Top 5 Tuesday

Top Five Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm. Each week, a different theme is given and you have to come up with a list of five things that fit that theme. This week’s theme is Top 5 Books I Predict Will be 5 Stars.

  1. Rage by Jonathan Maberry. I love Maberry’s writing and was a huge fan of his Joe Ledger series. This book starts a new series about Joe Ledger, who is now running leading a group of “international troubleshooters”–a freelance group no longer connected to the US government. I cannot wait for this book!

2. The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston. This book is probably cheating because I’m already halfway through it, but I’m loving it so much! I want to shake Jess for being so dismissive of fans while at the same time wrap her in a blanket, take away her phone, and give her cookies. I also love Imogen: her passion, her geekiness, and her feelings of inferiority when it comes to her younger sibling. I’ve been there, girl; I’ve been there.

3. Rebel by Marie Lu is one that I’m less certain will be a five star read and more hopeful. I loved, loved, love the Legend series when I read it and it’s stood up on rereads. However, I’ve haven’t been overwhelmed with love for Marie Lu’s other books. I liked Warcross and Wild Card all right, but hated the Young Elites books in a way I rarely do. I hope Rebel is all I’m hoping it will be.

4. Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles will probably be a 5 star read. I love her books so much. They’re witty, romantic, and full of great characters. This one is about a diamond heist, and I love a good heist book. I think I’ll thoroughly enjoy this book.

5. A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer. This book is a long shot. It doesn’t even have a cover yet. It only just recently got a summary up on the website. But I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely so much and Grey was my favorite character, that I can’t imagine this not being a five star read. I cannot wait until next year when it comes out!

Sunday Post April 14

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reader. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

This week was all about hanging in there. It was the week before spring break, and everyone at my school was feeling it. Especially me.

On Friday, I got to see the musical Aladdin. It was so much fun. Years ago, when I was in high school, a couple of friends turned me onto a music collection called Music Behind the Magic, which was the songs that were written for the animated movies but not included. My favorite songs came from Aladdin, and I was thrilled that they were included in the musical.

The best part of the play was definitely the Genie; the actor was actually from the Broadway show even though this was the National Tour. The worst part of the show as the women around me who kept singing–out loud–during the performance. I mean, I mouth the words sometimes, but they were singing pretty loudly. And it sucked. But getting to hear a beautifully sang rendition of Proud of Your Boy pretty much made up for that.

Posts this week:

Monday: Book review of An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber

Tuesday: Top 5 Romantic Reads

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Book Review of The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Friday: Book Review of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Saturday: Reader Problems Book Tag

Currently Reading:

I won The Earl Next Door in a giveaway off Goodreads. It’s pretty cute so far. I’m listening to Good Omens, and I like it, but for some reason, the narrator chose to read Adam–and 11 year old boy–like a 40 year old man holding a pipe and about to start complaining about taxes. I don’t like it.

Upcoming Week:

Monday: Blogger Recognition Award

Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Book Review of The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

Friday: Book Review of The Earl Next Door

And I’m not sure what I’ll do Saturday yet. Maybe a book tag.

How was your week?

WWW Wednesday

It’s Wednesday so time to do the WWW Wednesday meme! This meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, you answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading. I am currently reading Hexhunter by Jordan L. Hawk. This is the fourth in the Hexworld series, where there are witches and familiars. Familiars are people who can shift into animal form, and witches draw magic from them. This book centers around Issac, a familiar who’s been badly abused by witches and has almost no self worth, and Bill Quigely, a detective who is the official liaison between the regular police and the Metropolitan Witch Police. Bill has been in love with Isaac for two years, but is convinced that Isaac doesn’t return his feelings. Of course, Isaac does, but is so convinced there’s something wrong with him, he can’t give Bill a chance. They’re brought together again to solve missing children case. I’m really enjoying this book a lot. I’m a sucker for pining and self-worth issues, so it’s like this book was written for me.

I’m also still listening to The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. Alice has been on the run her whole life with her mother, plagued by bad luck and a sense of dread. Now, Alice’s mother has been taken by characters from the fairy tales Alice’s grandmother wrote, and Alice is desperate to get her back. She has to go on a journey to the Hazel Wood, her grandmother’s mysterious house, and face what lies there. This book has gotten so good. There’s a lot that I didn’t see coming and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

Recently finished. I just finished A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling where Rhen has been cursed to relive the fall season of his 18th year. If he can fall in love and have someone fall in love with him before the end of the season, the curse will be broken. If not, he’ll turn into a beast and wreak havoc on anyone and anything that stands at his way. Unwilling to put his kingdom at risk, he sends his faithful Royal Guardsman, Grey, to our world to bring back women. Harper happens to see Grey taking a woman, and she rushes to stop him. Grey is forced to abduct her instead. Stuck for the season, Harper soon finds herself deeply involved in protecting the kingdom and learning there is more to herself than she’d thought. I loved this book so much. It’s one of my favorite B&tB retellings ever. Seriously, it was so, so good.

Up next. Next, I think I will read A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourne. This is a mystery novel about a woman named Veronica Speedwell, who plans to travel the world and conduct scientific research. However, she’s almost abducted. A friend suggests she stay with a man named Stoker, but when the friend turns up dead, Veronica and Stoker have to join forces to find the truth.

That’s what I’ve read, am reading, will read. What about you?

March Mid-Month Wrap-up

I have been on a reading spree. Usually, I average about eight books a month, but it’s March 17 and I’ve already read ten. Last week alone, I read almost a book a day. Part of it is because I was in a reading slump last month and only read two books, so I had a lot of catching up to do. But part of it is simply because I’ve been enjoying reading so much. I’ve gotten into the bad habit of coming home and vegging in front of the TV while scrolling mindlessly on my computer. The past couple weeks, I’ve turned off the TV and limited my screen time to focus on reading. It’s been a joy. My mood has lifted, I’m excited to read, and motivated to search out new things. It’s been wonderful.

Here are the list of books I’ve read, along with a brief description and my thoughts.

Hexmaker by Jordan L. Hawk follows the romance between a fox shifter, Malachi, and Dr. Owen Yates, who is a forensic hexman for the Metropolitan Witch Police. Malachi is a thief who is caught red handed. Unfortunately, the man he was stealing from has been murdered and Malachi is the prime suspect. The only way to clear his name is to bond with Yates and work with him until the murderer is caught. Swept away by a deep passion for the other, they also begin an affair that they know can’t last, as Yates is days away from an arranged marriage to secure his family fortune.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a lighthearted romance where both characters were really interesting and endearing. Owen does his best to do what’s expected of him even when his heart is leading him in another direction. And Malachi, despite his illegal profession, has a good heart. It’s a little predictable and not very deep, but it was exactly what I needed to get me out of my reading slump. Four out of five stars

Becoming by Michelle Obama is her memoir about her life. She talks about her early childhood, growing up in an apartment above her Aunt Robbie’s house in Chicago. She details her teenage and college years, talks about meeting Barack Obama and initial impressions (not great, he was late for their meeting) all the way through the White House years. I found the writing style very engaging and easy to read. Actually, I found it so thought-provoking and stimulating, that I could only read a chapter at a time, otherwise her voice followed me into my dreams all night. And while that’s not a bad problem to have, it did interrupt my sleep. I cried several times during this book for different reasons, both joy and sorrow. I really thought this book was well written and an inspiring. Five out of five stars

Hexslayer by Jordan L. Hawk is the third in the Hexworld books. This romance centers on Nick, a horse shifter who is fiercely independent and swears he will never bond with any witch, and Jamie McDougal, a former Rough Rider who lost his leg in the line of duty and now works for the Metropolitan Witch Police. When Jamie’s former lover, another familiar, is found dead almost a year after he was supposedly killed in action, Jamie and Nick join forces to solve the crime. Like Hexmaker, this is a light, fluffy book and an easy read. This one had to win me over a bit because I didn’t like Nick all that much to begin with. However, once he and Jamie really started connecting, Nick exposed his vulnerable side and I liked him a lot more. Four out of five stars

A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian. I got an early Kindle copy of this book. This is set in the same universe as Unmasked by the Marquess, which I read last year. In A Duke in Disguise, best friends Verity Plum and Ash find their unspoken attraction harder to ignore when Verity asks Ash to illustrated an erotic book she’s publishing. When Ash discovers a long kept secret about himself, he decides to throw caution to the wind and court Verity in earnest, at least for a month. This is a delightful book with fantastic characters. Verity is strong and independent. I love that she’s in charge of her father’s old publishing house and also that she keeps her brother out of danger. And Ash is, of course, noble and true, just as a good romantic hero should be. Four out of five stars.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. In a land where magic people called Grisha exist, a drug is created that give them unimaginable powers. To keep this highly addictive drug from being abused, Kaz Brekker is hired to take a band of criminals to break the creator of the drug out of the prison he’s being held. To be honest, I struggled with this one. I started it in February and eventually had to put it aside because it wasn’t working for me. I know people passionately love this book, but I couldn’t connect to any of the characters. I finally picked it up and gave it another try. I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed it, but I wish I loved it as much as everyone else does. Three out of five stars.

How I Changed My Life in a Year by Shelley Wilson. This book is a self-help/inspirational book about how one woman set 12 goals for herself to complete over the course of a year. She then broke them down into 52 challenges and blogged about her experiences. I listened to this on audio and overall enjoyed it. Three out of five stars.

Of Five and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. Instead of rehashing my thoughts, you can read my review here. I gave it four out of five stars.

The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard Goldberg. Again, I’ve reviewed this on my blog here if you’re interested. Two out of five stars.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. Five women and one man come together to discuss their love of Jane Austen. In between, flashes of their lives are revealed, friendships are formed, and romantic matches are made. I didn’t like this book. I found the characters dull and uninteresting. Their lives were boring. Every once in awhile, there’d be something interesting, but it didn’t last and was driven away by the how mean-spirited the characters seemed to be to each other. There was barely any discussion of Austen, which made sense because any time someone offered an opinion, it was immediately torn apart by someone else. I wouldn’t want to talk about something I loved if that was the environment either. This was just all around an disappointing book. One out of five stars.

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry. This is about a group of outcasts at a religious high school. Michael’s an atheist, Avi is Jewish, Eden is pagan, Max doesn’t like the dress code, and Lucy wants to change the church. They come together to discuss their difficulties until one day, Michael suggests they take action and try to create change. However, things soon go to far and Heretics Anonymous is put in danger of being exposed. I really liked this book. The characters were real, the struggles were interesting, and the emotional message was compelling. Four out of five stars.
That’s all the books I’ve read so far this month. I’m currently reading Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and enjoying it quite a bit.

What books have you read so far this month? Drop a comment below and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Book Review: The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard Goldberg

When a young woman comes to Dr. Watson after the death of her brother by apparent suicide, Watson is disinclined to take the case, until he hears that one of the witnesses is a woman named Joanna Blalock. Years before, after an assignation between Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler has produced a child, Watson had been entrusted with finding that child a suitable home. That child, of course, was now Joanna Blalock, a widowed nurse with a ten year old son. Possessing the brilliant deductive mind of her father, as well as the charm and beauty of her mother, Joanna throws herself into the investigation and uncovers a truly villainous plot.

This book was… okay. In the beginning, it read a little like a Sherlock Holmes story, but soon dissolved into a sort of overly stiff and unrealistic prose. The characters all sounded samey, and Joanna spent most of the time telling everyone around her what was “elementary”. There’s a romance, which falls flat on the page. I wanted to like it so much, but whenever the characters spoke lovingly to each other, it just sounded so silly. But, besides that, I liked the mystery and the twists and turns it took, and thought it was a noble try. However, I will not be reading more of the series .

Two out of five stars