Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Mourning


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6**

Tempe really got invested in this case. The skeletonized bodies of three young women are discovered in the basement of a pizza parlor in Montreal. Tempe is, at first, the only one convinced that these are not historic remains and are, in fact, recent deaths. She goes investigating by herself to try to prove to Claudel that this case should be pursued as a criminal act.

When she discovers that the bodies are as recent as the late 80s and early 90s, she finds herself investigating a very unusual case.

Through it all, her best friend is in town after having a crisis regarding her marriage, and Tempe's relationship with Andrew Ryan seems to be spiraling to disaster, especially after she hears a rumor about another, much younger, woman in his life.

The way these books resolve is part of what keeps me so enthralled in them. I want to make sure that everything clears up, and when I finish the book, I want to know what kind of mess Tempe is going to get herself into next.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bare Bones


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5**

There is definitely a formula to these books. And I love the formula. Tempe gets in on a murder case, questions pile up, a hunch is wrong, she ends up in danger from the killer, the bad guy is nabbed.

This book started with something that made me want to just hug my youngest. Tempe is investigating the bones of a newborn baby who was found in a wood stove. That was heartbreaking in and of itself, but as she has a weekend with her daughter, her dog digs up bones on a wooded area of a farmhouse. They turn out to mostly be animal bones, but she finds human bones in there, which drags her into a huge new plot.

There are also the two bodies of a small plane crash. But all of these bodies appear to be connected, and when their prime suspect turns up dead, everything needs to be reevaluated.

I love these books. They're so addicting.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Grave Secrets


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4**

Tempe got herself into another doozy of a mystery. She's in Guatemala to identify the bones of women and children who were massacred in the 80s. But then she's sucked into a case of a body found in a septic tank by the local police. This body is connected to four missing young women.

As she investigates the body, which becomes hard when the DA and local forensic doctor confiscate the body and proceed to cremate it, she encounters more and more questions. As the questions get answered, her life begins to be in danger.

Tempe isn't always the smartest (or great about being concerned for her own well being), but somehow she always manages to get out of trouble and solve the mystery of whatever body she happens upon.

I'm hooked on these books.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Last Battle


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6**

What a bittersweet ending to this great series. Although, I felt that the title was just a little misleading. It wasn't really all about a battle. That battle was really only in one or maybe two chapters.

But this book definitely had conclusion to it. It brought together the visitors from our world in Narnia's last days. Because Narnia is ending at this point. Aslan has not been seen for quite some time. An Ape and a Donkey begin to pretend that Aslan is giving orders - orders that he wouldn't ever give.

Eustace and Jill come to save the last King of Narnia, Tirian. He has gotten into a little bit of trouble and they arrive to help him out of it. But there is only so much they can do.

Lucy, Edmund, and Peter, as well as Digory and Polly, make an appearance. The ending is kind of sad, but looking back, it was kind of foreshadowed. Either way, it was a satisfying conclusion.

Fatal Voyage


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

Book four of the Temperance Brennan series was actually a lot better than the first three. Probably because there was little to no French, since it takes place almost exclusively in North Carolina.

The mystery at the start of the book is a plane crash. Why did the plane go down? And terrible news from Andrew Ryan - his partner Jean Bertrand was on the plane when it crashed. Questions about Bertrand's possible involvement and the prisoner he had been transporting come up.

But then things take an odd turn with the discovery of a foot that doesn't belong to any of the passengers on the plane. An abandoned lodge in the woods and several unusual missing person reports begin a true mystery that gets Tempe in trouble, yet again.

This was just a fascinating book. On to the next!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Timebound


Kindle First has been good to me so far. First I read Things We Set on Fire, and now I've read this book. It's the first book in what will be a series and I will definitely wait impatiently for more books.

Kate thinks she's just a normal girl. She had a few episodes in the previous year that doctors called panic attacks, but she wasn't convinced. She learned why when she met her grandmother - a woman named Katherine who was born a couple of centuries in the future. Katherine has made contact with Kate in the hopes that she can help fix a timeline that is getting more and more treacherous with each passing day.

Things go horribly wrong when a temporal shift causes Kate's mother to blink out of existence, thereby making it so that Kate technically doesn't exist in the timeline. She has to go back to 1893 to fix a murder that changes everything for her.

I was really into this book. It sucked me in and kept me engaged. It's technically young adult, but you wouldn't really guess that by the way the story is told. True, Kate is only 16 going on 17, but she acts a lot older than her age. I am loving Kindle First.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mini Shopaholic


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5**

The title of this book is actually a bit misleading. You go in expecting it to be entirely about Luke and Becky's daughter, but really she's more of a side story.

Minnie is two years old. Luke thinks that she's wild and out of control because she behaves like, well, a two year old. So he demands they get some help from a TV nanny (a la Supernanny).

Meanwhile Becky decides that she wants to throw a surprise birthday party for Luke. She finds this challenging due to the fact that this is all happening at the beginning of the economic downfall that hit the world. So, she has to cut back, even with her huge dreams of the party, and she's refused help from everyone who offers.

When it all becomes just a bit too much for her, she finds help from the most unexpected place. I enjoyed the way that the party came together and I'm excited because it left off alluding to another book, so I'll be keeping my eye out for that.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Shopaholic and Baby


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4**

Another fun Shopaholic book. But this one I could really relate to because I know what it's like to be a mom to be.

In this book, Becky is pregnant. So she's become the shopaholic mom to be. Which happens to the best of us.

She also decides to change doctors halfway through her pregnancy from the older doctor who delivered Luke to this new celebrity obstetrician - Venetia Carter.

What Becky wasn't expecting was the discovery that new doctor Venetia is, in fact, Luke's ex-girlfriend from college. And Venetia has ulterior motives.

The dislike for Venetia kind of grew in me as I read the book. As more of her character was revealed, I hated her more and felt for Becky.

The resolution of this book is great. I just really had fun with this book.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Shopaholic and Sister




**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

I did not like this book as much. While it was still an enjoyable bit of fluff, Rebecca is an annoyingly spoiled brat. She spends most of this book either sulking or feeling superior.

After a 10 month honeymoon, Rebecca and Luke return home, but nothing is quite the way Becky expected it to be. Suze has since had twins and made a new best friend, who has children of her own. Becky's parents are acting weird. And Luke is angry at her because of all the purchases that Becky made while they were on their honeymoon around the world.

And then it all comes crashing down. The reason her parents are being weird is revealed as a half sister for Becky that none of them knew existed.

Becky thinks that she'll have a new best friend in Jess. She imagines them going shopping and watching movies together. But Jess is so completely different from Becky. She hates shopping, makeup, even mirrors.

So Becky becomes mean. She becomes this catty character that I just do not like. So, while it was still a fluffy story that I sort of enjoyed, it just wasn't the same as the other books were.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shopaholic Ties the Knot


**Book 1 * Book 2**

I'm going to be honest, I wasn't completely sure I'd enjoy this book. But I was wrong.

Luke and Rebecca are getting married! This is especially exciting since Suze, Becky's best friend has just gotten married and is expecting a baby. So when Luke pops the question at Suze's wedding, Becky is ecstatic thinking about wedding dresses and cakes.

Rebecca's mother begins planning a wedding in her England hometown almost immediately. Becky takes it for granted that she and Luke will be getting married in England. But, when they return to New York, Luke's mother Elinor springs a wedding planner and a Plaza wedding on Rebecca.

Now Becky has two weddings being planned for her and she seems unable to cancel either one.

The way that this comes to a resolution is great. I loved it. She fixed the problem and didn't have to use her Visa card to do it.

There was less of the shopaholic in this book than in other ones, but she's still the indecisive girl of previous books.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan


**Book 1**

The second book in the Shopaholic series was just as fun as the first book. Becky and Luke - the successful and rich PR company owner boyfriend - head to New York. Becky has become a hit on a morning television show, giving financial advice to people who call in. Her own finances are just as rocky as before, making her just the tiniest bit hypocritical.

Luke is looking to expand his PR company to New York, and wants Becky to move there with him. She is excited to get a spot on American television. But, while they're in New York, their individual lives in London begin to disintegrate.

Becky's finances hit an all time low, costing her more than she ever would have been willing to pay. And rumors are ruining Luke's chances at his great deal at making it in NYC.

The way this book flows makes it fun, while you feel bad for where Becky is and what happens with Luke.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Confessions of a Shopaholic


After the deepness of Gone Girl, I needed to read something that wasn't as intense. What better to transition back into serious reading than a chick lit series? Confessions of a Shopaholic was just plain fun!

Rebecca Bloomwood works in financial journalism. This fact is extremely humorous as her financial standing is revealed. Because Rebecca is a shopaholic. She loves to shop, and as a result, she has a lot of debt. She has no handle on her finances because she has to buy a new pair of shoes, has to buy this, has to buy that. She spends all her money and then some.

As her debts start coming back to haunt her - Visa and the bank both after her to pay back what she has spent, Becky goes into hiding, only then discovering a story that means a lot to her.

Everything that happens in this book is really kind of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gone Girl


I don't think I have ever detested two characters more than I detest Nick and Amy in Gone Girl. They are horrible excuses for human beings.

That being said, I actually enjoyed this book. I'm not entirely sure why I enjoyed it, but I definitely did.

Maybe it was the fact that, for a while there, I wasn't entirely sure if Nick was involved in his wife's disappearance. Amy goes missing on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick is naturally a suspect.

But Amy's has secrets of her own. Secrets that, when they are revealed, show her character in ways that it hadn't been revealed before.

Of course, as the book goes on, these two characters become more and more detestable. I know I keep using that word, but that's really how I feel about them. Great book, horrible characters.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Things We Set On Fire


I got this book through Amazon's new Kindle First program, where they release four books a month before their release date for Amazon Prime members. This was the book that looked the most interesting to me.

When I started reading, I had this immediate dislike of Vivvie, who is the mother of the story. She does something that was just horrible in the prologue.

As the book progresses, little bits of Vivvie's story are revealed, while she and her daughters, Elin and Kate, work to mend something that has been broken for decades. In the middle of this are two very confused little girls - Kate's daughters.

It's very much a book about second chances. I really enjoyed it, so I was glad I chose to read it. I recommend it, with the suggestion that you read it with a box of tissues - you'll probably need them.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Deadly Decisions


**Book 1 * Book 2**

I totally enjoyed this book more than the first two. I think because it had less of the things I didn't enjoy - like excessive amounts of French - and more of the things I did - like Tempe.

It followed much the same pattern though. Tempe has a case. She works alongside a Quebec cop. Someone near and dear to her gets involved, and to some extent, in trouble. She does something stupid to put her life in danger. Things get resolved, mostly in a positive light.

The case? Quebec outlaw motorcycle clubs causing violence and murder between themselves, causing a nine year old girl to be killed in the crossfire. Tempe is determined to see the biker who caused her death behind bars. And naturally, she has to work with Claudel, who goes between respecting her as a professional, and treating her like a moron.

During this case, Tempe's nephew Kit visits. He has a fascination for the bikes, and it gets him into trouble. A lot of trouble.

People are killed left and right. Tempe's lover, Andrew Ryan, is busted dealing drugs (but there is something strange about what's going on with him). Each step of the way, some new clue is revealed to help bring Tempe closer to solving the murder of this nine year old girl, as well as a handful of other murders that are somehow linked to that shooting.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Odyssey


I liked this better than the Iliad. Maybe it was the translator, but who knows. Either way, this was much more exciting and engaging for me to read. Of course, I've also seen the miniseries that was based on this, so I understood what was happening a little better.

But really, let's be honest. The story of the Odyssey is just so much better than the Iliad. The Iliad was war and battle and the same stuff just different page. The Odyssey was an adventure.

Ulysses is forced to remain away from his home. After the war in Troy was finished (which was 10 years in and of itself), Ulysses spends 10 years just trying to return home to his wife, his son, and his people. He encounters goddesses who want him for themselves, gods are angry with him, he loses his ship and his entire crew after they eat the sun-god's cattle.

While he's working to get home, his wife is being wooed by men who eat his sheep, goats, and pigs, who fraternize with the women servants, and just overall behave badly in Ulysses' house. But Ulysses gets his revenge in the end.

I really did just fully enjoy this book.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Silver Chair


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5**

This book did not hold my attention the way the other books have. I liked it well enough, but maybe it was the characters that were the problem.

Eustace enters Narnia again with a girl from his school named Jill. Eustace wasn't my favorite character from the last book and he still isn't all that interesting. Jill isn't much better. They enter Narnia with the mission of rescuing Caspian's son Rillian. They have a guide for this journey, a Marsh-wiggle by the name of Puddleglum. He might have been the most interesting character in the book. If Eustace and Jill had been as interesting, this would have been a different book.

Anyway, they go on this adventure to find the prince and get into all sorts of trouble, including ending up in an underground world.

So, while I didn't love the book, I still enjoyed it and its bittersweet ending.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Iliad


I had sort of a love-hate relationship with this book. I loved the story. I've always been a bit of a fan of Greek mythology, and this is Greek mythology to the max. You've got gods interfering in war, the famous Trojan War, and the dispute between Achilles and Hector. But I think I hated the particular translation of Homer's epic poem that I read.

Once I got past the language that was just really difficult for me to understand sometimes (I used my Nook's dictionary a lot while reading, simply so I could understand words that I didn't know), I enjoyed the story. A lot of battle. Actually, it's all battle. There's very few interludes where the story visits the Trojan wives and the gods on Olympus, but really it covers the battles. I didn't always love the overly descriptive parts of the book - essentially metaphors and similes just kept being used to describe one thing. It got a little much.

Now, I need to go read the Odyssey.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Death du Jour


*Book 1*

Talk about a suspenseful book! Part of me didn't love that about it, but at the same time, the way that it was written, so that at the end of a chapter you're left with a sort of cliffhanger is ingenious. It made me want to keep reading (even if the book took me two months to finish).

The book starts innocuously enough - Temperance is digging up a nun who has been dead for quite a while, because she is up for sainthood, and when she finds this nun, she discovers something unusual about her that requires her to do research. I spent most of the book wondering about this single mystery because it wasn't cleared up until the last chapter (although there were hints about it before it was revealed).

While she's doing this rather low-key analysis of a nun, she is called into a house fire - mind you, part of this book takes place in Montreal...in winter. In the house, they find two bodies, plus a family of four in the adjoining building. That was probably the hardest part for me to read, since the family included four month old twins. I nearly started crying right then and there (actually, I might have cried).

These murders, plus other bodies that are discovered as the book progresses, are connected to a cult-ish organization and the effects of this group are wide spread and devastating for Brennan.

Overall, this book was enthralling and, while I don't always enjoy the writing style and the French that I completely don't understand, I can't wait to read more.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4**

These books are still fun. My daughter is excited to have them read to her (although this book took a little longer for us to get through because I got sick, so Daddy was reading some Lord of the Rings to her for about a week).

This book is in Narnia technically, but it doesn't take place in the actual country. This book takes place on a ship - the Dawn Treader. This book also has a different set of characters than the other Narnia books. Edmund and Lucy are still visiting, but Peter and Susan are no longer able to - they've become too old to travel to Narnia. But with Edmund and Lucy on this trip is their cousin Eustace. Eustace is a rather unlikable boy who doesn't believe in Narnia, even after the three children land there.

The crew of the Dawn Treader - which includes Caspian and Reepicheep the Mouse - find themselves in some interesting adventures as they journey to find the Narnian lords that were banished from Narnia by Caspian's uncle Miraz. They find islands with mysterious, exciting, and even dangerous things on them. They also discover the whereabouts of the seven missing lords.

I'm excited to continue reading these books to my daughter and getting the chance to enjoy them for the first time myself.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Prince Caspian


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

I am still really enjoying this series. Which is saying something considering that I have never read this series and it's more geared towards children. My three year old is enjoying it too (I think).

This was a bit different from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy return to Narnia, but it's a radically different Narnia than the one they left. Where it has only been a year for the children, hundreds have appeared to have passed in their beloved Narnia. But they have been called there to help a boy not much older than themselves.

Caspian is the proper heir to the throne of Narnia. But his uncle has usurped the throne as well as killing his father. Now that his aunt has had a male child, Caspian is a threat to his uncle. So Caspian runs away, and he finds a group of Old Narnians - Talking Animals, Fauns, Centaurs, and even a Giant - who will gladly make him the King of Narnia, but they must go to battle against King Miraz and his army.

So, the children get pulled into Narnia to help Caspian succeed in restoring Narnia to what it once was.

It's a fun book. All the books of this series are. And they're the perfect length to read to my daughter at night.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rapture


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 3.5**

This was definitely my favorite book of the entire series. Maybe it's because it felt like the best ending for these books, or maybe I just really liked this particular story. Who knows? But I loved this book.

It felt like a conclusion book too. It truly had the feeling that it was bringing this story to an end. And geez, what an end it was.

Luce, Daniel, and all the other angels have to find three relics that will help them determine where the angels fell seven thousand years prior. They have to find it to stop Lucifer, who has gone back in time and is bringing the past angels through the fall to the present.

Through this whole book, Luce is slowly rediscovering who she is, but the secret that she needs to uncover doesn't get revealed until right at the end.

I was really satisfied with this ending. I couldn't imagine any other ending that would have made me really happy with the future of Lucinda and Daniel. So, yes, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fallen in Love


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

This was really a novella, even though the cover says it's a novel. It's pretty good, but I think that the series could survive just fine without this addition between books three and four.

The entirety of this involves the one Valentine's Day that Lucinda and Daniel ever spent together. In all of their lifetimes. But it's a story split in four separate parts, each it's own little story that add up to the greater picture.

First is the story of Shelby and Miles, who work to help Luce and Daniel connect in this medieval lifetime. Since it's their only Valentine's Day (which Shelby and Miles don't realize), these two friends want to help her. In this process, they find that they have a connection.

Then it's Roland's story. He is reminiscing about the medieval girl he loved during that time. He left her because he was convinced that they could not live happily together - a demon and a mortal girl. Now, he is back in this time and wants to make right what he messed up in the first place, only to discover that she has moved on.

The book then moves on to Arriane's story. She loves a demon. They love each other, but then Tess, the demon, tells Arriane that if they want to remain together, Arriane must go from the side of Heaven to the side of Hell. Arriane refuses, Tess tries to remove her wings, Arriane tries to mend her lover, but their blood mixes, leaving Arriane with horrible burns.

Finally we get to Daniel and Lucinda. Their only Valentine's Day through thousands of years of their curse.

Honestly, I felt that their story was the most disappointing in this book. It was mostly Lucinda feeling sad, not knowing if she'll see Daniel at all, obsessing about the fact that it's their only Valentine's Day, and Daniel only makes an appearance a few pages before the end.

So, while I loved three out of the four stories, I still think that it was something I could have done without.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Passion


**Book 1 * Book 2**

I liked this book. A lot.

Continuing on with the girl in love with a fallen angel, this book goes back.

After the end of the last book, with all its chaos, Luce begins to use her Announcers to go back to her past lives. She wants to finally understand the whole curse that she is forced to endure with Daniel. She wants to change it, make it so that she won't die, so he won't constantly worry about her death.

While Luce is jumping to her past lives and seeing her death over and over, Daniel is always one step behind her, trying to catch up and bring her back to her time.

Both of them learn more about their love and their curse.

There's just an interlude book and one more book left of this series. I'll be sad when it's done.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Torment


*Book 1*

This was a bit darker than the first book, and I liked that.

Daniel put Luce in a new school on the other side of the country to protect her. But he clams up every time she asks him questions. She's frustrated, confused, and alone. He can't be around her like he wants to be, so she starts questioning whether their relationship is really what it's been hyped to be - true love.

Since Luce is at this new boarding school, she discovers that she's around Nephilim, kids that have some sort of angel in their lineage. While she's taking classes with this kids, she starts to experiment with the Announcers, the shadows that have followed her all her life. While doing this, she is able to glimpse parts of her past lives.

She just has more questions. She asks questions, and ends up in a huge fight with Daniel. She just doesn't know what to do.

I wasn't expecting the ending, but it created a nice lead in to the third book of the series.