Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fat and Blood


This book really isn't worth really reviewing. Late 1800s medical book. Most of the stuff is out of date for today. I read it for a class to "understand" why Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote Herland. I rolled my eyes a lot while reading it.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Herland


This was a surprisingly good read. I wasn't really expecting it out of a book I had to read for school. I am too often disappointed by the required reading. But some of my classmates didn't appreciate this one as much as I did.

The narrator of this book is Van. He and two of his friends - Terry and Jeff - go on an expedition. During their original venture, they begin picking up stories about a community consisting only of women. So they plan to visit this hidden community for "research."

This becomes a very interesting story when they do discover these women, They become prisoners in a sense, but it quickly becomes apparent that these women are just as interested in the outside world as these three men were about their little group.

This story has some really humorous points, as well as this kind of weird message about meeting new groups of people. Although, the book was written to be a female Utopia. Women have all this power because they have not had men to help them for nearly 2000 years.

I highly recommend this book. It is way more than it seems.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wanted


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7**

This book was kind of a fun adventure. Which is unusual with some of the other books in this series. But this one reveals a huge twist that I didn't really see coming.

Ali had a twin!

After Billy Ford is arrested and charged in the murders of both Ali and Jenna, the Dilaurentis family reveals that they have another child. A twin to Ali named Courtney. Naturally, Hanna, Spencer, Aria, and Emily are thrown for a serious loop. Nobody expected this. I know I didn't.

But what's even weirder is when Courtney reveals that she's actually Ali. That crazy Courtney had been killed that night at the end of seventh grade. So all the girls have their best friend back. Right?

Their story gets wild as they try to rebuild their friendship with the girl they thought lost all those years ago. Only Aria seems suspicious that things are too good to be true. Maybe they are. Or maybe Aria needs to just relax and accept that her best friend is back from the dead.

I thought this book had a great conclusion, both to the book and to the series, so I'm a little confused about why this series continues after this book, but I guess I'll see what happens in the next book.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Charlotte Temple


Well, I'm back to reading books for a college class. And this is the first thing I had to read this term? Ugh. Sometimes the life of an English major isn't quite so glamorous.

I will say that while I didn't love this book (written in the late 1700s), I didn't hate it either. Once you get past the old writing style and accept that the author will direct certain passages directly to her reader, it has a pretty good story line. Of course, you also have to bear in mind that the story is built around the ideals of the 1700s where girls of certain classes were expected to have their parents' permission to marry and eloping leads to the ruin of girls.

Charlotte is a good girl. She's being educated by a well known and trustworthy lady. However, the French teacher, Mademoiselle La Rue, is not a good girl and really shouldn't be friends with Charlotte. La Rue encourages Charlotte to do things that are inappropriate for a girl of her station, which leads to Charlotte meeting a soldier by the name of Montraville. Between La Rue and Montraville, they convince Charlotte to elope with him to New York, where his company is ordered to be.

She hates betraying her family, and eventually, Montraville forgets about her for a girl of significant wealthy. Poor Charlotte is left pregnant and rather delusional. Her reputation is completely ruined and she quickly spirals.

It's kind of a sad story about a sweet girl who was lead astray by people who should have been protecting her. In the end, I felt bad for Charlotte, hated La Rue, and actually kind of pitied Montraville. While this story isn't very relevant for today's society, I can see how it was so popular in the time it was written.

But, I did get a little weary of the author talking to her reader about things other than Charlotte's story. I also thought certain points were a little preachy, but then I'm a 21st century girl reading a story about an 18th century girl. It can be expected that I'd find it preachy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Heartless


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

Wow. This book. I'm still reeling a little bit from it.

It starts right where Killer leaves off. The girls have seen Ali during the burning of the woods behind Spencer's house. Or have they? All four of them have memories of seeing her, but they've all been told that she wasn't there, she was a hallucination. But, because they told the cops that they saw her, all their credibility has gone out the window.

Their lives are ok. They don't have as much of the terrible drama that has been happening over the last several books, so things are a little calmer. Even if New A is sending them on what seem to be a bunch of wild goose chases.

Aria is trying to figure out what happened to Ali when her father suggests she might be seeing Ali's ghost and that Ali might be trying to tell the girls something. So she goes to a seance and talks to a medium. The message that she gets from Ali's ghost towards the end of the book is a game changer. I was a little shocked by it (remember, I haven't seen the show yet, which I consider a blessing right now).

Things with Spencer take a turn for the better. She finds out she wasn't adopted, but instead her parents used a surrogate to carry her. Her relationship with her parents starts to get better. Of course, New A starts hinting about a secret that Spencer's father is keeping. And boy, is it a doozy. I couldn't have predicted that one.

Emily is the only one determined to prove that Ali is still alive. She gets sent to the most remote place possible in her hunt for that. New A actually sends her to the Amish for a week. But while she's there, she learns something new and surprising about someone that we all know. At the same time, she helps someone else to heal from their own traumatic experience.

Poor Hanna though. Her dad sends her away to a mental health facility. Granted, it's a really posh one that has it's own spa in it. She's there to deal with both her eating disorder and the PTSD that she is suffering from following the time Mona hit her with the car. She learns a lot of stuff while she's there though. Even though I think some of the information is a bit misleading. We'll see how that gets cleared up.

The biggest game changer comes right at the end of the book, so I won't tell you about that. Suffice it to say that the girls get a lot of things cleared up, but a lot more questions are brought to light. There's also yet another death.

I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying these books.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Killer


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

Killer continues to follow the adventures (or misadventures) of Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna. Right off the bat things aren't going well for the girls. They have just discovered Ian's dead body in the woods...or did they? The police search the woods for days but don't find any sign that his body was there, which basically discredits everything the girls will come to the police for in the future.

Spencer is dealing with this discovery that she's (likely) adopted. She gets a match on a website that finds birth mothers and goes to New York City to meet Olivia. It goes well, but things seem just a bit too perfect with Olivia. But Spencer is acting rather foolishly and plans to get an apartment in the city. That doesn't turn out well in the long run.

Aria is living with her dad and his girlfriend (fiancee?) because she can't stand to be around her mom's skeevy boyfriend Xavier. Her life isn't nearly as chaotic as the others', but she does start "dating" Ali's older brother Jason. So many things get revealed about Jason in this book, and so many questions crop up.

Emily is enjoying her new boyfriend Isaac, until she stops enjoying it. This is brought on by Isaac's rather vicious mother who essentially tells Emily to stay away from her son or else. Emily tells Isaac, but he's a bit blinded by being a mommy's boy and, though he admits that his last girlfriend told him the same thing, he thinks she's doing this just for attention.

Hanna is finally free of notes from A. She got a new phone number that she doesn't freely hand out. That doesn't mean she's free from drama by any means. In fact, her life is just as drama filled. She's being forced to spend all her time with Kate, her stepsister. But she feels Kate is being fake about her motives. They start a competition over a boy. It's all kind of petty.

Something huge gets revealed at the end of this book, but I'm not going to tell you what it is. Just know that it is a major game changer. I'm hoping that continuing to read this series will answer more questions. Even if each book poses new ones while answering others.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Wicked


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4**

I went into this book feeling a little skeptical. I mean, Unbelievable ended with A's identity being revealed and Ian being arrested for Ali's murder. What more could there possibly be to the story? So when I started reading this book, I felt like this was going to be a sub-par book.

I was wrong. Ian is in jail awaiting trial for Ali's murder, there's a new A in town who seems even more vicious than Mona was in the first four books. Plus, there are all sorts of new mysteries being revealed.

Hanna is feeling like she's about to lose all the popularity that she worked for three years to gain. Her BFF (or not) is dead, and so she doesn't have a partner for her queen bee status. Well, except for her stepsister Kate. But is Kate who she seems to be? She acts all nice and best friendly, but there has to be something more there. Hanna is definitely struggling in this book with the whole popularity issue.

Spencer is having a terrible time. Her grandmother dies and leaves all of her money to her "naturally-born grandchildren." The only problem is, Spencer isn't listed. Is she adopted? That's the big question in this book (which doesn't actually get answered). Not only that, but she is treated differently everywhere because of her confession of cheating on the Golden Orchid essay. She's the main witness against Ian and her word is being doubted.

Aria has trouble with her mom's new boyfriend. Meaning, mom's new boyfriend has a thing for Aria. She's finally back on good terms with her mom, so she doesn't want to tell about his bad behavior and ruin everything for her family...again. Comparatively speaking, her story isn't as difficult as the other girls go through.

Now Emily, poor Emily. She's so confused in this book. Why? Well, she likes this boy. I know what you're thinking, she was all into girls in the last book, so what's going on? I wish I could tell you, but she's really into this guy, Isaac. He makes her feel what Ali, Maya, and even Trista have made her feel. Maybe it's not about liking boys or liking girls. Maybe Emily just likes who people are. Who knows, but she's definitely struggling with the fact that she has to tell people about this new development.

On top of all of this, New A is threatening them with their secrets, and she's much more vicious than Mona ever was. Someone dies in this book, and it throws the entire idea of what's been happening for a loop.

This was definitely a surprise of a book. It was not what I expected and worried it would be. I hope that more gets revealed in the next book.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Unbelievable


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

I have to admit, I was a little torn on whether I would read this book. I wasn't in love with the last book, and I was getting tired of the mystery of A. But I went for this book and I read it anyway. I'm glad I did.

This book starts with complete turmoil for our four girls.

Hanna is in a coma after being hit by A at the end of the last book. She had been going to tell the others about who A really was, since she had figured it out. Of course, when she wakes up, she doesn't remember that day at all. Well, that sucks. She'll eventually remember, and then things get interesting. Not only that, but her best friend Mona is starting to be nice to her again and her dad is actually taking an interest in spending time with her.

Aria is miserable. Ezra lost his job because of their relationship. Aria is still not allowed back to her home. To top it off, she's stuck living with her dad and his new girlfriend - the one who ruined her parents' marriage. She starts taking an art class and talks to Jenna, the girl they blinded. In these conversations, she learns something very important about The Jenna Thing.

Emily is shipped off to Iowa because she's gay. Totally harsh in my opinion, since she's being sent to probably the worst people ever. Emily's aunt and uncle are so repressive that they don't realize their children have been rebelling for months. She doesn't stay there for long, but while she's there, she meets a new girl who ends up appearing in Rosewood after Emily returns home. Her parents do become more accepting - sort of.

Spencer's life is, well, confusing. Her family knows that she cheated and stole her sister's essay, which has earned her a Golden Orchid nomination. Her mother insists that she shouldn't tell anyone that she cheated and that she will win this award. It's confusing and she's remembering things about Ali's last night, things that scare her.

The good thing about this book is that we finally discover who A is and why she's been blackmailing the girls. That was an exciting part of the book. There's also someone who ends up arrested for Ali's murder. I'm not entirely sure this person did it, but I'm sure that will be clarified in a coming book.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Entangled


I have to admit something to you guys. I went into this book feeling a little unsure. Why, you ask? Well, if you check out the reviews on Goodreads, this book does not rank well. So I thought for sure I'd have the same feelings as a lot of the reviewers. You know, bad character writing, characters reacting in a way that they really shouldn't, things like that. And while I agree that the characters should have reacted to certain things a lot better than they did, I didn't find this book as abhorrent as others did. I also finished reading the book, which, as you'll see by the reviews, a lot of people didn't do.

So, here's the story. Graylee is a witch. She has an identical twin sister, Charlene. Now, Charlene is, well, to be blunt, she's a bitch. She's a magical bitch. It makes for bad times.

The synopsis on Goodreads says that Graylee dies, so I was very confused when I was several chapters in and that hadn't happened. Then, it did, suddenly and with no actual "Graylee died" part. Just Graylee getting sick after eating some chocolate that her (kind of crazy) twin sister had made and then Graylee waking up, being confused because she's in her sister's bedroom.

Over the course of the book, Graylee discovers that she's now sharing Charlene's body, her mother had performed a resurrection spell that went wrong, and now the twins alternate days that they have control of the body.

Graylee has to figure out how she died and how she can get complete control of a body, all while pretending to be Charlene and finding herself in increasingly uncomfortable situations that her sister sets her up in on her days.

I genuinely despised Charlene. I found her to be a psychotic girl who would kill anyone who got in her way. She's revealed early on to have been blocking her sister's powers for five years because she felt threatened as the important daughter. She is truly a despicable character.

It wasn't a fabulous books, but it wasn't that terrible either. I actually enjoyed it and I was enthralled by the end and wanted to know if Graylee would succeed in getting out of her sister's body or not. Not a must-read book, but not one to actively avoid either.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lush


This was an interesting book. I wasn't expecting what I got, so I was pleasantly surprised. But it was still kind of a slow book. But I'm hooked on dystopian YA novels

Bluebell is about to leave Training Tech, the school that all children of Concord are required to attend (and live at) from the age of 5 to the age of 17. After they turn 17, they are branded with an X or an O - determining their fertility. They also get assigned to their career path after they leave. They also finally get to spend time with the opposite sex - the first time in twelve years.

Bluebell decides that she will accept whatever her brand tells, whether she is fertile or not. She comes from an influential family, so she'll be able to secure a good place in life and not be relegated to Guardian at Training Tech.

But Bluebell's brand is not what anyone expected. She is branded as a Lush. She is so fertile that she will have no trouble producing many children. Not only that, but she becomes an ambassador for Concord. She is to be what people should aspire to become. A Lush could help bring the population back to where it should be.

Something isn't right though. Someone is keeping a secret from Bluebell and she is having trouble discovering what it it.

It was a fascinating story. It's book one of a trilogy, so I'm really excited to see what happens to Bluebell next.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dark Matter Heart


This book confused me for about half of it. It's supposed to be a vampire novel, but the author kind of dances around the vampire subject until the second half of the book.

Cor moves to the Pacific Northwest from LA. He has a number of issues. He's "allergic" to the sunlight. He doesn't sleep much, or at all. He also has this knack for attracting trouble without wanting to.

When a series of murders that began in LA follow him to his new town, he has to rush to figure out who is doing this, and trying to frame him. People that he comes in contact with end up dead. Even stranger, they end up dead, with their carotid artery opened and their blood drained. You know, like a vampire would do.

Cor is a vampire, except he doesn't really come out and say it until he's trying to find The Creeper, the man he suspects is committing these horrible murders and framing him.

I don't know. It was a good book, but there was just a lot of alluding to vampirism without coming out with it. But, I will admit, it's much better than some of those vampire novels that gained all the popularity (I'm looking at you Twilight).

This is only book one of a trilogy, so I'm hoping that the next two have more of the vampire story to them.

Perfect


**Book 1 * Book 2**

I didn't love Perfect as much as I enjoyed the first two books. It seemed a little bit forced comparatively.

It's the same basic premise. The four former best friends are still being messaged by the mysterious A. And A is still a mystery. But this time it's worse. A has started spilling secrets about them.

Emily is starting to feel like she might actually be gay. Her feelings towards Maya are growing. Because of how Emily feels her parents would react if they found out, she makes their relationship a secret. Until the secret gets out. The chaos of this will be horrible.

Aria has been kicked out of her house. Her mother can't stand the sight of her because Aria knew about her father's affair. Not only that, but she still has feelings for Ezra, her AP English teacher. When that secret gets out, it's really bad. I'm sure that in the next book the consequences of it will be explained more.

Spencer gets nominated for a prestigious award for an essay she stole from her older sister. She's finally getting attention from her parents while her sister is being pushed to the side. But she should have known that the plagiarized paper wouldn't be secret for long. She is in so much trouble.

Hanna's life seems to have started deteriorating. Her best friend, Mona, is starting to distance herself. So Hanna is going back to old habits of binge eating her feelings. Her father won't talk to her, either. Hanna ends up humiliated because of A's cruelty. Her fate is actually the cliffhanger of this book.

I'm still patiently waiting for A's identity to be revealed. I'm sure it has to be at some point, right?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Atlas


Wow. What a book. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I did, I could not put it down.

Kala Hicks is a sniper in a super elite special ops team. The team that she is on gets a mission one night that changes Kala's life forever. The mission? Killing the president - before he makes Air Force One crash in Washington DC. Her commanding officer/boyfriend Jack forbids her from killing the president, saying that he has to be the one to do it. But Kala knows she is the best shot, so she shoots and kills the president.

What happens next is so surreal and life changing that Kala thinks she was either drugged or is going crazy. See, what happens is that she blacks out after shooting the president and in her "dream" she sits talking with Atlas (Greek god Atlas) about a mission that she is now forced to do. Every four days, she has to commit an act of atrocity or the world as she knows it will end.

Every time she sees a clock now, she doesn't see the time, she just sees a countdown to the second that the world will end if Kala does not complete her mission.

I really enjoyed this book and I think it will be a series, so I'll be keeping my eye out for more books about Kala in the future.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Glinda of Oz


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11 * Book 12 * Book 13**

Wow. This final book of Oz was dark. Ozma and Dorothy go to visit two groups of people - the Flatheads and the Skeezers. These two peoples are preparing to go to war, which Ozma finds horrible. So the two girls head to this remote area of Oz to prevent this war.

They visit the Flatheads first, and these people are as described. They have flat heads and they carry their brains in cans. A little weird, but I found it really creative. Dorothy and Ozma meet the Supreme Dictator of the Flatheads, explain that they want to prevent the war, but the Su-Dic (as he is called), does not want to prevent this war, so he announces that he will hold the two girls prisoner until after their enemies, the Skeezers, are defeated and then he can decide what to do with them.

Naturally, the girls escape and head to the island of the Skeezers to hopefully persuade them to stop this war before it starts. But the queen of the Skeezers is a very proud woman and she refuses to bow down to Ozma as her Ruler. When the Flatheads begin their attack, Queen Coo-ee-oh makes the island sink to the bottom of the lake, with Ozma and Dorothy with all the rest of the Skeezers.

The darkness of this book really comes in the uncertainty of Dorothy and Ozma getting off the island of the Skeezers. Ozma's magic cannot raise the island, and the Wizard and Glinda are doubtful that they will be able to. It really has a major section of will they get free or won't they?

Now, I'm not going to spoil the ending, so if you would like to know if Ozma and Dorothy get off the island in this final book, you'll just have to read it for yourself.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Magic of Oz


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11 * Book 12**

These last few books are so much fun. This book is about the adventures that Ozma's friends get into while retrieving presents for her birthday. It's actually kind of a humorous set of adventures. But there is a bit of darkness around the edges.

A boy from the Munchkin country of Oz discovers a magic word that can transform people into other things. He uses this to escape from his home to go exploring the world. While he does, he encounters Ruggedo, the former Nome king. This man is not nice and he is determined to get revenge on the Oz people for having him removed from his throne. So he convinces Kiki Aru to help him conquer Oz.

While they have this plan, Trot and Cap'n Bill go to retrieve a Magic Flower that grows on an isolated island. The Glass Cat had discovered it, and Trot and Cap'n Bill are determined to get it to give to Ozma for her birthday. This Magic Flower is really cool. It blooms different flowers and as soon as they get to full blossom, it dies and a new one blooms. I want one.

Dorothy and the Wizard go to a forest in Munchkin Land to borrow a dozen monkeys. They want to train the monkeys and then put them in a cake. This plan is a little lackluster, but it's really not a huge part of the story, so it's not a big deal.

The mishaps they all get into cracked me up. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that the story ended. This was a very silly and great ending.

I'm sad that there is only one book left, and I hope that it will be a great read.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Tin Woodman of Oz


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10 * Book 11**

Well, this was a fun little book. You get the Scarecrow and the Tin Man on an adventure with a wanderer named Woot. They're on a mission to find the Tin Woodman's former paramour, Nimmie Amee. He promised to marry her before he became a tin man. After he became tin, he found he could no longer love.

Now, he's Emperor of the Winkies and he has decided (with encouraging from Woot) to make Nimmie Amee the Empress. He has a heart, and while it isn't a loving heart, it is a kind heart, so he feels he could make her happy.

So off they go, and they get into some odd mishaps in the process, including being changed in a Tin Owl, a Scarecrow Bear, and a Green Monkey. We also see some other awesome old friends, and they only introduce a couple of new characters.

I enjoyed this book. I'm down to only two books in this series, which is a little sad. I just hope that they keep being great like these last few books have been.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3**

I so adore this series. It's been on my favorite books list for years. I think it always will. And I refuse to label it as "children's" or even "YA". It's a series for everyone. It's a series that matures as it progresses.

Anyway, I am hating that it will take me forever to get through this series. I love reading it with Pottermore. That website is so much fun and I like the new information that is littered through the chapters.

This book is definitely a more serious tone than the earlier books are. Harry is suddenly thrust into a dangerous tournament. The Triwizard Tournament, which has three tasks (the number three is oddly important in this book), is supposed to be just for students that are over 17. But somehow, Harry's name is chosen to be a fourth champion. This creates a lot of tension, both among the students in Hogwarts and among the visiting schools (Durmstrang and Beauxbatons).

Harry has to deal with so much craziness over the course of this tournament. The end is not a fun time and you discover that one of the people that Harry has come to trust, shouldn't have been trusted. The dark ending is something that will affect the rest of the series.

God I love these books. I can't wait until Pottermore opens up Order of the Phoenix so that I can enjoy that book as well.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Flawless


**Book 1**

So much intrigue! I'm still trying to figure out who the mysterious "A" is. I thought it was going to be Toby, the boy who took the blame for The Jenna Thing. But, yeah, no.

Things in this book go completely crazy. Spencer is with her sister's ex-boyfriend, and things are getting serious. But her family has basically shunned her for it. She doesn't even have access to her parents' money anymore. Not only that, but A is threatening to spill about what Spencer knows regarding The Jenna Thing that the other three girls don't know.

Hanna's life is spiraling out of control after her brushes with the law. Her father is back in her life! But it comes at a major price. Not only that, but she's seeing herself as the chubby ugly girl she was in seventh grade.

Aria's family is officially falling apart. A is going to tell about her father's affair if Aria doesn't do something about it first. This causes all sorts of stress and drama for Aria.

Emily's issues are of the sexuality type. She's starting to seriously question whether or not she's gay, and A is threatening to spread pictures of her kissing Maya. Emily's ex-boyfriend starts attempting to sexually assault her every chance he gets in order to get her to prove she's not a lesbian.

There is just so much drama in this book and the big mystery isn't solved. A few of the ones that were brought up in the first book are solved, but you still don't know who A is, and what reason she really has for being this vindictive.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Lost Princess of Oz


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10**

Finally, L. Frank Baum got back to writing in Oz. This is the first Oz book in a while that I've been truly happy with. I think because it wasn't full of stories about characters that aren't even in Oz, or that it really was about the Oz characters that we already know and love. Either way, it was a good book.

Oz is in turmoil in this book. Ozma is missing, her Magic Picture is missing, Glinda's Book of Records is missing. Magic from all over Oz is gone, and nobody knows who took it or where Ozma is.

Dorothy, the Wizard, and their friends go out to search the Land of Oz for Ozma primarily, but also to find the tools of magic that are important to them all. In another part of Oz, a cookie cook named Cayke and a Frogman start searching for a magic dishpan.

I was so glad to have these Oz characters that I love back as the central characters of this book. It made it much more enjoyable. Not only that, but they introduced a whopping three characters, and the two you meet early on aren't inane characters, but actually enjoyable characters who have personality.

The story in this book was better than some previous books. It was fun. I hope the last three books in this series are as enjoyable as this book was.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

An Echo in the Bone


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

I had so many ups and downs in this book, although it was mostly ups. So overall, I enjoyed this book.

But, here's the thing. This book had a bit too much of Lord John Grey and William. I mean, their characters are important, but their story lines are a little dull. Particularly William's. William is just kind of a boring character. He's Jamie's son, and he's basically a carbon copy, with the exception of darker hair. There just isn't enough about him to make me feel some sort of connection with his character. He's just too limited. We don't learn enough about him. And don't get me started on Lord John and his quest of intrigue. There was a lot of allusions in his story line to things that are told in the novellas about John Grey. So I'm sitting here wondering what is being referred to, but without any actual reference. I didn't enjoy that much.

But the rest was more redeeming. The American Revolution is going on, but Jamie and Claire are intending to go to Scotland to get Jamie's printing press (and return Ian to his mother). But one thing leads to another and they find themselves at Ticonderoga a mere months before the retreat from the fort. There's misadventure and then they're at the battle of Saratoga, where Jamie nearly shoots his son, which does not sit well with him.

Brianna and Roger are reading letters that Jamie and Claire write to them from the past, and they're finding that they are still connected to these beloved parents, even though they are in their present time. They have some misadventures of their own, especially when Jemmy gets in trouble at school for saying things in Gaelic.

But my favorite couple to emerge from this book was Ian and Rachel. They're just sweet. So adorable.

I'm excited to read the most current book (now that I've finally caught up to the books that are released).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rinkitink in Oz


**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9**


This book was terrible in my opinion. First off, not really an Oz book. I know, it says Oz right there in the title. But really, it's not an Oz book. True, Oz does make an appearance - in the last three chapters.

Let's face it. This story takes place completely outside of Oz, except for an almost forced effort at the end. It almost entirely takes place island hopping in the Nonestic Ocean, which is separated from Oz by the deadly desert, the kingdom of the Nomes, and the Wheeler country. So, yeah.

New characters though. Not that I always really liked them. Inga, prince of Pingaree, the pearl farming island. He's a brave boy who goes on a mission to rescue his father and mother (and all the people of Pingaree) from the islands of Regos and Coregos where they've been taken by a bunch of warriors and are kept as slaves. Rinkitink, king of, well, Rinkitink. He's a fat jolly man. Basically like Santa, except a little more ADD. He rides a speaking goat named Bilbil. Bilbil is a cranky thing. He's honestly my favorite character in the entire book.

I have found that this series does not live up to the high expectations that the first book really makes me sad. I wish that these books wouldn't result in such a disappointment. I want the Oz characters I love, not these new characters in a country that I don't know. Oz characters, Land of Oz. That's what I've come to expect. Not this misleading title stuff. Oh well.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pretty Little Liars


I know, this is a huge show on ABC Family and everyone knows the story. I've seen the first episode of that show, and this book is really that first episode.

Alison DiLaurentis goes missing at the beginning of the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Spencer, Aria, Hanna, and Emily do not know where she is, even though they're best friends. There are a bunch of secrets that each shares with Ali, along with one big one that they all share - The Jenna Thing. And no, you don't find out what The Jenna Thing is in this book.

After Ali goes missing, the friends fall out. The book starts three years after Ali's disappearance. The four girls are not friends, but then, they each start getting messages from a mystery person who signs their texts, notes, emails with "A". They all assume it's Ali and that she'll share all of the secrets that none of them want revealed.

I absorbed this book really fast, and I'm excited to see what the second book holds.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


I read this book because it was so hyped not too long ago (since the movie came out). I thought I'd give it a shot, especially since I'm kind of fond of Civil War era literature. But I was honestly a little disappointed with this book.

Maybe it's because it starts off on a sour note for me. I know this is fiction, but it's written in the manner of a biography. I don't know, but something about this book just didn't really jive with what I enjoy reading.

It's very much what it says it is. The secret of Abraham Lincoln's life - that he was a vampire hunter. Not only that, but the Civil War was fought because vampires wanted to make all humans slaves for their food source.

The writing style kind of irked me a bit too. It alternates between a story being told and journal entries that were written by Lincoln during his life as a vampire hunter. I kind of wish it would have just picked one and stuck with it. Maybe that's why I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction.

I don't know. I guess this was just a one-off for me on my reading journey.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Breath of Snow and Ashes


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

This book takes place just before the American Revolution gets into swing. Jamie is already able to sense that war is coming, even with Claire, Brianna, and Roger warning him that it will be. The dissatisfaction of the colonists is becoming apparent, and Jamie treads carefully.

See, he has this problem where he swore and oath to the king of England in order to be freed from prison. So he feels a sense of loyalty there. But at the same time, Claire has warned him that the Loyalists are not the winning side of the upcoming war. The majority of Highlanders though are on the Loyalist side, so for a long time, Jamie treads the line between sides very carefully so that he doesn't lose his friends and family. But eventually, he reaches a point where he absolutely has to declare himself. And he loses people.

But there is so much more to this book than a preparation for war. Claire has found an apprentice of sorts in Malva Christie, Tom Christie's daughter. But then she turns up pregnant, claiming that it is Jamie's baby. She claims it was while Claire was deathly ill (she actually almost dies in this book). He adamantly denies it. Then, Malva is found dead in Claire's garden and she is accused of her murder. Jamie is also accused because the entire Ridge has heard the rumors that Jamie is the father of Malva's unborn child.

There was so much drama related to that plot line that I loved what happens to wrap it up. It was pretty interesting when you learn who the father of Malva's child is and who murdered her.

Brianna ends up kidnapped by Stephen Bonnet. He's planning to auction her as a slave to the sugar plantations in the Indies. I was shaking with a combination of fury and fear for Brianna during that entire part. But, it's ok. Stephen Bonnet gets what he has deserved for several books.

The end was a little sad. The family had to separate due to Brianna and Roger's daughter being born with a heart defect. So their family had to go back to the present for her. I'm hoping that the next book makes me feel more comfortable about that decision.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Fiery Cross



**Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4**

This book took me some time to get through. Mostly because I read a bunch of books at once. And that this is a long book.

Claire, Jamie, Brianna, and Roger are all together, but there are the early rumblings that signify that war is coming. The Regulators mob and kill people in towns, so Jamie and Roger end up rounding up a militia for the governor of North Carolina. Even though Jamie kind of sees what the Regulators are trying to say, he has a duty to the governor. For now.

Roger has it hard in this book. Not only is he dealing with the uncertainty of his son's paternity (is he Roger's or not? That's still a little undetermined, but more settled by the end of this book), he ends up hanged (don't worry, he doesn't die), and just random stuff gets thrown in his way. He loses his identity for a while and you will agonize with him as he tries to figure out who he is again. Brianna has to figure it out too, so their relationship is a little up in the air.

Claire is working to make penicillin  for use on Fraser's Ridge. It takes a long time and she goes through a lot of mold batches before she starts seeing results.

A character that left a while back returns (no telling though). There are happy times and not so happy times. Also, Jemmy (Roger and Brianna's son) starts repeating everything...including swear words.

Overall a great book. Looking forward to reading the next one.