Welcome to the MOSL Book Challenge


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the DeepSky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This. Is so much. Everything. I can’t. I just. I want to find the right words to explain why, or even how this grabbed me by the throat and squeezed until I forgot how to even breathe and no longer even cared that I couldn’t. But I can’t. I’ll try, but I already know I’m going to fail to do it justice.

This YA fantasy, reminiscent of a Viking culture, is one of my favorite reads of 2018 so far, and I’m already 171 books deep and have read some pretty amazing stuff. I currently can’t name any of those other titles, because I only have eyes for Sky in the Deep right now, and as a result, everything else has suddenly paled in comparison.

This is absolutely brutal and stark, but with so much texture and depth and richness of the world that I want to throw away my flip-flops and messy bun for battle armor and braids. The MC is pure wrath and solid conviction, and I love that her level of ferocity and concept of honor is paired with so much raw emotion.

On a worse note, this novel is so incredible that it has completely crippled me with self-doubt, and I’m now floundering with my current writing project. So I both love that it could destroy me like this, and I hate that I allow myself to be made small in comparison. Probably, in a few days, after I pick myself back up off the floor and stop reeling, I’ll try to resolve this crisis of writing faith. For now, I mostly just want to pick this story back up and bury myself deep inside the world again. And then again and again.

As an aside, if you can’t handle blood, gore, battle, and violence, then you will struggle with this book, but I suggest you find a way to handle those things, if at all possible, as there is so much heart you’ll be missing out on if you pass this one up.

Book 171 read in 2018

Pages: 352

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Obsidio (Illuminae #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

The final installment of the wonderful and terrible Illuminae Files series! 

Illuminae is one of the most interesting books I've ever read, and it definitely had a huge impact on me. Because of this strong impact, I was less than impressed by Obsidio. I think my expectations were too high, but nothing truly unique happens in Obsidio. I found myself bored...which is an unusual feeling for this series. 

I've also been in a reading slump lately, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I have been demanding too much of my books lately, which only leaves me bitter and disappointed. 

However, I would highly recommend the entire series to anyone and everyone! :D

613 pages

On Dublin Street Series

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)On Dublin Street by Samantha Young  (Book 1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So this book won the New Adult award in Audible's March Ab-Ness challenge to find the Best Book Boyfriend in different categories. I persuaded a friend to read it first, since I've been busy. Her high level of obsession made it clear I had to read it sooner, rather than later.

This story is equal parts amusing and scorching. The love interests butt heads a lot, which means there's tons of banter and bickering, which I appreciated. There are also some real issues that have to be dealt with, and the patient persistence of the male lead is what makes him a perfect Book Boyfriend.

I recommend this one to all avid and part-time romance readers, as well as those who can't turn away from relationship status negations and/or a sexy Scottish burr.

Book 149 read in 2018

Pages: 372

Click below to read the reviews on the rest of the books in the series:
Say You'll Remember MeSay You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a great story! Loved it! I was happy to see that Elle was able to stand up for herself and Drix. The program still help Drix get off the path that he was on and in the end helped him to be a better person.

View all my reviews

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Slammed (Slammed, #1)Slammed by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

#BecRereads2018

So I had a bad day and needed a comfort book. The previous review still stands.

Book 168 read in 2018

Pages: 354

PREVIOUS REVIEW:

Monday, April 23, 2018

Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron

Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First SentenceWired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I confess I picked this up out of a desire to understand the human brain's need and desire for story. We are creatures of story, so much so that I'd put story near the bottom level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, right there with food, rest and health.

Humanity is made of story. We tell the stories of ourselves and our lives. We use story to make almost every decision. We crave story. We dream in stories. Our evolution is based on story, and how passing that information, knowledge, and outcomes down has helped us become something that is more than what it used to be. What we do, who we are, how we see ourselves, the things we enjoy, the people we love, and what becomes of us when we are gone is all tied to story. Without story, humanity would not be what it is.

For those reasons, I read this book, and I came away with so much great information on how to write a decent story that I'll probably listen to this one again. It says some of the same stuff that you would expect to hear, but in new ways, and it turns a few things that I thought I knew completely upside down. I think it really helped me, but there was so much to take in that I definitely didn't absorb it all on the first time through. There's just too much to consider and apply, so I'll probably revisit this one on audio, since it's so easy to consume in that format.

Book 166 Read in 2018

Pages: 262

House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

Summary: "When Charmain Baker agreed to look after her great-uncle's house, she thought she was getting blissful, parent-free time to read. She didn't realize that the house bent space and time, and she did not expect to become responsible for an extremely magical stray dog and a muddled young apprentice wizard. Now, somehow, she's been targeted by a terrifying creature called a lubbock, too, and become central to the king's urgent search for the fabled Elfgift that will save the country. The king is so desperate to find the Elfgift, he's called in an intimidating sorceress named Sophie to help. And where Sophie is, the great Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer won't be far behind. How did respectable Charmain end up in such a mess, and how will she get herself out of it?" - Amazon

This is the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle, and while I wasn't as enchanted as I was in the first, this book was just as much fun with stronger side characters.  I am loving the overall style of Ms. Jones.  There is a lightness to her writing that makes traveling along with her characters a joy.  I can't wait to read the next addition to this series!

5/5

432 pages
Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons, #2)Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Harlow and Finn thought they could just remain friends after their Vegas weekend. This series is funny and I also like that they are all friends. Finn's friends are not afraid to tell him that he is being an idiot.

View all my reviews

352 Pages


Dark Wild Night (Wild Seasons, #3)Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I gave this 4 stars because I didn't like it as much as the first two books. Lola was such a sweet quite girl that stayed to herself. I was glad to see that she was the first one to make the moves and show him that she cared for him. However, she also was just awful to him and I felt terrible for him.

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341 Pages

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian's Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence

Summary: "In Dear Fahrenheit 451, librarian Annie Spence has crafted love letters and breakup notes to the iconic and eclectic books she has encountered over the years. From breaking up with The Giving Tree (a dysfunctional relationship book if ever there was one), to her love letter to The Time Traveler’s Wife (a novel less about time travel and more about the life of a marriage, with all of its ups and downs), Spence will make you think of old favorites in a new way. Filled with suggested reading lists, Spence’s take on classic and contemporary books is very much like the best of literature―sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes surprisingly poignant, and filled with universal truths. A celebration of reading, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is for anyone who loves nothing more than curling up with a good book…and another, and another, and another!" - Amazon

This book is fun.  Pure and simple fun.  Of course, you're reading about someone else's love, peeves, questions, and thoughts about the novels they've read, so I didn't always agree, but I definitely could relate!  Annie Spence writes with an honesty and snarkiness I totally love.  The first part consists of her breakup/love letters to those books she's read, weeded, recommended, etc.  The second part is made of reading lists that are super funny.  For example, one list is made of various excuses to give out to friends when you want to stay home and read.  Each excuse is accompanied by a recommended book.  Again - fun!  I think my favorite letters are those to Frog and Toad (I totally identified) and a blood-splatter book requested and received through inter-library loan (who hasn't gushed over a weird gross book and then wondered about the person asking for it!).       

So worth the read. 

5/5

256 pages

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride by William Goldman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was so much fun. I watched this movie all the time while growing up, so I'm not sure why I never read the book. I should have picked it up sooner.

Book 165 read in 2018

Pages: 398
Sweet Filthy Boy (Wild Seasons, #1)Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was just wanted I needed, it was a little romance and funny at the same time. Mia and her girlfriends got to Vegas for a weekend, and they end up waking up with the shocks of their life. Mia decides to spend the summer in France. 

View all my reviews

385 Pages

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lia is held captive in a kingdom and she is very good at making people see what they want to see. Mean while the whole time she is working on her escape plan. I am very interested to see what happens in the next book and how Kaden handles what happened at the end. 

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470 Pages

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet XThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gorgeous. I could revisit this so many times and probably love it in new ways each time. The audiobook sounds amazing. This is the kind of book to both read and listen to.

Book 162 read in 304

Pages: 357

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lia decides to escape her wedding day, because she doesn't want to be married to someone that she doesn't know. She ends up hiding in a smaller town trying to fit in with the locals. What she doesn't know is that a couple men find her right away, but they just sit back and watch her. She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father. 

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492 Pages

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse MythologyNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a pretty solid read on Norse mythology, which just happens to be a topic I've been studying. There's still something about Gaiman's writing that doesn't quite click with me (yes, I know, I'm the only human alive who feels this disconnect), so I struggled at first.

In the end, I stuck with it, because I wanted a good overview of Norse mythology and knew this was going to provide it. Somewhere around 1/3 of the way in, I started to get comfortable with the style and began to really enjoy this from a storytelling perspective and not just as research. There's definitely some good stuff here.

Book 162 read in 2018

Pages: 304

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Summary: "Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. 

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education." 

If you read my review of Soulless, you may have already realized this book is by the same author.  And while I certainly enjoyed Soulless, I wasn't driven to continue that series.  When I found out that Ms. Carriger also wrote a YA series set in the same world, I decided to give it a go.  I went in wary, however, because MANY adult writers struggle to also write YA.  Not so here!  This book was a pleasant surprise.

The characters are whole and have unique voices.  I enjoyed the overall formal-but-silly feel of the book and found the central mystery a great story arc.  The real stand out qualities of this novel lie with Sophronia, the school, and its teachers.  There is a very Harry Potter feel to the whole thing.  It is intriguing to watch young girls learn how to manipulate others and gather intelligence using only those things available to women of the Victorian Age - handkerchiefs, fans, sewing scissors, etc.

Overall, I enjoyed this very much and have already started book two. :)

4/5

336 pages 
Summary: "Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot - one with dire implications for both super-naturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card." - Amazon

Book two of the Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger.  I enjoyed this novel just as much as the first.  That being said, I'm not sure I will continue with the series right away.  The tone of these novels is so different, and I think I'm realizing that while I enjoy them, I cannot devour them one after another.  I need a break.  And I'm sure when I do get around to reading books three and four, I will be ready.

4/5

320 pages

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1)Breathe by Abbi Glines
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sadie starts working as a maid because her mother can't work anymore, and she begins working for Jax's house. Jax is a famous rocker. Over all it was an okay story but there just wasn't much that made me want to keep reading, and I wasn't that impressed with the story. Over all it was kind of boring. 

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352 Pages

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

MORE VIKINGS: SORRY, PEOPLE

VikingsVikings by Valerie Bodden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The content is minimal but okay. Basic and simple, which is probably to be expected at this level.

However, the format isn't great. Text running different directions is annoying, and I found reading the spiral to be especially aggravating, though perhaps a child more patient than I would do so.

I also don't love the pastels, and very few of the pictures have captions, which I found to be frustrating. Don't show me something and then fail to tell me what it is. Argh!

Overall, not bad for a starter book on vikings. Could be better. Could be worse.

Book 146 read in 2018

Pages: 32


Viking Raiders (Usborne Time Traveller)Viking Raiders by Anne Civardi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, this is by far one of my favorite Viking reference books (out of the 12-ish that I've read so far), even though it's written for kids (probably because of that). It provides so much straightforward information about the Vikings in a format that is very easy to peruse and consume. It's both informative and fun to look at.

This text has a bit of a graphic novel feel about it, because it uses pictures and explanations to help explain Viking life, with big sprawling two page scenes full of descriptions for what's going on in the pictures. It did a great job of helping me better understand what a Viking village might have looked like, what the inside of a Viking longhouse might have looked liked, and all the different parts of ships and ship building.

I really love this one so much that I may see if it's possible to buy a copy.

Pages: 36


VikingsVikings by Kenneth W. Harl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an interesting course, with 36 different lectures on the Vikings. I found it to be engaging, and while some of the lectures were more interesting to me and my research than others, this was overall an excellent series.

The professor really knows his information, and if you are looking on a reliable and more in-depth resource on Vikings that is still captivating, then this may be for you.

For the lectures that were really of interest to me, I was all in and hanging on every word. If there are lectures that are less interesting to you, then you may be able to skip some of them. However, you never know when information might tie across from one lecture to the next, so I went through all 36. I just took a bit more out of some than others, depending on the topic, my interest, and how relevant it was to the specific research I was doing.

Since I enjoyed this so much, I may check out courses on other topics the next time a research bug hits me. Also, I suspect once I complete my research, I may go back and listen to specific lectures from this series that really bring a topic full circle, to make sure I got the whole picture correct.

Pages: 421



Vikings: A Guide to the Terrifying ConquerorsVikings: A Guide to the Terrifying Conquerors by Sean McCollum
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great, basic resource. I really liked the format and the way the information was divided up. It was easy to consume, and it had a good combination of pictures to text for the targeted age range. While it would be a great resource for kids, it's also handy for adults. It covered some information about basic Viking life that I have wanted but didn't find in other longer resources. I'm a fan of this straightforward and easy to read approach.

Book 158 read in 3028

Pages: 48
Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2)Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sara was just looking for a good time after ending her long term relationship. She never thought she would find someone that treated her better then she ever has in the past. There was a lot of humor in this book. 

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345 Pages


Beautiful Bombshell (Beautiful Bastard, #2.5)Beautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was so funny!! Max set up a surprise visit for Bennett on their guy weekend. The whole day Max and Bennett spent hiding that they where sneaking to see time with the girls, so that they others didn't know what they where up too. 

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160 Pages

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

Summary: "A writer in a totalitarian state is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of child-murders that are happening in his town." - Amazon

This play will stay with me.  It's dark, twisted, and a fascinating commentary on humanity's art and actions.  

That's all I have.

5/5

72 pages
The WatcherThe Watcher by Bella Jewel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book starts out explaining Marlie's experience with a serial killer. So it starts out very interesting from chapter 1. I had a good idea who was now watching her, but I didn't know for sure. I was happy that she was able to find someone to help her figure out what was going on. 

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320 Pages