Hello and Welcome!

Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Re-Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

As part of The Lunar Chronicles Read Along (#TLCReadAlong) hosted by Brittany at The Book Addict's Guide, I re-read Cinder in August, and Scarlet this past month.

My re-review of Cinder can be found here.

In the same fashion, I've pulled up my first review of Scarlet, which posted in February 2013, and added in my (new) thoughts.

I don't often re-read book, so this was a bit of a treat for me!

How often do you guys re-read books?
Do you find that your feelings change after a second read?

Let's see how my 2013 thoughts compare to today's!

Book #2 of the Lunar Chronicles

Genre: YA Sci-fi Fantasy Fairy Tale
Publication: February 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Acquisition: received an ARC for review from the publisher

Synopsis:
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
(from Goodreads)

5 / 5 Stars
(Still a 5 star read!)

Intense and overwhelming LOVE!
(Yep! I sill love it!)

OMG this was a good book!
(Yep again!)

The combination of sci-fi, fantasy and fairy tale retelling that made Cinder such a great read is no less fantastic in Scarlet.
(Not many books can pull off this trifecta of awesome. Scarlet does it with style.)

After leaving Cinder in a less then desirable situation at the end of book 1, I was really curious as to where she would find herself next. And I really wanted to know what was up with those Lunars!
(Ug! Lunars are the worst!)

I love the relationships in this book - and not just the romantic kind. All the characters in this world are so varied and different and the connections are just as different and complex.
(This is still the main reason I love this series so much. There are romantic relationships but they are done well AND the platonic relationships are awesome - I particularly love how Cinder and Thorne interact with each other.)

With the introduction of a new set a characters and the fabulous way Meyer meshed them together with my old favorites, Scarlet was a fantastic read for me.
I could go on and on with reasons why I loved this book but I don't want to give too much away.
If you read Cinder, Scarlet is a must read. And if you haven't started this series I highly recommend you do! Don't let the premise crazy you off. Marissa has weaved a magical world full of cyborgs, androids and fairy tales that does not disappoint!
(All of this - still true. Years later, I still recommend this series! It's one of my all time favorites.)

So, again, I'm gonna say:
Still all the same happy wonderful feelings!

After 2 months I'm still having a blast with this read along. I love the way Brittany formatted the read along - where we are all reading 1 book in the series a month, leading up to the release of the final book Winter. There is even time to get the companion novel, Fairest read between books 3 and 4.

I'm even going to go the extra mile and get all the mini in between short stories read - because I love this world so much so why not!

What do you guys think about read alongs?
How about re-reads?
I was never much fond of either but I'm loving the combo :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Review: The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

Book #1 of the The Sweet Dead Life Series
Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery
Publication: May 2013 by Soho Teen
Acquisition: Received an ARC at BEA 2012

Synopsis:
I found out two things today. One, I think I’m dying. And two, my brother is a perv.

So begins the diary of 14-year-old Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad eighth-grade year. Her single mother spends all day in bed. Dad vanished when she was eight. Her 16-year-old brother, Casey, tries to hold together what’s left of the family by working two after-school jobs— difficult, as he’s stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is sick. When she collapses one day, Casey tries to race her to the hospital in their beat-up Prius and crashes instead.

Jenna wakes up in the ER to find Casey beside her. Beatified. Literally. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long, Jenna figures out that Casey didn’t survive the accident at all. He’s an “A-word.” (She can’t bring herself to utter the truth.) Soon they discover that Jenna isn’t just dying: she’s being poisoned. And Casey has been sent back to help solve the mystery that not only holds the key to her survival, but also to their mother’s mysterious depression and father’s disappearance.
(from Goodreads)

2.5 / 5 Stars

This one was...weird? I don't even know.

I'm gonna have to say I didn't really like it much.

I wanted to like it and I did enjoy parts but once the nitty-gritty story really got going I found myself rolling my eyes more and more.

The story is implausible. And yes, I understand that almost ALL books with even a hint of the paranormal could be implausible.

With The Sweet Dead Life, it was the non-paranormal stuff I just couldn't get my head around. Family dynamics, character motivations, plot...it was all a little thin to me.

The format of chapters as diary entries threw me off too since I'm not a fan of this style unless it's done in a particular way.

There was also a big case of the MC Jenna's inability of realizing that A+B=C. It took her way too long to figure things out. Maybe it's because she's only 14? But then, her voice was much older and sometimes it wasn't young enough...if that makes any sense.

Overall, not a horrible book - but for me - the elements I didn't like outweighed the elements I did.

Wouldn't flat out not recommend this one as I do think it's another case of the 'not for me but maybe for you'....with perhaps more emphasis on that 'maybe'.

If you read it let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

All the Wishes Fit to Print: September Edition

Hello Lovelies!

Getting right to it -- here are some books I've added to my wishlist lately.

Share yours below!

The Rule of Mirrors (The Vault of Dreamers #2) by Carah M. O'Brien
February 16, 2016 by Roaring Brook Press

Didn't love love love book 1 (my review) but unanswered questions need answers.
Goodreads



Need by Joelle Charbonneau
November 3, 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Creepy YA thriller with social media as the 'bad guy' - sounds pretty good!
Goodreads




Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
October 20, 2015 by Tor Books

Valente's first adult novel - a 'decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery' -- YES PLEASE!
Goodreads




A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
August 2015 by Chronicle Books

Reviews are all over the place on this one. It's been described as 'weird' and I'm all for that.
Goodreads




The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
August 2015 by Corgi Childrens

I'm totally late to the part on this one and I'm pretty sure I'm buying it the next chance I get!
Goodreads

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine

Book #3 of the Fear Street Relaunch
Genre: YA Horror
Publication: September 29, 2015 by St. Martin's Press
Acquisition: received a free copy via NetGalley

Synopsis:
Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine's bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new installment, packed with pure nightmare fodder that will scare Stine's avid fan base of teen readers and adults.

New student Lizzy Palmer is the talk of Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper befriend her, but the closer they get to her, the stranger she seems… and the more attractive she is to Michael. He invites her to join him on a snowmobile race that ends in a tragic accident. Soon, Michael's friends start being murdered, and Pepper becomes convinced that Lizzy is behind the killings. But to her total shock, she and Michael are drawn into a tragic story of an unthinkable betrayal committed over 60 years ago. Frightening and tense in the way that only this master of horror can deliver, The Lost Girl is another terrifying Fear Street novel by the king of juvenile horror.
(from Goodreads)

5 / 5 Stars


R.L. Stine = half of my favorite childhood reading memories (the other half belong to Christopher Pike).

I pretty much love everything about his stories. Some might call his horror campy - and maybe it is a little - but it is in no way a cheep thrill. The creep factor in all his books is pretty high and The Lost Girl is no exception.

Taking place in 2 different times, the story progresses through a series of horrible acts which culminate in a breaking point of good vs evil. Who wins? Good of course ;)

Just kidding - no happy endings here. And not just the typical, they all die in the end unhappy endings. It's the lingering effects that really make the story. The unwritten dot, dot, dot at the end of the last sentence.

It's the implied horror as much as the explicitly stated horror that really gets under my skin. And I love it!

While listed as the Fear Street Relaunch #3, as in previous installments of Fear Street, it can be read as a standalone. I actually didn't know there were other recently published Fear Street novels! Guess what got added to my wishlist?

If you love Stine, you'll love The Lost Girl. If horror isn't your thing, you might not enjoy this one. If you're looking for a good thrill - defiantly pick this one up!



Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review: The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi, Futuristic
Publication: October 2014 by Scripturient Books (self published)
Acquisition: Bought a Kindle ebook

Synopsis:
The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?
(from Goodreads)

2 / 5 Stars

Straight up honest.

I didn't like this book.

Main reason? There wasn't a whole lot of sense making going on. The science, the details, the plot - throughout the book and then explosively at the end, none of it made sense.

I don't usually read self published novels because I don't tend to enjoy them. It's Beth Revis though so I still wanted to give it a chance. Unfortunatly, The Body Electric wasn't an exception to my - 'you're not going to like this one' rule.

However, I'm somewhat in the minority here so I'm even more skeptical as to why.

Skepticism aside - even without my potentially self-published bias - I don't believe I would have enjoyed this book.

I did like the imagery, and the futuristic aspect. However, the fact that it takes place in the same world as Across the Universe coolness was lost on me as I almost missed the throwaway line connecting the two and on my own, I wouldn't have found the connection at all.

Ga!
But what really really didn't work for me were the inconsistencies. BIG ones.

Not, blue eyes on one page and brown on another (although this would be extremely irritating it would not, overall be detrimental to the story or plot).

The inconsistencies here though? Not overlookable (new word).

No spoilers but here is an example:

A major element to the story, and to the world and lives of the characters in it is explained early on. Matter of fact explanation. Good to go - moving on.

Later in the book - this element? It's different. It's actually the exact opposite of what it was explained to be. And not in a plot twist way. Not in a oh my god someone is messing with things and we're figuring it all out now! No - more like a, on page 1 the sky is blue and on page 50 the sky is magenta polka dots and of course it is because it needs to be for everything else to make sense -- duh!

Ok - maybe not a very good example but hopefully you get what I'm trying to say.

There are other things too -- the synopsis (it's not accurate), the plot (it has a lot of holes), the 'bad guy' (very much the villain holding the heroes over a pit of fiery lava who instead of actually dropping them in the fiery lava and ensuring victory, decide to wax poetically about all the reasons behind all the things and all the plans and all the badness and oh look the heroes escaped).

There were parts of this book I really did enjoy - just not enough of them.

While things didn't fit for me - maybe they would for you? (Seriously, take a look at other reviews on Goodreads and the like). It's hard for me to actually recommend this one but, we are all unique snowflakes and maybe my extreme dissatisfaction would be your most favorite thing ever.

I'm VERY interested in hearing what you thought of this one! If you've read it, leave a comment, tweet me, etc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book Review: Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs

Book #1 of The Hero Agenda Series
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication: June 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
Acquisition: Won an ARC

Synopsis:
Kenna is tired of being "normal". The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary— which she hates.

She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust.. After all…not all strength comes from superpowers.
(from Goodreads)

3.5 / 5 Stars


I've got a thing for heroes and villains and it's not a theme I often come across in YA books so this one was a pretty good read for me. The world these characters live in is both fascinating and terrifying - much like I would imagine a world were say, the Avengers or Batman where real. Not a place I would actually want to live, but defiantly a world I can get happily lost in for a while.

Also - action. There is a lot of it and I liked that. Not much down time - everything is go go go. Not very realistic but it's very much how I envision a real life superhero's (or supervillian's) life to be like.

So why wasn't this a 5 star read for me?

Well, as much as I did like Kenna I didn't love the 'normal girl' is really the most special girl every thing. And the fact that she is powerless is mentioned...a lot. Kenna's inner monologue is a whole lotta insecurities. I was like - I get it! You're not special! Get over yourself! Except...the story was a little predictable so...I kinda figured out that maybe she was important? You know? Not giving anything away here but...you can see where this is going right?

And, well, the romance. Not every YA books needs a romance. Sometimes it's awesome though and sometimes it's horrible. Sometimes it's just meh and the story could stand on it's own without it and that's how I felt about Powerless.

So yeah - lots of mixed around feelings with this one.

However - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. The hero / villain aspect and how it's totally integrated into the world is pretty unique and makes for a really good story.

I'm not sure I'll be picking up book 2 but like I said - I do recommend you try this one out for yourself!

Monday, September 7, 2015

August 2015 Wrap Up: The What the Hell Do You Mean It's September Edition

Ga!

It's September.

Summer is oooo-va!

And it's still freaken hot.

Where is my deliciously brisk and wonderful Fall weather?

Hmmm?

Oh - and yes, there was still sweat. Icky sticky icky ick sweat.

Hey, you know what's better then all these things?

BOOKS!

Woo hoo!

Let's see what I was up to this month.

Linking it up over at Feed Your Addiction again cause I'm cool like that :)


THE REVIEWS







The Vault of Dreamers by Carah M. O'Brien - REVIEW | 3.5/5 Stars
Murwood Graphic Novel by Jeff Wheeler - REVIEW | 3.5/5 Stars
Glitch by Brenda Pandos - REVIEW | 4/5 Stars
Killer Instinct by S.E. Green - REVIEW | 5/5 Stars
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud - REVIEW | 3.5/5 Stars
Cinder by Marissa Meyer - RE-REVIEW | 5/5 Stars


AUGUST READS - BOOKS
The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (re-read)
Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Thomas Sweterlitsch
Amity by Micol Ostow

AUGUST READS - COMICS
Muirwood: The Lost Abbey #1
Doctor Who The Ninth Doctor #2
Jem #3
Jem #4
Jem #5

AUGUST READS - COMICS (Bound Vols)
Captain Marvel Vol 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More
Ms. Marvel Vol 3: Crushed
Batman / Superman Vol 1: Cross Worlds

AUGUST READS - GRAPHIC NOVELS
The Good Neighbors Book Two: Kith by Holly Black
The Good Neighbors Book Three: Kind by Holly Black
The Bad Doctor by Ian Williams


Hope everyone had a fabulous August!

Happy Reading!