Saturday, August 22, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella




Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, be it physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Tynga publishes her post each Saturday, so be sure to link up your posts and check out what books others have added to their shelves that week.

Traded at the Little Free Library

I traded Finding It by Cora Carmack, which I just finished reading last weekend, for Shopaholic Takes Manhattan in my neighborhood's Little Free Library.  If you don't have one in your neighborhood, it is the coolest thing ever.  It is a way to swap books you have already read, that will likely just sit on your shelves untouched for years to come, for new-to-you books you will actually read. 

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (Shopaholic, #2)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3)

The Titan's Curse is the third book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  In this installment, the Hero's and Hunters need to work together to save Artemis, the Goddess of the Hunters, and Annabeth, who went missing early on in this book.  The Oracle informs one of the hunters, Zoe Nightshade, that... 

"Five shall go west to the goddess in chains, 
One shall be lost in the land without rain, 
The bane of Olympus shows the trail,
Campers and Hunters combined prevail,
The Titan's curse must one withstand,
And one shall perish by a parent's hand."

Percy, Thalia, Grover, Zoe and Bianca must rescue Artemis and Annabeth prior to the winter solstice, which is when the Council of the Gods is scheduled to take place.  To add to the excitement, Luke and Kronos are still trying to conquer the Olympians.  They will stop at nothing in their attempts to prevent the hunters and heroes from completing their quest.

I really enjoy seeing how Rick Riordan twists Greek mythology into these stories.  We meet several Gods and Goddesses including Apollo, the son of Zeus and the twin brother of Artemis, who offers the heroes a ride in his sun chariot.  The hero's also receive assistance from Annabeth's mother Aphrodite...the goddess of love and beauty.  We discover that the "Titan's Curse" has to do with Atlas bearing the weight of the heavens on his shoulders.  

I have been reading this series with my ten-year-old son and he has really enjoyed learning about the Greek Gods and Goddesses.  Unless a student decides to study Latin, which I did in high school, I don't believe kids are exposed to these ancient stories.  Riordan does an excellent job of weaving the myths into an action packed and entertaining story that people of all ages can enjoy and appreciate.  I would definitely recommend sharing this series with elementary and middle school children as well as reading it for your own enjoyment.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: November 9 by Colleen Hoover


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

November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Release Date: November 10, 2015

I just finished reading the first two books in Colleen Hoover's Slammed series and LOVED them.  I've added all of her books to my TBR list and can't wait for the release of November 9.  I really think it would have been fitting if they could have moved the release date to the 9th instead of the 10th since that is obviously a very important date in this book.

Goodreads Overview:

November 9
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist



Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Finding It by Cora Carmack

Finding It (Losing It, #3)

Finding It is the third book in the Losing It series.  While I would definitely recommend reading all three books in order, Finding It can be read as a stand-alone.  I did not feel like that was the case with the second book in the series, Faking It, which carried over quite a bit of content and tension from the previous book.

This book  focuses on one of the secondary characters in Losing It, Kelsey Summers.  She recently graduated from college with a degree in acting and decides to travel across Europe before settling into real life back in the states.  She is from a wealthy family, but contrary to her father's belief, money can't buy happiness.  She has had a difficult past and is trying to cope in not the most positive of ways.

Kelsey meets Jackson Hunt in a bar and is VERY interested in him.  He doesn't seem to show the same level of interest, but we quickly learn that he is battling his own demons stemming from his time in the military.  We don't learn much more about him or the events that caused him to take some time off to find himself, but these two lost soles seem to gravitate to each other.  They spend a week traveling and are having the time of their lives until something is revealed that could tear them apart forever.

I don't think this book was nearly as good as the first two in the series, but I did enjoy the story.  The characters were interesting, but I wish Cora would have revealed more about Hunt earlier in the story.  I would have liked to have connected with his character a little more.  I also couldn't relate to the way Kelsey was trying to drink and party her problems away.  It must be nice to have your parent's credit card to travel Europe for as long as you want, but it didn't seem realistic to me.

By the end of the book, Kelsey did change considerably.  She began to take responsibility for her life and became an independent character one could actually admire.  I felt like Jackson and Kelsey were a great source of support for each other and brought some much needed light back into each other's lives.

I ended up giving this book 3 stars and used it for my COYER Scavenger hunt entry for topic 75 - "Step out of your comfort zone and read a book in a genre you have read less than 5 times this year."  This is my 4th New Adult book of the year.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas


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

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas
Release Date: September 15, 2015

After reading the first book in the Splintered series by A.G. Howard, which is based upon Alice in Wonderland, I thought this Cinderella story sounded like a great read.  It seems like there are more and more books coming out with new twists on old fairy tails.  I just hope it doesn't become so common that it loses its appeal.  

Ash & BrambleGoodreads Overview: 

When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore


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

The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore
Release Date: February 2016

I found this on someone's WoW post last week and immediately added it to my TBR list.  As someone who grew up in the 80's, I can definitely relate to the mix tape concept.  Add in a murder mystery and this sounds like a great read to me.  

The Big RewindGoodreads Overview:

Jett Bennett moved to New York to become a music journalist. What she found was a temp gig as a proofreader, but at least she’s fitting in with the artists and musicians in the tragically hip Brooklyn neighborhood she calls home.

But when Jett opens up her mail and finds a mix tape meant for her neighbor, KitKat, a local queen bee renowned for her “enhanced” baked goods and retro videogame collection, everything changes. Jett drops off the cassette and discovers that it’s game over for KitKat: someone bashed her head in with a rolling pin… and left her pot brownies burning in the oven.

KitKat’s boyfriend, Bronco, is M.I.A. Her sister is so desperate that she asks Jett to snoop around. Then there’s that mix tape. Jett didn’t know KitKat well, but she knows music. And a tape full of love songs from someone other than Bronco screams motive—sending Jett and her best friend, Sid, on an epic quest to find KitKat’s killer through record stores, strip joints, vegan bakeries, and basement nightclubs—a journey that resonates with Jett, and her past, in unexpected ways.