Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review: Rappacini's Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne!

Rappacini's Daughter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Publication Date: First published 1844

My Rating:

Part fairy tale, part Gothic horror story, "Rappaccini’s Daughter" is an inspired tale of creation and control. Giovanni Guasconti, a student at the University of Padua, is enchanted to discover a nearby garden of the most exquisite beauty. In it abides a young woman, perhaps the most beautiful Giovanni has ever seen; yet as he looks out from an upstairs window, he soon learns that the garden--and the matchless Beatrice--are not the work of Mother Nature but rather the result of a monstrous abomination of creativity.

“Does this garden belong to the house?” asked Giovanni. “Heaven forbid, signor, unless it were fruitful of better pot herbs than any that grow there now,” answered old Lisabetta. “No; that garden is cultivated by the own hands of Signor Giacomo Rappaccini, the famous doctor, who, I warrant him, has been heard of as far as Naples.” (Rappaccini's Daughter)
"Rappaccini's Daughter" is the story of Beatrice, the daughter of Giacomo Rappaccini, who is in turn a medical researcher in medieval Padua and grows a garden of poisonous plants.
American novelist and short story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne’s (1804–1864) writing centers on New England, many works featuring moral allegories with a Puritan inspiration. Hawthorne has also written a few poems which many people are not aware of. His works are considered to be part of the Romantic movement and, more specifically, Dark romanticism. His themes often centre on the inherent evil and sin of humanity, and his works often have moral messages and deep psychological complexity.

My sister suggested this short story to me. She's a huge Fleetwood Mac fan. I love Fleetwood Mac too, I feel they're one of the greatest bands ever.

My sister is a die hard fan. She has the demos of their songs and knows the inspiration for them. She read a book about the making of Rumors written by one of its producers. She knows her stuff.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Release Blitz & Review: The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry! (@givemebooksblog @BrittainyCherry)

The Silent Waters (Elements #3)
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: September 22, 2016
Published: BCherry Books Publishing
Source: Give Me Books Promotions

My Rating:


Our lives are a collection of moments. Some utterly painful and full of yesterday's hurts. Some beautifully hopeful and full of tomorrow's promises.

I’ve had many moments in my lifetime, moments that changed me, challenged me. Moments that scared me and engulfed me. However, the biggest ones—the most heartbreaking and breathtaking ones—all included him.

I was ten years old when I lost my voice. A piece of me was stolen away, and the only person who could truly hear my silence was Brooks Griffin. He was the light during my dark days, the promise of tomorrow, until tragedy found him. Tragedy that eventually drowned him in a sea of memories.

This is the story of a boy and girl who loved each other, but didn’t love themselves. A story of life and death. Of love and broken promises.

Of moments.

(Book Three in the Elements Series. Complete Standalone.)

99c for release day only!!!

“The world keeps spinning because your heartbeats exist.”

Isn’t that devastatingly beautiful? That quote is the one I’m sure going to take with me from this beautiful new book by Brittiany. There was just something about this story and these characters that I just couldn’t stop reading once I started. I even read it while I watched the Emmy’s! And anyone who knows me, knows I take my award shows very seriously. That is how captivating this was.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #69

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Louise Gornall
Release Date: January 3, 2017

Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.
Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.
The cover is just charming. And I liked things about disorders. I have a touch of OCD so it always interests me to see what others write about. And this sounds like a sweet story.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday! Books I want to listen to on audio

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish

I'm kind of an audiobook snob. I tend to think that if I listen to one I won't really retain what the book is about or that I will sleep during it. However, there are times when I just wish I could hear the story instead of reading it.

1. It
Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Steven Weber
I loved the movie a lot. And somehow, I feel like if I just read it I won't get the same scared effect I'm looking for. What would have made this better is if it was narrated by Tim Curry, Pennywise himself.

Written by: Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg
Narrated by: Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg
I wasn't the biggest fan of his when he was on Park & Rec, but something about dating now and seeing how hilarious that is, is promising. Plus, his voice kind of makes me laugh just listening to it.

3. Him
Written by: Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Narrated by:  Teddy Hamilton, Jacob Morgan 
I loved this book so much. But getting to hear the boys and all their flirtatious stuff, I'm down. 

Written by: J.K. Rowling
Narrated by: Stephen Fry
This feels like it needs no explanation of why.

Written by: Anna Kendrick
Narrated by: Anna Kendrick
I'm so excited for this to come out. I love Anna and getting to hear her tell stories will be the best 8 hours spent.

6. The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
Narrated by Bill Homewood
It is a long book and took my sister 2 months to read. The edition I downloaded is about 52 hours long. That shouldn't take me 2 months, right? It's one of the best revenge stories, or so I hear.

7. Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices, Book 1
Written by: Cassandra Clare
Narrated by: Morena Baccarin
I want to continue with the Mortal Instruments universe, but I don't want to collect the books for my shelves. So I'll try listening to it. Plus, I know Morena from Gotham and I like her voice.

8. Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
It was announced recently that Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, will be narrating the audiobook! I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED! Words can't describe it. I'll be using my October credit to be buying this audiobook.

9. Les Misérables: Translated by Julie Rose
Written by: Victor Hugo, Julie Rose (translator)
Narrated by: George Guidall
Unabridged it is 60 hours and 30 minutes long. I want to know the full story thought since I love the musical.

10. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition), The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1
Written by: Timothy Zahn
Narrated by: Marc Thompson
I have been wanting to reread this trilogy for a while. So far the only audiobooks I have listened to have been of books I already read: Red Rising Trilogy, All Souls Trilogy, and Pride and Prejudice. But it has been so long since I read Heir to the Empire that it will be like it is brand new. Also, they are bringing the character of Thrawn to Star Wars: Rebels this season.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Review: The Secret Ways of Perfume by Cristina Caboni! (@cristinecaboni)

The Secret Ways of Perfume
Author: Cristina Caboni
Publication Date: August 11, 2016
Published: Transworld Digital
Source: First to Read

My Rating:

From Florence to Paris, a scent like no other can take you unexpected places . . .
Ten-year-old Elena lives in Florence with her cold and distant perfumier grandmother. Only when enveloped in aromas does Elena feel at home, and she has nurtured a unique gift: the ability to decipher the ingredients of a perfume, and experience the feelings it evokes.
Years later, Elena’s talent leads her to the cobbled streets of Paris. There she rediscovers an old, secret family perfume recipe that no other perfumier has been able to replicate.
As Elena begins to open her heart to new adventures she meets a man who is guarding his own secrets. From France’s sun-drenched lavender fields to the ancient heart of Italy, together they will follow a path of secret scents, distant memories and new hopes . . .

I received an ARC from Penguin's First to Read.

I like both of those covers. The one with the Eiffel Tower is the Hardcover edition and the woman in the field is the Kindle edition.

The story was a bit clichéd and formulaic (ha - a pun), but I still enjoyed it very much. Some parts were repetitive and dragged, but overall I liked the characters and the journeys they went on.

I was invested in the mystery about Elena's ancestor, Beatrice, and her lost Perfect Perfume, and how it affected generations of the Rossini women. The outcome was plausible and satisfying.

There were a few things I nitpicked about. I would have liked Elena and her mother to reconcile sooner so that the epilogue could have taken place a few years into the future. But I have my own head cannon for that.

The descriptions about the perfumes themselves were divine and delightful. I would usually read while commuting and I swear I could smell people's perfumes more acutely than usual because of the beautiful prose. It made me want to have my own personalized perfume. There was even one part of the story that took place in a bakery, and I swear I could smell pastries.

4 out 5 Perfect Perfumes.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Book Review: Land of Enchantment by Leigh Stein! (@rhymeswithbee)

Land of Enchantment
Author: Leigh Stein
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Published: Plume
Source: First to Read

My Rating:

Set against the stark and surreal landscape of New Mexico, Land of Enchantment is a coming-of-age memoir about young love, obsession, and loss, and how a person can imprint a place in your mind forever.

When Leigh Stein received a call from an unknown number in July 2011, she let it go to voice mail, assuming it would be her ex-boyfriend Jason. Instead, the call was from his brother: Jason had been killed in a motorcycle accident. He was twenty-three years old. She had seen him alive just a few weeks earlier.

Leigh first met Jason at an audition for a tragic play. He was nineteen and troubled and intensely magnetic, a dead ringer for James Dean. Leigh was twenty-two and living at home with her parents, trying to figure out what to do with her young adult life. Within months, they had fallen in love and moved to New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, a place neither of them had ever been. But what was supposed to be a romantic adventure quickly turned sinister, as Jason's behavior went from playful and spontaneous to controlling and erratic, eventually escalating to violence. Now New Mexico was marked by isolation and the anxiety of how to leave a man she both loved and feared. Even once Leigh moved on to New York, throwing herself into her work, Jason and their time together haunted her.

I received this ARC from First to Read.

Ok I am going to be honest. When I started reading I had forgotten what it was about and that it was a memoir. It doesn't read like a memoir, but more like a novel.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday #68

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Ashley Elston
Release Date: November 15, 2016

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.
I like how haunting this sounds. Kind of reminds me of an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. From what I hear, the tension is amazing. That I can't wait for.