Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston (Rules for Disapearing #1) (no spoilers)

Book: The Rules for Disappearing
Author: Ashley Elston
Publication: May 14th, 2013
Series: Rules for Disappearing #1
Source: Local Library
Read: June 21st-June 24th, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

 Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

 But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival

My Thoughts:
The Rules for Disappearing was my random read pick for April, but it wasn't totally random because I knew my sister had already read and loved this book. The other great thing was the sequel just came out and since this is a doulogy that means I can finish the whole series without waiting. After reading The Rules for Disappearing I don't want to wait.

This book is so mysterious. We know that Teeny and Sissy have moved from place to place changing their names because they are in the witness protection program. With a dad that is hiding secrets, a mom that is passed out drunk it is up to Meg to figure out why they are in the Witness Protection Program and how does she get them out. Moving has been hard on her family especially her little sister Teeny (Mary), who is pretty close to shutting down completely. Meg knows if they have to move one more time their whole family is going to fall apart.

Meg has a plan for Liousiana. She isn't going to get to know anybody at school, be friendly to anybody, or get involved in any school activity. Then she meets Ethan Landry who despite Meg's best efforts just won't leave her alone. I liked how Ethan and Meg's relationship was built slowly in this book. Meg didn't just look at Ethan and be like oh I'm in love with him. It took both of them time to get to know each other and for Ethan to discover Meg's secrets that she tried so hard to keep hidden. I really liked Ethan as a character. He was charming yet not afraid to speak his mind and get dirty. I also loved the way that he helped Teeny come out of her shell so much. Meg was a hard character to figure out. After so many moves she is always afraid of getting too close to somebody and then having to leave without telling them. She tries to push Ethan away, but Ethan likes Meg too much to be pushed aside.

When it matters most Ethan is there for Meg as she spills all the secrets about her life and they go on a daring road trip to save her family. A lot is resolved in 50 pages, but of course not everything because there is still one more book to read. I grew attached to these characters and I can't wait to read more.

This book was mysterious and action packed. It left me wanting to read the second book, which I'm going to start now. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments #6) (no spoilers)

Book: City of Heavenly Fire
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication: May 27th, 2014
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Source: Local Library
Read: June 11th-June 21st, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

 Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

 The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

 When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

 Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

My Thoughts:
This is going to be one of the hardest reviews I write this year. How do I accurately convey my feelings on a series I loved or characters I'm attached to? I have to say after finishing as long of a book as City of Heavenly Fire I am emotionally drained. In other ways I'm greedy and say that I wanted to just keep reading this book. I wasn't ready for it to end. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Clary, Jace, Magnus, Isabelle, Alec, and Simon. The transformation all these characters have made in these six novels is amazing. I do have to warn readers I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, but it is impossible not to spoil the previous books in the series so while I do promise not to spoil City of Heavenly Fire, I can not promise to not spoil previous novels. 

Simon is the character I want to talk about the most and for once I'm not going to be ranting about Simon. I have never hated a character so much until I came into contact with Simon. There were so many points during the series that I just wanted to kill Simon and feed him to the wolves. He transformed and changed so much over the last three books especially. Not only with him being a day lighter, but him taking a very important role in the shadow hunter world. For once I didn't hate Simon or find him annoying this book. I actually was rooting for Simon for the first time in the series. I think he created the most drama for the epilogue and I was sad for a brief period about how Simon life was going to turn out. For me to ever feel sympathy for Simon tells how many leaps and bounds he has conquered. 

The action in this novel was amazing. When I first started the novel I realized I had forgotten a bit from City of Lost Souls such as how Jace got the heavenly fire in his veins. Cassandra Clare was sneaky in the ways she used the Heavenly Fire throughout this novel. It brought the most surprising moments. With the war against the endarkened starting the importance of teamwork was important. The downworlders and shadowhunters had to work together to defeat the evil that was Sebastian. The main characters being together for the whole novel was my favorite. I loved getting to spend all this time with the main characters. Clary and Jace remain my favorite couple. Jocelyn and Luke remain my favorite parents. Isabelle remains my favorite kickass female character of the series. I fell in love with each of these characters and as I said before it was hard to say goodbye. Sebastian's character was predictable, but yet surprising in this novel also. I didn't think I would ever feel sorry for Sebastian, but I did. 

With a book this long I thought there would be many period lacking action and there really wasn't. There was minimal slow parts and I think I was just so wrapped in the characters and the story that the length wasn't an issue for me. I have heard people say they are going to wait because of the length. My suggestion is to pick it up soon because it is amazing. 

My one and only complaint about City of Heavenly Fire is the prologue, but my advice is to just bare with it because the characters are explained later and it is a great lead into her new series. I did find the prologue pointless and boring. 

If you haven't felt the need to go read City of Heavenly Fire yet, I do sincerely recommend it as well as the whole series.  I loved City of Heavenly Fire. It was the perfect ending The Mortal Instruments. I really felt like this book flew and I'm saying goodbye to these characters so soon. I did not read The Infernal Devices before reading City of Heavenly Fire so I do have some clues about that series, but I'm excited to read it now and I'm excited to read The Magnus Bane series. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Library Challenge: Library Discovery

I have two pictures for you today. I finished The Rules for Disapearing by Ashley Elston and took that back today. I'm currently reading The Rules for Breaking by Ashley Elston. Then my pile to the right. Some of these I'm getting tired of showing you guys which means I must read them soon. The stack from top to bottom is Rumplestilskin by Jenni James (inter-library loan), Popular by Maya Van Wagnen, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Real Boy by Anne Ursu, Little City by the Lake by Celcia Wilkins, The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan, Little House in the Ozarks by Laura Ingalls Wilder (this one is very slow moving, but I'm making my way through it. I'm at page 60). 

This weeks topic is library discovery. I really wanted to do a random book challenge for myself this week, but my stack being this large makes it impossible. I'm afraid this weekend won't help as I'm going to my friends house and won't get much reading done while I'm there. I worked 2 days so far this week and I'm loving my new job at the church daycare. I find it fun to be around children for a portion of my day. I especially like the hour I get to spend in the infant room. I think this is going to be a great temporary job while I finish school. 

Library Discovery that I want to share with my readers that I have know about and loved for a while is This doesn't only apply to my library it applies to all library. You can look up any book on this website and it will tell you if a library in the United States owns the book so you can inter-library loan the book 6 months after the release date. 

I'm hoping by Monday you will see a smaller pile here. I need to read the ones I have had checked out the longest soon because I'm running out of renews. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: The One and Only by Emily Giffin (no spoilers)

Book: The One and Only
Author: Emily Giffin
Publication: May 20th, 2014
Source: Local Library
Read: June 2nd-11th, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
In her eagerly awaited new novel, beloved New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin returns with an extraordinary story of love and loyalty—and an unconventional heroine struggling to reconcile both.

 Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.

But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.

Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

My Thoughts:
If you look on Goodreads, you would easily be able to see that there were many Emily Giffin fans disappointed in her new novel. Although this will never be my favorite Emily Giffin book, it was still a great novel. 

This was not my favorite Emily Giffin book by far. This one took me a lot longer to get into than most of her other books. Shea started out with her history with Walker football and how deeply she was ingrained into the Carr family. Lucy Carr was her best friend and Mrs. Carr basically her second mom. She admitted that she had always looked up to Coach Carr. When Mrs. Carr dies at the beginning of the novel this community comes together to put the pieces back together doing what they know best, Football. 

Football movies are always heartwarming and in some ways this book was also. Shea reminded me of some girls I know from high school that never move away from our small town. When Coach encourages Shea to take another job she is putting herself into uncharted waters for the first time in her life. She begins dating a famous quarter back, Ryan James and I found their relationship to be pretty good. I liked Ryan and he was attractive in my mind. I thought Shea may have found her place in Walker, Texas. There was always a strain between them and I loved the way Giffin slowly unfolded the clues to their relationships and Shea's feeling for somebody else. 

Emily Giffin is nothing new to relationships that go against the rules. Let's just take Something Borrowed, if you haven't read it you totally should. This book was another point of view to a relationship that shouldn't have been. As humans we are always trying to judge other people's lives. I just wanted Shea to be happy although the age gap did bother me at times. 

I don't always enjoy football books, but this one showed a community coming together, supporting each other, and spending time together through football so I found this books involvement in football to be endearing. Although Football was a big topic of the book it didn't take it over. It was mostly about Shea as she found her place in her community and in life. Coach was quite an amazing man and great role model for all the football players lives he was involved in. Coach became a great character in this book, but he was also quite complex. I liked that about him also. 

I highly recommend all of Emily Giffin's books. I think she is a great writer and I'm glad she added this book to her list of books she has written. By the end of the book I was attached to the characters and the game. I was rooting for the ending I wanted. It came in the almost an expected way, but it still felt unexpected. Most of all this book showed that finding the meaning of your life is important, best friends will do what is best for you, and love is blissful not matter the age. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Library Challenge Read-a-thon Wrap Up

I read a total of 531 pages in 16 hours and 55 minutes in 7 days. It was a wonderful week of reading. My library pile went down by one book.

Books Finished: 
I finished City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. My book review will be up Friday, but I recommend just reading it now. I enjoyed it so much. 

Books Started:
I started Little House in the Ozarks which is a collection of News Paper articles Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote though I have suspision that Rose probably edited/wrote a few of these. The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Easton is my April random read and I'm just finally reading it. I'm enjoying it so far. I'm getting quite attached to Meg as a character. 

Overall a wonderful week of reading. Thanks to The Book Monsters for hosting this read-a-thon. I will have my weekly update post up on Wednesday when I pick up the library books I have on hold. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: The Subtle Beauty by Ann Hunter (no spoilers)

Book: The Subtle Beauty
Author: Ann Hunter
Publication: January 2nd, 2014
Source: Kindle Freebie during Fairy Tale Fornight 2014
Read: May 31st-June 7th, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
A cursed prince. A vain beauty. Glory is the seventh daughter of Balthazar, High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. Glory hopes that - of all her sisters - she can escape the fate of a loveless marriage. But on the night she plans to elope with the royal falconer, her world comes crashing down: Her father announces Glory's betrothal to Eoghan of the Blood Realm - a prince no one has ever seen. The prince is said to be a recluse, cursed and deformed by the gods for the sins of his power-hungry father. Yet when Glory is trapped in Blackthorn Keep she discovers that not everything is what she expected. An insulting gryphon, a persistent ghost, and a secret plan to usurp the prince keep Glory reeling.

 In this retelling of BEAUTY & THE BEAST, can Glory overcome her vanity to learn that what she wants isn’t what she needs—and save the cursed prince?
My Thoughts: 
This novel was beautiful, absolutely beautiful! I fell in love! The Subtle Beauty is a unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast where Glory is our Belle and the cursed Prince Eoghan, the beast. 

Glory thinks that she has found her true love and the man she will marry, but the King's Falconer, Colin is no fit for a princess as lovely as Princess Glory. King Balthazaar announces Glory's bettothal to Prince Eoghan of the Blood Realm and Glory's world is turned upside down. Nobody has seen prince Eoghan for years. He is said to be recluse. Glory's heart remains with Colin and she plans to marry Colin as she had originally planned. 

When Glory's plan is turned upside down she leads a life full of surprises. She discovers an insulting gryphon, Xander the terrible king, and no prince to be found. Princess Glory can't find why she ever was betrothal if she is never to meet her prince, but will prince Glory be able to overcome her vanity and see that true beauty can not always be seen on the surface, but lies within. 

This story was beautiful from beginning to end. I was enamored by Glory's story. At the beginning I was in love with her relationship with Colin, but later in the story I saw the beauty in the beast. I was interested in Glory's relationship with Eoghan. I also loved the unique personalities of each of Glory's sisters and how their father was only worried about their best interests although they might not see it at first. The ending was everything I could have wanted for Glory and more although it didn't seem like there was going to be anything happy about this ending only pages before. This was a rather short story and it was totally worth reading. I can't wait to dive into more fairy tale retellings with this author. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Coyer Summer Vacation Sign Up

I have been stocking the Coyer Summer Vacation Challenge for awhile, but with it starting today I'm ready to join as an extra push to finish the books that I want to read this summer. My summer ends August 25th unfortunately and before that I want to get a lot done. I will be joining a couple read-a-thons in June, but as for any of the Coyer read-a-thons I doubt it. I like the Fairy Tales with a Twist and New Authors weekend so I may work it out to participate. 

I will not be doing any time tracking for this Coyer challenge just a list of books and their reviews that I finish during the challenge. I obviously want to read as much as possible, but I'm going to set my goal to read at 15 books during this time period. I will probably do monthly updates for this challenge so my first update will be July 21st then August 21st and my wrap up September 5th or 6th. 

Some Possible Books I May Read: (this is not a definite list):
Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Princess
Someday, Someday Maybe
Just One Day
Princess of the Midnight Ball
The Sky is Everywhere
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
Strands of Bronze and Gold
Little City by the Lake
A Little House of Their Own
A Kiss in Time
The Summer I Turned Pretty
It's Not Summer Without You
We'll Always Have Summer
Fly Away Home
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
Lola and the Boy Next Door
The Distance Between Us
How Zoe Made her Dreams (Mostly) Come True
Burn for Burn
Fire for Fire
Before I Fall
Angel Falls
Winter Garden
8 Sandpaper Way
A Cedar Cove Christmas

These are all the books I have in my TBR Jar right now and I hope to finish all of them by the end of the year so this summer would be a great time to tackle some of these and whittle down the list because remember my rule for this year that All Challenges Have to and Will be done by November 30th otherwise they are not getting completed because I'm reading Christmas books in December. These will mostly be from the library during this challenge. 

Spring Challenge Wrap Up 2014

Spring has come to an end and that means that it is time to wrap up my spring reading challenges. I did complete all of the challenges although not as victoriously as last year. I hope these challenges will return next year. I do have to admit that I did not finish City of Heavenly Fire before midnight on the 20th, but since I finished it before the wrap up I'm counting it. I'm just going to do pictures of all the books I read from March 20th to June 20th and I will explain which books goes to which challenges.

The books from Left to Right Are:
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White 
How to Love by Katie Cotugno 
True Colors by Kristin Hannah 
Four Friends by Robyn  Carr 
Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

reread Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah 
Family Affair by Debbie Macomber 
74 Seaside Avenue by Debbie Macomber 
Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo 
Through a Tangled Wood by Various Authors

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Swan Sisters by Ellen Datlow 
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord 
Reread The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows 

Just Destiny by Theresea Rizzo 
Cinderella is Evil by Jamie Campell 
Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey 
Sleeping Beauty by Jenni James 
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

The Queen's Army by Marissa Meyer 
Free Four by Veronica Roth 
Deception's Princess by Esther Friesner 
The Subtle Beauty by Ann Hunter 
The One and Only by Emily Giffin 
Maelyn by Anita Valle 
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Last year I read 23 books and 1 novella for the Spring Challenge period. This year I read 20 books and 7 novellas for the challenge period. This year I was really into catching up on my Amazon Freebies and I'm almost done. I need to do a number of small reviews for these novellas because I haven't review them because I don't have a whole lot to say, but I do want to review them. 

I joined 4 spring challenges this year and they were all super great. Squel Spring was my favorite and one I most hope comes back next year. 
Hosted by Words in a Teacup.
I read 5 sequels during this 3 month period. 

I made a list of possible sequels I could read and off that list I read 74 Seaside Avenue by Debbie Macomber, Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows, Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey, Sleeping Beauty by Jenni James, and City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I still have plenty of sequels to read to keep me busy as well as some new series I plan to start. 

Spring Reading Thing is Hosted by Musings of a Book Addict.  and Spring into a Good Book is Hosted by Book Dragon's Lair I'm going to talk about these together since I used the same list. 
1. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
2. How to Love by Katie Cotugno 
3. True Colors by Kristin Hannah
4. Four Friends by Robyn Carr
5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
6. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
7. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
9. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
10. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare 
Here's the original list of all the books I wanted to accomplish and as you see there was two that I didn't finished, but my rules were that if I read one I win, but I would like to read them all. I do plan to read Clockwork Angel soon and hopefully read Ophelia sometime this year. 

hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings.  I signed up to read one fairy tale related book and ended up reading 6. 
This includes Through a Tangled Wood by Various Authors, Swan Sister edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow, Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey, Sleeping Beauty by Jenni James, Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheimel, and Deception's Princess by Ester B. Friesner. 

Summer Library Challenge: Read-A-Thon Goals, and Updates

I'm late with this post, but not to worry I spent all of yesterday reading. I needed to wait with this post because I needed to show you another great stack of Library books. Last Week I finished The One and Only by Emily Giffin so I returned that otherwise my pile looks vaguely familiar right. I'm currently reading City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I'm actually almost finished. My goal is to finish it by Friday so I can count it for the Spring Sequel Challenge. From Top to Bottom my library books are Little City by the Lake by Celcia Wilkins, The Real Boy by Anne Ursu (June random read), Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Rules for Disapearing and the Rules for Breaking by Ashley Easton, The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, Tender Morsels by Margo Lanangan, Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder edited by Stephen W. Hines. The Real Boy, Fangirl, and Rules for Breaking are my three new ones for the the week. Anyhow I'm up to 10 books so I'm hoping no more coming in for me this week or next week. 

Also my story from yesterday involving the library. I had to pick up books from the library yesterday. We were predicted to get Hail and Heavy Rain. At the moment when we left it looked clear right as we get on the main highway it starts to downpour and then I fall the worldest slowest truck. I ran inside in the heavy rain and got the books and came out. Then we drove home in the pouring rain. It ended up not being the hailstorm they predicted, but I was afraid it would be when we started going. We made it home safe and got the car in the garage. 

I start training for my new job tomorrow and then I'm officially going to start next week. I'm going to be working at a church daycare for the rest of the summer. I'm excited! We are going to be running the Color Vibe this weekend. I love 5K races and this one sounds super fun also. My plan is to go visit one of my college friends next  weekend. She lives 5 hours away so I'm not looking forward to the long drive, but I haven't seen her since we got out of school so it is super exciting. I need some good audiobook recommendations because with 10 hours in the car I'm bound to get about 2 done. It really makes the drive go faster if I can listen to a book instead of music. Although I may do both. 

My goal for this week is to finish as many of those library books as possible. My other goal is to read over 500 pages. Also updates are going to be different. I will update on this post. I love seeing what times of the day I read most, but updates where I put every time I read have become cumbersome and I don't enjoy doing them so instead I'm still going to track my time, but I'm only going to post the time read and pages read for the day. 

Day 1
pg 369 to pg 450

Pages Read: 81
Time Read: 3 hours 3 minutes
Thoughts: I probably would have got more reading done except I took a much needed hour nap. I was up early yesterday. Then the computer is distracting as always. City of Heavenly Fire just keeps getting better. I know this finale is going to be epic. I know I'm not going to be ready for this book to end. Luckily I still have The Infernal Devices and The Magnus Bane series to move on to. 

Day 2 

pg 450 to pg 488

pg 0 to pg 30

Pages Read: 68
Time Read: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Pages Read: 149
Total Time Read: 5 hours 33 minutes

Day 3
pg 488 to pg 509

Pages Read: 21
Time Read: 50 minutes
Total Pages Read: 170
Total Time Read: 6 hours 23 minutes
Thoughts: I almost just want to pretend that yesterday never happened. I barely read at all. In hindsight it was a really fun day. I started my new job at the church daycare and I never thought working with people I didn't really talk to in  high school would be so enjoyable, but it truly was. I enjoyed being surrounded by children and I think it is going to be a really fun laid back job for the rest of summer. Gasp * I started my government paper I have been meaning to start. It is due July 3rd so I have to get it done soon. I'm hoping this weekend. 

Day 4 June 19th
pg 30 to pg 44

pg 509 to pg 558

Pages Read: 63
Time Read: 3 hours 14 minutes
Total Pages Read: 233
Total Time Read: 9 hours 37 minutes
Thoughts: I wanted to stay up later reading City of Heavenly Fire, but I was just too tired so I went to bed. I was hoping to have it done by today, but I don't see that happening, but for sure this weekend. My comment about Little House in the Ozarks is that although the book is good I learned it isn't interesting enough to be my only book I'm reading so I'm keeping it in the computer room and trying to read at least a couple chapters every day. I learned that Rules for Disappearing is due Monday and *gasp* I can't renew it so that is what I will be reading next. 

Day 5 June 20th
pg 558 to pg 638

pg 44 to pg 51

Pages Read: 97
Time Read: 2 hours 24 minutes
Total Pages Read: 330
Total Time Read: 12 hours 1 minute
Thoughts: I really wanted to finish City of Heavenly Fire today, but that didn't happen. We had a busy day. We picked up our race packets and then went over to our neighbors house around 2 and came home where I got some reading done. Then we went the pool and I wasted some time on the computer before I read 53 pages bringing me to midnight. *insert sad face* This read-a-thon is almost over. 

Day 6 June 21st

pg 638 to pg 725 
pg 0 to pg 53

Pages Read: 140
Time Read: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Pages Read: 470
Total Time Read: 15 hours 21 minutes
Thoughts: Saturday was a really good day for reading. I had to know the ending of City of Heavenly Fire and oh it was good. I have already wrote my review and everything. It was wonderful. Then I started The Rules for Disappearing which is great so far. 

Day 7 June 22nd
pg 53 to pg 114

Pages Read: 61
Time Read: 1 hour 34 minutes
Total Pages Read: 531
Total Time Read: 16 hours and 55 minutes
Thoughts: I spent more time reading in this library books read-a-thon, but I read more pages in my own. Overall it was a pretty good week. I enjoyed the books I was reading and I'm looking forward to getting some books returned to the library. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Review: Deception's Princess by Esther Friesner (no spoilers)

Book: Deception's Princess
Author: Esther Friesner
Publication: April 22nd, 2014
Series: Deception's Princess #1
Source: Local Library
Read: May 26th-June 1st, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
Some lies lead to true adventure. . . .

 Maeve, princess of Connacht, was born with her fists clenched. And it's her spirit and courage that make Maeve her father's favorite daughter. But once he becomes the High King, powerful men begin to circle--it's easy to love the girl who brings her husband a kingdom.

 Yet Maeve is more than a prize to be won, and she's determined to win the right to decide her own fate. In the court's deadly game of intrigue, she uses her wits to keep her father's friends and enemies close--but not too close. When she strikes up an unlikely friendship with the son of a visiting druid, Maeve faces a brutal decision between her loyalty to her family and to her own heart.

 Award-winning author Esther Friesner has a remarkable gift for combining exciting myth and richly researched history. This fiery heroine's fight for independence in first-century Ireland is truly worthy of a bard's tale. Hand Deception's Princess to fans of Tamora Pierce, Shannon Hale, and Malinda Lo
My Thoughts:

I'm like a lot of other people with this book. I was attracted to read the book because of the cover resembling Merida from Brave. This book is not to be confused with Brave because it is a lot different. The main character Maeve and Merida did have a few things in common. They are both fearless, brave, headstrong, and a bit stubborn. 

The beginning of this book had a lot of story building and was rather slow moving. I have to admit it took me a while to fall in love with Maeve. I was forcing myself to read this novel for a while, but then came Maeve's relationship with the druid's son Ordan. I so enjoyed their time spend together healing the animals and I think they both changed each other for the better. I love head strong female characters and although I do think Maeve fell to a few woman stereotypes, she was the type of character I was looking for. Maeve was the kind of person that often acts before thinking and then has to clean up her mess. Maeve has a strong head on her shoulders and she is willing to do what is best for her kingdom.  In this old century tale, Maeve's only job as a princess was getting married and although many suitors came, Maeve kept her stance that she would marry for nothing less than love. 

I enjoyed the way her father treated Maeve. He treated her like his true queen and the mother was also somebody I liked, but I would have liked her to have more of a role in the novel and Maeve's life. I enjoyed the mythology  woven into the novel. The writing was beautiful. Although I found some parts of the novel boring for the most part it was a beautiful story and I enjoyed getting to know Maeve. A part that really resembles Brave comes toward the end of the book. I found that part to be surprising and slightly unrealistic. It was one of my favorite parts of the novel. Maeve's choice at the end of the book is bold and courageous to say the least. I look forward to finding out her fate in the second novel. I will most likely read more novels by this author. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (no spoilers)

Book: Second Star
Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publication: May 13th, 2014
Source: Local Library
Read: May 24th-26th, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads):
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.
My Thoughts:

The beginning of Second Star was beautiful. It set the scene of sunny California, spending all day at the beach in the sun. Then it started to incorporate elements of Peter Pan. Here's the thing the publishing industry did wrong with this one. I was expecting an original peter pan retelling and at the beginning I think Peter Pan was incorporated in there well while still be an original story of Wendy Darling who is searching for her twin brothers John and Michael. John and Michael were always chasing the next wave and have been missing since January. 

At the beginning of the book I was loving every minute, the romance, the lost boys, and Wendy's quest for her brothers. Then everything changed toward the middle. Wendy might have been a bit crazy in the beginning, but by the middle I was pretty sure she lost her mind. She was doing things that I didn't understand and didn't really think she needed to do in order to find her brothers. Another thing that let me down is all the elements of Peter Pan disappeared in the middle. I couldn't find any traces of J.M. Barrie's story. 

Everything all came back at the end and I was totally interested in the novel again. I think Peter Pan elements came back to the story and the ending was not totally satisfactory because I was looking for more romance, but it was a magical ending. The ending gave hope, but when I got to it I thought of how it could have been so much more. I guess I just wanted more closure with the characters. 

The characters in this novel were interesting to say the least. My favorite had to be Hughie, he was a minor character, I think he brought so much hope and insight to this novel that I fell in love with him. Then there was Wendy. I have mixed feelings about Wendy. I think she will forever be plaqued by her brother's disappearance and that has changed her life and her way of thinking. As I said before her decisions in this book weren't exactly the best. I get the feeling of wanting to find your brothers, but I don't think she had the right way of going about. Then of course there was Pete. I think Pete should have had more of a role in this novel, but there were parts he would totally disappear. Otherwise Pete was charming, caring, but he was also the Peter Pan we know. He was forgetful and he lied and lived a carefree life. Then there was Belle, she was the Tinker Bell we all know and love. She was rude and impatient, but she was also fearless when Belle was surfing we saw a whole other side of her. That is what made me fall in love with her as a character. Then there was Jas. I won't tell you what his role was you will figure it out. I didn't like Jas and I didn't like his attitude and his way of achieving his goals. The characters in this novel could have been better, but for the most part they were pretty good. 

I respect this author a lot for creating an original contemporary and incorporating elements of Peter Pan into the story. The advertising for this book was incorrect and set my expectations to expect something different than I came across. I love the story of Peter Pan and I wanted more Peter Pan from the story. I think this should have more just been an original contemporary. The idea for the novel was totally unique and I respect the author a lot for that. I really did enjoy this novel which is why I gave it a high rating just don't going in expecting to see the story of Peter Pan throughout the novel. Go into this novel expecting to see an original story about surfers. Second Star was a great book to read during the summer. The atmosphere of the book made me want to go get out on the water. I recommend Second Star for people who love contemporary. Enjoy the ride!