Posted in Book Hype

“To Be Read” Top Picks

(Currently reading:)
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It seems like I can’t stop putting books on my “to-read” list!
I have THIRTY books on my “to be read: top picks” list and 347 total that I want to read at some point. But for the sake of not having a super long post with too many books to keep up with, I’m narrowing it down to my top ten most anticipated.
In no particular order…

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There is SO MUCH hype around this book and based on the synopsis, I can see why. 1889 Paris? Treasure hunters? A quest to find an ancient artifact? A band of characters with strange, troubled, or dark pasts?
YES PLEASE

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Joseph, my man, I didn’t know you were into books!
This is a graphic novel that gives a collection of two to three sentence stories with an accompanying picture. Not every story is the same. They all fall under different genres. And I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

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I’m a sucker for fairy tales, and Rapunzel just happens to be one of my favorites. So when I saw this was a fantasy/retelling, it jumped up to the top of my list instantly. What more do I have to say to make you want to read this? IT’S A RAPUNZEL RETELLING FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE.

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After reading “All the Missing Girls” last year, Megan Miranda became a constant blip on my radar. So it’s no surprise that her 2019 release, Come Find Me, is on this list. Not only is it a Megan Miranda mystery, but it’s science-fiction!! My favorite. The synopsis had me at “strange signals” from space.

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This book has been on my radar for a looooong time. I shelved it as “to-read” back in September of 2017. So this one really deserves the read this year more so than the others. Another science fiction, this one is about ten recruits with troubled pasts who are chose to travel into the universe to the planet Eden where they are tasked with extracting Nyxia, an incredibly valuable substance.

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Look, I know I’m behind, wayyy behind. You don’t have to tell me. I know. This book has gotten so many mixed reviews but that’s what draws me to it. People either passionately hate it or passionately love it and so long as I’m going to feel passionately one way or the other, I’m IN. Girl has sister who desperately wants to visit Caraval, a show where the audience participates. Girl finds a way to get her sister there. Her sister becomes the main event. Girl must find her sister before time runs out or sister will be gone… FOREVER.

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Another one of the most hyped books I’ve seen as of late. It’s been tagged as many genres including: dystopia, fantasy, romance, magic, high fantasy, adventure, and young adult. Alina is our main character and she finds within herself a power after her best friend is brutally murdered. Now she is among the royal court being trained with the magical elite known as the Grisha. And boy, do I hope to read about some badass, magical revenge.

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A battle between three badass sisters with different elemental powers who, once they turn 16, must battle for the crown. NEED. I. SAY. MORE?!

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I told you before, I like fairy tales. This, of course, is one of those retellings but it seems like it may be a bit more dark than what we’ve seen previously with Alice in Wonderland. I really hope I’m right about that. This one was an ARC I received so I will definitely be reading this one very very soon.

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And finally, The Red Labyrinth. Another ARC I received recently. Am I super excited for this because it reminds me of Labyrinth starring the king of the bulge, David Bowie? Absolutely. But I’m also interested to see what terror awaits in the corners of THIS labyrinth. (Please let there be a goblin king. Please let there be a goblin king…)

How does the list look!? Are there any we have in common that you are also excited for? Are there any you’re excited for now, after reading this post? Are there any that aren’t on this list that I should know about or be more hyped about? Let me know!

Posted in Book Review

Until The Day I Die by Emily Carpenter

Read dates: January 18, 2019 – January 27, 2019
Expected publication Date: March 12, 2019
Source: Netgalley via publisher – Lake Union Publishing

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4.5 out of 5 cats!

ARC received from the publisher via Netgalley (Release date: March 12, 2019)

My very first Emily Carpenter book! And after that story, it won’t be my last.

Erin is the CEO of a successful mobile wallet app called Jax that she and her husband started up with their best friends from high school. Now, Erin has lost her husband to a car crash and has also lost her way. She works long hours and neglects her relationship with her daughter, Shorie.

Shorie is heading off to Auburn University. She doesn’t want to, she wants to stay and work for the family company. She resents her mother for making her go. She’s good at the job. She can code, she’s good with computers, and she’s smart enough to hack her way into things. But her mother insists she go off to her alma mater and get an education. After Shorie and the other company heads send Erin off to heal from the loss of her husband at Hidden Sands, a resort where they don’t use the word “rehabilitation” but instead use the word “restoration”, Shorie soon finds that there is a small problem within Jax and it could be connected to her mother. And Erin finds that this resort she’s been sent to for healing is not at all what she thought it would be.

The beginning of this book, for me, was slow going. In the first few chapters we meet our main characters, Shorie and Erin. The story is told entirely through them. Though, I did find those slow burning chapters to be necessary to build the characters and their situations for what was to come.

I will admit, at times I lost who I was reading about. There are quite a few characters in the book that either have their own dialect or are mentioned multiple times. Every once in a while I had to stop and remember who this person was and how they tied into everything.

But, GUYS, once Erin got to Hidden Sands… just… just wow. From the minute she got there both the reader and the character can tell something is off. At Hidden Sands, people are not allowed to have their own clothes, they’re not allowed to tie their hair back in a ponytail, and they’re not allowed to talk during meal times. The picture the author paints of this place is enough to set you on edge before anything has even happened!
In the beginning, I enjoyed Shorie’s chapters a little more so than Erin’s. But by the time Erin got to Hidden Sands, I was invested in both narratives. I’ve read many books where more than one character is telling the story and I always have one narrative that I don’t care to read as I’m more interested in the others. But this book had me hooked on both. I was anxious. I needed the next chapters of Shorie’s narrative to finally align with Erin’s and I was on the edge of my seat! And then the stories DID align and I realized I had completely fallen out of my chair.
Is this book not a movie yet? Because it really should be.

All in all, this was a wonderful read. This was my second arc and, so far, the ARCs I’ve gotten have NOT disappointed.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE
Just remember to hold on to your pantaloons because this one is NOT going to be what you think.

Note: This one took me a bit longer to read and while that usually means I’m not incredibly interested in the book, I assure you I was! I’ve recently purchased an Xbox One (I’ve been a Playstation gamer for a few years now) and I’ve reconnected with some old pals and we’ve been streaming on Mixer and playing all kinds of games and having a grand ol time. Don’t worry. I’ve found some balance I think!

Posted in Book Review

2018 Favorites and Disappointments

A bit late but, hey, better late than never. In my defense, I JUST got to the point where I know how to use this crazy site and make it look attractive. So bear with me, here…
2018 wasn’t the BEST year in books for me but it certainly wasn’t the worst. My problem this year was getting caught up in a series that had 7 books in it. SEVEN BOOKS. WHY??
It would have made a huge difference had one of them not been drug out and beaten to death with it’s own spine, and the other was just… well, I hate to say this EVER about ANY book… but it was just awful.
We’ll get into that…

First, lets show you this cute little thing Goodreads does for you at the end of every year so you can get a feel for how many I read and such…

2018 books

So let’s start with the bad. I always like to try and end on a positive note even when I’m talking about things that tried to outright murder me. And a couple of these books certainly did. But DAMN IT, I’m still standing!

Here’s my top five ‘most disappointing’ from 2018:
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I tried everything with this book to keep trucking through. I even bought the audible version! But I hated the narrators. So I was reduced back to reading with my own eyes. I think by this last book, I was just tired. Tired of the same shit on a different day in the story. The first two books intrigued me! I was soooo into it. And then King’s Cage came along and wrecked me. I don’t know what it was about the last two books that I loathed but I sure as heck wouldn’t read them again.

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With War Storm fresh in our minds here, you shouldn’t be surprised that next on our list is King’s Cage. What a mess. What a bloody (literally), stupid mess. Mare has PTSD, she and Cal can’t just FIGURE IT OUT. It was a mess. I wanted more from Maven’s character and I never got that either. Which is why this book is here, on this “most disappointing” list.

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This. Series. Dragged. ON. And it drug me with it. Why? Because I’m too proud to quit anything. Including terrible, awful books. Ok, wait, that was rude. This series wasn’t TOO terrible awful, but good lord I was exhausted after the 7th book. I know people who truly enjoyed the entire series from beginning to end, and while I admit, I connected to many of the characters, I was also incredibly over the rehashing of the same fight scenes over and over and over and… get the idea.

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The Gender War… and the war in my psyche. Again: long, redundant, TIRED.

Annnnnnd the MOST disappointing book of 2018, ladies and gentlemen:

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Not only was this a VERY disappointing book, but it was an INCREDIBLY disappointing series. I like to chalk it up to the fact that I couldn’t relate to the main character. She was always so worried about her hair and her makeup and if her jacket matched well with her pants. WHO CARES, GIRL!? There are fae shades out there that want to kill you and the guy who’s put you up in his bookstore for his own personal gain. Which, that reminds me, this was in the ROMANCE section of my bookstore… Where da romance at, man? This sweet little lady recommended the books to me and she was SO CUTE that I bought every book in the series. And that’s where I think the curse started. Never buy every book in a series, or it’s bound to be bad to you. Not to mention all these books were 600 pages long. Woo-hoo! Lucky me! 600 pages times 7 books of nothing but the main character fretting over breaking a nail and having to be rescued because she makes terrible decisions. Gag me with a spoon.

Now for the part I actually enjoy…
The BEST list.

2018 Best Books of the Year:

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Sabaa you sly little fox, you…
This series was AMAZING. Nothing was all dreamy fairy tale nonsense. It was RAW. REAL. HEARTBREAKING. It was amazing. Just amazing. Just wow. There was death, there was love, there was tragedy… this book had everything. Even likable characters! Which seems hard for me to find these days. Do yourself a favor: READ THESE BOOKS.

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This was a hauntingly beautiful short story. I wanted so much more than this. I wanted it to go on forever. It was so good. Dive deep into the mind of a sailor who has gone under a mermaid’s spell… I can bet you’ll never want to come back to reality.

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This was a wild ride! I was constantly going back and forth when it came to who I thought was behind it all. People started dropping like flies and trust wore thin, even between best friends, married couples, childhood companions… And that last chapter… WOW. Maybe I’m a psycho but I smirked at that last bit.

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THIS. This was so beautiful. The story of a girl who loses her mother and fiercely loves her father and siblings. A girl who feeds the spirit creatures just out of the kindness of her heart. The girl who tames the Frost himself. Frost was my absolute favorite character, by the way.
I was whisked away to another world and I never wanted to leave. I was literally yelling at people for interrupting me while I read this one. Such a great story. Can’t wait to read the next two books in the series.

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In 2018, I found my new favorite book and my new favorite author. Rosamund Hodge. I haven’t found anything of hers that I didn’t like. But Cruel Beauty takes the cake. A dark spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast story, Nyx is betrothed to the evil ruler of their kingdom. No woman has survived the evil king. But when she arrive to his castle, he’s not at all what was to be expected. Ignifex is witty, charming, daring, and straight up cold. I LOVE Ignifex so much. He is, by far, my favorite character to have ever come from a book. Nyx just has to decide which is more important: defeating the evil king, or giving in to her love for him. This book was sad, it was funny, it was adventurous… I was in tears at one point and in the next sentence I was laughing my head off. I will be reading this one every year I think. It was THAT good.

Lastly I’d like to mention Rosamund Hodge and her short stories.
There are so many you can read for free here.
A few of my favorites were:
Rules For Riding the Storm
Desires and Dreams and Powers
Ways of Being a Mermaid’s Daughter
But World Enough and Time
Of the Death of Kings
Situation Normal
Don’t Look

Cheers to a new year and a whole bunch of new books to discover!

Posted in Book Review

The Drowning – J.P. Smith

Read Dates: January 15, 2019 – January 16,2019
Expected Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Source: Netgalley via the publisher – Sourcebooks Landmark

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4.5 out of 5 cats!

This was my first ever Netgalley ARC! I’m super excited to be doing this now. I’ve found the time to sit and just READ. That being said, I finished this in two days! Two working days at that! What a fantastic book and a WONDERFUL first ARC. Here’s my revew:

WOW! Just WOW.

From the beginning, it was incredibly refreshing the way the story was told. The author spares us from the back and forth banter between characters and sums up the conversations. That’s an automatic plus from me.

The story starts at Camp Waukeelo where a group of boys are sitting around a campfire and the counselors are collectively telling the old legend of John Otis, an inbred man who steals a young boy away from camp every seven years. We then meet Joey, a small for his 8 years, boy whose parents are at odds with each other and it has made him unsure and diffident. He develops a relationship with a counselor and confides in him and that counselor takes him under his wing. But then we meet Alex Mason, the 18 year old swimming counselor who ignores Joey’s pleads and throws him into the dark murky lake. Joey can’t swim and flails until Alex finally jumps in and grabs him, except he doesn’t take him back to shore, he leaves him on a raft in the middle of the lake and tells him to swim back or die, basically. Alex forgets the boy and heads back into camp. Five hours later, the boy is missing. Police search the lake and the woods but Joey is nowhere to be found.
Fast forward 21 years, Alex is wealthy, incredibly successful, has a lovely wife and two daughters… and has forgotten all about Joey. But it seems Joey hasn’t forgotten about him…

I found myself intrigued from the beginning, but when the first instance at the Mason household came about, I was on the edge of my seat… and I stayed right there on the edge of my seat until the very last page. I truly believed Joey was alive and torturing him for what he had done 21 years ago. But then even weirder things begin to happen and I thought maybe someone knew what happened and THEY were the ones behind it! I read a lot of suspense/thriller/mystery novels, and usually about halfway through, I know who’s behind it all. This book kept me guessing. I had NO IDEA who could have been doing this. Joey or someone else?? The mind games, the intrigue… it was all so much fun to read!
I even found myself looking over my shoulder a couple of times. Which doesn’t happen to me! I can read books about real life serial killers and sleep like a baby!
This book changed the game. I highly recommend this to fans of thrillers. It sure thrilled me!

Then there was that ending! Ughhhh. How could you Mr. Smith? HOW COULD YOU?
LOVED
this.
4.5 out of 5.
What a ride.

Posted in Book Review

The Siren – Kiera Cass

Read Dates: January 8, 2019 – January 14, 2019
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Source: Owned paperback

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3.5 out of 5 cats

It’s rude to split the cat in half, but hear me out…

Every once in a while, I get in these weird moods where I like to read a book that doesn’t make me think too much. Something that is simple and calm where the plot is concerned. This was one of those books.
Was it predictable? Yes.
Was it boring at times? Yes.
But did it make me cry more than once? Oh yea.

This book was a new twist on sirens. We’ve all heard the stories of sirens who lure men to their death, but this was different.
Girls are chosen by the ocean to serve and once they accept, they are made immortal. The catch is, every year, the ocean needs to feed. When the ocean calls to the girls, they must go to the ship the ocean has chosen and sing. Their song puts people in somewhat of a trance that possess them to dive into the ocean and drown. These are the sacrifices to the ocean. The ocean’s food, if you will.

Kahlen, the main character has been a siren for 80 years and she has grown weary of their singing. She has also made contact with a human life that seems to value her above her modern beauty and she can’t help but be drawn back to him even though the ocean has forbade it as it puts the secret of the sirens in danger.

I loved the sisterhood in this book. Girls treating girls the way they should. No ulterior motives, no talking behind each other’s back… just true concern and love for one another. That part of this book was beautiful.
The love part… well… it was a little far fetched, but hey, if I can read the Twilight series and accept the “imprinting” part, then I guess I can accept that these two were tied together on the same string and were destined to be together, always.

Again, kind of a mindless read. But if you’re down for that sort of thing, this one was definitely a good one… if you can stomach the incredibly fast paced romance.

3 1/2 out of 5.

Posted in Book Review

Sleeping Giants – Sylvain Neuvel

I’m starting this blog FOR REAL this time! I promise I’ll keep up with it…

Read Dates: December 21, 2019 – January 7, 2019
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Source: Owned paperback and e-book

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Four cats out of five!

My first book of 2019. I have to say, it made for a good start to the year.

There was one thing I didn’t like about this book…. I WANTED MORE. I wasn’t satisfied! GIVE. ME. MORE.

Ahem… anyway…

I wasn’t so sure how this book would generate tension and drama the way it was told through interviews and personal journal entries, but it definitely succeeded.

So let me explain a bit here. A little girl is riding her bike and falls into a large hole that turns out to be a giant hand made out of different types of metals. She grows up, graduates college, and sets out to find out what the hand is, how it works, and where it came from. She gets a team of people to help her study the giant hand and they soon find out there are other parts of the machine to be discovered all over the world.

Of course, Kara was my favorite character. Mostly because it was like reading about myself and I love to put myself, mentally, into a book as I’m reading it. With Kara taking up a lot of the content of this book, I didn’t even have to try! She was so wonderful. Flawed, yet logical. UGH. She was just my favorite. Ok?

Throughout my reading, I kept thinking where this kind of thing would take us today were it to happen in the “real world”.
This was definitely a page turner and it really makes you think.
I was just left with so many questions!

And…
THAT ENDING THO
I’m not sure I can get my hands on Waking Gods fast enough. I must know what will happen next.