Book Blogger Hop 9/22


Book Blogger Hop

Today’s Question:

In regards of Banned Books Week (www.bannedbooksweek.org/), what are your favourite books that has been banned or challenged?

 

Harry Potter would be the most famous one of them all, and The Hunger Games series. I try to make it a point to read books that have been challenged or banned just to see what the hoopla is all about.  🙂

Happy reading weekend all!

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This Got My Heart Racing!

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Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact. The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. Never mention The Pact to anyone. Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples–and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare. (From Goodreads)

This book was a complete page turner. I loved the mood, I loved the atmosphere and the tension that was prevalent throughout nearly the entire novel. It was such an excellent read I had to put aside everything else so that I could progress further until I finished.

Jake and Alice were great characters to follow through. It’s a bit hard to see how they both connect and have that chemistry (they’re very opposite of one another) and you don’t really see it between them but somehow their personalities are likable and they just seem to fit well together. Jake is very analytical – his random facts about marriage can attest to that. Also his methods of reading other people is one of the most interesting aspects of his character. Alice on the other hands, is a rock star turned lawyer which is a very odd mix, but you have to pay the bills somehow right?

Onto the plot. The Pact sounds pretty like a harmless group to join doesn’t it? But man oh man does it ever take a twist to the dark and ugly. I love how the dark twisted side of the Pact comes out slowly as you progress throughout the book. The suspense is really tense and you can feel it as Alice and Jake experience the bad side of things – oh but the feelings of paranoia. Those feelings are so strong you yourself feel as if you’re being watched and monitored. Every time you think ‘it’s ok we got this all under control’ nope another big surprise happens around the corner and not everything is going to be okay. You then start to question their trust, and their fidelity and that’s where the mind plays ugly tricks on both Alice and Jake and on you.

I found this book immensely enjoyable and it was a thrill to read. When you feel and start emulating the same way the main characters feel  in the book, you know you’re in for a good one.

I give it a 10 out of 10.

Book Blogger Hop 9/15


Book Blogger Hop

Today’s Question:

Have you ever bought a more expensive edition of a book, when a cheaper edition was available, just because you preferred the cover of the more expensive one?

 

Oh hell yes. Especially if it’s a series. If the series don’t have matching covers hell breaks loose and I go on a hunt to find them. Harry Potter was a big thing for me. Unfortunately not all my covers match for that one.

It’s like the series if some are hardcover and some paperback. Nope. All. Must. Match. 😀

Happy Reading this weekend all!

 

Jessica Rules the Dark Side Was Good!

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It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is —and whom she can trust— before it’s too late? (From Goodreads)

I loved the first book and the second one lives up to it (thankfully!) what I really liked about this one while reading was Jessica’s development as a character grows up. Dramatically. Considering she now has to rule and take Lucius place due to the circumstances she had to learn how to take control and she does it gracefully.

The plot itself wasn’t so bad although there could have been more substance to it. The reader already has a hunch as to who is behind the entire plot – a little mystery would have been appreciated and would have kept the plot a little more exciting. So the predictability of it sort of dampens the enjoyment of the book.

Nevertheless it’s the characters that keep the book going. Jessica and Lucius still have that great chemistry together. It’s the light banter Lucius has with Raniero that was also fun to read throughout the story.

Fun to read and it’s light, worth the time – from what I know there’s no more after this one. So to give the duology a nice closing, it’s a good one. (A story about Mindy would be great though.)

Bonus points to the cover. Love it!

I give it an 8 out of 10

 

Nikolai Seems the Better Catch ….

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Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. (From Goodreads)

***Spoilers ahead, you have been warned***

You’d have to read Shadow and Bone to read and understand Siege and Storm. Otherwise you’d be pretty lost as events follow up right after the first book.

The first half of the book was at a great pace and filled with lots of action, bombs, explosions, fighting, magic, all sorts of goodness you would expect for the second book to follow up for an excellent start in the first. It slows down in the second half of the book where preparations for encountering The Darkling are made and you have this whole drama with Alina and Mal going on;

Okay I was wrong about The Darkling. I was torn apart when he ended up being jackalope of the year and I was holding a banner of love for Alina and Mal.

Then Nikolai steps in.

Handsome, charismatic, swashbuckling, people sway to his beat Nikolai. I loved reading about him whenever he came into the picture. It’s like when your school crush comes into the classroom and you realize you’re going to share a table with him. That kind of giddiness is what Nikolai brings to the book.

I saw the chemistry with Alina and Mal in the first one, and it just falls apart here in Siege and Storm – understandably so as the dynamics have changed a lot and Alina has climbed up in the ladder of importance and Mal has suddenly fallen off the grid and is just considered a lowly guard of Alina the Sun Summoner. Which is pretty good right? You’re near the person you love and care about, you’re standing guard and you’re close by.

No. Can’t be that easy right? First Nikolai steps into the picture and is suddenly looking like a much better prospect and the drama with Alina looking for the Firebird to amplify her powers even more – the point where she becomes obsessed with it changes her personality and makes her more darker, assertive, and she’s not the girl we all once knew in the first book. I really love this personality change in her. There’s a slight whiny voice to it but she really steps up and grows exponentially as a character.

So I can see the romance aspect of the book falling apart, but at the same time you ask yourself is it really necessary? I can see the attempt at a love triangle with Mal and Nikolai with Alina in the middle but from what I see, she gets along fine with both of them, but does she really need one or the other as a love interest? I don’t see the chemistry there with either of them.

Sure, Alina still cares a lot for Mal but everything’s changed and it just seems like she doesn’t need romance..not yet anyway. Instead, the attempt at the romance is seen as two whiny people who can’t get their own way and they take it out on each other by indulging themselves on the road to self destruction. Again, that’s a very human trait and good on portraying that. The whininess though, I could do without. It caused unnecessary drama in the book, and endless of pages in the second half where the plot doesn’t seem to be moving forward or anywhere. It feels like an unnecessary filler.

The last third of the novel though did pick up the pace (did not make up for the whiny drama though) and provided a lot of the explosions and action you had in the first half. Not really featuring a cliffhanger ending, but it’s making me look forward to what I have to see in the third and final book of this series.

PS: My heart bled for Genya.

I give it a 7.5 out of 10.

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Reading has been pretty slow lately. I think I hit a rut. I think I know the book responsible. Nevertheless we power on! I’m also really hooked on Darkest Dungeon which has also taken up most of my spare time. Not really good when you have lots of good books to read, but again sometimes it’s nice to take a break and let the mind vegetate for a few hours (okay..I’ve been playing more than that…awful awful me)

I did manage to finish one book:

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I’ll be reviewing this one and the post should be up tomorrow.

 

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I’m reading this for an upcoming book blog tour and the world building is excellent and so far it’s not that bad. Arian is starting to grate on my nerves though. I’ll let you all know why when I review it when it’s my turn on the blog tour!

 

 

 

 

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Started this one and really like how it’s going. I’m in need for some real good sci fi with a bit of noir mixed in. Imagine Futurama but more gritty and no comedy (dry sense of humor is more like it).

 

 

 

 

 

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Not much progress on this one a few pages here and there but I still love the read. I find Dante and Colomba make quite an interesting working pair despite Dante’s quirks and Colomba’s past trauma (which we have yet to know what happened – yet you’re given snippets here and there.)

 

 

 

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Besides finishing Siege and Storm, this book was the one I was focusing on the most. I’m nearly halfway and I’m so intrigued as to what’s going on. I’ve noticed the chapters are short in parts of the book which probably attributes to the feeling you’re progressing faster but the plot is so..wow. I’m loving this one so far. I really want to know who’s behind this Pact and what else our Alice and Jake are in for.

 

 

 

These are my reads for the week. Let’s hope Darkest Dungeon doesn’t take up all my time and I try and at least gome some reading done 😀

 

 

Book Blogger Hop 9/8


Book Blogger Hop

Today’s Question is:

Have you ever bought a book because you liked its cover art?

 

Oh but of course! a lot of my YA books and fantasy ones have gorgeous covers. Of course, I would check to see what it was about first to see if I would like it or not. I find, whenever I do carry around a book with a lovely cover lots of people notice it. If they pick it up and read it, even better 🙂

Happy Friday all! let’s see if I can get some reading done this week.