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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Giveaway--Penelope by Anya Wylde

Anya Wylde is giving away two ebook copies of her new book--Penelope:


Here is the short description from Amazon.

‘Leaving behind the rural charms of Finnshire, Miss Penelope Fairweather arrives in London with hope in her heart and a dream in her eye. The dowager, no less, has invited her for a season in London, where she will attempt to catch a husband.
Thus begins our heroine's tale as she attempts to tackle the London season with all her rustic finesse. Unfortunately, her rustic finesse turns out to be as delicate as a fat bear trying to rip apart a honeycomb infested with buzzing bees.
What follows is a series of misadventures, love affairs, moonlit balls, fancy clothes, fake moustaches, highwaymen, sneering beauties, pickpockets, and the wrath of a devilishly handsome duke.’

Here is the listing on Amazon

If you are interested in a copy, please leave a comment including your email address.  Thank you!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars

Book #10 Read in 2013
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (YA)

I knew this was a cancer book.  I knew it would be an emotional read.  What I didn't know was that I would love Hazel and Gus so much.  These two were great characters.  The pair meet at a cancer support group.  Havel has cancer.  Gus had cancer and lost a leg to it.  The two connect at first through Issac, in the support group and Gus's friend.  Issac is going blind from his cancer.  Gus and Hazel have an immediate connection and they fall in love, despite Hazel trying to fight that from happening.  But young love is never easy, let alone when cancer is involved.

This book was a great read.  Readers will come to love these characters and yearn for their happiness.  Green is an incredible author and his writing makes this not "just another cancer book".  His writing immediately embraces readers into the lives of these characters and the plot surrounds all.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener

Book #9 Read in 2013
Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener

This is the third book in a cozy mystery series.  Agatha Raisin, a pretty cranky older woman, has moved from London to a small town.  There, she ends up becoming a sort of amateur detective and solves murders as they happen.  In this book, another newbie to the small town, Mary, is murdered.  While Agatha had no love lost for the victim, she attempts to solve the case.

There are times when Agatha is a pretty hard character to like.  But for the most part, I enjoy how she calls things like she sees them.  I enjoy the small town setting and the secondary characters.  I will continue with this series.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Grave Mercy (YA)

Book #8 Read in 2013
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

This is the first book of a three book young adult fantasy series.  In this book, the main character, Ismae, is sent to a convent to learn how to become one of Death's hand maidens.  She is trained to recognize the Death mark on people and then to kill them.  But as she gets caught up with working with Duval at court, she is torn between what her convent orders are and what her heart is telling her to do.  Should she listen blindly to the orders from her abbess?  Or should she trust her gut instinct?

This book had a lot of action in it, though it dragged a bit in the middle.  Besides action, there was romance, humor and history.  Ismae was a kick-ass protagonist; she was tough, intelligent and honest.  The second book is coming out in April and I look forward to reading it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Cheshire Cheese Cat (YA)

Book #7 Read in 2013
The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright (YA)

This is a cute book.  As an English major, I enjoy the literary characters and references to the works of Charles Dickens.  Skilley is a street cat who ends up being allowed to live in the The Cheshire Cheese inn.  As rent, he is supposed to hunt the evergrowing mouse population.  But Skilley has a secret--he does not like to eat mice.  He would much rather eat cheese. Skilley meets Pip, an intelligent mouse and the two strike up a deal that works well for them both, until an evil street cat, Pinch, is brought in to help decrease the mouse population.  Pinch definitely prefers mice to cheese as his diet mainstay.

This book was cute.  The animal characters were cute, as were the illustrations throughout the book.  The idea of such a unlikely friendship could be used as a lesson to younger readers.  I enjoyed this book.


Book #6 Read in 2013
Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith (YA)

This is the fourth book in a young adult paranormal series.  I read this book in a day so I guess that is telling of the fact that I love this series.  In this book, the main focus returns to Zachary and Miranda.  Zachary is a fallen angel who is earth bound and is the guardian angel of Quince, the vampire with the soul.  Miranda is Zachary's true love and she is in a sort of heavenly limbo--reconciling herself with the evils that she did as a vampire queen.  Since she can watch over those still on Earth, Miranda sees that Lucy, her best friend, has transferred to a new school that is sending off creepy vibes.  She gets a message to Zachary to go and save Lucy.  But to do so, Zachary puts himself and his friends at terrible risk.  This school is hell. . . . literally.

I do not know if this series will have a book 5, but I hope it does.  This series features great characters who have flaws but also great strength, interesting plots that involve good action and romance and the ability to keep readers hooked from beginning to end.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blessed (YA)

Book #5 Read in 2013
Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith

This is the third book in a young adult paranormal series.  In this book, Quince is a newly formed vampire.  She, along with friends that include an angel, a werewolf, a werepossum and some humans thrown in for good measure, are trying to stop the return of Dracula--the most powerful and vicious vampire of all time.  No good deed goes unpunished and this fight against evil is not an easy one.  Quince must go back to her roots to figure out who she truly is and what she is capable of.

I enjoy this series a lot.  The first two books were also great reads.  Quince is a great character--smart, tough and feisty.  This book had good action, decent mystery, nice romance and humor.  I will begin the fourth book, Diabolical, shortly.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Novel Way to Die

Book #4 Read in 2013
A Novel Way to Die by Ali Brandon

This is the second book in a great cozy mystery series.  This series is set in a bookstore, owned by Darla.  Living in the apartment below the store is Darla's friend Jake, a retired NYC cop.  The other cast of recurring characters include James, the somewhat stuffy but literary store employee; Reese, the handsome NYC Detective and of course Hamlet, the bookstore's resident feline whom Darla inherited from her aunt along with the bookstore.  In this book, a customer of Darla's is found murdered.  One of the neighboring shopkeepers is arrested for the murder.  Hamlet seems to have a differing opinion and is once again leaving clues through books for Darla to piece together.  But will she be able to in time?

I love this series.  These books have a good mystery plot, great characters, good action, a hint of romance and is set in one of my favorite places--bookstore!--with one of my favorite things--cat!--so it is a hit with me.  I recommend this series.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Raven Boys

Book #3 Read in 2013
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the first in a new young adult series by Stiefvater.  In this book, Gansey, rich prep-school boy, is looking for a way to awaken a ley line and get a favor from a magical source.  Blue is the daughter of a psychic.  The two connect and begin to work together to find this magical place.  Along with the two of them are friends Noah, Ronan and Adam.  This search may provide them with great rewards--if they can survive the great danger.

I loved this book.  The characters were great and I really cared about them.  There was action, mystery and a hint of romance, along with the paranormal element.  This book would appeal to both male and female readers.  Stiefvater's powerful writing creates a book that just works on so many levels--character development, plot line, and a writing style that will leave readers wanting more.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Love Anthony

#2 Book Read in 2013
Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova has become one of my favorite authors.  Her previous books, Still Alice and Left Neglected, were powerful reads that showed her background in science before beginning her writing career.  Her new book, Love Anthony, shows growth as an author.  While less scientific than her other two novels, this book did not disappoint as Genova took a more spiritual bent to her writing.

In Love Anthony, Olivia is dealing with the death of her autistic young son, Anthony.  Her marriage has broken up and she has moved to their former vacation home on a pretty isolated island.  While there, she begins a photography business.  One of her clients is Beth, trying to deal with the fact that her husband had recently cheated on her.  Beth is trying to find her way back to herself and begins to write again.  She almost feels compelled to write her novel, telling the story of an autistic boy named Anthony.  However, Beth does not know anything about Olivia's son while she is writing her book.  Eventually the two cross paths about the novel and both are amazed by the connections.

This was a good read.  Genova's writing is getting stronger with each book, in my opinion.  I recommend all of her books. I cannot wait to read anything else she writes.

I received this book to review through the Amazon Vine program.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Diviners

Book #1 Read in 2013
The Diviners by Libba Bray

This is the first book in a new young adult fantasy series.  Evie has a talent--she can hold an object and tell secrets about the person who owns that object.  This "talent" can lead her into trouble and she ends up sent to her uncle in New York City after using her power at a party and causing problems.  Her uncle is working with the police to try to find a killer who is murdering people with a supernatural bent.  Evie begins to assist him with solving the case.  She also realizes that there are more people with unique talents like she has and she doesn't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I enjoyed this book.  I liked Evie, even though at times she was a bit selfish.  Her friends, especially Jericho and Sam, were interesting.  This book had decent action to it and had a good mystery plot line.  I am curious to see what the next book in the series covers.

2012 Stats

2012 Reading Statistics

Read 86 books total

36 were Young Adult Books

17 were Kindle books

My goal for 2013 is to read 100 books.

December Reads

December Reads:

1.  Notorious Nineteen (5/5) Kindle  19th in series
2.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone (YA) 4.5/5 Kindle 1st in series
3.  On the Day I Died (YA) (4/5)  Library book
4.  Clobbered by Camembert (5/5) 3rd in series
5.  Anya's Ghost (YA) 4/5
6.  The Cat who Came Back for Christmas (4/5)
7.  Beneath a Meth Moon (YA)  4/5
8.  Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume (5/5) Library book
9.  Secrets at Sea (YA) 4.5/5 Library book
10.  The Good House (4/5)