Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

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

Library of Souls
Release Date: September 22, 2015

I read the first book in the series a few months ago in preparation for the upcoming movie release.  I still need to read Hollow City, but I've already added the final book in the series to my TBR list as well.

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #3)Goodreads Overview:

The epic conclusion to the best-selling series!

Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever. . . . Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: The Trials by Stacey Kade

The Trials (Project Paper Doll, #3)

The Trials is the third and final book in the Project Paper Doll series and resumes pretty much where the previous book left off.  Zane is missing and Ariane is back in her quarters at GTX after being captured by her creator, Dr. Jacobs.  She believes Zane  is dead and feels she has nothing further to lose in the trials.  She is willing to sacrifice herself to ensure that no future alien/human hybrids are produced.  She continues to hone her skills while devising a plan to wipe out all of the major players in the trials.

Everything is going as planned until she discovers that Zane is alive and is now a part of the trials.  What???  How can a human become part of this competition?  You will need to read the book if you want to find out :)

The majority of the book focuses on the trials, which are held in Chicago.  My step-sister lives in Chicago, so I have had the chance to tour and see many of the landmarks, museums, etc. that are mentioned throughout the book.  Using real locations helps to more accurately visualize the setting.  It also allowed Stacey to focus on the plot and character development, which is definitely a plus.

The pace and action continued to escalate as the stakes increased throughout the trials.  The contestants realize not everyone is going to come out of this competition alive, but there is more on the line than they ever imagined.  They will need to work together if any of them wants to walk away from this alive.

Overall, this was an excellent conclusion to the series.  There were several surprises and a few new characters to keep the story interesting.  The relationship development between Zane and Ariane was very believable and the characters remained true to themselves.  I also loved the tie in between the the first book and the conclusion.  While "The Rules" may have changed, there will always be rules to follow as long as GTX and similar corporations are in existence.

I would like to give Stacey a HUGE thank you for mentioning my blog in the acknowledgements.  I actually finished the book an hour into a five hour flight and desperately wanted to tweet her as soon as I saw it.  My husband and son were both asleep, so I couldn't even share my excitement with them until just prior to landing.  I thoroughly enjoyed both her Project Paper Doll and Ghost and the Goth series and would definitely recommend them to any YA fan.

COYER Scavenger Hunt Entry #74: The last book in a series.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird

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

Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird
Release Date: October 6, 2015

I don't recall ever reading a Sherlock Holmes novel, but I love mysteries.  Insert London and Paris into the equation and I had to add this book to my TBR list.

Art in the Blood: A Sherlock Holmes AdventureGoodreads Overview: 

London. A snowy December, 1888. Sherlock Holmes, 34, is languishing and back on cocaine after a disastrous Ripper investigation. Watson can neither comfort nor rouse his friend – until a strangely encoded letter arrives from Paris.

Mlle La Victoire, a beautiful French cabaret star writes that her young son has vanished, and she has been attacked in the streets of Montmartre.

Racing to Paris with Watson at his side, Holmes discovers the missing child is only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. The most valuable statue since the Winged Victory has been violently stolen in Marseilles, and several children from a silk mill in Lancashire have been found murdered. The clues in all three cases point to a single, untouchable man, an art collector seemingly beyond reach of the law. 

Will Holmes recover in time to find the missing boy and stop a rising tide of murders? To do so he must stay one step ahead of a dangerous French rival and the threatening interference of his own brother, Mycroft.

This latest adventure, in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, sends the iconic duo from London to Paris and the icy wilds of Lancashire in a case which tests Watson's friendship and the fragility and gifts of Sherlock Holmes' own artistic nature to the limits.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

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

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley
Release Date: January 5, 2016

I found this on a WoW post a couple of weeks ago and thought it sounded interesting.  I remember reading some works by the Bronte sisters in high school, but I honestly don't remember much about them.  I read Mrs. Poe earlier this year.  That was the first historical fiction book that I have read and I really enjoyed it.  I have been considering reading some others and this sounds like it will be right up my alley.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow: A Novel of the BrontësGoodreads Overview: 

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks)

This is the first book by Miranda Kenneally that I have read and I absolutely loved it.  Jesse is an eighteen year old country music star and Maya is a high school senior who is an aspiring musician.  Her musical taste is more towards the 80's, so getting paired with Jesse for a job shadowing assignment by her principal was not nearly as appealing as it would have been for most girls her age. 

Jesse and Maya have a very awkward first encounter, but their day of shadowing turned out to be one of the best days of either of their lives.  Picture Ferris Bueller's Day Off... Nashville style.  Maya realizes how talented Jesse is and begins to really appreciate the musical advice he gives her.  For Jesse...Maya is a breath of fresh air that he has desperately been needing.  Life in the music business has caused him to isolate himself from everyone except his immediate family and managers.  He has been burned so many times by his supposed "friends" that he has a hard time trusting anyone.  Maya manages to show him that he can still have a life while maintaining his career.

I haven't given a book 5 stars in a while, but this one was definitely worthy.  I was completely engaged and actually finished the entire book during my lengthy travel day with my family.  My husband even commented that I needed to get my head out of the book.  Once I was finished...I still couldn't put it down.  I was flipping back through to reread some of my favorite scenes and quotes.  

I have to give Flo a big THANK YOU for sending an ARC of Jesse's Girl to me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: Only The Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)

The Gallagher Girls series is really heating up with the fourth installment in the series.  The story starts out with Cammie and Bex on vacation in London.  This trip, however, isn't all fun and games for the girls.  The Circle is still after Cammie and Bex's parents are part of her security detail.  Things take a serious turn when the girls discover who the CIA and MI6 consider the prime suspect.

When Cammie and Bex return to the Gallagher Academy it is far from business as usual.  They have a new teacher for Covert Operations (CoveOps), Cammie's mother (the headmistress) is nowhere to be found, and Sublevel Two is on lock down.  Cammie, Bex, Liz, and Macey make it their mission to discover what is in the Sublevels that warrants this level of security.  They also need to find out where Cammie's mother and their CoveOps teacher (Mr. Solomon) disappeared to and why they were detained.

Of course there are a few encounters with Cammie's love interest, Zach, which adds a little spice to the story.  The girls discover more about his past and what life at the Blackthorne Institute for Boys is REALLY like.  Even though their new CoveOps teacher leaves much to be desired, there are still a couple of unofficial CoveOps missions that teach the girls the importance of writing thorough CoveOps reports.

I was completely shocked with how Ally ended the book and the direction she appears to be taking with the series.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I seriously hope one of the spies doesn't take part in a "mission" without backup.

This is definitely my favorite book in the series so far.  It was a fast read with just enough action to keep the pages turning.  Ally continues to add depth to the story by revealing more about the characters, the history of the Gallagher Academy and Blackthorne Institute, and the history of the Circle.

I used this book at part of the Summer COYER scavenger hunt.  It qualifies for item #53 - Read a book with half a face on the cover.