Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books of 2014, and Top 10 Books I wanted to read but didn't get to.

I saw this tag on Marie's Book Blog and it looks like a lot of fun. The lists are not in a particular order. 

1. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

 I am beyond eager to read Firefight and hopefully it is as much a page turner as Steelheart is.

2. The Giver by Lois Lowry
While not my first time reading The Giver this is the first year I have read the whole series. Still one of my favorite books to this day. 

3. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Another Sanderson book, I am a huge fan of Mr. Sanderson and I love how he writes a variety of different types of stories. 

4. Howl's Moving Castle by

Top 10 books I wanted to read this year but didn't, this is the harder of the two lists since several books I wanted to read but could not afford to buy, the library has a huge waiting list, or not enough time in the day to read as much as I desire to.

1. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

I really want to read Mr. Sanderson's debut book but I was unable to get a copy of the book this year.

2. City of Bones by

I read a sample and while it intrigued me it did not really pull me however I keep thinking about it in the back of my mind and I want to know more of the story now.

5. The Book of Deacon by

Monday, December 22, 2014

Firefly Lane - Firefly Lane #1

I had no clue that Firefly Lane was as series when I started it and I despite the book being amazing I have no desire to read the sequel.

So many times I wanted to throw the book through the window or in the trash, I could relate to Tully and her issues with her mother more then I like to admit. That was the only redeeming quality I found in Tully she drove me crazy and I have no clue why Katie continued to be friends with her. Self-center, petty, rude, and brash are just a few words to describe Tully. If not for Katie most likely Tully's life would have turned out very different.

Katie was the light of hope in Tully's life and despite being treated horribly she kept going back to Tully like she needed her to be noticed. It was sad to see how dependent upon Tully she could be. While smart and dedicated Katie was a total follower and let Tully rule her life.

The whole story centers on the relationship between the two girls and everything else is on the back burner. While a longer book I did not really notice it as being a heavy read, I just seemed to fly through it but now that I am done I cannot really put into words why I enjoyed reading it.

Kristin Hannah is an amazing author, some of the best writing I have read recently. It just flowed so smoothly and evenly, I only noticed one typo. All in all an alright read that is very different from what I normally go for.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Carol Book Tag

I saw this on Marie's Blog and it looked like fun.

"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
A Character that You Love to Hate:
Such a tough choice since I have a love hate relationship with several characters. I have to go with James Rampling from Confessions: The Paris Mysteries. I never trusted James from the start and his true colors show through in Confessions: The Paris Mysteries.

"All I Want for Christmas is You" 
What Book You Most Want to See Under Your Christmas Tree:
Harry Potter: The Creature Vault: The Creatures and Plants of the Harry Potter Films has some awesome looking pictures in it. I could see myself spending hours just looking at the pictures. 

"Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer"
Favorite Character Who Had to Overcome an Obstacle:
This one is hard for me since I am in the middle of reading a lot of series and while several characters show promise I wont be sure until I finish the series. That is why I am going with Charles Fitzgerald from The Black Sheep's Redemption. Having to deal with the trauma of his wife leaving him, PTS from his time in Afghanistan, and watching his family being accused of covering up the murder of his nanny to keep him out of prison gives Charles plenty to overcome. 
"Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
A Character at the Top of Santa's Nice List and a Character at the Top of Santa's Naughty List:
Top of Santa's nice list has got to be Owen Palmer from Enchanted Inc. Owen seriously wrote the book on going out of ones way to do the right thing and be a nice guy while doing it. 

Top of Santa's naught list A.D. Janson from the The Maze Runner trilogy. I seriously wanted to sock Janson more time then I can count. 

"Frosty the Snowman"
A Book that Melts Your Heart:
Takes a lot for a book to get to me but Vain had me in tears several times. 
"Feliz Navidad"
A Book or Series that Takes Place in a Country Other Than Your Own:
Austenland  was mainly set in Europe. A little bit in the US but I did not read too many books set in other countries this year. 

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
A Book You Read to Get in the Christmas Spirit:
I know it is cliche but A Christmas Carol always gets me in the Christmas spirit. 
"Sleigh Ride"
A Character You Most Want to Spend Christmas With:

Ethan from Glimmerglass, while he may be a player he still knows how to have fun and he can do magic. Ensuring I have a white Christmas.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"
A Book You Hate So Much that You'd Burn it to Stay Warm:
Well I am not usually one for burning books but I will make an exception for Dante's Kiss. It was beyond horrible in every way. I think my brain cells died while trying to read it, only good thing was I did not pay money for the it. It is an insult to literature in my opinion.
"Do You Hear What I Hear?"
A Book You'd Recommend to Everyone:
Another hard one but I am going with Steelheart. Superheros are crazy popular right now and Steelheart twists that around into something new and fresh. It is an interesting taking on the whole save the world thing. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Much Ado About Magic - Enchanted Inc. #5

Just a warning this review could contain spoilers.

Much Ado About Magic started off a bit slower then I am used to and I had to really push myself to keep reading. I am glad I did. Once I got past the first few chapters things really picked up and got interesting.

Katie was once again amazing. Not only did she keep a level head but she was able to deduce what was going on magically without any assistance from the colleagues she usually relied on. While magical mayham is a huge part of Katie's life she usually just notices it and leaves her colleagues to deal with it. Things did not work out that way this time, Katie had to figure out the magic and way to counter it since no one believed her on what was going on. 

Owen did not disappoint. In a lot of ways Much Ado About Magic was his story. One thing I loved was even though Owen was going through some tough times he did not give in nor did he change from his usual personality. This did leave some things predictable but it also made things believable. I just wanted to hug Owen for most of the book and I have serious respect for his desire to do the right thing no matter the price.

Considering the ending left me in anguish I definitely want to read the next book.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tis the Season Book Tag

I saw this tag on Marie's book blog and it looked like fun.

1. Do you have a favorite winter read? 

A Game of Thrones, I got the book for Christmas and I seem to read it every time winter rolls around. 

2. Find a book with blue on the cover!

A Crown of Swords!

3. Find a book you'd use as the star on a Christmas Tree! 

Hmm this one is a bit hard since I like several covers but I am going for a more traditional one.
 Home in Time for Christmas  has a wonderful balance of color and looks magical.

4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter vacation!

This is hard since I like snow but all the places I know of that have snow I would not want to visit. I guess I will go with Luster so I can hang out with an array of magical creatures.

5. Pick one fictional character you would like with you on your winter break!

 Owen Palmer from Enchanted Inc, no doubt he could use his magic to make it snow, he is a gentlemen, and intelligent. 

6. Name one book on your wish list this year!

This is so hard since almost all the books I was eying got pushed back to next year.

 The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is more like an encyclopedia but it still looks interesting.

7. Favorite holiday drink, treat, and movie?

Peppermint hot chocolate, homemade sugar cookies, and while I love a lot of holiday movies Borrowed Hearts is one of my all time favorites. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Cinderella Murders

I have been craving a good mystery for awhile and The Cinderella Murders did not disappoint.

Kelly is one heck of a character, upon her return from a work related trip to Europe she learns her younger sister never came back from her vacation. Determined to find out why Kelly goes looking for Meg and ends up playing part of a deadly game. The police want nothing to do with Kelly and insist that Meg ran off with a prince charming thus keeping the reputation of their small tourist town pristine. Kelly knows better and starts investigating Meg's disappearance on her own.

Luke was an intense character and at times I could not figure out his angle but it worked to his advantage. Well written Luke never struck me as the unbelievable type of guy. He is an officer of the law and wanted to keep everyone safe while catching a kidnapper and possible murder.

The writing flowed smoothly and the plot had no huge holes that I could see. I only found one part a bit unbelievable but I don't want to post any spoilers.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Don't Hex with Texas - Enchanted, Inc. #4

Thank goodness Don't Hex with Texas made up for Damsel Under Stress. Totally on par with the first two books and I highly enjoyed every second of it.

Katie knew she was the weak link for Owen and had to change that to keep everyone as safe as possible. Going back to Texas seemed like the perfect way out for her despite what she really wanted. I felt so bad for Katie in doing the right thing and having to give up the new life she built especially when magic followed her home.

Owen, I still desire to know more about him but I just wanted to hug him for most of the book. His gentle and quiet personality fit with everything perfectly in the plot. Normally he is so quiet that he blends in and is easily forgotten but not in Don't Hex with Texas, he made a wonderful statement.

Getting to know more of Katie's family was awesome. Everyone was diverse and while some were extrentic it was not taken over the top.

I eagerly look forward to the next adventure Katie will have with various members of the magical community.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Damsel Under Stress - Enchanted Inc #3

I was hoping for more from Damsel Under Stress since the first two books were amazing. Sadly Damsel Under Stress seems to suffer from the dreaded second book curse despite being the third book in the series.

Katie seems to have everything going for her, she has a good job, is loving life in New York, and dating the man of her dreams. The good times last for about two chapters before disaster strikes again. Despite being magically immune Katie seems to attract magic like it is going out of style. Every time she turns around some magical interference is trying to mess with her life. In the previous books the scenarios were funny, believable, and enjoyable. Sadly Damsel Under Stress seemed to try too hard at times to make things funny and chaotic. 

I did enjoy learning more about Owen. He is still a huge mystery and one I would like to know more about. Since it has been mentioned in all three books how powerful Owen's magical ability is I want to see him do more big magic. Owen's relationship with Katie is super cute and I love how he is not cookie cutter. While he is an all around nice guy he is also awkward and more like a boy with a crush at times but it totally suits his personality.

The writing was not as well done this time. I saw mistakes in several spots and things just did not flow as well. I might have noticed the mistakes this time due to not enjoying the story as much as the previous stories.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sacrifice - Elemental #5

Sacrifice was defiantly not what I was expecting for the final book in the Elemental series. The whole series changed a lot from the first book and while I liked some changes in the series others I was not overly fond of.

Michael was a pretty awesome character and I loved how he kept trying to do the right thing no matter what. His behavior was totally believable and pulled at my emotions. Everything about him was brilliant but everyone else was less than stellar.

Hannah drove me crazy. I dreaded reading the parts from her point of view and just wanted them to end. I found her to be a whinny child in an adults body who threw a fit because she felt people treated her like a child which is how she acted a lot of the time.

The overall plot seemed well thought out but I would have liked a chance to know the guides a bit more. It made it hard for the reader to really feel anything but malice towards them. Maybe that was the goal of Kemmerer though.

I did not like the end of the series I felt it was too abrupt and not thought out enough. An epilogue set a year in the future would have been nice.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Paris Mysteries - Confessions #3

I loved the first two books in the Confessions series but The Paris Mysteries seemed highly out of place.

Like usual Tandy was knee deep in mysteries to solve but unlike the previous books the mysteries seemed weak, not thought at all, and no real resolution was provided. Tandy has come a long way from the girl she use to. Having not felt emotion for the majority of her life due to pills her parents gave her she is understandably having a hard time coping with emotions overwhelming her. I was highly impressed with the way she handled her emotions. Tandy's growth was the only thing I liked.

I don't even know what to say about the plot, I found it boring, predictable, and scattered all about with very little holding it together. The writing was not well done either, makes me wonder what was going on with the authors since it did not feel anything like the previous books in the series.

All in all a serious let down. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Black Sheep's Redemption - Fitzgerald Bay #5

From the first few pages I was hooked on The Black Sheep's Redemption and could not put it down. I was eager to learn more about Demi and about the person stalking her.

Sadly I did have a couple issues with Demi for someone suffering from amnesia she seemed well put together a good deal of the time and seemed to know herself pretty well which I found a bit odd. Despite that I liked Demi even though she played the card of wanting the police or Charles to protect her. Considering she was attacked pretty badly I can totally see her not wanting to rely on herself to stay safe.

I was excited to see Charles was the main male in The Black Sheep's Redemption. I was eager to know more about him since the first book. Employer to the deceased Olivia. Never once did I think he killed Olivia but it was nice to see things from his point of view.

Once again clues about Olivia surfaced leaving me wondering who did it. The person I thought all along who was the killer is clearly not so now I am a loss for who it could be.

The writing was smooth and read quickly. I cannot wait to read the final.