Saturday, May 17, 2014

Reading Bingo - May Update

A Book with a Blue Cover
2. Leader's Eat last by Simon Sinek
A Book of Non-Fiction
A Book with a One Word Title
A Book You Heard About Online
A Book with a Mystery
A Book by a Female Author
A Book Written by an Author Under Thirty
A Book with More than 500 Pages
The Second Book in a Series
10. The Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
(Review forth coming)
A Book with Non-Human Characters

Book Review: The Wells Bequest

The Wells Bequest
by Polly Shulman

Why Did I Pick It Up:

I loved The Grimm Legacy, and although this one centers-around different characters, it does focus on the best part of the book, the New York Circulating Material Repository.

Even if I hadn't read the first one, what a great cover this has!

The Good:

I love part two at the New York Circulating Material Repository. The book opens with Leo, who is feeling rather sorry for himself, being the least brilliant member of his family. Then, surprise, he sees himself, his future self, with Jaya from book one, and is tiny ... and is on a time machine. All of this happens within the first 15 pages. You know you're in for a wild ride.

Leo is smarter and knows more than any other starting page - and he gets to be trained by the head page, who he may have a giant crush on (non-spoiler alert, it's Jaya). But things start to go wrong, and the story takes twists and turns and keeps you enthralled every page.

The Bad:

How the special collections came to be was left a little vague in the first book. In the Wells Bequest they are over explained and made not as magical and awesome.

The Ugly: 

This place doesn't really exist ... that is the worst part of the story.

Who will love this book? 

Lovers of adventure will eat up this book - especially older elementary aged readers. If you liked the first book, The Grimm Legacy, other books of adventure, are interested in H. G. Wells, or liked Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (this is also a library-esque book) ... you'll like this book!

How much did I like it? 7/10 

Will I read more?

I really do like Polly Shulman's writing and this series of a magical library-type place is very intriguing to me!! There is a tiny hint about the third special collection, which makes me think there may be one more book in store for us. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters
by Laini Taylor

Why Did I Pick It Up:

After reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight, I had to know what happened to Karou and Akiva (not to mention Zuzana and Mik and everyone else). I can tell you that I picked up Daughter of Smoke and Bone half because someone recommended it and half because it has an awesome and unique cover. This book, as far as covers go, has my favorite cover. Delightful!

The Good:

The last book in a series is always hard, and I rarely read them. Even sequels are usually not all that great. The magic is gone, the characters have been introduced, the action has started, people have fallen in love, and the world has been created.

Plot doesn't have a lot to do with why I like a book. Nothing could happen and if the characters are interesting, I'd love it (I'd totally read Harry Potter and the Very Boring Shopping List). Ms Taylor created these characters that are rich, deep, and unique. People I feel like I know. When something happens I know how Karou is going to respond before I read it. I love that! It is like making a friend between the pages of a book. Although much of this third book is plot driven, I got to see my friends drive around in that plot and it worked for me. 

In a way this series is exactly what I want from a book series: Book 1 presents characters in a rich and interesting way. Book 2 presents a situation and starts to tell why nothing will ever work out - ever. Book 3 slowly fixes those situations. 

Another thing I love is a REALLY great ending. I mean, those endings that you didn't see coming from three pages away. I won't actually tell you anything about it, but when I was reading the last 25 pages and feeling a little teary eyed because I thought it was going to be a massive disappointment, Laini pulled magic out of her keyboard. I was certain that it was going to be terrible, but it was perfect. I wish I could tell you why it is perfect, but that defeats the purpose of reading the book and you really should.

The Bad:

Wowza is this book long. 613 pages. Now, Harry Potter books are that long and I savored every page that dripped with detail, this one just felt a little long. 

The Ugly: 

In college my writing professor/mentor told me several times that I really sucked at showing instead of telling (I like to talk, that really isn't my fault) ... I think that this also applies here sometimes. 

Who will love this book? 

This one is hard because it isn't like anything else. If you like the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, you'll probably like these. If you like monsters/demons vs angels or a great supernatural plot you'll like these. If you like crazy names and want to read about a naturally Blue Haired heroine who is fabulous - you'll like these!

How much did I like it? 8.5/10

Will I read more?

This is it. This is the end. Maybe Laini will write more for us (when she isn't playing with Clementine - her daughter with the cutest name ever). 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reading Rules

Have 'em? Hate 'em? What are your reading rules? Here are mine, add yours below

1. You must (MUST) read the book before you see the movie.

2. Never fold down the corner - always stick something inside (this something doesn't matter to me - it is commonly a pen).

3. A book has two chapters to be interesting - otherwise we break up.

4. If I own the book I throw the dust jacket away. I hate those things.

5. I don't read best sellers unless a really good friend recommends it to me - even if I think I might like it.

6. I won't be interrupted while reading a book. Additionally, bedtime doesn't matter when I'm reading.

Now rules that I don't care about

1. I'll read several books at once, but usually not the same genre.

2. Format doesn't matter to me - I'll read a book and switch to an eBook half way through.

3. I don't have to finish a book - there are favorites that I haven't finished because I can't let them end and others that I couldn't get past the second chapter. Why waste reading time on an awful book?