Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Amulet of Samarkand- Jonathan Stroud

Title: The Amulet of Samarkand
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Source: SYNC Download
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

Nathaniel is eleven years old and a magician’s apprentice, learning the traditional arts of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells way beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal Lovelace’s greatest treasure, the Amulet of Samarkand, he finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion.
Set in a modern-day London spiced with magicians and mystery, The Amulet of Samarkand is an extraordinary, edge-of-your-seat thriller with many unexpected twists. Following Bartimaeus and Nathaniel in turn, the story introduces us to two wonderfully memorable characters–destined to go through many adventures together and bound by a spell that is nearly impossible to break.

The narration is split between eleven year old Nathaniel who is a magician and a five thousand year old dijinni named Bartimaeus. Nathaniel summons Bartumaeus with revenge in mind and the results are disastrous. As Nathaniel allows his humiliation caused by Simon Lovelace to blind him he steals the amulet of Samarkand and precedes to get himself into a heap of trouble dragging a very irritated Bartimaeus with him.

The story is all about magic. Migicians and other mythical creatures are rempant. The magicians have learned to tolerate the humans. I loved the world Stroud has created with his explanations and his use of magic. The time period is not specified giving the story a mysterous feel to it.

Bartmaeus narration was insightful and he provides most of the information of the world that sourrounds him and also the history of how magicians came to power. Nathaniel was very childish. He was such a talented magaician but he often threw temper tantrums and allowed himself to get eaily frustrated. He was a frustrating character to get used to at times but I enjoyed the bantering that occured between him and Bartimaeus.

I am courious on where this series is going to go and I hope to contine reading it. This is not a book I would have never discovered and enjoyed if it was not for the SYNC free downloads. I am very grateful that I did discover this book and I hope that others will discover and devour this book like I did.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (33)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I was good this week and only three books. I did visit the library again but I only picked up my book on hold this time.

Bought New

Glow- Amy Kathleen Ryan ($5.99)
Passing Strange-  Daniel Waters


Shadow and Bone- Leigh Bardugo

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave a comment below. Happy reading!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fairest of All- Sarah Mlynowski

Title: Fairest of all
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Source: Borrowed from the library
Series: Yes
Rating: 5/5

A fresh, modern spin on a classic fairy tale--from bestselling author Sarah Mlynowski! Mirror, mirror, on the basement wall . . . Once upon a time my brother and I were normal kids. The next minute? The mirror in our basement slurped us up and magically transported us inside Snow White's fairy tale. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. But hey -- we're heroes! We stopped Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Hooray! Or not. If Snow White doesn't die, she won't get to meet her prince. And then she won't get her happy ending. Oops. Now it's up to us to: Avoid getting poisoned- Sneak into a castle- Fix Snow White's story. And then, fingers crossed, find our way home.


This is Mlynowski's first middle grade book and I certainly hope it is not her last.
Abby and her little brother Jonah have been recently moved to Smithville by their parents. Abby is not happy about the move but appears to be making the best of it. One night shortly after moving into their new house Jonah discovers a mirror in the basement while exploring. Abby is finally convinced to see the mirror after he states it is hissing and they are sucked into the fairytale of Snow White.
Jonah and Abby are struggling to find their way home when they stumble across Snow White and save her from eating the poison apple. Good news for Snow White but bad news for the prince she will now never meet. As Abby and Jonas struggle to find a way to fix the fairy tale they also have to figure out how to get home before their parents notice there gone.
This story follows the story of snow white pretty well and talks about both the original fairy tale found in the Brothers Grimm and the Disney version.  I enjoyed how it poked fun at the cheesy parts of the story. Yes Snow White cannot be the brightest girl if she keeps falling for her evil step- mother’s plan to kill her. The author also inserted her own thoughts about what should be added in such as Snow White’s cooking skills and the name of the mirror.
The characters were realistic and fun. The characters that were frustrating got poked fun at and made you love them more.  This is one of the best fairy tales re-telling I have read ever.
This is a super cute, quick read. It’s a perfect light summer read.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wonderstruck- Brian Selznick

Title: Wonderstruck
Author: Brian Selznick
Source: Borrowed
Series: No
Rating: 4/5

From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

Wonderstruck is the story of a girl and a boy named Ben who is linked in an unusual way. The children’s lives are set fifty years apart.

The girl’s story is set up through a series of drawings. She follows the life of a young actress and keeps a scrapbook of everything that happens with her.

Ben lives with his aunt and uncle after his mother is killed. He discovers pieces of his mothers past after his mother dies and decides to discover what this means. He hopes the information he discovers will lead him to his estranged father.

The photos are amazing. I lingered on them so I could enjoy them longer. I loved the contrast between the two stories and how they were told.

The ending was bitter sweet. We find how the two main characters are connected but there was also a lot of sadness.

This is a super quick read but one I thoroughly enjoyed. This made me an instant fan of the author and I will be looking for his books in the future.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Lover's Dictionary- David Levithan

Title: The Lover's Dictionary
Author: David Levithan
Source: Borrowed
Series: No
Rating: 4/5
basis, n.
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does
pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.
The lover’s Dictionary is set up in a dictionary format with entries in alphabetical order. Each entry gives a small look into the lives of the narrator and his lover. The story starts on there first date and displays the struggles they face as a couple. This book is very relatable. The struggles they face are ones all couples face at some point in there relationship. There are sweet moments and also betrayal.
I read this book in one sitting. It only took me about two hours to read. Some of the entries are a few sentences and others are a few pages long. You feel like you know the characters but at the same time you really don’t know much about them at all. We know what is going on inside the narrator’s head when he thinks about his lover but anything else to do with the world around them is minimal.
I absolutely adored this book. I loved how the author set the story and the short but in depth entries drew me in. I was not a fan of the other book I have read from this author but he changed my view in a good way.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (32)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I really need to ban myself from the library. My library pile is almost as bad as my purchsed pile. I returned a few and come home with more. I also went to a Goodwill and picked a two books up for 50 cents.


Guilty Pleasures- Laurell K. Hamilton
The Lover's Dictionary- David Levithan
Fairest of All- Sarah Mlynowski
Legend- Marie Lu
Revived- Cat Patrick
Prophecy of the Sisters- Michelle Zink
City of Lost Souls- Cassandra Clare
Tiger Lily- Jodi Lynn Anderson (Already returned)
Wonderstruck- Brian Selznick (Already returned)

Bought Used

The Almost Moon- Alice Sebold
Flirt- Laurell K. Hamilton
Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil- John Berendt

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tales from the Arabian Nights- Andrew Lang

Title: Tales from the Arabian Nights
Author: Andrew Lang, Toby Stephens (Narrator)
Source: SYNC Audio
Series: No
Rating: 3.5/5

Toby Stephens takes us back to the world of cunning, adventure, mishap and fun. Sheherezade, night after night, weaves her tales and Aladdin and his Magic Lamp, Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and other tales come alive. The unforgettable music of Rimsky Korsakov sets the scene perfectly. A delightful treat for young listeners.

I listened to this as part of the free SYNC free audio books available all summer.
Scheherezade tells the stories of Aladdin, Ali Baba and the forty thieves, Sinbad and in order to entertain the sultan longer so he will not kill her.  She has agreed to marry the sultan even thought she knows the fate that awaits her in the hopes she can change his mind to keep him from killing more women.
She starts with the story of Aladdin.  It is a lot darker than the movie version that I remember. I did not like the book version as much as the movie version. I found the book version portrayed Aladdin to be very selfish. I assume the movie version was changed to be more children friendly but I still prefer it. Aladdin’s love for the princess was enchanting. He starts by seeing her and falling in love with her beauty. I know a little shallow but he does redeem himself. He does everything in his power to marry her and protect her.
The second story was about Ali Baba and the forty thieves. I might be a little harsh here but Ali Baba was not the smartest man. He got tricked often and had to be saved by his servant Morgiana who was able to identify the enemy and protect her master. His son Abba Baba also was not the smartest and also had to rely on Morgiana In the end the servant does get rewarded for her hard work.
The third story told by Scheherezade is about Sinbad the sailor. This was my favourite story, there was a lot of adventure and in the end there was a lesson learned that was clear. Sinbad learned that greed will get you nowhere.
Overall I would give this a 3.5/5. I enjoyed the third story but the first two were not as good as I had expected which was disappointing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wanderlove- Kristen Hubbard

Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kristen Hubbard
Source: Borrowed
Series: No
Rating: 5/5 


It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

The story beings with a single question, are you a travel vagabond?
If you answer if no but you want to be this book is for you. Eighteen year old Bria has recently broken up with her controlling boyfriend Toby and decides to travel for the summer. After her two friends back out of the trip she decides change her original travel plans and head to Central America. Unfortunately, Bria sign up for the wrong tour and now is stuck in Central America with fanny pack wearing middle aged travelers. Bria thinks her trip is doomed until she meets Rowan and his group who are skilled traveler who likes to take trips off the beaten path. This is where Bria’s adventure beings.
The setting was marvelous in this book, Bria beings her adventure in Guatemala. My sister is from there and it is rare to find any book that mentions it. I loved the description given for every setting she was in. The amount of detail to everything made me envious. The author covered everything from local food to scenery. My favorite part had to be the visual aspect. Bria’s drawings are included throughout the book. It made me feel like I could see into Bria’s brain.
I had a love/hate relationship with the characters. Bria is a character that at times I wanted to shake some sense into. I understand she was trying to get over Toby but it frustrated me that she thought about him so much after he treated her like she meant nothing. Bria and Toby’s relationship was not a healthy one and I am really glad she was not with him in the book but what he did to her and the way she never stood up for herself to him frustrated me. I found she was a complete pushover in general. She allowed everyone to push her around. Rowan is your typical bad boy trying to be good. He has a pretty dark past that he was trying to run from. He did infuriate me at times but overall I liked him. I found all the characters had a lot of growth in the book. Bria finally grew a backbone.
There was no bad part to this book. I loved every minute of reading it. I got frustrated but I never wanted to give up. I rooted for Bria and Rowan. There is some slow burning romance and a few secrets hidden that are waiting to be discovered. Wanderlove is the best travel book I have read this year if not ever.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July TBR Update

This is my TBR update to give you an idea on what I have read so far this month. I have been really bad for not sticking to my list so if I do not finish all these books this month I am determined to read them next month.

So far this month I have read...

Born Wicked- Jessics Spotswood
Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
Gold- Chris Cleave
Tales from the Arabian Nights- Andrew Lang
Zombicorns- John Green
Bossypants- Tina Fey
The Lover’s Dictionary- David Levithan
The Singing Stone- O.R. Melling
Wonderstruck- Brian Selznick
Fairest of All- Sarah Mlynowski
The Amulet of Samarkand- Jonathan Stroud
Tiger Lily- Jodi Lynn Anderson
Fifty Shades of Grey- E.L. James

The book left on my TBR are...
Darkest Powers Bonus Pack- Kelley Armstrong
Hate List- Jennifer Brown
The Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Balm
Ghostly Justice- Bev Irwin
Eon- Alison Goodman
The Ask and the Answer- Patrick Ness
Jellicoe Road- Melina Marchetta
The Summer I turned pretty Jenny Han
Ship Breaker- Palo Baigalupi
Envy- Gregg Olsen
Incarceron- Catherine Fisher
The Duff- Kody Keplinger
Hana- Lauren Oliver
13 Secrets- Michelle Harrison
A Midsummer Night's Dream- William Shakespeare
The Forrest of Hands and Teeth- Carrie Ryan
The Subtle Knife- Philip Pullman
The Amber Spy Glass- Philip Pullman

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (31)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This week was bad for my wallet. I went to Barnes and Noble in Port Huron and I bought a few books. I really need to put myself on a book buying ban. I have so many books.

Bought New

The Goddess Test- Aimee Carter (Signed !)
Shadowcry- Jenna Burtenshaw

The Alchemy of Forever- Avery Williams
Angelology-  Danielle Trussoni (On sale for $5.95)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Zomicorns- John Green

Title: Zombicorns
Author: Joh Green
Source: Free online
Series: No
Rating: 4/5

(From novella introduction)

Dearest Reader,
This is a bad zombie apocalypse novella. It was written in a hurry. It is riddled with inconsistencies. And it never quite arrives at whatever point it sought to make. But remember: The $25 you donated to charity in exchange for this steaming mess of prose will help our species shuffle along, and I hope you’ll feel warmed by your good deed as you read. Thank you for decreasing the overall worldwide level of suck, and as they say in my hometown: Don’t forget to be awesome.

Best wishes!
John Green

This is a short story available for free online. It can be found here

This book takes place in a zombie infested United States where the zombies are obsessed with corn. There are rumors that Canada and Africa may still be zombie free but nothing has been confirmed. Sixteen year old Mia is left with her adopted dog, Mr. President to scrape by while protecting themselves from the z'ed up. Along the way we learn what happened to Mia’s family.

The plot was a little predictable but I find it is with most zombie movies. You know the majority of the major events that occurred to lead up to and the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. There were some surprising twists the story I did not expect. Mia turned out to be a pretty dark character and not at all as a pictured her originally. Carolina is a character I find is in a lot of zombie movies; she wants to kill as many Z’ed ups as she can. The difference is we never find out why she is so determined to kill as many as possible.

The description of the scenery was minimal.  I found I could visualize the world Mia was seeing but I found that I had to fill in a lot of the blanks with what I assumed would be around her in z’ed up Chicago. The only downfall I found to this is I have never been to Chicago so I have no idea if I was imagining it correctly.

This story is different from any other John Green book I have read so far.  It was out of the ordinary to see him writing in a different genre.  I am not a huge fan of zombie books normally but I found myself to be quite impressed with this short story.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Born Wicked- Jessica Spotswood

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Source: Borrowed
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4/5

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

Would you give up everything you love for your families’ safety? 
 Everyone knows who the cahill sisters are. They are considered too pretty and too odd to blend in.  They are also keeping a secret. They are witches. If they are discovered the brotherhood would either send them to an insane asylum or kill them.

Cate promises her mother she will always keep her sisters safe. After her mother dies, Cate discovers a diary that changes everything she believed.  While she is trying to discover what exactly her mother’s diary is trying to tell her she must also juggle tea parties and romances.

The setting in this book is what gives the story so much life. It reads like a historical fiction, it includes true facts with a twist. The society in that time is portrayed as it would have been with women not having rights while the men have the right to do whatever they want. The way women who were suspected of being witches were also written well. I felt really bad for Cate and her sisters. Your choices are to either get married or join the sisterhood.  The girls are already considered too educated and any further education is out of the question.

I was not a fan of Mura. I could sympathize with her but I felt she was very selfish and did not have good control over her powers. Cat and the youngest Tess were constantly trying to clean up after Maura when she lost control of her magic.  Cat could be a little bossy and I wished she would think for herself at times but I also understood she had to put her sisters first. Tess was my favourite. We do not see a lot of her but her willingness to help is a lot like Cate. Plus I think she was the sweetest.

I am still trying to figure out how Cate managed to balance her time between marriage proposals, and a  forbidden romance Finn Belastra. I am totally team Finn. There moment in the root cellar had me swooning.  I liked what Paul offered Cate but he was too stuck up for my liking.

This book rekindled my love for witches. I am keyed up for the next book to come out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Source: Borrowed
Series: No
Rating: 4/5

"'What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions storm clouds over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?'"

Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what did really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war...

How well do you really know someone, Nick ponders this question on his fifth wedding anniversary. Nick wakes up in the morning and sees his beautiful wife Am then she disappears. He is an immediate suspect but swears he did not hurt Amy. Before she left, Amy left a diary that contains evidence stating otherwise. Nick must figure out for himself what happened to Amy before it’s too late.

This book petrified me in a good way. It has so many psychological twists in it that it is hard to decipher who is the bad guy. In a way all of the characters deserve punishment because they all have done something wrong at some point. The point of view is split between Amy and Nick. Amy’s point of view is through her diary while Nick’s is first hand.

Amy and Nick are both complex characters and it is hard to understand them. They have both done wrong in their relationship but they are still drawn to each other. When Amy disappears, Nick is the one left to explain what went wrong.

This is such a hard book to explain because it’s so twisted that I do not want to give anything away. I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn and this book just added to my love of her work.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (30)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I did so good this week. I only bought two books and they were both used and $2 each so they don't really count or so I tell myself.


The Signing Stone- O.R. Melling
Bossypants- Tina Fey
The Subtle Knife- Philip Pullman
The Amber Spyglass- Philip Pullman

Bought Used

Lipstick Jungle- Candace Bushnell
Sarah's Key- Tatiana de Rosnay (Love it- had to own it for $2)

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave a comment below.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Irises- Francisco X. Stork

Title: Irises

Author: Francisco X. Stork

Source: SYNC free downloads

Series: No

Rating: 3/5

Two sisters discover what's truly worth living for in the new novel by the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.

TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. -- if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.

THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate's boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own.

ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it's Mama's life that might divide them for good -- the question of *if* she lives, and what's worth living for.

IRISES is Francisco X. Stork's most provocative and courageous novel yet.

This did not get the best of reviews on Goodreads but it is part of the SYNC free downloads so I decided to try it out.

Kate and Mary live with there father who is a pastor for a local church. There mother was in an accident years ago that has caused her to be in a vegetative state. There father has brought her home and the girls work together taking care of her. Both have there own ambitions. Kate is determined to be a doctor and Mary is a talented artist. When there father dies, the girls must make tough decisions, Kate's boyfriend Simon offers to marry her so he can take care of her. Mary must up what she loves in ordered to care for her mother. In the end both girls must decide what is the best thing to do for there mother, should they keep caring for her or should they release her from her vegetative state.

The part I most liked about the book was the back story. It is a very controversial subject to broach. Is it inhumane to allow someone in a vegetative state to stay alive through machines? Or is it better to allow nature to take it's course and allow the person to be released?

The characters were frustrating at times. I thought Kate was selfish. She made Mary sacrifice everything while it seemed like nothing was changing for her. Mary was the one who had to come home immediately after school to care of their mother. I felt terrible for Mary but I also wished she would have a little more backbone towards Kate at times. She allowed Kate to tell her what to do and it never seemed to occur to her to stand up to her.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine which completely drove me nuts throughout the book. I hate it when characters refer to there parents as momma and daddy. It seems silly but I find it hard to take them seriously, especially in older characters. Kate was eighteen and Mary was sixteen but they still referred to their parents in that way.

The religious aspect of the novel was one I was not expecting but I found it to be mild. It was clearly a large part of the main character's lives but it was not jammed down the reader's throat. I felt like I understood Mary's religious views but I felt they were not the main focus of the story.

There was even a little romance mixed into the story I never seem coming.

The book gave me more than I expected. I told myself in the beginning I may not like it and I am pleasantly surprised to say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I am glad I decided to give it a chance.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales- Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm, Wilhelm Karl Grimm

Title: The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales
Author:  Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm & Wilhelm Karl Grimm
Source: Bought new
Series: No
Rating: 4/5

For almost two centuries, the stories of magic and myth gathered by the Brothers Grimm have been part of the way children—and adults—learn about the vagaries of the real world. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow-White, Hänsel and Gretel, Little Red-Cap (a.k.a. Little Red Riding Hood), and Briar-Rose (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) are only a few of more than 200 enchanting characters included here. Lyrically translated and beautifully illustrated, the tales are presented just as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm originally set them down: bold, primal, just frightening enough, and endlessly engaging.

It took me awhile for me to get through this book. There were some fairy tales that I enjoyed and some I did not enjoy as much. Some of them were ones I recognized and others that were new to me.

I forgot how creepy some fairy tales can be. There was multiple fairy tales that featured many of the same characters or that had a similar story.

These fairy tales are the base of all fairy tales. The difference between these fairy tales and the ones that have been portrayed by Disney is these are not sugar coated. These fairy tales do not hold back with the gruesome details. There is a mix of everything. I found myself reading other books in between this one. The writing is old fashion and the way the characters are portrayed is hard to read at times. I had to remind myself that the opinions and comments were because this is an older book and the views portrayed were the feelings at that time.

The world's that the Grimm brothers weaved together is amazing. I am glad that I bought this book and I will be sharing this book with others.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Immortal Rules- Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Source: Bought used
Series: Yes
Rating: 4/5

"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.

The Imnmortal Rules surprised me. I did not expect to love it as much as I did. It was dark and creepy. This book reminded me why I love vampires. It makes me want to re consider reading her other series since I loved this one.

This is set in the future. Vampires are in charge, humans are there slaves. The vampires rule the city but there is a small band of outsiders have managed to avoid becoming slaves. Allie is one of those outsiders struggling to survive. She is attacked while attempting scavenge food and is faced with the decision of dying or becoming an immortal. She chooses to become an immortal. She has to learn how to live with her decision and how to remain as human as possible.

She escapes from the city she has always known as she tries to find a way to survive. She joins a band of ragged humans who are searching of an island that claims to have the cure for humans that will keep them from becoming rabids. She must keep her identity a secret or else she will be killed.

This is a good old fashion vampire book. There is blood and gore and even a little bit of romance mixed into it all. Allie as a human is a completely different person as Allie the immortal but her will to live and the morals she holds close to her are still the same. She wants to stay as human as possible, but the urges for blood get worse the longer she waits.

This book is a very dark. It shows the dark side of the human race. It was more than I bargained for and I completely fell in love with it. I cannot wait until book two comes out. I want to know what is going to happen next with Allie.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June Wrap-Up & July TBR

I read every book on my June TBR and even managed to squeeze a lot more books in than I expected so hopefully I get through a lot more in July.

In June I read...
  1. The Last Echo- Kimberly Derting
  2. All These Things I’ve Done-Gabrielle Zevin
  3. Infinity- Rachel Ward
  4. Black Heart- Holly Black
  5. Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales- Jacob Grimm
  6. When You Were Mine- Rebecca Serle
  7. Violet by Design- Melissa Walker
  8. Heist Society- Ally Carter
  9. Insurgent- Veronica Roth
  10. Violet in Private- Melissa Walker
  11. Gilt- Katherine Longshore
  12. The Field Guide - Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
  13. The Seeing Stone - Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
  14. Lucinda's Secret - Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
  15. The Ironwood Tree -Holly Black andTony DiTerlizzi
  16. The Wrath of Mulgarath- Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
  17. Summer and the City - Candace Bushnell
  18. A Blue so Dark- Holly Schindler
  19. Gods Behaving Badly- Marie Phillips
  20. Variant- Robinson Wells
  21. Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story- Veronica Roth
  22. The Eleventh Plague- Jeffrey Hirsch
  23. The Immortal Rules- Julie Kagawa
  24. The Dreamhunter- Elizabeth Knox
  25. Code Name Verity- Elizabeth E. Wein
  26. Irises- Francisco X. Stork
  27. Wanderlove- Kristen Hubbard
  28. For Darkness Shows The Stars- Diana Peterfreund

This month I hope to read...

  1. Darkest Powers Bonus Pack- Kelley Armstrong
  2. Hate List- Jennifer Brown
  3. The Wizard of Oz- L. Frank Balm
  4. Ghostly Justice- Bev Irwin  
  5. Eon- Alison Goodman
  6. The Ask and the Answer- Patrick Ness
  7. Jellicoe Road- Melina Marchetta
  8. The Summer I turned pretty Jenny Han
  9. Ship Breaker- Palo Baigalupi
  10. Envy- Gregg Olsen
  11. Incarceron- Catherine Fisher
  12. The Duff- Kody Keplinger
  13. Bossy Pants- Tina Fey
  14. Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
  15. Gold- Chris Cleave
  16. Hana- Lauren Oliver
  17. 13 Secrets- Michelle Harrison
  18. A Midsummer Night's Dream- William Shakespeare
  19. The Forrest of Hands and Teeth- Carrie Ryan
  20. The Singing Stone- O.R. Melling
  21. The Subtle Knife- Philip Pullman
  22. The Amber Spy Glass- Philip Pullman

What are you planning on reading in July. Leave a link below so I can check it out. Happy reading!