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Monday, May 30, 2011 | By: Traci

What I'm Currently Reading

I'm currently reading two selections. I am almost done one.

Cemetery Dance by Douglas  Preston and Lincoln Child
Cemetery DanceThis book focuses on detective Pendergast and a man that is killed in his apartment waiting on his wife to return. Turns out, the killer was already dead and buried at the time of the crime. So who killed Bill Smithback and what happens when Bill Smithback is seen walking into a journalist award ceremony? This is a book about cults and magic. This is #9 in a series but I did not know that at first. However this can stand alone rather easily. This was purchased at Walmart on sale. I really couldn't pass up such a good sounding book.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
This book focuses on magic in England during the time of Napeolon. Mr. Norrell is a practical magician that holds the most extensive book library known to anyone. He studies his books and formulates his opinions on the matters of magic. Mr. Norrell really wants to revive magic in England, maybe even regulate it so it could be of use to the government, and to rid the streets of those that only pretend to possess true magic and steal from the masses.  This is a very long book that I'm not very far in. I've only reached volume II but I hope to get farther ahead soon!
Monday, May 23, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Rating: 4 out of 5

DeliriumSummary: Lena lives in a government run society, one where, once she reaches the age of 18, she will receive "The Cure". The procedure will be performed in which she will be removed of her ability to fall in love. You see, in this society love is considered a disease. It's infectious and anyone under the age of 18 can contract it. Once you are cured however and since there is not a need for love, the government gives you a list of matches, the government appointed list of those that should be a right fit for you. And once you make your choice you are married, forever living your life with that one, single person in a society that isn't filled with hate, love or any emotion for that matter. There are some people in this society though that aren't cured like the Invalids; and then there are some people that are impossible to cure, those people either commit suicide (like Lena's mother) or spend their life in the Crypt's (a terrible, terrible prison). Lena is content with her life and is willing to receive the cure, that is, until 95 days before her procedure, she falls in love.

My thoughts: I found this book really hard to get into at first. I couldn't picture a society in which the government created such a paranoia over an emotion that they felt the need to create a procedure to remove all possibilities of love occurring. However, as I read more into the story and received more information on the background of the procedure and what the procedure reportedly did for society, I became intrigued. I really became attached to Lena and her cousin Grace (she never speaks and lost her mother to love as Lena did). I wanted to hear more and more of their story and I truly began to root for her once she fell in love.

This novel has a very bittersweet feel to it. Reading this, I could recall memories of my last summer before I started college and had to 'grow up'. I can remember thinking about all of those moments and memories and how they would be lost because in a few weeks, things would change. After one major turning point in the novel, I really rooted for Lena and her choice and then I had my hopes dashed.

I really wanted a happy ending one way or the other but this book does not come with happy endings. It's really rather disappointing.  So my star choice is because of a slow beginning and a rather abrupt ending. 
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Run by Blake Crouch

RunRun by Blake Crouch

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was some story. I was expecting a different sort of story I suppose but I wasn't completely disappointed. I was disappointed with some parts of the story.

First of all, the beginning is a bit misleading. At least in my opinion. Secondly, the story begins rapidly and that can be a good thing. I liked how frantic the characters were.

The hard parts of this story were in how much the story jumped time frames. Sometimes we only get to read small snippets of information before we're thrust into a completely different time frame. Sometimes the paragraphs threw me off.

I was disappointed in the ending. I wanted more. A better explanation. Something more clear cut and dry.

View all my reviews
Sunday, May 15, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Anathema by Megg Jenson

Anathema (Cloud Prophet Trilogy)
Rating: 5 out of 5

Anathema (Cloud Prophet Trilogy)Summary: Reychel is a slave, forced to serve a cruel master that keeps her locked inside and forbids her to look out windows unless she is in his presence. She awakes one morning to find Ivy, her best friend and bed mate gone. Underneath the bed she finds a coin that only means one thing; Ivy has been kidnapped. Reychel isn't sure if the person that has kidnapped Ivy is friend or foe, but she goes about her business, fearful that she will be blamed for her disappearance. When she is summoned by her master to sit and tell him a story, everything goes wrong. For one, the story that she tells, includes herself and that gets her tossed into the dungeon where a cloaked stranger tells her she must run before she is brandished as Kandek's slave forever. What follows is a wild and strange set of events that reveals Reychel is more special than she believed herself to be and that appearances aren't always what they seem.

My Thoughts: I had this on my to read list for awhile so when I saw it's discounted price on Amazon a few days ago I went ahead and jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed. The descriptions in this book are very real and it's very easy to get whisked away into the story. I liked the slavery concept, but it goes much deeper than Reychel simply being a slave. It's the story about an entire kingdom that is held prisoner to a race of people bent on power and dominance while a rogue group of people are determined to save their people. There are hints of magic within this book and while it's not a lot, I have hopes that the second book will contain more. I want more, I want to see these people use their gifts. Nonetheless, the book gets a bit confusing in the end.

Not because things get muddled, but because the story line is much deeper than everything appears but that makes the story more interesting and real. I think the turn of events right before the book ends, although a cliff hanger, is not unbearable and really makes me want to read the second book. I'd like to know what happens to her gift? Does she manage to control it? Use it? This was a great read and I'm not disappointed!

Review: Releasing Gillian's Wolves by Tara Woolpy (ARC)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary: Gillian Sach is married to a politician, they have children together and Gillian, like many other politicians wives campaigns with him, makes speeches at events she hates and she does all of the cooking for the events. That is the one thing Gillian doesn't hate though, it's the cooking. The only problem is, Jack, her husband is a cheater. It hasn't happened just once, not twice, but at least six times that Gillian knows about. Her son John has caught him in bed with other women, and her daughter has cut him out of her life because good ole Jack slept with her friend on her wedding day. So, it's not really a surprise when Gillian finds a hotel room key in her husbands clothes, and instead of confronting him, she does what she always does, forget about it until the next day, where she dishes to her gay best friend and neighbor, Edward. She's known him since she was a child, and she confides everything to him. Everyone wants to know why Gillian stays, especially now. After the election, Gillian leaves but tells Jack, as long as his business stays out of the papers, she'll continue to look like the dutiful wife, that is, until Jack's life finally gets the better of him.

My Thoughts: I was contacted by Tara to review this  book. I've had so many books on my Kindle to read that I finally had to push to get this one read. I was a little apprehensive about reading this as it's not generally not something that I would read. However, I put my fears aside and read it. I was not disappointed with the story, however I was disappointed with some parts of this story.

I liked Gillian even though she was a huge pushover. I guess I can't fathom why she'd put up with her husbands behavior considering everyone, including her grown children can recall him being unfaithful when they were children. However, as a politician's wife I imagine it would be a lot harder to leave knowing that your business would soon be all over the papers, including the trashy tabloids.

The one major problem that I had about this book was the dialogue. I felt like it was forced in parts, and sometimes, overly done. I felt like the characters beat some topics to death. However, that does get better. There are two major parts, close to the beginning and then close to the end where things got a bit boring for a few chapters.

My second issue with this book was the fact that in the beginning, I felt like instead of showing me what characters did, there was a lot of telling. Thankfully, this gets better as the book goes on, descriptions get better, but it can be a bit hard to read through at first.

All in all, I found this an enjoyable read and felt like this book came to a satisfying conclusion.

You can find out more about Releasing Gillian's Wolves at Bats in the Boathouse Press.
Saturday, May 14, 2011 | By: Traci

Bitten Books 300 Follower Giveaway!

Head on over to Bitten Books and fill out the form to be a winner! There are currently 4 winners that will be chosen and there are plenty of books to choose from! Books like Wither, Delirium, Torment and more!

And while you're at it, follow her! She updates often with plenty of reviews on great books!
Friday, May 13, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Living Dead in Dallas: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
Rating: 4 out of 5

Living Dead in Dallas: A Sookie Stackhouse NovelSummary: Sookie Stackhouse, the small town cocktail waitress is called to official vampire business in Dallas Texas. She'd rather not go, but she has no choice as Eric has decided that she is to be loaned at at his will because she's telepathic which makes her a great asset to the vampire race. After the death of a friend, Sookie is devastated, but she's sure the local police officer Andy didn't commit the crime. He was too drunk to do it. She puts those thoughts from her mind and travels to Dallas with her vampire boyfriend Bill only to infiltrate a fringe religious organization that wants the vampire race dead. So much in fact, they've used a vampire that wishes to commit suicide to kidnap another to burn with him. Sookie, with her great luck, manages to become captured herself. However, Sookie has other great luck too, she's saved by the suicidal vamp and a shapeshifter that has also infiltrated the rogue church. Can Sookie and Bills relationship survive the Dallas trip?

My thoughts: I felt like this book, unlike the first really just jumped straight into the action. I really wasn't prepared for such a quick plot. I kind of expected things to work up to that point. However, it wasn't a disappointing novel. One thing I really enjoyed in this novel was all of the passion. I guess that is why vampire's are so irresistible. They're so passionate and this novel really shows that. This one was definitely sexier than the last, and it was nice seeing Sookie outside of her comfort zone, learning to use her powers and even meeting another telepath like herself. This book was also a fast read, so if you're looking for something fast to read, this would be it. This was a great follow up to the first.
Monday, May 9, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: XVI by Julia Karr

Rating: 4 out of 5

XVISummary: In the year 2150, the world has turned into a completely different place. At the age of 16, you are to receive a government issued tattoo verifying your age. When you are sex-teen, you can legally have sex, and it's actually considered the right thing to do. Nina lives with her mother Ginnie and her sister Dee in this society, but the last thing she wants to do is be a sex-teen, and yet it's the only thing her best friend Sandy can think about. When Nina's mother Ginnie is killed in an alley and placed on an infinity machine, Nina knows something isn't right. Only top tier individuals are placed on these machine's that suspend death, if only for a brief moment. After her mother's death, government agents raid her mother's house and Nina and her sister Dee move in with their grandparents, and Nina returns to her old school and her old friends. What follows is a strange turn of events. Noncon's are slowly working on The Resistance, working to take down the governing council. Was Ginnie right? Is Nina's father still alive? Is he a NonCon? And her friends, why do they all seem to know her father and know things that she's never heard of? And why can't Ed, her mothers married boyfriend leave her and Dee alone? And what was her mother really hiding?

My thoughts: When I first began reading this, I really questioned why I was still reading it. It seems strange. A world ruled by the media and advertising, a government that governs sexuality. Women that have no rights and are used as sexual objects for which men can do as they please. However, as I read more into the story, things started to unfold and I really became interested in this dystopian world, that if you question it long enough, you can really see how at some point in time, this COULD really happen to our society.

Our society is kind of there anyway, minus the complete and utter use of technology for everything. Fashion magazines and teen magazines portray sexuality, flirting and beauty as the only way to get ahead in life. It's scary and interesting because I can see it being a possibility.

I enjoyed this story, a lot more than I expected. I rooted for the main character Nina so much because I really dislike how their rights were taken away and so overtly controlled by a government that is so willing to kill, to lie and to use and abuse people for their complete pleasure. This is definitely a great read and one I think those interested in YA or dystopian should consider reading. 
Saturday, May 7, 2011 | By: Traci

Review: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Rating: 5 out of 5

RebeccaSummary: We meet our lead character as a lady companion in Monte Carlo. Her employer pays her 90 a year to stay with her, to travel and to attend to her needs. She considers it a favor because she's alone, shy and not very worldly. While in Monte Carlo, Mrs. Van Hopper, her employer, makes it a point to meet Maxim de Winter, the owner of Manderly, a lovely estate that Mrs. Van Hopper tries desperately to get invited to, but he wants nothing to do with her. He is, however, rather fond of her employee (we never learn her name). Maxim's wife has been dead a year, and he is considered to be lonely and taking it rather hard, so she thinks nothing of it when he drives her around daily. And, threatened with the possibility of leaving, she runs to Maxim, and he proposes marriage.  What follows however is a strange turn of events as the now Mrs. de Winter must compete with Rebecca his late wife, and a house maid that seems quite obsessed with her old mistress and doesn't mind letting her know that. When the true story about Rebecca's death comes to light, will she be able to keep it together and will their marriage last?

My Thoughts: This was a book club read and I was pretty hesitant about reading it at first. I really did not expect to enjoy the story as much as I did. This is a pretty good mystery tale that doesn't involve cryptic death scenes, deranged serial killers, or very descriptive scenes of how people are gruesomely murdered, but I really did enjoy this tale. I think that is what made it great, it offered a lot of mystery in itself.

The main character grows up a lot through this story. She is kind of child like, but when she is with Maxim, she gets to learn a lot. She has to struggle against so much and I think du Maurier did a pretty nice job of telling that part of the story before truly making her grow into a more sophisticated character that has finally gave up on a lot of petty details. I personally never expected the plot to turn as it did in the middle, and I'm quite surprised with the last few chapters. I think the ending was sort of abrupt, and it does make you want to know more, but I still feel like this was a great book.
Friday, May 6, 2011 | By: Traci

Follow Friday # 4

It's been awhile since I've posted a follow Friday so I figured it was about time! I'm back this Friday with another interesting Follow Friday post and this one I think is going to be hard to answer.

Circle time! Time to share. What character in a book would you most like to be, what character in a book would you most like to date?

Two of my favorite characters from books have been from the Harry Potter universe. I have a tough time deciding who I'd love to be. My first choice would be Hermione Granger. Sure, she started off a sort of annoying character but she quickly bloomed into someone fascinating and tough. Someone that people just needed to give a chance to see her true potential. Luna on the other hand, well she may be weird, but that's the beauty of it. She doesn't care what people think about her. She loves being weird, but to her, she's not weird. I admire her for going about her own business, her own way and not worrying about what others think.

Now, I'm not so sure about the dating thing. That one is a bit harder. I've read lots of books, but I really can't pinpoint too many characters that would be great to date.
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