Showing posts from 2013

Book 112: "I Am Number Four" by Pittacus Lore

Title: I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies Series #1)
Author: Pittacus Lore
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

This is the first book in the Lorien Legacies Series by Pittacus Lore. Pittacus Lore is a pseudonym for James Frey and Jobie Hughes. James Frey, you probably know as the author of A Million Little Pieces. This is a YA Sci-Fi series. The basis of which is: there are aliens among us. The main character is an alien in hiding, one of nine, he escaped to Earth with his guardian to preserve their race. Their planet, Lorien, has been decimated by Mogadorians, another alien race, that travels from planet to planet using up their resources (sound familiar?). The nine Loric that escaped from Lorien are hoping to hide on earth until their Legacies develop and they can fight back; eventually getting to return to Lorien. Their Legacies are special powers that each Loric develops.

The plot.... is predictable and not all that original. The characters …

Book 111: "The Revenge of the Dwarves" by Markus Heitz

Title: The Revenge of the Dwarves (Dwarves Series #3)
Author: Markus Heitz
Read In: Trade Paperback
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit

This is book three of four in the Dwarves Series by Heitz. I like this series; it is well written and unique. I've covered why in past reviews.

Book three, The Revenge of the Dwarves, was less cohesive than the first two books. The books are character driven, which I like, because it creates complex characters with a lot of development. However, this method seemed to overtake the plot a little too much in the third book. The characters showed growth and became even more complex, but the plot was underdeveloped. Though the book was still enjoyable, the plot was simple and seemed pieced together in a very loose way. With the complexity and mystery that was built up for the first part of the book, I expected a more complex and better explained reveal.

Overall, because the characters carry the book, I still enjoyed reading it. I will also be reading the …

Book 110: "Dexter in the Dark" by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Dexter In The Dark (Dexter Series 3)
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Read in:  Trade Paperback
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Book three in the Dexter series, so far, it was my least favorite. While Lindsay maintained the sarcastic humor and dark feel of the book, the story did not seem as tightly written as the first two. I felt that the overall mystery of this book was not well explained or put together. I recognize that Dexter was lost with the reader, but that when it came to the end, I just wasn't quite sure how we had gotten there. Everything was, simply put, too jumbled for my taste.

I won't say how the book ends or give anything major away (in my opinion) but for safety sake, if you don't want to know too much about the book's main problem, I suggest you stop reading now, knowing that I will continue the series, I was just a little less impressed than I was with the first two. So, spoiler(ish) content here we come.


Book 109: "Dearly Devoted Dexter" By Jeff Lindsay

(Sorry, this one is rather brief)

Title: Dearly Devoted Dexter (Dexter Series 2)
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Read In: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Vintage Books

The second Dexter book was still very good. Lindsay maintains the dark, sarcastic humor without and the reader grows to love Dexter even more. In a stroke of genius, Lindsay uses the growth of Dexter's personal life, aka, his disguise, to help him grow as a character and keep him relatable to the reader.

Once again, this book does not disappoint. It is very easy and fun... in a very dark way. I enjoy them and look forward to the rest of the series!

Book 108: "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Read In: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Once again, I waited far too long to read this series. Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the first book of the Dexter series by Lindsay. If you are unaware, the TV Series on Showtime is based off of these books. If you like the tv show... read the books. They're far better (as usual). I loved reading this book. It is dark and twisted, but in a very humorous way. Dexter is an anti-hero, basically a bad guy as protagonist, and a very good one. He may be a serial killer, but he is a serial killer that hunts down guilty people. The people that deserve it. The book is dripping with sarcasm and alliteration. Amazing. It's an easy, entertaining read for anyone that loves that dark humor on a grim topic. This book contains perhaps my new sentance ever, "Deadly Dexter dating debutante doxies?" Fantastic. I can't get it out of my head and am ea…

Book 107: "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell

Title: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Read In: Trade Paperback
Genre: Business, Sociology
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company

I have heard a lot about this book since its release in 2002; mostly rave reviews. As I'm sure you're aware by now, this is not the type of book I usually read. I generally stick to fiction. That said, I found the book interesting. The stories, observations, and data were well relayed. This made it very interesting from a sociological perspective. However, as a business strategy, I found the book rather pointless. Gladwell makes it very clear that the types of people responsible for making the "tipping point" possible for any epidemic, are people that have to be naturally born to be that type of person. In fact, Gladwell makes it clear that it can't be learned and must be completely natural or it won't work.

The most interesting thing and perhaps the only useful piece of informati…

Book 106: "Stray" by Rachel Vincent

Title: Stray (Shifters Series #1)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin

Surprisingly, I enjoyed this book. I did not expect to really like it. In fact, I expected it to be one of those books that I would pick apart with how poorly it was written. It surprised me. Was it the best book ever? No. But it was a fast, easy, enjoyable read. The book was well written, very few errors or gaping plot holes. The biggest downfall is that the plot was simple and easily predicted. In fact, there wasn't a twist that I didn't see coming long before it happened; too predictable, for me anyway. So, why did I like it so much? I really enjoy the main character. FINALLY, we have a female protagonist that is not only smart, but perfectly capable of taking care of herself and she does.

Faythe is a werecat. She is the only daughter of the most powerful pride in the United States. However, she does not want pride life; she wants independence. This, o…

Book 105: "The Angel's Game" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Title: The Angel's Game
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Magical Realism
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
This is the second book in the series Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Zafon. Though the books each have their own contained stories, they overlap characters, locations, and (of course) the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The first of the series (though they can be read in any order) is The Shadow of the Wind, perhaps one of the best novels I've read in the last few years. 
The Angel's Game was very enjoyable. Zafon once again manages to transport the reader to Barcelona in the early part of the 20th century. He creates a dark and mysterious world that is full of intrigue, the supernatural, and wonderful characters. This sequel is much darker than the first, but it serves the book well. Zafon and his translator manage to maintain the beautiful style of writing that made me fall in love with The Shadow of the Wind. My only problem w…

Book 104: "Dead Ever After" by Charlaine Harris

Title: Dead Ever After
Author: Charlaine Harris
Read In: Nook ePub
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)

The last Sookie Stackhouse, the thirteenth of the series. I'm glad it's finally over, to be honest, it should have ended about four books ago. The book was still well written and more of the same style and tone of the previous 12. However, for the LAST book of a series this was.... rather boring. Way too much time was spent telling the reader about Sookie's day-to-day life, aka cooking, bathing, sleeping, doing household chores  WAY too much time. I don't want to care to read about any of that. The ending was pretty much how I expected it to end, the only way it could have while keeping each character in tact. I won't spoil it, but for the many of you who quit reading the books and still want to know... message me and I'll tell you. Overall, I was just disappointed that a series that began so strongly ended so weakly. I'm gla…

Book 103: "Etiquette & Espionage" by Gail Carriger

Title: Etiquette & Espionage Author: Gail Carriger Read in: Nook ePub Format Genre: Steampunk YA Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
As you've probably figured out by now, I love Gail Carriger. She is definitely one of my favorite authors; her blog and books are simply fun and charming. This is book one of the Finishing School Series, Carriger's second series of books. The main difference between this and the Parasol Protectorate Series is that the Finishing School Series is young adult (YA). Thank goodness for Gail. I can't remember the last time I read a new YA that wasn't full of angsty, whiney teenagers. The main character, Sophronia, is refreshing. She is smart, brave, confident, and doesn't give much thought to what others think of her. Add to this a pretty good mystery, the amazing vocabulary that caused me to love Carriger in the first place, and a wonderful steampunk victorian world and you have a pretty good read. If this is your first Carri…

Book 102: "The Windup Girl" by Paolo Bacigalupi

Title: The Windup Girl
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Format: ePub on Nook
Genre: Dystopian/Alternate Reality
Publisher: Night Shade Books

First review for a while, but since I finally finished my thesis I got to devour this book as every book deserves. I enjoyed this book. It was not life changing or amazing, but definitely enjoyable. I'll start with the downsides so we can end upbeat. But first, what the book is about:

Set in Thailand, mostly Bangkok, this book takes place somewhere in the future. Genetic engineering and disregard for our environment have led the world back towards days when travel is hard, energy limited, and most everything is done the hard way- by hand. In this world, food and energy are the most expensive items a person can buy. Plagues have wiped out both people and many of the world's plants and animals. The storyline follows several seperate characters who, invariably, meet or connect in some way throughout the book.

The downsides are:
The book was definit…

A Renewal Promise

I have FINALLY finished my thesis and soon will, officially, have my MS Publishing degree. Some of you already know this. But what you don't know is that now I find myself with an immense amount of free time...
So I will now make up for the neglect I have shown you all the last two years. I have set the new goal of reading and reviewing at least one book per week. After two years of not being able to read recreationally, I have a LOT of catching up to do. The first on the list..... The Wind Up Girl.  I'm over half-way done, and hopefully will finish in the next day or so.

To all who have faithfully been reading my sporatic posts over the last two years... I thank you for reading and hope you continue.

Let the reading begin!

Book 101: "If on a winter's night a traveler" By Italo Calvino

Verdict: Read (I'll have to read again)

(A very short and sweet review this time around)

I really enjoyed this book, but am going to have to read it again before I make a definitive judgement on what its theme is. Friends, if you like trans-modern literary fiction, this book is for you. It is immediately interesting because it begins with you, the reader. That is right, the narrative is second person, so you are the protagonist. Interesting, right? It is also describing your experience of reading the new novel by Italo Calvino. Are you intrigued? You should be. This is a book of beginnings. A book of love, adventure, and mystery. Really, if you like to pick things apart, as I do, this book is a wonderful read. I have been focusing on my thesis and other life events so did not devote the time or concentration to the narrative that it deserved. I apologize to you as well, since I feel like I need to do a re-read before I'm comfortable picking it apart for you. In the mean time,…

Book 100: "Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion

Verdict: Eh.
Okay, so I have to admit, right off, that I am not a zombie fan. I just can't get into it. I know it's a fad and long standing cult tradition but I just don't like them. I don't like zombie movies, shows, or apparently books. This said, I don't hate zombies, I just don't really care for them one way or the other. I let you know this because try as I might, this opinion of mine did end up effecting how I read and enjoyed this book. To my knowledge this book is probably pretty unique, so props to the author for that.
This book was recently adapted to a movie so I'm sure you're aware of its premise. But just in case, here I go. The main plot is that in post-apocalyptic USA, man is on the verge of collapse and zombies have successfully destroyed the world. But something is changing; at least for one specific zombie. R is slowly becoming less dead than his friends; mainly because he falls in love with a human girl (I think). Anyway, what makes …

Book 99:"North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell

Verdict: A definite read for anyone that loves classics, espically Austen and Bronte fans.

This is a re-read for me, the first time I read it for a Vicorian Lit class. I liked it a lot then. This time around, I loved it! I don't know if it was the absence of school pressure or that I now already know what makes this book so progressive for its time but this time around I was able to absorb much more of the nuance. This book is great for many reasons. It is not only a wonderful love story (along the lines of Pride & Prejudice) but it is also amazing because it shows the two very different mentalites that were gripping England at the time this was written. Gaskell separates them by geographic location. The North is the trade and manufacturing mentality. To them money only means something if it's earned. Your station is based solely on that. As to education, it is mostly pointless to know the classics and history; how will they help you determine the best way to sell and pro…

Book 98: "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

Verdict: I think this is a Must-Read. I don't care what your tastes are. It is awesome.

I loved this book. I don't want to get ahead of myself though so I'll start with the basics, as usual.

"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak is a young adult (YA) book that takes place during WWII. The story is narrated by Death, the protagonist is a young girl named Liesel Memminger. Liesel is an orphan that goes to live with a foster family on Himmel Street in a German town. She is a German little girl that steals books at every important moment of her young life. At the time she steals her first book, she isn't able to read. This is the story of the people of Himmel Street and how the war effected everyone, not just those we hear about all the time.

I have to be honest, I've started this book four times and completed it once. When reading, the beginning is slow- keep reading, it is well worth it. I also have to admit that when it comes to WWII novels, I'm always hes…

Book 97: "Enchantment" by Guy Kawasaki

Verdict: Okay

This is a non-fiction business book about how to "Enchant" people to join your cause. I have to be honest, it was required reading for one of my classes this semester. I found it, okay. The book is well written, espiecially for a self-published book. Kawasaki has some good ideas, but mostly I found the book common sense. Don't champion something you don't believe in, don't lie, don't make promises you can't keep, or ask people to do something you wouldn't, etc. Basically I felt like this book was teaching people how be decent, honest, and overall to act ethically. The other main issue I had with this book is that Kawasaki has an immense enchantment with Apple. He uses them as great examples of how to enchant. This only bothered me because I'm anti-Apple; it made me feel a little less-than-enchanted with his book. Other than that there were some interesting stories and examples of real-life enchantment. I wouldn't call this a mus…

An Introduction

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Laurel and I'm an avid reader. I read mostly fiction, but am trying to broaden my horizons and read some non-fiction as well. I read anything from kids books to angsty young adult, to adult literary fiction, and genre fiction. There are really only two things I can think of that I don't read often: science fiction and mystery/thriller novels. I'm not unwilling, just rarely find myself picking one up. So why the blog you may ask?
Well if you have been following me on Facebook, you already know why. I love to write about what I read. I love to review it, pick it apart, and offer it to you. This is the purpose of this blog. I read it and write about it here. If you want a taste, I suggest you visit and join my Facebook group page which will have to serve as the archive of this blog for now. There you will find 96 book reviews on the things I've been reading for a little over the last two years. I made the switch to blog t…