Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (6)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga Reviews to show the most recent books on our shelves!

Sarah's Haul
Deliverance by C.J. Redwine - ARC (Thank you Epic Reads!)

Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
Play Ball, Amelia Bedeila by Peggy Parish
Villette by Charlotte Bronte

Christina's Haul

Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

What's new on your shelves this week?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: August 7th, 2012
Rating: 3 Stars

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. -Summary from Goodreads

            This is another one of those books that I have been wanting to read since the first book came out but kept putting it off until now. While Throne of Glass had a compelling world and storyline and interesting characters I had one major problem...I couldn't believe some of their actions.

            Celaena Sardothien (can we just pause to admire how cool a name that is) is an assassin who has just spent a year in a death camp. Then one day she is called on by the Prince and is asked to be his champion in a tournament that will determin who would become the King’s personal assassin. She accepts because anything is better than her current situation. Though I love kick-butt main characters I had a hard time believing some of Celaena’s actions and emotions. She seems a bit too petty for what she had gone through. She seemed to care way to much about her looks, clothes, and other peoples opinions. She had just spent 12 months breaking rocks and years before that being a top assassin with a rough upbringing so I'm couldn't quite wrap my head around her being that person.When she fell into assassin mode however I became totally enthralled in the story.

            There was also a love triangle and while I’m not a fan of them to begin with this one was kind of confusing. Celaena hates the King and anyone who shares his name, she repeatedly says so, and how she could never love someone like the Prince because of who he was… then she turns right around and flirts with him and is undeniably attracted to him and wants him to be attracted to her. It’s the same with the Captain. She is basically their prisoner but she gives them a lot of genuine smile, flirts with them, craves their company, and gives some of her own personal history, including some hints at a former love who she still mourns. Her emotions were everywhere and I just couldn’t believe a lot of it. 

            The world was interesting and well built. Even though this is a fantasy I didn’t expect there to be hints of fey mentioned. I think the fey world is extremely interesting and though they didn’t get into it much in this book I can definitely see this popping up later in the series. There is actually a lot in this book that I can see showing up later for more page time. Like the characters Nehemia and Nox (I would totally love to see them again) and I want to see Celaena’s former mentor sometime. I liked the action in this book but it mainly seemed to be a set up for the rest of the series. 

            While I seem to be complaining a lot I actually did enjoy this book. I was just perhaps a bit disappointed. I’m definitely going to try the second book out and see how it is but it may be a while.



Monday, August 25, 2014

The Giver: Movie Review

In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world.
-Summary from IMDB

There has been a lot of talk about this movie, good and bad, and I will admit I was one of the skeptics. Every time I would watch the trailer I would get a sense of dread. The Giver was my first dystopian book, I loved it, and like most readers I was looking for a good adaptation and I felt like I could barely recognize the book in the trailer. That being said I knew I would go see it, but I was content to wait until it came into the cheap theater, that was until my friend suggested we go see it the other day and I agreed. To say I was shocked was an understatement. 

Now, I haven’t read the book in a few years but I’d say that The Giver turned out to be an amazing adaptation of the beloved book by Lois Lowry. The way they dealt with the black & white world with the integration of color was brilliantly done. Although the characters were older everything still felt like it worked, it wasn’t too big of a difference just with a little bit of romance thrown in. 

There were a few changes to the story but I felt like they worked and we get to see more of the world outside of Jonas’s view kind of like what they did with the Hunger Games. We saw what they leaders were thinking and how they react to Jonas’s actions. 

As a fan of the book, I enjoyed this movie immensely and would suggest that all fans give it a try no matter what they think of the trailer. Because this was one amazing book adaptation. 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

7 Deadly Sins Tag

Thanks Kirsty-Marie @ Studio Reads for tagging us, this was really fun! We thought it would be funny to post it on a Sunday so just consider this our bookish confessions.
1) Greed

What is your most inexpensive book?

I get most of my books from the Library booksale so most of the books on my bookshelf I got for 50 cents to $1 and on bag day I get books for mere pennies. But I have gotten books for free like The Lost Girl and many of my Jane Austen Books from Sarah (seriously, she has more than enough Austen to share with me) and recently a friend gave me her husband's old copy of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that he was going to throw out.

My answer is the same as Christina's. 50 cent to $1 at the library and sometimes cheaper at yardsales. And then sometimes Christina will give me some of her doubles like I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You.

2) Wrath

What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

This was a really hard one because there are plenty of authors I love, but not many that I hate or love/hate. I think maybe Janet Evanovich. I love her Stephanie Plum books... sometimes... at some parts... depending on how much I've already consumed. I read the first six books fairly quickly and I had to take a break for months because there is only so much Stephanie Plum I can handle. It gets a bit much sometimes, and then other times it's exactly what I need.

I'd probably have to say Cassandra Clare. While I really enjoyed City of Bones and I love the friendship between Jem and Will in the Infernal Devices sometimes the things she does to those characters are so painful it makes me mad. Like I would love the series a lot better if "that" didn't happen.

3) Gluttony
What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?

Harry Potter, easily. I have read it 7 times in 7 years. I'm going to be working on my 8th time this fall.

I have read Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter 4 times within a few months. I can read it in a day so the first time I read it I read it in one day then I reread it the next day. It is such an amazing book I love it!


4) Sloth

What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

 Ugh, so many. Every unread book on my bookshelf. I guess Need by Carrie Jones it is a gorgeous unread book on my bookshelf and it makes me feel guilty... Stop looking at me like that, Need! I'm sorry!

Well, I would say Anna and the French Kiss but I'm in recovery. I'm over half-way through with it now.

5) Pride

What book do you most talk about in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

Usually whatever the other person likes. I can talk like an intellectual reader about anything from Charles Dickens to Richelle Mead and even some that I haven't read. I just have general book knowledge. I like talking about books and analyzing them.

Probably Jane Austen or the Hunger Games. They both just have so much depth and I love them so much!!!

6) Lust
What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?

I have a thing for fictional guys that have hearts of gold. The ones that are truly kind and loyal and care about the people around them. I like the snarky bad boy as much as everyone else, but I fall in love with the good guy. Novel examples: Mr. Knightly, Samwise Gamgee, Peeta Mellark.

Snarkiness, being a scoundrel, thief.... Give me a guy like Han Solo and I'm sold.

7) Envy

What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
Ooooh, this is a tough one. It's between Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub and Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter. I can have both, right? Are you listening, Santa?

Hmm, right now I'd have to say Something Strange and Deadly... or the whole series. I'm loving that series so much and I have to wait for the last book to come in at the library! Not fun.

Okay, so it's time to tag some people:
Cait and Mime @ Notebook Sisters

Aylee @ Recovering Potter Addict 
Ula @ Blog of Erised  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Title: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 24th, 2012
Rating: 5 Stars
There's something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia...

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family as fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walkers by. But this is nothing compared to what she's just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor... from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she'll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. An now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance. -Summary from Goodreads

           First off, let me say that Zombies and Steampunk normally aren’t very high on my list of to-reads. Actually, zombies almost never make the list but after seeing all the hype for when the third book came out I decided to give this a shot… I LOVED IT!!!!

“Dead!” a woman screamed. “It’s the dead!”
            Something Strange and Deadly is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. Susan Dennard gives us a story filled with action, parasols, and well developed characters! Everything felt real and natural; the historical setting, the romance, and yes, even the zombies.

I loved Eleanor, she is an amazing heroine who doesn’t mind smacking a zombie with her parasol, but still finds it improper to go out with a man to the opera unchaperoned. She is your average girl who is terrified of the dead but willing to step up and do what’s right. 

“Miss Fitt, you know curiosity gets men killed." 
I grinned. "Then I daresay it's good I'm a woman.”

This book has a great cast of character who are not all black and white, good and bad, making it a very interesting read. The Spirit-Hunters were not really what I would have expected given the summery. I thought it would be like another secret society whose members had been doing this since birth ect. But it was nothing like that at all. They are a mixture of scientists, fighters, and a magic user… and there are only three of them. That being said I loved the Spirit-Hunters. They are trying to fight off the dead and protect the people of the Philadelphia without getting hardly any support from the its leaders. Joseph and Jie are awesome and Daniel is the perfect scalawag.

            I found the slow burn romance quite refreshing. Eleanor didn’t spend every moment fawning over the men in her life and was able to stay focus on the matter at hand. Yes, there were more than one man, but I can’t really say that there was a love triangle because while there was interest it was more like a few sweet moments mixed in with the story instead of the other way around.

“I brandished my parasol at him like a rapier. "You, sir, are an abominable scalawag of a man, and I'll be damned if I let you threaten me.”

Something Strange and Deadly is a five star book with an incredibly gorgeous cover extremely high on my wishlist. It’s a must read!