Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Everybody Brace Yourself...I DNF'd a Book! (Flame in the Mist review)

TITLE: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)
AUTHOR: Renee Ahdieh
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: May 16, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Marikop has always known she been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry.  Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist.  Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a moan she did not choose, for the very first time.  But the journey is cut short when Mariko's convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who've been hired to kill Mariki before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge.  Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down this 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.

MY THOUGHTS:  I gave this book the old college try.  I love the cover and think it's one of the best I've seen this year.  In addition, I was really interested in the first few chapters of this book because the action started right away and the cultural aspects were very interesting.  However, I quickly bored and I found myself actually avoiding reading because I didn't want to pick up this book.  I read about 145 pages into it and since there was still quite a bit to go, I decided it was best for me to move on. Had I not done so, I'd probably STILL be avoiding reading and there are too many good looking books on my shelf to do so.  I didn't really connect with the characters and I found myself not really caring what happened.  I don't know if I will ever pick this book back up some day.  I've seen some people really love it and I've seen some who have struggled like I did.  It's probably a good book for many readers out there, but it just wasn't for me.

RATING: None since I don't feel it's fair because I didn't finish it.




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (108) - A Booker T and Cassius "2-Fur"

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. 

This week both Booker T and Cassius have taken over blogging duties!











FROM GOODREADS: Cameron Cripps-Hayman is taken aback when she stumbles upon another murdered neighbor, this time behind her sister's shop, Dog Diggity. The timing couldn't be worse, as there's only a week left before the store's grand opening during Canal Days, the biggest festival of the year.

When the police arrest her handyman, Cameron knows they've got the wrong suspect, so the Metamora Action Agency sets their sights on cracking the case. With one solved murder under their belts, how hard could a second be?

With a flood warning and a murderer on the loose threatening the start of Canal Days, can Cameron and her crew save the town's annual dog and pony show from being canceled?


WHY BOOKER T CAN'T WAIT:  Mom and I read the first book in this series and Cameron loves to adopt all kinds of dogs from all kinds of situations so we really want to know who shows up next. Plus, I'm curious about that cat on the cover...what's going on here?  The synopsis mentions ponies - THAT'S NO PONY!


FROM GOODREADS:
In her newest work, the stunning beginning to an epic hardcover trilogy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts weaves an enthralling saga of suspense, survival, and the journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives…

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.


WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  There's a bird on the cover!  I'm a pup, what more do you expect??? 

Mom told us to make sure and ask you guys what books you can't wait for this week.  So there, we asked.

 


 

Monday, May 29, 2017

TTT - Second Half 2017 Most Anticipated Books!

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

Today I'm sharing with you my most anticipated releases for the second half of 2017.  These aren't in order and you may have seen some in recent hauls because I've been lucky enough to score some ARCs.  Either way, enjoy!






RELEASES 9/26/17
A futuristic book where women fall asleep and end up in a cocoon and if they are disturbed, they become feral.  Of course, you have the one immune woman to shake things up.  Clocking in at 720 pages, I sure hope this is a wonderful read!  

RELEASES 09/12/17
Historical monster-hunting sisters.  Sign me up.  Doesn't hurt that the cover is gorgeous.

RELEASES 09/26/17 (busy release day)
I just read "About a Dog" earlier this month and am really looking forward to the next in the series which features an adorable Golden Retriever.

RELEASES 08/01/17
"Boy meets girl meets alien."  I don't have a good track record with aliens but this one seems cute and humorous and for some reason is calling to me.

RELEASES 09/05/17
I loved the fist one in the Lady Sherlock series and can't wait to see what happens next.

RELEASES 07/11/17
I haven't read many wendigo books and this one was sparked by Chuckles recent wendigo post.  It's touted as a "supernatural thrilled from the winter depths of the Maine wildnerness."  Sounds good enough for me.

RELEASES 10/10/17
"Five boys attacked her.  Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh."  Yep, awesome sounding October read.

RELEASES 10/03/17
Magic and motorcycle gangs - definitely curious.

RELEASES 10/24/17
This one involves telekinesis and a devastating secret.  I LOVED LOVED LOVED "Certain Dark Things" so I have to give this one a try as well.

RELEASES SOMETIME IN SEPTEMBER
I stumbled across this one this week and I'm pretty sure it's releasing only across seas so Book Depository here I come.  It's about the end of the world and a loyal dog named Lineker.  Sign me up please!

So I can't believe we're already talking about the second half of 2017 - where has the time went?  I can't wait to see what books everyone else are anticipating...and adding to my already too long wishlist!


Summer 2017 Comment Challenge


So I ran across this challenge the other day and for some reason, I really wanted to participate even though I had no real plans to do so.  I see this as a great way to discover some new blogs.  It goes on for three months and you can sign up month by month. I only signed up to do at least 5 comments for the month of June but if all goes well, I may sign up for the additional months too.  It's hosted by Flylef and A Kernel of Nonsense and there's still time to sign up for July and August if you are interested.  I will post the rules below.

THE DETAILS

  • The Summer 2017 Comment Challenge runs from June through August
  • Feel free to sign up for one month or more
  • At the beginning of each month, bloggers will be paired together and will be asked to comment on each other’s blogs
  • For the time being, the challenge is limited to English-only blogs
  • We’d love for you to create a sign-up post to help spread the word about the challenge
  • Options for comments include 5+ or 10+ each month
  • At the beginning of each month we will put together a post where you can sign-up and link-up with your own sign-up post.
WHAT YOU MUST DO

  • Sign-up: starting today through May 27th, you can sign-up to participate in this challenge for June. At the end of May, we will email participants and post the official June Comment Challenge partners list on our blogs
  • Create a sign-up post: link-up each month with your own sign-up post. What we suggest you include:
    • Announce your intention to participate in whichever month
    • Link back to your hosts: Lonna @ FLYLēF and Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense
    • Include the Comment Challenge graphic
    • State how often you intend to comment on your partner’s blog and if you know who your partner is, introduce him/her
    • Share any thoughts you have about the challenge and whether you’ve participated before
  • Spread the word: for this summer challenge, we’re encouraging participants to tweet using the hashtag #Summer17CC to let your fellow bloggers know about this challenge
  • Comment: starting June 1st be sure to comment on your partner’s blog and have fun!
I already have my blogging partner and look forward to getting to know her and her blog better.  

Liliyana @ The Faerie Review



Friday, May 26, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (112) / Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.

I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted byKimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer. I'm hoping to discover some new blogs to love.

This week I received an order from Amazon of 2 physical copies I just had to add to my shelves. Even though I think it was over priced, I had to add Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar just because it's King.  I also grabbed Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal because I love Sniegoski's work and I didn't realize this book was even by him until I saw it in a bookstore a few weeks ago,


Of course I had to grab a few books either for free or on the cheap for Paul Anka (my Kindle). Actually I think all four of these were free this week but please double check before you buy.  I have several other Willow Rose horror novels so I had to grab Humpty Dumpty.  I saw a review for Sharp Shooter on YouTube and the reviewer really enjoyed it so when I looked and it was free, Paul Anka gobbled it right up.  Who can resist a cover like Nicor!?  Plus it was already on my wishlist and Suffer a Witch has one of my buzzwords - witch.


Finally I received a few review copies and once again, I'm not making any excuses.  Strange Practice sounds awesome and is a historical fiction about a doctor to the undead.  Just look at the cover of Noelle and act like you don't know why I requested it.  Bonfire is by Jessica Jones herself so I wanted to give it a try and Demon Leap caught my attention too.  



So what did you add to your shelves this week and have you read any of these and can provide a recommendation?  Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Weekly Reads (05/26/16)


So this week has been kind of up and down. As you are reading this, I am traipsing across the hills of West Virginia taking my grandfather to place flowers on the family graves.  There are two remote cemeteries which we need to visit so it's about a 6 hour day and lots of back roads.  I took the day off though because it's supposed to be pretty tomorrow and rain the rest of the weekend and we don't want to go in the rain.

We've had some small plumbing issues this week which can't be fixed until the plumber comes on Tuesday. I hope it doesn't end up being too much but somehow things always turn bigger so we'll see. Right now I just keep saying "It could be worse....it could be worse."

We ended up watching "Logan" the other night and it's definitely a 5 star movie (or in my case 5 paws).  I even teared up in a place or two and am amazed that a Marvel movie made me that sad. Anyone who likes the franchise should watch it because I think overall it's one of the best.

I had a good reading weekend last weekend but when Monday hit, things slowed down.  I blame "Flame in the Mist" because I can't seem to get into it,  I'm hoping that changes.  Here are the books I hope to dive into over my 4 day weekend.  I am on page 130 of "Flame in the Mist" and halfway done with "Harley Quinn."  The other two are fairly short and I'm in the mood for horror so we'll see what plays out.


So what are your plans this upcoming week???

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I Think My Detective Skills Are Improving - Bad to the Bone Review

TITLE: Bad to the Bone (Barkery and Biscuits Mystery #3)
AUTHOR: Linda O. Johnston
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
PUBLISHING DATE: May 8, 2017

FROM GOODREADS:  Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly, owner of the Barkery & Biscuits bakery for dogs, is reluctant to sell her recipes to pet food manufacturer VimPets. Jack Loroco, a VimPets representative, assures Carrie that it would be a great opportunity to grow her business. His promising new relationship with Carrie's friend, Billi Matlock, doesn't hurt his cause. But the budding romance takes a bad turn when Wanda Addler, another VimPets employee, sets her sights on Jack.

After threatening to ruin Jack's career if he doesn't give her what she wants, Wanda is found dead. Jack and Billi are put at the top of the suspect list, and Carrie is doggone determined to rescue them from a life behind bars.


MY THOUGHTS: 
After pondering this book for a few days, I've had to change my rating but don't worry, that doesn't mean that it's not an enjoyable read and it's still a cozy series I will continue to follow. In "Bad to the Bone," Carrie is still being courted by VimPet, an elite pet food manufacturer, to share some of her healthy recipes which will not only help her pay off her business loan sooner, but which will also provide added publicity for her newly opened "barkery." However, the deal is quickly put on hold because one of the execs, who happens to be a mean and manipulative woman no one really likes, turns up dead. Fortunately for Carrie, she isn't a prime suspect in this murder but two of her friends are so once again, she gets right in the middle of her third murder investigation.

I still enjoy the small town setting and many of the characters in this series. I can also say that Carrie no longer seems to be the "man magnet" I mentioned in my review of the first book and her love life has settled down some. That alone was cause for relief on my part because I hate love triangles (or maybe square was the more appropriate analogy). Carrie's dog Biscuit is still a prominent fixture in the book as is Hugo, her boyfriend's dog which is always a plus. However, I'm still having difficulty with the way this book is written. It's told from Carrie's first person perspective and perhaps because of that, I find some of Carrie's thoughts annoying. For example, she keeps wanting to give her employees a raise, which is totally commendable and understandable, but this thought keeps entering her mind and often at times when I feel she should be focusing on other things. It really is hard to explain but if you look at my reviews of the other two books, you might get a clearer idea of the writing style I find problematic. Also, I was able to deduce the identity of the killer early on in the book and while that normally doesn't bother me, I felt it was such a no-brainer that I just wanted everyone else to catch up so it could be over.

I'm sure I'll continue on with this series which I still consider a cute read. However, I didn't feel this installment was as strong as the other two which is why I bumped the rating down to 3/5.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 


RATING: 3 PAWS
 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (107) - The Definitely Odd Edition


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. 














FROM GOODREADS: Sixteen-year-old Walt thinks he’s left his problems behind him when he runs away from a broken home to live with his eccentric uncle. The simple, semi-rural, semi-anti-social lifestyle seems at first to be exactly what Walt wants, but he soon learns his new life isn’t just about ditching school and drinking beer with his friends.

Uncle Brucker is a Rat Killer; a tireless rat tracker, an expert in rat lore, a speaker of the rat language, and a decorated veteran of two bloody uprisings. His uncle begins to train Walt in the ways of rat killing, and explains to his nephew the ancient and bloody history of men and rats. Before the rise of men, he says, rats ruled the earth. They’ve been hiding in another dimension ever since they were kicked out by humanity, planning to retake the planet.

In the middle of Walt’s training, Uncle Brucker is called away by mysterious men from the government. When he fails to return from his mission, Walt discovers a portal to the rat dimension and realizes he must travel alone to Rat Land to save his uncle. Perhaps the most unusual dark fantasy debut of the year, Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer is a surreal exploration of honor, duty, and inter-dimensional genocide.


WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Every once in a while I stumble across a book that sounds so odd and so weird that I have to give it a try.  That's what happened with this one and now I'm counting the days.  

What book can't you wait for this week???


Monday, May 22, 2017

TTT - A Different Kind of Summer Read

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

Today is a Summer Reads free topic.  Now when I think of Memorial Day and Summer, I tend to think of long nights staying up late with some scary reads and Jaws marathons, which is probably my favorite beachy movie (don't judge 😏).  So I'm sharing with you 10 horror-related books I hope to read this summer.




Yep, I've seen the movie tons of times and it always reminds me of my Dad as it was one of his faves but I've never read it.  I hope to rectify that this summer.

I'd love to do a re-read of"IT" this summer.  It seems like a perfect time to do it with the new movie coming out but it's a mammoth!

I read "The Hatching" last summer over my July 4th Vacation so I want to continue that tradition and read "Skitter." I really want to know where the story is headed.

This sounds like a blast and I've already committed to reading it with Stormi in June.  It sounds like it will be a great summer monster read.

I really need to get my order in for this one.  I can't resist a new King release.

I adore the creepy cover on this one and it seems like a great summer horror addition.

I bought this one about a month ago and really want to dive into it!

I've really been wanting to give this author a try so if I don't read this one, I hope to definitely pick up another of his books - any suggestions???

I received this one for review and how can I resist a tagline of "The Greatest Monster is Man?"

What's balmy summer nights without a gritty vampire tale?  Hope this one fits the bill.

So, what "beachy" reads do you plan on reading this summer???  Hey, at least there's a beach in Jaws!!!



Sunday, May 21, 2017

No Pointed Hats Allowed - Wytches review

TITLE: Wytches
AUTHOR: Scott Snyder
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PUBLISHING DATE: June 24, 2015

FROM GOODREADS: Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they're hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient...and hungry.

MY THOUGHTS: 
I've been wanting to read this for ages so I was thrilled when I finally found a copy at my local library. "Wytches" tells the story of Sailor and her family. There was some trauma in their previous town regarding Sailor and the disappearance of a classmate so the family moves to make a fresh start. Her father clearly has some issues of his own going on and her mother had a bad accident which left her wheelchair-bound. Strange things start happening and Sailor is kidnapped by evil "wytches" who live in the forest. Apparently people can "pledge" children to these entities in return for favors. Sailor's father sets out to save Sailor and uncovers a lot of secrets along the way.

I really liked the premise of this graphic novel. I think the idea would be great played out in a movie or more lengthy novel. It was definitely terrifying and scary in all the right places and the ending provided enough twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. While the artwork was good, in places, it was also messy. Basically some of the pages were intentionally done in a haphazard fashion, I suppose to heighten the darkness of the plot. but I found those visually annoying. There was too much going on with those pages for my brain to sift through what it was supposed to be seeing (this might have been complicated by the fact that I read it while on cold medicine too - perhaps not the greatest choice).

There is some narrative at the end of the book which I enjoyed reading and which shows this project really was a labor of love for Snyder. I'm glad I was finally able to make time for "Wytches" and if you are a fan of horror tales and graphic novels, I would definitely recommend picking it up.


RATING: 4 PAWS
 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (111) / Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.

I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted byKimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  I'm hoping to discover some new blogs to love.

I did have to make a trip to the library this week after receiving notice that 2 of my requests were in. I swear I do not remember requesting these books or asking the library to order them but I'm happy to have them nonetheless.  Can't wait to see what trouble Tony Chu gets into next in Vol 3 and Vol 4.



I found some pretty decent books listed on Kindle for free so Paul Anka grabbed them up.  I'm always afraid I'll want it later and it won't be free anymore?  #Kindledilemma. "When Darkness Falls" is an occult-centered book, "The Parasite" is straight-out horror (and I've read other good things by the author) and "Undertaking Irene" is a mystery.  "Made a Killing" is the first in a series of Scottish crime books which I thought might be interesting.  They say "Email From a Vampire" is Sookie Stackhouse meets London and another Amy Cross book, "The Ash House" showed up.  All of these were free when I grabbed them but as usual, check before you click.






Finally I've scored some awesome review books!  "Murder on Black Swan Lane" is the start to a new series and "The Goblins of Bellwater" involves goblin curses and I'm fascinated by the idea of goblins.  I think I jumped up and down when I received approval for "Odd & True" and "The Party" might be a decent thriller (although I've not had great thriller luck lately but maybe "You Were Here" has changed that pattern).


So what books did you add to your stacks this week?  Hope everyone has a great weekend and is avoiding storms and bad weather if you live in the US.