Thursday, April 30, 2015

Prudence (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances - names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones? 

Book Review:
Where to start? Well, I must confess, I am a HUGE fan of Gail Carriger! I love her Parasol Protectorate series as well as her YA Finishing School series. So when her spin-off series The Custard Protocol became available, I knew it wouldn't be long before I read it. This book delivers everything I expected and more. To start, I love the main character Rue. She's adventurous, engaging and full of spunky attitude. The supporting characters are just as wonderful. I loved the twins and their contrasting personalities. I also enjoyed the romantic tension between Quesnel and Rue. It gave the plot some spicy flavor. Like always, it takes me a little bit to get into Carriger's novels. I believe it's because her stories are so different and colorful. But once I get into the right spirit, it's darn-near impossible for me to set her books down. This book was no different. However, it wasn't too long before I became engaged in the wit, adventure, and mystery of Carriger's novel. I will definitely be continuing this series!

Cover Art Commentary:
At first glance, I'm not a fan. It's just another book cover with a woman wearing a dress. Then I look closer, and notice the Taj Mahal in the back ground and the dirigible and everything clicks in place. I love the gears around the title as well. :)


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Weekly Round-Up 4/19 -4/25

Life This Week:
Wow,..this post is soooo late. My apologies! Life has been CrAzY lately! We've been spending a lot of time on the house, which means, I haven't had a lot of time....well for much else. The interior painting is almost all done. We're just finishing some closet doors. The deadbolts are finally on! We've ordered the flooring and as soon as it arrives, it will be installed. A few more projects, and in a few more weeks, we'll be able to move it! YAY! Below is a picture of one of my favorite rooms in the house. We were calling it the mud-room, but my to-be mother-in-law, said it sounded to dingy, so now we are calling it the sun room. ; )

Books Read and Reviewed:
Ummm *cough* none. I am reading this gem though:

What I will be reading next:

In case you don't already know this, by trade I am a nurse. I started in the health care field at the age of 16 and worked in an adult foster care home for the elderly. Many of the residents had dementia and Alzheimer's. To this day, I still have a soft spot for the elderly!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors
*All images found on goodreads, links below

I love Revis' Across the Universe series! I was a little disappointed with her Body Electric stand-alone novel, but she still remains one of my all time favorite authors.

Gail Carriger is an amazing author. Period. I love EVERYTHING that she writes. On top of that, she is a sincere person who connects with her readers. I just ADORE her!

Holly Black has been one of my go-to authors since I read the first book of her faire series Tithe. She does dark REALLY well! You should check her out if you haven't already. 

Does J. K. Rowling really need any sort of explanation?

Maggie Stiefvater is another author who I really respect and a writer and a person. I friend-ed her livejournal back in the day and connected with her often. She's just as awesome as her writing!

Maria V. Snyder writes like I wish I could write. I love her Poison series and the spin-off series as well! She one of my most recommended authors!

Oh Neil Gaiman! How I love thee! I read many of his books back in college. SO. GOOD. He remains one of my favorite authors to this day! 

Sarah Ockler's writing is just lovely! I love everything she has written and always make it a point to read her new books. You should check her out if you haven't read anything from her yet.

I loooooove me some Rainbow Rowell! If you haven't read Fangirl, you need to. Like Now!

Atwood has been one of my go-to authors for a long time. I just adore her feminist approach. Every woman should read at least one book by Atwood!

What are some of your favorite authors?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Round-Up 4/12 - 4/18

Life This Week:
Oh man. In case you don't already know, John and I bought a house and it needs a looooot of renovating. I've done things I thought I'd never be able to do. While we're making good progress, it's been slow reading. By the time I get home, I shower and go to read and then end up falling asleep. It's an endless cycle these days. 

Top Ten Tuesday:

I've been OBSESSED with this video lately. Whenever I'm having a bad day or really, any random moment, I watch it and it makes me smile! :)

So that's all I have. Let me know if you like this new feature!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Any Way You Slice It by Kristine Carlson Asselin

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Penelope Spaulding just can't catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents' plans for her future, it's hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away...
Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations.
The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…and Jake’s not half bad either. But she knows it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.
She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.
With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?

Book Review:
Ok, so the description of Any Way You Slice It is super long, but I still wasn't sure what to expect. I guess I thought the story line would be more along the lines of Penelope finding her independence from culinary school...and it kind of was. What I discovered was an adorable coming of age tale. The characters are easy to relate to. I love the references to a certain culinary TV station and a certain TV personality from said TV station. :) Hockey played a heavier influence than I had expected, but Asselin ties it in nicely. Overall, this was a fun, light read. I'd pick up something by this author again.

Thanks to Bloomsbury for this copy.
Published April 21st 2015
This is my honest review.

Cover Art Commentary:
I like the picture of Penelope, but I'm not sure why the background is a brick wall. Perhaps it's supposed to be the back of the pizza restaurant? I think it would make since if the background was the inside/front of the restaurant or an ice rink.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Inspiring Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Inspiring Quotes

I actually did this for a Life of A Blogger post. You can check it out here!

Let me know what you think and be sure to share your favorite quotes! :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.
Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life. 

Book Review:
Ah, this book was like chatting with an old friend. After being somewhat disappointed with Hawkins' Hex Hall series (particularly, the ending), I had decided to give her another try by picking up the original book in this series, Rebel Belle. Rebel Belle felt like the beginning of the Hex Hall series to me...exciting, engrossing, and entertaining. I was hooked. When I realized the sequel, Miss Mayhem was soon to be released, I had to get a copy STAT!

I'm so glad I did. As I mentioned before, this book was a pure chatting with an old friend, or slipping into your pj's at the end of a long day. The story starts right off where the last book ended. Haper, David, and Ryan (and Bee), continue their journey into a world of mystery and magic. If you know me at all, you know I'm a sucker for a story based in the South. Miss Mayhem, doesn't disappoint. There's sweet tea, crazy aunts, and pageants galore! If you're looking for a YA paranormal romance, look no further! I can't recommend this series enough!

Cover Art Commentary:
Gorgeous. I love the colors, they are rather original. I can't remember when I saw a book with these colors. Also, I love the simplicity of the cover. It keeps in-theme with the first book, Rebel Belle.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.
Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.
The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Book Review:
The Twittersphere was blowing up with reviews on The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert. If you know me, there is very little in life that I enjoy more than reading and cooking. The combination of the two piqued my interest almost immediately. I was beyond elated when I received a copy from netgalley to review! A romance involving a chef and food critic? Count me in!

Needless to say, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake did not disappoint! I knew almost immediately that Lou's fiance was a straight up douche. After five minutes, it was very clear that Lou was passionate about cooking and didn't want to give it up for the life of a stay-at-home wife, despite his insistence. His story of how he ended up half naked with his intern was shoddy at best. I was so happy that Reichert kept Lou strong, not falling for douche-guy and his shady intentions.

Al...where to begin. Well, I guess to start, I didn't like him. He was cynical and pompous. I caught myself can I become engrossed in a romance when I don't like one of the characters. I loved how meeting Lou brought out the best in Al. His character arc is THE BEST in the book. I enjoyed his banter with his co-worker John, who became a beloved secondary character.

Lou and Al's story is whimsical and delightful. Their series of dates left me hungry for Wisconsin cheese curds and hard cider. Reichert hits it out of the park on all points for me. I loved the romance, the food, even the secondary characters left me smiling. If you are looking for a fun foodie romance, look no further. You wont be disappointed!

Thanks to Gallery Books for this copy.
Published July 21, 2015
This is my honest review.

Cover Art Commentary:
This cover is absolutely ADORABLE! Who wouldn't want to read this? I love the coconut cake atop of the stack of newspapers. It's absolutely perfect!!!!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1) by Sally Green

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Book Review:
Where to start? I love the concept of Half Wild. A misunderstood witch; half white, half black trying to find his way in the world. It's a solid concept. I really enjoyed the back story of Nathan. Learning about his family and how he grew up in a magical world as an outcast. However, there was a lot, A LOT of violence. So much that it took away from the concept and story line of Nathan becoming his own person. I also would have liked to learn more about Marcus, Nathan's father. That story line was a bit of a letdown. However, the pacing was good, and the overall story arc was engaging, enough to keep me wolfing this novel down hungrily. I look forward to Half Wild, the next book in the series.

Cover Art Commentary: I love the simplicity of this cover. I also like that the artwork is more abstract and not too literal.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Reading Reflections: March 2015

Books Read:
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family #1) by Tiffany Schmidt
You Are Mine (Mine #1) by Janeal Falor
Alienated (Alienated #1) by Melissa Landers
Southern Fried Wiccan by S.P. Sipal
Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School, #1) by Jen Calonita

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 7

Total Number of Books Read This Year: 19

Favorite Read:
Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family #1) by Tiffany Schmidt

Highest Rank: 5

Lowest Rank: 3.5

Overall Reflection:
Overall, it's been a solid reading month. My NetGalley requests have been on point this month! I've really been enjoying the books I've been approved for. Here's to hoping that next month is just as good!