Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: There's Wild, Then There's You by M. Leighton

Title: There's Wild, Then There's You (The Wild Ones #3)
Author: M. Leighton
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 336
Add to Goodreads

I received this book as part of a giveaway!

Violet Wilson is a wallflower. Shy, serious, and accident-prone, she’s got a bad habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The night she’s forced to pose with her friend might just be the worst time of all—that’s when she meets Jet Blevins. She knows better than to get involved with someone like him, but he touches her in ways she never expected, never wanted before.

On the outside, Jet is a typical rocker, an arrogant lead guitarist who unapologetically lives a wild lifestyle. But on the inside, he’s battling demons and using the stage to escape the troubles of his past and the addictions of his present. Until the night he sees Violet standing at the back of the room. She brings his life into focus. She knows his secrets. She’s the girl he can’t forget, and the one thing he craves more than his addiction.

But can they ever hope to have a future when their very foundation is nothing but lies?

Now THIS is how you write a romance novel!

After the last few YA romances I've read I'd almost lost all faith in the romance genre. I'd forgotten what it was like to read a romance written for my age group! Okay, so I'm not in my early 20s anymore... Whatever. This is one of the best books from the New Adult genre that I've had the pleasure of reading so far.

M. Leighton did a wonderful job with There's Wild, Then There's You, the third in The Wild Ones series (though I didn't read the first two). The writing is flawless and the characters actually had depth! Imagine that, right?

Violet is a self-sufficient, strong, independent woman - something I feel like we don't get enough of in literature. Not only that, but she was a character that I actually loved. I couldn't find anything I didn't love about her, in fact! She wasn't whiney or needy or pathetic. Jet was equally lovable. He obviously had his issues, but he wasn't a jerk like so many male protagonists are. The romance itself was completely believable. It didn't happen in 2.5 seconds flat. Rather, it progressed like a normal human relationship. It wasn't super, unbelievably skanky either. Everything about the relationship between Violet and Jet made sense to me.

The only question I'd have for these characters is -why- did you feel the need to keep your secrets? I just couldn't wrap my head around the thought processes behind their decisions!

If I could find a complaint for this book it would have to be that the chapters were so short. You see, this caused me much exhaustion from staying up so late. You know how it goes - "Oh, this chapter's short! Just one more!" And then it becomes a vicious cycle. So, as you can see, my biggest issue was that I loved this book and couldn't put it down! Seriously, to any fan of romance: read this.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spine-tingling Saturday: Life in the Machine

Title: The Life in the Machine
Author: unpatriotic
Posted on: May 27, 2012
Location: Reddit

A few nights ago I was sitting in bed reading Reddit instead of my current book for review. As I was finishing a particularly interesting story on Reddit's r/nosleep, it occurred to me that I spend nearly as much time reading scary stories online (usually on Reddit) as I do reading the books I review here. As a result I'm going to try something new: a Saturday review of my favorite internet horror story (or stories) for the week. Because online authors need love too!

My very first feature for Spine-tingling Saturdays is The Life in the Machine by unpatriotic (who is, unfortunately, no longer a member of Reddit). Though this story showed up on Reddit two years ago, it wasn't until about six months ago that I finally found it.

The Life in the Machine is about a man who creates his own virtual species (think The Sims) that continually evolves and the outcome is outside of anything he could have expected. It isn't often that a story - especially one on the internet - makes me reconsider your very existence. This one did just that. The Life in the Machine is well-written and beautifully haunting. Luckily, as often happens with high-profile NoSleep stories, there are several recordings of this story available on YouTube. Here's one for your enjoyment!




There you have it! My first Spine-tingling Saturday! Did you enjoy this week's story? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Feature & Follow #4

Happy Friday, fellow book lovers! Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.


This Week's Question: 

Post a photo of your favorite coffee mug (or mugs if you can’t choose just one).


Well, this one is going to be a little difficult... I'm living in Maryland for the summer. My husband is a Merchant Marine and he's here for training. So I packed up myself and the dogs along with a couple movies and a few books and here we are! Since I don't have any of my mugs with me, how about I post the mug I'm dying to own? Fair? Cool!


THIS is the mother of all mugs (in my humble opinion)! Okay, let me tell you all something about me that you might not know. Epcot (no, I was not around for EPCOT Center) is my absolute favorite place in the entire world. If I could choose one place to be at any given moment in time it would almost definitely be Epcot. I wish I could write a blog all about Epcot. Okay, I'm having a moment... Deep breath. Alright. This mug is in the likeness of Spaceship Earth, my favorite ride at (and the monumental icon of) Epcot. Inside is the story of human technology from the caveman to... okay, like, the 80s. It could use a serious update, but the ride is pure magic. And why wouldn't it be? It's at the most magical place on earth! 

So, I feel like that's probably too much to say about a mug, but I could honestly go on all day. But I'll spare you. Instead I'll just ask: what's your favorite mug? 
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Waiting on" Wednesday #3


Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is: 


by Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: September 23, 2014


Blurb: 
The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

I would LOVE to get my hands on an ARC of this book (somebody hook it up)! It's a different kind of ghost story than I usually read, but I think it's going to be brilliant!


***


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teaser Tuesday #3

M. Leighton

Blurb: 
Violet Wilson is a wallflower. Shy, serious, and accident-prone, she’s got a bad habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The night she’s forced to pose with her friend might just be the worst time of all—that’s when she meets Jet Blevins. She knows better than to get involved with someone like him, but he touches her in ways she never expected, never wanted before.

On the outside, Jet is a typical rocker, an arrogant lead guitarist who unapologetically lives a wild lifestyle. But on the inside, he’s battling demons and using the stage to escape the troubles of his past and the addictions of his present. Until the night he sees Violet standing at the back of the room. She brings his life into focus. She knows his secrets. She’s the girl he can’t forget, and the one thing he craves more than his addiction.

But can they ever hope to have a future when their very foundation is nothing but lies?

My teaser:
"He finally stops to look at me and give me his full attention as he hands me my purse. 'I can tell by looking at you that the only thing you need right now is coffee.'  
 'And a shower,' I add.   
Jet's voice is low and his eyes are warm. 'I'm trying not to think too much about you in the shower. Mind taking it easy on a guy?'"   
- Page 86





Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page (I cheated)
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: SilverMoonLight by Marah Woolf

Title: SilverMoonLight (MondLichtSaga #1)
Author: Marah Woolf
Publication Date: February 22, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Pages: 161
Add to Goodreads

"Even the very first time I saw you, I had the feeling that you wouldn’t be good for me."

Not even Emma’s worst nightmares could have prepared her for the dramatic change that takes place in her life. After the sudden death of her mother, she has no choice but to go and live with her Uncle and his family on the sleepy town of Portree on the Scottish Isle of Skye.

The last thing she expects is to fall in love there. From the very first moment she meets Calum, his mysterious aura captivates her. He casts a spell on her, and even his seeming disinterest does little to change this. His contradictory behaviour only adds to his allure. But before long this fassade begins to crumble, and eventually even he gives in to his feelings.

When he reveals his true identity to her one day, she flees from him. But it’s too late, for she has already fallen head over heels...

A fantastical, mythical book for all fans of Twilight and Co -- without vampires and werewolves, but with many other fascinating creatures that anyone would love to encounter. Immerse yourself in the story of Emma and Calum.


I fell in love with the cover of SilverMoonLight as soon as I saw it and after reading the blurb on Goodreads I just had to get my hands on a copy! This book started out strong. The opening chapters grab you and pull you in. The premise is entirely original - you won't find any vampires or werewolves here! Okay, that's a lie. You will, but they're not central to the story. The main characters are something entirely new, thanks to the Scottish mythology employed in the story. Unfortunately, there are some pretty blatant issues with this book as well.

The first problem (and one I can kind of forgive) is that it is very, very obviously translated to English from another language - in this case, German. There are far too many uses of the words "for" and "so." Here are a few examples:
"I was much more interested in his plans, for he would be finishing school a year before me." -page 112
"When we got there, I needed a moment to catch my breath, for we had walked at a pretty fast pace." -page 149
"Luckily Amelie was in the process of inhaling a third brownie, so Sophie made do without an answer" -page 44   
"My throat was dry, so I gulped down some diet coke." -page 83
Maybe I'm being nitpicky at this point, but it began to get under my skin about halfway through the book. It just reads in a really unnatural way. But like I said, that's the issue with translation. These weren't the only words that didn't seem to fit, just the most frequent.

The biggest issue with this book was that it seemed very rushed. Throughout the entire book there were instances where Emma would be in the middle of an activity and suddenly, "three months later..." Seriously, three months just gone! The author skips days and weeks where more detail would have been beneficial to fleshing out the story a bit more. For example, about halfway through the book the family takes a vacation. On this vacation, Emma and her cousin are walking to the old town "where everything is happening." Turn the page and it's the next day! I really wish the author had spent the adequate time to make this a more in-depth story. Similarly, there were a lot of easy fixes for the characters. There are notes all over my Kindle copy of this book pointing out some form of "too simple." There were solutions to issues that just didn't seem realistic and I think this goes hand in hand with the story being rushed to death.

Finally, the relationship between Emma and Calum didn't make much sense for me. It didn't seem genuine and the chemistry wasn't there. We constantly hear about Emma's desire, but where does it come from? The characters fall in love way too fast and with no obvious reason other than Calum's eyes (what is it with all of the YA men and their "impenetrable stares"?). Not only that, but both Emma and Calum are super wishy washy. They love each other, they ignore each other. Calum really just seems like an ass for a lot of the book. And I never did understand the purpose of Valerie's character.

I feel really awful for picking this book apart. I wanted to love it so much! It just didn't do it for me. That being said, I didn't have to stop in the middle and I did make it through so the story was enough to keep me reading. The ideas were original, but the execution was severely lacking. Though it ended on a cliffhanger, I really doubt I'll read the next one. I would still recommend this book to someone who wants a different kind of YA paranormal romance. Just don't expect perfection from SilverMoonLight.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Feature & Follow #3

Happy Friday, fellow book lovers! Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.


This Week's Question: 

What are your favorite books of 2014 so far?


Okay, so... do they have to be books that were published in 2014? Because I might be out of luck there since I've only got one under my belt. Just so I have something to write about, I'm going to post my top three favorite reads from the year, regardless of publication date, from almost-favorite to ohmygodyoumustreadthis! Unfortunately, I've only reviewed one of the three.


#3


Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbot
Published February 7, 2014
Rating: 4/5 (my review)

This book comes in at number 3 because, to be honest, mystery just isn't my thing. That being said, this one kept me on my toes and up late every night! It's a story about a psycho husband and a wife who's had enough. A definite must-read for anyone who's a mystery-lover and, as I've proven, even those who aren't.



#2


Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Published August 3, 2008
Rating: 5/5

Acheron comes in at number two spot on my list. I know I'm a few years behind on this one, but I am SO glad I finally got around to it! I've been reading the Dark Hunter series off and on for years. While they normally consist of a little quick, trashy romance with a Greek mythology tie-in, this one had depth that I was not expecting. My only regret is that the entire story couldn't have been set in Acheron's past. 
The feels were strong with this one. 



#1


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Published September 20, 2011
Rating: 5/5

This book is number one on my list of favorite reads of the year! I really had such a hard time deciding between this one and Acheron for the number one spot, but in the end, Achilles won out. While I loved Acheron, I don't know that I'd read it again, while this one is going to be on my re-read list for years to come. Everyone knows the story of Achilles, but not like this. This book tells the story of Achilles and Patroclus from childhood to the bitter end. I laughed, I (almost) cried, and I stayed up way past my bedtime. Please, please, pick this one up if you enjoy mythology and sweet, tragic romance. 


What are your favorite 2014 reads so far? 

Giveaway Goodies!

A couple of weeks ago I started to integrate into the book blogging community and one of the first blogs I came across was Readers Live a Thousand Lives. As it happened, there was a giveaway in progress. Despite my history of horrible luck I decided to enter. Imagine my surprise when I received an email announcing that I'd won!


The giveaway was for There's Wild Then, There's You by M. Leighton. 
All of the goodies were so much more than I'd expected! 





I am so excited to start this book just as soon as I finish my current read (and mid-terms)! As it turns out, it's the third in a series. I haven't read the other two, so I'm hoping it's okay to just dig right in! I realize that everything that came in this package ties into the book somehow and I can't wait for it all to come together.

Thank you so much to Teresa and M. Leighton for the fabulous giveaway! Review to follow!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Waiting on" Wednesday #2

Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is: 


by Amy Ewing
Publication Date: September 2, 2014


Blurb: 
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

This looks so good! I just love a good forbidden love read! Hurry up, September!




"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Liebster Award Nominations!

So there's this thing called the Liebster Award and I had no idea it existed! Imagine my surprise when both Booksniffer Book Reviews and Please Feed the Bookworm nominated me for just such an award within 24 hours of each other!



Here are the rules! You must...

  • List 11 facts about yourself. 
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you. 
  • Nominate 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers and leave them a comment saying they've been nominated. 
  • Ask 11 new questions for your chosen nominees. 
  • You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.



11 Facts About Me:
  1. Disney World is my happy place. My first visit was in 2009 and I got married there in 2012. 
  2. I used to be in the Air Force. I helped perform surgery on eyeballs. As a result of being in the military, I have had my hand in a person's stomach (routine surgery, don't panic). 
  3. My parents didn't really own books during my childhood. I know we had a Michael Jordan book and a natural home remedies manual. 
  4. If I could get away with it, I'd explore every abandoned theme park I could get to. I am fascinated by abandoned places! 
  5. I once got stuck on a mud flat in Alaska with no cell service. I really thought I was going to die.
  6. I didn't really start reading for fun until 9th grade, when a friend made me do it. 
  7. In high school I walked around with a red leather-bound copy of The Lord of the Rings trilogy for months. 
  8. The longest book I've ever read was Under the Dome
  9. I started the toe socks and flip flops trend at my high school. It actually caught on. 
  10. I've been reading The Wheel of Time series off and on for 12 years. I keep stopping and starting over.  
  11. I wear pajamas every second I'm not in public. 



Q&A with Christina @ Booksniffer Book Reviews

  1. In the case of (any) Apocalypse, what 5 fictional characters would you want on your survival team? Why?
    1. Hermione Granger - She knows everything and is pretty handy with a wand. 
    2. Acheron Parthenopaeus - I mean, he's basically a god and can literally do almost anything. 
    3. Legolas Greenleaf - He's nimble, he's good with a bow and arrow, and is one with nature. 
    4. Katniss Everdeen - She knows how to hunt and kills. We're going to need food. 
    5. Damon Salvatore - Man candy.

  2. What is the latest book that made you ugly cry? 
    I'm going to be honest... I've never cried over a book. The only movie that's ever made me cry was My Dog Skip. I guess I'm just heartless... So, um, the last book that made me almost feel like I was going to cry was
    The Song of Achilles. You know the story.

  3. What is one book you think every person should read? 
    I wish I could throw out the name of a book that's super deep and meaningful, but I'm going to go with the book I suggest to all of my friends and family. The Forest of Hands and Teeth was my first zombie book and it's the best zombie book I've ever read. Go read it.

  4. What is your favorite leading book heroine?
    Deuce from the
    Razorland series is my favorite leading book heroine. Most women in literature, even the ones that are supposed to be really hardcore end up being really needy and oftentimes weak. Their lives end up depending on a man, which is cool sometimes, but then sometimes you need a heroine to kick ass. Deuce does that. She learns from the guys but then she proceeds to take care of herself and even has to take care of the guys from time to time. I love her!

  5. In honor of Father's Day this past Sunday, who is you favorite fictional father?
    Can I say Acheron again? It's kind of weird to see him transition from sexy to daddy and back, but it works for him! I loved watching his relationship with
    Kat.

  6. If you were a damsel-in-distress, what fictional character would be your Prince Charming?
    I'm sticking with Damon. He's my favorite book boyfriend thus far (especially after seeing the TV show). He's hot, he's fast, and he's deadly. But under it all he's sensitive and sweet. Damon it is!

  7. What is your favorite classic fairytale?
    I'm going to cheat and pick a movie - Beauty and the Beast! Disney is classic, right? Actually, there are book adaptations of the movie, so it's technically not cheating.

  8. If a dimensional hole opened up in front of you and you chose to jump in, what world or time period would you hope to end up in? Why?
    Ancient Rome but only if I could be part of the aristocracy. I always watch TV shows and read books about Rome and imagine that it would have been a fantastic place to live in... as long as you were rich.

  9. What do you love most about book blogging?
    So far I really love the community! I love finding posts to comment on and seeing the posts on my own page!

  10. If you could be associated with one of the 4 elements, which would it be? (Gnome, spirit of earth; Undine, spirit of water; Sylph, spirit of wind; Salamander, spirit of fire)?
    Well, this is interesting... I hate being dirty, the ocean freaks me out, and I don't like fire either. Wind it is.

  11. What was the inspiration for your blog's name?
    Dog-eared pages, obviously! I was originally going to go with Folded Corners, but ended up going with the simpler "Cornerfolds."


Q&A with Brittany @ Please Feed the Bookworm
  1. What is your favorite genre to read and why?
    My absolute favorite genre to read is YA post-apocalyptic. I'm not sure why, but I have a fascination with the end of the world. And I prefer YA to "adult" literature just because the stories are often more focused. With less sex and vulgarity (nothing wrong with either if you're in the mood though!) comes a better, cleaner, story, in my opinion.

  2. What type of mythical or imaginary pet would you want?
    Pegasus! I've always wanted a horse. One with wings would be the best!

  3. Weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?
    Any semi-automatic gun with unlimited ammo. Do they make silencers for those? Yeah, give me one of those too.

  4. Favorite beverage?
    There's a s'mores martini at The Melting Pot that's to die for!

  5. How many books so you own ? (any kind)
    I don't have an exact count and most of the hard copies are in storage at the moment. If I had to guess I'd probably say around 800.

  6. Nickname?
    My dad always called me "Monkey" growing up and still does.

  7. What book world would you reside in?
    Lothlorien in it's prime. No contest.

  8. Favorite character?
    This is a pretty broad question. I'm going to go with Acheron again. He's the character I've read most about and have had the longest to fall in love with.

  9. How many books do you read in a month?
    Since I've been in school I've stuck close to a book (maybe two) per week, so between 4 and 8 per month.

  10. What book changed your life?
    I don't have a serious answer for this question. Therefore, I will say
    Hidden Mickeys changed my life. It made my Disney trips so much more intriguing! It added a whole new level of magic!

  11. Why is a raven like a writing desk?
    "I think you might do something better with the time than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers.




Questions For My Nominees: 

  1. What finally made you start blogging? 
  2. What are your most and least favorite book to film adaptations? 
  3. Who is the most annoying character you've ever had the displeasure of reading about? 
  4. What was the last book you gave up on before finishing? 
  5. Who is your favorite book boyfriend? 
  6. What's your literary guilty pleasure? 
  7. Do you ever read a book and realize you have nothing to say about it and, in turn, don't review it? 
  8. What was a book that really made you stop and think about your own life. 
  9. What genre will you absolutely not touch and why? 
  10. You have 24 hours to live. What fictional character do you choose to spend it with? 
  11. You've decided to write your debut novel. What genre is it?  


*I'm nominating...
Jenny @ Marshalslion
Three Jennifers @ Books & Babes


*It was honestly difficult to make sure my nominees were under 300 followers with all of the different ways to follow a blog. Please don't be offended I chose you in error!


Teaser Tuesday #2

Marah Woolf

Blurb: 
"Even the very first time I saw you, I had the feeling that you wouldn’t be good for me." Not even Emma’s worst nightmares could have prepared her for the dramatic change that takes place in her life. After the sudden death of her mother, she has no choice but to go and live with her Uncle and his family on the sleepy town of Portree on the Scottish Isle of Skye. The last thing she expects is to fall in love there. From the very first moment she meets Calum, his mysterious aura captivates her. He casts a spell on her, and even his seeming disinterest does little to change this. His contradictory behaviour only adds to his allure. But before long this fassade begins to crumble, and eventually even he gives in to his feelings. When he reveals his true identity to her one day, she flees from him. But it’s too late, for she has already fallen head over heels... A fantastical, mythical book with fascinating creatures that anyone would love to encounter. Immerse yourself in the story of Emma and Calum.

My teaser:
"His cinnamon-colored, tousled hair was shimmering in the dying sunlight as he stared at the whales with a somber expression. I had never seen someone so handsome before."
- Kindle Loc 412




Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review: Baby Talk (1 & 2) by Mike Wells




Title: Baby Talk (1 & 2)
Author: Mike Wells
Publication Date: May 19, 2011; November 2, 2011
Publisher: Mike Wells
Pages: 189
Add to Goodreads

I received this book from the author 
in exchange for an honest review. 
In this creepy horror novel, Neal Becker is convinced that his 5 month old baby daughter can talk. But that's impossible...isn't it? Except that Neal didn't really want to get married in the first place and pushed his wife for an abortion. And now, Baby Natasha knows it. She's out to get Neal, or so he believes. Join the two in a terrifying battle for survival that will make your blood run cold!


Baby Talk is a two part horror novel (I say novel because it really does read like one larger volume split into two) about Neil Becker, a man who has either lost his mind or has found himself in a very unfortunate situation. This book is definitely original. To be honest, it reminded me quite a bit of an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark! You know? that creepy Nickelodeon campfire show you secretly still watch and love. Or maybe that's just me... I was creeped out from the first page. The characters in Baby Talk are well-developed. I was panicking right along with Neal and found Annie truly annoying pretty early on. The best part of reading this book was the uncertainty of Neal's mental state. There's no way to tell whether it's all in Neal's head.
 
Confession: I've always found babies to be a little creepy (along with clown dolls and dummies). Not only that, but they're pretty terrifying in the sense that I have no idea what to do with them. So, while I didn't completely identify with Neal's (sometimes overly dramatic) actions, his fear over being left alone with the baby was something I can get on board with. And Baby Natasha is not a normal baby. Every single incident with Baby Natasha had me cringing. Honestly. Of course it's pretty unbelievable, but no more than most other horror novels (or movies, for that matter). I think that's what takes the creep factor over the edge - the fact that Natasha does things that babies just can't do!

Mike Wells did a superb job writing this book. It's fast paced and kept me turning pages - a truly "unputdownable" book! My only real complaint is that they should never have been split into two. The first book ends extremely abruptly (like I said, these books seem like one longer novel in two parts - think Tolkien or Jordan). Aside from that, this book was really good. I don't know that I'd go so far as to call it horror - it was definitely more creepy and weird than terrifying. I'd probably recommend it to someone who loves a good campfire story.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Feature & Follow #2 - Feature Blog!

Happy Friday! Today is my second time participating in Feature & Follow Friday and (who could've guessed?) I'm this week's feature blog for Parajunkee! I feel... honored. Everything's happening so fast!

Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.


This Week's Question: 

Armchair Travel! Tell us about your favorite 
book in a setting you’d like to visit.


I could be cheating by writing about a location I've already visited (is this cheating?), but my favorite book in my favorite setting is Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow! There are very, very few adult books written about Walt Disney World and this one takes the cake. This book is set in the future and has some pretty interesting Sci-Fi twists. I highly recommend it to any Disney or Sci-Fi fan! 

Just to be safe I'll add another book in a setting that I've never visited but would love to see. Die For Me by Amy Plum is set in Paris, France, and was such a great read! It's not your standard YA Paranormal Romance - the concept is pretty original. This is one of the few books that truly made me fall in love with the characters (Vincent quickly became one of my favorite book boyfriends). Not only did I love the characters, but the world building made me put Paris at the top of my abroad travel list. Hopefully I'll get there in the next couple years! 



Interview Questions: 



When did you start blogging?

I started blogging a couple of years ago... privately. My husband is gone for months at a time and I started a blog for him so that he could stay in the loop. I've only been book blogging for about three months and I've only started trying to integrate into the blogging community in the last week or so.



What is your favorite part of book blogging?

Well, I'm still very new to this, but my favorite part so far has been the community. Before I started putting myself out there it was pretty boring and I wondered whether I would continue. Then I read a couple of articles about the community and decided to go for it! Everyone has been so welcoming! Of course, I also love sharing my love of books and feeling like the reviews I write are actually helping other people make decisions about what to read and what to avoid.



What type of books do you mainly blog about?

I've mainly blogged about thrillers so far. That's just how it's turned out! I love dystopian thrillers, horror, suspense... Anything that keeps me turning pages.



What is your favorite book(s)?

My favorite book is Wuthering Heights. I've been a little obsessed with it since I was first forced to read it in tenth grade. I've collected several versions, the most recent of which is a 1923 edition in great condition! A favorite of mine that's a little more recent is The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. It was my first ever zombie book and I fell in love with the whole series! It led me to read other zombie favorites like the Razorland series by Ann Aguirre.



What has been the best thing that has happened to you because of book blogging?

As of today, a week and a half after getting into the community, I'd say it's two-fold. Most importantly, I've found people like me! I never knew the world of book blogging was so huge! I love knowing there are others who love reading (and writing about it) as much as I do! Second, I won the first giveaway I entered and I never win anything! I just feel like this is going to be my thing, you know? I've found my niche.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Waiting on" Wednesday #1

Welcome to my first ever "Waiting on" Wednesday! This week's pre-publication that I absolutely can't wait for is:


by Megan Abbott
Publication Date: June 17, 2014


Blurb: 
The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community. 
The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community. 
As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security. 
A chilling story about guilt, family secrets and the lethal power of desire, The Fever affirms Megan Abbot's reputation as "one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation." 

This book looks amazing! And lucky for me, I have less than a week to wait before I can read it!



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Teaser Tuesday #1

Mike Wells


Blurb: 
In this creepy horror novel, Neal Becker is convinced that his 5 month old baby daughter can talk. But that's impossible...isn't it? Except that Neal didn't really want to get married in the first place - the pregnancy was the result of a one-night stand, and he preferred an abortion. Now, Baby Natasha knows it, and she's out to get him! Or so Neal believes...join the two in a terrifying battle for survival that will make your blood run cold.


My teaser: 
"Neal felt a little more relaxed - at least she seemed happy about being fed. But with the hawk-like way she was watching him, he would have to be damn careful about what he planned to do next."
- Kindle Loc 522



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Monday, June 9, 2014

Book Review: A.I. Apocalypse by William Hertling



Title: A.I. Apocalypse (Singularity #2)
Author: William Hertling
Publication Date: May 24, 2012
Publisher: Liquididea Press
Pages: 262
Add to Goodreads
Leon Tsarev is a high school student set on getting into a great college program, until his uncle, a member of the Russian mob, coerces him into developing a new computer virus for the mob’s botnet - the slave army of computers they used to commit digital crimes.

The evolutionary virus Leon creates, based on biological principles, is successful -- too successful. All the world’s computers are infected. Everything from cars to payment systems and, of course, computers and smart phones stop functioning, and with them go essential functions including emergency services, transportation, and the food supply. Billions may die.

But evolution never stops. The virus continues to evolve, developing intelligence, communication, and finally an entire civilization. Some may be friendly to humans, but others are not.

Leon and his companions must race against time and the military to find a way to either befriend or eliminate the virus race and restore the world’s computer infrastructure.
I bought A.I. Apocalypse on Amazon when it was either free or $0.99. The premise sounded interesting and, while Sci-Fi is not at the top of my reading list, I've found the possibility of an Artificial Intelligence takeover interesting since Philosophy 101. Unfortunately, this book missed the mark for me.

The first couple of chapters really had me hooked. Leon seemed to be a legitimately interesting character and his run-in with the Russian mob had me on the edge of my seat! His friends were equally interesting and even Mike and ELOPe drew me in briefly. Once the virus was actually released, however, the story quickly went downhill.

There are several issues with A.I. Apocalypse. The first and most blatant is the gross overuse of technical jargon. Sure, it's a book about a computer virus, but surely there is a way to write for the average reader. I know a little about computers and I was able to follow the geek speak for the most part, but it was so dry that it was completely lost on me. I found myself skipping paragraphs first and by the end I was skipping full pages. Not only was there a lot of technical language, but it was extremely repetitive. There was more than once instance of a situation being explained multiple times to different people. If a situation is so complicated that it needs to be explained twice for the reader to understand, perhaps it should be simplified. Had the technical jargon been simplified and condensed this book could have been better.

Not only was this book far too technical for the average reader (in my opinion), but the author doesn't seem to have thought the tech of the future through completely. For example, the setting is decades into the future where simple robots and drones carry out mundane tasks and buildings are on lockdown with super fancy security systems. Meanwhile, people still communicate via email on their phones, video games are played on phones (isn't virtual reality already a thing?), and the backdoor of a fancy museum is susceptible to the breaking and entering efforts of 17 year old kid. There are also several references to current pop-culture that just don't seem to fit - WALL-E, for example.

Finally, the ending of A.I. Apocalypse was far too tidy and, frankly, completely unbelievable. As a prior military member, I cannot believe that the federal government would handle Leon in the way this book suggests. I believe anyone reading just the summary could guess at a more believable outcome. I was teetering between one and two stars before I read the last chapter, but I just can't with that ending. I hate giving negative reviews and I'm almost embarrassed to post two in two weeks, but this book just did not do it for me. I was in no way invested in the characters and finishing was a struggle.

I, Robot did it better.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Feature & Follow #1



Happy Friday and welcome to the first ever Feature & Follow Friday at Cornerfolds! Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers. Sounds like a lot of fun!

This Week's Question: 

What are your non-book guilty pleasures? 
Like TV shows, food, websites, hobbies, etc.


My non-book guilty pleasure is gaming. Okay, so semi-gaming. I say semi because, well, I suck at it. I'm terrible at games, to be honest. I tend to only choose games that have an "easy" mode and sometimes get frustrated even then. The only games I've ever beaten are The Fellowship of the Ring for PS2 (based on the book, not the movie) and Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure. I bought guides for both. My current favorite games are Diablo 3, Disney Infinity, and Lego Harry Potter for PS3. 


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reading Challenges 2014


Reading challenges - not just for elementary school! Who knew? I'm new to the world of book blogging and I'm learning more every day. Today I learned that there are challenges across the blogging community! Unfortunately, I'm six months late to the party, so I'll only be choosing a couple to participate in.




The Witches and Witchcraft Reading Challenge just sounds like a lot of fun! Since there are actually a few books sitting on my "to read" shelf that would qualify, I figured, what the heck!

Here are a couple I plan to read for this challenge:

A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
Witchful Thinking, by H.P. Mallory
The James Potter series, by G. Norman Lippert

To start, I'll commit to the Initiate level (1-5 books), but I may go over.

If you'd like to sign up, visit Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf and add yourself to the list!





The second challenge I'm signing up for this summer is the 2014 Horror Reading Challenge. This challenge appeals to me for the same reasons as the above - I kind of enjoy scary and/or paranormal literature (a lot). I've already gotten a bit of a head start on this challenge. Here are a couple reviews from this year:

The story of her holding an orange, by Milos Bogetic
The Shuddering, by Ania Ahlborn

I'm committing to the Running Scared level (1-5 books) for this challenge. Again, it's possible I'll go over. It's also possible that this challenge could coincide with the first!

To sign up for this challenge, visit Midnyte Reader.
Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review: The story of her holding an orange by Milos Bogetic


Title: The story of her holding an orange
Author: Milos Bogetic
Publication Date: March 13, 2013
Publisher: Inaaace Press
Pages: 73
Add to Goodreads

"When I was 17 and living in Europe, strange woman started following me. She would find me everywhere. And every time she'd find me, she'd only want one thing: for me to take the orange. After a year of being constantly stalked, I moved to America. 10 years later, she found me again. This is the true story of her, the woman holding an orange." 

I first read The story of her holding an orange by Milos Bogetic (better known as Inaaace) on Reddit’s r/nosleep over a year ago. It pulled me in and I spent days checking and rechecking to see if he’d posted an update. It ended abruptly, leaving me (and everyone else) to scour the comment section for answers. When I heard Inaaace was releasing a book with more details and an expanded ending, I could not wait to read it! It took me a little while to get around to actually opening the book on my Kindle, but I finally did it.

The story of her holding an orange should never have been released as a book. There, I said it. And I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. As a story on Reddit (or Creepypasta or wherever else it was posted), this was an amazing read. It had the “creep factor” and held on until the last, heart stopping line, which left an entire subreddit in panic mode. Unfortunately, it just didn’t translate very well.

Milos says from the very beginning, “I probably break every rule of proper writing…I write the way I speak.” I would most definitely agree with Milos. From page one there are grammatical errors and curse words for no good reason. Granted, this was originally written for Reddit and this kind of language is expected there. There does not seem to have been much editing between the original posts and the book form. Milos is repetitive, gives unnecessary details, and takes the “conversational style” to the extreme. As I was preparing to review this book, I had to keep reminding myself that it is a book, not a post online, and that I needed to review it as such. I say again, it should not have been released as a book.

The actual story, however, is a different matter. Milos manages to make an orange creepy in a story that is entirely original. The main antagonist, Rose, is mysterious and, quite frankly, terrifying, for 90% of the book. There’s no explanation for her bizarre behavior, which amps up the disturbing nature of the character. In a nutshell: this story is weird, creepy, and unique. Unfortunately, the last 10% of the book essentially ruins it.

The original story ended in such a way that readers were left thinking about it for weeks and still reference it often. The ending written for the book feels like it was an afterthought (because it was) and completely removes all of the mystery and discomfort surrounding Rose’s character. It makes her almost sympathetic, something she was never meant to be.

Overall, The story of her holding an orange is excellent – on Reddit. I would absolutely not recommend buying the book or even reading a free copy. If you want to read this story as it was meant to be read, I highly suggest going reading the original posts by Innace on Reddit. The original story was brilliant but please, please don’t read this book.