Category Archives: Love to read

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 🙂

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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.


It’s okay to be me

This post was inspired by WordPress’ Daily Prompt ‘It Builds Character’.

I have already accidentally deleted this entire post twice because of strange things that the new interface does. I am unimpressed to say the least. So I will now write this in Word and copy paste 🙂

When I think back on characters that have had an effect on me, there is one in particular which stands out as being integral to the person I have become.

When I was young (prepubescent young), I was already aware that I was different from most of the other girls in the class. Whilst they were obsessed with ‘The Baby Sitters Club’ and ‘Sweet Valley High’ (both of which I read and enjoyed, but mainly they just gave me numbers for the read-a-thon each year) I was off reading ‘Matilda’ and authors like R.L Stine (not the Goosebumps books, the advanced stuff) and Tamora Pierce. I had great access to YA novels because my Mum was a Teacher Librarian at a High School.

Other girls my age wanted to play makeovers and weddings and I wanted to ride bikes and run through the bush. The girls I knew made games of imagining their weddings to a member of the Backstreet Boys or Hanson whilst I danced about the house singing to the score of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.

Jo March from ‘Little Women’ was a trailblazer, in a time where it wasn’t proper for women to run through the woods, traipse about through brooks without shoes, yell out to or play with boys or write epic novels she did it all and everyone who mattered accepted her and loved her for who she was. Everything about this girl/woman appealed to me. It would be fair to say that as a young girl my biggest dream was to grow up to be Jo March. She was a hero to me. To this day she remains one of my favourite literary characters. In fact Jo March is probably the reason I have the guts to write online.

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Jo also appealed to me because of her love of the written word and her strength of character and independence. You have probably noticed from my reviews of my books for 52 Books in 52 Weeks that I have a thing for strong female characters that shuck the norm and stereotypes. I still believe that this love of certain qualities in this character made me try to develop those characteristics in myself. As soon as I was old enough to work (14) I got an after school job. This made me feel amazing because I didn’t have to ask my mother to buy me things like deodorant and tampons (you have no idea how amazing it was as a 14 year old to not rely on someone else for your tampon stash!), this was my first step to real independence and I liked it. I saved my money from my job and when I graduated I paid my own way on a holiday with my friends, that is a pretty huge thing for an 18 year old to be able to do. Then when I was 19 I moved interstate to the desert, yup I moved to Ayers Rock, it was arid, hot, confronting and I was pretty innocent at the time (I hardened up quick though – read more about that here), I had no safety net there. I knew no one. It was the bravest and most awesome thing I think I have done. It was an amazing experience and I am so glad I did it to this day!

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I believe I have a lot to thank Jo March for. I have previously written about my love of both the book and movie and after reading back over this post I realise how big an impact my love of this character has had on me. As far as role models go I am pretty proud that she has been and continues to be mine.

 


The brilliance of eBooks

Have I told you all how much I love eBooks? No? Maybe? All the time? Well I can’t help it, I totally do.

With my library card from work I have access to literally hundreds of eBooks at the tap of a screen. If I go through the Library website I have access to a number of online reference books (like medical and legal volumes plus encyclopedias) and online databases.

My library also has two eBook platforms; Overdrive and BorrowBox. Overdrive is American and therefore has a wide range of eBooks and audiobooks on it whereas BorrowBox is Australian so concentrates more on Aussie and NZ authors which is great too.

Due to the fact that it is winter and therefore snowy, rainy and cold out, plus the fact we just got a boatload of new content on BorrowBox here is one of the promos I put together for our social media promotion.

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Created using befunky.com

Normally I pick up physical books whilst at work because hey, I’m already there right? But sometimes I forget (I do get very busy) and find myself stuck on the weekend without a precious novel (THE HORROR). Then I remember not to fret, I do not have to go down to work on my day off because I can just pick up my iPad and open the app for either Overdrive or BorrowBox and find a great book to read 🙂 Most recently I chose ‘The Lie’ by C.L. Taylor which was great, you will see my brief review in my June 52 Books in 52 Weeks list, it is number 31 🙂 – I promise June will be out soon, a little shorter than normal, but it is definitely coming!

You will know from past posts of my fall from grace due to my Netflix addiction, you do have to pay for Netflix, (let’s be honest though, the amount is less per month than a single visit to the movies) but wouldn’t it be amazing if soon you could get Netflix access through your library card too.

Gotta love my job 🙂


Library returns

So… a 14 year old boy returned these to the Library yesterday…

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I assume the Bible is the chaser for 50 Shades so he can get over his guilt??? This amused us endlessly during our 2 hour desk shift. It is possibly the best return combination I have ever seen.

I would love to hear some of your borrowed or returned stories 🙂


52 Books in 52 Weeks – March

I was keeping up the steam well in February. Unfortunately I am out of Belador books for now haha, perhaps more will come along. As I said I am looking to mix it up a bit this year so keep your eyes out for some non-fiction books coming up in this list soon as well as biographies.

9. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

I really, really, really enjoyed this book! I totally gave it 5 stars on Goodreads! This story is about a brilliant Professor who happens to have undiagnosed Asperger’s and his journey through life and trying to locate a suitable life partner. I think part of the reason that I enjoyed this book is because I really respect that way that the brains and thought processes of “Aspies” work. I like their honesty, you never have to worry that they have another agenda going on and they are so often incredibly intelligent and great conversationalists. I once went on a date with someone with Asperger’s and had no idea until he sent back his thickshake sighting that they had provided him a milkshake not a thickshake because… he then sighted how thick it should be and the ratio of milk to icecream that should be included. The poor server… it was hilarious though 🙂 Good for him. It didn’t work out, we just weren’t that interested in each other, he told me upfront… awesome! No time wasted hahaha. This book is totally and completely worth your time, read it. I actually laughed out loud when he presented a talk about Asperger’s to Aspie’s, that is a great few pages. Please read it! Very bummed because my Library doesn’t have the second book, I sent through a suggestion for purchase 🙂

10. Fallen in Love (Fallen #3.5) – Lauren Kate

12588363This book… hmm. I just, I could have done without this book. I get what she was trying to do here with explaining all the background of the other characters and their love experiences, etc., but I just felt like it didn’t work for me.

Perhaps by the time I got to this book I was just kinda over the storyline or something? It was drawn out over many books and whilst with the Belador series I have just got more into it, that didn’t happen for me with the Fallen series.

By the end of the last book of the series I was kinda ready to walk away from the characters and story, plus I felt Cam got royally ripped off. The best book in this series was the one where she went through a bunch of her past lives with Bill.

I was kinda glad it was done to be honest.

11. Rapture (Fallen #4) – Lauren Kate

Rapture (Fallen, #4)Okay, so this was the last of the series. I liked the Lucifer elements and the twists with he and Luce – they were good and well thought out. The characters of Daniel and Luce themselves really started p-ing me off bigtime. I get it okay you choose love, over and over again. In doing so you have put many Angels through years of torture and broken the hearts of how many thousands of families throughout time (meaning Luce’s families)? That seems incredibly selfish and then they just kept making the same mistakes. Just damn stupid. I was pretty dissatisfied with most aspects of this final book in the series. I would not recommend it. I also feel like Cam just got handed the sh*t stick over and over again throughout history. No wonder he went dark side!

12. Defiance (Defiance #1) – CJ Redwine

This book was kind of different, I actually liked the way it threw you straight into it without a tonne of back-story so you had to get the pieces of the story as you went along. I can see that a lot of people would hate it because it is not the conventional way to tell a tale, but I liked it. *SLIGHT SPOILERS* Damn there was a lot of death and psychological torture for a YA novel. At first when they talked about the Cursed One I was kind of reminded of that Kevin Bacon cult classic Tremors hahaha.

There is not a lot of world building which would normally annoy me except for the fact that the story is told from the points of view of the two main characters so you can only build the world as much as they understand or decide to think about it that day. To be honest it p’s me off when a character randomly decides to think of the entire history of their world… who does that? We are told enough to figure out that it is loosely set in the future where man mined too far into the ground searching for resources and they released the Cursed Ones that proceeded to destroy the planet and turn everything to ashes. A group of men were able to hold them back and those men created their own cities and became the leaders (or protectors). The impression I got was that the rules of each city are basically completely developed by the ruler and in this particular city he likes his women dumb and subservient, because… POWER blah blah blah. I am not surprised that at least one woman wants to rebel… wow I would find that kind of existence sooo suffocating. There is a reason they cut the umbilical cord at birth, you know?! Anyway I digress. I really liked how different this was, it seemed to take quite a bashing on Goodreads, but the things they were upset about (most of which I have discussed) were things I liked so I will leave it up to you.

13. To wed a wicked Earl (Devine & Friends #2) – Olivia Parker

I said I would try and read different sorts of books right? Well, this was one of those. I gave it a one on Goodreads, it just wasn’t my thing you guys. I mean it was okay and all, it wasn’t the worst romance novel I have ever read and at least there was no mention of someone’s “quivering member” so it has that going for it.

I just… can’t with this book. The characters were kinda likeable, the plot was kinda okay. The only real drama happened right at the end of the book and equaled all of 2 pages of text… wtf? Apparently this is the second in the series… oops. Just for the record I am not going back for the first. I need a bit more meat in my romances, not man meat… plot meat.


52 Books in 52 Weeks – February

Well I got off to a great start in January, 5 books done. This is such a fun challenge! 🙂 After this month I have run our of Belador books so you won’t be hearing about them anymore. I’ll try to vary up the reading moving forward, but sometimes you come across a series and you can’t help but become a bit consumed by it until you finish it and then you get that reader’s remorse happening for you hahaha. Anyone else suffer from reader’s remorse?

6. The Curse (Belador series #3) – Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

Yup, more Beladors and let me just say that I was not disappointed. The entrance of Trolls in this book was pretty great, I liked the storyline and loved Evalle doing her hulk impression 🙂 I also really admire her sense of loyalty above all else. These Beladors have treated her horribly, true they treat her better than her aunt did, but for the most part they treat her like dirt. Yet she would lay down her life for any of them, that is the heart of a true warrior in my eyes. The storyline was good. I do feel like these “Gods” and “Goddesses” need a boot to the head. They are just ridiculous. Whenever any of them get involved I feel like I am reading about High School drama. Just craziness. The Goddess Macha in particular could use a time out, she is very strange and I don’t understand her motives in much of this. I am hoping to figure that out soon. Again the amount of action was great, so was the gore… just the right amount of guts 🙂 I loved the further development between Evalle and Storm. I have just really taken a shine to this series 🙂

7. Toxic Heart – Theo Lawrence

Toxic Heart is the second in the series. The first book was “Mystic City” which I really, really liked. So I was pretty excited when the sequel finally came out 🙂 From the cover I expected this book to be a lot about Hunter’s journey, but it really wasn’t. I felt like this book was very much still based around Aria’s evolution. Whilst Hunter’s changes were vast and directly impacted on many people I don’t feel that he was at the core of the novel. I love the character of Aria, a young girl who got herself into this position with the rebels by following her heart and what she truly believes in right. She is owning her decisions and pushing herself, I love that she believes so much in what the right thing is that she will risk anything to achieve it. You can see her slowly developing very naturally into the kind of leader who would do anything for her people. Not that she actually is a leader, but that is my belief of the kind of person who would make a good leader. Hunter lost a lot from me in this book, he just seemed like a lost little boy. Turk was the man in this book, he was humble and good and true and loyal – I mean seriously people what more could you want out of a man. I still love both the first and the second book. To be honest I felt really proud of the Aria character at the end of this book, girl has some guts 🙂

8. Rise of the Gryphon (Belador series #4) – Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

The action continues. I was worried that this book was going to finish earlier than it did so it was an awesome surprise when it went on – trying to avoid spoilers, but it was a really good thing you guys 🙂 Macha is still the Goddess of ‘Bitchdom’ and ‘No Chances Land’. This Goddess seems to have something long and cylindrical permanently stuck up her butt. Sen is a jerk as always, I think I have avoided talking about him in the past because I didn’t want to give him any air time, but I think the point of this character might be arising soon. Storm is awesome, Evalle is wonderful – I love the trust these two have. It’s kinda beautiful haha. Lanna is an interesting character, it took me awhile to read her chapters easily because her thoughts are written in broken English which is quite interesting. This book has an awesome ending! So good. I am not entirely sure where I am going to score the 5th one from, but I’ll figure it out haha.


52 Books in 52 weeks – December

I didn’t quite get this post out before the end of 2014, but I did get it done. This post is going to be a little different. For my last post on 52 Books in 52 Weeks for 2014 I read a trilogy my mother recommended to me written by Nora Roberts. I haven’t really read Nora Roberts before and to be honest I had the impression that she was a romance novelist and I usually like my novels with some more meat than that. But… I was wrong.

Here is the list 🙂

Number Title Author
50 Blood Brothers (Sign of Seven trilogy #1) Roberts, Nora
51 The Hollow (Sign of Seven trilogy #2) Roberts, Nora
52 The Pagan Stone (Sign of Seven trilogy #3) Roberts, Nora

I am going to write about the trilogy as a whole. I probably should have written my thoughts about each of them down as I finished them, but by now you guys would know that when I get to reading a series I pretty much rip through it hahaha. This trilogy I finished in 3 days.

Sign of Seven trilogy – Nora Roberts

As I said before I resisted this trilogy at first, but my Mum has a lot of reading experience and has put me onto many great authors over the years and I trust her judgement so I decided to give it a go. As usual I will try to keep my review as free from spoilers as possible, but that is kind of hard.

Overall I really enjoyed this trilogy, I loved the mix of fantasy, thriller, romance etc. One thing I believe is that Nora Roberts is either an amazing researcher and should possibly have also been a librarian or she is just extremely knowledgeable about a tonne of topics. Generally speaking the trilogy was awesome. I loved the character of Cybil, she was my favourite – being a researcher are you really surprised I identified with the character of the same profession?

I actually really liked that the story initially starts with 3 male protagonists. It’s not often that seems to happen in books like this so it was nice to see. I loved the grandma character of Elsie, one weird thing I noticed was that in the first book she was 97 and in the second she was referred to as 93… apparently the Grandma is Benjamin Button… who knew? hahaha. Sorry for nitpicking, I can’t help it.

Whilst it was an easy read it dealt with some intense things at times. I kind of liked that it made me uncomfortable, most writers would stop before writing about taboos like rape (don’t worry this isn’t much of a spoiler). To me the fact that this writer didn’t shy away from writing about the kind of things that would in reality happen if the situation could happen in reality shows some balls. Kudos.

The only other thing that bothered me is the epilogue at the end of the series. I felt there either needed to be a second epilogue or that the first one should have been written differently. There were three things in particular I wanted to know about. If I write about what they are though it would be a HUGE plot spoiler so I seriously can’t.

All in all I would definitely recommend reading this series if you are into supernatural thrillers/romances. The details are great and the characters are well developed. Each of the 6 (yes, 6) main characters are well fleshed out and I like the details about their families and the town. All in all, good stuff and a great end to my 2015 52 Books in 52 Weeks. I am definitely considering repeating this challenge for 2015, I have found it very fulfilling and fun. I didn’t get to the Hobbit 😦 unfortunately it is still packed in boxes waiting to be moved to our new house which is not yet finished. But with my new job I will have access to a tonne of books this year, so if you have any suggestions please write them in the comments below.