Book Blogger Hop 3/16

Book Blogger Hop



Today’s Question:

Who is your favorite children’s books author and why? 

John Bellairs. He was *the* author that introduced me to gothic horror themes in books when I was a kid. The thing  is I can be a  “seasonal reader” meaning when autumn/winter comes around I gravitate towards scary stuff. Spring/Summer? bring on the fantasy and YA or ‘lighter reads’ so as  kid, I always waited around autumn and start reading John Bellairs’ books. They had just the right amount of creepy factor, the illustrations were awesome (Edward Gorey!) and I reread his books every single year. I still read them to this day as they’re so enjoyable and you can never get tired of them.

My very first book that I read from him that got me hooked was this one:



It was one of those books that I could not put them and my mom noticed my total engrossment she read the books herself and realized how much I loved them (haha she liked them too!)

So, if you ever need something light, creepy and fun to read, pick this one up. It’s the first in the series and started my love for John Bellairs and anything creepy.

Have a great reading weekend everyone!!! have some oatmeal raisin cookies while you’re here 😉


A lot of characters, but still a good mystery


1773: Massachusetts colony is torn between patriots who want independence from British rule and loyalists who support the King. At the center is the educated and beautiful Abigail Adams-wife of John Adams, a leader of the Sons of Liberty, the secret organization opposing the Crown. When her husband is accused of murder, she will clear his name. (From Goodreads)


I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I would! It was a great mystery with a hefty set of characters (historical and otherwise) with an underlying theme of political tension playing throughout the plot.

I think that’s what made the book enjoyable, was despite the mystery being the main hook, the political tension and bickering between the patriots and the British was always in the forefront and mentioned when need be as it was central to the story. Every so often you had mention of Abigail’s refusal to drink tea for example, or minor scuffles happening between citizens and the Redcoats.

Despite the tensions however, Abigail puts her ideas and beliefs aside and works alongside the British to solve this mystery. I enjoyed reading her character. She’s strong willed and has a good retort every so often when she needs to speak out, which shocks other characters as it wasn’t considered “proper”. I enjoy Abigail’s unorthodox behavior and it may seem as if she gives an air of an annoying stubborn woman, but it’s because of her personality that things get done no matter whose side you’re on or who you support.

John and Abigail’s relationship was also nice to read. They’re both equals and you can see a subtle quiet strength between them and they compliment each other perfectly. There’s a mutual respect between the two and if they were alive now, they would probably be a political supercouple 😉

The mystery aspect of the book was good and the intrigue is definitely noted. The setting is superbly done and very descriptive. The list of suspects was substantial and revelation of the culprit isn’t much of a surprise but the execution of obtaining the criminal and his background story was excellent to read , and was very satisfying to see the bad guys get their dues. The supporting characters are also well done – although I have to admit, there are just a little too many for me. Even minor characters have their personality and details and although it’s good and makes the world building more detailed and rich, sometimes it’s a bit hard to follow as to who’s who. (Perhaps a section of cast of characters would help in this case – especially when some characters share the same last name)

I’ll be picking up the next book to read. It’s definitely worth looking into for those that love historical fiction mysteries. The tea has been dumped!!! So you have to figure out what sort of chaos is going to happen and what mystery Abigail will solve next.

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Sad to see The Grisha Go :(


The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for. (From Goodreads)

***Spoilers. You’ve been warned***

The plot was a pretty fast paced one, just like the first and second. This one’s got more heartbreaking moments and I’m glad to see the romance drama has cleared as well. You still feel the awkward tension between Mal and Alina and it does induce moments of eyeball rolling but the heartbreaker comes when hell breaks loose and Nikolai gets taken away and becomes corrupted by the Darkling.

Did I ever want to cry out loud in horrifying rage.

Of all people Nikolai just HAD TO BE THE ONE. Just when things were getting a little better, when it looks like he might have snagged Alina and they might be together (just maybe?) but noooo! He had to be corrupted and although he valiantly did try to fight it my heart broke into two. (I guess you could say I’m all for Team Nikolai) Which of course clears the path for Mal and Alina to try again and rekindle their love.

This love triangle was one where I was happy with who she would end up being with either way. Of course I would have preferred Nikolai because I loved his character and personality. But now that Mal stopped his stupidity the chemistry was back between himself and Alina. It just felt right.

I loved how everything just came to full circle to close this series. How in the end, Mal and Alina go back to recreate the orphanage to house children just like how they used to be when they were young. It was sad to see Alina decline to be at Nikolai’s side, but also to decline to be at court with the other Grisha but, it was for the better. Alina had never felt like she was part of them, neither did Mal. It was touching when she received the kefta with the note (yeah I got a little something in my eye with that moment)

And even though the Darkling didn’t deserve it, kudos for Alina to take the high road and giving him a proper ending.

I enjoyed reading this series. I’m sad to see this series come to an end. I didn’t realize how attached I were to some characters. It was a nice sigh of relief at the end though. When I closed the book after reading the final page. It was a beautiful but bittersweet ending.

I give it an 8 out of 10.


(David and Genya!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!) 😀


Book Blogger Hop 3/9

Book Blogger Hop

Today’s Question:

Do you enjoy reading retellings of, or ‘sequels’ to, classic novels? Why or why not?

My response:


Oh lordy. Do you know how many retellings I’ve read????? I absolutely love them (provided they’re done right of course)

The one that stands out for me and that I will never forget is:



I absolutely loved this series (although admittedly, it did go a bit crazy but it’s meant to!)

Another thing I’m a sucker for. Hamlet retellings. Hamlet is THE play for me when it comes to Shakespeare. Anything to do with Hamlet, I will read. That being said, one Hamlet retelling that sticks out that I enjoyed was:


I do have some that are on my TBR list but I haven’t gotten around to reading them. If anyone has any Hamlet recommendations or any other retelling let me know! I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Reading everyone!!!


Hateful villain, well written.


Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life. Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London. When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves–until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met? (From Goodreads)

I love these kinds of stories where there’s a twist with a horrible villain that’s rotten to the core. There’s plenty of mystery and the creep factor is definitely there throughout the book.

What I liked about the book was the mood and the way it’s written. The element of mystery is excellent. You’re even doubting Kate and questioning her sanity because of certain events in the book. When you realize it’s all real the creep factor greatly increases.

The characters in this book are well done. You do feel for Corbin but at the same time, he brought it upon himself. (Doesn’t anyone just TALK about it anymore? It’s all about just lashing out and getting revenge???!!) And Henry, he’s just a special character all in his own group. I’ve read some pretty hateful characters…but Henry’s pretty high up on the list. He’s got some pretty serious issues and he’s overall a pretty unlikable character. But, to his credit he’s devious. Devious to the point where he could be a runner for villain of the year. His planning and methods were crafty and calculating. Imagining having someone like Henry in your vicinity is enough to get the hairs on your arms rise.

The plot was well done and flowing nicely. There is also a good amount of backstory throughout the novel so it helps you understand the actions and behavior of the characters, and that’s what I really enjoyed the most of this book. The climax of the novel was also very well done and everything comes to a perfect closing towards the end.

Two things that irked me in this book; Kate and Alan. Alan’s creepy in his own way (harmless creep) but a creep nevertheless. He’s awkward and not that likable but then again, Kate’s choices aren’t really that stellar anyway (not her fault).

Another thing; I have no idea why the author had to be so descriptive to the point as to describe *exactly* what novel Kate’s reading, what type of music Alan is listening to, etc. Are you trying to name drop? To advertise? It was to the point where it got annoying – perhaps it’s because I’ve had bad experiences with this type of writing so I’m thinking that’s why it stands out and irked me. Next time, no need to advertise? Please?

Greatly recommended for thriller lovers! You got a good villain to hate here!

I give it an 8 out of 10.


Book Blogger Hop 3/2

Book Blogger Hop



Today’s question:

Off the book topic…do you use a mouse pad? If so, what is on it?

I don’t use a mousepad. No need to. Because I have MY GAMING MOUSE THAT CAN DESTROY WORLDS!! MUAHAHAHA!


okay..sorry. But yes it’s a gaming mouse so it doesn’t need a mouse pad. Works like a gem and it changes colors too.



enjoy my lovely gaming mouse! hahah and happy reading!!!



Everything Runs Amok in PDX


24 hours.

That’s all it takes.

A new kind of war has begun.


* * *

Pak Han-Yong’s day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North Korean military, he’s labored for years to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist infrastructure.And with one tap of his keyboard, the rewards are immediate.

Brendan Chogan isn’t a hero. He’s an out-of-work parking enforcement officer and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and children. But now there’s a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout that extends across America, and an unseen menace targeting him.Brendan must do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. In the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide.Strangers whose survival depends upon each other’s skills and courage. (From Goodreads)

So let’s start with the actual review first. This book was a quick read and an enjoyable one. It was action packed and although it’s a thin book to start with, it makes the reading even quicker.

Those who love plot hooks where the world runs amok and hell breaks loose will love this book. It immediately starts in the first few chapters and sets the ball rolling. The background story as to how the world (or to be exact the USA) goes downhill is explained by having North Korean hackers finding a way to plant viruses into the web which pretty much breaks down society. It’s a good “what if” scenario and further chapters show how fast society just crumbles when things we rely on daily vanish before our eyes.

There’s a variety of characters in the book that are easy to follow. Each have their own share their own spot in the plot and eventually converge and meet together (albeit a bit coincidentally but well, they’d have to meet somewhere right?)

My favourites would have to be Brandon, Vailea , and Carmen. Although the survivors of the crisis have their own strengths, these three stood out for me the most. They’re likeable, and as mentioned before showed their strengths to survive to protect their loved ones (or avenge them in some cases)

Orion and Xandra would be my two least favorite ones. Orion because he was just so whiny, Xandra because although I know she’s supposed to be analytical and a computer whiz, her personality was blah and just downright unlikable. She has her uses but she’s not really someone I would ideally have tea with if I had a choice.

So overall, a really good plot, filled with action and fun to read. The ending does result in a cliffhanger but it was a really good one. I’d love to know what’s going to happen next. It does play out almost like a movie and it’s well done.

Now for the next part of my review. Why did I like this so much? Well considering I just moved to Portland, it got me recognizing street names, bridges (still haven’t memorized all of them yet) and asking my husband (who’s lived in Portland all his life) all sorts of questions (ie: “Where is <enter name of street here>” in which  he replies with a sigh and says: “Oh god you’re reading a book that’s set in Portland aren’t you?!?!?”) so because I’m familiar with the setting, it even made the reading experience twice as special.

I greatly enjoyed this one. I can’t wait for the second.

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Thank you FSB Associates for providing me a review copy of the book in exchange for a review!