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Top 5

Top 5 Sequels I Need to Get To

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah @ The Bionic Book Worm. Each week, she gives a different topic to explore. This week is the top 5 sequels I need to get to. Here are mine!

A Question of Holmes book cover

I read A Study in Charlotte last year and really liked it. The other books in the series I listened to on audio. I didn’t like them quite as much, but I enjoy them enough to want to finish the series. Since I only own the first book, I’m reluctant to buy the last and am sort of waiting for the library to get it in some format.

Aru Shah and the Song of Death book cover

This is kind of cheating, because I think is just came out today. I thought it came out two weeks ago, but couldn’t find it. I finally looked it up. Goodreads says it comes out today, Amazon says yesterday. But, whenever it is, I want it and plan to read it ASAP.

E is for Evidence book cover

I only stared reading the Kinsey Milhone novels after Sue Grafton’s death, but I really, really like them a lot. The problem is, my library doesn’t have the older books. Luckily, a used bookstore by my parents does, so my mom’s got this one. We just need to wait until we see each other again for me to get my hands on the next. (Yes, I know I don’t really need to read them in order. I just want to.)

The Whispering Room book cover

This is the second in the Jane Hawk novels by Dean Koontz. It took me a bit to get into the first one, The Silent Corner, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading this.

Treacherous is the Night book cover

Anna Lee Huber is one of my favorite mystery authors. I really enjoyed the first Verity Kent novel (so much that I read it in one night), and can’t wait to finally read the sequel.

Wow. I have a lot of reading I need to do. I better get on it!

What are some sequels that you are looking forward to finally getting around to?

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Uncategorized

Book Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time

Title: Aru Shah and the End of TIme

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Format: Hardcover

Aru Shah is a bit of a liar, but with good reason: she needs to lie in order to fit in with the kids of her exclusive private school. However, one day, three of her classmates come to her home, which happens to be the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, in order to catch her in a lie. Trying to impress them, she shows them an ancient lamp which holds a terrible curse: once lit, it will free the Sleeper who will awaken the God of Destruction and destroy the world. When her classmates don’t believe her, the only choice Aru has is to light the lamp, right?

Now, Aru must join forces with a girl named Mini and a guardian called Boo to stop the Sleeper from bringing about the destruction of the world.

This book was really fun to read. It’s the first in the series, and I am excited to read the next. Having only read a handful of stories about Indian deities, this was a good introduction to gods, goddesses, and heroes I’d never heard of. The world was richly imagined with gorgeous imagery.

I liked that the main characters were both girls. They worked well together and were both well characterized with their own idiosyncrasies that made them feel real. I also appreciated how confident Aru was. She had high self-esteem and thought highly of herself while still being aware of her flaws. It was refreshing to read.

I have to give a special shout out to Mini, whom I absolutely adored. She’s neurotic and worried about doing everything the right way, even when the rules are rather nebulous. I highly relate to that. I like how she tries to be over prepared and that she has a plethora of odd facts at her disposal. As much as I liked Aru, I think Mini is my favorite just because I related to her so, so much.

I also liked the Sleeper. I have to admit that I don’t usually care for antagonists in middle grade stories because they always seem fairly one dimensional. The Sleeper was complex and well realized. I was interested in his story and wanted to know more. He was more than a one note villain, and I was excited to see that. 

Aru Shah and the End of Time is an exciting read with a full world and great characters.

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Uncategorized

Sunday Post | April 28, 2019

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

Someone sitting on a bed crossed legged reading a book.

I had a fairly quite week this week. I had Monday off and got to go to the movies and see Shazam!, which was a lot of fun. Zachary Levi and Mark Strong were both fantastic in it. Then, Tuesday it was back to work. It was nice seeing the kids again and getting back to a routine. Friday I had a half day so I could go to an appointment, and unfortunately the morning was full of testing for the kids. I hate when I accidentally schedule ALL THE TESTS for one day, but sometimes, it just happens that way.

On Saturday I got to see Avengers Endgame. I don’t talk about it on the blog, but I am a huge Captain America fan, which is funny because I went into The First Avenger thinking I wasn’t going to care very much about him. I’d enjoyed Iron Man, liked Thor (mostly because of Loki–I love tricksters), but didn’t think Cap would do it for me.

Fast forward eight years, and, well, I’ll let you see for yourself:

I also have a wall full of Captain America art and one more cosplay, but I can’t get those pictures to upload for some reason.

So, without any spoilers, I can say I really enjoyed the movie. There was one thing that disappointed me, but it was minor and didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the movie. I cannot wait to see it again.

Monday: Book review: Any Old Diamonds by KJ Charles

Tuesday: Top 5 Mind-Blowing Mysteries/Thrillers

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: ARC Review: The Stone Rainbow by Liane Shaw

Friday: I Should Have Read That book tag

Saturday:Book Review: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Monday: Book review of Aru Shah and the End of Time

Tuesday: Top 5 Sequels I Need to Get To

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Book review of Play it Again

Friday: Who Am I book tag

Oh, I’m only reading one book right now! I should pick up another so I don’t get behind.

How was your week? Drop me a comment below and let me know what you’re reading!

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Uncategorized

Book Review: Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Title: Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Source: Amazon

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: e-book

In this retelling of the Iliad and exploration of Achilles’s youth, Madeline Miller has created a wonderful love story. Told through the eyes of Patroclus, Achilles’s best friend and lover, The Song of Achilles has done something that the original story and countless movies have failed to do: it’s made me like Achilles. Whereas in the Iliad, Achilles is brash, bold, hedonistic, and a bully, here he is introspective and thoughtful.

Born the son of a minor goddess, Achilles has always known that he’s destined to be a great warrior. Instead of rubbing that in everyone’s faces, Achilles refuses to display his skill in front of others and, instead, trains in private. He worries about whether he’ll live up to his destiny and what being in battle will actually be like. And he deeply loves Patroclus with a steadfastness and fervor that’s wonderful to read. Miller masterfully makes this romance the center of both his and Patroclus’s world while deftly manipulating events of the Iliad to fit her story in a realistic way.

I also really like Patroclus. Born the son of a king, Patroclus is exiled to Pythia to be fostered by Achilles’s father. He is a gentle, quiet boy with a low self confidence. He blossoms when he and Achilles are under the tutelage of Chrion and then again when he finds his place during the Trojan war. He desperately wants to do what is right. He humanizes Achilles and draws out his sensitive side.

I highly enjoyed this book. It was engaging and interesting. I loved the characters and the flow of the story. I liked the way Miller took a well-known story and turned it on its ear while still staying true to the spirit.

Four out of Five stars

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book tag

I Should Have Read That Tag

I saw this tag done over on Lori’s Bookshelf Reads and thought it seemed like fun. So, I decided to do it!

RULES:

  1. Thank the person who tagged you, and link back to their post.
  2. Link to the creator’s blog.
    This was originally created by Beth from Books Nest.
  3. Answer the questions below.
  4. Tag 10 others to take part.
  5. ENJOY!

A book that a certain friend always tells you to read:

clockwork angel book cover

My sister has told me a few times that I might like this series. I’ll probably get around to it one day, but I’m a little bit intimated by it, to be honest

A book that has been on your TBR forever, and yet you still haven’t picked it up:

study in scarlet women book cover

I’m sure there are books I’ve intended to read and haven’t for longer than this one, but I purged them from my Want to Read list on GoodReads and can’t think of them right now. But I’ve been meaning to read this for over a year and just keep forgetting to.

A book in a series you have started, but haven’t gotten round to finishing:

A question of Holmes book cover

I only started reading this series last year, but haven’t gotten around to reading the last book yet. I started it, but didn’t have time to finish it yet.

A classic you have always liked the sound of, but never actually read:

Middlemarch book cover

I really liked the miniseries and even started it last year, but didn’t continue it. It’s on my 19 for 2019 list, though, so this is the year! *fingers crossed*

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet:

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy book cover

This was really hard. I could use Middlemarch again, but I feel like that’s kind of cheating. I can’t say I loved the movie of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (with Gary Oldman), but I definitely left the movie intending to read the book and just ever got around to it.

A book you see all over Instagram, but haven’t picked up yet:

Wild Card book cover

My Instagram is mostly teachers. This book was all over it last year. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to reading it or not.I tag:

I tag:

Yvonne @To Think about Words | Read with Abi | Victorious Pages | Tilly @the Biblioshelf | Aubrey @The Book Life of Aubrey Smith

Categories
netgalley

ARC Review: The Stone Rainbow by Liane Shaw

Title: The Stone Rainbow

Author: Liane Shaw

Source: NetGalley

Publisher: Second Story Press

Publication Date: September 17, 2019

Jack is a gay boy living in a small town. Although there are rumors circulating about his sexuality, he is in the closet to everyone but a few friends and his mother. Even though his friends and mom try to understand and accept him, things are awkward and uncomfortable and Jack feels alienated. Then, a boy named Benjamin moves to town and Jack finds himself intensely attracted. After a brush with near tragedy, Jack decides he can’t hide who he is anymore and decides to make a statement to himself, his friends, and his own.

I really liked this book a lot. Jack and his struggles felt very real to me. I totally understand what it feels like to come out and not be understood, or to declare who you are and not be accepted. I also loved his relationship with Benjamin. They were very high school, but it felt natural and real the way they interacted. The whole book was very authentic and full of real feelings.

I liked, too, that Jack was gay in a way I haven’t seen very much in YA recently. He wants to be fabulous and wear pretty clothes. Part of his coming out is gaining the courage to dress the way he wants and sparkle and shine.

I also really liked that the characters were very complex. There were characters who were kind homophobic when they talked but then took a stand for what was right and actually followed through and made choices that for them was tough. They were nuanced and, while not very likable, very real and ultimately admirable in their way.

This was an charming, realistic, and uplifting book about a boy coming of age and growing. It’s about a family who comes to not only love him but accept him and about a community coming together in pride.

Five out of five stars

Categories
weekly meme

WWW Wednesday April 24, 2019

It really doesn’t feel like Wednesday today. I had Monday off work, so yesterday felt like Monday and now it feels like Tuesday. This, I think, will work in my favor as I’m eagerly anticipating Saturday, when I can go see (and probably get my heart broken by) Avengers: Endgame. If I’m a day behind, the week will go more quickly, right?

So, WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, you answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you just finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:

I’m still reading The Gifts of Imperfection. It’s a short book, so I’m not sure why it’s taking me so long. I’m engaged in it, and it’s giving me a lot to think about, but I’m just not going through it as fast as I thought I would.

I’m also rereading Aru Shah and the End of Time. I read it last year and I wanted to refresh my memory because the sequel is being released next week. It’s still a really fun book, and I love Aru and her confidence in herself. I also love Mini and her lack of confidence; I find it really easy to relate to.

Recently finished:

I really loved Any Old Diamonds by KJ Charles a lot. My review went up Monday and it was all me gushing. It was just so good.

I also really liked Song of Achilles. It was definitely as good as I heard. I think I may have liked Circe more, but this is definitely a new favorite.

Good Omens was a fun listen, but I could never quite get over Adam’s voice. I just kept expecting him to go on a rant about the kids on his lawn and why can’t they be respectful like they were in his day. It didn’t fit the character of an eleven year old boy at all. But, the story was still fun, and now I’m really looking forward to the series.

Up Next:

I think that I’ll probably read Play it Again by Aidan Wayne next. It’s an ARC I’ve been approved for on NetGalley and it’s fairly short. Then I’ll read Aru Shah and the Song of Death and An American Duchess. Or I’ll read two at a time. I always forget I can do that.

What are you currently reading? Drop a comment below and let me know!

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Top 5 weekly meme

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Mind-blowing Mysteries/Thrillers

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah @ The Bionic Book Worm. Each week, she gives a different topic to explore. This week is the topic is top 5 mind-blowing mysteries/thrillers. These are mine!

First You Fall by Scott Sherman. This book follows the adventures of Kevin Connor. When a good friend of his is found dead and that death ruled as a suicide, Kevin, a hustler, decides to investigate. This book is suspenseful, funny, sad, and compelling all at once. It was also one of the first books I ever read on Kindle, although I guess that doesn’t really matter. But it was a great introduction to a wonderful series.

Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry is one of my favorite books period. It’s about a man named Joe Ledger, who is about to enter the FBI when he’s taken in by a mysterious organization for questioning. Once there, he’s attacked and forced to kill a man. Problem is, he’d already killed that man earlier that week in the line of duty. He’s then introduced to the world of the Department of Military Sciences and a weaponized zombie virus. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I read this. It not only has a remarkable protagonist, but the villains were nicely fleshed out. This is another first in a series, and while I love the other books, this one has a special place in my heart.

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz. This was a recent read for me, and while it took me about halfway to get into, once I was in, I was hooked. The book is about Jane Hawk, who, after her husband commits suicide, starts investigating the steady rise of suicides in the US. This leads to her being contacted by a shadowy organization that threatens her and her young son. She goes on the run, hiding her son away with people that can’t be traced back to her, and starts her own investigation into this conspiracy. The answers you get in this book have horrifying implications. I loved it and can’t wait to read the next.

Bitch Factor by Chris Rogers was one of the first contemporary adult mysteries I remember reading. The main character, Dixie Flannigan, is a bounty hunter who goes after Parker Dann. Dann is accused of killing a child in a dunk driving accident. But he claims he didn’t do it, and Flannigan finds herself drawn into the case, trying to find out what really happened. I remember being super engrossed in this book. I had a hard time putting it down, but it was late and I wasn’t understanding what I was reading anymore, so I went to bed. Then, in the middle of the night, I woke up with the realization of who the murder was, immediately picked up the book and finished it. It was that engrossing.

The Anatomists Wife by Anna Lee Huber maybe isn’t the most exciting of mysteries, but it was powerful. It’s the first in her Lady Darby series and it introduced me to a wonderful world of characters whom I love. Lady Kiera Darby is a widow and an artist living in disgrace with her sister and brother-in-law. Her husband had been an anatomists and forced her to draw pictures of the dissections he did in order to get an accurate anatomy book. However, he did not always procure his bodies through approved means and when that came out on his death, scandal came out and tainted Kiera. In this book, her sister is having a house party and there’s a murder. Sebastian Gage is the son of a noted gentleman investigator and is asked to investigate, as is Kiera, because of her past. It’s amazing and interesting and romantic and just one of my favorite mysteries ever.

Those are my top 5 mysteries/thrillers. Thanks again to Shanah for hosting this meme.

What are some of your favorite mysteries/thrillers? Have you read any of the books I listed? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Categories
book review romance

Book Review: Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles

Title: Any Old Diamonds

Author: K.J. Charles

Publisher: KJC Books

Source: Amazon

Format: e-book

Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes –Alec–is estranged from his father, the Duke of Ilvar. Angry and bitter at the way he and his siblings have been treated, Alec decides to take revenge on his father and the Duchess. His plan is to hire thieves to steal the diamond parure the Duke is giving his wife for their wedding anniversary.

He approaches the Lilywhite Boys–Jerry Crozier  and Templeton Lane–who agree to steal the jewels. Crozier will pose as a society gentleman and new friend of Alec’s. Alec, meanwhile, will publicly reconcile with his father and get an invitation to the anniversary party.

But Crozier soon uncovers Alec’s secret desires and the two of them end up in bed together. Will the heist come off as planned? Or will there be twists and turns in the road? 

This book was fantastic. It kept me hooked from beginning to end. I loved all the characters. Like, I want to say, “I loved all the characters, especially Susan,” but, in reality, it’s “Especially Susan and Alec and Jerry and Templeton and…” Okay, so I didn’t like the Duke and Duchess, but they were marvelously horrible. Believable in a way you wish people weren’t like, but just awful people.

The relationship between Jerry and Alec was amazing. It started subtly and then just exploded. It was hot and steamy and just wonderfully written. I think they’re my favorite pair since Lucien and Stephen from A Charm of Magpie series. They had some of the most heart-meltingly romantic dialogue. I seriously was just a puddle.

This book also managed to take me by surprise. I thought I knew exactly where it was going when, suddenly, it just went bonkers. In the best way. I was so excited by the twist and the new characters that were introduced. It was exciting.

I can’t praise this book highly enough. If you like heists, revenge, people learning how to be strong,and steamy love scenes, this is definitely the book for you. 

Have you read anything by K.J. Charles? What’s your favorite of hers? Or, if you haven’t, who is your favorite romance novelist? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Categories
sunday post weekly meme

Sunday Post April 21, 2019

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

cactus and a pile of books on the floor

Photo by the Bialons on Unsplash

This week was my spring break and I enjoyed it a lot. I didn’t do a ton–I didn’t even make it to the movies, which I always do–but I rested and relaxed and it was lovely. I finally got back to the gym for a good week of workouts, which I haven’t been able to do since I hurt my foot in March. There was some resistance in going. I dragged my feet and didn’t get in as early as I usually do, but I was on vacation, so that was okay.

woman in glasses
Post-workout glow

On Tuesday, I took my cats to the vet. As usual, Brycee, my older cat, was an angel, and Cobbler, who I call my old man kitten because while I still think of him as a kitten, he’s really ten years old, was awful. It was so hard to listen to him screaming while they tried to take a blood and urine sample. They ended up skipping it because he was so stressed out. We’ll have to try again later this year when they can sedate him.

orange and white cat
Cobbler
brown and black long haired cat
Brycee

On Wednesday, I went shopping for some spring-like clothes. I decluttered a lot of my clothes over the winter and everything left was dark colored. I was looking for something lighter and airier, and I actually found a few things! I hate clothes shopping, but this was a delightful treat.

Then, on Thursday, the weather was warm and sunny. I originally had planned to go to the movies, but the thought of being indoors on such a beautiful day killed me. I decided that I’d head to the beach and read, but, as I was getting ready, I decided that since I was heading to the beach, I might as well go kayaking. So, I grabbed my dry bag, packed a lunch, put on my swimsuit and sunscreen, and headed out.

It was amazing. I saw otters and harbor seals. I learned how to get the kayak over some waves. I was all by myself, so I sang Moana a bit. I almost got seasick, which wasn’t so wonderful, but it was part of the experience. I’m so glad I went and can’t wait to go again. I’m going on a big kayaking trip this summer so I want to get out an practice as much as I can until then.

Monday: Blogger Recognition Award

Tuesday: Top 5 Books I Predict Will Be 5 Stars

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Book Review of The Princess and the Fangirl

Friday: Book Review of The Earl Next Door

Saturday: Book Review of Milady

Monday: Book review of Any Old Diamonds

Tuesday: Top 5 Mysteries/Thrillers

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Book Review of The Stone Rainbow

Friday: I should have read that book tag

Saturday: Book Review of Song of Achilles

I had a wonderful week! I have one more day of spring break tomorrow, during which I may actually make it to the movies. I also will go to the gym and relax. And then, it’s back to work!

How was your week? Did you have any adventures? Drop a comment below and let me know!