Body and Soul by Stacey Kade

12871657Title: Body and Soul (Ghost and the Goth #3)

Author: Stacey Kade

Publisher: Hyperion 2012

Genre: YA Paranormal

Pages: 316

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Challenge; Ebook; 52 Books – W51

Alona Dare is now trapped in Lily Turner’s body, and no matter how many psychics she and Will Killian visit, it looks like she won’t be getting out anytime soon…

One of those series that I’ve been wanting to finish if only to say that I finished it.  And I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this series ender. Alona and Will are intriguing characters. I liked following their journey after the events of Queen of the Dead. Plus we get appearances from Misty and other former friends of Alona’s. A nice enjoyable two day read for my Christmas vacation.

Ghost and the Goth

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Soulbound by Kristen Callihan

51C4dmm6v8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Soulbound (Darkest London #6)

Author: Kristen Callihan

Publisher: Hachette Book Group 2015

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 366

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; Ebook; Seriously Series; 52 Books – W50

Once two souls are joined . . .
When Adam’s soul mate rejected him, there was more at stake than his heart. After seven hundred years of searching, his true match would have ended the curse that keeps his spirit in chains. But beautiful, stubborn Eliza May fled-and now Adam is doomed to an eternity of anguish, his only hope for salvation gone . . .

Their hearts will beat together forever
No matter how devilishly irresistible Adam was, Eliza couldn’t stand the thought of relinquishing her freedom forever. So she escaped. But she soon discovers she is being hunted-by someone far more dangerous. The only man who can help is the one man she vowed never to see again. Now Adam’s kindness is an unexpected refuge, and Eliza finds that some vows are made to be broken . . .

An enjoyable volume in this series. I wasn’t a fan of Eliza or Adam in the previous books, but they definitely grew on me over the course of this one. I really came to pull for them throughout the book. The storyline was fun. The ending was satisfactory. But my favorite part was encountering all the previous characters in the series. The little glimpses of Ian and Archer were great. And I liked seeing more from Lucien and Sin. The ending left the series open for another book.  At least I hope so…

Darkest London

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After Alice by Gregory Maguire

51xrIgM15nL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Title: After Alice

Author: Gregory Maguire

Publisher: William Morrow 2015

Genre: Reimagined Classic

Pages: 288

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Ebook; 52 Books – W44

In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is “After Alice.”

Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite books of all time. I was very much looking forward to reading this reworking of this story. I enjoyed reading about Ada and Lydia’s experiences after Alice disappeared down the rabbit hole. It was an interesting little book. Maguire even wrote the book in a style that reminded me of Lewis Carroll’s style. Recommended for lovers of the original.

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Saga Volume 2-4

51tJE6hegcL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Saga Volume 2-4

Author: Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Publisher: Image 2013, 2014, 2014

Genre: Comics

Pages: 144; 144; 144

Rating:  5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Ebook; Fairytale

51kyc-UeSJL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Volume 2: Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and alien monstrosities, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters her family’s greatest challenge yet: the grandparents.

Volume 3: In volume 3, as new parents Marko and Alana travel to an alien world to visit their hero, the family’s pursuers finally close in on their targets.

Volume 4: Visit new planets, meet new adversaries and explore a very new direction, as Hazel becomes a toddler while her family struggles to stay on their feet.

41wqxIPvw-L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_I continue to love this series! It just keeps getting better and better. And the twists and turns! And all the side characters! I’m especially in love with Kiara. Such a great character and we’ve seen so much of her lately. I can’t wait to read Volume 5. The library doesn’t have it, but J said he might get it for me… Yeah more Saga!

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Saga Volume 1

515jeiadAzL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Saga Volume 1

Author: Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Publisher: Image 2012

Genre: Comics

Pages: 160

Rating:  5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; Ebook; Fairytale

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds.

Holy cow! Another series that’s been on my list for far too long. I finally got to it and it is amazing. I love how Vaughan writes characters. And this series promises to have lots of very interesting characters. The illustrations are gorgeous with such texture! I can’t wait to see what happens to Marko, Alana, and Hazel.

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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

51JkhKFVIeL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Dark Places

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publisher: Broadway Books 2009

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 349

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Ebook; 52 Books – W39

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

The last of Gillian Flynn’s books and this one made me feel just like the others: icky!  Al three of Flynn’s book made me feel sick while reading them. In that respect, her psychological thrillers work. And I hated most of the characters. They were well-written characters, you just don’t like any of them. Libby was probably the least hated character of all her books, but I still wanted to smack her around many times throughout the book. This sounds like a very negative review, but it’s not. If you’re looking for a psychological thriller, Dark Places is the perfect choice.

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1491 by Charles Mann

1491-coverTitle: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Author: Charles Mann

Publisher: Borozi Books 2005

Genre: Nonfiction – History

Pages: 464

Rating:  5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Nonfiction Adventure (perpetual); Ebook; 52 Books – W38

In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.

Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man’s first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.

Our book club selection for October. The volume has been on my radar for years, probably since it was published, but I somehow never actually read it. I consider myself fairly versed in history and I learned so much from this book. I found the new theories about life before European contact in the Americas to be fascinating. My favorite chapter involved the ways that native populations shaped the land for their needs. Fascinating! And on every subject, I deepened my knowledge. I can’t wait to discuss this book with my friends.

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Don’t Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth Davis

51RMWHFK9NLTitle: Don’t Know Much About Mythology

Author: Kenneth Davis

Publisher: HarperCollins 2005

Genre: History – Mythology

Pages: 545

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Nonfiction Adventure; ebook; 52 Books – W35; Dewey Decimal

Employing the popular Don’t Know Much About® style, with its familiar question-and-answer format, DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MYTHOLOGY will explore the myths of the world, their impact on history, and their continuing role in our lives. It will offer listeners a wide-ranging, comprehensive, entertaining and listenable survey of the great myths of world civilizations, how they came to be, what they meant to the people who created them, how they influenced society, literature and art through history, and how they still speak to us today. Mythology is alive today in our art, literature, theatre, dreams, psychology–and certainly our language. “Pandora’s Box,” “Golden Fleece,” “Labor of Hercules,” and “Wheel of Fortune” are just a few of the words and phrases that come from a world of mythology and still color our speech. Using humor, contemporary references, and anecdotal material from mythology, extensive research based on recent archaeology which often reveals the history behind mythology and surprising information that breaks down conventional wisdom, DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MYTHOLOGY will ultimately be about stories–the great and timeless tales that have fascinated people around the planet for several millennia.

I love Davis’ Don’t Know Much series. In the past, I’ve particularly enjoyed volumes on U.S. History and the Civil War. This one was very enjoyable, if a bit broad for me. I found myself skimming through multiple chapters as I have studied those cultures and their mythology. This isn’t to say that it’s a great book. It is! Especially for someone not knowledgeable in mythology. I like Davis format of question and answer with a “who’s who” for each culture/area. My favorite chapter was on the mythology from India. Fascinating!

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Young House Love by Sherry and John Petersik

51D5eqEJF-L._SX441_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Young House Love

Author: Sherry and John Petersik

Publisher: Artisan 2012

Genre: Nonfiction – Home

Pages: 336

Rating:  4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Ebook; OLW Home

Packed with 243 tips and ideas–both classic and unexpected–every project pictured was exclusively executed for the book. With more than 400 photographs and illustrations, this is a book that readers will return to again and again for the creative projects and easy-to-follow instructions in the relatable voice the Petersiks are known for. Adding a little wow factor to your home has never been more fun!

A nice little home decorating book. Packed full of ideas and projects. I had a nice few hours flipping through the projects and getting some ideas for our own house. Unfortunately renting has its limitations. Thankfully there were some easy cheap projects that we could do in our rental. Nice book although I could have done without the incredibly peppy commentary.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

A1izG7km6yLTitle: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Riverhead Books 2015

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 336

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: TBR Reduction; Ebook; 52 Books – W28; New Author

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A must read according to lots of bloggers and best seller lists. And amazingly the book lives up to all the hype. Not very often that I like those hyped books. I loved how the unreliable narrators kept the reader guessing as to what really happened and who did it. Rachel was a very interesting character. On the surface, no one should like Rachel, but for some reason you feel for her. I couldn’t stand Megan, but that seems to be the point. And Anna was the intriguing character thrown in the mix. Overall, a very interesting read. I definitely recommend it.

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