Happy New Year! (I can still say this because it isn’t February yet right? 😉 )
This next year will be one of great changes for me but one thing will remain the same…I set a Goodreads book challenge!
This last year I set my challenge of 110 books and surpassed it by one book!!! Goodreads tells me I read 36,541 pages and my shortest book was 104 pages(Betty and Veronica Vol. 1) and my longest was 870 pages(Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).
There were many good books and only several bad ones out of the whole bunch! Looking back I read a lot of fabulous Urban Fantasy series. The Others by Anne Bishop definitely ranked high up there on the Good books scale, so much so that I have loaned them out to two other people since reading them! I haven’t finished the series but The Hollows by Kim Harrison is definitely winning in the contest of favorite book series. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs is a close second. Werewolves, witches and vampires (oh my) was definitely the theme of the year.
Best Series: The Hollows by Kim Harrison
Best Comic: Bitch Planet with the Jughead comics coming in a close second
Best Nonfiction: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls or Talking As Fast As I Can by LaurenGraham
Best ReRead: Harry Potter(of course) by JK Rowling
Best YA: Turtles All The Way Down by Johnn Green
I set my new goal for 100 books because I’m back in school full time for the first time in a few years(woohoo!!!). I figured I should pull myself back a little because of it.
I failed hard.
I failed hard at last years make nine challenge. So much so that I wasn’t going to reattempt it this year. BUT then I saw everyones wonderful make nine challenges options and decided I’d try it again…
It’ll be a combined make nine of knitting and sewing not separate like a lot of challenge choices I’ve seen cause I’m in school full time and planning a wedding this year on top of a ton of other things so I don’t have time for that nonsense 😉
Stay tuned for my #2018makenine
When You Give a Girl a Sword…Secondborn Review
I as many other people on Goodreads it seems couldn’t resist Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol…I especially couldn’t resist it when it was offered as a Kindle First book and I could get it for only $1.99(I mean who can honestly not be tempted by that kind of deal?).
It took me a while to get into this book. I found the different Fates slightly confusing to keep track of especially because they aren’t explained what each one represents until later in the book. When I finally got over my confusion and gave up trying to figure out the social structure of the world I could finally enjoy the story. Because let’s be honest-we don’t read YA for much other than the fast paced structure and the yearning over eager life or death romance right? 😉
The concept is good. A world where you are only allowed two children and only the first born can inherit anything. The second born is sent away as a child soldier to fight the wars and do the dirty work of the first borns while the family still gets to reap the financial benefits of a child they no longer have to support. This system of course creates a lot of abuse and neglect(which duh). A second child can inherit if a first born dies-talk about creating sibling rivalry.
The story revolves around second born Roselle St Sismodes and her mother is the be all of be alls of the Fates. Roselle’s privileged upbringing causes her troubles right from the start. Beginning with the fact that her life has always been televised-an easily recognized face is the exact opposite of what you want when the goal is to blend in.
There is romance in this book(YA duh), action, rebellion and adventure. Roselle creates friendships that will last a life time-if only they can survive long enough to live that life. The book is filled with a lot of girls kicking ass(something I always appreciate), clever boys and wicked mothers. The concept is interesting, the world slightly complicated though rather stereotypical (I feel) to most YA romance adventure novels these days. That isn’t to say it isn’t worth a read because I do recommend it. I’m just saying that a lot of these books tend to have the same sort of feeling to it and this is no exception. It’s the first in a trilogy so we’ll see what’s to come of the second.
All in all, I’d say 4/5 stars
A Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Alright people! In the last book Vin accidentally released Ruin. In the plot twist her attempt to follow the rules set for her turned out to be a trick all along. The villain who is an almighty God (possibly?) Ruin has been planning this for hundreds of years just waiting for the right moment to strike. Now Vin with Elend(who is emperor of all) are racing against the falling ash trying to find all the food cashes that the previous ruler had hid for this very time in history.
What do you do if you can’t trust your words and you can’t trust the written word? What if all your thoughts are the only things safe from Ruin?
I don’t want to have any spoilers so what I will say is thought this book gave a very real and honest depiction of depression and grief. Anderson’s depictions of the character Sazed emotions throughout the book were so spot on to how it really is in peoples lives. I feel that in a lot of fantasy novels the characters emotions get put aside quickly to move the book forward(which is completely understandable) but it dishonors the bonds created between the characters in the story.
All your favorite characters are adventuring and working towards the ultimate goal of the book: saving the world(duh). You get to learn more about the side characters like the Kandra, Hammond, Breeze and especially Spook which I really enjoyed. Good guys become bad in this book and the creatures you thought bad you realize might have just been misunderstood.
I’m realizing this post is rather convoluted but I am trying so hard to do absolutely no spoilers because I really, really thought the book was so fabulous and the perfect way to wrap up the series. GO, GO, GO to the book store and pick up this series today!!!
Wonder Woman and the quest for women’s empowerment. Now I have mixed feelings about Wonder Woman as a whole. I like what she represents but hate how she has been turned into a caricature of a powerful woman. I won’t claim to be an expert on Wonder Woman by any means…I’ve only read one of her comics and watched her in animated shows as a kid until seeing the new Wonder Woman movie(which is absolutely fantastic-go see it now, now, now!!!).
Her creation story is fabulous because her creator was inspired partially by birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger and was meant to be a feminist icon. Diana has had a lot of different powers and looks over the years. Her skills are her Amazonian training like tactics, hunting(which I found interesting considering I remember her being a vegetarian) and combat. She also has the lasso of truth, indestructible bracelets and a tiara that serves as a projectile. Now she is seen as regularly using her sword and shield.
Wonder Woman has also had in my opinion a lot of foolish and ridiculous abilities/accessories that led towards my feelings of her frequently being a caricature. At one point Diana owned a pair of glowing, red, magnetic earrings that allowed her to receive messages(before cell phones were common I’m guessing). There is of course the stupid invisible plane and the telepathic abilities she possessed through her tiara allowing her to summon the plane on command. There was also the purple ray capable of healing fatal gunshot wounds even through a person’s brain and a Violet Power Ring of Love(yes that really is the title) that enabled her to alter her costume at will and not only that but the ring reveals a person’s absolute true love to them. On top of ALL THIS RIDICULOUSNESS Diana has mental radio waves that could let her receive messages from those in need of her.
No wonder Wonder Woman isn’t taken seriously…if all those powers aren’t an example of how society is supposed to view Diana throughout the years to top it all off when she was finally allowed to join the Justice Society of America it was as their damn SECRETARY!!!!
I really hope that this movie inspires a powerful reboot of Wonder Woman bringing her back to the feminist icon she once represented with a modern twist. As of now I feel she is on par with Super Man who is considered the laughing stock of the comic book world characters. He has been unable to keep up with the modern age and times and hopefully Wonder Woman won’t fall to the same fate.
-Happy Reading and Go See Wonder Woman!!!
Mistborn trilogy book 2!!! A book dealing in consequences of actions, relationships and the notion of whether attraction is more important than similarities in personality.
Oh Brandon Sanderson…this book didn’t get as good of reviews on Goodreads but I really have to disagree. I found it even better than the first. I like the way the author dealt with aspects of the human condition and how their can be consequences to abuse and violence.
The book begins where the second left off. Keisler is dead but Vin has succeeded in achieving his dream of overthrowing the thousand year reign of the Lord Ruler. What do you do if you have achieved the plans of someone no longer alive and don’t know where to go from there? This is the main issue in the second Mistborn book. Vin has made Elend King but can a philosopher really be a good king? Can a relationship work if balance of power is unequal forcing one partner to essentially use the other as a weapon? Is it possible to consider that a form of love?
Battles are won and lost as ash rains down from the sky smothering farms and mists begin to fill the daylight hours causing deaths among those brave enough to wander into them.
Sanderson really knows how to tell and epic tale with a fantastic feminist, female main character. Where her strength doesn’t make her unloveable but enables people to love her and appreciate her more. I think this is Sanderson’s greatest strength as a fantasy writer…his ability to write a fantastically created well rounded world.
I really don’t want to accidentally give away any spoilers so I will just say this… give this fantasy series a try the second book is even stronger then the first in my opinion and well worth the 600 plus pages to read it(if I’m remembering the page length correctly).
-Happy Reading and Crafting!
This book is the definition of a can’t put it down urban fantasy series. I received this first book for free at Emerald City Comicon and didn’t have high hopes for it…don’t ask me why because now that seems so foolish. I wanted to read it as a break after the Brandon Sanderson Mistborn Series novels before starting a different book he has written. Instead I have now ordered all four of the other books available in The Others Series on amazon and am impatiently awaiting the 3rd one now.
The book introduces you to a world of “the others” and humans. They may coexist now but it certainly isn’t a peaceful one without trials and tribulations. The humans and The Others are both creatures of Namid who created all creatures on earth. She gave The Others all the forest areas and the humans safe places where they could grow and develop as a people. The trouble with humans is we always want more don’t we though? Soon people overgrew their areas and tried to shove their way into The Others areas but how can humans win out over claws and mystical powers? And when it comes down to it should we really triumph over everything?
The series tells the story of Meg, a lone girl who has the simple power to change everything for The Others and humans alike…though we’ll have to see if it’s for better or worse. Once Simon allows Meg into the Courtyard there is no turning back for either of them, will Megs abilities sink ships or keep them afloat allowing the tides of change to keep them current(could I add any more water themes to that sentence??).
I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll just say this… if you like books about vampires, werewolves, coyotes who turn into people and have ever wondered what the seasons would be like if they were represented in children this is the book for you. I couldn’t put it down and Anne manages to keep you on your toes wondering what will happen next till the very last page.
What would happen if Pride and Prejudice met a steampunk universe? We’ll you would get Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine. I came across this book by going to a panel at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle Washington. David was part of this really cool panel called Kicking Ass in a Corset: An Homage to Fearless Ladies in Fantasy! And three out of the four panelists were dressed in Victorian-esc clothing which instantly won me over because if it’s themed and you dress up I will instantly be a fan.
Anyways, I’m allowing myself to get off topic. David of course spoke about his book and I loved the concept so I went and purchased it right after the panel so I could also have him sign it-because again I’m a sucker for anything that I can get signed by the author/artist. Sometimes this is a really successful move and I’m really happy with the purchase other times not so much. Luckily for me it was the former instead of the later.
Arabella exists in a world where space travel on ships that sail in the Victorian era is possible. She has lived her whole life on a colony on the planet Mars. She was able to learn English Victorian customs but also have the unique situation to be raised by a Martian and learn all the customs and freedoms that come with living on Mars. As what happens in all good stories this life promptly come to an end when her mother decides that she would behave in a more lady like manor if she was back in traditional London, England on Earth. Will a lady or an adventurer triumph in the end?
The book is filled with all kinds of space adventures while fitting in with the societal requirements of the era the story is based in. I thought the concept was really interesting and it covers a lot of topics including immigration, race and gender bias while keeping the book light hearted and fun. It took me about a hundred pages to really get into the book but once I did it just zipped by. David had all kinds of unexpected plot twists that allowed for a lot of character development for not just the main character but the side ones too. If you like imaginative stories with strong heroines then this is a book for you 🙂
The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter lacks misadventures and pretty much anything marvelous. It should really be named the Boring, Lackluster Life of Ingrid Winters-almost divorcee, sad attempt of a teacher and a not-so-great mother.
This book was torture to read. Not at first because I kept hoping it would turn around. I had hope that the adventure would start or at least Ingrid would grow somewhat of a back bone and stop messing up her life. When I finally had to accept that this was just how the book was and it was NEVER going to turn around and become the fun book I thought it would be is when the torture started and continued until the VERY LAST PAGE. Why Ingrid why? Why do you let your husband treat you like crap? Why are you so neurotic? Why are you such a lackluster mother? Why do you allow yourself to be bullied at a job you so obviously hate?
This story represents I feel like most women out there in the world minus the “adventure” to Russia to complete an agreement that no one really understands and doesn’t actually benefit any of the professors at the school. They think if they get this next great thing in the status quo their lives will become greater and more fulfilled. We feel we have to work harder so we can afford the bigger house that we just MUST have because it will make our lives that much happier.
This step will make us a better mother because don’t our children deserve the very best? And isn’t it much easier to spend money on a house that we can’t afford than to invest our time in another person or our children? This book shows how we let the “alpha” people walk over us even if they don’t really know best because we decide that it is easier to give in then fight or talk louder over them and allow ourselves to be heard…isn’t this really how Trump became president?
You don’t have to take my word on this book…I feel like when I went on Goodreads people either absolutely LOVED it or really HATED it like me. I didn’t buy this book because it called to me but as a place holder between the Mistborn series because it was offered as a Kindle First to me from amazon.
Read it if you dare 😉
As and end note…after my trip to Emerald City Comicon I may have bought too many books haha…
If scifi dystopian future met Romeo and Juliet it would feel a lot like The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen. The book is set in an off word colony that was once used for mining for the Earth before breaking off contact about a hundred years ago and becoming a society ruled by the founding families. The founding families are those that financially supported the company in its first stages of moving off world and now they rule it by controlling the drug trade. That is the best way to control the masses isn’t it? Hold their life saving medications hostage with high costs and forcing them to work low wage jobs? But I’m getting a tad off topic to our actual world in the United States…
Anyways, the story introduces a society where contact with the sun is reserved for the elite and to have any sort of tan or even just not having a vitamin D deficiency is considered a luxury. I imagined the new planet as kind of an indoor mall or one of those sky scraper buildings you see in large cities. the top floors have large glass windows and so does the roof and the lower you go the less light is available. Especially since you aren’t supposed to spend too much time in the outside air. I don’t know if that is an accurate description of the worlds layers but it’s how I imagined it while reading. Now to tie in the main characters: Arden and Dade. Arden is a sassy, street smart, beautiful teenager who helps rule one of the major gangs in the lower levels. Dade is exceptionally handsome(aren’t they always in YA novels?), smart and wants to change the world…oh yeah and he is the son of one of the major founding families big players.
This is a book about love, loyalty, gangs, drug trade, and class war. The book covers a lot of topics. What do you do if the choices you are forced to make you know are ethically wrong but right for the protection and health of your family? Is it better to have a dramatic whirl-wind kind of love or an arranged marriage with a mutually respected partner and best friend who you know you could accomplish great things with? How long do you allow love and a sense of loyalty to your family to control the decisions in your life?
I was able to read this as a Kindle First edition it isn’t officially released until April first. Even though it has that typical Young Adult romance novel feel I really liked it. I associated it with the same vibes as Ann Agguire and anyone who knows me(or reads this blog) knows I absolutely love her. It’s a fast paced read with I thought the beginnings of a voice on the current drug trade hidden in a Young Adult trilogy with of course a lot of instant-love romance pulled in. The second book isn’t going to be released until December 5th 2017-I liked it so much I checked last night because I wanted to buy the second.
I’ll leave you with this really cute photo of Echo running in the snow.
I’m going to be honest…when I first started this book I complained A LOT. It took about one hundred and fifty pages for me to start liking it and those pages took about five days to get through because since I wasn’t liking the book I kept falling asleep while reading it. Good for my brain probably but not good for reading progress. After I got past the point where I hated the book I actually started to really like it and then by the end I loved it. Causing me to race to the book store to get the second and third in the trilogy to have them not have the second book! So now I’m patiently waiting on Amazon to bring deliver them to my doorstep haha.
What did I have to complain about you might ask? Well character development of course. The book is very environment focused. So you hear a lot about the buildings, the plant life(or lack there-of), a lot about walls and desolate wasteland. I was tired of the reader being expected to bond with the main character instantly because they’re “broken”. I don’t care that they’ve had bad things happen to them. It isn’t going to make me instantly connect with them as a character if they are poorly written. At first I thought this was the case with this book and was so disappointed because I’d heard such fantastic things about the author.
In the end I grew to like the characters and even maybe get slightly attached …but still not to the point where I cared whether they lived or died. But maybe George R.R Martin has just got me used to not caring about the characters with his unpredictability.
The book is focused on two tiers of people. There is the nobility, merchants etc…the higher ups and then there are the Skaa who are no if, ands, or buts about it slaves. The higher tiers of people believe they are superior to the skaa in every way even in their breeding. It is banned to have any half children and if a noble man has sex with a skaa female he must kill her immediately that night. Half children are hunted down because only nobility are allowed to be mistborn or have allomancy powers. Everything changes when Kel comes into the picture and wants to flip the switch on the way society is set up but to do that he has to kill the Lord Ruler who has essentially infinite power an has lived and ruled for a thousand years. To me he was the physical manifestation of peoples racism, fear and intolerance. Ken though he represented hope and goodness was not all that good though. He killed without remorse and did anything to achieve his goal as you’ll find when you read the book.
All in all…
Story writing: Great.
Story concept: Fabulous. I loved the way the magic existed in this world and how people controlled it through burning metals and throwing coins to Pull and Push.
Characters: totally grew on me even if it wasn’t love at first sight.
Moral of the story: don’t judge a book by its first hundred plus pages because now I’ll be starting the second book in the next few days.