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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last Writes

Book #106 Read in 2013
Last Writes by Laura Levine

This is the second book in a cozy mystery series featuring writer Jaine Austen (no relation to the author) and her cat Prozac.  In this book, Jaine is writing for a television show and then begins an investigation when one of the show's stars is killed.  But then she becomes somewhat of a target herself so will she be able to solve the crime in time?

These books are cute, quick reads.  There is a lot of humor in the series.  Jaine's parents are entertaining characters with their quirks.  I love Prozac; Levine writes the cat well.  I will continue this series.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happier at Home

Book #105 Read in 2013
Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

Following her successful "Happiness Project", Gretchen Rubin begins another project--to make herself happier at home.  Each month, she picks an area of focus and plans out tasks to help that area of her life be happier.  Most of the things that she implements are simple but things that may be easily overlooked or pushed aside. 

I enjoyed Rubin's writing style.  It is honest and thoughtful.  She does not sugar coat when she goes off the path of her happiness project and she does not force her thoughts onto others.  I have her other book, The Happiness Project, in the TBR pile and hope to get to it soon.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Catching Fire (YA)

Book #104 Read in 2013
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (YA)

This is the second book in the dystopian trilogy.  I loved it.  In this book, Peeta and Katniss return home to District 12 after winning The Hunger Games but their happiness is short lived.  They are told that all surviving past victors will have to play another round of the survival game.  They cannot believe their bad luck.  Haymitch is trying to help them select allies but in the end, they know there can only be one survivor. 

This book is full of action and fast paced.  Katniss and Peeta still have a complicated relationship--their public and private personas struggle to co-exist.  The other competitors are more fleshed out than in the first book and all bring an interesting element to the book.  I have Mockingjay in the TBR pile to get to soon....I have to see how this all wraps up.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

But Inside I'm Screaming

Book #103 Read in 2013
But Inside I'm Screaming by Elizabeth Flock

Isabel is a TV reporter.  She has a melt down on air and then goes home and decides to kill herself.  Her attempt is unsuccessful but her parents convince her to go to Three Breezes, a psychiatric hospital.  There, Isabel meets many interesting people who have their own very serious issues.  At first, Isabel thinks she has nothing in common with any of the other patients but as her recovery progresses, she realizes she is more like them than she ever thought possible.

This book was a good, quick read.  It gave a powerful look into mental illness and Isabel is a character that readers will root for in recovery and healing.  This was my first book by Flock and I enjoyed her writing style.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tandem (YA)

Book #102 Read in 2013
Tandem by Anna Jarzab

This is the first book in a young adult trilogy.  Sasha is a typical high schooler--shy, academic, wanting to fit in.....and then she thinks her life is picking up when handsome Grant asks her to the prom.  But little does she know it is not Grant at all but his analog (double) from another world, Thomas.  Thomas needs to bring Sasha back to his world as she is the analog for his kidnapped princess and he is trying to prevent a war.  Sasha has to wrap her head around of all of this when she is taken back to his world but she agrees to impersonate the kidnapped Juliana until the upcoming wedding, only a week or so away.  But her agreement puts her in danger, while also allowing her to grow closer to Thomas.

I enjoyed this book.  Sasha is a complex heroine.  Thomas and she have a nice relationship forming.  There is good action and twists and turns in this book.  I look forward to reading book 2, Tether, when it comes out in the summer of 2014.

I received a copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for a review.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Steelheart (YA)

Book #101 Read in 2013
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (YA)

This is the first book in a steampunk, young adult series.  Not my usual genre, but I ended up liking this one.  Set in what was once Chicago, there are now "super-powered" people called Epics in charge...and most are not especially nice.  Steelheart is the supreme ruler and a young man named David has studied him for order to exact revenge against Steelheart for killing his father when he was a boy.  David joins a rebel group called the Reckoners and enlists their help in bringing down Steelheart.  The rebel group has many interesting characters in it and they throw themselves into David's fight.

This book, while a little slow in the middle, was a decent read.  The premise is an interesting one and the Reckoners, including David, were interesting and complex characters.  There was a lot of action in this book, some humor and a hint of romance.  I will read the second book in the series, coming out in the fall of 2014.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Insurgent (YA)

Book #100 Read in 2013
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (2nd in series)

This book is the second in a young adult dystopian trilogy.  In this book, Tris and Four are trying to recover from the deadly fight that ensued between warring factions.  Additionally, Four (or Tobias) reconnects with his estranged mother, who is in charge of the Factionless.  Tris is not sold on the reunion but the couple have more than that issue to deal with before living happily ever after.

I really enjoyed both books in this series so far and will begin Allegiant in the near future to finish out the series.  These books are action-packed with complex and interesting characters.  They are quick reads that I highly recommend.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November Reads

November Reads:

1.  Three Times Lucky (YA) 4.5/5  library book
2.  Hold Fast (YA)  4.5/5  library book
3.  The Storyteller (5/5)
4.  Murder on the Menu (4/5)  2nd in series
5.  Ripper (YA) 4.5/5
6.  Don't Turn Around (YA) 4.5/5  1st in series  Kindle
7.  The Chaperone (4/5)
8.  Love in the Time of Global Warming (YA) 4/5
9.  Endangered (YA)  5/5  library book
10.  Fallout (YA)  5/5  2nd in series
11.  Fortunately, the Milk (YA)  4/5  library book

99 books read so far in 2013