Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Another 52 - February Edition

As much as I love Valentine's Day and any excuse for a long weekend, my February was not fun at all. I was excited when we had an early thaw of all that damn snow, but I didn't like that all that damn snow melted and flooded our apartment! Since then it's been non-stop stress of stopping the water, cleaning and dealing with our landlord and all the contractors who seem to need to come in and out of our apartment. 
Thank goodness books can transport me out of this world in into somewhere where \i don't have to deal with real life.
Here are the books that distracted me this month:

by Sarah J. Maas

40 Pages

Meet the Assassin: beautiful, defiant, destined for greatness. Celaena Sardothien has challenged her master. Now she must pay the price. Her journey to the Red Desert will be an arduous one, but it may change the fate of her cursed world forever...

Since reading Tower Of Dawn, I've been wondering about the story behind Yrene Towers and Celaena. Of course, I was hoping that it would be one of these short stories and I'm so glad that it was. Although it didn't provide much more information than I already knew, it was still neat to see these two characters interacting.

by J.C. Nelson

416 Pages

Burying the dead is easy. Keeping them down is difficult.
At the Bureau of Special Investigations, agents encounter all sorts of paranormal evils. So for Agent Brynner Carson, driving a stake through a rampaging three-week-old corpse is par for the course. Except this cadaver is different. It’s talking—and it has a message about his father, Heinrich.
The reanimated stiff delivers an ultimatum written in bloody hieroglyphics, and BSI Senior Analyst Grace Roberts is called in to translate. It seems that Heinrich Carson stole the heart of Ra-Ame, the long-dead god of the Re-Animus. She wants it back. The only problem is Heinrich took the secret of its location to his grave.
With the arrival of Ra-Ame looming and her undead army wreaking havoc, Brynner and Grace must race to find the key to stopping her. It’s a race they can’t afford to lose, but then again, it’s just another day on the job . . .

I'm a big fan of the Grimm Agency books, so I was pretty excited when I found out that she had written another books along the same lines. Well, I thought it was along the same lines, but it turned out not to be. It lacked the fun and silliness that I love about the other series. This was much more serious and took place in an alternate earth than the other series. This book was much more about the romance, which was okay, but I was never sold on the two of them being together. It was okay, but not what I wanted it to be. I think if I had come on it and not known the author I probably would've liked it better.

by Ally Condie

366 Pages  (9:54 Hours)

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

I really enjoyed this book. After reading so many post apocalyptic books that have characters that come from bad areas of the world and need to fight for freedom, it was an interesting switch up to have the main character come from one of the good areas, not seeing the flaws of society and thinking that life is what it's suppose to be.
Coming from a white, middle class family, I can relate to this. It took me a long time to see that there were a lot of flaws in our own society and I know that I'm privileged enough not to see some of the really terrible things that happen around me.
This book certainly gave me a lot to think about.

by Seanan McGuire

352 Pages

Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night... The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity—and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she'd rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren't for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family's old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone's spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city...

I finally got my hands on the first few books of InCryptid. I've been looking everywhere for them but could only ever find the later books in the series. I finally broke down and ordered them like I did with the October Daye novels.
Although the first one isn't the greatest book I've read by her, it was still a lot of fun and I think this series will only get better. There were a lot of great cryptids in this book, but I think my favorite were the mice who celebrated everything. They were so cute.

by Sarah J. Maas

95 Pages

The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.

Although I'm pretty sure that this book came first, it bears a striking resemblance to Nevernight, to the point I wondered if one was based off the other. It made it a little hard to read because I just kept comparing them and trying to decide who did it better. I never did decide. 

by Sue Monk Kidd

384 Pages (13:46 Hours)

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.
Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.
Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.
This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.

This was my LLB for this month. I've wanted to read this book ever since I heard Sue Monk Kidd talk about it in person. Like all of her books, this one hits hard and makes you really think and feel deeply. My heart continually broke while reading this and that just made me cheer harder for the characters that I loved so intently.

by Lisa Mantchev

352 Pages

All her world's a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She's not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now.
Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE'S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie's weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book, an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family, and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.

This was the first book I ever "wanted to read" on Goodreads. When I was ordering some books for Adam for Valentines Day, I decided to get myself something too. I figured I should actually start reading some of the books on my want to read list. So I ordered the first one there.
This was a very cute story that all takes place at a magical theatre. Her memories are all written like a script and performed on stage. It a cute little added bonus. I grew up in theatre so I found it full of that magic that I once felt. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 

by Joëlle Jones, Jamie S. Rich & Chelsea Cain

138 Pages

Betty Draper meets Hannibal!
Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother—but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer for hire! A brand-new original comedy series that combines the wholesome imagery of early 1960s domestic bliss with a tightening web of murder, paranoia, and cold-blooded survival.

I came across some promo images for this comic awhile ago and I was excited to find out that it was actually a comic book series. I was even more excited when I found out that my online library database has comics and this was one of them. I happily lost myself in the life of this '60s housewife/hired killer. It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to get my hands on the next edition.

Books that I am currently reading

by Rohinton Mistry
65 of 603 Pages

by Sally Armstrong
128 of 320 Pages

by N.K. Jemisin
109 of 613

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1)
by Rin Chupeco
1:45 of 12:08 Hours

Batgirl, Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside (Batgirl, Volume IV #6)
by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, Jared K. Fletcher, Maris Wicks & Babs Tarr
22 of 176 Pages

The Forbidden Heir (The Four Arts #2)
by M.J. Scott
 105 of 352 Pages

Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn & Grim #1)
by Juliet Marillier
126 of 329 Pages

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Won't You Be My Valentine?

Happy Valentines to all my fellow geeks out there!

Won't you be my valentine?
These amazing Star Wars cards will surly win your heart!

I just love Katie Cook's Star Wars art (all of her art, really)
I'll be her valentines any day.

Be you attached or single, remember to have fun and be safe.
All my love 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Another 52 - January Edition

January has been a crazy month of stress, studying and exams. That being said, it didn't give me a lot of time to read much non-school related books. Probably why most of my books this month were audiobooks. 
I did really well on my exams, if you're wondering, but if you're reading this, you're probably much more interested in my books,

So here's what I read this month:

by Brandon Sanderson

1243 Pages (55:04 Hours)

The eagerly awaited sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Words of Radiance, from an epic fantasy author Brandon Sanderson at the top of his game.
In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.
Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.
Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar's blood-soaked past and stand together--and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past--even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

Amazing, outstanding, incredible! I wan't to read and read and read this series and wish that it never ended. But like all great epics, I'll probably be waiting a few more years for the next book to come out and then all the next books after that. That's okay. I waited for Wheel Of Time and I'll wait for The Stormlight Archives as well. This train might not be moving very fast, but I really do recommend jumping on board if you want a fantastic series to read.

by Seanan McGuire

312 Pages (11:18 Hours)

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.
It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.
They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.
You can’t kill what’s already dead.

This was outside what I usually read. I've never been one to pick up ghost stories, but I love Seanan McGuire and when I came across this I just couldn't pass it by. And I'm glad I didn't because it had me entranced from beginning to end. I'm glad she's doing a sequel and I can't wait to read it.

by Katherine Arden

333 Pages

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind--she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa's stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed--this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse's most frightening tales.

I had heard a lot of great things about this book, so I was super excited to get it for Christmas. Although it was very good, I wanted more from it. I'm not sure of what, just more. The story didn't leave me entranced and that was what I really wanted because I love Russian folk tales (or at least the ones that I know) and I love when authors re-imagine them. I guess I find that stories that take place over many years lose something when they don't devote time to the here and now. Knowing a history is good, but I want to really get into the characters and how they feel. This book did have that at some parts, but I would've like some more. I will be reading the next book though. I do want to know what happens.

by Sarah J. Maas

70 Pages

A Throne of Glass novella.
On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

This was a great little short story that has been hinted about in later novels and I wanted to find out more. It was hard to watch Celaena being that cock sure teenager and there are times that you realy do want to punch her. But she does have a good side and it's nice to see that the Queen of Assassins has a soft side even then.

by Victoria Aveyard

528 Pages (17:19 Hours)

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard's bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?
Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.
As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.
When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

It's been awhile since I've read this series and I went back to it thinking that it was really great. It wasn't. It was okay, but for the most part it wasn't overly interesting. Mare being captured is rather dull. She sits around a lot. People make a lot of threats, that's about it. The first 2 books had a lot of action and moving around and you could feel that electricity (pardon my pun). But in this one, all the battles happen off screen and it's hard to feel emotionally invested. I'm hoping the next one will be better. Not every book in a series can be the best.

by James Patterson

417 Pages (8:06 Hours)

For 36 years, James Patterson has written unputdownable, pulse-racing novels. Now, he has written a book that surpasses all of them. ZOO is the thriller he was born to write.
All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear.
With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it's too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide. With wildly inventive imagination and white-knuckle suspense that rivals Stephen King at his very best, James Patterson's ZOO is an epic, non-stop thrill-ride from "One of the best of the best."

I've been watching this on Netflix and it's awesome. So when I came across this in the Little Library, I knew I had to read it. It became my first LLB of the year. Sadly the book did not live up to the TV show. I was so bored with it right away that I switched over to the audiobook to try and make it easier. It didn't really. The killed off one of my favorite characters right away and the main character was completely ruined. In fact, they ruined the Chloe as well. She went from being pretty awesome in the show to being a wide eyes, useless woman, who's only importance was that she became a mom and they totally ignored that she was a super awesome researcher and had her do almost nothing. It was quite aggravating. I was glad when it was done. I'll go back and watch the show instead.

by Seanan McGuire

48 Pages (1:38 Hours)

Working for the last traveling carnival in Cascadia is sweaty, back-breaking work - and Ansley loves it. She's fiercely loyal to her charge, Billie - a giant genework Indricothere. But now the only life Ansley has ever known is in danger - and the threat is coming from within.

This wasn't the best short story that I've read my Seanan McGuire, but it was still interesting. I think if it were longer and I had a better chance to get to know the characters that it would've had a bigger impact on me. As it was, I don't really feel one way or another about this story.

by Seanan McGuire

157 Pages (4:11 Hours)

Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world. 
Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

I have fallen in love with this series and I want an entire line of books to read about every single character and what was behind their doors and if they get to go back and all the new students and on and on and on forever. This was not a prequel like the second book was, but took place after the first. I am in love with the world of Confection and I think my new goal in life is to become The Baker there. (Is it because I'm a culinary student? you decide) The way she talks about baking and sugared trees and gingerbread molding makes me want to buy multiple copies of this book so that I can highlight my favorite quotes and cross-stitch them onto pillows or some such.

by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe

400 Pages

This “first rate anthology of reimagined fairy tales” (Locus Magazine) features an all-star lineup of award-winning and critically acclaimed writers.
Once upon a time. It’s how so many of our most beloved stories start.
Fairy tales have dominated our cultural imagination for centuries. From the Brothers Grimm to the Countess d’Aulnoy, from Charles Perrault to Hans Christian Anderson, storytellers have crafted all sorts of tales that have always found a place in our hearts.
Now a new generation of storytellers has taken up the mantle that the masters created and shaped their stories into something startling and electrifying.
Packed with award-winning authors, this “fresh, diverse” (Library Journal) anthology explores an array of fairy tales in startling and innovative ways, in genres and settings both traditional and unusual, including science fiction, western, and post-apocalyptic as well as traditional fantasy and contemporary horror.
From the woods to the stars, The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales takes readers on a journey at once unexpected and familiar, as a diverse group of writers explore some of our most beloved tales in new ways across genres and styles.
Contains stories by: Charlie Jane Anders, Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-mohtar, Jeffrey Ford, Max Gladstone, Theodora Goss, Daryl Gregory, Kat Howard, Stephen Graham Jones, Margo Lanagan, Marjorie Liu, Seanan McGuire, Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Sofia Samatar, Karin Tidbeck, Catherynne M. Valente, and Genevieve Valentine.

If you've been a follower for awhile, you know that I have a soft spot for retellings of fairy tales. So when I came across an entire book of them I was super excited. I wanted to see what all of these authors had re imagined when given this assignment. For some I was happily surprised. I would've read novels about them. For others I was totally horrified or weirded out with the direction that they went in. Others had me in thought loops for days where I couldn't get the concepts out of my mind.
It was a very mixed bag that made it hard to pick up and read, not knowing what type of story is going to be next. I guess that's why I usually try and stay away from anthologies like this. That being said, If I found another such book tomorrow, I would probably still buy it and read it. Such is the love of the re imagined fairy tales...

by Kiera Cass

276 Pages (7:01 Hours)

From Kiera Cass, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series, comes a captivating stand-alone fantasy romance.
Kahlen is a Siren, bound to serve the Ocean by luring humans to watery graves with her voice, which is deadly to any human who hears it. Akinli is human—a kind, handsome boy who's everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. Falling in love puts them both in danger . . . but Kahlen can't bear to stay away. Will she risk everything to follow her heart?

This definitely had a Little Mermaid vibe to it that I absolutely loved. Much like The Selection, these characters swept me up in their stories and didn't let go. I would be very happy if this was turned into a series or at least had some short stories about the other characters. I also really loved the nod to Prince Maxon with Akinli's last name. Very cute little add in.

by Marissa Meyer

256 Pages (6:36 Hours)

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story—a story that has never been told... until now. 
Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

More retelling of fairy tales? Who me? You can guess that I love the Lunar Chronicles for this very reason. It was neat to go behind the scenes and see what makes Levana who she really is. In the beginning you really want to feel bad for her, but as time goes by, you just can't justify what she's doing and you want to yell at yourself for ever being sympathetic at all. So good.

Books that I am currently reading

by Rohinton Mistry
65 of 603 Pages

by Sally Armstrong
122 of 320 Pages

by N.K. Jemisin
109 of 613

The Reburialists
by J.C. Nelson
275 of 416 Pages

Discount Armageddon (InCryptid #1)
by Seanan McGuire
120 of 352 Pages

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1)
by Rin Chupeco
1:45 of 12:08 Hours

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Another 52 Book Reading Challenge

Another year, another book challenge.

Yes, I'm starting all over again from book 1 and working my way back up to 52.
Although it hurts my soul a bit to delete all the books from last years list, I feel I am up to the challenge to start again from scratch.

I've signed up both here and here for the challenge and you can too
Or if you're more interested in just following what I read, I will continue to update every month on what I've read and you can look to the bottom right of my blog (you may have to scroll down) where I will be keeping a list of what books I've finished, links to Goodreads and a bar of my challenge progress.

I didn't read quite as much last year as I did the year before, but with school happening, I'm just happy to have time to read at all.

I managed to clear out most of my To Be Read (TBR) and Recommended By Adam (RBA) books over the last few years, so my choice of extra challenge is going to be Little Library Books (LLB).
In case you don't know what that is, a Little Library or a Wee-Free Library are tiny neighborhood boxes that people put on their front lawns and fill with books to take and bring back. I have quite a few in my neighborhood and try to keep them as stocked as I empty them.

But I have accumulated too many and they need to be read and returned to their homes.

So here is a list of the 12 books that I've chosen

My LLB (Little Library Books) List Challenge

1. The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

2. Zoo (Zoo #1) - James Patterson

3. The Windup Girl (The Windup Universe #1) - Paolo Bacigalupi

4. A Reunion Of Ghosts - Judith Claire Mitchell

5. Best Friends Forever -  Jennifer Weiner

6. Looking for Alaska - John Green

7. The Knight and the Rose - Isolde Martyn

8. Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Maggie Hope Mystery #1) - Susan Elia MacNeal

9. The Kitchen House - Kathleen Grissom

10. 666 Park Avenue (666 Park Avenue #1) - Gabriella Pierce

11. The Little Paris Bookshop - Nina George

12. The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling

Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Newfangled 52 - December Edition

Christmas has come and gone and this year is finally winding down. This year has had it's ups and downs in life as well as in books. Some were really great and others not so much. But in the end, I managed to read 96 books this year,

Not quite as many as last year, but still pretty good.
Anyhoo, here are the last books I read this year:

by Kiera Cass

64 Pages

While America Singer's heart was torn between Aspen and Prince Maxon, her friend Marlee knew exactly what she wanted—and paid the price.
Revisit the captivating world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series in this digital original novella. Told from Marlee's point of view, this all-new 64-page story returns to the fateful Halloween when Marlee and Carter were discovered, and reveals how that night—and Prince Maxon—changed their lives forever.

The great thing about having an online library card is that I can finally read all those short stories that all my favorite authors write. That includes all of The Selection short stories (that all somehow seem to be exactly 64 pages). This one was probably my favorite, because who doesn't love Marlee? I'm still glad she managed to find her happily ever after.

by Jay Kristoff

125 Pages

Your blood-red skies are filled with smoke. Your bleach-white histories with lies. You walk sleeping. Wake senseless. Breathing deep of toxic blooms and forgetting all that has gone before.
But I remember.
I remember when two brothers waged bloody war over the right to sit in their father’s empty chair. I remember when orphaned twins faced each other across a field of crimson and steel, the fate of the Shima Shōgunate hanging in the poisoned sky between them.
I remember when a blind boy stood before a court of storms and talons, armed only with a thin sword and a muttered prophecy and a desperate dream of saving the world.
I remember when the skies above Shima were not red, but blue. Filled with thundeabler tigers.
I remember when they left you.
And I remember why.
Let me tell you, monkey-child.

This short story takes place before the Lotus Wars series and I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But the more I read of it, the more I enjoyed it. The character's are not as lovable as the original series, but then again I didn't have 3 books to fall in love with them either. It is interesting to see how the world ended up as it did, due to choices that these characters made eons before the books.

by Kiera Cass

64 Pages

Before America Singer met Prince Maxon . . . 
Before she entered the Selection . . . 
She was in love with a boy named Aspen Leger.
Don't miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection trilogy. This brand new 64-page story begins just after the group of Selected girls is narrowed down to the Elite and is told from Aspen's point of view.

This story was okay. I never really liked Aspen all that much, so I didn't feel like I got much out of it. It's pretty much just a retelling of the story but from an observers perspective. Not nearly as interesting, but an okay story none the less.

by Kiera Cass

64 Pages

Before thirty-five girls were chosen to compete in the Selection...
Before Aspen broke America's heart...
There was another girl in Prince Maxon's life...
Don't miss this thrilling 64-page original novella set in the world of the New York Times bestselling novel The Selection.

This tiny blurb about this story makes it seem like this other girl is a big plot point in the story, but she's really not. She's pretty much just a friend that they try and force on him as a love interest, but he's just not interested. Mostly it's a story about him getting ready for the Selection to start and not knowing how to feel about that. I actually liked this story quite a bit.

by Glen Cook

318 Pages

She is the last hope of good in the war against the evil sorceress known as the Lady. From a secret base on the Plains of Fear, where even the Lady hesitates to go, the Black Company, once in service to the Lady, now fights to bring victory to the White Rose. But now an even greater evil threatens the world. All the great battles that have gone before will seem a skirmishes when the Dominator rises from the grave.

This was my RBA for the month. It wasn't nearly as good as the second book was and it took me forever to read. There was a lot of boring parts, but the few interesting parts made up for it. I really like Croaker's relationship with The Lady and could read about it all day. She totally made the book for me. I like to read more about her. 

by Brandon Sanderson

59 Pages

A fascinating new novella in Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere, the universe shared by his Mistborn series and the #1 New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive. 
Sixth of the Dusk, set in a never-before-seen world, showcases a society on the brink of technological change. On the deadly island of Patji, where birds grant people magical talents and predators can sense the thoughts of their prey, a solitary trapper discovers that the island is not the only thing out to kill him. When he begins to see his own corpse at every turn, does this spell danger for his entire culture?

This was another interesting short story by Brandon Sanderson. I have absolutely no idea how all his books fit into one big Universe, but I will gladly keep reading until I find out. This was a neat concept about times changing, especially with technology, and how it is beginning to upset the balance of the World. Quite neat indeed.

by J.C. Nelson

97 Pages

As the right hand woman at the Fairy Godfather’s Grimm Agency, Marissa Locks has a grip on all things magical. If only she could get control of her own not-so-charmed life…
For most people, waking up after a night of partying next to a dragon, sporting a tattoo with a mind of its own, would be a new low. For Marissa, only the tattoo is new—and, unfortunately, it’s not the weirdest part of her day. The Agency has been called in to stop a string of messy murders, a problem that’s turning into a disaster of biblical proportions, and Marissa’s been assigned to the case.
One of the archangels from Paradisia is attempting to switch teams, and he’s willing to use as many souls as it takes to pay his way. With Grimm contractually bound to clean up the chaos, Marissa must find a way to keep the former cherub from completing his rampage. But between fighting an angel gone bad and battling the magical compulsions of her new Fae tattoo, Marissa’s definitely facing the worst hangover in history…

I loved these books, so I was super hyped to find out that there was another one, even if it was a short story that takes place in between books. I would gladly keep reading stories about Marissa and her friends. They have the perfect about of humor, action and sass that I like in an urban fiction story. 

Alright, so now that we've covered this month, how about we take a quick look back at my year in books

Not too shabby if I do say so myself. And I didn't do too badly with my RBA (Recommended By Adam) 

6. Deathless (Leningrad Diptych #1) - Catherynne M. Valente 

11. Equal Rites (Discworld #3) - Terry Pratchett

I didn't finish The Kingdom of Gods yet, but I did read a whole extra book for this, so I'm going to call it even.

Books that I am currently reading

by Rohinton Mistry
65 of 603 Pages

by Sally Armstrong
122 of 320 Pages

by N.K. Jemisin
109 of 613

by Brandon Sanderson
1243 Pages (52:27 of 55:02 Hours)

by Katherine Arden
96 of 333 Pages

I almost managed to finish Oathbringer before the end of the year, but there just wasn't enough time. Ascent of Women is going slow, since it's super depressing, although quite interesting at the same time. A Fine Balance is on a hiatus until I can get my e-reader to work again. But there are always more books to read, and I'm going to do just that.

See you next year