Tuesday, August 20, 2019

2019 5 Star Review #13 - Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland
White Trash Zombie, book two
Published July 2012 by DAW

Format Read: Audiobook I Own

Description from Goodreads:
Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right—the zombie mafia.

Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower—and maybe a brain smoothie as well—in order to get through it without falling apart.

My Review: 
This series is funny and so very, surprisingly heartfelt. I originally picked up a book in the series (out of order) because I'd been assigned to review it. I'd seen the cover for the first one and thought it was amazing, but never got around to reading it.  Well, after I read one book in the series and LOVED it, I was good and hooked. I finally went back and started the series from the beginning and I'm now completely caught up and hoping there will be more books... 

Anyway, this is book two in the series and *spoiler alert* Angel is getting somewhat used to being a zombie.  Unfortunately, her new boyfriend may or may not be part of the Zombie Mafia, and there some other weird crap going on.  Needless to say, as a zombie book lover, this whole concept is great, but it's also AMAZING how Angel is like the worst human being, but grows to become such a stellar a zombie.  There is a huge amount of character growth in each book and I love watching her come to stand on her own feet and kick some butt along the way. 

This book was funny and touching and I couldn't stop smiling as I hit the end of the book. I also immediately wanted to move onto book three. I'll also mention that I LOVE the narration of the audiobooks for this series.  The reader does an amazing job with accents and diction that gives very distinct tones to each character and makes the listening experience wild. As I said, I've now read all six books and not only do I want more, but I would happily re-listen to any book in this series if I had the free time. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 5 Star Review #12 - Getting Hot with the Scot

Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson
Sometimes in Love, book one
Published April 2019 by St. Martin's Press

Format Read: Physical Book I Own
(ARC won from Goodreads and then purchased own copy)

Description from Goodreads:
Cassie Crow, a pop-culture reporter for a TV talk show, is focused on becoming a “serious” journalist. But when she stumbles into a kilted Highlander with a killer accent, Cassie decides that taking one night off from work and spending it with a sexy Scot couldn’t hurt...

Logan Reid has built a career on his charm, hosting a series of off-the-wall hijinks on the Web. But when the Scottish prankster meets the all-American, equal parts intelligent and irresistible Cassie, Logan realizes that one night of fun won’t be enough. Could it be that this career-focused, commitment-phobic couple is finally ready to take a chance at true and lasting love? 

My Review: 
This was the delightful start to a hot, new romance series. While there are five best friends who take this once in a lifetime trip and I can definitely see how Johnson has arranged things so that each book in succession can address the relationship of one of the friends.  And yet, each book (so far, I've read the first two) while including the friends group, manages to focus solely on the relationship developing with the main character for the book. Very well done. 

I loved the way that this book introduced such a fun group of long-time friends, and I really loved Cassie's character.  She's driven and works her butt off to better her career.  And yet, she has close friends, and decides she wants a fling on the side, when she can get it.  The introduction of Cassie and Logan was hilarious, sweet, hot, and totally fraught with potential disaster!! The best kind of start to this type of contemporary romance.  Both Cassie and Logan distrust the relationship for their own reasons and watching the two of them overcome that was beautiful.  

The book was heartfelt and emotionally tense, but also fun and playful, and HOT. I tore through this book and loved every second of it.  I'm sooooooo glad this was a series starter. As I said, I've already read book two, as well, and while it wasn't the perfection of this book, it was darn close! I cannot wait to dive into book three. 

Highly recommended if you're looking for a fun romance that you can curl up and read in one or two sittings... plus did I mention the kilt??

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2019 5 Star Review #11 - Morning Star

Morning Star by Pierce Brown
Red Rising trilogy, book three
Published Feb 2016 by Del Rey

Format Read: Audiobook I Own

Description from Goodreads:
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.

My Review: 
It's hard to write a review for book three in a trilogy without getting into spoilers, so I'm going to be somewhat brief.  This book, like all the other books in this series, is phenomenal. Brown is a master at weaving action, cunning politics, and brutal emotions into a storyline that just won't let the reader go.  This particular book had a lot of highs and lows and kept me on the edge through almost its entirety.  I've become so invested in these characters that their betrayals cut me to the bone, their deaths made me grieve, and the small joys they find had my heart singing.  The moments of triumph left me speechless in the best possible way.  I thought about this one for quite a while after I read it. It was the perfect end to the trilogy, but also I was super happy to know there are also more books going forward.  I highly recommend this series to adult science fiction fans, but with the caveat that there are language and brutally violent scenes so if you like the lighter-hearted variety (like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) this series is NOT the one for you... 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

June and July Challenge Wrap Up Post

2019* Book I Already Own Challenge
So, here is my confession.  Work and life got a little crazy and I never realized that I did not post a June wrap up!! *sigh*  So, instead you are going to get two months worth of reading in one nifty little post and I'm going to try to keep up with things again! *fingers crossed*

Here's what I read in June/July:

Audiobooks I Own - June
Buried Heart by Kate Elliott
Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole
The Beholder by Anna Bright

Audiobooks I Own - July
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper (novella)
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Spirit of the Witch by Deanna Chase
Scythe by Neal Shusterman *5 star*
A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire
The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole (novella)

Physical Books I Own - June
A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer *5 star*
The Falconer by Elizabeth May *5 star*
The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May *5 star*
The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May *5 star*
Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym Martineau *5 star*
Day Zero by Kresley Cole (novella)

Physical Books I Own - July
In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire *5 star*
Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep
Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson
Ain't She a Peach by Molly Harper
The Magicians: Alice's Story by Lilah Sturges and Lev Grossman
Roar by Cara Carmack

eBooks I Own - June
A Stranger Thing by Isla Neal and Martin Leicht
The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

eBooks I Own - July 
Prey by Carina Cook
Loving My Pack by Lane Whitt
A Few Pecans Short of a Pie by Molly Harper

Required Reading 
(for work - June) Still Life by Louise Penny
(for review - July) The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman *5 star*
(for work - July) Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower
(for review - July) Here There are Monsters by Amelinda Berube

Book Borrowed from the Library
Crazy Cupid Love by Amanda Heger

So, that's quite a few books over two months.  Thirty-two to be exact.  I'm not sure how I managed that with things being as busy as they were!! I will say that audio books have been a godsend for me this year. I can listen while doing chores, in the car, putting on my makeup, etc. It gains me a lot of reading time. I was also lucky enough to pick up a few books that were such page turners they turned out to be one-sitting books! I haven't had one of those in a while... 

In terms of my challenge, I didn't do too badly.  Not only did the majority I read come from my own collections, but I was happy to read a few of my oldest TBR books this summer! I finished a series that I'd been two-thirds of the way through for years. I reread the first book in a trilogy and then read both other books to finish the series. (And I LOVED them... OMG why did I not finish the Falconer series sooner???) I finally read Good Omens because the TV show came out and I refused to watch it without having read the book.  And while I did have one pretty disappointing read over the two months, I had EIGHT five star reads, which is awesome! 

I'm hoping now that things might be calming back down in work and life, that I can pick up on writing my five star book reviews, because I've fallen woefully behind... like months and months worth... *sigh* 

How has your summer reading been?