The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

25 Aug

 

The Vanishing Season

author : jodi lynn anderson

pages : [hardcover] 256

memorable quote The living always think that monsters roar and gnash their teeth. But I’ve seen that real monsters can be friendly; they can smile, and they can say please and thank you like everyone else.

favorite character : maggie

summary :

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter’s come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I’ve watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I’m the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I’m tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I’m tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don’t know why. I think it’s because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.

review :

I love Jodi Lynn Anderson. Love her writing. I’ve read her children’s books and also Tiger Lily and all of her work is written so well. The Vanishing Season is no different because it’s very gripping and enthralling. I couldn’t put this book down and liked that it was so short because I could read it all in one day, yet I also hated that because it meant I needed to leave that world sooner.

What I really looked for in this book was great characters. Maggie was amazing, flawed, and just really entertaining to follow. She felt like a real person who could have lived down the street from me, had I lived in such an isolated little town. I liked seeing her interactions with the others her age and how they dealt with the deaths that were happening so close to their home. It felt like real reactions: first indifference, then laughing speculation, then paranoia.

What I hadn’t expected to love so much about the novel were the little interludes in between some chapters where the ‘ghost’ of the book would speak. You spend much of the book trying to figure out who this presence was while they were alive, how long they’ve been dead and hanging around this house on Water Street. Eventually I thought that I had the answer, only to have another twist happen that proved me completely wrong. I’m not sure if others would be able to predict it but there are several other twists in the story, so you’ll always be guessing even if you think you’ve figured out what will happen next.

I’d recommend this book to anyone. I got it from the library and I’m going to buy myself a copy so that I can read it again. This book is well-written and has memorable characters. It’s purely a beautiful, touching story that needs to be shared with more people!

5/5 stars

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

24 Aug

 

Landline

author : rainbow rowell [also wrote eleanor & park]

pages : [hardcover] 310

memorable quote I love you more than I hate everything else.

favorite character : georgie

summary :

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

review :

Reading one of Rainbow Rowell’s adult novels is a completely different experience from her young adult, though it’s a lovely read all the same. Her characters are just brilliant and while her plots are contemporary and may take a while to progress, the writing is interesting and constructed in such a way that I’m still interested even if not much is happening.

I’d like to start off talking about the characters. None of Rowell’s characters are perfect and I think that’s what makes them so realistic and relatable. They aren’t unreachable creatures; instead they’re human like we are and might easily be your next door neighbor or your best friend. Of course little quirks and things are exaggerated to keep things interesting throughout the novel; sometimes a character’s defining traits can be used to nudge the plot along.

While I enjoyed reading about Georgie, and saw her as a realistic character, I didn’t really relate to her life. I’m not an adult; I’ve never been married, had kids, or dealt with any of the decisions Georgie’s trying to make throughout the book. But I’ve often been afraid when I think of my own career ambitions as well as what I’m going to do if I want to have a family. Women have it hard and Georgie wants to have it all. Unfortunately it’s difficult to find the perfect balance between what she’s doing and what needs to be done. And then a magic telephone is thrown in.

That was undoubtedly the most interesting part of the book and I wish there was more centered around it. That’s the only unusual, unnatural aspect of the otherwise contemporary read. Is Georgie simply hallucinating the conversations? Maybe, but I like to think that her phone really is connecting to the past!

I’d recommend this book to other people but it’s not one of my favorite books. I really enjoyed it and think that others will love it yet I’m not sure if I’d reread it. You should give it a shot!

4/5 stars

Rise by Anna Carey

23 Aug

 

Rise

The Eve Trilogy #3
Book 1: Eve
Book 2: Once

author : anna carey

pages : [hardcover] 310

favorite characters : eve & clara

summary :

How far will you go when you have nothing left to lose?

When she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the part of the happy, patriotic princess of The New America—and the blushing bride of her father’s top adviser—Eve’s whole life is a lie. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb’s memory, and the revolution he started.

Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King’s court, she plots to take down The New America, beginning with the capital, the City of Sand. Will Eve be able to bring about a new, free world when she’s called upon to perform the ultimate act of rebellion—killing her father?

In Rise, Eve must choose who to leave behind, who to save, and who to fight as Anna Carey’s epic tale of romance and sacrifice in the chilling dystopia of The New America comes to a stunning conclusion.

review :

 This is the last book in the Eve trilogy and I was really looking forward to seeing how the author was going to conclude these books. Rise starts just a few weeks after the conclusion of book two. While I feel like the plot of this book read just as quickly as the other two books, it also lacked the amount of detail and character connections that I’ve been searching for throughout the series and hoped would finally come through in this final novel.

I think that I’ve come to the conclusion that while Rise and the other Eve books are interesting and made me want to know what was going to happen next, they aren’t very memorable as a whole for the dystopian genre. I’m not going to rave about how I love the characters because there is no epic love connection or friendship; characters that I knew that I should care about, I felt like I barely knew. It saddened me because I feel so much potential in the ideas Carey focuses on. I can only hope that her writing will improve and I’ll definitely try more from her in the future.

While I didn’t dislike the way that this book ended, at first it infuriated me. I’d waited that long to have it end like that? Yet the more I sat on it-and it’s been a week since I read it, until I felt able to review the book-the more I liked that ending. It seemed fitting and worked well with the way the rest of the book was written. I can imagine what’s going to happen next and maybe what’s in my mind is even better because I can infuse it with feeling that might not have been there if more had been included in the original text.

Would I recommend this trilogy? Yes, definitely. But it would be more of a dystopian for the summer, a lighter trilogy that doesn’t take a huge attention span or time commitment. I might end up rereading these books in the future; I’ll definitely keep an eye out to see what Carey’s writing in the future. This isn’t the best trilogy, but it’s a good, satisfying one.

4/5 stars

Giveaway + Book Blast: Up the Tower by J.P. Lantern

22 Aug

 

SUMMARY :

Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn’t be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go…UP THE TOWER.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR :

J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed “rugged,” though he would also be fine with “roughhewn” because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.

Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.

CHECK OUT AN EXCERPT FROM THE NOVEL!

“Hey, Smellson!”

Samson ignored the jeer, focusing carefully on opening the box. He was twelve years old and he did not want to screw this up; being twelve was important, and people took the things you did seriously so long as you did them well.

“Smellson, hey!” The Crowboy banged his crowbar on the dusty ruins of the factory line where they had set up the six crates from their haul that morning. “Don’t blow us up, okay? I don’t want to die with your stench clogging me up, yeah?”

Again, Samson ignored the other boy, trying to concentrate as he eased his longtool through the gap in the crate before him. He very well could blow himself up; he could blow them all up. Inside the GuaranTech crate he tinkered with was a copbot.

Copbots blew up all the time. If their main processors or power source were damaged, they blew up. If they were being captured, they blew up. If they ran out of ammo and couldn’t refill within about ten minutes, they blew up. When they blew up, they incinerated everything in about a hundred foot radius. The warehouse was not big enough for the Crowboys to keep their distance and still work in the role of protection as they had been hired. So they were in the blast zone as well as Samson.

The copbots, deactivated, were precious and valuable. Strangely, they were valuable precisely because they were so hard to deactivate. A copbot was made almost entirely out of self-healing nanotech, and with enough time, it could repair from almost any wound to its metal shell. So, to keep this sort of power out of the hands of the gangster conglomerate that ran Junktown, the Five Faces, and any other sort of competitor, the copbots had a very liberal self-destruct mechanism.

This is what Samson worked against.

GIVEAWAY:

An ebook copy of the book will be awarded to a randomly drawn commenter! All you need to do to enter to win is comment below. Even better, for every tour stop you comment on, you’ll be entered into another drawing for an ebook!

The GRAND PRIZE winner will get a $25 Amazon GC, through the Rafflecopter form below! Click the link to enter to win and best of luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorite Book Friday: Sophie from A Series of Tomfooleries

22 Aug

favorite book friday

Hello all! Today I’m so excited to have Sophie on the blog! She blogs over at A Series of Tomfooleries and her blog posts are funny as well as amazing. Go check her out, and read on to hear about one of her favorite books!

~  ~  ~

As a kid, I loved to read. Sarah Dessen’s books spoke to my brace-faced, slightly chubby, pre-pubescent soul; Judy Blume said, “Hey, it’s okay that you think gaucho pants and sneakers is a good look…it will all work out for you”; the Harry Potter series…I never read. But I saw the movies.

Due to several factors, such as increasing workloads and an exciting (exciting in that it exists) social life, my adolescence and young adulthood has seen a decrease in reading for pleasure.

But, every once in a while, a great tome comes along that makes you want to shut off Real Housewives, plop onto a fancy beanbag chair from Brookstone (or, at least look at one on Amazon that you can’t afford,) and spend some quiet time engaging with the written word.

For me, that tome is, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling.

sophie1

Before you accuse me of choosing books based on font size and the ratio of pink to other colors in the cover design, let me tell you what I look for in a book.

When I choose a book, I’m thinking about two things:

1. How will this book’s pages deal with chocolate stains? Are the pages sturdy? Absorbent? Thick?

2. Will this book make me laugh?

I love to laugh, and I love books that will make me laugh. It doesn’t have to be a belly laugh or a cackle…a light chuckle will do.

(I also love chocolate. Hence the chocolate stain concerns.)

When I picked up Mindy’s book three years ago, I was excited to read it. Yes because I love Mindy Kaling – her show, her characters, and her humor. But also because I was/am really interested in how she tells her story.

Everyone has a story. Maybe you come from a family of professional whale watchers? Or maybe your grandfather invented the Twinkie and now you spend your summers on a yacht near Aruba? Or, maybe you come from a nice home in a nice town with cows and grass and you spend your days minding the sheep. Everyone has a story.

Mindy tells her story in a way that, at times, makes you want to cry about what she’s saying and laugh at how she says it.

Mindy takes you through the stages of life – some good, some ripe with confusion and missteps – that made her who she is today.

There was the time a classmate called her chubby; the time when she only had one friend (and she was a “Saturday friend”); the time she tried to push a skit about cats on the people of SNL and it failed (miserably).

There was also the time she dined with Amy Poehler; the time she wrote a major screenplay with her BFF in their Brooklyn apartment; the time she wrote “The Dundees,” arguably one of the funniest episodes of “The Office.”

Mindy wasn’t a beauty queen or a cheerleader. Her youth wasn’t filled social “get togethers” and “parties” and “stopping eating when you’re full.” She spent time with her parents! She read books! She made comedy sketches! She ate a lot! She knows her youth wasn’t the Hollywood version, with Pottery Barn Teen-esque rooms and pool parties – but she also knows that all of those books and all of those sketches and all of that parental guidance are the backbone of her comedic fodder. All of those missteps and lonely moments in LA led to a major network T.V. show, a bank full of “new money,” and a whole bunch of people who like her for her.

Mindy’s self-awareness makes her a credible source for advice (in my eyes, anyway). Sure, she’ll advise you to eat the burger over the kale…but she’ll also reassure you that “almost no one who was a big star in high school is also big star later in life.” She’ll tell you to appreciate your family. She’ll also recommend that you treat your significant other like a teammate on your recreational softball team (this piece of advice makes more sense when she explains it).

But, the best advice I took from Mindy is the following:

“Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.”

Because even when you’re the “chubby Indian girl” with one friend, a little lipgloss can make all the difference.

sophie2

Or, at least a difference.

Laughing at your own story is how you write a story worth laughing about. Mindy’s story is laugh-worthy, and that is why I love it.

~  ~  ~

That’s awesome! I love a good book that can make you laugh as well as give out great advice. Thanks for sharing, Sophie!

Want to read about more books to add to your to be read pile? Check out the other bloggers who’ve participated in FBF:

~Tiffany from Commoner Couture

~Alaska from Alaska Renee

~Leah from Leah of the Pack

~ Vanessa from A City Girl’s Guide to Life

~Erika from Bearika Rose

~Frances from Wanderlust Notes

~Chloe from Wanderlust in the Midwest

Want to join in the fun? Email me at caughtbetweenthepagesblog at gmail dot com so you can send in your own favorite book post!

Books to Movies: The Book Thief

20 Aug

Beautiful.

That’s the first world that comes to mind when I try to explain my reaction to this film. The Book Thief is a novel known and loved by so many; I knew that it would be hard to capture in film something so adored in the written word. I’ve realized that the longer it’s been since I’ve read a book (and I nearly always read the book before the movie) the better chance there is that I’ll enjoy and appreciate the film for what it is because I won’t be constantly reminded of what has been left out. So instead of re-reading The Book Thief before I finally had the chance to see the movie, I reflected on which parts of it I remembered and loved most.  I tried to think of what had made such a tragic, captivating, at times overwhelming story become such a fixture in my literary life. I think that the movie managed to capture the essence of the book.

The casting and acting were great. Even though no one was quite the way I’d visualized them while reading, each actor managed to capture their character so well that it wasn’t hard to realize that the parts that made up these characters were so much more important than little issues I had with appearance. The children were great, lifelike and full of energy one moment and staggering under the weight of war the next. Sometimes the accents were a little distracting or I wondered if some scenes could have been cut shorter to allow more to be fit into the film. But whatever issues I had with the movie were easily swayed because I was captured by the story all over again.

The only really distracting component, I suppose, was the voice of Death. I’d never imagined the narrator’s voice to be like that; it sounds like any other movie voiceover or more like one they’d use in a trailer for a comedy. I thought that the narrator would sound more common, not so out of place among people. Softer spoken, perhaps. Every time Death spoke up again was the only time I was jolted out of the movie world because I wished that it’d been done differently.

If you loved the book like I did, I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed in this adaptation. I feel like many others see themselves in Liesel like I do, and not simply because she and I share a passion for books. She’s curious but fiercely loyal. We also see parts of her that we want to take for ourselves. We want to be as brave as she is. We want to be able to carry on, even in the face of immense tragedy.

I’d forgotten how this book ended and all that Liesel experienced. I cried for her. I think that if you have put off seeing this movie like I did, you won’t be disappointed by it. Instead, you’ll be welcomed into Liesel’s world once more.

Here Lies Love by Dan Thompson

19 Aug

 

Here Lies Love

author : dan thompson

pages : [paperback] 292

memorable quote “What is love worth in this broken world? Nothing!” he spat. “Absolutely nothing. Love won’t feed you. Love won’t rescue you from starvation.”

favorite character : abbey

summary :

Would death be less painful than life?

When she is sold by her father, Abbey discovers that nightmares can occur when you’re awake. Trapped inside a wooden cage, Abbey is forced to listen to the horrors and atrocities above; time ticking down until it is her turn. But Abbey isn’t prepared to become a victim; she will escape.

Although, what Abbey isn’t prepared for, is how harsh and unfair the world can be. With the sun turning its back on humanity long ago, life gives no opportunity. The only thing Abbey can do is learn to survive. To exist. And that means stealing any opportunity that comes her way. Haunted by the unpleasant memories bestowed upon her only nurtures Abbey’s paranoia, until she realises that to truly live in the world, she must confront the person who was responsible for her misfortune – her father.

Here Lies Love is a New Adult tale of actuality, of facing up to the fact that love comes in many guises. Can Abbey find the one glimmer of hope or will she be overcome with the darkness of revenge?

Here Lies Love is coming June 28th 2014.

review :

I thought that the idea of this novel was so interesting and that’s why I first wanted to pick it up. I wanted to read about Abbey’s journey and learn more about her world as well as how it had come to be like this. Obviously in our world if the sun was simply gone, we’d all be dead. I wanted to know how things were in that world.

While the book was interesting, it was a little lacking in execution. Some of it was worded oddly and it sounded like the text could have used another polish before being published. Of course, I realize that perhaps the writing style simply wasn’t for me. I think it’s one of those books that I enjoyed but think that others might like a lot more than I did!

The characters in this were interesting and Abbey was the real reason that I liked Here Lies Love. She’s a strong character but isn’t without her moments of weakness. She’s simply human and can’t do everything on her own. I liked that she sometimes needed others to help her but most importantly, she was also capable of saving herself.

I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a quick, gritty read.

3/5 stars

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 501 other followers

%d bloggers like this: