Monday, June 30, 2014

Rachel Reviews - Motherless Child

Motherless Child by Glen Hirshberg

* Provided by the publisher for review.

2 gnomes out of 5 gnomes

Well, I had to say this sooner or later, “I did not like this book.” Unlike the praise written on the book’s cover, I didn’t find it thrilling, compelling, satisfying, terrifying, or heartbreaking. Heck, I barely found it interesting.

There was no empathizing with the main character, Natalie. This could be because she and I have nothing in common. It could also be because the scenes with her and Sophie tended to leave me confused about which one wanted the most to feed, which one was going through more emotional turmoil, etc. In the beginning of the book, you get that Natalie is the alpha female, more in control of her urges to feed. But she still makes these split second decisions that the reader has no reason to be able to follow and is left with a feeling of confusion, rather than horror.

Yes, there is blood and I’m sure plenty of people have wondered about one vampire eating another, but it just seemed so out of place. I’m fairly certain that you could have the same story in a non-paranormal or horror setting and it might be even more interesting. The story of a stalker who drives a woman from her home with only her best friend as comfort; only to find out that the stalker’s own stalker is after them and all they hold dear. It really sounds like a better plot for a murder mystery/thriller than a paranormal horror.

Then there’s the entire chapter from The Whistler’s Mother’s perspective about Aunt Sally, who seems important in this chapter, but is never mentioned afterwards and plays no real role. I get that we’re supposed to be seeing how The Mother thinks, but there had to be a better way of doing this. Then we find out The Whistler and the woman he calls Mother were lovers. I’m sure it’s just a terminology thing, but if there’s a vampire order here, as implied by the introduction of Aunt Sally, I’m not seeing it.

I find that there’s also a plot hole in this book that, could just be me, but how did Natalie’s mother, Jess, know that her daughter was a monster? Her daughter comes in, looks at her mother and says “Don’t let me find you.” I get that Jess is a strong, no-nonsense woman. But she then spends the first chapter from her perspective knowing she’s never going to see her daughter again. Natalie had a considerable wild streak but for some reason Jess knows this time it’s real? Is it a mother-daughter bond that goes beyond what my own mother and I have? Is it a southern mother/daughter thing?

To be fair, it could just be me. I reacted the same to Twilight, so maybe I just have a problem with modern vampires. The Whistler using Twitter to find/follow Natalie across the south does make him an incredibly creepy figure. Any woman with a stalker will understand why he is creepy.

All in all, this book left me feeling more confused and unsatisfied than anything else. There was so much potential for world building, the actual playing with the moonlight, Aunt Sally, The Whistler’s groupies, but it was all left to the wayside for the sake of showing how confused and emotionally distraught the main character was. I’m afraid the most I can muster is 2 gnomes and I feel I’m being generous with that.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Tiny Reverse Vampire

Happy Birthday to my sister Brandy aka Tiny Reverse Vampire :)

Brandy’s the one on the right in the picture. It has always been interesting having a birthday that is only one week before my sister’s. We’re only 3 years one week apart age wise and we used to celebrate our birthdays on the same day and as you can see from the pic sometimes we dressed the same too. :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cool Stuff This Week - Blogging for Books

I signed up for Blogging for Books, so far it's pretty cool. You sign up, pick a book you want to review and they send you the book. So far so good, I received my first book and can't wait to read it.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekend Read - Noggin

This is one of the books that I got for my birthday and I can't wait to start it. It has a crazy/weird premise that should make for quite an intriguing read.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Check Out This Comic - All New X-Men

This is such an awesome X-Men story. I've always loved the X-Men so I was curious how this original/current team meeting would go. There is so much that can be done with these characters seeing their future situations and that most of them aren't exactly doing so great. I'm looking forward to them finding out more about the future and seeing possibly what they can change.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday - The Half Life of Molly Pierce

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

This week I'm waiting on...  

The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

* Book will be released July 8, 2014

Check out the description from Barnes & Noble:

"You take it for granted. You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes. 
You live and you remember. 
Me, I live and I forget. 
But now—now I am remembering. 
For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she's missed bits and pieces of her life. Now she's figuring out why. Now she's remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led . . . and the love that she can't let go."

This looks like an interesting take on an unreliable narrator. I’m looking forward to solving the mystery of why she can’t remember.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NetGalley Find of the Week - Sway

This sounds like a great read and I’m interested in reading it after seeing this in the description,A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My mini review/rave of both Opal and Origin

The Good, the bad, the OH F#$% moments: My mini review/rave of both Opal and Origin

5 out of 5 gnomes overall for both books, especially that ending.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

So much craziness now that a long lost brother is back. Katy feels so much guilt over the bad decisions she has made and Dee who used to be her best friend isn’t exactly talking to her anymore.

Since I read this books one right after the other everything blended together and this book is kind of the set up for the next book and everything starts to fall into place.

There is plenty of drama and you’ll be wondering if the characters should trust anybody. Katy still has trouble controlling her hybrid self sometimes but when she does you don’t want to mess with her.

There are so many twists and turns and the ending of this one is pretty darn devastating but boy does it move you to read the next book ASAP.

Best Quotes/Lines from Opal:
“Let your inner stripper come out and play.”

“The Harbinger? What a ...lovely, reassuring name for a club.”

“If you start climbing on car hoods, I think I might marry you.”

“Oh! Books! You have books!”

“And I was just a little bit of a book nerd. Yeah, right.”

AHHH so much craziness and DEATH DEATH DEATH DEATH!!!!!

Great new characters/ones you learn more about. Luc, Archer, and Paris are very interesting for multiple reasons.

That ending hurt my heart and brain almost as much as the ending from Opal. Hopefully that ending is just foreshadowing for how epic the last book will be.

Best Quotes/Lines from Origin:
* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

“Man, I missed books already.”

“I’ve always wanted a Mogwai.”

“I was better the moment you woke up.”

“I hope you know how thankful I am for everything you’ve done.”

“Sporks are only used in the most dire situations.”

“Are you having impure thoughts about me?”

“There are things I would want to change, but not you—never you. I love you. That’s never going to change.”

“Mystery is overrated. I want to get to know every freckle and every curve on a personal level.”

“Probably should have put some pants on.”

“Will you make me the luckiest bastard on Earth and marry me, Katy Swartz?”

“This was what mattered—would always matter the most.”

“Well then, it’s time to introduce the world to a little bit of extraterrestrial awesomeness.”

“He made me. And I made him.”

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

Today’s my birthday (number 29). :)

My sister took me to Books-A-Million and I got some awesome books that I’ve been meaning to read.




Saturday, June 21, 2014

Story Time - Check out the stories

Story Time:

You can go here and add to the old story or add to the new story in this post.

Authors of this story so far: me (Bibliognome), Hazel Lee Vaughn, Wesley Hoffmann, Deb, Allison Bruning, Jordin Barber, Joy


1.) Only write 1 to 2 sentences
2.) Keep it clean
3.) Have fun and spread the word so the story grows

Great, now there was maniacal laughter drifting down the hallway. This was the last thing she needed after the crazy day she’d just had.  Why couldn’t things just go back to normal?

She sighed, there was nothing left for her to do but to check out who was laughing so maniacally in the baby's playroom, she didn't want the neighbors complaining. She walked down the hallway and opened the door to the baby's room and saw a huge shadow silhouetted in the dim room by the light from the hallway.

She froze. She was sure she had locked the door when she had left for work this morning. Right? She was pretty sure she had. Still she couldn't believe what she saw.

It was the woman from her dream.

The powerful witch glared directly at her with a deep knowing gaze. "This child is special." She reached our her hands, picked up the sleeping baby and disappeared.

The woman, who let's just face it, bared a strange resemblance to the person she feared she would become... someone evil, someone maniacal, someone who couldn't care less about the offspring she had just produced.

She shrieked with the vague hope of summoning help. But, as the last lone screaming note echoed off the playroom walls, she knew that no help would arrive.

In despair, she did the only thing she could think of to do. She picked up her phone and starting dialing.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekend Read - Blue Sea Burning

Blue Sea Burning by Geoff Rodkey

I loved the first two books in the series and cannot wait to see how this story ends.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rachel Reviews - Devil Music

Devil Music by Carly Orosz

* Provided by the author for review.

4 out of 5 Gnomes

Devil Music is book that has over 650 pages and is about 80’s metal, drugs, demons, magic, serial killers and televangelists. There is no way to give this book a proper review in just a few short paragraphs, so please bear with me if this takes some time.

Cain is a gentle, blue-scaled demon with hooves, horns, and talons and has been enslaved by a human sorcerer, Mr. Warwick, for 10 years. He also helps Mr. Warwick’s sons, Lance and Steve, with their magic. The only thing that Cain really has is metal music on his radio, and even that is limited. The older, and heavily favored, son Lance has a new crush on a girl at least once a week, so imagine the surprise when he pines for a girl who shot him down for several weeks. Mr. Warwick is pleased by his son sticking with something for longer than a few days and wishes to encourage this crush to something more, but there are two problems: 1) She’s across the country in LA and 2) She’s the daughter of Mr. Warwick’s new client, Rev. Breen. To resolve this, Mr. Warwick decides to send Cain to LA to find the girl, Michelle, and bring her back to New York of her own volition, where he will give her a love potion that will endear her to Lance.

After Cain is sent to LA, he becomes el animal, a crazy, homeless rat-catcher for a poor Hispanic neighborhood. Then he becomes a guitarist, playing outside clubs to make some money, using his magic to provide the electricity he needs for his electric guitar. Then he becomes a major star after signing record deal with Daggerspoint Records, THE company all the musicians want to sign with. His bandmates are the only three known survivors of The Engineer, a serial killer who targets up and coming young rock stars. After their encounters, each of the musicians (Izzy on drums, Vince on vocals, Sammi on bass) realize they have magic abilities (Izzy changes into animals, Vince reads minds and sucks souls, Sammi controls electricity) and some serious mental/emotions issues (Izzy lost some IQ points, Vince is mopey and morbid, Sammi does drugs).

The Engineer has not been stopped, or even really looked into, because Rev. Nathaniel Breen has been preaching that The Engineer is made up by rock stars to cover up their satanic rituals and killings. Even if the police wanted to look into these, they’re busy with another guy who killed his own mother and does, in fact, also play a part in this story.

To make a long story short, oh…too late.

I’ll admit, sometimes there’s so much going on in this book, it can be difficult to keep track of it. At the same time, though, I don’t think that this story could be broken into two or more books. You just need to keep going like you would in a marathon.

While the story itself can be confusing, and some aspects predictable, I had fun reading it. I learned some new vocabulary words that sound more interesting than Shakespearean insults – “Bloviating, mendacity-minded frauds”. I also found that while the storyline has predictability, the characters do not. An intellectual insight from Izzy or a kind word from Vince and my attention is kept because it catches me off guard and adds to the depths of the characters. The idea of chocolate and sugar being what gets a demon high instead of the same drugs as humans was a funny point of interest. The story is also a lot cleaner than it could’ve been. There’s plenty of language and blood, but nothing that made me want to put the book down so I could regain my composure.

Admittedly, Devil Music is not the kind of book I would normally read but it is still good and I’m all for supporting a fellow Michigander. If I were an owl, I’d give it four hoots. For Bibliognome, I give it four gnomes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday - Epic Tales from Adventure Time: The Untamed Scoundrel by T.T. MacDangereuse, Christopher Houghton (Illustrator)

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

This week I'm waiting on...  

Epic Tales from Adventure Time: The Untamed Scoundrel by T.T. MacDangereuse, Christopher Houghton (Illustrator)

  • Check out the description from Barnes & Noble:

    "Based on an idea from Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward comes a series of epic fiction inspired by classic pulp adventure stories (with just a touch of romance novels) set in a fan-fiction version of Ooo and featuring original, off the wall stories staring the series most popular couples such as Jake & Lady Rainicorn and Fionna & Marshall Lee."

    Now this is one epically funny cover, I love the take on old school romance novels. The cartoon is always interesting so this promises to be a very fun book.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

    Question of the Week - What cliffhanger ending has made you mad recently?

    I have to admit that I am now extremely glad that I waited to read Opal and was able to finish it and start Origin right away. The ending of Opal was just insane...

    Monday, June 16, 2014

    Kylie Reviews - Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel

    Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel

    * Provided  by the publisher for review.

    Kylie’s Rating System:
    1- Fiery Loathing
    2- Boring As Hell
    3- Facebook Like
    4- Fangirl-level Obsession
    5- Idol Worship

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    "Sailor Twain" tells the tale of Captain Elijah Twain and his adventures aboard the steamship Lorelei, along with the Frenchman Lafayette and the mermaid South.

    The story is told in such a way as to remind the reader of a black and white detective film. The novel is presented in the form of a graphic novel, and the drawings, done entirely in charcoal, are absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. Many of the frames lack dialogue, and instead tell a whole other story within the larger narrative. The reader finds oneself studying each frame for every detail that is to be found, and a second perusal of the novel without even reading the dialogue creates just as striking of an impression. Each face and body is drawn in such a way as to convey exactly the feelings the author intended to portray, from a simple line-drawn stick-figure to a nuanced and exquisitely drawn profile.

    The plot, which is a fresh application of the mermaid folktale to a nineteenth century steamship setting, carries the reader well all the way up to the third section, in which the depth required to convey the underpinnings of the underwater world, and the mermaid's motivations, are lost in a rush of action. One is left feeling slightly adrift when the last page is done, but the satisfaction of a beautiful graphic novel that also smells wonderful (at least in the First Second Publishing paperback edition) is enough for this reviewer to rate the book a solid 3.5/5 stars. On my scale, that's a "Facebook Like."

    Sunday, June 15, 2014

    Picture of the Week - Crow Dressed for Summer

    This is the library mascot, Edgar Allan Crow. Here is his June look which I made out of construction paper and twine. :)

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

    Weekend Read - Opal

    I have loved this series so far but have fallen behind on reading them. I’m about a third into this one and can’t wait to see where the story goes next.

    Friday, June 13, 2014

    Thursday the Twelfth - a Tiny Reverse Vampire Terrifying Friday the 13th Eve Story

    Thursday, I was driving to work and at one of the stoplights I was watching a blackbird because it looked like it was going to fly close. I like to see their feathers when they fly close so I was watching it and then it came even closer, stopping to sit on the part of the car next to my windshield. 

    Screamed slightly and swore a little because I didn’t think it was going to land so I yelled at it a couple of times and it didn’t move. Thinking oh well, it’ll leave when I move I slowly started to drive forward. Two blocks later the blackbird it still sitting next to the windshield on my car… Finally after leaning forward and knocking lightly on the windshield at the next stoplight the bird looks at me, tilts it’s head and leaves.

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    Review - Everything Leads to You

    Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

    * Read via the publisher for review.

    3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

    This book lets you imagine the life of somebody who works in making movies. If you like films/the how to of making films than this book could definitely work for you. I don’t know how true any of the film stuff is but it was really interesting.

    Emi seemed a bit full of herself at first but she grew into an interesting character pretty fast. She’s had an on again off again girlfriend and tries not to go back again. Emi really has to discover her worth as a character. The more confidence she gets the more her character really shines.

    There’s a great mystery to solve involving a famous person and what they left behind. This mystery is fascinating and the relationships that you see throughout the book are really well done.

    Overall a kind of easy going book that takes some twists and turns but ends pretty much like you think it will.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    "Waiting On" Wednesday - The Giver Quartet Omnibus

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

    This week I'm waiting on...  

    The Giver Quartet Omnibus by Lois Lowry

    * Book will be released July 01, 2014

    Check out the description from Barnes & Noble:

    "Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift, Alexander Skarsgard, and Brenton Thwaites

    This first-ever Lois Lowry single-volume collection includes unabridged editions of the Newbery Medal-winning The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Lois Lowry's groundbreaking dystopian series comes alive in a single portable volume. An affordable addition to the shelves of teen fans and collectors alike."

    I’ve read every book besides the last one in this quartet. I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far and can’t wait to have the books all in one place.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    Sentence Sneak Peek - Everything Leads to You

    Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

    * Read via the publisher for review.

    “Five texts are waiting for me when I get out of my English final.”

    “We get on the road at 6:55, glasses full of Toby’s iced tea because it was either that or some homemade kombucha that neither of us was brave enough to try.”

    “Charlotte and I are perched on benches in the high school courtyard in our short shorts and tank tops, tapped into the school wireless connection, searching for Ava.”

    “After seven weeks, fifty-two garage sales, and sixteen estates, the impossible happens: I find the sofa.”

    “On Monday, I go straight to the room Morgan’s been work-ing on.”

    “As soon as I open the door I wish we’d had just a few more minutes, because Ava is standing in the doorway looking movie-star pretty, looking Clyde Jones pretty, and I am facing her in a shirt with a red tomato-sauce smear on the chest, my hair in a messy ponytail, realizing that in spite of all our plan-ing I have no idea how to deliver the news we summoned her to hear.”

    “The next morning, I knock on the ajar door of Ginger’s office.”

    “The next day at noon, I meet Theo and Rebecca at their house just a couple blocks from the café where we had our first meet-ing.”

    “An hour later, Charlotte and I are sitting on the floor of Rebecca and Theo’s living room with the rest of the crew, all of us together for the first time.”

    “I read it twice,” Ava says, dropping her purse on Toby’s couch and perching on the armrest.”

    “When I pull into Toby’s driveway, I find Ava perched on the hood of her car, reading a thick paperback.”

    “I guess the realization that Ginger was right about my sofa has shaken my confidence, because this morning I find myself in Theo’s backyard having requested a meeting to go over my progress.”

    “At 4:40 a.m. on Sunday morning I pull up to the Echo Park house and text Rebecca that I’m here.”

    “Do we need real dinner?”

    Theo and I have appointments at five potential locations for George’s house.”

    “My phone rings at 2:23 a.m., a Los Angeles number I don’t recognize.”

    “Juniper’s apartment is introduced like this:

    “I wake up nervous.”

    “We found Lenny,” I tell Charlotte when she answers.”

    “I have to make up for lost time.”

    “Almost a week passes and I don’t hear anything from Ava.”

    “We film today.”