Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - 184

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

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

17234658Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure. (from GoodReads)


I love Claudia Gray and this book sounds so fascinating! Love that cover too! A Thousand Pieces of You will be released November 4, 2014.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - 128

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

Freebie: Top Ten Books I Almost Put Down But Didn't

1. Night Film by Marisha Pessl - This topic is so applicable because I considered putting down the latest book I have read. It seems silly now, but I was genuinely freaked out by the beginning of Night Film. I'm glad I kept reading though because it was a great thriller and not quite as scary as I thought it would be.

2. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black - I remember not liking the beginning of this book at all, but ultimately loved the rest of the novel and its sequel. Still need to finish the trilogy though!

3. Emma by Jane Austen - This book was so long with really small print and I almost put it down. I'm glad I didn't though.

4. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - This was an assigned book for class and for some reason I thought it was so boring.

5. The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx - Another assigned book, this time for summer reading. It's not good at all. But I obviously had to read the whole thing.

6. Tithe by Holly Black - I hated this book when I first read it! Not quite sure why but I did manage to finish the whole book.

7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - The beginning of Brave New World is very weird and hard to get into. I'm glad I stuck through though because I ended up writing my research paper for AP Lit on this novel.

8. Halo by Alexandra Adornetto - What a terrible, sexist book. I slugged through the entire thing and recently donated the sequel because I know I'm never going to read it.

9. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - I was so freaked out by the main character turning into a gigantic cockroach. Since this was another assigned book I read the entire thing.

10. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - I actually did put down this book because I had to return my copy to the library. I eventually read the rest online.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

10112885Summary:
A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page. (from GoodReads)


Review:I forget where this book was recommended, but I do remember it was around the time that I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I love mysteries, thrillers, and horror and Night Film does a wonderful job of encapsulating these three genres. I would definitely recommend this book for fans of these types of novels.

Like I've said on countless occasions, I love watching scary movies and reading this book was similar to that type of experience. Especially in the beginning of Night Film I was pretty freaked out. I even had trouble falling asleep in the dark and that never happens! I was only really scared at the start of the book and that's because Marisha Pessl does such a great job of world-building and creating the universe in which Cordova and his films exist. Even though it's our world with a fictional director, while reading I was convinced that there was this legendary filmmaker whose films could only be watched through bootlegged copies and underground screenings. That is just so freaky to me. I wish I could actually watch one of his movies because they seem so scary!

It's within this world that investigative journalist Scott McGrath works and he is determined to find some dirt to condemn Cordova. He goes on a journey with two other characters who are also interested in the death of Ashley Cordova. Even though the book is long, the plot is pretty fast-paced and the characters move from one lead to the next. In the real world it probably wouldn't have been as smooth of a ride but I enjoyed seeing them go from clue to clue and learn more about the mysterious director and his family. Pessl is wonderful at building the suspense and tension. I couldn't wait to find out what was really going on.

As much as I enjoyed the story, I did have issues with the narration (too lengthy at times). Pessl writes best when there's dialogue. It would have been neat to delve even deeper into Scott's character but I'm usually okay with a plot-based book. I do have to say that I absolutely loved the extra features. There were articles, blog posts, even a TIME photo slideshow detailing Cordova's life. Those elements made the story seem real and we're just really cool.

Overall, I love this genre and I love been scared so Night Film was right up my alley. I think this book would be awesome as an actual movie even though it's pretty long. I'm definitely interested in checking out Pessl's other work now too.

Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library

2013/Random House/602 pages.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

11886526Summary:
Cricket’s on a self-imposed break from her longtime boyfriend—but she’s picked a bad week to sort out her love life. For one thing, her mother’s romance is taking center stage: After jilting two previous fianc├ęs, her mom is finally marrying Dan Jax, whom Cricket loves. But as wedding attendees arrive for a week of festivities at a guesthouse whose hippie owners have a sweet, sexy son—Ash—complications arise:

Cricket’s future stepsisters make it clear they’re not happy about the marriage. An old friend decides this is the week to declare his love for Cricket. Grandpa chooses to reveal a big secret at a family gathering. Dan’s ex-wife shows up. And even the dogs—Cricket’s old, ill Jupiter and Dan’s young, lively Cruiser—seem to be declaring war.

While Cricket fears that Dan is in danger of becoming ditched husband-to-be number three, she’s also alarmed by her own desires. Because even though her boyfriend looms large in her mind, Ash is right in front of her.... (from GoodReads)

Review:
I truly adore Deb Caletti and I think her novels are amazing. However, I was not as enthralled with The Story of Us as I would like to be.

My main issue with this book was the letters that Cricket would write to her (ex) boyfriend Janssen. They really had nothing to do with the plot but served to explain the relationship between Cricket and Janssen to the readers. The letters acted as a stream of consciousness for Cricket and in my opinion, we got a lot of unnecessary information from them. I actually started skimming the letters because I didn't really care about them and they weren't essential to what was happening in present day. The only reason I even bothered at times was because I wanted to know why Cricket and Janssen broke up; she's very vague about the reasoning when she discusses the situation with other characters. That part was actually a little interesting and I would have liked to see that explored a little more.

The main gist of the story is that Cricket and her family are staying at this big beach inn for a week in preparation for her mother's wedding. I was excited for a great atmosphere so I could be engaged in the book (like how I was with the beach town in The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen). That didn't really happen for me. However, I did love all the supporting characters, especially Cricket's grandmother. They added a lot of color to the story.

This wouldn't be a romance if there wasn't another character on the side for the protagonist to choose between. This character was Ash, the son of the innkeeper. He wasn't even in the book that much nor did he have that great of a personality. Another reason why this book didn't keep me engaged.

Overall, I still love Deb Caletti and I still would recommend all of her books. But if you read this one and didn't like don't give up! Definitely try The Secret Life of Prince Charming or Stay.

Rating: 6 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2012/Simon Pulse/389 pages.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - 183

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

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

17342700In GATHERING DARKNESS, book three of the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series, the stakes have never been higher as three teams push forward on a race to find the Kindred, the four elemental crystals possessing ancient all-powerful magic, first:

TEAM WATCHER relies on King Gaius’s cruelty and Lucia’s powers to unlock the Kindred.
TEAM CLEO slays with sweetness and the secret that they hold the key to controlling Lucia’s overwhelming magic.
TEAM KRAESHIA will stop at nothing—including deceit and betrayal—to seize the Kindred and claim Mytica as their own.

Whoever wins will control the fate of Mytica—but fate can be fickle when magic is involved…(from GoodReads)


I really enjoy this series - it's similar to Game of Thrones but not quite as ambitious of a read. Gathering Darkness will be released December 9, 2014.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cover Reveal to Benefit Lupus Awareness Month

Praise for Empower: Fight Like A Girl

"Even non-girls will feel empowered by these stories about ordinary, flawed characters finding their own strengths. Highly entertaining and original."

The website (http://www.leegoldberg.com/ ) of Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Chase and King City, whose mother lost her hearing to lupus.

Women of TV have united against lupus! Presenting Empower: Fight Like A Girl, a special collection of short stories by top women writers from some of your favorite shows, including: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Family Guy, Person of Interest, Grimm, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Law & Order: SVU, Star Trek: Voyager, Eureka, Twisted, The 100, Malcolm in the Middle, Millennium, Being Human, The Shield, Castle, Chuck, Gilmore Girls, and Game of Thrones. In this anthology, you'll discover supernatural thrillers, crime mysteries, horror, comedies, and more.

Authors contributing stories to this volume include:
  • https://twitter.com/bergopolis - Amy Berg

  • https://twitter.com/cherrycheva - Cherry Chevapra

  • https://twitter.com/akelacooper  -Akela Cooper

  • Liz Edwards

  • https://twitter.com/JaneEspenson - Jane Espenson

  • Shalisha Francis & Nadine Knight

  • http://amzn.to/1i3dGE2 - Lisa Klink

  • https://twitter.com/pangni - Pang-Ni Landrum

  • https://twitter.com/LaurenLeFranc">Lauren LeFranc

  • https://twitter.com/kammotion - Kam Miller

  • https://twitter.com/thejesspineda - Jess Pineda

  • https://twitter.com/jennq - Jennifer Quintenz

  • https://twitter.com/LisaMRandolph - Lisa Randolph

  • https://twitter.com/KayReindl - Kay Reindl

  • https://twitter.com/sugarjonze - Kira Snyder

  • https://twitter.com/jeanedevivre - Jeane Wong


  • All proceeds will be donated to the non-profit http://www.lupus.org/">Lupus Foundation of America to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus.