Sunday, September 30, 2012

Veronika Decides to Die Review

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho**2 stars**
Paperback Edition
September 30, 2012

Not my favorite book by Coelho that I have read. I'm curious as to how much of the story is true, since he uses himself as a character and presents it as mostly truth. I thought the discussions regarding what "normal" is and who counts as being insane were really good. The rest of the book, however, just seemed to drag and I found it to be a little weird in spots. I was expecting a lot more from the book since I loved the other two books I read by him, and was disappointed. I definitely won't recommend this book as highly as I would The Devil and Miss Prym or The Alchemist.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Banned Books Week

Reprinted by permission of the American Library Association
It's that time of year again: Banned Books Week.  This week (September 30-October 6) is simply intended to raise awareness of recent book bans and challenges and the reasoning behind the majority of them.  If you would like more information about this week and about the books themselves, you can visit the ALA's website or the new Banned Books Week website.  Don't forget to check with local libraries and bookstores as many are hosting events specifically for this week.  Keep reading!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Boots My Mother Gave Me Review

The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James**2 stars**
September 22, 2012
Kindle Edition

I thought this book was well written and flowed fairly well from present to past narration.  The material was definitely different than what I am used to reading (the books deals primarily with childhood abuse but also deals with the impact of suicide on those left behind) but I wasn't bored or indifferent when reading.  Towards the end, I started to feel like the book would never end and I just wanted her to hurry up and do what I knew she was going to end up doing.  The drama was just starting to wear thin when the book wrapped up.  Overall, the book was okay.  There were quite a few scenes where a tad too much information was shared about her sex life, but easily skimmed and it fit okay with the story.  Probably wouldn't recommend unless you enjoy the more meditative books and ones that deal with some harsher issues through the use of fiction.

A Tale of 3 Witches Review

A Tale of 3 Witches by Christiana Miller**3 stars**
September 22, 2012
Kindle Edition

Way too short! I was just really getting into the story and remembering who all the characters were when I realize I was halfway through the short story. I wanted so much more of the zanny fun that Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead brought to the table and I was disappointed when that fun was limited to around 50 pages. I still really enjoyed the short and I am going to try to read Opal Fire to learn more of the new characters introduced in the book. Only disappointment was that it felt too rushed and I wasn't able to really enjoy it like I would have if it was full-length. But I liked it and would recommend for those who liked Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The River Between Review

The River Between by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o**3 stars**
September 17, 2012
Paperback Edition

I liked the different perspective on Livingstone's work in Africa. It steps back and shows how the tribes responded to the "invasion" of the white men and their Christianity. It follows a young man as he tries to reconcile Western Christianity with the customs of his tribe and seeks to unite his country again through education. This book is very well-written and almost poetic in its meaning and writing. It switched occasionally between two different people, but it was always easy to follow. The little "romance" in the book was absolutely beautiful and a wonderful addition to the story. I would recommend to readers who enjoy world lit and want to experience other cultures.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Heart of Darkness Review

Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad**2 stars**
September 7, 2012
Paperback Edition

Once I finished the book, I realized that I had actually read it before. It was just so completely unmemorable that I forgot. I honestly didn't see the point in the story unless it was to offer a critique on humanity. But even that seems a little stretched. I think this book is one of those that is famous simply because it makes very little sense so anyone can interpret it how they like. I didn't understand why I was being told a story about some person who went insane from being in the jungle too long and how his voice was so powerful. I guess it just wasn't for me. Not a bad book overall, but not something I would read again (unless I forget that I read it like the last time).

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September Reading

Since I am not going to be participating in any new challenges this month, I have decided to set my own challenge.  My goal is to read ten of the 1001 books, with five used for my Around the World challenge.  I have been slacking on both of these and need to get back on track.  As of now, my books to read are:

The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa (Brasil)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (Slovenia)
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (India)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Africa)
The Tree of Man by Patrick White (Australia)
Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace (Israel)

Friday, August 31, 2012

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1) Review

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)**3.5 stars**
August 31, 2012
Kindle Edition

It was so easy to become immersed in this story and forget about my surroundings.  I really enjoyed the story and am happy it wasn't a typical "younger age" book.  The language and formatting of the book made it easy for me--I'm out of the target audience range--to read without finding it to be too childish.  In fact, it seemed almost more like a YA book than many books I have read within the YA genre.  I did watch the movie first, but I enjoyed the book more.  The movie is a good adaptation but I liked the characters more in the book.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series especially after the teaser added at the end of the book.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) Review

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, #1)**3 stars**
August 29, 2012
Hardcover Edition

An interesting and fairly original read although it did take me a few chapters to get into the story.  I had high expectations for the book since the majority of people who have read and recommended the book loved it.  I don't think it was as good as I was expecting, but it was still a good read.  If it is turned into a series, I will definitely be reading the next one.  The only issue I really had with the book was the ever-changing names for the Grisha.  I couldn't figure out which types fit into which category of which group.  For example, you have the various Summoners with their specific titles grouped together in another category (I could never figure out if it was Materialki, Etherealki, Corporalki or something else).  I finally just gave up trying to figure it out.  Overall, though, I did enjoy the book and would recommend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tiger Lily Review

Tiger Lily **3.5 stars**
August 27, 2012
Hardcover Edition

I really loved this retelling of the Peter Pan story from Tink's perspective. It follows the life of Tiger Lily before and after Wendy comes to Neverland (for the record, I still dislike Wendy) as told by Tinker Bell who has formed a loyalty to Tiger Lily and follows her everywhere. The descriptions of the characters was very good and the way they interacted with each other was well written. The story itself was a quick read, but didn't feel hurried or dense. I would definitely recommend to fairy tale lovers.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) Review

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)**2.5 stars**
August 24, 2012
Paperback Edition

I think this book was just a little too far out there for me.  The concept was very good and I give the author points for originality (romance between living and undead? When has that happened before?) but I just couldn't get into the story as much as I would have liked.  I did like the "ethics" presented in the book on whether all zombies should be exterminated or if some should be given a chance for another life, even if it is an undead life.  I still don't understand how some turn violent and some are still essentially normally functioning humans.  The explanation of prions causing the disease rather than a virus is by far the more believable reason for the walking dead that I have heard.  I wouldn't put it past those nasty little proteins to do something like that.

I finally realized that I am not a fan of changing narrative during books.  One or two different POVs is fine, but not four or more.  I just get far to confused as to who is speaking and what their personality is supposed to be like.  Pamela was really the only character I thought had a different voice; the others all sounded the same to me.  And when I wasn't in Nora's POV, I disliked her.  Her narrative presents her as a "strong" female who doesn't take no for an answer and will do rash things.  But the other characters seemed to always present her as just a tiny little flirt who primarily cared for herself.  I couldn't keep up on whether I liked her or hated her.

The romance.  I would like to say this first: GROSS.  I'm sorry, but the romance just didn't do anything for me.  She was in love with a CORPSE.  She kissed cold, dead, decaying lips and liked it (Katy Perry, I dare you to sing about that).  I think this is really the main reason I took off a half star and am stating my opinion as "ok."  I just... *shudder*.  Anyway, I won't be continuing the series since I didn't fall in love with the characters or the story.  I might recommend for those who like a little weirdness in their books, but not very highly.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Long Walk Review

The Long Walk**3 stars**
August 24, 2012
E-book Edition

This is a difficult book to rate because of its content and the tone in which the story is presented.  The story is about a walk that occurs every year and consists of 100 young boys.  The point of the walk is merely to survive.  Each boy must keep a pace of 4 miles per hour or else they receive a warning; three warnings and you are shot.  The walk ends with the last boy standing who is then received a Prize of whatever he wishes for the rest of his life.  King chooses to focus primarily on one boy, Garrity, and his interactions with the other walkers.  King also writes in an almost brutal tone.  He doesn't sugarcoat anything that happens, he just writes it and moves on to the next point which I thought was the most disturbing part of the book.  Readers aren't given time to recover as walkers are shot, some with a lot of detail.  I had to stop reading a few times and take my mind off the book for a little while, but I always ended up wanting to keep reading and find out who the last walker standing ends up being.  Stephen King knows how to draw the reader into the story while at the same time causing them to push back a little at the disturbing topics he presents.  I am really glad I chose this as my first King read and I will definitely be reading more of his books.  I might recommend the book, but really only for those who enjoy more "serious" reads and can handle the bluntness of his writing style.

Awesome Giveaway

Hey all!  Just wanted to make you aware of an awesome giveaway from one of my favorite authors, Cameron Jace.  It is a weekly giveaway of one Kindle book of your choosing.  Hop on over to his blog for more information on how to win and check out his books while you are at it.  I highly recommend all of them!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Thirteenth Tale Review

The Thirteenth Tale**3 stars**
August 23, 2012
Hardcover Edition

Honestly, I initially didn't think I was going to enjoy this book and struggled to keep reading. But once the story really begins it is difficult to put the book down.  The author weaves a tale within another and keeps you wanting more.  I absolutely love Vida Winter's story and the breaks between telling were well done.  Every time I started to get antsy and want to skip ahead to the "past," it would pick up again.  I wasn't really interested in Margaret's story which is probably why I had a hard time getting into the book in the beginning.  But I'm glad I stuck with it.  I don't know if I would really recommend the book to the general reader.  I really think you have to like the genre and the writing style to actually enjoy the story.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1) Review

Beastly (Kendra Chronicles, #1)**2 stars**
August 21, 2012
Paperback Edition

An interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but not my favorite.  I actually prefer how the movie portrayed Kyle/Adrian as simply a scarred and ugly human over the book's description of him as an actual beast.  I guess I like my fairy tales to be slightly realistic.  However, I did like how Kendra pops up here and there throughout the book and has her own happy ending, even if we don't know what that ending is.  The chat text was humorous and a nice addition to the story.  I would have liked to know if SilentMaid's story ended up following that of the traditional Little Mermaid since her part in the book ended before you found out if she ended up as sea foam.  Overall, the book was okay.  It wasn't really what I was expecting and I am slightly disappointed in the book, but that is probably due to my having watched the movie before reading the book.

Calamity Jayne Review

Calamity Jayne**3 stars**
August 21, 2012
Kindle Edition

A fun chick-lit mystery.  I loved Tressa even through her ditzy blond moments.  Who doesn't enjoy laughing at accident prone characters?  I was happy there wasn't really any romance in it which I feel would have definitely taken away from the story.  The addition of the bikers and the crazy grandparents was perfect.  I absolutely loved Joe and Manny and they were by far my favorite characters.  The tone was pretty light for the entire book which made the story seem a little less serious, but made it more entertaining.  I would recommend the book for those who enjoy sassy chick-lit every once in a while.

Illicit Magic (Stella Mayweather #1) Review

Illicit Magic (Stella Mayweather #1)**3.5 stars**
August 21, 2012
Kindle Edition

I really liked this book.  It was fun and humorous throughout the entire book.  It was an interesting take on witches and how they can and cannot use their magic.  The characters were fun and fairly well described and while I wasn't able to "connect" with them, I still enjoyed reading about their lives.  My only complaint is the bedroom scenes which, to me, were completely unnecessary.  There was too much description for my liking and the conversations that took place after each scene was ridiculous.  I lost track of how many times Stella assured Evan that she "didn't usually go around doing this" etc.  I wish the author had worked more paranormal creatures into the story, but that is probably in the next book.  I was a little surprised that Stella hadn't figured out what Aunt Meg was until the end.  Then again, she was pretty much clueless the entire time about pretty much everything.  Not my favorite character, but at least she was sassy most of the time.  Overall, the book was funny and original.  I would recommend, but maybe for an older audience due to the few scenes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

February Review

February by Lisa Moore**1 star**
August 20, 2012
Paperback Edition

Honestly, it was a struggle to keep reading this book until the end. The language was beyond irritating and extremely confusing. It was written almost as if the characters were taking down every thought as they move through their lives. It was constantly switching from past to present and from character to character and I could never keep up. Just when I thought I understood what was going on, the whole thing shifted again and I was completely lost. There didn't really seem to be much of a plot to the book other than perhaps learning to move on after a loss and learning to deal with your mistakes. But those are just guesses since that is all I could understand of the book. I would not recommend this book at all unless you are the kind of person who loves rambling, artsy language.

Origins (Black #1) Review

Origins by Jessa L. Gilbert**1.5 stars**
August 16, 1012
                                          Kindle Edition

First to explain the rating: I did not hate the book (which I reserve 1 star ratings for) nor did I think it was okay (which is 2 stars). It just wasn't good. The book is fairly short and I really think the plot suffered because of it. The characters weren't developed, the places weren't described well, and nothing was resolved. In the beginning of the book, we are introduced to several characters who initially appear to be important. For example, Bryn the best friend. Yet a few pages after being introduced to these characters, they are never heard from again. I had really hoped that Bryn would have made more of an appearance since she is, after all, the best friend. But all she gets is one little scene and then she disappears completely from the story with not even a little phone conversation to tie her back in. The conversations between characters were, for me, the unrealistic conversations that make you roll your eyes in disbelief. I'd be lying if I said I didn't skim most of the dialogue.

Next comes the romance. I couldn't keep up with it half the time! They like each other one second, the next they hate each other, then they are back to making out, then they want to kill each other, and so it goes. All in one or two paragraphs. I guess that just isn't really my kind of love story.

I think the overall idea of the book was decent, but the execution was really lacking. But that could just be because I'm not a huge fan of the genre. I wouldn't recommend it, but it also isn't on my "avoid at all costs" list.

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) Review

Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers**3 stars**
August 16, 2012
Hardcover Edition

A nice, fun YA book. It was a little long, but everything flowed well and the story never really dragged. The romance aspect was decently written (although completely predictable) and wasn't irritating. The language was a little annoying since it is very proper and supposed to reflect the tone of the period in which the book is set, but I got used to it fairly quickly. Sorry the review is short, but it has been a long few days since finishing. I would recommend to YA historical fiction lovers.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Island of Lost Girls Review

Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon**3 stars**
August 13, 2012
Paperback Edition

Incredibly quick read, which is good because I couldn't put it down. Which may not be the best when you start reading around 1am... The book moves very quickly and it took a lot of attention at times to follow the story. Right from page one, the story takes off and never stops going. While this isn't my favorite book by McMahon, it is still an excellent read. The story follows Rhonda (Ronnie) as she searches to find the young girl she witnessed get kidnapped by a rabbit. As she hunts for the missing girl, she is reminded of her childhood and starts to question the disappearance of her best friend years ago. I never really connected with Rhonda. I found her incredibly annoying and very self-centered. But the author keeps you guessing throughout the book and you keep hoping that the ending is happy. Which I have come to realize is probably why I love McMahon books so much: the endings are rarely happy. This book is no different. Everything is neatly tucked into place so you can at least feel slightly satisfied with the ending but it is far from being a happily-ever-after. A book I would recommend, but not as highly as some of McMahon's other works.

Revived Review

Revived by Cat Patrick**2 stars**
August 12, 2012
Hardcover Edition

The book never really got interesting for me. It started off slow and pretty much stayed that way. It wasn't a bad read, but it definitely wasn't what I was hoping for. At times it felt like the whole Revive story was just a subplot and the main plot was about loss and grief. I wanted to read more about Revive and the God Project, not about how hard it is to not have her new boyfriend speaking to her. However, the book was well written and the characters were really well defined. I was able to connect with all of them on some level. The descriptions weren't over-the-top but everything was described with detail. Not a book I would really recommend just because I didn't find it that interesting.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel Review

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel**2 stars**
August 10, 2012
Paperback Edition

The book was okay.  I liked that it was another aspect of WWII that doesn't get much attention.  The story follows one Polish Jewish family as the are separated while fleeing the Nazis and struggle to reunite and stay alive.  I really enjoyed the fact that the Stepmother was not portrayed as being evil and heartless, but rather fierce and loyal.  She did all she could to protect her family and keep them safe.  I didn't really understand how Magda was a "witch," unless it is just due to her Gypsy heritage.  It just seemed mostly like a childish nickname caused by her living alone for so many years.  Aspects of the fairytale were woven in very well and I never knew when one was going to surface.  The reason for not rating this book very highly was because the tone of the book was very flat.  The language didn't alter when "important" scenes occurred, leaving me a little lost as to where the story was trying to go.  There weren't really any climaxes to keep me interested in the story and want to keep reading.  To some, that would probably be the best part of the book, since it treats it more like history than fiction.  But I wanted just a slightly more dramatic tone to the book.  Overall, it was good and I would probably recommend to WWII historical fiction lovers.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dismantled Review

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon**4 stars**
 August 8, 2012
Hardcover Edition

Another excellent mystery/thriller. It took a little while for me to get into it since a lot of information was purposefully held back in order to make it more mysterious. I just wanted to know what had happened in the past so I could move on and enjoy the present story. But the wait was worthwhile. I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on and every time I thought I had it, a twist was thrown in that completely confused me. Throughout the book you never really know if everyone is crazy, if there is a haunting or possession occurring, or if there really are just real live human beings messing with the main characters. Eventually I just came to the conclusion that it must be all three because I was completely stumped. I absolutely love when I can't guess the ending to the story within the first few pages. This is beautifully written and very complex story that I would recommend to fans on the genre.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Am Alive (I Am Alive #1) Review

I Am Alive (I Am Alive, #1)**3.5 stars**
August 2, 2012
                                         Kindle Edition

Loved it!  There were some similarities with The Hunger Games, but I like this book so much more.  I was able to connect with the main character and actually get emotionally involved with the surviving Monsters.  The descriptions of places and contests was good.  This is first book I've read in a while that I really couldn't put down.  I took away half a star from the review because there were a lot of grammar and spelling errors throughout the book, but I know a newly edited edition will be coming out soon and I'm sure I will have to adjust my rating.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and finding out what Decca chooses.

'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy (Bombay Assassins #1) Review

'Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy by Leslie Langtry**3 stars**
August 1, 2012
Kindle Edition

A fun story about a dysfunctional family of assassins. I loved all of the quotes at the beginning of the chapters from various movies. They definitely added to the overall humor of the book. I'm happy the author didn't go into detail on the romance scenes, although the main character got annoying as she constantly fantasized about Diego. Nothing too drastic and detailed, but extremely annoying. The book kept you guessing as to who the mole actually was, but didn't drag it out. I'm still surprised that no one in the family ever really had a problem with the "family business" and didn't raise any issues when a member had to be disciplined. There was a small rebellion, but nothing over the top. Overall, the book was fun and humorous. I would probably recommend it for those interested in the genre.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet #1) Review

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)**2 stars**
July 31, 2012
Hardcover Edition

WARNING!  This review does contain spoilers.  If you wish to read the review without the spoilers, please pop over to the review on Goodreads.

It took a little while to actually get into the book, but once the story started to come together and I started to figure out what was going on in the book, I enjoyed it a little more. I am interested in learning more about synesthesia, which I had never heard of until reading this book. In general, I didn't really connect with the characters at all. Alison's parents and Melissa weren't really developed as much as I would have liked. They seemed to just randomly pop up for a few pages then disappear into oblivion again. The story itself seemed to focus more on Alison's time in the psych ward and not really on the "main plot."  Spoiler [Once it was finally revealed that there are, in fact, aliens involved in this whole thing I just got bored. I feel like I have a "spidey-sense" about aliens, since I generally can figure out when they are involved in a story pretty quickly.] I had already figured out the big secret about halfway through the book and was disappointed with how it was handled. Short and sweet isn't really the way to handle the situation.  Spoiler [If you are going to shoot people into another world, at least have them spend more than 50 pages of a 300+ page book in that other world.] Overall, the story was interesting but not one that I loved. It was okay, but I probably wouldn't recommend and I won't be continuing the series.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fairy Bad Day Review

Fairy Bad Day**3 stars**
July 31, 2012
Paperback Edition

A fun, unusual Buffy-like story.  I enjoyed the idea of the students "specializing" in different creature slayings rather than having a ton of super-slayers running around all the time.  I initially did not like Emma as she spent a good majority of the book whining and complaining, but she finally mellowed out by the end of the book.  Still not my favorite character, but she became tolerable.  I absolutely loved the fairies and their sarcasm.  Skittle-eating, Starbucks-stealing, blog-reading fairies who love hanging out at malls?  Yes please!  I was a little confused by the darkhel's description and ended up just picturing him as a dragon with clothes,  which is sort of how it was described, but I was expecting it to be more fairy-like than dragon-like.  The romance aspect of the book was meh.  Not really believable, slightly ridiculous, but that is usually my opinion on all things romance.  At least there wasn't the typical YA love triangle.  Overall, a good read and would recommend for Buffy fans.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ladle Rat Rotten Hut (Grimm Diaries Prequels #4) Review

Ladle Rat Rotten Hut by Cameron Jace**3 stars**
July 27, 2012
Kindle Edition

Another good prequel to the Grimm Diaries. I thought Ladle was a little childish, but considering she has pretty much been under house arrest her whole life, it is understandable. I liked Wolfy's character the best and the incorporation of Anguish language was interesting. And we finally are starting to learn a little about the Lost Seven and who they are! There is one section of the book, however, that seems like it is missing a paragraph. Once Ladle meets her granma, there is a paragraph that begins in the middle of a conversation but the first part of the conversation isn't there. Between that and a few spelling and grammar mistakes here and there, I was a tad confused at times, but overall the story is good. Still looking forward to the series and the last prequel.

Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool #1) Review

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday**3 stars**
July 27, 2012
Paperback Edition

Very different from what I have been reading, but I just couldn't pass up the beautiful cover. This book is a YA mystery which I haven't really read before (I'm too used to fantasy and thriller at this point) so it took a little bit to get into the story and adjust to the different writing style and plot. The book was pretty good, although it did take a little effort to understand some of the "text speak" in the book. Different generation, different language. Although I didn't realize that "Dude" is still a term used among high school kids. Seems more like a term from my generation (late 80's, early 90's kids). Somethings never die, I guess. Speaking of death: the plot of this book was good even if I did have it figured out about halfway through. The descriptions of everything from clothes to social group stereotypes was very well done without being too descriptive and annoying. I loved the contrasts given between the Color Guard girls and cheer girls. I didn't go to a "normal" high school (shout out to all homeschoolers out there!), so it was fun to read even if it may not be all true. I also liked how little romance there was in this book. Most YA books feel obligated to shove it in there, but thankfully the author kept it out (with the exception of one very brief scene). I probably won't continue the series since I'm content with how the story ends, but I would recommend the book.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Matched (Matched #1) Review

Matched by Ally Condie**3 stars**
July 20, 2012
Paperback Edition

I picked this book up mainly because I love the covers of the series. I was a little hesitant to read it since it is a YA romance which is not my favorite genre, but I'm glad I decided to read it. It started off a little slow and I was afraid it would turn into a similar story as Delirium (which I didn't like), but I was pleasantly surprised. The main character wasn't annoyingly sappy and her life didn't revolve around just two guys. There was a lot more depth to the book than I expected and the romance aspect was written well. I liked that I got to know the characters piece by piece throughout the book and there is still more to learn in the rest of the series. I liked the book (isn't an all-time favorite, but was a decent read) and would recommend to YA romance lovers. I will continue with the series, although probably not for a while.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Don't Breathe a Word Review

Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon** 4 stars**
July 15, 2012
Paperback Edition

Creepy book! It is constantly keeping you guessing and in suspense. I realized quickly that this is not a book that should be read at night in a large empty house on the edge of the woods. At least I don't live in Vermont too. I loved that you never really knew if the fairies were real or just a made up story and if they were good or bad. And just when you think you have it figured out a new twist is thrown in and messes everything up. I would recommend this for those who enjoy a good thriller.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Undead and Unwed (Undead #1) Review

Undead and Unwed (Undead, #1)**3 stars**
July 13, 2012
Paperback Edition

Definitely an adult book.  I'm reading along peacefully then *bam,* a scene with a tad too much description in it.  Despite these few scenes and the frequent swearing the story was really good.  I loved the main character, which is surprising as she is a designer shoe addict who cares only for herself.  But then again, how would you feel if you just woke up from the dead and found out that nearly every vamp out there wants you destroyed?  I'd be annoyed and confused too.  Especially if I discovered I can walk into churches, look and touch crosses, and smell garlic without getting harmed.  While the book is definitely "R-rated," I would recommend it to the adult vampire-loving crowd and might read more of the series later on.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

ExtraNormal (ExtraNormal #1) Review

ExtraNormal (ExtraNormal, #1)**3 stars**
July 12, 2012
Kindle Edition

A fun and interesting "alien" story. I like how the nafarians were the same as humans, just slightly more advanced instead of being strange creatures with superpowers. The author gave some information and background on the differences between the "Old Earth" and "NeoEarth," but nothing too heavy and confusing. The romance aspect wasn't terribly annoying and I loved Mira's parents and Becca. The book moved quickly and smoothly throughout. There are plenty of surprises at the end that I never expected and kept me interested in the series. Would recommend to YA sci-fi readers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ethereal (Celestra #1) Review

Ethereal by Addison Moore**1 star**
July 10, 2012
Kindle Edition

Ugh, the characters were completely annoying.  Within the first few pages the main character was making out with some random stranger that she finds so incredibly hot that all can think about all the time is how hot he is (while also considering his cousin hot and also making out with him once or twice).  Irritating beyond belief.  The basic background of the story reminded me a little of Unearthly, but not as well developed.  Could be because it is a short book.  Who knows.  I would not recommend this book.

Sick (Project Eden #1) Review

Sick by Brett Battles**4 stars**
July 10, 2012
Kindle Edition

I wish I had known it was part of a series before I started reading!  Way to totally leave the ending open and me wanting more.  Clearly I need to open my eyes and see the "#1" tacked on the book name.  I really liked this book with its complex plot and conspiracy theories.  An extremely virulent virus is just an added bonus.  Let's just say I hope I don't get sick within the next few weeks.  Creepy and well written.  It was fun to follow along and see how quickly the virus spread and see the outbreaks and quarantines from different view points.  I would recommend to sci-fi fans.

Extras (Uglies #4) Review

Extras (Uglies, #4)**3 stars**
July 9, 2012
Hardcover Edition

I starting reading this book under that assumption that the setting would be in one of the two cities that the first three books in the series took place in. It wasn't until probably the middle of the book that I realized it was a completely different setting and even a completely different country. That was the most confusing aspect of the story since the characters in this book speak Japanese while Tally and gang speak English (and I was under the impression that they lived in what used to be America). How everyone managed to move around so quickly was a little confusing to me, but I may have missed an explanation at some point during the series.

The story was similar to that of the previous books as was the language. "-making" was tacked on to pretty much everything and drove me nuts ("dizzy-making" and "bubbly-making" are just two examples to give you an idea of what I mean), just like the over-usage of "bubbly," "bogus" and "icy" drove me crazy in the second and third books.

Overall, the book was okay. Tally was different than I remembered her being, but that is probably mostly due to the time lapsed between reading the books. Some interesting twists at the end and the different aspects of the featured city were interesting. A nice ending to the series.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Brownies and Broomsticks (A Magical Bakery Mystery #1) Review

Brownies and Broomsticks (A Magical Bakery Mystery #1)**3 stars**
July 6, 2012
Paperback Edition

I blame this book for my sudden cravings for sugar and coffee.  The story was a cute little magical chick lit mystery.  I haven't read anything similar in a long time and it was nice to return to this genre.  Especially when there is baking and animals involved.  I'm excited to try the brownie recipe provided at the end, and maybe I'll even try out the scone recipe too.  Back to the story itself: I loved reading along as the main character is always getting herself into trouble and winding up in situations that she finds less than desirable.  The "romance" part of the book (if you can even really call it that) was a little ridiculous and annoying.  The standard two-very-different-guys issue.  I thought it was a no-brainer, but hey.  What do I know?  I thought her heritage could have been explained a little better since it was sprung on the readers and we had to accept it at face-value with very little background (it wasn't a surprise, I just wanted more info).  Overall, I would recommend it for those who enjoy quirky chick lit mysteries with little to no romance.  I'm not sure I'll continue with the series, or at least not anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Snow White and Rose Red: The Curse of the Huntsman Review

Snow White and Rose Red: The Curse of the Huntsman**3 stars**
July 3, 2012
Kindle Edition

Way too short for my liking.  I wanted so much more!  The plot was good, if a little hurried.  I loved the characters.  I just wish the book had been longer so the author could have gone into more detail and explained more.  I kept getting confused as the narration switched from Rose Red to Snow White, but each section was clearly marked as to who was speaking.  I just forget easily.  I would probably recommend, but not as highly as I would if the book had been longer and the plot moved a bit slower.

Demon Hunter and Baby Review

Demon Hunter and Baby **2.5 stars**
July 3, 2012
Kindle Edition

First off, I loved the concept. I'm sure first-time moms would like it even more. I mean, a demon hunter who has to balance her life-is-constantly-threatened job with taking care of her first child is pretty much as hardcore as it gets for a girl. Not to mention she is a single mom. In terms of plot... it was okay. I wasn't really impressed, but I wasn't too bored either. I don't think I will remember the story in a few days, but it was a fairly good read. Longer than most Kindle books I've read which I wasn't expecting. Would I recommend? Yes, I think I will just because it is so different and, yes, even a little fun. Buffy fans might enjoy the story.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Monster Calls Review

A Monster Calls **5 stars**
June 30, 2012
Hardcover edition

Absolutely beautiful. This is a very emotional and touching book about grief and the pain of illness (in this case, cancer). The first thing I noticed when I picked up the book is the sheer weight of it. It is deceivingly light as it really isn't a large book. The weight comes from all the ink used in the images. This is a book that absolutely needs to be read in paper form (if you dare read it as an e-book, I will hunt you down. You have been warned). The illustrations add so much more to the story and are stunningly gorgeous. Okay, so back to the story itself. it is about a boy who is visited by a yew tree monster frequently. The way it is written, you never really know if the monster is real or just a dream. The way in which the story is written is heart-moving and even funny at times. The dialogue between the boy and the tree is deep and also light-hearted at times. But by the end of the book, I had tears streaming down my face and had a hard time reading because my eyes were swelling up (this only happens when I cry very very hard). I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone. I think that people can relate to this story in many different ways.

Masque of the Red Death Review

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)**2.5 stars**
July 2, 2012
Hardcover edition

Wasn't as great as I was expecting, wasn't that bad either. I like how it is more of the "background" leading up to Poe's Masque of the Red Death rather than just a retelling. The romance aspect of the book was frankly dumb. I'm not even sure it can be called romance. The characters lacked any real depth and I just got annoyed with how quickly their moods changed. The story also jumped around way too much. One minute Araby is walking down an alley, then next she is having deep conversations with people who suddenly appear in the story (that is not a specific example, just a general idea). Don't even get me started on Elliott's character. Will was the most likable of all the characters, but I still had a hard time connecting. I don't think I will recommend this book. It was okay, and makes me want to read Poe's short story again, but I'm just not that impressed.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die - 2010 Edition

47The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho

373Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
422 - The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
452 - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
491 - The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
502 - I'm Not Stiller by Max Frisch

508 - Lord of the Flies by William Golding
607 - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
621 - The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
626 - Rickshaw Boy by Lao She
679 - All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
709 - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
769 - The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
785 - The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

802 - Dracula by Bram Stoker
810 - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
848 - Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
854 - Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
860 - Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
867 - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
873 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
879 - Silas Marner by George Eliot
893 - Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
895 - Moby Dick by Herman Melville
896 - The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne
899 - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
906 - The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe
911 - The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe
927 - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
928 - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
930 - Emma by Jane Austen

977 - Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Nothing yet!

A spreadsheet listing all 1001 books in the 2010 edition can be downloaded free here:


Welcome to my book blog!  I have come to realize that I am addicted to reading and have amassed a rather large to-read list.  This blog site will aid in organizing all the multiple books I wish to read during each month.  I am participating in a number of various book challenges on and have a few side challenges for myself.  Any reviews I write on goodreads will be linked to this blog.  Thanks for visiting!