Monday, January 27, 2014

Audio Review: Bang by Lisa McMann

Bang by Lisa McMann

Book 2 in the Visions Series

If I’m honest I’m not always a fan of the second book in a series. I think book one makes you fall in love while in most second books things start to fall apart. Well I’m surprised to say that Bang was as good as Crash. I will warn you though, that the book centers on stopping a vision of a school shooting. We live in a world where school shootings are very real and very tragic, so to see it set in a novel is a little surprising. Lisa doesn’t take the subject lightly, but be warned that it is the center of the story.

In Crash Jules was having a vision of a truck hitting a building and killing nine people. When Jules solved the case she finds out that her vision goes away. In Bang Sawyer has started having a vision very much like Jules. Jules feels helpless not being able to see the vision, but tries to help Sawyer solve it. Sawyer finds the visions to be harder and even considers doing nothing, but in the end he doesn’t feel he has any other option, but to try and stop the vision.

Jules’ relationship with her father isn’t any better since Crash. Jules is actually starting to wonder if the visions have ever affected her hoarding father. I really enjoyed that Jules opens up to her brother and sister about the visions and both are willing to help.

If you can look past the touchy subject of a school shooting you will find a great story and I suggest reading or listening to Bang. I enjoyed it and look forward to Gasp, the third book in the series.

Notes on the audio: Joy Osmanski did a great job narrating the story from Jules’ point of view.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Hype

Recently I got to thinking about "book hype". Some authors I follow were raving about We Were Liars, then my Blue Willow Bookshop co-worker and boss told me how much they loved We Were Liars. What really made me jump at the chance to read We Were Liars was that my boss doesn't read a lot of YA and for her to say she loved it was a good sign. I'm not going to go into a full review, but I'll just say read WE WERE LIARS!

What is your initial reaction to book hype?

For me book hype scares me. I sometimes feel like finding out that the book is amazing, while I'm reading it, is part of the fun. I will admit, that while I worry about book hype, there were very few times when I didn’t like a book that people raved about.

Books that lived up to the hype:

Love/Hate Book: 
(Hated everyone but love that it was so twisted)

Failed For Me:

Look for my review of We Were Liars in May, closer to the review date. So tell me, what books lived up to the hype for you and what books flopped?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: Manor of Secrets

Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

Release Date: January 28, 2014

About the book:

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure—and most of all, romance.

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage—or the means—to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives...forever.

What first drew me to Manor of Secrets was the gorgeous cover. I mean hello someone tell me where I can order this dress! I had also read Katherine Longshore's debut novel GILT and it was full of juicy scandal. I must say that I was surprised by Manor of Secrets, because for some reason I thought it would be overly dramatic. Instead it's a story of a girl who daydreams of adventure and becoming a writer in a time when an aristocratic woman's lot in life was simply to marry well and usually to a man her parents have chosen for her and for whom she has no feels for whatsoever. I admire that Longshore starts with a simple story and then later unravels it into a world of hidden secrets.

Longshore also does a fantastic job of describing the lavish gowns and the Manor which sounds more like a palace. I felt like I could picture it all without it having to be overly explained. I also like that even the characters you think must be the villain and one dimensional are more complex. I never really hated one character or felt like they needed to slink off into the night with their tail tucked between their legs.

If I could complain about one thing its that I felt everything happened in the last few chapters. I would have liked to have seen the ending drawn out a bit more. I really liked that while Manor of Secrets is a YA novel it can really be read by anyone of most ages. I have heard that Manor of Secrets has been compared to Downton Abbey, but I can't say for sure, because I think I'm the only person in the world who doesn't watch the show. If you have read the book and watch the show let me know what you think in the comments. Manor of Secrets is a stand alone novel, but if you enjoy it I would also suggest picking up GILT, Katherine Longshore's first novel, which is one of my favorites.

To learn more about Katherine Longshore visit:

Review copy provided by Point/Scholastic

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January What I'm Reading Now

Hi All!

I have been a little MIA and if you follow me on twitter then you know I returned to school to finish my undergrad. I have been out of school for a few years so finding time to read for fun has been difficult. Now that I have a semester under my belt I have a better idea of what to expect and hope to blog most. So here is my schedule. Feel free to join me and then we can discuss. Also I am always up for taking recommendations. If you check my blog often you will find I add and remove books just depending on my moods. What are you reading or looking forward to reading this month?

Currently Reading:

Listening to:


Next up: