Short Story Review – The End of the Party by Graham Greene

January 6, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, Short Stories, YA 0 Comments

Short Story Review – The End of the Party by Graham GreeneThe End of the Party by Graham Greene
on 1929
Pages: 6
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Horror
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

 

 

Peter and his fearful twin brother Francis attend a birthday party which ends in tragedy.

 

 

I read the occasional short story but I can’t for the life of me remember the last one that really stuck with me. This was the most brilliantly written short story I think I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I have several Graham Greene novels on my plan-to-read-someday list but I do believe those will be moved up the list; I was blown away by the power of his writing in this extremely short story. He was able to successfully establish an ample story and a potent relationship in a little more than 3,500 words. Bravo, Mr. Greene.

‘As a twin he was in many ways an only child. To address Peter was to speak to his own image in a mirror, an image a little altered by a flaw in the glass, so as to throw back less a likeness of what he was than of what he wished to be, what he would be without his unreasoning fear of darkness, footsteps of strangers, the flight of bats in dusk-filled gardens.’

Twin brothers Peter and Francis have been invited to a birthday party that Francis does not wish to attend.

”I’m afraid of going. I won’t go. I daren’t go. They’ll make me hide in the dark, and I’m afraid of the dark. I’ll scream and scream and scream.”

Regardless, the twins still end up attending. What follows is so terribly shocking and tragic. Suffice it to say, the ending left me breathless. Thank you, Wendy. Without your review I don’t believe I ever would have read this.

Free to read here.

Divider

Book Review – Sins of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #4) by Diana Rowland

January 5, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 1 Comment

Book Review – Sins of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #4) by Diana RowlandSins of the Demon by Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian #4
Published by DAW on January 3rd 2012
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: My Life As a White Trash Zombie, Mark of the Demon, Blood of the Demon

four-stars

 

The homicide beat in Louisiana isn't just terrifying, it's demonic. Detective Kara Gilligan of the supernatural task force has the ability to summon demons to her aid, but she herself is pledged to serve a demonic lord. And now, people who've hurt Kara in the past are dropping dead for no apparent reason. To clear her name and save both the demon and human worlds, she's in a race against the clock and in a battle for her life that just may take her to hell and back.

 

 

Kara Gillian series

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #1)Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #2)Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #3)

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian #1) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}
Blood of the Demon (Kara Gillian #2) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}
Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian #3) by Diana Rowland {PurchaseMy Review}

Final Page Thoughts

*ahem* Excuse the language, but what the HELL kind of ending was that?! No, I’m sorry, that wasn’t an ending… that was more like a chapter ending, except my book must have been missing the subsequent pages. AHHH! What a cliffhanger. And now we have to wait a whole YEAR!? Is it available for pre-order yet?? Someone shoot me now. *Sobs*

Something that’s been ongoing in this series for a while, a bit of an issue with Kara, is resolved but not until the very flipping end of the book which made that ending that much worse but still made you happy that it nonetheless happened. Yes, I’m aware that sentence makes absolutely no sense.

I’ve attempted to collect my thoughts and form them into a worthwhile review without giving too much away. I do believe worthwhile should be replaced with ‘I’m going to ramble and forget to use periods occasionally so don’t mind me’.

The Storyline

The fourth installation in the Kara Gillian has finally arrived. Kara’s back and trouble seems to be finding her at every turn… but then again, what else is new? She’s dealing with her complicated relationship with Rhyzkahl and Ryan, people are dying who she personally knows and who she also has personally grudges with, someone is attempting to summon her to the demon realm, and on top of that her emotions are going straight haywire.

New Characters

I find that the further you delve into a series it’s usually a requirement to add in new characters to keep it fresh and new. Usually these characters end up being written in as useless characters that are easily disposed of. The few characters (mainly one) added into ‘Sins of the Demon’ were so well written and established in the story that I couldn’t remember a time when they weren’t a part of the story.

Eilahn is Kara’s demon bodyguard and roommate, put in place by Rhyzkahl when he realized that someone was attempting to summon her to the demon realm. Eilahn was hilarious and her sense of humor went extremely well with Kara’s normal snarkiness. (Is that not a word? My red squiggle tells me not, but it should be.)

Fuzzykins: Eilahn’s accidental cat. The presence of Fuzzykins led to some bust a gut with tears in eyes laughter. I think the scene that had to be my absolute favorite was the cat’s obvious dislike of Kara (and obvious love of Eilahn) when they were getting him in the car and the cat gives Kara a ’fuck you glare accompanied by a I-want-to-claw-your-face-off-hiss.’

“I do not wish her to grow upset,” Eilahn said, frown puckering her forehead. “I have heard that cats do not care to ride in cars. If I am in the front and she in the back, will she not grow distraught? Perhaps I should hold her in my lap.”
“Um, that’s a pretty darn big carrier to hold on your lap,” I pointed out.
She blinked. “I did not intend to have her in the carrier. Why can I not simply hodl her in my lap so that I can stroke her fur? Will that not calm her?”
I had a vision of a psychotic cat careening around the inside of the car – following by an image of my mangled death in the ensuing wreck.
“No,” I stated. Firmly.

Hahaha… Funny times.

So… I don’t believe I can say much more without giving anything away. This wasn’t a disappointing book at all and I still recommend this series highly. I’ve become a rabid Kara Gillan/Diana Rowland fan and I’m impatient as hell and the next book could not come sooner.

Divider

Early Review – Long Lankin (Long Lankin, #1) by Lindsey Barraclough

January 5, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Long Lankin (Long Lankin, #1) by Lindsey BarracloughLong Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Series: Long Lankin #1
Published by Candlewick Press on July 10, 2012
Pages: 464
Genres: Gothic, Horror, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Mark of Cain

four-stars

When Cora and her little sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their great-aunt in the isolated village of Bryers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome and are desperate to go back to London. But Auntie Idas life was devastated the last time two young girls were at Guerdon Hall, and now her nieces arrival has reawakened an evil that has lain in wait for years. A haunting voice in an empty room; a strange, scarred man lurking in the graveyard; mysterious words scrawled on the walls of the abandoned church . . . all point to a horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries, a truth that Cora, along with Roger and Peter, two young village boys, must uncover before its too late for Mimi. A compelling, atmospheric novel inspired by a haunting folk song about murder, witchcraft, and revenge, Long Lankin is a truly stunning debut from an exciting new writer.

‘Everything was all right until they came.’

When Cora and her little sister Mimi are sent to live with their Great-Aunt Ida, it is clear from the start that they are neither wanted nor welcome in her house. For the time being the children must stay with her but she immediately sends word to their father that he must come get them, and he must come get them now. Cora, intrigued by the mysteries of the house despite their Aunt Ida’s constant demands to ‘not do this’ and ‘not do that’, begins searching the house and the closely residing and equally mysterious church. Cora gleans information from various papers found in the house, from the local neighbors, and from strange carvings like the words ‘Cave Bestiam’ which is found in several locations. Cora finds out more than she bargained for: that her and her family are intertwined in the mystery, that no one is safe, and that there really is something very real to fear.

I found the writing to be quite gripping and reminded me at times of Susan Hill’s writing in The Woman in Black. I’ve read several books that write using multiple different points of view and they’re not always done as well as could be. I believe it takes a talented author in order to make a multi-point-of-view story not seem too terribly overwhelming; this is definitely one of them. The main focus is on Cora and Roger but you occasionally get an unsettling view of Cora’s Aunt Ida and the occasional glimpse into past events.

Okay, so, I’ll admit it. I refused to read this alone. I also required a lot of sunlight. And yes, I’m a big weenie. It wasn’t exactly creepy the entire time though. It was a bit like riding a wave, honestly. The book would lead up to a scene that would have you trembling in your boots and then everything would suddenly relax again and you’d be lulled into a false sense of calm before the next swell. Then the monster under the bed would jump right back out. Okay, comparing Long Lankin to the monster under the bed makes him sound like one of those monsters from Monsters Inc. Long Lankin… was not cute, fuzzy, or funny. Long Lankin was one scary mo-fo that I hope I never have a chance encounter with in a dark alley. Or in my bedroom. (Mental to-do list: nail windows shut before bed).

Cora was quite a spirited little girl and didn’t run in fear of anything, including Long Lankin on a few occasions. Cora? Pretty much my hero. She was an awesome big sister who didn’t shrink in fear of anything when it came to saving her little sister Mimi. Now Roger… Roger was damn adorable and the frosting on the cake/story. I loved how the occasional funny lines from Roger that were thrown in managed to lighten the overall tension that the story exudes.

So the ending lost a star for the overall rating because I can’t help but feel that the ending left a bit to be desired. Predictable is the word that primarily comes to mind. I would have loved some cool crazy twist to it or have some rabid monkey show up (okay, maybe not a monkey… a lion?) Anyways, it seemed far too expected and I kind of sighed in disappointment when I was done. Still have plans to nail windows shut though.

Divider

W…W…W… Wednesdays (1)

January 4, 2012 Bonnie Wednesday Posts 0 Comments


W…W…W… Wednesdays is hosted by Should be Reading a new blog I’ve stumbled upon that I’ve grown quite fond of. Each week 3 questions are answered: 
  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?
What are you currently reading?

I’m actually wrapped up in 3 books right now.


‘Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage’ is the second installation in the Highland Pleasures series. I didn’t believe it would be possible but I think I’m actually enjoying this more than the first one! If you’re into historical romance books this one is definitely worth your time. Original storylines, fabulous characters, and some steamy love scenes to boot. 🙂



Long Lankin is a book I requested from Netgalley and the first book I’m reading in my January Netgalley Reading Challenge (hosted by Red House Books). Long Lankin has been a fabulously creepy book so far that I’ve really enjoyed. Highly recommended for those (like me) who are suckers for ghost stories.





*sigh* And last but certainly not least, Sins of the Demon. My library had this for me ready to pick up yesterday (the day of release no less) and I was ecstatic. So ecstatic that I could barely focus on reading haha! I stayed up far too late, got about halfway through, and I definitely plan on finishing it tonight. GREAT series; one of my absolute favorites. Highly recommended if you haven’t picked this up yet.


What did you recently finish reading?


I haven’t actually finished a book since last year! haha! The last book I finished reading was Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. This is one series that I’ve been meaning to get to for pretty much forever and after finally reading I have to say… what took me so long? I loved it and can’t wait to read more of this series. Read my review here on Goodreads.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I plan on sticking with my Netgalley Reading Challenge; my plan is to get my stack down to the single digits. Not sure if this is going to happen this month but I’m making it a short-term goal at the very least. My next Netgalley book is still currently up in the air but it’s more than likely going to be one of the following three.


Divider

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

January 4, 2012 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 4 Comments

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to be more active in my blog, so I’ve decided to join some of the weekly events hosted by various book blogs! 


My first new post of the year is ‘Waiting on Wednesday’ which is a weekly blog feature hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re super excited about.


There are so many awesome looking books coming out in 2012, but one that I’m most anticipating is, and one that comes out quite soon is: 

Title: I’ve Got Your Number
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: The Dial Press
Expected Release Date: February 14th, 2012


Description from Goodreads:


I’ve lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!! 

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her ‘happy ever after’ begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! 

Well, perfect except the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. 

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents… she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.


I am a huge Sophie Kinsella fan and have read everything she’s published so I was super excited to hear about this one! If you like contemporary romance novels with a bit of humor, she’s definitely worth checking out. It’s available for request on Netgalley right now too.


Add this book on Goodreads.


What are you Waiting on this Wednesday? Let me know! Feel free to leave your link in the comments section.

Divider

Book Review – Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Published by Ace on March 27th 2007
Pages: 260
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Magic Rises, Burn for Me, Magic Breaks

three-half-stars

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic…

One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…

’Magic could not be measured and explained in scientific terms, for magic grew through destroying the very natural principles that made science as people knew it possible.’

So I finally got around to reading about this ‘Kate Daniels’ I’ve heard so much about. I found the world building to be extremely choppy and confusing, but by the end it started coming together and making more sense. I won’t bother trying to explain it to you though; I would only fail miserably so instead I’ll just tell you what I thought about the book.

This story was quite a bit more gruesome than I was expecting! Quite a few eww moments. I’ll share a few with you:

’Garbage fell, revealing yellow bones and shreds of rotting oozing putrid juices.’
‘The flesh and cartilage parted before the blade and I pulled her rib cage open like a bear trap.’
‘The vamp must have been turned on its side to allow the stringy clot of its nearly atrophied intestines to fall out.’
And my personal favorite:
‘Slayer sliced through decaying tissue in a spray of putrid sluice.’

I think by now you get the picture.

The author(s) also had an interesting and original take on vampires.

’Homo sapiens immortuus, a vampire. The vampires knew no pity and no fear; they couldn’t be trained; they had no ego. On a developmental level they stood close to insects, possessing a nervous system and yet incapable of forming thoughts.’

Definitely a diversion from the norm, and like Maja stated in her review, it was not one that I particularly enjoyed as I’m quite the vampire lover (the normal vampires that is).

I loved the characters and oh how wonderful it is to find another snarky and spirited female character in the world of Urban Fantasy. Kate is my new best friend; definitely my kinda girl. Despite the fact that ‘snarky’ is slowly becoming commonplace is many novels I read these days, I must say, I’m not getting tired of it at all. Derek was also an enjoyable additional character.

“Derek, never ever tell a woman that someone is prettier than her. You’ll make an enemy for life.” “You’re funnier than she is. And you hit harder.”
“Oh, thank you. Please, continue to reinforce the fact that she’s more attractive. If you say that I have a better personality, you’ll find out how hard I can hit.”

And of course I could never forget Curran. 🙂 Rawr. I took an immediate liking to him, despite the fact that he can’t hammer for shit. 😀 I look forward to seeing what happens between the two of them. AND finding out what the hell Kate is! Ack!

I must say I was quite impressed overall and am really looking forward to continuing the series.

Divider

January is Officially Netgalley Month!

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Uncategorized 0 Comments



I have a confession to make. I… am a Netgalley addict. I’ve been quite successful as of late in reducing my Netgalley stack, except I continue to request more than I read. When I found out that Red House Books was hosting Netgalley Month in January I figured this was the exact kick in the pants I needed to get my stack reduced down to the single digits (that’s my goal at least!)


So here’s how it works… it’s fairly simply. The challenge is to read as many Netgalley books as possible from January 1st to January 31st. I’ve already gone through my stack and selected 15 (I felt that was a manageable goal) that I plan on reading in January. By my calculations that should bring my Netgalley  number down to 7. SEVEN! I haven’t been in the single digits since I joined Netgalley so I thought this would be an awesome goal to accomplish for the New Year.


Interested in joining in? Write up a post about your plans for Netgalley month and then head on over to Red House Books to sign up! Easy as pie. If you’re a Twitter user, you can use hashtag #NetGalleyMonth when you’ve finished one!

Divider

Follow Friday (2)

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Follow Friday 4 Comments

Parajunkee and Alison Can Read host ‘Follow Friday’ which helps everyone get their blog out there for others to love. If you want your blog to get more follower love, click the picture below or continue reading below to find out more about it!

Here are the general rules:
1. Follow the ‘Follow My Book Blog Friday’ Hosts.
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button and place it in a post. This post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. 
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This weeks featured question:


Q: ‘The New Year is here — and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?’


A: Considering that I’m BRAND new to the world of blogging, there are tons of things that I could revise, revamp and redo for 2012. For starters I plan on (at the very least) spending some time updating the look of my blog (and researching how to go about doing this), mix it up and post more than just my book reviews, and I want to look into getting a more professional looking layout. Am also considering teaming up with someone to make this blogging experience that much more fun. We’ll see how it goes though, there simply aren’t enough hours in a day. 🙂

Divider

Poetry Review – Love Songs by Sara Teasdale

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Poetry Review – Love Songs by Sara TeasdaleLove Songs by Sara Teasdale
Published by Kessinger Publishing on May 16th 2012 (first published 1917)
Pages: 50
Genres: Poetry
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

1928. Teasdale's work has always been characterized by its simplicity and clarity, her use of classical forms, and her passionate and romantic subject matter. In 1918, she won the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (which became the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) and the Poetry Society of America Prize for Love Songs. She later committed suicide. In addition to new poems, this book contains lyrics taken from Rivers to the Sea, Helen of Troy and Other Poems, and one or two from an earlier volume. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

Sara Teasdale wrote Love Songs in 1917 and received 3 awards for it: the Columbia University Poetry Society prize, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the annual prize of the Poetry Society of America. It’s a beautiful collection of poetry that I’m so thankful to have stumbled upon.

My absolute favorite:

“I Am Not Yours”

I am not yours, not lost in you, Not lost, although I long to be Lost as a candle lit at noon, Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still A spirit beautiful and bright, Yet I am I, who long to be Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love–put out My senses, leave me deaf and blind, Swept by the tempest of your love, A taper in a rushing wind.

Divider

Book Review – The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Raven by Edgar Allan PoeThe Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Illustrator: Ryan Price
Published by Kids Can Press on August 1st 2006 (first published 1844)
Pages: 48
Genres: Classics
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of the Macabre

five-stars

Visions in Poetry is an exciting and unique series of classic poems illustrated by outstanding contemporary artists in stunning hardcover editions. The fifth book in the series, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," delves into the hidden horrors of the human psyche. Originally published in 1845, the poem is narrated by a melancholy scholar brooding over Lenore, a woman he loved who is now lost to him. One bleak December at midnight, a raven with fiery eyes visits the scholar and perches above his chamber door. Struggling to understand the meaning of the word his winged visitant repeats -- "Nevermore!" -- the narrator descends by stages into madness. Illustrator Ryan Price's exquisitely grim illustrations suggest a background story shaped by the narrator's guilt, embodied in the terrifying figure of the raven. Price's drypoint technique, with its rich blacks and feathery lines, perfectly captures the nightmarish atmosphere of this unforgettable poem.

‘Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume
of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered,
“tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.’

I had started reading the Raven before but was never able to quite get through it. When I came across this illustrated version at my library I decided to give it another shot. The illustrated version made it so much better. The illustrations by Ryan Price are dark and gritty… much like the story of the Raven. I’ve read several illustrated books this year that have added a certain something to the already great story (A Monster Calls comes immediately to mind) and the Raven is no exception.

You can find a few more illustrations by Ryan Price from the book here but I would also recommend checking out the rest of his work here as well, although I must say I think his work in the Raven is my favorite.

Divider