Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Tiger's Voyage" by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Voyage (Tiger's Curse Series #3)
by Colleen Houck
453 pages (nook edition)

Short Version: Kelsey, Ren & Kishan continue on the third leg of their quest to break the tiger's free of their curse.

Why I Read It: After reading a few more serious books I needed a break. I wanted a love triangle, some action, and a little fantasy and that is exactly what I got.

The Book: From Goodreads
In the third installment of the Tiger series, Kelsey Hayes pushes through the pain of lost love and strengthens her friendship with Kishan. Despite his strong feelings for her, Kishan has agreed to be her ally in helping her reunite with the man she still loves. Together, they seek to help Ren regain his memory and begin the search for the third magical gift—an object of power that will help break the curse that causes them to live part of their lives as tigers.
They board a luxury yacht and seek Durga's aid once again, who supplies them with her golden weapons. With Nilima, Mr. Kadam, Ren, and Kishan at her side, she soon learns that the task ahead will be even more difficult than the others. Confronting a dark magician, multiple dragons, and terrifying denizens of the deep seems easy when compared to facing the daunting task of stitching up her heart. Just when she thinks she's ready to set her feet on a new path, she is yanked back with a jolt to the one she's determined to leave behind.
The jarring tug-of-war that ensues for Kelsey's heart leaves her anxious and confused. Combined with the stress of almost being killed every other day, it would appear that saving the tigers is almost more than she can handle. Still, she presses on, knowing that a choice is looming on the horizon. One she cannot put off making for long.
Tiger's Voyage is an irresistible romance with a barrage of action on the high seas, where a reader will find a treasure chest full of dragons, sea monsters, knights in shining armor, fabled weapons, and enduring love. The tropic waters of India create the backdrop for the latest installment in the tiger series. This novel, a multicultural take on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale, delves into the complex emotional turmoil and pressure associated with not only making the best choice for a nation but also the best choice for yourself

My Thoughts: I forgot how much I enjoyed this series. These are not the typical books I go for but every now and then a girl needs a break from historical fiction and serious reads. Tiger's Voyage was exactly what I needed. The love triangle between Kelsey, Ren and Kishan pulled me back and forth as I was trying to decide for her. Ren is still at a loss with his memory, yet they make an agreement to be friends again. Kishan and Kelsey are also getting to know each other more as he tries to help her with Ren. I don't want to get too much more into this because I will spoil things. If you are looking for a crazy love triangle to get mixed up in, this is it!
The beginning of Tiger's Voyage was a little slow for me. I'm not really sure what I expected but I felt like they were just going on about Ren not remembering. Everyone was cooped up in the house as they waited to figure out their third quest. I wouldn't have wanted them to just jump into the third adventure per say but I would have somehow gone about the beginning a little different. Once the quest for the third piece, Durga's pearl necklace, to break the curse began it was great. A voyage into the ocean, diving, dragons, under water kingdoms, and Lokesh the evil enemy all add up to make an exciting adventure. Add that love triangle to the mix and you have an amazing book!
Now, the ending- I'm not even sure what to say about this except that I was completely left hanging and now I am counting the days until the next book comes out (157 days until Sept. 4). I somewhat could guess what was going to happen but I was more left hanging on who Kelsey was going to be with. I mean she made a decision but I don't think it was the right one. I want to know if she will change her mind. This is all I'm going to say because, again, I do not want to spoil things.
Overall, this was an amazing read that still has me thinking about it. I can't wait for the next book to come out!

4.5/5 Stars

#4 in 2012 Ebook Challenge
Click here to see full list

#2 in Wishlist Challenge
Click here to see full list

Random Acts of Kindness: March Wrap-Up

This was my first time participating in RAK and I had so much fun! RAK is hosted by Book Soulmates. For those who do not know, RAK is Random Acts of Kindness. You sign up and share your book wishlist. Then you can view other's wishlists and send them a Random Act of Kindness.

I sent RAKs to...

And I received a wonderful RAK from Lois @ Quill & Ink which you can see in the picture below. I'm very excited to read A Wrinkle in Time. Thanks Lois! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

May Travel Schedule

This morning as I was checking emails and posting my FF I decided to check my schedule to see if it was posted early since April 1st is on a Sunday. And guess was! So here is what I have coming up in May...
Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas

Ritz Carlton Naples, FL (returning to where I spent all of last July)

Atlantic City, New Jersey

And finishing up with the wonderful city of Chicago
I think May will be another great month of travels and adventures! If anyone has been to these places and has recommendations on places to eat or things to see leave me a comment and let me know!

Feature & Follow Friday (#12)

Q: Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

I only read one book at a time. I like to be fully absorbed into that book and I feel like if I were reading more than one at a time I wouldn't be as into the stories. I have to admit I've never tried reading more than one book at a time. I'm just not very keen on the thought of it.

What about you, one book or multiple at a time??

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Booking Through Thursday: Relating

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks...

From Ted: Are there any fictional characters whom you have emulated (or tried to)? Who and why?

From Sarah: What literary character do you feel is most like you personality-wise (explain)?

A: Hmm these are both questions that required some thinking. I don't know that I have really tried to imitate a character but I have learned things from characters. Examples: all the women in The Red Tent, especially Dinah, taught me more about the strength of being a woman. Books such as The Book Thief and How to Buy a Love of Reading reiterate my thoughts of anyone can read, enjoy it and appreciate it. Beach Music had many characters to show the importance of family. I have taken something from each of these books, and probably more, and kept it with me so I guess in a way that is emulating a character or characters.
I have not found one character that is like me personality wise, it is more of a mix. I'm bookish like Hermione (and any other character that travels everywhere with books), quiet & somewhat reserved like Letty from Bright Young Things series (I could never get on stage to sing like her though), a shopper like Becky from Shopaholic series however I'm a little better at budgeting than her. I'm sure there are more characters I could relate to, but I am having problems thinking of them.

So what about you- any characters that you emulated? and who have you found to be like you? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mount TBR Challenge Checkpoint

So it is a quarter of the way in to the Mount TBR Reading Challenge hosted by My Reader's Block and we are posting a little update. I pledged to read 25 books from my TBR pile this year. Unfortunately I've only read 4 so far. You can see my list here. I really need to work on picking up my actual books from the shelf instead of downloading new ones on my Nook. All of my TBR books are on the shelf, hence me only have read 4 of them so far. The TBR books I have read were all great and very enjoyable. Hopefully the rest of them will be just as good! You can still sign up at My Reader's Block if you would like to participate.
Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays (March 27)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's how it works..
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here are my teasers...
At first we were being serious; then we started wildly guessing crazy dragon scenarios such as, "What if he is toothless? What if he is the size of a house cat? What if he is a scaredy dragon who tells jokes like the Eddie Murphy dragon in Mulan?"
 Tiger's Voyage (The Tiger Saga #3) by Colleen Houck p. 269 (nook edition)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Beach Music" by Pat Conroy

Beach Music
by Pat Conroy
701 pages (nook edition)

Short Version: Jack McCall moved his life to Rome to escape the hurt of his wife's suicide. When his mother becomes ill he must return to his Southern roots and face his past and all that comes with it.

Why I Read It: A friend of mine recommended this book and insisted I finally read it since I always insist she read some of my favorite books.

The Book: From Goodreads
PAT CONROY, America’s preeminent storyteller, delivers a sweeping novel of lyric intensity and searing truth–the story of Jack McCall, an American expatriate in Rome, scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His desperate desire to find peace after his wife’s suicide draws him into a painful, intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family’s past that can heal his anguished heart.

Spanning three generations and two continents, from the contemporary ruins of the American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, from the unutterable horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam, Beach Music sings with life’s pain and glory. It is another masterpiece in PAT CONROY’S legendary list of beloved novels.

My Thoughts: Picking up this book I knew it was a friend of mine's favorite and it involved historical fiction from the Holocaust to the Vietnam War. When I saw it was 700 hundred pages I was a little surprised, but not deterred. And when it began with the telling of Jack's wife, Shyla, committing suicide I had no idea how this would be historical fiction, but I kept going. This book turned out to be wonderful. Although, I must say I did not fully think "wonderful" until the very end. Throughout most of my reading I thought it was good.
As I sit here writing this review I keep typing and deleting. The book was long with so many back stories that I am not sure how to go about this review. I do not want to get so into detail that I write a review as long as the book. So I think I will tell you just what I liked and disliked and leave it at that.

Likes- I loved all the back stories told. Each character had a past that shaped who they were. These stories were heartbreaking yet written beautifully. Pat Conroy can write some amazing descriptions (so amazing I was brought to tears a couple times and I never cry reading books). These stories are where the historical fiction came in. There were Holocaust stories from numerous characters who had eventually found their way to the South and into Jack McCall's life. The Vietnam War was a part of this book but not in a first person experience. It was more something going on in the background that caused turmoil in the lives of the characters. The book taking place in the South also shaped these characters. It was a part of their life they could not escape no matter how far they went (Rome, New York, Hollywood). I enjoyed reading about their Southern roots and lifestyles. Kind of makes me wish I lived there instead of the Midwest. I adored Jack's daughter Leah. She was just an amazing 8 year old. So smart and emotionally intelligent. I really enjoyed her relationship with her dad. Jack treated her with respect like an adult, not just a child. He was open and honest with her, even though things may have been upsetting or hurtful to a child.

Dislikes: I don't know that I would call anything in this book a dislike, more just annoyances. Jack's attitude in the beginning drove me nuts. I understand his hurt and his reason for not wanting to be around his wife's family after she committed suicide. However, moving half way around the world and even cutting ties with your own family and friends is a bit much. There was a perfect quote describing Jack that I highlighted with my Nook, only to find out that the Nook will not show your highlights and notes. You must flip page by page to find them. This is a long book and I do not want to flip hundreds of pages to find it. If I do eventually see it I will edit this review.  Anyways back on topic here...Although I enjoyed reading all the back stories I really had no idea where this book was going. I knew Jack was trying to explain the meaning of Shyla's death and confront some issues with past friendships, but I did not know how all the stories had to do with that. There was not always a logical order to the stories. Sometimes they would jump from one place to another. However, everything came together in a beautiful ending. All loose ends where tied in the perfect timing. No abrupt endings or wondering what would happen next. I have to say this might be one of the best endings I have read in awhile. The last 150-200 pages of this book were simply amazing.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good book to get into that involves history, Southern charm, family, friendships, love, loss, and a beautiful ending.

4.5/5 Stars

#3 in 2012 Ebook Challenge
Click here to see full list

#1 in Wishlist Challenge
Click here to see full list

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Look

If you haven't noticed I've changed things up a bit here at Reading Kelly. When I first created my blog back in November, I was just happy that I got it started and it had books in the background (I insist on having books in blog design somewhere). However, I wasn't so happy with how dark the page was and I wanted something just a little more simple. So ta-da! My new look.

I created the header myself! This was not an easy task for me- I am no good at creating anything on the computer. I choose beachy pictures because that beaches are my absolute favorite place to read. The picture in the middle is one I took myself in Kauai. The other two pictures I borrowed from Google :) Next time I am on a beach with some books I plan on taking my own awesome pictures and using those in the header instead of the borrowed ones.

I am slowly gaining confidence in my blog creating skills, so most likely I will play with the design again. But I'm happy with my new design for now. What do you think about it? Any suggestions or advice on creating/designing anything bloggish? Leave me comments and let me know!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (#11)

Q: What is the longest book you've read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

I think the longest book I read was Shantaram at 933 pages.  Discovery of Witches is one of my favorite longer reads at 585 pages (nook edition). I don't think I have many other books over 600 pages that I would consider a favorite.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Booking Through Thursday: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks...
Ever written a book you thought you could have written better yourself?

I don't know that I have ever thought about this while reading a book. I do not consider myself a writer so I am not in that mindset while reading. I am sure there are certain books I would have done differently or tweeked some part of them. Looking through the books I read last year I keep coming back to 13, rue Therese. The summery to this book caught my attention- it is about a guy who finds a box of pictures, letters & objects from a woman who lived in Paris through both World Wars. He goes through the box and imagines what her life was like and who this woman was. I thought he was going to go on a hunt to figure out who this mystery woman was. Instead the book goes back and forth from the present to his imaginations of this woman's life, like he is a fly on the wall observing her. This was very hard to figure out. The more he imagines this mystery woman the more he is also noticing his beautiful office clerk. I think somehow there was a connection between the two women but that was never explained. I read this book in a day on the beach and I felt so lost and confused when it was over. I was expecting a bit of a historical fiction but instead got the imaginations of a man day dreaming about a woman. I don't know how I would have exactly written this better but I would have gone about it differently.

Are there any books you think you could have written better?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (March 20)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's how it works..
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here are my teasers (from the same book yet again)...
"I am hearing something. Then I feel something as the earth begins to move beneath me."
 p. 450, Beach Music by Pat Conroy (nook edition)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (#10)

Q: What is the best book you've read in the past month? What is the worst book you've read in the last month?

A: Unfortunately due to my busy schedule I have not read many books in the past month. In fact I've only read 2 :( They were both good so I don't think I want to pick a worst, but I will say I enjoyed Bright Young Things just a tiny bit more than it's sequel Beautiful Days.
What about you? What are your best and worst books this past month?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Booking Through Thursday: Lessons

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks...

Have you ever used a book to instruct someone of something or is there anyone for whom you would like to do that? (I don't mean a text book for a class, but a work of fiction or non-fiction that would get a certain message across either through plot or character). What is the book and what do you wish to impart?

I don't think I have ever given someone a book to read to teach them something. The book that keeps coming to mind though, is The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. The women in this book posess so much strength and courage that I have been recommending the book to my mom, grandma, aunts and girl friends. I think it is a book that all women should read to be reminded of the strength we have. What book would you recommend to teach someone something?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (March 13)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's how it works..
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here are my teasers (from the same book again)...
"The company of intelligent women was a forgotten pleasure to him, and that first year it made him critical toward Lucy, whose commonness was highlighted by her vivacity and freshness. An early bitterness set in as Johnson Hagood regretted his impulsive marriage and recognized how little an asset Lucy was going to be."
p. 235, Beach Music by Pat Conroy (nookbook edition) 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (#9)

Q: Have you ever looked at a book's cover and thought "This is going to be horrible"? But, instead was pleasantly surprised? Show us the cover and tell us about the book.

A: I am one of those people that tend to pick out books by the cover. If I am browsing in a book store, I go for what catches my eye first. Because of this, I don't know that I have thought about a book being horrible based on the cover. Sometimes the opposite happens; the cover looks great and the book is not so good. Anyways there is one book I can think of that the cover threw me off a bit, The Book Thief.

This cover does not depict a book about a young girl in Nazi Germany who steals books and learns to read. I kept thinking it was going to be more of a mystery or something. I am not even really sure what the dominoes have to do with the story as a whole. However, I very much enjoyed this book despite the fact that the cover threw me for a loop. 

Booking Through Thursday: More!

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks...

Which non-series book would you most like to read the sequel to? Do you have any wishes for what might happen in it?

I seem to pick this book for everything (it is my top favorite book)- I would choose The Night Circus. I would love to get lost in this book again. Not sure how a sequel would turn out since things came to a pretty good close. But I'd love to see Poppet and Widget grow up and where the circus goes in the hands of a new owner.

I would also like to see a sequel for Shantaram. It was a long enough book but I was annoyed with the ending. As a reader, you know what happens to the main character but none of it is in the book. I would like the sequel to include how he was recaptured and what the rest of his time in prison was like.

What book would you like to see in a sequel??

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness: March

I just realized this never posted on March 1. So here it is a week later...
RAK is hosted by Book Soulmates. You can join the fun here.
For those who do not know, RAK is Random Acts of Kindness. You sign up and share your book wishlist. Then you can view other's wishlists and send them a Random Act of Kindness. This is my first time participating and I'm very excited!!
Here are the rules:
Please read carefully & follow all rules! Thank you!

  • Please sign-up each month that you can participate (and by participate, we mean give as well as receive).
  • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button (code is in the right sidebar).
  • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog, etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
  • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger directly for their information.
  • Once you receive a RAK, send us an our new email to [rakbybooksoulmates @ gmail . com] so that we can update the Google Doc. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEND EMAILS TO THIS ADDRESS!
  • E-book participation is limited to files being gifted directly to a person from the e-book store. Amazon's Kindle Store is set up to allow this, as well as the Kobo store and we believe Barnes & Noble with Nook as well.
  • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K by making a "RAK Wrap-Up" post. This post should include who you SENT gifts to as well who you RECEIVED gifts from :)
OPEN TO EVERYONE including all our International brethren!
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Easy peezy!!

You can view my wishlist here.

Teaser Tuesdays (March 6)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's how it works..
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here are my teasers...
"Nothing about her seemed changed or forced or derivative, and whenever I saw her I could turn a page backward in my life and see where I had once been by merely gauging her reaction to me."
"She was patient and serene and confident that our history in the oak tree would eventually bring her to me."
 p. 500, Beach Music by Pat Conroy

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (#8)

Q: What book would you love to see made into a movie or television show and do you have actors/actresses in mind to play the main characters?

A: Books to movies are never as good as just reading the book. So to put a book I really like into a movie could really disappoint me. However, because of all the imagery and magic in The Night Circus, I would like to see that book made into a movie. I know this could ruin the imagery created in my mind from reading this book, but I think it would be great to see this black and white circus come to life. I'm not very good with actors/actresses so I'm going to leave that part be and think on it for awhile. If I come up with anything I will leave the answer in my comments. (And I am pretty sure The Night Circus is being made into a movie and I plan to see it as soon as it come out!)

April Travel Schedule

I just received my April schedule and I'm going to Dubai!!!!!! I am soooooo excited! I also have vacation before this trip (still trying to figure out where I'm going) and I am hoping to post extend in Dubai to go visit a friend in India. April will be a very good month! Here are just a few pics of Dubai...

World Islands

Palm Islands

Booking Through Thursday: Different Kind of Romance

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks...

Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character? Who and what did you love about them?

I don't think I have ever fallen in love with a character (love is a bit of a strong word), but I do tend to have crushes on them. My most recent crush is on Thom Hale from the Bright Young Things series. He is your perfectly handsome gentleman from the 1920's. And of course he is a bootlegger's son which makes him even more desireable! I would love to be in the 20's and get all glammed up to go out with him.