Saturday, April 30, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016 #4

Yadda yadda yadda, I used Goodreads (again) to find a book for this month's challenge. We had to read a book that takes place in another country. I've been using these lists to knock books off of my to read list that fit the criteria for the challenge. So far, it has been working out for me. My friend chose this book because of a previous experience with the author, I think. I just know that I felt pressure to find a good book since he had already found his. I went to Afghanistan to re(read) a popular school book and he traveled to Italy for a dark comedy.


A Thousand Splendid SunsSo few books devastate me like this one has. I haven't cried this much reading a novel since The Book Thief. It completely gutted me, forcing me to feel things that I wasn't in the mood to feel but had to because of the words I was absorbing. I had forgotten that I had read this book once before for school so I never gave it a rating on here. But after finishing the first chapter, I realized that I was in for a familiar emotional roller coaster. My heart was broken again and again. From that destruction came a sense of rebirth, similar to what Laila and Miriam go through. This is one of those novels that changes you. I'm glad I forgot that I'd read this years ago so I could experience it as I am now. But I know I have no plans to reread this in the future. I don't think my heart could handle it a third time.

The Serpent of VeniceItaly

How do I describe the Serpent of Venice? For those that have read Christopher Moore’s The Fool, all I have to say is Pocket is at it again. But what if you’re not familiar with this salacious treatment of the Bards works? How do I describe the comedic interplay of status, station, situation and ambition which whirls from Venice to Corsica to Genoa and back with Pocket, the Motley fool at its center? That where Pocket goes plots and counter-plots, love and betrayal, wealth and debauchery of an absurdly outrageously inventive form follow. Oh, and a ghost, there’s always a bloody ghost. I describe it with one word, entertaining.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fantasy and Contemporary

I usually lean heavily towards fantasy/sci-fi novels. I love to read about things that are otherworldly. It helps me escape from my sometimes boring, stressful life. But in the past few weeks, I've been craving regular old fiction. I failed to satisfy that craving though, having only read two non fantasy books. And one of them was a reread. I still hold out hope that someday soon, I'll read a great novel based in real life. Whether it be adult, young adult, or children based.

Gangsta., Vol. 1Gangsta Vol 1 by Kohske

Hello, new obsession. The high point of this novel is definitely the art. Just Nic's face alone is enough to have me read the entire series. Every character stands out on their own but are still able to play well together. I would love to have more back story in the next book. I am interested in seeing more from Worick's dark past.

Family of LiesFamily of Lies by Mary Monroe

I think I knew deep down that I was not going to like this book. I rarely read AF-AM and from what I've heard, Mary Monroe is not my cup of tea. This is the only book I've read by her and one is definitely enough. The dialogue, the characters, the plot; everything was just awful. I hated every person and every thing that they did. I wish I had left this book club pick unread.

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
First novel of the Ravenspire series

This was so close to getting the dreaded DNF. I found myself extremely annoyed with almost every character. The only chapter POV I was enjoying was the evil queen's. Every one else was whiny and stupid. But the action kept my attention. The ending was satisfying. Just enough action to get the blood pumping. I just hope that the next book learns from this one's mistakes.

Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1)Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward
First novel of the Black Dagger Legacy series

Thank the romance gods that this book was great. Ward had me worried for a second there with a few of her BDB novels. I felt she had lost what made the series great in the first place. But she's definitely found her footing again and came back full force with this spin off. The characters, old and new, seem like a breath of fresh air to me. The only fault I have is when a character says, "Aaaaaaaaaand..." I don't understand why this is incorporated into the inner dialogue now. The internet lingo is one thing but I get super annoyed at the drawn out words for emphasis.

Lessons From A Younger LoverLessons From a Younger Lover by Zuri Day

I had originally gave this book 4 stars but I'm knocking off one because this book is a tad bit ridiculous. I still loved the melodrama and characters but it's just too much. It makes me question whether I'll like other Zuri Day books as much as I used to. Either way, this way a fun romance read and I was more than happy to reread it for book club. I couldn't get a good image of Ransom in my head but I had no problems connecting with Gwen. She's a likable protagonist and I'm glad she got her happy ending.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Book Club Miracle

March marks the first month, in a really really long time, that I read every book club read assigned to me. I'm a part of three different clubs, two online and one in person. I always find it difficult to read all of the books because I read so much other personal picks on my own. But I finally did it. I can only hope to continue the streak in April.

Forgotten Sins (Sin Brothers, #1)Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti

This was just a sad horrible attempt at a thriller romance. I felt no chemistry between Shane and Josie. I found them to be equally annoying and hard to root for. The fact that Josie kept saying she was AFRAID of Shane turned me off completely. Why would that make me hot and bothered, to think about this woman worrying if she'll get hurt by the man she loves? The saving grace of this novel was the appearance of Shane's brothers. I really liked them a lot, although I'm sure they have even more issues than their little brother. Too bad I'm not interested enough to read the second book in the series. I've had my fill.  

A Thousand Nights
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

I have found a rarity in the YA novel universe. A fantasy teen novel without a love triangle or any love interest at all that wraps up in a neat little bow at the end. No sequels, no waiting, no angst! I will admit that the beginning was boring and stiff. I had recently read a retelling of this old folk tale and wasn't keen on reading another. But our heroine, who I'm pretty sure is never named, won me over with her wit and restraint. The villain gets his own mini chapters which were very well written and exciting. I wish he had more of a voice in the book but it definitely doesn't lack because of it. I'm glad I gave this book a chance because it is easily one of the best I've read this year.

                                     Soul Eater Vol 6 by Atsushi Ohkubo
Soul Eater, Vol. 06 (Soul Eater, #6)3 STAR RATING

The Kinshin battle at the end wasn't as epic as I was hoping but I'm confidant he'll be back and creating madness. The best part of this volume was Maka fighting against the black blood or whatever was making her crazy. The little souls of her and Croana were so darn cute. I wanna see more of that.

Attack on Titan, Vol. 17 (Attack on Titan, #17)

Attack on Titan Vol 17 by Hajime Isayama
This was a slower volume but it makes sense to take a breather after all the craziness of the last book. Eren and Historia have good chemistry and I hope it blossoms into a romance. This story could use a light-hearted love story. The ending with the monkey titan was great. Anytime he shows up, I shout with joy.