Thursday, August 28, 2014

What type of book are you?

               I’ve been a bit MIA this week and a slow reading week too.  School came back in session and work is picking up a bit and I’m learning more and more information and dealing with different situations.  In the last few weeks I’ve been pondering a few things.  One of those things is that people are horrible drivers/parkers in parking decks; seriously there is no need to act like Indy 500 meets Tokyo Drift.  The other is about my reading patterns and preferences.  I think the majority of the reason is that there have been a lot of recommendations for some light breezy contemporary books; some summer beach reads I guess you'd call them.  I have nothing against them, I had a few I really rather enjoyed and a few others I haven’t gotten to yet.  I never seem to pick them up right away; always leaning towards the other choices.
                I have been hearing about some newer ones lately; some I’ve purchased others and others I have not.  As the contemporary genre is not a section I've been drawn to in the past I think twice before dishing out my hard earned dollars.  That realization made me take a harder look at my book shelf.  I have a healthy selection of books but they are generally in the same categories and mostly supernatural or fantasy.  It was never intentional and I always prided myself on being eclectic.  So I have set out to try and diversify my collection and have purchase a bunch of new books, both series I have read good things about in my fantasy side and several contemporary types and I'm excited for them to arrive.   I did splurge and go on a bit of a book spree, had to even buy another shelf to house them on.  However, I found several at a fantastic price.
                The ones I have received and read, were a great break from the more supernatural, paranormal, fantasy worlds I've been in and out of.  I recently read a handful of books by Hailey Abbot to go along with my handful by Alyson Noel that I read a few years back.  I enjoyed them, quick and refreshing and down to earth.  Reading through them quickly I decided to start checking out the other books, newer ones people recommended in the contemporary field.  I have several that vary in their themes and topics but all seemed different and interesting.  I currently am looking forward to the Rainbow Rowell books Fangirl and Eleanor & Park and Stephanie Perkins Lola and the Boy Next Door and Anna and the French Kiss which I heard rave reviews from a few booktubers I've started to follow recently.  If you'd like to check them out, some of my favorites thus far are polandbananasBOOKS, Katytastic, abookutopia, and jessethereader to name a few (note some have more than one channel to check out). 

                The Hailey Abbot books I’ve read the last month include Boy Crazy, Flirting with Boys, and Forbidden Boy.  I have one more that arrived 2 days ago The Other Boy that I look forward to reading this week, hopefully.  They were all quick reads I finished in a shift at work and made me smile.  They were light and airy and had a good dose of sweet summer fun and romance with enough going on elsewhere to keep it interesting and make each one different.  I can’t really give much about them without spoiling the summer fun so if you need a quick little contemporary story to bring a few hours of summer romance to your day check them out.

                So please share with me your thoughts about books.  Do you only read one type of book?  Are you like me and do it unknowingly or do you simply have a preference?  Also book recommendations?  Any contemporary stories you think I should add to my list to complete my collection?  Have a booktube channel you think I might like share that too, I have started to really enjoy them and considering doing one myself but that means being in front of the camera and I've always been behind so it might take some time to build up the courage there.  Comment below and let's discuss books!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Worlds Collide. Magic Reigns. Love Burns. Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

                So I realized I’ve only done I think 1 review from a NetGalley provided book in while.  I have been behind in checking and requesting books as I had so many others to read and I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew.  However, they did approve me for Trial by Fire Book 1 in The Worldwalker Trilogy by Josephine Angelini about a month ago, but I held off on reviewing until closer to the release date which has moved up from the end of October to September 2nd.  Score—always great to get a book sooner than expected in my opinion. 
                Cover lover for this one.  It's all dark and mysterious with a castle looming in the distance and a lone girl standing before it with her hair whipping in the wind and fire and fog blocking her path.  It makes you want to pick it up.  I have been reading some pretty great books lately.  I really enjoy them and am ecstatic to share them with you all so that you may learn about books you might not have heard of yet.  Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini, the book I’m reviewing today is another supernatural story that deals with magic and alternate worlds; like a fun house mirror image that can leave some things the same and others distorting them.  Our main character Lily is having a hard time at life, what with everything trying to kill her on a daily basis.  She has these horrible allergies that are a huge detriment to her life.  I have a friend who has some serious issues with new things popping up and being allergic to them so I was instantly interested in this character.  Lily has been unable to enjoy most of the normal things kids her age do because of said reactions but she is bound and determined to go to one high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan.
                Something horribly embarrassing happens in front of not only her crush but half of her class and all she wants is to disappear.  Frankly who hasn’t had one of these moments?  I know I’ve had plenty where I wished I could become invisible in that second or magically be somewhere else.  Well Lily does go somewhere else, she is transported to a different Salem than she grew up in; one with horrifying creatures, the Woven,  and ruled by Crucibles.  She finds many things and people she is familiar with in this world, even herself; but in this world of magic her other self is a powerful and cruel ruler.  She soon finds that what makes her weak in her home world makes her special in this new Salem. 
A handy little chart from the authors blog
                Everything is a bit of a mess for Lily.  She wants to get home.  Talk about confusing to magically be in a new world with magic, and then to find out a majority of the people want you dead, well technically the other you(Lillian) but still.  She meets with the Outlanders, those who live outside the walls and are in constant danger of being hunted down by not only Lillian but the Woven.  No one knows for sure what to make of Lily.  If trained will she turn out to be just as vicious as her other, or will she save them all?  Most conflicted is Rowan, a Mechanic, Lillian's ex Mechanic specifically, who isn't her biggest fan.  Can Lily prove she isn't like the other her and she only wants to find a way to get herself home?
                The story line was pretty interesting and I was pulled in pretty quickly.  I liked being inside her head and seeing the way she processed all the information she was thrown.  She is a very understanding person and is able to look past a lot.  She tries to be strong and confident but she is also fragile, not only in body but in her heart.  I loved seeing how she interacted with the different people and handled different situations thrown her way.  She stayed strong and kept who she was as a character is.  She learned more each day and used it to make up her own decisions despite everyone trying to pull her one way or another, including Lillian.   There was a lot of good banter to be had as well.  I love jokes and references made to things in her world that only confuse people in this world; it always reminds me when I make a book reference and no one in that group reads so I'm left with, "you don’t get it but trust me its hilarious."
                The different characters all have their own little things, similarities and differences with her old world and new world, but then there are plenty of people she has no reference for.  Rowan for one is very closed off and he seems hot and cold but as we slowly see the different layers inside we along with Lily grow to understand him better.  I can't give much more without ruining the story so I'll leave it at that.  I really enjoyed this story and give it 5 Witchstones.  Have you read this book already?  What do you think?  Tell me below in the comments.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A little chill in the heat of summer: Frostbitten by Heather Beck

                Happy Friday everyone!  I was contacted a few weeks back about a new series, one I had not heard of at the time, and provided a copy for an honest review.  Frostbitten by Heather Beck is this book.  I was able to dive right into it and really enjoyed it, and planned to get this up a bit sooner but had baby showers and cakes to do and got a bit off track.  See they are not the best but I’m only just starting to work on decorating skills, not a fan of fondant (at this moment it’s almost as evil as chickens towards me).  But now that things have calmed down and I can collect my thoughts I am so happy to share my thoughts of this book with you all.
                The story of Frostbitten is one of great beauty hiding dark secrets.  Our main character, Anastasia Lockhart, is a 17 year old who has been sent to live with her grandparents in a small town of Cedar Falls where her mother grew up and has never returned to.  Not much has changed over the years accept she meets a mysterious, and of course handsome boy named Frost.  She’s warned away from him by everyone including her family but she can’t deny the attraction and the way she feels around him.  She is trying to start over and not be the disorderly girl who was getting into trouble and spiraling downward.  That alone sounded like good meat for a story, boy and girl told to stay away, but Frost also has a secret and one that is far past all of her wildest imaginations.  She finds herself in the middle of a supernatural legend and one that has been part of the towns’ history for years. 
                Let me first say the cover itself drew me in.  A beautiful girl in a pretty flowy dress in a snow covered forest with a beautiful white wolf.  Keep in mind I’m in South Georgia and it’s in the high 90’s to the low 100’s here this time of year before humidity and I haven’t seen snow in about 18 years.  I live vicariously through my characters that get to experience not just the story and feels but cooler climates.  Plus I love wolves, so majestic, graceful, and simply beautiful; so points for that.  It is one that gives you enough hints and ideas about the story to be useful but not give anything away.
                I was pretty quick to get into the story and become invested in the characters.  Anastasia is a girl who is deal with some issues and trying to fit in and start over but is having trouble letting go and it is made harder by her peers. It's easy to see the conundrum she's in and you want to know what's happening to her during it.  Frost, yes his name is a bit different but I dig it and after I learned how he got his name, yes there's a reason other than being memorable, it made it even better.  He is both shy and confident and he has his own secrets he's dealing with but also trying to make the most of what he’s been dealt. 
Not related but I mentioned
my baking/decorating attempts
so these were the results.
                One thing with many books in this genre that seems to put some people off is the romance or connection between characters coming too quickly and seeming unfounded or rushed.  While Anastasia and Frost have a connection it was built up more solidly than many I see.  Who isn't going to be interested in a handsome boy who she's told to stay away from?  They meet quickly and have a connection but builds easily from there at a pace I found enjoyable.  There are more relationships in the series as well with family, friends, and members of the small town.  There is a small town vibe where everyone knows everything about you and your family and pretty much have their mind made up about you before they meet you.  Been there, done that, so it rang true.  Oh and I have to mention Chloe, a childhood friend, who picks up like old times.  People change over time and sometimes we lose our friendships but sometimes, those ones we forge live on forever even through time and distance and Chloe could easily be one of my close friends. 

                Well if it hasn’t been clear I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to read the next one.  Yes more waiting, but it leaves you at a point where there is clearly more story to tell and I can’t wait.  So tell me what you think?  Have you read it?  Do you want to read it?  Share your thoughts below please I want to know what you have to say.  Also, a big thank you again to this sweet and funny author, Heather Beck, who brought this book to my attention.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Nine By Night: A kick bottom box set of magic and supernatural

The cover for the set
                This is a collection by various authors that have a bit of something for everyone; and currently on sale for .99 cents.  That's an amazing price for so many books.  There are 9 books in the Nine By Night set and I only just got it as an ARC a week ago and have only had the pleasure of reading 2 books in the set thus far, Witch Hunt by SM Reine and Rook:  Allie's War Episodes 1-4 by JC Andrijeski.   Additionally in the set  and working my way through are Torrent by Lindsay Buroker, Death's Servant by CJ Ellisson, Spark by Anthea Sharp, Death Times Two by Boone Brux & CJ Ellison, Arcadia's Gift by Jesi Lea Ryan, Justice Calling by Annie Bellet, and Wild Night Road by Kara Legend.

                Now as I went through and looked before starting my reading, because I'm OCD like that, Torrent, Spark, Justice Calling, Acadia's Gift, and Death's Servant are all first books in a their respective series and Death Time Two is showing as book 3 in the series with Death's Servant.  I know I like to read things in order and I figure I can't be the only one so I figured I would help you along there.  This set is easily described:  Nine books.  Nine bestselling authors.  Nine heroines that take names and chances while confronting dark foes, whether by force of arms or magic, that threaten their entire world.  Over two thousand pages of epic reading awaits!  Let the adventures begin.

                I previously reviewed Rook:  Allie's War Episodes 1-4 here, and have enjoyed the whole series up to the latest (and only episode I've had to wait for), Episode 32; episode 1 of 5 I believe in the Prophet book.  I'm currently working on it, as I mentioned I had to wait after I caught up with all of them.  And something else that dragged me away but I'll be doing a post about that here in the next week I hope.  Right now I want to talk about this set and how it has added more books to my TBR list.  Not just these books, but the other books in the series.  I already have the next 2 books in the Preternatural Affairs series because I enjoyed Witch Hunt so much. 
All the individual covers (Found Wild Night Road thanks to JC Andrijeski)  
                Anyways I wanted to share the news about the kick butt set as I keep reading through.  I hope you can take a few minutes to check it out and discover some new authors as I have.  Tell me your thoughts on the set, the different series, authors, or whatever in the comments below.  More reviews to follow, I've been doing a ton of reading.