Friday, December 30, 2011

A Vintage Affair - Review

Title: A Vintage Affair
Author: Isabel Wolff

Synopsis: "Phoebe Swift’s friends are stunned when she abruptly leaves a plum job to open her own vintage clothing shop in London – but to Phoebe, it’s the fulfillment of a dream, and her passion. Digging for finds in attics and wardrobes, Phoebe knows that when you buy a piece of vintage clothing, you’re not just buying fabric and thread – you’re buying a piece of someone’s past. But one particular article of clothing will soon unexpectedly change her life.
 "Thérèse Bell, an elderly Frenchwoman, has an impressive clothing collection. But among the array of elegant suits and couture gowns, Phoebe finds a child’s blue coat – an item with which Mrs. Bell is stubbornly reluctant to part. As the two women become friends, Phoebe will learn the poignant tale of that little blue coat. And she will discover an astonishing connection between herself and Thérèse Bell – one that will help her heal the pain of her own past and allow her to love again."

Review: A Vintage Affair is a wonderful story about love, life and repentance. Phoebe’s struggle with her past touched my heart. I felt badly for her and wished for her to find happiness all the way through the novel. When she meets Mrs. Bell I was moved by their budding relationship and Phoebe’s search to bring her peace. The characters were so well formed that I was angry, for most of the novel, with Miles and Roxy. I fell deeply in love with Dan and was angry at Phoebe for not seeing what was right under her nose.

 There was a single point that bothered me. It’s when the man wanted to try on corsets and Phoebe says that of course she didn't let him. It took up two lines. Why even bother to put that in? If this was a character flaw it needed to be expanded on more, because put this way it just appears as if the author is prejudiced against transgender individuals. It made me angry because I don’t understand why he couldn't try on the corset and why Ms. Wolff felt the need to throw that in our faces? However despite this malicious and prejudicial remark I did enjoy this book. I laughed, I loved and I cried. A Vintage Affair is a wonderful read.

Publisher: Bantam Books
ISBN: 978-0553386622

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate (ISBN: 978-1439107232)

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (ISBN: 978-0553384840) See my review of this novel here.


Well, I'm still not feeling well.  But since I'm not doing much other than sitting in doctors waiting rooms or waiting at home for test results I've had a lot of time to read.  So I'll be posting some reviews of the books that I've been reading.  My new semester starts January 17th and so I'm hoping and wishing on every star that we will have this figured out by then.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Favorites #1

Like the vast majority of book bloggers I could never pick just one favorite book.  However I do have quite a few favorite books!  These are books that I reread quite often and turn to when I’m having a bad day.   So here at BookGirl’s BookNook on the last Friday of every month I'll be talking about my favorite books.

September’s Friday Favorite:

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

I found this book a few years ago; I can’t remember the exact day.  I was shopping in B&N and just randomly picked up Sunshine.  I love Robin McKinley’s books and I love a good vampire story so I’m sure that those were two major reasons why this book appealed to me.   I devoured the book.  I read it in about two hours.  Now, when I’m having a bad day this is the book that I turn to.  This is one of those books that I won’t let people borrow because I need to know it’s here for me to read anytime I want!  For Christmas last year I received a hard cover copy of Sunshine because my paperback edition was falling apart because I’d read it so many times.  The magic, the vampires, the demons, and the baking combined with characters that I would like to know have combined to provide readers with one of the best books I’ve ever read!  

Tell me about your favorite books.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Night Circus - Review

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern

 Synopsis: “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. “Within these nocturnal black-and-white-striped tents awaits an utterly unique experience, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.
 “Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.
 "Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way – a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.”

Review: The Night Circus exceeded all of my expectations. I picked up this novel on a whim. The beautiful cover first grabbed my attention but it was when I read the description on the dustcover that I knew this book had to go home with me. I’m obsessed with the romantic idealism of the circus, so the idea of a circus that’s only open at night and filled with illusion and magic grabbed my attention.
     I bought it a week ago but hadn’t had a chance to read it until today. I stayed home from class with the flu and spent the day reading The Night Circus. I quickly forgot that I was sick and read the book straight through. Morgenstern has a beautiful way with words that I have rarely seen and her prose flows like the illusion and magic of Le Cirque des Rêves. The forbidden romance between Celia and Marco stirred my soul and quickened my imagination. This is a lovely first novel which I hope is the first of many.

Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 978-0385534635

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (ISBN: 978-0553384840) Read my review here.

Abarat by Clive Barker (ISBN: 978-0062094100)

Mechanique by Genevieve Valentine (ISBN: 978-1607012535) Read my Review here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blood Magic - Review

Title: Blood Magic
Author: Tessa Gratton

Synopsis: “It starts off simply. Draw a circle… place a dead leaf in the center… sprinkle some salt… recite a little Latin… add a drop of blood…
“Maybe that last part isn’t exactly simple. Yet somehow if feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents’ horrific deaths. She’s willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family- even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep… and spill some blood.
“The book isn’t the only recent arrival in Silla’s life. There’s Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She’s not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes that this may not be Nick’s first encounter with blood magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can’t deny the dark presence lurking nearby – waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.”

Review: I have mixed feelings about Blood Magic. First, I thought that part of it was predictable. About halfway through the novel I had figured out who the “bad guy” was and I could easily tell who Gratton wanted us to think the “bad guy” was. Nick’s issues with his new stepmother were highly cliché and therefore, boring. Also, Silla’s interest in Nick felt rather forced. Both of her parents have just died, her life is in an upheaval. I need a stronger reason for their relationship than “OMG He saw me do magic and he’s really hot” for this to be believable. My last complaint, and this is a purely personal complaint, is that the sections that were letters from Silla’s Dad are in a font that is supposed to look more like true handwriting and these were really hard to read. I ended up with a wicked headache even though I was wearing my reading glasses.
Thus said, even though it was kind of predictable and I kept telling myself: “You know what’s going on and who did it. Why don’t you go watch some tv instead?” I read Blood Magic in two sittings and had trouble putting it down. It took me little while to figure out why. But I had an epiphany while I was eating breakfast this morning (a cheddar and broccoli omelet with whole wheat toast and coffee); it was probably an effect of the coffee waking up my brain. So here it is. I really liked the story. I love the idea of magic being something in the blood of a person. And I couldn’t figure out everything. The story about who Silla’s Dad really was caught me by surprise, and Silla’s use of imaginary masks to hide behind amused me. . Even though parts of it were predictable, and I got a headache from the silly handwriting font, I found the story engrossing and enjoyable.

Publisher: Random House

If you like this book you may want to read:

Other by Karen Kincy (ISBN: 978-0738719191)Read my review here.

Book of Shadows by Cate Tiernan (ISBN: 978-0142409862)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hounded - Review

Title: Hounded
Author: Kevin Hearne
Series: The Iron Druid Chronicles #01

Synopsis: “Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old – when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
“Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power – plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish – to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.”

Review: This was an enjoyable read. Atticus is smart, sweet, sarcastic and sexy. I want his dog Oberon, who is a simple and loyal friend. In Hounded Atticus uses his wits and his charming personality to defeat a powerful enemy, proving that it’s not always greater strength that prevails. I loved the fact that Atticus owned his own shop. I dream of owning my own store someday and I enjoy reading about characters who own their own small shops. I kept wishing that Hearne would tell us more about Third Eye Books and Herbs because I thought it was fascinating!
I was slightly disappointed with Hounded, but only because this book reminded me a lot of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. That was a good thing and a bad thing. I love the Dresden Files, but when you read as much as I do you’re always on the lookout for something different. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about a smart and sexy hero and loves being drawn into the lives of characters in a witty and well-written novel.

Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN: 978-0345522474

If you like this book you may want to read:

Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files book #01 – ISBN: 978-0451457813)

Hexed by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid book #02 – ISBN: 978-0345522498)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mechanique - Review

Title: Mechanique
Author: Genevieve Valentine
Series: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti

Synopsis: “Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic.
“That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape.
“But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes.
“Two of Tresaulti’s performers are trapped in a secret stand-off that threatens to tear the Circus apart, just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now they must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within…”

Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I’ll admit it, I bought Mechanique because the cover and the title intrigued me and I had a 30% off coupon for Borders. After getting it home I assumed, after briefly skimming the synopsis on the back cover, that Mechanique was going to be a steampunk novel about a travelling circus. Boy was I wrong! I guess I should have read the synopsis a bit closer. I started the book at 530pm, after I got home from work. I had assumed that it would be easy to put it down to make dinner and go to bed early since I had to be up early the next day. No. Everyone has been told by a teacher at some point in their life to never assume. This is what that teacher was taking about. I ended up ordering pizza for dinner and staying up until after midnight because I could not put this book down.
This story about a dystopian world in which magic and the mechanical seem to coexist fascinated me. At first Valentine’s writing grated on my nerves. The tenses were constantly changing and every page had approximately three parenthetical statements. However after the first few chapters I realized that it seemed as if these “flaws” were intended to throw the reader for a loop, quite like a real circus. Valentine is a ringmaster and this novel is her circus.
Don’t make the mistake of believing this to be a steampunk novel about a circus. It’s so much more.
Trying to stay away from spoilers I believe I can say that Boss fixes people that are broken. She changes them into something else, something more or less than human. In a world surrounded by war she creates her own community, her own army, of misfits. Her characters become real people that I felt for. Valentine has created a world that sucks you in and refuses to let you go.

Publisher: Prime Books
ISBN: 978-1607012535

If you like this book you may want to read:

Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt (ISBN: 978-0061054273)

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (ISBN: 978-1597801584)

The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt (ISBN: 978-0765360229) See my review of this novel here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reading Now

I think Science Fiction is my favorite genre. It's also the genre that I'm the most critical of. Every time that I pick up a science fiction novel it's with a sense of excitement as well as trepidation.

So, this is what I'm reading now. A Science Fiction novel titled Leviathan Wakes. It has a whopping 592 pages and a good heft to it. With 3 days off from work this week I should be able to get through it in no time.

But, I'm wondering what genres everyone else prefers. And do you find yourself being the most critical of your favorite genre?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Deadline - Review

Title: Deadline
Author: Mira Grant
Series: The Newsflesh Trilogy #2

Synopsis: “Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn’t seem as fun when you’ve lost as much as he has.
“But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news – he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.
“Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun”

Review: I know that after reading Feed I said I wasn’t sure I wanted to read the rest of the series. Grant’s writing is so vivid and so intense that for weeks I was sure zombies were going to jump out of every shadow. After awhile the aftereffects of reading Feed passed and I was no longer scared. I preordered Deadline, sure that there was no way it could be as great as Feed but willing to try it nonetheless.
So here it is. I love this book. I love this series. I love Mira Grant (who is actually a pseudonym for Seanan McGuire, so I therefore love Seanan McGuire). I read Deadline in about three hours. I couldn’t put it down and carried it around with me. I read while making coffee. I read while brushing my teeth. I read while feeding the cat.
Deadline is told from Shaun’s point of view. Poor Shaun no longer delights in the simple pleasures like poking dead things with sticks or getting almost killed by flesh eating zombies. We quickly discover that George isn’t entirely gone, a part of her lingers. Shaun searches for the reasons behind why she was killed and discovers a conspiracy deeper than he had imagined (there are several revelations that blew my mind) which leads to a surprising ending.
I can’t wait for the third book in this series. I want it ASAP. Writing like this deserves an audience. Go get Deadline and read it now!

Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-0316081061

Before you read this book you should really check out:

Feed by Mira Grant (The Newsflesh Trilogy #1)See my review here.

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (ISBN: 978-0385736824)

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (ISBN: 978-0756405717)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Upcoming Reviews

Here are the books from the top of my To Be Read pile this week. I'm hoping to read them all within the next week or so, but as a full-time student who also works 20-25 hours per week I don't always get to do the things I want to. So, here's hoping.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf - Review

Title: How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf
Author: Molly Harper

Synopsis: “Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham – who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska – has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.
“For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.
“If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated…”

Review: I picked this book up because of the title. Truly, how could I pass by a book titled How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf? I got lucky though because this book was as great as it's title. Mo is a wonderful heroine and Grundy, Alaska is full of interesting characters. This is a paranormal romance with werewolves, but I was most fascinated with Mo’s struggle with her crazy family and her new life in Alaska. The werewolves were great, and Cooper is super sexy, but the real story is Mo.

Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-439195864

If you like this book you may want to read:

Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel by Ronda Thompson (ISBN: 978-0312949259)

The Kitchen Witch (Accidental Witch Trilogy, Book 1) by Annette Blair (ISBN: 978-0425198810)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dracula in Love - Review

Title: Dracula in Love
Author: Karen Essex

Synopsis: “London, 1890. Mina Murray, the rosy-cheeked, quintessentially pure Victorian heroine, becomes Count Dracula’s object of desire. To preserve her chastity, five male “defenders” rush in to rescue her from the vampire’s evil clutches. This is the version of the story we’ve been told. But now, from Mina’s own pen, we discover that the story is vastly different when told from the female point of view.”

Review: This retelling of Dracula from Mina's point of view was wonderful! What if the vampire wasn’t the bad guy? What if the bad guys were the men trying to prevent women from gaining a foothold in Victorian Society? This book provides illuminating insight into the struggles of women during the Victorian era. Parts of Dracula in Love made me angry. In particular the number of women being diagnosed with “female hysteria”, a man’s attempt to control strong women, pissed me off. The Count was as sexy as ever, and I loved Essex’s portrayal of Mina as a strong woman through the ages.
I love gothic novels. Give me a creepy setting, dark characters, maybe throw in a dungeon and a foggy cemetery, or a deserted castle at night and I’m in heaven. Many of my favorite books are considered “gothic romances”. Bram Stoker’s Dracula in particular is one of the books that I read over and over. Thus said, I strongly recommend that readers read Dracula before reading Dracula in Love. I loved this novel, but I don’t feel that it would have had the same impact on me had I not been familiar with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Dracula in Love is going on my “keeper” shelf.

Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 978-0385528917

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (ISBN: 978-0316070638)

The Master of Blacktower by Barbara Michaels (ISBN: 978-0060878146)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (ISBN: 978-0143106159)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Sentinel Mage - Review

Title: The Sentinel Mage
Author: Emily Gee
Series: The Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy #1

Synopsis: “In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld od Osgaard, a prince with mage’s blood in his veins. But Prince Harkeld has a bounty on his head – and assassins at his heels.
“Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld’s side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him. But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death.”

Review: My first thought as I was reading The Sentinel Mage was, “I’ve been blessed with good books lately.” This book was wonderful. I got so involved in it that I couldn’t do any homework or anything else until I finished it. And then I wanted more.
Sometimes I have trouble with novels that skip around from character to character. I get confused, or I end up liking one character’s story much more than the rest and so I skim through the bits about the characters that I don’t like. This novel was not like that. Gee starts with Jaumé’s story. A young boy watching the world go mad around him. Then she switches to Innis’s story. Innis is a shapeshifting mage, and not just any mage. She’s a sentinel mage, who enforces the laws of the mages. After meeting Innis we get to see Harkeld’s story. Harkeld is a prince who is disowned by his family when it is revealed that he has witch (mage) blood. Later we get to experience the story of Harkeld’s half sister Princess Brigitta, who discovers a sinister plot within the castle.
This novel has it all. Zombies, magic, shapeshifters, adventure, romance… I could go on. I loved all of the characters and got very involved in all of their parts of the story. I didn’t experience my normal resigned sigh when the story switched from the character I liked to one I didn’t care about as much. They were all fascinating and interwoven. My only complaint is that Gee’s books tend to come out several years apart. I want the next book in this series now!

Publisher: Solaris
ISBN: 978-1907519505

If you like this book you may want to read:

Thief With No Shadow by Emily Gee (ISBN: 978-1844164691)

The Summoner (Chronicles of the Necromancer #1) by Gail Martin (ISBN: 978-1844164684)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tiger's Curse - Review

Title: Tiger’s Curse
Author: Colleen Houck
Series: The Tiger Saga #1

Synopsis: “The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world.
“But that’s exactly what happened.
“Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.”

Review: ***Spoiler Alert*** I liked this book. I’ve read quite a few other reviews that criticized Houck’s writing. It seems that many other reviewers thought that she provided too much detail, that her characters were flat, and that Kelsey’s fear of intimacy was not realistic. After reading these negative reviews I went back and reread a few passages, and I could see some awkward phrasing and perhaps there was a lot of detail about food. Honestly, when I was reading Tiger’s Curse I didn’t notice any of that. Houck’s story was so well thought out and interesting that I was caught up, hypnotized. I read this novel in a matter of hours and can’t wait for the next one.
Tiger’s Curse had me on an emotional roller- coaster.
Originally I felt sorry for Ren, as a tiger in the circus I imagined that his life must have been very difficult. Then I was angry when they deceived Kelsey. I was excited by the budding romance between Ren and Kelsey. I anxiously turned the pages through their dangerous struggle to undo the curse. I was saddened by Kelsey’s rejection of Ren, because it was obvious to me that they are meant to be together. I may have even shed a tear when I reached the end, turned the page and realized that this book was over. I want a tiger prince!

Publisher: Splinter
ISBN: 978-1402784033

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt (ISBN: 978-0345423610)

Tiger Eye (Dirk & Steele #1) by Marjorie M. Liu (ISBN: 978-0062020154)

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs (ISBN: 978-0441016150)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Upcoming Reviews

Even though I've been really busy with work and school I've been trying to take more time to read for fun because it's relaxing. I'm a little behind on the reviews. There are three books in my "read but not reviewed" pile but I'll get to those soon. I know I usually try to post these upcoming reviews on Sunday, but this weekend is starting to look like it's going to be busy for me so I'm doing it now.

Here's the books I'm planning to read next:

These books all look great!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I think I've been sleepwalking. Not just wandering around the house like a zombie sleepwalking, I'm talking about actually doing stuff while asleep and then not remembering doing it. Since I live alone with only the cat (isn't she gorgeous?) as a witness I have no way of knowing for absolute certain. The evidence that is leading me to suspect my sleepwalking is compelling. About a week ago when I woke up in the morning I discovered the lid on the toilet was up. Now, at the time I blew it off. "I must have just neglected to put the lid down when I used the toilet before bed," I told myself. But it bothered me. I never forget to put the lid down, it's a long time habit. A few days after that I wandered into the living room after getting up in the morning to find three neat stacks of books on the coffee-table. I am one hundred percent sure that these books were neatly put away on the bookcases that line my living room walls before I went to bed.
At this point I was convinced that someone was sneaking into my apartment to use the toilet and read my books while I was sleeping. Even though I always make sure that my apartment is locked up tight before I go to bed and I'm a terribly light sleeper I was sure that these abnormalities were being caused by an outside source. So the next few nights I placed a chair in front of the door to the hallway and hung bells on the curtain that covers the sliding glass door onto the patio. No abnormalities and no ringing bells or falling chairs.
By last night I had decided that maybe I was going crazy and had imagined everything. But I was still taking the precautions of chairs and bells, just in case. This morning there were, once again, books stacked on the coffee-table and there was a yummy looking ham sandwich on the counter in the kitchen. The ham was warm, so I think that it had been laying there for a few hours. Also, this morning I had no clothes on. I went to bed in a t-shirt and sweatpants, I woke up naked.
I'm exhausted, and I've been feeling unusually stressed lately. So much work and school with no days off has started bogging me down. I haven't been reading as much as I usually do, and obviously that is starting to get to me (the stacks of books on the coffee-table is probably a hint from my subconscious mind). I'm going to try to do more reading, and cut back a little on the stress (I'm not sure how yet) and we'll see if that helps with the sleepwalking.

As a thank you for letting me ramble here's a cute sleepwalking video I found on YouTube:

Hard Magic - Review

Title: Hard Magic
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
Series: Paranormal Scene Investigations #1

Synopsis: "My name’s Bonnie Torres. Recent college grad, magic user and severely unemployed. Until I got a call out of nowhere to interview for a job I hadn’t applied for. It smelled fishy, but the brutal truth was I needed the work -- so off I went.
“Two days later I’m a PUPI – me and Nick, Shannon, Nifty and Pietr. Give twentysomethings, thrown into an entirely new career in forensic magic.
“The fist job we get is a doozy, proving that the deaths of two Talents were murder, not suicide. Worse, there are high-profile people who want us to close up shop and go away. We’re sniffing out things they’d rather keep buried.
“Looks as if this job is gonna get interesting. The only problem is, we’re making it up as we go along.”

Review: When you read as much as I do sometimes stories can all start to blend together. This is especially true with novels of the paranormal. It seems as if every author is writing stories about vampires, werewolves and the ditzy girls who love them. I find myself desperately wishing for something new. Hard Magic made me sit up and pay attention. Finally, a paranormal novel that isn’t about tragic love or alpha males who have to swoop in and save the poor tragic heroine ten times per chapter!
I loved Bonnie and the other members of PUPI. I was a little put off with Bonnie’s situation with her mentor. I wish that Gilman had found a way to allow Bonnie to take care of herself instead of having her mooch off of J for most of the book. It would have been easier for me to see her as a strong young woman if she had been struggling to support herself instead of living in the lap of luxury on J’s dime. Despite this one little downfall (which is just my own personal opinion and may not be a downfall for other readers) I loved this book. Read it!

Publisher: Luna
ISBN: 978-0373803132

Some other original novels of the paranormal you don't want to miss:

Heart of Stone (Negotiator Trilogy #1) by C.E. Murphy (ISBN: 978-0373802920)

Storm Front (Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher (ISBN: 978-0451457813)