April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #8: What Makes Me Pick Up A Book


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. 

Here are the Top Ten Eight Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book!

1. Vampires: I love me some vampires. Did you not read my Top Ten Bookish Boyfriends post? Half of them were vampires. I am a huge fan of all the different little qualities that different authors give their vampires.

2. Survival: Fighting to survive? Count me in. For some reason I love a good stranded in a lifeboat, facing a huge storm or fire, or surviving in the arena, etc. type novel.

3. Dystopia: I love The Hunger Games, Divergent and the like. I'm a dystopian fan through and through, when it's done well of course.

4. Bad Boys: I can't say no to them. 

5. Mythology: Mythology was one of my favorite classes in high school. The Percy Jackson series is one of my all time favorites. 

6. Witches/Powers: Whether it is super powers of witchy powers I love reading about them and I wish I had some.

7. Secret Societies: I'm all about the secret societies with secret books and secret secrets.

8. A Unique Setting: I love a novel that takes place somewhere that I don't see on a daily basis, whether it be a different state such as Alaska or a whole different world.

19 comments
April 29, 2013

ARC Review: The Sisterhood by: Helen Bryan

The Sisterhood by: Helen Bryan (April 30, 2013)
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
402 pages
Genre: Fiction
Goodreads Summary: Menina Walker was a child of fortune. Rescued after a hurricane in South America, doomed to a life of poverty with a swallow medal as her only legacy, the orphaned toddler was adopted by an American family and taken to a new life. As a beautiful, intelligent woman of nineteen, she is in love, engaged, and excited about the future — until another traumatic event shatters her dreams.

Menina flees to Spain to bury her misery in research for her college thesis about a sixteenth-century artist who signed his works with the image of a swallow — the same image as the one on Menina’s medal. But a mugging strands Menina in a musty, isolated Spanish convent. Exploring her surroundings, she discovers the epic sagas of five orphan girls who were hidden from the Spanish Inquisition and received help escaping to the New World. Is Menina’s medal a link to them, or to her own past? Did coincidence lead her to the convent, or fate? Both love story and historical thriller, The Sisterhood is an emotionally charged ride across continents and centuries.

My Review

I’m giving The Sisterhood three stars. I would give Menina’s story, the one that takes place in the 21st century two stars, but I would give the story of the different ladies from the Spanish convent that took place in the 16th century four stars. Hence the three star rating.

This book may seem slightly daunting at first. At 400 pages a good portion of which are about historical events, and with the first 80 pages sort of slow it was hard to like this book right off the bat. Don’t worry though, if you have the patience to stick it out you will be rewarded.

Menina’s Story: Although I liked Menina her story was very lackluster for the most part. The part I disliked the most of her story, how unbelievable her plot line was. The part where Menina falls asleep and misses her bus in a foreign country and her bag gets stolen and she doesn't run after the kid, it is more complex than that, but let me tell you that it the scene was totally unbelievable. I don’t know about you but I don’t like it when something happens in a story that is so crazy that you just can’t get over it. That was me, but this happened relatively early in the novel so I kept trudging along and I’m glad I did.

16th Century Spanish Convent (stories written down in the Chronicle, along with the medal, the only things Menina has of her heritage): Although I think there are too many interlocking convent girls’ stories and it was at times hard to follow, this was the most interesting part of the novel. It was great to read about the past and see all the little connections between these different girls/women and Menina in the 21st century. It was a fun puzzle to put together, even if it was occasionally obvious.

I really loved the format of the book, the switching back and forth between the 21st century and the 16th century was done really well and at a good pace. It was a really nice story about a book that preserved the ladies of the 16th century's lives. I love the emphasis on the importance of a book and the written word. The only part I didn't like about this was the ending. When we are finally switched back over to Menina for good we don’t get a lot of time with her before the book is over, leaving a couple of loose ends and an overly quick wrap up. Although I did like the very end of the novel, even if it was once again a little far-fetched.

In the end this is a pretty interesting read. It has a good amount of mystery and secrets that may be hard to follow at times, but kept my attention.

I would say that if you have some extra time to give this book a chance. It would be a great library pick.

** I received a free e-copy of this book from netgalley and Amazon Publishing in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

RATING 3/5 
2 comments
April 28, 2013

Top Bookish News of The Past Week

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week.  Click away!

ARTICLES

1. Jason Segel is going to write a middle-grade book series. Hmmm.... I'm intrigued. The series is called Nightmares! I love Jason Segel, I wonder if he can write well?

2. The last Sookie book, #13, comes out May 7! I'm a long time fan of this series, and even though I'm sad to see it go I think it's time to wrap it up. Check out this interview with Charlaine Harris! She talks about the series coming to a close, future books for her, and more. You really should read this. Apparently there is a short book coming out in October that ties up any loose ends about the minor characters in the Sookie Stackhouse series that are not mentioned in the final book.

3. Last October I was lucky enough to go to Universal Studios in Orlando Florida for my honeymoon to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was AMAZING! I have some great news for those on the west coast... Harry Potter World is coming to Hollywood!

4. Amazon has released its list of the most well-read cities in America! It's always interesting to see these kinds of statistics. 

5. Graceling by Kristen Cashore a movie? Yes please. 

BLOG POSTS
1. Check out this awesome movie review of Jurassic Park 3-D from Foil the Plot! 

2. This hilarious and oh so true blog post about lending out our precious books will make you laugh and nod along in agreement. GillyB at Writer of Wrongs always knows how to write a laugh out loud funny post about relevant bookish issues. Are you brave and lend out your books?

3. Who here hates it when someone interrupts them while reading, especially if you are at the climax of the story? I'm guilty of this. I am NOT a fan of people that don't seem to care that I'm reading and busy and obviously not wanting to talk at the moment and still interrupt me. The blog Characterized has a great post up about her pet peeves when she is reading. You have got to read this for a good discussion and some laughs.

4. Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer has some great things to say about being a cover whore. I know I can be a pretty bad one. When I go into a bookstore gravity somehow automatically pulls me toward all the pretty covers, especially ones with pretty blues or that are shiny. Are you a cover whore?

PICTURE
Our first sneak peak at Tris from the Divergent movie! LOVE!
Image Credit: Jaap Buitendijk
I'm the featured blog over at Rainy Day Reads this week for her Blogger Spotlight! Check out my interview to get to know me a little better. Thanks again Christine!

9 comments
April 26, 2013

So Many Books... So Little Time... I May Have a Problem

I have an addiction. Admitting it is the first step toward recovery right? At least I hope so. 

Luckily this is the first and hopefully last time I have this problem... having too many books to read therefore blogging is starting to slightly feel like a chore. 

I feel like I have requested too many ARCs (I wasn't trying to be greedy, I just didn't think I would get approved), am hoarding books from the library, and keep adding books on to my TBR pile (seriously, its growing at an alarming rate, which isn't really a problem it is just a little overwhelming), all of which is starting to make me a little anxious that I will never be able to read just for fun in the near future. 


I think I'm just now realizing that I will never be able to read ALL THE BOOKS.





Warning: I've been working on this post for two weeks and I can never seem to get it just right. So hang in there if I don't make sense or just start rambling. 

So now I will tell you my story. I will share with you my bookish hardships and how I am tempting to overcome them. 

So keep reading if you want to hear me ramble on about something that really isn't that bad but is freaking me out because this is the first time it has ever happened to me. I have never really had so many books I had to read before, and so many other books that I want to read that I keep adding to my TBR pile.

The reasons behind my "epiphany" aka my bookish problems:
  • I get so many books from the library that I return half of them before reading them. The best part, I renew them the one time I am allotted first, which means I get each book for six weeks total, unless they are the new release one week rentals. So why then am I not reading most of them?
  • I am way behind on my 2013 reading challenges. I have only read one book for the TBR Pile Challenge and one book for the Series Challenge. I would really like to change this. I mean April almost over already!
  • I still have four books from netgalley that I need to read and review. I made the mistake of requesting a lot of books about two months ago, thinking I wouldn't get approved, but I did and they just so happen to have release days all around the same time.
  • I have two books from ARCycling I need to read and review.
  • I have four books that I have acquired from Christmas and my birthday that I would really like to read and have yet to find the time. 
  • I also have a book that I won from goodreads first reads that I need to read.
  • I won't even mention (okay sorry I guess I am mentioning) a few even older books sitting on my shelf that I have yet to read, but at least these ones I would be reading for fun and were not for review, so that isn't so bad.
I know not all of these issues aren't really an issue. My main concern is being overwhelmed by the amount of books I need to read for review and not getting any time to read the books I want to read just for fun. Therefore reading is starting to become frustrating, and I NEVER want that to happen. So I needed a wake up call once I realized I was in a little over my head. 



My not so great solutions during my denial phase:
  • Just buy another bookcase. I mean you can never have too many of those right?
  • You can never have too many books, so I don't really have a problem at all.
  • The library books are free therefore it doesn't matter if I get an insane number of library books stacked up in the corner of my bedroom.
My solutions that made more sense:
  • I stopped requesting ARCs on netgalley. A simple fix. I'm not a huge fan of reading on my reader anyway and I never want to get to that point where I always feel like I HAVE to read instead of doing it because I love reading. I will not allow myself to request any more books until I have finished all the current ones I have yet to read, and I give myself a week long break after.
  • The earliest I will be returning to the library is in the middle of May, or at least until my must read pile of books has diminished. I know it never hurts to have a lot of library books, but then I really thought about it. What about all those poor people that want to read the books I'm hoarding? Or what about the fact that I will read library books and completely ignore my other books until I read myself in a corner, like the one time I forgot about a blog tour I was a part of and was reading the book three days before my post date.  I will never let that happen again. So bye-bye library books, for now.
  • I have a list on my computer of all the books I have received for review and when they are being published. This has helped a great deal.
In the end... I'm laying down the law, with the help of my husband. (Seriously, I told him he may have to hold me back from going to the library.) You books can suck it. (Sorry books...I still love you it really isn't your fault.) 




I may be slightly overreacting about this whole thing, but in truth I don't want reading to ever feel like a chore, so if I have to set up some guidelines for a short amount of time I'm okay with that. So far it has been working wonderfully.

I still love getting ARCs and going to the library, but I just need to be slightly more picky and try not to bite off more than I can chew.

I have come to accept (supposedly) that I will never be able to read ALL THE BOOKS, but I'm still going to try in a non-stressful way. :)


Do you ever have any of these problems? Have you come up with any solutions? I would LOVE to hear all about it below!
18 comments
April 25, 2013

Review: New Revelations by: Heather Topham Wood

New Revelations (Second Sight #2) by: Heather Topham Wood (2012)
238 pages
Genre: New Adult/Paranormal/Romance
Goodreads Summary: Life should’ve been perfect. Kate Edwards had won the heart of police detective Jared Corbett and was coming to terms with her psychic ability. Things were blissful—until the day she met Declan Brayden.

Declan also has psychic visions and wants to work alongside Kate. Kate doesn’t trust the damaged and arrogant seer, but she knows combining their abilities would allow her to help more people. This becomes vital when visions of a missing fitness instructor turn into a race against time to save the girl’s life.

My Review

More Please! This book was so good that I read the next one right after I finished this one, and now I need the fourth book in this series stat, but sadly I have to wait until the fall.

I can’t get enough of Kate Edwards and the awesome police detective that is Jared Corbett. Sigh. I LOVE these characters with just about every fiber of my being. I love them together as a couple and individually. Kate is back and better than ever with her snarky attitude and psychic abilities, not to mention her hot boyfriend Jared. Jared is just as swoon worthy as ever. Also, I can’t forget Kate’s awesome mom and her hilarious best friend who make for great minor characters. I missed these characters so much, and I read the first book only a little over a month ago. They are just so cute and charming and funny.

I love the dialogue and the realness of this book. New Revelations has the perfect amount of humor thrown in, even though Kate is struggling with her visions and deals with horrific violent people. We get another missing person case, and I actually enjoyed this mystery/thriller part of the novel even more than the last. 

I mentioned in my review of the first novel that I loved how unique Kate's visions were and how they were treated by the public. In New Revelations, thanks to the new character Declan, Kate finds out more about her psychic abilities and finally gets some control over them, sort of. This was a great way to advance Kate’s ability in a believable way. The only problem, there is a semi-love triangle thanks to this new guy. Although I like Declan and his sometimes sweet but mostly jerkish attitude, I wasn't a fan how he complicated things between Jared and Kate. But at least it made the book even more realistic. I suppose no relationship is perfect, no matter how much I want it to be.

The ending of this book will BLOW your mind! So I recommend that you have the third book ready to go for after you finish this one. You are going to need it. I finished New Revelations late one night and then as soon as I got home from work the very next day I read the next book.

The only reason I gave this book a 4.5 instead of 5 stars is because there were a couple of very small moments where some of the characters acted a little childish and it seemed weird. But this was only a very tiny blip in the awesome book. 

This book won’t take you long to read and it was the perfect book to get my mind off of real life and to just sit back and enjoy reading about someone else’s. This is a great choice if you are looking for a quick fun read that can and will also get your heart pounding with suspense. Wood did another amazing job at writing a novel with the perfect amount of a little bit of everything, including romance, suspense, psychic powers, and great characters. What are you waiting for? 

** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. Thanks Heather!

RATING 4.5/5

In case you missed it before, here is my 4.5 star review for Second Sight #1, First Visions.

2 comments
April 23, 2013

Release Day Review: The River of No Return by: Bee Ridgway

The River of No Return by: Bee Ridgway (April 23, 2013)
Publisher: DUTTON
452 pages
Genre: Fiction/Time Travel/Romance
Goodreads Summary: “You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.

In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.

My Review

Once I read the last page of this novel and set the book down with a sigh of gratification I announced at the top of my lungs “I LOVE THIS BOOK!” The River of No Return is a unique time traveling story with a beautiful romance and nothing less than page-turning intrigue that had me swooning.

The River of No Return is a perfect fit for fans of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. You won’t be disappointed.

Where do I even begin to explain to you how much I love this novel? I know it is a simple thing, but let’s start with the cover. I have some hard core cover love for this one. It is eye catching and simple yet complex, perfectly catching the feel of the story.

The writing was elegant and perfect for a novel mostly set in the 1800s. I was instantly entranced in this time traveling story. I was somewhat nervous that the time traveling aspect would be hard to follow, but I thought it was well explained and I felt like I was learning just as the main character Nick was. So if thinking that the time traveling part of the book is too confusing is keeping you from reading this book it shouldn't, it isn't too hard to understand. It was actually a great part of the novel and more interesting and complex than I thought it would be.

Now I think it's time I shout some praise out to the awesome main characters. Nick is the sexy and somewhat snarky male lead that I love to love. He is a pretty stand up guy that I completely adored. Nick jumps forward in time when he is about to die, saving his life. He then must help The Guild with an important mission and jumps back in time to the 1800s. I loved seeing Nick try to figure out how to live life in the 2000s and then have to learn to return to his old ways in the 1800s. Ridgway does an amazing job with details and descriptions especially when Nick is learning to adapt to the 21st century. This quote brought a huge smile on my face and shows how excellent the writing is when it comes down to those awesome details I was talking about.
"He was bobbing like a cork in a heated infinity pool in the Andes, his formerly stiff rump tucked into a plastic flotation device made to look like a spotted frog. His two friends were bobbing too, one in a dragon and one in a panda bear." - pg. 27
Somewhat Side Note: This kept making me ask myself how I would react and adapt if I was thrown into the future, something fun to think about.  

The main female lead, Julia, is instantly likeable. She is strong, intense, and lovely. A character I won't soon forget. The best part is that the romance between her and Nick is perfect, and not sickeningly so. Not to mention there are a whole handful of great minor characters in this novel too. You get the whole package.

This is hands down a one of my favorite reads of 2013. The book was paced perfectly. There were so many “did that just happen” moments that made it so I never lost interest even though this is a slightly longer novel. Some of the revelations were somewhat predictable, but most were revealed in just the right way at the right time. I had many mouth hanging open moments.

So basically to sum it up, I’m telling you that you NEED to read this book. It is worth taking the the time to read. It is a great romance novel with a secret time traveling guild, what more could you want?

** I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

RATING 5/5 
11 comments
April 21, 2013

Top Bookish News of The Past Week

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. All of the titles are linked up to their respective articles/blog posts. Click away!

ARTICLES

1. The third book title in the Divergent series has been announced! (I know you probably have already heard but obviously I needed to include this in my weekly news post.) Drum roll please..... Allegiant is the winner! Check out Veronica Roth's announcement video! It is very exciting. Now if only we didn't have to wait until October for the book to be released and we could get a synopsis and a book cover... Oh and don't ask me how I feel about this title because I can't decide, but feel free to tell me what you think below!

2. Are you a fan of The Walking Dead? If you are then you should check out this list of books that may help tide you over until the show comes back on. Some of them will surprise you, but make sense.

3. The American Library Association has posted which books were most frequently challenged in 2012. Some of these make sense (not that I think books should be banned) and some just made me go huh? What do you think? I mean... Captain Underpants was on the list. Ummmm okay? There were also some important books that I think teenagers should read that were on the list, such as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, I know it gets a little racy, but it teaches a lot.


BLOG POSTS

1. Octavia over at Read. Sleep. Repeat. has a great new post up this week, Stop and Chat Saturday! She discusses why she blogs and how she overcame the urge to care about the numbers. I've been there before and really enjoyed this honest post that I could easily relate to.

2. Parajunkee has another great Book Blogging 101 post up this week, focusing on Launching a MeMe or Feature. As always she provides great tips, and I have bookmarked this in case I ever decide to do this in the future.

3. Looking for a good contemporary romance? The Book Addict's Guide drew up a very eye catching and easy to follow guide to help you choose your next contemporary romance novel.

VIDEO

1. You have probably also already seen the amazing first teaser trailer of Catching Fire but I had to share it. It doesn't hurt to watch it again. (I am now even more excited for this movie...if that is even possible.)




REVIEWS

1. Wide Awake by: Shelly Crane The Book Cafe wrote a wonderful review on Wide Awake, so good in fact that I immediately added it to my TBR pile. SOLD.

2. Dark Light by: S.L. Jennings I hadn't heard of this author or this series before, but after reading this review I can't help but be more curious. If you are a fan of magic then you should read this review.




8 comments
April 18, 2013

Two Mini Reviews: Bumped and Thumped by: Megan McCafferty

Bumped by: Megan McCafferty 
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Romance
323 pages
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

Summary: In the not so distant future, a virus hits, leaving those who are over the age of 18 unable to have children. This in turn brings about the age of promoting teen pregnancies. Twins Melody and Harmony, who were separated at birth, find each other again and explore two different sides of reproduction rights. Harmony is very religious and doesn't believe in having babies for money. Melody is currently signed up to get pregnant for a couple who will pay her big bucks. Even though they are from two totally different backgrounds, one day changes their future, bringing them closer together no matter their differences.

Review: This is a very enjoyable read and I immediately began the second book when I finished this one, hence the double review. This book is the opposite of today. Teen pregnancies are encouraged and valued... creepy right?! Since the population can't have babies after the age of 18 they look to teenagers to have children for them. It is a scary thought. When I first started reading this book it was confusing, with all the future slang that I only understood half of, and the fact that it took a while until the whole virus thing was spelled out for me, therefore I found it hard to get into. Once I got past that it was more enjoyable. The lines between right and wrong are blurred, making this a very thought provoking book. Don't worry though, it is still fun and I had some laughs. I really liked the dynamic between the twins. I went back and forth between which twin I liked the most, realizing in the end that I liked them both in different ways. I really enjoy how both girls grow in their own way and realize that they need to make their own decisions. Bumped had some good twist and turns, keeping me interested. This book is worth picking up the next time you are at the library or the store. It doesn't even take long to read, so it won't take up too much of your precious reading time, I know how important that time is. :)

Rating: 3.5/5 


Thumped by: Megan McCafferty
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Romance
290 pages
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

**This review contains spoilers of Bumped, its prequel. 

Summary: Thumped takes place 35 weeks after the ending of Bumped. The twins have become famous, both due to give birth to twins on the same day. Harmony is back in Goodside living with Ram, never forgetting Jondoe, the man she first loved. Melody is always in the spotlight, due to have one of the most famous births ever. But they both are living a lie.

Review: This book had me hooked from the first page, and I finished it in one sitting. After the ending of Bumped I was ready to see how Melody and Harmony would solve the problems they had to face in Bumped. This book had many laughs and I enjoyed it even more than the first. The twins finally get their chance to be whoever they want to be, but they must pay the price of sharing the dangerous secrets they have been keeping. This book alone is reason enough to read these two books. If you have already read Bumped and have yet to read Thumped then I have no idea what you are waiting for. Read it!

Rating: 4/5
5 comments
April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #6: The Testing by: Joelle Charbonneau

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


I'm Waiting On...

The Testing by: Joelle Charbonneau
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Goodreads Summary: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

Just read the synopsis and you will know why I want to read The Testing. 

What are you waiting on?
23 comments
April 15, 2013

ARC Review: The Humanity Project by: Jean Thompson

The Humanity Project by: Jean Thompson (April 23, 2013)
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
352 pages
Genre: General Fiction
Goodreads Summary: After surviving a shooting at her high school, Linnea is packed off to live with her estranged father, Art, who doesn’t quite understand how he has suddenly become responsible for raising a sullen adolescent girl. Art’s neighbor, Christie, is a nurse distracted by an eccentric patient, Mrs. Foster, who has given Christie the reins to her Humanity Project, a bizarre and well-endowed charity fund. Just as mysteriously, no one seems to know where Conner, the Fosters’ handyman, goes after work, but he has become the one person Linnea can confide in, perhaps because his own home life is a war zone: his father has suffered an injury and become addicted to painkillers. As these characters and many more hurtle toward their fates, the Humanity Project is born: Can you indeed pay someone to be good? At what price?

Thompson proves herself at the height of her powers in The Humanity Project, crafting emotionally suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining characters, in which we inevitably see ourselves. Set against the backdrop of current events and cultural calamity, it is at once a multifaceted ensemble drama and a deftly observant story of our twenty-first-century society

My Review

Was this a good book? Yes. Was it an epic book? No. Maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I tired writing this review several times to make it coherent, so I apologize in advance if it is still kind of hard to follow.

Thompson writes beautiful prose and that is my favorite aspect of The Humanity Project. It captivated me from the very beginning. The writing really spoke to me. My second favorite thing is the characters. They are unique and interesting, each having their own problem they are trying to figure out/overcome, with a focus on poverty, messed up families and more. I felt a connection with these characters, I felt for them, and when I care about a character, the book is way more engaging. This novel does focus on the idea of hope and redemption, but sadly not enough to make this book epic, in a sense that it changed my life or made me stop and think for very long.

There were two aspects of the book that I was not a fan of. One was The Humanity Project plot, I felt like the synopsis was misleading. WARNING: Semi-Spoilers Ahead in this paragraph! Although the general story-lines of each character was good and had that sense of trying to figure out if people can change, the actual Humanity Project wasn’t really anywhere to be seen. I was thinking that the whole concept of “paying someone to be good” would physically come in to play, but it never did. This to me was kind of weird since it was the title of the novel and was mentioned in the synopsis. I’m not sure if I just didn’t read "deep" enough into the book or what, but I wanted to see actual payouts to people for doing good and be able to see how that would work or not work.

The second aspect of the novel that I wasn’t a big fan of was the case of the "overused point of views." The amount of point of views in this book (and its general feel) reminded me of The Casual Vacancy. Although I don’t mind this way of telling a story, I felt like a couple of the point of views (by people who were not even mentioned in the synopsis) were so minor that they were not really needed at all, especially because in the end every character wasn't really given an ending, many were left hanging.

I know I talk more about the negatives than the positives of The Humanity Porject, but sometimes I find those easier to discuss. Believe me when I say that I still enjoyed reading this book, I was just expecting a little bit more. I want to emphasis that this wasn’t a bad book, it just didn't live up to my expectations that the synopsis gave me.


If you are looking for a very well written thought provoking read with great characters then you should give this book a try. What have you got to lose?

** I received a free copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher for an honest review. 

RATING 3/5 
6 comments
April 14, 2013

Top Bookish News of The Past Week

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. All of the titles are linked up to their respective articles/blog posts. Click away!

ARTICLES
Bookcase by the bathtub!
bookshelfporn.com
via fsgworkinprogress.com
  1. Bookshelf Porn Why have I never heard of this website before?! Maybe I have but I just overlooked it, either way I can say with certainty that this website rocks my world. It has so many awesome bookshelf pictures from all over the world. I could spend all day on here, but I won't because I have other things to do besides salivating over all the books. Hint: Click a picture on the website and it will give you a description of what/where it is.
  2. Delirium Pilot to be turned to Fox on April 30 If everything goes right Delirium will be airing on television in their Fall lineup in September! Keep your fingers crossed. Although that isn't too long of a wait it kinda still is.
  3. Feed Your Reader Do you own a Kindle? If you do then you should really check out this newish site by Inspired Kathy from I'm A Reader Not A Writer. This website features all the great book deals for the Kindle Reader, updated pretty often from what I can see.
  4. Mary Higgins Clark: Active as Ever at Age 85 Seriously I didn't realize she was 85! She just had a new book come out this month. I am giving her mad respect right now and I found this article very interesting. Congrats Mary Higgins Clark on your success and passion still going strong.
BLOG POSTS
  1. Readers' Roundtable: Hype I never really took the time to check out this feature until recently, and I'm glad I finally did. Three different bloggers share their opinion on the bookish topic of the week. This week it was hype, a great topic. Thanks Read Your Bookcase, Pink Polka Dot Book Blog, and Rachel Reads for this week's great discussions.
BOOK REVIEWS
  1. Review: You Look Different in Real Life I never really paid any attention to this book, the title wasn't catching on or something, and then I read this review. I really want to read it now. If you still aren't sure if you want to read this book yet then read this review!
  2. Review: The Collector by: Victoria Scott Nicole promised me that this review would have Damon Salvatore gifs in them, and she delivered! Read this well written review on The Collector and enjoy some eye candy while you do it.
PICTURE

I NEED NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE MY LOVE FOR THIS PHOTO!
9 comments
April 11, 2013

Review: The Dressmaker by: Kate Alcott

The Dressmaker by: Kate Alcott (2012)
Publisher: Anchor Books, Random House
365 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Goodreads Summary: Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she’s had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be her personal maid on the Titanic. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men—a kind sailor and an enigmatic Chicago businessman—who offer differing views of what lies ahead for her in America. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes, and amidst the chaos, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat.

The survivors are rescued and taken to New York, but when rumors begin to circulate about the choices they made, Tess is forced to confront a serious question.  Did Lady Duff Gordon save herself at the expense of others? Torn between loyalty to Lucile and her growing suspicion that the media’s charges might be true, Tess must decide whether to stay quiet and keep her fiery mentor’s good will or face what might be true and forever change her future.

My Review

I’m going to be upfront and honest with you. I had mixed feelings while reading this book. A lot of the aspects I loved about it I also didn't like about it, if that makes any sense, thus making it hard to review The Dressmaker. So hold on to your life jackets, I’m going to do my best.

I have been a huge fan of anything to do with the Titanic since that wonderful Leonardo DiCaprio movie came out forever ago. So when I saw this book on goodreads I had to read it. Although it wasn't what I was expecting, it turned out to be a pretty good enjoyable read.

The whole novel seemed to move at lightning speed. Although this kept me on my toes and kept me very interested, it was also slightly a letdown. The amount of time spent describing the sinking of the Titanic and the overall time surrounding this epic event was in no way long enough. The plot of this Titanic story mostly revolves around the hearings after the tragedy, and the need to answer the question “Why did only one boat go back to rescue the people in the water?” Therefore, I can understand why not a lot of time was spent on the actual sinking of the ship, but I wanted more. I enjoyed reading about the hearings and I enjoyed getting to see how some people were coping after the tragedy, it gave it a slightly different spin on the event than the books I normally get a hold of that surround the story of the Titanic do. But I still wanted more time with the actual sinking. I don't know why but I just did. That's all I can say about that.

The characters were very likable to me which is a big plus. The main character, Tess, was great, a young woman trying to find her place in the world, to get out of being a maid to become something more. The Lady Duff Gordon was also a pretty good character, complex and selfish, yet somehow likable  The Unsinkable Molly Brown makes a fun appearance and I felt like Alcott did a good job at portraying her. Also, Pinky, a female journalist covering the tragedy, was frustrating but awesome and strong. Her character also brought up some interesting and important women's rights issues/movements. It was fun to get the view point of a journalist dealing with the Titanic tragedy. It made the story more unique.

The romance part of the story was somewhat annoying. Although I love a good romance added to any story, this one was slightly lacking. I felt like not enough time was spent focusing on it so it was almost pointless. I would have liked to see a little more done with the love triangle between Tess, the sailor, and the rich gentleman.

I will say that this book kept me intrigued from beginning to end. It became more and more interesting with each page. There was a good amount of mystery, and this aspect of The Dressmaker was my favorite. I too wanted to know why there were so few people in a certain lifeboat when it could have held a lot more.
The ending was perfect, and I don’t say that a lot. It just seemed to be just right in every way. That right there brought my rating of The Dressmaker up a notch. It brought just the right amount of closure and hope.

I could probably keep writing this review for ages, but I think you get the drift. It's already starting to get long. So here are my ending/overall  thoughts...

Although I had my issues with this book it was still a really good read. I say take a chance on it if you have the time. It doesn't take long to read and although the fast pace of the novel is a little disappointing, it will keep you pulled in along with the air of mystery this book holds.

** I received The Dressmaker from goodreads' first reads program. Thank you goodreads and Random House. This in no way hindered my honest review.
RATING 3.5/5

4 comments
April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #5: The Registry by: Shannon Stoker

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


I'm Waiting On...

The Registry by: Shannon Stoker
Release Date: June 11, 2013

Goodreads summary: The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

The idea behind this book sounds unique and it has me intrigued. I'm also loving the cover. 

What are you waiting on?
18 comments
April 8, 2013

Review: The Boy Recession by: Flynn Meaney

The Boy Recession by: Flynn Meaney (2012)
Publisher: Poppy, Little Brown and Company
246 pages
Genre: YA/Romance
Goodreads Summary: The population of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, is shrinking as families move to cities and towns with greener pastures, and the local high school is hurting: nearly all of the area's most eligible guys have moved or transferred schools.

With little competition, the remaining boys find their stocks on the rise, and even the most unlikely candidates have a good chance at making the team and getting the girl. Guitar-strumming slacker HUNTER FAHRENBACH has made an art of blending into the background, but now desperate coaches are recruiting him and popular girls are noticing his scruffy good looks. With a little help, Hunter might even by boyfriend material...

Down-to-earth KELLY ROBBINS has a simple wish for her junior year: "one normal, nice boy to crush on." Kelly and Hunter have always been friends, but is there something more to their platonic relationship? And can Kelly overcome the odds? After all, dating is hard enough without a four-to-one ratio.

My Review

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! If you are looking for an easy quick read that has an adorable plot with likeable characters then The Boy Recession is the perfect choice for you. There is a boy recession in the small town of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, and it starts to show when things get a little crazy at the local high school. All the while Kelly and Hunter are just trying to navigate through the boy recession while staying sane.

This is a laugh out loud novel that had people giving me strange looks when I would let a giggle out or started chuckling louder than reasonable when other people were around. Meaney knows how to write the perfect cute silly novel. If I have yet to convince you to read this book here are some of my favorite quotes.

“Now I know what the flirtation is about: my voice. I’m like a dude version of one of those sirens from The Odyssey, which we got assigned sophomore year.’ – Hunter, pg. 119 
“I take the planner and flip through the pages. There’s already stuff written on a bunch of the days. Christmas, Hanukkah, daylight saving time, Canadian Thanksgiving…ugh. I can’t handle all of these commitments.” – Hunter, pg. 156

The characters in The Boy Recession are ridiculous, in a good way. Hunter is my favorite character (I mean just read the above quotes). Not only do the readers get some nice character development with Hunter, we also get a lot of laughs. He was a little annoying at first with is over use of the word dude, but in the end he was endearing in every sense of the word. He is a pretty cool guy and I can see why Kelly is friends with him. Speaking of Kelly, she is a cute nice girl with a good head on her shoulders. I liked her just fine, but there wasn’t anything overly special about her and there wasn't a lot of character development with her either, but it worked out with the type of book that this is and didn't really bother me. Kelly’s close friends Aviva and Darcy on the other hand were really great additions to the story. 

To put is simply, the plot is cute, the characters are humorous, the setting is fun, the writing is done well, and The Boy Recession pretty much just rocks. This would be a perfect book to read if you are looking for an escape from the real world, a good laugh, or just a quick read. So buy it already! Seriously, you can pre-order a paperback copy on The Book Depository for only $6.75 right now. What a deal! I got this book from the library, but I’m going to purchase it so I can read it again when I need a light fun read.

Just so you know, this isn’t a complex deep thinking book. I’m sure you have figured that out by know, but I wanted you to know before you read it so you are not disappointed.

 Oh, and I almost forgot... I love the cover!

RATING 5/5 

11 comments
April 7, 2013

Top Bookish News of The Past Week

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. All of the titles are linked up to their respective articles/blog posts. Click away!

ARTICLES

1. 10 Very Costly Typos  These are hilarious. Since I edit items for a newspaper on a daily basis and find crazy typos that I have to correct I found this article hilarious. These are some pretty big typos by some huge companies that cost them all a pretty penny! 

2. New Imprint to Reissue Forgotten YA Literature Lizzie Skurnick Books is set to launch in September. They will be printing old young adult books that they think need to be remembered that are no longer in circulation, including some Lois Duncan. 

3. The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy This is an old article from the New York Times that I just came across. A story about a book reviewer that only published positive reviews and made a lot of money, until he was shut down. Yikes! Really... this guy makes me mad/sad.

BLOG POSTS

1. Insta-Love: An Insta-Turn Off Writer of Wrongs does it again, writes a very funny and interesting discussion post! Although I'm not a big fan of insta-love I feel like there are a few cases where it works. What do you think?

2. A Month of Bookish Finds My wonderful blogging friend over at Buckling Bookshelves pretty much summed up every awesome bookish news item for the past month. Read this post for bookish awesomeness including a Harry Potter prank and a hilarious video that The Perpetual Page-Turner posted!


Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Trailer

2 comments
Copyright © 2015 It's a Book Life All Rights Reserved · All Logos & Trademark Belongs To Their Respective Owners | Template by These Paper Hearts
Back to Top