Friday, December 18, 2015

Review: A Madness So Discreet

A Madness So DiscreetTITLE: A Madness So Discreet
AUTHOR: Mindy McGinnis
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 384
SOURCE: Bought

SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

MY THOUGHTS: I was super excited to see this book in one of my monthly subscription boxes from Owl Crate. I do admit that I was expecting to find this book extremely creepy and spooky, which it was not, but I still really enjoyed it. It took me a little bit to get used to the dialog because some of the language sounded like something you'd hear in the past, but that added to the story because this book takes place in the past.

The first part of the book did a great job at pulling me in and making me want to keep reading to find out what was going on and what was going to happen next. The middle of the book slowed down a little bit, but I still enjoyed following Grace, the main character, around trying to figure out the mysteries.

I really loved the characters in this book, especially the other girls that were in the insane asylum. They just had so much personality, and even though they were in an institution, they were still just girls being girls and having fun.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Audio Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson AudiobookTITLE: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
AUTHORS: John Green and David Levithan
NARRATORS: MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl
PUBLISHER: Brilliance Audio
FORMAT: Audio book
LENGTH: 7 hours and 52 minutes
SOURCE: Bought

SUMMARY (FROM AUDIBLE): One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens--both named Will Grayson--are about to cross paths. As their worlds and lives collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history's most fabulous high school musical.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I'm having a hard time getting on board the John Green train. Everyone seems to adore his books, and out of the four that I've read the only one that I've really enjoyed was The Fault in Our Stars. I was hoping to enjoy this one, but it was my least favorite so far. It took a little bit to get going and then about two hours into the audio, my interest was peaked, but I still never got really invested in the book. I think a lot of my dislike for this one had to do with the audio though. According to Audible, there are two narrators for this book, but when I was listening I didn't even know there was a difference. I actually remember thinking that I would have enjoyed hearing two different narrators so that I could more easily tell the two Will Graysons apart, and apparently there were two narrators all along.

There was a lot of back and forth dialog that had the names of who was speaking before every line and that was, honestly, annoying to listen to the narrator say the names over and over again. Also, the singing drove me nuts. It was so over the top and obnoxious, which I guess was part of that particular character's personality, but it just got on my nerves.

All of that being said, if you're thinking about picking this one up, I would say to check out the print version rather than the audio.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wrap Up: November 2015 

In November I read a total of 10 books. Of those books, 8 were "real" books making my total "real" books read this year 101 and my total books read for the year 130.

"Real" Books:
A Madness So DiscreetTrouble Is a Friend of MineNumber the StarsOrbiting JupiterPaper or PlasticI Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the StacksDewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Audio Books:
The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wrap Up: October 2015 

In October I read a total of 9 books. Of these books, 6 counted towards my 2015 "Real" Book Challenge making my total for the challenge 93 and my total books read for the year 120.

"Real" Books:
 Ash & BrambleHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Violent EndsThe Night We Said YesMy Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical ChangeHarry Potter: Magical Places from the Films: Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Beyond

Audio Books:
 Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible ThingsWill Grayson, Will Grayson

The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)

Reviews Written:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: Violent Ends

Violent EndsTITLE: Violent Ends
AUTHORS: Shaun David Hutchinson, Kendare Blake, Steve Brezenott, Delilah S. Dawson, Trish Doller, Margie Gelbwasser, E.M. Kokie, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Tom Leveen, Hannah Moskowitz, Elisa Nader, Beth Revis, Mindi Scott, Neal Schusterman, Brandon Schusterman, Courtney Summers, Blythe Woolston, Christine Johnson
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 352
SOURCE: Library

INSIDE COVER BLURB: It took only twenty-two minutes for Kirby Matheson to exit his car, march onto school grounds, enter the gymnasium, and open fire, killing six and injuring five others.

But this isn't a story about the shooting itself. This isn't about recounting that one unforgettable day.

This is about Kirby and how one boy--who had friends, enjoyed reading, played saxophone in the band, and had never been in trouble before--became a monster capable of entering his school with a loaded gun and firing on his classmates.

Each chapter is told from a different viewpoint, giving insight into who Kirby was and who he'd become. Some are sweet, some are dark some are seemingly unrelated, about fights or first kisses or late-night parties. This is a book of perspectives--with one character and one event drawing them all together.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I was so interested in the idea behind this book. The subject matter is one that is really interest me, but the idea of 17 perspectives all written by different authors was really intriguing to me.

I could not stop reading this book. It was so gripping and intense. I loved all of the different perspectives and how they tied together so well to make one complete story. The whole story was so tragic and sad, but all so good and captivating.

I like how you didn't know which author wrote which perspective as you were reading it (unless you flipped to the back to find out). It made me enjoy the story more as a whole instead of going in to each chapter with a bias based on my like or dislike of any specific author.

The chapter written from the gun's perspective was really interesting. I've never read anything from the perspective of an inanimate object before, and I thought it was a unique spin.

I thought the book ended in a weird place. I'm not really sure there was a good moment to end this book though, so I don't know how it could have been done any different.

COVER: The cover is haunting. Something about an empty school is just spooky on it's own, but when you have a subject matter like this, it just makes it all the more chilling.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review: Ash & Bramble

Ash & BrambleTITLE: Ash & Bramble
AUTHOR: Sarah Prineas
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 464
SOURCE: For Review
BACK COVER SUMMARY: Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother's fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, spending day after day making ballgowns fit for fairy tales. Pin feels there's more than what's inside these cold, stone walls and escapes with the handsome young Shoemaker.

But Pin discovers that what seems like freedom is a prison of another kind, one that entangles Pin in a story that leads to a prince, a kiss, and a clock striking midnight. To unravel herself from this new life, Pin must choose between her prince and another--the one who would give his life for her. Torn, the only thing for her to do is trade in the glass slipper for a sword and find her own destiny.

The tale has been told and retold, twisted and tweaked, snipped and stitched, but now discover the true story of Cinderella in Sara Prineas's bold, romantic, and utterly original young adult debut.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I've always loved retellings, so I was pretty excited going into this book. This was definitely an interesting take on the classic story and I really enjoyed it. The introduction was brilliant. I felt like the narrator was talking directly to me. There was a point in the book about a third of the way in that was really strange and I was worried the book was going to get weird, but it only lasted a couple of pages and then it was over.

The ending was great. There was a good build up and plenty of action. I also really liked the way the story was wrapped up. There was a point where it could have been turned into a series, but in the end everything was wrapped up and I'm glad that this is a standalone.

CHARACTERS: I liked both the main characters, Pin and Shoe. They had a fun chemistry together. I also liked the shoemaker and his wife. I wish we had been able to learn more about the side characters as there were so many that seemed interesting, but I didn't really know much about (Dulcet, Precious, Spinner).

COVER: I am obsessed with this cover. It is gorgeous and it ties in perfectly with the story.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September 2015 Wrap-Up 

In September I read a total of 4 books which makes my total books read this year 111. Of these books, 3 counted for the "Real" Book Challenge, making my total books read for the challenge 87.

"Real" Books:
Voice Over!: Seiyu Academy, Vol. 11Voice Over!: Seiyu Academy, Vol. 12Beginnings: Obsidian & Onyx (Lux, #1-2) 

Audio Books:
Looking for Alaska Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Reviews Written:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend Review

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend TITLE: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend. 
AUTHOR: Matthew Dicks 
NARRATOR: Matthew Brown 
GENRE: Fiction, Fantasy 
PUBLISHER: MacMillan Audio 
FORMAT: Audio book 
LENGTH: 10 hours 57 minutes 
SOURCE: Bought 

SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): Budo is Max's imaginary friend. But though only Max can see him, he is real. He and the other imaginary friends watch over their children until the day comes that the child stop imagining them. And then they're gone. Budo has lasted a lot longer than most imaginary friends--four years--because Max needs him more. His parents argue about sending him to a special school. But Max is perfectly happy if everything is just kept the way it is, and nothing out of the ordinary happens. Unfortunately, something out of the ordinary is going to happen--and then he'll need Budo more than ever...

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I actually really enjoyed this book. I hadn't heard of it before, but I'm glad that I gave it a listen, because it was great. I loved the narrator. His voice was easy to listen to and fit with the characters well. The concept of the story is really interesting. I've never read anything from a perspective like this before and it was very well done. The story line itself was interesting and exciting. There were funny moments, touching moments, sad moments and suspenseful moments. This book had it all and was a great all-around read.

CHARACTERS: Budo was such a great character. I loved seeing the world though his eyes and watching him change throughout the story.

COVER: I like how it's blurred out. It fits with the idea of this imaginary friend and the possibility of them fading over time.

August 2015 Wrap Up 

 In August I read a total of 13 books making my total books read this year 105. Of those books, 10 were "real" books making my total "real" books read this year 84.

"Real" Books:

Audio Books:
Talon (Talon, #1) You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) The Cat's Guide to Human Behavior 

Reviews Written:
None. I've been in a blogging slump lately. I feel like I've been in a little bit of a reading slump as well, hence all the manga I read in August and not very many actual novels. I'm hoping to catch up on some reviews and hopefully get back into reading this month.