I’m…Back???

*AHEM*

Hi.

Yeah, so I dropped off the face of the planet. My bad. It wasn’t on purpose. At first, at least.

It started as a combination of back to back weekends out-of-town and near constant overtime at work. And then the Pittsburgh Penguins decided to show the world how to play hockey like the awesome dudes they are. And I started feeling kinda reading slumpy.

And then my FAVORITE TV SHOW PUT ME THROUGH AN EMOTIONAL TRAUMA – my ALL TIME FAVORITE COUPLE FOREVER AND EVER AND ALWAYS (aka my babies) got married (on the show), actress that plays one half of said babies announces she’s leaving the show, followed by TWO/THIRDS OF THE OTHER REGULAR CAST MEMBERS…… and show gets renewed for another season and goes on without them.

So now I’m devastated #NotOverIt #NeverOverIt. But worse, I’m SUPER SLUMPY.

So between work, hockey and ugly crying over fairytale characters, I decided I didn’t want to blog anymore. It made reading feel like a chore and a job. I wasn’t enjoying it any more. I couldn’t put in enough time and effort into being a successful blog – because all those tips and tricks people put out tell you that consistency is key to success –  so I’m not going to bother anymore.

So I start casually reading again. I PLOWED through all the Shadowhunter books – AKA I FINISHED THE FREAKING MORTAL INSTRUMENTS WHICH I HAVE BEEN READING SINCE HIGH SCHOOL I ROCK. And then proceeded to Shadowhunter myself out and stall around page 200-ish of Lord of Shadows but that’s a story for another time.

And to top it all off, I decided to find out exactly how many unread books I own. Turns out….it’s over 250. Unread. NEVER READ. And I banned myself from buying ANY books until after Christmas. And to cope, I wrote a book review, posted it to Goodreads and Facebook. I missed writing reviews. And I want to keep writing them.

So I’m back, and for good.

Hopefully.

There will be a lot of changes to how I blog – different formatting for reviews, focusing more on the quality of my posts and reviews than the quantity –  But I hope you guys enjoy it.  I know I am.

 

 

Catch you next time!

 

 

 

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Waiting On Wednesday: Song of the Current – Sarah Tolcser

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Waiting On Wednesday in a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we discuss an upcoming release that you’re…well…waiting on! And this seems like the perfect excuse to have mini fangirl freakouts over the books I NEED ASAP.

This week, I’m flailing over Song of the Current.

What You Need to Know

31450960Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Published by Bloomsbury on June 6th, 2017

Synopsis:Caroline Oresteia has always been destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. But at seventeen, Caro may be too late.

So when pirates burn ships and her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport a dangerous cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name.

But when the cargo becomes more than Caro expected, she finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies. With much more than her father’s life at stake, Caro must choose between the future she knows, and the one she never could have imagined.

This immersive fantasy debut set along the waterways of a magical world will entrance fans of Sabaa Tahir and Victoria Aveyard. Sarah Tolcser weaves an epic story of danger and destiny with enchanting world-building and captivating characters.

Add to Goodreads                                                Preorder at Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Why I’m Flailing

First of all, PIRATES were mentioned, so of course I’m sold.

Second, the setting and plot, just from the synopsis, sound like nothing I’ve ever heard before. What does she mean by the river god speaking her name? Is she going to be sacrificed to the river god? Is she going to serve as a priestess? Is she going to have a specific job? What does it mean???? And what cargo is she carrying that’s so important? Color me intrigued.

Add in an absolutely gorgeous cover and name-dropping Sabaa Tahir as a comparison, and you have me sold.

That’s it for me. What books are you waiting on?

All the Shiny April New Releases I Want To Get My Hands On

It’s that time of the month where we have all the shiny new books to look forward to next. To be completely honest, there wasn’t that many that I was eager to read in March (hence my lack of a March post) BUT APRIL, on the other hand, is chock full of new goodies.

Let’s break it down…

31423196Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray. This is one of my most anticipated books for the entire year, let alone the month of April. I read Gray’s Firebird Trilogy last year and LOVED it and I’m really excited for this books (which looks to be the start to a new series). This one is a sci-fi book, set in space involving war between humans and robots. This sounds GOOOOOD and I’m really excited for it. I just wish they hadn’t changed the cover. Not that there is anything wrong with this cover, but I LOVED THE OLD ONE. Oh well.  Release Date: April 4th

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Fireworks by Katie Cotugno. I have never read a Katie Cotugno book – I’ve checked 99 Days out of various libraries more times than I can count and still haven’t read it yet. This book, however is set in Orlando during the height of the 90s boyband/girl group era and follows two friends and their quest to make it in the music industry. 90s pop is both the music of my childhood and still my jam (I won an award because I know all the words to Mmmbop by Hanson. True story) and basically I need this book. Release Date: April 18th

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The Freemason’s Daughter by Shelley Stackier. I will state this honestly – I know nothing about this book. But the cover is gorgeous and its set in Scotland and, between reading Outlander and finding out I have Scottish roots, I can’t get enough Scotland-set novels. Basically, I’m here for it. Release Date: April 11th

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Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis. I read A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis last year and I liked it enough to check out more of her books. I know literally nothing about this book – the synopsis doesn’t give much away – but the cover is gorgeous and that alone has me intrigued, so sign me up. Release Date: April 11th

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Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. This one is about a girl writing letters to her mother who has passed away and, when she leaves them at her grave, a boy happen upon them and begins responding. It sounds interesting enough that I feel a definite need to check it out. Release Date: April 4th

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Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer.  I don’t much about this book at all – that’s how I am going into most fantasy books these days anyway. I know it’s a dark Sleeping Beauty retelling and that’s all I’ve got. I’ve been seeing it around a lot lately, and it caught my interest. Release Date: April 11th

 

30649331Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean. Scotland. Secret Societies. Possible supernatural elements? You know the drill. Also, can we talk about that cover please??? Because its stunning and I need it in my possession. Release Date: April 4th

 

 

 

 

That’s it for me today. What new releases are you looking forward to in April?

See you next time!

Review: The Cure for Dreaming – Cat Winters

20702018Title: The Cure for Dreaming

Author: Cat Winters (twitter) (site)

Publisher//Release Date: Amulet Books// October 14, 2014

Genre: YA, Historical, Paranormal

Source: Library

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Synopsis: Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

Rating: 3/5

This is another book that has been following me around for years and I just got around to reading it. Historical fantasy books are kind of my thing and, if you write one, I’m probably going to read it – eventually.

The Cure For Dreaming has a lot going for it, and I did enjoy it, but it’s not without its faults and missed chances – especially when it comes to secondary characters and the romantic subplot.

Let’s break it down:

What I Liked:

  • Olivia. I thought Olivia was a very solid heroine. She was very much ahead of her time, headstrong and independently minded, but still likable and sympathetic. I really liked her point of view because she gives a semi-modern tone to a historical story.
  • The Setting. 1900 Oregon is kind of unique setting – don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in Oregon before. The time period was the most interesting part. It’s played out through Olivia and her father: women who wanted the right to vote and the men in their lives who wanted to keep them under control.Reading from her point of view made me think about a lot of things that women may take for granted in America now – education, voting rights, etc. – that women in 1900 had to fight to get in the first place. There were also women totally opposed to suffrage – which is something that I knew existed but didn’t really think about and you get to see a good deal of them in the novel. You get a good sense of the points of view of both sides of the issue – one side may be wrong, but they tell you why they thought the way they did – always a good thing. Somewhat related to this point, my library’s edition of the novel had a timeline in the back chronicling the suffrage movement in the United States, not just for woman, but minorities as well. I history nerded out over that.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The Romance. It was very, very meh. I didn’t really see the necessity in the book having romantic subplot at all. Its more of a friends with benefits situation (they have a specific label that they put on within the story that’s more fitting). Personally, I had a really hard time getting behind a love interest who could  – and did – have the heroine under his control at the drop of a hat. I don’t bandy the word problematic around a lot, because I think it’s overused, but this would be a perfect description for this situation. It just didn’t sit right with me.
  • Characters other than Olivia. I really liked Olivia, but all the other characters were kind of ‘meh’ for me. They all kind of came off kind of flat and I couldn’t get invested in them. There were a lot of missed chances. Henri was probably the most interesting after Olivia and I liked him but so much about his backstory was left unexplained. I wanted to know more and I never got it and I just ended up a little disappointed. Her father came of very much as a stock character, an opposing force and a brute – most of the town assumes that he’s a sadist – but there were moments that I thought could have been explored further.
  • The Hypnotism Aspect.  As someone who has witnessed hypnotism, I just had a hard time suspending disbelief that someone could remained hypnotized after the hypnotist wakes them up. I haven’t seen that before and I don’t want to say its impossible, but it seemed a little far-fetched.

That’s it for me this time. Have you read The Cure for Dreaming? What did you think of it?

Waiting On Wednesday: Come Sundown – Nora Roberts

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Waiting On Wednesday in a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we discuss an upcoming release that you’re…well…waiting on! And this seems like the perfect excuse to have mini fangirl freakouts over the books I NEED ASAP.

This week, I’m flailing over Come Sundown

What You Need to Know

31415529Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Published by St. Martin’s Press on May 30th, 2017

Synopsis:A saga of love, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession

The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…

When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

Add to Goodreads                                                Preorder at Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Why I’m Flailing

I’m a hardcore NR fan – literally, I haven’t read of book of hers I haven’t at least enjoyed. But the last few standalones I’ve read of hers, The Collector and The Obsession, have been absurdly FANTASTIC – like The Obsession is easily an all-time fave for both me and my mom and I actually read it twice in the last year and its kind of the greatest?

Basically Nora is on a roll and this one sounds great. I want the thing. Someone get me the thing.

That’s it for me. What books are you waiting on?

Top Ten Tuesday: The Top Ten Authors I Want to Meet

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This time we’re talking about authors we want to meet.

I actually haven’t met that many authors. I think the last one I met was the writer of the Real Kids, Real Adventures book series who came to the reading festival my county holds for upper elementary school kids every year when I was in fifth grade. She pulled me up in front of an auditorium full of 10-12 year olds and I helped her explain that authors aren’t all old, white men.

#FunFactsAboutMe

But my chances to meet authors that I want to meet are few and far between. For some reason, YA authors don’t really come to the Pittsburgh area very often and I have NO IDEA why. I confuses and frustrates me. A lot.

But these are the authors that I would love to meet. And yes, I know a couple of them are deceased but I would still love to meet them.

Let’s break it down:

  1. J.K. Rowling. Actually Queen. Actually changed my life.
  2. Ellen Raskin. Another one who changed my life with her book.
  3. Harper Lee.
  4. Marissa Meyer. I actually had a chance to meet her but life decided to say HAHAHAHAHA NO in my face THE DAY OF THE SIGNING WHEN I ALREADY HAD TICKETS. No I’m not bitter about this at all. All I want to do is see how she comes up with her stories and thank her for creating Carswell Thorne. Is that much to ask?
  5. Libba Bray. Pretty sure she’s actually an evil genius and I’ve admired her writing since I was in high school.
  6. Susan Dennard.
  7. Victoria Aveyard.
  8. Diana Gabaldon. I need to tell her I’m related to Jamie!!!
  9. Maggie Stiefvater.
  10. Naomi Novik. I found out from her bio that she’s involved with AO3  – Archive Of Our Own – haven for transformative works (aka FANFICTION) and I’m like GURL. You feel me.

And I’d I like to let you all know I resisted the urge to add another addition with a fictional author who’s actually a teenager*cough*HenryMills*cough* with a plea to let me meet his stepfather *cough*KillianJones*coughs*. I’m normal, I swear. Really.

Seriously.

That’s it for me today! Have you met any authors? Do you have a favorite?

See you next time!!!

 

Review: Bad Blood – Demitria Lunetta

25226075Title: Bad Blood

Author: Demitria Lunetta (twitter) (site)

Publisher//Release Date: Delacorte Press// March 14th, 2017

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical (kind of?)

Source: Purchased

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes and Noble

Synopsis: All sixteen-year-old Heather MacNair wants is to feel normal, to shed the intense paranoia she’s worn all year like a scratchy sweater. Ever since her compulsion to self-harm came to light, Heather was kept under her doctor’s watchful eye. Her family thinks she’s better—and there’s nothing she wants more than for that to be true. She still can’t believe she’s allowed to spend her summer vacation as she always does: at her aunt’s home in Scotland, where she has lots of happy memories. Far away from all her problems save one: she can’t stop carving the Celtic knot that haunts her dreams into her skin.

Good friends and boys with Scottish accents can cure almost anything…except nightmares. Heather can’t stop dreaming about two sisters from centuries ago, twins Prudence and Primrose, who somehow seem tied to her own life. Their presence lurks just beneath the surface of her consciousness, sending ripples through what should be a peaceful summer. The twins might hold the key to putting Heather’s soul at rest…or they could slice her future deeper than any knife

Rating: 3.5/5

I’m a sucker for Scotland. There. I said it.

It started with Outlander, continued with the TV show, and got even worse when I found out I have Scottish roots. My paternal great-great-great grandparents were from Scotland and they go WAYY back and when I eventually cough up the money for a World Explorer membership on Ancestry, I’m going to find out how far back they go, along with the Italian, Irish, English, and German sides. Maybe even the Polish branch, if I can ever find out exactly how that dang last name is spelled.

But I digress.

So, when I saw Bad Blood. I saw Scotland and witches – not mention that gorgeous cover – and I was sold. And I did enjoy the book a great deal, but it wasn’t without its faults (most of which, IMHO, could have been easily avoided).

Let’s break it down:

What I Liked:

  • Characters. The characters were what made this book for me. I really liked the characters. I liked the way they were written. They came off like real people, dealing with their own problems and generally living their lives. I could see people having problems with Heather, but I liked her a great deal, even if she didn’t always do the smartest thing. I really liked her friends. Fiona and Asha were cool and Robbie was verra nice, if you know what I mean. I really liked Abbie, and I admired the way she handled what life has thrown at her. But I think Gram (Heather’s grandmother) was my favorite. I wish we could see her before the story takes place and, the more we found out about her, the more I wanted to know. The characters were the strongest part of the novel and I don’t see me forgetting them anytime soon.
  • The Romance. We don’t get a whole lot of it, but OH MY GOD, I loved what was there. Its short and very sweet and oh so adorable. I already want my own kilt-wearing Scotsman, but this just sealed the deal.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The Historical Plot. I found it very hard to connect with the sections of this book set in the past. At the beginning it was fine, but the further we get into the story, we spend more time with Heather and her story than with Primrose and Prudence and what chapters were there were incredibly short at times – front and back of a singular page at times. There’s an in-book reason that explains the short chapters,  but maybe it would have been better to give us the information in another way. I also had a definite dislike for one of the two sisters and her actions.
  • The Length. I would have loved for this book  longer. I feel like this would have not only have given more time with the characters, but would have given a lot more depth to the Primrose/Prudence story and made that resolution a little more emotional. Generally I think a lot of the quibbles that I have with this book could have been solved by the book clearing 300 pages.
  • The Resolution of the Medical/Illness storylines. Can’t say much here, because spoilers, but there’s a lot of illness going on in this story, but the way those story lines were resolved was too easy. The one in particular could be rage inducing to someone who’s family is going through it.

And I can’t be the only one who thought of a certain T.Swift song when you see the title of this book. It kind of does tie into the story a bit, when it comes to the parts set in the past. I wonder if that was done on purpose?

That’s it for me this time! Have  you read Bad Blood? Let me know what you thought!

See you next time!