Thursday, September 16, 2021

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Enjoy of View

 


This month Stormi and I decided to continue on with the Moose Springs series.  I was in need of a comfort read and this has to be one of my favorite series of all time.  And yes, I loved this one as much as the others and am thrilled to see there is a #4 in the works.  So check out my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what she thought as well.


TITLE: Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska #3)
AUTHOR: Sarah  Morgenthaler
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Casablanca
PUBLISHING DATE: January 19, 2021
PAGES: 352
SOURCE: Library


FROM GOODREADS: 

A grouchy mountaineer, a Hollywood starlet And miles of untamed wilderness... What could possibly go wrong?
Former Hollywood darling River Lane's acting career is tanking fast. Determined to start fresh behind the camera, she agrees to film a documentary about the picturesque small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. The assignment should have been easy, but the quirky locals want nothing to do with River. Well, too bad: River's going to make this film and prove herself, no matter what it takes.
Or what (literal) mountain she has to climb. 
Easton Lockett may be a gentle giant, but he knows a thing or two about survival. If he can keep everyone in line, he should be able to get River and her crew up and down Mount Veil in one piece. Turns out that's a big if. The wildlife's wilder than usual, the camera crew's determined to wander off a cliff, and the gorgeous actress is fearless. Falling for River only makes Easton's job tougher, but there's only so long he can hold out against her brilliant smile. When bad weather strikes, putting everyone at risk, it'll take all of Easton's skill to get them back home safely...and convince River she should stay in his arms for good.

MY THOUGHTS: I always enjoy the grumpy/sunshine trope so I had no doubt this would turn out to be a great read. And I swear, every grumpy male in Moose Springs, and seriously, there seems to be quite a few, always put me in mind of Luke from Gilmore Girls.  And I've ALWAYS been a Luke fan.

River Lane has come to Moose Springs for her directorial debut on an Alaskan documentary.  However, no one warned her how hard it would be to get filming permits in Moose Springs, a town that definitely doesn't want any added attention.  River and her minimal crew end up getting kicked out of most of the town establishments, so she decides to take the crew and summit Mount Veil, a mountain peak known to locals as "The Old Man."  And while her first run-in with Easton didn't go off as planned, he winds up being the guide tasked with making sure River and her crew make it off alive.

I adored the banter between River and Easton and I have to say, even though the attraction between the two was almost immediate, the author never ventured into insta-love territory.  The relationship developed over time and it was never a given conclusion.  The side characters of River's crew were also hilarious, especially Jessie, who clearly had no business scaling a mountain, even on a good day.  Easton's patience often runs thin, but in the end, he had a giant heart and he doesn't want to let River down.  We also get to see Graham and Zoey from book #1 a fair amount and seriously, they will probably always be my favorite couple in Moose Springs.

And finally I have to mention the marmot.  On the way up the peak, Easton is befriended by a love-struck marmot and I never knew I could get attached to him almost as much as I was Easton and River.  Morganthaler has a way with animal additions and this one was no exception.  I can't wait to see what book #4 brings. Will it be about Easton's sister Ash?  Or Ben, Easton's assistant?  Or maybe Jax, who I have to remember I don't remember too well.  Come on, I NEED ANSWERS!

If you are in the mood for a little romance, then definitely give this series a go!

RATING: 5 PAWS





Wednesday, September 1, 2021

TBR Jar of Horror #1 - Bite

 


So Stormi and I were kind of striking out with our Retro Horror feature.  It seems the books we picked were never as good as we hoped.  So we revamped the feature and are now doing a TBR jar where we're each putting horror titles we've always wanted to read - no matter of their publication date.  And now, every other month, we will draw a pick out and that's what we'll read and review.  So read on to see how this worked for me this month and the hope over to Stormi's to find out what she read.

And don't you love our new graphic?  It was created by Michelle over at Lima Bean Designs!


TITLE: Bite (Wastelanders #1)
AUTHOR: K.S. Merbeth
PUBLISHER: Orbit
PUBLISHING DATE: July 26, 2016
PAGES: 376
SOURCE: Own library

FROM GOODREADS: 

Kid is trying to survive in a world gone mad. Hungry, thirsty and alone in a desert wasteland, she's picked up on the side of the road by Wolf, Dolly, Tank and Pretty Boy - outlaws with big reputations and even bigger guns.
But as they journey across the wild together, Kid learns that her newfound crew may not be the heroes she was hoping for. And in a world that's lost its humanity, everyone has a bit of monster within them

  MY THOUGHTS:  Let's just say that I spent years thinking this was about vampires despite there clearly being a license plate on the vehicle which indicated cannibals.  However, I was glad to knock it off my shelves and give it a go.  And man, what a fun ride this one was!

The novel takes places in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone is struggling to survive. Think Mad Max, because honestly, that's probably the best comparison for this book.  Kid is 14 and has been struggling to make it on her own since her father died.  She ends up meeting a ragtag group which consists of Wolf, Dolly, Tank and Pretty Boy.  While she is more than a little afraid of them at first, she ends up running with them.  There's just one small issue - they are considered "sharks" meaning they cook and eat human flesh.  Wolf leads the group on some crazy raids and trades and gets them into some pretty sticky situations.  And someone new named Saint is trying to take over the Wastelands, but they must go through Wolf to do it.

Never in my life did I see myself cheering a group of cannibals on to succeed, but cheer I did.  This was the most likable group of characters I've read about in a long time.  I loved them all and I loved how little by little Kid began to fit in and began to find a place where she belonged.  This book had action, blood, gore, humor, friendship and a riveting plot.  There's really nothing to complain about here.  I really think more people need to pick up this little hidden gem and hang on tight.  I can't wait to get my hands on book #2!

RATING: 5 PAWS




Friday, August 27, 2021

TBR and Beyond Tours - Burden Falls

 


TITLE: Burden Falls
AUTHOR: Kat Ellis
PUBLISHER: Dial Books
PUBLISHING DATE: August 24, 2021
PAGES: 304
SOURCE: ARC


FROM GOODREADS:
Riverdale meets Stephen King in the terrifying new thriller from the author of Harrow Lake. 
The town of Burden Falls drips with superstition, from rumors of its cursed waterfall to Dead-Eyed Sadie, the disturbing specter who haunts it. Ava Thorn grew up right beside the falls, and since a horrific accident killed her parents a year ago, she's been plagued by nightmares in which Sadie comes calling—nightmares so chilling, Ava feels as if she’ll never wake up. But when someone close to Ava is brutally murdered and she’s the primary suspect, she begins to wonder if the stories might be more than legends—and if the ghost haunting her dreams might be terrifyingly real. Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there's a killer on the loose . . . with a vendetta against the Thorns. 

When I saw the Riverdale comparison I just knew I had to read this book.  While there's no Jughead, there are plenty of other characters to keep things interesting.  So to shake things up, I'm just sharing with you 15 Reactions I Had While Reading This Book.  You'll just have to read it to see how they play into the plot!

  1. Is a year really long enough for a body to knit itself whole?
  2. I want to see a tree full of ghost apples - how pretty!
  3. Aha!  THAT explained the cover.
  4. Ava needs a new car, but its so funny she praises Lucifer whenever it starts on the first try.
  5. Pepperoni never did me wrong either.
  6. THE FLYS!!! I can't believe the author referenced The Flys (runs off singing "Got you where I want you."
  7. Because of COVID the town started holding outdoor celebrations of important events called Danse Macabres.  What a great idea.
  8. Much respect to Daphne's Dimple Theory - I agree.
  9. Dead-Eyed Sadie is one spooky urban legend.
  10. Every phone needs a claw-back function to retract texts.
  11. That dog better not die!
  12. DON'T GO IN THE CELLAR!!!!
  13. I too have a thing for shark movies Ava :)
  14. Nerdy vampires - nice visual.
  15. What an intense ending!
RATING: 5 PAWS





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

Kat Ellis is the author of young adult novels Harrow Lake, PurgeBreaker, and Blackfin Sky, as well as a novella within the Three Strikes collection titled The Twins of Blackfin

Kat studied English with Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, then spent several years working in local government communications and IT. 

When she is not writing, Kat can usually be found exploring ruins and cemeteries with her camera. She is an active blogger, instagrammer and tweeter, and is represented by Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency.




Author Links:

Website: http://www.katelliswrites.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/el_kat

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katelliswrites/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7169579.Kat_Ellis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatEllisWrites


CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR HERE:

https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/07/16/tour-schedule-burden-falls-by-kat-ellis/

 



Thursday, August 26, 2021

2 Bloggers 1 Series - The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

 

So basically Stormi and I started another series we've always been curious about.  And am I ever glad I stopped putting this book off.  This series has been blowing up Booktube lately and the good thing about it is that the trilogy is actually complete so we can dive right into the next one!  So read on to see my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter (The Athena Club #1)
AUTHOR: Theodora Goss
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: June 20, 2017
PAGES: 402
SOURCE: Own library


FROM GOODREADS: 

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes. 
But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. 
When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

MY THOUGHTS: This was such a fun read and I can't wait to pick the next one up.  But you know what's funny?  Up until I wrote this review, I didn't know this was categorized as a Young Adult novel.  Not that it matters but if that is putting anyone off from reading it, it shouldn't because this could easily pass for an adult novel.

When the book opens, Mary Jekyll's mother has passed away.  Prior to her death, she suffered from an illness and madness which happened to start around the time Mary's father started some mysterious experiments.  This also coincided with the appearance of his strange assistant, Mr. Hyde.  Mary is left destitute but when she discovers her mother had been sending money each month for the care of someone named Hyde, Mary thinks this is the key to solving a cold case murder and earn a generous reward in the process.  But Mary stumbles onto an impulsive and opinionated young girl.  

This is the perfect "found family" novel.  Mary joins up with Sherlock Holmes and Watson to investigate the murders of some women in Whitechapel.  They also learn there is a secretive society of men who have been experimenting on young women who they feel obligated to rescue along the way. So by the end of the book, not only has the murder mystery fallen into place, but a group of women, each with varying backgrounds and talents, have teamed up to take down the secret society.

I really enjoyed all the characters but Diana, Mary's younger sister, is hilarious.  She's mouthy and snarky and has an opinion on everything.  She's uncultured and doesn't care.  And she drives Mary mad!  I also enjoyed the inclusion of Holmes and Watson and hope they are in the future installments as well.  I will say this book has a unique format which I believe is called "breaking the fourth wall."  So interspersed between the narrative are conversations between the characters about the novel being written.  It took some adjustment as first but soon I began to look forward to these often humorous comments.

The only real complaint I had was the pacing at times.  It was a book I was able to sit down and leave for a while, unlike others which I can barely put down.  However if you love classic monsters and are looking for a unique twist, look no further.  This book has adventure, snark, humor, all in a historical setting.  Bring on the next one!

RATING: 4 PAWS


 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday (322) - I'm Back

 


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.





FROM GOODREADS:  The island was just the beginning...

In H G Wells' 1896 novel The Island of Dr Moreau a shipwrecked traveller finds himself alone on an island ruled by a mad doctor and inhabited by creatures who are at once both beast and human. He escapes to civilisation only after the scientist is dead and the beast-men have taken absolute control. Yet this is not the end of the matter. The peoples of the island are not done with humanity. Now the conflict between the two has begun in earnest.

The City of Dr Moreau presents a sprawling history of the islanders, and an alternative vision of our own times. Spanning more than a century, criss-crossing across numerous places and many lives, we witness the growth of Moreau's legacy, from gothic experiments to an event which changes the world. From the wharves of Victorian London to a boarding house with an inhuman resident, to an assassin on a twentieth-century train ordered to kill the one man who knows the truth to a diplomat whose mission to parley with beast-men will surely be her last, we follow secret skirmishes and hidden plots which emerge, eventually and violently, into the open.

A tribute to the genius of H G Wells from the author of Dracula's ChildThe City of Dr Moreau is a visionary new horror novel in the style of Wells' creepiest and most enduring fictions. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I have always been fascinated by The Island of Dr Moreau so I'm really excited to see what this book brings!


CASSIUS'S PICK:




FROM GOODREADS:  When Molly Madison, dog-wrangler extraordinaire, stumbles upon a murder in her new hometown, she must track down a killer to save the day.

Ex-police officer and former P.I. Molly Madison is starting over. After the death of her husband, she and her golden retriever, Harlow, move cross-country to California. But as charming and peaceful as the beachside town seems, she soon learns its tranquil tides hold dark secrets.

On her first day in the new house, a large, slobbering Saint Berdoodle wanders in. Molly winds up taking on the responsibility of training Noodle since his owner is too busy to do the job. On one of their daily beachside walks, Noodle digs up a severed hand. Once Molly alerts the police and they run a background check on her, she's an immediate suspect--after all, Noodle's testimony to clear her name won't hold much water in court.

To prove her innocence, Molly must rely on instincts keener than a canine's to sniff out the real killer. But when Molly's life is put in danger, will her two very loyal pups be able to rescue her? 

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  What in the name of Dog is a Saint Berdoodle?  I want Mom to read this book just so she can tell me.  I think that's the real mystery here.

WHAT BOOK CAN'T YOU WAIT FOR THIS WEEK???

Thursday, August 12, 2021

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Second Chance Pass

 

So Stormi and I decided to continue on with our read of the Virgin River series again this month.  Both of us seem to be enjoying them and they are nice, easy reads so I'm finding them a great way to get a finish under my belt pretty early in the month.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what she thought as well.


TITLE: Second Chance Pass (Virgin River #5)
AUTHOR: Robyn Carr
PUBLISHER: Harlequin MIRA
PUBLISHING DATE: January 2, 2009
PAGES: 410
SOURCE: Library/Hoopla


FROM GOODREADS: 

The community of Virgin River saw Vanessa Rutledge through her darkest days—now she's looking to a bright future. 
In the space of a few months Vanessa buried her husband, Matt, and gave birth to their son—breaking her heart while filling it with a whole new kind of love. But the one man she longs to share this love with now acts as if she doesn't exist. 
Paul Haggerty lives by the marine motto: Semper Fi. Ever faithful to his best friend, he's done right by Matt's widow as best he can…considering he's been secretly in love with her for years. Now, just as he's about to make his move, another woman has staked her claim on him—a claim that will be tough to escape. 
With courage, humility and not a little meddling from the good folks of Virgin River, Vanni and Paul might just get a second chance to have the love they both desire and deserve.

MY THOUGHTS: This is actually the first book in the series I've not given 5 stars but it came close.  When you're 5 books in, that's a pretty good stat.  So Second Chance Pass is the story of Vanessa and Paul, both of whom we met in book #3.  Vanessa's husband was killed in service without getting the chance to see his son being born.  Paul was his best friend and helped Vanessa deliver the baby because he promised his friend he would look out for them if something happened.  However, Paul has had deep feelings for Vanessa since he first met her years ago.  He doesn't want to ruin the memory of his best friend and he doesn't think Vanessa is ready to move on so he almost loses his chance at love.  

I really enjoyed Paul and Vanessa's tale although I didn't enjoy the time they spent with Vanessa's mother-in-law.  She was a piece of work.  And I must say, there were times I wanted to reach in the book and smack some sense into Paul.  I will also add that for fans of the Netfix series, there is a major plot point in Paul's story which the show took liberties with and dumped on Jack and Mel.  And I'm not a fan of it no matter who is involved!

This book also packs a lot of different stories into its pages.  We are following at four other relationships, the birth of two babies, two near death experiences and a ravaging fire.  At least Carr keeps it interesting.  The only reason I lowered my rating is because there is almost TOO much to follow.  That and one relationship took the concept of insta-love to a whole new level.  

Overall I am stillo enjoying this series and find myself looking forward to the month's where Stormi and I decide to continue them.  I can't wait to see what the next book brings and highly recommend them.

RATING: 4 Paws


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - Characters That Need More Love

 

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to That Artsy Reader Girl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

This week's topic is characters who should have gotten more love or attention.  You know the ones - side characters that leave you wanting their own book.  Read on to see if I can come up with 10 this week.



I actually have two from this series - PRUDENCE who I think is just awesome, and Sabrina's cousin AMBROSE.


Is it too much to want a MG book featuring ULYSSES the moose???


I would love a prequel book with a story for Diana's Aunts, EM and SARAH.  I think I'd really enjoy more of their backstory.


I've always said JENKS needs his own series.

Okay, so I at least came up with six.  Maybe I'll get to ten one day soon!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Random Things Tours - Out of Your Head

 



TITLE: Out of Your Head
AUTHOR: Rose McClelland
PUBLISHER: Independently Published
PUBLISHING DATE: April 29, 2021
PAGES: 304
SOURCE: ARC


FROM GOODREADS: 


Fatal accidents do happen. 
 Or was there a plan? 
 A six-year-old dies in a car driven by her father. 
 He barely survives. 
 A simple hit and run? 
 Yet the police think its murder. 
 And who might be next? 
 The mother is out of her mind. 
 If losing her daughter is not enough, why is she being stalked? 

MY THOUGHTS:  If you're looking for a fast paced thriller, Out of Your Head just might be the book for you!  This book features both multiple POVs and dual timelines which personally always speeds up my reading time.  It is rather tragic in that a child so young dies but it's a fun ride seeing all the twists and turns in this novel.

I enjoyed the characters but must say Liam is quite a dog.  He definitely has the best of both worlds with both a wife and a mistress, but his world may be closing in fast.  McClelland takes a solid look at mental health and demonstrates to the reader that you can't always trust what you see because there's two sides to every story.  

I don't want to give too much away so I'll end it here by just saying, if you love thrillers, pick this one up.  There is something for everyone and I'm so glad to have picked this one up.


RATING: 4 PAWS




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  

Out of your Head is Rose McClelland's fifth novel and her second psychological thriller.

Her previous novel Under Your Skin became an Amazon No. 1 Bestseller in the UK and USA/ Canada. It also won Best Books of 2020 in Belfast Telegraph and with several online book bloggers.

Rose has also written two short plays which were performed in the Black Box theatre in Belfast.

 

Find out more at: http://rosiesrag.blogspot.com

 Twitter @RoseMcClelland1

 Instagram @rosiegirl2000

Thursday, July 29, 2021

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Slashing Through the Snow

 

 Stormi and continued our Christmas in July trend with a cozy mystery we've been waiting on for 2 years. So read on to see how much I loved this one and then hop over to Stormi's  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what she thought as well.


TITLE: Slashing Through the Snow 
AUTHOR: Jacqueline Frost
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
PUBLISHING DATE: October 12, 2021
PAGES: 304
SOURCE: Netgalley Arc

FROM GOODREADS: Reindeer Games Christmas Tree Farm is going into the B&B business, and Holly White is looking forward to her new role as innkeeper. Even better, Mistletoe, Maine's sheriff, Evan Gray, has deputized his little sister Libby to help Holly wrap presents for Mistletoe's toy drive. But a cold wind ruffles the cheery holiday decorations when a new guest checks in: Cleo, a vicious B&B critic, who could make or break the new inn. And the short December days turn even darker when Evan and Libby find Cleo's dead body in the gift-wrapped toy donation box.

The suspect list is longer than Santa's naughty list, and local resident Cookie is on it, since her fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a metal nutcracker that she gave to Holly. So is Libby, who recently moved to town from Boston in less-than-savory circumstances. But cranky Cleo was an oh-holy-nightmare to lots of the townsfolk, such as Evan's reporter friend Ray; Christopher, the inn's former contractor; and confectioner Bonnie, whose Gum Drop Shop was a direct target of Cleo's scathing prose.

To figure out the killer's identity and clear Cookie's name, Holly and her friends brainstorm at The Hearth, the farm's café, while her mother keeps them fueled with Christmas goodies fresh from the oven. But if they can't put the culprit on ice, Holly may never see another Christmas.

MY THOUGHTS:  Once again it's Christmas in Mistletoe and just like the previous two years, someone has been murdered.  A guest at the new Inn winds up dead stuffed in a Christmas donation bag and when a family friend is accused, Holly sets out to clear her name.  And her name is "Cookie" Cutter so there's no way she's guilty, right?

Both Stormi and I thought this one was a tad obvious from the beginning but boy were we wrong.  I was fairly surprised at the end and had no idea about the real motive.  She you could say this book delivered.  The setting is fun, the characters are great, and the ending is extra-special.  So glad we picked this one up!

RATING: 5 PAWS


Friday, July 23, 2021

Well Now That Was Kind of Surprising!

 

TITLE: People We Meet on Vacation
AUTHOR: Emily Henry
PUBLISHER: Berkley Books
PUBLISHING DATE: May 11, 2021
PAGES: 364   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: 

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love. Poppy and Alex. 
Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. 
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since. 
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees. 
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

MY THOUGHTS: I loved Beach Read when I read it so I knew I had to give Henry's latest book a try.  I am so happy I did!  Poppy and Alex met in college but learned they grew up relatively close to one another.  They are both very different people but for some reason, their friendship works and even though Alex goes on to attend graduate school and become a teacher, and Poppy drops out of college and gets a job writing for a traveling magazine, every summer they meet up to go on vacation together.  As they get older, their trips become more extravagant, in part due to Poppy's work and company stipend.  Yet two years ago something happened and the two haven't spoken since.  Questioning her life direction and missing her friendship desperately, Poppy reaches out to Alex via text.  They slowly start communicating again so Poppy seizes the chance to go on one last vacation together.  Except this time around, she hopes it not only mends their friendship, but that it enables her to tell him how she really feels.

This is the second time I have been surprised by Henry.  I went into both books expecting a lighthearted chick-lit book, but I got a novel that was so much deeper. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with chick-lit.  While I found Poppy somewhat annoying, as the book progressed, I could see how Alex and her became such good friends.  And it doesn't hurt that she loves dogs, despite not owning one, and she has a brother named Prince because her mother was a huge fan.  And Alex was an oddball of sorts but he had a fairly tragic childhood and I enjoyed slowly learning what made him tick.

The book is told in present day interspersed with chapters discussing vacations that took place years ago.  This technique really worked for me and it isn't until near the end when the reader learns what really happened on that last vacation.  I loved all of the characters in the book from Poppy's energetic social media crazed friend, to Alex's brother and his fiancee.  

If you are looking for a summer romance that also has great character development and interesting family dynamics, then please give the book a chance.  Come on, everyone else seems to be reading it this summer so I'm here to say go ahead and jump on that hype wagon too!

RATING: 5 PAWS



Thursday, July 22, 2021

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Siege & Storm

 

Back in April Stormi and I started the Shadow & Bone Trilogy. We both wanted to read the books before watching the Netflix series.  Well, it took us a few months, but we finally picked up Siege and Storm.  I can honestly say I thought Stormi was more excited to read it than I was, but I managed to finish first.  However, I don't think either of us had a good time.  So read on to see my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's  at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see what she thought.

TITLE: Siege and Storm
AUTHOR:  Leigh Bardugo
PUBLISHER: Henry Holt & Co.
PUBLISHING DATE: June 4, 2013
PAGES: 448
SOURCE: Own Library

FROM GOODREADS: 

Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Alina Starkov’s power has grown, but not without a price. She is the Sun Summoner—hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Shadow Fold. But she and Mal can’t outrun their enemies for long. 
The Darkling is more determined than ever to claim Alina’s magic and use it to take the Ravkan throne. With nowhere else to turn, Alina enlists the help of an infamous privateer and sets out to lead the Grisha army. 
But as the truth of Alina's destiny unfolds, she slips deeper into the Darkling’s deadly game of forbidden magic, and further away from her humanity. To save her country, Alina will have to choose between her power and the love she thought would always be her shelter. No victory can come without sacrifice—and only she can face the oncoming storm.

MY THOUGHTS:  So I personally think the synopsis should start out "Soldier. Summoner. Saint.  SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE." And that ladies and gentlemen sets the tone for the rest of my review.  Alina and Mal have escaped The Darkling but it doesn't last long.  Soon they find themselves on a ship with someone hired to bring her home.  However, he may have some ulterior motives.  And he also may just be the best character in the series.  Oh and I have to mention, once again Alina and Mal are hunting down some rare mythical creature so they can kill it so Alina will have even stronger powers.  Can you say ego-maniac?  

So if you haven't guessed it, I really didn't enjoy this read.  I truly believe there was little action until about the last 30 pages and that's sad even for a middle book.  Alina grates nerves that haven't been this raw since Bella and Edward and it may be an unpopular opinion, but I don't blame Mal for some of the things he does as he is only reacting to how Alina acts and treats people.

So what did I like about this book?  One word - Nikolai.  He was the saving grace.  He will be the reason I manage to slog my way through book #3 so I can put this series behind me so I can pick up Six of Crows.  I've heard that duology is better.  I will also add that after reading Siege and Storm, I believe I probably should have given Shadow and Bone 2/5 because I did like this book a tad better - as I said, Nikolai.  

RATING: 3 Paws




Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Can't Wait Wednesday (322)

 

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.





FROM GOODREADS: In this dark and twisty feminist historical thriller, a teenage girl starts a new life as a grave robber but quickly becomes entangled in a murderer's plans.

Soon after her best friend Kitty mysteriously dies, orphaned seventeen-year-old Molly Green is sent away to live with her "aunt." With no relations that she knows of, Molly assumes she has been sold as free domestic labor for the price of an extra donation in the church orphanage's coffers. Such a thing is not unheard of. There are only so many options for an unmarried girl in 1850s Philadelphia. Only, when Molly arrives, she discovers her aunt is very much real, exceedingly wealthy, and with secrets of her own. Secrets and wealth she intends to share--for a price.

Molly's estranged aunt Ava, has built her empire by robbing graves and selling the corpses to medical students who need bodies to practice surgical procedures. And she wants Molly to help her procure the corpses. As Molly learns her aunt's trade in the dead of night and explores the mansion by day, she is both horrified and deeply intrigued by the anatomy lessons held at the old church on her aunt's property. Enigmatic Doctor LaSalle's lessons are a heady mixture of knowledge and power and Molly has never wanted anything more than to join his male-only group of students. But the cost of inclusion is steep and with a murderer loose in the city, the pursuit of power and opportunity becomes a deadly dance.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I love the cover and the whole grave robbing aspect has me super curious!  It may be a great October read!

CASSIUS'S PICK:



FROM GOODREADS: Laika is a Cold Dog, a stray pup fighting for her life on the streets of Moscow. Then, one winter night, she is plucked from her alley to become a starflyer, a dog trained to travel into space. Distrustful of people, Laika tries to do everything she can to escape. That is, until she meets Nina.

Nina is a Cold Girl, lonely and full of questions. Her best friend has moved to America in a rush, leaving Nina to face the school bullies all by herself. Plus, her father’s work as a scientist in the Soviet Space Program grows more secretive by the day.

When the two meet in her father’s laboratory, their growing bond slowly warms the chill that has settled in each other’s hearts. As the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union grows fierce, Laika and Nina uncover shocking secrets and hard truths that will test their friendship. How will they find the courage to chase their dreams all the way to the stars?

Based on an incredible true story, Carnegie Medal nominee and New York Times–bestselling author Megan Shepherd crafts a harrowing, propulsive girl-and-her-dog tale that will linger in your heart long after the last page. 

WHY CASS CAN'T WAIT:  I told Mom I thought it would be fun to go to space.  She told me it didn't end well for Laika.  Am I wrong to hope this one has a different ending?

WHAT BOOKS CAN'T YOU WAIT FOR THIS WEEK???

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Read in 24 Hours

 

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to That Artsy Reader Girl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

This week's topic is "Books I Read in One Sitting."  I modified that to ones I've read in 24 hours.  With work, family and demanding pets, one sitting is pretty hard these days.




I usually find romance books quick reads and this one was great!  5/5


This was a wonderful horror book which I don't think gets enough love.  I can't wait to read the author's newest one in August.  5/5


I know people have mixed feelings on this one but for the most part, it worked for me.  4/5


Do I really need to mention anything else about this one?  I rave about it all the time.  5/5


Pretty much all of the Virgin River books I've read so far have been enjoyable, quick reads.  5/5


This cozy mystery was awesome and I can't wait for the sequel which comes out soon.  5/5


I adored both books in this series and with a combo of narrative and comics, it was a really quick read.  5/5


Gotta love Bunnicula!  5/5


This was definitely a one-sitting read and a must for whoever has had a beloved dog drive them mad at times.  4/5


I think thrillers tend to go pretty fast and with this one having a wintry, snowed-in setting, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.  4/5

So there you have it?  Did any of these books make your list?