Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Templar Legacy (Book Review)

The Templar Legacy (Cotton Malone, #1)Title: The Templar Legacy
Author: Steve Berry
Genre: Drama
Rating: 2 out of 5

Why Did I Read? I read Jefferson Key awhile back, which was the first exposure I had to the author and his character Cotton Malone.  I had been wanting to read the first book he wrote with the character for awhile now.  And so I put this book on my TBR Pile Challenge List and finally got around to reading it.

Summary: Cotton Malone use to be a Justice Department agent--on an exclusive version of the CIA--trying to protect our security.  After getting tired of playing the game, he retired to Copenhagen, Denmark.  His old boss, Stephanie Nelle, is coming to the area to visit and when they meet for coffee, a man commits suicide. This starts a whirlwind journey as Stephanie tries to discover the treasure hunt her deceased husband was on. But she isn't the only one, and these people are willing to kill for it.  But what are they looking for?

What Did I Love:
  • It was a kind of interesting story....but really I didn't love it.
  • I did like how at the end he had a note about what was true in the book and what wasn't--a must with all historical fiction books
What Did I Hate:
  • Boring!! 
  • Hard to follow! 
  • Do not do on audio book--you will want to be able to remind yourself who characters are by flipping back in the book.  The narrator was fine--I've actually listened to something of his before, and I like him--it is just too hard to follow.
Another note about this book: it does bring into question Christian beliefs of resurrection.  If you are not into having your beliefs separate from a book--do not read!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the LaneTitle: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5

Why Did I Read? We chose it for book club in June.

SummarySussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what. (From was nice because I'm not sure how I would start to summarize this!)

What Did I Love:
  • It is a quick read--though it does take a minute to get going
  • Analyzing the symbols
What Did I Hate: A bit boring and strange. I started with a 2 rating because it was really just okay...but I came to like it a bit more when discussing it with the book club. It has a lot of symbolism and enjoyment that comes from analyzing it.  I probably won't read it again, but if you like Neil Gaiman I highly recommend it. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!!!

This 4th of July I thought I would share a few quotes that really seem to mean a lot on a day like this:

"Let us dare to read, think, speak and write." -John Adams | 4th of July Quotes about Freedom #quotes #4thofjuly
Patriotic 4th of July quotes
Patriotic 4th of July quotes

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thirteen Reasons Why (Book Review)

Thirteen Reasons WhyTitle: Thirteen Reasons Why 
Author: Jay Asher
Genre: YA/Drama
Rating: 4 out of 5

Why Did I Read? I had it on my TBR Pile Challenge List, because it was one that my students read a lot and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And it often ends up on banned lists.

Summary: Clay is just your regular high school kid, until this set of cassette tapes show up at his door.  They were made by his friend Hannah, who had committed suicide recently.  On the first tape, we learn that she is going to go through the 13 people that she holds responsible for letting her down and contributing to the reasons why she decided to end her life.  These thirteen people will then receive these tapes, which means that Clay is one of the 13. What did he do to not help Hannah when she needed him the most?

What Did I Love:
  • I liked predicting what people did to her
  • Having empathy for Clay--I really connected to him as a character
  • Shows that suicide really can come from anywhere
  • I listened to it on audio...which was great for this type of book--I thoroughly enjoyed this
What Did I Hate:
  • By the end, I really felt like Hannah was a brat by the end of the whole book.
  • It almost seemed like she wanted help to not end her life...but she never tried--that bugged me.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: Drama/Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why Did I Read? On my TBR Pile Challenge List--and I wanted to read it before the movie came out.  Which I really want to see!

Summary: Hazel has been living with cancer for a couple of years now.  She is trying to keep her lungs pumping--despite the awkwardness of her oxygen tank. Her mom tries to get her to be social--so she goes to a support group.  She meets Augustus Waters at support group, which starts a great friendship that blossoms into more than just a friendship.  But there is still in the back of Hazel's mind....I am a ticking time bomb.  

What Did I Love:
  • The realness of the way it dealt with the disease and living in a hospital.  Personally, I haven't had cancer, but I feel like I understood it a lot more because of this book
  • The writing is PHENOMENAL! The number of one liners in this book was amazing. 
  • When you are in the right mood, a book that can make you cry is great--this is one of those books. 
  • The characters are great and well-written. 

  • What Did I Hate: I loved the whole thing!

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    Matched Book Review

    Matched (Matched, #1)Title: Matched
    Author: Ally Condie
    Genre: YA/Dystopian
    Rating: 4.5 out of 5

    Why Did I Read? So I stuck this book on my TBR Pile Challenge List because of all the buzz that was surrounding it when it first came out.  I wanted to see what all the hub-bub was about.

    Summary: Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow. (From Goodreads)

    What Did I Love:
    • The realistic world that Condie created--I loved this because sometimes these worlds seem a little bit strange
    • The details of the world that were needed were given and a whole bunch of extra stuff wasn't--which is great
    • The characters were lovable--I really like Cassia.
    • The audio book I got had a great narrator and was really well done
    What Did I Hate:
    • Can't really think of just wasn't 5 worthy.