Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2015

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I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads

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After the Storm (Kate Burkholder #7) by Linda Castillo. Read July 14-17. 3.5 stars.

I enjoy this series and did enjoy this book, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite of the group. The main mystery felt pretty predictable and didn’t really contain any surprises (except for *SPOILER* a guy who we’ve only seen in a wheelchair, doesn’t actually need it. I still don’t understand what the purpose of that was. Why would he need to fake a stroke or whatever? For thirty years no one suspected him of anything *END OF SPOILER*). There were some exciting scenes with Kate and an unknown shooter that kept the book interesting, though.

On the personal relationship front, I was kind of annoyed at the new development. Tomasetti and Kate both learn something about themselves that bode well for the future, though, so I guess it’s ok. Tomasetti had a few moments where he got to be part of the investigation(s), but mostly his role was just Kate’s boyfriend – which isn’t a bad role, but I miss seeing him be more front and center.

Overall, After the Storm, is a good installment to the Kate Burkholder series and I look forward to the next one.

The First Wife

The First Wife by Erica Spindler. Read July 18-19. 3 stars.

So this is basically a Lifetime movie. And like most Lifetime movies, I felt oddly compelled to finish it, no matter how corny things are along the way. The writing left a lot to be desired, the characters weren’t really ones I connected with or rooted for. The resolution of the mystery seemed so blatantly obvious that I knew it couldn’t be right and I wanted to find out the twist. Though a lot of the book was drawn out and repetitive, it did do a good job of keeping me guessing. I suspected nearly everybody at one point or another and there was a couple of twists that surprised me.

I generally enjoyed the book, though I won’t be running out to read anything else by this author in the near future. I think fans of Lifetime mysteries would enjoy it.

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun. Read July 25-26. 3 stars.

I’m not sure if this would have been a book I tried if I hadn’t won it in a giveaway, so I’m glad that I did!

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in Japan before, so the setting was definitely interesting. I enjoyed learning a little bit about the culture. One thing that always bugs me about multi-cultural books is when they say things in a different language and they don’t explain what it is. I was looking up a bunch of terms as I was reading and it wasn’t until I was almost done (I was actually counting the remaining pages last night so I could decide between going to bed or finishing the book)when I discovered there was a glossary in the back of the book! While I would rather terms be explained in context (and to be fair, some of them were), I definitely appreciate having a glossary.

I’m also really glad that I got to have an actual hard copy of this book. There’s illustrations throughout (and it’s always iffy how they turn out in my simple e-reader) and even a couple of instances where there were some doodles on the side of several pages that end up being like a flip book animation, which was cool.

The story itself was enjoyable. I thought that the explanation of the Kami could have been a little better done, as I was left a little confused through most of the book. The characters were likable and the two main characters, Katie and Tomohiro, were well developed. I knew Jun was going to play a bigger part in the story and thought it was fairly obvious what that would be, but I was ok with that.

I’m interested to see what will happen next and am looking forward to the next book!

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Audio Book/Re-read

I've Got Your Number

A few weeks ago I went to Canada for the first time to visit my sister and brother-in-law and my meet my new baby niece! The drive is about ten hours and I get really bad motion sickness if I try to read in the car, so I browsed the library for available audio books and downloaded I’ve Got Your Number, which is one of my favorite chick lit books. This was the first audio book I’ve ever listened to the whole way through and I really enjoyed it. I liked the narrator, too. The real kicker, though, was that I talked my parents into listening to it during the drive and they both really enjoyed it!

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RE-READS

The first half of July was the month of the Re-read. I’m not going to go into great detail, but I enjoyed all these just as much as the first time.

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)  Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)  Just One of the Guys  Definitely, Maybe in Love (Definitely Maybe, #1)  Someday Maybe (Definitely Maybe, #2)

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Just one of the Guys by Kristan Higgns
Definitely, Maybe in Love (Definitely Maybe #1) by Ophelia London
Someday Maybe (Definitely Maybe #2) by Ophelia London

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Re-reads

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie, so I’ve decided to go with my Favorite Re-reads. Those books that I can go back to again and again. The ones that save me from my reading ruts.

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)    The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)    Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3)    In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

1-4. The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. Kristan Higgins books always make me happy. They’re enjoyable and addictive and I love re-visiting the characters again and again.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

5. Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is my favorite book of the series and just one of my favorite books period. Kami’s humor never gets old.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This books is just adorable and fun and yes I MIGHT skip over some of the more drama-filled moments, but I love the rest.

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

7. Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer Armentrout. This was my first JLA book and it’s my favorite. I love re-reading about Daemon and Katy: the early years.

I've Got Your Number

8. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. Probably my favorite chick-lit book.

Fangirl

9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath and Levi are one of my favorite book couples and I love reading about them.

Northanger Abbey

10. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I love this book so much! I love reading the banter between Catherine and Henry.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE RE-READS?

Top Ten Tuesday: ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years. In no particular order, they are:

The Night Circus

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

2. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Illusions of Fate

3. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

One Plus One

4. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)

5. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

6. Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout

I've Got Your Number

7. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophia Kinsella

Defending Jacob

8. Defending Jacob by William Landay

Gone Girl

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Stephanie's Book Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, as always hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is “Top Ten Book that will make you Swoon”.

The definition of swoon is “to be overwhelmed by ecstatic joy” (or “to faint”, but I think I like the ecstatic joy thing better).  So if you need a little more ecstatic joy in your reading life, check out these books:

1 & 2. Attachments  and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Attachments   Fangirl

When I think Ecstatic Joy, I think Rainbow Rowell. It is impossible to not feel happy when reading her books. Things may go awry, but they always end up great. Her characters are amazing.

3. The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

The Next Best Thing

Ok, so I could put every Kristan Higgins book on this list, but I’ll stick with one. Though there is a lot of sadness in this book, there is also so much joy. I love the characters, the romance, the writing.

4. & 5. Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.

Anna and the French Kiss   Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

While I have my issues with these books, they are adorable and sweet and fun. Ecstatic Joy-worthy.

6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

This book is just so beautifully written. I’m in awe of it.

7. The Lux Series by Jennifer Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

Her writing is fun, her characters are great. You just can’t help feeling the joy with JLA books.

8. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

I just loved everything about this book. The writing was so witty and fun. Even though there were lots of unfortunate things going on for the characters, there were so many other times I just couldn’t keep the smile off my face.

9. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Ok, so there are obviously trials and tribulations in this book, but there’s so much emotion as well. Warner definitely give me ecstatic joy in this book. And the fact that it ended the series so well!

10. I’ve got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your Number

There’s so much adorable and happy about this book.

What books make you swoon?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To The Reluctant Reader

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to “X Person”. I chose The Reluctant Reader – the person that doesn’t understand the concept of reading for fun. The following are books I would recommend from various genres to get someone into reading again.

Recommended to the Romantics/Lovers of Chick Flicks

Attachments  I've Got Your Number

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
2. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Recommended to the History Lovers

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)  A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion, #1)

3. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock
4. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

Recommended to the Crime/Mystery Enthusiasts

Defending Jacob  Gone Girl

5. Defending Jacob by William Landay
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Recommended to the Young at Heart

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)  Divergent (Divergent, #1)

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth (I hated the last book in this series, but the first is still one of my favorites)

For the Sci-Fi/Paranormal Fan

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)  Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

 

 

30 Day Book Challenge = 1 Survey

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So I’ve seen several people do the 30 Day Book  Challenge hosted by The Chronicles of Radiya. While I think it’s fun, I just don’t think I have the patience to do it everyday, so I turned it into a survey, all 30 questions in 1 post. Enjoy.

01 – A BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD LIVE IN
This one is hard because I feel like the only type of fantasy worlds I read are dystopian, and as much as I love the books, you obviously don’t really want to live in them. I’m going to go with Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (and I apologize if this book comes up in a lot of answers). I want to work at a newspaper and e-mail Beth and Jennifer and be friends with Lincoln.

02 – A BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ AGAIN AND AGAIN
Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout has become one of my go-to books when I need a break from something else, or just to pass the time.

03 – YOUR FAVOURITE SERIES
            I have so many that I love, I don’t know if I can pick just one. But I think The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is really at the top of the list. So many books I love, but don’t know if I would recommend to everybody. I feel like The Hunger Games has such broad appeal and solid writing.

04 – WORST FILM ADAPTATION OF A BOOK
            Though the Twlight series seems like an obvious answer, I’m going to go with the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Bad casting (I love me some Daniel Craig and he’s wonderful at everything, but he’s not at all how I pictured out-of-shape Mikael Blomkvist). They changed the ending. And I really don’t think anyone who hadn’t read the book would be able to follow the plot.

05 – A BOOK THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
            I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. This is a perfect light, fluffy, weekend read. As everything from Kinsella, it’s a little on the ridiculous side (ok, a lot on the ridiculous side), but it’s sweet and I enjoy it.

I've Got Your Number
06 – A BOOK THAT BROKE YOUR HEART
Mockingjay by Susan Collins. The last 2 books of the series are kind of depressing. When people start reading Mockingjay I tell them to prepare to never be happy again.

07 – MOST UNDERRATED BOOK
            Northange Abbey by Jane Austen. It’s one of my favorite Austen novels, but I never hear anyone else talk about it. It seems to everyone else if you mention Jane Austen they only think of Pride and Prejudice or Emma.

08 – MOST OVERRATED BOOK
            The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I’m not saying that it’s not a fantastically written, fast-paced, page-turning book. Just all the hype that surrounded it when it first came out. People treated it like it was gospel – and I always felt that’s what Brown wanted – despite the fact that it’s riddled with inaccuracies.

09 – A BOOK YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULDN’T LIKE BUT ENDED UP LOVING
            Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It’s one of my mom’s favorite books and she suggested it to me several times before I finally gave in. And it’s great.

Redeeming Love
10 – FAVOURITE CLASSIC BOOK
            Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I didn’t read this until I was out of college and couldn’t believe it took me that long.

11 – A BOOK YOU HATED
            The Innocents by Francesca Segal. I HATED this book. The writing was wonderful, but the characters were pretty horrible. Adam, the main character, finally proposed after dating his girlfriend for a decade (or close to it), but then gets distracted by her younger, more beautiful, more adventurous cousin. He kind of falls instantly in love with her, but I don’t ever feel like it’s any kind of real love. He’s in love with his idea of her, not actually her. But he still cheats on his wife with her and is ready to leave his wife, until she tells him she’s pregnant and knows that it will keep him from leaving. Things end with the cousin, but none of them really have a happy ending.

12 – A BOOK YOU USED TO LOVE BUT DON’T ANYMORE
            The Twilight series. I actually credit these books for getting me back into reading again. Despite all the haters, it’s still, overall, a sweet love story. But after I moved on to other books and series I tried to come back to these and re-read them, but could hardly get through them.

13 – YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR
            This seems like an impossible question. There’s so many that I love. I’m going to go with my newest favorite – Linwood Barclay. I’ve only read three books by him so far, but he’s so consistently good. He hasn’t let me down yet.

14 – FAVOURITE AUTHOR(S) FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD
            Anne M. Martin. I read soooo many Baby-Sitter’s Club books.

15 –  YOUR FIVE FAVOURITE CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME
            This is impossible. I reserve the right to change my mind on these.
            1. Lincoln O’Neil (Attachments by Rainbow Rowell).
2. Henry Tileny (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen).
3. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games by Susan Collins).
4. Martin Rilke (The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock).
5. Four –AKA Tobias Eaton (Divergent by Veronica Roth)

16 –  YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE
            I read such a mix of genres that it’s hard to pick one. But overall, I probably read more YA Dystopian than anything else.

17 – FAVOURITE QUOTE FROM A BOOK
I don’t often remember a lot of quotes from books, so I’m going to use the same answer I did in the A to Z Survey. It comes from The Passing Bells from Fenton Wood-Lacey. Up to this point in the book, I wasn’t sure if I really liked Fenton or not. I wanted to, but I just kept thinking he was going to let me down. It came to a point where he was alone with his friend’s wife – who also used to be someone he thought himself in love with – and she’s coming on to him. He considers it but then says, “Everything is becoming so shabby these days. So lacking in worth. I just don’t like feel joining the trend.” And that made me fall in love with him. (For that book anyways. The Wood-Lacey’s broke my heart in the second book.)

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)
18 – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH
            Attachments. The e-mails between Beth and Jennifer are great. It’s what made me want to be best friends with Rainbow Rowell.

19 – FAVOURITE BOOK TURNED INTO A MOVIE
            The Hunger Games. While it wasn’t perfect, I thought that overall it was a really great, faithful adaption. I can’t wait for Catching Fire!

20 – FAVOURITE ROMANCE BOOK
            The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen. Where so many romance books these days focus more on lust and an increasingly alarming bent towards the erotic, this is a sweet, honest story of real love.

21 – FAVOURITE BOOK FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD

As I mentioned earlier, I read a ridiculous amount of Baby-Sitter’s Club books.

22 – FAVOURITE VILLAIN FROM A BOOK
            Amy Dunne in Gone Girl. She’s a psychopath, but incredibly entertaining to read.

23 – A BOOK YOU WANTED TO READ FOR A LONG TIME BUT STILL HAVEN’T
            Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I really don’t know why I haven’t read this yet, I just never have.

24 – A BOOK THAT YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE WOULD’VE READ
            Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. The Green Sky trilogy are books I read as a kid and loved, and just recently came across them again.

25 – A CHARACTER WHO YOU CAN RELATE TO THE MOST
            Lincoln in Attachments. He’s in his late twenties, in a dead-end job, and just generally doesn’t know what to do with his life.

Attachments
26 – A BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR OPINION ABOUT SOMETHING
            I’m going to go again with the Twilight series. It changed my opinion on reading for fun. It had been years since I really did it and that series got me back to it.

27 – THE MOST SURPRISING PLOT TWIST OR ENDING
            The end of Variant by Robison Wells. It was a great cliff-hanger type of ending, I just wish the sequel would have been a little better.

28 – FAVOURITE TITLE
            Sweet Tooth (Ian McEwan). It’s a very misleading title, but that’s what I read the book.

29 – A BOOK THAT IS MOST LIKE YOUR LIFE
            Then we Came to the End by Joshua Ferris – an office satire.

30 – YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK OF ALL TIME
            And the last impossible question. I don’t think I can pick just one, but I think I’ll go with the one I’ve mentioned several times throughout this survey – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.