Monday, June 27

B's Monday Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 

My thoughts:
There are things in this review I can not tell, things that happen later, but I really can not say anything, so I will focus on the story being told in the beginning.

We have Maddie, who loves flying and working on engines. She is working on getting her license, and she is a woman in a man's world, but she loves it. But then obviously the war starts and she she will join in the only way she can. Ferrying planes. We also see how she meet her best friend Queenie.

But all of this is told in France, when the Gestapo is trying to get out every piece of information. Having her write it on whatever they can find. And the story is told. The crash, life in England, info on planes and such.

And there is also another story told, but hey, I already said I could not speak of it...

It took me almost a year to listen to it. Not that it was bad, but because I first had the book on my old phone, and then I got a new one and sigh, not compatible since I refuse to upgrade to win10 cos that sucks. SO put it in my old mp3 player...and yes it took some time to listen to it. But I was never bored, I think I had a rocky start but can not remember. I even started crying when out walking once cos it got sad, and I am so glad I did not meet anyone on that walk.

Is this YA? I guess so, bloody sad YA if so. With the torture and well war and so on...

But it was good, and the narrator did a great job.


Audiobook, 10 pages
Published June 6th 2012 by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Code Name Verity #1
Historical fiction / YA
Morven Christie (Narrator), Lucy Gaskell (Narrator)

Sunday, June 26

Joint Review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown

This month Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "Golden Son" by Pierce Brown

Author: Pierce Brown
Title: Golden Son (Red Rising #2)
Genre: Sci-FI, Fantasy, & YA
Pages: ebook
First Published: January 6th 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Bought on Amazon)

Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart.

B: I am thinking of this book, and he will totally die at the end of book 3 wont he? Ok let’s start then ;)
C: LOL oh I bet he will in the third. Where shall we start? Maybe the beginning? What did you think?

B: was bored, again! I am sorry, but Brown is not good at beginnings. He does not make me want to read on, but at the same time there is something pulling me to read more, he just does not make it easy. So I read and skimmed a bit, but then at 200ish..again! I started to focus and really liked it.

C: Honestly, I think he tries to hard to have the beginning be gripping and it fails. I was not hooked until the last 50 pages. The whole book went like a blur for me. I….I….just couldn’t care about the characters or what was happening until near the end.

B: OH so this one was much worse for you then! I did like it...after page 200. But then they really started killing each other then, and for some reason he brings out the bloodthirsty monster in me and I am all kill kill kill!!!!!

C: Those were certainly the most entertaining parts! I feel this series does bring out the inner Golds in all of us. ;) I was wondering and hoping for the next battle and fight. Those moments were fun. The storyline and character-building were total mehs for me. I did not care. I just wanted the fun parts!

B: Lol, well the bloody parts are fun :D He is good at that. And…*thinking* eeeeeh, well he is good at that! Hmmm, I really do not care about a lot of other things when I think about it. He makes me a Gold like you say. All for the blood and gore. Those goorydamn Golds are insane. I mean honestly, fucking insane.

C: 0_0 The Golds scare me! They are insane! I do wonder though….how in the hell is this considered a YA????????!!!!!!! SO MUCH GORE AND LANGUAGE! Holy cow.

B: I was thinking the same. First, I mean he is older now. And his age compared to us, he has killed so many so he is not really 20, he feels like 30. I am babbling. Anyway then there is the blood and gore. Sure it is not that explicit, but it also never feels like YA. At least there was not any rapes in this one. I can not get over the rapes in the previous ones. If I have to compare anything to NA (which I still do not get), I’d make this that.

C: No rapes, but a love triangle of sorts. Which was silly and unnecessary to the plot. In real life, Darrow would not be forming any love attachments especially to the gal who is the daughter of the dude that issued the execution of his wife. Makes no sense to me. Silly and not realistic.

B: I would not call it a love triangle. She f’s someone for the sake of her house. She does not love him, he does not love her. BUT, yes I do not get how he likes her, her father killed his wife! But then again, he did not know that when he fell for her. I also feel like the Mustang in the book is gone, the glorious warrior, the one in this book is rather lame. Oh oh! When he dies in book 3, and he totally will, she will take the power and blah blah blah

C: She prolly will. IDK. It just all seemed silly any hint at any romance or crushes. are there to CRUSH the Golds. Gah. But yes...that ending was good. Had me slightly interested in moving forward just to see how he gets out of it.

B: God I know! I will be totally bored, but I HAVE to read the next one. I want to start it at once, cos it was so daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn good. I was all eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!! Best thing about the book really.

C: LOL so you don’t wanna wait til next month and read this and discuss it? Hehehehe. I’m on the fence on moving forward. I may just to say I did.

B: It depends...what do you think? I can wait. I can brace myself since I know that the first part will bore me, and that I will get mad when he dies...I can so not get over that. Why am I so convinced he will die? I think it was because of secrets spilled.

C: We can totally read it together. I will if you will. ;) With stories like these the hero normally dies and those who he “changed” will take charge and make this a perfect world. Normally how it goes. I’d be damned surprised if he makes it out alive. Maybe we shall be surprised and the beginning will be the best part. LOLLLLL

B: Yes! And the ending will suck when he dies. There is just not a future here for him, he is a conqueror, he will die when his work is done and I will be so damn mad and hate the author forever. You do not kill the main character at the end! Arghh, I already hate him just thinking about it.
But ok, it’s a date. I did have something else to say, I must think about say something …

C: Mhmmmmm. I just hope the next one is better than this. The first was good, but this is not. I am hoping the next one will make reading this one worth it. IDK - I really so no other way to make it possible for Darrow to live. I’m neutral if he lives or dies just as long as the Gold regime is ended. GADS I hate the Golds! They are blood thirsty monsters. Especially the main baddie - the Jackal or whatever he calls himself. Loony.

B: I think this one overall was better, since the beginning was not as boring as book 1. That beginning made me want to DNF it. So for that this one was better. And I remembered what to say! I think my main concern with these books is Darrow, I like the guy. But I do not believe his transformation. He was not a rebel, a warrior, a god in disguise when he was a slave. I just felt like he should have shown more of that character already back then. He went from a nobody that would have died in the mud to a, I can not believe that. But still, I like him.

C: He’s okay. But like you I believe the transformation is unbelievable. It should have taken him YEARS to be prepared for that world.

B: This should have been an adult book. He could have begun his journey at 16 like here, but he would have been with the Sons for years preparing and then going to the Academy in his 20s.

C: I believe you have to be a certain age to join the Academy, but they could have easily lied about his age or something. He needed more time for me to believe it. Oh well - I guess the author wasn’t thinking too technically on this aspect….he just wanted to get the guy running. LOL

B: This is the fantasy version in my mind, and in my mind they do not send out kids to rape each other. Instead they send out 20 year olds, they can kill each other. They might be better mentally prepared and not so vicious ;)

C: Oh for sure, but the Golds are mental….I’m surprised they didn’t send them out there at the age of 10 with guns and shit.

B: True...I think that would actually have fit the book better. Send out the kids in their tweens to kill each other and the survivors can go forth. I mean they are all insane so why not.

C: Honestly, there wouldn’t have been rape! They are they are old enough to “survive” and kill. LOL speaking of the insanity of the Golds…..if you were forced to pick a color, which one would you pick? I feel this book gave more back story on the other colors.

B: I must say that 10-12 would be better, at that age I was a head taller than the boys so the girl would have fared better. It is not fare sending them out at 16, that is a disaster in the making. I still do not get why not all the girls just assassinate them afterwards.
I would, hmm, Pixie. Just be lazy but still Gold cos Golds to rule and in this world I want to rule. All others are treated like crap.
Oh and I liked the Obsidian backstory.

C: Oh yes! It would make it way more fair….16 the boys at top of their physical strength and I hate to say they are going to be stronger than 90% of the girls. I wasn’t taller than any of the boys at 10 (I’ve always been a short one), but I could take care of myself, but at 16? No way!
I was leaning towards the Pinks, buuuut I read that they kidnap the kids and rape them and make them a Pink. No way for that house. I am leaning toward Pixie myself.

B: Told you, do not want to belong to the Whore Cast. Pixie it is. This world is insane and needs to BURN! At 16 I was still taller than most, but at the same time, not fair.

C: Not fair at all….so anything else to add?

B: Nope, not really. We will continue with this effed up world :)

C: Huzzah! Can’t wait for Darrow and his pals to burn this world!

B: Burn baby burn!

C: LOL the end?

B:The end.

In the end, I wasn't a huge fan of this book. The first one was much better in my opinion. However, I am curious to see what is coming up next. Mhmmmmm. Out of five stars I stamp this with 2 stars.

Saturday, June 25

Saturday Scribbling Challenge #4

This is a fun little writing challenge that Blodeuedd and I have come up with! We each challenge each other with the selected theme. 

The second challenge is a mix of a photo and a quote. Of course, feel free to join in and share your own stories with the selected theme of the month! 

This month we chose a theme...classic art. Fun! challenge to Blodeuedd:

Mirror Mirror by Blodeuedd

"Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

"You Snow White, you are the fairest in the land."

She turned away with a bitter smile. She might be fair now, but 10 years of marriage, of child birth and neglect did not maken you more beautiful. She had been so fair back then, young and pretty. Happy to have met her Prince. Her prince who had kissed a seemingly dead woman. She really should have understood that something was wrong with him back then. Instead they had married, and she had suffered through their marriage and cold marriage bed. He did what he said was his duty, but as she was not dead anymore, she held no interest to him. She shivered at the thought, and how he had tried to, now she would not think of those dark times. It still gave her nightmares. It still made her throat ache, the need to take deep breaths filled her lungs and she closed her eyes. Do not think of that. She moved on.

She gave the mirror one last look. It was her curse, and she knew that one day it would say someone else. Another pretty name. And that day the bitter resentment would fill her, and fill her with a need to hunt and kill. She already felt it looking  at the young maidens coming to court. All pretty and young. Even her own daughter promised to be a beauty when growing up. All while Snow would fade. She was only 24, but felt so old, so old compared to the ones her husband favored. She was a matron. An old woman with 6 children.

She closed the door behind her and locked it. This was her chambers, her dirty secret. How she would stare into that mirror for hours.  How the longing would fill her, the longing to stay young and beautiful forever. She knew her wizard was cooking up new potions for her, to make her skin glow, her hair grow longer and darken. Her...she hurried her steps, lost in thought. She had to be fairest of them all.

Now, Blodeuedd's challenge to me:

Freedom and Green Ribbon by Carole Rae

The snow was melting as Lady Elspeth stared down at the rows and rows of soldiers forming. The sounds of metal and wood clashing disturbed the morning silence and peace. Yells of orders carried on the wind. Lady Elspeth gently placed her hand on the window ledge and the other hand on the side of the window. Her face was stone cold, but if you looked deeply in her eyes you could see the pain and despair.

Today was the day.

Today was the day she may never see her beloved husband again. The day her infant son would be raised with his father. Today was the day the war began.

Her husband’s troops trained and waited all winter for the snow to melt, so they could begin their journey to fight for freedom. Lady Elspeth wanted freedom as much as any other good Scottish woman, but at what cost? Why did freedom have to cost nonstop bloodshed? Why could freedom not be won by words of persuasion? The English King was barbaric, but the right words and the person could influence the King? However, this was a man’s world and the world was full of fighting, pride, and blood. It was a shame. If only this was a woman’s world. Maybe someday.

“Come from that window. You are letting in a chill!” Demanded Lady Elspeth’s mother-in-law, who sat bundled up in furs by the fireplace.

“In a moment, Mother.” She replied. With a sigh, she took in the winter breeze. As she was about to shut the window. A familiar man came into view on his gallant black and white horse. He walked the horse under the window.

With a strong voice he yelled up, “Elspeth! Elspeth my love! Give me your smile!”

Lady Elspeth’s stone face melted away with a glorious smile. She replied, “You are nothing but a charmer dear husband!”

He and many of the men around him laughed.

Lady Elspeth continued, “Dear husband! You best come back in tact! Here,” She took her ribbon from her hair and dropped it down to her husband, “take this piece of me. It’ll remind you to come home!”

Her husband jumped off his horse and fetched the green ribbon that held together the braid from Lady Elspeth’s hair. He inhaled the smell of her hair from it. With a smile up at her, he wrapped the ribbon around the hilt of his sword, “I fight for the freedom of not only Scotland….but of my wife and son! May they live in a world where they can be free!” Without another word, he jumped back up on his horse and led the troops forward.

Lady Elspeth’s smile hardened back to stone. She waved a last goodbye and closed the window. 

Friday, June 24

Book Review: The Irish Inheritance by MJ Lee

Author: MJ Lee
Title: The Irish Inheritance
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, & Contemporary Set
Pages: ebook
First Published: June 15th 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

June 8, 1921. Ireland. 
A British Officer is shot dead on a remote hillside south of Dublin. 

November 22, 2015. United Kingdom. 
Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, receives a phone call from an adopted American billionaire asking her to discover the identity of his real father. 
How are the two events linked? 
Jayne Sinclair has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book and an old photograph. And it soon becomes apparent somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne discovering the secret hidden in the past 
The Irish Inheritance takes us through the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence, combining a search for the truth of the past with all the tension of a modern-day thriller. 
It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, genealogical detective.

My first thought when I finished the book……… My second thought…………….Yayy! Should I elaborate more? Sighs…if I must.

This book was SO fun. It was certainly original and had me hooked since page one. I couldn’t get enough. The blend of history, mystery, drama, and action was perfect. The characters certainly made the story come to life.

It would be so cool to pay someone like Jayne to find uncover the mystery of who my mom's birth parents were. We know some small tidbits (more so the mom), so it would be neat. If I had money to spend like that I totally would track down someone to do that for me and my mom. 

At first I was worried and scared. I wanted this to work, but I had a horrible feeling it would not be interesting. However, I was wrong…OH so wrong. Everything flowed well and even the research aspects had me curious. I really wanted to figure out who was poor John’s real father. I figured out who the real dad was pretty quickly, but the actual “how is that possible” was the real question. The how and the why were the real mysteries.

AND THAT TWIST AT THE END. HOLY COW! *applauds* It was good. I didn’t see it coming.

Ooooh that main baddie was a snot. I wanted to kick him.

I hated Paul, Jayne’s hubbie. He was a real big jerk. I mean…Jayne is not innocent in the fall of their marriage, but C’MON! It may be a silly job to him, but at least the chit is making money. For realz. Especially for this job. The client, John, is paying a crap ton of money for her to find his real Dad. My BF would push me and help me for that money. Haha.

My one and only compliant was the loose end. Why did the IRA try and kidnap her? Maybe I missed the connection….but I didn’t really understand the connection to the story and why was it important? Were they trying to help keep John’s real dad’s ID a secret? Will it be explained in the next book? Mhmmmmmm


I shall stop my ramblings now…..

In the end, this was super fun and addicting. The characters and the story had me hooked. There was one loose end that is stumping me, but there really is nothing else to complain about. I do recommend this for those that like a blend of history, mystery, drama, and action. It is a good one. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 5.

Thursday, June 23

Movie Review: The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

Length: 97 Mins
Released: May 20, 2016
Genre:   Animation, Action, Comedy
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Seen at the theaters


Find out why the birds are so angry. When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to three unlikely outcasts - Red, Chuck and Bomb - to figure out what the pigs are up to.


My guilty, but not so guilty pleasure….Angry Birds. I have loved Angry Birds since the moment the first game out. I have played the vast majority of the Angry Bird games. They are so fun! I still will go back and play some when I am super bored. I own some of the stuffies and my car’s floor mats are the black bird. And yes…I have even watched the kiddie show since it is on Netflix *sticks nose up at those judging me* LOL. So this….this movie has been what I have been waiting for.

I was weird and didn’t want to watch it opening night like I originally planned because I didn’t want BF and me to be the only weird adults with no kids watching the film. Parents scare me 0_0. But when we went and seen it, we were the only ones in the theater. YAAASSSSSSS. SO much fun being the only one there watching.

This was utterly cute. I really enjoyed it. It had that Disney charm, but it’s not a Disney film sadly. It appeals to children, but has a lot of adult humor mixed in as well. I certainly loved the scene were the white bird is reviewing the file on the Big Red Bird to see what he had done to get into anger management classes. The mix of her wide-eyes, his smirking, and the scary music playing was PRICELESS. I couldn’t stop laughing….I’m even chuckling to myself as I type this and remember the scene. Favorite scene for sure.

Ooooh those baby birdies were SOOOOOO cute. I can't get over it. Cutiesssss!

Super funny, cheesy, but funny still. The characters certainly matched the little birds from the games. I do approve. My only bummer is that the blue birds had such a small role in the film. They do hint at another movie, so maybe they’ll have a bigger role? I may be biased, because they are my favorite out of all the birds, but I feel they deserved a bigger role.
I have mixed feelings about the end. I liked it, but I didn’t. Maybe, because it felt like a cliff-hanger, but it really wasn’t? It was weird and it felt rushed like they were not sure what to really do. Yes, it was sweet and cute, but it felt like it was missing something. Hard to explain.

Overall, I approve of this film. They did the games and characters justice. My only issue was the ending and the small role the blue birds played. I do want another movie! I would for sure go see it. I do recommend this movie if you are looking for a funny and different animation. It certainly was refreshing and a good tribute to the popular Angry Birds. I shall stamp this with…..4.

Re-watch: Yesssss!

Tuesday, June 21

2-in-1 Short Story Review: Highland Secret and Thief in the Light

Author: Payton Hart
Titles: Highland Secret
Genre: Historical Romance & Short Stories
Pages: ebook
First Published: August 12th 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)

A betrayal. A revenge. Their passion. A secret. 
Kallie's entire world is burnt to the ground. Gone are her family, her friends, her home; all that is left is the revenge that she would like to take on the man who is responsible. Pushed to the coast for living, Kallie starts working and saving to take the trip back.  

Before she does, she meets Liam, a quiet and handsome man with a very large secret. The secret? One that could destroy any hope Kallie may have for a happy future. 

This is one of those short stories that I wish had been longer. Not because I wanted more out of the story, but because I think it needed more to be better. There was a lot of potential for the story and the characters. However, things happened so quickly and I wasn’t sure why these things happened. 

I wanted more backstory about Kallie and about Liam. I wanted to know more how they knew each other before the tragedy. Why were they friends? Weren’t they from different circles of society? Their relationship seemed not possible without the backstory. 

I will admit the secret was good. However, it would have been a deal breaker for me. I’m not sure how I would handle it if I was Kallie…

This needed more. It was decent. Just meh without the backstory. I’ll give this 2.

Author: Payton Hart
Titles: Thief in the Light
Genre: Romance & Short Stories
Pages: ebook
First Published: May 11th 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)

Jenny Hunter was only about to turn thirty-one, and yet she has already begun to realize her dream of become a passionate dance instructor. If that wasn’t wonderful enough, Jenny has a loving four-year relationship with the boyishly handsome Elliott Wilkes. Both avid adventurers, they share a common love of hiking and exploring; taking frequent, romantic weekend getaways to the beautiful lakes and forests of New York. Elliott, a successful comic book artist, is blissfully in love with Jenny. His endearing, childlike sense of wonder never seems to get old, and he’s always bringing out Jenny’s energetic, youthful side. 

But there is trouble in paradise, and the couple finds out that no relationship is easy. His irresponsible nature is difficult for the logical and sensible Jenny to cope with. Often struggling to communicate with one another, their arguments have begun to spiral into dysfunction. Despite that, they often talk about spending the rest of their lives together, and Jenny couldn’t imagine her life without Elliott. 

It isn’t until she meets the complex and wildly alluring Johnny Harlowe, that Jenny’s heart is plunged into an unfamiliar, burning desire. Johnny, a travelling dance coach, is hired for her studio’s upcoming showcase, and immediately feels a connection to the strange and radiant Jenny. Torn between her life with Elliot and her fascination with Johnny’s entrancing demeanor, Jenny fights to secure control of her heart. But Jenny soon discovers that security is not what she is yearning for.

Honestly…I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this or not. Seemed like a total meh when reading the summary, but I decided to give it a go since it was a freebie and attached to the back of the previous short story. Why not?

In the end, I really liked it! It was quick, but it was good. It was long enough to get the story out and develop the characters. The romance was a little far-fetched and cheesy, but hell…it worked for them. Normally cheesy romances like this bug me, but even as insta-love as this was they had their issues.

Quite honestly, it made me happy that the dancer lover is not a perfect dude (I can't remember is name - is it Johnny? Jackie? I'm not 100% and I don't really care) that I thought he going to be. He can be a total jerk! He calls himself a "perfectionist", but he was a total jerk. 

Sadly, I am team Elliot. I wasn't a huge fan of the dancer lover. Maybe its because I prefer stability and not a hot romance that will more than likely be snuffed out in like 5 years?

I totally felt bad for Elliot. He truly loved Jenny….but I get why she left him. She wanted marriage and a family and he didn’t want that. After she left him, poor Elliot realized he wanted to be with her and have babies with her, so he went and begged to have her back, but she gave a big N-O and decided to be with her dancer lover. Poor Elliot. 

I don’t understand the title? It doesn’t seem to match the story. Is the dancer lover stealing away Elliot’s light away from him (don’t mind me I am biased)? Is Jenny stealing the love and attention away from the dancer lover’s obsession of dancing? I’m not sure. Confused. 
This was a pretty good short story. I liked the characters even if the love story was a wee bit cheesy it worked. Out of five, I stamp this with 4.