Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bookish Banter: Judging Books from the Outside

A little Bookish Banter to get us through.  Bookish Banter is a little bit of banter about our bookish thoughts as we have a friendly discussion over a nice cup of tea. 
We have also added Tea Time... just a little review of the tea.

What makes you pick up a book at the store or add a book to your TBR on Goodreads? 

Do you choose only on summary of the read or does the cover, title, author sway you in your decision? 

This was our discussion over the matter....

Jenn: What drives you to pick it up and say hmm what is this about?

Ash:  Ah. I think everyone will say cover. Literally judging a book by it’s cover.

Jenn: Yes but I tend to pick on titles too. I mean if it has an intriguing enough title then of course I will pick it up. or at times on goodreads just added it and thought I will read the summary later.

This leads me to find treasures among my own TBR because I don’t remember adding the book or I remember and think I really should check this one out. 

Ash:  I know that I like very photographic covers and simple ones too. But I like creepy covers too. Anything that has like a.. classic look. Like an alice retelling, or something…

Covers catch my eye too. More the ones that are bright and not too busy. Most times the simpler the better for  me. Its hard for me to find a cover I think is really creepy.

I do know that there are too many covers that are similar to other books and I tend to pass those up.

Jenn:Sometimes I just search on goodreads for ya for the current year and just add to my tbr by title and cover. Later I will look at the synopsis when I think I will read it. Often then not I enjoy what I pick. Every now and then I delete it off my TBR.

Do you choose books to read just by author. Any authors you will read any book they write?
Like for me Cat Winters, Stephanie Kuehn, Melissa Marr.

Ash:  Jay Asher. He is an amazing author and I love everything I have read by him. Lauria Halse Anderson is one as well, along with Dawn Kurtagich. I'm sure there are more that I just love and will read anything by. 

Jenn: So bottom line... we have all things that attact us to a book.... author, title, and cover design. I guess the synopsis is the last thing we ever choose from. Well at least it is for me. It can, at times, be the break or make point for me... but I try not to base it all on the synopsis. I ahve read some simply for everything but the synopsis... because it was so bad... but the book turned out really good. 


Monday, May 30, 2016

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched QueenTitle: The Star-Touched Queen
Author:  Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publishing Date: April 26th 2016
Pages: 342
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Series:  Stand Alone 
Source: Audio

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

I was totally hyped on this book. The cover is so beautiful. Loved the title. The sysnopis was spot on for me.  I really had high hopes for this book. I enjoyed this story very much. It was a bit slow for me and I didn't connect as well as I wanted.. but in the end I did enjoy the book. 
Maya has know her horoscope ever since she was young. She was to be partnered with death. Everybody was scared of her, didn't want to be around her, blamed her for the deaths that happened in the kingdom. Maya was okay with this. She never wanted to marry. She wanted to be smart and discover things, explore. That is what she had planned for her life. That all changed the day her father came to her with a plan that involved her death. Ready to make the sacrifice for her people she was on the brink of killing herself when a man saved her. A man she finds reason to marry. A man with secrets. With this man, this marraige, these secrets, a new life unfolds around her and she needs to decide where she really belongs.

I enjoyed this read. I adored the story. The story was of strength and loyalty, trust and betrayal. It was myth and fantasy. So many myths and retellings all wrapped into the goodness of a new story. It  had hints fo Hades and Persephone, Bluebeard, and the three sisters of fate, and a few others too. It had a ton of culture and beauty from India. It was beautifully written and beautifully pulled together for imagery. I loved this part of the book. I had no problems getting into the story, the setting, and the tone. It really was gorgeous. 

What I did have a little bit of an issue with was character connection and pacing. Now when I say a little bit of issue there really was just a tiny issue with it. I listened to this on audio and at times I found I was distracted from the story and it took me a bit longer to get through than audio usually takes me. There were times I had to start a chapter over or found myself just not fully vested. This could have been a multiple of things that played into this issue but I really have this issue when the pacing is off or I don't connect real well. 

I did like the main characters. I adored the strength and bravery that Maya had. At times I did think she was a bit naive when it came to trust and secrets and betrayal. I really wanted her to to trust Amar more than she did. I think I would of had the same issue with all the secrets but he was so super sweet. I wanted her to trust him like I did. 

I loved loved loved Amar. I did just love him. He was sweet and mysterious and charming. I would have fallen for him in the first five minutes. Even if it had ended me in some trouble. I do think he would have made things a bit easier for Maya. Somehow found  a way to earn her trust faster, before things hit the fan.

I did adore both the characters. I think I didn't quite connect because the romance was lacking. It was there in parts but never fully so I lacked the connection with either character. There wasn't enough time with character interaction and I felt there was too much inside Maya's head on solving the puzzles instead of her feelings and true thoughts. There wasn't enough Amar either. I would have loved more of him. 

This same issue caused the problems with pacing for me. I just didn't feel it was enough on the characters getting to know each other, or time spent together. A ton of the book was focused on Maya and her journey. Which was good but I tend to lose focus on these kind of stories. 

These issues were not enough to deter me away from the read or finishing it. I was invested in the story and was really interested in all the facts and what happened and who done it and so forth and so on. SO I did enjoy it. It did keep me reading. I was satisfied in the end. 

It left me wanting more in some aspects.. I needed more of Mayas past... There was so much unresolved there. It felt that there was another story there that I never did get. If I had more maybe I would have connected better. Then on another path... I had just enough. The ending was satisfied. I did get some of what I had been waiting... searching for. So it was worth the read but I could have had more. 

I wanted a bit more than I got but it was still a pretty darn good read.  I had a hard time with the rating. Its actually between a 3 and a 4.... I don't do halves though. 

Roshani Chokshi
Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she's learning a new kind of storytelling.​ The Star-Touched Queen is her first novel.

Pinterested in THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN? Check it out here!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme to share our reads. Just in case you are curious about what book is in our hands and waiting on our shelves.

Jenn's Current Reads:

Please Don't Tell738 Days

This week coming up Jenn has planned to Read 

The LeavingThe Loose Ends List

Jenn's Audio:

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

Ash's Current Read:

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Ash Plans to Read: (hopefully- one of these)

The Hatching (The Hatching, #1)Baby DollThe Hawkweed Prophecy

We are trying to get all our BEA reads in. We do have a post to go up for our BEA Haul. Its just taking  a bit together.  
What have been your great reads the week?



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up


Weekly Wrap-Up 

May 22nd - May 28th 


Jenn's Books Read: I didn't get through any books last week. 
I did start two and watched alot of television! 

Activity Book for the Week:

Origami Chic: A Guide to Foldable Fashion

Jenn's Audio:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

Ash: Books Read: 


Finn Read:

A Baby's Guide to Surviving Dad2906512527206304

Other News:

I have been trying really hard to keep up on commenting other blogs and doing blog posts. Did't get as many reviews as I wanted or books read. I was very distracted this week with Shadowhunters and The Great Food Truck Race on TV. Binge Watching! 


Hubby and I took Finn to see Kung Fu Panda 3. He enjoyed the first 40 minutes or so then got restless. I think he would have sat through it if he hadn't missed his nap and it wasn't the 7:05 pm showing. He was very tired. 

I did get an industrial bar peircing this week. It hurt... alot... still can't sleep on that side. But I love it. Its purple and turquoise and I love it. That was my excitement for the week. 

So other than that this week has been kind of slow. I need to plan more exciting things. Maybe once I step away from the television I can do things like go to the gym, read a book, go to the park with Finn. I am so ashamed. 

What about you Ash anything interesting in your life? 

Nothing too interesting I suppose. This week went by way too slow, by Wednesday I was already feeling it was Friday, and let me tell you that makes for a very long exhausting week. 

I suppose I don't really have much to say about this week, nothing of interest happened.

I did get my septum pierced, again, and so far it's doing good. I found a few super cute clickers I wanna get too.

And the most horrible part.. There is no zombies on tonight. No Walking Dead, no Fear the Walking Dead. Nothing...

So Walking Dead still isn't back, but maybe this week will be a bit better.

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