Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Black Heart (Curse Workers #3) by Holly Black

Book Summery (Via Goodreads):
In a world where Magic is illegal.
Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?
For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.
The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?
Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.

Book Review:
I bought this sucker as soon as it was released. I vividly remember picking it up at the bookstore because I had to ask one of the employees to get a copy from the back because they hadn't even put them out yet. That was a little over 3 years ago...so what the heck kept me from reading this? Do you ever have a series that you love so much that hate to see it end? That is the case with the Curse Workers trilogy and I. I hated to see the story end, so I put off the ending...for a good long while. Finally, I gave in and listened to the audio book, which was not only excellent because it was written by Holly Black, but also because it was read by Jesse Eisenberg, who made an amazing Cassel!

Ok...so on to the review. It was just as good as I had imagined it to be all those years, if not better. There's a lot going on, but Cassel mainly runs into three separate issues that dominate the story line. Each one has its own arc and conclusion, but all fit nicely into the overall story. The characters are just as vivid, flawed, and intriguing as ever. I fell in love with the whole "curse worker" world all over again. There's tension between Cassel and several of the other characters, which adds drama and suspense. Black ended the whole trilogy nicely and tied up loose ends, but I can't help it! I want more! The Curse Worker series is probably my favorite work from Black. I highly, highly recommend the entire series!

Cover Art Commentary:
Why oh why did they change the covers of this series mid-series? I have all three books, and this one doesn't match the other two. Annoying. I might like it if that wasn't such an issue.


Friday, October 23, 2015

The Addams Family Book Tag

John and I caught a dubble feature on ABC Family yesterday of both Addams Family movies, so when I saw The Addams Family Book Tag on Booker T's Farm blog, I knew I had to do it! I LOVED those movies growing up! I know they're based on the TV series, but I've only see a few episodes. 

1. Morticia Addams the mother and a witch.
What is your favorite witch book? 
 Umm...so I have this thing with witches. It was hard for me to narrow down my top faves, but here they are!
1. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
2. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
3. The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

2. Gomez Addams is a loving father.
Who is your favorite fictional dad?
Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter series!

3.Uncle Fester Addams can generate electricity.
What books makes you light up so much that you cant stop yourself talking about it?
Anything by Rainbow Rowell!

4. Wednesday Addams is obsessed with death.
If you could have killed off a character in any book who would it have been?
Stella or Zoey. Easily.

5. Pugsley Addams has a vicious nature and plays nasty pranks on everyone. 
Who is your favorite villain?
Myrnin from The Morganvielle Vampire series. I'm not sure if he's a straight-on villain, but he has his moments!

6. Lurch is based on Frankenstein and a zombie. 
What is your favorite adaptation of a story?

7. Grandmama is an old classic witch. 
What is your favorite old classic horror book?
If you haven't read it yet, you need to!

8. Show us some of your horror books.
A lot of my horror books are mixed in. There's some Rachel Caine, Stephen King and Joe Hill on the second row from the top. The  rest are mixed in with the rest.

9. What are you going as for Halloween this year?
Nothing. We bought a ton of candy are staying home to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters!

10. Favorite Halloween films!!!
Oh. Man. I love me some scary movies, which I tend to watch more around Halloween. The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Shining, all of the Paranormal movies, The Others are some of my faves!

*Bonus (Not on the tag)* 
Notable Halloween Reads (in no particular order):
 1. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
2. The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
3. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

 4. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
5. Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
6. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

Book Summery (Via Goodreads):
Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.
Now Stella is seventeen, and she's over it. She's the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it's her small town's ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She's got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.
Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.
And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them. 

Book Review:
This seemed like such a promising book for Halloween. Unfortunately, The Creeping didn't live up to my expectations. I'm very much a character person and I didn't connect to any of these characters. The main character, Stella, is a selfish, vapid person. I couldn't stand her. Her best friend, Zoey, is even worse. Between the two of them, I almost DNF'd this book. Stella's character "progression" felt forced and fake. The pacing was slow. By page 200, I was ready to give up. Finally, there was development regarding the big "mystery," but it was almost too little, too late. Overall, this was a disappointing story that could have been told in half of the page count.

Cover Art Commentary:
I really like this cover. The ombre effect is neat. I also love how the title seems like it's "creeping" itself. Too bad the story didn't live up to the cover!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.Written by Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Book Review:
I've been a fan of Bray since I picked up The Diviners. I've been wanting to read Beauty Queens for quite some time now. When I discovered that my library carried an audio book copy of Beauty Queens, I was really excited! My excitement soared when I noticed that the author read the audio book herself! The audio book is definitely the way to go on this one! Bray does a fantastic job of bringing the story and the characters to life. While there are a lot of characters, Bray does a superb job of giving each character their individual voice, which is crucial to the plot.

There is so much going on in this novel, I don't even know where to start. First of all, the island where the plane crashes isn't all what it seems...there are many dark secrets the lie in wait. It almost seemed a little like "Lost" to me. Also, the personalities of the girls become more defined and prominent as the story goes on, which is probably my favorite part. I adored the satire, but also was able to enjoy the more series points of the novel. I just can't help but gush...this book is everything I expected and more! I will definitely continue to pick up works by Bray! She is such an accomplished author and storyteller!

Cover Art Commentary:
I like the idea of this cover...the sash and the lipstick amo...but eh...it could have been a bit more imaginative, especially considering the book itself.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Beyond the Books: 5 things I just can’t handle

This Weeks Topic: 5 things I just can’t handle
Hosted by Kissin' Blue Karen

1. I am a nurse. I can just about handle any bodily function, but what I simply can not tolerate is puke. In any form. I see a patient puking, I am not far behind.
*Image found here

2. Gross smells. I must have a bad gag reflex, or something, but I cannot tolerate any smell I deem as gross. For instance, if I make fish or chicken and place the wrapper in the garbage, it NEEDS to go out the next or bad things will ensue.

*Image found here

3. Rude, ignorant people that have no regard for others. That person who cuts you off on the highway, or talks through the entire movie, or is on their cell phone during the entire movie, or spits in your face as they talk endlessly about something you could care less about. 
*Image found here

4. People who write reviews on ANYTHING...books, movies, tv shows, but don't include the obligatory SPOILER ALERT before, you know, spoiling the plot and/or ending!
*Image found here

5. Paying for absolutely gross food. I'm a bit of a foodie and am willing to try all different types of food. However, there is nothing worse in my book than paying good money for gross food. I have walked out at restaurants on more than one occasion. 
*Image found here

What are some things in life that you just can't handle?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

Book Review:
I've had this on my TBR shelf for YEARS. I wanted to read something scary for October/Halloween. John and I went to a few of the local libraries and were a bit underwhelmed with their October/Halloween displays and/or recommendations. I knew I had several scarier books on my TBR shelf waiting to be read and this was one of them. Haunting Violet knocked it out of the ballpark for me. This had everything I love about a good ghost story. The ghost that was haunting Violet had a purpose and a story to tell. I LOVED the historical setting. It added so much to the overall plot. The characters were flawed and real. I found Violet, Colin, and Elizabeth very easy to relate to. The pacing was superb. I had a very difficult time setting this book down. I will definitely be reading more books by Harvey in the future!

Cover Art Commentary:
I don't feel this cover does this book justice. I get the concept. A violet-y purple in honor of the main character, Violet. And this is the main "vision" that Violet sees over and over, but somehow, it's not like the image I imaginied while reading this story.