Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares

I remember reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in my early twenties. I really enjoyed the series. I liked the idea of these four lifelong friends and their connection. And when book 4 came to an end, I was ok with that. I was even ok with how the movie version put books 2-4 into one movie.

And then I saw this. Sisterhood Everlasting takes place ten years later. The girls are almost thirty. I guess that means they are no longer girls. Lena lives a solitude life. She teaches. She paints. She pines over her lost love. Bree is still the fun loving girl who needs to move. A lot. Carmen is a famous actress living in New York engaged to, well... let's be honest, he's an arse. And Tibby. Well two years ago Tibby and Brian moved to Australia. She hasn't been in touch much. And this brings sadness to everyone. Even the reader.

But then, our three friends receive a letter from Tibby. She has arranged a trip for them all to Greece. Just like they had done ten years ago. Each girl is excited for the same, but different reasons. And our friends' lives are utterly changed by what happens in Greece.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what happens in Greece alters the lives of our four friends.

I'll admit, I was a little weary of reading this book, no matter how excited I was. Reunion books can sometimes let you down. But I devoured this one. I loved it. Maybe it's because of the week I've had. But this book seemed perfect to me.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Curse of Tenth Grave - Darynda Jones

Our favourite Grimm Reaper/Private Investigator is back. And by back, I mean Charley has regained her memory and is back home with her loved ones. And her not so loved ones.

Charley is back at work, aiding a man wrongfully arrested for murder. She's out to find out the reason behind a "curse" that has children falling ill and dying at an orphanage. She's plotting a way to get Beep back. She's trying to figure out how to trap not one, but three malevolent god.

Yes, our dear Charley is back. And better than ever!

An Author's Odyssey - Chris Colfer

An Author's Odyssey is book five in Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series. When the series first began, he brought us to the land of fairy tales. Slowly, he introduced other elements of literature, that gets one excited, not just about his books, but for the literature that exists.

In this one, we see a combination of our favourite fairy tales characters, some literary characters and now Connor has brought his own characters to life. A character who creates characters! Gotta love it!!

When we last saw our heroes, the Masked Man had gathered all the most villainous villains for modern day literature to take over the Fairy World. Connor realizes that the way to fight the Masked Man's army is to gather one of his own, from his own short stories. So he and Alex set out to enter the world of Connor's imagination and bring these characters to life, to fight the battle to end all battles.

The bulk of this book is spent with Connor entering his stories and we see more of his growth. He is no longer the lazy boy from book 1. We also see Alex soften a little. She was always, to me, the "chosen one". She was a gifted student. She became an apprentice to the fairy godmother and then one herself. I don't think she ever truly appreciated Connor or noticed his qualities. I also loved how their mother and step-father were willing to babysit all the characters as Connor brought them home.

Now to wait another year before the battle begins....

Blood Ecstasy - Tessa Dawn

Tessa Dawn has created a fabulous world filled with vampires, good and bad, and she never fails to disappoint.

In Blood Ecstasy we meet Julien Lacusta, Master Warrior in the House of Jadon. But he is also troubled. Haunted by the dreams of his brother killing his mother, and he not having done anything to save her, he turns to heroin. Yes, that's right. A vampire on drugs!

Rebecca Johnston has demons of her own. She's running away from her stalker ex-boyfriend and lives her life in fear.

Meeting a drugged out warrior vampire who claims to be your destiny is not exactly something she wants in her calm life.

Can you blame her?

While Julien fights his inner demons and comes to terms with the return of his "Dark" brother,  Rebecca fights her attraction to another bad boy.

Can they find their way to each other and not let their own demons get the better of them?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Return to the Isle of the Lost - Melissa de la Cruz

On our way back from Vegas, Ethan saw this book at the airport and asked if I'd buy it for him. After reading it, he asked me to please read it too. Who am I to refuse?

This is definitely a book for the young. It takes place after the Disney Movie, The Descendants.

Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay have found their place in Auradon. They are good. They are happy. They are settled.

But then, each of them receive strange messages telling them to return to the Isle. Upon their return, they learn of a group called the Anti-Heroes who believe that just because their parents were evil, they are not destined to follow this path. But there are also those who want evil to prevail.

Our four friends are set on a quest within the Endless Catacombs of Doom. They are each tasked with finding their parent's talisman to prevent them from returning to power. Each task forces them to face their true fears. The doubts they have about who they are and what they are.

For the pre-teen Disney fan, it's a great book that continues the story of the children of villains. And if they saw the movie, it's an extension to the story.

Morning Star - Pierce Brown

I absolutely loved Golden Son and was utterly heartbroken with it's ending. I was so invested in Darrow, that I could not handle how it ended, I needed a break before starting Morning Star. And even once I started it, I had to go about it slowly, doing the whole Friends-Joey-book-in-freezer thing. But I plowed through. I survived the many heart attacks it provided. And I'm so happy I did.

When we last saw Darrow, he had been captured. Betrayed. All was lost. We begin Morning Star not shortly after this. Oh no. But almost a year later. Yes, that's right. For almost a year our dear Darrow has been tortured!

But finally, he is saved. And once this happens, our story begins.

Just like the others books, this one is filled with action. We have war, loss, betrayal. We have family, love and reunions. We see Darrow struggle with what he still wants to fight for, with his own struggle of whether or not he is worthy.

The Beast - JR Ward

Ok, ok, I know, I know. I read this ages ago, but got a little lazy with my blog writing. Time to catch up.

The Beast is all about Rhage and Mary. Yes, they got their HEA, but that doesn't mean their story has ended. It continues. It grows.

This is probably one of The WARDen's most predictable books, but it is wonderful nonetheless.

This is a book that will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you sigh. It is funny, sexy and heartwarming.

Rhage contains the beast. He's a Brother. A fighter. But there's something that causes him to feel insecure. He makes a stupid choice that nearly costs him his life, and he's fully aware of what he did.

Mary is his beloved shellan. If/when Rhage passes, she will join him into the Fade. That was the deal they made with the Scribe. But when it looks like his time has come, Mary fights to keep him, because there's a part of her that needs to stay here.

Both feel guilty over their decision. And they need to learn how to find their way back to each other. They learn what's missing and how to fix it.

And while I love their story, let's not forget the others. We learn more about Assail and OMG, I love him! There's more to V, and who doesn't want more of him.

The only downside, is I'm not a Layla fan, and this book made me dislike her even more. But have no fear, I'll still read The Chosen when it comes out.

Leap of Faith - Jamie Blair

I am a huge Dawn Rae Miller fan. So much so, that I stalk her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I giggle anytime she comments on one of my Twitter or Instagram posts.

She co-wrote a new series I'm enjoying, with Jamie Blair. I had never heard of Jamie Blair. But then I learnt that she wrote one of my favourite characters from that book, so I had to read something of hers.

She's amazing. She sent me a copy of Leap of Faith so I could read one of her books. It's gotten mixed reviews on Goodreads, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Leap of Faith doesn't have a slow beginning. The action starts right away. Your emotions are tested right away.

Faith is 17 and lives with her awesome sister and horrible mother. Her mother agrees to be a surrogate for some shady people, and really doesn't take care of herself. Faith decides she needs to save this baby. So when her sister is born, Faith takes her and is on the run.

She becomes 19 year old teenager mom Leah. And she finds what she's never had before. A family. People who care for one another. People who look out for one another. It's like a dream.

What I love the most about Dawn Rae Miller is her ability to make you connect to her characters. And Blair has that same, or maybe better, ability. The whole time I read this book, I wanted to give Faith/Leah a hug. I wanted to tell her not to worry. I wanted to help ease her pain.

Thank you for not just a great read, but for sharing it with me.

Settling In

A few years ago, my dad bought a new condo for him and my mum. He loved this place. It's lovely. I love it too. However, I'll admit, I was sad when he bought it. It meant selling the previous one. The one at Parkway Forest Drive.

Now, the apartment itself at Parkway Forest, was not anything special. But what it did for my family is magical.

When my parents immigrated to Canada, they bought a place here. It was home. Not just to them, and to me when I was born, but to everyone in the family. When the troubles in East Africa began, my father helped his family come to Canada and settle. And when they came, they spent some time at Parkway Forest. I haven't met a family member that doesn't have some memory of that place.

My dad's eldest brother passed away this past week. Everyone's in Canada, and I'm heading there. I honestly don't think it's hit me yet, since I'm not there. But ever since I found out what happened, I cannot help but think of my dad and the apartment.

My dad loved his family. He believed it is our duty to take care of one another. He moved to Canada and until the day he died, he tried to help his family and take care of them.

I can't help but think, "damn dad! You went first to set up a place for everyone." My dad has gotten his own Parkway Forest and was ready for when my uncle joined him this weekend. My dad is there to help him settle. 

I know it sounds lame, but it brings me comfort. It makes me feel better about not just my dad's passing two years ago, but also that of my uncle's this past weekend.