Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween Y'all!

Happy happy Halloween folks!  I hope everyone has a blast trick-or-treating, watching scary movies, and/or reading haunting tales!

"Poison" Toffee Apples

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Towering TBR: The Halloweenie Edition

Image: Parada Creations
This new segment on the blog came about because my desire to read new books vastly outstrips my ability to dwindle down my TBR list...oh, to have more free time!  Anyways, these are some new scary/gothic/magical additions to the good ol' TBR:

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey..."The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey."  Sounds like a total nail-biter!

Magyk by Angie Sage...rife with charms, potions, and spells - sounds like a fun read to me!

The End Games by T. Michael Martin..."It happened on Halloween. The world ended. And a dangerous Game brought it back to life."  Whoa, perfect read for this creepy holiday!

Porcelain: A Gothic Fairytale by Benjamin Read and Chris Wildgoose...Patrick Rothfuss recommended this one, so it automatically lands on the TBR!

Shadows by Robin, ROBIN MCKINLEY!  'Nuff said.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Latest Review: Gone Girl

Goodreads Summary:
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

My blabberings:
I know, I know, everyone and their aunt's neighbor has already read and reviewed this book.  Nonetheless, I wanted to just add my two cents into the mix.  I was really hesitant to read this book for one main reason: friends and reviewers repeatedly stated that the main characters are awful people.  Once I heard that I was certain I would hate the book.  It has rarely occurred where I've read a book with despicable characters and still liked the book.  Apparently I have to identify with a character in order to really care about their story...who woulda thunkit?  Anyways, I had already decided that I would just let this book be a buzz-generator that I skipped.   

However, the Btown Booksters thought differently and it was picked for one of our recent reads.  I purchased the novel with trepidation and sat down in my couch nook to read a few pages.  I looked up from my book sometime later and realized I was already several chapters in (this is not a rare occurance).  I ended up finishing the book in two days.  Not, as many others have stated, because it was so compelling that I read through the night, but because I had procrastinated and had exactly that long to finish before our next book club meeting!  That being said, it was a really compelling book, it was just as twisty turny as you would want a suspense novel to be.

Now, to get to my point of contention, the characters...were they so loathsome that I couldn't like the story?  Not exactly.  Was a character or characters absolutely heinous to their very core? Yes.  Once I closed the back cover of the book, I looked over at my husband with wide eyes, shuddered, and said, "whoa."  A novel that can evince that kind of reaction at its culmination must mean that it's good, right?  I don't really know how to answer that question.  Yet, I can say that I was surprised that I didn't loathe this book as I did the character(s).  Suspense isn't my favorite literary category, but I did enjoy the novel and won't be so quick to pass over a book because I'm certain I won't like the characters.

4/5 stars

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Lost Lake

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm doing the happy dance for Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen.  Those of you longtime readers of NPLB know that I'm a huge SAA fan so obviously I would be jigging around my house once I saw that there's an actual cover and release date for her newest novel!  Can it be February 11th yet?!

Goodreads Summary:
Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it's the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn't believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake's owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake's magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life? Because sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again. And sometimes you never even know they were lost . . . until they are found.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TTT: Top Books I Was "Forced" to Read

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: Top Ten Best "Forced" Reads.

Thanks to some Elementary/Jr. High School teachers, I've read these great books:

1. Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

2.  The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander

3. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

4.  Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Some miscellaneous "forced" reads:

5.  The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne this interesting book as required for a college Anthropology course.

6.  The Plague by Albert for a High School English/Philosophy course

Lastly, thanks to my book club (The Btown Booksters) I've read:

7. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield...great gothic bookish story!

8.  We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver...haunting!

9. Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell...again, haunting.  The Btown Booksters seem to have an affinity for these types of books :)

10.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn...despite all of the buzz surrounding this book, I wouldn't have read it if it weren't for my book club because I was convinced I wouldn't like it (due to others stating that the characters were despicable).  I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong!