Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Since I've Been Gone

 Hello everyone! Yes, my baby girl finally arrived and I am loving the newborn cuddle stage, despite being completely, overwhelmingly exhausted. And she's so beautiful (and perfectly healthy!).

I have been reading up a storm! Spending 10 hours a day sitting and feeding a baby is a very convenient excuse to ignore everything else and read, read, read. I've reread some favorites and knocked quite a few titles off my to-read list. Here's a quick recap of my recent new reads:

 My rating: 4/5 stars. INTENSE. Alien invasion fiction at its very best. Lots of awesome surprise twists and turns and I will be picking up the sequel. A little disturbing and violent at times.

My rating: 5/5 stars. The conclusion to this trilogy was everything, absolutely everything I wanted it to be. So satisfying, so magical, so perfectly crafted. After an ending like that all three books have moved to the top of my Christmas wish-list.

My rating: 5/5 stars. Julianne Donaldson, you have a fan for life. I was worried that Blackmoore wouldn't live up to my love for Edenbrooke, but it was so lovely. I've already read it twice. :D I loved the slightly gothic feel too - perfect for October reading. Hurry up and publish something else Julianne!

  My rating: 4/5 stars. I loved Crown of Midnight! Celaena is a fabulous heroine and I loved the way the mystery, the courtly intrigue, the romance, and the action were all kicked up a notch (or two) in this sequel. A little violent at times for my tastes, but totally addicting and I can't wait for the next book.

  My rating: 4/5 stars. I read this one based on my love for Kasie's Pivot Point, and I did like it, but it didn't blow me away like I was hoping. It's a sweet, cute contemporary, however, and I'd say worth the read.

  My rating: 3/5 stars. Got this one from Netgalley and it was good for passing the time during one of my many sleepless nights, but I'm relieved the series is over. The romance was blah, the time travel mythology weak, the danger not impressive, and the characters predictable. The overall effect is entertaining, but not a read again or own kind of book for sure.

 My rating: 4/5 stars. I had a hard time slogging through this one. I really didn't love the characters (and Ed is annoyingly preoccupied with sex). I also had a hard time getting the whole point of the plot. BUT, there is such a clever surprise at the end! I loved it and was left thinking, "Well played, Mr. Zusack. Well played." This book tackles some tough subjects, but has a great message.

  My rating: 4.5/5 stars. I LOVE Flavia de Luce! She is such a joy to read. These books are funny, clever, creative and chock full of entertaining and lovable characters. Highly recommended if you need a good murder mystery this fall!

  My rating: 3/5 stars. Yikes! Content-wise this book (and its predecessor Monument 14) are a little edgier than I like to read (ok, much edgier in the violence department!), but the concept is so compelling, so I-have-to-know-what-happens-to-these-kids, that I've read them anyway. Sky on Fire surprised me by ending in a very calm and happy place (for almost everyone). It was such a nice ending that even though it set up another book at the end I don't feel compelled to read it. Hooray! I'm free! :D

  My rating: 2/5 stars. Another Netgalley read. This is my second Mette Ivie Harrison and I liked this as much as I liked The Princess and the Hound. In other words, bleh. I'm sorry, I tried to like it, but I just really, really didn't. I disliked almost all the characters and the writing felt choppy and tell-y to me. I wanted sweeping and adventurous and romantic and I don't feel like this book is any of those things. It bugged me a lot, and if I weren't writing just teeny blips today I feel like I could write a whole essay about what (I thought) was wrong with this book. Anyway, I'll just leave it at that.

 My rating: 3/5 stars. Transparent was very creative. I loved the invisible girl concept and this whole book is a fun X-Men vs. the mafia mash-up. I did feel like a lot of the relationships were confusing and not very well-developed. There were a lot of plot points that I felt had big logical issues and overall I was underwhelmed by the whole story. But like I said, still fun.

That's it for now! I'll be back sooner next time. Life's starting to feel more normal (ish) and I have too many books I want to read and blog about to take any more big breaks. :D

I'll leave you with one more baby pic. Yes, I'm already indoctrinating her to love all things Austen!

I'm too tired to read over this post to see if there are any grammar or spelling errors. :D If you find any, can we just agree to attribute them to major sleep deprivation? Thanks!