Tuesday, May 16, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY- Mother's Day- Worst Moms

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly Meme hosted by the Broke and Bookish. This week is a Mother's Day freebie and while I think most people will go positive I am choosing to do a list of worst moms in literature. 
This is not because of any bitterness, I love my mom :) I just thought it might be fun.

1) Queen Gertrude- Hamlet

2) Charlotte Haze- Lolita

3 and 4) Corinne Dollanganger and Olivia Foxworth- Flowers in the Attic

5) Medea- Medea

6)Margaret White- Carrie

7) Mrs. Wormwood- Matilda

8) Mrs. Bennet- Pride and Prejudice

9) Mrs. Lisbon- The Virgin Suicides

10) The Other Mother- Coraline

Who do YOU think should make this list?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Roses of May by Dot Hutchison

I received a copy of this from Net galley and the publisher in return for an honest review

Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.

Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line?

I fell in love with Butterfly Garden. I got a ARC copy and missed my trax stop while reading it. I bought it in paperback and have re read it several times, so I had pretty high hopes for Roses of May. 

I was not disappointed! I bought the physical copy of this novel and can't wait to re read it. I loved finding out what happened to the Butterflies especially Inara and Bliss. The author didn't try to give them happily ever afters and I enjoyed how real it felt.You could tell when it came to the victims and survivors mentality the author did her research.

The story of Priya and her family was very intriguing. This new serial killer murders girls in churches during spring and leaves different flowers on them. He is fascinated with Priya after killing her sister several years earlier. Priya is not a white character either, she's Indian (family is Hindi though not Muslim) and she is a hard ass. She struggles with an eating disorder- binge eating until she pukes- to help cope with her emotions and the stress. I could relate to her because I struggle with a very similar anxiety and stress induced disorder.

Her mother was wonderful and scary and the vets Priya plays chess with are quite a handful of lovable characters.

I was absolutely captivated by the characters, the plot and the writing, I didn't want to put it down and cannot wait for the third installment.

It was also nice to see inside the Quantico 3, as Priya calls them. In the first novel we only see them in the interrogation room with Maya/Inara and this gave a more inside look at the FBI agents.

So much emotion swarmed me while reading this book, the author does a great job of making her disgusting and horrible serial killers seem sympathetic and understandable, like you almost don't want them to get caught...then stop yourself, shudder and say, "yuck, no he needs to die." Kind of the same feeling I got when reading Lolita.

I can't criticize much in this book, there are a few issues, like I guessed the killer pretty early on, but any problem I had didn't distract from my enjoyment.

If you like serial killers- the weirder and more fucked up the better- pick this up and support this author.

Bright Blessings.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dark Inheritance by Renee Lake Giveaway starts tomorrow! Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to know about the novel?

“He said murder-suicide.”
When Rosaline Lysgaard hears those words over the phone she doesn’t realize that she is about to inherit much more than her father’s estate and money. For the first time since she was 13 she must return home to Skummel Manor, with the hope of figuring out what really happened to her father.
Together with her, emotionally disturbed, twin brother Wren, she discovers a dark and disturbing family history. However, something besides secrets lurks in the corners of her childhood home; something sinister that wants what only Rosaline and Wren have to give; their Lysgaard blood line.
Rosaline must dig through her family’s long and sordid past to stop a centuries old curse from taking more lives. She must also sort through and deal with her own past; was the man in the shadows real, or a figment of her childhood imagination? Rosaline knows she doesn’t have a lot of time before the insanity that lingers in her DNA causes her and Wren to follow in their father’s footsteps.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday :Ten Of The Most Unique Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun Meme hosted by the Broke and Bookish. This week we are showcasing the ten of the most unique books we've ever read.

These are all books I enjoyed at a 5 to 3.5 star level.

Optimus Yarnspinner, a young writer, inherits from his beloved godfather an unpublished short story by an unknown author. His search for the author's identity takes him to Bookholm--the so-called City of Dreaming Books. On entering its streets, our hero feels as if he has opened the door of a gigantic second-hand bookshop. His nostrils are assailed by clouds of book dust, the stimulating scent of ancient leather, and the tang of printer's ink.

Soon, though, Yarnspinner falls into the clutches of the city's evil genius, Pfistomel Smyke, who treacherously maroons him in the labyrinthine catacombs underneath the city, where reading books can be genuinely dangerous

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.
Or so she thought

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.
(I personally have re read this book several times and though I got an ARC kindle version I bought a paperback. My review)

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair.

17-year-old Verity Boone expects a warm homecoming when she returns to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, in 1867, pledged to marry a man she has never met. Instead, she finds a father she barely knows and a future husband with whom she apparently has nothing in common. One truly horrifying surprise awaits her: the graves of her mother and aunt are enclosed in iron cages outside the local cemetery. Nobody in town will explain why, but Verity hears rumors of buried treasure and witchcraft. Perhaps the cages were built to keep grave robbers out . . . or to keep the women in. Determined to understand, Verity finds herself in a life-and-death struggle with people she trusted.

Inspired by a pair of real caged graves in present-day Catawissa, this historical YA novel weaves mystery, romance, and action into a suspenseful drama with human greed and passion at its core.

With parents too busy to pay her attention, an older brother and sister who would rather spend their time with friends, and peers who oscillate between picking on her and simply ignoring her, it's no wonder that Fain spends most of her time in a world of her own making. During the day, Fain takes solace in crafting her own fantastical adventures in writing, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life as Fain lives and breathes alongside a legion of imaginary creatures. Whether floating through space or under the sea, climbing mountains or traipsing through forests, Fain becomes queen beyond - and in spite of - the walls of her bedroom.
Told in breathless and visual verse.

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble.
When humorist Sarah Schmelling transformed Hamlet into a Facebook news feed, it launched the next big humor trend-Facebook lit. This hilarious book is the first to bring more than fifty authors and stories from classic literature back to life and online. Schmelling uses the conventions of social networking-profile pages, status updates, news feeds, and applications-to retell everything from The Odyssey to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to Lolita
The most excitement teacher Shannon Parker expected on her summer vacation was a little shopping. But then her latest purchase--a vase with the Celtic goddess Epona on it--somehow switches her into the world of Partholon, where she's treated like a goddess. A very temperamental goddess... It seems that Shannon has stepped into another's role as the Goddess Incarnate of Epona. And while it has some very appealing moments--what woman doesn't like a little pampering now and then?--it also comes with a ritual marriage to a centaur and the threat of war against the evil Fomorians. Oh, and everyone disliking her because they think she's her double.

Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent -- and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Roseblood by A.G. Howard

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

I chose this book not only because of the beautiful cover, or because it has a red spine (part of my popsugar challenge) but because it is a Phantom of the Opera retelling and that is my favorite musical of all time. Also, pretty much no one does this particular retelling.

I have never read anything by this author before. Her other series has an Alice in Wonderland theme and I don't really care for that story, though the covers on those books are great too.

This book is getting two stars instead of one because some of the writing was down right beautiful. The other edge of that sword is that some of the writing had so much purple prose, so many adjectives that the descriptions loss all meaning and simply became a jumble of words that no longer brought a picture to my mind. It's too descriptive when the reader starts to skim.

The MC, Rune ( and of lord that fucking name, give me a break) is s Mary Sue, Special Snowflake. Her voice is an otherworldly gift that she didn't need to practice to obtain. However it's also an addiction, if she doesn't sing the song bursts from her whether she wants it to or not and after she gives in it makes her sick.  Rune complains through most of the book and is that character who is not only a great singer but a talented seamstress and everyone wants to be her friend. Another trope? Hmmm how bout her uber tragic dad dying back story? The only trope this novel didn't have was a love triangle.

The love interest is Thorn ( another awful name) who is the Phantom's son. Not surprising as the actual Phantom of the Opera could not have been, he would be far too old.  This kid has the self loathing thing down pat. He's a handsome guy who wears a mask just like his adopted dad and loves animals.

Speaking of animals the best character in this book was the grumpy cat Diable. I could have read a short novella simply from his POV. The second best character was Sunny the instant BFF of Rune.  Who, while funny and interesting, was the sidekick you see in these kinds of novels example: House of Night. She's a talented pretty, funny, sarcastic hick who gets our MC from the get go and vows to defend her against bullies.

I guess I didn't expect this to be such a on the nose retelling. I didn't expect that Phantom and Christine would be actual characters. I figured the same story but with all new people, in a new place, you know...a retelling. This feels more like someone's fan fic sequel.

I also got the "catch" pretty early on and was VERY disappointed, but I won't spoil it for you. It is obvious, stupid and quite frankly with the Count St. Germaine connection- just a mess.

The first few charpters and some of the bits at the end are pretty good, but I wouldn't recommend this, re read it.

Bright Blessings!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday- End of Oz by Danielle Paige

A fun meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we share what books we're looking forward too.

Comes out March 14th

In this dark, action-packed fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Amy Gumm travels from Oz to the twisted land of Ev, where she fights to free Oz from evil once and for all.

My name is Amy Gumm. You might remember me as the other girl from Kansas. When a tornado swept me away to the magical land of Oz, I was given a mission: Dorothy must die. That’s right, everyone’s favorite Wicked-Witch-slayer had let the magic of Oz corrupt her. She turned evil. So I killed her.

But just when we thought it was safe to start rebuilding the damaged land of Oz, we were betrayed. Now I’m following the Road of Yellow Brick as it helps me escape toward the mysterious land of Ev, where the Nome King rules a bleak and angry world. And what I’m about to find is shocking: My original mission may not have been successful.

I thought my job was over, but it’s only just beginning. And it’s up to me to foil Dorothy’s plans for revenge—and finally save the land I’ve come to love.

Why I'm waiting:
I've read everything in this series.  I really want to see it to the end.

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Spirus by J.B. Trepagnier

Her entire past has been kept from her. Her tutor and the man who raised her has taught her she cannot leave the house or be seen because no one is supposed to be able to do what she can do. All she knows is hiding. Everything changes when he tells her the only way he will answer her questions about her past and why she is the way she is, is if she journeys to the mainland to deliver a message to the Tempris princess.
They prayed for the Spirus to return during the first war. They prayed for her while their people disappeared. Some were starting to think she was a myth. Who is this girl with all of their abilities at once that none of the tribes know about?

I was given a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

This was a very unique fantasy story and when I say fantasy I mean epic and high. Not for those who only like a little magic in their tales.

It was a tad dense in places, could have used a bit less of the main characters internalizing everything and a bit more dialogue or action.

The MC is a special snowflake, she has amazing magic powers, in fact all the powers. Her character is written well and is likeable. Her personality is one of the things I very much enjoyed about this novel. Soryn is like a babe in the woods, she’s been kept in isolation and is learning, not only about her environment, but also about herself.

The formatting was a little weird and I recommend the author change it so it’s a little more user friendly.

I love a novel where the author took the time to really invest in the world building, as this one did. Between the original culture and different clans like Farkhi and Tarks, you could tell a lot of time and effort went into this book.

The story is told from multiple POV’s which was interesting and confusing at the same time, but allowed the use of third person while getting everyone’s thoughts on the situation and places.

Over all I enjoyed reading this.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three-year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates - Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material - and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.

Meanwhile, she dreams of doing "important" work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It's hard to tell if she'll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won't call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.

So I listened to this book on audiobooks because when I listened to Lauren Graham's other novel I was impressed by her reading skills. In fact I quite enjoyed how well she did and wanted to listen to her some more. I was not disappointed. She reads this novel in her Lorelai fun voice and that was great.

This isn't normally my kind of book, so I was surprised when I found myself enjoying it, and not surprised when about half way through my enjoyment dipped down to annoyance.

The writing style of this book was pretty unique, it's all from Franny's POV and her mind's rambling thought process "monkey monkey underpants". Her views on how her life is going and how she sees those around her was pretty interesting. If not a little confusing and sometimes made me want to skip through giant paragraphs of inner monologues.

 The book has a chapter written like the scene in a script, the voice messages on her answering machine are written out in almost every chapter and her Filo Fax date book is the first sentence in almost chapter as well, which helped the quippy fun (fast, this novel is very fast if that makes sense) feel of this novel.

However because of how it's written the secondary characters are a little flat and not flushed out enough to be anything other than place holders.

I enjoyed the plot and all the trials Franny goes through from wondering if she should do a topless movie to dealing with her dad's new girlfriend. I really liked the fact this took place in the 90's, I also think you should read Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between first to really appreciate everything Franny goes through trying to make it as an actress.

What I didn't enjoy (until the very end)  was Franny herself. She is selfish, whiny and immature. She is also a Special Snowflake and a Mary Sue. She is a great actress, but just doesn't know it. She is VERY pretty but has low self esteem. The two main men in this novel are attracted to her (almost love triangle bad boy versus too good to be true) and she spends the whole novel deep in self pity and self doubt. Plus she's kind of mean. The blurb is misleading, Penelope is barely a character and not awful in any way.

 I originally thought this was  a New Adult novel because of how Franny sounded and how she was written, only to be surprised at the end when it's revealed she's 27. Now I may have missed it at the beginning when it talks about her age, but I honestly got the impression she was under 25.  In fact if it hadn't been for the mention that she'd already graduated from college this character could have been 19.

Franny's saving grace is she does grow as a character and learns some pretty interesting lessons along the path of her story. Her mind also works the way  my mind does where even if I'm focused on something like work, inside my thoughts could be jumping from what to make for dinner to whether or not the aquarium is a better deal than the zoo, price wise. I think most people probably are crazier inside than they are outside.

So this is a coming of age story, but the character is coming of age at almost 30.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Brand New Year! POPSUGAR reading Challenge 2017

So I haven't had a chance to update my book blog since the middle of December. I apologize.I had a baby, my fourth, and it was pretty traumatic. Read about it here

For the first blog of the new year I wanted to talk about the POPSUGAR reading challenge of 2017. Which I am going to try very hard to accomplish. I'm already six books behind my good reads goal, so this might be over extending myself, but oh well.

Every month I'll update you all on how it's going and what books I've checked off the list and whether they were worth you guys checking them out for yourself.

Here's the list:


A book by an author from a country you've never visited  A Most Magical Girl- the author is Karen Foxlee who lives in Australia
A book recommended by a librarian
A book that's been on your TBR for over a year
A book of letters
An audio book  Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham- This was pretty good!
A book written by a POC
A book with one of the four seasons in the title
A book that is a story within a story
A book with multiple authors
An espionage thriller  The Burning Page by  4 stars
A book with a cat on the cover
A book by an author who uses a pseudonym Echoes in Death by JD Robb (Nora Roberts) 5 stars
A book from a genre you don't normally read
A book by or about a person with a disability
A book involving travel
A book with a subtitle
A book that is published in 2017  Gardenia by Kelsey Sutton So good! Four Stars!
A book involving a mythological creature Hollow House- there is a creepy God in it- by Greg Chapman. 4 stars
A book you've read before that makes you smile After Realm by Renee Travis- a dancing princess retelling
A book about food  Back to the Kitchen: 75 Delicious, Real Recipes (& True Stories) from a Food-Obsessed Actor by Freddie Prinze Jr. 4 stars
A book with career advice  Adulting: How to become a Grown Up in 468 Steps by Kelly Williams Brown- Eh...ok 3 stars
A book from a nonhuman perspective    Creepy Carrots ( the pov is a rabbit) - 3 stars
A steampunk novel
A book with a red spine  Rose Blood by AG Howard- 2 stars- see review
A book set in the wilderness House at the Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman- The entire novel basically takes place in or on a lake. 3.5 Stars
A book you loved as a child
A book with a title that is the character's name  Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory -- eh 3 stars
A book set during wartime
A book with an unreliable narrator
A book with pictures How to Train a Train- 5 stars
A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you Roses of May by Dot Hutchinson 5 stars
A book about an interesting woman Talking as Fast as I can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham- listened to this, such a fun great book. 5 stars
A book set in two different time periods The Girl From Rawblood by Catriona Ward 4 stars
A book with a month, or day of the week in the title
A book set in a hotel  Security by Gina Wohlsdorf- creepy slasher closed room mystery 4 stars
A book written by someone you admire   The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fischer 4 stars
A book that's becoming a movie in 2017
A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
The first book in a series you haven't read before
A book you bought on a trip.


A book that was recommended by your friend or spouse In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 5 stars
A best seller from 2016
A book with a family member term in the title Your Baby's First Word Will be DADA by Jimmy Fallon- 4 stars
A book that takes place over the characters life span I know I am, but What are You by Samanatha Bee- 4 stars
A book about an immigrant or refugee
A book from a genre you've never heard of before
A book with an eccentric character
A book that's more than 800 pages
A book you got used  Curious George and The Dinosaur Discover- got at the DI back page ripped 4 stars
A book that's been mentioned in another book
A book about a difficult topic
A book based on mythology