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

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How Do I Love Thee... ???

My daughter is two and a half. Can you guess what she's into? Yep... princesses. Which I don't mind as much as I thought I would. I guess I am girlier than I let myself believe. ;)

I went to look for her one day and found her here, reading "Ariel", aka, The Little Mermaid. :)

So we've been reading a *lot* of fairytales. Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast... and watching some movies, as well (can anyone say Frozen?). But these stories have really got me thinking about my own taste in stories and the books I read. Specifically the love/romance part of stories.

Who doesn't like a good romance in a story? But how many times have we (in general) complained about the lack of buildup, the insta-love? As long as it feels real, is well done, I'm typically okay with it. But so many times, it's not. It's just there and it doesn't make sense. BUT... what do these fairytales have in common?



INSTA-LOVE! Seriously. Snow White's prince saw her at a well and fell in love, and when he kissed her to wake her up - wala! - she's in love with him. Princess Aurora/Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty met Prince Philip in the woods and danced with him, falling in love without even knowing his name. Cinderella danced with the prince at the ball and they fell in love... apparently they never even spoke while dancing, since he didn't know her name, where she lived, or anything about her other than she wore glass slippers. And Jasmine? She falls REALLY quickly for a guy on a magic carpet. I gotta hand it to Belle, though... she, at least, took some time to fall for the Beast.

For real, though. These love-at-first-sight stories have been around for longer than any of us. It's just all about how well (or not) they're done. Apparently, given the time test, some of these can last forever. I just hope that my daughter grows up to understand that that's not typically how love works (not saying it can't happen, just that it's rarer than stories let on...)... and that it's not ALWAYS happily ever after, that it takes work, which equals LOTS of frustration along the way to happily ever after. It's a little more like this ~


We Were Liars {A Review}

We Were Liars
Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: May 2014
Source: Own
Format: Hardcover
Rating: Five Stars

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


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So I read this when I inadvertently took a break from blogging. And I loved it. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all, tho. I closed the book, thinking, "How the hell did I miss it?" Looking back I see it. I see it all. But it was so well done, imo, that it slid right by me. Maybe someone more in tune with these sorts of things would have caught on, but I'm apparently oblivious. Very, very interesting. 

Here's what I wrote on Goodreads right after reading it:


Love this. Definitely worth the hype that accompanies it. I loved the characters, the story.

Cadence is a great narrator. I loved how she was straightforward about things. I hated to see her and her family go through everything they went through. But it was heartbreakingly and awesomely told.

Don't ask me how it ends though... I'll lie.

Have you read it? Did you love it? Like it? Hate it? 

Smiles,
B




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WWW Wednesday



WWW Wednesdays was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading,

To play along, simply answer the following three (3) Questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2) 

I'm definitely liking this one better than I did Shiver. Not that I disliked Shiver, but I think the story is developing better, as well as the characters.

Recently Finished Reading

Landline by Rainbow Rowell 
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
(And more, since I've not posted one of these in FOREVER)

What I Might Read Next

Probably Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, unless for some reason I'm werewolved-out by the end of Linger. I mean, it's possible, but we'll see. :)
  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

To Read, or Not Read? That is the Question {A Top Ten Tuesday Post}

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they provide a Top Ten topic for you to create your list, then you share it on their post so others can find you. :)

  ♥ Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want To Read... For Whatever Reason

Obviously my TBR list is lengthy, just as yours. I add a book and forget about it - why it's there, why it appealed to me in the first place. Unless, of course, it's by an author I really like(d) or has had LOTS of buzz. I came up with a few for this list on my own, but then I ventured over to Goodreads to see my list of books to-read. I tried to choose books that I remember putting on there, rather than the miscellaneous ones I thought "I don't even remember your cover, your title."  :) That being said... 

Anything New by Lauren Oliver

Rooms
I want to read this one, but I'm scared I'll not like it. :(
Hate that statement. I *loved* the Delirium series... even the last one. But I've also read Before I Fall & Panic, and I didn't love either of those. In fact, I barely liked Panic at all. I only finished it because it was Lauren Oliver and I was expecting it to be/get better.

Anything New-ish by Jodi Picoult

Second Glance
This is one of my favorites of hers.
Guilt. That's what I feel over this one. I fell in love with Jodi's books many moons ago, and devoured them. I couldn't WAIT to get my hands on them. And I still want to own them all. Maybe one day I will read them again. I think the problem may be that they started getting so incredibly heavy and full of such controversial subjects that I just bogged down in them. I still think she's an awesome author, I just stopped wanting to be in her stories. I've read them all up to House Rules, I think. I think that's where I stopped, anyway. ;)

Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

The Casual Vacancy
I, like hordes of others, LOVED Harry Potter. There's a few authors I would read anything they write - even it were a take on the alphabet or a phone book - but this one? It's on my shelf. I might read it. I don't know. I've heard so many things about it. I don't expect it to be anything like HP... I don't know what to even expect. 

The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us
I think 13 Reasons Why is one of the best books ever. But I've heard some negative reviews about this one, so, while it sits on my shelf collecting dust, I have yet to make a decision about whether or not to read it.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)
I read The Mortal Instrument Series before it became more than three books. And that felt like a solid ending, really. So do I want to go on? I own this one, so it's definitely a possibility. And I really like Cassandra Clare's writing/storytelling. But I think I would have to re-read or refresh my memory on what happened in the first three.

Flutter by Gina Linko

Flutter
I won this book in a giveaway a while back. I just haven't "felt" it any time I've picked it up as an option. 

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived (The Archived, #1)
This has been on my Kindle for ages. I love the concept, I just can't get into it (and I've tried a few times). Do I need to get past a certain point? That could be the issue. I don't know.

Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)
This sounds promising and has great reviews, so why am I wary? I have no clue.
 

 The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)
Malissa loved this one so I should be all over it. It sits on my shelf, waiting to be read, but I just don't know.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)
I have an ARC of this one that I got off the YA Book Exchange. While I think I like the premise, I don't know if I want to read it, despite good reviews.

So... convince me. Do I read these? Or do I let them go? 


Smiles,
B