Saturday, April 23, 2016

Book Review: Winter

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Winter by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This would have been a lot better at about half the length. The same things kept happening over and over, except with different characters. And constant descriptions about what everyone was wearing and how they looked. And having four different romantic couples was a bit much. And the bad guys were hilariously incompetent.

If you loved the series to begin with, you'll probably love the ending. But if, like me, you're just reading to see how it all ends, you'll probably be annoyed and a bit bored.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Book Review: Only in Naples

In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher and Peter Mayle, this enchantingly warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad, where a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean. It is all thanks to a surprising romance, a new passion for food, and a spirited woman who will become her mother-in-law—and teach her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love.

  Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-LawOnly in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law by Katherine Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication date: April 19, 2016
Source: Netgalley

I don't know what it was about this book that made me like it so much. On the surface, it's really not my style of book, but I requested it from Netgalley cause I was interested in reading more travel memoirs.

The writing style really drew me in, and I quite liked Katherine. I found her story really fun to read, even though nothing very exciting ever happened.

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cookbook Review: Near & Far

Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and TravelNear & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel by Heidi Swanson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication date: September 2015
Source: Blogging for Books

Known for combining natural foods recipes with evocative, artful photography, New York Times bestselling author Heidi Swanson circled the globe to create this mouthwatering assortment of 120 vegetarian dishes. In this deeply personal collection drawn from her well-worn recipe journals, Heidi describes the fragrance of flatbreads hot off a Marrakech griddle, soba noodles and feather-light tempura in Tokyo, and the taste of wild-picked greens from the Puglian coast. Recipes such as Fennel Stew, Carrot & Sake Salad, Watermelon Radish Soup, Brown Butter Tortelli, and Saffron Tagine use healthy, whole foods ingredients and approachable techniques, and photographs taken in Morocco, Japan, Italy, France, and India, as well as back home in Heidi’s kitchen, reveal the places both 
near and far that inspire her warm, nourishing cooking.

This is definitely not one of my favorite cookbooks. The cover is quite lovely, so if the only purpose were to sit on my shelf with my other collection of cookbooks, this would be top notch. But once I open it up, I'm not very impressed.

The recipes are not ones I'm interested in trying, for the most part. But even worse than that, for me, is the photos. Half of the recipes don't have an accompanying picture. Instead, it is some travel photo, and even those are not to my taste. They just don't translate well for a cookbook. This is not one I'd recommend.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Book Review: Phenomenal

Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer's Search for Wonder in the Natural WorldPhenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer's Search for Wonder in the Natural World by Leigh Ann Henion
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley review copy

I really liked the idea for this book; traveling around the world seeing different phenomena that most people have never even heard of. The problem is that I found the author to be so boring. It's like she focused on all the wrong things. That's the only way I can think to describe it.

Her writing should have made me want to travel and see all these places for myself, but it just left me cold. I wasn't excited by any of it.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Review: Dream a Little Dream

Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy, #1)Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication date: April 2015 (English translation)
Source: Netgalley review copy

This was a decent book to read for entertainment value. I was never really bored except for maybe the first couple of chapters were slow going. The characters were interesting enough.

I guess the biggest problem I had with the book was that it felt like there was no plot. It never really got going, and then all of a sudden the story was over. I don't know if I'll read the next in the series.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Book Review: Love, Lies and Spies

Love, Lies & SpiesLove, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication date: April 19, 2016
Source: Netgalley review copy

Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

This book started off really interesting, and I thought I would enjoy it more than I did. It definitely wasn't a bad book, but it did seem to drag a lot in parts. It had the feel somewhat of a Jane Austen novel, which I think was the purpose.

I actually found all the spy stuff a bit boring, and it was my least favorite part of the story. I don't know if I would read more by this author or not. I guess it would depend on the synopsis of her next book.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review: Angels Walking

Angels Walking (Angels Walking, #1)Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication date: September 2014
Source: Netgalley review copy

I find Karen Kingsbury's books to always be very easy reading. You never have to think a whole lot because the writing style is so light and fluffy. That's not to say that the subject matter is always light, though.

Angels Walking is very typical of her writing. I didn't love the book, but it was fairly enjoyable. I was never bored. It was very sweet; almost too much at times. Christian fiction is often that way.

As for whether I'd recommend this book or not, I'd say if you like the author, you'll probably like this. If you're looking for very easy to read Christian fiction, this would also be a good bet.

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