Saturday, October 19, 2019

Date Night with a Book: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis: "Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin's Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there's a price on her head. With the realm's most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can't refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins...not even to save the woman he can no longer live without."

My Review: I received this book in the Bae Crate book box, it wasn't even on my radar but it was definitely up my alley. It did take a bit to get into the story as there is a lot of intricate magic to learn and understand as the story progresses. I did however really enjoy the characters, they both have great backstories that I enjoyed learning about, clear personal agendas and plenty of personality. I really enjoyed the banter between all of the characters, especially the side characters, which I hope we get to see more in future books. The variety of magical beasts was everything my heart could have desired, I want so much more of them! While we have been given a bit of a conclusion and a reader could be satisfied with it, we are still given a kernel of a cliffhanger that will drive fans to reach for the next book! I cannot wait for the next one!

My Rating: While this wasn't on my radar, with beasts and creatures involved I knew I wanted to read it.  I wasn't too sure at the beginning but ended up really getting into this story and characters.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Lunch or What's That? by Julianne Moore & Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "Academy Award–winning actress and New York Times bestselling author Julianne Moore brings us more adventures from Freckleface Strawberry! Picky eaters everywhere will laugh along as Freckleface Strawberry gets her lunch from the cafeteria and asks the terrifying question: “What’s that?!” Everyone’s favorite red-haired seven-year-old makes her exciting and hilarious debut in the Step Into Reading line of leveled readers.  
Step 2 Readers use basic vocabulary and short sentences to tell simple stories, for children who recognize familiar words and can sound out new words with help."

My Review: This is a fun book for all those young kids eating school lunches for the first time. Or even trying anything new at home too. Sometimes food doesn't look that appetizing but turns out to be really tasty. We really liked this book, even though it is a little simple for Munchkin, he still enjoyed it and made several observations throughout the story. It is a great level 2 book with lots of repetition and easy sentences and words.

My Rating: This was a fun and silly book that young kids in school will really be able to relate with.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Review of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Read for: Classics & Audio Book Challenge

Synopsis: "Horror hides behind an attractive face in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde's tale of a notorious Victorian libertine and his life of evil excesses. Though Dorian's hedonistic indulgences leave no blemish on his ageless features, the painted portrait imbued with his soul proves a living catalogue of corruption, revealing in its every new line and lesion the manifold sins he has committed. Desperate to hide the physical evidence of his unregenerate spirit, Dorian will stop at nothing--not even murder--to keep his picture's existence a secret.

A scandalous story when it was first published in 1890, The Picture of Dorian Gray is acknowledged a landmark of literature today and a tale emblematic of its time. This volume is one of Barnes & Noble's Collectible Editions classics. Each volume features authoritative texts by the world's greatest authors in an exquisitely designed foil-stamped binding, with distinctive colored edging and an attract silk-ribbon bookmark. Decorative, durable, and collectible, these books offer hours of pleasure to readers young and old and are an indispensable cornerstone for any home library.

An incredibly handsome young man in Victorian England retains his youthful appearance over the years while his portrait reflects both his age and evil soul as he pursues a life of decadence and corruption."

My Review: I had heard a lot of people love this book and said it is a great spooky read for the Halloween season. I thought I would give it a try, and chose to alternate between audio book and print to stay in the story. I have to say, I was rather underwhelmed. I was expecting something that would give me goosebumps but it didn't even give me the slightest chill. Would it be a great book to discuss with a group? Absolutely! It definitely has a lot to say about the morality and the way we can be influenced. The result of lack of consequences for our actions was something that should be emphasized in today's world as well. It was a good book, and I wish I had the opportunity to read it while in college or high school and could have had a great discussion about it.

My Rating: I really would have enjoyed having a group to discuss this book with but as someone who is just reading for pleasure at this point, it was a bit lackluster.  The beginning was so drawn out and then the part that really could have been great was just skimmed over.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Review of The Missing Bookshop by Katie Clapham & Illustrated by Kirsti Beautyman

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis: "Milly loves going to story time at her local bookshop. Mrs Minty is an encyclopedia of books and knows the perfect story for every occasion ... tales of mischievous children and faraway lands, magical beasts and daring adventures. But the bookshop is old and creaky, just like Mrs Minty herself. And then one day Milly arrives to find the shop gone. What has happened to Mrs Minty and her irreplaceable bookshop?

A warm and uplifting tale about the importance of stories.

Part of a range of simple stories for new readers, with beautiful colour illustrations."

My Review I picked this one up recently, I couldn't resist the cover. I went in knowing nothing about it other than I love the illustration style. I ended up absolutely loving this book and it is a must read for book lovers both young and old. It really brings out the importance of locally owned bookstores and what they mean to the community. It is a great story to share with the young readers in your home. It was easy to read, like a level 4 reader, with simple sentences and words and a lot of illustrations.

My Rating: I wasn't sure what this book would hold, I thought it was going to be a bit more of a mystery but while it wasn't what I expected it was ended up being so much more.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Review of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Read for: Borrowed Books

Synopsis: "Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything."

My Review: I have heard a lot about this book and the movie that came out a couple of years ago is intriguing, so I finally picked it up from the library. I listened to the audio book while reading the print copy as I usually have a hard time wrapping my head around the concepts in Sci-Fi. This book was so odd and obscure but yet rather enjoyable. The descriptions of what the character encountered were so vague that you aren't forced to try to picture what the author puts on paper but lets your mind wander and form your own ideas. I found it very odd that we never get to know the names of anyone in the books, simply what their roles are in the story. It was such an unusual reading experience, it was enjoyable and fast moving, the pages kept turning because I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

My Rating: This was so out of my realm but I still found it super intriguing and rather enjoyable.  I found it odd that we never get any names and that just added to the level of weirdness.  I don't think I will continue with the series but it was still a fun step outside my comfort zone and a perfect read to get me in the creepy weird mood for Halloween.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Monday, October 14, 2019

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

Red Dove, Listen to the Wind by Sonia Antaki
Dragons in the Clouds by David Blair
I Will Fight Monsters For You by Santi Balmes (Bedtime Story)
Clueless Cabot by AndrĂ© D. Michaels (Date Night/After Dark)

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

The Resurrectionist
The Sasquatch Escape
Picture of Dorian Gray
The Blacksmith Queen
The Lonely Lake Monster
This Monstrous Thing - DNF

Currently Reading:

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda - Ebook - on page 36 of 448
Secret Hunger by Satin Russell - Print - on page 48 of 361

Pages Read/ Time Listened
512:27 Hours Listened (11:38 listened this week)
27,837 Pages Read (552 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep
Lord of the Fading Lands
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
Dark Harmony
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Force of Attraction
Primal Force
Rival Forces
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
We Hunt the Flame
Dreaming the Bear
The Monsters We Deserve
Strange Star
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
Storm and Fury
Honeybees and Frenemies
Master & Apprentice
The Chosen
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Mortal Engines
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Merciful Crow
The Bridge Kingdom
A Crash of Fate
Black Spire
Capturing the Devil
The Testaments
The Missing Bookshop
The Warrior Moon
A Thousand Roads Home
The Sasquatch Escape
The Lonely Lake Monster
The Blacksmith Queen
Klaus Vol. 2
Molly and the Cat Cafe
Plum Crazy Vol. 2
Plum Crazy Vol. 3
Plum Crazy Vol. 4
A Walk One Winter Night
Loving My Actual Christmas
A Family Under the Christmas Tree
The White Christmas Inn
There Will Come a Darkness
Shadow Frost
How to Love a Duke in 10 Days
How to Catch a Wicked Viscount


Ugh! Full blown fall has arrived with all the rain, cold and sickness with it! Munchkin came down with Strep in the middle of the week last week and that kind of threw a curve ball, but it was to be expected.  Hubby also had his schedule switched 3 times in the past week but we are finally back to his regular schedule for the first time since the end of May.  While I am thrilled to have him back in the evenings, it cuts into my reading time!  Luckily, we have a day off today and on top of getting caught up on chores and working on some Christmas Cards, I plan to get a good amount of reading done today. 

I also have the Fall in Love With New England romance convention coming up at the end of this week and I cannot wait! Even though I am pretty bummed that my friend couldn't come, I am still looking forward to getting together with some fellow romance readers and authors (and getting some uninterrupted alone reading time in the hotel)!