Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Now Reading

Watching The Dark (Inspector Banks, #20)  Goodreads giveaway!
About to crack it open.

Rental Sister

Hikikomori and the Rental Sister
Hikikomori and the Rental Sister

Jeff Backhaus

ISBN: 978-1-61620-137-1


4 Stars-----library thing giveaway

hikikomori, n hikika’mouri; literally pulling inward; refers to those who withdraw from society.---Taken from the back of the book.

Thomas, an American, has withdrawn from life.  He will not leave his room and barely speaks to his wife who stays by his side and still fights for what once was.  Megumi, a Japanese immigrant, has run to America to forget her traumatic past and finds herself hired by Thomas’ wife to be his rental sister.  Thomas and Megumi slowly form a bond in his room that proves to them that they have lives to live; lives they may have damaged.

I will admit that if I would have written this review last night when I finished reading I would have given it less stars. The thought of throwing the book crossed my mind near the end because it made me so angry.  I knew that, so I slept on it and can be less emotional about it now.  The fact that I was angry really is a good thing (the author did something right) and I can recognize that.

I will also admit that I did not like either Thomas or Megumi, both of which are the protagonists.  That also isn’t a bad thing.  They were both vivid and relatable, so this was not the author’s failure.  There was something unlikable about them for me.  Maybe it was the fact that I could predict where the story was going, which by the way, is my one complaint about this story.  The novel is surprisingly calm and flows so smoothly that it was surprising that it elicited such strong emotions from me.  My poor husband had to hear all about it.   

A huge positive side effect of this one is the fact that I learned something new.  Immediately I was looking up Hikikomori and rental sisters.  I find the whole thing fascinating and am looking for more books on the subject.   This is another novel I will recommend.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Call me Crazy

A Study in Revenge

I am returning this one to the library before finishing it.  There is a book that comes before it and even though they are stand alone novels it's driving me crazy since the author refers to the previous book often.  I think I will enjoy it better if I wait until I have read the first one.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meeting Darren Shan

Obviously I was a Darren Shan fan before yesterday, but today he is my favorite author. During the five years that I have lived in Washington state I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few authors; mostly at our PX on base.  They have all been really nice and I have been grateful to meet them.  Mr. Shan made meeting him an experience though, which is why I think his meeting really set apart from the others.  It wasn't the fact that he read bits of his books and talked about his experiences, it was the way he treated each individual that approached him. It felt genuine.  (That's a really hard thing to fake.)
I know my husband and I took 17 books and Mr. Shan signed them all (even personalized a couple) plus our tickets and promotional ad.  The man didn't blink an eyelid or hesitate.  There were a couple of people who had even more books than us and all that was asked was that those of us with large guantities wait until the end of the line. He spoke with us even while he was signing.  He was friendly and funny and I felt at ease instead of being just the next person in line.
The reason I can now say that he is my favorite author isn't the fact that he signed all my books or put on a great show; it's how I felt when I was walking away.  I felt appreciated as a fan and I will remember that every time I read one of his books.  My husband (he's read some of Mr. Shan's books already) also walked out of there a bigger fan.
I hope that once I am published my fans will think I am half as wonderful as I think Darren Shan is.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Archived

The Archived (The Archived, #1)I finished it last night!

I won't bother with a synopsis or description. If you are reading this you have most likey read at least one. It's the part of reviews I skip over anyway.
This is one of those novels that left me sort of speechless. I still don't feel like I can come up with the right words to descibe it. Given the verbal impairment I will keep this simple. The Archived has everything that makes a book great for me: original plot, action, adventure, vivid characters and good pacing. An added bonus is that I can pass it on to my husband with the confidence that he will like it as well.
This is another one that I recommend wholeheartedly!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Archived (The Archived, #1)

UPS dropped this off a couple of hours ago!!  I should not be reading it yet since I have a ton of library books and a pretty hefty personal collection but I CAN'T help it.  No Willpower!
A Study in Revenge
Just opened this one up too.  I have a pile of books that are due back to the library in a week and this was one that I had tried to win in giveaways.  I haven't read the previous book but I have been assured that reading them in order isn't necessary.

Killing Two Birds

Hikikomori and the Rental Sister  I started this one on the trainer this morning.  This is a librarything giveaway.  The description and what I have read so far have me fascinated so I have high hopes.  
Now I have a song stuck in my head too.

Took me back

Tell The Wolves I'm Home      4Stars!

I finished this one last night and I started missing the protagonist, June, right away.  The characters in this book were so vivid and it was easy to get involved in their lives.  I could see myself playing in the woods with June or even playing Dungeons and Dragons with Ben.  There was so much involvement that I was worried I would wake my husband with my sobs at the end.
The plot was amazing and something that will stay with me for a long time to come.  There were a couple of slow spots in the beginning but once I got past those it was smooth and stayed at a steady pace.
I was very young when the talk of AIDS started and I lived in tiny towns that had no diversity to speak of.  Our news came from the city an hour away so what we knew about it was very generalised and stereotyped. It was a city disease (in most peoples minds) and even in my teens (the early 90's) no one seemed overly concerned.  The big problems for us was pregnancy and herpes.  When I was 16 and a family member working for a home health agency had an AIDS scare with a patient it hit us hard right in the face.  Our small town couldn't shield us.  This book reminded me about how naive people can be and still are. 
I will recommend this one to everyone and will most likely buy a copy so I can read it again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I started and finished this one yesterday.
I am so glad I gave in and got the first one on kindle but now I am addicted and my library doesn't have the next one. I am itching to read it! 

Monday, January 21, 2013


Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I had won a review copy of this one in January 2012 and was excited about reading it.  I didn't end up liking it as much as I expected and it has haunted me ever since.  When I think about life at that point (I had spent the previous year coping with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis and my husband's upcoming 5th deployment) I wonder if it was just my mind frame that explains how I felt about the book.  I will say that I am not big on the retelling of fairy tales and that could be the answer also, but ultimately I am not sure.  I will amend my rating (3 out of 5 stars at the time) and review if necessary.

Did a lot of reading yesterday

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric & Arcane. Editors, Audrey Niffenegger and Dan Abnett

I finished this one yesterday as well and I give it 5 stars! 
I am not going to give a synopsis or a long review as I feel it would just be spoiler to the stories.  The editor, Jonathan Oliver, does a spectacular job of introducing readers to the individual stories. 
I will say that even though there were a few that I thought I would pass up on or not like I ended up reading them all and loving something about each one. Of course I have some favorites out of the bunch that I will list.
1. Buttons by Gemma Files
This is a pretty classic plot but the way it's written gives it a fresh feel, which I appreciate in a time when everything seems to be remade.
2. Dumb Lucy by Robert Shearman
The author simplifies the magic of the "age old" good versus evil plot.
3. Cad Coddeu by Liz Williams
If someone asks me why I loved this one I will answer that it is because I don't know.  Trust me, that's not an insult to the author.  The story had its own magic.
4. Do As Thou Wilt by Storm Constantine
We all know someone like the antagonist and that's what makes this plot creepy.

I absolutely recommend this anthology to anyone!  We all need a little magic every once in awhile.

Cover of Snow

Cover of Snow

Cover of Snow

Jenny Milchman

ISBN: 978-0-345-53421-7

January 2013

*This is an ARC copy that I won from a librarything giveaway*

4 stars

When Nora Hamilton wakes to find that her husband has committed suicide she is thrown into a cyclone of grief and confusion.  In her quest to find out why her husband killed himself the question seems to be buried under an avalanche of mysteries.  It seems that everyone in their small New York town is hiding something, even the police officers that her husband worked with and who were considered friends, and the more she digs the more danger she finds. Her one ally in the town has his own questions leaving her to doubt his agenda and reliability isolating her further as she pushes boundaries to uncover the truth.

This debut author is compared to Gillian Flynn (I don’t pay much attention to comparisons because in my experiences they are usually way off) and I couldn’t agree more when it comes to this novel.  I was instantly caught up into the book but not for the obvious reasons.  The characters, the town itself being a vivid character too, are what grabbed and held onto my attention throughout.  There is just the right amount of dysfunction to make them relatable, no matter how much you don’t want them to be, and not so much that they are unbelievable. The plot deserves a lot of credit too as it managed to keep me on my toes through the majority of the book. There were some spots when the side stories didn’t seem to flow as smoothly with the main plot and I had to go over what I had just read so that I could get back on track. (This is where I point out again that this is an ARC copy)  Between the cast of characters and the suspense I am glad that I entered the giveaway for this novel.  I will wholeheartedly recommend this one, especially to mystery and suspense fans.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I am reading now

This first one is a librarything giveaway and had me excited at the first page!

Cover of Snow

This next one is from my library's ebook selection and is also hard to put down.

Tell The Wolves I'm Home

Another library checkout! (I am at the library a lot even though I have plenty of books around the house to read.)

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric & Arcane. Editors, Audrey Niffenegger and Dan Abnett


I admit it!

Obviously I love to read and to share my thoughts and opinions of the books I consume. Unfortunately I am a loner and a bit of a recluse so I really have no outlet which led me here to write about my literary experiences.
Writing is a huge part of my life as well and currently I am attempting to find an agent for my first finished novel. 
I don't do a lot in the way of social networking and blogging so I will be learning as I go.  If you are actually reading this...please be patient.