Currently Reading

Tegan Mae's bookshelf: currently-reading

Witch Finder
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading, a-little-witchy, advanced-copy, first-reads, net...
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading, historical, queens-and-kings, ya, the-tudors, an...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Destiny by Andrea Buginsky

Elena Baxter has spent her life desperately wanting to fit in. She’s used to being teased and taunted by the popular girls, but when she celebrates her sweet sixteen birthday and receives two amazing gifts—the power of telekinesis, and the truth about her heritage—she has high hopes that things will change. But her wish does not come true, and Elena is bullied just as she was before, only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand. When an explosion hits, chaos ensues and she learns that her new power just might be bigger than she is. 
She embarks on a journey to a secret island to learn how to control her powers, and she’s thrown into a different world, one where she just might be able to fit in. What Elena learns about her heritage forces her to face her past – and the demons it created – head on. 

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Elena was getting upset as she defended her family’s honor. She wasn’t thinking about where that might lead. She wasn’t thinking at all.

“Why, Elena, I didn’t mean to upset you.  I just meant that-“

“I know exactly what you meant, Barbara Thomas! You think your family is better than anyone else in this town. You always have. Just because your dad happens to be the former mayor’s son doesn’t mean you own this town and everyone in it! I’m so sick of your mock sentiment when all you really feel is that you’re better than everyone. You’re no better than the rest of us!”  

As she yelled, things around her felt funny, and she realized she heard screaming. She looked around, and was startled to see everyone staring at her, horrified. She took a deep breath, and realized what had happened. She let her emotions get away from her, and her powers erupted.

The only words she could think of to describe the scene around her were total chaos.  Every locker had burst open, and the entire contents – books, folders, papers, pictures, mirrors, backpacks – had come flying out. The posters on the walls were scattered everywhere. Most of the students and teachers were picking themselves up off the floor. Elena knew her powers had gotten totally out of hand, and she made everything around her fly out of control, literally.

She heard footsteps walking toward her, the only sound in the hall. She looked up and saw her counselor, Mrs. Adams, walking toward her. She gently took Elena by the shoulder and guided her to her office. She looked back and saw Barb and the other Bimbettes staring at her, as well as everyone else in the hall. 

About the Author:

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. “The Chosen,” a middle-grade fantasy novelette was her first book, and was followed by “My Open Heart,” an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. “Nature’s Unbalance” is the second story in THE CHOSEN series. Andrea is currently working NEW AVALON, a YA fantasy series. Book 1, "Destiny," is available on Amazon

Connect with the Author:

Tour Schedule:
24th October

25th October

26th October

28th October

1 Digital copy of The Chosen by Andrea Buginsky to the best reviewer of this tour
1 Digital Copy of Destiny

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: Destiny
Author: Andrea Buginsky
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Tea: Traditional black tea, similar to what you've had before, but didn't quite stand out.
Rating: 1 out of 5.

I was given Destiny by Andrea Buginsky to read in advance in trade for an honest review through Book Tours. I was very excited to participate in the tour and could not wait to start this book. The premise intrigued me and I was excited to read a Young Adult novel that was different than all the others out there. Sadly, this one wasn't for me.

I felt like everything moved on a little too smoothly and quickly for me. Elena was not that surprised about her heritage, didn't really question much and just agreed with everything too quickly. I didn't feel like there was good character building, instead I just got a list of what they happened to do that day.

Much of the rest of the novel continued that way for me. I was hoping once Elena left her home it might change, but unfortunately, it did not. It was an easy read, but I had a difficult time getting through it, as it did not keep my attention. I think Ms. Buginsky has a great idea and I know it's one that others have loved, but was not for me.  

Thank you for the chance to read this early for an honest review. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

In honor of the season I will be reposting reviews currently put up on Goodreads. Happy October!!
Title: The Magician King
Author: Lev Grossman
Type: Adult Fiction
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Tea: Jasmin Dragon Phoenix Pearl with Lavender Dreams, taking the new twist to a whole other level.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Previously posted on Goodreads on August 19, 2011.
  Mischief managed.

Lev Grossman, I love you. There were so many little nuances and references in this book that I appreciated, I would wind up writing my own novel if I wrote about them here. A few highlights here: n00b, Watership Down, Fillory Child Protective Services, oh and the fact that vampires are on the bottom of the food chain and are probably assholes. I love vampires as much as the next person, probably more since I've loved them longer than this "fad", but in a world of books solely about smoldering, sexy vampires, this was great. Okay, I digress.

This novel brings us back to Fillory and shows what the Kings and Queens have been doing, living the life: eating, drinking and living in splendor. Can I go to Fillory? Please? But Quentin knows he's meant for more and he finds it, starting with a frightening clocktree. I love all the new places Quentin goes to and the new characters brought into the world. Little Eleanor, I love her, I'd like her to draw me a passport. She's adorable.

Learning about Julia's life and what happened to her was truly fascinating. The contrast was more than just learning magic the "proper" way; clean, straight forward and shiny vs. the "rogue" way; dirty, confusing and messy. It was like seeing the person that doesn't go away to college. They're at home, unsure what they're doing and kinda pissed that all their friends appear to be having a blast away at school. Then maybe you fall into the wrong crowd, or seemingly the wrong crowd. They're a little bit off, but you're learning things. There were times where she truly pissed me off, but times where I just wanted to hug her. That's a mark of a good character, I think.

I loved bringing back the old characters and seeing where they've been and what they've been doing with their lives. I also loved Abigail the Sloth. I want a sloth.

Now, a personal message to Mr. Grossman: Please, write another novel. I love these books. I love the world, the adventures and I need to know what happens next! Plus, I love your writing. You're capable of making me laugh out loud and feel incredibly sad within the span of a page. Please do this more. :)

I can't wait to see what, hopefully, comes next!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

 In honor of the season I will be posting reviews previously posted on Goodreads. Happy October everyone!

 Title: The Magicians
Author: Lev Grossman
Type: Adult Fiction
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Tea: Teavana's Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl, something one is familiar with, but has a sophisticated and new twist.
Rating: 5 out of 5.

 Previously posted on Goodreads June 1, 2011.

I just recently read The Magicians for the second time. I loved it the first time, but loved it even more the second. I think I got more out of it the second time around.

Some people say The Magicians is like Harry Potter for grown ups, but it is so much more. Sure it has aspects of other fantasy novels, but what fantasy novel doesn't? Lev Grossman made this novel and this world his own. He gets down to the nitty gritty side of magic that is not shown in most novels. It is like seeing aspects of those other novels set in our day in age. While I love Harry Potter (which, for the record, does get darker as it goes) and The Chronicles of Narnia; The Magicians takes us through what it would more than likely actually be like being a magician in our world.

These characters suffer what many of us suffer, even if we do not want to admit it. Some people have a hard time reading a novel where the character suffers, but it makes the novel even more human. Quentin goes through what I think most of us did when we went away to college and started our own lives, albeit in a magical setting. And who hasn't wished they could climb through the back of their wardrobe and get to Narnia, in Quentin's case, Fillory? Grossman shows us that not everything is as we think it is and what we have already is, in fact, probably much better than we give it credit for.

This book brings excitement, laughs, sadness and a hunger for more the second it ends. I would say that The Magicians is more than a book to me, it's a friend. I would highly recommend it to anyone. This is not your typical magic novel, but is not one you would soon forget.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

Title: The Moon Sisters
Author: Therese Walsh
Type: Adult Fiction
Genre: Magical Realism/General Fiction
Tea: Bigelow Cinnamon Stick tea: a homey, heartfelt tea with a zing.
Rating: 4 out of 5

*Warning! Here be spoilers!*

I was first introduced to Therese Walsh when I picked up her first novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, at the library and fell in love. I remember being at my friend's house, watching a movie and just wanting to leave so I could read more of the book! So when I found out she was writing another book, I couldn't wait. And The Moon Sisters did not disappoint.

This is a novel that intrigued me in many ways. The sibling relationship always interests me. I have a half brother, but we didn't grow up together and we're just starting to get closer now, me in my 20's and him in his 30's. I was always watching my friends' dynamics with their siblings and it interests me to read about it as well. Every relationship is so different and you always wonder how it got to be what it was. In this novel, you can see exactly why Jazz and Olivia are the way they are.

I really enjoyed their stories as well as their mom's. She was a very interesting character, but sometimes it was difficult for me to read her as it could hit very close to home. Having gone through a period of depression myself, seeing her go through her ups and downs brought back those memories and would occasionally force me to put the book down. It's a mark of a good author that can truly make you feel and relate to a character.

Jazz and Olivia were very well developed and unique in the fact that you didn't necessarily have a favorite, sometimes they made you mad beyond belief, but you still rooted for them. They've been through so much in their lives and all I wanted was for them to come to a sense of conclusion about their mother's death.

Hobbs, for me, was a mixed bag. I get why he was in there and how he affected Olivia, but his story felt a little out of place to me (which is why this is getting a 4 instead of 5). Instead of feeling like an integral part to the story it just felt like we would switch from one story to another. I would start to get wrapped up in one (the mystery of Hobbs and the coins) and then be jolted back into Olivia's will-o-the-wisp mystery. I did like the ending for Hobbs though, he found his real family and his dirt bag of a "father" got what he deserved.

One other thing I really do wish we got to see is the letter that Beth, Jazz and Olivia's mom, left when she died. I understand why it was ended the way it was, with the family deciding, yes, it was an accident. They know she loves them and always will. I still wish I could read that letter!

Overall this novel had interesting characters, an intriguing plot, great family dynamics (even if not in the way you'd expect) and fun folklore. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

Title: Dark Eden
Author: Chris Beckett
Type: Adult Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction
Tea: Earl Grey Creme, has hints of something traditional and familiar, but has its own unique twist.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

So I'm having a hard time with this one. What do I think of you, Dark Eden? Right now my rating is hovering at a 3 to 3.5, but has the possibility of a 4. There are so many things going on this book to take into consideration.

First off, basic premise with no spoilers: A group of people are living on a planet that was inadvertently discovered by astronauts and space police from Earth. The group is waiting for the day Earth comes back to find them, the day they were promised...about 200 years ago. This story is about this colony and the evolution of thought.

This book reads similarly to the story of Adam and Eve from Genesis in the Bible. We have a new family forming from two people. We have creatures being named. We have a group of people learning how to function and live. We have evil coming into the world. The difference here is these people are planted in one place and are not looking to expand themselves. This is where the evolution of thought comes in.

But before we get there, we have the beginning of the book, which did not catch my attention at all. I was honestly rather bored and felt like the same thing kept happening. I suppose that could be seen as the author's purposeful way of getting you to feel the monotony that John Redlantern and Tina Spiketree (our two main characters) suffer every day. I honestly probably would've put it down, but managed to get to the point where the world goes a little crazy.

I have a degree in anthropology and reading this from an anthropological perspective was very interesting. Seeing the evolution of a group of people, based on beliefs passed down to them from people from another planet was very interesting. These people did not look to advance themselves, only to wait in the same place, for Earth to find them. Their grasp on language is far more rudimentary than that on Earth, especially after they get rid of School, in order to have more hunters. They only know of the things on Earth that they are told about: cars, houses, Einstein, chess and the Sun (which they don't have). They live in a world of perpetual darkness, but not just the literal kind. The planet itself has adapted to the darkness by having everything on it, have its own light. The plants glow, even the Woolybucks (my best guess? Deer?) have head lanterns. The people are also stunting themselves physically, due to inbreeding many children are born with "bat faces" (harelips) and "claw feet." I honestly think most of them were blind to their predicament.

John Redlantern brings a little anarchy into our story by questioning the Oldest (grandchildren of the original founders) and determined to find life beyond their Circle Clearing.

This book is full of questions, Earth references, terrifying situations, the deterioration of a matrilineal society and some rather disturbing sexual relationships. Certain of aspects of this book intrigue me and I really enjoyed, but other parts were lacking. I didn't feel strongly about the two main characters, I was far more attached to a more minor character, Jeff Redlantern. I really would've liked to have read more about him or from his perspective.

I was disappointed with the ending and felt like there was really no resolution. Yes, one specific question was answered, but so many more were brought up and then not dealt with. I don't really know if there is a plan for a sequel. There is definitely the opening to do one, but I don't know if the was the plan or if the open ending is for the reader to decide what happens.

Despite some of these shortcomings, Dark Eden, is a great science fiction story. The world building is fantastic. All the creatures, which are similar to those on Earth but with mutations, were very intriguing. And the advance of Earth's society, even though we hear very little about it, is clearly ahead of what we have now, considering a Police Vehicle is sent out after the errant space ship.

Overall it was a mixed bag for me, but after more thought, the rating could change. Definitely check it out and see what you can find in this sci-fi tale.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Hey everyone!!
Just so you know I'll be out of town from tomorrow till Tuesday the 8th.
I won't have internet access, but I'll be reading so I'll have a new blog for you when I get back!
See you all soon! :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alendar

Title: Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
Author: Katie Alendar
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Mystery, Horror, Thriller
Tea: Strawberry Lemonade herbal tea: fun, different and not quite what you expected.
Rating: 4 out of 5.

*Warning! Here be Spoilers!*  

When I first saw this book I was super excited. I loved Katie Alendar's Bad Girls Don't Die trilogy and couldn't wait to read another one of her books. I was not disappointed with Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer.

I wasn't really sure what to expect from the book. All I knew was that I loved Ms. Alendar's books, Paris and Marie Antoinette. I was excited to see a fresh take on Marie Antoinette and what's a better way than making her a serial killing ghost?

Colette is your typical Midwestern private school girl who gets the shock of her life when her father leaves her mother and she's forced to, in her eyes, downgrade her life. She still gets to go to Paris though, due to her mother's hard work. Right from the beginning we can tell that Colette looks out for herself, sometimes to the detriment of others, though it's clear that's not who she wants to be. Colette's best friends are Hannah and Pilar, both spoiled rich girls. Pilar has a good heart, but Hannah doesn't care about anyone other than herself.

On the trip to Paris Colette feels she has to hide the truth from her friends, causing her to wonder, are they really her friends if she has to hide this? This book is more than just a thrilling mystery, it's a book about self discovery and growth. With the back drop of a murderous ghost.

The mystery is an interesting take on the history of Marie Antoinette. Ms. Alendar states at the end of the book that her story was fabricated, but its an interesting "What if?" What would you do if your best friends betrayed you and your family? Would it haunt you forever or would you be at peace?

This book has a few different things going on in it: mystery, lies, love and murder. Even though there is so much going on it ties together well and nothing is in there for no reason.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it was different to what I've come to expect from Ms. Alendar's first trilogy. I'm really looking forward to see what she writes next. Maybe another historical thriller. Like something with Cleopatra? We can only hope! Plus the cover is gorgeous. I want to put it on display.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is a fun romp throughout Paris and can definitely hit the reader where it counts when it comes to emotions. That's not something you get in many YA novels today. Thank you Ms. Alendar!! :)