Goodreads | Amazon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.
With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that’s rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day.
Review: You know how there’s a certain book that’s generating a ton of buzz and you add it to your library holds list, but your impatiences wins the day and you breakdown and buy the book before your turn comes up at the library? Then, you regret letting your impatience win because the book was a huge disappointment? That’s precisely what happened with this book. Everywhere I looked there was a blurb about this book being amazing, it was recommend by bookstore staff, it was the end-cap display in Target. I could not escape the would-be awesomeness that was supposedly this book.
I did not like this book, in case that wasn’t clear. What I found most enjoyable about this novel was the details about Google and what it is like to work at Google. I don’t know how true the details are, mostly because I haven’t bothered to find out, but I loved the descriptions. It sounded like what I always imagined working for Disneyland might be.
What I didn’t love was pretty much everything else. I thought the plot started out strong. I was intrigued by the idea of the secret society and the bookstore being connected to this secret society. It was great in the beginning. But at the story behind the secret society began to unravel, the plot fell apart. There was this huge build up to the reveal of the secret society and what their secret was, but the build up led to a completely anticlimactic answer. I was like, “That’s it? That’s the big resolution and revelation?” It was a huge letdown.
The characters were well-written and I enjoyed them, but even the best of characters cannot save a shaky plot.
I would not recommend this novel. If you want to try it for yourself, I definitely recommend you save your money and get it from the library.
Book festivals rule on so many levels. You get to hear amazing authors speak and then meet them, you get to socialize with other bookworms, what could be better? Well, not much in my opinion, except when one of those authors makes your All Time Greatest Authors List (we all have one).
So what am I talking about? Why the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books 2013, of course!
There’s so many authors attending this deal, I can’t even print the list because it is ridiculously long! I suppose that is to be expected from the largest book festival in the USA! So, I thought I would post the authors that I have selected to hear speak and get their autograph. You can view the entire line up here. I will be crazy posting pictures, too, so make sure you watch for my after the festival post!
Here’s my list (I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED!!!):
- Lauren Oliver
- Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
- Cassandra Clare
- Sarah Dessen
- Joyce Carol Oats
- Maureen Johnson
And, from my All Time Greatest Authors List, MARGARET ATWOOD.
I swoon just typing her name.
If I can, I may squeeze in a few others, but these are the definites. Perhaps, I’ll pick up an item to have signed and then give away!
If you are going to be attending, please let me know! Maybe we can meet up!
Amazon | Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They’re the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone’s attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.
Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.
Review: I should start off by saying that I enjoyed this book. I found it to be an enjoyable read. Amanda Hocking has talent and I am consistently surprised by the intricate stories she weaves and the level of detail those stories encompass. I particularly enjoyed “Wake” because of the mythology aspect of the story.
My problem with Hocking’s work lies with the dialog. In the Trylle trilogy and in “Wake,” the dialog wasn’t great. It was somewhat better in “Wake” but that’s not saying much. There is a very forced feel to the dialog in Hocking’s novels. In general, the dialog is awkward and uncomfortable. It makes me feel squirmy and like I want to look away. As you can imagine, this has a huge impact on my ability to enjoy her stories. I do enjoy them, but I could enjoy them so much more if the dialog were improved. I think over time that Hocking’s use of dialog will improve. She is still a young author. I will continue to read her works and see if the dialog situation improves. I certainly hope so!
Amazon | Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
Review: I love zombies and the zombie apocalypse. This genre (or sub-genre) has given me untold hours of reading ecstasy. This book was different, though. I’ve never read a book before that was set during the zombie apocalypse wherein the main character was suicidal. Sloane, the main character, has no desire to live. She watches the other students she is trapped with struggle to live every single day, but she remains detached from them and the harrowing situation in which she finds herself. This reaction from Sloane is troubling. I thought it might be an interesting take on the zombie apocalypse to have a character that didn’t care about survival, but for me, this angle backfired. I hated Sloane. I honestly didn’t care if she killed herself or not, most of the time. The other part of the time, I wished that she would go ahead and kill herself. I was fed up with her angst and wasn’t moved by a character with no desire to survive her situation.
This will be the last Courtney Summers book I read. I read Fall for Anything and didn’t care or that either.
I definitely would not recommend this book.
Guess what!? I got a pretty awesome email today about Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book! Check it out!
Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, is letting her fans choose the US cover of her new novel THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS—an epic novel of love, ambition and 19th century botanical exploration, coming out from Viking on October 1st.
Voting on three potential book covers begins tomorrow morning at 8am on Gilbert’s Facebook page and runs through Sunday.
To my knowledge, Gilbert is one of the first authors to hand such an enormous decision over to her fans. Social media has become an integral part of any book launch – from author Twitter chats to Google hangouts to Facebook giveaways – but engaging fans in cover selection, a part of the business that has remained largely behind-the-scenes, will be surprising and exciting to many.
That’s pretty cool, right? Be sure to stop by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page tomorrow and vote!
Amazon | Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 from Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, she’s flying back to New Jersey solo, and someone who sounds like Sasquatch is snoring in row 22. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. The FBI, the fake FBI, and guns-for-hire are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.
Only one other person has seen the missing photograph—Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.
Over at the Bail Bonds Agency it’s business as usual—until the bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke, Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their “largest” FTA yet, lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment, and everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?!
Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.
Review: I always hate it when I am caught up in the books in the Stephanie Plum series. Some books I wait for with greedy fingers and baited breath because I simply have to know what happens next! With these books, I simply can’t wait to experience the colossal fun that comes along with reading this series.
With as much as I enjoy this series, one might think these would be easy books to review, but they’re really not. I can tell you how much I love the characters and that the plot moves quickly, but that is true of each book in the series. I find myself at a loss for review words with these novels.
I enjoy this series immensely! I highly recommend the entire series. If you are looking for fun, easy reads that will totally leave you in comedic stitches, this series is for you!
It has come to my attention that the image being used for the reading challenge is not a royalty free image, as I was led to believe. I am terribly sorry that this image was being reported as royalty free and was used for the challenge banner by me.
If you are participating in the challenge and have the image displayed, please remove this image immediately to respect the rights of the artist.
Win a copy of House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires #7) by Chloe Neill!
It’s my first giveaway of the New Year and I am very excited to be giving away a copy of House Rules by Chloe Neill. The Chicagoland Vampires series is one of my absolute favorite reads, which is why I decided to giveaway a copy of the latest installment!
So what are the rules to win? Let’s get to it!
- In order to qualify, you must be a Networked Blogs follower. This will be verified
- You must be 13 years or older
- You must fill out the form. Entries will not be accepted via comments, although comments are awesome!
- Opportunities for extra entries are provided
- This giveaway will run from February 10, 2013, to February 24, 2013.
Thank you again to everyone for making this year spectacular! Good luck!!
Amazon | Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clearis that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.
Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.
With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.
Review: I heart the Stephanie Plum series so much. I love to read all sorts of books. Heavy books that make me think, emotional books that tug at my heart, books that have an epic struggle, and books that are just plain fun. The Stephanie Plum series is just plain fun!
Whenever I read a Stephanie Plum book, I know that I will be rolling with laughter at various points during the plot. Smokin’ Seventeen did not fail to deliver the humor and hi-jinx that readers of this series have come to love. This book had an extra treat for the readers, a little something called “The Vordo.” The Vordo MADE this book. I actually yelled “GO VORDO!!!!” while reading this novel.
I love that these novels are so entertaining. I love that they make me howl with laughter. I adore the love triangle, crazy but loveable Lula, Stephanie’s grandma…it’s all just made of fun. Like all the books in this series, this novel read extremely quickly. It was an all around fun book to read.
I highly recommend this entire series!
What kind of challenge host would I be if I didn’t participate in my own challenge??
I am going for challenge level 4 – 24 books. I will be updating this post with my challenge progress.
Books I Read for this Challenge