Category Archives: Books

Category that mainly focuses on book reviewing and information about books.

Recalculating My Commitments

11.27.12

Hello everybody!  How’s the fall been treating you?  My semester has been a marvelous mess.  There was the death of close friend, stress and anxiety issues, and a collegiate crisis (lack of direction) all of which are since being dealt with.  I’ve decided that books, reading, and literature are the three things I might love most so they are what I’m going to pursue for now.  That’s not to say that French is on the so called “back-burner.”  I choose to focus more on what makes me happy and what is worth pursuing – in my personal opinion – so I’m dedicating my free time to creative endeavors.  This includes knitting, reading, writing, eating, and painting.  That being said, I’m also rededicating myself to this lovely blog and my even more lovely readers.  I don’t have much to report as this is a recent revelation but I surely will soon.  While we are in the discussion of momentous life occasions I will take this time to encourage you to do the same.  Death isn’t irrelevant anymore.  It’s something that every one of us could face at any given moment but I refuse to be loose faith.  I adamantly denounce pessimistic living and negativity but there’s something to be said for awareness.  When you’re aware of life’s fragility, you (hopefully) are more likely to seize your opportunities and find happiness in all of your experiences.  I’m trying to live by the motto “Carpe Diem,” but not in the macabre way.  I just know I’m not guaranteed all my days so I’m going to make the most of what I’m given.  Starting with what makes me happy.  I hope you’ll do the same.

Image

Better luck in YOUR knitting…

xoxo

Katie Mae

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Across The Universe

07. 17. 12

I read the most interesting book last night!  This is the first in the new series, written by author Beth Revis (who is also a North Carolina native, Woo hoo! Represent!) called Across the Universe and is a fantastical story about a girl who has been awakened from being cyrogenically frozen for 300 years. But Amy wasn’t intentionally woken for the landing of the ship of Centauri-Earth; instead, she was intended for murder. And she’s the only one who has been cyrogenically frozen that is awake, among a ship populated by generations of mono-ethnic people created from embryos developed on Earth. This population stand three things: individual thought, .. They are the three causes of discord and will destroy everything that the ship is built on… only, that’s exactly what Amy is. She’s a red-headed, fair-skinned girl with individual thoughts and feelings and she’s creating trouble for the ship. But it is only when the entire hierarchy of thought and control starts breaking down on the ship that Elder, the soon-to-be leader, starts to realize that everything is not what it seems, and it might take every individual thinker to save the future of this ship, and the future of those who will populate the new Earth.

An excellent read by all accounts and perfect for those that have read The Hunger Games or love the sci-fi series Firefly and Stargate. I can’t wait to read the next one!

xoxo

Katie

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

The Scorpio Races

07. 16. 12

There are some authors that can pen any story and people will read it because they have legions of fans or have the talent of being a fantastic storyteller.  Maggie Stiefvater, the author of The Scorpio Races, has both.  Her newest story, that of Puck Connolly and Sean Kendrick, is a fascinating tale of water horses and the things that people need to be happy.  The story develops around an island, probably near Ireland, with an eccentric island population that caters to the tourism brought in by the Scorpio Races.  The Scorpio Races themselves are brutal and bloody, with jockeys riding capaill uise, or the fictional bloodthirsty water horses.  Overall though, it’s a wonderful story of the simple things that make people happy, whether that’s winning a race to keep your family together or winning the race to buy the only thing you’ve ever loved.

If you  don’t believe me then read this review: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/10/no-neigh-sayers-here-the-scorpio-races-by-maggie-stiefvater.  They agree with me!

I didn’t start out loving this story because I wasn’t sure where it would lead, but I have to say that this compares to Shiver very well, and I adore Shiver.  I usually find with standalone books that they would have been better written as a series, but this definitely was meant to be a standalone book and is perfect that way.  This was a brilliant story; the story of Puck and Sean will make you cry, laugh, and appreciate the smallest things about your lifestyle that you might have taken for granted before.  Easily a FIVE STAR novel.  Now, if I could just find the patience to wait for the release of Requiem (Books of Faerie #3), then I would be totally and completely happy.  Here’s to waiting until 2013.

xoxo

Katie

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Teensy Weensy Correction

07. 15. 12

Just so you all aren’t freaking out, there aren’t actually naked human beings on the cover of Bared to You.  If you read this and thought that the cover I listed existed in America, well then, you obviously don’t know about censorship.  So I’m going to fix the image as soon as I can find the one that they used for the American copies of the book.  It’s gold cufflinks.

 

And just a quick note; I’m not judging other people that read these books (obviously, I’m reading them too).  I’m just disappointed that people aren’t willing to read other types of books unless they are major best sellers.  Such as a books that are better written.  Be aware that it’s not personal, just an English major’s dilemma. 

xoxo

Katie

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Blood, Bondage, and Binge Reading

07. 15. 12

As this is technically the 15th, I have no qualms about posting two book reviews in a period of minutes.  Don’t get overwhelmed… there surely will be more to come.

Lately I’ve been reading anything and everything that I feel like reading.  This includes Penguin’s answer to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” called “Bared to You,” by: Sylvia Day, hence the “bondage” in my title.  Here’s the interesting part: E. L. James, the author of “50 Shades of Grey” is actually referenced in the acknowledgements of “Bared to You.”  Sylvia Day thanks E. L. James for creating a genre that people can’t get enough of… and therefore will appreciate her book.  To me it almost seems that because “50 Shades” became popular, Penguin decided to find an actual author with writing experience to develop a story loosely based off of “50 Shades of Grey.”  Except for the fact that it’s very obvious that they are connected.  The female protagonist is blonde in “Bared to You,” compared to the brunette in “50 Shades of Grey.”  Gideon Cross, the male protagonist, is a dark-skinned, long and dark-haired male who owns the Crossfire Building and Crossfire Company, as compared to Christian Grey who is tanned with cropped blonde hair, who also owns Grey Enterprises… do you see the similarities?  If you need any more persuading to read this if you liked “50 Shades,” well then think on this one: the female protagonist is actually worth reading about.  That’s right, I said it.  I find Eva so much more tolerable than Anastasia, regardless of the fact that she falls in love just as quickly and easily as Anastasia.  She’s much stronger in character and I appreciate her much more.  I’m not sure if the sex scenes are better because honestly, the sex scenes in “50 Shades” weren’t even that great… there are more descriptive terms and adequate language that could have been used to make the scenes titillating and even romantic.  Oh well, nobody seems to care but me.

If you, like many other readers, do not want to read “50 Shades of Grey,” check out this website.  It’s about to become your best friend this summer.  http://www.upworthy.com/101-books-to-read-this-summer-instead-of-50-shades-of-grey

The Blood in the title references the most recent book I finished, called “Graceling,” by: Kristin Cashore.  My manager recommended I read this so I immediately checked it out from the library as I trust her so much (and I’ve been too upset by the books I’ve been recommended this summer to buy a book that I wouldn’t read again).  I can say that it was totally worth the read, but may not be so for another person.  You see, my manager is also the young adult/kids reader for the store so she knows almost all of what’s being published and is worth reading in that area.  But that doesn’t mean she will read the second or third in a book series which will most definitely effect (I’m not sure which to use here, affect or effect?  Help Ms. Shipman!)  your opinion.  The first in the series develops around a fantasy kingdom where seven kings live in a kind of peace until one of the royal family members is kidnapped.  It’s Katsa’s, the main character’s, job to track down this missing family member and uncover what sort of plot is underway in the kingdom.  But she then meets Prince Po and her world is turned upside down.  He is graced, as she is, with a fighting ability.  Since people who are graced are avoided like the plague in the kingdom, she is unnerved that he constantly meets her eyes and doesn’t shy away from her own grace: killing (hence the blood).  Together they attempt to piece together what happened to Prince Po’s grandfather and save the seven kingdoms at the same time, all while discovering that as two very different people they may need each other more than anyone else. As with all good things, the author doesn’t continue this amazing story and instead has two other novels written in the Graceling realm, but not actually about Katsa and Prince Po.  I have to say that it’s just cruel and mean that she leaves the story with such a cliffhanger, but I will read the next book just to see if it’s redeems Mrs. Cashore.

Binge reading refers to my recent young adult/paranormal youth binge reading that occurred over the last few days.  Here are just a few of the titles that I read over a period of five or six days… and really, I’m giving you the short list.

1.  “Wicked Lovey,” by: Melissa Marr.  I was re-reading this series because the conclusion was finally released and due to the wait time I’m not sure I remember all of the important plot points and details.  Unfortunately, all it took was the one book for me to remember why I didn’t buy it in the first place.  And now I’m not sure I can read the next three in the series I have checked out.  <insert very sad face here>  This is a young adult faerie series following a young girl who can see the evil beings but has never been able to reveal it to anyone and the great lengths faeries will go to just to make you incredibly miserable… or perhaps they aren’t that bad after all?  I’m still not sure.

2.  Graceling, as afore mentioned.

3.  I had the lovely luck of being given the advanced reader copy of “Rift” by: Andrea Cremer, who also happens to be one of my favorite young adult author.  I am happy to say that this book was so good.  It develops around a fantasy world similar to our own in the early 15th century, complete with a modernization of the Templar Knights and a little bit of magic.  I won’t reveal too much, but I will say that the female lead it strong, stronger than most and so incredible.  THIS WAS SUCH A GREAT READ.  Look for it in August.

4.  Incredibly, I also found my other favorite author’s new book as an advanced reader copy.  This was “Carnival of Souls,” by: Melissa Marr (mentioned above in the Wicked Lovely post).  This was a wild ride and a little unbelievable, but there is so much magic that I have the firm belief that Mrs. Marr didn’t intend for most of to be believable.  An excellent new beginning for a new series.

There are quite a few more, but I’m saving them for another post when it’s not quite so late.  So forgive me for the brevity of my description of “Carnival of Souls,” and go to bed thinking diverting, entertaining, bookish thoughts.  I’ll post more on my goodreads.com account- be sure to check there too!  And as my mom always says, “dream of fairies and mermaids.  Dream of magic.”

Photo Credit: Pinterest

xoxo

Katie

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Traipsing Through China

07.13.12

To my lovely readers,

I actually composed this update a few days ago but it seems that I either failed to save or post it so here’s the new, updated, and corrected post on the book “A Hundred Flowers,” by: Gail Tsukiyama.   Chairman Mao declared “let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend” to encourage Chinese citizens with viable criticisms to open their thoughts of change to the government.  Unfortunately for most of the outspoken population, this then turned into a motion for the re-education of Chinese citizens in 1957.  This story follows a family whose patriarch has been forcibly removed for writing a letter to Chairman Mao describing changes that must be made and the way this effects their lives for a couple of months.  Beautifully written and wonderfully developed, this story may just be the best that I’ve read all year.  Though it only occurs over a period of a couple of months, you come to know and almost understand Communist China and the way that people lived during that time.  If you appreciate a well written story that takes you to another time and place, read this.  It may just be the best that you will read for a while. Look for it this August.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

The Boy Recession

06. 23. 12

Julius P. Heil High is hit hard by the current recession.  It’s experiencing budget cuts and boy problems, specifically, a boy recession.  Two of the most prominent families take their sons to private schools, leaving Julius with a shortage of attractive senior males.  The worlds of Kelly Robbins and Hunter Fahrenbach are turned upside down as the most unlikely boys no longer have to compete for a chance with the prettiest girls.  Will the slacker finally get a chance with the senior class president?  Will the jocks accept the nerd underclassmen?  The final and most important question is: will it all turn out like a Taylor Swift song?  The Boy Recession by: Flynn Meaney has all of the answers in this entertaining story of high school and adolescence.  It’s well worth the couple of hours it takes to read and is relate-able for everybody.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books