Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Read for: Recent Purchase & BTAF

Synopsis: "In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch."


My Review: I have heard great things about this book and series so figured I would pick it up. I tried to read it many times but kept putting it down. I did finally make it through on this last attempt but it was a long slow slog. A few of the issues were that the point of views changed with no break or notice throughout the book and the voice of Safi & Iseult were far to similar to define them. It took well into the book for me to figure out who had what power. On that subject it sounds like a unique and really awesome magic system but it is so poorly (read not at all) explained and so you spend a lot of time confused. It is also the same with the world building, there is a big lack of it, the settings are not clear nor are the political systems or people in power, what little there is comes late in the book and you really have to pick up on these details and put them together for yourself. There is a lot of action, which is great, but without the connection with the characters it falls rather flat. All in all a really disappointing read for me, I do already own the next book and I will probably pick it up in hopes that the writing improves but I will most likely stop there with this series.

My Rating: I can't tell you how disappointed I am in this book, I am an avid fantasy reader and while some things do need to be figured out on your own but there are far to many gaps in this one.  I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Reading List



Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!




Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Meet the Minions by Lucy Rosen (Early Reader)
This Book Will Not Be Fun by Cirroco Dunlap (Bedtime Story)
Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads
Kings Rising
Done Dirt Cheap


Currently Reading:

Scythe by Neal Shusterman - Print - on page 265 of 435
Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop - Audio - 23%




 Books to be Read Soon:



Pages Read/ Time Listened
175:17 Hours (about 7+ Days) Listened (none listened this week)
41,506 Pages Read (865 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently TBR
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English
New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
And I Darken by Kiersten White
World Mythology in Bite Sized Chunks by Mark Daniels
Eliza and Her Monster by Francesca Zappia
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Windwitch by Susan Dennard
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon
Frogkisser by Garth Nix
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Addie on the Inside by James Howe
Also Known as Elvis by James Howe
Viking Warrior Rebel by Asa Maria Bradley
New Leash on Love by Debbie Burns
Puss Without Boots by Shari L. Tapscott
Monstress Vol. 2 by Marjorie M. Liu
Everyone is an Aliebn when ur are an Aliebn too by Jomny Sun
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Saints Blood by Sebastien de Castell
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
P.O. Box Love by Paola Calvetti
Britt Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls by various authors
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley
The Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence
The Nothing Girl by Jodi Taylor
Luin the Sapphire by Rich Feitelberg
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce
Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce
Realm of the Gods by Tamora Pierce
The Winter King by CL Wilson
The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere
The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
The John Wayne Code by Media Lab Books
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones



Books Read From My Shelves




Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



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Another week in the books, and another busy one between work, school, being sick and then off to a quick vacation (well work for hubby and vacation for me and Munchkin).  I am scheduling this early but I hope that I am recovered (lost my voice again and a head cold) and getting some relaxation in while away.  I hope you are following me on Instagram because you will get to see the fun adventures (and surprises) we have for Munchkin while we are away.

This week will be another crazy week, trying to cram in as much fun stuff in as we can on vacation and then back to work and school on Thursday and Friday. Then finally Saturday is the Boston Teen Author Festival!  I am super excited because Linsey Miller (author of Mask of Shadows), Traci Chee (Author of The Reader) and Leigh Bardugo (author of the Grisha Trilogy and Wonder Woman: Warbringer) will all be there, but I am also a little nervous because it will be my first time going to Boston on my own, Hubby and Munchkin have soccer and won't be coming.  I am sure all will be fine but I always get a little anxious going somewhere new and with a lot of people (I am so shy I have a hard time interacting).

Hope you are all having a great week!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Graphic Novel Review of Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge


Synopsis: "From the worldwide bestselling team of Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained Saga event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat and the refugee experience.

Collecting: Saga 37-42"

My Review: I was starting to loose hope in this series and then it finally makes a turnaround. I am glad I stuck through the volumes 4-6 to get back to the core of the story. The family is re-united and Hazel is growing up so her narration is making more sense. The action is spaced out nicely where it isn't constant but the suspense of more coming keeps you reading. I am actually looking forward to the next trade to come out instead of looking at it as something to get through, I hope this trend continues.

My Rating: I am so glad I pushed through, the over all story line is back on track and I like the direction it is going.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Bedtime Story: This Book Will Not be Fun by Cirocco Dunlap

Read for: Children's Book Challenge

Synopsis: "In which a persnickety mouse assures readers that they will not enjoy the book, while trying to distract from the fantastical antics of a word-eating flying whale, a funky break-dancing glow worm, and others."

My Review: Munchkin, being a typical boy about preschool/kindergarten age loves snarky and funny books. I figured this would be great, along the lines of Book with No Pictures. Unfortunately, this one fell a little flat, maybe it will improve with addition re-reads but it just doesn't hold up to what I expected. Munchkin didn't laugh even once! The narrator is a mouse who is a little grumpy but things start happening in the background (and under the cover of darkness) so it really isn't at the forefront. I think it may work better for older kids who would make the connection with the drab character and lines with the chaos in the background but it just didn't work for us.

My Rating: So sad that the title proved to be true for this one, we were hoping for another laugh out loud book.  We give it a rating of One Paw.


Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Early Reader Review of Despicable Me 2: Meet the Minions by Lucy Rosen

Read for: Early Reader Challenge


Synopsis: "Children's Book.The Minions have one job, and one job only--they work for Gru! Join Dave, Kevin, Tom, Stuart, Jerry and the rest of the gang as they do everything from stealing the moon to testing jelly recipes!This book is Level 2 in the Passport to Reading program."

My Review: I just recently picked this book up even though it was to transition into Despicable Me 2 years ago. Munchkin loves the minions and especially this movie so figured this would be a fun one. I like how it did have a story outside of the movie plot line, though it seems like the images were taken from early storyboards for the movie and they ended up going a slightly different way in the final production. It is a great level 2 book with some new more complex words and sentence structure but still with the fun characters and story that will keep young fans reading.
 

My Rating: This was a fun book, Munchkin loves the Minions and it was fun to see the scenes and story line that they didn't end up using in the final move.  We give this one a rating of Three Paws.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sick Book Tag

I of course have come down with a season change head cold, along with no voice. It has also been a while since I posted a tag. So when I was browsing for a simple tag to do, this one came up and was just too perfect. I found the Sick Book Tag on The Book Nut (this wasn't the original but they do mention that the original poster has since quit blogging).

So before I start, I tag anyone who has a cold during this changing of seasons!


1. Diabetes: name a book that’s too sweet, like REALLY sweet. 
This is a sweet book, just a light read that you can't help but smile when you read it.
 

2. Chicken Pox: Name a book you only picked up once and never will again.
I know a lot of people really love Jane Austen and for some reason a lot of people compare me to Fanny, so I picked this one up about 5 years ago. Jane Austen is definitely not for me and I am don't know why I am compared to her, I like to think I am a little more confident and willing to stand up for myself.
 
3. The Flu: Name a popular book that spreads like a virus.
The whole series is like a germ that continues to spread with contact.  I know a lot of people love it but I cannot stand the MC (I don't even know what to call her without spoilers).
 
4. The Cycle: Name a book that you reread yearly, or at least often.
I re-read Fire rather often, though it has been a while and I am missing my book boyfriend, Brigan. Time I think for a re-read!
 
5. Insomnia: Name a book that kept you up all night.
This is the first book I ever remember staying up all night to read and also the first really big book I remember reading in a single day. I still find it captivating and plan on re-reading the whole series next year.
 
6. Amnesia: Name a book that that you’ve forgotten or failed to leave an impact on your memory.
So I read this at some point in Jr. High/ High School but didn't remember anything about it, then I had it as assigned reading in a college class and got a good 1/4 of the way through before I realized I had read it before. Honestly, I still don't really remember much about it.
 
7. Asthma: Name a book that took your breath away.
I am still utterly crushed by this one, in a good way and am anxiously awaiting the next book (except cover changes GRRR)!

 
8. Malnutrition: Name a book that lacks food for thought.
I was expecting to be swept away with this one but it was just an eh book, it was there but not worth a second thought.


9. Travel Sickness: Name a book that took you on a journey. 
This was one of those series that you just get completely wrapped up in, I was right there with the characters the whole way.



And now I am off to make more tea and curl up under a cozy blanket.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review of Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Read for: Audio Book Challenge & BTAF

Synopsis: "Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship."


My Review: I picked this book up since Lee will be one of the authors at the BTAF and I wanted to try one of her books before going to the panels. Plus a historical western fiction sounds just right up my alley. I struggled for a bit to get into the setting but once I settled in the characters and the story ran away with me. I don't know how historically accurate it was but it sounded pretty on point and in the end it didn't matter to me because this was all about the characters. I absolutely loved the characters, all of them in fact. Each character was unique and well developed, they are on an epic adventure across the old west and you can't help but root for them with each new hurdle in their paths. There is a touch of romance but it is a nice slow burn and it doesn't take over the story at all, it is more about friendships and the families you create in life. I will definitely be picking up more books by Stacey Lee in the future!

My Rating: I have a soft spot for western books and this one definitely hits that with the old West setting and the pioneering, cowboys, outlaws and some really great characters.  I really enjoyed this one and give it a rating of Four Paws!