Taboo or Not?

Today is release day!

My current binge read has been the Hidden Legacy trilogy by Ilona Andrews. I’m finishing up second in the series, White Hot, just in time for the final book, Wildfire; out today.

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I’m thoroughly enjoying these books and then some but it got me thinking.

Does anyone remember when openly admitting that you read romance was taboo? I admit, back in my college days, when I would read a novel that had romance in it and someone would ask me what I was reading, I would say something along the lines of, “it’s historical fiction” or “it’s fantasy” and describe it without literally naming romance.

Traditionally, getting the stink eye for reading romance was a legit possibility. For whatever reason, romance novels were always associated with older women. I remember people dubbing them as “old lady porn”. Fellow readers like myself and others who enjoyed the genre would take pains to mask what we were reading. There used to be a such thing as book covers. They were all different types of designs and colors and were very popular for school books but a lot of us used them to cover up our real reads.

Now you look around and see covers like the ones above and this is normal. It’s actually great. People like to attribute this to the release of things like Fifty Shades of Grey but I think the times just changed and people began to just not care what others thought about in terms of their reading choices. I guess it also helps that 40% (!!) of paperback sales, at least in the United States, are romance these days.

I find it all quite fascinating. I think it takes a great deal of skill to write a good romance novel. For example, looking at the books above, you probably think it’s full of nothing but sex and maybe magic solely looking at the covers. You’d be completely wrong. The tale that is woven throughout the story is completely complex. The authors (it’s a husband and wife team) built this world full of intrigue that takes your imagination places. The tension levels between family members, employers and lovers make you feel like you’re right there, in their shoes, making decisions that may or may not be right. Before I even get to the intimate bits, I’m ready to scream, cry, shout with joy, question why and beg that the author doesn’t leave me hanging.

I look back and wonder why I felt embarrassed about sharing what I was reading. Now I’m proud to share any and every book I read with others. They may not like it, they may not even be interested, and that’s perfectly fine but an author’s hard work should be celebrated no matter the genre they write in.

How do you feel about the romance genre? Is there a different book genre you feel is taboo? Have you ever had to mask a book you were reading from others or downplay the content because you didn’t know how another would react? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Types

Since my posts this week have been very book themed, I’ve decided to write up a post about book types. When you think of book types, I’m sure you’re thinking along the lines of genre but what I’m actually talking about are book format types. I’ll talk about physical books as well as ebooks.

When it comes to physical books, there are two main types:

  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Hardcovers are exactly the way they sound. The book has a hard backing. Paperbacks have a soft backing. It makes them more flexible in the hand. When you sit hardcover down open, it will stay open. Paperbacks don’t do the same thing. You usually have to hold them the whole time or use a book clip or stand.

Within the two main types you have sub types:

  • Sleeved hardcover
  • Embossed hardcover
  • Trade paperback
  • Mass market paperback

A sleeved hardcover is a hardback book with the cover design on a sleeve instead of the actual book itself. You can take the paper sleeve off while reading it to keep it nice or if you loan it to people and are afraid they’ll ruin it. An embossed hardcover has the cover design embedded on the book lining itself. The process involves many sheets of paper and a cast mold of the design being pressed into the book. Hardcover books are already pretty expensive but between these two, the embossed hardcover is definitely a few dollars more than your regular hardcover. Check out the differences below:

Left is embossed; Right is sleeved

A trade paperback is a large, softcover book. It is not to be confused with a large print book because the print size is about the same as your average paperback it just has a bigger binding. A mass market paperback is a small softcover book and it’s usually thicker in comparison to your trade paperback. Trade paperbacks are about double the cost of mass market paperbacks because they are considered high quality. Most indie authors, who aren’t strictly ebook sellers, sell their paper books as trade paperbacks. Check out the differences below:

Left is trade; Right is mass market

Now when you get into ebooks, there are three main formats that people use:

  • .epub
  • .azw
  • .mobi

EPUB is the most common. You can buy or upload epubs to a lot of different platforms. There’s Google Play Books, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Adobe Digital Edtions and plenty of other third party apps that can read epub.

AZW is the second most common because it is the proprietary ebook format used exclusively by Amazon. If you use a Kindle or the Kindle app, your ebooks are this format. The upside to using Amazon is that it is the number one book platform used by all types of authors whether traditional, indie or your neighbor next door. Anyone can upload a book. The downside is that you can’t use .azw with any other app.

MOBI is a lesser known book format that is used but its still regarded as a favorite book format. A .mobi book can handle more rich and more advanced book content than the other two.

Here are a couple of screenshots from the different apps I use:

They all essentially try to give you the bookshelf look within the app. You also have the ability to use bookmarks, highlight passages and there’s a dictionary ready to use if you want to know the definition of a word. Some of these apps even have a read aloud feature. It’s not the same as an audiobook, because the voice is very robotic, but it’s nice to have if you need it.

What do you think of all these book formats? Which ones do your primarily go for? Which reading apps do you primarily use? Let me know in the comments below!

How I Choose My Books Tag

Sometime last week I think, the wonderful Noriko at Diary of a Bookfiend nominated me for this tag. If you haven’t met her yet you need to! She’s so sweet, write fantastic book reviews and has recently been introducing us to different aspects of Japanese culture. Go over there and click the follow button right away!

I decided to be different and instead of pulling pictures from the web, I took pictures of my literal books off my shelf. Hope you enjoy!

Questions:

1. Find a Book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

I couldn’t just pick one. I have a lot more blue books than I thought! Top left, you all already know! This was required reading back in high school and is the same book from high school which is why it looks so beat up. I adore The Three Musketeers. Then of course you have Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I got the first 4 books as a gift when I turned 12 and the rest is history. Eighth Grave After Dark is one of 11, soon to be 12, books in the Charley Davidson series. Lastly, Forged in Blood I is the sixth book in The Emperor’s Edge series. Lindsay Buroker was my introduction into the world of indie authors and I adore everything she writes!

 

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

Switched is basically a different take on the average switched at birth story. The idea of a girl who’s parents think she’s a monster only to find out she’s actually a troll was quite an intriguing idea. I ended up unexpectedly, enjoying this trilogy a lot more than I thought I would!

 

 

 

 

 

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?

I discovered this book at a library sale for 50 cents. I found books 1 and 3 and then ended up finding book 2 at Half Price Books. I haven’t read them yet but they look like a fun, high fantasy adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

An ex friend let me borrow these books to read and at first I wasn’t a fan because the book covers look so silly and the description furthers that. You have plain Jane True in Rockabill, Maine who is a selkie shifter and doesn’t really fit in with “normal” human society; not that it bothers her much. There are adventures and a love triangle (that I actually like!). It was an overall great 6 book series even though it doesn’t have stellar Goodrreads reviews.

 

 

 

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / Book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

I’ve only just discovered that booktubing is a thing so I don’t have an answer to this question at this time.

6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

When I saw the look of this book, I was instantly intrigued. The description hooked me right away and it did not disappoint and also fueled my love for all things Sandra Brown. In the story, you have a successful ghost writer who is writing the ultimate thriller novel. It turns out that there are some grains of truth in the story and his manuscript editor is unexpectedly in the middle of it all. It’s SUCH an amazing piece of writing. I wasn’t able to put it down once I started.

 

 

 

7. What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

I discovered the Canadian produced television show first. It stars Christina Cox and Kyle Schbmid and I believe it only had 2 seasons. Funny thing is I started reading this 4 book series thinking it was the book version of the show but turns out they only share the same title. I enjoyed it nonetheless considering this author doesn’t write very much anymore I don’t think. Note: This is Jennifer Armintrout not to be confused with Jennifer Armentrout. (Two different people. I checked.)

 

 

 

8. Think of your all-time favorite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught is my all time favorite historical romance. I picked this book up at a library sale back in college for 25 cents. I had never read romance before and she did not disappoint. Her writing style is brilliant. Because of this book alone I developed an obsession with McNaught and now own and have read every book she’s ever written. I had two of my best friends read some of her books expecting them to not like them and they are now collecting their own copies.

 

 

Since this is a pretty long post, I’m going to opt to tag everyone to do this post. I know of lot of you read on a semi regular basis and I can’t just choose certain people because I’m selfish and want to know everyone’s views and book choices. Please link me to your post if you decide to do this! I really want to read them!

What do you think of my choices and reasonings? Have you read any of these books? Do you need a bigger bookshelf like I do? Let me know in the comments below!

Fight Like a YA Girl Tag

I haven’t done a book related post in a while so of course when the wonderful Patty @ Moonshine’s Corner tagged me for this tag I decided why not! If you haven’t met Patty yet you need to head over there. She’s super awesome. She writes book reviews as well as occasional life adventures updates.

I’ll admit, this tag was hard to do. I had to consult the back pages of my Goodreads to find some of these because I haven’t read any YA in a really long time. Some of my answers are NA because I just didn’t know what else to pick and I read some of then as a teenager and liked them so they’re considered YA in my eyes.


The Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

 

Here we go:

1. WARRIOR GIRLS:

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Shanti is fleeing from people who want to harm her and ends up with a rag tag group of boys who are basically warriors in training and teaches them her badass warrior skills so they can help her save herself.

2. GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR MIND:

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I took this one to mean literal mind fighting. Jelena is branching away from her mother to continue the family freight business. Just like her mother, it involves lots of space adventures that require her mind powers, with the help of her crew, to get out of some binds.

3. GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR HEART:

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The whole premise of this series is a girl who falls in love with a human who’s cursed to be a tiger. Kelsey gets a summer job at a circus where she ends up meeting Ren the tiger and subsequently Ren the human. She goes through tests and trials throughout first to extend the time he can stay human and eventually to break the curse completely.

4. GIRLS WHO ARE TRAINED FIGHTERS:

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I mean, there’s swords, magic, love; perfect recipe for a fighter! In exchange for saving her mother’s life, Ember is promised to the Conatus group which are fighters of dark magic. Ember learns it all and comes to a point where she has decide whether to follow the light or the darkness.

5. STRONG GIRLS OF COLOR:

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This book isn’t specifically considered “YA” but it was the immediate one I thought of for a woman of color plus I read it as a teenager and survived. Maskelle was a Voice which is a woman with powerful woman who has seer like abilities. She was exiled for being a traitor and a murderess but they need her back to finish weaving the mandala for the 100 year ceremony before its completely destroyed.

6. GIRLS WHO FIGHT TO SURVIVE:

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Piper wants to be part of the Consul and strives to do that but then she’s made to take the fall for a powerful stone being stolen and ends up having to go on the run because all the daemons in the city want to kill her. She learns a lot of things along the way including powers she didn’t even know she had.

7. GIRLS WHO ARE WEAPONS MASTERS:

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I interpreted this one as not just physical weapons master but cleverness of the mind as well. Meliara makes promise to her dying dad that her and her brother will take care of the court and their people. The war timetable gets pushed up significantly and she ends up learning quickly how to defend the physical battlefield and deal with political play in the Court.

8. GIRLS WHO DON’T CONFORM TO GENDER ROLES:

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Keladry is just amazing. A decree is lifted that allows women to train to be anointed into knighthood, which was only allowed to boys before, and she takes full advantage of that. She goes through the hazings and the rough schedules which only pisses off the Lord training master. He decides to make things even more difficult because he’s completely against this decree. Keladry as well as others prove throughout the series that girls are definitely not to be underestimated!

10. STRONG GIRLS IN CONTEMPORARY NOVELS:

I got nothing. As you can probably tell, its very rare that I read a YA contemporary.

11. SERIOUSLY FIERCE GIRLS:

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I’d have to go with Rose on this one. She’s pretty baller throughout the entire series. She can give it as well as she can take it. Even when it seems like all the chips are down, Rose never gives up. She always finds a way!

12. MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK WITH A STRONG LEADING LADY:

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I can’t do a YA tag without mentioning Yelena. She has a choice between death or being a poison taster. This is literally a lose-lose situation but she wants to live and she learns exactly how to do that and more!


If you’re interested in any of the books I listed above, just click the heroine’s name which will link you to the much better Goodreads description.

I tag (if you’ve already done this tag, link me to your answers please!):

Who are your favorite badass, bookish heroines? Let me know in the comments below!

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I’m sitting here multitasking my thoughts about what to write for the daily prompt word and the book I’ve been legitimately glued to for the last 24 hours did it for me:

Namid’s teeth and claws are terrible indeed.

You do not want to know what happens when the humans break their pacts with the earth natives.

You do not want to look an Elder in the eye.

Humans see the Elders as shimmery figures because they simply cannot wrap their minds around what their seeing because their brains are raining with fear.

We are here“, they chant over and over.

Is that enough to save you?

10.5% left.

Books give me life! 🙂

That’s all I have. Hope you all are having a wonderful day my friends!

(P.S. The book is Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop 😉 )

Candy Books Tag

I’ve graciously been demanded asked to do this Candy Books Tag by the most awesome blogger James. It’s a lot of fun and I welcome anyone else who would like to do this, participate as well! James found the tag at Eva’s blog @ BrilliantlyBookishSite but it seems the creator of the tag’s blog no longer exists at this time.

There weren’t any rules but it seems pretty straight forward so here we go!

apples

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The interpretation here, I think, is that you are to choose a book that is deep, meaningful, and was highly praised in the book world but you read it and it just wasn’t as enjoyable as it was for everyone else. My choice here would have to be Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It seemed like a really good book. Plane crashes, boys are supposed to learn to survive and grow this sense of community while they come of age etc etc. Basically a darker version of Peter Pan and has fueled a lot of dystopian stories such as Hunger Games. It won a Nobel Prize and yet it just wasn’t it for me. Maybe because I’m not a huge dystopia fan? I don’t know.

milk chocolate

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I’ve mentioned this in my last post and I’m mentioning it again. I think eveyone should read The Three Musketeers at least once in their life. You will never read another story that features a group of heroes who portray youth, truth, justice and general camaraderie like this book!black jelly beans

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You already know. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Just don’t even bother. I get the concept especially because its fan fiction based off Twilight but it’s terrible misconception about BDSM. There are plenty of other authors out there who write it much better!chocolate kisses

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Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews!!!!!!! Okay, so what a lot of people don’t know is Ilona Andrews is actually a pseudonym for a husband and wife team who write these books together. The reason I picked Magic Bleeds is because… I can’t even describe it! Just read this snippet:

“I worry about you.” He dipped his head and looked into my eyes. “I worry something stupid will happen and I won’t be there and you’ll be gone. I worry we won’t ever get a chance and it’s driving me out of my skull.” ……. “Do you miss me, Kate?”

Guys, I’m screaming inside just writing this post!

Gummy Spiders

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The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. So I don’t check under my bed but after the recent Ebola virus outbreak, it worries me. This is the fictionalized version where essentially a virus appears in Washington D.C. presumably from an African rainforest and it kills 90% of its victims in days. None of the conventional medicines work so there’s no cure and it becomes a race against time to try to find the source of the virus in order to develop a cure. The scariest thing is this is based off a true story and scientists still have no idea where Ebola virus legitimately comes from and how it’s spread.jumbo lollipop

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I hate to say this because I know there are some serious Outlander fans out there but Dragonfly in Amber dragged so hard. I’m not sure if it was because a lot of it was Claire in the future and I missed Jamie or the fact that there just wasn’t as much action in this installment as there was in the first book. The book is 735 pages long which is not the longest I’ve read but I did finish it eventually; it just took a while.Cotton Candy

3011930120Besides Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume stories, Falling Up and Where the Sidewalk Ends were my absolute favorites! Shel Silverstein always had the coolest, cutest poems and I enjoyed them immensely as a child.

 

 

Have you read any of my choices? If so, do you agree or disagree with them? Let me know in the comments below!

Rapid Fire Book Tag

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This the Rapid Fire Book Tag introduced to me by Mischenko over at ReadRantRock&Roll. I’ve just started following Mischenko who has a blog full of fun book reviews and author spotlights! So if you’re looking for something new to dive in, definitely check her blog. It was originally made by GirlReading over Youtube, so be sure to stop by and check her out HERE.


Q&A:

Question 1: E-Book or Physical Book? 

I was always physical books but when I was living paycheck to paycheck, physical books weren’t feasible so I got into ebooks and now I’m primarily ebooks and I’m not as poor as before so when it’s an author I really like I support them by buying both formats.

Question 2 : Paperback or Hardback?

Hardcover primarily but I have a ton of paperbacks and indie authors primarily publish in trade paperback so I guess I’m a mix.

Question 3 : Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

Primarily online shopping because the books that I like aren’t usually found in stores or sold out. However, if we’re talking independent book shops, I’m all over in store book shopping. Buy 2 get 1 free you say??

Question 4 : Trilogies or Series?

Both. A lot of authors start out planning to only write a trilogy and then it turns out that their fans love them and wish they would continue into a series. Either way its a win win cause you have more than one book to enjoy your favs.

Question 5 : Heroes or Villains?

Do anti-heroes count? It’s kind of a mix of the two. I like the guy/girl who seems to be the bad guy but actually has some semblance of a heart in there even if their personality is naturally aloof

Question 6 : A book you want everyone to read?

7126 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. 

Question 7 : Recommend an underrated book?

Instead of just one book I’m going to say science fiction books written by women are completely underrated. A lot of people aren’t aware that women who write science fiction is like taboo in the book world. The genre is dominated by men and, sadly, a lot of these authors, in order to get their books out there, end up adding romance into their stories to get them out to the masses.

Question 8 : The last book you finished?

17563080 Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Question 9 :The Last Book(s) You Bought?

17159944Oh jeez, I scored a handful of books from the thrift store last Thursday. One of them was Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh. It was perfect condition hardcover for 90 cents!

 

 

Question 10 : Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

I do a lot of tablet reading so bookmarks are not necessary but I’ve been known to use whatever is closest to me. Plates, hair ties, straws, kitty toys…

Question 11 : Used Books: Yes or No?

Definite yes. I make it my business to go to as many library sales as possible.

Question 12 : Top Three Favorite Genres?

Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction and the sub genres in between

Question 13 : Borrow or Buy?

Buy. I’m all about supporting authors and the only way to do that is by buying their books

Question 14 : Characters or Plot?

Plot. Can have the greatest characters in the world but if they don’t have a good plot I’m not interested. It’s all about that world building!

Question 15 : Long or Short Books?

Depends on what you consider short. Most books I read are 300 pages or more. But I do read novellas that are tied to a series and those are usually 70 pages or less.

Question 16 : Long or Short Chapters?

When I like being tortured everyday (coughcimmeriancough), I like short chapters. But it doesn’t matter to me if the story has substance. The chapters will blend because I’ll be so absorbed and won’t care about anything else besides finishing the book.

Question 17 : Name The First Three Books You Think Of…

12961921457243A4534897 Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught (was just talking about historical romances with a coworker

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (that was almost my answer for books everyone should read)

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop (currently reading)

Question 18 : Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

Both. I’m a bundle of emotions and I get really attached to my fictional characters! 

Question 19 : Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional. The real world is in chaos right now and I’d rather be in fictional world with an HEA ending.

Question 20 : Audiobooks: Yes or No?

No. I’m weird about the way characters sound in my head versus how other people narrate them. I can’t do it. I tried and got upset, lol.

Question 21 : Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Guilty. I blame Goodreads for that though! You get into a book spiral because of their recommendations reel and end up clicking all kinds of books that look interesting based off their cover to find out more!

Question 22 : Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

Book to TV. Movies are one and dones. TV adapations can go on for many seasons! I also say this because I’ve never read Game of Thrones, and don’t plan to, but the TV adaptation is solid gold! (WINTER IS COMING IN LESS THAN A MONTH!)

Question 23 : A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Outlander. I read the first two books and lost interest but the TV show melts me into a puddle of warm fuzzies when I’m not crying my eyes out. They casted Claire and Jamie to perfection!

Question 24 : Series or Standalone?

I have to say both. I read a lot of series but a lot of the authors like Judith McNaught write series where each book could be a standalone so you don’t have to read the books in order to still enjoy them. But I love contemporary suspense stories (looking at you Sandra Brown) and those are crazy, fantastic standalones.


I wasn’t tagged but I would really love to see cwhiteweb, LizScanlon, Patty, theorangutanlibrarian, and Jo-Ann do this tag and any other bookworms out there like me who don’t post book related things all the time but have a serious addiction to reading 🙂

Shelf Situations

Okay, I admit. I have a problem hobby.

When we lived in our little one bedroom apartment, it was always a struggle trying to figure out how to stack all the books I acquire from sales and the internet on this shelf. It started out as one shelf then turned into two. The bookcase has four shelves total and I allowed my husband to use one for his video games and the very bottom one was for my Disney movies.

This is one thing I’m very particular about. They have to be shelved by author, and on top of that, in order by series. When shelved vertical, series order is always left to right not right to left. When stacked horizontally, series order is always top to bottom not bottom top. If I have doubles or stand-alones, they’re stacked by book size. The series I like the most have to be stacked in front and visible when I stack horizontal.

(If you were curious, those are not overdue library books. I bought them from library sales. Also, the little red and blue book sticking out is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.)

Thankfully we were finally able to save enough to buy a house and said house came with built in wall shelves in one of the bedrooms as well as the stair situation below:

Before you ask, yes, I’ve read every book in both pictures except Haunted, An Ember in the Ashes, Persona, and Storm Siren and my collection has doubled since.

Are you particular about the way your books are shelved? Are you like me and there’s no such thing as running out of space for books? Let me know in the comments below! 😀

Written in Amazing

You ever read a book or series by an author and chucked it into the DNF pile after one or two books? I’ve done that a few times. I won’t be specific on that list but Anne Bishop was one of those authors. I read (tried to) the first book in her Ephemera series and it was just no. I didn’t finish the book and I have this habit of swearing off the author after that. In hindsight, I probably should have known from the reviews but I try not to read book reviews too deeply before a first read because spoilers. The writing style just wasn’t what I expected or my cup of tea. This was a couple of years ago. I thought about picking up her Black Jewels series for a while but never did.

“If you must blink, do it now”- Kubo (because this is going to be a long)

Why did I wait so long to read The Others series?! I asked for a vote last week on a bunch of book covers with no descriptions. The overall consensus picked Written In Red.

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It can’t be the same author who wrote that awful series I DNF! And yet, IT IS! And this book was glorious! Here is my long winded, sort of review.

The story opens up giving us a history of the world. The world is called Namid. There are 8 continents and even the lakes and oceans are named. Namid created the world and gave birth to all the creatures on the planet including humans. Humans were given a piece of Namid to be able to reproduce and live on in harmony on her fertile lands. Humans were doing great until they pushed into the wild places where the terra indigene (earth natives). The terra indigene didn’t like the humans taking over their lands so they ate them. Settlers came in from other lands to try and take over and the terra indigene would eat them too. Slowly human civilizations started to disappear and the “Others” took over the continent. The last batch of settlers came to the continent and instead of taking over, they offered the Others clothing, blankets, shiny things and taught them human ways. The Others decided to allow these humans to stay because they controlled the elements the humans needed to survive; water, air, fire, land. Now there are laws in place between the terra indigene and the humans and consequences if these laws are violated.

WHAT THE! When a book opens up like that, what do you do? You keep reading of course!

Skip to present day. You have the Wolfgard, Owlgard, Hawkgard, Beargard, Crowgard and Sanguantis. In simpler terms, wolves, owls, hawks, grizzlies, crows and vampires. They all live in a town called Lakeside that entertains humans from time to time. For example, Howling Good Reads is the resident book store, Meats-n-Greens is the grocery store and A Little Bite is the cafe. I should mention here that these are all terra indigene and they consider humans, monkeys they want to eat. Also, there are signs posted all over stating H.L.D.N.A. (Human Law Does Not Apply). This means if you steal something, its a high probability your hand will be eaten and depending on which offense you’re on, you could lose your life.

So the terra indigene have these humans come into their abode so that they learn human mannerisms and skills so that when they turn into humans, they know how to channel a true human and less of their animal nature.

Enter Meg Corbyn. She’s enters Howling Good Reads (bookstore) one night frozen looking for a job because the Others have been wanting a Human Liaison. She doesn’t smell right to the Others because most humans smell like prey but she doesn’t and she seems desperate so they offer her the job even though she has no experience.

The course of the book from here is Meg learning how to do her job well. However, the humans realize that she doesn’t act like a regular human. She has emotions but she doesn’t show them the right way or doesn’t have a full understanding of how the world works. She made friends with some of the more notorious creatures to the shock of the residents and they find her to be very intriguing. Then a wanted poster appears with her picture on it and you find out that Meg is a cassandra sangue or a blood prophet. A blood prophet is a human that’s specifically raised in a special facility where they have limited interaction with what’s going outside in the real world because their only purpose is to have their skin cut so their benefactors can know what’s going to happen in the future. The deeper the cut, the more clear the vision. The problem is over time, the blood prophets become so addicted that they crave the cut and without proper supervision, they can cut themselves to the point of death.

The Others find this out and Meg is ready to run again but now they won’t allow her to now because she’s ingratiated herself into the Others culture so well that they consider her one of them now. Most of the humans are referred to their names with “the” or “our” in front. So Meg is “the Meg” or “our Meg”. FYI, this book is 500 pages long. I’ve just touched on the tip of the iceberg! The plot gets insanely good and there’s desperation, surprises, betrayal, loss and found. Yes, I said found. The dynamics since Meg was integrated into the community open a whole set of gamechangers throughout this book and I found myself learning so many things even though its all fiction.

Before I go off and spoil it possibly more than I already have, you MUST give this book a chance. I’d rate it 10 stars if it was possible. This is not the same author, and yet it is! I don’t know where she was earlier but I love who came out for this story and yes, I’ve already dived into the second book. I never want it to end!!

(P.S. I am not a professional book reviewer so sorry if this sucked but I hope you enjoyed reading it anyway :D)

Urban Fantasy Top Reads – Age 14 to 25

My awesome friend James has asked me to collaborate with him on his Top Reads per Genre in an age group. Today I chose the urban fantasy genre. I hope you enjoy my spin on another one of his cool tags!

Rules

  1. Pick a genre. You can get very detailed and go into sub-genres, e.g. cozy, classic, etc. I’m starting general and may work my way down into the details.
  2. Pick an age range, roughly covering 12 years. You can add more or start with less, but I figured twelve ages seemed like a good one to start with.
  3. Pick a book for each age that you’d recommend to get someone situated with the genre.
  4. You can’t repeat an author within that age range.
  5. Explain why that author, book and age.
  6. Either show a book cover or provide a link to the book on Goodreads, or if you’ve read it and have a review, link your review.
  7. Start a discussion with everyone, e.g. is it the right age, is something missing…
  8. Tag others if you’d like, but I open it to everyone.

Urban Fantasy is a sub-genre of Fantasy that usually has supernatural elements in a contemporary setting. The worlds in which the stories take place are entirely fiction and can sometimes take place in a historical, modern or futuristic world. The age group outlined below goes from YA (young adult) to NA (new adult) to adult.

Age 14 Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Welcome to the world of magic! This is no ordinary book you’re reading. Once you read the characters in your story out loud, they literally come to life!

Age 15 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Magic takes a bit of a darker turn. You’re able to understand that things are not always sunshine and rainbows and it’s serious enough that people can die.

Age 16 Switched by Amanda Hocking

Sometimes you learn that it’s okay to be different even if it means you weren’t born human. We all have a destiny in this world; some place where we truly belong.

Age 17 Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Sometimes life is rough and it comes down to prison or being a poison taster. Nobody wants to die and in order to get to the bottom of nefarious plots, you have to step out of your comfort zone and learn new skills.

Age 18 Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Now it’s time to get a job. How about being a bodyguard for a vampire princess? You sleep at odd hours and deal with odd demons while struggling to find your own happiness in this world. Just ask Rose.

Age 19 – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Speaking of princesses, how would you like to be one? You get to live a lavish lifestyle and fall in love with a man who saved your family from starvation and homelessness. Did I mention you’re a princess in a faerie kingdom and your real use is trying to break an ancient curse which involves trials you may or may not be ready for and could possibly end in death?

Age 20 Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Being a princess not your thing? Let’s get a real world job. How about a mechanic? You can get some great tips from Mercedes Thompson, coyote shifting mechanic. No ties to any pack and has a interesting group of friends from vampires to wolves to faeries.

Age 21 Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

If that isn’t appealing enough, how about being a mercenary? You’re the one civilians call when the police and Paranormal Division of the government don’t want to handle your call in a way that you would be satisfied with. Banshee in your tree disturbing the neighbors but it’s actually your crazy grandma and you swear she’s gentle when she’s human? Call Kate Daniels for that.

Age 22 Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Now magic can be crippling. Just ask Allie Beckstrom. Magic always comes at a cost. In her case, its crippling migraines and memory loss but in order to follow magic signatures to their source, especially when murder is involved, it sometimes magic is the only way.

Age 23 First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

All this death is depressing right? Not if you’re Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire! She moonlights as an investigator but she also helps people cross over to the other side, whether its Heaven or Hell, when they die. Because she can communicate with the dead, she is also able to solve unexplained cold cases.

Age 24 Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh

Can’t talk about Death without talking about Angels. You can join a mercenary guild and be hired to hunt down and bring in a rogue archangels who’ve been killing young women in the city. By the way, archangels are gorgeous so there’s a high possibility of falling in love with one!

Age 25 Radiance by Grace Draven

Ah, love. You’re at that age when marriage is on the table. How about an arranged marriage between two different people in the name of peace? A prince who’s only a spare heir to a noblewoman of no worth or value. Love is blind; it can come in all shapes, sizes, colors and creatures. It is beautiful and now you’re ready to head into your thirties armed with all types of magical, fantastical experience.