Harry Potter Book Night & The Week Ahead

So, I’m dead tired, I’m actually leaning back in the recliner and my head is dangling off the side of it as I type this. Does it sound uncomfortable? Well, it is.

Today at our library was Harry Potter Book Night, and the event was so much fun for my daughter! They had a man come in to explain some creatures, and she got to pet the cutest and largest snake I’ve ever seen in my life, and I was so proud of her as she is usually the type to shy away from anything not fluffy [she was even excited to see the tarantula!]. She also got make a winged key and a dragon egg and spent probably two hours doing everything so it was a nice Sunday for us. I wish her school would have done something for it as well but I’m super happy that our library did and I basically screamed ‘take my money’ at them when they announced they were.

I’m chugging along with bookstagram, the blog, and still….still progressing through the ARCs.

I’ve got two ARCs for this week plus The Priory of The Orange Tree extract I got from NetGalley, and then that’s it I’m taking a week break so I can go through my monthly Agatha Christie and reading the follow-up book to The Axeman’s Jazz; Dead Man’s Blues.

There’ll be at least one review post this week, and I’ll do a list of my top Dystopia picks tomorrow. Speaking of Dystopia novels, anyone have a favorite in that genre?

That’s it, there’s my post, I’m going to go to bed now, lol toodles everyone!

Eden Chip

I know yesterday was three mini-reviews, but last night I started another reader copy and now that I’ve finished, I’m going to write this while it’s still fresh.


ringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copyringed-planet-icon-1 copy

I thought this was a very good sci-fi/dystopia read. I loved the use of chips and how there was always a blurred line to using them, is it okay is it not? I mean you think it’s not okay but once humanity had destroyed itself what choice did they have in this world? But it went too far and it’s on Raissa, Caleb, and Christian to save the world. I really enjoyed the feel of it. and I never thought I’d say this but the reason it didn’t get 4 stars is that it was actually a little too fast-paced; in that I mean it was hard to accept some things that happened as it all happens in the span of a few days. Perfect syncing data or not, love needs to be more slow-burning for this old cynic!

Scott Cramer did a great job with the plot and Christian was by far my favorite character (and also the one I most wanted to kick in the first 30%). He had a lot of complexities and I really admired Raissa’s strength -I mean literal strength, the girl is a tank-, Cramer didn’t make flowery descriptions of her, and he gave her so many cool fight scenes. Also, kudos to having violists, having 2 in one book was the most unbelievable aspect to this whole dystopia novel lol [amiright?].

The first chapter did have me a little iffy because I wondered if this would lose my interest but by chapter 2 I figured this was going to be a book I would want to finish. But be forewarned this sort of novel is the stuff I enjoy reading, it’s like crack to me lol for all I know it’s got Dickensian sentence structure and enough tropes to fill a YA supernatural academy book [I shall not name names].

Raissa has been trained as a rebel, I mean she has spent most of her life, after losing her parents and brother at 6, training to perform one mission. When the time finally comes, it’s nice to see the emotion she displays at having to leave her Grandfather, it reminds you that she’s human. She’s half-French, half-Egyptian I think he states in the novel and from Jerusalem (that’s her on the cover, I’m super concerned by the lack of tan or freckles she’s gotten from living in that sort of geographical setting lol). But still, it’s nice to have a character in this sort of novel that’s not from the U.S.A. Her mission is deadly and has only one possible outcome, she dies so humanity lives in freedom but the reality of what is being planned by the man known as Petrov is something she nor her partner could anticipate.

Caleb is her target, you’ll see for what if you read it, I’ll not spoil anything, but he’s on the side of Petrov, he likes the chips, they keep you from dealing with horrible unproductive emotions and he believes Petrov knows what’s best for humanity. But something happens to plant a seed of doubt.

Lastly, we have my favorite, Christian. He is an older man, he remembers what it was like before chips, but more importantly how does he know so much about the M-Code which is responsible for all the chips do?

Overall this is a solid read and I’m glad I picked it up, I really wasn’t able to put it down once I started it. Anyone looking for an awesome YA steeped in sci-fi with a different sort of dystopia feel might find this worth a quick read.

***I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.*** [I really enjoy how Booksiren makes you say that you left it voluntarily as if maybe Scott Cramer’s got a stun gun to me, ‘Come on Haley! Write that review, and make it look good!’]

Also, because I’m extra, here’s an article about MIT researchers about an AI chip that could be implanted in us for mobile devices.

#YARC 2019

[***That Featured Image is not mine, holy cow I can’t do anything with graphics, credit goes to the hosts, all of whom I’ve linked below***]

I honestly don’t even know what I’m doing with my life anymore but after preordering Descendant of the Crane and then wanting to read Not Your Sidekick…I, I just realized I might as well at this point. Besides, it’s not like there’s any downside to joining such an amazing challenge!

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge is hosted by these lovely people:

What’s my current progress? 1! I finally got my first read done and it was so amazing and beautiful and wonderful. -Sob-

Current Badge:
Green and blue award badge with a brown Phillipines Tarsier in the center, and with one gold star above the award.

My Goal: 10!

I know that’s the lowest badge that little adorable Philippine Tarsier, but I’ve got so many reading goals that I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

What books am I hoping to read? (this=read)
The Night Tiger (I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Ghost Bride)
Descendant of the Crane
Not Your Sidekick
Not Your Villain
Not Your Backup
Brothers (I started this book a long time ago, but lost my place so, redo!)
Mao’s Last Dancer (I’ve had it for ages, it’s time)
Ignite the Stars
Jade City
Jade War
Want
-Spin the Dawn
-We Hunt the Flame
-Miracle Creek
-Enlightenment
-Shadow of the Fox
-Soul of the Sword
-The Girl Who Became A Goddess
-The Chosen
-Thirteen Months of Sunrise
-In Truth, Madness
-A Spark of White Fire

Total: 12

I will be keeping track of what I want to read and what I’ve read via a GoodReads shelf, but this will not be limited to this challenge, so I’ll not link it but if you have me on GoodReads feel free to check out the shelf!

Toodles!

UPDATE: I reached my goal of 10 but I will keep going as I did not get to most of the books on my premade list, so, I’ll keep on trucking!

Mini Review Day

I’ve finished 3 ARCs/Free Readers this week so I’ve decided it’s just best to do them in one fell swoop.

I’ll just go in the order that I finished them.

  1. Boneseeker: Here Walk the Dead

    ratingiconratingiconratingicon
    I think it was my overall lack of belief that Holmes would have a daughter that had made me skeptical of this book of Arabella, but if he ever would have been written to have one, no doubt she would have similar emotional issues just like Brynn has written Arabella. Henry is nice, he’s real, and he’s also quick to show his emotions which makes a nice contrast. I was actually SO disappointed that the one thing that seemed plausible for her to feel in regards to being conventional in a role as a wife was suddenly just changed for the love of Henry.She had a really nice writing voice but she was just a bit too all over the place. Really, having Holmes’s daughter and Reich Brides in the same novel is just too much for me. I will be going back to read the first book because if it’s paced more evenly and has a less ludicrous plot, then I will totally enjoy it more. And I did give this three stars because I did enjoy it, it just wasn’t out of the water amazing because of the issues I had with it personally. [SideNote: The author liked my review on GoodReads and all I thought was ‘oh god does she secretly hate me now’ lol] If it wasn’t for her writing style I probably would have given this 2.5.I read this as a free reader copy from Netgalley and was not paid or swayed in any other way on my rating and opinion of this book.
  2.  Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire

    ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon
    It took me until 25% to actually get into this book. For those of you who have seen Hot Fuzz, it’s that type of humor and with that type of level of gore at times as well! The problem for me was that I liked it when I had it in my hands but didn’t want to pick it up again when I put it down, until 25% and then I really got into it and just accepted the humor for what it was. At first, I wasn’t sure what was going on, but either way, in the end, I really enjoyed this! Some nice use of misdirection, some annoying characters that were blessedly meant to be annoying and a whole gang of ridiculous constables that had me chuckling at times. I can’t imagine how Inspector Church didn’t smack them all about. Also, I feel like everything I read lately is the Late 1800s-WWI/WWII era, I don’t know how this happened. If you enjoy a mystery novel that doesn’t mind taking a laugh and not being too serious, I would recommend this. It is the first in the series so no stepping into the middle and being confused for me.I read this as a free reader copy from Netgalley and was not paid or swayed in any other way on my rating and opinion of this book.
  3. Hashtag Authentic

    ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon
    If you’re not interested in Instagram or tips about it then I wouldn’t recommend this. If you are, then I would highly recommend this, Sara has a really nice writing voice and I have a sneaking suspicion she’d write a pretty good motivational speaker book. It’s a quick pleasant read and as someone who is trying to interact more with a certain community via Instagram, I found this helpful and even bookmarked a few pages to go back to! I’ve rated this on how useful and enjoyable it was to me, it’s not meant to be a literary masterpiece and she gives you exactly what she says she will as far as content goes. [Kudos to this being a short read!]Again, if you’re NOT interested in building up your Instagram/or doing it via help from an Instagram coach, it will be a horrible read for you. There’s nothing mind-blowing in here, some of it is very obvious and if you already have a style on Instagram, keep it, no need to lose your voice to find it/find a different one if you’re happy lol.

Top Ten, er FIVE, Tuesday!

This meme is brought to you once again by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. And the theme is FIVE (I’m sure there are those that could come up with ten, but I’ll stick to five like her)upcoming releases, that we may be on the fence about.

Okay so, for upcoming releases, I have some books I got via Netgalley and other places that I’m not sure about. I’ve already had to cancel one The Murder Theory and it wasn’t because I thought it was going to be bad, but it just had too much competition on other things I’m reading as well.

Alright, let’s get this party started! I’ll go from the one I’m least skeptical about to the one where I’m like ‘Nah mate.’

5.  Off Planet

Blurb: From USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Erin 

In an all-too-plausible future where corporate conglomerates have left the world’s governments in shambles, anyone with means has left the polluted Earth for the promise of a better life on a SpaceTech owned colony among the stars.

Maité Martinez is the daughter of an Earther Latina and a powerful Aunare man, an alien race that SpaceTech sees as a threat to their dominion. When tensions turn violent, Maité finds herself trapped on Earth and forced into hiding.

For over ten years, Maité has stayed hidden, but every minute Maité stays on Earth is one closer to getting caught.

She’s lived on the streets. Gone hungry. And found a way to fight through it all. But one night, while waitressing in a greasy diner, a customer gets handsy with her. She reacts without thinking.

Covered in blood, Maité runs, but it’s not long before SpaceTech finds her…

Arrested and forced into dangerous work detail on a volcano planet, Maité waits for SpaceTech to make their move against the Aunare. She knows that if she can’t somehow find a way to stop them, there will be an interstellar war big enough to end all life in the universe.

There’s only one question: Can Maité prevent the total annihilation of humanity without getting herself killed in the process?

-Seems legit, but I may have been scared off sci-fi eARCs after the last one.
-I feel like most novels this has great potential…to go in either direction either I’ll love it or I’ll be weeping under a pile of blankets at my decision to pick it up.
– Forever skeptical of these USA Today’s best sellers

4. In Search of a Witch’s Soul

Blurb: Human, private detective Anna Caill isn’t keen on the prohibition of magic enacted by the 18th Amendment, but she won’t deny it’s good for business. The coppers couldn’t care less about the witches’ problems, giving her any number of clients to choose from.

When mysterious witch Jesse Hunt saunters into her office, he and his case will test her limits. While a killer stalks the magical underworld, Anna is hired to find Jesse’s friend, the high priest of an ancient coven.

As her case unravels, Anna is forced to confront her addiction to a dark spell in this urban fantasy noir.

-It is a freakin’ noir Witch mystery novel. How could this not be perfect for me?
-For the love of god, there’s so much room for error lol, especially with mystery novels if the writer’s voice is tragically bad there’s no room for sympathy. [Not like Eragon where you know…it just kept coming out and making more money. *Drops mic*]

3. The Parlor Girl’s Guide

Blurb: A cynical country girl enlists the living and the dead to guide her past family tragedy and forge her escape from a secluded Southern brothel. After her father’s murder and mother’s abonnement, a merciless landowner forces Molly Lingo to work in a rural Alabama hunting lodge that doubles as an exclusive whorehouse. Molly, the feisty tough teenage daughter of a hand-to-mouth tobacco farmer, employs a troubled gambler and a mysterious specter to assist her in breaking away from the unrelenting grip of the sharecropper culture. Set at the beginning of the Jazz Age’s promising sweep across America, Molly’s story depicts both the shocking brutality of the landlord class and a young woman’s determination not to be treated as a second-class citizen. This energetic historical fiction offers supernatural thrills and the poignant transformation of a metaphysical coming-of-age tale.

– Idk guys, this could be another Audrey Rose. I’m like paranoid about that at this point.

2. Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire

Blurb:  September 1939.
As Britain readies for war, Inspector Betty Church must battle a ruthless killer…

Inspector Betty Church – one of the few female officers on the force – has arrived from London to fill a vacancy at Sackwater police station. But Betty isn’t new here. This is the place she grew up. The place she thought she’d left for good.

After a slow start, Betty’s called to the train station to investigate a stolen bench. But though there’s no bench, there is a body. A smartly dressed man, murdered in broad daylight, with two distinctive puncture wounds in his throat.

While the locals gossip about the Suffolk Vampire, Betty Church steels herself to hunt a dangerous killer.

I am actually currently reading this one, only three chapters in but I’m not sure yet how I feel or if I’ll finish it. I read the first chapter, set it down, read the next two, had me suspiciously looking at it. Betty Church as of right now has no voice yet, she’s floating around and I hope that I’ll enjoy it but I’m not, not yet!

1. Hashtag Authentic

Blurb: Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform, with 400 million monthly active users worldwide, half of them under 25. While some of these people use the app as a personal tool, many also use it to build their creative business endeavours, from food and drink to fashion and lifestyle.

Sara Tasker has tapped into this as an Instagram coach, an iPhoneographer and social media influencer. Her chronicle of authentic everyday life and her mindful Me and Orla blog has developed into a business in which she allows access to free insta-tips, alongside some hugely popular paid for e-courses for independent creatives.

One of her followers, Emma Mitchell a jewellery designer and artist, took her Instagram following (silverpebble2) from several hundred to 87k and gained a book commission within a year.

Idk why I got this, it was my first review to be approved and I got so excited and I thought it would be a book of photography mostly, and now that I’ve flicked through the beginning it doesn’t look that way. What have I done? Who knows, it doesn’t sound like a bad read, just not the sort I typically end up with when picking a book.

If you’ve done this week’s topic too, let me know what you’re unsure about or if you’ve got some great ones to review!

Toodles!

How Books Made Me A Better Shopper

The year is 2007, I have a Barnes & Noble Membership, with the member’s discount I pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and life couldn’t be better. I had no concept of the money my Mother spent on me in those years of youthful ignorance, especially on books. I loved Manga, and Manga did not love my Mother at $9.99 a volume, not including tax.

Now, there is no shame in buying new books, of walking into a Barnes & Noble or Waterstones, grabbing what you want and checking out with it gripped in your hands like a coveted prize! I still do this when the fancy takes me, but the fact of the matter is that I have to be more frugal if I would like to keep up my book purchases.

Enter in my years of undergrad and being utterly horrified at textbook costs and constantly poor. Now City of Bones certainly didn’t cost Mom three to five hundred dollars, but I realized that I couldn’t afford the luxury of buying new books. I relied heavily on the library more than ever during that period, and I still do, on average I go to the library once a week and have been for about five years.

One day though, I entered my first Goodwill (before I knew their sadly deplorable views) and I realized I could indeed afford books again! They were cheap, usually in pretty good condition and just there for the taking.

Eventually, I branched out to buy at Half Price Books and the best one of all, the little store inside my library’s main entrance. I was buying books I had wanted for years, snatching them up for a couple of dollars (these days for me it’s in pounds instead of dollars) and if it was something that I knew I wouldn’t read again, I got to donate back to the library I used so often, so my money and books kept going back to it and that was important to me.

These days I’m no longer near that library or its dear little store, I’m across the pond but our library here as a small shelf to buy books, and as a family, we go often down the High Street to do our ‘Charity Shop Finds’ that I’ve now taken to blogging about. We also utilize eBay and Amazon of course, mostly still buying used. There’s three of us to buy books for and we have to be mindful of our spending in our case. Recently I purchased a history encyclopedia for my Mini-me and it was 2 quid (about 2.56 in dollars) and free shipping via eBay; where our main seller we purchase from is bookstores that promote literacy here in the UK.

And it’s not only books we save money on, but we’ve also taken buying smarter with other things too thanks to books! Toys, games, clothes, you get the picture.

Let me make it clear though that if I can afford it and it’s a new upcoming author, I buy new/pre-order but I’m in a financial situation that dictates I don’t always have that choice. And I would never ever ever ever [you get the point] judge someone for only buying new or buying a billion books a month, it’s none of my business how other people spend their dough lol.

 

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper

I did it, I finally grabbed it off my TBR list.

Also, I picked the featured image from the French cover cause let’s face it, it is totally awesome.

So, what did I think?

40727470-1

ratingiconratingiconratingicon
Three cups of coffee…or tea, depending on my mood…chocolate has caffeine in it so guess it could be hot chocolate too. WHATEVER TICKLES YOUR FANCY.

Alright, I’m gonna bullet point this shit here, we’ll start off nice.

The Positives:
– Mansicalco gives us people with different sets of issues mental health wise that you normally don’t encounter. [Audrey’s Father, no this isn’t a spoiler, it’s set out from the get-go.]
– Nice descriptions of clothes, I really wanted to go buy some Victorian-era clothing after this and play dress up like it’s the late 1800s.
– Uncle J. Wadsworth is the man.
– Cousin Liza was the gift I didn’t know I needed
– I liked the ending for certain characters that I shall not disclose in case you haven’t read it yet.
– You don’t get many mystery YA so this was nice.
– The lab was cool

The Negatives:
– I disliked Audrey Rose from start to finish. Who describes their own hair as raven colored.
– I’m never a fan of first-person p.o.v. for a Mystery novel.
– Though I loved the descriptions of the clothes if I heard about that riding habit one more damned time I was going to snap like dear ol’ Jack.
– It was so predictable I guessed the whodunnit in the first 2 chapters, which, was a letdown but also it was nice cause I never figure things out guys, I’m not sure how I’ve made it this far in life.
– I didn’t like Thomas
– #TeamBlackburn, fight me
– The last-minute addition of something ‘supernatural’ was not fun, would have been better if she’d kept it out unless it grows in the other books, in which case, genius
– Audrey Rose was ….I’m sorry I already said I didn’t like her but I really didn’t like her. Except when she was focusing on her darker and ‘science-y’ thoughts.
– Thomas wasn’t charming. He was a prick. BUT I like that the author didn’t hide that this was a known fact lol so I guess this point cancels itself out.
– I hated Audrey Rose.

I could give you all lists of reasons why I didn’t like her but I hated and I mean hated how she felt she had to point out she liked pretty things and science and that both were okay only to be like ‘oh but I’m a tomboy and can’t possibly be like other girls though I just went gaga over some pretty fabric, because I have a scientific mind!’  Yea. Okay. You do you boo.

Overall I needed to remember that this was written for YA and it was quick, and, if I hated it that badly I wouldn’t be saying I plan on eventually reading the next one, and I do…eventually!

Solidly 3/5 so despite my complaints, there we have it!

Also if you enjoyed this book and want a more supernatural feel (no Jack the Ripper but still a bit of a mystery!), I recommend the Camille Duology!