The Shore

Not too long ago, I started watching the VlogBrothers on Youtube, and it’s safe to say I am definitely becoming a Nerdfighter. I am so addicted to their vlogs. My husband says, “Those guys talk SO FAST!” But, I always learn something by watching them rant or rave over the next thing in current events or nerddom.

The other day, Hank was talking about Feelings, and one of those Feelings was when you read a book that has a hundred different stories all going in different directions and then something shifts and brings all of those plots together at the end. Hank, I love that Feeling too! It’s such a rush, isn’t it?

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The Shore by Sara Taylor is a book that tries to accomplish that Feeling. I started it after finishing Fangirl at 9 o’clock the other night, and then stayed up an extra hour and a half because I couldn’t put it down. The first quarter of the book is FANTASTIC. It’s super thrilling and emotional. I thought YES! I can’t wait to read the rest of this…but I have to get to sleep.

Each chapter is a different time period, ranging from the mid-1800s into the future. The narrators are all female, from two branches of one original family tree. Each story tells a different version of abuse, pain, strength, and a new pregnancy to continue the generation.

In theory, it’s a great book. If I were to read that synopsis, I would immediately go grab this off the shelf. In fact, the jacket cover sounds a lot like that, with a bit more detail–which is why I picked this one from the Blogging for Books review options.

However, the chapters do not go in chronological order. They skip around all over the place. You read a chapter from 1995, then skip to 1847 then 2037 then 1963. (Something like that…Not exactly that.) Even the chapters that are close together, like 1995 and 1991 may not have the same characters/situations, so it is all just extremely confusing. I kept waiting to go back to the original story from the first section, and it just never did. I just kept getting more and more confused!

I finally get a resolution at the end, but it wasn’t that Feeling. It really wasn’t much of anything, really. Very anticlimactic. It even tried to be apocalyptic/dystopian, in a book that really didn’t need to be. I dunno, this one just didn’t do it for me at all, and that is so disappointing because it started off SO strong. Usually if a book is bad, it’s bad from the beginning. The first section was a “make me stay up all night” read. The rest…nothing.

 

Blogging for Books provided this book for an unbiased review.

Red Queen

Everyone has been reading Red Queen lately. It is the new it cover right now. Of course it is–it’s gorgeous!

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I’ve seen mixed reviews, but I knew I had to get my hands on this story. It took me a little while to get from the library, but yay! Just in time for our last minute road trip.

The structure of Aveyard’s book is familiar, and I think that might be the cause for the mixed feelings. It’s another combat dystopian:  female main character, relying on two males for help, which of course leads to the inevitable love triangle. (There’s actually a third mixed in there too–can’t tell if he’s just buddy buddy or what that relationship is meant to be yet.) So, yes, the framing is nothing extremely unique. I’m ok with that though.

I very much enjoyed the world Aveyard created. There are two types of humans–Red blood (lower class) and Silver blood (upper class). The Reds are forced into a kind of serfdom society and mandatory military service at 18. Life means desperate poverty and misery. Silvers have special abilities–like manipulating minds or throwing fire, and they battle each other for power and notoriety. Reds lack this power and so they are held down by the stronger Silvers.

However, a rebellion is rising up among the Reds and one young girl is caught between the two societies.

This is only the first book in the series, and of course now I’m dying for the continuation. I had a hard time putting Red Queen down. Even though the tropes were familiar and somewhat predictable, I like this kind of book, and it was a fantastic addition to the genre.

 

Fulfills PopSugar #31:  A book with bad reviews

Four

Once a book was published, that used to be the final word from the author. Fans were left to speculate on what happened in the background–I mean, that is what fandom is for, right?

But we’ve become so obsessed with our theories and fanfiction that the authors are starting to catch on to our games. It is becoming profitable now for them to release extensions of their original books and series so that we can keep going with our favorite characters and worlds.

And…WE LOVE IT!

JK Rowling teases us relentlessly with Pottermore. Patrick Rothfuss gave us Auri’s story while we wait for the third Kingkiller Chronicle. George RR Martin put out a huge encyclopedia of his World of Ice & Fire.

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Veronica Roth was not to be left behind. Four tells the same story as Divergent but from Tobias’ point of view. It is a bit of a prequel and a bit of a mirror. The writing is the same, fantastic action drama. A few of the pieces don’t QUITE line up, because Roth did originally start Divergent from this perspective, before switching to Tris, but it’s just a really cool way to read the story.

My only wish now is to get this from one of the antiheroes. Can we have Peter, PLEASE?!?!?! I would LOVE to get inside his twisted little brain. Or Caleb, so we can watch is brutal betrayal. There’s so many options for rewrites!

Sigh…I know it’s a long shot. See what happens when you give the fandom a little something extra? We never can get enough!

 

Fulfills PopSugar #5:  A book with a number in the title

WWW Wednesday 3/18/2015

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What are you currently reading?

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers and Two Stories by Henry James

Dear Millie by Marco Previero

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Horse Healer by Gonzalo Giner

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Selected Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Lying by Lauren Slater

Critical Incident by Troy Blackford

Four by Veronica Roth

Fairest

With the release of the new Winter cover, and all the controversy that caused yesterday, what a better time to read the 4th book from The Lunar Chronicles.

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I’ll be honest, when I first saw the new cover, I thought WOW! How striking! And someone posted a picture of it on their tablet, and I think the glowing apple and the purply pink color was made for an iPad or Kindle Fire. It looked fierce and really shined on that tablet. However, after I read some of the breakdowns and discussions, I do agree that next to the other four, darker hardcovers, it is going to look weird. It is not as ethereal as the others, and the hand is definitely Levana…not Winter. Which ok–except Levana had her time to shine in Fairest.

So…striking cover for a tablet…just not quite right to mesh with the other books. Ok, assessment over.

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As far as Fairest goes–it was a decent prequel. It did fill in a few of the details from how Levana became the evil witch we know her to be. However, some of it seemed a little too quickly written or edited or something. I had to reread a few parts to see if I had just misunderstood a tense or a phrase or a queue, and it just didn’t quite make sense. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong, other than it just didn’t seem to fit.

One last thing. If you’re looking to start this series, keep in mind that Fairest is a prequel, but do not start there. Start with Cinder. Don’t read this one until after Cress or things won’t quite make sense and you will be spoiled.

 

Fulfills Popsugar #16:  A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet

WWW Wednesday 3/11/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Selected Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cecilia by Fanny Burney

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Mrs. Astor Regrets by Meryl Gordon

March Photo Challenge: Currently Reading

I am struggling to keep up with my Goodreads Challenge this year guys. Phew! Last year, I was zooming ahead of the curve, so I set my bar to 200, which is a little below what I read in 2014, and I’m barely keeping up with it.

But, this year, while I’m putting my number at the same level, I raised the bar on what I am reading. I’ve introduced a “Study Book” chapter every day, and I’m also reading a short story every day as well. And those are on top of my normal entertainment reads! So, I should cut myself some slack, right? Nope lol. I never do that. No slack here.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got going right now. I also just started Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea on audiobook, for when I’m doing chores and things, but that’ll take awhile.

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March Photo Challenge: Book Haul

I’ve been pretty fortunate lately, in that my book buying has been able to go up exponentially from what it used to be. I can buy a book or two when I feel like it, and add to my collection.

However, recently, we had Christmas and Tax Returns–which for me, usually means BOOK HAULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

I have been buying piece meal over the last few weeks, so I have some new orders coming, but here was a big one I did shortly after the holidays.

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I am so excited for all of these books. Those Mark Twains are gorgeous–from the 1920s! They are not in the best condition, yellowed, and a little beat up, but the binding is so lovely, and the pages smell so good! The other three classics are more modern printings of leatherbound classics, but they are pretty! The rest are just very necessary additions to my collection. Some I’ve read, some I haven’t.

I’ll post another haul, probably on my Instagram once I get all of my packages, so keep an eye out! Lots of fun things to come.

Cress

So what do you get when you combine Firefly with fairy tales, and add in a bit of Star Wars for flavor?

You get The Lunar Chronicles. Specifically, Cress. 

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The drama really picks up in this third book, and it is so freaking cool. I’m not kidding about the Firefly angle either. So much awesome space nerdness going on–I kept expecting Malcolm and crew to pop up somewhere and cause mischief. Thorne reminds me a lot of Mal, actually.

This is the longest book in the series, but I couldn’t put it down. The crew is running around pretty much nonstop the whole time, so it is very fast-paced. You never know what crazy plan is going to come up next, or what is, of course, going to go wrong with that plan.

Meyer is leading up to the eventual Lunar Wars, so there’s a pretty big cliffhanger at the end of this. I’m interested to see whether Fairest is a continuation/fourth book, or if it’s a prequel, companion book, or how it fits in. I know she’s working on Winter currently as an end to everything. I’ll be reading Fairest in a week or so, so I’ll let you know! (And yes, I could just look it up, but that’s no fun!)

Fulfills PopSugar #32:  A trilogy

March Photo Challenge: Guilty Pleasure

I used to buy all used copies of books. Why spend the money on the new ones when I was just going to wear them out? I don’t remember the name of the site now, but I was part of this club at one point where I could trade back and forth with other members and get new “old” books all the time, just for the cost of shipping.

And then I discovered SERIES. Beautiful. Matching. SERIES.

You can’t just go buy used copies of them, because you’ll almost never find a matching set. It is possible, but difficult. Especially in the right condition. And it is so much lovelier to find them in a boxed set, if they come that way! Of course, that means I can’t buy it until after I’ve already borrowed the entire thing from the library…or wait until I buy it to read it. Catch-22!

Still, buying whole series and seeing their gorgeousness is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. These are just a few of them, I have many more!

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