Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: She's The Boss by Lisa Lim

Review: She's The Boss by Lisa Lim. A light, quick, laugh out loud funny read!
She's the Boss by Lisa Lim

The Devil Wears Prada meets The Office. 

Twenty-something Karsynn is now a boss but she's not so much The Devil Wears Prada as she is The Angel Wears Payless. With a brighter career, things should be going better for Karsynn, right? Wrong. There's now a new director at the office--Carter Lockwood, and he's brought his reputation for wrecking havoc amongst the ladies. Karsynn prides herself in being the only one impervious to Carter's good looks. In fact, she takes great pleasure in blowing on the embers of Carter's hostility. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Really enjoyed Confessions of a Call Center Gal, so was happy to review this follow-up for the author! This one picks up not too long after the first book, and several of our favorite characters are back as well!

As a former call center gal, I recognized several of the situations Kars finds herself in and really enjoyed the story! Really loved it when she got to travel to Malaysia to help open a new call center as I did something similar, only in India.

So many of Karsynn's adventures mirrored my own, except for the whole sexy boss thing. I WISH I had had a sexy boss like Carter, but that might have been awkward since I'm married. No offence to my former call center bosses, but none of you were sexy. Or male.

Anyway....

Love the humor in these books, as I'm a sucker for sarcastic, wacky dialog. While working in a call center can be draining and suck the very life out of you, this particular call center sounds like it would be a fun place to work! So many unique, funny characters! Would probably be a nightmare to manage, but they sound like they have fun!

This was a fast, fun read that would make a perfect beach book. Probably best if you read the two books in order so you already know all the characters, but can certainly be read as a stand-alone. Either way, it's definitely a light, quick, laugh out loud funny read!


Review copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Monday, April 27, 2015

Favorite Fictional Character: Girl at the Window Repost

Way back in August of 2012, I wrote a guest post for my friend Ryan at Wordsmithsonia. It was for his Favorite Fictional Character series, which is one of my favorites as Ryan is always introducing me to old and new friends! I came across this post while doing some blog spring cleaning and thought I would dust it off for a repost. This is still one of my favorite paintings, so hope you enjoy!

Girl at the Window | Alexia's Books and Such

This is a Salvador Dali painting, most commonly known as "Girl at the Window".

Seems an odd choice for a Favorite Fictional Character post, doesn't it? A moment in time captured in a painting. An unknown character with an unknown story. How can this be a Favorite Fictional Character? Glad you asked!

When Ryan asked me if I'd be interested in doing one of these posts for him, he said that there were no limitations on where the character could come from and that books, movies, TV shows, poems, songs, or even artwork were all on the table. Artwork? Color me intrigued! And what better artwork to feature than one of my favorites?

I found a poster of this piece many years ago, lying on the floor, at a warehouse sale. Had no idea who the artist was or the title, but I knew that I had to have it! It "spoke" to me (plus, it was blue and I knew it would look good in my bathroom). It quickly became my favorite poster!

As you might have guessed from my avatar, there's something about staring out a window that I love....the longing for what's out there....wanting to explore new horizons...wondering if the grass is really greener over the next hill? I have spent plenty of time staring out windows over the years, so I identify with this unknown girl.

I love this picture. Who is the girl? Is she longing for far horizons? I think that she's been at the window for awhile and didn't just stop by to check the weather, as she looks like she's settled in. See how she's leaning on the sill and one of her legs is bent? Like she's shifting her stance to find a more comfortable position. Like she's spent hours at that window....

I think that she certainly qualifies as a FFC, in that I'm able to come up with my own stories for her. Has she had a rough day and wants to escape? Is she just a daydreamer? Does she have itchy feet and longs to travel? I see all of that....and more. Am I nuts and it's just a girl standing at a window? Can you feel her longing? What do you see when you look at this picture?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Book Haul 4/25/17

Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep and Alive by Scott Sigler
In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.


NetGalley/Edelweiss:

I don't usually request books from Edelweiss as I'm more comfortable with NetGalley, but couldn't bring myself to wait until July to read the next Elemental Assassins book by Jennifer Estep! Gin is one of my favorite characters, and what a great cover! Can't wait to see what happens!


Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep
Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep

The next thrilling book in Jennifer Estep’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Elemental Assassin series -“an extraordinary series… One of the most intriguing heroines in the genre” (Romantic Times Book Reviews).

***


NetGalley keeps reeling me in with tempting emails! This one sounded too intriguing to pass up, so looking forward to discovering what exactly is going on!


Alive by Scott Sigler
Alive by Scott Sigler

From New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler comes something utterly new: a gripping sci-fi adventure trilogy in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.



What did you receive this week?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Buzz Books 2015: Spring/Summer

Buzz Books 2015:  Spring/SummerTitle:  Buzz Books 2015: Spring?Summer
Author:  various
Release Date:  January 23, 2015
Publisher:  Publishers Lunch
Source:  NetGalley

Our sixth Buzz Books edition evokes all the excitement of Winter Institute with substantial pre-publication excerpts from nearly 40 adult titles. Enjoy access to the newest voices the publishing industry is broadcasting for the upcoming season as you discover breakout books from established authors, sparkling debuts from soon-to-become literary stars, and fascinating memoirs and inspirational nonfiction. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Really enjoy these samplers as they introduce me to authors I probably never would have found on my own! While I'm more of an Urban Fantasy and YA reader, there were several samples in this collection that left me wanting more! Here are a few of my favorites:

The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron - A story about an injured she-wolf trying to protect her newborn pups and a lone human who decides to help her. The story hooked me the minute we heard from the she-wolf's point of view!

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley - Sara has always felt a bit of an outsider, partly because she has Asperger's Syndrome. I liked her immediately, and was intrigued by the idea of an encrypted diary from an exiled Jacobite in France.

The Children's Crusade by Ann Packer - This isn't my usual type of read at all, but something about the story drew me in and left me wanting to learn more about this family.

The Hand That Feeds You by A.J. Rich - Not really into mysteries or thrillers lately, but there are dogs involved and I want to know more! For instance, are the dogs guilty or innocent bystanders? And what's up with Morgan's mysterious fiance?

Dietland by Sarai Walker - Plum is a large woman who has basically put her life on hold because of her weight. Convinced that her "real" life will start after she loses weight, she schedules surgery and starts buying clothes for her new & improved self. Then she notices someone following her, and her life takes an unexpected turn. Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?


Have you read this sampler yet? Which titles are you most looking forward to?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What do you do when a book you're reading is just....meh?

What do you do when a book you're reading is just....meh? Keep reading or put it down and move on?

What do you do when a book is just... meh? You don't hate it, but you don't love it either. But, and this is a big but, there's just something about it that keeps you reading. 

Whether you want to find out if it lives up to its promise or you've become invested in the characters or for some other reason, you're just not ready to put it on the DNF pile just yet. How do you handle this?

Read a book not that long ago that fell into the Meh category. The writing wasn't bad , the premise was intriguing, and the characters were fully developed, but there was just something about it that didn't click with me and I had to struggle to finish the book. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the story that I could put my finger on, we were just incompatible. 

Why did I keep reading? Partly because it wasn't bad enough to add to the DNF pile, partly because I wanted to see how everything turned out. But it took me weeks to read instead of the usual day or two. 

To be honest, I thought about putting it down and starting another book, with the intention of coming back to Mr. Meh later. But I know me. If I put a book down, odds are that I'm not going to pick it up again no matter what promises I make.

Curious how others handle this type of read. So please tell me, how do you handle Meh books?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cold Burn of Magic book review

Cold Burn of Magic book review. This is a great start to a new Jennifer Estep series! | Alexia's Books and Such Title:  Cold Burn of Magic
Author:  Jennifer Estep
Release Date:  April 28, 2015
Publisher:  Kensington
Source:  NetGalley

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . . (Goodreads)

My Review:

Cold Burn of Magic is a great start to a new Jennifer Estep series! Jennifer is one of my favorite authors and she never disappoints, no matter what the genre!

Living in a town billed as the most magical place in America sounds lovely, but not when the monsters are real and think you'd make a nice main course! Love the idea of actual monsters hiding under the bridges and in the alleyways of town!

The main character, Lila, is doing her best to survive after her mother is killed. And how cool that she's living in the basement of a library! Sure it's squatting, but she's living in a library!

Taking odd jobs as a thief and pick-pocketing gullible tourists helps keep her head above water, but she's also careful to avoid unwanted attention. The last thing Lila needs is Child Services sniffing around!

Her mother's old friend Mo looks out for her the best he can, but he's not exactly the parental sort. In fact, it's in his pawn shop that Lila's life turns upside down.

An unwilling witness to an assassination ambush, Lila is determined to stay out of things. Feuds between the families are none of her business and the last thing she wants is to bring any attention to herself. But there's just something about the target and, despite her reservations, Lila steps in. And her life would never be the same....

Cold Burn of Magic has a great premise, with interesting characters and lots of action. Really love that the ruling families were like the Mob, only with magic! I think that the author has another hit on her hands and I'm already looking forward to the next book!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

My Book Haul 4/18/15

My Book Haul 4/18/15  Golden Princess by S.M. Stirling | Alexia's Books and Such
In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.


Won:

Received this as sort of a consolation prize for not being chosen as an Ace & Roc Star member. I'm pretty sure I have another book by this author, but haven't read it yet.


Golden Princess by S.M. Stirling
Golden Princess by S.M. Stirling

First novel of a new “Emberverse”/”The Change” trilogy.

It’s Change Year 46, two generations after high-energy technology died in a catastrophe most of the human race didn't survive. The children born after the Change and their children are again battling against powers that are not sympathetic to humans and human concerns.



What did you receive this week?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review: Black and White

Book Review:  Black and White | Alexia's Books and Such Title:  Black and White
Author:  Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge
Release Date:  June 2, 2009
Publisher:  Spectra
Source:  personal library

It's the ultimate battle of good versus good.

They were best friends at an elite academy for superheroes in training, but now Callie Bradford, code name Iridium, and Joannie Greene, code name Jet, are mortal enemies. 

Jet is a by-the-book hero, using her Shadow power to protect the citizens of New Chicago. Iridium, with her mastery of light, runs the city’s underworld. For the past five years the two have played an elaborate, and frustrating, game of cat and mouse.

They’re both right. And they’re both wrong. Because nothing is as simple as Black and White. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Black and White is a fun read by two powerhouse authors! I love that they turn stereotypes on their head in this one, making the brunette with shadow powers the hero and casting the blond with light powers in the role of the villain!

The book flips back and forth between past and present day, with the two leads taking turns narrating the story. But everything is easy to follow as the timelines and narrators are clearly labeled, avoiding any confusion. I hate it when a story is choppy and you're never sure who the narrator is, so appreciated this little extra.

The authors have created a strange, new world where "extrahumans" have powers and need corporate sponsorships in order to leave the Academy and become superheroes. Those who can't find a sponsor are stuck back at headquarters, pushing paper and being desk jockeys. Very odd, yet fascinating!

While Iridium is cast as the villain, I found her to be more heroic than Jet. Iridium's main crime was refusing to follow rules and wanting justice for all, including the poor and disenfranchised. She didn't live in an elaborate hide-out or have a crew at her disposal, but tried her best to look out for her city.

On the other hand, Jet had plenty of support, lived in a spacious penthouse, and had her own personal assistant, aka a Runner. Every superhero had a Runner, who took care of those pesky little chores like laundry and dinner. Must be nice! Of course, Jet had to deal with constant photo ops, interviews, and meetings with various city officials when she'd much rather be fighting crime. Poor little hero!

Jet and Iridium both stumble upon a nefarious plot that threatens their city, come up with plans to save it, and fail miserably. Loved the identity of the evil mastermind, as what's a good superhero book without an evil mastermind?

This is a really fun read, full of interesting characters, set in a unique world! Sorry that it took me so long to pick this one up, but so happy that I finally did! Hope the sequel is as good!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

BLOG AHEAD (mini) May 1-14


BLOG AHEAD (mini) May 1-14
Anna over at Herding Cats & Burning Soup is hosting a Blog Ahead mini challenge in May! I love having that cushion of scheduled posts because it really takes the pressure off, but sometimes it's hard for me to keep up. This should be the motivation I need to get those posts written and scheduled!

The Goal:

To create a 2 week blogging buffer by increasing your total number of scheduled blog posts by 14.

Example:
If you start the challenge with 20 scheduled posts...
you finish the challenge with 34 scheduled posts.

The posts can be weekly memes like Waiting on Wednesday, book reviews, guest posts, discussion topics, etc.

They don't have to be book related.

Eligibility:

Everyone is eligible to join! New bloggers to seasoned professionals. Book bloggers, DIY bloggers, beauty bloggers, etc. Come one, come all!

It's even okay if you don't think you can hit 14 extra scheduled posts in 2 weeks.
Even if you only get 1-2 extra posts scheduled that's still a great thing, right?

The Next Step:

Want more information? Want to sign up and join? Head on over the Herding Cats & Burning Soup for all the details!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Sunday Post 4/12/15


The Sunday Post 4/12/15 | Alexia's Books and Such
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

On the Blog:

I had to remove both CommentLuv and IntenseDebate from my blog as comments kept disappearing. 

I'd get a few CommentLuv comments, then they would disappear and I'd have a couple of different comments in regular Blogger format. Or I'd get some regular Blogger comments, then they would disappear and CommentLuv comments would show up! It was like they were at war with one another and the missing comments were collateral damage.

I was able to find and restore some of the missing comments, but there were a few that I couldn't find. It's a shame, because I really like CommentLuv.

Then I decided to try using the Read More excerpt for my posts so readers wouldn't have to scroll so much to get to the next post. Tried several different methods, but none of them worked. So am stuck with full posts for now. Sorry.

My best guess is that both of these issues are because of all of the tweaks I've done to my blog over the years. It's a patch-work Frankenstein mess at this point, so sooner or later I'm going to have to scrap the whole design and start over. Not looking forward to that!

Current Read:

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

On the TBR Pile:

  • Arivaca by John Poulsen
  • I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff
  • Buzz Books 2015

Upcoming Reviews:

  • Black and White by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge
  • Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep
  • The Art of Neil Gaiman

Around the Blogosphere:




Saturday, April 11, 2015

My Book Haul 4/11/15

My book haul for the week ending 4/11/2015:  I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff, Kissing Ted Callahan (and other guys) by Amy Spalding, The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith, We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist, Love, Lucy by April Lindner, and Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle
In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.


For Review:

I've reviewed the first two books in The Unknown Assassin series, so was pleased to receive an email asking if I'd like to review the final installment. Curious to see what happens next for Boy Nobody, as he's a fascinating character!

I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff
I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff

In the third and final installment in the Unknown Assassin trilogy, Boy Nobody is on the run from The Program and uncovers a secret about his past that forces him to decide where his loyalties lie.

Won:

Won the February Facebook giveaway from NOVL! They curated the box themselves, so it was full of bookish awesomeness! 

The goodies!
The goodies! A box of chocolates, two bookish candles, Burt's Bees chapstick, a cute puppy card, a NOVL tote bag, and books!


Kissing Ted Callahan (and other guys) by Amy Spalding

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist

Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle
Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle


 tote bag tote bag

How cool is this tote bag? Love totes, so have already put this in my rotation!




What did you receive this week?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: Carniepunk anthology

Review:  Carniepunk anthology | Alexia's Books and Such
Carniepunk anthology

A star-studded urban fantasy anthology featuring bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Rob Thurman, Seanan McGuire, Jennifer Estep, and Kevin Hearne, whose stories explore the creepy, mysterious, and, yes, sometimes magical world of traveling carnivals. (Goodreads)

My Review

Anthologies are one of my favorites, because they introduce you to new authors and give you snippets from old favorites to tide you over until their next book! And who cares if you don't like one of the stories, as you can just move on to the next one. Have to say that whoever put together this collection was a genius, as there's not a bad story in the bunch! Genius!

Don't want to review every story as then this post would be waaaaaaay too long, but it's hard to pick out only a few as they were all so good! Even though I've never been to a carnival in my life (don't think state fairs or amusement parks count), I have the preconceived notion that they're creepy. Probably too many scary movies growing up, but think that helped with my enjoyment of the collection.

Painted Love by Rob Thurman had a nice surprise twist, and was a good choice for the first story. And Recession of the Divine by Hillary Jacques introduced me to a new author. I was able to find one other anthology under her name, but also discovered she has a couple of books under the name Regan Summers! Very cool!

Have you read this collection? What did you think? And are carnivals as creepy as they sound?


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Jealous much? Why yes, yes I am

Jealous much? Why yes, yes I am | Alexia's Books and Such
After a rough start at the beginning of my blogging journey, the green-eyed monster and I came to an agreement of sorts. I acknowledged that I would never be a so-called "big" blogger with a Book Fairy sending me boxes full of ARCs each month, and he acknowledged that I was no fun so agreed to leave me alone.

He lied.

Most of the time, he leaves me be. Then I'll log onto one of the blogging groups I belong to and see something like:

"I'm only getting 1.000 pageviews a day. I've been blogging since January, so shouldn't I have 5K or more by now?"

or

"I've only got 20,000 likes on my Facebook page. It's been 6 months already, so please tell me what I'm doing wrong?" 

Oh no she di-int - lolcats.com

This drives me crazy and, I admit, turns me into the She-Hulk of Jealousy. I've been blogging close to six years and I'm nowhere near those numbers! How come they're so popular so quickly? What's wrong with my blog? Why don't people like me? 

Then I take a deep breath, remind myself that I'm happy in my own little corner with my own little chair, and get over it.

I envy people who don't get jealous | Alexia's Books and Such

When I see comments like that, it's hard not to feel a twinge of envy. I know I could increase my numbers by hosting contests with a follow requirement, but I don't want those type of followers. Who wants inflated numbers with followers who never visit? I want people who will stop by, read my posts, and maybe leave a comment saying hello.

Would 20,000 followers be awesome? Of course it would! But I'm realistic enough to know that it's not going to happen because I don't want to put that much work into my blog. I want to keep it fun! And honestly? I would probably freak out if I ever got that big,,,

So let me pull on my big girl panties and banish that lying green-eyed cretin back where he belongs! I'll do my best to stop being jealous of these bloggers and use them as inspiration instead!

I will not be jealous of strong amazing women! Much... | Alexia's Books and Such

Please tell me I'm not the only one tormented occasionally by the grass being greener on the other side of the blogosphere? I'm not trolling for sympathy, just want to know that I'm not alone in battling blogger-envy!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman book review | Alexia's Books and Such Title:  Trigger Warning
Author:  Neil Gaiman
Publication Date: 2/3/2015
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Source:  Review copy received from the publisher

Synopsis:
Multiple award winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman returns to dazzle, captivate, haunt, and entertain with this third collection of short fiction following Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things--which includes a never-before published American Gods story, "Black Dog," written exclusively for this volume.

In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction--stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013--as well "Black Dog," a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection. (Goodreads)

My Review:

This is one of the few books where I actually read the introduction, as Gaiman includes the why and/or how he wrote each of the stories. I bookmarked the intro and went back and forth between the explanation and the story in question so that it would be fresh in my mind as I read. Clever! (clever author, not clever me....) 

To be honest, after awhile I wished that each intro was in front of its story because flipping back and forth became slightly annoying. Guess I'm a lazy reader! ha!

The first story in a collection is usually chosen with care and sets the tone for the entire book, so I was a little mystified by the author's choice. The first story is called I Made A Chair. Gaiman explains that one day the words wouldn't come, so he made a chair. Literally. The words wouldn't come and he didn't want to force them, so he put together a chair. An odd choice and an odd pseudo-poem, but I was enthralled. Way to keep me on my toes and let me know I was in for a fun ride!

One of my favorite things in this collection is A Calendar of Tales, sort of a mini-collection. Twelve stories, one for each month and inspired by tweet prompts sent out by Gaiman. The man does seem to love Twitter! Especially enjoyed the story with the genie. And the one with the brazier? Clever!

Loved the Dr. Who story, as it features my favorite Doctor. And a new, original Shadow story? Sold! Love both of those franchises and neither one disappointed.

There are a few stories that I've read before and, while not every story was to my liking, I think this is a worthwhile collection for any Neil Gaiman and/or short story fan. Say what you will, the man can write!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Book Haul 4/4/15

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep and Arivaca by John Poulsen
In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information on the books.

NetGalley:

NetGalley is my Kryptonite and I can never resist requesting titles whenever I log on, so I try to avoid temptation by never logging on. They're on to me though and keep sending me emails, offering titles they know I can't resist. Evil, evil NetGalley! You're like a supervillain or evil genius! Guess I'm lucky I managed to get away with only two requests....

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

There Be Monsters Here. . .It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

***

Arivaca by John Poulsen
Arivaca by John Poulsen

Jesse Ballard’s life is filled with misfortune. His parents are dead, he’s been convicted of a crime, and a dark secret torments his soul. But when he’s incarcerated on a ranch for troubled teens he discovers his troubles have just begun. A Supreme Power has literally hijacked his life, bringing him to the ranch to make him the guardian of a powerful relic that was hidden away 2600 years ago when Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.



What did you receive this week?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer - A fun, snarky adventure!

Book Review: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer Title:  Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Author:  Lish McBride
Release Date:  October 12, 2010
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Company
Source: Secret Santa gift

Synopsis:
Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right - until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin? (Goodreads)

My Review:

This is one of those books that I wanted to read as soon as I heard about it because it sounded right up my alley! I was so excited when I received it in a Secret Santa exchange, then it sat alone and forgotten on my shelf for some reason. Thank goodness for the TBR Challenge, which finally motivated me to pick it back up!

The main character, Sam, has always felt like an outsider and a bit of an oddball. Stunk in a dead end job with an uncertain future ahead of him, Sam has the bad luck to come to the attention of a seriously scary necromancer named Douglas. Douglas wants Sam to join forces with him and doesn't give him much of a choice. Sort of a join me or else proposition.

Good thing that Sam lives in Seattle, home of the wacky and weird. He finds a few potential allies and tries to come up with a plan, but doesn't have much time. It's not easy being a teenager at the best of times, but when there's a scary boogieman who wants to play? Yeah, not fun.

Really enjoyed this book! There's a snarky sense of humor woven into the story, which I love. Sam is a believable character who has trouble coming to grips with the fact that he's a necromancer. I get so tired of characters who discover they have a previously unknown power and master it within a day or two, so was really rooting for Sam!

Great characters, fast paced action, an interesting plot, and that snarky humor that I love all combine to make a great story! A little disappointed with Sam's mother, but I can understand why she did what she did. Looking forward to seeing what happens next, as I really like Sam and his friends!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 2015 Wrap Up

March 2015 Wrap
Monthly wrap up posts seemed to help keep me on track last year, so going to try them again this year.

Books read

Didn't make my reading goal last year, so lowered it from 100 to 75 books. In order to meet my Goodreads goal, I need to read 6.25 books per month. I read 4 books this month:

  1. Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride
  2. Crewel by Gennifer Albin
  3. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  4. Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Not great, but I've doubled my books read for the year, so guess that's something! And I had a blast reading books from my own stacks for the March Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge. Amazing how relaxing it was not worrying about review deadlines and reading whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted! Need to do this more often!