Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 with 4 comments
Title: Every Breath
Author: Ellie Marney
Series: Every, book #1
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Source: finished copy from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...

I love a good mystery as much as the next girl, but I'm not surprised by them much these days. Too often I find the mystery to be entirely too predictable and that aspect alone makes it hard to hold my interest. And I'll admit that in Every Breath, I did suspect the culprit early on, but there were just so many other elements that kept me captivated by this story. With stories like this, I'm usually looking at the bigger picture, trying to determine how everything's going to pan out, but with Every Breath, I was living in the moment, eager to spend each page with the characters as they worked the mystery out themselves. In short, I was happy to let Mycroft and Watts handle the investigating while I followed their shenanigans.

And a lot of that has to do with the characters Ellie Marney has created. Mycroft is eccentric and has few meaningful relationships though he knows everyone he bumps into around the city, while Watts is close to her family and obsessed with returning to the countryside and the life she was forced to leave four short months ago.  And yet, they work so well together despite all of their many differences. The best way I can describe James Mycroft and Rachel Watts is this: teenaged Mulder and Sculley. Their dynamic is just so ON. Mycroft is willing to believe that there is more to the story than a senseless killing and Watts isn't ready to jump on board with one of Mycroft's crazy theories. But she's still up for a bit of amateur sleuthing, regardless. This makes them the perfect investigative team: one of them thirsty for the truth and willing to risk much in the search for it and the other to balance things out with reason and logic. Also, the chemistry between these two is off the charts, much as it was with Mulder and Scully, though it takes much less time for Mycroft and Watts to embrace it.

Thank goodness! The frustration from watching these two hem and haw around each other nearly did me in. Just about the time the sexual tension reaches a fever pitch, the dam finally breaks and we get one spectacular show. Once they do finally get to the point that they can openly admit their feelings for each other, it is the sweetest kind of romance. The slow-burn was well worth it, but by the point that they realized how they each felt, we already knew they'd each go to extraordinary lengths to protect one another and in support of each other.
"Mycroft and I are on a strictly last-name basis, but he's on a last-name basis with everybody. He pointed out it was perfectly appropriate in our case, anyway. He said if Sherlock had Watson, it was only fair that Mycroft should have Watts."
I love the homage Marney's Every Breath pays to the original story, too: numerous mentions of Mycroft being "Sherlock's much-smarter brother", Homeless Dave being "Mycroft's very own Baker Street Irregular", etc. I've not read many Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but I've always loved how clever they were. Every Breath was no less clever but it was just such a refreshing spin on the old Sherlockian murder mystery.

Setting this novel in Melbourne, a city that's already a mystery to me, makes this story that much more captivating, too. Watts is practically an outsider herself, having grown up in the countryside of Australia, not a big city like Melbourne, and as she got to know the city better, so did I. It was kind of the perfect setup to draw a reader like myself in. And by that, I mean a reader who prefers when the setting feels like a character itself, the way that it's explored in the story. Also, I love Aussie slang...the fact that this wasn't changed in the US version endears the story to me that much more, makes it feel even more authentic.

Honestly, I think I've found my new favorite mystery series. The fact that it's written by yet another awesome Aussie is just a bonus. Another bonus: while some people are satisfied waiting for the next book to come out here in the States, impatient people like myself can order the UK/Aussie versions and get the rest of the story that much quicker. Which I will most definitely be doing with this series. =) This was such a fantastic debut and I can't wait for all of you to get a chance to meet Mycroft and Watts for yourselves!

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Ellie Marney was born in Brisbane, and has lived in Indonesia,Singapore and India. Now she writes, teaches, talks about kid’s literature at libraries and schools, and gardens when she can, while living in a country idyll (actually a very messy wooden house on ten acres with a dog and lots of chickens) near Castlemaine, in north-central Victoria. Her partner and four sons still love her, even though she often forgets things and lets the housework go.

Ellie’s short stories for adults have won awards and been published in various anthologies. Every Breath is her first novel for young adults.

Find Ellie:

WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. Apparently, they are overly fond of list-making and love to share their bookish lists with the rest of us book nerds.  =) We're game.

This week's topic is the Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read...because of the difficulty of the book, the subject matter, because it was cringeworthy -- however you want to interpret.

April's Picks:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - This one was tough for me because it takes place during World War II. It hurts my heart to read about stuff like that.

Good by S. Walden - This one wasn't necessarily hard for me, but I know that it would be hard for others because it deals with a teacher student romance.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma - This story has incest. Brother and Sister, and it's not sugar coated at all. It was an excellent book.

A Death Struck Year by Makiia Lucier - Spanish Influenza. That shit is scary. I couldn't stop thinking about what I would do if something like that broke out now. With a six year old... these types of stories scare the living shit out of me.

Me Since You by Laura Wiess - This book was so sad and depressing, it broke my heart.

Jen's Picks:

Which books did you find it difficult to read? Be sure to share a link to your TTT post so we can visit!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Title: Trial By Fire
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series:  The Worldwalker Trilogy #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014
Source: Received from Publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.
This is the first work by Josephine Angelini that I've picked up. I own her whole Starcrossed Trilogy (because omg they are so pretty) but I still haven't found the time to give them a shot. I had trouble with Trial by Fire, honestly. I feel bad for this, because it's all me and not the book at all. I read until about 50 percent, and gave up. I do plan to pick it up again in the future but I'm just so distracted lately, and this is a book you really have to pay attention to.

What I read of Trial by Fire, I did like. It's very well written, and interesting. But it's confusing, there is a lot going on, A whole other dimension/world that your thrust into. And as interesting as that is, my poor over worked brain had a hard time keeping up. I found myself paging back trying to figure out what was going on.

What I did like, were the witches. This time of year is the perfect time to read about witches and this story has a bit of a creepy feel to it, at least the parts I got to.

I'm going to rate this one a 3 because I wasn't able to finish it. I'd almost give it a four, just because my only issues were my lack of ability to concentrate right now. Fluffy reads it is.. for the the foreseeable future! Seriously, give this one a shot if you're into paranormal stuff.

Josephine AngeliniAbout the author:

Josephine Angelini is a Massachusetts native and the youngest of eight siblings. She graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

Find Josephine:

Website | TwitterFacebookGoodreads

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stacking The Shelves # 35

Sunday, September 28, 2014 with 6 comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is a way to share with everyone all the goodies you've received through out the week. 

Just click the covers to be taken to their goodreads pages. 


Looking for Alaskathe perks of being a wallflowerThe wanderer

So I just got my first paycheck this week. I have to say it's nice finally having some extra money for once! I decided to treat myself to a few of the cheaper kindle buys... In honor of Banned Book Week, I picked up Looking For Alaska. And I've been wanting ti read The Perks of Being a Wallflower for so long.  

I've been in the mood to start an adult contemporary series lately and I've heard some good things about Robyn Carr's writing, so since this one was really cheap for kindle, I grabbed it up. 

Can you believe it's almost October already?! It's crazy. Now it is officially fall and it was almost 80 degrees today at my house. If only we had this kind of weather over the summer. lol. Well, the leaves know what time of year it is at least. My daily commute is getting mighty pretty! 

I hope you all have a great week! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Weekend Update - 9.27.14

Saturday, September 27, 2014 with 11 comments
So, since my end-of-the-week post isn't just about what I got in my mailbox or on my Kindle each week -- though that is a big part of it, I won't lie -- I decided to change up the title and intro a bit.  I might tweak the format a bit over the next few weeks, but for the most part, it'll contain the same stuff: stuff I got, stuff I did, and stuff that's coming up on the blog.  Plus, I get to use the awesome GIF you see here and blow kisses to all the people who sent me lovely books and bookish things.  Oh, and I've started linking up to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews since I'm not using a specific meme title anymore.  April's also doing her own Stacking the Shelves posts on Sundays.  Stop by and say hi!  =)

Autumn is finally in the air here in North Texas! We got a bit of a cold front and the temps are staying below 90° and the evenings are a bit chilly and. It. Is. Wonderful.

The great State Fair of Texas opened yesterday, and by some miracle, that's the day Katie's school district decided to hold parent/teacher conferences. So as soon as we were finished with Katie's, we booked it to the fair grounds to get our fill of corny dogs, rides, games and shows. The hubby is a huge fan of The Voice, and we got to see the Swon Brothers perform last night, too.

I'll post pictures to my Instagram account later so you can see all the fun we had. ;0) But we've got Katie's soccer game today, so we need to focus on that right now. After the beating the girls took last weekend, they are ready for a win today -- even if they don't technically keep score yet. I do, though, lol. Oh, but Katie scored her first goal at last week's game and her Nana and Papa were both there to cheer her on. I'm really glad we decided to sign her up this year. It's been a good thing for all of us. =D

Anyway, here's what I scored this week:

For Review:

MARY: The Summoning (Bloody Mary, #1)Silverblind (Ironskin #3)

Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan (finished copy in conjunction with the blog tour) - I'm going to be honest. I am terrified of this book. Terrfied. I have never played Bloody Mary at a sleepover, nor do I have any intentions of doing so. No way am I inviting evil spirits into my home. I also can't believe I'm the same girl who so badly wanted a Ouija board as a kid. My mother touted the same "evil spirits" response back at me when I asked, and I can see her point now. I've read too many books and seen too many movies since then. o_O

Silverblind by Tina Connolly (unsolicited finished copy) - I haven't started this series yet -- okay, that's a lie. I tried to start Ironskin back when it released and I put it aside, but so many love these books that I need to give them a chance. I no longer have my copy of Ironskin...do they need to be read in order?


The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (finished copy + poster/map) - A thank you from Ksenia/Macmillan for participating in the blog tour. I LOVE MAPS! I can't wait to get a frame and hang this next to my maps for The Grisha Trilogy! Or should I frame the book cover side? Decisions, decisions...


Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan - Huge, huge fan of this series and the author's snark, so I had to nab myself a copy of the final book.

So, that's my haul. How about you? What did you get this week?

The Week in Review:

Current Giveaways: 

Giveaway for The Young Elites & the Legend series by Marie Lu
Marie Lu Prize Pack

Win a PB of Looking for Alaska!
Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Enter to win 1 of 5 new PBs of The Sky is Everywhere!
I'll Give You the Sun Tour

Promotional/Discussion Posts:  

Jen's Currently Reading/Listening To:

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)I put off reading this third book in The Raven Cycle for as long as I could, but it's time. I finished my re-read/listen last week and I've been dying for more Gansey and Blue and the rest of her Raven Boys. Also, I had to know what they made of Maura's note. And it's already as amazing as I'd expected.

The end is nigh and I am unsure of how I feel about that fact. I adore Kami and her group of sleuthing, magical friends, and I'm not ready to say goodbye yet. I've been reading teasers on the author's site since I finished the last book, and I know that big things are coming.

Upcoming Reviews:

Every BreathChaos (Guards of the Shadowlands, #3)Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

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