Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Title: Talon

Author: Julie Kagawa

Published: Harlequin Teen, 28 October 2014

Pages: 400

Series: Book one, Talon

Purchase: Book Depository

Summary: Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Julie Kagawa is one of those authors who have made it to my automatic read list.  The Iron Fey books are all wonderful and The Blood of Eden trilogy is great.  So of course I jumped at the chance to read the latest book, this one all about dragons.

Generally when I start a Julie Kagawa book, I find them to start off slowly and they take a few pages to get into the action.  With Talon however, I found the book to be really interesting from the beginning. 

I found it so easy to just fly through this book because it read as though it was a summer contemporary story which I thought was pretty nice.  I had been reading a few heavy novels lately and thought this was a good, light change of pace. 

I’ve always been a person who didn’t like getting in trouble and so when characters get in situations where they are putting themselves at risk of getting caught and getting in trouble I get really squirmy and want to put the book down because I don’t want things to get intense.  But then I also really want to know what happens next.  The characters in Talon were all at risk of getting caught or doing things they really shouldn’t and I just had to keep reading because I needed to know what was going to happen.  About ¾ of the way through this book so many things started happening and it was just so intense.

In terms of the characters, I liked Ember; I thought she was pretty awesome.  The one thing I didn’t really like about her was that she was too trusting.  I have to say that I think Riley was my favourite character in the book because he was mysterious but he also seemed more like he knew what he was doing.  For the most part anyway, there was one thing he did that annoyed me a bit but I’m hoping to see some redemption in the next book.

So, Talon is such a great book and any fan of Julie Kagawa can proudly add Talon to their collection.  Will I be reading the next book in the series?  Definitely, especially with the way that the epilogue ended the book.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk

Title: Beautiful You

Author: Chuck Palahniuk

Published: Doubleday, 21 October 2014

Pages: 240

Purchase: Book Depository

Summary: Sisters will be doing it for themselves. And doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more . . . Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, aka "Climax-Well," a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of orgasmic pleasure for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of sex toys to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for erotically enabled world domination must be stopped. But how?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: This book starts off pretty intense.  If it had been a few years ago I feel like I would have just put the book down and run away.  However, I have now read five of his books so I kind of know what to expect with these books.  Well, when I say that, I mean, expect anything shocking.

Right off the bat, this book is very sexually explicit and not in the erotica novel kind of way.  I found myself screwing up my face and just thinking how gross some of the content was.  It didn’t deter me from reading it was just icky at times.

I think one of the main reasons I love reading Chuck Palahniuk’s books is that I can never tell in which direction the story is going to go.  Most of the time I like where the story goes and I’m so surprised by the ending.  In all honesty, I was kind of looking out for signs and hints in this book.  However, once again I was taken by surprise at the ending.  I seriously love the reveals of Palahniuk’s books.

I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey but I feel a little like Beautiful You, grabs some of the ideas of Fifty Shades of Grey and tips them on their head, throws them into a furnace and just goes all out with the sexual weirdness.

Beautiful You is a very weird book but I loved it.  I read the first two pages and then set the book aside.  When I was feeling more like I could read this book, I picked it back up again and devoured the thing in a few hours.  It’s just so interesting.  The premise is really unique and of course provides a very interesting way of providing a commentary on humans and how we are all ruled by basic desires.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed Beautiful You.  It’s just a very interesting story.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bookish Bingo

I have seen this floating around on a few blogs and I thought that I may as well join in.  Now, Bookish Bingo is hosted by Bekka at Great Imaginations.  Sign-ups continue until the 15th of October so if you think this looks like fun then check it out by visiting here.

Here is my bingo card and I will be keeping track of all my reads on this post but will also do an update post at the end of the three months.

Some of these will be really easy for me to do but some of them could be quite difficult.  I am however, really looking forward to it.  As I read books that match certain squares I will be listing them here.

Green Cover: The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Set in New Orleans:
Romance: Haunted by Heather Graham
"Ice", "Snow" or "Frost" in title:
Creature on Cover: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Native American MC:
Red Cover:
Set on Halloween: Never Have I Ever by Sara Shepard
Snow on Cover:
Black Cover:
Serial Killers: The Cleaner by Paul Cleave
Birds on Cover:
Mystery: Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet by M. C. Beaton
Set During Christmastime: Candy for Christmas by Joanne Fluke
Set in Space:
A Book that Was a Gift: The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Set in Autumn: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
Orange Cover:
Fall or Winter Release:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bring Your Lunch by Califia Suntree

Title: Bring Your Lunch

Author: Califia Suntree

Published: September 2014, Workman Publishing

Pages: 250

Summary: With over 60 delicious, healthful, unexpected recipes, BRING YOUR LUNCH ensures DIY lunchtime success--and significant weekly savings--while keeping the brown-bag doldrums away. And it doesn't matter if you're a make-ahead food planner or a harried last-minute type--with its innovative, doable strategies, cooks of all kinds can learn to overcome the obstacles that keep them hooked on expensive takeout or boring PB&Js. There are quick Last-Minute Lunches, including salads--Kale Salad Agrodolce, Beet and Apple Salad with Walnuts and Cheese--and sandwiches--Proscuitto and Provolone Sandwich with Fig Jam, Deli Counter Banh Mi, El Turkey Club. Leftover Leitmotifs: Lamb Pita with Spicy Yogurt Sauce, Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps, Salmon & Swiss Chard Summer Rolls, Lo Mein with Garlicky Greens. Recipes that use the freezer wisely--Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp, Easy Empanadas, and other recipes are ready to go when you are. Snacks for when you want to ditch the vending machine--Tropical Fruit Energy Bars and Chickpea "Nuts." Plus notes on essential equipment, tips for shopping and prepping, and a lunch larder of extras--Lemony Miso Dressing, Green Pea Hummus, Homemade Mayo. It's time to end the cycle of broken lunch promises, too many trips to the taco truck, and all that money that disappears every week. It's time instead to choose to BYOL--it's healthy, wealthy, and wise, and now easy as could be.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I really love recipe books and I am always looking for new ideas for things to take with me into work to have for lunch.  When I saw this on netgalley I snapped it up in the hopes that it would give me some good recipe ideas.

I feel like the cover doesn’t match who the target audience is.  I also feel this is the case for the tone of the text.  When I picked this book up I was expecting to find a book that would offer me interesting lunch ideas that I could take with me into the workplace. 

In terms of the layout of this book though, I thought it was really well structured and really well organised.  It made flipping through the pages really easy and there was a lot of information provided about storage for lunches and other interesting tidbits which I found really helpful.

In terms of recipes, there are so many and most of them sound really good.  There’s also a huge variety of choices.  There are vegetarian options as well as a large number of different meat options such as beef, lamb and pork.

I feel like this has some pretty good recipe ideas for what to bring for lunch and would recommend this one to anyone looking to do the same.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire

Author: Karsten Knight

Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011

Pages: 393

Series: Book 1, Wildefire

Summary: Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She's struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve's violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California's redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her.

But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn't go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school - being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger - Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood, and she's one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she's got some strange abilities of her own.

With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time...
And when warm and cold fronts collide, there's guaranteed to be a storm.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had pre-ordered this book and been excited to read it since before it even came out.  Needless to say, since then the other two books have been released, the first two books are in paperback and the third one comes out in paperback in November.  Therefore, it was high time that I get around to reading Wildefire.

Everything about Wildefire is wonderful.  The cover is so beautiful and the jacket has this amazing texture so just touching the book feels amazing.  The story itself is just as awesome.  I think that it took me so long to read this one because I was nervous that it wouldn't be as good as I was hoping.  But it was.  I really loved it.

One thing I have to say is that this book is a little more graphic than the usual YA paranormal stories but I didn't care because I thought it was pretty cool.  It also made the story that much more interesting.  I'm pretty much kicking myself for not reading this book sooner because it is so amazing.  I feel like while there is a little bit more violence and people do die, it kind of makes sense in the grand scheme of the book because the main characters are playing on a level that's above high school politics and coming to terms with who they are and the gifts they have.

There are so many twists and turns that are just so great.  I loved every page of this book.  There are so many interesting factors about the book that I'm not even sure where to start.

I liked Ashline, she wasn't your typical protagonist and she had flaws just like everyone else.  She was also sarcastic and made me laugh so much.  Her sister however, is a completely different story.  Eve is so opposite to Ash that it made for a very different dynamic.  It makes sibling rivalry look like child's play.

I feel as though Wildefire is a great book and I should have read it sooner.  I also feel like everyone needs to read this book!  I'm glad I already have the sequel as I am going to be reading it very soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Wrap-Up

September is over already and surprisingly October is already here.  I had a bit of a slow start in terms of reading this month but in the end I managed to read a total of 11 books.  I am actually quite happy with that.  Especially given that I only obtained a total of six books for the month which means I managed to reduce my tbr pile by five.  It's not much but at least it's something.  I'm also planning to pick things up a little for the rest of the year and try to buy less books and read more of my pile!  Anyway, here are the books I read in September.

That was my reading month in September, I'm hoping that October is a good one too!