Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Until the Beginning by Amy Plum


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

Until the Beginning by Amy Plum
Release Date: May 5, 2015

This is the second book in a two book series.  I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of After the End and have been wanting to read this book ever since.  Amy just revealed the cover and it is just as stunning as the first.  If you haven't read After the End, you have plenty of time before the May 5th release date.

Until the Beginning (After the End #2)Goodreads Overview:

Juneau has been searching for her people and for answers…and she is about to find both in this exhilarating sequel to After the End, which Marie Lu, bestselling author of the Legend series, called “Wonderfully riveting.”

When Juneau’s clan disappeared, she lost more than her friends and family; she lost her entire world. She discovered her life was a lie—her people had secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village. Juneau is close to finding them, and she couldn't have done so without Miles, her greatest ally…and perhaps something more. 

Juneau is the key to unlocking her people’s secrets, so there is a target on her too. To rescue her people, and herself, Juneau must discover what she and her abilities are truly capable of.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Marathon Monday: Columbus Hot Chocolate 5K


Yesterday was the Columbus Hot Chocolate 5K.  It was a little cold at the start (32 degrees), but once we got started it was actually quite comfortable if you dressed appropriately.

Here are some pictures from the race:






Preston loved the fondue mug I received at the finish.  He did let me have the hot chocolate since he already had his own :)

My Official Race Results
Finish Time: 27:04
Average Pace: 8:43
Overall Place: 416th out of 6670
All Females: 187th out of 5298
Female 35 -39: 19th out of 719

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: 4th of July by James Patterson

4th of July (Women's Murder Club, #4)

This is the fourth book in the Women's Murder Club series.  Lindsay Boxer is a homicide detective for the San Francisco police department.  While off duty she was having a couple of margaritas with the other members of the murder club...chief medical examiner Claire Washburn and Cindy Thomas, a local reporter.  The three women often collaborate on cases, so this was par for the course until Lindsay's former partner called.  He found a car matching the description of the car spotted leaving two murder scenes and he was on the way to pick her up.

The events that transpire leave Lindsay in the hot seat.  She is accused of wrongful death and is on trial for a large portion of the story.  We are introduced to her attorney, Yuki Castellano.  I'm confident we will see a lot more of Yuki throughout this series as the newest member of the Women's Murder Club.

Lindsay was advised to take some time off to relax and prepare for her trial.  Her sister offers Lindsay her beach house as a place to escape the media circus until the start of the trial.  It doesn't take Lindsay long to notice that several murders that occur while she is visiting this small coastal town have similarities to one of her cold cases.  She begins investigating and eventually earns the trust and respect of the local sheriff.  Together they work to solve the viscous murders.  

From the beginning we are able to see the murderers plot and execute the crimes.  We know that three people are working together, but we have no idea who the perpetrators are until the very end.  I never would have guessed one of the character's involvement, but the other two I considered suspects from the very beginning.  The one twist that I did find interesting was the reason for the murders.  These weren't random acts of violence like they appeared to be.  

It looks like there are now 14 books in this series, so I have a long way to go if I'm going to catch up. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols
Release Date: January 13, 2015

I picked up a copy of Biggest Flirts at BEA earlier this year.  I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I just discovered this is going to be a series.  Perfect Couple will be the second book in the series and the Most Likely To Succeed is scheduled to be released in August 2015.  

What a cute idea!!  Instead of continuing the series with the same main characters each book will focus on the winners of a different yearbook category.  

Perfect Couple (Superlatives, #2)Goodreads Overview:

Can your heart be put to a popular vote?

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for capturing those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents' bitter divorce has left her wondering what a loving relationship would look like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody the “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been on her case to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack in female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He seems confused about why they were matched together, too. They’re total opposites—the last people in the world who would ever be compatible, let alone the “perfect couple.” Yet ever since the class paired the two of them, they've found themselves drawn together--first by curiosity, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they're very attracted to each other and both of them admit this, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating clearly. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But after they walk away, both of them feel so changed from making the effort that they can’t forget each other. What if that means this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead


Blood Promise is the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series.  ***If you haven't read the third book in the series you may not want to read this review.  I will not give any spoilers from Blood Promise, but I can't discuss this book without giving spoilers from Shadow Kiss***

Rose sets off on a mission to find and kill Dimitri after he was turned into a Strigoi at the conclusion of Shadow Kiss.  She searches aimlessly all over Russia and eventually ends up in his home town where she has the opportunity to meet his family.  She sees what life is like in a Dhampir city and is introduced to another group known as Alchemists.  Alchemists are similar to the MIBs in Men in Black.  Instead of keeping aliens a secret from human society, they try to keep the vampire world hidden.

Rose is also introduced to another spirit user and her shadow kissed partner.  She sees how well they can balance their positive and negative energy, but they have had many more years of experience.  She realizes they have a lot to learn, but at least there is hope for her and Lissa.  Lissa and Adrian continue to hone their skills, but Rose can see that Lissa is beginning to spiral out of control.  She needs to find Dimitri and return to Lissa as soon as possible.

I enjoyed the story, but it did not capture my attention like the first three books in the series.  I flew through the other books, but this one took me over a month and a half to complete.  I read 40 pages or so and then read another book.  I returned to Blood Promise for another 40 pages and then read something else.  This process continued until I was about two thirds of the way through.  At that point I was hooked and flew through the last part of the story.  

The first problem that I had was that there wasn't enough of Adrian and Christian in this story.  I love both of those characters and their appearances were far and few between.  Also...with Rose telling the story from Russia while everyone else was at St. Vladimir's, it didn't provide the same level of dialog and interaction.  Rose would slip into Lissa's head every now and then so we could see what was happening at the Academy or The Royal Court, but it always felt like we were outsiders looking in.  The new characters we were introduced to were not nearly as engaging and there was a lengthy period of time in which Rose was "contained" and very little took place.  We were in a loop that I thought might never end.    

There was a glimmer of hope for the series within the last few chapters.  Richelle set up what could be a VERY exciting next book in the series.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, but it looks like Lissa and Rose will need to head out on another quest.  I just hope they include Christian and Adrian this time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Movie Review: Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters


My son and I just finished reading The Sea of Monsters and picked up the movie from the library.  This movie contains a ton of action and tells a great story.  Just don't expect it to be the same story Rick Riordan told.  From the very first scene to the final battle there were noticeable differences between the book and movie that even my nine year old quickly picked up on. 

The special effects were great!!  Here is Percy fighting the bull:



Tyson with the hippocampus:




We also enjoyed the addition of Tyson's character - Percy's cyclops half-brother.  He added some comedic relief which was not present in the first book or movie.  

Here is Tyson with "the mist"


Without the mist:


The first two movies in this series were very successful at the box office, so I am surprised they haven't already moved ahead with production of the next film.  I tried to find a release date, but the project appears to be on hold.  With the success of both of the Percy Jackson book series I can't imagine why they wouldn't race to complete as many of the movies as they can before the actors are too old to play the characters.  

It wouldn't have been the same if someone other than Daniel Radcliffe finished out the Harry Potter series and the same would be true in this case.

Regardless...Preston wants to pick up The Titans Curse the next time we are at the library.