Why King Joffrey Needs To Die!

April 15, 2014 Meme 4

Pretty much this whole post is a spoiler, but I can’t imagine that if you’ve been on the internet at all in the past 24 hours that you haven’t already been spoiled about GoT’s “Purple Wedding”.

MyReasonJofferyNeedsToDie

RIP Book Killer!

Out of all of Joffrey’s many crimes, attempting to have Bran killed, having the Hound kill Micah, having Sansa beat, having Ned beheaded, etc, the real crime that I believe he needed to die for is what he did to the book that Tyrion gave him.  I mean, everyone loves a good villain, right?  But nobody loves a bookslayer.  Is it any wonder that soon after Joffrey hacks a poor defenseless book to death he’s poisoned?

Instant karma is a bitch, Joffrey.  Almost a big a one as you are.

Kudos to Jack Gleeson the actor, whom I’m sure is absolutely as kind and wonderful as his fellow co-stars claim he is in interviews.  He’s now retired from acting to focus on other things like education, but life is long, so who knows?  Maybe we’ll see him again.  It’d be hard for him to top this though.  I hated Joffrey in the books, but Jack Gleeson’s excellent performance made me hate the inbred, whiny, sadistic King Joffrey all the more.

I’m not going to miss Joffrey, but I am going to miss looking forward to his wedding, which sustained me through much of the brutality of seasons 1-3.

Luckily, there’s more Tyrion, Arya, Jon Snow ans Dany scenes to look forward to!

Kate

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All Of It Blog Tour and Giveaway

April 9, 2014 Review 4

All Of It Blog Tour and GiveawayAll Of It by Kim Holden
Published by Do Epic LLC on November 26th, 2013
Pages: 308
Format: eBook
Add to Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old VERONICA SMITH has it all: a loving family, a funky car named Jezebel, and a plan to go to college after graduation. On the first day of senior year, she meets DIMITRI GLENN--a mysterious transfer student with gray eyes and a mischievous smile who seems determined to win her heart. But there's something odd about Dimitri, leading Veronica to wonder if there's more to him than meets the eye. Before long she finds herself in a whirlwind romance that seems to good to be true--until a series of devastating events leaves her questioning everything. It's not until she chooses to think with her heart instead of her mind that she can rise from the ashes to learn the truth of their connection.

Midnight Thoughts

It’s rare for me not to be able to easily categorize a book, but All Of It falls into so many categories. It starts off in the realm of YA Contemporary- Girl Meets Boy, but then morphs into a bit of YA Paranormal: Girl Meets Boy Again and Again Each Night In Her Dreams.  But perhaps All Of It fits most comfortably into Romance, because the love between Veronica and Dimitri is truly timeless.

Veronica is a teenager when first we meet her, she works hard at school, has a very close relationship with her parents, and tries hard to be a good person.  Which is how she ends up meeting Dimitri, as she’s volunteered to show the new guy around their high school.  The author wastes no time in having the two characters meet, and from the beginning there’s something between the two of them.  It’s easy to see that Dimitri knows more about Veronica than the average new kid should, but this seems to bother Veronica more than endear him to her.

But then she begins to dream of meeting Dimitri, in different times of history, every night.  Suddenly she sees him in a new light.  My favorite part of the book, other than a Sixteen Candles kind of date Dimitri sets up for Veronica (Jealoussss!), are the dream meetings of all those past Veronicas and Dimitris.  Present day Veronica and Dimitri embark on a truly epic romance that comprises many years.

There are many obstacles along the way, tragic events that turn Veronica’s charmed life into something almost unrecognizable.  The once vivacious Veronica, the girl who drives a car named Jezebel, who gives cute nicknames to all her friends (Pied Piper, Brother John, Texas Ranger), a girl who had many friends, finds herself depressed and lonely.  Having already pushed Dimitri away out of fear that she’s not capable of being a good enough girlfriend, a good enough friend, or a good enough daughter, Veronica is unprepared for further tragedies.  But Dmitri is steadfast in his love and patience for Veronica, proving that some loves are eternal.

 

Giveaway:
Kim is giving away a paperback copy of her book for each stop on the tour. Comment on this post with your email address and one winner will be picked on April 12th.

 

 

 

Kim’s Bio-

I’m Kim Holden. I’m a simple girl. I adore my family and friends, reading, writing, music, and iced coffee.

I work full-time in accounting (because I’m in love with basic needs … like food and shelter … and my job

provides the means to those) but I spend every free moment I can writing. I’m a late bloomer. I woke up

one morning four years ago, at the age of 36, and said to myself, “What the heck are you doing? You’ve

always wanted to write a book. Stop wasting time and get on it!” Four, long years later I self-published

All of It. I must admit there’s nothing quite like sharing something you’re so intimately connected with,

like a book, with others. It’s terrifying to put yourself out there. But when someone tells you how much

they love your book or that it made them cry, it makes my heart want to burst. Not because it’s my

book, my creation, but because I know what it’s like to love a book that much. It’s magical.

Kate

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Life By Committee Review

April 8, 2014 Review 4 ★★★★★

Life By Committee ReviewLife By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 13th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
Add to Goodreads
five-stars
Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

Midnight Thoughts

~ I really found the whole concept of this book both cool and unique.

~ The book starts out with a secret.  I love secrets.  If I were a wizard in Harry Potterverse I would totally want to be your secret keeper.  I love knowing the secrets behind people, I just think it makes everyone that much more interesting- unless you’re secretly a perv.  Then I want you in jail and I won’t keep your secret.

~ I loved Tabitha pretty instantly.  She’s an outcast at school, she has almost zero friends, and she loves books.  She hardcore loves books.  She not only loves to “active read”, writing notes in the margins of her books like she’s having a conversation with them, she seeks out books that have other people’s notes.  My friend Courtney of Abducted By Books reads like that, and I just find it charming, although it’s hard for me to write in new books (well used books?  Not so bothered by that).

~ Although I hate cheaters, it’s hard not to find Tabitha and Joe cute.  Mostly Tabitha, who’s on that roller coaster of love- the highs, the super lows.  I just don’t trust guys who mess around on their girlfriends, especially when it seems Joe is still very much into his girlfriend, Sasha Cotton.

~ Tabitha’s family owns a coffeehouse called Tea Cozy and I immediately want to live there.  Inside the coffee shop.

~ Because her parents had her at 16, they’re almost more like older siblings.  Tab’s mom is kind of buckling down, determined to be a better family for the new baby.

~ I hate Jemma and Alison so much, especially since they continue to make themselves at home at the coffeehouse.  Although there’s a part that made me laugh, out loud for real, when Tabitha mentions that Jemma and Alison’s weapons are “basically silence and backstabbing”.  Jemma is particularly unhappy with the way Tabitha dresses, and feels she’s well within her rights to give her advice.

~ It’s as if no one wants Tabitha to be both hot and nerdy… but isn’t that the very definition of us book bloggers? ;)

~ Elise, Tabitha’s only friend, doesn’t dress too sexy, but apparently her being a lesbian is of concern to Jemma.  I know there’s a lot of history with Jemma, but I really just want Tabitha to go all Carrie on her ass.

~ This book will make you want to re-read The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, marking up your own copies, just so you know.

~ Tabitha finds the website where she shares the secret of her and Joe inked inside a copy of The Secret Garden- a used book that has notes from someone Tabitha feels very sympatico with.

~ I know we’re supposed to hate Sasha Cotton, and trust me there’s plenty to hate, but I actually really liked her poem Underwater Joe… I’m with Elise on this one. Sorry, Tabitha.

~ Sasha’s poem has Tabitha fleeing to the website, which is the Life By Committee group.

~ The Life By Committee group is an interesting one.  It’s all anonymous, everyone’s pic is just them from the knees down (I found this charming).  The rules of the board are that you share a secret a week, then everyone will chime in with what they think should be your next step in life, although it’s Zed (who runs the site) who ultimately decides on your next action.  Which you must complete within 24 hours.

~ Some of the group offer up different forms of evidence, but all are careful to keep anonymous.  I really loved reading everyone’s secrets and their assignments.  Although I thought the 24 hour time limit to be a bit harsh.

~ As Tabitha gets more involved in the site, everything around her seems to be changing- from her parents, to her relationship with Elise, to her feelings for Joe, and then there’s Jemma’s scrumptious brother hanging around the coffee shop on occasion.

~ Completing the Committee’s assignments are kind of like a drug for Tabitha.  But what happens when you give up control of your life, your decisions, to other people?

~ The ending of this book was very Mean Girls- but in a good way.  I can honestly say that I adored this one, even though I hated the cheating aspect, I understood Tabitha and how she could end up involved with Joe.

Timeless Characters:

Tabitha- after losing all her friends and finding herself the secret gal pal of Joe, Tab takes to the internet to bear her soul.

Joe- the object of Tabitha’s affections, even though he already has a girlfriend.

Sasha Cotton- Joe’s girlfriend- she’s kind of awesome and everything you are not.

Cate- Tabitha’s pregnant, trying not to be so flaky anymore mom.

Paul- Tabitha’s stoner dad.

Jemma- Tabitha’s former bff, whom dumped Tab the moment Tab grew boobs and a butt.

Alison- Jemma’s current bff, all too happy to have taken on Tabitha’s role.

Elise- currently Tabitha’s only friend at school.

Devon- Jemma’s older brother, who may or may not have the hots for his little sister’s ex-bff Tabitha.

Midnight Moment:

There are lots of wonderful and wonderfully awful moments in this book, but the one that had me most stressed out was when Tabitha almost has a panic attack over a Life By Committee assignment deadline and damages her friendship with Elise.

I also really liked Sasha Cotton’s poem.  It’s kind of sexy. ;)

Stop the Clock:

I fully enjoyed this one, midnighters.  I liked these characters, I liked their problems, and I liked how Tabitha grew in the novel.  The only complaint?  Would have loved to see even more.

Life By Committee gets a Midnight Book rating of:

midnight5

Kate

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New Beginnings (Everyday Angel #1) Review

April 7, 2014 Review 3 ★★★★

New Beginnings (Everyday Angel #1) ReviewNew Beginnings by Victoria Schwab
Series: Everyday Angel #1
Published by Scholastic Inc. on May 27th, 2014
Genres: Middle Grade
Pages: 208
Format: ARC
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
Add to Goodreads
four-stars
There’s more to Aria than meets the eye. She’s a guardian angel. And to earn her wings, she’ll have to help three different girls.

Aria’s first mission is Gabby Torres. Gabby’s brother is sick, and Gabby’s been so worried about him for so long, she’s forgotten who she is. When a new school offers her a fresh start, Gabby learns it’s hard to make friends while keeping half her life a secret.

Then Aria shows up. Aria, who knows exactly what to say and do to make Gabby feel better. Can Aria help Gabby find herself again? And will Gabby still trust Aria when she discovers what her new friend really is?

Midnight Thoughts

~ I am a fan of Victoria Schwab, and while I don’t read much Middle Grade, authors like Schwab make me take chances and read outside of my usual reading parameters. This one surprised me, since I’ve come to expect a certain out of grim, eerie, dark stories from the author, but she can also do heartwarming and quirky, which she proves with this book.

~ Aria is an angel, trying to earn her wings.  She has the most amazing shadow (which in truth probably deserves some of it’s own recognition below in Timeless Characters), and she also has the super-power of being able to change her clothes and physical features at will (um, yes, please, THAT is the super power I’d like most).  She cannot fly.  Yet

~ Gabby Torres is Aria’s first assignment.  It was so easy to relate to Gabby, she’s a good daughter, a loyal sister, but she’s lost, lonely and invisible to her mother.  Since her beloved older brother has gotten ill, Gabby has found herself defined by his illness, and overlooked by her mother.  So, she feels a lot of guilt, over her own feelings and the fact that there are things she can do that her brother can’t.

~ Gabby and her mother and brother have moved to a new city so that Marco can get proper treatment he needs.  This, in a way, is a major relief to Gabby.  While she misses her Abuela (her grandmother), starting over at a new school where no one knows that she’s Marco’s sister, or that her brother is even ill, is a guilty benefit for Gabby.

~ Meanwhile, Aria must befriend Gabby and to try to learn how to be human all at the same time.  Which is hard, because this is Aria’s first time on earth and her trip did not come with a Frommer’s Guide book. ;)  She even has to make up a last name (she chooses Blue, which I love- Aria Blue).

~ Gabby and Marco have such a great relationship!  It was my favorite part of the book, besides Gabby making new friends.  I love my brothers, but our age differences are much bigger, and we are close now as adults, but in a lot of ways I was mostly an only child.  Gabby and Marco understand each other, and his illness doesn’t seem to really get in the way 0f that.  While Gabby is sad that her mother is putting Marco above everything else, she also understands.  So, she’s not, you know, stepping on his IV lines or trying to pull the plug like some more resentful sisters might try to do.

~ Although Aria helps steer Gabby in the right direction, it really is Gabby herself that shines.  Aria’s a bit like Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee, she’s there to help, but you know all along she can’t stay.  Which makes me sad, because she and Gabby are kind of adorable together.

~ When Gabby has to start a journal for English class, she finds herself writing not what is really happening in her life, but rather what she feels should be happening- Marco should be playing soccer in high school, everything should be going great.  It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when you find yourself lying to your own journal.   But her first entry, the one she throws away, is heartbreaking and honest.  What happens when you lose the things that make up who your thought you were?

I do love how Gabby and Aria try all the after school activities, kind of like Goldilocks picking her way through the Three Little Bears house, finding things that suit her just right.

~ If I could sing without making dogs cower and howl, then I would love to play “vocal hot potato”.

~ While Gabby and Aria click, their friendship is put to the test in the most extreme way.  It’s very sad, and very realistic, the way Gabby reacts.

~ Although I would not have read this book if it weren’t by Victoria Schwab, I’m glad I did.  It was sweet and funny, and while it could have been too cloyingly cute or non-secular, the book manages to strike a nice chord.  So if you like your angel books without a lot of religion thrown in, then this book fits the bill.  It’s about Gabby finding her own voice and not being afraid to live her life even while her brother struggles to keep ahold of his.

 

Timeless Characters:

Gabby- not just your average angst ridden tween, our main character is struggling to climb out of the shadows of her brother’s illness.

Aria- an angel sent to help Gabby, this is her first task.  Tends to eat foods of all one color and change the color of her shoelaces at will.

Marco- Gabby’s older brother, waiting in the hospital to get a special treatment for his cancer.

Charlotte- blonde and funny, she’s also in choir with Gabby.

Sam- Charlotte’s charming, short, piano playing friend.

Mr. Roberts- assigns Gabby and her classmates to writing a journal.

Henry- a very sick boy and friend to Marco.

 

Midnight Moment:

Normally my Midnight Moment happens later in the book, but this one happened very early on.  Gabby comes home from a visit with her brother, and even though she knows no one is home she still says hello.  Her abuela taught her this custom, of greeting the ghosts in a home when you first get in.  I thought it was a cute, slightly morbid, custom.   Which works for me. :)

Also, the scene later in the book where Marco kind of loses his shiz over some news.  He’s so

Stop the Clock:

If you have a tween, or about to be a tween, this is definitely a book you want to check out!  Or if you just like angel books, because Aria’s type of angel is pretty unique.  Or if you just want to support the awesome Victoria Schwab and know that despite the fact that she dresses on in black the author has the heart of a fluffy kitten inside.  And while the book is sweet, it also has Gabby going through some tough times in a fairly realistic way.  Remember those Scholastic catalogs you use to order books from in school?  When younger Midnight Book Girl would have been all over this book.

New Beginnings (Everday Angel #1) gets a Midnight Book rating of:

midnight4

Kate

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In Bed With Blameless

April 6, 2014 Meme 4

BlogHopInBedWithABook

 

Welcome to my new blog hop/meme In Bed With a Book! Why limit ourselves to just Sundays anymore? Stop by anytime during the week to share what book is in your bed, and be sure to hop to other blog participant’s sites as well. I’ll post a new link each Sunday, but you can add your post any day of the week.

 

At this time I would like to feature a new book blogger every week, so if you’re interested, go ahead and email a picture of what book is in your bed this week to be featured next Sunday. Emails can be sent to midnightbookgirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

This morning I’m reading:

BookCoverBlamelessBlameless (Parasol Protectorate #3) by Gail Carriger

 

It’s impossible to read the second book in this series without immediately wanted to read this one.  I am so mad at Lord Machon, plus honestly, even Ivy and Alexia’s sisters have grown on me.  I always thought that I wasn’t cool enough for Steampunk, but it turns out I am.  I love this series, especially on audio.  I already have the fourth one waiting fore me.

Although most of my weekend has been spent watching Game of Thrones- completely out of order too, since two channels of HBO are showing them, and so I just flip between the two so I can watch all my favorite scenes and skip over my least favorite.   The Hubs and I are going to my brother Patrick’s house tonight for a GoT’s season premiere party.  Which is fitting because they have a HUGE white German Shepherd who looks a suspiciously like a direwolf:

SargeasDireWolfSarge is at least half a direwolf.  For reals. He’s what the vet refers to as “a GIANT German Shepherd”.

What are you reading (or wish you had time to read) in bed this week? Are you reading the book you thought you’d be reading, or has today found you with a surprise? Link up below! I’m going to try running this more like a blog hop, so feel free to add the link in your meme posts!



Kate

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Short and Tweet Review of After Dead

April 5, 2014 Review 3 ★★½

AfterDeadbyCharlaineHarrisAfter Dead by Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #13.5
Published by Penguin on 2013-10-29
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library Book
Add to Goodreads
two-half-stars
Dead Ever After marked the end of the Sookie Stackhouse novels—a series that garnered millions of fans and spawned the hit HBO television show True Blood. It also stoked a hunger that will never die...a hunger to know what happened next. With characters arranged alphabetically—from the Ancient Pythoness to Bethany Zanelli—bestselling author Charlaine Harris takes fans into the future of their favorite residents of Bon Temps and environs. You’ll learn how Michele and Jason’s marriage fared, what happened to Sookie’s cousin Hunter, and whether Tara and JB’s twins grew up to be solid citizens. This coda provides the answers to your lingering questions—including details of Sookie’s own happily-ever-after... The book will feature extensive interior art by acclaimed Sookie artist Lisa Desimini, including a Sookieverse Alphabet, color endpapers, and several full-page black and white interior illustrations.

In order to review as many books as possible without stressing myself out, I’m going to be super mini- tweet style reviews to balance my usual review style. I love reviewing books, but sometimes writing a long review is daunting, and then I end up not reviewing the many, many books I’ve read. All my Short and Tweet reviews will be 140 characters or less. ;) Thanks to Tif from Tif Talks Books for the idea!

 

shortandtweetI liked the concept, but too much info about characters I can’t remember and not enough about the ones I loved. Still, it was worth checking out from the library.

midnight2.5

 

Feel free to write your own Short and Tweet Reviews, just add your link below! Each month will have it’s own linky to add your reviews, and you can add multiple links if you do several Short and Tweet Reviews a month.



Kate

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The Midnight Hour Wrap Up: March 2014

April 2, 2014 Meme 2

What I read:

MarchReads

 

What I reviewed:

Short and Tweet Review of How To Flirt With A Naked Werewolf

Sleep No More Review

The Last Best Kiss Review

Short and Tweet Review of Dead Ever After

The Midnight Book Club reads Stardust

Short and Tweet Review of That Perfect Someone

Audio Review: Patient Zero

Free to Fall Review

The Treatment (The Program #2) Review

Audio Review: Anne of Green Gables

 Not a lot of reviews or activity in March, at least not as much as in the first two months.  I’m thinking April will be better- it’s Readathon time and I’m getting really excited about BEA which makes me want to connect with our awesome community.

 

Stats and Such:

 

Hardback books read: 3

 

Paperback books read: 3

 

Paperback Arcs: 4

 

Ebooks: 0

 

Audiobooks: 6

 

Total Books Read in February: 16

 

How many of the 20 were from off my shelf (physical or Kindle)?  5!  Woot!

 

Adult Reads: 10

 

YA: 5

Middle Grade: 1 (Everyday Angel by Victoria Schwab)

 

Non-fiction:  0

 

Short Story: ?  Dangerous Women was a collection of short stories and novellas, but at 700+ pages, I’m considering it as one giant book.

 

Favorite book read:

 

MarchFav

 

I’d had this one a long time on my Kindle, but I finally decided that I wanted to listen to it- and I’m so glad I did!  This book was funny and the narration by the author is pretty freaking awesome!

 

Least favorite book read:

 

MarchLeast

 

Oh, Stephanie, Stephanie… I feel like your character is regressing with each book.  Plus, it’s kind of bothering me, the tonsil hockey you’ve got going with Ranger when you’re dating Joe.  I don’t like the blurred lines.  Still, Grandma and Lula makes this series worth sticking with and at least she’s not bed hopping between Ranger and Morelli like she did a few books back.

sumup-a47505000a6489f176adfba982239a76March was still a good month.  I didn’t read number wise as much as I did in January and February, but my hours of audio and page count remain high.  This is shaping up to be my best year of reading since I’ve been keeping track.  Mostly this is due to how much drive time I have for audio book listening and the fact that I’m working full time which gives me several hours a day to read- at least for now.  I’m also making more time to read and less time for tv, which I feel good about.  Taking an honest look at my physical tbr books at the beginning of the year reminded me that I have so much magic on my shelves just waiting to be experienced!

Kate

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Audio Review: A Week In Winter

April 1, 2014 Review 2 ★★★★★

AWeekinWinterbyMaeveBinchyA Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
Published by Random House LLC on 2013-02-12
Genres: Contemporary Women, Cozy, Fiction, Literary
Pages: 416
Format: Audiobook
Source: Owned Audible Book
Add to Goodreads
five-stars
Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the sea, everyone thinks she is crazy. Helped by Rigger (a bad boy turned good who is handy around the house) and Orla, her niece (a whiz at business), Chicky is finally ready to welcome the first guests to Stone House’s big warm kitchen, log fires, and understated elegant bedrooms. John, the American movie star, thinks he has arrived incognito; Winnie and Lillian are forced into taking a holiday together; Nicola and Henry, husband and wife, have been shaken by seeing too much death practicing medicine; Anders hates his father’s business, but has a real talent for music; Miss Nell Howe, a retired schoolteacher, criticizes everything and leaves a day early, much to everyone’s relief; the Walls are disappointed to have won this second-prize holiday in a contest where first prize was Paris; and Freda, the librarian, is afraid of her own psychic visions.

Sharing a week with this unlikely cast of characters is pure joy, full of Maeve’s trademark warmth and humor. Once again, she embraces us with her grand storytelling.
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I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush.

In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.

Story

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time now, but I was just so sad over the death of author Maeve Binchy that I just couldn’t do it.  When a favorite author dies unexpectedly it’s only natural that we readers take time to grieve a little.  I probably still wouldn’t have read this if the elderly client I look after hadn’t been assigned this book for her book club.  Sadly, her memory makes reading pretty impossible these days, but I still enjoyed listening to the audio version (although I did read a little on my Kindle in the beginning).

Like all Binchy books, we have some strong characters who’ve made mistakes but found the means to put their lives back together- this time in an inn by the sea.  There is a lot of back story before we get the week in winter, but it’s full of all the things I love about these books- Chicky runs off with an American, leaving small Irish town Stoney Bridge behind her, only to find out that sometimes mam and da are right.  Because Chicky is strong and stubborn she manages to keep up the illusion of a happy life in America until she sees a way to come back to Stoney Bridge and buy the Stone House, turning it into an inn.   Chicky’s story of rebuliding her life after a poor choice is echoed in Jagger’s story too- he’s a bit of a punk until he comes to help Chicky fix up Stone House.

By the time the guests begin to arrive, you’ll be thoroughly charmed by Stone House.  I wish the Hubs and I could fly to Ireland and stay there!  Most of the guests find whatever they were looking for, or didn’t know they were looking for, during their week’s stay.  The guests are made up of so many different characters and their difficulties- but my favorite were Winnie and her future monster-in-law Lillian, and Anders, whom I felt so sorry for as he tried so hard to ignore his dreams and live out the life that was expected of him. Like most Binchy novels, this is one that I will re-read some snowy night when I’m in need of something to warm me.

Narrator

Technically this is not the first novel narrated by Rosalyn Landor that I’ve listened to- the first being an assemble reading of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.  I love that version hardcore, even if I only recently realized that it was severely abridged.  Sigh.  Back to Landor though- she’s got a wonderful voice and talent for accents and giving characters individuality.  There’s more than just the Irish accent she has to tackle in A Week in Winter- there’s American accents, and Ander’s accent (because for the life of me I can’t remember where he’s from right now and I am way too lazy to look it up!).

Rosalyn Landor does a lot of romance novels and a few books that I either own in my Audible library or are in my wish list to own, so yes, I would recommend her as a narrator and she will definitely be a narrator I add to my favorites list!

Rating:

midnight5

Kate

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Audio Review: Anne of Green Gables

March 30, 2014 Review 1 ★★★★★

Audio Review: Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Published by Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. on 1908
Genres: Classics, Family, Orphans & Foster Homes, Young Adult
Pages: 153
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library Book
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five-stars
“Matthew had taken the scrawny little hand awkwardly in his; then and there he decided what to do. He could not tell this child with the glowing eyes that there had been a mistake. . . .”

When eleven-year-old Anne Shirley arrives at Green Gables with nothing but a carpetbag and an overactive imagination, she knows that she has found her home. But first she must convince the Cuthberts to let her stay, even though she isn’t the boy they’d hoped for. The loquacious Anne quickly finds her way into their hearts, as she has with generations of readers, and her charming, ingenious adventures in Avonlea, filled with colorful characters and tender escapades, linger forever in our memories.

This Modern Library edition of the first of L. M. Montgomery’s beloved and immensely popular Avonlea novels features the restored original text and an Introduction by the noted children’s literature scholar Jack Zipes.
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I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush.

In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.

Story

I’m pretty sure I read Anne of Green Gables as a child, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember it.  So maybe I never did read it?  Because I feel like Anne Shirley is a kindred spirit and one I would remember reading about.  I’m a fan of L.M. Montgomery and her novel, A Tangled Web, is one of my all time favorite books which I’ve read dozens upon dozens of times since first finding it in high school.  I don’t love Anne as much as the Darks and the Penhallows of A Tangled Web, but it’s hard not to fall in love with Green Gables and it’s inhabitants.

I love a good orphan story- probably because I’m very pro-adoption, so Anne finding happiness after such a miserable childhood was lovely to hear unfold.  Anne and Matthew’s bond, and his storyline in particular, both melted and broke my heart.  But I loved all the characters in the book, even Mrs. Lynd- who of course is a busy body neighbor who makes everything and everyone her business.  The characters all have real flaws- Anne is often overly emotional and stubborn to the point of ridiculousness (honestly, Gilbert says one not so nice thing and then spends years trying to make it up to her and it takes her FOREVER to let go of her one-sided grudge).  Anna and Diana’s friendship is wonderful to read about too- how I wish children were actually like those two!  Or, how I wish I were more like a character out of Montgomery novel- full of gumption, spirit and also able to keep a fabulously clean house.

I’m already listening to the next book, so yes, I will continue with the series!

Narrator

The version I checked out from the library is read by Kate Burton- I loved her voice for Anne!  She captured Anne Shirley in a way that I don’t know many narrators could have done.  Her Anne is full of wonder and imagination, and tear-strained when she’s overcome by emotions or sorry for the mistakes she makes.  Burton’s voice also gave Marilla warmth and Matthew his charming reluctance.  I was so sad when I picked up the next book in the series at the library that Burton was not the narrator.  I have not listened to any other novels read by Kate Burton but I did purchase an Audible version of Pride and Prejudice that has an assemble cast.  I can’t wait to listen to it!  Sadly, the first Anne of Green Gables book is the only in the series she narrates.  I’m having a hard time with Anne of Avonlea because I just feel the narrator is reading it wrong. Sigh.

Rating:

midnight5

Kate

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