Tag Archives: literature

New Book Alert- The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

18 Jun

As per Goodreads:

The first in a new two-book series about an orphaned princess fighting to reclaim her kingdom while hiding her power from the masked vigilante hunting her, set in a world where magic is not just forbidden, but will soon destroy everything…

A reviewer also said: Game of Thrones meets Batman = epic Jodi Meadows.

Release date is 2015

My reaction:

I’m intrigued with this book. I have a mixed vibe on Meadow’s book but with that kind of descriptions?

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I love it

 

Mark it at a To Read here

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Wine and Women Wednesdays

10 Apr

One of the best things about books these days is the amount of badass female protagonists there are. Long gone are the days the damsels in distress ruled society’s vision of the perfect woman and romance (not that we still don’t like handsome princes, mind you). But we are now living in an era where feminism has promoted independent, self sufficient, ass kicking girls into literary and cinematic limelight.

Brave

Case in point – Disney‘s Brave.

We have all grown up with the idea that the fairy tale prince coming to rescue us is the way us weaker sex is supposed find true love. Let’s just all point our fingers at Disney for giving us that illogical idea. Thanks Snow White, Belle, Ariel for creating unrealistic romances for me to swoon over! You ruined my life! But not you Mulan, you…you’re effing awesome. Nowadays though our little princesses are being taught that “Damnit, you can save yourself! If you even need saving in the first place.” Which is pretty awesome. We can really start seeing this big transition of women taking the leading roll as heroes in the original Charlie’s Angels series. And from there… a great wide world of wonderful women emerged.

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But what type of morals are these strong women really teaching us? Especially in YA books, heroines have a lot of different takes on love, life and values.

Thus is brings me to wanting to create “Wine and Women Wednesdays” where we can focus on all different kinds of awesomeness of females in literature.

There’s going to be some good discussions so grab a glass of wine, settle in with a good book and get excited now because I’ve got some legit shiznat coming up.

cheers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

27 Mar

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Book One in the His Fair Assassins Series

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

This came book came to me in a unique way. I had never heard of it until Amy was freaking out because it was super cheap on Amazon for Kindle. So I glanced at the concept, shrugged and said “eh why not?” and bought it. It sat for a few days on the iPad and the longer it sat waiting to be read the more intrigued I was by the concept. I felt like it was just burning a hole in my electronics just sitting, waiting, wanting to be opened.

So I read it.

As we all know, I am obsessed with early eras. (I have a knack for breaking everything electronic thus I am convinced I was supposed to live in the 1800s before ‘high tech’ happened.) That being said, I haven’t really paid much attention to the 1400s. What’s so interesting about it? It’s right before the most glamorous time period (Yay Tudors!) so it gets overlooked by authors of books because everyone, including myself, is so infatuated with the 1500s and beyond. But, this book was really excellent in capturing, what I feel is, the essence of the country and people during this century and was explained to us in a truly captivating way.

Plus… female assassins? That live in a convent like nuns? Who have attitudes and lusty romances?

Hook. Line. Sinker.

This is a looong book. 500 plus pages! But it flew like I was reading a 200 pager. Ismae is lovely. She’s a feisty, insecure, semi-horny but no idea what it means teenager, that could totally hold her own in a fight against Katniss or June from the Legend series. Talk about a kickass girl fight! Ismae is endearing. She’s had to deal with a lot of shit in her life; abusive father, abusive husband, crazy mother. And yet she overcomes it all and ends up being a wicked killing machine. But although she’s brainwashed for years into thinking one way, she has the courage and strength and, well, faith in humanity I guess, to see what’s real and true. She does struggle, and she does flail a bit figuring out where she stands, but that’s what makes me love her more. She *feels* like normal people do. I think a round of applause should be given to LaFevers for the character development.. it’s really beautiful.

And then the romance… it’s simple. Uncorrupted and sweet. It’s slow moving and innocent. Perfect for the story and the time period and character’s personalities. No InstaLove, no triangle. Just lovely. Lovely.

SO although this book is long, and it’s a bit slow in places, it’s really a great read. This is the kind of book you bring to the beach with you and you read alllll day and when you finally come out of your book coma, you have delish story and an awesome tan.

And the best quote ever… “Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?”

Touche, my friend.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

7 Feb

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Rating: Four out of Five Stars

I am a big fan of audio books. My mom, sister and I used to listen to them all the time when I was younger and since the Boyfriend and I live in different states, audio books have become a life saver on the six hour drive to Cali. Needless to say, I have spent a lot of my life in the car listening to stories (nerd-tastic fuuuur sure!) and this is probably the best book on CD have listened to.

The reason why I say The Best? The descriptions are amazing. A movie was playing in my mind while I listened to The Night Circus. It was rich, dark, luscious with adjectives that made the circus come to life, the people spring into their characters. The story unfolds layer by tantalizing layers in a slow sweet simmering plot. And, readers be warned, there is one steamy scene that is probably the most provocative heaty scene I have read (well technically listened to) and the crazy part? Its maybe four paragraphs long with relatively innocent language. That’s just how well Morgenstern crafts the language in this book. It’s beautiful.

I also spent a lot of time with my mouth hanging open in awe at the incredible concept of the plot. Talk about having a hum-dinger of an imagination! The Cirque Du Reve a.k.a. The Circus of Dreams, was so far beyond what I could ever think up I just drooled over the descriptions of the tents. The Wishing Tree, the Ice Garden, the Cloud Maze… I wish I had an ounce of artistic talent so I could draw how I picture these things. If this book ever becomes a movie and the special effects are done right, it will be on par with epic movies like LOTR, HP, Benjamin Button, all those cinematic masterpieces.

If you do end up reading this book, I encourage you to try it on tape first. It’s really an entertaining read and a wonderful book to listen to. And with Jim Dale as the narrator… oh my lovely man voice. I just want him to whisper sweet nothings in my ear…sigh…

 

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

30 Jan

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Book One in the Crewel World Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

First of all, can we talk about that delicious cover? GORG! I love the colors, the swirls, the lips, the face. It epitomizes what this book is about and I adore an author/artist who can capture the feeling of the book and recreate it for the cover. Two Thumbs Up.

I was really excited for this book. I actually requested it from the library but got tired of waiting so just bought it as an ebook so I could start reading it righthisminute. That being said, I am not quite as excited for the sequel to this book. I loved parts and I struggled with parts. So my review is a solid middle of the road yellow dashed line.

My biggest beef I have with Crewel is how intensely different this world is and how there was exactly ZERO adjustment time for my WSOD. I spent the first 35% percent of the book rereading the description to try to get a sense of WTH this world consisted of. Then, once the Crewler sat down and explained everything to Adelice, our main character, it was like the beautiful flower of knowledge bloomed in my head and all was right in my bookworld.

But then Adelice kinda goes crazy nutso and doesn’t really think about the consequences and the trail of awful she’s leaving in her path when she’s making her decisions. Flip two chapters later then she’s awesome and heroic again. Plus three more chapters, she’s a twat. The End? She saves lives.

See? Do you see my problem? It was so hot and cold, love and hate, rooting for and totally against. I felt like the plot was a ferris wheel and it would slowly go up towards amazing, crest, and then move towards awful. Over and over and over. The world, once explained, IS impressive. I really liked the concept of it, science meeting fantasy meeting dystopia!?!  Oh hells yes! The actual concept of this book is completely unique and the storyline is decent. But the characters just don’t jive well. And then throw in an awkward tree point love story and BOOM, it’s all the crap we’ve see before. For once FOR ONCE could the book Lord’s Almighty just have two people like each other and be done with it? I can promise all the YA author’s out there that there are just as angsty teen topics to write about.

All in all, I don’t think I can adequately review this until I read the series because so much hangs on what happens in the next books. Jury is still out. Meh.

Promised by Caragh M. O’Brien

3 Jan

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Book Three in the Birthmarked Series

Rating: Three out of Five Stars

I enjoyed this book, but overall I think it’s the weakest in the series. Still, the ties and emotional connections I had to the characters from the previous books makes me want to bump my rating to 3 stars.

Here is my criticism: Why oh why do authors think it will be boring if people have normal emotions? Fo reals. I understand the need for drama and foreshadowing and plot twists blah blah blah. But heavens above! I could not keep up Gaia’s epiphanies or Leon’s brooding love-sick control freak-ness. Gaia seemed to change direction in each chapter and I was so flustered by her mood swings I almost stopped reading. Now I understand men when they deal with PMSing women! For a character who was so steadfast and determined, solid and stubborn in the first two books, she sure does a lot of roller-coasting in this one. And I find it hard to believe that she would just get up after that tragedy happens, shrug and move on. I wish O’Brien would have spent more time focusing on her emotions during that realization. And Leon, oh brother. Just the same old same Cassandra Clare type love interest. All passionate brooding but nothing I could really sink my teeth into until the final chapter.

With my love loss for Gaia and Leon, it was hard to truly adore this book the way I did the others. I was infatuated with Gaia’s bravery in book one and two but her heroism in these books stretched by WSOD a tad too far. I couldn’t connect that way I wanted to. Thank goodness the story was technically well-written or I would have set this down. I would have also enjoyed a quick recap from the first books. I hadn’t read the other two books in awhile and it took me a quarter of the book to play catch up before I remembered everything.

If you have read the first two books (and the bridge), you should definitely read the third to complete the series. The story itself is still captivating, even if its pushed to be unrealistic. Just go into with the notion that the characters are not the same they were when you met them.

Best Of 2012 – Not just the boring categories!

2 Jan

Hello and Welcome to the year 2013!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! 2013 has some amazing book releases so I am SUPER STOKED for this year. Now, like all book lovers and bloggers, I just had to create a Best of 2012 blog. While most people do one in December, I read lots of books over the holidays so I wanted to wait until the year actually ended before I created my list. You never know what gems you can find in the last weeks of the year! I also wanted to add some variety to the blog so I asked my book soul mate Amy to pick her favorites in each category. You can read her Top Ten Books Read of 2012 here.

Please note that these books are not only the books that were published in 2012. We wanted to included all the books we read so some of them are a few years old. I hope you all enjoy and please add your favorites in each category in the comments!

Favorite Book of 2012

Sydney                     Amy

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The Selection by Kiera Cass     Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Author of 2012

Sydney               Amy

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Cinda Williams Chima         Neil Gaiman

Best Female Protagonist

Sydney           Amy

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Penryn – Angelfall by Susan Ee          Beatrice – Divergent by Veronica Roth

Best Male Protagonist

Sydney         Amy

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Han – Seven Realms Series        Po – Graceling Realms Series

Best Romance

Sydney         Amy

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America and Maxon, The Selection               Katsa and Po, Graceling

Most Resourceful

Sydney         Amy

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Gaia, Birthmarked  by Caragh M. O’Brien    Viola, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Best “Come to Jesus” Moment

Sydney         Amy

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James, Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater    Katy, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Most Badass Character

Sydney         Amy

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Deuce, Razorland Series by Ann Aguirre       Katsa, Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Favorite Series

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima      Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Best Fantasy Book

Sydney                Amy

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore            Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Best Dystopian Book

Sydney                Amy

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline      Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

Best World Building

Sydney                Amy

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Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima         Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

Best Cover

Sydney                Amy

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Angelfall by Susan Ee                   Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Most Looking Forward to Release of 2013

Sydney                Amy

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Prodigy by Marie Lu                       Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

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