Monday, May 31, 2010

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

What an unusual reading experience for me! I adored the first half of the book, was "meh" about the second half, and ended up liking the book altogether. Interesting, huh? Let me share my thoughts but first a little bit about the book.

What Was Lost is the story of a young girl named Kate who goes missing (and no that isn't a spoiler, it is on the back of the book). Anyways, Kate is a different child and wants to grow up to be a detective. She practices every day by going to the mall and observing the people there looking for criminals. And then one day she disappears to never be heard or seen from again. Fast forward to 30 years later, and we are introduced to a security guard named Kurt that works at the mall where Kate used to spend much of her time at. Kurt is unhappy with where his life is at but doesn't seem to have the motivation to change anything. And then he sees a little girl on camera and his life begins to change in ways that he couldn't have forseen.

The first half of this book is Kate's story and I just loved it. Kate is such a sad little girl but she doesn't see it that way. Her dad has died and she uses her crime detection to avoid thinking about her loss and the feelings that she is repressing. She's a quirky character that the author paints in such a realistic light...I just loved her! I loved reading about her adventures and even though I knew what was going to happen to her (kinda, sorta, the disappearing part), I couldn't help but hope for a different outcome. The second half of the book was more of Kurt's story along with Lisa. Lisa is the sister of the man who was accused of kidnapping Kate. Lisa works at the mall also and along with Kurt seems to be more passive in life than anything. Neither character was very relatable to me which was part of the reason why that I didn't care so much for the later half of the book. I just wanted to shake them at times and say "If you are so unhappy, make a change!!!!" or something to that extent. The ending was different and not quite what I expected but all in all, I ended up realizing that I liked this book. It is an unusual read but a good story nonetheless. Recommended to those who enjoy general fiction.

Disclosure- From the library :)
*I read this for the following challenges:
Orange Prize Reading Project (longlisted in 2007)
New Author Challenge
Support Your Library Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Book Awards IV Challenge
"O" Author for A-Z Challenge (personal)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti isn't your typical high society matron and in fact, she is almost the complete opposite. Alexia has no soul and that is just one of the things that is different about her. Without meaning to Alexia accidentally kills a vampire and stumbles upon more trouble than she could have ever counted on. Alexia meets her match though when Lord Maccon, the werewolf, begins to investigate. The two of them are going to get more than they bargained for while the tension between them mounts.

How to classify this book?? It is a little bit of everything which makes this book such a good read. There is paranormal (a favorite of mine), steampunk, mystery, romance, and historical aspects to name a few. The dialogue between the characters, especially Lord Maccon and Alexia, is witty and made me chuckle a few times. The storyline itself was interesting and kept me entralled within the pages. What I liked most about this book is that it is so original. The details and the storyline are just a bit different than anything that I've read. I think that the multiple genres really adds to the book. And the book is fun! I would definitely recommend this one especially if you are looking for something that is just a bit different than what you would usually read. I can't wait to read more by this author and see what kind of trouble Alexia gets herself into next.

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Library Loot

Library loot is where we share the treasures we find at our local libraries :) This week the Linky is at Marg's blog if you want to join in as well.

As usual, I've gone a bit overboard with checking books out from the library. I just can't seem to help myself even when I know I shouldn't. If I stayed away from the library for a month, I might (might being the keyword here) be able to make a dent in my library pile. But I can't seem to do fact I happen to know that The Glass Room is sitting at the library waiting for me to pick it up as I write this. And the temptation of browsing for a few minutes while I grab my holds is usually too much. LOL! Here is what I've picked up since my last library loot post from a couple weeks back.

*EEK* I've just realized that is ten books. And I still have a bunch from my last post...oh dear. I went on a bit of a dystopian kick which is where a few of these came from. Monique and the Mango Rains is my next nonfiction pick and will be the first book I read for the Nonfiction 5 challenge. I hope. They all look so good that I'm pretty sure I don't know where to start. I'm open for suggestions ;) In other reading news, I just finished Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder and am already chomping at the bit to pick up the next book in this trilogy. So glad that I finally picked it up! I'm currently reading The Keep by Jennifer Egan which was longlisted for The Orange Prize a few years back. Looks like I better get back to reading...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

All The Pretty Girls by J.T. Elllison

From Goodreads:

"When a local girl falls prey to a sadistic serial killer, Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her lover, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, find themselves in a joint investigation pursuing a vicious murderer. The Southern Strangler is slaughtering his way through the Southeast, leaving a gruesome memento at each crime scene-the prior victim's severed hand."

My Thoughts:

I was in the mood for a good thriller and had heard good things about this author which is why I gave this book a try. It is the first in a series and it was a good start in my opinion. The mystery surrounding the killer was fast-paced and bodies were turning up left and right as soon as the book started. But what made this book unique is that there were other ongoing investigations that Taylor (the main character) was dealing with that I found myself interested in as well. Taylor was a strong main character and I liked how the book switched viewpoints from her to her lover John Baldwin who was mainly investigating the serial killer. The book itself was good although I didn't find myself instantly pulled into it as I had hoped. The ending was strong and I didn't figure out who the serial killer was until close to the end which is always a good thing. All in all, a good read if you enjoy thrillers. I know that I'll be reading more of this author at some point.

Disclosure- Requested this one from the library!
*I read this for the following challenges:
Suspense/Thriller Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Support Your Library Reading Challenge
New Author Challenge
1st in a Series Challenge
"E" Author for A-Z Challenge (personal)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Mage In Black by Jaye Wells

Last year one of my absolute favorite urban fantasy reads was Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells. So it should come as no suprise that I was itching to get my hands on The Mage In Black and see what Ms. Wells had in store for us with the 2nd part of this trilogy. The Mage In Black begins where Red-Headed Stepchild left off so I was instantly drawn back into the story and the world that was created with the first book.

***There may be minor spoilers within this review (I'll try to keep them to a minimum) ***

The second book begins with Sabina going to New York to meet her twin sister for the first time. She is going to learn about her mage side of the family for the first time as well which means exploring magic and the part of herself that has always been shunned. But of course trouble follows Sabina wherever she goes and soon she is dealing with werewolves, faeries, and an old flame all of which are ready to stir up trouble for Sabina.

This book was filled with action just like its predecessor. Sabina is an amazing main character that I just can't seem to get enough of. She always seems to get herself into trouble and I love reading about all of her adventures. She also has a kick-ass attitude that is a bit of a front for her softer side that she so rarely shows. I loved that we got to know Sabina's sister in this book and I liked how different she was from Sabina. I wanted more when I finished reading this book which is always a good shows just how much I enjoyed it. The storyline was fast paced and sucked me instantly within the pages of the book. There is one caveat and that is you REALLY need to read the first book before giving this one a try as you would be lost otherwise. All in all, an amazing urban fantasy read and now I'm dying to see how it all ends in the last book! I will be reading anything/everything that Ms. Wells writes in the future after enjoying these first two books so much :)

Disclosure- I was lucky enough to receive this book from the publisher. Thank you!!!!
*I read this book for the following challenges:
Speculative Fiction Challenge
Once Upon a Time IV Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
2nds Challenge
"M" Title for A-Z Challenge (personal)