Category Archives: 52 Books in 52 Weeks

The Unleashing

I have just finished reading The Unleashing which is Book One in the Call of Crows series by Shelly Laurenston. I have not read any of Shelly’s other publications so this was a new author for me too. I got this book through my local library’s Overdrive account.

the unleashing

I was drawn to the book not just because of the cover (hehe), but also because I have always enjoyed Norse mythology and was very intrigued by the idea of the Norse clans in a modern setting.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It was full of very strong female characters, I read a review that said they were not believable… I am guessing that reviewer was male because I have absolutely met women like that 🙂 I am a sucker for fiction that displays women in a strong light. I like it even more when they do not swoon at the first glimpse of abs. The story centers around the journey of Kera and her growth and discoveries about herself and her world. She’s strong, doesn’t take crap and the main love of her life is a pit bull she rescued off the street after it had been dumped for dead after being used in a dog fight ring… who wouldn’t love this girl?! Obviously I am totally biased as soon as a rescue dog became involved. My dream would be to buy a ranch where abused dogs are rehabilitated and given a second chance so I was hooked as soon as I read this part.

I liked the character of Ludvig as well, wasn’t sure I would at first, but he definitely grows on you. In fact all the characters do. It can get a little chaotic trying to keep them straight as there are a lot of characters running about, but it is not too bad.

I didn’t realise that the book was part of a series when I chose to read it which is a bummer because I will have to search for book two as my library does not have it. The end was a definite cliffhanger and I wasn’t expecting the book to end there. Just all of a sudden people were making statements and overtures and I was thinking to myself ‘huh, that’s weird, this is wrap up talk, but there’s so much more plot to work… oh it’s finished…’ the wrap up was a little to abrupt for me, but I think I felt that way too because I wasn’t ready for it to end.

Goodreads says there are two more books in the series. I would definitely like to check them out. I just like giving fair warning to anyone interested in reading that they might be committing to a series hahaha.

What are you all reading?


Burned

WARNING: There are some spoilers ahead. Short non-spoiler version: This was a good follow on from the other novels. Found some surprises in here. There were things I liked and didn’t like. Was interested very much in how she developed Dani’s character whilst hating it at the same time.

BurnedThis book seems to be receiving some serious flack in some of the reviews I have read. I was pretty happy in general with this book. I didn’t tear through it as much as the other books in the series for some reason, but it certainly wasn’t the travesty that people are making it out to be. There were parts of it I loved and parts not so much, but the likes far outweighed the dislikes.

In general this was a good installment in the series and I am looking forward to the next one. I still LOVE the world building in this series. There were a couple of completely new areas that we visited with the characters and I could completely construct a visual in my head thanks to Moning’s world building. Her descriptions of the Crimson Hag are just spot on and at times made me cringe, they could possibly give someone nightmares haha.

The characters interacted well and I still love the arguing between groups and the banter that goes on. We saw more of some characters that have so far been mostly in the background which was great and I liked the development of Lor’s character very much. I also appreciated getting to know more about the Nine and finding out about some of Ryodan’s much protected secrets.

-WARNING – BIG SPOILER – SKIP THIS PART IF YOU WANT –

I loved the character of Dani from the other books, I was a bit put off with the changes to her character. I knew something was coming with her because it felt like this was the way we were going with some kind of hidden personality. I was just disappointed when Dani disappeared right at the beginning of the book and I guess her character was so full of life that I really felt the loss in the group. Especially when she was replaced with this next gen Dani/Amazon warrior with the personality of a paper bag. I struggle with this because I love Dani, but at the same time it was such a clever development.

I’m glad I finally got to read this book. It has been on my TBR pile for some time (like you know… since it was published haha). Looking forward to getting hold of the next one.


The Princess Diarist

WARNING: There are some spoilers ahead. Short non-spoiler version: It was good… you should read it 🙂 Yay Carrie Fisher!

Image result for the princess diarist

Ahh The Princess Diarist… When I found out this was coming out I made sure the library was getting a copy. With the release of the Star Wars VII there was a lot of renewed interest from our patrons in Carrie Fisher’s books. As well as pretty much anything that could in some way maybe be slightly related to anything Star Wars 🙂

When we got it in there was definitely interest and I wanted to read it myself so I put on a reserve and waited patiently. Unfortunately no librarian perks when it comes to the reserves queue hahaha.

When I borrowed the book I got a few chapters in that night and the next day Carrie Fisher passed away. Some of what she wrote in the book talked about her eventual passing and it was just too weird and sad to continue reading it at that time so I returned it and let the other masses waiting for it go first.

So a couple of months down the track now the hordes have cleared I decided to give it another go. I really enjoyed this book. Bios are not generally something I steer towards, but I have found that when they are well written and interesting I do enjoy them.

It was quite interesting to see the differences between the writing styles of “present” day Carrie and the pages of 19 year old Carrie’s journals. It was very apparent from 19yo Carrie’s writing that she was very much infatuated by Harrison, though present day Carrie is reasonably discrete about the affair itself 19yo Carrie seemingly (to me) struggled under the banner of secrecy. If you are looking for some ground shattering literary genius out of those diaries you are not going to get it. They are what you would expect of a creative, somewhat angsty 19yo who’s smoking joints and head over heels. Kind of felt as though perhaps she had gotten hold of some of my old journals except I had more of a penchant for songs than poems.

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes parts of the memoir and I liked how she simultaneously loves and hates cons. She has a special tongue in cheek love for her fans as well.

Her writing style is quite quirky and you can almost imagine her saying the words as you read along. Actually the audio book would probably be great!

She does make a few references to her inevitable passing as well as that of her mother which made reading the book quite touching, but beautiful at the same time. One of the most poignant parts of the book for me was in the acknowledgements when she thanks her mother for “being too stubborn and thoughtful to die, “I love you, but that whole emergency, almost dying thing, wasn’t funny. Don’t even THINK about doing it again in any form.” Given that her mother died just one day after Carrie what was probably meant to be a wry joke took on a much more tender meaning.

If you are a fan of Carrie Fisher you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for some scandalous tell all on “Carrison” then this is probably not for you 🙂 But you will likely find some amazingly graphic fan fiction online hahaha. Whatever floats your boat, no judgement.

 


The Beauty of Darkness

The Beauty of Darkness is book 3 in The Remnant Chronicles saga and is my book number 2 for 52 books in 52 weeks.I talked about the second book in a recent post and was looking forward to reading the final installment. I will be as vague as possible, but some might consider what I will write slight spoilers 🙂

This was a thick book at 679 pages, so if you are someone who cannot commit to long books you might struggle, but I don’t mind them personally and I felt it was worth the read. When the story is good I don’t generally notice how long it is. Plus I was already two books in, I wasn’t about to stop now 🙂

book-the-beauty-of-darkness

Love the cover art for this series!!!

There was this really interesting message through this whole story that I felt repeated over and over again through different storylines and that was that ‘no one is too great to fall’. This is SUCH a true message in day to day life for every person as well as in this book and I think that is why I appreciated it. It also shows how those that fall respond, do they become desperate and cruel or evil, or do they have an inner strength and sense of self that sustains them through the harshest of times. Let’s not mince words, these characters went through some hellish ordeals, particularly the female protagonist Lia. From a waited on princess to someone’s prisoner covered in filth and blood wearing a hessian sack, Lia’s resolve never faulted and her inner strength and leadership qualities just grew. Everything was taken from her and she didn’t crumble. This is a great book for young women to read for this message alone.

The other thing I liked about Lia and some of the other main characters is that they often didn’t make the popular choice. They were not afraid to make the difficult choice that would be immensely harder and possibly end in death because ultimately it was the right thing to do and could save many lives. Too often you read books where people throw the lives of thousands out to dry in the name of love and whilst I understand that being an impossible choice I do get frustrated by the sheer amount of these type of novels – like the Fallen series for example (not that I didn’t enjoy it – you can tell here and here).

Relationships were so interesting in this book. To be honest it didn’t end the way I wished it had. The ending I wanted wouldn’t be the popular version, but to me it was more realistic and I cannot say much more about how I felt about this without spoiling things so I will stop here.

I was a fan of the overall ending and was definitely a fan of many of the messages in the book. I was a particular fan of the women in this book. There is a strength to the women in this book that you cannot help but admire. Seriously SUCH a great read for young women today.


52 books in 52 weeks is back!

Wayyyy back in 2014 as one of my New Year’s goals I decided to undertake a 52 books in 52 weeks challenge (52b52w). Though I am a librarian and surrounded by books everyday I found that I rarely had time to read anymore. As it was my favourite past time I decided to find a way to get it back into my life.

My chill out time used to include a cup of tea a couple of smokes and a good read. Last year on Feb 15 I decided to put the gaspers down for good, in one more month it will be a year since my last cigarette. To be honest giving up smoking after a decade of doing it has made me probably the most proud of myself I have ever been, even more than graduating after 4 years of Uni haha. However, it did mean that I avoided reading. I realised that when I read I would sometimes crave so I stopped, this means I did not read much in 2016. Thankfully I am now over this phase and am ready to get back into reading big time!

So I thought I would start with book 2 and 3 in the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. I have been waiting to read these since I read the first book in the series The Kiss of Deception in November 2015. I really enjoyed the first installment and couldn’t wait to get into the second. However, knowing the cliffhanger I was left at the end of the first I decided to wait until both books came out so I could read them one after the other. LOVE me some binge reading!

So my first read for this year is The Heart of Betrayal book #2 in the Remnant Chronicles series.

heart-of-betrayal

I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was very well written.

This second installment was written in a different manner and you were able to see the story from more points of view. Whilst I loved the first book and the fact you didn’t know who was who until the final curtain call this book felt like a step forward. It felt more adult. The development of the characters in this book was wonderful, often coming from witnessing or being subjected to brutal incidents.

I loved Lia’s development through this book. She really came into her own and I love her backbone. I really liked how I could see her love of the people and her gift growing, her sense of self was in constant development throughout this book.

This ended almost exactly the way I wanted. I have an idea of where I would like the next installment to go, but I feel it is unlikely the ending I will get.

I have already started on the third book and so far it is exciting too 🙂

Library lovers day in Australia is fast approaching on the 14 February. In support I am currently borrowing all of my books from the library and sharing them on my instagram with the hashtag #librarylove Feel free to do the same 🙂

library-lovers-day


52 Books in 52 Weeks – Harry Potter cont…

Fair warning… it’s all about Harry Potter 🙂

41. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets

I won’t lie, the movie of this book is my least favourite in the series. Having now read the book I think the movie cheated it. There was so much more depth in a variety of characters that was erased from the film.

I really enjoyed this second book. Loved that Dobby threw Lucius down some stairs at the end and that the flying car was an actual character that was self-aware and had feelings and went wild in the forest. I also liked that nearly headless Nick was a much bigger character in the book than I expected having seen the film first.

I do love the relationships in this book and if I were in need of a family I would wish with all my heart that the Weasley’s were real and looking to adopt!

Great book, can’t wait for the next one 🙂

42. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling

Harry-Potter-And-The-Prisoner-Of-Azkaban_novelI am loving how my appreciation of this series is getting deeper as I go on. At this point I am pretty much tearing through these books.

I love Ron attempting to use the phone and very much wish that was in the movie. I also found the character of Crookshanks very interesting, in the film he is just a cat, but in the books he is so much more.

Sirius and Lupin were some of my favourite characters from the films and Lupin was definitely my favourite Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher, so I am glad that my love for them was only made bigger by reading the actual book 🙂

43. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Goblet_of_FireOh Cedric, Cedric. He was such a good and wonderful person. Sorry, it’s all just so much more real when you are reading the book, you feel like you really got to know him and then… well… all the feels.

I love the Weasley’s rocking up through the fireplace and the Dursley’s just not know knowing what to do about it hahaha.

I did feel like a lot of the descriptions of Krum were quite negative, maybe it is just me, but that’s how I was left feeling about him which I think was unfair because there is nothing wrong with him.

There was more Dobby in this book, I was kind of surprised by that because Dobby didn’t show up at all really between the Chamber of Secrets and Deathly Hallows. Poor Dobby. I actually really liked him as a character in the book. Hermione trying to save all the house elves that don’t want to be saved gave me a giggle too.

44. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-coverI have so many evilish feelings and thoughts about Umbridge. She really is the Antichrist! What a truly evil woman.

I have noticed (maybe because I know what is coming from the movies) that Rowling has little hints in earlier books of things to come which is pretty awesome. It certainly shows that she had this whole story and world planned out completely.

Fred + George Weasley Forever! Those boys are something else and I just love it!

I feel like A LOT was missed out from the book to the film and that makes me sad. For starters in the film didn’t Bellatrix “kill” Neville’s parents rather than just drive them batty? Why? St Mungo’s isn’t even shown in the films which means we never see loopy Lockhart again. Harry felt a lot of angst around the fact that Hermione and Ron were made prefects and he wasn’t, I thought it was great they were made prefects and interesting that this was not in the film.

45. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling

coverI think this was my favourite book so far. The back story into Voldemort was colourful, clever, well-rounded and very informative without giving too much away.The book is FAR better than the movie and I feel as though I have a much greater understanding of Voldemort now.

The way the characters are developed through this series is very well orchestrated and I can only applaud Rowling’s brain for that. Every character is so well thought out and carefully built and true to their nature in the way that they react and interact within the story.

Every chapter with adventures using the Half-Blood Prince’s potions book was fascinating and Harry’s internal thoughts and emotions whilst the story unravels are fascinating. Definitely my favourite so far!

46. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

Harry_Potter_and_the_Deathly_Hallows

Nooooo….. it can’t be the last one already! I have read these way too fast!

I can certainly understand why they split this into 2 films, there is an immense amount that occurs in this book. In the final book of this wondrous and now quite beloved (for me anyway) series Rowling brilliantly and tear-jerkingly ties up all the little fragments she has planted over the years throughout the books. This final volume is an absolute triumph and this along with the Half-Blood Prince are absolutely 2 of the best junior fiction novels I have EVER read.

I laughed and shed tears reading this book. A favourite part was hearing Fred and George Weasley on the radio station ‘Pottermore’ hosted by Lee Jordan, I literally laughed out loud during this part of the book. I can’t for the life of me imagine why they wouldn’t have included this part in the first Deathly Hallows film instead of just watching them camp for the majority of it.

I adore how intricately interwoven this series is, the story of which spans literally two generations (more if you include the Dumbledore back story). I know I have mentioned my adoration of the effort that has gone into the characters, but honestly I don’t feel I can state enough how impressed I was with the development of the characters. Harry and Ginny’s relationship was so well done in the books, I really feel it suffered in the films (emotion fueled teenage looks non-withstanding).

Also the end fight scene in this was SO much better than the film. I always liked the film’s final fight, but the book’s was amazing!

I do truly wish I could have experienced the series without having seen the movies, but let’s face it there are so many spoilers around it wouldn’t have mattered. What does matter is that I have finally read them and loved them and now I won’t cause shock by saying “I haven’t actually read Harry Potter”

 

I couldn’t believe it when I was reading these books and the last book almost coincided with the passing of Alan Rickman. I was so very sad to hear of his passing, he was a spectacularly talented man and I am a big fan of his work

What are you guys reading???


Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Harry Potter

2016

I have been a very, very naughty blogger. I have neglected you and I am sorry. Why have I abandoned you? Quite simply the crazy season was crazy and every minute I wasn’t committed to cooking, cleaning, celebrating, catching up or other such activities I was reading the Harry Potter series. I managed to finish the last book before the New Year.

I also realise I seriously owe you some 52 Books in 52 Weeks posts. I will get them done. Basically I am behind because I was reading too much and seriously surpassed my goal.

Let’s talk about resolutions… did you make any? I have done some over the past few years which were more like goals rather than resolutions and I will be keeping some of the ones from last year. So here are my goals for 2016…

  • 52 Books in 52 Weeks – yup, here we go again. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this, but I need to get better with my planning and posting. I was doing well last year until about half way through and then it all fell to pieces LOL.
  • Try new things – I have really enjoyed this and haven’t done as much of it in 2015 as I should have so I am bringing this back with a vengeance. I do often tie this in to trying new foods (particularly healthy foods) which is a great thing, but I want to get some more activity things in there too in 2016.
  • Healthy lifestyle – This is something that one constantly works towards I think. It is a choice you make each day. Hubby was good enough to gift me the Garmin tracker I asked for so my first goal for 2016 health wise is to keep my steps up each day. I have also been chatting to a friend at work and may have talked her into joining the work gym and being my gym buddy… we’ll see what happens there. Sadly I gym better when my commitment has been made to someone else rather than myself. I am also going to explore more foods, ways of cooking and preparing and organising my meals better.
  • Get knocked up – This is probably my biggest goal for 2016. Someway, somehow I want to be knocked up by years end. I don’t think this is too much to ask really is it? This means more to me than pretty much everything apart from my family. Please let this be my year. Fingers crossed.

What goals have you set yourself this year?