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I love books, and so can you
Minerva. Seattle.
avid reader, music lover, comic fan, television junkie

The Sugar Queen

The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

I read this because I really loved Sarah Addison Allen's other book, The Peach Keeper, but this one was nowhere near as fantastic. It was well written, but I didn't really care about any of the characters. I didn't feel like any of them were believable, except maybe Adam.

This book left me with so many questions about the characters and the plot that I don't even know where to begin. Why would Josey still be hanging around taking care of her mother if her mother was so horrible to her (and how the heck had she never done anything for herself besides secretly hoarding food? And did Rawley seriously not talk directly to Margaret for forty years just because he made her a promise once when she was hopped up on pills? Apparently books just sort of follow Chloe around and pop up randomly when she supposedly needs them? All of these things just seem pretty ridiculous.

I'm all for some magical elements in a story, but being stalked by books was just too unbelievable, especially since there wasn't really any other magical/fantastic stuff going on (other than Della Lee). The whole story just seemed sort of far fetched.

Overall, the writing was good, and if you like books like this I can see where you might enjoy this one, but I just couldn't really get into the plot enough to actually enjoy it.

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy)

Touch of Frost - Jennifer Estep

Sometimes I look at my to read list and can't remember even having heard of the books in there (I'm pretty sure weird gremlins put stuff on there). This was one of those, but I decided to read it anyway, and I'm really glad that I did. If you like Percy Jackson, or Hex Hall, you should definitely give this series a try.

Full disclosure, I'm not actually a huge fan of the Percy Jackson books, so I was a little wary of this one at first. Once I started reading though, I didn't want to stop (which led to some really unfortunate homework procrastination, whoops).

I really liked Gwen. She was believable as a character, and if she was real I would totally want to hang out with her. I'm also really pleased that they took the "bitchy popular girl" and had her actually be a totally cool person. Basically, a lot of books in this genre tend to have really boring/unrelatable characters, but that was definitely not the case here.

I also loved that Gwen knew how to use her magic, but wasn't super great at it. A lot of times the magical person just knows how to do everything perfectly, and that's actually really annoying, so the fact that Gwen still struggled with her psychometry even after she'd been using it for years was a nice change. I also really enjoyed that when she sneaked out of the school it was to visit her grandma, and not to get drunk or hook up with boys or what have you.

Basically, I really enjoyed this book and definitely plan to continue reading the series.


Asylum - Madeleine Roux This book was recommended to me because it was similar to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. In fact, it seemed kind of like a rip-off. But, it was still surprisingly good. I didn’t really expect to like it, but once I started it I couldn’t put it down. I will say that about halfway through this book started to creep me out something fierce.

Overall, I would say that if you like books that are pretty creepy (or maybe if you like watching American Horror Story) then you might want to give Asylum a try.

At times I felt like the characters were fairly one-dimensional, and I didn’t really care about them all that much, but the story was interesting enough that I really wanted to find out what was going to happen.

The plot was also a little confusing (and far-fetched, but that’s not entirely surprising). It seemed like there were a lot of coincidences that were supposed to make sense, but a lot of them left me feeling sort of confused. In the end I was really just left wondering about the connection between Dan and the warden.

The book made a big deal out of Dan’s blackouts, and the fact that he and the warden had the same name, but they never resolved that particular detail. I’m kind of assuming they’ll address that in the sequel, which comes out this year. I’ll probably read it, but I’m pretty sure I can already predict what’s going to happen, so I’m not sure how interested I’ll be in the story.

The Peach Keeper: A Novel

The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen I found this book because I was standing in the library trying to figure out what to read, and I googled “books set in the South.” Luckily, this one happened to actually be checked in, so I snagged it off the shelf. I wasn’t too sure about it because usually when romance-esque books try to include a mystery they just fail, but people on the internet seemed to like it, so I gave it a try, and boy am I glad that I did.

If you like romance/mystery books, or even just want books set in the South, you should definitely give this one a try.

I was surprised by this book because there wasn’t a single character that I didn’t care about. I would have liked to know more about Agatha and Georgie though, like maybe an entire book of just them would have been great. I may have accidentally shipped it.

To be honest, I’m not generally a huge fan of books that are mostly centered on romance, but this one had enough of a focus on other things, like why there is a body buried under the peach tree, that the romance portions didn’t really bother me. Except the parts with Paxton and Sebastian, those kind of bugged me. Willa and Colin were kind of cute though.

I also felt like there was some information that was revealed fairly abruptly, and without much setup, but overall it was actually a fairly decent mystery plot.

Nobody's Princess (Princesses of Myth)

Nobody's Princess - Esther M. Friesner

Okay, so I picked this one and its sequel up at the bargain outlet, and I wasn’t really sure about them. I’m not generally a huge fan of Greek mythology, but they sounded interesting, so I decided to give them a shot. All I can say is this book was surprisingly amazing, and if you like historical fiction and/or Greek mythology you should definitely read it.

I couldn’t put this book down. I picked it up while I was watching a movie, intending to just sort of check it out briefly, maybe read the first couple pages. I have no idea what happened in the movie because I couldn’t stop reading. The book started kind of slow, probably because I didn’t really care about what Helen was like at five years old, and the plot wasn’t amazing on the surface: girl doesn’t want to do “girly” stuff, so she dresses up like a boy in order to wander off and do what she wants; she doesn’t like doing what she’s told, so she gets into awkward/interesting situations of various kinds… sounds pretty familiar, right? I certainly thought so, but suddenly that wasn’t really the central plot anymore, and I found myself interested to find out what sort of shenanigans Helen was going to get up to next, and who she was going to make friends with (seriously, how many people get to just hang out with the Oracle of Delphi?).

By the time they had taken her sister to get married, I just needed to know what happened because I knew it was going to be exciting, and I wasn’t disappointed: a boar hunt, a huntress, an Oracle, and (of course) the cliffhanger lead-in to the sequel. If I hadn’t felt like I needed to finish my library books first (they have a due date, after all) I probably would have started reading the sequel right then and there, even if it was after midnight.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern I’m pretty choosy about books, especially ones about magic, but I’d heard about this one a few times, and finally decided to give it a go. Needless to say, I’m extremely glad I did. This book was so fantastic that I, quite literally, wanted nothing more than to read it again the second that I had finished it.

I was intrigued from the very first page, and I was completely unable to stop reading. There wasn’t a single character that I didn’t like, though there were some that I liked less than the rest, and none of them were boring. I will admit that some parts were slightly confusing at first, but it was soon made clear how they connected to the rest of the story, and then they made perfect sense. I really liked the way the story was laid out, so that it wasn’t immediately clear how everything fit together. It made it seem more like you were a part of the story, instead of already knowing everything that was going on. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that it ended.

If you haven’t read this book already, you should definitely go do that. Right now.

Ruined: A Novel

Ruined - Paula Morris Okay, so my friend Marie loved this book so much that she practically threw it at me, yelling “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!!”

She was absolutely right, this book is amazing. I had a little trouble getting into it at first, but I think that was mostly because I only read around 2 pages at a time while we were waiting for food in various restaurants. Once I sat down and seriously started reading this, I couldn’t put it down.

There weren’t any characters I didn’t like, or felt like they were pointless (which is a thing that happens with almost every book I read, no matter how much I love it), and I liked the main character, Rebecca, right away.

This book pretty much hit on all my favorite things. Tragic back-stories, creepy stuff, some slightly gory details, Mardi Gras… It was fantastic.

Short version of this review: EVERYONE GO READ THIS BOOK.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - 'John Green',  'David Levithan' Okay, so I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this book, but I’ll try to review it anyway.

I really loved this book when I first started reading it. It was funny, clever, and held my attention. Then I got to somewhere in the middle of the book and had a sort of “oh my god, wait, what?” moment. It was so intense that I had to go back and skim the first half in order to figure out what was going on. I feel like most people would have noticed that the book was from two different perspectives (they alternate chapters), but I apparently completely missed that memo. Which may have been due to the fact that I was reading this at around 2 am, but still.

I sort of started to lose interest toward the end. The plot got more complicated, and harder to follow. I also never really cared all that much about the characters. I liked that they gave Tiny more depth as the story progressed, but I felt like the other characters were never really that interesting.

Overall, though, it was actually a pretty good book.

Valhalla Rising (Dirk Pitt Adventure)

Valhalla Rising - Clive Cussler Okay, so I love Clive Cussler books (especially the Dirk Pitt ones), but seriously. This one was just… not great.

I really wanted to like this book. Really. And I did. Until I ran into this gem…

"My name is Dirk Pitt." He turned to the others. "My shipmates, Misty Graham and Al Giordino."
The old man warmly shook hands with all. Then he turned and grinned at Pitt.
"I’m Clive Cussler."

No. Please, for the love of my sanity, do not put yourself in your books. Although, to be honest, I remember him doing that in other books too. Really though. Please just stop.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way… It was actually a pretty decent book (Cussler was only in it for around one chapter, which was good). I was a little annoyed that the book started with Vikings going missing, but took around 400 pages to explain why the Vikings were relevant at all.

I did really like that they had a lot of stuff about Jules Verne (because I love his books). I’m not going to go too much into this because of massive spoilers, but basically they had a sort of conspiracy theory type thing about Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and it was awesome.

While I love Dirk Pitt (and would kind of love to date him, not gonna lie), I actually found myself liking Loren even more, which was a little weird. She was just really awesome, and I loved her interactions with Dirk (I think she may have appeared in a couple other books, but I could be mistaken).

And then there was the ending.

I just really didn’t like it, okay. It was way too…cliche? I’m not going to spoil it, but Dirk and Loren were talking about how he wished something could have happened…and then it did. Blargh.

I really wanted to give this book four stars, but Cussler being a character, and the ending just made it not as amazing as some of his other books.

Boy Girl Boy

Boy Girl Boy - Ron Koertge Yes, another mindless, easy read. I wasn’t overly excited about reading this, mostly because it jumped around from one point-of-view to another, and I’m not overly fond of that.

I feel like this book needed more closure. I kind of wanted to know what happened to the characters after the events we were told about. Instead, we’re given a scene in which the former friends seem to be somewhat uncomfortable around each other, and just kind of go their separate ways.

Basically this book was about what I expected - Okay, but not great.

Little Black Lies

Little Black Lies - Tish Cohen Okay, so I was looking for semi-mindless books that would be easy to read. This fit the bill perfectly, and was actually better than I was expecting. To be perfectly honest, I always sort of expect these types of high school drama, teen novels to have somewhat annoying protagonists, but Sara was surprisingly relatable. I’m not really sure what that says about me, but hey.

"Her father’s nuts, and Carling… I adore her, but she’s capable of just about anything. You’d be wise to avoid her."
He’s right. I should stay away from Carling.
Trouble is, I can’t.

So that’s basically where I really got pulled in. Up until then I was just sort of not really caring what happened, but then that happened, and I was like, “wait… what’s going to go down with Carling?!”

Basically, what does wind up going down is a lot of really bad decisions, and some revelations that lead to some minor life changes.

Yeah. Exactly what you’d expect from this sort of teen book. Overall though, not a bad story, and I might actually read more of this author’s stuff.

Bare Bones: A Novel (Temperance Brennan Novels)

Bare Bones - Kathy Reichs For those of you who may watch Bones, the Temperence Brennan series bears no resemblance to the show. That bothered me at first, but I eventually grew to love these characters and now I don’t associate the books with the show at all.

Now for the real review. I love the style of the writing in these books. It flows rather like the way my brain thinks, and is very descriptive, without overloading you with details. It’s fun to read, and the book goes by quickly (which is not necessarily a good thing because sometimes I like to savor books). I actually have a lot of trouble putting any of these books down once I start reading them, no matter how many times I’ve read them.

In this particular book, Temperance uncovers some bones at a picnic. Upon investigating further she discovers that they aren’t what they seem to be, and they lead her on a wild adventure. The usual characters make appearances, and we are introduced to new people (some of whom I actually found myself making head-canons for, and getting way too attached to…whoops).

I recommend that anyone who likes mysteries, or is interested in forensics type things, read this book or any of the others in the series. They’re some of my very favorites in this genre.