Book Review: The First Confessor

41coet9oqhl-_sx304_bo1204203200_Book: The First Confessor

Author: Terry Goodkind

Recommend: I was a bit nervous but by the end a resounding yes!

So, I downloaded this ages ago and after reading The Omen Machine, I was just a bit too nervous to pick it up.  When The Third Kingdom showed up on my shelf, I knew I had to do something and so I decided to skip this one due to the fact that it was only published as an ebook. Well, I got to page 166 of The Third Kingdom and then realized that I had no choice but to read it because everything from The First Confessor shows up in the next book and without it, the book I was in the middle of was going to make less sense. (by the way – I think it was the perfect place to stop and read because Richard was reading about Magda at that point and while it was a bit of an obvious plug for the ebook, it was very effective to someone who is a huge fan of the series).

After the disappointment that was The Omen Machine in comparison to the rest of the novels, this book was a breath of fresh air. First of all, we meet Magda much in the same way that we meet Richard. The novel pacing is so much better than Omen and the characters are very well fleshed out. While there are definitely parallels between Kahlan and Magda, they are more a product of who and what they are than feeling too much like the same character.

I would love to hear more from these characters and see where Goodkind envisions her world going next. To learn more about things that we’ve only seen glimpses of in the Sword series is great. I would love to see this continue as a separate series.

My only issue with this book is the lack of availability in print. Unless I want to pay $300, it won’t be joining my shelf full of Goodkind novels anytime soon. While I love ebooks and have quite a few of them, I still have a larger collection of the real thing and this is a book I would like to own a physical copy of. So while I would like to see the series continued, I also want to see it in actual print.

Note- after this review was written, the book was published and is available in paperback.


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Book Review: Austenland

austenland_28shannon_hale_novel29Book: Austenland
Author: Shanon Hale
Recommend: Definitely 🙂

I was introduced to this author quite a while ago through some of her amazing middle grade and YA books starting with Ella Enchanted. I have been wanting to get my hands on a copy of this one for a while after having heard they were going to make a movie out of it. I was thrilled to finally find one at the library this week and devoured it in one sitting.

This whole story only makes sense really if you know enough about the basics of the work of Jane Austen to understand when the characters are referring to others in the book by relating them to Austen’s well know characters. While I am not an Austen fanatic, I do have a soft spot for a couple of her books. The story centers around a young woman who has been extremely unlucky in love and who ends up at an Austen retreat where everyone acts like they are straight out of Austen’s world.

While the whole thing was a tad predictable, it was a comfortable familiar read with good writing and enough excitement to keep me interested. I’m excited to pick up the second book.


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Book Review: Fortune’s Fool



The cover art for this series never does the books justice. Book: Fortune’s Fool


Author: Mercedes Lackey

Recommend: This was another fun read with one slight reservation.

Third book in the series and it is still going strong. This one centers around the daughter of a Sea King and Prince. There are Jinn, shape shifters, Baba Yaga, plus tons more that I couldn’t begin to list. I love the diversity of characters available in these books. They seem to take things from every set of fairy tales and myths. I loved the very oriental themed section near the beginning of the book because it gave a tste of yet another side of fairy tales.

The only complaint I have about this one is that there are a couple of scenes that are not suited to anyone under the age of eighteen. This is the first sign of this I have come across in these books but honestly the readers really do get the idea. They don’t need all the details.

Other than that, it was a lot of fun to read – so much so that I stayed up most of the night to finish it.


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Book Review: Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Book: Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Author: Karen Russell

Recommend:  Definitely! This quirky collection of short stories is a must read..

I picked this one up on a recommendation but I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Her most well known novel, Swamplandia, just didn’t appeal to me but I found the buzz around the author to be intriguing. So when I heard about this collection of short stories and what the title was, I knew I had to give it a try. The author definitely lived up to her buzz. Such an original voice with a unique point of view.

While I could go through and spend a ton of time going through each of the stories and talk about how wonderful and diverse they are with still a common thread and voice unique to the author. I think it is better to experience this one without a whole lot of preamble. This is one author I will be following closely and someone who I will be adding to my library as soon as I can manage it.


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Book Review: After Dead

Book: After Dead

Author: Charlaine Harris

Recommend: Not unless you want to be annoyed..

Okay, so basically the idea behind this short book is to roughly and unceremoniously conclude the lives of all the major and a ton of the minor characters in the series after the huge amount of annoyance that came with the ending of the last book. Yes. She concluded the story. Did she succeed in quenching the anger of her readers, probably not. Honestly, I was annoyed by the whole end of the series and only picked this up to see how flawed it could become. Not much else to say except that the author really needs to do her research. You don’t just throw a random disease out there without researching it. She did and wow what an epic fail. Ms. Harris decided to have Sarah Newlin contract lupus. Lupus is a genetic auto-immune disorder that she made look like an STD you can catch in prison. I rushed my way through it and can’t wait for this one to go back to the library. I’m glad I didn’t spend a dime on it. It definitely wasn’t worth buying.


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Book Review: The Archived

the-archivedBook: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Recommend: Yes! Finally something new and completely different in the land of YA sameness…

Okay, I read the synopsis on this one, excitedly threw it into my library bag and it stayed there for months on end. This week I finally pulled it back out again, since I was running out of renewals and decided to finally read it, recalling how excited I had been about the unique plot line that it boasted. I was not disappointed.

This one was based on the idea of after images stored of people who have died in a huge library that houses echoes of people instead of books. However, these echoes don’t always want to stay where they are put and then Keepers are called in to return them to the Archive. At sixteen, Mackenzie is a keeper who moves into an old building where strange things begin to happen. Suddenly there are more and more trying to escape the archives and Mackenzie is stuck right in the middle, trying to figure it all out before it is too late.

I loved the creativity and originality of this story and the world it is based out of. The whole book is a great balance of action and character development. It actually takes it’s time to unfold in a more relaxed pacing which is essential to it’s storyline. This is one that I can’t wait to see continued and have added to my list of books that I will eagerly anticipating the sequel to.


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No more ratings

For now at least, I am eliminating the rating system that I used to use. I feel like it doesn’t really add much information and just adds clutter to the page.  I am considering doing something else in the future but for now, my words will have to suffice.

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Book Review: Pure

14828459Book: Pure

Author: Julianna Baggott

Recommend: This was a very interesting read and not what I expected…

I picked this one up ages ago. I kept putting it off and putting it off for other books. Then I went to renew it again today and realized that I had run out of library renewals which meant that it had to be the very next book I read. I sat down and then couldn’t put it down because it was such a good read. This read like YA had grown up just a bit. The situations are a bit more adult (and so is the language) but it has that great essence that a lot of YA books have. The intensity, interesting plot line and originality that sometimes is missing from adult fiction. I think that I would classify this one as new adult. At my library this one is in the adult section, but I know that a lot of other places put it with the YA stuff, which is fine, except for the language that shows up occasionally.

This is a dystopian novel set in the aftermath of a nuclear war. There are now two kinds of people. Those in the dome or Pures and those outside the dome who fused with something else when the bombs fell. I found this world to be on the more disturbing side of a dystopian society but not the worst 0ne I’ve run across. I think the author actually could have gone a lot further with it, but I don’t know that her readers would have stuck around if it was too much worse.

Definitely worth the time.

*Note: I started the second book and couldn’t get into it… *

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I’m alive – maybe

Is there anyone out there? It’s been quite a long while. Years in fact. I always meant to come back to this blog but my life is very different now. I am not the same person I was. That being said, I am going to try to relaunch this blog with new content and some changes in the next few days. I will be taking a critical look at some of the elements and making some adjustments to better the content and availablity of material on the blog. Look for new content soon!


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Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Truth 176I haven’t really been up to blogging lately. Life has been complicated and real life has been a bit of a mess. I have finally started to put things back together after getting separated and filing for divorce. I hope at some point i the nearish future to get back to blogging on here in a somewhat routine manner but we shall see. For now, I’ll post when I can and we’ll see what happens!

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Book Review: Amped

Book: Amped

Author: Daniel H. Wilson

Recommend: Definitely an interesting and thought provoking what if.

I picked this book up ages ago and found it the other day while working on the last couple of boxes that needed to be unpacked. I had originally found the concept behind the book fascinating and so when I stopped and decided that I would just read a few pages in, I found myself getting up a few hours later having finished it.

This book is all about the idea that we could fix the brain and mental issues that we have whether they be medical, intellectual or someone just wanting more than they naturally had in some kind of ability. How would the world treat these people who had amped their brains for the sake of a cure from some kind of defect. When the world decides that people with altered or amped brains no longer deserve the rights that everyone else enjoys, suddenly there seems to be no where save for these people.

I thought it was an interesting read. I think that the theme has been a bit overdone but the point is that we shouldn’t discriminate based on people’s choices. I think this is a dangerous idea to put out there in a way. In this instance for this book it makes sense. However, if you follow this idea to its logical conclusions, you are going to end up saying that someone’s choices shouldn’t have consequences. For example, if someone has violent tendencies, following this idea would say that they are not responsible for their violent actions and should be accepted the way they are, no matter how many people they kill. While the example is extreme, the point should be fairly obvious. Where is the line where a person’s choice becomes wrong and who is to judge whether or not it is wrong. This idea, while valid, depending on the circumstances, creates a slippery slope that could quickly turn into a mess.

While I applaud the author for using science fiction to really examine deeper ideas through fiction, I wonder why the author never addressed why there is a line and this idea shouldn’t be carried past a certain point. Definitely an interesting read but one with some potentially disturbing conclusions.

Final Rating:


Get it used...

Get it used…

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Book Review: Shutdown

Book: Shutdown
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Recommend: A strong ending to an excellent series!

I wish that more people knew about this one. Honestly, it is one of those series that just hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. This is the third and final book and it kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time.

I have to say that my favorite thing about this series is not the main character. Don’t get me wrong, Zoe is a strong character but Adrien really makes this series work for me. I really enjoy the complexity and struggles with this character, especially after what happened to him in the previous book. I also LOVE how the author handled the issue. She didn’t miraculously solve it for the characters, she made them deal with the whole thing even though it was the harder thing to write.

I honestly think that the biggest flaw is the same one that I see creeping up over and over again in YA fiction, the predictable ending. We knew what was going to happen and how it was going to end long before you got there as a reader. Authors need to create a more creative ending. Really.

I loved this book and am sad to see this series end. It is definitely worth picking up this series which starts with Glitch. Check it out 🙂

Final Rating:

Get it used...

Get it used…

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Hometown Legend, by Jerry B. Jenkins

Hometown Legend

Hometown Legend

This novel by the New York Times bestselling co-author of the “Left Behind” series is an interesting read.  I picked it up at a donated book sale at the public library about a year ago, during a break between safety ergonomic classes I was teaching to co-workers in the library’s lecture hall.  I recognized the author, and thought it might be a good read some day in the future.

So, it sat on my bookshelf in the dining room until a few weeks ago, when I remembered that there were a few unread fiction books I had tucked away until a day off.

I seldom read fiction, although I am repeatedly admonished by those closest to me to “lighten up” or “chill” a little more often, and to seriously attempt being less serious!  I was the child who truly read through the dictory and encyclopedia, crossed legged on the floor in front of the book shelves and engrossed for hours at a time.  As I grew into my career, technical journals, software user guides, management literature and law books replaced the encyclopedia.

One of those wise people who periodically remind me of the effort-worthy goal of pursuing more amusing reading is the Obsessive Bookworm, who knows me only too well!  She laughs at my excessiveness and can even get me to laugh at myself now and then, too.  (But then, again, who is she to talk about excessive, obsessive behavior, anyway?)


What I hoped it would be

After the recent death of a family member, I was seriously looking for something not so serious to do while I was sitting around during my bereavement leave, in between dealing with his end-of-life affairs.  I needed a light, pleasant read to give me some emotional balance and to divert my mind temporarily from the soberness of the week.  Remembering this book, I pulled it off the shelf, poured a cup of coffee and dove into the welcome diversion.

This book was every thing that I hoped it would be, and exactly what I needed at just the right time.  An absorbing and believable tale centering around a small town football team, its long-time coaching legend, and the football manufacturing company that helped feed the community economy.  The well-painted complex personalities and relationships made the story engaging, depicting business and global competition for quality goods “made in America” made the story relevant.


Available as a 2002 DVD Movie

Carrying me away into the lives of a circle of people who were struggling to establish their faith through threats against the future livelihood of their town, my heart was warmed and challenged.  Reading this book felt like the author was actually biographing his personal hero to his readers, and artfully sharing the secrets of a great man’s faith and quiet, unpublished personal heroism.  He showed the strengths and shortcomings, and revealed the inner conflicts and tough choices small businessmen often face.  The hero of the story is human and flawed, and that made it more realistic.

This book touched me unexpectedly as I saw the all-too-close parallel to the experiences I have faced in recent years, as a government manager trying to balance budgets and preserve the jobs of my staff.  I experienced this book personally, and was encouraged by the reminders to walk by faith through uncertain times, and to believe in God’s goodness through seemingly unacceptable circumstances.

The plot takes an unexpected leap that keeps the story engaging to the last page.  This is one of those stories you wish would have a few more chapters before getting to the back cover.

This book was an unexpected blessing, and I would recommend getting it new if you see it, or buying used online at


Get it used...

Get it used…

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Book Review: Awaken

Book: Awaken
Author: Meg Cabot
Recommend: Worth finishing the series but only just…

I loved the first two books in this series. It was actually fun to read which was shocking considering how much the author usually annoys me. However, this book seemed to have far too much going on with no breath between any action sequence – at all. The author was attempting to go for fast paced and exciting but it became so frenzied that it toppled over and caused me as a reader to become annoyed and detached due to the fact that it never slowed down. This one needed to be longer and not quite so easy to predict.

It wasn’t all negative though. the story was decently pulled towards a reasonable conclusion and I find it satisfying to reach the end, even though I was not even remotely as enamored with the characters as I had been. I also think that it would have been better if I had read them as a complete set instead of having to wait for book three. By the time it came out, I was so far removed from the first two that it was hard to get back into it.

Not a bad read but nothing that made me super excited to check out.

Final Rating:

Get it free

Get it free

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Weekly Reader No. 4

So, I was bound and determined after last week to get some more reading in. I tackled the new Robert Galbraith (a J.K. Rowling pseudonym) first, something I have been excited to read for quite a while and it did not disappoint. I am not, as a rule, a fan of mysteries or detective novels but this series is great. It has the perfect balance of originality and familiarity to make it a ton of fun to read, not to mention that there are just some hilarious spots in this book. The second of the Cormonran Strike novels, The Silkworm is definitely worth a read. Rating -★★★★★

Then I immediately tackled something else in the stack, reaching for the first thing I could get my hands on, which happened to be Arclight by Josin L. McQuein. This YA book is a dystopian novel that gives off the feel of a zombie/vampire book along the lines of The Passage but YA and turns out to be something completely different which was a nice surprise.  The twist in this one was not at all what I expected and it made for quite an enjoyable reading experience. I put a hold on the next book in the series the moment I finished this one. The writing was a bit weak but the plot was great. Rating – ★★★★

The I tried to read a book called The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen. I got started and simply couldn’t get into it. I don’t know if my timing was bad or what but the book was dull and it shouldn’t have been since it was supposed to be about time travel. It felt like a poor version of the time agents from Doctor Who without all the fun or a severely smudged and extremely waterlogged quick sketch of Stephen King’s 11/22/63. So I threw it back in my library bag and reached for something else. Rating – ★

What I ended up with was Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield. I have heard wonderful things about this author but for some reason, I haven’t been able to get to her first book yet (The Thirteenth Tale), although I have wanted to for quite some time. However I was able to get my hands on her second book and have put off reading it because I heard  that it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. I picked it up, fulling realizing after my last book that it would probably join the unread but back to the library pile. I very much enjoyed this read. It was a slow thoughtful read with a bit of mystery. I can see why she calls it a ghost story although it offers little in the way of thrills or chills, rather a book about a life lived in the shadow of death, the ghost of what could or should have been. Definitely worth a read if you can keep an open mind.  Rating – ★★★★

At this point, I was on a roll and picked up the book on top of the stack called The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler. I was expecting light fluffy goodness. What I got was an author taking her writing way too seriously and her main character making some of the strangest choices I have ever read. It was a romance novel trying to be literary fiction and failing miserably. Why did I keep reading, because the author can write, she just can’t plot. Rating – ★

I started in on another book but kept getting interrupted and so I decided to go back to my book cleaning project. I finally finished removing every sales sticker, library pocket and anything else you can think of from every book on my shelves late on Saturday night. I can’t tell you how glad I was to see the end of that project. I cut my fingers a few times and got so tired of prying stickers off of books (not to book sellers – certain adhesives and books should just not happen – ever). Now with a trashcan full of old library dust jacket covers, I love the look of my books.

Wish I had this much room for books

Then I moved forward with organizing my books. When we moved in, I just threw everything on the shelves for the most part. A few of my favorites found each other but for the most part, I didn’t bother organizing much and it started to drive me crazy. For example, I have all of the books in the Dark Tower series but couldn’t find the first one and the rest were in sets of two or three in a few different places. I had also started buying a few duplicates of books because I wasn’t sure if I had them or not. So I decided that I needed to organize everything and create an inventory that I could search while I was out book shopping to hopefully keep myself from buying books I already have.

I love this site (click on image to find out more)

I started with the inventory. I used goodreads and my phone to scan the bar-codes from a majority of my books unless they didn’t have one due to age (or something else). I started to rethink the large number of old paperbacks that I have because I had to enter those all by hand. By the time I finished, the final count was 642 physical books.

11 Dangerous place for a libraryThen I started organizing my books. I separated the fiction and non-fiction first. The non-fiction was then further separated by category and shelved. Those took up two of my smallest bookcases (while I have some non-fiction, the majority of my collection is fiction). The fiction mostly stayed together. The only things I really separated completely were my classics and Christian fiction. The rest ended up separated by author and series. Some authors got their own shelf or had to share it with one other author (Orson Scott Card being the author with the most books in my collection). By the time I got that done, I sorted what was left by size and loosely by genre to get as many books as possible onto the shelves. I think the final result turned out great.


My tall shelves

Yeah, okay the one above isn’t mine (but I wish it was). Mine, as you can see,  looks quite a bit more cramped and unfortunately isn’t that big (although I wish it was). I had to really crowd to get my books in, so I think it might be time to buy another bookshelf or two.

The shorter ones (two more aren't pictured)

The shorter ones (two more aren’t pictured)

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Weekly Reader No. 3

I didn’t do much reading this week. This week’s lack of reading is brought to you by the Doctor. I was a bit preoccupied watching Doctor Who. Okay, I may have done some reading – of Doctor Who fanfiction. (Yep – I have a Doctor Who problem – I know. But honestly Doomsday is still hard to watch without trying to rewrite that ending).

Then it was the fourth of July. My husband had the day off on Thursday which is extremely rare. The only day off he normally has is Sunday, and honestly, Sunday is just not really a day off for people who are active in church. So I spent quite a bit of time with him. Then we got a call on the 4th from my dad to let us know that my grandfather had passed away. Needless to say, was a bit of a mess the rest of the weekend.

Grandma and Grandpa Hill

My grandparents, both gone now.

I did finally finish a book today. I read Cress by Marissa Meyer, the third book in her Lunar Chronicles series, which starts with Cinder. I absolutely love this series. Starting with Cinder it takes fairy tales and weaves them together in a world of cyborgs, crazy science and aliens in a way that is completely brilliant and fun to read. I can’t believe how much longer I have to wait for the next (and last) book in this series to make its appearance. Definitely worth a read. Rating -★★★★★

I really am going to try to do some more reading this week. I should have more time on my hands – I hope.

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Weekly Reader No. 2

I have had a hard time getting any reading done this week. I got into this book that had a rare effect on me. It was forcing me to read it slowly, which I did gladly. Have you ever had a book just grab you and pull you in to the point where you savor every word? It happens to me only occasionally and I can’t remember the last time it happened with a fantasy novel. Patrick Rothfuss’, The Name of the Wind is definitely worth your time.  Find a full review of it HERE.  Rating – ★★★★★

Then for some reason this week, tons of books came flooding in at the library. I picked up three books I’ve been waiting ages for this week – The One by Kiera Cass, Cress by Marissa Meyer, and The Silkworm by J.K. Rowling.  The only problem is that I had no idea which to tackle first. So I went and checked my library list to see which one was due back first. I realized that I had another book that I was going to have to read almost immediately and so I put the three aside in order to pick up The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. I had heard quite a bit about this one and so I didn’t want to let it slip through my fingers.

The Accidental Creative was not at all what I expected it to be. While I got some good ideas from the book, I felt myself pushing to get to the end.  I was hoping for tricks to activate your creativity when you are stuck instead of a life management system. While he had some good ideas, I am pretty good at knowing what works for me and setting my limits, so I found it interesting but not effective for me, however I could see it being extremely helpful for someone else. Rating – ★★★★

The next thing I picked up was The One by Kiera Cass. I fought reading this series so many times but eventually gave in and was completely hooked. So much so that I did something I have never done before. The day the book came out, I went to Barnes and Noble and sneaked a peak at the last couple of pages. I didn’t think I could handle reading it if it didn’t turn out the way I thought it should. Then I read the book. I should have stuck with reading the ending. While it ended the way I wanted it to, the rest of the book was simply annoying, not to mention the climax that just wasn’t a climax…. dumb. I think most of the fanfiction out there might have had less plot holes than this last novel did. What a let down! Rating – ★


My library book haul 🙂

Then Saturday happened. We have great library warehouse here that has sales once a month. For teachers books are between $0.50 and $1. I got there not long after they opened and didn’t leave until close to the end (it’s a four-hour event). My final result was 46 books for $34.50. I think I’m going to have to buy a new bookshelf… again.

I’ve also been learning a bit about book repair and the safe removal of library stuff from books (dust jackets, card holders, RFID tags, etc) and got through a one of my bookshelves working on that while watching Doctor Who. There is a great satisfaction on taking a book that you got for 0.50 and making it look like a ‘normal’ book. I only have four more book cases to go… this is going to take forever! Hope fully next week will contain more books!

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Book Review: The Name of the Wind

Book: The Name of the Wind

Author: Patrick Rothfuss

Recommend: Absolutely! This is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a long time.

I picked this one up on a recommendation from a friend of mine who has similar reading taste. So far everything she had recommended to me has been basically brilliant and this one was no exception. The book starts with a quiet innkeeper who is not quite what he seems and a threat pressing in from an unexplained war. Then the book takes you in directions you didn’t know that you wanted to go.

I think the biggest positives about this book for me was the richness of the story telling. Something about the way the author spun his tale made me savor every word. Normally I rush through something like this, however due to the richness and depth of the writing, I found myself slowing down and often stopping to ponder exactly what the author had just done. This took me an unprecedented three days to read. I can’t remember the last book that took me three days to read but due to the way he wrote the book, I found myself moving slowly through, hoping it would last even longer.

I looked on goodreads and was shocked to find that there were basically two kinds of reviews for this book, five-star reviews and one star reviews. I really can’t see the reasoning behind the one star reviews. I tend to be rather objective but for some reason this one just captured me to the point where I found their arguments not making a bit of sense to me.  I will say that this book is high fantasy but will not be what you expect and I think the readers who come away disappointed or can’t finish it might feel that way because it doesn’t go in a direction their preconceived notions can accept. There are some who argue that the main character suffers is a Mary Sue, which I completely disagree with. This book has too much emotional depth for that to be the case. I honestly wanted to ask the reviewers if they were reading the same book that I was.

This one is definitely worth picking up if you are a fan of a good fantasy novel. I immediately put in a request for the second one and will be looking for this series when I go to my local library’s warehouse sale this weekend to see if I can pick them up and add them to my library. These books definitely need to join my collection.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

Need more than one copy!!

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Weekly Reader No. 1

So, I have this problem. I’ve been reading tons and tons of books and feeling very guilty about not writing reviews on all of them. After all, what is the point of book blogging if I read and don’t blog?? However, I’ve been on a major reading binge ever since school got out and the idea of sitting down to write reviews on all the amazing (and some not so amazing) books that I’ve been reading, just seemed like a bit much. Also, when I read this way I get a huge backlog of book reviews. So I’m going to try posting things that I’ve read from week to week on Mondays. If I feel like a book needs a lengthy review, I’ll write it but most books are going to get a few sentences. For the purposes of this format, we are going to go to a simple five-star rating system (regular reviews will still use the regular blog system).


89507-hp5The week started with a reread of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I used to reread all the time. I love the thrill of going back to something familiar. It’s like visiting an old friend from college. You rehash the same stories with a joyful air knowing exactly what will happen. You catch greater nuance and discover things you never knew but it still has a comfort level that a new book simply misses.  This time through the books, the complexity of the relationship between Harry and his muggle family stood out to me most. Petunia and Dudley in particular.  I do wish that we had seen Dudley standing on platform 9 and ¾s during the epilogue. It would have been poetic justice.  I love going back to visit this world and will always wish that Rowling would go back to her magical world. While I’m excited to read her latest, nothing will ever quite compare to Harry Potter. Rating –  ★★★★★


I had a bit of book hangover after reading that series. I couldn’t seem to pick up anything for a couple of days. Finally I settled down and dove into VIII by H.M. Castor. A fictional retelling of the life of Henry the VIII which was exactly the kind of thing I needed to get through my Harry Potter book hangover. So often historical fiction about his reign comes form the point of view of one of his many wives. It was interesting as the author strove to get inside his brain. I think what I found most interesting was all of the politics that went on with his first marriage. This book would be a great starting point to create interest about Henry the VIII. Rating – ★★★★


I have a love/hate relationship with Charles de Lint. I love some of his stuff and simply can’t get through other things he writes. I think it’s largely me. I’ve picked up some of his Newford stuff and loved it. However I tried to get through Dreams Underfoot, the first book and I simply couldn’t do it.  Sadly this one went back in my library bag, mostly unread. I might return to it at some point. I think I just picked it up at the wrong time. I hesitate to rate it right now but I rate everything so… Rating – ★


I’m not a judge a book by it’s cover kind of girl, but this one is lovely.

I’m not quite done with The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White but should finish in the next hour or so.  I have a feeling I know exactly where this book is going and I think I’m going to enjoy getting there. I love the idea of looking at Egypt’s mythology as the focus. So far the main character is very enjoyable to read and the author captures the idea of not fitting in anywhere in a somewhat simplistic but sincere manner.  While it is definitely light reading, it is entertaining. Rating – ★★★

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Filed under historical fiction, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, Teen Book review

Book Review: While Beauty Slept

Book: While Beauty Slept

Author: Elizabeth Blackwell

Recommend: If you like retold fairy tales from another point of view then definitely.

I have been wanting to read this book for weeks. I started in on it at a Barnes and Noble and  got about a fourth of the way in before I got tapped on the shoulder and was kindly but firmly reminded that the store, in fact, was closing in five minutes and they would be happy to help me at the register. While I love my bookstore, I simply didn’t have the cash that day to pick it up and so I walked out, sadly empty-handed, wanting to read more.

I finally got my hands on a copy this week and devoured it in one sitting. What a great retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale that is devoid of all the fairy nonsense and instead paints a much more realistic picture. Think of this as the Sleeping Beauty version of the movie, Ever After. In fact, I wonder if the author got the idea for this book from the movie.

The only issue that I had with the story was that while it definitely didn’t focus on the girl of the fairy tale, I do wish Rose had been in it a bit more. it felt a bit rushed in a way. The events that had factored into the tale we know don’t come into play until at least halfway through the book and the central line of the story isn’t in place until the last thirty pages.

I absolutely loved the main character of this book. She seemed leap from the pages of the book. This book accomplished what so many can’t, the words seemed to disappear and instead of just seeing it, it was like being a part of it.

I dove in expecting Rose and got lady-in-waiting which was actually a find than what I had expected. Definitely worth the read!

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Filed under general fiction, Review, Sci-Fi/ Fantasy