Friday, March 31, 2017

Books: My Thoughts on Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen #3)

Blueberry Muffin Murder Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read as part of #MarchMysteryMadness

It's been a while since I read the previous book in this series, but it was very easy to get back into it and it was nice revisiting the characters. Of course the recipes all look and sound yummy. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of it, but the love lines are getting on my nerves.

Three books in and we still have a love triangle. I'm not a fan of that because it seems like she's just stringing both guys along with no intention of making a decision. It sure seems, at least to me, that she likes one more than the other, but she shares romantic gestures more with the other guy. Not sure how long this is going to keep up, but I hope she makes a decision soon.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Books: My Thoughts on The Bone Witch

The Bone Witch The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

In every chapter we have 2 points of view: Tea in the present, telling her story to a bard, and Tea in the past learning to become an asha. The premise is interesting and immediately as you start reading, you wonder to yourself about Tea's situation. You will not get an answer to the question that forms in your head in this installment, just so you know. The end of this book really pulls you in, but I wish the momentum that I felt at the end started a bit earlier in the book.

The story is very slow building. We follow Tea in her studies, which is very similar to a geisha or gisaeng, I think. She learns how to sing, dance, play instruments, but she also learns self defense and attack skills as well as ways to hone her magical abilities. Men hire her at tea houses for conversational and artistic entertainment and the more renown she becomes, the higher the price they pay for her company. Also, part of what she earns at the tea houses goes to paying back what her asha-ka, or the house that she belongs to, has already paid for her training. Reading how Tea learned these techniques and how she rises up the ranks was interesting, but it wasn't enough to glue me to the book until I finished, at least not until the last 10% of the book.

I do believe that if some of Tea's journey to becoming an asha were condensed, it would've propelled the story a bit faster. Part of what slowed me down is that there isn't a lot of action in the story. Nothing really pulled at me to come back to the story and I would step away from it for days at a time. Another thing that bothered me was that more than half way into the book we're told that Tea's name is pronounced Tay-uh. Personally, this was very confusing and I couldn't get myself to pronounce her name the way it was supposed to be pronounced. If this pronunciation was introduced at the beginning of the book, this wouldn't have made me stumble every time I read her name after that pronunciation was introduced.

Truthfully, this book took a lot longer to get through than I thought it would. I feel though that now that the story has gained momentum, the next book should move much faster and I am interested to see more of Tea's journey and get an answer to the question that I have had since the beginning of this book. I did enjoy this, despite my issues above, and am looking forward to the sequel.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Books: My Thoughts on Bubbles Unbound (Bubbles Yablonsky #1)

Bubbles Unbound Bubbles Unbound by Sarah Strohmeyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read for #Book1CoziesClub and #MarchMysteryMadness

I enjoyed this book. I could relate to Bubbles being a single mom and having struggles to find her place in life. I also enjoyed seeing her successes as the book progressed. She and her mother are pretty funny too.

This book is pretty dated to me. There were several references to bands I believe are 80's Hair Bands, but I'm not entirely sure. I think you definitely need to be a certain age to get all the references. It probably would've made the book more enjoyable for me as well. This does come with a few skincare recipes that I may try and a makeup tutorial that again, is dated, and I will not be trying ^_-

Something I did not enjoy was Bubbles' infatuation with a certain character, especially because we don't see this character very much during the entire book! Not InstaLove, but InstaLust for sure. That being said, I did still enjoy the book and the mystery was interesting. I was pretty sure who the culprit was and ended up being correct, but we are thrown several viable options along the way that did make me question if I had the correct person in mind.

All in all, this was pretty enjoyable and I am interested to see what Bubbles gets into in the next installment.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

#Book1CoziesClub: April Book of the Month

So, I think we may be pushing the Cozy genre a bit with April's selection, but it is a mystery so we'll roll with it! Check our Goodread's Group for the discussion thread closer to the beginning of April.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Books: My Thoughts on Pretty Poison (Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries #1)

Pretty Poison Pretty Poison by Joyce Lavene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Probably more like a 3.5

This was one of January's picks for #Book1CoziesClub and I also finished it as part of #MarchMysteryMadness which I am co-hosting. This was enjoyable and I found the gardening tips and information on the flowers at the beginning of each chapter interesting. I do not have the gift of growing plants, but I may try some of the tips included in this book. I enjoy where Peggy Lee is in her life and how this story also shows the growth of her relationship with her son in the aftermath of her husband's passing.

For a little bit, I thought her interrogation style was going to be similar to another set of older sleuths that didn't quite agree with me. I'm glad that her interrogation style was different. I am finding that several cozy mystery sleuths are very stubborn LOL. Not sure I enjoy that and since I've been reading a lot of cozies, it may be bothering me more than it should.

I will be continuing to the next one when I can find it, as I did find this enjoyable. I look forward to more gardening tips and learning more about flowers.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Books: My Thoughts on The Hobbit

The Hobbit The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After several attempts to read this during my lifetime, I can finally say that I have read this book. I listened to some of it on audio and could've done without the singing (I'm pretty sure all the songs had the same melody too). I had always thought that The Hobbit was the story of how Bilbo acquired The Ring, but it wasn't until I saw the movie trilogy that I realized there was more.

This book was different than the movies, as they usually are, but unfortunately I have to say that (and I know this will be an unpopular opinion) I enjoyed the movies more. Even though there are some unnecessary differences in the movies, I will watch those again and again but I will probably not ever re-read this book. I am looking forward to seeing how I feel about The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as I will be picking up The Fellowship of the Ring next month.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Books: February Wrap Up

So, I went from not wanting to read anything to wanting to read all the books! That being said, I didn't complete too many in February, but I should have several books to talk about in my March Wrap Up including the books I completed for #MarchMysteryMadness

Janie's Channel Bookworms Buddy

Mystery Madness Goodreads Group

March Mystery Madness Twitter

Monday, March 6, 2017

Books: My Thoughts on Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Probably more like a 3.5, read for #MarchMysteryMadness

This was a pretty fast read, though fairly predictable. I think if you are interested in this one, it's best to go in blind. Even reading the synopsis on the front cover puts too many pieces together for you, I feel. That being said, the format is interesting as you go back and forth between past and present, so you do get the full picture of what is going on as you read.

Grace was a bit too naïve for me at times and I did actually laugh out loud at some of her actions that weren't well thought through. I really enjoyed how this book wrapped up and since one of the blurbs on the back of the book references Gone Girl, I will tell you that I enjoyed this book a lot more than Gone Girl. I hesitate to say anymore as I will end up giving things away. I'll wrap this up by saying that I am interested to see what other stories this author brings us.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Crochet: Granny Square Cocoon Sweater

This past weekend I finished work on this comfy Cocoon Sweater! I followed YARNutopia's video tutorial here. Using Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in Linen and Black, with a little Vanna's Choice in Taupe and Charcoal Grey, this came out super squishy and soft to the touch. It's been a while since I made myself anything and I absolutely adore this!

Have you made one of these sweaters? If so, please share it with me below. I hope you are all doing great!

Until next time, Take Care & Smi-Le Always!

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