Thursday, February 26, 2015

Yes Please

Book: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by.-Goodreads

Review: My first thought upon finishing this was that I need to increase my rating for Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling's books. Maybe I was too harsh with them? I don't know why I'm comparing them but I can't help myself.  This had a few funny moments  but overall it was just okay. I'm not a SNL fan but I enjoy Parks and Rec and wanted to read behind the scenes details as well as info about her relationship with Will Arnett. She barely talks about Will Arnett at all (which I can understand) and while there were a few tidbits about Parks and Rec, I was left wanting more. She really shines talking about how much she loves her kids and while she seems like a person who always needs to be the center of attention and probably exhausting to be around, she seems like a nice person. 

Grade: 2/5

Night Circus

Book: Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called "Le Cirque des Reves," and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.-Goodreads

Review: Have you ever wished you read a book without knowing anything about it? That is the case here. I read the book summary on Goodreads and was super excited to read a book about a dueling magicians. I was expecting the literary version of The Prestige....oh how wrong I was. One of the magicians doesn't even know who the other is for about 10 years and the 'competition' consists of them trying to outdo each other creating beautiful things around the circus. No one (including the reader) knows why they are competing, what the competition really is and how it ends for the majority of the book.  The characters were extremely flat and I felt no emotion toward any of them. Now, that being said this was beautifully written (very descriptive) and I could really imagine the circus coming to life. 

Grade: 2.5/5

Living Dead Girl

Book: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott

Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.

Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.

Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was.

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.-Goodreads

Review: This is sad, disturbing and overwhelmingly frightening. It's short and while not exactly graphic, the abuse Alice suffers is difficult to read about. Even when she is helping Ray search for her 'replacement' I could not help but feel sorry for her. Written in a unique style, this is a book I will not soon forget. 

*Note, this is marketed as young adult. I would not recommend this for YA readers. 

Grade: 5/5


Book: Unmade
Series: The Lynburn Legacy #3
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.-Goodreads

Review: I love the world Rees Brennan created with this series and I was sorry to read the last of Kami and her crew. Like the previous books, this was funny and I love Kami. I was upset that one of my favorite characters died (rather pointlessly I might add) and after such a long build up to the final showdown with Rob Lynburn, I was disappointed by the abruptness by the 'battle.' I was also surprised to find my favorite character interactions in this book were with Kami's father and Lilian Lynburn. I was seriously hoping they would get together, they were hilarious! 

Overall, the weakest of the series but still a fun read. 

Grade: 3/5

Beneath the Burn

Book: Beneath the Burn
Author: Pam Godwin

They meet by chance. The timing is wrong.

Three years later, she finds him again, but their separation was poisoned with narcotics and bloodied by enslavement.

Her freedom gambled away, Charlee Grosky escapes the international businessman who held her captive. But his power reaches beyond her protective barriers and threatens everyone she has come to love.

Jay Mayard wears his tortured secrets under his rock god facade. Drugs are his release, even as he seeks to be the man forged of the steel only she can see.

In a celebrity world filled with paparazzi, groupies, and drugs, Jay and Charlee must face their worst fears. When the battle is over, what will be left...Beneath The Burn.-Goodreads

Review: Ok-there is as lot going on in this book. A lot. Our heroine, who I enjoyed throughout the book, was a sex slave from age 16 to 18 (gambled away by her own father), escapes for a few years and becomes a tattoo artist. She meets a musician, Jay (more on him later), her then boyfriend (not Jay) is murdered in front of her and she is re-captured by the sadist bastard who held her captive before. Her dead boyfriend's brother helps her escape and then a few years later she meets up with Jay again. By this point Jay's band is famous. Of course, he has his own issues and her psychotic ex-capture is still trying to track her down. Get all that? Phew, it was a lot. Needless to say, this book is over the top and you need to suspect disbelief quite often. 

Overall, the quality of writing was much better than a lot of self-published romance novels. There were points in the book where I wanted to stop reading, would skim and other times where I couldn't put the book down. I really enjoyed Charlee (even though she seemed almost too well adjusted for someone who had been kidnapped, beaten and raped from a young age). I found it bizarre that for such a long book (over 500 pages) there was no relationship development. The main characters meet for an hour, barely speak and we are somehow supposed to believe their meeting was so profound that she held onto his memory to get her through captivity (instead of say...her year-long boyfriend who helped her heal). This book is instant love at its finest. Jay was also not my favorite. I prefer alpha male characters more along the lines of Jericho Barrons. So a drug addict/rock star who always wears leather pants (really? does anyone find this attractive) was not my cup of tea. I did like that this was dark and twisted and Roy was an evil character that was fun to hate (I feel weird even typing that, he was pretty horrible on all fronts). 

Overall-an "insta-love" story with dark twists and turns. It wasn't perfect but it was overall fun. 

Grade: 3/5

Mortal Gods

Book: Mortal Gods
Series: Goddess War #2
Author: Kendare Blake

Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She's ready to wage a war of her own, and she's never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she'll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can't have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra's hate will get them ALL killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can't, fates far worse than death await.-Goodreads

Review: The first book in this series was a wonderful surprise and I was so excited to read this.  I love the premise of this series and Athena and Hermes are awesome. I wish I could say the same about Cassandra but she was insufferable in this book. I was actually rooting for Athena to kill her on multiple occasions. I realize she lost Aiden/Apollo and she is grieving but she was so selfish it was infuriating. I also felt like the book, while well-written, was a tad boring considering Athena traveled to Asia and Australia in her quest to find Apollo and her sister. 

Overall, not as good at the first book but I will definitely continue with the series. 

Grade: 2/5