Feb 7, 2016

Building the Book Pile #173

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

This has been a crazy week of emotions. They have ranged from excitement and love to anger and anxiety and I have honestly had a poop week. 
On the positive - which I am VERY excited for, I am going to be a doggie foster mom to this little guy. Isn't he adorbs!? He is a Boxer/Rottie mix and he is 4 months.
Also positive, my hubs made me a built-in last week and we finished painting the office :) Here are some before and after shots.

Now on to the poop, I had a very busy, chaotic work week that led to some depression and anxiety and this may seem to be overreacting to most but because I have anxiety, I have been hyperventilating for days. 
I work for a college where I support some faculty members and I have just been super busy and I keep feeling like I am working in circles. I am asked to book something and then I am asked to cancel and then I need to find a new solution and I feel like I am doing the same job in triplicate. What didn't help matters was the fact that only half my emails about any issues were going through, so it seemed like I wasn't helping at all.
I don't know... I think I need more work/life balance :/
Oh! and my basement decided it wanted to flood. It rained on Wednesday - hard, and I was shop-vaccing water out of my basement all afternoon/evening because my horrible holey old foundation wall decided to spring some holes -- yea that was fun too (I hope you can hear the seething sarcasm) 
ANYWHO... I really hope that all of YOU had wonderful weeks (no sarcasm here), please share your happiness with me in the comments, I really need it this week :/

  Giveaways on Cover2CoverBlog!


Coming up on the Blog...

Recent Reads: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (YA)
Blog Blast: Excerpt & GIVEAWAY - Thirst: Blood of my Blood by RP Channing (YA)
Waiting on Wednesday
Trailer Reveal: Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk (YA)
Recent Reads: Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein (MG)

  Books Received this Week

None for Review, but I did go to the library... 

Library Books!
Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)  Maus II : And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2)  This One Summer  Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) 

Have you missed anything lately?

                                      Feb 5, 2016

                                      Recent Reads: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

                                      Source: Bought, but also received from Netgalley and Random House Kids in exchange for an honest review.

                                      Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)
                                      Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
                                      Series:The Illuminae Files #1
                                      Publisher: Random House
                                      Publication Date:  October 20. 2015


                                      Format: ebook and Hardback



                                      Goodreads Synopsis: 
                                      This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

                                      This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

                                      The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

                                      But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

                                      Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
                                      WOW, just wow... I cannot believe how absolutely amazing this book ended up being. Now I know that almost everyone has loved it, but that doesn't always mean I will, but I LOVED this book. These authors strung together the most heart pounding crazy space epic I have read so far. I absolutely adored it at every turn. The book make me gasp, yell, crazy, freak out --- all the emotions at once sometimes.

                                      I was lucky enough to have known about this book and know that everyone loved it but also stay away from any reviews and spoilers until I read it - so I won't be the one to spoil it for anyone either. just know that it is not what you expect at all and prepare to be amazed and shocked at every turn. 

                                      So on to this plot now that I am done fangirling.... sorry about that. Illuminae is written up as a casefile on an incident - the incident being the attack of a planet. The book is a record of everything that happened but mostly focuses on two people, teens actually, Kady and Ezra. The file contains messages, recordings, files from the ships, data records, lots of interesting things to read and look through. Anywho, Kady and Ezra are on different ships after escaping their planets destruction. The are both being chased but there is a bunch of hinky stuff going on too. Kady is trying to find out the answers, Ezra is trying to follow orders, and everyone is just trying to survive. Lots of suspense and lots of craziness take place.

                                      I loved the way this book was put together, you read conversations and files as snapshots of what is happening and that made of easy reading even though the book is super bulky (599 pages). I started reading pretty slowly as the story began but about 100 pages in it took off and I could not put it down, I finished the rest in about 3 sittings, and that was only because I had to eat and run an errand.  

                                      What can I say, I loved the whirlwind of emotions this book created. The characters were so interesting and fun to follow, and the plot was so crazy that I never thought it would make sense in the end but it does.... oh so much. I cannot wait for the next one.


                                      Feb 4, 2016

                                      Recent Reads: Spelled by Betsy Schow

                                      Source: From Goodreads Giveaways and Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

                                      SpelledSpelled by Betsy Schow
                                      Series: ...will be 3 books no name yet :)
                                      Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
                                      Publication Date:  June 2, 2015


                                      Format: Paperback



                                      Goodreads Synopsis: 
                                      Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

                                      Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

                                      Talk about unhappily ever after.

                                      Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.
                                      This book was so fast paced and amazing I can't believe it. Spelled is about a princess who is possibly doomed to a curse put on her family so she is locked up tight in a castle. When she makes a wish that ruins all the rules of fairy tales and all the happily ever afters she is forced to brave possibly invoking her curse to rescue the world and fix what she has done. What made this book all the more interesting was that the whole thing intertwines all sorts of fairy tales together and reads a lot like the Wizard of Oz. The main characters name is Dorthea, she travels with a group, there is a wicked witch after her, and there are some almost ruby slippers.

                                      The plot was very engaging and kept me on my toes the entire time. At about page 50 is when the mayhem starts to set in and the book really gets going and I really appreciated that since recently I have been picking up some slow starters.

                                      Dorthea is a great main character, there is character growth and she is just sarcastic enough to be a typical teenager but she is strong and brave and I didn't hate her, even when she was bratty. 

                                      This whole book was a pleasant surprise. I kind of knew what I was getting into but I didn't think I would love it so much. Schow takes these worlds that we know and so beautifully adapts them into her story so that they feel familiar yet different enough to keep the reader guessing. Loved it.

                                      If you are a fan of fairy tale retellings, you will enjoy this one.   


                                      Feb 3, 2016

                                      Recent Reads: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

                                      Through the WoodsThrough the Woods by Emily Carroll
                                      Publisher: Margaret K. McEldberry Books
                                      Publication Date:  July 15, 2014


                                      Format: Hardback
                                      Source: Library



                                      Goodreads Synopsis: 
                                      'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'

                                      Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.

                                      These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.

                                      Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...
                                      I have been seeing this book at my local library for a while now and every time for one reason or another passed it up. This week though I decided it was time and picked it up. I have seen it on various blogs that I follow and the cover is vivid and captivating although I wasn't sure what the story was about. Much to my surprise it is a collection of short tales in graphic novel form and I love that! 

                                      This book was creepy, there is no other way to put it. The stories were interesting and the endings were unpredictable and the macabre feeling of it all was wonderful.  I loved it so much.

                                      The tales themselves were a variety of things, some about sisters, some about ghosts, some about monsters - all of them were strange and unusual and very very creepy. There is no other way to describe it. The images were also very dark and spooky feelings, I really enjoyed this whole package.