Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nobody's Damsel

Author: Emily Mah Tippetts

Source: Paperback from author.

Summary: (goodreadsChloe has finished her masters degree and taken a job as a forensic scientist back in her home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico, only the press will not leave her alone. They follow her to crime scenes and report on her every move, eager to show that her marriage to Hollywood A-lister, Jason Vanderholt, is on the brink of collapse. Millions of fans who dream of their own celebrity romance with him want this more than anything. This scrutiny comes at a particularly bad time as Chloe's first case is a crime against a child roughly the same age that Chloe was when she survived a homicide attempt.

Now that she sees the case from an adult's perspective, she realizes it's much harder than she ever dreamed. It's even worse for Jason, who is two steps removed from the crime. He must watch and try to support his wife as she battles with past demons and tries to keep up with a nameless suspect who evades identification and capture. Never has Jason been more frustrated with his job, its frivolities, and its lack of connection to the real world. When he storms off the set of his latest movie, the press goes wild with conjecture. While he says he wants to work on a project that means something, his agent and manager fear this may be the end of his time in the spotlight. Perhaps he never was anything more than a pretty face after all.

Together, Chloe and Jason must find their way past all the popping flashbulbs and through the dark maze of the criminal investigation to discover whether they can balance their professional goals with the demands of a celebrity marriage. The odds are entirely against them

Review: Better than the first book, Nobody's Damsel has much more than a girl's love story to share with the reader. This one is about what happens after achieving your dreams. Does it end there? Does that fairy-tale love last forever? There is so much more that happens after the gorgeous wedding and things don't always turn out according to plan.

The realistic scenarios in Chloe's marriage connect her with the reader. After graduating with her degree, Chloe's dreams change. Now she is determined to get involved with the victims, but that really isn't part of her job. This journey will be about how to juggle work with family. About how work must stay work and also the emotional turmoil associated with traumatic jobs. Not everyone can take on such a challenge, but Chloe Winters is almost fearless. The part that isn't is kept under lock and key, but Jason must step in to make their marriage work.

Either Tippetts writing has highly improved, or Chloe's new life has made for such a great book. I only took a break from it when I was forced to answer the call of nature, but the story never left me. I appreciate the honesty with which the novel progresses. The reality is what is portrayed, although marrying a celebrity may not really be all that realistic...But sure is nice to think about. Just know that, for Chloe, it isn't all rainbows and roses. Excellent read!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Other Books in the Series:

1. Somebody Else's Fairytale (review) (goodreads)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ambril's Tale: Return of the Dullaith

Author: Wendy D. Walter

Source: Publisher

Summary: Fourteen-year-old, Ambril struggles with the mystery surrounding her father’s death when she moves back to the mysterious town where she was born. When she accidentally uncovers a secret which threatens to destroy her entire family, she continues her quest, against all odds, to clear her father’s name. But will she be able to claim her magic and and heal the rifts in her family?

Review: Hello! Today I am happy to be part of the blog tour for Ambril's Tale. The author will also be guest posting on January 3rd. Subject? Gnomes xD Apart from my review, keep scrolling to read an excerpt from the book and also a list of other blogs hosting. Although I am not holding a giveaway for this one, others on the tour are. And Wendy herself is giving away a hand-painted gnome, so be sure to check that out below. And on to the review!

Whoa. I think that is the best single word to describe my experience with this distinct work. From the get go,  Ambril is a character easy to sympathize with. She has had to move so many different times and her family is like the symbol of dysfunctional. Seemingly normal, her mom is pretty high strung and the sibling rivalry is intense.

The crazy factor is sky high in the beginning and just overwhelming. As the story progressed, things started to get explained and it was easier to swallow that vegetables had been raining from the sky. Although wacky, the writing and the non-chalance of the characters make it a whole new world to be a part of. Ambril is a wonderful main character and I look to reading more about her unusual abilities.

Favorite scene? So many funny things happen in this ridiculous novel, but my personal favorite is the one with the garden gnomes. Grumpy and cynical. Absolutely my favorite characters ever!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Excerpt Chapter Five

Chapter 5: Fowlclun to the Rescue

Ambril sighed as her thoughts brought her back to the present. So here she was, feeling safe and snug. Deep down though, she knew the chicken-legged monster had done her in.

Well, at least her death had been painless. It smelled nice in heaven too, kind of like cookies. But when she tried to turn her head, she realized that she hadn’t made it to heaven yet. Pain shot through her body, making her wince. She was definitely still alive. She gingerly explored the top of her head and found a throbbing lump. Someone had thoughtfully placed an ice-filled cloth on it, which almost helped. That was what covered her eyes. She thought about the chicken-legged monster again. Silhouetted against the sky, the thing had been as big as a house.

So why wasn’t she dead?

Her limited experience with monsters had been that they generally wanted to eat her, not tuck her into bed with an ice pack.

So just where was she? Then she became aware of the odd, rocking sensation again. Wherever she was, she seemed to be moving.

There were also sounds of movement nearby. She heard the whuffle of fabric, the crinkle of paper, and a grating ping, as if someone were hopping around on a metal-tipped pogo stick. There were whispers too. Perhaps the monsters were planning a dinner party–with her as the main course.

She had to find out. Slowly, Ambril reached up and moved the ice pack from her eyes. She was lying in a huge bed layered with patchwork quilts. The vaulted ceiling above her was covered with a fuzzy, warm fabric. Judging by the swinging lanterns hanging from the rafters, they were moving along at speed. She looked around with her eyes half closed. The spacious room was filled with comfortable furniture which had softened with age. As far as she could tell, she was alone. Where were the whispers coming from?

She took another look. There was an old-fashioned kitchen, a huge stone fireplace, and an umbrella hopping around all by itself.

She stopped and looked again.

As she watched, the umbrella flapped its fabric as it preened. The ornate bird’s head carved on the handle yawned and blinked. Ambril scanned the room quickly and swallowed hard when she saw a feather pen sweeping crumbs off a kitchen table.

What had happened to the world? Ambril’s body went rigid as she clamped her eyes shut and wished she could just reset the clock, go to sleep and wake up in her old familiar room with the sound of the streetcars outside.

But what was she thinking? They didn’t even live in San Francisco anymore. In fact, they didn’t live anywhere. Even if she managed to escape, how would she ever find her family? She imagined herself tacking up signs all over the forest:

One blonde mother - One grumpy brother
If found, send up a flare

She had to smile at that and smiling helped calm her. Her breathing evened out just as the whispers became loud enough for her to make out what was being said.

“–Such a slip of a thing and chilled to the bone. How she ever took on a Dullaith is beyond my thinking!” A young girl’s voice tisk-tisked from across the room.


Giveaway Info

Stop by Wendy's website to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. There will be surprise prizes and you can enter to win the grand prize of a gnome hand-painted by Wendy! Oh and don't forget to come back  here on January 3rd when Wendy will be here to guest post on guess what? Gnomes! Gotta love those awesome creatures :)

Click here to see the other stops on the tour and enter their contests for a paperback or e-book version of this quirky book. Or look below. This list was taken right off Wendy's site.

About The Author: Wendy D. Walter
Writing was an early passion for Wendy. As a kid, she wrote lots of stories, but being shy, they usually ended up under the mattress. When she finally set out to tell Ambril’s Tale, she decided not to write a story but a world, full with her own marvelous illustrations. She considers The Return of the Dullaith as just the curly tip of the fairy boot. Wendy lives near San Francisco with her husband, daughters, cat and border collie. More information about Wendy's book and art, check her site:


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18: Top Ten Books I Read In 2012

This weekly feature was created by the gals over at The Broke and the Bookish. Click here to see upcoming topics! This week is the top ten books read in 2012 and it was certainly a challenge to choose ONLY ten. I scoured my blog and my goodreads and my library checkouts and came up with these. Although not all of these received five stars, they stayed with me a lot longer. Being memorable is one of the most important things for the books I end up re-reading and consequently recommending long after my reader high.

In no particular order, these are my top ten:

1. Burning Blue by Paul Griffin: There will be a review here sometime soon for this one, but I've just got to say that it surpassed all my expectations. The characters where heartbreakingly real, and the psychological aspects explored in this novel were so much more in depth than I would expect from a YA novel. The writing was great, and the villain was someone that I couldn't have foreseen. Suspenseful and action-packed.

2. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: It is under 24 hours that two people meeting under less than desirable circumstances find the answer a whole lot of their individual problems. I can't express how believable the romance is in this story. Skeptics of first love will also be convinced that the relationship between Hadley and Oliver is based on a whole lot more than just looks. You can check out my review for PBR here.

3. Mad Science Institute by Sechin Tower: Guess what? This book is from a small publisher and although I had my prejudices when I started it, Mad Science Institute is a book that I will re-read. The main character is absolute hilarious! And the comic-book villain is loads of fun. A definitely unique cast of characters and compelling storyline got this one on my top ten. My review here.

4. Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran: This is probably the longest book I read this year at a hefty 446 pages. But every single one of those pages was compelling and full of soooooooo much information. I had to take frequent breaks just to absorb the events surrounding it, but this overload was effective in getting a response of distress out of me as I imagined what our main character was going through. It spans a huge period of time, but gives the reader a wonderful story and accurate information on the French Revolution at the same time.

5. all these things i've done by Gabrielle Zevine: If I absolutely had to choose a favorite of the year, this one would probably be it. Words are lacking to describe how I feel about this book. Although it wasn't as...criminally as would have been expected, the story was still superb. My review.

6. Fracture by Megan Miranda: Something about this book just got to me. The characters aren't always good people and the story itself isn't something uber spectacular. But the way the writing managed to weave magic and reality into something almost seamless was astounding. It was just one of those books that you don't know why you loved it so much.

7. Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier: Usually I am extremely wary of anything sounding like epic fantasy, mostly after trying, trying and failing to get through the 2nd book in the Inheritance Cycle. But this! Up my alley. Imaginative and action-packed, I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel. Review here.

8. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver: I actually read Delirium over the summer...but it just didn't live up to the hype. Lena seemed more like a twelve-year-old than anything with all the clingy-ness and pity-partying and just general whining. But I liked the story and I liked the writing, so I had to read on. And let me tell you that Lena grows up for this one. Her new-found strength made this book ten times better. There was also another great storyline with lots of fights and surviving and such. Although the romance less than convinced me, that ending was akdjskdjkds!!! High hopes for the next one!

9. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa: Published in 2010, this series blew up the blogosphere, but I am always wary of things that sound too good to be true. When I crossed paths with this book at my  library, I decided to see if it was worth the praise. And yes. Yes it is. There are no typical characters in this novel. All of them are different from what I expected and although they at first seem to fit a mold, as I progressed through the story, they revealed their gray areas. I've yet to pick up the other books in the series, but I promise to do so eventually! Review here.

10. Just One Wish by Janette Rallison: It is melodramatic. Sad, but moving. Family loyalty is a very strong theme in this book and although meeting a hot actor seems way out there, the writing will make you believe it possible. Wonderful book.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Author: Amy Brecount White

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) Something-some power-is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love.
Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out.
Clues and signs and secret messages seem to be all around Laurel at Avondale School, where her mother had also boarded as a student. Can Laurel piece everything together quickly enough to control her power, which is growing more potent every day? Or will she set the stage for the most lovestruck, infamous prom in the history of the school?

Review: My favorite part of this novel was the love relationship. Laurel and Justin were very slow in revealing their feelings which is something that can be lacking in many teen novels. There was more chemistry there, I felt, because of the gradual-ness of their progression. It was sweet! And made me smile all goofy-like! The concept of girls giving guys magical flower bouquets allows for some fairly funny business.

Laurel sometimes does act very young for her age, but it fits fairly well with her personality. She is kind of all over the place, what with having strange powers and trying to figure out the entire school's problems. The kind of magic that she can work may have some dreadful consequences for some of those exposed to it, but this book will be an interesting ride!

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pretty Little Liars: Killer

Author: Sarah Shepherd

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) In picture-perfect Rosewood, Pennsylvania, ash-blond highlights gleam in the winter sun and frozen lakes sparkle like Swarovski crystals. But pictures often lie— and so do Rosewood's four prettiest girls.
Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily have been lying ever since they became friends with beautiful Alison DiLaurentis. Ali made them do terrible things—things they had to keep secret for years. And even though Ali was killed at the end of seventh grade, their bad-girl ways didn't die with her.
Hanna's on a mission to corrupt Rosewood's youth, starting with a very attractive sophomore. Aria's snooping into her boyfriend's past. Spencer's stealing— from her family. And pure little Emily's abstaining from abstinence.
The girls should be careful, though. They thought they were safe when Ali's killer was arrested and A's true identity was finally revealed. But now there's a new A in town turning up the heat. And this time Rosewood is going to burn.

Review: Another amazing book in the Pretty Little Liars series. I am so anxious to get my hands on the next one because some answers should begin to be revealed to this whole mess. The suspense of these books just grows and grows and grows and so does my addiction to them.

In Killer, there is a slight change in atmosphere. Things are getting darker and there is more attention to the emotional side of the Pretty Little Liars. The jabs from A are getting more serious while the reader is left wondering just how much A is really controlling and not whether A simply was a catalyst for the actions of the Pretty Little Liars. The psycho factor is definitely amped up in this book. And I feel I am going crazy too from all the theories I've tried to form.

It all seems like a huge conspiracy involving everyone in Rosewood and it leaves me anxious for an explanation. How can so many things go so right for A while they go so wrong for our main characters. I pity them really. Killer had an awesome-but-more-questions-than-answers ending to it that left me breathless. If you haven't read these books yet, please do so. Murder, mind-games, lies, and four pitiful Rosewood girls trying to get through the grief and guilt of losing a friend will make your world spin.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

This is number 6 in the Pretty Little Liars series.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013

This weekly meme is brought to you by the wonderful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. You can find future topics listed here as well as more information about the feature. Today is like a massive wish-list post and without further ado, here are the top ten books I am most anticipating in 2013!

Links go to Goodreads.

1) Lessons in French: A Novel by Hilary Reyl: This novel isn't YA, I don't think. But it sounds like an excellent story. The protagonist is straight out of college and looking for work and it is in France and it is in 1989. It just sounds so different, from what I usually read, but I may be interested because I wonder what I will be doing when I get out of school. It is a coming-of-age story by the sound of it.

2) The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd: I'm sure this is high on a whole lot of people's wish lists. In case you have been living under  a rock (Don't worry. I've been known to once in lots of whiles!), here is the Goodreads summary because I couldn't do it justice.
London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true. 

Juliet is accompanied by the doctor’s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.
 3) Panic by Sharon M. Draper: Gorgeous cover! The color scheme makes the butterfly's wings pop. And I feel something of a struggle from it as it is pinned down. Fairly simple, but I think it connects well with the summary for this book.

It is a mystery of sorts? Because from the summary, it sounds like we will be on both sides of the conflict. Maybe we will live Diamond's moments of captivity and then also live the fear her family has trying to find her kidnappers. It sounds like it will be emotionally wrenching and hopefully cathartic.

4) City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster: I fell in love when I read the title. Add the majestic cover and you get one of my most anticipated books of 2013. Nisha is the main character and she may or may not be training as an assassin? Anyways, it will take major sleuthing for her to find out what is causing girls her age to kick the can. And there will be forbidden romance along the way. All good reasons to beg someone to get it  for me!

5) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: Although I've read some good reviews and some not so great ones, I am still looking forward to reading it. The main characters sound so ordinary! So not stars of a novel type characters, but everyone has a story to tell. I think this will be a very memorable read, because the story may be generic, but the characters are something else altogether.

6) Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum: Read this as a cautionary tale against robots. I knew it! They will eventually take over the world and where will we be left? It will be 2071 and some humans will survive only to be forced to live in fear deep in the woods. But things get much worse for three teens living the nightmare. They must begin an uprisiing, a revolution, to release their families from the clutches of robots. I for one, cannot wait to see how they will fight a bunch of machines.

7) Also Known As by Robin Benway: A girl in high school is actually a spy. And her parents are spies too. That is all I know and I am intrigued! Did I mention there are spies?

8) The Murmurings by Carly Anne West: Dark books aren't my favorite kind of reads, but this one will hold readers in suspense. Her sister committed suicide,  because she heard voices. But now Sophie hears them too and she on a mission to find out whether there was more to her sister's suicide then her doctor wants to let on. This novel sounds like it will have a kick-ass heroine and deals with two very major issues.

9) Flowers in the Sky by Lynn Joseph: Flowers in the Sky will be a sentimental and probably heartbreaking read. Nina Perez has to move from  the Dominican Republic to New York and of course she is homesick, but what she finds in New York may or may not trump all the bad things in her life. Sweet, sad, and full of longing, I will save this one for a rainy day (which there are a lot of in Oregon).

10) The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock: A freshman bent on revenge, Celia Door's character seems pretty wacky. But of course, enter the cute guy from New York  and Celia's plans for sweet revenge may be flipped upside down. I wonder if it will be an ironic  story or a comedy, since Celia sounds pretty intense for a 14-year-old.

So these are just a few books that I can't wait to get my hands on. It is kind of sad in a way to be thinking of the books coming out next year when my to-be-read list is insane enough as it is. I'm sure that about a hundred of those books came out this year and the other hundred last year. Soooo many wonderful novels and there just isn't time enough in the world to read all the ones I want. Feel free to post links to your TopTenTuesday in the comments as I am always adding more and more to by tbr pile despite the huge number of books already in it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tiger Lily

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

Review: Almost anything Peter Pan related can draw my attention, but I especially couldn't pass up a book offering a completely different perspective and a unique story. This book is bittersweet and about much more than two teenagers falling in love.

Tiger Lily is impressively talented. She lives in a society that can turn on one of their own at any moment. They live in fear of the land-dwellers and then the pirates. This tightly closed community stifles Tiger Lily. She wanders and finds that the truth isn't all it seems. As she shifts from her tribe to the outside, she discovers the biggest part about who she is. But it will come with a very steep price.

This story will make your heart clench in silent grief and sympathy for Tiger Lily while the good memories fill you like they do her. Tiger lily's tale will have you reminiscing and all nostalgic, so you may want a tissue box handy as you experience grief, betrayal, and loss with one of the strongest female characters in YA.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: My Beautiful Failure

Title: My Beautiful Failure

Author: Janet Ruth Young

Release Day: November 13th, 2012

Summary: (goodreadsA haunting account of a teen boy who volunteers at a suicide hotline and falls for a troubled caller.Billy is a sophomore in high school, and twice a week, he volunteers at Listeners, a suicide hotline.

     Jenney is an “incoming,” a caller, a girl on the brink.

     As her life spirals out of control, Jenney’s calls become more desperate, more frequent. Billy, struggling with the deteriorating relationship with his depressed father, is the only one who understands. Through her pain, he sees hope. Through her tears, he feels her heart. And through her despair, he finds love. But is that enough?

     Acclaimed author Janet Ruth Young has written a stunning and powerful story with no easy answers; it is about pain and heartbreak, reality and illusion, and finding redemption and the strength to forgive in the darkest of times.

My Thoughts: Although I'm not a huge fan of realistic fiction, I don't think I've read something quite like this. It sounds like the POV isn't from the suicidal character, but from someone who is trying to help. How does one deal with something like this as an outsider? Especially since Billy already has serious problems of his own, This is why I am looking forward to this book. How will it turn out? I don't know, but I will have a tissue box nearby when I do pick this up.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tokyo Heist

Author: Diana Renn

Source: Bought

Summary: (goodreadsWhen sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger--including Violet's and her father's.

Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery--before it's too late.

Review: This book is a refreshingly different read and a welcome break from all the paranormal monster books. It contains history, art and ties different cultures together. If you are a fan of manga, then you will also be able to enjoy this story. I enjoyed the connection between Japanese and Western art and artists while learning a bit about Japanese culture. Violet is quirky, fun and a great detective. She is easy to like and you will be cheering her on all the way.

Although there is a mystery, it is a little comical and the villain isn't too surprising, but I felt that it wasn't meant to be terribly realistic. The real story is about Violet and her issues with her separated parents, and giving in to her passion for art. There was a bit of a fantasy element that made this novel mystifying and all the characters were very distinguished. It was a light read, with adventure and some dark undercurrents. I definitely recommend to those who like manga, art, kimonos or mysteries. The romance is really cute too! I am looking forward to reading more stories by Diana Renn.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kissing Shakespeare

Author: Pamela Mingle

Source: Portland Book Review

Summary: (goodreads)

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide. 

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright. 

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

Review: This review was originally posted on Goodreads, and I also wrote a separate and distinct review for PortlandBookReview.

 "It started out kind of slow. Miranda was a whiny character in the beginning and it was difficult to get a better feel for her personality before she was transported back in time. In Elizabethan England, she was acting as Stephen's sister, Olivia. So in the beginning it was difficult to grasp her character. And Stephen was a jerk at first too.

The mystery is not much of a mystery, but it isn't the main point either, so that didn't give much cause for disappointment. What was a little disappointing was the not so pretty ending. It will leave some unexplained questions. Like how exactly does Stephen's power work? Or why wasn't it elaborated on? The book really is more about Miranda's personal growth than anything.

William Shakespeare is definitely a secondary character off to the side. The entire book is about trying to get him to continue as a playwright, but even Miranda doesn't really get to know him all that deeply. Readers get a very superficial image of him. But I did love the Author's Note on how and why the story takes place where it does. It is a suggestion of who Shakespeare was before he went to London.

Overall, it had great action, the romance was realistic, and it was a good story."

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5


My excuse for not having posted anything all that good in over a month: At first, it was filling out all my paperwork for school and being on vacation and blah, blah, blah. Now? Still school. Fifteen credits isn't easy, even if 2 of those are PE classes! Haha. They still take up soooo much time. I barely have time to study, but I do not want to give up my blog. I am fairly certain that reading is the only thing keeping me sane in between Calculus 1 and memorizing how to name compounds. What I am saying is that it will continue to be slow around here. I have a couple essays to write for my transfer and it is Midterms. Already. But I will still be posting! Sporadically, but I will. Thanks for being great readers until now and I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Death of a Kleptomaniac

Here is another edition of "Waiting on Wednesday" brought to you by Jill from BreakingTheSpine. This weekly meme features books we are anxiously awaiting, but have yet to be released. This is what I am waiting for this week!

 Title: Death of a Kleptomaniac

Author: Kristen Tracy

Release Day: October 30th, 2012

Summary: (GoodreadsAt sixteen, Molly is a girl who's just started living--at last she's popular. But for a girl who has everything, Molly feels like she never has enough. So she steals. At least there's plenty of time to fix this last little problem. Except Fate has other plans for Molly. Like death. Suddenly dead and in denial, how can Molly move on when life was just looking up? Can she abandon her earthly ties or will she jeopardize her soul to stay close to her loved ones? From critically acclaimed author Kristen Tracy, Death of a Kleptomaniac is the heartfelt story of one girl's search for redemption, a family's encounter with grief, and love's power to rise above even the most final of boundaries.

My Thoughts: I really like the idea that this book is based on. I don't know the details of kleptomania, but it sounds like a really interesting topic to think about. Just like death is. I want to see how the author will characterize Molly from before she died to her finding "redemption". It sounds like a complex story and hopefully it will be pulled off wonderfully. Plus, I kinda really like that cover. :)

Similar: Links go to Goodreads. They are books that sound similar to my "WoW" and that I recall liking.

Ghostgirl (For narrators who are already dead. Ironic and humorous.)
Between (For narrators who are already dead. Mystery. It has a more serious tone dealing with teen issues.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Diviners

Finally trying to get back into the rhythm of blogging consistently. I took a break to just read for pleasure. Checked out like 20 books from the library and am almost done with all of them. I also spent a scary amount of time on Goodreads recently and added like 40 new books to my to-read shelf! I shall share some of these through "Waiting on Wednesday" which is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at BreakingTheSpine. It is mostly meant for books that haven't been published yet. Here is this week's pick:

Author: Libba Bray

Release Day: September 18th, 2012

Summary: (goodreadsEvie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.
My Thoughts: This was already released apparently and will be the first in a series, BUT I wanted to share because I am really, really, really looking forward to picking this up, (*scribbles note to self to go to B&N tmrw*), sometime soon. So why am I so happy? Because I absolutely loved The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Bray, but was disappointed with Going Bovine. I'm hoping that with The Diviners, Libba Bray will be channeling more of the deep mystery and awesomeness present in the series I loved. I think I may be biased toward Historical Fiction anyway.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished

"Top Ten Tuesday" is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which encourages book-related talk among bloggers. You can find more information and future discussion topics here. Today's topic is on the top ten series that you haven't finished for any reason whatsoever.

1) Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead: I reluctantly began the series on a recommendation and loved it. Until I got the the third book. Then I just forgot about it waiting super excitedly for the fourth book to come out. Now that all six are available, I may decide to finish it. Maybe. Feels like I don't remember quite enough of the third book to go into the fourth. But I do remember LOVING this series.

2) Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard: Probably my favorite Dramalicious books ever! I have read up to book 9...but there are 12 in total. I want to know the end, but at the same time it feels like it is dragging on and on. It was clearly meant to end on book 8, but they keep squeezing the life out of the characters. The misery is getting to me...and the fact that my time may be better spent elsewhere. If I see the 10th next time I'm in the library, I may or may not pick it up. We shall see!

3) The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa: Saw the first book at the library one time, so the rave reviews I'd already seen convinced me to check it out. It was love at first chapter, but the rest of the books are never, ever in! I keep procrastinating on actually placing a hold, because I'm usually horrible at scheduling a time to actually pick up books, but I really do want to finish this series before I start on Kagawa's latest.

4) Wings by Aprilynne Pike: The covers are positively gorgeous. My favorite is probably the one for Illusions because it exudes magic and exotic-ness and it is so, so pretty! Unfortunately, I only barely got through the first book. I just couldn't connect to the characters. It was like a stranger was telling, not showing, me Laurel's story in attempt to keep me from falling asleep. But failed. Those covers are so enticing that maybe I will decide to give Spells a chance, but for now, I am not that desperate.

5) Inheritance Cycle Series by Christopher Paolini: Seems like a whole lot of people absolutely loved this, but it wasn't for me. Eragon was amazing. There is no denying the greatness of this series, but then halfway through Eldest, I asked myself, "I don't even like epic fantasy. Why am I still torturing myself with the lengthiness of this book?". And I put it down. I feel discouraged when I see how big each book is and I just don't care enough about the main character to put up with all the walking and fighting and epic-ness present. I consider getting through Eragon an accomplishment.

6) Bartimaeus by Jonathan Stroud: I had a slightly similar issue with this series as with The Inheritance Cycle. Each book is huge and there are so many others I could read in the space of time it would take me to read the second in this series. I really liked The Amulet of Samarkand because it was easy to get through, had lots of magic and action, fast-plot, but again, I didn't connect deeply with the characters to want to follow them in the second installment. Nathaniel just started to really creep me out. He is psycho. Really.

7) The Body Finder Series by Kimberly Derting: This is one that I just haven't had time to get to. The first book wasn't fantastic, but the premise keeps me want to keep reading. Mostly because I want to see the romance develop...and read about more creepy mysteries. I do plan to read the second, third and fourth books. Soon.

8) The Chemical Garden Series by Lauren DeStefano: Wither...left something to be desired. Vivid imagery of dresses and glitz and glam were not enough to keep me happy about the fact that the world-building didn't make much sense. I just couldn't see the setting! I really did like how the descriptions were written, but they were omitted when I wanted to know more about what kind of place Rhine lived in. Whenever she wasn't at the house, I only saw her and the characters. Not much of anything else. I don't think I can go through suspending my belief or another two books.

9) Shadow Children Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix: There are seven novels and I've read about five or six which means I must have liked it a lot. I stopped before the last book came out and it was another one of those series where I couldn't find the next book when I wanted it and then I just forgot about it. I'm not sure that they would hold the same appeal to me now. Six years later. I'd probably miss some really important stuff, so I think I will just remember that once upon a time, I was in love Luke.

10) Matched Series by Ally Condie: Awesome story, but slow. Matched was a tad long for my taste without needing to be, but I really liked the storyline that I know I will end up reading the other books. Although I usually prefer character-driven novels, the MC in this isn't as powerful as the plot and the action and the restrictions put on by her government. Good dystopian read. But the reason I haven't continued is mostly because I keep forgetting to buy them. These covers are gorgeous and I definitely want to read copies I own. Unfortunately, my money leaves before I remember my priorities!

There it is! These posts are pretty fun since I haven't really thought about how many series I've left unread. Leave a link to your Top Ten and I will be sure to stop by!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book Moments I Cannot Get Over

This is going to be a place where I can rant about a specific thing pertaining to a book. I'm sure there is such a meme out there somewhere, so if you know about one then let me know. Anyway, this will probably always contain major spoilers. Continue to read only if you have read the book or if knowing the plot won't impede you from reading the novel!


Series: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy

Author: Libba Bray

Goodreads: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3

Summary/Review: Gemma is an English girl, brought up in India, but she is sent to a boarding school when her mother dies. The weird thing is that Gemma forsaw her mother's death, but that is just the beginning of her new supernatural powers.

Simply put, this series is amazing. Chock full of India and England. Set in "olden" times, this story is inexplicably timeless. There are plenty of strong and unique characters, but the love interest is amazingly swoon-worthy.

Rant/Gush: This is definitely a rant. I absolutely, positively LOVED this series. I've read one other book by Libba Bray and cannot say I was impressed, but the Gemma Doyle Trilogy is something that will be hard to surpass. My problem lies with the third and final book entitled The Sweet Far Thing. Even the titles are gorgeous! Is this turning into a Gush? The moment I am still confused by, even though I read this series about two years ago, is that Kartik....ends up stuck in the tree. There is no happy end! Kartik ends up having to sacrifice his life for Gemma, but there is no happy end! I do admit to appreciating the real-ness of the situation. They were under terrible circumstances and it was clear someone was  going to suffer. But why the lead couple?! WHY?! Why didn't Felicity get thrown away instead? Why Kartik?! *breathes deeply*

There it is. I had to get it out there. Write down my emotions and that I can move on or whatever. This has become a Book Diary entry. Signing out!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Song: That XX by G-Dragon

Song: That XX

Language: Korean

About: G-Dragon is finally back with a solo mini album. The songs range in style and meaning, showing off many of G-Dragon's vocal abilities with high and low notes. His talent as a lyricist is apparent and hopefully it can still be enjoyed by those who won't understand a word of Korean. The few English lines that are in That XX are perfectly placed to enhance meaning.

His voice is beautifully controlled to fit a conflicted, but resigned mood. The entire song isn't sung the same way, but does stick to a certain emotion. The soft music with the clear guitar is a wonderful accompaniment in order to not clog up G-Dragon's voice. I don't think I could count the number of times I have listened to this song.

The music video is also one of my favorites because it intends to follow the song meaning. K-pop videos usually consist of colorful lights and the artist dancing like their life depends on it. But usually the music videos don't seem to have much to do with the actual song. This one though uses camera angles to create tension within G-Dragon himself for wanting to treat his girl better, but continuing to hurt her. It goes from sharp to soft shots that relay a certain atmosphere and feel.

Oh! The beep is for "sekki", which apparently translates to "bastard".

Official MV:

With Romanization and English:

Friday, August 31, 2012

Me! Me! Me!

So, I've been away for a very long time, but I wanted to share this right now with you all because I am that excited! These are the reviews IIIIII wrote *tears up* for Portland Book Review and I just thought I would let you all know.

In my blog reviews, I do not usually write out my own summary of the book because I love Goodreads too much. It was a tad on the challenging side to be concise and write a summary + review in under 200 words, but I don't think I did too bad. Feel free to give me tips or suggestions for improving especially the summary part of these tiny reviews. Hopefully, I will continue with this for a very long time.

"Dreamless: A Starcrossed Novel

Published on August 29, 2012 by  in Young Adult
By Josephine Angelini
Harper Teen, $17.99, 496 pages
Helen is devastated because of Lucas, but love isn’t the only problem she has to face in Dreamless. Every night she descends into the Underworld trying to find the way to free the Furies and Scions from the blood debts, although every night the same torture awaits her. Exhaustion from sleepless nights and days and aching loneliness quickly leaves Helen emotionally unstable, but mysterious funny, strong and smart Orion (Helen’s saving grace), helps her navigate the Underworld is a necessity. To complete her part in the prophecy and also save herself before an impossible new foe gets her first, Helen must fight with strength she does not think she has.
In this book the author creates an incredible realm of possibilities and its vivid imagery is better than in the first book of the series. The new character, Orion, is a welcome relief of the very intense and crushingly real pain Helen is going through. Although it is a long book, the fast pacing, fights and actions make the time reading it fly by, leaving the readers with disappointment because it had to end, but eagerness for the next installment.

"The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Published on July 18, 2012 by  in Young Adult
By Jennifer E. Smith
Poppy, $17.99, 236 pages
In twenty-four hours, Hadley’s world changes. On her way to her father’s wedding, she barely copes with the resentment she feels toward him and the claustrophobia in the airport. She is four minutes late, missing her flight to London, but those four minutes are key to maybe the rest of her life. Love, grief, forgiveness and redemption are all explored in this sometimes funny and sometimes bitter novel.
Early on, the romance seems to take center stage, gradually building a believable relationship between Hadley and the British boy, Oliver, as they sit and chat next to each other during the flight. Both are headed to London, but both will come out with very different experiences at the end of the day. Witty banter, quirky dialogue and realistic characters give hope that love at first sight might just exist. But it isn’t all romance. Hadley will grow tremendously and her relationship with her father ends up being the most important aspect of her interaction with Oliver. A story of beginnings and ends, this novel is a beautifully written demonstration of what it means to move on.

And they are both five star books! I am oh-so-very happy to be able to expand my love of books and work with different people. There really can be nothing better than getting paid in books! Paper has to contain some vitamins, right? Right?!