Saturday, March 26, 2016

Arab and Jew | David K. Shipler | DNF

*This book provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

My sincerest apologies to the author on this, it's clear he did significant amounts of research, but this book was entirely too dense for me to get through. I, admittedly, have a problem with larger books and did not know, at the time of my request, how big of a book this was. This is more of a book for a researcher or someone with an incredibly strong interest in the subject matter. I will continue to pick the book up here and there, but it is not something that I can just sit and read. This is an academic book.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Kaiju Winter | Jake Bible


The supervolcano underneath Yellowstone Park is about to erupt. The United States is barely able to hold on to its identity as a country while shipping civilians to other countries. Some people think to use the chaos to their advantage while others just want to get out of the ash. Everyone's plans, however, are derailed when, instead of lava, giant monsters start pouring out of the earth.


If you don't take this book too seriously, it is an absolute joy to read. I'm not sure this is what the author intended, but I loved it for all the same reasons I loved Deep Blue Sea, it was worthy of ScyFy channel movie status. There is very little science involved or thought given to the "why" of things. Instead, the focus is on the human reaction, following the interconnected stories of a handful of people in this impossible situation. I'll be picking up the next book in the series, and not just because I love stories about giant monsters. This series promises to be a lot of fun and has clearly had a lot of energy put into it. 4 hoots!

                Hoot! Hoot!
                Hoot! Hoot!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cherry Lips | Lacey Dearie


Cerise is the peasant daughter of an herbalist and has no magic other than a cherry tree given to her by her fairy godmother. She learns to turn the cherries into a magic lip balm that makes her irresistible to any man she kisses. This magic ends up being sought by almost every member of the royal family, with whom her family already has a negative relationship with.


This is yet another magic love story that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Seriously, I may have to reconsider my "no love stories" policy after this. What I specifically enjoyed about Cherry Lips is how much fun it was to read. The dialogue and character interactions were engaging and, at times, had me laughing out loud. There were a couple places where I felt like something bad could have been prevented, but it was not enough to take me out of the book.

The adventure is fast paced, after the prologue, and I was never bored while reading. The side-effects of magic are not only considered, but are essential to the story and growth of the Cerise's character. The book does leave me with a number of questions and even more suspicions, but, fortunately Dearie has written the sequel (which is currently on my wishlist) so I will be able to get my questions answered.

Cherry Lips is a good read for anyone who wants a funny story, a magic story, a love story, and/or a fairy tale. All of these elements are combined in a fun way to engage the reader. 4.5 hoots!


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Birthstone Book Tag

Okay, so here's another book tag I picked up from booktube. This time, from Bookables. With the Birthstone Book Tag, each birthstone is associated with something (i.e. royalty, calm) so you select a book or character that you associate with those same things.

1) January - Garnet (Warding off Evil) - Who's the most evil character you can think of?

Agent Smith from the Ex-Heroes series. He is heartless and highly manipulative. Worst of all, he's highly intelligent and incredibly difficult to defeat.

2) February - Amethyst (Purple/Royalty) - A book or series with regal qualities.

For this one, I'm going to have to go with the Xanth series by Piers Anthony because every single Xanth book that I have read involves a prince, princess, king or queen. Also, the Xanth series introduced me to the idea that King and Queen could be labels that have nothing to do with gender. 

3) March - Aquamarine (Water) - A wishy washy character who'd be better as a follower than a leader.

I have to go with Cale'Anon from Looking for Group (a webcomic that I first discovered as a graphic novel). He goes through a couple of identity crises and I feel like he should just stand back and let Benny and Richard be the leaders of the group for the rest of the series.

4) April - Diamond (Diamond in the Rough) A book you love that doesn't get enough attention.

Definitely going to recommend everyone to the Realmsic series by Demethius Jackson yet again. It is a really good series that I feel should be more popular than it currently is.

5) May - Emerald (Balanced Energy) - Two characters that balance each other.

The first characters that come to mind with this, that I cannot think of a better example than, are Saint George and Stealth from the Ex-Heroes series. I tried to think of others because I want to diversify the books I draw examples from but his amiable, save everyone, let's-be-friends personality completely balances out Stealth's only-the-strong-survive, purely logical mindset. At the same time, she keeps him grounded (difficult to do because he can fly) by making him think instead of just reacting all the time.

6) June - Pearl (Loyalty) - Name a character that was loyal to the end.

I am again going to have to go to a webcomic for this. Quilt from Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire. No spoilers, of course, but there was no one more loyal to his friends and family than Quilt. No one more suited to help save the world. 

7) July - Ruby (Blood Red) - Name a book that made your blood boil or made you angry.

Nnede Okorafor has an amazing ability to make my blood boil for the characters that I am reading. The best example of this was The Book of Phoenix because I was so angry when her story was manipulated to the purposes of others and set about ruining what could have been a good world. It still makes my blood boil to think about it.

8) August - Peridot (Pales in Comparison to Other Gems) - Name a character that you like better than the main character.

The Weasley twins. No question on this one. I didn't read the Harry Potter series until just a few years ago, but had I known about the Weasley twins, I may have picked it up sooner. Those two made the series for me, which, of course, made the last book all the more difficult to get through.

9) September - Sapphire (Ocean of Calm) - Name a book that had a calming effect on you.

This is going to be incredibly strange, but I actually enjoyed Ethics by Spinoza. If you haven't read it, I don't blame you. It's a non-fiction philosophy book that is written in the style of geometric proofs. Definitely not for everyone, but I enjoy the mental exercise and feel so calm when I read it.

10) October - Opal (Iridescence) - Name a book that looks iridescent or has iridescent scenes.

While I didn't like the book, I have to give full credit to Dark Eden's cover art and setting. A world without a sun, where plants and animals are bio-luminescent. Definitely an iridescent book.

11) November - Topaz (Resilience) - Name a character that rises to the top in times of adversity.

I gotta give to Mark Watney from The Martian. He went through so many problems that even I was ready to throw up my hands and give in to the elements. And yet, through it all, he kept his sense of humor and worked through every single problem. 

12) December - Blue Zircon (Friendship) - Name a book with a friendship that you'd like to a part of.

I would love to be part of the friendship between Cinder and Iko from the Lunar Chronicles. Yes, they're more like sisters than friends, but I feel like I'd enjoy being friends with both of them.

So what are some of the books and characters you think of for these birthstones?