Posted in Books and Authors

Book Review – Soman Chainani

For the past week or so I’ve been feverishly reading a single book. Honestly, I wondered at times if I was ever going to finish it. Not because it was boring or anything; the pages just seemed never-ending. I guess I’ve gotten used to shorter books that end around 200 (or fewer) pages. I didn’t realize it at the time but this turned out to be around 500 pages.

Yeeeeeaaaaaah, I got kinda tired around the halfway mark. But I kept on it and finished!

school for good and evilSoman Chainani wrote a series of books called The School for Good and Evil. The first book in the series is titled after the series’ name: The School for Good and Evil.

I thought it would be kind of like anime (due to the cover artwork) but, although it started off all frilly and anime-ish, the heart of the story came out. What is Good and what is Evil? In the book, you can tell who’s Good by how they look – beautiful princesses and handsome, strong princes. Evil looks ugly.

Basically, it takes everything we’re told in fairy tales. A princess is always rescued by her prince and they get their Happily Ever After.

In The School for Good and Evil, the roles are reversed – the beautiful princess is actually Evil and her ugly counterpart is Good.

Sophie is the most beautiful girl in town, Agatha the ugliest. Despite all odds, they’re best friends. In fact, they have no other friends. They know their roles of Good and Evil but when they’re taken away to the School for Good and Evil, Sophie is dumped in the school for Evil and Agatha in the school for Good.

Everyone (including them) believe there’s been some kind of mix-up and they spend the majority of the book trying to proof that they’re in the wrong schools. They are, however, in the right schools.

Although Sophie is beautiful, her personality is as ugly as a large, black, hairy wart on the end of your nose. Agatha’s personality is kind and loyal though she doesn’t fit in with the rest of the princesses in her school. They’re all beautiful but shallow, judgemental, vain, and mean. Except for one who, while shallow, is kind.

While the book was really good and it kept me interested from page 1 to page 5 million, it was too long. I liked the concept and I liked the scenes, but Sophie kept flip-flopping from good to evil, weak to strong, smart and skilled to a useless dunce. If her heart was as black as the book was painting it, I don’t see how she could have changed so often.

Multiple times in the book it felt as if things between Sophie and Agatha (and Tedros, the prince…you knew there had to be a prince) were being drawn out. For what purpose other than length, I don’t know. I felt it could have been stronger if it was shorter and more concise with less of Sophie’s flip flopping.

Agatha can’t go blameless though. She has miraculous revelations about her looks and beauty and suddenly parades around all confident with no doubts when people stare at her. I don’t know. For someone who’s thought to be ugly for her entire life, I would imagine she’d be more self-conscious when her looks “changed.”

Despite all of this, the book was good. I want to read the second book but I’m a little leery because the first was so long. I’ll have to wait until I’ve read through various kinds of fluff before continuing with this series.

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Posted in Books and Authors

Book Review – Rose Pressey

TAKEAHAUNTEDWALKWITHMECOVERThe wondrously evil BookBub brought Rose Pressey’s books to my attention with TAKE A HAUNTED WALK WITH ME. As I currently have no money, I couldn’t buy the book but I did download a free sample and it was so much fun! It’s the 5th in the HAUNTED TOUR GUIDE series so I thought to start with the first. No $ = no book though. After a short bit of searching, however, I found FOREVER CHARMED. Free!

And this is why I love Bookbub. It helps me find gems I would otherwise have never heard of. Now I’m determined to add Rose Pressey’s books to my collection. It’ll take a while but, as they don’t cost much, it shouldn’t take all that long. As in, less than a year I believe. After all, there are other books I’m loving and I currently have zilch cash. I’ll need to start up a monthly amount that I’m allowed to spend on books…after I get a job.

rose presseyRose Pressey is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. The paranormal has always captured her interest. The thought of finding answers to the unexplained fascinates her.

When she’s not writing about werewolves, vampires and every other supernatural creature, she loves eating cupcakes with sprinkles, reading, spending time with family, and listening to oldies from the fifties.

Rose lives in the beautiful commonwealth of Kentucky with her husband, son and three sassy Chihuahuas.

Rose loves to hear from readers. If you’re interested in receiving information when a new Rose Pressey book is released, you can sign up for her newsletter at http://oi.vresp.com/?fid=cf78558c2a. Join her on Facebook for lots of fun and prizes. https://www.facebook.com/authorrosepressey

forever charmedThe book I’m tackling today is FOREVER CHARMED, book 1 in the Halloween LeVeau series. It’s super cute and fun!

Halloween LeVeau is a witch. Her mom thought it auspicious that she was born on Halloween so she named her thus, expecting her to have great powers and such. Sadly, the opposite was true – Halloween is the worst witch ever. Until, that is, she inherits the LeVeau Manor from her Great-Aunt Maddy.

Not knowing what to do with the big, spooky house, she turns it into a bed and breakfast and, while cleaning, finds a mysterious book written in an unknown language. Almost immediately two equally mysterious (and dead gorgeous) men stop by her bed and breakfast and all hell breaks loose. Her life goes from normal (if disappointing and bland) to full of danger, confusion, and romance.

Really, that tiny synopsis doesn’t do the book justice but I don’t want to give anything away. This book was so much fun! From the moment I started reading, I thought it was interesting.

Danger, romance, ghosts, witchcraft, humor…How can you go wrong? I loved it and didn’t want to put it down though I had to many times for various reasons. Each time I put it down, I had to breathe and maintain my calm so I didn’t run away to lock myself in the bedroom and ignore everyone. I deliberately got movies my husband and I could watch together so we could spend time together every day doing something we both enjoyed. That’s not an easy task (well, it is if it’s watching Poirot but you have to run out of episodes eventually). There’s also my son to think of and keep distracted as well.

It’s a rough life giving love and attention to others when all I want to do is give them a raspberry and lock myself away to read a book.

Usually my highest book rating is a 4 out of 5 stars because there’s always something that irks me. This time, however, I had to give it 5 stars. When I was done with the book I thought and thought about what I could criticize about it. I almost gave up when I remembered the ending climax was pretty easy. That should have knocked it down to 4 stars but the rest was so much fun and the easy showdown didn’t bother me at all. It may bother me more later but not right now.

Besides, while the showdown may be the big event that the book’s leading up to, FOREVER CHARMED isn’t about that. It’s about Halloween not being able to do the simplest spells and then she’s uber powerful. It’s about her dealing with letting her mother down her whole life and then finally having the chance to make her proud and happy. It’s about the love triangle with the supremely hot guys who are constantly, if not lying to her, then skirting around the truth. The rest isn’t really all that important when compared to everything else.

Though, now that I think about it, I do have some questions for the author…which I’ll pose to her privately so I don’t give any spoilers. They’re just aside questions that don’t impact my thoughts on the book.

My advice is to go out and get it. But not if you’re into serious, heavy books. This is fun and light. And maybe not if you’re a guy. Unless you like “girl” books. This is pretty girly with cupcakes and everything. I can’t eat cupcakes and they were too sweet when I was able to eat them but this book made me want cupcakes. Like, seriously want them. I’m kind of bummed that I can’t eat them now.

Posted in Books and Authors

Finding New Books

I was going to start this post announcing that I had stopped getting new books…but I just got 2 new ones in the past 5 minutes. So I’ll start by saying that I’m intending to stop getting new books.

It’s always fun to find a new good book so why stop?

Because I now have over 30 samples waiting to be read. Oops…

buy book

Time to sift through those samples to find ones that grab my interest!

Just in case other people are curious as to what books I’ve recently found and read (samples and full), here they are:

Full Books

  • Dark Desires by Eve Silver
  • Sister Light, Sister Dark by Jane Yolen
  • A Cheyenne Christmas by Caroline Lee
  • A Cheyenne Thanksgiving by Caroline Lee

dark desiressister light sister darkcheyenne christmas cheyenne thanksgiving

These are the most recent ones that I’ve read in my library. There are over 70 more waiting to be read or were read sometime ago.

Samples

  • The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
  • Take a Haunted Walk With Me by Rose Pressey
  • His Dark Kiss by Eve Silver
  • Asylum by Madeleine Roux
  • Voices by Clarissa Johal

school for good and eviltake a haunted walk with mehis dark kiss asylumvoices

Those are the good samples I’ve read. The bad ones got deleted. I’m still not sure about Asylum because the sample was way too short, but I’ve found it in a library and put it on hold so hopefully I’ll get that soon. Same with The School for Good and Evil. Er…I mean, I’ll get that book at the library too. The others aren’t available.

Posted in Personal

Quick Update

Just wanted to give a quick update to what’s going on in my writing-related world right now.

  • writing
  • proofreading
  • reading

Writing

There’s not a whole lot of writing going on but what there is is from Psyche and blogging. If you’re a fitness and health kind of person, you can check out my Fitness Freak blog for what’s going on in the fitness-related part of my world. My most recent post is about how social media can really hurt us mentally/emotionally if we’re not careful – Social Media’s Black Hole of Despair. The title’s a bit melodramatic, but still quite apt for a lot of people.


Proofreading

I’ve been proofreading an author’s novel. Won’t say which novel or which author but I will say it’s shaping up to be a goodie. So far I’ve been sent the first 15 chapters and, while the beginning needs a ton of editing (in my opinion) to lighten it up, the rest is just peachy.

It’s felt really good to proofread something that wasn’t science-related. Last night my husband finished a report he was writing for work and wanted me to proofread it because English is his second language. I’ve been doing this for him since before we were married and we sometimes joke that one reason he married me was for my proficiency in English. I’m not a science person but I have gained a semi-understanding of chemistry and microbiology through his papers and reports. But man are they B-o-o-o-o-o-o-ring!


Reading

That leads me into what I’ve been reading. It feels so good to read for fun after proofreading especially when the job is something like science. To be able to sit back and just read is so relaxing. I always appreciate it more after I’ve done a stint of proofreading. No longer do I analyze and think. I allow myself to sink in and get lost in the story.

It’s lovely.

vacation under the volcanoLately since my iPad reading time has been spent proofreading, the only “fun” reading I’ve been able to do is with my son right before bedtime. Every night after our other bedtime jobs are done, we sit in bed and read. For the past couple months, it’s been books from the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. We’ve just finished #13 – Vacation Under a Volcano.

It’s a good series, written for kids. Chapter books. We usually read 2-5 chapters every night. Osborne is a very good writer, combining just enough facts with creative storytelling to teach kids while keeping it interesting for them. My son loves the series so I try to keep up a steady stream of borrowing them so we don’t have to go without. We borrow hard copies from the library and digital ebooks from both our last library from when we lived in Colorado and our current library here in Nebraska. Overdrive is very much our friend.