Like I said in my review of this first book of this series, And Only to Deceive, I absolutely love this series. I have re-read the books several timesLike I said in my review of this first book of this series, And Only to Deceive, I absolutely love this series. I have re-read the books several times and always look forward to a new one being published. Tasha Alexander has created wonderful characters, and it is impossible not to fall in love with them. (Especially Colin, who may very well be the perfect man).
This is my favorite book of the series so far, and one of my favorite books of all time. I love the way Emily and Colin butt heads as far as the detective side of the story goes. There are a couple of hilarious interactions! Colin does not like the thought of Emily putting herself in danger, and Emily doesn't like being told what do do. I understand her desire for independence, believe me. Her strong head is one of the best things about her...but she really needs to get it through her thick skull that giving up a little control for the sake of being with Colin: worth it.
The mystery in this one is just as captivating as in the first novel, if not more so. Who is stealing Marie Antoinette collectibles? Who is sneaking into Emily's bedroom in the dead of night and leaving her creepy notes and flowers? What intelligent-but-reckless thing will Emily do next to try to solve the mystery? Will Colin have a heart attack from worry?
And finally...the last page of this book. Possibly my favorite scene from any book. Ever. I want to blab, I really do. I want to tell you what happens because I know you would all swoon with me. Big time. Suffice it to say, it is romantic and involves books.
Intrigued? Good. Read this series, you absolutely won't regret it! ...more
If I had to chose a book to be my best friend, I'd choose this one. I have read it many times. If something horrible is going on in my life, you can bIf I had to chose a book to be my best friend, I'd choose this one. I have read it many times. If something horrible is going on in my life, you can bet that it won't be long before I pick up my (rather worn) copy of this. If I have a few unexpected days off (like say, during the recent snow storm)...this is the comfort read I'll be sinking into.
Jennifer Crusie's brand of humor is all her own. Every single character is infused with something that makes them feel so real - maybe that is why I love the book so much. The characters feel more and more real every single time I read the book. Kinda like Harry Potter - every time I pick it up I feel like I'm visiting family.
Minerva Dobbs is probably the number one character I would choose to be friends with IRL. We have so much in common - she really does remind me of me in so many ways. Which is good, because I wouldn't say no to a Cal if I happened to run into one...maybe she'll bring me luck. I also love the way that she and her two best friends are complete opposities to the point that their personalities clash - that is how it is with me and my friends. We're all so different, if we weren't friends...we wouldn't be friends. haha. I know that doesn't make sense, but I bet you know what I mean.
Even though a lot of the book is about Min and her "shortcomings" and her trying to come to terms with who she is versus what everyone else expects her to be...she is very confident. There is this great scene with Cal...they're in the park...and they start talking about Elvis only to discover that she is talking Presley and he is talking Costello. She says something like "Good thing this isn't a date, or we'd have a really awkward moment trying to come back from that one." That scene always sticks with me as an example of being comfortable with yourself and just taking things as they come.
It has been so long since I read this for the first time that I don't remember when, how or why I ended up with a copy...I just remember reading it three times in a row because I loved Min's story so much. So if you're a contemporary romance or chick-lit fan and you haven't read this...do so immediately. ...more
If you know me, you know that I love this series. There are almost forty books published so far, and I have read every single one of them. I was recenIf you know me, you know that I love this series. There are almost forty books published so far, and I have read every single one of them. I was recently inspired to re-read this, the first in the series, when I convinced Becky @ Escapism Through Books to give it a try.
Eve and Roarke are two of the most compelling characters I have come across. You will fall in love with Roarke, no doubt about it. I dare you to find anybody more romantic, ruthless, gorgeous, charming and tortured than he is. They both come to have so much depth as you get to know them, they feel like real people. When you spend so much time in their world (35+ books worth), how can they not feel like real people you've gotten to know? The same goes with the other regular characters in the series. I adore everyone. When you are first introduced to the characters in this book, you are just scraping the surface of the things you will learn about them as time goes on. However, from the very beginning, Eve and Roarke should both fascinate you.
The futuristic part of the series is also very cool. So many things are different, yet enough things stay the same that it really does just feel like our world advanced a few decades. As you are introduced to different laws, gadgets and ways of living, the series becomes even more fun and exciting to read. I love this aspect of the books.
The mystery/suspense part of the series isn't lacking either. There are always enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. In this book, the murder of Sharon DeBlass is the first in what proves to be a case that keeps Eve and her co-workers on their toes. Roarke's involvement in it only makes Eve's position even more precarious and the story even more tense.
I cannot recommend this book enough. Romance, mystery and suspense all in a futuristic setting: there is something for everyone. I dare you not to get addicted to the series....more
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn is the first book of one of the best series I have ever read. I’ve reviewed other books of the series and talkeSilent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn is the first book of one of the best series I have ever read. I’ve reviewed other books of the series and talked about the characters on the blog before, but I recently started at the beginning for a reread and couldn’t resist writing a review! So…now I take on the challenge of reviewing one of my favorite books of all time…
I owned Silent in the Grave for a long time before I finally got around to picking it up. I don’t remember why I finally did start reading it, but I still remember how I felt when I finished. I was so amazed that I’d had this book for so long without knowing how fantastic it was. I looked around at my shelves and thought “how many of these others could be another favorite that I just haven’t got around to reading yet?” Have you guys ever had that moment? (Maybe its just me because I’m such an intense book freak.)
Anyway. Where to start talking about all the pieces that make this book what it is? Check out the opening lines, which is easily my favorite beginning of all time (and which I’ve already talked about on the blog more than once):
To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.
Can you beat that? No. You can’t.
So, we are introduced to Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane, who, after the death of Julia’s husband, must work together to discover whether or not his death was really health-related or if it could have been something more sinister. Speaking of sinister – of all the historical mystery series I read and love, this one is easily the darkest and most gothic. These themes add such richness and depth to the stories and the characters; it is remarkably easy to get lost within the pages of Silent in the Grave.
Lady Julia and Brisbane are easily two of my favorite characters in all the land. The sparks they ignite when they are together are so strong, I can almost get goosebumps just by thinking about it. Deanna Raybourn has created characters that I can easily believe are real – and I have never been able to get enough of them, no matter how many times I have read the books. I basically fell in love with Brisbane very early on when he said the following to Julia:
If you were a man, your ladyship, I would cordially horsewhip you for that remark.
Who could resist that, right?
And, not only are the plots dark and twisty-turny enough to please any mystery lover – but there are so many laugh-out-loud moments as well! Seriously, there is nothing that you could want that Deanna Raybourn and Silent in the Grave won’t provide you with. Most of the funny comes from the fact that Julia’s family, the Marches, are mostly insane (or barking mad, as she likes to put it).
If you have read this book, I’m betting you loved it. If you haven’t – hopefully I’ve convinced you to do so. It highlights all the reasons I love to read: amazing plot and overall tone, and characters I enjoy so much that I reread the books over and over again for a chance to revisit them. This is a world you need to get lost in, y’all!...more
Wow. I really liked this book-way more than I thought I would. I fell in love with Twilight despite the years I spent refusing to read it, and now I hWow. I really liked this book-way more than I thought I would. I fell in love with Twilight despite the years I spent refusing to read it, and now I have devoured this as well. What will she do next? Probably another book where the men carry the women around all day....more
What a story! I had to reign myself in a bit, to keep from just inhaling the entire book at once-as it was I still read it in 3 days. I kept remindingWhat a story! I had to reign myself in a bit, to keep from just inhaling the entire book at once-as it was I still read it in 3 days. I kept reminding myself that you can only read your favorite books for the first time once, and after that it is never the same-but I could not help but race through this one.
Read this book, seriously. If you are on the fence thinking history is not for you, time travel is not for you, romance is not for you-forget that. This book has a perfect balance of everything, to satisfy everyone. It will be the most satisfying 900 pages of your life-and possibly the fastest too!
Claire and Jamie will almost immediately feel like real people to you, and you become so immersed in their story that the fantasy just fades away and you feel like you're reading something that really happened. There is romance, but there is also brutality: but it is written EXACTLY how it could have happened in that time period. ...more
Jennifer Donnelly does it again! She is definitely at the top of my favorite authors list.
One of the main things that kept me from being 100% in loveJennifer Donnelly does it again! She is definitely at the top of my favorite authors list.
One of the main things that kept me from being 100% in love with Tea Rose was Joe Bristow. His character was very well portrayed, don't get me wrong--I just didn't have much use for the guy. He did a couple of things in this book that really pissed me off. Then I finally realized...Donnelly is just so bloody brilliant with characterization that Joe was just being a man! Stupid, bull-headed and...wrong! He could have been a real person. Once I made that revelation, I liked him better, not his fault after all :) Plus...he did a couple of really cool things in this book. He decided to run for Parliament and he didn't even think he had a shot at winning-he just wanted to corner his opposition into making promises to help the poor that Joe was dead set on making sure they followed through with post-election. I thought that was so amazing and selfless.
"Sid" was the tortured hero. Here again is Donnelly's talent shining through. Normally, these types of characters have to be taken with a grain of salt. Not Sid. She takes you straight into his head and you see what he is going through. We saw him in the background of Tea Rose, and he comes forward in this and steals the show. He is one of the most truly portrayed characters I have ever read about. Every single thought she puts in his head was a MILLION percent dead-on.
The plots of these books are very edge-of-your-seat/hard to read at times/beautiful on their own...but when you put in her gorgeous lyrical writing and unparalleled talent for creating real and magnificent characters...she can't be beat....more
Think Pride and Prejudice is as good as it gets? Think you can't dream up a better romantic hero than Mr. Darcy?
Immediately read this, and understandThink Pride and Prejudice is as good as it gets? Think you can't dream up a better romantic hero than Mr. Darcy?
Immediately read this, and understand why I would prefer Mr. Thornton over cranky Mr. Darcy any day of the week. He is a gentleman through and through, and his never ceasing kindnesses toward Margaret should be enough to make anyone fall in love with his character.
Also, being able to picture him as Richard Armitage (as in the BBC production of this story) is icing on the cake.
Austen is better at the witty social commentary, I'll give her that. But, to replace that, Gaskell adds in a sense of Charles Dickens in her portrayal of Mr. Thornton as the manager of a mill, and all the details of the workers' strike.
Highly recommend this, one of my favorites!...more
This book is just...a collosal achievement. The Thornbirds is just "eh" for me, her take on P&P made me really appreciate her as a skilled authorThis book is just...a collosal achievement. The Thornbirds is just "eh" for me, her take on P&P made me really appreciate her as a skilled author and storyteller...but THIS book makes me revere and idolize her as one of the best authors in existance.
This is an almost 1000 page book about the ancient Roman senate, and I was addicted to every single word. How awesome is that? I was terrified to start it, when I glanced over the almost 300 page glossary, all I could think was "man, what if I'm not smart enough to read this?" I shouldn't have worried! All you have to do is trustingly place yourself in McCullough's hands, and her book will entertain as well as inform. She made this story so captivating that I was on the edge of my seat more than once-over such things as a massive grain shortage and the passing of a bill to grant basic Roman citizens (the 'Head Count') land.
These people with their 3 and 4 word ridiculous names will quickly become real people, and by the end you'll feel like you've been reading about them for years.
Jerusha Abbott is one of my new favorite characters. She was a lovely blend of Anne Shirley and Cassandra Mortmain: imaginative, blunt and real. Her lJerusha Abbott is one of my new favorite characters. She was a lovely blend of Anne Shirley and Cassandra Mortmain: imaginative, blunt and real. Her letters to "Daddy" were so charming, witty and charasmatic...I could probably gush about her for ages. The way the story would end was not hard to guess, but what a fun journey to get there! I will definitely be keeping this one as a treasure and re-reading it in the future....more
This is definitely one of my new favorite books, so if you're a friend of mine, prepare to have me brutally push it on you untiOriginally posted here.
This is definitely one of my new favorite books, so if you're a friend of mine, prepare to have me brutally push it on you until you give in and give it a go.
One of the reviews I read compared it to The Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings, saying that the book was equal to the best of fantasy written thus far. Well let me tell you, this doesn't stand alongside the fantasy greats, it knocks them off the shelves.
It isn't just some fantastic epic that you read for fun and adventure (although you'll get plenty of that too). It is story of a real life. Kvothe has known pain, despair, the feeling of being completely abandoned and alone, and he has also experienced joy, love, happiness and knowledge. One chapter he is beaten half to death, the next he is being shown some of the truest acts of kindness I could ever imagine.
I can't think of an emotion I didn't experience while reading. I snorted with laughter, gasped in outrage, choked back tears, shook with disbelief and trembled with anticipation. Seriously, the book has it all.
What a magnificent achievement to tell this story in a completely believable way-I mean sure there are dragons and magic (sympathy)...but I mean the "real life" stuff. Here you have a 15 year old boy, who early on, had fantastic parents and a happy life as a traveling performer. When that was taken away, he lived on the streets of a large city and raised himself to be tough and cunning. He knew how smart he was, and he got himself a place in the University. Now-before you start thinking that he is portrayed as being perfect-the author never hesitates to remind you that he is still a kid! He is constantly showing off and doing outrageously idiotic things that get him into heaps of trouble. I wanted to wring his neck more than once myself!
Anyway, I'm not going to try to summarize the book. I wouldn't be doing it any favors. I will say that the beginning was slow. It probably took me over a hundred pages to actually get really involved with the story. But, even that was all so mysterious and sinister that I knew sticking with it would pay off. I can't wait to read it again someday when I will be able to understand more of what was going on in the beginning.
The ending. I have read a ton of reviews and comments of people saying it ruined the book and so on. I don't get that. I thought Kvothe ended his story in a perfect place to set up anticipation for the next book, and the little scene with Bast and the Chronicler that closed the story was brilliant, set up interest in the current setting. Anyway...just my opinion.
Even after over 700 pages, I still don't "know" Kvothe. Isn't that the point? He isn't predictable, and he hardly ever did what I expected him to do. For that reason alone, I know the next installment will probably be even better then this one.
So...quit listening to me and go meet Kvothe for yourself.
Oh yeah--one more thing though. If you're a fan of the book...or really, even if you aren't, I recommend checking out Patrick Rothfuss' blog (it is posted on his website). He is hilarious, and regularly keeps me entertained. He is just the type of guy I would love hanging out with. Not in a creepy-I'm-looking-at-him-through-his-window way, more of a "hey lets eat something really unhealthy and talk about books."
Anyway, he comes off as a really nice, interesting guy. Its a pleasure to read such a fantastic book by a guy that actually seems to deserve the privilege of having come up with it....more
I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about this book, and I've spent the past day or two trying to decide if I even wanted to write a review or not...I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about this book, and I've spent the past day or two trying to decide if I even wanted to write a review or not...but of course, since I intend to be a full-time Kristin Cashore lover whether or not she sticks with her Graceling-ish world, I decided I should.
There are so many things about this book that make me feel like I perhaps SHOULD like it more then Graceling. The plot was more complex, the side characters are much more realized, and I think the story development (specifically in the romance department) flows much better then it did in Graceling.
That being said, I can't say I like it more, but I do like it just as much. That is where my conflicting thoughts come in. I guess I just gotta stay true to Katsa and Po, even though Fire and Brigan are wonderful too. Either way, if you loved Graceling I can definitely say that you will love this one too....more
I just re-read this in anticipation of the sequel coming out in a couple of weeks. Its the first book I've actually re-read since joining GR about a yI just re-read this in anticipation of the sequel coming out in a couple of weeks. Its the first book I've actually re-read since joining GR about a year or so ago...which is about the highest praise I can give it. I love it, it is *almost* as addicting the second time around, even knowing how it ends.
It is one of the few books that actually lives up to ALL the hype heaped on it, in a sick way its just as addicting as the actual Hunger Games probably would be if they were real. Its brutal, sometimes sad, but you just can't look away....more
This book is amazing. I give two types of books 5 stars. The first type is one where the book feels personal, like I relate to the characters and theThis book is amazing. I give two types of books 5 stars. The first type is one where the book feels personal, like I relate to the characters and the story just touches me somehow. The second is one where I want to run down the street, naked if necessary, to get everyone's attention to immediately go out and buy the book because the story is just so awesome.
This is the second. Yelena is an amazing character, and I was drawn to her from the very beginning. I think she was handled very well, she had to go through quite a transition during the span of the book, and it all seemed very believable and not rushed at all. Everything from her weapon training to her very basic induction into her magical abilities to the romantic bond she ends up forming is all so real feeling, not contrived or forced just to carry out the story. Yelena IS the story...and that is my favorite kind of book, one that revolves around the characters. Some of what she had to go through was heartbreaking...but those experiences were necessary to form her character, I don't think she would have been complete without them (plus there would have been a gaping plot hole...).
Also, for the record, her poison teacher Valek is my new book crush. His character is the coolest...I love assassins! I don't have much reading time with them...mainly just the Tales of the Otori (which are also amazing)...so reading about someone being able to kill a gazillion people at once was icing on the cake.
Anyway...I highly recommend this. It has it all. I LOVE the feeling when, once you finish a book, you immediately want to flip back to the beginning and read it over again. Its a confirmed case of book love....more
I'm so happy I scored the ARC and got to read this before seeing a bunch of other reviews for it! Although its also a mixed blessing, because I'm (ofI'm so happy I scored the ARC and got to read this before seeing a bunch of other reviews for it! Although its also a mixed blessing, because I'm (of course) already dying for the next one and now I just have to wait that much longer for it.
Anyway...on to my review.
Henrietta and Miles have been dethroned from the status of my favorites of the series. Alex and Penelope really got to me! I LOVE how they have all sorts of issues; I hate disgustingly perfect characters. Alex's issues rest mostly on his family and crazed sense of loyalty, while Penelope has a rather large mass of unresolved personal issues she wrestles with throughout the book. I really love the way Willig interpreted her character, and have a great respect for her ability to do so because I don't think most authors could have pulled it off. Just like Aunt Arabella told Eloise, she comes off as spirited, but she is also pretty weighted down with horribly low self worth. Like Alex comes to realize, the spirited, courageous Penelope is hidden behind the stone cold Lady Staines. He helps Penelope kick Lady Staines out on her ass, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it! I love when authors can convey a real chemistry between characters, it comes off wanting more often then not. This series, however, never fails to deliver...I was blushing and getting warm fuzzies right along with Penelope.
And of course, there is the ever-wonderful Eloise and Colin. I think Eloise has to be one of my favorite characters of all time. She is bumbling, awkward...and also loyal, charming, and absolutely hilarious. I will never give up hoping they will get their own book one of these days. I hate only getting short glimpses into their world, I want more!
Anyway...this series as a whole is just fabulous. The settings are always historically sound, the characters and their feelings always believable, there is always an abundance of delightfully biting wit, and some of the capers these people get into are ridiculous enough to be on the point of spoof (I don't mean spoof in a bad way - I mean it as in the characters are channeling the spirit of Amelia Peabody), but real enough to put you on the edge of your seat. In short, this series has it all. And this one, for me, was the best of the lot so far.
There was one thing- toward the end, Alex and Penelope rush off somewhere in a hurry, so she just jumps on his horse with him, but then when they are leaving, their horses (plural) are waiting for them. But, I do just have the ARC, so maybe it was cleared up? *shrug* small potatoes, either way....more
I have seen a couple of movie adaptations of Persuasion, and have had a hunch for several months that once I read it, it would be my favorite Austen.I have seen a couple of movie adaptations of Persuasion, and have had a hunch for several months that once I read it, it would be my favorite Austen. I was right!
Captain Wentworth is by far my favorite of Austen's leading men (sorry Mr. Darcy), and while reading I very much enjoyed picturing him as the gorgeous Rupert Penry-Jones from the 2007 BBC movie. I love arguing with some of my good friends here on GR about Elizabeth Gaskell's Mr. Thornton versus Austen's Mr. Darcy, which turns into a Gaskell vs. Austen debate. If it came down to it, for me, the much closer race would be between Persuasion and North and South.
Anne is a great character. Her atributes aren't fully realized upon first meeting her because she is so overlooked by her family. Ugh...her family. Those silly, insipid creatures aren't worth the paper they're written on. The Elliot family hosts some of the most worthless people imaginable. I have to say though, that Mary really makes me laugh. C'mon...admit it. Her personality is hilarious. (Note: if I ever had to live with someone like that they would die a most painful death.)
Anyway, throughout the book the reader comes to realize more and more what a thoughtful and intelligent woman Anne is, and even though I already knew how the story ended, I couldn't help but sigh with her when she thought Wentworth indifferent.
Then...the letter. The. Letter. You just can't beat it. I won't say anything more about it, or anything else. If I keep gushing I'll spoil the whole story more than I already have. But if you consider yourself an Austen fan because you love Pride and Prejudice, don't kid yourself. Pick this one up and see for yourself that Austen's talent for leading men is certainly not limited to Mr. Darcy!...more
I thought this book was absolutely brilliant. I was drawn into the story from page one...although after the first 200 or so pages, a story that was abI thought this book was absolutely brilliant. I was drawn into the story from page one...although after the first 200 or so pages, a story that was above average to begin with shot straight to the top of my favorites list.
It is a fairly complicated story due to various political intrigues...but I can promise you that you will NOT be bored for even a second (or at least, I sure wasn't). The names and places can all be fairly confusing, but by the time the story really gets going you'll have them pretty much down.
I thought it was pretty darn original, I've sure never heard of anything even remotely like this before. In an odd way, it was one of the most spiritual books I've ever read...just not by our standards. Their methods of worship are quite different then one might expect. I should take this moment to warn you of several S&M scenes...but all the different sexual portrayals were lovely to me, because Carey has a way of making you see them from the characters' eyes-which means viewing them as a homage to the gods.
I can't wait to keep going with this series!
*EDIT* Just realized I forgot to mention my one major gripe...the outrageously bad foreshadowing technique. I think this was the author's first book, so hopefully she gets better but...really. There was constantly a "little did I know how important this would be" or "if only I'd known then how it would turn out, I could have done it differently..." It got on my nerves. But the story was so good I forgave her, and eventually I was so caught up I stopped noticing (or maybe it was when I got to the "then" that she wished she'd known before, haha).
*ANOTHER EDIT* I just did a half-reread/scan, because I was curious to see if knowing what happens in books 2 and 3 would affect the way I saw this one. I have to say, still love this one...but it made me appreciate how much deeper you go into Phedre and Joscelin's lives in both the next books. I don't like the way Joscelin was portrayed when he first appears: he was always showing either too much insight or far too little, depending on the situation. Once she shames some sense into him during their stay in the Skaldi territory, he seemed to snap into the Joscelin I know and love. I guess that was when his pride took its first big beating. *shrug* anyway, just something I noticed....more