Thursday, February 28, 2019

Review: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4)Title: Dead to the World 
Author: Charlaine Harris  
Publisher: Ace Books
Publishing Date:  May 1st, 2004
Pages: 291
Genre: Adult Paranormal/Supernatural Mystery
Series:  Sookie Stackhouse #4
Source:  Audio

Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She has only a few close friends, because not everyone appreciates Sookie’s gift: she can read minds. That’s not exactly every man’s idea of date bait – unless they’re undead; vampires and the like can be tough to read. And that’s just the kind of guy Sookie’s been looking for. Maybe that’s why, when she comes across a naked vampire, she doesn’t just drive on by. He hasn’t got a clue who he is, but Sookie has: Eric looks just as scary and sexy – and dead – as ever. But now he has amnesia, he’s sweet, vulnerable, and in need of Sookie’s help – because whoever took his memory now wants his life.

I am gonna say this is the best one yet. Lots of Eric. I enjoyed the story in this one. I think I laughed more and swooned more in this installment than any of the priors. I love that there is more Eric and that there is a different romance for Sookie. I really enjoyed this book. 

Eric loses his memory, there are people out to get him. Sookie finds him naked wandering around with no memory. She swoops in to save the day.. although reluctant becuase it's Eric. She gives in. Eric stays with Sookie, they get close, they become lovers. There is a war. Sookie gets in trouble. Sookie has to be saved. There are lots of other characters too. 

Another book I am not going to get into all that much... I am pretty sure I am late on the Sookie Stackhouse bandwagon so I will just go through likes and stuff and tell you I really enjoyed this read. 

I know that these are the most depth filled books out there, and I know the vampire craze isn't what it used to be... but I just love these books. They are fun and funny and sexy and a good light fast read. 

This one was so much fun with so much Eric. It was nice to see a vulnerable side to Eric. I did enjoy this but I missed some of his roughness and snide remarks.  I am not a Bill fan, most of the time I am in a love hate relationship with Sookie... but Eric.... I just adore. He's one bad guy I can get on board with. 

I enjoyed the plot line too. I am sure it is hard to keep coming up with new stuff with vampires and werewolves and witches oh my... but I think that this author does a well enough job to keep me interested. I mean this is the supernatural world so I guess anything can go. I am happy to see witches brought in a little more to the story line. I hope there is more in the future. 

Sookie is Sookie in this book. She is kind of dumb and smart. Actually she is a walking book of contradictions in all aspects. She gets on my nerves at times but then other times I think she is a great lovable character. I am not sure what I will think of her in the end.. but right now I guess I like her... for the most part. 

I will keep on reading through this series as I really do just enjoy them. 

Another one I really really enjoyed!

Charlaine HarrisCharlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over thirty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Charlaine lives in Texas now, and all of her children and grandchildren are within easy driving distance.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was writing poetry and plays. After holding down some low-level jobs, her husband Hal gave her the opportunity to stay home and write. The resulting two stand-alones were published by Houghton Mifflin. After a child-producing sabbatical, Charlaine latched on to the trend of series, and soon had her own traditional mystery books about a Georgia librarian, Aurora Teagarden. Her first Teagarden, Real Murders, garnered an Agatha nomination.

Soon Charlaine was looking for another challenge, and the result was the much darker Lily Bard series. The books, set in Shakespeare, Arkansas, feature a heroine who has survived a terrible attack and is learning to live with its consequences.

When Charlaine began to realize that neither of those series was ever going to set the literary world on fire, she regrouped and decided to write the book she’d always wanted to write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or romance, Dead Until Dark broke genre boundaries to appeal to a wide audience of people who simply enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, was very successful in many languages.

The Harper Connelly books were written concurrently with the Sookie novels.

Following the end of Sookie's recorded adventures, Charlaine wrote the "Midnight, Texas" books, which have become a television series, also. The Aurora Teagarden books have been adapted by Hallmark Movie & Mystery.

Charlaine is a member of many professional organizations, an Episcopalian, and currently the lucky houseparent to two rescue dogs. She lives on a cliff overlooking the Brazos River.

Wee Reads: Hotel Fantastic by Thomas Gibault

Ever since Finn was born, and even before then, we would read to him. We wanted to show him reading from an early age. Now he loves us to read the same books, over, and over, and over. But it is the sweetest thing, when he likes to pick out a book and climb into our laps. 

Hotel FantasticHotel Fantastic by Thomas Gibault


Hotel Fantastic is a destination like no other. From superheroes and dragons to monsters and aliens --- everyone is welcome. Whether you're a robot needing to recharge or a giant looking for extra legroom, the suites here are designed to cater to each guest's needs. Feeling hungry? Dine at the hotel's world-famous restaurant among princesses and pirates. Need a workout? A fully equipped gym and rooftop swimming pool serve beings of all shapes and sizes. And rest assured that your safety and security are a top priority --- an elite strike team is always at the ready. Pay no attention to the rumors you may have heard --- there's certainly no horrible creature threatening to attack the hotel at any moment ... Thomas Gibault's wild picture book invites children into a fantastic world filled with unexpected characters. The rich, bright, one-of-a-kind illustrations are laugh-out-loud funny and encourage visual literacy --- there's something different and new to discover with every perusal. And the surprising twist ending will inspire repeat readings as children search for clues sprinkled throughout the story. Based on the vivid imagination of one boy, this is a book that beautifully showcases the wonders of imaginative play and encourages play-based learning. Also, many young children will identify with the boy's antagonistic relationship with his sister.

Do you like this book?

What's your favorite part of the book?
When the sister yells at her brother for playing with her toys. And the T-rex wearing a tie!

What do you think of the cover?
I like the octopus, I love octopus. And the robot!

This was a really fun book to read. It was hard because on the kindle it was all messed up. But for the most part it was fun, and silly, and just really great to read. 

Review: The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

The Girls at 17 Swann StreetTitle: The Girls at 17 Swann Street
Author: Yara Zgheib
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publishing Date: February 5th, 2019
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 7 Hours and 49 Minutes
Genre: Contemporary
TW: Suicide, Anorexia, Bulimia 
Series: Standalone
Source: Audio

The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.
Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.
Yara Zgheib's poetic and poignant debut novel is a haunting, intimate journey of a young woman's struggle to reclaim her life. Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.
What made me pick this book up: 
I had seen it everywhere, and I thought the cover mixed with the title was interesting. So I had to see what it was about.

What did I like about the cover: 
This cover is just kind of meh to me. I mean it makes sense that it has girls on the cover and I do love that it's very soft. But I'm not so big on it for some reason. I think it's too... simple? Maybe. I can't put my finger on what I don't like. 

What made me read this book: 
The story. I actually really like reading books like this. I want to believe that the people are going to get better. 

What did I like the most: 
Like I said. The main reason I like these type of books (In rehab, self harm, anorexia, etc.) is because I want to know that these people get help. That they can get better. It's such a hard but important subject. And I think it's great if they have a happy ending. It can really show people that just because they're going through something rough, that it can get better. Sometimes it just takes work.

The story is a good one. I loved reading about all the girls at 17 Swann Street. I loved how real and raw this book was. It didn't sugar coat it. 

I saw everything happening right before my eyes. Like I was there. With that being said, this book was written really well. 

I liked the main character, because she was strong. She was going through something so hard, and she was angry at first. She didn't want to get better. She was scared. But she learned so much while she was there. And she met people who could help her. And that's important too. People need to know they can't do it by themselves. And that they need someone to lean on, and that's perfectly okay.

The ending was everything I had hoped it would be.

*Spoilers highlight over to read* The ending was so realistic. She WANTED to get better. She realized how much she had to live for. It wasn't one of those "oh she went to rehab and now she's better and it's all sunshine and rainbows." It was she's willing to work for it. And even though she's not 100% better, she can be. She will be. And I loved that. *End spoiler*

What didn't I like: 
It started off kind of blah. It took me a bit to love Anna, and to really be able to care for her. But once I did I was rooting hard for her.

I feel like even though the author wrote the characters and emotions well, that she could have had better descriptions for the looks of the characters and the area they were in. 

But that's it. It was a bit slow at times, but for the most part it worked.
Oh and the narrator was kind of hard to understand at times. She talked slow but her accent made it hard to speed up. 

Would I read the rest of the series/more from this author?

This book started slow to me. But in the end I loved it more than I thought I would. 

“The dark, ironically, makes many things far too clear.” 
― Yara Zgheib, The Girls at 17 Swann Street

WintergirlsLetting Ana GoThinThe Disappearing GirlFeeling for Bones

Yara Zgheib is a Fulbright scholar with a Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a PhD in International Affairs in Diplomacy from Centre D'études Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris. She is fluent in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish. Yara is a writer for several US and European magazines, including The Huffington Post, The Four Seasons Magazine, A Woman’s Paris, The Idea List, and Holiday Magazine. She writes on culture, art, travel, and philosophy on her blog, "Aristotle at Afternoon Tea"

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