Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Between the Lines

Author: Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Publisher: Simon Pulse Simon Schuster

Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary



Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

A romantic and charming story, this companion novel to Off the Page will make every reader believe in the fantastical power of fairy tales.

My Thoughts: This is probably closer to 3 1/2 stars for me, but we don't do half-stars here at Owl Read It, and neither does Goodreads (much to my disappointment).  I didn't feel like it deserved to be rounded down, so I rounded up.

This was an unique story with an interesting idea.  What if the characters you were reading about in a book were sentient and went about their own lives when the book was shut?  What if they were just acting out the story like actors in a play?  What if the main character, the Prince, wanted out?

I will admit, the concept of this book was awesome.  I think any reader would agree that it is an interesting idea and the thought of any of our beloved book characters not being confined to the pages that they were written in is enough to make the fanfiction world go wild.

Like I said, I liked the idea and the premise, but I found that the follow through wasn't so great.  There were definitely times where I felt I had to suspend my belief a bit too far.  I also felt that the pacing off the novel was a little off at times.  I did read it pretty fast and there were some pretty awesome illustrations throughout.

I also had a hard time connecting to the characters.  I seemed to be okay with Delilah in general, but every other character in the book I didn't really care too much about.  Even Olly, the Prince in need of rescue, didn't inspire much feeling from me.

All in all, I am glad that I did read it (it has been sitting on my shelf for a while).  If someone was looking for a light, quick read I would probably recommend it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (74)

Waiting on Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly awaiting.

Lady Midnight
(The Dark Artifices #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Expected Publication Date: March 8, 2016



Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

My Thoughts: This is one of my pre-orders that is coming in and I have been anxiously awaiting it since it was announced in 2014.  I, seriously, LOVE the Shadowhunter world.  Cassandra Clare is the author whose books I own the most of (all in hardcover) and will continue to buy them until she stops writing them.  The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices series are in my top ten series list and I have no doubt that The Dark Artifices will be joining them soon.

Also, Shadowhunters the TV series makes me super happy.  I don't care if it isn't perfect (except Magnus, who is always perfect), I just like seeing the shadow world come to life.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Delacourte Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary



My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. 

 But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. 

 Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Thoughts: This was a book I picked up for my monthly local book club meeting that Jenn and I started a few months back.  Normally, despite the amazing cover, I probably wouldn't have bothered.  I mean, how much could I really read about a "bubble kid" (an immuno-compromised teenager who is living in constant state of quarantine).  Luckily, however, the book club forced this book into my hands and I read it in only four hours.  It's a fast read, but a good one!

Madeline lives in a world of white.  White walls, white clothes, white everything.  Well, everything except her books where she lives her life.  She has SCID, a rare disease that means she is allergic to, well, pretty much everything.  The only outside contact she gets (other than via the internet) is with her mother and her nurse Carla.  That is, until, Olly moves next door.

Madeline hasn't had neighbours in what I could only guess has been years.  She makes it her priority to know what they are doing.  I likened it to watching reality tv, only on her neighbours.  It seems weird and kind of creepy, but when you put it into context of how little human interaction this girl has had in her life and that it is innocent then I though it was just kind of quirky.

Olly notices Madeline watching him from her window and immediately tries to make contact, not realizing the girl from the window next door is incredibly sick.  But it doesn't matter.

Oh boy, did this book throw out some fast ones on me.  It did have a few predictable moments but at about half way through it had me hook, line and sinker.  Not only with the untraditional way the novel was written and set up (both with illustrations, IM messages and emails which all added to the charm) but because I genuinely fell for the characters.

This book would have gotten a solid five owls from me if I hadn't felt like the ended wasn't a bit rushed.  There was some issues with Maddy's Mom that I felt were left unresolved but I was okay with that, given the nature of problems and mothers in real life.  I just wanted to see a more flushed out resolution with Maddy and Olly.  But, the ending was still satisfying and left me smiling.  I would definitely recommend this book to people!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Owl Post (63)

Owl Post is a weekly feature at Owl Read It where we show you what books we've gotten this week, as well as recap reviews posted during the week.

Kristal's Haul:
I didn't get any physical books this week.  I am, however, listening to The 5th Wave on YouTube.  So, I am going to count that.

Check out Kristal and Jennifer's 2016 Reading Challenge!


Reviews from the last week:
I accidentally set the review post date wrong LOL.  It will be up on Monday!


What new reads did you get this week?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jenn's 2016 Reading Challenge

I really enjoy doing reading challenges, a lot. So I stumbled across one recently and knew that I would have to give it a shot. There is a group on Goodreads called Around the Year in 52 Books and essentially, there is a different topic for every week of the year to read a book in. So I had a look at the topics and for the most part, it seems like it's my kind of books. There are a few however that should make me go out of my reading comfort zone, which is a good thing. I mean if you stick to the same thing all the time, you'll never find out if you might like something else.

So basically, I'm going to post the list here and then list what books I have decided to read for each topic. I haven't figured out all of the topics yet, but I'm working on it. If you see something that I haven't yet decided on, please feel free to give me some recommendations! For the most part I'm trying to pick from the books that I own and need to read, because I also have a goal to only buy 30 books this year (we'll see how that

1. A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't - Winter by Marissa Meyer
2. A book set in a different continent  - Haven't picked
3. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated) - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
4. A book by an author you discovered in 2015 - Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
5. A book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name - Jane by April Lindner
6. The highest rated on your TBR - Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
7. A book about books - A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
8. A classic book with less than 200 pages - Haven't picked
9. A book that was mentioned in another book - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
10. A book by an author you feel you should have read by now - The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
11. A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
12. A childhood classic The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
13. Reader’s Choice - Haven't picked
14. A book with one of the five W’s -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) - Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
15. A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago) - Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
16. A book from the top 100 mystery novels - Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
17. A book with a beautiful cover - The Crown by Kiera Cass
18. A book on a summer/beach reading list - We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
19. A non-fiction book - Haven't picked
20. A book with a first name in the title - Still Alice by Lisa Genova
21. A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page - Haven't picked
22. The first book in a new to you series - Switched by Amanda Hocking  (I've actually read this one already!!)
23. The next book in a series you are reading - Haven't picked
24. A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.) - A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie McGuire (Another I've read already!)
25. A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you - Haven't picked
26. A book everyone is talking about - The Martian by Andy Weir (Done it! Loved it! Hope to have a review up for it soon)
27. A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion) - Haven't picked
28. A biography, autobiography, or memoir - Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
29. A book by an author who writes under more than one name - Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (No really, apparently she has a pseudonym) 
30. A fairytale from a culture other than your own - Haven't picked
31. A work of young adult fiction - Haven't picked
32. A historical fiction book - Plains of Passage by Jean M Auel
33. The 16th book on your TBR - Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
34. A book about mental illness - By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
35. An award winning book - Graceling by Kristin Cashore
36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation - She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Anne Peters
37. A book that you've seen the movie of but haven't read - Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
38. A book about an anti hero - Specials by Scott Westerfeld
39. A previous suggestion that did not make it into the list (I picked "A Book set on another planet") - Dune by Frank Herbert
40. A novella from your favorite genre - Haven't picked
41. A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction) - Haven't Picked
42. A top 100 fantasy novel - The Final Empire (Mistborn) by Brandon Sanderson
43. A book about a thing that goes bump in the night - First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost
44. A book you're embarrassed to read in public - Haven't picked
45. A book related to a hobby or passion you have - My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
46. A crime story - Haven't picked
47. A book with a type of food/drink in the title - haven't picked
48. A dystopia - Haven't picked
49. A book with a great opening line - Haven't picked
50. A book originally written in a language other than English - Haven't picked
51. A short story from a well-known author - Haven't picked
52. A book published in 2016 - Haven't picked

So some of the ones that I haven't picked a book for yet are fairly easy to fill. I'm sure I'll be reading quite a few books that will fit into some of those categories, the others will be more difficult to fill.

Do you have any challenges this year? Let me know below what they are!