Friday, February 25, 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:

Q. Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...  It really depends on my mood. I have a couple that I watch when there are new episodes: NCIS, CSI (I like the older ones better than the new ones), and Criminal Minds. I also like Survivor and Amazing Race.

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books.

"Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"
No, I've only been blogging for a few months and my title is based on the type of books I read. I buy new or from a great local used bookstore and I  also borrow from the library.

Have a great weekend everyone. Leave a comment letting me know you stopped by :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review ~ Discord's Apple

Discord's Apple
By Carrie Vaughn
Published By Tor Books

Summary (Goodreads): When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done.
And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.
Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse. 

My Thoughts: I loved the setting/ world building of this book. You have Fantastical meets pre-apocalyptic meets Greek Mythology meets a whole New World. Even Hope's Fort, a rundown middle of nowhere town,  has a police checkpoint in the middle of Main St where they do security checks on every car. 
I also really enjoyed most of the characters in this book. Evie is a comic book writer who has come home to be with her dying father. Once there she starts to learn things about the storeroom in the basement where she was never allowed when she was little.  I loved the idea of people just showing up looking for a magical item and Evie or her father knowing whether there was something there for them and if so what it was they needed. Alex/Sinon was another great character in this book and learning his history was as interesting as the main story. The rest of the side characters made an interesting mix of good and bad with visits from Robin, Arthur and Merlin along with a few others.
I liked how the story flowed from one setting to another, between post-Troy Olympus and Hope's Fort along with the history of how the Walker family became the keepers of the storeroom.
The only thing I didn't like was part of the ending. Hera is not one of my favorite Greeks and her role in the story took a bit from it for me. 

Rating: 4

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review ~ The Vespertine

The Vespertine (The Vespertine #1)
By Saundra Mitchell
Published By Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release 03/07/2011
Received: netGalley for review

Summary (netGalley): It's the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.
When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.

My Thoughts:  The first part of the book was a little slow for me and I ended up putting the book down to read something else. Once the visions started and the story seemed to be moving forward it became much more interesting and kept my attention. The forbidden "fire and wind" romance between Amelia and Nathaniel was an interesting mix and I found myself at the end of the book wanting to know more about Nathaniel and his gifts. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Amelia and her cousin Zora, by the end you felt for  them and could understand the heartbreak of both. The other side characters and personalities that you meet during the "vespers" also helped to make the story.

Overall: Once the story of the "vespers" and the romance got going this was a great book. You could feel for all the characters. Their reactions to finding out what the future held for them and how they reacted once those visions started coming true. I did have some questions about some of the Baltimore characters at the end and hopefully we find out more in a future book.

Rating: 4

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review ~ Sometimes I Feel Like A Nut

Sometimes I Feel Like A Nut: Essays and Observations
By Jill Kargman
Published By William Morrow

Summary (Goodreads):  Demonstrating Woody Allen's magical math equation, comedy = tragedy + time, a sensational collection of witty essays about life, love, hate, kids, work, school, and more from the author of The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund and Arm Candy
Jill Kargman is a mother, wife, and writer living the life in New York City . . . a life that includes camping out in a one-bedroom apartment with some unfortunate (and furry) roommates, battling the Momzillas of Manhattan, and coming to terms with her desire for gay men. In this entertaining collection of observations, Kargman offers her unique, wickedly funny perspective as she zips around Manhattan with three kids in tow.
Kargman tackles issues big and small with sharp wit and laugh-out-loud humor: her love of the smell of gasoline, her new names for nail polishes, her adventures in New York City real estate, and her fear of mimes, clowns, and other haunting things. Whether it's surviving a family road trip or why she can't stand Cirque du So Lame, living with a mommy vagina the size of the Holland Tunnel or surviving the hell that was her first job out of college, Kargman's nutty self triumphs, thanks to a wonderfully wise outlook and sense of fun that makes the best of everything that gets thrown her way. And if that's not enough, Kargman illustrates her reflections with doodles that capture her refreshing voice.

My Thoughts: I really enjoy humor books and this fit in nicely with the ones we already have. I got through many a morning workout flipping the pages of this book instead of watching the clock scroll down on the treadmill. While there is strong language throughout the book it did not bother as much as the usage of slang words. I tend to cringe whenever I hear/read anyone over 25 using slang (this is my biggest issue with the BDB books). Other than that I really enjoyed the stories. The author combines humor, wit and clever little doodles in each vignette of her life. From her childhood (and adult) fears of clowns/mimes and vans, to her battle with skin cancer, to her love of guns and spinning there is something for everyone in this book. My favorite parts and what I most connected with were all the mommy moments. Anyone with children has had the unsolicited mom advise and the embarrassing  public meltdowns and bluntness from said children. And most of us have our own "My Top Ten Blush-Inducing Moments of Motherhood (So Far)".
I would recommend this to anyone who needs a quick smile. 

Rating: 4

Author Info ~
Official Website:
The author is also offering personalized book plates signed. Send an email to, include your full name, email contact, and address. (while supplies last-for a limited time only)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:

If you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read Science Fiction before...any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?

I'm still trying to come up with an answer for this. I'm more into the fantasy genre than the Sci Fi. I do have an Orson Scott Card book that I just got from the library and the librarian suggested another of his series while I was checking it out. I have not read a lot of classics in any genre including this one. I need to work on that.

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review ~ White Cat

White Cat (Curse Workers #1)
By Holly Black
Published By Margaret K McElderry Books

Summary (Goodreads):Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

Likes/Dislikes: I read this book at a good time for me. It is so uniquely different from anything else I have read lately.  The world the author created while familiar mobster family style, the mix of curse work magic took it to another level for me.  I also really enjoyed the characters in this story. Even the seemingly safe, good ones (roommates and classmates) seemed to have a quirky dark side. Cassel was an intriguing lead who engaged me from the start with his trip up on the roof up until the end when everything seemed to be looking up (or not). 

Overall: This was a fast paced story that kept me reading from beginning to end. It's a darker, grittier look into the world of magic and family. I look forward to reading more in this series and seeing how the decisions made to stick by family affects Cassel's future. I'm also looking forward to finding out (hopefully) more about the crime families and how the politics will affect the curse workers.

Rating: 5

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the Kristi over at The Story Siren. The idea of In My Mailbox is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.. The idea of In 
My Mailbox is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.

Haven't been buying or getting a lot of books lately, trying to catch up on what I've already got.

Thirst No. 1 By Christopher Pike; Includes The Last Vampire, Black Blood and Red Dice
Pathfinder By Orson Scott Card
The Forest of Hands and Teeth By Carrie Ryan
Mercy Thompson Homecoming (graphic novel) By Patricia Briggs

Also received a Valentine's postcard from EJ Stevens based on the Spirit Guide Series.

So what did you get this week?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Review ~ Claire de Lune

Claire de Lune (Claire de Lune #1)
By Christine Johnson
Published By Simon Pulse

Summary (Goodreads): Torn between two destinies?
Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.
As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?.

Dislikes: While I liked the overall story, I still had some problems with the werewolves overall. I guess I'm more of a traditionalist in this sense. Even though they called themselves a pack it didn't really feel like a pack, I never believed that these women would do anything for each other no matter the risk to themselves.  I also didn't feel the need to have the world aware of werewolves in this story. I know it was done to further the who's the rogue part of the story but since no one knew anything about them and you did not seem to have an opposing group to the FHPA or PAC, it did not seem believable. 

Likes: I really liked Claire. It was easy to relate to her struggles throughout the story, from learning she is a werewolf and all the secrets that come with it, to trying to have a normal teenage life.  I thought the progression of her relationship with Matthew was well done  and worked since he was one of the few people who seemed to have a least  a little awareness of weres. 

Overall: This story was well paced and progressed nicely. Even though the wolf causing all the chaos was not really surprising,  Claire' story more than made up for it.  I look forward to reading more about Claire and her journey.

Rating: 4

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Review ~ A Heartbeat Away

A Heartbeat Away
By Michael Palmer
Published By St Martin's Press
Release Date: February 15th 2011

Summary (Goodreads)On the night of the State of the Union address, President Max Hilliard expects to give the speech of his career. But no one anticipates the terrifying turn of events that forces him to quarantine everyone in the Capitol building. A terrorist group calling itself “Genesis” has unleashed WRX3883, a deadly, highly contagious virus, into the building. No one fully knows the deadly effect of the germ except for the team responsible for its development—a team headed by Hilliard, himself. The only one who might be able to help is virologist Griffin Rhodes, currently in solitary confinement in a maximum security federal prison for alleged terrorist acts, including the attempted theft of WRX3883 from the lab where he worked. Rhodes has no idea why he has been arrested, but when Hilliard offers to free him in exchange for his help combating the virus, he reluctantly agrees to do what he can to support the government that has imprisoned him without apparent cause.
Meanwhile, every single person in line for presidential succession is trapped inside the Capitol—every person except one: the Director of Homeland Security, who is safely at home in Minnesota, having been selected as the “Designated Survivor” for this event. With enemies both named and unnamed closing in, and the security of the nation at stake, Griff must unravel the mysteries of WRX3883 without violating his pledge as a scientist to use no animal testing in his experiments…and time is running out.

Dislikes: You can always tell when I liked a book because this section is more about characters than the book/story itself.  You would think it would be the terrorists or someone among them but no for me it was the second in line for the presidency(after VP), Speaker of the House, Ursula Ellis. This character is everything I dislike about politics, power hungry, overconfident, and even if it's wrong as long as they are doing it it's right. She plays a large role in this book and there were a couple of times I had to set the book down after reading about her to refresh my brain.

Likes: It's a medical thriller set in Washington DC, sets the right tone from the very beginning. I enjoyed some of the main characters more than others. I love quirky sidekicks so my favorite was Melvin Forbush, he is a virologist who worked/works with Griff on trying to find a cure for the virus. He is a movie trivia buff who is constantly spouting facts based on the situation (kind of made me think of Tony from NCIS). I also thought Angie was a great character. With the background given the romance that happens between her and Griffon is believable and fits into the story without taking over.

Overall: I really enjoyed this book.  The struggles the characters had,  making tough decisions in this extreme situation, was well done and made you think, would you think about what was best for the group or would you do what was best for you? As I stated there were a couple of times  I put the book down but this was a personal thing rather than a book thing.

Rating: 4

Friday, February 4, 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:

What is the book you are currently 'pushing'? (Pushing mean trying to get people to read it) 

I don't really push, I'm more of a suggestion type person based on the type of books that person reads. Since I read several different genres I usually have something. 
I did just finish A Heartbeat Away an it was good to read a medical thriller again. It's been awhile and this really fit the bill.

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books.

This weeks question: What are you reading now and why are you reading it?"
I just finished A Heartbeat Away last night so I will be starting a new one this morning, either Claire de Lune or  13 to Life.

Have a great week everyone! Leave a comment letting me know you stopped by.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Book Review ~ Voices of Dragons

Voices of  Dragons
By Carrie Vaughn
Published By Harper Teen

Summary (Goodreads): On one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity's deepest fears: dragons.
Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she's breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she'd rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship grows between them. 

But suspicion and terror are the legacy of human and dragon interactions, and the fragile truce that has maintained peace between the species is unraveling. As tensions mount and battles begin, Kay and Artegal are caught in the middle. Can their friendship change the course of a war? 

In her young-adult debut, New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn presents a distinctly twenty-first-century tale of myths and machines, and an alliance that crosses a seemingly unbridgeable divide.

Likes/Dislikes: While I enjoyed the overall story, this book started off really slow for me. I found myself more interested in the past (human and dragon interaction and then war) than in what was taking place in the present. Once things started to heat up between the two sides, and the prejudices of both started to dictate their actions, the story flowed right until the end. I really liked Kay, she was a strong female who wasn't afraid to make her own choices even if they did not follow what everyone else was doing. I also liked the fact that this wasn't a dysfunctional family so the baggage and excuses that usually come with them weren't in this book. I'm a believer in getting both side of a story before making judgments so I kind of wish there had been more explanation for why General Branigan was the way he was, it just seemed like there was more to his story. 

Overall: I enjoyed the world that Ms. Vaughn created. I have not read a lot of books with dragons as the main characters so it was easy to envision and get lost in her world. The message, not judging others just because they are different than you, came across without being too much. The story seemed to end right when they were getting to a good part so I'm hoping there is a follow up to this book.

Rating: 3