Florida Reading

Spring is here and soon it will be warm enough for reading days at the beach! Until then I am sharing pictures that show the joy of reading in Florida.

It’s finally warm enough to go to the beach. I will be hitting my favorite reading spot soon!


I hope you all get plenty of beach time in the coming months. I plan to have plenty of sand between the pages!

Lindsay

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Nightwalker

Nightwalker

by Heather Graham

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Jessy Sparhawk has seen firsthand how gambling can ruin people’s lives. But one night, desperate for money, she places the bet that will change her life forever. Just as she’s collecting her winnings, a man stumbles through the crowd, a knife protruding from his back, and crashes into her, pinning her to the craps table. Hired to investigate the murder, private detective Dillon Wolf finds himself fascinated by the gorgeous redhead who’d been trapped beneath the victim–and by the single word the dying man had whispered in her ear. “Indigo.”

What neither of them realizes is that the nightmare is only just beginning. Because bodyguard Tanner Green may have been killed by that knife, but his angry ghost isn’t going anywhere–not without vengeance. Now, literally caught between the living and the dead, Dillon and Jessy have no choice but to forge ahead together. Their investigation will take them from the glitz of the Vegas strip into the dealings of casino magnate Emil Landon, the man who signs both their paychecks, and out into the desert to a ghost town called Indigo, where past and present come together in a search for gold.

Years ago, blood was shed on that very ground, and now it looks as if history is about to repeat itself, with the living and the dead facing off for possession of a fortune, and Dillon and Jessy fighting not only to stay alive but for the chance to build a future.

 Sometimes you just need to read something predictable; a good novel with a solid story, fun characters, and no surprises helps when you’re feeling a tad burned out. This is when I turn to Heather Graham. A Graham novel will always contain a headstrong heroine, a smart kind hero, an intriguing mystery, a steamy romance, and ghosts! All good things!

Nightwalker did not disappoint. It contained all the classic Heather Graham elements and made for an enjoyable read during my commute. Jessy is a casino entertainer in Las Vegas who kinda witnesses’ the murder of a well-known hired muscle. Dillon is a private investigator for Adam Harrison Investigations who decides to help Jessy. It’s a story of insta-love, snarky ghosts, and cowboy shoot-outs. What’s not to like!?

I love how personable Graham makes her ghosts. It’s hard to imagine them not being seen and it is one of the reasons I keep coming back to her novels. Ringo is an ex-Civil War soldier who helps Dillon with his investigations because of a debit owed to Dillon’s ancestor. Ringo maintains all his personality from his past life as well as a humorous outlook on his current decade. He can work the tv remote, let the dog out, and operates as a silent, unseen investigator for Dillon. I enjoyed reading Ringo, but he is not the only reason to pick up Nightwalker. The mystery was delightfully intricate. It spanned multiple generations, and involved hidden Native American gold and a classic salon shootout!

Now for the negative points…the story is predictable. Yep, I know that’s the reason why I decided to read Nightwalker but I also know that this may be annoying for some readers. And it is also the reason I will not read another Heather Graham novel for a few months. Now, do you know the insta-love that plagues YA? Expect plenty of that in Nightwalker. I actually caught myself rolling my eyes on multiple occasions. I get instant attraction. I believe in personal chemistry. I do not believe imagining a life with someone after 3 days of acquaintance is romantic. Just my opinion, and one of the other reasons Graham posts are few and far between.

Nightwalker is a fun read and the perfect novel for those in need of a light paranormal mystery. Any other Heather Graham fans? Which authors do you turn to for a ‘predictable’ read?

Lindsay

Goose Girl

Goose Girl

by Shannon Hale

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Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her.

Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own.

Goose Girl is a pre-teen high fiction story about how a young princess survives a mutiny and discovers her own hidden strengths. High fantasy was my favorite genre as a pre-teen. There is just something about magic and adventure that helps you get through that awkward stage of life, and Goose Girl is perfect as it details Princess Ani’s coming-of-age journey. It is a well-constructed debut novel; Hale provides extensive main character and plot development while also delivering all those ‘how to live’ morals every young reader needs.

I like Ani. She wasn’t the typical independent, strong female or the head-over-heels-in-instalove females that currently dominate the pre-teen and young adult genres. Ani is socially awkward and insecure. She gets along better with animals than humans. She is not physically strong. And it is because of all this that we get to join a wonderfully relatable character on her journey of self-discovery. I listened to the audio book which was interesting as the novel is read by a number of actors. This made the story read like a movie, and I wish all audio books were done in the same format.

The one big negative I have is Ani’s magical ability. I don’t want to provide any spoilers so I will just say that I felt it needed to be tied in better. The magic its self was fine; I just found it difficult to believe she was the only one with this ability. Plus, the reactions to her powers at the end just did not feel believable. That’s all I am going to say about that!

PARENTAL ALERT: Goose Girl is written for a younger audience but there are a few graphic scenes that may be a bit much for some readers. This includes suggestions towards rape (no actual attempts or the physical act) and animal cruelty. You may want to read it first before recommending it to younger readers.

Goose Girl is a great story for readers of all ages as it reminds that we don’t need external approval to feel special and strong. Pick it up if you’re in the mood for an interesting fantasy and let me know if you have any fantasy recommendations!

Lindsay

Florida Reading

Spring  is here and soon it will be warm enough for reading days at the beach! Until then I am sharing pictures that show the joy of reading in Florida.

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Spring always means lazy afternoons outside reading and soaking up some sun. It’s a plus when my favorite reading buddy joins me!

Happy Reading!

Lindsay

Challenge Updates

The Re-Read Challenge

re-read challenge

Goal: 12 books

Read so Far: 4

January: Milo Talon

February: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress

The Movie Challenge

Goal: 12 movies

Seen so Far: 3

January: The Revenant, Star Wars Force Awaking

March: Batman vs Superman: The Dawn of Justice

 

TBR Pile Reading Challenge

TBR Pile Reading challenge

Goal: 12 books

Read so Far: none. I decided to join this challenge because I always have a hard time working on that ever growing TBR list. My shelves are overflowing with unread books and yet I keep buying more and more! This challenge will help me work on that pile.

Published 2014-2016 Challenge

Goal: 12 books

Read so Far: 1

March: The Siren

 

What are your challenges this year? What are you reading? Seen any good movies lately?

Lindsay

The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth

by Rick Riordan

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Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.
In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

The Battle of the Labyrinth is the fourth novel in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I am so glad I picked up this series because the books just keep getting better and better! The Battle of the Labyrinth is definitely my favorite!

The story begins with Percy trying to enjoy his freshman orientation while on summer break. He’s less than thrilled because it is a new school and he has to be on his best behavior to his true identity from his mom’s new boyfriend, who is also a teacher at the school. The good thing is his friend Rachel Elizabeth Dare is attending the school; the bad news is the cheerleaders are not human. It’s no surprise when orientation ends with the school in flames and Percy heading for camp. But, camp is no longer safe. Kronos is determined to access Camp Half Blood through the Labyrinth, and it is up to Annabeth, Percy, Tyson, and Grover to stop him.

This is my favorite Percy Jackson novel…so far! Let’s be honest; I love them all. The Labyrinth is such an interesting setting and Riordan’s descriptions of the mythic maze kept me enthralled during my daily drive. We delve ever deeper in to Greek mythology with this story as Riordan introduces to a few lesser known historic characters. The plot is intricate and we watch the main characters grow and develop, which is perfect for readers who previously dismissed this series because it read young. Annabeth is in charge for this mission and it gives her a chance to shine due to her knowledge in architecture and history. We also start to see her as a young woman who is stuck dealing with her growing feelings for Percy and her determination to save Luke. I don’t want to give anything away but expect development for Nico, Percy, Annabeth, and Grover as they battle their way through the Labyrinth.

Unfortunately, I stalled after reading The Battle of the Labyrinth. I am hesitant to start the next novel because I will have finished the series after turning the last page (or listening to the last CD). I don’t want it to end! And yes, I know that’s dumb because of the continuing series. I’m still dragging my feet. I don’t really have many negative points today. The plot was wonderfully intricate and I love the character development. The only ‘eh’ point is that Percy STILL knows little about Greek mythology. I’m more of an Annabeth; I would have learned everything I could upon learning my parent was a Greek god. But that’s just not Percy, and it’s annoying! But that’s it.

It’s time for me to pick up the next book! Anyone else love Rick Riordan and Percy Jackson?

Lindsay

Florida Reading

Spring is here and soon it will be warm enough for reading days at the beach! Until then I am sharing pictures that show the joy of reading in Florida.

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Beach-read is the only book damage I am ok with. Salt water worn edges, sand between the pages, and the faint smell of coconut sunscreen always make me smile!

You may notice The Martian made a few trips to the beach 😜!

Happy reading!

Lindsay

The Siren

The Siren

by Kiera Cass

The Siren

Love is a risk worth taking.

Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

The Siren is a young adult fantasy romance by Kiera Cass, best known for her Selection series. It was originally released in 2009 and has sense been edited and rereleased in 2016. The story follows Kahlen, a young woman who is dedicated to the Ocean as a siren for 100 years. Serve 100 years and get a brand new life at the end; disobey the rules and the Ocean takes all life away. Kahlen has spent her first 80 years following all the rules, until she meets her one true love.

Ok, ok. Before you start rolling your eyes, because I definitely did when writing that last line, just know that The Siren is definitely a YA romance. I was initially drawn to the book because, well sirens! No one writes about sirens! I managed to get the book for free on Audible, which was good because I honestly would have been irked if I paid full price for it. The Siren was ok, but just ok. 

I am going to start with some good points. I actually enjoyed the relationship between Kahlen and Akinli. Sure, it contained a healthy dose of the Insta-love that has become staple for Young Adult, but I like the relationship Cass develops. It was very grounded, despite the fact that Kahlen is a siren and doesn’t speak. Cass focuses on the simple yet wonderful aspects of a solid relationship built on friendship: days spent doing nothing, dancing, inside jokes, and happiness. I love how Akinli sees past Kahlen’s stunning exterior beauty and sees all the things that makes her who she is. It’s a sweet relationship. 

I also enjoyed the relationship Kahlen has with her sisters. Sirens are rarely covered in modern fiction, so this was a nice change. The life they share is awesome. I like how they are from all different walks of life, how they have each other’s back no matter what, and how they spend their years learning everything they can. Plus, Cass’ take on the Ocean was awesome!

Now time for the negative. EVERYTHING soured in the story as Kahlen’s heartbreak consumed her. I can hear your arguments: Lindsay, heartbreak does that to the best of us and it was a pretty realistic representation. True points, but that doesn’t make it any easier to read and this is the main reason I have stepped away from YA. The Ocean became overwhelming, her sisters seemed so naggy, and Kahlen was all over the place. It just took the wind out my sails because The Siren really isn’t a bad story. Just, blah; whiny teen romance. Plus, I wish there was more siren lore and history.

The Siren was a good book. It’s the perfect choice to get you in the mood for the beach and it should be a pretty quick read. Have you read The Siren? Are you a Kiera Cass fan? 

Lindsay

What to Expect: APRIL

APRIL

Spring has officially arrived in Florida!

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It is still a tad too cold (for me) to hit the beach, but I have enjoyed sitting outside and soaking up some sun while reading!

I have decided April will be dedicated to sharing all my back logged reviews. Those who follow me on Goodreads may have noticed that my ‘To Be Reviewed’ list keeps getting longer and longer. These books will be covered this month, so you can expect mysteries, fantasy, and young adult!

I also plan on sharing a few outdoor reading pictures. Please share your own and let me know what book you’re reading this month!

Happy reading!

Lindsay