Monthly Archives:: January 2012

Jan 31

Review * Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Reviews 2 ★★★★

Review * Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Published by Tor Teen on August 30, 2011
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 316
Source: Library
Also in this series: Girl of Nightmares, Anna Dressed in Blood (2nd Review)
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

What I Thought…

I’m not really sure what made me decide to read this book.  I’m not a huge fan of ghosts and I definitely don’t like to be scared.  But there I was, at the library, looking at this book.  The cover is so appealing that I just picked it up.  I didn’t expect to like this book at all so it was a nice surprise that I did.

I’m going to be honest.  I found this book to be mildly scary.  Not I-will-have-terrible-nightmares scary but I’m-a-little-creeped-out-in-my-own-bed-maybe-I-should-turn-on-the-light scary.  I tend to scare easily though so for the average person it probably won’t be scary at all.

I really liked Cas.  He is so accepting of his role in finding and killing ghosts, and is determined to accomplish his task on his way to his bigger goal.  As a self-imposed loner he suddenly finds himself with friends.  He also begins to develop a relationship of sorts with Anna that is incredibly sweet.

And Anna?  I liked her too.  Even though she’s done some really, really bad things you can’t help but like her, appreciate her, feel sorry for her, especially after you find out what happened to her.

When I was reading I really felt like I was “in” the book, which is probably the reason why I was just a wee bit scared.  The way the house was described, like it was a person instead of a thing, was great.  It seems like most of the books I’ve read lately have been from a female point of view so it’s nice to read a male point of view for a change.

Due to the ending in this book (don’t worry, no spoilers here) I’m not really sure it needed a sequel.  I think this book is great by itself, and it doesn’t have a cliff hanger ending (which I appreciate).  I’m happy with this book as is.  I’ll read the sequel of course, but I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

I’m not sure how I feel about the red print.  It’s a cool idea but it kind of bothered me.  There were several times where it pulled my attention away from the story.

Notable Quotes

“Instead I find a ghost with the strength of a storm, black eyes, and pale hands, not a dead person at all but a dead goddess.  Persephone back from Hades, or Hecate half-decayed.”

Kimberly


Jan 31

Top Ten Tuesday (3) Book Club Books

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 14

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and Bookish.

This weeks topic: Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks

I belong to a book club and picking out a good book to discuss is tough work.   You want to pick out a good book, but you also need to pick out a book that has something worthwhile to discuss.   The first five books on my list are ones that I’ve read for my book club that have lead to good discussions.  I’ve put them in order of how good I thought the discussion was (best to worst).
Fingersmith    The Book Thief    Winter's Bone
Water for Elephants    Spooky Little Girl
1. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.  This was probably the best book discussion our book club has ever had.  And this book has one of the biggest WTF moments in a book ever.
2.  The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak 
3. Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell 
4. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
5. Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro 
These are books that I haven’t read for book club but I think would lead to a good discussion. 
The Help    Before I Fall    Jane Eyre
Looking for Alaska    The Art of Racing in the Rain
6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
7. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
9. Looking for Alaska by John Green
10. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
So many other books could have made this list!

Kimberly


Jan 29

This Blog Has a New Name!!!

Blogging 3

When I decided to start a blog it was a last minute thing so I didn’t exactly put any time into picking my name.  I’ve been wanting to change my name for awhile now but it’s really, really hard to come up with a good name.  On the Wings of Books was actually my seventh attempt at a name as the previous six did not pan out.

I also decided to get my own domain.  Why move twice?

I’ve been assured that the move should be so seamless that if it wasn’t for this post you might not even know it happened. 

Let’s hope it’s true!

Kimberly


Jan 28

Before I Fall Review

Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Before I Fall ReviewBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Published by Harper Collins Childrens on March 2, 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 470
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? 

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
 
Instead, it turns out to be her last. 

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

What I Thought…

Warning: This book will make you cry.  I’ve read many books that have made me tear up a little, but I haven’t really cried while reading a books since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and really, who didn’t cry reading that book?)

In the beginning you have your typical mean girls.  Sam is not the most likeable character.  Her typical mean girl behavior makes you want to smack her upside the head.  She treats people like crap, and laughs while doing it.  In some of her inner thoughts she knows it’s wrong, but follows her friend Lindsay anyway.

After waking up on the second day, after appropriately freaking out, she makes only small changes.  It’s not until the third day that she realizes that it might not be about her…

As she lives each day over she makes changes trying to fix things.  She makes new friends and new discoveries that change her.  She starts to fall in love and really care about other people.  She progresses from all about me to what can I do to help her?

Day four was my favorite of all the days.  She said what she thought and did what she wanted, knowing that it would just repeat again tomorrow and all would be forgiven.  (It was especially gratifying where Lindsay is concerned).  Day seven was also really good as she went about fixing things for other people.

Lauren Oliver is a fantastic writer, she really brought this story to life.  And even though it’ll probably make you cry, it is well worth the read.

Kimberly


Jan 27

TGIF (2) Buy or Borrow?

Meme, TGIF 10


TGIF is a weekly meme to re-cap the week’s posts & to propose a question for our followers. It is run by Ginger at GReads.

Buy or Borrow: Where do your books that you read come from? The bookstore? The library? Do you prefer to own a book, or have it on loan?

Buy Buy Buy! I really prefer to own my own books.  I like to reread my books and you can’t do that if they aren’t yours.  Plus they look so pretty on my bookshelf.  Last year I got an ereader so now I own a lot of ebooks.  The great thing about this is I can take them anywhere and every book is at my finger tips.  The bad thing is that you can’t look at your bookshelf and see all the amazing books you’ve read.  


Last year I bought a house which has drastically cut into my book budget.  So now I go to the library a ton.  One of the reasons I prefer to own is because I always keep my books real nice and it drives me crazy when I get a library book that looks like crap.  Some of the library books make me sad because of the condition that they are in.  I know they get passed around so I expect normal wear and tear but I have gotten books with pages missing, writing on it, food and drink spills, etc.  Despite this I have discovered an upside to getting my books from the library… If I don’t like it I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my money and if I really like it I can still go out and buy the book.

Kimberly


Jan 25

Review * Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Reviews 0 ★★★

Review * Lock and Key by Sarah DessenLock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking's Childrens Books on April 22, 2008
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 422
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Ruby, where is your mother?
Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.
That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

 

What I Thought…

This was my first Sarah Dessen novel and overall I was pretty impressed.  It was easy to get into the story right from the start.  I wanted to reach out and help Ruby myself, even though she clearly didn’t want any.   It was no wonder that she couldn’t depend on anyone or ask for any help seen as how while she was living with her mother she was the adult in that household.

One of the things I really enjoyed in this book was the relationship between Ruby and Cora.  You saw it progress from animosity at the beginning to love and friendship at the end.  Every time a little bit of the past came out I felt so bad for both of them.  Even though Cora left when she was 18, their mother robbed them both of something special.  My heart broke just a little bit in chapter 4.  And in chapter 8.

Jamie was great.  He was so sweet with Ruby.  He went above and beyond to make her feel comfortable and get adjusted.  His reaction to her in chapter 8 was perfect, even if it was a bit predictable.

Nate’s story was just downright sad and made me want to hurt someone (actually a couple of someones).

I liked all of the other characters as well (even bad ones).  Harriet was probably my favorite because I see a little bit of myself in her.  But the other characters were in depth enough for minor characters and enjoyable, even the annoying Gervais.

My one complaint was that I felt there were too many issues touched on in this book.  Everything from drugs, addiction, abuse, alcohol, neglect, friendship, and family.  It was a lot and I think if a couple were taken out of the book it wouldn’t have made it less, but more.

I really enjoyed the book and will probably be picking up a different book by Sarah Dessen in the future.

Kimberly


Jan 25

That’s the Important Thing

Misc 0

Lately I’ve been in quite a few discussions about the “value” of what you are reading.  After the “Incident” (see Top Ten #1 for explanation) I’ve been talking about this a lot (probably because it still irks me).

I think it’s important for people to read.  Period.  You can read whatever you want; books, magazines, newspapers, whatever.  I just wish that people would stop commenting on the types of books that other people read.  We are all different and it definitely shows in our reading tastes.  So what?

Kimberly


Jan 24

Top Ten Tuesday (2) Bookish Pet Peeves

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday 11

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and Bookish.

This weeks topic: make a top ten list about anything book related that you want. That super specific topic you thought would make a great top ten list or that past topic you wished you would have gotten a chance to participate it? This is the week to do it!

I saw that awhile ago that there was a bookish pet peeves top ten, and since a couple of weeks ago I was supremely irritated by something (see #1) I decided to do this one.

1. Person 1: What are you reading?
    Person 2: (Insert YA, romance, fantasy, graphic novel, chick lit or any other “non-sophisticated” book here)
    Person 1: Hmm.  Wouldn’t you rather read (insert non fiction, classic, or any other “sophisticated” book here)?
    Person 2: Not really.  What are you are you reading?
    Person 1: Nothing.  I don’t really read.

I was obviously person 2.  I was reading Delirium (which was awesome!)  Her recommendation for me was to read “something better.”  First, no one should criticize someone else’s book choice.  Reading is reading and everyone likes different stuff.  Second, you absolutely, 100%, should not criticize someones book choice when you “don’t really read.”

2. Movie tie in covers.  I detest books with movie covers and I won’t buy them.  I will pay extra money for a regular book cover.

3. The movie tie in cover’s cousin, real people on the cover.  Unless it is a biography or autobiography I don’t want the image of the characters created for me, I want to imagine what I will.  Plus quite often the picture doesn’t really match the person anyway.

4. The unmatching book cover problem (books in a series that have different styled covers).  I already wrote a post about box sets that covers this problem, but I’ll sum up my feelings here.  I like my stuff to match. 

5. The non-ending, ending.  There is nothing worse than a book that just stops.  Even if it’s a series or trilogy and there will be another book, you can still have an ending.  You can even have a cliff hanger, as long as you conclude the book in some fashion.

6. What’s just as bad as the non-ending, ending?  The rushed ending.  Sometimes I feel like the author is like “Crap!  I’m almost at my page limit.  Quick, let me finish the book.” 

7. Love Triangles.  They seem to be everywhere lately.  I just want authors to know that it’s ok to not have a love triangle.  And lets face it, the first guy is usually the best choice anyway.

8. Movie adaptations that completely ruin the book.  You know the ones.  They change major plot points.  They get rid of major characters.  They chose actors that don’t make any sense.  They add characters.  I know that realistically you can’t put every part of the book into the movie, but there is no reason to butcher a good book.

9. People who rate books on goodreads before the book is even released or in arc form.  The currently untitled 3rd book in the Divergent series is rated 4.57 by 61 people.  Please explain this to me.

10. Bad editing with either noticeable grammatical errors or plot inconsistencies.  I know that there are people out there who are paid to read the book to look for this stuff.  I am not always the most focused reader so if I catch a mistake, its usually pretty bad. 

What are some of your pet peeves?

Kimberly


Jan 19

Winter’s Bone

Reviews 2 ★★

Winter’s BoneWinter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Published by Little Brown on June 20, 2010
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
two-stars
Ree Dolly's father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date. With two young brothers depending on her, 16-year-old Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive. Living in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks, Ree learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. But, as an unsettling revelation lurks, Ree discovers unforeseen depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.

What I Thought…

Honestly, This book just wasn’t for me.  I didn’t care for Woodrell’s writing style.  I can’t say specifically what bothered me about it, just that I struggled reading it.  I think Woodrell used every stereotype he possibly could for people who live in poverty in the Ozarks and just kept piling them on.  It seemed like no one except for Ree had any redeeming qualities (not just the bad guys, but her family as well).  And even Ree’s redeeming qualities were few.  I had a hard time relating to Ree.  I did feel sorry for her and what she was going through, and what she was made to do, but I just didn’t like her.

The mystery of the book fell flat for me.  I didn’t find myself engaged in who did it and what happened.  It was also anti-climatic.  I never got to that one page where you know you just HAVE to continue reading until you finish because you HAVE to know what happens.

This was a book club book that looked promising but ultimately I was disappointed.  Though I’m sure this book will lead to some good book discussion.

Kimberly


Jan 18

Review * Divergent by Veronica Roth

Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Review * Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Published by Katherine Tegan Books on February 28, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 487
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Insurgent, Allegiant
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

What I Thought…

I read this book in one day.  I read this book when I should have been doing other things.  I read this book into the night when I should have been sleeping.  I gave it 4.5 stars is because I had a few minor issues with the book.

I loved all of the characters; major and minor, good and evil.  Tris’ struggles with who she is and what she will become were well written as well as her initiation into her faction.  Some of the choices she has to make are hard, and remind me a little of Katniss in The Hunger Games.  The simulation scenes for both Tris and Four had good detail and kind of creeped me out at times.  There was a lot of action at the end but there was a fair amount throughout it as well.

Why I only gave it 4.5 stars: I wanted to know more about the world.  The factions are located in Chicago, but what about the rest of the country?  The world?  Outside of Chicago is never mentioned.  I also wanted to know more about the other factions.  Amity and Candor are only mentioned briefly and Erudite only slightly more than that.  I also wanted to know more about why the factions were created in the first place.  I know that they were created for a better world, but what more happened that they needed to be created in the first place?  Hopefully Insurgent will answer these questions.

(Off topic, but I just discovered via spellcheck that “creeped” isn’t actually a word.  Who knew?)

 

Kimberly