Book Blogger Hop 8/11


Book Blogger Hop

Today’s question:

Do you participate in readathons and/or reading challenges?

I used to eons ago when I used to have a lot more time than nowadays. Being a stepmom now and a wife it’s hard to fit in reading time. Perhaps one day when I get back into a more easier rhythm, perhaps I’ll rejoin the challenges and readathons. 🙂

Happy Reading all!! let’s finish our books!

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It’s Monday! what are you reading?

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I did massive amounts of reading over the weekend. Sadly, I also ended up with 2 books that ended up in the Did Not Finish pile. So it feels like the time you invested just went down the drain. To look on the bright side however, I did finish one and made some progress on others.

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Biggest disappointment so far. I was about 150 pages in, and it just got too strange for me. It just didn’t make sense anymore and I slapped the book shut and moved onto the other one. It’s too bad because I loved the world building and the setting but other than that just no. Things just didn’t make sense.

 

 

 

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I tried to like this one. I really did. It’s just the writing style that didn’t agree with me and I couldn’t get further. It was too bad because the story had lots of promise.

 

 

 

 

 

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Now for the good news!! I finished this one in nearly one sitting while waiting for my husband to come home. Unfortunately he called me 5 MINUTES before arriving saying he was close by and at that point I was JUST at the page where the main culprit was to be revealed. GAHHHHHH!! WHAT TIMING IS THAT? however I managed to finish it later that day and was pleased. Review on this one is coming shortly.

 

 

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Halfway on this one. Wow. Still filled with action and now he’s on his own journey going back to his past mistakes and perhaps regrets. Loving it so far I’m really hoping there’s more to this series but as far as I know this is the last book as of now.

 

 

 

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Slow progress on this one. Don’t get me wrong I love it. I love the plot and the characters and it’s just so dark and moody. It’s a slow moving story but I’d like to read more on this one this week.

 

 

 

 

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Late Saturday night I also started this one. Love the cover and 20 pages in and it’s doing good. Jackaby is an eccentric one, that’s for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

34020019.jpgLastly, this one. I just got started and I’m pretty much hooked on it. What an interesting world and idea for the plot. I’m about 50 pages in and so far, it’s super good!

Okay what are you guys reading this week! let me know! we can add to each other’s ever growing list 🙂

 

A Book That Gives You the Fuzzies…

32497002.jpgRosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name? Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.  But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name? (From Goodreads)

Think of Downton Abbey with a very likable character who’s a tough cookie but yet can crumble like a marshmallow when it comes to matters of the heart. There’s an element of mystery, romance, and a feel good story all wrapped up in this book.

Now it make take a bit to get used to, but you do see a mini little sub plot in there where you’re dealing with Peter and his moments of creativity. At first it may seem confusing at first but it’s just Peter thinking aloud. Once you get used to the flow of the book you actually find that Peter’s own stories actually do sound rather interesting (would be nice for a spin off on those.)

Now. Aside from Peter’s creativity and a mini novel within a novel itself, there’s a mystery aspect and the romance aspect of the book. I rather wish there was more intrigue and mystery to the story because it certainly had the potential to it, but what’s really central to the story is in fact, the romance between our two main characters: Peter and Rosemary.

I love them both. They’re both opposites in a way, Rosemary is tough considering where she came from and loud and aggressive when push comes to shove. Peter on the other hand, is quiet, but has many strengths to him as well, he’s just more of the subtle more quiet type. Now this doesn’t mean that Rosemary overshadows Peter. In fact they both rather complement each other. They’re both strong characters, they just have different ways of expressing these strengths.

I also enjoyed Rosemary’s character development. One can certainly understand from her background, why she had particular beliefs and thoughts. As you progress throughout the novel however, you notice this changing and eventually although she was not a bad person to begin with, she does change her view of the world, which does enable her to not only love others but also love herself. This was by far, my favorite part of the book, watching Rosemary’s thinking change gradually as she sees Peter as not one of the typical high society.

It was a joy to read this book. For once, I actually preferred reading the romance aspect (I’m not a romance fan) instead of the mystery. All I wanted was to read about Peter and Rosemary and their chemistry come together. It certainly was a feel good fuzzy hugs type of novel.

I give it an 8 out of 10.

Special thanks to Bethany House for providing me a review copy for free! Thank you so much!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Wow it’s the end of July already? Where the heck has the time gone and how come my reading pile is growing instead of shrinking? I had some time to finish up my books from the past week.

So this is what we have (clicking on their photos will take you to their goodreads page)

 

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No. Just no. This one didn’t make even past the 20 page mark. The writing style didn’t hit it off with me and I couldn’t bring myself to be interested. This one ended up in the Did not finish pile.

 

 

 

 

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I finally got to finish this one!!!! Review will be coming shortly!!! I was a bag full of emotions in this one. Gahhhh!

 

 

 

 

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I’m about the first 100 pages into this one. So far it’s not bad. It’s interesting. The world is certainly something I haven’t read before. I just went over a cringing moment with Neverfell but this one has got my attention so far.

 

 

 

 
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I’m a third of the way into this one. Wow. I was pretty much engrossed into it but wanted to finish some other ones first before really diving into this book. I’m really liking it so far.

 

 

 

 

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Just started the first 20 pages on this one. I hope this isn’t the final book in the Eric Carter series (already read the first two) because I don’t want to see this end! I love him! he’s the perfect anti hero! and not very likable but that’s what  makes the read so good! I was already hitting the action bits but put it aside. I need to go further into this one too.

 

 

 

Last but not least:

 

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Will be starting this one this week. I won this one at a contest and can’t wait to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

Those are my reads for the week. Lots have been happening. Lots of books have been started! but I’ll get to them! Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you’re up to on your reading agenda!

Mischling by Affinity Konar makes you feel what the characters feel. It’s beautifully written.

0316182885.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgStasha must care for: the funny, the future, the bad. It’s 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood. As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele’s Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain. That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin, but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion Feliks–a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin–travel through Poland’s devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, or the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it. (From Goodreads)

I don’t know what to say except it was a beautifully written novel given the subject matter. It’s never easy to write about this particular period in history and never will be. However at least what an author can do is make it readable and make it a good story worthwhile to read.

You really do feel for Stasha and Pearl once they’re herded into the camp and are used as experimental fodder to play with. You see both of them mature rapidly and have their childhoods robbed from them near the start of the novel. They were already close to begin with yet because of the circumstances they’re closer with them trying to hold and support each other. It’s almost heartbreaking to read because without one, the other just simply feels they don’t exist.

As to when Pearl disappears, you feel the separation anxiety as you progress through the novel. You feel Stasha’s pain and emptiness. Her other half is gone and she has no idea if she’s alive or not. You can feel the void within Stasha and as you continue reading, you’re still feeling the pain and you’re wondering throughout the novel if she will ever see Pearl again. This is great writing on the authors part as you can distinctly feel what the characters are feeling throughout the novel.

There’s a small cast of characters in this book. Some stand out more than others. Bruna stood out for me a lot. I loved every aspect of her and her strength. Then you have Peter, Feliks and the nursing staff at the camp. You don’t get attached to them as much as Pearl and Stasha are the main ones to be focused on. However, for me, I really loved Bruna.

The only criticism I would have for this book is I found it sometimes a little too wordy and poetic at times. It made it for some areas of the book hard to follow – it would be best to avoid this type of writing. Yes it sets the mood and makes it melancholy but the subject matter itself is already sad and tragic to begin with. I believe that’s enough as it is.

Definitely recommended for those that are interested in this particular historical period.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

 

Why do I Keep Reading This Stuff? (#bookreview)

0425184056.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgAs the Resistance attempts to overthrow their vampiric alien masters, elite Cat force member David Valentine embarks on a terrifying journey in search of a long-lost weapon that will guarantee their victory-and the end of the Kurian Order’s domination of Earth. (From Goodreads)

 

 

***Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned***

Why do I torture myself by reading this? It seems I have a love/hate relationship with the Vampire Knight series. I can’t help but reading it because the action is pretty awesome and the vampires in it are what you want. Bad, evil, tyrannical, ruling the world, pretty much all seeing and all knowing.Yes I’m rooting for the bad guy in this one. I have an affinity for vampires.

So where does all the hate come from? Valentine himself. He’s not swoonworthy. He’s not that big of a badass even though he has his moments. I’ve seen better. I’ve read better. A newbie jedi knight has a better chance at being a badass than this guy.

And somehow the ladies love him.

And I quote:

“Is that some kind of crack?” (female character asking)

He explored further with his fingers.

“No but this is”

Yes ladies and gentlemen, vampires and ghouls, that above actually happened in the book. Pardon me while I go into this insane rabid rage and nearly throw this book across the room. I don’t know about you but someone having a hand on my bum crack isn’t my exact idea of lovely and romantic and could possibly emit a hard slap across the face or a good knee in the groin from me. Not even my fiance could get away with this type of behavior on me.

And lo behold Carrasca is also pregnant. For crying out loud when are we going to advocate birth control in novels like these? Did they cease to exist?

If this is some kind of idea of romance then this is exactly why I can’t stand romance in novels. It ruins everything. I’ll accept it in YA novels. But this? Not in an action packed book. Please. For the love of humanity don’t put things like this in novels. It’s tacky, ridiculous and just all around wrong.

I cannot fathom why. What the heck is so attractive about this piece of meat with barely any personality but is basically used as a tank. I would seriously cheer on for the vampire who can take this POS on and just have a feast.

I digress.So besides the action, what the heck do I like about the novel?

The secondary characters are really what lets me hang onto this for dear hope that this story will turn into something tolerable and readable. The action is just really great to read and as long as I ignore Valentine’s odious personality and character and just see him for a cardboard stick character that just goes through the motions, yes it’s a tolerable read. Yes the action is really damn good. Yes read it for the vampires and the fighting scenes.

Despite all this, am I going to read the next novel?

Because of the bloody cliffhanger ending. Yes.

Valentine, please for the love of all things human (because there’s a few in the book and there’s going to be fewer if the vampires have their way) stop saying stupid nonsense and stop impregnating the female locals. Seriously. Just stop. Slay the evil guy and stay that way or at least, have them feast on you while I cackle with evil glee.

I give it a 6.5 out of 10.

 

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

EnclaveNew York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known. (From Amazon.ca)

I had high hopes for this one. It had all the makings of a great book. It had all the makings of a dystopia and I liked the background setting. Deuce seems to be living in a rather tribal like society where you are classified into different groups depending on how useful you are. It was really interesting, and I liked reading this part of the book. Deuce herself is an interesting character, she’s tough and Fade is just as tough as her, so they make an good working pair. It was only inevitable where you’ll run into romance between the two, although I didn’t see the romance being so great. Yes, Deuce and Fade made a great pair when it came to survival and working together, but romantically, I don’t know, I just didn’t see it. It was flat and they just did not have that spark you’d expect in most YA couples.

The best part was the incident with the gang. That to me, was very real, and expected in a post apocalyptic setting. I was actually glad this wasn’t sugar coated to make it easy on the eyes for younger readers. They were most certainly brutal, and their behavior towards Deuce is horrible – but expected. (That being said, this book should be geared towards older teens). I did not expect Stalker to change so quickly, and I didn’t expect Fade and Deuce to be so forgiving and trusting. You’d think of all they’ve been taught and been through, they’d tie up Stalker and watch him being fed to the wild animals?

So a few things bothered me about this book. The fact that Deuce and Fade – despite their training and survival skills, end up being so nice to Stalker, and the fact that everywhere they went in this post apocalyptic world, they found food. EVERYWHERE. It was all conveniently placed. Call me cynical, or very pessimistic, but most books I’ve read that had this kind of setting, food was scarce, and few and far between. This did not sit well with me and my interest in the book started to wane. The fighting parts however, were good and well done, they were exciting and action packed. I especially liked how Tegan even was able to defend herself!

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I did like some aspects of it but other parts of it did not sit too well with me to fully appreciate the post apocalyptic story. Perhaps I’m being too picky but it just felt like some things were just a little too conveniently placed for them to take the easy way. I will be reading the next book, as the unanswered questions and the open ending got me curious. Is this the book that beats Hunger Games? definitely not. Dystopia readers could give this a try just for a look at a different type of society.

I give it a 5.5/10

Side note: no, seriously..that finding food thing REALLY SET ME OFF.