Currently Reading

Tegan Mae's bookshelf: currently-reading

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

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spread Some Indie Love!

This post was meant to go up on Valentine's Day, but due to some unforeseen events I was unable. So even though this post is late, enjoy it! :) It's never too late to find a new book!

Easy by Tammara Webber
"When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night - but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

Mature Young Adult / New Adult" (from

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Up For Grabs at Spread Some Indie Love Blog Hop

Shadow Town
Under Glass: The Curse of the Butterfly
Meeting Destiny
Destiny's Revenge
Destiny's Wrath
The Hideaway
Blood Debt
Starlet's Web
Starlet's Run
Centaur Legacy
The Silken Edge
Pity Isn't an Option
The Atomic Circus
By a Thread
Starlet's Light


Sunday Funday List: Top 10 Classics I Need to Read

Hey everyone! Here we are again, another Sunday! I'm a little behind on reviewing some of my books, but they'll be up soon. So to hold you over till then I have this week's list! This week is my top 10 classics I need to read. All descriptions below are from Goodreads.

Here they are in no particular order!

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
-"Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity.

She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers."

2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
-"Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love; and the murderous consequences of love’s absence."

3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
-"Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature."

4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
-"'On what slender threads do life and fortune hang'

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas' epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialised in the 1840s.

Robin Buss' lively translation is complete and unabridged, and remains faithful to the style of Dumas' original. This edition includes an introduction, explanatory notes and suggestions for further reading."

5. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
-"Gilbert Markham is deeply intrigued by Helen Graham, a beautiful and secretive young widow who has moved into nearby Wildfell Hall with her young son. He is quick to offer Helen his friendship, but when her reclusive behavior becomes the subject of local gossip and speculation, Gilbert begins to wonder whether his trust in her has been misplaced. It is only when she allows Gilbert to read her diary that the truth is revealed and the shocking details of her past.

Told with great immediacy, combined with wit and irony, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a powerfully involving read."

6. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
-"In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde."

7. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
-"This single volume contains all 4 novels & 56 short stories about Baker Street's most famous resident.

The 4 novels are:

A Study in Scarlet
The Sign of the Four
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Valley of Fear

and the 56 short-stories are collected in 5 books:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
His Last Bow
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes"

8. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
-"'We have all been more or less to blame ...
every one of us, excepting Fanny'

Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen's most profound works."

9. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
-"'In one moment, every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop... There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth, stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white'

The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright's eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter becomes embroiled in the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his 'charming' friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons, and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.

Matthew Sweet's introduction explores the phenomenon of Victorian 'sensation' fiction, and discusses Wilkie Collins's biographical and societal influences. Included in this edition are appendices on theatrical adaptations of the novel and its serialisation history."

10. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
-"Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”

This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it."

So that's my list! Anything you thought should've made the list?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Funday List: Top 10 Favorite Adult Fiction Authors

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you had a great week and weekend. This week's list is my top 10 favorite adult fiction authors. The description below each author is taken from their Goodreads profile. I will also include some of their titles below their names (if there are too many to put them all, I'll put some of my favorites). Check them out!

In no particular order, here they are!:

1. Carol Goodman 
- "Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Fairwick Chronicles, Watchtower Trilogy (with husband Lee Slonimsky), and the forthcoming young adult Blythewood series. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latt, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices. After graduation from Vassar College, where she majored in Latin, she taught Latin for several years in Austin, Texas. She then received an M.F.A. in fiction from the New School University. Goodman currently teaches writing at SUNY New Paltz and lives with her family in the Hudson Valley."
By Carol Goodman:
The Lake of Dead Languages
Arcadia Falls
Incubus (or The Demon Lover published under the name Juliet Dark)

2. Sarah Addison Allen 
- "New York Times Bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction -- a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.

Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Allen grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journalist father for the former and her mother, a fabulous cook, for the latter). In college, she majored in literature -- because, as she puts it, "I thought it was amazing that I could get a diploma just for reading fiction. It was like being able to major in eating chocolate."

After graduation, Allen began writing seriously. Her big break occurred in 2007 with the publication of her first mainstream novel, Garden Spells, a modern-day fairy tale about an enchanted apple tree and the family of North Carolina women who tend it. Booklist called Allen's accomplished debut "spellbindingly charming." The novel became a Barnes & Noble Recommends selection, and then a New York Times Bestseller.

Allen continues to serve heaping helpings of the fantastic and the familiar in fiction she describes as "Southern-fried magic realism." Clearly, it's a recipe readers are happy to eat up as fast as she can dish it out.

--From B&"

By Sarah Addison Allen
Garden Spells
The Girl Who Chased the Moon 
The Peach Keeper
The Sugar Queen
Lost Lake

3. Philippa Gregory
-"Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acclaimed author.

Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. Visitors to her site, become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings.

Her other great interest is the charity she founded nearly twenty years ago; Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells in the primary schools of the dry, poverty stricken African country. Thousands of school children have learned market gardening, and drunk the fresh water in the school gardens around the wells.

A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She also reviews for US and UK newspapers, and is a regular broadcaster on television, radio, and webcasts from her website."

By Philippa Gregory
The Favored Child
The Constant Princess

4. Stephen King 
-"Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen's grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men's magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale ("The Glass Floor") to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men's magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels."

By Stephen King
Pet Sematary
Under the Dome

5. Deborah Harkness
-"My life has been a series of left turns that nevertheless took me in the right direction (though it didn't always seem so at the time). I went to college to be a theater major and ended up studying the Renaissance. I went to grad school to become a college administrator and loved to teach so much I became a college professor instead. I thought I wanted to be a Tudor-Stuart historian, and found myself a historian of science. I started blogging because a friend needed help on a project in 2006 and am still blogging about wine today. I started writing a novel in the fall of 2008, and it became a New York Times Bestseller in February 2011: A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. The second volume in the All Souls Trilogy, SHADOW OF NIGHT, came out in July 2012 and debuted at #1 on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller's List. What's next? The final volume of the trilogy, of course: THE BOOK OF LIFE, coming July 15 2014 to the US, UK, Canada, and Republic of Ireland"
By Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches
Shadow of Night
The Book of Life (to be released)

6. Donna Tartt 
-"Donna Tartt (born 23 December 1963) is an American writer who received critical acclaim for her two novels, The Secret History (1992) and The Little Friend (2002). Tartt was the 2003 winner of the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend.

The daughter of Don and Taylor Tartt, she was born in Greenwood, Mississippi but raised 32 miles away in Grenada, Mississippi. At age five, she wrote her first poem, and she first saw publication in a Mississippi literary review when she was 13 years old.

Enrolling in the University of Mississippi in 1981, she pledged to the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. Her writing caught the attention of Willie Morris while she was a freshman. Following a recommendation from Morris, Barry Hannah, then an Ole Miss Writer-in-Residence, admitted Tartt into his graduate short story course where, stated Hannah, she ranked higher than the graduate students. Following the suggestion of Morris and others, she transferred to Bennington College in 1982. There she met Bennington students Bret Easton Ellis and Jill Eisenstadt."

By Donna Tartt
The Secret History
The Little Friend
The Goldfinch

7. Kate Morton 
-"Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and two young sons in Brisbane.
Kate Morton's books have been published in 31 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog (now The House of Riverton) won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards. Was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008. Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008."

By Kate Morton
The House at Riverton
The Forgotten Garden
The Distant Hours
The Secret Keeper

8. Gillian Flynn 
-"Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families,violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master's degree from Northwestern University.

Review Quotes:
"Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre."
–Stephen King"

By Gillian Flynn
Dark Places
Sharp Objects
Gone Girl

9. Alan Bradley 
-"With an education in electronic engineering, Alan worked at numerous radio and television stations in Ontario, and at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in Toronto, before becoming Director of Television Engineering in the media centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he remained for 25 years before taking early retirement to write in 1994.

He became the first President of the Saskatoon Writers, and a founding member of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. His children's stories were published in The Canadian Children's Annual, and his short story, Meet Miss Mullen, was the first recipient of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children's Literature.

For a number of years, he regularly taught Script Writing and Television Production courses at the University of Saskatchewan (Extension Division) at both beginner and advanced levels.

His fiction has been published in literary journals and he has given many public readings in schools and galleries. His short stories have been broadcast by CBC Radio.

He was a founding member of The Casebook of Saskatoon, a society devoted to the study of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlockian writings. Here, he met the late Dr. William A.S. Sarjeant, with whom he collaborated on their classic book, Ms Holmes of Baker Street. This work put forth the startling theory that the Great Detective was a woman, and was greeted upon publication with what has been described as "a firestorm of controversy".

The release of Ms. Holmes resulted in national media coverage, with the authors embarking upon an extensive series of interviews, radio and television appearances, and a public debate at Toronto's Harbourfront. His lifestyle and humorous pieces have appeared in The Globe and Mail and The National Post.

His book The Shoebox Bible (McClelland and Stewart, 2006) has been compared with Tuesdays With Morrie and Mr. God, This is Anna.

In July of 2007 he won the Debut Dagger Award of the (British) Crimewriter's Association for his novel The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first of a series featuring eleven year old Flavia de Luce, which has since won the 2009 Agatha Award for Best First Novel,the 2010 Dilys Award,the Spotted Owl Award, and the 2010 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie has also been nominated for the Macavity, the Barry, and the Arthur Awards.

Alan Bradley lives in Malta with his wife Shirley and two calculating cats."

By Alan Bradley
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
A Red Herring Without Mustard
and the rest of the Flavia de Luce series

10. Tiffany Baker 
-"Tiffany Baker is the New York Times bestselling author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. She lives outside San Francisco with her husband, three children, and tiny hyperactive dog. Her new novel, The Gilly Salt Sisters, will be released from Grand Central Publishing in March 2012."
By Tiffany Baker
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
The Gilly Salt Sisters
Mercy Snow

Honorable Mentions:
- Jennifer McMahon 
Promise Not to Tell
The Winter People 
Don't Breathe a Word
Therese Walsh 
The Last Will of Moira Leahy
The Moon Sisters

I highly recommend these authors if you've never read them before! Do you like any of these authors on this list? Anyone you think should be on here that isn't?  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Title: The Winter People
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Type: Adult Fiction
Genre: Horror/Mystery/Historical
Tea: Black tea, dark but with lots of unique flavor.
Rating: 5 out of 5.

*Warning! Here be spoilers!!*

*I received an ARC of The Winter People from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The first book I read by Jennifer McMahon, Promise Not to Tell, was amazing so when I saw this as an option on NetGalley I knew I had to request it. And oh boy was I glad I did.

The Winter People was everything I loved about Promise Not to Tell and more. It terrified me, I didn't want to turn my lights off to go to sleep. It had great characterization, a great story line and a great ending. For me in Promise Not to Tell that's what was missing, so Ms. McMahon definitely made up for it in The Winter People.

This is, easily put, a ghost story. But not your average ghost story. You learn the story of Sara, her husband and her daughter, Gertie, through a journal of hers that is found and published. Their storyline is set (mostly) in the early 1900's.

Then we meet Katherine, Ruthie and Fawn, and their story is set in the present day. And the great thing about this novel is all the characters tie together. It was really great seeing how they wind up connecting because it seems that there is no remote chance that they do, in fact, connect.

Some of the surprises (such as Auntie) I could sort of figure out. Others (such as Sara and Gertie's fate) I was more surprised by.

Gertie is really freaking scary. Like all night all I could do was stare at my closet and hope she wasn't hanging out in there. Damn. Scariest four year old in the world. She gives the little boy in Pet Sematary a run for his money. Despite the fact that she's terrifying and, apparently, not going anywhere she's also a very sad character. You feel sad for her for everything she's gone through and how she has to continue to suffer.

The little kids in this story are all very intelligent, which I loved because kids can teach us things that we don't learn until we're much older. Gertie had a line in the book about animals having souls "Without a soul, how can you dream?" And it's so true! And little Fawn, she's brilliant and brave and would do anything for her family. She's a little creepy with her doll, Mimi (who I honestly thought would wind up being possessed or something), but other than that, she's cool.

Ruthie makes a good main character since she's not too young, but not old enough to have had certain experiences in her life that would change her perspective.

And the ending, the magnificent ending. You get everything tied up and answered, which is great. You also have one scary moment, much like the end of Pet Sematary. So here's the big spoiler...ish...if you don't want to read it, skip to the next paragraph: They didn't want there to be anymore sleepers (like Gertie) made, but little did they know Katherine did some magic to bring her husband back. She's sitting at home and gets a knock on her door. Holy. Crap. So freaky. It just leaves that wide open to all sorts of interpretation of what happens next. Yeesh, it freaks me out to think about.

Anyways, if you've never read Jennifer McMahon I highly recommend any of her novels, but particularly this one! She's fantastic! And maybe you'll want to sleep with a nightlight for awhile.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Funday List: 10 Books I Couldn't Finish

So we all know not everything is always perfect: sports, food, relationships, movies and books. The past few weeks I've been posting some of my favorites and some of the books I'm really excited about, but this week I'm changing it up a bit. This week will be the list of the top 10 books I couldn't finish. Everyone has different things they're interested in and things that they just can't take. These are some books that didn't just do it for me.

Here is this week's Sunday Funday List in no particular order:

1. Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1) by Ruth Warburton
-I received Witch Finder as an ARC (advanced reader copy) from NetGalley and was really excited to read it, but sadly it wasn't what I expected (see my review here for more in depth details). The story line was very intriguing and the world seemed like one I could get lost in, but that wasn't the case. The world and the characters were very flat for me and the story line slowly disappeared into a love story. And not that interesting of a love story at that. I really dislike when a book devolves into a love story and the original premise is originally lost and nothing else is dealt with. The case of insta-love in this novel was enough to ruin it for me. I may give it a second chance after I'm caught up with other ARCs, now that I know what I'm getting into. We'll see if going in with a different mindset will help.

2. The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #3) by Carrie Ryan
-So I LOVED the first book in this series, The Forest of Hands and Teeth (there's my review), and I couldn't wait to read the second and third. The second was, meh for me, but the third just did me in. They didn't have to oomph that the first one did. It was gritty and dark and completely different than regular zombie and dystopian stories are today. The main character, Mary, was intriguing and her descent into madness was really intriguing, but terrifying. So I thought I'd get that out of the next two, not so much. There were some interesting plot twists and connections made to the first novel, but that's about it. The third I had an especially hard time with because I didn't feel like it fit in the world of the first two novels. There was also a hardcore case of insta-love. The second two novels were rated higher than the first (at least on Goodreads), but I think that shows that they were more mass-market relatable. They were just like everything else on the shelves. I had to put The Dark and Hollow Places down because it wasn't what I was looking for and I felt it didn't really go with the story anymore. For me it turned into a generic book that would get washed away in the onslaught of YA dystopians today.

3. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
-So I think I'll be giving this one a second chance as I really wanted to like it and I was told that it gets better after the part that I read up to. But these are my major issues I had with it: the main character. Okay, so I don't wanna see the perfect girl in every single novel, that's just not realistic. I want to see a character that we can relate to. This girl I thought would be that. But holy crap was she annoying. I couldn't stand her self pity and her inability to even try to help herself. I get that characters grow (which she apparently does), but I didn't even want to keep reading to see her get there. There were also some slow parts, things would get really interesting and I'd be really excited to keep going, but then the flow would just slow way down. Molasses down. I hope I can post a better review when I reread it.

4. Paris to Die For by Maxine Kenneth 
-I was excited for this: Jackie Onassis...I mean,, Paris and a spy novel?! Awesome! Reality: not so awesome. Jackie in this novel is a snooty, self absorbed, "perfect" heiress. I couldn't take it. I couldn't see this character jetting off to Paris to go solve some mystery. And even once she got there it wasn't that interesting. The book just dragged for me. I got about 100 pages in and had to quit. Sorry, Jackie 0., that this character is supposed to represent you.

5. Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1) by Fiona Paul
-Oh boy. This book. What was the book even about? I don't know. There's a graveyard and a dead girl and some dresses and a really handsy boy. That's all I got. Nothing connected. The main character was really stupid and I couldn't take it. I put it down right away. Not much more I can say about it sadly. So yeah. There it is.

6. The Black Isle by Sandi Tan
-Thank you, book gods, for making me put this down at the bookstore and choose to check it out from the library instead. You saved me from wasting money on this. Okay, so The Black Isle sounds really intriguing. A little girl sees ghosts on and island inhabited by them and it takes place starting in the 1920's. So you've got interesting time periods, great settings and a creepy premise to work with. It starts off cool and creepy, I didn't want to turn my light off at night. But then it just got BIZARRE. I'm just gonna say two words and I'm sure they're enough to make you want to put it down: octopus sex. Yup, not kidding. Anyways...I felt like this book went off on an entirely different (and disturbing) tangent and I just didn't want to go with it. So I closed it. I don't even want the answers to the questions I had at the beginning. End of story. At least the writing was good, so...points for that.

7. Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
-I love the TV show (who doesn't) so I was like "I want to read it!" I literally got a chapter, maybe two, in and quit. Ugh was I bored. The characters bored me, the story line, the writing did nothing for me. Just, no. Watch the show. If only the writers of the show wrote the book instead...

8. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
-Faeires you say? I LOVE faeries! Give me that book! These faeries didn't intrigue me at all. And the main character? Stupid and annoying. And here comes the insta-love! Which happens with an arrogant jerk. What about all these poor, nice guys out there? You can only turn so many assholes into nice people. I don't care if he looks like Legolas in Lord of the Rings, DON'T DO IT. Anyways. Yeah, I had to put it down. I'm gonna stick with Karen Marie Moning for my fae fix.

9. We Hear the Dead by Dianne K. Salerni
-This book seemed really interesting, it's about how in the early 20th century spiritualism became HUGE. It's based off of a true story about these children that faked hearing the dead and caused a huge sensation. I would've much rather read a non-fiction novel about it (I love non-fiction, but I do enjoy reading historical facts in a fictional sense, as well). The story started off well, but then it just kept dragging. I had a hard time picking the novel up. It might have picked up, but I couldn't get through where I was at to give it a chance.

10. Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate
-Torment, that is literally what this novel was. I don't even know how I finished the first one now that I look at it. Luce, the main character, is an idiot. And in a horrible relationship. The premise of this novel is interesting, it has angels, reincarnation, etc. Sounds cool right? Not so much. Luce and Daniel have the most unhealthy relationship. They make Bella and Edward look like relationship gurus. All they do is fight and then Daniel leaves and Luce mopes around, is pretty much with other guys and then goes and almost dies so Daniel can save her and the cycle starts all over again. I kinda wanted to learn more about the reincarnation and angels and stuff, but I couldn't get over the characters. Maybe I can read a summary somewhere. If you want a good fallen angel story, check out Blythewood by Carol Goodman.

So those are 10 books that I just couldn't stomach. Any books you couldn't take? Or if you loved any of these on the list, should I give them a second chance? What drew you to them?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Funday List: Top 10 2014 Releases

It's a new year with lots of new books to be read! So this post will focus on recently released or books to be released in 2014. I won't be putting any up that I've read already, these are all ones that are on my to be read list (to see some already read 2014 releases, check out my reviews!). All summaries are from Goodreads.

In no particular order, here they are!

1. The Magician's Land (The Magician's #3) by Lev Grossman
-"In The Magician’s Land, the stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy—on-sale from Viking on August 5—Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story be­gan, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young under­graduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demi­monde of gray magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica, and to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost for­ever. He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory—but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrific­ing everything.

The Magician’s Land is an intricate thriller, a fantastical epic, and an epic of love and redemp­tion that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnifi­cent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole."

2. The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier
-"The Lost Sisterhood is the new novel from the author of Juliet, an Oprah's Book Club Pick published in 30 countries which has been picked up by Universal to be made into a feature film. The Lost Sisterhood tells the story of Diana, a young and aspiring--but somewhat aimless--professor at Oxford. Her fascination with the history of the Amazons, the legendary warrior women of ancient Greece, is deeply connected with her own family's history; her grandmother in particular. When Diana is invited to consult on an archeological excavation, she quickly realizes that here, finally, may be the proof that the Amazons were real.

The Amazons' "true" story--and Diana's history--is threaded along with this modern day hunt. This historical back-story focuses on a group of women, and more specifically on two sisters, whose fight to survive takes us through ancient Athens and to Troy, where the novel reinvents our perspective on the famous Trojan War.

The Lost Sisterhood features another group of iconic, legendary characters, another grand adventure--you'll see in these pages that Fortier understands the kind of audience she has built with Juliet, but also she's delivering a fresh new story to keep that audience coming back for more."

3. Clariel (Abhorsen #4) by Garth Nix
-"Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, [...] is the story of the young woman who eventually became Chlorr of the Mask. It takes place about 320 years before the events in Sabriel.
It is set about 300 years before the events of Sabriel, in an extremely settled era of the Old Kingdom, where [there] is almost no threat from the Dead or Free Magic, and the Abhorsens are considered something between an archaic remnant of worse times and municipal rat-catchers."

4. The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston
-"'The dead are seldom silent. All that is required for them to be heard is that someone be willing to listen. I have been listening to the dead all my life.'

Lilith is the daughter of the sixth Duke of Radnor. She is one of the most beautiful young women in London and engaged to the city’s most eligible bachelor. She is also a witch.

When her father dies, her hapless brother Freddie takes the title. But it is Lilith, instructed in the art of necromancy, who inherits their father’s role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. And it is Lilith who must face the threat of the Sentinels, a powerful group of sorcerers intent on reclaiming the Elixir from the coven’s guardianship for their own dark purposes. Lilith knows the Lazarus creed: secrecy and silence. To abandon either would put both the coven and all she holds dear in grave danger. She has spent her life honoring it, right down to her charming fiancé and fellow witch, Viscount Louis Harcourt.

Until the day she meets Bram, a talented artist who is neither a witch nor a member of her class. With him, she must not be secret and silent. Despite her loyalty to the coven and duty to her family, Lilith cannot keep her life as a witch hidden from the man she loves.

To tell him will risk everything.

Spanning the opulence of Edwardian London and the dark days of World War I, The Midnight Witch is the third novel from New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston."

5. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
-"The New York Times bestselling author of Promise Not to Tell returns with a simmering literary thriller about ghostly secrets, dark choices, and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters . . . sometimes too unbreakable.

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself."

6. The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness
-"The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchant­ing series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they re­unite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its miss­ing pages takes on even more urgency. In the tril­ogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowl­edge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions and translations, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close."

7. Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
-"From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a novel about heartbroken people finding hope at a magical place in Georgia called Lost Lake.

Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it's the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn't believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake's owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake's magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life? Because sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again. And sometimes you never even know they were lost . . . until they are found."

8. Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker
-"In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne'er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her--and the town--nothing but grief.

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town's past."

9. The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3) by Justin Cronin
-No description. Yet.

10. Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2) by Libba Bray
-"After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities...

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?"

Honorable Mentions:
Half Bad by Sally Green
Fates (Fates #1) by Lanie Bross

What 2014 releases are you most excited about?