Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Lost in a Book

Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Disney Enterprise Inc.
Year: 2017
Genre: Fairytale Retelling
Age: YA 13+
I've previously read the book These Shallow Graves by this author & I enjoyed that book as well. I was very excited when I heard this book was coming out so I'm happy my library got it so I could read it. It took me a long a read this book. Not because I didn't like it or wasn't interested. I just didn't sit down & devote the time to reading it. Once I finally did it went by very fast, I read most of it in one sitting.
This isn't the story you know. Donnelly takes the classic Disney tale & gives it a dark new twist that we've never seen before.

The story begins with two sisters, Love & Death. They have a wager going on to see who will win. Will Love conquer all & free the Beast & his servants from the curse? Or will Death consume Belle through the pages of a mysterious book?

Once we know whats at stake we jump forward to the Beast giving Belle the beautiful library that every book lover dreams about! No one knows what stories are hidden amongest the shelves just waiting to be read. In the Librarians old workroom Belle finds the enchanted book Nevermore. Once she opens its pags she is transported to a magical new realm. There she finds an escape from the dark, dusty, & depressing life she has in the Beast's castle. In Nevermore she meets some new "friends" including a handsome duke named Henri & a countess who is her gracious host in this new world. But the countess in none other than Death herself.

It's not long before Belle is entranced by the countess & all she has to offer in her world of magic, fancy gowns, delicious food, & delight every day. Belle never wants to leave & the countess feels the same. But Belle has grown attached to her friends back at the castle. So she finds herself traveling between realms trying to decide which world holds the key to her future.

Death has other plans for Belle & it's not long before she becomes trapped within the ages of Nevermore. But the once magical & exciting world has transformed into Death's realm of darkness. Belle's new friends are just puppets in this game & she is about to become one herself. The Beast along with our favorite cast if characters Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Chip & the others must find her before its too late.
Likes: This version of the story is unlike any we've ever read before. It starts out traditional & by the end it takes a turn much like Neil Gaiman's book Coraline.

There are traditional characters like Lumiere & we get to see some new ones like a helpful spider named Aranae & his beetle companion Lucanos.

The chapters in this book are pretty short so that makes it go by fast.

With stunning originality & some funny moments this book is sure to be a new classic.

Dislikes: -


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

Night Shift

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: ACE (Penguin Random House)
Year: 2016
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Age: 18+
This is the third & final book in the Midnight Texas trilogy.

I originally started reading this series after watching the show on television & really enjoying it. I have listened to all the books on audio in combination with reading them when the audio isn't available. The reader Susan Bennett is pretty good with voices & overall I enjoyed her reading.

I would also highly recommend the show. It was fabulous. Although I will say this the show encompasses all 3 books into 10 episodes which are very fast paced & there are some differences but both mediums were enjoyable.
We begin this final book back in Midnight with our supernatural friends & enemies. Evil is rising in Midnight...literally. It has been historically shown that crossroads like the one Midnight sits on are places where evil lurks beneath the surface. This is because crossroads are where people commit suicide, are killed to give example, mass burials are found, & other supernatural happenings occur. Midnight is no exception to this fact.

250 years ago a powerful witch used a spell along with a ritual to seal the demon Colconnar in the plane that exists with ours. Now on the night of Samhain, a night every year were the vail between realms is thin, which also happens to be Halloween the demon shall rise again unless the people of Midnight can stop it.

The trouble begins when people start being called to the crossroad by the demon to kill themselves as a sacrifice to him. This killing & blood gives him power that he can use to break through & return to this realm. The Midnighters are determined to stop this from happening as well as save the people effected by the calling. It will take all of them & all they have to make this happen.

Along with the demon fighting we also learn more about Olivia in this book & what is going on with the Reed family, as well as the new guy in town, Sylvester Ravenwing, working at the Gas N Go. Olivia's story has been developing for sometime so there is no surprises there. But we learn who this newcomer Ravenwing is & why he plays a significant part in trapping the demon.

Overall it is a happy ending for the town as well as the end of the story. The ending is very similar to the show which made me happy.
Likes: There was nothing about this book that I didn't like. We get some loose ends of the story tied up, there's a blossoming love story, plus the demon is vanquished never to return again...we hope.

I am a little sad the story is over. But at the same time I'm glad it didn't drag on like the Sookie Stackhouse series (it was so long I never finished it).

Dislikes: This was not a dislike for me but it may be for some...there is a sex scene at the very end of the story as well as 2 teenagers having sex throughout the book. The descriptions are not graphic but they are there. So if that bothers you or you would like to recommend this book to others. This book had the most sex in it out of all 3 of them.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Most Anticipated Books of 2018

Each year I eagerly await the release of that years best YA books. Most of them I get from my library but some of them I like enough based on the author or description that I pre-order them for myself. This is a list of the books I'm most looking forward too in the coming year (so far)... 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Other than The Spiderwick Chronicles I had never read a Holly Black book until last year. I discovered that I really like her writing so I'm looking forward to this one. 

 The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser
I received an ARC of The Book Jumper but never got a chance to read it. So I'm planning on reading that one & this one next year. 

 Puddin by Julie Murphy
I read Dumplin last year after hearing about it at a conference & it was adorable. I'm excited to read more!

 Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
I haven;t read the other 2 books in this DC Icons series but I'm not super sure you have to. I'm not a big superhero person but SJM wrote this one so duh I have to read it!

 Beast by Lisa Jensen
There had to be a fairytale retelling on my list!

Everless by Sara Holland
I have been hearing SOOOOO much about this book & I'm super excited for it! 

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
I really enjoy her books! I've read a few in the last year & I hope to read them all/read more in the coming year including this one. 

 The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Hocus Pocus meets Practical Magic...enough said...I'm in love already!

 Nightblood by Elly Blake
This is book #3 in the Frostblood Saga. This is another series that I own the first book but have never started reading it because I was waiting for the end that is finally here!

 Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
This is one of the 2 standalone books on the list. Sometimes you need a good standalone. 

 Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J. Maas
YYYYAAAAASSSSSSSSS!!!!! I'm so excited for this series to finally be over & to find out what happens after the cliffhanger in Empire of Storms. 

 Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
There are a lot of books like this coming out in the next year. Princess with powers, betrayal, love, danger, etc. 

 War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
I pre-ordered Red Queen when it first came out a few years ago & read it in 1 sitting. I haven't read any of the others because I was waiting for them all to come out. This is the final book in the series. 

Untitled Renegades #2 by Marissa Meyer
I ordered the first book in this series this year but haven't had a chance to read it yet. But I order all of her books regardless because I love her!

A Court of Frost & Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake
This is book #3 in the Three Dark Crowns series. I haven't read any of the others in this series because I'm waiting for them all to come out before I start. 

The Cursed Sea by Lauren DeStefano
This is book #2 in The Glass Spare series. I haven;t read the first one yet but I'm excited to read it & then hopefully continue the series. 

Top 10 Books of 2017

This is a list of my favorite books of the year! I didn't get to read as many books this year as last year but I still read quite a few great ones. I'm going to include a link to my review as well as a link with more info about the book & a picture. These are in no particular order...

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
My review can be found here.

Bunnicula by James Howe
My review can be found here.

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
My review can be found here.

Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull
My review can be found here.

A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
My review can be found here.

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
My review can be found here.

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
My review can be found here.

Found by S.A. Bodeen
My review can be found here.

I Work @ a Public Library by Gina Sheridan
My review can be found here.

Lost In a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
I'm cheating a little bit with this one. I plan on reading it this month. I read the first few chapters so far & am really liking it. So stay tuned for a review soon!

You can see all the books I've read this year on my Goodreads account here. You can also read other reviews I've done, see events that I've held at my library, & watch my book trailers here on my blog. Stay tuned for my most anticipated books of 2018 shortly!

Friday, December 1, 2017

December 2017 TBR

This month I'm just gonna wing it. I know I'm not gonna finish all the books for my reading challenge...probably. And I'm not sure how much reading I'll be doing with all of this month's events at work so we'll see. But I know for sure I'll be finishing these books: 

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

November 2017 Wrap-up

This month I had high hopes since I didn't read much in October. But despite having Veteran's Day weekend & Thanksgiving weekend I still didn't get much read. I'm going to make that one of my goals for more...for real!

I decided not to read Tower of Dawn until the library gets it on audio since that's how I have read all of the previous books in that series. 

I accidentally left Lost in a Book at my parents house after I started reading it & it was really good. So my Mom is mailing it to me & I'm going to finish it in the upcoming month. 

So for the month of November I managed to read 3 books & I'm about 1/3 of the way into a third & waiting on the Beauty & the Beast one. 

This month we had Karaoke Night & an Adult STEM book discussion here at the library. I'm gonna be posting some pictures from that soon. 

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris 
My review can be found here.
I became obsessed with this book when I watched the show that aired earlier this year. The book did not disappoint. I'm currently listening to #3 on audio.

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
My review can be found here.
This is book #2 in the Midnight TX series. 

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel 
My review can be found here.
To be real with you..this was the worst book I've ever was so bad I couldn't finish it but I'm still counting it!

Stay tuned for my December TBR!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Day Shift

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Year: 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Age: Adult 18+
We're back in Midnight, Texas with all of our supernatural friends for a new adventure. Our story begins at the Midnight Hotel. The building has been vacant for years but someone has finally bought it & plans to turn it into an old folks home/extended stay hotel. But who would move to Midnight, a one road town in the middle of the Texas desert on purpose? Especially older people who need care...the Midnighters have to keep a close eye on whats happening at the hotel.

There's also a new resident of Midnight, a young boy named Diederik comes to stay with the Rev.  Since the boy & his father are both like the Rev his father knows he will be safe. We finally get to see the Rev's true nature towards the end of the story, although we did get a small glimpse in the first book & also in the TV show.

Manfred is also in trouble with the law in this second book. He goes to Dallas for a few days to stay at a nice hotel called Vespers & do private in person readings. There he runs into Olivia who is also there for her work. One of Manfred's long time clients Rachel Goldthorpe comes to see him so she can contact her dead husband. But she drops dead before Manfred can do anything & it's later discovered that she was murdered, but who is the perpetrator? It could be her son, Lewis, who is greedy for his parents money & house, it could be the maid, Bertha, who may have a love child from the late Morton Goldthorpe, or it could be Manfred the mysterious psychic who was alone with Rachel when she died. It's not long before the news crews & the cops show up to question Manfred.
He will need Olivia's help along with Barry, another new comer to town, & two old people from the hotel to prove his innocence. (If you've read any of the Sookie Stackhouse books by the same author you might remember Barry the bellboy from the Dallas hotel, he is a telepath like Sookie.)

Other than the normal shenanigans of the residents of Midnight, in this book we get to learn more about Joe & Chuy, as well as Lemuel being gone on his trip to find someone that can decode the language of the mystery books BoBo had in the pawn shop. By the end of the story Manfred is cleared, Diederik has grown significantly approaching & after his transformation, & all is well again in town.
Likes: This book much like the first had a mystery to be solved as well as reveling even more about the residents of Midnight.

Since I watched the show I know a little bit  ore about the people that live there but there is also some significant differences that keep the story interesting.

I like that this series is only a trilogy & it doesn't drag on like her Sookie series (that was so long I never finished it).

The story is fast paced & with many different characters & side stories coming together.

I listened to the story on audio again & the reader Susan Bennett does a great job.

Dislikes: -


Monday, November 20, 2017

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

The Land of Painted Caves

Author: Jean M. Auel
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (Random House)
Year: 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age: Adult 18+

This is book #6 in the Earth Children series. I had to attempt to read this book because it is part of an Adult STEM Discussion at my library this month.

This review will be very short...I only ready about 200 pages of this book & I hated every minute of it.

Overall the story line isn't bad, but that being said there is way to many characters & the book is very descriptive. The author spends whole chapters describing landscapes & introducing dozens of characters that you are expected to remember. She also goes into great detail the customs, clothing, food, etc of the people. That content is interesting but the way it's presented is to difficult to read. I know I'm not the only person to not enjoy this book because it has an average 3 star rating on Goodreads. If there was less description & more focus on the story I feel like the book would be better. Needless to say I will not be finishing it.

I'm hoping that the discussion goes well because the person leading it is also not liking the book. Let's hope some people come that do???


Likes: -

Dislikes: All


Monday, November 13, 2017

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad

Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Year: 2014
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery
Age: Adult 18+
Welcome to Midnight, Texas where the heat is dry & the residents are an eclectic bunch of folks.

There's Fiji Cavanaugh who is a real witch, she runs a store for herbal remedies & talisman's out of her house but she could freeze you faster than a bolt of lightning.

Bobo Winthrop is a handsome thirty something man who owns the pawn shop in town & he is dating Aubrey Hamilton.

Joe Strong & Chuy Villegas are partners & they own the Tattoo Parlor & Nail Salon. They live there with their dog Rasta.

Madonna Reed & her husband Teacher just had a baby & they own & run the Home Cookin' Restaurant.

Then there's Emilio Sheehan who is the town reverend & he oversees the pet sematary & weekly services, plus the occasional wedding.

Olivia Charity has a mysterious job that everyone thinks involves finding & killing people. She lives in the basement below the pawn shop with Lemuel Bridger who is a vampire that siphons energy instead of drinking blood.

Then there is the Lovell family. Shawn is father to Creek & Connor. Creek is college age & Connor is 14. They are not native Midnighters, they moved to the are to escape a mysterious past so they fit right in.

Finally there is Manfred Bernardo. He is a psychic who makes his living on the internet through his many reading sites. He's also new to town & isn't sure if he fits in yet.
In this first book in the now finished trilogy Manfred has come into town at just the right time. Aubrey has gone missing & Bobo has no idea where she could be. Her dead ex-husband Chad Lowry, was killed robbing a bank & he was a member of the Sons of Liberty, a white supremacist group. Bobo & the rest of the town suspect that their leader Price Eggleston was behind her death.

After Aubrey's body is discovered down by the river the investigation & trouble begins. The Sons of Liberty start coming to Midnight to check up on Bobo since he too has a dark & complicated past that is similar to theirs. Bobo & Manfred are jumped one night, 2 men go missing after they come into the pawn shop, & then Fiji is taken as bait. Olivia & Lemuel are very useful in the cause because of their unique backgrounds & skills.

Mean while the rest of the residents of Midnight are spending their nights eating at Home Cookin' & trying to live their lives as normally as possible. But did Price really kill Aubrey or was it one of their own from Midnight?
There is a show that premiered in early 2017 on NBC based on these books. It features some new faces to television as well as some old favorites like Arielle Kebbel from The Vampire Diaries & Peter Mensah from Spartacus.

I watched the entire show on HULU since it had already aired. It was 10 episodes & I was sad to see it end. I won't go into too much detail but I know now after reading this first book that the show must include events from all books.

In short the show was very good & I enjoyed it. I watched all the episodes in about 2 days. It is well worth the time & it increased my desire to read the books. There are several very large differences between the 2 but I enjoy them both a lot.
Likes: The book had a great mix of characters & the story itself evolved quickly & kept my attention. Of course from watching the show I knew how it would end but I wasn't disappointed.

There wasn't as much romance going on in the book, so far at least, as in the show. I liked the mystery & all the diverse characters over wanting the romance. I'm hoping to see more but I wasn't upset by the overall lack.

As usual Harris takes supernatural characters & plants them in our world which creates an interesting mix. There are traditional details like vampires drinking blood but she introduces fun new elements like Lemuel's ability to take in energy from others.

I discovered I like mysteries. My usual genre is YA fantasy so this was new for me & I really enjoyed it. I have read several of her other books from the Sookie Stackhouse series 7 really liked them as well.

I listened to this book & plan on continuing through audio. The read has a good mellow voice with a slight Texas accent that keeps your attention.

Dislikes: -


Friday, November 3, 2017

November 2017 TBR

I'm hoping to catch up on my reading this month since we have a three day weekend for Veteran's Day. If I don't finish I HAVE to at least get one book read for an Adult STEM Discussion we are doing at the library at the end of November. So here is my November TBR:

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Origin by Dan Brown

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

Darker by E.L. James

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson

Stay tuned for review throughout this month!