Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (101)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme to discuss upcoming books we can't wait to get our hands on. Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  

Shadowlands by Kate Brian
Release date: January 8, 2013

Description from Goodreads:

Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived… and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as a goodbye. 

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children, but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. But just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

I think this sounds like a really promising suspense novel. I don't know why but I am particularly drawn to serial killer suspense novels.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top Ten Bookish Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new subject each week and this week's topic is "Top Ten Bookish Confessions". 

1. In college as an English major, I sometimes read the Cliffs Notes for a book I was supposed to read or watched the film version instead of actually reading the book. *Gasp!* 

I never actually read Daisy Miller or The Turn of the Screw by Henry James or Melville's Billy Budd or Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. I watched the movie version of Sense and Sensibility instead of reading the book (and didn't do well on the exam). I have since read all of Jane Austen's completed novels and love them but at the time for whatever reason I didn't read that one. The other books I just plain don't like. I will never ever ever be a fan of Henry James. Ever.

2.  I sometimes read ahead to find out what happens.

This is a bad habit of mine that I only justify when I don't like a book or it is dragging and I want to decide if I should keep reading. At other times the suspense over the fate of a character gets to me so I peek ahead. I confess that when reading Mockingjay I looked ahead to see if Katniss and Peeta survived. I did not however look ahead with the Harry Potter books (though it was hard). Give me some credit :)

3. I hate mass market paperback books.

I am not a fan of mass market paperbacks because they don't last very long and depending on how thick the book is, the spine tends to become "deformed" or break. I also don't like how they look on my bookshelf so I will spend more money to get the hardcover or trade paperback if it is available. Of course now I do most of my purchasing on my Kindle so that isn't an issue.

4. I sometimes buy books intending to reread them but I never do.

I don't reread most of my books. I do reread the Harry Potter books every year and I reread Jane Austen or other favorites periodically. Otherwise unless it is part of a series with a new book coming out, I usually don't reread. I am sometimes tempted to buy a book that I've already read as a Kindle e-book. I tell myself that I may want to reread it someday or if I own the hardcover that I can now make more room on my bookshelves by giving the hardcover away. It never happens.

5. I don't loan out my books.

Once upon a time I had a beloved series of historical fiction books. I loved them so much that I let my friends borrow them. I received the books back with pages stuck together, food stains, bent pages, etc. Now I do not loan out my print books unless they are books I don't care about as much like ARCs. I would however lend my e-books to friends with Kindles because I'm nice like that.

6. I don't like literary fiction.

While I love Jane Austen and a few others, I mostly don't enjoy the classics or "literary" books that are read by book groups. Strangely enough, I run two book groups for my library. Last night I had to force myself to read The Tiger's Wife for today's book discussion. I don't know why I just can't bring myself to love literary books but it rarely happens. I prefer to read for entertainment I guess.

7. I sometimes lie about what I'm currently reading.

Maybe lie isn't the right word. When someone asks me what I've read recently, I answer depending on who the person is. If it is someone who wouldn't read YA fiction, I tell them about the most recent book for adults that I've read or I tell them about a book I read in the past few months that I loved. It isn't necessarily that I'm ashamed but rather that if I want to have a conversation about books, it is easier when I'm talking about something that might be familiar to that person. Sometimes it really is because I don't want them to know that I just read a bodice ripper because they might not approve. Try having that conversation with a minister or former English teacher or Great Aunt Ruth... Hopefully that doesn't make me a bad person :)

8. I sometimes buy books for the library because I want to read them myself.

Okay so I am not the only librarian guilty of this one! At one library my director who was into chess would buy these obscure chess books for the collection. He is probably the only one who reads them. Thankfully the books I want to read tend toward chick lit, women's fiction, and other popular fiction genres. With a couple of notable exceptions (who doesn't want to read a book about the history of sarees) the books I select usually appeal to more than just me. 

9. I am addicted to Kindle Deals.

I check the Amazon website every day for the Daily Deal as well as the free e-books. I also periodically check the Teen section for sales and everyday I check my wishlist to see if the prices have gone down. I spend so much time on Amazon every day but thankfully I don't buy books every day or I'd be broke.

10. I am thinking about giving up book blogging.

I used to love book blogging particularly during the first year I blogged in 2010. I made friends and connected with other readers who shared my enthusiasm for books. Now however it sometimes feels like a chore and I haven't got the time to connect with people that I used to have. I also have that pesky little problem with my wrist that may or may not be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Still I don't know that I'm ready to throw in the towel just yet. I think I will wait till January to make my decision.

What are some of your bookish confessions?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's Monday, What Are You Reading (116)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we've read and reviewed over the past week and what we plan to read next.

Books read:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This was a fantastic historical fiction novel though I feel like I need to read it over again to fully appreciate everything. Not sure it is really a YA book because it didn't feel like one.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

While it took me some time to finish this book it never felt like the story was dragging. I'd say that even though I knew what happened from watching season one of the show, I still learned more about the world of Westeros and the characters. I'm looking forward to reading book two.

Books reviewed:

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown

Currently reading:

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht

I don't think this is going to be on my list of favorite books regardless of the praise and many positive reviews it has received. I had to force myself to keep reading and it is slowly getting more interesting but the characters lack depth because of the way the story is told. 

What I might read next:

I am definitely in the mood for something a little more lighthearted and I'd have to say this should fit the bill! I am also learning how to make various Star Wars origami for a library program thanks to this series. I've already mastered the Origami Yoda and Darth Paper and now am going to be learning to make the Fortune Wookiee :)

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (reread)

I am planning to reread this book so everything will be fresh in my mind when I pick up the sequel. I really liked this book when I read it last year.

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

More zombies, star crossed love, and a new strain of the zombie virus. Good times!

The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I liked First Lady, the story where we are first introduced to a teenage Lucy Jorik and in this book she is running away from her wedding and unintentionally into the arms of a biker. Should be fun...

Have you read any of these books? 
What are you reading this week?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Darth Vader and Son

Darth Vader and Son
By Jeffrey Brown
Published: April 18, 2012

My review:

From cozy scenes of Darth Vader fixing Luke breakfast to Luke's tantrums when he can't go to Tosche Station, Darth Vader and Son imagines what it would be like if the Lord Vader was raising four year old Luke Skywalker (but not in an "I'm grooming you to be evil" kind of way). 

I love the idea of this book and thought the illustrations were creative and cute. I enjoyed the way the author pays tribute to the films by his illustrations and quotes. One of my favorite scenes involves Luke refusing to clean up his room: "Luke, pick up your toys this instant. Luke, I am your father. Do you want a time-out?". The illustrations feature fun imagery from the movies and cameo appearances from other characters such as a young Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Lando Calrissian.

While I think kids would really like this book, it is probably adults who will most appreciate its charm. The book is more like a collection of Star Wars comics than a cohesive story but it is still a lot of fun to read and would be a great gift book especially for fathers who love Star Wars to share with their kids. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bout of Books Wrap Up

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

My goals were to read 4-6 books, finish at least one review book, read 50-100 pages in A Game of Thrones and read every day except for Friday and Saturday. 

How did I do?

I only managed to finish one book, Code Name Verity but I did read over 350 pages in A Game of Thrones and I read every day, even Friday and Saturday so I was pleased overall. I do wish I'd finished more books and that I'd been able to participate in more challenges but it was still a fun experience.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: The Shoemaker's Wife

The Shoemaker's Wife 
By Adriana Trigiani
Published: April 3, 2012

My review:

Based on the true story of Adriana Trigiani's grandparents, The Shoemaker's Wife tells the love story of Ciro and Enza who first meet in Italy as teens. Ciro has grown up working and living in a convent with his brother Eduardo and on the day after he first sees Enza, Ciro is banished to the U.S. because of scandal involving a local priest. Their paths cross again when Enza also finds her way to the States to help make a better life for her family. Circumstances keep tearing the star-crossed pair apart as they strive to succeed in their new world, Ciro as a shoemaker and Enza as a seamstress. 

The Shoemaker's Wife is filled with lovely descriptions of Italy, food, music, and fashion as well as a good story.  The details added to my enjoyment of the story, especially the history and culture. The scenes with Enrico Caruso and the Metropolitan Opera were among my favorites. What I loved the most however were the characters. I was drawn to the character of Enza particularly as she persevered to see her dreams come true. Her best friend Laura is a great secondary character too. I think what appealed to me about Enza's story was not just how smart and resourceful she is but also the depiction of her life as a career girl in New York.  Seeing how she and Laura made their way from a sweatshop to the Opera House was really neat.

The love story kind of grew on me. I cared more about the individual journeys of Ciro and Enza and it wasn't until much later in the story that I bought into their feelings for each other. These are two hardworking and admirable characters though Ciro got on my nerves at times. I think that they represent the values of people who came to this country and worked hard to realize their American dream. While the book could come across as a fairy tale at times, it was also very clear that Ciro and Enza had to work for what they got with the occasional lucky break.

The Shoemaker's Wife is a sweet and inspiring novel that somehow manages to avoid becoming saccharine or trite. It does have a few pacing issues and I think the story runs out of steam for a little while (during the Minnesota period-I missed the detail of the earlier chapters) before picking up again towards the end with an emotional tug. Overall I thought this was an excellent historical fiction novel and I loved that it is based on a true story. After reading this book, don't be surprised if you find yourself listening to Enrico Caruso or looking up recipes to make gnocchi...

Note: I received an e-ARC for review courtesy of Eidelweiss

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (100)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme to discuss upcoming books we can't wait to get our hands on. Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. 

This week, I'm waiting on:

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era by Jessica Fellowes
Release date: November 13, 2012


The Great War has ended, but Downton Abbey is far from peaceful...
"Americans can't get enough of 'Downton Abbey,'" said The Boston Globe. As Season 3 of the award-winning TV series opens, it is 1920 and Downton Abbey is waking up to a world changed forever by World War I. New characters arrive and new intrigues thrive as the old social order is challenged by new expectations.

In this new era, different family members abound (including Cora's American mother, played by Shirley MacLaine) and changed dynamics need to be resolved: Which branch of the family tree will Lord Grantham’s first grandchild belong to? What will become of the servants, both old and new?
The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, carefully pieced together at the heart and hearth of the ancestral home of the Crawleys, takes us deeper into the story of every important member of the Downton estate.This lavish, entirely new book focuses on each character individually, examining their motivations, their actions, and the inspirations behind them. An evocative combination of story, history, and behind-the-scenes drama, it will bring fans even closer to the secret, beating heart of the house.

I am a big fan of the show and I really enjoyed The World of Downton Abbey.  I don't know how much new info will be in this book but I think I'll like it anyway. It will certainly give me something to do while I wait for Season 3!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bout of Books Update Day 1

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.  It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week.  There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 5.0 team"

Yesterday was the first day of the read-a-thon and I didn't get much reading done as I worked in the evening and I wasn't in the mood to read when I got home. 

I managed to read two chapters of A Game of Thrones and I also read Code Name Verity for awhile but I didn't keep track of how many chapters I read for that one. Hopefully day 2 will be more productive!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bout of Books Readathon Goals

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

I have decided to participate in the Bout of Books read-a-thon again on short notice :) Here is some info about the read-a-thon from the founders:

"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.  It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week.  There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 5.0 team"

My goals:

I hope to read 4-6 books during the read-a-thon (I typically read 2-3 books a week)
I would like to finish at least one review book
I would like to read 50-100 pages in A Game of Thrones
I plan to read every day except for Friday and Saturday

Potential books to read from my TBR pile:

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (I won't finish this yet but hope to make progress)
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein  (I'm half way through)
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Divergent by Veronica Roth (reread)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service by Beth Kendrick
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

If you are interested in participating, it is not too late! Stop by Bout of Books today.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's Monday, What Are You Reading (115)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we've read and reviewed over the past week and what we plan to read next.

Last week I didn't participate because I was in Canada for my cousin's wedding. Before I share what books I've read and reviewed, here are a few pictures from the wedding and reception.

My sister Usha (on right) and me 

Me at the reception

My sister, my parents, and me at the reception

It was a beautiful wedding and a fun reception and it was great to spend time with my family. Now on to books...

Books read:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (reread)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (reread)

I loved this book the first time around and thought it was just as good when I reread it. I even forgot some of the things that happened so it was good to get a refresher before book two is released in September.

Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown

This book is just too cute for words. I do think it is aimed more towards the parent than the child though because young kids likely won't pick up on some of the movie references but it is still a fun book.

Free Four by Veronica Roth

This little novella takes a look at the knife throwing scene in Divergent but from Four's perspective. It also includes an except of Insurgent, which I have yet to read.

Books reviewed:

Raised By Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
One Good Friend Deserves Another by Lisa Verge Higgins
Taken By Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Currently reading:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I have just started part two and while it took me a little while to get into the story I really find it engrossing now.  The writing style is very British and reminded me of books like I Capture the Castle or How I Live Now but the subject is what kept me reading as well as the desire to find out what happens to the characters. 

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I am slowly reading this one a little at a time as I have review books and library books to get through. I am also watching the first season on DVD (two more episodes to go though I know what happens). I like how the book is written from multiple perspectives.

What I plan to read next:

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (reread)

I am curious to know if I will like this one as much the second time around. Some of my blogger friends couldn't get into it. 

Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

This sequel to Dearly, Departed will be released next month. A new strain of the zombie virus arrives on the scene as well as warring factions of zombies among other problems. Should be fun...

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I have heard that some people didn't care for the romance in this book because the hero is mean to the heroine for quite awhile due to her rejection of him years ago.  This mirrors what happens in the original Jane Austen novel, Persuasion, so maybe I will still like the book anyway. It was hard to get over Captain Wentworth's apparent disregard for Anne but that letter scene at the end...

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht

This is my evening book group's August selection. I really don't know anything about the book except that it has received a lot of praise and I am curious about the title.

What have you been reading lately?
Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Review: Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer
By Morgan Matson
Published: May 8, 2012

My review:

It's been five years since Taylor and her family went to their cabin on Lake Phoenix for the summer and she is not anxious to go back. Last time, the summer ended with the loss of some important friendships. This time it will end with loss of a different kind. Taylor's dad has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and she knows it is going to be a summer of goodbyes. Her family never talks about their feelings and Taylor usually runs away from her problems. This is her last chance to mend broken relationships and to spend time with her dad.

I knew this would be a sad book from the start but I was surprised at the humor and thoughtfulness too. At the beginning of the book, Taylor is contemplating running away (though she isn't really serious) and she reminisces on all the times she ran away as a little kid and how her dad always knew where to find her. Taylor is used to avoiding her problems and burying her head in the sand but this time she doesn't have that option. Over the course of the summer, Taylor has to deal with her past mistakes and broken relationships as well as her dad's deteriorating condition. 

I like how Taylor grows as a character from the kind of person who hides from difficulties to the type of person who has learned to face the hard times and own up to her mistakes. Taylor has the chance to fix her broken friendships with her best friend Lucy and her ex-boyfriend Henry. The family relationships also grow as Taylor's typically distant family learn new ways to communicate with each other. I thought it was touching when Taylor helps her older brother improve his social skills and helps her younger sister learn how to make friends. The best part however is seeing Taylor reconnect with her dad. 

My one issue with the book was that it seemed implausible that Lucy and Henry would be so angry towards Taylor when they first meet again after all those years. After some reflection however I realized that it isn't so far fetched as teens tend to feel everything so deeply and both Lucy and Henry felt betrayed by Taylor. Henry and Lucy also had other difficulties that summer with their home lives that would have been amplified by Taylor's actions.

Second Chance Summer is a moving book that somehow avoids becoming overly dramatic. In a way it reminded me of the movie The Last Song but the romance is not as prominent as the family relationships. I loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and I found this book to be just as touching. This would be a good suggestion for fans of Sarah Dessen or Nicholas Sparks.

Readalikes: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Moonglass by Jessi Kirby, A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Taken By Storm

Taken By Storm
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: May 22, 2012

My review:

When it appears that a Rabid has been attacking people, a Senate meeting is called and Bryn finds out that the Rabid may be a female teenager and someone she knows. The idea of a female Were on the loose is too much for the male Alphas to pass up and now it is a race for time as Bryn tries to get to her old friend first and try to save her-whether she is innocent or not.

Taken By Storm is action packed and emotional at the same time. Bryn has grown into her position as Cedar Ridge Alpha though her human state continues to be a weakness in the eyes of the other Alphas. She is still reeling from the difficult decisions she has had to make and the loss that resulted. In this book she faces even more difficult choices and situations. Bryn has definitely become a leader but she is still at a disadvantage when dealing with the other Alphas. She is also questioning herself more because of what she considers her failures and she is working on growing into a better leader and stronger person. 

There is a strange plot twist in this one that I didn't quite like involving the main mystery. I did figure out some things early on about the Rabid but there were some unexpected surprises too. While that part of the book was weaker I do think that the parts involving the Senate and Shay were excellent. This may not have been the best book of the series but it certainly brought the suspense and emotion to a head and wrapped things up with an unexpected finish.  

Overall I'd say this is a wonderful series and though I wish this final book hadn't had its flaws (and that there was a sequel) I am satisfied with how things ended and think this is the best YA werewolf series I've read so far. I appreciated the growth of Bryn's character, her strengths and flaws, and the secondary characters were appealing too. The romance is there without ever overwhelming the plot. The suspense always had me turning the pages too. This would be a good series for fans of Richelle Mead, Andrea Cremer, or Sophie Jordan.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: One Good Friend Deserves Another

One Good Friend Deserves Another
By Lisa Verge Higgins
Published: June 5, 2012

My review:

Wendy, Dhara, Marta, and Kelly have been best friends since their college days. Back then they made a list of rules to protect themselves from broken hearts after they each experienced devastating pain. Now Dhara is about to break rule #1, Choose Your Own Man, as she has agreed to an arranged marriage and the others are each struggling with the rules too. Marta has just found out that her boyfriend is married, Kelly is dating someone who once broke her heart, and happily engaged Wendy is finding herself attracted to someone else. They must rely on each other to get through the ups and downs of their relationships and the choices they face.

One Good Friend Deserves Another is not just a book about romantic entanglements. At its core is the strong bond of friendship between the main characters. I liked that the book is told through the perspectives of each of the women. It really adds to our understanding of the characters and their struggles.  Another plus for me was the age of the characters. It was nice (as someone in her mid 30s) to read about women in their late 30s who still haven't gotten it all figured out yet. My favorite characters are Dhara and Kelly. At times I was frustrated with Kelly's decisions but I thought it made her seem more real and I liked that she is an imperfect character. Dhara was easy to relate to and I enjoyed reading about her family and could understand the pressure she faced with the arranged marriage and making the right choice for herself. I liked Wendy and Marta as well though I thought the author did a better job with the chapters from Dhara and Kelly's perspectives.

At times it seemed that there was a lot going on in the story but the overall theme of friendship and support was always there. At the end of the novel, all of the characters have shown some growth and I liked that there are some open endings. I am glad that the book wasn't entirely predictable as well.  There is romance but the focus is on the friendships and how the characters have been there for each other even when it is hard to do. I would suggest this book to readers who enjoy reading books with strong female friendships and a chick lit tone.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Raised by Wolves

Raised by Wolves
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication date: June 8, 2010

My review:

When Bryn's parents were murdered by a rabid werewolf, she was adopted into the werewolf pack that hunted the rabid down. Raised by Callum, the Alpha, and her adoptive human mom, Ali, Bryn has learned to fight and think like a wolf. The pack has become her family and though she can never truly be one of them, she has made a new life for herself. She is unprepared however for the changes that come into her life when she discovers a teenage Were at Callum's house. Chase claims that he was bitten, not born a werewolf like the others. Bryn believes Chase holds the key to finding out what happened the night her parents died but to find the answers she seeks, Bryn may lose everything she's come to hold dear.

Raised by Wolves presents a unique take on werewolf fiction by having a human protagonist who is part of the pack. Bryn is smart, resourceful, and strong, though not physically strong compared to the rest of the pack. She thinks like a Were rather than a human teenager which makes her seem more like an adult at times. She can also be reckless and impatient, like a teen. Her human adoptive mother tries to give Bryn a normal life as much as possible but Bryn is still very different. I liked Bryn's character most of the time though she is rather stubborn. It is great to see Bryn grow over the course of the story as she deals with painful revelations and discoveries. 

I liked the other characters particularly Devon for his sense of humor, Lake for her bravery and quirky love of weapons, and Ali for her fierce protectiveness towards Bryn and the others. I liked Callum up to a point and then felt that he let Bryn down. Chase is the love interest for Bryn but I didn't care for the romance. It felt forced and manufactured though Bryn is not the simpering type thankfully and the romance is not the focus of the story. It is just part of the catalyst for change. To enjoy this book means buying into the world that Barnes creates with all its pack laws. I found the politics to be interesting and liked how Bryn wasn't afraid to take on the Werewolf Senate. My one issue with the book is an event that occurs where Bryn is treated as a Were rather than a human and betrayed by those who should protect her. Bryn thinks of herself as a human Were and it takes Ali to bring that realistic perspective to Bryn on how she should be treated.

Overall I thought this was a fantastic beginning to the series. I like this concept of Weres and also liked the mystery. It was the character of Bryn that really sold me on this series. I'd consider this to be the best werewolf series I've read because it isn't a romance and the characters grow throughout the series and there is plenty of action and suspense as well. I think fans of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series would appreciate this book.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (99)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme to discuss upcoming books we can't wait to get our hands on. Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.     

This week, I'm waiting on:

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
Release date: December 11, 2012


When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor’s twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it’s not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all. 

I really enjoyed the first book and especially the second, Princess of Glass. Jessica Day George has proven herself as a talented writer of fairy tales retold and I'm looking forward to her take on Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood. Should be lots of fun!

And to keep with the Red Riding Hood theme:

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Release date: February 5, 2013


Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I loved Cinder and think this sequel sounds wonderful. I like that Wolf is a street fighter :)