August Wrap-up!

Tomorrow begins September, my birthday month!  I am super excited about several books coming out, but right now it’s time to list everything I read this month.  I am happy to say that I got all the books on my TBR list for the month done.  It was a really good month for books.  As you can see, the title of the book is a link to my review.  Let’s begin!

  1. Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld.  I liked this one, I think I would have enjoyed it even more had I read any Jane Austen… I know, I’m bad.  Three Stars

2.Bullseye, James Patterson.  I loved this one, and had so much fun with Michael Bennett.  This is a great series!  Five Stars

3.Chase, James Patterson.  I love the bookshots that follow a series, it’s like you get a bonus, because normally it’s one novel a year per series.  This was a great addition!  Five Stars

4.  Let’s Play Make Believe, James Patterson.  Oddly sweet at times, but also creepy and disturbing.  I liked it, but it was not his best.  Three Stars

5. The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena.  A fast paced thriller/ suspense novel that I really loved.  Four Stars

6.Learning To Swear in America, Katie Kennedy.  I first learned of this treasure from By Hook or By Book and after reading her review I had to have it.  I am so glad I picked it up.  It was funny, goofy, intelligent, and full of surprises.  Truly, I loved it.  Five Stars

7.Joker, Brian Azzarello.  Art work is great, story line is not so much.  I have to say I did not care for it.  Two Stars

8.The Things We Wish Were True, Mary Beth Mayhew.  Disaster rocks a quiet street.  Neighbors learn to rely on each other as secrets come out.  Slow to start- stick with it.  Three Stars

9.The Reader, Traci Chee.  A fantastically bookish fantasy novel.  Can’t wait for more!  Five Stars

10.  The Dream Team, Eva Jordan.  A group of coworkers with big dreams get together to support one another.  It was sweet, hilarious and uplifting.  I loved it.  Five Stars

11.  Little Gril Lost, J. S. Marciano.  As a child she was abducted from her family while on vacation.  Three weeks later she is found and a family picks her up… but what if it wasn’t really her family?  Four Stars

12.  Letters From Paris, Juliet Blackwell.  As a final request from her MawMaw, Claire goes to Paris to find the Lombardi family business to learn about a mask that her grandfather brought home from the war.  There she finds secrets, friends and love.  Five Stars

13.  Batman: Year One, Frank Miller.  A reinterpretation of the origins of Batman.  I loved it!  Five Stars

14.  JLA: World’s Most Dangerous, Geoff Jones.  The premise is sound and the art is great, but the story line needed work.  Three Stars

15.  Batman: The Killing Joke, Allan Moore.  Here is the Joker story I have been searching for.  Back story and mayhem!  It was fantastic (also, there’s an animated movie)!  Five Stars

16.  Passenger, Alexandra Bracken.  A time traveling family.  A girl forced into another time has to keep herself safe, and complete her mother’s mission while still being able to get back to her own time.  This was so amazing!  Five Stars

17.  The Problem With Forever, Jennifer Armentrout.  Mallory has come a long way since she was in an abusive foster home.  Now, she has loving parents that have home schooled her and made sure she was safe and taken care of.  As she wants to go to college the next step is to get over her fears and go to public school.  She has issues talking to people, afraid of everything…. when she gets there, though, she finds Rider- the only bright spot of her past.  Can she help him heal the same way he saved her when they were young?  Four Stars

18.  Bookish, Olivia Long.  Blogger and hottie book cover model!  What’s not to love?  Three Stars

So, That was August!  What did you read?

Amber

 

Advertisements

What’s New Wednesday? Week 18

Willy WonkaHey guys!  Today is August 31st, and We Love Memoirs Day.  Do you guys have any favorites?  I believe mine is still I Shall Not Hate, by Izzeldin Abuelaish.  It is beautiful and heart breaking.  You can get it here.  So….

What’s up with me?

For the last week up until yesterday I was basically on radio silence.  I had some serious dental issues and ended up going on a leave of absence from work so that I could get it taken care of.  Four pulled teeth and antibiotics later, I wasn’t really feeling coherent.  I read a lot to work through the pain, and all of my reviews are now up.  The removal was Monday and I do feel much better.  I have to admit my teeth are bad- I have a fear of dentists irrational as it is.  Also, control issues.  Seriously, I can’t even get a manicure unless I trust the person because I have issues giving up my hand.  I had a really bad/ mean dentist when I was young and I just can’t relax.  This one, though, made me very comfortable and I believe we will do well together.  Sorry if this is oversharing.

What’s New In News?

Gene Wilder- actor, icon and legend- passed away on the 29th at the age of 83.  We all knew his work, I grew up watching him.  Through his role as Willy Wonka he was an integral part of many children’s lives.  I hate that the world lost this brilliant man, I love that he can now rest easy.  Here’s a good article about him.

What’s new in books?

The Reader by Traci Chee comes out on the 13th.  If you haven’t heard about it, my review is here.  Honestly, I just loved it!  I can’t wait to see what others think of it.

Well, that’s it for now loves.  What’s new with you?

Amber

Bookish, Olivia Hawthorn, Olivia Long

bookishspolier alertTitle: Bookish

Author: Olivia Hawthorn, Olivia Long

Pages: 206

Genre: Romance, comedy

Part of a series?  No

Published:  August 14th 2016

                Aubrey Britton is a book blogger and unrepentant bibliophile.  She blogs and works in a book store, drooling over the hot guys in the romance novels.  When her parents died, she went to live with her aunt and many cats.  It’s eccentric… but it’s life, and a rather dull one at that. 

                All that changes at one convention where Isaac James, the abs that launched a thousand books, was doing a signing.  Waiting in line, she is accidently pushed into him.  She is embarrassed, he is sweet and caring.  Thus we have out meet-cute.  Aubrey can’t believe it, she sees him everywhere and he seems genuinely interested in her.  This type of thing just doesn’t happen in real life!  She can’t deny, though, that there is a heck of a lot of chemistry. 

                As the two get closer, walls come down and they make a real connection.  Nothing is without issues, though.  The paparazzi is something she never had to think about before.  Plus, not everyone is pleased with their relationship.  Worried, controlling family members, jealous friends and catty bloggers are making it difficult to just focus on Isaac.  When a secret comes out in a bad way, the relationship implodes.  Can the two work through this?  Does the blogger get the guy?

                I have never been a huge fan of the insta-love thing; which very much seems to be what happened between Aubrey and Isaac.  It was sweet though, and really charming so we’ll give it a pass.  The characters are great, though I had a lot of trouble with Aubrey’s best friend- jealous hussy- and Isaac’s sister who seems to like Aubrey but turns on her immediately and completely.  I loved watching that relationship, and the sex scenes were quite steamy.  Three Stars

                On the adult content scale, obviously we have sexual content- lots of it.  There’s also language and some violence. I give it an eight.   This is not meant for teens.adult content rubber stamp

                The book is out now- go get it!

Link to Book:

Amazon Kindle

Amber

The Problem With Forever, Jennifer Armentrout

the problem with foreverspolier alert

Title: The Problem With Forever

Author: Jennifer Armentrout

Pages: 474

Genre: YA romance

Part of a series?  No

Published:  May 17th, 2016

                Mallory Dodge spent her younger years in a foster home that was more of a nightmare.  The mother drunk, the father abusive.  The only bright spot was her friend Rider.  Not much older than Mallory, he protected her, cared for her, read to her, and taught her how to be quiet and stay out of trouble.  One horrible night ends with Mallory in the burn unit in a hospital.  The doctor there sees something in her, and he and his wife adopt her.  She never returns to the foster family. 

                Spring forward many years.  With therapy and homeschooling Mallory is learning to get by.  She is still terrified of everything, but she wants to go to college and live a normal life.  Her senior year she goes to public school to get ready.  There she sees Rider again, and the two connect.  He still cares for her, and is far too protective of his “mouse”; which doesn’t endear her to his girlfriend.  As the two reconnect and she discovers what he has been through, Mallory has to decide how brave she can be.  Is she ready for a relationship?  Is she strong enough to help Rider heal?  Can she even be around Rider without falling back into where she was in her head? 

                I liked this book.  There were some issues with pacing in the book- it didn’t always flow and smoothly as I would have liked.  The characters, though, were amazing and I enjoyed watching Mallory grow.  I loved the cast of characters, though I kind of feel like Paige was a bit cliché.  I laughed, I cried- I sobbed.  Some of the things in this book will be very hard to handle, I won’t lie.  But it is sweet and beautiful.  I am really glad I picked it up and recommend it to anyone.  Four Stars

                On the adult content scale, we have violence, drugs, language, and some very serious topics.  I don’t recommend this for anyone under sixteen.  Parental Guidance

                The book is out now- go get it!

Link to Book:

Amazon Kindle

Passenger, Alexandra Bracken

Passengerspolier alert

Title: Passenger

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Pages: 486

Genre: YA fantasy

Part of a Series: Yes.  This is book one on the Passenger series.

Published: January 5th, 2016

 

                Etta Spencer gave up everything to be a violinist.  Home schooled with no friends to speak of, all she has is her gift, her mother and her instructor Alice.  One night changes everything.  Pulled from her time, she learns deep secrets.  Her mother can travel through time, her family can.  Never having been trained or even told of all this, Etta is at a loss.  In a time she doesn’t know how to survive, without her music or allies… how does she get through this and back to her mother? 

            Waking on a ship at sea she is in a room with Sophia Ironwood.  Angry and proud, Sophia had been sent to her time to bring Etta to Grandfather.  The captain of the ship, Nicolas Hall, seems a good man, one that she can trust… but Sophia has already warned her against him.  Who can she trust? 

                Everyone wants something from her it seems.  Nicholas gives Etta and Sophia over to Ironwood and he is finally free.  Sophia gives Etta to grandfather, and he will finally see her potential.  Grandfather just wants Etta to retrieve something her mother hid a long time ago.  The deal- find the astrolabe with clues her mother left her, and give it to Ironwood, and she gets to go home and her mother is safe.  Don’t, and he swears her mother will die.  There must be a reason Rose left this life, though.  Can she trust this man?  Nicholas is offered a deal to go with her, though he would anyway.  Jumping from portal to portal, clue to clue, it is a race to get the astrolabe in time to save her mom.  She knows, though, that Rose never wanted it in his hands.  She wants it destroyed. 

                As the two go forward, facing dangers they begin to care deeply for one another.  Even if she can get back to her mom, can she leave Nicholas?  We end with the two split up, and an unlikely alliance forming to find and protect Etta.

                I must say, I loved this story.  It was well written with complex, entertaining characters.  I adored Alice, Etta and Nicholas.  While I didn’t like Sophia, I respected her desires.  The premise of a family that can do this, travel through time with portals, is really neat and I felt it was well done.  I can’t wait for January when the next installment comes in!  This is a well written, thoughtful and darn fun read, I highly recommend it!  Five Stars

                On the adult content scale, some violence and one very small sex scene that was not at all explicit.  I would be comfortable with anyone reading this at any age.  General.svg

                The book is out now- go get it!

Link to Book:

Amazon Kindle

Amber

Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore

batman the killing jokespolier alertTitle: Batman: The Killing Joke

Author: Alan Moore.  Illustrator: Brian Boland.

Pages:  50

Genre: Graphic Novel, suspense

Part of a series?  Stand alone graphic novel, but part of the Batman Universe.

Published: December 1st, 1995.

What if all it took was one bad day to drive a man mad?  What if it was just that easy?  The Joker is out to prove that it is.  He has his stage set, new minions at the ready, and the perfect subject.

After watching his daughter shot in their home, Commissioner Gordon is taken.  It is up to Batman to get Barbara help and find his friend.  An old amusement park is bought and ready for a special night.  Gordon is subjected to terrible atrocities in the hopes of driving him insane, thus proving Joker’s point.  When Batman finds him, naked and caged, you see a broken man… but not mad.  Proud and Angry.  He sends Batman after Joker.

All this is happening while we also get flashbacks to a jobless comedian who is expecting his first child.  The pressure is so great to get the money to care for his wife and family that he makes one false move.  Just one job with these guys and he would be set.  No more worries!  But it all goes so very wrong…. and a villain is born.  It was just one bad day…

I bought the graphic novel, which is awesome in and of itself and offers a mini story at the end as well as sketches.  I do enjoy the extras!  The story line was captivating.  I loved it!  I was grateful for a bit of backstory on my favorite villain, and it was done really well!  There is an animated movie, though, which follows the book to the letter and is just perfectly done.  In this case, if I had to pic only one to buy… I would get the movie.  I am spoiled though, so I did not have to choose!  Five Stars  for both movie and book!

On the adult content scale… an eight.  Nudity, language, violence and simple insanity. adult content rubber stamp

The book and the movie are both out and I recommend both!

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Link to Movie:

Amazon

Amber

Justice League of America: Volume one, World’s most dangerous. Geoff Johns

jl world's most danerousspolier alertTitle: Justice League of America Volume One: World’s Most Dangerous

Author: Geoff Johns, Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire.  Illustrator: David Finch

Pages: 40

Genre: action, graphic novel

Part of a Series: Yes, the Justice League of America (New 52).  Book One.

Published: February 20th, 2016

What happens if the Justice League goes rogue?  Amanda Waller has an idea for a team (yes, another one).  We have one member to combat each of the world’s mightiest heroes incase the worst happens.  Two kids- one with less than no training and one cutie to be the figurehead for the public.  A crazy bounty Hunter, the last Martian,  a doctor, an assassin, and a jewel thief.  Oh, and a marksman that crashes the party.  This crew don’t play well together, don’t know one another, and don’t trust each other.  What could go wrong?

So, I thought it was interesting that they chose Martian Manhunter, but understandable.  He is a badass, and knows the Justice League well.  Catwoman, with her knowledge of Batman also makes sense.  Hawkman, while another badass… not as much.  I don’t understand who he or Katana were supposed to be “chosen for”.  Vibe, a young kid that needs a lot more training, makes sense as he can combat the Flash.  I felt bad for Star Girl, the only one that seemed to really want to be part of a team, being relegated to figurehead.  Moving on….

They are sent to check on the Justice League, and instead find robots.  There is a secret society of bad guys and they are working to do crazy things.  JLA’s mission?  Find them and take them down.  No easy talk for a new group that doesn’t know how to work together.  After some near misses the group succeed in stopping the society for now, but not bringing them in.  As Martian Manhunter makes a case to keep the crew, what will be decided.

I must say, this was not what I was expecting and I had a lot of trouble getting into it.  Yes, I love some of these characters…. the story line was just off and a bit jumpy.  Also, can we talk about what a nutter Waller is?  She keeps grabbing the bad, the crazed and the undertrained and expecting them to automatically know how to fight and work as a team. I hate her, but I kinda feel like we are supposed to.  Any way, there were some great parts, and the artwork is phenomenal… the story just wasn’t for me.  Three Stars

Obviously, the adult content scale is a bit high.  Violence, language, violence, violence, violence.  I give it a five.  Parental Guidance

The book is out- let me know what you guys think.

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Amber