Friday, February 17, 2017

When To Abandon A Book

I ran across this quote taped up in my B&N awhile ago and it really got me thinking. At the time I was reading something that wasn't really keeping my interest and overall a huge disappointment. After a lot of internal debate I almost set it aside for good, As of today, I wish I had.

Part of my book addiction stems from the feeling I get when I finish a book. When I close the cover I feel triumphant, as if I've conquered that world and trudged through all of the obstacles right alongside the hero. When I finish a series, the sense of accomplishment is even greater. Stories, whether I'm reading, watching, or writing, are a way for me to escape the mundaneness of day to day life. And don't get me wrong, I LOVE my happy little life. But for me, books are a portal to another time, another realm, where anything is possible. Stories help to tame my adventurous spirit and my wanderlust, without the cost of plane tickets or a time machine.

But what if a book isn't doing that for me? What if the writing is sub-par or the characters are annoying? Should I just give up all the time and commitment I've already invested in it? Not to mention the hard earned money I paid for it. A lot of times, I'm reading ARCs for other authors and committed to finishing and reviewing the book. What's worse, is a boring book will take me much longer to finish.

My question is, when is it okay to abandon a book? Taking in all the factors of money you paid and any commitments you verbally made to it, where is the line. I'd hate to buy a beautiful book, hate it, but have it sit on my shelf unfinished. It feels like giving up before the race is over. Before the battle is won.

What's worse, is what if this book is part of a series? What if it's the second book in a series? You already own the first two, but the second one was so bad that you have no interest in the third. It may not seem like a big deal, but those gorgeous books are displayed on your shelf with a piece missing. That would never fly on Instagram. It's just not right!!

But what do you do? Do you waste money on a book you have no interest in reading, just for the sake of appearances? Do you really want to support an author that disappointed you? Do you leave that world unconqured and abandon the quest halfway through? And what about when the movies come out? Will you go see them? You can't just ignore a movie of a book that you read.

This is my struggle and it is real. Someone help me out. What's the right thing to do??


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Book Review: Guilded Cage by Sherry D. Ficklin


Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious boot-legger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father's empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family's dangerous secrets Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future--and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making. As she watches her world fall apart, Masie must decide whether to take her place in the hierarchy, or spread her wings, leaving the people she loves, and the life she despises, far behind her.



I've been looking for ward to the Canary Club books ever since I heard about them. It was refreshing to read get into something set in the roaring 20's, the time of pro-hibition and speakeasies. The characters are quite what you would expect from this setting, but SF immerses the reader so well into the lush penthouse and gilded night club. The pace is PERFECT for a novellete. I was never bored or waiting for things to happen. SF is one of my favorite authors and she doesn't disappoint. Except for the fact that this story is too short! Anxiously awaiting the next installment, and really excited that it's going to be with a different character.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

2016 Goodreads Wrap Up

I'm proud to say I reached my goal of 25 books read in 2016! (plus one!)
It's not much compared to my friends' goals of 50 or even 100, but it's still a personal best. And you know what? I enjoyed every second of it! Here are some highlights.

Pages Read


Shortest Book

Longest Book

Most Surprising

Most Disappointing

Best Sequel

Best Cover

Most Diverse

Most Addictive

Best "New" Series

Goal For 2017

16 books

I cut down my goal for this year quite a bit. I'm a mom of a toddler and a newborn now, (currently typing this one handed) and i also need to get some serious work done. 16 is a good number for me. I figure that's one a month plus a few extra through my Audible subscription. I'll definitely reach 16, but hope to read more. Like 100. ;)


Whats you goal? What books do I absolutely have to read this year?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Review: No Peace With The Dawn by E.B. Wheeler and Jeffery Bateman

No Peace With The Dawn


E.B. Wheeler


Jeffery Bateman



In 1917, the Great War seems far from Logan, Utah. But soon it will change the lives of suffragette and mechanic Clara, Swiss-German immigrant and LDS convert Trudi, Marine Corps volunteer Reed, and Shoshone seeking U.S. citizenship Joseph. This novel weaves real events with compelling fictional characters into a sweeping tale of war, romance, self-discovery, and sacrifice.



I was pleased to receive an ARC of No Peace With The Dawn from Cedar Fort in exchange for an honest review.

The plot of this war romance quickly turns from lighthearted fun to a lot of deep emotional drama as each of the characters endures their own personal tragities and whitnesses the horrors of war. Each individual was interesting and easy to want to follow: Reed, a college student falls for Clara, a firey young woman that is quick to sacrifice for what she knows is right. Joseph is a Native American during a time when his people are not respected as citizens. He's desperate to prove his worth to his country. There is also Trudi, a Swedish girl who mirror's Joseph's plight.

One of the things that impressed me most, was that even though this book was written by two different authors, the voice and flow are completely streamlined and impossible to distinguish between two different writing styles. As this was my first time reading either of the authors, I completely forgot that the book was co-written.

No Peace With The Dawn was insightful, inspiring, and everything a historical fiction reader looks for. The romantic endeavors are pleasing but not the center of the meaty plot. Your emotions will be tied right along with each character and you will almost feel as though the experiences of war were your own. The ending felt like an exhale of a deep breath, since all of that tragedy does bring good things in the end.

5 stars





Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones

(A Song Of Ice And Fire #1)


George R. R. Martin


Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.



So I finally broke down and started the free trial of Audible, and now I'm like six months into the subscription. A Game of Thrones is the first book I downloaded because I've been curious about the book version of my favorite show for years now. I won't get too deep into this review, since so many people have read this book or at least watched this show. Instead I'll compare the first book to the first season of the show.

What was fun for me was watching the corresponding episode after I finished the equivalent of that episode in the book. After doing that, I realized the first season of the show pretty much follows the book. Besides a lot more insight into the character's thoughts and motives, there really weren't many changes or surprises that the show hadn't prepared me for.  The book is long, and also a bit slow, and honestly I'm not sure if I could have tolerated that if I wasn't already in love with these characters from the start. By the end of the book though, I'm positive I would have been hooked even if I hadn't already watched the show.

Throughout this experience, I've really come to appreciate Martin's voice. He writes splendidly in both male and female, young and old characters. He has that gift of revealing information as if you are there experiencing it yourself. And not to mention the world building and plot line. But if you watch the show, you know that already!

If you're already a show fan and looking for a casual book to listen to while you're driving or cleaning the kitchen, you should definitely give it a try. I appreciated that I could be a little distracted by my kid but totally understand what they were talking about once I got back to it. The side by side experience of watching the show and reading the books is incredible, not to mention revisiting your favorite characters that were sent to the chopping block. I'm definitely going to listen to book 2 after the new year. 

5 stars

* * * * * 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Series Review: The Rhodi Saga by Megan Linski




Megan Linski

Today Connie's Bookmark is a stop on the official Rhodi's Saga blog tour. This groundbreaking new series was just released at the beginning of September. They are all now available to purchase in both print and ebook. I've already had the pleasure of reading them in advance. Here are my thoughts on each book.





Flight. Hyperspeed. Clairvoyance.

These are some of the powers gifted to the Rhodi, an ancient sect of assassins who defend Crescentia, a dystopian world with a dying hope.

Dyliana Fairsson is one of them. After losing her parents to a suspicious accident, she and her twin brother, Devin, join the Rhodi to avoid starvation. Under the direction of her master, Dylan struggles to learn the strength of her magic …as well as hide the growing scars on her wrists. Can Dylan become the warrior, the hero, she’s destined to be? Or is she fated to fall from the light into the darkness?

The first installment in the epic fantasy series by bestselling author Megan Linski, Rhodi’s Light is an action-packed thrill ride that will leave readers begging for more.



I was really anticipating this series because Megan Linski has earned herself a spot on my favorite authors list ever since her Arabian fantasy "Kingdom From Ashes". This new series doesn't seem to be much like that at all in terms of tone, setting, and era. The overall "feel" of the setting and characters, with their dormant magic and dark pasts, reminds me of a modern Final Fantasy universe. (think FF13-2 or 3) I definitely felt nostalgic all throughout reading it and I'm DYING to play FF now!

But anyway, the first installment in the Rhodi's Saga has good qualities, as well as a few things I hope improve with the next book. For example, Linski puts us in a very unique, yet somehow familiar world, with out the reader getting to explore much of it. And I don't mean like they didn't go anywhere. It's just that I would have liked to have known more about culture a little about the people in the background, not just the handful of characters we get to interact with. The Rhodi are another thing. Their history is very intriguing, but they're so secretive, no one knows who they are. So I didn't really understand why they mattered to the Hunter's Guild so much. Or why they continued even after their numbers nearly died out.

But speaking of characters, Linski doesn't fail to make great ones. The main characters, Dylan and Devin, who are twins, felt very realistic since they were close, but not presented as carbon copies of each others mind, body, and spirit, like so much of media would have us believe. The two definitely had different personalities and that was very refreshing. Dylan has a darkness in her. One she's trying to overcome. I think that's something we all can appreciate. But don't worry, there's no shortage of comic relief with the teens and their quirky friends. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with Taladin's soft heart and the other characters all got my attention, too. The villains didn't really get fleshed out until the end and even though they were the main problem, I felt their influence was lacking throughout the story. But at the end of book one, it's clear what the villain's motives are.

Overall this book just felt like the introduction to something bigger. There are still questions to be answered. Still places that need to be filled in on my mental map. There are definitely still things the Rhodi need to do and I'm tagging along for the ride.

4 Stars
* * * * 






 Forced into hiding.
Desperate to find their masters.

In the past few months since the attack on their home, twin assassins Dylan and Devin have grown restless. With the Rhodi facing extinction, they search for their masters Talidin and Tavana, only to discover they’ve gone missing. With nowhere to turn, the twins seek help from a pair of mysterious spies, only to find the trail gone cold, marked by hints of torture and destruction.

Dylan and Devin piece together the events that led to the disappearance of their fellow Rhodi. As their enemies close in for the kill, Dylan discovers that some things are impossible for a Rhodi…but not for a tigress.

The stakes and romance are heightened in this epic dystopian sequel to Rhodi’s Light. Bestselling author Megan Linski brings readers a young adult fantasy with magic, mystery, and an epic adventure that races quickly to a breathless conclusion.



I was much more enchanted with "Rhodi Rising" than I was the first book. The story was set at a much quicker pace and the action came out of nowhere! One minute, they would be just hanging out, doing what teenagers do, and the next something would attack and there would be Crafts and shapeshifting all over the place!

We get to explore a new country, as well as learn more about the original one. I especially enjoyed the Celtic theme of Dunedinne and the characters that were introduced there. They were a fresh, comic relief, as well as devices of strong character development for our girl Dylan. A bit of romance is what "Rhodi's Light" lacked and "Rising" makes up for it.

The ending came with a twist I wasn't expecting, which is always much appreciated. The book sets everything up for the (what I hear is) epic conclusion, but stands on it's own with page turning plot and lots of action and adventure.

5 Stars
* * * *




Cities burn.
Governments fall.
Lives are lost in a desperate the Rhodi are losing.

The world has been devastated by the tyranny of the Red Huntress. To save Crescentia, Dylan and Devin attempt to decipher the mystery of the ancient letter their ancestors left behind, the only hope of salvation for their kind. Dylan continues to fight foes both on the battlefield and within her own mind, all while wrestling with the confused feelings she has for Enfys, the alluring spy who has become devoted to her cause.

In the epic conclusion to the thrilling Rhodi Saga, one brave warrior will stand in the way of corruption, to take place before her destiny…or her death.

Rhodi’s Lullaby is the third installment in the suspenseful young adult dystopian series fans and critics are calling an original masterpiece in the epic fantasy genre.



It's really hard for me to write a review on the third book in the series since it's almost impossible for me to not hand out spoilers, so in case you haven't read this book yet, I would skip this review.

When I'd started this series I had originally said that it reminded me of a modern final fantasy game. Not so much any more, since the setting is more fleshed out in the third book and we have a better sense of the of the environment. That said, the world is holding onto it's own now and feels much more original.

The third installment in the story opens with the cast preparing for a wedding, which is nice, since the story has been a bit dark so far. But it's clear with the impending war and tensions in the crowded house rising that things are about to get a bit chaotic. Especially when an antagonist quickly decides to change sides. Not everyone is agreeable to the change.

My favorite part about this book was actually more of a side story. Devin and Nellie's tragic love story carried me through the pages and was more emotional for me than anything in this book chuck full of feels. I appreciated how almost every single character went through their own struggles and journey, (probably why the darn thing was so long) but I happened to enjoy Devin and Nellie's the most.

The ending was satisfying, giving the readers a very unexpected twist and fulfilling conclusion. I felt like it wrapped up the other two books nicely. 

All of that said, it did take me quite a long time to get through this one. Granted, like 90% of the planet's population, I'm super busy and have little time for books. But when I really gravitate towards a story, there's no stopping me on finishing it. I've had that happen with several other of Megan Linksi's books. Just not this series so much. It was a bit slow, and I just didn't connect with many of the characters like in her previous books. By the third book, I figured out that it was the voice, which is so important to me. Her voice doesn't flow in third person the way it does in first person or passive.

None of that is enough for me to give up on one of my favorite authors though. She has a vampire/werewolf series coming out next year, which normally isn't my thing, but there is an added element of an Anastasia retelling which I just can't resist. I hear it's first person too, so my hopes are high. 

4 stars
* * * *


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Book Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater's Daughter


Melinda Salisbury


A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy. Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?


This book has been on my TBR ever since I saw the cover and read the blurb. Unfortunately I read a not so great review from one of my favorite reviewers, so that discouraged me a bit. I still had it on my Goodreads list, so I got an email when a giveaway was happening. I won! I received an autographed hardcover copy in the mail and I'm SOOO happy that I had the opportunity to read it.

Although this story takes place in a faraway kingdom long ago, (my favorite setting) it took awhile to get going. There was just enough intrigue to keep me turning the pages, however a good chunk of the book was gone before it felt like the story was getting somewhere. And I can't quite put my finger on it, but the beginning also seemed a little dark for me and kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Not because of the story or the writing. Both were fantastic. I just kind of felt gloomy after I'd close the book. Also, just a side note, it also felt like the story couldn't decide if it wanted to have a supernatural element or not. One minute, gods and magic exist, the next they don't, wait yes they do...maybe? Oh, but this other magic is definitely legit. I was confused, but maybe that was okay because so was the main character.

I almost quit. But I could tell something was brewing and I wanted to be a part of it. Once the story got going and I got used to the world, it didn't feel weird anymore. I loved the intricate plot and how all those little things that didn't seem to mean anything all came back in the end. After the rocky beginning, I was surprised by how much I thought about the book during the day and couldn't wait to get home to read it.

The Sin Eater's Daughter is full of shock and is the perfect hopeless romance. I finished the book last night and immediately added The Sleeping Prince to my TBR and Christmas list. If you love unique magic, castle drama, and don't mind a slow start, definitely give this a try.

 4 Stars

* * * *