Susana "Lost in Fantasy Land"

I love to get lost in the pages of a good book. At the moment my favorite genres are urban fantasy and dystopias.

 

Less pies, more substance please

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes - Susan Bishop Crispell

Rachel has spent most of her life trying to ignore her magical "gift", and with good reason: sixteen years ago it ruined her family's life...

For all it's faults, this story has a truly original concept: more the pity for the way it turned out.

The initial dark tone ends up disappearing in an avalanche of badly explained facts, stereotypical characters, and a never ending mention ( and eating) of pies!

I really don't understand how all of that people aren't diabetics. Really!

 

Even so, it was readable, so, that's that...

 

The story starts with twenty six old Rachel still living in her family home. And I say still, because that house doesn't harbour happy memories... When a wish suddenly appears ( in front of her eyes, written in a piece of paper like they used to) after a long hiatus of them not bothering her, Rachel freaks out and decides to disappear town, before something bad happens to her friends. You see, Rachel doesn't have a good relationship with her gift ever since a catastrophe happened.

At ten years old she wished her young brother would get lost. After that, Michael disappears never to be remembered by his parents. Only Rachel remembers him.

(show spoiler)

Dark right? Well it even gets darker!

But then Rachel arrives to this little town, Nowhere, capital of the "Lost and Found".

I don't know what I was expecting, maybe a town full of odd ones?

But with the exception of Catch, a seventy five old woman who makes magical pies, with which she binds people's secrets, the rest of the folks were basically normal. Which was kind of disappointing.

 

I was expecting more out of Catch's and Rachel's relationship. Although it ends up developing itself in a very aloof and cranky way, it always felt too superficial. And the same thing happened with the rest of the story and it's characters.

I wanted more out of Catch's background. When did she start making the pies? When did she start getting sick? Who was that stupid ex-husband of hers?

Instead, the author decided to present her as just this cranky old lady constantly making pies: normal pies and magical pies.

________

Badly explained fact #23... why would people eat her pies if they suspect that someone may be trying to make them forget something??

Look, I don't know about you, but I would probably swore pies off for LIFE.

 

Then there's Ashe, our broken hearted hero...

Handsome, attractive, always ready to help... and with a wife of whom he still hasn't divorced. Can you say, awkward much?

The ex wife is presented as a cheater, although I really don't understand how Ashe found out about it. Her name is Lola ( -__-) and we really don't understand why she cheated on Ashe... well, there's mentions of great charm involved. Another magical ability?

Unfortunately that _ and that person's motives _ were never developed. Maybe because she didn't want to enter the soap opera domaine. *cough*

Like I said there's a lot of mentions of people eating pie.

Constantly.

So, I guess there wasn't space or time to develop any thing else.

As for the final part, it went from magical realism to Disney land. Which was awkward.

Another plot that was extremely important, ends up not being resolved, and the ending was really wish washy.

Basically, great concept, but the execution could've been better.

SPOILER ALERT!
Becoming Beauty - Sarah Boucher Sometimes you read the first paragraph in a story and it's enough to know that you're going to hate it... that was not the case here. -_- The beginning was actually pretty decent with a different twist to a well known story. In this tale, Bella is this selfish vain girl whose reckless request leaves her father in a world of troubles. What happens next is pretty standard [except for the fact that Bella's sister, Cass is the real Beauty of the family (hide spoiler)] in which after awhile, Bella ends up at the Beast's manor. As for the Beast? Well he's very emo. And prone to fits of temper [also not really a Beast in the literal sense of the word -_- actually the guy just needed a few baths, and a hair cut. Oh, and a manicure and pedicure. (hide spoiler)] That was disappointing! If I wanted to read about an over emotional dude that decides to go reclusive I would read a new adult book! So Bella and the emo guy start bickering with each other. Bella basically becomes his ( and of another guy who lives there) servant. And some months later she's basically "healed" of her spoiled ways. Because hard labour strengthens the character!*repeat after me!* After this, the book's plot basically crashes: everything that was mildly interesting disappears. The Beast, Phillipe, becomes this super accommodating dude who just wants to worship her. This confuses Bella. *hands up in the air* Then Bella decides that maybe she's in a love triangle, even though her interactions with the other dude (sorry, can't remember the guy's name any more) were minimal. The only bits of "magic" that the story has, are related with this pendant that Bella uses and that connects her with the necklace previous owner... memories. Surprisingly this doesn't faze any of the characters. In reality it was lame as hell... What happens next is worth of a crazy soap opera Bella decides that it is the other guy that she loves, but what will be of Phillipe? *cue depressing music* But wait, don't despair! Bella's beautiful sister Cassandra is more than willing to take her place! o_O Definitely not what I was expecting. But hey, this is 2016 and everything basically sucks!

Not exactly Christmas..sy but this is what I'm listening :)

 

Merry Christmas to you all!

Reading progress update: I've read 66%.

Becoming Beauty - Sarah Boucher

This is one boring _so called _ "Beast"..

Also I'm not sure but so far it seems as if the title is directed at the "Beast": since he's so pretty and all...

Different, that's for sure...

reading ✧ I Shop books at Books + Rec Shoppe www.booksandrec.com:

 

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How to finish my reading challenge

I think that the only way for me to finish the GR's and BL's challenges would be if I start reading some Amanda Quick's oldest stories.

What do you guys recommend?

These are the ones I think I've read:

Dangerous Desire Affair I Thee Wed (Vanza #2) Wicked Widow (Vanza #3) Wait Until Midnight The Perfect Poison (Arcane Society, #6) The Third Circle (Arcane Society, #4)

 

The River Knows Second Sight (Arcane Society, #1) Lie by Moonlight The Paid Companion Slightly Shady Don't Look Back Late for the Wedding Quicksilver (Arcane Society, #11) (Looking Glass Trilogy #2)

 

Scandal With This Ring (Vanza, #1)

 

Troublemaker: A Novel - Linda Howard

This is a story about a golden Retriever named Tricks and the humans she dotes upon :)

Some of you _ who have read this, will know what I'm talking about _ will probably laugh, and call me exaggerated ;)

Look I love dogs and cats: that's why I sometimes find myself without knowing what to do with my life, when I think of all the animals that I've taken care, and the ones that I still have in my life. Up until two weeks ago I used to feed thirteen cats, now they're only twelve, and once again I feel as if part of my heart was ripped.

Then there's the blame and guilt, because I can't take them to top notch vets, which leaves me always wondering if they would be alive if I had. My head goes into overdrive, and its only due to the meds that I take, that I keep going.

People keep abandoning cats outside my house, and if I don't take them, most of them die on the street.

Why I am telling this?

Because reading is an escape from reality, and sometimes I don't want to read books that have animals in them ( most of the times they end up dead or being hurt!).

From the beginning I could see that this was going to be a story about a dog... maybe because the author wouldn't shut up about all of Tricks wonderful nature...

I got to the middle of the story and I got kind of tired of it. Even loving dogs.

But then saturday, 19 th happened, and I lost my cat Fiona, and somehow reading about Tricks helped me.

I started questioning me: can't you see yourself in Bo in the way she mostly prefers her dog to the rest of the world?

Aren't I a slave of my diva cats, the way she is about Tricks?

I am. And I hope I will be for the longest time ever.

The rest of the story, the developing romance was okay, I guess. Kind of hard to evaluate a romance when I mostly feel numb.

As for the thriller part I also felt that it could have been more developed.

The Dress Shop of Dreams - Menna van Praag

Lately I can't seem to find the patience, or the will, to write reviews. Especially for books that I don't like ( which unfortunately seems to be the rule lately).

I feel emotionally drained at all levels, so my patience for half assed stories is even more reduced.

This was my first story by the author, and more likely will be my last.

Some writing styles and stories work out for me, others don't: what is supposed to feel magical realism feels lame to me, and sometimes I just feel like dnf a book after a first paragraph.

But then bad things happen, and I feel so lousy, that this is just the kind of story that I should be reading: a story about which I just don't care about.

I thought this was going to be about a character, Cora. Instead there was a myriad of characters _ most of which I couldn't care about _ with their vastly pov's, who would change briskly at the will of the wind?

Every single time I would start feeling some connection to a character, boom, there would be a pov's change.

For me the characters felt cardboard, the romances weak as hell ( with the exception of the police officer and his wife... that one I would have liked to have had more), and one of the characters _ Milly _ almost made me throw the Kobo against a wall.

Not for me I'm afraid.

Great beginning...

The Obsession - Nora Roberts

... but then the whole thing fell apart into a boring story that could be called, "My house's Renovation- The journal". -_-

Look, for that there's "House Rules"... of which I'm fan.

I've read so many NR's books and lately it seems as if the author has fallen into this clinical writing style that annoys the hell out of me.

As for the romance, it is probably the weakest of them all.

A big meh for a big book.

 

How this was nominated for best romance _ by GR's _ is beyond me.

At 62%

Troublemaker: A Novel - Linda Howard

Tricks, the Retriever, continues to be the main character.

Acácia
Acácia
Acácia
Acácia
Nosy neighbours
Nosy neighbours
again the same nosy guys
again the same nosy guys
Candy stripe rose
Candy stripe rose

Here are some photos I took today: hope they cheer you guys in this very important day, for America. And for the rest of us. -_-

I do not want to live in a world who has Trump for President. -_-

I've read 37%

The Bird and the Sword - Amy Harmon

How in the hell, is this book in a "best fantasy" category is beyond me. -_-

The world building is extremely weak. There's some paranormal elements. Some made up words...

The characters, except for Lark, are not well developed. And even Lark, comes out very naive for someone who is 19. Also, I wanted her not to be so... goody two shoes.

This is a book about a romance, but I really like my characters to have a choice about it... and being abducted by the guy isn't what I call romantic.

 

Image result for if disney mothers were alive

The Girl Who Drank The Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill

I definitely need to read more Kelly Barnhill stories, because this is my second book by the author, and once again I've given it five stars...
Look, I don't know how to properly review this story. Part of me just wants to gush about the writing, the plot, the characters, the depth, the symbolism, the enchanting magical realism writing style.
I don't want to pick things apart, like I normally do.
This is a story about finding out who you are. A story about love and friendship, and what makes family. In the end this is about moving on, because the world doesn't stop changing and neither do we.
Just read it.

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall - Judy Sheehan

Picked this up because I wanted something more lightweight before starting reading my next book... and I sure got it. -_-
The writing is juvenile. The characters are undeveloped clichés. Nothing is properly developed, not even the cheesy teen romance.
By now some of you are probably saying, "oh, you're being too harsh just because this isn't for you."
Thing is, I would never in a million years give this book to a middle grader, or even a teen. And that is because this is one of those books, that manages to not develop a decent plot so that it can gush about a stupid, maybe toxic romance. For those who have read this, you're probably thinking, "oh, but Nick is a good guy!"
Yes, Nick is not a bad guy for a sixteen year old. But I found him manipulative, and in the end of the story, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, because I couldn't help feeling that another women got sidetracked of all her potential because of a guy.
What a waste of an original concept.

October Reads

October proved out to be a month with reads above the average: I only dnf'ed one book.

I am so proud of myself... although that might mean that I'll Dnf two books in November: namely the ones that I managed not to finish in October. -_-

Books Read: 8

 

A Feast of Sorrows Stories - Angela Slatter The Princess and the Bear - Mette Ivie Harrison Spindle - Shonna Slayton When the Moon was Ours - Anna-Marie McLemore A Study In Scarlet Women: The Lady Sherlock Series - Sherry Thomas 

 

Shifting Dreams - Elizabeth Hunter Firefly Hollow - T.L. Haddix The Rat Prince - Bridget Hodder

 

Anthology- Horror/ Dark Fantasy- A feast of Sorrows 3.5 Stars (Arc)

 

Fairy Tales - The Princess and The Bear ( #2) - 3.5 Stars

 

Historical Fiction (with traces of retelling):

 Spindle - 3.5 Stars (Arc)

A Study In Scarlet Women - 2.5 Stars (Arc)

 

Middle Grade / Retellings: The Rat Prince - 3 Stars

 

Paranormal Romance:

Shifting Dreams ( Cambio Springs, #1) - 3 Stars

Firefly Hollow (#1) - 2 Stars (DNF)

Firefly Hollow - T.L. Haddix

Dnf at 70%

 

I started this on a whim after seeing some good reviews of some friends.

I just wanted something that would make me want to read, so I started this, and I found myself liking it.

I had never read a paranormal romance in which the paranormal element was so toned down.

Also for a story that takes place in the fifties, the characters were surprisingly modern. I should know that sooner or later there would be a catch.

Sarah is a feminist, she knows what she wants, and she knows how she'll get it.

She wants an education, and she has the support of her family.

 

Owen, also wants an education. Unfortunately due to his condition _ the shifter thing that runs in the family _ he won't be able to follow his dream. Also, as a consequence of his different condition, he ends up estranged of great part of his family.

In that moment we believe when he says he will live the rest of his life as a hermit. Too bad the author didn't explore this.

 

Some years go by, Sarah returns home, due to some events, and I'm afraid that things start happening extremely fast: things that had been properly developed would allow for some real conflict.

But no, instead the romance between those two blossoms in the blink of an eye, and by the middle of the book, I was ready for the thing to end. Really.

 

We have two characters, extremely likeable, sweet and reasonable who start behaving as idiots. Because by that moment, the book was only about their romance. The shifter part was still extremely undeveloped, and Sarah who up until now had behaved in a logical manner, decides to act all drama queen.

Maybe I'll finish it some other time, but at this moment I just don't have the patience for it.

Too bad, because at the beginning of the story I thought I was reading a four star book.

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