Monday, March 31, 2014

Blog Tour for The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

Title: The Enchanted
Author: Rene Denfeld (website)(Facebook)
Rating: 4 of 5

Goodreads summary:

A wondrous and redemptive debut novel, set in a stark world where evil and magic coincide, The Enchanted combines the empathy and lyricism of Alice Sebold with the dark, imaginative power of Stephen King.

"This is an enchanted place. Others don't see it, but I do."

The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries magical visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs, with the devastating violence of prison life.

Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.

Beautiful and transcendent, The Enchanted reminds us of how our humanity connects us all, and how beauty and love exist even amidst the most nightmarish reality.

I think this is one of those books that you either love or hate. I loved the beautiful writing but left it thinking that I didn't quite "get it" as a whole. The line between the reality and fantasy was always blurred which left me feeling a bit off sometimes.

Denefeld does an excellent job with the writing and the characters are quite varied. I enjoyed the fact that only the killers on death row were named and the others were only spoken of by description. It made it feel even more harsh.

The setting is beyond harsh and it was awful to read about. As you learn more of the stories of the inmates, it is so difficult to hate them. You hate what they did but it seems like you can see more why they did it. I thought that this controversial plot line was pretty balanced. It never felt like it was preaching one way or the other which is a testament to her writing ability.

The one thing that I didn't like with the "love story" subplot because it didn't feel real to me and I wasn't rooting for it. It seemed more of a plot device to bring the story to a satisfying and more "beautiful" conclusion.

I'd like to revisit it and wish that I had a person to talk to about it in person as there were a couple of points that I'm just not sure about. Overall I enjoyed it - if "enjoying" a book about death row is possible. I'll definitely pick up another Denfeld book because of the writing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Library Loot #1 - Where I go overboard, as always

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they've checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I only went into this particular branch of the library because Cole needed to use the bathroom. I couldn't help but check the "new releases" shelves though because they always have some really great ones. Ended up getting waaaaaaaaaaay too many.

I checked out:

Now the question is which one to read first?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Release Day Blast - If Only by AJ Pine

March may be almost over but that doesn’t mean the fun is over at Embrace.  We are excited to be announcing the release of Amy Pine’s, If Only, which readers are already raving about!  Plus you can pick up If Only on sale for just $.99 right now.

 On Sale: March 24, 2014

About If Only:

Sometimes it takes crossing an ocean to figure out where you belong.

It's been two years since twenty-year-old Jordan had a boyfriend—which means it's been forever since she, well, you know. But now she’s off to spend her junior year in Aberdeen, Scotland, the perfect place to stop waiting for Mr. Right and just enjoy Mr. Right Now.

Sexy, sweet (and possible player) Griffin may be her perfect, no-strings-attached match. He’s fun, gorgeous, and makes her laugh. So why can’t she stop thinking about Noah who, minutes after being trapped together outside the train’s loo, kisses Jordan like she’s never been kissed before? Never mind his impossible blue eyes, his weathered, annotated copy of The Great Gatsby (total English-major porn)…oh, and his girlfriend.

Jordan knows everything this year has an expiration date. Aberdeen is supposed to be about fun rather than waiting for life to happen. But E. M. Forster, Shakespeare, and mistletoe on Valentine’s Day make her reconsider what love is and how far she’s willing to go for the right guy.
Find If Only Online:

Find A.J. Online:



If Only Swag Pack -An “I love you from here to Scotland” print, Ahava pendent, A pack each of Much Ado about Nothing and A Room With a View confetti, Much Ado about Nothing travel mug and A Room With a View Blu-ray (a $25 Amazon gift card will be substituted if winner is outside the US)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 21, 2014

ARC Envy #18 - Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Every week several of my favorite bloggers post vlogs or whatever of all the great book hauls they've received for the week. Since I'm a tiny little fish in the huge book blogging pond, my mailbox isn't stuffed with all the great ARCs that they get. Dana's ARC Envy is my way of highlighting an ARC that I *wish* had been sent to me too. 

TitleRuin and Rising (The Grisha #3)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Expected Publication Date: June, 2014

Judging a book by its cover:  Matches the others in the series so that is good.

Know anything about the author?  Yes, she has been fangirled on before for the first two books in this series.

Why do I want it?  Squeal! Need to complete my set. Can't wait for this one!

Summary from Goodreads:

The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

What ARC are you envying this week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Right Now

Right now...I'm wondering how I've gone so long without a new blog post. Yikes! 

Right now...I'm loving the fancy box that My Favorite made for me to use at work. He's awesome sauce. 

Right now...I'm in a bit of a reading slump because I'm overwhelmed with all my choices. 

Right now...I can't believe that there are only 10 or so weeks left for the boys in school. Where did the year go? 

Right now...I'm so enjoying my kickboxing workouts. Fast and furious. I'm determined to workout every day like I did before. Losing weight will be great but mostly I just want to feel better. 

Right now...I'm loving that Ian "reads" his books. I've read one series to him so many times that he has them memorized and can "read" them backwards too. So funny!

Right now...daylight savings time is kicking my tail. I can't get used to it again.