Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: Imposter by Suzanne Winnacker

obtained copy from: library
number of pages: 274
rating: 5/5 stars

"Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again. 

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

Holy. Crap. This book was phenomenal. It went at a breakneck pace the whole book, and it was one hell of a ride. The protagonist, Tessa, is one of those characters who you just can't help but love. She has many attributes, but I think my favorite is that you can feel every emotion she is thinking. While some protagonists are smooth and quick thinking, witty and never nervous, you can feel the fear and the nervousness that Tessa feels going into her first mission. It is easy to say that most characters you read in novels like this are more like Alec- quick thinking, smooth, with a fast response time and makes the decisions in a split second. 

I like Tessa mainly because she is the quintessential girl next door. She has flaws, she worries, she doesn't have the best hair or skin, and she makes mistakes. And that makes her story believable. And she has kick ass abilities. 

As you are drawn into the story, I found it is very much like Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Naturals.    But what I liked is that while the story lines are similar, this story is a whole lot better. It is so worth the read, it is one that I will definitely keep in my library, and the second one I am almost finished! 

5/5 for sure. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Common Sense by Thomas Paine

As I take a  jaunt into the past, I have found one of the most influential pamphlets to be the Common Sense pamphlet by Thomas Paine. It is fascinating to read a firsthand account of what was going on in the colonies and the call for change. It is pamphlets like these that show us a glimpse of how the thought process in the colonies was, and how we came to be as a nation.

For those of you who haven't read it, it gives us insight, and is more than just a primary source they put in history textbooks. As I sit here, reading by the candle light I wish upon every American citizen that they pick up either this, or another source, but to learn as much as they can about how we came to be as a nation.

It is well worth the read.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review: Something Blue by Emily Giffin

Obtained Copy From: Library
Number of pages: 338p
Star Rating: 3.5-4/5

"Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm. Her fiance, Dex. Her lifelong best friend, Rachel. She never needed anything else. Or so she thinks until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply—and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love."

At first I wanted to put the book down. All the way til the end, I wanted to put the book down. Darcy was vapid, shallow, selfish, rude, inconsiderate, and about a million other things.  But the worst thing by far about her, was that she wanted the world to fall at her feet.

Alas, I pushed onward, and I discovered that while Darcy isn't necessarily the brightest bulb in the box, the author, Emily Giffin, is. With wit and humor, and a protagonist that makes you want to shoot and hug her, Ms. Giffin has woven a tale that makes you cry, laugh, scream and smile.

She describes everything in great detail, and lays out the picture with stunning clarity. She tells you everything, and leaves you wondering for nothing.  But my favorite part has to be how she weaves so many important lessons into the novel. Darcy learns to much, and it was fun to see all the changes that she underwent as the novel progressed.

The ending was fairy tale-esque and it rounded out the novel nicely. So whilst it takes a little while to get into the novel, it was worth it in the end.

Rory Gilmore and the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

For those who know the show, Rory GIlmore was the girl we all wanted to be. With a fabulous mom and a book always under her hand, along with the Yale education, she was the girl who had it all. Now a few years ago, there came this challenge to read every book mentioned and read in Gilmore Girls.  Labeled the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, many diehard fans took to the library to undertake the momentous task of reading over 300 books.

I think this is great for two reasons. One the books were finally categorized into a list and I could use that for my next reading material, and two, it got people to read the classics that they may not have read otherwise.

I myself am interested to read every book on her list, and my goal is to do it before the revival comes out on Netflix. Now this is a lengthy task but i think I can do it, barring it coming out next week.

Along the way I will post my thoughts and reviews of the books, and whether it should or shouldn't have been placed on the list. Some of the books will be rereads and some will be ones I have opened for the first time.

Lets see how many I can do!

First off- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: A Wild Swan and Other Tales

Obtained Copy from: Library
Number of pages: 144
Rating: 5/5 Stars

A poisoned apple and a monkey's paw with the power to change fate; a girl whose extraordinarily long hair causes catastrophe; a man with one human arm and one swan's wing; and a house deep in the forest, constructed of gumdrops and gingerbread, vanilla frosting and boiled sugar. In A Wild Swan and Other Tales, the people and the talismans of lands far, far away―the mythic figures of our childhoods and the source of so much of our wonder―are transformed by Michael Cunningham into stories of sublime revelation. 
Here are the moments that our fairy tales forgot or deliberately concealed: the years after a spell is broken, the rapturous instant of a miracle unexpectedly realized, or the fate of a prince only half cured of a curse. The Beast stands ahead of you in line at the convenience store, buying smokes and a Slim Jim, his devouring smile aimed at the cashier. A malformed little man with a knack for minor acts of wizardry goes to disastrous lengths to procure a child. A loutish and lazy Jack prefers living in his mother's basement to getting a job, until the day he trades a cow for a handful of magic beans.
Reimagined by one of the most gifted storytellers of his generation, and exquisitely illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, rarely have our bedtime stories been this dark, this perverse, or this true.

This book was marvelous. The characters, the stories that you know, are darkly and sarcasticly reimagined in a way that will leave you wanting more.  As I read the novel, I was thoroughly enjoying the way that Cunningham had reimagined the characters, the way he had dark humor when describing the situations that the characters were in.

I was thoroughly surprised when I picked up this book, mainly because I didn't think that it would be as darkly humorous as it was, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

I enjoyed every minute of this novel, and I wished that the stories were a little bit longer, so you could see just a little bit mroe of the world that Cunningham had imagined. At five of five stars, this has got to be the best book that I have read so far this year and last. And that greatly says something, as I have read some pretty damn good books.

I recommend this to fans of the Brothers Grimm or fairy tales in general.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review: Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes

Copy Obtained from: Library
Number of Pages: 208
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Reluctant to leave her cherished New England hometown after her sister's winter wedding, former journalist Vera Sterling makes a sudden decision. She takes what's left of her severance pay and invests it in real estate ... in one particular drafty colonial home and old timber barn set upon the pretty banks of Addison Cove. In that rough-hewn barn, she discovers a secret treasure left behind by the previous owner, the proprietor of the long-forgotten Christmas Barn gift shop.

While restoring her rundown, wood-sided home--its creaking floors, broken bannister, and neglected widow's walk--that secret slowly unfolds like a bit of snowflake wonder, crystallizing hopes and dreams for many in this small Connecticut town. But mostly for Derek Cooper whose own tragic story has headlined Addison's news. And whom Vera has come to love.

When the first snowstorm hits during Derek's annual Deck the Boats Festival at the cove, residents become stranded. It is then up to Vera to not only bring the town together, but to mend one man's heart she fears she may have lost.

Joanne DeMaio shines in this novel, it quickly became one of my favorites. Addison is a picturesque town, with lots of local flavor. It reminds me of Stars Hollow, or Cedar Cove, one of those towns that would be perfect to live in.

This book was a book that I will be taking off my shelf frequently. The cast of characters really make the novel shine even brighter. It is a book that reminds us that life is short, and instead of dwelling on the past, we must celebrate the present, and appreciate the memories that we have with our loved ones, as we don't know when it will be the last time we get to spend with them.

All in all, this book was fabulous, and the characters were as vivid as the landscape.
Everyone who loves a good book will devour this sweet novel, lapping up the landscapes, and wanting more.

New Year, New Books!

With the new year upon us, it's time for some new books! There are some great new releases coming out, many of which I am anticipating, including The Black Key by Amy Ewing, The Crown by Kiera Cass, Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige, and Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes.

And, to celebrate the New Year, I was able to order some books! Thanks to my workplace Secret Santa, I was able to order these beauties:









 This includes the one that I've been anticipating, Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett, also known as Anna Banks!

I'm so excited to be starting these, and I'd love to hear what's on your list for this year!