Monday, February 29, 2016

What I Read in February

February was an okay reading month for me, even though I've been in a little bit of slump for the past two weeks. Here are the books I read this month.

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
I loved this book! It was so good, even though the first 100 pages were a little bit slow. The world was amazing and I enjoyed the character development. I will have a longer review up in the next couple of months. 4/5 Stars

2. A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson
This book was a satisfying read for every Jane Austen lover out there. I loved both the romance and the intrigue. The whole concept of the novel was great and there were so many twists and turns that I wasn't expecting, I can't wait to read the other books in this series. 4/5 Stars.

3. Lions in the Garden by Chelsea Luna

This was an okay read, the historical time period that it is set in is definitely interesting however there were a few things lacking. I will have a longer review up in a few weeks. 2.5-3/5 Stars

4. The Postmodern Condition by Jean-Francois Lyotard 

I had to read this for a class I am taking this semester on Postmodernism. This was  reread for me because I had to read it for another class last Spring. This time around I kind of understood it a little bit more than I did the first time around. 4/5 Stars.

5. A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber
This was another ARC that I received from NetGalley and Ballantine books. I enjoy Debbie Macomber's books because they are generally very lighthearted quick reads and this was no different except there were a few things content-wise that I didn't like but it was still a cute read. 3/5 Stars.

I am hoping March will also be a good reading month, especially since I have Spring break coming up soon.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! :) 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Book Review: A Spy's Devotion

Today's review is on A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and Waterfall Press.

I have been a fan of Melanie Dickerson's work for a few years now, and I was excited when I heard that she was going to be writing a Regency series. As a lover of Jane Austen and most things Regency, I loved this book! It was filled with romance and intrigue to the very end that I had no idea how it would all work out in the end.

First off, I loved the writing style, I loved how it incorporated some Austen-esque feelings while still remaining the author's own work. I enjoyed the whole concept of the novel involving spies, even though  I was a little bit certain how it would all work out, however Melanie  Dickerson did a good job of  making it both intriguing but yet believable. This book had so many twists and turns up until the last chapter, every time I thought all was well something else happened. I think in some ways this shows how life can constantly throw curve balls at us, yet God's will for our lives will always work out in the end.

I loved Julia, I found her to be relateable and she just wanted to do what was right, however I did love it when she stood up for herself in certain situations because she knew it was better to do the right thing. Nicolas Langdon was a good hero, although sometimes I found him to be a bit too critical of people, especially Julia. I enjoyed all of the characters in this novel and I can't wait to find out what out what happens next in this series, even though I think it might be an entirely new set of characters.

I also enjoyed the history of this book because it made me think more about what was going outside of England during the Regency era and it made it come to life.

I am giving this book 4/5 Stars because it was intriguing, while staying true the whole Regency era.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L.C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know, and I will check them out. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Review: Throne of Glass (The Throne of Glass Series #1)

Today's review is on Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
I discovered this book while watching YouTube videos of other book lovers like myself, and all of them recommended this book. At first I was a bit skeptical about how I would really like it, but I read it and I really liked it. This book is YA fantasy, but it was pretty good.

It was an interesting concept, I don't think there are many books, especially in the YA genre, that also has an assassin as a main character and protagonist. I liked Celaena Sardothien, she is really cool, kick-butt, but yet she is still feminine. I loved how she was not whiny, she just did what she had to do. I am looking forward to find out more of her story as the rest of the series unfolds, especially since their is a small sliver of her past that is revealed near the end that has got me wondering who she is exactly.

I loved how there was a mystery that had to be solved in addition to the actual plot of the book. There were a few scary parts because there were monsters, but it was still good and it didn't give me nightmares.

Sarah J. Maas does a good job with the world-building and I appreciated how there was a map of the continent, Erilea, that the novel takes place in. She does a good job in describing some of the places without it being tedious. I also liked how she wrote from multiple points of view, sometimes from paragraph to paragraph and it didn't get confusing at all.

It took me longer to read this book than other , but it wasn't because I wasn't interested or that it got boring, I just got busy.

Will I read the rest of the series? Yes.

I am giving this book 4/5 Stars because it was really cool and I loved the world building and character development.

Happy Reading,
Janelle

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! :)


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book Review: With This Ring?

Today's review is on With This Ring?, a collection of novellas by various authors. 
Before I launch into my thoughts on each of these stories, I just want to say that this was the first time I have read anything written by each of these authors and I really enjoyed each story in this collection. Let's get started!

The Husband Maneuver by Karen Witemeyer: 
 I really enjoyed this story because it wasn't super cheesy. I also liked how the romance seemed to develop over a period of time instead of just love at first sight like most novellas. I loved the extracts at the beginning of each chapter taken from the dime novels that the heroine reads, it just seemed to make the story more interesting. Witemeyer did a good job of explaining why Daniel (the male lead) hadn't yet pursued a relationship with Marietta (the leading lady). I am giving this story 3.5/ 5 Stars because it was really sweet and it was unpredictable at times.

Her Dearly Unintended by Regina Jennings: 
Again I was surprised by this novella, there were several scenes where I expected it to be super cheesy but it wasn't. The story opens up with Josiah being stranded with Katie Ellen and the have to pretend to be married when a stranger shows up. There were several funny moments in this story and it was interesting to see how the story panned out. I am giving it 3.75/ 5 stars because it was an original take on a love story without being cheesy.

Runaway Bride by Mary Connealy: 
I didn't enjoy this story as much as the other two stories. It was interesting  even though I didn't really like the love story between the two characters because it was a love at first sight kind of relationship. I can't say too much about this story because it is a spoiler, but basically it is about a young woman who runs away from an arranged marriage to a cruel older man. 3.5/5 Stars.

Engaging the Competition by Melissa Jagears: 
This was a cute story, and I liked the story line a lot. However, Charlie, (the female main character) kind of annoyed me at times and so did Harrison. But I loved the ending, even though I felt that it was a bit rushed. 3.5/5 Stars.

Overall: 
With This Ring? is one of the best Christian Fiction short story collections I have read, all the other were good, but I feel like the stories in this one weren't cheesy or predictable. I will definitely be checking out the work of each of these authors because I really enjoyed their writing styles. I am giving this collection 4/5 Stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and Bethany House Publishers for giving an ARC of this collection to review for my honest opinion.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L.C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! :) 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Review: This Song Is (Not) For You

Today's review is on This Song Is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin.

I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire.

This Song Is (Not) For You tells the story about a boy and a girl who are in a band together and they love each other but they haven't told each other how they feel. One day they meet another boy and invite him to join the band and Ramona (the girl) falls in love with Tom (the new guy).

There was so much I expected to happen in this novel that didn't happen. I expected the characters to struggle a lot more with their emotions which never happened. There were also certain things that happen near the end of the book and the author doesn't really give much of an explanation for those events. I felt like there wasn't any buildup at all, just things happen and that is that.

I did enjoy the fact that the author told the story from all three of the main characters points of view, however it fell kind of flat at times or there were times the story was being told from Sam's ( the first boy) perspective and I felt like I was in Ramona's head instead. There was almost no character development at all, at least in my opinion.

One other good thing about this book is that it is a quick read and could probably be read in a day or two.

I know my review has been kind of vague but there isn't really much I can say without giving away the whole entire novel. Honestly I didn't like it, I felt like there was so much more that could have happened or things that could have been explained better.

I am giving this book 2/5 Stars because even though it was a quick read, there were things that were left unexplained and none of the characters seemed to develop over the course of the novel.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out. :) 

Monday, February 1, 2016

February TBR 2016

February will be an interesting month since it is only 29 days and I am already two weeks into the Spring semester. However, I am not going to let either of those things stop me from making a somewhat ambitious TBR list for month. Here we go!

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: 
I am about halfway through with this novel. It is so good, but I have other books that I needed to read so I did not have a chance to read it in January.

2. A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson
I've just started this novel and I love it so far. As a Jane Austen fan this is perfect and I love the intrigue that has already arisen 25 pages in.

3. A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher and I can't wait to read it. I love Debbie Macomber's books because they tend to me cute, light reads.

4. Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley
This was the OwlCrate book of month and I am super excited to read it. It is about the Bronte family and the plot sounds interesting.

5. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
I started this a couple days ago and so far I am loving it. I have been wanting to read this book ever since I watched the miniseries starring Richard Armitage several years ago. I am also reading this as a possible topic for my senior thesis.

6. Lions in the Garden by Chelsea Luna
This is another ARC I received from NetGalley and the publisher. I don't know a whole lot about it, but it did sound interesting so hopefully it will be good.

7. The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
If I have time, I hope to start this collection of prequel novellas to the Throne of Glass series because I really want to continue reading this series but I keep getting side-tracked with other books. I will continue reading it soon.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! :)