Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

Title: Deja Dead

Author: Kathy Reichs

Published: Arrow, 2012

Pages: 544

Series: Book 1, Temperance Brennan

Summary: In the year since Temperance Brennan left behind a shaky marriage in North Carolina, work has often preempted her weekend plans to explore Quebec. When a female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in trash bags, Tempe detects an alarming pattern -- and she plunges into a harrowing search for a killer. But her investigation is about to place those closest to her -- her best friend and her own daughter -- in mortal danger... (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: My journey into the world of Temperance Brennan begins with book 1 in the series, Deja Dead.  I have actually read books 4 and 7 in the series several years ago and thought one of them was alright and absolutely loved the other.  However, I now want to go back and read the series as a whole from the beginning.

I think the thing I loved the most about this book was the technical details about the cases and the procedures.  Before reading the book I had seen an interview with Kathy Reichs where she stated that all of the ideas for the books are based on real-life cases which she has worked.  I found that to be really interesting.

In terms of characters, I really like Tempe, she is so funny and also her work is just really intriguing.  I loved how determined to solve the mysteries of the deaths she was and how she went out of her way to ensure that the killer was found.  On the other hand, I really didn’t like her friend Gabby, who just acted in such a crazy manner that I really wanted to go in there and just tell her exactly what she had to do.

Now, one thing I need to address is that the tv series Bones is very loosely based on this series.  I say very loosely based for a reason because I have noticed that a lot of people who read this series based on the fact they love the series are very disappointed.  I just want to warn that yes, I can see why because the books are far more technical and less focused on the drama and things like that.

Overall, I really enjoyed Deja Dead and I look forward to picking up the next book in the series.  I’ve heard that the series gets better after the first couple of books which I look forward to seeing.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

Title: The Bone Bed

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Published: Little Brown and Company, 2012

Pages: 512

Series: Book 20, Kay Scarpetta

Summary: May Contain Spoilers! A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist's disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age. 
When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.   (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I know I’ve only been reading this series since March last year but it feels like a lifetime ago since I started that first book and got sucked right into the series and how amazing it was.  In a hurry I purchased the next 20 books in the series as that was all of the books out at the time.  Now, after reading book 20, The Bone Bed, I feel as though it is time to say goodbye.  Everything about this series has degraded over time and reading them has just been a habit for me.  So, while I really want to go out and purchase the next book in the series, I have to be strong and not give in because underneath that pretty cover, I have no doubt, will be another awful story.

Perhaps it was my attitude going into the book that made me not like it very much, but in all fairness I did have a glimmer of hope that everything I had heard about this book was wrong.  Unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy this book very much.  It had all of these really interesting ideas but they all just fell by the wayside and at the front of the story was Scarpetta and how everything revolves around her.

It’s a little hard for me to write my thoughts down on this book because it’s mostly just disappointment.  There is no character development, they’ve all just morphed into these awful people that I really don’t need or want to read about.  I find myself questioning Scarpetta’s judgments and actions pertaining to cases she’s working; and most of all, why does every single case have to be related to Scarpetta or someone she knows?  It just gets so painful.

I feel as though I’m saying goodbye to an old friend I outgrew a while ago but I just kept around because of the whole familiarity thing but at the same time, I hold on to the idea that out there will be new and exciting adventures with new friends such as Temperance Brennan, whose books are in a similar vein to Kay Scarpetta.

Friday, August 22, 2014

September is for Sequels Challenge



As this year I am trying to focus on reducing my tbr pile I thought it would be a great idea to take part in the September is for Sequels challenge hosted by Lisa at Lisa Loves Literature.  The goal of the challenge is to read a minimum of 4 sequels which I think is a really fair amount.  I know that I for one, am pretty bad at reading the first book in a series and then getting the sequels but leaving them on my shelf for a long time.

I'm not entirely sure how many books I want to read for the challenge but I'm basically just going to try to read as many of the sequels on my shelf as I can.  Here is a list of the books that I would like to get through in September for the challenge.
1. Passing Strange by Daniel Waters (#3 Generation Dead)
2. Death Du Jour by Kathy Reichs (#2 Temperance Brennan)
3. Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (#6 Dresden Files)
4. Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder (#2 Healer)
5. Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder (#3 Healer)
6. Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews (#4 Kate Daniels)
7. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (#3 Seven Kingdoms)

That's my preliminary list, I'm hoping I'll get some more sequels read in September but I'd be happy with those 7.
If this sounds like an awesome challenge then head over to Lisa's blog to sign up!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Forget Me by K. A. Harrington

Title: Forget Me

Author: K. A. Harrington

Published: 7 August 2014, Putnam Juvenile

Pages: 288

Summary: On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as "Evan Murphy." She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents' involvement in this massive web of lies.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have absolutely loved everything that Kim Harrington has written and so she makes it onto my very small list of authors whose books I buy immediately.  I will admit that I was a little apprehensive about this one being a contemporary mystery and not the usual paranormal mystery that Harrington usually writes but it’s still a mystery so I knew it had to be good.

The first thing I want to say is about the cover.  I actually thought it was a boat on water and the colour scheme just really adds to that impression.  It wasn’t until I had the book in my hand that I noticed it was actually a merry-go-round and that makes a lot more sense.

All of Harrington’s books can be read in a sitting as they are so addictive and the writing just flows so nicely.  I found it really easy to fly through Forget Me as it was so good.  From the first chapter the book kept getting more and more mysterious.

For the most part I had this one figured out, I wasn’t 100% sure of what was going on but when the reveal came it was just a confirmation of what I had thought might be the case, which I thought was awesome.

Forget Me was a really enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what Kim Harrington will bring out next.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Courting Trouble by Kathy Lette

Title: Courting Trouble

Author: Kathy Lette

Published: 14 August 2014, Bantam Press

Pages: 352

Purchase: Book Depository*

Summary: Tilly has the day from hell when she's sacked from her barristers' chambers in the morning, then finds her husband in bed with her former best friend in the afternoon. She escapes to her mother, Roxy - a sassy solicitor whose outrageous take on men, work and family life is the despair of her more conventional daughter. Roxy comes up with a radical plan for their future - they'll set up an all-female law firm which will only champion women who have been cheated, put upon, attacked, ripped off or ruined by the men in their lives.

In court, Tilly finds herself up against Jack Cassidy, the smooth-talking, politically incorrect, legal love god who broke her heart at law school. Jack is fluent in three languages - English, sarcasm and flirtation. but if he's so loathsome, then why is she committing Acute Lust in the 3rd degree?
When a case lands on the doorstep that threatens to change all their lives, Tilly finds herself dangerously close to taking the law into her own hands. Will Jack's cunning ways and expertise in emotional break and enter derail her quest for justice? Or will the women take on the boys. and win?  (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: This isn’t a book that I would normally read but when it arrived on my doorstep and I read the introduction I was a little curious as to how this book would go.  I flicked through the book and read the first couple of pages and found it hard to sit the book down.

The writing style is nice and really easy to read.  The story goes along at a moderate pace and while I thought this book would be about the case of the Granny for the entire book, it had a few more things going on at the end which I really liked.

As far as characters go, I thought that Roxy was hilarious and such a great character to read about.  There was one scene earlier on in the book that had me laughing out loud and just admiring how kick-ass Roxy was.  Although, she did have her faults.

I have to say that while I liked Matilda for the most part, her behaviour towards the very end of the book had me wanting to grab her and just yell at her and tell her that she was being silly.  I could see where things were going with certain characters and oh man it was pretty intense.  I found myself just sitting down and flying through the rest of the book to get to the end.

While this was not my normal type of read I have to say that I really enjoyed this book.  It was light and while the topic was a heavy one there was humour sprinkled in where applicable.  This book definitely had me laughing, it had me feeling sad and it definitely kept on the edge of my seat at parts.  The book finishes on a little bit of a cliffhanger/introduction to a sequel so if and when that comes out I will probably pick it up.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz

Title: Crocodile Tears

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Published: Walker Books, 2009

Pages: 404

Series: Book 8, Alex Rider

Summary: Targeted by a hitman and under threat of his past being exposed by the media, Alex reluctantly turns to MI6. But their help doesn't come cheap: they need Alex to spy on the activities at a GM crop plant. There he spots Desmond Cain, a high profile charity organiser, who realises that Alex is on to him and the real plans for the money he's raising. Kidnapped and whisked off to Africa, Alex learns the full horror of Cain's plot: to create an epic disaster that will kill millions. Getting word to MI6 only makes matters worse. Now, before even facing the real enemy, Alex must also stop his own side before they unwittingly trigger the death of a whole nation.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I’m finally making my way through the books in my tbr pile and this is one that I have had for a very long time.  I got this book in 2009 when it was first published.  Before that I had read the 7th book in the series back in 2007.  So it has been roughly 7 years since I read an Alex Rider book.  It’s no wonder that as time went on I found myself ignoring this book.  It also didn’t help that my to read pile was getting increasingly large and Crocodile Tears was finding itself getting buried further and further down the pile.

I had originally intended to re-read the Alex Rider series before I read Crocodile Tears because I had left it so long but I had that plan about 3 years ago when the 9th book was released and which I also own.  However, at the moment my priority is to read through a bunch of the books that I haven’t actually read.  So now with the release of the 10th book which is actually a companion and the finisher for the series, I have finally picked up Crocodile Tears.

The book started off a little slowly, which was completely fine by me as it lead me slowly back into the series and remembering all of the characters and the history of what Alex had been through.  It was a nice way to get back into the series I felt.

Once the action got going all I could do was keep reading.  Over and over in my head I kept thinking things such as, man why did I not read this book sooner or I can remember why I loved this series so much now.  Alex Rider is freaking amazing and Crocodile Tears is so cool.  I just loved how engaging the story is and how Alex always gets himself into danger but then most of the time he can get out of them.

One thing I have to say about this book that I really enjoyed was that it has plants!  That sounds a little odd, but I do like plants and this one had genetically engineered plants.  I don’t want to say much about it but it was very interesting and I really liked reading about the plants.

I have to say that there wasn’t actually anything that I didn’t like about this book.  I went into the book hoping for another action-packed and suspenseful Alex Rider novel which is exactly what I got.

So will I be reading the next book in the series?  Definitely!  I freaking loved Crocodile Tears and I am very curious to see how the next book will go, particularly as it’s meant to be Alex’s final book.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Countdown

I saw this awesome countdown post over at Christy's Book Addiction and I thought it looked like fun so here is my attempt at it.

10 Books Already Released on your Wishlist:
1. No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
2. Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
3. Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
4. The Lost by Claire McGowan
5. The Voices by F. R. Tallis
6. The Hollow City by Dan Wells
7. S. by J.J. Abrams
8. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
9. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
10. You by Charles Benoit

9 Favourite Covers

8 Not Yet Released Books That You Can't Wait For
1. Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
2. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
3. Grave Visions by Kalayna Price
4. Forget Me by K. A. Harrington
5. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
7. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
8. Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost

7 Auto-Buy Authors
1. Brandon Sanderson
2. Kim Harrington
3. Scott Westerfeld
4. Kristin Cashore
5. J. K. Rowling
6. Maria V Snyder
7. Karsten Knight

6 Book Boyfriends
1. Ash - Iron Fey Series
2. Po - Graceling
3. Prince Jonathan - Song of the Lioness Series
4. Bones - Night Huntress Series
5. Curran - Kate Daniels Series
6. Prince Brigan - Fire

5 Books You Recommend the Most
1. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
2. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
3. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
4. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
5. I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells

4 Books You Thought You'd Like But Didn't
1. Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James (worst book I have ever read see why here)
2. Asylum by Madeleine Roux
3. Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
4. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

3 Books That Made You Cry
1. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
2. Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
3. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

2 Books You Never Plan on Reading
1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

1 Favourite Genre at the Moment
High Fantasy


I thought this would actually be pretty easy but I ended up having a hard time choosing some of the books.  It was hard to find 9 of my favourite covers.  The Auto-Buy authors was also hard to complete because there were really only 5 that I could think of off the top of my head because sometimes an author I love will bring out a book that I won't really be interested in reading at all.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: The Naturals

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Published: 2013, Disney Hyperion

Pages: 308

Series: Book 1, The Naturals

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this book.  Or really, I have neutral feelings about it.  I picked up the book because it sounded like a really interesting mystery and knowing that it's YA I was expecting the writing to make it an easy read.

The writing was simplistic and easy to read.  I found that it was quite easy to just read through the pages which is what I was wanting from this book.

It's hard for me to write down my thoughts about this book because they aren't strong in one way or another.

It was more the story that I had some problems with.  I was hoping for more insight into the profiling aspect but I felt like that part of the story wasn't the main part.

None of the characters really stood out to me as being interesting or awesome.  I didn't care for any of them and there were a couple that I didn't particularly like.  There was even a kind of weird love triangle which I really didn't care about and thought it was kind of annoying that, that happened to be a big focus for a lot of the story.

The mystery aspect was intriguing.  I did find myself questioning everyone and trying to figure out who the bad guy was.  I didn't manage to guess this one which I found to be a pleasant surprise.

Will I be picking up the next book?  Well, there is still a mystery to be solved and I am really curious.  I just don't care much for the characters, though.  I'm still sitting on the fence as to whether I'd read the next one.

Friday, August 1, 2014

July Wrap-Up

Another month has gone by and it is time to have a look at what I managed to read this month.  I felt like I didn't read as much this month as I did last month which is fine.  I still feel like I managed to achieve a decent amount of reading.  The last few months I have been setting myself the goal of trying to read 10 books a month so that I could achieve my goal of 120 books for the year.  I have decided though, that isn't the best way for me personally to do things.  Now I have decided that the best way to enjoy reading and to try and reduce my tbr pile is to read more than what I buy.  Basically of I read more books in a month than books I obtain in a month then I would call that a successful month.

Anyway, the books that I read in July:



So that is what I read in July.  Be on the lookout for any reviews of the books that I haven't already reviewed.