Stacking the Shelves (180)

January 7, 2018 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 4 Comments

Recent Posts

New Books

For Review

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Purchased

On the Edge (The Edge #1) by Ilona Andrews

From Audible
The Terror by Dan Simmons
The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack
Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

And my last used book haul from 2017. 🙂

(From top to bottom)

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (Rokesbys #2) by Julia Quinn
Lady of Conquest (Brides of Legend #2) by Teresa Medeiros
A Kiss to Remember (Once Upon a Time #3) by Teresa Medeiros
Sister by Rosamund Lupton
I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies) by Laurie Notaro
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America by Bill Bryson
Vienna Waltz Teresa Grant
Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
Peter & Max (Fables Peter & Max) by Bill Willingham
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Martin H. Greenberg
The Returned (The Returned #1) by Jason Mott
Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

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Early Review – Unearthed (Unearthed #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

January 6, 2018 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2018, YA 7 Comments

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

Early Review – Unearthed (Unearthed #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerUnearthed by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Unearthed #1
on January 9th 2018
Pages: 336
Genres: Sci-fi
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Illuminae, Hunted

three-stars

When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Mia and Jules' different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race's secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...

“The worthy will rise into the stars . . .”

In a time when resources on Earth are limited, power grids are failing, and families are only allowed to have a single child, the discovery of an extinct alien race possessing the technology to make life a little less uncomplicated is a shining beacon of hope. Of course, traveling to a different galaxy to a planet named Gaia is the only requirement. Amelia Radcliffe is a scavenger, on Gaia illegally with the intent to obtain as much tech as she can to not only buy herself a ticket off the planet but to also buy her sister back from the servitude contract she’s locked in. Jules Addison is a scholar and is on Gaia with the hopes of decoding more of the alien language. His father, Dr. Elliott Addison, was the first to decode the message received from the alien race, and the first to realize that while their technology may benefit life on Earth, it may not be for the best in the long term. Jules seeks to find evidence that his father was right and to find out what dangers lie with the technology left by this race of mysterious beings. The two end up teaming up to work their way through the alien temple in hopes of uncovering a solution to both of their issues.

First things first, I read very little YA these days but there was something extremely fun about this book that I enjoyed right off the bat. I found positive and negative aspects both in this story but I felt they balanced each other out, still making this an entertaining tale. It was very Mission to Mars (2000) meets Indiana Jones and while there was a budding romance that built up quickly, it never overtook the plot like some YA romances tend to do. I honestly didn’t buy how quickly they reached the point that they do by the end of the novel, but for some reason, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment as a whole. The characterization was nicely balanced with snarky, badass Amelia and prim and proper Jules, although at times it was hard to differentiate between the two because each would tell the story from their point of view in alternating chapters. The inclusion of puzzles as the duo worked their way through the alien temple was a ton of fun, although it was often vaguely written and hard to visualize exactly what they were dealing with. There was a lot of internal dialogue that I felt could have been cut out a lot, resulting in more actual conversation, and towards the end, I felt like stuff started getting to be a bit repetitive and/or drawn out for no particular reason leading to that inevitable cliffhanger. My overall enjoyment certainly lessened by the time I finished but the cliffhanger ending was incredibly curious without that predictable reveal of “I knew that’s what was happening” sort of reveal.

Despite this being yet another typical “teenagers save the world” sort of story, this puzzle of a plot is enough to get a reader invested into sticking around for the second part of this novel that won’t be released until 2019.

related-reads-blue

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1) by Sylvain Neuvel [Review]
Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach [Review]
Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

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Book Review – I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron

January 5, 2018 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2018 0 Comments

Book Review – I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora EphronI Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron
Published by Knopf on November 9th 2010
Pages: 137
Genres: Non-Fiction, Funny-ha-ha, Memoir
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Heartburn

four-stars

Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten.

Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Love Story”) and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life (“The D Word”); lists “Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again” (“There is no explaining the stock market but people try”; “You can never know the truth of anyone’s marriage, including your own”; “Cary Grant was Jewish”; “Men cheat”); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box (“The Six Stages of E-Mail”); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking . . . but rarely acknowledging.

Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true—and could have come only from Nora Ephron—I Remember Nothing is pure joy.

“On some level, my life has been wasted on me. After all, if I can’t remember it, who can? The past is slipping away and the present is a constant affront.”

I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections, Ephron’s last essay collection published before her death in 2012, touches on the tragedy of aging and is probably not something that I could fully appreciate only being in my 30s (but I still loved it). She discusses becoming forgetful, about physical changes, but she touches on stories from her life that she has managed to remember in vibrant detail. She also includes several recipes, in particular, one for ricotta pancakes in an essay about Teflon (which is far more riveting than it sounds at first glance.) She bemoans the discovery of the hazards of Teflon since her ricotta pancakes never come out quite the same in any other pan and in the recipe, instructs you to heat up a Teflon pan until carcinogenic gas is released into the air. I will always adore her wit though and her random stories that may seem inconsequential but are just anecdotes into the life of a pretty extraordinary sounding woman. Reading her discussion on the personal tragedy that led to her only fiction novel, Heartburn, was emotional.

“I mention all this so you will understand that this is part of the process: once you find out he’s cheated on you, you have to keep finding it out, over and over and over again, until you’ve degraded yourself so completely that there’s nothing left to do but walk out.”

You can tell when she writes that it’s old news, but it’s still something that managed to transform her into who she is today, leaving that unseen yet indelible impression.

“People always say that once it goes away, you forget the pain. It’s a cliché of childbirth: you forget the pain. I don’t happen to agree. I remember the pain. What you really forget is love.”

It will be a sad day when I no longer have any new Nora to read. The Most of Nora Ephron will be my last so I’m saving that one for a rainy day.

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Monthly Rundown: December 2017

January 4, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 4 Comments

Books Read = 11

I consider this a raging success considering I worked 65 hour weeks the entire month. I posted a TON of reviews because I had a bit of a backlog going and I was determined not to enter the year with those still hanging over me. I usually do book cover collages for these posts but fuck that, there’s too many. 😂

Posted Reviews

Other Reads

Unreviewed:

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Best of the Month: How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper ★★★★★
I read and loved This is Where I Leave You but I had yet to pick up anything else by this author. I ended up reading two this month. I constantly love the dark humor and sarcastic nature of his characters and can’t wait to pick up the rest of his stuff.

Least Favorite: Getting Rid Of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie ★★33734
I signed up for the Audible Romance Package and was running out of ideas so decided to try some old Crusie stories. I absolutely adored Agnes and the Hitman but I have honestly yet to find anything else of hers that I love… I’ve read three others and they’ve all been meh. Bet Me is next and I’ve been told it’s a good one.

Biggest Surprise: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★½
I read an ARC of Forever, Interrupted way back in 2013 and it managed to rub me the wrong way so badly that I wasn’t even super willing to give the author another shot. Thanks to the Audible Romance Package, I decided to chance it. I listened to three of hers this month and while one was meh, the other two were enough to have me forgetting our rough start.

Biggest Disappointment: Opposite House: Poems by Claudia Emerson ★★★
I’m not huge on poetry, but I’m always willing to give it a shot. Late Wife totally changed poetry for me and I wanted anything and everything of Emerson’s, although her works are a bit hard to find. I purchased a copy of this one and it was nothing like Late Wife. Still beautiful, but not nearly what I was hoping for.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe

January 3, 2018 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 3 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Barbed Wire Heart by Tess SharpeBarbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe
Published by Grand Central Publishing on March 6th 2018
Pages: 416
Genres: Southern Gothic/Country Noir
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Barbed Wire Heart

Never cut the drugs--leave them pure.Guns are meant to be shot--keep them loaded.Family is everything--betray them and die.

Harley McKenna is the only child of North County's biggest criminal. Duke McKenna's run more guns, cooked more meth, and killed more men than anyone around. Harley's been working for him since she was sixteen--collecting debts, sweet-talking her way out of trouble, and dreading the day he'd deem her ready to rule the rural drug empire he's built.

Her time's run out. The Springfields, her family's biggest rivals, are moving in. Years ago, they were responsible for her mother's death, and now they're coming for Duke's only weak spot: his daughter.

With a bloody turf war threatening to consume North County, Harley is forced to confront the truth: that her father's violent world will destroy her. Duke's raised her to be deadly--he never counted on her being disloyal. But if Harley wants to survive and protect the people she loves, she's got to take out Duke's operation and the Springfields.

Blowing up meth labs is dangerous business, and getting caught will be the end of her, but Harley has one advantage: She is her father's daughter. And McKennas always win.

About Tess Sharpe

Born in a mountain cabin to a punk-rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural northern California. Living deep in the backwoods with a pack of dogs and a herd of formerly feral cats, she is the author of Barbed Wire Heart and the critically acclaimed YA novel Far From You.


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What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Best New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2017

January 2, 2018 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 1 Comment

I don’t branch out as much as I would like when it comes to new authors. Some of these ten are well-loved authors, a few debuts, and a fan-fic. Yes, that counts. Don’t agree? I will fight you. Anyways, in looking back on my reading year, I didn’t have the best year. But these ten were definite highlights and are in no particular order.

The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy
Isolation by Bex-Chan
Lightwood by Steph Post
Late Wife by Claudia Emerson
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1) by Julia Quinn

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of January 1st, 2018

January 1, 2018 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 1 Comment

Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult, and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of January 1st, 2018

The True Queen (The Impostor Queen #3) by Sarah Fine [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely & James Patterson [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by jimmy patterson

Ink (The Skin Books #1) by Alice Broadway [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Scholastic Press

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) by Marie Lu [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books

The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Feiwel & Friends

Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyrie #1) by Amanda Hocking [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Wednesday Books

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire

Everless (Untitled #1) by Sara Holland [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by HarperTeen

Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books

Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by HarperTeen

Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Harlequin Teen

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Simon Pulse

Busted by Gina Ciocca [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Green by Sam Graham-Felsen [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Random House

Chainbreaker (Timekeeper #2) by Tara Sim [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Sky Pony Press

Runaways: An Original Novel by Christopher Golden [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Marvel Press

Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Entangled: Teen

A Sky Full of Stars (Rose Lee Carter #2) by Linda Williams Jackson [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Flower Moon by Gina Linko [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Sky Pony Press

Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Shadow Weaver (Shadow Weaver #1) by MarcyKate Connolly [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Winterhouse (Winterhouse #1) by Ben Guterson [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Henry Holt & Company

Snow Lane by Josephine Angelini [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Feiwel & Friends

Warrior Genius (Geniuses #2) by Michael Dante DiMartino [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Roaring Brook Press

Fairy Mom and Me by Sophie Kinsella [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Delacorte Press

Saga, Vol. 8 (Saga #8) by Brian K. Vaughan [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Image Comics

Fallen Gods (The Tides Of War #2) by James A. Moore [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Angry Robot

The Queen of All Crows (The Map of Unknown Things #1) by Rod Duncan [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Angry Robot

Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Apex Book Company

Robicheaux (Dave Robicheaux #21) by James Lee Burke [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Simon Schuster

Beneath the Mountain by Luca D’Andrea [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Harper Paperbacks

Darkness, Sing Me a Song (Holland Taylor #4) by David Housewright [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Minotaur Books

The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Scribner

Don’t Look For Me (Carter Blake #4) by Mason Cross [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Pegasus Books

The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Mysterious Press

A Map of the Dark (Agent Elsa Myers #1) by Karen Ellis [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Mulholland Books

The Devil’s Song by Lauren Stahl [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Kaylie Jones Books

Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway #1) by Jennifer Ashley [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Berkley Books

Murder Has a Motive (Mordecai Tremaine Mystery #2) by Francis Duncan [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Sourcebooks Landmark

In the Shadow of Agatha Christie: Classic Crime Fiction by Forgotten Female Authors: 1850-1917 by Leslie S. Klinger [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Pegasus Books

Scones and Scoundrels (Highland Bookshop Mystery #2) by Molly MacRae [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Pegasus Books

Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Pegasus Books

Red Sky at Noon by Simon Sebag Montefiore [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Pegasus Books

The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Pegasus Books

The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Pegasus Books

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Random House

A State of Freedom: A Novel by Neel Mukherjee [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by W. W. Norton Company

The Art of Mystery: The Search for Questions by Maud Casey [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Graywolf Press

Mouths Don’t Speak by Katia D. Ulysse [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Akashic Books

The Spring Girls: A Modern-Day Retelling of Little Women by Anna Todd [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Gallery Books

Every Dog Has His Day (Bluff Point #3) by Jenn McKinlay [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by Berkley Books

The Rogue Is Back in Town (The Wayward Wallflowers #3) by Anna Bennett [Purchase]
Expected publication: January 2nd 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

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Life’s Too Short – Made for Love, A Plague of Giants, Shadowless

December 30, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Life's Too Short 2 Comments

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

Life’s Too Short – Made for Love, A Plague of Giants, ShadowlessMade for Love by Alissa Nutting
Published by Ecco on July 4th 2017
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Tampa

dnf

Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his extremely lifelike sex doll—as her roommates. Life with Hazel’s father is strained at best, but her only alternative seems even bleaker. She’s just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO and founder of Gogol Industries, a monolithic corporation hell-bent on making its products and technologies indispensable in daily life. For over a decade, Hazel put up with being veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. But when he demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decides what was once merely irritating has become unbearable. The world she escapes into is a far cry from the dry and clinical bubble she’s been living in, a world populated with a whole host of deviant oddballs.

As Hazel tries to carve out a new life for herself in this uncharted territory, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. His threats become more and more sinister, and Hazel is forced to take drastic measures in order to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all.

DNF @ 40%

I knew from having read Tampa that Nutting could come up with some bizarre shit of a storyline that I’d still relish in reading. But I have come to realize with this novel that even I have limits. Made for Love felt like some bizarro Black Mirror parody sort of world where Hazel leaves her husband Byron who wants to implant a mind-meld chip into her brain. We’re given a flashback to how they met and it was all such a hilarious spoof on Fifty Shades of Grey and I was completely on board. Even the terribly awkward (but extremely comical) return home to her father where she finds him residing with a real-life sex-doll named Diane. Bizarre, yes. But I was still fully on board. I’m apparently cool with strange science fiction storylines and sex-dolls but I draw the line with strange men attracted to dolphins. Yeah, you read that right. After several chapters of Hazel and her father (and we mustn’t forget Diane), we’re thrown for a loop when we’re introduced to Jasper who, after conning his latest girlfriend into giving him all her money and bailing, experiences a random dolphin attack and finds himself only attracted to dolphins. And describes this attraction in explicit detail. I may never look at a dolphin the same.

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

Life’s Too Short – Made for Love, A Plague of Giants, ShadowlessA Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Series: Seven Kennings #1
Published by Del Rey Books on October 17th 2017
Pages: 618
Genres: Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Hounded, Hammered

dnf

In the start of a compelling new series, the New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles creates an unforgettable fantasy world of warring giants and elemental magic.

In the city of Pelemyn, Fintan the bard takes to the stage to tell what really happened the night the giants came . . .

From the east came the Bone Giants, from the south, the fire-wielding Hathrim - an invasion that sparked war across the six nations of Teldwen. The kingdom's only hope is the discovery of a new form of magic that calls the world's wondrous beasts to fight by the side of humankind.

DNF @ 30%

I really loved the first few installments of Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles but I called it quits after book four. The humor was still there, the great characters, but it started to feel very repetitive. I heard about a brand new series coming from him and was so ready for a fresh new story. And one about a fantasy world with giants and magic? Oh man, I’m so disappointed this wasn’t all I had hoped it to be. The opening was extremely promising, where a bard with magical abilities begins to tell the story of the Bone Giants. He’s able to take on the appearance and voice of individuals so most of the first chapters were voiced by a different individual with a different perspective of things ongoing. Around the time when Hearne attempts to merge their storylines together was when he lost me. There were too many characters with obscure names, too many points of view, and too much to keep track off right from the beginning to keep me invested.

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

Life’s Too Short – Made for Love, A Plague of Giants, ShadowlessShadowless by Hasan Ali Toptaş
Published by Bloomsbury on October 17th 2017
Pages: 320
Genres: Literary Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Goodreads


dnf

Hasan Ali Toptaş, "the Turkish Kafka", playfully challenges ideas of identity and memory in this surprising and beguiling novel.

In an Anatolian village forgotten by both God and the government, the muhtar has been elected leader for the sixteenth successive year. When he drunkenly staggers to bed that night, the village is prospering. But when he awakes to discover that Nuri, the barber, has disappeared in the dead of night, the community begins to fracture. In a nameless town far, far away, Nuri walks into a barbershop, not knowing how he has arrived. Blurring the lines of reality to terrific effect, this novel is both a compelling mystery and an enduring evocation of displacement.

DNF @ 15%

I typically stick with a pretty concrete set of genres because literary fiction and I so rarely get along. Sometimes I really try to push myself out of my comfort zone, hoping to find some diamond in the rough that will inevitably encourage me to venture outside that zone more often. This is one of those out of my comfort zone picks. Unfortunately, this is not encouraging me to pick up more literary fiction but instead to stay securely comfortable in the genres that I consistently love.

I never quite understood what was going on because it was this strange blend of literary fiction and magical realism, except I guess it’s supposed to be real but honestly, I don’t even know. I’m sure there is some beauty to a story such as this but when “his ears grew larger than soup ladles”, the broom suddenly had a voice, walls shivered at his touch, and his hair grew back immediately after being cut I just knew this was unfortunately not the book for me.

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Rapid Fire Reviews – Artemis, Ink and Bone, Into the Drowning Deep, The Hazel Wood

December 29, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Rapid Fire Reviews, Read in 2017, YA 4 Comments

Sometimes review writing is hard. Sometimes you don’t have a lot to say. Sometimes you’re just lazy as fuck. These are Rapid Fire Reviews.

Artemis by Andy Weir
Narrator: Rosario Dawson
Published by Audible on November 14th 2017
Length: 8 hours and 59 minutes
Genres: Sci-fi
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Short Summary: Jazz Bashara is a full-time resident (and smuggler) of Artemis, the only city on the moon, but when she’s offered a sum of money that would solve all of her problems she accepts, the only problem is this job is completely out of her comfort zone and causes her more problems than she had before.

Thoughts: This story wouldn’t have been nearly as fantastic if it wasn’t narrated by Rosario Dawson who transformed this oftentimes comical heist on the moon into an actual performance.

Verdict: I loved The Martian and I loved Artemis so Andy Weir can just keep those entertaining Sci-Fi stories coming.

four-stars

Rapid Fire Reviews – Artemis, Ink and Bone, Into the Drowning Deep, The Hazel Wood

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Published by Berkley on April 5th 2016
Pages: 374
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Blogging for Books
Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Short Summary: In an alternate universe where books are illegal to the public and the Library of Alexandria is still standing, a group of individuals train to enter into the service of the Library and realize that corruption reigns supreme from within.

Thoughts: Caine has created a fascinating alternate universe with hints of steampunk and while there seemed to be a little too much going on at times it was a captivating story with a full cast of characters and ends with a cliffhanger that leaves you no option but to continue.

Verdict: An intriguing first installment that gets the mild info-dumping necessary with any fantasy world out of the way in hopeful anticipation of a solid follow-up in Paper and Fire.

three-half-stars

Rapid Fire Reviews – Artemis, Ink and Bone, Into the Drowning Deep, The Hazel Wood

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Series: Rolling in the Deep #1
Published by Orbit on November 14th 2017
Pages: 440
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: the Publisher
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Short Summary: Everyone was presumed dead after the Atargatis was lost at sea, but a new crew is being assembled to go back to the Mariana Trench to search for the existence of mermaids, this time presumably taking better precautions.

Thoughts: Grant was a bit excessive with her use of prose and her oftentimes exhaustive detailing of characters; however, her much apparent research into marine biology was incredibly informative and the gory horror was a definite thrill.

Verdict: A good one for campy horror fans and science nerds alike, but there’s no denying this story is drowning in an unnecessary amount of pages.

three-stars

Rapid Fire Reviews – Artemis, Ink and Bone, Into the Drowning Deep, The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Published by Flatiron Books on January 30th 2018
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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Short Summary: Alice and her mother have spent their lives on the road, trying to evade Alice’s grandmother and the bad luck that shadows their every step, but when her mother is kidnapped and taken to the Hinterland (a supernatural world that her grandmother created in her fairy tales) Alice is forced to confront the fact that these fairy tales might be real.

Thoughts: The blend of dark fantasy/fairy tales in a contemporary world was so fascinating and Alice’s character is incredibly likable; however, the mystery (and the story itself) unraveled a bit at the end and wasn’t as coherent a closure as I would have liked.

Verdict: Interesting fairy tale world, solid opening, mediocre ending: still definitely worth a read.

three-stars

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Rapid Fire Reviews – Lightwood, The Weight of This World, Wildfire, The Rules of Magic

December 28, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Rapid Fire Reviews, Read in 2017 7 Comments

Sometimes review writing is hard. Sometimes you don’t have a lot to say. Sometimes you’re just lazy as fuck. These are Rapid Fire Reviews.

Rapid Fire Reviews – Lightwood, The Weight of This World, Wildfire, The Rules of MagicLightwood by Steph Post
Published by Polis Books on January 24th 2017
Pages: 336
Genres: Southern Gothic/Country Noir
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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Short Summary: When Judah Cannon is released from prison and returns to his hometown of Silas, Florida, he finds himself swiftly wrapped up in the troublesome workings of his family once again except this time may not result in prison, but death.

Thoughts: Steph Post has written a riveting noir-style story about revenge and betrayal that switches up the typical Appalachian setting of most Southern Gothic novels and gives us a peek at the dynamic and dangerous world of Florida scrub country.

Verdict: Daniel Woodrell, Donald Ray Pollock, and Cormac McCarthy are all big names of the often lurid genre but Steph Post proves with Lightwood that her name is just as deserving to be listed amongst them.

four-stars

Rapid Fire Reviews – Lightwood, The Weight of This World, Wildfire, The Rules of MagicThe Weight of This World by David Joy
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on March 7th 2017
Pages: 260
Genres: Southern Gothic/Country Noir
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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Short Summary: Aiden McCall and Thad Broom have been best friends since they were children, both trapped by the imaginary confines of their hometown even after a huge amount of money ends up in their possession after witnessing the violent death of their drug dealer.

Thoughts: Joy’s graceful prose is all the more evident when its backdrop is a brutal tale but the two pair perfectly by focusing on the powerful loyalty between two lifelong friends.

Verdict: There’s no sophomore slump to be had here; The Weight of the World is just as fantastic as Where All Light Tends to Go which makes the wait for The Line That Held Us all the more interminable.

four-stars

Waiting on Wednesday – Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona AndrewsWildfire by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Published by Avon on July 25th 2017
Pages: 400
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Short Summary: Life is never quiet for Nevada Baylor who realizes she’s in love with Mad Rogan, has to contend with being hired for a job by his beautiful ex, but she’s also dealing with her evil grandmother trying to kidnap her solely because of the power she possessed.

Thoughts: The intricate world-building, passionate romance, and overall excitement of this series continue in this installment that just might not be the last in the trilogy as first presumed.

Verdict: This is the 19th Ilona Andrews story so clearly I’m a bit of a fangirl; however, it never ceases to amaze me the originality of their stories and how I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of them.

four-stars

Rapid Fire Reviews – Lightwood, The Weight of This World, Wildfire, The Rules of MagicThe Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Series: Practical Magic #2
Published by Simon & Schuster on October 10th 2017
Pages: 384
Genres: Historical FictionMagical Realism
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Short Summary: In Practical Magic we learn about the Owens sisters in the present day and in this unexpected prequel, we learn about their ancestors and the curse on the family that dates back to the early 1600s.

Thoughts: The Rules of Magic is an enchanting story that flows softly, never with any sense of urgency or climax, but delineates on a family that we never quite knew we wanted (or needed) to know more of until this was released.

Verdict: I was worried that this prequel (released twenty-two years after Practical Magic would feel stale and wouldn’t possess the same magic as its predecessor: I was wrong.

four-stars

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