September 28, 2015

Review: Ink & Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone (#1) by Rachel Caine (July 2015)
351 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Other
Publisher: NAL
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

My Review

If I were to only pick one word to describe this book it would have to be impressive. It may not be perfect, and it may not have hit epic status with me, but the book was pretty darn impressive.

What I Liked
  • The male POV. We don't get a lot of those and I loved that this book is all about Jess, a boy who loves books with an imperfect family and a clever mind. I liked this kid.
  • The books. The fact that this book is centered around books and the information they provide makes me like it since I do happen to be a big fan off books myself. How books are treated, very interesting. It was crazy, sad, and surprising.
  • The technology was impressive. I found this world that Rachel Caine conjured up to be impressive and unique. 
  • When I finally started feeling the intensity of what was going on. There seems to be a lot going on in this book and the stakes were high, but I wasn't feeling that way at first, but then I was, and it was glorious.
  • There is a competition of sorts. You all know I love competition/challenges/mind games in my books. This has an abundance of those elements.

What I Didn't Like
  • The confusion. Even though this book and its elements were impressive, it was kind of confusing for a big chunk of the book. At least it was for me. Others probably won't have that issue. This was frustrating.
  • This was just a me thing, but it didn't hit epic status for me and I was kind of disappointed about that.
  • There were several characters in this competition to work at The Library and it was hard connecting with any of them as much as I would have liked. Even some of the more prominent ones.

The Bottom Line: Give it a shot. 

September 23, 2015

Library Loot #37

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

** I know I always say this, but I am really excited about this week's loot. The only bad part, having too many reading options to choose from.

My Library Loot

I NEED to know what Oreos have to do with this book!
This seems like a perfect suspenseful fall read.

This is my next audiobook read! This one is narrated by David Tennant!
The hype is calling to me. Call me intrigued. 
That cover draws me in every time.
September 22, 2015

TTT #48: Ten Books On My Fall TBR

I LOVE all things fall, especially fall books that are read with a hot cup of coffee and a throw. I originally had 20 books on this list, but that seemed just a little too long for a top TEN post so I narrowed it down. It took a lot of work. I ended up picking five previously released books from my TBR pile and five new books that are going to be released this fall. I ran short on time so I just posted the covers of the books, but basically I chose books that felt like fall to me. Sorry that is so abstract but you probably know what I mean. I really hope I do read all of these this fall! Share your fall picks in the comments below!

Previously Released Titles From My TBR Pile

New Books Being Released This Fall

September 21, 2015

Review: Loop by Karen Akins

Loop (#1) by Karen Akins (2014)
324 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Time Travel
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels... at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn't go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn't think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tag-along uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

My Review

I am a huge fan of time traveling books. If only I could time travel in real life... Anyway, Loop was a pleasant addition to the genre and I am very glad I read it. I was intrigued right from the start.

Bree is a time traveler, and she is hilarious. Talk about a girl after my own heart. Bree tends to run head first into a lot of mishaps and handles it as best she can, with gusto. As for Finn, he is adorable, loyal, and mysterious. Watching those two together try to handle all the crazy that is going on with time travelers is ridiculously fun! I absolutely delighted in reading about these charming and easy to relate to characters.

Most time traveling books are full of mysteries and time jumping rules and issues, and Loop is no different. I loved Karen Akins' time traveling world. I was always on my toes, never knowing exactly what to expect. I wanted to know what the heck was going on. It was always exciting!

I'm sorry I am not going to go into more details about Loop, but I refuse to give any of the time traveling/plot secrets away. All that you really need to know is that Loop is a very fun and exciting read.

September 20, 2015

The Bookish Report

Here are all of the top bookish stories, blog posts, pictures, and videos I found this past week. I put this post up every Sunday so come back again next week for more bookish awesomeness.Click away and enjoy your Sunday!

Fun Bookish News

17 New YA Novels You'll Want to Cozy Up With This Fall - There are so many good books coming out this fall. My fall TBR pile is crazy.

The Most Popular Books in US Public Libraries, Mapped by Cities - This isn't too surprising since I work at a library and see what gets checked out all the time, but it is still very interesting! 

24 Extreme YA Book Cover Makeovers - Some are for the better and some are for the way worse.

What We Learned about Harry Potter From J.K. Rowling's Twitter - Does anything HP related ever get old? No it doesn't.

Yoga for Writers - I really need to make some more time for yoga, and this infographic is awesome.

Fellow Book Blogger Posts

Bookmark Lit - Football + Books - I need to do this tag!

Reviews from a Bookworm - Why I am Team Chaol - I too am team Chaol! 

Buckling Bookshelves - A Bookish Decorating Project - I <3 this and want to do it myself! 

Caffeinated Book Reviewer - Blog Ahead October Challenge - I am debating if I want to sign-up for this one. I could use a good blog ahead challenge.

Video of The Week

September 18, 2015

I Feel Like Gabbing Today - House Edition

** I have no idea how often I will post this feature. It is a work in progress. I do however know that I want to share with you the very random thoughts that pop into my head and chat with you about them. Many are bookish thoughts and many are not. I feel like I don't have enough discussion type posts on the blog so I am giving this a whirl. Some days I will talk about a specific topic and sometimes I will just throw some random thoughts at you. So please sit back, relax, and take a second to chat with me today.

Adventures of a New Homeowner

1. My husband and I were originally living on camping chairs in our living room because we threw out our one old couch that we owned when we moved because it was literally falling apart. After a month and a half we finally got a couch and we LOVE IT! We got it on sale during Labor Day weekend. It is in our finished basement which is going to be our media room.
It is comfy, big, and we love it!
2. We only have like 8 more boxes to unpack. We are so close I can almost taste it.

3. Making a house feel like a home is a LOT of work, especially when you have the bare minimum of furniture and decor to begin with.

4. My little library is up and almost complete! Since I know you all love anything bookish... here are some pictures!
I used to only have two bookcases, but now I have three! I think I still need more... I also got my very own reading chair AND we finally had space to put up my HP poster! <3
5. Home Depot is slowly becoming our new favorite store. Not only did we not own a lot of tools and such because we have only lived in small apartments, we have had a couple of minor things go wrong since we moved in. A very clogged sink in the kitchen, a leaky faucet in the bathroom downstairs, some burnt out bulbs (this one was easy to fix), a front screen door that got stuck when latched all the way, and some other little projects. Nothing too bad, and we did make sure to put some money aside for an emergency fund to always have now so I am not too worried.

6. I spend so much of my free time working on putting my house together or actually working at my two jobs that I haven't been reading nearly as much! Well, that is about to change soon since my house is almost put together! I also haven't been putting much effort into my blog as of late and I am working on some fun posts to make up for that! I just want you to know that I have no plan to stop blogging or reading in any future, near or far.

7. This right here is one of my favorite things we put together for the house.
We decided to make a little coffee/breakfast nook in our kitchen to free up counter space and to highlight our love of coffee.
8. My husband and I both work late several nights a week, but we leave the house when it is light out. We soon discovered that we MUST turn on the outside light for when we come home, otherwise we can't see and there are steps by our back door where we come in, very unsafe without a light on. My husband is really good at remembering this, I am not.

September 16, 2015

I Helped Create This Awesome Video for My Library

Okay everyone, for the past couple of months I have been spending my time here and there working with my amazing co-workers on putting together a little video to help promote the incredible new renovations at one of the libraries I work at. It has been a whole lot of crazy fun and I am happy to finally be able to share it with you all!

For my blogger friends that may not know what I look like. Look for the awkward/pretty darn cool person in the green/blue sweater. Since that was kind of is a screen shot! That's me!

Okay, enough about me. I played only a small part in helping to get this video to its final product. With that being said, I want to applaud my very talented co-workers on their impressive work on this video. They all did such an amazing job at singing, acting, editing, random dancing, looking cool, and filming! They rock!

I swear I am going to stop rambling now. I hope you enjoy this little video we made. At the very least, I am sure it will make you laugh a minimum of five times.

Upstairs Funk @ EPL

September 15, 2015

TTT #47: Ten Books That You May Have Missed

This week's topic is a freebie so I decided to showcase some books that I think deserve some more attention! Here are ten books that you may have missed that you should go back and read. The book titles are linked to their reviews. I know I have talked about some of these books a lot here on the blog, but it can't hurt to mention them one more time.

1. First Visions by Heather Topham Wood
2. Velvet by Temple West
3. The Accidental Assassin by Nichole Chase
4. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
5. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

6. Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
7. The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
8. How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller
9. The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin
10. The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

September 14, 2015

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass (2012)
336 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian/Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Review

I finally did it! I may be the last person on the planet to read the Selection, but I finally read it! After many people telling me how awesome it is, and my co-worker exclaiming it is her new favorite guilty pleasure, I had to give it a try. So what did I think?

I should have listened to my bloggie bestie that warned me that this book probably wouldn't be to my liking. It wasn't to my liking. I really don't get what all the hype is about.

Disclaimer: I am sad to say this, but I really did not like this book. I know I am the black sheep. If you did like this book I am in no way judging you. It just wasn't for me.

What I Didn't Like
  • The pretty basic dystopian type world. Nothing unique there.
  • Because it is worth mentioning twice, the whole thing just seemed very stereotypical YA.
  • I couldn't connect to America. She did grow on me a little bit when I kept reading, but there was nothing memorable about her, except for maybe her name.
  • The way Prince Maxon speaks. It is one thing to be princely and formal. It is another thing to sound like a stuck up prince/an 80-year-old man. Just no. I wouldn't mind never hearing him say "my dear" again. Everything about him was too formal for an 18-year-old guy, even if he was a prince, even if he had manners. He did loosen up a tiny tiny bit with America, but not nearly enough. If I hadn't returned my copy of this book to the library already my whole review would just have been ridiculous quotes from him. I did like him as a person though. I liked him more than the other guy.
  • The plot bored me. I was hoping for more drama.
  • It was predictable to its core.
  • America denying her feelings for Maxon also got pretty annoying. It was obvious she felt for him more than in a friendly manner considering all the times her stomach would "feel funny" when he was around. Sigh.

What I Liked (I would like to end on a semi-positive note.)
  • It was a quick read. I didn't wast too much of my time on it.
  • The two very small and very short exciting action scenes.
  • America did grow on me throughout the book.
  • At least the guys were not a-holes in this book.

The bottom line: Maybe I didn't enjoy The Selection much because I have read so much dystopian before this, or maybe it was because it was meant for a younger audience? I don't really know exactly. Will I be reading the next book? Probably not. I don't see why I need to. I am a little curious as to who she ends up with (I am hoping Maxon), but if I am ever curious enough I can always just google it.

September 11, 2015

ARC Review: Every Word by Ellie Marney

Every Word (#2) by Ellie Marney (Sept. 8, 2015)
352 pages
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: ALA Midwinter - Getting a free arc did not affect my honest review. Thanks Tundra!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: James Mycroft has just left for London to investigate a car accident similar to the one that killed his parents seven years ago...without saying goodbye to Rachel Watts, his 'partner in crime'.

Rachel is furious and worried about his strange behaviour - not that Mycroft's ever exactly normal, but London is the scene of so many of his nightmares. So Rachel jumps on a plane to follow him...and lands straight in a whole storm of trouble.

The theft of a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, the possible murder of a rare books conservator, and the deaths of Mycroft's parents...Can Watts help Mycroft make sense of the three events - or will she lose him forever?

Sparks fly when Watts and Mycroft reunite in this second sophisticated thriller about the teen sleuthing duo.

My Review

When I first started reading Every Word, the sequel to Every Breath, I was freaking out. I thought at first that I wasn't getting the same vibe from this book that I did from the first (I absolutely loved the first book), but I was totally wrong. I jumped the gun and shouldn't have worried. Every Word turned out to be freaking fantastic. Sorry this review isn't going to be very long or detailed, but I was so absorbed in the book while reading I barely took any notes.

I love Rachel and Mycroft and their chemistry. I love their uniqueness. Most importantly, I love how they work together when trying to solve a problem. The minor characters are pretty good too, but Mycroft and Rachel steal the show.

As for the plot this time around... Was it unbelievable at times like the first one? Sure. Was it awesome? Heck yes! There was a scene with a very descriptive autopsy, let's just say those images won't be leaving me for a while. I didn't even know they did all those things during one. It was interesting. Anyway, the story was a little slow at first (not a bad slow just a little slow), but that changed half way through the book and then it became so intense that I couldn't put it down! 

Every Word was so very good. Luckily us fans got a good strong sequel. We all know that doesn't always happen in trilogies. I think all those fans of the first book out there will not be disappointed. If you are not excited already, although I am sure you are, get excited! I know I can't wait for the next book! 

September 8, 2015

TTT #46: Finished Series I Have YET to Finish

Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I am the WORST at beginning a series and not finishing it. I don't know why. Sometimes I forget about them because of the long wait in-between books. Sometimes I just lose interest. Mostly I think I just have a problem finishing things. I am not sure. Anyway, I am guilty of being a repetitive offender of this week's topic and sadly found it pretty easy to come up with a lot of series that are finished that I have yet to finish.

Finished Series I Plan to Finish

1. Pulse by Patrick Carmen - I really want to read these. I don't know why I stopped after the first one.
2. Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer - I have read 2 out of 5. Not bad.
3. Slated by Teri Terry - Once again I only read the first book in a series and then stopped.
4. Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan - I actually only have the last book to read, but I don't remeber much about the first two and will probably have to reread them.
5. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting - I hate to say it, but I only read the first book in this one as well...
6. Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - And this one.

Finished Series I Started but Probably Won't Continue

7. The Selection by Kiera Cass - I know I am in the minority, but I just don't think I can keep reading this series. One was enough.
8. House of Night by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast - I made it all the way to book 10, but I can't seem to find any motivation to read the last two books in this repetitive series.

Finished Series that I Have Yet to Start But Plan To

9. Shadowlands by Kate Brian - Because they sound really good and creepy.
10. Legend by Marie Lu - I am probably the only person who hasn't read this series.

September 3, 2015

Mini Review Pile-Up: Some Girls Bite, The One That Got Away, & Go Set a Watchman

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1) by Chloe Neill (2009)
341 pages
Genre: Adult/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: NAL
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. When a rogue vampire attacked me, I was lucky he only got a sip. Another bloodsucker scared him off and decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude—and servitude. Right…

But someone’s out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.

My Mini Review:  Being a fan of vampire books and always being on the prowl for a new one to try out I was excited when I stumbled upon this one. Since I live near Chicago I had to give this one a try. I am glad I did. Not only did I obviously love the Chicago (and its suburbs) setting, I really enjoyed the characters, especially Merit and Mallory's friendship. There are also plenty of swoony and frustrating guys present as well. Merit is a woman that didn't want to be turned into a vampire and although she seems a little whiny about this at first, she learns to adapt and becomes such a strong character that I couldn't help but like her. My favorite thing about Merit, she doesn't just swoon over the master vampire Ethan and agree to do what he says, she still stays independent. Some Girls Bite was worth the read and better than I thought it would be. I really got into the story and am excited to read the next book in the series, because I really need some more sexy steamy tension between Ethan and Merit in my life.

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase (March 2015)
352 pages
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer — and former flame — Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices — and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life — and in love.

Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.

My Mini Review: I don't read a lot of adult romance books, but this book was delightful. The One That Got Away was an excellently written romance novel. It is a perfect summer read. The main character, Sarina, is very likable. She is a strong and independent woman who I kept cheering on out loud ,"you go girl!" as I read. Although it took longer than I would like for Sarina to choose who she wanted to be with I still liked the romance, but it wasn't my favorite thing about this book. My favorite, I absolutely loved to hear all about Sarina's architecture jobs. It was very interesting. The Bottom Line: I would read something else by this author, no questions asked.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (July 2015)
278 pages
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | The book Depository | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch--"Scout"--returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past--a journey that can be guided only by one's conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor and effortless precision--a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to an American classic.

My Mini Review: I don't even know where to begin with this review. I can start by saying that I don't regret reading Go Set a Watchman. At the same time I have to say that it was a little weird. There wasn't a strong plot, facts didn't match up with what was in To Kill a Mockingbird, and really it was just weird. BUT, if you read the book not as a sequel, but as a manuscript/rough draft/original idea for To Kill a Mockingbird, you will enjoy it a great deal more. Do I think reading To Kill a Mockingbird was worth it? I do. Do I think people should be cautious and understand that it doesn't read as a sequel before beginning the book? Yes I do. I could go into more details about this book, but I won't. Instead I just want to say that this book didn't hurt how I feel about To Kill a Mockingbird at all if that is what has you worried.

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