Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: Fated by Sarah Fine

Fated (Servants of Fate #3)
Author:  Sarah Fine
Publisher:  47North
Expected Publication Date:  September 29, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
Aislin Ferry and Jason Moros have only days until they will be called to account before the Keepers of the Afterlife. Yet as they race to restore order and make their case, their worlds fall into total disarray.

Mutiny within the fractured Ferry family threatens Aislin’s hold on power and role as Charon. Meanwhile, the fearsome Lord of the Kere has family trouble of his own. Someone is unraveling the fabric of fate, and Moros suspects one of his supernatural siblings is behind the terrible bid to unleash Chaos.

Now unlikely allies, Aislin and Moros each need the other to escape the wrath of the Keepers. As the stakes rise, it becomes clear that protecting their respective empires is not the endgame. With the fate of all humanity dangling by a thread, Aislin and Moros must surrender completely to one another if they are to fight their common enemy. And as time runs out, someone must make the ultimate sacrifice.

I really liked the combination of supernatural and dystopian, although I definitely had questions that weren't answered about the mythology and the world.

It's a fun series, filled with action, and this last book teams up two unlikely characters.  A lot of heat between Aislin, the cold, organized, and seemingly ruthless Charon, and Jason Moros (Death), who find themselves working together to keep order and prevent Chaos from rising and destroying the world.  I enjoyed them opening up to each other, especially Jason, who has been alone for over 2000 years. They don't trust each other, Moros can't touch Aislin without her feeling pain…it's a little tricky.

In this final book, we finally learn who has been stealing the souls of the Kere, who wants Chaos to take over, and we meet more characters, like the Keeper of Heaven and the Keeper of Hell.

I was wondering how all of this would be resolved and Sarah Fine does a great job of bringing it all together at the end, although as always, I wanted an epilogue to see how exactly it was going to work.  I'm greedy that way.

Definitely recommend this entertaining and sexy adult paranormal series.

Posted by:  Pam

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (109)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  It is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

From NetGalley:
Breakaway by Kat Spears

What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Posted by:  Pam

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Audiobook Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's, 416 Pages
Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Listening Length: 16 hours and 7 minutes
Audiobook Publisher: Recorded Books

From Goodreads:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


For those who love the Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas does it once again.  One of the things I love about this series is that more time is spent in the world of faeries than the world of humans. Feyre is a determined and loyal heroine and while she can provide for her family she is not a fighter unless it's necessary.  She is also na├»ve and open to changing as her circumstances change.  Tamlin, Lucien, Alice, and the rest of the spring court are WONDERFUL.  The bad guys and gal are EVIL.  In fact, Amarantha may be one of the most evil bad gals I've encountered.  The last half of the book was a little drawn out for me but at least we finally get to know Rhysand.  Hmmm, what to make of Rhys and the Shadow Court.

Even though it took me awhile to finish this book it was a great story made even better by the AMAZING narration of Jennifer Ikeda.  Jennifer Ikeda, who also narrated the Discovery of Witches series by Deborah Harkness, is one of the best narrators of this genre.  I could literally listen to her voice read just about anything.   As a narrated book, 16 hours is a big commitment but the story has enough action to keep the listener engaged.

Posted By: Sheri 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book Review: Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis

Cage of Deceit (Reign of Secrets #1)
Author:  Jennifer Anne Davis
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Publication Date:  August 25, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, otherwise known as royal court. But at night, Allyssa uses her secret persona—that of a vigilante—to hunt down criminals and help her people firsthand.

Unfortunately, her nightly escapades will have to wait because the citizens of Emperion may need saving from something much bigger than common criminals. War is encroaching on their country and in order to protect her people, Allyssa may have to sacrifice her heart. Forced to entertain an alliance through marriage with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom, she finds herself feeling even more stifled than before. To make matters worse, the prince has stuck his nosy squire, Jarvik, to watch her every move.

Jarvik is infuriating, bossy and unfortunately, the only person she can turn to when she unveils a heinous plot. Together, the unlikely pair will have to work together to stop an enemy that everyone thought was long gone, one with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. Now the cage Allyssa so longed to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she will have to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.

ADORED this book, I stayed up until 3:00 in the morning because I couldn't put it down.  This has everything I love!

1.  Allyssa.  Tough princess who, since the age of twelve, sneaks out of the castle and tracks down criminals and captures them with her commoner best friend.  She knows how to fight, doesn't want an arranged marriage, she wants to be able to marry for love like her parents, but she knows she'll have to marry for political reasons.  Loved her character.  She's kick ass without being a Mary Sue.

2.  Hate to love relationship.  Why does this trope work so well?

3.  War brewing with an absolutely evil King.  Torturing people (chopping them up into little pieces while they're still alive), putting people's heads on sticks, etc.

4.  An assassin who actually kills.  What?

5.  Political intrigue with secrets and deceptions.  Allyssa's parents are keeping a lot from her, the prince who she's supposed to marry changes the subject whenever she brings up politics, and his squire doesn't act like a normal squire.  What is everyone hiding?

Well-written, entertaining, with a nice balance of character and plot. My main complaint is that I knew the big reveal very early on, it was way too obvious.  It didn't detract from my loving the book, but that may bother some people.  Also, there were similarities to other books (one in particular), but I didn't mind.

Cliffhanger…gah!  The author does give the reader fair warning in the beginning of the book that there will be one, but come on…I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW!

Posted by:  Pam

Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: Riot of Storm and Smoke by Jennifer Ellision

Riot of Storm and Smoke (Threats of Sky and Sea #2)
Author:  Jennifer Ellision
Publisher:  Self-published, 239 pages
Publication Date:  August 18, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
Bree and her friends have escaped the clutches of the Egrian King, but their troubles are far from over. Still reeling from the secrets that drew new breath when her father took his last, Bree sets off for the safety of Nereidium-- the kingdom she's just learned is hers.

But with the King's ire at its peak and war a certainty, Nereidium is no longer safe. As Prince Caden rallies the Egrian people against his tyrant father, Bree, Princess Aleta, and Tregle race to the Nereid shore to warn them of the incoming danger—and to put the Nereid Princess on the throne.

The only trouble there: Bree can’t bring herself to reveal that the Princess is her.

It’s not a dilemma she can waste time pondering. With a new weapon in his arsenal, the King's strikes are sure to be bolder than ever before. And Bree may not be ready to wear a crown… but she won't let her kingdom down without a fight.

I loved this sequel.  Bree, Aleta, and Tregle are on the run, trying to get to Nereidium and away from the King. Bree is struggling with her power and with who she is.   Caden is now accused of treason by his father and is trying to rally troops to defeat him.  There's action, politics, and some romance, although Bree and Caden are apart for most of the book.  

The book is told from both Bree and Caden's POV, which I enjoyed because we get to know Caden better.  Caden, the academic prince who excels at strategy, but who has to become a soldier.  Caden, who has to deal with knowing his own father, the man who he remembers teaching him to ride a horse, is trying to kill him.  Poor Caden!

If you like fantasy books, I highly recommend this series.  Elemental magic, solid world-building, fast-paced plot, strong characterization…this series has it all.  Can't wait for the next book, these cliffhangers are killing me!

Posted by:  Pam

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (108)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  It is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review: Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Before We Were Strangers
Author:  Renee Carlino
Publisher:  Atria Books, 320 pages
Publication Date:  August 18, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?


There's something so heartwarming and heartbreaking about second chance romances.  I love that they get a second chance but at the same time it's so sad that they missed out on so much.  Because of that, my emotions were all over the place with this book.  I smiled, I teared up.  Definitely an emotional read for me.

My favorite part of the book was reading about Grace and Matt falling in love.  The author captures their relationship in such a wonderful and realistic way.  I felt like I knew each of them so well and I loved both of them.  They were so perfect for each other and, even knowing that it doesn't work out between them, I was still rooting for them.  And the way it doesn't work out just killed me.  The missed connections, the misunderstandings.  Ugh!  I wanted to bang my head against a wall. 

Such a touching read…I LOVED IT.  This is one that I'll be thinking about for a long time.

Posted by:  Pam 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Book Review: Ethereal by Addison Moore

Ethereal (Celestra #1)
Author: Addison Moore
Publisher: Self-Published, 225 pages
Publication Date: March 26, 2011

From Goodreads:
Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking.

When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.

Skyla discovers Logan holds the answers to the questions she’s been looking for, but Logan’s reluctance to give her the knowledge she desires leaves her believing Logan has a few secrets of his own.

Skyla’s bloodlines may just be connected to the most powerful angelic beings that roam the earth, and the more she knows, the more danger she seems to be in. Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels wants her dead, at least she still has Logan, or does she?

I have to admit I was in a book buying mood when this series was "recommended" to me on my Amazon Kindle reader and between the price, the stars, and the comments,  I bought the bundle which included the first three books. 

Let me be  blunt and say, this is probably NOT the series for me.  I don't like the main character, the family dynamics are horrible, and frankly the primary love interest is a jerk.  After reading the first book I went to Goodreads and reviewed other comments thinking that maybe it was just me.  It turns out many readers have a love-hate relationship with this series.

I admire self-published authors. For that reason alone, I may in time read book two as many readers found that the books improve overtime.  But for now I have too many other books to get through before I try again.

Posted By: Sheri

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Book Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL, 352 Pages
Publication Date: July 7, 2015

From Goodreads:
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When [his friend] inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.

Pam and I read this book as part of our local book club.  We all agreed it was a great overall book with a few strengths but also a few weaknesses we hope get addressed as the series moves forward. 

Sheri's Review:
One of the things I liked best was also one of the things I found confusing.  There were aspects of the book that made it feel as if it was set back in time, maybe around the late 1800's.  On the other hand, the book was clearly set in the future.  The switching between historical ways of doing things and the imagined world Caine creates kept me off  balance.  While there is a "romantic" plot line it is such a small part of this first book that it was a nice change from some of the other books I have been reading lately. Unfortunately, the limited time spent on that relationship also made it difficult to understand the strength of what the two felt for one another.  Even though I don't often enjoy books from a male point of view I truly enjoyed getting to know Jess and trying to figure out his motivation.  His relationship with his family, particularly his brother, is something I definitely look forward to learning more about as the series progresses.  My last comment is a positive nod and thank you to Cain for including a gay character whose sexuality simply exists without being a defining part of the storyline.

Pam's Review:
What I liked most about this book is that books are so important and are such an integral part of the plot.  The world the author has created is fascinating, although I did have questions that weren't explicitly answered and I kind of had to fill in the blanks myself.  I viewed the Library as the government and the government is in complete control of knowledge because it has all of the books, the physical books.  The way people read is through the Library and they all sort of have Kindle like readers.  What wasn't entirely clear to me is whether the Library declines requests and whether it actually changes the books that people read versus the real book.  I decided that that had to be the way it worked and that it made sense given the plot of the book and how powerful the Library was.

Loved the politics and the characters, although I didn't feel like we got to know them that well, mostly because the book is told in the limited POV of Jess.  This is one of those books that would have been better with multiple POVs.  But that's probably a personal preference of mine.

All in all, I definitely recommend this series and I can't wait to read the next one!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Maybe in Another Life
Author:  Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher:  Washington Square Press, 352 pages
Publication Date:  July 7, 2015

From Goodreads:
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course,
Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

I loved this. It makes you think about even the small decisions you make in your life and how they can dramatically change how your life turns out. But at the same time, it's not like one life is any better or worse than the other…it's just different. Very realistic.

This book also made me think about the questions of fate and true love. What's interesting were the things that stayed the same in both lives versus were different. So were the things that were different not fated? Were the things that stayed the same fated to be?

It was strange to have two great guys in both storylines (although they were not perfect), which made it impossible to root for one guy (or life) over the other.

A feel good romantic book with some depth (there are truly some heartbreaking moments).

Posted by: Pam

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (107)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  It is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


From NetGalley:

   What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Posted by:  Pam

Friday, August 14, 2015

Book Review: How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

How to Say I Love You Out Loud
Author:  Karole Cozzo
Publisher:  Swoon Reads, 240 pages
Publication Date:  August 3, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they're related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can't shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again. Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?

This is one of those feel good books that leaves you with a goofy smile on your face.  

It's about a boy who can't express himself, can't use his speech, and a girl who chooses not to.

It's about a girl who has always tried to blend in, who never wants to be seen, but because she always holds herself back, she's also lonely and has let herself miss out on true friendships and love.

It's about a girl finally being brave.

It sends a powerful message about what's important, who's important.

And Alex…what a genuinely good guy.  The romance is light but it's perfect.

Posted by:  Pam 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Book Review: Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters #1)
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Hachette Australia, 382 pages
Publication Date: October 1, 2010

From Goodreads
It starts with a whisper.

It's time for you to know who you are..."

Stange dreams leave her with very real injuries and there's a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms. The guy she thought she could fall in love with just told her he's only half-human - oh, and same goes for her. And she keeps hearing a distant fluttering of wings.

Violet Eden is having a very bad 17th bithday.

But if angels seek vengeance and humans are warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.

I started this book knowing very little about the series except that the cover was beautiful and my co-blogger loves it.  The book has a slow start but then I couldn't put it down.  I came to really like Violet once she decided to deal with her new reality and the relationship twist completely surprised me because it is so rarely used in young adult fiction.  While this book covers a lot of ground it is only the first book in the five book series which is now complete and I can binge read!!!  

I would love to know what others thought about Violet's decision with regard to Phoenix and what it communicates about relationships to young adult readers.

Stay tuned for the rest of the series review.

Posted By: Sheri

Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review: A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes

A Book of Spirits and Thieves (Spirits and Thieves #1)
Author:  Morgan Rhodes
Publisher:  Razorbill, 368 pages
Publication Date:  June 23, 2015

From Goodreads:
Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her mother’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language.

Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home.

Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspear Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself….

Falling Kingdoms is one of my favorite series so I was so excited to read this spin-off series.  I LOVED IT.  Here's why:

1.  Unusual combination of urban fantasy and traditional fantasy.  I don't think I've ever read a book that combined the two.  Crystal and her sister Becca live in modern day Toronto along with Farrell Grayson, but then Becca's spirit (sort of) somehow gets sucked into Mytica.  

2.  Complex characters.  As is the case in Falling Kingdoms, Morgan Rhodes does a fantastic job of creating well-drawn and complex characters.  Characters who do horrible things and seem evil, but then also have heart and have the potential to be heroes.  There's one particular character in this book that appears to be turning into a villain, but you just never know and I love that you can't easily peg these characters.

3.  Elegant world-building.  It may be just that I love Falling Kingdoms so much but I love Mytica, the mythology is fascinating.  The part of the book that takes place in Mytica is a long time before the events that take place in Falling Kingdoms so if you haven't read that series, you don't have to in order to read this book.

4.  Fantastic plot.  Couldn't put it down and I can't wait to read the next one.  

5 Enthusiastic Stars!

Posted by:  Pam

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (106)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  It is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


  What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Posted by:  Pam

Friday, August 7, 2015

Discussion Question: What Do You Want in a Book Review?

There are so many different ways to write a book review.  Some people divide the review into different parts, focusing on plot, setting, characters, etc.  Others divide the review into what they like and didn't like.  Still others write in a conversational tone, giving their thoughts on the book.  Some write really short reviews, others write long ones.

When you're reading a book review, what's important to you?  What makes a good, well-written review?

I feel like I don't really have a style.  Sometimes I write super short reviews, sometimes they're longer.  I usually don't write too much about the plot since sometimes when I read other reviews the reviewer spoils the book by giving me too much information.  Sometimes I divide it up and focus on what I liked and didn't like.  

There are some reviews I read and even if I didn't know which blog I was reading, I would know by the review.  But that's not the case with me.  I still struggle with what people really want to know when they read it.  How much information is too much information?  Should I be focusing on certain things?

After writing over 300 reviews, I feel like I say the same thing over and over and over again.  I want the blog to be fresh and fun and to give readers a sense of what the book is like and why it worked or didn't work, what I loved about it, but lately I've been struggling.  What do you want in a book review??

Posted by:  Pam

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Audiobook Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 479 Pages
Publication Date: August 31, 2010

Narrator: Jennifer Ehle
Listening Length: 14 hours and 35 minutes
Audiobook Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio

From Goodreads:
In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them.

I've mentioned before that I love audiobooks.  I listen to them all the time!  Depending on what I am doing I will listen to a familiar classic, a Shakesperian play, or a young adult adventure.  This summer AUDIBLE has done a great job getting readers hooked on new series by selling the first book for a super low price.  Even though I previously read the Infernal Devices I thought it might be a great audiobook series and I was right!

Since I assume most of you know the story I am going to focus on why you should listen to the audiobook.  First, the narrator is very good with a lovely accent and with interesting differences among the character voices.  Second, listening to the story again after having finished this series and the Mortal Instruments series allowed me to think more about the connections across the characters and to pay attention to the subtle details I missed the first time when I was speed reading the book to know what happened next.  So for those who love audiobooks I would definitely recommend this book for first time readers or for those who have completed the books.
Posted By: Sheri

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything 
Author:  Nicola Yoon
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 307 pages
Expected Publication Date:  September 1, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

I really enjoyed this book.  I was expecting a love story between a dying girl and a guy and that's not this book.  I mean, it sort of is but it's not.  

Beautiful writing, an amazing main character who just wants to live, really live, be a part of the world and experience everything she should.  Olly…loved this guy.  He wears all black, has his own family issues to deal with, and then he falls for Maddy, the girl who lives next door who can never come out of her house.  Loved their relationship, the e-mails, the instant messages, etc. 

The whole time I'm reading, there's this sense of foreboding, and then there's a HUGE TWIST and it took me completely by surprise.  I mean, jaw dropping, WHAT??????  

My one complaint is the open ending.  I wanted MORE.

Posted by:  Pam

Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Review: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between
Author:  Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher:  Poppy, 256 pages
Expected Publication Date:  September 1, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This is a tough review to write because I did like the book, but it just made me sad. Jennifer E. Smith does a fantastic job of capturing the mixed feelings that people can have when graduating from high school and starting college.  On the one hand, Clare and Aidan are excited to start the next part of their lives; however, they are going to different colleges.  Clare is going to Dartmouth and Aidan is going to UCLA. It's the last night before they both leave and they still haven't decided whether they're going to try and make it work or whether they should just break up.  Aidan thinks they can make a long distance relationship work while Clare doesn't, which makes sense given their personalities.  Aidan is more emotional, spontaneous, and a talker while Clare is a planner, a list maker, and more quiet and introspective.  

Maybe it was just the mood I was in when I read it, but it made me feel a little nostalgic and missing people that I have let drift away.  Even though Clare's parents have tried to help her, talking about college being the beginning of everything, the first chapter of the rest of her life, Clare is upset because it seems like they're saying that everything she's done up to this point in her life isn't important and that the memories don't actually count.  To be honest, I've never thought about it that way before.

I liked both Clare and Aidan but I didn't connect with them as much as I wanted to. Reading this book about a couple at the end (possibly the end?) of their relationship made me realize how much I love reading about couples meeting, getting to know each other, falling in love, etc. 

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between is a thoughtful and realistic book about growing up and making tough choices.  Although there's a sense of melancholy throughout, the second prologue (really the epilogue) made me smile.  I do recommend it, but just know going in that this is not a light and fluffy read.

Posted by:  Pam

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (105)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  It is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Already read it and loved it!
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb.  Kindle daily deal…couldn't resist.
Alive by Scott Sigler.  I'm drawn to stories where the main character wakes up and has no idea who she is.

    What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Posted by:  Pam