Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Book Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo

Young Adult

September 2015
Henry Holt and Company




Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past. 

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction - if they don't kill each other first.

My Rating
5 Stars

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this! It reminded me a bit of 'The Lies of Locke Lamora' but it's been years since I read that book so that may not be the best comparison. I liked learning about this new fantasy realm known as 'The Grishaverse'. I'm even more curious about the Grisha now and am wondering if I should read 'Shadow and Bone' next instead of just waiting for 'Crooked Kingdom'.

I loved the characters! All of the back story for the characters did seem to slow down the first half of the book but now I feel really attached to at least 4 out of the six main characters and can't wait to read the next book. If I had to pick a favorite it would either be Kaz with all his flaws or Inej with all her prowess. 

I think one of the only things that bothered me about this book was not learning more about the Grisha. We get Nina's backstory but I felt like there was something about the Grisha that wasn't being explained well enough in this book but might have been covered in The Grisha Trilogy. I don't know. I guess I just expected to learn more about them since the whole world seems to be based around these magical people.

Also, the guns and tanks threw me. I'm an old fashioned fantasy type of girl. Swords, staffs, bows and arrows, and every type of magic imaginable. Finding modern man-made items in a fantasy world just seemed really off and unexplained. Maybe it would have made more sense to me if it was a parallel universe to our own Earth or something. But I guess the heist wouldn't have planned out well without them so I'll give in.

Overall I really enjoyed Six of Crows but I'm beating myself up mentally over starting yet another series that is going to take years to finish.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #56

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I spend most of the year trying to read books that are being made into movies. There's always so many! No biggie. I enjoy it! I love falling in love with a book and then seeing how someone else imagines it. 

Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations I'm Looking Forward To

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
I knew this would be the next big Tim Burton film when I read it and I am so excited to see how he does with it!
Expected Release: March 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
by J.K. Rowling
As a Potterhead, I cannot wait for this!!!
Expected Release: November 2016

The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
I'm not too invested in this series but I remember thinking this would be an awesome movie.
Expected Release: January 2016

A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
I'm interested in seeing how they do this one. Will they capture the dark essence that we get from the illustrations in the book?
Expected Release: October 2016

The Death Cure
by James Dashner
I still haven't seen The Scorch Trials yet, though!
Expected Release: February 2017

The Jungle Book
by Rudyard Kipling
Sure, there are lots of versions of this already but I'm still excited for it! It looks like it might follow the books better than the cartoon.
Expected Release: April 2016

Looking For Alaska
by John Green
I think this one is still just a 'might happen someday' but this was my favorite of John's books that I have read so far.
Expected Release: 2016

by Roald Dahl
This one is already a movie but it's old. 1980's old. It's time for a remake. Hopefully Spielberg does a good job with it!
Expected Release: July 2016

And a couple that I am planning on reading soon!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
by Seth Graham-Smith
I already got this on my Kindle and will be starting it sometime this week! 
Expected Release: February 2016

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
I just picked this one up at a thrift store a week or so ago. I have no idea what it's about, though.
Expected Release: June 2016


Let me know what adaptations you are looking forward to! I'd love to know what else I need to read soon! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Book Review: The Ghost of Graylock

The Ghost of Graylock
by Dan Poblocki

Middle Grade

August 2012
Scholastic Press

Literary Awards
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (2014)
Junior Library Guild Selection for Fall (2012)
SSYRA Nominee (2014)
South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee (2014)
Iowa Children's Choice Award Nominee (2014)
NH Isinglass Award Nominee (2013)




Does an abandoned asylum hold the key to a frightful haunting?

Everyone's heard the stories about Graylock Hall.

It was meant to be a place of healing - a hospital where children and teenagers with mental disorders would be cared for and perhaps even cured. But something went wrong. Several young patients died under mysterious circumstances. Eventually, the hospital was shut down, the building abandoned and left to rot deep in the woods. 

As the new kid in town, Neil Cady wants to see Graylock for himself. Especially since rumor has it that the building is haunted. He's got fresh batteries in his flashlight, a camera to document the adventure, and a new best friend watching his back.

Neil might think he's prepared for what he'll find in the dark and decrepit asylum. But he's certainly not prepared for what follows him home....

Scary, suspenseful, and surprising, Dan Poblocki's latest ghost story will keep you turning pages deep into the dead of night.

My Rating
3 stars

My Thoughts

Neil Cady and his sister Bree are visiting their aunts when they hear the story of nearby Graylock Hall,  an abandoned mental institution for children and young adults where several children drowned, supposedly under the hands of a nurse that worked there. Their curiosity gets the best of them and they end up exploring the decrepit building. Shortly after they are visited by the ghost of a drowned girl. Is she the nurse, there to exact revenge on them for trespassing? Or a victim?
It might just be because I read this the week before Halloween when I was watching nearly every 'haunting' movie on Netflix, but this book actually really creep'd me out at times. It wasn't really scary though or I would have given it a better rating. I found myself skimming forward through the mundane parts to get right to the story revolving around the ghost but luckily there wasn't much unrelated story line and it was a pretty quick read.

Anticipating November 2015 - New Releases

November 2015

Most Anticipated

Piques My Interest

Sequels to Series I Haven't Started Yet

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #48

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by TYNGA'S REVIEWS that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review.

Happy Halloween! 
Read any spooky books this month?
You can see what I've been reading in my October Wrap Up!

It's been a while since I've done a STS and I don't have much to show anyway but here it is!



Link your STS in the comments so I can check it out and comment back!

October 2015 Wrap Up

I tried to read a few good horror / ghost stories this month. I actually did way better with reading than I planned! 

Books I Read

Challenge Progress

New Places Visited

London, England (Library of Souls)
San Diego, California (In the Shadows of Blackbirds)
Atlanta, Georgia (The Walking Dead)

Here's a screenshot of my map!

I didn't read any of my own books this month.


How did you guys do on your goals this month? What was your favorite book that you read this month?
Mine was 'Library of Souls'!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds

In the Shadow of Blackbirds
by Cat Winters

Young Adult

April 2013
Amulet Books

Literary Awards
Bram Stoker Award (2013)
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2013)
William C. Morris YA Debut Award Nominee (2014)
Oregon Spirit Book Award for Young Adults (2013)

Big Library Read on Overdrive



In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to seances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she's forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love - a boy who died in battle - returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

My Rating
5 stars

My Thoughts

It is 1918 and the Spanish influenza has plagued the country. Mary Shelley Black is sent to San Diego, California to live with her Aunt Eva in hopes of escaping the sickness. Once there, her aunt insists she sit for spirit photographer Julius Embers, brother to Stephen Embers, whom is a childhood friend that she has been corresponding with since he went off to war. When Stephen's 'spirit' appears in her photograph it sets off a series of paranormal events that lead Mary Shelley to search out the truth of his death, even if it means getting a little too close for comfort. 

This was an entertaining and semi-spooky ghost story without being overwhelming or an edge-of-your-seat, read-only-during-the-day, sleep-with-your-light-on kind of scary. I liked the historical plot which gave a feeling of dread and anticipation of death around every corner. The decades where seances were so popular has always fascinated me and this was the first time I've come across anything about spirit photography. I adore ghost stories but it is so rare to find one geared towards young adults and I really enjoyed it!