Friday, February 28, 2014

Into the Still Blue

Author:  Veronica Rossi
Series:  Under the Never Sky, Book 3
Year: 2014
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages:  389

Goodreads Summary:
The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi's "masterpiece" Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (
Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.
The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.
Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.
Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.
In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

My Thoughts:

Absolutely one of my favorite series ever. I love Aria and Perry's story. But this series reaches so much further than just Aria and Perry. There's Roar, Liv, Cinder, Brooke, Soren, and the list just keeps going. I adored so many of the side characters and wanted everything to work out well for everyone. Of course, we know that can't  happen but it's what I wanted. And I so hate to see the series come to an end. Can't Veronica Rossi just keep writing stories in this world? Maybe do a spin-off with Roar? 

In this final book, Aria, Perry and the other survivors make a run for the Still Blue - that step which we've been anticipating since the first book. We get to see the blending of many tribes and the dwellers joining in to the group. There are additions of new characters (hello, Aria's father). Final battles with bad guys. Everything that is needed for a great action story.

Ms. Rossi does a terrific job of building this world that in truth I wouldn't mind living in for a bit - as long as I'm in Perry's tribe!  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ignite Me

Author:  Tahereh Mafi
Series:  Shatter Me, Book 3
Year: 2014
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages:  408

Goodreads Summary:

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"
Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.
In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book. Mafi writes feelings like no author I have ever seen before and, in my opinion, it really makes up for the areas she might be lacking in. The thoughts in Juliette's head are just so vivid that I feel them in my being. And the scenes between her and Warner are electric. I feel him. I've seen some reviews where people are very critical of Juliette ending up with Warner because of what they see as abusive behavior from book one. Some of these people are not too fond of what they call the "rewriting" of history in this book. I'm not too sure that I would call it rewriting. In the first book Juliette was very scared and interpreted things oddly (hence all the mark throughs in the text of the book). Now, in Ignite Me, she's seeing things with more open eyes and more as they actually exist and not as a scared girl afraid of who she is and everyone around her. My one beef with the story is that it ended too soon. I wanted just a bit more. What happens in the long run?

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Next Always

Author:  Nora Roberts
Series:  Inn Boonsboro, Book 1
Year: 2011
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Narrator:  MacLeod Andrews

Goodreads Summary:

he historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.
After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.
With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour - one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new - and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next.

My Thoughts

I loved this book. It was a fun romance that is classic Nora Roberts. I think my favorite character is the Inn. I love watching the brothers remodel the inn and bring it to fruition. I love the naming of the rooms after famous literary couples that found their happily ever afters. I love that in this book in particular the heroine owns a bookstore. While listening to this book, I found myself looking into the practicalities of making a trip to Inn Boonsboro for myself (and it looks quite doable). At first, I was thrown off a little bit the sound of MacLeod Andrews voice as the narrator of the series. Mostly, I think, because I was expecting a female narrator but once the book got to going, he was perfect. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Succubus On Top

Author: Richelle Mead
Series:  Georgina Kincaid, Book 2
Year:  2010
Publisher:  Audible Frontiers
Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers

Goodreads Summary:
Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgina Kincaid. If she so much as kisses Seth Mortensen, the shy, sexy writer she's been dating, she'll drain his life force. Admittedly, the shape shifting and immortality perks of a succubus are terrific, but it's completely unfair that a she-demon whose purpose is seduction can't get down with the one mortal who accepts her for who she is. . .
It's not just her personal life that's in chaos. Doug, Georgina's co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, and Georgina suspects something far more demonic than double espressos. She could use an assist from Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, but he's giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes. Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one--and fast, because soon, Doug's life won't be the only one on the line. . .

My Thoughts

I'm still trying to decide just what I think about this series and how I feel about it. I like the idea and most of the characters but I'm not sure that I like Georgina and I don't quite know what it means to say that you don't like the main character of the book. And I'm not sure that I don't like her. I just don't understand her. Hopefully that will come as I continue the series because I now that I love with Seth and want to see him get his happily ever after. This book was much better than the first book to me; so, I hope that means that I will like the series better as it goes along.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Orpheus in the Underworld

Author:  Mike Carey & Peter Gross
Series:  The Unwritten, Volume 8
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Vertigo Comics
Pages:  176

Goodreads Summary:
In this eighth volume of the critically-acclaimed new series from the Eisner-nominated creative team, Mike Carey and Peter Gross, Tommy ventures into the land of the dead to find and rescue Lizzie. But the journey through Hades pits Tommy against all kinds of enemies of undead. But none of these encounters prepare him for his meeting with the king -- or for the responsibilities he has to take on for some very familiar damned souls.

My Thoughts:

This is my absolute favorite graphic novel series. I love the way the authors play with words and stories and the meanings of stories and how they affect our lives. And what twists and turns were in this volume. If you're a lover of books, I recommend you pick up this graphic novel series. You'll love them.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Trap

Author:  Andrew Fukuda
Series:  The Prey, Book 3
Year: 2013
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Pages:  309

Goodreads Summary:
From author Andrew Fukuda comes The Trap, the explosive finale to The Hunt trilogy—perfect for fans of The Hunger Games!
After barely escaping the Mission alive, Gene and Sissy face an impossible task: staying alive long enough to stop an entire world bent on their destruction. Bound on a train heading into the unknown with the surviving Mission girls, Gene, Sissy, David, and Epap must stick together and use everything they have to protect each other and their only hope: the cure that will turn the blood-thirsty creatures around them into humans again. Now that they know how to reverse the virus, Gene and Sissy have one final chance to save those they love and create a better life for themselves. But as they struggle to get there, Gene's mission sets him on a crash course with Ashley June, his first love . . . and his deadliest enemy.

My Thoughts

The cliffhanger from The Prey led me to immediately move in to The Trap.  After all, why shouldn't I just go ahead and finish the series up? This was the cruelest book in the series. The things that Gene and Sissy had to go do and the deaths! It was just heartbreaking. Also, I totally didn't expect that ending. I loved the unique spin that Fuduka put on his story. It really made me stop and think. This is a very interesting series that left me with things to think about. Wish I could go in to more details but I'm afraid of spoiling the ending.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Prey

Author:  Andrew Fukuda
Series:  The Hunt, Book 2
Year:  2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages:  304

Goodreads Summary:

For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast... and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.
When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other... if they can only stay alive.

My Thoughts:

I had forgotten a bit about exactly what happened in this book until I picked it up.  Once I did and got started reading it, things came back to me. And it's good that it did as Fukuda basically starts back up the action exactly where it ended in the previous book with no recap. One of the things I really like about this series is that it is brutal. There's no sugar coating or making things seem glorious in any way. At the time I was reading this book, I couldn't see any way that things were going to turn out OK for Gene and company. In my opinion, The Prey made a very good transitional book between the first and final book in the series.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Unite Me

Author:  Tahereh Mafi
Series:  Shatter Me #1.5 and #2.5
Year: 2014
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages:  197

Goodreads Summary:

Perfect for fans of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me trilogy, this book collects her two companion novellas, Fracture Me and Destroy Me, in print for the first time ever. It also features an exclusive look into Juliette’s journal and a preview of Ignite Me, the hotly anticipated final novel of the series.
Destroy Me tells the events between Shatter Me and Unravel Me from Warner’s point of view. Even though Juliette shot him in order to escape, Warner can’t stop thinking about her—and he’ll do anything to get her back. But when the Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment arrives, he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner cannot allow.
Fracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective and bridges the gap between Unravel Me and Ignite Me. As the Omega Point rebels prepare to fight the Sector 45 soldiers, Adam's more focused on the safety of Juliette, Kenji, and his brother. The Reestablishment will do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam cares about.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this two novellas a lot. I liked Warner's story more than Adams just because I feel like there's more emotion from Warner than Adam. Mafi has a way of writing feelings and telling a story that draws me in and makes me feel what her characters feel 100%. The biggest accomplishment of these two novellas was make me realize just how addicrted I am to these books and how much I can not wait to read the final book, Ignite Me, even though I know it will be the end of the series.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Author:  Cheryl Strayed
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Vintage
Pages:  353

Goodreads Summary:

Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.
Tiny Beautiful Things brings the best of Dear Sugar in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond.  Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved this book. I'm not an advice column reader but I was intrigued by Cheryl Strayed after reading Wild and was anxious to pick up some of her other stuff. Tiny Beautiful Things was definitely worth picking up. Very few of the actual questions that people asked Dear Sugar for advice on actually applied to me. But, I felt like every answer Sugar gave applied to me or could be applied to me. Sugar spoke to me and at times it felt like she could see inside me. I broke my cardinal rule about highlighted in books and defaced 1/3 of this book highlighting passages that touched me. I highly recommend this to anyone.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Emerald Green

Author:  Kerstin Gier
Series:  The Ruby Red Trilogy, Book 3
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Henry Holt & Co.
Pages:  447

Goodreads Summary:
Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.
She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.
This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.

This was a satisfying ending to the trilogy. It didn't end like I expected. I had read a review somewhere along the way and I had thought something totally different was going to happen and I'm kinda glad that I misunderstood that review because it made this ending all the more satisfying. I've enjoyed this series a lot and I kinda hate to see it go. It is creative and different and I liked it a lot.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Through the Ever Night

Author:  Veronica Rossi
Series:  Under the Never Sky, Book 2
Year:  2013
Publisher:  HaperCollins
Pages:  341

Goodreads Summary:
It's been months since Aria learned of her mother's death.

Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.
Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It's a moment they've been longing for with countless expectations. And it's a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first.

Then it slips away. The Tides don't take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry's control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?
Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure-and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

This is probably my favorite book so far this year. I remembered loving Under the Never Sky but I forgot just how impossible it was to put down. The same thing happened with Through the Ever Night. I started reading it and then just could not stop reading. This was a one sitting book. I loved the characters. Veronica Rossi broke my heart in a couple of places but don't think that I didn't run right out to the bookstore this week to buy the final book because I just have to know what happens next. Wonderful book. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

World After

Author:  Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days, Book 2
Year: 2013
Publisher: Kindle Edition
Pages:  314

Goodreads Summary:

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.
When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.
Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.
Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

I'm enjoying this series a lot. They're easy reads. I find myself getting frustrated at times because Penryn is always getting into scraps but she does usually get herself out of them. Her world is quite harsh and I have a hard time loving a world that has very little glimmers of hope in it. But I do love the way the people in the world keep fighting for survival. It shows that never give up human spirit. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon

Author:  Cressida Cowell
Series:  How to Train Your Dragon, Book 1
Year: 2014
Publisher:  Hachette Audio
Narrator:  David Tennant

Goodreads Summary:
Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon...

The only reason I downloaded this book is because it is narrated by David Tennant. I couldn't help myself I just had to  listen to Tennant read. I expected the book to resemble the movie - which I loved. But I was wrong. This story was very different than the movie and way fun. Tennant is an amazing narrator and he brought the story to life. And since the story was so different from the movie, it was all new to me. I highly recommend this audiobook if you have young kids or if you're a Tennant fan. 

Her Mad Hatter

Author:  Marie Hall
Series:  Kingdom, Book 1
Year: 2012
Pages:  129

Goodreads Summary:
Alice is all grown up. Running the Mad Hatter's Cupcakery and Tea Shoppe is a delicious job, until fate--and a fairy godmother with a weakness for bad boys--throws her a curveball. Now, Alice is the newest resident of Wonderland, where the Mad Hatter fuels her fantasies and thrills her body with his dark touch.
The Mad Hatter may have a voice and a body made for sex, but he takes no lovers. Ever. But a determined fairy godmother has forced Alice into Wonderland--and his arms. Now, as desire and madness converge, the Hatter must decide if he will fight the fairy godmother's mating--or fight for Alice.

This was an interesting story. I love the idea and parts of the story I really enjoyed but I really wanted just a little bit more. I think it came into it's own by the ending but overall the story was just so-so. It was fun and I would like to read some of the other stories in the series to see if one of the full-fledged novels is a little more fleshed out and has what Her Mad Hatter was lacking.