Friday, August 30, 2013

Irises by Francisco X. Stork

Title: Irises

Author: Francisco X. Stork

Published: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2012

Pages: 288

Summary: TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. -- if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.

THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate's boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own. 
ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it's Mama's life that might divide them for good -- the question of *if* she lives, and what's worth living for.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Irises is a depressing novel.  The entire time I was reading this book I could feel the cold and sombre tones seeping through the pages and into my psyche.  It left me feeling a little gloomy in all honesty.

One thing that bothered me about this book is that I felt like the characters acted in such a strange and unrealistic way.  I mean, yeah, grief does strange things to people but it wasn’t just Mary and Kate who acted strangely.  I just felt like the decisions some of the characters made were so weird.

I feel as though there were things missing from the ending, like it didn’t give full closure.  There’s no sense of how much time has passed since the epilogue and not everything was given a resolution or explanation when they were considered to be main plot points, I found that a little awkward really.

Overall, I thought that Irises was a well-written book but I feel as though it just wasn’t for me.  I think I’m growing out of contemporary fiction and so while I can appreciate this novel for what it was, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as someone else who loves contemporary fiction would.

Source: AudiobookSync

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It’s not you, it’s me

I have decided that life is too short to read bad books.  That being said, sometimes I feel like I’ve invested so much time into a series that I don’t want to break up with the series.  However, I have now decided that if I don’t like the books in the series I am not going to continue them.  This is a little feature where I effectively “break up” with a series of books and the reasons why.

House of Night – The first book had so much potential, I adored it!  Unfortunately, as the series progressed I got less and less interested in the books.  Zoey became the type of person that she used to absolutely hate and she just seemed so hypocritical after that.  I felt like each book dragged out a lot and reading the back of the books would just give me about 2/3 of the plot which drove me nuts.

Maximum Ride - I really enjoyed the first couple of books in the series but I felt like once one storyline had ended I had no reason to pick up the fourth book.  I also just didn’t really like the premise of the fourth book.  I feel like the story had great potential in the first couple of books but after that it took a strange turn and I just can’t bring myself to pick up any more.

Gossip Girl – I started this series as a little brain melting experience and just felt like after a while all the drama was not something I was excited about anymore so I just haven’t read any more of the books.

Pretty Little Liars – I freaking loved these books, after book 4 I was surprised but also excited that A who may or may not have been the real A was found out but then books 5- 8 featured someone entirely new and it ended in such a way that left me feeling pretty happy, I thought awesome, it’s over, now I can move on.  
Then book 9 appeared and I read it and felt like it was enjoyable but when it was revealed that this series goes to at least book 14, I just decided to stop at book 9.  Some series can continue on in large amounts but I feel as though a book series like Pretty Little Liars has to end somewhere.

Fallen - I remember that I enjoyed the first book, Fallen, but then when I read the second book I struggled through it and it took me forever to get through it.  I didn't like where the book ended and I just hadn't felt inclined to read the next book in the series.  Now I have decided that I will never go back to finish the series.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

Title: Rodrick Rules

Author: Jeff Kinney

Published: Amulet Books, 2008

Pages: 224

Series: Book 2, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Summary: Secrets have a way of getting out, especially when a diary is involved. 

Whatever you do, don’t ask Greg Heffley how he spent his summer vacation, because he definitely doesn’t want to talk about it. 

As Greg enters the new school year, he’s eager to put the past three months behind him . . . and one event in particular. 
Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother, Rodrick, knows all about the incident Greg wants to keep under wraps. But secrets have a way of getting out . . . especially when a diary is involved. (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This is the second book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and I was really looking forward to reading it after the first one.  The first book was absolutely hilarious.  I have to say that while the second book is funny, I didn’t find it to be as funny as the first one.

Rodrick Rules is what the second Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie is partially based on.  While the first book follows the movie really closely, Rodrick Rules had similar elements to the movie but they definitely differed a lot more.

The illustrations are definitely what help make these books hilarious.  They just add this extra layer of hilarity which I love.

There’s not a lot else to say about this book really, I freaking love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series as it is so funny.  As soon as I finished this one I went online and purchased the third book in the series.  If you’re looking for something funny to read I would highly suggest reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Source: Purchased

Friday, August 23, 2013

From Potter's Field by Patricia Cornwell

Title: From Potter's Field

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Sphere, 1995

Pages: 400

Series: Book 6, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! Christmas had never been a particularly good time for Dr Kay Scarpetta. Although a holiday for most, it always seem to heighten the alienation felt by society's violent fringe; and that usually means more work for Scarpetta, Virginia's Chief Medical ExaminerI. The body was naked, female and found propped against a fountain in a bleak area of New York's Central Park. Her apparent manner of death points to a modus operandi that is chillingly familiar: the gunshot wound to the head, the sections of skin excised from the body, the displayed corpse - all suggest that Temple Brooks Gault, Scarpetta's nemesis, is back at work. Calling on all her reserves of courage and skill, and the able assistance of colleagues Marino and Wesley, Scarpetta must track this most dangerous of killers in pursuit of survival as well as justice - heading inexorably to an electrifying climax amid the dark, menacing labyrinths of the New York subway.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I’ve been really loving this series so far and so I was really excited to pick up the sixth book to read through.

I have to say that From Potter’s Field wasn’t my favourite book in the series, mostly because this is the third book that features the same killer and I was starting to get a little tired of reading about him.  For that reason I felt as though the beginning of the book was a little slow.

Thankfully, the book picked up and the last quarter of the book was so good.  I flew through the pages to make it to the end.  I did feel that the conflict part was pretty fast but I did enjoy the lead up to it.

There’s not really a lot else to say about From Potter’s Field, it was an enjoyable book and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Source: Purchased

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A-Z Bookish Survey

Lately I have seen this one floating around the blogosphere and so I have decided to take part.  This survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-turner.

Author you’ve read the most books from:
R. L Stine, I read so many Goosebumps books when I was a kid and then when I was in high school I moved on to Fear Street.

Best Sequel Ever:
This is a hard one, I would probably have to say Perception by Kim Harrington

Currently Reading:
I am reading at the moment that I am typing this, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Irises by Francisco Stork, The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov, Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Call of Cthulhu and other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft, Carrie by Stephen King (yeah, I’m trying not to read so many books at once but it’s really difficult)

Drink of Choice While Reading:

E-reader or Physical Book?
Both but if I had to choose I would definitely choose physical book.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
This is a hard one because there are the dream guys but then in a realistic sense I would probably say Neville Longbottom just because he’s so sweet and well meaning, that would be my kind of guy.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, I am now in love.

Hidden Gem Book:
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford, such a fantastic book!

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
The day I got my first Goosebumps book, it was my first chapter book and I have huge memories about that day.

Just Finished:
Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

Kinds of Books You Won't Read:
These days I would have to say that I am not enjoying the contemporary genre that much.

Longest Book You’ve Read:
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, it took a really long time to read it too.

Major book hangover because of:

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Number of Bookcases You Own:

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Preferred Place To Read:

A big comfy chair

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
“I keep wishing, reflexively, for a glimpse of the future, so I'll know what to do. But I don't kid myself. I have to feel my way forward blindly. I try not to be afraid. Even if you know what's coming, you're never prepared for how it feels.” 

 Natalie Standiford, How to Say Goodbye in Robot

Reading Regret:
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James (I read this to the end hoping it would get better but I really wish I had not started it at all)

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
I would have to say R. L. Stine

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, I’m just really excited to try it.

Worst Bookish Habit:
Starting a book, reading a few pages, putting it down and then starting a brand new book so I end up reading a ton of books at once.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Fire by Kristin Cashore

Your latest book purchase:
The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
And then there were none by Agatha Christie

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bout-of-Books Readathon Goals

Right now is the starting time for the bout-of-books readathon for my timezone so I am posting up this post to put my goals and progress on here.

Bout of Books

My Goals:
I plan to read every day.
I would like to read 8 books.

The Books I'm planning to read are:
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Irises by Francisco X. Stork
Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney
Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell
Absent by Katie Williams
The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Blind Spot by Laura Ellen
Scorch by Gina Damico


I was pretty eager to get started with the readathon so I pretty much dove headfirst into my reading pile today.  I read some of Irises by Francisco Stork but I wasn't enjoying it too much so I set it aside for a while to read more of Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.  In the afternoon I felt more like reading something light and funny so I started and completed Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney.  Then I read a chapter of Cause of Death by Patricia Cornwell.  Finally, I read a little bit of The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov.
Pages read: 376
Books read: 1
Total pages: 376

I did a bit of reading today but I started to get a bit of a headache which stopped me reading a little earlier than I would have liked.  That being said, I finished Irises by Francisco X. Stork and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
Pages Read: 288
Books Read: 2
Total Pages: 664
Total Books: 3

I did a little bit of reading today and finished The Call of the Wild by Jack London as well as The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov.
Pages Read: 283
Books Read: 2
Total Pages: 947
Total Books: 5

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bout of Books Readathon Sign Up

So in case you hadn't noticed, I know that I did, I haven't been posting up much lately and that is because I haven't really been reading a lot lately. To remedy this, I am signing up for the bout of books readathon.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Bout of Books

So this is my official sign-up, let's hope I can get some reading done!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sometimes I have a lot to say about a book I’ve just finished…

… and other times I have barely anything to say.

Sometimes I will find myself finishing a book and there will be things that I want to talk about because I absolutely loved those books and there were certain aspects of the book that I thought were definitely worth mentioning.

Then there are other times where I just feel like the book is alright, I enjoyed it for what it was but there was nothing that made me want to sit down and share my thoughts with the book.

When a book has aspects that I really don’t like then I find myself just wanting to vent about the things that bothered me and why it annoyed me.  I can often find myself writing a huge paragraph about a single aspect of a story that affected me in some way.

And then there are the books that while they had aspects that bothered me, I just had absolutely nothing to complain about or get worked up about.  The bothers were almost forgotten by the time I put down the book.

So if my thoughts on a book seem small and don’t say too much, it’s most likely that I just don’t have a lot to say about the book because it was pleasant but not amazingly so.

Monday, August 5, 2013

When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears by Kersten Hamilton

Title: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears

Author: Kersten Hamilton

Published: Clarion Books, 6 August 2013

Pages: 400

Series: Book 3, The Goblin Wars

Purchase Links:
The Book Depository*

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! “People will die.”

Locked doors are opening, and uncanny creatures are tumbling through mysterious portals from Mag Mell, the world-between-worlds, into the streets of Chicago. The Dark Man has marked Aiden with a new song that’s scared him badly, and a frightening new group of sĂ­dhe is lurking nearby.

Teagan knows this is war, and she must protect her family. She leaves her flesh and bones behind to join Finn in hunting the evil beings across the city. Meanwhile, their relationship is heating up—almost faster than they can control. But he is still bound to fight goblins his entire life . . . and by blood she is one of them now.

Then the gateway to Mag Mell cracks open again, and the Wylltsons find themselves caught in a trap. As her loved ones begin to die, Teagan realizes that she must destroy the Dark Man and his minions once and for all in order to save those who remain . . .
. . . before it is too late.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have been following Finn and Teagan’s journey since the very beginning and having just finished the third and final book in the series I can say that I am going to miss their adventures.

The story starts off action packed and then slows down a little bit but the story kept moving along throughout the book because there was a lot of plot to resolve but it all got done.

There were a lot of surprises in this book, let’s just say that I was surprised about some of the events.  I don’t really want to give away spoilers so I don’t really want to go into depth with this review.

I particularly loved the quest that Teagan’s dad left for Finn to complete which just made me laugh so much.  You’ll have to find out what it is by reading the book yourself though.

I really enjoyed When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears and the entire Goblin Wars trilogy.  I will definitely be keeping out for more books by Kersten Hamilton in the future.

Source: Netgalley

Friday, August 2, 2013

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Title: First Grave on the Right

Author: Darynda Jones

Published: St. Martin's Press, 2011

Pages: 310

Series: Book 1, Charley Davidson

Summary: Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had been curious about this book for a while and then I just picked it up when I saw it on the library website.  I am so glad because I laughed so much in this book.  The jokes are sprinkled throughout the book and they were silly enough that I just had to laugh.

The mystery aspect was really interesting to me, I found it to be quite intriguing and it definitely kept me sucked into the story.  I liked how you were fed very little information at the start and the more the story goes on the more information you get.  It was good.  Usually, I feel like mystery stories have a lot of information dumping which is not always fantastic.

Then there was the whole Charley and Reyes thing.  There were some moments between Charley and Reyes which were so weird, and I imagine would be really uncomfortable if you were around them at the time.  It also just seemed weird in relation to the rest of the story too.  I thought it was interesting too though.  Reyes is a whole different mystery.

I really enjoyed First Grave on the Right, there was mystery, supernatural elements, comedy, romance, action and so much more.  This book is so entertaining and needless to say the ending of this one has made me really want to read the next book in the series.

Source: Library