Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vixen ( The Flappers #1) & Ingenue (The Flappers#2) by, Jillian Larkin

I loved this book! It is so unique being set in the 20’s. This is the story of three friends. Gloria society girl engaged to Sebastian Grey a most eligible bachelor, Lorraine the neglected little rich girl wanting to be loved by a boy who doesn’t see her as anything but a friend, and Marcus the handsome playboy living his life to the fullest. Then there is Clara Gloria’s cousin who has come to Chicago in disgrace to “help with Gloria’s wedding” but there is more to Clara than meets the eye.

The excitement of rebelling against society and going to an underground speakeasy. For Gloria it is to try to live a little before she marries the boring Bastian. For Lorraine she just wants to get out from under Gloria’s shadow and be the center of attention. At the speakeasy Gloria meets Jerome part of the jazz band she finds she is attracted to him but there is a huge problem as Jerome is a man of color and this is the 1920’s.

This book has it all friendship, betrayal, secrets, forbidden love, and gangsters. From the uptown society of Chicago to the seedy underground I loved every minute of this book. Jillian Larkin takes you back to the 20’s and puts you right there the feel the music the clothes. She brings this period piece to life. I liked that the love story was sweet and not the usual fare. There is a lot of drinking as it is set during prohibition and they go to a speakeasy and a lot of smoking which in the 20’s was something everyone did. One just needs to remember that this is historical fiction and the author has re-created the atmosphere very well.

This is a great debut and a great beginning to a fun series. The ending is a cliffhanger that left me salivating for the next installment. Bravo Miss Larkin you have me completely hooked!

I received this book from Barnes & Noble First Look Program thank you for the opportunity to read this book.

4 ½ Stars

Ingenue (The Flappers#2) by, Jillian Larkin

We start up this second book in the Flapper’s series in New York City, Gloria and Jerome hiding out from the mob, Lorraine working for the mob, Clara is back in the city that almost ruined her, can she stay away from her old life or is it too much of a temptation and Vera trying to find her brother and hopefully save his life and make up for what she had done in Chicago. Relationships go through some growing pains in this one! You’ll be surprised who ends up the happiest in the end.

This one was a lot of fun again with some major intrigue as the stories and people converged for the climax and what a climax it was! It isn’t really a cliffhanger but the end of one chapter and the next book will be a new one because parts of this story were wrapped up very well, yet with just enough mystery to keep fans reading to see what happens next.

I so enjoy the atmosphere in this series, the 20’s ,flappers, bootleggers, booze, gangsters and some famous people of the time play into this story! I love who Vera meets backstage at the Cotton Club and who engineers some of the bad things that happen! (No Spoilers)

I think this is a great YA historical fiction series that teens and adults alike will enjoy no fantasy involved just a look at life in a different time when women were just starting to come into their own, segregation is in effect except of course that it’s ok for the African Americans to entertain you but they must come in the back door and an interracial relationship will get you in trouble I think it gives a great look at a life we can only imagine and hope that we have moved far away from. I do love books that that show strong women and this one is full of them , women in 1920 leaving the notions and traditional roles their parents have laid out for them to make their way in the world on their own, scary as that is.

I look forward to the next installment of this series!

4 stars

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Tudors TV Series

The Tudors TV Series

I really enjoyed this series but it is not for the young the sex scenes are extremely graphic and there are some scenes that are just there for the shock value and in my opinion were not needed at all (the scene where Henry umm takes care of himself). I was also disappointed that it ended where it did it should have just been called Henry the VIII. I wanted more I think the young lady (Sarah Bolger) who played Mary Tudor future Queen Mary has the acting chops to pull off the role very well. It could have ended when Queen Elizabeth took over because there are 100’s of movies out there about her but very few about Mary so I would have liked it if it had gone through Mary’s reign.

I liked all the actors in this show Jonathan Rhys Meyers kind of came into his own or just grew on me as the series progressed and of course you just can’t go wrong with Henry Cavill. I thought this series was very well done and I kept hopping over to Wikipedia to see what really happened was surprised at how well they actually stuck to true history considering it was a tv show.

I highly recommend this series to Tudor fans and it made me want to go back and re-read some Allison Weir or finally read some Jean Plaidy or Antonia Fraser.

Do you have any favorite Tudor books?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Weird Sisters by, Eleanor Brown

This is the story of 3 sisters raised by a Shakespeare scholar who talks in quotes from the bard a mother who stayed at home but seemed melancholy at times, the sisters were close and not close 3 very different personalities Rose is the caretaker, Cordy (Cordelia) the wild child and Bean (Bianca) who wanted to make her way in the big city with all its trappings. Their mother has been diagnosed with cancer which brings Cordy & Bean home but is it the only reason or are there secrets that would have brought them home anyway?

I am glad I read this book on my nook so I was able to highlight the many many great quotes or I would have filled up a notebook writing them all down! Here are a few:

Instead, we were going to wrap ourselves in cloaks woven from self-pity and victimhood, refusing to admit that we might be able to help each other if we’d only open up. Instead, we’d do what we always did, the only thing we’d ever been dependably stellar at: we’d read.

“What I mean is, I still feel like me. It’s not like I wake up and think, I am a responsible adult. I just look in the mirror and see myself. The same stupid person I’ve been looking at for years.”

She never managed to find herself in these books no matter how hard she tried, exhuming traits from between the pages and donning them for an hour, a day, a week. We think in some ways, we have all done this our whole lives, searching for the book that will give us the keys to ourselves, let us into a wholly formed personality as though it were a furnished room to let. As though we could walk in and look around and say to the gray-haired landlady behind us, "We'll take it."

"There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we can change the future."

"We all have stories we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves we are too fat, too ugly, or too old, or too foolish. We tell ourselves these stories because they allow us to excuse our actions, and they allow us to pass off the responsibility for things we have done-maybe to something within our control, but anything other than the decisions we have made."

This a book for the reader and lover of books it also reaffirms that you can go home again. These sisters each with their own set of problems 2 who ran far from home and 1 who never wants to leave. The growing up the looking at your life and analyzing everything you’ve done and how it brings you to who you are now. This was a very enjoyable book and I fell in love with these sisters and their parents watching the sisters bond through their troubles and differences.

I highly recommend this book to readers and book lovers whether you are a Shakespeare fan for not I think you will enjoy this character driven book.

4 ½ Stars

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Summer Immersion Into the Stargate Franchise

Now that I have finished my summer immersion into all things Stargate I suppose I should get my thoughts down. And I really do mean immersion I watched all 3 series back to back every night and weekend all summer that is 349 episodes of Stargate. I enjoyed the humor in all of them well SGU didn’t have much humor but SG-1 & Atlantis had just the right amount! All in all these shows were a great summer escape and SG-1 may be a yearly one!

I enjoyed all the incarnations however none lived up to the original SG-1, I enjoyed the chemistry of the original 4 they are SG-1 to me you just can’t go wrong with Sam (Amanda Tapping) Daniel ( Michael Shanks) & Teal’c ( Christopher Judge) & Of course Jack O’Neill ( Richard Dean Anderson), it took me awhile to warm up to Mitchell (Ben Browder) but I really enjoyed Vala’s (Claudia Black) character she was fun and spunky and was good for a laugh. I have heard these two Black & Browder starred in Farscape and that because I haven’t watched that series I didn’t get certain references in episode 200 which was hilarious by the way. So after I have watched Farscape I plan to go back and watch episode 200 again.I do think that Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) became a bit a caricature of himself ala the 200th episode and more and more in his recurring roles in Atlantis & SGU. The movies Ark of Truth & Continuium closed up the stories left hanging in when the series ended.

I enjoyed Stargate Atlantis however they did sometimes feel like regurgitated SG-1 episodes. I however did love the Douglas Adams references! I of course liked Ronon Dex (Jason Momoa) especially since I watched this after he was Khal Drogo in A Game of Thrones and now he will be playing Conan, a movie I didn’t care about till I saw who was playing him!

*************Spoiler Alert**************

My other favorite character was Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion) and when sad things happened I was upset then relieved when happy things happened is that unspoily enough well I put a warning just in case

SGU is a much darker incarnation of the Stargate franchise although well acted it just doesn’t have what the earlier shows had but I am still hooked and wondered where it would go and then came the last episode…

******SPOILER ALERT******

****RANT ALERT**********

Really that’s how you’re going to end it they all go into stasis and we don’t know if Eli was able to fix the problem and go into stasis too????!!?? I think fans at least deserve a 3 years later movie come on give us something more!

All in all these shows were a great summer escape and SG-1 may be a yearly one!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday~The Weird Sisters

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Instead, we'd do what we always did, the only thing we'd ever been dependably stellar at: we'd read."

~~The Weird Sisters by, Eleanor Brown

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rules of Civility by, Amor Towles

This was an interesting look at a single woman’s life in the late 30’s it also gave a look at New York City in this time period. This was a great period piece post flapper, post depression a time when things were looking up for some who had lost everything and were building it back and those who tagged along for the ride. Katey Kontent is a great character trying to make her way on her own but soon realizes that everything in her life happens because of different people she has known. Her roommate Eve is well lets us just say I didn’t like her much, and the man she longs for Tinker seems to always be just out of her reach.

This was really beautifully written and just kind of a narrative/snapshot of Miss Katey Kontent’s life in the 30’s. It was written in such a way that you could picture it all in your mind’s eye and the atmosphere of the time surrounds you. It’s the jazz clubs, Rolls Royce’s, and taxi cabs, the fancy penthouses to the women only boardinghouses. Love the end when she reads all the Rules of Civility by, George Washington I think some of these are still very relevant today!

Rebecca Lowman narrated this audiobook and did a really good job at all the different characters.

This was a good book that is getting a lot of buzz right now and I think it deserves it if you like historical fiction, the late 30’s and strong female characters give this one a go!

4 Stars

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Variant by, Robinson Wells

Variant by, Robinson Wells

My Review:I’ll just start by saying I Want More!

This was a unique story, foster kid Benson gets a scholarship for a private school, thinking things are finally looking up he is excited to be given this chance, but as soon as he gets to the school everything changes and things are not at all what they seem.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat it was intriguing and action packed however it ended too soon and left me wanting the 2nd book right now! The writing was good and kept me guessing right along with Benson. I don’t want to give anything away so I will say I highly recommend this new Young Adult series and I believe Robinson wells is an author to watch out for!

This book was kind of a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games but I don’t really feel it is dystopian because I think it is happening in our time and I got the impression that the world outside the school is normal to our present standards.

Full Disclosure: I received this eBook from Net Galley

4 Stars

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Books I've Read So Far in 2011

As a bit of an introduction to myself I thought I'd list what books I've read so far this year and what I rated them.

#1-Room by, Emma Donoghue audiobook narrated by,Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, Suzanne Toren 1/5/2011 4 Stars

#2-The Eyre Affair by, Jasper Fforde 1/6/2010 5 Stars

#3-Wicked Appetite by, Janet Evanovich Audio narrated by, Lorelei King 1/7/2011 4 Stars

#4-The Demon Trapper's Daughter by,Jana Oliver 1/9/2011 3 ½ Stars

#5--Paper Towns by, John Green audiobook narrated by, Dan John Miller 1/10/2011 3 Stars

#6-Revolution by, Jennifer Donnelly audio Narrated by Emily Janice Card, Emma Bering 1/14/2010 5 Stars

#7-Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by, Helen Simonson audiobook narrated by, Peter Altschuler 1/21/2011 4 ½ Stars

#8-I Shall Wear Midnight by, Terry Pratchett 1/22/2011 5 Stars

#9-Bloody Valentine by, Melissa de la Cruz 1/23/2011 3 ½ Stars

#10-Live To Tell by, Lisa Gardner audiobook narrated by, Kirsten Potter, Rebecca Lowman, Ann Marie Lee 1/26/2011 4 Stars

#11- A Northern Light by, Jennifer Donnelly audiobook narrated by, Hope Davis 1/28/2010 4 Stars

#12-Hungry for Happiness by, James Villa 2/2/2011 2 Stars

#13- Storm Front by, Jim Butcher audiobook narrated by, James Marsters 2/2/2011 3 ½ Stars

#14- You Know When the Men Are Gone by, Siobhan Fallon audiobook narrated by, Cassandra Campbell 2/3/2011 4 Stars

#15-Left Neglected by, Lisa Genova audiobook narrated by, Sarah Paulsen 2/7/2011 4 ½ Stars

#16-The Nobodies Album by, Carolyn Parkhurst 2/9/2011 4 ½ Stars

#17-Seer Of Sevenwaters by, Juliet Marillier 2/13/2011 4 ½ Stars

#18-The Sherlockian by, Graham Moore- Audio narrated by, James Langston 2/15/2011 3 ½ Stars

#19-If I Stay by, Gayle Forman audio narrated by, Kirsten Potter 2/18/2011 2 ½ Stars

#20-You Had me At Woof by, Julie Klam audio narrated by, Karen White 2/21/2011 4 ½ Stars

#21-The Reversal by, Michael Connelly audio narrated by, Peter Giles 2/23/2011 4 Stars

#22- Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by, Fanny Flagg 2/23/2011 5 Stars

#23-My Bonny Light Horseman by, L.A. Meyer audiobook narrated by, Katherine Kellgren 2/28/2011 4 Stars

#24-Madame Tussaud:A Novel of the French Revolution by, Michelle Moran 3/11/2011 5 Stars

#25-I Am Number Four by, Pittacus Lore audiobook narrated by, Neil Kaplan 3/11/2011 3 Stars

#26-River Marked by, Patricia Briggs 3/15/2011 5 Stars

#27-A Discovery of Witches by, Deborah Harkness audiobook narrated by, Jennifer Ikeda 3/18/2011 4 ½ Stars

#28-The Peach Keeper:A Novel by, Sarah Addison Allen 3/21/2011 5 Stars

#29-Love You More by, Lisa Gardner audiobook narrated by, Kirsten Potter, Katie Macnichol 3/24/2011 5 Stars

#30-Winter Ghosts by, Kate Mosse 3/27/2011 2 ½ Stars (barely)

#31-The Bluest Eye by, Toni Morrison 3/31/2011 2 Stars

#32-Year of Wonders by, Geraldine Brooks audiobook narrated by the author 4/1/2011 5 Stars

#33- The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by, Mark Logue, Peter Conradi Audiobook narrated by, Simon Vance 4/5/2011 5 Stars

#34-Water For Elephants by, Sara Gruen audiobook narrated by, David Ledoux, John Randolph Jones 4/10/2011 4 stars

#35-Changeless by, Gail Carriger audiobook narrated by, Emily Gray 4/13/2011 4 ½ Stars

#36-The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers 4/13/2011 3 Stars

#37-Skellig by, David Almond 4/16/2011 4 Stars

#38-Blameless by, Gail Carriger audio edition narrated by, Emily Gray 4/18/2011 4 Stars

#39-O Pioneers! by, Willa Cather audiobook narrated by, Kate Reading 4/20/2011 4 Stars

#40-Crunch Time by, Diane Mott Davidson audiobook narrated by, Barbara Rosenblatt 4/25/2011 4 Stars

#41-The Bird Sisters by, Rebecca Rasmussen 4/28/2011 5 Stars

#42-Lost in a Good book by, Jasper Fforde audio narrated by, Emily Gray 4/29/2011 3 ½ Stars

#43-The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot audiobook narrated by, Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin 5/4/2011 5 Stars

#44-Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy by L. A. Meyer audiobook narrated by, Katherine Kellgren 5/9/2011 4 Stars

#45-Dead Reckoning by, Charlaine Harris 5/9/2011 4 Stars

#46-Look me in the Eye by, John Elder Robinson 5/13/2011 4 Stars

#47-The House at Riverton by, Kate Morton audiobook narrated by, Caroline Lee 5/17/2011 4 Stars

#48-Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) by, Jaqueline Winspear audiobook narrated by, Rita Barrington 5/23/2011 4 ½ Stars

#49-Water Witch by, Deborah LeBlanc audiobook narrated by, Xe Sands 5/25/2011 3 ½ Stars

#50-The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly audiobook narrated by, Natalie Ross 5/27/2011 3 ½ Stars

#51-Running With Scissors by, Augusten Burroughs 5/27/2011 3 Stars

#52-City of Bones by, Cassandra Clare audiobook narrated by, Ari Graynor 6/6/2011 2 ½ Stars

#53-Trespasser by, Paul Doiron 6/9/2011 5 Stars

#54-Life by, Keith Richards audiobook narrated by, Johnny Depp & Jon Hurley 6/10/2011 4 Stars

#55-Bossypants by, Tina Feyaudiobook narrated by the author 6/13/2011 3 Stars

#56-Abby Cooper Psychic Eye by, Victoria Laurie audiobook narrated by, Elizabeth Michaels 6/17/2011 4 Stars

#57-The True Meaning of Smekday by, Adam Rex audiobook narrated by Bahni Turpin 6/24/2011 5 Stars

#58-Smokin' Seventeen by, Janet Evanovich audiobook narrated by, Lorelei King 6/28/2011 4 stars

#59- Still Life by, Louise Penny audiobook narrated by, Ralph Cosham 7/1/2011 3 ½ Stars

#60-Praise Jerusalem! by, Augusta Trobaugh 7/3/2011 3 ½ stars

#61-Immortal beloved by, Cate Tiernan audiobook narrated by, Kelly Lintz 7/7/2011 4 stars

#62-Save Me by, Lisa Scottoline 7/7/2011 3 ½ Stars

#63-Heartless by, Gail Carriger audiobook narrated by, Emily Gray 7/12/2011 4 ½ Stars

#64-Dragon's Time by, Anne & Todd McCaffrey 7/15/2011 4 Stars

#65-Forever by, Maggie Stiefvater 7/17/2011 4 Stars

#66-The Twentieth Wife by, Indu Sundaresan audiobook narrated by, Sneha Mathan 7/25/2011 2 ½ Stars

#67-The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life by Laurie Notaro,audiobook Narrated by, Hillary Huber 7/27/2011 4 stars

#68-I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl by, Laurie Notaro audiobook narrated by, Hillary Huber 7/29/2011 4 Stars

#69-The Legacy by, Katherine Webb 7/31/2011 5 Stars

#70- The Autobiography of a Fat Bride by, Laurie Notaro audiobook narrated by, Hillary Huber

#71-Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach audiobook narrated by, Samuel L. Jackson 4 Stars

#72- Freaks a Risoli & Isles Short Story by, Tess Gerritsen

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Teaser Tuesday ~~Variant by, Robinson Wells

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I wasn't anything special. I was just another kid- a prisoner or a test subject or who knows what- and I wasn't going to be the last.
[eBook from NetGalley]

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Legacy by, Katherine Webb~~Review

The Legacy by, Katherine Webb coming in September 2011
In 1903, New York heiress Caroline marries a cattle rancher and moves with him to rural Oklahoma, where she finds herself wholly out of her depth. Unable to adjust to the isolation of the vast prairies, Caroline grows increasingly frightened and unhappy. Driven to the edge of reason she commits a terrible crime from which she flees, all the way to London, to start a new life as the wife of English aristocrat Henry Calcott. She moves to Storton Manor in Wiltshire, but soon finds that the repercussions of her actions have crossed the Atlantic with her, and will not be so easily forgotten. In the bitter winter of 2008, following the death of their grandmother, Erica Calcott and her sister Beth return to Storton Manor, where they spent the summer holidays as children. As she begins to sort through her grandmother's belongings, Erica is inundated with memories of her childhood, and of Dinny, a local boy whom she idolised. She also remembers her spiteful cousin, Henry, whose disappearance from the manor tore the family apart. Convinced that she should remember what happened to Henry, Erica sets out to uncover the truth. She is reunited with Dinny, and finds herself as drawn to him in adulthood as she was as a child. Haunted by emotions and suspicions, Erica delves deeply into her memories, revisiting the people and places that shaped her childhood, and bringing to light a truth more shocking than she had ever imagined.

My Review:
This is a beautifully weaved multi-generational story of family secrets and the people those secrets created. Katherine Webb weaves these stories together so artfully each story told at the perfect pace, with a slow crescendo of curiosity to a very late night of I can’t put this book down!

The way she shows the path that was chosen, the choices made and the secrets they kept and how it affected everyone in their lives. This is also a story of sisters and mothers and daughters and how each generation affects the next.

I cared about all the characters and even had some sympathy for the cruel grandmothers. Our two sisters Beth & Erica were beautifully written, the sadness and the taut tension were palpable. And the childhood friendship that meant so much but was over so long ago the childhood feelings bubble up but so much time has passed is it really still the same. Caroline’s time in America was so well written her unhappiness leaked off the page in waves.

I really loved this book such beautiful writing and I highly recommend it!

If you are a fan of Kate Morton I would give Katherine Webb a try. I look forward to reading anything else this author writes, definitely an author to keep your eye on.

Full Disclosure- I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program

5 Stars

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