From My Kindle #7

1+2.  Dreamfever and Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moaning finished 3/5 and 3/10–Dang I love this series!  Mac is still trying to defend Dublin and the world from the Unseelie, and is getting hints about her true identity.  The only sour notes in these books was the chapters told from Dani’s point of view–I didn’t find them necessary, and in the case of Shadowfever, just bogged down an already long book.  However, I was satisfied with the end of the series and am looking forward to Iced!  4/5 stars each

3.  Medicine Men:  Extreme Appalachian Doctoring by Carolyn Jourdan finished 3/13–a short collection of stories told to Carolyn by small town, mountain doctors, as well as anecdotes of her own growing up as the daughter of one of those doctors and as being his secretary after her mom falls ill.  A fun, fast read, and I’m interested in picking up more of her work!  4/5 stars

4.  Delerium by Lauren Oliver finished 3/ 14–Wow, this was a great book.  Treating love as a disease and curing everyone of it by essentially lobotomizing the entire population.  I did wonder what the point was, though, of telling the story from the point of view of someone who actually *wants* The Procedure instead of someone like Hana.  It all worked out in the end, and I’m seriously looking forward to Pandemonium!  4/5 stars

5.  Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia finished 3/17–the second book in the Beautiful Creatures series.  While I didn’t enjoy it as much as the original, I still devoured it whole.  I love that they didn’t stay in Gatlin for the entirety of this book, but branched out and visited other areas.  It was neat how the tunnels could compress and lengthen time, making their journey to Savannah take a lot less time than it should have.  4/5 stars

6.  The Boyfriend List by e. lockhart finished 3/22–I think I enjoyed Frankie quite a bit more, but Ruby was still quite a trip.  I loved her lists of boys, including the one who doesn’t actually exist, and how she debated adding her teacher onto the list or not, because…well, is it creepy or just being a typical teen?  Great book, looking forward to reading more about Ruby!  4/5 stars

7.  The Red Gorilla of Oz by Richard Capwell finished 3/24–this showed up as a freebie one day, so I took a chance and downloaded it.  I loved the original Oz books by Frank L Baum (I don’t think I’ve manage to read all 14, but I know I’ve read at least 10 of them), so I figured why not, right?  It was okay–there were things that could have been better, but I think it stayed pretty true to Baum’s original series.  Oh, and…um Glinda is not the Good Witch of the North?  Erm…3/5 stars

8.  The Grimm Diaries Prequels 1-6 by Jace Cameron–an interesting take on fairy tales, with a really dark twist.  I enjoyed most of the 6 books, but I highly recommend skipping Mary Mary Quite Contrairy…that one was just…really really bad.  It was told from the point of view of a very, um, teenage modern Devil, and just…didn’t work.  At all.  3/5 stars

I’m still working on Wilfair by Alysia Grey Painter –I’m waffling back and forth about DNF’ing this book, as it was way too smart and quirky for its own good.  The characters are funny, the story interesting, it’s just…a really smug book, if books could have feelings.  We’ll see.  It’s been, honestly, 2 weeks since I even opened it, so I may have already decided to DNF it, I just haven’t made it official yet.

Top Ten Tuesday: Crush

Top Ten TuesdayHello Tuesday!  I haven’t been writing much, but I think once I get into the swing of the new job (and stop being so darn tired, omg!) and get rid of this pesky cold that’s still hanging around, I’ll be back in the saddle again.  Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is brought to you by the wonderful Broke and the Bookish!

This week we’re talking FICTIONAL CRUSHES!  This might be hard for me, while I do have a couple of “go to” guys, I don’t really crush that much on fictional characters, to be honest.  Sure, I like them in the context of the books, but…well, they’re fictional and generally already paired up with some awesome female character…or if they aren’t, they will be eventually.  So we’ll see how this goes…

Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character

1.  James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Frasier from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon–*swoon*.  Redheaded Highlander that fights like a badass and loves like a badass and is just generally the most awesome male character ever written.  Probably the main reason I don’t really have a huge list piled up already…because he just ruins you for anyone else.

2.  Joe Morelli/Ranger from the By the Numbers series by Janet Evanovitch–in a pinch, I’d totally pick Ranger.  His most used description uses the words Cuban Batman.  Um, yeah.  Batman.  Please and thank you!  Morelli’s more marriage material, though, so he does deserve a spot on the list, too.

3.  Jericho Barrons from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moaning–he’s tall, dark, and mysterious.  He also appears to be immortal and from the descriptions from Dreamfever, also perhaps the world’s best lover.  He might be an asshole to Mac most of the time, but he sure does know how to treat a lady when he wants.

4.  Buddy Threadgoode from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg–okay, so this started out as a movie crush, but I think I liked him more after reading the book.  A fantastic older brother that died young tragically.  Okay, so maybe not the best choice for a book crush, but you had to love how he treated Idgie and that’s enough in my book.

5.  Rourke from the In Death series by JD Robb–the richest man in the universe, and he is fiercely devoted to a NYC lieutenant…to find someone with that amount of devotion AND he has the resources to fulfil your every wish?  Oh yeah…he’s right up there with Jamie Frasier up there.

6.  Jinx from The Hallows series by Kim Harrison–okay, so he’s a pixie, but he has a wicked sense of humor and a huge sense of loyalty.  I almost died the book where he turned into a human male.  SO.  AWESOME.

7.  Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell–another great literary character, I always loved how dashing Rhett was, especially the scene where he comes in and buys a dance from Scarlett even though she’s still supposed to be in mourning for Charlie.

8.  Falcor from The Neverending Story by Micheal Ende–okay he’s a great big white dragon…but this is a holdover from when I was younger.  I didn’t so much have a “romantic” crush on him, but I still loved him dearly.

9.  Perrin from The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan–I just love Perrin and Faile’s story, about how Faile decided that Perrin was the one for her, it just took her telling him that for him to realize it.  Plus, he’s a blacksmith, and he does have arrrrrmmmmmmmssss (I used to have an arm fetish), and Rand is too crazy and Mat too unpredictable for me.  Give me the stable blacksmith anytime.

10.  Jack Reacher from the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child–He’s big (I love big guys), he’s quiet, and he has no need for material possessions.  I’ll admit, it mostly because he’s a big guy than anything else. I don’t think in reality I could handle a guy like Reacher, but in theory…he’d be fun for a week!

Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations

Top Ten TuesdayOooh, it’s TUESDAY!  I’m off from work (yay!  I’m off *every* Tuesday!), and that means I get to sleep in and hang out with a bunch of top ten lists all day if I want!  Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish!
This week we’re talking about recommendations, books we recommend the most.  This will be FUN!  I’m looking forward to others’ recommendations, as well!

Top Ten  Books I Recommend The Most

1.  The By the Numbers series by Janet Evanovitch–I LOVE these books, and while the last few have been kind of…meh, the first dozen or so are a HOOT, and a fun read.  I recommend these books to people who are looking for fast, fun reads.  I think my friend Susan put it best when she said “they won’t contaminate you”.

2.  Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake–I just…fell in love with this book from the first chapter.  Cas, as a character, was likeable and relatable, and the fact that he went around killing dangerous ghosts?  AWESOME.  I think I have only not recommended this book to one person, and that was just to say “yeah, don’t read this before bed…”

3.  Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger–this is probably the strangest book on my list.  Not because it’s steampunk, or deals with werewolves and vampires, but because I did not like the book.  I read the entire thing, and I liked the characters, I liked the storyline, I just…hated the way it was written.  I’m not a huge fan of Victorian area writing styles (the insistence on calling people by their last names and the overwrought descriptions) just drive me bonkers.  However, I know that there are people out there who like all of that stuff, and for them, Soulless and the entire series would be GREAT books for them, just…not for me, unfortunately.

4.  The Many Lives of Lilith Lane by EV Whitney–one of my favorite reads from last year, Lilith was originally an Amazon serial, but is now available in both ebook and hard copy forms.  I picked up the free first issue, and loved it so much I went out an immediately bought the serial.  I loved each installment, and I recommend it to people who are looking for something new/a new author to read.

5.  unEnchanted by Chanda Hahn–I got this for free of off the Kindle store, and it’s the story of a girl who happens to be descended from the original Grimm brothers–but they brought a curse down on the family, and each descendant is destined to relive each fairy tale until one of them completes every single one.  Mina’s father was the last Grimm to succumb to the curse, and now it’s Mina’s turn.  A great book for people like me who love fairytale retellings.

6.  The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon–one of my favorite series, EVER.  I love the characters, the settings, the storylines…everything about this series I love…well, except for The Firey Cross, but that’s what happens when you send a barely edited book to press…or at least that’s what I’ve heard.  The series starts out in post WWII Scotland, and covers the Jacobite rising, the 60s, and is now working on the American revolution.  LOVE seeing the world through Claire and Jamie’s eyes!

7.  Summer Sisters by Judy Blume–probably my all time favorite Judy Blume book, I read the covers off my copy practically.  It got lost in a move, unfortunately, but I remember several times reading it, then as soon as I finished the last page flipping back to the front and starting all over again.  It’s a great summer read, or for when you need a good tear jerker.

8.  The Anna Pigeon novels by Nevada Barr–set in the National Park system from Michigan to California to the very southern tip of Florida, you get to see the parks through Anna’s eyes.  These are great novels for anyone who loves the NPS, the outdoors, or mystery novels.

9.  The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough–one of my all time favorites, I’ve owned several different copies over the years as I leant it out and ended up rebuying it when I didn’t get my copy back.  My current copy is a coverless hardbound one that I “borrowed” from my last job and “forgot” to take back when I finished reading it (it was a decorative book on a shelf, no one even missed it).

10.  The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child–the first Aloysius Pendergast novel I read, I was fascinated by the story and the characters.  Now I devour just about anything these authors write, but I probably recommend this book more than any of the others because it was the one that made me fall in love with the series.

Top Ten Tuesday: Gotta Have it

Top Ten TuesdayYup, it’s that wonderful day of the week again, Tuesday!  Brought to us by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish (clicking on the above graphic will take you there), Top Ten Tuesday lets us bare our bookish souls.
This week is a topic I’m sure people think about every time they walk past their bookshelf–books that were MUST HAVE NOWs that are still…unread.  Their spines uncreased, their pages untouched.  But had to have it right then omg!

Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy…But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread

1.  The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern–I’ve wanted to read this pretty much since it came out, and when I ordered my husband’s birthday present from Amazon in late September, I also ordered myself a copy of this.  And it’s still sitting on my shelf unread, and has even been on TWO TBR lists (both fall and spring) because I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

2.  The Plains of Passage by Jean M Auel–probably my longest “must have but is still unread”.  I think I may have actually started it a time or two, but something always stops me from reading past the first chapter.  I think, at the moment, what’s keeping me from reading it is the sheer size–I have soo many books to read that I could read 4 in the time it would take me to read this one!

3. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien–okay, while I technically did not buy this (friends gave me a really nice leather-bound edition along with a really nice leather-bound edition of the trilogy as a bridesmaid’s gift for their wedding), I still haven’t read it, and like The Night Circus, it has also made it onto 2 TBR lists.

4.  Impact by Douglas Preston–I, as a habit, will generally pick up anything written by Preston&Child, whether it be their collaborations or their stand alones.  I picked up Impact over a year ago after a book club meeting because it was on the clearance shelf at Barnes and Noble.

5.  Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig–picked this up at an estate sale over the summer, and paid way too much for it (I still keep thinking that they should have garage sale prices…and when I say I paid too much, I paid $2 for it).  I didn’t realize that Margaret Mitchell’s estate had authorized *another* Gone with the Wind related novel…you’d think they’d have learned their lesson with Scarlett!

6.  several of the Hallows series by Kim Harrison–a friend sent me an arc of A Perfect Blood, which was cool, but I was also 2-3 books behind at that point (I had already picked up Pale Demon, though), which meant…yup, had to go out and get the ones I was missing so I could read the arc.  As with The Night Circus and the Hobbit, this set of books has also been on 2 TBR lists…

7.  My Very Dearest Anna by Kara Martinelli–another book I technically didn’t buy, my husband did.  This was also compiled by a friend of ours, and she’s read *my* book, and I just haven’t gotten to hers yet…oops!

8.  Envy by Anna Godberson–it was the LAST copy on BAM’s teen clearance section, so I just haaaaaaaad to get it so I didn’t miss out on it!  Of course, the next time I went in to BAM, there were three copies on the shelf…heh!  But still, LOVE the Luxe series, and I don’t know why I haven’t read this one yet!

9.  A Lion Among Men by Gregory Macguire–another book snatched from a clearance shelf, it even made it onto one of my “shelf of 10” shelves…and I *still* didn’t read it!  I think some of that had to do with the fact it was actually book 11 of 10 (heh), and by that point I was just tired of reading a set amount of books.

10.  The Secret Country by Pamela Dean–I didn’t buy this, I picked it up at last year’s Reading Festival, but I also remember telling someone that I’d read it then pass it on to her.  It’s been over a year since that Festival…

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is brought to us by the lovely girls over at The Broke and the Bookish, and as always, click on the picture to be transported to their blog.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy this is gonna be a HARD one!  I have sooo many books I need to read, and that I wish I was reading right now, and that I wish I’d remember to finish so I can start a new book (I’m looking at you, Secret Life of Bees).  My TBR list on Goodreads has over 250 books on it currently, and honestly, I think this will have to be split up into two different lists, as well, as I keep my hard copy and kindle reads separate (meaning I read them concurrently, not switch between the two mediums).  Also, you can check out my Fall TBR list, of which I’ve managed to read 6 of the 10 books I listed.  Not too shabby, really.

Kindle Spring TBR

1.  Delirium/Requiem by Lauren Oliver–I keep hearing AWESOME things about these books, AND it’s going to be a TV show, so it’s become a top MUST READ so that I can compare the two.
2.  A friend’s manuscript–I’m not going to share any details, but I promised my friend I would read and critique, and while I have for some of it, I haven’t done it for all of it, and I’d like to start back at the beginning, and I feel like a really bad friend because I’ve had this forever…
3.  The Grimm Diaries prequel novels 1-6 by Cameron Jace–this is on the list because it was my Amazon Prime “free” book for the month, and it has to be read and returned by April so I can rent another book…but they sound pretty darn awesome and involve fairy tale retellings, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy them.
4.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline–I don’t know much about this book (though it was featured in Entertainment Weekly), but I just LOVE the title.  Awesome reason to read a book, right?
5.  Life of Pi by Yann Martel–I really want to see the movie, but since I made a resolution to read the book BEFORE seeing the movie…I have to read this!
6.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky–see above
7.  Iced by Karen Marie Moaning–I just finished the last of the Fever series today (though this is listed as Fever #6/Dani O’Malley #1), which I LOVED, but I’m really hoping that this book isn’t written like the useless “Dani” chapters in the last two books of that series…they were annoying at best.
8.  Deep Fried and Pickled by Paisley Ray–this was a Kindle freebie (surprised, right?), but the description sounded neat and the title is just…awesomely funny.  Plus, the main character is from my home state!
9.  Insurgent by Veronica Roth–I read Divergent several months ago, and I can’t believe that I haven’t read Insurgent yet!
10.  Redwoodian by Alysia Gray Painter–I’m currently reading the first book (Mayfair), which I got for free from Forever Young Adult, and as I got it free, I feel I should read and review it.  I just hope that Redwoodian isn’t as smart and cutesy as Mayfair, because that book is dangerously close to going to my DNF list…

Hardcopy Spring TBR

1.  The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien–this was on my fall list, one of the four I didn’t get around to reading.  The movie is probably close to coming out on DVD, so I’d really like to get it read so I can actually, you know, WATCH the movie.  I want to see what extra stuff they had to add!
2.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern–I got this from Amazon like…eight months ago, and it’s still unread.  BAD ME.
3.  The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak–I picked this up at the Reading Festival in February, and I’m really excited to read it.  Plus, I think I’m supposed to pass it on once I finish it, which makes it a priority.
4.  Black Magic Sanctum/Pale Demon/A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison–this was also on my fall TBR list, and I actually started Sanctum, but I think I just wasn’t in the mood for paranormal at the time and put it down in favor of something else.
5.  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson–I read the first book over Christmas, and it was fantastic, though overly long in the way I’ve noticed that only Swedish authors can be (Looking at you, John Ajvide Lindqvist).  Plus, my Amazon Prime has all three of the Swedish version movies available, and I’d like to be able to watch them back to back.
6.  Leviathan by Scott Westerfield–I’ve been dabbling in steampunk (thanks to friends of mine that are way into it), and I’m finding I really like it for the most part.  Must read more!!
7.  Peggy Sue got Murdered by Tess Gerritsen–by the author of the Rissoli and Isles books, which I’ve loved since my mom introduced me to them.  This isn’t part of that series, and might be one of her earlier books (it was published in 1994).
8.  The Poison Eaters and other stories by Holly Black–a collection of short stories that my husband got me for Christmas, and I think it was the only one he got me that was not in the middle of a series…
9.  Envy by Anna Godberson–WHY HAVE I NOT READ THIS BOOK YET?  Oh, because I’ve been reading too much on my Kindle…oops.
10.  A Wanted Man by Lee Child–though I bought this for my husband for Christmas, if I wait for him to read it, I may be waiting a year for that to happen…

Top Ten Tuesday: New Series

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s that wonderful day of the week again–TUESDAY!  I’ve been having a horrible computer month, though, so I’m thankful that I’m still able to type this on my computer and not say…my phone or my Kindle.  Typing on the Kindle is hoorrrible!  The poor thing, I’ve dropped it one too many times and it has this bad habit of shutting down completely if I move it wrong (probably from a loose wire from being dropped) which is NOT good for a computer, and then on Sunday my power cord broke completely–the “head” that attaches to the computer twists somewhat freely, which means that the wires are snapped in there.  I’m currently using the power cord from my *last* laptop, but it’s less wattage (65W vs 80W).

Anyway, enough about my computer woes, onto the list!  This week we’re delving into series that we would LIKE to start reading.  I think this might be hard for me, but I’ll muddle through.  I hate not listing 10 (because it is, after all, a top ten list), but this one…I may not hit 10.

Top Ten Series I’d Like To Start But Haven’t Yet

1.  Delirium by Lauren Oliver–does this series have a name?  I can’t find it if it does.  I’ve heard so many good things about this series, and about Lauren Oliver’s books in general.  Plus, it’s being made into a TV series, so I need to start this soon so I can read it BEFORE the TV series comes out.

2.  The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chyma–I’m still kicking myself for not making sure I met her at the Buckeye Book Fair a couple of years ago (she was at lunch while we were there), and then missing her again a few months ago when she came to a local library.  She’s a local author in the sense that she’s from my state, and I LOVE reading authors from my state, like Casey Daniels (the Pepper Martin Mysteries series) and Jennifer Crusie.  She’s also put out quite a few books, so she’ll have me reading for quite a while!

3.  Uglies by Scott Westerfield–I picked up book 2 at a library sale last year, and finally managed to find a copy of Uglies, as well.  I also have a copy of Leviathan that I need to read, as well.

4.  The Grimm Diaries prequels by Cameron Jace–this keeps popping up as my #1 recommended book when I log into the store on my Kindle.  It’s also available for Amazon Prime users for free, and I haven’t picked out my March book yet…so this may be it.  Plus, it’s my newest favorite “genre” of fairytale retellings!

5.  1-800-WHERE-R-YOU by Meg Cabot–I love pretty much anything Meg Cabot does.  Her books are such fast, fun reads that it’s really hard to put one of her books down without actually finishing it first!

6.  The Ruby Oliver novels by e.lockhart–I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks in January and *loved* it, and I’m really looking forward to meeting Ruby Oliver!

7.  The Iron Butterfly series by Chanda Hahn–I’ve read a couple of Chanda Hahn’s books, and they were pretty good, so I’m looking forward to reading this series, as well!  Chanda is an author I discovered by downloading too many books off the Kindle Top 100 list.  Sometimes I do find some gems in there!

8.  Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore–my husband got me book #3 in this series for Christmas, so now I have to locate copies of books #1 and 2.  Actually, I think I’d like to read *anything* by Christopher Moore.  His book covers are sooo freaking cool looking, and he comes highly recommended by several friends.

9.  Tales of the 500 Kingdoms by Mercedes Lackey–this is one of the few of her series that I haven’t read, and I’d really like to.  I haven’t picked up the latest Heralds of Valdemar books, either, but I’ve not heard very good things about them, so I’m not going to go out of my way to get them.

10.  Madison Avery series by Kim Harrison–Kim Harrison’s YA series of books.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Hallows series, and when I found out she was doing YA books as well, I was ecstatic.  Now, to find the time to actually *read* the books…

I did it!  I made it to 10!  Yay!  What series are you looking forward to starting?

From my Kindle #6

1.  Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl finished 2/5–LOVED this book.  While I saw some comments on Goodreads about Ethan not being a true male narrator (and really, he’s kind of not), the writing and the story are enough to make up for that weak point.  I love Lena and her crazy family with their different powers.  I think the only thing that bothered me about the book was the insistence of using Caster instead of witch.  It comes off as pretentious and condescending.  They’re witches, okay?  4/5 stars, and can’t wait to pick up the rest of the series!

2.  Paper Dolls (Dollhouse #2) by Anya Allyn finished 2/7–I picked up the first book, Dollhouse, when it was free for the Kindle and enjoyed the crap out of it.  I was excited to see that the sequel had finally been released.  However, between my reading of Dollhouse and Paper Dolls, the author had reworked and rereleased Dollhouse, taking the last 6-7 chapters of Dollhouse and making them the first 6-7 chapters of Paper Dolls.  That was confusing and a bit disappointing, but I can understand the change, as one of my critiques of the original book was the ending was too abrupt, and the change solved that issue.  Paper Dolls deals with the history of the girl in the underground dollhouse while also following Cassie and her friends as they search for answers about things they learned after being rescued.  This trilogy is awesome, and now I can’t wait for the release of the final book!  4/5 stars

3.  Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi finished 2/9–Oh Em Gee.  This book was…in a word…terrible.  It just proves why you can’t have an insane person as a narrator, it makes the book damn near unreadable.  I can understand why so many people love this book, but the writing style just killed it for me, and I won’t be continuing on in the series.  I also don’t care if she ends up with Adam or Warner, as neither one of them made much of an impression on me.

4.  The Wizard of Oz by SD Stuart finished 2/19–steampunk Wizard of Oz.  I received this as an arc with the understanding I’d review it by a certain date.  It was quite a different take on the Wizard of Oz, with an older, blonder Dorothy, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry running a training school, airships, automatons, and Victorian sensibilities.  OZ is actually the Outcast Zone, located in Australis, and Dorothy steals away on an airship in order to find her father, who was kidnapped years earlier.  Missing is Toto, but most of the rest of the familiar characters are there, if in different incarnations.  The only issue I really had with the book was how….flip floppy Caleb was–you could never tell whose side he was actually on from page to page.  4/5 stars, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

5.  Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb:  The Graphic Novel by MJ Ware finished 2/19–a middle grade book about a zombie infestation.  It’s a bit longer than I would have expected for middle grade fiction, and the characters are a bit older than I would expect, but overall, it was a fun book (they take over a walmart and use lemonade to neutralize the zombies).  I do have to say, though, adding illustrations to your book does not exactly make it a graphic novel…4/5 stars

6.  Scarlet by Marissa Meyer finished 2/22–the sequel to Cinder, it was better than the first book!  Little Red Riding Hood rewritten, and set in France.  While I was disappointed at how long it took to actually get Cinder and Scarlet to hook up together, it was still an excellent book, and do I really have to wait until 2014 for Cress? 5/5 stars

7.  The Wanderers by Jessica Miller finished 2/26–ugh, this book was a hot mess, honestly.  I won it from a giveaway on a blog, and it sounded interesting from the review the blogger did of it, but…apparently that blogger had a higher tolerance for errors, word misuse, and tense shifting than I do.  It made the book almost impossible to read, and then on top of that you had a hot mess of a plot that meandered all over the place and didn’t actually *get* to the actual story until about 50 pages from the end.  Stay far, far away from this one unless you like trainwrecks.  I gave it 2/5 stars, but only because I finished it.

8.  Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake finished 2/27–the second and final book in the Anna Dressed in Blood series.  I enjoyed this book about as much as I enjoyed the first one, which was immensely!  Cas is on the hunt to find Anna, wherever she ended up after the end of the first book (trying to avoid major spoilers for the first book here…:D).  I don’t think his dad was dealt with properly at all, but as a whole I really enjoyed this book and gave it 5/5 stars.

9.  Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm, a graphic novel, finished 2/27–one of my rare comic books.  I’ve been curious to see how they’d handle the “famous” Derrick Storm, especially in graphic novel form.  After my disastrous attempt to read a Richard Castle book (I’m a HUGE fan of the show, and of Nathan Fillion) where I DNF’d Heat Wave with just 10 pages to go, I’ve been wary of anything else ABC puts out under the name of Richard Castle.  I did, however, really enjoy this, and I’ll probably be reading the second one here shortly.  3/5 stars, mostly because I’m not a graphic novel fan.

10.  How to be a Super Villan by Rachel Yu finished 2/28–a children’s picture book I picked up for free.  It was adorably cute and the artwork was amazing!  I read in one of the Goodreads reviews that Rachel is/was only 15 when she published it, and it was a good book for an adult writer, so the fact it was written AND illustrated by a teenager makes it even MORE fantastic.  Check it out if you like cute children’s picture books and super villans.  4/5 stars

11.  Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepherd finished 2/28–book two in the Lying Game series.  It’s a little confusing to figure out what’s going on at times, as Shepard switches narrators between Emma and her dead twin sister without any warning, but like Pretty Little Liars, this is a good, gossipy, mean girl read.  Books like these and a lot of Meg Cabot books are my guilty pleasures.  3/5 stars

Currently reading:  Mayfair by Alysia Gray Painter (received for free from Forever Young Adult, along with its sequel Redwoodian), a friend’s manuscript, and Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepherd

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Authors

Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Tuesday, my friends!  This weekend kicked my butt, but I’m ready to hop back into the bookish lifestyle and the best way to do that is to write about books, right?  Right?

Top Ten Authors That I’d Put On My Auto-Buy List

1.  Marissa Meyer–I just finished up Scarlet, and eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Lunar Chronicles.  Cinder was awesome, Scarlet was even *more* awesome.  Can’t wait to see exactly what happens in the next book.

2.  George RR Martin–I’m completely enthralled by Game of Thrones, and I love the intricate stories that Martin has intertwined in his world of Westeros.

3.  Kim Harrison–LOVE her Hallows series, and I’m really interested in reading her YA series, as well.  The only thing keeping me from actually buying that series is the fact that I already have way too much to read, but I have been known to pick up the Hallows books even though I’m 3 behind already….:D

4.  My friends–have to support my friends!  I’m lucky in the fact that I have several published author friends and that I can go out and buy their books.  I have Awakenings by DS Toles, Gift of the Dreamtime by Kelley Harrell, Spookygirl:  Paranormal Investigator by Jill Baguchinsky, On the Downbeat by Kylan Toles, and Zion’s Crossing by HT Barkman.  LOVE being able to read my friends’ books so much!

5.  Lisa Lutz–author of the Spellman novels, which are crazy and zany and just…so much fun!  I just can’t get enough of Isabel and her strange, wonderful family of PIs.  I think I’m caught up on actually *having* the books that are out…now just to actually get to reading them!

6.  Libba Bray–having devoured the Gemma Doyle books and somewhat enjoyed Beauty Queens, I find that I enjoy Bray’s writing style and sense of humor.  I have a copy of the Diviners on my Kindle, and I’ll be reading it as soon as I get through all of my “hey I got this for free I really need to read/review it!” books.

7.  Kendare Blake–I fell in love with Anna Dressed in Blood, and can’t wait to add more of her books to my collection!  I know the second book is out, so I need to get on that!

8.  Meg Cabot–she writes so many different types of books, from YA to paranormal to chic lit and more!  It’s so hard to keep up with everything she writes, but I try!

9.  Jeff Lindsay–author of the Dexter books, and one of the few series my husband and I can agree on.  Generally I’ll get him the book for his birthday or Christmas, but then I get to read it, as well.  🙂

10.  Lee Child–see above.  I LOVE the Reacher books, they’re so…immediate, and awesome.  As is Jack Reacher.  Don’t judge him by the terrible movie where he’s played by Tom Cruise!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Characters

Top Ten TuesdayGUYS GUYS GUYS GUESS WHAT!  It’s that Day after Monday, also known as TUESDAY!  (Don’t mind me, I may have had some caffeine today, and as I mostly gave it up, I get a little hyper when I do have it)  Top Ten Tuesday is sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish, and clicking on the above picture will transport you to their magical land.

This week we get to pick our top ten favorite characters from ANY genre we want.  I kind of don’t like open-ended lists like these, because there are sooo many genres that I like, and so many characters that I like!  I think I might go a bit off the beaten path this week, though.  Easy genres I considered were Paranormal, YA, Historical Fiction, and Literature.  I think, though…I’m going to go with:

Top Ten Favorite Characters in Poetry
Sponsored by That Shel Silverstein book underneath my coffee table

1.  Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout from Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout Would not Take the Garbage Out (from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein)–her name is awesome and she got crushed by a tower of garbage she refused to take out.  Awesome.  Plus, it was written by Shel Silverstein, who was one of the best children’s poets *ever*

2.  The Highwayman from The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes–growing up, we had a set of Childcraft books, which had all sorts of fun things in them–short stories, poems, plays, science stuff, maps, and more.  LOVED those books, and vol. 2 of the set had this epic poem in it.  The Highwayman loved the Innkeeper’s Daughter, and caused them to come to a tragic end.  Awesome poem.

3.  The Giving Tree from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein–it’s going to take all of my willpower to not have the rest of this list be Shel Silverstein characters, because I loved loved loved his poems growing up.  And the Giving Tree gave all he had to the boy he loved.  So sad, I cry every time I read it.

4.  Beowulf from Beowulf–We had to read this for English my Junior year, I think.  It took a while to get into it, but once I did…whew, I read the majority of the poem in one sitting.  While the “do this and I’ll give you my daughter” motif wouldn’t fly in today’s world, there’s just something…powerful about it.  RAWR!

5.  The Greek/Roman Gods–subject of many many (too many to list!) poems, I’ve always been fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology, and went through a phase in high school where I read everything I could get my hands on about them–poems, stories, etc.

6.  Father William from Father William by Lewis Carroll–Father William takes everything that the youth says and does it–he stands on his head, turns a somersault, eats an entire goose, and more, just to prove that being old doesn’t mean you have to ACT old.  It’s a fun poem to read, and I believe it was also made into a song.

7.  Hiawatha from Hiawatha’s Childhood by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow–Hiawatha learns the language of the forest as a small child from Nokomis in this poem.  It’s a gentle poem, and I loved to read it when I was in elementary school!

8.  Johnny Appleseed from Apple-Seed John by Lydia Maria Child-another childhood favorite about America’s favorite nomad.

9.  Little Abigail from Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony (from A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein)–Little Abigail DIED because her parents wouldn’t buy her the beautiful pony she saw when they were out for a drive.  I’m sure most little girls have felt this way when Mom and Dad said that she couldn’t have a pony for her birthday!

10.  “She” from an untitled trilogy of poems by…ME!–Freshman year of college I wrote a series of poems written from the POV of a guy who loved a girl who wanted to die, and managed to convince him to kill her.  The first poem is written just after his capture by police after the murder, the second during the trial, and the third I think is while he was in jail.  She is an amorphous character who is already dead by the opening of the first poem, but is the driving force behind all of them.  I should have a special “poetry day” in my journal and post them poems.  I think I know where they are.

 

Top Ten Tuesday Romantic Edition

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day, so the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish gave us a romantic topic to tackle–Our top ten romances!  I suppose you could do this several ways:  top ten romance books, top ten romances in books, etc.  I may end up with a mix, we’ll see!

February 12: Top Ten Favorite Romances

1.  Claire and Jamie Frasier from the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon–though my lists are usually in no particular order (and this one will mostly be, as well), Claire and Jamie have to be my top romantic pair *ever*.  Torn from her beloved husband in 1945 after only a few days together on a well deserved post-war vacation, Claire tumbles through a set of standing stones only to fine…an even greater love.  Tall, hairy, Scottish and years younger than her, Jamie swoops in and rescues her from her husband’s distant and twin in looks relative, thus starting one of the greatest literary romances.

2.  Mary Elizabeth Porter and Wolf Mackenzie from Mackenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard–the first actual romance book I ever read, and my all time favorite.  Mary Elizabeth moves to a small mountain town somewhere (Wyoming?  Colorado?  Colorado I think, it’s been a while) to teach, and ends up falling head over heels for one of her student’s fathers, the wild and dangerous half-breed Wolf Mackenzie.  The first time they do it (hey, I was in 8th grade, okay?) is in the middle of a tremendous thunder storm with the windows open.

3.  Vanyel and Tylendel from the Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey–Tylendel loves Vanyel so much that he actually gets reincarnated as bard so that they can be together after ‘Lendel’s life is cut tragically short.  *dreamy sigh*

4.  Sparkhawk and Elenia from the Elenium by David Eddings–he was her tutor, but she knew almost from the minute she saw him at 6 years old that she would marry him.  Sparhawk would do anything in the world to save the delicate princess he raised from being harmed, not realizing the effect he had on a shy, impressionable little girl.

5.  Eve Dallas and Rourke from the In Death series by JD Robb–we liberated a lot of this series over the weekend, touting it as futuristic mystery novels, which they *are*, but there is also a deep and abiding love story buried within those pages, as well.  Rourke has a shady and troubled past, and Eve hides from her own, but together they help get each other through the bad times with support and never-ending love.  Doesn’t hurt that Rourke is the richest man in the galaxy, either, when it comes to helping Eve solve some of her crimes.

6.  Stephanie Plum and Ranger from the By the Numbers series by Janet Evanovitch–sure, Stephanie should *probably* pick Joe Morelli instead, but there’s just something about Ranger–I mean, he’s described as a Cuban Batman, supplies Stephanie with a never-ending supply of black cars, and calls her Babe.  *swoon*

7.  Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell–Rhett is one of my very first literary boyfriends–and the fact that he’s played by Clark Gable in the movie?  Just…yes.  He’s dashing and mysterious, and sweeps in to save Scarlett when she most needs it.  It’s just too bad she’s too obsessed with Ashley Wilkes (though I totally get that, too, Ashley’s *such* a gentleman) to realize how much Rhett actually loves her until it’s far too late.

8.  Cassie and Adam from the Secret Circle by LJ Smith–bound together by a silver cord from the first time they meet, Cassie must deal with the fact that her soulmate is in love with another girl, her best friend, and deal with it as best she can.

And for a few “nontraditional” romances to round out the list:

9.  Alec and the Black Stallion from the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley–A horse and his boy, stranded on a desert island after a shipwreck.  I read as many of these books as I could get my hands on in elementary/middle school.

10.  Jack Reacher and The Road from the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child–Reacher doesn’t like to be tied down to anything, so he carries all he owns in his pockets–a toothbrush, an ATM card, and a comb.  He buys new clothes when the old ones get too smelly/dirty and only stays in one place long enough to earn money to keep travelling around the country.  He’s only happy if he’s moving, it’s just too bad for him that trouble moves around just as much as he does.