Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

From Goodreads:

"Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never shows up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far away from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost heirloom for him. The search-and the stranger-will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared..."

My Thoughts:

I'm not a huge YA reader but books like this make me want to read more. This was a fun, fast read that was completely an enjoyable experience. Nothing amazing but a good read nonetheless. Tamsin is a character that I could easily relate to and I'm sure that others (especially teens) can relate to her as well. The mystery was well thought out and kept me interested especially with the time travel elements. My only complaint was with the ending as it fell a bit flat for me. But as their is a sequel (I'm assuming due to the ending), I'm still agree to read more about Tamsin and her family. And may I just say that I really enjoy books with witches in them. All in all, a good read and I'll be waiting for more by this author!

Disclosure: Checked out from the li..li...library!
*I read this book for the following challenges:
YA Challenge
New Author Challenge
Support Your Library Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another Challenge Post

I know I'm a bit crazy when it comes to joining challenges but I just can't seem to help myself. If you haven't figured it out by now...I'm pretty low key when it comes to participating in them :) I love to try to finish them and feel that the challenges help to expand my reading. But it doesn't bother me if I don't finish. So with that said let's look at the new challenges that I plan on joining!

First off, I'm joining the lovely Trish's Classics Challenge. I'm horrible with reading classics. It is sad but true. And it pains me to admit this but I've never read Jane Austen. Ever. So this is the challenge for me as I'm going to give her a try this year :) I'm joining in at the "snack" level which is requiring me to read 4 classics. Should be interesting!

I'm also joining in The Nonfiction 5 challenge which is also hosted by Trish. This is the perfect challenge for me as I'm trying to read more nonfiction this year. The only rules are that you have to read one book that is in a different category of nonfiction than the other 4 that you read.

The next challenge that I decided to join was the Cozy Mystery Challenge. I love a good cozy mystery so this is another great challenge for me! And it only requires me to read 6 cozy mysteries...should be fun ;)

The World Party Reading Challenge is another one that I can't resist. 12 books from 12 different countries. And a party at that...how could I possibly resist?? I'm always trying to expand my reading so it only makes sense to join this one.

And finally I'm joining the It's the End of the World III Challenge. I've got a ton of dystopian fiction that I want to read so this one should be easy. And it only requires reading 4 books.

So that is the end of my insanity...for now. I can't promise that I won't join more if I see another challenge that catches my eye. We'll have to see if I manage to finish any challenges this year :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Truly, Madly stars Lucy Valentine whose family's business is matchmaking. Unfortunately, Lucy doesn't have the same skills as her parents but instead is able to find objects that have been lost which isn't a very helpful psychic ability in her opinion. That is until she gets drawn down into the family business and finds herself searching for a murderer. With the help of a private investigator named Sean Donahue, Lucy is going to need all the psychic help that she can get.

I love a good cozy mystery and this definitely fit the bill. It was purely a fun, light read that I was able to breeze through in a couple of days. The strengths of this book were the characters more than anything. Lucy is fun and instantly likeable which made for a great main character. Sean isn't your typical "perfect" male love interest/mystery solver which made the book more unique. Plus, Lucy has a couple of close friends that were fun to read about as well. The storyline was a bit out there which didn't detract so much as I just had to let go and enjoy the story that the author was trying to tell. The ending was great as I thought I had it figured out but I most definitely didn't. All in all, a fun read and I will be reading the next book in this series when it comes out!

Disclosure: I received this book from a giveaway on Goodreads. This review is my honest opinion :)
*I read this book for the following challenges:
1st in a Series Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
New Author Challenge
"W" Author for the A-Z Challenge (personal)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Once Upon a Time IV Challenge

How exciting to see that Carl is once again hosting this fabulous challenge! I participated last year in the Once Upon a Time challenge and had a blast so of course I was eagerly anticipating joining in on the fun again this year. And I have a ton of books on my TBR list that fit so I'm joining in on the first quest which requires me to read 5 books relating to fantasy, fairy tales, and other fun stuff. I put together a pool of books that I might choose from but I'll probably end up improvising as I see what everyone else is reading :) Yay for Carl and his wonderful challenges!

1. Un Lun Dun
2. Wondrous Strange
3. Rampant
4. Poison Study

5. The Colour of Magic
6. A Madness of Angels
7. The Book of Lost Things
8. Lips Touch Three Times

9. Lament
10. Ink Exchange
11. Fables: Volume 3
12. Death Masks

13. Ice
14. Book of a Thousand Days
15. Ash
16. The Wood Wife

These are just some of the options that I have to choose from. If you are looking for recommendations may I suggest The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. It was my favorite book that I read for this challenge last year! Here is to some fun-filled months of reading fantasy :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Library Loot

Library Loot asks us to share what we found at the library each week. This week Eva has the linky so go visit her and share what you found at your library.

I'm not sure what I was thinking...I already had plenty of books checked out from the library. But I got the itch and couldn't help but scratch it by putting more books on hold. And of course the holds all came in together which is always exciting at the time except now I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to read all of them. They look so pretty though that I can't help but want to read each and every one of them RIGHT now! I have issues...especially since I saw that Carl is once again hosting the Once Upon a Time challenge. That is going to require me to request even more. LOL! Okay, maybe require is a strong word but really how can I resist? I'll need to put some more fantasy on hold just to make me happy. Anyways, here is what I picked up from the library recently:

1. Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier
2. Because Your Vampire Said So by Michelle Bardsley
3. Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler
4. Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
5. Break Neck by Erica Spindler
6. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
7. Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

I'm so excited about all of these..it isn't even funny! I'm currently reading Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk which is an interesting read. I had to take Wolf Hall back to the library as I couldn't renew it (someone else wanted to read it apparently ;0) so I'll have to request it again at some point. I wasn't very far into it though so it didn't bother me that much. That's about it. Let me know if you've read any of these and your thoughts if you have!
P.S.- I've had a busy couple of weeks but I'm hoping to get a few reviews posted soon. Plus, I need to create another challenge post as there are a few more challenges out there that I feel compelled to join. I'm crazy...I admit it :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu

From Goodreads:

"Demon hunter Maxine Kiss wears her armor as tattoos, which unwind from her body to take on forms of their own at night. They stand between her and her enemies, just as Maxine stands between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment-and one man-changes everything."

My Thoughts:

The Iron Hunt was an interesting beginning to this urban fantasy series and different from a lot of the other books that are out there. Maxine is the only person fighting against the demons that are starting to break out from the prison that they have been trapped in for years. And her help comes from the tattoos on her body...tattoos that are actual demons that come off of her at nighttime. This made such an interesting premise for the story that I was hooked from the beginning. Maxine was a very different main character: at times she was very strong and seemed capable of handling anything, and at others she was filled with self doubt and seemed weak. It made her seem very realistic as all of these changes in personality are coming at a time when everything she knows is being turned upside down. The rules that she was taught as a child seem to be changing and it seems as if her dead mother didn't tell her everything that she would need to know. All of the questions and suspense made for a really good read. But. My only problem was that you could really tell that this was the beginning of the series. It seemed like there was a lot of setup for what was to come and not enough development within this book. And I wanted more answers for Maxine and just didn't get them. So it looks like I really need to pick up the next book and fast ;)

All in all, a good beginning to this urban fantasy series and another author that I will be following closely. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the storyline develops in the next book!

Disclosure: I got this one from the library. Woohoo!
*I read this for the following challenges:
Speculative Fiction Challenge
New Author Challenge
1st in a Series Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Support Your Library Challenge
"I" Title for A-Z Challenge (personal)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Summary from Goodreads:

"U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.
But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems.
And neither is Teddy Daniels."

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book! This is the best type of suspense/thriller that is out there in my opinion. Shutter Island has a creepy atmosphere that drew me into the story from the very beginning. I would be planning on just reading a few more pages and then would find myself still reading an hour later. I literally could not put this book down. Teddy Daniels was a great main character. He was very likeable but from the beginning there are questions as he seems to have his own motives. There were tons of twists and turns within the story and the ending...wow! I mean WOW! But that is all I can tell you without giving anything away. So I'm going to stop there.

Really this is a book that I will definitely be recommending to everyone that I come across. And I know that makes for a really short review but honestly I think that it is better going into this book knowing as little as possible. If you enjoy suspense and thrillers at all then you really need to pick this book up.

P.S.- I am now dying to see the movie!!! Plus, it has Leonardo DiCaprio in it...what could be better?

Disclaimer: I checked this one out from the library too...as usual.
*I read this for the following challenges:
New Author Challenge
Suspense/Thriller Challenge
Support Your Library Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
"L" Author for the A-Z Challenge (personal)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event that asks us to share what we picked up from the library. Visit Eva and Marg to share what you got!

I love my library! Love, love, love. As usual, I put a bunch of books on hold at the library and they all ended up coming in at once. I'm not complaining though as looking at all of them and their beautiful covers makes me happy. LOL! I'm a nut. I cannot wait to read all of these...that's for sure. This week I picked up:

1. Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
2. Soulless by Gail Carriger
3. Kitty's House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn (I'm itching to pick this one up right now!)
4. All the Pretty Girls by J.T. Ellison
5. Escape by Carolyn Jessop (This is my nonfiction pick for this month...I didn't end up reading my choice for last month though)
6. Deadtown by Nancy Holzner
7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (rereading the series)
8. Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James

So there you have it. These should last me for the next couple of weeks especially since I still have a few books left over from previous library visits. I need to get to reading! Let me know if you've read any of these and what you thought.