Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Had A Hard Time Reading For Various Reasons

See all the Top Ten Tuesday posts at: http://www.brokeandbookish.com/

10. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
      Before I Fall
I just couldn't get into it. I have tried to read it several times but have never been able to get by the first few chapters.

 9.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
      The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
I think this one had to do with the language factor. I just couldn't get past the writing itself. I felt lost in a world I didn't belong in. I loved the movie, but can't do the book.

 8.  The Returned by Jason Mott
      The Returned
This is one that started out with a bang and kept rolling, until about the middle. The book fell apart for me right where it should have been picking up. I loved Mott's writing, but for me this storyline veered too far away from the beginning and couldn't recover.

 7.  Joyland by Stephen King
      Joyland
I love Stephen King!! I do not love this story. This felt like the perfect setup for awesome scares, a theme park, carnies, clowns, ghosts, the perfect setting!! This should have been one of my favorites. I barely finished it. If it wasn't Stephen King I wouldn't have bothered trying to get through. This was a huge disappointment for me. The perfect setting with no scares, SIGH!

 6.  Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
      Out of the Easy
The main character was hard to like. The story was depressing. The writing is well done but the story itself did not hold up to scrutiny.

 5. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
     Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)
I LOVED Anna Dressed in Blood. I HATED Girl of Nightmares. Anna was missing from most of this story, as were the scares and spooks.  I sort of felt like I was reading someone's grocery list, I know sad, but true.

 4. The Lampshade by Mark Jacobson
      The Lampshade: A Holocaust Detective Story from Buchenwald to New Orleans
This is a wonderful book. The subject matter is touchy and for some I am sure stomach-turning. These are truths that need to be known but are very hard to read about.

 3. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
     The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
Super Depressing! Super Slow! Super Disappointing! Oprah was wrong!

 2. I Got This by Jennifer Hudson
     I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down
Jennifer Hudson is an Awesome singer. She should really stick to singing. She is so arrogant that you almost gag while reading this. If you want to hear her praise herself, jump right in. If you have manners, you will end up insulted.

 1. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
    A Reliable Wife
WAY too much sex! Far too descriptive! Not my style!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Memories: The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden

The Story of Holly and Ivy

This is a lovely Christmas story. Yes I said Christmas. As I child I loved to read it at all times of the year. My grandma had the book and I remember her reading it to me and enjoying the pictures together. I loved the descriptions of the cold and Ivy's coat and gloves. I loved how Holly and the other toys came to life when no one was around.  Holly needed Ivy and Ivy needed a family. It is a Christmas story so it has a happy ending. The wonderful illustrations add so much to this story. This book was first published in 1958. The author passed away in 1998. This is most likely a book that many modern children may have missed. It makes a great Christmas read but teaches a lesson that is good to know all year round.

The illustrator Adrienne Adams has illustrations in over thirty children's books. She also won Caldecott Honors twice. Rumer Godden is the author of more then sixty books. She wrote children's stories, but she also wrote many stories that were set in India. Nine of her books were made into films. Godden is considered by some to be one of the foremost English language authors of the 20th Century.

You can find Monday Memories at http://missprint.wordpress.com/

Frightfall Read a Thon: I'm on it!



Here is what I want to read
This is Not a Test  The Sleepwalkers

I will be impressed if I get through them both, but happy if I finish one of them.

Review: Daemon Hall

This one was a unique read. It basically is several short stories disguised as a novel.  A horror writer hosts a contest to write the scariest story. Five teens are chosen. In order to win they must spend the night at a haunted house, with the author, while they tell ghost stories and read the stories they have written. The winner who survives the night, and has the best story, will have their book published. The five teen characters are a diverse cast. The jock, the goth, the scaredy cat, the kid who freaks out, and the inner city kid, are all here. The horror writer is a scary character and you never know quite what his motivations are. Most of the short stories are well written. Some of them are not that scary, but everyone is scared by something different, and there are many options here to fulfill your needs. The main problem I had with the book was the epilogue. I didn't like it and thought it distracted from the main story. It could have been left out and the book ending would have been alright. There are a few illustrations throughout, which in my opinion, add to the stories. This book would be good for middle grade readers, young adult reluctant readers, and adult readers who like their scares to not be over the top. There is nothing too gory and no bad language. The main story will make you stretch your imagination, but isn't that what this type of book is supposed to do?! After the ending of the main storyline, in my opinion, there isn't an opportunity for a sequel, yet we are supposed to believe that the author is conducting another contest, therefore another overnight stay. Daemon Hall's author should know that horror readers catch on quick and are smart cookies. After what happens to the five contestants, it is really hard to imagine another contest. At any rate, the stories are a nice mix of scares. The book is a quick read and might be the perfect pick for a Halloween read to share with your children.

Daemon Hall

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: Blythewood

This one is very hard for me to review. Carol Goodman is one of my favorites. This is the first read by her that I had a hard time finishing. First of all I should point out that this type of book is not my cup of tea. I find most books with sci-fi, magical creatures, other plains of existence, boring. I know that many love them. So I must point out that many of you will probably love this read. If you are a Harry Potter fan, this should be up your alley. I have tried several times to get into these type of books, and I figured if anyone could win me over it would be Carol Goodman. I was left disappointed. I had an extremely hard time getting through the book. For me the story was strange and disjointed. The ending of the book had a total different feel from the beginning. I struggled to get through, and have not been converted. Goodman does excellent adult mysteries, in my opinion she stick with those. I can see this one winning her new fans, maybe that is why she ventured from her usual realm. If you love these kinds of books, trolls, fairies, magic, mysteries, then this may become your new favorite series. If you aren't into that then I would stay away. The book is quite long and took me very long to finish.

Product Details

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths

This is my first NA read. I loved the storyline and the characters. I also liked that it ended the way it did. The story moved quickly and was full of action, drama, and romance. The main character Kacey is very edgy and has deep down issues. Trent is so easy to fall in love with, but he has issues too, issues that Kacey doesn't know about. I had the "twist" figured out very early on, but it didn't detract from me wanting to finish the story. The side characters were likeable and had interesting stories of their own. Yes, there are sex scenes and no this is not for children, adults only. I enjoyed this story and read it quickly. I'm not sure that I will read the next book in the series because it is not about the main characters, but about the side characters, although I am sure the writing is wonderful. Who knows, I may find time to fit the series in. I was impressed by this author. She has a new fan!

Product DetailsI did find this cover annoying. The main character has red hair not blonde. I hate when the cover doesn't match up to the writing, I find it very distracting,

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review- Benton: A Zombie Novel: Volume One

Benton by Jolie du Pre

I love my little zombie gems, and this one is my new favorite. I did have a problem with the one erotic scene, totally not my cup of tea, and not needed. The beginning will grab you, Jennifer is in her early twenties, holed up in her room, watching her mom out the window. The problem is that Jennifer has been in her room for six weeks and her mom is a zombie. That opening is so well written and totally drew me into Jen's story. This novel moves at such a fast pace that you feel like you are on a rollercoaster, in a good way! If you love action, drama, and gore, this is a great mix of all three. The novel does end with a cliffhanger, but I knew that was coming (Volume 1). I am looking forward to Volume 2 and seeing what happens to my new favorite zombie fighters.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

http://www.brokeandbookish.com/

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Blog Hops

A few people seem to be having problems following on GFC, so I am going to open the main entries for the blog hops up to Bloglovin'. If you can't follow by GFC, please follow by Bloglovin and I will enter you into the contest. I am so sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for entering, and best of luck!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf, and Little Lies by Heather Gudenkauf



I recommend reading this prequel novella, before you jump into Little Mercies. Little Lies has its own enclosed story, but introduces you to some of the characters you will meet in Little Mercies.  The story can stand alone and does not need to be read with Little Mercies, but the ending does leave you hanging, you have been forewarned. Ellen is a social worker investigating the death of a mother whose body is left beneath a statue at the local park. A little boy is found near the dead body. What does the little boy know? Does this relate to a similar case thirteen years earlier? Can Ellen help discover who the little boy is? Will she find the killer? A lovely little compact mystery that starts off quickly and just keeps rolling. A touch of thriller, a touch of suspense, a few life lessons, certainly worth a read.

Product Details

Little Mercies continues Ellen's story. Something happens that is shocking. How can you live with a mistake you have made? Are social workers free from claims of child neglect? Can you picture yourself in someone else's shoes, even if you feel that someone is a menace to society? I don't want to give away any of the story so I am being very vague. Two stories intersect, one is Ellen's, the other is a young girl named Jenny. Where and why they cross will be left to you to find out. I loved Gudenkauf's writing. She makes you feel for her characters. I found myself questioning some long held beliefs and looking at "neglectful" parents in a new way. I guess many of us think that people in authority, are not capable of mistakes, or should never have an accident, obviously that is not true. The story also deals with a very current subject that is happening more and more across the country. It could be a true story, so it really grabs you.

If you enjoy a good mystery, a story from a child's perspective, and wonderful characters who you will care about, you should really try Heather Gudenkauf. I haven't been disappointed with any of her stories. They include:
Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

I loved all three of the above stories and can highly recommend them.
Ms. Gudenkauf has an interesting personal history. You can find it and other items about her here:
http://www.heathergudenkauf.com/

I have a contest to win Little Mercies that you can enter until September 25th. You can find it here.
http://videoclimbersvariations.blogspot.com/2014/09/stuck-in-good-book-hop.html
You really should read this wonderful story, why not enter to win your own copy?!
heather_bio

Monday Memories: The Suitcases by Anne Hall Whitt

This meme is brought to you via http://missprint.wordpress.com/ and http://thebookbandit.wordpress.com/. My choice for this week is The Suitcases. Does anyone remember those Reader's Digest Condensed Books? Well my Mom used to have a huge collection of them. I remember wanting to read The Suitcases because it had a picture of little girls. I thought it was a kid's book. It dealt with some very adult subjects (child neglect, foster parent abuse, parental death) and it was a true story. I loved the story. I was intrigued by what would happen to the sisters. I will never forget Bennie, the hot cross buns, and the mean foster mother. I didn't know who Sonja Henie was, but I wanted that doll so bad. Of course the story is old by today's standards and I had never read the full version, only the condensed one. I searched for several years to find an original copy of the book. A few years back I was able to locate a first edition on Ebay. The book has been out of print for years. I still have that condensed version, which has been read more times than I can count. Ms. Whitt made me become a reader and have a great interest in children and made me want to become a teacher. The book is most likely difficult to find, but so worth a look at your library or used book store. Sadly Ms. Whitt passed away in 1996, I will never forget her story.

Sonja Henie

 
             

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop


 


banned book week 2014[2] 2

Celebrate the Freedom to Read!!

Find out more about Banned Book Week here: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek
and here: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/.

307 books were challenged in 2013. Read banned books! Support the freedom to read what we choose!

For my portion of the hop I will be giving away a kindle copy of The Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
Everyone is eligible to win that can receive a kindle copy from Amazon. The copy will be gifted to the winner, who upon being chosen will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be drawn.

You must be 13 to enter and must leave a comment below stating that you follow by GFC with your GFC name, and an email address to contact you. You can gain extra entries by following on Facebook or by email, or google plus. Thanks for entering!

All links to follow are on the right sidebar and you call follow at Facebook here:   https://www.facebook.com/videoclimbersvariations?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Follow along on the hop here:  http://www.bookhounds.net/2014/09/banned-book-week-giveaway-hop-win-10.html

Stuck In a Good Book Hop!!




YEAH! A giveaway!! This is for US residents only! In order to enter to win you must Follow me by GFC. For extra entries you can follow me on FB, Bloglovin , Email, or Google plus. You can also gain one extra entry by telling me the last book you got "stuck" in! I need a comment with all the ways you followed and/or your "stuck" comment. I also NEED a way to contact you. Please leave me your email or you will be ineligible to win.
Oh you ask, what will I win?? WELL, you will win an uncorrected proof of Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf. I was so stuck in this book that I stayed up reading until 3 am. Her writing is so good. She is a premium storyteller. Her characters become your friends and family. What are you waiting for? Get to entering!!!!

Little Mercies

All the links you need to follow are listed in the right hand column.  Here is a link to my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/videoclimbersvariations?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. Thank you for entering, and Good Luck!!

If you want to follow along on the hop you can see the other listings here:
http://www.stuckinbooks.com/2014/09/stuck-in-good-book-giveaway-hop.html

**Winner must have a valid street US mailing address, No PO Boxes, be 13 years or older, and respond within 48 hours of contact by email. If these rules are not followed a different winner will be chosen**

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Author's I Have Only Read One Book From and Need to Read More

http://www.brokeandbookish.com/2014/09/ten-authors-weve-only-read-one-book.html

10. Christy Sloat: I loved The Brown House. She has several that look really good!

 9. Kate Atkinson: Life After Life was one of my favorites of 2013. She has a series and a few stand alones that look promising.

 8. Christina Baker Kline: I have Sweet Water but have yet to read it. Orphan Train was wonderful!

 7. Sarah Rayne: So many choices!!

 6. Diane Setterfield: If you haven't read The Thirteenth Tale, you are missing out!!

 5. Erik Larson: I just found one by him at the Goodwill.

 4. Jennifer E. Smith: I have no idea why I haven't read her other books. Maybe because I loved one so much I am afraid I will be disappointed by the rest.

 3. Lauren Beukes: Broken Monsters is moving up my must read list!

 2. Katherine Howe: Conversion is haunting me!! Must read....Soon!!

 1. John Green: Will anything live up to The Fault in Our Stars??

Kindle Freebies on Amazon

Heads up to a few freebies. Check price before you click as prices can change at a moment's notice!

http://www.amazon.com/Castle-Juliet-Brandon-Berntson-ebook/dp/B00CIF455Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1410927655&sr=1-1&keywords=castle+Juliet


http://www.amazon.com/The-Unearthly-Laura-Thalassa-ebook/dp/B00DMT6VTA/ref=zg_bs_3511261011_f_22


http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Elemental-Brigid-Kemmerer-ebook/dp/B006YBRK52/ref=zg_bs_3511261011_f_30

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Memories

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by http://missprint.wordpress.com/ and http://thebookbandit.wordpress.com/. The idea is to pick a book from your shelf that holds memories for you and tell why it is significant in your life. For my first pick I am going to pick
The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
The Color Purple

I was probably about 12 when I read this book. Sure I didn't understand all that was going on, but I knew that what I was reading was something special. Celie had to deal with so much at a young age. I had never read a book where the abuse was so realistic. I could feel Celie and her sister's pain. I hated Mister. I wanted to be best friends with Shug. The fact that it takes her a whole lifetime to triumph is sad, but yet gratifying, because she does manage to triumph. Celie never gives up and manages to make a life for herself. This is a wonderful story that shows that even awful abuse can be overcome.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Endless by Kate Brian

I so loved the first two books in this series. I was expecting so much from this one. It was building up to be so good and then it fell apart at the end for me. I can't believe it is over. How do we not find out what happened with those other characters? Wasn't that ending a little rushed? Seriously Ms. Brian needs to revisit Juniper Landing. I need to know certain things that were not revealed and I am seething at  the outcome of the love triangle. There are many holes here that need to be filled. I loved this series but I don't accept this ending. I have hope that the wrongs will be righted, but I am left greatly disappointed! It is so sad for such a great series to fall apart at the end.

Endless (Shadowlands, #3)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books

http://www.brokeandbookish.com/

10. Living Dead Girl Disturbing and thought provoking!

 9. After An eye opening look into a subject that no one wants to see!

 8. Spellcaster (Spellbound, #2) Witches, Time Travel, and Brenden! A Total Triple Threat!!

7. All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1) Anya is sassy, smart, and spunky. You should read about her!

6. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight My favorite romance!

5. The Pledge (The Pledge, #1) A wonderful story with an evil witch, and family secrets.

4. The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1) Greek mythology, with a twist that you won't see coming!

3. Whistling In the Dark A mystery, told by a ten year old, set in 1959.

2. The Hollow (The Hollow, #1) Ghosts, and Sleepy Hollow! Seriously, Why have you not read this?!!

1. Vicious Little Darlings Not for the faint of heart!! Unique! Weird! Not so patiently waiting for more by this author!!!! (Calling Katherine Easer!!!) HELLO, are you out there!!?? Still waiting!!!


What is your favorite story that no one else has read or heard of? Anyone read my recommendations? Agree, or disagree? Feel free to discuss :)