Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Title: Lockdown

Author: Alexander Gordon Smith [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Series: Escape from Furnace, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780374324919

Length: 273 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

A coworker brought it to my attention and it sounded interesting.


I don't know what I was thinking when I picked this up, despite the comment from my coworker.  It dark and gritty and horrifying.  Highly intense and emotional.  I wanted nothing more than to rush through the end (as in, I read it all in one morning before going to work that afternoon) and see if there was a successful escape from this place - only to find that there isn't a proper ending!  I'm sorry for the spoiler but this is a major cliffhanger.  I came into work in a tizzy, this book and all the possible outcomes swirling in my mind, and scolded the coworker who had suggested it for not warning me! For suggesting a book without an end!  It appears she hadn't fully read it herself yet, and she says calmly, "Well it's part of a 5 book series."  That would have been good to know in advance, and even then I don't expect cliffhangers!

Overall this is an emotionally gripping / riveting book, but I recommend reading it only if you have the next book on hand and time to read it.  I have the second book checked out now, but I'm worried it will end in a similar manner, so I've been delaying reading it.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Siren's Call

Title: Siren's Call

Author: Jayne Castle aka Jayne Ann Krentz [Website][Facebookaka Amanda Quick

Publisher: JOVE

Series: Harmony, Bk 12 ; Rainshadow, Bk 4 or 5 (depending on how you look at it)

ISBN: 9780515155747

Length: 323 pages

Obtained: Personal copy, purchased new

Why this book?:

I really enjoy this series and author.  When I saw it on the shelves I decided I needed to buy it (thankfully it is a paperback and therefore more affordable).  And then when it came out of the bag about a week later (my bad), I had to read it right away (nevermind that I was exhausted and had work the next morning).


I liked Ella, Rafe, and, of course, Lorelei the dust bunny.  In fact, I love the Harmony and Rainshadow books overall.  They have managed to maintain their quick read status when I am becoming increasingly distracted and restless with my reading.

I thought the siren bit was cool, and the secret genetically passed down psychic ability is a theme I'm happy to revisit that makes the heroine "unmatchable" (but not really) brought me fond memories of the St. Helen's books (which I'll admit, I miss) as well as other Harmony books.

The alien dinosaur bit was interesting.  I thought the timing amusing considering Jurassic World coming out the same year.

Anyway, I look forward to future Harmony/Rainshadow books, as always.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Grim Tuesday

Title: Grim Tuesday

Author: Garth Nix [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Scholastic

Series: The Keys to the Kingdom, Bk 2

ISBN: 0439436559

Length: 321 Pages

Obtained: Personal copy (ex-library)

Why this book?:

A co-worker kept mentioning the author in relation to his Old Kingdom books. I said I had to finish this one first. But then it was in my head, so I grabbed it at the next opportunity.


Quite some time has passed since I've read the first book in this series, Mister Monday.  I didn't remember all the details but this book quickly filled me in.  But early on in the book I felt very much like jumping ahead to the end I knew had to exist.  I resisted and settled in for the story of how Arthur would gain the 2nd key, 2nd piece if the will, and defeat Grim Tuesday.  I enjoyed they story and Look forward to reading Lady Wednesday's story.

Paperboy and Speak and Speechless

Sometimes I find myself reading books that feel as if they are connected. This was one of those cases.  I read these three books in the opposite order I have them listed below: Speechless, Speak, and Paperboy.

 I felt the need to group them together, because they all relate to young people finding their voice in some way or another, as well as powers of words and what words and expression can mean for us as humans.

Title: Paperboy

Author: Vince Vawter [Website][Facebook][Twitteraka Vilas Vincent Vawter III

Publisher: Delacorte Press

ISBN: 9780385742443

Length: 223 pages + "Author's Note"

Obtained: ARC ... Maybe from staff lounge?

Why this book?:

I've been clearing out some of my ARCs both for shelf space reasons and to pass on.


Told from the writings of an 11yo boy in 1958 Memphis, this story offers the internal thoughts of someone who can't always express himself so well outwardly (due to a stutter), as he goes through some coming if age events while also learning to see and recognize prejudice and bias for what it is on a number of levels.

I heard good things about this book when it first came out and as far as I'm concerned it lived up to the praise.  I really enjoyed it.

According to the author while being a fiction book, much of it was more memoir.  That made what the boy (we do not learn his name until the very end) went through with his stuttering so much more of a learning experience.

One more note: at one point he recites a poem he wrote - it was lovely. I read it through a couple times.  Poetry can be rather hit and miss with me, this was a hit.

Title: Speak

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Speak (Penguin Putnam)

ISBN: 014131088X

Length: 198 pages + "Laurie Halse Anderson speaks about speak..."

Obtained: Used copy from my BIL's cousins

Why this book?:

I was sorting through my books and couldn't resist after just having read Speechless.


After an event at a party - she really doesn't want to think about it - Melinda calls the cops and becomes an outcast.  She turns all her pain, hurt, rage internally; she is falling apart, and doesn't know how to handle it.  As she becomes more withdrawn she is mostly silent, causing attention but not understanding from the adults around her.

Title: Speechless

Author: Hannah Harrington [Website][Twitter][Facebook]

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

ISBN: 9780373210527

Length: 263 pages + "Questions for Discussion"

Obtained: ARC from staff lounge at work

Why this book?:

I requested the library purchase it when it first came out because it sounded interesting.  Then I got the ARC, but never got around to reading it.  I'm now cutting back to make room in my new home library.


Chelsea is a gossip, but at a party she sees something - and shares without thinking.  One of the parties involved is seriously hurt, so reports to the police, then takes a vow of silence to sort things out.  She goes through the school year as an outcast, but making surprising new friends while dealing with the consequences of her own actions.

Ape House

Title: Ape House

Author: Sara Gruen [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 9780385523226

Length: 336 pages

Obtained: Library book club kit copy

Why this book?:

It was the selection for the discussion I do.  I originally picked it because it looked interesting and I enjoyed Water for Elephants.


Most of the people who read it for the discussion enjoyed it. (One didn't - she thought there was much more mention of sex, particularly where it concerned the bonobos, than necessary.)

I thought the story was okay.  The writing flowed very well.  I didn't dislike it, but I was okay setting it down and reading something else before finishing it.  I'm fairly sure I read Water for Elephants in one sitting, so I guess that means it wasn't as good?  Or maybe it just means I'm more easily distracted than I was 7 years ago?  I suspect the reason is a combination of those possibilities.

Anyway, I probably will read more by Sara Gruen.  I've heard pretty good things about At Water's Edge.

Letters from Skye

Title: Letters from Skye

Author: Jessica Brockmole [Website][Facebook][Twitter] ; Read by Elle Newlands [IMDb][Twitter], Katy Townsend [Website][IMDb][Twitter], Lincoln Hoppe [Website][IMDb][Facebook][Twitter], Adam Alexi-Malle [IMDb][Facebook], and Guy Burnet [Website][IMDb]

Publisher: Books on Tape

ISBN: 9780385367646

Length: Approx. 8 hrs ; 7 discs

Obtained: Library audiobook copy

Why this book?:

For my book discussion, but also because I've been wanting to read it since I first heard about it before publication.


I have to say, I am so glad I read this in audio format - despite being a bit more romance than I prefer with my audiobooks.  Because the accents/voices  were GREAT.  I haven't listened to many multi-narrated books, but I loved how each character had their own voice.  They were very distinct and came to life in my mind.

I had mixed feelings about this story.  I had some moral issues with it, but beyond that it was nice.  At first every time Margaret's story came up I was eager to get back to Elspeth, but by the time Elspeth "disappeared" I was really into Margaret's side of the story.

Anyway, glad I listened to this.

The Earl's Untouched Bride and How the Marquess Was Won

I don't know why I so often find Historical Romances so hard to comment on.  I do enjoy them... the stories, the characters, the HEA.  It's worse when it has been awhile since I've read it.  Both of these were read about a month or so ago.

I've also given up on paying much attention to series, as I often end up reading a book in the middle of the series when it comes to this sub-genre.  ::sigh::

In any case, I enjoyed both of these. 

Title: The Earl's Untouched Bride

Author: Annie Burrows

Publisher: Harlequin Historical Regency

ISBN: 9780373295333

Length: 276 pages

Obtained: Personal copy

Why this book?:

I'm clearing out some books so my new personal library won't be cluttered and overfull.  The blurb sounded interesting.

Title: How the Marquess Was Won

Author: Julie Anne Long

Publisher: AVON Historical Romance

Series: Pennyroyal Green, Bk 6

ISBN: 9780061885693

Length: 373 pages

Obtained: Personal (ex-library) copy

Why this book?: 

I'm clearing out some books so my new personal library won't be cluttered and overfull.  The blurb sounded interesting.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Title: Uncaged

Author: John Sandford [Website][Facebook][Twitter] and Michele Cook (John Sandford's wife.  I didn't find any dedicated websites) ; Read by Tara Sands [Website][IMDb][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Listening Library

Series: Singular Menace, Bk 1

ISBN: 9780553395518 ; 9780553395501

Length: 11 hours, 44 minutes ; 10 discs

Obtained: Library downloadable and CD versions

Why this book?:

It sounded interesting and I needed something to listen to on a road trip for work back in May.  (It turns out I also have the ARC print from the 2014 C2E2, but it wasn't the right timing apparently).


I was quickly caught up in the story and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The 2nd book, Outrage, wasn't out yet when I finished this, and the delay meant I was caught up in others books/series by the time it did come out, but I will be listening to it as well as the 3rd book, Rampage, eventually.

Spider's Trap

Title: Spider's Trap

Author: Author: Jennifer Estep [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Pocket Books Urban Fanatsy

Series: Elemental Assassin, Bk 13

ISBN: 9781501105173

Length: 372 pages

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

Love this series!


Gin has another enemy after her, but this time she doesn't know who.  Living constantly on alert and worrying about friends/family seems to be wearing on her as time goes on.  I continue to love this series, enjoyed this book, and look forward to book 13, Bitter Bite.

Letters from My Father's Murderer

Title: Letters from My Father's Murderer

Author: Laurie A. Coombs [Website][Facebook][Twitter]

Publisher: Kregel Publications

ISBN: 9780825442292

Length: 199 pages + "Afterword" + "Inmate Letters" + "Prescript" (includes images)

Obtained: Library copy

Why this book?:

I'm pretty pro-life, and interested in prisoners rights, so a book about the forgiveness of a prisoner interested me.


This was very preachy at the beginning.  I expected something, because I figured a book about forgiveness was going to touch on religion.  But this is not just Memoir.  It also falls under the subject "Religious",  and I guess that needs to be factored in.  Anyway, I ignored the preachiness and was interested in the story.  But it wasn't easy in those first chapters.  It improved once it got into the meat of the story.  And Anthony's perspective definitely helped.