Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (16) The Naturals

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 9:29 AM with 41 comments
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.

The Naturals The Naturals

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes    
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: November 5, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

Why I'm Excited:

A group of teenagers with special skills/powers who work for the FBI on cold cases?! This book sounds so amazing and I can't wait to read it. I'm seriously loving what Disney-Hyperion has been putting out lately and I love this new cover design, it's simple but way more stunning than the same old blond girl on a cover. I'm always drawn to YA mysteries (as anyone who reads this blog knows since I never shut up about it), but add in some superpowers and it becomes a gimme, gimme, gimme situation. 

What are you waiting for on this last day in July (can you believe it? Summer is flying by!)? Link me up! 

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (17) Best Endings

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:34 AM with 27 comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today plus links to a whole slew of other blogs. After you read mine, of course.

Today's topic is: Top 10 Best Endings (or beginnings...or a combination...but I just did endings)

Because I don't want to spoil any book endings for you this post will be mostly ramble free--I don't know if anything I post will ever be completely ramble free...

The wait a minutes...what just happened endings:

Gone Girl Shutter Island My Sister's Keeper

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I know most people didn't care for this ending, but I found it perfectly fitting.
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Wait, so what you're telling me is...I loved this book and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Sad and shocking. Jodi Picoult is the M.Night Shyamalan of contemporary women's fiction.

The epic endings:

 The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

I doubt I really need to explain the awesomeness that is this ultimate good vs. evil ending.

The swoons (because there are few things I like more than a swoon-y ending):

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) Pride and Prejudice The Night Circus 
The Truth About Forever My Life Next Door

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The French boarding school swoon.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The classic swoon.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The spell-binding swoon.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
The classic Dessen swoon.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
The boy next door swoon.

Those are just a few of my favorite endings. What books made your list this week? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spirit and Dust (Book Review)

Monday, July 29, 2013 12:37 PM with 14 comments
Spirit and DustSpirit and Dust

Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Number of Pages: 384

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Daisy Goodnight can speak to the dead. It’s not the result of a head injury or some near-death experience. She was just born that way. And she’s really good at it. Good enough to help the police solve the occasional homicide.

But helping the local authorities clear cold cases is one thing. Being whisked out of chemistry class by the FBI and flown to the scene of a murder/kidnapping in Minnesota? That’s the real deal.

Before the promotion can go to Daisy’s head, she’s up to her neck in trouble. The spirits are talking, and they’re terrified. There’s a real living girl in danger. And when Daisy is kidnapped by a crime boss with no scruples about using magic—and Daisy—to get what he wants, it looks like hers is the next soul on the line.


I really liked Rosemary Clement-Moore's Texas Gothic. I really hadn't known what to expect going into the book when I picked it up a couple of years ago. At the time I was having some serious paranormal overload and wasn't expecting too much, and so was pleasantly surprised when I ended up really enjoying the book that followed a young witch, Amy (and her sister, Phin) who's part a long-line of kitchen witches, the Goodnights. Amy can see ghosts and the book had a delicious will-they-or-won't-they flirtation between her and a cowboy (the Goodnights are from Texas). So when I heard about Spirit and Dust, I was super excited and it quickly became one of my most anticipated summer reads. While I did enjoy Spirit and Dust, I have to admit that I didn't like it as much as I wanted to and it ended up taking me over a month to get all the way through because I just kept getting distracted (see my discussion post from three days ago for more on that here), which is partly me....but part of it is that the book was a bit long-winded.

Spirit and Dust follows another member of the Goodnight family: Daisy. Daisy is a 17 year-old college freshman who can see and speak to remnants (pieces of ghost that cling to certain objects, such as a necklace or something special). She occasionally works for the FBI when they get stuck on a case. She is studying for a class at the beginning of our story when the two FBI agents she often works with show up and whisk her up north to Minnesota to check out a crime scene. A major mob-bosses' daughter has gone missing and her driver has been shot in the head. Daisy is able to speak to the driver who still seems terrified--even though he's dead--but is unable to find any remnant trace of the girl, which is a good thing because it means she isn't dead only missing. As Daisy is resting at the police station after speaking to the driver (talking to ghosts gives her wicked migraines and makes her weak), she is kidnapped by the mob-bosses henchman and taking to the McGuire's (the boss's) house. From there she is forced to bind herself to finding his daughter or die trying. She is partnered up with one of the henchmen, Carson, and the two take off to find out what is going on.

There were several things I did enjoy about this book. The baddies who took the girl are tied to something called the Black Jackal which (at least in the book--I didn't do any research) is part of Egyptian mythology which is unusual and very cool. The first two-thirds of the book was quickly paced and filled with action as Daisy and Carson travel the US, trying to track down clues about the group behind the kidnapping while discovering more and more about the mythology behind the Jackal. I really liked Daisy's character and found her witty and quick and fun to read about.

What I wasn't so crazy about was the fact that there were two love interests, which was clunky and unnecessary. Daisy has had a long flirtation with one of the FBI agents: Agent Taylor. She calls him Agent Tasty and he calls her Jailbait...which, I'm sorry, but ew. He is described as young for an agent, but c'mon, you have to be at least in your late twenties to be an agent, right? I mean, seriously, I know at least a BA is required and then don't they have to go to FBI training? Regardless, Daisy is 17! That's too young for an FBI agent--period. So that aspect was a pretty big turn-off for me. I mean to each his own, but I have just never had a thing for, like, way older guys. And I've never understood why an older guy would want to date a teenage girl. Have you ever talked to a teenager? Whatever. People can date whomever they chose. I just don't get it. The other guy is Carson and once the two are on the road, Agent Taylor fades into the background a bit. Like with Texas Gothic Ms. Clement-Moore really nailed down the chemistry between the two. I loved their banter and the chemistry between them is smoking.

Also, I found the last third of the book to be rambling and stretched out. The climax had a lot of action, like the first two acts, but it just went on and on. I would have liked this book a lot more if the author would have shaved off, say 50 pages, just to tighten the book up. Overall, I did enjoy this book and kept picking it up to read a few pages here or there over the past few weeks, but if it would have been a bit slimmer, it definitely would have held my attention more. 

I do think Spirit and Dust is worth reading. It isn't a sequel to Texas Gothic, per se, but I would recommend picking that one up first. Again, I do find Texas Gothic to be the superior book so if you are curious about the author I would definitely start there. If you've already read and enjoyed Texas Gothic, than I'm sure you'd enjoy this one as well.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (16)

Saturday, July 27, 2013 8:20 AM with 26 comments


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tyngas Reviews. This meme allows us to share the books we've recently added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! *Clicking the link of a book's title will take you to Goodreads.

E-Book ARCs

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1) The Fairest of Them All The Butterfly Sister: A Novel The Goddess Chronicle

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke 
A girl and her brother living in crumbling mansion take on a renter for the guesthouse who may or may not be the devil incarnate. I've started this already and am enjoying it so far. I love that cover!
The Fairest of Them All  by Carolyn Turgeon
A re-imaging of two fairy tales with Rapunzel as Snow White's wicked step-mother. I'm pretty intrigued by this premise. 
The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen 
Almost a year after a woman drops out of college her senior year after having an affair with one of her professors her dorm mate goes missing and she receives a piece of the missing girl's luggage.
The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino
A re-imagining of the ancient Japanese creation myth of Izanami and Izanaki.

What I snagged from the library

Code Name Verity Spies and Prejudice The Lonely Hearts Club

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I've heard great things about this novel about two friends and pilots whose plane goes down during WWII.
Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance
I'm honestly pretty over re-tellings of Pride and Prejudice (there are so many), but I'm a sucker for books about teen spies so I'm crossing my fingers this one will be good.
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
I remember liking this one when it came out a few years ago, but can't really remember it, so I decided to give it a second look.
Well, that's all for me this week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader is going/has gone by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Discussion Post: So many books, so little time

Friday, July 26, 2013 12:06 PM with 14 comments

Discussion Post: So many books, so little time (or why I watch too much Food Network)

There are very few things I like more than I like books. I think that is probably obvious as I write this book (and movie) blog, am active on Goodreads, work at a library, etc. But I have to admit that lately I'm having a hard time concentrating on reading. I know what I'm about to say isn't new. I've read similar posts on other blogs and I've had discussions with other bloggers about this, but this is the first time I've written a discussion post on this, still relatively new, blog and I wanted it to be about something that's truly worrying me: As much as I love books and as much as I love reading, lately I've been really struggling to finish books. I'm still reading all the time, but I am having the worst case of "grass is greener" syndrome lately.

I think the problem is simply that I just have so many choices and they all look so pretty and new and they all sound so amazing which makes concentrating on a single book so hard. Over the past few years I've become a multiple book girl. Once I finish a book, I'll select anywhere from 3-7 books and will read the first chapter of each, then the second, etc. Inevitably one book will capture my attention more than the others and will become the one I focus on, leaving the other books somewhere between 10-30% read. But then I'll inevitably get something in from the library that I've been dying to read so I'll start that one, too. Maybe I'll continue reading the book that I was focusing on (if it's really good I definitely will), but if my attention on that book has started to wane, then it might get put aside, too. So then what I'm left with are piles and piles (seriously, and piles and piles) of books that I've started but have never finished. And most of the time, the book was fine, good even, and I want to know what happens, but then I get approved for I book on NetGalley or Edelweiss that I'm dying to read and the cycle just goes on and on until I can't even think about reading and end up watching the Food Network for hours on end marveling at all the pretty dishes those amazing chefs come up with. (Seriously, doesn't this all look so good?)


I truly hate this cycle and want for it to stop, but I just don't know how to quit. I've been trying to concentrate on just two or three books at a time (I just don't think I'll ever be a one at a time girl) and that seems to be helping a little bit. I've been trying not to request quite as many books from the e-galley sites or from the library, but it's so hard. Pretty covers are my crack and now that I've discovered those awesome sites the choices of what to read next just keep getting bigger and bigger. Before I could only choose books that were already out and available to me through the library (I rarely buy books and only buy used, but I'll save that discussion for another post), but now I have access to amazing sounding books that won't even be published for several months. I know I should put a ban on myself, but that will just never happen. I'm absolutely addicted to the high I get when I get that approval or when a book I've had on hold comes in for me at the library. I love the feeling of holding a new book in my hands or downloading a new book onto my Kindle, but what I need to start concentrating on is reading more. I need to put the remote down and I need to finish the books I start (unless they totally suck--then it's the book's fault and it's fine to move on).

Added to this cycle is the fact that I really should read the books that I requested by their release dates, which sometimes just stresses me out so much that, again, I just end up not reading anything at all...but I think I'll save the stress of getting to ARCs in a timely manner for another day. 

Is anybody else struggling with finishing books? What do you do? I'd love to hear your thoughts and advice.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Call (Movie Review)

Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:46 AM with 3 comments

The Call

Starring: ,
Release Date: March 15, 2013  
DVD Release Date:  June 25, 2013
Rated:  R for violence, disturbing content and some language

Synopsis from IMDb:

Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is an experienced 911 operator but when she makes an error in judgment and a call ends badly, Jordan is rattled and unsure if she can continue. But then teenager Casey Wilson (Abigail Breslin) is abducted in the back of a man's car and calls 911. And Jordan is the one called upon to use all of her experience, insights and quick thinking to help Casey escape, and not just to save Casey, but to make sure the man is brought to justice. Written by napierslogs


To be honest, I wasn't expecting a whole lot going into The Call. I like Halle Berry alright and think she usually makes some pretty good choices movie-wise, but the trailers for this movie definitely made it seem a bit...meh. I'm not going to say I was blown away by The Call, but it was better than I was expecting and it certainly made me jump a couple of times.  

The movie starts off with a bit of a bang. Halle's character, Jordan, is a operator for the LAPD. She's obviously comfortable at her job and has an airiness that is punctuated by her relationship with an LAPD officer that comes to see her on her dinner break. Within the first couple of minutes of the film she receives a call from a terrified teen who is alone in the house and hears somebody breaking in. Jordan helps the teen hide in her house while making it look like she climbed out the window and it seems to work when the bad man begins making his way back out of the house. When the line goes dead, Jordan panics and, without thinking, hits the re-connect button on her screen which calls the teen back. The ringing cordless phone alerts the baddie where the teen is hiding and he murders her. Feeling responsible for her death, Jordan crumbles under the pressure of her job and doesn't know if she can continue.

After this set-up, the film jumps to six months later and into the main story. Jordan is still working at the LAPD call center, but now as a trainer. She gets to still be a part of the system that raised her (her father was an officer, as well), without having to strap on the headset she is now terrified to wear. Of course, she ends up having to do just that when as she and her trainees stop at a call station to talk to a newbie operator, the newbie gets a call that she is too ill-equipped to handle from a teenager who has been abducted and stuffed into the trunk of a car. Jordan takes the newbie's place and finds herself once again on the other end of a call where a teen girl's life is at stake. 

Overall, The Call truly is a decent movie. Jordan directs the teen, Casey (Abigail Breslin), to do some pretty smart things in order to draw attention to the car. There are definitely some unrealistic moments, but these types of films will always ask for you to suspend your belief. Both Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin do a great job in their rolls. Halle plays Jordan with a believable vulnerability after her trauma. Breslin, who I just find so likeable, does a great job as the scared teen struggling to stay alive. The baddie played by Michael Eklund brings the movie down a bit. Eklund plays the psychopath as a slack-jawed bumbler, which was off-putting and weird.

The film is dragged down by the ridiculous third act after Jordan and Casey are disconnected and Jordan begins to physically search out Casey, as the audience we knew this would eventually happen. If you've ever seen a movie in this genre, you know what's coming...and if you haven't than the previews for this movie tell you it will. I wouldn't go so far as to say the movie collapses in the third act, but it does fall into the same old, same old and the ending is a bit ludicrous--like endings of this genre often are. With the mostly stellar cast and fairly smart writing throughout the beginning and middle parts of the film, I was hoping for a bit more, but I didn't get it.

The Call is a perfectly fun way to spend a couple of hours, especially now that it is out on DVD. It is a popcorn film with a few decent scares that is slightly elevated due to the acting of Berry and Breslin.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (15) Bright Before Sunrise

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 9:15 AM with 33 comments

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. Click the link to see the original post plus a whole slew of links to other blogs. After you read this one, of course.

Bright Before Sunrise

Author: Tiffany Schmidt   
Publisher: Walker
Release Date: February 18, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, "miserable" doesn't even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother's first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real... until she breaks up with him.

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she's really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She's determined to change his mind, and when they're stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance.

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.?

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.

Why I'm Excited:

I love books that take place in a single day (or night). And I love dueling viewpoints. And I love YA contemporary romance. And I love this cover with its huge moon. Overall, this sounds like just the book for me. 

What are you waiting for on this sweltering July day? Link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list for today plus links to a whole slew of other blogs. After you read mine, of course.

Today's topic is: the words that make me not want to pick up a book

So, this is really hard. There really aren't that many words that will make me not pick up a book. There are certainly topics I tend to shy away from, but there are always exceptions to the rule. Keeping in line with words that make me NOT want to pick up the book, I haven't read most of these (and please don't try to talk me into it).

1. Word(s): Fifty Shades. No, just no.
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2) Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3)
 2. Word(s): William Faulkner. I'm sorry, but I just hate this man's writing. 
The Sound and the Fury  As I Lay Dying 
3. Word(s): Biography of a teen star. Seriously?! A teenager doesn't need a biography (unless her name is Anne Frank).
Miles to Go Justin Bieber: My World One Direction: Forever Young: Our Official X Factor Story
4. Word: Widow. I have such a hard time reading about women getting over the death of their husband. I just don't even want to think about it.
P.S. I Love You Good Grief Anybody Out There? (Walsh Family #4) 
5. Word: Zombies. There are definitely exceptions, but for the most part, I stay away from zombies. Especially when the zombie is the love interest. Seriously, ew.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies The First Days (As the World Dies, #1) Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)
6. Word(s): Cults. I just don't want to know.
Escape Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage The Chosen One 
7. Word: Angels. Again, I'm sure there are exceptions, but I can just never get into books about angels for some reason.
Fallen (Fallen, #1) Halo (Halo, #1) Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)
8. Word(s): Abusive/controlling boyfriends or "angsty love." How is that hot?
 Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1) Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1) Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2) 
9. Word(s): Child Abuse. I know it happens. It makes me too sad. I turn to books for enjoyment. 
A Child Called "It" The Girl in the Wicker Basket Unbearable Girl 
10. Word(s): Death of a Pet. Again, I like books to be enjoyable. Just thinking about the death of my beloved pets brings tears to my eyes.
Where the Red Fern Grows Old Yeller (Old Yeller, #1) Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

I think that might be it for me. I think this is the first time on a TTT post that I wasn't struggling to get my list down to 10. I'm definitely curious to see what words makes you all shy away from a book, so link me up!

Hey lovely GFC and new followers, please follow me by Bloglovin as we all know Google Reader has gone/is going by the wayside. (I like to follow back, so please let me know if you're a new follower--and leave a link!) Thank you!!!