Saturday, August 31, 2013

Review: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

This was our book club read for July.  I have to admit that I procrastinated reading this book until the very last possible moment.  This isn't my typical book choice, and when I have so many books on my To-Read list it's really hard to start something that's not.  It's kind of like school.  If it's not interesting to me then you might not get 100% effort from me.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised with this book.  It was able to capture my attention and I ended up reading it in four days.  

Secret Daugter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Rating: 3 1/2 wine glasses

This book is about two very different families and the one thing they have in common.  These stories are beautifully told.

Kavita and Jasu starting a family in India, where having daughters was a punishment.  These girls were often disposed of and if they were lucky ended up in orphanages.  Not being able to allow another daughter suffer the same fate as her first, Kavita secretly traveled days on foot, hours after giving birth, to allow her daughter some chance by giving her up for adoption. 

Somer and Krishnan having suffered through multiple miscarriages and discovering that they would never be able to have a child of their own, sought adoption from Kris' home in India. 

Asha the little girls story of adoption, growth, development, rebellion, and understanding.  Through a school project she travels to India and discovers who she really is.

I experienced a lot during this book. I was the mother who had to give her daughter up for adoption, living in a culture where women served a purpose to cook and clean, and were required to bear sons.

I was a mother who adopted a child from another country and experienced the difficulties of connecting to this child who you loved with all of your heart.

I was a daughter who was adopted and felt the emotions of not belonging and the determination of finding out who I am.

I'm not going to lie.  This book touched me and I was an emotional wreck at the end of it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday's Featured Freebie: Everblue by Brenda Pandos + Current Giveaways

Everblue (Mer Tales #1)
by Brenda Pandos
Currently Free on Amazon

She wanted her life to change... he wanted his to stay the same.

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.

Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.

Current Giveaways:
  • Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne [hardcover], from Cuts of Paper [approximately 3 days left]
  • Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay [hardcover], from Tressa's Wishful Endings [approximately 21 hours left]

Giftcards and more:
  • £50/$50 Amazon Giftcard, from Fiction Fascination [approximately 3 days left]
  • Kindle Fire HD 16GB HD, from Parajunkee [approximately 16 days left]

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #4

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.  This week I'm waiting for a lot.  I'm waiting for the weekend.... yep, I'm ready for a nice long weekend reading my books.  I'm waiting for this weather to chill, why does it have to be 100 degrees in August in Iowa?  Oh yeah, because I live in Iowa.  But the next release I'm waiting for is The House of Hades by Rick Riordan.  This is book 4 of the Heroes of Olympus series.  Series #2 for Percy Jackson and his friends.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Release date: October 8, 2013

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

I read the Last Olympian series a few years ago and was amazed with these books.  I didn't feel that they were children's books at all.  I've continued with the second series and now love that my 10 year old is enjoying these along with me.  At the end of The Mark of Athena, Rick Riordan left us a with a HUGE cliff hanger and we've had to wait a whole year for the release of The House of Hades.  I'm sure we will be left with yet another void until the final book of the series is released next year.  

What are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

This is this week's Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.

This week's topic: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

There are sooo many memorable secondary characters that it made this week hard to narrow down to only ten but here are the ones that made our cut.

Rachel's Picks
1. Rudy, from The Book Thief. Rudy has such an amazing heart and personality that he is impossible to forget. The Jesse Owens scene with him is just beautiful.

2. Snape, from Harry Potter. I don't love Snape, but I did respect him at the end of this series. He redeems himself in a way no other character has done before or after in my eyes.

3. Jace, from City of Bones. On the other hand, I might love Jace. His sarcasm is over the top (which is kind of a turn on), but also my heart goes out to him and his difficulty in embracing and showing love.

4. Dobby, from Harry Potter. Dobby is one of the most loyal characters I have ever met. This little house elf stole my heart with his unending determination and courage.

5. Coach Hedge, from Heroes of Olympus. Coach Hedge's crazy antics always steal the spotlight.

Melissa's Picks
1. Dunkirk, from Forsaken. He is cleaver and witty. The big, soft teddy bear disguised as a big bad wolf.

2. Po, from Graceling. He is sexy, has a kick ass gift and overcomes many obstacles. What's not to love?

3. Joe Morelli, from Stephanie Plum. He oozes sex appeal and always has some smart ass reply to Stephanie's illogical explanations.

4. Thomas, from The Dresden Files. He is a white court vampire who also has a secret for those that haven't read the series yet. He gets Harry out of many, many uncomfortable situations.

5.Tyson, from Percy Jackson and the Olympians. He has the biggest heart in the world and you just have to love him.

What's on your Top Ten this Tuesday?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Late Night Rants, Ramblings and Reflections: Flipping Ahead

So I have a dirty little secret to tell you. When I am waiting for something specific to happen such as Jace and Clary kissing in City of Bones (can this just happen already), I  flip ahead just to see when the next scene they are together is and then I figure out how many pages until I get there. This is a naughty little habit that I picked up long ago and it tends to be more prominent when I am reading physical books, but still occasionally occurs when I am reading ebooks.

Here are a few of my excuses I give myself to condone my flipping ahead:

1.) I just need to know if they are going to get together because if they aren't I might as well stop reading this book right now. I really won't stop reading the book, but come on I need a little romance or the hope of romance.

2.) I need to know if this book is about to get good in the next chapter - should I stop for the night or do I need to forge ahead because what I have been waiting for might happen in the next 20 pages. This is how I cause myself to stay up to 2 in the morning reading.

3.) I need motivation to keep going. I need to know something big is still coming.

I am sure there are more excuses I give myself, but I have to wonder am I hurting my experience and the surprises just as when I read the previews for the next four Mortal Instruments books when I am not even finished with City of Bones? The real question is how do I stop?

photo credit: dMad-Photo via photopin cc

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Showcase Sunday #4

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea where you show what books you've purchased, borrowed, checked out from the library, received from giveaway, etc. Here is our showcase for this week. 

Tuesday is a big day for Rachel and I.  I have three books coming out on Tuesday that I'm really excited for.  So, I don't actually have these in my possession as of just yet, I pre-ordered what I could and will be downloading the other as soon as I wake up on Tuesday.  
I pre-ordered The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies, #4) by Pittacus Lore.  A couple of months ago, I chose I am Number Four for my book club pick and was hooked immediately.  It took Rachel a little bit longer, you can view our first Waiting for Wednesday for more info on the book and Rachel's opinion of the series.

I also pre-ordered Fable (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #3) by Chanda Hahn.  I picked up UnEnchanted a while back as a freebie and just finished Fairest last week.  Stop by in a couple of weeks to see my reviews on all three of these books.
 With a great deal of anticipation, Broken (Ancients of Light, #3) by Heather Fleener will be purchased and downloaded on my Nook first thing Tuesday morning.  You can check out our exclusive on this book on our Waiting for Wednesday.

I also received an e-mail from my local library that Room by Emma Donoghue was ready for me to download to Overdrive last night.  This is our Book Club book for this month.  I better get started on reading this so I have enough time to read all of the other books I'm getting this week!

What books did you pick up this week?

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