**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Stacking The Shelves {231}

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


 Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a great week :)

It's fall season with Halloween just around the corner and I went out to get some pictures of my girls, I thought I would share some!

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I haven't added any physical books to my shelves in a few weeks but I purchased one for my kindle:

A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes was on sale for 2$

What did you add to your shelves?


[inlinkz_linkup id=673588]

Monday, October 24, 2016

Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong never ceases to amaze me. She has written yet another novel that is intelligent, mysterious and fascinating. Betrayals has answered so many questions about the Cainesville world yet there's still so much we don't know.

Olivia was living a pretty normal life up until a few months ago. Ever since learning she was adopted and that her birth parents are in jail for murder, life hasn't been the same. Now she's living a life full of supernatural intrigue and visions. Working as a private investigator for lawyer and friend Gabriel Walsh, trouble seems to follow her around. Through one of her visions, she finds out that two girls were murdered and she makes it her duty to investigate. Because these girls are a type of fae, their bodies disappear soon after their death so Olivia is really their only hope for justice. Solving the mystery is even more important since someone is trying to pin an associated murder and disappearance on Ricky, Olivia's lover and the future leader of a biker gang.

I don't even know where to start when it comes to describing Cainsville. It's not a secret town but you can only find it if it wants to be found. It's a town built by Welsh fae, for the Welsh fae and their progeny. Almost like a safe haven in disguise. Olivia was drawn to the town for a reason, because the elders of the town believe she is a sort of reincarnation of Matilda, a maiden from one of their myths. It is said that Arawn and Gwynn, the princes of the Hunt and the Welsh fae, respectively, were both attracted to Matilda. Their story ended badly, but in our modern world, according to the town elders, Arawn is Ricky and Gwynn is Gabriel. Apparently Olivia must choose a side and the winning side would get the ultimate power to survive in the modern world.

Olivia, Gabriel and Ricky have decided to live out their lives as normally as possible, ignoring the "prophecy." However, Olivia is torn between Ricky and Gabriel. She is definitely attracted to Ricky and their physical relationship isn't suffering despite Olivia being stabbed and almost drowning. However, Olivia's strong feelings for Gabriel is unavoidable. Their calm and unassuming friendship isn't enough for Gabriel, and despite his jealousy of Ricky, he doesn't let it show. He does, however, try to win Olivia in his own way. Most of the time, I'm not a big fan of love triangles, but in this case, it's a drama you don't want to miss.

In my mind, Kelley Armstrong can do no wrong. This series is very different from her previous books but it's so original it makes me crave more. Betrayals is my favourite book of the series so far because of the drama unfolding between Olivia, Gabriel and Ricky. It has also answered many questions yet left us in the dark about so many other things. I can't wait to see how the series unfolds. I feel like the end is near yet I don't want this series to be over.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [230]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


 Hello, all!  I woke up to FALL this morning!  Leaves are falling in my backyard, the baby's wearing long sleeves and pants, the pumpkin spice coffee is hot....  (I know we have a lot of Canadian readers: is "pumpkin spice everything" as big up there as it is down there?  In the past few weeks I've purchased eight pumpkin spice lattes, a bag of pumpkin spice sweet potato chips, two jars of pumpkin spice cookie butter, and a jar of pumpkin spice peanut butter.  (The pumpkin spice peanut butter turned out to be a mistake.  Not tasty.))

So what will I be reading while eating all of my pumpkin spice goodies?  George Washington: An Illustrated Biography by David A. Adler and Dorothy Must Die: Stories by Danielle Paige.  I love love love George Washington.  Hands-down my fave President.  Also, kind of my "celebrity crush."  Did you know he was a redhead, like me?  And I've already started Stories.  I love this series that Danielle Paige created!  I highly recommend.  I read Dorothy Must Die last year, and Stories is a collection of three prequels.

George Washington An Illustrated Biography David A AdlerDorothy Must Die Stories Danielle Paige

And you?  What did you stack onto your shelves this week?  Leave a comment with your link!


Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Second Look: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

I'm taking a second look at The Cage by Megan Shepherd.  You can see Stephanie's original review from last year here.

I had the ARC of The Cage sitting on my bookshelf for way too long before I finally read it!  I love love love The Madman's Daughter trilogy by Shepherd, so I was anticipating enjoying this new trilogy just as much.  And I did!  Shepherd is one of my all-over fave YA authors.  I think I've compared her to a female Stephen King for teens in a previous review.  I get sucked into her writing and transported into the book's world and get actual physical goosebumps while I read!

Aliens!  It's not often that you find a book that features aliens that isn't campy.  The aliens in The Cage have kidnapped six teens from earth and placed them into an elaborate cage.  These aliens aren't little green men- they're a very sophisticated race that look vaguely human.  They have the same number of arms and legs and same facial features; the big difference is that their skin is kind of metallic.  They are described as being very solid and a bit on the tall side, which I imagine would make them formidable captors.  These aliens are definitely frightening, with their silence and stoicism and lack of emotions.

Then there's the cage.  The cage, to me, is very reminiscent of a zoo- it's got multiple "habitat" areas that are meant to mimic geographic features of earth, such as a desert area and a town area and a jungle area.  None of them are quite right, of course, but they're just close enough to bug the teens.  (For example, there's daily rain in the jungle area, but no bugs.)  Within the cage are multiple puzzles that the teens can solve over and over again to win tokens.  I kept thinking of seals or killer whales, who are often made to do a trick to earn fish.  It made me cringe.

The setting and the story are very well set up and elaborate.  I won't give anything away, but there's more to the caging of the teens than originally meets the eye.  Even with it's elaborateness and depth, though, the story is never hard to follow.  Shepherd is quite the writer!  However, I didn't feel that the characters were as well developed as they could be.  The reader sees the story from every character's point of view at least once, but a majority of the chapters are from Cora's point of view.  Even with that, though, I didn't always feel like I knew her.  I'd be cheering her independent spirit one moment, then completely confused when she turns around and has feelings for her captor.  We have a whole backstory on her that makes her sound really tough, then she starts to lose it in the cage.  This is the first book in a trilogy, so maybe we get to know other characters better in the second and third books.

The Cage was fantastic!  I'm kind of glad it took me so long to get around to reading it; now I can binge read right into the second and third books without waiting!  Even with the underdevelopment of characters, the unique plot and the whammy of an ending left me wanting more.

P.S. I'll say that I do kind of agree with Stephanie about the aliens' requirement that the teens mate.  (Like animals in a zoo.)  It is pretty creepy.  However, it fits into the story and adds to the terror and suspense, and when characters comply the actions are never described in any detail, so I'm actually ok with it being in the book.  I just wouldn't recommend it to young/immature teens.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

This week I decided to go old school.  There is a lot to be said for reaching back into the past and maybe even finding the origin of some familiar story lines.  We have a lot to be thankful for from such authors as Robert Heinlein  who were the pioneers of modern science fiction literature.

Even though this book has a definite 'pulp' feel to it, it goes well beyond the usual 'pulp' science fiction.  This is one of the earliest examples of "hard science fiction" I have run across.  Admittedly it is only hard science fiction in relative to the time it was written.  There are many descriptions of technologies that are either outdated or science went a completely different way than the author predicted.  I did think that, with some subtle tweaking, the story could be adapted to the screen.  The largest problem it would have is being compared to the Expanse Series.  It would be a bit unfair since this book precedes that series by decades.  This just goes to prove that this book and those like it have inspired much of what we read today.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress does not rely only on the science or even the setting to entertain the reader. The overarching plot is well supported by a cast of characters.  It contains many of the same archetypes that are the staple of many stories.   There is political intrigue of a sort but, it is not quite as heavy as something like A Game of Thrones.  It is interesting enough to keep the narrative moving and interesting.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein is tour through what our past thought our future would be.  If you look past some of the misplaced tech and period speech patterns you will find a great story and an unique glimpse into what might be.  There is no real rough language to speak of but, there is some mature subject matter that earns this one a mild PG13.




Monday, October 17, 2016

Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

Future Shock is a time-travelling book that will keep you on your toes. Its quick pace and clear narration makes it easy and fun to read. As the narrator, Elena feels authentic and although she may have had a rough upbringing, her struggles with life and finding a job are very realistic. The prejudice and the hopelessness felt at the beginning of the story feels very honest. You can’t help but want to know more about this seemingly unbreakable character.

When it comes to time-travelling books, so many things can go wrong, but in Future Shock, the author kept things uncomplicated. She didn’t go into too much detail about how the time-travelling actually works which in all honesty, isn’t a bad thing. One thing I thought was very original is the repercussion time-travelling has on the mind. For adults, travelling in time is dangerous, because they return with memory loss, paranoia and confusion. The scientists coined the condition future shock. From some of the initial voyages, the scientists noticed that the younger travellers seemed to have less symptoms which led them to recruit young adults for their next experiment.

Elena, with her eidetic memory, is one of the five recruited by the company Aether for the voyage, and she accepts mainly for monetary reasons. As a 17 year-old living in foster care, she can’t refuse the generous offer. The payout would help her considerably after leaving foster care. It would help her pay for college and live comfortably, something she thought would be impossible for a young mexican girl living on her own in L.A. Three other teens seem to be in similar positions, all three coming from foster care. Adam is the only odd one out but to Elena, he seems as desperate as the rest of them.

Right from the start, things go terribly wrong. They were only supposed to go ten years forward but instead they ended up going 30 years into the future. They were warned not to look into their future selves but as curious young adults, the situation leads them to investigate. Early into their 24 hour trip they realize that among them, only Adam still lives after 30 years, the four others apparently dead shortly after their return to the present. Elena suspects she might be the reason for their deaths. She always knew she had a violent streak but she never thought she would capable of murder. As time unfolds in the future, their investigation into their own murders lead them on a wild chase through futuristic L.A.

Full of corporate intrigue, romance, suspense, murder and futuristic technology, I couldn’t put it down. However, the end left me wanting. It ended so suddenly that I’m sure there’s more to Elena and Adam’s story.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [229]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


 How crazy is this?  In the past six weeks, I've read approximately five pages for pleasure.  Five pages.  I've read tons of pages for work and for school; it's just the for-no-reason-but-fun reading that's fallen by the wayside.  To save my sanity, there's audiobooks.  My library has a subscription to Hoopla, which lets me stream audiobooks to my phone on-the-go.  I love every second I spend with my infant, so I don't blame him for the loss of pleasure reading time... but my professors?  They don't get off the hook so easily!  I wouldn't complain if they assigned a little less reading.  ;)

Have you ever gone through a phase where you had little or no time for pleasure reading?  How did you cope?  I have a break in December between semesters; anything (short) that I should definitely read then?  To join in the fun, click on the Linky below my Stack.

Audiobooks (all from the library, via Hoopla):

Envy Rumors Splendor Anna Godbersen By Hook or By Crook Dead Men Don't Crochet Betty Hechtman Fall of Five Revenge of Seven Pittacus Lore

EnvyRumors, and Splendor by Anna Godbersen- very much like Downton Abbey, in book form, for teens.  By Hook or By Crook and Dead Men Don't Crochet by Betty Hechtman- a cozy mystery series that features crochet patterns in each book.  The Fall of Five and The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore- aliens!

New Books:

Stalking Jack the Ripper Kerri Maniscalco 13 Things Rich People Won't Tell You Jennifer Merritt Things of the Earth Joe Rigney

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco- this one was sent to me for review by the publisher and it was SO GOOD.  Delightfully creepy, if you're looking for a Halloween read!  13 Things Rich People Won't Tell You: 325+ Tried and True Secrets to Building Your Fortune No Matter What Your Salary by Jennifer Merritt and Roe D'Angelo and The Things of Earth by Joe Rigney- both bought by the hubby, and I know that I'll read eventually.  He's only started The Things of Earth so far, and says it's ok.

Library Books (because I can't resist):

Sparky Beverly Gherman Frankencrayon Michael Hall Painter's Chair Hugh Howard Penny Arcade 1 Attack of the Bacon Robots Jerry Holkins Mike Krahulik

I have no self-control when it comes to bringing books home from work at the library!!!  I brought home Sparky by Beverly Gherman for the hubby, and I've ended up wanting to read it- he says it's great.  In October, my county library system encourages everyone to read the same book and discuss it, and this year it's Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  Frankencrayon by Michael Hall is the picture book companion book.  I don't have time to re-read Frankenstein, but I can certainly read Frankencrayon (a FANTASTIC book if you haven't heard of it) to my little one!  One day I helped to shelve books in another branch's adult non-fiction section and found The Painter's Chair by Hugh Howard and Penny Arcade 1: Attack of the Bacon Robots by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik... and had to bring them home.  I love George Washington and I love bacon.

So that's my haul; how about you?

[inlinkz_linkup id=670614]


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Time Agency by Aaron Frale

I have always been a fan of time travel stories.  I have stopped listening to experts when they say time travel cannot be done.  After all, how can there be time travel experts if there can be no time travel (some kind of conspiracy maybe?). I also like stories that weave a web of mystery.  So, when I saw this book it seemed to fit some of my favorite categories.

We start off the story with a deep mystery.  It is the main character only we do not know who, where or even when he is.  It is an interesting variation on teaching a new world through a new inhabitant or student.  Here we have somebody well versed in its intricacies only, he can't remember what they are.  The problem comes in the narration.  I'm not averse to the more experimental but, I believe the experiment failed somewhat here.  The book used not only two different POVs, it used two different perspectives.  Perspective shifts from third to first person every time the POV shifts back to the main character.  The reader has to be especially watchful for changes in voice to pick up on this change.  It does highlight the unreliability of the main character as narrator but, I still believe it could have been done a bit more elegantly by sticking to one perspective.  It would have made for a longer story but, if it is a good one, who would mind.

Character development is another tricky aspect with this one.  In this case, it isn't a bad thing.  The main character is in constant flux because he is constantly reevaluating himself and his own motivations as much as everybody else around him if not more so.  It can be one part maddening to two parts exciting depending which part of the book you are in.

I am a big Doctor Who fan (Whovian if you please) and can withstand the mental stresses, strains and leaps required to really get into any time travel story.  With that said, this book wore me out with its whiplash changes in time, scenery and perspective.  Oddly, it took a bit too much time to straighten some of it out in my head for me to really enjoy it.  The language and violence land this one firmly in the PG13 rating.




Saturday, October 08, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [228]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


 Happy Saturday everyone! Just a quick post for me today since I only purchased a single book these last couple of weeks. I love reading holiday romance books so I just couldn't resist buying this one.


The Trouble With Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis


What's new on your shelves this week?


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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco + Giveaway

Every so often I read a book that perfectly matches up with the time of year, and this was one of those times.  What could be more perfect than reading a delightfully chilling Jack the Ripper story in October, right before Halloween?  I was hooked on Stalking Jack the Ripper from the moment I received the book.  The back of the cover is minimalist, with a picture of historic autopsy tools and
He murdered women in cold blood.  He terrorized an entire city.  He taunted those of us who hunted him down.  But despite all these horrors, in the end, I could not deny it... I was the girl who loved The Ripper."

Chills, right?  And although the jacket copy refers to Aubrey Rose's love for The Ripper, the book is so much more than that.  It's about a wonderfully fierce and feisty independent young woman and a mystery too!

Aubrey Rose is an excellently well-developed main character.  She is complex and unpredictable.  Stalking Jack the Ripper is set in 1888, so the reader sees her daily struggle between what society expects of her and what she expects of herself.  Rather than going full-tilt rebel, we witness her desire to still befriend her much more feminine cousin and to not overly upset/scandalize her older brother.  I always find that it's a mark of great character development if the character grows or changes any over the course of the book, and Aubrey Rose definitely does.  At the beginning of the book she is a very bright young lady who is good at following her uncle's instructions to complete an autopsy.  By the end of the book, she is very much thinking for herself and making her own decisions both on the streets and in the autopsy room.

Stalking Jack the Ripper also has a secondary character, Thomas Creswell, who is an absolute bonus!  I just loved him to bits!  I'm a huge fan of "snark," and he has "snark" for days!  His demeanor and witticisms had me smiling often through this book.  I found myself especially looking forward to any extended dialog between him and Aubrey Rose- they both gave as well as they got in the sarcastic remarks!

Finally, the mystery- this was a really good mystery.  It kept me guessing straight up to the end... and maybe beyond.  ;)  I'm not giving anything away!  You HAVE to read this one yourself.  Kerri Maniscalco reveals only one clue at a time, with a couple of red herrings, to keep you hooked.  I work in a library and ended up reading the latter part of the book on the reference desk because I couldn't put it down!  Not only will you want to solve the mystery, but you'll also cheer for Aubrey Rose as she works through the clues in the male-dominated Victorian era.

This standalone book left me craving a lot more, so I was very glad to read an author interview in which it was revealed that there will be more standalone Aubrey Rose stories in the future.  Go read Stalking Jack the Ripper now so that you can gush about it with me, and keep your eyes peeled for further adventures!


Thanks to the publisher of Stalking Jack the Ripper, we're giving away one copy of the book and some lovely soap from Skull & Bones!  (Because stalking a murderer is dirty work!)  Enter here!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 03, 2016

Replica by Lauren Oliver

In my opinion, Lauren Oliver’s Replica is going to be a very popular and sought out YA book this fall. The format is incredibly original, the writing is very intelligent and the story is gripping and addictive.

Replica is the story about two very different girls, Lyra and Gemma, who tell a similar story from two very different point of views. Lauren Oliver made the very bold decision and separated these two point of views. Each story starts from one end of the book and meet towards the middle. This spring, when I briefly met the author, I asked her what was the proper way to read her book and she told me there is no right way. You read it however you like. You can read Lyra’s story straight through and then move on to Gemma’s. Or you can do the opposite. Personally, I chose to read one chapter from each story, flipping back and forth between the two. Timeline wise, the chapters line up very well so I really enjoyed reading it this way. There is some repetition when the two main characters are together, but for the most part, the two point of views offer different information and insight.

Between Lyra and Gemma, I don’t really have a favourite story. I enjoyed reading them equally. They both have very distinct and interesting voices and most often, I couldn’t wait to continue reading the same POV once I was done with a chapter instead of flipping over to the other side. Gemma is a sheltered teen who’s current goal is to go on a simple road trip to Florida with her best friend. But when a trivial event threatens her family, her father prevents her from leaving. Despite being very obedient, Gemma defies her parents and makes her way to Florida a few days after her best friend left. What she discovers in Florida opens her eyes to a whole new side of her father and his history with the pharmaceutical company he helped found. Gemma ends up breaking so many rules, that she can barely recognize herself after only a few short days.

All Lyra has ever known is a life full of medical and cognitive testing on an island off the Florida coast. She is a replica, or a clone, with a sole purpose, which isn’t very clear at first. She was raised in this medical facility called Haven with hundreds of different replicas. She considers herself one of the lucky ones since many subjects died at a very young age, and others don’t have the mental capacities to clean or feed themselves. The female and male replicas have always been kept apart and she has had very limited interaction with boys, except for the doctors and the scientists. Interestingly enough, both Lyra and Gemma have lived very sheltered and different lives but both of them have had very limited interactions with boys. So when Lyra hears about a boy, replica 72, who ran away, she’s intrigued by what led him to that decision. Eventually, she’s forced to work with 72 in order to find a way off the island. Lyra may be very naive but her capacity to learn allows her to mature very quickly as her world comes crumbling down.

The science experimentation going on at Haven might not be so far fetched, which makes the book very chilling and thought provoking. Lauren Oliver may have concentrated on the human developments in her story but the science aspect is also described very well. Fans of the TV shows Orphan Black and Dark Angel will love this new take on clones. Personally, I enjoyed Replica more than Oliver’s Delirium series. I can’t wait to see what comes next.


Saturday, October 01, 2016

Stacking The Shelves [227]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Happy Saturday to you all!! It is that time of year again and the school year is in full swing.  My 'little' one has started high school and with it Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Course(NJROTC).  I feel almost as though I'm going through boot camp again and at my age, that is not fun

This week is equal parts borrowed and owned in the way of books.  Borrowing can be little less satisfying in that I like having access to the books I like best and borrowed books don't offer that long term as a rule.  The benefit comes in when there are tomes that don't appeal to me don't occupy space best left for those that do....long term.

For long term I got these:

washingtons_immortals I'm looking forward to Washington's Immortals by Patrick K. O'Donnel  because I love to learn the obscure facts from history that give a sense of reality to what seems to have occurred an eon ago.
RosemaryandRuebySeananMcGuireOf course, you may have noticed I have already posted my review on Rosemary and Rue Seanan McGuire.

I also picked up for free from Audible was The Very First Damn Thing by Jodi TaylorIt is a prequel in the Chronicles of St. Mary series.  This may be something to look a little deeper into!

For the short haul, I borrowed these gems:

jawsI have to admit to this being a nostalgia pick for me.  I remember standing in long lines just to be able to see this movie when it first came out. I was very young at the time.
 The Price of Salt The movie is based on the book The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith.  Since it is a period piece, it's interesting to measure that against current sensibilities.
 the_decendants_by_kaui_hart_hemmings To round out my movie to book picks we have The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings.   

So, tell me, whether for education, inspiration or entertainment, what did you buy, borrow or acquire for indefinite stewardship to fill your shelves?

Share your Stacking the Shelves post! Please leave the direct link to your STS post, not your blogs URL, in the collection below. Thanks for participating! Happy Reading!

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