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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I’d Like More Than I Did

Well hello there!

Welcome back to BookTasty for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! This weekly event is hosted by The Broke and Bookish and let’s us book lovers have some fun with bookish lists!

This week the theme has to do with expectations while reading. Sometimes I finish reading a book and am left surprised by how much I enjoyed it. This is always an awesome feeling! It’s like being delivered flowers at work! And then sometimes you think you’re really going to love a certain book and in the end you just weren’t impressed. Both happen to me, but today I’m focusing on the latter, books that I thought I’d like more than I did.

NOTE: I DO NOT HATE these books. I just didn’t enjoy them as much as I thought I would.

So here we go!

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

I thought surely I’d love this period piece…nope.

Drama by Raina TelgemeierDrama by Raina Telegemier

I wanted to LOVE this one so bad, but I only liked it.

Reached by Ally CondieReached by Ally Condie

I was left underwhelmed.

Daughter of Smoke nd Bone by Lani TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor

Really enjoyed the first half then *BOOM* not so much the second part.

My Fair Godmother by Janette RallisonMy Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

So much potential, but I felt like it went too long.

Beastly by Alex FlinnBeastly by Alex Flinn

Was unimpressed with the characters.

Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My husband LOVED these books but I couldn’t get into them.

The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van DiepenVampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen

My students LOVE this book but it was “meh” to me.

Vixen by Jillian LarkinVixen by Jillian Larkin

I love the 1920s = I will love this book! Not exactly….

Tunnels by Roderick GordonTunnels by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams

I was kind of bored and wondering when it’d end. Which is sad because I’d heard good things.

So there you have it! I went into reading all ten of these books hoping and wanting to LOVE them, but in the end I was disappointed. Have you read any of these titles? If so, how’d you feel about them? What books did you want to love but just couldn’t?

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Pretty Generic: Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Hi there!

If you follow BookTasty at all you’ve probably realized that I’m participating in the 2013 Debut Author Challenge again this year. The goal is to read at least 12 debut young adult books throughout the year and you can learn more about it here.

The second debut novel I read was Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed.

One house, two worlds…

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada. For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.

Sometimes you just need to read something kind of mindless and fun, but I was hoping I’d enjoy Cinders & Sapphires a little more than I actually did.

First let’s clarify that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE British period dramas. I adore reading about the fashion and the upper crust of polite society during pretty much whatever time period you throw at me! There always has to be some good scandal and intrigue mixed in too. Well, in this way Cinders & Sapphires was satisfying! It had all of the above! But sadly, that’s about all it had.

The characters were flat and incredibly one-dimensional. Let’s just lay it all out there: you had your maid with hidden talents who dreams of a better life (of course she does), you have your wealthy debutante who is a closet academic and is, of course, in love with a man of a lower class (or ethnicity) *gasp!*and don’t forget about your eligible bachelor who is scandalously (and secretly) gay *gasp!*. Let’s not ignore the stylish but hateful stepmother and her equally jealous daughter! Throw in an upwards grasping lady’s maid and some mean-spirited (why?!) servants to get our plot moving and…viola! You have it! An unsurprising and  kind of boring version of Gossip Girl in period costume.

So much was predictable that it made me lose interest and I had to force myself to finish reading this one…I didn’t want to DNF the second debut I read! The only storyline I was remotely interested in was Ada’s but that’s just because I like romance, even if they are pretty generic.

There you have it.  I was disappointed in Cinders & Sapphires, because I felt like it missed the mark that all guilty pleasures should… it wasn’t even bad enough to make me love it! But please remember, don’t take my word for it.  A lot of people, including some of my students, really seemed to enjoy this book, so give it a try for yourself…it may turn out to be what you’re in the mood for.

Author: Leila Rasheed

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (January 22, 2013)

Format: e-galley (ARC)

Length: 400 pages

Series: First in the At Somerton series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book:  Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton)

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Top Ten Tuesday: 2013 Debuts I’m Excited About

Good morning!

As you may know, every week I participate in Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and Bookish) which is an event involving creating bookish lists.  This week the theme is Top Ten 2013 Debuts I’m Excited About!

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed1. Cinders & Sapphire by Leila Rasheed (Jan. 22)

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster2. City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster (Feb. 5)

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson3. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (March 12)

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi. Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield 4. Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield (May 7)

Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvator Doktorski5. How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (May 7)

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious. To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.

Starglass by Pheobe North6. Starglass by Pheobe North (July 7)

The generation ship Asherah coasts through space, bound for a planet its passengers have never even seen. On the eve of their arrival, sixteen-year-old botanist Terra discovers that her orderly society has fractured. Walking home one night through the long-abandoned engine rooms, she witnesses the murder of an innocent man. Now, called on by the Children of Abel, a group of rebels intent on destroying the High Council, Terra must prove her mettle–assassinate the ship’s rising captain. In order to carry out her task, Terra must betray her father, deceive her teacher, and challenge everything the Council has ever taught her was true.

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross7. Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross (June 11)

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive. Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil. But Isabelle has no idea her new “friend” is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar8. The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (March 23)

Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn’t know what to do. Especially since Oliver–not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless–can see more than what she’s willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn’t know she wants. But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo’s ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him–someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.

Legacy of the ClockWork Key by Kristen Bailey9. Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey (March 5)

When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow. Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge.

Poison by Bridget Zinn10. Poison by Bridget Zinn (March 12)

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Don’t these sound amazing?! I want them all right now! Of course there are tons of other debuts being released this year and I plan on reading them as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.

Happy reading!

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Tasty Treats (6)

Hello!

This is my first Tasty Treats post of 2013!  Yay!

This past week I went a little crazy on NetGalley. Seriously. I think I was approved for 15 titles over the course of this week. I’m sure for some people, that’s not crazy, but it is for me! My goal was to find a ton of books to read for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge, and I did!

So, let’s take a peek at what tasty treats I received this week! I can’t wait to get started reading these!

P.S. Sorry about the MAJOR formatting problems with this post, I’m going to have The Husband fix it when he gets home later this afternoon.

The Culling Steven Dos Santos

The Culling Steven Dos Santos

Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

Strands of Bronze & Gold by Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze & Gold by Jane Nickerson

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Delusion by Laura L. Sullivan

Delusion by Laura L. Sullivan

A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

Dualed by Elsie Chapman

The Ruining by Anna Collomore

The Ruining by Anna Collomore

Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Blaze by Laurie B Crompton