It’s Monday! What are you reading? A weekly Wrap up



As per usual, It’s Monday is a meme sponsored by Check out her blog and the others participating. Maybe you will find more books to add to that growing TBR list of yours.

Now, it’s Monday again. My does the week go by fast. I am going to be very busy this month. Lots of cool posts and literary adventures. This Saturday I will be going to the Lit Crawl NYC in NYC. It will be my first time going. As I am not a drinker, I am more looking forward to the bars that involve writing stories, even literary trivia. Pictures and reviews will be posted, of course.

I am always participating in one of my first blog challenges, Tackle Your TBR Shelf read-a-thon  co-sponsored by and I am looking forward to that. You can see my kick off post here.

This week I posted a few book reviews, as well as a book to movie review.

Shadows by Paula Weston the first book in this debut author’s series The Rephaim. Two books are currently available for you to buy. It is a YA Fantasy book, similar to The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. So, if you readthat series, or the spin-offs Clare wrote, you may want to give this book and series a try.

Speaking of The Mortal Instruments. I recently went to see that film. And, no surprise there that I was disappointed. You can read my full review at

I also read Just One Day by Gayle Forman. This is also part of a series, but only a two parter. The second book, available in October is called Just One Year. Can I tell you have excited I am over it’s upcoming release? My review can be found here. It is a quick YA novel that is as engrossing as endearing. It isn’t your typical YA book because there is country hopping, self-exploration that is realistic, but there is a cute guy. There must be.

Then, there was The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford. This was a cute YA novel that takes place in Russia, where an American exchange student meets a cute Russian boy that changes her world. My review can be found here.

Currently, I am struggling with reading Sideshow of Merit by Nicole Pietsch. The cover is a little creepy, and doesn’t really coincide with the novel itself.


I am thinking of putting it on my DNF shelf. The cover is strange, but the novel is slightly disturbing and just as confusing as seeing a neck on the cover.

Happy Monday and Happy reading!


Fallen Angels, Nephilim, and Rephaim, What Could go Wrong: Shadows (The Rephaim #1) by Paula Weston

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Shadows (The Rephaim #1)

By: Paula Weston

Published September 10, 2013 by Tundra Books

Acquired by netgalley

Genre: YA Fantasy

391 Pages

Three and a half stars

Love. Nightmares. Angels. War.

Gaby Winters used to be a twin until her brother died tragically in a car accident a year before, leaving Gaby as the only survivor. Badly wounded, Gaby found herself living in a quiet beach town. She held a steady job at a library. Lived with her best friend Maggie. 

Healed physically, she has started to have gruesome dreams killing demons that scare her nightly. Once again, so she thought it was just a dream. Enter the man in Gaby’s dreams strolling into her quiet beach town, sitting the bar she frequents. Was he looking at her? He was. But, why? Because sometimes dreams aren’t just dreams.

What Matt, as she called him in the story she wrote and published based on her dreams, or Rafa, his correct name, tells her is mind shattering.

She is not human. She is not an angel. She is a Rephaim, half human with a father who was part of The Fallen race; fallen angels who fell from grace because of their love of human women. She is a Rephaim who, as Rafa and clan figure out, has lost all of her memories. The memories of her brother, were they real? Is she really not 19? Did the accident truly happen the way she said it did? Gaby starts to question everything as she fights to gain her senses and protect herself.

Weston’s novel kept me on my toes. The action was smooth, the realizations and action not rushed, and the character development was strong. Although some of the minor characters, who are supposed to have a lasting affect on Gaby, are lightly stunted in their development, I enjoyed the hints of her past; the relationship with her brother, the outsiders who are the ones that left the sanctuary, and certain people from the sanctuary. 

What happens in the sanctuary was surprising, and made me slightly uneasy. Perhaps a good uneasy. Since the word and species Nephilim was mentioned, I couldn’t help but think of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. THe premise was entirely the same, but there are strong similarities. First, in The Mortal Instruments Clarey Frey did not know what she was. Gaby Winter just can’t remember who she is. They both have to learn to adapt and make up for lost time. Jace (from the Mortal Instruments) seemed like a younger Rafa. Both suave, at first mistrustful of the heroine, and battle hungry.

I did like Shadows  better. AS I just recently read Clare’s first book in her The Mortal Instruments series, the ideas were still fresh in my head. What Clary failed to do–what a strong heroine that wasn’t so annoying, create a world where humans were not looked down upon in a, quite frankly, condescending way that made me hate the Nephilims was what Weston succeeded. Maybe I am bias, but I liked that no one was stereotyped, looked down upon. There was a connection with both worlds; thus making the ideas more real for more.

Thankfully, Weston was aware of Clare’s use of the “mundanes” and included two digs at the Nephilim race (and to Clare, I think).

Overall, this was a great, quick read. It left me with a little feeling of “what just happened?” Not sure if that is good or not. Nor, am I sure I will continue the series. I just might.


They did what? How the movies destroyed The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones


Earlier in the week I wrote a review on Cassandra Clare’s novel The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the first book in the series. The main reason I decided to read the book was because the movie trailer looked really good. I was genuinely excited to see the film after only giving the book three stars. Now, I understand screenwriters have the daunting task of adapting movies because the script can’t cover every detail. But man did I leave the theater seething. A few major elements were missing, the beginning was totally changed and out of order, and I already had slight problems with the casting.

Now, if I did not read the book, I may have left more content. But, the bookworm that I am wanted to be well informed going in. Now, it may not be of uptmost importance, but whoever wrote the script clearly felt Clare’s beginning was below par. The book did not open with a poetry reading. That happens after the night club killing. Also, Clary does not repeatedly, creepily draw the shadow hunter sign everywhere. It is minor, but set me off already.

But, this next thing that happened made me annoyed. In the book, Simon turned into a mouse, not kidnapped and tortured by Vampires to get Clary. And, Magnus Bane gave Clary her first rune to enable her to see everything. The latter is what I really was bad at. That is a huge thing in the book. What Magnus did for her was important. But, they showed nothing of that. Barely anything of the conversation Clary had.

And, then there is the back story of Valentine and his circle that was totally ignored. How it got taken out, I have no idea. Another important element to me. I am not a hardcore fan of the book by any means. I liked it, but didn’t love it. But, this movie, it just butchered the book. Maybe I would have liked it more. I had higher hopes. Not every adaption of a fantasy book can be as good as the Harry Potter books to film.

I wouldn’t really recommend this movie if you have read the movie. I am trying not to sound overtly angry over the film; subduing my true feelings. Maybe see it if you haven’t read the books. The person I went with truly enjoyed the film. I just couldn’t stop being annoyed with the things that took place. The acting wasn’t terrible, though.

Two worlds to every story; The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (audio)Book Review

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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

By Cassandra Clare Read by Ari Graynor

Published in 2007 by Simon and Schuester

15 Hours (485 Pages)

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Three Stars

(Now a major Motion Picture)

Fifteen year old Clary (Clarissa) Fray was your typical teenager. She lived with her single, artist, mother in Brooklyn, NY. Her best friend from childhood, Simon, was a musician as they often tend to be. She was a moody teen aged girl, until one night at her favorite goth club Pandemonium, she witnesses a murder no one else can see. And, I mean really see. Simon cannot see the three strange people their age with weird markings on their bodies and weirder weapons kill a guy that turns into a not so human remain. Angry, Clary tries to take these people on, but knowing it will all be for naught. Reeling, Clary never thought she would see these people again; especially the boy who did the killing. The boy who intrigued her the most. But, as it often goes, of course she does. Because, as much as she doesn’t understand them, she needs them more than any of them realize. Why, because her ordinary mother gets kidnapped by not so ordinary captors, but by strong demonic forces. Clary, now a motherless girl who fought off something a mundane, as she later gets called-a human that can’t see there are other world beings out there like the demon she saw the three people kill and the thing that tried to kill her; there is not one world now she must try to navigate, but two. The down world where the downworlders try to live in the human world: Vampires, Demons, Werewolves, and the shadow hunters who are after them to protect the human race (the mundanes they say condescendingly. Oh, we owe you so much! Thanks for being rude about it).

Clary, shaken and confused, turns out to be one of the three teenagers, a shadow hunter. Her mother, one of the most skilled her left that life violently behind until it caught up to her. Clary has too much on her plate already, so why not throw in a love triangle (or two while Cassandra Clare is at it?)

Meet the three strangers: the most gorgeous boy alive (of course) Jace and brother and sister duo Alec and Isabelle. They are some badass shadow hunters that Clary never wanted to meet. Oh, but she did. As did she meet the silent brothers, mutilating shadow hunters who can read minds and travel through them all while talking INSIDE your mind. Yes, inside, because they sewed their mothers shut. Their eyes, gone. They are some cold, strange people that constantly wear hoods and travel in glamorized carriages. Yup, I said glamorized. Jace, Isabelle, Alec, all these people glamour themselves to hide what really goes on. Hello True Blood and fantasy books I don’t really read. You all sound so familiar.

I listened to this book on audio, so maybe it is a different experience reading the book. Maybe the hidden worlds read better than being listened to (even though Ari Graynor was a great narrator). I just couldn’t stand Clary. I won’t say the novel was totally predictable, but as I have discovered with a lot of YA Fantasy/paranormal books there is a formula of sorts. Not entirely a bad thing. Just not really a good thing either. True Blood and witches are really all that I go for. But, the trailer to the movie looked so good. Now, after reading the book, I am turned off by the movie. The casting = epic fail in my book. Jace is not attractive in the movie, in my opinion.  Isabelle doesn’t look as hot or tough as in the book. If the guy who plays Alec in the movie was blond, he might be a better Jace.

                                                                                                              THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS CITY OF BONES Final Poster

                                (Lily Collins (Clary), Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace),  Kevin Zegers (Alec) Jemima West (Isabelle), and Robert Sheehan as Simon)

Just seems all wrong to me. The special features, though still look good and up to par with my visions so I will still try to check it out.

I am going to rate this book three stars because there were many aspects I enjoyed. Clary’s whining, not so much. The love triangle between Clary, Jace, and Simon got a little pathetic mostly because of the master of drooling and possible unrequited love, Simon. He was a little much, in a whiny love scorned way. (You are only FIFTEEN, Simon. Relax). I know there are always love interests. I am still a sucker for it. YA authors, though, please. Most of your characters, if real, would not end up together twenty or even five years down the line. So, stop throwing it at us. Oh, he is the one. My only. You are too young! OK, I may be a little cynical after reading soo many of these soul mate novels. I still love YA novels, though. I do. Don’t ever change! (maybe a little).

And, Cassandra Clare, I liked your novel. It was good. Not without its faults. Not every book is a five star worthy book. Three stars is a good rating. If I based it on the characters alone, it might have been two to two and a half stars. I liked the adventure aspect, and the shocker at the end. The BIG shocker of an ending. That pushed your book forward, Clare. However, even with an average B rating, I will not read the other five books in the series. Nor, the two spin-off series (why stop with one successful series and beat it to death with multiple spin-offs with similar action taking place in different years/locations?). I may read or listen to book number four. I won’t spoil it with the reason why. And, yes, I may have wikipedia-ed the other books to know I am set, pretty much, to not read the lengthy sequels.

I would recommend this book to those of you that like YA paranormal books, but know as much action, and deception there is, and how badly I wanted the mom rescued so Clary would stop throwing a pity party for herself (I would, too, though. Maybe not as whiny though) love, true love, takes center stage at would be, should be, big moments. Take your chance on this, but don’t put it on top of your shelf. Maybe number 5-10 or so. Still read it, if it’s your thing. Isn’t really mine, yet I did like it.

Happy Reading!


It’s Monday! What are YOU Reading?

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This week was a little busy. And, disappointing. I was able to read The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider in very fast. It was a great coming of age/first love story that wasn’t very traditional and overdone, making it one of the best books I have read so far. 

My review is here

It isn’t out, yet, but when it comes out you should check it out, at least. And, for you lovers, here’s the link


I tried reading How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall I bought for cheap on my nook. I am only on page 30, maybe. It is just very slow. So, I tried to read another book, but that turned out to be a Christian novel. I am listening to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, and narrated by Ari Graynor, one of my favorite indie actresses. 

This week will hopefully be more productive in regards to reading. I have a few posts lined up.

Happy Monday, and happy reading!



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