Friday, January 10, 2014

Library Book Review > Grave Mercy


By: Robin LaFevers
Published  By:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publish Date:  April 3rd 2012
Pages: 549 hardcover

Tags:  Young Adult, Fantasy Fiction, Adventure, Historical Fantasy, Series, Magic
Source:  Community Library

Why did the Mad Scientist read this book? A convent of female assassins working for the God of Death (Mortain) had MS whirling!!!

Truly beyond that MS was unsure of what to expect. Although, once the post went on instagram about my current read several comments were posted about how great the book was. Sweet biscuits. How truly exciting!

Ismae is the daughter of death. Of course, being as such her life was hard starting before even birth. Her father sold into a marriage at a young age to a detestable man who nearly beat to her last breathe. She was whisked away by a priest who worships the old saints to a convent where she was to choose to work and train to become a handmaiden of death or to go to a husband. 
"Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?"
Planet & Book Love <3
After crossing paths with Lord Duval during an assignment to snuff out a traitors life without being caught Ismae finds herself thrust into his company as his mistress. Scoffing at the very idea of being his mistress she was bid to pack and leave the convent immediately. She is to be the eyes and ears at court and to kill those Mortain bids by bearing the Marque of Death.
"When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice."
They are both muddled over the forced companionship. Ismae determined not to let another male walk over her or shift her faith. However, she starts to bloom as she questions what her convent requests of her. 

Here is how the Mad Scientist pictures Ismae: 

Duval is unwavering in his loyalty & protectiveness of Duchess Anne, his half sister. He can also wield a sword and hold his own along side one who is trained in death. Plus, this man plays chess. *flutters fan* MS loved how he would visit Ismae's room to give appearance of visiting his mistress into the night. Ismae blustered and bumbled and their friendship developed. 

"I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face."

The political plots of stealing the duchy from little Anne was a foot. The race to find Anne a suitable husband from the many who were promised her hand from her late father proved to be a daunting task. It was getting ever so hard to trust the people around her, including Duval's own mother and brother. Twisting and turning it finally came to the point where one could see the who was behind such dastardly plans. 

Reading Grave Mercy during the holidays was a treat. Retreating into such a world full of horses, dresses, and a castle. Fantasy plus history and MS was loving every page of the this huge tome. 

** Thanks to the Oneida Community Library and Inter-Library Loan! All Mad thoughts are presented in the right mind of a twisted brain of the Mad Scientist!**

Originally Posted at Steampunkery & Book Reviews.

Can hardly wait to pick up Book Two!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Book Review: Violet on the Runway

Title: Violet on the Runway
Series: Violet #1
Author: Melissa C. Walker
Publisher: Berkley JAM Books (Penguin Group USA)
Original Publication in: 2007

Reviewed by Ginny, originally published in Fly
Violet Greenfield, who thinks of herself as a quiet, shy  wallflower, has always been teased because of her height (six-one, or 1.85m). She longs to be popular like those BK girls (stands for Bee’s Knees, not Burger King), even though she’d never admit it to her best friends, Julie and Roger.
But when she catches the eye of a Tryst agent Angela Blythe, things change dramatically… because Angela is sure Violet can be “the next Kate Moss – but, you know, taller and without the cocaine problem” (that was Violet’s soon-to-be agent). In the following months, Violet will have to wade through the castings, photo shoots, runways, bitchy models and other difficulties to find herself and what she really wants.

As far as I know, the author Melissa Walker used to work in a fashion magazine and has now (well, five years ago) written a series which gives us backstage insights on the glamorous fashion life.
Let’s talk about Violet first. Violet Greenfield is insecure about her height and her body in general – she’s too bony and all angles, she thinks. Of course, those two complexes are what caught Angela’s attention. Angela is persistent on letting Violet fly out to New York (she lives in North Carolina) for the Fashion Week, and when her parents give in, Violet is whisked away to a world in which she feels beautiful, strong and desirable.
Long story short, designers and photographers are taken by Violet’s naturalness, Angela convinces the Greenfields to let Violet graduate a semester early and live in the Tryst’s model apartment in New York – and make a name as a model!
Now, I know, I know that Violet needs to make stupid mistakes in order to learn and grow up, but I was quite exasperated when she ditched her best friends for the BK. What pissed me off, however, was Julie’s response to that. I get she has a valid right to be angry, I don’t blame her for that. What I consider a true BF reaction is Roger’s, Violet’s other friend. He’s mad, gives her silent treatment, but in the end he cares, and he comes up to check on Violet. They fight, but he forgives. Julie’s just petty.
Back to Violet. I think she is a good and nice person at core – that’s her personality, and her nature. She hardens up in this vicious tangle of competition and criticism, but she never develops an eating disorder or turns to drugs. She is hurt by the harsh words people and fellow model Veronica throw at her – about her weight, her nightlife, her privacy – and yet she remains a softie (in a good way) inside.
Violet on the Runway is a book about self-discovery and mocks the fashion world, but in a light-hearted and believable way.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello December {2013}


Already... the Year Went by so FAST!

What do you love about December?

Does anything inspiring come to mind?

Mad Scientist loves...
 Christmas lights all bright and glowing in the dark.
Hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows.
Warm blankets and bounds of books.
and Snowboarding.

Merry Holiday Season to all of you Lovelies!

With a few pictures to spark some inspiration :)
Hi, december !
Untitled | via Tumblr
Stitch :3

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Library Book Review > This Song Will Save Your Life

By:  Leila Sales
Published By: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published Date: Sept. 17th 2013 
Pages:  288 hardcover
Tags: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Stand Alone, Music 
Source:  Community Library (Save A Tree)

There is a raw and powerful story to be had in between those covers. Once the Mad Scientist embraced This Song Will Save Your Life, MS could not stop devouring.

Starting late into the night, my tea went cold twice and the minutes ticked by yelling at my hard head that the sun would rise in a few hours. A scientist I maybe but a lady should never have bags under her eyes so I stubbornly buried myself under the duvet closing my eyes. Only to wake up as the sun was rising to read till the book was done!

Elise is the one person who never quit belonged with a particular group of kids at school.  Oh, how kids can be cruel. She was a special girl who tried her best at whatever she wanted to learn. However, she found out being special or good at something is just uncool.

Planet & Book Love <3

Lonely is what Elise was determined not to be any longer. She researched being cool and tried so hard to find a friend. Desperation turned into the consideration of suicide. Awe, my dear Elise, MS just wanted to crawl into the book and hug you. Let us just say thank you to the gods above for she did not go through with it.
"Sometimes you just have those days where everything goes wrong. But sometimes, and totally unexpectedly, something can go right."
Now Elise finds herself going through the aftermath of the situation. Soon after the scare she stumbled around late in the night near a business district trying to ward of her wound up nerves. Even in such a unseeming area Elise ran into Vicky & Mel, whom befriended her. Leading Elise into the teaming hectic world of an underground dance party. Music thumps through her body and soul, she is someone else here. The music loving self, not the unpopular HS self. Elise gathered strength from her new friends to survive and recover.

Elise takes it upon herself to learn how to DJ. The young and dashing lad, Char, the leading DJ of the night was needed elsewhere. Taking the reins of the dance party with her efforts and knowledge of music she easily rules the dance floor. Char, takes Elise under wing when realizing she is talented and different. Learning all she can, Elise becomes the hottest DJ in the area! 

Surviving high school surrounded by friends and music, Elise learned that it is alright to stay true to the person you want to be and can be. 

Undoubtedly my favorite Quote!

"I was smiling like a crazy person because I had just made a hundred people dance, I had just made a hundred people scream, I had just made a hundred people happy. I, Elise, using my own power, had made people happy."

Nelita Habbibi
Here is how I picture Elise: 

Many lovely groups and songs are mentioned throughout the novel, in which the playlist from within can be found and thoroughly enjoyed at Spotify. As MS developed this mad review the sounds whirled around my skirts and rattled my pinned up hair.  

"I believe that a person's taste in music tells you a lot about them. In some cases, it tells you everything you need to know."

** Thanks to the Oneida Community Library and Inter-Library Loan! All Mad thoughts are presented in the right mind of a twisted brain of the Mad Scientist!**
It was so extremely good I kissed it everywhere & licked the spine.
Originally Posted at Steampunkery & Book Reviews.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ARC Book Review > Homecoming

Cloaked Devices 0.5
By:  Cecilia Robert
Published By: Cecilia Robert
Published Date: October 25th 2013 
Pages:  121 ebook
Tags:  Adult, Steampunk, Paranormal, Shapeshifters, Fantasy Fiction, Series 
Source:  NetGalley (Save A Tree)

Homecoming is a new imaginary world by Cecilia Roberts which is full of shapeshifters & steampunkery combined with swoon worthy lads. An introductory novella for the coming Cloaked Devices series.

Sera Czedar was mated with Levian Grayson five long years ago. Five long years ago, Sera ran away from her wedding bed, her home & family without leaving a snippet of a clue as to where or why. 

Dear Lev's tormented panther paced around in need of his mate. He would do anything to bring her home, to have the other part of his soul home.  The time has come to do just this after finally finding a clue to where abouts. 
"Soul mates aren't supposed to break their partner's heart. They should be the ones holding it, guarding it against the world."
Vanezia is a city known for its outcast citizens. Sera made herself home among the rift raft as a tenacious woman not to be trifled with less you want to fell the hurt. Known as Storm in the underground fighting ring she has solidly brought down robust opponents in order to bring in extra income. 

"He rubbed his neck, curbing his wayward thoughts, then watched her as she swung her hands and punched tiny fists into the air, looking completely harmless."

steampunkish dress
Here is how I picture Sera:

Even more has changed when Sera shocks Levian with some most shocking news. The Mad Scientist was most surly shocked with the spinning twist of the plot. Pleasantly so!

Get ready to flutter your fan and blush as the alpha male panther makes you swoon through some raw emotional desire and primal hotness. *Prr* Seriously, he is one intense dominate kitty that made me grin on more than one occasion. Leve even had stead fast Sera swooning and weak at the knees... several times over. 

Primarily a shifter genre novel, however, there are notes and dashes of steampunkery elements sprinkled through the pages. Leaving this novella to be a most desirable fast fun read with some forbidden steam. Luckily for us there will be more to this series to enjoy in the coming future.

The only note of negative thought from the Mad Scientist has to be that the novella is just too short. MS wanted more. With this being just a glimpse MS eagerly awaits the series. 

** Thanks to NetGalley for the ability to read this ebook which so ever did not influence or bend my thoughts in any manner. All Mad thoughts are presented in the right mind of a twisted brain of the Mad Scientist!**

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Library Book Review > Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

By:  Benjamin Alire Saenz
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Published Date: Feb. 21st 2012
Pages:  359 hardcover
Tags: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Stand Alone, GLBT 
Source:  Community Library (Save A Tree)

Honestly, the Mad Scientist was even more clueless as to what to read when I went to library after being out of the US of A for nearly 6 months. (Explored Thailand, Malaysia & Laos.) What is a Mad Scientist to do?  With having so many literary awards on such a beautiful cover MS just felt like she could not go wrong.  Besides I think everyone of us could us a few secrets of the universe.  Walking out of the library with book in gloved hands MS just did not know what she was getting into with Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  
"My mother and father held hands. I wondered what that was like, to hold someone's hand. I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand." - page 140
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is told through a very young angry loner, Aristotle aka Ari. Ari & Dante met when the were 15 during one of those boring summers where you wait for something amazing to happen. It was a friendship they both seemed to bumble and stumble through with such little grace you could not help but wonder and smile at them.  It was a friendship were they spent days & nights laughing at each other, looking at the stars, experiencing sexual struggles & trying to navigate through cultural identity.  Of course, we also had bits and pieces of questioning the universe. 
Save a Tree – Read an e-book Button
Now the Mad Scientist is not one to cry over a book.  We wouldn't want to get rusty, now would we?  However, once I finished this particular book... I did.  The romance that I did not see or expect at all just jarred me which in turn made MS cry.  A few perfect tears, the roll down the cheeks kind. The jealous & strong emotions of Ari wanting to protect Dante at any cost had my heart. Dear boy!

Here is how I picture Ari & Dante: 

Cute 'u'
Truly one of the best GLBT books MS has had the pleasure to read! Even if it was unexpected!

Benjamin Alire Saenz wrote the book in such a way that it is hard for MS to describe it in any other way then being beautiful.  The heavy handed issues about self identity and coming to age were managed with class & great writing that made it beautiful to read.  The writing, the characters, the story, the relationship was just too beautiful. 

"You could smell the rain in the desert even before a drop fell. I closed my eyes. I held my head out and felt the first drops. It was like a kiss. The sky was kissing me." - page 293

The awards were greatly deserved and MS is so happy to have spied this beauty on the shelf. Congratulations Benjamin! It was a great welcome back to the US of A & regular reading.

** Thanks to the Oneida Community Library and Inter-Library Loan! All Mad thoughts are presented in the right mind of a twisted brain of the Mad Scientist!
It was so amazing I kissed & licked every inch of the book!
Originally Posted at Steampunkery & Book Reviews.

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