Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (thoughts)

The Cuckoo's Calling is one of those mysteries that slowly draws you into its' pages.  I found myself caught up within the mystery quite easily which meant that I had a hard time setting this chunkster down.  My wrists were sore from holding the book by the end but it was definitely worth it.  I think that the question that is present throughout most of the book of whether a murder has really taken place or not made this book that much better for me.  Because it really always isn't as cut and dry as some books make it, and this questioning atmosphere really added to the suspense in my opinion.  Let me explain with a give you a quick summary before I go any further.

In this book, Cormoran Strike has basically hit rock bottom.  He is in a great deal of debt, doesn't have any clients but one, and is now living out of his office thanks to breaking up with his long time girlfriend/fiancee.  Enter John Bristow who comes to Strike looking for him to investigate the death of his sister, a famous model that is believed to have jumped to her death.  John refuses to admit to the possibility that this troubled woman might have committed suicide but instead insists that it must have been murder.  Against Strike's better intentions, he agrees to look into Lula Landry's death for Bristow.  Strike begins to find more questions than answers even though almost everyone that he meets believes that she killed herself.  Will Strike be able to figure out the truth behind this tragedy?

This book was on my radar even before I heard that J.K. Rowling had written it.  Then I heard that Rowling was using a pseudonym and Galbraith was really her...and you get the picture here, right?  Instantly this book skyrocketed to my TBR list just because.  Where it just sat because sometimes when you love an author's books so much you begin to wait for that one book that is going to break the spell.  Or at least I do that which is a really bad habit.  Although this book was completely different from the Harry Potter series in every way possible, it was such a good book that manages to stand on its' own merit quite well.  I found myself immersed in this book in the best possible way.  It made me realize (yet again) that I just do not read enough chunky books.  As an avid reader sometimes I find that I stay away from these longer reads just because I don't want to commit to them.  It is definitely my loss because books like this are why I should be reading longer books!  Galbraith's attention to details builds the atmosphere and storyline in a way that just draws the reader in.  I loved that I was constantly trying to figure out if a murder had really happened or not.  Comoran doesn't give a lot away in regards to his emotions and it helped to really keep me guessing.  Did he think that John Bristow was just in denial or did he really think that somebody had committed cold blooded murder?  I spent half of the book just trying to figure out the answer to that exact question. 

While the book slowly swept me into it, it was the characters that really made this book a great read.  I loved Comoran's character from almost the very beginning of this book.  He is just such a great character- unapologetic, imperfect, and yet someone that you are almost instantly drawn to.  I felt like he was a real person by the end of the book.  The storyline took its' time building up but really managed to blow me away at the end.  I mean, what?!?!  I totally didn't figure out any part of the ending whatsoever.  And that is all I'm going to tell you so that I don't spoil anything.  This was a great beginning to a new mystery series that I cannot wait to read more of!  Bring on more Comoran Strike!

Overall, this is very likely going on my top reads list for the year!  I just really enjoyed my entire reading experience and was sad to see the book end.  The only bright spot is knowing that the second book has already released so that I don't have a long wait for book two.  I'm eager to see what other kinds of trouble that Comoran can get himself into.  This mystery series is a long ways away from my Harry Potter addiction but the best part is that I can love them both for their differences.  Besides, it makes me wonder what else J.K. Rowling can possibly have in store for us readers....the possibilities are endless and super exciting!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A mystery series that became an instant favorite!

Disclosure:  I checked this book out from the library...I want it for my own shelves though!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Sunday Post #2 (Or a Reading Update)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

I think that I'm finally starting to adjust to this very busy schedule that my family currently has going.  It isn't so stressful anymore which is a nice change.  Practices are turning in to uninterrupted reading time which is a nice way for me to relax a bit.  The only thing that threw a wrench in my plans this week was the fact that I got sick.  Ugh!  I managed to come down with this lovely cough/cold that everyone seems to be sharing with one another.  I did nothing this week blog wise.  In fact, I had a blog tour post I missed, and the only reason I managed to post ANYTHING was that I had scheduled it previously.  Let's see if I can do better this week!  I'm feeling much better which is a good start.  Anyways let's talk books instead, shall we??

Last week on the blog I:
  • Shared my thoughts on Dark Skye by Kresley Cole which I loved (and I actually just got the 1st book in this series from the library.  Yay!)
I have finished recently the following books:

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith - A slow building mystery that I really could not get enough of.  I love a good chunky mystery where I just can dive into the world that the author has created.  I was a bit nervous as this is J.K. Rowling and all but I needn't have worried.  I'm looking forward to grabbing the second book in this series very soon!

The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley - This was a paranormal mystery that I enjoyed as well.  I actually had parts of this book figured out and others not so much.  While I really enjoyed the mystery portion of this book, I didn't care for the paranormal portions as much.  But that is just me and it still ended up being a good read.  I will be sharing my thoughts on both of these books very soon.

I'm currently reading the following books:

The Haunting of Hill House is suitably creepy and I've been having fun taking notes for the read-a-long while reading.  I cannot wait to see what everyone else thinks about this scary little book.  I will be finishing it myself just in time to discuss on the first of October.

Sugar, Salt, Fat is quite a disturbing read about the food industry, and I'm still in the beginning pages of the book.  It has definitely made me start paying more attention to the foods that I'm eating.  Do I really need to add salt to my dinner?  Or sugar to my coffee?  It's intriguing but a slower read for me that I have to be in the right mood for.

A Penny for the Hangman is my current read on my ipad that I've just barely begun.  It's a mystery though that sounds quite chilling from the description.  I will be focusing on reading it this week as it is for an upcoming blog tour. 

New Arrivals: 

Thank to the publishers and Netgalley for both of these books!

and way TOO many library books to share here.  Expect another library loot post very soon :)

I'm off to finish watching the Bears game and work on my laundry piles.  I will hopefully be visiting all of you later on today.  I hope that everyone has a great week filled with a few good books. 

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dark Skye by Kresley Cole (thoughts)

I'm going to start my review on this book with my final thoughts:  I absolutely don't read enough paranormal romance!  And this book made me wonder why as I just gobbled it up!  This book was one of those perfect reads where you read it at exactly the right time.  I had been in the mood for a good romance (but haven't read that many this year so far) and liked the sound of this one.  Two families that hate each other with an intense history of violence?  A hero and heroine who once shared a secret relationship when they were younger but now cannot stand one another?  Yes please!  I knew that this was going to be my kind of romance and it certainly was!

In this book, Melanthe and Thronos had a secret friendship when they were very young.  A violent past though tore their relationship apart and caused them both to hate the other in every way possible.  The fact that Thronos knows that Melanthe is his fated mate means that he cannot leave her alone even if he hates her for all that she has done to him.  Melanthe's childhood experiences have caused her to despise all Vrekeners but especially her ex-childhood friend Thronos.  When they are thrown together and forced to survive in different worlds, they will begin to rediscover some of their past history finding that everything that they both believed in might not be the truth.  Will love find a way to reunite them??? 

Okay so I've got to admit that I was easily rooting for these two from the very beginning of this book.  I am such a sucker for a romance where the hero/heroine hate each other.  I love the slow build up to where that hate turns to passion.  I especially like when they resist each other for some time....it comes across more believable then when one just rolls over and falls madly in love for no reason.  Give me a book like this anytime and I will be hooked!  I thought the author did a really great job of setting all of these different obstacles between them especially with their shared history.  I also appreciated that their relationship slowly began to build and simmer.  It made it that much more steamier when it finally happened in my opinion :)  And this was definitely one of those books that I couldn't set down.  I found myself skimming at times just so that I could see what was going to happen next.  Then I would go back and reread just to make sure that I hadn't missed anything.  This is my first book by this author which means that I started yet again in the middle of a long standing series.  It didn't matter in the slightest.  I really appreciated that this book felt like a stand-alone novel even though now I know I have lots of good books to look forward to!  My only complaint with this book is in regards to the ending.  I feel like it wrapped up a little too fast and left more open than I would have liked.  Does this mean that we will have another book featuring Thronos and Lanthe?  I don't know but I do know that I would really like it if we did.  Overall though, even though I was left wanting more it didn't really detract from my reading experience all that much. 

This book has me eager to start at the beginning of this fourteen plus book series!  If they are all this good then I will certainly be in for a treat.  I really loved this book!  The connection between Thronos and Lanthe was something that I couldn't get enough of.  The best thing about finally trying this author's books though is just knowing that I have so many more to look forward to.  I can't wait!  And like I said before, I'm eager to try some new paranormal romance series out just to see what else I have been missing.  What other paranormal romance series are out there that you can't get enough of??  Please share as I need more books like this in my life!  Highly recommended but especially to romance fans and fans of the paranormal. 

Bottom Line:  A slow building romance led up to a GREAT read for me!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Thoughts are my own!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Read-A-Longs (Where I Overcommit Myself Yet Again)

What is it about this time of year that always makes me want to find a great read-a-long to join in on?  I don't know the exact reasons, but I can tell you that I've really been in the mood to participate in a read-a-long just for the sense of community that these always seem to bring.   Plus, it is always such  fun to discuss a good book with other readers (and especially a scary one).  So here I am completely over-extending myself and signing up for three read-a-longs that will all fit in with the R.I.P. challenge.  

I'm a bit late for the first one but I am planning on starting (today) The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.  This read-a-long is being hosted by the lovely ladies at The Estella Society.  I should be ready to discuss on October 1st.  I'm super excited to finally read this one as it has been on my R.I.P. lists for years now. 

I am also finally read to try Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury hosted by Sandy from You've Gotta Read This and Ti from Book Chatter.  I couldn't resist joining this one when I saw the Twitter hashtag #EnterTheRingmaster.  This should be fun!

Finally, I am signing up to participate in a read-a-long for Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.  I loved Affinity (the only book of hers that I have read so far) and have been meaning to read more every since.  This read-a-long is being hosted by The Literate Housewife.

I cannot tell you guys how excited I am to participate in all three of these read-a-longs.  Are any of you planning on joining in on one of these?  Or are you just sitting there laughing at my crazy bookish ways yet once again?? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (September 15th)

It's Monday! is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and states:

"Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!"

Oh my goodness but time has gotten away from me lately!  I wish I had all of these amazingly good reasons why I took two plus weeks off from the blog but really it was because I was completely burned out.  And not from blogging either which is unusual as a lot of times that is where my blogging breaks come from.  No, I have just been tired from being constantly on the go thanks to real life.  Sports practices, school for the kiddos (read: homework help), and being on the go EVERY weekend for the past three weeks has made me one tired mama.  Plus, I am in charge of all housework/yard work as my poor husband recently had shoulder surgery.  My house may not be as clean as usual (and my laundry piles are quite high) but I feel like I am holding my own pretty darn well.  And I am cooking which is pretty impressive if you consider the lack of cooking skills that I seem to possess.  LOL!  Now it is time to catch up with you all, and share what I've been reading amidst all of the chaos.  In the past couple of weeks I have finished the following books:

The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier-  This book took me a bit to get into but by the end I couldn't set it down.  I'm eager to read more by this author and see what other disturbing things that she comes up with.  Review to (hopefully) come later this week!

Dawn's Early Light by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris- I just adore this series!!!  This book was just as good as I hoped it would be (if not better).  I'm completely anticipating the fourth book even though it doesn't release until sometime next year.  I also decided that I will end up rereading the first three books in this series BEFORE I continue on with the newest one.  Why?  Just because I love this series so much!

Dark Skye by Kresley Cole-  Why haven't I tried this series before now???  This was such a good read (and quite steamy) which meant that I just flew through the pages.  I can't wait to go back and see how it all began with the first book!  Another book that I am hoping to review this week.  And a new author to read lots more of!

After all of these great reads, I am now currently reading the following books:

I am really going to focus on finishing up The Night Visitor this week as I am participating in a blog tour for it next week.  I'm about halfway through and it is starting to pick up the pace.  The Cuckoo's Calling is my first official read for Carl's R.I.P. reading challenge although both of these books will fit for it.  I'm really liking this one as well!  Good books make all of the craziness worth it!  And my family's happiness of course :)

While I play catch up on basically everything blog related, tell me what I missed these past two weeks.  Are there any must reads that I need to check out?  What have you been reading while I was away??

Happy Monday and Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

R.I.P. IX Challenge (Or My Favorite Time of the Year!)

Scary reading and colder weather!  I've been looking forward to this time of year for about a month now!  And setting aside books for Carl's R.I.P reading challenge for about just as long.  This is one of my favorite yearly blogging events and something that I look forward to every year.  I'm just a little late to the game this year as real life has been INSANELY busy!  I saw the signup post and meant to post then (as I've already begun reading my first book for this challenge) but didn't.  Oh well, I'm here now and ready to throw my hat in the ring.  I adore this challenge as it is completely low key.  Plus, I always add a TON of books to my TBR list thanks to everyone's reviews/reading lists.  My library account is getting a workout already as I couldn't resist putting a few more books on hold for this. 

I'm signing up for Peril the first which means I will read at least four books that fit in with this challenge.  That is the minimum as I am basically devoting the next two months to reading books that will fit in with this challenge.  I'm pumped!  Here are just some of the books that I am considering reading for this challenge. 

These are all books that I pulled off of my own shelves for this challenge.  I feel like there is a good mix here of suspense, mystery, horror, and my personal favorite: gothic fiction!

As if I don't have enough, these are all of the library books that I have waiting and ready for this challenge.  I'm currently reading The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling).  I'm only about a third of the way into the book but it is pretty good so far.  

I'm also hoping to participate in the group read-along for The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.   Because that book has seriously been on my reading list for this challenge for multiple years.  This year will be the one where I actually read it!

Are any of you participating in this challenge?  Does anyone else have a reading pool as crazy as mine?

Happy Scary Reading!