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Friday, January 23, 2015

The TBR Tag

Posted by Irish in Misc1 Comment

TBR Tag

 

Many moons ago Andi over at AndiABCs tagged me to do a post about my TBR pile. The tag was originally created by Rachel at A Perfection Called Books and Dana from Dana Square.

 

How do you keep track of your TBR Pile?

 

TBR list

 

I use Goodreads to keep track of my books. I would be lost without it and its helped prevent me from buying duplicate books many a times. Right now my TBR list has many many books on my list and I really have to go through it and weed out ones that I might not want anymore or that I no longer own.

 

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

I’d say that its a pretty even mix.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

 

I tend to be a mood reader and so tend to choose my next book based on the mood I’m in. Recommendations from friends and bloggers also come into play as well. I’ve also started my TBR jar again so when I get stuck on what to read next then I’ll let fate decide.

 

What’s been on your TBR the longest?

 

Bitterblue

 

According to Goodreads I added Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore in August of 2009. Its a book that I’ve wanted to read but just haven’t been able to bring myself to do so. I have a hard time with series endings and if I can’t blitz read/watch something then because once I read that last book then its really and truly over.

A book you recently added to your TBR?

 

The Novice

 

The Novice by Taran Matharu which will be released in May 2015 from Feiwel and Friends and I’m totally in love with that cover! I hope that its insides are half as good.

 

A book on your TBR strictly because of its cover?

 

Red Queen

I was first attracted to The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard because of this cover though the story it contains sounds pretty good too.

 

A book from your TBR that you never plan on actually reading?

 

Heir of Fire

 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – I’m still on the fence about this one as I know so many love it but I wasn’t a huge fan of Throne of Glass (my review) or Crown of Midnight (my review) so I’m not sure if I’ll ever read this one. Though the promise of Sam and dragons does have some appeal.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you are excited for?

 

Death Marked

 

Death Marked by Leah Cypess – I really liked the first book Death Sworn (my review) and am excited to see how this duology ends.

 

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you?

 

Spirit Bound

 

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead – I am so behind on this series but remember what I said about endings? Yeah, that totally comes into play here.

 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
Girl of Fire and THorns

 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – I have had so many people tell me to read this series but I am wary of it. I don’t always like hyped up books and then there is the fact that I am so hard on YA Fantasy as so much of it tends to be…not good. So I’m worried that this one will go the way of so many others and I won’t like it.

 

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

Lion Heart

Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen – I am so excited for this one! I really liked Scarlet (my review) and head that the ending of Lady Thief was even worse than in that one and so I’ve been holding off on that one until I had Lion Heart. I’m now half way through Lady Thief and am loving it!! So much better than Scarlet and I can’t wait to see how it all ends.

The number of books on your Goodsreads TBR shelf?

A totally manageable 875. No big.

denying

 

Not sure who to tag in this so consider yourself tagged if you think that this might be a fun thing to to and then come back here and let me know!

 

irishdarkblue

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah DessenTruth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Published by Putnam Juvenile on 11 May 2004
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Books Published Before 2013, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 374
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Lakeview, North Carolina

First Line(s): Jason was going to Brain Camp. It had another name, a real name, but that’s what everyone called it.

Its no secret that I’ve read much Sarah Dessen but she is definitely one author that gets recommended to me a lot and most recently people have been telling me about The Truth About Forever so I decided to give it a shot. The Truth About Forever is told from the POV of Macy who at the start of the book is dating a robot named Jason. He’s pretty boring and emotionless and as she is as well I almost didn’t read much further. Coupled with one of the most vile mothers on the written page I spent a lot of time being annoyed by this book. That is until I met Wes. Wes was an amazing character and he turned Macy from being a robot into a real girl.

The start of The Truth About Forever was very slow and the ending felt rushed and inconclusive but I liked the middle. I liked when Macy was ditched by her boyfriend and when she started to actually live her life. Although this causes her much trouble at home as her mother prefers her to be an emotionless robot who does nothing but sit at home and study. All while complaining that she doesn’t have friends. But when Macy starts to meet people and to show some emotion her mother goes ballistic and then grounds her.

Truth About Forever Quote

While the pacing was off here I did really like how Wes and Macy interacted and I would have loved to have more scenes with them. They had this wonderful chemistry that simply lept off the page. I also liked Wes’s brother and his friends and how they all breathed life into Macy. Despite the things that I didn’t like about The Truth About Forever it was a fast read. I read this one in a single sitting and if the ending was just a little bit more then I probably would have rated this one higher. I also liked this one better than the first Sarah Dessen book that I read and so I am now more curious about her other books than I ever have been before. The only question is, which one?

irishdarkblue

IR - Truth About Forever

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cover Reveal: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

Posted by Irish in Cover Reveal1 Comment

Holy smokes are we excited to bring you the cover for Cora Carmack’s ALL PLAYED OUT! ALL PLAYED OUT is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and is the 3rd book in the Rusk University Series, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. It is due to be released on May 12, 2015!! If you haven’t had a chance to read this sexy, fun series yet, be sure to grab ALL LINED UP and ALL BROKE DOWN!

 

Image Map

 

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes

Add ALL PLAYED OUT on Goodreads!

About ALL PLAYED OUT:

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

 

And don’t miss the first two books in the Rusk University Series…

RU books 1and 2 Banner

 

ALL LINED UP, Book 1

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes

ALL BROKE DOWN, Book 2

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes

 

 

HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

 

 

 

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Audio Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Maybe One Day by Melissa KantorMaybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
Published by Harper Audio on 18 February 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 Personal Challenge, 2014 Read 12 Books Recommended by Others
Narrator: Shannon McManus
Length: 8 hours 40 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Wamasset, New Jersey // Newark, New Jersey // New York, New York

First Line(s):“I realize this is upsetting news,” said Ms. Daniels, watching me and Olivia across her enormous wooden desk.

Why I was planning on avoiding Maybe One Day. Its a cancer book.

Why I’m glad that I decided to read Maybe One Day. Because its so much more than a cancer book.

My friend Andi, over at AndiABCs, has been telling me that I needed to read this book since she read it but I resisted. But I had an ARC of it and I had used one of my audible credits to download the audio. Then one day I was looking for a new audio to listen to and I handed my iPod to a co-worker and she selected Maybe One Day. So I decided to listen to it, after all if I didn’t like it then I could always stop listening, right? Only I never wanted to stop listening. Shannon McManus did a great job with the narration and it was partially because of her that I didn’t want to stop with this one. But it was mostly because of the characters that Melissa Kantor created.

The friendship between Zoe and Olivia is so wonderful to see on the page. All too often books are filled with false best friends and that wasn’t the case here. They were more like sisters than anything else and were almost too close at times because they were so wrapped up in each other and in there dancing. This was fine initially but when the dancing stopped and Olivia got sick Zoe was left at a crossroads. She became a before and an after and she had to learn how to be the new her. But she’s not alone as she learns to deal with Olivia’s diagnosis, there is Olivia and Olivia’s brother, girls at school, and Calvin to help her put the pieces of herself back together.

Maybe One Day Quote

One thing I really liked about Maybe One Day was how it was told from Zoe’s point of view as it gives a new perspective to the cancer storyline. I also loved, like seriously loved, Zoe and Calvin’s romance. My only real regret with this book is that there wasn’t more Zoe and Calvin. Oh how those two made my heart ache!! And all those feels on top of the sad heart aches of what was happening with Zoe and Olivia. *sighs* This book was just a roller coaster of emotion from page one all the way until the end. If I had been reading this one instead of listened I totally would have binged on it.

So yes, Maybe One Day is a cancer book but even more than that its a friendship book. I fell in love with this story and I can’t believe that I ever resisted the idea of it. Sometimes you just need to set aside your preconceived notions and give something outside of your comfort zone a shot. I have no regrets with this book an I am eagerly awaiting Kantor’s next book, Better Than Perfect.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Maybe One Day
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Shows I Discovered in 2014

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday, What I Watched13 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this week is a freebie week and I thought that I would use it to talk about another obsession of mine, TV. I probably watch more TV than I should though I don’t care if you judge me for it. I am an introvert at heart so I don’t mind chilling on my couch and watching an episode or two (or three or four) of a show that I enjoy. Life can be stressful and sometimes my brain is to tired to read words so I turn to another medium. So here are some of the shows I discovered in 2014, and for most of them I totally binge watched them.

 

1. House of Cards (Netflix) – I started this one randomly on Netflix one day and then could not stop watching until I’d watched all 2 seasons. Its terrifying and engrossing and I am so excited to see where season 3 will go.

2. The 100 (Netflix & Hulu) – This is a show that I had seen previews for but didn’t have much interest in until this past December when my Twitter feed exploded with talk about it. I couldn’t get away from it and I have to admit that it made me curious and so I checked out Season 1 on Netflix and could not stop watching. Its not the best show as storylines are wrapped up really quickly and the drama can be a bit over the top but it is addictive and I am so glad that there will be a third season!

3. DaVinci’s Demons (Starz On-demand) – This year I ordered Starz in order to watch Outlander (which I loved) and while I waited for that show to start I discovered this Starz Original. This is a fictionalized account of Leonardo DaVinci’s life and it is only loosely based on actual events but its witty and fun and just hooked me from the first episode. Be warned though, this one has some crazy ass cliff hanger season finales that are a real killer!!!

4. Black Sails (Starz On-demand) – I first tired this one right after I finished DaVinci’s Demon’s and I didn’t get to far into it before calling it quits. Then this past December I decided to give it another shot and I totally blitzed through the entire first season. I loved the strong female characters and the crazy intrigue between the various pirate captains. This one totally hit me in the feels at times and I am so glad that Season 2 will be starting up soon as I need more of this world!

5. The Good Wife (Amazon Prime) – This is another show that I didn’t think was for me when I first saw previews for it but then once I started it I totally proved myself wrong. I love all the nuances of this show and how much Alicia grows and comes into her own as the series progresses.

6. Scandal (Netflix, Amazon, On-demand) – This show is so totally crazy pants!! This was show was like crack to me and no matter what over the top thing it does I just can’t seem to get enough. I’m also totally on the side of Ex-Creeper Jake.

7. Dance Academy (Netflix) – This is another show that I discovered via chatter on Twitter and its yet another show that I totally binged watched. Its an Australian teen drama set in a dance academy and ZOMG THE FEELS that this show brings!! I totally cried a time or two and went through total withdrawal when it was over. The last season wasn’t the best and it was cancelled before its time but its totally worth checking out.

8. The Blacklist (Netflix) – I missed this one when it first started so had to wait until it was available on Netflix to watch. I was intrigued by it and totally blitzed through all the episodes. The second season isn’t wowing me as much as the first but I am still invested in all of these characters.

9. Finding Carter (MTV, as it aired) – Like Teen Wolf, this is another scripted drama on MTV and another show I wasn’t entirely sure about. Its not the best show and it has some over the top acting, over the top story lines, and some crazy drama but there is just something about it that keeps me coming back for more. I’m excited that there will be a season 2 because I need to know what further shenanigans these characters will get themselves into next.

10. The Musketeers (BBC America, as it aired) – Oh my stars how do I love this show? Let me count the ways…1) its filled with witty banter 2) the fight scenes 3) the drama 4) the witty banter 5) its set in Paris 6) the bromance 7) the witty banter, etc etc etc. This was such a fun show and I totally loved each new episode. I am so excited for the coming season though I will miss Peter Capaldi’s character as he does villainy so very well.

irishdarkblue
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina BowenThe Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years, Book 2
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down
Published by Self-Published on 01 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Books I Purchased, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 274
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Sterling, New Hampshire // Etna, Connecticut

First Line(s): The minute I heard the hum of the garage door opener, I was in motion.

The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen is the second book in her Ivy Years series and picks up about a year after The Year We Fell Down takes place. This book follows Hartley’s friend and Hockey teammate Bridger and a new character named Scarlet. If the theme of The Year We Fell Down was healing than the them of this book was secrets as both Bridger and Scarlet are hiding some pretty big ones. At the start of this book we learn that Scarlet has changed her name and essentially run away from home to college and Bridger has quit the Hockey team for reasons that are revealed over the course of the story. We also learn that like Corey, Scarlet is also a Hockey player and she too has quit the sport for reasons that are also revealed as the story progresses.

OVerall, I did like The Year We Hid Away better than The Year We Fell Down but I still had some issues with the story. There were some continuity errors that took me out of the story and just drove me mad. For example, in one scene Scarlet is reading a newspaper but then it turns into a website and then in the next paragraph its a newspaper again. *le sigh* It was enough to make my head spin at times. Scarlet was also annoying as she was so judgmental of others, especially her roommates, and a bit slow on the the uptake with certain reveals that others saw coming from a mile away.

Year We Hid Away Quote

 

Bridger and Scarlet did annoy me at times and there was the cliche of the pointless breakup. But I did like how they interacted with each other when they were together. Scarlet had a lot of character growth throughout the novel and she went from a spoiled, judgmental princess to someone who was a little bit more down to earth. Although she did still have some entitlement issues and a lack of understanding on how the world worked. One thing I did like was Scarlett’s friend from high school and Bridger’s neighbor Andrew. He added a sense of normalcy and balance to all the crazy that was going on and I just loved all the scenes that he was in.

I also found The Year We Hid Away to be a bit slow moving and then the ending it was all rush rush rush time to wrap up ALL THE THINGS! And there were a lot of things to wrap up because Scarlet and Bridger had SO MANY ISSUES! It was almost too much at times and it became a bit overpowering. The Year We Hid Away is not without its issues but there are definitely worse books out there and while I didn’t love this one I did like it enough that I didn’t feel as though I wasted my time and money on it.

 

irishdarkblue

Irish Recommends - Year We Hid Away
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Audio Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Audio Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner's Trilogy, Book 1
Published by Listening Library on 04 March 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Magic, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 Listen to 12 Audiobooks, 2014 Personal Challenge
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Length: 8 hours 24 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown Fictional World

First Line(s): She shouldn’t have been tempted.

Pretty cover? Check.

Pretty words? Check.

Pretty story? For me, not so much.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a fantasy (yet not a fantasy) novel that came to me highly recommended. Its a book that I was unsure of when I first read the synopsis but all I kept hearing was how good it was. That the story was amazing and the main charater was a strong heroine with an epic swoon worthy love. So I gave in and downloaded the audio and started to listen and it wasn’t long before I began to wonder what all the hype was about because NOTHING HAPPENED IN THIS BOOK. I mean seriously, nothing happened. Kestrel buys a slave, she talks to said slave and tells him ALL THE THINGS. He in return just broods and tells her nothing in return. And yet. They fall in love.

Kestrel goes to parties and talks dresses and clothes, obsesses over her conflicted feelings for Arin, and complains that she has no choices in the world except to get married or join the military. Her struggles are real and her life is so hard and she doesn’t understand why the country that her people has occupied for the last decade would be unhappy. She’s also absolutely shocked that these same people, who are now slaves in their own country, know her people’s language. Because you know, they would have learned nothing in the ten years of occupation or the countless years prior when they were a free people and used to trade with Kestrel’s. She’s shocked they they seem to be intelligent thinkers when she mentions that before the occupation her people didn’t have books or use utensils but hers is, of course, the better race.

*insert much sighing and eye rolling by me*

Winner's Curse Quote

I just…I just couldn’t with this book. I tried. I really did and I listened to it until the bitter end because even though I had serious issues with the stories and the lack of anything going on I did like the narrator, Justine Eyre. Her narration kept me invested when I would have totally given up on the print. Despite all the urgings from friends who kept telling me to stick with it that the ending made up for all that came before. And while that may have been true for some that wasn’t the case for me. Yes, things happen at the end but its a rush and a jumble and it starts and end within the last 100 pages or so. In my option, I don’t think you should have to wait an entire books for something to happen. No matter how pretty the words are up until that point.

Because yes, despite all of its many flaws, The Winner’s Curse was very prettily written. It was a flowery and oft times repetitive text repeating things that we already knew but with Eyre’s narration it had this hypnotic quality that kept me listening. The Winner’s Curse wasn’t a book for me and yet I am still debating on if I want to read The Winner’s Crime or not. I do tend to be a glutton for punishment but it isn’t unheard of for me to dislike the first book in a series and then grow to like it as it progresses.

irishdarkblue

People Who Liked This Book Better Than I Did:

Alice Marvels – An utterly captivating story of forbidden love and political upheaval that will leave you breathlessly anticipating the sequel.

Cuddlebuggery – What I really loved about the book was that even though at the heart of the story it’s a romance, neither Arin or Kestrel allows their relationship to dominate their common sense.

Miss Print – Secrets and lies are key to both Kestrel and Arin’s characters, creating a story that is as much about what is said as it is about subtext. This novel is brimming with non-verbal communication and other subtle cues that Rutkoski expertly manipulates as a story of love and other–somewhat darker–matters slowly unfolds.

IR - Winner's Curse
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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda JonesSeventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Charlie Davidson, Book 7
Also in this series: Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge
Published by St Martin's Press on 21 October 2014
Genres: Adult, Angels, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Ghosts & the Undead, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

 Place(s) Traveled To: Albuquerque, New Mexico

First Line(s): If the howling from the backseat of Agent Carson’s black SUV weren’t already dead, I would’ve strangled her. Gladly.

Seventh Grave and No Body is the seventh installment in Darynda Jones’s Charlie Davidson series and picks up not long after Sixth Grave on the Edge ends. While I wasn’t thrilled with the previous installment I was looking forward to Seventh Grave as I thought that maybe some of the bigger story ARC mysteries would be dealt with. However, I ended up being more disappointed in this story than I’d hoped and think that its really losing steam. The start of this series was so fresh and unique and now its just dragging on and getting a little repetitive in its telling. Charlie is getting a little annoying with her constant naming of things and constantly rushing off into danger.

In the beginning you could almost excuse her leaps into danger as there was always a bigger end game going on. But this aspect was missing in Seventh Grave and when you add into it that Charlie is pregnant its just reckless and irresponsible. The mystery that is started in this book is mediocre at best and as with the previous installment not much is accomplished with the overall story ARC. Other than re-hashing things that happened before there wasn’t anything new here and so that made Seventh Grave all the more frustrating and I am really starting to question if I want to continue reading this series or not.

Seventh Grave and No Body Quote

There are still elements of the story that I like, I do enjoy the humor though as I said above I do wish that some things would get toned down. The secondary characters continue to shine though why they continue to put up with some of Charlie’s antics I’ll never know. So in the end I sighed more than I laughed in this one and it just took longer to get through than it should have. There were also moments in this book that were impossible to believe because its hard to feel tension and think that characters are in peril when there are 4 more books to come in the series.

For me, its starting to seem as though there is no end point to the series and I think that does this world and characters a disservice. It just drags things out too much and so not much really happens in the story. While I do like how there is less than a year to wait between the next installment I am just not sure if I have the time or the energy to devote to books 8, 9, 10 and 11.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Seventh Grave
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Review: The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen TurnerThe Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
Series: The Queen's Thief, Book 2
Also in this series: The Thief
Published by Greenwillow Books on 01 January 2000
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Family, Love & Romance, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Books Published Before 2013, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 362
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Attolia // Eddis

First Line(s): He was asleep, but woke at the sound of the key turning in the lock.

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner is the second book in her Queen’s Thief series and picks up not long after the first book ends. While I didn’t love The Thief I was intrigued enough to pick up this book and found it to be a quick and engrossing read. The Queen of Attolia starts off in the middle of the action and it made me gasp aloud within just a few chapters. The start of this one was just so much darker than the first book and I liked the grittiness of it. I also liked the Gen in this book better than the Gen in The Thief as he just seemed have more personality and quirks to him. Though there were still things that just seemed to come out of nowhere like when he declared his love for the Queen.

The Queen of Attolia is set up in a similar manner to The Thief in that there is very little dialogue so it just makes what little dialogue there is seem choppy and out of place. There is also no rhyme or reason to the changing POVs and one paragragh you can be in Gen’s head, the next Attolia’s and then the one after that in Eddis’s head. I have never been a fan of random head jumping and that doesn’t change with this book. I like my change in POV to be a bit more structured and obvious as it could take a few sentences to realize that you were no longer in the head you thought that you were in.

Queen of Attolia Quote

As I said above, I found The Queen of Attolia  to be a bit of a darker story but it also was a bit more humorous as well. I liked what little dialogue scenes there were and think if there was more talking and less description/telling then I would have liked this one so much more. But despite the things about this one that irked me a bit I was still engaged in this story. Once I started reading it I didn’t put it down unless I absolutely had to. So I managed to read this in just a couple of sittings. And at the end of this one I had a strong and burning desire to pick up the third book, The King of Attolia, which is something that didn’t happen when I finished the first book. I liked the political intrigue of this story and how fast paced it was. It was a gripping story and I am looking forward to seeing where things go as the series progresses.

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Irish Recommends - Thief

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blog Tour: The Conspiracy of Us Travel Log

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log13 Comments

Blog Tour: The Conspiracy of Us Travel Log

Hello Internet!!

Today I am so happy to host Maggie Hall here on Ticket to Anywhere and learn a little bit about why she chose the setting she did for her debut novel, The Conspiracy of Us (13 January 2015, Putnam Juvenile). When I first learned that this book was set in Paris I became so excited for it. I took my first trip to this amazing city in October 2014 and have every intention of returning to it one day. I also spent a little time in the Istanbul airport and while airports aren’t my jam I would one day like to spend time in this fascinating sounding city. The Conpiracy of Us sounds also sounds fascinating and after reading Maggie’s post below I want to read it even more!

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Conspiracy of Us

 

A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance–perfect for fans of Ally Carter

Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family–but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she’s falling in love with.

 

Conspiracy of Us Guest Post

I knew from the beginning that CONSPIRACY would be set abroad. It makes sense for the story, of course, since the twelve families of the Circle are scattered around the globe, but setting a story in a city unfamiliar to the main character automatically makes it more of an adventure, too. Avery, my heroine, had never been out of the country before the start of this book, so I wanted settings that would be really exciting and striking for a first-time traveler.

eiffel-tower-photo

Source: http://images.mapsofworld.com/travel/eiffel-tower-photo.jpg

Of course, I immediately thought of Paris. Paris is the cliche “best place to travel” for a reason. You can walk down any random street in that city, look up, and you’re looking at a building older than the United States as a country. You’ll follow your nose to a crepe stand, and realize your life hasn’t been complete until you eat a thin sheet of pastry wrapped around a scoop of Nutella and cooked by the side of the road. You’ll almost be run over by a Vespa driven by the most chic older lady you’ve ever seen, and you’ll laugh it off. You’ll eat bread and cheese for dinner, sitting with hundreds of well-dressed French people on the banks of the Seine river, and never want to eat anything but bread and cheese again. And then you’ll look up and see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and wonder if you’re actually in a movie, because this place isn’t real, is it? That’s Paris. It’s magical.

Istanbul

Source: http://wallsev.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Istanbul-HD-Wallpaper.jpg

And then there’s Istanbul. It’s such an interesting city—it’s on the very edge of Europe, and in some ways, it’s very European. It’s as fashionable as the big European cities, and has a feel much like some of them in ways—but if you look even slightly under the surface, there’s a side to it that no European city has, because it’s also kind of in the Middle East, with the rich traditions, colors, food, and feeling of that culture that is so different to most Western travelers. There are kebab stands on every corner in some neighborhoods. There are ladies in all manner of lovely headscarves, and also ladies in miniskirts. There are breathtakingly beautiful mosques that sound the call to prayer all through the day, and also lovely churches. Istanbul is really a study in contrast, and it makes it such a lively and intriguing city.

To me, travel means seeing the world differently. Seeing how people in other countries and other cultures go about their lives, and realizing that the world is not as small as it sometimes seems to you. Of course, when I travel, I am not usually running for my life like Avery is! But even for someone in a situation like hers, having her story go on in a place that’s as foreign to her as the revelations she’s learning along the way adds an intensity—and a beauty, I think—to her journey.

Check out the other stops on the tour

Effortlessly Reading – 1/13

Two Chicks on Books – 1/14

Ticket to Anywhere – 1/15

Mostly YA Obsessed – 1/16

Reading is My Treasure – 1/17

A Dream Within a Dream – 1/18

The Midnight Garden – 1/19

Seeing Double In Neverland – 1/20

Jessabella Reads – 1/22

The Book Cellar – 1/25

The Books Buzz – 1/29

 

 

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