book reviews

Series Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea!  I had a book last week that made me want to reread one of my favorite series.  I’m actually in the middle of rereading it so I figured why not review it. 

So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

 

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

 

 

Rating:

4 Cups

 

General Overview:

These books follow Percy Jackson as he discovers his Olympian heritage and deal with the complications that come along with it.  Prophecies, monsters, and combating the embodiment of evil is a lot for a twelve year old to handle.  But at least he doesn’t have to do it alone.  Percy has some loyal and bad ass friends along the way, some of them even god like.  But all he really wants is to go to camp and have fun learning how to sword fight and fly Pegasus…you know, normal things; and spend time with his mom.

 

My Thoughts:

When I first read the first book, The Lightening Thief, I didn’t like it.  I enjoyed reading it but by the end I was like, “meh”.  When I told my friend Acree about it he urged me to keep reading.  I guess I owe him because I did and fell more in love with each book.  Yeah it can get tiring with all the drama, but that’s not really what moves the story.  The connections the characters make with those around them and within themselves are just top notch.  Plus, the chapter titles are pretty hilarious and there are some great one liners.  The energy in these books kinda fluctuates like the tides for the first three and then it kicks it up a notch for the last two.  But one of the things that I loved the most is that you have strong male and female role models, and there are different strengths.  It’s not all brawn.  You also have weak characters whose flaws are the very things that make them special.  There’s a lot of resentment for parents who abandon their kids and as someone who once felt that way about a parent, these books show kids that you are not who your parents are, be they in your life or not.   It shows them that they can find their own strengths and learn to soar as high as the heavens.

 

Reread factor:

Like I said before, I’m in the middle of rereading these books.  I reread them at least once every couple of years.  I thoroughly enjoy them now from start to finish.  I will probably have these books on my shelf for as long as I’m alive and having to replace them when they become too worn out like my Harry Potter books.

 

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book reviews

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea!

So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

 

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

 

Rating:

3 Cups

 

General Overview:

A retelling of Greek Mythology with a more human flare.  This story follows the life of the infamous witch Circe.  It starts off with her life in the halls of her father the Titan Helios (sun god).  As she tries to find her place in his halls, she taps into something that even the Gods fear, magic.  She and her siblings are a mixture of gods and witches with terrible, limitless power.  This gets her banished to the island that will go down into legend, but not all is what it seams.  As heroes and gods make their way to her island and Circe struggles to find where she belongs and what she wants out of her long immortal life.  

 

My Thoughts:

I love mythology.  I vaguely remember the stories surrounding Circe so I’m not sure what’s original and what the author made up.  It was interesting to see how the author mixed in the legends and people with Circe.   Circe comes off as the most human of the gods.  You feel sorry for her but that’s about it.  I’m amazed at how dull the story was for the most part.  Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a good read and I enjoyed it, but it was dull.  And because of that, I had no idea how this story would end.  I guess that’s a good thing.  I was happy with it by the end but overall the story didn’t make any lasting impression on me other than I wanted to reread the Percy Jackson series again.

 

Reread factor:

I don’t think I’ll end up rereading this book.  It will most likely end up in my donation pile at some point.

 

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book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea!  So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

 

Rating:

4 Cups

General Overview:

We find ourselves once again in the mountains of North Carolina where magic still lives.  It is here that we meet the young thief Willa as she struggles to earn praise from her clan’s leader and to ensure her peoples survival.  Willa belongs to a race of creatures call Faeran. The were once a great people who were friends to all manner of flora and fauna, but now they are dying out.  They blame this on the influx of human homesteaders and developers who are encroaching on their lands. But not all is what it seams. When Willa gets hurt on a thieving job, her world gets thrown into chaos and she questions everything.  As she does, she discovers some horrible truths as well as some pleasant ones. By the end everything is settle but not in the way that you hope

My Thoughts:

Once again Beatty brings us to the magic that can only be found in the mountains.  I love how he works alongside Native American and folklorist. Willa is a character that I feel sorry for.  Unlike Seraphina in the first set of books, Willa’s world is harsh before everything hits the fan. It’s amazing that she even retained the capacity to grow at all.  I really don’t want to go into more because I fear it might end up in spoiler land and I don’t want to to do that to anyone. But this book sucks you in slowly and surely, leaving you crying but happy at the end.  

Reread factor:

This is one that I will definitely read again when the mood strikes me.  When I get around to having children, this will for sure be a bedtime story.

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Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

Greetings my lovelies!

I love witches.  I love reading about them and I am one.  I came across this book while looking in the non fiction section, although this book is a work of fiction. So let’s get started shall we?

I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 4 cups

 

General Overview:

This book follows the lives of five witches from a French Gypsy line.  It starts off the the death of the current matriarch and continues until the current keeper of magic decides that she’d rather not use it anymore.  The time in this book spans 1834 Nannette to 1937 Victoria.  We see the end of the witch trails all the way to the World Wars.  The story focuses mainly on mother and daughter relationship and why each woman used her powers.

 

My Thoughts: 

Like I said before, I love witches.  I love seeing how each author interprets the mythos around them.  This author chose a little more traditional approach with grimoires and rhyming spells.  What I thoroughly enjoyed was how the actions of the mother affected their daughter and her approach to the craft.  Nannette grew up believing and practicing making her an outcast.  Her daughter, however, grew up knowing that it had to be a secret and thought it was fake.  Her daughter saw how hard her mother worked and how rough she was and wanted more.  Her daughter saw that her mother’s pursuit of power led to an unhappy life caused by using magic.  Her daughter knew nothing of magic until the end because her mother realized that magic wasn’t the end all be all to life.

Re-readability:

I’m not sure if this is a book that I’ll reread.  I enjoyed this book and loved following the family as they grew and changed throughout a century.  However, it didn’t give me that feeling of “yes!” that usually means that I’ll read it again.  Only time will tell, but I have a feeling that this book might end up in the donation pile once my bookcases get too full.

Question Time:

Have you read this book?

What did you think?

Who was your favorite character? Mine is Nannette

Who’s your least?  Irene

 

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book reviews

Book Review: Trust Me by Mary Elizabeth Summer *Series Edition*

Greetings my lovelies!

The books that we’re going to talk about today aren’t really a “series”  in the traditional sense of the word.  There’s only two books and a novella, but they build off the other so it fits.  The rating system is still the same.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 4 cups

 

General Overview:

The two books in this series are Trust Me, I’m Lying and Trust Me, I’m Trouble.  These books follow the main character Julep Dupree, a teenage con artist, as she tries to find her dad after he mysteriously disappears.  She and her computer hacker best friend delve deeper into the criminal world than they usually do. To make matters worse, the most cookie cutter boy in her school wants to get to know her better but she has a sinking suspicion that he has another angle.  The second book follows up with the events from the first.  I won’t talk about it because it will spoil the first book.  But it’s as equally fast past and twisty as the first.

 

My Thoughts: 

I really enjoyed both of these books.  I can’t exactly remember how I came across them, most likely Goodreads, but I’m happy that I did.  Julep is a no-nonsense type of anti-hero.  She’s a criminal, she doesn’t like getting wrapped up in other people’s problems, she’d rather cause them.  Her skill set is vast and she’s able to think fast on her feet.  She hate’s making mistakes and hurting the few people that she does care about (even if she won’t admit it).

 

Re-readability:

I initially read these books a few years ago.  While I already know the outcome, I love rereading books like this.  Already knowing the outcome allows me to pay attention to the minute details that I might have missed during previous reads.  But not everyone is like this so this may end up being a series that you only read once.  If that’s the case, best get it from the library and save your dollars.

Question time:

Have you read either one of these books?

What did you think?

How would you rate it?

Please comment below.  I’d love to hear what you thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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book reviews

Book Review: Horns by Joe Hill

Greetings my lovelies!

I hope that you are having a pleasant Monday.  I’m of mixed feelings because this is my last Monday of Summer Vacation…..sobs. I love my job but I love my summers too; ya feel me?  Any who, it’s time for another review.  I read this book only because of the movie.  I hadn’t heard of it before and when I saw the trailers I had to read the book before the movie put any images into my head.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating: 0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 5 cups

 

General Overview:

So this book is written by Stephen King’s son.  He wrote under a pseudonym so he wouldn’t ride the coat tails of his father’s fame.  Good on ya Joe!  So this book is a mix of supernatural and crime fiction.  It centers around Ignatius Perrish who was accused but never convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Merrin Williams.  Needless to say, his life is pretty shitty until the day he wakes up with devil horns growing out of his head. Now here’s the kicker, no one sees or really cares about the horns. However, whenever they come in contact with Ignatius, they’re compelled to tell him their deepest darkest secret and as an added bonus, he can tell them to do something and they’ll do it.  At first, Ignatius has some fun until he realizes that he can use these new abilities to track down his girlfriend’s true killer and get revenge. Hilarity ensues and a twist that I didn’t really see coming but not too surprised about it.

 

My Thoughts: 

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Now I’m not the biggest fan of King’s books.  I love the movies and have seen them too much to be able to read them.  His son seems to be right on par with pops.  This book had some truly funny moments and the flashbacks were nearly seamless.  I started to have some suspicions about who Merrin’s killer was, but I watch a lot of Law and Order and Criminal Minds.  But the ending….god the ending….I can’t even talk about because I don’t want to spoil it.  Dear lord, does it tear at the heart strings.

 

Re-readability:

While this book was amazing, it’s not one for my re-read rotation.  I might read it again when I want some thing weird, but until then, it’s safe on my shelf for years to come.

 

Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

How to Write a Series Without Losing Your Mind

Greetings my lovelies!

 

Every now and again there comes an idea so epic, a world so badass that it can’t possibly be contained in a single book.  But just the thought of trying to tackle the daunting task of writing a series.  Writing a series takes a whole different level of dedication and discipline that can induce new levels of anxiety.  But don’t let that keep you from fully developing that idea that gripped you to being with.  I have a couple of tips to help you tackle writing a series without losing your mind.

 

Realistically look at your story as a whole.

Does your story actually need to be split up into multiple books.  Sometimes the random idea we get that fit within our story are actually smaller parts than we initially realize.  In the second book in my series Souls in the Dark, the two main conflicts are a blend of what I originally thought were going to be two separate books.  When I sat down to flesh out my ideas a little more, I realized that they weren’t enough to carry a whole book.  Do the same for your ideas.  It’s great that you have multiple conflicts, that makes for an engaging story, but not every conflict or meeting needs it own book.

 

Time

Figuring out the timing in your story can help keep track of how many books you need to effectively tell the story.  Is it year by year like in Harry Potter?  It it task by task like in the Hunger Games?  Or it it journey where each point in the story needs to be told like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones?  Framing the time can help with the planning stages and gives you an end point for each book.  Also don’t forget about the natural flow of time.  If your story goes on for more than a few months, then the seasons will change.  For the most part, things still have to follow a natural flow.

 

Keep track of important details

I have this wall … well not right now because I just moved…but I have this wall where I stick up all the major points that I have to keep in mind for the larger scope of my story.  This can be but not limited to maps, important items like magical tools, people who show up in one book but have a major role later on.  Having these things somewhere in the fore front will help you to not forget them and keep your sanity.

 

 

 

Create a rough outline of your series in its entirety

Some writers never outline their stories.  They just sit down and get going.  I am not one of these people.  If I don’t have an outline, I will go off into god knows where and end up having to completely start over.  I live by my outlines.  That doesn’t always mean that I follow them 100%.  Sometimes while writing something will develop naturally and I usually let it.  There are a thousand ways to outline your story.  I use a combination of traditional outlining and free writing synopsis.  The free writing synopsis is just me sitting in front of my computer writing the barest bones of my story.  I don’t care about dialog, grammar, spelling; nothing.  I just get the story out.  I refer back to the synopsis when I’m ready for the outlining phase of my writing to make sure that what I’m filling in doesn’t conflict with the larger scope of the story.  You could also use a story board instead.  A story board can be done anyway that you want it.  It doesn’t even have to make sense to anyone but you.  As long as it helps you to keep your thoughts organized, it works.

 

Don’t rush

There’s always this panic to pump out as many books as you possible can.  We see our favorite authors do this and try to emulate them.  I don’t recommend it.  For the most part, all they do is write.  They have the time to plan out their books and develop their story and characters and unless you’re like them….then it’s going to murder you.  Take your time.  Plan out each book.  Make sure it’s the best book you’re putting out there.  George R.R. Martin has us still waiting 7 yrs later for Winds of Winter.  And we will keep waiting because we know how in depth he goes into his world.  Take the time that you need to make a good story.  The rest will fall into place.

 

These are only just a few ideas on how to not lose your mind when writing a series.  There are tons of other articles out there all pretty much saying the same things.  Take your time.  Plan it all out.  Keep track of details.  Good luck!

If you’ve written a series before and have any other helpful hints on how to not turn into a Gollum then please comment below.  See y’all next time!

 

 

 

book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Greetings my lovelies!

It’s a Monday so it’s time for another book review.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating. 0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER: No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would. Not really. These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

Rating: 4 cups

I didn’t know about this book until they started to advertise the movie.  Then I saw it at the book fair.  To clarify, my day job is a teacher.  They have a small section just for the teachers.  Any who, I got this book, mainly out of curiosity and instantly fell in love.

General Overview:

This book follows the life of the  main poochie as he goes through the various incarnations of his life.  He remembers each life and ponders what lesson he has to learn from reach of them and why.  I really don’t want to say much more because I do not want to spoil anything for anyone.

My Thoughts:

I love this book.  The writing style was easy to follow and I was sucked in before I even realized it.  The hardest parts of this book was the multiple doggy deaths.  I know they were crucial but it was like Marley and Me on crack.  My poor emotions were all torn asunder by the end.  My poor puppies were so confused as to why I was clutching them tightly while crying.  All in all, it’s a great book about love and loyalty and what our purpose is in life.  It further illustrates that dogs are too good for us and we are so very lucky to have them in our lives.

Re-readability:

I don’t think this is one that I will ever read again.  It’s not that it’s a bad book, it’s just that some books are only meant for a single read.  I might read it again if I’m ever in the need for a good cry.

 

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book reviews

Book Review **Classics Edition** Pride and Prejudice

Greetings my lovelies!

It’s time for another special edition of my Book Review segments.  This time I review the classics.  The rating system is still the same.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 1 cup

I know I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but I HATED this book.  I struggled to get through it from day one all the way through to the end.  This is also one of the rare incidents where I like the movie more than the book.  I know shocking, but it does happen on occasion.

 

General Overview:

In this novel written by Jane Austen there’s the lovely Benette family with too many girls and one seriously hen pecked husband.  The girls are all in a tizzy over some new rich hotties who move in down the way.  They get invited to a party where Jane Benette falls for new hottie.  However his friend, infamous Mr. Darcy, insults Liz (the sudo factor MC) and that sets the events of the rest of the book off.  There’s some scandals and some deep soul searching, not to mention TWO extremely awkward proposals.

 

My Thoughts: 

The pacing was fine and as a love story it’s pretty decent.  I did like the way the characters evolved through the course of the book.  The thing that ruined this book for me was the structure.  I didn’t know who was talking half the time because the conversations jumped around.  Another thing that got me was the multiple ways there were to reference a person.  Now I understand that this book is a product of its time.  I get that and this book just didn’t work for me.

 

Re-readability:

This one is a no go for me.  I re-read it after I watched the movie and it was a little easier since I had some good visuals to keep me on track.  But don’t let my review dissuade you from reading this classic yourself.  There are thousands of people who adore this novel in all its variations (check out Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies).  However, I would recommend checking this book out instead of spending cold hard cash just in case.

 

 

book reviews

Series Review: The Crescent City by Kristen Painter

Greetings fellow book lovers!

 

It’s the first of the month and that means it’s time for me to kick off a new segment: book reviews.  Each book will be rated using coffee cups because I am happily addicted to coffee.  A rating of 0 means that I could not finish the book if my life depended on it and a five means that the world could end and I wouldn’t have noticed.

DISCLAIMER: I am not paid for these reviews.  I do them for fun and because I love talking about books.  And there are simply too many out there to hear about them all.

Rating:  3 cups

Sometimes I come across a series and I gobble it up before I can review the first book.  And this series is one of those.  I stumbled across the first book while trolling around my local book store.  The cover grabbed my attention and I loved it so much that I bought it.  I am a serial judge of book covers.  Covers can be works of art in and of themselves.  I make my own covers so I really appreciate a good one.  Anyways, let’s get started.

General Overview: 

In this world, after some big ass war that changed the world; Fae, Vampires, and all other sort of supernatural creatures live out in the open.  Some cities are Havens for Fae and other creatures where they can live in peace because you know not every human is going to be happy that they’re out in the open.  The story starts off with Augustine coming home after being on the run for a while because of events from another series.  He ends up being offered the position of Guardian whose job is to protect all people living in New Orleans. Harlow is introduced not too long after that as she travels to New Orleans to ask her mother for help bailing her out of a really messed up situation. Now Harlow is fae like Augustine but she hates it and has spent her life suppressing her powers.  When she touches people she can read their emotions and she can read emotions off of objects as well.  She’s also a bad-ass hacker which is why she’s in trouble to begin with. The two meet on the Fae New Years but there is a Marid Gras flair to it because everyone is wearing masks.  They meeting and sparks fly and that’s all that I’m going to say about that.  I don’t really want to spoil anything for anyone but some shit goes down with Vampires and evil Fae and Harlow has to come to terms being Fae, while Augustine has to find the ones responsible for putting his city in danger, proving that he’s more than just a former felon.  There’s some mild plot twist but this story is more about the characters.

Re-readability:

This series does alright on the second or third reading.  Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I tend to skip the sections of characters I could care less about.  With this series while there is a main arching story there is also a secondary villain working in the background until the third book.  I really don’t like reading those sections because I can’t stand the villain.  It’s not that the villain (Giselle a witch) is a bitch with a capital B.  She gets everything that comes her way.  And speaking of villains, the main one for the first two books (Barnzino) seems a bit underdeveloped but serves his purpose.  The main reason why I keep coming back to this series is that I love the interactions between Harlow and Augustine.  Their relationship develops naturally (to me) and I love how Harlow finds confidence in herself and her abilities without fundamentally changing who she is as a person.  That rarely happens with these types of books.

 

My thoughts: 

I like this series.  It grabbed my attention from the get go and didn’t let go until I was done.  I love the main characters and the conversations between them feels real.  The conversations can sometimes come off as odd or disjointed but that’s truly how people talk, especially when there’s more than one person talking.  There’s not much initial world building but we learn more about through the heroine Harlow’s eyes, so it works. I used to love urban fantasy books, until they became too formulaic for me.  But this series blew all that out of the water.  It’s a fresh approach on a tired topic.  Fun fact, this series is a spin off of another series by the same author.  This series doesn’t have that feeling.  It’s a great stand alone series.

sseries review

 

Have you read this series?  What did you think?  Have any recommendations; send them!  I love discovering new books!  Until next time