Please excuse the mess when wandering through the archives...when I moved my blog from Blogger to Wordpress many posts lost their formatting. I am slowly (very slowly) going back to fix post formatting issues. Some of my review indexes are also out of date but I'm working on that too. This does not include my author/title indexes as they should be current.
Place(s) Traveled To: The County – Horshaw // Chipenden
First Line(s): When the Spook arrived, the light was already beginning to fail.
I first became interested in Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney when I learned that there was going to be a movie released based on the series. Looking for a new audio I downloaded this from audible and quite enjoyed the narrator for the most part though he doesn’t do the best job with the female voices. The story is quick moving and while Revenge of the Witch is filled with a ton of set up there is a lot of promise for the series.
I enjoyed this book but felt it dragged a lot in portions and didn’t seem as action filled as movie previews appeared. The movie previews also look like nothing in this book so I wonder how many books that the movie pulls from to make up its story. For the most part, I liked the character of Tomas Ward but he does annoy me at the same time. He does some very stupid things and yet is also really smart and despite being a new apprentice often manages to save the day. The two sides of himself just don’t seem to mesh and I hope that he becomes more cohesive as the series progresses.
The story is also told mostly in first person present but every once in awhile there is this foreshadowing/flashback-eske comment that just really took me out of the story. Tom would be talking about something and then make a statement along the lines of ‘this would come back to haunt me later’ or ‘by the time I did this it was already too late.’ I’m fine with the bulk of a book being mostly a flashback, heck that’s mostly how Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss is told. I just want these things to be more clear from the get go and not mentioned in random, cryptic comments.
Revenge of the Witch was an enjoyable audio and I will be reading other books in the series but as they are short, quick reads I will probably be switching over to print. I do plan on seeing the movie at some point but may way until DVD to do so as I can hopefully get most, if not all of the books read before then. That way I won’t be spoiled in the books if the movie pulls from the full series. This is a series I’d recommend if you are looking for a quick read and its a world that I look forward to getting to know better.
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this week is about our favorite reads. Even with my Top 12 Lists this one was a hard one. But using that as a starting point I can get the first 8 since I’ve been choosing a top book of the year since 2008 and in 2012 I had my first ever tie. (Links go to my reviews)
I thought about choosing two more books to make this a full Top Ten list but how do I choose just 2 more from all my other favorite books? So I think that I will just leave it at 8 because I just can’t choose!
By now you know the drill with this post. I list out the top books that I read and loved this past month and from them I choose the best of the best. This book then gets listed in my Top 12 List (check out my sidebar) and at the end of the year those 12 books are pitted against each other and my top book for the year is chosen.
The Contenders – 5 Star Reads
I think I’m getting much more picky in my reading old age as I didn’t have any 5 star reads in February 2015. I did read many a good book though and it was still hard to choose from the 4 star reads to have that one book be labeled as best of the best for February 2015. But a winner must be choosen and so I went with the one that most appealed to the wanderlust in me. I love to travel and I love books that deal with travel and so my favorite read of February 2015 is Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (Click here for my review.)
What about you? What was your favorite book read this month? Let me know in the comments below. =)
Month in review – Here’s the other books I read this month:
(most books read during this month will be reviewed next month)
4 Star Reads
All Played Out (Rusk University, Book 3) by Cora Carmack
Curse of the Bane (Last Apprentice, Book 2) by Joseph Delaney
Half Wild (Half Bad, Book 2) by Sally Green
Heart of Betrayal (Remnant Chronicles, Book 2) by Mary E. Pearson
Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, Book 2) by Tessa Dare
Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Book 5) by Richelle Mead Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive, Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson
3 Star Reads
All the Rage by Courtney Summers (3.5 stars)
Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor
Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen’s Thief, book 4) by Megan Whalen Turner
This is Shyness by Leanne Hall
Trust the Focus (In Focus, Book 1) by Megan Erickson
With This Heart by RS Grey
The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
2 Star Reads
When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
1 Star Reads
Splintered (Splintered, Book 1) by A.G. Howard (Audio)
DNF Reads – maybe I’ll try these again at some point, but for now they don’t resonate with me
All the Light We Can Not See by Anthony Doerr
The Girl with All the Gifts M.R. Cary
Attolia via Conspiracy of Kings
Belize: Belize City via Wanderlove
Beliza: Laughingbird Caye via Wanderlove
Belize: Punta Gorda via Wanderlove
Eddis via Conspiracy of Kings
Sounis via Conspiracy of Kings The County: Horshaw via Curse of the Bane
The County: Chipenden via Curse of the Bane
The County: Priestown via Curse of the Bane
The County: Heysham viaCurse of the Bane
England: London via Say Yes to the Marquess (19th Century)
England: Kent: Charingwood via Say Yes to the Marquess (19th Century)
France: Unnamed via Half Wild
France: Verdon via Half Wild
Germany: Black Forest via Half Wild
Guatemala: Antigua via Wanderlove
Guatemala: Chichicastenango via Wanderlove
Guatemala: Guatemala City via Wanderlove
Guatemala: Flores via Wanderlove
Guatemala: Livingston via Wanderlove
Guatemala: Santa Lucia via Wanderlove
Guatemala: Tikal via Wanderlove
Norway: Veltarlin Half Wild
Remenant: Venda: The Sanctum via The Kiss of Deception
Roshar: The Shattered Plains via Words of Radiance
Slovakia: Unnamed via Half Wild
Spain: Barcelona via Half Wild
Spain: Etxalar via Half Wild
Switzerland: Basle via Half Wild
Switzerland: Geneva via Half Wild
United States: Alaska: Fairbanks via Spirit Bound
United States: California: Los Angles via The Wrong Side of Right and Wanderlove
United States: California: Redding via Trust the Focus
United States: Colorado: Pike’s Peak via Trust the Focus
United States: Idaho: Unnamed via Trust the Focus
United States: Illinois: Chicago via When Joss Met Matt, Trust the Focus and The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Indiana: Nashville via Trust the Focus
United States: Kansas: Lewis via Trust the Focus
United States: Kansas: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Maine: Cape Elizabeth via Trust the Focus
United States: Maine: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Maryland: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Massachusetts: Boston via With This Heart
United States: Massachusetts: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Montana: Unnamed via Spirit Bound
United States: Missouri: Jefferson City via Trust the Focus
United States: Missouri: St Louis via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Nevada: Las Vegas via Spirit Bound
United States: New Hampshire: Unnamed via Trust the Focus
United States: New Jersey: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: New York: Milltown via Better Than Perfect
United States: New York: New York via The Wrong Side of Right and Better Than Perfect
United States: Ohio: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Oklahoma: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Oregon: Unnamed via Trust the Focus
United States: Pennsylvania: Bethleham via Spirit Bound
United States: Pennsylvania: Unnamed via Spirit Bound and Trust the Focus
United States: Pennsylvania: Valley Forge via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: South Carolina: James Island via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Texas: Corpus Cristi via With This Heart
United States: Texas: Dallas via With This Heart United States: Texas: Marfa via With This Heart
United States: Texas: Odessa via With This Heart
United States: Texas: Pleasant via Splintered
United States: Texas: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right and All Played Out
United States: Washington: Toutle via Trust the Focus
United States: Washington DC via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Wisconsin: Buffalo County via Trust the Focus
United States: Wisconsin: Madison via When Joss Met Matt
United States: Wisconsin: Milwaukee via When Joss Met Matt
United States: Wyoming: Moorcroft via Trust the Focus
United States: Unnamed: Grebe via All the Rage
United States: Vermont: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
United States: Virginia: Unnamed via The Wrong Side of Right
Wales via Half Wild
Wonderland via Splintered
I love music and if I’m not listening to an audio book then you can be sure my trusty old iPod is getting a major workout. This month I downloaded the new Imagine Dragons CD and its been playing on repeat almost non-stop in my car. I love all of the songs but especially its first release, I Bet My Life.
What song(s) did you have on repeat in February?
***Be sure to read the terms and conditions before entering. ***
Enter to win a copy of my top pick of the month (or other book if in a series) and a $10 amazon gift card (or a gift voucher equivalent to 10 US Dollars). This contest is open internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships your country) but If you live outside the US and you win then then the GC will be the equivalent to $10 US dollars.
The winner of last months contest is: _Sandra_!
Congratulations! And thanks to everyone else for entering!!
Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.
Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.
Advance praise for When Joss Met Matt:
“Hands down, one of my favorite New Adult reads . . . Ellie Cahill is definitely one to watch!”—New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack
“This is one of those books that make you forget everything around you. Prepare to be consumed by this story.”—Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Wild “Fun, sexy, and full of amazing chemistry, When Joss Met Matt is an entertaining escape that will leave you smiling with every turn of the page.”—Cassie Mae, author of The Real Thing
I’m having issues with embedding from youtube right now…hopefully I’ll be able to fix that in near future but until then just click the links *s*
Playlists for When Joss Met Matt
This playlist is full of songs that gave me that Joss and Matt vibe. Some of them even helped inspire the original idea. It’s more like one of those albums of music “inspired by” a motion picture than a true soundtrack. But I think you’ll see how these songs fit with When Joss Met Matt
Although the relationship in this song is pretty messed up, there’s just something about it that reminds me of When Joss Met Matt. Maybe because it’s kind of fun even though it’s about an obsessive relationship.
This is the song that gave me the earliest ideas about writing this book. It’s about a guy watching a girl go back to her boyfriend when he wants her for himself but letting her go anyway. The story got a lot more complicated as I started planning it, but that was the very first flash of inspiration.
This is one of those songs I’ve had for a long time, but didn’t really pay attention to until one day it came on in my car and it was like a thunderbolt. This song could be about Joss and Matt. Almost every line in the song in applicable, but I’ll just give you one of my favorites:
Place(s) Traveled To: Los Angeles, California // Antigua, Guatemala // Chichicastenango, Guatemala // Panajachel, Guatemala // Santa Lucia, Guatemala // Guatemala City, Guatemala // Rio Dulce, Guatemala // Flores, Guatemala // Tikal, Guatemala // Livingston, Guatemala // Punta Gorda, Belize // Belize City, Belize // Laughingbird Caye, Belize
First Line(s): As soon as I see the blond girl bouncing down the aisle, I know she’s heading for the empty seat beside me.
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard is a book that has been on my radar since it was released in 2012 and a book that has been recommended to me more times than I can count. But for whatever reason I didn’t pick it up until now and then proceeded to read it in about a day. Wanderlove started out a little slow for me but as I kept reading it just settled in nicely into my brain and clung there like the memory of an old friend. Its a book that fully woke up my travel bug and made me want to pack a bag, grab my passport, head to the airport, and jump on the first plane out of Massachusetts. (It also didn’t help that this was the THIRD road trip type book I’d read in a row.)
I love the concept of what wanderlove is: “Wanderlust is like itchy feet. It’s when you can’t settle down. But Wanderlove is much deeper than that . . . it’s a compulsion. It’s the difference between lust and love.” as described by Rowan and Starling, two characters in the book. This book just ended up hitting all the right notes with me and I was sad to have reached the end of the story. This book is filled with adventure as Bria leaves her guided tour and takes off for places unknown with people she just met. And for those romance lovers out there, it has a slow burn romance that will make your heart ache even as you want to shake the characters to get them to just act on what we all know they are feeling!
I loved how Bria changed and grew over the course of the novel. At the beginning of the story she was a bit lost and didn’t really know herself after dealing with the pressures of school and an asshat of an ex-boyfriend. But her friendship with Starling and Rowan along with her own personal journey she found her way back to who she was before but also discovered a bit of the person that she was always meant to be. I liked how she changed those around her just as they changed parts of her too. Because we all give pieces of ourselves to others and this book really highlights that.
Wanderlove is a book that I know that I will be revisiting in the future and its a book that I wish I’d read sooner but also know that now was the perfect time for me to find it. It was well written and well plotted and I just wanted it to go one for another 100 pages or so. These are characters that will stay with me and ones that I hope you all take the time to meet one day.
Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Bellevue, Washington // Santa Clara, California
First Line(s): Drew McCoy dodged pouring rain as he darted through a puddle-infested parking lot and into the entrance of the biggest bookstore in Bellevue.
Covering Kendall by Julie Brannagh is the fourth book in her Love & Football series and while it does involve the Seattle Sharks football team can almost be read as an independent story as there is almost no mention/interaction of the previous characters. In this story Drew McCoy of the Sharks meets up with Kendall Tracy who is the GM of a rival team, which is something that they don’t know at first. There are sparks and I think that its going to be a really juicy story but somewhere along the way it just sort of fizzles out.
I liked Drew and Kendall and I liked their story and I am every so glad that there wasn’t a random subplot where everyone focused on the heroine’s uterus or her weight as with the previous installments. It was a quick read that I essentially read in less than a day so I was involved with the plot but there was just something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on. There were also some random inconsistancies that just took me out of the plot. Like how the Sharks played Dallas back to back (at home and then away) and even this non-football watcher knows that is a no-go. Although I did read an ARC so its possible that all these little inconsistencies that bothered me were corrected in the final version. Many times I’ll grab a copy of that final book to check but I just don’t care enough about this story to do so.
As I said above, I read this quickly and I liked the forbidden love aspect of the story but it just seemed like the two main characters put way more stress upon themselves than needed. Then, of course, there was the pointless breakup leading to angst and moping before they get back together for their HEA. And boy what an eye-rolling HEA did they have. It was just so cliched and forced and a little too perfect to feel real. I get that with a romance there is some suspension of belief, there is that wish fulfillment that every reader wants in that perfect ending. But you can have a good satisfying ending without getting overly cheesy at the same time.
For me, I think that my love affair with the Love and Football series might be waning. Each book just gets to be a little less enjoyable for me and so I am unsure if this is a series that I will continue with or not. Though I will keep my eye out for other stories by Julie Brannagh as I did really enjoy the first book in this series.
First Line(s): Once upon a new school year, Raven Queen was packing.
The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale is the first book in the Ever After High series which was created by the same people who did Monster High and is a spin off of sorts. Though instead of “monsters” this story is filled with the children of the fairy tales we grew up listening to. We quickly learn that all the children in this story have a destiny that they need to fulfill and that destiny is to live out their fairy tale story as written and as determined by the Storybook of Legends. If your mother was an Evil Queen then you are supposed to grow up to be one too, even if you don’t feel so very evil. Which is Raven Queen’s dilemma as the new school year starts. This is her legacy year, the year she signs the book of Legends and seals her fate. Only she doesn’t want to be evil and wonders just what will happen if she doesn’t sign the book after all.
Along the way you meet her friends and a girl named Apple White, the daughter of Snow White, and the girl that Raven is supposed to grow up and poison so she can have her happily ever after. Apple is supposed to be good but what I love about this book is that the lines are blurred between good and evil and just because someone is perceived to be good doesn’t mean that they are. I really liked how fun and imaginative this story was and I did so enjoy the youtube cartoon tie-in as well. I liked all of the characters and the mystery that was contained in its pages. It was a fun fairy tale retelling and one in which I look forward to reading the other books in the series.
While I enjoyed the story I did get a little frustrated at times because I couldn’t understand why if each fairy tale character had two parents then why did Raven have to follow her mother’s path when her father was a good king. And what about the fairy tale characters that had multiple children? How do their stories play out as if there are 3 girls then they can’t all be Cinderella, can they? And just what happens if you don’t follow your destiny but instead forge your own path? These are all questions that I hope get answered as the series moves on. But for now, I was happy with it and do think that younger readers will enjoy it as well.
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this week is about our favorite heroines. There are so many I could choose from but since I am a fantasy girl at heart I decided to focus on that genre for this post.
Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt is a companion book to her story, Two-Way Street (my review) and follows the cousin of Courtney. The two books are very similar in premise that they are almost interchangeable. The only real differences are the names, there is a dog and Jace is driving Peyton home and they are not heading off to college together. They have an existing relationship but unlike Courtney and Jordan theirs is more of a summer time fling but like Jordan, Jace just cuts off all contact without a word leaving Peyton all sorts of heart-broken. These aren’t a grouping of books that you want to read back to back as you’ll just get frustrated at the almost copy & paste of the story. But with some time in between the two the similarities aren’t quite as glaring though still pretty obvious.
Peyton, like Courtney, is a bit of an unlikable character and I just don’t get what Jace sees in her and the reason he had for cutting off all contact was just dumb. With as close as they were supposed to be the fact that he didn’t ask her to explain was just rage inducing. Ugh to the ugh ugh ugh with the pointless breakup!! Nothing frustrates me more than that and this was just made me sigh and roll my eyes.
Overall though, Right of Way, is a quick brain candy type of read and its a good follow-up to an emotionally draining book. Its not a deep story and it doesn’t take long to read which makes it a great pallet cleanser. While I didn’t like Peyton at first she does change during the story and I do cheer for her and Jace’s inevitable coming back together. While this isn’t a book that I will re-read its not one that I feel like I wasted my time on either. Even with all the similarities to Two-Way Street.
You may have seen the Taylor Swift tag floating around on the internet. When I took part in it and tagged Andi at Andi’s ABCs it got the two of us talking about creating our own tag. With both of us being from New England, there was one group we thought of immediately…the New Kids on the Block. So much like the Taylor Swift Book Tag we took NKOTB songs and made them relevant to a book. All you have to do is pick a book to do with the title/description and post away using the hashtag #NKOTBBookTag. So without further ado, we give you The NKOTB Tag.
All Down by Cora Carmack (my review) – I wasn’t expecting to like this book, I was expecting to just suffer through it until the end as I waited for the third book to be released. But oh my stars did this book take me by surprise! Silas was so much more than I ever expected and his love interest was a perfect match for him. This book had so many feels and I am so very glad that I read it!!
I may not have liked Spintered by AG Howard (Goodreads) much but I do love the cover of this book. Its part of what drew me to the story in the first place. Who ever said you can’t just a book by its cover is wrong because if I judged this one by its cover alone it would be an A+. Alas, its pages would be graded as an F. I just wasn’t a fan.
Scarlet in AC Gaughen’s series of the same name is one wicked strong heroine and while I love her character in all the books in this series her strength really shines in Lady Thief (my review). This is the second book in the series and the struggles that she and her friends go through are large and traumatic and oh my stars was this an amazing read!
If I’d been reading a print version of The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan (goodreads) I’d totally have tossed it across the wall. But as I read it on my kindle I had to satisfy myself with just yelling at it and its characters in frustration.
I love books set in the future and space and this was a hard one to pick just one book for this catagory. But one book, Loop by Karen Akins (my review) does stand out as one of my favorite reads of 2014. It was smart and snarky and I loved me some Bree and Finn!!
Standalones, of standalones….how I love thee so! It sometimes seems like every book that comes out is part of a series and so it can be very refreshing to read a book that is all self contained in one volume. Although, when its a good book its really sad to hit the last page so its a total Catch-22 situation. There are many standalones that I love but for this one I decided to go with my favorite read of 2014, Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (my review). Oh what an amazing book this was filled with friendship and romance and just so many emotions!!
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (my review) is by far my favorite book of hers to date. These girls are so mean but the emotions and the power of this story are beyond words. This book kept me up way way way past my bed time and I babbled incoherently a bit to Summers on twitter before passing out for a short bit before having to get up for work.
This is another one that is hard to settle on just one book for there are so many books that I would love to see made into a tv show or movie. Though at the same time it terrifies me every time I hear that Hollywood is looking at one of my favorite reads because what if they get it wrong? And we all know just how often they get it wrong. That said I would love to see a movie adaptation of The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (goodreads, review to come). I would love to see Wil in action and then of course there is that kiss!!!
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord – I just loved this book so much that as soon as I was done with it I rushed over to the internet to pre-order a copy. The finished book will be mine!!
If you know anything about me you know that I hate endings and I’ll often not read the final book in a series just to ensure that it will never end. But one series I did finish and am sad to see end is the Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins. Isla and French Kiss (my review) is the long awaited and the final book in that series. It was a book I dreaded to read but then was so glad that I did. I had missed the world and the characters and this was just a perfect end to a wonderful series.
Click the image about to be directed to www.booksforsoldiers.com and learn how you can clean off your bookshelf and help out our men and women in the military at the same time.
Wondering where my Top Character lists went? I decided to move them to a post as my side bar was looking a bit cluttered. I'll post the full list of all my favorite characters of the year in January but until then check out my previous lists: