Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently, I'm reading Women Who Kill by Carol Anne Davis

Amd The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

I just finished reading Hunger by Karen E. Taylor. You can read my review here.


Next, I'll probably read Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

From Women Who Kill by Carol Anne Davis

"It was a disaster from the start. Her husbamd spent all of his time away from home- when ge was there he was downing cheap wine by the bottle."

pg. 19

Monday, October 29, 2012

Musing Mondays

This week’s musing asks…
Do you have people online that you often discuss the books you read with? Not just book groups, but individual readers who share the same taste in books? If so, what do you like best about this? If not, do you wish you did?

Not online, no. Of course, I do speak with different bloggers and reviewers and all that, but I don't necessarily hold lengthy conversations about books on line.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

iFrankenstein by Bekka Black

Lethal Inheritance by


The Good House: A Novel by

Hunger by Karen E. Taylor

Deirdre Griffin didn't choose to be a vampire. But she is. And she's determined to make the most of her fate. For Deirdre that means surrendering to the raging hunger ignited by even the slightest whiff of blood - a hunger that pulses through her body like a fever, demanding release. It means making friends in dark places - and savouring every hot, salty, bitter, revitalizing drop of life force the night has to offer...

I don’t know how it's possible, but this author made vampires boring. Now, I know that vampires is an overdone topic, one that has been, if you’ll forgive the pun, sucked dry, but I still enjoy them once in a while. I got this book from the publisher and thought, “huh, looks fun.” Nope. Not even close.

So, technically, this book is made of two complete novels stuck together. Somehow, I made it through both. The main problem, I think, was the complete lack of originality. The author brought nothing new to the genre, nothing that made her book stand out from the thousands out there dealing with vampires. Neither the main character, Deidre, nor any of the other supporting ones make any impact on me. They were all dull and unimaginative people thrown in dull and unimaginative circumstances.

The writing itself could have been better. I wouldn’t have minded it so much if the story had been better, but as it is, it’s one of those books that I’ll forget I read in about a week.

I can’t recommend this one, even if you’re like I am and love vampires.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Follow Friday

Q: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book? For example, if an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form.

I don't like dream sequences. I know dreams have importance in our psychological lives and they reveal a lot about what goes on in our heads, but I never liked them in books. They are always boring. I usually find myself skipping those parts. To me, most plot lines work perfectly fine without adding dream sequences, so it just feels like add-on material.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Last Regress by Rachael J. Thorne

Alyssa Matthews thought she had an explanation for everything. After all, as a slightly sceptical paranormal investigator that was what she was used to doing; researching, observing and explaining.

So when she began writing a paper about a long forgotten case of death by Spontaneous Human Combustion, she assumed it would be a run-of-the-mill piece. Little did she realise that she was about to be plunged into a situation that would not only force her to question her own sanity, but also her scepticism about the nature of the paranormal.

Not to mention the dreams that just wouldn’t go away...

This was a nice, fun, paranormal romance that will keep you entertained.

The story is pretty unique, which is this age of paranormal overload, is not so common. The plot is intricate and mostly fast-paced. The beginning is the only part I found a bit slow. I realize we need to know the protagonist’s back-story and all of that, but it could have moved a tad bit faster. But the rest was nicely written, with a good sense of timing for some of the more suspenseful scenes.

There is lots of mystery and romance in the novel. The romantic scenes were lovely, the kind that make your heart beat a little faster, though I’m not a huge fan of the love-at-first-sight thing. But I know it works well for some of you, so don’t let that deter you from picking the book up. The characters themselves are fun, with Alyssa being a good heroine who is not a weakling who needs everything done for her.

All in all, this is a fun read that I do recommend. Especially for this spooky time of year!

Booking Through Thursday

Are there any good books that you read IN SPITE OF the cover and ended up wondering what on earth the artist and publisher were thinking to pair up a cover that so badly represented a perfectly good book?
And … if you didn’t like the cover, what made you pick up the book? The author? Assigned reading from school? A recommendation from a friend?

I have to say, the first Harry Potter book cover was a horror. Actually, the majority of them weren't too good, but by the time you've finished the first book, you are so hooked into the story that you really don't care about the covers at all.
I don't understand why they'd choose such a bad illustration. Of course, I picked it up because everyone was talking about it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Florence and Giles by John Harding

In 1891, in a remote and crumbling New England mansion, 12-year-old orphan Florence and her younger brother are neglected by her guardian uncle. Banned from reading, Florence devours books in secret and talks to herself—and narrates her story—in a unique language of her own invention. By night, she sleepwalks the corridors and is troubled by a recurrent dream in which a mysterious woman appears to threaten her younger brother Giles. After the sudden violent death of the children's first governess, a second teacher, Miss Taylor, arrives, and immediately strange phenomena begin to occur. Florence becomes convinced that the new governess is a malevolent spirit who means to do Giles harm. Against this powerful enemy, Florence must use all her intelligence and ingenuity to protect her little brother and preserve her private world. This gothic page-turner in the tradition of The Woman in Black and The Fall of the House of Usher is told in a startlingly different and wonderfully captivating narrative voice.
This is an interesting gothic novel, with all the requisite atmosphere and mystery, and with a protagonist who is wholly original.

I adore gothic novels and unreliable narrators and, in this book, we get both. The mood takes over the reader from the very beginning, weaving its spell until we are right there in the 1890s. Florence, our protagonist is a fabulous creation, with a vocabulary all her own and a way of narrating that makes for really fun reading. At first, her sentence structure was a bit jarring, but as the pages passed, and we get used to her voice, we feel like she is speaking just for us, in a highly confidential manner.

The story itself is fascinating, with lots of mystery, but I do have to say the ending was disappointing. There were so many plot points left dangling, so many situations that were built up throughout the whole book and then not solved. It was very disappointing. I’m not sure why the author thought the story would be better off without some answers. I realize Florence is an unreliable narrator, but even knowing that, there could have been ways to let the readers know a bit more about what really happened.

I did enjoy the book right up to the very end, so it is hard to say it’s not worth reading. I don’t know. Give it a chance, I suppose, and see what you think.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

From The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

"I've always believed society to be a fundamentally rational thing, but what if it isn't? What if it is built on insanity?"

pg. 32

Monday, October 22, 2012

Musing Mondays

This week’s musing asks…
Do you ever get crushes on fictional characters? Name one (or a few), and tell what you liked…

Sure. I think many of us tend to get attached to a character. In my case, I have a special part of my heart reserved for Sherlock Holmes. The first story I read with Holmes was in fourth grade, so he's been one of my idols since back then. What I found attractive, more than anything, was, of course, his intelligence.
I'm a sucker for smart men.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Follow Friday

Q: When you step out of your USUAL genre what do you like to read? Best books in that genre?

I read all kinds of fiction, so I don't really have a comfort zone, per se.  However, I do occasionally pick up a non-fiction book if it catches my interest. Usually, they tend to be about psychology or psychiatry, sometimes about animals. I'm not a huge memoir reader, but I do have to say that
Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir by  was a beautiful book that was hard to put down.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no question that it can make a difference!
What book(s) have your favorite covers? Something that’s perfect for the story, the tone, the colors, the mood…
And did you pick up the book BECAUSE of the cover? Or were you going to read it anyway, and the cover was just serendipitous?

The book I'm reading right now, Florence and Giles by John Harding, has a great cover. It is, actually, what drew me to the book, since I love crows. The book is very good, too, so the cover did help me discover a book I might otherwise have missed.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn also has a fantastic cover. Huh, I guess I have a thing for dark colors on my covers. The books was brilliant. One of my favorite reads this year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Into the Wilderness by David Ebenbach

"For the very real people in David Ebenbach’s vivid and emotional stories,” says author Jesse Lee Kercheval, “becoming a parent—as Judith, the single mother in four of the stories, says—is going ‘into the wilderness.’” The collection Into the Wilderness explores the theme of parenthood from many angles: an eager-to-connect divorced father takes his kids to a Jewish-themed baseball game; a lesbian couple tries to decide whether their toddler son needs a man in his life; one young couple debates the idea of parenthood while another struggles with infertility; a reserved father uses an all-you-can-eat buffet to comfort his heartbroken son. But the backbone of the collection is Judith, who we follow through her challenging first weeks of motherhood, culminating in an intense and redemptive baby-naming ceremony. Says author Joan Leegant, “Ebenbach takes us deep into the heart of the messy confusion and terror and unfathomable love that make up that shaky state we call parenthood. These stories are fearless, honest and true.”

This is a very interesting collection of short stories, with something that will fit pretty much everyone’s taste.

All of these stories are about parenthood, but the great thing about them is that you don’t necessarily have to be a parent to read them and really understand them. They speak to a very primal, very human, part of our being. My favorite, in particular, was the longest story in the collecting. There is such heart in that story, and it really gives us food for thought.

The writing is lush, with many wonderful moments. These vignettes of parenthood, which are all so different, still have a unity which makes it a cohesive short story collection. This is something that not all collections achieve, so it shows the author’s skill. There were one or two moments throughout the book that I found my mind wandering, but all in all, the author keeps us pretty entertained by the way he sees the world.

I do recommend it to all of you who love short stories. It would definitely make a great gift for a parent.

Word and Breath by Susannah Noel

Riana has learned how to stay out of trouble. She spends her days studying written texts in the government’s Office of Readers, and she spends her nights taking care of her sick sister. She always—always—follows the rules. Despite her low profile, she has mysteriously become a target. Someone has kidnapped her sister. Someone else is trying to kill her. And someone has sent a Soul-Breather to beguile her out of her secrets.

Her help comes from the mythic leader of an underground rebel movement. A man who used to be her friend. A man who has silently loved her for years. He disappeared from her life without a word, and now he expects her to trust him again.

Then there’s the Soul-Breather, a man who can taste her spirit with only a touch. He makes her feel things she’s never experienced before, but she doesn’t know if the feelings are real. Hired to deceive and betray her, he offers to help her instead.

Without both men, she can’t rescue her sister. And she can’t discover the world-changing knowledge—buried in her memory—that has made her a target in the first place.

I just love dystopian novels. When they’re done correctly, they are both fascinating and frightening, creating a wonderful reading experience. In this case, the majority of it was able to capture this essence, so I did enjoy it quite a bit.

The author does a nice job of world building, not too much that it gets frustrating, and not too little so that we have no idea what’s happening. She manages to guide us along in a believable way, following our protagonist, Riana, through her life. She is an interesting character, with a core of strength in her that keeps the reader wanting to see how she’ll handle certain situations. I do wish she’d been developed a tad bit more, since she didn’t always come across as someone fully-dimensional. The rest of the characters are even better, which is rare, really. In this case I think the supporting ones were more realistic than the main character.

The writing is in good shape, fast-paced without feeling rushed. The author does a good job in keeping us entertained. I do recommend this book to all lovers of dystopian fiction, teen or not. You’ll definitely find something to like in this story.

WWW Wednesdays

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently, I'm reading The Uninvited by Liz Jensen

And Florence and Giles by John Harding

I jus finished reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. You can read my review here.

Next, I'll probably read Animal Wise by Virginia Morell