Mini Book Review: Hemlock

Hemlock CoverBook: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Published May 2012 by HarperCollins|276 pages

Where I Got It: Nook store

Series: Hemlock #1

Genre: YA Paranormal- Werewolves

You can find Hemlock on goodreads & Kathleen Peacock on Twitter, Facebook & her website

Goodreads Summary: 

Fans of Maggie Stiefvater and the hit television show True Blood will flock to this first book in the supernatural mystery series set in a town where werewolves live in plain sight.

Mackenzie Dobson’s life has been turned upside down since she vowed to hunt her best friend Amy’s killer: a white werewolf. Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country, and bloodlust is not easy to control. But it soon becomes clear that dangerous secrets are lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, Mac’s hometown—and she is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her in grave danger.

Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling debut novel provides readers with a mystery that Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder, calls “clever and frightening,” while Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author ofFirelight, raves: “Forget every werewolf book you’ve ever read. This one breaks the mold.”

What I Thought:

It’s rare for me to read about werewolves on their own, and even more rare for me to actually finish one.  But I liked it more than I thought I would!

I really like that there’s a werewolf virus.  Granted, it kind of reminded me of the different variations of illness turning people into zombies or vampires, but I like that there’s a werewolf version of that out there.

I do wish it was explained a little more, because really, all we know is that it was revealed by the government quite a few years before the start of the book.  I’m really curious about the government’s knowledge of the virus and how it came to be.  And the trackers, definitely interesting.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll be revealed in at least of the books to come.

I will say that I was struck by how much I was reminded of the different rights movements- in particular, it seemed to be a combination of women’s rights, civil rights and GLBT rights.  I have no clue if that was intentional on Peacock’s part, or if that’s just what I was reminded of.  I’m sure people who are much more knowledgeable about those topics could draw better conclusions/parallels than I ever could, but it is something interesting to think about.

Let’s see.  Characters.  Nothing really stands out about them, except for Amy, who makes random appearances in Mac’s dreams.  She’s the only one who stands out, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m reviewing this book a week after finishing it, or if it really is because they aren’t super-memorable.  Honestly, though, I didn’t really care for Amy, but there’s definitely more to what’s going on then what we get in this book.

Let’s Rate It:

I did like Hemlock, but I have so many questions that I want answered.  For whatever reason, I didn’t completely fall in love with it, but I am intrigued enough to keep reading.  Hemlock gets 3 stars.

Mini Book Review: City Of Lost Souls

City Of Lost Souls CoverBook: City Of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Published May 2012 by Margaret K. Elderberry Books|397 pages

Where I Got It: nook store

Series: The Mortal Instruments #5

Genre: YA Paranormal/Angels

You can find City Of Lost Souls on goodreads & & Cassandra Clare on TwitterFacebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

What I Thought:

Of the Mortal Instruments books I’ve read, this one is my least favorite.  I liked it, and there were some interesting things that happen, but it’s the one that’s the least memorable to me.

I really want to know more about the Iron Sister, who are a sister group to the Silent Brothers.  I doubt we’ll learn more about them in the last book (and it’s possible that they’ll pop up in one of Clare’s other Shadowhunter series), which is a shame, because they really are one of the more interesting groups we come across.

I get why Clary, Alec and Isabelle want Jace back, and are trying to find a way to get him back while killing Sebastian while also NOT killing Jace.  But I felt like they were a bit too whiny, especially Clary.  Considering this is something I tend to not pay attention to, or am generally willing to overlook if I do notice it.  And while I normally LOVE Magnus (he is probably my favorite character in the entire series), he seemed less like himself than normal, and he definitely doesn’t have the humor or flamboyance I’ve come to expect from him.

There’s something about this one that didn’t pull me in the way the other ones did.  I kept reading, because there is something compelling about this series, but for whatever reason, I just wasn’t as enthused as I was with other books.  Even though stuff happens, it somehow feels like this one is filler until we can get to the next book.  I know that it’s setting up what will happen in the last book in the series, but the story may be starting to wear on me a little bit.  And it’s getting so hard to believe that this entire series has happened over the course of a few weeks.  With the number of things going on, it seems like it should be happening over a longer period of time.

Let’s Rate It:

I don’t really have much to say about City Of Lost Souls.  It’s a fun and enjoyable, but also the least memorable in the series. City Of Lost Souls gets 3 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I Want To Be For Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top ten list based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Characters I Want To Be For Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!  Random Thought: Why on earth is there Christmas stuff next to the Halloween stuff at Target.  I don’t understand this!  Anyway, I have the book-ish and the non-bookish, because, well, I couldn’t help but come up with so many ideas!  (Me being me, I managed to relate most of my choices to books).  Because I’m going off on so many tangents, I really need to watch Hocus Pocus and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which are my 2 favorite movies to watch this time of year.  (Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas movies, because I’m weird like that).

  1. Luna Lovegood.  It would be so fun to dress up as Luna!  She’s so quirky and odd and one year, I’m going to have dress up as her.  (Not next year, because I already have some costumes in mind, but maybe the year after that).
  2. Speaking of Halloween costumes for next year, I really want to dress up as someone from Night Vale.  Night Vale definitely inspires costumes for years- hooded figures, scientists, librarians, Night Vale Radio interns, Hiram McDaniels, the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home, Cecil, Old Woman Josie (or one of her angels), the Apache Tracker (except that would be way too offensive, so scratch that) and the Glow Cloud…to name quite a few.
  3. This randomly popped into mind, but it would be really fun to dress up as a character from a historical romance novel. I have no particular character in mind, because I don’t read enough of it to have someone in mind.  It’s mostly an excuse to wear a ballgown or poofy dress.
  4. I’ve always wanted to dress up as a flapper.  I know I’ve read a book or two set during the 1920’s, and it seems like
  5. And a goddess.  Probably Greek, because I’m the most familiar with Greek mythology.  I’ve always liked Athena.
  6. The Queen Of Hearts!  There’s nothing wrong with Alice, but for some reason, I’d much rather be The Queen Of Hearts.
  7. Eve from Morganville Vampires.  It would be fun to dress up as Eve for a night.  Probably because there’s something intriguing and very out-of-my-comfort zone about the Goth look.
  8. Tinkerbell!  I love fairies, and am utterly confused as to why I have never dressed up as Tinkerbell.  On a semi-related note, it would also be fun to dress up as Tiger Lily, as with how she’s described in Jodi Lynn Anderson’s re-telling.
  9. A Disney Princess.  Preferably Snow White, Ariel, Belle or Merida.  Cinderella would be pretty awesome too.  Again, I just want an excuse to wear a big, poofy dress, but Disneybound has some awesome ideas for Disney inspired outfits.
  10. Speaking of Disney-inspired outfits, that’s where I got the inspiration for my Halloween costume this year!  I’m dressing up as Anna from Frozen, and I have most of my outfit put together.  I just need to crochet a shawl before Friday and finish the hat, and I’ll have something I can wear throughout the year.  I can totally pull this off in 3 days.

Book Review: Eleanor And Park

Eleanor & Park CoverBook: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Published February 2013 by St. Martin’s Press|262 pages

Where I Got It: Nook store

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

You can find Eleanor & Park on goodreads & Rainbow Rowell on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and her website

Goodreads Summary: 

Two misfits.

One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

What I Thought:

I finally got over my hesitation of reading Eleanor & Park.  I’ve been really hesitant to read it, because so many people love it, and I was terrified it wouldn’t live up to the super-high expectations I had for it.

Unfortunately, when I go in with high expectations, I am almost always disappointed, and this was (very sadly) the case with Eleanor & Park.  It really turned out to be okay, mostly because I don’t care enough to put in an effort to dislike the book.

I didn’t really find either character compelling, and I felt like they were pretty bland.  I don’t need to connect with characters or with what’s going on in their lives to like a book (but it is a preference) but I just didn’t connect to either of them, and as the book went on, I cared less and less about them.  Park was a bit too understanding and patient and perfect (for me) and Eleanor…I understand why she acted the way she did, but it was frustrating that it not only took her so long to actually do something about her family life but to leave her siblings at home.  Also: why do we not learn what happens with her siblings?

The romance did NOTHING for me.  I’m not one to talk about insta-love- I’m actually pretty neutral about it- but in this case? I felt like there was no chemistry between Eleanor and Park, and it did feel a bit insta-lovey to me.

The ending…it wasn’t as heart-breaking or as emotional as I was expecting, but maybe you need to care about the characters in order for that to happen.  What happened to Eleanor was horrible, and I will admit that it was the only time I even STARTED to feel something, but at that point, it was too late, you know?  And where was this for the rest of the book?

I was definitely expecting the nostalgia I felt in Fangirl, but I didn’t feel it at all.  I wasn’t brought to that time in my life at all, which was disappointing, because I wanted to feel the nostalgia and all the feelings, and it just wasn’t there.  I don’t know if it’s because the book was set in the 80’s- I was born in ’86, so I don’t remember/was too little to remember the decade, or if it’s for some other reason.  Regardless of when the book was set, I still feel like I should have felt the nostalgia, and I just…didn’t.  I don’t know if it’s because I never experienced that in high school (or, well, ever) but I still kind of feel like I should have been able to feel that regardless of whether it’s something I’ve experienced myself.

And the shifting POV kind of worked, but not really.  I just hated that, at times, narration would shift back and forth for one sentence.  It was dizzying at times, and it got really frustrating.

I really wish that Eleanor & Park worked for me, and while I normally get why people love a book that I don’t, this is one of the rare cases where I don’t get it.  I don’t know if I’m just missing something, or if it’s just not the book for me, or if it’s because I went in with high expectations and was bound to be disappointed, or a combination of many different things.

Let’s Rate It:

Eleanor & Park is a book that in theory, I should dislike, but I just don’t care enough to dislike the book.  It’s not that it’s a bad book, but it’s not my cup of tea.  Eleanor & Park gets 2 stars.

Mini Book Review: Angels’ Blood

Angels' Blood CoverBook: Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh

Published March 2009 by Penguin|328 pages

Where I Got It: Nook store

Series: Guild Hunters #1

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

You can find Angels’ Blood on goodreads & Nalini Singh on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: 

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best- but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option—even if the task is impossible.

Because this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break.

What I Thought:

I’ve heard so many good things about this series, and I can’t believe I took so long to read it!

I also need to read adult romance more, because I always enjoy them every single time I read them…

Back to Angels’ Blood though.  I tend to stick to historical romance, but I veered away from that because I was in the mood for paranormal romance.  I like that Elena is a vampire-hunter who has to hunt down an archangel.  And there’s no war between heaven and hell and the angels we meet are a pretty diverse group of angels, which was pretty awesome.  And Archangels creating a certain number of vampires a year is really different than any other angel/vampire book I’ve read.

I love this story, and I can’t wait to keep reading the rest of the series, especially with how the book ended!  I don’t know why I didn’t see that coming.  Seriously, I should have seen that coming.  I wasn’t as enthused about the characters, but I still liked them, even though I wasn’t pulled into their story (particularly Elena and Raphael).  There’s definitely an interesting assortment of characters.

And the romance!  Raphael!  I heart him.  He’s definitely in my top ten favorite swoon-worthy characters.  I didn’t completely love their romance (the flirting and sexual tension was awesome, but…sexy times?  Not so much.  Fingers crossed that it’ll get better).  It wasn’t as romance-y as I thought it would be, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m more used to YA romance and historical romance, or if it’ll get more romance-y as the series goes on.

Let’s Rate It:

Angels’ Blood was fun to read, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.  It’s definitely different than any other angel book I’ve read, but in a good way!  Angels’ Blood gets 4 stars.

Book Review: Life, A.D.: Life After Dez

Life AD Life After DezBook: Life A.D.: Life After Dez by Michelle E. Reed

Published December 2013 by Month9 Books|366 pages

Where I Got It: Kindle store

Series: Atman City #1

Genre: YA Paranormal

You can find Life, A.D.: Life After Dez on goodreads and Michelle E. Reed on twitter and her website

Goodreads Summary: 

In Life, A.D. you have two choices: join the program or face the consequences.

Seventeen-year-old Dez Donnelly crashes headlong into fate on the side of a rural highway, her life ending in a violent collision of steel and screaming brakes. The train that delivers her newly departed soul to the crossroads of the afterlife won’t be carrying her to the sweet hereafter until she accepts her abrupt end and learns to let go of the life she’ll never finish.

Her new reality is conduct manuals, propaganda, and unrelenting staff, all part of a system to ease her transition from life to death, while helping her earn her way out of limbo. Atman City, beautiful and enticing, is an ever-present temptation that is strictly off limits to underage souls. The promise of adventure proves too strong, and beneath the city’s sheen of ethereal majesty, Dez discovers a world teeming with danger.

Welcome to Life, A.D. where being dead doesn’t mean you’re safe, and the only thing harder than getting out of limbo is getting through it.

What I Thought:

I don’t read many books dealing with the afterlife, but this is definitely a more unusual and refreshing take on it.  I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book!

At first, I wasn’t sure what was going on, because Dez is on a train that will take her to Atman City, the place where she’ll work through her life and transition to death after her unexpected death.  I didn’t realize at first that she was dead, but once things started to be explained, it was a lot less confusing.  I like that she’s with other kids who died unexpectedly, and that they have to work towards getting out of limbo.

What’s really intriguing about this afterlife is that there is more to Atman City than what we see, especially the city itself. Mostly because we don’t get to see much of it, and what we do see has a lot darker than what I ever expected.  I mean, there are definitely some unsavory people in Atman City, and I am very curious to see how that will factor into the rest of the series, because it feels like it’s important to the story.

Dez is definitely interesting and she’s pretty resistant to getting out of limbo, even though she clearly doesn’t want to be there. But I also understand why she’s so resistant, because she’s so young when she dies.  But I also feel like she does make some pretty good progress in accepting what’s happened, and that she’ll become even more accepting of it in the next book. But I still didn’t completely feel for her, even though I feel like I should because she’s been through a lot of horrible stuff. I think it’s because she’s so resistant to acceptance that it was a tad bit hard to completely care about her.

This world is definitely intricate and I like that so much is explained without feeling like a massive info-dump.  Everything was described so well, and I knew exactly what everything looked like and what this world was like.

Let’s Rate It:

Life, A.D. is definitely intriguing and intricate, and I like that it’s such a refreshing take on the afterlife!  I didn’t completely love Dez, but I’m hoping she grows on me in the rest of the series. Life, A.D. gets 3 stars.

Mini Book Review: Dead Jed: Adventures Of A Middle School Zombie

Dead Jed Adventures Of A Middle School ZombieBook: Dead Jed: Adventures Of A Middle School Zombie by Scott Craven

Published December 2013 by Month9 Books|226 pages

Where I Got It: Kindle store

Series: Dead Jed #1

Genre: Middle Grade

You can find Dead Jed: Adventures Of A Middle School Zombie on goodreads

Goodreads Summary: 

Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.

From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do when you’re already dead.

What I Thought:

I don’t read a lot of middle grade, but I liked this one!  I haven’t read the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid books, but from what I know about them, I think kids who like those books will really like Dead Jed.

I like Jed, and how hard he tried to fit in, even though he has a medical condition that basically means he’s a zombie.  I really like that it’s something that he has to deal with during the entire book, and that you see who Jed really is.  Being a zombie is only part of who Jed is, and he’s just a normal kid trying to get through 7th grade.  It made the book a lot more original and different, and it really highlighted how horrible it can be to be different in middle school.

Dead Jed is definitely clever and light-hearted and witty, and I couldn’t help but laugh a few times throughout the book.  It’s definitely a fun book that also has a lot of heart.  And Jed is definitely bullied and has to deal with people who aren’t tolerant of his condition, but I really liked how he dealt with it.

I liked the pop culture references, especially the zombie pop culture references.  You can’t go wrong with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, especially at a school dance!

Let’s Rate It:

Dead Jed is a fun book, and it’s definitely a great middle grade read- but I think a lot of people would enjoy this story, regardless of age.  Dead Jed gets 3 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top ten list based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten New Series I Want To Start

So, new series!  Like, last couple of years new.  This is actually right up my alley, since I read a lot of series, and there are so many I want to read.  It definitely helps that I tend to go for the more recent releases, and I honestly could have picked any number or series.  I honestly could do several lists just based on this topic alone…but I did narrow it down to ten.  (I just wish I knew how I managed that).

  1. The Diviners by Libba Bray.  I’ve wanted to read this one for a while, especially after reading her Gemma Doyle series. I can’t wait to read it!
  2. Partials by Dan Wells.  I’ve been intrigued with this sci-fi series, especially because it’s about these beings identical to humans.
  3. Venom by Fiona Paul.  I’ve wanted to listen to this one for a while, so I’m just going to have to one of these days.  Plus, it’s in Venice!  You can’t go wrong with a novel set in Venice!  I’m also intrigued with Renaissance Venice, since I don’t normally read books set in that time period…
  4. Just One Day by Gayle Forman.  A lot of people seem to love this series, and I LOVED If I Stay, so I’m going to have to read it soon.
  5. For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund.  I’m very intrigued by a Luddite nobility, plus, I’ve seen quite a few positive reviews.  And it’s inspired by Persuasion, so that makes me want to read it even more.
  6. The Testing by Janelle Charbonneau.  I’ve been meaning to read it for ages, but forgot to download the ARC from netgalley before it was archived…so I’ve never read it, even though I did eventually buy a copy to read.
  7. Pivot Point by Kasie West.  I very much want to read this book someday, because I’m very intrigued by the idea of a girl who can look into the future and see both possible outcomes.
  8. The Archived by Victoria Schwab.  I feel like this list is full of series I’ve meant to read but never got around to, and this one is no exception.  I mean, it’s about a girl who works in the Archives of the dead!  It’s totally up my alley.
  9. Tandem by Anna Jarzab.  I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews for this book, and I’m intrigued by going into parallel worlds to stop war.
  10. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.  Partly because I wanted to include something a bit more recent, but also because I like the idea of a Southern Belle who becomes a Paladin.

Book Review: Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity CoverBook: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Published May 2013  by Disney-Hyperion|339 pages

Where I Got It/Format: paperback from Barnes & Noble

Series: Code Name Verity #1

Genre: YA Historical Fiction- World War 2

You can find Code Name Verity on goodreads & Elizabeth Wein on Twitter and her website

Goodreads Summary: 

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

What I Thought:

I finally read Code Name Verity!  I’ve been putting it off for ages, because so many people have loved it, and I was scared that it wouldn’t live up to the hype.  I liked Code Name Verity, but for some reason, the story wasn’t what I was expecting.

To be honest, I found Verity’s story to be confusing, and the story didn’t make sense until Maddie took over the narration.  I really felt like I was missing something, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a total idiot or if I wasn’t paying attention, or if maybe it takes at least a couple reads for it to make sense.

Multiple narrators are very much hit-or-miss for me, and unfortunately, this was a huge miss for me. I wasn’t expecting the first half to be narrated by one person, and the second half to be narrated by another person. Part of it is that I’m very used to alternating chapters, but I also felt like Code Name Verity had two different stories that didn’t go well together.  By the end of the book, I just didn’t really care about either girl or what happened to them.  I felt disconnected from what was going on, and I didn’t really find either girl’s story to be compelling.

The way the story was told didn’t work for me- Maddie’s story is woven in through Verity’s part of the novel, alongside the information that her German captors want.  I think that is largely why Verity’s narration didn’t work for me, because the different styles didn’t work together.  Maddie’s half of the story was infinitely more interesting but at that point in the book, I was just wanted to be done with it.  I know their stories are connected, but the way the two stories were told made the book seem more confusing and jumbled than it needed to be.

I know the book is about their friendship, and what they’ll do to save each other, but I…their friendship…there’s something about it that felt a little bit forced and fake.  It just didn’t seem that believable to me, and I have no idea why.

Still, I like that the book focuses on two girls doing their part in the war effort, and that one is a spy, while the other is a pilot. I also like that Wein includes a bibliography at the end of the book, which is quite unusual for YA historical fiction (n my experience).

Let’s Rate It:

Maddie’s narration is what made Code Name Verity much more interesting.  Overall, I felt like Maddie and Verity’s stories would have worked better on their own, because their own stories didn’t come together for me.  Part of it is that I went in with too high expectations, and I’m feeling like the odd woman out for not connecting with it the way everyone else has. It’s still an interesting novel with World War 2 as a backdrop, and I like that it focuses on a different element of the War.  Code Name Verity gets 3 stars.

Book Talk: This Reading Slump Is Getting A Lot Better

Book Talk is a new and occasional feature where I talk about non-review bookish things.

Book Talk

Today, I’m revisiting the topic of reading slumps.  I’ve been in one for quite a few weeks now, and it was really weird for me, because I don’t really remember going through one before.  It’s been a totally weird and new experience for me, but I’m also glad I’ve gone through it.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was really starting to come out of it, because my reading habits have gone back to normal…for the most part.

It was actually a big help to talk about it, and after that original post, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I definitely felt better about my disinterest in reading.  I really do feel like it was my mind’s way of telling me to take a bit of a break and to slow it down for a while.  You can only keep it up for so long before it catches up with you.

Looking back, I think I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to always be reading, and to be reading constantly, and to have a lot of books going on at once, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.  Now that I’ve had a bit of a break, and am not constantly reading something, I felt like I had to read all the time because otherwise, I’d be a horrible book blogger because I wasn’t talking about what I was reading.  I definitely felt like I had to read a certain number of books a week, and that I need to keep up with how much I’ve previously read.

But book bloggers talk about all kinds of things, and it’s okay to take a step back and talk about those other things.  Like reading slumps and cookbooks and anything else that comes to mind.  It’s definitely not the end of the world.  Getting back into reviewing has been a little bit hard, because I haven’t been doing it as much, but it’s also good to be talking about what I’m reading.  And to be excited about what I reading (sometimes) and to actually WANT to pick up a book again.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been nice to read less than what I have been, but I also missed reading that much, so I’m glad to have several books going on at once.  

Still, I’m definitely going to try to keeping things at 4 or 5 books, because while I can handle 6 books, I also don’t really want to right now.  And I’m definitely going to be working in more audio books, because listening seems more my speed right now than reading.

I’ve definitely learned a lot from this reading slump:

  • For one thing, it’s okay to have periods where I don’t read as much or where I’m not super-interested in reading.  It doesn’t make me a horrible reader, and sometimes, I just need to curl up in bed with some good t.v. or sit on the couch crocheting. Just going with it and not stressing about it is really important- I think it’s just part of being a big reader and a book blogger.
  • And another thing is to try listening to audio books- there is something about having a book read to you, and it’s something I’ll have to try the next time I’m in a reading slump.  And maybe try print too?  For some reason, e-books weren’t doing it for me, so switching formats is something that’s worth trying out.
  • Also: re-reading books may work.  That’s another thing to try the next time I’m in a reading slump- reading old favorites may get me back to reading (but I also won’t know until I try, so there is that).
  • Another thing for next time: switching genres and reading things outside of my YA comfort zone.  Why did I not think of this earlier?

I’m definitely glad to be reading again, and even though it was weird at first, I’m glad that it’s over and that I went through it. I know that sounds weird, but I think it’s been good a take a bit of a break.