Friday, July 27, 2012

Reading Stack #18

I am currently reading two books for two reading challenges. I am a few chapters into Beautiful Creatures and a few chapters into Persuasion. However three books I really want to read came into the library today. I know I am going to start Endlessly, since it seems like I have been waiting forever for this book. I also checked out The Girl in the Clockwork Collar and I really want to see what happens next to Jasper, Finley, and all of the characters. Hopefully I can fit in some reading while watching the Olympics!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Body & Soul by Stacey Kade

This is the final book in the Ghost and the Goth trilogy. If you have not read either of the other two books, this will have spoilers for those.

Alona Dare is now trapped in the body of Lily Turner. She and Will are desperate to get her out of Lily and back in her role as Will's spirit guide. Alona decides to embrace her role as Lily by reinventing the two of them as Ally Turner. Alona wants to do what is best for Lily's family, so she tries really hard to be who they want, but after a while she just can't do it. While searching for a way to separate Alona and Lily, Will and Ally stumble upon a yellow pages paper that Will's dad held on to. On the paper is the address for Malachi the Magnificent. At Malachi's, the two run into Alona's best friend, Misty, who claims Alona is haunting her. The two find out it is actually Malachi's-real name Edmund's-sister Erin. Erin is the only ghost Edmund can see and the only thing Erin wants is to live again. Erin overpowers Alona and takes over Lily, leaving Alona barely clinging to her ghostly form. Will and Alona decide to try to save Lily from Erin, but it could be too late for Alona to survive.

I loved watching Will and Alona deal with their complicated feelings for each other. Alona really examines her life in this third book and comes to terms with her past. She learns the value of forgiveness and honesty and Will learns to finally stand up for himself. The two realize they could go on without each other, but that they do make each other's lives better.

Favorite Character: Alona/Ally. I enjoyed see her grow-up and actually getting to enjoy her second life. You can see why she was so mean and how she is working to change her personality.

Favorite Quote:"Severed Arm Dude and Spring Break Girl had joined the faux-Lincoln ghost, and they were now talking among themselves and gesturing in our direction." "Someone is pretending to be me, the spirit of me, to scare my best friend. How is that not a concern?" I enjoy her descriptions and Alona/Ally and Will's sarcasm.

I enjoyed this series and thought the ending was nicely done. I could see her starting a new series off of it, but I don't think that will happen. I give this 4 bars of chocolate and I will miss Will and Alona/Ally!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross- July Random Read

I finished my July Random Reads hosted by Sarah at imlovingbooks.com! This month's book was The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.

Finley knows that she is different. Most girls cannot fight grown men and win. She feels like she is two people in the same body. When she is threatened or afraid her darker side takes over, which is what happens with Lord Felix tries to attack her. She flees from his employment with him bloody on the floor and literally runs into Griffin King on his velocycle, a duke who also has special powers, which include manipulating emotions and talking to the dead. Griffin recognizes Finley as a kindred spirit and takes her to his house to recover. There Finley meets more people like including Emily who can talk to machines, Jasper who is extremely quick, and Sam who is very strong and part machine himself. It is not long before Griffin realizes Finley is connected to his group by the very things that made him and his friends special, an experiment Griffin's parents conducted before their murders. A special organism called organites or wee beasties as Emily calls them were discovered by Griffin's parents in the center of the Earth. Finley's father was part of Griffin's group along with another man who calls himself, The Machinist. The Machinist is causing machines to attack humans including Sam which lead to him becoming part machine. Griffin and his friends must stop the Machinist before it is too late, the fate of the British monarchy rests in their hands.

Along with the action in this story is two love triangles; one between Emily, Sam, and Jasper, and one between Finley, Griffin, and another character named Jack Dandy. Jack is a criminal boss with possibly a good heart. The romances are actually not cliched and are believable.

I loved the action in this series and I loved that Finley can physically defend herself. She is an extremely strong heroine, but she still has emotions. The fight scenes were great and the romance is very sweet and does not overpower the rest of the story. I loved the Victorian England setting and I really enjoy steampunk stories.

Favorite Character: I loved them all, but Finley is my favorite. She is strong and compassionate. She thinks of others, but also will defend herself when the occasion arises.

Favorite Quote: "Committing my magnificence to mem'ry, are you ducks?" "I'll play the game, Finley Jayne, because I think you are worth it, but I won't be trifled with. Do you understand? Someday you're going to have to choose." Both quotes are by Jack, who was an interesting secondary character.

I loved this book and it was a complete surprise. I put it on my list because of the pretty cover, but the story was great. I liked the action and romance and I have already checked out the second in the series. 5 bars of chocolate for sure!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

I received Goddess Legacy as an e-galley on Netgalley. I loved the other books by Aimee Carter and was very excited to be approved for Goddess Legacy. I think with each book, Aimee's storytelling gets better and better. I love her twist on the Greek myths and she definitely provides her own spin on the Olympians. I enjoy how she can make you feel both sorry for the characters and angry at them at the same time. She brings the Greek myths to life while giving a unique spin to each one, making them more fun and more romantic than the originals.
Goddess Legacy is a collection of short stories told from the point of view of a god or goddess. The first story in the collection is from Hera/Calliope's point of view. If you have read any of the Goddess Test series, you know that Calliope is the villain of the series. The Goddess Queen, Hera's story, shows why Calliope is angry with the others and it makes you sympathetic to her. It shows the traditional Zeus/Hera story, but twisted with the love Hera has for Hades. However any sympathy for Hera is crushed in the last story God of Darkness about Hades and his search for a new bride. Lovestruck Goddess shows how Ava/Aphrodite came to love her husband Nicholas/Hephaestus. Goddess of the Underworld gives Persephone's side of the Hades/Persephone story and shows how she came to love Adonis. God of Thieves is from Hermes/James point of view and how he fell in the love with a mortal, but it was not to be. I loved this unique story and it was probably my favorite of the book. I thought it was creative to throw in a type of Robin Hood story with a twist and it shows the bad side of Hades along with the good side of James, which is not shown as much in the Goddess Test series.
This was a very creative book and a good way to give background on the other characters of the story. It helps keep away some of the wait for the last book in the Goddess Test series, but I am already ready for the Goddess Inheritance!
Favorite Quote: I love the first line actually. "In all the years I'd existed, I'd never expected to be free." I think that sums up Hera perfectly and haven't we all felt that way at some point.
Favorite Character: In this one, I loved James. The God of Thieves was a sweet story and showed his loyalty to both family and friends as well as the guilt he does feel for what happened between Persephone and Hades. James is a complicated character and I enjoyed seeing Aimee show this other side of him.
This is easily a 5 bar of chocolate book! It is definitely a contender for my favorite book of the year. I think Aimee Carter is extremely talented and I will be looking for more books by her, even after this series is finished.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reading Challenges


I have decided to try two more challenges for the year. The first is the Dusty Book Shelf challenge hosted by booksatruestory.com. To see the full rules, click on the picture. There are several books I would like to read that are just setting on my shelf or the library's shelf. I have decided that Pixie Dust is the level for me, since it is already the middle of July. I am hoping to read at least three books for this challenge.
The first up is Beautiful Creatures, which I have wanted to read since 2010. I have already started it and I like seeing the story from Ethan's point of view. I finished this 8-09 and reviewed it 8/12.
I will make my second selection really soon!

The second challenge is the Classic Double Challenge 2012 hosted by librariansbookreviews.blogspot.com. For this challenge, you try to read a classic book and then read a modern twist on that classic. I am just going for the Small Challenge on this one as well. I have not picked books yet, but I am leaning toward Persuasion or Jane Eyre for the classic book. I hope to make a decision soon.

I am still reading Body and Soul and Girl in the Steel Corset and am past the halfway point in both of them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reading Stack #17

I am still trying to finish Body and Soul. I actually do enjoy the series, but I just keep picking up other things. I am almost halfway through my Random Read, Girl in the Steel Corset. It is really good! I love Finley and her struggle between her two sides. I will try to focus on these two, but I am flipping through Beautiful Creatures and a couple of books I picked up at the library today.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Secret Letters by Leah Scheier


 
I finally finished a book! Secret Letters was one that I received as an egalley from Netgalley.
Ever since she learned her birth father's identity, Dora Joyce has been obsessed with solving mysteries. She is a keen observer and is not shy about showing her abilities, much to the dismay of her aunt and cousin. Dora's father is none other than the famous Sherlock Holmes, although he does not know of her existence. Dora's mother along with the man who she thought was her father died when she was very young. She lives with her aunt who is trying to turn her into a proper lady, like her married cousin Adelaide. When romantic letters from Adelaide's past are discovered and she is being blackmailed, Dora uses this chance to get her cousin to London to meet Sherlock Holmes and to, of course, introduce herself to her father. However Dora arrives to late and learns of Holmes' death at a waterfall, right as she is stepping foot on Baker Street. There she meets Peter Cartwright, a former messenger of Holmes, and an assistant for another prominent detective. Peter promises to help Dora, while also encouraging her inquisitive nature. The two team up to get Adelaide's letters back from a footman who works at an estate where the daughter of the lord of the manor has disappeared. It appears that more than one game is afoot and romance may also be in the air. Can Dora help solve the mystery, save her cousin, and not fall in love?

This was a really neat take on the Sherlock Holmes story. Holmes is not present at all in the story, but Dora shows herself as a true daughter of the famous detective. The romance in the story was perfect for the time period and her reactions to different events were very comical. A sequel is hinted at and I hope this is the case. Perfect blend of mystery, history, and light romance.

Favorite Character: I loved both Dora and Peter. Dora is a plucky heroine whose flaws endanger her, but Peter saves her without making her look like a weak-willed girl. They complement each other well and it takes them both to solve the case. I enjoyed hearing about their pasts and can't wait to see if they have a future together.

Favorite Quote: "Promise me that you'll stop telling the entire world that we're in love? It is destroying my reputation."

This was a  quick read with great main characters and a charming story line. Once I got close to the end, I had to stay up to finish it.  I give it 5 bars of chocolate!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Random Reads July

Random Reads
I am going to try to do this meme. I have never done a meme, but this looked like fun! All the credit goes to imlovingbooks.com. I first discovered this while looking at Auntie Spinelli Reads. I made a list of all the books I would like to read and then went to random.org. I had 72 on my list and my random number was 65, which was The Girl in the Steel Corset. I just picked this up at the library and it looks really good. Hopefully it will be as good as the pretty cover suggests.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Reading Stack #16

I finished both Goddess Legacy and Rapture. I will have to wait another week or two to publish my Goddess Legacy review until it is closer to the release date. I really really liked it! I am still reading Body and Soul and I have started another e-galley called Secret Letters about a girl who thinks she is the daughter of Sherlock Holmes. It has really captured my attention and I am close to the halfway point. Hopefully I will finish it this week.

Rapture by Lauren Kate

Rapture is another goodbye book as it is the last in the Fallen series. I read the e-galley and listened to the audio. Justine Eyre is an amazing narrator and I really think she captures Luce's personality perfectly.  Rapture picks up where Passion left off, with the fallen angels trying to prevent Lucifer from starting the Fall all over again. Luce, Daniel, Cam, Roland, Arianne, Gabbe, Molly, and Annabelle set off to find three relics from the time the angels fell to the earth. The three relics will help them pinpoint the spot of the Fall and stop Lucifer. Along the way Luce must discover her true role and will learn the true cost of love. She learns that Daniel may not be her first love and that she is actually more than she appears. Will true love prevail or will the sacrifice be too much? Kate definitely makes you root for Daniel and Luce.

This book both surprised me and didn't surprise me. I had guessed part of the secret, but was surprised about Luce's love history. I thought it was a fitting ending to the series. Lauren Kate weaves a sweet love story into the Fall and embellishes on a little discussed religious event. Part of the religion talk bothered me, because of the whole it is a good thing Luce is not baptised and the human sacrifice that occurs in the story. Kate's depiction of the Throne was interesting and I liked that she focused on the theme of mercy, as that is a big part of love that is often overlooked. I waited a few days on writing this review to focus on what I really thought about the book. I enjoyed the storytelling and was only squeamish about the two things I mentioned earlier. I don't really think it is making fun of religion or anti-religion as much as it really isn't meant to be taken as being about religion. Looking at it as a story that uses part of religious heritage in the same way others use Greek myths, I think it is good. I think that is the way Kate meant it to be taken and that is the way I will look at it. Her use of mercy as an attribute of the Throne lines up with Christian and Jewish religions. I can't wait to read more of Lauren Kate's writing, because I love her descriptions and flawed characters.

Favorite Character: I wish Shelby and Miles were mentioned more in the book, as they were my favorites from the previous three books. I think Arriane and Roland are the most interesting and I love their type of love as a platonic one where each one leans on the other. Kate seems to leave some room for hope with Roland and Cam at the end of the story.

Favorite Quote: "Are you prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice for your love?"

This is a hard one to rate. It is not quite a 5 bars of chocolate book, but a 4 seems to low. I will give this 4.5 bars of chocolate. It was a good, sweet ending to the series.