Monday, February 29, 2016

Ten Books to Read if You are in the Mood for Adventure!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish 

What books fulfill your need for adventure?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Top Book Couples That I LOVE!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

This week was a Valentines day freebie, so I decided to make an awesome list of the book characters I love to feel the love with. 

1. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley: I feel like I need to go ahead and get this one over with. This couple made me fall in love with falling in love. I loved their chemistry and the slow build up that literally left us all frustrated from feelings of, "Come on, just let it happen already!" While the rest of the world is all excited for these additional Harry Potter things (and I am too) I am constantly hoping for a Hermione and Ron: The In Between Years story of some sort.

Forget the Mauraders, I want to read about Hermione and Ron's first official date and all of its akwardness.

2. Anne and Gilbert Blythe: I've talked about this one before, and I do feel like their relationship build up is actually quite similar to that of Hermione and Ron's. I don't think there is a word that has been discovered yet for Anne and Gilbert's kind of perfection though. It is a slow build, but it also has a great reward which is something I really appreciate. Anne and Gilbert make me very, very happy. 

3. Wes and Macy (from The Truth About Forever): I feel like contemporary fiction couples are often not as recognized as fantasy couples are when it comes to these kind of lists. Wes and Macy to me are just as good as a romance that spans a series because they just work. The beauty of The Truth About Forever, is that all of the characters interact together in such a way that they feel real, and the ultimate realization and obstacles that they overcome create a resolution that fits in with our own expectations. Maybe they don't change the world, and so what if not much hinges of whether they're together or not, but Wes makes broken things whole again, and Macy learns to look at perfection in a different way. 

4. Yelena and Valek: Just thinking about this couple makes me want to go back and reread. This is one of those romances that is just forbidden enough to make the story feel like you can't read it fast enough. I loved the way these two interacted, and the relationship felt very fleshed out. The author successfully creates a world that her readers believe in and cannot get enough of. We can probably read books about Yelena and Valek for years to come with no complaints. 

5. Rose and Dimitri: When I read Vampire Academy in high school I was obsessed with this couple's story. While I do feel the romance and relationship dissipated a bit as the books continued, those first few installments will always remind me of the intensity of that relationship. Just thinking about it makes me want to reread! 

6. Batman and Catwoman/ Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle: A true classic in the realm of couples that are loved, but sadly often forgotten. While there have been so many different attempts at the Batman and Catwoman story, you just can't deny that they belong together. As far as comic book couples go, these two will always be my favorite and I will never accept them with anyone else. 

That is all for this week, what couples did I miss?

What couples do you love to love? 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sit! Stay! Speak!: A Novel by Annie England Noblin [Book Review]

Title: Sit! Stay! Speak! 
Author: Annie England Noblin
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Received from Publisher for honest review.
Release Date: September 18, 2015

Echoing the novels of Mary Alice Monroe, Allie Larkin, and Holly Robinson, this charming debut novel tells the unforgettable story of a rescue dog that helps a struggling young outsider make peace with the past.

Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted. Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny. There she reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories. If only they didn’t make her feel so much!

People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her.

Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding the way back—to living, laughing, and loving once more.

It should come as no surprise that I enjoy dog books. I am a huge believer in dogs as wo(man)'s best friend, and I do truly believe that without those fuzz balls in my life, life just wouldn't be as complete. I am an animal rescuer myself and am a proud dog mom foster failure (because I adopted them!) so I was greatly looking forward to this one as I felt I should be able to relate. Plus, I live in the South -- what is there not to love?!

Our story's heroine, Addie, is stuck in between her past and her future. She is unsure of what her next steps are and I found myself hurrying along trying to find out what she was going to do next.

Jasper Floyd is essentially country boy perfection. Not only does he work on his farm, but he is also a fancy pants lawyer. Talk about a swoon! If you end up in the middle of Arkansas, he is what you hope to find.

I found their relationship to be sweet, if not a bit fast at times. I wanted more build up to their actions, but I definitely felt an emotional pull for them which added depth that worked really well. If Jasper was gone for too many pages I started to get antsy, which is never a bad thing when reading any story.

I enjoyed Addie's relationship with her fellow neighbors, and I even enjoyed seeing the Southernisms through her eyes. As a Southerner I don't think things are odd or unusual until they're pointed out, and this book added some humor by using classic Southern charm.

I didn't always believe the extent of her ignorance for simple Southern things. For instance, I feel like everyone should know what a hush puppy is -- but then again I feel like the rest of the world should drink sweet tea as well. (BECAUSE IT IS DELICIOUS) Perhaps it is being a Southerner that makes this stretch hard, but maybe these things really are strictly "Southern" and don't appear above the Mason Dixon Line.

All in all I felt this was a nice, enjoyable and (mostly) fun read.  If you're looking for a nice and sweet story about a girl overcoming her past, and moving towards her future, this book will gel with you. If you're looking for a "dog" book, this may not suffice quite as much. The dog, Felix, in this story is really more of a background character and more of a plot device used to drive the story action rather than creating all of it. I enjoyed this, but if you want a story solely about a dog, you may be disappointed.

I enjoyed the simple mystery that drove the story's plot, and was greatly satisfied at its conclusion.

I am also slightly in love with the cover!

Ultimately, if you are a fan of dogs, or just enjoy good stories, this book is for you. If you like reading about characters who discover who they are and find themselves again, this book will be perfect to curl up with.

If you are not from the South and have read this book I would love to hear about your knowledge of these "Southernisms." Do you know what hush puppies are? I know they don't serve sweet tea up north... but be honest, don't you wish they did? 

Let me know what ya'll think! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine. 

Release Date: April 13, 2016 

The first novel in Colleen Oakes’s epic, imaginative series tells the origin of one of the most infamous villains—the Queen of Hearts.

Dinah is the princess who will one day reign over Wonderland. She has not yet seen the dark depths of her kingdom; she longs only for her father’s approval and a future with the boy she loves. But when a betrayal breaks her heart and threatens her throne, she is launched into Wonderland’s dangerous political game. Dinah must stay one step ahead of her cunning enemies or she’ll lose not just the crown but her head. 

Evil is brewing in Wonderland and maybe, most frighteningly, in Dinah herself.

Colleen Oakes’s vivid reimagining of Wonderland proves heroes can become villains and fairy tales can become nightmares. Readers will delight in this fresh take on an infamous villain.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Settings I Love!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

The right setting can add a lot of dimension and beauty to a plot. I am a huge fan of the complexities a setting can add to a story, and I'm an even bigger fan of fantastic and historical settings. 

Here are a few of the settings I long to see more of! 

1.) Historic Rome: Though, historical accuracy is always a bit of a hard one with this setting, I would love to see more of it out there. I want to read a book set in Rome for all of the rich details. For centuries Rome was essentially the western world's epicenter --- think of all you can do with that! 

2.) Tudor England: I love it. When I was in high school I became obsessed with King Henry VIII after reading Philippa Gregory. I was convinced that Henry was the most misunderstood monarch ever, and I loved the complexities of his choices and their affects. I think he definitely had some issues -- and he definitely suffered from indecision. I do think there is something to be said for his need for a male heir when Elizabeth became arguably one of the greatest monarchs England ever had. I find it all fascinating, and I would love to see more. 

3.) Revolutionary America: There isn't much of this around at all, but I think it is something that could use some exploration. It could be on England's side, France's side, America's side, it doesn't matter to me. It just had some turmoil that would make a cool setting to be caught in the midst of. 

4.) The Medieval World: Knights were real. Can we start a kick starter to make this happen? 

5.) WW11 Germany: There was just so much happening, there are so many emotions to be explored that there can be many, many more before we even touch the surface. 

6.) Regency Era: I know there are a lot, but I can't get enough. I love the idea of having balls, and dancing with the Earl from Kent and what not. When I read Regency romances it is very easy to get caught up, which I love! 

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