Friday, February 5, 2016

Weekly Reading Update! 1/29/16-2/4/16!

Once again, it's time for another Weekly Reading Update! I swear, the second I get some down time, I'm making a graphic for this...

Anyways! On to what I've read.

Wow, I’ve read a lot this past week! It helped that most of them were graphic novels. February begins the library’s Teen Reading Challenge, where participating staff members read as much teen fiction, teen nonfiction, and books of interest to teens as possible in order to find good suggestions for reluctant readers or eager readers.

First up.. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. I read this because I heard a few songs from the musical they made of the comic, and I desperately wanted some idea of what was going on. I’m not sure reading this helped - it was a great graphic novel for sure, but I’m not sure how they made a musical out of it. Hopefully I will get the chance to see it!

Next.. God Is Disappointed In You by Mark Russell. I got this one thinking it was a graphic novel, which is not true. But it was definitely interesting. Author Mark Russell went through every book in the bible and summarized it in modern day language. It was actually pretty fascinating. I went to Catholic school and studied the bible when I was younger - and yet there was definitely a lot I forgot!

After that, I moved on to The Wit and Wisdom of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes. I’m a huge fan of Downton Abbey, and when my library added this to the catalog, I had to check it out. It was a fun look back at the series - and made me excited to watch the final season!

Next up was another graphic novel, Hawkeye volume 4: Rio Bravo by Matt Fraction. While I did enjoy this graphic novel, I thought this one was trying to be too smart for its own good. That said, I’m excited to see where the series goes from this point, especially since the next volume is written by Jeff Lemire - an excellent graphic novelist!

So every year, for the teen reading challenge, I try to pick up some new manga. Basically, February through April (how long the challenge lasts), I give myself free reign to read a bunch of different manga titles to see if I like them. We don’t have many (or any?) manga readers at my work, so I do my best to at least be somewhat versed in what’s out there. So this year, one of the new titles I’m trying out is Kimi no Todoke: From Me to You by Karuho Shiina. I read volume 1 and 2, and I’m interested enough to keep going. But I have to say, it’s not my favorite thing I’ve read…

Another graphic novel - Giant Days, volume 1 by John Allison. I loved this! Friendship, Feminism, and a mustachioed mystery man - everything a good graphic novel needs. I can’t wait until volume two, which unfortunately doesn’t come out for another couple months…

And yet another graphic novel.. The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar. Oh man, I loved this. But that ending! I refuse to spoil it for anyone - but trust me, this is a good one. If you like graphic novels, give it a shot!

The next one I read and reviewed for Romance Reviews Today - Midnight Wrangler by Cat Johnson. Just felt very run of the mill to me. It wasn’t bad, by any means. It just didn’t have that magic that makes a book something special, you know? I am still eager to read the next one in the series, releasing in a couple months!

And last, but definitely not least, The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman. I wouldn’t call this a graphic novel, more like an illustrated short story, as there are actual walls of text every few pages. I liked this story, but I can see why some would not. Quite a few people at my work have read this, and it seems you either like it, or thought it was stupid. I enjoyed it, and I liked the format - I would like to see more short stories released like this in the future.

Well, that’s it for this week - and what a week it was! Expect a few more weeks like this in the near future, since I have a bunch of graphic novels and manga requested at the library to get me through the Teen Reading Challenge.

What have you read and loved this week?

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hannah Fielding's FEBRUARY FIESTA blog tour!

Introducing… Hannah Fielding
Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

To date, Hannah has published four passionate, evocative novels: Burning Embers, a ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalusian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade. She is currently working on her fifth book, Legacy, which will publish this spring.

A glimpse of The Echoes of Love
Venetia tightened the belt of her coat around her slim waist and lifted the fur collar snugly about her neck. The sound of her footsteps echoed off the pavement as she hurried towards the Rialto Bridge from Piazza San Marco, a solitary figure in an almost deserted street. She was on her way to catch the vaporetto water bus, which would drop her off at Palazzo Mendicoli where she had an apartment. A few huddled pedestrians could be seen on the opposite pavement, and there was not much traffic on the great inky stretch of water of the Grand Canal.

Suddenly Venetia saw two figures spring out in front of her from the surrounding darkness. They were enveloped in carnevale cloaks, with no visible faces, only a spooky blackness where they should have been. A hand materialised from under the all-encompassing wrap of one of the sinister creatures and grabbed at her bag. Chilled to the bone, Venetia tried to scream but the sound froze in her throat. Struggling, she hung onto the leather pouch which was looped over her shoulder and across her front as she tried to lift her knee to kick him in the groin, but her aggressors were prepared. An arm was thrown around her throat from the back and the second figure produced a knife.

Just as he was going to slash at the strap of her bag, an imposing silhouette emerged from nowhere and with startling speed its owner swung at Venetia’s attacker with his fist, knocking him off balance. With a grunt of pain the man fell backwards, tripping over his accomplice who gave a curse, and they both tumbled to the ground. Then, picking themselves up in a flash, they took to their heels and fled into the hazy gloom.

‘Va tutto bene, are you alright?’ The stranger’s light baritone voice broke through Venetia’s disoriented awareness, and he looked down anxiously into her large amber eyes.


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: WHAT YOU NEED by Lorelei James!

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Type: Contemporary Romance, Series, Book 1, Sexy Accountant-type, Tatooed Woman, Straight-laced guy looking for a wild girl

About the Book: As the CFO of Lund Industries, Brady Lund is the poster child for responsibility. But eighty-hour workweeks leave him little time for a life. His brothers stage an intervention and drag him to a seedy nightclub... where he sees her: the buttoned-up blonde from the office who's starred in his fantasies for months. 

Lennox Greene is a woman with a rebellious past, which she conceals beneath her conservative clothes. She knows flirting with her boss during working hours is a bad idea. So when Brady shows up at her favorite dive bar and catches her cutting loose, she throws caution aside and dares him to do the same. 

After sparks fly, Brady finds that keeping his hands off Lennox during office hours is harder than expected. Though she makes him feel alive for the first time in years, a part of him wonders if she's just using him to get ahead. And Lennox must figure out whether Brady wants her for the accomplished woman she is - or the bad girl she was. [Description from the back of the book.]

My Review: Judging by the book description, this almost sounds a little Pride & Prejudice like, right? Or maybe it's just me. But maybe that's not too far off. Brady seems like an uptight jerk to anyone that doesn't know him, and to outsiders it might certainly look like Lennox is just dating Brady for the money and fame. So the classic lover in me jumped on this book the second it was offered for review.

If I had to pick something to complain about, and this kept coming up multiple times while I was reading it - it was that Brady was too perfect. This might not seem like a major complaint, but I like my heroes to have some flaw, to feel real and genuine so I can imagine that somewhere, they might actually exist (and like their girls awkward and nerdy, sure!). But even with Brady's excuse for pushing himself so hard, it's hard to imagine a guy working 80+ hour work weeks having the time to work out enough that he's ripped, or to be so good at quite so many things. And while he was so awkward in certain situations, in similar ones, he spoke and continued a conversation with ease.

But as much as that bugged me - I loved Lennox and Brady together. And equally so, I loved Brady's family and the dynamics between them. And thank goodness for the family, because that means we get more Lund books in the future, featuring Brady's siblings, and cousins, I'm sure. It also means Brady and Lennox are likely to pop up again in the future. Yay!

So to sum up - certain people were just too perfect, enough to make them not feel as genuine. But the relationship itself was a joy to read. And I really liked the occasionally-awkward work dynamics, which added and interesting twist to the story.

Cover Lovin': Not anywhere near as sexy as Lorelei James' usual, but it's a classic style. Anyone else think it looks like "Bourbon Kings" by J.R. Ward?

Recommendation: Be prepared to add to your to-read list, Brady has a lot of family that will most likely be getting books!

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5)! Loved it, couldn't put it down. Just wished some people weren't quite so perfect.

Get your copy of What You Need from today!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.