Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day so far, I know I am. I know I'm also thankful for the readers that I get on this blog. I'm so happy that I have my family, dogs, friends, and, of course, books! 

Have an amazing day and be sure to enjoy the presence of everyone around you! 

Vanessa

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lament Review

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1)
Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie #1)
By Maggie Stiefvater
Published October 8th, 2008 by Flux
325 pages

3.5 to 4 stars - Interesting story!



Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.

Review:
Lament was definitely an interesting read and was not like anything I've read before. Maggie Stiefvater has a way with words and is able to bring you into the story and make you feel like you are actually there. But while the idea of Lament was interesting and capitvating, I feel like more could have been added to the story. 
The characters were great and I feel like what we learn of them is a great start but I also wish we could have learned more about them. They weren't as full as I would have liked them to be, especially Deirdre, Luke, and James. They were all interesting characters but I would have like to learn a little more about them and seen more of the relationships between them. But aside from that, I was immediately drawn to the characters, especially Luke. Luke was a different type of character but he was charming and, in a way, otherworldly. Deirdre learned quite a few things throughout the book and was able to grow, which I enjoyed. The antagonists on the other hand could have been fuller. I don't think we were able to learn too much about them.
Overall, Lament was a captivating book and I did enjoy reading it. I was pulled into the story and thought that it was definitely an interesting concept. The folklore and the faeries all made for a great story even though there were some things I didn't like about the book. For the first book in a series, I think it was a great start but I hope to see a sequel or another book that gives more detail about the characters' lives. Because, while the ending was good, it was kind of abrupt. Anyways, I think Lament it worth a try and a fantastic read even with it's flaws. If you've read any of Stiefvater's other books, then you'll enjoy this one as well. And if you like faeries and Celtic lore, you'll also find this book to be a treat. Check it out!
Vanessa

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hello!

Hello!! Just wanted to update everyone on what's going on over here. First of all, I'll be putting up some new reviews starting this Wednesday. My Thanksgiving break starts Wednesday, which I'm in great need of, and so I'll be able to write a few more reviews. I've read all these books but haven't had time to write reviews for any of them. 

I can't believe that the holidays are already coming up and soon it'll be Christmas, which means 1st semester will be over for me. I'm looking forward to finding more books and hanging out with the family. But I'll probably busy again once Thanksgiving break is over. 

I don't know what I'm going to read next this week but I'll let you all know once I decide. How about everyone else? What are your plans for Thanksgiving and the rest of this week? Has anyone seen Catching Fire yet? I haven't but that's on my list of things to do this week. I'm also kind of interested in seeing the animated movie, Frozen. Looks cute and entertaining. :)

I'll post soon!
Vanessa

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Scholar Blog Tour!

Hello Everyone! Today I'll be the host for The Scholar Blog Tour. Check out all the information below!

The Scholar
By May Nicole Abbey
Genre: Clean Romance
Publisher: River Valley Publishing (July 7, 2013)

4.5 stars - Fantastic!!

A leap through time. A choice to make. A destiny to change.
Dismissed by her professors, ridiculed by her classmates, Serena Metcalfe is determined to prove the existence of the Samu Aqaru, the powerful stone of the ancient pharaohs – even if it means travelling through time. But her study of Egyptology did not prepare her for the dangers and passions of the real Egypt of 2361 BC. Crocodile attacks, kidnapping, betrayal, murder…and a pharaoh who believes she is a goddess and wants her as his queen. But Serena isn’t about to give herself to a king – not when finding the precious Stone could mean saving the man she loves.
Irresistible playboy Shepseskaf, fated for an early death, and his loyal yet ruthless cousin Pepisenkaura were once the closest of friends, but the right to the throne of Egypt and their rivalry for Serena threaten to transform them into bitter and eternal enemies. Only Serena knows the tragic destiny that awaits, and only Serena can rewrite history…by following her heart.

Review:

I've always found anything to do with Egypt fascinating, so when I was given this book, I was pleased. The Scholar is a fascinating novel full of adventure and good clean romance! I was immediately hooked and found it to be a great read. The authors did a fantastic job with the writing of this book and all the history and the characters were interesting and charming.

I loved the characters, especially Rabu, lol. But, really, Serena was a great character and grew throughout the whole book. I thought that she was tremendously brave when finding herself in another place and in another time period. I know I would have freaked. Shepseskaf, or Shep, was a great guy as well and I really enjoyed learning about his character throughout the book. The relationship between the two was really great as well.

The history tied in with the story was interesting and really made you feel as if you were there. There was suspense and adventure and just a good mix for a very good book. I recommend this to anyone who is intrigued by anything having to do with Egypt. And if anyone just wants a perfectly good book to read, then try this one out! Clean romance, a good story, fantastic characters and set in a place of beauty and mystery!

Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Scholar-Book-Two-Fall-ebook/dp/B00DTNYO6Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382043896&sr=1-2



Author Bios:

Caroline Gregory and Shawnette Nielson are sisters on a mission. Their goal is to write clean, adventuresome romance stories, full of lovely characters, personal growth, truth, and hope. Although they live nearly a thousand miles from each other, and are both busy with the daily needs of their respective families, they carve out time each night to put fingers to keyboard and write.  Their goal? Twenty completed books. Set all over the world and throughout time, they thrill at the freedom that writing time travel offers them. From Georgian society, to Ancient Egypt, and plans for a western, contemporary, and even a book set in ancient Greece, the possibilities are limitless.
Links:
Twitter: @mayicoleabbey

Vanessa


Friday, November 8, 2013

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
By Michelle Hodkin
Published September 27th, 2011 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
466 pages

4.5 stars - Intriguing!!!



Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.


Review:

Some of you might notice this book was on my wishlist and I am happy to say that I was finally able to purchase it! I was intrigued after reading the synopsis and let's face it, the cover is amazing. This book is captivating, thrilling, romantic and just a tad bit creepy. 

The synopsis, while intriguing  doesn't leave you with much. I don't know what I was expecting this book to be but I was pleased with what I found it to be. 

I liked the characters, especially Noah. Throughout the book Mara tries to remember what happened the night that changed her life forever and struggles with finding out the truth. I felt bad because there was always the question of whether she was crazy or whether everything that was happening to her was real. She suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which results in nightmares and hallucinations. And while Mara knew she had this disorder, she had to wonder if the nightmares were real or just dreams. It also seems that Mara has some pretty interesting, if not creepy, "powers" and Mara has to struggle with whether or not she believes she has them or if it's just coincidence. 

She had a pretty good relationship with her older brother and I liked how supportive he was. Her parents cared for her but her mom seemed to feel like medication was the answer and was constantly watching her. I could only imagine how difficult it was for Mara and how having to worry about being crazy would be stressful to say the least. Noah was a pretty great character as well but I have a feeling that we don't get to see everything about him in this book. Not only is he incredibly attractive but he is also a little bit different than the average human. I also enjoyed the banter between Mara and Noah. Mara also makes one other friend at her new school, Jamie. I actually really enjoyed Jamie's character and I wish that he would have been in the story a little more. I do think that there is more to his character and I'm eager to see what happens with him in the next book.

This book was definitely different and just really addictive. It's a mix of mystery and suspense and romance and so much more. I finished it in a day and was happy and upset at the same time. The end was such a cliff hanger and I cannot wait to read the next book. I don't want to give too much away because I think that knowing very little before reading this book makes it that much more enjoyable. I found myself wondering if Mara was really having hallucinations or if it what she was seeing was actually real. 

I do recommend that you all check this one out. It's different and intriguing and, in my opinion, a book that is enjoyable. So find out for yourself!

Vanessa

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Darker Still

Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1)
Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1)
By Leanna Renee Hieber
Published November 8th, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
317 pages

4 stars - Intriguing Read!!



I was obsessed.
It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

Review:

This was quite an intriguing and thrilling, if not creepy, book. I've already found the second book in the series and am eager to start it. I really enjoyed the main character, Natalie. She's mute so you read the book through her diary entries. Darker Still pulls you into a world where evil things lurk about and very attractive guys are found inside paintings. You won't want to pass this one up.

Natalie is mute but she isn't stupid, in fact, she's brilliant and incredibly brave. Most of her life Natalie has been treated as if she was weird or dumb until she meets Mrs. Northe, an interesting and different woman, who treats her with respect. But after meeting Mrs. Northe and taking a look at the beatiful painting of a Lord Denbury, Natalie's life changes forever. From then on Natalie enters the world of magic, spirits, evil and love. 

I really enjoyed the characters, especially Mrs. Northe and Lord Denbury. I felt bad for Natalie because of her past and what she's had to go through. But throughout the book, Natalie matures and figures out who she is. She becomes stronger and braver and it was enjoyable to watch her through her journey. Mrs. Northe was incredible and a strong woman, someone I would like to know. The relationships between the characters were great and some very interesting. The whole idea of the painting and the evil spirits was captivating and, at times, creepy. I also enjoyed the diary entries and the articles from the newspaper or the letters from different characters. The whole book felt like something different and something unique. 

Darker Still is definitely a thrilling and unique book that will have you cheering for Natalie and the rest of the characters in their fight against evil. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and finding out what awaits the characters  I definitely recommend you check this book out!

Vanessa

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

An Incurable Insanity Excerpt



Hello Everyone! Today I have an excerpt for you from the book, An Incurable Insanity. Sounds like an interesting novel so check it out below! 



An Incurable Insanity 
By Simi K. Rao
Released October 8th, 2013 by Tate Publishing 
376 pages

Book Blurb:

"In Rao's debut novel, an arranged Indian marriage sets the stage for an intimate look at the exasperating madness of love.... An often intoxicating... will-they-or-won't-they tale."- KIRKUS REVIEWS

Shaan is a recent 27 year old aerospace masters grad, who lands the perfect job in a leading aeronautics and space exploration company in Los Angeles. At the urging of his parents' he goes down the traditional arranged marriage route, leaving behind a lover and a complicated relationship in Los Angeles. As a result, Shaan and Ruhi's marriage has an awkward and uncomfortable start. The begrudging spouses make a pact: Ruhi will stay with Shaan in the United States only long enough to avoid embarrassment from their family and peers. Ruhi, remaining optimistic thinks that she can use this time to try and win Shaan's heart, but to no avail. Follow Ruhi and Shaan on a roller coaster ride as they attempt to be “friends without benefits” and expose their true selves to each other in search of love and happiness.

While An Incurable Insanity provides fascinating glimpses into traditional Indian culture, it is an intriguing love story with universal appeal.



Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. The inspiration for An Incurable Insanity came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community. Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances.



Twitter: https://twitter.com/simikrao

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7169786.Simi_K_Rao

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/An-Incurable-Insanity-ebook/dp/B00DRJZ31C


Excerpt

"Here... lunch." She pushed a box towards him.
"I don't want it."
"Why?"
"I feel awkward."
"But you never felt that way before, so why now?" You took me for granted. She stared reproachfully at him.
"It's different now." My perspective has changed. I behaved like a slave master, it's humiliating. He stared right back.
She pretended to appear disinterested, "you can eat it, give it to your friends or throw it away. This is all I can do to pay you back right now."
"You don't have to worry about paying me back. It's the least that I can do to make up for what I've put you through."
Her chair knocked sharply against the wall, as she jumped to her feet. "What? You think that's compensation enough? Nothing you do will give me back what I've lost! Yes, I agreed to marry you because I was blind and innocent! But who gave you the right to destroy my life, especially since you were having an affair and there was no hope for us? You treated me as if I was a disposable object! Why? Tell me why?"
"Yes I know I'm the worst kind of cad! But my hands were tied! My grandfather was on his death bed, I had no choice!" He snapped back gripping the counter till his knuckles turned white.
Walking up to him, she said softly, "Yes you had  a choice. You could have walked away. You could have been a man."


An Incurable Insanity definitely looks like an interesting and captivating novel. Make sure to check it out!

Vanessa


Monday, November 4, 2013

Allegiant Review

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
Allegiant (Divergent #3)
By Veronica Roth
Published October 22nd, 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
526 pages

4.5 stars - Thrilling Ending!



One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?


The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Review:

So...I'm not quite sure where to start with this review. I don't want to give away any spoilers but I do want to say that this book is an emotional roller coaster. So much so that I am just now able to write this review after having thought about the outcome of the series for, like, a week. I know that there are a ton of people who gave Allegiant bad reviews and who were really disappointed with the book but I'm going to have to say that I was not disappointed with it.

Sure there are some parts that I wish never happened and some parts that I think could have been written a little better but overall it was brilliant. It was a memorable ending to a fantastic series. 

So much happens in Allegiant and if you haven't read it yet, then please do so. My favorite part? Watching our beloved characters mature and learn from their mistakes. Tris learns a ton. She learns new information about her mother and the world that she lives in. She realizes what it means to be selfless and to sacrifice yourself for others. And she realized how much she really loves Tobias and how much the people around her mean to her. While Tris yearned to learn more about the world beyond the fence, Tobias wasn't as eager. So much of what they learn is overwhelming to Tobias and, at times, it was kind of sad to see Tobias struggle with new information and with this personal feelings. We are able to read from Tobias' perspective so we get to see how he feels about everything that is going on. The reader definitely gets to see who the real Tobias is. We read about some of the old characters and are introduced to some new ones as well, not all likeable by the way. 

There is just a ton to be said about this book. The information that we learn is interesting and appalling. The relationships in this book are wonderfully developed and formed. The characters go through tough times and stay strong throughout. I'll be honest, I wept at the end but I won't tell you why, you'll have to read to find out. There were tears of grief and tears of happiness and it was just a mix of emotions that I was feeling. Allegiant impacted me in a huge way and really made me think about so much. In my opinion Veronica Roth did a fantastic job at creating a beautiful series and creating characters that no one can forget.

So, yes, I do recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read this book yet. And, yes, I do know how many bad reviews this book received but I encourage you to decide for yourself. I'm definitely glad I did. I also recommend a box of tissues and a friend to discuss with!

Vanessa