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, June 24, 2014

House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

Title: House of Ivy & Sorrow

Author: Natalie Whipple

Type: Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Tea: Lavender, read it and you'll see why.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really, really enjoyed this novel. I love fantasy and different authors' takes on magic and witches. This one was surprisingly unique and I was genuinely surprised by the twists.

It instantly reminded me of a YA version of one of my favorite novels, Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker by Camille DeAngelis. I felt like this could possibly be set in the same world. So that instantly had me excited.

One of my favorite things about this was the way the witches magic worked was that anytime magic was used they needed to sacrifice something. Magic isn't easy, you can't just get whatever you want without giving something in return. I also liked the idea of all magic being dark, but how you use it makes you good or bad.

The history of the characters and back story was awesome. And everything tied together, including the love story, it wasn't just some weird part that didn't even connect.

I hope that Ms. Whipple writes more stories in this world, because I don't think I would ever tire of them. Please check it out!

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

Title: The Astronaut Wives Club

Author: Lily Koppel

Type: Adult Non-Fiction

Genre: Historical/Biographical

Tea: Lipton Raspberry Tea; looks good, smells good, sounds good, but not quite up to its full potential.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

I so wanted to like this book. I really did. I thought the topic was great and something you don't hear about very often. But the execution left something to be desired.

The women behind the astronauts really are some unsung heroes, they went through so much and assisted their husbands in many ways, but don't get the credit they deserve. I enjoyed learning about what they went through and about the women's lives. But the great story that could be told was lost in a sea of confusion.

There was no sort of structure to learning about the characters. There were many to keep track of and it was very easy to confuse the couples or which wife was with which husband. Page breaks were the only thing separating the stories and made it slightly confusing at times. She would also often segue into stories that had nothing to do with what she was previously talking about and just jump back in. Also the lack of citations is confusing, where is she getting these quotes and this information from?

It felt more like I was talking to a person that had read a book about the wives and was jumping around telling me different things. There's well written non-fiction that can read like a novel and catch even a non-non-fiction reader's attention, but sadly this wasn't one of them.

Sorry ladies, I wish this book did your story more justice.

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) by Charlaine Harris

Title: Midnight Crossroad

Author: Charlaine Harris

Type: Adult Fiction

Genre: Mystery/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Tea: Earl Grey, a good starting point, leads up to better things.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (originally 3.5, read the review).

So I was so excited to find out that Charlaine Harris was writing a new series. I absolutely love the Sookie Stackhouse series and am on my way to reading her others. This came in at work (the library) and I had to have it.

At Was. Slow.

You get lots of background and establishing stuff, but seriously, not too much happens till around 100 pages in. Don't give up, because once you get through that, it's worth it. I won't tell you exactly what, because I don't want to give away the surprises. But one in particular made me bump the rating up to a 4 instead.

The characters are interesting, but I really am not too big of a fan of Manfred, the main character. He grew on me a little more as the book went on, but something about him annoyed me. Maybe his weird, insta-love, crush on Creek. It was weird. Anyways...

The characters are interesting and I can't wait to learn more about them as the series continues, especially the Rev. There are lots of little teasers that there's a lot more to come.

This book does have a lot of first book symptoms, but if it's going to be like the Sookie Stackhouse series, then give it a chance. The first novel in that series didn't grab me, but I loved the rest.

If you're looking for a fun, fairly light-hearted mystery, check this one out.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Roth
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Tea: Silver Yin Zen Pearls, see Insurgent review.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

What is it with me LOVING books that other people didn’t like as much compared to the others in the series? Maybe I just don’t like the stereotypical books. I don’t know, but I thought Allegiant was a big step above Insurgent and, while not as a big of a step, still a step above Divergent.
I really enjoyed reading Four’s perspective, and once you finish the novel you understand why she did it. I only didn’t like that it wasn’t consistent with the other novels. It would’ve worked better if she had done this with the first two. I think getting Four’s perspective throughout the first two novels would’ve raised them to another level.
I enjoyed Ms. Roth’s world building of what was outside the fence. Her take on what happened to the world during the fall is really interesting. There were quite a few characters to keep track of and sometimes that got a little confusing, especially with the switching perspectives, but it wasn’t too bad.
I think the ending of this book is it’s biggest strength. Yes, I cried. 

But Ms. Roth did the unexpected. She did something that isn’t done very often in YA novels anymore. Kudos to her for that.  It’s nice seeing authors doing things that aren’t expected of them. Don’t be a stereotypical book with a stereotypical formula. Change it up, surprise the reader. That’s what Allegiant does.

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian/Sci-Fi
Tea: Silver Needle, good, but one step below something even better (Silver Yin Zen Pearls).
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

So Insurgent didn’t suck me in quite like Divergent did. It felt a lot slower and it felt like the same thing kept happening. Run to one faction, hide, be found. Run to another faction, hide, be found. And Tris was just getting on my nerves, she reminded me a lot of Katniss in the beginning Mockingjay (but Katniss is still better, in my opinion). Finally things pick up and there’s less Tris and Four fighting and more actual problem solving.
I would say Insurgent is a typical middle book. It got me from book one to book three. Yes there are some crazy things that happen (I won’t tell you what they are, in case you haven’t read it yet), but it took some time to get to those things. Those thing also set up the third novel. I guess it was all worth it to get to the ending, which is finally what I was looking for. That ending definitely had me racing for the third book.
If you have a hard time with the beginning of this novel, push through it, it’ll be worth it at the end.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket

Title: The Bad Beginning
Author: Lemony Snicket
Type: Children's
Genre: Historical/Gothic
Tea: Lipton bag, black tea.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.

So, sorry to start off my new posts with a negative review, but this is my most recently finished novel and have some things to say. Also, I want to preface, no offense to Lipton, but bagged black tea just doesn't hold up to loose leaf Golden Monkey.

Okay, so I really don't get the hype of these novels. I was super excited to finally read these and grabbed it off the children's shelf a work, probably breaking some child's heart. Little do they know I probably saved them from a book that isn't all it's cracked up to be. Yes, I get that life isn't perfect and everyone goes through difficult times, but WHAT is the point of these novels?

I know the author states these books will be sad and depressing, but what these children go through within the first 60 pages is pretty much child abuse. How people are raving that these books are so fantastic is beyond me. And I'm assuming it only gets worse (I quit reading after 80 pages), as it was pretty obvious that Count Olaf was going to trick Violet into marrying him. Creepy.

And it's more than the horrible things that happen. The writing irked me, especially the constant definitions. I know these are children's books and it's helping to "teach" them words. But I think even as a child I would've gotten sick of it. It ruined the flow of the novel and seemed very out of place.

I'm disappointed that I didn't like these as much as I thought I would, but that's okay, I have a towering TBR pile waiting for me.


Hello everyone!

Sorry I've been MIA for awhile. I was busy with work, including getting a promotion at the library! I am now an adult reference clerk. I also recently started school again to get my Library Technical Assistant (LTA) certificate.

But don't you worry, I've read plenty of books and have lots of reviews coming for you! I'll start putting them up this week. Thanks for sticking with me.

I also have some new ideas to change up the blog, so stay tuned!