Month: December 2013

Beating my 2013 reading challenge!

Beating my 2013 reading challenge!

My goal was to read 50 books in 2013, and I’m happy to say I read 51. I can’t believe the following books were the only ones I read this year. Maybe it felt higher because I started reading more and more awesome book blogs. With Lovely Lit, I’m going to set my goal higher for 2014 – I’m not sure yet what exactly the number will be. Because I like visuals, I put together an image of all my reads this year. Since I highlighted my top books already in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I’m going to focus on some other highlights from a successful 2013! Book I was most surprised about: The Host by Stephanie Meyer I know, I know. I almost cringed typing this, but I did not dislike The Host. Was it the best book I read? No, certainly not, but it wasn’t the… Read more »

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top books we read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top books we read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where people who love lists and books can share their favorites based on a certain topic each week. This week’s topic is on the best books we read in 2013. My co-blogger Ashley and I split the list down the middle. Here are our picks. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman This book made my list last week for books we’d like from Santa. Although I didn’t receive a hard copy to keep on my shelf forever, Seraphina is one of my all-time favorite reads. There is magnificent world building, a wonderful plot and characters you care deeply about. Go check out this book if you haven’t yet. A sequel is due out in 2015. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker I had heard good things about this novel before picking it up, but I didn’t anticipate… Read more »

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Review: Written in Red

Review: Written in Red

Well, not all books can be winners. Written in Red is the first in Anne Bishop’s The Others series. I’m trying to think of the best way I can review this book without just saying “Awful, peace out.” I’ll be a little more constructive and say why I didn’t care for it. And full disclosure, I have Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy on my top ten list, so I’m not totally anti-Bishop, just anti-Written in Red. I can be forgiving of some faults in a series, but this is just all the way no. Reason why I didn’t like it #1: Meg is the most boring “special” person you will ever meet. I saw an awesome review on Goodreads about Meg being a total Mary Sue. And she is, undeniably, a full-on Mary Sue. But that aside, Meg has the worst power ever – she is a cutter that can see… Read more »

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TV series review: Witches of East End

TV series review: Witches of East End

Vampires and werewolves are out and witches are in! Based on Melissa de la Cruz’s novel, Witches of East End, Lifetime lifts the tantalizing Beauchamp women in order to create a spellbinding series. In the novel I felt like Joanna (Julia Ormond) seemed aloof and disconnected with her girls at times, but I really liked that Lifetime corrected this and made all three women very close. Additionally, I LOVED the creation of Aunt Wendy (Madchen Amick)! I think she provided the perfect balance of mischief and sagely advice. Plus, who doesn’t love a shape shifting feline femme fatale? I thought Cruz made Freya out to be the typical bimbo, but the show tamed down her meanderings and actually provided some context behind her actions. Which, I’ll admit, some of the scenes between Killian (Daniel DiTomasso) and Freya (whether imagined or not) were super hot! While I am disappointed they didn’t… Read more »

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TV series review: The White Queen

TV series review: The White Queen

When I heard Starz was picking up The White Queen for a television mini series, I quickly adjusted my “to read” list and hastened to finish before the show aired this past October. The first in “The Cousin’s War” series, it follows the lives of two families vying for the throne: Lancaster (red rose) and York (white rose), historically known as the deadly feud between the  Plantagenets in the War of the Roses. This novel focuses mainly on Elizabeth Woodville, an ordinary Lancastrian woman with extraordinary beauty trying to protect her family during a siege, resulting with the York family sitting on the throne. Elizabeth catches the eye of young King Edward IV and they marry in a secret ceremony. As you can imagine, their marriage was not well-received at court, and the battle begins to defend their legitimate marriage, children and claim to the throne. Philippa Gregory enchanted me… Read more »

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books we want from Santa

Top Ten Tuesday: Books we want from Santa

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where people who love lists and books can share their favorites based on a certain topic each week. This week’s topic is what books we’d like to get from Santa. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi This is the final installment in the “Through the Ever Night” trilogy, and I can’t wait to read how it all ends! Aria and Perry forever! Hans Christian Anderson: Classic Fairy Tales I’ve always been fascinated by fairy tales and I recently discovered I do not have this set on my book shelf. Since most of Disney’s stories came from Anderson, it would be lovely to read the actual storylines. Teardrop by Lauren Kate I loved Kate’s “Fallen” series about fallen angels and was excited to learn she is stepping into the realm of folklore and mythology. The Dancing Master… Read more »

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What we’re reading this holiday season

What we’re reading this holiday season

The holidays are great for curling up with a hot chocolate and catching up on series or books you didn’t have time for throughout the year. My co-blogger Ashley and I ran into each other at our library with armfuls of books, we each have eight to read in the next three weeks! I think the librarians were thinking the same thing we were and fulfilled our to-read lists post-haste. Take a look at what we’ll be reading, and therefore blogging about, through the end of the year and into 2014. Here’s what Ashley had to say about her armful: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers The second book in the “His Fair Assassin” series. I recently reviewed the first book – Grave Mercy. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman Winner of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards in Fantasy, I thought it was high time to… Read more »

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Review: Pawn

Review: Pawn

Pawn is Aimée Carter’s first novel in her sophomore trilogy, “The Blackcoat Rebellion.” Background Set 71 years in the future, America is now ruled by a Prime Minister, Daxton Hart, and his family. Furthermore, America has diverted to a caste system (I-VII). While the highest rank (VII) is reserved only for the Hart family, citizens, at the age of 17, are required to take an aptitude test, which determines their rank and future. The higher you score, the better your chances are of acquiring a good job and a longer life in a prospering city. Is and IIs, along with those over the age of 60, are deemed practically worthless to society, and are sent “Elsewhere” never to be heard from again. Families are discouraged from having more than one child and are penalized with a lofty fine. Given the average ranking is a IV, families can barely make ends meet…. Read more »

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Review: Grave Mercy

Review: Grave Mercy

“Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?” Assassin nuns in medieval France. No, this isn’t some cheap ploy, this is the fascinating  world of Robin LaFevers’ new young adult novel, Grave Mercy, in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. At first, I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be pure fantasy or historical fiction; however, it wasn’t until I did a little research that the puzzle pieces came together. Maybe it was my fault for assuming before I started reading, but, either way, a brief introductory chapter explaining the history would’ve been helpful. In the end, the overarching storyline is based on actual events surrounding Anne, the Duchess of Brittany, in 1485, with, obviously, fantasy elements. Sorry, as far as we know there wasn’t a convent dedicated to training assassins. Historical background Brittany, a small country bordering the northwestern portion of France surrounded by the English Channel,… Read more »

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Review: World After

Review: World After

Dear reader, you’ve already devoured Angelfall, right? If you haven’t yet, do it. Do it while there’s still time. Even though it’s *technically* YA, Susan Ee’s “Penryn & the End of Days” series has the same any-level appeal as THG, but perhaps with a bit more darkness. More darkness than children killing each other? Why, yes, more. World After is the second installation of the saga of Penryn and her impossibly macabre family. We find our main character reunited with her psychotically savant mother and her baby sister Paige, who, in addition to a set of wicked scars, sports a set of razor-blade teeth. The three are living with other refugees from the angel apocalypse, and not long after their arrival, a group captures Paige because she’s terrifying, frankly. Paige escapes and flees the area – Penryn is again on the hunt to find her sister and keep her family… Read more »

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