Thursday, February 8, 2018

Binge Reading and Familiar Characters

I am currently deep into a reread of all things Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs!

Mercy Thompson has a sister series, Alpha and Omega and I'm currently working my way through all of them, chronologically. 

Here is the order I'm reading in:

Moon Called Alpha & Omega Cry Wolf Hunting Ground Blood Bound Iron Kissed Bone Crossed Silver Borne River Marked Fair Game Frost Burned Dead Heat Night Broken Fire Touched Silence Fallen

I'm not properly reviewing them, this is about finding the love, not doing the work. I'm just starting Iron Kissed and loving every second of it. I wanted to shoot a quick update, all FR books on hold for a bit. *shrug* 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air)

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

No spoilers and colorful language abound! This review contains quotes of the final published edition. They have been carefully chosen to prohibit spoils, but none the less, they are still in here.

Holly Black is a powerhouse of an author, there is no way around that. Black's writing is both profoundly understated and eloquent beyond measure. The way she can pack a single sentence with tremendous emotion and vivid imagery leaves me speechless and craving more. In addition to the gorgeous prose, her character development is delicious, The Cruel Prince is nothing short of a novel worthy of her name.

... and this is about where I lose ability to speak coherently and start gushing. I've decided to spare you, instead, I offer you proof of my above statement. Come with me on a journey, 10 quotes to whet the appetite.

I can see why humans succumb to the beautiful nightmare of the Court, why they willingly drown in it. I know I shouldn't love it as I do, stolen as I am from the mortal world, my parents murdered. But I love it all the same.

These clothes are a costume for me. I am playing dress-up in ignorance. I no more can guess the assumptions that go along with glittering sneakers than a child in a dragon costume knows what real dragons would make of the color of her scales.

...I say, not giving her the satisfaction of being shocked by what she said about our parents. She acts like we don't remember, like there's some way I am ever going to forget. She acts like it's her personal tragedy and hers alone.

Maybe growing up the way we have, bad things feel good to us. Or maybe we are stupid in the exact same way as every other idiot mortal who's pined away for another bite of goblin fruit. Maybe it doesn't matter.

Instead, I shake my head at the thrill running through me at the sheer lunacy of what I'm about to do. It's the thrill of leaping without being able to see the ground below you, right before you realize it's called falling.

...he sees something else entirely. There's an intensity in his gaze that makes me stand up a little straighter, despite the dirt. "Because you're like a story that hasn't happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding tale."

I cannot seem to contort myself back into the shape of a dutiful child. I am coming unraveled. I am coming undone.

I smile wider, and kissed him longer, that is a kind of deceit that even the Folk cannot Condemn. Now, however, the night feels like one long, impossible dream.

For a moment, we just look at each other. He's a monster, so if I want to do a very bad thing, he's not going to judge me for it. Much.

That's what comes of hungering for something: You forget to check if it's rotten before you gobble it down.

It's gorgeous. It just is, so is all of her writing. BUY IT. READ IT. LOVE IT. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Mia's Musings: Kitty the Tiger Fairy (The Baby Animal Rescue Fairies, #2) by Daisy Meadows


This review was written by my 8 year old daughter Mia, with a little help from me. No spoilers!

We are back with Kirsty and Rachel at the Wild Woods Nature Reserve, they once again need to help the Baby Animal Fairies from Jack Frost. Jack has his sights set Sheba the tiger cub. Kitty the Tiger Fairy and the girls must find Sheba before the goblins or she will be captured and never seen again! 

I really love the tiger cubs playing being happy, and seeing them swim, all the baby animals are my favorite. I like that these chapters are short and easy to read. 


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Mia's Musings: Mae the Panda Fairy (The Baby Animal Rescue Fairies, #1) by Daisy Meadows


This review was written by my 8 year old daughter Mia, with a little help from me. No spoilers!

Rainbow Magic books offer all sorts of fairies and their adventures to entertain even the pickiest of readers. The Baby Animal Rescue Fairies called to me because there is nothing I love more than baby animals! I had to read it! 

We start off with Kirsten and Rachel headed to Wild Woods Nature Reserve to for a week long summer vacation. They make a new frog friend named Bertram who has fairy magic, and he takes them to Fairyland. Kirsten and Rachel shrink, grow wings and head off to explore. They meet all the Baby Animal Rescue Fairies just as Jack Frost bursts in with a loud growl from his truck. Jack Frost is here to take the magical keychains that help capture animals. He wants a zoo for himself, and to keep the animals locked up in cages. Mae, the panda fairy joins in with Kirsten and Rachel to save PanPan the baby panda. 

I think other kids might like reading this book if they love animals and a bit of magic. My favorite part was the fairy illustrations, they are awesome and have a cool sense of style. I really love this series and am ready for the next one. 

Check back for more reviews on the next book I read! 


Unlikely Mates Bundle (Unlikely Mates, #1-3) by Charlene Hartnady


No Spoilers! Definitely colorful language abound! 

Unlikely Mates (The Chosen Series Book 3)

Whoa y'all. That's enough of that.

Listen, there is a time and a place for getting lost in the idea of being the stuffing between a werewolf and vampire sandwich. It was yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning. I struggle with stories such as these, something will happen and I suddenly can't turn off my analytical mind. How critical can I really be here? I'm debating on if I should delve into the crisis that is m/f/m DP mechanics. Is that something I even need to be discussing? I don't know... yet here we are.

Perhaps some things are better glossed over, purposely discarded in the name of fun. Perhaps. See you on the next round, Hartnady. We in this for the long haul, girl.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Stolen by the Alpha Wolf Bundle (The Chosen #2) by Charlene Hartnady

Stolen by the Alpha Wolf (The Chosen Series Book 2)

Some Spoilers! Definitely colorful language abound! Trigger warning, sexual assault discussed below! 

I recently found myself lost and longing for memories of my past self, so I dove deep into the mother of all angsty-teenage-nonsense, otherwise known as the Twilight Saga. It left me with a softer understanding of who I once was, and who I had grown to become. It was an interesting retrospection in growth, but I was done, and was in desperate need of a palate cleanser. I find that smut plays an integral roll in a balanced book diet. When used appropriately it will sweep away all unpleasant or otherwise useless emotional memories of the previous read, lower ones standards and bring everything back to a comfortable neutral. It is a highly effective tool of divine distraction.

That being said, y'all I fucking hated this book. This wasn't my first tango with Hartnady, I enjoy her ahem, panache. I thoroughly enjoyed Chosen by the Vampire Kings, and stepped into this with the full expectation of a good time. **This is where I venture into some spoilery territory. If that isn't your thing, its time to part ways.** 

TWO GOT-DAMN-PERCENT into the book I'm flooded with rage, and then panic.

"Her shoulders sagged in humiliation. At least they weren't going to rape her. That was something... Her blouse was shoved roughly to the side. "Not bad, I'm semi hard." If she wasn't wearing a gag, she'd puke for sure. Her stomach churned."

Excuse me, the fuck is this?  She's a vampire, she is bound and gagged, at the mercy of her werewolf abductor. He touched her leg, grabbed her ass, removed her shirt and bra, he assaulted her and alluded to what else he'd like to do.

I nearly quit right then and there. My hands shook, I had to get up and take a lap and walk off my anxiety. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE DIVINE DISTRACTION. NOT A TRIGGER FOR MY #METOO ANXIETY. FUCK. YOU.

The author used this scene to prop up the alpha, Ward, as the 'good guy', as he barged in, beat the shit out of the lower wolf and assured her that she was safe and would be returned home. Ward insisted she couldn't be left alone, they had to remain together at all times. He made it clear the other wolves would murder her if she tried to escape. Mmmkay.

19%: He insisted she come with him to his outdoor shower, he was, of course, aroused, and needed to cool off. LOL. But then he just started jerking off, in front of her, without permission.


20%: "I don't think I've ever wanted to be inside someone so badly." He growled nipping at her shoulder. "I'm sorry, Stephany, I don't think that I could stop now, even if you wanted me to."

First of all, that's not how consent works, ever. Consent is all the time, or it's never. There is no "point of no return", either you have permission or do you do not. FUCK YOU.

It was about here that I realized I hated Ward. I hated his wolves. I hated Stephany. I hated them together.

It pretty much devolved like this until it was finally over. Sooooo, why didn't I quit? Excellent question! I don't really know, tbh. I think, once I isolated it was the characters I disliked, it was easy for me to compartmentalize and select the plot from everything else. There is a phenomenally interesting development that occurred in this installment. There is the sex, sure, but there is also a complicated relationship between vampires, humans and others. The dynamics based on a rudimentary and biased religion will crumble, things are in motion I am eager to the see through till the end. I cautiously started the third installment last night and it looks as though this particular theme  was isolated to these characters. Heres to hope?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Five Books That Made Me Fall In Love With Reading: #3 Twilight Saga

The Twilight Saga Complete Collection

My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

No Spoilers! Definitely colorful language abound!

Ok. Deep, breaths. I can do this. Now, before you unfriend me for this rating, hang in there till the end, please? I started this series of reviews back in 2014, and I've been putting this one off ever since. Who we once were, is not always how we would like to remember ourselves, and this hard truth is one I often keep to myself. Twilight was truly instrumental in me falling in love with reading. Take a walk with me and let me tell you a story.

It was my 22nd birthday, and my boss always gifted us an usually long lunch break, so I decided to pop into the book store for an iced coffee. I was listening to my iPod, at most only casually aware of all the books around me. I hadn't loved to read in years, and since the last Harry Potter book wasn't due out till the end of the year, I was just biding my time in the warm heat and quiet of B&N. I had picked up a glossy black cover with porcelain white hands holding a perfect red apple. I wondered if this was a new take on Snow White, so I flipped the back over and read the synopsis. 

“About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-and I didn’t know how potent that part might be-that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” 

I had sat on the ground, only to be pulled from the pages when my phone buzzed. It was my boss, he wondered why I hadn't come back and if everything was ok. How much time had passed? The ice had melted in my coffee and it was time to head back into real life. 

When I got home that evening, I was utterly consumed. I had never read anything like this before, in fact my knowledge of otherness in books was so limited, I knew of no other than Anne Rice, who never had been able to ensnare my attention. Suddenly the possibilities overwhelmed me, this was a genre, I had so much to explore! 

Twilight hit so close to a place in my mind that I had long ago walled off, the memories too vivid and painful to be allowed free reign. However, amongst the pages, he came to life and I had fallen in love with him all over again. My first love was one that had burned so intensely it transformed who I was. My devotion to him was near child-like in its purity. I saw his face, I heard his voice, I felt his skin, I was transported into another time and place, but he was only accessible as Edward. It gutted me, but made me feel alive at the same time. Again, I had never felt anything quite like this before, it was visceral, it had swirled around me like magic. Reading was magic, if you found the right book.

Now, nearly 11 years later to the day, I picked up Twilight and read it again in one sitting. Except this time, I didn't see him, I saw what I had gloriously outgrown. I didn't feel gutted, I feel charmed by my own innocence. I feel a fondness for that time, that place, for that version of myself. Mostly however, I feel a deep gratitude, Twilight opened a door I hadn't even known existed, and I've been joyfully escaping to this wonderful wold of other ever since. This book isn't a 5 star book, but then again, I owe it so much that perhaps it is?

Is there a book that defined your love of reading? I would love to hear your experiences!