Monday, October 24, 2011

In My Mailbox

Apologies for not keeping this blog as updated as I had planned! I have been on a hiatus thanks to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). If you love to write and haven't heard of it or signed up yet, I suggest that you check it out! Basically, it's motivation to get your novel written! The goal is to write 50,000 words or more in the month of November. This will be my first year attempting it. I will occasionally be keeping up on my progress on my other blog, Slightly Strange Somethings.

This novel writing business will keep me pretty busy throughout the holidays. At the moment, I am reading Susannah Morrow by Megan Chance which I might have to put on hold since I FINALLY got a call from the library about The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore. I've been on the waiting list for a number of books for the past two months. I'm still 42nd in line for The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I only have a limited time to read it, though, and that might be difficult with all the time I am spending on planning my novel. On top of all the fiction I have in line to read, I am currently trying to make my way through four different non-fiction books on the 18th century for the novel that I plan to attempt to write. Anyways, things are and will be pretty hectic for the next two months, so please don't expect too much out of me!

Back to the topic at hand...


These are mostly ARC's, by the way, that I hopefully won't have to put off for too long.

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan  &  The Lost Angel by Javier Sierra

Burnout by Adrienne Mario Vrettos 
London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets by Peter Ackroyd


I am looking forward to having the free time to read the first two.
The second two are still on their way to my mailbox. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review 3 & 4: Bright Young Things & Beautiful Days

                                                                 Double Review Day


Goodreads synopsis: The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star…
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Timesbestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

My Goodreads reviewSet in the 'Roaring 20's', two friends, Letty and Cordelia, both from a small town in Ohio, take a train and escape to New York City. Letty, who sings, wants to become famous. Cordelia wants to find the father she never knew, who just happens to be a wealthy bootlegger. The two friends go their own ways after a small argument. Cordelia goes off to find her father and is accepted graciously into his fold. Letty finds a job but soon learns that dreams are hard to achieve, no matter how much talent you possess. 

I very much enjoy historical fiction, but this is not the type of historical fiction that I usually read. My interests in history lean more into any era BEFORE the 1900's. The 1920's were a time of short dresses, shorter hair-do's, and tons of ciggarette smoking, which does not quite appeal to me. Despite that the 1920's are not in my particular interests, Anna Godbersen is a good writer and entirely capable of capturing this era in words. Her descriptions and use of dialogue were worth reading and actually gave a strong sense of how people (particularly the rich) lived in that time. In my opinion though, there wasn't much of a plot until the last couple of chapters when things started to roll down hill for all of the characters. If I hadn't of received an ARC of the sequel, I mostly likely wouldn't have finished this book, let alone begin the sequel, Beautiful Days.

BEAUTIFUL DAYS by Anna Godbersen

Goodreads synopsisFor the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry.

After a month in New York, Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur are small-town girls no longer. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys’ lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan’s bustling metropolis. But Letty’s not content to be a mere socialite. She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams—no matter the cost.

Cordelia is still reeling from the death of her father at the hands of Thom Hale, the man she thought she loved. Now she is set to honor Darius Grey’s legacy . . . and take her revenge.
Promised to Cordelia’s half brother, Astrid is caught up in a world of dazzling jewels and glittering nights—and the sparkle is blinding. Charlie Grey is a gangster playing a dangerous game; and for Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty, the stakes could be deadly.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes the second book in an epic series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

My Goodreads review:  The well-dressed trio is back in Anna Godbersens 'Beautiful Days'. Cordelia becomes quite the business woman when she and her brother, Charlie, open their very own speakeasy (club). Letty takes a step towards stardom, and Astrids relationship with Charlie takes some wild rollercoaster dives before everything straightens itself out again. 

Anna Godbersen has captured my attention with her flawless writing. I may have thought that the last few chapters were a bit rushed but it was still delightful to read. When I finished the first book in the series, 'Bright Young Things', I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy the second, but I did and now I can't wait for 'The Lucky Ones' (the third book in the Bright Young Things saga) to hit the shelves. In fact, I enjoyed her writing style so much that I just might read her previous series, The Luxe.


Final Thoughts: I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy either of these books, and I said as much in my reviews, but by the end of the second I found myself hooked on Anna Godbersens beautiful writing and the story of the three female characters. I wasn't thrilled by the books, of course, but I was thoroughly entertained and contented with the time I spent on them. I would recommend them if you enjoy Young Adult, historical fiction, romance, and lots of clothing descriptions.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Books I Want to Reread

Once a week The Broke and the Bookish posts a "Top Ten Tuesday". I started this book after Tuesday and discovered the "Top Ten Tuesday" posts yesterday but I really wanted to try it and I have nothing to post about today since I just started Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen (book 2 in the Bright Young Things series) and I plan on reviewing them together. So I am going to pretend it is Tuesday. :)

  1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling - I do believe that I will FOREVER reread these books. I couldn't count how many times I have read them already. It's been 12 years since I first picked them up and it will be countless years before my eyes and ears are gone. Even then I will have reread them so many times that I won't need anything but my imagination.
  2. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman - ('The Golden Compass', 'The Subtle Knife', and 'The Amber Spyglass') I bought the first book when I was in middle school without knowing what it was going to be about. I fell in love.  I've read The Golden Compass a number of times, but it's still been quite a while and I would love to fall back into those amazing worlds another time.
  3. Lives of the Mayfair Witches Trilogy by Anne Rice - ('The Witching Hour', 'Lasher', and 'Taltos') I really love Anne Rices descriptive writing style. Of all her books that I have read, this trilogy was the most captivating.
  4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - I haven't read this book since middle school and with the movie coming out soon, I've had it on my mind.
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - The first time I read this, it frustrated me to no end, I hated Cathy with a passion, and  I even threw it across the room a couple of times. After I finished it, I realized that I absolutely LOVE this book. Perhaps the emotion it unsurfaced in me has something to do with that. I want to reread it soon and find out if it still affects me the same.
  6. The Casteel Family Series by V.C. Andrews - (starts with 'Heaven') I read these books during very hard times in my teenage years. I was amazed by these books and read them until they fell apart. I am currently trying to get my hands on them again.
  7. The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman - My grandmother gave me this book to read in 2007 and I couldn't put it down. I only read it once but have considered it one of my favorite books ever since.
  8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - I read this only last year, but I know that I will come back to it again soon.
  9. The Giver by  Lois Lowry - It's been awhile and I can't quite remember it.
  10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - I would have listed A LOT more classics, but this is one that I want to read again the most.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What I'm Reading 9/30/2011

    I am currently reading BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS by ANNA GODBERSEN, the first book in the series. BEAUTIFUL DAYS is the second book in the series, which I obtained through Goodreads.


Add me as a friend on Goodreads  If you would like to see what I have read previous to the month of September 2011. (Please let me know in a message if you are adding me from this site.)


    If you were thinking of following my blog, here are the genres that I read the most often.
  • Generalized Fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Paranormal
  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Dystopians
  • Historical Fiction
  • Classics
  • Horror/Thriller
  • Etc.
Sometimes, but rarely, I read memoirs, non-fiction, and romance (straight-out romance, as I call it, where there is nothing to the plot but the actual romance).


A few books/authors I plan on reading in the near future:

  • Catherine Asaro
  • Atonement  by Ian McEwan
  • The Wolf King  by Alice Borschardt
  • Looking For Alaska  by John Green
  • The Help  by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Power of Six  by Pittacus Lore
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty  by  Libba Bray

If you have any recommendations, please feel free to comment. In fact, I absolutely hope that someone WILL leave a recommendation. Even comments on how I can better my blog are very welcome.

Book 2: The Radley's

GoodReads synopsisMeet the Radleys

Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in an English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret

From one of Britain’s finest young novelists comes a razor-sharp unpicking of adulthood and family life. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain – and lose – when we deny our appetites.


My GoodReads review: Every family wants to be considered normal and accepted within society. The Radleys are doing their best to be just that, but when the daughter, Clara, makes the conscientious choice to be a vegan, a situation arises and in defending herself gets her first taste of blood. This sets of a chain of events that proves that the Radleys are FAR from normal no matter how hard they try to be. Much to the mothers dismay, in flies Uncle Will to the 'rescue', but with a dark secret. In fact, this whole family seems to have thrived and survived on secrets their whole lives, ones that are just as responsible for the said chain of events that expose what they really are. Vampires.

This is not your typical paranormal vampire book. After Twilight became such a big deal among young adults, hordes of paranormal romance novels sprung up all over the place. Vampires seem to be the big fad this decade and it's hard to wean out the good from the bad. This novel, written more for adults, is a good read. I could never lump it in with Bram Stokers "Dracula or Anne Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles', nor is it as diverse as the Charlaine Harris novels, but it is a respectable addition to the vampire genre.

  The Radley's was my second 'First-Reads' novel. I was one of 200 people that won the privilege to own the Advanced Readers copy of this book. (I don't mean to boast. I just can't think of anything else to say about this book at the moment besides the truth; that it was good, but I wouldn't read it again or recommend it to anyone who prefers action packed paranormal novels. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't that great, either.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book 1: Inside the Outside

GoodReads synopsis: By the time Timber Marlow is fifteen years old, she has already killed three men. Despite the bloody and violent nature of their deaths, Timber is hardly a murderer, at least not in the traditional sense. She has lived her entire life as a cannibal within a cult tucked away in the San Bernardino Mountains called the Divinity of Feminine Reproach. The Divinity keeps itself isolated from the Outside, which is the mainstream society beyond its invisible borders. When the opportunity presents itself, Timber escapes into the Outside, bearing witness to some dark and unsettling truths about the world around her and the integral role she plays in it. But no matter how long she stays away, Timber finds out the past isn't as far away as she thinks it is. In this debut novel, laced with scenes of horrific violence and uplifting humanity, Martin Lastrapes has written a one-of-a-kind story about love, friendship, sacrifice and cannibalism.


My GoodReads review:  They say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but when the amazing cover art actually reflects the story within, it is definently worth breaking the rules. As a lover of all things art, this cover (not to mention the synopsis of the novel) definently had me sold before I even knew I was a First-Reads winner.

I was drawn into Martin Lastrapes praiseworthy debut novel, Inside the Outside from the very beginning. The endearing characters enthralled me throughout; especially Timber, whos trials and tribulations within the 'Divinity' captivated me and kept me reading into the early morning hours. It is well written and thoroughly enjoyable. I definently recommend it to anyone who enjoys a bit of suspense and horror.   

That was my very first attempt at writing a review online, so don't be too harsh on how short and forced it was. I won a free copy of this book through Goodreads 'First-Reads' within the first week of joining. I just want to point out that I NEVER EVER EVER win anything, so winning a book was a big deal for me, and I wouldn't have wanted it to be any other book. Perhaps I am biased on my love of this book for that reason, as well as the that the author not only signed the copy, but wrote a little inscription addressed to me personally within it. Despite the fact that this is my first free book, I truthfully couldn't put it down until I was literally sick from staying up all night reading it. Martin Lastrapes writing style is absolutely wonderful compared to alot of modern novels I have read lately. I LOVED this book and I hope to see more from the author soon.

The Beginning of Book Blogging

I am an avid reader and have been all my life. I have been reading for pleasure since I was in elementary school. No matter what phases I go through in life, no matter what twists and turns my life plot takes, I have always and will always come back to reading.

I have recently joined Goodreads, and before that, WeRead. I have written about books I read in all sorts of places; Facebook, Tumblr, as well as older sites that I no longer know my passwords to, but I have never kept a blog solely dedicated to books. Until now.  Here I will keep you updated on what I am currently reading and review what I have finished. I might time travel into the past at times to talk about books I read growing up, books that had big impacts on my life, and I just might indulge in a book challenge questionare or two.

So, if you are a book lover, a bibliophile, or if you are just looking for a new book to read, feel free to follow this blog.