Audible reads

Lately I have found myself listening to books instead of rereading them. In fact, I have listened to four books this month, when normally it takes me a month to even finish just one! I’ve been getting a start on my holiday crafts, so these have given me a nice distraction and kept me focused. I usually only listen to books I’ve already read, so I don’t get sidetracked and miss something. With kids, that happens quite often. But this month I took a chance on two different books and listened even though I never read them. What an experience!

queenMy first relisten was Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. In preparation for the release of Empire of Shadows, I needed to reread QoS in order to remember the finer points. But I’m so glad I decided to listen instead. It was so much more exciting. I was actually able to grab the Throne of Glass coloring book early and I spent a few nights coloring the pictures for the scenes I was listening to. I think I’ll do another relisten of the entire series, next year before the final book releases. Grab Queen of Shadows HERE.

fallen I read the Fallen series a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Super fun and exciting YA series. And after my QoS relisten I wanted another fantasy book to keep me motivated, so I went to my Overdrive system and starting searching for anything that fit the bill. As soon as I saw the cover, I KNEW I needed to grab it. Since it’s been a few years since I read this, I really didn’t remember any of it. I get the gist of it, but not the finer points, so it was sorta like reading it for the first time. And then when the movie trailer released, I was even happier with my decision. Such a romantic story! I highly recommend it. Grab Fallen HERE.

six Next on my listening list is Six of Crows. It’s a spin off of the Grisha series, which I read last year. It’s part of a duology and the second book, Crooked Kingdom, releases today, so I needed to read this book first. This is one I never read before, so I’ll admit I was a bit nervous listening. I was afraid I would get confused with all the many points of views, but it’s told in a way that’s easy to keep up with. In fact, it has seven different narrators! SEVEN! I was completely sucked into this book and then kicked myself for waiting so long. I have a feeling I’ll be grabbing the audible for CK also, even though the DTB is being delivered today. Grab Six of Crows HERE.

every And last but not least, Everything Everything. I actually listened to this in one day. I spent all day Sunday carrying around my phone as I did chores and some crafting. I’ve heard great things about this book and I know it’s getting made into a movie, so I asked my friends if I should read it or just wait for the movie. Well, you can imagine what they said. Lately I’m not one to read straight YA or NA books. I want fantasy. So I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as they did. Honestly. But I found myself giggling and smiling, and a few times gasping. I was hoping my daughter would read this, but there’s so much love I fear the book would get tossed in my face, so I think I’ll wait and convince her to read it when she’s older. But if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. It was really sweet. I wish there was just a wee bit more at the end, but all in all, I was happy. Grab Everything Everything HERE.

If you’ve never heard of Overdrive, I hope you look into it. All you need is a library card. In fact, I get many of my books from there and this month made me realize how many audibles they have also. I think I’ll be utilizing them more often. Check it out HERE.

~Melpomene

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Review The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore

30370990My first Monteflore book and it wasn’t at all what I expected. I excepted a light read that would entertain me for a bit and then leave me quickly…

Instead I’ve falling in love with Ireland…a country I’ve never seen. I can’t say I really enjoyed the characters. I can’t say I didn’t either. There was love, hate, and anger for all. However, I take that as a sign of a really fantastic writer. The characters were real to me.

If I have one compliant it’s that this is labeled as a series. I don’t mind series. However, it really shouldn’t be labeled as such. I imagined it would be a story that was wrapped up for certain characters and then continued with new characters the next installment. Or perhaps focused on one character and then another the next novel….instead the reader is left with not just a cliffhanger…they are left with NO ANSWERS at all. Not one storyline was wrapped up. Honestly, I’m not even sure what to label this? An installment? Yes, I am disappointed. If you want me to read a beautiful story and I invest my time then at least give me something…Of course I’ve read books that had cliffhangers….but there was at least some closure…there was none here…it just seemed to stop in mid breath…and now I am left here…sad and lonely…and waiting…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Buy your copy now The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore

Review: X by Sue Grafton

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It was many years ago, in the basement of my local library during a used book sale, that I discovered the magic of Sue Grafton’s alphabet series.  Grabbing volumes A, B, and C for a measly .50 each, I soon fell in love with Kinsey Milhone.  I quickly grabbed all available titles and anxiously awaited each new release.  Sadly, I’ve slacked off a bit over the last several years.  Too many books, too little time. But still, I keep coming back to this series like a comfy pair of flannel jammies.

Once again, Kinsey finds herself unwittingly caught up in a mystery.  It starts off simple enough with a seemingly harmless meeting and an easy little job locating a missing person.  Soon, though, Kinsey finds out that she’s been had.  And the mystery goes much deeper than she ever suspected.  Stolen art, murder, robbery, it’s all there.  Of course, along the way, we are treated to generous helpings of the characters we’ve grown to love.  There’s Henry, Kinsey’s lovable landlord/surrogate father.  And Ed the cat, Rosie, William, they’re all there.

Is this the best book of the series?  Not by a long shot.  I found it a bit draggy at times and too drawn out at others.  With a character like Kinsey, however, those are just small bumps in the road.  You read these books for the storyline, sure.  But just as much, you read them because you’ve grown to know and love the characters.  It’ll be a very sad day when I read the very last page of volume Z.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  X

Review: Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis

Cutie pie Pru learns to be very independent when her parents die in a car accident. She single handedly makes reparations to all those affected in the accident… and then she realizes she’s crushing on one – namely, Finn. 

I love the names Pru and Finn, and all the other character names too. They totally fit in to the “Melrose Place” type of setting and made this a very fun story to read. I wasn’t totally invested in the crew though, much like the Melrose Place television show! I’m hoping that with such an awesome cast of characters, this initial book in the series was serving as an introduction to the ensemble, as well as telling Pru and Finn’s story. If Shalvis can give me more of Elle’s and Sean’s snappy wit, and some more complex sub-plots, this series will be a winner. 

I’ll tell you what I absolutely enjoyed: Pru and Finn’s dates, the old guy by the fountain, the dumbwaiter, Finn’s ever-developing relationship with his brother, sweet Jake’s concern for Pru, and especially the way these friends always, ALWAYS, have each other’s backs. 

-calliope

Buy SWEET LITTLE LIES

Review: A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

Random Book Muses

I’m not exactly a YA reader. I like realistic fiction with protagonists my own age – I can just relate better, you know? But A Blind Guide to Stinkville reeled me in. I was laughing in Chapter One. I was invested by Chapter Three. I was bawling my eyes out in Chapter Seventeen… but that’s for later in this review.

Alice moves across the country and, like the rest of her family, is having a hard time adjusting. Besides the friend factor and the school factor, Alice has some physical challenges that were much easier to handle when everyone in her old town had known her since she was born. In Stinkville, Alice has to learn how to do things without the predictable help of those around her.

I am SO IMPRESSED with Vrabel’s consistent pace and even-keeled writing. Alice could be barely holding it together, or the girl in…

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Series review: Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

maiden-lane A while back, one of my book buddies told us that she was listening to a book in the Maiden Lane series. I’ve never heard of them, but she swore it was FANTASTIC. I like historical romances, so I figured I’d give it a shot. And guess what? I loved them. LOVE. What I loved most of all was that they all intertwined. I was so very tempted to skip to the one my friend was telling me about but she forbade from doing that. She said I must read in order. So I did.

This series has a a bit of intrigue mixed in, that makes you not want to put it down. Of course I’m all about the love and this series has an overabundance of that. The best part of this is that, just when you think the secondary characters are just for fillers, they end up getting a book themselves. It’s so exciting! I start to think, “Is he going to be with her?” Or even, “Why isn’t he doing anything?” I know who I want to end up with whom, but I have to sit and be patient. In my reading I’m finding myself asking my friends if so and so will be in later books, just to keep me happy. I want all their stories!

I realize this is a horrible review, cuz I’m not being very specific, but if you like historical romances, I highly recommend this series. Also, I’ve heard that the audible are super hot. So if you have extra credits, grab a book or two and see what ya think. I’ve read the first 7 books and I’m currently reading book 8. I think this one is going to tug at my heartstrings a bit. And I can’t wait!

~Melpomene

Grab all the Maiden Lane books HERE.

Review: The Sixth Idea (Monkeewrench, #7) by PJ Tracy

2777462129966598(Titled Cold Hit in the UK) I really love this series so I was well chuffed when I received an ARC to read and review. I’ve been a huge fan of the mother/daughter team of PJ Tracy. I was totally blown away when Monkeewrench was published in 2003 and I am always excited when a new installment comes out.

If I wasn’t already familiar with the Monkeewrench team I might have been a bit disappointed in this novel…or perhaps I wouldn’t have been disappointed in it, but I wouldn’t have understood the relationship that the 5 team members (yes, Charlie IS a team member) share.

I really enjoyed this novel. I just wish there had been more of the interaction between the team. I really missed that. No, we didn’t have to revisit and rehash all of the past, but there just didn’t seem to be the same chemistry between them as there has been in other novels.

Don’t let my disappointment stop you from reading a very good novel! Please! If I’m to be honest, maybe I can admit that the lack of chemistry between the team might mean that they are all in better places and much more able to support themselves emotionally.

Yes, you can read this novel and follow along just fine. You won’t be lost. It’s a good solid standalone crime novel…however, don’t cut yourself short. This is a series that deserves to be read from the first book. If only you can see how wonderful this series is.

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Sixth Idea by PJ Tracy