Monday, September 22, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue {An e-ARC Review}

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Source: NetGalley
Format: eArc
Rating: 5 stars

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.


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I am SO grateful that NetGalley exists and that Scholastic was awesome enough to grant me access to an e-arc of this. For real, I was SO excited that I was rereading  The Raven Boys & The Dream Thieves. For the third and second time, respectively. I love this series... I feel so connected to these characters, which is a feat considering I have VERY little in common with any of them. Seriously.

So, where to begin. First, if you haven't read TRB or TDT, obviously I highly recommend doing so. *If* for some odd, crazy reason you don't want to and you want to start BLLB, then go to Recaptains to read Maggie's recaps of her own stories (TRB & TDT).

Maggie Stiefvater creates a realistic world with impossible scenarios. But nothing is impossible. But it's still believable, which is really an accomplished feat, let's be honest. I've loved watching (well, reading) this story as it unfolds and seeing how the characters develop, change, and grow as it goes along.

I'm not going to say ANYTHING about ANYTHING, so as not to spoil it for ANYONE. Just know that you get more of your Raven Boys, more Blue, more of 300 Fox Way, more Mr. Gray, more... EVERYTHING. It's interesting how it mimics real life. No matter what happens - death, disappearance, changes - life goes on. So does this story. At the end of TDT Maura vanishes. But, true to reality, life for everyone goes on. The mundane, the good, the bad; no matter how irrelevant it seems in light of everything that is and has happened, life continues as the Earth makes its way around the sun.

Again, no spoilers, so this is very NON-specific... regarding every little thing. I want to go on and on about details, specifics, what happens to people, to Cabeswater... the twists Maggie throws in. Oh! But, I won't. I hate spoilers, as do most people. And at the risk of saying something that SOMEONE views as one, I'll just play it safe and not mention a single solitary thing. :)

Super excited for this baby to be on my shelf next to the first two. It's on pre-order, so it will come to my house in the next monthish. Woo-hoo!


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Raven Cycle Re-Readathon {AKA: My Apparent Obsession}

TRCR readathong mock up

So I totally wanted to participate in this (re)Read-a-thon. Which, I guess, technically... I did. I just already finished BOTH books. Which, given my history of reading this past year, is really quite shocking that I ALREADY finished them. I do love my Raven Boys, tho, so being around them, and Blue... man. I missed them. I did not, however, miss Kavinsky.

I mostly listened to them this time around. I had a lot of stuff to do, stuff that didn't require a lot of thought (cleaning, putting crafts together, etc). This way, I could get reading in *and* work at the same time. I don't typically do audio books, as I tend to lose focus quite easily. But, apparently, using them to REread something is a go for me. :)

While I enjoyed listening to Will Patton read them, there was only one thing that bugged me. Kavinsky. Now I realize that Kavinsky is NOT a likeable character, and I didn't like him the first go around either. But the voice that Mr. Patton gave him... oh, man, it made my skin crawl. So it was either very effective, or poorly done. I'm going to say effective. But... yeah.

Basically I feel the same about the series as I did when I started it the first time. I LOVE IT. I've now read The Raven Boys three times. (The first time, the second time when The Dream Thieves was about to come out, and, well, now). And I've read The Dream Thieves twice. There were a lot of things that I had forgotten. Nothing major major, just a few details. Or like the how something happened. For instance, I knew there was a death, but I couldn't remember HOW. And then, when I was reading, I was like "DUH".

Anywho. I'm really excited because NetGalley is awesome. Well, I guess it would Scholastic moreso than NetGalley, since they are the ones who did the actual approving of me to read BLLB early. Since I finished The Dream Thieves yesterday morning, I started BLLB last nite. I didn't get all that far, but I'm super excited. I've already pre-ordered (I did that the moment it was announced that it was possible), and I only torture myself more by reading it early since then I'll have to wait even longer to read the fourth... but, I'm a glutton for punishment. ;)

Don't these look amazing next to one another? 


The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

Happy reading,
B

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Raven Cycle (re)Readathon

With the release of Blue Lily, Lily Blue approaching, I've decided to participate in a (re)readathon for TRB & TDT. Wee-hee! Here's the post from Readers in Wonderland...  Who is hosting with Books of Amber, who has her own post on it here...

 

From them:

Reading Schedule

For this post I’ll only be sharing The Raven Boys schedule since that’s what we’re reading this month. The Dream Thieves schedule will be revealed September 28th (or you can go take a peek here)
TRBdates

They have lots of fun things going along with this, including a Q&A with Maggie herself (because she is awesomesauce) and some awesome giveaways. Be sure to check it out if you're interested... I'm not going to re-post everything they did... not because I don't care, but because I'm lazy... ;) 

Smiles,
B

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue {Waiting on Wednesday}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming releases we're excited about.

There are, as you know, books coming out left and right that we all want to read. One I am looking most forward to is...

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

I can't express my excitement enough. The moment she tweeted it was available for pre-order... this was me:



I went and pre-ordered immediately. I miss Blue and the boys. I'm excited to see what they're up to next, what's going on in their lives. :)

What are you looking forward to?

Smiles,
B

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor {A Review}

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)
Title: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publication Date: April 2014
Source: Own
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 4 stars


By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?


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So during my hiatus from here, I still updated Goodreads as I read. Here's what I wrote there:


While overall I really love this story, this writing, I struggled with this one. It took a while to get into and I didn't feel as connected to the characters as I had before. I could attribute that to the fact that there was such a long time between the reading of the second one and the reading of this one. Or my lack of big chunks of time to dive into the novel. The many different pieces of the story - all the details, the different races/species/etc, the characters, the worlds, the connections to be made... I sort of wished I had taken notes from the start so I could remember it all. All that being said, though, it still adds up to me not loving this as much. I definitely intend to reread this entire series, back to back, and see if that makes a difference. I really think it would. *And*, I imagine I would see so many things I missed before. It's a very richly told story... it's not too detailed by any means, but there's SO much going on and SO much to keep track of.

I definitely look forward to reading lots more by Laini Taylor.
All that definitely still stands. Taylor's storytelling abilities are stellar and definitely love her writing. There was just so much to this story that I wish I had waited until all three were out before reading them, so I didn't have a huge gap between the second and the third. But I'm more of an instant gratification person. I'm not good at the waiting thing if I want it now. I definitely wouldn't have gotten the factory in Willy Wonka... I would've gone down the bad egg chute. Or the juicing room.

Anyway.

Have you read the series? Did you enjoy it?

Smiles,
B

Monday, August 18, 2014

Robert Frost {A Memorable Monday Post}


Memorable Monday is a meme hosted by Escape in a Good Book. I'm excited to join in on this one because I love quotes, which was the driving force behind the creation of Memorable Mondays. I thank the ladies at Escape in a Good Book.

So... how do you participate? It's simple ~

1) Share a quote that has captured your interest lately in a Memorable Monday post on your blog.

2) Come back here and leave the link to your post in the comment box below. If you don't have a blog, I'd still love to hear read your quote. Leave it in the comment box instead of a link to a non-existent blog. :)

3) Visit other participants if you have time. It's always nice to have visitors. There's no overstaying your welcome this way, and they don't have to offer the obligatory drinks. Or clean.

4) If you tweet your posts, feel free to use the hashtag #MemorableMonday.

This week's choice(s):

"The rain to the wind said,
you push and I'll pelt.
They so smote the flower bed
that the flowers actually knelt.
They lay lodged, 
though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt."

~Robert Frost 

One of my all time favorites.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Landline {A Review}

Landline
Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Series: No
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: July 2014
Source: Own
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 5 stars

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?


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Another that I read during my unintentional blogging hiatus. Here's what I wrote on Goodreads:

A-freaking-mazing.

It's no secret that I love Rainbow Rowell. I'll recommend her to nearly anyone. I love her writing style, her characters... everything seems so real. Even when I've never experienced it myself, it feels like I am. Right then. And oftentimes, I've found myself wondering if she has somehow stalked me, gotten into my head, and made my thoughts appear in her books. I realize that's probably not in the realm of possibilities, but still. Sometimes... I wonder.

So we meet Georgie. We meet Neal. We meet Seth. It goes back and forth, from the past to present, and we get glimpses into the lives of these characters, to how they got from there to here. And it felt so seamless. Rowell does an excellent job of providing back story without taking you out of the current story.

I was barely halfway through it when I got sad that it would end and I would be forced to wait for another book to be published by Rowell. I, for one, cannot wait to see what she does next.
Yeah. I'm a Rainbow Rowell fan, for sure. :)  I definitely feel like her writing has come into its own and I'm super excited to see how it continues to evolve.

Have you read this one? Did you like it?

Smiles,
B