Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Review: Glass Houses by Rachel CaineGlass Houses by Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires #1
Published by Allison & Busby, NAL Jam
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
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Also in this series: The Dead Girls' Dance, Midnight Alley, Kiss of Death, Ghost Town, Bite Club

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they come out fighting when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood...

On the day Claire became a member of the Glass House, somebody stole her laundry.

Thoughts: Okay, I can’t help myself. I have to bitch about the cover* – all the Morganville UK covers in fact. Who on earth are these random girls supposed to be? I am assuming it is supposed to be Claire, if we decide to, you know, ignore her description. Not to mention the painful clashing colours and fonts and just… eww. This is one of those books I just won’t take on the tube. If you can, get the US edition which is fierce.  ETA: The covers I was ranting about were these – luckily the publishers reissued these books back in 2010 with much better covers, now including in this review.

Moving on. The book – it was enjoyable, but not amazing. Glass Houses is very different to most YA Vampire books out at the moment, because unlike the House of Night Series or the Twilight Saga – Vampires are so not the good guys. They are soulless SOBs, and the humans in their control are not much better. Monica, a college girl who immediately puts Claire on her hit list, has a violent streak that would make Angelus (BtVS) look like a weakling. She was psychotic, but extremely enjoyable.

With all this evil going around, the book is action packed. There are hospital stays, kidnappings, sieges, breaking-and-enterings, and a lot of run-for-your-life moments. But unlike say, Kelly Armstrong or Rachel Vincent, Caine is not too great at describing the action. I often had to go back a page or two to work out what was going on.

Caine also didn’t succeed in making me feel for any of the characters. All the action meant that character development was left out. It was one of those cases where you are just ohsoclose to relating to the protagonist when, bang, you’re back to apathy. I understood that the characters were supposed to be scared – but the writing just didn’t make me feel it. The romantic tension was pretty un-tense, and the scary scenes were pretty bland.

This book barely gets three stars, although I do plan on getting the rest of the series. Hopefully my interest in the characters will grow the more I read.

Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine HarrisDead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #1
Published by Ace/Roc, Gollancz
Pages: 292
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
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Also in this series: Dead as a Doornail

Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn't date much because of her "disability" to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's the type of guy she's waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too--he's a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next.

 I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.

Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book. What got me out to the bookstore was seeing the True Blood pilot. I would highly recommend watching it when the season airs and as it totally added to the experience. I bought it mostly out of love for Bill – who reminds me of Edward from the Twilight series despite being nothing like him at all.

Anyhow, this book was so much fun. It was such an amazing look on the whole vampire/human romance because they are all “out of the coffin”. Usually it’s all one big secret, but in this case everyone and their mother knows what Sookie is up to with Bill.

Another thing that I really appreciated was Sookie being just that little bit special and it not being such a good thing. Charlaine Harris deals very well with the fact that a young girl hearing voices in her head is not exactly healthy. Reminds me of the J.K. Rowling quote, Hearing voices no one else can hear isn’t a good sign, even in the wizarding world.

Review: A Heart So White by Javier Marias

Review: A Heart So White by Javier MariasA Heart So White by Javier Marias
Published by Vintage
Pages: 279
Genres: Literary Fiction
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Javier Marías's A Heart So White chronicles with unnerving insistence the relentless power of the past. Juan knows little of the interior life of his father Ranz; but when Juan marries, he begins to consider the past anew, and begins to ponder what he doesn't really want to know. Secrecy—its possible convenience, its price, and even its civility—hovers throughout the novel. A Heart So White becomes a sort of anti-detective story of human nature. Intrigue; the sins of the father; the fraudulent and the genuine; marriage and strange repetitions of violence: Marías elegantly sends shafts of inquisitory light into shadows and on to the costs of ambivalence.

 I did not want to know but I have since come to know that one of the girls, when she wasn’t a girl anymore and hadn’t long been back from her honeymoon, went into the bathroom, stood in front of the mirror, unbuttoned her blouse, took off her bra and aimed her own father’s gun at her heart, her father at the time was in the dining room with other members of the family and three guests.

Rec for people who love: Spain, art, languages, the new age whodunnit

Thoughts: This was my first book read because of LibraryThing. I think I was looking for books written by Spanish authors – everyone I know trips over themselves when talking about Arturo Perez-Reverte, but it seems that he is the only Spaniard with any real recognition. Using Wikipedia and Livejournal as my guide, I discovered that Javier Marias writes for El Pais, had an uncle who produced pornography, and a philosopher father imprisoned under Franco. Well, if that didn’t make me love him on the spot – I don’t know what could have.

So, onto my TBR list he went and that was that last I time I thought about him or the book. That is, until I happened to be in an Oxfam bookshop that I rarely visit four months later. And there it was. An unused, unloved and untouched “A Heart so White” begging for a good home. I remembered my five minute online affair with the novel, and snatched it from the shelf. Almost as if I had been afraid someone else had seen it.

And so began a two month long journey with Javier Marias’s narrator – Juan.

Okay, so maybe when I started reading I had my expectations a bit too high. No that’s not right – I just wasn’t ready for the style of the novel, and had had no idea what the book was about when I started to read. In fact, it took me about a month and a half to get past the first thirty pages. Throughout the first thirty pages, I knew the words themselves were beautiful – they were just really difficult. The prose is intense, and lyrical – but it is long. It’s kinda the typical problem a lot of genre fans have with lit fic – the, er, pretentiousness? But JM does not write the way he does merely for gloating rights – it’s just what he is bloody brilliant at. Some authors are can write intense multi-character dialogue, others bloody, brutal fight scenes – and JM is the master at writing a character’s stream of conciousness.

Juan writes – for it is hard for me not to think of him as a real person – the way he thinks. And while his thoughts are stunningly beautiful, until you learn to ride his mind with him, you might be tripping over the plot a bit.

Oh yes, the plot.

Well, I couldn’t quite come up with a decent summary of this book without sounding like a lunatic – that is, until I saw this raving review of Javier Marias’s work in the NYTimes:

A simultaneous translator, recently married to another simultaneous translator, uses the growing friendship between his wife and his father to unravel the mystery behind a suicide that took place before he was born. [ …] If you judged by the summary alone, you might guess that Marías’s fiction is ludicrously melodramatic or cruelly comic or tediously postmodern. It is none of these. On the contrary, all four novels possess an odd combination of true sadness and deeply satisfying wit that I have yet to find in any of Marías’s English or American contemporaries.

At the most basic level, the book is about a man discovering the truth about his father’s life. That’s how the book starts off and ends – but that won’t be why you’ll love this book. Marias’s Juan made me examine my own way of looking at the situations and people around me; inspired the philosopher I had never known was in me.

On another note, this book is excellent for all you armchair travelers out there. We head from Madrid to Havana to New York to the UN to Geneva and back again. Also, I would like to congratulate Margaret Jull Costa on her fabulous translation of this breathtaking novel. ♥

You can read the first chapter of this excellent novel, here.

Read in…

Favourites are in Bold!

2015

  1. Audiobook – Legends of the Ferengi (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) by Ira Steven Behr – 4.5 stars
  2. All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1) by Ally Carter – 4 stars
  3. Audiobook – Emissary (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, #1) by J.M. Dillard – 3.5 stars
  4. This Shattered World (Starbound, #2) by Amie Kaufman – 5 stars
  5. Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3) by Maggie Stiefvater – 2.5 stars
  6. Poison Study (Study, #1) by Maria V. Snyder (reread) – 4.5 stars
  7. Audiobook –  Warped (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) by K.W. Jeter – 2 stars
  8. Avengers, Volume 5: Adapt or Die by Jonathan Hickman – 3 stars
  9. Audiobook –  The Devil’s Heart by Carmen Carter – 2 stars
  10. Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1) by Maria V. Snyder – 3.5 stars
  11. Daredevil, Vol. 7: Hardcore by Brian Michael Bendis – 4 stars
  12. New Avengers, Volume 3: Other Worlds by Jonathan Hickman – 4 stars
  13. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2) by Sarah MacLean – 3 stars
  14. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – 4 stars
  15. Audiobook –  Star Trek The Next Generation: Ship of the Line by Diane Carey – 4 stars
  16. Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 3: The Accursed by Jason Aaron – 2 stars
  17. The 34th Rule by Armin Shimerman – 3 stars
  18. Bodies by Si Spencer – 4 stars
  19. Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan – 4 stars
  20. Daredevil, Vol. 8: Echo by David W. Mack – 2 stars
  21. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson – 5 stars
  22. Audiobook –  Prime Directive (Star Trek: Worlds in Collision, #2) by Judith Reeves-Stevens – 3 stars
  23. Avengers Undercover, Volume 2: Going Native by Dennis Hopeless – 1 star
  24. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson – 5 stars
  25. Uprooted by Naomi Novik – 4 stars
  26. Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm by Al Ewing – 3.5 stars
  27. Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man by Mark Waid – 3 stars
  28. Captain Marvel, Volume 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More by Kelly Sue DeConnick – 4.5 stars
  29. Captain Marvel, Volume 2: Stay Fly by Kelly Sue DeConnick – 5 stars
  30. New Avengers, Volume 4: Perfect World  by Jonathan Hickman – 4 stars
  31. Avengers, Volume 6: Infinite Avengers by Jonathan Hickman – 3 stars
  32. Aurelia (Aurelia, #1) by Anne Osterlund – 4 stars
  33. Audiobook –  Star Trek Next Generation: Imzadi by Peter David – 1.5 stars
  34. Night Broken (Mercy Thompson, #8) by Patricia Briggs – 4 stars
  35. Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2) by Ilona Andrews – 3.5 stars
  36. Shift (Shifters, #5) by Rachel Vincent – 2 stars
  37. Audiobook –  Star Trek Cacophony: A Captain Sulu Adventure by John Malloy – 3.5 stars
  38. Audiobook –  Windows on a Lost World by V.E. Mitchell – 3.5 stars
  39. Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1) by Ann Aguirre – 3 stars
  40. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer – 5 stars
  41. Captain Marvel, Volume 3: Alis Volat Propriis by Kelly Sue DeConnick – 4 stars
  42. Rocket Raccoon, Volume 2: Storytailer by Skottie Young – 3.5 stars
  43. Avengers World, Volume 4: Before Times Runs Out by Frank Barbiere – 3 stars
  44. Avengers: Time Runs Out, Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman – 3 stars
  45. Avengers: Time Runs Out, Volume 2 by Jonathan Hickman – 4 stars
  46. Avengers: Time Runs Out, Volume 3 by Jonathan Hickman – 4 stars
  47. Avengers: Time Runs Out, Volume 4 by Jonathan Hickman – 3 stars
  48. Gotham Academy, Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan – 4 stars
  49. Superior Iron Man, Volume 1: Infamous by Tom Taylor – 4 stars
  50. Superior Iron Man, Volume 2: Stark Contrast by Tom Taylor – 3 stars
  51. Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 4: The Last Days of Midgard by Jason Aaron – 4.5 stars
  52. Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour – 4 stars
  53. Black Widow, Volume 2: The Tightly Tangled Web by Nathan Edmondson – 3 stars

Read in 2014

  1. Goblin Secrets (Zombay, #1) by William Alexander – 2 stars
  2. Horde (Razorland, #3) by Ann Aguirre – 5 stars
  3. Shadows (The Rephaim, #1) by Paula Weston – 3 stars
  4. Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott – 4 stars
  5. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer – 4 stars
  6. Novella – Poison Dance (Midnight Thief, #0.5) by Livia Blackburne – 4.5 star
  7. White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – 4.5 stars
  8. Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3) by Patricia Briggs – 5 stars
  9. Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas, #1) by Charlaine Harris – 3 stars
  10. Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, #4) by Richelle Mead – 3 stars
  11. Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 1: The God Butcher by Jason Aaron – 5 stars
  12. Succubus Shadows (Georgina Kincaid, #5) by Richelle Mead – 2.5 stars
  13. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson – 5 stars
  14. Avengers Arena, Volume 1: Kill or Die by Dennis Hopeless – 4 stars
  15. Avengers Arena, Volume 2: Game On by Dennis Hopeless – 4 stars
  16. Avengers Arena, Volume 3: Boss Level by Dennis Hopeless – 3 stars
  17. Avengers, Volume 1: Avengers World by Jonathan Hickman – 3 stars
  18. Avengers, Volume 2: The Last White Event by Jonathan Hickman – 3 stars
  19. Avengers, Volume 3: Prelude to Infinity by Jonathan Hickman – 2 stars
  20. New Avengers, Volume 1: Everything Dies by Jonathan Hickman – 4 stars
  21. Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid, #6) by Richelle Mead – 2 stars
  22. Infinity: Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman – 4.5 stars
  23. Infinity: Volume 2 by Jonathan Hickman – 4.5 stars
  24. Thunderbolts, Volume 3: Infinity by Charles Soule – 3 stars
  25. Avengers, Volume 4: Infinity by Jonathan Hickman – 4 stars
  26. New Avengers, Volume 2: Infinity Jonathan Hickman – 4 stars
  27. Runaways, Vol. 1: Pride and Joy (Runaways, #1) by Brian K. Vaughan – 5 stars
  28. Runaways, Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland (Runaways, #2) by Brian K. Vaughan – 4 stars
  29. Runaways, Vol. 3: The Good Die Young (Runaways, #3) by Brian K. Vaughan – 5 stars
  30. Hawkeye, Volume 1: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction – 4 stars
  31. Runaways, Vol. 4: True Believers (Runaways, #4) by Brian K. Vaughan – 4 stars
  32. Runaways, Vol. 5: Escape to New York (Runaways, #5) by Brian K. Vaughan – 5 stars
  33. Runaways, Vol. 6: Parental Guidance (Runaways, #6) by Brian K. Vaughan – 4 stars
  34. Thor: God of Thunder, Volume 2: Godbomb by Jason Aaron – 4 stars
  35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – 3 stars
  36. Drax the Destroyer: Earthfall by Keith Giffen – 2 stars
  37. Captain Marvel, Volume 1: In Pursuit of Flight by Kelly Sue DeConnick – 3.5 stars
  38. Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender – 3.5 stars
  39. Doctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K. Vaughan – 2 stars
  40. Runaways, Vol. 7: Live Fast (Runaways, #7) by Brian K. Vaughan – 4 stars
  41. Runaways, Vol. 8: Dead End Kids (Runaways, #8) by Joss Whedon – 2 stars
  42. The Hood (New Avengers) by Brian K. Vaughan – 3 stars
  43. Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb – 4 stars
  44. Batman: Year One by Frank Miller – 4 stars
  45. Avengers Undercover, Volume 1: Descent by Dennis Hopeless – 2 stars
  46. Daredevil, Vol. 3: Wake Up by Brian Michael Bendis – 4 stars
  47. Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick – 3.5 stars
  48. Daredevil, Vol. 3.5: Playing to the Camera by Bob Gale – 3.5 stars
  49. Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7) by Patricia Briggs – 5 stars
  50. Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews – 4 stars
  51. The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner – 2 stars
  52. Daredevil, Vol. 4: Underboss by Brian Michael Bendis – 4 stars
  53. Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis – 1 star
  54. Hawkeye, Volume 2: Little Hits by Matt Fraction – 4.5 stars
  55. Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4) by Ally Carter – 4 stars
  56. Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1) by Rachel Hawkins – 3 stars
  57. A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2) by George R.R. Martin – 4 stars
  58. Daredevil, Vol. 5: Out by Brian Michael Bendis – 4 stars
  59. Black Widow, Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson – 3.5 stars
  60. Daredevil, Vol. 6: Lowlife by Brian Michael Bendis – 4 stars
  61. Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5) by Ally Carter – 5 stars
  62. Die for Me (Revenants, #1) by Amy Plum – 3 stars
  63. United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6) by Ally Carter – 5 stars
  64. Eve & Adam (Eve & Adam, #1) by Michael Grant – 4 stars
  65. Audiobook – Mosaic (Star Trek: Voyager) by Jeri Taylor – 4 stars
  66. Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3) by Laini Taylor – 3.5 stars
  67. Audiobook – Q-In-Law (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #18) by Peter David – 4 stars
  68. Audiobook – Fallen Heroes by Dafydd ab Hugh – 4 stars
  69. Audiobook – Dark Mirror by Diane Duane – 3.5 stars
  70. Audiobook – The Valiant by Michael Jan Friedman – 3 stars
  71. Audiobook – Relics by Michael Jan Friedman – 3.5 stars

2013

  1. Last Chance by Sarah Dessen – 3.5 stars
  2. Heist Society by Ally Carter – 4.5 stars
  3. The Holders by Julianna Scott – 3 stars
  4. Quantum Drop by Saci Lloyd – 4 stars
  5. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce – 4.5 stars
  6. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter – 3.5 stars
  7. Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter – 4 stars
  8. The Fault in our Stars by John Green – 5 stars
  9. Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead – 3 stars
  10. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – 3.5 stars
  11. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – 4.5 stars
  12. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – 2.5 stars
  13. The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George – 2 stars
  14. Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor – 4 stars
  15. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead – 3.5 stars
  16. With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent – 3.5 stars
  17. The Rising by Kelley Armstrong – 3.5 stars
  18. Ink by Amanda Sun – 3.5 stars
  19. Dare You To by Katie McGarry – 4.5 stars
  20. Angelfall by Susan Ee – 4.5 stars
  21. The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks – 4.5 stars
  22. Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs – 5 stars
  23. Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells – 3 stars
  24. Rush by Eve Silver – 3 stars
  25. Crash into You by Katie McGarry – 5 stars
  26. Outpost by Ann Aguirre – 5 stars
  27. Fade by Lisa McMann – 4 stars
  28. Gone by Lisa McMann – 2.5 stars
  29. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan – 2 stars
  30. World After by Susan Ee – 4.5 stars
  31. Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman – 4 stars
  32. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – 3.5 stars
  33. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman – 5 stars
  34. Bite Club by Rachel Caine – 3 stars
  35. The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle – 2 stars
  36. Endgame by Ann Aguirre – 4.5 stars
  37. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter – 3.5 stars
  38. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas – 3 stars
  39. Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter – 4 stars
  40. A Sip of Aesop by Jane Yolen – 2 stars
  41. Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter – 4 stars

2012 (25)

  1. Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre – 4.5 stars
  2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer – 3.5 stars
  3. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent – 3.5 stars
  4. If I Die by Rachel Vincent – 4.5 stars
  5. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – 4 stars
  6. Killbox by Ann Aguirre – 3.5 stars
  7. Aftermath by Ann Aguirre – 4 stars
  8. Muse by Rebecca Lim – 4 stars
  9. Prey by Rachel Vincent – 3.5 stars
  10. Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips – 3 stars
  11. Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas – 4.5 stars
  12. A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James – 3 stars
  13. It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas – 4 stars
  14. Mercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs – 3 stars
  15. Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk – 3 stars
  16. The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams – 2.5 stars
  17. Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent – 4 stars
  18. Pure Blood by Caitlin Kittredge – 3 stars
  19. River Marked by Patricia Briggs – 4.5 stars
  20. Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan – 4 stars
  21. Breathe by Sarah Crossan – 2.5 stars
  22. The Calling by Kelley Armstrong – 4 stars
  23. Defiance by Lili St. Crow – 3.5 stars
  24. Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead – 4 stars
  25. Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles – 2 stars

2011 (63)

  1. Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott – 4 stars
  2. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent – 4 stars
  3. Mercy by Rebecca Lim – 4 stars
  4. Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan – 3 stars
  5. Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill – 3 stars
  6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver – 4 stars
  7. Ghost Town by Rachel Caine – 2.5 stars
  8. Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife by Sam Savage – 2 stars
  9. Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells – 4 stars
  10. Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 3.5 stars
  11. Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow – 3 stars
  12. Sea Change by Aimee Friedman – 4 stars
  13. Wake by Lisa McMann – 4.5 stars
  14. Enclave by Ann Aguirre – 4.5 stars
  15. Hexbound by Chloe Neill – 3 stars
  16. Soulless by Gail Carriger – 4.5 stars
  17. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney – 2 stars
  18. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead – 4 stars
  19. Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward – 1 star
  20. Beauty by Robin McKinley – 3.5 stars
  21. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong – 5 stars
  22. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert – 5 stars
  23. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – 5 stars
  24. The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu – 2 stars
  25. Temeraire by Naomi Novik – 5 stars
  26. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik – 3.5 stars
  27. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch – 3 stars
  28. Brother/Sister by Sean Olin – 4 stars
  29. Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge – 4 stars
  30. Exile by Rebecca Lim – 4 stars
  31. Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough – 2.5 stars
  32. Pride by Rachel Vincent – 4 stars
  33. The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson – 3 stars
  34. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong – 3.5 stars
  35. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin – 5 stars
  36. The Glass Demon by Helen Grant – 4 stars
  37. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – 4.5 stars
  38. Siren by Tricia Rayburn – 3 stars
  39. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – 4 stars
  40. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – 3.5 stars
  41. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs – 5 stars
  42. The Society of S by Susan Hubbard – 2 stars
  43. Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine – 4 stars
  44. Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber – 2.5 stars
  45. Hourglass by Claudia Gray – 1 star
  46. Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund – 4.5 stars
  47. Beastly by Alex Flinn – 2 stars
  48. 13 to Life by Shannon Delany – 2.5 stars
  49. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett – 3.5 stars
  50. The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller – 2.5 stars
  51. Pure by Julianna Baggott – 4.5 stars
  52. My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent – 3 stars
  53. Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda – 4 stars
  54. Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris – 3 stars
  55. Matched by Ally Condie – 4 stars
  56. Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead – 3 stars
  57. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff – 3 stars
  58. My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent – 4 stars
  59. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton – 3 stars
  60. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips – 4 stars
  61. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton – 3.5 stars
  62. Silver-Tounged Devil by Jaye Wells –  4 stars
  63. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – 3 stars

2010 (71)

  1. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – 4 stars
  2. The Espressologist by Kristina Springer – 4 stars
  3. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr – 4 stars
  4. Firespell by Chloe Neill – 4.5 stars
  5. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler – 4.5 stars
  6. Fallen by Lauren Kate – 3.5 stars
  7. Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey – 3 stars
  8. Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells – 5 stars
  9. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – 5 stars
  10. Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland – 2 stars
  11. Untamed Heart by Ally Blue – 3 stars
  12. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – 4.5 stars
  13. Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast – 2 stars
  14. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs – 5 stars
  15. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder – 4.5 stars
  16. A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary by Alain De Botton – 4 stars
  17. Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward – 4 stars
  18. Frostbite by Richelle Mead – 4.5 stars
  19. Need by Carrie Jones – 4 stars
  20. Claimed By Shadow by Karen Chance – 2.5 stars
  21. Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead – 4 stars
  22. Fade Out by Rachel Caine – 4 stars
  23. Shiver by Maggie Steifvater – 5 stars
  24. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien – 5 stars
  25. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs – 4.5 stars
  26. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong – 5 stars
  27. (novella) Bring the Heat by M.L. Rhodes – 4 stars
  28. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore – 2 stars
  29. The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells – 5 stars
  30. Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow – 4 stars
  31. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles – 4 stars
  32. The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton – 4 stars
  33. Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk – 3.5 stars
  34. Beating Heart by A. M. Jenkins – 3 stars
  35. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – 3.5 stars
  36. Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder – 3.5 stars
  37. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase – 4 stars
  38. Ondine by Ebony McKenna – 4 stars
  39. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead – 4.5 stars
  40. The Line by Teri Hall – 2.5 stars
  41. Shadow Marked by Anna J. Evans – 3 stars
  42. Betrayals by Lili St. Crow – 3.5 stars
  43. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – 4.5 stars
  44. Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill – 4 stars
  45. Seven Sorcerers by Caro King – 4.5 stars
  46. Rogue by Rachel Vincent – 3 stars
  47. (novella) Blood Soup by Kelly A. Harmon – 3.5 stars
  48. Old Magic by Marianne Curley – 3 stars
  49. Ill Wind by Rachel Caine – 4 stars
  50. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner – 2 stars
  51. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles – 5 stars
  52. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr – 3 stars
  53. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – 1 star
  54. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan – 4 stars
  55. Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine – 3.5 stars
  56. Grimspace by Ann Aguirre – 5 stars
  57. TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow – 3.5 stars
  58. Jealousy by Lili St. Crow – 3.5 stars
  59. Succubus Nights by Richelle Mead – 4 stars
  60. The Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda – 3.5 stars
  61. Linger by Maggie Steifvater – 5 stars
  62. Captivate by Carrie Jones – 3 stars
  63. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs – 3 stars
  64. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson – 3 stars
  65. Stargazer by Claudia Gray – 3.5 stars
  66. Dark Life by Kat Falls – 4.5 stars
  67. Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre – 4.5 stars
  68. Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs – 4 stars
  69. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs – 4 stars
  70. A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin – 3.5 stars
  71. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting – 2.5 stars

2009 (44)

  1. The Host by Stephenie Meyer / 3.5 stars
  2. The People’s Act of Love by James Meek / 4 stars
  3. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides / 2 stars
  4. The Scandal of the Season by Sophie Gee / 2.5 stars
  5. Banishing Verona by Margot Livesy / 4 stars
  6. Tea by Stacy D’Erasmo / 4 stars
  7. The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Book 2) by Laurell K. Hamilton / 4 stars
  8. The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong / 4.5 stars
  9. The Awakening (Darkest Powers, Book 2) by Kelley Armstrong / 5 stars
  10. Marked (House of Night, Book 1) by P.C. and Kristin Cast / 2.5 stars
  11. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella / 3.5 stars
  12. Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Book 3) by Laurell K. Hamilton / 3.5 stars
  13. Stray (Shifters, Book 1) by Rachel Vincent / 3 stars
  14. The Scent of Shadows (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 1) by Vicki Pettersson / 4 stars
  15. Run by Ann Patchett / 5 stars
  16. The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella / 3.5 stars
  17. Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) by Rachel Caine / 3 stars
  18. Anyone but You by Jennifer Cruise / 3.5 stars
  19. The Dead Girls Dance (Morganville Vampires, Book 2) by Rachel Caine / 4 stars
  20. Betrayed (House of Night, Book 2) by P.C. and Kristin Cast / 3.5 stars
  21. Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella / 3.5 stars
  22. The Taste of Night (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 2) by Vicki Pettersson / 3 stars
  23. Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) by Rachel Caine / 4.5 stars
  24. The Demon King and I by Cadace Havens / 3 stars
  25. A Kiss of Shadows (Merry Gentry, Book 1) by Laurell K. Hamilton / 2.5 stars
  26. Chosen (House of Night, Book 3) by P.C. and Kristin Cast / 2 stars
  27. Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires, Book 4) by Rachel Caine / 3.5 stars
  28. Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Book 1) by Karen Chance / 4 stars
  29. Full Moon Rising (Riley Jenson, Book 1) by Keri Arthur / 1 star
  30. Lord of Misrule (Morganville Vampires, Book 5) by Rachel Caine / 4 stars
  31. Evernight (Evernight Series, Book 1) by Claudia Gray / 3 stars
  32. Moon Called (Mercy Thompson Series, Book 1) by Patricia Briggs / 4.5 stars
  33. Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 4) by Charlaine Harris / 3.5 stars
  34. Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires, Book 6) by Rachel Caine / 4 stars
  35. The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld, Book 1) by Gena Showalter / 2 stars
  36. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1) by J.R. Ward / 4 stars
  37. Untamed (House of Night, Book 4) by P.C. and Kristin Cast / 3 stars
  38. Hunted (House of Night, Book 5) by P.C. and Kristin Cast / 3 stars
  39. Moonlight (Dark Guardians, Book 1) by Rachel Hawthorne / 2 stars
  40. Dead Witch Walking (Rachel Morgan, Book 1) by Kim Harrison / 3.5 stars
  41. Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) by J. R. Ward / 4.5 stars 
  42. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder / 4.5 stars
  43. Evermore by Alyson Noel / 3 stars
  44. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams / 5 stars

2008 (18)

  1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides / 5 stars
  2. The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett / 5 stars
  3. Property by Valerie Martin / 2 stars
  4. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer / 3.5 stars
  5. Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me by Javier Marías / 4 stars
  6. What Now? by Ann Patchett / 3 stars
  7. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett / 4 stars
  8. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer / 3 stars
  9. The Secret History by Donna Tartt / 4.5 stars
  10. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris / 4 stars
  11. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray / 1.5 stars
  12. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer / 3 stars
  13. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris / 4 stars
  14. Becoming Justice Blackmun by Linda Greenhouse / 5 stars
  15. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer / 4 stars
  16. The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris / 3 stars
  17. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris / 3.5 stars
  18. Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton / 4 stars

2007 (15)

  1. Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel García Márquez  / 4.5 stars
  2. Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris / 1 star
  3. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway / 1 star
  4. The Right to Privacy by Ellen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy / 5 stars
  5. Cowboys are my Weakness by Pam Houston / 4 stars
  6. The Dogs Who Found Me by Ken Foster / 4.5 stars
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling / 5 stars
  8. A Heart So White by Javier Marias / 4 stars
  9. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett / 4 stars
  10. The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif / 4 stars
  11. Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord by Louis De Bernieres / 3.5 Stars
  12. Jigs and Reels by Joanne Harris / 3 stars
  13. Havana Bay by Martin Cruz Smith / 3 stars
  14. The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on Faith, God and World Affairs by Madeleine K. Albright / 4 stars
  15. From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava by Jay Kopelman and Melinda Roth / 216 pages / 4.5 stars

Review: From Baghdad, With Love by Jay Kopelman and Melinda Roth

Review: From Baghdad, With Love by Jay Kopelman and Melinda RothFrom Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava by Jay Kopelman, Melinda Roth
Published by Lyons Press
Pages: 196
Genres: Non-Fiction
Source: Purchased myself
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In From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava, Jay Kopelman tells a story that is both tender and thought-provoking - candidly portraying the ugly conditions in wartime Iraq, while also describing his (and his fellow Marines') growing attachment to a scruffy stray puppy.

Thoughts: I first heard of this book a good year ago, when I heard the author give a beautiful interview on NPR. Being the huge dog lover that I am, not to mention overly romantic, this book was practically made for me. The writing is simple, and the story itself isn’t too long – but its a beautiful one. The Lieutenant Colonel truly cared about this dog, despite himself. And the amount of people who found room in their hearts to help him and this amazing pup is just…. well, astounding considering the circumstances. It made me feel better about this world, just the thought of their being people selfless enough to do the right thing in a world where there is just so much wrong.

I was slightly nervous about any war propaganda that could rear its head, but I found the book completely neutral. Very matter of fact, “we are, and it’s crap, but this is what we signed up for” – while I am completely against the war, there is absolutely nothing in it to insult anyone who swings the other way.

As you can tell, I’m including a few pics of Lava – and I am sure that any dog lover will head straight to amazon after just a glance!

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