Monday, December 29, 2014

Favorites of 2014: Books

Favorite Contemporary:

Landline by Rainbow Rowell - my review

Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan  - my review

Favorite Historical/Fantasy-ish:

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski - my review

Favorite Children's Book:

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Favorite Mystery:

All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry - my review

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - my review

Favorite Sequel:

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater - my review

Favorite Series Ender:

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - my review

Overall Favorite:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Read This: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse
by Marie Rutkoski

The Goodreads Summary Says:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I Say:
5 stars
This sneaky book came in at the end of the year and became my favorite read of 2014

The Winner's Curse is just so good. Initially I was worried because it's technically a fantasy, but it's not at all a traditional fantasy. I was interested from start to finish. The world is reminiscent of Rome (and other military/conquesting societies). Kestrel, the general's daughter, is a terrible fighter but an excellent strategist. And she finds herself unwittingly buying a slave for a ridiculous price. It's then that the idea of the winner's curse is brought up - where a person has won at such a price that they've really lost. That idea weaves itself throughout the plot, as Kestrel, Arin, the Valorians and the Herrani all try to navigate how much they're willing to lose to get what they want.

I loved that whole set up for the plot, and I really enjoyed the characters. Although Kestrel had a few moments where I thought she was giving up too much information to a slave (her father was so important in society I'm surprised she didn't think more people might be out to get them). But I still believed her, for the most part, and Arin. I liked that the author was able to make me want both characters to have what they wanted, even though they both couldn't be "winners."And then the end left me feeling gutted and wanting the sequel ASAP.

Monday, December 15, 2014

North and South Read Along

Since I really enjoyed doing The Book Thief read along last year, it's time to sign up for another one. The lovely bloggers Suey, Kami, & Jenni are hosting a North and South read along and I'm in!

Here's the schedule:
**January 1 to 10: Chapter 1 to 28
(Discussion hosted by Jenni Elyse.)

**January 11 to 20: Chapter 29 to 35
(Discussion hosted by Kami's Library Thoughts.)

**January 21 to 31: Chapter 36 to end
(Discussion hosted by It's All About Books.)

I know absolutely nothing about the book (or the movie) so this should be fun. I'm guessing it's a Civil War book? Maybe? Also this book is in the public domain (meaning, free). Kindle link Google book link

If you'd like to join, sign up at either of the three blogs by clicking on the names above!

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Little Update

I've hardly been around the blogging world lately (as in most of 2014) but here's why:

She's all cheeks and puffy sleeves

I had a little girl! She's two months old today. There was a medical emergency during labor so I ended up in a very fast c-section. It was kinda scary. (I lost a lot of blood and they had to pump the baby's stomach right after she was born. But she didn't have to go to the NICU and although they thought I'd need a transfusion I ended up not) So the recovery was tough and I didn't feel like doing much.

Channeling a zombie, meeting the baby for the first time.
At least I didn't need to be turned into a vampire.

But! I'm slowly trying to get back into things so I'll hopefully be around the blog more. I've missed everyone!

In the mean time, have you guys seen PulseIt's 31 Days of Reading? There's a free book to read every day this month. One more thing to be excited for in December. What has everyone else been up to? How was your Thanksgiving?