Book Two of The Mara Dyer Trilogy

I'm always asked how I can possibly read as much as I do and the answer is simple: Because I love to read, I make time for it. It’s not easy because I am busy, really, really, busy but I make it work. I always bring a book with me wherever I go. I know some people can't read in public or in a car or on the train but that’s not me; the minute I start reading I shut everything out and before you know it, I’ve read a couple chapters while waiting for the doctor or on my ride into school.  And, I usually always read a few chapters before I go to sleep at night. Sure, sometimes a couple of chapters turns into 20 and I’m exhausted the next day but it’s worth it for me. And, if I have a free day or a few hours I’ll spend it reading(usually with some booze in my hand), Bliss. And here’s the other thing, it’s not about skimming the books. I’m not rushing through the novels just so I can add to my ever-growing “Read” pile. What would be the point of that? I read because I want to. Don’t get me wrong though there are some books that I read more quickly than others but usually that’s because the book is just that good. And then there are other books, like the one I’m reading right now, that take me for-ev-er because they're sooooo boring. But I just keep chugging along because unless a book is god awful, and I mean really, really god awful, I have to finish it. Oh! And here’s the other thing, if you’re skeptical about how many books I read, just take a minute and let it sink in that I’m probably a better reader than you are.

So, I just finished The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin and man alive, things are just getting better and better with this trilogy. The first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer started off with Mara, not her real name, moving down south with her family following a horrible accident. An accident she was able to survive but killed everyone else involved. Even though strange events begin unfolding around her, like seeing her dead ex-boyfriend around school, imagining people dying and then having them really die, she stills manages to meet Noah. Ahhhh Noah, the extremely handsome, extremely rich, extremely sweet English boy who walks through life batting away all the shallow, popular girls who fawn over him. This book falls into all sorts of genres: paranormal, love, horror, mystery/suspense. Something for everyone.

Like I said, Evolution was even better. Everything about this book was so subtle but absolutely terrifying! Mara is finding out more about who she is, and what she’s capable of, I’m still in love with Noah (pretty sure he’s one of my top ten book boyfriends), and shit just keeps getting crazier and crazier. I was about three fourths of the way through reading it in bed one night, minding my own business, thinking that I would just read a chapter or two.  Psshhh, um yeah, we all know how that turns out. One chapter turns into the rest of the bloody book. It was just so good! In those last pages I went into shock, I cried, I was talking out loud, honestly, it was insane! And I hate that I don’t know anyone who's read it because all I wanted to do when I finished was talk to someone about it! My poor husband had to listen to me babble nonsensically about this poor girl and whether or not all these crazy events are really happening to her or if she’s losing her mind like everyone else assumes. The author does a great job of leaving that determination up to you.

So, if you’re looking for an intriguing and horrifying summer read that you cannot put down this is it!

And onto the next, I’m currently reading trudging through The Sexual History of London: From Roman Londinium to the Swinging City---Lust, Vice, and Desire Across the Ages by Catharine Arnold.

Don't Judge Me

So I’m waiting on some really big news, hopefully good news, and the wait is stressing me out. When I get stressed out I read because books offer a welcome escape (kind of like booze but people don't judge you for it when you're indulging in the morning or in public). Reading provides a portal into another world, allowing me, for that period time, to forget about whatever is freaking me the fuck out. I've done it since I was a kid. Anytime I did something stupid, or more often when my mom was being simply being unreasonable (obviously), and was yelled at, I would run to my room, grab a book, and poof! Problems-be-gone. Point of the story? I’ve read a lot this past week.

I finished up Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare last week and I really, really enjoyed it. Let me start this off by explaining that this is not normally my type of book. Well, maybe that’s not necessarily true anymore because I feel like in the past 5 years I’ve really started to let in the paranormal/ya/fantasy genres. I don’t know if this is because I’ve grown into these types of books or if it’s because these books have become increasingly popular. Either way it’s working for me. I should say that if I had gone to a bookstore I wouldn’t have picked out the book because the cover doesn't appeal to me nor does the description sound particularly interesting to me. Nonetheless, all the book blogs I’ve been reading were talking about it and I hate being left out, especially when it comes to books. Long story short, I read and loved it.

The basic premise: Our heroine Tessa’s aunt has just died and she is leaving New York for London where her brother is waiting for her to start their lives together. Unfortunately, when she arrives her brother is nowhere to be found and she gets sucked into a world she never knew existed, the Downworld. Set in Victorian times, the Downworld is full of all sorts of our favorite characters: vampires, werewolves, demons, and ghosts. You name it they exist and will play a part in the book, although not a main part because Clare introduces us to the Shadowhunters. The Shadowhunters are half-human and half-angel creatures meant to protect the mundanes (that’s us!) from all the evil creatures of the Downworld who wish them harm (aka sacrifices and other creepy shit). There’s also the beginning of a love triangle, which is always welcomed. I also liked the characters. Normally the female leads in YA books are super naïve and annoying but she seemed like a stronger role model (not Katniss “I volunteer” strong, but still) and Jem was sweet and reliable. Will though, Will was my favorite. Not a lot is revealed about his life before joining the ranks of the Shadowhunters and I’m really intrigued to see how is character evolves.

But like I said, this description wouldn’t normally pull me into a book but I really couldn’t put it down! And, while normally I hate reading a series all at once, because I like to make the series last, that wasn't the case with this series. I seriously ran out to get the next one as soon as I finished it and, wouldn’t you know it, the bloody store didn’t have it! The one freaking time I want to read the next book in a series . . .

And onto the next . . . I just finished reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. 

Fall Book Roundup

I absolutely hate when random people ask you what you’re reading and you’re reading book candy. It never happens when you’re reading War and Peace or some other classic. And it’s not like the book is garbage, on the contrary, the book is actually pretty amazing and you’re enthralled by it. Instead, it just has some crazy title like “Clockwork Angel”, is full of fantasy creatures (yes, vampires. There are always vampires.), and the cover page makes you look like the type of person who collects unicorn and fairy figurines. So just like you usually you do when someone asks what you’re reading, you show them the cover and you see their eyes get all judgey and haughty. It makes me crazy! I want to be like “I read close to a hundred books a year asshole, they can’t all be literary masterpieces so shut the hell up and keep the judgment to yourself.” And this is especially true when you know, just know, that these people don’t read themselves. Mother truckers.

Okay, back to what I have been reading lately. I know I’ve been gone awhile. It’s just that I started this new master of laws program and it’s like law school all over again, a freaking time suck. And I know I say it every time but here’s the thing people: law school is bloody hard work because it literally takes over your life and the time you spend doing other things like showering or eating is really just time that you spend feeling guilty that you’re not doing more work in school or studying harder.

Even still because I can’t stand to take too long of a hiatus from books, I have found some time to read (hooray for the metro!). While I don’t have the time to go through all of the books I’ve read recently, I mean it has been around 6 months since my last post, I am going to give you the highlights on what to read and what to skip because let’s be honest that’s all you need to know anyways.

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: Must-Read. A book told from the point of view of a mother whose son committed mass murder at his high school. This book was as thought provoking as it was heartbreaking. I was left thinking about it long after I finished reading it.

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling: Maybe Read-It. Rowling is an amazing storyteller there is no doubt about that and regardless of the reviews concerning this book I was going to read it. My only complaint was that it took me awhile to fall into the book and it took me until the very last 100 pages to get to the point where I couldn’t put the book down.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler: Skip-It. A book about women who love Jane Austen so much they start a book club revolving around her books. The only reason I read this was because a reviewer said they envied those Austen virgins who are coming to book club without having read any Austen novels. The review mirrored my feelings towards Harry Potter virgins. Unfortunately, the book wasn’t all that good luckily, as my next review highlights, I didn’t hold it against Austen.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: Read-It. A classic that was so beautifully and humorously written, I now consider myself an Austen fan and I cannot wait for my next Austen novel. Confession time: I listened to part of this book on tape and liked it more than the parts I read to myself. I think the main reason is because some of the humor was so subtle that I missed it when I read it myself, that, and the reader had an amazing British accent.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman: Read-It. A YA novel about a girl’s choice to stay in this world or leave following a horrible car accident. This book was an easy read that touched my heart and made me cry (so many books have been making me bawl lately and I’m getting real sick of my husband asking why I bother reading something that makes me so sad). Want more reasons to read it? There is a sequel! If you’re looking for a good book that you’ll blow through quickly and keep you interested, this is it.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Read-It. Throughout this entire novel I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was literally terrified for the future of each and every character in the book. Let me tell you, this is not the way to go through a novel, so stressful! That being said, this book will be a classic so even though it will stress you the fuck out you should read it. Now.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Must-Read. This is the first book in a series of seven (?) and I’m hooked! I have found my new series! A fellow bookworm recommended this to me a couple of years ago and from her description I could tell she adored the series. It’s recommendations like those that lead me to seek out a book. If it can capture one reader’s heart I want to let it capture mine. The story follows Claire, a combat nurse during WWII, who is vacationing in the Scottish Highlands with her husband following the end of the war. After discovering a mysterious rock formation, think Stonehenge, she is transported back to 1743. Don’t let the time traveling throw you off, this book is less about the scientific logistics of the time and space and continuum and more about the love story of Claire and Jamie and what a story it is!!

So I would say my book picking skills are pretty good. I mean 6 out of the 7 books I read are good enough for me to recommend to you. Jeez, I’m amazing!

And onto the next . . . I am currently reading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.