Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

Summary:
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his long time girlfriend and is living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, excitement, seduction, and delusion known to man.
You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about they wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this. Introducing Cormoran Strike, This is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Review:
I didn’t know The Cuckoo’s Calling was actually written by J.K Rowling until about halfway through reading it. It was a buy based on the interesting cover. So, I’m like halfway through the book and I decide to read the summary and I found out J.K. Rowling wrote it. It definitely changed how I was reading the book.
The Cuckoo’s Calling was a very complex book. There was quite a bit of detail. It took me longer to get through than usual. Partially because there were a few really detailed boring parts. But mostly because there was so much important information that’s relevant to the story. This was a typical murder mystery, with some twists. There were many surprises. I didn’t see any of them coming. The Cuckoo’s Calling was suspenseful and full of action. It was a very good mystery novel. The characters were really interesting. I think they were very well developed characters. I feel like this book is harder to review than others because of it’s author. I really enjoyed this book even though it had some pretty slow parts.
The characters were phenomenal. The book is written in third person, but opens up with Robin Ellacott. It seemed, at first, that this book was going to be about Robin. It was, to an extent. She was more of a secondary character. Regardless, I loved Robin. At first she was just doing what she was told and trying to find a better job. But she got sucked into the investigating and ended up helping quite a bit. Robin was spunky and enthusiastic and very determined. She tried her hardest at everything she did, and I really enjoyed that.
Then comes our main character, Cormoran Strike. He’s a private investigator trying to solve the murder of the famous Lula Landry. Strike was a very interesting character. He’d just gotten out of a very serious relationship, had no money, and was living in his office. Strike was a very proud man. He didn’t like to ask for help, or let anyone know that something was wrong. He was very independent and had to do almost everything himself. Cormoran was the kind of person that did anything and everything he could to figure out what happened and help others. I really like everything about him, except that he wouldn’t talk to anyone about the problems in his life.
Last is John Bristow. He’s kind of the villain of our story. Although he may not seem like it in the beginning. He hires Strike to figure out what actually happened to his sister. Bristow was very deceiving in The Cuckoo’s Calling. He seemed like he wanted to help, but ended up getting in the way more than helping. John liked to act like he was smart and knew everything, but he wasn’t and didn’t. I liked his character in the beginning of the book, but by the end he was really just an annoyance to everyone.
Overall, The Cuckoo’s Calling was an excellent mystery novel. There was all the action, suspense, and drama that’s expected. Even though there were some slow parts because of the amount of detail, I still really enjoyed this book. I’d suggest this one to any of our older readers because it is definitely an adult book.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

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Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Person X


I have been waiting for this Top Ten Tuesday. For those of you who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is top ten recommendations to X person. It could be a family member, a friend, a specific group of people, etc. I chose my boyfriend, Max. He’s not as avid a reader as me or Amanda, but he does read some. However, I would love to get him to expand into some of the books I enjoy because, let’s face it; we all want to share our book families with every person we know.

1. The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- Mostly because this is hands down my favorite series and I want everyone in the world to read it. Most people I know who read aren’t really into fantasy so much, but Max read and really liked Game of Thrones, so I’m hoping he’ll eventually agree to read this series.
2. The BFG by Roald Dahl- This one technically includes every book by Dahl but The BFG has always been my favorite and I think he’ll enjoy the humor of this book more than some of the others.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis- I’m actually not sure if he’s already read this or not… If he hasn’t then that’s a tragic mistake I’m going to have to correct as soon as possible.
4. The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist- I loved these books. I think Max might really like them. They have a little bit of everything you could find in fantasy.
5. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton- This is such a guy book and the scifi is right up his alley.
6. The Xanth series by Piers Anthony- I think these books would make him laugh. They have a little bit of everything.
7. The Dragon Jousters by Mercedes Lackey- Another one of my favorites by her.
8. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead- This book might be a little on the girl side but there’s a lot of scifi in it that I think he might like.
9. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien- It’s the history of middle earth and I believe anyone who claims to be a LotR fan should read it.
10. What Happens in London by Julia Quinn- This book is on the list solely because I believe every man should read a trashy romance novel at least once in their life. This is my go to book when I introduce romance novels to someone.

These are my picks and I hope Max eventually reads them all. Who would you recommend books to if you could?
-Antonia


Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Person X

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we have a different topic that we write our top ten about. This weeks topic is top ten books I’d recommend to X person. I’m choosing my younger sister. She’s fourteen years old and seriously doesn’t like reading. It baffles me because I was such a freaking bookworm at that age. So here are the top ten books I would love for her to want to read.

1)Looking for Alaska by John Green– If any of you have been paying attention, it’s kind of my favorite book ever. I’ve tried to get my sister to read it several times. I will succeed eventually.

2)Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards– I bought this book for my sister about a month ago to try and get her to read something. She still hasn’t read it. I’ve read it and reviewed it. It was pretty good.

3)Graceling by Kristin Cashore– I’d like for my sister to read this book because I think it would be the perfect book to get sucked into the fantasy world and the crazy adventures. It hopefully would make her want to get away in more books.

4)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins– I feel like this needs to be on this list because it’s such an age appropriate book for her right now. Also, the second movies coming out. Oh, and I love these books and she needs to as well.

5)Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard– This is another that I’d like on here because it’s very much age appropriate for her. Along with the fact that she loves watching Ravenswood with me. And this series goes right along those lines so I know she’d like them.

6)Divergent by Veronica Roth– When I was reading this series my sister seemed really interested. She’d ask a bunch of questions about the books while I was reading. I adored this trilogy. I reviewed all three. I’d like to push these on her if I could.

7)Peace Love & Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle– This is a book pretty much entirely about sisterhood and being able to maintain your relationship with your sister. Which I think she could use some advice on.

8)Bloodlines by Richelle Mead– I think this ones on the list specifically because I need her to love this series as much as I do.

9)Burned by Ellen Hopkins– Burned has to be in this top ten because it’s on my list of favorites. This book was one I read over and over again through high school. I’d love to be able to share that with my sister.

10)The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts– This saga is VERY much not age appropriate for my fourteen year old sister. But I figured I could end my top ten with a book I’d like to get her to read after she’s read all the others and is as obsessed with books as me.

These are my top ten books I’d suggest to my younger sister. What books would you suggest?

-Amanda


Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Cover Redesigns

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is top ten covers I wish I could redesign. I think this one’s going to be hard for me because, for the most part, I don’t really ever hate book covers. But I’ll do my best.


1. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead- I actually wasn’t a big fan of most of these covers except the last two. I’m not sure why. I think Rose just looks a little awkward on all of them.

onyx
2. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout-
Out of all of the covers this one just doesn’t seem to fit the story.

akissintimecloaked
3. A Kiss in Time and Cloaked by Alex Flinn-
I adore these books. But I don’t particularly like these versions of the covers. Beastly’s cover is similar to them but actually connects to the storyline. (Obviously. It’s a rose.) But flowers have nothing to do with these other books.

Nora Roberts The Witness
4. The Witness by Nora Roberts- I loved this book so much. But the cover didn’t connect to the story for me at all.

house of night
5. House of Night by P.C. and Kristin Cast- For as many of these covers that I loved, there was just as many that I hated. Some were just a little cheesy and awkward. (Hated the first three. Loved the three following them.)

uglies
6. Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld- I haven’t read this series even though Amanda has tried many times to try to convince me to do so. I think half the reason I don’t want to is the covers. I don’t know what it is about them that I don’t like, but I really can’t stand them.

crystal cove
7. Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas- This cover wasn’t really that bad. However, compared to how much I liked the covers of the other books in this series, I didn’t like this one at all.

And I think that’s all I can come up with. Let me know your opinions and other covers you’d like to change.
-Antonia


Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead (Antonia’s review)

Goodreads Summary: In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

I don’t even know where to start. Every single part of this book intrigued me. Every time I got used to a new concept, another was thrown at me. Every time a question was answered it gave me five more. The first couple chapters were a little slow, but as soon as I got past that (around where Justin and Mae met) I could not put it down.
The main reason I read this book was because of Richelle Mead. I adore her books and was so happy when I learned she started a new series. However I think I might have picked this book up regardless. I love books about mythology. I love books about magic. And although they’re not autobuy subjects of mine, I really enjoy futuristic and dystopian books too. This book has all of it. Mead managed to throw so many different subjects and concepts into this book; and managed to make them work really well together. Quite often so many topics are overwhelming and confusing. This book was overwhelming in a “I wish I could read this faster I just want to know what happens!” kind of way. And the only confusion I had was when Mead deliberately made me want to know more and more and more.
As for the characters, I loved all of them. Mae is my favorite. She’s so strong and independent which I completely respect. But she still has vulnerabilities that she hides because she’s too proud to show anyone that side of her. I think that’s what annoyed Amanda a little bit, but that side of Mae was what made it easy for me to relate to her.
Now I’ll talk about Justin. Oh, Justin… I could never keep track of how I felt about him. Half the time I was just so aggravated with him and the other half I was violently in love with him. He was an asshole; he was arrogant; he was caring; he had a strong sense of self preservation; he was funny. He was such a well-rounded character that I couldn’t help but be invested in his story even when I didn’t like him all that much.
There were quite a few secondary characters. Tessa was the young girl that Justin brought back to the RUNA with him on a student visa. She was cute and sweet for most of the book. Then before I noticed it happening, she became confident and grew into herself. I can’t wait to see her grow more. Mae’s friends Val and Dag were a great addition to add humor into different sections. Every time I read about them I was laughing. I also really enjoyed what Justin’s friend Leo added to the story as a technical genius, though his boyfriend Dominic was rather annoying.
There were only one or two things I wish had been different. I think I would have liked it better if there was slightly less religion. I’m not one of those people that hate to see religion in books. I actually like it because you don’t see it too often. And it worked as such an amazing contrast to the mythology and magic. However, there were some parts where it was a bit too much for me and I would have rather had more of the myth or magic.
The other is that I really wish I had more answers to my questions. It’s just so goddamn hard to wait. I need to know everything right now!
Overall, I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone. Since it has a little bit of everything in it, I think anyone who likes dystopian or paranormal or romance or scifi would enjoy this book.
As always, let me know what you think and if you’ve read it I’d love to hear your opinion.
-Antonia


Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Sequels


It feels like forever since I’ve posted a Top Ten Tuesday. (Probably because it has…) For those of you who are new to it, it’s a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is top ten sequels I can’t wait to get my hands on.
I ended up only doing nine because any other books I can think of at the moment aren’t part of a series.

1. The 2nd book in the Dragon Prophecy Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- There is no release date… There isn’t even a title… But this book will come out eventually and when it does I will have it immediately.
2. Age of X Book 2 by Richelle Mead- This book also has no title or release date. The first came out pretty recently though so some information will hopefully be released soon. The first book left me with so many questions that I desperately need answers to.
3. Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout- August 15, 2014 ………The end of the previous book was not even close to being okay. It may be physically and mentally impossible to wait until next summer for this book.
4. Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead- November 19, 2013 TWO WEEKS!!! I can’t contain my excitement for this book. This series literally makes me feel so many emotions that I might spontaneously combust.
5. The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn- Apparently, this book is already out. I thought it came out in a few weeks; but when I was checking the release date it said October 29. So I’m going to have to make an emergency trip to the library tomorrow…
6. Three Weeks With Lady X by Eloisa James– March 25, 2014 I am super excited about this book. I was introduced to Eloisa James through her Desperate Duchesses series which has long since been over. Until now. This book is loosely connected to the original series. The male main character is the firstborn son of my favorite character from the first series.
7. Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon- September 2, 2014 It is impossible for me to not read one of her Dark Hunters books. I love them all. I can’t help myself.
8. Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands- February 18, 2014 I need to catch up on this series a bit, but she’s one of my autobuy authors. Her books are like my guilty pleasure.
9. Revealed by P.C. and Kristin Cast- This is already out but, like Amanda, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. The House of Night series is one of the first that Amanda and I shared so we’re particularly attached to them, even if the series dragged out a bit more than I think it should have.

So those are my picks. Let me know if you share any of these choices or any different ones you might have. Do you prefer reading series or standalone books? I like both equally but would love to hear everyone’s opinions.
-Antonia


Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Sequels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where every week we give our top ten on a specific topic. This weeks topic is Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get My Hands On. I’m a little excited for this one because there’s so many series that I read that I just can’t wait for the next book.

1)Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout– This is the final book of the Lux Series. I fell in love with this series within the first couple of pages of Obsidian. This is a series I think anyone and everyone should read. Opposition is expected to come out August 5, 2014

2)The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead– Ah! I just want this book to come out already! Number four of the Bloodlines series is expected to come out November 19th, 2013 which is very soon. I just don’t want to wait anymore!

3)Age of X Series by Richelle Mead– The second book in the Age of X seems like it doesn’t exist. There’s been no title released, or date of expected publication. The first, Gameboard of the Gods, came out this year. So, there’s probably a while to wait for the second.

4)City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare– What I believe is the final book of The Mortal Instrument Series is expected to come out in May of 2014. I can’t wait for this book. Mostly to see how the series will close and where everyone is going to end up. If you haven’t read any of The Mortal Instruments Series you should give it a try.

5)Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare– This is the first book in a series of three. It’s expected to be published in 2015, but there isn’t anything more specific than that. The trilogy is supposed to be kind of a companion to The Mortal Instruments. The series is called The Dark Artifices. I’m excited to read them and see how things turn out.

6)Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich– I’m obsessed with the Stephanie Plum series. I’ve read every single one of them. Most more than once. I’m excited for the twentieth book to come out because I know it’ll be good. It’s release date is posted as November 19th, 2013.

7)Unsouled by Neil Shusterman– Unsouled is the third and final book of the Unwind Trilogy. This book is actually currently out, I just can’t afford it yet. I’m excited to read it though, when that does eventually happen.

8)Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands– Expected to come out February 18, 2014 the twentieth book in the Argeneau Series will be just as good as the nineteen before it. This series doesn’t need to be read in order. Just pick one up and let it take you on the ride that is the Argeneau’s.

9)Revealed by Kristin and P.C. Cast– This is another book that’s already out that I’m too poor to afford. I’m happy for this series to finally be over. I think it was dragged on a little too long. But I’m excited to see where it’s left off.

10)The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey– The sequel to The 5th Wave is expected to come out in May of 2014. I’m especially pumped about this book coming out because I was really attached to The 5th Wave. It was an amazing book, and I’m hoping the second will be just as amazing.

These are my top ten, what are yours?


Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Goodreads Summary: For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore – and its secrets.

To summer tourists, it’s the crown jewel of the town’s stunning scenery. To the residents of Whiskey Beach, it’s landmark and legend. To Eli Landon, it’s home…

A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigation after being accused of murdering his soon-to-be ex-wife. And though there was never enough evidence to have him arrested, his reputation is in tatters as well as his soul. He need sanctuary. He needs Bluff House.

While Eli’s beloved grandmother is in Boston, recuperating from a nasty fall, Abra Walsh has card for Bluff House, among her other jobs as yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist. She is a woman with an open heart and a wide embrace, and no one is safe from her special, some would say over-bearing, brand of nurturing – including Eli.

He begins to count on Abra for far more than her cooking, cleaning, and massage skills, and starts to feel less like a victim – and more like the kind of man who can finally solve the murder of his wife and clear his name. But Bluff House’s many mysteries are a siren song to someone intent on destroying Eli and reaping the rewards. He and Abra will become entangled in a centuries-old net of rumors and half-truths that could pull them under the thunderous waters of Whiskey Beach…

Passion and obsession, humor and heart flow together in a novel about two people opening themselves up to the truth – and to each other.

What I love most about Nora Roberts is that even though a lot of her books follow the same basic storylines, I always feel like I’m reading something new. I fall in love with her characters and settings. How her books always seem so bright and bubbly by the end. Whenever I’m looking for a book to put me in a good mood, I usually pick one of hers.
Whiskey Beach didn’t disappoint me. There were murders, an abusive boyfriend, a psychopath, etc. But Abra was literally so full of energy that her attitude just took over the book. Not in a bad way.
I’m not a huge fan of mysteries but I really enjoy the way Roberts writes them. She doesn’t focus solely on the murder or whatever else the source of danger might be. She focuses first on the characters and adds the mystery as something that happens to them. This is what I believe I tend to not like about mysteries. I always end up feeling like I don’t know the characters well enough and that’s my favorite part about reading books. If I can fall in love with the characters or want to be best friends with them then I couldn’t care less about the storyline.
So I want to start with Eli. I didn’t think I was going to love him at first. I figured I would like him well enough but he didn’t seem like the kind of guy I would love. He was a little too nerdy, a little too weak. But then he started getting back to himself after everything that happened to him and I realized how wrong I was. He was just the right amount of nerdy to make him endearing and right in the middle of weak and strong so he wasn’t pathetic nor was he overbearing. I ended up really loving Eli. He was smart, caring and funny. He was the perfect male character to go with Abra. He was reserved enough to balance her craziness but never tried to change her.
Which brings me to Abra Walsh. Energetic is really the best word I have to describe her. She does so many different things; yoga, masseuse, housekeeper, jewelry, etc. But she doesn’t work so many jobs because she has to. She does it because she enjoys doing so many things. I’m still not sure if Abra’s someone I’d want to be friends with in real life because I think she would be a little exhausting to be around. But Abra has such a strong presence that I wouldn’t be able to dislike her and I would have to respect her. However, I loved her in the story. She’s so perfect for it that there’s no way I couldn’t.
Overall, I loved this book. I would recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries, romances and especially if you like both.
Thanks so much for checking out our blog. As always, let me know your own opinions. And I hope everyone had a happy Halloween.
-Antonia