Saturday, May 11, 2013

Graphic Novel Review of Northlanders Vol. 1 - Sven the Returned

Synopsis: "Meet Sven, an exiled Viking prince who must return to the desolate lands of his birth to reclaim his vast inheritance upon the death of his father.

In this first volume collecting NORTHLANDERS #1-8, DMZ writer Brian Wood stabs Viking lore in the face with a fresh take on what it means to be a warrior. See why Entertainment Weekly calls it "a well-reserched, richly realized world that illuminates politics and culture without getting bogged down in history-book stuff.""

My Review: If you want a graphic novel with some good battles but don't want a fantasy or super heroes this is the one for you. I actually really enjoyed this novel a lot, I don't normally enjoy a lot of gore but this one wasn't over done, but it also didn't soften the brutality of the Vikings or the time period. I will definitely be getting the next volume. The nice thing was that Sven's story is wrapped up in this novel so you don't wonder what happens but you do want to continue with the various Viking stories Wood might present.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this graphic novel, this history, the brutality, and the characters all meshed to make a fantastic story. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bedtime Story: Bunny Loves to Read

Synopsis: "Bunny loves to read, but his friends want him to play outside with them...until it rains, and they all discover what fun reading and pretending can be."

My Review: This is an adorable book that Munchkin got for Christmas. It is great to see how Bunny gets his friends to read a book when it is raining even though they don't seem to like books. After discovering the adventures that lay before them in the books they are very excited to read and act out their favorite stories. Just goes to show that you just have to find the right book to spark a love for reading!        
My Rating: The images were kind of an odd combination of almost photo like images and illustrations but regardless, it is a great book to encourage reading. I give it a rating of Three Paws!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Bout of Books Read-a-thon

Bout of Books
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, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 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 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I thought it was about time to participate in a read-a-thon since I missed Dewey's last month.  I like how this one is an entire week so you can spread out the reading (helpful between work and Munchkin fussy sessions).

Time Devoted to Reading

I plan to read 2-3 hours a day through out the week. I would like it to be more but it depends on Munchkin naps.

My Goals
I would like to be able to get at least 2 books for review completed (including the ones currently in progress).  I would also like to finish an audio book.
I would also like to find a new friend or two who also enjoy fantasy books.
Books to Read
This list of books is subject to change depending on mood and what reading I get done this weekend.
October Night by Theresa Oles
Chasing Dragons by Douglas Jaffe
As the Soft Wind Blows by Lance Umenhoffer
Justice by Jade Varden
Magic Study by Maria Snyder
Heat Wave by Richard Castle (audio)

    Updates will be posted via my twitter (@easternsunset9) nightly before I hit the hay. I will include the number of books read so far during the read-a-thon and hours I have read that day

So do you want to join and get a jump start on your summer reading?!

From the Review Pile #2

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.

I know that a lot of you have a huge pile of books that you want to read/review, but it understandably takes a while to get around to reading them all - here you can give a book (or two!) some of the publicity that it deserves, even if you haven't read it yet!

Ugly Beautiful By Seanpaul Thomas

'A tragic tale of a doomed romance like no other.'

Jason is a tormented soul and small town, womanizing gangster. Fed up with his unfulfilled life he double crosses his only friend and does a runner with a suitcase full of drug money, disappearing into the heart of the gorgeous Scottish highlands to lay low in a secluded cottage before starting a fresh.

On his second day of hiding Jason discovers the mysterious body of a young and hauntingly beautiful woman lying unconscious at the bottom of a nearby hill. The woman though has no memory of who she is or how she even ended up there. So Jason carries the beauty back to his cottage and tenderly nurses her back to health. As the days pass, Jason gradually gains the woman's trust and friendship by confiding to her his own past sins and infidelities. Deep and personal confessions he has never told anyone before, especially a woman. Could our hero finally be falling in love for the first time in his selfish life?

Eventually Jason coaxes and pushes the woman into unraveling her own eerily forgotten past and tormenting mad nightmare visions of terror... But doing so without the hindsight of the chilling, terrifying and sickening acts of horror which are about to be unleashed.

'Strong language and graphic scenes of violence in parts.'


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Synopsis: "“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery."

My Review: This story had a very good message about the struggle of anorexia and how until Lia decided she wanted to change and get better it didn't matter how many treatments she went through or how closely she was monitored her way of living wouldn't change. Wintergirls also shows us how easily someone suffering from an eating disorder can not only fool those around them but also themselves. Lia knew what people wanted to hear and so she said the words even though internally she was saying much different things. All that said I just couldn't get over the writing style. The odd combination of diary entry and narration really didn't sit well with me. I was constantly distracted from the story itself by crossed out words, repeated words for entire pages, and blank pages.
My Rating: Well I read this for the Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge, and I think it has a great message but if the format doesn't work then the message doesn't get across.  At least that is how it was for me.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Shopping Spree

Yup Shame on me! I went on a book shopping spree (with a few gift cards I received for my birthday).  I wanted to share what all I got with all of you because my hubby and Munchkin just aren't showing enough excitement ;)
Audio Books
E Books on Nook
On the Kindle
In Print
Well there are some of the books you can look forward to reviews of in the future!! I think it is a nice variety. I also got a bunch of fun books for Munchkin and Bedtime Story :D
Have you gone on any book shopping sprees lately? What is new to your shelves?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review of Luminaire by Ciye Cho

Synopsis: "Being the only human in a world of merfolk... isn't easy. Florence Waverley chose to stay in Niemela, but things have gone awry. Secrets have risen and the prince she cares about has pulled away. All the while, dark dreams warn her of a tragedy that only she can stop. But in order to save the merman she loves, Florence will have to enter the Life Path tournament: a brutal test of fear and madness.

The tournament is a rite of passage--a maze where young mermaids and mermen battle to find their purpose. It is also a place where Florence will face grave danger: mermaids with evil magic, tunnels filled with sea fire, and guardians who wish to use her as a pawn in their secret plans. But will Florence be strong enough to survive the tournament... or will she perish inside it?

Everything hangs in the balance: her life, her world, and her love.

("Luminaire" is the second book in the Florence Waverley series.)"

My Review: Lets start off by saying this is the second book in the series and I really enjoyed the first, Florence. For some reason latey I have been disappointed with follow up books in a series, but with Luminaire that is not the case! We get to continue Florence's undersea adventures through turbulent times. I think that this book may have been even better than the first, maybe because romance really took a back seat to adventure and self discovery. Also while the book is filled with action, it doesn't feel like it is crisis after crisis until the main event of the Life Path Tournament. Now I can't talk too much about things without spoiling surprises but I really like where the story is headed. I enjoy how Ciye Cho really made you remember that she is underwater, the characters and scenes really stick to the setting (I know that sounds odd but I really hate when stories or characters that are not human or on earth start to take on the traits of being on earth and forget the true setting).
My Rating: I really enjoyed Luminaire and I think that many of you will also enjoy it, but I do suggest reading Florence first as it is a continuation of the story.  I give Luminaire a rating of Four Paws!
Luminaire was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about the Florence Waverley series and Ciye Cho on Goodreads or the dedicated series Website.
If you would like to obtain your own copy of Florence and/or Luminaire they can be found on Barnes & Noble and Amazon
You can also see my original review of Florence, book number one of the Florence Waverley series HERE

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
Twelve Months by Steven Manchester
I'll See You in the Morning (Bedtime Story)

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

Mommy Hugs
Pajama Time
Currently Reading:

October Night by Theresa Oles - Kindle - 15%
Chasing Dragons by Doug Jaffe - Kindle - 26%

 Books to be Read Soon:
Blood in the Valley by JK Hogan (Requested Review)
Heat Wave by Richard Castle (Audio Challenge)
And the Soft Wind Blows by Lance Umenhofer (Requested Review)


So I was planning on getting a lot more reading done this weekend but of course had another bridal shower to go to on Saturday and then Munchkin cut his third tooth on Sunday.  Gosh I hope the teething thing gets easier because he is absolutely miserable! In fact he has been so unhappy I don't even have a new cute picture to share with you :(

Well lets hope this week is better, I have a lot of reading to get done this month!

Hope you all have a great week!