Top Ten Tuesday | My TBR For Summer 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Well, I'm back!  And I've decided to start doing something that is scheduled so that my poor neglected blog can see some action…  Not too long ago I came to the realization that a schedule was absolutely necessary and then I came upon Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday blog taggy thingy.  And I fell in love at once, so without further ado:  my Top Ten TBR Books for Summer 2015!

1. FireFight by Brandon Sanderson
If you haven't read Steelheart, then stop what you're doing and go to the bookstore, library, kindle store or your neighbors garage sale and find it.  And then read it ( you can thank me later ) and then join me in desperately trying to find Firefight.  One of the bad parts about living overseas and not having access to a library is that even when your friend is awesome and lets you use her e-library account, sometimes you're like #37 on the waiting list for one book.  

2. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
So, I'm kinda both scared and super excited about this one, because everything that I have heard/read about it is a combination of, "I loved this book to pieces" and "This book ruined my life and left me crying in the corner."  So with much fear and trepidation I will read it and conquer and be sure to let you all know to what degree it ruined my life.  

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
No one could possibly have seen the movie and not fallen in love with the story.  Yes, I am ashamed to say that I did indeed watch the movie before I read the book… But only because I couldn't get my hands on a copy and the film was right there staring at me yelling "You need me!"  So I yielded and am oh so happy that I did, and now I have the book to look forward to so that my heart can be broken all over again.

4. Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
This was one of those books that I saw the cover and instantly decided that it would be on my TBR list.  So, kudos to whoever designed the cover because it sure suckered me in. 

5. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner 

6. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
I am (still) breathlessly awaiting for Scarlet to become available.  Because Cinder was amazing (again, go read it and thank me later) and now I'm on pins and needles…

7. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
One of the books that I pin and repin quotes from but I've never dug our dog-eared copy out of the bookshelf.

8. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Another, forever on the to-read list but never actually read…

9. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Okay, so this one I knew absolutely zilch about but then I noticed that a couple of folks on goodreads (man, I love that site!) whose reviews I trusted were kinda going on about it, and then I read the description and it was instantly on the summer list…

10. The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan 
Another desperately awaited book that the library has been withholding from me… Ugh, the agony!  

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman

Sunday, February 1, 2015

An Assembly Such as This, Duty and Desire & These Three Remain
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentlemen Trilogy
Pamela Aiden
rating: 10
"She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me."
So begins the timeless romance of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen's classic novel is beloved by millions, but little is revealed in the book about the mysterious and handsome hero, Mr. Darcy. And so the question has long remained: Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy? 

In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan finally answers that long-standing question. In this first book of her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, she reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley and reveals Darcy's hidden perspective on the events ofPride and Prejudice. As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley's persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows -- as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham. 
"There was little danger of encountering the Bennet sisters ever again."
When Darcy pays a visit to an old classmate in Oxford in an attempt to shake Elizabeth from his mind, he is set upon by husband-hunting society ladies and ne'er-do-well friends from his university days, all with designs on him -- some for good and some for ill. He and his sartorial genius of a valet, Fletcher, must match wits with them all, but especially with the curious Lady Sylvanie. 
These Three Remain follows a humbled Darcy on the journey of self-discovery after Elizabeth Bennet’s rejection of his marriage proposal, in which he endeavors to grow into the kind of gentleman he’s always dreamed of being. Happily, a chance meeting with Elizabeth during a tour of his estate in Derbyshire offers Darcy a new opportunity to press his suit, but his newfound strengths are put to the test by an old nemesis, George Wickham. 

I was a little worried when I first got these from a friend, even when she told me that they were really good.  I tend to be a little hard on books that are a re-write or an addition to one of my beloved classics, but I had no reason to fear.  These books are by far the best Pride & Prejudice offshoot books I have ever read, and I've tried out quite a few of them.

Pamela Aiden does a great job of providing Darcy's character with the depth that we miss in P&P.  After having read these books I found it rather funny how Mr. Darcy is so idolized in Jane Austen's books, even though he isn't developed a whole ton.  I still love him of course, but I found that fact really interesting…

Also, I really loved getting to learn more about the people from Pemberly and others that are involved in Darcy's private life.  Georgiana is given much more personality and screen time, also Darcy's father-like relationship with Bingley is further deepened.  

Another thing that I thought was really well done was that the whole book didn't focus on just Darcy's love for Elizabeth, like in P&P it is always in the back of his mind but sometimes there are chapters before something reminds him of her, and then he goes through the struggle all over again.  Just like Elizabeth has to in Pride & Prejudice.  

I could go on and on and on, but long story short: this is definitely a series that I recommend to all other P&P lovers, a must read!

Ella Enchanted

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ella Enchanted
 Gail Carson Levine
rating: 9

How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?  At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy's gift - the "gift" of obedience.  Ella must obey any order given to her, wether it's hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!  
But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate.  She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giant, wicked stepsister, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse - and live happily ever after. 

I remember feeling very brave when I plucked this book off of the library shelf.  I was about 12 and hadn't read many fiction/fairytale books, so this was a big step and I don't think that I could have chosen any better.  

Although written at a lower reading level, Ella Enchanted is one of my very favorite fantasy/fiction books, the story is just so good!  It's a perfect twist on a classic fairytale (Cinderella) that doesn't feel like it was being completely re-written.  Plus, there isn't much romance, which is always something that I worry will ruin a good book.  

I instantly fell in love with the characters and the world of Ella of Frell.  Ella is perfectly relatable and yeah, I just love her.  Charmont reminds me a lot of Laurie from Little Women, super sweet and fun to watch as he grows into accepting his role as the prince.  Mandy is hilarious and the stepsisters are absolutely horrid, but perfect for the story.  I've honestly lost track of how many times I have read it over the years…  

My only complaint about this book is that I wish it was longer, but only because I loved it so much.  So if you need a quick, easy, fun read: go pick up Ella Enchanted!

The Lightening Thief

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Lightening Thief
Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson & The Olympians (book 1)
rating: 9

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
This was a series that I had been wanting to read for a while but haven't been able to get my hands on, constantly moving around and going to third-world countries makes it rather hard to find books.  Anywho, I was able to borrow the series from a friend here, so I was one happy girl!

I loved this book from the start, mainly because I love Greek and Roman mythology.  So right off the bat I will warn you that if you don't like mythology or things that revolve around it, this isn't the book for you.  But for us mythology nerds, it's awesome!  

First off, the characters!  This is one of the best books that I've read that's been able to develop characters that you fall in love with in such a quick time-frame.  Percy, Annabeth, Clarisse, Grover(!), Mr. D, and Chiron (just to name a few) are all super relatable and real, flaws and all!  Also the way that Rick Riordan puts the Greek gods in present day cracks me up, for example, Ares is a gnarly, Harley guy with a bad temper and Zeus wears a pen-striped suit, kinda funny...  

I don't think that there are a lot of things that would be objectionable.  Other than that fact that (just like in mythology) the whole reason there are demigods are that the gods have been having kids with mortals.  But it never goes into details and they always talk about how much the god loved the mortal parent.  So, it's kinda up to you…

Now before you go and order them from the library or borrow them from a friend, make sure you borrow more than one, if not all of the series.  I don't think any of the books end at a real suspenseful part, but if you read the sneak peak of the next book in the back, well you're toast.  And all of the books are written at a young reading level so they're super easy reads.

I actually just finished the last book, sadly…  but, they were awesome and there is actually another series with this story, so I'm now trying to figure out how to get that series…
I was gonna lump all the books into one review but i decided to break it up, so this is only the 1st of the 5 books.  Stay tuned!
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