Sunday, March 30, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 3/16 - 3/29

Daisy's Book Haul

This will actually be more of a book SHELF haul than a book haul:

Between the last book haul and now, we moved to a new home and aside from it being a lot bigger, more comfortable and more beautiful, the added bonus is that we now have a spare bedroom solely devoted to my books. WHICH IS AWESOME. Obviously. And I've been happily shelving my books, so except for The Iron King by Maurice Druon, I didn't add physical copies to my library. Which I know have: a library. HOORAY!

Egalleys for review:
-Once Upon a Kiss by Jayne Fresina: I really enjoyed Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction by the same author, and this sounds really entertaining as well!
-The Dark World by Cara Lynn Schultz: So obviously I hit request after I saw the words: centuries-old-battle between warlocks and demons. Duh.
-Played by Liz Fichera: I haven't read Hooked, but I'm curious about this one!
-Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars by Codi Gary: an old love rekindled! I'm counting on lots of sparks!
-All Lined Up by Cora Carmack: I really enjoyed Losing It, and I need more books set in college!
-Thornbrook Park by Sherri Browning: a disowned widow! A steamy affair! Simmering tensions! All of me says yes to this!
-Mischief by Moonlight by Emily Greenwood: falling in love with your fiancee's best friend is probably never a good idea, but will also probably make for an interesting story.
-The Swap by Megan Shull: a guy and a girl swapping bodies. Come on, you know you want to read this! If it's anything like Freaky Friday, I'll be happy.
-Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley: I always love a good story about a girl in a line of work dominated by men. And there's a secret society involved.
-The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan: intrigue, betrayal and lies: YES PLEASE!
-Feral by Holly Schindler: this sounds both really creepy and fascinating!
-#scandal by Sarah Ockler: SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!! I'm so happy to be participating in a blog tour for this book and it sounds SO GOOD! And I think if anyone can handle something like kissing your best friend's boyfriend, it's Sarah Ockler.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bookish Deals (32)

Hello! Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to today's biweekly edition of Bookish Deals where I (Julia) try to scour the Internet to find you guys an array of deals to fit in with any budget!

An Arranged Marriage by Jo Beverly - FREE  
Eleanor Chivenham didn't put much past her vile brother, but even she had not anticipated his greedy scheme to dupe a rich earl into mistaking her for a lightskirt! With her reputation in shreds and her future ruined, a defeated Eleanor was forced to agree to a hasty wedding. But marriage to the mysterious Nicholas Delaney was more than she'd bargained for. He doubtless thought the worst of her, but when society gossip soon told her all about his beautiful French mistress, Eleanor tried to act with the cool dignity required in a marriage of convenience. But how long could she hold out against his undeniable charm -- or the secret desires of her heart?

For the sake of family honor, Nicolas Delaney agreed to wed a wronged lady. In truth, such chivalry ran counter to his carefully wrought image of a carousing, dissolute rogue -- the guise so vital to his secret political mission. He hoped to keep his new wife in the background until a spy was trapped, but Eleanor's beauty and fighting wit were impossible to ignore. In fact, she presented quite a challenge to his prowess with women -- and a test of his formidable will!
I don't know how long this will remain free, but it is now and I just nabbed it. Also this is a republish written in the early nineties so it may have a bit of an old school feel. But it's free, so I'll take a gamble!

Taken by Erin Bowman - $1.99
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan - $1.99
AZ | BN 
Having grown up in an apartment above her Grandpa Joe's little bakery, Issy Randal has always known how to make something sweet. She's much better at baking than she is at filing, so when she's laid off from her desk job, Issy decides to open up her own little caf . But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake plan will take all her courage and confectionary talent to avert disaster. Funny and sharp, Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe is about how life might not always taste like what you expect, but there's always room for dessert!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Paula Reviews The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro

Published 2009 by William Morrow & Company 
Got it from a Library Sale
4 Stars

So this book has been on my radar for a long time and I finally got my hands on it last fall at a library sale (for the longest time I could only find the 2nd & 3rd books in the series) and it was such a refresh to read a good book because I had been stuck on a really slow kinda boring book for the last month...

The Premise: A plane lands at JFK and goes dead on the tarmac. No lights. No engine. No radio signal. As a crew goes to check it out they realize that something evil has landed in New York... Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the CDC's Canary project (think a long the lines of the Canaries in Coal mines as an early warning system) gets put on the project of what is thought to be a bio-terrorism attack or the beginnings of a new epidemic. As Eph gets more involved- he realizes that things aren't adding up... and the dead passengers of the plane- have left the morgue? 

Without giving too much away- this is an awesome take on the idea of the Vampire. It presents the reader with a vampire epidemic. The vampires in this book can (kind of?) be based on a scientific idea- it's not just magic- it's creepy gross blood borne parasites. (Think of those parasites that attack ants and use them as zombie attack machines but then put them in a human body). Also these aren't your romanticized misunderstood lover vampires who just want a soul again. These are soulless hosts who return home to their "dear ones" just so they can infect them too. Also their jaws unhinge and they have stingers. And they are smart. Yikes! 

My Thoughts: I really really liked it. I'm happy that the whole trilogy is complete so I can go get the second two asap. Also I was excited to see that FX is picking it up as a TV show this summer. Hopefully it will be a good adaptation?
A possible negative (it didn't bother me but I had a friend who put the book down because of it) is the writing style- it's written by Guillermo Del Toro (aka director of Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim) so it reads very much like a movie. The chapters and scenes are short and choppy- just like a movie would be. I didn't mind it because I knew that Del Toro is a director before he's a novelist - so it felt like it fit his style. But my friend who put the book down found it too distracting. 

Other Thoughts: This is neither a positive or negative thing- but just an addition. I found the very similar to The Passage by Justin Cronin(a vampire apocalypse novel that is based on the idea of it spreading like a virus) I'm not sure which came first? But I will say that even though at first glance they may seem like mirror images- there are enough differences in the focus of the stories and the mythos of the vampires that they aren't. And they are both good books and you should check them both out is really what I'm trying to say here...

Elevator speech review: Creepy good vampire apocalypse horror novel. And the whole series is complete so you can binge read! (I haven't read the other two yet though so hopefully they are just as good?)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Daisy Talks About Book Shelf Organisation

I wish my bookshelves looked like this. Because it is truly gorgeous. But alas, I think it would drive me insane every time I bought a new book and it had to be put in there somewhere and the whole color scheme would be off because of it and UGH! I get stressed just thinking about it.

I'm in the middle of moving into a new home and one of the spare bedrooms is being turned into a room for my books. Which obviously is a dream come true. And this afternoon while I was putting some of my books on the shelves, I was wondering about systems for organising books.

I used to have a system that wasn't logical for anyone but me probably. All the books would get shelved according to the date I purchased them. Which results in books that have come out around the same time to have a spot near each other and I could navigate this perfectly, but nobody else could. Which isn't really that much of a problem, but still.
This time I decided to shelve them by author, and I really like it so far. I thought about doing alphabetical, but then I thought that might take forever and would frustrate me.

So we'll see if this lasts. I'm already thinking of how annoying it'll be to have to move books around because of a new release coming out by an author who lives on a shelf that is full already.

So what I'm asking: how do you organise your bookshelf? Do you have a system? TBR versus read? Alphabetical? By author like me? Or no system at all? Let me know!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jen Reviews This Song Will Save Your Life

Title: This Song Will Save Your LifeAuthor: Leila Sales
Published: 2013
Source: Purchased myself
Rating: 4.5 stars


I've been in a reading slump of epic proportion. This is the first book I've finished in months because nothing would hold my attention. Thank you, Leila Sales for getting me out of it!

Elise, my heart really went out to her. She so desperately wants to fit in that she spends the entire summer buying new clothes and reading magazines that she thinks will help her make friends with the popular kids at her high school. Her hope is that someone will ask her to sit at their lunch table because otherwise she spends lunch period in the library or in a classroom. 

But then one night she accidentally stumbles upon a warehouse dance party and it literally changes her life. Elise finally has something to look forward to and makes friends (Vicky, who is awesome. Where can I find a friend like her??). While probably not realistic for your average teenager girl I loved Elise's "secret" life. No one knew she snuck out of her house to go to a warehouse party every Thursday night. Actually I am amazed that there are teenagers who sneak out of their house without getting caught. The house I lived in growing up was old and creaked too much, to get a door to close you almost had to slam it, and my pets would have definitely given me away.

I really just loved this book and the message of accepting yourself and that there better days are ahead (even when things just seem absolutely terrible).

Is there a song that has saved your life? Or has gotten you through a rough patch?

Music is so so so powerful. There are songs that remind me of certain people or times in my life that I immediately think of when I hear them. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Our Bookish Bucket List -- Top Ten Tuesday!

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!

Jamie says:  

- Reread at least 10 of my childhood favorites and save them for my nieces (and my future child should that happen)

-Read all the classics I own. (Probably only about 20 or so)

Paula says

- Own a first edition copy of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I've often joked that the only way I'll accept a marriage proposal is if I'm being handed that book instead of a ring.

Bridget says

- I want to own first-editions of every Stephen King book! (But first I want to own every Stephen King book. Baby steps.

- Work in a bookstore.


Jana says

- Own and read every Nancy Drew book.

- Read a REALLY long book. Like 800 pages or more.

Jen says

- Restart and finish reading Anna Karenina. I know I’ve mentioned this a few times but I guess my hope is the more I mention it the more accountable I’ll feel? So far it hasn’t worked. But I WILL finish reading the scarily huge book that is Anna Karenina.

- Meet the TB&TB girls! We’ve been collaborating on this blog together for a while now and only a few of us have ever met! (Jamie says YES THIS.)

- Own a house with my very own library! In my dream world it would be similar to the library in Beauty and the Beast! But I’d be satisfied with a room dedicated to my books!

What's on YOUR bookish bucket list??

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kimberly wants to know: "Novellas. Good? Bad? Something in between?"

So let's talk about novellas. Some people hate them, some love them.

Personally, I'm a bit mixed.

First, I don't like the extra money. They're usually only ebooks so I can't even add them to a physical collection.


I LOVE the extra information we get. The Throne of Glass novellas for example, those are awesome! Love them. They tell us a story that isn't exactly necessary to the series, but add so much more to the characters.

I just finished the Daughter of Smoke and Bone novella, "Night of Puppets and Cake". It was a perfectly hilarious and adorable read. Not necessary to the overall story, but a bit more background to a couple of the characters.

Some novellas change how you feel about characters completely. (Shatter Me, for example.) I don't care for those as much. If you wanted me to hate/like the character to begin with, that should probably be in the main book.

So... What about you? What is your opinion of novellas? Hate? Love? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Quickie Interview + Jamie's Thoughts on The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle

The Edge Of Falling by Rebecca Serle
I received this from the publisher for an honest review.
Publisher: Simon Pulse

I really liked The Edge of Falling and my heart just kind of hurts a little bit to think about Caggie's story. Her little sister drowns and she really blames herself because she should have been watching her. The grief really tears at Caggie and her family causing Caggie to really pull away from everyone -- including her (SO PERFECT) boyfriend. Then Caggie becomes thrust into the spotlight because she allegedly saves a girl from committing suicide and she is deemed as a hero. But there's more to the story and that's not exactly what happened on the rooftop and it eats away at Caggie.

So when we meet Caggie we see this intense pain within her from these events and we know she is hurting and we see these signs that she's really having a hard time dealing with it -- the withdrawal from people and then hanging out with this kind of bad boy who has his own problems. Caggie was hard to connect with a lot of the time until closer to the end, where I feel the story really picked up, but I just could feel the weight of everything just weighing her down and the fact that she wasn't dealing with it.

ASTOR. I didn't know whether we were supposed to like him or not but I DID NOT. I kept feeling very nervous for her with Astor around. I got the allure for Caggie in her present state of mind-- he didn't care about talking about their past and so she didn't have to think about things or confront them -- but he was bad news for me. You could tell he had his own issues and together they were just going to implode.

The reveal didn't really surprise me at all but I think hearing Caggie finally say it out loud did affect me. I just felt very emotional towards the end and MAN was that quite the dramatic ending. The second half of the book was definitely my favorite because things REALLY start to come to the surface. It's hard to watch Caggie really go down a path that's not so great and you just really start rooting for her to snap out of it and confront the grief and the rooftop incident before she spirals out of control. You just keep waiting for that moment that you KNOW has to happen. The build up to that moment just really kept me reading. 

Bottom line:
The Edge of Falling was a solid read that was emotional and really made me feel the weight of Caggie's grief and pain. It really become quite gripping about half way through and that's where I felt I become way more invested to Caggie's story despite her pain just dripping from the pages from the start.


1. If you could describe The Edge of Falling in 3 words, what would they be?
Grief. Family. Flying.

2. What is the most important relationship in The Edge of Falling?

Wow, what a great question. The Edge of Falling is a book about relationships—the one Caggie has with her mother, her brother, her father, her ex boyfriend, her best friend—and the hot new guy at school. But I think the most important relationship in The Edge of Falling is the one Caggie is trying to protect, let go of, forget, and simultaneously keep forever: her relationship with her little sister who has passed away. It is only in coming to terms with that tragedy, and its aftermath, that Caggie can move on to begin to love herself.

3. What is your favorite section of the book?

The climax. I can’t say too much about it because it would give a lot away (and I hope you’ll read it!) but it’s a very intense scene. Caggie is finally admitting out loud what really happened on that rooftop last spring when she supposedly saved a girl’s life, and even though we’ve had hints of it, this is when she really confesses. It was a challenging scene to write, and it’s one I’m really proud of.

4. Describe your writing process for aspiring readers.

Well, first it must be exactly 68 degrees in my apartment and I must have a skim latte made exactly seven minutes prior and there must be no noise, whatsoever, and only direct light overhead…KIDDING. I’m not very precious about my process. Seriously, if you want to do this as a job, you can’t be. I write on the fly, when I can, how I can—that is how my books get written. But when I have a new idea I’ll do something that I think will be helpful for you to know. I sit down and “write my way in.” This means I free write for about 30 pages. Just whatever comes. The characters, the universe, whatever. After those 30 pages I sit back and look at what I have. It’s then that I determine what the story I want to tell really is.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Cocktail and Conversation: Authors and Readers Online Interations

Every other Thursday here at the Broke & The Bookish is  A Cocktail & Conversation time. One of the TBTB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends.

Julia asks: How involved are you with author/reader interaction in the online world? Do you as a reader follow authors on facebook/twitter/newsletters or prefer to keep them behind the curtain in a way and just read? In the same vein, how do you feel about author/reviewer interactions?


Jamie says: To be honest, I feel like I'm one of those weirdos that really doesn't follow a lot of authors even though they are soooo super accessible right now. I pretty much just follow favorites and have dialogues with them about their books but quite often many OTHER things besides their book. I typically do like to read without having the author's persona influencing my reading experience. It's lovely to chat with authors but, even though I don't take note of the various author/blogger dramas, I still have been influenced by an author who I thought was rude or said something that rubbed me the wrong way. I try to separate the two things because their book is something entirely apart from WHO they are, and let's be honest that we all aren't perfect/have bad days/poor judgment calls, BUT it's sometimes made me not racing to read their book. And sometimes the author really just IS a douchewad and I struggle with wanting to give my $ to them because I'm human. So basically my author interaction is pretty minimal to my faves/those I've met and thought were interesting or ones that have social media accounts that are super informative/funny.  I think author/reviewer interaction is a fine line. I tend not to be one who gets offended very easily so I don't mind if an author comments on the review personally on MY review as long as they aren't being belligerent or rude or telling me I'm wrong. I'm totally fine with clarification or discussion, as long as they aren't trying to invalidate my reading experience/opinions, but I know I'm probably in the minority.

Bridget says: I'm probably even less involved than Jamie. I did only *just* join Twitter, so that's part of my problem, but there are only two authors that I follow: Stephen King (duh) and Isla Morley, who wrote Above (which came out on March 4 and I reviewed here). I don't interact with them much, primarily because, well, Stephen King, and the time or two I tweeted at Morley, it didn't seem like she got them, even though she had been retweeting other reviews. So I don't know.

Like Jamie, my primary interest in authors is their product, not their personal life or interactions with the outside world. I don't want myor other reviewers'interactions with them to color my experience with them as an author. I won't lie, the reason I followed Morley initially was because I saw she was retweeting reviews and had very few followers, so I thought if I tweeted at her early and she responded, I could maybe get an interview with her or something. But having received no response, I feel sort of "meh" about her now when I feel like if I had held back, I would still view her more as a mythical book-producing creature than a regular person who doesn't answer my tweets.

So, in the end, I really don't have much interest in following authors on social media. Unless, of course, it's for information like book signings or something. But personal life/outside interactions, not so much.

Tahleen says: I actually really enjoy interacting with authors, on Twitter primarily, especially if I've enjoyed their work in the past. For example, I've tweeted at Christopher Healey, who wrote The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom and its sequels (I just won a galley of the third in the series, The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw, and I'M SO EXCITED). I've also tweeted with Rebecca Rasmussen, who wrote The Bird Sisters and the forthcoming Evergreen, and she is a sweetheart. I'll occasionally tweet to others, and sometimes they will reply, other times not; I've noticed the really popular ones are less likely to do so, for obvious reasons. But I really enjoy the accessibility, even if we're just joking with each other and not necessarily talking about their books.

I will say, though, that I like being able to contact authors for other reasons. In college, before Twitter exploded into what it is today, I sent an email to YA author Laurie Faria Stolarz with interview questions for a history/literature paper I was writing, and she graciously replied with excellent answers (and I got an A on the paper). I also reached out to Erin Bow recently after reading her book Plain Kate for a book club because I had questions about her use of the Roma-like people in her fantasy, which she called the Roamers. She also graciously answered my questions, as well as provided me with links to interviews she had done in the past.

So yes, I love being able to reach out to authors via social media and through email!

What about you all? Do you like to interact with authors online? Do you like reading without knowing their personality or anything about them? How do you feel about author/reviewer interaction? Have you ever (without names) had an experience with an author that made it hard for you to read their book or does that not bother you?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Need Of A Recommendation..I Know I Can Count On You Guys!

I just posted today over at my personal blog about how I'm a mood reader and the ways it affects me! With that, I often will be looking for a specific book to fit a mood. Sometimes I want something that is cute and fun or sometimes I want something dark or something that will make me cry. Right now I'm feeling like I want to read something specific and I need your help!

I really, really am in the mood for a book that will make me think. I want something that kind of changes my life. Something with amazing tidbits of truth/astute observations about life and humanity in the midst of a good story. Does this make sense? I hope so. I just want something that is just profound and moving and earth shattering. It's a tall order...I know. And maybe a confusing one?

Also, YA or Adult. Any genre. Doesn't matter.

So basically I just want some recommendations for books that changed your life, made you think, blew your mind with profound truths/amazing commentary on humanity. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top Ten Books on Our Spring 2014 TBR Pile

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!

This week we are talking about the books that are priority on our spring 2014 reading list -- old and new!




Lori's Picks

1.  Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden--This one has been sitting on my pile for a long time.  I've heard some good things about this novel, particularly that the author does a great job of creating the character and the voice of a geisha.  I think it will be really engrossing and a quick because I can't put it down read, which means I should probably be bringing it on my trip, but I already earmarked other choices.  It will also be a nice break from some of the more difficult books I want to tackle this spring.

2.  The Antidote:  Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman--This one recently came across my radar and I think the concept is really interesting.  I've been told that I am a negative person, but efforts to be more positive just feel fake to me.  So I found this book, which more or less is about being less negative and focusing on just accepting things as they are.  I've read a bit of this and it is really interesting to think about.

3.  Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf--I always want to read this novel in the spring.  I know it's a close look at the minutiae of daily life and it's set in early June, which makes it a good spring choice.  It is a short book, but I know it's really dense.  This novel has been on my list for years (and I think it's been on my seasonal reads for a while), so I think it's finally time to tackle this one.

4.  Another Hunter S. Thompson book--I don't know which one it will wind up being--I have a lot of them to choose from on my shelves.  His books are always really interesting adventures and have a great commentary on the events he witnessed.  I love his style of writing, which is really raw and honest.  I'm taking his novel, The Rum Diary, with me to re-read on my Spring Break trip, but I want to read something new to me.

Daisy's Picks:

I'm gonna stick with books that will be released this spring!

5. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: BECAUSE OMG HOW CAN I NOT PUT THIS ON THIS LIST??? I NEED this book in my life. Right now. More Alina and STURMHOND!! Though I'll be sad to see this series end...
Jana seconds this pick!

6. Brazen by Katherine Longshore: I have loved the previous two books in this series, Gilt and Tarnish, and I cannot wait to see how Katherine Longshore will handle Mary Howard's story.

7. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: I've heard SO MANY people rave about this and I'm dying to read it myself!

Jamie's Picks:

8. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: I'm a huge John Green fan and I've just been terrified to read this one. I NEED TO GET ON IT.

9. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: This looks like the perfect book to read this Spring to get me in the mood for Summer! If this snow would just go away...PLEASE DO NOT SNOW IN THE SPRING.
Jana seconds this pick!

10. On The Fence by Kasie West: I love me some Kasie West and this book just showed up in the mail yesterday so HUZZAH you bet I will be on this.

What's priority numero uno for YOU this spring??

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tahleen reviews: "Zombie Baseball Beatdown" by Paolo Bacigalupi

Title: Zombie Baseball Beatdown
Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013
Narrator: Sunil Malhotra

Rating: 3.5 stars

Rabi, Miguel, and Joe have bigger problems than their losing Little League season. It's true, Rabi is a terrible hitter, and their coach doesn't seem to know what he's doing or how to create a batting line-up. Most of the other kids on the team would like to beat the three of them up, and know how to spin it to their advantage. Miguel's parents have been deported, and his aunt and uncle, who are also in the United States illegally, live in fear that they will be next. You'd think that would be enough problems for the boys. But all that pales in comparison when they stumble upon their coach—zombified. Finding a brain-hungry zombie is only the beginning, as their investigation leads them to the revelation that the zombie problem is much, much bigger than their small Iowan town.

Paolo Bacigalupi has managed to write a book, really a social commentary, on the meatpacking industry, immigration, racism, and zombies. You read that correctly.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I enjoyed Sunil Malhotra's narration, mostly his zombie sounds, and it all works together as a cohesive unit, but part of me feels like Bacigalupi tried too hard to get too much in there, and it was like I was being lectured to at times. We leave this book knowing exactly how the author feels about certain hot-topic issues of the day.

I really enjoyed the relationships between the main characters and the development of their relationships with secondary characters, and the climax is great. The parts with the zombie attacks really make this book worth listening to; if it weren't for that, I'm not sure I would have bothered.  I am not so sure how I feel about the complete open-endedness of the book, but I can understand the logic behind Bacigalupi's choice to end it the way he does. It is impressive that Bacigalupi is able to write a readable and zombie-filled story while really writing a social commentary on two major contemporary issues, I just wish the execution had been a bit more subtle.

I listened to this book as part of the 2014 Hub Challenge. It was one of the Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults.

Disclosure: I got a copy of this audiobook from my local library.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 3/2 - 3/15

Daisy's Book Haul

-Half Bad by Sally Green: I am so excited for this witchy book!
-The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen: tell me you're not fascinated by the story of a girl with 56 past lives. I am!
-Written in Red by Anne Bishop: so I loved her Black Jewels series and this new series sounds really good!
-Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen: OBVIOUSLY I needed this after reading and loving Scarlet!
-Shadows by Robin McKinley: do I really need another reason besides that it's written by Robin McKinley?
-Red by Alison Cherry: redheaded girls taking all the power, it sounds like it could be either a hit or a win.
-Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen: LOVED THIS BOOK! And obviously I had to own it. Also: it's REALLY pretty.
-Tremor by Patrick Carman: so I haven't read Pulse yet, but it sounds like a Daisy book and I just cannot help myself...
-The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski: one of my most anticipated books of 2014! So happy it's finally here!

Egalleys for review:
-Born of Deception by Teri Brown: I really enjoyed Born of Illusion, so obviously I clicked the button when this popped up on Edelweiss!
-For All Time by Jude Deveraux: I loved True Love, the first book in the series and am very excited about this one!
-Tabula Rasa by Krisen Lippert-Martin: the cover is kinda scary... And so is the premise, but also EXCITING!
-Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday: I am always down for retellings of Gothic horror stories.
-The Halcyon Bird by Kat Beyer: At the end of The Demon Catchers of Milan I was like WHAT WHAT WHY IS THERE NO SEQUEL PLANNED YET??? ANd now it is, so YAYYYY!
-Through To You by Lauren Barnholdt: I love Lauren Barnholdt's books and this sounds like another winner!
-The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: OMG NEW FANTASY and also: EVERYONE including our very own Jana is raving about it, so obviously I NEED to read this!
-The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa: so I haven't read the second book in this series yet, but I saw a huge spoiler for that one in the summary of The Forever Song and now I'm sad... But I still really want to read this!
-The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst: I really hope this will wow me, because I want to like Sarah Beth Durst's books, but the one I read didn't really work so well for me.
-The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Andersen: Kelly loves this series and she's basically my bookish twin, so...
-My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe: I LOVE Katharine Ashe's historical romance and was so excited when she asked me if I'd like a review copy of this one! So this will be read soon!
-Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore: MAGIC. Also, I like Jaclyn Dolamore's writing style.
-Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski: a whole class getting a side effect telepathy along with their flu shots? YES PLEASE!
-One Night with an Earl by Jennifer Haymore: I have a thing for masquerade ball stories.
-The Scarlet Tides by David Hair: a while back I bought Mage's Blood, the first book in this series, because it sounded awesome and I totally couldn't resist requesting the sequel because YAY!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bookish Deals (31)

Hello! Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to today's biweekly edition of Bookish Deals where I (Julia) try to scour the Internet to find you guys an array of deals to fit in with any budget!

That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran - $1.99  
In the social whirl of Victorian England, Elizabeth Chudderley is at the top of every guest list, the life of every party, and the belle of every ball. But her friends and admirers would be stunned to know the truth: that the merriest widow in London is also the loneliest. Behind the gaiety and smiles lies a secret longing—for something, or someone, to whisk her away.

Raised in scandal, Lord Michael de Grey is convinced that love is a losing gamble—and seduction the only game worth playing. But when duty threatens to trump everything he desires, the only way out is marriage to a woman of his brother’s choosing. Elizabeth Chudderley is delightful, delicious—and distressingly attractive. With such a captivating opponent, Michael isn’t quite sure who is winning the game. How can such passionate players negotiate a marriage of necessity—when their hearts have needs of their own?

At the Mercy of the Queen by Anne Clinard Barnhill - $2.99  
A sweeping tale of sexual seduction and intrigue at the court of Henry VIII, At the Mercy of the Queen is a rich and dramatic debut historical about Madge Shelton, cousin and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.

At the innocent age of fifteen, Lady Margaret Shelton arrives at the court of Henry VIII and quickly becomes the confidante of her cousin, Queen Anne Boleyn. But she soon finds herself drawn into the perilous web of Anne’s ambition.

Desperate to hold onto the king’s waning affection, Anne schemes to have him take her guileless young cousin as mistress, ensuring her husband’s new paramour will owe her loyalty to the queen. But Margaret has fallen deeply in love with a handsome young courtier. She is faced with a terrible dilemma: give herself to the king and betray the love of her life or refuse to become his mistress and jeopardize the life of the her cousin, Queen Anne.

Firefly Lane
 by Kristin Hannah - $2.99  
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all---beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.

Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you---and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Julia Reviews My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster

Title/Author: My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster
Publisher/Year Published:  Oct 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca 
How I got this book: The Library! Ebook form!
Why I read this book: This series is my favorite steampunk romance series of the moment!
Rating: 4.5 stars

I am a sucker for a hero/villain romance. I didn't realize it til this book, but something about it just turns my engines in the right way. My Lady Quicksilver is a great example of a opposites attract story. 

My Lady Qucksilver is the third book in McMaster's London Steampunk series. Taking place near after the events from book two, Sir Jasper Lynch, leader of the Nighthawks (a policeish type force of blue bloods.. erm vampire like men) is searching the slums of London for Mercury, the leader of the humanist rebellion. After the events of the last book forced the humanists into the ruling party, the Echelon (made up of aforementioned blue bloods), into action the pressure is on for Lynch to find him... or actually her.

Mercury is Rosalind, a die-hard humanist in charge of raising an army to fight for the rights of humans in a world run by vampires. But unfortunately, after the events of the last book again, her brother is missing so all of that must take a sideline. Even more unfortunately (fortunately?) she has Lynch on her tail.

The first scene where they meet is each other is quite hot and awesome. It leads to a sort of misunderstood enemy thing that goes on for the rest of the book. The book has a lot of plot threads going on but they overlap each other nicely. I loved being in with the Nighthawks! I was getting a little bored of the slums after the first three books were told. This book really gave the series a fresh breath.

The leads play off each other well. Jasper with his dark side that he is always trying to control plays well off of Rosa's go get it nature. For her, the normality of a life out of the shadows is something that draws her to Jasper as well as the eye opening realities of what happens when we judge people without knowing them.

One negative thing that I will say through me out of the story for a moment was a trope that I've seen used a hell of a lot: the magic hooha. Sleeping with the heroine cures all ills. I literally rolled my eyes at that. If that sort of thing is your off button, then be forewarned. It wouldn't have bothered me as much if it were explained a little more what happened instead of just the power of the vajayjay, but as it was I had to extrapolate for myself what happened so as to apply it to a later scene.

Still, this one is probably my favorite of the four books. It's just a gripping story, interesting and unique to the world leads, sexy sexytimes and only one or two eye rolling tropes. I love this steampunk world and I can't wait to read more in it. If you as a lover of steampunk have not read this series yet, yeah get on that. If you just want to read this one, I'd say it's doable but some of the terms may only be sparsely explained and there are other plot threads from the past book referenced. Nothing that would spoil the other two if you read them out of order though. But yeah, I heart this one.

Note: I trimmed this down from a full SCORE review that I did over on my Booklikes blog. If you want to read a lot more details on the leads and their romance, check it out there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our Top Ten Favorite Books in the Fantasy Genre

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!

Jamie's Picks:

1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I honestly don't read a ton of fantasy (something I'm trying to change because I do enjoy it when I read it) but I LOOOVED this book! I desperately am trying to wait to read book 2 closer to when we get book 3!

2. The Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson: I read this on my honeymoon and it was one of my first fantasy books ever and I was just so absorbed into this story and loved Elisa!

Kimberly's Picks:

3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: I love love love this series! It's my favorite fairytale retelling. The way that the characters and the story all weave together is amazing.

4. Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay: Another retelling. And I LOVE it! Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney, and then they took it and changed it and it's just as good! I love the world that the author created, and I fell in love with the characters. 

5. Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane: I stumbled across this... oh, about 10 years ago? I love this series so much. They take magic and explain how and why it works with a bit of science. Plus, the author is a total astronomy geek which makes everything richer in detail. My favorite bookish quote comes from the first book. "Reading one book is like eating one potato chip."

Jana's Picks:

6. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: This does not come out until to July, but seriously guys. This book is amazing, and about halfway through your mind will be blown in a way you never would have thought.

7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: You agree, right!? AMAZING. 

8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling: I just read this for the first time last month, and OH MY. What took me so long!?!

9. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: Again, just read this last month and it is SO MAGICAL! 

Julia's Pick:
10. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: I just love this series. It is so interesting and not slog-y (if that makes any sense). Kvothe is a wonderful main character who is so darn intriguing. I cant wait to find out more of his story in both the present and the past. It's a book I didn't think I would like, but ended up really enjoying.

Tell us some of your favorite fantasy novels!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Cocktail And Conversation: Reading Slumps

Every other Thursday (errrr we missed last Thursday---so MONDAY this week) here at the Broke & The Bookish is  A Cocktail & Conversation time. One of the TBTB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends.

Jamie asks: What's your method to getting out of a reading slump?

Julia says: When I am in reading slump, I mope about on the internet reading things about books. I read a lot of publishing news in general and all the stories about badly behaving authors entertain me like a sad reality show. I keep my pulse on the reading world and usually something comes up that makes me want to read something again. I've been known to switch genres a bit too when one burns me out. Right now I am in a mini-slump because I was riding high and then got about 100 books out from the library at the same time (by accident) and about 100 arcs came in the mail. There are worse problems to have ;)

Bridget says: Ugh, I feel like I've been in a reading slump for a year! Usually, reading one of my "comfort books" (aka books I reread probably once a year or so) like Ender's Game or It or Sense & Sensibility will remind me why I like reading and why I should do it more! I blame the internet--it's so easy to just come home, get on the couch, and zone out in front of my laptop, mindlessly browsing through Reddit. I need to get back in the habit of zoning out with a book!


What about you guys? How do YOU get out of a reading slump? Tell us your tricks!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lori Reviews Treasure Island

Title:  Treasure Island
Author:  Robert Louis Stevenson
Published:  Cassell and Company, London, 1883
Where I Got It:  I bought an old copy at a used bookstore ages ago, but finally read a copy on my Nook.

I was initially going to read Moby-Dick.  I told my boyfriend that I wanted to just read one book at a time and not pick up another book until I finished and that I was starting with Moby-Dick.  At some point on Sunday, after the grocery store, I realized that Melville just wasn't doing it for me.  I really wanted to watch Muppets Treasure Island, but Zach wasn't in the mood.  So I decided to start reading the book, figuring that this would be the next best thing.

In a way it was.

This book has been on my list for a very long time.  It's just one of those books that so many people seem to have read.  

There's a boy who finds a treasure map and convinces some rich, older men to finance a voyage to find the treasure.  The crew is pretty sketchy.  But things go well.  Until they site land.  Then there's a mutiny.  And some more stuff happens that I don't want to give away because I think you need to both watch the movie and read the book.

As I read the book I had a good time picking out which Muppet played which character.  Interesting tidbit--Miss Piggy's character is actually a man in the book and did not previously know Kermit.  It was a great adventure, which I kind of needed because we got snowed in on Sunday night.  Fortunately work was cancelled on Monday, which meant I was able to spend all bloody day in bed reading until I finished (reason number eleventy bajillion why I'm glad I have not procreated yet).

I think I would have loved this book to pieces had I read it about 16 years ago.  It's a book geared towards children, so that kind of makes sense, but it's also a story that you can still love as an adult (particularly if you read it as a child).  I still liked the book enough to give it 3.5 stars, but...

I spent a good part of the time asking Jim Hawkins what the hell he was doing!  He kept separating from the group of good guys and getting in these bad situations with the pirates.  You don't go off without telling anyone to get a little boat to board the massive ship (apparently with the idea of moving the ship around the island somehow) when there are pirates afoot.  But that is probably a detail you would overlook as a child.

Previously my experience with this book was the Muppets movie, which is fun and funny.  So they really glossed over a lot of the death that took place in the novel in order to make a family-friendly movie.  They really kill people in this movie.  Just pick them off with guns.  Go in commando style and kill them at night.  There was no Billy Bones-esque keeling over when he got the spot (Billy Bones actually dies of a stroke in the book).  That was a bit surprising to me.  But back in 1883, you wrote kids books that dealt with some darker themes, so it was not terribly out of place.

All in all, I liked the book.  If I had any, I would read this to my own kids.  But it is not the Muppets movie.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Top Ten Popular Authors We've Never Read

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!

This week, we're hanging our heads in shame and admitting to the fact that we've not read ALL the popular authors! Try not to judge us too much. 

Jana's Picks:

Sarah Ockler (The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet)

Deb Caletti (Stay)

Julia Quinn (The Duke and I)

John Green (The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska)

Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor series)

I KNOW! I'm not even going to justify these picks, because I know there is nothing I can say that will get me out of the doghouse. If it's any consolation, I own at least one book by each of these authors. I just need the time!

Bridget's Picks:

Gayle Forman (If I Stay, etc.)

Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper, etc.)

John Grisham (The Firm, etc.)

Also, I've never read anything by John Green, but Jana beat me to it! Anyway, I've been debating about whether to read If I Stay, but I'm not very into tear-jerker-y things (also why I've never read any Jodi Picoult) but feel free to try to convince me otherwise. As far as John Grisham goes, I'm pretty sure I own a few of his books but haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I like thrillers, but I'm generally more into the supernatural-thriller genre than the scary-business-mafia-people-thriller genre.

Tahleen's Picks:

S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, etc.)

Cassandra Clare (City of Bones, etc.)

I'm actually embarrassed I've never read any Hinton. She pretty much started the whole "books written for teens" thing, plus she was a teen herself when she wrote The Outsiders. I feel like a bad teen librarian. Also, I've never read any Clare, which I feel like I should since she is so prolific and popular, but I've never really been too intrigued by her books. Maybe I would change my mind if I read one.

What popular authors have you not read yet? Which ones should we start with?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 2/16 - 3/1

Daisy's Book Haul

-Shattered by Teri Terry: so this is one of those series I talked about in this post... I keep hearing amazing things about it, I just really need to start reading it!
-Banished by Liz de Jager: so fae aren't really my thing, but this sounds SO GOOD!
-The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen: this is also one of those series that I own complete but haven't started yet. And it sounds like a me kind of series, so I should get it together and start it soon!
-Perfect Lies by Kiersten White: I really liked Mind Games and am excited to see what will happen in the sequel!
-Fates by Lanie Bross: YA MYTHOLOGY YESSSSSS!
-Split Second by Kasie West: EEEEEEEE! EXCITEMENT! Seriously, I NEED this book, because holy crap, the ending of Pivot Point?? KILLING ME! So I'll make time to read this soon.

Egalleys for review:
-The Game and the Governess by Kate Noble: I've been meaning to read one of Kate Noble's historical romances, because they sound really good!
-V is for Villain by Peter Moore: YAYYYY! :D I like a good superhero/villain story :D
-Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly: I love her historical fiction, I'm curious to see how she'll handle this genre!
-The Duke's Quandary by Callie Hutton: I love a good wallflower turns into enchanting debutante story :)
-Lady Windermere's Lover by Miranda Neville: a marriage of convenience! I'm expecting sparks!
-The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian: an obstacle course and if you make it through you're declared innocent! SERIOUSLY. This is both scary and exciting!
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