Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top 10 Books of 2014

Based on my rankings, I think this was the year of fantasy. If I remembered to record them all in Goodreads, I have 'read' 32 books this year. However, there are 2 of those books that I didn't finish. So I don't really count those. So I read 30 books this year.


10. The Supreme's at Earl's All You Can Eat (Blog Review)
9. The Slaves Have Names (Blog Review)
8. Snow White and Rose Red: The Curse of the Huntsman
7. Searching for Normal (Blog Review)
6. A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet (Blog Review)
5. Mixed Feelings (Blog Review)
4. Finding Poe
3. Ocean at the End of the Lane (Blog Review)
2. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore (Blog Review)
1. River's Deep (Blog Review)

With links to two different-ish reviews, it seems silly to write more thoughts about them. So I won't. A couple notes about the rankings I will mention though.

Is anyone surprised that Erin Keyser Horn is number one again this year? I'm not. This is the 3rd year in a row she has been at the top of my book list. She really is that good and I really do love her characters that much!

Unreliable narrators are growing on me. Actually, I'm becoming rather fascinated by them as evidenced by #3 and #4.

I finished #8 and #4 late in the year. So I didn't have time to write a blog post on here about them. Maybe I will have one for them in the near future to elaborate more on my thoughts.

Fantasy has been an unintended focus for me this year. #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #8 are all books I would include in that genre.

#6 and #7 are memoirs. #9 is non-fiction, but not quite a memoir. #10 is fiction, but not fantasy.

#5 and #7 are books that I received through Story Cartel for free in exchange for an honest review. My honest review is that I really enjoyed them. Check out that site. They have good stuff.

And if you want a few more book thoughts from me, check this one out.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mixed Feelings by Olivia R. Burton: A Book Review



Kindle Price:$4.99

Length: 228 pages (estimated)


Book Description

 November 3, 2014
Being a therapist means dealing with other people's problems, but this is getting ridiculous.

Despite being an empath who tastes and feels others' emotions, Gwen Arthur's always managed to stay under the radar and out of the preternatural world. The worst she's had to deal with is a horny werewolf private eye named Mel.

Until now.

It starts with a terrifying visit from the monsters that plagued Gwen's childhood nightmares. They're back and they seem to think she's someone else entirely--someone very powerful. Someone capable of taking on the task they lay at her feet: find a group of kidnapped, magically gifted children before they're killed. Or worse.

She's got her smart mouth, her eerily competent best friend Chloe and, yes, even irritatingly attractive Mel to help her through this assignment. Hopefully that'll be enough, because she's also caught the attention of an invisible, candy-stealing interloper on top of everything else.

It's hard enough helping others sort through emotional turmoil, but now Gwen's got to rescue missing kids, figure out this whole “supernatural” thing, and treat Mel like a person? It's enough to give a girl MIXED FEELINGS. 


My Review:

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.

I have received several books from them over the last couple years and have mildly enjoyed them. This one is different! I LOVED this book! The only thing I didn't like is that it was a little too bawdy for my taste. That is the only thing I didn't like. Seriously, that's it! I read most of it in one sitting. 95% of it one night. Like staying up until 2 am to finish it.

It started out reading like a Young Adult, but as I mentioned there is quite a bit of sexual humor. Therefore I would classify it as adult fiction. It does center around the magical/ supernatural world, so it is a fantasy novel. It is also funny. So it is a fantasy adult funny novel. (Not sure that is a genre)

The plot was great. The pacing was good. There were hints that there is more to the story, so we want to read future books in the series. There was one scene at the end with Dirk that didn't seem completely necessary. However, there might be events in the coming books in the series that reference that scene.

The characters are well rounded. They change over the course of the story and throughout the story we are allowed to see different sides of them. Even the minor characters were changed and adapted throughout the story. There are also lots of hints that there is more to come. However, the hints are not so large as to make you frustrated. You don't feel as if there is too much that you don't know. 

A few favorite things:

Gwen is an empath and does a great job of explaining how others people's feelings make her physically react. Her enormous sweet tooth and defense thereof is pretty funny. I'm not always so fond of her laziness. But she admits it and it makes it easier to wait on the future books in the series. So we end up feeling if she doesn't care then I don't need to care. It works for this book.

The anonymous snarky note leaver adds a good dash of humor and a little mysteriousness to the book and the series in general. 

The slow and steady revelation of the other world. We are not given all the answers at the beginning when Laurel and Hardy show up and ask for Gwen's help. She doesn't go on some crazy research binge to find everything out. She asks a few people and goes out try things on her own. We aren't even given all the answers by the end of the book either. And I like that.

A few not so favorite things:

The bawdiness of several scenes with Mel and a couple scenes with Evadne. Some of it seems like sexy for the purpose of sexy and not for anything needed in the plot. 

The entire character of Evadne, but that might be on purpose. Maybe we aren't supposed to like her.

The character of Merrin is too weak. She does some great stuff, but she doesn't have much character herself. Once again, maybe that's on purpose. 


Final thoughts:

I like this book enough to actually read future books in the series. And I've mentioned how I feel about series' before.