Saturday, March 28, 2020

Date Night with a Book: Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

Date Night with a book is the new After Dark series of posts on my blog, books posted for Date Nights contain Adult  Romance themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for Date Night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)

Read for: TBR/ Recently Added/ Audio Books

Synopsis: "How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days gets a millennial makeover in this romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Andie J. Christopher.

Jack Nolan is a gentleman, a journalist, and unlucky in love. His viral success has pigeon-holed him as the how-to guy for a buzzy, internet media company instead of covering hard-hitting politics. Fed up with his fluffy articles and the app-based dating scene as well, he strikes a deal with his boss to write a final piece de resistance: How to Lose a Girl. Easier said than done when the girl he meets is Hannah Mayfield, and he's not sure he wants her to dump him.

Hannah is an extremely successful event planner who's focused on climbing the career ladder. Her firm is one of the most prestigious in the city, and she's determined to secure her next promotion. But Hannah has a bit of an image problem. She needs to show her boss that she has range, including planning dreaded, romantic weddings. Enter Jack. He’s the perfect man to date for a couple weeks to prove to her boss that she’s not scared of feelings.

Before Jack and Hannah know it, their fake relationship starts to feel all too real—and neither of them can stand to lose each other. "

My Review: I received this book from a Baecrate box last year, and it didn't really seem like the type of book I was interested in but I decided to give it a try anyway. I borrowed the audio book from the library since I didn't have time to read the print and the books was a very light, easy listen. It would definitely be great for those looking to get into reading romance as opposed to watching chic-flick movies. I say that because this is basically a book copy of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, with roll flip and some slight plot changes. I wasn't fully prepared for the amount of steam in this this book, there is a lot of explicit scenes and references as well throughout the book, so it may not be for everyone. It was light, it was fun, it was quick but while I understand the romance genre as a whole has a lot of similar plots, but this was darn near a copy of the movie with the addition of racial diversity and a gender role reversal.

My Rating: While this was an enjoyable read, it was just far to familiar and similar to a movie. If you are looking for a light, easy read, maybe an intro into adult romance books, this may work great for you, it reads like a chic flick.  Be warned though it is rather steamy if you are new to the genre.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag overall.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Review of The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Read for: Complete the series/ Borrowed books

Synopsis: "He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy."

My Review: As a disclaimer, I was not a huge fan of the first two books but I really felt the need to complete the trilogy. I actually found this book to be the best book of the bunch. I enjoyed the way resolutions to the series were brought around. I know a lot of others were complaining about drastic character changes, maybe because I wasn't as invested in them, I didn't really mind. Overall I was pretty satisfied with this conclusion, but I didn't have high expectations to begin with. I think this series would be great for new YA and Fantasy readers.

My Rating: While I wasn't super invested in this series or the characters, I did find this to be a fast moving conclusion and I enjoyed it a bit more than the previous books.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Can't Wait For . . . Network Effect by Martha Wells

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hoste at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

I am getting so excited for a full length novel in the Murderbot Diaries series.  I was at one point a hesitant Sci-Fi reader but I cannot get enough of this novella series. Now we are getting a full length novel in it! I think I am going to re-read books 1-4 this next month in preparation for Network Effect's release.

Network Effect by Martha Wells
Release Date: May 5, 2020


Synopsis: "Murderbot returns in its highly-anticipated, first, full-length standalone novel.

You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you're a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you're Murderbot.

Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.
I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.

When Murderbot's human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then."

Have you ever stayed away from a specific genre only to later find a series or book that you can't get enough of in that genre?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Review of The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander

Read for: Middle Grade March/ Recent Addition

Synopsis: "With her parents off traveling the globe, Lenora is bored, bored, bored--until she discovers a secret doorway in the library and becomes its newly appointed Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian.

In her new job, Lenora finds herself helping future civilizations figure out the date, relocates lost penguins, uncovers the city with the longest name on Earth, and more in a quest to help patrons. But there are sinister forces at work that want to destroy all knowledge. To save the library, Lenora will have to test her limits and uncover secrets hidden among its shelves."

My Review: I was on the hunt for a book about books for the Middle Grade March challenge and came across this book. I really enjoyed this one! This was what I dreamed would happen when I was a young reader hiding in the library, that I would find a secret passage into an even bigger library. And of course to become a librarian. I never expected to be able to follow Lenora on so many different adventures. The unique ways the Library of Ever works makes for some fun solutions to some crazy problems. It had such a fun cast of characters to meet along the way. It was a pretty easy read and would be great for those just getting into Middle Grade books.

My Rating: This was a fun and easy book to read but quite the adventure.  It is perfect for young and old library and book lovers alike.  I really hope there are more books in the series coming out soon! I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

The Last Dogs by Joe Stiple
The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

The Red Pencil
Girl in the Tower
Treading Water
Family Pets

Currently Reading:

Last Man by Mary Shelley - Audio/Print - on page 180 of 432
Spark by Sarah Beth Durst - Print - on page 86 of 320
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 43 of 320

Pages Read/ Time Listened
212:35 Hours Listened (22:09 listened this week)
9,325 Pages Read (490 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
White Rose
Stealing Thunder (gift)
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Red Pencil - READ
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
The Book of Boy
The Firefly Letters - READ
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
George and Lizzie - DNF
Phoenix Unbound
The Library of Ever - READ
Family Pets
The Last Man
Magic Bites
Fantasy Lover
Night Pleasures
The Midnight Lie
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift)
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
Ash and Quill
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
Smoke and Iron
Hurricane Dancers
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
The Test - READ
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Well that was a week! This has been a real test for me, working from home while distance learning/homeschooling Munchkin in 2nd Grade. I keep seeing all these wonderful stories and photos on Instagram and Facebook of people binge reading or crafting, while I am here just trying to hold things together. I have barely had time to get my dishes and laundry done each day. I had to squeeze in almost all my reading a few hours this weekend while Hubby entertained Munchkin and got him out of my hair for a bit. But in the grand scheme of things, we are pretty well off, both of us are still working and our family is all healthy.  It is definitely a time to look for the little victories (like mini dance parties when we finally get through a single math assignment after an hour and a half of working on it)!  Hopefully, we can settle into a new routine and what looks to be our life for what is looking like quite a while.

I hope you and yours are all safe and healthy as well. Let us all look to those things that bring us comfort and joy. Play a game, watch a movie, read a book.

What is your favorite game to play with your family?

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Graphic Novel Review of The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Read for: Graphic Novel/ Borrowed Books

Synopsis: "In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He's embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life- he's leaving home to build a better future for his family.

Shaun Tan evokes universal aspects of an immigrant's experience through a singular work of the imagination. He does so using brilliantly clear and mesmerizing images. Because the main character can't communicate in words, the book forgoes them too. But while the reader experiences the main character's isolation, he also shares his ultimate joy."

My Review: This book has been on my wishlist for quite a while, so when I saw it available in the library I grabbed it. This is a completely wordless graphic novel, but the sentiment of the story is conveyed beautifully through the illustrations. The fact that it is wordless also works with the story as our character tries to learn the language and ways of a new country. I love the way we are taken on a journey to meet new characters from all kinds of new and different places. It is a wonderful example of working together to make a great society. I loved this book and will definitely be tracking down my own copy.

My Rating: This might have been one of the most beautiful graphic novels I have ever read, both in the story and the illustrations! I cannot fully express how wonderful this one is and I can't wait to get my own copy.  So of course, I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Middle Grade Book Tag

It has been quite a while since I have done a book tag but when I saw Life Between Words, one of our hosts, post this Middle Grade Book Tag during our Middle Grad March Readathon, I thought it was about time to post one again.  As I said I saw this tag on Life Between Words but it was originally created by The Curly Reader.  So here we go . . .

What is the last MG book you read?
What is a MG book someone read to you as a child?
My Mom was constantly reading to us as kids, definitely instilled a love of books in me. But I most remember her reading the Little House on the Prairie series to us. I think my favorites were Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy and On the Banks of Plum Creek.
What was your favorite MG book as a child?
I was a complete horse nut and loved all of Marguerite Henry's books but my favorite was probably King of the Wind.
What is your favorite MG book as an adult?
Gosh there are so many, how could I possibly narrow it down?! For the past 3 years I have been participating in Middle Grade March and now Munchkin is reading MG too, so I have read countless books in the past few years, but I think one that really stands out and that I recommend to everyone is The Wild Robot.
Who is your favorite MG author?
I have in the past few years discovered Katherine Applegate, I have been working my way through her backlist and I have to say, I don't think I have come across a book of hers that I didn't like. Each one has been unique and touching.

What MG book do you think should be required reading in school?
There are so many fantastic MG books that should be read and discussed in school, and many of them already are currently. One in particular that I think would be great for schools is Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger. This book not only tells a story about family but the reader also gets to experience a wide variety of poetry and prose styles, and they are all explained in the book as well.

What is your favorite MG book cover?

What is your favorite MG book to screen adaptation?
I don't tend to watch a lot of movies, so I kind of struggle with this one. I guess maybe Black Stallion would qualify.  I do need to rectify this and watch some more movies, especially The Book Thief and Because of Winn Dixie.

So tell me about some of your Middle Grade favorites and memories.  Or post your own Middle Grade Book Tag.