Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

Lock & Mori
Author: Heather W. Petty
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Goodreads

Review:
The instant I was approved for Lock & Mori on Edelweiss I dropped everything I was reading and started it. Would you like to know why? It’s because I’m a sucker. I have read all of the original Sherlock Holmes stories and so a modern day YA retelling had my name written all over it. Unfortunately, I need to stop doing that because my expectations are always so high and I end up finishing Sherlock retellings feeling underwhelmed.

Lock and Mori follows James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes, both are brilliant high school students that inhabit different worlds, until a murder brings them together. The two teens band together to solve the crime and to mend the broken parts of their own lives.

I expected this novel to follow the original series more. I noticed almost immediately that Lock and Mori are NOT Sherlock and Moriarty. They don't feel, or act, like the real Sherlock or Moriarty. They are two completely different characters who happen to solve crimes and share names with famous characters. There also was almost no rivalry between Lock and Mori. Instead of an epic rivalry the two characters begin having feelings for each other.

The romance in Lock and Mori was a little weird. I wanted the two characters to get together but when it finally happened it felt like things were moving too quickly. It also didn’t help that Mori was a rather detached character. Although she was the narrator I never really felt like I got to know her.

Overall, I think if Lock and Mori had had different names I would have enjoyed this novel more. The mystery was interesting but it was basic and I wanted to be wowed. Still, I plan on picking up the sequel because 1. I’m a sucker and 2. I’m curious about what happens next.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

10 Books that would be on my Syllabus if I taught (fun to read) Classics 101


Over the past couple years I have been making a point to read more classics. I love YA but sometimes I need a break and I want to read something that has stood the test of time and lived long enough to be deemed a classic. I loved the idea of this weeks top 10 Tuesday post so without further ado I give you my syllabus for (fun to read) Classics 101!

1 The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
2 Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
3 Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

4 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

6 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
7 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
8 The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

9 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
10 Animal Farm by George Orwell

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Into The Dark by Caroline T. Patti Release Day Bitz + Giveaway

Into-the-Dark-RDB-banner
Happy Release Day to
Into the Dark by Caroline T. Patti!!
Join us in celebrating this release from Month9Books!

Happy Book Birthday, Caroline!

Into-the-Dark-cover
A girl’s sweet sixteen party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of her life. But on the night of hers, Mercy Clare wakes in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she’d never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes.
Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor arrives to tell her that it’s she who lies in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes.
But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back, it might just cost her Lyla’s life.
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excerpt

Not only am I in another body, I’m in someone else’s dead body. I can see it in the broken blood vessels around the eyeballs, the chalky blue of the lips.
It makes sense now, my attacker’s reaction. He thought she came back from the dead. She did—in a way.
This is bad. This is very, very bad.
“You’re prettier than she is,” Nathaniel says from behind me.
My eyes catch his reflection in the mirror. I flinch and spin around to face him.
I scream at him. “I’m in a dead body!”
“And whose fault is that?” He gives me a stern look.

About-the-Author2
Caroline-Patti-225x300Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan. You can chat with her on Twitter:@carepatti or find her onFacebook.

Connect with the Author: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads



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Friday, August 14, 2015

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

The Stars Never Rise
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Review:
A few years ago I think I would have enjoyed The Stars Never Rise. I would have been happy with the world building, I would have been able to ignore the poorly formed love interest. I would have been able to just go along for the ride. The problem is it’s 2015 and, as a reader, I am demanding more from the books I read. I don’t want to sacrifice character development for world building. I don’t want half assed love interests. I want more and The Stars Never Rise fails to deliver.

Let me take a moment and break down the plot of this book. There was and end of the world style event and demons started possessing people and those people, after being demons for a long time, turned in to zombies…yeah. Anyway, because of these zombies city safe zones formed and they are all led by a Catholic Church-esque religious organization. Are you following? Honestly, neither was I. I mean, I understood what was going on but so much of this book was spent trying to explain the slap together world building that there wasn’t room for anything else.

Like character development. Every character in this book felt one dimensional. The reader only gets to know them on a superficial level and I actually kept getting a few of the characters confused. There just simply wasn’t the space in this book to have characters and explain how everything was meant to fit together.

I might have been able to ignore the poor character development, especially of the supporting characters, if the budding relationship between Nina and Finn had been fleshed out. No such luck though. This romance was cringe-worthy. It was confusing, jumpy, and left me feeling kind of grossed out.

Overall, The Stars Never Rise failed to live up to my expectations. I didn’t like the plot and there wasn’t enough time spent developing the characters to make me to care about any of them. After this poor showing I have no plans to continue this series

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Authors I've Read The Most Books From


I've arranged these authors in no particular order. I was going to list the books I've read by each but honestly it'd be easier to list the books I haven't read by these wonderful authors. Instead I've listed my favorite book by each. Hopefully some of my most read authors made it on your list this week!

1 Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice)
2 Kresley Cole (Lothaire)
3 Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves)

4 Diana Wynne Jones (Howl's Moving Castle)
5 Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince)

6 JK Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
7 Diane Duane (Deep Wizardry)
8 Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice)

9 Sarah J Maas (Throne of Glass)
10 Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Made You Up
Author: Fracesca Zappia
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Goodreads  Amazon 

Review:
I don’t know how to say this without sounding weird, but I like books about characters with mental illness. I like how the stories are told and not knowing if what the character says is real or not real. I really like unreliable narrators and Alex, from Made You Up, was completely unreliable.

Made You Up follows Alex, a high school senior and schizophrenic. She is starting at a new school and trying to hide her schizophrenia from her classmates. She wants to be viewed as normal even though she takes pictures of everything around her to help determine if the things she is seeing are real or not real. For example, Armed Guards on the school roof, not real. Screaming drill sergeant teacher, real.

It wasn’t Alex’s inability to tell real or not real apart that made me like her though. It was how she handled it. She wasn’t mad but was instead realistic about her situation and how her mental state affected those around her. You could tell she really did care about her family and friends.

The only thing I wasn’t really keen on was the Romance. Alex’s relationships with Miles had me questioning whether he was real or not. Not knowing if Miles was a figment of Alex’s imagination made it kind of hard to root for their relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed Made You Up it kept me guessing and I was surprised by how the mystery in this story unfolded. I was thoroughly impressed with Zappia’s Debut and I can’t wait to read her next novel!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Anna and the Swallow Man


Anna and the Swallow Man
Author: Gavriel Savit
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Goodreads

Synopsis:
A stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel set in Poland during the Second World War perfect for readers of The Book Thief.
Kraków, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna Łania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She’s alone.

And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve. And when the soldiers in the streets look at him, they see what he wants them to see.

The Swallow Man is not Anna’s father—she knows that very well—but she also knows that, like her father, he’s in danger of being taken, and like her father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. She follows him into the wilderness.

Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgment, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous. Even the Swallow Man.

Destined to become a classic, Gavriel Savit’s stunning debut reveals life’s hardest lessons while celebrating its miraculous possibilities.
My Thoughts: This novel sounds like it's going to be emotional and lyrical. It also sounds like it's going to make me cry ugly tears. I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

5 Fairytale Retellings I've Loved and 5 I Can't Wait to Read


5 Fairytale Retellings I Loved
1 Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
2 Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
3 A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

4 The Madmans Daughter by Megan Shepherd
5 Strands of Bronze & Gold by Jane Nickerson

5 Fairytale Retellings I Can't Wait to Read
1 Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
2 Of Beauty and Beast by Stacy Jane
3 The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeton

4 The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
5 A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas