Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday–Authors I Own the Most Books From

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Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From
 
1. Charlaine Harris. The Sookie Stackhouse series DOES take up 13 books.

2. Cassandra Clare. The Mortal Instruments series is 9 books and The Infernal Devices is 3.

3. Stephenie Meyer. The Twilight Saga, that one novella about Bree, and The Host are in my collection.

4. J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series at 7 books.

5. Lauren Oliver. I have the Delirium trilogy, Before I Fall, and Panic.

6. Maggie Stiefvater. Wolves of Mercy Falls, Sinner, The Raven Cycle series, and The Scorpio Races.

7. Orson Scott Card. I have all of the Ender books to read and Ender’s Shadow.

8. Rick Riordan. I own all 5 Percy Jackson novels, the Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus.

9. Madeleine L’Engle. I have all of the books of The Time Quintet beginning with A Wrinkle in Time.

10. Jennifer Armentrout. Between the Lux series all of her contemporary reads, I have like 6.

What is strange is that not all of these are even my favorite authors. I guess some series are  just longer than others!
 
 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review–Faefever (Fever #3) by Karen Marie Moning

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Faefever (Fever #3)
 
by Karen Marie Moning
 
Summary: The New York Times bestselling author of Darkfever and Bloodfever returns to Dublin’s Fae-infested shores in a bold, sensual new novel. Hurtling us into a realm of seduction and shadows, Karen Marie Moning tells the enthralling tale of a woman who explores the limits of her mysterious powers as she enters a world of ancient sorcery—and confronts an enemy more insidious than she could ever have imagined.
He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too. When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.
Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.
As All Hallows’ Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds—with devastating consequences...


Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.

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Review:

I loved Faefever. The series gets better and better with each book.

Mac’s adventure took so many twists and turns throughout the book. I have so many questions, despite getting more answers than ever in Faefever. Mac evened out a lot more in this novel. She became a lot more independent and didn’t want to rely so much on Barrons. She formed an alliance with V’lane, once he started treating her a bit better. She confided in the sidheseers and the Scottish guy who went to school with her sister. She had a lot of options to get some answers without testing Barron’s patience. She was tired of relying on other people to get her out of sticky situations. I loved this Mac. I loved watching her stay true to herself, while also balancing her need for revenge. She was finally learning how to navigate her dangerous world without needing everyone else so much.

It is difficult to review the books in this series for a few reasons. The biggest is that I am going through them so fast, I can’t remember what happened in each installment because I haven’t stopped in between each book to review. So it’s all one giant story in my head and I’m trying to sift it all out! I’m also so hooked on the books and I love the way the author writes. The way the plot unfolds and I get a million answers, but none of them seem to help and give me what I need is maddening, yet satisfying at the same time. It’s hard to put into words how clever the books are and how the writing just forces you into the story with no effort.

I love that these books are part of an adult paranormal series, but I was surprised by the fact that Mac hasn’t actually done the deed with anyone yet. It’s certainly no clean series, as the existence of V’lane has proven, but I kind of love the way the tension between Barron and Mac has been building, while her conversations with Christian are interesting and there are moments I actually like V’lane (when he’s being normal) and it’s amazing. I get the YA tension and angst I crave withtout the immaturity of age. I know Mac is super young for an adult series and naïve, but I love that this series encompasses a lot of what I love about YA without being it.

I’m hooked on this series. It’s addicting. I need answers and crave them. I’m eager for each and every encounter Mac has with anyone or anything. I’m hopelessly addicted to the books and even now, as I type, I’m itching to get my hands on the next book. I highly recommend the series. It’s been awhile since I’ve been so unable to put a book down and I LOVE this feeling.

"We see ourselves in other people's eyes. It's the nature of the human race; we are a species of reflection, hungry for it in every facet of our existence. Maybe that's why vampires seem so monstrous to us-- they cast no reflection."

5%2520star

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review–Bloodfever (Fever #2) by Karen Marie Moning

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Bloodfever (Fever #2)
 
by Karen Marie Moning
Summary:
I used to think my sister and I were just two nice southern girls who’d get married in a few years and settle down to a quiet life. Then I discovered that Alina and I descend, not from good wholesome southern stock, but from an ancient Celtic bloodline of powerful sidhe-seers, people who can see the Fae. Not only can I see the terrifying otherworldly race, but I can sense the sacred Fae relics that hold the deadliest of their magic.
When my sister was found dead in a trash-filled alley in Dublin, I came over to get answers. Now all I want is revenge. And after everything I’ve learned about myself, I know I have the power to get it….

MacKayla Lane’s ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland’s shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets.
In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh–a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of the Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V’lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.
For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.…


Source: I purchased a Kindle copy

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Review:

WOW. Bloodfever was even better than Darkfever.

Mac transformed in this novel. She was a lot more prepared for the types of things she would be faced with. She wasn’t quite the bubbly and sweet girl she was in the beginning, which happens when you are surrounded by people who help you because they need you and you can’t trust anyone. Mac had a weapon on hand and dealt with having killed, whether directly or indirectly. While she gained a lot of knowledge, she still had no idea what she was up against. Mac was changed, but I was happy to see she still managed to hold on to what made her who she was. She was just a little more bad ass, fierce, and motivated.

Bloodfever was a little more action packed, sexy, mysterious, and addicting. There was V’lane, the super sensual and deadly Fae. And Barrons, the incredibly frustrating and mysterious guy who never seemed to give Mac any answers, but definitely protected her. Both of them had answers, both wanted something from her, and both were fairly close lipped. And Mac got tangled up with other groups looking for something from her, like the sidheseers.

The author writes an incredibly addicting series. Writing a review reminds me of how much I still don’t know. So much was uncovered, but yet not enough to get a full picture of who is good, bad, or trustworthy. There’s so much I don’t know, but it wasn’t frustrating to read. The push and pull and slow trickle of real answers is written in such a way that I am satisfied and eager at the same time.
I’m drawn to all of the characters of interest, while also being suspicious of them. I want to hit Mac over the head when she discovers information and doesn’t tell Barrons. He would help you if he knew, I want to scream, but then I realize I don’t completely trust him, either. As frustrating and naïve as Mac can be, I can’t help but feel like she does the best she can. She seems more realistic to me in a way because she isn’t suddenly awesome or okay with having to kill, even when she displays those traits. She struggles with her identity and her purpose, while also being motivated by revenge and anger.

This series is amazing. I can’t stop. Read it.

“I'm sorry your pretty little world got all screwed up, but everybody's does, and you go on. It's how you go on that defines you.”


5%2520star

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review–Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning

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Darkfever (Fever #1)
 
by Karen Marie Moning
Summary:
"My name is MacKayla, Mac for short. I'm a sidhe-seer, one who sees the Fae, a fact I accepted only recently and very reluctantly.
My philosophy is pretty simple - any day nobody's trying to kill me is a good day in my book. I haven't had many good days lately. Not since the walls between Man and Fae came down. But then, there's not a sidhe-seer alive who's had a good day since then."

When MacKayla's sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac's cel phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Ma is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master a power she had no idea she possessed - a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae...
As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister's death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho...while at the same time, the ruthless V'lane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac's true mission becomes clear: to find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book - because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control both worlds in their hands...


Source: I borrowed a Kindle copy from my local library.

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Review:

Oh. My. Gosh. This series is amazing and incredibly addicting. I have had a couple of people recommend the series to me and I finally ended up looking it up on my local library’s site and saw that it was available to borrow. I could not put it down the moment I started.

I loved that the book was set in Ireland, but the main character wasn't Irish. Mac reminded me a bit of Sookie Stackhouse in that she was peppy and enjoyed sunshine and all things girl. But when push came to shove, she was fierce and protective of those she cared about. She ended up in Ireland, far away from her Georgia home, to find out what happened to her sister, Alina. Alina studied at Trinity College in Dublin, was murdered and found in an alley, and her case went nowhere fast, leaving the family with no answers.. Mac thought her case was swept aside because of her family being so far away and that her presence would make the police work harder.

Mac had no idea what kind of can of worms she was opening by going to Dublin and poking her head into the murder of her sister. By demanding answers, she drew attention to herself and discovered more about the world than she ever wanted to know. There was something awful happening in Ireland and Mac was an essential part of it. Ireland is rich with legends of the Fae and in Mac’s world, they weren’t just legends anymore. The Fae were incredibly real and dangerous.

I highly recommend the series. I could not put the first book down. My library card expired while reading the first book and I wasn’t able to borrow any more books. Instead of waiting to renew my card after the weekend, I had to keep going and bought the rest of the books. I couldn’t wait to devour more books. It’s a must read series if you like anything paranormal.


5%2520star

"...one must break with one's past to embrace one's future. It is never an easy thing to do. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics between survivors and victims. Letting go of what was, to survive what is."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review–Shadow of Night (All Souls #2) by Deborah Harkness

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Shadow of Night (All Souls #2)
 
by Deborah Harkness

Summary: IT BEGAN WITH A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.
Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.
Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.
Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...


Source: I purchased a Kindle copy

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Review:

After rereading A Discovery of Witches and loving it, I decided to take advantage of a kindle sale and pick up the sequel in preparation for The Book of Life, which was due to release this month. Shadow of Night has a gorgeous cover that has been catching my eye for months. I couldn’t wait to begin.

I should start by saying that I love the conflict in A Discovery of Witches. I love the present day conflict that Matthew and Diana were faced with. I understood the drive and desire to use Diana’s time-spinning abilities to send them to the past, but I didn’t think it was a very good decision. I also didn’t realize the ENTIRE FREAKING BOOK would be set in the past. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy Shadow of Night as much as I was hoping to.

The whole time I read Shadow of Night, I kept thinking how dumb it was for them to have tried to hide in the past. I was 100% sure the characters would somehow manage to screw up the present by doing so and I was also pretty sure that they were in over their heads. Matthew was a completely different person when he was alive in the 1500s and it was agonizing to watch him keep up appearances with his friends. To discover that he had his hands in just about every pot in that time period and was a powerful spy aggravated me because why on earth would he ever believe the two of them could safely hide in the past when just knowing him was dangerous and brought attention to people. Did they think they could hide their vampire and witch love affair any more efficiently back then? The 1500s is a time period I’m not terribly interested in. The conflicts bored me, partly because I knew they didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things other than keeping things bearable so that the two of them could get out and back to the present unscathed.

I did enjoy the part of the novel involving Matthew’s father. I enjoyed getting to know him as a character and watching Matthew and Diana prove themselves to him. It was sweet and interesting. I also enjoyed watching Diana learn more about her abilities, once she was able to find people who could help her.

While I did enjoy the way it ended and I am still invested in the story, I can’t help but be reluctant to pick up the last book. It took me what felt like forever to finish the book and I need a break. The novels are so wordy and so much happened that I felt was unnecessary in the end. I do recommend the series, but Shadow of Night was just… okay.

3%2520star

Monday, July 21, 2014

Review–A Discovery of Witches (All Souls #1) by Deborah Harkness (A ReRead)

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A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
 
by Deborah Harkness
 
Summary: A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.
Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.


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Source: I purchased a hardcover.

Review:

Sometimes it pays to reread a book. I read A Discovery of Witches back in 2011 when it first came out and, while I can’t remember why, I only rated it 3 stars. I don’t know if I expected something else when I first read it, but I remember being disappointed. The second book in the series has caught my eye in just about every place I see it. I kept telling myself I needed to reread the book and find out if it really was disappointing or if I just happened to read it when I was in the mood for something else.
As it turns out, I loved A Discovery of Witches the second time around. I could hardly remember what happened, so the story was refreshing and new to me in a way. I knew a little bit more of what to expect and I was in the mood for a good paranormal story with tons of history and connections. I feel the need to defend the book now that it has captivated me so much.
While the second half of the novel is a tad more focused on romance, it was completely clean, which is quite rare for a non YA novel. Each moment that Diane and Matthew were together, their connection grew and that connection mattered to the plot, which is also rare for any kind of paranormal romance novel. The rich history and the character’s love of that history was seen in just about every page of the book, which was awesome.

I really liked the characters. Diana was fairly wholesome, but she was also fierce and quirky. Her family was loyal and were just like I would always have imagined a witch family to be. Matthew, though a bit too… white collar.. for my taste, was a wonderful character. He was intelligent, mysterious, protective, and I could see why the two connected. Their personalities fit together nicely and they both had similar educational curiosity. Matthew’s family intrigued me. I loved hearing about his past.

I sensed a conspiracy of sorts as the novel progressed. The way the groups of supernatural beings were segregated seemed weird when none of them were really threats to each other. Why were they so against being friends with each other? I’m anxious to see how the series progresses and I can’t wait to find out more about the Congregation and how it came about. What happened to have created rules so strict?

I love how the author was so well versed in history. By having characters so excited about events, novels, and people in the past, I became excited when I read about it. I appreciated the little bits of things Diana noticed.

I know I only rated this book 3 stars the first time, but I don’t understand a lot of the negative reviews, and would say this even when I thought it was just an okay read.. I have no idea why anyone would get any Twilight vibes from the book. Just because a novel features a romance and a vampire does not mean it’s the same story. I understand that Matthew was one of those more sleek and elegant types of vampires and so was Edward, but that’s kind of a persona that vampires would be expected to have. Of course the more wild and animalistic kinds of vampires are also common, but not all vampires have to be Eric’s of True Blood, either. And why do these people who hate vampire romances keep reading vampire romances? I don’t understand. I realize that we all pick up the wrong book sometimes, but if seeing vampires in books makes you throw your hands up and claim it’s just like Twilight, I’m not sure why you read paranormal romance novels in the first place. Just saying…


A Discovery of Witches was an elegant paranormal romance with other supernatural conflict, a rich history, and beautiful writing. I definitely recommend it and I am very glad I decided to try it again. Sometimes, you just gotta be in the mood for something!

4%2520star

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review–Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

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Tell the Wolves I’m Home
 
by Carol Rifka Brunt
 
Summary: In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.
1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.
At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.
An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel,
Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.

Source: I purchased a paperback.

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Review:

Tell the Wolves I’m Home was a fantastic story about family ties, love, and growing up. While it’s not YA, it is narrated by 14 year old June shortly after her gay uncle passed away and set in the year 1987. She was very close with her uncle and had no idea how she was going to cope with his loss.
June was a weird kid, but I think that made her likeable. She had a strained relationship with her sister, Greta, which came about shortly before their teen years. Finn, June’s uncle, was also her godfather. They spent time together, shared a love of art and music, and June was afraid no one else would ever understand her after he passed. She was aware that he had AIDS, but knew little else about it, as most of the world in that time period.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home captures what it’s like to be a kid and not know the true picture of things. June wasn’t a dumb girl, but there was a lot she didn’t know about her life, mostly because of her family covering things up and hiding information. When Finn died, a strange man appeared at the funeral and everyone seemed to know who he was except June. Those kinds of things that families tend to keep from their children are the things June had no clue about. I loved watching her grow up and figure out that things aren’t always what they seem and that people aren’t always who you thought they were. I’ll never forget the moments that turned by all knowing parents into ordinary and struggling people and June definitely experiences these.

I loved the direction of the book once June met Toby. That moment made June’s perspective change and the growth of her character began rapidly.

I definitely recommend the book. It is a wonderful story that really captures love, loss, family, growing up, and identity. There was only one area I was disappointed with and that was the character of Ben because I wished for more closure with him. I really liked him, despite the fact that was only in a couple scenes. Other than that, it was a wonderful story.

4%2520star