Tuesday, February 28, 2017

March 2017 TBR

Now that I'm out of my reading slump during the month of March I'm hoping to read six books possibly seven! My hope is that I can get back into my regular pace which is about a book a week sometimes more.

Click the link below the title for more info about the book & look for my reviews later this month

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

The Reader by Traci Chee

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I'm also very excited about the release of Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull & I'm going to try & fit that one in if possible!

February 2017 Wrap-up

I finally got out of my reading slump this month! I managed to read two books & start a third & I'm hoping to read five in March.
So this is what I was able to read during the month of February. Click on the title for a link to my review

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell


Author: Lisa Maxwell
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster Children’s)
Year: 2016
Genre: Fairytale Retelling/Fantasy
Age: 12+ YA

I picked this book up at one of my local libraries (not the one I work for) & I saw it on the new book shelf & was instantly drawn to it. The catch phrase on the front is, this is not the Neverland that you know, & it sure isn’t!

The story starts off with a teenage girl named Gwendolyn, her best friend Olivia, & Gwen’s mother moving to London. Gwen & her mother move around a lot because of “monsters” that her mother claims are chasing them. Gwen thinks that her mother is crazy but she plays along to keep them all sane. Olivia will be going back home after the summer is over & Gwen is all settled in.

The group move into a dingy little house with an upstairs two bedroom flat. It only takes a matter of minutes for Gwen’s mother to be put off by something in the house & be fearful of the monsters. There is a painting of a group of fairies in one of the bedrooms that is unsettling, but what could possibly be wrong with a painting, after all Gwen’s mother is an artist.  But her fears are confirmed later that night when Gwen & Olivia are asleep, the lamp in their room that the landlord said must never go out is dark. It’s then that the real darkness is upon them in the form of dark, shadowy, flying creatures.

Gwen is swept away from London in the hands of the monsters her mother was always afraid of. After being attacked midflight Gwen wakes up on the deck of a ship in a strange land with a group of boys. The boys are being led by none other than Captain Hook himself who is unlike the Captain we are accustomed to in the original story. This Captain is named Rowan & he is the same age as Gwen. Gwen is desperate to get away from the Captain & get back home, out of this nightmare of a fairytale.
It isn’t long before Peter Pan makes an appearance & comes to rescue Gwen from the evil sea Captain. But is the young boy who goes by Pan really the hero of the story?

Gwen learns that Pan has her friend Olivia who was also taken by the monsters called the Dark Ones. Pan & his gang of lost boys hide out in their fortress away from the evil Captain Hook, the Dark Ones, & the mystery that is the island of Neverland. The island has become increasingly unstable ever since the Queen of the Fey that inhabit the island was locked away after she attempted to defeat the Dark Ones & their King. Pan is set on using Gwen to find the Queen & free her so he can be reunited with his mother & stabilize the island. But Pan isn’t telling Gwen the whole story…

Throughout the rest of the story Gwen & Rowan go romping through the jungle, battle scary creatures, ward off the Dark Ones, outrun Pan & try to help a devious fairy named Fiona on their quest to free the Queen, save Neverland, & get back home.

Gwen must find out the secret of who she really is while saving Rowan & Olivia from the evil of Neverland, can she do it before it’s too late or will all be lost forever?

Likes: This book is NOTHING like the original story or even the various retellings I have read in the past. But its unique plot combined with the original characters we all know make it a thrilling adventure story that is impossible to put down.

I thought I knew where the story was going during the beginning but that quickly changed as the story evolved. I really enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen along the way & being surprised by the ending.

The fantasy of this book takes the story of Peter Pan to a whole new level that we’ve never experienced before. The story mainly focuses on the magical creatures & fey that we don’t see much of usually other than Tinker Bell.

The older than normal characters add an element of romance & virility to the story that has never been captured because they are all normally children.

This is a YA book that has an element of romance to peak your interest without crossing the line into adult themes like sex.

Dislikes: -


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wild by Cheryl Strayed


Author: Cheryl Strayed
Publisher: Vintage Books (Random House Canada)
Year: 2012
Genre: Biography/Memoir
Age: Adult 18+

I started reading this book for my 2017 Book Challenge Group for the book to movie category. This is the first book I’ve been able to successfully finish since I read Empire of Storms back in December. Needless to say this is one of the worst, if not THE worst book I’ve ever read.

We all know the story of Cheryl Strayed & how her mother was killed in her battle with cancer, then her marriage fell apart & she started cheating on her husband & doing drugs. After her divorce she decided to start hiking on the PCT.

I saw the movie with Reese Witherspoon when it came out & really enjoyed it. It was funny & reflective with a few dark patches of her past, but overall a great story. So naturally I thought that I would enjoy the book too.

For me the book spent too much time on the past & how it just crippled her. Don’t get me wrong I would be lost without my own mother & I know that losing someone close to you is hard. I guess my biggest problem is I don’t understand how hiking across the country fixes that. I also don’t understand why someone who is young & inexperienced in the outdoors thinks hiking thousands of miles will help get her life back on track. I kept thinking can’t she just drink a lot & sleep it off to fix her problems like normal people do? Or have a fling, or move to a new city, or get a new job so she could meet new people. It also kind of bothers me that she never finished getting her degree even years later. She will be paying for that for the rest of her life & she can’t really do anything with it because it’s incomplete.


It seems that Cheryl has her little adventure then her life does get better which is the most important part of the story. Lesson learned, tragedy over, moving on with life in the best way possible.

Likes: I did like the parts on the trail especially meeting all of the cool people along the way. I think the various stops she made were my favorite. Getting to interact with new people & hear about their stories is always a fun experience.

I also liked learning about the trail & the various landscapes.

Dislikes: I didn’t like all of the flashbacks, her reliving the past is part of healing but some of them were very sad & I liked that the movie didn’t relive ALL of them. I would have rather gotten the whole story up front then moved along to the trail.

I also did not approve of her being so half hazard about sleeping with men & doing drugs. It didn’t bother me that she had an abortion because I would have done the same thing. But you would think she’d be a little more careful in the future. 


Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2017 TBR

This month I'm not gonna set my hopes too high since January was a little bit of a let down. I am very excited though for the release of the final book in the Red Queen Trilogy so I do plan on reading those. I read the first book when it came out & LOVED it but I wanted to wait until the final installment before reading the whole series. 

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Red Queen
Glass Sword
King's Cage
Victoria Aveyard

January 2017 Wrap-up

I had high hopes to start the year off right & read 5-7 books this month. Sadly I only read 3 & one of them was a kids picture book & one was a graphic novel but I'm counting them anyway! LOL Here is a link to what I had planned on reading during the month of January.
And below is what I managed to read. I have been in quite a slump since finishing Empire of Storms in December. I'm hoping to get out of it in February. Stay tuned for my Febraury TBR shortly.

The Secret of the Sphinx by Samuel Bavli
Link to my review here

Marshmallow by Clare Furlay Newberry
Link to my review here

I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton
Link to my review here

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 Book Challenge List

For the past 2 years I have participated in a book challenge on Facebook. This will be my 3rd year with the group & I'm excited about a lot of the books coming out this year & doing some reread as well. Below is my list that I hope to follow & complete.

2017 Book Challenge List

1.       Found by S.A. Bodeen 
2.       Wild by Cheryl Strayed

3.       Eragon by Christopher Paolini

4.       Lord of the Flies by William Golding

5.       A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

6.       Paper & Fire by Rachel Caine

7.       Red Queen by Victoria Averyard

8.       The Secret of the Sphinx by Samuel Bavli

9.       The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein

10.   Glass Sword by Victoria Averyard

11.   Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull

12.   I Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton

13.   King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

14.   Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

15.   Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophia Kinsella

16.   A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

17.   Origin by Dan Brown

18.   A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

19.   Throne of Glass #6 by Sarah J. Maas

20.   Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

21.    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

22.   Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman

23.   Fantastic Beasts by J.K. Rowling

24.   The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

25.   Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

26.   Gilded Age by Claire McMillan