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!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (73)

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

Stars Above
(The Lunar Chronicles Collection)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Expected Publication Date: February 2, 2016



The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

-- The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.

Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….

The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.

The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.

After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.

The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess

The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.

Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

My Thoughts: So, I am literally buying this because 1. the cover is amazing! and 2. I want the epilogue to Winter!!!!  The other short stories will be great, I am sure.  But that is the main reason that I have to have this book.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Owl Post (62)

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 only got one book this week and it is "Kiss of Betrayal" by Mary E. Pearsons which I did the review on.

I also got a book for my kids entitled: "Sleeping Dragons all Around" by Sheree Fitch,  a local author who we heard read the book at the library.


Reviews from the last week:

What new reads did you get this week?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

The Heart of Betrayal 
The Remnant Chronicles #2

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance



Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

My Thoughts: I will confess, the first book in this series (The Kiss of Deception) sat on my shelf for a whole year collecting dust before I finally picked it up.  In retrospect, I am kicking myself for this.  This book series is SO good.

SPOILER ALERT!  If you haven't read the first book (Kiss of Deception) turn back now!

Lia is now a prisoner in Venda, a country ruled by savages and a brutal Komizar.  A country that never takes prisoners.  Unless, of course, the Assassin of the country fell in love with you and he could spin it that you are a useful prisoner of war, given that you are a Princess and a First Daughter of Morrighan (something pretty important in this series).  Couple that with Rafe, who followed after Lia to save her and became a prisoner himself, and this book was filled with awesomeness.

I will say, if you haven't read the first book yet you should.  I am seriously in love with this series.  This book, The Heart of Betrayal, plays a lot into political intrigue and cunning whereas the previous book focused more on the love triangle between Lia, Kaden and Rafe a bit more with the political stuff more on the back burner.  It was definitely a shift, but I loved it.

Lia is a tough, runaway princess who knows her own mind and isn't afraid to voice her opinion.  This, usually, leads to her getting into trouble.  Regardless, I love how brave she is.  She didn't want an arranged marriage, so she fled.  When she is captured by the enemy and forced into their kingdom as a prisoner, she adapts and uses the situation.  I love Lia, seriously.  She is smart and loving and doesn't walk around the world with shutters over her eyes.

I also love both Kaden and Rafe - the two main boy characters.  Kaden and Rafe couldn't be from more different backgrounds, but each have their own charms.  Kaden, the assassin who has unwavering loyalty to his Komizar and Rafe, the Crown Prince of Dalbreck.  They are both trying to keep Lia alive and safe.  Kaden thinks that she is safest with him, in Venda and that he can protect her from everyone there looking to spill her blood.  Rafe, meanwhile, is trying his damnedest to get them out of there.

The villain in this one, the Komizar, had me torn and I both loved and hated that.  Pearson did a great job at painting a villain with multiple levels.  How, when the Komizar was young he was good-hearted and how over the years absolute power corrupts absolutely.  You could understand why people who had known him for years had pledged their loyalty to him.  You could also see how much he had changed and how some of them were blind to it.

**Spoiler Alert ended.  Safe from here on out.

I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the next book, The Beauty of Darkness, due out on August 2016.  It is definitely on my list of books to pre-order.  The Heart of Betrayal ends with a pretty major cliffhanger that has me thirsting for more.  I can't wait to pick up the story of Lia, Kaden and Rafe again.  I love this world, I love these characters and being without them until August is going to be difficult.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (72)

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

Glass Sword
(Red Queen #2)

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Expected Publication Date: February 9, 2016



Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. 

 The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. 

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. 

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. 

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

My Thoughts: After the end of the last book (Red Queen), it was a "I can't even" moment.  Like, holy crap.  I cannot get my hands on this book fast enough.  Anyone who has read Red Queen knows what I mean.  If you haven't read it... pick it up!

Also, see the trailer for this book here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Aaaannnnddd.... we are back!

Today is a happy day for us.  After lots of consideration, Jennifer and I have decided to bring back Owl Read It.

A lot has happened to us in the last 3 years.  I have had another baby (a boy named Jasper) and she has had two (both boys - James and Thomas)! We have both bought houses and moved and finally it seems like our lives are settling down a little bit.

As of right now, Meghan still has too much on her plate to commit to coming back full-time.  We are hoping to have her back once in a while potentially as a guest reviewer.

We are still waiting to see where we want to go with this.  We will be operating, but not at the same capacity that we were before.  So far, we have planned one weekly written review by yours truly and one vlog review by Jennifer from her vlog YouTube channel that she runs called The Bookish Ginger.

I hope to bring back the "Waiting on Wednesday" weekly posts and a summary at the end of the week every Sunday like we used to do called "Owl Post".

Also, please bear with us as we are playing with the look of the blog.  It has been three years since we last blogged and things are being updated/re-hauled.

So look forward to more posts from now on!