Friday, October 19, 2018

Paid For

A hard read about a hard, unimaginable lifestyle of prostitution. Rachel Moran holds nothing back when she delves into her past as a prostituted woman in Dublin. Paid For is far more than a memoir though, it's an in depth, scholarly look at the history of prostitution, implications of working the sex trade and so much more. It's narrative non-fiction at its best and Rachel Moran has the authority and no-nonsense attitude to tackle it head on. She easily breaks down myths and rumors that surround the sex industry and pulls from research to help back up her personal experiences. I've read other prostitution memoirs and books written by sex works, but this one really got to me. It may not be an easy read, but I'd very much recommend it!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Uprooted

Naomi Novik is quickly approaching favorite author status. She writes fantasy as it's MEANT to be written. It flows right off the page and into the reader's imagination that you can't help believe or wish it all to be true. Uprooted tells the story of a young village girl who is sent to live in a sorcerer's tower for a decade. Agnieszka, never thought much beyond her village and her dangerous, yet well loved forest, so when she is chosen as tribute, it comes as a complete shock. What can he see in her?!? Well magic, that's what he sees, unbeknownst to her, there is a vein of magic running through her and with a little nourishment and training she may surpass the sorcerer himself. It's very auspicious timing really, because the wood is angry. It's been lobbying attacks for years, but now the wood is on a mission and the sorcerer can barely keep it at bay. Can Agniescka help keep the wooded monsters in check? Beautifully written, it's like a song. I adored this book and can't wait for more from this author!!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Collision

I thought this collection of macabre short stories would be very fitting for Halloween so I was very pumped to try this author out. I'll admit I wasn't a fan of every story in the collection and I thought some were much stronger than others. I was however a huge fan of the afterword following each short story, which outlined the author's inspiration for each tale. It made me appreciate the stories a little more, even if I didn't love them all. From amputees to aliens to ghostly dogs and vile, monstrous acts; this collection really is all over the place. The writing is unique, lush, and dark; very fitting for all the stories. These aren't tales with happy endings where everything gets wrapped up neatly with a bow at the end. The final and longest story, was definitely my favorite. It felt the most complete and visceral for me; and I could absolutely see it being a movie or season of American Horror Story. It was very chilling and very well written. J.S. Breukelaar is definitely an author to watch out for!

Sadie

While this one wasn't the strongest of the three books in the Amish Fairy Tale trilogy, it was still an enjoyable read. Sadie is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with an Amish twist. Sadie tries hard to be the perfect daughter and a trustworthy friend. It can be very trying though with her stepmother, whose vanity, desperate attempts to get pregnant, and moodiness are constantly trying Sadie's patience. Everything appears to be looking up though when a charming young man stumbles across Sadie singing in the woods, he starts to drive her home after youth gatherings and Sadie thinks their might be more than a friendship developing. All her hopes are dashed though when her stepmother keeps making her cook and clean for a widow with nine children. Is there something more dastardly afoot? Is she trying to marry Sadie off so she can selfishly have her father all to her self? The ending was a bit much, even for me. But I still enjoyed it. I hope there are more Amish fairy tale retellings coming!!

Clan of the Cave Bear

I enjoyed this book much more than I anticipated. I thought cave men would be a boring read, but hell, I was sucked right in. Jean M. Auel did an insanely impressive job immersing the reader into a highly complex and intricate world in which survival is not guaranteed. Ayla may not have been born into the clan tribe (she clearly looks different, she's lean, tall, and has blond hair), but she begrudgingly gets their acceptance after she is taken in as a child by the clan's medicine women. Ayla learns to communicate with them using movement, not sounds, and learns the clan hierarchy and tools for survival. It's a coming of age story set in the ice age and it is way more engrossing then I ever thought. I'm honestly tempted to continue on with the series! The ending was a bit of a shock!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Finding Her Heart

This inspirational romance begs to the question, what would happen if everything that could go wrong, did go wrong? In Allie's case, she faces one uphill battle after another. Her only constant has been her passion for art. Growing up in a small town she was more sheltered than most. Raised in seclusion by her aunt and uncle, her only friends were forest animals. Due to her Asperger's most of the kids in school made fun of her, and the fact that she had to wear overly modest, homemade clothes, didn't help her much either. When it comes time to graduate she has her heart set on art school. She uses the money she's earned from winning painting competitions to secure her first year and things finally seem to be looking up. Then her uncle dies. Despite all the obstacles being thrown at her Allie finds a way to tough it out, despite her disability and lack of money or resources. Everything would be so much easier if she had God on her side, but she doesn't know where to begin. If only she had a man to show her the way, or a parent figure. Then lo and behold, the comes a man who is set on helping her out. But is just interested in her art, or maybe in her heart? Finding her Heart contains a little bit of romance, faith, and perseverance. It is a quick inspirational read that readers will adore.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Silence of the Girls

Damn, what a read. I've been on a Greek mythology kick recently and this really helped fuel that. Told from the perspective of not a warrior or a god, but a "lowly" women (although she had been a queen), this viewpoint is much needed and most always overlooked. The female perspective of the Trojan War was a refreshing (albeit terrifying) read. Briseis is taken a prize of war and given to the might Achilles as a slave. From royalty to slave is a far fall, but he knows she still has it better than most of the women in the camp, she could be passed around from man to man, raped at will, having to sleep outside with the dogs. She is grateful that she is "higher up" but how grateful can you be, when you have to open your legs for the man who killed your husbands and brothers? A wonderful read and a refreshing new take on the Trojan War.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Sex Criminals: Fourgy

While a little more depressing and not as strong as the first three volumes, I still loved this. It's been a while since I read Sex Criminals, but I immediately got right back into it. It sucks you in! The characters, the great writing, the bizarre plot, and beautiful illustrations are just the tip of the iceberg. It's so witty and raunchy! This volume deals with Suzie and Jon trying to come to terms with their new romance and their brush with the law. Will what they have last? It's more than sex right? I can't wait for the fifth volume!

Fables: Witches

Let's get real, at this point would I give any of these installments less than 5 stars? They just keep getting consistently better and more complex. This volume didn't feature the regular staples but focuses on Bufkin, The Dark Man, and the witches. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Each layer to this series, strengthens it and makes it even more enjoyable to read.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship

A wonderful collection of Indian tales that will delight both old and young readers. Eight tales are woven together by two characters, the prince and his friend, the farmer's son. Together the two of them love to get up to mischief, but love even more to put their thinking caps on and solve riddles. Though they are young, they are wise beyond their age and they delight in holding court and helping solve some of the commoner's tricky dilemmas. It also gives them a chance to occasionally outsmart the adults and prove them wrong. Each of the eight tales comes with an AHA moment when the two young boys are able to get themselves out of a sticky situation. Gorgeously illustrated, this children's book is sure to be a big hit!

The Jell-O Girls

Beautifully written, albeit a bit meandering. This family memoir (memwah) is written by the daughter of a strong and spirited mother and grandmother. Born into the Jell-O money, they may not have wanted for material things, but their emotional and physical lives were never bettered by their family's wealthy legacy. Allie recounts her grandmother's tragic life and how it influenced her mother's and her own unconventional upbringing. Peppered throughout, is the story of Jell-O and it's deep ties with women, motherhood, and domesticity. Not exactly an uplifting read, but still an interesting one. The author then compares her tumultuous life with the girls from LeRoy (also ironically her mother's AND Jell-O's birthplace) who found their limbs inexplicably freezing up in 2012. Parallels are drawn, connecting her family history to Jell-O and the mysteriously frozen young women. It's an interesting and intense read.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One

I devoured this collection of poetry. I needed this now more than ever with the Kavanaugh circus running wild. I needed something uplifting and empowering and Amanda Lovelace delivered. If Francesca Lia Block and Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a collection of petry, this would be their lovechild. These poems talk about the struggles, the dangers, and the virtues of being a woman. It's everything the title promised and more. It made me want to go out and seize the day, attend that women's march, shut that man down, and be proud and confident. I loved it. A must read for every woman!!!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Lethal White

I won't lie. This might be my favorite out of the Cormoran Strike series so far. Once I got into it, I was INTO it. There were soo many twists, turns, clues, and red herrings; it takes a genius to map out a plot like this. I also enjoyed where their love lives are heading are heading in Lethal White; at this rate I don't know if Robin and Cormoran will ever get together but after reading this... book five should be promising. So much sexual tension!!!! The plot of this one is intriguing, it starts with a mentally deranged man barging into Strike's office blathering on about witnessing a murder as a child and suddenly it ties in with socialists, ministers, some wealthy snobs, and worst of all, Strike's ex, Charlotte. Tightly wound and filled with unforgettable (albeit, mostly unlikable) characters. I literally cannot wait for the next book. What will they solve next? Hopefully their attraction for each other!

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Pilgrim's Progress

I don't know if this is the worst book that I've ever read or if the audiobook was so atrocious that it made it into the worst thing ever. This book was a nightmare. I get it, I get it, I know it's supposed to be a Christian allegory, but listening to six hours of this (fully fucking dramatized) was hell. HELL. I wanted to bleach my ears. I couldn't handle it anymore, did Satan narrate this? This book made the Lord of the Rings trilogy look like a cake walk!! The Pilgrim's Progress was a long ass journey to heaven made by "Christian" and other people he runs into. They face all sorts of dumb shit and get into dumb trouble and make lots of dumb decisions but SOME FUCKING HOW still make it to heaven (spoiler alert). Christian loses lots of companions, walks into dumb scenarios every other page, but luckily for him, he had some faith so he made it. UGH. I hate everything. I'm glad this nightmare book is over.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Sea Prayer

This books was good but not remotely what I expected. It's soo soo small! I thought it was going to be a legit big adult novel, I mean it's Khaled Hosseini for crying out loud! Instead I got a small picture book. And don't get me wrong, it's still a good story, and the illustrations are gorgeous, BUT... it's a kids book. It could legitimately be shelved with the juvenile literature. All bitching aside, it is the heart-wrenching story of a father reminiscing to his son about how beautiful their country used to be and thinking about all the good memories they had. The father then laments that his son was too little to remember the good times, and all that he'll think of when he thinks of home is death and destruction. He promises his son that they'll get to a bigger better home, away from all the chaos of their war-torn country and then offers up a prayer to the sea to grant them safe passage. This is a chilling story and one that any refugee will relate to.

Born on the Links

This may come as a shock to some of you, but I have never picked up a golf club in my life. Ever. I am not what you would call... athletically inclined. Hell, I can barely manage bowling. Despite not playing golf and knowing virtually nothing about it, I enjoyed this book immensely. My boyfriend is an AVID golfer. Not only does he love playing eighteen in the morning, he actually wants to watch golf on TV. Now that is a true fan. I partly wanted to read this book to see what the appeal is, but realistically, I love sports books and I knew if anything could me into golf, it would be reading about it. John Williamson did a great job outlining the early history of the sport in Scotland while detailing how it changed and evolved over the years. The book really takes off however, when golfing is introduced to the United States. America helped streamline golf and slowly began to dominate the sport. It took off like wildfire and soon thousands of golf courses were sprouting up all over the country. Honestly it was all very fascinating how different players, equipment and even policies affected the game. The author didn't shy away from early controversies though involving the clash between amateurs and pros, the limitations facing women, and the racist attitude towards African Americans. The only "golf history" left out that I could tell was information about schools incorporating it and the push to get more youth involved. Other than that, this book did a great job outlining the history of American golf. The author covers the different courses, players, tournaments, and even goes play by play in some crucial matches. There are even nice appendixes at the end outlining all the winners and locations. A must buy for any golf aficionado.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Vox

This was a hard read, it made me sick to my stomach and I had to put it down multiple times. Imagine the backstory to A Handmaid's Tale, and make it worse. That's what Vox was. I think this novel was so upsetting because women's rights are currently being stepped on and reversed and even though we may not thing it's a big deal, those small liberties can have a snowball effect. Vox didn't feel very dystopian to me, it felt like a warning. Vox imagines a world where women's rights are slowly stripped away until it's too late to do anything. The religious nut jobs have taken over the government and overnight the workforce is cut in half. Women only belong in the house as caretakers and nurturers. They aren't allowed to read (except the Bible), write, or do anything without their husbands. Most upsettingly they are limited to 100 words per day. Wrist counters keep track of all the words spoken and keep them in line. Men however, have complete and utter freedom. Dr. Jean McClellan and her daughter must suffer in silence while her husband and three sons can gab and laugh and talk, what would Jean do if she had a chance to upset the balance? Would she take it? Vox is an unforgettable, compelling thrill ride that will make your stomach roll and your heart shudder. It's a nightmare that everyone should read.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Picture of Dorian Gray

I'm glad I finally got around to reading this classic and I'm a little upset that I didn't like it more. I knew the gist of the plot before I read it because of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (nerd alert) and because it exists everywhere in pop culture. But I was still completely taken aback by how much I disliked the character of Dorian Gray. He was such a vain, pompous, scumbag that could do no wrong. It does beg the question though, would he have turned out the way he had, had it not been for the influence of his two friends who unknowingly set him on this path of self-indulgence? As a young man Dorian's friend paints a wonderful portrait of him and Dorian is so saddened that this painting will always look lovely and beautiful while he is destined to grow old and decrepit. He wishes that the burden of his sins and aging would fall upon the painting instead of himself, and lo and behold they do. After every wrong deed and every passing year, the painting becomes more dastardly and evil. His morality is long since gone and he has no care for how his actions ruin those around him. How long can the painting carry the burden of Dorian's indulgent, sinful, and lately, CRIMINAL ways. Fascinating concept, but there is too damn much dialogue in this book. Still glad I got around to reading it though!

Sheets

This was a quick and charming read. Intended for middle schoolers, this graphic novel will have a wide appeal with lots of ages, especially teens and adults. Sheets deals with depression, the loss of a family member, dealing with bullies, and self esteem. It's poignant and funny, and not something readers will soon forget. Marjorie Glatt is just trying to survive middle school and to top it off she has to run her family's laundry mat while her dad deals with a deep depression after the sudden death of her mother last year. It's a lot of pressure on a young girl, who just wants to keep the family business alive. To make matters worse she has a feeling that there is a ghost who keeps coming in at night, trying to sabotage her business. Will this poor girl ever get a break?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fables: The Great Fables Crossover

What a fun crossover volume! Jack (of Jack and the Beanstack fame) has been exiled from the fables for a long, long time for his tricks and nonsense. But when he calls up Bigby and tells them about a new threat to Fables, the literals and who can rewrite the universe or destroy it, Bigby decides it's time to step in. Together they step in with a bunch of good literals: Revision, the Page sisters (badass librarian sisters), and others to try and save their lives and their universe. It's an ambitious and wonderful crossover. Rose Red is still a hot mess, Jack is up to his Shenanigans, and Bigby's temper is getting the better of him, and I loved every second of it!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Lover's Pinch

A fascinating history of sexuality, specifically that of the oft misunderstood subset of sadomasochism. For many, when they think of sadomasochism (s/m), they think of leather clad bikers, whips and chains, Bettie Page, and 50 Shades of Grey. While all of those things certainly have their place within s/m there is so much more to the history and it's fascinating to read about how it has evolved over the centuries. Broken into easily readable sections, Peter Tupper, does a remarkable job of piecing together the fragmented history of s/m all the way back to the Catholic Church, the ecstasy of the saints, the schoolboy whippings, the Marquis de Sade, all the way up to modern times and the advent of the internet. Although it is very scholarly, it is still a titillating read; and how could it not be? It's an eye opening book that not just s/m fans will enjoy. Newbies, scholars, and those well versed in BDSM will still find something new and exciting between the covers of this book ;)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Useless Magic

What a gorgeous book. I've always been a huge Florence and the Machine fan and I was delighted to read this book. It has lyrics, poetry, sketches, doodles, and photographs. It' very ethereal and beautiful. Reading her lyrics really made me appreciate how poetry-esque they really all are. Florence writes exquisitely and from her heart. Useless Magic is divided into fiver parts, one part for each album, and the final section for poetry. It's a wonderful addition to any collection, not just those entranced by her music!

Snotgirl

What a drag. The illustrations were great but I hated all the shitty vapid characters. Maybe that's the point. Maybe no one is supposed to be likable. But it's hard to care about the plot or the graphic novel when you literally can't be bothered with who is in it. A beauty blogger has horrible allergies and shitty friends and hates her stupid perfect life.... literally, that is Snotgirl in a nutshell. Do yourself a favor and avoid this trash.

The Bookshop

I adore books about books and libraries and bookshops, so I had really high hopes for this novel. Plus it's going to be a movie, it's got to be good right? Wrong. This books started out with promise. A middle aged widow decides she wants to open up a bookshop in her sleepy little coastal town. What could go wrong? Everything. The townspeople were bitches. She had one good neighbor and one good assistant (who was eleven and adorable), but pretty much everyone else set out to make sure she failed. And just wait til you get to the bloody end. Save yourself the pain of disappointment and skip over this.

The Grey Bastards

I freaking loved this!!!! It's high fantasy meets Sons of Anarchy and it couldn't be any cooler. Legit, this is one of the most unique and exciting fantasy books I've read in a while. It's gritty, raunchy, bloody, funny, and action packed. The characters are amazing, the world building is unmatched, and the plot is tightly woven together. This better be the beginning of a long series, because after a journey like this, I AM ALL IN! I want more! Jackal is a member of the Grey Bastards one of the nine hoofs who lord over the lot lands. They're barbaric half orcs and proud of it, they live in the saddle and die on the hog. Jackal has long had his sights set on the leader's seat and when the Grey Bastards weak willed leader lets some savage orcs live after an attack, Jackal is furious. He's got rampaging blood lusty centaurs, ravaging orcs, the sludge man, and some dumb ass frails (humans) to contend with before he can try for the leaders seat, but that doesn't slow his roll. He's got ladies to screw, enemies to kill, and Grey Bastards to laugh with. One hell of a book!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Left Behind

Man, this thing took FOREVER! I don't know how many books there are in the series, but I know that I won't be reading them all (and judging from how much space they take up on the shelf at the library, there is a TON). The whole premise of this series is what would happen if the rapture occurred and you were one of the millions (probably billions) left behind. Rayford Steele is piloting an aircraft when a stewardess he'd been lusting after rushes into the cockpit tells him that they're suddenly missing over 100 people. At first he thinks it's a joke but he soon realizes that all their clothes have been left behind as well. One of the passengers on the plane is an award winning, international journalist named Buck. He sets about recording everything because he knows this is the biggest story of his career, hell of his lifetime! Buck, the stewardess, the pilot, and his daughter start finding their paths crossing as they try to figure out what on earth has happened to all their loved ones and how they are going to survive what comes next. Not as bad as I thought it would be, but not great either.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Line That Held Us

Dark southern noir, this instantly reminded me of Frank Bill. It's gory, raw, and gritty. An accidental murder and the subsequent cover up of it, will bring this small Appalachian town to it's knees. The brother of the murdered man is out for blood, and he won't stop until he gets his revenge. Told through three perspectives, this gritty revenge tale isn't something you'll soon forget.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

I re-read this book roughly, every two or three years. It's magical each and every time, although I wish I could experience the joy of reading it for the first time again. This re-reading was even better than most because I got the new beautifully illustrated edition. It's stunning and the pictures add soo much to the story. Worth every penny! I sincerely hope they illustrate all seven books. Take my money already!

My Antonia

Similar to Little House on the Prairie but intended for adults, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this. I will admit I didn't read the first two books in the Great Plains trilogy, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this book and I thought it read well as a stand alone. My Antonia is am old mans recollection of a girl from his youth. For some reason he never could get Antonia out of his mind and his childhood was drastically shaped by her. Antonia was an immigrant girl several years his junior who moved to the plains the same time he did. He taught her to read and speak English and she taught him what to value in a girl. Their story gets a little more complicated as he ages and even goes through some rough patches but they always respected each other even when they moved apart and led vastly different lives. The ending though... not quite what I anticipated. Also, I'm still unsure if I liked the narrator, I have a lot of feelings about this book and I need to discuss it with my book club to suss it out ;)

Friday, August 31, 2018

A Confederacy of Dunces

GAH! I wanted to like this book but I couldn't get into the humor. Which is weird, because I love Vonnegut and this is a very similar satirical book filled with dark and bawdy humor. Ignatius, the protagonist of the novel, is a world class asshole and is soo unbelievably unlikable, which is the point, I know, but I couldn't handle it. What a buffoon, what a jerk! He's a thirty year old loser who lives with his mom and is totally useless, he expects everything and gives nothing. He can't hold down a job, he is convinced of his own grandeur, and he expects the world to bow before his greatness. He bumbles about in life and pisses EVERYONE off in the process (including me, the reader). Man, I haven't hated a book this bad in a while!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Ms. Marvel: Teenage Wasteland

I'm slowly becoming more disenchanted with this series. Am I too old? Am I just annoyed with her teenaged antics? Am I the person yelling at kids to get off my lawn? Whatever the case, this ninth installment wasn't for me. Ms. Marvel wasn't even in the firs half! She peaced out, because life was stressing her out too much and her friends tried picking up the slack by pretending to be her, but that's kind of hard to do when you don't have superpowers. Also included are some "complicated" teenaged love triangles. Overall, it was just ok.

Suicide Club

Fresh and inventive, Suicide Club was an interesting take on the quest for immortality and eternal youth. In the near future, America is on the cusp of immortality. Lifers now live to be nearly 300 years old and word is that soon, death will be eliminated. Lea Kirino has nearly perfect genes, with the right treatments, she can live far longer than most of her peers. Her first century has passed by in a blur, from a strict regimen of nutrients, supplements, and exercise, and government directives. Everything is going along swimmingly; she has her perfect job, fiance, apartment, and body. While walking to work one day she thinks she see her long lost father and crosses the street to get him. When she comes to, she realizes that she's been hit. The government has placed her on "observation" because they are convinced that she's trying to kill herself. Lea is initially furious, she wasn't trying to get into that awful club where lifers (those with great genes) find atrocious ways to kill themselves (so their bodies can't heal). But once she starts going to WeCovery and rediscovers her father, she starts to suspect that their is something her perfect life is missing. Different, dark, and beautifully written. This book will appeal to many readers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Last Time I Lied

Suspenseful with a twist I didn't see coming. Imagine a literary version of the cheesy cult classic, "Sleepaway Camp" and you get this thriller. While it starts slow and you really question the narrator's reliability, it quickly picks up steam when Emma returns to the camp that rocked her childhood and changed the course of her life forever. The camp was closed down the summer that Emma attended when the three other girls in her cabin disappeared without a trace. As an adult Emma has resorted to using art to treat her depression and doubt, and art is precisely the reason she's returned back to the camp. She's been offered a job as the art instructor for the camp and she's determined to uncover the truth of what happened that fateful summer. Where did her cabin mates go? Did she have a hand in their disappearances, however unintentionally? A great summer read!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Throne of Jade

While I enjoyed this book greatly, it didn't hold as much sway for me as the first one.Which is still fine because I still enjoyed this book greatly, sometimes i's just hard to live up to the debut. In this second book in the series Laurence and Temeraire are summoned to China. A royal escort has come to take them back to China to explain themselves to the emperor. The Chinese embassy is aghast that an imperial dragon such as Temeraire would be allowed to fight in battles and treated as if he were any other ordinary dragon. Reluctantly they head off for a six month journey. Along the way lie many dangers, and Termeraire and Laurence's relationship begins to strain a little. What will happen if Temeraire likes China better? Will they really be safe there? And will they ever be able to go back home? The sea journey was a little long for me, but there was a lot more intrigue and a lot more dragons which i appreciated.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Ghosted

Walsh, Rosie. Ghosted. 8 CDs. unabridged. 9.5 hrs. Books on Tape. 2018. 9780525631262. 

Love at first sight may sound like a cliche; but after a week of romantic bliss with a perfect stranger; Sarah becomes a believer. Sarah and Eddie have connected on every level and have fallen hopelessly in love. After seven days together, they know each other inside and out. But then suddenly, Eddie doesn't call. Not for a day. A week. Or even a month. Complete and utter silence. Sarah knows what they had wasn't just a fling and racks her brain trying to think of what could have happened. Is he injured? Has he died? Does he have a secret life? Never does it cross her mind that his feelings towards her have changed. Grief envelopes her life as her friends try to help her cope and move on. But what if there is something more to the story. What if something in her past is coming back to haunt her? How can she let go of the past if she can't let go of a man she's only known for a week? Breathtakingly narrated by Katherine Press, the narration spills forward and keeps readers enthralled as the story picks up speed. Press does a wonderful job bringing Sarah's paranoia, fear, hope, and worry to life with her skilled and accented oration. Surprising to the very end, each section of the story captures the reader in new unsuspecting ways. - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Gah! I never wanted this book to end! It was an adorable, cozy read from start to finish and I LOVED the characters and the witty writing style of Juliet. Told through a series of letters, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, tells the story of a small island off the coast of England and how the islanders survived German occupation during World War II by forming a very unconventional literary society. Juliet is an author and Londoner whose wartime editorials have just been published into a popular book. While she is being celebrated around England she starts an odd and charming pen-pal relationship with a Guernsey islander and before long, she's writing to half the island. In no time at all she's found her inspiration for her next novel, in these odd, resilient, totally bonkers islanders. Cute, heartfelt, moving, wonderful, beautiful. I cannot wait to watch the movie adaptation!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Study in Emerald

The illustrations were wonderful, but the plot was a little bizarre, even for me. It's a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu, complete with a gruesome murder mystery. A detective, too smart for his own good, makes his new roommate tag along to help solve a horrifying murder that has even left the police shaking their heads. Tinged with elements of the supernatural, and smart witticisms; this graphic novel is recommended for die-hard Gaiman fans only. 

Timeline

I couldn't put this down! As a kid I LOVED the movie, so I was stoked to actually read the book. From my memory the movie follows the book pretty well, although it's been a decade so I could be very very wrong. Timeline combine history, archaeology, and science to make this an action packed historical/ science fiction thriller. Fourteenth century France comes alive for a team of archaeologists. They had no idea that the site they were excavating could still theoretically "exist." When their team lead, the professor, goes missing, the team travels to the headquarters of a multi-billion tech corporation that has been funding their digs. Little do they realize that all their historical knowledge and expertise is about to come into play when they are transported back to France, only this time, it's 600 years earlier and the castles they have been excavating are still standing. Timeline is fast paced and fascinating, the history and science blend together to make a compelling action thriller. I definitely need to re-watch the movie now!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fables: The Dark Ages

Man, after everything was so "neatly" tied up in the last book, this one really screws with you. All the wonderful things that were accomplished came with a price. A very heavy price that none of the fables comprehended, not even Snow White or Frau Totenkinder. There is a power vacuum left behind after Gepetto is given amnesty and came to Fabletown. Not only is there a power vacuum, but many dark secrets that were hidden away were able to free themselves and they are now wreaking havoc on the homelands and in the mundy world. Shit is about to get serious. Grab some popcorn!

The Crescent Stone

An inventive new teen fantasy drama that creates a whole new realm where not everything is as it appears. Sometimes when you get an offer that is too good to be true... it is. Madeline Oliver is reaching the end of her life. Once an athletic, bubbly teenager; issues with her lungs make it hard to breathe, attend school, see her boyfriend, and soon it will be too hard to live. When a stranger approaches her and offers to cure her of her lung illness for a year of service in his world... she accepts. What she doesn't expect is that her nosy lab partner, Jason, will invite himself along for the ride. The Sunlit Lands are everything Madeline has ever dreamed of and more; it's so fantastical that she can't believe her luck. But deep down she realizes that there is a lot she and Jason aren't being told. What is the real price they must pay for their gifts? Laugh out loud funny and compelling, this teen fantasy is a hit. I can't wait for the sequel!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall

Another amazing installment in the Fables series. This one is more of a standalone that shows some of the backstories of characters. This volume is good to read before, after, or during the middle of the series; it doesn't spoil any of the series and helps flesh out some of the characters darker, more heroic, more foolhardy pasts. Each tale is illustrated by a different illustrator which helps keeps this volume fun and exciting. I loved all the stories in this collection and this is a must own for any Fables fan.

The Sapphire Widow

At times predictable, but still thoroughly enjoyable, this historical romance will intrigue and bewitch readers. The most endearing aspect of this book is it's lush setting on the island of Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), Jefferies does a wonderful job detailing the beautiful smells, views, and setting. It made me want to move there! Louisa has a happy comfortable life. Her father and her husband work in the gemstone business and she has three wonderful dogs a large house and staff. Minus being unable to conceive a child, things are perfect... that is until her husband has a fatal accident. She soon discover that he may not have been the man she thought he was. The trail of deception and lies she starts to uncover shatters her idyllic world. Filled with romance, mystery, and a little bit of adventure this is perfect for those who like quick beach reads.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Siddhartha

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I wasn't really sure what to expect, being nearly 100 years old and translated to English (as well as nearly every other language in the world), but the narration was wonderful and sucked me right in. Siddhartha tells the story of a young Indian man who has decided to reject his comfortable lifestyle to seek enlightenment. At first this journey begins with self denial to find higher fulfillment, but as Siddhartha ages so do his opinions and worldviews. His journey takes him through luxury, love, hatred, desire, denial, and acceptance. Told with wonderful prose, many consider this novel to be the finest moral allegory ever written. Only by failure, does Siddhartha find what he is looking for. Readers will find some aspect of Siddhartha's journey to relate to. “Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”

Monday, August 6, 2018

His Majesty's Dragon

Impossible to put down, this historical fantasy is inventive and entertaining from the beginning. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, aerial combat adds another dimension to battle. Dragons are bred and coveted by countries to add to their military's defenses and attacks. Britain isn't known for having the best or most exotic dragon breeds but they make do with what they have. When a British ship captures a French vessel they find a beautiful dragon egg inside Little does the British naval captain know how much his life is about to change. Overnight Captain Will Laurence will go from being a respected Navy Captain to a "lowly" Aerial Combatant. Little does he realize how much he will grow to love his new job and his dragon, Temeraire, a unique and spellbinding beauty. A wonderful book, I'm not big on dragon novels but this one is a cut above and I LOVED the main characters. I can't wait to read the rest in the series!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Along Came a Spider

UGH, time of my life I'll never get back! I'll admit this book started out promising but quickly got stale. At a certain point I didn't care who lived or died and I never felt any real affinity towards the "hero" of the story, Alex Cross. A kidnapping case quickly spirals out of control as the body count rises and the "madman" they're after seems to have some serious mental health issues (or does he?!). Alex Cross soon finds himself obsessing over the case; when he's not thinking about the case he's boning a co-worker and neglecting his two children that he leaves at home with his grandma. Reading this book did not make me ever want to read another book in the Alex Cross series. Not only was it meh, it was just a little too over the top at times or to on the nose. Pass....

Fables: War and Pieces

This installment could very well end the series with the final all out battle taking place. Rather than ending though, it's simply the ending of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. Major sacrifices were made on both sides and the losses were high, but the build up of confrontation finally comes to a head and this installment was impossible to put down. The battle plans were amazing, and Fabletown really came together with creativity and ingenuity. Wonderful! I can only imagine where the series will go from here!

Fables: The Good Prince

I adored this one! Flycatcher has always been one of my favorite Fable characters and I've been dying to get more of his back story. Flycatcher has been wallowing in misery unsure of how to go about living not knowing whether his family is alive or dead in the homelands. Deep in his heart, he knows it's not good. When Bufkin accidentally breaks the Forsworn Knight his spirit is set free and starts to guide Flycatcher. Together they sneak into the Homelands and created the strongest, purest little kingdom that is fast becoming a huge thorn in the adversary's side. Go Flycatcher go!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Bridget Jones's Baby

I liked this one much more then book three. It was funny and over the top, much the same way that the first two were. Even though this is the fourth book in the series, it's technically between books two and three. Bridget Jones had been engaged the wonderful Mr. Darcy, but after a misunderstanding it was called off and Darcy remarried. It's been five years since she last saw her ex-fiance but a baby christening throws them together. Shortly after their "encounter" Bridget has a nightly visit at her ol' pal Daniels house. When she discovers she's pregnant a few weeks later she knows she is in trouble. Who on earth is the father? Filled with hilarity, this is a laugh out loud read. Now I need to see the movie!

Fables: Sons of Empire

Another amazing installment. After Bigby's blow to the Adversary, things go momentarily quiet. But really it's just the calm before the storm. Will this be all out war? Fabletown has been playing it smart but was Bigby's attack going too far? I also enjoyed the little side story about Snow White, Bigby, and the kids going back to the homelands to visit Bigby's estranged father as well as the short vignette's about reader's questions. Great fun!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Lost Boy

Jon isn't your typical runaway. When he flees Unity he leaves behind a polygamous community, the only home he's ever known. The past couple of years Jon found himself questioning a lot of the beliefs and morals favored in his community and when he was caught kissing a girl he decided enough was enough. Although he begged Celeste to come with him he knew she wouldn't budge, she couldn't bear to leave her family behind, even if it meant she would be married off to an older man. Jon soon discovers that the easiest part is escaping, the hardest part is living. He is taken in by Abigail, a kind older women who has been known to take in all the Unity refugees. He rules are strict, everyone must help out around the house, attend school, and get a job which is easier said then done. Jon is at a serious disadvantage, he hasn't attended classes in years and is woefully behind his peers. Will Jon have what it takes to persevere or will he just give up? A good book that shows the reality of escaping a hard situation.