Monthly Archives: October 2015

Little of Life and Book Tag

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I’m in a reading slump. Let me explain. September was rough on me. It was the first week back to school for my kids in Hungary and that hit me harder than I expected and, what I think is a bigger deal, my best friend and I parted ways. There’s good reasons why we did that which I won’t talk about. I miss her. I wish we were still friends but right now we can’t deal with each other. Pretty much the hardest thing I’ve had to do is not do anything with her or talk to her but it needed to happen. One day, hopefully, we’ll be able to get back to each other and explain to each other things reasonably. So due to the lack of wanting to people, I read. Also because of the month of September (really life started to suck before September but it’s when life imploded.) I threw myself into books because life was better in books. Now I’m tired of it because I pushed too hard. So I will go back to reviews just taking a break. I feel like I needed to say why the blog has changed for those people who have followed me before the book binge. I don’t want to make anyone feel like I’ve drastically changed. I mean I have but there’s reasons. And all I do is go to work and go home.

Today, I will be doing a random book tag because books.

1.Do you have a certain place you read at home? I recently said I have a book room. That’s where all my books live. But I really don’t have a certain place I read. I just read where I’m at.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? I don’t have bookmarks. Right now I’m using a plane ticket. I’ve never really liked actual bookmarks. Why buy them when I can use something that has meaning. When I was sixth grader I had an envelope I used and everyone in my class decorated it. It was really cool.

3. Can you stop reading at any time or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, etc.? Typically it’s the end of the chapter. There are situations I wouldn’t go to the end of a chapter like an emergency or I am so tired I can’t continue.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading? I don’t really eat while reading but I will drink. Tea, milk, pop, whatever. I do something similar when I bake. I have to have something to drink when I bake.

5. Can you read while listening to music or watching television? Rarely I can have something on while I’m reading. I do have more tolerance for music while reading. Television I just want to watch. I need to do the visual thing. And using the word television makes me feel really old. True story.

6. One book at a time or several at a time? One at a time. I can’t handle several at a time. I get too invested with the characters.

7. Reading at home or everywhere? I always have a book with me in my purse. I generally don’t read it when in public but it does happen. Like if I’m waiting at the doctor or sometimes at a coffee place. But usually if I’m doing something at a coffee place I’m journaling.

8. Reading out loud or silently? Silently. Unless I’m reading to the nephew or nieces. But the nephew and the oldest niece can read now so they read to me now.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages? How bad do I hate the book? There are books where I’m not enjoying them so I skim. So I don’t necessarily skip pages, I just read super fast. I have a problem with not finishing books. So I power through.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? Generally keep it like new.

11. Do you write in books? Yes. Not as much as I used to though. It was a major thing when I was in college and I had to go to class and discuss the book. I had a method. I used a highlighter to mark where end notes were (like Barnes and Noble copies) and words to look up and I used a pen to underline lines to remember or that I liked and to write in the margins. I still write in the margins but not necessarily the highlighter.

So that’s the book tag. I might do another one. It depends on if I get out of my reading slump. I have started An American Heiress. I just need to buckle down and get into it.

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Beautiful Creatures Review

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After a few weeks of not having a way to do so, I did get a new television and dvd player. Now I don’t have to read all the time. But I probably will because I don’t watch t.v. anymore and dvds get boring after a while and I really don’t have friends anymore. So reading it is.

Recently I’ve been reading books that I haven’t truly been enjoying. It’s not that I went into them knowing that I wouldn’t like them, I legitimately hoped that I’d like them. I wouldn’t have wasted my time if I didn’t feel like there was some hope. So I was sick of not enjoying books I was reading. I decided to try a different genre. I have been reading adult novels. So I tried Y.A. It makes sense right? I read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

I work with a few high schoolers and the one of the seniors was more excited that I was reading this book than I was. I feel like I don’t have a strong opinion about this book. For me, it was an easy read. An easy read is what I wanted and needed. It looks like a long book but with how the publishers use the page, it’s not that bad. The margins are of good size and the print is larger. I bought this at a used book store for $5 so it was a little beat up. While I was reading it, I kept looking at the cover and thinking I saw something and then dismissing it because it was a used book. Of course it was going to be a little damaged. Nope. What I thought was damage is really trees done in a charcoal so sometimes it looks like damage against the black cover. But the letters did have some marking on them so they looked like bubble letters and that just made me laugh because it didn’t fit the book.

Normally I feel like I’d be the one that complain, if only mentally, about teenagers telling each other that they love each other. I mean, what do you really know as a teenager? Yes, sometimes it works out but more often than not it doesn’t. But this book I really didn’t care. I knew that there were paranormal stuff going on the book so I knew the plot wasn’t real life and that’s probably why I didn’t really care as much. I did have times where I felt like the telepathy was a too convenient way of talking to each other. When they were actually narrating or talking about when they were together, it didn’t seem like they had a cheesy relationship but sometimes they mentioned something that made me roll my eyes like making out in between classes by their lockers. No one did that when I went to school. Did I go to weird school? I don’t know.

Favorite scene of the book would probably be the one when the uncle shows up at the disciplinary meeting. I always wish I could pull off something like that. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t pull off the snarkiness. I know here I’m full of snark and in real life people can’t tell the difference between my seriousness and my sarcasm but I couldn’t pull it off when I’m under pressure and I’m in front of a crap load of people. Am I disappointed that the uncle died? Yeah. I didn’t mind him all that bad.

This book is a book where most everyone has a secret. Was I surprised by the secrets? No. But there were secrets and I’m sure that there’s more in the series. Because I’m only like 6 years late when it comes to reading this book. It’s a Y.A. book. As an adult and someone who’s read a few books, I’m supposed to see some of that coming. It didn’t bother me to have the secrets there. Everyone has secrets and what they choose to do with them is their business. It doesn’t change in literature. At least it shouldn’t.

I don’t feel compelled to read the rest of this series. I wouldn’t turn it down but this one is a good simple book that I would read the rest if I needed a simple book. But then I’d have to buy the rest of the series. That’s a true story.

A Simple Plan Review

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Sometimes I wonder why I keep reading a certain book. I don’t need to read a certain book all the way through if I don’t like it. I don’t even feel the need to finish it for the blog. Well a little bit but nothing that would keep me up at night. The author doesn’t know me. I’m sure they wouldn’t be overly upset that I didn’t finish their book. I read and finished A Simple Plan by Scott Smith and it’s one of those books that I wonder why I kept reading.

I didn’t like a single character in this book. No one seemed that honest. Yes, Sarah and Hank both talked about being honest and reporting the accident and turning in the money but it didn’t seem like they fought very hard for it. The money got to them. And they couldn’t even use it in the end. All that death and no money. And Jake and Lou couldn’t have that much of simpletons. To me, the author set it up where Hank and Sarah were far superior mentally to Jake and Lou. It was set up in the book like that for a reason, I get that. There was a very specific reason. But how could you not see that coming? I would have been surprised if Jake and Lou would have turned on Hank and Sarah and ended up killing them and Jake and Lou got all the money. Yes, the narrator would have been killed. But that’s where it gets interesting when the narrator changes. Oh. Maybe that would have been too hard for Smith? He probably just wanted to work with an intelligent character and felt like he was too above a character like Jake who cries at every murder. Another thing that bothered me was that Hank and Sarah were the only smart people in the area. No one questioned anything. Oh, snowmobile accident and you died, too bad. Oh, lover’s quarrel and like 4 people dead and Hank just happens to be there, too bad. Oh, no surveillance cameras in the liquor store by the airport. That’s convenient. I know this was in 1980’s but they were smarter than this in the ‘80’s. I’m like 96% sure.

I have a hard time believing that Hank just stopped killing at the end of the book and went on to live a normal life and no one questioned him on anything. Like his brother died and to me it seemed like he was obviously transparent with his grief. Actually, I can’t say that. Maybe it was real and that’s just how Hank deals with killing his own brother. Maybe Hank didn’t feel as much remorse with killing Jake and Lou because they weren’t close and Hank felt that he was getting retribution for them making fun of him and making him feel like he wasn’t a part of their little group. I don’t know. I just don’t think Hank and his family could have just gone on living without ever talking about it ever. There has to be some guilt or something. I have a hard time that people wouldn’t feel some kind of guilt after a situation like this. Maybe I just have too much faith in humanity.

I think 2 posts ago I complained about the inconsistency of the chapters. This book had consistent chapters. They were consistently long. 47 pages is a little much in my opinion. Have a chapter a decent length so it keeps a reader’s attention. In a book that’s over 400 pages, there should be more than 12 chapters right? Am I going crazy with this chapter thing? I never had a problem with chapter length before. Maybe I’m getting a little too picky. Because of the chapters, it kind of ruined the book for me for after work. Who wants to get off work from a nursing home at 11:45 p.m. and read that huge of a chunk of a chapter? I like my option to stop after a normal sized chapter. Why am I obsessing over this? Oh my God.

When I get a book and I start reading it, I go through the front page by page to see if there’s a book mentioned that interests me or something of the sort. They had the author bio in the front. I don’t know if I’ve seen it like this before. All it said was Scott Smith, the title of the book and then Scott Smith was educated at such and such universities and this is where he lives. It was 2 sentences and it was like the second page in. I don’t like that. Leave it to the end. And looking at the colleges he went to, I kind of expected better literature from him, especially with a second novel. Random question. How many quotes promoting a book is allowed on that book? On my copy of this book, there’s one on the front and 4 on the back, then there’s more on the first page, front and back. On the covers, it was to fill up space? And in the book, it’s because it’s customary? I don’t know. It just seemed excessive. Like the author and publisher needed to feel better about themselves and slather the book in praise. I know I’m being harsh on this book but I can’t help it. Smith just set me up for that.

Night Circus Review

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Okay, yes. It’s 4:00 in the morning and I’m posting. Don’t judge. I can’t sleep. I’m angry that I can’t sleep and therefore makes me even more awake. It’s a vicious cycle.

There’s books in my book room, (yes I said book room. I live in a three bedroom house. What am I supposed to do with 2 extra bedrooms? Turn one into a book room where you have a stack of your extra blankets and pillows.) that sit there and I just never know when they’re going to get read. They’re just not a high priority. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is one of them.

I kind of enjoyed this cover. I got this book at a used book store and it’s in great condition and I looked at it in the store and I kind of nodded and kind of was intrigued by it. They have it with a shiny silver cast on it of two people and stars and the such and I really liked that. I like that you open to the sub-cover or whatever you call it and you get a great picture, or at least an interesting picture. Let’s go with interesting picture. I like that better. The thing that bothered me is that there’s a hole that lets you see part of the picture from the sub-cover. I kept accidently hooking my fingers in it. Not cool. I like how they differentiated the parts with the one side like the sun and the other side like the night with stars. I do wonder how much that one dark page for each part cost them. It can’t be cheap to have like 7 (because they don’t just separate the parts) mostly black pages and then another page for each black page to be a grey. And then I think back to when I worked at a newspaper. I would physically put things like grocery store sales in the paper and how black my arms would get from the ink and then I think if all of them were black like this and how many copies there was and if I worked with them, how black I’d be.

This book was not what I expected. I thought it would concentrate more on the relationship between Celia and Marco. There was a lot more other stuff going on. There was a lot going on and about half way through the book I was wondering when the whole battle between Celia and Marco was going to begin. I felt like you didn’t see those two together enough. At one point, I was so confused on what was going on. I wanted them to be in love from like the get go. I was pretty much ready for the ending at the beginning. I think that this book might have been more of their demise more than anything. And demise could be taken very lightly. It depends on your interpretation of the book.

I did like that they hid the name of the boy and the man with the grey suit at first. It gave an air of mystery and it made me wonder. Celia calls the man in the grey suit out early and says his name isn’t what he says it is. I like that she’s perceptive.

I did find that I did have to pay attention to dates. But if you’ve read this book, it’s easy to figure out when they go to 1902 for a chapter and then go back to where they were. The first time they went forward in time I got a few chapters away from it and then had to go back and look at what the dates were on the chapters. But it’s not that hard. I also didn’t quite understand why the author did this until the end. At the end, all the pieces came together and it made so much sense.

I did like that they had the part where it was like you were walking through the circus. I like how they tied things together. They were tying strings together until the last moment and then you totally get it. You get why you, as the reader, are walking through the circus. You get why they tell you the boy’s story and why you need all his details. I did wonder it was the original Bailey at the end of the book as it is during the rest of book. I’m pretty sure it was the original because as they point out in the book, no one has children and everything seems to stay the same. Oh and the contortionist. I didn’t see her role in the story coming. I do like it. But it took the characters long enough to figure it out. I feel that if I can’t figure out what’s going on with someone, the characters should know more than me and then reason out why something is what it is and then I can go, ‘oh that was dumb of me not to see’. Yeah, didn’t get that in this book. On anything. I didn’t see many of the ends being tied up like they were.

I don’t think I’ll pick this book again. I liked it, I enjoyed it about 78%. It’s just not a book I normally read. The writing isn’t bad because there were times I was very intrigued but I found myself wondering when the point was going to be there and I feel like I waited so long for answers. And normally that’s not a bad thing, I’m just impatient lately.

Someone to Watch Over Me Review

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So I typically don’t read a romance author. I look at a romance and think, ‘you’re going to be cheesy’. It’s not that I’m bitter about love, it’s just from what I’ve read, they’re cheesy and the probability that they’ll ever happen is very little. It can give the reader unrealistic expectations because the need for love is unrealistic. But every once in a while, I’ll try one to see if I’m right or wrong. But it has to be a very special romance for me to like it. The Outlander series did that for me because it was more realistic.

Someone to Watch Over Me by Judith McNaught is the most recent one that I’ve tried and it’s not a full blown romance. It has mystery in it. It’s about this woman Leigh (who’s a Broadway star) and it starts with her getting into an accident when she’s driving to a cabin her husband just bought during a blizzard. OH SIDENOTE! I’m so excited for the first blizzard this year, not excited for driving in it but I really want one good one this year to make up for the lack of snow I had last year in Budapest. I was gone over Christmas last year and the day before I got back everyone was posting how it was snowing in Budapest and I got back and it was gone. Anyway. Leigh’s husband was supposed to be there at the cabin and wasn’t. That’s where the book begins and that’s pretty much on the back cover.

I kept going back and forth on the title. Sometimes I want to give it cool points for the Gershwin reference and then others I just roll my eyes at the reference because it’s obvious. I eventually ended with not liking it because it is cheesy.

I’ve read one Judith McNaught book before and I HATED the female lead because she changed her personality so quick and so dramatically after she fell in love with the main male character. In this book, I wasn’t a big fan of the female lead again. It’s like Judith McNaught wants me to hate these women. This woman felt like she had no dimension to me. How many times does the reader have to be reminded that the female detective had 6 brothers? And what the heck was going on with Sam and McCord? Why did we need a secondary story? I did like Sheila Winters though until the end. Then she just had to die. And who didn’t see the murderer coming? It’s always the understudy that thinks they deserve so much more than they actually do. I also didn’t quite understand the teenager. Like she did write that article at the end but it’s not like she saved anyone’s lives. She was like the stress reliever for these people.

I wasn’t a fan of how Valente was set up. I was not sure for a long time what made him so dangerous and then around page 300, it finally came out more clearly and I looked at the book and shook my head. Because yes the reason is important enough for jail but they made him seem so much more evil. There seemed to be things that weren’t set up that good. And sometimes I wondered how some of the characters didn’t put certain things together. They’re not stupid right? But what do I know? I just read.

I also am not a fan of the chapters. Some were like an ordinary length or what felt like ordinary and others were a page. I hate that. That made the book jolt a little for me. I don’t think that chapters need to be a certain length it’s just how my mind works. My mind stops with the end of the chapter. That’s how it works. The end of a chapter is the end of a coherent thought or scene, so your mind stops with it. You turn the page and expect another long scene or thought to start and it’s like 2 paragraphs and you’re, in this case my, mind stops very quickly. I just don’t like it. I want better flow. And this book probably could be a lot shorter than it was. Who wants 549 pages of this? Not I. This book seemed to take me forever to read. I would always find something to do. Like embroidering dishcloths or watch a Disney movie on VHS or sleep.

So, if you haven’t guessed by now, not a fan of this book. I kind of regret reading it. I don’t want to read another romance for a super long time and it’s not even that romance-y. It’s just not a good book. And reading romances won’t happen because the amount of romances I have are practically none.

Another James Rollins Book.

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Innocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell is the second book or the follow up book to another book called The Blood Gospel by the same authors. The cover of the book tells me it’s part of The Order of the Sanguines Series. So that’s why I say it’s the second book. I have talked in the past about how much I love James Rollins. Actually within the last couple months I’ve said that. Generally, he’s not an author that I generally go towards but I really like him.

So the cover is very….October. Or Halloween. Whatever you want to call it. It’s kind of creepy. The other night I watched The Blair Witch Project and looking at the cover. They go together well. And for the record, that was the first time I watched The Blair Witch Project. Part of the reason is I never was interested in it. And when it came out in ’99, I was still in the age where my parents were very hesitant about letting me watch it. And they knew that I would have nightmares from it because I was that kind of kid. And while I was looking at this cover I looked at how the authors were credited. Rollins’ name is bigger than Cantrell’s. I had a moment where I was very upset by that because the woman should have the same credit. But if you think about it, James Rollins might be the more popular author so that when you put his name bigger, it brings more people in. Honestly, that’s why I got it, because I had read some of Rollins’ other stuff. Nice publicity trick publishers…nice trick.

I will point out that there is one Hungarian phrase in this book and I got a little excited because I understood contextually what it meant. Since I brought that up, let’s talk about the Hungarian in the book. Elisabeta. She was mentioned in the last book in Rhun’s flashbacks and I thought she was horrible and I didn’t want to have anything to do with her. This book you saw more of her motherly side and it made me feel conflicted on what should happen to her ultimately. I found that with this book, some of your questions were answered very well and there were characters that were given more dimension. Elisabeta was one of them. The way she dealt with Tommy was interesting. Before Elisabeta and Tommy met, I was hesitant to ever let her near a child. Because in the book and historically, (her character was based on a real person) she killed children. You don’t trust children with a person that has killed children. But she took on a very motherly role with him.

Jordan and Erin, I felt, didn’t change much. Erin changed more and accepted who she was more but Jordan felt the same to me. It felt like that this book was a continuation of ‘let’s try and kill the humans’. Even one of the not human asks Jordan how many times Jordan had to be killed. I was panicked that Jordan was legitimately dead at one point. In like the page or so he was dead I was panicked about who Erin was going to have sex with and love and protect her and who was going to be the warrior dude and how is the series going to go on without him? But he didn’t die. Don’t worry. I did feel bad for Erin at the beginning of the book and her grad student. The college was kicking her out of there and her grad student was in love with her and didn’t want a new advisor. I get the college’s thought process especially with what happened at the beginning of the other book but I felt bad about the student. He was so devoted to Erin and then she shuns him. Booo. But she loves Jordan, what else could she do? I do like Jordan and Erin together.

Rhun I think you saw more depth. Not as much as Elisabeta but still dimension. You saw how he felt about her and how he reacted with her. I felt like he didn’t interact with the other two as much. As the trio, he should communicate more. Even if there was doubt on if Erin was in the trio or not.

Things started to come together in this book. Like you understand what the deal was with the kid and Elisabeta. The last book, I wasn’t quite understanding the connection fully. Elisabeta did make more sense in the last book because of her connection to Rhun but I didn’t get Tommy. Until this book. It makes more sense. There were several more instances in this book. It’s nice when things start coming together. And it’s well written so that makes it more interesting. The details were really cool for me. Like little parts of the world that just makes everything come together. It’s a series so you can’t give everything away. Which is nice, you build a following and you keep it for the things that are coming out in the next book. I liked the people that were in the book that had historical and/or biblical relevance. Judas, Elisabeta, Lazarus, a Romanov, Rasputin. That made the book more interesting to me. With the exception of Eisabeta, I had known of the others for years and it’s nice to see them in a fictional light. I even liked some of the new characters. I really liked Christian in this book. I don’t know if he’s going to go double agent on me. And when I say me, I mean the characters in the book.

I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the flashbacks. I skimmed a lot of the flashbacks. I know they have a relevance but I don’t care. They’re not my style in this book. In some books, yes. But in this book I was so not interested and it might come back and bite me in the behind.

A Court…….Review

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I read a book. Surprising right? I read a y.a. novel that wasn’t John Green. That should be the surprising part. It is a new release. It came out this year. That should be surprising as well. I don’t normally read books that are released that year. It happens, just not often. New books are usually too expensive. Especially because they’re usually hard covers. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. The only reason I know of this book or author is because of BookTube. This book is all over the place. Everyone seems very excited about this book. I also looked for interviews of Maas. Between the taped interviews and the acknowledgements at the end of the book, I really like her. I feel like we could be friends.

Let’s talk about the appearance of the book. I really like the front of the dust jacket, it’s lovely and the back I would have liked more if there wasn’t a head popping up from the bottom. It doesn’t suck but I’m not a fan. I liked that there were thorns on each of the chapter pages. I would have liked it even more if they had grown into roses at the end of the book. But I get why they didn’t. Space and stuff. It happens. Plus, I have a whole opinion about dust jackets. That might be a future post. We’ll see.

So let’s talk about the actual book. It was pretty good. There were times I related it to this other book called Behind the Highland Mist. Just in the way things that were said or done. But the world in Thorns and Roses was way more developed and better. I found myself referring to this as a kind of a Beauty and the Beast story. Sort of. I also had times that I was a little bored. Maybe because I’ve read non-y.a. for so long that I’m not used to how they’re written anymore. I did like how this was not a young y.a. This wasn’t innocent. It didn’t sugar coat anything. They used language appropriate to their age and did things appropriate to their age.

I will admit that at first I thought Faere would end up with Lucien. They had a relationship of sparring. It would have been an easy thing to transition into love. But no. It did turn into a great friendship though. After I figured out that it wasn’t Lucien that she was supposed to be with I figured they’d argue and not really be friends. Yup, wrong again. Faere helped him out and he got very protective like of her. Not only because of the good Faere did for him but also a little because of an oath he made to Tam. But I think it was legitimately because she was good to him and who else would he verbally spar with? I would like a story about him. But I also wanted that with Luke from The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden and I was a little disappointed.

I found that I forgot about the masks. Every time they mentioned the masks, I had to remind myself why there were masks. It was almost worth it because then Faere fell in love with Tam of her own accord. But she does talk about his body often enough to make me think. And did you notice I call him Tam? We’re on a shortened name basis. Except he doesn’t use mine….because he’s a fictional character and you have to special for that.

I liked the spacing between the three tests that Faere had to do. At first I thought that it was going to be one after another. But she had time between each one of them. She had time to heal or think about the riddle or think of Tam. It’s nice that she had the time and I like how that was written and the things that she did with the breaks. Rhysand was a good addition to that time. It was a good jealousy device for Tam. I really liked how he surprised everyone at the end. But I really want to know how after words that worked for that week she went to go see him and how Tam reacted to that. I also liked that there were different factions of the fairy world and that not everything that the human world knows about them is true so they’re not bothered. The world is very rich.

I hope that there’s another book about them or how Faere goes to Rhysand or a book about Lucien. Even if I was bored at times, I liked the concept and how things were told. And there’s too much that you could do with this story not to have another one right?