Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Goodreads Summary
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

My Thoughts
I bought this book on a whim from BookOutlet (aka my place to buy the best kind of crack for cheap lol) and then saw Katytastic's "Favorite Stand Alone" video where she said that she loved this book. She suggested reading it even if you didn't love vampire books. I was all in after that.

This book was so different than the books I usually read. I've never really read a vampire book before (Twilight doesn't count for many reasons) and wasn't sure if I would like this. I worried it would just be another pretty book on my shelf that I didn't love, but I was wrong. Holly Black created a world that so perfectly collided today's society and vampires. She understood that people would fear them and many would be so enamored with that they would want to be them. She understood that there would be both sides to the coin and many perspectives in between.

Then she gives us characters like Tana who is so easy to connect with and yet...not. She is a typical high school girl, but she also enjoyed toying with her ex. She seemed to enjoy watching him suffer. An experience with a vampire at a young age changed her and made her darker; it made her interesting. Along the way she meets some interesting characters including Gavriel. He's an old vampire that often speaks in riddle and she wants desperately to be able to trust him. Basically I loved him.

This book was dark, funny and beautiful. If you're a fan of young adult fiction than give this book a try. Plus it's a stand alone which seems rare in the young adult world these days.

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Goodreads Summary 
A gripping memoir and medical suspense story about a young New York Post reporter’s struggle with a rare and terrifying disease, opening a new window into the fascinating world of brain science.

One day, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four year old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter.

Susannah’s astonishing memoir chronicles the swift path of her illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving her life. As weeks ticked by and Susannah moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia, $1 million worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit her to the psychiatric ward, in effect condemning her to a lifetime of institutions, or death, until Dr. Souhel Najjar—nicknamed Dr. House—joined her team. He asked Susannah to draw one simple sketch, which became key to diagnosing her with a newly discovered autoimmune disease in which her body was attacking her brain, an illness now thought to be the cause of “demonic possessions” throughout history.

With sharp reporting drawn from hospital records, scientific research, and interviews with doctors and family, Brain on Fire is a crackling mystery and an unflinching, gripping personal story that marks the debut of an extraordinary writer.

My Thoughts
I wanted to read more nonfiction this year and stumbled upon this book on Goodreads. I decided to go with the audiobook because I was in a book funk and honestly I didn't feel like reading. There is a lot of medical jargon and I think actually reading it would have slowed me down. 

This book was a terrifying look into mental health. You saw this intelligent woman go through a spiral with so many twists and turns that you feared she would never be free of it. She had so many symptoms that reminded me of so many different potential diagnoses that I feared what would come next. My psychology degree came in helpful because I understood about the different parts of the brain as well as some of the disorders discussed. At times I felt like I knew what was wrong and the next second I had no idea.

I loved that she talked about her relationship with her family and boyfriend and how that changed throughout her illness.  I think the emotional aspect really let you see what her illness was doing to her. Her illness transformed everything about her and her loved ones were put through the ringer in the process. 

The only aspect of the book that I did not enjoy was after her diagnosis. I enjoyed hearing about her recovery, but she goes into statistics about other people and it got a little boring. I just feel like there was too much after her diagnosis for me. It just dragged on a little. I still thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. 

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

How (Not) to Fall in Love

Goodreads Summary
Seventeen-year-old Darcy Covington never had to worry about money or where her next shopping spree was coming from. Even her dog ate gourmet. Then one day, Darcy’s car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. As her father’s business hit the skids, Dad didn’t just skip town, he bailed on his family.

Fortunately, Darcy’s uncle owns a thrift shop where she can hide out from the world. There’s also Lucas, the wickedly hot fix-it guy she can’t stop crushing on, even if she’s not sure they’ll ever get out of the friend zone.

But it’s here among the colorful characters of her uncle’s world that Darcy begins to see something more in herself...if she has the courage to follow it.

My Thoughts on the Book 
This book was just generic for me. Girl is rich and then poor. She meets a guy and finds the strength to persevere. It wasn't that original or mind blowing. Maybe I feel this way because I couldn't connect with the characters or because the plot felt played out. I'm not sure. Maybe I just wasn't interested because Darcy is still in high school; I honestly don't know. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't amazing either. Judge it for yourself. 

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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Can You Keep a Secret?

Goodreads Summary
Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I've always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn't share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company's elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her...

What Did I Think?
I've read a few Sophie Kinsella's books and have had mixed reviews. I loved I've Got Your Number, was baffled by Wedding Night, and could not get into Confessions of a Shopaholic. So when a friend lent me this book I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. Unfortunately this was not my cup of tea.

I don't really understand why Sophie Kinsella creates the most shallow, dim witted characters. They all seem to be daft women who I am amazed made it through life as far as they have. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but if you've ever read one of her novels than I think you'll understand where I'm coming from. It isn't even that Emma is uneducated, she isn't. She's just an idiot. She goes into a business meeting, doesn't pay attention, messes up the account, and then asks for a promotion. What?

I will admit that I found Jack to be amusing. He would casually slip her secrets into everyday conversations, without giving them away, just to watch her react. He was entertaining until he wasn't. Honestly he just wasn't enough to save this book for me.

At the end of the day I didn't enjoy this. I'm surprised I finished it.

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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)

Goodreads Summary 
An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

My Thoughts
This was a laugh out loud kind of read. Don Tillman is an extremely intelligent man with some serious social deficiencies. This, of course, makes for some hilarious situations.

When Don decides that he wants to find a life partner it becomes glaringly obvious that there will be some problems along the way. When he meets Rosie it becomes clear that she is going to turn his life upside-down...and she does. These two could not be more different, but that's what made this book so enjoyable. They were both likable enough in their own right, but together they were perfectly imperfect. Their relationships is comparable to if Sheldon dated Penny from The Big Bang Theory. Realistically it shouldn't work, and in reality it probably wouldn't, but so what.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read that I think everyone will enjoy.  

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American Cover for A Pound of Flesh

Sophie Jackson's hauntingly beautiful debut novel finally has a cover. This is my most anticipated book of the year, so I was thrilled when I learned that we would be getting a cover today and it's gorgeous. I am so glad that this amazing book got such an amazing cover. 
 Goodreads Summary
Haunted by nightmares of her father’s street murder fifteen years ago, Kat Lane decides to face her fears and uphold his legacy of helping others by teaching inmates at a New York prison. There she meets arrogant Wesley Carter, who’s as handsome as he is dangerous, as mysterious as he is quick-witted, and with a reputation that ensures people will keep their distance.

As teacher and student, Kat and Carter are forced to leave their animosities at the door and learn that one should never judge a book by its cover. As Carter’s barriers begin to crumble, Kat realizes there’s much more to her angry student than she thought, leaving them to face a new, perilous obstacle: their undeniable attraction to one another.

When Carter is released and Kat continues to tutor him on the outside, the obstacles mount. Can they fight the odds to make their relationship work? Will Kat’s family and friends ever accept her being with someone of his background? And will Kat’s discovery of Carter’s role on the night her father died force them apart forever...or unite them?

Make sure to get your copy on June 9th!!  I know I will.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1)

Goodreads Summary

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

My Thoughts
 I just love Jennifer L Armentrout's writing! She's popular for a reason and I think she deserves all the hype that she gets. She has a way of creating amazing worlds and characters that I want to read about. 

I haven't read too many books with fae in them and the ones that I have read I did not enjoy, but this was amazing. Ivy and her friend Val are a part of the Order. The Order's job is to fight fae and prevent them from harming humans. Seems simple, right? Wrong. One day Ivy finds a fae that cannot be killed in the traditional sense and she is harmed in the process. She meets Ren who is sent to town to hunt these special fae and she wants nothing to do with him. 

I loved that Ivy was such a strong character for a 21 year old. She's known that this was going to be her life, but she still goes to college so that the job isn't her only life. She has lost almost everyone she has ever loved, but she still manages to do her job without being scared of it. She meets Ren and he forces her to realize that loving people is worth the risk of potentially losing them. I was pleased that their relationship (which was hot) grew slowly instead of the insta love readers have been swamped with lately.

I did see one of the major twists coming and had a feeling about the second, but the story was so entertaining that I didn't care. I just wish we didn't have to wait so long for the second book. 

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