Friday, November 7, 2014

Cinder

I'm a huge Disney fan and love anything Disney related.  So when I saw this book and knew just from the cover that it would be a Cinderella inspired story, of course I had to read it!  Luckily, my super awesome friend had it in her book stash and brought it over for me to read.  This was such an interesting storyline; Cinderella meets Mulan meets Terminator...okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit. 

The story is set in New Beijing and the story line of the emperor and Prince Kai just makes me think about Mulan.  Not that Cinder pretends to be a man or anything, but when Prince Kai comes to her mechanic shop asking for help, she does hide the fact that she is a cyborg.  Okay, so maybe her being cyborg isn't enough to make a comparison between this and Terminator, but I did it anyways.  I don't know, I think it's pretty cool that Cinder can pop open the calf on her cyborg leg and store things in it.  Who needs a purse when you have a calf!  But, Cinder does not join in on my excitement.  She hides who she really is (*COUGH* Mulan *COUGH*). 

Simple love story, right?  NOPE!  Cinder lives in a world where is plague is happening.  The way they describe it makes me think of the black plague.  On top of that, there are people that live on the moon (yes, a man on the moon, I give you permission to giggle) and the queen is one gnarly witch with a capital B!  She wants to take over Earth.  See, alien life and they want to take over the world.  What makes them such big bad wolves?  Mind control!  EEKK!  The Lunar queen goes on and on about how there are no revolts on Luna, BLAH BLAH BLAH!  That's because you mind control and kill those that oppose you.  So yeah, you could say Cinder is dealing with a lot at such a young age.  And before you can ask, yes there are stepsisters, yes there is a stepmother, and yes there is a ball.  Not really a fairy-godmother unless you count the doctor that is...nope, not going there.  Spoilers!  Looking forward to reading more books in this series.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blueberry Muffin Murder

When I am stuck in long lines anywhere, I like to bring out my phone and open up my nook app so I can read while I wait.  I have a few books on my nook that I need to read.  Did I download any of them to read?  Nope.  I decided to buy and download the third book in the Hannah Swenson series.  Why you ask?  Well when I was in Albuquerque my best friend made me these killer blueberry muffins...and they came out of this book.  I admit it, I bought the book just so I could have the recipe.  But of course I had to read the book so I could get to the recipe.  See, there was a method to my madness.

It seemed like this book took place only a couple months after the last book.  Which means it is still winter and there were lots of descriptions of the snow.  While reading it while sitting in 95+ degree weather it just made me want the fall and cold weather to hurry up and come.  The town is having a winter festival-type event going on and they have invited a famous cooking person.  Makes me think of a Paula Deen or Bobby Flay type of person.  And you can guess what happens to her!  Yep, she's the first to get murdered.  I've noticed so far there are at least two murders that happen every book.  Of course I'm not giving you any clue who the second person is.  I can say that I was able to easily figure out who the murderer was.  In the first two books I could not predict who the murderer was until the very end of the book.  I just love these books because they are such quick reads and they hold your interest.

Now on to the baked goods!  First up, I made Blue Blueberry Muffins.  They were a huge hit with my boyfriend.  The little stinker took them to work and his co-workers ate them all.  Oh well, I guess I need to make them again.  I messed up on the crumble topping.  I added too much flower so it came out more cakey than a crumble.  But still so good!





Next up, Multiple-Choice Bars.  It's really cool because she has Columns A-D and you basically pick one item from each column to make cookie bars.  Column D is all nuts and I'm not a big fan of nuts so I skipped that column.  My cookies had Vanilla Wafers from Column A, chocolate and peanut butter chips from Column B (calls for one ingredient at 2 cups but I chose two ingredients and did 1 cup of each), and rice krispies from Column C. They taste even better the next day.




Thursday, October 9, 2014

School for Good and Evil

I am about to admit that I do something I should not do, I somewhat judge a book by it's cover.  I shouldn't, I know, but I do.  When looking at books and even video games, the ones with cool looking covers or titles is going to make me pick it up, flip it over, and read the information on the back.  In most cases it has worked and produced an awesome video game or book for me, and on rare occasions it has been a total flop.  I was walking through Barnes and Noble when visiting my best friend in Albuquerque and came across a display of teen books.  My eyes were instantly drawn to the cover for The School for Good and Evil.  I mean look at it!  Totally looks like something you would see in Disney!  I couldn't help it, I picked it up and started reading the synopsis: two friends stolen from their home, transported to a fairy tale world where one learns to become a princess and the other an evil witch, only to find out the princess-looking girl is sent to the School for Evil and the witch-looking girl is sent to the School for Good, totally up my alley!

Unfortunately, life got in the way and I got too busy to try and read :(  When I first started this book it was right in the middle of a busy time and I found the reading to be really slow.  I don't want to say it was difficult to get through, I was just so busy that it was not keeping my interest.  Thank goodness that all changed!  The whole story line is pretty cool.  Especially when you have the blonde that loves pink put into the school for Evil.  She was the most entertaining.  Along the way I really love what this book taught.  Beauty isn't everything.  Sometimes the most beautiful people on the outside can be the most evil people around.  It really plays up looking past how someone looks and instead look at their morals and character.  For example, Agatha (School for Good) was always trying to help Sophie (School for Evil) try and show everyone she was good and did not belong in evil.  Sophie would always try to do this by showing off her looks.  Agatha would try to get her to show off her personality and character.  But Sophie thought looks were all that mattered. 

When I finished the book I saw there is a second book in the series.  Time to go to Amazon and add to my "Books" wish list!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The One

I was all set to make this post be all about how much I am mourning the fact that The One is the last book in the selection series...but I went to Kiera Cass' website (http://www.kieracass.com/books/) and there will be more books!  I also saw that there were a series of novellas she wrote.  Why am I just barely finding out about this?????!!!!!!!  I love this series.  I don't know why, I just do.  I always tell people it's the Bachelor meetings the Hunger Games.  The chapters are short and before you know it, you have easily gotten through five chapters in one sitting.  Or in my case you get through half the book in one sitting. 

I love the main female character, America, but she frustrates me to no end!  She does not express herself to those she cares about so she is always on the verge of losing them.  But I still like her.  She does not let people tell her what to do.  She's stubborn but strong-willed.  This book also totally changed my way of thinking of Celeste.  It seems like America has even more challenges in this book than she has in any of the others.  Maybe because she is now one of the Elite?  Maybe because her outbursts have received unwanted attentions of the king?  All I know is I did not want to put the book down and even found myself trying to finish it up when I should have been on the road to go see my boyfriend.  Oopps!  My bad!  Hehe ;)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Kalona's Fall

Have you ever been reading a book series where you constantly find yourself saying you wish the series would end?  Yeah, doesn't happen to me that often either.  But the House of Night series is one that has gone on for too long.  The first few books were great, but then they just started repeating story lines and themes and now I just want them to end!  I keep reading because once I have invested in a series I feel like I have to keep reading.  And now they are making these branch off novellas.  The novellas were great at first because they gave great insight into characters that we don't know much about.  I liked Dragon's novella, loved Lenobia's, was disturbed by Neferet's, and now we get Kalona.  I don't know if it just is because I am over this story or what but I found myself so bored while reading this!  It is totally misnamed.  I think instead of should be called A Companion for Nyx.  The whole book was about her and how she was lonely and needed someone.  We do get insight into how Kalona and his brother Erebus were created, that part was cool to finally know.  But the fall of Kalona section was really just a few pages at the very end.  I finished the book and all I could think was, "is that it?!"  I was disappointed.  Thank goodness it was a quick and easy read.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I have not had enough time to read!

I have to say how very sad I am that I have not had much time to read.  Since my last posting, I have only finished two books.  TWO!  I should have been much farther than that.  Oh well, I am trying to get back into the habit of bringing my lunch every day.  That way I can read on my lunch break and feel like all is right with the world!

First up, Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke.

This is only the second book but I am seriously in love with this series.  Hannah Swenson is a red head who wants to be comfy and does not have an eye for fashion.  And she loves to bake.  Totally sounds like me.  I love the character developments in these books.  Yes we always have Hannah and her sister Andrea to read about, but each book develops more and more characters that were mentioned in earlier books but not discussed much. And reading about Hannah being stuck in winter is making me wish it would start cooling off here and stop being so hot!  I'm ready for hot tea and fuzzy blankets!  These books follow the same storyline so far; there is a murder, Hannah finds the murdered person, Hannah promises the police department she will not do her own detective work, Hannah does detective work, Hannah and her sister Andrea solve the mystery.  One thing that does annoy me about any type of writing is the overuse of words or phrases (oh please don't even let me go through another book that was as bad at that as 50 Shades of Gray!!!!  THE HORROR!).  In this book I found the overuse of names a bit annoying.  Almost every sentence Andrea would say, she always had to say her sister's name.  I think there can be dialogue between two people without having to constantly add the name in there.  I really want to continue reading this series but there are so many books I already need to read so it might be a while before I can return to The Cookie Jar.

Next up, a book I was so super excited for.  Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead.

I don't want to say I got lucky, but my dad had to go to the hospital for a colonoscopy.  My mom didn't have any sick time to spare so I offered to take time off from work to drive him to the hospital.  What this meant for me?  Plenty of reading time while I waited for him to be done!!!!  I think I got through about a third of this book just during that time.  It helped me stay motivated on wanting to finish it.  While reading the first half of this book, all I could think of was, "Adrian, oh Adrian, why must you frustrate me so?"  Sydney was locked away and he just gave up!  Come on dude, get your priorities straightened out!  And Sydney is just bad-ass.  Everything she went through in this book and to come out with a strong head still on her shoulders, it made for a pretty awesome reading experience.  Oh boy the whopper at the end had my mind spinning!  There for a while I thought that was how the book was going to end and there would be no more books after this one.  Thank goodness that's not how it ended at all and Richelle will come out with more books.  Am I being too vague?  Well tough!  There are tons of books in this series and it's difficult not to give thing away.  So vague it is!

I'm choosing a short book up next so hopefully it doesn't take me so long to read.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hollow City

I have waited a VERY long time for this book to come out!  It is the sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  It came out a while ago and I kept walking by it at Target and saying to myself, "I need to get that on my nook."  Of course I never did.  I came super close to buying it at Target, but I am weird and once I start a series on my nook, I want to keep getting that series on my nook.  I downloaded it before my Orlando trip, but just barely got around to reading it. 

Since it has been so long since I read the first book, I forgot many of the characters.  I remembered the main character, a boy that could see the shadow creatures.  I remembered the girl that could make fire with her hands.  And of course I remembered Miss Peregrine.  That was about it.  I couldn't even remember their names.  Not until I started reading this book and everything came back.  It was a lot of, "oh yeah!  I remember Olive, the floating girl!  I remember Hugh with his bees!"  It just took some time to get back into the flow of things.

The first book was a lot of story.  It was a these are what peculiars are and here are some you can find out about.  The Hollow City was definitely more action.  The peculiars are on the move, traveling through 1940 and running away from the shadow creatures.  What I liked most about this book was the character development with Jacob.  In the first book he just wanted to find out what happened to his grandfather and what kind of life he lead.  In this book, Jacob begins to further develop his peculiar ability and the focus is no longer on his grandfather; it's all about Jacob. It is kind of neat because since they are in 1940, there is a lot of story about the war and bombs, it's like being in a piece of history.  As with the first book, the author still uses old (he calls authentic) pictures throughout the book.  They are really cool but some were difficult to see on my nook.  Might have been better on my nook app on my computer.

When I got to the end of the book, I was so sad, I just wanted to keep reading :(

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Shadow of Night

Had the holiday weekend not come, I think I would have finished this book much sooner.  Shadow of Night is the second book after A Discovery of Witches.  I am in love with this series!  At times I cannot understand why because nothing happens!  These books are so much character development.  Nothing happens but at the same time everything happens!  There are no epic battle scenes between witches and vampires, but there are many tense moments where you are drawn into the character as they try not to reveal what they are.

A little spoiler here:  In this book, Diana and Matthew have traveled back in time to 1591.  That alone makes this book awesome.  Especially when we are introduced to Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth, and William Shakespeare.  In the first book, I felt that Diana was a very strong independent woman and was not frail and was a could-beat-the-crap-out-of-you-with-an-oar type.  I feel like she lost that strong independent woman vibe in this book.  I don't want to say she was weak, but Matthew was definitely the dominating force in this book.  That being said, I still love her character.  I loved reading as she discovered more about her powers and what it meant to be a witch.  I do have to say that around the middle of the book it did slow down a bit and made it more difficult for me to get through.  Once you get past that slower part though the book really picks up and you zoom through it.  As I said previously, these books have a lot of story and are full of character developments.  Yeah we meet big bad vampires and witches and one might die here and there, but no epic gory battle scenes.  I am perfectly fine with that.

I cannot wait to move on to the next book.  Oooh, the next book comes out next Tuesday!  Woohoo!  Barnes & Noble here I come!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Time to Play Catch-Up

It has been a very busy past few weeks and since I do not have internet at home and have not yet figured out how to post from my phone, I have to wait until I can get to work to update my "read that" posts. 

Let's back up a few weeks. I began reading UnWholly.  The next book in the Unwind series.  It's a really good book and I like where the story is going, but it was the end of our semester and I was just too busy to read.
First off I have to say that at night when I would go to bed, the book would go upside down!  The cover isn't scary...unless you wake up in the middle of the night and turn over and see it staring at you ;)  The story behind this series, the idea of unwinding, is so different that I am mesmerized.  I like seeing how the story and characters have progressed.  In most cases I forget that they are only 14-17 years old.  They seem older at times.  I guess any kid that escaped unwinding would do the same. I also liked the development of Cam, the first ever person to be made from unwound parts.  Makes me think of Frankenstein's monster.  As I have said in previous posts about this series, the topic scares me a bit because there are extremists out there and something like this could happen!  What I liked best about the first two books was the way the author switched from character to character.  Each character was like a mini chapter.  It made reading quick.  I'm weird and do not like to stop reading unless I am at the end of a chapter or section in a book.  Having the short character views made it easy for me to do that.  Then I started UnWholly.  The first section took some time getting through.  The author did not follow the normal pattern or short character views.  Part of that was because he introduced some new characters that played some big parts.  So of course we had to get all the back story on those characters.  After that was done and section two came along, it went back to the short character chapters and I felt like I breezed through.  I'm looking forward to my friend getting the next book so I can read it ;)

After that it was time to pack my bags for Orlando!  I was flying there for a conference so that meant I needed books for the long flight.  It's trips like that where I am so happy to have a nook!  I finished one book on the flight there and another on the flight home. 

First up, be nice to your nook!  Mine does not have a case and in a hurry I threw it in my backpack.  It's a touch screen and I guess it rested next to something heavy.  It damaged the screen :(  Luckily I can still read on it.  You can see it in the left hand corner of the next few pictures.  I think I really need to get a case for it before I damage it more!

On the flight to Orlando, I started reading the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke.  My friend has been reading this series and loves it so I decided to give it a try.
Usually I do not like murder mystery books.  I try to stay away from story lines that could be happening in my back yard!  In this case, I am glad I gave this book a try.  Nothing happens in this story.  But in a good way.  Some mystery books have action and the person trying to solve the murder running for their life.  This book was not like that.  This book focused more on the thought process of solving the crime.  We get a peak inside Hannah's mind as she tries to help her brother-in-law solve the murder that happened right outside of her bakery.  What makes this book even better?  All the baked goods!  Whenever Hannah talks about a new recipe she created or a favorite recipe she has been making for years, she includes the recipe!  For example, you will be reading about her Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights.  You get to the end of the chapter and there will be the recipe for Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights!  The friend that introduced me to this series has made a bunch of the recipes.  And those delights came back with me on my last trip to visit her in Albuquerque.  I am actually motivated to try some of the recipes myself.  I love to bake and some look super simple. 

Hannah is a smart girl and very observant.  After years of people coming into her bakery, she knows what they like and dislike and what makes them tick.  This helps her while trying to solve the investigation.  And it does help that any time she talks to a suspect, she brings them free cookies from her bakery ;)  She is also a fan of TV shows that have mysteries in them.  I'm thinking shows like CSI or NCIS.  I'm sure that helps her out ;)

I really liked this book and cannot wait to read the rest.  Maybe when I go visit my friend in Albuquerque at the end of the summer she will let me read some of the books she already has ;)

And finally, we have the book I read home from Orlando.  A good friend told me about this series and thought I would really like it.
Can you see the black marks in the lower corner?  Yep, that's where my poor nook (that I haven't even had for a year!) must have rubbed against my wallet.  Oh well, lesson learned.

The Dresden Files is about a wizard that is for hire for a fee (I won't say small fee because I would love to be able to charge $50 an hour like he does!).  Oftentimes he is called in by the police department to help on a case.  Which is how this story starts out.  At first, when Dresden is being described, I picture Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing.  As the story progresses, I pictured David Boreanaz as Angel, but with a little Spike mixed in there as well ;)  I think it's time to bring out my old Buffy and Angel DVDs!

Quick overview, there's been a murder and it looks like something other-worldly so who you gonna call?  Oops, wrong story line.  Harry works with the police to try and figure out what happened, while at the same time trying to keep his butt out of trouble.  Which, of course, means that he is always in trouble.  I like that this story brings in the ideas of potions and alchemy.  It's not just Harry Potter with a want, we need Snape and his potions.  Oh, did I mention I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter while in Orlando?  Dresden does not need a magic wand, but he does need something to focus the energy of his power.  For example, a staff.  I mean I guess you could also have a magic wand but Dresden doesn't roll that way.  I heard there are a lot of books in this series so I need to crack down on my reading!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Unwind

I'm being a good girl and not waiting until over a week after finishing a book to post about it!  I don't even know where to begin with this book except to say WOW!  I liked this book because it is different, I've never read anything like it before.

I normally don't like to just give a synopsis of what the book is about.  You can go to Amazon or Good Reads and do that.  But I feel like I need to in order to give some backgrounds on my opinions.  In this book, there was a war against people who were Pro-Life and those that were Pro-Choice.  After fighting, they decided to come to an agreement.  All children would be born.  That satisfied the pro-life people.  But, from the age of thirteen to seventeen, a parent (or legal guardian), can choose to unwind a child.  This was for the pro-choice people.  What does it mean to unwind?  The child is sent to a harvest camp where every piece of their body is taken and they basically become a living organ donor.  The concept is that their body parts go to others in need so the child is still alive and not really dead. 

Now on to what I thought of the book.  My first impression was it reminded me of the movies Repo Men or Repo: The Genetic Opera.  But in both of those stories, the body parts are taken back if they cannot be paid for.  This book is in a way opposite of those stories.  It's more about where the body parts come from.  The book is set up to follow different characters through the chapters.  They are all kids that have been chosen to be unwound.  I just cannot see how anyone could justify doing something like that! 

As you read the book you can totally tell how the author is setting everything up to be questioned.  The characters question if being unwound is really the will of God?  Politics are questions.  It makes you think about what is and has happened in the real world and how some of these groups become so sure they are right, that you could totally see something like this happening.  I know some people that are very religious, to the point where they think you are a sinner and going to hell because you are not the same religion as them.  Or those that are so ignorant as to be against same sex marriages.  Then there's the racist groups.  Sexist groups.  It's everywhere!  So who's to say a war between pro-life and pro-choice couldn't happen?  Some pro-life people have already destroyed abortion clinics.  Would people go to extremes like in the book and mandate something like that?  If they can mandate a draft for the war, who's to say they can't mandate something like this.  It's actually really scary when you think about it.

So I have to give the author major props for causing me to think outside the realm of this book.  It's so much more than just a story.  It's one big WHAT IF!  Not to mention (SPOILER HERE) but the end of the book walks you through an unwind.  What a terrible experience!

Now I am on to the second book in this series.  I really liked the three main characters in the first book (Connor, Risa, and Lev) so am interested to see what happens and if they can stop unwinds from happening.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Black and Blue


Over a week ago I finished The Kill Order.  I sat in my room staring at my bookcase and the books I still need to read that my friend let me borrow.  I looked at those four books to see what I should read next, but my eyes kept making their way to my stack of unread Gena Showalter books.  I couldn't resist her pull and opted to grab Black and Blue instead of starting another one of my friend's books.  I picked this book up on a Friday and by Sunday I was done.  This is the effect Showalter's books have on me!  They are so good and just draw you in!  So why is it taking me so long to write this entry?  I was away at a conference and don't have the slightest clue how I can access my blog from my phone or iPad!  Now on to the book!

Gena Showalter is considered Paranormal Romance.  That makes some people give me a funny look when I tell them that I read Paranormal Romance.  When really, I don't think I would put this book in a romance category.  Yes there is the romance part but it does not drive the story.  All of her books are very story and character driven and none of the characters even get down and dirty until the end of the book.  She has some great series and this one is kind of a branch off of her Alien Huntress series.  This is book two in the Otherworld Assassin series.  In the first book, we read about an explosion that takes place.  The first book talks about the story of one of the guys that was in the explosion.  Black and Blue is the story of another guy that was in the explosion.  Will there be a book for the third and final guy that was in the explosion?  Not sure but I would love one of course!  All the male characters in these books are aliens.  This one focuses on one that also happens to be a famous football player, assassin on the side kind of person.  The story does not really focus on the alien aspect of it all though.  I guess you can get all that back story if you started reading the Alien Huntress series (I've only read the first two books).  Instead it focuses more on Corbin Blue and what happened to him after the explosion.  You get a look into what it is like to be him and what kind of people he interacts with.  Yes there are times it specifically mentions that he is an alien with white hair and lavender eyes but to be honest, I always forget!  I keep picturing him as some Channing Tatum type ;)  Oh, and another reason why I like these books, there is always blood and guts and death!  It's not some Fabio-cover crap.  Like I said, STORY first!  

I am almost done with my current book so hopefully it doesn't take me a week to post about it!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Kill Order

When I began reading The Maze Runner trilogy, I had no idea that a prequel to the series had been written.  Even though it is considered a prequel, I recommend reading it AFTER reading The Maze Runner Trilogy.  Why you ask?  Well The Kill Order starts with a prologue involving characters from the Maze Runner Trilogy and might give away spoilers if you have not read the other books first.

Throughout the Maze Runner, you learn about the world being attacked by Sun Flares and people getting a disease that made them crazy, referred to as the Flare.  At some point in the series, it is hinted that the Flare was man-made and not a result of the Sun Flares.  But it is left at that and no more discussion is given to the idea.  Until this book.  The Kill Order takes place thirteen years before The Maze Runner.  The Sun Flares had only happened about a year ago and the world is just barely trying to come back from the damage that was done.  The story focuses on one group of people that survived the Sun Flares and banded together to stay safe.  The book follows their lives as they struggle to survive.  What I like is the main character has flashbacks, so at least we can see what happened right when the flares hit and shortly after.  The characters also learn the truth of The Flare.  What I liked about this book was the character development.  As with the Maze Runner, the characters are developed so well that you can close your eyes and picture them.  However, unlike the Maze Runner, there were no happy moments in this book.  There were a lot more death and destruction and the book kept a dark feel about it.  It really helped to bring you in to the story and make you feel like you are a part of that world.  It also gives you more insight into someone with the Flare and the different stages they go through before they are beyond gone.  I don't remember where it came from, if it was from a book or a movie, but I remember this quote that says "it ends at the beginning."  I feel that so perfectly describes the end of this book as it makes way for the Maze Runner book to begin.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Discovery of Witches

First off, I just could not pass up a book that was written by someone who shared a name with my most favoritest Captain ever, Captain Jack Harkness.  Anyways, I had seen "A Discovery of Witches" everywhere but had not really heard from anyone who had read it.  One day I just said the heck with it and bought it on my nook.  Fast forward a few months and I was standing in a Barnes and Noble with my best friend.  We were walking amongst the books just like kids in a candy store.  We passed A Discovery of Witches and I almost grabbed it.  I totally forgot that I already had it on my nook.  Luckily my arms were full and my gift card was used up.  It still took me over three months before I finally downloaded the book on my nook and began reading...and then I was hooked!

At first the story is a little slow.  And to be honest, I thought the main character was a male until someone referred to them as Diana.  Oops!  I read the first two or three chapters and then stopped reading it for a few weeks.  It was slow and I was worried I had made a mistake by buying this book.  But I was determined to read it.  And I am so glad I did!  After a while, I realized I didn't mind that the story was slow paced and nothing heart wrenching happened.  It was really setting up the plot for everything and I was loving it.  It helped you to really learn as much as you could about Diana Bishop and her fears of magic.  I love well-developed characters.  And then we get introduced to Matthew!  Move over Edward, there's a new vampire in town and he does not sparkle!  Matthew, in a way, is a brooding vampire just like my all time favorite vampire, Angel.  I would say the first half of the book is a getting to know Diana and Matthew section.  The second part is all about Diana trying to re-awaken her powers and trying to find out more about the mysterious manuscript that Diana finds in the beginning of the book.  I love books like this that have more than one mythological creature.  There are witches and vampires and daemons oh my!  It's a really good book and I cannot wait until I can start reading the next book in the series.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Death Cure

Man I was a reading machine when it came to this book!  We were leaving last Friday to go camping for my birthday and my family was standing at my door and I kept holding a finger up and yelling, "just one more page!"  I finally finished and was swept away to the campground.  Where I spent the day so sad this series is over :(  Then I perked up when I realized I had another book in the series waiting at home.  Just so happens James Dashner wrote a prequel to this series.  YES! 

This book was by far the best in the series.  I don't know if it is because it is the final book in the series, or because there are no more trials and they are just fighting for their lives?  I don't know, but man it was good!  You find out in book two about the Flare that people get.  It basically makes them crazy.  At one point in this book, the main characters are in Denver.  Reading about the people with the Flare, I couldn't help but picture Simon Pegg and Nick Frost running away from zombies, or Rick Grimes in Atlanta (um, I think I watch too many zombie flicks!).  Okay so the people with the Flare are not zombies, but they do turn into some crazy people, like in the movie The Crazies...mmmmm Timothy Olyphant...DROOL!  Sorry, just a wee bit distracted today. 

Back to the story!  I love the addition of Brenda and Jorge as main characters.  With their background working with WICKED, they just bring a whole different energy to the group.  And as much as I like Thomas, I would have to say my favorite character in all three books is Newt.  He's level headed and is the glue to their group.  The book ended on a note of hope, but I want to know what happens next!  Can't really tell you more without giving away the plot ;)  I'm looking forward to reading the prequel to see if it explains how the Flare came about, how WICKED was developed, and how Thomas and Theresa were recruited.  There are just way too many questions I still have.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two for the price of one!

So I have been a little bit behind and I cannot believe I have finished two books and not posted about them!  Come on Mindy, get your priorities straight!  Books are everything!  HAHA!

First up, The Scorch Trials.  Book 2 in the Maze Runner series.
This is a really good series and I like it a lot, but I find it a little slower to read then say the other book I will talk about on here.  Maybe it's just me though.  Seems like I keep picking these books up when it is a super busy time and I just do not have time to read.  As I mentioned with the Maze Runner, the characters' memory loss helps draw you more into their story because you are just as clueless as they are.  Even more confusing because some of the characters keep switching back and forth in how they act.  You are constantly wondering if they are bad or good characters!  I know they are making the first book into a movie (hopefully the whole series) so as I read it I can definitely picture a movie unfolding as I go.  It is a great series and unlike anything I have ever read before.

Now on to the second book I finished, The Elite.
As I always do when I finish a book, I take a picture and upload it to Facebook.  My friend asked what this series was about and the best description I could come up with was The Hunger Games meets the Bachelor.  I absolutely love this series.  It has different castes just like districts in the Hunger Games and all the girls are competing for the chance at being princess.  Sometimes I find myself rolling my eyes at some things that America does or says.  Then I remember she is just being a typical 17 year old and of course to my 32 (*cough**cough* almost 33) self I find what she is doing young and immature.  Well DUH!  I still love the story and am frustrated that by the end of the book she had still not made up her mind if she wanted Aspen or Maxon!  I need answers people!  Please hurry up and come out with the third book!  This one was a very quick read and I think I finished it in about a week.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Maze Runner

A lot of books lately are being turned into movies.  When that happens, I like to read the books first.  Why?  Because the book is always better!  If you read my previous posts, you know I have a friend that always lets me borrow tons of books.  This one was in the pile and I figured I better go ahead and read it before the movie comes out.  All I have to say about this is HOLY HUNGER GAMES BATMAN!   I cannot think of anything else to compare it to. 

I don't think I need to tell you what this book is about.  A little obvious from the title.  The beginning of this book was a little slow and confusing.  But now that I think back on it, I think it was a brilliant way of starting the book!  The main character is plopped in this location where the maze is and all he knows is his name is Thomas.  Okay, so that means all we know is that his name is Thomas.  Feel frustration level rising!  Then Thomas starts trying to talk to the other boys in the area and they all tell him not to ask questions, not to try figuring anything out, just make it through the day and learn.  Lots of frustration at this point.  I want answers and details!  By not knowing, however, you are able to be right there, step by step, with Thomas as he tries to figure everything out.  We, as the reader, are a part of the story.  Not an outside entity that knows all the answers.  We don't know anything about the maze or why Thomas was chosen or why he can't remember anything.  Our frustration and feelings match what Thomas is going through.  Awesome book.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Trap

So first off, don't mind my sheets in the picture.  This was one of those classic just one more chapter nights that turned into finishing the book close to midnight.  I was so close, I just had to keep going. 

The Trap is the third and final book in the Hunt Trilogy by Andrew Fukuda.  I don't remember how I came across the first book in the series, The Hunt.  Probably one of those Amazon recommends books that sounded interesting.  All I know is I got it on my nook and read it in no time.  Then the second book, The Prey, came out and I again read it in no time on my nook.  Usually, if I start reading a series on my nook, I like to finish up the series that way.  But I was in Barnes and Noble and had a gift card burning a hole in my wallet.  I turned the corner, saw The Trap, and just had to get it right then and there.  And true to the first two books, this one took me no time to read.  It helped a lot that the chapters are really short.  I feel like I read quicker if that is the case.  And then one more chapter isn't too bad to say to yourself...well, unless you keep saying it to yourself until you finish the book!

What I like about this storyline is it is not your typical vampire book.  In fact, not once is the word vampire mentioned.  The so-called vampires in these books are just People.  Or they are named Duskers by the non-People because they come out of hiding at dusk.  They have fangs and claws and the sun kills them.  It's the little differences from typical vampires that make them so much more appealing.  They show no emotion outwardly, but if they are amused, they scratch their wrists.  It's equivalent to them laughing.  The harder they scratch, the mose amused they are.  Then there are the Hepers, the non-People.  As with the vampires, this group is never referred to as humans.

I really liked all three books and was really into this book until the end.  It did a good job of explaining some things, but still left so much unexplained.  And I felt like the end was very anti-climactic.  It almost felt like the author was taking the phrase riding off into the sunset a little too literally.  Because that is exactly how the book ended.  Still really good though and I would be interested in reading other books by Andrew Fukuda.  


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Night of the Dark Horse

I have to first say I was very sad reading this book.  It is the last book in the Allegra Fairweather series.  I don't want to say the writing style isn't that great, but I know a lot of people that would complain (still a million times better than that crap 50 Shades of Annoying!).  It's a very fun series and I love the story so much that it is easy for me to sit back and read it and not criticize the writing style.  And even better about this book...it happens in IRELAND!!!!!  If you know me, I am obsessed with anything dealing with Ireland.  So much so that I tried to read some of the dialogue in the story out loud so I could see if I could do it with an Irish accent ;)

Okay back to the story.  I read these books in order of how they were on the author's website.  However, reading them in this order is kind of out of place!  There are four books in the series.  This book technically takes place after the second book, even though it is the fourth book in the series.  So I had issues with that.  One of the main characters was injured in the second book.  In the third book everything was all fine and dandy, but the fourth book has the character injured again.  But if that is the only thing I can complain about, then I think that's a pretty good thing ;)

Now on to the next book!  My super awesome friend let me borrow a bunch of her books so I will be reading on of her books.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

House of Night: Revealed

I am so, so, so, SO over this series!  This is the eleventh book in the series.  Come on, ELEVEN!  That's a bit much.  Especially when every book follows the same story line!  After eleven books, Zoey has just become this annoying little girl that needs to learn to stand up to herself, Neferet needs to die and stay dead, could have done without the Aurox/Heath plot twist, Kalona is good and then he is bad and then he is good again, Aphrodite stays heavily sedated, and everyone acts like they are in some B rated horror movie.  I like to give books the benefit of the doubt and will keep reading them to see if they get better.  This series is just old already!  Well, I guess I am the idiot that keeps reading it but I feel invested and like I have to see it to the end.  That and I think there will only be one more book after this?  (PLEASE LET THAT BE TRUE!)  Not to mention this took me over a month to finish!  I got home from work and the last thing I wanted to do was read it.  The only reason I finished it when I did was because I was suffering from a broken heart and my depression was really bad and I needed a distraction.  At that point, I think I read half the book in one day.  Which I was glad about because I wanted it to be over.  So now I say goodbye to the House of Night and pass this book onto my friend so she doesn't have to waste money on this.

I know I am being harsh...just in that kind of mood today.

Island of Secrets

My friend has what she calls her cozy reads.  They are stories that are just enjoyable and do not require a lot of thought to get through.  The Allegra Fairweather series is like that for me.  I enjoy the content so much that I am easily able to overlook the writing style or inconsistencies.  And Allegra is a paranormal investigator, my favorite kind of storyline!  I don't remember how many books into the series this is, I think four?  All I know is there is only one left after this.  How sad!

What can I say about Allegra?  She's a paranormal investigator that has an itchy toe whenever she is near the paranormal.  But...in this story she injured her foot and it did get a little annoying that she kept complaining about it.  Then there is the whole Casper thing.  Seems like every book they are either hot or cold about one another.  Oh, and this book was very predictable when it did come to one aspect of Casper's life.  This book did not have any of Allegra's family in it.  The last two did.  It was kind of nice to have this be like the first book and just follow Allegra as she tried to uncover the paranormal.  And this story was even cooler because it had goblins and mer-people!  And throw in an 18th century ghost and you are good to go!  Looking forward to reading the last book.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rusted Veins

Don't you hate when a really great series ends and you think, what will I do with my life?  Then all of a sudden you decide to look for a new book and go to the recommendations section on Amazon...only to find out the author that wrote the series you love also wrote a follow up novella that is only available electronically!!!!!!  That's what happened with me and the Sabina Kane series.  I first gravitated to the series only because the first book was titled Red Headed Step Child.  It's what my cousin used to call me when I was younger because I was the only person in my family with red hair.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn the series had vampires and mages and demons, oh my!  It's a great series and I highly recommend it.  So, back to my original point.  I was very excited when I saw a Sabina Kane novella on Amazon!  I don't have a Kindle but I did quickly hop on over to Barnes & Noble and download it for my nook.

As you can see from the picture I took, the novella is super short.  It says 69 pages but it really only ended up being 53 or so pages.  Fine with me, meant I could finish it over two lunch periods.  Could have finished in one but I did have to put the nook down to eat.  It was just a short little story and not even worth mentioning the store line, especially since there would be SPOILERS!  All I can say is this novel takes place after the last book in the series, Blue Blooded Vamp.  Now to just keep my fingers crossed that Wells comes out with more Sabina Kane novellas ;)  In the meantime, I think I need to check out some of her other books.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Back to reality

Well after having two weeks off for the winter break, let's just say it is hard to be sitting at work right now.  Not only did I forget all of my passwords, but I came in to emails that made me cranky.  Welcome back, NOT! 

Christmas was okay for me, too much stress to deal with.  New Year's was awesome.  I plopped my behind in my car and drove the 12 hours it took for me to get to Albuquerque, New Mexico to see my best friend.  It was a great trip and even though I heard about all the stress and drama going on at home, I was not directly involved or affected by it.  It makes me even more determined to get my own place.  While I was in ABQ, my best friend made the most simple but addicting lunch...using her food steamer!  So of course I had to twist her arm to take me to Target so I could buy my own steamer!
The steamer is awesome!  The other day I used it to make rice and chicken...at the same time!

Then, I just had to twist her arm to take me to Barnes and Noble.  I had gift cards and ended up walking away with five new books.  Geesh I have so much reading to do!  I also decided to treat myself to this bad boy...
I have a first generation nook.  Works great still but it is so big and heavy that I never take it anywhere.  I love books but when I am at work on my lunch break, the nook is great.  Only problem is my nook does not fit in my purse.  So I saw that B&N had the nook touch for only $59.  I figured, why not!  Now I have a larger nook I can travel with but I also have a smaller one that will fit in my purse!  Maybe now I will be able to get through more books!

Now on to the books I actually did finish over break.  To begin with, Allegiant.
I had this book on my nook and would always read it on my phone, thinking for sure I would finish in no time.  Especially because I zoomed through the first two books in this series.  Boy was I wrong!  It took me FOREVER to finish this book!  It just did not have to appeal the other two books had.  It was slow going.  One day I told myself I would read until I finished!  I did and I was so disappointed!  The book had a terrible ending and it was not at all necessary.  It is hard for a series to be successful with all books, but when you have two successful books, you expect the third to be great as well.  I am disappointed with how the series ended but I still think it is a good series and will definitely be seeing Divergent when the movie comes out.

Thankfully, I was smart and followed Allegiant with The Fiery Heart from the Bloodlines series.
I love this series so much!  As I have mentioned before, it is a spin off from the Vampire Academy series.  I loved VA but I actually think the Bloodlines series is better.  Maybe because of Adrian?  Hehe

The book took me about six days to finish.  Not bad after the weeks I endured Allegiant.  I love how interesting these books are and how quickly I get through them!  I can't really saying anything about the story without giving away spoilers ;)  Oh yes I did just have a Doctor Who reference!  Okay, did anyone see the Christmas special?  Oh the feels!

Well now I am just counting down the minutes to lunch so I can bust out the nook and start reading something new.  While I was in New Mexico, I started the latest book in the House of Night series.  About 60 pages into it.  That will be an at home book so I can have the nook for lunch time at work.