Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - 133

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish for bloggers who like to make lists about books.

Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From & Need to Read More

1. Kasie West - I've heard such good things about all of her books and I really need to read On the Fence.

2. F. Scott Fitzgerald - I've only read The Great Gatsby and I know his other books are just as good.

3. Livia Blackburne - I just finished her debut novel, Midnight Thief, which is why I haven't read anything else by her yet. Can't wait for the sequel though.

4. Jenny Han - This might not count because I read the first Summer book but never finished it. But after reading To All The Boys I've Loved Before I think she's a fantastic writer.

5. Megan Shepherd - Still need to read the sequel to The Madman's Daughter

6. Kevin Roose - I was just looking in the library for his newest book but they didn't have it. It's about the culture of banking on Wall Street.

7. Megan McCafferty - If you can believe it the only book I've read by Megan McCafferty is Bumped. Must change that!

8. April Lindner - Loved reading Jane and have yet to read her other novels.

9. Daisy Whitney - Still need to read the sequel to The Mockingbirds.

10. Stacey Jay - So many of her books are on my To Read list but I've only read You Are So Undead to Me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!(from GoodReads)

I finally finished this book! It's been sitting on my nightstand since the beginning of summer, with only about a hundred pages left. Oops. I guess that's sort of an indication of how I felt about City of Heavenly Fire: I could take it or leave it.

Honestly, and I hate to say this because I really do love the Shadowhunter world, this series should have just been a trilogy. Looking back on all six books, the first three are really good and the last three are just so-so. I liked them and enjoyed them, but were they really necessary? I think Clare would have been better spent putting time into the upcoming Dark Artifices series, which I am actually excited about. I should have Shadowhunter fatigue, especially after the Infernal Devices too, but something about forbidden love just gets me.

Anyway, City of Heavenly Fire just isn't that exciting, quite unlike what you expect from a conclusion. If you do venture into this world, you would be fine to just stick to the first three. Or go straight to Clockwork Angel, because I think the Infernal Devices are a hundred times better.

Rating: 6 out of 10.
FTC: bought

2014/Margaret K. McElderry/725 pages.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - 190

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to get excited about new books.

Loop by Karen Akins

19286673At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future. (from GoodReads)

Time travel is always fun! Hopefully it's not that confusing. Loop will be released October 21, 2014.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - 132

Top Ten Tuesday was started by http://brokeandbookish.com"> The Broke and the Bookish
for bloggers who like to make lists about books.
Top Ten Underrated Contemporary YA Novels

1. Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholt
Lauren Barnholdt is pretty popular but I really enjoyed this novel. It's about cheating boyfriends but you can really relate to the characters even when they make mistakes.

2. The Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook
I read this pretty recently and loved the idea about finding your birth mother. Obviously things don't always have fairy-tale endings but the story overall is hopeful.

3. If He Had Been With Me by Lauren Nowlin
I've heard very few people talk about this novel and I loved it! Everyone check it out! It's a little sad but worth it.

4. Amplified by Tara Kelly
This is a little older but still great for fans of music.

5. The Language Inside by Holly Thompson
I'm not usually a fan of novels written in verse but The Language Inside works really well.

6. If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
This was on some other lists and I obviously agree with its inclusion. It's amazing and no one has read it! What's up with that?

7. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Morgan Matson is pretty popular but I didn't even know about this novel until it was released! It's definitely not as good as her previous books but still worth the read.

8. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
When is the sequel being released?!? I seriously can't wait. I know everyone loves that summertime series by Jenny Han but everyone needs to read this too.

9. Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald
An older book but I really enjoyed it and think those that missed it the first time around should check it out now.

10. What We Keep is Not Always What Will Stay by Amanda Cockrell
I'm in love with this book and it's not all because of the awesome title. It's funny, thought-provoking and why has no one read it?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - 189

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for readers and bloggers to see what new books are going to be released soon.

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

Hollywood history, mystery, murder, mayhem, and delicious romance collide in this unputdownable thriller from master storyteller Katie Alender.

Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send her a message.

Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles -- a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa's strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There's Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there's Reed, who's ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There's also Wyatt, who's super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.

Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem -- and the movies. (from GoodReads)

I love thrillers and this sounds so fascinating - especially the part with the famous movie murder scenes. Famous Last Words will be released September 30, 2014.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guest Post with Elizabeth Eckhart: Cooking With Books

Cooking with Literature

Great food and enticing literature are a draw to many for their leisure time. So, it’s no surprise that there is some great literature about food. Below, we’ve gone through six books (many adapted into movies in recent years) that discuss friendship, life, and the healing power of the kitchen.
Julie Powell is nearing 30 and in a dead end career. Trying to break the monotony of her every day life, Julie gives herself a challenge: cook every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. Testing both her perseverance and her husband's patience, Julie and Julia is truly a witty tale of one woman rediscovering herself through food. The film is a good rendition, made better by the excellent Meryl Streep starring as Julia Child.

Hassan Haji was an unlikely talent. Raised in his grandfather's restaurant in Mumbai, India, Hassan was born with cooking in his blood. When tragedy forces the Haji family to leave India, they try to recreate the world they knew in the world they've found. They open a small Indian restaurant in their new town of Lumière, France, introducing the locals to the recipes and spices of their native land. Unfortunately, this challenges Madame Mallory, the famous chef who runs the esteemed French relais across from their small restaurant. The hundred foot distance between the kitchens of the Hiji family and that of Madame Mallory seems to be an uncrossable expanse, until the bond of food and a blending of cultural tastes creates an unlikely friendship. The novel has just been recently adapted into film, and arrives in theaters August 8th, starring the incredible Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory.

Vianne Roche and her daughter, Anouk, arrive in the French city of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes at the beginning of Lent. Vianne, a chocolate confectioner, bewitches the small town by opening a new chocolate shop, called La Céleste Praline. Unfortunately for Vianne, she finds herself at odds with the local parish. Not only is her shop directly across the street from the church, but the clergy takes exception to the decadence she represents during a holiday of fasting and self-denial. Roche, however, manages to spread chocolate and teach the joy of small indulgences despite the priest’s protests. The novel was adapted into a film starring Johnny Depp and Carrie-Anne Moss in 2000, and is now viewable online through Amazon or DirecTV (click here for more info).

This 2006 bestseller is a memoir that follows author Elizabeth Gilbert as she rediscovers herself following a difficult divorce. Determined to find herself again, Elizabeth spends a year after her divorce traveling. She journeys to Italy where she discovers the joys of good, homemade food and a forgiveness for her own waistline, to India where she investigates her spirituality and in Bali, where she finds love. In this novel food is largely equated with a zest for life, a notion that came across well but was somewhat lost in the film version. Viewers felt that the gaunt Julia Roberts declaring she had “gained a muffin top” wasn’t entirely accurate (the film is also available on Amazon).

Following the death of her mother, Olivia Tschetter's family expected her to return to graduate school along with her siblings. But the heartbroken youngest child found herself somewhere else, in her mother's kitchen, consoling herself among the cookbooks. Drowning her grief in their shared love of cooking, Olivia volunteers for a local Meals on Wheels, where, through others, she discovers a side of her mother she had not previously known. As her family dynamics shift, Olivia discovers her true self and her voice through cooking.

For every stage of her life, Gabrielle Hamilton has had a kitchen that has made an impact on her. In her childhood, it was the rural kitchen of her parents, with her mother standing over the stove, making her feel cared for and safe. As an adult, the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law recreated that feeling. In between, kitchens in France, Greece and Turkey taught Gabrielle lessons about life, some easier and more nourishing than others. The result of lessons learned in these kitchens is Gabrielle's ability to run her own kitchen in the New York restaurant, Prune, where she has championed the art of wholesome cooking with a gourmet touch. Rumor has it that Gwyneth Paltrow will be starring in a film version sometime in the future.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - 188

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine for bloggers and readers to see what new books are going to be released soon.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

22465597New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other. (from GoodReads)

I'm a big fan of Lauren Oliver, so I'll read anything she writes. It doesn't hurt that this novel sounds pretty exciting. Vanishing Girls will be released March 15, 2015