Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: I'm waiting on The Cresswell Plot

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Ok I'm a sucker for reading/finding out about weird twisted cults. I always wonder how someone gets so thoroughly sucked into one. When I saw this book on Goodreads I was like ooooh this sounds interesting.

From Goodreads: Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: June 7th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark. 

Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.

Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.

Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I Hate Hospitals

So yet again I've been blindsided by a family emergency. This time it was my husband who spent a week in the hospital. Good news is that he is on the road to recovery and that he should be up and running back to his old self sometime soon. I've been sick with a horrible cold myself.

I'm just getting really sick of hospitals. This year has seen my father in and out of the hospital from a severe case of cellulitus, c-diff, and complications with his kidney (he has only one functioning kidney). My mother in and out of the hospital with c-diff, cellulitus, and a broken foot. My mother-in-law who had cancer that once she was diagnosed with she passed away from it less than six weeks later. Now my husband who was in afib (abnormal heart rate). All I can say is please please please no more hospitals.

So now I have a huge amount of emails to go through. I have to get caught up on all my reviews...honestly I almost walked away again from blogging because this is such a daunting task. All I can do is trudge forward and just hope to catch up and that no other tragedy strikes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday:

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I'm having some serious cover love happening for this book. I love the color tones and the pictures. It reminds me of older classic books for some reason. Also how can you go wrong with a Sherlock/Watson themed book?

From Goodreads: The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.

Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.
Hardcover336 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Series I Have Yet to Finish

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by TheBrokeandtheBookish.

1. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White- I read the first two books in the series. I adored the first but didn't enjoy the second as much. For some reasons I just can't manage to get to the third book.

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi- I read the first book but have not gotten around to the next two. I really did enjoy the first book though.
3. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- I read the first book before the other two were out and LOVED it. I also loved that I had stumbled upon an amazing book that (at the time) no one knew about. Soon enough though the books exploded on the scene and unfortunately they were spoiled for me. I've heard the other two were not as good as the first and I loved the first so dearly I haven't wanted to read the other two...if that makes any sense. 

4. Penryn & the End of Days by Susan Ee- I don't know what the heck is wrong with me that I haven't picked up the third book yet. I LOVE LOVE LOVED the first two books. I HAVE to rectify this situation ASAP

5. The Green Mile by Stephen King- I don't know if this one counts but I'm putting it up anyway. Somewhere buried on my bookshelf are all 6 books of this serialized novel. I read the first two but have never gotten around to reading the whole thing. 
6. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston- I read the first one many many years ago and have never gone back to finish the series. I have some serious cover love for this series

7. Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley- I have a love/hate thing with KA some of her books I adore and devour in a sitting. Others of her books I find myself eye rolling and tossing across the room. Her Rock Chick series has been hit/miss with me. I only read the first 4 books or so and only liked one or two of them. It is truly a debate as to whether or not I'll read the rest.
8. The Partials Sequence by Dan Wells- This is another series where I read and loved the first book but have never picked up the other two books in the series. 

9. Rising Trilogy by Amy Miles- This one is one I don't plan on finishing. I really didn't care for the first book. I've heard some bad things about the next two...yeah just not for me

10. The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin- Ok I couldn't resist putting down a classic series. While I've read a good number of the books I've never read them all and quite frankly it has been probably 20+ years since I've last read one. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Review: Nobody! by Erin Frankel

Here is another children's book I saw on *Netgalley that I thought would be a great read for my son as I think the issue of bullying is a very important one.

Thomas is being bullied at school by one little boy. No matter what Thomas does Kyle will not stop bullying him. Thomas begins to think of himself as a nobody till one day Thomas decides to change his perspective. With the help of friends Thomas becomes more confident and in turn Kyle starts to bully him less.

This cover....oh this cover is just heart breaking. Those big sad mournful eyes. It reminds me of when I was younger and was bullied. I know the heart ache of no matter what you do it doesn't make a difference. I know what is like when adults wont listen and no one else will stick up for you. It is a hard hard thing to go through. Thankfully, my son hasn't had to really go through that and the little bit of bullying he experienced when he was in Kindergarten he has already forgotten about. Since my son is special needs I worry about him being singled out for being different.

I like that the book didn't just gloss over bullying but pointed out how at times adults don't understand and just give platitudes that the bully will "grow up". I also liked that there was a believable happy ending.

My son enjoyed the book and we had a talk about bullying and why it is wrong.

4 out of 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion
**This book was read with 7 year old severely learning disabled son and the review reflects his opinion as well.

Book Review: Cookies & Beer by Jonathan Bender

Cookies and beer? Cookies and beer!! That was pretty much my reaction when I saw this on *Netgalley. I mean how could I resist this one?

Cookies and Beer is simply that...cookie recipes and the beers that pair well with them.

I can't even begin to say how awesome this book was. When I first saw it I was like...cookies and beer?!?!?! Really!?!?! But then after a moments thought I realize what a genius idea this was. We are so used to pairing beer with salty snacks that we forget that beer can bring out great notes in sweet snacks as well. One of the very first photos is of a cookie that looks like an Oreo being dipped into a frothy glass of beer...and oh my goodness if I didn't want to leap into the pages and have a bit of that!

This book is filled with great recipes that I'm itching to try especially the Chocolate Covered Caramel Filled Shortbread Cookies (paired with a barrel aged porter) and the  Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies (paired with a bourbon barrel aged brew). There is even recipe for making Beer Syrup for your own Beer Milkshakes. Oh and there are some savory cookies as well such as the Curry Coconut Macaroons (paired with an American brown ale) and  Rich Butter Cookies with Fennel Seed and Sea Salt (paired with a rich Copper Ale)

This book would make a great gift not just for a beer lover but for the person that loves to bake. And hey if they are a beer loving baker that's all the better!

5 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Witches and Wolves by Kelly D. Smith

I was excited when I saw this on *Netgalley because it is very unusual these days for find a lesbian romance novel. M/M is all over the place but I rarely ever see W/W. So I figured I'd give this one a try as it was short one

Tory is a witch who lives all alone in a house left to her by her grandmother. One night an unfamiliar wolf shows up at her door and curls up in her bed. The next morning the wolf has transformed into a beautiful woman. Tory helps Gee, who is new to being a werewolf. But soon hunters are on Gee's trail.

Ok so I have mixed feelings about this book. There was a lot and I do mean A LOT of potential but I think due to the size of the book where it could have gone right it just didn't. The problem sometimes with short stories/novellas is that it is hard to get vested in characters or to really learn about them. I think a longer book would have done so much for this book. As it is it was rushed and so much of it fell flat for me.

Why did the witch have better hearing than a wolf? That part had me scratching my head. I also found Gee to be too needy and too polite. The whole I don't want to intrude thing became annoying.

I honestly thing there is potential here and if the author made it a full length novel and extended out the tension between Gee and Tory and put in more action scenes and developed the characters more this would be an awesome book. Also stop making Gee so weak. She is a wolf now she should be strong than that.

Even though I am rating this low I would like to see more works by this author.

2 out of 5 stars.

*I recieved a copy of this from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Book Review: The Mirror by John Heldt

I have been getting a lot of review requests lately but have found myself skipping over most (at least for now). But when I saw the description for The Mirror by John Heldt I immediately said yes.

The Mirror is a stand alone book in the Northwest Passage series. Ginny and twin sister Katie Smith were born on September 11, 2001. It is now September 11, 2020 and they are celebrating their 19th birthday at a fair in Seattle. They have a great time till they encounter a strange fortune teller. Ignoring her warnings they decide to visit the house of mirrors. Soon both girls are traveling through the mirror and back into 1964. They decide to bide their time till they can get back to 2020 but things like boys begin to complicate things.

The good news is that even though this book is part of a series you can read it without reading the other books. When I started the book I was worried that one of my biggest pet peeves was in there...the dreaded head hopping (changing first person perspective). I was worried because the chapters had the name of the different sisters. But I didn't have to worry as this was not first person and there was no real head hopping. Believe me I gave a sigh of relief.

Of the two sisters Ginny was my favorite right out of the gate. But I loved the relationship between the twins. Each one was unique but they had that special bond that twins seem to have including communicating without speaking.

I used to be a HUGE fan of time travel stories but this one was unique in that it takes place in the 60's. I can't remember another time travel book that I've read that has done that. I love that it was close enough to have been in recent memory for some people but yet far enough away to seem a whole lifetime ago (which I suppose for some it is).

I really enjoyed the book and plan on checking out at least one other book in the series.

4 out of 5 stars.

*I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.