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review 2018-02-19 02:57
Gemina (The Illuminae Files) - Jay Kristoff,Amie Kaufman
So ... this series has me screaming, but internally because my family is around.

I was honestly surprised by how much I'm enjoying this series. I haven't read anything like this before but maybe this is because I just haven't ventured into this genre before or something. Either way, this is new for me.

One of my favourite things about this is the way that it's told. It's set up as a dossier with files and collections of messages sent between people and reports and video footage. The authors even went so far as to provide actual faces for almost all of the characters which is just great. There's all this pretty artwork on top of it too to keep things interesting.

And I admire how diverse the characters are, you have characters from every race and ethnicity out there and they're not background characters either, they're important. 

I need to talk about AIDAN for a second, the artificial intelligence system, because I've never been so infuriated in such a long time over an artificial intelligence system. It barely even has a personality and yet ... you wanna punch a computer in the screen just from reading this book. AIDAN is fucking crazy, like watching it develop a consciousness in the first book was honestly terrifying. This shit followed me into my dreams like I'm not joking, I was S C A R E D. But then you grow to enjoy AIDAN and it takes a lot to turn you around from hating an AI system to being like oh okay I guess you're not that bad.

I know that a few people have a problem with the romance line in the series but I honestly don't see why as it doesn't take away from the story. Like it's pretty background music type of stuff you know, it doesn't take away focus from the main story and what's really happening or what the reader is meant to be focusing on. If anything, I think it adds to the story, I feel as if I understand the characters a little better because of the underlying romance. You understand their motives more and why they do what they have to do.

I also really appreciate that the text messages they send each other are readable. Pretty much all of the time that adults attempt to write teenage talk through text it's literally unreadable. As a teenager, I can't read shit whenever I see an author's attempt to write teenage text. It takes me a good 5-10 minutes to figure out what the fuck the author is talking about BECAUSE YOU CAN'T READ THE TEXT. 

"But they're adults, they haven't been teenagers in a while." I hear you, but also just talk to a 17-year-old, text them, see how they respond. Mimic it. It's not that hard.

So yeah, I appreciate that the text talk was readable and accurate.

Also hey, let's appreciate Ella, who's disabled but still has spunk to her and is still hella smart and a force to be reckoned with. 

And the plot was really good, it kept moving at a good pace and new things kept popping up to keep you moving so things never got dull. I was honestly tense and anxious while reading this just waiting to hear what else was going to pop up. And I didn't see any of the plot twists that came up in the book, like the signs were there I just didn't think anything of it until the end and then it hit me like a brick.

So yeah, I recommend the series, I thought everything about it was great and I'm pumped for the last book to come out to see how this ends.

 

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url 2018-02-11 13:56
47 New Releases in Book Series out Feb. 13
The Traitor Prince - C.J. Redwine
Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Dog Men - Mark Powers,Jim Butcher,Diego Galindo
Honor Among Thieves - Rachel Caine,Ann Aguirre
The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen Series) - Emily R. King
The Kremlin's Candidate - Jason Matthews
My Weirdest School #10: Miss Newman Isn'... My Weirdest School #10: Miss Newman Isn't Human! - Dan Gutman,Jim Paillot
More Than Love You (More Than Words) (Vo... More Than Love You (More Than Words) (Volume 3) - Shayla Black
Night Moves - Jonathan Kellerman
Over the Moon (Lorimar Pack) - Hailey Ed... Over the Moon (Lorimar Pack) - Hailey Edwards,Brittany Pressley
Shot on Gold (A Play-by-Play Novel) - Ja... Shot on Gold (A Play-by-Play Novel) - Jaci Burton

For full,list, visit the Fictfact.com Book Release Calendar and click the date.  (If unfamiliar with FictFact, it's for tracking/viewing book series.)

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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text 2018-02-01 05:11
January is over already! Reading summary.
The Diary of a Bookseller - Shaun Bythell
The Pursuit of Love - Nancy Mitford
The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen
The Mayor's Wife - Anna Katharine Green
A Short History of Drunkenness - Mark Forsyth
Pomfret Towers - Angela Thirkell
The One-Cent Magenta - James Barron
The Bee Friendly Garden: Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow - Doug Purdie
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsburg

I don't want to go back to work!

 

I read 33 books in January.  It's always by far my biggest reading month.  I work in schools, which means I get the summer holidays off.  December is crazy with holidays and MT being off work, but January I'm on my own all day and can read and read and read.

 

Of the 33 books, only 1 wasn't on my TBR pile when the month started.  I had 2 five-star reads, and 7 four-and-a-half star reads, so on average an excellent month.  My least favourite was a 2 star read; a collection of essays about libraries that I found repetitive.

 

Since the woman-author reading challenge is taking place this year, here are my "gender" stats:

Women authors:  15

Male authors: 17

Mixed: 1

 

A whopping 23 were non-fiction, compared to 10 fiction.

 

As for my TBR Challenge of only allowing myself to buy half as many books as I've read, I actually did o.k.  I did have a small cheat, because on New Year's Day, my neighbour came over and offered me 6 boxes of books she was getting rid of.  Karma was rigging the system for failure!!  After going through the boxes I chose 6, but didn't count them against my book budget; I categorised them as 'gifts' and I'd said from the start gifts didn't count.

 

So:

January's book buying budget: 12 books.

Bought:  9

Balance: 3 

Total TBR: 322

 

For February, my book budget is 16 books (January's 33 rounded down and divided by 2).

 

Go me!  ;)

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review 2018-01-30 22:12
A Peculiar Courtship
A Peculiar Courtship (The Beckett Files, Book 2) - Laura Beers

Johnathan Beckett is on a mission as an agent of the Crown.  The mission is to save Lady Hannah who has been missing since an attempted abduction.  Lady Hannah's father holds sensitive information about a traitor to the Crown and her life is now in danger because of it.  Lady Hannah finds refuge on a country farm where Johnathan finally finds her; but Hannah's abductors are not far behind. While on the run, Johnathan and Hannah act as husband and wife so Hannah may stay under his protection. When Johnathan  and Hannah reach safety at his sister, Eliza's estate, Johnathan and Hannah's feelings for one another grow; however, Johnathan's attitude toward Hannah changes.  Johnathan would now like Hannah to act as a lady and Hannah would like to learn to defend herself as Eliza does.  Unfortunately, before Johnathan and Hannah can sort things out, trouble catches up to them and a conspiracy unravels.  

A Peculiar Courtship continues with Johnathan Beckett's story as it left off in Saving Shadow.  However, you do not have to read Saving Shadow first in order to enjoy A Peculiar Courtship. I enjoyed getting to know Hannah and loved that there was yet another strong female character in the story.  I liked that Hannah was a quick thinker, able to outrun her attackers for at least a little while, she was grateful and gracious to the family that saved her, even if it meant working on a farm and she was able to mold herself to be useful in a variety of situations.  I also got to learn more about Johnathan in this installment.  He is, as I expected, an excellent agent of the Crown, but surprised me with his treatment of Hannah.  Johnathan's overprotective nature almost ruins Hannah's perception of him.  As in Saving Shadow, the characters are all very well developed and I am happy to see Eliza and Benedict as a couple.  At first, the action and suspense all seemed to be concentrated at the beginning of the book, although, underneath the surface a bigger conspiracy is brewing that could affect Parliament and will need several agents of the Crown, including Shadow, in order to bring down French traitors.  With many well crafted spy elements, a sweet love story and plenty of fierce female characters, A Peculiar Courtship is a wonderful addition the The Beckett Files and I can't wait to see what's next.

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review 2018-01-27 10:12
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsburg

I love this book.  I must have read it when I was a kid - I know I did - but beyond the museum, and the statue, I remembered almost nothing.  Which was great, because I got to discover it all over again.

 

It starts a tad slow, as Claudia meticulously plans her running away, but once they hit the museum, it's an adventure for the reader as well as Claudia and Jaime.  I can't imagine nowadays you'd ever be able to so much as touch the floor of the Museum after closing hours, but how amazing would it have been to spend the night there?  

 

Still a classic, even if the prices and the lack of pressure sensitive security dates it.  I doubt kids will care.

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