separated. Neither is handling it well, but I thought the author did a good job of creating the duel perspective in these first few chapters. The first three books are in Katy's POV (if you want Deamon's POV check out Origin) so this the first time we hear Deamon's opinions about anything that is going on. I enjoyed this immensely. 

I will say I was disappointed about where we left off. A few decisions at the end of the book grated on my nerves, but I am still invested and want to find out what happens next. (Because I have no idea where this is going!) Can't wait for more and now that I have a copy of Opposition that matches the rest of the books, I am highly motivated to pick it up. 

My Last Review ---> Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Wrap Up (2017)

Hey everyone! This month has been a little slow, but I did enjoy the books I read. Let me know the books you read in March and what you think of my recent reads.

Monday, March 27, 2017

End of Winter Favorites

Recently (i.e. the last six months) I haven't been doing many favorites posts or videos. I did make a Top Five Non-Bookish Favorites video for the recent Top Five Wednesday topic. However, I didn't cover all my normal topics and I still have a few new things I want to cover. I love a lot of things!

Book Favorite

 The Girl Who Drank the Moon

So far in 2017 I can say with confidence my favorite book has been The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. This delightful middle-grade novel has stolen my heart after it took me by surprise in January. Obviously I've been pushing it on my friends ever since then and trying to get as many people as possible to read it. Check out my review! 

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule--but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her--even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known. 

Blog/Video Favorite
These last few months have been a bit slower on the blog front, but I like it this way. My brain isn't as scattered. I do a better job reading and writing about what I read. Anyway I do have a favorite post and video I've made recently. The first is my Valentine's Day post about my Top Ten Tuesday post on my Top Ten Couples/Ships. I really enjoyed writing this post and seeing the comments about those couples.

This month I've embarked on a mission to do a bookshelf tour of my TBR Bookshelf. I'm also hoping to do my regular bookshelf at some point. However, I've only posted one of the three videos so far. I am working on getting the other two posted A.S.A.P.

Image result for grace helbig not too deepRelated image

Random Favorite - Podcasts! 

 Throughout March I've barely read any books, but I have listened to a lot of podcasts. There are two I've been listening to the most. Stuff You Missed in History is a fascinating podcast about lesser know events and people in history. Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig is hilarious though I do pick and choose which guests I listen to.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Favorite Podcasts (TryPod)

This month I've been listening to a lot of podcasts. I've been neglecting my reading and listened to SO MANY podcasts. I'm hoping things will balance out in the future but I've been doing a lot of listening this month. These are my three favorites and I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Review - Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)

Series: Kate Daniels #8
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Source: Purchased used
Hardcover - 342 pgs
Ace Books - 2015

Rating - 4.5/5

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

After Magic Breaks I was really excited for this series to shake things up a bit. I was tired of the Pack and I was tired of Roland. I wanted something different and the Andrews answered my prayers. While Roland and Pack business are involved in this book, we go back to basics. Kate and Curran hunt down something weird in Post-Shift Atlanta. I LOVED it. 

While most of my favorite side characters were missing from this installment, I liked spending time with just Kate and Curran. Obviously we had to lose some of the pack because Kate and Curran left. They needed it. Their relationship has been strained and, honestly after reading the description of the next book, I'm worried this is the calm before the storm. I just loved that we had a filler book here. After so much build up in previous books to meet the (anticlimactic) villain of the series, it was nice to spend time in Atlanta. 

Overall this book was just what the series needed in my opinion and I've already started the next book. This series is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

February/March Book Haul

Should I just stop pretending I'll slow down my book buying? It seems I can get it down to four or five books each month, but if I dip below that my book buying surges back with a vengeance. Maybe I'll just stop fighting and stick with my lower than last year numbers. I'm still trying to lower that TBR though!

Books Mentioned:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Review- Spider Gwen Vol. 0 - Most Wanted?

 Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted?
Series: Spider Gwen Issues #1-5
Genre: Superhero Comics
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Library
Marvel - 2015
Paperback - 112 pgs

Rating - 2/5

IN ONE UNIVERSE, it wasn't Peter Parker who was bitten by the radioactive spider, but Gwen Stacy! She's smart, charming and can lift a car ... just don't tell her father, the police chief. Now, in the wake of Spider-Verse, Gwen swings into her own solo adventures! And she soon finds herself between a rock and a hard place when the Vulture attacks, and NYPD Lieutenant Frank Castle sets his sights on bringing her down. Then, still haunted by Peter's death, Gwen visits his only family: Ben and May Parker. But what really happened the day Peter died? Find out right here as the spectacular Spider-Gwen steals not only the spotlight, but also the hearts of comic fans worldwide!

Well, I can say I enjoyed the art, and I liked Gwen's outfit.

The rest was not so good. I am so disappointed by this. It sounded cool. It looked cool! UGH! Overall, this lacked focus and context. I expected some confusion. I knew I was jumping into the middle of a story. However, I think it was a mistake to throw readers into the middle of 50 different plot lines without an origin story. #confusing

Also as I mentioned in my February Wrap Up, because the authors named this collection Volume 0. It made me think this would be a precursor for things to come. I believe, incorrectly, this would be an origin story or introduction. Instead, we are plopped in the middle of a lot of plot lines. #NotAFan

I did like Gwen and her band is kickass. I am going to continue the series, but I was less than impressed with these first few issues.