Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
This week’s theme is Top 10 Books Favorite Releases of 2016. This is an awesome topic which will include some books I’ve finished reading and others that I’m currently (or hopefully soon will be) reading.
1. A Study in Charlotte 
A Study in Charlotte
2. In The Hope of Memories 
In Hope of Memories
3. The Siren
The Siren
4. The Curse of the Bruel Coven
The Curse of the Bruel Coven
5. The Glass Sword
Glass Sword
6. Everland
Everland
7. Replica 
Replica
8. My Lady Jane
My Lady Jane.jpg
9. A Torch Against the Night 
A Torch Against the Night
10. Salt to the Sea
Salt to the Sea
What are you favorite reads of the year? Anything you’re still looking forward to?
XOXO,
Mary

Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

A Study in Charlotte.jpg
A Study in Charlotte
Brittany Cavallaro
Hardcover March 2016
Available Here

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

The Good:

-I love love love the cover. It’s such a unique mix of colors and it’s quirky and eye-catching it’s what made me pick it up in the first place
-Unlike a lot of the readers’ I adore Charlotte she’s sassy, smart and doesn’t change for anyone. Plus there were parts where we did get to see her vulnerability and it felt organic and interesting.
-It was a true straight up mystery not so much the thriller I-lost-my-memory type mystery just a classic Sherlock or Agatha Christie styled mystery and I really really enjoyed that (not that I don’t enjoy the unreliable narrator twist-ending style book).
-The relationship between Jamie and Charlotte was interesting and fun to watch grow. I really like when he complained about her always taking the love seat so she bought him a fold out beach chair it was just really funny.
-The way Moriarty fits into the plot was fun
-The writing was smooth and sharp and definitely keeps the reader interested.

The Bad:

-Jamie was a little annoying at times. I liked the relationship between him and Charlotte (even the potential romance) but he was a little whiny with his mooning over her. I could have done with a little less of his questioning feelings.
-The rape could have been expanded on a bit more but since we don’t get to hear Charlotte’s voice (only in the epilogue) we don’t get to delve into as much as I would have liked

Rating:
4 Stars

This was such a fun and engaging read. I loved reading about a female Holmes and seeing the two leads as teens was a lot of fun. I’m super excited to read more about Charlotte and Jamie I even kind of wish there were going to be more than three books in the series. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a fun and engaging mystery novel.

What do you guys think about a Holmes and Watson romance? 

XOXO,
Mary

Exciting News!

So I am super excited to let everyone know that I have had two authors reach out to me to review their books!!! I never thought in a million years that would happen to me I am so excited. So I’m gonna have to shuffle around my TBR pile and probably put some of the stuff I’m currently reading on the back burner. Let me introduce the two new books that have just gone to the top of my reading pile.

The Reflections of Snow White.jpg

This book by David Meredith looks at what happens after Happily Ever After. Here we find Snow on the eve of her daughter, Raven’s, wedding. Sadly this event is not a happy one for Snow as she is still mourning the loss of her own Prince Charming. I am really excited to read this because I adore fairy tale retellings and twists so I can’t wait for my e-reader to charge so I can get to reading this.

The Curse of the Bruel Coven.jpg

Ok first can we just fangirl over this cover? Omg I love love love it!!! It’s amazing and intricate and just the perfect amount of color. Ok now that I got that out of my system let’s get into the plot. This book follows teen Vivienne as she discovers she’s not quite the ordinary girl she’s been brought up to believe she is. In fact she is adopted and just like her birth mother she is a witch. When her birth mother goes missing Vivienne must tap into her power to save herself and her mom. This is the first book in a new series.

So, basically my e-reader cannot charge fast enough. And I have work tonight ugh. At least I can get some reading in during my break.

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts a meme where you can share the first paragraph (or few) of something you’re currently reading or about to read. Since I couldn’t think of 3 much less 10 books I bought on a whim for Top Ten Tuesday I decided to do this one instead.

The next book I have on my TBR pile is:

Once Upon a Dream.jpg
By Liz Braswell
Published April 2016
Hardcover 448 pages

Consider The Dragon

A dragon was dead.

A giant black and purple fire-breathing dragon from the very pits of hell itself was dead somewhere outside the castle. Thorns were falling from the battlements like rain, making curiously pleasant wooden sounds on the grounds of the bailey. Many strange and dire things were happening to an ancient keep that had already endured enough unusual treatment for the past sixteen years.

The handsome prince had killed the dragon with the help of the three strange little fairies he now followed. Without them, he would have done no good whatsoever.

What do you guys think so far? I love fairy tale retellings and you don’t come across too many sleeping beauty ones in YA so I’m pretty excited for this one. 

Book Review: The Siren

The Siren
The Siren
Kiera Cass
Hardcover republished 2016
Available Here

“You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…”

The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now.

The Good: 

-Kahlen was an interesting and sympathetic character. I think her feelings were a little too insta-love considering how little we actually see Akinli but overall I thought she was an interesting MC
-The Ocean was by far the most interesting character. Was she the villain? I don’t know maybe she falls more into the antihero category. Regardless her presence was very welcomed and definitely moved the plot.
-In general the supporting characters were well-built and interesting. I would read more stories about sirens if they were told from any of Kahlen’s sisters.
-I really enjoyed seeing sirens interact in the modern world since every story I’ve read about them is set in the past. I think Cass came up with clever ways to have the be part of society while still being out the outskirts.

The Bad:

-I would have liked more build up the Kahlen and Akinli’s relationship. I understand that they were soulmates but there was still much needed development.
-There was a lot of whining in the middle. Kahlen was just really really annoying during that section. Again I understand why but I felt like it could have possibly be written differently.

The Rating:
4 stars 

This was a quick enjoyable read. I really enjoyed learning more about sirens and getting to feel a part of the sisterhood. The characters were well-written and it was easy to focus on them since there wasn’t much of a need for world building. If you’re in the mood for a nice romance I would definitely recommend it. I thought overall the story was very well written and I found myself laughing and crying which is a good sign for me.

What are you reading this weekend? 

XOXO,
Mary

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!

Last Week:

This was an OK week for reading. I was in a really romantic mood and finished The Siren by Kiera Cass in one sitting! So expect a review for that later on this week. I will also note that this is a rewrite so if you’ve read the book previously Cass has since made a great deal of changes. I can’t comment on that though because I’ve never read it.

The Siren

I also attempted I’ll Give You the Sun. I was hoping to change up my current run of fantasy but sadly I cannot get into this book at all. It relies a little too heavily on metaphor and the characters just aren’t that interesting or realistic. Maybe I’ll try reading it again but it’s most likely going in the DNF pile which is incredibly upsetting because it has a 4 star rating on GoodReads.

I'll Give You the Sun

This Week:

For this week my goal is to start A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Mass it’s a pretty hefty title and with my work schedule I’m not sure I’ll finish it this week but I’ll try.

16096824

I’m also gonna read Glass Sword even though I kind of don’t want to because I don’t want to wait a whole year to find out what happens in the next book but I need more Mare and Cal (and let’s be honest Maven too).

Glass Sword

I think tomorrow I’ll take a trip to Barnes and Noble and pick out something new. In case you didn’t know this the biggest titles always come out on Tuesday. These are the titles that are either by well-established  authors or the new releases that the publishers have a lot of faith in. Last week was huge for new young adult titles so I’m sure between last week and tomorrow I’ll find a book I want. I also need to get the rest of The Selection series.

So hopefully this week will go better in terms of reading. What are your plans for reading this week?

XOXO,
Mary

Book Review: The Selection

10507293
The Selection
Kiera Cass
E-Reader Format April 2014
Available Here

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

The Good:
-I really loved America. I admired her being able to stay true to herself throughout the whole book from wearing very little makeup to making sure her maids were safe during an attack. I also appreciated that she was an artist/musician and not someone who was overly brave or a bad-ass in the typical dystopian setting.
-The main characters did not have inst-love. Well…it may have been insta-love for Maxon but America was very much still interested in her former boyfriend so her development of her relationship with Maxon felt more organic
-The supporting characters were enjoyable and unique. I liked that we weren’t flooded with a whole lot of people but those that we did meet were interesting and I felt like they served a purpose
-I am really eager to read more about America and Maxon

The Bad:
-The whole rebel thing was a bit silly and I felt like it was only included to prevent this from being a straight up romance.
-It’s categorized as fantasy but there was really nothing about the world or characters that screamed fantasy to me
-It took a little long to get to the whole selection and right when I felt myself being sucked in the book was over

The Rating:
3.5 stars

This was a light and enjoyable read. It took me a long time to get through because I kept finding myself in a mood for a more action-oriented book. But once I got that out of my system I was ready to return to America. I think this is a great book for girls who want to read about a girly-girl who is true to herself and overall a really good person (well until her tryst at the end but she’s young so I’m going to forgive her). I am definitely eager to read the rest even though thanks to The Heir I pretty much know how it’s going to play out but I still want to follow the journey there. The world building was nothing extraordinary but this is an awesome cozy swoon-worthy read if you’re in the right mood.

What’s your guilty pleasure read?

XOXO,
Mary