Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: First Frost

First Frost (Waverley Family #2)
Published By: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult - Magical Realism, Southern Fiction

I read Garden Spells, the first Waverley Family novel, before Reading Lark was born, but it is a novel that has stuck with me. That novel was also my first experience with Sarah Addison Allen; I have been a devoted fan ever since. When I first heard about this novel, I was ecstatic. I couldn't wait to get back to Bascom, North Carolina to find out what the magical Waverley women were up to these days. I also plan to reread Garden Spells and review it soon.

Goodbye to 2014: Andrea's YA Giveaway

Last year we featured our top 13 favorite reads and gave our readers a chance to win our favorites. This year we are showcasing our top 14 reads of 2014 and giving you a chance to win some books! Each day from December 19 - December 31 we will highlight the list of one of our Larks. Our followers can enter to win ONE book of their choice from each featured list. You are free to enter each day's giveaway. The giveaway begins today and runs through January 7th. Winners will be announced on January 8th.

Today we're featuring my YA list. I wasn't able to choose only 14 books for the year, so I will have an new adult/adult list coming on 12/31. The books on my list weren't necessarily published in 2013, but they are some of my favorites that I read this year. 

Andrea's Top 2014 Reads - YA Edition

**Please note some of my 2014 favorites will not be released until 2015. If you choose one of these, they will be ordered upon the novel's release.**

The Shopping Lark #148

Each Friday, Reading Lark is going to feature some new releases each week to help give you some ideas of what to buy next. This is not an exhaustive list of this week's releases - just some novels that caught our eye. Feel free to share what books you're excited about that came out this week in our comments section.

YA Releases for the week of 12/15-12/21:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book Review: Inspire

By: Cora Carmack
Published by: author
Release date: Dec. 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult magical realism
284 pages
Buy it at Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, or Barnes & Noble
Source: purchased by reviewer

Disclaimer: I am generally not a New Adult reader. I most enjoy YA, where it's mostly story with a little bit of steam sometimes, most of which is hinted at rather than explicitly described. I've read Carmack's stuff before and enjoyed it, and I thought that this concept was intriguing.

There are a lot of good things going on in this book. First, the idea of bringing a character from Greek mythology and plopping her in modern society, having to mask her abilities and dodge the constant threat of leaving a digital footprint- I love it. There is so much potential to do really cool things in this series- if the author can figure out how to spin the main character so the reader likes her.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review & Tour Giveaway: Transcendent

I was super excited when Reading Lark was approached to be part of Lesley Livingston's blog tour celebrating the release of her last book in the Starling trilogy, Transcendent.  I have followed Lesley's writing career since her debut novel, Wondrous Strange, and she continues to weave exceptional stories based on adventure, legends and mythology.  If you need any push to start reading her books, this is it.  Have a look at my review (non-spoilery for the most part), and read about Lesley and enter the giveaway at the end.  And don't forget to follow the tour, and be sure to enter the giveaway at each stop!

Transcendent (Starling #3)  
Published By: Harper Teen 
Publication Date:  December 23rd, 2014 
Page Count:  352 pages 
Buy it at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound 
Source:  ARC Kindly Provided by the Publisher 
Audience:  Young Adult Fantasy 

 Wow!  That was quite a ride!  A long time ago, after completing the Wondrous Strange trilogy, I SO wished for more of this world from Lesley…particularly more of Fennrys.  And she sure did deliver.  While the Starling books do take place in the same world, with some favourites from the original trilogy making an appearance along with Fennrys, this was still predominantly Mason Starling’s story with Fenn as a rather large (and HOT) co-star.  In my reviews for books one and two, I stated that you did not necessarily need to read the Wondrous Strange books but you DO get so much more out of this story if you do…but at the very least…I would suspect that many would like to read them if they haven’t already following Mason & Fennrys’s journey. 

Waiting on Wednesday: Love, Lucy

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where she spotlights upcoming releases.

This week I am waiting on. . . 

Love, Lucy
By: April Lindner
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: January 27, 2015

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, 17-year-old Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

Inspired by E.M. Forster's A Room with a View

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Review: The Undertaker's Daughter

The Undertaker's Daughter
By: Kate Mayfield
Published By: Gallery Books
Publication Date: January 15, 2015
Page Count: 368
Source: ARC Kindly Provided By Publisher
Audience/Genre: Adult Memoir
 Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

This lovely and thoughtful memoir opens with beautifully written descriptions of life in a funeral home as seen through the eyes of a child, which is just as fascinating and odd and horrifying as you might imagine. But at the heart of this novel lies the daily struggles, both minor and monumental, both personal and historical, and both hidden and public, that the Mayfield family encounters in 1960's America. Interspersed with sections titled "In Memorium" to eulogize memorable or interesting individuals who passed through the funeral home, this is a quick, engaging read for both historical/literary fiction and memoir lovers alike.

Teaser Tuesday: First Frost, A Jane Austen Daydream, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, There Will Be Lies, & Inspire

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Some of Bay's fondest memories were of lying under the apple tree in the summer while Claire gardened and the apple tree tosses apples at her like a dog trying to coax its owner into playing catch. But as fall approached, the tree would lose its leaves overnight, and then it could do nothing but shake its bare branches miserably until the first frost of the season startled it back awake. The entire family felt its frustration.

~ First Frost (Waverley Family #2) by Sarah Addison Allen, Kindle Location 127-132 (ARC)

"After my experiences with Mr. Lefroy and Mr. Blackwell I feel I could write a thesis on the topic. And as I said over Katharine's crib, the heart and head must both be consulted in the decision, but something also must be said for the initial attraction at the sight of a possible mate. There should be a sparkle in the eye that is only for her, a keen interest in having him forever near. I enjoy his company, and he enjoys mine, but should love not be more than that? I believe so." 

"So Mr. Bigg-Withers' eyes were not sparkling?" Cassandra asked with a raised eyebrow. 

"If they were, it was from drink and not me," Jane replied. "And before you ask, I did not glimmer once in reply."

~ A Jane Austen Daydream by Scott S. Southard, Chapter 23 (Audible Version)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Novella Review & Giveaway: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past

Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past
Published By: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Page Count: 158
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult - Appalachian Fiction

Appalachia is a region that will always have my heart. Sharyn McCrumb is a master story teller who brings the mountains to life like no other. She uses folklore and legends to showcase the people and culture of the southern portion of the mountain chain. The majority of her stories are set in North Carolina or Tennessee. I was excited to see how McCrumb would blend together her traditional writing with elements of the holiday season. Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past is a beautiful little gem that includes McCrumb's traditional Appalachian flair, but also includes mystical elements.

Novella Review: Blame it on the Mistletoe

Blame it on the Mistletoe
Published By: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Page Count: 153
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Adult - Holiday Romance

I am one of those people who can spend hours watching the Hallmark channel as the winter holidays descend. I love the movies that feature holiday romances and happy endings. I decided that this holiday season that I would spend some time reading stories set around the holidays to supplement my Hallmark movie fix.

Blame it on the Mistletoe is the story of Brooke Abbott, the owner of a local craft and decor shop, and Alex Coleman, the town's former hottie bad boy. Brooke has had a crush on Alex for as long as she can remember, but when he returns to town she assumes that things will be the same as always. Alex will smile and be polite, but he will only see her as the shy and quiet kid she used to be. To make matters worse, Brooke is still reeling from an abusive relationship and Alex has no intention of staying in his tiny Missouri hometown for long. Holiday magic interferes and the two are brought together over and over again until they are forced to pay attention to their attraction for one another.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...