**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.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [272]


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!
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Enregistrer After Hurricane Irma blew through last week, it looks like the next two, Jose and Katia, are headed off the U.S. east coast and well away from the places that are currently still bailing out after Harvey and Irma. That's the good news.

And, as always, there have been more books added to the virtually towering TBR stack. It's important to have plenty of choices of stuff to read in any crisis - or just because. The complete stack is over at Reading Reality, but here are just a few teasers...




Cold Hearted Rake, Marrying Winterborne, Devil in Spring (The Ravenels series) by Lisa Kleypas

I read a spotlight/promo/teaser for the next book in the series, Hello, Stranger, and it just sounded to good that I had to borrow the first three books from the library. I'll have plenty of time (hopefully) to get caught up before the new one comes out in February.


The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger by Victoria Alexander

In addition to meriting an award for longest title ever, this is the second book in the series, after The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen, which I read and which was an absolute hoot. So I'm looking forward to this one.

Please link your STS post in the linky below:


Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Space fiction
Hardcover: 403 pages
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: June 27, 2017

Series:  The Forgetting, #1

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories -- of parents, children, love, life, and self -- are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence -- before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

This was such a unique book and idea! While it seems like it could be overwhelming with all of the details at first, it was carefully put together and gave just enough information to keep the reader engaged without being lost. At first, I was trying to see how this civilization might resemble a former Canaan of the Bible, but don't bother. I think the only reason it is referenced this way is that it is another "promised land" of a sort, though any further description means spoilering some awesome revelations at the end.

Nadia is special among the residents of Canaan because she hasn't forgotten. She tries to make plans for her family so that in case they forget again, she will keep them together. Until Gray helps, she is basically running a one-girl band to find out the truth behind the Forgetting. Additionally, Nadia is one of the few that recognizes the emotional trauma of being forgotten and lost and left behind. That's possibly a great metaphor to explore, and one that invokes a sad reminder of the effects of today's dementia and Alzheimer's diseases. It's really wrenching to picture a child or teen going through that!

From the very beginning, I kept expecting Gray or someone to betray her/them. It happens, but not quite the same way I pictured. What is really phenomenal is how you don't really realize that this is science fiction and specifically dystopian space fiction until much later in the book. I would have really wanted to find out more about the details of this, but perhaps that is coming in the sequel The Knowing coming out next month, October 2017. (It should be noted that this sequel does not continue the story of Nadia but has whole new characters since it takes place well after this book.)

The character description and character development were great. They really stick with you, and so many of them do change throughout the course of the novel, including Gray and Nadia. There are a few things that are rather disturbing about the book such as the killings, physical abuse, lost or orphaned children, and torture. Some things may be traumatizing to middle school readers, especially if they couldn't take similar themes in The Hunger Games either.

As a librarian, the idea of the books and the archives was intriguing and fun. I really enjoyed this aspect, especially when Nadia gains a job at the Archives. However, no way would I want my own book collection. I definitely would not want to have to write everything down, have other people potentially read what I've written and take advantage of it, nor to forget my family if my books were lost or destroyed. Again, super personally thought provoking! I enjoyed this one more than Rook but not as much as her two steampunk novels. Still can't wait to see what The Knowing holds!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [271]


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!
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Enregistrer And it's Christmas! Not really, but my stack is beginning to look a lot like it might be. A few holiday books have already trickled in, but this week I have two from a couple of my favorite authors. The rest of my stack over at Reading Reality is a bit less Christmas-y. At least so far.

I don't know about you, but even the idea of lots of snow is more fun to contemplate than another hurricane. Harvey was awful, and now Irma is on the horizon. It may deal us a glancing blow in Atlanta, but nothing like the folks in Florida are going to get!

Stay safe everyone!


Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates

This is book 10 in Yates' Copper Ridge contemporary western romance series. And although there was one clunker in the series, at least for me, all the others that I have read have been absolutely marvelous. If you like your heroines with a bit of all-too-real angst, this series is a winner.


Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey

I first discovered Stacey through one of the Carina Press holiday anthologies, way back in 2011 or 2012. She just writes terrific contemporary romance, and her books are always marvelous.

Please link your STS post in the linky below:


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release date: May 16, 2017

Series:  Flame in the Mist, #1

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan where Mulan meets Throne of Glass.

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
     Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she's within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she's appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she's ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.


I loved her other series of The Wrath and the Dawn so I was keen on reading this one as soon as I could (plus, she's a fellow North Carolinian)! I wanted to like this book just as much as TWATD, but I just...didn't. I listened to this on audiobook, and that made the Japanese accents and names and history come alive, but I might have missed some key details that I otherwise would not have if I had read the book. Maybe at a second reading I'll have a different perspective, but I might just not even try. :(

This was marketed as Mulan meets Throne of Glass. Now, I love Mulan, but I absolutely really dislike Throne of Glass, so that wasn't a sell for me. The Mulan comparison comes from a girl masquerading as a boy and learning to fight, possibly also from Mulan's headstrong tendency to do as she likes rather than what people tell her to do. Unlike Mulan, I didn't feel like we really understood a picture of Mariko's personality and background before she was attacked/left for dead and then insinuates herself with the Black Clan. She seems a bit of a Mary Sue as we find out she's gifted at swordplay, alchemy/chemistry, and designing weaponry. Other than the fact that she is not like other girls and does not pretend to be the perfect ideal noble girl, most of her personality and skills are bland. She also has a typical blind eye towards other's feelings, especially if they are of a lesser station than she is. When she discovers abuses her family has done to their servants, she is shocked. It's rather like she just woke up to seeing the suffering of others since she was attacked. This seemed very...unbelievable.

Another of the things I missed was about Ōkami and Ronmaru, and apparently, Mariko missed it too. It's partially a spoiler, so I won't go into it here, but the last bit of the ending was confusing and didn't make enough sense. Perhaps this is due to the cliffhanger but I think it was simply too farfetched an idea, or due to the fact that our main character is so blind, the reader is too. I enjoyed the descriptions and writing and romance (!) though somehow missed this was actually feudal Japan with a bit of magic thrown in. The magic also is hard to grasp, as there are shadowy figures or animals and a fierce jungle cat that seems like something magical. Ōkami has some weird power too that seems magical, but none of this is explained because Mariko is kept so much in the dark. Without these explanations, I was just frustrated overall and wanted more from this story as I really think it could have been amazing. The romance was quite honestly the best part, so if you want some steamy kisses...

Did anyone else read this? What did you think?

Read an excerpt.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Stacking the Shelves [270]


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!
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Enregistrer Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone in the U.S. I hope that you are able to enjoy this last unofficial weekend of summer, and the Monday holiday.

But wherever you are, I hope you have wonderful things to read! In case you are looking for something to read, here are a couple of teasers. My complete stack is over at Reading Reality.



Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 by S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michele Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green , Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject

This is the second Pets in Space collection. Last year's entry, just titled Pets in Space, had some absolutely lovely science fiction romance short stories and novellas, where the heroes and heroines achieve their HEAs with the help, or sometimes the hindrance of their space-faring pets, everything from cyber-dogs to dragons to robots. I'm really looking forward to the new collection!



Unmapped by Anna Hackett

Unmapped is the latest in Anna Hackett's marvelous action-adventure romance series, Treasure Hunter Security. I finished it last night (review coming this week at Reading Reality) and it's great fun. Antarctica hasn't seen this much action since they discovered the second Stargate!


Please link your STS post in the linky below: