March Wrap-Up

Read In March


Reviewed In March

  1. Lottery Boy by Michael Byrne – Review
  2. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner – Review
  3. Spirit Level by Sarah N. Harvey – Review
  4. Little Girls by Ronald Malfi – Review
  5. Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel B. Smith – Review
  6. Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat – Review
  7. Children of the Vampire (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #2) by Jeanne Kalogridis – Review

Read But Didn’t Review – My Thoughts:

Summer Heat Harper BlissSummer Heat by Harper Bliss – 3 Stars

Summary: When Cat is unceremoniously dumped by her girlfriend right before their holiday, she decides to join her parents on their annual trip to Tuscany. Prepared for two weeks of sun-drenched melancholy, she finds much more than nostalgia in the house where she used to spend her summers as a child.

My Thoughts: This was a super fast read (31 pages) and I enjoyed it. It was good and I will be reading more by this author in the future. Who knows, maybe I might even read more by her in April. Actually, I think that is exactly what I’m going to do.


Thrill Lucia JordanThrill by Lucia Jordan – 2 Stars

Summary: A powerful Contemporary Romance. Here is the first book in the ‘Thrill’ Series by Lucia Jordan, written in her signature style of high passion and emotion.

“Even beneath that tailored suit that bespoke wealth and privilege, Brandon Maxwell’s dark desires couldn’t be concealed.”

Hannah Wilson is having a bad day. Her cruel boss, Craig Allen, has just trashed the presentation that she’s been slaving over. This time she’s had enough. She’s going to tear up the presentation, march back inside, and quit. She’s sick of controlling, pushy men wreaking havoc in her life.

So when a mysterious stranger intervenes to ask if she’s OK, Hannah is in no mood to entertain his enquiry. She just wants to be left alone. But when she discovers that this mysterious stranger is none other than her next big client, and just looking at him sets her lust aflame, she starts to realize that she may be in over her head.

Brandon’s on a mission to protect Hanna – but will he find a way to give up her control and surrender to his power?

My Thoughts: This was another super fast read (again 31 pages), and I also enjoyed this one. I was even going to give it three stars, but in the end I couldn’t because of the cliffhanger. It just ended so abruptly and it wasn’t long enough for me to really care enough about the characters to continue on with the next one. So I just couldn’t give it anymore than two stars. It was okay.


Annie's Day Andy WeirAnnie’s Day by Andy Weir – 1 Star

Summary: I didn’t want to wake up at 6 am, especially on a Saturday. But the man I was cuddled up to was… a morning person.

My Thoughts: I absolutely love The Martian. It was one of the best books I read last year and I was dying to read more by Andy Weir. So one day I decided to give his short stories a shot and I started with this one. Man, I am so glad this is the one I started with because I didn’t like it at all. I found it completely predictable. I guessed the ending before I was even half way through the story. I probably would have enjoyed it if I wasn’t expecting the ending, but I guessed it, and it ruined the whole thing for me. Such a disappointment.

You can read it here.


The Egg Andy WeirThe Egg by Andy Weir – 4 Stars

Summary: A short story about the universe.

My Thoughts: I am so glad that I read Annie’s Day first, because I ended up going into this one with super low expectations. I’m not sure if that is why I enjoyed it so much, or if it was just that good. Part of me wonders what I would have thought of it, if I had read it first. I just found this one to be so much better. If you haven’t read any of his short stories before and you want to read one, please go with this one. It is so much better.

You can read it here.


Sense and Sensibility Jane AustenSense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – 4 Stars

Summary: Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility is a wonderfully entertaining tale of flirtation and folly that revolves around two starkly different sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. While Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, her younger sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor’s reason nor Marianne’s passion can lead them to perfect happiness-as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who’s already engaged.

My Thoughts: I finally picked this one up because of a read-a-long over at Reads With Friends. I love Jane Austen. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I have read by her. This is my fifth Austen and even though it wasn’t my favorite, I still really enjoyed it. I think the only thing that stopped me from loving it and giving it the full five stars, was the ending. There was just something about it that was a bit blah.

I’m not making any promises, but I am trying to write a full review for this one. I really want to get one up, but it’s not going so well.


Neuromancer (Sprawl #1) William GibsonNeuromancer (Sprawl #1) by William Gibson – 3 Stars

Summary: The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus- hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace . . .

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employers crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

Hotwired to the leading edges of art and technology, Neuromancer ranks with 1984 and Brave New World as one of the century’s most potent visions of the future.

My Thoughts: This is probably a four star book. However, I was reading it while I was sick and had to keep putting it down. I feel like I would have really enjoyed it if I was able to read it in a day or two. Since I was sick, I was only able to read a few pages a day. There were days I couldn’t even read at all because of headaches. This isn’t the type of book you read like that. You need to read big chunks at a time. I would pick up the book and have no idea what was going on and by the time I figured it out and started enjoying the story, I would have to put it down because I was getting a headache. I may need to re-read this one at some point when I’m not sick and I can actually focus on it. I liked it, but I don’t feel like I enjoyed it as much as I normally would have.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Ruined

new-wow

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I picked: 

Ruined Amy TinteraRuined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera

Details: Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen
Buy it: Book Depository

Summary: Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by The Book Date.

Sorry I wasn’t really around last week. Once again I got sick and didn’t feel up to reading. I don’t know what is going on with me this year but I was sick for two weeks last month, and now I’m sick again. I am starting to feel better but I’m still getting headaches pretty much every single day. I’m not sure how much I will post again this week because I don’t think I have any reviews ready to go. I am hoping to read more and write some reviews this week.

Read The Last Two Weeks: 

Annie's Day Andy WeirThe Egg Andy WeirSense and Sensibility Jane Austen

Currently Reading:

Blindness (Blindness #1) José SaramagoBlindness (Blindness #1) by José Saramago

Synopsis: From Nobel Prize–winning author José Saramago, a magnificent, mesmerizing parable of loss

A city is hit by an epidemic of “white blindness” that spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and assaulting women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides her charges—among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears—through the barren streets, and their procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. As Blindnessreclaims the age-old story of a plague, it evokes the vivid and trembling horrors of the twentieth century, leaving readers with a powerful vision of the human spirit that’s bound both by weakness and exhilarating strength.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Fireman

new-wow

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I picked: 

The Fireman Joe HillThe Fireman by Joe Hill

Details: Hardcover, 768 pages
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by William Morrow
Buy it: Book Depository

Summary: From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

Bookshelf Love Update

bookshelf love

Sign up here.

So when I decided to participate in Bookshelf Love, I knew it would be a bit of a challenge, but I also knew it was something I could do. When I signed up I was sick and I figured I would feel better and be able to start reading in a day or two. That didn’t happen. I was sick for two weeks. I also had no idea that I would receive a stack of books for review (I was only expecting two), which I obviously had to put before my Goodwill books. So once I was feeling better, and felt up to reading again, I had to focus on those books.

Now this week I’m sick again, and have hardly read anything. Things aren’t going so well, which is fine, I just wish that I was doing a bit better with this challenge. I’m going to keep reading and giving it my best, but I honestly can’t see myself reading all of the books I said I would read before my birthday (May 1oth).

Out of the 25 books I picked out, I’m only on my fourth. I’m hoping to finish Neuromancer this week and I plan on reading Redshirts next. Any suggestions on what I should read after that?

The Books

  1. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
  2. The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
  3. Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
  4. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  5. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  6. Neuromancer (Sprawl #1) by William Gibson
  7. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  8. Without You by Anthony Rapp
  9. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  10. Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne by David Starkey
  11. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  12. Redshirts by John Scalzi
  13. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  14. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  15. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  16. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
  17. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  18. Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us by Kate Bornstein
  19. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  20. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  21. Children of the Vampire (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #2) by Jeanne Kalogridis Review
  22. Lord of the Vampires (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #3) by Jeanne Kalogridis
  23. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
  24. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder
  25. Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat Review

Waiting on Wednesday: The Star-Touched Queen

new-wow

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. This week I picked: 

The Star-Touched Queen Roshani ChokshiThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Details: Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: April 26th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Buy it: Book Depository

Summary: Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

Inspired by Indian mythology.

Review: Children of the Vampire by Jeanne Kalogridis

Children of the Vampire (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #2) Jeanne KalogridisChildren of the Vampire (The Diaries of the Family Dracul #2) by Jeanne Kalogridis

Publication Date: September 1st 1995
Details: Hardcover, 301 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ISBN: 9780385314121
Source: Either I bought it or my mom did. 🙂

Jeanne Kalogridis:
Website | Goodreads

Buy Children of the Vampire:
Amazon | Book Depository

Summary

It is Amsterdam, 1871, twenty-five years before the start of Stoker’s novel, and twenty-five years following Arkady Tsepesh’s flight from his family’s ancestral castle with his wife and young son, Stefan, after learning that he and his family are bound by an ancient covenant to serve their ancestor, Prince Vlad Tsepesh, who is also known as Dracula. For Vlad is a vampire, and the fated firstborn sons in every generation must bring him the victims he needs to survive. Arkady had tried to break the covenant and failed. He is now a vampire, separated from his beloved wife and son, with one all-consuming desire – to destroy Vlad before he draws Stefan into eternal service through the blood ritual. But Arkady has come too late to Amsterdam. Vlad kidnaps Stefan, and spirits him away to the castle in Transylvania to undergo the blood ritual. Arkady enlists the help of Stefan’s stepbrother, Abraham Van Helsing, in his thrilling battle against Vlad, as he seeks to free his family and put an end to the age-old blood covenant – even if it means he must destroy his own son.

Review

I’m not sure what exactly I can say about this book that I didn’t say about the first one. I came out of this one feeling basically the same way. I thought it was well written. I was pulled right in from the first page and I didn’t want to put it down.

I will say that, just like with the first book, there was a character that annoyed me. It was a different character and he wasn’t as bad as Arkady, but I still wanted to smack him at times. I also found this one to be predictable. I guessed everything, so I wasn’t surprised by anything. That was a bit disappointing and why I dropped my original four star rating down to three.

Other than those couple of problems, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So far this is an amazing vampire trilogy and I’m so glad that I’m reading it. I can’t wait to read the third and final book, Lord of the Vampires, but at the same time, I don’t want it to end. Maybe I will wait a bit before picking it up. I’m just not sure how long I can wait. I want more.

3 out of 5 stars