Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 WRAP UP

So my hiatus will continue for just a couple more weeks, but I really wanted to get a wrap-up post up for 2016! I hope to also close out my challenges before I try to start any new ones for this year. Though I did not get close to my goal of 100 books, I still read some good ones I would like to recommend to you all!

Shearwater Part One by Derek Murphy
I haven't gone back to see if the rest has been released, but I don't remember if I did get on the mailing list or not. Will have to check because I do want to see how it ends!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Had this on the TBR list and then it got picked for one of our book club selections. We all enjoyed it, and I was pleased to hear two members who didn't think they were gonna like it BOTH binge read it in a few days. 

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Net-galley book that sounded cool, and ended up being better than it sounded! 

Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey
review pending
This was such an enjoyable sci fi story! Short but fulfilling, with a protagonist you feel close to whilst you feel bad for him most of the time. 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
review pending
Really gripping YA/dystopian novel. Of course there's love interests (plural) for the FMC, but she stands well on her own. Also a fascinating world setup I can't wait to read more about in the next books :]

The Shining by Stephen King
review pending
I've had this on the TBR list for a while, was glad when our book club chose it for October. I really enjoyed it, and was fascinated by the notable difference in tone when compared to the film. Excited to rewatch the film which is on Netflix now, woo!

So those are my top books for the year. Have we read any that are the same? Which were your favorite the past year? Any you'd like to recommend?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Planned hiatus

Sorry folks, but I have to step back from posting reviews for a little while. October is shaping up to be quite busy, and then I'll be using all of my free time in November to work on my NaNoWriMo novel. December is likely to help clear up, so than I should be back to posting regularly by January! I may try to pop out a review here and there in the interim, but I don't feel confident promising anything. But I'll see you for sure in 2017!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

BOOK REVIEW - Menagerie [#1]

Author: Rachel Vincent -
Format: Kindle ebook. Free from Net Galley. Link on Amazon
Did it feel like a full novel: yes
Cliffhanger: ends on a good note, though you know there is more to explore later.
Genre: urban fantasy, paranormal, dystopian
Dates Read: April 8 - May 9, 2016
Official Blurb: When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town. 

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed. 

One Sentence: Not what I expected, but so much better!

Full Review: The synopsis makes it sound, at least to my ears, a little more sexy and fantastical than it really was. When Deliliah is “stripped of her worldly possessions”, they don’t just mean things. They mean her human rights. She is property, less than an animal (for cryptids count as less than they). It was angering and more than a little disturbing. It takes a while to get past this most brutal beginning, but there is nothing like detailed rape or gore. Just that dark unpleasantness that is the core of evil in many human beings. 

The cryptids are realistic characters, not just “oh it’s a mermaid!”. They have different pasts and stories about how they came to belong to Metzger’s Menagerie, which helps with the world building. There are constant hints about something BIG that happened in the past to make the current events make sense, but other than that, I felt we had a good amount of information to follow along. 

The characters were great, not just the main ones like Delilah and Gallager (OMG, I got to love him so much), but so many others like the Claudio, Eryx and Nalah. Some of the ‘good guys’ pissed me off, but it kept their unique viewpoints realistic. Being allies does not mean you will be friends, automatically. 

This book was AMAZING, and though I would have LIKED to have some romance, the whole story does NOT need it. Perhaps it’s so rich and fascinating because it doesn’t have a romance to fall back on? Can’t wait for the other two books of this trilogy!

Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

BOOK REVIEW - The Game and the Governess

Author: Kate Noble
Format: paperback. Won in a giveaway hosted at
Did it feel like a full novel: yes
Cliffhanger: nope
Genre: historical romance
Dates Read: Feb 1 - Mar 21, 2016

Official Blurb: Three friends. One Wager. Winner takes all.

The Earl—‘Lucky Ned’ Ashby. Pompous, preening, certain that he is beloved by everyone.
The Miller—John Turner. Proud, forced to work as the Earl’s secretary, their relationship growing ever more strained. 
The Doctor—Rhys Gray. Practical, peace-loving, but caught in the middle of two warring friends.

Their wager is simple: By trading places with John Turner and convincing someone to fall in love with him, Ned plans to prove it’s him the world adores, not his money. Turner plans to prove him wrong.

But no one planned on Phoebe Baker, the unassuming governess who would fall into their trap, and turn everything on its head…

One Sentence: Enjoyable romance though it does take a while to get romantic.
Full Review: So-called "Lucky Ned" is not a very enjoyable hero at first. Phoebe Baker, the governess whom is the planned 'conquest' is fascinating at least, but the story is mostly carried by Ned. Which is something I rarely see, so it's a shame he's not more likable. However, after a point your pity at his constant faux pas and misfortunes kinda turns a bit into like, and you hope things will work out... though by then you want him to drop the pretense because you KNOW it's gonna bite him in the butt. 

With the exception of his dry manservant, I couldn't really find myself liking any other character. Turner was close, but just couldn't reach it. Everyone else is either annoying, or hateful and fake, so they're not very fun. The kids were cute, but too young for me to really get vested in them.

I really don't care for romances which hold onto miscommunication as drama, it bothers me. But since the whole basis of this book is that it's a wager on traded places, you kind of can't be honest from the get go. Regardless though, I really enjoyed a lot of the storyline, just watching Ned and Phoebe gradually fall in love was actually quite sweet. The suspense of knowing it was gonna get ugly eventually but in a way I dreaded made me anxious, so it was certainly a page-turner. I would like to check out another book by this author, but I don't think I'll go for the second in this series though. 

Rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

BOOK REVIEW - TUESDAY FLIRTATIONS - The Dangers of Adopting a Werewolf [Changeling Encounters #2]

I'm sure a lot of us download free romance novels to read because there are SO very many of them out there. And then the little guys breed like rabbits in our eReaders. Why don't we share our reviews/impressions so we can find the best ones to read?

1. Read a free romance book (this was started for legally free eBooks, but you can count anything gifted, borrowed, ARC, etc!)
2. Review it on your blog. If you can and it's still available, share the link to the free book.
3. Link back here by using the code below.
4. Leave your link to the specific blog post (NOT your main site) in a comment on the recent week's TF post or via the linky.
5. Delight in reading reviews by real people who's likes/dislikes you can compare to and thus find a romance you most likely will enjoy :D

Author: J. S. Scott -
Format: Kindle ebook. Free at the time on amazon 
Did it feel like a full novel: nope
Cliffhanger: no
Genre: romance, shifter
Dates Read: May 9, 2016
Official Blurb: Illustrator Zoey Hall had moved out of the city to recover from the last year and a half of losses and traumatic events in her life. All she wanted was a
little peace and to recover from her losses. When she finds a puppy in the
woods and rescues it, any peace and serenity she was looking for is shattered. The pup is a wolf changeling, she is his mate and her life is
about to drastically change.

When Rafe Lancaster shifts into a wolf pup to avoid overzealous hunters, he doesn’t expect his savior to be the woman that is destined to be his mate. However, now that he’s found her…he isn’t letting her go and he’ll do anything to keep her by his side…forever.

One Sentence: Too short and unrealistic on almost every angle.

Full Review: Quick stories are good, but this was much too rushed and too perfect (he's super rich and all) for the ending. Rafe establishes himself as a werewolf and then they both feel the urge to have sex. Then she starts to regret their sudden actions but he tells her he won't leave her and just kinda doesn't take no for an answer again. Major dislike for both of them. The sex was also a bit stale, alas.

Rating: 1 star

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BOOK REVIEW - Harder: A military stepbrother romance

Author: Sable Dare
Format: Kindle ebook, received copy from author for an honest review. Amazon link.
Did it feel like a full novel: yes
Cliffhanger: no
Genre: romance
Dates Read: Mar 22 - Apr 5, 2016
Official Blurb: Nothing can get under his skin. Except for me. 

Jackson Cooper used to be a tough kid. Now he's a hard man - gorgeous, sculpted by his Army service and hungry for me. 

He's also my fucking stepbrother. And I can't keep my hands off of him. 

He's everything I ever wanted. And everything I can never have. 

Not only am I engaged to marry the biggest prick in the world, the guy has me in a stranglehold. Not even Jackson's iron fists can solve this little fucking problem I created for myself. There's no running from the thugs who own this boondocks town. 

But it's my fuck-up, so I'll deal with it, right? Wrong. My captor doesn't just want my hand, he wants everything. And I'm going to have to give it all up. Including Jackson. 

Why did he have to come back? It would have been so much easier without him here. 

Now things are fucked up as hell. 

And I can't help but want them to be even harder. 

One Sentence: I expected more, but there's a lot of solid story here though at times you can't fully sympathize with the heroine

Full Review: OK, well first off, the main reason I would gravitate towards something that's titled "stepbrother romance" is because I'm in the mood for a little forbidden fruit. When you find out these two will be related as step-siblings at this point as adults, not previously at all, it kinda deflates that aspect. 

So then it feels just like a romance where the heroine has to hide her true feelings because she's being coerced into a different relationship. Which, as it is, is a solidly written book in that manner. Jackson was really enjoyable, being a tough guy with deep passions. You really get into his head with Dare's writing, and you like him for it. Jessica kind of wandered back and forth between like and dislike, but mainly it was because I felt she needed to fess up to SOMEBODY about what was going on rather than keep it hidden for so long AND yet being pissed at others for not giving her a break at the same time.  And then at the end when she really feels she needs help, guess what, it's almost too late. 

As a romance, you generally know where it's going to go as the situation opens up, but I felt that the little details were original enough to really hook me in. The writing is overall pretty good, it's just the beginning where you can get a little lost for a lack of a few information-giving sentences. But otherwise, the voices of Jackson and Jessica are decently distinct, and you do get a feel for who they are pretty early on. 

Rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

BOOK REVIEW - Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline
Format: Kindle ebook, purchased on Amazon
Did it feel like a full novel: oh yes!
Cliffhanger: nope
Genre: sci fi
Dates Read: Mar 3-11, 2016
Official Blurb: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

One Sentence: Spectacular adventure with so much 80s stuff that you don't know where to look!

Full Review: Had been wanting to read this book for a while, and was delighted we chose it for out book club's March selection. Rushed through it because it was too hard to put down! Happy to hear that two other members felt the same, heh heh.

So it's a good book in the feel of the hero having a quest to complete, with a lovely sci fi feel for not too far off in the future. The internet/operating system Oasis just felt incredible and I really I live long enough to experience something so awesome! There was enough information about the real world to understand why people acted certain ways, but it wasn't superbly in depth. Didn't really need to be though, considering how much of the book actually deals with events in the Oasis vs the real world.

Our hero, Parzival, is likable while having flaws, feeling like just an average guy that we'd like to be, in a way. At least that's how I felt. Or be his buddy. I can only imagine the nerdy conversations we could have! 

And let's not forget all the lovely 80's bits EVERYWHERE. Some were part of the plot directly, and got explanations. Others were just thrown in, such as a quote or just a quick mention of something. We had a lot of fun discussing our favorites at our book club meeting, especially how ones that one person 'got' were not always the ones others did. I am still curious if there was a slight 70s reference to M*A*S*H, wherein Parzival goes under the pseudonym Tuttle. It might have been just coincidence, I'm not 100% sure. 

Anyways, this book is great as sci fi, also as a journey kind of novel, and an enjoyable 80s tribute. Highly recommended to almost everybody :D

Rating: 5 stars

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...