Monday, February 29, 2016

Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl


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Summary from Goodreads:

Everybody has a Cordova story. Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn't been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an enigma. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father.

On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a severely cursed dynasty.

For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, curiosity and a need for the truth, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid.

The last time McGrath got close to exposing Cordova, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lose his grip on reality.

ONCE WE FACE OUR DEEPEST FEARS, WHAT LIES ON THE OTHER SIDE?

My Review:

Despite my interest in mystery/thriller films/television I've never really gotten into mystery novels (expect some YA ones) but thanks to Night Film and Cuckoo's Calling I'm now on a mystery novel binge.

The mystery was compelling and it was able to keep my captivated for the 600 paged novel (which was unneeded) and it kept me reading, most of all because McGrath who was a great main character (and thankfully the novel only had one POV). Plus, the side characters like Nora and Hopper were great as well, they added to the mystery.

I also enjoyed the media elements of the novel with the articles and websites interjected between chapters. And the plot was very strong/interesting (could have had a stronger twist at the end)  and I could see the story continuing in a second novel. However, I would have enjoyed a more supernatural twist to the story (like vampires or something like that).

However, some chapters in the middle of the novel (one that makes it seem like the narrator is on drugs) and the final ending of the novel were quite confusing and I'm not sure what I made of it.

I recommend checking out this novel if you enjoy mysteries.
My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five

Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: The Silkworm (#2) by Robert Galbraith


The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)

Summary form Goodreads:

Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestsellerThe Cuckoo's Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...
 


My Review:

Thanks to the first novel of this series, Cuckoo's Calling, I'm now on a mystery binge and I'm starting with all of the Strike series. :)

The second novel was just as compelling as the first, however, I was not a big fan of the content of the missing authors novel, it was pretty sick and I think the story could have done without it. Besides that the book into publishing and all of the new characters involved with the mystery were interesting and funny. 


It is pretty hard to pick my favorite character because Robin and Strike are both equally awesome, and I enjoyed how the story with them grew and that Robin is starting to become a PI. I would love to read a novel in the future with Robin in charge investigating. 

I absolutely love the relationship between Robin and Strike, and I'd enjoy it as a romance or as PI partners.

I recommend this series if you enjoy intriguing mysteries with great characters.

My Rating:

Four Stars out of Five

Thursday, February 25, 2016

RereadReview: Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot


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Summary from Goodreads:

There's a hot guy in Susannah Simon's bedroom. Too bad he's a ghost.

Suze is a mediator - a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it's not that easy. There's a ghost with revenge on her mind... and Suze happens to be in the way.

My Review:


This a reread for me, I read the majority of this series back when I was in junior high (I'm 23 now, so that was a while ago, lol) and I decided to refresh my memory because of Cabot's new book about the character, Suze, as an adult.

I love how Cabot is revisiting her past junior/ya series, like the Princess Diaries, and giving my favorite characters adult lives. I wish that other ya authors would do this as well! I'm hoping that she keeps up this trend (and I want more Mia!!)  because she has been an important author during my reading life/childhood.

My rating was a bit low, but three stars from me means the novel was okay but I struggled to get into. Mainly, I struggled getting back into reading this series because I don't tend to reread novels if I remember them too well.

Plus, Suze was okay but she is not my favorite main character, and I wanted more from the other characters like Jessie.

I'm picking up the other 6 (and I have the new one 7 on my kindle) and hope I can get back my past love of Cabot and this series.

I recommend checking this series if you enjoy other Cabot series.

My Rating:

Three Stars Out of Five Stars

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday # 89




Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while, the meme is hosted by Pen to Paper.


17239882Summary from Goodreads:

The road to power...is paved with blood and magic.

Cleo
 is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.
Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.
Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.

After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over....

At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas's hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia's, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus's, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.

When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius's road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.
 

My Notes:

I finally got my hands on a copy from the library but I need to finally start reading it.

Waiting on Wednesday # 89



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you pick a book that is coming out soon that you want to read.

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My Notes:

There isn't a summary for the book yet but the third book in the The Lone City series finally has a cover! :) Too bad I have to wait until October to read it. 


Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #91

IT'S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING?



THIS MEME COMES NOW COMES FROM THE BOOK DATE


Books I Read Last Week:


Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs (4 Stars)
Sons of Anarchy Volume 2 (3 Stars)
Octavian Middle English Romance (4 Stars)

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Number of Pages: 430

Films Watched (I'm a Film Minor):

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
A Street Car Called Desire (1951)
Spotlight (2015) - Theater
Deadpool (2016) - Theater
Pulp Fiction (1994)


Currently Reading:


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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Stacking the Shelves/Weekly Update #89

Stacking the Shelves



Reviews:

Truthwitch: Review
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: Review
A Step Toward Falling: Review

Library:

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For Review:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard


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Summary from Goodreads:

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

My Review:

I jumped on the bandwagon and read this new fantasy novel, it was okay, not my favorite fantasy but okay.

The world building and the magic were a fit rushed for me, I wanted to learn more about them before being thrown into the story. Parts of it were confusing, and some of it dragged for me. Mainly the ending. I'm unsure if I want to read the next one, but I may just for Iseult and her interesting story line.

I really liked the character Iseult and would have enjoyed the novel more if she was the main POV, plus many the Bloodwitch, I loved the interactions between the two characters. Safi was an okay main character as well but I just did not connect that much with her and her romance.

I recommend this if you enjoy good characters and a fun read.

My Rating:

Three Stars Out of Five

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday # 88





"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you pick a book that is coming out soon that you want to read.




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Summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything...including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.

My Notes:

I love the cover for this snow white retelling.

Wishlist Wednesday # 88




Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while, the meme is hosted by Pen to Paper.



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Summary from Goodreads:

Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestsellerThe Cuckoo's Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...
 

My Notes:

I already have this one just waiting for me to read it. :)

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


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Summary from Goodreads:

This Printz Honor Book is a “tender, honest exploration of identity” (Publishers Weekly) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

My Review:

I've been meaning to pick up this contemporary for ages because of all the hype surrounding it.

My main problem with contemporary tends to lie with bad characters, too many povs, and frustrating plots but this now had none of those and that made reading it so enjoyable.

Aristotle was an interesting character, he was not perfect with a bad temper and some times saying he hated Dante or his family but that is what made him seem real. I loved Dante as well but would have loved to learn even more about him and about Aristotle's brother.

I did not see the ending coming but when it did it made a lot of Ari's actions/thoughts made sense.

Now I just want the second novel to be in the POV of Dante for the whole novel! :)

I recommend checking out this novel for the brilliant characters and slow building but amazing story/plot.

My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review: A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern


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Summary from Goodreads:

Sometimes one mistake can change everything.

Emily doesn’t know why she froze. Or why Lucas did too. Afterward, she thought of different ways to rationalize it. But the truth is, they could have helped Belinda, and they didn’t. It’s a mistake they’ll both have to live with.

Sometimes doing nothing is the only way to cope.

Belinda doesn’t want to talk about what happened. Because when she does, it feels like it’s happening all over again.

Sometimes good can come from bad.

Emily and Lucas’s punishment is community service at a center for people with disabilities. People like Belinda. Soon they feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. Like they could help not only those at the center but also each other.

But when Belinda returns to school, Emily and Lucas have to figure out if they can do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt most.

My Review:

I had a hard time deciding if I truly enjoyed this YA contemporary, if it deserved three stars instead of four but I gave it four because of the character Belinda and the uplifting aspects of the novel.

However, once again the duel POV was unneeded the book would have been brilliant from Belinda's POV the whole time (even it it meant not showing the class).

I also liked that they did not overly stress the romance aspect between Emily/Lucas so it did not take anything away from Belinda's story or her romance.

The best part of the plot for me was the play of Pride and Prejudice, mainly because I know how things we love and enjoy can help us heal from hard times.

I recommend checking this new novel out if you enjoyed her other contemporary.

My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #90

IT'S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING?



THIS MEME COMES NOW COMES FROM THE BOOK DATE


Books I Read Last Week:


Sir Eglamour (3 Stars)
Sons of Anarchy Volume 1 by Christopher Golden, Damian Couceiro (Illustrator) (3 Stars)
The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire: The World of Dan and Phill (3 Stars)
Shadowland (#1) by Meg Cabot (3 Stars)
Night Film by Marisha Pessl (4 Stars)
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (3 Stars)
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Number of Pages:  1,771


Currently Reading:


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Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith



16160797Summary from Goodreads:

A BRILLIANT DEBUT MYSTERY IN A CLASSIC VEIN: DETECTIVE CORMORAN STRIKE INVESTIGATES A SUPERMODEL'S SUICIDE.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

My Review:

It took me a while to finally pick up Cuckoo's Calling because I'm not a huge fan of mystery novels, I've only just started getting into them. I'm super picky about stories with twists/mysteries because I get bored if I can guess what is going to happen.

However, I really enjoyed this mystery and I'm already planning on reading the next two books in the series.

Besides the interesting murder mystery surrounding a model who "killed" herself and the interesting conclusion to it I loved the two main characters. I even tolerated the duel POVS or Strike, a PI and Robin his new secretory (who I believe will become PI later in the series).

Rolling does a great job writing characters, the novel is filled with a lot of dialogue but the characters that you start to love are amazing.

I recommend checking out this series, the mystery was good but the characters were the best part.

My Rating:

Four Stars Out of Five

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday # 87



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you pick a book that is coming out soon that you want to read.


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Summary from Gooreads:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves. 

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

My Notes:

Mainly based on the amazing cover.

Wishlist Wednesday # 87



Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while, the meme is hosted by Pen to Paper.


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Summary from Goodreads:

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson's saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility. 

My Notes:

I checked out the audiobook since I don't have very much free time to read at the moment. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten OTPs, #83




1. Celaena and Rowan from the Throne of Glass Series
Throne of GlassUK
2. Hazel and Gus from The Fault in Our Stars
3. Blue and Gansey from The Raven Boys
4. Thorne and Cress from the Lunar Chronicles.
5. Jane and Rochester from Jane Eyre

Nonbook couples:

6. Jim and Pam from The Office
7. Buffy and Spike from BTVS
8. Fred and Wesley from Angel
9. Veronica and Logan from Veronica Mars
10. Rory and Jess from Gilmore Girls