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Mommy's Reading Break

I'll read almost anything if it sounds good, but I tend to read mostly YA, and a lot of those are paranormal or dystopian. I have started to branch out into more contemporary lately.

Currently reading

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Jim Dale, J.K. Rowling
Eat, Brains, Love
Jeff Hart
Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)
Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Kevin Collins
Spellcaster (Spellcaster, #1) - Claudia Gray I bought Spellcaster after finding out from Epic Reads that it was on sale and reading the description. It wasn’t a book I had prioritized, so when I saw a buddy read pop up in a Goodreads group I’m on, I decided to jump at the chance because I wasn’t sure when I’d read it otherwise.Unfortunately for Spellcaster, it followed Siege and Storm on my reading list, and I don’t think that did it any favors. I just really had a hard time getting into it.Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that Spellcaster was a bad book. I never hated it, though I was a bit bored at times, but I never really considered putting it down. However, it also wasn’t a book that demanded to be picked up. I often found myself procrastinating on reading it, rather than feverishly flipping the pages.The beginning of Spellcaster wasn’t bad actually. As Nadia is moving into the town of Captive’s Sound with her father and little brother, they get into a car accident, and a mysterious boy pulls her from the car, while being in shock to see her. I was a little confused as to what was going on, but luckily, the third person perspective let us quickly see why Mateo was so surprised to see Nadia.However, I had a really hard time getting into the story. I liked Nadia well enough, but I never really connected with her. Her mom left her family, which really scarred Nadia, especially as her mother was teaching her the Craft, but I don’t know. I just found her frustrating at times. Mateo too. I think the only character I consistently liked was Verlaine, and I really want to know more about her.The other thing I didn’t really like about Spellcaster was that the bad guy was given away fairly early. We didn’t really know what or why the bad guy was doing what she was doing, but we knew who she was. I like a little more mystery and suspense in my books. Also, it became frustrating at how hopeless Nadia’s chances seemed throughout most of the book. It made even hoping for her to overcome and “win” seem pointless, though what kind of book wouldn’t have the main character triumph in some way? It was just weird.The ending irritated me. I knew going in that Spellcaster was going to be a series, but I wish they could have gone about it another way. It looks like if I read the next book, I’m going to be just as frustrated as I was reading this one.Overall, I thought that Spellcaster was an okay book. The story didn’t grab me, and I didn’t really connect to the characters, but I never hated it. Like I said in the opening, though, it’s major downfall may have just been that I read it after Siege and Storm, which had a much faster pace. I can’t say I’d be quick to recommend it, but I wouldn’t advise anyone to avoid it either.This review was originally posted on my blog: http://mommysreadingbreak.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/review-spellcaster-by-claudia-gray/
Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2) - Leigh Bardugo After the ending of Shadow and Bone, I was hooked and anxious to go right into the sequel, so I was glad that it was out (and glad I had a Kindle, as I could download it immediately)! For the most part, I found that Siege and Storm was better than its predecessor, but not always.Siege and Storm begins with another of the weird third-person “boy” and “girl” chapters. I guess that’s just the writing style for this particular series, but I still find it to be a little strange. However, the opening chapter is pretty short, so not too big of a deal.When we first jump into the actual story, we find Alina and Mal hiding out from the Darkling, and working to try to earn some money so they can be on their way. It seemed to me like we were going to be off for a slow start, but I was wrong. Something big happens very quickly, so I was pretty excited! I felt like the pace was pretty good for much of the beginning. It was full of twists, turns, and surprises. The Darkling’s new power? Creepy! That’s all I’ll say because you really need to read it for yourself.However, I felt like the pace slowed way down for much of the middle. This is similar to Shadow and Bone, but it felt different to me. Getting to know your new way of life is interesting to me. Trying to plan a war, not so much. There were a few new characters that I really liked, so they helped bring up the portion of the story, but overall, it just felt slow to me.The big climax at the end wasn’t as exciting to me as the ending of Shadow and Bone, but I thought that it was really interesting. However, the “epilogue” had me slightly frustrated, so I am very anxious for the final book to come out. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until next year for that.Overall, I thought that Siege and Storm was a great follow up to Shadow and Bone. Though the pace slowed down more than I wanted or expected, I still thought it was a great read and would recommend it!This review was originally posted on my blog: http://mommysreadingbreak.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/review-siege-and-storm-by-leigh-bardugo/

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone -

I had seen Leigh Bardugo’s books around a lot in the blogosphere, but after reading the description, I wasn’t sure it was for me. However, I went to a Fierce Reads signing and decided to buy books by all the authors. Then I agreed to do a buddy read on Goodreads. I am SO glad that I changed my mind on this one because I ended up really enjoying it!


I was a little confused at first when starting Shadow and Bone because the first chapter is entitled “Before” and is sort of like an prologue, but it is written in third person narrative, and the characters are mostly referred to as “the boy” and “the girl”. However, as soon as Chapter 1 starts, it switches to first person with Alina as the narrator.


Once the actual story picked up, I thought that it started off really well, though it did take me a bit to get used to some of the words. There were several that I assume are a different language, so I wasn’t sure on pronunciation or meaning, and at first, they were introduced without any explanation. The explanations did come shortly afterward, though, so it wasn’t too bad.


However, once Alina discovers her powers, she is taken to the Little Palace in Os Alta to learn to control her power and other aspects of Grisha life. The pace slowed down a bit while she was in training, but I still found it interesting. I tend to be fairly forgiving of series premieres, especially in fantasy, due to the necessity of world-building, so it may not be the most exciting book, but I know that it’s setting us up for important things.


And set us up it did. The last 30-40% of the book was definitely full of twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting at all, and then last 10-15% had me feverishly turning pages, dying to see what would happen next.


As far as the characters, it’s hard to say how I felt about them. I thought that Genya was hilarious, and the Darkling was mysterious and charming, but I was kind of apathetic toward Alina and Mal. I didn’t dislike either of them, but I wasn’t really that invested in them either.I thought that the ending was great. It definitely tied up what needed to be tied up for this book but also left enough open that I was very eager to go straight to the sequel, which I did.


Though the world-building and foreign words slowed this down a little for me, I really liked Shadow and Bone and would definitely recommend it.


This review was originally posted on my blog.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare I had heard a lot about Cassandra Clare and City of Bones over the last couple years, but I had heard several mixed reviews. However, with the movie coming out, I knew that I’d have to check it out before seeing the movie. I’ve noticed that most people either love or hate the series, but I honestly felt neither. I think I fell more in the middle.I was actually a little confused when City of Bones first started, but I quickly caught on. Honestly, I was surprised that it was written in third person perspective. It’s funny because when I first read Twilight, it took me a while to get used to the first person narrative, but so many books are written in first person these days that the third person took me by surprise. I actually thought that the third person worked really well, though, because we were able to get more of the story than we would have from just Clary’s perspective.Speaking of Clary, she really got on my nerves. I’m not even sure what it was about her, but she just rubbed me the wrong way. I’m sure part of it is that I can’t stand the story line of “Best friend in love with boy/girl, but boy/girl is too oblivious to see it.” SO annoying. Jace was arrogant, but mysterious. I felt like Clary got a little better as the story went along, but for a while, she just annoyed me.I felt like City of Bones started off pretty well, but then it slowed down quite a bit for a good part of it. It did eventually pick up again, though, and I thought it ended pretty well. However, I found that some parts of it were pretty predictable. There’s also a big twist near the end that I had previous had spoiled for me, unfortunately, but even knowing it was coming, I didn’t really like it. It just seemed annoying and unnecessary.I know that overall this review is fairly negative, and I’m having a hard time finding anything specific that I liked about City of Bones, but I did actually enjoy the story. I didn’t think it was spectacular, but it was a good read. I plan on seeing the movie and continuing the series.This review was originally posted on my blog, here

Just Like Fate

Just Like Fate - Cat Patrick, Suzanne Young This book was received from the publisher for review via Edelweiss.I first learned about Just Like Fate after reading an early review. (Unfortunately, I can't remember whose review it was now. Sorry!) It sounded pretty interesting to me, since as you know, I'm obsessed with alternate reality books right now, so I requested it.Just Like Fate starts off with Caroline being called out of class because her grandmother, who she has lived with since her parents' divorce, has had a stroke and is in the hospital. After several days of going to school during the day and then spending the evening at the hospital, Caroline's best friend, Simone, urges her to get out and have some fun for the night. At this point, similarly to Pivot Point by Kasie West, the story splits into the consequences of each decision, with alternating chapters. However, unlike with Pivot Point, there is no paranormal aspect as to why this happens. Honestly, I don't think there was any explanation, but I thought it was really cool to be able to see what would happen in either circumstance.Just Like Fate is definitely a contemporary novel that just happens to have two different stories going on at the same time. Caroline is a very troubled character. She moved in with her grandmother after her parents' divorce, and has a strained relationship with both of her parents and her older sister because of it. Without her grandmother, these relationships change a lot, obviously in different ways depending on which decision is playing out. However, Caroline is very insecure, so sometimes she got frustrating. As far as the other characters, I liked her sister, most of the time. It really depended on which scenario we were in because she had a lot of resentment toward Caroline. Simone was an awesome friend but seemed a little oblivious at times. I loved Chris, but I tended to second-guess him because Caroline did a lot. Joel made me want to vomit. Seriously, any time Caroline was with him, I ended up wanting to smack them both.There were some scenes that overlapped that I really liked. These were definitely the scenes where the title seemed to make sense, and they were some of my favorite parts of the book. The ending was really interesting, though I kind of expected it to some degree.Overall, I thought that Just Like Fate was a really fun contemporary novel with an alternate reality twist and would definitely recommend it!This review will also be posted on my blog, going live on 8/23/13.
The Sun Dwellers - David Estes This review will be posted on my blog on 8/26/13Wow. I think that this was my favorite book in the Dwellers saga so far! It was fast-paced, and full of twists, turns, surprises, and revelations. I absolutely loved it!The Sun Dwellers starts off with Adele, Tristan, Roc, Tawni, Trevor, and Ram in the cave between the Moon and Sun Realms. Very quickly, they encounter Sun Dweller soldiers and have to fight their way out. After that, it's just them travelling through the tunnels, which was probably the slowest-paced parts of the book, but because I was so anxious to see what would happen, it didn't bother me at all. Actually, it kind of reminded me of Mockingjay, with a young-ish girl trying to secretly sneak into the Capital city to overthrow the President, but the story itself was very different.As usual, the characters were their wonderful selves, and I think Tawni and Roc are probably my favorites. Adele had her moments in this one where I wanted to smack her, but since Tristan got his turn for that in the Star Dwellers, I guess that isn't so bad. lol For the most part, though, she was pretty amazing. I also really enjoyed seeing her learn more about the differences between the Sun and Lower Realms.The Sun Dwellers was pretty fast-paced for most of it anyway, but at about 65%, the intensity kicked up and never stopped. I think I read the last 35% of it with my heart in my throat. Honestly, there were so many twists and turns and things I wasn't expecting that I just couldn't put the book down. At one point, though, I had to stop to collect myself after a certain scene made me sob.I absolutely loved the resolution and the ending, and I literally had to force myself to read my review book instead of moving straight on to the Country saga. I would definitely recommend this series to fans of dystopian and my place as a David Estes fan has definitely been solidified!
The Star Dwellers - David Estes I received a copy of this book as a gift from the author after reviewing The Moon Dwellers.If you read my review of The Moon Dwellers back in January, you'll know that I pretty much loved it. In fact, I gave it 4.5 stars. However, I had other books I needed to read, so I didn't move right on to The Star Dwellers. Honestly, as months went by, I was starting to get ashamed of the fact that I hadn't completed this series that I'd seen so many others love so much, and that I had really enjoyed the introduction to. So finally, after 7 months, I decided to rectify the situation!I was a little nervous going into The Star Dwellers, as I have a pretty decent friendship with David Estes on Goodreads, I have almost all of his books, and his fans are extremely loyal and love his books. Obviously, I had pretty high expectations for The Star Dwellers, and I was really nervous that it wouldn't be able to live up to them. Also, since it had been seven months, I didn't remember much of the previous book, other than the fact that I thought it was great.Honestly, I will say that for the first half or so of The Star Dwellers, I wasn't hugely impressed. There was some twists and surprises that I totally didn't see coming, but aside from those, the pace was much slower than I was expecting. I kept trying to remember the previous book, and even though I wasn't positive, I thought it was faster paced than The Star Dwellers was turning out to be. It was a lot of backstory, war/rebellion discussions, and exposition, but not a ton of action. Also, since Adele and Tristan are separated, there's a lot of thinking of, daydreaming about, and pining for each other that I also felt slowed down the pace about. However, I knew I had to give it a fair chance, though, because I know a lot of people love it. Also, I'm well aware of the "second in a series slump", so I knew that chances were, The Star Dwellers was setting us up for bigger and better things.I am SO GLAD that I stuck with The Star Dwellers because around the halfway point, I believe, it picked up and picked up wonderfully. I found myself feverishly flipping the pages to see what would happen, and as the action and intensity picked up, I found myself holding my breath and my heart in my throat. There was so much going on at the end that I could barely keep up (in a good way, not a confused way). There were surprises and threats, and several scenes that had me choking back tears. In fact, I liked the ending so much that I threw away my reading schedule and went straight into The Sun Dwellers!One other thing that bothered me a little in this book: Even though I'm all for guys being emotional and unafraid of tears, there were so many scenes with guys, but Tristan especially, having to blink back tears that I was starting to get frustrated. Tristan is supposed to be a great fighter, and strong, yet he was super emotional in this book. I suppose it's understandable with everything that's going on in his world, but it just annoyed me a bit. Adele, on the other hand, spent most of her time being her amazing kick-ass self! I LOVE her!Overall, while I think The Star Dwellers suffered a little bit from a slower pace and second-book-in-a-series syndrome for the first half, I thought that it was another great book by David Estes, and it definitely left me wanting more of the story immediately!

Ten Tiny Breaths

Ten Tiny Breaths - K.A. Tucker 4.5 stars rounded up to 5I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Ten Tiny Breaths was actually my first foray into the New Adult genre. I didn’t actually realize it was NA until I started reading it. However, I had seen a ton of people really like it, so when I saw it on Netgalley, I requested it.I was actually surprised and a little confused when I first started Ten Tiny Breaths. The Goodreads description makes it sound like it would start off at Kacey’s aunt and uncle’s house, so I thought it gave a lot of the story away. However, the story starts with Kacey and Livie on a bus, and the description pretty much just gives away the backstory that we learn fairly quickly anyway.Reading the description again now, it also makes it seem like Ten Tiny Breaths is mainly a romance with the sexy, mysterious Trent. However, if you’re like me, and not a huge fan of Romance novels, don’t be afraid. The romance is as big a part as it is in any regular story with romance in it (though maybe a bit more detailed in places than in YA, but I never felt like I was reading porn), but far from the main focus. To me, it centered on a broken girl afraid of forming relationships, as she tries to build a new life and realizes that she can’t keep everyone out. It was really interesting to me to watch Kacey meet new people and forge relationships with them, even knowing how hard it was.I loved Kacey. Though she was broken, she was tough as nails and truly loved her little sister and tried to do the best she could for her. Livie was one of the coolest 15-year-olds I’ve ever read about. She was very mature and caring, and definitely a good contrast to Livie. Storm was great, and I loved how she wouldn’t let Kacey push her away. Trent was sexy and mysterious.I also loved the way Ten Tiny Breaths was written. It was broken into different sections, and it was really interesting to see the path that Kacey takes throughout the story. I won’t spoil it, though you certainly can spoil it for yourself by reading the Table of Contents if you so choose. I will say that I really felt like we got the whole story, and I wasn’t left wishing for more.My biggest complaint about Ten Tiny Breaths was Trent’s “unforgivable past”. What it was didn’t bother me. What bothered me was that I predicted it. I mean, I didn’t see it coming super early, but I did guess it before it came out, and I hate being able to predict things! However, I never could have predicted how it affected Kacey or the turn the story would take when she found out, and I thought it was really interesting.Just as a little side note: Though different in many ways, Ten Tiny Breaths reminded me a little of Pushing the Limits, which I loved. It had a boy and a girl (man and woman, whatever), both with dark, broken pasts that come together in an amazing way. I really enjoyed it!Overall, I thought that Ten Tiny Breaths was a great book and would highly recommend it. I think it was a great foray into the NA genre and will definitely read more from K.A. Tucker in the future!This review can also be found on my blog here
If You Could Be Mine: A Novel - Sara Farizan This book was received from the publisher for review via Netgalley.I first learned about If You Could Be Mine while browsing Netgalley a few months ago. I thought it sounded interesting, so I requested it. And I’ve seen it around a bit more recently since the release date is quickly approaching. I don’t typically seek out books that take place in other countries or have LGBT themes, but I thought I’d give it a chance.In the opening scene of If You Could Be Mine, we see a 6-year-old Sahar falling in love with her best friend, Nasrin, and deciding she wants to marry her. She tells her mother, who tells her to keep this to herself. They live in Iran, where it’s illegal to be a homosexual. Of course, at the beginning Sahar doesn’t consider herself gay; she just happens to be in love with her best friend, who is also a female.Similarly to when I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini last summer, I found If You Could Be Mine to be an interesting, though heartbreaking, look into a different culture. You always hear rumors of how strict the Middle East is, but seeing actual examples of it, even in such things as a woman’s hair or elbows showing, or what they are and aren’t allowed to see and hear in movies and music, was surprising to me. I was impressed, however, with their progressiveness in regards to transgendered people. I’ve heard a lot of controversy and doubts over whether this is a true condition in our society, so I really respected the fact that the Iranian government not only recognizes it but helps to pay for the sexual reassignment surgery.I think where I struggled the most with If You Could Be Mine was in the characters. I found Nasrin to be spoiled, selfish, and just irritating. And because i found Nasrin to be so unlikable, Sahar’s obsession with her frustrated me. I mean, this is a 17-year-old girl seriously considering undergoing sex reassignment surgery, not because she’s transgendered, but because she believes it is the only way to stop the girl she loves from marrying someone else. It really was heartbreaking, but also frustrating. Sometimes I just wanted to smack Sahar and tell her to wake up, that Nasrin wasn’t worth it.Overall, I enjoyed reading If You Could Be Mine. I found it interesting to learn a little more about the Iranian culture, even if it was a bit heartbreaking in the process. I wouldn’t say that it was life-changing for me, but it was definitely worth a read.This review was originally posted on my blog, here
School Spirits - Rachel Hawkins I read Hex Hall earlier this year and enjoyed it, so when I saw that Rachel Hawkins had written a spin-off series, I knew I’d have to check it out. I haven’t really heard much about it, so I pretty much went in blind.School Spirits starts off with Izzy on a hunt, trying to kill a vampire. When a distraction almost leads to her death, her mom decides it’s time to try something else. So Izzy and her mom are off to Ideal, Mississippi to track a ghost who nearly killed a teacher. In order to track down the ghost, Izzy must enroll in a public high school for the first time in her life.On her first day of school, Izzy meets two of the coolest characters in the book, Dex and Romy, who also happen to be members of the Paranormal Management Society (PMS, for short), who are also trying to track the ghost. She joins the club to try to get more information, and to stop the silly humans from doing something stupid, but she becomes friends with them. These two characters are eccentric and amusing, which complement Izzy’s straightforwardness very well.Watching Izzy navigate her way through high school for the first time was amusing at times, but sometimes I forgot I was reading a paranormal book. It just felt a little too school-centric sometimes, and I felt like very little of the actual reason she was there (the ghost) was delved into until the last 80 pages or so. I also really enjoyed seeing her relationships form with Romy and Dex, since she’s never really had any interaction with people outside of her family, let alone normal teenagers.I found the actual ghost storyline to be really interesting because she wasn’t an everyday ghost for Izzy and presented more questions than answers. I was definitely intrigued and just wished that there was more of it. When it was there, I thought it was really great, and the twist at the end was something I didn’t see coming. I had my own predictions, and I was way off on all of them, which was definitely a plus.Overall, I thought that School Spirits was a good start to the series. While I didn’t love everything about it, I thought it set things up really nicely, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.This review was originally posted on my blog, Mommy's Reading Break. You can read it here
Sink or Swim - Sarah Mlynowski Sink or Swim was probably the Whatever After book that I was most looking forward to so far (I think book #5 is Rapunzel, which I’m really excited for), as it centers around The Little Mermaid, which is one of my favorite fairy tales. However, I forgot at the time that Sarah’s books are retellings of the original Grimm fairy tales, and not the Disney movies, so it was going to be very different.Sink or Swim starts off with Abby packing for a trip to see her Nana with her mom. When the trip is unexpectedly cancelled, she decides to try to get through the mirror again. This proves to be successful, but Abby is surprised to find herself nearly drowning when the mirror pulls them through. It quickly occurs to her that they’re in The Little Mermaid fairy tale.Though there were some humorous aspects of Sink or Swim (such as them landing in the Kingdom of Mustard, where everyone wears yellow and ketchup is a four-letter word), overall, it felt more like a story about the ultimate vacation. It also seems like at any given time, Abby has no idea what’s going on, and her little brother doesn’t care.I didn’t find myself really caring for the Prince or the Little Mermaid in this tale, so it was hard for me to get invested in their story. I felt like the story dragged for quite a while, and then the ending was rushed.Overall, I thought that Sink or Swim was a cute retelling but that it wasn’t as clever or interesting as the previous Whatever After books.This review was originally posted on my blog, here.
Inferno - Dan Brown I love Dan Brown. Seriously. I remember all the controversy around The DaVinci Code, so I wanted to read it. Somehow I realized Angels & Demons came before The DaVinci Code, so I read that one first, and even with as long as it was, I flew through it. I absolutely loved it. I then proceeded to love The DaVinci Code and read his non-Robert Langdon books, which I liked a lot, too. I was hooked and very excited when I found out that he was writing another Robert Langdon book with The Lost Symbol. I definitely didn’t get into The Lost Symbol anywhere near as much as the other books, but just about every author will have that one book that you just don’t love as much, so I was still really excited when I found out Inferno was coming out. I’m not a history fan, but the way Brown infuses history, symbology, fact, and fiction into his stories just really fascinates me.Inferno started off very excitingly. The prologue has a suicide, and the actual body of the story starts off with Langdon waking up in a hospital room and having no recollection of how he got there. In talking to his doctors, he realizes that he’s actually lost his memory of the last two days. At that point, a woman walks into his room and tries to kill him. Talk about starting off with a bang!I felt like Inferno dealt with some really serious matter, and it actually scared me a little bit, as a big part of the storyline has to do with world overpopulation. When given scientific facts about this, it’s a bit chilling. However, while it bothered me in a reality sense, it didn’t really draw me into the storyline as much as I had been in previous books. I’m not really sure why, but it just didn’t grab me.By about the halfway point, I realized I had no idea what was going on. I wasn’t even a little bit convinced I knew who was doing what and why. But I did find a serious love for beautiful European buildings, which is new for me. lol At the halfway point, though, I felt like I had already found out a lot, and I couldn’t figure out what could still fill another 200+ pages. The last half just felt a little slow to me.Inferno reminded me why I don’t read a lot of adult books. While the story line was interesting, sometimes I felt like there was more description and exposition than was really necessary, and I found my interest waning at times. However, I still love Dan Brown, so I’ll forgive him for this.When the big reveals happened toward the end of the book, there was a twist, and I definitely didn’t see anything coming. I was totally blindsided left and right! There’s a moral dilemma throughout Inferno and even moreso toward the end, and I liked that. I liked that the answer wasn’t black and white, and I’m still not even sure what my feelings were.Overall, I found Inferno to be a good read and enjoyable. I liked it better than The Lost Symbol, but it just didn’t draw me in like the first two Robert Langdon books. However, I will definitely read any new books that Dan Brown may come out with, and I would definitely recommend this series, or his other books.(Just a note: While there is a chronological aspect to the Robert Langdon books, they are not really related. There may be a small reference to a former book, but never really a full-on recap or spoiler, so they can be read in any order.)This review is also posted on my blog.
Shark Out of Water (Grab Your Pole, #3) - Jenn Cooksey This review will contain spoilers for The Other Fish in the Sea.If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that I am obsessed with Jenn Cooksey’s Grab Your Pole series, and after the ending of The Other Fish in the Sea, I was salivating to get my hands on book 3, so I picked it up the day it was released and immediately ignored, er, preoccupied, my children so I could start it!Just so you know, I am struggling with deciding how to write this review. I really don’t want to spoil anything, but that’s very hard to do. Suffice it to say, this will probably be a fairly short review to avoid ruining anything.Like The Other Fish in the Sea, Shark Out of Water is told from multiple perspectives, but rather than the girls this time, we get to follow the boys around. I really enjoyed this because it’s always nice to see things from a different perspective, and let’s face it, the guys in the GYP gang are awesome. They’re real and hilarious and totally swoon-worthy, each in his own way. I can’t even pick a favorite because I love things about all of them! Also, for those who were frustrated with The Other Fish in the Sea changing perspective without being prefaced, that has been resolved. The beginning of each section specifies who is talking.I’m having a hard time really deciding on my feelings and a rating for Shark Out of Water. As part of the series, it was an absolutely necessary book, it made sense, and it was definitely a great addition. However, on its own, Shark Out of Water was not my favorite book of the series. A big part of what I loved about Shark Bait and The Other Fish in the Sea were the humor. Seriously, I was cracking up laughing the first time I read Shark Bait. There were some humorous bits, but obviously, due to the nature of the book, there wasn’t as much humor. Camie and Tristan broke up at the end of The Other Fish in the Sea, and neither one of them is in a great place because of that, so Shark Out of Water as a whole is a darker, sadder book. It was still very realistic, though, which I absolutely loved, but I definitely missed the lighter tone of the earlier books at times.Another thing that is great about Jenn’s writing is that her characters are just so realistic. I loved getting to know the boys a little better by being in their heads. But obviously, this is high school. Rumors are running rampant, and no one knows the full story (including the reader), so obviously the characters got a bit frustrating at times. We all know how it feels to see people who don’t know what’s going on running their mouths and how frustrating that can be, so at times, I wanted to smack each and every one of them. This can be fun, though. You’re never going to like someone 100% of the time (Seriously, I even want to smack my best friend and husband at times! lol), so it wasn’t unpleasant to feel that way.There is so much more that I could say about this book, but it would give too much away. Let’s just suffice it to say that I felt several emotions while reading it. There were parts that made me happy, sad, angry, nervous, amused. It was just a great book.I will say that I was very satisfied with the ending. That’s all I can really say to avoid spoiling anything.Okay, now for the hard part: the rating. As part of this wonderful series, I easily give Shark Out of Water 5 stars. However, on basing it on its own merits, it would probably be closer to a 4, so I’m going to split the difference and give it 4.5!This review is also posted on my blog, Mommy's Reading Break.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, # 1) - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré This was my 6th time reading this, and I still love it! And I get choked up at tje end every time.
The Hogwarts Saga as Ring Composition and Ring Cycle - John Granger I’ve heard a lot about ring theory in relation to Harry Potter, so I was looking online to try to find some actual examples from the text. What I found was this book, which is an expanded transcription of a speech John Granger gave on Ring Composition.Parts of this book bored me to tears. I was literally falling asleep as I was reading it, as it went a little more in depth with descriptions of ring theory and other things that pretty much went in one ear (er, eye?) and out the other. However, at only 164 pages (and $9.99. Good thing I had a gift card, and you can tell I was really curious about this ring theory information), I decided I might as well read the whole thing.Once it actually got into the concrete examples from the book, I was really interested. You could tell that John Granger really did his research on this, and seeing it all in black and white really made me appreciate JK Rowling’s writing that much more. This whole book just really shows how well thought out the Harry Potter series is, which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much! If you’re interested in ring theory and how it relates to Harry Potter, this is definitely an interesting read, though I still think the $9.99 price tag is a little high.This review is also posted on my blog, Mommy's Reading Break.
Ghost Time - Courtney Eldridge Ghost Time was another book that Literary Lushes put on an ARC tour. I read the description and thought it sounded interesting, so I signed up.As soon as I cracked open Ghost Time, I knew that it was going to take a while to get into. The writing style is very strange. For one thing, and what was the most irritating, there were no quotation marks. Ghost Time was narrated in first-person, so sometimes, it was really hard to tell whether Thea was thinking or speaking. For example:I go, All right, all right, but tell me what you were going to say before that, and Cam goes, Oh, yeah.That’s not one of the more confusing instances, but it gives you an idea of the writing style, as this continues throughout the whole book. Also, and this is more of a personal pet peeve, but there were no page numbers. I don’t know if this was unique to the ARC or if the finished copy also lacks page numbers, but that annoyed me. I like knowing what page I’m on. So you know what I did? I counted pages as I was reading, and no, I am not even joking!Also, going along with the writing style, Ghost Time focuses a lot on time, and it jumps around. For example, the first chapter is “Monday, April 4, 2011 5:27pm”. The second chapter is two hours later, and the third chapter is two hours earlier, and that’s how it continues. The chapters alternate between the past and the future and how they relate to the initial chapter.Anyway, now that I got the writing style out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about the story line. If you read the Goodreads description posted above, you know the gist of it. Thea’s boyfriend disappears, and then weird things start happening. Honestly, they had me absolutely confused, trying desperately to figure out how and why this was happening, and this was the main reason I kept flipping the pages. So the strange things that happen, along with Thea’s interactions with the FBI agent assigned to the case, and her reactions to Cam’s disappearance take up the majority of the “future” chapters. The “past” chapters mostly revolve around her relationship with Cam, though sometimes we get some back story on her as well. Some of these past chapters appeared relevant to some of the strange happenings that occur, but some of them just seemed extraneous at times. If I got bored reading Ghost Time, it was most likely during a past chapter.Thea was not a very likable character. She seemed to have a very short temper, as several of the past chapters demonstrated. There was also just something a little off about her, which almost had me wondering if she was crazy and this whole story was in her head or something. I don’t know; I just didn’t find her easy to relate to. Cam seemed kind of like an arrogant jerk, but then in the next scene he’d be a really romantic, caring boyfriend. Detective Knox and Melody were interesting characters, and Agent Foley was just all kinds of creepy, though I haven’t figured out why.As I said before, most of the reason that I kept feverishly flipping through pages was because I was so confused and needed an explanation. I will admit that I was extremely frustrated with the ending, as it really didn’t seem to give much information at all. Honestly, if this wasn’t a book that I had to pass on for the tour, I probably would have thrown it. However, I did a little googling and found this on the author’s website: her young adult novel, Ghost Time, the first of a trilogy, will be published by Amazon PublishingOkay, so it’s going to be part of a trilogy. This makes me feel a little better about the ending than if the story really just ended there, but I will say, after 416 pages, I really needed a little something to be resolved! Needless to say, I’m still frustrated by the ending and also a little disappointed. However, Ghost Time absolutely had me hooked, and I will definitely be reading the sequel, so I’m giving it 3 stars.This review is also posted on my blog, Mommy's Reading Break.