Monday, April 30, 2012

Misc. Monday - Jenna Starborn


Jenna Starborn Jenna Starborn

By: Sharon Shinn
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rating: 2 stars

Summary:
Jenna Starborn was harvested from the gen-tanks on the planet Baldus. Mistreated as a child she goes on to school and from there to far off planets as a nuclear tech. Here she grows to her place in the universe. A new and intergalactic telling of Jane Eyre.
My Thoughts:
Oh dear...this was supposed to be a retelling of  Jane Eyre (not my favorite story anyway) so I thought it would loosely hold onto elements of the classic novel. Well Shinn had a different plan in mind. Instead of little things here and there, she clung to the story of the classic novel much to the detriment of what could have been a very fun and interesting futuristic novel. Jane Eyre doesn't have the personality that is believable in modern societies. I really had difficulty taking her seriously in her own book so Jenna really wasn't working for me at all.

The only thing that made me finish it was wondering how they were going to get past the cyborg in the mining compound...sorry I mean mad-woman in the attic. I just laughed the whole way through because it was impossible to take seriously.

I really was disappointed with the novel because I think Shinn is a great writer. Oh well, I will stick to her fantasy and be happy there. Pass on this but don't give up on her.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hour 18

The Book of Madness and CuresChange of plans...I didn't like how the last book was turning out. So I will turn my attentions to a different book about insanity: The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O'Melveny. About a woman doctor in Venice during the Renaissance...Hey, I'm about to go to Venice to study Renaissance art. Sounds like a good pick. I hope it is better than the last one.


Happy Reading to you all!

Ok...8 more left....

Blue Asylum
I am now starting to get a little tired...I just finished The Academie. Now though I am about to get into a new book I am excited about called Blue Asylum. It takes place in an insane asylum post-Civil War. It shows promise...I hope it's good!
If not then I shall have to move on to won of the many other books that I have stacked around. I hope you all are having a wonderful night!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Ninth Hour...

The AcadémieJenna StarbornFinished Jenna Starborn....my review will be forthcoming in the next few days. But I can say that I am happy I am moving on to other things. I also finished 500 words of my paper...1000 more to go! But as I am now taking a work break, I won't be able to really finish working on it until 6. Oh well it isn't really due until midnight so I have time.

Happy readings to you all. I am going on and finishing up The Academie by Susanna Dunlap. Isn't that a pretty cover? She always has covers that I adore. I hope the book is just as good! Check back with you later!


....


It is later...my paper isn't done, I had to work for 3 hours and I just want to read! Why do teachers do this to us?

....
ALL DONE!!! YAY, Now I can do the next 12 hours unimpeded by stupid things like papers...

Hours 3-6

I've just been trucking away here at my reading, took a break for food and now I will be taking a break to do my paper - but as it is about T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land I should get some reading in right? - that is due at midnight....oh goody...but overall things are going pretty great.  Here is a fun book quote for your viewing pleasure (taken from the challenge home)


 

So true don't you think?

Hours 1 & 2

So Two hours down and still going strong. I would be quite said if it were otherwise because a two hour session really isn't that long. One of the mini-challenges hosted for today's read-a-thon asked about books we would want to read in the original language if we could.

Well I am learning French and would love to read Victor Hugo's books in their original language, also there is The Count of Monte Cristo...that would be quite fun. AND The Three Musketeers...it would appear that I am a bit of a francophone.

Well I must get back to my books. This time around rather than having a stack of books specifically picked out for this, I just grabbed the nearest unread book. Right now that would be Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn. I really am on a bit of a Shinn kick right now. I can't get enough of her. You can look down and find my review for her book Troubled Waters. This one is more Sci-Fi which isn't something I have normally read but I am loving it anyway!

See you soon! and Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

24 Hour Read-A-Thon!

So my second round of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon is coming up! I am so excited you have no idea. I haven't been able to sit down and read solidly for a very long time. And since (almost) all of my papers will be turned in I will have (almost) nothing standing in my way...finals don't matter right?

If you care to join me go sign-up at 24hourreadathon.com and let me know what books you are planning on reading. I still need to figure out exactly what mine will be. More info to follow!

Historical Thursday - The Maid and the Crown

The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of ArcThe Maid and the Crown
By: Nancy Goldstone
Genre: Biography
Rating: 4 stars


Summary:
Politically astute, ambitious, and beautiful, Yolande of Aragon, queen of Sicily, was one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages. Caught in the complex dynastic battle of the Hundred Years War, Yolande championed the dauphin's cause against the forces of England and Burgundy, drawing on her savvy, her statecraft, and her intimate network of spies. But the enemy seemed invincible. Just as French hopes dimmed, an astonishingly courageous young woman named Joan of Arc arrived from the farthest recesses of the kingdom, claiming she carried a divine message-a message that would change the course of history and ultimately lead to the coronation of Charles VII and the triumph of France.


My Thoughts:
This is the first real biography that I have ever read and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I thought I was getting myself into another historical fiction novel, however, when discovering that this was in fact a biography I wasn't at all disappointed. This was quite interesting for me to learn about a time in history which my experience comes from watching Wishbone or other such kids shows which depict Joan of Arc. I loved learning about Yolande as well. She was a really powerful figure and knew how to best wield that power.

I found Goldstone to have a sense of humor in her writing that occasionally made me chuckle to myself. On the whole it was neither boring nor dry. There were parts that I was able to skip though when I felt like I was getting bogged down with story. Also I was wondering why it took so long to end after Joan was martyred. This was because Goldstone not only showed how the war ended (I skipped that part) but also how Joan's name was restored. I had no idea that the French didn't really like her either after she died so I am very happy that we view her as a heroine now rather than a heretic.

If you are looking for a biography of this time or just want to improve your knowledge in general this is a quick way to do it. (It was a nice SHORT read)

Thanks to Netgalley and Viking Publishing for giving me a chance to read this for review!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Misc. Monday - 60 Acres and a Bride

Sixty Acres and a Bride60 Acres and a Bride
By: Regina Jennings
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars


Summary from GR:
With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to Texas and the family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have only three months to pay. Though facing eviction, Rosa can't keep herself from falling in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. Learning the American customs is not easy, however, and this beautiful young widow can't help but catch wandering eyes. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, to what lengths will Rosa go to save her future.


My Thoughts:
I had a lot of fun reading this...though I probably should have been writing papers for school at the time. (I can't wait for summer to come!) Rosa was a sweet character who showed the culture clash between America and Mexico in Texas at this time. The fact that this is a debut novel makes me happy because I believe that as she grows and matures as an author, Jennings will be one of the better historical writers. 


Her characters were warm and likable. Weston was the perfect combination of fortitude and protectiveness without seeming to be overbearing. This of course is enough to make the females reading this swoon. Rosa was a good counterpart to him with her genuine goodness and innocence. With both of them struggling to adjust to the curve balls life has thrown at them it is fun to see how they come grow into their new selves. 

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me with a book for review!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

YA Wednesday - Troubled Waters

Troubled WatersTroubled Waters
By: Sharon Shinn
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars

Summary:
Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king's fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river. 

It's there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right. But as Zoe unlocks more of the mysteries of her blood-and the secrets of the royal family-she must decide how to use her great power to rise above the deceptions and intrigue of the royal court.


My thoughts:
I have read Shinn before (see this other review) and I love her. I love how she is able to build worlds that are believable and wonderful all because they have a hint of magic in them. In the books I have read her magic is more simple than what can be found in things like Harry Potter and other such fantastical things. Instead she deals in a quieter magic - though in this book it's a little louder than in her Safe-Keepers Series. 

I loved Zoe. She struck me as someone who was calm and for the most part in control of her emotions. She didn't sweat the small stuff and yet wasn't passive. She had say in how her story went and expressed it. I loved how she was a mix of the traits which Shinn had made up in this new world. As a coru she is calm like water but also has the spark of sweela which is that of fire. 

I also love that romance isn't what Shinn focuses on. Marriage isn't Zoe's goal, because frankly she is too busy doing other things to worry about that. One thing that I really did love about her is that she lost her temper occasionally. If she hadn't I don't think that I would have been able to like her at all.

I will admit I squealed a little bit while reading, and had those wonderful moments of revelations where I think I know how it's going to end and who the bad guy is and then it turns out to be someone totally different. I loved it. I will probably go out and buy it when I have money. (Or get it as a gift for my birthday or Christmas...hopefully)

If you love light fantasy this is the book (and quite possibly author) for you!