Monday, July 30, 2012

Something Strange and Deadly

Author: Susan Dennard
Goodreads Rating: 4.03
My Rating: 5 Stars
Pages: 400
Reviewed by: Nicole

It's been a little while since I've given a book 5 stars, but this book totally grabbed me. I joined the blog tour hosted by Shane at Itching for Books on a whim, and apparently whims work best for me because I loved this book. I loved everything about it. And you will too when you check it out.

Goodreads Synopses:

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Showcase Sunday #5

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicki over at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Showcase Sunday is a chance for us bloggers to share with you, our readers, what we have gotten recently. I don't often get any new books because I have a hard enough time keeping up with ones that I already have, but this week a got a whole lot of new books that I felt I should share. 

Books Mentioned:

Gone by Cathi Hanauer
Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Across The Universe By Beth Revis
Auracle by Gina Rosati
The Weight of Heaven by Thirty Umrigar

Friday, July 27, 2012

Captive Queen

Author: Alison Weir
Goodreads Rating: 3.43
My Rating: 3.25 Stars
Length: 20 Hours
Reviewed by: Nicole

Not my usual historical period, but I saw the cover of the audiobook one summer, and finally got around to picking it up from the library. This was a little out of my comfort zone as far as history goes, but I did find that it was easy enough to settle into this time period. I have listened to other works by Alison Weir and enjoyed them although so far this one has more sex than is comfortable to listen to.

Goodreads Synopses:

Nearing her thirtieth birthday, Eleanor has spent the past dozen frustrating years as consort to the pious King Louis VII of France. For all its political advantages, the marriage has brought Eleanor only increasing unhappiness—and daughters instead of the hoped-for male heir. But when the young and dynamic Henry of Anjou arrives at the French court, Eleanor sees a way out of her discontent. For even as their eyes meet for the first time, the seductive Eleanor and the virile Henry know that theirs is a passion that could ignite the world.

Returning to her duchy of Aquitaine after the annulment of her marriage to Louis, Eleanor immediately sends for Henry, the future King of England, to come and marry her. The union of this royal couple will create a vast empire that stretches from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees, and marks the beginning of the celebrated Plantagenet dynasty.

But Henry and Eleanor’s marriage, charged with physical heat, begins a fiery downward spiral marred by power struggles, betrayals, bitter rivalries, and a devil’s brood of young Plantagenets—including Richard the Lionheart and the future King John. Early on, Eleanor must endure Henry’s formidable mother, the Empress Matilda, as well as his infidelities, while in later years, Henry’s friendship with Thomas Becket will lead to a deadly rivalry. Eventually, as the couple’s rebellious sons grow impatient for power, the scene is set for a vicious and tragic conflict that will engulf both Eleanor and Henry.

Vivid in detail, epic in scope, Captive Queen is an astounding and brilliantly wrought historical novel that encompasses the building of an empire and the monumental story of a royal marriage.

Check out my review.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Paris Wife

Author: Paula McLain
Goodreads rating: 3.72
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 314
Reviewed by: Nicole

I've wanted to read this book since I last summer, but I'm not a huge fan of hardcover books, and so I didn't want to purchase it. I saw that I could get it on e-files this winter and so it was one of the first few books that I added to my list. I can't way I've ever read anything by Hemingway, but I couldn't wait to read it all the same.

Goodreads synopses:

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wifecaptures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill-prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

My review after the jump.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Flight From Berlin

Author: David John
Goodreads Rating: 4.02
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: 384
Reviewed by: Nicole

I go this book as part of TLC Tours. I felt that it as a very fitting read since one of my girlfriends just ventured to Germany and the Olympics are right around the corner. What better way to celebrate than by reading a book about a pretty controversial Olympic Games. 

Goodreads Synopses:

A cynical English reporter and a beautiful, headstrong, American Olympic hopeful are caught in a lethal game of international espionage during the 1936 Berlin Olympics in Flight from Berlin, a riveting debut thriller from breakout novelist David John. Combining the suspense and atmosphere of Alan Furst’s spy novels with the exciting narrative drive of Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon adventures, John delivers an unforgettable masterwork of thrilling suspense set against the backdrop of one of the most monumental summers in history—a contest of champions, including the remarkable Jessie Owen, that captivated the world as the specter of Nazi Germany continued its rise to threaten the globe.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Showcase Sunday #4

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicki over at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Showcase Sunday is a chance for us bloggers to share with you, our readers, what we have gotten recently. I don't often get any new books because I have a hard enough time keeping up with ones that I already have, but this week a got a whole lot of new books that I felt I should share. 

Books Mentioned:

The Assassin and the Empire By Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led The Revel's There by Catherynne Valente
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
The Romanov Conspiracy by Glenn Meade
Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Let The Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Dreaming Anastasia By Joy Preble

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Strauss

What did you get this week!?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Secret Keeper

Author: Sandra Byrd
Goodreads Rating: 4.38 Stars
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: 354
Reviewed By: Nicole

I got this book from Netgalley, and it's no secret why I requested this title. I am wholly in love with Historical Fiction and specifically anything that has to do with Tudor England. Naturally this book would catch my eye. Getting approved for it was rather exciting and I'm so glad that I got the chance to review this book.

Goodreads Synopses:

The author of To Die For returns to the court of Henry VIII, as a young woman is caught between love and honor. 

Juliana St. John is the daughter of a prosperous knight in Marlborough. Though her family wants her to marry the son of her father’s business partner, circumstances set her on a course toward the court of Henry VIII and his last wife, Kateryn Parr.

Sir Thomas Seymour, uncle of the current heir, Prince Edward, returns to Wiltshire to tie up his business with Juliana’s father’s estate and sees instantly that she would fit into the household of the woman he loves, Kateryn Parr. Her mother agrees to have her placed in the Parr household for “finishing” and Juliana goes, though perhaps reluctantly. For she knows a secret. She has been given the gift of prophecy, and in one of her visions she has seen Sir Thomas shredding the dress of the king’s daughter, the lady Elizabeth, to perilous consequence.

As Juliana learns the secrets of King Henry VIII’s court, she faces threats and opposition, learning truths about her own life that will upset everything she thought she once held dear.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BEA Recap Day 3

Kristan and I with the pretty boys.
So day three was actually Wednesday for me. That day I had a friend who is an educator come with me, so I didn't feel alone. Little, did I know that this day of them all would be a day that I would feel the least alone. I started out the day with Kristan and Jamie and Lexie who I didn't get to see much of the day or any of the days really. It was there that we met Sylvia who turned out to be someone awesome to spend the day with. While we were waiting on line, two beautiful Angel boys started walking around talking about the cover reveal of the final book in the Hush, Hush saga.

We started out hitting booths that we really wanted and then Kristan and Sylvia and I meet up at the Harlequin booth for their Teen Hour signing. We had gone to their signing the day before and it was there that we found out we missed Alice in Zombieland, a book that went out to the first 50 people. We made sure we were the first 50 on Wednesday. We shows up 2 hours early and managed to convince them to hand out the books because I had to run over to Sarah J Maas's signing of Throne of Glass. I was super stoked that I got the books signed and was able to accrue so many more books in those two hours. Sylvia and I had a debate on how to pronounce Julie Kagawa's name, which she settled in my favor. I also got to meet Kady Cross who had bubblegum pink hair (which I loved) and she was rocking some great crowns on her person.
Our little group. Angel, me, Sylvia, Jamie and Kristan.

From there we went to gather a few more books, and then I sat in line for the Harper Teen signing, another two hours where everyone left their books with me while they ran around and got more. Not that I'm complaining, I got to sit while everyone else made a mad dash for other books. Kristan went to the Throne of Glass galley drop and grabbed me an extra for me to pass on to my co-blogger Amy. (Happy Birthday Amy!) Then it turns out that the 5th in our group, Angel grabbed another one for me, I wound up with three copies. Sylvia grabbed me The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson because I was stuck holding down the fort.

After that there wasn't much else going on, I managed to grab Libba Bray's The Diviners signed with a really cool necklace as well. I think one of the best moments was when I managed to grab Eve and Adam after I missed getting it on Tuesday. That was a really great moment. My biggest regret is not taking more pictures to show you guys, I guess there is just so much going on that I didn't realize how much time I didn't have to do a lot of things.

On my way back from the Javits Center (alone since my friend left half way through the day), I saw that they were placing the space ship on the Intrepid and that was really cool to get to see. While on the ferry back to the mainland, I met Anna from Read Between the Lines who were also their way to their hotel. They didn't get a copy of Throne of Glass, so I gave them one of my other copies and a few secrets about what I learned through the day.

My mess of Day 3 on the Living Room Floor.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Unquiet

Author: Jeannine Garsee
Goodreads Rating: 3.99 Stars
My Rating: 4.75 Stars
Pages: 406
Reviewed by: Nicole

I got this book from Netgalley, and I have to say, I'm going to buy it once it hits stores on July 17, 2012. I am beyond excited to share this review with you. 

Goodreads Synopses:

Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists.

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Showcase Sunday #3

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicki over at Books, Biscuits, and Tea. Showcase Sunday is a chance for us bloggers to share with you, our readers, what we have gotten recently. I don't often get any new books because I have a hard enough time keeping up with ones that I already have, but this week a got a whole lot of new books that I felt I should share. I know I'm doing this late, but I still wanted to do this because I got a whole bunch of books.

Books Mentioned:

Rift by Andrea Cremer
Violins of Autumn by Amy Mcauley
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
The Girl In The Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
The Broken Lands by Kate Milford
Scorch by Gina Damico
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Team Human by Sarah Reese Brennan and Justine Larabalestier
Poison By Bridget Zinn
Beta By Rachel Cohn
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
Flight From Berlin by David John
Vestige by Deb Hanrahan
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
The End of Normal by Stephanie Mack Madoff

Thank you to:
Lavinia at In Bed With Books
Bailey IB Book Blogging
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Kids

Link me to what you got last week!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cover Reveal!

If you were around on twitter earlier today, Simon Schuster Teen, had the most brilliant marketing plan ever. They had everyone hashtag #ClockworkPrincess so everyone could spread the word about the final Infernal Devices book. Even though I haven't read any of the books, I got caught up in the hype. It took about an hour of tweeting and about 30,000 tweets and worldwide trending for the cover to be revealed square by square.

I have to say this is a BEAUTIFUL cover, and I am planning on starting this series. I just purchased City of Bone for .99 Cents on my Nook, so I'll be starting that soon. Well, once I figure out what order I should be reading the books in. Do I start with Mortal Instruments of Infernal Devices? What do you think of the new cover?

The Help

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Goodreads Rating: 4.45/5
My Rating: 5/5
Pages: 451

Reviewed by: Amy

Goodreads Synopsis:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford # 4)

Author: Charles Todd
Goodreads Rating: 3.72
My rating: 4 Stars
Pages: 262
Reviewed By: Nicole

As a historian, I love certain aspects of history and one of those is the impact of plagues on history. When I got the chance to review this book, I was really excited because the Spanish Influenza is the plague of our time period. Its the closest one we've got and that is what really drew me into the book. And even though this book had little to do with the plague, I still enjoyed it.

Goodreads Synopses:

World War I nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford matches wits with a devious killer in this exciting and suspenseful adventure from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd

In the spring of 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic spreads, killing millions of soldiers and civilians across the globe. Overwhelmed by the constant flow of wounded soldiers coming from the French front, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford must now contend with hundreds of influenza patients as well.

However, war and disease are not the only killers to strike. Bess discovers, concealed among the dead waiting for burial, the body of an officer who has been murdered. Though she is devoted to all her patients, this soldier's death touches her deeply. Not only did the man serve in her father's former regiment, he was also a family friend.

Before she can report the terrible news, Bess falls ill, the latest victim of the flu. By the time she recovers, the murdered officer has been buried, and the only other person who saw the body has hanged himself. Or did he?

Working her father's connections in the military, Bess begins to piece together what little evidence she can find to unmask the elusive killer and see justice served. But she must be as vigilant as she is tenacious. With a determined killer on her heels, each move Bess makes could be her last.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Once (Eve # 2)

Author: Anna Carey
Goodreads Rating: 4.31
My Rating: 4.75 Stars
Pages: 358
Reviewed by: Nicole

I have been dying to get my hands on this book for quite some time now, and I was able to get it late in June. After BEA my "Need to read ASAP" pile threatened to topple over, so I had to put this on the back burner until I saw that the publication date was July 3, 2012. Thats when I kicked it into high gear and powered through this in a day.

Goodreads Synopses:

When you're being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.

But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

In this breathless sequel to "Eve," Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.

Spoilers Abound.

Monday, July 2, 2012

James Patterson Smiles!

So I promised in my Day 2 BEA post that I would post my picture of James Patterson smiling, and here it is! This was at the signing of his new book Confessions of a Murder Suspect due out in September!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Maze Runner

Author: James Dashner
Goodreads rating: 3.98
My rating: 4
Pages: 384 

Reviewed by: Amy


When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind



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