I rate books on a 5 star system including 1/2 stars. Basically this means the following:
5 stars - loved loved loved it! I will become a book bully for this book
4 stars - liked it didn't love it but will recommend
3 stars - varies - but more of a middle of the road reacting. didn't love it or hate it. May not recommend to others
2 stars - didn't like it, won't recommend it
1 star - hated it
DNF - Did not finish (these may not be mentioned on the blog)
Top 12 List
There are 12 months in the year and so I thought that I would try to highlight my reading year by choosing that one memorable book from each month.
JAN - Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson
FEB - Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
MAR - The Remedy by Suzanne Young
APR - The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
MAY - Hamilton the Revolution by Lin Manuel-Miranda
JUN - Fast Connection by Megan Erikson and Santino Hassel
JUL - Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
AUG - The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson
SEP - The Goal by Elle Kennedy
OCT - Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
NOV - The Screaming Staircase by Jonathon Stroud
DEC - Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Bridgeport, Connecticut // Little Compton, Rhode Island // Fall River, Massachusetts
First Line(s): You walk into the bookstore and you keep your hand on the door to make sure it doesn’t slam.
My first thought upon finishing YOU by Caroline Kepnes was “what the heck did I just read?” but more than that I was lost in just how good it was. YOU is supremely well written and takes a character, in this case Joe Goldberg, who is a terrible terrible person and makes you LIKE him. Not just that but you kind of sympathize with him and understand why he is doing what he is doing. Which is a total mind fuck since Joe is a deranged stalker who kills people and so shouldn’t be a sympathetic character. From the moment that I started YOU on audio I was enthralled. Santino Fontana *is* Joe Goldberg and he totally brings this character and this world to life. I can’t imagine experiencing this book in any other format than the audio because Fontana is just such a great narrator. He gave me chills and he made me like Joe. Again, Joe is not a character to like so its slightly disturbing and part of what makes YOU such a good book.
I know that YOU isn’t a book that is for everyone and I think that a reader will either love it or hate it. I don’t think that there is any shades of grey with this one. Because Joe is crazy. There is no way around it but the people that he meets aren’t the best either. Not that any of them deserve their fate but when you see them through Joe’s eyes and hear his thoughts you can believe his rationale as it works for him. Even as you sit on the edge of your seat begging the other person to make a different choice since you know what Joe has planned if they make the wrong one. Before I read YOU I really didn’t think it would be a book that I would like but after…well…after I found it hard to leave Kepne’s world behind because she is just so talented and her words so powerful that I wanted the story to last.
If you like thrillers and audiobooks that I strongly recommend that you experience YOU in that format. I think that the spoken word is just so powerful at times and with Fontana as the narrator it almost feels like you are sitting across form Joe listening to him tell his story. Which is terrifying since, as I’ve said, he’s a crazy stalker who kills people and not the sort of person that you ever want to cross paths with. Joe is a total sociopath and I just bow down to Kepnes in her characterization of this character. Joe is just so real that you really think he’s in the room with you as this book progresses whispering in your ear and sending chills down your spine. The images that Kepnes’s words evoke are so vivid that if I closed my eyes I could picture each and every one.
YOU was a fantastic listening experience and one that I wish I could experience again for the first time. This is seriously one of my favorite reads of the year and I like it more the more I think back on it. YOU is the sort of book that stays with you long after you read it and is a really hard experience to describe to others. I could not stop listening to this book and think its unlike any other story out there. Its totally riveting and I really can’t wait to see what Kepnes comes up with next. If you haven’t experienced this book yet then you need to move it up your TBR pile. I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed!!
As of this posting, there is only one book that I can think of that makes a good read-a-like for YOU. If I think of something later then I will update this post. Or if you know of I good read-a-like then let me know in the comments and I’ll credit you and link back to your review!
Place(s) Traveled To: Metropolis // Paradise Island
First Line(s): It was barely the third week of school, and already someone had been expelled.
WONDER WOMAN AT SUPER HERO HIGH by Lisa Yee is the start of a new middle grade series set at the fictional Super Hero High in Metropolis. This is the school where all the young super heroes go to learn how to use their powers and how to be a super hero. Or maybe not as not all those who go to this school have good intentions in mind. Wonder Woman is a total fish out of water when she starts at Super Hero High having been home schooled and fairly sheltered on Paradise Island by her mother. She knows of the outside world but she misses a lot of social queues and doesn’t always get the joke. She’s a very literal girl and so this makes her a tad bit socially awkward and that is part of what makes Wonder Woman, or Wondy as she begins to be called, a relatable character.
Going to a new school is always hard be it a transfer in, a move from home school to public, or even going from middle school to high school. Its easy to get overwhelmed at times or to sign up for too much. Not to mention all the pitfalls of making new friends (or enemies as the case may be) along with being part of the social media generation. Wondy learns all of these things, often at a comical expense throughout the course of WONDER WOMAN. Her roommate runs HQTV (aka Harley Quinn TV YouTube channel) and so often captures Wondy’s mishaps along with her fellow students much to Wondy’s embarrassment but its something she learns to deal with and become aware of. To think before she acts because you never know who may be watching and to learn to accept that she can’t be perfect all of the time.
Wondy is a bit naive at times and that wasn’t always the easiest things for me to read as an adult but I think that this is something that will really help her appeal to a younger reader. Wondy is also filled with so much heart and dedication to do well and to be the best friend she can be. She’s the sort of girl who wants to be the best at everything and to win all the awards but she’s also humble enough to know when to share the spotlight with someone else. Even if doing so means sacrificing something else.
There were times when WONDER WOMAN made me laugh at loud, usually at something Harley Quinn said, and times where it made me cringe. I loved all the various characters that were incorporated into this story along with the superhero triathalon. I liked how this was a girl power dominated story in a universe that is typically overshadowed by boys. I thought that the mystery element was a little weak, choppy and highly underdeveloped but that is probably not something that will bother younger readers. But will also help in teaching them the impoartance of making assumptions and why that isn’t always a good thing. There are a lot of great teachable moments in WONDER WOMAN and its a book that I look forward to sharing with my niece as I think she’ll like it a lot.
Place(s) Traveled To: Nashville, Tennessee // New Orleans, Louisiana // Magnolia Springs, Louisiana
First Line(s): “He’s not gonna know what hit him.”
Every reader knows that there are some books that they read where the secondary characters really stand out and this was true for me with Charlie from Rachel Harris’s ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED ON PURPOSE (my review.) So I was really excited to learn that Harris was writing a spin off series and the first book, YOU’RE STILL THE ONE, would feature Charlie. I was bouncy with excitement and I think that I fell victim to my own hype as I didn’t love this book as much I wanted to. It was cute and charming and everything that one would expect in a Rachel Harris book but for me it was just missing the heat.
YOU’RE STILL THE ONE is a slow burn novel and for me it was almost too slow of a build up between Arabella and Charlie. While I did like how the two really got to know each other and build a relationship built on friendship it just lacked chemistry. I wasn’t racing to the end to see how their story would end because I never really became invested in their story. I also found the set up of this one to be really choppy and wish that the scene transitions and other aspects of the story had been smoother.
I also wish that some more time had been spent developing the secondary characters. I have no idea who the next story will be about and familiar characters, like Tyler and Sherry, were notably absent throughout much of the book. I didn’t dislike YOU’RE STILL THE ONE I just think that I expected something more since I loved ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED ON PURPOSE so much. Perhaps is there was more romance to it I would have liked it more but its hard when characters don’t even kiss until the book is almost over. So while I think that Charlie and Arabella make great friends I’m just not entirely sure that I buy them as a couple.
For me, YOU’RE STILL THE ONE was a book of missed opportunities. I wanted to love it but it just fell a little flat for me. But I do still love the world that Rachel Harris has created. I’ll still read the other books in this series and hope that we see more cameos in the future of old friends. This is a book that I know that I’ll recommend to some friends of mine because the things that didn’t really work for me I know will really work for them. YOU’RE STILL THE ONE isn’t a perfect read but its a quick read and worth considering for when you are looking for a slow burn escapist read.
Yup, this was a recipe for unmitigated disaster. With the hot sting of jealousy currently roiling in his gut, demanding he lay claim to what was his, the smart thing for Charlie to do would be to turn tail and run before they breached the point of no return.
Don’t push too far, Tucker. Remember, she’s not for you.
Even his conscience knew better than to suggest bailing. Completely walking away wasn’t an option anymore. The attraction was too strong. The oppressive Louisiana heat boiled his blood just enough to make dangerous ideas seem possible.
“It’s a beautiful night.” Arabella was a low whispered voice behind him, and when Charlie turned it was in time to watch her cover-up fall to the ground.
Sweet Jesus. The dress she’d worn all day had been typical Arabella, classy and feminine. She’d looked beautiful as always, so much so that it hadn’t been a shocker to find another guy hanging on her with drool on his chin. But the swimsuit hidden beneath the simple dress almost dropped Charlie to his knees.
The two-piece was emerald green, a spectacular color set against her olive skin that made those doe eyes pop. It was vintage in style, like everything she owned, and the bottom consisted of more fabric than half the women’s shorts today, but it cupped her hips and thighs in a way that his hands itched to replicate. And the swimsuit’s top… Charlie swallowed thickly. Arabella’s small, high breasts were lifted in a mouthwatering display of cleavage that was a feast for the eyes.
She looked seductive and innocent and, goodGod, she was trying to kill him.
Charlie was moving before he even realized it, walking in a lust-filled daze toward her. But then, his feelings were more complicated than simple lust…and that was the problem.
“You take my breath away.” The line was cliché, like a lyric from some lame power ballad, but for the first time in his life, Charlie understood the meaning. Arabella’s eyes latched onto his, and her chest rose and fell as her pink lips parted in an exhale and, for a moment, he legitimately forgot his own name.
Arabella made his chest ache with want. She made him forget everything in the world other than how it felt to hold her in his arms. How their bodies aligned, her height allowing her to rest her head on his shoulder if she wanted to. Or stare into his eyes if and when he kissed her.
Right now, he wasn’t thinking about the many reasons why he shouldn’t want that, why he didn’t deserve her or why it would be so wrong to reach out and slide his hand along the gentle curve of her waist. No, Charlie forgot all those things, so when his palm grazed across her petal-soft skin, and Arabella’s gasp hit his ears, he also forgot why it was wrong, so very wrong, to act on his needs.
Lowering his head, he breathed in her floral fragrance and closed his eyes.
“Baby girl, you destroy me,” he whispered against her lips. “You have to tell me if you don’t want this, because I’m holding on by a thread.”
“Then let go.”
Rachel Harris’ YOU’RE STILL THE ONE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
Love is one dare neither of them can take…
Arabella Stone, Nashville’s darling, is eager to shuck her prim-and-proper rep, and a few wild months spent checking items off her ” summer bucket list” is the way to do it. First up: kiss the man she’s crushed on since she wore a training bra, the bad boy of country himself, Blue bassist Charlie Tucker.
For Charlie, a beautiful woman flirting with him isn’t out of the norm–but a beautiful woman bolting after the hottest kiss of his life sure is. And when he finds out his kiss-and-run Cinderella is none other than Arabella Stone, daughter of his label’s CEO, he knows he’s in trouble. Because not only is she a Stone, she’s also his employee for the next few months at the recording studio he just bought.
Over the course of one thrilling summer, Arabella and Charlie chip away at her bucket list and fight the simmering attraction between them…knowing that once it’s all over, so is their time together.
About Rachel Harris:
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.
An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!
Place(s) Traveled To: Arecibo, Puerto Rico // Baltimore, Maryland // Vieques Island, Puerto Rico
First Line(s): You don’t ask, you don’t get.
I’ll admit it. I have double standards. We all do when you think about it and WHEN THE STARS ALIGN hits on one of mine. The heroine of WHEN THE STARS ALIGN, Jo, is one that really got on my nerves as she had a huge chip on her shoulder. And while I can sometimes put up with this more when its the hero it just tends to grate me the wrong way when its the female of the story. I don’t know why it just is. Perhaps because a male hero with a chip on his shoulder often comes across as more broody while female characters express this in more judgmental behaviors. And boy did Jo judge those around her throughout most of WHEN THE STARS ALIGN.
I had high hopes for WHEN THE STARS ALIGN because this was supposed to be a book about physics and romance. There was to be SCIENCE! Which if you know me is right up my alley as I am a scientist by training. So the lack of any real science was sad making. It also grated that this was a physics based internship at the Arecibo Observatory and there were people in the program that had nothing to do with physics or astronomy that just wouldn’t happen in the real world at least not at such a prestigious internship where so many capable applicants apply.
The world building of WHEN THE STARS ALIGN could have also been better. Here we are in this beautiful location and we don’t really get a chance to see or experience it. The most we learn is that its hot. Well, there is that one scene where they go swimming but that scene bothered me in that Jo, a girl who can’t swim, managed to dive and do all these things while in a life preserver that just aren’t realistically possible.
For me, this book was slow and overly drawn out. I didn’t really buy the relationship between Jo and Adam. Adam was a genuinely nice guy, though a little bit of a doormat at times, and Jo was just mean and hostile. It was hard for me to get into the story and I only finished it because I was co-reading it with some friends. But the frustration levels were high and I thought of DNFing this one several times. In the end WHERE THE STARS ALIGN was not a book for me but it has good ratings on Goodreads so don’t take my word on it. =)
First Line(s): Susanna Byrd turned nine that Thursday morning at 7:17 a.m.
When people think of school shootings they tend to think of Columbine (1999) yes they’ll reference the current school shooting but there is always a reference to this event. Its sad and scary to think of school shootings as a common place thing and there are times when it seems like before Columbine life was idyllic and that things like this just didn’t happen. I graduated in 1995, I was a pre-Columbine teenager but I wasn’t without knowledge and fear of what a school shooting could be. In 1988, in the town next door to the one that I grew up in there was a school shooting as a result of one student bullying another. In 1994 my town and that town merged to form one school system and my high school became the high school where this event occurred. I was 11 in 1988 and so I don’t recall much surrounding the events of the shooting when it happened but when the towns merged there was a lot of talk about it. And also lots of talk surrounding the courtyard where the shooting took place and if it should be reopened to students or not. Had enough time passed? Would it happen again? What will happen when you bring together two rival towns and try to make them one school.
There was fear then, in those pre-Columbine days. There was talk and meetings and rumors and gossip and even though the kids in my town weren’t part of that event it became ours as we heard about it and that school became our school. So when I read a book like VIOLENT ENDS that involves a school shooting I’m transported back to 1994, to high school, and to all the talk and remembering and fear of the shooting that happened there 7 years before. Tragically school shootings aren’t a new thing and until something major happens and we learn why or come up with a better way to deal with guns in America they will keep happening. With each occurrence the fear will get worse and more ingrained and books like VIOLENT ENDS will become even more important. VIOLENT ENDS is a unique story and is told by 17 different authors who are all telling the same story but different pieces of it. Different glimpse into the killer, Kirby Matheson and why he may have done what he did on that fateful day when he brought a gun to school.
I’ve read school shooting books before, HATE LIST (my review) and NINETEEN MINUTES, and while they hit home they didn’t effect me as much as VIOLENT ENDS did with just its first few chapters. I think this is in part to how the story is written because it just reminds of when I was in high school and the events of that 1988 event kept getting brought up by different people in different ways. During my read of VIOLENT ENDS I found that I needed to take a lot of breaks. This wasn’t an easy read and I had to pause and think about what I’d just read, process the chain of events that I was reading about, and just be in the present before being able to dive back into this world that Hutchinson had created. Throughout it all you only get these little pieces of the puzzle. You read about the day of the shooting from different moments in time but the one thing missing from VIOLENT ENDS is the complete picture.
The one viewpoint that we never see in VIOLENT ENDS is Kirby’s. You never learn why he did what he did or why who chose the victims he did. The picture you get of Kirby isn’t the crazy loner type that you often see when you hear about a school shooting. Kirby was liked by his peers and his home life was pretty ordinary. So why did he snap? In the end, we’re left with almost as many questions as we start with but VIOLENT ENDS isn’t a book that feels incomplete. Yes, there are pieces to the puzzle missing but its a raw and powerful story and its the sort of book that with each re-read you will learn something new in its pages.
VIOLENT ENDS defied all of my expectations and its hard to find the words to tell you just how amazing this story was. Its an emotional read and it hit me harder than I expected it too. This is a book where there are no easy answers and as a reader it will often make you feel helpless because you can’t stop the chain of events from happening. With each new chapter, each new POV, you become a part of this story. And despite the many authors that take part in this book it feels like one cohesive story. Often with an anthology things can be choppy and you don’t like all of the stories. But that isn’t the case here as VIOLENT ENDS isn’t an anthology as we think of anthologies. It really is one story and all these authors worked some impressive magic to take their very different styles and meld them together to seem like one. I think that VIOLENT ENDS is a must read and I can’t recommend it enough. The reading experience is as unique and different as the way it was written. This book will make you feel things and each person who reads this book will take away something different from
Oh and for those who might be wondering. The shooting that happened in my school involved a 15 year old gunman who was bullied by the kid that he shot in the head. It happened in the school’s courtyard and it was then closed off until 1994. The shooter only shot the one person and he was then sentenced to 3 years in juvie and released at 18 to move away to places unknown. The kid he shot survived albeit with some brain damage and he now talks to students about the dangers of bullying and is also a teacher.
Place(s) Traveled To: Dallas, Texas // San Francisco, California // Houston, Texas
First Line(s): If Hunter had to eat one more bite of cake, he was going to fucking lose it.
YOURS ALL ALONG is a novella by Roni Loren and a prequel of sorts to her full length story CALL ON ME (me review) and features Hunter and Devon. Hunter is about to get married but before he does his fiance sends him off to reconnect with his old college roommate and former best friend, Devon. Devon is openly gay and we quickly learn that he and Hunter had a secret relationship back in the day. YOURS ALL ALONG initially takes place in the present, though a few years before the events of CALL ON ME. Much of the novella is spent in the past, establishing the relationship of Hunter and Devon and while I loved reading how they became a couple I think that too much time was spent in the college years and not enough spent in the now and their re-connection.
There were a few things that I felt were rushed and a bit unresolved and if more time was spent in the now with Devon and Hunter as adults then those things could have been handled differently. I also think that Hunter could have handled things better with his fiance when he came to realize that he still had strong feelings for Devon. Overall though, I really enjoyed the story of Hunter and Devon for they made my heart ache for all that they’d gone through. YOURS ALL ALONG is a quick read and I look forward to exploring more stories from Roni Loren in the future.
THE WRATH AND THE DAWN is the debut novel of Renne Ahdieh and is a retelling of the 1001 Nights fairy tale. The main character and POV of the story is Shahrzad, called Shazi by friends, which occasional head jumps in Khalid, and who ever else is convenient to get a point across. I do not mind dual or even multiple POV stories but when you jump into someones perspective only once and for a paragraph or two before jumping back into someone else just to get a quick point across? Well, that annoys me. To me that’s lazy story telling as the author couldn’t figure out to get that one little snippet out so (s)he cheats a little with a quick head jump. I know that for most this is a non-issue but its something that has always bothered me in books and makes my eye a little twitchy.
Overall, I mostly liked how THE WRATH AND THE DAWN was written although towards the end the prose and the drawn out story was getting to me. There were also times when it felt like important scenes had been cut from the plot narrative. Where important keys to the overall story arc were discussed. Then later on we’d be dropped in the middle of the woods without a way to read the map. Leaving a trail of cryptic notes on the path. But being cryptic does not make for a good mystery…it only creates a frustrated reader. And I was very very frustrated by the end of this book. The plot and the characters just really got under my skin and not in a good way.
Shazi was a spoiled brat and I have no idea when two guys were in love with her. This aspect of the story was also way to love triangly for me. I get that she was mostly insta-lusting for Khalid, a man she’s supposed to hate but falls for in a blink, but she does waffle a little when her childhood love Tariq shows up on the scene. I do admire that she stays true to her but as a result this sends Tariq into a spurned lover fit that sets of a chain of events that is just…not good. All in the name of the so called love his holds for Shazi. Oh what fools these mortals be an all that. Then you have Despira, who was just crass and inconsistent in character although I did like how she’d call Shazi on her bratty ways. What I didn’t like was that while the 1001 Nights tale seemed to fairly well researched Despira got basic things about Ancient Greece and its beliefs wrong. Using the word Hades to refer to a Hell and reference a heaven. If you know anything about Greek Mythology then you know that Hades is a person, Elysium would be the equivalent to heaven, and Tartarus the equivalent of hell.
THE WRATH AND THE DAWN was also a pretty slow read for me as nothing happens in this book until about 70% into the story. I get that THE WRATH AND THE DAWN is the first book in a series and that there is some set up involved but this was just overly drawn out. Only to lead to a quick flash in the pan climatic moment and then curtains closed with a cliff hanger. And not a very good one as the story is quickly fading from my mind. This does not bode well for me when it comes to picking up the second book in this series. Also, I just don’t care very much about these characters at all, with the exception of Khlaid, but there were times when I wanted to shake him as well. So much of this book hinges on people keeping secrets and not communication anything to anyone. This leads to miscommunications and rash decisions and a frustrated reader. The plot was a bit of muddled mess and just too much of the story was missing for it to be a cohesive story.
THE WRATH AND THE DAWN is just another YA Fantasy that I am the odd man out on. For despite its billing, I just don’t get much of a fantasy vibe off this one at all. Yes there is a curse but its only alluded to in cryptic ways and you really don’t learn much about it at all. I love a good fantasy but its just so hard to find that in YA today. At least it is for me as everyone seems to love this story and they fall into the hype of it. But as of writing this I think I’m done with this series and will wait until Renee Ahdieh writes something new. Perhaps I’ll like her next series better than this one as there are some strong solid lines within this book. Just not enough of them to keep me from banging my head against the wall in frustration.
Love is Not a Triangle – “I felt Shazi’s determination at the start of the book, and then her confusion as her heart begins to change and she is torn between two very different ideals. But even that struggle Shazi faces straight on with determination and without unnecessary angst.”
Effortlessly Reading – “The Wrath and the Dawn has this deep addictive quality to it. Right after I finished The Wrath and the Dawn, I immediately wanted to reread it again, to enjoy Renee’s writing and characters all over again, and promptly did just that.”
The Eater of Books – “The fantasy is stunning, and the world-building is so well-written. There is magic and lore and curses and swords and assassins and basically my favorite kind of fantasy.”
First Line(s): “Oh, God.”
“Oh God, that’s so good!”
I scrambled up out of sleep, confused as I looked around the strange room. Boxes on the floor. Pictures propped against the wall.
Please welcome my first ever guest reviewer here on Ticket to Anywhere!! When my friend Sarah sent me a message saying that she just HAD to review a book she’d read I happily gave her some space on my blog to do so. Sarah can be found on Twitter at Palmys05 and on Goodreads (click here) if you want to talk about WALLBANGER or other books that she’s read!
A huge Thank you to Gail for handing over the reins for a hot second! She’s a great book recommender AND more importantly, a friend! After I read “Wallbanger” by Alice Clayton, I just knew I had to write a review for her.
Caroline is a career focused interior designer who just scored an awesome apartment in San Francisco. Her last boyfriend wanted her to stay at home and be a housewife. With a bad ONS to boot, she has sworn off men. Unfortunately, her new neighbor is keeping her awake with his “wallbanging.”
Simon’s not one to stay put for long. As a travel photographer, he’s constantly globetrotting, and doesn’t have the time for a serious girlfriend. Friends with benefits is more his style…with the THREE different women that make up his “harem.”
Wallbanger was a perfect mix of humor and romance. It was a slow build. (just how I like it) Simon and Caroline didn’t really like each other when they met. Frustrated from lack of sleep, Caroline pounded on Simon’s door mid-romp. Their annoyance turned to like, like turned to friendship, and friendship turned to love.
Simon had a lot of layers. As the story progressed, we learned there was a lot more to him than being a jetsetter with a harem. Caroline too, had her insecurities and needs. They both were fiercely independent and admittedly happy being single. After spending time together, they realized how much happier and more fulfilling their lives could be as a unit. Their romance was amped by the amount of humor and light moments in the book. Between the texts, scary movie viewing, and car trips, I was constantly chuckling.
Also, props to Clayton for Clive. I am NOT an animal person, but Caroline’s beloved kitty added the perfect amount of comic relief. It was great when he peed on Simon’s sweater in an effort to protect his mommy. SO cute.
I really enjoyed the side romances of Mimi/Ryan and Sophia/Neil. I loved their friendship with Simon/Caroline and how everyone plotted to get the others together. It was very cute. The other pairings weren’t overpowering and added to the dynamic of Simon and Caroline’s budding romance.
Can’t forget to mention the baking AND Caroline’s Ina Garten obsession. Who doesn’t love her?? I thought it was really sweet how Caroline would always bake goodies for Simon. You could tell it reminded him of his mom. They always say the way to a man’s heart this through his stomach.
Place(s) Traveled To: Four Corners of Civilization –
Commonwealth: The University // Imre // Tarbean
Vintas: Levinshir // Severen
First Line(s): Dawn was coming. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence in three parts.
Its always hard to review a book that is the second in a trilogy and its even harder when that trilogy is an epic fantasy as is the case with Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Wise Man’s Fear is a book that has been on my shelf since publication when I purchased a hardcover copy when Rothfuss came to town for a book signing. But then because of its size and the face that I hadn’t yet read The Name of the Wind it sat on my shelf until recently when I decided it was time to buckle down and read it. What I love about Rothfuss’s writing and The Kingkiller Chronicles is that even with the time between reading book 1 and this one it was so easy to slip back into this world.
Rothfuss’s writing is so vivid that I was easily able to recall the things that came before and the things that I was vague on he so kindly explained with cleverly placed flashbacks. Wise Man’s Fear was a long read for me as I only read a set number of pages per day but it gave me something to look forward to wondering where the story would go. Although I do have to admit to being a little disappointed in how events in this story took place and there wasn’t as much ground covered as I would have liked considering how there is only one more book to come. One of my big issues with Name of the Wind was there was so much time spent in Kvothe’s early years that it was slow and it bogged down the story. I liked when he finally went to University and things started to pick up.
With Wise Man’s Fear the majority of the book was spent at the University and it just seemed like more of the same from Name of the Wind. While I enjoyed the book and fell in love with Rothfuss’s writing all over again I just wish that more had happened. Kvothe has been on this quest of his for so long and there just seems to be so much ground to cover in the final book. Also, none of the characters seemed to grow and change very much and as a result they keep making the same mistakes. There was also this whole long and drawn out section with the fae that I wish I had skipped as it didn’t seem to serve much purpose. I’m sure that Rothfuss will connect all the various dots in a big reveal but it was just frustrating at times at the lack of answers.
Despite all my frustrations, I did enjoy this book. The pages flew by when I read them and it was often hard to stop reading in order to focus on other things. I’m drawn to this world and I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends. Rothfuss is a master at his craft and I know that I just have to be patient as the wait will be worth it, or at least I hope that is the case. The Kingkiller chronicles are daunting reads but if you are a fan of epic fantasy then you certainly want to get to them at some point.
Shelley Coriell’s Welcome Caller, This is Chloe has been on my radar since before it was published back in 2012. But life being what it is I never picked up a copy and then sort of forgot that it was on my wishlist. Then within the span of a couple of days two different people gifted me with a copy and so I took that as a sign that I needed to read it sooner rather than later. Welcome Caller deals with a common YA book trope in that the main characters BFF turns on them and the MCs social world sort of collapses. Chloe is a popular girl and unlike most popular girls she is genuinely nice so it made me wonder why she was ever friends with Brie in the first place. As Brie seemed to be hateful just to be hateful and her reason for turning on Chloe is so superficial that I thought that my eyes might roll out of my head.
Eye rolls aside though I really did like Chloe and I enjoyed her story. I liked her new guidance counselor and how she sort of tilted Chloe’s world upside down by making her do a project that was a bit outside her comfort zone. Because by doing so she learned a lot about herself and her capabilities. I also really liked all of the characters at the radio station. They were quirky and unique and really fit well together. And then of course there is the love interest, Duncan, who is sure to find fans with those who liked Patrick Sheldon or Corey Livingston.
While I did like that Chloe was a nice girl there were times when she was a bit too passive about the things going on around her. There were times when I wish that she’d stick up for herself more like when there was an issue with her Grandmother and Chloe was held responsible even though she’d done nothing wrong. Not to mention that I also wish that she stood up to Brie more although I do like how Brie didn’t have the total dominance that she thought she did on the school. That being nice does count for something.
Welcome Caller This is Chloe was a really sweet read and just what I needed at the time. It was a fun story and I loved Chloe’s radio show. I enjoyed her growing friendships with the rest of the misfits and her relationship with Duncan. This book made my heart ache in all the good ways that I love. There are also some serious moments to the story that really helps to round thing out and make this even more realistic than some YA books out there. This book may be 3 years old but its still fun and timely and I’m only sorry that I didn’t get to it sooner. It was fast paced and well written and I really need to check out other books by Coriell. Welcome Caller This is Chloe is a book that I’d recommend to all who like realistic contemporary fiction.
Pretty much whenever I'm not listening to an audiobook I am listening to this soundtrack:
Don't be surprised when books sit here for a while...this will be where I try to tackle some of the larger books on my shelf and my non-fiction reads. I don't always put as much priority on these as I should so progress will be slow.
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: