Currently Reading

Tegan Mae's bookshelf: currently-reading

Witch Finder
0 of 5 stars
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0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading, historical, queens-and-kings, ya, the-tudors, an...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Passage by Justin Cronin

This is a post of a previously reviewed books on Goodreads. Originally read July 2010, posted June 13, 2011.
Title: The Passage
Author: Justin Cronin
Type: Adult Fiction
Genre: Horror/SciFi/Mystery
Tea: Silver Yin Zhen Pearls, a fresh and superior take on something seen quite frequently.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
I saw this book at Barnes & Noble when it came out last summer, but was going to wait until it came out in paperback to read it. I then took a quiz on (I know, I know...) about what book I should read for the summer and it was this one! I figured why not look on my Nook (which I had just bought) and it was only $9.99 instead of the $20-something it was at the store. And that's how this adventure began.

I'd never read anything by Justin Cronin before, but instantly fell in love. The correspondence had me wondering what the hell was going on right from the start. Learning about Amy's family and where she came from made me NEED to know what was going to happen to her. All these characters are easy to fall in love with and care about. Even the villains intrigue you and you want to know more about them.

There is so much in this book. It's over a large expanse of time, but Cronin pulls it off. I couldn't put the book down and when it ended I thought it was too short! His vision of vampirism is refreshing in this current onslaught of vampires the world is experiencing (and that's coming from an avid vampire fan, from way back). This is not a novel that you pick up and feel like you've read it before, just with different characters. Cronin creates a fascinating world that I didn't want to leave. I can't wait for The Twelve to come out! If only it came out this summer instead of 2012.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Ruining by Anna Collomore

"Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens, especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door.
All too soon cracks appear in Annie's seemingly perfect world. She's blamed for mistakes she doesn't remember making. Her bedroom door comes unhinged, and she feels like she's always being watched. Libby, who once felt like a big sister, is suddenly cold and unforgiving. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie's fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness, or is something sinister at play?
"The Ruining" is a complex ride through first love, chilling manipulation, and the terrifying depths of insanity." Razorbill Publishing

Title: The Ruining
Author: Anna Collomore
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Tea: Chai Yen Thai Tea: not quite sure what to expect, but had me guessing the whole time.
Rating: 4 out of 5.

*Warning! Here be spoilers!*

I found The Ruining at the library while sitting on the floor and trying to figure out what kind of book I was looking for. Turns out this was perfect! I love a good story that messes with my head. Anything dark and twisty is just up my alley and The Ruining did not disappoint.

Annie Phillips is starting a new life away from her hometown of Detroit, where life is less than spectacular (and the city was rated 2013's number one most miserable city in the United States, so there's that too). She's going to beautiful San Francisco for school and is going to work as a nanny for a beautiful family, the Cohens. Sound too good to be true? It is.

There are clues from the beginning, but reading it you don't realize these things until later. Or at least don't fully think of them. Like, who would really pay at nanny that much money to be able to afford college and have extra money to spare? I get these people are loaded, but they're sending the tuition checks? Dang. But more of that later.

Annie is also haunted by the death of her little sister, Lissa, which she blames herself for. Lissa drowned in the pool that their POS stepfather put in and wouldn't fix the gate for, while Annie was reading. Lissa's death has haunted Annie for her whole life. You can tell she's so excited to get away because she doesn't even wonder why a family who knows her background would let her be a nanny to a three year old girl after that. I'm not saying you can't be given a second chance, but most parents probably wouldn't risk that for their child.

Right from the start Libby Cohen had all kinds of red flags for me. No one, I mean no one, is that overly friendly. Especially with someone they've known for a day. Giving Annie her clothes? Getting your nanny drunk? This woman is clearly unhinged already.

As the novel progresses Libby is pretty nice and they have very few roadblocks and there's so confusing situations with Zoe (the daughter) and her referencing "mommy" and Libby not knowing what she's talking about. But when Annie goes to find Zoe's tricycle the shit really hits the fan. She finds evidence of Walker's (the husband) first wife and learn there's some weird stuff going on here. And Libby starts on a crazy spiral, dragging Annie down with her.

Libby starts, obviously, purposely messing with Annie's life. She knows Annie's past and Annie's insecurities, so she exploits those. She removes Annie's door from her room, she calls her "Nanny" and when she's questioned about it, denies it. She purposely takes Zoe swimming and makes it look as if she's drowned. She sabotages Annie's freshman year in college. And oh yeah, the hot guy next door, Owen, that Annie is seeing? Libby tries to mess with that too.

The book basically culminates in Libby convincing Annie she's insane and sending her to a mental hospital, where everything finally comes out, thanks to the hot guy, who also happens to be a computer nerd. Convenient. I feel bad for Annie for what happens to her, of course, but she had many chances to find out what was going on and chances to get out of there.

In the end, it was fairly obvious what was going on, but Ms. Collomore wrote it in a way that made me second guess myself. So even though I pretty much knew what happened, I was never set for sure. Libby, having been the nanny herself and taking over the household, was clearly intimidated by the fact that Annie knew their secrets. Libby killed Adele (Walker's first wife) and wanted someone around that could take the blame for Zoe's death. Who better than a girl who's little sister died under her care? She drove Annie insane so no one would question what happened, because clearly the nanny isn't competent.

At the end Owen saves Annie and she is finally able to move forward with the life she wanted. Yay, all is happy and good. But I still have some unresolved questions:

- How did Annie's mom not know who she was when she called? Did Libby get her in on it?
- How did Libby get Annie's phone calls not to show up on Owen's phone, when they do other times?
- How did Libby get Morgan's phone calls not to show up on Annie's phone? Or was Morgan somehow involved in the situation? Also, did Libby want Morgan to make Annie question her relationship with Owen?

Despite some unanswered questions the book was entertaining and I read it in one sitting. The thought of being psychologically manipulated is scary and Ms. Collomore handled this book very well. I'm looking forward to seeing what she writes next!   

Friday, November 15, 2013

Incubus by Carol Goodman/The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

Title: Incubus (U.K.)/The Demon Lover (U.S.)
Author: Carol Goodman (U.K.)/Juliet Dark (U.S.)
Type: Adult Fiction
Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Erotica/PNR/UF
Tea: Chai tea, it holds you in its warm grasp and has an extra zing to it.
Rating: 5 out of 5.

Oh my, Carol Goodman can you do no wrong? Incubus, also published as The Demon Lover under the pen name Juliet Dark, is fantastic. This is a new spin on Ms. Goodman's repertoire of fiction novels. Most of her novels deal with fairy tales and reference them, but in Incubus the fairy tales are brought to life. And thank goodness this novel isn't a standalone. I just need to get my hands on the next one!

Callileach (Kay-lex) McFay, or better known as Callie, is a new professor at a small private school in upper New York, where many of Ms. Goodman's tales take place. This setting is fantastic for her stories. There is a mystery around the towns and a magical quality that is hard to find anywhere else. I want to visit someday and just imagine I'm in one of her fabulous worlds.

This novel is a very interesting take on Faerie as well as an interesting take on relationships. You can't help but to relate to this novel in one way or another. She also has great back stories that I hope will be talked about more in the next novel! While I figured out some of the plot twists fairly "early" Ms. Goodman managed to keep me second guessing myself, so I was never 100% sure what was going on.

I'd also love to see her write as Dahlia LaMotte! Those sections of the book made me want to read the whole "real book."

If you are a Carol Goodman fan, and even if you're not, I highly recommend this novel!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 3 of The Grimoire Saga by S.M. Boyce

Please check out my November 10th post for my review of S.M. Boyce's Grimoire Saga! Amazing! :) Also, check out her site to learn more!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 2 of The Grimoire Saga by S.M. Boyce

Please check out yesterday's post for my review of S.M. Boyce's Grimoire Saga! You don't want to miss it!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Grimoire Saga by S.M. Boyce

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

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 Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that goes against everything she believes in. But things don’t go as planned.

Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who—and what—he is. He has to face the facts. He’s a prince. He’s a murderer. He’s a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he’s out for blood.

To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.

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Kara Magari isn’t normal, even by Ourea’s standards—and in a world of shape-shifters and soul stealers, that’s saying something. To the royalty, she’s a loose cannon. To the masses, she’s a failure. But Kara’s arrival in Ourea started a war, and she’s going to end it. 
An ancient isen named Stone takes an interest in Kara’s training, and it turns out he has more answers than he originally led her to believe. In an effort to unearth a secret that might end the bloodshed, Kara instead discovers an ugly truth about her family—and how much she has in common with an infamous mass-murderer. 
Braeden Drakonin has slowly rebuilt his life after the betrayal that tore it apart. His father wants him dead, and frankly, his so-called allies wouldn’t mind that either. Private alliances are formed. Secrets are sold. Tension is driving the armies apart. A single battle will end this war, and it’s coming. Braeden may be a prince, but it will take more than that to survive. He must take the fight to his father’s door—and win.

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About the Author:

International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.
S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.
Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

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One Lucky Winner will get a Signed Copy of Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1) by S.M.Boyce. 
Giveaway Open to US Residents Only.

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Title: The Grimoire Trilogy
Author: S.M. Boyce
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Tea: Gyokuro Genmaicha, a delicious complex tea that wasn't quite what you expected when you first saw it, in a good way.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

 I was pleasantly surprised by Lichgates, Treason and Heritag. I wasn't sure what to expect, especially since it was being compared to some pretty big names, but I was not disappointed. S.M. Boyce is a master crafter of worlds. Very creative and complex. The characters aren't the typical characters you find in Young Adult literature today, a whiny girl and standoff-ish, swoon-worthy guy. Kara is someone that you would actually want to be friends with. And Braeden is actually someone you want to see the character happy with. Their relationship wasn't annoying, which is something I look for in a young adult novel, as I've put many of them down due to that very flaw.

S.M. Boyce wrote the book beautifully and transports the reader into Ourea. It takes a very skilled writer to bring a world to life. Yes, I can see where this book was compared to The Lord of the Rings and Eragon, but it has a life entirely its own and deserves to be judged on its own merit. The end of each novel had me itching to read the next one. Please keep writing Ms. Boyce, you're wonderful.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blythewood by Carol Goodman

Title: Blythewood
Author: Carol Goodman
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Tea: Strawberry Rose Champagne Oolong from Teavana. Has hints of other teas that you love, but brings its own twist entirely.
Rating: 5 out of 5.

Oh Carol Goodman, you are a genius. I always thought so, but you solidified this opinion with Blythewood. Having been an avid Carol Goodman fan for years I couldn't wait to get my hands on Blythewood, and I was not disappointed!

Blythewood has aspects of two of my favorite series, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray, but Ms. Goodman made this world entirely her own. I've been looking for a series to love as much as those and I think I found it here.

Blythewood is a mysterious boarding school that is not quite what it seems. Our main character, Avaline, discovers the school and she, herself, are so much more. This book is full of excitement, fairy tales, mysteries and page turning twists.

Avaline is different than the whiny female main characters that are often seen in today's young adult novels. She is strong, determined and smart. She has a mystery to solve and she does just that. She is surrounded by a smart, strong group of friends. These are not often seen in young adult novels today either. I applaud Ms. Goodman on her characterization, not just of the students, but of the faculty and townspeople. There are so many little things mentioned that I just want to learn the answer to, but sadly must wait! Also the villain is entirely unique and I had no idea what was going to happen.

I've read books dealing with angels/fallen angels before, but they were handled very poorly, to the point where I couldn't finish the novel (the Fallen series by Lauren Kate being a prime example). At first I was leery seeing they were in Blythewood, due to my former disappointment, but Ms. Goodman handled them flawlessly! They're strong and beautiful characters. And the whole novel wasn't about a girl being ridiculously obsessed with an unattainable boy. Yes, there is a love story, but there is so much more. And the love story in this novel is more feasible and easier to relate to.

Being very interested in folklore and the Fae, this story was perfect for me. This novel has nuances of Ms. Goodman's adult novels, making it a great crossover novel, and a great introduction for new fans! I absolutely cannot wait for the next book and hope that I won't have to wait long!

Thank you Carol Goodman for finally writing the young adult novel I've been searching for.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dead Dreams by Emma Right Book Blast!

Publisher: Right House Books
Print Length: 170 pages

Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams--of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.
Dead Dreams, Book 1, a young adult psychological thriller and mystery.


Chapter One
It started on a warm April afternoon. Gusts of wind blew against the oak tree right outside my kitchen balcony, in my tiny apartment in Atherton, California. Sometimes the branches that touched the side of the building made scraping noises. The yellow huckleberry flowers twining their way across my apartment balcony infused the air with sweetness.
My mother had insisted, as was her tendency on most things, I take the pot of wild huckleberry, her housewarming gift, to my new two-bedroom apartment. It wasn’t really new, just new to me, as was the entire experience of living separately, away from my family, and the prospect of having a roommate, someone who could be a best friend, something I’d dreamed of since I finished high school and debuted into adulthood.
“Wait for me by the curb,” my mother said, her voice blaring from the phone even though I didn’t set her on speaker. “You need to eat better.” Her usual punctuation at the end of her orders.
So, I skipped down three flights of steps and headed toward the side of the apartment building to await my mother’s gift of the evening, salad in an รก la chicken style, her insistent recipe to cure me of bad eating habits. At least it wasn’t chicken soup double-boiled till the bones melted, I consoled myself.
I hadn’t waited long when a vehicle careened round the corner. I heard it first, that high-pitched screech of brakes wearing thin when the driver rammed his foot against it. From the corner of my eye, even before I turned to face it, I saw the blue truck. It rounded the bend where Emerson Street met Ravenswood, tottered before it righted itself and headed straight at me.
I took three steps back, fell and scrambled to get back up as the vehicle like a giant bullet struck the sidewalk I had only seconds ago stood on. The driver must have lost control, but when he hit the sidewalk it slowed the vehicle enough so he could bridle his speed and manage the truck as he continued to careen down the street.
My mother arrived a half minute later but she had seen it all. Like superwoman, she leaped out of her twenty-year-old Mercedes and rushed toward me, all breathless and blonde hair disheveled.
“Are you all right?” She reached out to help me up.
“Yes, yes,” I said, brushing the dirt off my yoga pants.
“Crazy driver. Brie, I just don’t know about this business of you staying alone here like this.” She walked back to her white Mercedes, leaned in the open window, and brought out a casserole dish piled high with something green. Make that several shades of green.
I followed her, admittedly winded.“Seriously, Mom. It’s just one of those things. Mad drivers could happen anywhere I live.”
She gave me no end of grief as to what a bad idea it was for me to live alone like this even though she knew I was going to get a roommate.
“Mom, stop worrying,” I said.
“You’re asking me to stop being your mother, I hope you realize this.”
“I’ll find someone dependable by the end of the week, I promise.” No way I was going back to live at home. Not that I came from a bad home environment. But I had my reasons.
I had advertised on Craig’s List, despite my mother’s protests that only scum would answer “those kinds of ads.”
Perhaps there was some truth to Mother’s biases, but I wouldn’t exactly call Sarah McIntyre scum. If she was, what would that make me?
Sarah’s father had inherited the family “coal” money. Their ancestors had emigrated from Scotland (where else, with a name like McIntyre, right?) in the early 1800s and bought an entire mountain (I kid you not) in West Virginia. It was a one-hit wonder in that the mountain hid a coal fortune under it, and hence the McIntyre Coal Rights Company was born. This was the McIntyre claim to wealth, and also a source of remorse and guilt for Sarah, for supposedly dozens of miners working for them had lost their lives due to the business, most to lung cancer or black lung, as it was commonly called. Hazards of the occupation.

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About the Author:
Emma Right is a happy wife and Christian homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, a  bunny and a Long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. She loves the Lord and when she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one. Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

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